Resorting to bullet point lists again, the April recap:
Can NOT believe it's MAy, I'm not sure where April even went AND nothing really even happened. (I started to make a fake post that said, "April recap:" and purposefully leave it blank...then I decided I should TRY a little to chronicle my life a bit better--and I found that I DO have some things to update about! Woo!
I have really enjoying reconnecting with SO many friends! From lunch and dinner, to the Botanical gardens and more, it has been so nice being back in proximity with friends :) I have been very encouraged by the things that are happening in their lives. (yes, four) Sarah, Sarah, Sarah and Sara; one of MY baby-sitters, Mary Jo; the DPH family, and a couple of random run-ins have made my day!
The aforementioned family has also "dragged" me back to church the past month. I LOVED the first series about seeing God as a perfect Father and so far, I've enjoyed the first part of the current series.
Although I failed at giving up something for lent (as I usually do--not because I start and fail but because I can never really figure out what would be worth it to give up for those 6 weeks.) I did do something special for Good Friday. I attended my first Secret Church--which was incredible. It was intense and late, but it was so good. We basically did 6 hours of Bible study, went through this whole guide, and learned about the Crucifixion, Salvation and the Glory of God. What I loved best was that it was TRUTH. Not sugar coated, not careful-not-to-offend or trying-not-to-step-on-toes...just God's Word. He was funny--my favorite part of the humor was when he was telling about an article that was written about him or one of his messages in the paper and quoted him quoting the Bible and everyone getting mad saying, "He said God hates sinners!" (versus God hates the sin, LOVES the sinner...) and he quoted the verse which actually says the word "abhors" in it and he laughed when he read it out and said, that's it "maybe I should have said 'abhors.' ANYWAY. It was real funny.
Secret church, talking with friends, and lots of other things have just super encouraged me, validated, somewhat justified a lot of things I have been feeling lately and just wondering what God is doing here in Athens and in my heart--I am loving it! A lot of times in several of the places I have been in the past I haven't ever felt quite "on board" with things other people were saying, thinking, feeling that the Lord was saying or doing...and I think this kind of might be how it feels to be "on board"--although I'm not sure WHAT exactly it IS that He's doing...
I've been having an increasingly hard time trying to find somewhere to lay out. Come on friends, step up to help people in need when they no longer live at the beach. A quiet grassy area in direct sunlight will work. I come with my own chair.
I had a super fun weekend with my "sister" Erika, she blogged about the weekend here, but the great part was that at the said "yard sailing" I happened upon my very own, most coveted, serger! A serger is a type of sewing machine designed to finish edges a little more professionally than I typically can. Well, seeing as how I wanted one for my birthday but couldn't really justify spending so much money on something I had never ever tried to use before, I had decided to by a used one first to practice/learn on...I just hadn't found one yet. [You know, like getting a 16 year-old a brand new car, or a kid who wants to try piano lessons a baby grand...] Erika asked if I was looking for anything in particular that morning and I said "no, I can't think of a single thing I need/want." We walked into the first sale and BAM. There it was. So I bought it! I was thrilled! AND if I had thought, "I hope to find a serger..." I never would have found one! So I have been sewing like mad and I LOVE it!
Let's see...work...Well, I have bee solely in the 2's room for I think about a month now and haven't been told anything official like I'm the teacher or anything...so up until last week I just was in there and did what I could. But then I had had enough of skipping calendar time because it still said "March" and took a little ownership of the class and it's been going well. The kids are responding a little better...though on any given day I have at least one of the "terrors." (Of which there are 4...) BAD days involve more than one or ALL of them. But most of the rest of them are cute and funny and good. Management on the other hand is difficult. I have on 10-13 kids by myself (against the law). I usually don't have the supplies I need to run a sanitary classroom (hand sanitizer, disinfecting spray/lysol, or general disinfectant for tables, counters, toys, diaper mats, etc. Again, against the law.) But I am not 100% sure who governs her so I'm not actually going to contest it... SO I just broke down and bought my own supplies and bring them in and out everyday (including a little step stool so my kids can reach the sink and we can use soap and running water (which is required for children over 2 anyway :) ).
The main thing that has helped is consistency and boundaries. It took pretty much constant work in the beginning, and since most of them don't come everyday making a different group everyday, it's not always smooth no, but they at least know what they're supposed to be doing (whether they do it or not...) They know that they sit and play at the table during arrival, toys are closed except those which have been put out on the tables [manipulatives]. We clean up, set up out chairs for group and line up to go outside. (All of these transitions have songs that we sing.) The playground is the worst for "rule breakage" mostly because there are so many rules. No climbing on ropes, no sliding down the slide, no monkey bars, (basically the playground is for bigger kids). No playing in the bushes, no swinging on tummies, no sticks, no throwing mulch, out of the swing area if you aren't swinging, away from the fence, plus all the other no hitting, scratching, biting, pushing, kicking; share with your friends rules. It's exhausting.
I've also started using themes with them, art, story and songs all supporting whatever theme we are talking about and it at least makes me feel like we are doing something more than just pulling some stupid "art" project [read: craft that requires WAY more teacher prep and participation than children actually experiencing any medium or process of art...(soapbox)]. Group time is consistent and fun, they participate well, I think some of them get the concepts anyway. We sing a lot, do lots of movement exercises (and spend as much time outside as possible!)
Basically because it is 9-1 and pretty good money for part time I will stick it out but I am praying a new job will happen pretty soon. I'm praying about something specific but I will give an update as soon as there is anything real to update on--but you can pray with me!
Part of the "new job" needs to involve a move. I never intended the Greensboro thing to become permanent and I can't believe I have been home for four months (next week). But though the time is going by fast, I feel really unsettled and have had way more anxiety than is healthy again.
I did finally break down and paint the room--trying to remember not to make it "home" and resign to stay but to make it better while I am here. I'm trying SO hard to keep the anxiety at bay but it is just NOT working. I can give exciting details if you ask me in person. And all I can report as far as health goes is that allergies. are. a. bitch. I've decided that my sinuses must be so inflamed that they're not stopped up all the time, they are just the size of a capri-sun straw and just CAN'T let that much air in anymore! I am ready to breathe again. I'm also ready to get some insurance so I can go to an allergist and figure out WHAT it is that I am deathly allergic to and determine and appropriate action (that is not OTC seasonal allergy relief.)
Last point...I have said I will never be dog sitting again...but I took back that word and agreed to today. It isn't until June...and I am hoping that it is a redeeming dog-sitting experience. But that's just a cute little example of how you should never tell God you'll never do something...