Saturday, October 30, 2010

Football & Mouse Housing

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."
-Stanley Horowitz

This weekend has been delightful so far! It started with a football game on Friday...

On Friday night, the game determined whether or not we would win the 2010 Metro League Title... and WE DID! Yippie! Our football team has not had this title for 26 years. Talk about a long time waitin' for this moment. The game, unfortunately, was not as intense or exciting until the second half. I'm not sure what was going on in the first half but it looked like a pathetic soccer game (seriously both teams kept punting the ball back and forth!). There wasn't much tackling and our team looked disorganized.

Thank goodness for half time! ha. I think the coach had a serious talking to the team and boy... they came back good and strong! The last half of the game was exciting because it had momentum. Plus, the energy of the crowd picked up and we all were geared up to be the champions. Awesome night! And thankfully too, Friday night was blessed with perfect fall weather: cool, dry and foggy. Pretty lucky because Thursday and Saturday are sandwiching in Friday with the classic 'ol Pacific Northwest rain.

Today's activities consisted of "mouse housing" with mom. We have used that term for years and years. Mom says she got it from a children's book or so she thinks. Anyway, when we go "mouse housing" it means that we're going to gather fun little things... usually decorations or craft project items. Sometimes it's clothes, but today crafty things. The first place mom and I went to was a place called Smith Berry Barn, out in the country. It's a cute little barn that sells all sorts of fun house goodies (though somewhat spendy). Once and awhile we find a few treasures there. Today we just got some gift items for a few people. Glad we got to help out a local country shop!

Afterwards we went to Target, then mom stopped in at Joann's Fabric Store, and then we did grocery shopping. Brought the grocery items home, regrouped and had dinner at Sweet Tomatoes... and then ended the day with Michael's and Craft Warehouse. Whew! haha All fun though even in the cool dark and slightly dreary day. Good day to be occupied with mouse housing!

From all that I managed to only spend $9. I bought a small gift item for a friend and then got a candle warmer. My room is smelling like pumpkin spice now... mmm mmmm...

Think I'll have a snack now, relax and then get bed... have to get up a little early tomorrow for a short work meeting. Hoping to get some homework done tomorrow afternoon so that I can have fun in the evening. :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fire Trees

Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.
--William Cullen Bryant

I was on an errand this afternoon and had to take a picture of these gorgeous trees. I think they're maple; I've nicknamed them "fire trees."

(Yes I know, my posts these days are a bit redundant but I absolutely LOVE God's creation-- I am quite fascinated by seasonal changes. I love how He has given each season its own personality.)

Hope you all had a good fall day! I'll be writing more this weekend...


Monday, October 25, 2010

A Minnie Moment

Last night when I was reading the Bible my kitty, Minnie was begging to come in my room. She came in at the time when I was reading Psalm 104, which has beautiful nature illustrations to describe God's power.

After she got all cozy next to me, I read aloud this verse, "O Lord, what a variety of things You have made! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your creatures." (24)

Funny thing is after I read that she snuggled up even closer to me. haha I'm so glad God made cats-- they're great companions!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beautiful Fall Skies

"The heavens are Yours, and the earth is Yours; everything in the world is Yours-- You created it all." --Psalm 89:11

As I said in the last post, I would share some of the pictures I have taken of the gorgeous fall sky. These pictures were taken in the past week from my house all on the same glorious evening. Enjoy :)

Almost makes you crave sorbet huh?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blessings, Confessions & A Funny Story

This is post goes along with my previous one, "Friday to Friday." All of these events happened within that time period and I think they're good to share. :)

--My uncle fixed my computer on Monday night. The power supply had given out but thankfully he had an extra one he could use to fix it. After he got my computer up and running he scanned it for viruses and other things. I feel very fortunate to have my computer back! I also got it just in time so that I could finish my midterm on it, which was great. I prefer to work on my bigger screen than our mini-notebook.

--I have thoroughly been enjoying the beautiful fall days here. We've had many days where the mornings are chilly but then the afternoons are in the 70's. Beautiful blue skies with pretty cirrus clouds. It's made for some glorious sunsets as well. *I'll post some of those pictures on here tomorrow if I remember!* Unfortunately, we are into the true fall weather as of today: wind and rain. This weekend is supposed to be kind of stormy. Looking out the window now I can see some dark clouds passing by...

--I feel so thankful to have been subbing so much! I am enjoying being a teacher again :)

--I have had the urge to shop recently... I haven't gotten overboard or anything but it always bothers me when all I want to do is shop, shop, shop! When mom and I went to Fred Meyer the other day I went with the intention to pick up my Burt's Bees shampoo and conditioner (which I did btw). We didn't have much time to shop because we needed to pick up my sister from her job. Despite the time though, I still managed to walk away with my Burt's Bees products in a new cute black purse! haha The good news is that the purse was on sale and I spent less than $20 for it. I've been looking for a new purse for quite some time because I have been using the same one for about two years. So... I suppose in some ways it is a valid purchase.

--And the shopping continues... ahhh.. I'm most likely going to order the burgundy version of the skirt I bought at Forever 21 a couple weeks ago. The horrible thing is I haven't had a chance to wear the teal colored one yet but I have this compelling "want" (not need!) to get the burgundy one. I guess it's because I have a cute outfit in mind and that color would look nice. *sigh*

--Guess the only thing going for me with this temptation is that I am conscious of how much money I'm spending. So while I am buying a few new things, I'm at least not breaking the bank. haha

A Funny Story:
--On Monday when I subbed for first grade, the students were supposed to complete several worksheets while I met with reading groups. One of the worksheets asked them to match the correct short "o" word with the corresponding picture. Like the other worksheets, I modeled how to complete them and made sure the students knew the instructions. Anyway, one student must have struggled with finding the word pop to go along with the picture of a pop can... She ended up writing "bere" under that picture! haha I saw her worksheet after reading groups and tried to explain the instructions again. Apparently, she didn't change her answer because at the end of the day the classroom teacher called me into her room (and the principal happened to be in the hall too so he came in).. and then she showed the worksheet and was cracking up. The principal thought it was hysterical! "Watch out for that sub!" haha I think that story spread like wildfire down through the primary wing. ;-)
Alrighty, now I better get ready for the rest of the day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday to Friday

I'm finally catching a nice quiet moment... Ahh... I'm enjoying having some space to myself and being able to listen to some relaxing music. I have missed not writing as much this month since it has been so crazy. Oh well, such is life huh? Makes me more thankful for this lovely evening (besides the fact that I'm trying to fight off potential cold symptoms!).

Since I feel like this past week, Friday to Friday has been a blur I am just going to list things by days.

--Last Friday: Went to the epic football game with our home team against the private school. That was a great start to the weekend!

--Saturday: Saw the movie "Legends of the Guardians." Very good by the way! I was very impressed with the graphics. Plus, the owls were oh so cute. The story line was good as well :)

--Sunday: Went to see my friend Jennifer play handbells at her church. I've been wanting to see her play for months now. Finally had an opportunity to do that, which was very fun. I also really enjoyed her church too. I loved how they played hymns and contemporary songs-- I think that's a good combination. I like hymns because they are usually pretty convicting, which causes me to think a lot. At her service they played "My Only Crown (Fairest Lord Jesus)." I love how it uses nature to convey the greatness of Jesus and His amazing power. Here are the lyrics...

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul's glory, joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine.

What I thought about most as I sang this hymn was, "Is Jesus TRULY my soul's joy and crown?" Certainly makes you think about life's priorities. That question stuck with me all week.

Monday: I ended up substituting all day at my favorite elementary school. I subbed in the morning for the 1st grade teacher, which was a blast. All of the kids in her class were from the class I student taught in last year. It was so nice that they saw me as a teacher and were respectful. Of course, that was a the morning too. And as I've experienced, the it is much easier to sub in the mornings than the afternoons! haha It's amazing how the energy level changes after lunch. This is more so for if you sub for one class all day. My guess is though this is a general pattern whether or not there is a substitute. Anyway, as soon as I finished my morning job, my mentor teacher asked me if I was available to sub for her in the afternoon. So I ended up teaching her kinders! At first I felt sort of out of rhythm with how to do everything but then it all came back as the day went on. :)

Tuesday: Just had class in the evening-- miraculously I was able to get my take home midterm done for it too. That was one of the hardest tests I've done in a long time! Yucky linguistics stuff. Glad to have that behind me now!

Wednesday: Worked at my part-time job. It felt strange to be back there because I hadn't worked for a week. I'm glad I got to see the changes in the store and get caught up with my manager.

Thursday: I subbed again and at my favorite school! :) This time I was in a 1st/2nd grade split. The class was pretty challenging in terms of behavior. Thankfully I knew most of the kids from subbing last year and from my mentor's kindergarten class. We all made it through the day somehow! Even through the firedrill... oh boy. haha That's one thing you learn from teaching: sometimes all you can do is just go with the flow!

Friday (today!): Today has been my day to unwind. Thank goodness. I could feel one of my tonsils acting up yesterday, which had me a little concerned. This morning when I woke up I definitely felt like I had the beginnings to a cold. In hopes of fighting it off I've been sucking on Cold-Eeze and drinking Airborne. I'm planning on getting into bed after I finish this post, read a little bit and then crash. I'm going to visit a friend and my Granny this weekend so I don't want to be feeling miserable. Crossing my fingers that the natural remedies do the trick! ;-)

Hope you all are doing well and staying healthy! I need to catch up all my blog reading one of these days!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Remember the Warriors

Pounding hearts, stomping feet, clapping hands, "ooohs and ahhss"... and "noooo's!"... Cheers of encouragement, tense muscles, jumping up and down, anticipation, suspense, clinking of helmets and cleats, bumping shoulder pads, pain, relief, anger, joy, sweat, tears, cameras, lights, face paint, cheerleaders, fans of all kinds, news reporters,.. All of this was wrapped up in a perfect cold fall night; a package called hope. Hope that on Friday night history would be made. This hope was truly visible, just like the clouds of breath floating upwards into the night... This was our time and we all believed it.

And it was. Last night the high school I went to finally won a football game over the metro league's most despised player, the Crusaders (they're a private school-- which always dominates every sport). It has been 25 years since we have had victory over them. We didn't win by a small amount either. Score was 38 to 25 :)

So many people came to see this game. There were scads of people everywhere. The stadium was packed and there were crowds of people all around the field. I wonder how many eyes were watching the game in anticipation.

The whole game was so exciting. Only in the first quarter did we ever have a tie with the Crusaders and then after that, we left them in the dust. It seemed as though the cheers of the home-team crowd carried the players from beginning to end. No kidding either. Every cheer was like a burst of energy and it gave them the strength they needed to keep persevering.

Mom, Sarah and I grabbed each other and leaped up whenever a touchdown was made. And then we would turn to each other and yell, "WE DID IT!" So much fun! So incredibly thrilling! The cheering experience was a whole body work out from my vocal cords all the way down to my legs.

When the clock got to the last few seconds the crowd counted down... 3... 2... 1... it was all over. We made history. In that moment, the entire stadium swarmed down onto the field-- like one massive large body of people. It wasn't chaotic either. Everyone moved so fluidly-- everyone wanted to be on that field where it all happened. That field where we all placed our hope and to touch the players that held our hearts. We all gathered around one of the end zones and the players huddled up together. It seemed as though everyone could have stayed there for hours and hours even despite the chilly air.

While we all could have celebrated on that field all night, we all had to go home. However, the scoreboard stayed lit up throughout the night...

Usually I don't get emotional nor overboard for a football game (or many sports in general besides the Olympics or Cross Country)... but last night was captivating. Anyone would have been sucked into the game! That ride on the coattails of hope was spectacular. I'm so glad I was there.
The most dangerous is a true believer... *
*Written on a gym wall in my old high school.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Fall Moment in His Design

Yes, today is a two post day!

When I got done with my run today, I came inside to grab some water and then I got my phone too. Then I went and sat on the deck to stretch. I'm so glad I had my phone with me because I was absolutely captivated by the nature that surrounded me. I used my phone to take a few pictures because I wanted to remember that moment. I could have used my actual camera but I didn't want to move from where I was. I wanted to be still...

I was sitting on the deck and enjoying the beauty of the fall crisp air, the bright sunshine at its funny Autumn angle and the blue sky-- that was painted with a few light wispy clouds. I also thoroughly enjoyed admiring the sparkling dew on the lush green grass, listening to the sounds of kids playing, and watching the dancing golden and orange leaves on the trees... Amazing. I always feel so close to God in those moments. He reminds me that nature is a reality just like He is. He's in everything- He sees it all and knows it all so intimately. I feel so blessed to have such a personal Savior. He's never distant from me, He is always there no matter what.

From the Autumn leaves, that will ride the breeze to faith it takes to pray and sing, from the painted sky, to my plank filled eye, He is God of all, He is everything....

I'm giving my life to the only One who makes the moon reflect the sun... Every starry night, that was His design... *

*You can listen to this beautiful song here , "Starry Night" by Chris August.

C25K: Week 6 & 7 Update

I'm happy to say that today I finished the 7th week of the Couch to 5k Running program! Yiiiipppiiie! Had I not gotten sick in September, I would probably be close to finishing Week 8. Oh well, I'm just happy that I haven't given up and am totally enjoying running. I look forward to it and can't wait to be out in God's amazing nature. I always feel so refreshed afterwards, like I can breathe more deeply. Ahhh....

Since I missed out on running for about 10-12 days in September, my running days have changed. I'm trying to get back on to the Monday, Wednesday and Friday plan. It has taken a few days to get back into that rhythm due to my work schedule and other activities. That reminds me of something I would like to mention about the C25K... I love how it is such a solid plan and yet if I need to, I can make adjustments. Ideally I would run MWF and then take the weekend off. However, after I got better I knew I just needed to get out there before I lost my motivation. I didn't want to repeat my mistake of quitting altogether like I did earlier this year!

So to give you an idea I stopped running on Sept 17th (a Friday). I didn't run again until Sept 29th, which was a Wednesday. On the 29th I did Day 2 of Week 6. Since I didn't want to wait all the way again until Monday to run, I finished the 3rd day of that week on Saturday, October 2nd. Oh wow that was quite the run!! That was probably the best run I have had in months. I don't know where I got the energy or what it was. I'm guessing it was all the pent up energy in my legs (they were like coiled springs) from when I was sick! I think it also helped that the sunshine was out- I always feel an extra mental boost when I have it beating down on me.

On that day I did a different running route too-- I finally conquered a large hill I've been wanting to "crush" for so long. It's symbolic to me and it's a very challenging running route. I just had to get up and over it! So glad I did! Next week when my running time increases, I think I'll try and smack it down again. I don't let hills intimidate me! ;-)

Anyway, here is what my running schedule has been like for these two weeks... I strongly encourage you to do this running program!

Week 6
Day 1

5 minute brisk warm-up walk
Jog 1/2 mi or 5 minutes
Walk 1/4 mi or 3 minutes
Jog 3/4 mi or 8 minutes
Walk 1/4 or 3 minutes
Jog 1/2 mi or 5 minutes

Day 2

5 minute brisk warm-up walk
Jog 1 mi or 10 minutes
Walk 1/4 mi or 3 minutes
Jog 10 minutes

Day 3

5 minute brisk warm-up walk
Jog 25 minutes

Week 7 -- same for all 3 days

5 minute brisk warm up-walk
Jog for 25 minutes (~2.5 mi)

And there ya have it! Next week I run 28 minutes (or ~2.75 mi) for all 3 days! :) Happy running ya'll!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hello October!

"October gave a party,
The leaves by hundreds came--
The Chesnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band..."
--George Cooper

I have gone too long without writing! Feel like these past two weeks have been very hectic. It's now the halfway point through the semester, the holidays have arrived at my part-time job and I've started substituting. Needless to say, there hasn't been much downtime! Somehow though I've been able to fit in my running plan so that has helped to keep me a little balanced. haha

Thankfully, I have gotten a break from work this weekend. I was supposed to work yesterday for four hours but there weren't many customers. My boss gave me the option of taking the shift or giving it to another gal. Since I've been working quite a bit, I decided to use the day for homework instead. I'm so glad I made that choice. Plus, I got to hang out with Jennifer in the evening so that was a fun ending to the day. I enjoyed spending some time with her and getting a change of scenery.

The "change of scenery" consisted of going to the mall to do some shopping. I haven't needed anything but sometimes it is fun to get some new items (and to do girlie things). Yes, I will admit, I have a weakness for clothes. And even worse, for Forever 21. That darn store always has clothes that fit my body style and they're so cute. Oh well! I'm pretty careful with my money so I didn't go overboard. I only spent about $26 for two shirts, 1 skirt and two headbands. I had a little money on a gift card so that made my total amount reasonable. :)

I am excited to get a little more breathing room in these next few weeks. My work schedule is going to be considerably less crazy for the rest of this month (at least for the part-time job). I am going to try to sub a few more days this month if possible. I already have a half day set up for later this month and am looking forward to that!

Ah yes, I have to say it feels great to be teaching again. On Thursday I had my first subbing day for the school year and at my favorite school. I subbed for second grade, which was fun. Thankfully I was able to meet with the teacher the day before to go over things. That helped to calm my nerves quite a bit (though my stomach was in knots in the morning!).

I'm happy to say that I haven't lost my subbing skills either. I know, I know, you can't lose teaching skills over the summer but I panicked last [academic] year when I didn't sub at least once a week. So yeah it's great to be subbing again! I kept saying to myself throughout the day, "just one chunk at a time." That's a great line I learned from the first teacher I subbed for last year. Such good advice!

Anyway, the day went by very quickly. I was busy every moment! For the most part the day was successful. As I expected, the kids were hyper in the afternoon. I think having it be their "Friday" (statewide in-service day was on Friday) and the activities in the afternoon contributed to their energy level. Oh well! It was all good though.

Fall is certainly here :) I'm totally embracing it too! When I go running I love to look at the trees and their changing leaves. I just love the color palette of fall: reds, oranges, and yellows. Such beautiful rich colors-- all created and orchestrated by God.

Hope you're enjoying this season too!