Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Day in the Life...

...of a 4th grade assistant teacher

6:00 am- wake up, read Bible, get ready, etc.
7:20 am- head to school (decide not to bike ride...still too cold)
7:24 am- arrive at school in record time (yup, usually takes me 5 minutes)
7:30 am- head into classroom
7:40 am- staff devotions on the real meaning of Christmas
8:00 am- morning recess duty at tether ball courts
8:20 am- take roll, hand class over to Bible teacher
9:00 am- reading groups, teach grammar and compound nouns
10:30 am- finish grading homework
10:50 am- recess duty again, stand in sun attempting to keep warm
11:10 am- math word problems (seem to create even bigger problems in life)
12:15 pm- lunch duty, convince a 3rd grader that I invented hand ball
1:oo pm- take my own lunch break
1:30 pm- finally remember to tell curriculum director I can't make today's meeting
1:45 pm- peace out...I'm done!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You honk at them and tell them to pull over!

The same boy I've written about earlier (for the sake of naming, we'll name him "Mahogany Boy") had yet another funny moment yesterday.

We were reviewing a grammar homework sheet and discussing the different types of verbs. Regular verbs, blah blah. Compound verbs, yada yada. State of being verbs, huh? And helping verbs...what in the world?

We were correcting the Compound verbs section (where there are 2 or more verbs in a sentence usually separated by "and").

Example sentence:
God will punish the unjust and forgive the saved.

One student asked a legitimate question, "What if there are other words between the first verb and the "and"?

In our example above, this includes the words "...the unjust...".

I opened my mouth to reply, "You can just ignore them and leave them alone," when, at the same time, Mahogany Boy calmly and collectively interjected:

"You honk and them and tell them to pull over."

Of course! Why didn't I think of that?? That's what we do with unnecessary words in a sentence on a grammar worksheet. We honk and them and tell them to pull over.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Smile!

Yup. That's my mouth in a full 360-degree x-ray.
I found it fascinating & thought you might, too.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Substitute Sisters & Homecoming 2009

Hannah & Stefanie have been my "substitute sisters" these past few months as I am away from my own. Hannah & I get the "are you related?" question a LOT anyway. This weekend they celebrated homecoming with their school.

It all began with...
... in the process ...

... and VIOLA!!




Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall is Here!

Ahh, the crisp cool weather reminds me so much of Sacramento, of home.
I made a butternut squash soup (that's actually more like a bisque) last week and have been enjoying the leftovers for none other than breakfast. (!!) Here's the simple, wholesome recipe:

2 tablespoons butter
20 oz squash, cubed (2 1/2 packs from TJ's)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger (spice)
3 cups water

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan. Stir in ginger. Add the squash and water. Heat ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Stir in applesauce and cook for 1 minute. Puree entire contents in a blender. Add leftover butter. Season with salt and pepper (or cinnamon for the morning taste) and serve. Yum!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quote of the Day

I love my little 4th graders. They say the funniest things, and I'm hoping to post often enough to share some of them with you!

Now, I know the following won't mean as much to you as it did to me simply because you do not know the personality and character of the student involved in today's quote. Regardless, you may get a hint of laughter out of today's quote. :)

The way my class works for Reading and Math (core subjects) is that the students are split into 3 groups and we rotate while having "centers." During Reading I teach grammar to one group at a time. Each group has a color. Today I asked one of the groups what color they were and they replied accurately. Then, one of my boys (lego-loving, girl-chasing, jump-up-in-his-seat-when-answering boy) calmly and simply said,

"Do you know what my favorite color is?"

Wait for it...

"Mahogany."

Simple as that. Mahogany.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

People think I'm crazy

...for my thoughts and practices on eating habits.

I'm not one to share about my personal eating habits much, but I find myself quite alone in this process and am rather compelled to make a case here on the 'ol blog. Where no one can argue with me. Or make fun of me. Or hurt my feelings. (Okay, it's not that extreme.)

For some time now I have been quite interested in nutrition. It all surfaced when I started working for a health care professional. And ever since I stuck my toes in the water, I have found myself in over my head more than once. Many people assumed that I had "healthy" eating habits even before now. Now they just think I'm extreme. I have come to find out that those "healthy" eating habits I grew up with are mere marketing schemes that Americans have been led to believe for decades now. (No offense to mom & dad--they did a great job raising us.) Since it's late as I write this, I will just throw one example out there.

I have ceased consuming dairy products. No yogurt. No cheese. No milk. These used to be some of my favorite things to consume! And just because I haven't had them in a long time doesn't mean that I don't miss them still.

Here's why:
Let's take milk as the most popular example. We are told from a young age that our bodies need milk for the calcium. And the first question to be raised when I bring up that I don't consume dairy products is "Then where do you get your calcium from?" We've been told that milk will give us strong teeth, protect our heart and keep us from getting osteoporosis. Contrary to popular belief, there is no calcium from any dairy product that is usable by the human body. For reals.

I know what you're thinking: Then why all the "Milk does a body good" celebrity advocates?
Let's go through the process. After a cow is milked, the milk contains usable calcium in it's most natural, organic form. But during the process of pasteurization, the milk is heated to a heat of 160 degrees. Good thing that active calcium is destroyed at a heat of 120 degrees. This turns the calcium into non-absorbable, nonorganic calcium. Is that enough to convince you? So what's the harm then in drinking milk?

Well, according to recent research in The British Medical Journal, bone loss can be linked to having too much animal protein in one's diet. Guess what milk is. Animal protein! One man explains it as "brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste that also has cavity causing sweeteners added to it." There's more research I could go into, but not now.

So why isn't this research that's been documented made known to our American public? Here's a little known secret that you can use to answer the question: A big financial supporter of the National Osteoporosis Foundation is a company called Basa Worldwide. This is the same company that created the huge milk mustache campaign for the dairy industry. Do you really think the Osteoporosis Foundation would risk losing a big chunk of their money by making this information public and going against the message stated by one of their largest financial supporters? My simple answer to the question: It's all about politics and marketing.

This is only a scratch on the surface of reasons I stopped consuming dairy products. I could go further, but you probably have better things to do with your life. On another day when I'm no so sleepy I'll tell you more about major differences between you and me.

I'm not offended if you disagree with me; just don't make fun of me :) I realize that 99 percent of you won't think twice about what I just took time to write, and most of you will continue to think I'm crazy. But I've come to the point in my own life that I can't deny the facts any longer. Do as you will with my shared knowledge. In fact, I can picture my sister going to make herself a glass of chocolate milk just to spite this post. (I love you, really.)
Until the next nutritionally inspired post...
ONWARD.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Parents Now Text Message

Neither of my parents are very high-tech people. This is not a bad thing (in fact, it's probably more good than bad), but sometimes convincing them that certain technological advances are worth their time is difficult. I never thought I'd live to see the day when they would finally grasp the concept, let alone the benefits, of cell phone text messaging. And you know what it took to get them to this point? An international cell phone. Of course!

They are in Germany right now visiting my dad's brother and decided to invest in an international cell phone since they will be there for an extended amount of time. Apparently, text messaging is cheaper internationally than actual phone calls. Alas, once they discovered the glories of text messaging, they've been on a roll. Here's a clip of a little conversation we had this morning:

me: Just got rubberbands for the braces...hot. Two more appointments and they're off!
mom & dad: What does hot mean?
me: Attractive. Good lookin. (It was sarcastic.)
mom & dad: Sorry-I've been speakin 2 languages - neither very well

Ahh, the humors of beginner text messengers. Gotta love 'em.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Vicarious Living

Last week while visiting home I had the opportunity to visit with my childhood best friend's mom. Her name is Victoria. She was practically a second mother to me from elementary through high school years. He oldest daughter and I shared many days, nights, weeks and months attached at the hip coming up with various silly things to be involved in. We went to school together, took sewing lessons from the same lady and even swam on the same swim team for a season. We were mere additions to each others families. Needless to say, her family had a huge influence on my life and I will never able to divorce the ways that Victoria and her husband influenced my young impressionable character...for the better, of course.

As time passed I moved on and they stayed. Recently Victoria and her husband have become members of Facebook and located me on the massive network of people. Over Facebook's messaging systems we set up a time and place to "catch up" while I was in town. Victoria and I had such a sweet time of literally playing catch up with our lives as well as our families lives. I always appreciate talking with someone who has watched me grow up, someone who has witnessed my life from a young age. I think this is because I have only been in Los Angeles for less than five years. Yes, I am close to a few people here, but there's just something different about people who know my history. Victoria is one of them. I think you can relate.

In the midst of our conversation Victoria referred to--more than once--that she saw my family was doing well based on their postings or pictures on Facebook. She also made the comment that my own Facebook is "boring" and I don't have much "action" going on. I left our time together thinking about this. I have thought a LOT about the ramifications of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, et. all, having to do with interpersonal relationships. The more I think about how these networking tools have changed the face of relationships, the more I am weary of using them. There was a time that I dumped my Facebook account on these premises, but I reactivated it for other reasons. I will go into more detail later.

I titled this post, and perhaps this series, Vicarious Living because that's exactly what is going on. IF we so choose, we vicariously live through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogging, etc. I am not drawing any conclusions about the good and the bad of it all yet. I'm just thinking through it for now. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yum!

So I'm on this new kick of composing my food consumption of as much raw food as possible. Yes, this may seem really limiting, but it's also a good challenge to be creative! Since working for Dr. Standifer I have an increased interest in nutrition, and the more things I read and research, the more I am convinced that our bodies function best off of what the earth gives us: fruits, veggies and meat. Easy, right? Well, if you're not too hooked on the typical western norm of pre-packaged foods, dairy, wheat and sugars. It was actually harder than I thought it would be overall, but the health benefits are something I can't deny.

The whole point of this post was to share with you the yummy salad I made tonight, in hopes to encourage more nutritious eating.
Here it is:

Spinach, Raspberry & Walnut Salad
3 handfuls baby spinach, chopped or sliced
1/4 cup fresh washed raspberries
3 tbsp chopped raw walnuts
dash olive oil (cold pressed is best)

Drizzle a desired amount of olive oil over spinach leaves.
Top with raspberries and chopped walnuts.
Toss and enjoy!

This recipe happens to be rich with omega-3 fatty acids, which have gained much attention these days. Basically, our body needs both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but the average American diet is rich in omega-6 oils (canola oil, veggie oil, corn oil, etc.) with scarce amounts of omega-3's. Nutritionists agree that the human body needs about a 1:2 ratio of omega-3's : omega-6's, but with processed and refined foods being the bulk of our consumption, we (Americans) typically consume a 1:10 ratio.
So there you have it...add this salad to a main course of baked salmon or other cold-water fish for even more omega-3's.
I was going to take a picture of this deliciousness, but my battery had run out. Oh well. Next time. Until then...bon appetite!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

525,600 Minutes

It's hard to believe that there are so many minutes in one year. Thank you, Rent.
How do you measure a year?

in daylights
What I do with daylight time has changed immensely over the year. I went from full-time nanny to chiropractic assistant and will soon change to teacher. I spend more daylight reading and exercising outside than I think I ever have (post-school).

in sunsets
No special sunsets to record here. :) Though I did spend many nights watching the sun set in Oxnard or Santa Monica alongside dear friends.

in midnights
The last midnight I saw was a couple of weeks ago during a high school ministry sleepover. Though my eyes were drooping and my body was begging for rest, I cherish those wee morning hours and moments of ministry. Fortunately, since graduating from college, I have not seen ver many midnights.

in cups of coffee
Ahh. Coffee is a comfort drink for me. I could not even begin to guess at how many good conversations I've had this past year over a cup or two of coffee. Or having coffee be the grand finale to a pleasant night with friends. Or just before a Perspectives class (on purpose). Can a year be measured in cups of coffee? Perhaps. [Side note: I have learned that caffeine dries out the mucus sacs on the vocal chords, causing stress to the chords. That's a bummer.]

in inches
My stacks of books read has grown in inches. And much to my dismay, so has my "to read in the future" stack. The more significant books read this year were: East of Eden by Steinbeck, a biography on Oswald Chambers and of course the Holy Bible.

in miles
I did not travel much this past year (comparatively so). The most miles I racked up were between home and home. Los Angeles to Sacramento and back again. I continue to live 350 miles from my family.

in laughter
What would we do without laughter?! Laughter is definitely a blessing of our most sovereign Lord. Though no funny moments come leaping to mind, laughter is definitely a good way to measure a year. I hope I laughed a lot this year.

in strife
Man, this year did hold a lot of strife. We can take strife two ways. One way is to grow bitter at the people and circumstances in the midst of your strife. Another way is to see it as an opportunity to draw that much nearer to the Lord. Most of the strife I endured had to do with jobs (mainly--ok ONLY--nannying) and with wanting to be on the mission field right now.

journeys to plan
When I think of journey, I think of a looooooong time. No sweet road trip with buddies or a couple weeks here or there. If you're on a journey, you're in it for the long haul. The good, the bad and the ugly. There is one journey in particular that I have been planning this past year, and the planning continues. In fact, these planning stages are a mere part of the journey. Knowing how to go about my convictions for wanting to be on the mission field full-time is QUITE the journey. Onward!

truths learned
Are you kidding? Let's start with the truths learned this week alone. What if we all kept a list of the truths we learn each day? Would our lists be long? I sure hope mine would be. I am constantly learning (and relearning) that truth is obtainable. There is such thing as 100% assurance, and that assurance comes from God. I think that a big truth I learned this year is how selfish I really am. It comes up in absolutely everything! Praise God that there is something out there bigger than me and my desires and agenda.

times cried
I admit that I'm a crier. Not often. But I do cry. In fact, I find crying a rather comforting habit. I cried when I broke my ankle and got a speeding ticket because I couldn't brake going down the hill. I cried when I made the decision to quit nannying, and I certainly cried the day I left that job. I cried when my parents left me yesterday morning. I cried at the movie The Boy in Striped Pajamas (as historically inaccurate as it may have been). I cried over high school students. I cried after visiting with the Hazen family during Christmas because it made me realize how much I miss NorCal. Now I'm making it sound like I cry all the time.

bridges burned
I certainly hope that there were no burned bridges in my life this year. I suppose that a year could be measured by the falling outs.

time [she] died
And, finally, I have known a few people to die this year. I was not exceptionally close to any of them, but death is the fine reminder of eternity. I will close with the following video that Becca sent to me. Click here to view the video of Rachel, a cancer victim, and her truthful words that "death is not dying."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I'm Not Worried...

I hung out with high school girls last night and this morning. Of course we talked about boys. And of course I was as vague as possible with my own personal romance life. (I've learned that this is the best way to go in such circumstances.)

As I was leaving this morning the girls kept saying "Don't worry Kate. If not so-and-so, then there's always so-and-so. And if not him, then 'you know who.' Don't worry; we'll find a husband for you."

All I could think was, "Great. If I wasn't worried before, I am definitely worried now that high school girls are planning my married life."

Gotta love 'em. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Onward

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, and this post is of little significance to many of you, but it's an update nonetheless!

I met my new teaching team today. Oh, did I mention that I got hired to be an Assistant Teacher at Legacy Christian Academy for the next school year? An act of God, for sure. I'm going to be an assistant teacher in one of the two fifth grade classes at the school. The teacher I'm replacing is pregnant and will be a new mommy come August. Miss Palato is my head teacher, and she's getting married this month (I think). I went to college with the other 5th grade assistant teacher (Mrs. Shenks) and met the other head 5th grade teacher (Mrs. Espinoza) this morning. I just so happened to be at the 5th grade end-of-the-year party.

I am really looking forward to working with this team; they are down-to-earth and lovely people. They have hearts for the gospel and seeing their students to well as unto the Lord. There will be some crazy parents to look forward to. I'm excited for this new job and how God might use us in the classroom! I'll post more as it comes. :)

this is the front of the school

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Brilliant

I came up with a brilliant "would you rather"
while talking to my sister this afternoon:

Would you rather suffer as a Christian
or
live a life of leisure without knowing Christ?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hanging with Harris

A while ago Jason recommended for me to read Dr. Harris' book The Cup and the Glory. Soon thereafter Tim made it a reality by giving me his extra copy. Gracias, both!

This morning I spent some quality time (3 1/2 hours, to be exact) reading through the book. I was deeply impacted not only by Dr. Harris' personal testimony of suffering as a Christian, but his encouragement and gentle reminder to have a biblical perspective for those who are walking their own Troaz Road.

Here are some of my thoughts of this morning's session of Hanging with Harris:
I have not personally experienced suffering in the slightest, and I in no way desire any discomfort in life. BUT to know the vast riches of true fellowship with Christ my Lord - how could I not long for and desire these things? I have come to the conclusion that I do not want to be merely satisfied with knowledge, even precise and accurate knowledge, of the triune God. I want to know Him intimately and personally. I mean, really intimately and really personally. Dr. Harris wrote,
"The glory of God is magnificent, and we should be glad when God grants us opportunity to see bits of it displayed, but it is incomplete. To know Him and the fellowship of His sufferings requires a stronger commitment, a deeper walk - but what riches await."
When I think of heroes of the faith and even more "modern-day" saints, I can associate their sufferings with them. Here are but a few I wrote down earlier:
  • Job - suffered more earthly detestations than perhaps any of us will ever experience yet never denounced the goodness of God
  • Jeremiah - suffering took such a physical toll on him that he earned a title as the "weeping prophet" and continued to obey God
  • Martin Luther - not only suffered physical extremities; he was even labeled as the original heretic, but his faith and diligent work exposed millions to the gospel message
  • Elisabeth Elliot - suffered the death of her first husband, a martyr in the midst of ministry, and chose to push on with perseverance the work that he & teammates had started
I find myself not envious of these circumstances until I consider how deeply they communed with the living Lord. I believe that as Christians we are called into suffering. Because God is not a "blanket statement" God or a "one-size-fits-all" purposer, the extent of and type of suffering we are asked to partake in is different for us all. Peter wrote,
"For into this purpose you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps..."
Thinking of suffering for the sake of Christ - and I mean really thinking through suffering - has a truly sobering effect. Suddenly the world around me is less significant. My longing for being united with my Savior intensifies. The spiritually dead around me are more noticeable. Over time my interests and investments shift to more eternally significant agendas.
I cannot help but remember the chorus,
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
look full in His wonderful face
And the things of this world
will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
May it be so.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Anna

May 1st is commonly known as May Day.
May 1st is uncommonly known as Anna Roney's birthday!

A - always has something funny to say
N - never-ending love for God!
N - not a hugger
N - nifty and creative with any given circumstance
A - aware of the people around her and always willing to help!


I love any time I get to spend with Anna, especially in the poppy fields. :)

PS - I used 3 n's on purpose...I couldn't resist the "not a hugger" one

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Opportunity

We have been reading this book by Paul Tripp as a youth staff. It's a great read, and since beginning to read it, I have given it to two different sets of parents outside of our church, that they might also benefit from reading it.
While the major content of the book addresses the parents of teenagers, I will be the first to admit that my own non-teenage-parent heart has been convicted of its sinful nature page after page. We started reading the book when I was still in the nanny phase of life when chapter 2, Whose Idols are in the Way, brought me to my knees.
Now we're on chapter 8 (yeah, it's been that long) and I want to share a bit of what Mr. Tripp writes to us. This chapter is appropriately titled Convictions and Wisdom, as it addresses strategic ways to help your teen develop godly, wise choices based on their personal spiritual convictions. First off, I think it takes a lifetime for most of us to reach this point in our own lives. I'm definitely not there yet. Second, for all you god-fearing parents who stock my blog (all 2 of you...:)) may you be encouraged to start developing wisdom in your child's life even now. Paul Tripp writes why encouraging wisdom at an early age is important:
The truths of Scripture are like a great symphony orchestra. You do not really understand or experience a symphony by hearing the separate notes of one violin, oboe or drum. You do not experience its rich beauty by hearing a duet between the trumpet and the bass viol. It is only as you hear all the instruments played together that you really understand the majesty and the beauty of the symphony. In an orchestra, each instrument is made more beautiful by the other. Each complements and balances the other. Similarily, Scripture gives us a symphony of truth. Not just one not but many contribute to the rich, harmonious tones of truth. As parents, we need to have a symphonic mentality as we train our children for godly living. We cannot hammer away at one note. We must introduce them to the whole symphony of biblical wisdom so that they can make biblically sound decisions.
Oh how this applies to all of life! Let us not forget that our God is a God of many facets and that His nature is not merely one, two, or even three-fold. He has written a symphony for us to pay close detailed attention to. Don't miss out on this grad opportunity!
ONWARD.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Sherbet Monsters

Abby and Griffin,
ushering in the summer heat with ice cream sherbet!

She won't let even a drop go to waste! Atta girl.


31 cent scoop night tonight, by the way!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hallelujah

In the midst of worshipping God through His Word yesterday morning I was reminded of the song Bethany Dillon wrote, Hallelujah.

Who can hold the stars
and my weary heart
Who can see everything?

I've fallen so hard
Sometimes I feel so far,
but not beyond Your reach.

I can climb a mountain,
swim the ocean,
or do anything.
But it's when You hold me
that I start unfolding
and all I can say is

Hallelujah, hallelujah
whatever's in front of me
help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
whatever's in front of me
I'll choose to sing hallelujah

The same sun
that rises over castles
and welcomes the day

Spills over buildings
into the streets
where orphans play

And only You can see the good
in broken things
You took my heart of stone
and You made it home;
set this prisoner free

Hallelujah, hallelujah
whatever's in front of me
help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
whatever's in front of me
I'll choose to sing hallelujah

Psalm 121

So all of us who have ever heard Pastor Bob preach pretty much have a mutual understanding of his bomb.com sermons. Yesterday's sermon was no exception. And in the Lord's perfect timing, Psalm 121 came at us yesterday. I revisited it in my quiet time this morning and have the urge to blog about it again now. Enjoy it with me:

Psalm 121

I lift my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber or sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep you
your coming out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

PB's points
We can give our anxieties to the LORD because:

1. He is POWERFUL
* literally, the One who made the heavens and the earth also holds me in His hands
2. He is PRESENT
* He won't allow you to slip
* He does not sleep
* He is your shade
3. He PROTECTS
* He guards our coming and our going
* He keeps our soul
* today, tomorrow and for all time
* He is literally a "hedge" around me

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hello Poolside, Goodbye Pedicure

Tuesday started my first official day of the season as a swim coach!
I'm working at a racquet & swim club, coaching 3 different teams of mostly elementary age.
Once school is out for the summer I will start teaching swimming lessons to the younger kiddos. I'm excited about having a fun, outdoor job and all the benefits that come with it...including a sweet summer tan! The main downside is that any pedicure or nail polish will shortly thereafter fall away. Oh well. I'm willing to endure the trade-off!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sky is Falling

Here's a little funny to lighten your day!
The game is that I put my iPod on "shuffle" mode
and used the next 30 song titles to answer the following questions:

If someone says, "Is this okay?" what do you say?
My Love Hasn't Grown Cold (Bethany Dillon)

What would best describe your personality?
Falling Down (Bebo Norman)

What do you like in a guy?
Found (Hillsong)

What is your life's purpose?
Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (U2)

What is your motto?
Nothing But the Blood (Jars of Clay)

What do your friends think of you?
Sparks (Coldplay)

What do you think about often?
Run Away (Live)

What is 2+2?
Out of this World (Josh Zegan)

What do you think of your best friend?
Smile (Mona Lisa Smile soundtrack)

What do you think of the person you like?
Where's My Head (Copeland)

What is your life story?
Shoot the Moon (Norah Jones)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Life is Wonderful (Jason Mraz)

What do you think when you see the person you like?
Famous One (Chris Tomlin)

What do your parents think of you?
Home (Phil Wickham)

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Holy is the Lord (Andrew Peterson)

What will they play at your funeral?
Strong Tower (Kutless)

What is your hobby/interest?
Mother India (Caedmon's Call)

What is your biggest secret?
Remedy (David Crowder Band)

What do you think of your friends?
Empty Me (Jeremy Camp)

What's the worst thing that could happen?
Edge of my Seat (Switchfoot)

How will you die?
Collide (Howie Day)

What's the one thing you regret?
Cold, Cold Heart (Norah Jones)

What makes you laugh?
Micah 6:8 (Charlie Hall)

What makes you cry?
Misery Business (Switchfoot)

Will you ever get married?
Saturday (Dizmas)

What scares you the most?
No Matter What it Takes (Jeremy Camp)

Does anyone like you?
Love is Here (Tenth Avenue North)

If you cold go back in time, what would you change?
Waging War (Shane & Shane)

What are you wishing for?
Rain (Jordan Yee)

What will you post this as?
Sky is Falling (Lifehouse)

This was kinda funny! Especially that I'm getting married on Saturday and that 2+2 is out of this world. I'm sorta wishing for rain, because I would love to go snowboarding again this season, but my life's purpose is definitely not riding wild horses. Nothing but the blood would be a rather quality life's motto, though. Michah 6:8 does not make me laugh; on the contrary, it's a pretty sobering verse. The most ironic of them all has got to be Mother India as a hobby or interest because there's talk of me going to India! Anyway, hope you enjoyed it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Identity



Last week I had a few encounters that led me to thinking about personal identity. How do you introduce yourself? What do people know you as? What's the mini-bio speech you rehearse for a group of new people? Recently mine has been something like,
"Hi, I'm Kate Wright. I graduated from Master's a couple of years ago and now I work for a chiropractor here in Santa Clarita."
I get a few "oh's" and "hmmh's," and occasionally someone will ask if I get free adjustments.

At the gym people often comment to me if I'm wearing a USC t-shirt. "Did you see the big game last night?" "Go USC!" "Fight on!" Recently there was a guy who saw my USC shirt, yelled "fight on!" at me, and after seeing that he was wearing a UFC t-shirt, I replied, "let's get it on!" It was great. And then last week as I was exiting the gym there were a couple of older men in front of me, and one of them turned around as he opened the door and said to me, "I guess I'll hold the door open for a Trojan fan." Turns out he's a Notre Dame fan (that's a no-no).

Sometimes we are even identified as our marital status. Single. Divorced. Waiting. Married. Betrothed (okay, maybe just engaged).

At church I am oftentimes introduced as someone who is on high school youth staff. And even after four years of this ministry people still have to double-check that I'm not in fact serving on junior high staff. All in all, I'm starting to realize that our identity is based on what we do.

This is my friend Carly. She's Macy & Cameron's mom. She taught high school Spanish until she had kiddos.
Have you met Anna? She's a kindergarten teacher and is married to our high school director.
My sister Tamsen is a senior at Sonoma State University.
Oh yeah I know Eric. He teaches at Santa Clarita Christian School. He heads up a club there, too.
You know Michelle, too? Yeah, she works with me at Dr. Standifer's office.

All this has got me to thinking about what I want my identity to be. In a fleeting moment a few weeks ago I realized that I've been introducing myself in a way that identifies with only where I work or what I have done in the past. This isn't necessarily wrong or bad, but I realized that it's just like the rest of the world. It's like the heathen who is perhaps merely living. What do I want to be identified as? I want to be identified as one who loves the Lord and pours out her life in appreciation for the salvation that she has received. Forget being a USC fan, or a swim coach, or a chiropractor's assistant, or a seamstress or surfer or former nanny. I don't care if people know I can play a musical instrument or have skill x, y or z.

Last week Tim mentioned in youth group a scenario from Old Testament times. The Israelites literally identified themselves and each other as "Kate, who loves the Lord but struggles with materialism" or "Daniel, who isn't quite sure what to believe about God yet." How about "Naomi, who runs herself out serving Christ through church and is continually trusting Him for provision." And then there's "Chelsea, who sends her children to a Christian school, professes to know God, but is consistently intoxicated and is known for dealing with anger." And many of us know "Cory, who doesn't even believe."

I so desperately want them to know my identity as being alive in Christ. Not for selfish reasons, but quite the opposite, that they, too, might align their identity with Christ.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Humor Comparison

This post is specifically for Jon & Carly Pray,
but everyone else is welcome in on the fun!


Cameron & Macy Pray, 2009


sister Sarah Wright, circa 1990

me & older sister Sarah, circa 1990

Yes, playing with coverings on one's child head is "normal," Jon Pray. Here's your hard evidence. :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Flutter: The New Twitter

For all you Twitter fans, here's a little mocumentry on the concept of "micro-blogging." Yes, I am a Twitter fan, and this short clip is pretty humorous, but it causes me to think a little more deeply on the issue.



What thoughts do you have?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

4 Landmarks

When I was in high school my youth pastor had us do a little activity at the beginning of the school year. We divided a blank sheet of paper into 4 quadrants and drew pictures of 4 "landmarks" in our lives. We shared our drawings, landmarks and experiences with our small group and had a significant time getting to know one another.

We did this same activity with our high school students last night and it inspired me to think more thoroughly through those landmarks in my own life. Allow me to share them with you, one at a time.

Landmark #1: Disneyland

Disneyland is famous for being "the happiest place on earth." While some may disagree, we'll follow that general guideline for this activity. The Disneyland landmark of life is the happiest time in life. Looking back on my not-so-many life experiences, I'm compelled to say that one of the happiest times in life was when I myself was in high school.

During my sophomore year of high school three other girl friends and I drove down to San Luis Obispo, Ca, to visit one of their brothers (who was a student at Cal Poly, SLO) during a 4-day holiday weekend. I had never been on a road trip with just my friends before, and to be quite honest, I was surprised that my parents allowed me to go. We took off on a Friday morning and came back home the following Monday evening.

The weekend was full of friends, fellowship and adventure. We did things like backyard BBQ, meanderaning around downtown SLO, going to the movies, surfing, going to the shooting range, going to church, hiking Bishop's Peak (a MUST if you're in the area), swing dancing at Modonna Inn, and a myriad of other things that I can't remember. We left the weekend exhausted and her brother with much homework to catch up on.

Why was it my "Disneyland" experience? Because it truly was fun. It was perhaps the first time I had traveled away from and without my family. I was challenged that weekend spiritually being around a ton of more spiritually mature people. It grew those three girl friends and I together in a way that we hadn't experienced and left a sweet memory on us all. Each time I have been back to SLO those memories come flooding back and I will forever have fond memories of that little college town.surfing at Pismo Beach
Naomi, Jenn, me & Shannon

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On to the DL

My parents came down last week for a little vacation time in SoCal and I got to accompany them for a few days! We went to
Medieval Times on Sunday evening, LaBrea Tar Pits & the Nixon Library on Monday, then Disneyland on Tuesday! Sadly, I had to leave Tuesday evening, but mom & dad spent the rest of the week
touring Disneyland and Ca Adventure.
Here are some pictures from our day at Disneyland!

There were so many people willing to go to Disneyland despite the rain! It only rained for the first 20 minutes on Tuesday
and was beautiful the rest of the day.

Mom getting ready for the ride of her life on the Matterhorn

Dad & I at a photo shoot while waiting
for our reservations at Blue Bayou

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dear Fellow Blog Stalkers

Sometimes I am led to believe that my blog is far cooler than it really is. I am greatly inspired by all you faithful bloggers, and many apologies to those who actually somewhat frequent my blog. So many new things have happened since Olivia's birthday party, and I'll do my best to post about them soon. As for now, I'll leave you with a little fun. Facebook recently endured this epidemic of posting 25 random things about yourself, and I chose not to participate. But then I was reading my sister's and was totally inspired. So here ya go:

1. I am the second daughter of four girls. We all have blue eyes and brown hair, and for the most part, look alike.
2. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes; I just finished The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam. You must read it too.
3. My childhood ambition was to be a hair dresser. One of my aunts was a hairdresser and I thought it was so cool. As a kid I went through a few of those Barbie heads and was always styling my or my sisters' hair growing up. I outgrew that ambition sometime between junior high and high school. But I still think it would be cool.
4. I discovered my fondness toward athletics in high school, and to this day, still aspire to be an athlete. If I could be known for one great thing in the world, it would probably have to do with having an athletic accomplishment. Probably too late for that now.
5. My favorite color is aqua blue. It goes with everything. Except maybe red.
6. Just yesterday I found out that my left leg is longer than my right leg. No official measurements have been taken, but my chiropractor made the discovery when testing my lower back pain symptoms. Hmmh.
7. I did not enjoy eating vegetables until I lived overseas. Now I cannot get enough of them!
8. My favorite body part(s) is the hands. Seriously, God was really thinking on that one. I love doing things with my hands! Could you imagine life without hands?
9. I am technologically un-savvy. I use a Mac, people. Why must electronics be so complicated?
10. I am genuinely scared of dogs. Not all dogs, but most of them.
11. My heart beats for junior high and high school students. My life would not be complete without them. If I do only one thing for the rest of my life, I want it to revolve around students.
12. I prefer to eat with plastic utensils. There's just something about metal scraping against my teeth that I cannot stand.
13. I care deeply about corporate worship through music. Deeply. More deeply than I can write about in this post. A few of my favorite recording artists are: Charlie Hall, Matt Redman, Phil Wickham, Chris Tomlin & David Crowder.
14. Movies are hard for me to sit through. There is rarely a movie I find worth wasting 2 hours of my life watching. Slumdog Millionaire is the most recent worthwhile one. Before that...I can't even remember. Invisible Children.
15. Many people are under the impression that I want to be overseas as a missionary for the rest of my life. While this is a legitimate assumption, most people don't realize that I am not opposed to staying in the states, either.
16. I wish I were more creative with words. I greatly admire authors and their ability to paint stories of colorful abundance on the blank canvases of their readers minds. (How was that?)
17. Though I have basically zero artistry in me, I get really excited about art. The old art doesn't quite do it for me like the more modern graphic design, but I guess it all originates from the same place, that being people's imaginations. I spent about an hour wandering through Beverly's last night just staring at the artistry in the paper and textiles.
18. I wan to become better at taking objects and tweaking them into something unique. I have a friend, Tonde, who is particularly gifted at this. Yesterday she showed me how she spray-painted her son's rocket ship swing for her younger daughter. She painted it pink, painted white flames on the sides, and sewed this sheer, shiny green material up the chains. Really? It was incredible.
19. Though I am avidly opposed to Hallmark stationery, not much tops their line of FreshInk cards. My sister & I used to go to the Hallmark store just to read the FreshInk cards. My new favorite reads: "Anybody can bring the green beans amandine to the neighborhood potluck, but it takes someone very special to bring the funk....Happy Birthday." They're basically just ridiculously funny greeting cards.
20. I divorced my iPhone. I had it for about 10 months until I decided that it was really a piece of junk. Please hear me out. I am all for Mac's. In fact, I hope to never buy another computer. And I use my iPod for greater things than just listening to mp3's. Apple certainly knows how to make a genius computer and write cutting-edge software. However, they do not know how to make a quality phone. The iPhone is a sweet gadget and has many beyond necessary yet handy tools. But it's a crappy phone. I went back to the BlackBerry.
21. Sometimes I wonder what others truly think of me. Actually, I often wonder. Am I weird? If I knew me, I would think I was weird.
22. I'm shy. For a while I thought I got over being shy. But this week at work (*new job) the doctor kept making comments about how I don't talk. Then my friend went in to see him & apparently she told them that I talk all the time. Now they know the truth. Foolish me, just talk!
23. I have become a consumer American. Yes, I am ashamed to admit that I live a life of excess. Last night Tonde & I were talking about how to simplify our lives. She just threw away a $200 pair of jeans. $200! She tossed 'em because she realized that she has become someone she never wanted to be, and owning those jeans was a manifestation of that in her life. I shamefully admit that I own the same pair of jeans. What to do?
24. I love getting to know people. I am fascinated by the things that make us "tic," and how we individually got to the place where we are currently in life. What our goals, ambitions, fears and pet peeves are. I can't stand talking to someone about insignificant things. One of my faults is that if I cannot get attached to someone & build a relationship with them, I usually don't even bother talking to them. I'm working on it.
25. I love Jesus. I don't know why I left this one until the end, but I did. The person and godhead of Jesus Christ is what drives every decision in my life (again, I'm working on it). Were it not for Jesus' life, death and resurrection, I would not have life. My driving force in this life is to become more conformed to the character of Jesus.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Motivation

Sometimes I have zero motivation to read my Bible. It's such a weird thing, that I know the riches of studying God's Word and I have experienced the fruits of this labor. Yet something in my flesh still desires to push it aside. I'm sure you have been familiar with this, too.

This morning as I was reading Deuteronomy 8 I came across a new motivation to be in God's Word constantly. Deuteronomy is a book of the Law--of God's Law to His chosen people (Israel)--given to them after the exodus from Egypt yet while they wander in the desert waiting to enter the Promised Land.
Chapters 1 and 2 = the setting: why God is choosing to make them wander.
Chapters 3 and 4 = remembering the conquests and obedience: God's faithfulness in their past is reason for them to trust and obey Him for their future
Chapter 5 = 10 Commandments revisited
Chapter 6 = obey: God rewards His people for their obedience
Chapter 7 = warnings and promises: a warning against the temptation of sin and God's promises for Israel's future; God's faithfulness to keeping His word
Chapter 8 = grace: God graciously deals with His chosen people in the midst of their sinful actions and attitudes
"Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statues which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery" (vv. 11-14).
I had the fleeting thought that it must be possible that we we forget God's commandments and His ordinances and His statues that we begin to forget God himself. Yikes! What an even greater motivation to continually be in His Word and learning His decrees, that I might know Him more and not easily forget who He is in our lives.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter Camp 2009

Every year we take our high school students to winter camp over Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. We take them to Pine Summit where the Evangelical Free Church denomination churches in our region gather and put on a camp consisting of biblical teaching, worship through music and just plain fun. Camp is a time of year we look forward to in growing in our relationships with each other and with God. This weekend was no exception! Here are a few pictures noting the fun and encouraging time we had together!

some of the girls just chillin' in the cabin

Raf-Dog chose to sit in someone's hand
while everyone else was shopping in town


the girls gearing up for a day on the slopes!
(sorry for making you look into the sun)
Gabby-Stefanie-Morgan-Nadine-Anna-Jordan-Amanda-Hannah-Chelsea

taking a lunch break in the lodge
Gabby-Stefanie-Amanda-Kate

Friday, January 16, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Epiphany

Lately I have been provoked by the study of the liturgical year. Advent calendars have been a childhood tradition in my family, but I never took the time to understand their meaning and purpose until just this year. Lame, I know. There's so much significance behind them! Since Christmas & Advent are over, I'll have to be more purposeful in blogging about them next year. BUT this coming Sunday (tomorrow) is the traditional celebration of Epiphany, which is a part of the liturgical year.

Epiphany, according to Wikipedia:
Epiphany (Greek for "to manifest" or "to show"), is a Christian feast day which celebrates the "shining forth" or revelation of God in human form in the person of Jesus Christ. The Feast of the Epiphany falls on January 6. Western Christians commemorate the visitation of the Magi to the child Jesus on this day, i.e., his manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, his manifestation as the Son of God to the world. It is also called Theophany ("manifestation of God"), especially by Eastern Christians. Epiphany falls on the last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas.
We are now launching into the season of epiphany, which is followed by "ordinary time" until the season of lent. This is how I want to be purposeful during the "ordinary time":
  • be purposeful in researching and preparing my heart for the next season of lent
  • think of a creative way to get my small group girls involved in observing lent
  • focus on the life and ministry of Christ by reading through the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), since the purpose of lent is for the Christian to prepare for the Holy week leading up to Easter
  • use this time to start revolving my life around the liturgical church calendar rather than our all-American, self-focused holidays calendar

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's a Wrap


I felt kinda ridiculous syran wrapping the fully decorated Christmas trees today. I guess they've been up for long enough. It made me feel better that the Horning family does this every year.

As I was twirling the giant roll of plastic wrap around one of the trees I was provoked by the thought process behind Christmas trees. I've never really thought about why we purchase and decorate Christmas trees every year. In my family, I guess it's mere tradition. My dad has been going to the same Christmas tree farm in Northern California since he was 6 years old. I have a picture there with my sisters every year of my childhood (even one of me in the cooker). We go up as a family in October to choose a tree, reserve it with our name, and then in December go cut it down. It's been quite a fun family tradition that I have discovered many families do not have. Another family I know waits until Christmas eve and sneaks out to Wal-Mart's dumpster to find their Christmas tree of choice--for free. Different, yes; tradition nonetheless.

I realize that Christmas has come and passed for the time being, and it's pretty cliche to repeat that the realities of Christmas should remain in our thoughts at all times. Did you know that today is the last day of the Christmastide season? It is commonly known now as the 12 Days of Christmas, but traditionally is a part of the liturgical church calendar. Christmastide is a celebration not only of the birth but also the incarnation of Christ. From the little research I have done, Christmastide is primarily taken seriously by the Catholic following. It's just all interesting to me how we have come so far from a baby supernaturally born to a poor carpenter's wife in a place where animals dwelt and shepherds hearing the first of the birth to wrapping fully decorated fake trees in syran wrap to preserve their aesthetics while in storage for the next 10 months. Where is the connection?

Postings