Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A recap of years 1-25...

The first quarter century of my life has been pretty amazing... I decided to make a list of just a few "highlights" from each year of my life up to this point...

Starting with the year the world was graced with my presence.... :) Each of the following numbers represents the highlights from that age... Enjoy!
  1. I'm sure this is the year that I began to talk, thus the beginning of a life long of verbal processing...
  2. Enter little sister! (who would have thought she would turn into one of my best friends...)
  3. I'm sure life as a three year old was pretty great...
  4. Preschool... is it bad that the only thing I remember is playing with play dough?
  5. Kindergarten - this year began the first of 13 years in the Cedar Vale School System
  6. First Grade - had the privilege of having my grandma as my teacher... still cherish those memories (5 minutes Abbey!)
  7. Second Grade - honestly I hated second grade. This kid had ZERO desire to learn about dinosaurs... sick.
  8. Third Grade - LOVED IT! I fell in love with reading as a third grader. Miss Church introduced us to Laura Ingalls Wilder and so many other fantastic classics. I also fell off a horse sometime during this year of my life... it took a couple of years for me to want to get back on a horse again.
  9. Fourth Grade - my least favorite grade in school.... not entirely for sure why, but I remember being so excited for 4th grade to end. My mom was my counselor at Kids Camp... (who would have thought that 16 years after that first summer at Camp Quaker Haven I would still return as often as I can....)
  10. Fifth Grade - even though I hated Mrs. McKinley's math homework sheets that we had to do every single night, she helped build a foundation of math skills in me that did prove beneficial later on. Leslie Trumpp was my counselor at Kids Camp this summer. She shared Jesus with me in such a clear way that week. She will always be a woman who I hold near and dear to my heart.
  11. Sixth Grade - the beginning of junior high sports.... I thought I was God's gift to the volleyball world...
  12. Seventh grade - still thought I was God's gift to both the volleyball and basketball world. I did convince my dad to let me "quit" choir, much to my sister's dismay even still to this day! :)
  13. Eighth grade - we dominated the SCBL athletic world that year, I don't think little ole Cedar Vale girls have been that good since we left...
  14. Freshman year - Sandra (exchanged student from Ecuador) lived with us. Went to Maranatha with Heidi... met people who helped me see that there is much more to "life" than athletics. Thanks Charlie, Scott & JoAnn. Returned to Kids Camp as a counselor, connected with a group of women that would be my heart sisters. Thanks Kacie, Amy & Rachel!
  15. Sophomore year - 22 & 1... that record will forever be engraved in my mind... the perfect season, well until the first round of sub-state. Big deal? Well now it's not, at the time I thought it was the end of the world.... but it was the beginning of the Lord opening my eyes that greater things that were yet to come.... there was much more to life than high school sports. (Another week at Maranathan, another week spent as a counselor at camp.)
  16. Junior year - struggled with finding my place at school. I was torn between who I was around my great friends from church and who I was around my "friends" from high school who had known me since birth basically. The summer of 1999 was a huge summer in my life. The beginning of the summer I went to the poorest island in the Bahamas and saw poverty for the first time and really began to see God's heart for the nations. On August 4th, 1999 a friend of mine was killed in a car wreck. Rachel's death rocked my world. It was the first time that I began to think about God's sovereignty. (Another week at Maranathan, another week as a camp counselor)
  17. Senior year - In November I went on a campus visit to K-State mainly to humor my dad but little did I know that those few short hours would be a huge turning point in my world. From that day on I fell in love with the campus and knew that I was destined to be a Wildcat. I graduated valedictorian, big woo... at the time it was pretty huge to me. (Another week at Maranatha, this time as a coach. Another week at Kids camp.)
  18. Freshman year - 431 West Hall is where it all began. 4W4L...need I say more! (Carmen, Sarah Jeanne, Volz, Em, Missy, Mommy Carla, I could go on for a while... these women became my support system, my sisters, women who know me better than I know myself.) I met the Navigators. Changed my major a couple times. Spent a summer in Colorado back in the day when K-State went to Snow Mountain for STP... had the privilege of meeting with Linds, I very much value the time I spent with her.
  19. Sophomore year - RA on the third floor of Ford Hall. Led a Bible study for the first time. Began to learn the importance and value of accountability and discipleship. Finally realized that the Lord was calling me to be a teacher... Spent 6 weeks of the summer in Zambia... loved the time with Maran, Cora, Anne, Sue, Mumbi, Nasima, Siku, Nkem... Zambia will always hold a special place in my heart. Returned to kids camp as a counselor.
  20. Junior year - RA on the second floor of Ford Hall. Had the privilege of being the part of the first ever year of FC at K-State. LOVED the freshman girls in my study. This is where I met Sarah Kaiser... Finally met Amy Martin! :) Spent another summer in Colorado, this time as a team leader. Crissa, Jada, Mer, Fitz... thank you.
  21. Senior year - Marmalade mansion. 1616 Osage. Loved living there. Enjoyed living with Al and Andrea and Tammy. Continued the study from FC, those girls will always hold a very special place in my heart. Suffered through education classes with Josh, Tara and Wes. Returned to Africa, this time for 8 weeks to Malawi. Loved getting to know Snat, Liz, Beth Ann, Danny, & Luke... Sam, Eunice, Lillian, Jackson... I left a piece of my heart in Malawi.
  22. 5th year - last semester in Manhattan. Lived in Jardine with Betsy! (Before Jardine was all new and remodeled...) Continued the study with my FC girls... handed it over to Beth. I loved my last semester in Manhattan. Moved to Wichita, student taught at Heights... wow. Began attending First Free. Went to Guatemala for two weeks. Returned to kids camp... this time as "staff."
  23. 1st year of teaching - cheer leading coach? (why did I ever do that?!) Lived by myself... (who thought I would ever say I would actually enjoy living by myself?) Got a taste of what the Lord had in mind as to why he wanted me to teach. Monday night Bible study started up. Summer #1 as Judy Hollander's "Happy summer Intern." (camp year #2 as staff)
  24. 2nd year of teaching - freshman volleyball coach. Little sister joined me at SE. Really began to enjoy teaching. Finally felt like I knew what I was doing. Wichita became "home." Monday night study continued! :) Summer #2 as Judy Hollander's "Happy summer Intern." (camp year #3 as staff.)
  25. 3rd year of teaching - JV volleyball coach. Moved in to Bramblewood with Kara. (P.S. She is the best roommate EVER!) Monday night study continued! Jumped on board with the sophomore girls at FrontLine! I sure do love them! Summer #3 as Judy Hollander's "Happy summer Intern." Loved working with WAT! Challenge 2008 was amazing! (camp year #3 as staff)
  26. 4th year of teaching - so far so good... NOT coaching! Monday night study continues. Those sophomores are now juniors and I am so excited to get more time with them! I am really excited about the classes that I am teaching and the students that I have in class this semester!

I am blown away at the first 25 years of my life. The Lord has been good. There are countless people who have influenced me, encouraged me, challenged me, loved me and as a result are a part of who I am today. So thanks for being a part of my story.... and now for the rest of the story.....

I'm excited to see what's next!

Monday, August 18, 2008

pretty close to a perfect evening...

A sailboat, amazing temperature, just enough wind to sail, good friends... does life on this earth get any better?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

first day of school...

Up until today they were just names on a piece of paper... a list in alphabetical order. The only information given along with the name was grade and gender. Who will sit in the chairs inside my classroom? Who will ask the silly questions? Who will challenge me? Who will make me laugh? Who will make me cry? Who will break my heart? Which ones will make me cry when I hug them for the last time as they walk across the stage at graduation? Which familiar faces will enter my classroom door again? Which ones grew up a little bit over the course of the summer? How have their lives changed? How has my life changed?

All of those questions were running through my mind as I drove to work today.

Today those names became faces. Stories. Lives. My students.

I absolutely love the start of the school year. (More so now that I'm not coaching.) Sometimes over the summer I forget how much I love my job. I love my job for the simple fact that I get to work with students. The roster that I get at the beginning of the year quickly turns from a list of names into faces that I greet each and every day as they enter my classroom. Those faces become personalities and with each day I learn more about their story. Their lives become part of mine.

I am a better person because of the students in my classroom.