{The Father of mercies and God of all comfort}

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Out of the running

Our first church visit was Sunday. We chose a church relatively close to the apartment, just south on 610 maybe a mile and hitch a left and you're there. Super easy. The church has two contemporary services (sweet) and a ton of Sunday School classes to choose from.

Our plan of attack is visit the contemporary service, and no Sunday School. We kind of don't feel it's worth it if the pastor is not on par. So, that's what we did. We hit up the contemporary service equipped with fresh music and a pretty young crowd. The church itself is rather contemporary, to my liking. However, the executive pastor came up at the end of the service (the associate pastor delivered the message) and informed the church that he was stepping down from his pastoral duties to be a church consultant around the U.S. Boo.

Ryan and I decided that we probably wouldn't go back since we've both been to churches with interim pastors and they were not good experiences. So, we discover a new church this coming Sunday. Praying that the Lord will direct us and show us which church we are supposed to serve at.

Project 52 {13}

Project 52 {13}
Spooky


"On mounting a rising ground, which brought the figure of his fellow-traveller in relief against the sky, gigantic in height, and muffled in a cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck on perceiving that he was headless!"
--The Legen of Sleepy Hollow

The statue in the courtyard lost her head last night. If I dare say spooky!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Project 52 {12}

Project 52 {12}
Pumpkin


Coco painted the little one that says 'Boo'. Those are legit his paw prints in the o's.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Project 52 {not12}

I'm pretty sick, so I haven't been to work in two days to take a picture of week 12, and we haven't bought our pumpkins yet. Hah. We will this weekend even if they will only be used as Halloween pumpkins for a week. We'll just turn them around and rock them through November.

picture to come, they'll be really cute I can't wait to show you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Church Search

     When Ryan and I moved we discussed our church situation. Our home church, and an incredibly wonderful one at that, is about 40-45 minutes away. Which means we have to get up just as early to make it to church on time as we do on any given work day, not fun. We also have to bring the dog, because we're usually in Crosby much longer than a church service and Sunday school class and we can't leave him locked up in the apartment all alone for an entire 8 hours. So, our decision was to continue to go to our home church for one month and find a new church over here. Booo! Well, the first weekend I was sick, so we technically spent five more weeks at our home church. But I was sick again two weeks ago, so it made four weeks. I was teaching pre-k and kindergarten Sunday school during our contemporary service and we would go to our grown up Sunday school class during the traditional service, because Ryan was going to the contemporary service and I didn't want him to have to go to both. Not that a double dose of God's word is bad, we just need to fellowship also.

     Anyway, our last Sunday was last Sunday (?). I taught my Sunday school class and met Ryan in the late service to hear Robin preach one last time. Now granted neither the church or us are dying, but we won't be back to worship with the church probably until Christmas, so I needed to be in the service. Now, we're on the hunt for a new home church and not only does it kinda suck, it's scary. I am reluctant, but I am aware that this is what God wants. I'm excited about that, and a little nervous.

     We informally established guidelines for our church hunt and since I'm spending the day at home quite ill with a doctor's appointment coming up, I decided to search via Googlemaps for churches over here. I googled baptist churches within ten miles, but knew I wouldn't want to go that far. Well I got six pages, so that was promising. We already knew about a few churches from friends and family, so we added those to the list.

Criteria:
  1. The church has to have a website.
    • this may sound shallow, but hear me out. If the church has a website that means they are interested in reaching our generation somehow, they are progressive and this could imply they are interested in community as we are.
  2. The church has to have a contemporary worship service.
    • Hymns are great, but I find hymns are just not my worship style. They can be beautiful and full of truth, but I struggle to find depth and meaning in my worship with hymns. Contemporary worship fits me and Ryan better.
  3. The church's beliefs have to mirror ours and vice versa.
    • The church doesn't necessarily have to be a baptist church, but the mission statement of the church needs to declare Jesus and the gospel. We want the Bible and not a prosperity or "happy people" message. We will start with Baptist churches though.
  4. The church has to have Sunday school and Bible study groups that meet our lifestyle.
    • We want a Sunday school class full of young married people who can relate to where we are in our life and marriage. We would like to get involved in a Bible study group during the weeknights to build friendships and serve the church.
     These criteria are not in any particular order. If one church I googled didn't have one of these then they were axed from the list. This is our starting point and I'm confident that one of the churces on this list has to work. Some of them are large, medium, and even smaller. We'll pray about it and see where God wants us.

     As for the visitation process; we will choose one church, not sure how yet, go to their contemporary worship service, and possibly a Sunday school class and have a debriefing, then we'll hit up another church the next Sunday. I realize this will be a lengthy process, so we need to be patient and not become discouraged. There are so many options.

The compiled list:
  • West University Baptist Church
  • Houston's First Baptist Church
  • Tallowood Baptist Church
  • Crosspoint Church
  • Memorial Drive Baptist Church
  • Berachah Church
  • Ecclesia

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I've got some time

I've got a little time to kill before I start my evening rituals and finish some curtains that have been sitting half finished for about  two and a half weeks!

--I'm feeling much better. Still pretty tired, but that's a given. The nasty cough is thinning out thanks to Mucinex and the weird Neti Pot.

--I cleaned out my bag for work. So much more organized and lighter. This is minus my classroom notebook and my team leader notebook. I only bring those home on weekends and when I have important work that needs attention. And I've added another book since this was taken.

Ryan and I went on a picnic on Saturday at the park. Of course we brought Coco. It was slightly muddy, but the ground wasn't wet.

--I relocated Benaiah to the book shelf  in a freshly cleaned bowl.

--Deciding which Halloween card to make for the classroom parents:

Bat
or
Spider

Now I need an Oreo snack.

The Diet Plan

As I mentioned in my short, rambly post last week, Ryan has started a diet. It's called the "Six Week Body Makeover" and at the end of six weeks you're supposed to have lost thirty pounds. Ryan's sister started it roughly six weeks ago and she did drop 30 pounds, way to go! So, Ryan and I talked about it and he decided he'd like to do it.

The first thing you have to do is take a quiz to find out what body type you are. Once you find that out then you can begin to build a diet plan. The diet pretty much cuts out refined sugars and all fat. In addition you have to do specialized exercises each day (I'm still a little fuzzy on that). So, Ryan does these exercises then we go to the gym four nights a week and he walks for roughly forty minutes while I walk and do the elliptical wannabe. We decided we'll weigh him once a week. The most complicated part of the diet is the actual diet. Hah.

The food is easy, but he has to eat sooo much and I have to prepare it all. We have a system in which he walks the dog in the morning and I do it at night and when I get home from work and I make all the meals because I have the time. Since I leave for work first he walks the dog and I make him breakfast before I leave. I figured I need to be as much support as I can be since the diet kinda sucks and he works really long days.

He has to have breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and an optional night-time snack.

He wanted to do the "rapid results" plan to get it over with, and it sucks. I'm not allowed to cook with any oils, which isn't a problem, and he can only have chicken and turkey on the rapid results plan and some tuna. So, it's a very boring diet. No salt = Mrs. Dash and salt substitute. The Mrs. Dash is pretty good, but the salt substitute tastes horrible. I almost threw up when I tried it, well not really I just gagged. It takes a lot of effort on my part to make twice as much food everyday for the next day, so I'm in the kitchen for probably 1.5 hours preparing and making his daily diet foods.

But we went to the store over the weekend to stock up on some of the items now that we know quantity. We then packaged everything into days worth in freezer bags, so the freezer is full of frozen vegetables and chicken. This new system is much easier. All I have to do is grab the baggies and cook. The measuring was a bit weird for me at first, but now I have the hang of it and it's all pre-measured in the ziploc bags. Lots easier. We have to go to the gym really late to exercise which puts us in bed around 11:00. Last night it was almost midnight. It's a very late day and super early morning at 5 for me. It'll be worth it though and only 5 weeks to go (give or take).

Ryan's already lost 12 pounds in a week. Keep it up!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Infant Mental Health

So I started a training seminar this weekend, as in I went to it. It's a 24 hour program that works out over the course of four months. The last class will be in January. The seminar is for infant mental health started by the Texas Association for Infant Mental Health. This is the pilot class given a grant by the Hogg Foundation, so all thirty of the candidates in the class get to earn certification for free. Score. The class will earn me an Infant Family Associate endorsement that is nationally recognized. So I'll get to put an abbreviation behind my name, create a portfolio, a free 1 year membership to TAIMH, and the 24 hours of training.

The training started Saturday and it was awesome. I am thrilled to be doing this class, because I will be more reputable in professional settings, and I will be networking with so many people. Also,I will gain the opportunity to work my way into infant and family policy and advocacy which I developed a passion for my last semester of college. And, there is a conference in January that Dr. T. Terry Brazleton, a leader in the field, will be speaking at! I simply cannot express how much I love this already!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Projec 52 {11}

Project 52 {11}
The Moon


"I see your power in the moonlit night
The planets are in motion and the galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It's all proclaiming who you are
You're beautiful"
-Phil Wickham

(my fave phil song of all, i believe that dot under the moon is an airplane)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I am exhausted

I have been really sick with some things I'm not comfortable telling anyone except my husband, with stomach pains for about a month and then two days after I see the doctor I develop a serious cough in my chest. It's gross. The mucous is not a normal color. So, I stayed home two days last week because I felt awful. Then Thursday my stomach suddenly felt normal. Now all I have to do is kick this cough and get some rest.

Alas, rest will come when I die it seems. I am starting this training seminar on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Boo. I will finish the training in January for Infant Mental Health Associate, hopefully to achieve Specialist stauts a year later. Very interesting, I cannot wait, yet I am dreading pulling my tired self out of bed to get there. Also, Ryan started a serious diet this week. I have to cook everything, because I'm home more and it's so exhausting. Who knew it would be so much work for me?! I know Ryan is not enjoying it and it only lasts six weeks (sort of), so here is to six short weeks!

All is well, just exhausted with no details of these endeavors yet, nor do I have any progress pictures of the apartment. We are officially at a stand-still, because of the lack of rest. God help us.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Project 52 {10}

Project 52 {10}
At arm's length

Greek on free month trial of Netflix, usual five oreo snack with twilight cup full of milk, and my fancy new smart phone

Saturday, October 1, 2011

2011-2012 Teaching Goals

    For work I have to fill out a paper every year to list three of my teaching goals. The goals are reviewed at our mid year conference with our director and at our end of year review. Terrifying last year, but the admin staff gave me 'exceeds expectation's on everything. The highest is outstanding and she saide she rarely gives those. Needless to say, it was flattering!

    This year coming up with goals was a lot easier than last year. As a first year teacher I didn't know what to expect. Now that things are completely different and flipped upside down with me in charge the goals naturally occurred to me. Also, as a team leader I came up with three goals.

The goals are:
-Teaching goals
  1. Develop the same level of relationships with the parents this year as last year.
  2. Allow time to connect with my new co-teacher. Diving tasks to not get overwhelmed.
  3. Restructure the lesson plan with room for specific activities, learning objectives and idividual monthly goals.
-Team Leader goals
  1. Connect with each teacher on my team. Get to know them and gain their trust.
  2. Be accountable for departments actions/decisions/inactions. Stay on top of changes.
  3. Be more outspoken in meetings.
There are action step and also leadership team support sections, but I won't go in to that. I plan to restructure that lesson plan really soon.