Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Little Garden

I think that if I had a house with a yard that gardening could definitely become a hobby.  I don't really know a whole lot about keeping flowers alive or growing my own produce but I would love to learn.  For the first time I have a balcony that actually gets a decent amount of sunlight so I decided I would try to grow some things on our tine balcony.
I love tomatoes and growing up my dad and I grew our own tomatoes.  I don't know if they'll survive in a pot but I'm hoping they will.  I loooooooove tomatoes!  I already have a few green ones  :)

On the other side of the balcony  I have some green bell peppers and some red bell peppers.  I'm really nervous about these guys.  

And I have my favorite flowers growing over the rails.  I love Gerber Daisies!  They look like happy flowers.

The past few days it has been incredibly windy (so windy, that I feel like I've been out in west Texas again!) and I've watched these flowers completely bend over.  They're doing okay with the wind.  The orange ones have taken the hardest beating it looks like.  They are zip-tied to the railing so they won't accidentally fall over to the people in the pool.  I don't know what I'm going to do if there's a heave storm.  They're going to be hard to get off in a hurry!

It was really windy the day I planted the flowers and there were some people laying out by the pool.  I tried my best not to get soil, water, and stuff on them but I couldn't help it.  They were pretty understanding though.  Next time I water the plants or plant new plants, don't sunbathe right here...

Wish my little garden luck!  

When He was on the cross, I was on His mind.

The past few days my quiet times have been about the crucifixion- the reason for it, the illegality of how Jesus was arrested and in trial, and the body's physical response to being crucified on the cross.  All this week I've had this song in my head.  This was one of my granddad's favorite hymns as well as the favorite hymn of one of my sunday school teachers from Waco.  I love old hymns.
Yes the song is slow and long but I still love it.
Here are the words.  Maybe you can put it to a different tune :)

I’m not on an ego trip, I’m nothing on my own

I make mistakes and sometimes slip
Just common flesh and bone
But I’ll prove some day just why I say
I’m of a special kind
For when He was on the cross
I was on His mind

A look of love was on His face
The thorns were in His head
The blood was on that scarlet robe
And stained it crimson red
Though His eyes were on the crowd that day
He looked ahead in time
For when He was on the cross
I was on His mind

He knew me, yet He loved me
He whose glory makes the Heaven’s shine
So unworthy, of such mercy
For when He was on the cross
I was on His mind
For when He was on the cross
I was on His mind

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Incredible Faith

My heart is hurting for this family but at the same time rejoices with them and praise God that they have an incredible amount of faith.  I'm embarrassed and saddened to admit that I don't know if I would have they faith that the Hunt's have.  Keep them in your prayers.  Here's their story.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dash Down Greenville 5K

Today Matthew and I headed towards Greenville and participated in the St. Paddy's Dash Down Greenville 5K.  Matthew came home sick yesterday and had a bit of a coughing fit at 4 in the morning.  He knew that I've been excited about going so he decided to tough it out and we went!  He's much better now, just exhausted and still a little congested.  We knew that parking would be a problem so we tried out the Dallas Rail system.  I'm not a fan.  Germany spoiled me.  In Germany, (from my experience) the trains are rarely no more than a few minutes late, if that.  (Side note: one time in Germany we had to wait a really long time for our train to come because someone had decided to commit suicide by jumping in front of one.  Apparently, that isn't a rare occasion. Sad :(  )  Anyway, we should not have waited more than 15 minutes for our train but we ended up waiting for nearly 40 minutes!  They only had one train and it was PACKED with people ready to party.  Once we got off the train station we had to run to even start the race.
I knew that last year about 5,000 people participated and I was prepared to be around a lot of people.  This year, at least 7,000 people participated in the 5k.  It was ridiculously crowded.  I wanted this to be my first "official" race but we got there kind of late and we weren't able to start at the front.  It was so crowded that we walked for the first couple of minutes.  Once the crowd spread out we were able to run.  We ran the first mile and the Matthew was having coughing/breathing problems again.  I decided to walk with him for a little bit and then I left him in the dust for the last 1.5 miles.  Again, it was really crowded so at times I had to walk just so that I wouldn't run over people.  The race wasn't that organized.  You would think that with that many people running you would close the roads but they didn't close all of them.  It took me about 40 minutes to finish the race which I'm not proud of but I learned several lessons.  One is that if you want to take timing seriously, arrive early with the other serious runners so you aren't stuck behind walkers.  At the finish line the provided free beer.  Gross.  Why would anyone want to drink beer at 9-10 in the morning and right after you run 3 miles.  I was surprised at how many people skipped the water and went straight to the beer.  I don't get it.  It would be a different  story if they if they had margaritas..
I'm thankful that we were able to go.  I didn't think Matthew would feel up to it and I really didn't want to go down there by myself.  This is the first time that I've run more than 10 minutes outside in about a year.  My asthma/allergies held up a lot better than I thought they would!   I've been in fear that I would have an asthma attack if I ran outside by myself.  Running outside is soooo refreshing so I think I'll get into doing that more.
Matthew hates crowds and he isn't a fan of running but toughed it out with me.  I love him.

Here he is in his kilt while waiting for the train.

And here I am after completing the race :)  The weather was PERFECT!!


Friday, March 11, 2011

My Lazy Magical Pooper

I have the world's greatest dog.  He also happens to be really spoiled, high maintenance, super lazy, and our sir poops a lot.  On any given day he will usually poop about 4 times even though we only feed him once a day.  This morning, as I was taking him in a walk, he pooped 4 times!  He's magical or something.  I have no idea what to do with this problem and the vet says each dog is different.  Really?  My dog can poop 4 times in 15 minutes.  He is also super duper lazy.  All he does is sleep.  He might play and run around for 20 minutes every other day or so.  All the pictures I have of my dog are pictures of him sleeping because that's all he does :)

Joey's favorite place to nap is on the couch.  It's sooooo comfy :)

His toys are never far away when he naps

He loves snuggling with Matthew for Sunday afternoon naps.

He usually sleeps on top of the couch but sometimes in his sleep he just slides down.  I love this picture.  He didn't bother waking up long enough to go back to a normal sleeping position

When we can't find him we always look under blankets or pillows...

Just like humans, he sometimes wakes up with bed head. 

Matthew and I are dog-sitting 3 other dogs for the week of spring break.  I have a feeling Joey will be exhausted and ready for those crazy dogs to leave.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thankful I'm Not in Charge

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose"  Romans 8:28

This week (Monday and Tuesday really) have been full of discouragement, worry, and the thinking of "What now?"  I quit my long term sub job on Monday.  Technically, Thursday was going to be my last day but thankfully things worked out so that Monday was my last day.  Before I took the job I had doubts on it because of how things were going before I even got started!  I should have gone with the instincts.
I know that quitting was the right thing to do even though I hate that it happened.  I never quit anything!  I always see a tough job as a way to prove to myself that I can do it.  I did do the job for a really long time but I couldn't finish it out.  I'm not one to talk bad about anyone (or at least I try not to), I don't throw people under the bus, I do an honest job, I work to the best of my abilities, I'm not perfect, I mess up all the time but I always do the very best that I can possibly do, especially when children are involved.  I can quit knowing that I did what I could, did the right thing, and now I know that I will never work under that administration.  When I started the job, the teacher didn't leave my any lesson plans, seating charts, class rules/procedures.  I left with 2 weeks worth of lesson plans done, all copies finished, seating charts, updated grade book, and a list of the procedures I put in place that the kids have been used to since I've been there.  So I know by doing that I didn't put anyone in a super stressful situation.  On Monday I felt fine about the situation, yesterday I felt sad, mad, frustrated, defeated, discouraged, the list goes on.  Now I'm at peace with what's happened.  The Lord is all knowing and I know that He'll take care of the situation.

I don't know what will happen next but I know God does.  In fact, for the past month He's been preparing us for this, we just didn't know it.  My paycheck wasn't a whole lot but it did pay for all of my medicine, groceries, and extra money to put onto Matthew's car payment so we can get that car paid off asap.  A few weeks ago Matthew had to get his car fixed.  We were debating on how much would be too much to fix it and we started to look at new cars. (Turns out that looking at cars is fun and exciting but man are they expensive!)  Well, it turns out the cost to fix the car was just a few hundred dollars!  We were thinking it was a major engine problem that would be a few thousand dollars.  Praise God!  Our insurance approved a shot that I'm on. Without insurance this shot costs about $800 a month, all we pay is $30 a month! We had prepared a good chunk of our budget to go towards that one medicine.  Then, I got all of my other prescriptions set up on the home delivery pharmacy stuff that our insurance does.  Instead of spending over $400 a month on prescription medicine that I literally can't live without, we only pay $150 a month!  We were thankful when we found all of this out thinking we could get the car paid off even faster and now that I don't have a job, we are incredibly thankful for God's provision. I am thankful that Matthew has a great job that pays well, I'm thankful that we (well, I had to teach Matthew first  :p) have been taught how to be smart with money and that we have the self control to be smart with our money.  Even though I'm not bringing in the bacon we're ok and that is a good feeling to have, especially in these times.

I'm trusting that God will open doors for a job but these times are scary.  All districts are on a hiring freeze, some are in better shape than others, and some districts are having to lay off a lot of people.  I don't want to take the first job that becomes available but I know that I can't be picky.  I know of one math position that might open up, (the teacher is moving) but the principal isn't allowed to actually hire anyone right now.  He said the job's mine if they can replace that teacher.  I have a lot of connections in the district I was in last year and have been in contact with several principals there but they can't hire right now until the district says so.  We'll see what happens!  This is a great lesson for me in learning how to completely trust in the Lord and being patient.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Music Therapy

This past week was an incredibly stressful week.  I feel like last Monday was two weeks ago.  For the past couple of years I haven't really learned how to manage my stress.  I know of some things that help me out but nothing is as big of a stress relief as playing the piano.  I've had my grandmother's piano ever since I moved to the area but I really haven't played it that much.  Partly because I'm spoiled and her 100 year old upright piano doesn't compare to the grand piano I have waiting for me at my parents house and I don't won't to be the loudest and most annoying neighbor in the apartment complex.  Yesterday I decided to walk across the street to visit the new piano store just to see what they have.  It turns out they sell my dream piano!  Petrofs are 100% hand made and are the only pianos that actually appreciate in value.   So you make an investment when you put down all that money for the Petrof.  One of the salesmen said that I could come in and play the pianos anytime I want, they even have a side room where they have classes, recitals, and small concerts.  He said that I was welcome to play in that room as well.  What?  OK!  So I've decided to get back to actually practicing the piano and learning new music now that I know I can walk across the street and play on the world's greatest piano.
Here is a picture of my dream piano (but the one I want is a little bigger) :)  It is waiting to be picked up by its new owners so I thought I would take a picture and text Matthew that I bought a new piano.

Matthew has been at the North Texas Irish Festival selling kilts so I've been able to practice all afternoon long with worrying about being to loud and annoying.  I busted out the old piano music and I've decided my next "big" piece to learn is Bolero by Chopin.  I'm looking forward to playing it on a  tuned piano :)