Saturday, January 12, 2019

Snowy Day Thoughts *grin*

I'm in pajamas watching the snowfall today. It is beautiful, and I loving seeing the snow fall to the ground. I've filled my social media posts with pictures and decided to write a post prior to the big Chiefs game. *grin* My mind is so full of thoughts, and we'll see where we land. I mean, this is more for me than you. I say that every post, but it's true. *grin*

I am still loving the job. I started at a new school yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had been in a couple character-building classes, so it was nice to have one that I KNOW I'll really enjoy. *grin* I even got to drive in the rain & snow on the way to and from. Fortunately nothing was sticking at that point. *grin* I am getting to know different staff members, which has been fun. It's been such a neat experience, as I was so prayerful when I left my old job because I REALLY cared a lot about the people I worked with. Part of the challenge of learning about my new co-workers is the fact we have such small teams, but, it's happening.

Yesterday we had a Red Friday, which was my first time to wear an actual Chiefs shirt. *grin* We had a photo shoot, trivia competition (I didn't do well. Hahaha!), and popcorn. *grin* The photo shoot was a ton of fun! I loved it! *grin* Come on Chiefs! *grin* I mean, just the Kansas City Spirit alone this week (fountains, buildings, and of course, TWP staff photo *grin*) was fun to watch. *grin*

We also had The Gathering on this past Thursday night. I'm a Story Teller, or table leader, this year and am SO VERY THANKFUL to have this opportunity. We had a great lesson, worship, and small group time. My Small Group Table had some incredibly sweet ladies and our conversation was so good! I have missed that (gone in November, and we didn't have it in December) and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each of the women. *grin* I can't wait for our next meeting on February 7th! *grin*

Jay is asleep beside me. I still find this so sweet. You'd think I would be used to this, but I'm still enormously blessed by this little furry kid daily. *grin* He's a gem. Totally. *grin*

Finally, I want to mention my book. I'll be transparent and say the past few months I wasn't buying great books to read. I was doing the cheap ones, and while good, they didn't grab me. I read The Hate You Give in no time, and HIGHLY recommend it. *grin* Right now I'm reading All Rights Reserved. I HIGHLY recommend this book too! I'll be honest and say these books have made me enjoy reading even more. *grin* I LOVE THAT! Every once in a while a book will do that for me. *grin*

So, I think I'll logout, let Jay out, and get back to my book. *grin*

Go Chiefs AND JAYHAWKS! *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
AWESOME. *grin*

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Maybe....

It's day #1 of 2019.

I have always liked the promise that a new year brings. I've read on social media some quotes that say it's the first page of a new book. Kinda fits my personality doesn't it? *grin* I mean, I love to read, so it feels right. *grin* So, I have been pondering what to write in my first blog for the new year. I spent the past four days at a conference, and one word kept coming to me, "Maybe". *grin* Since then, I've had several other things come to me. I'm hoping some of it is funny, inspiring, and challenging. If not, that's fine. *grin* I blog more for me than for you. *grin*

MAYBE this will be the year kindness takes over our country in unprecedented ways.

MAYBE 2019 will bring people to care about each other instead of judge each other.

MAYBE this will be the year the Chiefs go all the way to the Super Bowl. *grin*

MAYBE this year will be the year the Jayhawks win another March Madness Tournament. *grin* (Can you tell what sport I know more about? *wink*)

MAYBE this will be the year I win a million dollars. *grin*

MAYBE this year there will be a cure for Cancer invented & sold at a reasonable rate.

MAYBE this year God will bring me a best friend with marriage potential. (Hey, it could happen! *giggle*)

MAYBE I will reach my goal in Goodreads of reading 52 books this year.

MAYBE I will be closer to God than ever before. *wink* (Spoiler alert, this will happen. *grin*)

MAYBE I will work my way completely out of debt. (It's always good to have a goal) *grin*

MAYBE this will be the year that people with white skin don't judge people in other colored skin.

MAYBE this year we will cheer each other on in life rather than think negatively about people.

MAYBE the cleaning fairy will show up once a week and dust for me. (Haha!)

MAYBE this will be the year that no one is homeless.

MAYBE this year our president will put kindness ahead of agendas.
(That one is to make you laugh a little. Please don't send negative comments, it was simply to make you smile) *grin*

MAYBE this year my Mom will quit smoking. (Praying for her in this, and YOU CAN TOO!) *grin*

MAYBE this year Ellen will have me on her show. *giggle* Okay, maybe I'll see a taping, I mean, I haven't done anything fabulous yet. *grin*

MAYBE this year I'll declutter my closets. *grin* (I've already started today)

MAYBE this year I'll finally write my bad date book. *giggle*

MAYBE this year I'll visit UPPERROOM Dallas and Bethel Church in Redding, California. *grin*

MAYBE with the start of a new year, more marriages will be saved through prayer.

MAYBE I'll be snowed in one more time before Spring. (Just one day, I like pajama days!) *grin*

MAYBE this will be the best Summer at Camp Barnabas. *grin*

MAYBE 2019 will bring optimism to our nation.

MAYBE 2019 we will treat people in various holding cells for trying to get into our nation with kindness instead of locking them up.

MAYBE 2019 will bring legislation for more gun regulations for civilians.

MAYBE 2019 will not have any mass shootings. (I pray daily over this issue.)

MAYBE 2019 will bring love for young people (and anyone else) who feel suicidal.
(I pray over this one daily too. Emma, you come to my mind A LOT!)

MAYBE 2019 will bring a positive outlook on those who are mentally ill.

MAYBE 2019 will be the best year of our lives.

MAYBE 2019 will have ups and downs but won't knock people down.

MAYBE 2019 will be full of life, laughter, and love. *grin*

I have a friend who LOVES to dream with God, and she's inspiring me to do the same.

I don't know what 2019 has in store for us honestly. What I do know is that we're blessed to get to be here during this time in history. I will continue to give my best in all areas of my life and enjoy the ride.

After all, we only get one life this side of Heaven, and we need to enjoy it!

LIFE.
IS.
GOOD! *grin*

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Christmas JOY

I feel like some days are so full of love & joy that it's worth blogging to remember. Some people blog to entertain people, and I blog to remember the highs and lows in life. Today was one of those days that made me smile from start to finish. *grin*

The morning was full of laughter and talking. Yes, I got a little work done (my class canceled, so that gave me some desk work time), but everyone was so excited about the holiday luncheon the we talked more than we worked. Okay, some of us did. I don't want you to think EVERYONE did that. It was far from that. However, I remember thinking at one point this morning how FUN the culture is at TWP. People truly care about each other. I love it. We cared about each other at my previous job, but we didn't have as much fun at work. I smiled a lot today. Truly! *grin*

At noon we had our luncheon. During the meal there was an ugly Christmas sweater contest, which was funny. (I don't own an ugly Christmas sweater, so I just watched.) *grin* I also enjoyed the meal time, as I got to know some people that I don't normally see. It was fun. Afterward we had Sneaky Santa Reveal. I didn't guess the right person, but gosh it was fun to play a game and see who knows whom the most. *grin* We laughed A LOT and had a lot of fun. Words cannot describe how big my smile was by the end of it. *grin* I smiled more about the relationships than the gifts I received. Don't get me wrong, I loved what I received, but, it was even cooler to realize how much I adore the people I am living life with in this chapter. Truly.

After work we had a fundraiser at a store not far from the office. I went and shopped (for the most part my shopping is done) and bought a couple things. I had so much fun talking to people and seeing what people were buying. I had fun chatting with people there too. We didn't have anyone from my department there, so it was fun to get to know other people better.

My daymaker came from someone at the fundraiser who said I was her greatest gift in 2018. I smiled and have been pondering that ever since she said that. See, I remember sitting in the gym that last school day in May and wondering how well I would fit in wherever I was headed. Fear holds so many people back, and honestly held me back for a little while in that last chapter of my life. However, He reminded me today that I am right here I am supposed to be for now. *grin*

TWP was my greatest gift in 2018. Every person who is there is kind & supportive. Laughter is something you hear a lot throughout the office. And honestly, support is unconditional & present on a daily basis. For as much as I wanted to stay where I was, I'm so glad I took a step of faith and moved forward.

Sometimes our greatest blessings come when we least expect it. That's how today was for me. My day was full of laughter & love.

T.W.P. is my biggest blessing this year. I'm home. *grin*

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
AWESOME!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

5 Days Away *grin*

I have spent the past few weeks on Christmas Cards, and I'm almost done. *grin* That's always bittersweet to me, as I legitimately love doing cards for people. So, I thought I'd take a moment and share some fun things from my little corner of the world. *grin*

Last Tuesday we took a field trip *giggle* to learn the public bus system. I had never stepped foot on a RideKC bus prior to last week. I am not above it by any means, I've just always had my own car. So, the gal in charge of the Blind & Low Vision Experience (who is completely blind) took us on a bus ride to the plaza where we ate lunch. I am still taken aback from time to time about being out during the school day. It's like it is Summer everyday, even though it's not. What can I say? 19 years of school schedule living throws a gal a little. *giggle*

Oh, back to the bus. There were 5 of us on the trip, and four of us knew nothing about how it worked. *grin* The bus drivers were patient with us, and our guide did a fabulous job. There will be a part two in the Spring, when we'll do a little further ride. By the way, RideKC is a simple bus system. I remember thinking it was probably confusing before I went on the ride, now I know it's not difficult. *grin* I highly recommend it!

On Thursday we had our monthly staff meeting which was actually a Christmas celebration. I had been somewhat sad that I wouldn't be at school for the assembly before break where the kids sing Silent Night. Well, we ended our sing along at TWP with Silent Night and I smiled. I looked around the room during our sing along and thanked God for my new family. I miss my students from last school year, but I know I'm where I'm supposed to be and I'm happy. I've spent a lot of time pondering this year, and I'm so very thankful for each person at TWP. *grin* I'm home.

On Friday I finished my first solo class at TWP. The kids gave me a "Thank You" Banner. I gave them each a card and a TWP stress ball. *grin* I will miss those kids. The coordinator already asked me if I can come back next fall. *grin* I told her I couldn't promise that, but I would try. *grin*

So here I sit, five work days away from break. I am off Friday at 5-ish through January 2. Yes, it's PAID time off. *grin* I'm ready for a break. One week from tonight I won't set an alarm. I kinda like that. *grin*

Thanks for reading the blog tonight. As always, this is more for me than for you, but, it blesses me when people stop to read my ramblings. *grin* Five work days until break. I can do it, and honestly, I'll have fun this week. We have several events this week that will be tons of fun. I love my new job. *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
GOOD!

Monday, November 26, 2018

November 2018 Blizzard

Soooo I wanted to take a moment and share about something that I think we'll be talking about years from now. It's not earth shaking or anything, but I would like to remember this years from now. *grin*

Thanksgiving Week crept up on me and I had a very nice time with my family. I also spent some time with a college friend on Wednesday Night, so the ice cream and conversation led us into a great Thanksgiving Day. The time with parents and family was very nice.

I came home and kid sat on Friday. We spent two hours at the McDonald's play place. The kid loved it, and it wore him out. I had to smile, he fights sleep but he just crashed on my couch when we returned. *grin* He opted to stay home Saturday which led to a day on the couch for me. *grin*

I had a pajama day on Saturday, with talk of a big snow storm coming in on Sunday. I'll be honest, when they initially talked about it, I was skeptical. 2011 was the last huge storm we had, so I wasn't sure what to think, but made sure I had milk and bread. *grin* By late Saturday Night, I knew it would be bigger than I previously thought. *grin*

Yesterday (Sunday) I woke up and a friend who was serving with me at church texted and asked if I thought they would cancel church. I knew my pastor wouldn't cancel. He never does. I watched the 8am service online and then prayed that no one would come at 11:15 for our Sunday School class. I also stopped by and got toilet paper on the way to church. I mean, you gotta get what's important. *giggle*

I got to church and went straight to serve. Upon arriving, one student was leaving with her family, and no one was there. My co-leader arrived and we never said it outloud, but we prayed silently that kids wouldn't come so we could beat the storm home. The gal in charge told us to wait until 11:20 and then we could go. I will honestly say that was the least number of kids I've ever seen in our kids wing and NO ONE CAME for Sunday School in our room. We left right away! *grin*

I do want to mention as I was leaving a young man I used to tutor was walking with his Mom. They stopped and said "hi". The young man hugged me and we talked briefly. He is in a good family, and he is already growing into a handsome young man. Our brief chat made me smile. *grin*

I came home and Jay and I settled in for the storm. It was a blizzard, our first one in years, and I loved it. I also prayed that I wouldn't lose electricity. It worked. I worked my way through my DVR by alternating between Law & Order SVU and Ellen. I am so far behind on Ellen that it's a treat to get to laugh in between SVU episodes. *grin* I started the weekend with my DVR at 91%, now I'm down to the lower sixties. *grin* I've loved it.

I used today (Monday) as a PTO Day because we had about 4-5 inches of snow in my yard. Jay isn't thrilled with the snow, but it works for me as his outside breaks are super short. *giggle* He has to be out front because our back door is snowed in and can't be open. *grin* Christmas Cards have been worked on too, so it's been a productive weekend. *grin* I've loved it.

Tomorrow I'm going to attempt to go into work. I've loved this, but cabin fever is starting to set in. *grin*

I think the 2018 Blizzard and no one showing up for Sunday School were both memorable. I realize my life isn't super exciting, but I am enjoying it. After all, I don't have any homework from work. *giggle*

Life.
Is.
Awesome.
Totally. *grin*

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Lessons Learned in 110 Days On The Job

I've now been at my new job three and a half months. People ask me all the time, "How do you like your new job?" I still say the same response, "I LOVE IT, NO HOMEWORK!" *giggle* Those of you who are teachers know what I'm talking about. *grin* Honestly, people who can relate typically giggle when I say that and smile. It's not that I hated it, I didn't. I just didn't know how hard I was working until it was all over. *grin* I don't regret it at all, I am just enjoying life in a new way now. *grin* I'm also involved in Bible Study, book club, and am visiting with friends more. I love it!

Throughout my 110 days, I've learned a lot of unexpected lessons. I have pondered this post for a couple weeks and am excited to share what's been on my heart the past few days. *grin*

I lived in a classroom the last 19 years of my life, and never had a window in my classroom. This mattered to me the last few years, and no matter how hard I tried I never was given a classroom with a window. Now, I have windows nearby in BOTH offices. Granted, at the Missouri office, I need to turn my chair to see outside, but I can see outside much easier than I did in the classroom. *grin* I smile every time I look outside my office. It's legit. *grin*

That's small, I know. Don't worry, I have more to share. *grin*

I'm now on an amazing team. I was on good teams at school, so don't read too much into that statement. *grin* I remember sitting in my classroom in May, wondering if my next team would be as supportive and cool. Parts of me fought fear on levels I've never experienced as an adult. At the same time, my faith was strong enough to walk forward. I'm so glad I did. God has blessed me beyond measure in the team I'm on now. One member in particular is blessing my socks off, and for that I smile daily. We are a true team, and I love going to work daily. Yesterday we worked together to serve some disabled adults, and I just smiled the whole time. It was one more moment of confirmation that I'm where I'm supposed to be for now. *grin*

My job requires some travel around the Kansas City Metro area. I wasn't sure how much I would like that, but I am. I have learned a lot of things through my travels. One thing I learned is how beautiful the Metro is, especially with fall leaves changing and falling. This has been something I never thought about before, but now I think daily about it as I drive around. It's very nice. *grin*

Something else I've discovered is how to drive in rush hour traffic. In the beginning, I had to figure it out. It stressed me out initially. I have learned that the key to driving in rush hour is to look ahead A LOT. This allows me to know if we're stopping or going. *grin* I've also learned that Waze is the BEST app for travel ever. Sometimes I avoid traffic and go AROUND a wreck. *grin* It's so good. And it's a FREE app. *grin* I've also learned not to get comfortable. I could do a whole post on near-miss wrecks.

My new job has also brought me into the world of YouTube. Yes, I knew what it was before the job, but playing music wasn't a focus for me in the classroom. When I attempted to play K-Love on my work computer, it was blocked. I know, shocker, but I can pull up Youtube. So I initially put on Bethel, because, well, it's Bethel. *grin* What I didn't know was that it would play other similar artists. This has changed my world!!! Yes, if you know me, music is important to me. I've now discovered Upper Room in Dallas, and Influence Church in California. Yes, they've now been added to my bucket list. *grin* I have also discovered Will Reagan and United Pursuit. *grin* Talk about a BONUS to the job. I live in a cubicle in Missouri, and I wear headphones while I work. *grin* I have plenty of documentation to keep up with, so it's less work with music going. *grin*

I have also learned a lot about diversity in my new job. I never realized how much my world was comprised of white people. (Don't worry, no politics here, I promise) I don't care what color people are, I love everyone. At the same time, I've typically been in the majority, not the minority (in terms of skin color). In many of my work environments, schools, committees, and overall staff, I am in the minority in terms of skin color. This has been an entirely new experience for me. It has given me a heart for those of different ethnic backgrounds. It has taught me things that I cannot put into words. I believe this is a really good thing.

It has also led to some of the best conversations I've ever had regarding skin color and people. I realize this is a huge topic and something that in 2018 is still a thing. At the same time, healthy conversations are a good thing. That's where solutions start, with a healthy conversation. *grin* I love that! I can't solve this world problem by myself, but a conversation is a start.

I've also met some incredible adults with various disabilities. It has taught me a lot about differences and how beautiful being different can be. I am different and obviously have always been, but it has been fun to hear different life stories in terms of physical disabilities. The older I get, the more I enjoy just sitting and listening to people's life's stories. It has also been fun to be able to relate on different levels with the challenges that a physical challenge brings with different people. I have always thought being different was good, but this job has solidified that thought on so many different levels. *grin* I love it.

I found myself looking around a lot this week, and thanking God for the people that are now in my life. Yes, I miss my students deeply, but this change has been refreshing and fun on so many levels. Truly. I'm blessed. *grin*

I do enjoy taking time off and not writing sub plans. If I'm out, I'm out. No homework or worries about being gone. I can't put a price on that, and it has relieved so much stress for me. *grin* I love it. Again, I wasn't miserable, it's just a nice change to be in this season.

Finally, I was made to wear jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and hoodies daily. I dressed up for the first time on Thursday for a Transition Fair, and was reminded how much I love my jeans and casual wear. I can dress up, I'm not grumpy, but jeans and a hoodie are my ideal. On a daily basis, the company I work for has a casual dress policy. We're encouraged to wear appropriate pants/shorts, and a shirt with the company logo on it. I spent quite a bit of money (because you typically have to do that anyway when you get a new job) and now have a hoodie in each color, so I can rotate them. *grin* How cool is that? We're all wired a certain way, and no one way is better than the other. However, I am now in a season of rest, relaxation, and love. I love it.

I'm so very glad I walked into this season. I love the people I work with, the students I teach (I'm in schools and teach an eight hour transition course), and the lack of homework. I don't know how long He has me where I am, but I am going to enjoy it as long as I'm there. *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
AWESOME. *grin*






Saturday, October 27, 2018

What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards

About a month ago I was scrolling through my Instagram, and one of my favorite authors was doing a book giveaway for her new book that is set to be released in December. I entered the contest not expecting to win, BUT I DID! *grin* I've won other books from other authors, but none of them included a note with the book, and autographed the book! *grin* I smiled when it arrived in my mailbox and wanted to take a moment and share my thoughts on the book.

I've read several books by Mrs. Richards, but, this one was my favorite! I typically devour books I love, but this one I took my time reading because it was so well written. Mrs. Richards did a great job giving the main characters in her book a voice. I felt like I was right there, and loved every moment of it. (This one is written as a YA novel, but I read them anyway. *giggle*)

You're probably wondering what it's about, right?

Mallory, the main character didn't want to leave home, but it wasn't safe to stay. Mallory meets Spencer at the library and an adventure begins. I LOVED these characters and honestly didn't want the book to end. When it did end, I was left wanting a sequel. *grin* I wonder if Mrs. Richards did that on purpose? *giggle*

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!

Funny enough this month was the month I chose the book in my book club, but of course this book won't be released until December. *grin* I'm going to keep it in mind though for the next time I can choose a book because I think everyone in the book club would enjoy it.

So, perhaps you're looking for a book to read. This book comes out December 4th, and I highly recommend it! If you're looking for a good Christmas gift, this is a good one! *grin*

You know me, I don't recommend a book UNLESS it's really good! This one is now in my top ten of all-time!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
AWESOME...with GREAT books in your To Be Read pile. *grin*