Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Uh...what is that?!?

As I was eating lunch today, one of my students came up to me and said, "Miss Tesfamariam--look!". She had her hand stretched out before her, with one lone finger dangerously close to my face. "Uh...what?" I stammered out--what was she showing me??? With blond hair, blue eyes, and chubby cheeks, my sweet four year old student, who gives me pages she's colored, tipped her finger to the side, and I saw what she meant. There was a white piece of something...."Ewww....I sure hope that's not something she dug out of her nose!" I thought to myself while I tentatively asked her what exactly was I supposed to see.

"See--my skin is coming off!" Oh. That was it? Actually, I'm rather grateful that it wasn't any more than that!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thoughts On A Tuesday

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:165

During my four  years of college, I heard this verse often in dorm devotions. Invariably it happened close to the end of the semesters and the girls would be at odds with each other. Girls were antsy to get out of school; making mad attempts to get projects done by deadlines; cramming a semester's worth of notes for five different classes for finals; late nights...early mornings; making sure dorm/room jobs are done...all this made for some short tempers and crabby people. It was pretty ugly at times.

And then, our dorm Mom knew just what we needed in devotions: Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. I don't remember everything that was said, but one thought that kept recurring was to make sure you start your day with devotions...if you are right with God, it will be hard not to be right with fellow Christians. God's Word purifies; the closer you draw to Him, the closer He will come to you. The closer we get to God, the more we will be offended at what God finds offensive: sin as defined in His Word.

When I don't take the time to read my Bible as I ought, I find myself being critical and finding fault with others. I find myself getting irritated at the such petty things. Seeing this verse on my rip-a-page calender brought many thoughts and memories to mind. I'm so thankful for little 'reminders' God sends our way to open our eyes and get us to think--and change.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wendesday Randomness

Lunch Time!


Kindergarten & Pre-School

Our church has been praying for a bus/van so we can start a bus route here in our part of the Great North. Several weeks ago, this bus was purchased...but it didn't look anything like what you see it. A lot of work went into it by men in the church as well as a bus mechanic from another. We are so thankful for our bus and we can't wait to start filling it with kids and adults.

Lil' Bit and I were driving down a road in our Wee Little Villiage when we came across this guy. I made her turn around so we could get a closer look. She let me use her camera to take pictures--after I promised not to bring him back with me =)
I thought he was alive.

He was dead--not quite flat, but guts definitely out of his body...

Monday, September 20, 2010

School Stories

The pre-school teacher and I had our kids burn some energy off in the gym during our morning break. First we had them run laps, then Jimmy Dean called out specific instructions for them to follow:
"Do one frog jump" "Make a complete circle" "Take two giant steps to the right/left" Now these may seem simple directions to you, but can you believe that at least 2 of the 6 students were confused? Listening skills they have not.

Well, the students went back to running laps for a couple minutes before JD told them to stand behind the black line that outlined the gym floor. Here she had them run to the far side of the gym based on what she called out--another listening skill--she then gave an example of: If you have long hair...who would run? One of the boys raised his hand and gleefully called out "MEEEEE"....and he wasn't joking either. I'm not sure if he thought that he had long hair because his head wasn't shaved or if he didn't quite understand what we were asking? Don't worry, we straightened him out :)

Anyway, she went on:
"If you have brown shoes--GO!" "If you have a white shirt--Go" The last one, or so we thought, "If you are a cutie-puh-tootie--GO!" And no one went. They all just stared at each other and said "you go" "no, you go" "nah--it's not me"....JD and I just laughed and laughed...we all thought they would's nice to know our 3,4,5 yr. olds are not conceited. So, we had them all run to the other side just for fun so we ended our break on a good note :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

From Cowardice To Courage--Through Christ
written by one of my good friends, Cheyenne Stormer

A young soldier's heart leaped in his chest
As he tremblingly topped a sandy crest.
He was only a boy, but he fought in Iraq.
The sad thing is, in a coffin he came back.
He had courageously answered his country's call,
Little knowing that in a war he would fall.
He bravely swore his country's oath one day,
Proudly thinking, "I love the USA."
He would gladly give his life, he thought.
When the anthem played, what great feelings it wrought!
But when he arrived in that distant land,
His courage left and he could barely stand.
He fearfully thought, "I'm not gonna make it."
He tried to act brave, but bravery--he couldn't fake it.

Another young soldier took note of his plight,
For he himself had at first been afraid to fight.
The soldier had talked to the fearful one,
Told him how the battle of fear he had won.
He had turned to his Savior, Jesus Christ,
Who for his sins Christ's blood was priced.
And though at times the shadow of death hovered near,
He cried to God, and Christ conquered his fear.
He had assurance of salvation--This made him brave.
Jesus Christ had conquered death and now new life He gave.
The fearful soldier asked Christ to take away his sin.
Christ lovingly did so and the Holy Spirit moved in.
This young boy gained newfound courage.
His fearless spirit none could disparage.
The flying bullets and bursting bombs no longer scared him--
At least not too much, for he was going to Heaven.
Then one day, a grenade fell close by,
But the young soldier wasn't afraid to die.
He leaped atop the explosive and breathed his last.
As the grenade exploded, his body took the blast.
He saved the lives of his buddies that day
In the name of God and the great USA.
His noble young life for others he gave,
And though his cold body now lies in a grave,
The flag of his country will continue to wave
And the blood of Christ Jesus many more will save.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Special Day

One of my first thoughts this morning was that today was the 13th of September. Now, that may not have any significance to you, but this a very special date to me.

Five years ago, I started in college--young and immature. Although not a homebody, and not given to homesickness, I remember being very anxious about being away from home. You see, I was waiting for a very important person to make an appearance in our household and I thought for sure it would happen before I went to college.

My baby sister's homecoming from the hospital was the first I'd missed in the previous 4 siblings. When I got the news, I was disappointed I wasn't there, but excited to see her at Christmas. But, all was not well. I got the news that my newest sister was terribly sick. She had to have surgery to connect her esophagus tube to her stomach within hours of birth. She also had three holes in her heart: two closed on their own, but doctors had to close the third. She was in the hospital for days.

It was during this time that God showed me several things. The one was the love and care shown to me by people in the church I was a part of during college. The fact that these people--who I was virtually a stranger to--would be concerned for the things that happened in my life and would pray for my sister, touched my heart in a very real way. My Dorm Mom was the one who had it put on the church prayer list, and the fact that she went to trouble of doing so made me realize that she really did care. If I had doubts before, they were surely erased with this kind gesture.

The other thing made real to me was the power of prayer. When I went home for Christmas that year, I had to handle my sister softly. Anything would wear her out, and she was to exert as little energy as possible. Coming home also made me feel closer to the situation, and I fully realized the importance of what was going on.  The semester wore on, and just before I went home for the summer, my sister was able to get in for her surgery.  For the first six weeks of the summer, my sister was held sparingly. We had to be careful when picking her up, handling her like fine china. Slowly, but surely though, my sister was on the mend. Each week you could tell she was stronger than the last. She has an incision scar on her chest and around her side, but rather than causing sadness, I am reminded of the goodness of God and how through the prayers of many, the Lord made my sister well.

Today, my sister is FIVE years old. How the time has surely flown. She is one of the sweetest little girls I know. She is loving and is lovable--I know that if you just saw her, you would fall in love with her. You might call me biased, but I can find people who agree :) She has a laid back kind of personality, and is pretty quiet. She plays quite nicely with those around her and loves to be with her siblings. She does, however, have a stubborn streak and likes to have her own way and this can be cause for sibling rivalry :) She gives awesome hugs--and kisses too--, putting her whole self into them.

Because of her heart surgery, she was a little bit behind in development. Although she has a little bit of trouble with her speech, she has grown and changed so much from the tiny, helpless, sick baby to a vivacious 5 year old who can do almost anything she sets her mind to.

God blessed my family when He gave us Ruth. He blessed us even more when she was a Downs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lest We Forget

~Lest We Forget~

Tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of the tragic events that happened on September 11, 2001; I was 15 years old. Being from Canada, I didn't hear of the news until I went to school that day. I remember sitting in my chair, a hush over the whole room. Young and immature as we were, the whole class knew something big had happened. We saw our teacher's face filled with grief over the happenings in her native country. We heard as her voice broke over telling us that the Twin Towers had been crashed into by hijackers. I'm sure we didn't fully realize what had happened; I know I didn't. We did understand, though, that our teacher was hurt over the circumstances of that day. As the day progressed, our teacher kept us informed with what she knew. Through it all, I remember the peace in her voice as she told us that God was still in control. It didn't matter that we didn't understand how things like this could happen; God in His sovereignty knew and we just needed to rest in Him.
As the years have passed, I've read about the heroic efforts of Americans and people all over the world who selflessly gave of their time, energy, and money and have come to understand a little bit more of the events surrounding 9/11. There are times when my mind can't grasp the horrendous accounts and I am reminded of my teacher's words that day not long ago: God is in control; rest in Him.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Thursday!

Some outside shots celebrating the end of the first week of school :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Who Is Your Hero?

This was a question I posed to a group of 5th & 6th graders whom I was briefly able to enjoy as my students. My personal definition of a hero is one who I admire and would emulate. That being said, the following answers gave me much to think about.

My hero is my mom....she is a hard worker and she is godly.
George Washington is my hero....He followed God....He also helped form our nation.
My dad and mom are my heroes...They tell me about Jesus and teach me to live as a Christian.
My dad is my hero because he is a leader for right.
President Abraham Lincoln is my hero. He was honest, just, and not proud.
My hero is Fanny Crosby. She became blind because of a doctor's mistake, but wasn't mad at him. Even with a disability, she wrote thousands of hymns...She used her talent for the Lord.
My hero is Jim Elliot because he was godly; he and four other men gave their lives trying to reach the Auca Indians in Ecuador.
My hero is Preacher. He teaches about God and is a good, friendly man.
Billy Sunday is my hero. He would put his whole heart into a job. In trials he prayed and trusted God.
My parents are my heroes. They love me and take care of me the way it says in the Bible. They try to do the best for God.
My hero is my dad. He loves me and he loves god. He raises me for God and he wants the best in my life.
My dad is a strong Christian soldier in the battle against Satan and evil.
My Grandpa is my hero because he does what is right.
My heroes are my parents because they both love the Lord and want to see me grow up and live for God. They are a good testimony to me; they trust Jesus to supply our family's needs.

Most of the students picked their parents or pastor. People who have a very real impact on them; it makes me think what I'm doing as a teacher. What sort of impression do I give to my students? Just through reading this, I've been challenged to really watch myself in all circumstances for the students who sit before me have such impressionable minds and hearts.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A New School Year Begun...

The end has come. The end of late nights....the luxury of sleeping in....making spontaneous dates with friends.....days by the lake.....road trips....summer thunderstorms.....swinging out on the porch, glass of iced tea in one hand, a book in the other.....vibrant wildflowers....sultry summer It is the first day of school.

Bright, simple, and fun bulletin boards are put up; walls that were once empty and white are bright with colored motivational posters and teaching concept cards. The blackboard is wiped down and ready for the writing of the first day's lessons. Name tags are set out, desks and chairs are placed in an even row. Lesson plans and a grade book sit on top of the teacher's desk. All is ready and now we eagerly await the students.

There is excitement for both the teacher and student. What will this year bring forth? What goals need to be accomplished? What lessons must be learned?

Only one way to find out.

Let the school year begin!