Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shall We?

I almost feel like it is the first day of school and I am so nervous that I can not sleep. I made my coffee and programmed it for the ungodly hour of 5:30, I packed my lunch (and snack), I pulled my teacher bag together (I don't think I can lift it), and finally I picked out what I am going to wear in the morning.

My two week hiatus from life is over. Let me tell you though...I feel rested. I feel excited for school and I am ready to do big things in the next 6 weeks that I have left with my class.

[Sidenote: Happy Easter! At Taylor we used to LOVE the saying "He is Risen" and replying with "He is Risen Indeed." Today, I heard from my Taylor girls and it made me really miss them ALOT.]

The Easter message got me thinking and not really about the death and resurrection (although that is quite pertinent to life).  I was thinking about sacrifice and dependence and control.

Let me back up. 3 years ago during my first year of teaching 2nd grade, I had a student who was the biggest cutie pie EVER, but also my most active student.  I typically keep my most active students in the front of the line because that way they don't have anyone to mess with and most importantly they walk next to me.  I guess the saying "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" rings true and definitely applies to my sweet kiddo who needed some extra chaperoning.

This one little friend in particular could melt me with one look, but could make me want to spit fire with the next.  He had a certain charisma that was contagious and a heart that needed loving.  One particular afternoon as we were lining up for the bus and I was running around trying to get everyone where they needed to be (what teacher has a calm afternoon dismissal because if you do...we should chat).  My little one was waiting patiently for me to come to the front and lead him out to the bus.  As I was barking orders at the class and coral-ing the rest, little M held up his hand and looked at me with his big eyes and said "Miss Slagle....Shall we?"Again, I melted and said "Yes...Yes...We Shall" and took his hand and together we walked to the bus.
Mr. Shall We

Fastforward...Today at church I felt like I was being asked the very same question and for so long it has seemed like I was tackling life one task at a time.

But today, my answer felt the same as it did the day I was asked to hold a hand and walk to the bus. I knew unequivocally that nothing else mattered and that I could rest safe in the Lord's arms, just like M. could rest his hand in mine.

Yes...together....we shall.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Little Monster hence Little Gaga aka Hayley

INTRODUCING the newest, latest, HOTEST photographer there is

Mrs. Michelle Murchison of Mason & Michelle Photography

Task: Take pictures of L.M. = no easy task
Where: Noda (Tasty Yo-Fire Station-Rat's Nest-Streets)
Weather: Rainy
Baby Temperment: pretty terrible BUT she is the prettiest bald baby EVER

If you want your baby to look as cute, precious, and adorable as Miss Hayley I will get you in touch with the best photographer in the Queen City. 

CHINA Bound!

One of my friends recently challenged me to this question. “If you could accomplish ANYTHING in your life for God and KNEW you couldn’t fail, what would you do?”

I thought about this and came up with this answer…

There are a few things that I am truly passionate about in this world some being—a relationship with Jesus, loving people, all things education, and traveling to new places.   Lately, I have reflected a lot on what does that mean for my life? How can I reach the most people, be an effective teacher, and share a vibrancy for life? If I knew that I wouldn’t fail I would want to build meaningful relationships with people, impact education on a large scale, and never allow life to become mundane.  As far as how that relates to a specific job, I am still processing that.  Currently, I love my job and see where the Lord has called me to impact 20 at-risk kiddos and inspire them to be outstanding in everyway.  Over my short 5 years of adult life, I realize how blessed I am to wake up and love going to work everyday. 

A few weeks ago, I was slightly disappointed that the Lord closed the door on one opportunity, but quickly realized again that His hand was once again clearly on my life.  I was offered an opportunity to travel to China for a month and model “best classroom practices” to the teachers in a Chinese school.  God really orchestrated this opportunity and continues to work out every potential glitch along the way.  For example, 80% of the trip is paid for and we leave right after I finish finals for the summer session of graduate school.  Most importantly, my principal is highly supportive of this trip and is allowing me to make up the days that I miss (the first two weeks of school)!  Yikes…what teacher misses the beginning of the year? This teacher does and I am resting in God’s promise of faithfulness and strength. 

For three weeks I will have the opportunity to teach Chinese elementary students, but also to model for the Chinese teachers.  Each day after class, I will meet with the Chinese teachers and debrief on what they have learned and field any questions.  These teachers are excited to learn new ways to instruct their classes and I am passionate about guiding them on their quest for learning.  I will be bringing along videos of my class and examples of different types of teaching.  In the evenings, we will be living and building relationships with the Chinese.

I am going to China from July 1- July 26th.  Currently, I am trying to raise $2,000 for my Chinese Visa and flight.  Please be praying for the support raising process.  If you made it all the way to the end of this novel...thanks for the opportunity to share a little piece of my reflections and passions.  

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Active April

My sweet mama and papa bought me a grill (and tools) for Easter. Oh how life has changed from getting pretty Easter dresses. 
My dad wouldn't let me get a gas grill...he said it was too dangerous and would be kept too close to my house. charcoal grill. I'm now a grillmaster!

I went home to RIC to see the 'rents run the Monument Ave 10k.  They did great! 
ML and I were so PROUD!

Ash and I celebrated her 27th Birthday!

Finally, it was SPRING BREAK! I have hated that driveway since I moved in for the sole reason that when it rains I get VERY muddy.  
Blake (JUNK RESCUE) to the RESCUE! 
The FINISHED product! TADA! It makes the driveway look SO much bigger and I LOVE IT.  
Plus...its all recycled rock and cost me 1/8th of the normal cost of new gravel. 

Then, I planted.  Hopefully, I develop a green thumb.  My track record isn't so high. The lady at Home Depot said that begonias grow themselves. Let's hope so. 

I also hung out with this sweet monster. I may call her Little Gaga because she is CARAZY. 
Little Gaga takes a bath. 
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

March Madness in Picture Review

March was a pretty crazy month for me.  Here is what my phone tells me happened this month. 

Michelle and I went to the Kings Kitchen (my most favorite rest!) All the proceeds go to ministries around town and it supports the homeless and gives jobs to the down and out.  All things I love. 

This is a little project I have been working on for awhile.  I collected knobs from Anthropologie and made myself a jewelry rack. Now, my room has been repainted so it looks even better! So Feng Shui!

I ordered about 5000 books and then organized a ton of people to wrap them all for our BH kiddos. 

One of my little cuties had 7 fillings from the dental van and came back to me like this. Not sure if you can see the sticker but it says WARNING: YOUR CHILD'S MOUTH IS NUMB. He may drool all over you. :)

This is my mini me...many a parent has asked me if she is my child.  Sidenote: It is humorous to see how many different ethnicities people think I am. 

Bobcat's game outing, but more importantly USHER is coming to CLT in April and,,,
 GUESS WHO has tickets?!?!?!

Yay for Rubbermaid seats at the Bobcats game.  Double Yay for Gerald Wallace coming back to the Queen City! Triple Yay for great friends!

Happy St. Paddy's Day via our own personal leprechaun!

Happy St. Paddy's Day Round 2 from the parade in Uptown!

After the parade we went to find some lunch, but Mason decided to join the parade:)

My cute house after I spent all day cleaning and blowing leaves.  Why pay someone when you can do it? Granted, I "forgot" to blow the leaves in the fall so it was only 5 months overdue. 

After I cleaned my house, I decided to add to my wardrobe.  Enter my new gala attire.  

To finish off the month, I read this book which is written by the same guy who wrote The 4 Hour Work Week.  That book revolutionized E's life and business so I decided I wanted it to revolutionize my health.  It is a great book-I highly reccomend.  Check in 90 days and I will let you know if it works.  Update: 2 weeks in and I am carb and sugar free and feeling great! 

Stop back in to see the wrap up of March and the beginning of April.  
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