Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rewards always outweigh.

This last week was rough...literally.

Rough-housing, running, tackling, wrestling, climbing, pushing, grabbing- you name it. Rough.

My class has been wild and crazy recently, and hard to manage. It's not horrible, since they are not actually trying to be mean or hurt anyone, they are just being boys and loving to wrestle. I am not against kids wrestling, although it gets hard and out of control very quickly in a school setting. Let's just save all your wrestling for home, okay?

I feel like I've spent the last few days being in the rodeo or something and trying to lasso everyone in and teach them kindness and gentleness.

Today was a ray of sunshine. As a teacher, there are many demands that you must meet, all along with taking care of the kids and paying attention to them. Kids are smart- they know when they don't have your full attention.

Today was one of those great days where I felt like I still got done everything done that I needed to, yet still had time to just be with the kids. To engage in their play with my full attention. Get down on the floor and really enter their world.

They LOVE it when I do that, and I in return love it too.

Here are few favorite snip-its of the day:

1. One of my kids came up to me, unprovoked, and gave me a hug and said she wanted to be a teacher just like me when she grew up.

2. Another hug from a boy who put his cheek right next to mine and gave me the biggest smile.

3. Laying on the floor and being the "patient" while they examined me with doctor tools. (For some reason, kids think it's so hilarious when teachers lay down on the floor.)

4. Learning about wind and air during our large group time this morning and blowing up a balloon (we are learning about weather this week). I let the balloon go and they watched it zoom all over the room as the air screeched out. They freaked out and loved it so much. It's so much fun to watch kids be completely engaged and love learning.

5. Next week, we are learning about dinosaurs. I change the books in the reading center every Thursday, so today I put out some dinosaur books. I got one from the library about the biggest dinosaurs, and each page had not one, but TWO flip open flaps, so the dinosaur was three pages long. One picture had a T-Rex eating some sort of smaller dinosaur. It was somewhat graphic, but one of my boys loved it so much. He literally looked at the same picture for 20 minutes and showed it to every other child in class (and also one teacher and two parents who came in during that time). We talked about how sometimes bigger animals eat smaller animals and what that meant for the T-Rex to be eating him. He was entranced and it was so neat to be a part of his learning. Watching kids be excited is so awesome!

Today was a great day. The rewards always outweigh whatever negatives happen. :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Party 2013!

Tonight was our small group's halloween party. It was super fun! It was a costume party, so here is what everyone dressed as:

Brian and Nicole were Sheldon and Amy from Big Bang Theory. Their son, Brayden, was a prison inmate with tatted sleeves. 

Kley and I were each other- I was pretty proud of that idea! We wanted to come up with something to not spend any money, so we just swapped clothes. It was funny. This was Kley's "girl smile" with my purse. Ha. You can't really see in the picture, but me wearing Kley's pants was the funniest part of my outfit. 

Matt and Kate were pirates- "Black Beard" and "Pirate Wench Esmerelda."

Andy and Jackie were Bert Macklin from Parks and Rec and Robin Sparkles. I loved her Robin Sparkles costume!

Quentin and Ashley were a football player and 80's gone bad. Their son, Braxton, was a cute lion.

Mike and Brittany were Woody and Jessie from Toy Story.

Dave and Lindsay were hipsters.

Chris and Kristen were chicken cordon blue (get it?) and a chef. 

It was a really fun night! Jackie won the award for the girls with Robin Sparkles, and Mike won for the boys with Woody. 

We played two rounds of Mafia, and the first time I was the sheriff and the second I was mafia! It was crazy. I am hardly ever anyone (thankfully) and am a horrible liar, but I was so proud of myself. The first round as the sheriff was crazy and definitely my favorite game I've probably ever played of Mafia. Someone else lied earlier in the game, saying they were the sheriff, and I saved the truth and came out at the perfect time to win the game. :) (If anyone doesn't know what Mafia is, you can read the rules here.)

Happy Halloween!

Rascal Flatts!

Last night, I crossed something off my bucket list- seeing Rascal Flatts in concert! I was so excited, and it was so good! I have loved Rascal Flatts for a long time, and it was so fun to see them live.

The Band Perry was the opener. I knew some of their songs just from the radio, but they did a good job!

Waiting for RF to start!

Kley's anticipation (sort of). I was more pumped than him, but he did say that he had a good time.

Rascal Flatts! They had a really good show and sang almost all of my favorites. :)

They had great backgrounds, lighting, etc. with each different song too. This was was for Love You Out Loud. 

Mayberry (my favorite, probably).

Why Wait?

Bob that Head (with bobble heads of the three of them).

Fast Cars and Freedom. 

Encore at the end was Summer Nights.

It was a great night!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Why do teachers quit?

I read this article last night and thought it was very interesting. If you aren't a teacher, you probably won't be as interested as me, sorry!

Anyways, you should still read it. It's about why teachers quit.

Teaching is rewarding, but it's also hard!

Happy Birthday to the best!

Yesterday was my husband's birthday- happy birthday Kley! We got to celebrate, which was very fun. I got off work earlier than usual because of teacher training, and Kley didn't have to work yesterday afternoon, so we had extra time!

Kley chose Red Lobster for dinner, and then we headed up to Ames to see BILL COSBY! We were pumped! We were so glad we got to go. We (me especially) have always loved Cosby, so it was fun to see him live! He is now 76 years old, for anyone wondering, and is still going around doing shows.

Kley, I love you and am so blessed to spend birthdays with you. Through thick and thin, I am so happy and proud to call you my partner. We have a lot going for us in this next year! :)

(He turned 26. I am still 24. I told him that it was like he was almost 30 and I was still a kid. Ha.)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rejoicing in suffering.

I have been thinking about rejoicing in suffering the past few days, ever since Kley and I read this in our devotional a few days ago from Acts 5:

(Before these verses happened, the apostles were put in jail for spreading the name of Jesus, and then the high priest wanted to kill them, but after a conversation with the other members of the Sanhedrin, he decided not to.)

40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

Did you read all of that? They were FLOGGED, yet they walked away REJOICING because they were worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. That's unbelievable. I want a deeper faith. There is no way I would be rejoicing immediately after being flogged.

If you don't know what flogging is, it is when you are repeatedly whipped in the back, using a rod or a whip, sometimes even with sharp objects sticking out of it, specially designed to rip skin and inflict even more pain. Ouch doesn't even begin to describe.

How many times have I complained about something so insignificant that's just a temporary minor annoyance, like a cold or a headache? Even something as tiny as a hangnail or paper cut? It's embarrassing and shameful to think about. 

The apostles were willing to continue to preach His name, knowing full well that they would be imprisoned and beaten. How many times have I not said something that God was placing on my heart to say simply for fear of embarrassment? No one is waiting around the bend to flog me. I want their trust, courage, and bravery.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11 that five times he was beaten with 39 lashes, three times was beaten with rods, once was pelted with stones, three times was shipwrecked, spent a night and day in open sea, and many other things, such as being hungry, cold, naked, and without a home.

That definitely puts my suffering in perspective. God, I want to have a content heart, to praise You for the many blessings You give me, to trust You in whatever circumstances You place me in. You will work all things for the good. Even if not on this earth, Heaven will be amazing. 

Romans 5 says this about suffering:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I don't have a great and profound answer for how to actually rejoice in suffering, but I pray that God would mold me to be more like the apostles, who rejoiced after being flogged. Thank You, Jesus, that we can glory in our sufferings because You died and rose for us, and are preparing a better place for us with You in eternity.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Beautiful: sequel.

A little while back I wrote a post entitled Beautiful. One of the things I talked about was how sad it is that many women (and men) don't view themselves as beautiful. People tend to be really critical of themselves.

This is a really great video that you should definitely watch, called Dove Real Beauty Sketches.

In this video, an artist interviews different women, behind a curtain, and asks them to describe themselves. He then drew a picture of them based off of their description, never actually seeing them. Women described themselves way more negatively than positively.

The artist then had the women meet each other, and the artist drew another sketch of each woman based off of the stranger they had just met and the description they gave. They described each other way more positively than negatively, the exact opposite of how they described themselves.

Then each woman gets to see the two drawings. They were pretty different.

It's easy to describe the beautiful qualities of your friends and others. Today, think of a few for yourself! God made you beautiful!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Happy birthday Keaton!

Yesterday was Keaton's birthday. He turned 22- happy birthday Keaton! What to say about him...he's quite the character. In a good way. Keaton is weird, goofy, crazy, loud, sarcastic, and sometimes obnoxious. :) In a lot of ways we are very opposite. Keaton is sure of himself in a crowded room. He doesn't mind talking to new people, and in fact enjoys it. Keaton is the life of the party. He always has been, and it annoyed me to no end in high school, but I love him for it. Throw Keaton into any room and he will succeed, make friends, and have fun. He always has something funny or witty to say. He is also loyal, caring, fun, friendly, athletic, smart, and loving. 

We had quite the time growing up together- "sledding" down the stairs in blankets, playing Super Mario, playing war ball in the basement (basically throwing balls at each other as hard as you can), playing kick the can and 7 steps, many rounds of kickball with the neighbor kids, looking for frogs in the pond at the park, and running through the sprinkler. Also throw in lots of wrestling and loud car dancing as we got older. 

Keaton, you make life exciting, enjoyable, full of laughter, and lots of fun. Happy birthday to my best brother. I love you.

This is the most recent picture. You have also grown up to be quite beastly- muscular and hairy. :)

Fall Family Night.

This weekend we are having a ton of family time, which is great. Both my brother and sister are home on college fall break, along with my brother's girlfriend Rose, which rarely ever happens. It's so nice to all be home together. Family is such a treasure.

Last night we went over for dinner after work to celebrate Keaton's birthday. He is 22! Tonight we made caramel apples and carved pumpkins- classic fall activities. It was fun!

Kayla stole most of the heath bar pieces for her apple, and Karlie and Rose kept trying to pick them off.

The apples- yummy!

Keaton's apple dripping with excessive caramel. Typical.

Another typical scene of Keaton doing something loud and weird.

Kayla, Rose, and Karlie.

Daisy lounging. Rough life.

Kley watching baseball in his post dinner food coma. :)

The girls.

Pumpkin time!

The action.



Keaton's. His original "totally awesome" idea was to put holes all over the pumpkin, but he got sick of it and carved a moon on the side and said it was a moon and stars. Ha.

Kayla's almost finished bat.

I guess I forgot a picture of Karlie's cat because she finished last. Oops.
All of our pumpkins! (Notice Keaton in the following pictures.)

Lit up outside.

Happy Fall everyone!