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Showing posts from 2008

Blizzard Number Two

This is shaping up to be one crazy winter. We are under a blizzard warning right now. The snow fell this morning and now the winds are picking up and the temperature is falling. The sun is out, so it is a bit deceiving. We are just thankful that we are not leaving for PEI today. Most flights out of the Cities are delayed.

So staying warm right now is the ultimate goal and I am doing it in one of favorite ways - hot cider. I don't know if this us just a southwest Minnesota thing, but I never learned about it until I moved here and everyone does it here. You simply heat up some apple juice or apple cider. Once it is hot, you throw in some Red Hot candies to taste. Let them dissolve and then you have this lovely red colored hot cider. So delicious. So warm. So easy.

Stay warm!

When the Predicted High for the Day Is -10 F (-22 C)

1) You get snow day which is really good since

2)The pipes to you kitchen sink have frozen

3) Your dish soap begins to turn to a solid

4) You can barely see out your windows due to all of the frost and snow that are plastered on them.

5) You stay inside and scrapbook with the cool new stuff you received for Christmas since the wind chills are supposed to be around -40 and you were the over achiever that got all of her school work done on Saturday.

6) You remember that "there are some good things that come from Canada, other then cold winds" to quote our Pastor who was referring to Wilbert after the choir sang in church yesterday morning.

Have a great day and stay warm!

We Live in a Fallen World

By most standards, compared the majority of other teachers and schools, I have had it good these first five years of my teaching career. I have been blessed to teach at schools that are distinctly Christian, supported by parents who a majority of the time extremely supportive, and filled students who a majority of the time are respectful and really do want to live their lives like Christ wants them to.

So, I am spoiled, really and I take things for granted. I do until the fallenness of this world, which penetrates into all things, including the school I work in, hits me in the face.

In the past two years, a student has seriously attempted suicide and a student was diagnosed with leukemia. This year we have dealt with student theft and vandalism and just this week we learned a student is pregnant. It is hard to know how to best help students when I myself am reeling through the emotions and thoughts that come with all of this. My heart feels heavy at times like this.

It is hard to know ho…

In The Christmas Mood

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I am ready to move into Christmas. I am pretty stubborn about not jumping into Christmas before Thanksgiving, but I do like to make the season last as long as I can. The Christmas decorations are up, I have listened to Christmas music, I got my Christmas cards, and I have finished my Christmas shopping.

And today I started a new tradition...cut out Christmas Sugar Cookies. I like to make a "good thing" every weekend. Something sweet to enjoy for the next week or two. Yesterday I was trying to decided what to make and after talking with Wilbert I discovered he had never had cut out sugar cookies, his family always did Gingerbread. Christmas cookies were always a big deal at my house growing up. We would have two tables going and my sisters and I decorated all day. So, I bought some great cookie cutters, sprinkles and food coloring and went to work this afternoon.

Overall, they were not bad for my first attempt. I don't have the decorating te…

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving weekend is great. The best part though is being able to be with family. It was great to be able spend time with parents, sisters, brother-in-law, future brother-in-law, and even much of the extended family. Wilbert's brother came along with us, so Wilbert got to enjoy some family time as well. Praise God for family and safe travels.


Dad carving the turkey. Yum!

The sisters. We coordinated our outfits so well.

The boys, including Wilbert's brother playing another intense game of Speed Uno. "Uno! Red!" - Wilbert likes to let other people win, so he gives them hints about what card he has left.

Wilbert and his brother went rock climbing at an indoor wall near my parents house.

I think he is supposed to jump to the other wall in order to continue his ascent.

We sometimes get a little weird while driving.

In Case You Were Wondering

Our computer is fixed! Yeah! After spending sometime with tech support, Wilbert finally called Dan, our computer tech friend, and we had the answer, for free, about two minutes. Hurray!

I am currently listening to A Prairie Home Companion and they are doing this monologue on a movie called Steele Away and The Steele Sisters are singing together. It is extremely funny! Lots of Minnesota humour and parodies of songs. Monday it will be on the web-site. Listen to it. It will make you smile.

It Is All My Fault

Our computer isn't broken...yet. It certainly has been attacked by a virus of some sort. And it is all my fault. In a moment of weakness, I opened an attachment that I should have know was junk. But, it looked like a e-card and I thought someone really sent me one. And that made me happy. It made me feel good to know that someone wanted to send me a little note. But, I was duped. And now we have a virus attacking our computer.

Now, please do not take this as a pitiful cry for e-cards to be sent. It showed me that I could be taken in by something that looked like it would build me up. It made me feel important, needed, wanted. And I fell for it. And now, we are paying the consequences.

I hope that this is a lesson I won't soon forget. The things that are really important in life, the things that should be valued, the things that should matter are things that cannot be held in anything tangible. Or any e-mail for that matter.

If This Is Any Indication...

It is November 11th. A Tuesday. Roughly 9:00 a.m. And we are home. Today marks the first snow day of the school year. A bit early for my tastes, but when the roads are covered in a sheet of ice with more ice/snow on the way it really isn't good to have any more people on then needed, especially lots of kids who just got their drivers license. I would rather have snow days in January when students and teachers alike are sick of school.

The sad part is today was not even going to be a normal school day. We were going to go to a Veteran's Day program at the public school and then to a seminar on youth culture led by Walt Mueller. We were really looking forward to this because it was going to be a day where we didn't have to teach, but the students were probably going to learn a lot of things.

Wilbert did say I gave him the best birthday present ever when I told him we had no school today. Happy Birthday!

Witch Hunts

Wilbert's birthday is coming up next week, so I planned a special night out for him. We had a half day of school on Friday, which made it the perfect day for us to go out. I didn't tell Wilbert what we were doing until we were ready to get in the car. The plans included dinner at a nice Italian restaurant and then we went to see the opening night of the play "The Crucible" at the Orpheum Theater. It was so nice to see a play that we had nothing do with. We were able to just enjoy it and get some ideas for things to do in school's future productions. The theater is so old and cool looking and we had excellent seats.

If you are not familiar with the play "The Crucible," it is set in the late 1600's in Salem, Massachusetts when it was a Puritan colony. The whole base for the play is the witch hunts that took place in American History. On the way home, we talked about this play was a clear example of escalation. The Puritans allowed their fears to escala…

Now That It is Over...

My students all asked who I was going to vote for. After a short discussion about why you cannot and should not tell people who you vote for, they changed the question to who do I think will win. And I honestly replied that I had no idea. This was the first election that I could remember well where I did not have a clear idea of which candidate would win.

And now it's over. Some people are extremely happy and some are extremely upset. I have simply decided that I am putting my faith where it really belongs - in God. Despite all of the rumors and predictions about what is going to happen to the country, I firmly believe that God is in control. He has a plan. That doesn't mean it is going to be perfect or a walk in the park, but God has things in control. I cannot even begin to see the big picture like God sees it. I just have to trust and pray for the President and all of the leaders to seek God's will and the wisdom found only in him.

What bothered me the most about today w…

Only in the Midwest

This time of year always brings to surface some interesting facts about life in the midwest.

Some people have to deal with traffic noise, or airplanes that fly low over head. The noise pollution here comes from grain dryers running 24/7 as the farmers bring in their seemingly endless supply of grain.

We all have experienced our minds playing tricks on us were we think we see one thing until we look again closer and realize it is something totally different. Today is was 70 degrees out, but as I was coming home from school, I saw little white flakes floating through the air. Since it is November, my mind immediately said "snow." It took me a minute to realize it was chaff from the grain elevator.

It is always windy here. Okay, maybe I exaggerate, but it sure seems like it. But, the wind does bring one blessing. We have yet to rake our leave once since we have been here. They just blow down the road to the corn field.

Only in the Midwest will you find such things.

Flashback

So I am one of the sponsors of a group at school that not only plans chapels but also social events at school. These events include dances. Last year, the group put on one dance, but it was very poorly attended. At the beginning of this year, the kids were pretty frustrated and they didn't really want to put the work into having one. A survey was done of the student body and the majority of the student body really wanted a dance. So we planned a "Mystery Masquerade" for last night. And, thankfully, it was a success.

Sitting at the admission table, watching the the football players, duct tape model, fairies and cowboys come in, I couldn't help but thinking about my high school days and dances. Watching those kids, I was whisked back to my days in high school. They were mostly good, but dances always had a weird aura about them. Dancing with all of my friends, oblivious to what we really looked like. Hanging out on the "girls side" during the slow dances looki…

Family Time

We just wrapped up a wonderful weekend with family. Denise's parents came out from Michigan and brought along both of Denise's grandma's. We had fun showing the grandma's around and trying to convince them that we live in a nice place, even if it is far away from Michigan. Wilbert and Denise's dad took in some pheasant hunting. The ladies made applesauce. Here are the grandma's peeling apples.


We also played some great games of Sequence and, of course, ate a lot of food.

We also learned or were reminded of some strange words in Denise's family vocabulary. Here is a sample:

Muffy - (mäf -fee) adj. Both stuffy and musty. This car sure is muffy.
Finky - (fin-kee) adj. A person who is a bit strange, unusual or eccentric. He looks a little finky.
Mooky - (moo-kee) adj. A substance that is both goopy and mushy. Oatmeal can be described as mooky.
Fub - (f

Trying to Be Thankful

Yuck! I hate the weather today. It has been raining all day and the temperature has not broken 40 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 5 degrees Celsius). Part of me wants it to just snow and get it over with, but the other part of me screams "It's only October!"

It is interesting to me how the weather can have such an impact on peoples moods. On days like today I feel pretty down. But, a smile will break across my face as the sun breaks through the clouds. It seems on days like today students complain about everything and they do dumb things in class that are just disruptive. But on days with nice weather everyone is just a little more pleasant. But it could all be me too. Maybe on sunny days I am in a better mood to deal with the antics of students and on days like today I just don't want to deal with it at all.

Some of my friends in college used to call me "Pollyanna" after the main character on the Disney film of the same name. Pollyanna enjoyed playing "Th…

Easy to Please

Little things in life make me happy. New friends on Facebook. People who comment on my blog. Not having to cook supper. One student asking a good question that tells me they actually read the assignment. Getting to watch a favorite TV show while working out. Having time to read. Sunshine. Chocolate. Making some students laugh. Being caught up in grading. My wonderful husband. The flowers that are still blooming on the front porch. One more coat of paint on our newly dry walled ceiling. Getting a new issue of a magazine in the mail. Hearing a great song on the radio. Finding people who want to speak in chapel. Smiles. The quiet of home after a loud day at school.

Call me easy to please. I don't think it is a bad thing.

Satuday Equals NPR Day

Even though it makes me feel old, I enjoy listening to NPR. Well, let me qualify that. I enjoy listening to NPR on Saturdays. The rest of the week I find a bit repetitive about the news items of the day and the economy. But on Saturday, I can listen to NPR from noon to 7 pm. When Wilbert is home, the radio is tuned to NPR at 11 am for Car Talk. I plan my day around NPR. I do all loud chores (like vacuuming) and anything that I need to do out of the house in the morning, so I am in the house and able to listen without interruption. I enjoy the unique stories of Weekend America, learn more about cooking well on The Splendid Table and laugh with Garrison Keillor on A Prairie Home Companion. I may make me sound old, but I never fail to have something interesting to talk about later on that has nothing to with school or students.

Today is no exception. On Weekend America, which sometimes is quite anti-Christianity, had this wonderful essay read by author Lindsay O'Connor on the importan…

The Latest Song in My Head

I have a song running through my head continuously. The latest one has some powerful, challenging and comforting words.

"Unfailing Love " by Chris Tomlin

You have my heart
And I am Yours forever
You are my strength
God of grand and power

You are my rock
The One I hold on to
You are my song
And I sing for You

And everything You hold in Your hand
Still You make time for me
I can't understand

Praise You God of earth and sky
How beautiful is Your unfailing love, unfailing love
And you never change God You remain
The Holy One and my unfailing love, unfailing love

I hope and pray you rest in His love today.

A Compliment...I Think

The phone rings.

Denise: Hello. This is Denise.

Man at the other end: Can I speak to your mom or dad?

(Pause)

Denise: They live in Michigan.

I guess it could be considered a good thing that I still sound young enough to live with my parents.

Confessions of a Blog Addict

I have a confession to make. I am blog addict. I read blogs of people I went to college with who probably wouldn't remember who I am, even if they would play the bod book game. I have Google Reader set up on our home page so I don't waste an hour of the day just clicking through all of the blogs I read. Now I can use that time to post on our own blog. Since I read many blogs, I thought it would only be fair for me to post my own. Now time will tell if I become a blogger addict. Quite frankly I have no clue what I am going to deem "blog worthy." Who wants to read about the life of a high school teacher?And there always is the possibility that a student may stumble across this blog, so I have to keep that in mind too. Well, here is the first one.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!