Thursday, March 27, 2008

Flippin' the Wax

I got something for you. Yo! Yo! Check it out...

Took a look in the mirror
Saw the lines on my face
Knew that I was gettin' older, but dang...
What a case

Crows feet the size of Yao's shoes
Steppin' on me, outta place,
San Andreas! Lines bustin' out all over the place

That's all I got. I WON'T quit my day job...

From "Wisdom"

When I have ceased to break my wings against the faultiness of things,
And learned that compromises wait behind each hardly opened gait,
When I can look life in the eyes, have grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the truth and taken in exchange, my youth.

From a forward in my mother's new Bible Study Book on "Pursuing Wisdom," a book on Proverbs.

My translation:

When I stop trying to fix things that can't be or don't need to be fixed
And I realize that I will not always get my way and need to look forward to cooperation and compromise
When I can face up to the fact that this life brings trouble and I don't need to fear it or worry about it and just know that life is about trials and that things will work themselves out like they always do for better or for worse with or without my intervention
Then I will finally see things as they are and I will have gained wisdom and lost the appearance, brashness and impatience of youth.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Background Check and Praxis 1 Exam Results

Good news! All my background checks are clear and I passed the Math and Reading portions of the Praxis I exam! (I'm pretty sure I passed the third portion (Writing) but I have to wait 2-3 weeks for the results because that section includes an essay.) Woohoo!

I picked up the Praxis review books from Dr. Loeb for my content Praxis exams and I begin my studies for those! I'll have to call and schedule them next!

Pontoon by Garrison Keillor

Pontoon by Garrison Keillor...I didn't like this one as much as I thought I would. While the reader will enjoy the familiar emotional roller coaster between laughing, sighing and identifying with the small town characters of Lake Wobegon, Keillor uses a lot of sexual innuendo that I have never really heard him use before. I was disappointed in this one.
If Keillor could have brought us the same stories without the sex jokes it would have been a better read. As it was, it was distracting and cheapened by the rawness of several moments in the book, which detracted from its enjoyable messages about humanity.

Love and Respect

Love and Respect = Good relationship book. Women want Love. Men want Respect. Excellent relationship guide...highly recommend it.

Talk about a guide to the opposite sex! Check it out. If you want to be all you can be for your spouse, give this a read. Forget Dr. Phil! He's got nothin' on Dr. Emerson Eggerichs when it comes to the spousal relationship, and he gives his advice from a biblical perspective. Cool beans. Excellent resource.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Watcha Gonna Do?

John 16:33 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Let's face it. Some of us have lead sheltered lives, others have not, but here is a biblical guarantee that if we are Christians we are going to experience trouble at some point in our lives. Last night our pastor gave a sermon on 'Five Reasons Why We Don't Give Up.' I'm going to call it 'Five Reasons We Are Able to Overcome Adversity.' Look up 2 Cor. Chapter 4. It's on 'Treasure in Jars of Clay.'

Five Reasons Are Able to Overcome
1. Because of the privilege we have of serving Christ.
2. Our sufferings reveal God's power in us.
3. We look forward to Heaven, keeping our eyes on one day being with Jesus, who we love.
4. We are renewed daily, inwardly by the realization that our eternal reward will outweigh our momentary (earthly) troubles.
5. We focus on the eternal, what is unseen.

I think we are able to overcome adversity when we CHOOSE to:

Count it a privilege to serve Christ
Don't dwell in the pit of our sufferings and think "woe is me"
Take the time to daily renew our spirits with prayer and Bible reading
Focus on the finish line in Heaven and not on the daily adversity that comes our way

These are all things we must choose to do, and all of them need to be things we do on an ongoing basis to serve in peak condition as Christians. All of these CHOICES are related to the attitude and focus of our hearts. Are we focused on Christ's mission or our own comfort? What is your life perspective?

I myself need periodic reality checks and to refocus on the mission at hand. I find myself easily distracted by adversity. I get caught up in the "Whys, Hows and What ifs" instead of concentrating on eternity. My faith is immature and I haven't been making a concentrated effort to focus on the endgame and instead have only focused on the trivial pursuits that inevitably come my way. I climb into my own personal sinkhole and dwell on the unfairness of it all. I question God's sovreignty and his benevolence and like a sulking child, I find myself in rebellion.

There are just so many good analogies here....the car that needs regular maintenace or it will breakdown, the marathon runner that needs to regularly train in order to run a good race...

It is easier to fall prey to pitfalls and to make unhealthy spiritual choices when are not training ourselves to overcome adversity. If you aren't daily training your body to complete the race, you will struggle to make it to the finish line. If you don't get regular oil changes, your engine will break down and you'll have a costly repair to make.

Our commitment to Christ is a choice, just like it's a choice to train to run the race or to do maintenance on our cars. If we don't do the work, we're going to arrive at the finish line in bad shape. We'll still get there, because Christ promises to be with us. It's just not going to be pretty, if we don't put in the effort to serve Him while we can.

So the question becomes, after you choose to become a Christian will you be an oceanliner, capable of bringing many to Christ along your journey, or will you be the row boat, tossed by the waves, that struggles to hold more than a handful of people, all the time struggling to bail itself out of trouble?

gonna do when adversity comes your way?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Math is not a 'Four Letter Word'

I didn't always hate Math. When we first got to know each other, we could see eye to eye, I enjoyed it's fun activities, practical/useful applications and manipulatives.

Somewhere in my early teenage years (cough!...middle school), I learned new information about Math from some unreliable, unfriendly sources...and our relationship changed. It became DIFFERENT, estranged and even hateful at times. I learned to think, "This sucks."

In my junior high years, my classes were 'tracked.' We were tested and homogeneously grouped with students that should be able to progress at the same rate. I was placed in accelerated classes for everything except Math. Looking back, I probably should have been put into the slowest track available, but I instead I was put into the middle group, not the slowest, or the fastest, but into group 2.

There's a saying about Math. "You either love it or hate it, there is no in between." As an up and coming educator I want to change that. I want to create that gray area where it's possible to create a new group of math students who respect it, appreciate it, and can use it even if its not their favorite thing in the whole world. To do that, you have to have time, patience and follow-through, not only as a student, but as a teacher.

Miss Kiehl was my 9th grade Algebra teacher and one of my favorite teachers of all time. She let us come in after school for extra help, and she encouraged us, giving us time to process the material that she covered in class. I was a kid who couldn't receive and understand the concepts all in one session. I needed extra time to process what I heard and relate it to what I already knew. She was a teacher that rewarded you with her time, and understanding.

By contrast, Mr. Mahood, my 10th and 11th grade Math teacher didn't have patience for students like me who asked too many questions in class and held everyone back. He would roll his eyes and act disgusted when I would raise my hand. He held review sessions on occasion, but they moved at the same pace as his classes did and if you couldn't keep up, that was just too bad so I stopped trying. I hated both his classes and I really didn't like him. Going to class was like going to my own personal, high-school hell.

What a difference a good teacher can make! I want to be that teacher that makes a difference in a kids life. Who allows them to make friends and to come to an understanding of math at their own pace, instead of adhering the time table someone else gives them that they must follow at the expense of coming to terms with the subject being taught.

Students can learn to come to terms with Math, even if they don't love it. They can learn to understand how it works, and how to use it to their advantage and to cultivate resources to increase their understanding of it, when they don't have an answer to the question. They don't have to give up.

I want to be the teacher students are comfortable coming to for extra help, and to offer it. I want to create the type of classroom atmosphere that is conducive to learning and to allow students to question and examine a subject in an appropriate fashion, so that when one of them doesn't understand something, they don't have to think, "This sucks." They can say, "I can learn this," and know it to be true.

Blogger in a Fog.

It's rainy, wet and soggy this morning. I am thankful for coffee most days but on days like is a godsend. Anne McCaffrey calls it 'Klah.' Lady Marmalade calls it, 'Mocha-chacka-yatah-yah-yah' (or perhaps she was referring to something else...ahem). Whatever you want to call this sweet, muddy's a morning pick-me-up that banishes the fog of the early morning blahs. I don't care if you're a morning person or not. Coffee helps kick-start the a wonderful way. Hey! That rhymes.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Charles Stanley...Appropo Don't You Think?

I took the following devotional directly from an email sent to me by In Touch Ministries. It's direct from the email.

"In Touch Daily Devotional by Dr. Charles Stanley

March 14, 2008 -- God's Call to Genuine Repentance -- 2 Corinthians 12:20-21

On a high shelf sits a clear glass jar half full of cookies, and six-year-old Todd is determined to have one. So when his mom walks into the kitchen a few minutes later, she finds the boy standing on the counter-- one arm still in the jar--chewing fast. The first words out of his mouth are, "I'm sorry." He is obviously sorry mom caught him, and he's unhappy about the punishment that he expects. But Todd is probably not actually feeling remorseful for eating the cookies.

Believers sometimes approach confession and repentance the same way. In prayer, we get comfortable confessing and expecting forgiveness. Sorrow usually accompanies the guilty admission, and feelings of shame and remorse are labeled as repentance. What we must ask ourselves is, Why are we ashamed? Too often our guilt has shallow roots. We're sorry to have been caught or sad over the consequences of our actions. At times we are upset that we've failed to live up to our own standards of good behavior. But genuine repentance goes deeper than self-reproach; it involves a sense of grief over having wronged God by sinning against Him.

Remorse is not the end of the story. Children of God want to please their heavenly Father, not grieve Him. So the repentant man or woman will feel driven to make a lasting change in attitude or behavior-- the choice will be made to forsake the sin and practice obedience. In response to true repentance, the Holy Spirit pours His power and strength into the believer to stand against Satan's temptation.


The Life Principles Bible
This Bible combines the wisdom of Scripture with the principles that guide Dr. Stanley's life and empower his ministry. Order your copy.

To see more resources from In Touch Ministries, please visit us at or go directly to our bookstore at In Touch Ministries."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"I'm Deeply Sorry..." I Got Caught....

"I'm deeply sorry..." quoth former NY state governor Eliot Spitzer in an article by MSNBC news services amidst charges tying him to an expensive prostitution ring. He's sorry alright...sorry he got caught. You can't tell me he'd be as sorry as he is now if his indiscrections hadn't been brought under public scrutiny.

I'm sure there are powerful people that have tabs on all government officials, trying to discover their dirty little secrets to use as leverage to unseat them from power, should the need arise. The question we should be asking ourselves is who ousted Eliot Spitzer?

Was this marionette not obeying the people pulling his strings? Is this the case of a puppet who tried unsuccessfully to become a real boy? Was Spitzer's name on a long list of people who were aptly busted in this prostitution sting or was he specifically targeted for take-down?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's Funny

One night, I lay down and went to sleep in my parents house with my giant poster of Steven Curtis Chapman on the wall, frilly bedspread and stuffed animals and when I opened my eyes the next morning...I was in bed next to my husband, in our home in PA and I had the distinct impression that I had been married for quite sometime.....

I went to bed, a 16-year-old, virtually care-free teenager, and woke up a married woman with a mortgage and a desk job and 30 extra pounds...

Yeah, I know it didn't LITERALLY happen that way. It just feels like it did some days. You know, it's funny how life moves on whether or not we're ready for changes to occur. There are no brakes on this ride and no time machine to go back.

I'm in my 30's wishing I was in my 20's. Pretty soon I'll be in my 40's wishing I was in my 30's.

It's time to enjoy where I am now and to stop wishing I was in another time, in another place. Where I work, the motto is, "The Time is Now." It's fairly appropriate to meditate on those stop dwelling in the past or yearning for a future that hasn't happened enjoy where and who I am RIGHT NOW, before the moment passes me be THANKFUL for where the Lord has me and to see the work he has for me today. I must concentrate on today, lest I miss the blessing before me.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Upper Lip is Frosted

Go ahead. Take me seriously. I'm de-hairing my upper lip. I'm almost 31 years old and I'm sharing a beauty secret some women don't share, especially because they know that occasionally....MEN read their blog. Gasp!

I use Nair Facial Hair Remover. My Aunt Jenny told me about it. While we were all together for Thanksgiving, we all frosted our faces to remove that unsightly, unwanted facial hair. One word of caution, don't leave it on too long.

I don't really have that much to complain about. My facial hair is blonde. What really gets me is that occasional one-inch hair I find underneath my chin...It's usually just out of my line of vision and once found, it feeds my urge to frost and remove my upper lip hair.

Face it girls...when that peach fuzz growth you've been denying starts being visible against the flesh of your upper's time for action and for gosh sakes, don't SHAVE it. No woman needs a 5 o'clock shadow.
Look for hair removing cream at Walmart in the beauty isle! Ask a nice sales lady for help if you need to find it.

Don't just do it for the sake of it because....well, you look better without a mustache.

Monday, March 3, 2008

AAA Photo Contest

My friends, Jon and Melissa have entered the AAA photo contest, submitting a photo from their fall trip to Kenya. It's a picture of the South side of two elephants (presumably Momma and baby), walking North. Jon and Melissa Heller would appreciate your vote to win! If you would, please visit the website below by March 29th and vote for your favorite photo. Be sure to click on the individual photos if you would like to see the entire picture.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Torso Track, Brocollini, and the Main Line

What DO these things have in common you ask? Why, an ongoing visit to my friend Christi's apt. in Wayne!

Last night was one of "firsts." I drove to Wayne for the first time. Christi made me broccolini with Salisbury steak and toasted bread and I ate them for the first time (all except the toast, I can't claim to have never eaten toast). It was delicious! And she was right, water DOES taste better out of crystal. For dessert we had Girl Scout cookies and tea and sat talked for hours. But wait, back up....

When I got to her apt. she gave me the tour and told me the story of how the laundry room/entry way used to be a very small kitchen, how many roommates she has she came to rent her apt. for an amazing price on the Main Line...very cool... But that's her story to tell...I want to tell you about the Torso Track she pulled out of her closet.

She had been giving me the tour of her apt. and telling me all the things we are to do this weekend. (I am here until Sunday p.m. studying for the Praxis 1 exam and to have some fun and pampering.) She had just showed me the guest room/office (we have the exact same comforters on our beds!) and we moved on to the living room/kitchen area...and she opened the closet and she said, "...and we can go for a walk, use the Torso Track or the exercise ball..." Wait. Hold up. The TORSO Track! What's that?

Christi pulls this enormous, elongated, Suzanne Sommers monstrosity out of her closet and proceeds to give me a demo. "Just three sets of 15 and you'll be feelin' it tomorrow," she said. I bet. I gave it a try.

She explained how not to bust a gut as you kneel on the knee pad, grab the handles in the track in front of you and then slowly extend your arms until you are in a prone position, feet flexed toward the ceiling, arms extended over your head, parallel to the ground. Fortunately, the resistance on the machine assists you to come back up to a kneeling position, otherwise, it would be easy to go down and then never come back up. Well maybe not NEVER...

As I mounted the machine...Christi explained how the machine works your muscles by elongating them and stretching them to help promote your posture (I can use all the help I can get in this area. In fact, as I type here at her computer, I'm slouching) and then she dropped this little jewel..."and Suzanne Sommers says she does this NAKED!" Wow. Not something I would EVER do. As sexy as it may sound, I can't picture ever wanting to put my exposed private parts THAT close to something that could potentially pinch and forcibly remove them from their preferred position. So, I played around with the resistance a bit and torso tracked as we chatted and she got dinner ready.

She had me smell the raw turkey meat she used to make the Salisbury steak. Neither of us really sure how raw meat is supposed to smell, I too, gave it a whiff and pronounced it safe for consumption. It had a "sell by" date of 2/28/2008 and it was only the next day.

I watched her move easily around her kitchen (this girl can COOK.) She plated this green, stringy-looking veggie..."Have you ever had broccolini? she asked. No. No I haven't. But it looked yummy, and it was! Apparently it conveniently comes in serving sizes for two, under plastic wrap on one of those little Styrofoam trays. It's a cross between broccoli and asparagus.

Torso Track...good. Broccolini...tasty. Hanging out with friend in her amazing apt. on the Main Line for two days, studying for a giant test...priceless.