all around the world

I just spent the last hour getting lost in blog-surfing. I've read blogs by close friends and by almost-strangers. And I feel as though I've been having coffee with my best friend. I'm seeing that so many others are going through the same things I'm going through right now...moves, changes, goodbyes, crying so hard you can't stop because you miss the days when home was only one place and one set of acquaintances...
Home has been wonderful. Yet every morning I wake up and have to remind myself that I'm not here to stay. In about a week I will again be waking up in my basement bedroom in Lynden, making preparations for school on Monday and wondering what the heck my next P.E. unit will be (curse you, physical education!) These changes are so difficult...yet reading others' blogs puts my own situation into perspective. Change is inevitable. It's necessary.
I look at people like Carolyn in South Korea, Erika in Norway, Rachel in Nicaragua...they are so much further from home than I am. But in some ways I feel farther from home. Those people are surrounded by others who are far from home. In Lynden, I'm surrounded by people who know only one home...one place...one set of acquaintances. It's difficult because few others understand the way I feel. I'm scared of saying goodbye again and returning to the place I was so excited to leave last week. It's my life now, and as proud as I am of making it through the last 5 months, it's only the beginning.
Ok...on to happier things. This week has been wonderful. Phil and I have celebrated our 6-month anniversary with two dates. We took turns planning. Last night, I took him out for Mexican and ice skating!!!! And then we went to his place and watched The Ringer--well, I slept through it, but what else is new? He made dinner for me the other night and the townhouse's living room has never looked better. I've spent time with my sister and brother and sister-in-law and nephews. I took Dillan to see The Waterhorse yesterday and it was a great bonding experience. I also gave him his first couple of piano lessons last week. He is eager to learn. I miss him and Landon so much--they have grown up a lot since July. I saw my Bepa the other day, which was wonderful, considering the fact that I didn't think I would see her ever again when I said goodbye to her in July. I love being near my parents again, although we know that our relationship has shifted somewhat. I'm a little more independent and self-sufficient than last time we were together.
Another week to spend with family and loved ones. Thank you, Dad and Mom, Philip, Al and Trav and Tami and Dillan and Landon and Kasey, Becca, Josh, Nikki, Matt and April, Nick and Lari, Walhof and Paul, Chad and Ephron and hopefully Dre and Scott and Sheryl...for making this Christmas break a time to strengthen relationships. I love you.


have a cup of cheer

kerri as zwarte piet...i looked something like this as well
kerri standing guard at our chosen tree
the traditional picture...me not getting my choice of a tree
my students decorating for Christmas

flooding at ebenezer!!!
the view of our backyard from the laundry room 2 weeks ago
dara and i making snow (errrr...slush angels) on the deck
dara dismantles the male snowman
our little Christmas tree

6 days. 6 days until a break, home, family, Phil, food, Iowa, Covenant, Dordt warts, traditions, games, dates, friends....the list goes on and on.
I am excited.
On the downside, my car is currently getting a new transmission. If you have a guess for how much that will cost, guess higher. Ouch.
Oh, well. It's just a car. And it's just money. More than ever I am understanding the importance of Christmas. It's a time of waiting, expectation, family, and celebration with ones you love. And I will get a 2-week dose of it in just a few days.
But for now...time to clean my house and finish Christmas shopping. Much love to all!


what they don't teach you in school (at least not that i remember)

1. Waiting sucks. I guess I had to wait my turn to answer a question or to get a sip from the drinking fountain, but that's not even real waiting. Grrr.

2. Catching mice may be preferable to leaving out bags of poison for them so that they wake you up in the middle of the night with their chewing and you possibly find them dead 5 days later.

3. The first Christmas season away from home is very difficult. Because now every stupid sappy Christmas carol makes you cry because you're not hearing it in the familiar living room or with the familiar people.

4. Other people's Christmas traditions are not as cool as mine.

5. Adjusting to not having friends your age is difficult, especially after living in a college community (where something is ALWAYS happening) all of your remembered days.

6. Life apparently goes on even when you're down and depressed, dragged kicking and screaming into a world you're not sure you want to be a part of (and by dragged, I mean I made the decision to sign a contract that would take me 1700 miles away from life as I know it).

7. Time actually flies if you'd stop thinking about it. IT'S FREAKING DECEMBER ALREADY!!! AND I HAVE TAUGHT MY STUDENTS NOTHING!!!

*Edit: The latter part of #7 may not be entirely true. However, I don't have the courage to take a poll.