What does it mean to be thankful? You're happy to have it and you want to say "thank you!"
(This is what I teach my students...)
This is my shout out to everyone for a happy turkey day. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and so I plan to enjoy it.
I'm thankful this year to be in Denver, to love the school I teach at, and to be surrounded by good friends.
I'm also thankful to have my 3 sister-in-laws here- Ruth, Rachael, and Alyssa. Yesterday the five of us went up to Boulder to the Celestial Seasonings factory, which was great fun! Hailing from the less "green" San Antonio, Rachael was excited to count all of the bicyclists! Good friends from high school and college, John and Jonathan also came in last night, so we have a pretty full but happy apartment!
Today we join our friends from church for a Thanksgiving feast. The meal will be completely prepared by people under the age of 30! Pictures will most definitely follow!
Ironically enough, I tried yoga for the first time while living in Alabama and loved how it helped keep my body healthy and pain free. My friend Susan directed me to this free website, which is great since unfortunately most yoga comes with a price tag.
I've been really nervous about it. I mean, c'mon, I am a product of southern CA, Phoenix, and Dallas. I think I drove in melting snow once in college (partly due to my lack of transportation for most of it). So while I have been anticipating our "first snow" in Denver, I have also been dreading it.
After a warm 66 degree day yesterday, it turned bitterly cold in the middle of the night. My coworker was trying to explain it to me- I won't attempt. I woke up to the words "It's snowing" and immediately felt panic. On Fridays, I have no lifeline- Eric leaves for his other job across town. He also leaves earlier, so I did feel better when he called to tell me there was barely anything falling and that he scraped the frost off my car (yes he is wonderful and yes we are still sharing an ice scraper- laugh away all you from cold climates). However, 30 minutes later when I walked out the door I encountered thick flakes dropping rapidly from the sky. My nervousness resumed. I tried to push the now 3+ inches off of my car while throwing my teacher bag inside. Immediately, what seemed like an inch of snow fell onto the drivers seat. I resisted the urge to cry at the thought of driving it, my soon to be wet bum, and the fact that I was now going to have to drive in snow! We must have been in the middle of the snow dump, because five minutes down the road, no snow was falling from the sky.
I was relieved to have made it to school without an incident and was met by the kind words, "Oh this is nothing! Just wait."
So, as I wait, I will get another ice scraper, some towels for my car, and build myself a garage. And don't worry, I already have my Colorado tags so no one can yell at me "Hey southern driver! Get off the road!"
Too bad, blogging wasn't on my mind this morning. A picture would have been great.
Teaching 1st grade is going well. If I posted pictures of my students (which I don't), I could show you some awesome ones of our time at the zoo, turning ourselves into inside out human trash bag bodies, and mummifying our favorite stuffed animals with tp! Just trust me, their cute!
Things I like about first grade: - At the zoo, they actually can help read the signs and the map and the continents. - They are writing and really beginning to read! I did the happy dance about 3 times today when I saw 3 different students reading or writing readable words for the first time today! - There are less accidents. - I can trust them with more responsibility.
Things I miss about kindergarten: - Bye-bye fun "cute" crafts! - Working with parents for their child's first year of "real" school. - Seeing the phenomenal growth they make in such a short period of time. - They are so stinkin cute in a little kid kind of way still! (or at least until 2nd semester!) - Being their first teacher and laying the reading foundation.
So, the jury's still out. I like my kiddos but sometimes I peek in the kindergarten room and think, "Ah.."
I've thought about writing this post for a while, but have hesitated for several reasons. For one, I know that my choice is unpopular with many Christians, and I fear that I will be viewed as less intelligent or spiritual. I have also hesitated due to the fear that I will be viewed as "proselytizing" for your vote... which is not my desire. I decided that on the eve of the election, however, most people have either saved themselves a lot of time by doing early voting, are not voting, or know who they are voting for... if for some reason you don't know who you are voting for tomorrow, *spoiler alert* ahead!
I believe as Christians that we are called to glorify God with our hearts, emotions, bodies, and minds. As part of that, I believe it is important to be aware of not only what is going on in the world but also what is going on in our country. To understand to the best of our knowledge the politics that drive our policies. Not because our hope is in America, but because we are Christians living in America. Not to be discouraged to hopelessness (for this world is not our hope), but to be engaged in the world/country around us. For his purposes, God has placed us as Americans, and though it may be a drop in the bucket (such as going to Africa for a summer, living in the inner city, etc.) we can still exercise influence.
For these reasons, I feel it is important to exercise our right to vote- whether Republican, Democrat, Independent, or by not voting. However, to refuse to look past the sound-bites on TV or the so-called labels of the "Christian" party are poor excuses at using our minds for God's glory. I have a brother in Christ who disagrees with me strongly on political views and we may tease each other relentlessly, but I respect his thoughtfulness that has gone into his decision.
All this rambling to say, after long and careful consideration I am in support of Obama being our nation's next president. No I have not jumped on the "hype-wagon"; no I don't think he is going to save the world (Christ already did that); and yes I believe in the sanctity of human life. This and many other issues I have weighed heavily in my decision. Could he be a terrible president if elected? Sure, but my hope is not in him. Can I rest knowing that I voted in the way I thought would glorify God? Yes.
There are many things I could say, but I will spare you any more political banter.
As His children, may God give us grace to live lives that bring him glory. Amen.