Friday, June 12, 2015

Trip to IL (2015 Summer Adventures Part 1)

School finished for me on a Thursday and 5am Sunday morning found us driving to Illinois.  We like to make the drive in one day.  We had a quick stop in Kansas City for a late lunch.
We were STARVING by the time we got here, but it was so worth it!

Since moving to Denver, we have made friends with a family that had lived in the Kansas City area for 6 years - they have some loved ones buried in KC, so we stopped by the cemetery to put flowers by their graves.  (If you want an interesting story, I will tell you about driving through the ghetto to buy the flowers - it was quite the experience).

My husband has amazing selfie skills!
After our quick stop, we got back on the road and made it central IL by 10pm.  We met our host family for the week (THEY WERE AMAZING!) and headed to bed.

Monday - Friday were spent learning about ministering in town and country churches.  We enjoyed learning about our "home culture" (I audited the class with Ian).  I, personally, had a good reminder how tiring it is to be a student and how hard it is to sit still.  We went on field trips to area farms, ag-related businesses, and small town services.  I could probably write so much more on all that we learned, but I am trying to be concise.

My favorite is our pig selfie

One of the blessings of the week was that Theresa's parents live in Morton, so I got to see Theresa!  We had a blast reflecting on the recent school year, what God is teaching us, and what our coming summers look like (hint: FULL of adventures for each of us).  It was so great to have a running buddy for a couple of days!

So, so, so great to get to see Theresa!  Happy Hearts!
Once we finished class on Friday (Happy 5th Anniversary to us! Woohoo!) we drove down to Ian's parents and hung out for a couple of days.  It was so great to see family and friends.  We were able to go to church on Sunday, which allowed us to see a lot of people and catch up!  And I was able to see some friends from college.

Ian's parents spoiled us the entire time we were there!  I also got to go to Greenville and see Theresa again.  And go running.

in Southern Illinois

at 3:35pm

in June


Beam me back to Colorado ASAP, Scotty.  I have turned into a humidity wimp.

Swell the chorus, speed it onward...
We then headed north and hung out with my parents for a few days.  And we got spoiled some more!  We made bubble pizza with Mom, heard the details about Dad's job (yes, you will use math in everyday life dear 15 year olds that know more than me...ahem!), and got to see my sister-in-law!  My brother was traveling for training for his job, but we had squeezed in a quick visit with them the week before.  We left for Colorado a day early so that we could stop in Iowa on our way through.  We got to see my Grandpa, his wife, Aunt Wanda, and Uncle Gary.  What a blessing family is!

The hubs comes through with his selfie skills again! (I think the picture is a bit fuzzy, but that is okay!)  

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Day in the Life {May 2015}

Although I have no intention of reviving this blog in the near future, I have set a goal of writing 4 posts before August 15th.  This will be the first.  The main objective is to remind myself what my life was like on May 8th, 2015 and what life was like in general during this season of life.

4:45am - Alarm goes off

4:50am - Exercise. I typically exercise after school, but today is busy so it is at 4:50am or never.  I use a 7 minute workout app on my phone to squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, wall sits, jumping jacks etc.  Even though it is only 7 minutes, it is a good workout.

5am - Shower/Make-up/Hair/Get ready - rejoice that it is Friday and I get to wear jeans!

5:40am - My amazing and dear husband wakes up and starts on coffee and breakfast (he is the best!)

My favorite (and daily) breakfast.  I started eating before I remember to take a picture.

5:55am - Eat breakfast while Ian reads something spiritual - usually the Bible or Charles Spurgeon Morning and Evening.

6:15am - Leave for school.  One habit that I am currently examining in my life is silence.  It is not very often that I find myself in silence.  I have been noticing how long I drive before turning on the radio.  Usually the louder my thoughts, the sooner the radio comes on.  So I have been driving in silence to and from work this semester.  If I remember, I will pray for my students.

6:38am - Arrive at school.  Prepare for the day.  Say good morning to co-workers.  Make copies.  Check my mailbox. etc.

My office space at school.  I don't have a classroom so I push my cart around to different classrooms throughout the day.

7:35am - Period 1 :: College Algebra - This is a class of seniors.  I appreciate that they have figured out the system of high school.  We are reviewing for their final next week.

8:32am - Period 2 :: Algebra I Part I - This is a class of freshman.  I appreciate that they have energy.  Most of the students have low math self-esteem (and self-efficacy).  I attempt to transform them into math warriors that can conquer any math problem.  I am rarely successful.  This class makes me laugh because you never know what someone will say.  They 

9:29am - Period 3 :: Algebra II/Trig - This is a mix of sophomores, juniors, and a couple of seniors.  I appreciate that this class is really well behaved and respectful.  Algebra II/Trig is a really challenging class for the students, but I am impressed daily at the work ethic of some of my students. 

10:27am - Period 4 :: Algebra I Part I - Another class of freshman.  I have a teacher aide in this class - I am so thankful for Mr. Cole.  He does a great job with students and it is so nice to have another adult in the room.

Not the best selfie, but it communicates what I look like on a Friday.

11:19am - LUNCH - I have a student who has been struggling on multiple levels stop by with his guidance counselor.  We try to brainstorm ways to help Joseph be more successful.  The meeting goes much longer than I expect (all of lunch).  While the bell is ringing for 5th, I grab a cup of coffee and a larabar.  

12:04pm - Period 5 :: Algebra II/Trig - Another class of sophomores and juniors.  This class LOVES to waste time which means I tell a lot of stories (and they encourage me to savor my coffee).  I appreciate how they pretend to be interested in my life so they don't have to do math.  However, I always make sure we get through all of the material.  This class also makes me laugh!
Whiteboard at the end of 5th - we were reviewing Rational Functions - (for me at least)
1:01pm - Period 6 :: Plan Period - typically I am off 6th period, but today I am subbing for a teacher who is in interviews.  I have subbed for him before - I have been blessed with the ability to memorize names fairly well - so I impress the class with remembering names from last time.  The class is Tech Theater, so we work on cleaning the shop.  I have learned to be as laid back as possible while subbing.  As long as no one is in emotional or physical danger, I try to let it all fly.

1:58pm - Period 7 :: Algebra I - I get to end my day with 30 energetic freshman.  I have a special ed. teacher in with me for 7th.  I am so thankful for Mrs. K - she has taught me so much about the world of SpEd (special ed.).  I can hold my own in an IEP meeting:)  Throughout my day I have 21 students that have a variety of disabilities that qualify them for Special Ed services.

2:50pm - School day is done - head back to my office to pack up, organize, and head home.   I can not leave until my desk is clean.  Typically I workout at 3:15ish, but we have a meeting so I head out.

3:20pm - Leave school - TGIF!  I will be back to tomorrow to catch up on grading/planning ahead for the next week.

3:48pm - Arrive home and eat a snack while talking to Ian about our days and the meeting.

4 - 6pm - Mission Team Meeting - Ian is the leading the Mission Team at our church right now.  We love encouraging and supporting the missionaries that our church supports spiritually and financially as well as keeping our congregation informed about what is going on with our missionaries.  Most of the time it seems a bit overwhelming, but we have a great team and Ian is doing an amazing job leading.

6:05pm - Change into yoga pants.  Head to Dan and Sara's.

6:30pm - Arrive at Dan and Sara's - we have the best Friday night tradition.  We go to our friend's house, hang out, and catch up.  It is so relaxing and Sara and Dan are so much fun (and they feed us).  We also love to see their son, Sean.  You never know what he is going to say, but whatever he says will be hilarious.
Not the best picture, but the only one I have of all 4 of us.  Good friends are a blessing!

10:45pm - Head home.

11pm- Get home and head to bed.  It never takes me long to fall asleep.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Kingdom Mentality Convictions

Ian and I currently enrolled in a course called Marriage Plus.  It is one of those life-changing things.  We have met amazing couples and are digging deeper into how we can bring glory to God through our ministry and marriage.

We have assignments each week for Marriage Plus.  One of the assignments was to write a paper on our Kingdom Mentality Convictions.  The following is what I have submitted as my convictions (we had to keep it to one page double spaced.  I could write quite a bit more):

Jesus is Lord. Kingdom mentality has to start here. When asked what the most important commandment is, “Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and your strength.’ ”(in Mark 12:29 ESV). The idea that Jesus is Lord is an easy concept to understand, yet a difficult concept to live. Many Christians would say that Jesus is Lord of their life, but their life does not align to this belief.

In the same way, many Christians would say that the Gospel is Jesus-centered, yet live their lives as though the gospel is comfort-centered or financially responsible-centered or doctrine-centered. Kingdom mentality needs to preach, live, and show a gospel that is Jesus-centered. Because Jesus is my Lord and my gospel is centered on Jesus, I am called to be a servant of Jesus. Being a servant of Jesus requires humility and perseverance. One way to serve Jesus well is show others that to love is to obey. When I hear God speak into my life, I obey. When I read Scripture that is contrary to my current life, I submit.

I apply my kingdom mentality to my whole life. I reject what culture tells me is important and look to Jesus. I continually study Scripture to convict me, remind me of the Jesus-centered Gospel, and saturate my mind with Truth. I surround myself with others who have a Kingdom Mentality to find encouragement and strength. I continually pray that I may have the strength to comprehend what is the breadth, and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:18 &19a).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankfuls 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

The tradition continues:

  1. Emmanuel - God with us!
  2. Ian - my best friend, protector, and provider
  3. Family - we have been blessed with some awesome people in our families
  4. Contentedness
  5. workout friends
  6. Colorado friends
  7. college friends
  8. Korea friends
  9. friends that do not fit into any of the above but are still kindred spirits
  10. Babies - James, Elijah, Miriam, Emersyn, Haddie, Raegan, Solomon, Ambrose,Hannah, Nehemiah, and I am sure I am forgetting some - each time I get on Facebook, I am greeted by some CUTIES - thankful for the miracle of new life and seeing friends become mamas and daddies.
  11. Reliable cars that start when it is 5 below
  12. A light at the end of the seminary tunnel
  13. seeing Ian learn and transform throughout the Seminary Experience
  14. amazing mentors!
  15. CHRISTMAS MUSIC - don't ask Ian when I started listening to Christmas music this can one genre of music bring so much joy!?!?!
  16. Turkey, cranberry, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower casserole, fruit salad, green beans, carrots, beer bread, and pumpkin pie
  17. American grocery stores to buy all above items/ingredient for items
  18. American sized oven to prepare food from #16/ food we make daily in our huge oven
  19. American washer and dryer
  20. Skype 
  21. social media
  22. Christmas Wreaths
  23. Hummus and Pita Chips
  24. Moscato, Chardonnay, and Sam Adams
  25. Friday nights (the best night of the week!)
  26. sticking to our budget
  27. Paper Snowflakes
  28. Teaching Math - changing the world
  29. Getting paid to teach math
  30. Getting paid extra to cover classes
  31. Health Insurance
  32. Amy Grant's A Christmas Album and Michael W. Smith's Christmastime
  33. Days off
  34. Gorgeous sunsets
  35. Half and half
  36. Black gold a.k.a coffee
  37. God's faithfulness
  38. Ian's patience in watching ridiculously cheesy movies with me
  39. Gracie and Lauren - they have changed my life and perspective many times
  40. those who serve (and have served) in our military
  41. Dual Control Electric Blanket
  42. 1636 days of wedded bliss
  43. GPS watches
  44. warm running clothes for the winter
  45. God has taken really good care of us
  46. planning meetings
  47. Costco
  48. Email
  49. Texting
  50. the Bible app
  51. those who are veterans of teaching Algebra IA and have empathy
  52. sex
  53. people who are crazy generous to us
  54. cozy slippers
  55. The Bible
  56. fireplaces 
  57. my students - they challenge me daily 
  58. math teacher blogs
  59. hot chocolate
  60. the Biggest Loser
  61. Space Heaters
  62. pedicures
  63. safety
  64. Ian's ability to make me laugh nearly regardless of the situation
  65. world vision/compassion international/other similar organizations
  66. Eggs and Bacon - my daily breakfast
  67. my husband waking up at 5:30 with me to show solidarity and making me breakfast
  68. running 
  69. lifting
  70. push-ups
  71. the ability to do chin-ups and pull-ups
  72. planks
  73. feeling strong and accomplishing the impossible in the gym
  74. blue Colorado sky
  75. cliff bars a.k.a the best on-the-go lunch
  76. bananas, blackberries, apples, oranges, grapefruits, peaches, raspberries, plums, pears... I love fruit!
  77. Korean children - the cutest children ever - I can't take the level of cuteness that Korean babies and small children present - I go crazy
  78. In America crazy means crazy and not an insult
  79. the Holy Spirit
  80. good health
  81. God's grace
  82. knowing that the only difference between an ordeal and an adventure is my attitude
  83. going on adventures with Ian
  84. God's sovereignity
  85. grapefruit seed extract
  86. warm coats
  87. rocking chairs
  88. coupons
  89. almond butter
  90. library
  91. Ian's servantheartedness
  92. Cards for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving
  93. 24 hour fitness - the choice of being a wimp and running on the dreadmill or braving the crazy Colorado weather
  94. summer break
  95. camping
  96. double hammock
  97. finding Korean ginger-honey sore throat tea in America
  98. crockpot
  99. God's compassion
  100. Grandpa and Kathryn!

Monday, September 15, 2014


From Book of Common Prayer
Make their life together a sign of Christ's love to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Grand Canyon

Ian and I wanted to recap our fun adventure to the Grand Canyon.  Here are our favorite memories from our relaxing vacation. (If you would like to see the 2:30 video, scroll to the bottom)

Day #1 - Traveling
  • Packed the car and started towards Durango - the halfway point where we would camp for the night.
  • Stopped in Saguache, Colorado for lunch - Ian will tell you that I talked about my turkey and swiss sandwich from Saguache 4th Street Diner all week.  Best bread I have ever eaten in my life (it was homemade and amazing!)
  • Got to Durango in time to find a pub to watch the USA vs. Portgual game - the US fought well and it was fun to watch in a pub that was packed!
  • Camped at the KOA in Durango - it was a great experience - super clean bathrooms, friendly staff, and nice campsites.
  • Excited to have campfire that night.  The rest of our trip we were unable to have a nightly campfire due to dry conditions in the Grand Canyon (bummer!).
Scenic View on the Drive and our Campsite

Day #2 - Arriving

  • Stopped at the 4 Corners on our way through
  • Grateful to arrive safely at the Grand Canyon after hours of driving in Arizona.  Craziest drivers that I have ever experienced in my life in America

Warning: You will see my feet a lot in pictures of this trip

Day #3 - Exploring

  • We made a goal of covering the entire 13 mile South Rim Trail during our time at the Grand Canyon.  On day 3 we ran 3 miles of the eastern side of it.  So fun to see different angles of the Canyon.
  • We went for a 3 mile walk that evening through the campground and surrounding area.  We happened on elk several different times and got to see some baby elk (google told me that baby elk are also known as calves).  
We ended up seeing elk A LOT - don't worry Mommabomma, we kept our distance and used the zoom :)

Day #4 - Relaxing

  • We had pancakes for breakfast!  So grateful for our Coleman 2 burner stove - we love to cook over gas.  Ian was awesome and made the pancakes and coffee while I went for a 5 mile run
  • Spent a good amount of our day reading and relaxing in our hammock
  • Watched the sunset over the Grand Canyon - so beautiful and breath-taking

Day #5 - Surprising

  • Greeted the morning by running 3 more miles of the South Rim Trail.
  • Completed the mundane task of laundry - as I was going to put our clean clothes in the tent, I screamed and jumped on the picnic table - there was something in our tent! It ended up being a squirrel. (#anticlimatic) We don't know how he got in, why he would have wanted to get in (we keep all food and scented items in the car), but glad he got out on his own (after my scream).  From that point on, I made Ian check the tent first
  • Hiked part of the way down into the Canyon to OohAhh Point (and sang camp songs including the word OhAh).  Saw a ridiculously long snake.  The Canyon is so gorgeous from within.
  • Attended the Grand Canyon Star Party - how fun!  Amateur astronomers bring their telescopes and set up in a designated parking lot and let you look through their telescopes.  We got to see so many cool things in the night sky - Saturn, Polaris, a double star, (it looks like one star to the naked eye, but is actually two stars) Mars, nebulae, and other interesting things that I did not quite understand what I was looking at

Day #6 - Hiking

  • We hiked 5 miles of the western side of the Rim Trail - we saw mule deer, lizards, and a bajillon ravens.  Two surprisings things - 1.) there are times that you can not see the Grand Canyon at all - you are just hiking through desert forest.  The Canyon is nearby, just not visible and 2.) There are places were the unpaved rim trail gets really, really close to the edge of the Canyon
  • We attended the Star Party again - the night before it was chilly, so we did not make it all they way around (sidenote: it would get into the mid to high 80s during the day and then drop into the upper 30s/low 40s at night - thanks to being at 7000 ft above sea water - I love high desert summers)

Day #7 - Flagstaff

  • Ventured into Flagstaff to go on a date and ended up at Chiptole (it was what I was craving at the moment) 
  • Organized and partially packed the car
  • Hiked the last section of the Rim Trail while watching the sunset.  Saw someone get proposed to:)
My feet on the way back from Flagstaff

Day #8 - Homeward Bound

  • Woke up before the sun, finished packing, and started on our 11.5 hour drive.  We got a PR while driving home - we drove from Tuba City, AZ to South Fork, CO without stopping - that is 5 hours and 45 minutes - wootwoot!

And now presenting: The Grand Canyon 2014 Video - all the good footage is Ian's and all the woobly, fast, weird footage was taken by yours truly:

Here is the link in case the video is weird

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dispelling Entitlement

Sometimes when I go running, I have epiphanies.  This is the latest epiphany I had.

People feel entitled.  They feel as though they deserve __________.  Case in point, the middle one of the kiddos that I nanny, feels that he deserves to have someone play with him.  When there is no one to play, he becomes angry.  He can list many reasons that he deserves this right.

I feel entitled to decent weather.  When it snows in April and May, I get angry (and simmer on the inside).  I deserve some decent weather to exercise and drive in. {Interesting sidenote: according to, the first use of the word entitlement was in 1942.}

So as I ran, I pondered, "What dispels entitlement?  How can I go from feeling entitled to joy?"

In middle school and high school Sunday School (which Ian and I lead), our teens are currently studying Philippians.  There are four themes to Philippians: Joy in Suffering, Joy in Serving, Joy in Knowing Jesus, and Joy in Contentment.  We have talked a lot about the difference between joy and happiness.  Happiness is a temporary emotion.  Joy is an attitude of the heart (and therefore joy is a choice).

One of the best ways I have learned to cultivate joy in my life is thankfulness.  Even if our circumstances does not change, our perspective can.  The grass is greenest where you water it.

So my running epiphany last week was this: Thankfulness dispels entitlement.  I am not sure if this is 100% true, but it helps me.  I used to have a hard time being thankful.  I would think of some poor kid in Africa (sorry SAffers) that was starving in the blazing hot sun and try to well up some form of gratitude.  In the back of my mind, I would be thinking, "what is that kid thankful for?"

Then God hit me in the head.  Sure, I can be thankful for material possessions and different circumstances in my life, but I can always be thankful for who God is and what God has done.  Always.

The next time it snows in June (that does not really happen in Colorado...right?), I have a choice.  I can throw an internal tantrum or I can choose to be thankful that God is good.  Thankful that God is sovereign.  Thankful that God is holy.  Thankful that God redeems.  In the midst of inconvience (to me), God has a plan that He is working out.  God is still saving sinners.

Less of me...More of Him.

Let's chat - what are your thoughts?  Sometimes my running epiphanies have holes in them, that I do not see.  What can you be thankful for despite circumstances?