Friday, December 18, 2009

I LOVE Christmas cards!

Not only do I love this time of year, I absolutely LOVE sending and receiving Christmas cards. I saw this link on my friend Kristin's blog and just spent 30 minutes looking at so many fun Christmas cards. Some of you received this in the mail but for those of you who didn't, here is what the 2009 version of my Christmas card looked like!

Merry Christmas sweet friends!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

little decisions...

I am borrowing this from my friend Jill's blog.

"Twenty years from now, it won’t matter if your shirt was ironed or your house was spotless. But what will matter are the little decisions you made every day to invest in the people around you, to give without regret, and to love until it hurts."

I have been thinking a lot lately about the people in my world and how I am truly blessed by each and everyone of them.

Let's face it, I'm an extrovert. I am energized by people. I am challenged by people. I need pepole in my life. When I moved to Wichita in January 0f 2005 a friend of mine called me a starving extrovert. At the time, I don't think there was a more accurate description. I needed that time of "starvation" to really appreciate the friendships that would come. Now almost 5 years later, I can confidently say that this once starving extrovert is no longer starving. There are people in my life who know me, who really know me and are okay with that. There are people in my life who I see everyday who don't know me and are okay with that. There are students in my classroom who know me for a short time and then move on, graduate and who will change the world, or at least the little corner of the world that they will influence. There are people in my life that make me laugh so hard I cry, that let me cry, that ask the hard questions, that listen to me babble for hours about nothing really important, that challenge me to be a better person just by being around them. The people in my life remind me that it's okay to be me, that I am free to be me. Sure there are people who I wish lived HERE but those friendships that have survived the miles hold a special place in my heart. I need people HERE, I need people NEAR, I need people FAR. Really I just need people.

I am thankful that it doesn't matter if my shirt was ironed because if I am completely honest, if something needs ironed then it ends up in the back of my closest. I do love a clean house and having people over to enjoy my clean house but some of the best conversations I've had with people in my little house have taken place when the house on Indianapolis wasn't spotless.

This post is random yes, but for those of you who know me, aren't a bit surprised. I needed time and an avenue to process. Life is crazy busy and I am a victim of God's grace.

I needed to be reminded that the little decisions I make every day matter. The people in my life matter. and for that I am grateful.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

mantel metamorphosis

When I bought my house the mantel looked like this. . . blah

I did some painting and usually my mantel looks like this. . .

But now that Christmas season is quickly approaching,
my mantel looks like this.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Defying Gravity

Wicked came to Wichita...

"Let the little girl go! And that poor little dog... Dodo!"

We went to see it...

"Just follow that one road the whole time!...
I hope THEY don't get lost, I'm so bad at giving directions..."

Then ate cheesecake...

"so you lied to them?" "only verbaly."

Because I knew you....

I have been changed for good.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I love fall. . .

As I was driving home from work one day last week I did something I haven't done in a VERY long time. I pulled my car over, went to my trunk and got my camera. (thankfully my camera was still in my trunk...)

So with my camera in hand, there I was standing there in the middle of the street, enjoying the beautiful fall afternoon and looking at this. . .

I decided that it was time to explore my quiet little neighborhood on foot with camera in hand. So I parked Mable on Indianpolis and went on my first photo safari of the season!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

blessings = people

My cousin Justin created this website. ( It is a visual list of the blessings in his life. I am encouraged by people like Justin. He would be one of those people who = a blessing. He is creative, clever, hilarious and takes incredible pictures, among countless other things. He created the website, included a blog, asked for people to "post a word or two of something good in your life that you are thankful for right now."

Sometimes I forget that I need to stop and remember what I'm thankful for RIGHT NOW. I don't need to choose my words carefully or worry about how somethings sounds, because there is something raw and vulnerable when you just start talking, or in this case typing.

I am inspired by his project, I was inspired to write.

Something good in my life RIGHT NOW: the people in it.

blessings = people

the people in my world bless me with their laughter, their time, their words, their hugs, their energy, their love, their insight, their lives.

Friday, October 2, 2009

wonderful wedding weekend

Meet Stephen.

He is one of my favorite people, it's an honor to have the title of the "sister" he never had but probably always needed.

Meet Stephen & Whitney.

They are getting married this weekend. This wedding has been a LONG time coming. I first heard about Whitney when Stephen and I were on a missions trip with First in Guatemala the summer of 2005. (that trip was monumental in Stephen & I's friendship.) I'm sure I had met Whit prior to returning from Guatemala but that is the first time that I remembering thinking that this girl was someone special in Stephen's world. Fast forward a few years, and the Lord in his perfect plan brought these two back together again.

Their story makes me smile.
Their relationship gives me hope.
Their relationship reminds me of the sovereignty of God.

I "borrowed" this picture from their wedding blog.
It was taken while Stephen was proposing to Whitney in Boston.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

so my roommate got married. . .

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Gibson

Part of the day I was Joan's personal photographer. . .

I had the best time hanging out with my dear friend Eva all weekend.

And finally the beautiful bride and me.
My roommate, my friend, my heart sister.

It was a beautiful wedding.
It was an honor to be the photographer.
786 pictures later, I couldn't have asked for a better day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

funny things that happen to me. . .

This post is dedicated to my newest blogging friend. . . I love you Corrie!

While I was talking to Corrie, I was inspired to write about some of the funny things that have happened to me this school year. It must be known that I love my job and the funny things that happen make me love my job even more....

- - - -
I copied and pasted this directly from an email that I sent to some of my non-teacher friends.

"Objective of the day: Stay away from mace.
If I were a writer for the Eagle, the “news update” for today would go a little something like this…

"In recent news at Southeast High School, two students were "maced" today at lunch. Miss Call just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and was asked to help keep students out of the recently "maced" area. . . Miss Call got a quick "taste" of mace."
That stuff lingers in the air for quite some time. . . I have experienced many new things since becoming a teacher. Who would have thought that my career as an educator would allow me to experience things like mace and tasers?" (written August 20, 2009)

- - - -

This is is from another email that I sent out to those same non-teacher friends....

"So yesterday before my last hour class one of our assistant principals came to my room and asked me to make sure to not let a certain student leave my classroom without letting administration know.

I didn't really think anything about it because it wasn't that unusual of a request. Anyway after school I went down to the office and stopped in the hall to talk to a couple other teachers. As we are standing there, one of them says, "Hey did you guys hear about the kid who was on the roof after lunch?" Of course we hadn't so she told us the story. Apparently a kid found a way up on the roof. A teacher who was coming back from lunch saw him, called security and they were able to eventually get him down. Well to make a long story short once the kid got down he couldn't remember how he got up there or why he was even on the roof.

Come to find out MY kid was the one who was on the roof. Just another day in the life at good ole SE!" (written Sept 11, 2009)

- - - -

Then today in my 3rd hour class one of my students tells me that he has created a playlist of songs that remind him of my class or of me. I didn't get a chance to listen to all of this said playlist but the songs that we had time to listen to (while my students were working of course) were these:

· “Party in the USA” (Oh Miley!)

· “What is Love”

· “I want it that way” (back street boys)

· “Bye Bye Bye” (NSYNC)

· “Superfreak”

· “Ice Ice Baby”

· “I feel good.”

· “Hit me with your best shot”

This school year has started off on a very good note.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

all the plates I'm spinning...

Plate #1: Buff Squad Sponsor

Plate #2: running the end zone camera at Southeast football games

Plate #3: teaching online classes through Wichita e-School

Plate #4: leading a small group with my senior girls!

Plate #5: Continuing to learn to love others better.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I love it when...

I love it when you return to a place that you have not been in a while and are received with open arms, no questions asked. You start to wonder why you stayed away as soon as you walk in the door.

I hate it that hearing about tough circumstances reminds me that my prayer life is weak.

I love it when there are unexpected moments in your day where you realize that you are blessed beyond anything you could ever imagine.

I hate it when I take those blessings for granted.

I love it when the phone rings and the opportunity to catch up with an old friend presents itself.

I hate it when my primary means of communication with people is facebook.

I love it when I am meet people who know people I know and love.

I hate it that there aren't enough hours in the day to spend quality time with the people that I know and love.

I love it that this little piece of cyberspace serves as a spot for me to share my random thoughts and things that I'm learning.

I hate it that I neglect this piece of the world wide web.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


It all began on March 27, 2009. . . and now it's July.

This is what the fireplace looked like when I bought the house....

And now this is what the fireplace looks like!
(this might be my favorite wall in my house!)

This is the hallway.... (adios nasty wallpaper!)

And now this is what the shelf looks like!

This is what my bedroom looked like when we started....

And now, I love it!

What the dining room looked like... so blah....

And now... I LOVE it!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

a Guatemalan adventure

My friend Julie wrote this for the church newsletter. I am "borrowing" her words. I was sitting next to her on the flight from Guatemala City to Houston if that counts for anything. She put to words much of what I have been thinking.

A Guatemalan Adventure

As I write this, I am on a plane flying from Guatemala to Houston, thinking about all the experiences of the last ten days. How do I describe what it’s like to stand in a cemetery watching people clamor to get to a fresh load of garbage looking for their next meal or something they may be able to sell? Or going to a ministry that works with the children of those same people and seeing complete joy on their faces? The beauty of Lake Atítlan surrounded by the poverty of San Pedro? Yet again seeing a joy and hunger for God that is inspiring.

I know some of the emotions and memories evoked by the familiar smell of my sweatshirt will quickly fade, by I am thankful for those experienced that I know I can never forget. To all of you who supported us and prayed for us, we cannot thank you enough. It would be a blessing to us to be able to share our experiences with you.

So please, find someone who went on the trip and ask about the traffic. Ask about the Samuel Center and winding mountain roads. Ask about the Potter’s House, Casita Benjamin, the cemetery and the dump. Please, ask about San Pedro and the homes we visited there, and the churches we shared with. Ask about Rebeca Aulie’s expertise at red light green light and the faces of children we will never forget. Ask about Jim Matison, Juan Cocon, and about the rain. Help us not to forget too quickly the last ten days and allow us to share with you the way we saw and experienced God working while in Guatemala.

Again, thank you for your prayers and support – this trip would not have been possible without them.

Julie E.

Thanks my friend for letting me borrow your words.

The next post will include pictures.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Guatemala here we come...

a few short phrases to give you a glimpse of 
what my time in Guatemala will look like

10 days

8 adults

12 students

good food
long sermons
short plane trip
lots of cute kids
ridiculous traffic
a painting project
a day at the prison
interesting culture
customs in Houston
a million giant birds
skits (Lord help us!)
a trip across the lake
beautiful country side
lost and hurting people
a horse ride up a volcano
a language I can't understand
seeing how the Lord is working
If you think about it, pray for us.

Pictured below are 5 of the reasons I am excited about this trip.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


The last day of school for this year anyway is upon us.... One of my teacher friends sent this to me. It pretty much describes the joy I feel every year on the last day of school.

Don't get me wrong, I do love my job, but if it wasn't for these next two months I honestly wonder if I would like it so much.... You can bet that I will be the one bolting out the door as soon as we are given permission to leave. 

Here's to summer. Thank you Lord for calling me to be a teacher. Thank you for these next two months. I need this break. I need time to reflect. Time to rest. Time to just be.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

has it really been 4 years already?

Ever chapter of my life has been in 4 to 5 year increments. 4 years of high school, then graduation. 4-5 years of college, then graduation. At the end of those 4 -5 years, a major change was in store. A HUGE opportunity to trust the Lord. The thing that blows me away is to look back and see the Lord's hand guiding my path each and every step of the way.

I had no idea what my time at K-State would bring. I had no idea what this whole teaching thing had in store.... And now I am days away from finishing my 4th year of teaching at good ole Southeast High School. It dawned on me earlier this spring that this is MY class. These are MY students. These are MY people. This class joined me as the "new" kids on the block in the fall of 2005. We walked in together having no idea what these next four years would bring. They were starting high school as the class of 2009, just little freshman and I was starting my first job. A job that I really wasn't sure I was cut out for, but a job that I had a peace about. A job that I knew would change me, challenge me, break me, stretch me and grow me in ways I never knew were possible. 

Who knew that it would be the most rewarding 4 years of my life? Who knew that it would be the hardest 4 years of my life? Who knew that students could capture the heart of their teacher? Who knew that I would be who I am right now today, when I walked into that dreadfully empty building that day in August just so I could see my classroom before the week of in-services started? Who knew that I would be flooded with names of students that I have had the privilege to call my students? Those names, those faces who have endured my classroom, my teaching, my randomness, my soap boxes, my mess ups... 

I am grateful for these past four years. Graduations are always bittersweet and I will probably cry (not too surprising) but it's in those moments that I am reminded that I get to stay. Yes I am a little bit sad to see them go, but I am more excited to see what's next for them. I am grateful for the opportunity to start fresh in August, with a brand new list of students. The thing about students is that they will always be just that, "my students." Each of them hold a special place in my heart. The ones that come back just to say "hi" make my heart soar. 

I told one of my favorites the other day, "Go and do something great and make a positive impact on the people around you." She looked me straight in the eye and said, "Miss Call, I will and I will make sure you know about it." Those are the moments I love my job the most. Those are the moments that remind me that I can do this job for a couple more years, maybe even more than a couple but let's not get carried away. 

When the class of 2009 walks across the stage, I will hold my head a little higher knowing that we started this journey together and I am grateful for the privilege to walk these 4 years with them.

Monday, April 27, 2009

kitchen done and curtains hung

My friend Whitney is a rock star. She unpacked my entire kitchen while my superstar moving crew unloaded the rest of my stuff. Obviously the cabinet doors need to be painted and put back but I LOVE my newly painted and very organized kitchen! (more pictures soon, I promise!)

I LOVE my office. We call it the milkshake room, because the color reminds me of milkshake chocolate! My mom is amazing and made these beautiful curtains for my office! She is actually making curtains for my ENTIRE house and my house has a lot of windows! We are slowly but surely getting the material picked out and the curtains put up. I need to get the living room and dining room painted so that those SUPER cute curtains can be put up! Anyway the next picture is of the entire window in my office. The following two are close ups of the fabric! I LOVE color and I LOVE fun fabric. I love my mom for being so good on her sewing machine and being willing to make all these beautiful curtains for my new house!

A close up of the top valance!
LOVE this fabric SO much!
(notice the milkshake chocolate on the wall!)

The bottom part of the curtain! SO fun!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

extreme makeover MANDY edition cont.

The kitchen....
remember the shutters, the curtains, the sunflowers... oh dear.

My aunt and mom took the wallpaper off in the kitchen!
They are rock stars!

My sister loved painting with red... okay not so much! :)

Whit wanting to leave her mark! :)


The kitchen is not quite finished...
the "finished" pictures will come later!

extreme makeover MANDY edition cont.

Remember the wallpaper?
This is what the entry way looked like when I bought the house...

The entry way minus the wallpaper.

The first coat of guacamole! LOVE IT!
(Whitney painted the entry way!)

What the entry way looks like now! (J.K. is "inspecting" the closet)

extreme makeover MANDY edition

This is what the bathroom looked like when I bought the house...

This is what we found underneath the heart covered wallpaper... seriously swans?!?

Because the swan wallpaper wouldn't come off, we decided that new sheetrock was necessary.

YAY, its fresh and clean!

The almost finished product!