Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer Trademarks

I have fallen in love with each season of the year, but I get so excited when I see the trademarks of each season appear. Fall you have pumpkins, hay bales, and scarecrows. Winter you have Christmas lights, nativity scenes, and garland. Spring you have wild flocks, Easter, and amazing weather. Summer is just around the corner and this is how I know it...

1. Watermelons...oh how I love me some watermelon! They are everywhere but in my refrigerator, and I'd have to say Adam better get on that soon!

2. Afternoon thunderstorms, except when I am running errands of course. There is nothing better than a thunderstorm nap or a movie on the couch! I also enjoy the smell of rain. I took this picture last week while sitting on the front porch during an afternoon storm.

3. Our yard is almost to the point it has to be mowed each week, and the smell of fresh cut grass is one of my favorite smells. Sadie the pup loves a freshly mowed lawn too. Her favorite afternoon pass time is rolling around in the grass.

4. Vacations are booked and planned! It is great to have a job I love, yet I get time off to be able to travel. My two summer destinations are Michigan and the Bahamas! I haven't been to Michigan in over six years, and I am thrilled. My mom is from Munising, Michigan and my Grandma still lives up there. Grandma D is turning 70 this year, so we are all making the trek up there to celebrate. I will however be sad because Adam will not be able to come, and will make this trip the longest I have ever been away from him. The cruise to the Bahamas is a trip we are taking together in celebration of Adam's big brother, DW!

5. The fact that I would rather be close to some water source than anywhere else. It could be a pool, beach, river, lake, as long as I can be in my swim suit!

Guess what Adam brought home prior to me publishing the post...A WATERMELON!


What are your favorite summer trademarks? Enjoy a beautiful weekend!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In Progress: Our Church Families ReFocus Journey

Adam and I attended our church ReFocus Summit on April 25th. ReFocus is a program our church is using to focus our missional efforts on things our church family values. Adam and I, plus several of our family members have discussed in the past how "we think this should be done, and that should be done." Well, we decided we would attend the summit to share our thoughts and visions for what we wish our church would offer for us and other young couples who intend to raise their families in our church. We went into the summit knowing we would be the outsiders, never attending anything like this at our church before. We were the youngest people out of the fifteen there and the only couple. I would have to say it was God working in our lives for us to go, because Adam and I enjoyed every minute of it, including the BBQ lunch. There will be a total of three, with this being the first summit. This summit we took the time to look at our church through its journey, the good and the painful memories, circumstances, and people that have impacted the growth of our church. I being a new person in the church was amazed at how God works through people to create such an amazing church who cares about the community that surrounds them. Now a few of the 15 or so people that were at the summit were quite vocal, but it didn't take me long to feel comfortable to let them know what I thought. I am glad that we were there because we were able to let them see the church's future through our eyes and to see what the young couples/families value. We made new friends that we can't go to church on Sunday with out say hello to or asking how life is going. We put ourselves out there, which can be difficult and I already feel more at home with the people we have shared this summit with. Now Adam and I have been thinking and praying to see what exactly are we are seeking from our church and decided we so want to start a small group bible study in order to grow in Christ with others our age. Now a week and a half ago before church began the preacher came up to Adam and I to say, "Now you know that even though there is a young adult group already presently at our church, you feel free to start one up your self. The more small groups the better!" Now was that an answer to our prayers or what, God surely does answer your prayers in his perfect timing! We are so excited and we are in the planning process to figure out what our focus will be, who might be hope is to get our small group meeting around the time school starts back and all us vacationers are done vacationing.


Monday, May 18, 2009


The title says it all and every future educator, current and past know this end of the school year feeling or should be warned. "We Need a Vacation" is the title to the PTO program our second graders are performing next week. This theme is so true for teachers and students alike. I really did not understand what teachers meant when they were tired and burnout at the end of the year. I am there completely, but I wake up each morning praying for God to give me the desire and patience to continue to stretch the my student's learning. We teachers and administrators jam in teaching, testing, and fun into the last month of school. Man have we been busier than ever at school getting all that done...testing done, teaching (well were trying), and the fun has begun and continues! Field Trips, Carnival, Field Days, Dances...what more could you ask for!!

Our first grade students were able to go on a field trip despite all these treacherous budget cuts. Our field trip was to Two Tails Ranch which tied into our animal unit and circus field day (we will get to that a bit later). The ranch houses retired circus elephants, zebras, a tiger, an ostrich, donkeys, and horses. Oh the students had a such a great time learning about all these awesome animals. The elephants did tricks, and even painted a picture that one of my students won after submitting a drawing from his favorite part of the day. A cool fact I learned is that an elephant has more muscles in their trunks than we have in our whole body. Too cool right? The students asked great questions, that they re asked later, but the attempt was there. My students curiosity created an environment of in depth learning that could not be recreated. It was great and a day I will remember for years to come!

Our school had planned three Family fun Nights this year with the last one being May 8th. In the past we had gotten into the same routine with doing ""make it and take it" activities by grade level and we were not getting the turn out we wanted. Due to the economic times a second grade teacher and I teamed up to change the set up of this final event. We wanted this night to be fun for parents to come out and enjoy learning wit their children. We came up with the idea of an academic carnival with booths, and a cook out, with popcorn and snow cones. It took everything out of S.L. and I but it was worth every drop of sweat. On May 8th our first Spring into Summer was a sucess with over 465 people attending. The teachers did an exceptional job coming up with ideas for thier booths. We had math fact baseball, comprehension volleyball, rocket launching, human bubble experiment, a fluency obstacle course, and I could go on and on. The amount of help that was graciously given was what made this all such an amazing night for our students. I can't go on with out saying what a truly selfless husband I have. He came and grilled over 400 hamburgers, many hot dogs, and even a veggie burger or two. He did say he can't believe people eat those veggie burgers, because it looks grilled cardboard.

Last Wednesday our first and second graders took part in field day which was circus themed. There were nine stations for students to go to. There was a peanut bucket race (which I raced in), tug of war, a tricycle race, a clown dress up race, etc. The tug of war and the clown race had to be my favorite and guess what I forgot my camera in the classroom. I could kick myself because this day brought so much joy for our class. We had been working so hard on all our curriculum and tests, that to slow down the pace and let them be children was remarkable to see. Even thought I do not have the tangible memories, I will never forget the girls beating the boys in tug of war or each kid running in those clown shoes. What a precious day it was!

Next Friday my students and I (yes, me too) are looking forward to our school dance. Now I did not have a blog back in February when the school hosted a Valentine's Day dance (oh my was it a blast)! The picture on the left is from that day! The boys want to break dance and the girls want to dance in circles together. What great memories all our students will have. We plan on dancing until we are all out of breath and all the refreshments are gone. Now if the Cha-Cha slide comes on more than once we will just have to dance it every time. It is one of our favorites! What fun it is to be a elementary student! Summer Vacation here we come!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

An Unwavering Love

A mother's unwavering love is what I love to celebrate on Mother's Day. Mother's are such unselfish people who love their families and children unconditionally. As children we don't understand it but it truly is an amazing gift! I wish all the women in my life who are mothers a wonderful day filled with sweet memories of their children and the love you have for them. I look forward to the future when Adam and I's "future family" can celebrate what this day will mean to our family. Until then I will celebrate this day for my mother and the wonderful mother's who are in my life. I hope that I grow into the mother my mother was for me. I could go on and share the things I love most about my mom, but lets be honest she doesn't read my blog...haha! I will remence one memory in answer to my friend, Charon's question! As a teenager at home, sometimes life felt as if it was young and unknowledge I was...but my mother didn't care that I was bring melodramtic..she would sit down on the couch and listen and hug me. These tender moments when my heart was hurting was when my mom gave the simple gift of her ears, heart, and time. I love you mom! To the most beautiful "Jo" in my life! I pray for God's grace to be present in your family get togethers today!

Mom and Me pumped about walking into the BCS Championship game!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Birthday Girl

God knew He needed to put a women in my path that would smile, laugh, and cry with me. That person is Annie whom by logistics is my sister-in- law but is so much more. She has been my guide, supporter, friend, and sister as I found my footing in this town and in Adam's family. It is her birthday today and a year ago on our wedding day was so selfless she want no such recognition. We celebrated her birthday on Friday and sort of last night if we had candles at Blue Run, but I didn't get to give her the official birthday hug! We love you Annie! Happy Sunday Birthday, and hopefully Happy Monday Birthday if your gift gets here...haha!

Happy Birthday Annie!


A Year of Love

Adam and I's first wedding anniversary is today and I have been thinking of all the wonderful things we have done together, lessons learned and laughs had. Here are ten memories that crossed my mind:

1. We would be super fabulous on Dancing with the Stars...we have practiced our moves in the kitchen... Julianne Hough and Chuck we come!

2. I cannot have a conversation/multi task while riding an bike, because I will either run Adam off the road or fall into one of our delightful cattle gaps (Annie and Devin can vouch for that).

3. Adam scrunching my hair as he walks by me used to irritate me, because who wants their hair messed with after all that time to fix it. But now it makes my heart pitter patter because it is his way of letting me know he loves me as he walks by.

4. We are the best team when getting stuff done...if I get it started he helps me finish it up when I slack off. The same goes the other way. This team work has got us through loads of laundry, dishes, gardening, etc.

5. I would rather sit next to him busy with work, than be somewhere I could not look up and smile at him or lean over and give him a kiss!

6. We love an adventure! We love to spend our lazy weekend afternoons driving around finding cool new places to go close by our home. Windows down, singing to a great song, sitting next to the man in your life....what more could you ask for... oh yeah a JEEP! (maybe one day)

7. We love mini vaca's! Whether we head down to Tampa to visit my family, go to Daytona Beach, or Blue Run (Rainbow River)...we enjoy getting out of our normal routine while spending time with some of our favorite people!

8. Laughing together is one of my favorite pastimes! We are usually laughing at something I have done or said, but it deserves a good laugh no doubt.

9. Reading together is something that we have grown to love. It has changed our marriage for the better and has made it stronger. We have learned so much about each other in the past few months. It is a wonderful way to end our day!

10. Growing closer to our Lord as a couple has provided us with an amazing journey in our marriage. We have really let God into our lives to help lead us down the path he wants for us.

The other day I was talking to my favorite Georgia Stephanie, another newly wed about my love for Adam. I told her that when I walked down that long aisle on May 3rd, 2008 at 7:30 I loved him, boy did I love him! But who knew a year later my love for him would be greater, stronger, and more amazing! I am blessed to have a man that loves me for who I am and continues to make me grow into a better individual each and everyday! I love you Adam!

*Memo to the newly weds out there...our cake a year later was actually delicious. Annie and Devin we want you to come over and give it a try. We ate a whole piece...haha!*