going somewhere sometime

Yuanita is quite the wrestler. And this was after we actually wrestled. We were resting instead. I like Yuanita and Jana because they balance craziness and intelligence. Yuanita is crazy, and Jana is intelligent. = ) Hee, hee.

I miss people. I hate being so far from home when most people in Lynden have their entire extended families around. It's beautiful here, but I'm really a midwest girl at heart. I'm not sure I can stay this far away from my family for the rest of my life. Good thing I'm taking it one year at a time. Heck, one hour at a time. Right now, I feel particularly far from home because my Bepa is not doing well. She had a heart attack and a stroke this week, and she's very weak and can't speak (which for her is a rare and sad thing). I miss being with my family during this tough time...

Today has been crazy. We had inservice this morning and then I started outlining some science lessons. I left "briefly" to go to the library and got sidetracked by a FUN package from Frau Nikki and a phone call from Amanda, my dear neighbor to the north. So tonight, I need to eat dinner with Amanda and hang out with her, possibly help Yuanita pack, call Phil, call Mom, figure out a few more things for Day 1 of school...laundry...letters....when did all this stuff pile up? EEEEEK.

Prayers are appreciated. I feel about ready to explode. I miss you all.


ten and counting...

Nope. Not how many days until school starts. This is how many spider bites I found on my left leg yesterday morning. My basement room, although I have made it cozy, is a breeding ground for spiders. I was not sure what the bites were, but my colleagues are thinking a spider had a hayday on my leg. In the meantime, it's red and swollen. Ick.

Days until school starts: 7.5
Number of students who left my class as of yesterday: 2
Number of students enrolled in my class: 21
Relief I feel at having fewer students: 100%
Number of subjects I feel prepared to teach: 0.5
Number of subjects I will be teaching: 6
Number of subjects I will be teaching if you count all the language arts components: 10
Number of times my principal used a fishing analogy at the NWCSI workshop: 8
Number of times I made fun of my principal for using a fishing analogy: 8
Dollar amount my salary dropped after making fun of my principal for using a fishing analogy: $3,000

Just kidding about that last one.

I am ready to have a hectic schedule. At least I won't have as much time to miss people.


the closer i get, the farther you run

This Iowa girl lost the milking contest to a city girl! Score: 2 cups to 2.5 cups
Yuanita, Catherine, & Andrea ready to fly!
Ahh, the Northwest Washington Fair. I saw cows, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, bees, flowers, and all kinds of vegetables. It was a good show. I attended with four other girls. Three of us were new to the fair, so the other two had a good time showing us around. Of course, we shelled out six bucks to take a couple of rides as well. The price we pay for fun...
Still working on my classroom. Still getting used to waking up in Lynden. Sometimes it feels like two steps forward, one step back. But I'm still making progress. And there's a bonus. I have a very grandmotherly neighbor who has all sorts of Ebenezer connections, and yesterday she baked me a blackberry pie. Never mind that I don't like pie; I like this one. She's the sweetest old lady ever and I think we will become good friends and neighbors.
So here's to taking two steps forward and one step back!


keep on the sunny side of life

I don't know why my pictures are doing this. Argh. But I had a fun weekend in Sunnyside with Berky and Denise. Ha!!! You can all be jealous now!!! Ha, ha, ha!
Now back to planning. And attending the Northwest Washington Fair, which has made Lynden an interesting town at last! Much love to all. I will say more interesting things at a later time.


this is your life

I listened to Switchfoot this morning. It reminds me of driving to Rock Valley very early in the morning for my 60-hour practicum. "This is your life; are you who you wanna be?"

I think I'm on my way to becoming who I want to be but have always been scared of being. Each morning I wake up and find things to love about my new surroundings, but it's much more work than waking up at home in Sioux Center. I know I won't be able to see the people I've seen so often for my whole life, and that makes me sad. But then I meet other people who are wonderful and I feel confirmed in being here. Yet I'm a little lonely.

I have a feeling I will love my job and I will love my kids. I just need to get into the groove. I hate not being able to watch the Twins game with my dad (these sickos out here all cheer for the Mariners!) and I hate not being able to get a hug from my mother and I hate not being able to run across the alley and hang out with Phil and the other guys next door. I hate the cloudy weather and seeing all kinds of families spending time together because I'm jealous.

I love walking on our cushy living room carpet. I love my pink shower. I love the Febreze smell in my bathroom. I love being able to say, "I'm Andrea De Jong. I'm the new teacher at Ebenezer" and hear the response, "Oh, wonderful! I've heard about you! I/my kids/grandkids went to Ebenezer and it's just like one big family!" I loved getting a phone call from one of my students' dads yesterday and being greeted as "Miss De Jong." I love that the weather is not unbearably hot and that right now, I'm wearing jeans and a sweater. I love feeling independent and knowing that I chose this place and this job and that God wants me here and He will bless me.

I'm not sure the loves outweigh the hates yet, but I'm not feeling intensely homesick. I can function. I have people to talk to. I have a purpose here. I miss you all and hate the thought that many of you will be together at Dordt without me in a couple of weeks, but I recognize that this is my life right now. I'm capable of changing it and accepting the changes God brings my way.


seasons are changing

This is only one side of our yard...it's huge!
A small part of our huge living room
My teeny-tiny closet bathroom with standing room for one
My home-theatre bedroom...notice the levels?
The bottom level of my bedroom...see the projector screen?
I am now on the other side of the country. I'm sitting in Woods Coffee, enjoying a mate latte and some great coffee shop music while looking out on the mountains in the sunshine. While it's beautiful, I still miss my friends and family. Saying goodbye was difficult, but my last one (to my parents) was yesterday. Now I just have lots of hellos to say. = )
Downfalls of the move:
1. missing the familiar
2. seeing my bedroom for the first time and seeing only gray and black under fluorescent lighting
3. panicking about the future and whether or not I am actually capable of teaching
4. realizing that my parents had to leave and couldn't stay and play Dutch bingo forever
5. finding out that i have creepy neighbors who whistle at me and try to get my phone number
Highlights of the move:
1. Spending quality time with Mom in the car for 1,650 miles and with both Mom and Dad for almost a week
2. Realizing how generous and loving my parents are
3. playing "Dutch bingo on steroids" for 3 days straight
4. Going to church and getting tons of greetings from people who remember me
5. Discovering one of my roommates loves I Love Lucy and Yours, Mine, and Ours....and The Office!
6. Finding my own way here in Lynden...I'm capable of more than I give myself credit for
7. Making my room a completely different space with the help of my parents...homey and cozy!
8. Having a wonderful phone conversation with a friend and realizing that while I miss people, this move is going to be a good one for me.
*Edit: Sorry I didn't have a "before" picture of my room. It was too depressing.