Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pic of the Day- January 10, 2013

 It was Candy Meiosis Lab day in AP Biology. I had to take pics in between answering questions about homologs and chiasma, so I did the best I could. Even if you don't know a thing about Meiosis, maybe you can just enjoy that there's a little bit of sweetness in a hard day's work at Hill Country.

Armineh's Prophase had a pretty impressive bunch of spindle fibers forming (the pull and peel Twizzlers)

Preston got artsy (I think to give me something for my pic of the day)
Preston's final artistic product. I took a picture and then reminded him he's not allowed to be tardy to Spanish anymore after leaving the lab. Then he got to work on his Meiosis.
Just let the learning happen.

Matt's version of "I do what I want."
Metaphase according to Olivia.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pic of the Day- January 7, 2013

Today's photo comes to you courtesy of Preston Glace and Jack Horton- two of my AP Biology students. When I got my camera and was playing with the settings, I noticed that you could change things like the "aperture" and the "iso". Not really understanding what this meant, and not really wanting to take the time to figure it out either, I said to Andy- "I'll ask Preston & Jack- they'll know." These two shutter bugs not only have gifted science minds.... I think they had a 98 and 99 respectively for the semester in AP Bio  (and deserve every point) they're both very talented at photography and videography- something that keeps me entertained when I assign video projects throughout the year.

Anyway, they came in today after school, and I practically threw my camera at them. They helped me figure out a few things, and then they played a little with science and photography- what could be a better combo than that!? Thanks for being my stand-in photographers, guys. :)

This paperweight and prism sit out on my main table. Preston thought they looked like a good object to shoot, but I think it was Jack who said we needed a light. And it was me who got the copper wire and batteries for some circuit-making. Certainly not our first go-round with circuits in the science lab. :)

Let there be light!

Then, let there be diffraction.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Pic of the day- January 5, 2013

Today's pic marks the end of six months of conversations where I say to Andy "I really need to join the gym..."

I, like millions of other Americans, am trying to take better care of my body as the new year begins. I'm excited about starting classes at Gold's Gym- especially Zumba and Body Flow, and I'm thinking of trying one of the cycling classes too.

 I want to stretch my muscles regularly, tone up and get my heart rate up- but the main motivation is stress relief. I'm really trying to make some changes in my stress level this year. The past two years have been really unhealthy in terms of my stress level.

I'm thinking of Matthew 11:28-30 often these days, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
After two weeks off work, I'm not feeling too weary and burdened right now, but with school and BSF starting back up, I know that it's easy to become burdened. I've let work rule my life for a year and a half, and I can't do that again this year. I want to come to Jesus and take on His yoke, rather than trying to force things and work, work, work this year. I'm hoping that taking care of my heart, mind and body will help reinforce this relationship with Him. My goal is not to do more, but to do what matters- and that will hopefully mean change in several areas of every day life. 


Pic of the Day- January 4, 2013

Yesterday I didn't have to work, but I still got up at 3:45 AM. Why? BSF leader's meeting- for me, one of the only things on Earth worth getting up at 3:45 for. We start at 5AM sharp, and spend the next two hours praying, training, worshiping together. It's always a little rough getting there, but it's a consistent highlight of my week because I enjoy the fellowship with the other leaders and the value of what I learn there so much.

But when I got home, I went back to bed! Hey, it was my last day of Christmas break, why spend it in the fog of only five hours of sleep?

Before I went to bed, I spent some time talking to the Lord about the anxieties I face as I go back to work on Monday. When I woke, I was singing the hymn "How Firm a Foundation"in my mind (we sang it at leader's meeting this morning), and almost as soon as I was up I began to sing it aloud. Specifically the words, "I'll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand, upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand." I knew that this was God's assurance to me that He will go with me into the new semester, if I will just invite Him.

I thought it was best to give the honor of pic of the day to the words of that great hymn.

And I got up this morning at 4:30 AM- because Andy had BSF leader's meeting and fellowship (his class, like mine, usually meets on Fridays but once a month meets on Saturdays so they can have time to eat breakfast together and share more about what God's doing in their lives). So why was I up? BSF breakfast casserole! I promised Andy that if he would tell me when he had fellowships, I would make a casserole for him to take and share. Last time, I tried to put the whole thing together the morning of the fellowship- and I ended up, literally, in tears, because I ran out of time, and therefore we ate an entire sausage and grits casserole ourselves that weekend. This time, I got wise, and while "Johnny Heisman" stamped out the Sooners last night (Sorry, love) I assembled the casserole, and then baked it this morning. I packed it up in my "Thirty-one" cooler thingy (Thanks Mom) and Andy was off to eat and fellowship and be filled with more than just that casserole this morning.

Thank you, Lord, for Bible Study Fellowship and how You use it in our lives to feed our souls and calm our spirits.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pic of the Day- January 3, 2013

Yesterday was cold and gray in Austin- we don't get too many of those around here. I stayed home in the morning and continued getting things settled before the routine starts up again. One activity was to put away my new nail polish colors that my mom gave me for Christmas. I ended up parading all the colors I have in my "mani/pedi" bag on the side of my bathtub. I liked the way the color contrasted the gray outside, so I took some pictures. Didn't turn out too great, but, it's just fun to play. Afterwards, I painted my nails with the gray essie polish you see in the foreground so that I could match the weather outside. :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

And a few of the humans...

We got our new camera on Christmas day, and spent the next few days trying to figure out the settings. (I'm still working on that) Of course, the doggies were the first place we practiced, and also some objects and landscape stuff, but eventually, we tried to get some pictures of people. That wasn't easy. It doesn't help that my family is camera-shy, and sadly, we left without a family photo, which is something that I really wanted for Christmas! I guess it just means that we will have to make another trip soon. ;)

Actually, Andy & I talked about the fact that we don't want to miss life so that we can get the picture, so I guess trying to figure out how to both enjoy the moment and capture it will be a work in progress. Here's what we've gotten so far...

While I was trying to get the settings right, Andy posed with his arm around "me." I never did get the shot I wanted in front of the tree... Guess I'll have to try again next year.           
Grant doesn't like to have his picture taken, but he is good about taking ours. He said this was the best one he took, and I believe him.

Everyone looking at the camera at once- a Christmas miracle!

"Oh, Andy."
It's been way too long since we've had one of these.
"It's a benchtree." ;)

Doggies on Vacation

"What's this thing do?"
Gatsby lazing about on Christmas day. 

After running around in the woods at Water Oaks Farm, the doggies needed a bath. Gatsby loves the woods.... not so much the bath.

Daisy thinks she might freeze to death.

All snuggled up.

Pic of the Day- January 2

Okay, I'm a day behind on this picture of the day thing- don't expect that will change too much once school starts back either- we'll hope for the best!

The objective of the picture of the day is to try to capture something fun or true about each day. And, like I said in the previous blog, also to encourage us to get out there and find new points of view.

Yesterday, we spent the day putting away the Christmas decorations, doing laundry and getting settled back in after a week away.

All the cheer is being stored away for another year. 
Santas patiently wait their turn to be wrapped and put away.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Newest time of the Year

Yesterday, Andy & I finished our travels back to Texas after a week in North Carolina. My dad is faithful to text us along the journey- something that I would have found tedious and not just a little bit overprotective as a teenager, but that I find loving and generous at 30- good things really do come with age.

Dad would send texts like these-

"Where are you guys now?"
"How's the driving going?"
"How's the traffic?"

And I'd respond with our location and ask questions about what they were up to back at home. It gave me something to think about other than the miles of interstate between our Ford Focus and either of the places that I call "home."

At one point Dad began to tell me how he is already excited about us coming home for next Christmas, which made me chuckle, even with his explanation that it is "The most wonderful time of the year!"

I didn't argue. We did have a wonderful time, and, if God allows it, we will have another wonderful time there in another year. But it made me wonder, and I texted Dad my query- "Then what is this time of year?"

His response-" it's the newest time of the year. "

Obvious, but I pondered the simplicity of the answer. I liked it. I like new- fresh starts, begin-agains, new goals, a start-up project, etc. I've written on here before that I don't like resolutions (too much pressure, too much disappointment when the are never resolved) but I do like new.

Although I did think about 2012 in retrospect for just a moment and was thankful that I wasn't compelled to throw the memories of the year out with the bathwater. God led the way in 2012 in many areas of our lives, and we count ourselves truly blessed and thankful for the peace He allowed in these most recent 365 days. But new.... new gives Him the opportunity to lead even more, and new means experiencing His peace and His presence in the days ahead. New means learning, changing, being transformed. New means giving thanks for the blessings and trusting in the trials. And it will all come in due time, but for now- since it is, as my dad said, "the newest time of the year" and a time that is generally set-apart for new plans- I'll share two new plans I have for my blog this year.

One- I want to spend time focusing on the attributes of God. More to come on why later.

Two- I want to share a photo of the day. My mom and dad gifted us with a fine Olympus camera for Christmas, which we were very thankful for because we haven't had a true camera for over a year. I know I won't add a picture for every day, but I think that adding pictures frequently will help us appreciate the beauty in the little things, and hopefully encourage us to go out seeking new vantage points- in more ways than one.

So what will you do with your new?

Black eyed peas to start off the New Year right!

Andy is enjoying his lunch at the Ole Sawmill Cafe in Forrest City, Arkansas.
Focus runs on gas. Andy runs on coffee.

Our good boy slept most of the miles away- sometimes (like here) he even slept on Daisy!
We stopped for gas just south of Texarkana. We had five hours left, but were eager to get them through. So this is our "dinner"- real food doesn't matter so much when you've been on the road for two days.