Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Saw this... and went WHOA!

I checked Facebook a couple of minutes ago, and a former student of mine had this picture of a classmate as her profile picture. Her caption read, "Oh my gosh! What was she thinking?!? Free ________!"

So... I played this little game that my friend Jen and I sometimes play called, "Guess which student is in jail NOW?" It's pathetically sad that there is some such game, but it's our reality. I always find AT LEAST one student or former student...

I am SHOCKED about this one though.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Full circle

Last night was the soiree to celebrate being high school grads for 10 years. It was a blast, and I think I was able to achieve my personal goal of speaking to everyone in my class--minus a couple that I unfortunately just never made it around to. I love my old friends--and their husbands/wives, and it is always fun to get together with them, but we jokingly said that we have reunions a few times a year.

It was especially fun to reconnect with people that I hadn't seen in forever and find out how life has been treating them. Most everyone looked the same or better than they did 10 years ago--and isn't that a good thing!?!

But you know what I laughingly thought about and shared with a friend who was not there since she's living in a different country...? As much fun as I had...and as glad as I am that I went, it was basically the same crap on a different day. I would elaborate, but the mantra really suffices. Profound, I know...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Dressy Casual

These were the words used to describe appropriate attire for my reunion tomorrow night. Isn't that some sort of oxymoron? The venue is a nice Golf club. The time is 6:30. The agenda is dinner, DJ, reminiscing... What would you wear? What does "dressy casual" mean in term of your wardrobe? Do you go classic or trendy? How do you achieve the effortless grace that one would hope to emanate for such an occasion? HA! Seriously, this has slipped up on me. When you really don't care and time has run out, how do you pull off an acceptable look? What would/did you wear?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Grammar Nazism

I can always tell that school is about to start when I subconsciously slip back into Grammar Nazi mode...

Current Frustrations:

1. colons after verbs
2. definately

What things irk you to the point of nervous tics?

*Disclaimer: Being said Grammar Nazi doesn't exclude me from mistakes of my own that when caught cause the doubly intense tic.*

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lackluster of a Losing Lohan

She's already done it again! Seriously, Lindsay!

Don't you just wish she was still as cute, sweet, and wholesome as she was here:

Oh, for the love of those Parent Trap days???

This is just another incident that reaffirms the moral filth of young Hollywood. It makes me so sad to see what these young girls are doing to themselves. It also makes me sad that our young teens are trying to look, dress, and party like these girls.

Friday night, while I was at my Harry Potter Release Party (te-he), I was perusing the shelves of Young Adult literature at Borders. During the past couple of years, I have learned how invaluable it is to know about and read what other teens are reading--to incorporate it in my classes, help a kid find a love for reading, and satisfy my curiosity about what's out there. I investigated the Gossip Girl series and skimmed/speed read through the first book. Ashamedly, I was hooked. The writing is enticing, suspenseful, and just awful--enough so to keep you turning page after page. I don't think I'm old-fogey enough or quite far-removed enough to think that high school is actually like that, but, man! These kids were border-line alcoholics, drug users, and very sexually active. While I enjoyed satisfying my curiosity and have looser opinions on censoring, I would NOT want a teenage daughter of mine to be influenced by this type of literature...

Teens today are growing up in a much different world than we were not so many years ago!

I'm afraid that one of these Hollywood "It" girls is going to bite the dust sooner or later! (who are you betting on? J/K) Seriously, though, isn't that sad to think about? Do you think it will take something like that to make *us* wake up? Do you worry about raising teenagers in our world today?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Church hunting

For the first time in either of our lives, Patrick and I are searching for a new church home. We grew up going to church with our parents, followed by attending church in our respective college towns, and then spent a combined 7 years in church employment. Now we have moved to a new/old town, and we must choose a place of community worship.

We thought this would be a fun, engaging, investigative process. While some of these elements have existed, it has proved a more daunting quest than we had anticipated. It's hard.

One reason it is hard is because we are programmed through our years in ministry to look for and notice certain things. Because we have sometimes known too much about the behind the scenes stuff, we are analyzing and questioning motives, agendas, and wondering about each church's "end game." We're not removed enough to really buy into much. In moments where we catch ourselves doing these things, we are embarrassed at how cynical we must have become, and we wonder if we need some more time to de-funk.

Another reason it is hard is because if we were to write down a list of what we were looking for in a church, it would include all of the things that we LOVED about our former church(es) and be the complete antithesis of the things that we LOATHED about these same churches. Are we ridiculous to believe that some such church exists? Ummm, yeah!

We are trying to readjust and relearn how God has gifted us and think through how we might use those gifts in a new place. Would we help with the youth ministry, inner city ministry, college ministry, Hispanic ministry, all of the above? In the churches that we are considering, are there such ministries in place, or would we have the passion, resolve, healing, and strength to begin one of these groups?

We are sorely missing our Lifegroup--which we essentially considered our "church." While special, new, fresh relationships are certainly exciting to think about, we know that we will not (nor do we desire to) replicate those special relationships formed from our "house church" in Montgomery.

So, our status at this point: We have visited 6 different churches. 6 Sundays=6 churches... It is really hard to wake up every Sunday morning and go to a different place. Yesterday we took an indigestion-induced break and just sort of regrouped. We have decided to pick one and visit it for about a month--try a Sunday school class, visit a small group, investigate ministries, talk with elders, still fly under the radar a bit, and then see if it is a good fit for us...

We are thankful for this time period because we know that God has strengthened our individual and combined relationships with him, and it has also reminded us and reignited in us a desire to be a part of a community of believers. We'll see where the journey takes us.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Unfortunate Truths

Don't you just hate it when...


2. "crisis dust" seems to be sprinkled around friends and family from every angle and you can't understand the logic, reason, or pattern...

3. you waste time without realizing it, and you have the harsh realization that you can't get that time back...


5. you hear bad news about marriages...

6. you can be dressed cute and feel "put together" and then be around someone who in their precious petiteness, or intellectual vocabulary, or calm confidence can make you feel gawky and awkward...

7. everything in your life is going great, but you can't shake small inklings of discontent...

I must be getting a case of the "Back-to-school-Blues..." I can't believe it is so soon! This week in my "Believing God" Bible study, I learned about how powerful God made our tongues--words, how he intended for us to use that power and those words to glorify him and encourage others. I also studied how, on the flip side, words spoken to us by others have a serious impact on our self-views, worth, esteem. Ultimately, the study encouraged us to find healing from words, past hurts, etc.

This week's words came at the perfect time for me, and today I want to be intentional about using words of encouragement and affirmation to those I love as well as find what God's word says about our worth and his amazing love for us.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The week I've been waiting for all summer...

Is finally here!!!

I can't believe that it is the end of an era... I saw The Order of the Phoenix last week (my favorite of the 6 in print), and it just set the stage and intensified my anticipation. I am dressing as Hermione Granger on Friday night and heading for the Borders Bookstore Potter party. There will be festivities all night, and at midnight they will present us with our 40% off pre-ordered copy. I plan to come home and read ALL night long. And all day the next... and the next... I've cleared my schedule, and this, to me, is what summer is all about--and this summer, it presents itself as an exceptionally HIGH highlight among the otherwise monotonous packing and unpacking of boxes... :)

Anyway, I have such mixed emotions. On the one hand, I am ready for all of my questions to be answered: Is Snape bad? Is Dumbledore really dead? Will Harry die? What about all the prophecies...? On the other, at the end of the book, it will be OVER. I don't know if I am quite ready for this. But, hopefully by Sunday (at the latest! :)) I will have my answers and some closure.

This pleasure read, followed by my class reunion the next Saturday, serve as my finale for Summer. Then, I am forcing myself to get back into school mode. I recently found out that this year I'll be teaching 10th grade honors and general classes. It will comprise of world literature, composition, and speech. It will be quite a change from my 11th and 12th American and British lit classes, but it is a welcome change as I will also get to teach some of these modern world lit pieces: The Kite Runner and Night. Although both have been on my list, I've yet to read either. So, I'll be busy!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

19 minutes

I stayed up late last night to finish this one. I think it is my favorite of the summer so far.

This is one of those books that makes you want to change the way you live. In the midst of a tragic, violent act, each reader makes various judgments about the players involved--while at the same time being unable to truly place blame on any one individual.

Each character was sympathetic and it was easy to identify with some aspect of most of them. As a school teacher, it made me want to be intentional about showing compassion to those students who are on the outskirts, who are mistreated and do not fit in. It made me angry. It reinforced how every situation or incident can play an integral part in the psyche of any person.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Living out of boxes...

This is us. We are living out of boxes.

But life is good!

In one short month we have completely transplanted our life and are beginning a new life. When I look back on the details of the way everything has played out, I know that God both initiated and organized every step. I love that He cares about the details of our lives...

There is so much left to do, but I am thankful to have the month of July to get settled.

It's so nice to see family on such a regular, casual basis. What wonderful opportunities that I hadn't realized I'd been missing.

My goal is to be completely settled by the 11th because I have a meeting at school on the 12th, and I want to focus on getting my classroom ready at that point. I continue to be very impressed with this school system, and I can't wait to begin this leg of my career.

And we continue to get settled one box at a time...