Friday, February 25, 2011

Winter with a little bit of Fall - An actual life update!

Work Update
This Fall I started off working once again at Oakhill Day School with the same position I had last year. I was again an assistant in a PK class with one o my favorite teachers ever - Janelle! I do love that school. I love all of those kids, and all of the teachers there. I love many of the things that school stands for and works towards. Yet I still couldn't wait to teach more, and working there I had to work the assistant job and the kids club, which was a very busy and stressful schedule.
After a few months there I received a call from the North Kansas City School district asking if I would be interested in interviewing for a new job position they would be creating. This job they created is a long term sub position in special education. There were enough Special Education teachers leaving throughout the year for Maternity leave and not enough subs with the requirements that they needed to hire someone with the requirements to do this all year. They said they had come across my application and were interested. I said yes - very enthusiastically. Then they only called one reference and said they had practically blown me out of the water with praise. I couldn't believe it. It seemed the perfect job. After over a year of my application being in that system they had finally noticed it! Not only that but my reference from years ago had remembered and loved me! I can only give praise to God for how He orchestrated everything so perfectly. With all the teachers and recent graduates in the area looking for a job I know God's hand was in this truly blessing me.
In November I started my new job. I do miss my old school, but I love the excitement of the new schools and job positions. It is great to be finally making decisions again and actually teaching and putting to practice all that I learned in school. I make a little less per month, but it's the same every month, had good benefits, and the paychecks will extend through the summer. I will be seeing different schools, and different positions. All of this experience will help me in multiple ways with getting a full time teaching job.
So far I have been at three different schools. I was only two days at a school called Golden Oaks. Its an end of the road school for most kids. It has a very tough crowd. I saw every one of those kids explode at least once, was cussed at, and stabbed at with a pencil by Kindergartners and first graders. I was definitely intimidated by it at first, but I did love it there and the intensity and importance of every day in those kids lives.
The second school I was at was West Englewood. Here I was a resource teacher for grade 1-5. This was a great experience to refresh me on many 1-1 and small group interventions for many different skills and grade levels, and behavior problem techniques. I did learn that I'm not really into resource room teaching. There was too much down time and not enough excitement. I really like having a class to run. I really grew to love those kids and I made many friends at this school and was sad to go.
With my next position I definitely made up for my last position in excitement and action. This class NEVER gets boring. I am currently at Bell Prairie in a self-contained class with five kids K-2nd all on the Autism Spectrum. I have three aids in the room with me who I am very grateful to have every day. This is such a new experience, far from any experience I have ever had. I do love those kids, and really want to help them learn. It is a very stressful and exhausting job though, more so then any other teaching experience I have. I no very little when it comes to Autism, and it doesn't help that almost every student is different in their needs. This makes me even more excited to be able to do this position. I am learning so much, and stretching myself more then I would have tried to on my own.
I still really would like to try to teach Middle school and see how I like it and do. That is the last area I have yet to have some teaching experience in. I really think I would enjoy it. We will see what new placement I receive after Spring Break

Family Updates
In November my brother was married! I have a new wonderful sister in law. I am so excited for them both. She is a neat, fun, beautiful, and godly young woman. I can't wait to see how God uses their lives. The only bad thing is they live all the way in CA. They need to live here with me! or is Fl so I can at least visit them when I visit the rest of my family. Oh well, there are many years, hopefully, of our lives left yet. We will see where God sends us all.
I have niece! I am so excited to meet this sweet little girl. I have to say the whole time Krystle was pregnant I was rooting for a little girl. Her name is Arabella and she is the most beautiful and wonderful little baby girl. I haven't been able to meet her yet, but I have seen the pictures and heard many stories. I think the hardest thing about living here, is how far away it makes me from those closest to me. It has been especially hard with the birth of my niece. I want so much to be there and know I can't, and it makes me miss everyone and everything with such a greater intensity. I know this is where God wants me, and I take comfort knowing that He is taking care of everything, everyone, and helping me to be used by Him in great ways.
My Grandma has been doing well. She is still in a wheelchair, but trying to use a little less. We had a very fun Valentines day. Chris and I bought her flowers, presents and chocolates. She was very excited and pleased. She couldn't believe all she got. That night I made a yummy dinner and we watched a movie together. I also moved her bird feeder over by the kitchen table window and Chris and I have been good about keeping bird feeder in it. So now birds are coming back and I can tell she loves it. She mentions it every time I come home how she has enjoyed seeing the birds and wondering if we need to put more seed out. I love being able to do small things like that for her and having her get so much joy out of it.

Activities Updates
I'm going to Thailand! I have talked my friend Abby into going to Thailand with me in June. We have already found a place to volunteer at, created a website, and now are working on raising funds for our Mission Trip. It is very exciting to be doing this all on our own. I knew I had to go soon and be back in Thialand. I love those people, and love how just how coming over there makes such a difference to them. I can't wait to see all that God is going to do in this adventure. Here is the link to my website I made
I also had my first time ice skating last week with friends. It was lots of fun. I like the environment, but IT HURTS! My ankles had bruises on them, and ended up very sore at the end of a few hours. I think I enjoy rollerblading more. THere is less pain, and its easier and smoother, but who does that any more?!? Sad :-p
I also was able to go to the Winter Jam concert. I liked every band, and LOVED most of them. It was an incredible fun night. That is one thing I do like about being in Kansas City, there are concerts, events, and things to do all around you, you just have to know people to do them with and know where they are.


Ok I think thats enough for now! Hopefully I can

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why? : The baffling question

Someone asked me the other day if I went to church every Sunday, and then why?
I felt like the answer I gave wasn't quite adequate. For some reason I kept pondering that question. Why was it? what drove me to want to go every Sunday even when I "didn't want" to go. I know reasons that aren't why. It's not because I feel I HAVE to go. It isn't because I feel like I'm slighting God if I don't. I don't think I will disappoint Him. I don't have to uphold myself to some lofty level of achievement set up my my parents or friends or others in the church. It's not because I want to see my friends. Which I do, but the few minutes of short conversation with a small majority of my friends doesn't really justify over an hours worth of time.
There are some small reasons. One of which I listed. If you don't go once, it makes it easier to miss next time and to do it over and over again. This is true, but still doesn't hold a candle to the real drive. There is the accountability offered by fellow Christians there that we as Christians need. But if your involved enough you can get the from bible studies too or just your good friends who you talk to throughout the week. THere is the good sermon with the applicable life principles to start your week. But you can always listen or watch one, even read a good book.
I kept thinking of all of these ideas as I rolled out of bed late with heavy, fuzzy eyes, struggled to pick an outfit, rushed through a shower, blasted my hair as fast as I could to get it dry, skipped breakfast and headed out into the cold, mushy outdoors. I arrived a few minutes late. I drove around looking for a spot, parked far away, walked though more cold mush. I came in to be seated in the awkwardly to close for me position of the 2nd row next someone I didn't know, and never had a chance to meet the whole time.
But my focus wasn't on those things, those were obstacles that meant nothing to the drive. And there I was surrounded by people I didn't know. People who had gone through just as much if not more pains to get here. There we were all together for one reason. It thought about what I felt inside as I sang the songs. Who it was I was here to see. What it meant to me, to my life,a and to others. I knew the reason.
Its the same reason I get up early some days just to sit on the floor and talk, when there is no voice audibly talking back, and no visual image showing me I am being listened to. Its the same reason I moved from those who were closest and dearest to me, to be a help to someone who needed me more. The same reason I spend my money on feminine products for old ladies, and small little gifts for far away friends.
Its the same reason you would walk by a bouquet of flowers and think of someone special to you and buy them without a visible cause. The same reason you reach out for the hand of your companion that sits next to you. The same reason you call your loved one in the middle of the night who's far away on the other side of the world, just to talk. The same reason even when your child is driving you up the wall, you will reach out and hug them.
It's a very powerful four lettered word that powers much of what we do.

"Amazing love how can it be?
That you my king would die for me
Amazing love I know it's true
Its my joy to honor you
In all I do
I honor you"