Get your bro on

I was talking with one of my friends who is also a coworker about how I am wanting to stand up taller this year and have better posture.  Thinking I'll actually post a sign saying "Stand tall.  Shoulders back" at the back of my room so that when I'm teaching, I can look up at it and remind myself of how I want to stand.  My friend then told me it reminded her of this workout video she did that involved dead lifts.  The guy says to "Get your bro on" to help you remember to pull your shoulders back and keep your back straight.  I might just have to write this on the back wall of my classroom (quite small and at the top of the ceiling) to remind me to straighten up.

This phrase and idea of standing up straighter this year involves more than just my posture.  It applies to my thinking about my beliefs, my faith, my passion for my work, and my insecurities.  Today I had meetings throughout the day and there were several times that I felt that I needed to "g…

2018 Goals

2018 Goals

This year looks very different than the past few years.  Less about achieving large goals, pushing for final products, and working harder/smarter/better.  More about family, refining day to day use of time at work, and making personal connections a priority. The most challenging goal will be #9 and it may not be the year for it, but it's one that I'd like to pursue and see what comes of it.  Looking forward to a great new year of family, friends, and relationships.  Happy New Year!
Goal One: Become involved at our church
We've been attending Watermark a little over a year, but have yet to truly jump in.  This could look like several things.  Beginning a small group, joining a small group, volunteering in a specific ministry, attending Wednesday night services, joining a bible study.

Goal Two: Spend more time with Jeremy, Riley, and Julia (and Val too)
After just over 3 1/2 years of grad school, priorities had shifted with family near the middle to bottom of the list.…

2017 Goals Review

I'd sum up 2017 with one word:  productive.  This is a positive and negative thing at the same time.  It has meant that most of my goals were accomplished, but it has also meant that priorities were skewed at particular times.  This is almost always necessary when working towards large goals (like a Master's Degree) and being at the very end of that goal.  It has definitely made me consider what I'd like to work towards and focus on for 2018.  Priorities will hopefully look different this coming year after coming out of this past year.

GOALS for 2017

1.  Take a course to learn Finale
I didn't officially take a course, but instead asked Chris how to do a few things (several things) in Finale.  She showed me how to set up, add note values, and other various things.  The most helpful thing was how to save sections of a piece and insert it into another document.  Online help was great as well, but Chris really gave me the basics to get me going with it.

2.  Continue learni…

Christmas 2017

Both girls agreed amongst themselves that this Christmas was their best one ever.  After opening presents and heading back to Julia's room to play, I overheard their conversation:

Riley:  So Julia, what did you think of Christmas?
Julia:  It was amazing.
Riley:  It was the best Christmas ever.  Don't you think so?
Julia:  Yup.

As to what made it so amazing, I can only guess that it had to do with being around family (my parents spent the week before Christmas at our house and it's always so nice to have them), receiving presents that they were wanting, and knowing ahead of time what big ticket items they would not be receiving so that disappointments were kept to a minimum.

Riley has been asking for an iPhone for months now and it amped up after Thanksgiving.  Her reasoning for getting one was that kids who carry phones look more mature and she wants to look older.  I told her that I'd give her an old non-working phone and buy a new case so she could carry it around if…

Almost Thanksgiving

The girls are continuing to have a fantastic school year.  Riley had some great successes with her volleyball team this season.  Riley consistently served the ball over the net and grew to be a stronger player.  Julia continued to play soccer despite having a cast (sorry doc - she didn't want to miss and we figured there wasn't much more damage that could happen).  She played like a champ and only complained a few times about the cast.  That usually happened when she was tired and became frustrated that she still had to put up with it.  However, her teacher at school said she was a trooper and never asked for accommodations -just kept keeping on!  She did use it as a heavy paper weight.  She'd write until she needed to reset the paper, would lift her heavy cast, klunk it down on the paper again, and continue to write.

This past weekend we were in four different places.  Jeremy and Julia went to Dragonfly Ranch in East Texas.  They had a blast with the other first grade gir…

Broken Fingers

The girls have had a great season of volleyball and soccer.  Riley's volleyball team has improved so much over the past year and it's been fun to see their progression.  She is doing really well with her overhand serves.  I'm thankful for the friendships and skills she's learning.

Julia is now playing on the larger soccer field and there are goalies in the games.  As her team has 7 players, all of them play the entire time of the game (4 quarters for 10 minutes each - 40 minutes total).  It's a long time for them to run but they are crushing it.  Julia has had a few goals and absolutely loves to play.

In the first quarter of last week's game, Julia had possession of the ball and was heading towards the goal.  You could see the determination in her face and body.  She saw a girl from the other team coming toward her so she began to go even faster.  Somehow they became intertwined and Julia went up in the air and landed hard on the ground.  She stood up and began…

When the Lost Don't Want to be Found

Trying to find my brother is like playing a horrible game of hide and seek.  He's hidden out there somewhere with no evidence of where he's been.  There are no signs that he's moved or that he was in the location we think he's been.  He hasn't left traces of himself to lead us to where he is.  Being the seeker means taking on a detective role without any clues.  Or very few.

I've been reading the book Falling Free by Shannan Martin.  Don't read it unless you really want to be challenged by a family who simply followed God in ways that look so foreign to us in the middle-class but has resulted in learning more about who God is.  (In other words, go read it!  It's a quick, amazing read.)  As I read about the kids brought into her life through different circumstances, I kept thinking of my brother Jim.  We have continued to pray for him every night.  I've continued to think about and look at various websites that might lead to finding a trace of him.  …