Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cold day Warm Heart

Wow! It's been several months since we've updated the blog.
A quick recap....
Derek is still attending JJC and is almost finished with his first semester.  He has been able to help out a ton at Caring Hands Thrift Shop!
I am still working at A.I.D. but changed positions a month and a half ago.  I started working  there as a DSP and have now become a QIDP.  It is a more of a supervisor role.  I really enjoy my job although at times I do miss teaching.

As most of you know three weeks ago Washington, Illinois was hit by a devastating tornado.  We have been able to show God's love to the people of Washington on several occasions.  The whole story is a total example of how God works in mysterious ways!  Two weeks before the tornado hit my mom convinced Derek and I to take a LERT (Lutheran Emergency Response Team) class. I have to admit I didn't really want to but Derek convinced me to join him.  We took the class and figured we wouldn't be using our training for several months.  Little did we know how soon we would be using these new skills.  As soon as the tornado struck we immediately knew God was calling us to help those in Washington.  Since we were LERT certified we were able to enter the disaster zone the first week. I know it may sound redundant to say but the pictures truly do NOT do the damage justice.

Our first visit we worked at a home that was totally demolished.  We began the day by sorting through the debris looking for any personal belongings that may be of value.  It was such a blessing to see our team of people who had never met before gather together and complete this large task.  By the end of the day entire slab of the home was cleared of debris and the homeowner was able to take 5 totes home to sort through.  What a humbling experience to see a man who had just lost all of his home not become excited by the IPad we found in perfect condition but tear up over the discovery of a stepping stone with his sons hand print.

Our second trip was Thanksgiving Day.  I was amazed at the number of people who traveled down to bless the people of Washington.  While not many homeowners came in to eat we were able to provide meals to about 200 people around the city.

Today we were able to bring 2 others from our home church down with us.  While the weather was CRAZY cold my heart was never cold.  We began our morning clearing trees and a chunk of a roof that landed behind the church we have been working with.  Five other people not from our church joined us to help get the work done.  What the supervisors thought would take us all day was completed before lunch time!  We then moved to a second site where another group joined us.  In an hour and a half we were able to fill two dumpsters full of debris from the homeowners site.  When the third dumpster arrived a small group of us continued to fill it.  Again I was amazed how God uses perfect strangers to accomplish so many things!  While working the homeowner stopped by to thank us for all of our help.  It was such a humbling experience to have someone who has lost everything thanking me, who has so much, for helping.  Derek and I were able to spend half an hour talking to the homeowner and offering support and encouragement to him.  This was the first experience I had had being able to talk with a homeowner.  I can truly say the people of Washington are indeed a strong community!!  I am truly thankful for the opportunity to have met so many amazing people these past weeks and can't wait to see how God continues to work in Washington!

May you have a blessed holiday!!

I will be adding pictures soon or you can check my Facebook

Friday, August 23, 2013

Where did the summer go?

Wow!  As I was getting ready to pay the bills for the month I realized that August is almost over!! Where did the summer go?  It's a bit crazy to think we began the summer in New Orleans and are now living in Illinois.  Our move went very well.  We had one small hiccup, at our first stop we noticed my car was no longer connected correctly to the car dolly but thankfully it did not fall off!!  For the most part everything is in its place while we are staying at my parents.

Derek begins school on Monday with 5 classes.  He is excited and anxious to get his degree finished.  He noticed that he has the same professor for 3 different classes this semester!  I hope the professor is good =)  We are currently waiting on his financial aid package and praying for some assistance.  He was denied financial aid originally since we were making too much money.  However, now that he is returning to school and only I am working our finances are a bit different.

I have started my job at A.I.D., working with mentally handicapped adults, and have just finished my first full week of work.  I had originally worked at A.I.D. while I was in college and have returned.  After two days of new employee training I have been able to jump right back into working at the homes and workshops.  I have been able to enjoy lots of laughs with the clients I already knew as well as meet several new clients.

 I have had several interviews for teaching positions and other educational jobs but haven't gotten a job yet.   I am still praying for a teaching job in the near future.  I would greatly appreciate any prayers you could offer for a potential job!  It was very strange to not purchase things for my classroom this summer or to update my lesson plans.  I truly do miss being in the classroom already!

Derek and I have really enjoyed being able to help out at Caring Hands Thrift Shop since we have been back.  I am truly amazed by all the people the store has been able to bless.  It's hard to believe that something that started as a simple collection of items in my parents basement has turned into an awesome ministry for God!   Plus it's great being able to sort through the donations.  It's like opening Christmas presents every day, you never know what you'll find inside the box! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

One week til the big move

We are officially under 7 days til our big move!
It's hard to believe the summer is almost over and we will be moving in less than a week.  Most of our things are packed minus a few small things here and there.  I'm incredibly thankful that my parents will be flying down to help us with the big move!!

While I am still searching for a job I have sent out my resume to MANY places and have faith that God will provide us with the best possible jobs.

I'll post some pictures later as we begin the BIG MOVE!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Plans

Wow! It's hard to believe the school year is officially over.  This year I had my largest class full of lots of energetic and excited to learn students.  They kept me on my toes and always kept me thinking of new ways to help teach all of my kiddos.  I am officially  1 1/2 classes away from my Masters Degree in Educational Design and Technology.  I am taking two classes now and I have one class left to finish and my portfolios before officially being complete.

For those of you who may have not heard Derek and I have decided to officially return to North.  We will be moving back up at the end of July.  While it will be difficult to leave our friends we have made here we are excited to see what the future holds for us.  We would appreciate your prayers for us as we begin this new step of our lives.  Derek and I have sent out our applications to several jobs and are hoping to hear back from some soon.

Friday, May 10, 2013

May has arrived!

Wow! It's hard to believe its May already.  I feel like just a few weeks ago school was starting and now here I am counting down the days til the year is over. 

I have been busy working on 3 Master's classes for the last two months and am anxiously awaiting my grades.  This week I started two more classes and am getting closer to my degree!  After these last two classes I will have to complete my portfolio and a final capstone project. 

Derek has also been working on online classes.  He is close to finishing one of his classes.  His work has been very busy helping providing video footage for several crimes a week. 

The weather has been a very bipolar these past few months. We even had 2 tornadoes hit just a few miles from our apartment complex.  I am anxiously awaiting some nice weather to make use our apartment complex pool!! 

Last month I attended an EdTech IPad Summit in Atlanta.  It was such a great feeling to be in the company of 700 educators who have a passion for technology.  I was able to make some great connections and learn so many new ideas for using IPads within my classroom and other classrooms.  I am planning to hold a few technology learning sessions during the summer for my co-workers.  I also had a chance to visit the Coco-Cola Museum.  I even got to have some Inca-Cola one of my favorite sodas I had on my mission trips to Peru!!!

 I also visited the Atlanta Aquarium
Derek and I also celebrated St. Patrick's Day again this year in New Orleans. We love the St. Patrick's Day Parade!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A little Update

Oops!  Somehow I missed the month of January and February of blogging and here we are in March!  February seemed to by very quickly.  We had the beginning of Mardi Gras, Super Bowl,  Mardi Gras week, and family visiting all in one month.  

We went down to the Quarter during Superbowl week.

The weather has started to get warm for a few days but then seems to go right back to cold. This has made for some horrible allergies this year for both of us.  We have recently started trying to eat healthier and drink a fruit/veggie smoothie each morning.  Derek does an excellent job of masking the taste of veggies in my smoothie.  He has also learned how to sneak in veggies like onions and peppers into our meals!  I have to admit that I am a bit jealous that in the first week of doing this he managed to loose 5 lbs and I lost a wimpy 2 lbs!  

Derek and I are both taking online college courses.  Derek is working on a degree in Computer Programming through JJC in Illinois and I am still working on my masters degree in Educational Design and Technology.  We have had to learn how to make time in our after work schedules to spend a little time with each and get all of our work finished each week.  Both of us are currently taking 3 different classes.  I just finished 3 classes on Sunday and began 3 more on Monday.  I have about 3 or 4 more classes before I am finished with my degree!