Sunday, December 4, 2011

Funny or Embarrassing?

Wishful Thinking

I love Facebook.  I love that I can keep in touch with SOO many people that I wouldn't ever even talk to otherwise.  And I have gotten such a kick out of the response to my latest profile pic.


Here are just a couple of funny responses:


So who is the guy in your profile picture?
Ummmm....Brandon Heath.  You might have heard of him before. He's kind of a big deal.


I saw you in a pic with a guy....you looked really happy on your pic???  Are you dating?
Yes, friend.  Quite happy in this picture!  ;-)  An unfortunate no to the dating.


From a dude at church I'm not even FB friends with:  
Dude: Are you going to China this summer?
Me: I don't know yet.
Dude: You can bring your boy with you.
Me: What boy?
Dude: The boy in your picture.


I believe the moral of this story is that my friends stink at reading my blog.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Because I'm the Teacher

Last week (the week of Thanksgiving) we had two days of school.  My grade level strategically planned a field trip on Monday because we all know how focused kids are on a two day school week before Thanksgiving.  Right.  And, because I'm the teacher, (and because I love the Chiefs!), I scheduled us to take a field trip to the new Chiefs Sports Lab!  It is AWESOME!


One of my students asked if we were going on this field trip because I like the Chiefs so much.  My response -- "Of course not!"  Ummm....well, maybe just a little.  :-)

Of course I can't show the pictures of my students there which is a bummer because I've got some seriously cute pictures!  BUT.....I do have a few that their teacher was super excited about!  (I seriously said to a couple of kids multiple times this trip, "Your teacher is SOOO happy right now!")

We got to walk out of the Chiefs tunnel onto the field!! 
The kids were really excited to go onto the field.  
They wanted to see where Miss Schulze sits every Sunday.  :-)

Well....maybe not this season.
There is a tunnel on the Chiefs sideline that I've never noticed before....it's very nondescript.  It goes down below the field and back into the stadium to the locker rooms.  The players use this tunnel at half time and at the end of the game.

We're on our way to the locker room!  I was a little giddy at this point!


Before entering the locker room we were told there is a big arrowhead on the carpet in the middle of the locker room.  We were not allowed to touch it because it's disrespectful and bad luck.  That was difficult for the kiddos to understand.  "Why can't we stand on the arrowhead?" was a question I answered multiple times.  But you'd better believe that I'd have had some heads if anyone had stepped on that thing!
 Not my prettiest moment ever, but I needed my picture in front of Tyler Palko's locker!  Even if the rest of Kansas City isn't a fan of his.


And you know I took a picture in front of D Bowe's locker!!!

 All of the lockers were empty except this one.  Apparently they keep this one stocked all the time so they know how each locker is to be stocked every week.  Every player's locker is set up just like this one.

I have to brag on my kiddos for a second.  Even though you can't see their pictures, you should know that the Chiefs told us we were the best behaved students they've had!  YAY US!

So, the moral of the story is.....when you're the teacher, you get to pick the field trip.  :-)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Proof That I'm a Little Strange

1.  I pick my split ends. OBSESSIVELY.

2.  Even though I know the Kansas cheerleaders are saying "K-ay-ay-ay U - U!", I still think they're saying "Hey, you."

3.  The aforementioned "Hey, you" cheer gets stuck in my head and I walk around my house chanting "Hey-ay-ay-ay You, You!" in my head.

4.  I am always cold.  Even in the summer, I need a blanket if I'm outside at night.

5.  Apparently I sound like a goat when I boo at Chiefs games.  Meredith likes to make fun of my boo.

6.  I like to make up stupid songs.  For example, I have a song called "Get On the Bus" that I sing to kids at bus duty.  It goes a little something like this:  "Get on the bus!  Get on the bus!  Everybody get on the bus!"  I know what you're thinking.  THAT is talent.

7.   I'm ridiculously OCD.  I lock my door with the remote lock at least fifty times before walking away from my car.  If you hear a car door shut and then a car horn honk several times....you know I'm close by.

8.  I like corn.  A lot.

9.  Sometimes I'll eat just a can of corn for dinner.  YUM.

10.  I organize my Q-Tips.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bittersweet

Tonight, for absolutely no reason at all, I was reminded one of the most bittersweet memories I think I will ever have in this lifetime.

In 2006, my Aunt Janet (my mom's sister) died of colon cancer.  She battled the disease for years, but eventually could not fight any more and the Lord called her home.  My Aunt Janet lived in Oregon, and I will always remember and be moved by the sacrifice my mother made in absolute love for her sister by leaving her own family in Kansas City and spending my aunt's last weeks with her.

At one point in my mom's time in Oregon, when we had accepted that the end was inevitable and close, my aunt requested that I sing at her funeral.  She specifically wanted "The Lord's Prayer."  I knew I couldn't oblige this request for two reasons:  1.  There was no way in the world I would ever make it through singing any song at her funeral, much less "The Lord's Prayer".    2.  I probably wouldn't be able to get to Oregon last minute for the funeral.

So I recorded it.  With the help of some friends, we spent an afternoon working on the recording, and I emailed it to my mom.

But here's the memory that shocked me with the tears this evening:

I can vividly remember lying in my bed at my parents' house one night with my cell phone resting between the pillow and my ear.  My mom was playing my recording for my aunt for the first time and we were all listening to it together, hundreds of miles apart.  I remember hearing my recorded voice playing, with me in my bed and Aunt Janet in hers, incredibly blessed that I was able to give her this small gift - this token of my love for her - while tears fell down my cheeks and soaked my pillow.   


To this day, that memory instantaneously brings rivers of bittersweet tears.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Are You Ready For Some Football?!

This year we spent Halloween at Arrowhead Stadium actually enjoying a football game!  We started things off with a little tailgate.  Duh.  :-)


Sis and Mom

Dad (aka Grill Master)

See....we were REALLY tailgating!!!


 After some delicioso brat, we headed into the stadium.  There's nothing like Monday Night Football!


If you look closely, you can see the Monday Night Football anchors.  We're right across the field from the press box.  I could see their white shirts and ties from across the field!

A little warmin' up for cutie #4 (who is now our starting QB.....
he's pretty, but we'll see how he is at football).


Startin' things off right!


So, my mom and sister and I get pretty silly when we're together.  Here's picture #1 of us.  (I'm not good at the whole holding-your-own-camera-while-taking-a-picture thing.)

This is picture #2.  Meredith is playing the role of creepster.


We actually had things to cheer for at this game!
I'm worried that this will be the last game that we win this season.  I'm going to live in the memory of victory while I can!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fortune Cookies


video


Here's the link to my fortune cookies.  Like I said in the video, I had trouble finding paper (becauseI waited until the last minute) so I'm not thrilled with the paper....but the fortune cookies are adorable!!

This is the picture on the website that I used along with the directions from the website. 
http://www.oncewed.com/7578/diy-wedding/favors/diy-fortune-cookie-favors/

Directions:
1.  Begin by using a plastic lid as a template to trace circles on your decorative paper.   A 12” square piece of paper yields approximately 9 circles.   Cut out your circles using your scissors.   If you have an extra large circle craft punch, that works well too.  

2.  Fold a circle in half with the pattern side in.   Make a crease along the folded edge. 

3.  Open your circle, and turn it pattern side out.

4.  Turn your circle so the crease you made in step 2 is vertical. Fold the circle in in half horizontally, pattern side out, rounded side down, Do NOT crease.  Hold the half circle on the bottom, between your thumb and index finger.   Use the index finger from your other hand to push in the middle of the folded side of the circle at the crease.  As you push in, the top corners will start to turn up.  Continue to hold the half circle and use your other hand to pull the corners in until they nearly meet and form the cookie shape.  If your cookie doesn’t want to stay folded, use a tiny piece of double stick tape to keep the halves together. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Black or Blonde?

Today while I was meeting with one of my small groups, the following conversation occurred:

Boy:  (speaking to me)  Are you black or blonde?
Me:  WHAT?  (My hair???)
Boy:  Are you black?
Me:  Do you mean my skin?
Boy:  I can't tell if you're black.

So we proceeded to compare arms and colors.


Boy:  I'm black.
Me:  What about me?
Boy:  You're white.

Good thing we've gotten that straightened out.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I might just marry Brandon Heath

For those of you who have read my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I have a little "thang"  for Brandon Heath.  It started out by me just flat out loving his music and how it ministered to me in the midst of some hurtful times.  See my blog here.  Then it was admiration of his musicianship (as a musician, it so refreshing to hear someone who truly knows music!).  Then it was me goofing around about getting a date with him.

Now, let me just tell you -- it is a FULL. ON. CRUSH.  I mean, seriously.  Cutest couple ever!

You know this is my new Facebook profile pic.
My mom (God bless her soul) agreed to go with me to the concert, though, she had had an incredibly busy day and would have preferred to stay at home.  Gotta love my mama.

Ready to go!

We got to the church and there was a serious line outside waiting to get into the Soundcheck Session. 


The Soundcheck Session was HANDS DOWN the best part of the show.  I absolutely LOVE an acoustic set.  Just a dude, a guitar and a song.  Yes, please!!  Reminds me of high school when we'd sit around with guitars and a piano and a djembe and just worship.




Brandon was wonderful in engaging and talking to the audience.  Lots of smiles and laughing all around.  We even managed a conversation about Teddy Ruxpin.  ???  Anybody else remember that creepy bear? On a side note, my mother has some serious blackmail potential photos with me and my Teddy Ruxpin!  We were best buds.


After our little acoustic set, we had to wait a bit for the show to start.  
We're usually pretty good at keeping ourselves entertained.  

The "real" show finally started with Brit Nicole.  I'm gonna be honest.  I'd never heard of this chickadee before, but the little girls in the audience LOVED her and sang along with every song!  Girlfriend stressed me out, though!  I swear she was going to break an ankle in those shoes!



Then it was Brandon's turn.  SO WONDERFUL!  My mom and I had a great time, and I have to admit, the longer the concert went on, the more my heart palpitated.  :-)




I have a confession to make.  I totally used this blog as an excuse to get a picture with my main man, Brandon.  Obviously, I was going to blog about the concert and would use any pictures I could get.  But, I would have wanted a picture with him regardless of the blog!  So my mom and I hung out until the majority of the crowd had dissipated so I could get my coveted picture.

I have to tell you this story.  While we waited in line to meet Brandon, there was a little girl (probably in kindergarten) and her grandma? in front of us.  She wasn't exactly the best behaved child I've ever seen.  She was running around and stepped on my mom's foot.  She turned around, looked at my mom and said, "You'll be okay."  HA!  That would never fly in my classroom and apparently wasn't a good response in my mom's opinion either.  My mom looked down at her and said, "I believe the word you're looking for is excuse me."  Oh, mom.  :-)  I had to turn my back on the situation so they wouldn't all see me laughing!

Anyway....back to Mr. Heath.

Here's me introducing myself to him.  How professional do I look?!  You'd think I was interviewing for a job.  Actually....it looks like he's the one interviewing for a job.  Funny!

 And then the best part of the night.

How creepy would it be for me to frame this and put it on my bedroom wall?  JUST KIDDING!!!


On a completely serious note, Brandon talked about his work in Africa with Food for the Hungry.  I've been thinking a lot about my summer and whether or not to go back to China to serve again.  Honestly, Africa has really been on my mind....instead of China.  I'd love prayers for wisdom and discernment for where to serve this summer!  More to come on that front later.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

To Extend or Not To Extend -- That is the Question

Actually, that's not the question.  The question is HOW to extend.

In the next few months I'm turning the big 3-0.  Refer to my last post to understand slightly how I'm feeling about this fact.  I've decided that if I have to leave my 20's, I'm going to do it with extremely good-looking hair.

I have always hated my hair.  I have a lot of it, but it's super fine and goes flat and ugly fast.  Because of that, I've had to keep my hair relatively short.  So, naturally, I've always been a little envious of my girlfriends who have long, flowing, beautiful hair.  I'm sure you can see why!!

Oh, beautiful hair!
More beautiful hair! 
I think this is the longest my hair has EVER been.


So, for my thirtieth (wow....that is hard to type!!) I'm thinking about asking for hair extensions.  The hard part of this decision is how to extend.  Braided?  Fusion?  Synthetic?  It seems like the options are endless.  I need some guidance.  I want them to look natural, but don't want to spend an arm and a leg in the process.  I've heard from some people that it can damage your hair??   HELP!!  Any experiences, suggestions, recommendations in the world of hair extensions are very much appreciated!!!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Three Decades

I was listening to some talk radio this week on the way home from work.  I honestly can't even remember what the topic of conversation was.  But whatever they were discussing, the host kept talking about how "three decades ago xyz happened."  Three decades ago this and three decades ago that.  I was semi-mentally involved in the topic, thinking, "Man!  Three decades is a long time!  This guy has a point!"

And then the host reminded me just how long three decades is.

THIRTY YEARS.

Holy Oldness!!!  I'm looking down the barrel of THREE DECADES!!!!

It is very possible that I had a panic attack right then and there.   And promptly thereafter switched radio stations.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tonight Calls for Ice Cream

These last few weeks have been stressful -- to say the least.  I found out a while back about some administrative internships opening up in my district.  Basically, this just means an assistant principal that gets paid like teacher.  I just finished a graduate degree in administration, so I was pumped to find this kind of opportunity in the middle of the school year.  I applied and then I prayed.  And I prayed.  And I prayed.

I've been learning a lot about consecration lately -- dying to self, giving up my rights.  And I just got a first-hand, real life learning experience.  In education, we say real world situations make for the best learning.  

I really wanted this job.  I mean, REALLY wanted this job.  But when I brought my request before the Lord, this is what I said to Him

                        Jesus, I want this job.  But what I want more than anything is Your will in my life. 
                       I give up my rights to this job.  I consecrate myself to You and to Your plan, even 
                       when that plan doesn't match my desires.


Let me just tell you, I had to pray that sucker about a hundred times a day.  And let me just say for the record that just because you give your desires to Him, just because you have sacrificed Your goals and aspirations for the glory of the cross....doesn't mean you don't still feel!  This is the proof of the nervousness I felt for the last couple of weeks.  Lovely, I know.


Cold sores don't help when you're stressed!


Friday was interview day and by 3:00 that afternoon, I still hadn't heard if I was getting an interview and I was pretty much devastated.  Thankfully at 3:30 I had a message that I had a 5:10 interview.  I jetted off to the interview, got asked every question EXCEPT the ones I had prepped and was off to the opera with my mom.

We have been waiting for what seems like forever for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts to finally be built and opened.  And it did not disappoint.  It is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!!!!



We saw Tourandot and it was wonderful!  I love going to operas and hearing arias that I recognize but didn't realize where they came from!  Like this one.  Skip to 2:40 on the video if you wanna hear the part you'll recognize.

We were in heaven, enjoying the beautiful venue for the first time!

In our seats.  I don't think there's a bad seat in the place! 
This is the inside.
After the second act.
I spent the rest of the weekend catching up at school and trying not to think about the big decision (that could affect the rest of my career!) that was coming on Monday.

Well.....today is Monday.  And after waiting the entire day, anxious with nerves.....I finally got the call.

I didn't get the job.

I'm gonna be honest.  I'm sad.  I stopped for Chipotle for dinner (the ultimate comfort food) and enjoyed a glass of wine.


I'm pretty sure I'll be going to get some ice cream tonight, too.  And here's the deal.  I totally trust the Lord.  I trust that if He wanted me in one of those jobs, I would be in one of those jobs.  I trust that He knows what He's doing.  But that doesn't mean I don't feel things.  I can still feel the heartbreak of rejection.  I can still feel the disappointment.

And let me tell you, I feel those things tonight!!  But what I know is more important than what I feel.  My feelings seem to change every second!  But I am standing firm on the knowledge that my Daddy in heaven knows what's best for me.  If He doesn't want me in that position, He must have something even better in store for me.  I trust that He's withholding the good to bless me with the great.

And I. Can't. Wait!!!  

He has a plan.  He's gonna work that plan out in my life, and I'm going to just hold on and enjoy the ride.  Broken hearts and all.

What I'd really love tonight is to hear when the Lord has withheld the good in your life to bless you with the great.  Please share!!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Type A

I am the epitome of Type A.  I am a perfectionist.  In fact, I take pride in my perfectionistic tendencies.


Uh oh.  The "p" word.  Pride.  


This week in my discipleship class we talked about consecration.  Now, if you're anything like me, you've heard that word thrown around in church a lot.  Part of the vocabulary in Christian-ese.  Here's what it means:


con·se·cra·tion [kon-si-krey-shuhn
     verb  
1.  the act of dying to oneself
2.  picking up your cross
3.  giving up your rights


Whatever I am willing to die for is what I am consecrated to.  In other words, where are my priorities?  Where do I spend my time?  What do I put above all else?  Well.....I can unequivocally say that I am currently consecrated to my job.  It is my priority.  Above all else.  Hmmmm.....sounds to me like my priorities are a little skewed here.  


Let's be honest.  Like I said before, I am a perfectionist.  I want my to-do list completely marked off every night before I leave work.  I want my lessons to be perfect.  I want my bulletin boards to be perfect.  I want my SMART board slides to be perfect.  


I. Like. Perfect.


Now, I can clothe this passion, this obsession with perfection at work in the "calling" that is education.  It's for my babies!  It's for the future of our country!  I am doing this for them!  And I genuinely, genuinely believe those things.  Hear me when I say this --  I am passionate about my job and the importance of it!!!!  It truly is a noble profession.  HOWEVER.....When it comes right down to the nitty gritty, this is nothing more than good, meaningful intention hidden among pride.  


Not only am I a perfectionist, but I'm a wee bit competitive.  (I'm also good at sarcasm.  "Wee bit" might have been an understatement.)  This school year I have a PHENOMENAL new teammate which pretty much rounds out our second grade team as the most perfectionistic (is that even a word?) teaching team on the face of the planet.  And we are good at what we do.  Here's where the competitive thing comes back to bite me.  


When my teammates have created some magnificent bulletin board or lesson plan or filing system (yes, even filing system), I feel a little bit bad about myself.  A little guilty for not having spent the time doing that myself.  A little less than.  Is this making any sense at all??


And so I give up another weekend to work at school.  I stay up late at night grading papers and making lesson plans instead of having my quiet time.  I skip the gym in the morning to get to school and finish that to-do list and try to stay one step ahead of the game.  But in the process, I have become consecrated to my job.  I have become consecrated to my pride.  Wow.  It really is too bad that the Lord sees my heart.  I'm so good at hiding these truths from the outside world!  


But here's the bottom line.  I am not going to die on the cross of room 103.  I am not going to die on the cross of perfectionism.  YES, I will continue to work my tail off at school because what I do every day means something and sometimes it means everything to a student.  


BUT......


We learned also that burnt offerings (sacrifices) were completely consumed in the fire.  NOTHING was left of them.  I will not be a living sacrifice to my job.  I will not be utterly consumed by a job that will always have a to-do list a mile long, a job that will always have new expectations and requirements and guidelines.  I will be a living sacrifice to the One and Only.  I want to be consumed by HIM.


The other part of being consecrated that spoke to me is giving up my rights.  Ouch.  If I'm honest, here are the rights I'm still holding on to.


I deserve to be married.
I deserve to have children.
I deserve to have a job that fulfills me.
I deserve to have my dreams fulfilled.


But the honest truth is that I don't deserve jack diggety dog anything good.  I deserve death.  For the wages of sin IS DEATH.  And, Lord knows, I am a sinner.  Saved by grace alone - the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  So I choose to be consecrated to my Savior.  I give up my rights to marriage and children and career and dreams.  I give up my rights to happiness when what I truly desire is holiness.  This in no way, shape or form means that I don't continue to desire those things.  But I sure as heck am not entitled to them.   Not my will, but HIS will be done.


Jesus, help me to let go of my pride.  Help me to put first things first.  You are my first and my last.  The beginning and the end.  Remind me of this daily.  I will die on the cross of Calvary with my Savior.  I will die to myself.  For whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will keep it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pictures


This is just me trying to get caught up on posting my pictures!  

China
A couple of weeks ago I had a party to thank the people who supported me financially and prayerfully in order to go to China.  It was SOOO much fun with tons of people.  Unfortunately, I was having so much fun talking with everyone that I forgot to take any pictures!!  The only pics that I got were beforehand.  These were my decorations...


For a party favor I made paper fortune cookies with the key Bible verses that the Lord used when telling me He wanted me to go to China.  They turned out super cute!



Labor Day Weekend
It's become somewhat of a tradition to go to the country where my mom is from on Labor Day weekend.  So we jump in the car and drive an hour south of Kansas City to my mom's family farm where my uncle and his wife live now.  

This is just a good 'ole country road. 

The view of the house from their gravel driveway.

My cousin Debby, me and my sister.

My aunt Ellen, my uncle's wife Carol and my mom.

My mom with her brother and sister.

It is also a tradition for my family to go to the Kansas City Symphony's Pops in the Park on Labor Day.  It's a super fun evening with the KC Symphony giving a concert outside.  We always pack a yummy picnic dinner and enjoy some beautiful music.  This year we also got to enjoy some beautiful weather!

My dad enjoyed the food.  :-)  We loved this picture!



Lots and lots of fellow concert goers...


I got a wee bit chilly....

And these two got a little too close for everyone else's comfort!  Our whole section was staring and whispering at the inappropriateness.  GET A ROOM!!!!  


 The Blakemans joined us again this year for the festivities.

What a fun weekend!!!