Saturday, December 27, 2008
I made three different things: rice heat therapy bags, eye pillows for headaches, and lavender sachets. Most of my ideas came from this page on Sew Mama Sew, which is a great site if you sew or try to like me! Although some of the stuff was too difficult for me, so I simplified a lot! (They tell you to cut fabric into 2 x 7.75" strips!? So I just cut them into 2 x 8" strips and it seemed fine to me!)
Here's my little set up with my ironing board on the floor and laptop readily available. I was making my first rice heat therapy bag cover.
And here is the bag that goes inside with rice.
I put these on the floor to take a picture and Toby thought they were pretty cool. They close with Velcro. (Yeah, I sewed Velcro!!)
Then I started cutting about 100 fabric squares for the sachets. Okay maybe not 100 but it felt like it.
Here are the finished sachets. I was pronouncing them "sash-ets" until I told my little sister Karlie and she sweetly said, "um, do you mean sash-ays?" Oops. I wanted to put real lavender in them and I went to florists and everywhere I could think of but no luck. So I ended up putting batting inside and then a couple drops of essential lavender oil.
As an afterthought I whipped up these little headache pillows. You are supposed to put them in the freezer. (Don't you like how I say "whipped up" like it was no big deal?!)
I don't have a picture of this but to finish off the gifts I put a little tag tied with ribbon to each of them. It gives directions on how to use them (heat the rice therapy bag in the microwave for 2-3 minutes) and says "Homemade with Love!"
I will definitely be making gifts again. Next time I probably won't wait until 2 days before to get started!
Friday, December 26, 2008
Nice, isn't it? I'm so happy with the change. It really looks better in real life than it does in this picture. I love the rich colors! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
And if you read that you might think that I actually know how to sew but truthfully I have no idea what I'm doing. But I'm having fun and it is cool to see something come together that I made!
But don't you fret, I will tell you all about it after Christmas! And now I am out to do one last minute shopping run.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let Me lift up your face
Just don't turn away
Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell Me where will you run
To where will you run
Cause I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
So please don't fight
These Hands that are holding you
My Hands are holding you
"By Your Side" by Tenth Avenue North
Thank You, Lord, for this reminder today.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Problem is, this year we are getting out later than usual! Tomorrow is the last day, and then I'll only have until Tuesday to shop. Right now I have a whopping 3 presents under the tree. Somehow I don't think that's going to cut it!
So I know what I'll be doing this weekend! Also, I bought some crafty supplies to make some homemade gifts, so that's on my to-do list. I wonder, will I ever be one of those people that have all their shopping done at the beginning of December?
One more thing, so many people are telling me, "Don't worry about buying me a gift!" And they actually mean it, because they know I'm saving up money for my Thailand trip. The problem is, I just love giving gifts! I love watching people open them and making them smile. It is so much fun, especially with the people I'm closest to. So, money or not, they'll be getting a gift! So there!
Monday, December 15, 2008
This makes me happy too! Berries and snowflakes on my kitchen light.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
And tonight I'm hosting the party for my church group. But its much easier (in some ways) because everyone is bringing something so I'm just providing the place and the fun and games!
And tomorrow my 3 little sisters are coming over for dinner!
And, next Saturday I'm having a family party at my house!
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT! But if you see me wandering in circles around Wal-Mart (for the 3rd time in one week) with a glazed look and mumbling to myself you'll know why.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
These two girls were probably the best English speakers at their school, so naturally I became close to both of them! First, to practice English, but then we became friends!
The beaches in Thailand are dreamlike. They are so perfect...the sand so white and the water so blue. This picture doesn't show that, but you can see the neat islands that are all over the coast. Also, what we are wearing is what you swim in: shorts and a t-shirt!
This precious girl, Fon, just wanted to be held each week during Sunday School. She was too young to know any English, and she just giggled when I spoke Thai (tried!) But the language of love is universal!
I loved the culture in Thailand! This is a picture of my partner, Jenni, and I at the Temple in Bangkok. I had to wear a rented skirt because I was wearing capris and too much of my legs were showing. (I had to pay about a dollar to rent this skirt, I just put it over my capris!) I love how modest Thai people are.
There is something in me that just loves learning about new cultures! I love learning all about Thai customs and history, manners and ways of life. I also loved learning the language. (Too bad I've forgotten most of it! Maybe it will come back?)
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
...when you get a hug from your mom
...when you are thirsty and get an ice cold diet coke
...when you feel a cool breeze on a hot summer day
...when you get that letter in the mail that you have been waiting for
...when your dog hops up on your lap for a cuddle
...when your favorite song comes on the radio
...when your deadline gets extended
Those feelings can't compare to the feeling I get when I close my eyes and pray. It is an instantaneous feeling of joy, peace, and love. The best is when I am at school, brain going a million directions, children calling my name, and I enter into His presence. It is an incomparable feeling.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday night I went to a women's get-together with church, called the "Art of Abundance." We really do have an abundance of blessings. We shared a meal and had a devotion, and then shared the things we are thankful for this year. One poignant moment was when our pastor's wife reminded us to be thankful for our thorns as well as our blossoms. There were many women in the room that have had some thorns this year, but they are able to look at them with grateful hearts and see what God has done. We also had a cooking demonstration and then we made centerpieces for later in the weekend.
On Saturday I went to volunteer at a Thanksgiving dinner for the 17th Regent. This group of military men and their families meet monthly. This was their last meeting before they leave for Iraq. It was so good to do something for these families who give up so much for us.
Then I went and had a yummy dinner with my family, and watched a movie and stayed up late with my mom. So fun!
Sunday was church, then stayed with my friend Kelly for the afternoon, then the Thanksgiving meal for church. I had such a difficult task for the meal: bring 4 cans of cranberry sauce. Wow, they have so much faith in my cooking abilities! Just kidding! But I did end up helping Kelly a little with her contributions, so I felt better!
The meal was AWESOME. And the best part was after, when we praised God through song. We have so much to be thankful for. Then we were invited to share what we are thankful for. I'm too shy to speak up, but let me just say I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving. When I look back on this year...I can't even tell you all the prayers that God has answered in my life and in others lives that I have prayed for.
At this exact moment, I am most thankful that I'm done with school for 5 days!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I'm going to Thailand this summer!!!
I can hardly contain my smile I'm so excited!
Ok, some background:
I went to Thailand for the summer when I was in college. It was a life-changing experience. I was a summer missionary and my job was to teach English in a Buddhist school. I absolutely feel in love with Thailand while I was there. The people, the culture, the scenery. And I loved the ministry. Every little bit of it. (Well, maybe not some of the weird food!)
Thailand has been on my heart ever since. I've pushed the thoughts and feelings to the back burner as other life events got in the way, but I would still occasionally dream and reminisce about my summer.
Last summer, I started feeling like God was calling me to do something. Yeah, how specific! I started praying and seeking God about His will for my life.
And here I am!
I don't know if this is just a summer thing or if there is more to this. I do know that my dream job is to be a missionary. If God chooses to use me that way, I will gladly go!
More details to come as I learn about it, but until then, here is a map of Thailand so you can see where I'll be! I'll be in the province of Krabi, not sure of the city yet. Krabi is in the south. I actually visited a beach in Krabi the last time I was there! Maybe I can scan some of the pictures in to show you. It is absolutely beautiful.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."
Again, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."
One more time? "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."
God, the Holy One, says, "Can you compare me to anyone? Is anyone equal to me?" (Isaiah 40:25)
Can I get an AMEN!!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Now I don't very often write about my singleness on here, because I have a wonderful life. I'm not desperate for a relationship. But if I did post something, it would be along the lines of what Tammy wrote:
Yes, my life is full and happy. But I am a mother without a child. I am a wife without a husband. I want my other half.Anyway, go check out her post. It says a lot about singleness, and says a lot of things that I probably wouldn't come out and say!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
- Why is Wal-Mart playing Christmas music?
- Why do I have 13 boys and 8 girls in my class?
- Why does Toby go in my bedroom and bark at the dresser?
- Why did my principal ask the faculty to read a 64 page book on math theory?
- Why haven't I started reading the book yet?
- Why is it so hard to BE QUIET when you are 7?
- Why does diet coke taste so good?
- Why do I miss my sister Kelly now that she's out of town when I didn't even see her that much while she was here?
- Why does my heart break when I have to discipline one of my boys?
- Why don't I ever have to discipline my girls?
- Why am I in such a rhetorical mood?
Friday, November 7, 2008
So I'm walking into work, feeling pretty good about my hair. (Tell me, why does it matter so much?!) As soon as the kids come in, a student announces, "you are having a bad hair day!"
I feel great now.
I think that may have been worse than when I went to work one time with my hair just a bit damp. I didn't have time to fix it. As soon as the kids come in, a girl asks, "Why does your hair look so bad?"
What's worse, knowing you look a bit rough and having someone point it out, or thinking you look great and then being shot down? :)
Kids. You gotta love their honesty.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
And today, the kids were so talky. I think it was because we were out of school yesterday and tomorrow we have a field trip. Double whammy. And in the business of second grade, routine and order is the best way to go. So this week and all its changes were just enough to make the kids off task. Even the best behaved kids didn't follow directions today.
To add to it, we had standardized testing today. Then, I had to start a new unit on mealworms. (Yes, you read that right. We are studying their life cycles and habitats.) So, each student got their own mealworm to observe daily. So exciting to a 7 year old. Next, I adminstered another test that I do monthly to see how many words each student can read in one minute. Almost all the kids I tested today went down. So discouraging considering how hard I'm working with them. Then, I had to go to a class after school for gifted and talented teachers. When I got home I had to complete an assignment for the class. And somewhere in there I had to get everything ready for the field trip tomorrow.
Nothing huge, just a bunch of events that made my nerves wind tighter and tighter until I thought they might break!
Which made my Bible study tonight even more relevant..."Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) "Christ himself is our peace." (Ephesians 2:14a)
Thank you, Lord.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
That's a picture of Titus, "my" seven year old from Uganda. My $32 a month provides for his education, health care, food, church-based recreation, and the opportunity to learn about Jesus. Titus and I are pen pals and I've heard from him 4 times since sponsoring him.
You can click here or on the picture on my sidebar if you want to read about their trip. My favorite blogger that is on the trip is Big Mama.
Think about sponsoring a child. Your $32 can go so far in countries like Uganda and the Dominican Republic. And for me, that's about 2 meals out a month. Easy for me to decide!
(If you are skeptical like I am, I did my research before signing up! Here's a link to a site that ranks charities. You can see the percentage of money that goes to the kids versus advertising and administrative expenses.)
Then this morning I went to my voting place...and waited, and waited, and waited! Three hours later I voted. I didn't get a sticker so I have no proof! But, believe me, I was there!
Then I met my grandma for her birthday lunch and chatted for a while. It was so nice to see her.
Now I'm home, procrastinating on getting to work! I have a stack of papers to record in the grade book and a doozy of a parent teacher conference to prepare for. Yeah, this one requires written reports AND the principal there to "hold my hand." It should be interesting.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I am sick of hearing all the speculation about this election, aren't you? When it comes right down to it, God already knows and He is in control!
So tomorrow night, 9:30pm, click on over to Ragamuffin Soul and let's pray for this election. One of the coolest things we can do online.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Now, they are supposed to be storybook characters. Did you know that Hannah Montana is a storybook character? And also Ironman, Superman, Robin...
It really wasn't too bad. I had the entire day planned with pumpkin activities...we graphed pumpkins and estimated seeds and measured and found medians and modes and did repeated addition with seeds...the list could go on. I stopped short of any candy activities because I figured the kids will get enough candy later on today!
In other news, this is my 100th post! That is kinda crazy. I didn't know I had so much to say :)
Ok I'm off to enjoy a peaceful evening. Sorry trick-or-treaters, no candy at this house. This teacher is pooped.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Okay, its Experiencing the Heart of Jesus by Max Lucado. (My new Bible study with the girls from work! We just started it Thursday and so far I love it.)
Laura then instructs me to find page 56.
Okay. I found it.
Laura next instructs me to find the 5th sentence and type it here:
We all need Jesus, because we've all sinned and fallen short of God's standard of perfection (Romans 3:23).
Wow, I couldn't have found a better sentence to type!
Then, Laura challenged me to find a way to relate the sentence to my life right now. Well, that's easy! I need Jesus EVERYDAY! I can't do it without Him. And the best part is He asks us to rely on Him (Matthew 11:28) and He will provide us with the help we need.
Thanks for tagging me Laura!
In my classroom I have colors that represent your behavior. And at the end of each day, I mark the color on each student's homework sheet so parents can know how the day went. Kids also get rewards if they have 5 "blue" days (great days).
So, on Thursday, I had to give M a pink. That is one level below the blue. He had "talked back" to me during the day, and kids know that if they talk back to a teacher, they can't get a blue at the end of the day. I talked about M on this post, and how he is my number 1 temptation to lose it! Now, this had been his third pink day in a row.
When he got his folder, I saw big tears begin to form. Then he started to sob.
Oh my heart.
So I pulled him to the side to talk to him. He said, "my momma said if I get another pink today I get the belt" in between sobs.
So I took about 1 minute to think about it and changed his color.
I just couldn't stand the thought of this little child getting "the belt" because of one little incident.
My friends at work teased me unmercifully about this! Oh, Katie, he is manipulating you! He is working you! He knows you are too nice!
So be it! I did what I thought was right for the moment.
** This is not to say that I'm against spanking! Who knows, I may choose to discipline my kids this way when I have kids. And I know plenty of times when it does work...I just felt like this mom didn't understand that a pink isn't necessarily cause for serious punishment.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
So I performed a very scientific experiment and vacuumed my room first, with no baking soda. Smelly. Then I vacuumed my living room with lots of baking soda on the floor. The smell was gone. Very complicated procedure.
(Why do I find myself writing about things I wouldn't even talk about on Works for Me Wednesday?? Like how I shave my legs or navigating phone trees? )
Go to Rocks in My Dryer for more tips.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Well, I don't have kids. But I have 20 students. And everyone on my hall would laugh at me if they knew I was writing this, because I'm not a yeller. I've actually had parents say that they request me because they know I don't yell.
But the fact is, I'm not perfect. I raise my voice at times (yes, I know that's called yelling!) And there are certain kids that just don't seem to hear me the first 4 times I say, "Get your math book out." So, I say it louder. Then I say it louder. And before I know it, I'm yelling.
I feel so ashamed afterward. Twenty pairs of eyes look at me with confusion, as if to say, "what happened to my nice teacher?" And, yelling seems to imply that I'm out of control, which is the last impression I want to create in my classroom.
So...I started working on it as suggested on Dana's blog. The first thing I did was pray. (Ok, its only been 2 days, but still!) I asked God to help me and give me unending patience for these little ones. And then I told my kids about my goal.
Today went so well! There was a couple of times when I had given directions and everyone started, except for one. I went over to him, got down in front of him, and told him, calmly, again. OK-he still didn't do it, but at least I didn't yell!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Don't worry about Yoshi the frog, Kelly! He will be taken care of by me and 20 7 year-olds. Wait, maybe you should worry...
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Just the opposite, I put off yard work until the last feasible moment.
Sometimes I go past that moment, and allow a jungle to grow in my flower bed, as evidenced by this picture.
It was so bad, that my neighbor who lives on the other side of the fence actually trimmed the top of the tree. (I knew this because then they put the branches over the fence and into my yard.)
So I thought about working on it for a few months. It takes a few months to really figure out how to tackle a thing like this. Really it does.
And then I asked my grandpa for help. I was his assistant. We had to dig up those canna lilies, pull out the landscaping timbers, and dig out that tree. Well, I say we but he did most of the work. My grandma and I did pull that tree out of the ground by sheer force while my grandpa went to ask a neighbor for an ax. (Like I always say, we don't need no ax!)
After we hauled it to the road it stayed there for a while because the trash men don't take stuff over four feet. The nerve.
But Frank came to the rescue and cut it up with his saw, and thankfully its gone now.
The next step is to add sod. It will probably take a couple of months of thinking about it first.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Maybe its because its 90 degrees in October.
Maybe its because there's a full moon and my students are living up to the theories about full moons.
Maybe its because my dog won't. stop. barking.
Maybe its because I discovered the fourth season of Beverly Hills 90210 online.
Maybe its because God is dealing with me about some things that I'm not ready to blog about yet...
I promise I'll get on the ball soon and post some more updates. Thanks for checking in!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Can I just say, I've had so many negative experiences lately with going to the movies? And this was such a welcome change.
This movie has something for everyone, from romance to action to some pretty funny parts. I loved it!
I think the real mark of a good movie is if it makes you think about it after you leave the theater. This one definitely does.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
October is Pastor Appreciation Month, which I had no idea about until I received and ingenious email from my smart, thoughtful and fun friend Jill (see, I'm trying to butter her up because I'm sharing HER idea!)
Jill sent an email to a bunch of church members with a calendar on it. Each day had a different person's (or couple's) name on it. You are supposed to do something special for our pastor on your day.
Awesome Jill also sent a list of ideas of things you can do for our pastor and his family. You could make a meal, invite them over, bake cookies, etc. And the best part is that he has no idea that this calendar went out! But by now, the 8th of the month, he may be starting to get an idea that he's getting something special everyday!
I just think this is the best idea. There is no way to truly say thank you to our pastor for all he does for us, but this is such a creative way to show our appreciation.
As for me, I am going to use one of my cards that I made, and I stopped today and got a couple of gift cards for restaurants in our area. I hope our pastor and his family will enjoy a night out!
Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more tips.
PS Thank you Jill for the great idea! I hope you don't mind me sharing it!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I haven't always been this way. Its a new kind of happiness that I find when I see a pair of cute shoes. And I've always been a bit frugal, but ever since Melanie posted her last Fashion Friday post my frugality just flew out of the window.
I just got these in the mail:
And now? I can't stop. I found these tonight. Should I or should I not?
Today I found out that you can do it online (except for one part that you print and mail in). Its very easy... just make sure that when it says to disable your pop-up blocker that you actually do it. Unlike me who ignored it and then had to fill the form out twice.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Like the other day, I really wanted to bake (this is a strange occurrence). I wanted to make some sort of cookie, but I didn't have eggs. Well, I went on AllRecipes and clicked on their Ingredient Search button. You can type in the ingredients that you do have and the ones you don't. So I typed in milk, peanut butter, sugar, flour and then I typed in eggs in the other column. You wouldn't beleive how many cookies there were to choose from!
This is a great tool for when you don't want to run to the store!
Go to Rocks in My Dryer for more tips.
PS: I ended up making this recipe. It was okay, but definitely not as good as the real thing with all the ingredients!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I had to treat Toby's ears because they stink! His ears are prone to infection because they are so long and never get air in them. So I read on the internet that it helps to pull the dog's ears back. I tried a number of things, laughing the whole time, because each time I did something, Toby would shake like crazy and the clips or barrettes would just fly out!
Finally, I got a scrunchy and put it around his head! It sounds cruel but its loose and it works!
But I crack up every time I see him! He looks so funny without his pretty ears and with his new "necklace!"
PS His eyes look a little freaky in these pictures...but that's not how they look in real life!
Monday, September 29, 2008
But more than that, Steve (see I how I pretend we're on a first name basis?) made sure we understood from the beginning that this wasn't a concert; it was a time of PRAISE! And I was so thankful he said that, because I was all, "Wow he's so cute I can't believe I'm so close and I can see every drop of sweat and man he must be hot to be sweating that much but gosh he's cute."
So, I evidently needed the reminder about why I was there. Poor Denee was on the edge of a little mosh pit! Some of the kids evidently needed a reminder too!
The band did such a good job. They usually play for crowds of thousands but they didn't seem to do less just because it was a smaller group. I absolutely loved it! My favorite song they did has to be "We Shine."
Denee and I spent the night with Melody, had a fun day of "shopping" on Saturday (I say "shopping" because we didn't really buy anything) and then we headed back home.
On a sad note, I had a little sad event happen on my way home. I was driving through the boonies, and there were no houses or other roads in the area. I saw a dog walking on the side of the road. He didn't have a collar on, and as I passed he lay down right by the road. Well, if you know me, I have a huge heart for animals. I drove about a mile, trying to decide if I could just leave him.
As soon as there was an opportunity to turn around, I did. I just couldn't stand to leave him there. I got there and called him, and he walked toward me, tail wagging. He seemed friendly, and like I said, there were no houses around. All I could figure was that he was lost, because he didn't seem like a stray dog. But he must have been lost for a while, because he was dirty and had some bloody spots on his back like he had gotten hurt.
So, I pulled my seat forward, and tried to get him to climb in. No luck. Went around to the passenger side, tried to get him to get in that way. Nope. He didn't mind me petting him and talking to him, but he wouldn't get close to the car. I didn't have anyway to get him in the car...and it was getting dark. I didn't want to force him because I didn't know if he'd bite. And he was way too big to pick up.
I had to leave him :( I felt terrible but I didn't have a choice! I still find myself thinking of him and praying for him.
On Sunday, my sister Karlie came and picked me up for lunch! She is 15, so that's why that is so cool. Of course my mom was with her, but she was driving her new car...lucky girl! She's doing a great job learning how to drive.
If you read this whole thing you are a trooper! It was a great weekend even though I had a sad story to tell!