Monday, September 20, 2010

Faith like a Child

How often have we been told to have the faith of a child...always trusting the Lord and taking Him at His word? And doesn't the Bible tell us "Don't be anxious about anything, but pray about everything. Tell him your needs and thank Him for what he's done"? And still I find myself being tenderly reminded by God on a daily basis what this actually looks and sounds like. That's right...the Lord has placed a special student in my class to ever so gently show me certain areas in myself that need some work. This student is eager to be open about his faith, full of compassion, quick to pray in times of trouble, and never ungrateful or forgetful of the things God has given us. Before each mealtime and snacktime, he never fails to thank God for providing us with our food. When another student gets hurt or becomes upset, this little guy is always first on the scene to extend a prayer of healing and comfort. Just the other day, in one of my not so graceful moments, I backed into a tiny guy, knocking him over and into a wall, before he even had a chance to squeal, the prayerful child immediately petitioned to the Lord to make the fallen child feel better. I am so encouraged by this little guy's fervant faith and I thank God for His creative ways of teaching me lessons.

The power of the spoken word

In Ross's and my family we believe in the power of the spoken word and therefore try as much as possible to always speak positively about ourselves, one another, and our current situation. I try to incorporate this value into my classroom as well by speaking many positive statements over my students. Each student has unique qualities that God has put inside of them and I believe it's my job to help them shine. Often children with learning differences experience so much negativity throughout their lives, even if it's not intentional. Academics, language, social situations, and even sports can be hard for them. In my class, I always like to remind the kids that they are special the way they are and then highlight the things they are good at. Last week we read the book "I Like Me" by Nancy Carlson. It's about a little pig that loves being herself. She loves her curly tail, her round tummy, and her tiny feet. When the world tries to bring her down, she picks herself up and when something is hard for her she tries and tries again. This little piggy is the image of high self-esteem. Last week, we talked all about what makes each of us unique from our looks (eye color, hair color, height)to the things we like to do (drawing, building, playing sports) and we talked about liking ourselves for who we are. I was encouraged yesterday, when I read a quote on facebook from a student of mine from last year. He said to his mom, "I love you Mommy, and I love me because my body is awesome!" Way to go, G, you speak it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Summer Lovin'

Let's revisit summer 2010...

Ross and I were blessed to be able to celebrate with 4 different couples on their wedding days. I'm going to take some time to honor these sweet couples!

Jeff and Brittani Allen
Ross and I grew up in the same hometown as Jeff. Jeff and I were buds since elementary school and Ross and Jeff were bandmates in multiple bands in highschool. The Allens were married in their St. Louis area church where Jeff is the worship director. The wedding and reception to follow were lovely. One of the unique touches I enjoyed was the "cookie bar" at the reception in which you could load up on a variety of home baked cookies and take them home in little chinese take out boxes. It was fun to spend some time with some of my best friends from way back when.

Ben and Kimberly Schlarman
Ben was Ross's college roommate in Allen Hall at U of I for 2 years. Ross and I were able to spend some time earlier this summer hanging out with Ben and Kim at their pad in the Chicago area. Ben and Kim were married in the City Museum in downtown St. Louis. You can see some of the cool art in the background, but what you don't see are the caves, slides, and other forms of "urban art" that we got to experience that evening. What a cool place to have a wedding!

Randy and Lauren Cochran
Ross met Randy sometime last year here in Dallas and they enjoy playing music together in a band called "Bangarang". Randy and Lauren are absolutely precious! They were married in Longview, TX (her hometown) under an oaktree. It was REALLY hot out that day, but the wedding and reception was just perfect! The Cochrans had their own barista serving made-to-order espresso drinks the entire night!

Jay and Christine Geyer
We met J and C while attending college at U of I. We loved hanging out with them in college and have continued hanging out with them post-college. A couple of years ago we took a trip with them to Washington and did some serious backpacking through Washington National Park and Mt. Rainier. The Geyers were married in a sweet little chapel in the Chicago area and we celebrated afterwards at a golf country club. It was so fun to see a bunch of our friends from college again.

Oh, how I love wedding season! Who will be next???

Friday, September 3, 2010

A is for Alvin.

Two full weeks of school completed already! Holy smokes, time flies when you're having fun. Have I told you yet that I love my job? I liked my job last year, however I had all the stresses that come in your first year of working. Even the small things were stressors for me just for the fact that EVERYTHING was new and unfamiliar to me. Now that I at least have some idea of how things work at my school, I feel more comfortable and I can do my job more efficiently. I was pleasantly surprised the first week when 4:30 pm rolled around and I was actually ready to go home for the day.....when last year I ended up staying at work until 7 or 8 pm several nights the first couple of weeks!

My 6 little boys are precious as can be and I can tell there are going to be some good preschool quotes coming your way soon. Here are just a few so far:

One student has informed me that sometimes he gets swatted with the "correction paddle" but that I don't need to worry about that. Another one has told me "I am feeling cross". I am loving the vocabulary these kids are using! I also love that when I introduced our "letter of the day" and asked if anyone could think of any words that start with the sound /a/ the only word we could come up with was "Alvin". One little guy entered the room on the first day of school crying and repeatedly saying at the top of his lungs, "I don't like school!!!" and 6 hours later when I announced that our day was finished and it was time for our backpacks, his eyes opened up as wide as could be and he form tackled me with a hug and yelled "I LOVE school!!!" It's going to be a fun year. :)