Monday, December 29, 2008

It has been quite a week. After church last Sunday, I loaded my car up and drove up to MD to my sister's place. Traffic was great and I was able to attend a church in her town for the evening service. Now, my sister has two cats and I'm highly allergic to them, but I happened to manage it pretty well while at her place. Then, on Tuesday, we drove to MI to be with our family. My parents and brother live in a small house and the animals as well as the smoking like freight trains really started to get to me. My brother and I went out to do some Christmas shopping (but I would have scrapped the idea had I know it was only his second time driving in the winter...yipes!) and then went back home. I used my nebulizer, but it just did not help me at all. My mom then took me to the ER at about 3am. Five treatments and some steroids later, I was able to breathe some. We got home about 7am (we did some grocery shopping on the way). I did get a little bit of sleep, went to church that night, then went home. Our power went out and I needed to use my nebulizer so I went over to my uncle's house and stayed there. My dad picked me up before heading out to pick up his brother who lives in a group home. There I got to see Carole and catch up a little bit. I hadn't seen her in about a year. We then went home and opened out gifts and had dinner. All of it was nice. I was trying to tough it out and after a few rounds of the nebulizer again with no results, I went back to the ER (again, about 3-4am). That time they admitted for observation. I thought it was kind of funny that when I finally got to my room, I had breakfast before I got any sleep. The IV did not bruise as badly as it has done in the past, so that was good. I finally left the hospital at about 3pm and visited some of Nessa's friends with her. I opted to stay at my uncle's house for the remainder of my stay in MI.

In true family fashion, we had planned on leaving Saturday, but did not leave until Sunday night. With that change of plans, I was able to attend my "home" church again. I really missed my church family. We got to MD about 5am and my sister had to work at 6am. Yuck. I got a little more rest and then headed on my way to VA. Since I did not leave early enough, I got stuck in DC traffic (mostly stop-and-go) and doubled the time it should have taken me to get back. Thankfully, all the traveling done was basically uneventful.

Well, I'm home and safe. I'm back in my non-animal, non-smoking environment and I should be able to get my breathing back under control. I have been feeling a little light-headed today, but I'm thinking a good night of rest will help that.

I do hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Even though I had a rough one, I'm thankful I was able to see my family again. That meant more than anything to me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Me, Jay, and Nessa at the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Well, I thought I'd let you know that I did not receive a husband in the pile of gifts at school today. The girls gave me candles and chocolates instead. :)

While on the subject of gifts, I just want to vent. Now, I like to give gifts. I try to be practical and give something that will be used. I have done this to a couple of people over the past couple of years. I'm just not going to this year. It's not that I expected a gift in return, but when you get someone a gift and all they do is drop hints about what they want this year without ever so much as to think about giving a gift in return, I feel like all they want is to get, get, get. I'm not buying gifts for those people this year. It's just not right. I feel the same with Christmas cards. Why should I take all that time and spend money on postage without even a card in return.

Some people just really rub me the wrong way these days.

This post probably makes me seem selfish, but really, I feel like I'm being practical with life in general.

Ah, well. That's my vent.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ok, so I haven't been on in a while. Stuff has happened, but I just didn't blog about it.

Well, this week, one of my boys misheard what I said (South Carolina) and blurted out what he thought he heard: South Kackalacky. No joke. I couldn't help but laugh at that. Then I had to regain my composure and get the class back on track. He wasn't the only one with speaking difficulties, though. While I was talking with some colleagues, "trother buying" rolled right off my tongue. Nice, huh?

Now, the kicker this week came from one of girls who is very sweet and helpful. She told me that she knew what to get me for Christmas: a husband! lol

We have our class party tomorrow. I do hope it goes well.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What a day! I had to assign 200 sentences to one student for running the hall and trying to argue with me about it. Then, I had a student complain about not feeling well, so we called his mom. She said she'd try to get there when could. It wasn't soon enough. This student up-chucked all over the boys' bathroom. And it stunk. I put on gloves, grabbed some paper towels, had a garbage bag doubled, had a student fill the mop bucket, and had another student go to the supervisor's class to ask for the aide I thought was in that day. The aide was not in so the Josh came down to see what the matter was. I told him and then he offered to clean up the mess. I am very grateful for that. I would have had a hard time keeping my own breakfast down.

My class got to see a black widow spider today. Someone brought it to my class asking if my kid would be interested in seeing it. It was in a covered glass jar inside a coffee container. I showed the kids and passed it along to the sixth grade. I had never seen a black widow in person. I never want to see another one. :)

I check out the local Freecycle chapter from time to time and try to see if there's anything useful being offered. I asked about a heated foot spa yesterday and was chosen to be the recipient of it. I picked it up earlier this evening. I'm delighted to have one in my possession now, but was brought a smile to my face was the little boy who opened the door. I wasn't sure which item was mine on the porch and I saw a light on in the house, so I rang the doorbell. A little boy, about 5-8 years old, answered the door. I could tell right away that he had Downs Syndrome. Well, after I found out which bag was mine, I was heading to my car and the little boy held out his hand and said, "Help!" and helped me down the stairs! It was too cute! He was going to try to walk me to my car as well, but I told him that he was very sweet, but since it was raining, he should go back to his dad so he wouldn't get wet. Seeing that little boy just brightened my day!

I did use the foot spa and it felt wonderful. :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Vote now! (please)

Vote for any of Karyn R.'s from Fredericksburg, VA, daily

Monday, December 01, 2008

A view of Heaven

I received this in an email, but I know I've also read the room part of this in Joshua Harris's I Kissed Dating Goodbye. It's still thought provoking either way.

17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for a class. The subject was what Heaven was like. 'I wowed 'em,' he later told his father, Bruce. 'It's a killer. It's the bomb. It's the best thing I ever wrote..' It also was the last.
Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend's house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted.
The Moores framed a copy of Brian's essay and hung it among the family portraits in the living room. 'I think God used him to make a point. I think we were meant to find it and make something out of it,' Mrs. Moore said of the essay. She and her husband want to share their son's vision of life after death. 'I'm happy for Brian. I know he's in heaven. I know I'll see him.'
Brian's Essay: The Room...
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read 'Girls I have liked.' I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was.
This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.
A file named 'Friends' was next to one marked 'Friends I have betrayed.' The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird 'Books I Have Read,' 'Lies I Have Told,' 'Comfort I have Given,' 'Jokes I Have Laughed at ' Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: 'Things I've yelled at my brothers.' Others I couldn't laugh at: 'Things I Have Done in My Anger', 'Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents.' I never ceased to be surprised by the contents.
Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to fill each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.
When I pulled out the file marked 'TV Shows I have watched', I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of shows but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.
When I came to a file marked 'Lustful Thoughts,' I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content.
I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!' In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.
Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh.
And then I saw it.. The title bore 'People I Have Shared the Gospel With.' The handle was brighter than those around it,seemed newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.
And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key. But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him.
No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own.
He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.
Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card. 'No!' I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was 'No, no,' as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side.
He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, 'It is finished.' I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.
'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. '-Phil. 4:13 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.' If you feel the same way forward it so the love of Jesus will touch their lives also. My 'People I shared the gospel with' file just got bigger, how about yours?