Sunday, September 19, 2010

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!

Well, school has begun and so has football.  Needless to say life in this Dean household is whirlwind.  This has been my first football season experience the full extent of what it means to be a football widow.  I think for Stinson and I it is even worse because of our classes and other things that we are involved in.  Time together has to be intential and unfortunately most of the time we spend together is spent catching a few zzzz's. 

So far after a few kinks thrown into the starting line up a week before the first game, MNU is 3-0.  They are looking great and Stinson's running backs look awesome!  He is loving every moment of coaching.  His guys are lucky to have him as their coach.  MNU faces the #2 team in the coutnry next week, Lindenwood, at home.  It will be a great test of hwere they are at.  Here are me and some of MNU friends hanging out at the game.  Oh yeah, I dyed my hair brown, just in case you can't tell which one I am.

Janae and I

All of the Girls

Last weekend I spent my entire day watching football.  I went to all three boys games and had such a blast.  I just love these precious things.  They all played so well.  I got to have dinner/lunch with them on Sunday too.  I don't have the words to describe how much I love them!  Enjoy these pictures!  (This day was 100% football.  I went to 3 little league games and 1 MNU game, it was quite the day!)

Andy's Game Face

My Bud Andy and I

The Really Cool 7th Grader and I

Adorable Carson!

So with all of me "extra time" I have been leading my mother-in-laws bible study Live a Praying Life.  We are two weeks in, and already it has been amazing.  She really puts a whole new perspective on prayer.  One of my favorite things she written so far comes from the end of week one's study.  She is talking about finding a new purpose of prayer when she shares this verse and says, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." (Ezkiel 36:26-27) Before I desired such a thing, God had make it available.  He had already promised to reproduce His heart in me, shaping my desires to match His.  He promised to take my  self-centered heart and fasten it on Him.  And He who worked in my until I desired to reciece what he desired to give."

My heart fills with joy just typing those words.  It is so awesome to know that God has already arranged everything so that I can have this.  That He would take my heart of stone and soften it and fill it with Himself. I am already excited about the changes in my attitude towards prayer and the way I have been praying.  I will keep you updated on how things are going.

The dogs are doing great.  I am so glad that I have them to keep me company and to keep me enterained on all my nights home alone.  They are so much fun and Mia is so entertaining.  She loved to play and I could watch her bounce around for hours.  Jake is huge, but so cute!  He has the sweetest face that melts your heart and make you want to give him everythign he wants!  Maggie is doing good and is always waiting at the door to great you when you come home.  She love to have her belly rubbed first thing!  Here is how I found Maggie and Mia one morning.

 School is going awesome.  I love my class.  There are a few challenges, but in general, I think that they are my best class yet.  I know that I am better as a teacher this year and I am so excited to try a few things out this year that I started last year.  Friday and Saturday I was at workshop called Picture Perfect Science.   It was such a wonderful two days and I cannot wait to go back and beef up my science instruction.  It was exactly what I was looking for!

I think that is all for now.  If you live near by or need to come visit, I would love some company.  I have lots of alone time, so don't feel like you're imposing!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Part of the Family

Many of you probably remember me talking about the boys I watched last summer, well this summer was no different.  It was a summer jam-packed of good 'ol fashion fun and lots of testosterone!  These boys have become very dear to me and even though they like to push their limits, they are wonderful!  This summer was full of trips to the neighborhood pool, pools around town that have awesome things like high dives and water slides, a trip to the blueberry farm, and lots of friends.  

Not only do I love these three rascals, but I also adore their parents.  They have welcomed Stinson and I into their family with open arms, and we love spending time with them.   We would definitely call them dear friends, and they are even somewhat like parents to us with ours being so far away.  I am always excited to go back to school, but sad to have to leave these precious faces too.

I know that many of you have been waiting to see pictures from our North Carolina Trip, but there won't be any of my pictures, probably just ones that I steal from other people because I lost my camera our last day there. :(      I know you are probably just as sad as I am, but my wonderful nanny family surprised me with a new camera!  (They're amazing and did way too much I know! I am one lucky girl!)  So now I can continue to take thousands of pictures of my dogs and my new students!  Here are some pictures of our dinner with my new camera.  Enjoy!

The oldest, and the one who tried my "parenting skills" with his ever changing mood swings!

The youngest and middle boys.  How could you not fall in love with those smiles?!

I am so thankful to be a part of this wonderful family and am looking forward to our get togethers until next summer.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Classroom Gone Wild

This coming school year I will be in a new room, in a new addition to our school building.  As a result, I decided that I need to find a theme for my room.  Last year I bought these name tags and fell in love with them.  

Now my whole room is based off of them.  Here are some pictures of my sewing projects and how my classroom is coming together so far.  Enjoy!

I thought the space above the whiteboards needed some color!

Area behind my desk.  Still needs a boarder around it.

Reading Corner #1

Library/Reading Corner #2

Zebra Curtains (I only sewed the zebra onto the bottom)/Reading Corner #3 and I sewed the big pillows!

Cafe Table

Artsy Cafe Table Picture

Home made valence

I can't wait to be here everyday!  I think my students will like it too!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Whew.....I survived!

I am sure that you are wondering what exciting and dangerous adventure I have been on lately, and I am sorry to tell you that it is not nearly as exciting as what you are probably thinking.  It has to do with a wedding that I helped plan/run where the bride struggled to be organized, despite my best efforts, and some how wound up with a list of 100 things that still needed to be done one day before the wedding!

One of my loves in life is weddings.  I decided after our wedding that I might enjoy doing some wedding planning/coordinating on the side of teaching.  I won't be one of those people you see on TLC who is able to design everything, but I enjoy helping the selection and organization process of it all.  My friend Janae was kind enough to let me test my skills at her wedding and rehearsal, and things went well.  So, when a friend asked if I would be interested in helping from the start with a cousin's wedding, I was excited, and said I would do it for free (crazy I know) since it was my first one from the start.  Little did I know she would change her mind a thousand times and end up being so unorganized.

Some of you are probably bored, so let me just get to the day before the wedding.  Keep in mind that she and I had already met and planned for 20+ hours over the last 6 months.  I show up Thursday to begin the set up process for the reception expecting to see some strong young men, boxes that were labeled and organized, and possibly more than five people, including myself, but that expectation ended up being unrealistic.  Despite the unorganized state of the set up and the overwhelming list of to-dos we got it knocked out.  I was very frustrated because I checked in with her frequently to see if she had questions or needed anything from me, and she repeatedly told me no.   Some of our set backs Thursday could have been prevented has she told me she needed help, and I would have gladly taken care of them.

Trying to move this post along because I can sense your bordom, let me just tell you to envision anything that could go wrong before a wedding, and it probably did.  Including things like having to buy flowers at 8:00p.m. the night before the wedding, the groom getting so drunk the night before his big day that he doesn't remember how he got the huge scratches on his face, half of the wedding guests showing up 15 minutes into the ceremony, finding out 30 minutes before the wedding that the bride decided she needed to run to Wal-Mart, discovering the groomsmen and groom drinking IN THE CHURCH before the wedding, and the list could go on, but I think you get the point. In the end they were married and things turned out nicely.  Here are a few pictures of things I helped do at the reception.  If you want more details feel free to ask.

One of the center pieces I made

Close up of the other center piece I made.

Candy Favor Table

Delicious Fruit Table

Guest Book Table

And that is the end of my pictures, I was too busy doing other things to snap any more.

The first part of this week was spent with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law in St. Louis for the ICRS convention.  (click ICRS to learn more about it).  Sara and I were there to help Jennifer out with whatever she needed.  It was so much fun to spend time together, and it reminded me just how blessed I am to have such wonderful in-laws.  God gave me one of the huge desires of my heart when He gave me Stinson's family!  Anyway, Sara and I met lots of authors, picked up way too many books, and even got ourselves into a little trouble with the ICRS police!  I think you may recognize the people in the picture with us.  

Well, I am off to work my way through my piles of new acquired books!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Longest Blogging Vacation Ever

I am sure that by now many of you have given up on me and my blog, but I am vowing to make a come back starting TODAY! I finally found the will power to sit down and write about what is going on around the Dean household. I am going to try my hardest not to lull you to sleep with the things in our lives, but I have to warn you, your eyes may be overwhelmed with pictures.

The reason I have been away for so long is wrapping up the school year takes a lot of energy, it takes even more energy when you started two summer school classes for a graduate degree on top of it. Then it takes about two weeks of sleep to have a fully recovered brain that is ready to put into words what has been going on.

We are making progress with the house. While ripping out the mountain of ivy in the backyard we discovered a cement patio slab. We both shouted with glee when we made this discovery because this was something that we were going to put in, hurray for saving time and money! Also, we uncovered a small bomb shelter underneath. Stin made me climb down there to check it out. Nothing but nasty spiders and lots of wet dirt. Stin was disappointed not to find any hidden treasure in it. Here are a few pictures of the progress we have made out front.

Stinson and I are both hard at work with grad school classes.  Over the duration of the summer I will be working on completing four classes.  I had forgotten how much reading and work goes into college classes.  I am enjoying my classes a lot and learning some interesting things.  I have already found a few things that I will be able to take back to my class in the fall.   Stinson is into his first MBA class, and he is loving it.  In addition to going to class he has been busy running football camps up at MidAmerica.  He is enjoying taking ownership of running some of the camps, and loves working with the players.  He is also helping run summer work out for the MNU players.  The dogs and I enjoy heading up to campus to walk around the track while he does his coaching thing.   The summer is flying by!

Our biggest news is that we have another dog!  Stinson has been wanting a big dog, so at the end of May we ventured over to Wayside Waifs to find a dog.  We fell in love with one, and now he and Mia are the best of friends.  Our new dog's name is Jake, and he is big.  He is about 80 pounds.  We think he is a lab, German Shepard, Rottweiler mix.  He has the personality of a lab, and is so sweet.  I think I will end this post with some pictures of the dogs.  I know there is a lot more I could put in here, but I am sure you are ready to be done reading!  More to come in the next few days!  FYI we have turned into those people who talk about their dogs ALL THE TIME!

Newest Family Member Jake

Jake loves Maggie and Mia, especially Mia

How do you not fall in love with this face?

Maggie enjoying some sun in the laundry room

And of course Miss Mia, don't you want to just kiss her cute face?!

Hope all is well with you.  I vow to be a much better blogger, at least for the summer!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Slightly Absent

I apologize for not being around lately.  Spring is here and when spring comes things seem to really pick up.  The last two weeks I have been overing over my students shoulders as they take their state assessment, kicking and screaming on the inside at a few of their answers, and the fact that I can't believe they missed that question because it is something we have talked about the whole year!  But now that is behind me and it is on to keeping them focused on the fact that we will be in school until June 2.  They about pushed me off the cliff to join the teachers who have lost their mind, but thankfully the bell rang and they went home for the weekend!  I left them with some serious consequences should things not improve by Monday at 4p.m., we'll see how they respond.

Last weekend was like an episode of Tool Time around our house.  Adrian and Stinson were busy learning how to put up new gutters and assembly a work bench.  While they boys were hard at work with tools, I was busy ripping out all of the ivy in front of the house.  After two hours and three yard wast bags I felt like I had made some progress.  Then I looked at all of the stuff we have to dig out before I can put in all of the flowers I want.  The back yard will be our major project this summer.  Enjoy some pictures from our home inprovement weekend.

Oh, I forgot to metion that last weekend, Stinson achieved one of his life long goals, holding a wild snake.  In the middle of ripping out ivy this little guy slithered by and scared me half to death.  Of course I screamed, the boys came running, and decided they needed to pick it up!  Yuck!

Our Little Friend

Stinson and the Snake


The Gutter Men

Stinson really is Tim the Tool Man Taylor!

My weekend project before I started


All of the stuff I ripped waiting to be picked up by the yard waste people

Work Bench

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Praying for Grace

So recently God has called me to help co-lead a bible study at church...... at first I was excited, then I was nervous, and now I praying for huge amount of grace and courage.  The last few month I have had the opportunity to grow in the Lord with some amazing women, and I have seen God begin to really work on the deeper issues of  my heart.  The leader of my study recently approached me and said she felt that God was prompting her to ask me about co-leading the study with her.  After several weeks of prayer, I felt the Lord calling me out of my comfort zone to step up to the challenge.

We will be working through Max Lucado's Fearless study.  After meeting tonight I am excited, but also nervous.  I know that in embracing the co-leader role I am going to be stepping out meeting more people and really opening myself up.  I know that God will give me the grace I need to fulfill what He has called me to do, but the anticipation of it beginning seems to be pressing on my shoulders.

Through this study I can feel that God is going to bless me with new friendships, as well as to take my relationship with him to a new level.  If you think of me, would you say a few prayers that I am open to God's voice and His plan for this study?!  I know I am going to need all of the prayers I can get.