They are my rock. They push me to be better. They stand by me in prayer. They laugh at my quirky love for sugar. They enjoy reading. They have a passion for spreading the love of Jesus.
They are women of God that I am blessed to learn and grow with.
And over the past few years, life has thrown a lot at these ladies to grow through. Heartaches, pain, joy, fear. You name it. Within this group there has been: a messy divorce, the loss of a newborn baby, surviving colon cancer, a premature baby, emotional abuse, and a miscarriage.
But those are not the things that define them.
They are daughters of God.
That is who they are. That is the truth that we stand on daily. We are not perfect, nor do we claim to even have it all together most days. Oh, boy, some days are really bad. But we can rest in the assurance that God is full of patience and grace and mercy. And even though we mess it up daily, He loves us anyway.
Recently I had a falling out with a friend from college. She’s chosen an alternate lifestyle and turned away from God. I reached out to her after over a year of not talking and she said she was not interested in my friendship anymore. She said I made her feel judged and it caused her to change her faith. It cut deep.
But on that same day, God made it clear that even though it was painful to lose a friend, He had brought me a new tribe to fill that space. And not just any friends, a tribe of women with the same values. The same day that I was crying over the loss of my friend was the same day that these 4 women went on a weekend women’s retreat to really seek God through an online women’s conference.
I don’t think so.
I wanted to go with them, but my teaching schedule wouldn’t allow me, so they trekked on without me. When I finished teaching that first night, they actually video called me to talk about what they had watched. We were able to talk about ways God was moving in our lives and things that really touched us in the first session. It was so refreshing.
As proverbs says, iron sharpens iron. I am happy to be be part of a tribe that pushes each other and holds each other accountable. To encourage me to work to be the best Mom, wife, sister, daughter, teacher and friend that I can be.
Years ago, when Tim and I were in college, we went on a choir tour overseas. We visited Iceland, Norway and Sweden and sang in some truly breathtaking locations. We have very fond memories of that tour.
One of the very memorable things was the elaborate breakfasts they served. I remember eating a LOT at breakfast. Partly because it was the only free meal of our day and the rest we had to pay for… but also because it was so delicious.
The breakfast display was chocked full of:
All kinds of breads
Jellies, jams and marmalades
fruits of all kinds
coffee, teas, juices and sparkling juices
See? What is there not to love?
I told the kids about it the other day and they exclaimed that they wanted to have it too! So, we created what we loving call our “Swedish Mix” breakfast. It consists of an apple thinly sliced, yogurt (or cheese stick) and toast with raspberry jam.
Josiah is playing in flag football again this Spring. He had his first practice/game this past weekend. He is totally in his element.
Maddie and I came along to cheer him on. Well, cheer him on and hang out with our friends. Maddie ran around with her Bestie (Makaiya) and I talked with a few of my friends. Don’t worry, we also cheered for Josiah–who had an excellent game.
Now, if it would just warm up a little more it would be more enjoyable for us on the sidelines. 😉
It was partially drizzling, but we decided to walk around the village anyway. We had a blast looking in the windows and enjoying the unique look of the buildings. It was the highlight of almost everyone’s week!
Whoa, how has it already been so long since I posted?!
Last week was our Spring Break, so I took the week off of teaching and just hung out with the kids. We didn’t do anything dramatically interesting, but we all had a great week nonetheless. Here is a short recap of our fun:
Sunday: Easter Sunday! We were at church early then enjoyed a family lunch with the Bakers and Jen / Easter egg hunt outside (we managed to lose one egg again this year) / I made a delicious smores dessert out of peeps.
Here we are on Sunday morning at church–we were tired!
Monday: Chloe had a sleepover at her cousins house / Cleaned / Tim made homemade hamburgers with Josiah / rented the movie Smallfoot (which it turns out we really love)
I also had time to sit and really work on my bible study and books I’m reading without feeling the pressure of needing to get to my next thing. I really spread out and savored it…
Tuesday: Cleaned basement and organized toys / watched Smallfoot again (I told you we liked it!) / Josiah went on a bike ride with his friends / made popovers with Chloe / Played chess against both C & J
Wednesday: Cleaned and organized girls room / made homemade cheese ravioli from scratch / learned how to play a new card came called “Gonuts for Donuts” / Chloe had youth group and an epic nerf gun war
Thursday: Day trip down to Owatonna to drop off some special gifts to Stacy / visited the Town of Yesteryear (pictures tomorrow!) / watched movies in the car and ate McDonalds / and yes… we watched Smallfoot yet again that night. Ha!
Friday: Bible Study for me, but I was able to bring along J & M to play with their besties and I didn’t have to rush back for lessons, so that was awesome / Played chess and Gonuts for Donuts with the kids / watched the movie Christopher Robin (very cute!)
I have them hanging on my wall above my desk, so as the students are leaving they can see it. And when I’m sitting at my desk working I look up and see their smiling faces. I didn’t realize how much I miss seeing their smiles. I look forward to masks being gone.
The top one is from the Spring Recital 2020 and the bottom one is Christmas 2020. Isn’t it crazy how many students participated in the Christmas one? And if you look closely there are a couple pictures where there are multiple siblings in one picture. And I even hid myself in there too. Tee hee! There was an extra box, so I figured why not!?
Well, this year was a bit of a doozy on many levels.
Doing such a large event all online with teachers of varied technology experience requires a lot of prep work and a ton of patience. We mustered through and, as a whole, the event went quite well.
It was hard for me to gauge when I would need to take extra time to do things since I had never done them before, so there as a little bit of frustration for Tim not knowing when I would be busy. That is one of the really nice things about the in-person contest. I know I’ll be crazy busy, but at least I can plan to just be “gone” for that entire contest weekend and then it’s done. Tim is mentally prepared to just live that weekend as if I’m out of town.
The snag came after the contest judging was done–we emailed out the results and then I put all of the actual critiques in the mail the next day. When the paper critiques started to arrive in the teachers mailboxes we realized that there had been a glitch in the computer system and it had misaligned the scores with the teacher emails–meaning some teachers had received emailed scores that were different than their actual critique scores.
Oh dear. What a mess.
So, there was a lot of extra work needed to help resolve teacher/parent relations as well as teacher/MMTA relations and a lot of frustrations/embarrassments all around. There was retyped critiques. There was extra phone calls. There was apology letters. There was a lot of emails. A lot.
And there was also chocolate cake delivered to the MMTA office staff. Chocolate always makes things better. 🙂
So, now we move onward and upward. This year has been so great in so many ways, and not so great in so many ways. We learn and adapt and make notes and move on.