Monday, February 26, 2007

we're back

we're back. in full swing.

this morning, i decided i would come home and post about all of the fun i had on my lovely week off. but when i actually got home tonight (around 6 - i'm getting better), i was feeling a little tired.

i'm glad to be back with the kiddos - but wow...they really take my energy. it is only 9:30 and i am off to bed. i feel so old. :)

happy monday/tuesday to you all.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

happy birhtday kaykin! :)

happy 19th birthday to my beautiful, hilarious and wonderful sister, kaitlin.

we're five years apart and, as i complete a milestone (like high school or college), she's just beginning it. it seems like we're always in different places. but as we've gotten older, we're moved from just being siblings to developing a real friendship.

she is one of most favorite people and i'm super excited to head down to slo tomorrow to visit with her and give some birthday love. :)

happy birthday kaykin! :)


the past week and a half at school was busy - but what's new? but this week (thanks to presidents washington and lincoln), i don't have to think about school. i can focus my attention on other things i've neglected.

a friend from our bible study went on a business trip to paris (oh, how i wish i could go back) and asked us to house and dog sit for him. so, even though we were only about 15 miles from our own house, matt and i were lucky enough to have a mini-vacation from our everyday lives. we spent way too much money on all kinds of delicious food (vacation = no cooking), watched some movies we've been wanting to see for a long time, vegged on the couch watching hgtv and dreaming about our future home, took the doggie for walks, talked about anything and laughed about everything.

it was perfect. it was everything that we needed. a time we established as being just for us. not time squeezed in between eating dinner and collapsing into bed. we were able to reconnect and get caught up on eachother. it was great - but also made me sad when i considered, how did we get so distracted that our relationship almost became an afterthought? it almost became something we'll get to when we have time.

over the last few weeks, our church has been doing a series on the balance between work and rest - finding the rhythm God desires for our lives. it's gotten us both thinking about the balance we strike between our jobs and the other aspects of life (eachother, friendships, family, fun). the service this weekend discussed the importance of making time to 'listen' to the rhythm - to slow down the pace of life and enjoy the moments where we can rest or play or just be.

this week off is a rarity - a time when i am not busied with work. but, once things pick up again, i want to make sure that my job does not become the thing that consumes me and takes up the majority of my free time. being the perfectionist i am, i can't just do the bare minimum - i want to do what other teachers are doing, and then some. but i need to realize that i'm just starting and i can't try to be perfect right now - that will come with time. :) as much as i enjoy my job and want to give it my time and energy, this exact job is not what i will be doing for the rest of my life. i want to be the best teacher i can be - but need to remember that being a teacher is not the only role in my life.

the next few weeks will be an attempt to embrace the other roles in my life (wife, daughter, sister, friend). now, i will not neglect my responsibilities to my students, but i need to prioritize and do what needs doing - and just leave it at that. with more time freed up, i want to:
  • relax and enjoy quality time with matt (without the next day looming in my mind)
  • talk to my family more than once every week or two
  • plan and cook yummy meals at home
  • stay in touch with my wonderful friends
  • send cards to people (because who doesn't like snail mail)
  • keep our apartment picked up and clean
  • read more books (the pile on my nightstand is tipping dangerously)
  • blog more - less updates, more things on my mind

who knows how much i'll be able to do. i don't know if i can free up enough time to do it all. :) but i want to try. when i really sit down and think about it, nurturing relationships and pursuing things that make me happy is a far better use of time than staying at school until after dark. it won't be immediate...just a work in progress.

happy tuesday, all! :)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

spc: black.and.white

my first attempt at spc. hopefully not the last - i just need to make an effort. :)

i wish it were prettier. but this has (sadly) been my existence since friday. so here i a 'color' world - but feeling a little black and white.

it's like a metaphor or something. or not. i don't know. back to nap time.

happy tuesday all. :)

Monday, February 05, 2007


i was on campus this afternoon, going about preparing for the following day. i was distracted from my work by what sounded like gunshots. assuming that i was letting my worry-prone mind run away with me, i continued about my work, only to be interrupted minutes later by my principal asking all staff still on campus to lock their doors and stay inside until further notice. yikes!

so i worried.

and peeked out my window.

and worried some more.

about 30 minutes later, my principal again came on the intercom and announced that school was shutting down and all people on campus would need to leave within 15 minutes. so i grabbed my stuff and quickly made my way to my car.

now safely home, i just received an e-mail that there were indeed gunshots in an apartment complex on a street directly behind the campus. many students in our school (some kiddos in my own class) live in these apartments. there is an after-school homework program held in this apartment complex.

even thought i am 100%, absolutely fine, i am still shaken. not because i was in any danger (which i definitely was not), but because this is the reality of my little kiddos. they are only six or seven. and they have to be exposed to the stupid issues of the 'adults' in their community. my heart just breaks that this is what they see; that this could be what they know when they are adults. beyond teaching them how to read, write, add and subtract, i feel an ever greater responsibilty to expose them to lives outside what they may currently know. to talk about going to college. to encourage them to be doctors, police officers, teachers, presidents, fire fighters...whatever they imagine. to provide models/tools for how to interact peacefully. they need this. and if they don't get it at school, then where? if not from me, then who?

if you can, please keep my kiddos (and all the kiddos at my school) in your thoughts and prayers. information is currently limited, so i'm not sure if any one from our school was directly affected or witnessed anything. but i know that some must have heard it. okay...i'm done worrying (for now, at least). now it's time to get my butt in gear and be the things that these kiddos need. :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

motivation...for me :)

pam, a wonderful friend at school, sent along this little story about teachers. and it gave me a little burst of positive thoughts and happy energy.

today was a day where i felt a little frazzled and totally ineffective with my kiddos. i couldn't find anything i needed today (i think the bermuda triangle is my classroom), the kiddos forgot how to sit in their desks, and i misplaced my patience somewhere on my commute. no good.

this story was a nice reminder that i have the capacity to make a difference. :)

it's a little cheesy (and teacher-biased), but it made me smile. so enjoy or ignore...but here it is. :)


The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.

One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

To stress his point he said to another guest, "You're a teacher. Be honest. What do you make?” The teacher replied, "You want to know what I make? She paused for a second, then began ...

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5
without an iPod, Game Cube or movie rental. You want to know what I make?"

She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.

"I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them criticize.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

I teach them to write and then I make them write.

I make them read, read, read.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while
preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life."

The teacher paused one last time and then continued...

"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant. You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make?"

p.s. i love chicken tikka masala (yummy din-din) and the office, season 2 (i doubt i will ever tire of this fantastic show).


i'm not going to pretend to know anything about poetry and the intricacies of the stanzas and rhyme and other poetry 'buzz' words i remember hearing in english classes. in spite of my lack of poetic knowledge, i am able to say that i recognize when i can make small connections between words (a song lyric, a note from the universe, a card from a friend) and my own life.

i came across this poem on a fellow blogger's page and the words made my eyes well up (not hard to do...but still).


it doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

~ mary oliver ~

it describes a perspective and approach to life that i have been attempting to embrace and embody for awhile. to find God not just in church or bible study or when i read my bible at night...but to recognize it in the everyday things. to come to Him and just talk and be myself. not 'jill the ultimate christian with all the right words'. to be honest and sincere and talk to my Savior like he knows me best.

our bible study has just begun reading/discussing a book on prayer. we're only three chapters in, but it has revealed to me that prayer can just a dialogue. i can't strive to impress God by using the 'right' words and following the right pattern. prayer can be an open conversation about whatever is on my heart.

but, at the same time...i am learning that once i share the troubles of my heart, i need to be quiet and listen for God to respond. i've never heard an audible voice or received some incredible sign from above...but i've felt nudgings in everyday things, as small and insignificant as they may be. the listening and waiting is the hardest part for me, but i am learning patience day by day - in more ways than one. :)

happy thursday bloggie friends. :)