Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why I do What I do

Way back in June I wrote this post.

I want to share it as my slice today because it still reigns true for me.  This week, getting back in my classroom, I was again reminded of why I do what I do.  Yes, teaching can be exhausting and challenging and emotional, but it is good.

Be blessed today as you teach.  I know my corporation is headed into Spring Break after today.  If that's the case for you, let it refuel you to finish out the year.  If you are just coming off Spring Break, I pray that you are rejuvenated as you head back with your students next week.  Remind yourself why you do what you do.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A crazy change in plans

Spring Break is just 2 days away.  I was super excited because I had NO PLANS for the first time in a few years.  I was going to stay home, read, do some Spring cleaning, etc.

Now, I am leaving right after school tomorrow to head to Arkansas with my dad.  CRAZY!

We are actually taking a much needed trip to see my grandparents.  Grandpa was just in the hospital with some heart issues.  He was released yesterday, his 87th birthday, and dad really wants to go see him.  My family didn't want dad to have to go alone so I get a little trip with my dad.

I could've been upset that my plans were changed.  Actually before I started my Fight Club I would've been upset.  Now I am seeing what a blessing it is that I will get some special time with my dad and I get to see my grandparents.

God is good.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comment-goodness to three other slicers.

It's good be back

My student teacher finished on Friday.  It was so good to be back in the classroom, but time FLIES!  Amazing to me that in a few weeks I could totally be adjusted to a different routine.  I spent my days helping in other classrooms, pulling reading groups, eating rather than inhaling my lunch.  It was a great time.  I learned so much from my colleagues.  But, I am glad to be back in my classroom.  I'm just not glad that time seems to disappear when I am teaching.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Technology makes me want to scream

My internet was down all afternoon and evening yesterday.  It worked just fine in the morning.  I got to school (school got cancelled), did some work, then came home to do some work here at home.

And my internet was down!

I had plans, things to do, writing to post, thoughts to share.

God had other plans.

I spent the day just relaxing, not worrying about making a post or reading the news or checking in on the Fight Club page.  I just relaxed.  I even took a nap.

I am enjoying the SOL challenge, but I am also learning that it's okay to miss a day.  I needed to learn that.  I am too eager to "compete", often times getting worried or stressed.

So, while I truly did want to scream at my internet (and actually may have screamed) just a tiny bit, I am grateful for an afternoon and evening of rest.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bus Testimonies

5 Leaders and 35 teens sharing testimonies on a bus.  Picture it!

In January I joined the youth team at my church.  I am still getting the hang of things.  I had the opportunity to go on a short missions weekend in November and was introduced to bus testimonies.

What are bus testimonies, you ask?  Well on the drive home we take time for every person on the bus to give a short testimony about the trip.  It is AWESOME!

Now, there were 40 of us limited to 30 seconds each...that takes some time.  Everyone shares.  EVERYONE!  We had to share 2 highlights of the trip.  Some testimonies were short, some quiet, some lengthy, some general, some specific.  But they all had one thing in common.  We learned that God works in each of our lives, in personal ways, and sometimes not in the actual conference that we went to.  I would say that the majority of us shared something about the impact of relationships.

I was encouraged.  Bus testimony time might have been my favorite part of the whole trip!

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

power of prayer

Prayer is powerful.

One of my favorite times at a youth conference is prayer time.  There is power in seeing a huddle, big or small, of teens and leaders in prayer.

God hears everyone one of them.  Spoken.  Unspoken.  He hears them.

This morning, as the girls are waking from a short night of sleep, there is joy.  Joy that prayer was answered.

Prayer for physical healing,
emotional victory,
spiritual refreshment.

Prayer is powerful!

How can I pray for you?

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

broken down bus

I am on my way to Oasis in Columbus, OH. The youth bus broke down.   While we  were parked on  the side of the road, a lady from a nearby church saw us and stopped by to help.  She contacted her church and got their bus.  They graciously transported 40 of us to their church and are letting us hang in the youth oom.

Its good to know that good people still do good things.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Friends and Family

Tonight was a night of family and friends.  I'm still with my friends :)

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


i long for

it stays away
far away
lost in thoughts
stirring, swirling thoughts

oh, where are you


WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Monday, March 18, 2013


What a challenge this week for my Fight Club.  There is much put right on me and I am terrified of failing.  Primarily our physical challenges.  In weeks past there has been an assignment for each day.

This week, it is all up to me.  

How hard will I push myself?
Will I do it or strike out?

Time to lay that fear down and get off my butt to do something about it.  Be faithful!

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Magic Blanket


I received a gift from my great grandma when I was born.  It is a blanket, but not just your ordinary baby blanket.  Nope.  This blanket is big, HUGE.  And it is pink.  It has been my magic blanket for over 32 years.

My great grandma was a super special woman in my life.  She loved with a quiet love.  She served others with a heart of gold.  She baked, anything and everything!  And she made us some very memorable things.

I treasure the blanket that she made for me.  It has traveled many places, accompanied me during many naps, provided warmth, comfort, and security.

Over the years it has had some serious wear.  Parts had become super thin and holey.  My grandma (great gma's daughter) gave my blanket some love.  She put a new backing on it, over the original so that I would still have it.  She also added a silky pink edge.  Not long after that surgery, the front panels began to tear.  My dear friend, Shannon, put a new front panel on my blanket.  She also did a bit of reconstruction.  She took the entire blanket apart, realigned every piece (old and new), and machine sewed every part back together.   She added one very special touch.  She cut a corner from the original backing and sewed it on the outside.

I love it.  My blanket is super thick.  It is thick with material, memories, and love.  Here's to another 32 years!

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Double Feature

Friday, March 15
(this post was ready last night, but I was without internet service)

Carnival city! 

Tonight was the school carnival at my school.  It was 2.5 hours of crazy family fun!  There is something about seeing the entire school community coming together and having a great time.  My favorite part is that families were together.  That is a great thing to see in my school doesn't happen too often.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Saturday, March 16

Fight Club Night

We had a Fight Club sleepover last night.  It was a blast!  Being a single person, I relish time with others.  Last night I was a night of just being girls.  We laughed, played in a pool, played games, giggled, and stayed up way late!  I was reminded of all the fun girl time I have been blessed to have in my life. 

Today I am exhausted and will probably take a MAJOR nap!

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to at least three other slicers.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Life's Not Fair

Here is my true heart tonight.  It is heavy with a burden to pray for a family that is so near and dear to my heart, my best friend's family.

You see, this family is expecting a new member soon (mama is 29 weeks pregnant).  What a blessing!  Baby is growing, kicking, turning, hiccupping, being loved more and more with each day.  But, baby has some problems.  His heart is underdeveloped, growing outside of his body, and his lungs are not developed.

This family is off to meet with a pediatric cardiologist tomorrow.  And I can't help but pray.

God tells us, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20)

I got to see this beautiful family (mom, dad, big brother) tonight.  The entire time I wrestled with the thought Life's not fair.  This mom and dad are two of the most faithful, God-fearing people that I know.  They love the Lord and live for HIM.  Why, oh why is this happening.

Then I thought of that mustard seed faith.  I must tap into that tonight.  I must pray and pray and pray, believing that I serve a God who can move mountains!  A God who can heal!

I ask that you be praying for this family. Pray that they would have a safe trip tomorrow.  Pray that they would ask the right questions.  Pray that they would be clear in mind to hear what the doctors have to say.  Pray for this baby boy, that he would be healed.  Pray that he would grow stronger each day.



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I miss my kiddos

I have a student teacher right now.
He is GREAT!  He is in his 7th week (out of 8).  He has really grown and learned and found his place in the classroom.
The past week I have been out of my classroom (minus proctoring ISTEP). 

I miss my kiddos.

Today, I got to cover the class for a bit while my student teacher met with his college supervisor.  It was a little slice of heaven.  We didn't do anything extraordinary.  At least, not for the kids.  They had some work time.

For me, it was glorious.  I found myself missing the conversations, joking, learning, and love that happens in my classroom. 

I am glad that Mr. Adams is doing so well.

But...I miss my kiddos.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comment-goodness to three other slicers.

Monday, March 11, 2013

An exciting rematch...

Tomorrow night.
Uconn vs. ND
a championship fight

I'm nervous already
Got my Huskies t-shirt
ready for school

I might not sleep tonight
I'll be distracted all day
My stomach will churn

Here's to my Huskies
Championship is one game away!

 WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comment-goodness to three other slicers.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The 1/2 Way Point

I am half way there!  Where is that, you ask? 

I am half way through my Fight Club Pink!

No, it is not an underground club where women fight.  I could never do that!  hahaha!  It is a challenged through my church.  It started 5 weeks ago and we have 5 weeks left.  Each week we have spiritual, physical, emotional, and lifestyle challenges.  We have ground rules and 4 things we have to fast from during the 10 weeks.  Breaking a rule, breaking a fast, or not completing challenges results in a strike.  3 strikes, you're out!

It has been good, great at times.  I am getting stronger.  I am learning to love being a daughter of God.  I am becoming more disciplined with my time.  I am staying committed, even when it gets really hard!

 WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comment-goodness to three other slicers.

Saturday, March 09, 2013


It was love at first sight.  A little over 3 years ago, the most precious thing came into my home.  He was sweet, inquisitive, snuggly, and playful.  He would curl up on my lap, with his favorite blue blanket in tow. 

Today he is still that same sweet, inquisitive, snuggly, and playful guy.  And he still likes to curl up on my lap with a blanket, his head is the only thing that fits.  Because...HE WEIGHS 160 POUNDS! 

Linus is my bull mastiff who is more mastiff than bull.  He is the most gentle giant I have ever known.  He has grown to be a very obedient, loyal, loving, and protective friend.  Everyone in the neighborhood loves him.  When we go for walks, he must stop so that he can say hi to his friends (humans and dogs).  He gets excited when my family comes to visit.  He jumps and barks and twists with joy!

I honestly could not imagine my life without my puppy.  We have had some great times and I look forward to many more.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comment-goodness to three other slicers.

Friday, March 08, 2013

March Madness!

I love March for 2 reasons: green and basketball!  You see, today I put up my March bulletin board.  It's not completely done because it is waiting for the beloved NCAA tournament brackets.

Each year, I get to share my love of basketball with the kiddos in my class.  We talk about statistics, probability, and "Cinderella stories" in the world of basketball.  We take time to review the basketball season, go over each team's record, and discuss the level of competition that they have had.

Then we fill out our brackets.  Most of my kids have never done anything like it before.  Anyone who is part of our classroom family fills one out (students, teachers, the principal, student teacher...).

Next, they get hung on the bulletin board with two blank brackets in the middle.  These are where I fill in the actual tournament results for men and women, even though we only fill out the men's bracket as a class.  As the tournament progresses, I mark each bracket.  Every win earns a point.

This bulletin board becomes the hub of 5th grade for the month.  It is exciting to hear the kids talk about basketball, talk about their choices, and see who picks the right teams.

The winner gets a 2L of their choice.  Nothing too fancy, but they love.

I love basketball.  More than that, I love sharing my love of basketball with my students!

Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge 2013. Feel free to grab this button and use it on your classroom blog. Happy slicing.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Just a day

Today was the day after a snow day.
No delay.
No extra sleep..
No extra time in my jammies.

It was a day.
ISTEP took place.
I had lunch with the girls from my class.
We laughed like girls do.

Math was math
nothing too crazy.

It was a day.
It was a GOOD day.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comment-goodness to three other slicers.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Snow Day

Snow day
french toast
snow angels
hot chocolate
Snow day
WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comment-goodness to three other slicers.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Almost the BEST night of my life...

I love basketball!  I mean, I LOVE BASKETBALL.  This is my favorite time of the year...MARCH MADNESS is upon us.  For years (like over half of my life) I have been a HUGE Connecticut Women's Basketball fan.  I was a fan before I even knew how great they are.  I have been a fan through the good times and bad (which are few and far between).  Even more than that, I am just a fan of basketball.

I live about 45 minutes away from Notre Dame.  My dad and I have tried to catch a few games there over the past couple of years, especially when Uconn comes town.  However, the last 2 years, we have missed the Uconn game due to it being sold out.  This year was different.  This year we got season tickets, despite not really being ND fans.  We just LOVE basketball, good basketball.

Tonight was the highlight of the season....Uconn was in town.  So much was on the line for the game tonight.  ND beat Uconn earlier in the season, an overtime game, Uconn lost by 1 point!  Tonight did not let me down.  Tonight's game was a triple overtime game.  Uconn had several chances to win at the end of regulation, the end of OT #1, and the end of OT #2.  Their chances were so good that about 15% of the fans LEFT THE GAME!

But, darn that ND team.  The third OT was the charm and they ended up winning by 10.  The score did that game NO JUSTICE.  It was so much closer.  I was yelling and cheering and sweating and worrying that my heart was going to burst out of my chest throughout the whole game.

So, it was almost the best night of my life...had Uconn won, it would have been.  I still love my Huskies and I still LOVE basketball.  I felt like a kid tonight.  I got to watch MY TEAM play some pretty great basketball.  My heart hurts for their loss (and the fact that ND won the regular season Big East title).  But true March Madness begins next weekend.  I'm sure you'll be hearing more from me!

Uconn in their pregame huddle.  

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comment-goodness to three other slicers.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

My New Nemesis!

This is my new nemesis.  I will conquer this, yes I will.  In honor of Fight Club Pink, I will hula hoop!!!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Derby Cars

I got to build a pinewood derby car and "race" it today.  My brother is a scout leader and my nephew is in scouts.  It is so fun to be part of their world for a bit.  We had a blast!  My new car was horrible...not very fast at all.  But I don't care, I had so much fun!

Friday, March 01, 2013

Slice of Life

Thanks to my sweet friend, Ruth, I shall be participating in this month's Slice of Life Challenge via her wordpress site found here

To begin, today was pajama day at my school.  Everyone was in their jammies and everyone looked happy.  It really is the small things.  I love being in my jammies.  There is comfort in my jammies.  What is it about those plaid flannel pants, an old t-shirt, and big hoodie, and slippers?  I think for me, I feel most like me in them.  I am a pretty laid back, easy-going, comfortable person.  I like my jammies. 

Saturday, February 09, 2013

I'm a fighter!

I'm a fighter now.  I'm fighting to be a better Dina. 

My church, Vineyard, started a fight club for women.  It is 10 weeks of spiritual, physical, emotional, and lifestyle challenges.  Each week presents new challenges as we (there are 50+ women) strive to better our whole selves.  We have to fast from 4 things: Facebook, alcohol, scales, and a personal choice.  I chose to give up music/tv when I sleep.  It was a really rough week to start with.  I wasn't sleeping much because it was too quiet.  Already though I have learned to just ask God to bring me sleep.  I have had some of the BEST sleep of my life!  We also have rules and breaking a rule results in a strike (3 strikes and you're out).  So, it is a true CHALLENGE!

Each week we are focusing on a different fruit of the spirit.  This week, the focus was on love.  I will share what I posted on our website:

Daddy's  Girl
      I am a daddy's girl and I am proud of it.  Over the last year I have been on a journey.  That journey has involved taking stock of my relationship with my dad.  I have a wonderful dad.  He has been my hero for as long as I can remember.  I have never questioned his love, support, encouragement, or heart for me in over 32 years...NOT ONCE!
      As I settled in Tuesday night for my quiet time, I reminisced the evening.  Dad and I had gone to a basketball game (something we do's our thing).  Dad had gone to get some water.  An acquaintance came into the game and asked if I came to the game without dad.  I replied, "I'm a daddy's girl when it comes to basketball.  You should know that I don't do this without him."  I chuckled as did the other person.  That was that.
      Back to my quiet time...I was listening to "come away" by Jesus Culture.  The line "open up your heart, and let me in" began to resonate with me.  I kept thinking of that phrase, daddy's girl.  I thought about my relationship with my dad and how it is different from my relationship with God.  And God spoke to my heart.
      "When will you be THIS daddy's girl?  When will you open up your heart to let ME in?"  That was my question.  My heart broke.  Never, NEVER, have I doubted my relationship with my earthly father.  NEVER have I questioned his love or caring for me.  But, too often I question those things about my heavenly Father.  His LOVE is unconditional, unfailing, timeless, limitless.  Yet, I struggle and I question, and I put limits on God's love for me.
      So, my purpose for the next 10 weeks is to become a Daddy's girl!  I want to see God as the ULTIMATE daddy in my life and learn to not doubt Him.  I know that it is going to require me to seek God out, to view the Lord through new eyes, and to focus on love even after this week.  But, I am so ready for it!

 I am nervous, excited, and anxious about the next 9 weeks (this is the end of week 1).  If you have questions I would be happy to answer them.  And your prayers would be appreciated as I continue this journey.