Monday, April 25, 2011

What have I done?

I borrowed this from Arshunda over at Ride of My Life.

Everything below in bold, I've done. I would like to do many more than I have! Copy this on to your own blog & bold/underline the things you’ve done if you like.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland (Disneyworld, but I'm counting it.)

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child  (I WANT to do this!!!)

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run (Haha, this is funny!)
32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (I'm not totally sure where they're from!)

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing (no desire...)

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (Camp Fire candy counts, right?)

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (Not yet, but I will!)

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check (On accident!!)

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Got a tattoo

94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

Saturday, April 23, 2011

God has been up to an amazing work.  Hmm, let me correct that.  God is always up to an amazing work.  Lately, He has opened my eyes more to what He's doing and I am joyfully walking closer and closer with Him each day.  It is a blessing to actually see, understand and be a tiny part of His plan!

Jesus is patiently walking me through some lessons on trust and what it looks like to have faith in Him.  Our trip to Haiti back in March was fabulous, without many bumps.  I did have a slight heartattack the night before we left.  I had made a mistake in adding up the amount of cash we were supposed to take and we were short...but no small amount.  I didn't immediately trust.  I didn't immediately turn to Christ.  My first thought was one of panic.  He wasn't surprised.  He had known all along I had made that mistake, and He quietly took care of it. 

Thank you Jesus!  I will choose to trust you next time!

We had a slight ticket glitch at the end of our trip.  I didn't even miss a beat.  I need Jesus had it all under control.  Thank you Lord that you're helping me learn to trust you!

My small group has been studying Ruth lately.  While I was in Haiti, God took me back to the end of chapter 2, specifically the verses where Ruth goes out into the barley and wheat fields.  She had met Boaz.  She found him appealing.  She wanted to be married again.  God asked her to be patient.  And to wait.  Two things I don't do as well as I would like.

Another lesson I learned, to be prayerfully patient.  I can't just be patient.  I can't just pray.  God is asking me to do both.  I need to be prayerful for my friends' salvation.  I need to be patient with them as I'm talking with them and praying for them.  I need to be prayerful for my future spouse.  I need to be patient with God's plan while I'm praying for my husband.

Earlier this week, MJ and I interviewed for a video our church is making to promote Haiti.  Our Missions' Office is starting up a new website about Giving Your Life Away.  This video will be on the website and perhaps shown in our church service at some point, too.  

Mark and Lacey are in town this weekend.  They were able to come to our Broken for You service on Thursday night.  Both of them commented how large the church was and how intimate the service felt.  Praise God!  I had been specifically praying they would feel poured into.  Mark, Lacey, MJ and I are all meeting with our missions' pastor tomorrow morning.  I am so excited to continue to see God working!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Student Stories

If you know me outside this blog at all, then you know I do not leave near the school where I teach, for a reason. 

I love my children and their parents.  I genuinely enjoy interacting with them throughout my day.  However, I have no desire to run into them at HEB or the carwash. 

About a week ago, I'm at a Tex-Mex restaurant EAST of where I live.  I've run into the ladies room and am washing my hands, when a little boy and his slightly older sister come in.  I don't pay much attention, until I realize they're trying to look at me covertly and then glancing at each other.  I start to wonder if something is wrong with my clothing.  I'm wearing a high necked blouse, but maybe something is hanging out that's not supposed to?  I start glancing down at my clothing, in the mirror at my face, neck, arms, quick glances, attempting to see what has their attention. 

Finally, the little boy exclaims, "You're from our school!"

The lightbulb goes off, and Ms. Ross turns on the smile.  "Yes, yes, I am!"  I chat with them for just a moment, finding out he's a kindergartner and she's in 2nd grade, feeling slightly awkward as we're in a public restroom and it's just the three of us.  We all finish washing our hands, and head back to our parties.

It was a slightly odd occurrence, as I work WEST of where I live.

I tell the story to my girlfriends, we laugh and carry on with our evening.

Flash forward a little over a week...I'm meeting a friend for coffee, and am walking by Crave Cupcakes.  I can tell a teenage girl has glanced at me and looked back at her friends, embarrassed.  She looks familar, and I'm pretty sure she's a former student, but I can't pull her name, so I don't say anything.

I walk into Starbucks, chat with the friend I'm meeting, get in line to order my drink and sit down to begin catching up.  A girl I do not recognize appears at our table.  "Um, hi." Awkward, teenage girl smile.  "Is your name Ms. Ross?"  I give my best, "Welcome to Ms. Ross's class!" smile and admit that I am, while sincerely hoping she was not a former student, because I had no clue who she was, but didn't want to disappoint her if I didn't know her name.  On the contrary, her friend was my former student, but was too embarrased to come say hello.  However, her friends convinced her, and it made me remember the awkward life of a 14 year old girl, when talking to an adult was mortifying, yet desirable. 

I actually enjoyed running into these children, though I still firmly stand by my decision to never live in the area where I teach!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Can I be 4 y.o. again?

A 4 year old has the pleasure of taking a nap.  They don't always appreciate the opportunity, but they get it nonetheless.

I would love to be a 4 year old for today. :)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

"I've clicked send. Why hasn't she replied!?"

I love my job more than most, but we all have our frustrations, right?

It really bothers me when parents of students expect me to drop everything to get back to them.  As if I don't have anything else going on, or as though I live to respond to their email or phone call. 

Honestly, it's a little dehumanizing.  I'm not a human, but a teacher: a product to supply their needs.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

I love springtime!

I would never have thought I would enjoy working outside.  I just didn't as a little girl.  Grandma loved piddling outside in her garden and her backyard flowers.  Mom and Dad always keep a beautiful yard, too.  I just never had a desire to learn about all the different types of plants...shade, sun, partial direct light, blah, blah, blah.  I just wasn't interested.

Except now, I have my own garden area and I LOVE working out in it.

When I first moved in, I had a jungle. :)

In October 2009:
I dug out buried black plastic pots that long ago had something growing in them, cut down three trees and uprooted dead branches of unrecognizable origin.

It was incredibly satisfying to clear out the jungle!

Doesn't this look SO much better!?

Obviously, things need planted, but oh, my goodness!  I can see what I have out there now!

Spring of 2010, I attempted to begin cultivating the garden area.
This is English Ivy.  It didn't work very well.

 I like the yellow butterfly, though!

 So now, we're current.  Yesterday, I went to Joshua's Native Plants of Houston and bought several items.
I have zero direct sunlight, so my options are limited.  However, I'd really been wanting some color.  Greenery works best, though.  Joshua helped me find some greenery with some white in the leaf, to help add some light to all the dark greenery!

This is what I brought home!  There's a lot of digging to do!

 See what I mean?  Some white in the least it's lighter than dark green!

 Already looking better!

Whew!  More to go!  I think at this point, I'd only planted 11 of the 23 plants...and I was dirty and gross and LOVING the progress!

I brought home some chimes, too!  I've ALWAYS wanted some, but for one reason or another they weren't priority.  Today, they came home.  I put them up immediately so I could enjoy them while I worked outside!

It's coming together!

I got the red cardinals at my family Christmas gift exchange.  I still need some flowers for these pots, but I have up the Easter flag!  Garden flags are a family tradition, and they make me smile.
 Oh, you bet I had the fountain going while I was out there, too.  LOVE it!  It certainly needed cleaned out, though.  Black water = yuck!

I've planted everything I bought on Saturday, but still need some flowers for here and there.  I love Spring weekends!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Houston's First Baptist Church

Kelly's Korner has a Show Us Your Life each Friday.  I don't participate each week, but this week is SUYL: Your Church, and I wanted to exclaim about God's blessings!

I am a member of Houston's First Baptist Church.  I moved here in July of 2002, fresh out of college and ready to begin my first year of teaching.  I was looking for a church home.  I had grown up in another First Baptist Church, so that was my starting point.  It was as simple as that.

God clearly opened doors for me to make friends and form a second family.  Being single and living in a huge city can be overwhelming.  What do you do when you need a ride to the airport?  Have a flat tire?  Need a sounding board?  Well, I could go to my church family. 

Me, Heather, Jayme and Julie at a Paradigm Retreat!

I am a member of an evening Sunday School class and absolutely love it!  Sunday is truly a day of Sabbath, a day of rest, and I spend time resting!  Church is at 5:30pm and Sunday Bible Study is at 6:45.  It's great!

This is Paradigm a year or so ago, just before our Girls Serve Guys event.  We took them to an Astros game and then grilled out steaks and had twice baked potatoes.  Yumm!

The girls in the kitchen, just before Easter lunch!  I love these women!

Houston's FBC is extremely missional minded.  People from our church go on approximately 40 trips each year to everywhere from Boston to Kenya to Costa Rica to Haiti to right here in Houston. 

Me, Melody, Mark at Houston Project

Dan and me at 2010 Houston Project.

We strive to truly live out Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
This is such a blessing!

 Our March 2011 Haiti team in Jeremie, Haiti. =)
 Rebecca and Naomi..two little girls in a small village outside Jeremie, Haiti. 
 Our team working on the roof of a church building.
 The schools there do not have textbooks or any other supplies.  They have a chalk board...and that's it!  We were a part of helping them get a map for their wall!

I LOVE my church and would love for anyone visiting this blog today to come visit!  Whether you're new to the area or simply looking for a place to belong with other believers, come and visit!  Yes, we're a large church and that can be intimidating at times, but our church really does a good job at trying to help everyone find a small community to call 'home.'