"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Confessions: On Giving Time

"Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them, for such is the kingdom of heaven"
 Confession:  I struggle with giving of my time as a mom.  I've got a plethora of excuses, and most of them are pretty darn good.  The single mom card trumps a lot of 'time' arguments.  But when you boil it down, its just pretty ways of saying the same thing.  What little time I do have I want to selfishly hoard for myself.  I don't want to share my time with the person I love the most.

I like my quiet time.  I like to sit near dim lamps and read and think and just be alone.  I'm a loner and a decompressor.  Jude is all about people all the time.  He can play well by himself, but he would choose people any day.  I'm just not like that at all.  I like my time alone.

It sounds so hideously ugly to even admit that, but it can be so true.  I like my time for myself.  By the time 5:00 rolls around, I just don't feel like I have much left to give.  I am physically and emotionally spent.  And there's not enough time in the weekend to make up for all the time I've robbed Jude of the other 5 days out of the week.  I am selfish with my time.

It's difficult for me to find the balance.  Because on one hand, I need self care.  I need the time to relax and unwind and just breathe for my own sanity.  The times I try to give to exhaustion just leave me overly anxious and sometimes panicked.  So that's not good.  But there are also times that when I get home Jude just wants my attention.  He hasn't seen me all day.  He should want my attention.  And the last thing I want to do is hurt his heart simply because I am burnt out from a days work.  It's hard.  And I confess there is much room for growth.

And there is the reality that whatever things around the house need to get done aren't going to get done unless I do them.  There's no one to pick up my slack.  So the question becomes 'when is ok to take a break for yourself and when should you give of yourself sacrificially'?  'when is it time to take care of responsibilities and when you should you let the pile of laundry go'? 

I don't know the answers to that.  I do know that this is something I need to work on.  I need accountability in this to be honest.  That little boy up there loves me so unconditionally and is so happy and forgiving.  And I'm far from the perfect mom.  These little moments pass all too quickly, and I am scared that I'm going to miss out on the important things of life.

For now, I'm trying to catch the 10 minutes that my eyes are opened to the moment and sink my feet into them and soak them up for all they're with.  Amazingly in those moments I would give anything for an excuse to not have to leave his side.  But life doesn't work that way.  It just doesn't stop when I ask it too. 

This past weekend I threw myself into the moment of tent building with Jude.  It was full of the magic and wonder that only a child can have when you assemble sheets and chairs into their own kingdom.  I recalled the moments in my own childhood where I had been taken to another world, similar and fantastic.

But mainly I just breathed Jude in.  Breathed in his desire to tell stories about ogres and banshees.  Tonight I breathed in his desire to sing Bible songs like "Jesus loves the little children" several times in a row.  I just want to breathe him in more.

How do you manage to give of your time even when you desperately crave quiet?

Will you hold me accountable to stopping for the moment?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Too Cute Tuesday

I am excited to be linking up with Megan and Kenzie for the first ever Too Cute Tuesday.  This is like the perfect excuse to post cute pictures of Jude ;)  As I'm sure all moms linking up are thinking.  This picture was such a sweet moment from this weekend.  I mentioned in my last post that Jude and I made a pirate campout tent this past weekend.  He spent his Friday night and his Saturday nap in the tent.  It was perfect because I was able to snap this sweet pic of him sleeping.  It is Too Cute to be able to watch sleeping children.  I love the way it immediately transports you to the first time you saw them and all those days of holding a sleeping baby to your chest.  Nothing sweeter :)


Sunday, February 24, 2013

70s boho weekend

Jude and I have a tradition we do every Friday called "Pirate Campout".  This basically just means that we throw some blankets on the ground and watch TV.  This weekend though, we went all out.  We took all our kitchen chairs, several sheets, and made a true, glorious pirate tent.  Jude actually spent the night in the tent.  Super fun.  I think my favorite part may have been his motivation to clean up his toys ;) but in all seriousness, there is just something about tents that is magical.  I remember as a kid being quite convinced I had been transported to another time, place, and world when I stepped into a tent.  What is it about chairs and sheets that makes the child feel so alive?  It's amazing and completely #1000gifts.

Jude has woken up the past weekends ridiculously early the past few weekends.  I'm talking 5:45 or 6:00 early.  Miserably early.  The only positive is that I have an excuse for extra coffee.  And my grocery shopping is done early, as mentioned last week.  Saturday though, we went and got kolaches and donuts before our excursion.  Jude was excited and gave it a peace sign.  Or as one of my friends said, a double barrel guns up!!!  Both are awesome :)

I know there will come a day when you readers will get sick of the fact that all my dates are involving church.  But it is so much easier to go on Saturday night.  So, so be it.  I just really love worshipping with Jimmy.  And I love going to church.  We were kind of in the mood for a low key weekend I guess.  I didn't feel like going overboard.  And he requested my boho hat, which was perfect because it gave me an excuse to be comfy And make him happy.  Winning!

We rented Moonrise Kingdom after church and watched it once I got Jude in bed.  I swear I heard lots of people talking about how great that movie was.  All I can say is I'm not hipster enough for that shiz.  I like the funny indie movies.  Like a lot.  We rented Safety Not Guaranteed not too long ago.  I thought that was funny and enjoyable.  It was pretty weird.  But this movie?  This movie was beyond weird and I spent most of the time with my jaw dropped in a huhhhh kind of way.  It's one of those hipster movies that I think hipsters make to assure themselves that they are in fact elite and the rest of the world can't understand them and they are so beyond normal society.  No offense.  I didn't like it though.  Maybe someone can enlighten me?

Sunday I got to hang out with my sister.  We ate Mexican, watched a chick flick, laughed, and gossiped.  It was pretty snazzy.  Also some grading was thrown in there.  Life of a teacher.  Anyway, how was your weekend?

Outfit deets:
hat: gift, Target
sweater: TJ Maxx
Tshirt: Urban Outfitters
Jeans: American Eagle, thrifted
Shoes: can't remember, but same from last weekend

this will be linked up for Monday

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Shappy Apple Sale!

I just got an email saying that Shabby Apple is having a Buy 1 Get 1 50% off on all of their new Ferris Wheel collection.  This collection is adorable 50s vintage, and I for one, am loving it.  Here are my two picks for what my buy 1 get one half off.  What would you choose?  You can access the collection through the link in my side bar.  Use the code TAKETWO at checkout to claim your deal.  
Happy Shopping!!!

 This dress is my favorite.  There is just something about mint green that is so cheerful.  Easter dress perhaps?

By far the thing I love about this is the pattern and color mixing.  If you know me, you know there's little more I love than combining the unexpected.  This definitely does that!  So cute!

For all you new readers

Throwback: Jude at 4 mos.  He is my atonement child.

About a month ago, I wrote a post on having had an abortion.  It was one of the single most defining moments of my life, and definitely one of the darkest.  However, through that moment about 6 years ago, I learned more about the reality of grace and forgiveness.  The blog is being featured at The Identify Shift.  If you want to get to know more about me, that post will take you straight to my soul.  And whatever opinions you have on abortion, I promise that it will change your thinking- not in a way to judge the situation from any side, but as a way to understand the hurting and the broken of this world.  I hope you read it.

Also, don't forget to enter that GAP giveaway here!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Coffee Date Vlog- My Mission, My Week

I'm linking up with Rags to Stitches today for Coffee Date.  I'm gonna tell you all about my week and how God rocked my perspective through some sad circumstances which reminded me "all is grace".  I hope you will comment and introduce me to your blog, because I would love love love to get to know YOU better.  Yes, you!  I'm completely in this thing for building relationships and community :)

Also, have you entered the GAP card giveaway?  You should.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thankful- kids books, myself, my mission

I am grateful for:
* I read "I Love You Forever" to my students this week, and one of my little girls cried.  I mean the sensitive, I am so moved by this story cry.  It was adorable and beautiful.
* A conversation between two of my crazies.  In which one was annoyed and the other said, "I'm sorry, you know how much I care about you!!!!"  What an adorable way to apologize
* Rain in NTX!!!!
* I managed to roll with Plan B joyfully!  (Huge deal for my control freak self)  Our power was out like all day at school yesterday.  Seriously.  We managed to do all our subjects - somewhat loudly and wildly- but we did it.  Normally, that stuff spikes my anxiety.  But I just flowed.  Such a big deal for me yall!

I enjoyed:
* the Bachelor, because I roll like that.
* learning about my personality type in Missions class.  Mainly learning that its normal for my personality to be introverted and need alone time.  I've always kind of been insecure because I'm not the popular type.  Like I needed to change myself.  But I felt so free because thats not it at all.  I'm fearfully and wonderfully made with this exact personality.  I can accept the person I am with joy.  God has a plan for my overly sensitive, perfectionist self.  Do I need to learn to let go of the perfectionism?  yes.  But that doesn't change the fact that my personality has a purpose and should be celebrated for its own uniqueness.

I learned:
* I have to trust Jesus so much with my kiddos sometimes.  Teaching is crazy because you pour your heart into 20+ kids a year.  After 6 years, there are pieces of my heart walking all over Texas.  Some weeks they are crazy.  Some they are awesome.  And sometimes they come in and break your heart.  It's so hard because my instinct is to write about those things, but I can't.  Luckily, I serve a loving Father who loves the little ones the most.  I am so thankful that when I release my 2nd grader babies to their homes, God goes with them.  And I just pray and pray and pray that they know His Presence.

I accomplished:
* I have my first giveaway on my blog here.
* My post on teaching the ABCs as missional was linked here.
* This weekend my abortion testimony will be running here.

This is listed under "I accomplished" but that's really not the case at all.  I just want to briefly say that the # of doors God will open really, really increases when you humble yourself and allow your darkest spots to be used.  Honestly, He has done so much with my blog since I blogged about my abortion.  No words.  Except- surrender and allow God to use your shame for His glory.

I am looking forward to:
* getting grades into the computer (not :))
* hanging out with my fellas
* continuing to learn about Nehemiah at church

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Teaching the ABCs is Missional

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly... ~ Colossians 3:16

Friday I got a new student, which in low income schools happens pretty often.  Their lives are so transient.  I teach 2nd grade.  The average 2nd grader should be able to read things like Magic Tree House easily at this point in the year.  At a school like mine, that's not usually the case.

I read with this student that afternoon, just to try to gage where I wanted her to be as far as reading groups go (they are ability grouped).  Started a few levels below where she should be.  And we had to keep going back.  And back.  And back.  When she came to the word 'have', she tried nav/mav.  And so I stopped her.  I asked her what the first letter in that word was.  She thought and thought and finally came up with H.  I asked her what that letter said.  She said /n/.  And suddenly I realized why she had just completely bombed an end of kinder book.

On Monday I will have to pick up reading with her, but it's pretty safe to say if she doesn't know her consonant sounds, she is barely reading.  It's heartbreaking.

And then when I was in church last night, Chandler was discussing the importance of reading parts of scripture and just stopping to think about their meaning and impact on your life.  And my heart broke for all these students like "Tay".

I have always known the importance of reading for a life skill.  And in the back of my mind I know the historical reality of Christians starting schools and what not.  But it never occurred to me how vital it was for children to learn how to read for their spiritual good.

Think about it.  If students like "Tay" never learn to read, they can never read the Bible.  If they can never read the Bible, they can never truly intimately come to know Christ.  If they can't understand and think about what they read, they can never make sense of how the words on those pages apply to them.  They can't make sense of the God who desperately loves them and desires to know them.  If they can't read it, they will be forever dependent on someone else to feed them spiritually and can never grow.

Reading is foundational for being prepared to know Christ.  I don't know who out of my class of public school students will ever become a Christian.  I do know I pray for their salvation.  And I do know God is sovereign.

But now I know that I have been entrusted with the gift of building up their tools to access God.  How humbling is that?  And it just nourished my heart in so many ways.  It spurred me on.  I'm not just teaching letter sounds or chunking or character traits or inferencing.  I'm teaching kids the skills they will need to hopefully one day understand who God is and what He's done for them.

Reading is a mission field.  And for that I am so very thankful

::This will be linked up for Into the Word Wednesday::

Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekend Happenings

 This weekend was lovely, as all weekends are.  Not because I did anything particularly special.  It's just so lovely to just be myself.  And have no schedule!!!!  I am not a fan of having my days planned down to the minute, and I think that is my favorite part of the weekend by far.  Friday was my usual hang out with Jude and basically do nothing.  It was relaxing as usual.

Saturday I spent the morning at the park with Jude catching up with a good friend.  I love those moments where you get to do that.  I am the worst at keeping up with people I care about.  I'm so task oriented, I guess I forget about the life things that don't make my to do list.  So all that to say, it was wonderful.

That night I went on a lovely date with my fella.  And because it wasn't freezing, I decided to bare leg it.  Vintage style.  Have I mentioned how much I am loving having bangs?  I mean, technically I have had bangs for almost a year.  This time though she cut them differently, and I love it.

I ordered this skirt from Shabby Apple (see link in my side bar).  I was surprised how comfy it was!  It's a really soft cotton, almost like a T shirt.  If there is anything I love more in the world than being cute, it's being comfy.  Ohh it was kind of a dream.  And I felt pretty and vintage and lovely.  

cardigan: high school
yellow shirt: thrifted
shoes: college
skirt: Shabby Apple

This guy was also looking pretty handsome in his hot pink cat eye glasses ;)  I know how to pick 'em!

We tried this place out before going to church.  (yes we had another church date.  we are basically cooler than anyone we know.)  Most of what we ordered was good, but we both ordered versions of Thom Yum soup.  And in Jimmy's words it was Thom Not So Yum soup.  That part was sad.  The rest was awesome.  Church was good, and while the thing that stuck out to me the most was not remotely the point, I am so excited about the blog I'm doing for Into The Word Wednesday because my perspective was totally changed for the better Saturday night!!!

And lastly, Jude received this gem from my parents for Valentines Day.  I think I mentioned this the other day.  But we watched a lot of "Bato" as he calls it this weekend.  So glad he loves it!

See my links tab to find out where I am linking up today :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Leibster Award

This week I was surprised, humbled, and honored to have been awarded a Leibster blog award by someone whose blog completely inspires me, Megan.  This is an award given to small blogs who have less than 200 followers, and it was just really exciting to receive it.

The Rules

     1.  Post 11 random facts about yourself.
     2.  Answer the questions the nominator came up with
     3.  Create 11 new questions for those you nominate
     4.  Choose 11 new bloggers with less than 200 followers (this will be hard for me as I don't know that many...)
     5.  Let them know about their nominations :)

Random Facts about Me

     1.  I have hair ADD- and change it constantly
     2.  My favorite colors are teal, orange, and green
     3.  I love housework, and am always kind of jealous of SAHM
     4.  I could drink iced tea, herbal tea, hot tea all day- and pretty much do
     5.  I teach in a school where about 85% of my kids are living below the poverty line.  I like a challenge.
     6.  I want to eventually do missions in some small village, anywhere in the world
     7.  My blog became most read when I blogged about having an abortion here.  I am still amazed that the blog that caused me to humble myself the most is the one God has used the most.
     8.  I watch movies for set and costume design wayyy more than I do for story line.
     9.  I love love love teaching reading- especially how to think about what you're reading
     10.  I love to read myself- especially things like Francis Schaeffer and CS Lewis.  I am basically a nerd.  And I'm ok with that :)
     11.  My favorite animal is a shovel lizard which is found in the Sahara Desert.  Some close runners up are manatees, caribou, and song birds.  (I actually have book on bird watching I bought like 5 years ago.  Again, I'm a nerd)

My Nominations

     1.  My lovely real life friend Kate
     2.  My lovely real life friend Angela
     3.  My lovely real life friend Amanda
     4.  Emily Kate whose honesty more than inspires me
     5.  Kristin whose current posts on Jesus as the best Valentine are right on
     6.  Erica who I credit with showing me the freedom of art journaling- and I love her funky style
     7.  A new blog friend Beth
     8.  Leigh who has a wonderful laid back style
     9.  Katie who has a pretty straight forward way of writing, which I respect
Ok I don't actually follow anymore with less followers-  So for those who I nominate feel free to add 2 extra to your lists.

Megan Asked....
     1.  Favorite childhood memory- I have a lot, but by far, anything involving visiting my Grandma's farm in the summer.  I would pick raspberries for hours (who knows what all I ate along with them since they were never washed).  I would play in the creek.  I would wander through the woods for hours.  I would catch fireflies at night.  There was always a new litter of baby kittens.  And of course, being around family in general is still dear to my heart.  I'm very 'clannish' like that.
     2.  Which is better, tall or short?  Since I'm a total shortie (5'1"), I often wish I were taller.  As in not in need of getting everything hemmed.  Or just able to do normal things without a stepladder.  But in truth, I don't mind being short.  It kind of makes me feel cute.
     3.  Favorite Starbucks drink- I like skinny vanilla latte's, but I aften add a pump of coconut too.  Kind weird, but I really like it.
     4.  Chocolate or vanilla- chocolate.  and lots of it.  (except obviously at Starbucks....)
     5.  Lipgloss or Lipstick- technically lipstick.  But honestly, I usually don't wear either.  If I actually dress up for date night I will wear lipstick.  Mostly, I wear non colored chapstick.
     6.  Favorite TV series- The Bachelor, the Bachelorette.  I blame my sister for getting me into that one.  Also there is a blog called Lost Angeles, which is hilarious and makes fun of the whole thing, which I love.
     7.  Favorite room in your house- If the toys are put away, my living room, because my cozy reading chair is there.  I love reading!
     8.  What are you currently reading-  Just finished Surprised By Joy by CS Lewis.  Currently reading through Game of Thrones as well as a book called Boundaries as recommended by my counselor.  I am getting ready to start A Severe Mercy, which my boyfriend bought me for Christmas.  I have a tendancy to read several books at a time...
     9.  Favorite smartphone app- I actually don't use many apps at all, but I am definitely into instagram (thistleashd).  Use that one a lot.
     10.  Dream vacation destination- weird places like Alaska or Morocco or Turkey.  Alaska because I want to observe animals in their natural habitat.  And also sleep in a bus like "Into the Wild".  Morocco and Turkey because I love Muslim cities and open air markets.  I just think the Arabic decor is so beautiful.
     11.  Favorite product in my make up bag- I actually only wear foundation, eyeliner, and mascara usually.  But eyeliner and mascara I will always put on.  The rest of it is a function of time.

My Random Questions

     1.  What is your favorite book and why?
     2.  If you could change something about the world, what would it be?
     3.  What does your perfect day look like?
     4.  What is your greatest strength?
     5.  What is one thing you wish you did better?
     6.  Aside from your parents, who has had the biggest impact on your life?
     7.  What is your favorite movie and why?
     8.  If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
     9.  What was your favorite thing about high school or college?
     10.  Favorite childhood memory?
     11.  What is your favorite attribute of God?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thankful for evaporation, rainboots, quiet time...

Here's my weekly recap of things I loved/thought/felt:

Something that made me laugh:

      Me:  Micah, you need to be writing.
      Micah:  I can't wait.  I have evaporation on my mind!
      Me:  Uhhh I guess write about evaporation then friend.  (we have been learning about the water cycle.  obviously these lessons are more intriguing than I realized :))

Something I enjoyed:

I got to wear my rainboots two days in a row.  They are from the old Liberty of London for Target line.  I am still so thankful I snagged them up.  I think they are quite loverly.  Speaking of which, I have been so in the mood for watching My Fair Lady, but who has 3 hours for that.

Something I am looking forward to:

I spent Valentines Day (afternoon) with my mini Valentine.  My parents got him the old 90s movie Beethoven, the one about the St. Bernard.  It's really weird how I have an obsession with him seeing movies from then.  For some reason, in my mind at least, things just seemed more innocent.  Now- not even remotely.  I'm excited to reminisce over this with our weekly 'pirate campout' which means laying on blankets and watching movies tonight.

Something I learned:

Jude loves to build bridges and train tracks and such.  But they don't always go over or stay up in all the ways he concocts in his head, so he will get frustrated.  I usually tell him to take a deep breath.  Today he told me "It's ok, Jesus loves me even when I'm mad."  How did he learn so much about grace while still so young?  It has taken me 28+ years to realize God loves me when I'm broken.  And sometimes I still wonder if I believe it in the moment.

Something I accomplished:

I have started spending an extra 20+ minutes in the afternoon just reflecting both on my day, how I sought God's face during the day, and what the power of the resurrection should look like in my life.  I blogged recently about how I was inspired to do this by the practice of Lent.  I've really enjoyed it so far.  I'm reading through John, but it's just really lovely to take this deep breathe with the Lord in the afternoon.  I feel so much more able to handle my evening with peace.  This is something I really struggle with a single momma.  Dealing with 18 kiddos and then coming home to my own kiddo by myself is exhausting.  Those 20 minutes of refueling are perspective changing!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent, Reformed

There's something that has been on my mind today, and that is Lent.  Being a reformed evangelical, it's definitely not something that I really hear much of actually at church.  I've never felt a compulsion to do it, because technically Lent in its modern practice, is not specifically indicated in the Bible.  (meaning it's more a tradition...)  However, I do know that fasting is.

I've never really fasted, simply because health wise, it doesn't work for me.  But, I have given up things over time and seen great results (post on that for another day).  Today though, I've been mulling the idea of participating in Lent.  Not so I can give anything up or try to conquer a bad habit, but because "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead" ~ Phillipiams 3:10-11. 

 I want to know Christ deeper, focus on Him more intently.  I already have a set time where I read through my Bible, and pray.  But for the next 40 days, I'm going to give up some extra time I'd normally spend online perusing through blogs.  And I am going to seek to know Christ.  Better.  I want to know the POWER of his resurrection.  I mean how often do I really try to know and reflect on the power of it all.  The reality that I am terribly unrighteous.  The reality of how grace called me from the pit.  The reality of all that I have been saved from and saved to.  

Giving up more of my precious little time is scary and daunting.  But oh the glorious thought of arriving at the end of 40 days knowing Christ increasingly more intimate, increasingly more gloriously.  I want to know Christ.

And with that thought, I'm going to seek him, and seek with him with all I've got this season.

As God would have it, this was my latest art journal.  The prompts right now for February have to do with the secret garden of your heart.  I always take their prompts and make it more Bible based.  And I love the idea of God cultivating the garden of my heart, the idea of Him walking with me there just as He walked intimately with Adam and Eve.  It's amazing how fitting this piece is for where my heart is right now.  I want the quiet intimacy of time alone with Christ this season....

See my new "Sweetly Linking" tab to see who I'm linking up with today.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Musings

You know how so much in life happens and it makes you laugh or stop and think or just any number of things and you move on with your life.  Well I want to start writing those down more.  So I am starting a Monday collection of things I'm glad to remember.

Read for Monday morning- stripes

1.  During the superbowl, Jimmy and I were reminiscing about 90s pop.  Neither of us were into pop by the time Destiny's Child came out, so I couldn't really appreciate BeyoncĂ©.  No offense world.  Not my thing.  However, we both had distinct and fond memories of the early 90s pop.  Aka Mariah Cary and Boys2Men.  We had our own superbowl concert consisting of singing along to Fantasy and On Bended Knee.  It was basically one of the most amazing moments of my life.

2.  Jude does 2 things all the time.  He sings his little bible songs and he constructs things.  Lately, he asks me to sing along to a particular song with him at bedtime before I leave the room. I wish I could capture his face and bottle up the sweet 3 yr old goodness that is he and I singing together while cuddled in his bed.

3.  I went a whole week with actually cleaning up dishes and things behind me.  I haven't managed to stay on top of toys quite like I wanted, but I have done so much preventative cleaning this week, and I am so proud of myself.  This has happened in life- never.

4.  This is what 6 am looked like at my house on Saturday.  I have no idea what possessed him to wake up this early, but hey, we rolled with it.  And by rolled with it, I mean drank lots of coffee.  And also, finished our grocery shopping for the week by 11am.  Because we got there at like 9:30am.  And promptly hit up Starbucks for more coffee- and apple juice for the kiddo.

5.  This is what Sunday looked like at my house.  Me plus Reading equals Bliss.  I also did other 'me' things.  One of my New Years Resolutions was to really commit to not working on Sundays.  So far, so good.  And y'all it is soul nourishing.  I mean really.  My soul literally rests, and it is so peaceful, so good.  Such a good decision.  I cannot recommend it enough.

6.  Today was a good day with my kids, which after last week, was such a relief.  I mean most of them had really good days.  And we accomplished what we needed to.  All that.  Every season I hang decor from the ceiling because quite frankly it just makes me happy.  The kids love it too.  There is just something about cheery decor that makes it more tolerable to be in the same room for nearly 8 hours straight.  In the fall, I hang yellow, orange, and red leaves.  In the winter, I change it to snowflakes.  Now that it's *almost* spring I am changing it to raindrops, shamrocks, and flowers.  So fun.

I have changed some things around on my blog.  If you look under my header picture, you will see 2 new tabs.  One is an about me page.  The other is called sweetly linking.  I pretty much link up with the same blogs on a weekly basis.  You can click that tab to see the two blogs I'm linking up with today :)

How's your week starting off?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

4 random things about me

Today I am doing my second vlog with Rags to Stitches.  I am sharing 4 things you may or may not know about me.  Or giving more information about things you already know about me including- my biggest struggle, my deepest desires, my childhood idol, and my guilty pleasure.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fab Friday/Thankful Thursday

This week was actually a tough week.  You know those "I'm clearly speaking a different language because my class is ignoring me" kind of thing.  Good times.  I am hoping! next week is different!  So for me looking back on things that are God-sent, well that alone will be God-sent!

This week I am thankful for this little guy.  Who made this little picture.  With his little feet.  And I told him he was my Valentine.  And he replied "aww shucks".  And I died of cute :)

This week I enjoyed finishing reading "Surprised by Joy" by CS Lewis.  The last 2 chapters were amazing.  I really related to his descriptions of himself in a lot of ways, which is probably weird.  He talked about how he hated to be interfered with.  As in he was basically a loner.  One of my biggest struggles as a mom is that 'I hate to be interfered with'.  I really like A LOT of alone time.  Of just silence.  And it's hard to get that as a mom.  God has taught me a lot about my own selfishness through this struggle.  That actually has little to do with the book- side note connection :)

This week I learned that my kids will read quieter and for longer and more focused periods of time if I keep the classroom lights off.  They have been begging me to let them do this the past few weeks, and I relented today.  I mean I have never seen such 'voracious reading'.  I think all my kids were on task the entire time.  You could have heard a pin drop.  And after our very frustrating week, well it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.  This will become part of our daily routine I can promise you that.  Side note- I need to add more lamps to my class ;)

This week I accomplished the below art journal.  It was actually made in a moment of pretty strong anxiety because Jude was with his father for a night.  Out of respect, I won't go into the details of that.  But it does drive me to my knees in prayer, which I suppose is a good thing :)

I am looking forward to Chandler's message this weekend on Nehemiah.  And spending time with Jude and my boyfriend who was out of town all week and will be out of town all next week.  And just generally a low key weekend.  Last weekend, I really did a lot and was out late.  This week I just want to chill.  And sometimes that is just as awesome.

How was your week?
Loved and LovelyThe Fontenot FourThankful Thursdays Buttona punk, a pumpkin and a peanut

Monday, February 4, 2013

Diamonds and Gasonline- Turnpike Troubadour Style

  This weekend my boyfriend and I celebrated his birthday in true Texas style.  One of his favorite bands is the Red Dirt/Texas Country band called the Turnpike Troubadours.  (For all you non-Texas/Oklahoma people out there, this type of country is actually GOOD.  It's also not heard on normal country radio.)  Anyway, we went down to Ft. Worth to Billy Bobs for the show.  It was awesome because a lot of his work friends sort of just all bought tickets too as the week went on.  I hadn't met them before, and meeting their wives/girlfriends is always fun.  

I love dressing up to go to country music places.  I am in no way a 'Texas girl' really.  I mean I wear the boots regularly, but I am definitely not a country girl.  I'm my own mix of me, what can I say :)  I got this dress a couple years ago, and loved the flowers on it.  They actually remind me of bluebonnets, although I don't know if I realized that at the time.  Either way, perfect dress for some Texas fun.

Ahh my boots, how I love them.  These boots actually get worn a lot, because hey, in my opinion, they go with everything.  It might also be because I've never bothered to buy another pair of boots, and you know, its like winter and stuff ;)

My very most favorite part of these boots is the design on the sides.  It's very hippie-flower-esque.  It's perfect for someone like me who is like equal parts hippie-punk-country-vintage.  But really, I love them love them.  And also, why is it that boots Always looks awesome when you take pictures of your feet?

Not related to my outfit, but I changed my hair this week.  Dyed it dark, redid my bangs which were driving me crazy, and added a purple streak.  Technically that streak is also blue on the bottom.  Does anyone know how to actually photograph fantasy colors.  Because I have never been able to correctly get a picture of what my hair looks like in real life when I do this.

And last, the self portrait.  We had so much fun :)  in our boots and flower dresses and flannel shirts.  

Dress:  Forever 21
Boots: Sheplers Western Store
Jewelry: forgot to wear it :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Thankful for Kolaches, Kids, Missions, and Country Music

This week I'm thankful for:

1.  Having my parents in this weekend.  We had our traditional kolaches and donuts breakfast on Saturday.  Jude got to enjoy (half) of a chocolate sprinkles donut.  My mom and I continued our tradition of splitting an eclaire.  Jude built a suspension bridge on the floor (where he learned the term suspension bridge I have no idea).  My parents and I discussed religion and politics over coffee.  I love that I have parents with whom I can discuss the two most divisive topics with.  

2.  Many of my kids enjoyed Stink Feet Friday this week.  It's amazing how much fun class becomes when you are given permission to take off your shoes.  They were actually all super wound up on Friday, which is beyond draining.  But hey, parts of it were fun.

3.  I saw this precious 2nd grader walking around at recess.  He's not in my class, but I appreciated his style.  If you aren't aware, I love me some Bob Marley.  In fact, that was the only music I had playing in the room when I gave birth to Jude.  I love island music so much.  I will always appreciate some rasta love.  And side note- reasons why my boyfriend is perfect (for me), back when we first started dating he totally bought the recent Bob Marley documentary which we watched together.  And it was awesome.

4.  I started a new Bible Study this week at my church which is focusing on missions.  I do think all Christians are called to missions however and wherever they are.  I am so excited to learn how I can be more focused on missional living and just understanding where God has me right now.

5.  I am thankful I got to enjoy a night out with Jimmy.  As in like an actual late night out where my parents were able to stay with Jude and it didn't cost me tons.  His birthday was this week, so we went and saw the Turnpike Troubadours at Billy Bobs.  I'm not a huge country fan (mainly bc its sooo pop infused).  But good old fiddle playing red dirt/texas style country is pretty good.  This particular band is from OK, and if you like country, recommend.

6.  Thankful I learned about the importance of a heart that truly mourns for the hurting.  Last night, we went to the Village.  Chandler is starting a study on Nehemiah and how he mourns for the brokenness of the Israelites.  This kind of goes right with my missional study.  I do often mourn for my kiddos and their just painful lives.  But I want to really see things on a bigger scale and just be a part of God's story with a heart that aches for people like God does.

7.  Thankful I accomplished getting parent meetings set up to get a particular student into dyslexia.  I have the hardest time tracking down my parents because their phones are constantly getting cut off.  I have been trying to get this student in since October.  So thankful we are almost there!

8.  Thankful to be able to look forward to a 2 night bachelor extravaganza!  I am shameless and very into this show.  And Tierra is so daggum crazy.  Like the previews with her twitching like she belongs in a straight jacket.  Can. Not. Wait.
Loved and LovelyThe Fontenot FourThankful Thursdays Buttona punk, a pumpkin and a peanut