Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ok, so I've just been a little bit busy....

I haven't been able to blog as much lately, since school has started back. I had a week of teacher in-service, workshops, meetings, etc. My students started this past Tuesday, on the 25th. It was an interesting week to say the least.

A little bit about my class:

So far I have 23 students in my fifth grade class (that's 7 more than last year!!). I say so far, because my particular school seems to have a lot of students who move throughout the year for various reasons. In fact, when I got my roster on the 17th, I had 22 students listed. Two we found out had moved, by the first day of school I had added two to replace those, and on Friday, I added one more!

Three of my students are refugees. They have come to America seeking safety and a better life, and the Lord has seen fit to place them in my class. One of the students arrived to America in time to be in my class for about 5 weeks last school year. The student who arrived on Friday is one of the refugees. These students speak little to no English but are as sweet as can be. My student who was here last year seems to understand more of what I say this year, as she was able to explain something to one of the other refugees for me. I cannot wait to see how much they will grow in knowledge this year!

Another thing that made this week interesting was Quinn getting sick on me mid-week. Luckily Buddy's mom was able to come and stay with us for a couple of days so I didn't have to get a sub on the second day of school.

Tomorrow starts the first full week of classes. I am excited to get into the swing of things with our official schedule and homework and grading papers and the full routine. Please continue to pray for my class and all that we have in store this year, especially for these three sweet ones who have a lot to learn. Pray for me as I try to teach 23 students, three of whom need extra time and attention. Pray also for health for my family, as I will potentially be bringing home extra germs (eww). I can't wait to see what this year will hold.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Hodge Family Update--July/August 2009

I'm a bit behind in posting my usual update on my friends, The Hodge Family, but that's because I just got my email update. They were wrapping up their first trimester at Language School. I can understand their delay, as they were studying long and hard for their finals. I remember those days in college and I was studying things in English. How hard it must be to study things in a language you are just beginning to learn! They finished up on August 13th and are now enjoying a two-week break from school and a visit with Amanda's parents.

Michael and Amanda both have a chance to get extra practice with their speaking by way of new friends. Michael's friend is a national, and Amanda gets together with another student. How nice to have friends willing to help you learn! Their children have been enjoying care packages from home, which include some of their favorite candies, which are hard to find in Costa Rica. Their son just celebrated his 6th birthday.

Here's how you can pray for the Hodges.

1. For their rest and relaxation during their school break.

2. For recently graduated missionary families who are leaving for their countries of service. The newsletter didn't mention specific names, but that "God would know".

3. For new opportunities for Bible study groups.

4. For God's comfort when the times of separation are tough, especially for the children.

5. For the International Mission Board (IMB) to be good stewards of their 2009 funds from the Lottie Moon Offering.

You can find out more about the Hodge Family here. As always, they appreciate your prayers.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Last Day of Summer for Me

Today is the last day of summer for Quinn and me. School starts for teachers in my county on this coming Monday. What a summer it has been! Quinn took his first overnight trip without Mommy and Daddy. We took our first family vacation to the beach. And we had lots of fun as family. The best part for me was being able to be home with Quinn and enjoy have lots of Mommy/Quinn time. Yesterday I took Quinn to have his 18-month portraits made. (Yes, I realize he is 19 months old now, but you know how it is...) I was amazed at how many of the pictures captured exactly how I felt this summer was....a summer of discovery.

I tried to teach Quinn how to wink. As you can see, he doesn't realize he should only shut one eye!

He's definitely got a curious side. Quinn wants to know what things are and is very eager to explore and check things out.

He has a sense of humor. He loves to laugh and can even make others laugh. Over the summer, he realized that he can "blow zerberts" on my tummy like I do on his, and this sends him into fits of giggles.

Ok, this one is just for cuteness. We were trying to get him to put the shell up to his ear, but he wanted to smell it instead.

He loves to play peek-a-boo, or any other game that helps him interact with others.

Since I am not in a position to be a full-time, stay at home mom, I am thankful for a job as a teacher, which enables me to be able to be home with Quinn more often than if I had a job in the business world. What other job gives you approximately two months off in the summer, as well as extended times off at Christmas and in the spring, along with various days off here and there. Without these break times, I would miss out on so much.
Like the other morning when he signed "more" and "please" during breakfast. Or when he folded his hands to pray when I gave him his food. Or hearing him tell our dog "no no" when Tillman tried to beg from Quinn.

So for now, we are just cruising along, enjoying the last weekend of summer. I can't wait to see what he learns at school this year.

I can't promise you there won't be tears on Sunday night, or even Monday morning when I drop him off at daycare. I can't promise you there won't be times when I will dread going to work and just wishing I could stay home every day. But I can promise you that I will never, ever regret being Mommy to this sweet little gift that the Lord has entrusted me with. I am so blessed to have this child in my life, and I can hardly wait to see what he will grow up to be!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Dog Named Charlie Brown

Buddy's mom (Quinn's Nana) came to stay a few days with us this week. It was a wonderful visit and we had a lot of fun doing "girl stuff" like shopping, and also playing with Quinn (of course!). It ended up being too hot and muggy to do things outside like we had hoped, but it was still a fun time.

When Nana called to ask if she could come, she told me she would need to bring Charlie, her new dog. I said that would be fine, and he could play with our dog.

Meet Charlie.

Charlie has a great story of how he became a part of the family. Buddy's mom and dad were at Walgreens one day and when they came out of the store, they saw a Shih-Tzu dog running through the parking lot. This story is on a busy stretch of road, so they, being dog people, grabbed the pup and began checking him for a collar, name tag, etc. Finding nothing, they went back into the store to find out if any customers were missing their dog. No one claimed him, so they took him home, after leaving their phone number with the store manager in case someone came back later to claim him.

The next morning, they took him to their vet to check for a microchip identifier. At this point, they were beginning to think that they could potentially be adding a new dog to the family, so they had the vet check out the dog's health and get a round of shots. Then they took him to the groomer to have him washed and de-matted. He was pretty grimy, Nana said. They decided against putting a "found a dog" ad in the newspaper, to keep random people calling and claiming a dog who didn't really belong to them. Instead they checked the "lost dog" ads every day in hopes of finding his owner. They also went back to the Walgreens a couple of times as well.

That was about two or three months ago. Buddy's parents have not read any ads that sounded like this dog, or had any calls from the store manager. They had no idea what the dog's real name was, but they have decided to call him Charlie, since he has brown sections on his fur. (They have another Shih-Tzu, named Archie, who is the same color, except gray where Charlie is brown. Archie is about 12 years old, Charlie is about 2).

This is pretty much all Charlie did at our house. Unless Nana decided to go somewhere, and then he followed her wherever she went. Charlie has become very attached to Buddy's mom. Based on his behavior at my house, someone somewhere had taken very good care of Charlie.

How could anyone abandon this cute little face?

Come back soon Charlie Brown. Quinn misses you!