I am so glad you were in my classroom. You have helped make all my years of teaching wonderful. I have put many tears, sweat, hours, thoughts, money, and prayers into your success. I am so glad we have made all the memories together. I am so glad you are meeting your potential, and I can not wait to see how you decide to conquer the world.
I care about you. I have told you all year long, I believe in you. When you walk out of my room, please stay in touch. I love you. I know you can do great things. I woke up every morning while you were in my class to plan the best lesson I could, to help you succeed. I want to hear about your accomplishments.
Do not let life get you down, bad things will happen. Life will not always be easy, but I know that you can handle life situations. I am always here when you need someone to listen, that does not stop when you walk out of my room.
Enjoy your successes, live you life, and always be true to the person you are. Thank you for sharing your year with me. I am so glad our life crossed paths. I hope I have done my job while you were in my class; prepared you to attack the world, and make it a better place. I know you will do great things.
CHECK IN TOMORROW- I WILL POST ALL THE ADVICE MY STUDENTS HAVE GIVEN ME ABOUT MOVING TO AUSTRALIA. OH FROM THE MOUTH OF KIDS!
I have had many people ask me how in the world I attacked the whole cleaning out process.
This advice would work for cleaning out to move overseas, move down the street, or just wanting to clean out.
Let me warn you, it was not neat, picked up, or always clean while cleaning out.
I started a month before I knew I had to be out of the house.
1. Start with one room at a time.
It helped to see progress as I moved from room to room.
I had to see success as I moved through the house, so I had small successes as I moved from room to room.
While cleaning the selected room, go through EVERYTHING.
2. As you go through everything, ask yourself questions.
-Have you used it in the past year?
-How much have you used it in the past year?
-Does it serve a dual purpose?
-Is it worth the price of storing it?
-Why do I have it?
-Can it be replaced?
-Would I replace this item if the house was destroyed?
3. While going through the questions I made four piles.
-Things I couldn't live without (which was pretty small, after going through all the questions)
-Small things that really reminded me of home and MIGHT could fit. (This pile got smaller and smaller as the packing process moved on.)
-Put in Storage- (which ended up being everything that couldn't be replaced) I put everything in clear storage containers, took pictures, and logged everything in case something happened while in storage.
Your piles may be a little different depending on your reason for cleaning out.
4. Advertise for a garage sale, contact an auctioneer and get rid of your things.
One thing that really helped me with the cleaning out process was thinking of Robert and Kary, some of my Mom's friends who had just lost everything in a fire. I also kept thinking about everyone who had just lost everything in the recent tornado.
It was amazing to watch them and see how yes, it was hard for them to lose everything, but also how freeing it was to not be tied to things.
God granted them a peace, to help them realize it is just stuff, and it is relationships, memories, and taking people to heaven that really matters.
Who were the first people to just show up and help at our garage sale? Robert and Kary
Who knows... you may make a connection or relationship with someone at your garage sale and be able to share your love of Jesus.
Honestly, after the stress of making all the decisions to get rid of things, I really had a freeing feeling.
Don't get overwhelmed, you are attacking a BIG issue. Take breaks in between rooms. Go have fun, reward yourself.
Go forth, clean out, minimize, make memories, and be free.
We were blessed with amazing weather for the first visit
I am so blessed with a family who loves the outdoors. The picture above is the oldest of my "baby cousins," we went running three miles.
We decided to spend the day having cousin time making memories. We went geocaching. If you have never gone, STOP READING & GO! Download the app free, load it, create an account, and go treasure hunting!
The kids had SO much fun. We used our technology to encourage outdoor fun. It was great. At each cach we would have people stop and ask us if we need help. Guess we did look a little odd walking by the road outside Shreveport searching for something, but hey we got to tell more people about geocaching, and think we actually got more people to go try it.
The last cach we found, we got a little side tracked we went berry hunting, and found tons
I think a fun time was had by all. Uncle Jay cooked amazing food to give us energy for the great time. We had every "All American Food" we could have for my last American holiday before I leave. He cooked steak, fried fish, homemade ice cream, and ribs. Needless to say food was not at a shortage and we all had tons of energy.
I hope you had some time this weekend to get outside and enjoy the amazing weather.
Thank you to my wonderful cousin MATT who is in the Army and sacrifices so much for our country so we can have three day weekends to make memories.
If you have a second today, thank someone who has made your freedom possible.
This has been a crazy week. I feel like every time I praise God on my blog for something working out, the next day it falls apart. I know it is the devil trying to have his way with me. I know there is always a warfare going on. I have to make the decision to choose Him in the storm.
As you can tell, we have been busy. My mother has been here helping me going through everything. The buyers for our house were graciously going to let me stay in the house until I left, but Josh's company had other thoughts.
The house is suppose to close on the 22, but Josh's company has to have ownership of the house for a full 48 hours. So, I have to be out completely the 20th.
We have been busy. It has been stressful, to say the least. It is crazy, to lessen your life to a 5 foot by 5 foot box to send over, or a 10 foot by 20 foot storage building. Which sounds pretty easy, but that is not very big, and it has proven to be pretty hard trying to figure out which things to get rid of.
That is where the apology comes in. I have had to make many tough decisions as to what to sell, what to keep, and what to save. Wow! we were so blessed by amazing people when we got married!
It has been so much fun to go through everything that people gave us. We have really enjoyed everything that was given to us. I really enjoyed getting to write all the thank you notes and take the opportunity to tell everyone how special they are to us, but in saying that I am having to get rid of some of the amazing gifts that were given to us.
Please, please do not take this as we are not grateful. We totally are and were. Thank you so much for thinking about us and giving us so many things we have used daily the last three years.
It truly has been a stressful, but amazing experience going through everything, talking about all the memories with the things and the people who have given them to us, and realizing how TRULY BLESSED we are!
That is where Mamma has spent her Mother's Day. She has graciously helped me most of the weekend go through everything, price for garage sale, and talk about all the memories. Like so many times in my life she has chosen me over any of her desires. She truly is an awesome example of a Godly Woman. I am so blessed to call her MAMMA.
When I get stressed during this storm, I just need to pause and realized it is all His plan, and I need to live in it.
I need to make decisions to help His plan live through me. Today, when going though everything I kept thinking about all the storm victims from two weeks ago, I also kept thinking about all the things we have in life that bog us down. So as I reflect on this week, I want to remember to always try to be in His plan.
"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:43
Exactly a week ago, our small area of Arkansas was having a normal day. I had finished my 50k the day before, and actually went to Pottery Barn to get new bedding to take with us to Australia. Shopping feels silly now looking back. I was stressed because the house fell through, I needed to get ready for garage sale, missing Josh, worried about selling jeep and furniture, basically just thought I had a lot on my plate. Then the storm came...
I quickly realized what I had on my plates were all BLESSINGS. At least I had all those things to worry about. God really grabbed my attention and put life back in to prospective. I feel with this move, I am having to be reminded a lot. We hear all about the bad things in this world, and really I started this blog to share about our adventures abroad, but we are all living an adventure every day of our life, why not start in Arkansas?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well these pictures do not do it justice. Wow! That is all I can say. That was a powerful storm, but out of the bad storm the amount of good has just been amazing. If you want to see first hand how our God is alive and well today. Go to Vilonia or Mayflower.
You truly will see thousands and thousands of people honestly being His hands and feet. It is amazing the town just has tons of people buzzing around offering help, food, water, a smile. Yesterday every hour someone drove by us offering a drink or food. At one point yesterday we had a man offer two bull dozers and tons of other heavy equipment. I have never in my life been so happy to see a bull dozer or a dump truck pull over a hill. The generosity of people is just a fresh of breath air. Everywhere you turned there was someone ready to lend their hand. It truly was amazing.
The reason I put the verse on top, is the main two communities hit have their high school mascot in common. This verse is also written in chalk on one of the remaining houses in downtown Vilonia. They both are the Eagles. I do believe they will soar again. They truly are communities with God alive living in them.
So while reflecting on all the devastation and amazing things I have seen this week. I am constantly reminded. Remember the small stuff. That smile to a stranger, may be what they needed. That good job or thank you that you meant to say, might have been your last chance to say it. The hand you reach out to a complete stranger may be the only way they see God that day. Our God is strong and the smallest encounter with everyone was in his plan.
Oh, and I almost forgot, while reminding my self yet again, to rely on His plan. Our house is under contract again. These people have cash, and are willing to let me stay until I move. Wow! Couldn't have planned it better myself. GOD IS GOOD, GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!