12.31.2009

2009, the End of a Decade!

I remember where I was when 2000 began. I was at the Winter Extreme Youth Conference in Gatlinburg, TN with my youth group from Blackwelder Park Baptist Church. I was in the 10th grade and Newsong was in concert, with Josh McDowell speaking. We stayed across the street from the conference sight and Bryan Rogers was our youth minister. We had a huge youth group and we were having the time of our lives bringing in the new year. At the time, I had no idea what the next ten years would mean for me. God had done so much in my life and in the lives of the people around me.

This week Matt & I have been reminiscing of what the past decade meant to us. I thought it would be cool to see what I can remember from 2000-2009. I'm thinking this will be an ongoing list as we reminisce about the last 10 years. Enjoy!

Y2K
Youth group days
1st boyfriend
Bahamas mission trip
Parents Divorce
9/11 Tragedy
Death of Grandma & Grandpa Moon
Last dance recital, after 15 years
High School Graduation
Mission trip to Moldolva
Beginning college at ASU
Meeting Matt
Working 4 summers at Camp Caswell
Changing my major
Buying my 1st car
Dating Matt
Hurricane Katrina
Getting Engaged
Graduating from Appalachian State
Getting Married
Moving away from Kannapolis
Paying off my 1st car
Beginning my teaching career at Apex Middle School
Joining a new church in Raleigh, Journey Church
Buying our 1st house
Changing jobs, move to Wendell Middle School
Coaching cheerleading
Getting my 1st dog

Happy New Year! 2010 is sure to be another year full of precious memories!

12.22.2009

Christmas 2009

I've been wanting to write this post since the beginning of the month. My work has kept me so busy that I haven't found a minute to sit and blog...

One of my most favorite things to do is create things. If you've been reading my blogs for long, you know that I love to decorate. I love to take what I have and see what I can come up with, I'm not about buying new things to decorate with every holiday. I just like to see what I can do without spending a lot of money. This year, I knew exactly how I wanted my mantle to look. Basically, I wanted to do the exact same thing from last year but add more candles and Molly's stocking. (Last year, I did the traditional garland with berries) This year, my new mantle at our new house just wasn't wide enough to do what I wanted. I ended up breaking 2 stocking holders and had to start all over with my decorating scheme. I knew that if I didn't use garland on the mantle, I couldn't go with my traditional theme everywhere else, my house is just too small. I know this sounds silly, but decorating has become my hobby so just let me be... As I pulled out all the globes & extra stuff that I had stored away in my attic, I remembered that I had seen a display in a store with Christmas ornaments. It was very modern looking, but I liked it. So I took what I saw and ran with it...here's what I came up with:
The only thing I had to buy that I didn't already have was the blue ornaments. I was hesitant at first because blue is not a traditional Christmas color, but it fit perfectly with the colors in our living room.
I was also excited to find a place to put my willow tree angel nativity set. I'm still collecting some of the pieces, but I absolutely love it!
In my kitchen last year, I had placemats that match my Christmas dishes, but they had mooses on them and they just didn't go with my scheme. So, I pulled out a table runner that I had bought the year before we got married and added some beaded fruit. It went perfect with my "modern" Christmas.
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas! Check out the Keith Family blog sometime this week for Christmas pictures of our house & of our crazy dachshund Molly.

11.11.2009

Life Lately...

I haven't had the time to blog recently. In fact, I've been waiting for Veterans day so that I could have some time to spend blogging. I apologize if this blog post is way too long. God has blessed Matt & I with many opportunities this fall. From ASU football and NASCAR races (definitely an experience) to great family time with each other and our families. We've spent many of weekends on the road, but have also been able to make some great memories at home as well. The easiest way to sum up our fall is to share some pictures...Enjoy!

The state fair is always an exciting time for us. We always spend the majority of our time eating when we go to the fair, Matt says he will never ride a fair ride because he doesn't want to die at the fair. We enjoyed corn on the cob, some yummy ribbon fries, and hotdogs. We ended our time there with funnel cakes.

Matt has always been a Nascar fan and he loves going to races. His dad has always given me a hard time for living in Kannapolis and not being interested in Nascar. For our anniversary I decided that I would go with Matt to a race. It was definitely an experience and I am not going to lie, I told Matt that he can go to a race any time he wants...as long as I can stay home :).

One of my very best friends got married in October, Miss Emily Roberts...of course now she is Mrs. Emily Ondish but her wedding was one of the sweetest weddings I've attended in quite some time. She is an amazing friend and I am so excited that she now gets to experience the blessing of being married. Her Matt is a great guy as well, Matt and I wish you the best Ems! We love you!
The same weekend we went to Emily's wedding was Chowan University's homecoming. We go to a lot of ASU games, so we try every year to make it to at least one Chowan game since Matt went to school there. Thankfully my best friend Jenni and her wonderful husband Craig work at Chowan. We were able to actually see Chowan win a game and spend some time with great friends. Jenni and Craig, you need to move to Raleigh :).
We were able to spend Halloween at home this year. We carved a pumpkin and dressed our "child." We also handed out candy to a billion trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. It was great to relax at home on a Saturday night and see all the cute kids dressed up. I haven't carved a pumpkin since I was a child and I haven't handed out candy since high school. We had a great time and Molly was precious in her princess costume!
My last blog post was about my wonderful "little" sister Anna. She was amazing at the Miss Cabarrus County pageant last weekend. She won several awards including 2nd runner up. I totally believe that it was not the Lord's will to win Cabarrus, but that he has super plans for her ahead. She stood out among the ladies in the pageant and I totally believe that it was not the Lord's will for her to win Cabarrus. I believe he has a bigger task for her in her future. Anna doesn't know what proliminary pageants she will do for Miss NC in the future, but I know that if it is God's will Anna will be Miss North Carolina one day. She definitely has what it takes and I know that God could use her to make such a difference in this state. Below are two pictures from the pageant. If you want to see more, check out www.pageantpics.com and select "Miss NC Prelims" and "Miss Cabarrus County" as your event. Please continue to pray for her and encourage her along this journey.


We are looking forward to the holiday season...spending time with family and friends, food, decorating and all of the other fun festivities. I promise though, I'll blog again before then!

10.22.2009

My Precious Sister

I've been blogging a lot about my life lately, so this time I thought I would share a little about what's going on in the life of my family...

My precious little sister, not so little anymore, is preparing to compete for the title of Miss Cabarrus County. She has done pageants before, and was Teen Miss Cabarrus County about 6 or 7 years ago. She enjoyed it and competed a few years ago in the miss division. For a few years Anna felt like she was done with pageants, but this summer she felt called to do them...for a different reason. Anna's testimony is about how God has taught her to find her self worth in him and has become a very confident young woman. She's learned that she is beautiful because she has Jesus. This summer by working on the bedotell team, God used her to share her testimony to help young girls struggling with self-esteem issues.

Anna feels called to work with young students that struggle with self-esteem to acheive great things in life. She believes that by winning a title like Miss Cabarrus County, she can reach many students living in the Cabarrus/Rowan county area. She would also be able to compete for the title of Miss North Carolina and have the possibility of sharing her testimony with people all over North Carolina.

Everything has fallen into place for Anna...from finding the perfect wardrobe to finding the funds to pay for everything. I truly believe that God has his hand in this and that Anna can win on November 7th, God will use her to make a difference in the lives of students. Please join me in praying for her and this huge opportunity in front of her.


I am so proud of my sister, it is so evident that she is listening to the voice of the Lord. I can't wait to see what he does!

10.11.2009

Great Weekend!

Matt and I sat down at the end of the summer and planned our calendar for the fall. We were determined to have some weekends at home working in our yard or just relaxing...unfortunately we didn't get as many weekends at home as we wanted. Our fall has been booked with ASU football games, trips home to watch my brother play football, watching Anna compete in Miss Cabarrus County, and other misc. things...state fair, the race (Matt's anniversary gift...I'm only going for him...not because I want to but that's another blog post for another time) Chowan homecoming, and weddings of good friends. We are busy busy to say the least...maybe we'll slow down in the winter.

This weekend was a great one! We started the weekend by watching Luke play football at A.L. Brown, they played against Cox Mill. He got to play the entire second half of the game and he did very well. They won 66-7, and we had a great time. He is so big! Take a look at this picture of us after the game...he was so sweaty and nasty. I asked for a picture with him and this is what I got.


We also got to see my cousin's daughter, Mary Beth, cheer for Cox Mill. She's Luke's age and this is her first year cheering. She's really good.

On Saturday we headed to Boone for some ASU football. It was homecoming and I got to see a lot of people I graduated with. Matt and I spent the day with his sisters, Megan and Morgan. We watched the parade, enjoyed some King Street shopping, and of course watched the Moutaineers play some football. Although they played horrible, they still beat NC Central 55-21. It rained most of the day, but thankful cleared up for the game. We had a great time, I love and miss Boone a lot!

Until next weekend, have a great week! Hopefully it will fly...next weekend, state fair and the Charlotte race!

10.04.2009

For Mom...Fall Time!

My mom always wants to know what my home decor looks like. She's always been a great decorator and she's taught me how to decorate using what I have or buying cheap and doing it myself. I enjoy decorating and like to do decorate by season...just like my mom. So, this blog post is for my mom. This weekend Matt and I were able to continue working on our house. He worked in the yard and I did some work inside.

The people that lived here before we did were horrible at keeping up the yard. Matt has done a great job at getting rid of weeds, clearing out flower beds, and getting rid of dead stuff. This past weekend Matt and his dad spend all day Saturday working in the huge bed in our front yard. They disposed of a whole trailer full of dead weeds, trees, and junk. Our yard looks ten times better than it did before we moved in, but we still have a long way to go. I did the normal cleaning this weekend, but I also did some fall decorating. A few weeks ago I did a little fall decorating, but this weekend I finished my task. I decorated the mantle and made a wreath for our front door. I used stuff that I bought last year and a wreath that I got at Hobby Lobby for $2.50. I made the wreath for about $12 total. (Including some apples & pears I bought at TJ Max for $3 and some leaf garland from Hobby Lobby) I was proud, those things sell in the stores for anywhere from $20 to $100!

Take a look at some pictures from the weekend, so excited about fall!

9.16.2009

Time Management

Ok teacher friends...this blog post is for you. Especially those of you that are experienced! I've gotten really good at doing school work every night...you know grading papers, working on lesson plans, changing lesson plans, there's always something. I really want to work on time management this school year, even more this year than ever since I've taught NC History before and I already have the base plans that I need. It's been a big adjustment being at a new school, with a different demographic of kids, and also coaching.

I'm thinking maybe my IGP (for all you non-teachers out there, this is a growth plan that teachers have to do every year.) this year will focus on time management. When I do manage my time, I'm more focused and feel more "on top of things" in my classroom....this includes behavior, planning, everything. I'm always good at planning ahead, I mean it's not like I make lesson plans the night before or anything or have issues with behavior because I'm not organized....I just want to have more time for spending time in God's word, hanging out with Matt, playing with our puppy, and not always having school work to do. Last year I said "next year will be easier to be able to make time for intentional God time, spending time with Matt, working around the house, because I won't be teaching 2 subjects." Today on the way to work, I realized this statement is not true. We only make time for things if we really want to...ya know, I'm a lot less busy this year but I just can't seem to make the time for things that I said I was going to this school year.

Any thoughts? Teacher friends & non-teacher friends...I need your suggestions. What can I do? What can I fix? How can I be more efficient with my time?

9.03.2009

Prayer

I've had to pray my way through the past 2 weeks of school. My new school is great, I love the faculty, and the atmosphere is wonderful but the kids have been a challenge. I've never worked with kids that were in my face the first week of school, the kids at my former school were so well behaved. God's strength has been the only way I've made it through the past two weeks. Please pray for me as I get used to working with a different dynamic of kids, that God will use me to somehow make a difference in their lives and that it would be more than punishing them for yelling out, disrespecting, and not doing work. Pray that I can show them God's love and that I can teach them what they need to know about North Carolina's history...and that they would care, right now I don't feel that they do because a lot of them have put no effort into their work.

On the other hand, I have just completed my first cheerleading tryout and it was very successful. I have chosen a squad of 12 girls and I think they have a lot of potential. I'm excited because this is the first year my school has really had a squad. We'll see what the future holds.

For now, I have 1 more day this week and I'm praying I can make it through the day so I can rest this weekend. It's now 8:30 pm and I'm going to BED!

8.24.2009

Classroom Pictures

Well, I took pictures of my classroom on Friday but I forgot my camera at school. I'm super excited that after 3 years of teaching, I finally get to have my room set the way I want it when classes start. We go back tomorrow, and I pray it's a good year. I always get excited when kids return, this year I'm a bit anxious since I don't know the kids at Wendell like I did at Apex. My prayer is that God uses me to be a positive influence on their lives.

Below are pictures of my classroom, and all it's new technology. I have a mounted projector, 2 computer jacks (one of them I can use to plug my ipod into the surround sound in my room), and a dvd/vcr player. The little box on the wall controls what is projected on the screen.

8.18.2009

Wendell Middle School

Well, I've survived 2 days of work this week. I am so tired already though, summer flew by! I'm really enjoying my new school, it seems like a great place to work. Very organized, but laid back. We do have a lot of chaos right now though, trying to unpack and open a new school. We've done a lot of team building already, but I feel like I still haven't met many people, I'm sure it will get better. It took me 2 years to really get acquainted at Apex, so I'm sure it will take time at WMS as well.

Today I was able to get some stuff done in my classroom. My new room is beautiful and the technology is amazing. I hooked up the DVD player to my projector today and the room has surround-sound!!! My kids are going to love it! I really want to post pictures so stay tuned, I'll try to get some tomorrow....for now, I'm getting off the computer and spending some time with Matt. I'll probably go to bed early...I'm exhausted!

8.16.2009

A Great Reunion

It's been a few days since I've blogged. I've had a lot going on to prepare for a bachlorette party I hosted this weekend.

One of my greatest friends from the BDT (Praise & Worship Team) days is getting married on October 23rd. We've started a tradition of having bachlorette weekends whenever someone gets married. Jenni was the first, she threw one for me, and I threw one for Emily. We decided to have it in Raleigh because Emily lives in Wilmington, so it was a nice get away for her. I hosted the party at my house and there were 6 of us here...Sara, Shannon, & Abby we missed you!

Friday night, we just relaxed, caught up and went to bed early. Saturday, we went shopping at the Smithfield Outlets, had a nice dinner, and did "bachlorette stuff." We surprised Emily on Saturday afternoon with something special. Our friend Laura lives in Nashville and plays the violin for a living. She tours with bands and plays at local places when she's home. Laura flew in and surprised Emily Saturday afternoon, Emily was so excited that she cried.

We had a great time catching up and just being girls. It's really great how we can all live so far apart and have different lives but come back together and it's like we're living at Caswell again. These girls are definitely lifelong friends and I so very thankful for them. God is so good!



Pretty girls all dressed up for dinner!

Stay posted this week, I'm going back to work tomorrow and I'll post pictures of my brand new school. I am super excited about the new opportunities at Wendell Middle School...Apex friends, I'll miss you!

8.10.2009

The Sickness Within...

Pastor Jimmy started a new series yesterday at church called "The Sickness Within," and it was amazing. Not amazing as in, so encouraging that I left church throwing a party...but amazing as in it really triggered a self-check up for me. He talked about how as Christians we aren't slaves to sin, however we submit to it all too often. We let bitterness & hatred take over our lives instead of producing the fruit that we should. We are all guilty of this, I know I am. He continued his sermon with discussing the fact that when people hurt us, we hurt back instead of dealing with it the way we should. (You can listen to Jimmy's message here and other series as well.)

This morning in my time with the Lord, I read Galatians 5:16-26. In this passage Paul talks about how we should let the Holy Spirit guide our lives. We should produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. How intestering! This goes along with exactly what Jimmy was talking about yesterday. It made me think of how easy it is to go day today, living without even thinking of God's purpose for me on earth.

I know I'm not perfect, I get upset at the littlest things sometimes and I have along way to go. However, becoming aware of my "sickness within" helps me to be aware of the areas in my life I need to ask God to help me change on a daily basis. I pray that God continues to mold me into the woman he wants me to be and that I continue to become aware of the change I must allow him to make!

8.08.2009

Just Thinking This Morning...

We have a lot going on today...Matt is at a men's breakfast at church, I'm cleaning the house, got to go to the grocery store, and then head to Sanford this afternoon for Matt's cousin, Brandi's, wedding. While I was cleaning this morning I was thinking about my students from last year. It was a challenging year because I taught Language Arts and Social Studies, but I had the best group of kids. Yesterday I found out that the students (at the school that I was at last year) scored the 4th highest EOG scores of 30 middle schools in the county, with 90%! We were an honor school of excellence and we met our growth. Now to a lot of you, this means nothing, but to me it means a lot. I am so proud of the achievement of the students I worked with last year. I will miss them tremendously and they will always be a special group.

Below is a video of a Social Studies project they did the last week of school about the 1950s-2000s.


My "Kids" and Their Music Videos from Magan Seagroves Keith on Vimeo.

8.05.2009

Change...Not Always a Bad Thing

The past 2 years has been full of changes for me...get engaged, move to Raleigh after living in Kannapolis my whole life, begin a teaching career, get married, teach 2 new subjects, join a new church after 18 years, make new friends, buy a house, move, and guess what...we're still changing.

God has been teaching Matt and I a lot lately about really learning to depend on him. We moved to Knightdale because we wanted to be closer to our church, but really had to trust in him for a job out this way for me. With budget cuts and school system cuts I though I would just be blessed to still have a job in Wake County. God had bigger plans for me though, I've been blessed to be given the opportunity to help start a new 8th grade this school year at Wendell Middle School. WMS is 5 minutes from our house and I'm going to be teaching just 8th grade Social Studies. (My dream job since I was in the 8th grade) I'm also blessed with what really seems to be like a tight knit faculty and a great administration. Not to mention, my new classroom is beautiful with state-of-the-art technology. I have a mounted projector, wall mount with a switch board to change from dvd player, computer, etc. No more cords stretching across my classroom. I feel so blessed to be given this opportunity. I liked my job at Apex, but I really didn't feel like I was being used to the potential I should be. I'm also going to be coaching the cheerleading squad. (Also something I've always wanted to do)

I am just in awe at what the Lord has blessed me with. I never in a million years thought I would be where I am. Not to mention Matt and I have been blessed with an amazing church, where we are both beginning to plug in. More changes for us...we've always been so involved with the BeDoTell team that we haven't plugged into Journey the way we should. Matt is working with the tech team now & I am going to step out to something new...the children's ministry. We have loved working BeDoTell and have made so many life long friends, but we feel like God is calling us to plug into a new ministry. It's really bittersweet for us, but we know God has bigger plans that we will ever imagine.

Of course all these changes come with hard challenges...stepping out of my comfort zone, trying new things, and making new friends (which has been the hardest thing for me, especially coming from Kannapolis where I knew EVERYONE).

So many changes, so many blessings...we serve a GOOD God and I am just amazed at what he is doing! I love being a part of God's work, even when he gives us new challenges and new adventures that require change!

8.03.2009

A New Favorite

I've tried to get off caffine for quite sometime, I can't. Quitting soft drinks was pretty simple for me once I moved to Raleigh because they don't sell Cherry Lemon Sundrop around here. I've learned to deal without Sundrop, although I do drink it occasionally. But I just can't get off coffee. I love it, I drink a cup every morning. If I don't have coffee in the morning, it's not a good thing. I get cranky and I just can't get going. I've even tried to start drinking decaf, but it's just not the same. I figure if I only drink 1 cup a day then I've come a long way in my caffine drinking because I've always been so addicted to Sundrop (My sister can attest to this and if you know her, she has it BAD, but she lives in Ktown where EVERYONE drinks Sundrop.)

Anyways I've recently grown to love drinking Dunkin Donuts coffee and I hate to say this, but I love it more than Starbucks coffee. It's also cheaper!



When I go to Starbucks I like to get a Carmel Macchiato, but it's not a good habit to get into it because it is so expensive. The other day, I was at the grocery store and I found this...


(If you can't tell, it's Caramel Macchiato creamer from International Delight) Now I don't usually like creamer because it's so sweet, but my sister taught me a trick. You put the creamer in with a little milk and you don't add sugar. Works like a charm and it's tastes great!

So, if you like coffee and you like Carmel go to the grocery store and get Carmel Macchiato Creamer from International Delight and try Dunkin Donuts coffee, it's so good!

ps- Now that I'm done with my advertisement, go read our family blog. We have a video from our Washington trip up!

7.31.2009

Free! Warning...this blog post might make you think, cause I did

About a month and a half ago, I met with our next steps director at church to talk about getting plugged in at Journey. We ended up discussing spending time with God and reading the bible. Lisa challenged me to not just have a quiet time, (which I've struggled with for quite sometime...I'm a time hog and I don't make the time for God that I should.) but to take some time to read God's word and use that as a tool for my time with him. I've done many bible studies, read many great books, but I've come to believe that God has so much more for us than just the Christian resources out there. Of course they are great sources in helping you grow in a relationship with Christ, but reading straight from his word and really studying the meaning of scripture has really opened my eyes.

In Lisa's challenge, she told me to begin by picking a book of the bible that I've read before and really read it word for word and pray for understanding from God. It doesn't matter where you start, God has a new challenge for us daily. I began with Galatians, it's taken me most of the summer to read. God has shown me the challenge Paul is writing about to the churches of Galatia and it's relation to where I am in life right now.

This morning I read Galatians 6:21-30, in this passage Paul is comparing Abraham's wives (the slave wife, Hagar & Sarah, his wife) He uses this as an illustration of freedom in Christ vs. slavery of the law. I can relate to this today. There are so many people in life that try to get you to live by the laws of Christianity, you know...the ones so many church goers have made up. As Christians, we are not bound to a law. We are set free in Christ, to serve him & to live our lives for him. We were made to worship him with our lives, not to follow some rules. Christians are free, guys WE ARE FREE IN CHRIST. Of course we aren't perfect, Christians aren't called to be perfect but...WE ARE FREE because of what HE DID FOR US! Our lives should be more than just going to church, trying to be perfect (newsflash...we never will be, only he is), and occasionally sharing the gospel. Our lives are meant to love God and share God's love with people. (Matt. 22:37-29)

Matt and I have been really praying about how we can do this in our new area...I could write a whole other blog post on this. Maybe I will, but by reading Galatians this summer I've learned a lot about my freedom as a Christian. I am so thankful for the loving God who gave his life for me. To call me his daughter and give me a life on this earth...the same man that conquered the grave, lives in me. I can't even imagine his greatness, he is so great. I have such a long way to go & to grow. I pray that I am not bound by the law, the rules people make up, but that I continue to strive to live my life free in Christ, giving him my all daily!

7.29.2009

Real Case of the Lazies

So, it's been a week. I've had my wisdom teeth out (wasn't too bad, except day of), gone on vacation to Washington, D.C., and moved into my new classroom (which is AMAZING!). I really want to write a blog post on these things, well...D.C. and my new classroom, but I've been bitten by the case of the lazies and just don't feel like it. Our house is a wreck, I need to clean, and I just don't feel like doing anything...

Hopefully, I'll regain my will to do something productive today...hopefully :)

ps- Did I mention the new Krispy Kreme opened in Knightdale today, oh yeah!!!

7.19.2009

Blah! Wisdom Teeth

Well as my grandpa would say, hopefully I won't lose my wisdom with my teeth tomorrow. (That is supposed to be a joke from him, my dad said the same thing to me...oh the Seagroves men, always have a smart comment)I've been dreading and putting off having my wisdom teeth for quite some time now, but my dentist demanded last Christmas that I have them removed and I told him I was waiting till the summer to do it because I am a teacher...the summer is here and tomorrow they come out.

Like most people, I hate pain. I also hate being forced to lay around the house. Prayers would be appreciated tomorrow and over the next few days. I'm very thankful I have a great husband that will take care of me tomorrow and is able to do his job from home!

Stay tuned, on a brighter note...we leave for Washington, D.C. on Friday and thanks to our great friend John Astle we have a great trip and a tour of the capital building lined up. Who knows who we'll run into!

7.16.2009

LONG TIME, no post but I'm working on it...

So a year ago, I began blogging again but school overcame my life (literally) and I didn't blog very long. Matt and I are really working on trying to make time for ourselves to relax, intentionally spending time with the Lord, making that a desire of our hearts, and not letting work overcome our lives again...I'd love to spend more time blogging! Here's a blog I began writing last year and I wanted to post it because it's true. I really look up to Shannon for being able to post almost daily like she does. What a wonderful way to document life!

I've had a blog for a long time, probably since Matt and I began dating in o5, but I haven't really kept it up. I always Shannon White's blog (www.chasingpaperstars.com) and think...wow, I really wish I blogged. She always has something cool to read, whether it be something God is teaching her or something silly like Shannon's "things to do at dinner while you are waiting on your food" list. I love that she can let out her mind for the world to see...

Thankful This Morning!

I've been reading through Galatians this summer, taking it a few verses at a time and really breaking it apart. This morning I woke up feeling really thankful, so I decided to begin my Jesus time by reading through some scripture about thankfulness. The book of Psalms is filled with verses on thankfulness, but this morning I found a verse in Hebrews that really stood out to me. Hebrews 12:28-29 says "Since we are receiving a kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. Our God is a devouring fire."

In Galatians I've been reminded of the freedom that we have in Christ when we become Christians. This means we are not bound by law, how AMAZING! I've also been reminded that as Christians, he is our father and that means we are heirs to THE THRONE OF GOD. This is what Hebrews 12:29 is talking about. We have been promised the unshakable kingdom. Can you imagine what God's love is like for us? He has given us the freedom to live in him and made us his children.

We should be thankful and worship our God for what he has done for us...the amazing love he has for us! We should want to wake up every morning and say PRAISE GOD for what he has done, he has given us another day to live, and so many wonderful blessings. Why would we not want to spend time with him...he gave us life and made us who we are.

The last part of Hebrews 12 says "He is a devouring fire." Think about a fire that is taking over a house or a building. It is massive. God's love is like that for us, but he is so holy that he destroys everything that is not holy like a fire destroys a house. Sometimes it is so hard to fathom the greatness of our God.

This morning all I can do is worship, I thank God for ALL that he has done for me. I thank him for letting me be a part of his kingdom, a heir to the throne. I thank him for being who he is and pray that he helps me, little ole me, to strive to be the person he has called me to be and bring glory to HIS name!

7.14.2009

Decorating Help!

My summer project has become decorating the interior of our house, but doing it as cost effective as possible. I've spent a lot of time looking at Homegoods, Ross, and even Walmart for cheap but great decorating pieces for our house. Once school starts back, I'm not going to have a lot of time to work on things. I need a little help though, I don't know what to do in the corner of our living room. Our tv has to go where it is and we aren't looking to buy a new tv stand right now. Any ideas on how I can decorate around it. I feel like this corner of our house is blah...



7.09.2009

Walmart is Rediculous!

I'm not usually the person to get all upset when I have to wait forever when my car is getting worked on. I've come along way in learning patience and today as I sat in the Walmart Tire and Lube waiting area for my car to be fixed, God tested me.

Matt has been doing a lot of extra freelance lately and hasn't had time to take either of our cars to get the tires rotated and balanced. We have been traveling quite a bit lately and both cars have needed this done for a while. We are leaving Saturday to go to Boone for a wedding and to D.C. in a few weeks, so I decided today to help him out and take my car to Walmart to get the tires done. We both have a warranty on tires from Walmart, so we take our cars there to get tires done. The Walmart in Knightdale is super ghetto and doesn't have a tire center anymore, so the closest Walmart that has a tire center is the one on 64 in Raleigh near the beltline. I don't particularly love this Walmart, but I thought I would be brave (of course after Matt promised me several times that I would be ok, no one was going to get me) and I went.

When I pulled into the tire center, there were no other cars there...so I thought, "sweet, this will take no time." The guy came out and asked me why I needed him, I told him and after explaining what I needed several times, he finally said ok, gave me a little ticket, and told me he would page me when he was done. I walked around Walmart for a few minutes, felt unconfortable for many reasons and decided to go have a seat in the tire center waiting area. After about 30 minutes of waiting the same guy came back, mumbled something to me about how I needed to replace a tire on the right passenger side, and told me that I probably wanted to get it fixed. I called Matt out of frusteration...now, I know I'm a girl and I don't know a lot about cars but I've learned pretty well from my dad when my tires need to be changed. Matt told me that since I haven't had new tires in a few years maybe the guy was right, and so I told the guy to go ahead with it. (Matt couldn't really tell me one way or the other, he was at work and already feeling sorry for me for having to go to THIS Walmart, he just wanted me out of there) The guy got a bit of an attitude about having to re-enter my transaction and walked away. By now, 45 minutes had passed and my car still hadn't been touched. I was starting to get a little frusterated by now because other cars that came in after mine were getting worked on...I didn't say anything and patiently waited. The guy came 5 minutes later and said he was going to lunch, I asked when my car was going to be ready and he said "I don't know, I'm going to eat...somone else will take you car." I figured someone else was taking over my car right then...

Well, after an hour and a half my car was still sitting and several other cars had been worked on, including some cars that needed tires. Finally, I got up told the guy at the counter I had to leave and asked for my keys. Now, I was hoping they would ask why, start working on my cars...someithing! No one volunteered to go ahead and work on my car or anything...no one even apoligized, they just told me what I already knew...the guy working on my car went to lunch and they didn't know when he would be back.

I got my keys and I left Walmart without having my tires done, I patiently got in my car and left. Although I was pretty proud of myself for not getting all upset over my tires not getting fixed, I wasted about two hours driving all the way to Walmart and sitting there. I do know one thing, we will NEVER go to that Walmart to get our cars worked on again!

7.06.2009

Summertime

I am a horrible blogger, I know that, but I am enjoying my summer so I thought I would post about the wonderful things I've been able to do while I've been enjoying my summer break. I finished at Apex Middle on June 11th. I haven't wasted anytime since. Last summer I was bored out of my mind and I was determined that this summer would be different. Bare with me, this post may be a little long...

The first week of my break, I went to Myrtle Beach with my mom, surprised Anna at Caswell, and took them to Provisions. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and my mom loved eating at Provisions.The last part of that week, I spent in Asheville with Matt celebrating our 1st Wedding Anniversary. We stayed in a Bed & Breakfast in Asheville, ate dinner at a great Italian resturant, visited the Biltmore, and took a spontaneous trip to Boone. We really had a great time relaxing. I was excited for Matt to stop work for a few days, he needed a vacation. I can't believe we've been married for a year, what a blessing it has been! Here's a few pictures from our anniversary trip weekend.



The second week of my break, I ended going to a workshop in Chapel Hill for my new school. It was on classroom management, actually pretty worth my while, and it lasted all week. Hopefully I'll be able to use some of the stuff I learned with my new students in the fall. I'm pretty pumped about it.

The end of my 2nd week through the end of my 3rd week of summer break has to be by far my favorite so far. The weekend began with a surprise 50th birthday party for Merrie Johnson (our camp director from Caswell/good friend) and a wedding for a great college friend. Matt and I had a great time celebrating these events and I was able to stay at Caswell through Wednesday. During this time God reveled a lot to me. Matt and I both are learning a lot about what it means to worship God with our marriage, but also to worship God with our individual lives. We've learned that there is no way we can worship God with our marriage if we don't spend time alone with God daily. We've both known this, but last week while we were away from each other it became so evident that we need to work on this. God is so good, Afshin reminded me that as a child of God I must love him with all of my soul...which means giving him EVERYTHING daily. It was awesome to come home from Caswell and learn that Matt was learning the same thing. Anyways, may have to do another blog post on this later...I could go on and on. My sister, Anna, is having a wonderful summer and I was able to spend some sister time with her and hear about what God is teaching her this summer at Caswell. At the end of the week we celebrated my mom's birthday and the 4th of July at my Aunt Kim's beach house in Myrtle Beach. We had a great time and Matt even got to do a little surfing. I love my family!





There is so much more of my summer left and more adventures to blog about. This weekend we are headed to Boone for another wedding. My roommate/friend from college, Allison, is getting married. Can't wait to see great friends from ASU and enjoy some mountain weather!

1.21.2009

My "Kids"

I updated our mattandmagan.com website today, but thanks to the Nelson Family I realized that I haven't updated my own blog since November. Since I'm in the updating mood. I'll give this one a go as well...

I talked a lot in my post on our website about my 60 kids at school. Well, over the past few days I've been thinking about how they really are my kids. You know, I see the more than their parents do during the day and my heart has really been burdened for them lately. Some of them have great home lives, some of them don't. Last week they wrote problem/solution papers and I let them write about any problem they have. One of my kids, who I will call "O," since I can't tell you his real name wrote about his parents being divorced and how he really wants to go live with his dad in NY, but his mom has raised him. His dad lives in Brooklyn & it would not be a good thing for "O" to go live with them. I've been praying for him since I helped him write his paper. Yes, I had to help him. He reads on about a 5th grade level & I know I'm doing good when I get him to sit down with me to actually put something on paper. My heart just breaks for him, because his family life is not great and he can easily get into trouble at school. But, there is just something about "O" and when he's in my class, he doesn't misbehave. I love this kid!

I have so many other great kids at my school. I'm going to be sad to see them go in June because I've taught some of them since last December when I started at Apex Middle.

Speaking of the spring, keep us in your prayers. We are thinking about buying a house when our lease runs out. We want to live closer to our friends & church in North Raleigh. But this also means I would need to think about looking for a new school, Apex would be about a 45-50 minute drive for me everyday. Who knows, so much to think about. The cool thing is, God is in control and we don't have to worry about all of this craziness!