Sunday, November 29, 2009

How Did I End Up Here??

I have asked myself that exact question COUNTLESS times over the past 6 months. Where is here you ask? Here is Houston, Texas, living with my parents, working 3 part time jobs. It has been the most unexpected, weird, humbling, scary, exciting, boring, 6 months. I knew that it would be a unique time thats for sure, but NEVER imagined it would be like this. I didn't expect to be leaving a boyfriend behind, I didn't expect to struggle so much with my identity outside of being a teacher when I didn't have a class of my own to invest in, I didn't think I would love being with my parents as much as I have, and the list continues. The part I love? He knew. He knew all along. God is funny like that, I love Him all the more for it. It all started about this time, last year when the wheels started turning dreaming about where I would like to "end up". This dreaming led to the realization that most jobs that I would eventually like to have require a masters degree. I had always been open to the idea of grad school, if I found a program that I just couldn't pass up. I don't even remember how I found it, I wish I did, it would help when trying to convince people that I am not crazy, irresponsible, flaky or all of the above for picking up my life and moving across the world (literally) to Sydney, Australia. Anyway, one thing led to another, I was accepted and the rest is history. I will be getting my masters degree in the social development of refugees and forced migration from the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia. It sounds weird, lots of words, but if you know me & my heart it makes sense. I will learning how to design and implement non profit programs for refugees/immigrants, programs that will assist in their adjustment to their new country of resettlement. So here I am, ready or not, to start life in a new hemisphere in a few weeks. I really do hope that I am able to write often, and use this as a way to update people on life and what life looks like for me in Sydney. It isn't the fanciest blog in the world but I do promise lots of pictures :) I leave January 16th. The next few weeks will involve lots of quality time with people I love, some really strategic packing, and some not so fun goodbyes.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

3rd Grade Team Memories

This is a picture of the third grade team from this year, or last year I guess. The 2008-2009 year. Whatever. It makes me so sad that this is the only picture I have of us. It was taken at the beginning of the year...before a lot of the memories were made, and friendships were formed. There are a lot of things that I am going to miss about being at Woodview next year, but these people are one of the main things I will miss. If you know any of us, or all of us for that matter. You can testify that each of us is SO incredibly different. It worked though. It worked very well. My team mates are some of the most hard working people that I know. It was a blessing to work with people that would do whatever it takes, literally, for the best interest of our kids, and I believed that it showed, not only in our test scores but in the kids themselves. I will miss our meetings which consisted of a lot of laughter, a lot of sarcasm, a lot of discussions about politics, religion and other things that probably shouldn't be discussed at work. Let me introduce you to them (from left to right)...

Rob...oh Rob. He's one of a kind. Rob was a lawyer in his former life. He has a giant heart and is the type of guy that would do anything for you...well anything that the principal OK's first. My favorite memory concerning Rob is laughing so hard that I cried when he shared with us in a team meeting that one of his more unique students managed to overflow the toilet that is inside the bathroom INSIDE of his classroom. Upon doing so she just stood there. The only way they knew it happened is because mid lesson he saw water seeping out of the bathroom into his classroom. They had to go in and pull her out. Hilarious. The mention of this story always brightened a more challenging day at school for us.

Maria. Maria has the most gentle spirit. She is also one of the most intelligent people I have called a friend. We lucked out big time when we landed her as a long time sub my first year at Woodview and she agreed to stay on full time. Whenever the Bible references being meek as a godly characteristic I always feel like overwhelming...well I am out of luck on that one, cause that is so far from the person I am. Maria is what I think of when I think of the word meek. Not weak, meek. And very strong. Her students love her and so do I. She was so patient to deal with all of our babble and ridiculous conversations. She balanced out those of us that can't keep our mouth shut when we should. I hope we keep in touch and I also hope I can visit her family where she was born, the Canary Islands!

Ashley. I was THRILLED when I met Ashley at school. The year before had been such a struggle as far as female teammates. I really wanted a girl to have fun with on my team. God went above and beyond bringing her. She made everything this year so much fun having someone to do it with. I wasn't the only one wanting to do "cute" stuff. :) We had so much fun talking about boys, fashion, the kids of course, and everything in between. I will miss our almost daily trips to HEB for lunch, but know that we will still be friends. Besides being a great friend, Ashley has a remarkable gift for teaching and she is just getting started!

Last but not least, Ruben. Where to start. My crazy Honduran friend. I think our first meeting about sums up our friendship. I showed up to Woodview SO nervous for my interview in the summer and the first person I met was Ruben. He so gently said, so YOU are the one interviewing? you better be good, they made me go all the way home, I had to iron this shirt and put on a tie just for you! I was like who is this guy? The guy that would become my best friend at school. Our rooms were connected so we just left the doors open during the day so our kids would go back and forth. We had polar opposite approaches to how we went about teaching but our hearts are the same in the sense that we are not just there for a job from 7:00-3:00. Whatever it takes, inside or outside of school. He grew up just like the majority of our students did, and made it. He challenges me a lot on my theology, and I secretly love it, even though I hate not having all of the answers and him appearing to be "right". I will miss our discussions about anything and everything, but look forward to a lot of good laughs in the future as I have gotten to know his sweet family as well.

I know none of you will read this, but it truly was an honor to work with you this year. Thank you for all of the great memories...

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Know That You Are For Me

So faithful, so constant and so true
So powerful in all You do
You fill me, You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to You

I know that You are for me, I know that You are for me
I know that You will never forsake me in my weakness
And I know that You have come now even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

So patient, so gracious, so merciful and true
So wonderful in all You do
You fill me, You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to You

Lord, I know that You are for me, I know that You are for me
I know that You will never forsake me in my weakness
And I know that You have come now even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

Lyrics by Kari Jobe

Sunday, April 5, 2009

April Showers Bring May Flowers...or something like that

8 more weeks of school...CRAZY!? Some days that makes me very, very sad and I want to freeze time. Others, June 3rd can't get here soon enough. We will be moving out of our apartment May 31st (that is another post for another day), but when I am living somewhere where I have access to internet I am planning to blog more often. Not because I think anyone actually reads this, but because it is so fun to look back and read at a later date...

I picked up a 2nd job at Anthropologie. I am excited...the plan is that it will be more money to add to the bank for Australia funds, but something tells me it will be hard to walk out of there with a paycheck and not new clothes/accessories...and I am more than ok with that.

I am flying up to Arkansas Thursday to spend Easter with Paul. I can't believe my baby brother graduates from college in a month. I am so proud of the person that he is and cannot wait to see what God has in store for him. I am excited to meet some of the friends that have played such a big part of his life in the most recent seasons...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Narcissistic Return To Blogging

1. I started playing the violin when I was 4 years old and quit when I was 12 in order to have more time to play sports
2. I had bacterial meningitis when I was 16 months old, they life flighted me on a leer jet from Wyoming to Denver's Children's Hospital. The doctors said if I survived I would be deaf or have severe brain damage
3. I have 2 tattoos: 1 on the arch of my foot (Isaiah 6:8 "Here am I, send me") and one on the inside of my wrist that says Faithful (a reminder of who He is, and what I am called to be in the big & small)
4. This time, next year, I will be living in Sydney, Australia
5. I will be getting my masters degree at the University of New South Wales in the social development of refugees and forced migration
6. The program is a 1 year program yet I don't feel like I will be living in the western hemisphere again anytime soon
7. Groups of people overwhelm me if there will be more than 3 or 4 people I am likely to find a reason not to go
8. I have learned more Spanish in Houston the past 2 years than I did the year that I lived in Mexico
9. I lived in 7 states before I was 21
10. If I had my way, I would wear flip flops everyday of the year
11. I have 7 holes pierced in my ears and wear earrings maybe once a month in 2 of them
12. I live in an apartment with a 42 year old from Honduras, her 14 year old daughter, and a 11, 5 & 3 year old from Guatemala who lost their Mom to cancer a little over a year ago, they are family to me
13. The people I live with have blessed me far beyond anything I have done for them
14. I am named after my Mom's Mom. She is Marie Kathryn, I am Kathryn Marie
15. I worry more about not being able to afford an international adoption more than I worry about not being able to have children naturally someday
16. We discovered that my thyroid does not work when I was 10
17. I don't wear black
18. I ALWAYS have perfume on, I put it on after I take a shower, even if I am going to sleep
19. I have worn the same perfume for about 8 years, Ralph Lauren Blue, it was discontinued last year but we found out right away and between my parents and I we stocked up on enough to last me a few more years
20. I aspire to be as low maintenance as my Mom
21. Sometime over the past couple of years I became obsessed with scarves. I hang them on a rack in my room and I almost have enough to wear a different one everyday for a month.
22. Teaching is the hardest, yet most rewarding thing I have ever done
23. I was born in Thermopolis, Wyoming
22. I started reading chapter books at the age of 4
23. I can golf
24. I prefer spending time with people 1 on 1 over any other setting
25. I have had 3 different parasites, from 3 different countries