yays and boos

a list.

  • we had a luffly weekend in montana with al and gregory. it involved walks, yummy food, hot-tubbing, books, and pixar films. yay for siblings!
  • philip began his new job, which he will be enjoying more once training is completed and he hits a groove. yay for happy work! boo for finding new insurance...
  • kendra has found a job and an apartment, which means she's leaving tomorrow but coming back in a couple of weeks! yay for more friends in the area!
  • i began subbing in another district. it's much smaller than ferndale, but i'm still picking up jobs there. yay for more money and another foot in the door!
  • my family's puppy (well, good old dog, actually) had to be put down last week. she was getting old and had lived out her good life. boo for losing a lifelong friend. we did have many happy memories together since the time we got her when i was 10 years old.
  • we have had ridiculously beautiful weather here the last month. tons of sunshine and warm temps. it started when kendra arrived, and ironically, it should be leaving about the same time she is. oh, well. yay for unexpected beautiful weather!
  • mom and dad dj are visiting over their spring break, and then the day they leave, the van dyken clan will be coming in for a long weekend. yay for seeing family and for them seeing us and our new place!



yesterday, as i was leaving my morning job for my afternoon job, one of the students in the class came and gave me a goodbye hug.

a little background: i have been in this particular class several times. two weeks ago, i subbed there three days in a row while the teacher was ill. this class is made up of the top 2% of the 5th and 6th graders in the district. all these kids are intelligent and self-confident...but this kid is the most self-confident of them all. i don't mean to say he's cocky, because he's not. he's loud, but he's one of the sweetest kids in the room. yesterday he was prancing around in dark shades because he had just had his eyes dilated. he was convinced he looked like michael jackson. he asked me for my opinion and i told him he needed a glove. so he found some cutesy girl's pink glove and paraded around. it was quite entertaining. shortly after that, his teacher returned and i gathered my things to leave.

"wait! mrs. van! i need to give you a hug!" he proceeded to hug me (and then accidentally elbow me in the nose).

perhaps he hugged me because his teacher had just come in the room and it was a way for him to get attention (because while he's really sweet, he's also an attention-monger). maybe he felt like we bonded that day. maybe he was just hoping i hadn't left a nasty note for his teacher detailing his lack of focus. regardless of his motivation, it was sweet and welcomed by me.

i've learned that subs can often be taken for granted. i've felt pretty blessed in this regard...i sub a lot for teachers who leave good notes and trust my ability to cover for them. however, i've also been on the end that receives very few lesson plans and the expectation that i will make all the copies they need (and who cares what your name is?). it felt pretty darn good to receive the validation that one little hug gave me. maybe i'm still making a difference. even if these aren't "my" kids, i can still be a role model for them.

i probably read way too much into that hug, but i only want to say that it was nice to be noticed.

also, philip and i are leaving for montana tomorrow! bring on the weekend!


kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep

i am desperately trying to think of a sentence to begin with other than, "well, it's time for an update." nothing. blech.

january is over. it was a busy month of subbing. praise God! i subbed more (full) days than any previous month. too bad i won't see the fruits of that labor until the end of february. being on a tight budget is becoming a game. let's see how little money we can spend this month! it's amazing what you can save by cutting out little extravagances. and it's amazing how much you still have to spend on the necessities. yeep.

last weekend (as in, 8 days ago), walhof dropped in for the weekend. it was a nice surprise. he left monday morning and kendra came in monday evening. philip calls us the revolving door of dordt alum. i'm ok with that. the last week has been crazy with full days of subbing, full evenings of introducing kendra to the community, and nights of deeper sleep.

today i have the day off. i didn't find jobs early this morning, so i blocked off my day to prevent a later morning phone call. i decided to take the time to bring kendra to various potential places of employment, do some laundry, and attend a worship conference led by sean hall with my dear friend lynda. we'll top off the day with kendra's quesadillas and knitting night. a good day, methinks.

yesterday was also a good day. we had church (a combined service, but we accidentally showed up for the early service!), a birthday dinner for doug (complete with lots of great people and delicious...i repeat, delicious food), bringing soup for the jesus gathering and attending worship, and debriefing with small group at our apt. it was truly a small group, too! i love everyone in our group, but i enjoy the times when the group is a bit smaller, for conversation's sake. good times.

i'm rereading harry potter. after spending 3 days in a classroom where kids worked independently and therefore reading an entire commentary on hp, i couldn't stay away any longer. i'm loving the second time through. i'm almost done with book 2 and i'm trying to ignore the cries of the other books on my shelf: "are you kidding me? i've been here for four years and you haven't picked me up once! love ME! read ME!" i guess they'll just have to wait.

oh. and i caved. or rather, philip caved. we made the mistake of going to village books on saturday. i found a half-price copy of eleanor roosevelt's political writings. philip said it was another late birthday present for me. sweet husband = happy andrea.