A day in the life… Sort of

I don’t have a normal Monday-Friday 8-5 kind of job. So when it comes to writing a post about my typical day, I struggle. I work 8 days on and then have 4 days off. But for the 8 days on I’m split between two different cottages of kids. This past year was 4 days with girls and then 4 days with boys, but last month they pulled me from my girls cottage and put me with another boys cottage to help fill a gap since we are short-staffed. But each cottage has a different schedule and routine. They typically involve the same things just different times or ways of doing it. Then you throw in whether it’s summer when the kids are home, or during school, or even a weekend and the day is completely different as well… So all that complicated mess to say this is what most school days consist of, but it vary’s so much I can’t say it’s typical

5:50 am Wake up, breakfast and devotion with the jr high and high school boys

img_9888
6:20 They leave for the bus. I get some chill time till about 6:45 when I make sure the elementary school boys are awake. We do breakfast and devotion about 7:10img_9891

7:40 They get on the bus and I then take my dog for a 45-60 minute walkimg_9917

After that it’s time to get ready myself. Sometimes I’ll have training, meetings, kids doctor appointments. Occasionally I’ll get to take a nap for a bit, or catch up on a show. It all just depends on the day

img_9921
12:00 Usually at least once a week I’ll get to meet a friend in town for lunch. I cherish these time as we talk Jesus, life, and encourage each other. 8 days straight gets long if you don’t get time to recharge.

img_9920 img_9923
1:00-2:45 Generally I’ll go to the office and turn in paperwork or pick up things, check the mail, talk to people in there, etc. I also try to walk my dog again and play with her some before the boys get home. Also during this time I plan out what I’m going to make for dinner… I used to be good about planning that out in the morning but it’s been crazy lately and I haven’t been able to.

fullsizerender-1 img_9926
3:15-7:00 This is study hour, tutoring if they need it, counseling appointments, dinner, and chores. I tried to remember to take pictures during this time but it’s kinda just a busy time that I forgot and couldn’t. I’m helping kids with homework, cooking, making sure the ones done with homework aren’t getting into trouble, etc.

img_9892
7:00 If there is time after dinner and chores before their bed times we have free time. Sometimes we play outside or go to our gym. But lately the obsession has been playing a card game called Indian booty scratcher, or also known as egyptian rat screw. I taught this game to them a one weekend a few months back when all of them had lost electronic privileges for a few days, and they all loved it so much when they got their electronic privileges back they still wanted to keep playing the card game. So now we’ll go through phases where we play a lot and then we won’t play for a long time, just depends.

fullsizerender-3
8:00-9:00 Things start to settle down, the boys are in their rooms showering and heading to bed. A few of the younger ones ask me to read to them, so we’ve been going through the chronicles of Narnia. By 9:00 the lights are all out and I’m able to go walk my dog and settle down for the night myself. I catch up on text messages, emails, occasional blogging, etc. Then I head to bed myself since I gotta be up early to start over again.

 

Joyful joyful we adore thee

I’m a pretty non-committal person. Ask me my favorite anything and I’d be pretty hard pressed to just pick one! So ask me to name five things that bring me joy; I think I can do that! So here goes… These aren’t in any particular order.

10473569_10100696189038691_6944794604458459423_o

  1. My dog when she is covered in mud. My dog loves to play in puddles and the mud. Even more so when she’s chasing a bug through puddles or mud. Most people think I’m crazy for allowing my white dog to do these things… But you know what… I find great joy in allowing her to have fun. If you were to ever see her play you would allow it too!
  2. 92E8F187-B7C0-4B42-9D72-A2742E75AD4FChanging my hair style and color… For the first 23 years of my life I had the same style and color. I ventured away once on style and hated it. I was a tomboy and all I wanted to do with my hair was put it in a ponytail. So when I got the first taste of changing my style at 23 years old it was so good. I needed more.. Now I want to change it all the time! But for now it’s growing out… I do however want it more blond than it is, which will be remedied soon.
  3. 012AE39E-753C-4762-9A2B-500F1B70B262My amazing kids and the awesome times that we have… Yes there are really rough times too. But even through those times they still bring me great joy. I am so incredibly thankful the Lord brought me to this job and allows me to be apart of these young men and women’s lives!
  4. 0BB1DFE2-9800-470F-96EB-C50B5BC4A702Studying God’s word. It’s so good, you learn so much, there are so many parallels, there is just so much good stuff. The above studies are just ones I’ve done fairly recently. But even just studying on my own is awesome too!1979585_10100704391905081_4143928483009761213_n
  5. Anything to do with traveling. Road trips, flights, train rides, etc. I have the disease called wanderlust. And it brings me great joy to travel. So I try to do it fairly often. I have discovered that there is such thing as too much travel for me however. So I’m trying to find the balance.

Songs I’m Loving right now!

I’m the type of person to find a song I like and then want to hear it 80 million times in a row. I haven’t updated my iTunes account in a while so I haven’t been able to buy any of these songs yet… Probably why I still like them… I do rock out every time I hear them on the radio though!

  1. Your love is fierce– by Jesus Culture. I can’t get enough of this song and it’s message. Also pondering how to fiercely love others!
  2. Can’t stop the feeling– by Justin Timberlake. This was my summer jam… Last summer was shut up and dance with me.. This summer it’s good ol’ JT! how can you not just dance to this song!
  3. My victory– by David Crowder. That bridge though! “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away our sin who takes away our sin, the Holy Lamb of God makes us alive again, makes us alive again”
  4. Magnify– by We are Messengers. Their sound is unique and I just like it
  5. Eye of the Storm– by Ryan Stevenson “When my hopes and dreams are far from me and I’m running out of faith, I see the future I pictured slowly slip away and when the tears of pain and heartache are pouring down my face I find my peace in Jesus name” been my anthem recently… not that it was anything serious that happened but still.
  6. O come to the Alter– Elevation Worship

There are probably lots more I can add to this list.. But I’ll stop there… How bout y’all any of these on your list too?

2016 myspace survey

Anyone remember filling out myspace survey’s and posting them to the boards?? And all the drama that was filled in them? Ohhh the days of jr high and high school! I certainly don’t miss the drama. But I love me some survey’s!

Reading… currently just the Bible, specifically Joshua and Psalms. I can only read other books on vacation because I get too involved in them and can’t put them down to take care of my responsibilities
Playing… with my puppy dog!
Watching… Bachelor in Paradise… Also I binge watched the last 7 episodes of Limitless this week. Can’t wait till NCIS starts!
Trying… to adjust to my boys being in school again and the routine that comes with that.
Cooking… I created a casserole the other day… The boys liked it, so that’s a plus… Cooking for 8 teenage boys is a challenge sometime.. Any recipes y’all wanna throw at me I’d appreciate it
Eating… everything bad… Yikes.. Need to get my act together
Drinking… Water and sweet tea. I can’t get enough of sweet tea lately.
Calling… my boys names over and over because they are on the struggle bus with following instructions
Pinning… fun stuff.. Lol jk really nothing
Tweeting… instagram pictures… that’s all I tweet… TBH I don’t even have twitter on my phone
Going… insane… wait I was already there…
Loving… watching the Lord work through me and others here to change the culture at my work
Hating… sin… I know that sounds like a cop-out.. But really it causes so much brokenness and my kids are suffering from that brokenness and I hate it. Because I can’t take it away
Thinking… about too many things to list.. Trips, work, co-workers, life, my boys, my family, etc
Feeling… excited for changes at work, excited for new partnerships, excited for new babies in my friends lives, appreciated, valued, and loved
Hoping (for)… answered prayers!
Listening (to)… Fierce by Jesus Culture.. Soooo good… “you cannot fail, the only thing I’ve found, is through it all, you never let me down, you don’t hold back, relentless in pursuit, at every turn, I come face to face with you” Man oh man. That is my prayer for every person! To know that God!
Celebrating… the birth of lots of friends babies!
Smelling… stinky boy… Guess that’s what I get for having 8 teenage boys
Ordering… plane tickets… I know that’s more buying not ordering but still
Thanking… friends for their constant support and encouragement. For relationships that spur me on to more love and good works
Considering… What being a peacemaker, and bringing Godly wisdom into situations looks likes
Starting… to try adjusting to new boundaries.
Finishing… paperwork… have to finish paperwork

Summer time fun!

Even though the weather in Texas doesn’t think summer is over, which I love, here are some of the fun things that happened this summer!

13735807_10100855011781641_4938296332204202869_oI got my first ever pair of chacos! And I’m totally in love with them! Definitely my favorite shoe and probably 6 out of 7 days of the week you’ll find them on my feet!
13765879_10100858713613141_2109603604356486558_oCottage vacation with my boys was a blast again this year! This was day one. I just love these boys and am so glad I got to go with them.
13734880_10100859974805701_7226359649538485635_oI forget which day this was but it was also a good day. We had some of the girls from another cottage join us since they were doing well and the other girls in their cottage were not.
13909382_10100866382434761_8114446564461367213_oLast year I got to go on my girls full vacation. This year because we are short-staffed I only got to join them for two days. But we made the most of two days and I’m thankful I got to join them for those two days as well.
13937819_10100868776881271_468715377370111279_oYes I went to see wicked! It is one of my favorite musicals. And I’ve been wanting to see it again for so long! I’m excited they are finally making a movie out of it!
IMG_9640Got to go to Orlando again this year and lay by the pool! Most people think we are crazy for being so close to Disney world and not going to it! But when you just want to relax you don’t really care about anything else. Some day I’ll get to Disney world, and harry potter world… But this trip was some much-needed R&R
IMG_9649In Orlando there is a restaurant called Hash House A Go Go. And they have pancakes that are as big as your torso… No joke. Last year my friend Jamie and I each got our own snickers pancakes and learned our lesson. So this year we split one… And then we realized we had batman left over… Also yes it was gluten filled, and yes the pain and sickness were so worth it! Snickers pancakes will always be worth the pain!

Tidbit Tuesday #1- Such A Time As This

As many of you know there is a lot going on at my work right now. As I’ve been praying for God’s hand to be on this place, and for our hearts to be changed, I’ve also been praying for God to show me ways to encourage others and help in this crazy time. And God has faithfully been answering these prayers. The last few Sunday’s at church there have been sermons, or sunday school lessons that just fit the circumstances out here so well that I can’t help but share. So while I know it’s perfect for here, I can’t help but think someone else might need to hear these encouragements too. So I figured I would post the email’s I send here so others can be encouraged too! Obviously you’ll have to change the circumstances in the last paragraph to fit where you are in life but it still fits!

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

As I sat in Sunday school this week and listened to the lesson I couldn’t help but think it was another fitting message for this season here. So I thought I would share with y’all again.

The lesson was out of Esther 4. The backstory is that Esther is a Jew who was chosen by the king to be queen without her heritage being known. One of the king’s officials, Haman, made a law that everyone in the kingdom needed to bow down to himself. He got the king to sign off on it and he went around getting people to bow down to him. However when he came to Mordecai, who is Esther’s uncle who raised her, and a Jew, he refused. This made Haman upset so he went to the king and said hey these Jews won’t bow down to me and won’t follow your laws so I’ll pay to have them all killed if you just say ok. Of course the king said ok. And that brings us to the beginning of chapter 4 where Mordecai finds out about this plot to kill all the Jews, and he immediately goes into mourning. Esther hears of his mourning and sends word to see if he’s ok. He sends message back that all the Jews were going to be killed, and that she needed to go before the King to plead for their lives. Esther sends a word back that she can’t do that or she will die. Mordecai sends a word back explaining that she is basically dead either way and then says the verse that’s quoted above. Esther agrees but instructs Mordecai to gather all the Jews to fast and pray on her behalf.

The thing that struck me the most while listening was the fact that Mordecai brings attention to the fact that maybe Esther was the queen for such a time as this. That God knew this was going to happen and He wanted to use Esther to help save His people. She only had to be willing to step out and trust in him.

As I thought of that I was reminded that God has each one of us here for a reason. We all bring different things to the table, we all minister to the kids in a different way. When staff comes and goes things change, they shift. Or when kids come and go things shift and change. It’s easy to get caught up in the unfairness or in the fact that it’s hard.  But I know that God isn’t surprised by any of it. And I can’t help but wonder every time if these changes are for our own, or the kids own “such a time as this.” That maybe God has a reason, a plan, something he is doing with it. So as we move forward let’s remember and trust the God knows what he’s doing and He wants to use us in these kids’ lives, we only have to let Him.

When you miss your best friend…

I’m a bit behind on blogging about trips I’ve taken lately… In order to catch up I gotta take y’all back to September of last year.

You see I was missing Lydia big time. So I started looking at plane tickets to Washington. Found some good flights for October and was texting Lydia about it. It didn’t end up working out for October. But when October hit I knew I needed to get up there.. So I booked some tickets for November. Yes that meant I would go to Washington and then shortly after head to Cali for thanksgiving but I didn’t care. I needed to go!

We didn’t do much while I was there… It was cold, so I spent most of my time under a heated blanket turned on high with Daphne in my lap. But it was nice. So here are some pictures from the trip.

IMG_5824 IMG_5825 IMG_5826 IMG_5836 IMG_5851 IMG_5871

Memorial Day 2014

So I’m a little bit behind on blogging yet again… Surprise Surprise. Memorial day weekend was awhile ago yes I know. But I finally have some time to blog about it!

So the weekend consisted of packing and moving out of the apartment. Boring I know…. But Lydia and I made up for that on Monday when we took a quick road trip down to San Antonio to hang out with some friends for the day. It was supposed to storm all day long so we went out to eat lunch. I don’t remember the restaurant name but it was a little mom and pop mexican restaurant. And it was dang good! After living in Texas for almost 4 years I finally found a restaurant salsa that I actually like.

After lunch we decided it looked like it was clearing up so we decided to chance going to Sea World. I haven’t been to Sea World since I was in high school and it was the one in San Diego. The day ended up being perfect! It wasn’t too hot and because of the rain it wasn’t packed. So there were no lines for the rides and all the shows we got great seating! We were at the park all afternoon and until it closed. We rode some water rides in the middle of the afternoon and were still wet when we left… So on the way home we stopped by Wal-Mart to get some dry clothes. Definitely a sign of a good day!

DSC06327 DSC06350IMG_3907IMG_3910IMG_3930IMG_3940IMG_3943IMG_3972DSC06412IMG_3997

May… Where Did You Go

To be completely honest… I’m not quite sure where the month of May went. Nor do I remember much of what happened in May. It’s been one of those months where most days I felt like I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. There’s two parts that have fed into this…

Let’s start with the m-word… Moving… Moving from one place to another stinks… But moving from 2 places into 1… Well it lets just say I don’t wish it on anyone. I became primary in a cottage, which is awesome, and I’m real excited about it. But it meant moving from my room in the other cottage I work in to the single quarters in the cottage I’m primary in. My roommate and I also decided to break out lease this month and we had to be out by the 30th. I still had most of my stuff at the apartment. So it became moving from two places into one. Not fun. Not easy. And in the midst of everything else just a little stressful since I didn’t really have a chance to unpack until this week.

Part of the stress came from the fact that the apartment had become home. It was the longest I had lived in any one place since I transferred to Multnomah my 2nd year in college. It was somewhere I settled down, unpacked everything, and had made it a sanctuary. So many great memories in that apartment. With Lydia, tons with her, our neighbor and friend Rob, and other friends.

The second part is the w-word… Work… My co-worker and I had our practice evaluation on the 20th. So we spent every shift we had in that cottage preparing for it. Cleaning, organizing, decorating, working with the boys, just doing everything possible. So in the midst of moving I was also preparing for this… Kinda double whammy. Also there were other frustrations at work that came on during this month. Nothing serious just the result of working with people in general. It’s just been hectic.

I sit here tonight on the last day of May, not knowing where the month went… But glad that it’s over.

It Happened…

Many of my friends in P-town and here in Texas love the band Needtobreathe. But me, I don’t really like them. I’m just not a fan… Couldn’t really tell you why. It just is a fact… One of my friends here in Texas told me one day I would like them, that one day I would like “good” music. I would always just laugh it off and say ya uh-huh.

But then the other day as I was driving a new song I hadn’t heard before came on the radio… And I found myself liking it, but I knew it sounded like Needtobreathe. So of course I used my soundhound app to see who it was by… And sure enough it was by them. I tried real hard to stop liking the song… I just couldn’t do it, I liked it too much… So yes my friends I finally like a Needtobreathe song *sigh*.