Sunday, November 27, 2016

Camping - Eisenhower State Park: October 21-23, 2016

Camping - Eisenhower State Park
October 21-23, 2016

Jeff and I decided to go camping the same weekend while Jakob attended a camp out with the other youth at Cross Way UMC.  It was my first time at Eisenhower State Park.  We arrived on Friday, October 21, 2016, in the evening.  We decided to purchase annual state park passes.  After dropping Jakob off with Cross Way UMC youth at Deer Haven.

Jeff and I decided on Armadillo #50 which was farther away from Jakob's group.  A closer site, Fossil Ridge, was closer but had a Boy Scout troop next open campsite.  We decided against it.

It was my first time to set up a tent in the dark!  Jeff was able to get the lantern hooked up which helped dramatically.  Ashlyn fell asleep around 9pm while Jeff and I read prior to going to bed.  We did not make a fire this first night.

We all woke up around 7am.  Jeff mixed up the pancakes and heated up the bacon.  Jeff heated hot water and we also made hot chocolate.  We realized we forgot syrup for the pancakes, which ended up making it easier to clean up the dishes!  Ashlyn and I also had a banana with our breakfast.

After cleaning up the dishes, we headed off to the trail to head over to Deer Haven.  We hiked on Armadillo Hill and Ike's Hike and Bike Trail.  We visited with our Cross Way UMC family.  While visiting we asked Vince if he had extra hot dogs since we also realized we had forgotten them.  Ashlyn was wearing out from the long hike and was getting hungry, so we headed back primarily on the street.

Once we arrived back to our camp site, we cooked the hot dogs over the fire.  We ate hot dogs and chips along with yogurt and apple sauce.

The afternoon was peaceful.  Ashlyn and I colored.  Jeff and I both read.  We visited the playground which Ashlyn enjoyed even though it was just swings.  Both playgrounds at Deer Haven and Armadillo Hill only had swings at their playgrounds.  Jeff and Ashlyn went down to the lake.

We prepped taco meat prior to camping and had soft tacos for dinner.  We played Uno prior to eating Smores.  


We all woke up around the same time.  I had planned oatmeal, banana, and bacon for my breakfast.  Jeff planned breakfast burritos with bacon for him and Ashlyn.  We made hot chocolate to go with breakfast.  After breakfast, we started cleaning and packing up.  

When we arrived to pick up Jakob, I was impressed that all of his stuff was packed together and ready.  He had packed it all up and out into one pile prior to eating breakfast.  The adults were impressed and complimented him on his behaviors.  
Things we realized we needed, forgot, or items for a Christmas list:
Broom kit
Mallet for staking tent down
Freezer style bags
Table for food prep and dishes
Smaller bottle of bleach
Table cloth (purchased on clearance at Wal-Mart)
Clamps to hold table cloth to table
String / rope

Christmas ideas: GPS devices

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gr8ful: Philippians 4:4-9 NIV

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:4-9 NIV

Pastor Chris shared this video this past Sunday.  This powerful video reminds us that our eyes Jesus Christ gives us changes our viewpoint of others.  How one person may see a thief, but what does the other person see?  In this video, someone saw it differently.  Giving is the best communication.  Paying it forward for what Christ did for us.

Imagine grace as kool-aid.  Grace is messy, splashes down, makes a mess... everywhere. God can enter in anywhere and make it different.  God is going to be in resurrection. Redemption is always coming. Want to know why we rejoice, that's why. So rejoice. Give us obstacle, we rejoice. Setbacks, we rejoice.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Thanksgiving: 30 Day Scripture Writing Plan - Day 5 & 6

Day 5: Colossians 3:12-17New Living Translation (NLT)

12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Day 6: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18New Living Translation (NLT)

Paul’s Final Advice

12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Ashlyn's Kindergarten Report Card - 2nd Six Weeks

Our district uses standards based grading for elementary which indicates what level students are on for specific student friendly TEKS.  I personally love it especially for the younger grades because it helps parents know what their children are working on and where we can help give support at home.  The report cards also indicate which topics will be upcoming.  

The report card grading scale:

  • meets standards 3
  • developing 2
  • beginning 1

Integrated Language Arts


Use strategies to comprehend a variety of texts - 2

Writing Process and Conventions

Use the writing process to compose a variety of texts - 2

Listening and Speaking Conversations

Listen attentively - 3
Communicate ideas, experiences, and needs using academic language - 3

Early Literacy Inventory (ELI/SELI)

Letter Identification - 3
Letter Sounds - 3
Concepts about Print - 2
Phonological Awareness - 2

Guided Reading Level

Student Guiding Reading Level - B
Student Uses Strategies to Comprehend Guided Reading Text - 2


Compose and decompose numbers with objects and pictures - 3

Assessing Math Concepts

Counting Objects

Keep track while counting accurately, remember how many, and cont up to a particular quantity - 3

Social Studies

Social Studies Conceptual Understanding
Participate as an Informed citizen of a Constitutional Republic

Identify rules and their purpose - 3


Physical Science

Describe the way objects move - 3

Monday, November 07, 2016

Thanksgiving: 30 Day Scripture Writing Plan - Day 3 & 4

Day 3: 2 Corinthians 4:15-18New Living Translation (NLT)

15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[a]being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Day 4: Isaiah 12:2-6New Living Translation (NLT,)

See, God has come to save me.
    I will trust in him and not be afraid.
The Lord God is my strength and my song;
    he has given me victory.”
With joy you will drink deeply
    from the fountain of salvation!
In that wonderful day you will sing:
    “Thank the Lord! Praise his name!
Tell the nations what he has done.
    Let them know how mighty he is!
Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things.
    Make known his praise around the world.
Let all the people of Jerusalem[a] shout his praise with joy!
    For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.”
During the month of November, I am wanting to reflect and give thanks to God.  It is easy to get wound up into material things along with wants when so much of it is not even needed.  However, when you sit back, enjoy the moments, you realize how much you have around you.

 I have been concerned and frustrated over recent discussions regarding proposed district boundary lines for the middle schools.  It is easy to focus our attention to our troubles we can see now.  This reminds me of a passage from my Jesus Calling Devotional.

 "Follow me one step at a time.  That is all I require of you.  In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world.  You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you're going to scale those heights.  Meanwhile, because you're not looking where you're going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now.  As I help you get back up on your feet, you tell Me how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead.  But you don't know what will happen today, much less tomorrow.  Our path may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains.  There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance.  If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for the strenuous climb.  I will even give My angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your way.  Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My presence.  Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up the way before you." 

 This passage reminds me to stop stressing over things I cannot control.  The passage always makes me wonder if new doors will be opening and what those paths may look like.  The scripture passages helped me remember to slow down, enjoy the moments, and to give thanks instead of worrying over details uncontrollable.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Thanksgiving: 30 Day Scripture Writing Plan - Day 1 & 2

Day 1: Psalm 95:1-7New Living Translation (NLT)

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
    Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
    Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
    a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
    and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
    His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
    Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
    for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
    the flock under his care.

Day 2: 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 New Living Translation (NLT)

Paul Gives Thanks to God

I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

During this month of November, I am wanting to reflect and give thanks to God.  It is easy to get wound up into material things along with wants when so much of it is not even needed.  However, when you sit back, enjoy the moments, you realize how much you have around you.  

Yesterday, we looked into a different neighborhood and looked at some new homes that were ready to move into.  Jeff and I really liked one of them, but at the end of the day we discussed it was really out of price range.  Along with our conversations, I was not content on the location of the house based on the current phase and likelihood of it being a busier street than our current home.  When we moved out to our area after getting my teaching position, it seemed we "lucked" into our home.  We live currently on a quiet section of the neighborhood on a cul-de-sac.  The main traffic is from home owners in our area.  In conversations with my grandmother, she reminds me, "Well, you live in your house and not your backyard."  I have been thinking of our conversations recently because I know she is absolutely correct.  I also know if the time is right in the future, everything will "fall" into place if we are destined to move.

Reconciliation: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21

2 Corinthians 5:14-21New Living Translation (NLT)
14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us.[a] Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.[b] 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[c] so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Reconciliation is the process of becoming peaceful again and to have harmony again.  My bible states the term is found throughout Paul's letters.  Paul's doctrine of reconciliation arises from his conviction that:
  1. Christ died for all believers
  2. in Christ; believers also die to sin and self
  3. now all believers should live for Christ.
Can we be ambassadors?  Our perspective is different when God is within.  The way we live and the how we are are different.  Pastor Chris shared an example of getting upset when your lunch disappears at work.  Instead of getting upset, finding out why the individual is taking your lunch and what situation is the individual in?  When Christ is in your life, it allows you to see individuals as good or through a different lens.  You are an ambassador when Christ is in your life.  The benefits are out of this world.

The new life in Christ thus leads to a fresh evaluation of other people and of Christ.

Menu Planning Monday: Week of November 7, 2016

I had a much better week on Weight Watchers last week since we had most of our dinner plans ready for the week.  I completely forgot I had planned turkey chili, so we are having leftovers tonight.  The Turkey Chili preps well ahead of time, so I'm planning on prepping it this evening and dumping it in the crock pot tomorrow morning!  We also went to ALDI again last Friday and picked up some more produce to work into our menu this week and next.

Monday, 11/7: Crock Pot Kid-Friendly Turkey Chili

Tuesday, 11/8: Hot Dogs, Chips, & Veggies
Wednesday, 11/9: Chicken Sandwiches, Roasted Red Potatoes, & Squash
Thursday, 11/10: Leftover Buffet
Friday, 11/11: Dining Out
Saturday, 11/12: Steaks, Crock Pot "Baked" Potatoes, Green Beans
Sunday, 11/13: Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce, French Bread from Bread Machine


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