Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's Christmas time, so open up the floodgates

I recieved a wonderful email from a dear friend today. She reminded me to be thankful for my time here- and that God can and WILL use this time to help me grow. There is still so much to be learned- even in three weeks! I'm also thankful that three weeks is all I have left; that I am able to be close to my honey and my family for the holidays; that very, very soon I will be back where I belong and ready to invest in the community there. For these things, I am so thankful.

I am also thankful for friends to remind us of these things just when we need a gentle push to get through to the end.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I'll be Home for Christmas

I've arrived back in Milwaukee- from a simply beautiful Thanksgiving weekend with my family and Nathan. I'm physically back in Wisconsin for my last leg of the journey here- but my heart still aches and tears stream quickly down my cheeks as I sit here wishing so badly to be home.

Three weeks is nothing. That's what I keep trying to tell myself. "It's like a vacation"- the words Jason, Nate's brother, said to reassure me in the car on our way away from home today. I pray they go quickly. I love my aunt and uncle and what they've provided for me here- I truly do appreciate everything they've done. But my heart is in Nebraska. The people I love wait there for me and as loneliness sets in once again- I can't help but feel completely incomplete being here without those who are so important to me.

On a less somber note, thanksgiving was wonderful. Nate and I spent the weekend "yo-yo-ing" from his family to mine and back to his again. We spent much-needed time with family and had time together during the drives between towns. I was able to experience my first "other family" thanksgiving- he had his first "black Friday" morning with my mom and I, and I learned to play the Wii and had their famous family tacos on Saturday night. It was so good for my heart to be surrounded by family. My heart has been rejuvenated and I'm ready to push through these last couple of weeks.....although, tonight I am already feeling very homesick.

I've got to get working. Lesson plans to write.....children to teach tomorrow. This is why I'm here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I know that I've got no place to be

Actually, I do have a place to be....and that is right here in good old Nebraska. I am home. And I love it.

Today is Thanksgiving. In the midst of the confusion, irregularity and lonely moments in life this fall, I find no difficulty in being thankful for so many things. Being here, with my people brings a life to my heart that just cannot be explained. Knowing that my mother and father are two simple hours away; that my brother is just across town; that Nate is six minutes down the road; that grandparents are close enough to visit and friends are available for coffee....these realizations calm my heart.

This year, I have so many things to be thankful for- but the thing that stands out most is being home. Being home means I'm here; that they're here; and that life is a lot more doable with the people you love.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back-comb, shmack-comb

I've given it over a week. I've tried different techniques, different kinds of combs, different products.....to no avail. I cannot learn to backcomb my hair! It's hopeless. I've asked for advice, I've looked online....I just can't do it. Here's my new haircut. Very nice- compliments of Martha.
You can see in the second photo, that I have a headband in. Now, wouldn't it be nice to have a little more volume in the back? That's what I thought too. I can't get it to stay. What usually happens is that I start with a little hairspray at the root and I try to lift it with my fingers or a comb. Then, I spray a little more....still, nothing. Then a little more and more and more...until it's time to go and all I've got left is a flat top-o-the-head full of cruncy, sticky hairspray. Awesome.
So, I'm asking those of you who know a thing or two about back-combing.....what am I doing wrong?!?!?!?! Help!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


I went to visit Martha and Ryan this weekend. We had a WONDERFUL time...it was so good for my heart to see them. I feel rejuvinated and refreshed- ready for another week.

Here they are at the Christmas tree farm. We tagged one with Ryan's parents....ready to be cut after Thanksgiving.Here is Martha, Me, and the boys. She chopped my hair off and colored it this weekend. You can kind of see it here- turned out really cute. Thanks, Marth!
And here they are overlooking Lake Michigan. It was beautiful out- the lake is literally in their backyard. Amazing. Marth suprised me Saturday with coffee and pedicures- a day of relaxation and spending time with Ryan's parents. It really was great. I should have taken more pictures. Next time. I'll be going back in early December when Erin goes to visit. I expect to meet the new baby Thomas boys....they'll be so excited to see Aunt Scipp. :)

Thursday, November 1, 2007


For a good chuckle, watch this:

thoughts on 5th grade

It's silent. My 5th graders are reading and meticulously filling in bubble after bubble on Wisconsin State Standardized Tests. Our aquarium buzzes in the back of the room; water trickling out of the filter into an empty habitat. 4 toads are absent today because Ms. Sominsky's 8th grade biology class has borrowed them for observation.

I recall the soothing melodies of Iron and Wine from earlier today. Faint melodies floating into their young eager minds. This music calms them almost instantly after they come bustling in from the early November weather, bundled in puffy coats- spotted with filth from romping in the leaves in yards on the walk home from school, backpacks with wheels, and Green Bay Packers ear-warmers. The contrast of Fubu and Element names against a thin, faded purple drawstring bag- undoubtedly passed down for years through a line of siblings that can't afford a new school bag every year; and yet, none of them seem to notice.

I've placed myself strategically next to ceiling-high windows to warm myself with the touch of the sun's rays pressing into our little classroom. Sitting back, I watch my children working steadily with so much joy in my heart and a slight tinge of pain at the thought of saying goodbye to them next Friday. I love my students. They are my children. I am their teacher. This is what I'm created to be.