Monday, September 29, 2008

Short and Sweet

I have been pushing myself so hard for the past however many weeks and I really haven't stopped. This weekend was just as crazy as the weekdays were - I went to College Station for the game. I feel like I'm running ragged and will eventually get sick if I don't slow down soon.

So in an attempt to relax tonight, I got my work done early when I got home and now I'm making myself a cup of hot tea. It is my personal belief that hot tea makes everything better. My tea of choice right now is Tazo Zen, a green tea with added essences of lemongrass and spearmint. Delightful.

I'd love to be in bed in an hour, but dinner isn't even ready yet. Being at home and having my mom cook for me every night is AMAZING during student teaching! It is the hugest blessing.

I need to set the table now so I'm going to cut this short.

I hope you are all having a great start to your week!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Whoohoo! Temperature Shift!

Maybe I'm normal after all. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lady-Comp Update

I've wasted entirely too much time tonight. I've been trying to write a lesson plan but I can't finish it because I don't have all the information I need.

I'm listening to Jason Mraz, getting way too interested in changing my blog's layout and settings. It was too busy and crazy for me with all that brown scribble. Does anyone know how to put pictures up by the blog title and actually have it work for them? For some reason, my picture does not fall within the border given. I am fed up trying to resize it. I appreciate any help I can get.

So, after I told you that nothing really amusing happens in class, two kids broke a thermometer during lab. This occurred yesterday, while I was alone in the classroom with the worst class of the entire day. I wanted to throw the children out of the classroom, but I had no idea where to send them. They were so scared and I was so mad because I had just given instructions which they did not obey. They were lucky that I am a huge softie inside because otherwise, they would be doing some serious work to fix their mistake. My mentor teacher and I came up with a wonderful punishment: to clean ALL the lab equipment we used. Believe me, that's a punishment. They will spend hours in there.

Lady-Comp update: I have been using my new contraption for nine days now, and so far, so good. The electronic gadget works great, but it's my own body that I'm worrying about. I'm on day 18 and I have not yet experienced a shift in temperature. I fear that something is wrong with me. Is that normal? I told Austin about this yesterday and he pretty much told me that I was overreacting and that I'm probably not going to die.

I like the Lady-Comp, though. It wakes me up in the morning with a beeping noise that starts pretty quiet and gets gradually louder. I have been plotting my temperature as well as letting the gadget do it. I want to visually see what is happening to my body temperature. It's really interesting. I feel that I was missing out in not knowing that my body followed a certain pattern each month. No one ever told me that your temperature rises halfway through your cycle. I think this should be common knowledge for teenagers! There is so much cool stuff that your body does that just amazes me.

I hate to end here, but I really need to get to bed and I haven't even made my lunch yet. Gosh, I miss the days where staying up till 1 was no big deal.


Monday, September 22, 2008

I Wonder What Accupuncture Would Feel Like

It seems like most teachers come home with scores of "student stories" to share. For some reason, hilarious moments never seem to occur during my teaching experiences. I'm trying to rack my brain right now so I can share an anecdote with you, but nothing comes to mind. It's not that teaching isn't eventful, because every day is so busy and crazy that I barely have time to breathe. Maybe it's something to do with the 7th grade. Honestly, the funniest moment that I can think of is when one student asked the girl across from him for her number. In the middle of class. She felt so awkward and I was standing right next to their table. Poor girl.

Teaching is a tough job. Way tougher than I ever imagined it to be. My first week of full responsibility started today, and everything went smoothly. Everything except the fact that my supervisor failed to show up today to observe me. She missed the last appointment, too - well, she forgot about it and came an hour late, but by that time we were doing other things and she didn't get to see me teach. Which is why she scheduled an observation for today.


I am so tired right now and to be honest, I shouldn't be on here. I need to grade papers so that I can go to bed early. (And when you consider that "normal" time is 9:30... early is pretty early.)

If I could have one wish right now, it would be to curl up on my bed in my fuzzy blanket, have someone bring me a cup of hot tea and give me a foot massage. :-) (Austin, this is what you get to look forward to when we get married!!! Haha!)

One more thought: The Office comes back on Thursday. I honestly can't wait!!!! It will be the one time I turn my TV on every week. Seriously.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Love Surprises!

I just found out that Austin is going to be at my house in a few hours. I nearly lost it after school because I got a text message that read:

"Do you want to watch a movie tonight?"

Seriously, I just about peed my pants. I was going to smack him with a baseball bat the next time I saw him if he was joking with me.

Turns out, he wasn't joking. His family had to evacuate because of Ike, so he decided to drive all the way up to Dallas and spend the weekend with me and my family. Wasn't that sweet? I'm stoked. And yes, I just used that word.

Random question: what do you do with cocky kids? I mean, I love all my students, but there's one kid who is really starting to bug me with his arrogant attitude. He's extremely bright and really "cool". 7th grade cool. This guy is going to be an engineer one day, I just know it. A cool engineer. And I think he knows it. I am very impressed by his knowledge, and I complimented him the other day. I told him that he was "way ahead of the game" and I don't think I should have. Ever since then, he's been asking me things like, "Are we going to study radioactivity?" or "Do we get to learn about quarks?" front of the whole class. I mean, he'll stick his hand up in the middle of lecture to ask a question like that. Today I caught him telling his entire group that he has been G/T since he was in 2nd grade.

I love his enthusiasm for science and learning, but the arrogant attitude he has is going to slap him in the face if he's not careful. I want the best for all my students, but I can tell that the other students really don't care. They are just struggling with the fact that protons are positive but neutrons are not negative.


Teaching is so much more than I thought. I love it, but it is SO HARD. I thank God for giving me strength every day to face the 6 periods I have to teach or co-teach.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oohhh, she said "period!"

Wow, guys! I was really blessed by the responses I got on that last post. I had no idea that
a) so many people read my blog, and
b) I am not alone on this issue.

It was a blessing to hear your responses. Our God is good!

My Lady-Comp is due to arrive on Monday, so I am checking my doorstep every day until then. I am anxious to figure out how it works!

So guess what? In four months, I will be married! That makes me so excited and a little nervous, because I have so much to do before then. I feel like all my energy is focused into student teaching right now, and all I have when I get home is enough energy to eat, grade papers (if needed) and get prepared for the next day. Wedding planning is a slow process right now. I am having a difficult time believing that I will be a wife in four short months. Sometimes I don't feel prepared for that task!

Austin has been looking at places to live. Right now we are looking at Alief and Katy. (ASHLEY!! I could live so close to you!!!) I really don't know anything about Houston, so I'm very clueless. Everything about living in Houston seems strange to me. I know that I have moved countries before (heck, I've moved continents!), but moving to a new Texas city seems scarier. It'll be a lot to adjust to. Gosh. There's going to be a ton of change in four months: I'll be married, living with a boy, be hundreds of miles from my family, be a graduate, and be living in Houston. I might need therapy...

On a different note, I am really enjoying student teaching. I am already teaching for most of the day, and I've only been at the school for 2 1/2 weeks. My mentor teacher told me today that I didn't seem like a student teacher to her. I guess that's good, right? I really love my students. They are all so different and unique! I love standing at the door at the beginning of each period and shaking their hands. They love it, too. Some of them will walk up with their arms extended, ready to shake my hand. Haha, some of those 7th graders haven't quite mastered how to give a handshake. There's a few guys who have really great handshakes, but most of the girls are "limp fish". You know what I mean? :)

I'm really getting into the groove of teaching, too. At first it was a little frightening, but now it's fine. As long as you say something with confidence, they will listen and believe you. (I guess that's a little scary... haha!) 7th graders are wonderful. They have so much life and are simply hilarious. We are doing chemistry right now in science and we have been studying the Periodic Table. I think it's hilarious when I talk about "periods" on the table because you can tell that they giggle a little bit and squirm in their seats. That word still makes them embarassed, bless them.

I can't help but think about how I would love to work with that age in a church. They're so impressionable and enthusiastic. I just want to be able to talk to them in small groups and know what is going on in their lives. But then I think about how that would be weird if I taught 7th graders in school and also in Sunday School. I'd be different in each of those situations and I don't know if it would be a good thing.

Anyways, these are just thoughts right now. I'm craving a bath so I'm going to go relax a little.

Enjoy your Wednesday night!


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Yes, I'm Actually Telling You This!

Note: the topic of this post is controversial. I am sharing my opinion, but I am not saying this is the only way or the best way to do things. I will share my research with you on this topic and the conclusion I came to. Please understand that I am not judging you if you do things differently! I just wanted to share this with my readers because it was a big decision in my life.

* * * * * * *
I am waiting for a package right now. You know what that feels like! I'm excited but a little anxious at the same time. Austin and I ordered the "Lady-Comp" a few weeks ago and it should be arriving at my house any day now. I'm a little anxious because this is a territory that I have never ventured on before:

Birth Control.

It's the topic that every engaged couple should discuss (but I'm not sure all couples talk about before they get married).

People don't talk about it very much, and to be honest, I have no idea what any of my married friends are using, if they decided to use birth control. I wish I knew more about this part of married couples' lives, but for some reason, no one seems to mention it, at least not to me.

I believe that all decisions, especially one like birth control, should be prayerfully considered and Biblically researched. The problem is, the Bible doesn't have any specific chapters regarding the subject. The only one I know of is in Genesis 38, and that story is apparently very controversial.

My assumption for most of my life was that birth control = the pill. Honestly, I thought that was really the only way to go (and I'm not quite sure what I thought the purpose of condoms were if you were using the pill...). Anyways, I just thought that was the norm. You got engaged, you went on the pill. You wanted to get pregnant, you stopped taking it. Simple.

Then several months ago I started thinking about birth control more. More and more of my friends were getting married, and some people seemed to get pregnant straight after their weddings. If they were all using the pill, and it was supposed to be so effective, then why was this happening? It dawned on me that maybe not everyone chose to use the pill. I started doing research and discovered a whole world that I never even knew existed. Sure, we had that nurse lady come and talk to all of us in 9th grade, and sure, I had heard the names of other forms of contraception such as "spermicide" and "diaphragm" but I didn't know much. And I didn't really listen to the nurse lady because I was nowhere near marriage.

During my time of research, I tried to figure out what I believed. I had no reason to think that the pill was the best thing out there other than the fact that most people seemed to use it, so I was going to go into the research with an open mind. My mom had told me that she could never use the pill because it made her crazy. Completely insane. The same thing happened to a friend of mine who was engaged, and it made me think about them: what was the solution?

I started with the pill. I was actually on the pill for a year and a half because of acne, but eventually I went off of it because I didn't have a strong reason to stick with it, and because they didn't sell the same pill in the U.S. that I was taking (it was a British one). I ended up with headaches every month after getting off the pill and never thought the two were related until my mom suggested it to me. I had heard other negative things about it from someone else, so I decided to find out exactly what the pill does.

Basically, it delivers hormones to your body and suppresses your period each month. The only reason you bleed is because your body goes into withdrawal since you don't take the pills for seven days each month. It's not an actual period. It fakes everything. The only reason why you take these fake pills (or no pills at all) for seven days each month is because doctors thought it would freak women out to not have a period at all. It's all psychological. It's funny because now there is a pill called Lybrel that suppresses your period all together.

The pill is medically designed to do three things:

1. Suppress ovulation
2. Prevent the sperm from meeting the egg by thickening the body's mucus
3. Prevent a fertilized egg from implanting on the wall of the uterus.

Did you read that last one correctly? Yes, a fertilized egg can die because of the pill. The pill is not actually a contraceptive because it may allow conception to take place. If you believe that life begins at fertilization, then you have a problem on your hands because that little baby embryo, no matter how small it is, is left to die since it cannot implant. The pill is actually defined as an abortifacient. Seriously, look it up online, it's everywhere. I was shocked when I read that because I had no idea that a baby can actually be made when using the pill. I honestly thought that its purpose was to suppress ovulation. No egg, no baby, right?

What I discovered was that it's the estrogen that mainly suppresses the ovulation. However, pills are containing lower and lower doses of estrogen now. You've heard of "low dose", right? That's talking about the estrogen content. There's even a progestin-only pill (the PoP), which doesn't contain any estrogen at all. Therefore, ovulation is barely suppressed and so job numbers 2 and 3 (listed above) happen more and more.

Another shocking thing I found out was about the morning-after pill. Most of us know it as an emergency early abortion pill (sometimes called "Plan B") which can be taken up to 72 hours after having sex. It causes a very early abortion and the baby is flushed out of the uterus, pretty much. Well, I found out that the morning-after pill is just a high dose of progestin, the same stuff in the regular pill. Yep, same darn stuff.

I had no idea that the pill caused early abortions!

Some people don't have a problem with this fact. I talked to my grandmother about it (who is a super conservative southern Baptist) and she didn't think it was a big deal at all. But for some reason, those facts really bothered me. I also didn't like the way the pill completely reverses everything your body is made to do. God made us in such a beautiful way and it works so wonderfully naturally. The pill pretty much screws everything up and makes your womb so foreign and uninhabitable for life to occur. I just didn't like that. There are also other nasty side effects like blood clots and headaches (like the ones I suffer from now).

So anyways, my research of the pill left me feeling uneasy and weirded out. I knew that I couldn't use the pill when I was married and feel completely comfortable with it. I began to pray about it, even though I wasn't engaged at this point, and I wanted God to show me His plan for my life in regards to birth control.

I researched other things:
-male and female condoms
-the IUD
-cervical cap

Almost everything I read about had something about it that I didn't like. I didn't like the IUD because it did basically the same thing as the pill. I didn't like spermicides because I didn't like the thought of putting a foreign chemical inside my body, especially one that some people are allergic to. The diaphragm weirded me out and it seemed kind of old-fashioned.

I couldn't figure out why on earth I wasn't at peace with anything I was reading about! I wasn't even engaged at this point but I wanted to figure out what God's will was for me. (I got engaged about a month or two later, though!)

I don't remember why I started reading about natural family planning. I honestly don't know why I started finding out about it. At first, I was completely against the thought of not using any form of contraceptive. I didn't want to be pregnant for the rest of my life! Natural family planning was so foreign to me. I read about taking your temperature each morning, charting it, and looking at cervical mucus (ewww) every day. I also read about how it increases communication between the husband and wife and how you actually learn more about your body. And an added bonus is the fact that when you want to get pregnant, it's a lot easier!

People sometimes use 1 Corinthians 7:5 as an argument against this method of contraception. I have thought about it, too. However, the Bible says that one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. We can learn to control our own bodies! Also, the husband and wife may be separated for various reasons during their marriage (business trips, going to see family etc.), and of course they cannot have sex then...! If you both agree to abstain during certain days of each cycle, it's okay. I don't see a problem with that. (You're only fertile for 6 days out of each cycle anyways!)

Another thing: natural family planning is accepted by Catholics, and they do not agree with using any other from of contraception. I'm not Catholic, and I don't see a problem with using a condom during those fertile days if needed.

I discussed these forms of contraception with Austin about a month before we got engaged. It was a general conversation, not talking about us personally or assuming that we would get married. Come to find out, he didn't really like the fact that there were health risks associated with the pill. He also didn't have a problem with the fertility awareness method (what you call the non-Catholic version of natural family planning). Austin's best man is Catholic, so they have talked a lot about it and how good it is.

It's good that we discussed birth control before we got engaged, because it made it a lot easier afterwards. We agreed that we would use the fertility awareness method once we were married. Good grief, never in a million years did I think I would do that!!! I seriously could not have guessed.

I discovered something online called a "Lady-Comp", which does all the temperature readings and charting for you. After it gets to know you and your cycles, which takes a few months, it can accurately tell you whether or not you are fertile each day. It gives you a red, green or yellow light depending on if you are fertile, unsure, or infertile. I liked this concept because charting seemed like a pain to me.

It was expensive, but not compared to using the pill each month! One of those little gadgets works for about 10 years or so. Austin bought it for me and so I should be receiving it any day now!

Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention about the Lady-Comp (and natural family planning/the fertility awareness method in general): it's 99.3% effective. Seriously. That is, if you use it correctly!

I am so surprised that I just wrote a whole post about this. I'm honestly interested to see what people think. I would love to hear from you guys. It's ok if you don't want to post on here - you can email me. Are there other people out there who use the fertility awareness method? Does anyone have a Lady-Comp? Is anyone using the pill? I'm just curious. This really is a whole new world for me!!!

Well, I'm tired of writing so I'm going to end here. If you have any questions about anything that I wrote about, I don't mind listening and answering. I'm not an expert by any means and I am still learning myself. I might have gotten some of the terminology messed up since I'm not a doctor, but I did my best!
Also know that I didn't write this to try and make anyone on the pill feel guilty, or try to persuade everyone reading this to buy a Lady-Comp. I simply wanted to inform you on our decision and let you know why we chose the fertility awareness method. Yes, we could get pregnant on our honeymoon, but so could anyone. We trust that God's plan for us is best and the He knows what He's doing. Choosing the fertility awareness method was a huge step of faith for me. I want to be in control of my own life, and by deciding not to use the pill took a lot of trust. (And honestly, if you're married and you get pregnant, how could you not be excited about that?!) So there you go. I'll let you all know how the Lady-Comp is once I receive it!


Thursday, September 04, 2008


I changed to a picture of me and Austin because in just over four months we will be one person, pretty much. Four months!!! I am freaking out thinking about it. I don't think I realize how much my life is about to change. I can't believe that I won't live at home anymore, I won't be close to my sisters anymore and I won't have to rely on my parents for anything. I don't like thinking about not seeing my family that often. How often will I get to make the drive from Houtston to Dallas? It seems so far.

Having to drive 30 minutes to get to school in the morning isn't as bad as I thought it would be. It's become one of my favorite times in the day because I'm not in any rush (I get to school with plenty of time to spare), I usually have some sort of hot drink with me (today it was green tea) and I can listen to music and watch the sun rising in the sky.

Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

It was so neat seeing the sun's orange glow become stronger at that point in the song.
Thou rising morn with praise rejoice,
Ye lights of heaven, find a voice!
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia!


Don't you just love the fall? I love everything about the back-to-school season. I love new pens, pencils and school supplies. I love the way the weather slowly cools down. I love the way that I can start wearing sweaters and closed-toe shoes. I love drinking hot tea when I drive to school and also when I relax after the long day. I love hot baths that warm me up after being in a cold classroom all day.

I love how I can see God's beauty from my window. All I can see are tree branches, leaves, squirrels and a blue sky. Literally - that's all I can see from where I'm sitting! I am enjoying living at home more than I thought I would.

Well my friends, I have things to do. And dinner to eat.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Growing Up Makes You Tired

Yesterday I bought my first pairs of "teacher shoes". They are comfortable and kinda cute, and look like something I would never wear. Well, one pair does, anyways. I have spent a week on my feet and it didn't take me long to figure out that if I was going to survive student teaching, I would need some decent footwear. I got two pairs of shoes and so far, so good. Unfortunately my feet are still recovering from blisters I got on Monday last week...

Austin and his family were here this past weekend and I had so much fun. We set up our registry with Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond and enjoyed our time looking around in the stores. It is so strange to be scanning things that we want, as if it's a Christmas present wish list. It's so funny how Austin and I are so similar when it comes to stuff like that. We take our time considering the price of the item, whether or not we really like it and really need it, how much we will use it, and who would buy it for us as a wedding present. Only when we're really sure will we scan the barcode. It took two full afternoons to scan items at the stores, and we still didn't get everything (mainly bedding stuff left).

So, Austin started his job at IMG Financial Group today! I was so excited for him. It's all official! On Saturday he takes his third and final test, so after that, he will be able to sell insurance and make money.

As much as I would like to continue writing, I need to go get ready for bed. I am absolutely exhausted and I would love to be asleep by 9.