Sunday, October 2, 2011

Maybe a little grumpy.

But I'm going to try to not make the WHOLE blog grumpy, because that's no fun and no one wants to hear me whine. I'll just make a list of the grump-worthy parts and then move on! And I'm only taking this time to blog because at the moment I'm finished with lesson plans and I'm waiting on laundry...

1. I'm drowninggg in school stuff :( There is never time to get it all done. Yet, I see other teachers always getting it all done and it makes me feel worthless, slow, and like I'll never reach my potential as an educator. Someone please tell me it gets better and mean it. Also, I feel like a goal that I set for myself, and discussed and agreed upon with my principal, is stressing me out more than it is helping, which was the whole point. BUT..I'm going to suck it up, do it, and then re-evaluate when the time comes!

2. My sister came to see me this weekend and all I did was work :( We went to a movie last night and hung out all weekend, but I was working most of the time and I feel like a horrible sister. I'm lucky that she loves me no matter what and seems to be happy about just being around me since we don't see each other often.

3. Ben leaves for training in Florida in 97 days (at my last count). I live by myself. He's over during the evening a lot so I don't feel like I'm alone all the time. When he leaves, I really will be alone all the time and I'm nervous and sad about it. He will be like 20 hours away and I'll only get to see him every couple months instead of every day or is going to be such a huge change! I am going to try my best to be tough and not let it get me down, but I'm anticipating many sad days.

Despite all of that...I'm a pretty lucky girl. I have a family that loves me (even if I don't get to see them, like, ever), a boyfriend who loves me and would rope the moon for me (if he knew how to rope...),and some friends that I know are always there for me! I've continued being friends with Hannah, who I just love the heck out of; I've gotten to be great friends with Kathryn, who I am SO lucky to have in the same building as me and going through many of the same things I am; I'm making friends with a few other teachers that have been super-supportive; Heather and I still manage to talk now and then, AND a couple of my other friends still love and miss me even though we don't get to talk much! And not to mention, I still have a Savior who knows all my troubles, my hurts, my celebrations, my struggles, my insecurities, my joys, and everything else about me who is always a safe-haven in my dark moments.

I'm hanging in there, but the rope is fraying. Anyone out there a decent rope-fixer?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Oh yeah and I'm a teacher now, for real.

Oh hey little bloggieblog...sorry I neglected you.

I'm sitting in my little apartment, watching the end of the Bachelorette and being sad that she didn't pick Ben. I mean, if you know me you can understand why I might have a soft spot in my heart for Bens, but he was who I think she should've chosen...he was funny!

Ok whoa enough about that. She dumped him so I stopped paying full attention. Kind of like I did during new-teacher orientation today now and then...oopsies. I mean, it's not like I didn't realize they were giving me valuable information about the email and gradebook systems, but I just kinda figured some of it out quick! What can I say, I catch on quickly! Well, except with this whole "design your classroom website" thing. iWeb was sooooo much easier! Darn USD475 for not being Mac-friendly! (Oh, man...The After the Final Rose show just came on...guess I won't be going to bed as soon as I finish this blog entry after all. Oh well.) Luckily I have good friends who are going to help me figure out how to make my classroom website make sense!

Oh unless you've known me since junior college you probably don't know that I really enjoy painting. I'm not very good, and I can't really paint anything to look REAL, but I like to make pretty things and it's fun! Because I lived in a sorority house for two years and then an apartment with 3 other people, I haven't been able to paint recently because of the space crunch (haha SPACE CRUNCH! It sounds like a legit 80's arcade game! I'd play it). But now that I have an apartment all to my little self, I have some space! So, I started painting again! I don't have any furniture until Friday night when my stepmom brings it, so I really had space!

I painted a tree on 3 canvases for over my couch:

A little complimentary piece on 3 little canvases that's going on the same wall as the tree but not right next to it:

And then a little paisley one on six little canvases that I'm not sure where I'll put yet:

I've put a glaze on them since taking these pictures, so they're a little shinier now :) But yeah, I love them and I love painting, and I don't care if they don't look fabulous because I've never taken an art class or anything so whatev! I brought a lot of my paint back from home, too, so hopefully I'll get to do more soon.

That is, if I don't go crazy trying to figure out this classroom website....

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's summer!

Which means so many things! Reading lots and lots of books that I don't have time for otherwise, vacations, seeing family, getting tan, and wasps. Okay so all those are good except the last one. I really, really hate wasps. One of the biggest lies ever told is that "they won't bug you unless you bug them." Yeah-stinkin-right! They have a whole pool they could be drinking from and they come right to where I am. AAAAHHHH. And I freak out in a way that is probably unnecessary but also probably hilarious to others when they come around. I just hate them! I'm terrified of things that can hurt me, haha.

I'm home for a little while for the first time all summer! I spent the last couple week at Nan's (Mom's mom) in Fritch, TX and in the Bahamas with her, her husband, and my sister, Shanna. The Bahamas is b-e-a-utiful! I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a vacation! The water is awesome, the Bahamians are awesome, the rum cake is awesome, and the shopping is awesome. I love it! I am determined to go back someday! Yay!

So here I am, nice and tan, but afraid to go lay out at our pool because the wasps are swarming. What a waste of a good tan! Bah!


Taren got a jobbbb!!!!! A real one! Teaching! Reading/English! To freshmen! In Junction City! It pays real money! I get to really teach students things! Yaaaayyyy!!!!

I am so excited :) Knowing that I finally have my own classroom in which to teach students, learn about their lives, make a positive impact, and be a good role model for them! Ahhhhh :) Don't worry, as bad as I've been about keeping up with my blog since school got out, I'm sure I'll have plenty of good stuff to blog about once I'm up and runnin' at JCHS!

In other news, I got an apartment, too! It's a little more expensive than I was hoping to pay, but it's a newer complex, on the West side of town (away from the university and Aggieville...yay!!!), and is pretty nice! The negative side is that I have to pay all these deposits and first-month's rent and stuff before I even get a basically I'll owe my parents money :\ Thankfully, they won't be charging me interest! Little blessings :) So, I'll be moving back to Manhattan July 25 and start work August 1! I'm excited to get back and be around Ben, Hannah, my gym, and University Christian Church! God truly answers prayers...maybe not in the time-frame that we see as most convenient, but He is ever faithful and always works for my good! Praise the Lord :)

Alright that's a pretty decent update for if anything exciting happens this summer, I'll letcha know ;)

Friday, April 29, 2011

On a Lighter Note

Did you know that you can clean piano keys with toothpaste? The regular paste kind, not the gel, and not one that is for tartar control because those are a little too abraisive. You can also clean tarnished silverware with toothpaste! Crazy.

I decided that my blog doesn't have to just be about serious things, and each entry doesn't have to be long, so I'm going to write about cool stuff I've discovered today on the Real Simple Magazine website today! (As you can tell, it's a busy day today for the head Special Ed teacher's sub...haha)

Did you know you can clean about a billion things with lemons? Mixing lemon juice with baking soda or salt can make it a great scrub for grout and shower! And I love the way lemon smells, so that's a plus too :)

You can clean stained coffee mugs by sprinkling salt on a lemon peel and scrubbing...helpful to those of us who love coffee! (Candice, I'm lookin' at you!)

By the way, how gorgeous was Kate's (Duchess Catherine? Baroness Catherine? Princess William of Wales? She has too many titles now to know which one to use!) wedding dress?? Absolutely stunning! Elegant and demure yet not over-simplistic; I just love it! And not to mention, in the pictures I've seen (no, I haven't watched yet!) they looks so happy. They're actually giving each other sweet little smiles and saying little things to each beautiful. They are such a cute couple who isnt' afraid to color outside the lines a little when it comes to the formality of their wedding (or entire lives, for that matter!) I just liked seeing them actually look happy in the middle of all the hullabaloo and pomp and circumstance of their wedding, when others before them have looked so stiff and scared.

Okay well that's all I have for now...two entries in two days! Weird for me! Bye y'all!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Praying through the frustration

Sometimes it's really hard not to feel like a big fat fail. I don't like it at all. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one who has never failed at things in life, but up until this point they have all been small things. Kickball, volleyball, basketball, OK anything involving a ball, I never won any kind of Bingo in school, my senior year my winterguard team that I put my heart and soul into got last at every competition we went to, I've fallen off horses more than I've stayed on, I stopped doing gymnastics when my sister who's 5 years younger than me got better than me, I only got the Participation badge in Elementary when we did the Presidential Physical Fitness Test...and the list of little things could go on and on.

But...I have never failed at something that was really big. I've always done well in school, I never had to re-take standardized tests, I've always written good papers (minus one that a professor ripped apart one time and made me cry, haha),I've never failed a final, I don't tend to let people down, I work to strengthen my faith, I hold on to my values, I have been told that I am super-creative when it comes to lessons, I feel that I've truly found my calling in teaching, and I've gotten any job I've ever interviewed for.

Until now. Yes, I understand that getting a teaching job is not the same as getting a job at Victoria's Secret, but I didn't expect not getting the teaching job I recently interviewed to hit me so hard. The interview was Tuesday, and I found out last night that a friend of mine got the position. Please don't get me wrong, I am so happy for her, she is lucky to be in such a great school, and she is going to do an amazing job! I'm just dealing with these feelings and thoughts of "I would've done an amazing job too...or at least I think so...will I be an amazing teacher?...Am I really good enough? What did I do wrong? Is anyone going to want me?" What sucks is that I'm pretty sure I will be a good teacher because it has become the one thing I feel I am truly good at. So when will I get to put this into real life? (Is this real life? haha sorry; gotta love David at the Dentist)

I'm sorry to be such a downer. I am lucky to have some people in my life who do believe in me and have been encouraging about this whole Taren-fails-at-life thing that I've been dealing with for the last 16 hours, haha. Luckily, I think it will pass. Until I don't get another job...and then maybe another...but alas! I need to keep my head held high because one of these days I will find the school that is the perfect fit and it will come just as surely as I thought it wouldn't. Does that make sense? If not, too bad. Ha! Anyway, I just get terrified when I think about the possibility of not finding a job. What the heck do I do for an entire year?? Para, or sub, and work at Buffalo Wild Wings in the evenings? I'm blessed to have a family that is OK with me living at home for a while...because if I can't find a job that might be my only option, haha. Good thing I like my fam and they like me!

I know that God is taking care of me. Each and every day, even when I don't think He is, He's got my back. He isn't going to let me go uncared for. I just need to keep trusting that I am not waiting to be a part of God's plan for my life; I'm already in it and He is working in my life right here in Manhattan, real-teaching-jobless. (Thanks to Hannah for reminding me of this!) I cannot let one failed interview beat me down like this. There is a plan, even if it isn't working in the time frame that seems convenient for me.

So, with a timidly-held head up high, I'll go back to filling out some more job applications. Hopefully one of them doesn't have to be B-Dubbs :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oh, it's been over a month?

Well, apparently it's been a lot longer than I thought since I last blogged...sorry about that, to my humble 7 followers :)

Not an incredible amount of things have really happened to me in the last month or so, so I hope this blog entry is still fun somehow! I'm still subbing in JC/The Fort, and I still like it...for now. It really does just make me want my own classroom. I want to decorate and plan and have good discussions with my students and know who they, for now, subbing is fine, but I'm excited to move forward. I'm trying so hard not to be anxious and worrisome about finding a teaching job right now. I know several people who have their jobs lined up for next school year, and I'm not even close. I do trust in the Lord and His plan, and I know He will take care of me. Facing the fact that I do worry about finding a job is hard, because that shows doubt in the Lord and what He is doing in my life and has planned for my future. I make a conscious decision every day to remind myself that I have put my teaching future in His hands and to just relax and trust. It's hard, but I'm doing my very best! Prayers are appreciated, though!

Oh! I joined MaxFitness here in Manhattan and I stinkin' love it! Now, let me tell you something about me (if you don't already know haha). I HATE working out. Uggghhhhhh hate it! Always have! I don't know why I got the un-athletic gene in my family, but I did. All my siblings are athletes, my mom and dad were both IDK what happened, but for some reason I've never enjoyed working out. Luckily, I found out that Max has spin classes. I've always wanted to try one because it looks like they totally kick your butt. Why did I want to try something that would kick my butt? Beats me. But, I did's gotta be one of the greatest things ever! It really does work your butt off, and it's hard, but something about it just makes it exciting and fun. I love the instructors that I've had, and I've gotten so into it that I even went and bought mountain biking shoes so that I could clip in to the pedals (and it honestly makes the workout so much better!)! So yeah...yay spinning!

I still don't feel like this blog entry is very exciting...I'm sorry :(

This weekend has been a blast, at least! Thursday Heather and I went out for the first time in a while, which had its ups and downs, haha. I like to think I'm somewhat of a social person, because I like meeting and getting to know people, but the bars always make me a little uncomfortable. I'm not 100% sure why, but I always feel awkward at the bars. I mean it doesn't really bother me because I'm used to being awkward, haha. But anyway, Heather makes things fun, so it was a good time. My purple flats got spilled on, which is one of my constant fears anytime I'm around people who are drinking, haha, but as far as I can tell, they're pretty OK. Friday afternoon H and I hung out at Ben's and I did laundry. My trainer at Max at kicked by butt on a BOSU ball thing Thursday evening so I could barely move. That made for some hilarity, as far as my grunting and groaning went. Ben also thought it was funny to squeeze and punch my quads a few times...I yelled pretty loudly when that happened. Butthead.

Miss Sarah Troutt had her bridal shower on Saturday morning, which was so so much fun :) It made me even more excited for her wedding next month! I'm gonna cry, I just know it! Yay weddings!

Last night was an Air Force ROTC dining out, so Ben and I got all prettied up and had a great time! He ate salad and danced, so it was a night of me seeing new things from him, haha :) (PS he's my boyfriend now, in case no one caught that) Here's a pretty picture of us from last night!

UCC this morning was wonderful, as always, and really got me thinking about my motivations for doing some things. The sermon was on Jesus washing the disciples feet on the night he was to be betrayed by Judas. Humbleness and Humility are traits I think I possess, but it got me thinking that there are some things that I do sometimes that might be motivated by the desire to be better at something than someone, or maybe to make them feel guilty that they aren't doing it. Either way, neither of these motivations are Christ-like or reflective of how someone with a pure and full heart would have, so I am going to work on making sure my motivations for my actions are just as positive and right as the actions themselves! I love when I leave church and truly feel convicted to work on myself and my relationship with the Lord! Next Sunday is Easter, and I always love Easter services. Heather and Be's families are coming, so that makes it even better!

Okay, well, I think that should do it for apologies for how LOOOONG this is! I felt like it needed to be since I waited so long between entries. I'll try to be better!

Until next time...

"Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” --John 13:7

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stop sinning; start walking!

So said Ryan Hayden at UCC this last Sunday! It was so great. It was a wonderful sermon, as always, but that little phrase was what really stuck with me. Sometimes we get so caught up in worrying about what other people are doing and if they are living their lives right that we stop keeping up with ourselves. Instead, we (okay, I...I tend to talk in "we's" when I start talking about myself and my hang-ups in hopes that they are someone elses, too!) need to stop being stagnant and standing still and start walking with the Lord! Walking the walk, talking the talk, and living a life that shows people Christ's love for all of us and how he brings about a huge change in the heart and soul and mind of a person who has accepted Him into their life! (My grammar, run-on sentences in particular, gets a little rough when I get excited like this. I don't really go through and proofread my blogs because I don't feel like I need to. So don't hate!) Discipleship has always been difficult for me to do, so to make up for it I have at least tried to constantly live a life that reflects Christ. I hope I'm doing a good job! I don't think that was the point of Ryan's message, but I think it's okay if it leads us to thinking about ourselves and our personal walk with the Lord.

Also! I felt something at church this weekend that was both exciting and convicting. When worship started, I just wanted them to hurry up and get done so that we could get to the preachin'! I love worship and I love our praise band, but I was really just hungry or something to learn something! The exciting part was how much I felt the pull on my heart to hear, listen, and learn. The convicting part was that I couldn't remember feeling like that before. Even worse, sometimes I didn't even want worship to end because it was my favorite part and sometimes the message just got in the way. I hope I continue being excited for the message...I know I could use more time in the Word. During communion time I prayed for several things, and thanked God for many things, as usual, but I also thanked Him for letting me feel that hunger, that fire, to learn about Him. I ask that you put me and that fire in your prayers, too! We all need a little help! (There I go with the "we" again!)

This just in! My English content exam scores are in...and I think I did pretty stellar! Out of 200 possible points, I got 191! I was pretty worried about it, actually, and whaddayaknow...I did above average!! I don't usually toot my own horn, but...*toot toot*!! Now I can apply for my KS license and then my TX license and I can start really applying for jobs! I won't lie, I'm pretty terrified about finding a job. It seems like all I hear about is education budget cuts and teachers losing their jobs. How am I supposed to get a job when teachers can't even keep the ones they have? And its not like they're only firing crappy teachers...they're firing good ones. My Mammy's niece was told, all in the same day, that they were not going to renew her contract and that she had won New Teacher of the Year award. I'm sorry, but WHAAAAT?! That doesn't even make sense to me. So, needless to say, worried and scared. This is when I refer back to my last blog about worrying, haha.

By the way, if you have read my blog before then you know it didn't look like this last it pretty? I can't decide. Thanks :)

Okay, well, that's it from me. I don't have anything cute to end there! Yeah, Swan Lake! (Despicable Me quote people, come on!) Ciao!