Monday, February 28, 2011

Prayer Monday

This week God has continuously brought something from Francis Chan's Crazy Love to mind:

"People who are obsessed with Jesus aren't consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God's kingdom coming to this earth than their own lives being shielded from pain or distress." (p. 88)

I can't tell you how many times I pray for God to keep people I love safe during the week. I really felt checked this week, though, to simply pray for God's will to be done in the lives of those who I started to pray safety over. I don't think it's wrong to pray for personal safety, but this week I have come to realize that I sometimes put safety above God's will when praying.

1. Tori made it through the funeral. She and her sisters are healing day by day. Thank you for your prayers. Please keep their family in your prayers as the healing continues.

2. My friend, Leonard got to come home this week.

3. Our Superintendent resigned. It may seem inappropriate to list this as a praise, but I honestly believe that it's simply God's will playing out.

Prayer Requests
1. Cairo School District. Continue to pray for God's will to be done. Today the board will meet to discuss possibly laying off more teachers. I have no idea what is going to become of this district, but I really do believe that God's way is the best way. Please pray to that end.

2. My Precious

3. Please pray that I would be more disciplined both physically and spiritually - that my body would cooperate with my physical discipline efforts and that my mind and spirit would cooperate with my spiritual discipline efforts.
4. Bible Study begins this week. Pray for Crystal as she facilitates and leads.
My Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you for Your mercy and grace. Thank you for checking our spirits and giving us to chance to continually grow in You. Thank You for never giving up on us. God, bless each one taking part in this prayer circle this week. May this ministry continue to grow. Grant us the strength, wisdom and encouragement we will need to make it through this week.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'm On a Roll

So, I've had a little too much time on my hands this afternoon and I've discovered a ton of DIY style sites. I found a LOT of people that I want to be like when I grow up. My Precious is a little worried (he didn't say it, but I can tell - hehe). I need a few tools: staple gun, sander, spray painter (all very technical terms here), a sewing machine (even though I don't know how to sew - however, I DID make my own tree skirt for the Christmas tree using mom's machine and guidance.

This is going to be the next small project I attempt, I think:

You seriously need to go and check it out. I LOVE all things organization, so these storage baskets are right up my ally.

The next big project is going to be reupholstering a chair from mom and dad's shop.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Low Tolerance - Filter Broken

Today is one of "those days". You know the kind of day I am talking about - the days where almost everything makes you crazy and it's a really short trip. This day cannot be over soon enough.  Days like today are good birth control. I don't believe the "when you have your own it will be different" garbage. The only way it will be different is I can actually punish my own children where the public school system ties your hands to a point where you have very few options. Even our In-School Suspension teacher called in sick today and since no one wants to sub here, those students are in class. Yippee Skippee.

Good news today? Our Superintendent resigned last night. Good news for everyone else - I think he's "retiring" so no one else will have to endure what Cairo School District has on his watch. That is most certainly an answer to prayer.

Tonight, My Precious and I are going to celebrate his dad's bday. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Did you know there is a National Day of pretty much everything in the universe? February 23 happens to be National Inconvenience Yourself Day...when was the last time you were inconvenienced?

I am tempted to say every single day that I have to go to work I am inconvenienced by having to get out of bed. I am sometimes inconvenienced by having to go to Wal-Mart for the 5th time in a week. I am really working on trying to see every moment as an opportunity for something more, but I feel really inconvenienced when City Hall, the Post Office and other government agencies close before I can get sucks to have to take off work to run errands at these places.

2. When a room in your house needs painting who does the job?

umm...haven't had this problem yet. I don't like to paint, but I can, so probably Precious and I because I'm certainly not doing it alone!

3. Are you friends with your cousins?

Yep. I am closest to my cousin Shawn, though.

4. Do you use an alarm clock? If yes-is it an actual alarm, music, or something else?

For the last 2 weeks I have been too lazy to dig my ipod out of my purse to put on the iHome clock, so it's been a nice "eh, eh, eh, eh" sound, but I would prefer music.

5. What do you put ketchup on?

French Fries, sometimes, but I'm really just a plain kind of girl.
6. What smells make you nostalgic?

Cookies baking in the oven. My granny used to bake cookies and I LOVED helping her! The smell sort of makes me long to have a few of those days back.

7. Have you heard about the high school English teacher recently suspended as a result of some things she wrote in her personal blog? You can read the story here but in a nutshell she vented a lot of frustration onto her blog. She didn't mention individual students by name but she did make some harsh comments about kids in general and their parents.

What are your thoughts-If you're a parent is your child's teacher online and are you 'friend' or 'follower' there? If you're a teacher are you on facebook and do you accept or friend students on fb? How about their parents? If you're a student are you friends with your current or former teachers online? Do any of them have blogs you read? If you're a teacher or a parent do you ever use your blog as a place to vent your frustrations with our educational system? So much to discuss...

WOW! This is a lot. I am a teacher. I teach music is a public school. I also own my own voice studio where I teach privately. I don't accept student or parent FB requests from my public school students. My voice studio students and parents, however, I do add. I have vented some frustrations on my blog regarding issues at school. This seems absurd to me, but I know it happens.

My favorite thing from the article? Things she wishes she could put on student evaluations: "I hear the trash company is hiring"; "I called out sick a couple of days just to avoid your son"; and "Just as bad as his sibling. Don't you know how to raise kids?"

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Why is it that weekends take so long to come around and then go by so fast? It's only Wednesday and I want it to be Saturday so badly, but when Saturday gets here, I'll blink my eyes and Monday will be here again. NOT FAIR!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Household Tips - How to Get a Sparkling Clean Bathroom and Kitchen

I have decided to share things that I find in hopes of it helping others. I like some of the ideas they have and I would've never thought of some of them. Happy cleaning. (umm...yeah, right!)

How to Get a Sparkling Clean Bathroom

How to Get a Sparkling Clean Kitchen

Prayer Mondays

So, my friend, Crys has started Prayer Mondays. It's pretty simple. You offer your requests and a prayer for the week then link up. You pray for the requests of others. Others pray for your requests. Fabulous idea. I strongly encourage you to join Prayer Mondays.

So, I sat through the same sermon Crys did Sunday morning - if you read her blog some of this may sound familiar, but it's going to tie into a prayer request so stay with me. The scripture was Ephesians 5:15-17: "So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don't live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

Sometimes I step without that step being ordered. Perhaps its out of impatience, or my ADD which leaves me feeling like I need to be "doing" something, but regardless, I need to work on this. I don't always feel as though I make the most of every chance I get - sometimes because I'm so busy that I don't see it as a 'chance' for anything. I feel like because of this I often do live 'unthinkingly' and don't really understand what God wants.

My requests:
1. Cairo School District. Please pray for God's will to be done in the day-to-day as well as the future of the schools.

2. Leonard Sadler, a veteran that I go to church with is really ill. Please pray for God to heal his body and give his wife strength.

3. My Precious (which is what Ronnie wants to be referred to on this blog from now on - weirdo!)

4. Please pray that regardless of my schedule that I will get better at this watching my step, using my head, making the most of every chance I get stuff...

**5. My 'sister' Tori - we've adopted her (We frequent a local diner. She is a daughter to the owner. They're catering mine and Precious' wedding). Her dad passed away yesterday. Please pray for her and her sisters in this time of loss

Prayer for the week:
Father, You are truly an amazing God. Your love, mercy and grace know no limits. Thank You for being much bigger than we could ever imagine. This week, as life happens, help me to be constantly aware of Your presence - from the time that I wake up until the time that I fall asleep. Help me to know when to stand still, when to move, when to be quiet and when to speak. I don't want to live unthinkingly this week. Show me Your will in every aspect of my life. Guide me as I make choices and decisions that will ultimately affect Kingdom business.

**added after inital posting

Friday, February 18, 2011

3 Day Weekend - Randomness

I took a half-day off of work to go with mom to the doctor. So, I guess I actually have a 3 1/2 day weekend (even better). What do I intend to do with my time? Currently, my only definite plan - sleep and go out with other old people tomorrow night. I have a ton of stuff that I need to do, but I'm simply not motivated to do any of them.

Taxes are done and mailed. Thank goodness.

A cute story for you: A kindergarten teacher said to a student, "You have issues." Another child says, "New shoes! Who has new shoes?". No kidding. It actually happened and it was funny!

I'm going to win the HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes. They won't ambush me until March sometime, but I'm going to win. (NOTE: if someone really were to show up, I'd probably pee my pants and go into cardiac arrest)

Weighing In
I promised Crystal that I would weigh in every morning. UGH! I hate that stupid scale. I also hate the fact that my will power sucks and is practically non-existent. One day at a time. That's my new motto. The scale definitely explains the reason my size smaller jeans now cut off my circulation and make it difficult to breathe. So, I'm jumping back on the wagon that I fell off of a couple months ago. However, if you see me with a cookie, or a piece of chocolate it's probably been a rough day. Don't try to take it away (that would be a very bad idea - just sayin').

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Album Alert - Christopher Jackson - In the Name of Love

My friend Chris Jackson just released a new album and you can download it on iTunes. Give it a listen. If you have iTunes on your computer, just click on the album cover here.
Chris Jackson Celebrates "In the Name of Love" R&B Album Release With NYC Concert Feb. 15

And here's yesterday's Playbill article on the release.

So happy for you, Chris - even crazy dreams come true!

Monday, February 14, 2011

100 - It Better Be Good

So, for my 100th post I thought I would share some goodies.

The first 2 come from Paula Deen's site: Corrie's Kitchen Spa has a few other spa recipies you may be interested in, as well.

Lemon Facial Refresher

A perfect facial refresher in the summer at the beach or winter to
close your eyes and think of the beach.
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 8 hours 10 min
Difficulty: Easy


2 cups water
1 vitamin C tablet
Peels from 2 lemons
4 (4 oz.) plastic spray bottles


In a small sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add vitamin C tablet and stir until dissolved. In a medium glass bowl, add the lemon peel. Pour the hot water over the lemon peel and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to steep overnight on the counter. Pour mixture into four (4 oz.) plastic spray bottles, removing all but one piece of the lemon peel in each bottle.

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

An invigorating exfoliator made in your kitchen for pennies compared to spa brands and will leave your skin glowing.
Servings: Yields a 14 oz. container
Prep Time: 10 min
Difficulty: Easy


1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, can substitute Sweetened Almond Oil or Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Vitamin E (cut open Vitamin E liquid gel caps)
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract , optional (or your favorite citrus essential oil)
1 tablespoon honey, optional for dry skin


In a medium mixing bowl, combine oil, vitamin E and vanilla.
Add the brown sugar and mix well. 
To Use: In the shower, apply Corrie’s Brown Sugar Body Scrub into skin and rinse.
Can be used daily. 
Corrie’s Note: Please be aware that oils can make the shower and bath surfaces very slippery.

Apple-Butter Pecan Dump Cake
(at least that's what we're calling it...)

Dump 2 cans of apple pie filling into a 9x13 dish. Spread evenly in pan. Dump a package of butter pecan cake mix on top of the apple pie filling. Use a fork to break up any clumps and even out the cake mix. Cut 1 stick of butter into small pats and place them on top of the dry mix. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. So yummy and so easy. Enjoy!

Share your favorite recipies. I'm always looking for something easy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Snow Day Update and Weekend Plans

So, we got out early Wednesday. Mom and I made homeade Chicken Pot Pie for dinner. It was SO yummy! I also made whole-grain Chocolate Chunk Muffins (yummy, as well). I was able to get caught up on a lot of things, including sleep. I did a couple of wedding things and then had a 'lazy night' at the Mays' house.

Today I am so thankful that it is Friday. It's kind of hard to get in gear, though, when you haven't really had school all week long. The kids are mad because they are right in the middle of 3 schools that are still closed today. Truth be told - we're here because they want to be able to play ball tonight. So, they've pretty much had a free day with me.

Tonight. What shall I do tonight? Not really sure, but staying home is sounding more and more appealing. Tomorrow night is "old people night" a/k/a "Branson night" a/k/a "a night with crys x 2" - we have reservations at this really awesome restaurant in our small town. (Note: if you're ever in Anna for dinner, check out Brick House Grill on Main Street - just a few doors down from my studio.)

I am not really sure what else this weekend will bring - hopefully I'll get to see Kate...haven't seen her in almost 2 weeks! Other than that, I'm pretty much good with whatever. I'm just glad it's Friday!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Meridian dismissed at 10AM.
Century dismissed at 11AM or 11:30AM
Egyptian dismissed at 11AM or 11:30AM

Anna, Vienna, Cobden and EVERY OTHER SCHOOL in So. IL dismissed by noon.

Cairo gets 4" - the most on the totals map and we're told to enjoy the view from inside because we aren't dismissing. The roads were so bad that it took me almost an hour to drive what normally takes 20-25 minutes when we finally dismissed at 1PM!!!!!!!!!!  I am pretty sure that someone other than our Superintendent made the decision to call it off, though. You see, he's from Chicago and seems to think that we have the same man power and snow removal equipment that they do in Chi-town! Rest assured...NOT THE CASE. He's lived commuted here for 4 friggin' years. You would think that he would know this by now.

Today I was told that he locked himself in his office and refused to take phone calls or visitors. He was upset because someone "went over his head" on Monday to keep the buses off the road. Power trip? It sure sounds that way. I didn't call his office, so I can't tell you for certain what was happening, but I can tell you that we had kids on buses and kids walking on roads unfit for travel all because someone didn't do their job! Bravo, CSD Administration. Way to care about the safety of your students and staff.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A CRAZY kind of LOVE

So, I've been reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan again. I could seriously read some books over and over (and probably need to for them to really sink in). Last night I started thinking about how much we focus on what's in front of us - temporary things that could be here today and gone tomorrow. I have had 2 house fires in my life (once when I was 5 and again when I was in college). You would think that I could stop collecting crap, but I just accumulate so many THINGS through the years. We work and work so that we can buy more things while there are so many people in the world (in our own communities) who have so little. In a world where 'the kid with the most toys wins', it's a little difficult to keep things in perspective and to remember that sometimes less really IS more.

I have always said that the way you live your life indicates what your priorities are. You will spend time doing things that are important to you. You will make time for the people who are important to you - this includes God. Is He a priority? Are you obsessed with Him? As I was reading last night a few things just stood out to me that I thought I would share with you. These 13 things have really pricked my heart. I want to be this kind of obsessed!

"People who are obsessed with Jesus give freely and openly, without censure. Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back." (p. 87-88)

"People who are obsessed with Jesus aren't consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God's kingdom coming to this earth than their own lives being shielded from pain or distress." (p. 88)

"People who are obsessed with Jesus live lives that connect them with the poor in some way or another. Obsessed people believe that Jesus talked about money and the poor so often because it was really important to Him." (p. 89)

"Obsessed people are more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected or fulfilling the status quo. A person who is obsessed with Jesus will do things that don't always make sense in terms of success or wealth on this earth." (p. 89-90)

"A person who is obsessed with Jesus know that the sin of pride is always a battle. Obsessed people know that you can never be "humble enough, " and so they seek to make themselves less known and Christ more known." (p. 91)

"People who are obsessed with Jesus do not consider service a burden. Obsessed people take joy in loving God by loving His people." (p. 91)

"People who are obsessed with God are knowns as givers, no takers. Obsessed people genuinely think that others matter as much as they do, and they are particularly aware of those who are poor around the world." (p. 92)

"A person who is obsessed thinks about heaven frequently. Obsessed people orient their lives around eternity; they are not fixed only on what is here in front of them." (p. 93)

"A person who is obsessed is characterized by committed, settled, passionate love for God, above and before every other thing and every other being." (p. 94)

"People who are obsessed are raw with God; they do not attempt to mask the ugliness of their sins or their failures. Obsessed people don't put it on for God; He is their safe place, where they can be at peace." (p. 94)

"People who are obsessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by God's Word throughout the day because they know that forty minutes on Sunday is not enough to sustain them for a whole week, especially when they will encounter so many distractions and alternative messages." (p. 95)

"A person who is obsessed with Jesus is more concerned with his or her character than comfort. Obsessed people know that true joy doesn't depend on circumstances or environment; it is a gift that must be chosen and cultivated, a gift that ultimately comes from God." (p. 95)

"A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do is be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of his life, continually saying "Thank You!" to God. An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is always trying to pay God back or work hard enough to be worthy. He revels in his role as a child and friend of God." (p. 96)

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Birthday Celebration and Musical Chairs

Ronnie turns 33 tomorrow. (He will be older than me for 3 months and 10 days! Ha!) He and I are celebrating tonight...going to dinner and doing a little shopping. His brother is coming home this weekend so I think we are having a 'family' celebration of sorts on Saturday night. (Hey Crystal...I'm keeping my phone on. Just call when you get tired of wedding festivities and I'll let you know where we are...use the bday 'party' as a way of getting out early!)

They say we are getting a little snow tonight. I like snow, but I would like it more if it would come during the week and dump enough to get me out of school for a day or 10! My kids are NUTS right now! They can't go outside to run off the energy because it's too flippin' cold. Yesterday, in my 5th grade class we opted for a game of musical chairs. Just let me say that I was NOT prepared for their energy level. It was an intense round of musical chairs. Their desks are set up in a 'U' shape, so we just turned chairs around to face outward and added and extra row on the empty side. Each time instead of taking a chair out, we turned in to face inward. It was really fun when there were only 2 chairs left...on opposite sides of the room. They were jogging around the room. When the music stopped, one of the boys jumped a desk to the center or the room, ran and slid across another desk and into the empty chair. Can we say parkour? It was awesome! The 5th grade teacher was grateful because they needed to use up some of their energy, but apparently the 1st grade class below us was having a difficult time concentrating. Oops!

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