Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Than 5 Seconds

Summer is HEEEERE! There were days in September and October I truly thought I would never say those words. And, now it is here. Hello old friend, how I have missed you!

So, at the end of our "End of the Year" party, all of my little friends were given ginormous lemon ices. They were delighted. They were huge. Texas sized. Sweet Bella was still carrying hers as she walked back to our classroom to gather her last goodies. I guess somewhere on the walk back it fell. Or, should I say, what was left of it fell. She ran to me and said, "I dropped mine on the ground ... and it was longer than 5 seconds!" Oh, Sweet Bella, thank you for one last funny line. How my blog will miss you!

And, that, my bloggy friends, sums up this year. Longer than 5 seconds. Still not long enough. I so want to ignore the "5 second rule" and scoop them back to me for another year. Every single one of them. (There were just gasps from my family! Did I forget to say it has been a tough year?!) I have loved, loved, loved these kiddos as if they were my own. Was it really 9 months ago that they were strangers to me? I may not have done everything right, but I sure did try. Years from now I will look back on this time and say, "I wonder how ..." I know that I will see them become amazing young men and women ... seemingly right before my eyes. And, I will instantly go back to when they were 5 and 6 and realize that "5 seconds" was enough.

Go forth, young grasshoppers, and make me proud!

Monday, May 25, 2009

No Greater Love

Today is Memorial Day. It is so much more than a day off from work or school. So much more than a chance to barbecue or swim. So much more than a chance to nap. It is a day for us to remember those who have served our country well and for those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Yesterday, our church paid tribute to the families of Houstonians who gave their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan. Mayor White came and shared from his heart ... not sure he is a Christian, but our pastor is doing his best to point him to the cross. While the orchestra played, the names of Houston's fallen were rolling on the big screen. I read every name. There were too many. Too many. When the families stood, we did the only thing we could do ... clapped and cried. And we stood and clapped. For a long time. And the whole time I was thinking, "How can this be enough?" It was not enough. It could not be enough. I hope they felt our gratitude and know that we didn't just feel it then but every day.

One of HFBC's pastor (of the deaf church) shared the story of his son, Staff Sargeant Brian Craig, who was killed in Afghanistan over 7 years ago. He shared how on his last phone conversation with his son he asked about his walk with Christ. As he was trying to tell his dad, the phone started to break up. So, to answer his question he wrote him a letter. 7 days before he died. It would be his parents last letter they received from Brian. They received it 12 days after his death. In it he shared how he was growing in Christ, how thankful he was for their prayers, how much he loved them and how proud he was to be their son. Twelve days after his death his parents received a treasure ... a gift.

Over 4 years ago, the war in Iraq suddenly became real to our family as our nephew, Paul Andrew was called to serve. We had to trust completely that the One who gave him to us would hold him in His hands. I would love to say it was easy ... but, I am human. How Linda and Paul did it I will never know. When we left for the beach that year we knew that Paul would soon be coming home. There are moments in your life that are etched in your memory forever ... the news that Paul was out of Iraq and safe in Germany was one of those moments. We were lucky. And we know it.

Our pastor (oh how we love him!) preached from John 15:12-13. Jesus commands us to love one another ... it is easy to love someone we care about, but He also commands us to love our enemies. Jesus did. He died on the cross for His enemies ... because until I accepted Him I was His enemy. Let that wash over you. I'm not sure I would be willing to lay down my life for my enemy, but every day our service men and women lay down their lives for their enemies as they do what they do to protect our country. There is no greater love.

And, so today as you go and enjoy your day think of all the Brian Craigs. Pray for their safety. Pray that God would give their families peace and comfort until they wait to hug them again. Pray that they would be able to hug them again.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Elfs Did It!

So, today we wrote about our favorite Bible story of the year. My little buddy said "When Mary was crying in the tunnel." The tunnel? I am right there in Bible, how could I have missed this? He used his hands to make a "tunnel". Um, that would be a tomb. The rest of the conversation went something like this ...

me: You mean the tomb?
LB: Yes, the tomb.
me: Why was she crying at the tomb?
LB: Because the big stone was moved and someone had stolen her Lord.

(Now, let me clarify something. At this point I really thought we were back on track. I mean, he knew she was crying because "her Lord" was missing. If only I could see ahead in time, I would have known to stop while I was ahead. But, read on ... I did not stop.)

me: Who rolled away the stone?
LB: Well, that would have been the elfs.
me: The elfs?
LB: Yes, the elfs.

I quickly clarified that it wasn't the "elfs", but rather the angel who rolled away the stone. How I did this without laughing I will never know ... must have been the elfs!

My parents are home after spending over 3 months in Israel serving at the Garden Tomb ... will you ever be able to look at that stone without a little giggle?!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why I Hate "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

I will admit I haven't seen the movie. Perhaps it will make it to the summer movie fare ... not sure. I have, however, been living parts of the movie. As in "Boom! Boom! Firepower!" Over and over and over again. Joy. My class loves that line ... and once one says it ... do I really have to go on? And, it must be said (and is said) in the weird accent of the character of the movie.

And, the best part of it all? I have found myself saying it randomly. Out loud. With the accent. And the motions. In places like Target. I am such a geek!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


As in there are only five days of school left. I had imagined this moment a little differently in October ... as in lots of whoops and hollers and a few new dance moves. Yet, here I am on the eve of the last week of school and I feel like I do every year at this time.

Don't get me wrong. No one looks forward to summer more than teachers. We are on the battlefield every day for 180 days ... trust me we need it. Without it there would be a drastic need for more men in white coats! And, this has been one tough year. One for the record books. I'm not totally sure who reads this blog, so I censor some of what I write. You wouldn't believe half of what has gone on this year. I don't ... and I lived it!

So, that being said I thought I would be joyful. And, I'm not. I only have five days left. Is that enough time? Will I say everything I need to say? Will I love on them enough? Will I hug them enough? Will I remind them enough of how much Jesus loves them? There is not enough time left.

I have been blessed this year with 19 amazing and different kiddos to love on and teach. I send them off to 1st grade knowing they are ready to go ... Kindergarten is the most amazing year ... they come to you unable to even recognize letters and leave reading, reading, reading. I have learned a lot from this group. I have laughed a lot. I have been on my knees a lot. A LOT. They are ready ... and, so I send them on.

I send them home on the last day with this poem.

True then. True now.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Reason to be Thankful for the Swine Flu

I am about to admit something that probably only Dean knows about me. I LOATHE the "meet and greet" time at church. What are the proper etiquette rules about the "meet and greet"? How many people's hands do you have to shake? Do you only stay in your area or do you roam the entire congregation looking for your friends? What if you are only sitting by your family ... do you have to shake their hands too? Oh, Emily Post we need your help.

Not my thing. At all. And, I am a people person. There is a reason why we surround ourselves with friends at church. There is a reason.

We got the best email from church this week. Due to the swine flu they will not be having the "meet and greet" this week. Can I get an "amen"? How about a "hallelujah"?

So thankful for the swine flu. So thankful

And, I was asked this week if it was a big deal to me (the flu, that is). And, I just said "Um, we live in Texas." School districts are closing around us. There have been a few cases in our area. I am not nervous however. One of my Kinderfriends told me today that their baseball game was cancelled because the other team were "scaredy cats" of the virus. HA!