Sunday, August 27, 2006


Today is Sunday = the last day of a long weekend. I was ill and out of work for Thursday and Friday and in the bed most of Saturday and Sunday. Sunday now and feeling MUCH better. Ready for Fall weather. Nick has been working really hard the past couple of weeks so I am very thankful we had a lot of time with eacher other this weekend. Finally had the chance to get through most of Season Six of Sex and the City - so good. Ali is precious as always but having a bathrooming in the house problem...again. I thought she had grown out of this but lately not so much. It's not an issue of bad parenting; we take her out very regularly. I don't know what it is.
Thursday night was tough for me. After attending the first week of Fall classes (2) and learning that my grad. course would require 15 intern hours at the site of a school selected by the program director (pretty impossible when you already work full time and don't have that kindof time to take off) and then realizing that the pre-calculous class was going to take a LOT of effort from me I got home cried a little and after talking to Nick we realized that now is not the right time for me to be in school. I don't know if that means next semester, next year, ten years from now will be. Right now I just don't know. So, boo. But like I said, I have had a pretty good weekend and look forward to just having to work this week and ...yea, work...and read, and exercise, and paint...and do all the things I say I WOULD do if I had "more time."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Praying for Yourself

I heard a sermon last Sunday that has helped me this week in doing something I'm not very good at: praying for myself. I am seeing that most times my prayers for myself are plentiful but mostly shallow. I would like to share what I learned and maybe you will benefit in some way(s).
When you pray for yourself you should first ask for God's mercy. Mercy was defined by Pastor J. as " compassionate treatment for others especially those under one's power." (Ephesians 2:4 "...God, who is rich in mercy.") Job is one example the congregation was given as someone in the Bible who pleaded for God's mercy. Mercy is a word that I use very very often...I'll say "Mercy" in place of "whoa" if I hear something shocking. I 'll say "Lord have mercy" if I hear something I am shocked by or don't agree with. I realize that I might have been using the Lord's mercy in I am going to probably going to try to stop saying that...not because it is "bad" to say things in vain but because MERCY is more precious to me now. When I stop and ask for mercy on me, from God, it is very humbling.
The second thing we were encouraged to ask for is God's HELP. I don't really know how to expand on this except to say that it is an individual's nature and intuition that whispers and sometimes screams HELP in times of need. I usually don't have trouble or confusion in asking for help however I sometimes will miss the target of what I am able to do and what God has already done, is doing, will do, etc.
The third thing is to pray for God's strength. Psalm 46:1 says "God IS our refuge and strength." If God IS our strength then it makes sense that we must ask for strength from Him. I remember going through a REALLY hard time at work last year and doubting that God gave me strength during the storm because I could not stop crying...I cried on the way to work, in the bathroom, on the way to talk to my boss, and in my boss' face. I know now that it was my DOUBT and worry that shook my emotions and distracted me from the strength God gives. I got through the storm and have gained strength to face work related pressures without feeling personally attacked and vulnerable.
The fourth thing is to pray for God's blessings. I once had the definition of blessing described to me as "a gift you cannot give yourself." Pastor J. said the be specific in what you ask for and to be willing to share your blessing: spiritual and material. I feel a new challenge when I ask for things like contentness, fullfillment, satisfaction, money(?) because with my asking comes the question...and when I get it, what will I do with it glorify God and contribute to His kingdom on Earth? I just read Malachi 3: 6-18 for the first time and the title of this section in my NIV is "Robbing God." Very powerful.
The fifth thing is pray for God's will and be willing to take action. Pastor J. encouraged us to let your faith and Jesus' will for your life become one. She ended the sermon by challenging each listener by saying "if you pray for mercy, be willing to show mercy. If you pray for blessings be willing to share. If you pray for God's will, be willing to abide."

P.S. Most of you have probably done this before but if you stare at the image above for 15 seconds and then shift your gaze to a blank wall...tell me what you see.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Bean" Busy Lately

As you can see this is Emily and me on Tuesday night! Emily and Brea are visiting the US for a couple of weeks to visit family in Illinoise, Selma, and North Carolina. Tuesday night at the Mielke's was really fun. Dan, Yvonne, Emily, Brea, Andrew, April, Nick and me had dinner and visited for a good while before Nick and I headed back to Mont. We were able to meet little Brea for the first time and she is even more beautiful and smart in person than she appears in all of the photos we have received.

----> Here she is a little sleepy but beautiful none the less. She is a very good baby and I can't wait to see her again during Christmas. Equally exciting is the time that my sister in law got to spend together since it was only the third time we have met! We did a lot of "what-if-ing" about her next pregnancy possibly being about the time that Nick and I would like to have our first and maybe even within close distance...I said it Tuesday and I'll say it again..."you never know what God has in store!" One more wonderful picture (my favorite) of Nick and Brea...

Yes, this picture is wonderful. I look forward to what our little bebe will look like! But don't worry Nick and I are waiting atleast 2 years (post graduation).

SO thank you Mielke and Ledford families for a WONDERFUL evening.

(p.s. It was raining when we came in from the drive...thus the wet spots on Nick's shoulder)

On to other news...I AM BACK AT WORK...back to alarms at 5:30am, kiddos everywhere, paperwork up to ears, and neck aches! I am glad to be back to work but it is taking my body a little while to adjust. I hope that next week will be easier. I am taking a lot of pics at school of my students and room decorations, etc. but I don't want to post any kid's pictures without parent permission for obvious reasons - DUE PROCESS is my job's middle name. I know chances are very slim to none but I'm not a risk taker when it comes to posting children's images on my personal website for any reason. However, I do plan on making a detailed scrapbook documenting this years precious moments at TSM. But you may look forward to sporadic "Kids Say the Darndest" posts that I plan to blog soon. What's K.S.T.D? Well we all know that kids will say anything and they THINK they KNOW everything and when you mix those two things together you get some really funny conversations going. For example:

K.S.T.D, Episode I (characters' name may have been changed to protect the confidentiality between therapist and client and the rest of the world)

Mrs. Mielkeway: "Alright Lideja, today we are working on the same sound as we did yesterday. Do you remember?"
Lidejare': " Da tay soun?"
"Try to tell me again, using the same sound as in CAT."
"Da K-ay soun!?!"
"Yes, that's right. Let's do one...what's this?" (show flashcard now)
"Uh, uh, a TAT!!!"
"Try again"
"Uh, a k-k-CAT!"
"YES! That's it! Let's do another one...what's this?"
"Uh, a Can!"
"YES! Again!"
"Uh, uh, a TOTE!"
"Think hard...try again."
"Uh, uh, a COAT!"
"Yes, a coat!"
"Ooh! Ooh! Mih Miway, my mama been deh befOH! She had been to da coat, to pick up dat chile suppOTE'!

Like I said (or wasn't it Bill Cosby?) , Kids Say the DArNdEsT!!! AND I LOVE IT. Seriously, I love these children more than anything. We actually have discussions about why I talk like I do and why they talk like they do. This conversation came after I said to a group of third grade girls that the picture on my desk was of me and one of my "homegirls." They all giggled and said..."You can't say that cause you white." We learn from each other every day...but that's a different blog.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Top Ten Songs...

If I were to be abandoned on a desert island with one cd of ten my list would no particular order, shuffle if you will:

1. "New York Minute" by
The Eagles

2. "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straights

3. "With or Without You" by U2

4. "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys

5. "Let It Be" by the The Beatles

6. "Against the Wind" by Bob Segar

7. "This Woman's Work" by Kate Bush

8. "Fix You" by Cold Play

9. "Collide" by Howie Day

10. "Jack" by Widespread Panic

There is really no way to complete this project with 100% accuracy and truth because I have wanted to change this list atleast five times however...I HAVE claimed that each of these songs is on my top ten whenever I hear them.

Monday, August 07, 2006


<--I have no idea who this is but it's what I got when I googled "pensive mood" trying to be funny.

[Warning: This post is not really a merely suggests a post.]

Lately, I have been pensive about the topics of southern high and low society cultures/ideas of "conventionalism"/politics/moral issues...I mean A LOT on my mind- lots of questions, lots of things I see that make me say "EW". Just hashing and re-hashing in this head of mine but if I sit down to write about it I type 2-3 sentences...deleeeeeeeeeete, type 2-3 more sentences, deleeeeeeeeete, and then conclude I have no idea how to say what I feel/think because I don't know.
I would like for you to know that I really want to write something inciteful that I could title "My Beliefs", but I can't - and it is frusterating. And most of the feelings I am having could only be told in person...because to write them down would only make me sound something I don't think that I am.
However I can leave you with the quote from "Freakonomics" that stirred up this "this":

John Kenneth Galbraith said this about "conventional wisdom,"
"We associate truth with convenience, with what most closely accords with self interest and personal well-being or promises best to avoid awkward effort or unwelcome dislocation of life. We also find highly acceptable what contributes most to self esteem."

Maybe one day I'll be able to write with out fear my interpretation of this.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

On Demand: More Pleasant Images

Praise our sweet Lord, the examinations are final...done...turned in, whew. My Math exam took a little over 2 hours. It was long but not hard (tee hee). About 45 minutes into the exam my phone vibrates and Nick had texted me, "I'm out and waiting downstairs." He finished way earlier than I did and had to wait in the car. We expected it to be the other way around.

Before the exam a woman bit my head off when I offered to help her with a problem that she missed on the previous test.

Her- "But Mrs. Spear, that DOES NOT make sense! How am I supposed to know that on page one of the test you wanted us to explain it like we would to a first grader and on page two we can use any method to solve?! That threw me off and then you counted off!"

Mrs. Spear- "Well look at the one says define the method, solve, and briefly explain as you would to a student. Page two says solve using any method.

Her- "And you changed what you said in the "mail time" section of our notes...what is a check and a bill?"

Me (sitting two rows over): "The bills represent...(I was going to say negative numbers)

Her: (giving me "THE HAND") "I don't NEED a classmate to tell me what I've done wrong! I ASKED Mrs. Spear to explain it to me!"

Me: "Pffffff! (chuckle) WHATEVER!"


Our friend Jason just came in and the three of us are about to have celebratory cosmos(me) and beer(them) on the porch! We watched an episode on Modern Marvels last night on "Liquor and Beer Distilleries Around the World." It was absolutely fascinating...the bartender made the most beautiful cosmo so I am going to appease the craving.

Here is a snap of Ali's new haircut!

(She is really self conscious because she said she thinks that all the other dogs will say she looks like a poodle...I told her to call me if anyone starts giving her a hard time...that God loves her just the way she is.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Blah Blah Blah

So, tonight I breezed through my first final: General Nutrition. Instead of studying, I napped. I am not proud or happy about that but sometimes I let my body win and ask myself two questions: "Can this test ruin my life?" and "Can this test ever determine my self worth?" Most the the time the answers to these questions are "No" and so sleep wins. I am sure that most people can identify when I say that when I begin my classes working towards my major/masters I will be more excited and motivated to not nap during study hours.
Nick and I both have our last finals tomorrow night: me-Mathematical Reasoning and Nick-Intro to Public Admin. Say a little prayer for us.

I got a really drastic haircut - Mary you might remember having this discussion when you and Lane came through on your way to Boston. I have been growing my hair out for about 2.5 years and it grew a total of like 5 inches since then (slow slow slow). About three weeks ago my hair-girl gave me layers with the razor-she really wacked it. That night in bed I kept saying, "I'm gonna hate this tomorrow, I'm gonna hate this tommorow." While I didn't abhor the cut...I did hate that if I didn't blow dry and flat iron it looked like a bad haircut that I didn't take time to fix. Consequently, everyday since then my hair went in a " low dew drop" the minute I walked out the front door. The only good thing that came out of that haircut was the chunky caramel highlights I got too :) So yesterday I went in and said..."Do something. I hate this style that is begininning to look like a MULLET." So she chopped it and I was so ok with it. There have been situations in the past where I have actually cried in the salon chair and one time actually told the lady who cut my hair that she had ruined my year (cause that is how long my hair takes to grow an inch)! She snapped at me and told me that she did what I asked...but she didn't. I have no way of explaining the devastation that she caused on my head. But I got over it.

(But here is the new do...P.S. I only have this pic. because my sometimes over-critical mother that I love very much who has NEVER like a haircut of mine wanted me to email her a shot because I couldn't go to her house after my appointment.)

N-E-WAY...that's is enough about me.

Speaking of drastic haircuts- Ali Carrie gets shaved tomorrow at 8am. I am really worried that she will be shy...some dogs slink around after your shave their hairs. But she really needs a shaving...she gets too hot on walks and if I don't brush her every day she looks like a raggamuffin - what is a raggamuffin anyway? Here is what she looks like...

(Just kidding Ali Carrie you know I love you more than cheese dip!)

It is 8:11pm and my Love will be home any minute...I need to get started on dinner: Terriyaki chicken, asian rice with sesame seeds, and sauteed summer squash and zuchinni!