Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blessings Updated

The school year is off and going. Beth-Anne is still ACE's K-2 teacher, and Matthew is still their 3-8 teacher. Beth-Anne has 9 students, and Matthew has 18! The school has indeed grown. 3 years ago there were 13 students total, while this year there are 27! Prayers have been answered, indeed. This means significant changes for Matthew. The structure of his classroom has changed greatly, so he has an aide, and is reworking much of what he started with from previous years.

This is our fourth year in Cookeville, and it feels more and more comfortable each month we are here. Besides the whirlwind start for school, this year has been the easiest to get back into because of the friends we have. Sometimes it feels like we could never leave, but we know that God determines our future plans, and if we want to be happy individuals, we know it's best to follow Him wherever He directs - whether we stay here for 2 more years or 25.

At this moment, two batches of homemade pizza dough is rising and waiting to be "puffed" down, then frozen for future pizzas on the fly. These vegan pizzas are phenomenal. We highly recommend them to anyone. In fact, feel free to stop by and try a bite some time. Who says vegetarians, or even vegans, don't eat well?!

Slowly but surely the house is getting back to the way it should be. We have a marble system to prompt us to put our personal belongings away. If Matthew leaves his shoes on the floor, Beth-Anne has the right to take a marble from him and add it to her collection. It sounds competitive, but it works. Plus, it is fun to be a little competitive.

All in all, we are greatly blessed and have much to be thankful for. We have more than we need, plenty of food, jobs that bring some stress and a lot of job satisfaction, friends and family galore, and a lifetime of fun experiences shared together.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Endless Summer

The Olympics are on television (one of the very few things I’d watch), and we’re relaxing on vacation at the Outer banks (OBX) of North Carolina. I should be doing more productive things (such as typing up this blog), but it is a rare delicacy to savor a lot of nothingness that I feel less than inspired to do much – although the athletes keep me motivated to continue exercising occasionally. My goal is to look better at the age of 30 than I did at the age of 20. This goal is much more feasible than it sounds because I didn’t look all that great at 20 – I had a little bit too much “pudge”. Though, the fact that I’ll be 30 in the next two years is almost scary.

This summer, to catch many of you up to speed, has been a whirlwind in one sense, and a slow-moving river in another. Much of it for me has been spent doing a house project which has been non-stop since the beginning of the summer. I would wake up, do devotions and eat breakfast, then start house projects. The only break in the day would be for lunch, supper, exercise (I’m in pretty good shape because of Insanity), and time set aside to talk with Beth-Anne.

What has made it feel slow-moving is that Beth-Anne was in class for 2 months straight. She was gone, I was alone, and there was a lot of time to just think, listen to music, and recuperate for this next school year.

Here are some events from this summer that have been highlights for me:
1-Playing Daniel for VBS in early June
2-Kayak-camping (kayamping) with Beth-Anne, then Jason, in late May/early June
3-Spending time with the pets – lots of time – every day
4-Surprising Beth-Anne by visiting her in Collegedale
5-Visiting my parents for a week in Virginia
6-Being present for Ted’s profession-of-faith
7-Learning from Landmark
8-Spending time with family in OBX
9-Watching the Olympics!
1-Riding waves
1-Exercising every day (Insanity!)

Soon, the heat will begin to fade away and the days will shorten. Students will enter the classroom, and we will again have the opportunity to challenge, encourage, and motivate them to heaven.
For all the moments these recent months have brought, and for all the times to come, live to the glory of God.