Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I See Travel in Your Future...

I have another interview. This time in Greenbrier. It's a little town about fifteen miles north of Conway, and it's about an hour from my parent's house. Now what's interesting about this is I almost applied there last year. There was an opening for an elementary music teacher at the other elementary school, and I really felt like I was supposed to apply, but I didn't because mom had her unfortunate circumstances with her eye. Anyway, I'm traveling to Batesville Sunday after church, and my interview is Monday at 10:00 AM. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fundraiser Friday and Sunbathing Saturday

How do you raise money for a school? You host a men's night and charge $100 a ticket for entrance. Yes, I said $100 per ticket. Friday night I helped out Nancy with an event she was running. Nancy is part of an amazing side business called Ease the Day Event and Party Planning (e-mail me if you're in need of an event coordinator, I'll give you her number!). She asked a few weeks ago if I would be willing to help her, and of course I said yes. The event was Men's night, and the men definitely had a night. I think I've decided I want to be Catholic. They sure know how to throw a party at St. Joe's! There were hundreds of guys there, eating steak fromcooked by Nick from Herman's (one of the best steakhouses in the area, and Nick is from Herman's not the steak), drinking beer, smoking cigars, and bidding on silent/live auction items like a trip for four to a Notre Dame game (private plane included), Lasik eye surgery, cosmetic surgery from Dr. Taylor, and a stay in a Chateau in Switzerland, all on the school parking lot. Crazy, huh? I don't think I have ever seen men throw away money like it was nothing. I was amazed, as were all the girls working the auction table with me. But, if Nancy asks me to do it again next year, I'm totally going to say yes! It was the most fun I've had on a Friday night in a long time.

Since it was such a beautiful day here in NWA, Jamie and Rachel and Jim and Emily and I decided to forgo the Springfest Festival on Dickson Street, ignore the pre-game festivities of our beloved football Razorbacks, and instead go sit in a dark, temperature controlled theater and watch a movie. I know, crazy right? We saw the new movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. Now, this movie is not for the faint of heart... or the person with sensitive ears. There's a lot of crude humor, a little rough language, and a few shots of the full monty. Even with all the crudeness, it was still a very funny movie, and I will probably see it again when it comes out on video. After the movie, we headed to the Flying Burrito, one of Fayetteville's local restaurants. We all ate way too much and then decided to sit outside in the amazing sun and pretend we were in Florida. It almost worked, except for the fact we were sitting on College Avenue listening to cars and motorcycles rather than on a beach listening to waves and birds (yes Rachel, there will probably be birds on the beach). Anyway, I had a great couple of days that provided a great relief from the stress of my every day problems.

Oh, and by the way, congratulations to Darren McFadden and Felix Jones! D-Mac went fourth in the NFL draft and will be playing for the Oakland Raiders and Felix the Cat went twenty-second overall to the Dallas Cowboys. Congratulations guys!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's My Favorite Day Ever!

Okay, so not for real, but Grey's Anatomy and Lost returned with new episodes tonight. Ahh, I love TV!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How'd they go?

Well, both interviews today went alright. Neither one was a ten minute must-do like Farmington was. The interview with Mrs. Ellington at Garfield was interesting. I really like the atmosphere of the school. It reminded me a lot of a couple of the school districts around Batesville, like Cushman and Mount Pleasant- small, local schools that the parents attend and probably the grandparents attended as well. The principal told me that the music position in the past has been a great stepping stone for other full-time employment with the district. And several times she's hired someone, only to have that person snatched up by another school for a full-time position. The sad thing is, even at half-time, the teaching job would still be making more than I make at the University.

Jones Elementary reminded me a lot of my elementary school. I went to East Elementary in Jonesboro for seven years (K-6). It's an older building, but the kids there were just adorable. And completely curious! When I arrived, they were just finishing dismissing classes for the day. I always forget how much I love being around children. They are just such positive rays of sunshine that brighten my day and bring about a whole different side to my personality. I become patient and loving; I basically get a heart! (I'm totally joking, by the way!)
Mrs. Flora said there were a lot of people interested in this job. Who knew there were so many people interested in teaching elementary music? She and Ms. Fink were very nice, and we all asked each other a lot of questions. Like an idiot though, I did take some sinus medicine about an hour before the interview. It was either that, or have my eyes tear all over her desk! Anyway, she finished her questions and then asked me to fill in any blanks that she hadn't asked. I went in to a few techniques I use for teaching, like Dalcroze and Kodaly. I asked about the classroom, and somehow we started talking about technology, which lead me to tell her about a grant program Best Buy does to get technology in the classroom. She did seem impressed that I knew that, and I even told her how to find the grant application.
So, in other words, I have no idea what is going to come from the interviews today. I'm not a good judge of interviews. If I think they go well, I never hear another word about it. I know that I have put my trust in God and this is all in His hands. Thank you to everyone who has been praying. I really appreciate and know that your time will not be returned to you void!

Interview Day Live Blogging!

Well, not technically "live" blogging, but close.

6:45 am Alarm clock wakes me up

8:05 am Walking out the door

8:50 am Walking into Garfield Elementary

9:00 am Meet with Mrs. Ellington

10:05 am Walking out of Garfield Elementary after a great interview

10:08 am Pelted by heavy, blinding rain while pulling out of parking lot

10:50 am Walking into my apartment

10:55 am Started washing machine to wash incredibly wet clothing

12:01 pm Checking e-mail

12:15 pm Spoke with Erin on the phone (She wanted to know details and wished me luck)

2:00 pm Nap time

2:50 pm Waking up from nap/ touch up make-up & hair

3:15 pm Check mail (Tami's recommendation letter arrived!)

3:20 pm Heading north to Springdale

3:32 pm Arrived at Jones Elementary

3:45 pm Interview with Mrs. Flora and Ms. Fink

4:25 pm Exit Jones Elementary after an alright interview

4:30 pm Headed to Cave Springs for dinner and some babysitting!

Newton's Third Law of Alma Mater

I was talking to a friend last night, and she told me that every time she hears the University of Arkansas Alma Mater she thinks of me. Huh? That's exactly what I said. She then told me a story that I have no recollection of, but I can totally see it happening.

She said that, ages ago, when she was a lonely freshman attending the big, bad University of Arkansas, she was having a hard day. We were at band practicing the Alma Mater pregame drill, and since it was probably Early Week or close to the first week of classes, she was still trying to make friends. We took a break and she said that while getting water, I walked over to her and asked how she was doing. Since she had on sunglasses, I never noticed the tears in her eyes. She said that I sat there and talked with her, and she honestly felt better after that. And now, every time she hears the Alma Mater, she thinks of me.

Now, I honestly cannot remember this at all, but it made an impression on her. My friend, you have no idea how much I needed to hear that story. It made me realize that even though I am doing something as insignificant as shooting the breeze at rehearsal, I am impacting some one's life. I hope that my witness shines bright for all to see!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Say a Little Prayer for Me...

I have two interviews Tuesday. One is at Garfield Elementary in Rogers. This is a very small school, with only 138 students. The music teacher position is only half-time, but it would get my foot in the door. My second of the day is at Jones Elementary in Springdale. This school is 95% free/reduced meal, and a majority of the student population is Hispanic or Marshalese. And Rachel told me last week that Bentonville will probably not do any hiring until the first of AUGUST because the mileage increase didn't happen the way the school board wanted it to. Anyway, keep me in your prayers. The Rogers interview is at 9:00AM (I get to fight the crazy traffic north in the morning) and Springdale is at 3:45PM. I'm taking the day off from the office, but I'll check my e-mail throughout the day. I'll keep everyone posted!

Whatcha listening to?

Several people have come in today and commented on my music playing on my computer this morning. I use AccuRadio at work. It works a little better than streaming radio stations off your media player. At least I think so. I'm listening to the Magic Sunny Light Mix today. It's nice to hear something other than what's on my iPod sometimes, and without annoying DJ's or commercials! Plus there's all kinds of music, from Broadway to Classic, Beatles to heavy metal, you name it, it's there. I also use this station at Christmas time for some great Christmas music. And the best part besides being easy to use and sounding great.... IT'S FREE!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

God's Never Gonna Leave!

Last Friday night, I was traveling to Batesville. Now, I hate traveling in the dark as much as my dad does, and it has nothing to do with bad night vision. One of my greatest fears in life is deer jumping out in front of my car. It terrifies me. When I see the light reflected off the eyes of a deer on the side of the road, my heart races and I begin breathing hard. I think what bothers me most about these creatures is their lack of common sense. Common sense would tell you to stand still and let the moving vehicle go by, or if you're standing in the middle of the road, to move out of the way as fast as you can. Deer unfortunately were not given this common sense. They would prefer to jump into your path as you are driving down the road or freeze if they are already in the road. Even typing about this has my heart rate raised a little.
But God told us that he would never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). And I believe that. On my trip home, I was traveling through some dark, heavily forested roads, where I had on previous trips seen deer. I felt my body growing tense, and noticed that I was looking left and right like crazy. Then, my iPod started playing Jeremy Camp's recording of "Trust in You" and I thought, wow, there's no reason for me to panic like this. I know that God has His protection all around me and because I am His child, I have nothing to fear. Isn't that a great thought? And when I started thinking about it even more, I realized that I have nothing to fear about anything, because God's there. Whether I'm driving down a dark forested road trying not to panic because of deer or I'm so unsure about how my life will turn out with job searches and finances, I know that I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)! I know that my God is there and will never hang me out to dry. I will always have someone on my side, to love and protect me, even when the world has let me down time and time again. Even when a deer, with no common sense, is standing on the side of the road, I have nothing to fear, because my God is with me.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and a sound mind.

Trust In You
Written by Scott Krippayne
Recorded by Jeremy Camp

When I can’t see You I know You’re there
When I can’t feel You I will not fear
I will trust in You and I will not be afraid.

When the battle is close at hand
Though You’re with me and help me stand
I will trust in You and I will not be afraid.

I will not be afraid
I will trust in you

When the darkness is close at hand
And I‘m running against the wind
I will trust in you and I will not be afraid.
When I’m standing upon that shore
All the battles I’ve gone before
I will trust in you, and I will not be afraid.

'Cause I will not be afraid
I will trust in you

Look at these!

I want these shoes! I don't know if I could wear them for too long a time period, but I want them. They are so cute, and completely out of my price range. Too bad. They're adorable! Now, if someone wants to buy them for me, I wear a size 9.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I haven't heard anything from Fayetteville yet, but I did get a call today from the principal at Jones Elementary in Springdale. I have an interview scheduled for April 22nd. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Funerals are weird, aren't they?

This is going to be long. Sorry!

I never really thought about how strange a funeral ceremony really is. I've always thought visitations were weird. Sitting in a room at a funeral home, the pungent smell of carnations everywhere, and the relative who is no longer living, lying repose in a coffin for all to stare out. Yep, that's always creeped me out a little. But the ceremony in and of itself is very strange too. Going to a church (or a funeral home if no church is available), placing the coffin with the reposing relative at the front of the auditorium, and then conducting a service, with preaching and singing just like Sunday morning service. I know the service is supposed to make the family feel better and present them with an opportunity to say goodbye, but it's still weird to be sitting in a room, staring at a box where my dead relative is no longer living. I know, I'm weird and I have no heart.

At my uncle's funeral last week, I didn't get to go to visitation (I had to work), but I did make it to the funeral. I was sad, but I didn't cry. In fact, I think I smirked through the entire service, because all I could think about was how Uncle Bob was seeing Aunt Allene for the first time in five years. Seriously, I would have loved to have seen that reunion! I miss my Aunt Allene a lot. Especially her Chinese pork she made! But Uncle Bob's funeral was very small and held at the funeral home rather than a church. There was no live music, everything was a recording played over the sound system, poorly mind you. Rev. Jim Black, a long time friend and colleague of my aunt and uncle, officiated and did a good job. But because my uncle remarried, Rev. Black was not able to speak about many of the great times he had with my aunt and uncle.

But that's neither here nor there. The best part was what my mother called "The Case of the Travelling Flowers." At visitation, a lady (who shall remain nameless) walked into the parlor with a Wal-Mart bag, took out the $3.99 blue flower arrangement she had just purchased, and stuck them in a beautiful arrangement of red tulips. The faux flowers looked kind of like this, but with plastic BLUE flowers. Seriously, she STUCK her cheap blue plastic flowers in an expensive pot of red tulips. Now, the person who sent the tulips, came in and saw this hideous monstrosity and promptly removed them from her flowers... and put them in a pot with yellow tulips. The person who sent the yellow tulips saw the aberration in her pot of flowers, and moved them to a pot with pink tulips (there were a lot of tulips at this funeral). My mother, sitting on the sidelines, watched this and I think she even had to leave because she started laughing so hard! Oh, I think I would have been with her on this one!

During the processional to the cemetery, I got to ride with my brother. Jonathan is a Deputy for the Independence County Sheriff's Office, so he was in his patrol car. I hate to say this, but that was the coolest thing ever! Well, we reached the cemetery, and my uncle was laid to rest at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, right next to my Aunt Allene. And it all happened without a drop of rain falling on us. Thank God for small blessings, right?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Spring is in the Air, Everywhere I Look Around!

And since spring is here, that means Spring Break. Mom and Dad decided to come visit me Thursday, and since they can't travel alone, Braden came along with them. Oliver was a little stand-offish at first, but eventually he let Braden get close enough to pet him. And with only one scratching incident! I still can't get over how much Braden has grown up over the last few months. Look how big he looks in these pictures!

Dad, Braden, and Mom

Braden with Oliver

Braden leaving my apartment

Blowin' kisses

Mom said that after they got back from church Sunday, Braden asked them when they were going to come back to visit me. Too cute, huh?