Tuesday, December 29, 2009
In no particular order…
10) DVR- When I moved home last year I talked my mom into getting a DVR for the TV in our family room. This caused conflict between my mom, sister, and I over who would watch what shows when. So, I decided I would get a DVR in my bedroom. It hasn’t increased the amount of TV I watched, however, I have always watched too much to begin with. Love this thing!
9) Twilight Series- I know people will make fun, but I don’t care. The love of these books began when I moved home last year and my sister-in law got into them. I started reading them in Dec. ’08. I couldn’t put them down. I re-read them this year before New Moon the movie came out. They are just so entertaining and an easy read.
8) The Loft- I’m not exactly sure when or how this began, but the true addiction to this clothing store began sometime this year. I seriously go in there at least once a week. I am no longer allowed to go though since I will be spending 16 weeks unpaid while I student teach.
7) Blackberry- I wanted a phone that I could use while I was traveling overseas (after realizing how very difficult it was to be in Kenya with no way to get in touch with anyone, even in the case of an emergency). Someone recommended a blackberry. I love this thing. I see why people refer to it as a crackberry. I took it to Peru with me and used it to email home. I even sent email from Machu Picchu! I didn’t use it for calls since that would still be very expensive, but it was nice just knowing I had the capability to do so if I needed to.
6) GPS- This was a Christmas present and came about eight years (that’s how long I’ve had my driver’s license) too late. Seriously changed my life. If it ever stops working expect a phone call from me telling you I’m lost.
5) Chi Flat Iron- I discovered a little over a year ago that my hair is naturally curlyish. I have no clue when or how it happened. I always thought my hair had a lot of “body”. Well, maybe it was always just a little curly. Having a quality flat iron makes fixing it SO easy. Can’t imagine not having this thing now. Plus I just learned a technique for using it to make pretty “Taylor Swift” curls :)
4) Zyrtec- Last school year I was sick ALL the time. I just assumed it was because I was around all those sick kiddos. Then someone (my mom I think) recommended I take a Zyrtec once a day. I hardly ever get sick now (I had one cold this fall). I don’t know how I survived without this stuff for so long! It is AMAZING! And it seriously changed my life!
3) Addie- My new puppy born in April. Love this little fluff ball :)
2) Charming Charlie’s- This is a new store at the mall with hundreds of necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, headbands, etc. Everything is from around $7-$20. I LOVE accessories. This store is one of my favorite things ever.
1) Nyquil- When I did get that one cold this fall I started out taking Benydryl to sleep at night. In the past this has worked, however this year…not so much. So I tried Nyquil. This stuff knocks you out and makes you sleep like a baby, whether you can breathe or not. Love it!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Next semester I will be taking an academic leave of absence from my job as a special education assistant. I will be doing my student teaching! I am really excited about it :) and nervous too. I will shadow the classroom teacher for 3 to 4 days and then completely take over the class. Yikes! Once I am finished with that in May, I will have my Masters in Education and teaching license for Virginia. Very exciting for me, as I am truly ready to have a class of my own. Being an assistant can be frustrating at times. Especially because I am learning so much in my classes that I would love to be able to apply and right now I really can’t.
I will be student teaching at the school where my mom and sister-in-law work in a first grade class for eight weeks. They both teach first grade too, so there will be three Ms. Stephens at the school-all in first grade! How confusing is that for the kids?! For my second placement, I will spend eight weeks in a fourth grade class at the school where I work now (not the class I am in now though). Honestly, I am really looking forward to working in a general ed. classroom. The past two years I have worked with kids who are so low academically. At times, it can really be frustrating. I am open to teaching inclusion, however, I would love to see what kids who are on level are like too.
My best friend was in town this past week for Thanksgiving and suggested I blog about my student teaching experiences. I am sure there will be funny stories. Funny stories about all of the mistakes I make and the kiddos I will be teaching. My first day will be January 19th! Soon!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
After spending the first week in Trujillo I was able to go do some sightseeing with a few other girls. We had some funny stuff happen and I will share more about it later :)
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
These are a few recent pictures of Addie. Notice how nice and sweet she looks sleeping. But then when she wakes up she turns into a little monster!
Well...I made it through my class last week! Woohoo! It was actually a great class. It was titled Philosophical and Historical Foundations of Education. It was one of the most interesting classes I have ever taken. It made me rethink my philosophy of education...which was the point since it is a teacher education class.
It was sad being away from Addie all last week, but even more sad is the fact that I leave Friday and will be away from her for 2 weeks! But it will be worth it. I'll be in Peru! I will be spending a week in Trujillo and then a couple days in Lima, a day in Cusco, and a day at Machu Picchu. There will be lots of fun exploring to do. I went out today and bought all kinds of fun stuff for the kiddos to play with; craft supplies, soccer balls, etc...I'll be sure to post pictures when I return :)
Here is a list of events that took place as I was typing this blog post. First Addie pulled an entire loaf of bread off the counter and preceded to swallow as many pieces of bread as possible before I could rip it all away from her. Then she pulls a plant off the kitchen table and rips it to shreds. I was hoping that wore her out…but no. Someone left the bathroom door open so she got into the trash and was playing with an empty toilet paper roll...now she is outside, probably digging holes...
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I have been taking two classes for the past eight weeks and they come to a close this Friday. I have everything finished...except one 15 page paper that I am about half-way through. Well y'all know how I LOVE to procrastinate! Yeah...it's really catching up to me this time. Next week I am taking a week-long intensive course at Liberty University in Lynchburg. I am supposed to do some prep work before I get there. Well I was thinking I was just going to have to prepare a 3-5 minute presentation on an educational thinker. I chose John Calvin so I figured it would be fun/interesting/easy. Well...it was. I finished it today. What I failed to realize it that I also have to read 2 rather thick books, define about 50 terms in my own words, and fill out a chart on the philosophical beliefs of 12 philosophers. Philosophy=not fun for me. Well, apparently I should have paid better attention and been working on this for a while. But somehow I will get it done. I always do. And then I can enjoy my summer!
Also, I have been teaching swim lessons for the past two weeks. My kiddos have ranged in ages from 4-10. I LOVE teaching swim lessons! It is fun to have a break from homework and get outside and play in the pool with the kiddos. We talk to the fish and blow bubbles and swim like superman :)
I can't wait until Independence Day! It is one of my absolutely favorite holidays...if not my fav. I just love being outside, eating ALL the yummy food, being with friends and family, and who doesn't love fireworks! This time last year I was in Kenya planning for the big 4th of July Party at the Girl's Shelter. I miss those girls...but I am also happy to be with my family this 4th :)
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Addie is growing so fast! She has nearly doubled in size in the 2 1/2 weeks she's been home! She used to walk up to my room and then wait for me to carry her back down. Well last Tuesday she decided she could do it on her own :)
Here's the video (so glad I decided to go get the camera)...
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
So this past week I have been housesitting for my brother and sister-in-law. They live about 5 miles away from me. I went over there at about 9:45 PM to turn off the lizard lights, bring in the mail, check on the cats, etc. Well I pulled up, opened the garage door, and Meghan (my dog) and I went inside. I decided to leave my phone and purse in the car since I wouldn’t be too long anyway. I closed the garage door behind me since it was kinda late out and well…I don’t really know why because usually I don’t close it. So I go inside and set my keys on the counter, take care of some stuff, pet the cats…
Then I remember I need to grab the mail, so I unlocked the deadbolt on the front door and went outside and grabbed the mail. Then I walk back up to the front door and turn the knob. Only it doesn’t turn. I’m thinking…oh this darn old door always sticks on me. Well I keep trying to turn, rattle, shake, push with all my might, and the door doesn’t open. And I realize that yep! I didn’t unlock the doorknob lock! It opens from the inside of course but not the outside. (And the person who designed doors that way really is an idiot. I mean seriously what sense does it make. You are just asking to get locked out with a lock like that…sheesh). And the garage door is down. And my dog is inside…with the cats…and I’m five miles from home. My phone is locked in the car and it is now after 10 so I can’t be knocking on some neighbors door that late when all the light are off anyways. So what do I do? I do what people did before cell phones. I start walking.
I decided the best thing to do would be to walk to a friends house (I have a friend from church who lives about half a mile away, and of course it is in the opposite direction of my house which is already 5 miles away). Well I get there and of course no one is home. So now I’m thinking…time to really get walking. So I walk to the main road and the whole time I am just laughing and thinking to myself…if only I had my phone in my pocket, if only I hadn’t locked my car, if only I hadn’t put the garage door down, if only I had remembered to unlock the doorknob and not just the deadbolt…I’ll be shocked if Meghan doesn’t scarf down all the cat food. So after I walked for about 2 miles I came to Applebee’s. And THANK YOU Applebee’s for being open late!!!! So I go in and say to the hostess “um, do you have a phone I could possibly use?” As I am carrying the mail (yep I just kept it with me the whole time although I don’t know why.) She gave me her cell phone to borrow, which was so nice, and I called my mom. Thank goodness she answered. So I’m like, “mom I’m at Applebee’s. Will you come pick me up?” My mom says, “huh, why are you there? How did you get there? What?” I was like “Oh I’ll explain when you get here.” So finally she comes with the spare key and takes me back to get into the house. Of course Meghan ate all the cat food (and paid for it with an upset tummy). And I got my keys and was so thankful to get my cell phone back. I was really thankful I didn’t have on my pj’s to walk down that busy road late at night and into Applebee’s. I almost put them on before I left home but then I thought to myself “what if I get in an accident or something, I better just wait to change until I get back.” Well it was one good decision I made that night!
So the moral of the story is…”Don’t go out in your pj’s, keep your cell phone in your pocket, and look out for doors with tricky locks!”
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Actually I have been pretty sick the past couple of weeks. I’ve had the flu. Don’t know if it is of the Swine variety…but it is yucky :( I have been feeling better the past couple of days, but I am still very congested and I can’t hear because my ears are all clogged up. I won’t go into all the details but let’s just say I am way over feeling this way.
I called in sick three days last week and then when I did go back to work my student was on vacation so I was put on ISS (in school suspension) duty. It was soooooo boring. I had to sit around all day and just watch these kids do work. Next week the kids have standardized testing, so it will be more sitting around all week watching the kids take their tests.
My grad classes started last week. I am taking an Educational Psyc class and a Research Methods class. Both very interesting so far, and they are very applicable to what I do now. So it is fun to compare what I observe at work to what I am learning about in my classes.
Just about 10 more days until Addie comes! I can’t wait!!!!!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
So I have been going back and forth on the whole idea for a couple months. Well the past few nights Meghan has been getting all wound up wanting to play and it got me thinking that maybe she wouldn't mind so much having a little playmate.
This morning my mom's BFF called to tell us the dog her family ordered a few months ago was finally born last night and there was one puppy left in the litter...a yellow, female, labrador retriever. Well now how could I resist!
I made the call this morning, put the pup on hold, and put the check in the mail today. Our family is now the proud owner of a sweet little yellow lab named Addie. She'll be coming home in 6 weeks and I truly can't wait! It will be fun to get back to some animal training too :)
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
I also heard back from Liberty University and I have been accepted to the Master of Arts in Teaching program with a concentration in Elementary Education. I will begin in May! Most of the classes I need will be online, but I will take 3 classes on campus. Liberty is in Lynchburg about 3 hours away from Virginia Beach. My plan is to take one or two this summer and then take 1 or 2 in the fall (they offer the classes I need on campus in 4 intensive weekends per class). My student teaching can be done in Virginia Beach. Looks like I can finish all of my classes by next spring and do my student teaching in either the summer or fall of 2010. Then hopefully I can head overseas somewhere to teach for a year or two.
So no Africa or London for this summer. I am really excited about going to Peru though. We will be working in an orphanage, teaching ESL, and there will be a medical group that will put on some clinics. I am especially excited about working in the orphanage. There are about 15 kids who live there with special needs and it will be neat to interact with and spend time with them.
I also got a job for the month of August. I will be the manager for about 3 weeks at one of the local pools. I worked at this pool when I was 15...actually, it was my first job ever! Well the manager will head back to college in August and I will take over for her until Labor Day. I am hoping to get my job back for the fall and if I do I would start back up again the week after Labor Day, so that works out great. Plus in between all of that my old teammates from Kenya will be visiting me!
Looks like it is going to be a pretty busy summer!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I have been praying about what God wants me to do this summer and there are so many things up in the air right now. What I really want to do is spend the summer in Africa.
However, I am not sure if that is God’s plan for me. I have been talking to World Harvest about going to Kenya for a couple years once I finish my education (which is a whole nother story). Anyhow, the missionaries from Kenya will be in the States this summer, so there will be no opportunity to visit them in Kenya. However, I am hoping to see them while they are in the States.
I have an opportunity to go to Tanzania to work in an orphanage and school that was started by a Tanzanian man and his wife who will be graduating from Reformed Theological Seminary in May and returning. I got connected with them through some friends in Orlando and now I am just trying to see if there is an organization who would send me to work with them (World Harvest will not).
World Harvest has encouraged me to apply for a summer internship in London ministering to South Asians. I have really never had a desire to go to London, but I think God could really teach me many things through this. For one, my life is not my own, no matter how much I sometimes think it is. World Harvest’s reasons for wanting me to go to London are that I will receive excellent training in discipleship and evangelism. I will also be exposed to another cross-cultural setting, and I would be working with seasoned experienced missionaries. All of these things are great and I have applied for the internship. I am praying that God would give me a real desire to serve Him wherever He sends me, including if I end up staying in the States this summer, which would be a real challenge for this wandering girl.
Taking anatomy has confirmed in me that I have no desire to go into the health field. The class is interesting but a TON of work. I don’t want to study this stuff for two+ more years…so now I am just trying to get through the class. I could really use your prayers because my motivation is really dwindling.
However, God has given me a love for teaching. I don’t know why I have fought this for so many years. I have just tried to talk myself out of being a teacher. But it really makes sense…I love kids and I love seeing them blossom and grow. So it makes sense that I would enjoy being a teacher. I love going to work and being in the classroom. I have applied to graduate school to get my masters degree in elementary education. I even found a school in Africa through SIM (Serving in Mission) that allows students to do student-teaching in Africa! Which would be awesome! But I know there will be opportunities for that in Virginia Beach too.
So I am just waiting now…waiting to hear about grad school, and to figure out plans for the summer. I am looking forward to August because all of the interns that were with me in Kenya last summer are coming to visit me in Virginia Beach! I miss them and can’t wait to see them again and reminisce about our time last summer.
I’ll be keeping y’all posted as things fall into place!
Friday, February 20, 2009
I won’t give his real name…so we’ll just call him Kiddo :)
Keep in mind that each of these quotes took place on a different day.
1. Kiddo: Miss Stephens I love to go to Wal-Mart and go to the fan department and look at all the ceiling fans.
2. Me: Ok kids, we are going to make a list of things you would like to give or receive as Christmas gifts so you can write about them.
Kiddo: How about a ceiling fan!
3. Kiddo: Miss Stephens guess what I got for my birthday?
Kiddo: A ceiling fan!
Me: Oh did you put it in your bedroom?
Kiddo: No. It is in the kitchen.
4. Me (during a spelling test): Spell the word hunter.
Kiddo: Miss Stephens! Did you know Hunter is a brand of ceiling fan?
Ok, so then after all of the interest in ceiling fans he moved on to other household appliances.
5. Kiddo: Miss Stephens! Can you still buy a TV with a hump on the back?
Me: I have no idea.
Kiddo: Well what about a computer? Can you still buy a computer with a hump on the back.
Me: Ya know, I really am just not sure.
Kiddo: Well my mom thinks those things will take up too much space if they have a hump on the back.
6. Kiddo: Miss Stephens, did you know that in my house we have defective outlets?
Me: Wow! Really? What do you mean?
Kiddo: Well when I plug in my game cube the outlet sparks. When my grandma plugged in the Christmas Star it sparked. So now we have to use surge protectors.
7. Kiddo: Miss Stephens can you still but a VHS player in the store?
Me: I am really not sure!
Ok, this is his most recent one that he asked me today :)
8. Kiddo: Miss Stephens! Can you still buy a rotary phone in the store?
Me: I don’t know. Maybe at a thrift store or a flea market.
Me: How do you even know what that is?!
Kiddo: I don’t know.
He just keeps me laughing everyday!
Third-graders are hilarious. I think I want to be a teacher just so I can hear all the funny things kids say and do. I love them! I think they are so precious. Of course they can be trying at times, but I am really loving being in the classroom :)
Sunday, February 1, 2009
1. I have been outside the US to 3 different countries…Canada, Kenya, and Honduras (oh and I changed planes in France and Nigeria, but I am not sure if that counts).
2. I want to live in Africa and I would go tomorrow if I could.
3. I am trying to figure out what to do with my life. I am thinking about Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Social Work, or Teaching (something I could apply overseas as a missionary).
4. I am taking Anatomy and Physiology and it is the hardest class I have ever taken.
5. I should be studying right now instead of doing this, but I am a procrastinator.
6. I am the middle child, and I think it is the best (I have an older brother and a younger sister).
7. I have lived in Hawaii, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Missouri, California, Florida, Indiana, and Nairobi, Kenya.
8. I was born in Hawaii.
9. I have been to 5 colleges (University of Missouri, Tidewater Community College, Old Dominion University, Valencia Community College, and Liberty University).
10. I changed my college major 5 times, from Early Childhood Education, to Child Life, to Psychology, to Elementary Education, to Psychology.
11. I graduated in 4 ½ years (even with all the changes) with a Bachelors in Psychology.
12. I change my mind a lot.
13. One day I want to live on a farm and have pet cows, goats and, chickens.
14. I absolutely love the water, and even though I complained about always being wet while I was a dolphin trainer, I miss spending so much time in the water.
15. Autumn is my favorite season.
16. I am a Special Education Assistant. My job is to assist one third-grader with special needs and he is an awesome little guy to hang out with all day.
17. I have trained walruses, harbor seals, sea lions, polar bears, river otters, dolphins, skunks, opossums, and my black lab Meghan.
18. Walruses are my favorite.
19. I trained the dolphins the longest (2 ½ years).
20. My favorite color is Pink.
21. There is a 3-way tie between my top 3 favorite movies of all time…Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, and Gone with the Wind.
22. My favorite TV shows are Little People Big World, Jon and Kate Plus 8, Deadliest Catch, The Office, Survivorman, Dirty Jobs and Man vs. Wild.
23. My favorite meal is spaghetti
24. …and my favorite dessert is chocolate cake.
25. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about and miss my Grandpa Ed.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I have found a church in Virginia that I love. Trinity Presbyterian. They are in downtown Norfolk and they do a lot of outreach within the community. A couple weeks ago they hosted an event to house homeless people for a week at the church. There is a project here called NEST and all of the churches take turns housing the homeless in the winter. It was cool to go visit with the people who came to stay for the week.
Not much is new. Just working and studying a lot. I am looking forward to the summer. I am not sure what I am going to do yet this summer. I won't be working I don't think. As long as I get my job back for the fall I will take off the summer and continue to be a Special Ed Assistant for another year while I either take more classes or work on my teaching certificate. We'll see...
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Who knows! I know God has the plan all worked out and little by little He is opening and closing doors in my life to lead me exactly where He wants me.