Hopeful Thoughts

Not just for fun

Last night we watched the movie “Expelled” with some friends. It’s Ben Stein’s take on how the scientific community is losing its freedom as certain ideas seem to be forced on those who expect to advance in the scientific community. Specifically, Mr. Stein is addressing the issue of Intelligent Design versus Darwinian Evolution and how anyone that suggests there is any Intelligence behind creation is pretty much written off by scientists. That’s the point of the movie, but I was most struck by one particular argument made by an evolutionist atheist.

During an interview with Mr. Stein, this atheist made a statement that went something like this, “It’s time that religion was put in it’s place…a thing that people do for fun that doesn’t really affect the rest of their life.”

I was totally shocked by this. There are people out that that really think that what I put all my faith in is “just for fun”!! The Bible says that the Word will be foolishness to those who don’t believe, so I am not surprised when people don’t believe or understand my faith in Christ, but to think that it’s all “just for fun”? This really hits hard.

As believers, we are called to be salt and light to the world. We are not to conform to the world. We are to be different. If people think that it’s all “just for fun”, then we are not living as we should be. I know that I am guilty, too, but I would challenge us all to live in such a way that others would know that our LIVES are all about our belief in Christ and not something we do on the weekends “just for fun”.

Busy Week

So, as you can tell by me LACK of posts, Spring Break is long gone, and I hit the ground RUNNING on Monday.

Sunday night, Hubby and I were down in Dallas to see Andrew Bird in concert. It was a great show, by the way. If you’ve never heard of him, check him out. It’s amazing what he can do with a looping machine and violin. Anyway, this meant that I got to bed LATE on Sunday night. Thankfully, my 1st block conference period allowed me to git a little extra sleep.

Even with the late start, Monday went pretty good until I got home from swimming. As I entered the parking lot of my apartment complex, I got stuck behind a SLOW person. Just as I was getting annoyed, I got something in my eye and it HURT. So I’m REALLY in a rush now. When I finally get into the parking space and start to gather my stuff, I drop my keys in the console. I make a mental note, finish gathering my pile of stuff, and get out of the car. It isn’t until I’m walking across the lot that I realize I never picked up my keys!! I call my friend with the spare, no answer. I call my husband, no answer. I call my friend’s husband, no answer. So I make my way up to the landing and sit down on my swim bag as I try to call hubby again. During this time, I took out my contact, because my eye hurt so bad. I was so out of sorts that it didn’t occur to me that this was a bad idea. I mean, what was I going to do with the contact now? The wind was blowing hard, so it was going to dry out. I thought about putting it in my mouth, but I had no idea how long I would be sitting on the porch, locked outside of my apartment. Finally, after several more failed attempts to reach hubby, I remembered that I was sitting on my swim bag. I had contact solution in the bag! Problem solved! Well, at least one of them. I was STILL locked outside of my home. So, I finally decided to call a friend and see if she could pick me up and let me hang out at her place until I could get ahold of hubby. About the time I got off the phone with her, Hubby called to say he was on the way home…40 minutes away! I talked to him until my friend came to pick me up, and all was well.

Apparently locking my keys in my car wasn’t enough random forgetfulness on my part for this week. Tuesday morning I woke up to bright sunshine, not dim sunrise. It was 8:20, and my alarm was supposed to go off at 7. Too bad it was set for 7PM!!! I was once again saved by my first period conference block, but I really don’t want to take advantage of my schedule. I’m supposed to be at work at 8:15 even though I don’t have students until 10:25. My alarm is now reset and I got to work on time this morning (it’s easier now because, thankfully the new haircut only takes about 5 minutes to fix!)

Wednesday has been fine. Mostly I’m just preoccupied with all the things I have going on in life. Between teaching, tutoring, swimming, BTCL, book club, future plans, facebook, etsy, e-mail…Oh MY GOODNESS!! IN addition, I’m in charge of a big event this Saturday that is taking a lot of my time. Hubby if off from work this week, but I’m really too busy to see him much. Too bad he wasn’t off last week! So, that explains why there’s been no blog post. I’m going to try to post once a week, but we’ll see. Hopefully the weeks will get less busy. We’ll see!

I'm in love with a rental house

I’ve been told that it’s OK to tell people that we are most likely moving. Well, at least we are if nothing crazy happens between now and the end of the summer when our current lease runs out. We’re not going far, just across town.

A couple of months ago we found out from some friends of ours (the ones of made the CHEESECAKE in my earlier post) that the other side of their duplex is slated to come available this summer, just at the same time our lease will expire. Until today, all we knew was it has 2 bed 2 bath, great neighbors, cool location, garage space, yard, and only about $50 more than what we currently pay for a 2 bed 1 bath apartment. Already with that information my mind was spinning with all the ideas of how great it would be. The neighbors are friends of ours, and we have chatted long about the parties we could have and the dinners we could cook together. Sweet, right?

Well, we finally saw the place today, and it was EVEN BETTER than we could have hoped! It’s an older house, so we had fears about the condition of the place, lack of closet space, maybe a small kitchen. Turns out that the place is HUGE. It has beautiful hard wood floors, lots of counter space, several built-in bookshelves, lots of closets, a fireplace, a dishwasher, gas stove top, … I could go on and on about all the great things! It’s even got enough space for me to set up a tutoring area. One of the best things is the open, circular floor plan. The best homes, in my opinion, have a circular path through the main living areas, and this house does not disappoint. You can make one complete circle by going though the living room, into the hallway, down into the kitchen, through the dining room, and right back into the living room. It’s perfect!!

So, start making plans now, because we will have a big moving in party this fall when we get settled. With our circular floor plan and big back yard, we will finally have room to hang out with all our friends at OUR PLACE!!!

So Sad It's Friday

I know you think that I’m crazy for making such a statement, but I am VERY sad for this week to come to an end. I’ve had a lovely week off from the grind of teaching high school math students, and I am STRUGGLING with the idea of going back on Monday.

I am at a very unique point in my career. I love teaching, don’t get me wrong, but I am so ready to be finished! When I graduated from Meredith College back in 2000 and walked into my first classroom that fall, I thought I would teach full time for maybe five years and then move on to the Domestic phase of my life, taking care of hubby and hopefully raising kids. Well, God has seen fit to keep me in the classroom for an extra 4 years. When this school year ends, a new phase of my life begins.

This year’s students have been a special experience. I was blessed with the opportunity to teach students who failed Algebra I last year. My job has been to work with these students EVERY day for 90 minutes (our school is on an A/B block schedule) with the goal of getting them through not only Algebra I, but also Geometry. I have grown to love each of my students. They are great fun, but along with this love comes a great deal of self-inflicted personal responsibility for their success. Because I love them SO much, I get very frustrated when they don’t do well. It’s HARD to get unmotivated students to do well, so I’ve spent lots of time frustrated.

So, as this school year draws to a close, I have mixed emotions. My desire to be a better wife and future mother have me willing the days to pass quickly. However, my love for my students and desire to see them get their credits cause me to desire more time. Not to mention I will graduate from BTCL this May, and that is an experience I don’t want to end!

My prayer as I go back to work next week is that I will have the patience to take it one day at a time and not wish the days away. Each day is a gift and I don’t want to waste any of it!

One Finished project ... and some other stuff

On Tuesday, I worked a long time on my pillows. I was successful in cutting material out, installing zippers, and wrapping cording. I even did quite a bit of overcasting to avoid unraveling later on. By Midnight, I was ready to piece the final products together. At 1:00 A.M., I threw my hands up and quite for the night. My machine kept jamming up as threads tangled beneath the material. I’d already taken out and replaced the bobbin several times and I was just tired of doing it.

Wednesday morning, I called my sister in Michigan for advice. I cleaned the machine carefully, adjusted the tension on my bobbin, reset the stitch length, and jumped back into the game. By the time my machine jammed up several more times, I REALLY gave up. I think the material was just too thick to sew with my basic machine. So, I decided to hand stitch the pieces together. This actually went really quickly, and the pillow cover came together beautifully, if I say so myself!

I did run into one more snag when I put the cover on the form. Turns out my measurements weren’t exactly perfect, and the cover was too big!! So my husband gave me instructions to buy new pillow forms! So much for repurposing the old pillows! But, all is well! I found pillow forms at JoAnn’s today for less than $5 each after a 50% sale price and my teacher discount!! Here is the finished pillow. I still have to piece the other one together, but it will look the same.

Last night we got to go eat cheesecake with our friends. She just got her Pampered Chef spring form pan, and this was her first cheesecake. I took this picture to show off her handiwork.

And, one more thing. I realized today that I told a falsehood in my last post. I DID get my hair cut here once at one of the places in the mall. I can’t believe I forgot, because I went with my PRECIOUS friend Emily just a few days before she got married!!! Thanks, Leslie, for reminding me.

First Time for Everything

Those of you who know me know that I have lived in our cute little Texas town for 6 years. (Actually, my 6th anniversary as a Texan was the 10th of this month!!) Anyway, during all of that time, there is something I have never done the whole time I have lived here. It’s a small thing, and most are quite surprised to find this out. I have NEVER had a haircut here. During the whole six years I’ve been here, I’ve either gotten my hair cut on visits home to see my parents in North Carolina by the girl who did my hair for my wedding, or I’ve (most recently) had it cut on my trips to Michigan to see my sister. But, I have NEVER ONCE had it cut here.

Well, today was my first time. I left my apartment, did NOT go to the airport, and still came back home with a cute new do. So, here is your preview of my new “messy” look!

Back View

Side View

Front View

Creativity ... works in progress

Among my plans for this week off are several craft projects. I am hoping to create a small “stock” of these precious baby blankets and post them on Etsy in the near future. I have materials on hand to make three more, but here are the two I have created so far this week.

These blankets are made of soft, snuggly flannel and trimmed with double-sided satin that is hand stitched on. Their larger size makes them a must have for any mom. My sister keeps about a dozen on hand for her two girls so there’s always a clean one!

My other project is to turn these items into two cute pillows to adorn our hand-me-down couch.

The forms came out of some pillows I bought when we moved in, but have since lost their covers to overuse. Ryan bought me the one below for Christmas, and it needs some others to go with it.

Spring Break

Everyone keeps asking me what I am going to do with a whole week off for Spring Break. Actually, this is the first break in nearly 10 years that I will not be getting on a airplane to go somewhere. I have nothing really scheduled, and I am thrilled to death at the prospects of what these uncommitted hours will hold. While I have no real plans, I do have some ideas of what I will do. This week, I plan to be a Domestic Goddess and relish in the mundane things at home.

This week:

  • I will linger over the Word with my colored pencils and several cups of coffee instead of rushing through in an effort to get to work on time.
  • I will NOT have to stare at a pile of clean laundry, as I will have time to actually fold it and put it away.
  • I will be relaxed when I enter my home because everything will actually be in place for a change.
  • I will read a book or two (I already checked one off the list when I got off work Friday!!)
  • I will visit with friends for fun and be available if they call in need of a helping hand.
  • I will practice my crafty skills by sewing and crocheting.
  • I will bake a cheesecake and cook dinner each night for my precious husband. I will even enjoy shopping for groceries this week!
  • I will actually spend time with my husband rather than rushing off to bed or being asleep when he comes home from work.
  • I will begin to implement some of my plans for supplementing my husband’s income when I quit teaching this fall. I am working on stock for a future Etsy store, meeting with a friend about a tutoring opportunity, and posting a few things we don’t use onto E-bay.
  • Most importantly, I will not be stressed and I will be content.