Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Books I'm reading in the month of June!

No more school, no more books...? 

This could not be farther from the case! 

Since I successfully finished my first year of teaching 5th grade, I have decided to reward myself this summer by creating a Summer Reading List for myself! During the school year, I was reading quite a few books to prepare for lessons, and I was also reading several novels with my students. My summer reading list was created merely as Pleasure Reading to help me enjoy the long, lazy days of summer! Typically I try to read a fiction book and a non-fiction book at the same time, so you will see a good mixture on this list. :) 

Book #1- God Knows My Name: Never Forgotten, Always Loved by Beth Redman

I'm almost finished with this book, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. It was written by Beth Redman, the wife of Matt Redman-the worship leader, and it has really hit home for me! Beth Redman has a great writing style, and this book is great!

Book #2- Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis

I put this book on my list since it came highly recommended, and now I know why. Although I just started it today... I'm enjoying it immensely. I love seeing Katie's heart for Africa, Orphans, and those who seem forgotten. 

Book #3- Trophy Child by Ted Cunningham 

I downloaded this book for free to my Kindle and it looks really interesting. We live in such a performance-based society, yet God desires for our worth to be found in him. 

Book #4- The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith

This is the 13th book in a series called "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series" by Alexander McCall Smith, and they are set in Botswana, Africa. Smith has a huge talent for capturing the African culture and for telling stories. I'm so excited to start reading this! 

I have a couple others I might add to my list for June, but these are the books I'm definitely going to read! 
Also, I'm currently reading James and the Giant Peach Aloud to Hosea and Levi at night. I've always loved this book, and they seem to be enjoying it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I can't help but laugh...

Hope Elizabeth Hogan may be our youngest child, our only girl, our only thumb-sucker, and our only cuddly baby BUT she was born with two older brothers who were loud, opinionated, creative, and funny. Because of this, I believe that God gave her a personality all of her own. :)

Frequently, I catch myself doubled over in laughter over her funny personality and funny sayings.

Here is just a sampling of some of her many funny moments... now just imagine all of these being said at the speed of sound in the voice of a 2 year old.

~ "My name is Hopeeeeeee Ewizabef Hogan," squealed at the top of her lungs.

~ To her brothers who told her that she is a princess.... "I'm not just a princess. I'm a Super-hero princess. Princesses can't fly, but super-heroes can... so I'm a Super Hero Princess"

~ Instead of saying "The End"" when we finish her bed time story... she says "Amen". This all started when Derrick explained that "Amen" means "The end, or let it be" and that is why we say it after we pray.

~ Hope's goodnight prayer...
Hi God! Thank you for my good day. Thank you for my elmo. Thank you for fish. I'm going to sleep now. Amen... that means the end.
Goodnight God! ( I love that she does this, and I can't help but imagine God smiling down at her.)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Eager to Please

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection.  ~William Faulkner

I have struggled with perfectionism for a long time. My goal of pleasing people has been a source of frustration and disappointment. When I became a mom 6 years ago, I quickly realized that no mom is perfect, and I would only drive myself crazy trying to be. You may think that realization cured my perfectionism for good, but unfortunately that is not the case. Now that I'm a teacher, I have a new outlet in which to struggle with my perfectionistic tendencies. At the end of the day, there are a million things to look back at and wonder if I did them well enough. 

There are plenty of questions running through my mind... "Did I teach that lesson to the best of my ability?" or "Did I handle that problem correctly?" or "Did I show that student God's grace?"

As I struggle with these thoughts and feelings... I realize the only answer is this. I am not perfect. I never will be. But God is not looking for perfection, but he is looking at my heart. God hasn't asked me to be the perfect teacher, to handle every lesson exactly right, to handle every conference with a parent perfectly, or be everything for everybody. God has asked me to point them in the direction of the one who can be their Perfection and their Everything.... and that is Him... not me.... thank goodness! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

We need a farm!

 Over Labor Day weekend we went to the local creamery for ice cream and to see the cows.... here's some pics from our adventure!

 Yummy Strawberry and Peach Milkshakes made the kids happy... but the cows made them even happier!

 "Cows go MOOOOO" says Hope!
 Our kids would have stayed and watched the cows all day long... and now for the past week they've been building barns with Legos and pretending to be farmers.

A couple weeks ago we went to "Goats on the Roof:" in Helen where you can visit with the goats and feed them out of an ice cream cone... and then feed them the cone too! The kids LOVED the goats...
And the goats loved the kids! Now we just need a farm where we can have some cows, goats, and chickens.

Fall is on the horizon!

I must admit that fall is my favorite time of year.... and it always has been. As much as I love the sun and flip-flops... I love jeans, hoodies, apple cider, pumpkins, and salted caramel frappuccinos even more! :) This year I seem to be longing for fall even more. This summer has been one filled with changes, difficulties, and sickness. In early July I came down with what felt like the flu... except it got worse instead of better. After much procrastination I headed to the doctor, and they told me I had Lyme disease from a tick bite I got in late May. They started me on powerful antibiotics to kill the Lyme Disease, but the medicine had some nasty side effects that made me feel terrible as well. Finally after feeling sick for over a month, I began to feel better, besides a few residual side effects.

It wasn't long after I started feeling better, that the first week of school came rapidly approaching. I was so excited, nervous, and ready to begin my first teaching job and yet I never would have expected how draining this first month would be. I love the school I'm working at, I love my 5th grade students, and I love teaching BUT this month was exhausting. I love my kids, I love homeschooling Hosea, and I love volunteering on Wednesday nights at church BUT this month was overwhelming. I think I've fallen asleep on the couch at 8:30 P.M more frequently than I did when I was pregnant.

 But sure enough... just as the calendar began to flip into September... I felt a change. When I walk into my classroom it feels like home... instead of like a hotel. My students no longer feel like students, but instead like my own children. Homeschooling Hosea is beginning to feel more natural instead of foreign. And I realize that even on the worst days right now... it feels better than my best days did before. I may not be the perfect mom, the perfect teacher, or the perfect small group leader but I'm called and therefore it feels right. I may forget part of a lesson plan, struggle with patience when Hosea's perfectionism rears it's head, or feel inadequate in several other ways but I'm loved by the Father and therefore that is enough.

So as fall approaches... I pray that you find a sense of contentment with where God has you... but not of complacency. As the leaves change color, as the weather becomes cooler, and as the world gives way to a new season... enjoy it and bask in God's graciousness to us.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Three kids, a box, and a little imagination!

As I begin to prepare for the beginning of my first school year as an official teacher... we've had several boxes with books end up in our house. As the boxes come in, I've tried to go through them, organize the contents, and place everything on my bookshelf in our sun room. This has left us with some empty boxes...

Instead of boxes... my kids believe we've gained a spaceship, a car, an igloo, a camper, a tent and whatever else their imaginations create. My children couldn't be happier and have enjoyed countless hours playing in these boxes. One day last week, we took it a step farther and turned the boxes into artwork, and my kids were entertained for an hour while I cleaned the kitchen and made lunch!

Boxes= cheap entertainment= artwork= ability to get my kitchen clean

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Reading

A glimpse into what I've been reading this summer... which definitely ranks high on one of my favorite past times.

I have been intrigued by Michael J. Fox for a long time, and think his positive attitude while living with Parkinson's Disease can be an encouragement to many. I found this book on clearance in the Grocery and it was well worth the read! 

This book is the sequel to Lost and Found by Sheehan, and it was just as good as the the prequel. These books have great dialogue, character development, and are awesome for animal lovers! :) 

I downloaded this for free on to my Kindle and I'm so glad I did. This book will challenge your faith, your thoughts about what you think you NEED, and make you incredibly grateful!

This was another free download on Amazon, and it was super cute! It made me realize that life with three children who are close together in age is always going to be an adventure and that adventure is when real learning occurs. This was an easy, but fun read!

This book was extremely interesting as it gives a lot of background information on one of my favorite authors. Brennan Manning's Ragamuffin Gospel was a life changing read for me, and this autobiography gave even more meaning to that book. 

If you have any suggestions on books that you love, that you think I might like, leave them in the comments! I'm always looking for a new and interesting read! 

Follow Me on Pinterest