Five years.

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Five years.

That’s three moves back and forth to Sussex.

One move back and forth to Moncton.

Two vacations to Manitoba.

Twenty pet rats (no, we didn’t kill that many. We sold them. Haha.)

One foster cat.

One adopted homeless cat.

Five kittens. We kept two. (I wanted all five, but sometimes you have to compromise.)

A whole bunch of pet fish.

Over 150 lbs. of weight lost.

Seasons and seasons and more seasons of television watched.

Video games, and board games, and card games.

Two Internships + Graduation from University.

Online studies.

The opening of my own business.

And through it all?

Love.

Laughter.

Time spent with the best guy I’ve ever known.

Here’s to the rest of our lives together. I love you.

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Five years ago today…

Five years ago today, I was at the church preparing to go into the rehearsal for my wedding when my aunt called my cell phone and said she and my grandmother had missed their flight. They wouldn’t be able to come to my wedding.  More than that, they were supposed to meet my great-aunt and best friend from Japan at the airport and drive them down to Shelburne.  I was so incredibly upset sitting on the steps of the church getting this news.

Everyone started looking for someone who could drive us to Halifax to pick up Auntie Julia and Emika.  Pastor Ed kindly said that he would take us – even though it would mean not getting back until at least 3 A.M. and having to perform the wedding the next day.  Stephen’s Uncle Rob offered to come along, which we very much appreciated.  We rushed through the rehearsal and hit the highway for Halifax. 

We met Auntie Julia at the airport and waited anxiously for Emika’s plane to come in from Japan. I was so happy to see my best friend.  You know someone is a real friend when they find out the date of your wedding a week before and they make the trip from Japan to be there. I am so grateful to her for making that effort.  We all piled into Pastor Ed’s van and hit the road back to Shelburne.  We arrived around 3:30 A.M., dropped off Auntie Julia at her motel, and Emika and me at Stephen’s Aunt Melanie’s, where we stayed that night.  Ed dropped Stephen off at home and we all tried to get some sleep. What an adventure the day before our wedding!

Tugs

R.I.P. Tugs (Aug. 26/11-May 6/13)

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This is Tugs. He has been a great little friend. We’ve raised him since birth and have spoiled him rotten almost as long.  We will definitely miss his silly antics and his little ratty kisses.  He always kept me company while I was on the computer because his cage was right beside me. I am going to miss him very, very much.

Uggs

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This little bald critter was a really good friend to me over the past year and a half. Born August 26, 2011, I raised him and his brother from birth.  Their cage is located right beside my computer desk, so we spend a lot of time together.  His name is Uggs and his brother is Tugs – he has also gone by Ugly (very affectionately), Uggy, and Ugg.  I never thought I would like rats. Let alone love them. This little guy was very instrumental in changing my mind.  He was the only hairless rat in a litter of ten.  At first, we thought he was a runt or had something wrong with him – turns out he just liked the bald look.  As a hairless rat, his whiskers were not straight – they were curly and fuzzy, pointing every which way.  He absolutely loved to eat.  When he was a tiny little fellow, and we still thought he was a runt, he had a special little shoe box lined with a towel which I would take him out of his cage in. He would sit with me while I watched TV, munching on sunflower seeds, cereal, pretty much whatever I would put in his box for him to snack on.  And sometimes on the box, too.  He knew the word “snack” or “treat” from the time he was a little guy and would be the first at the front of the cage to grab whatever I might have for him. His favourite were yogurt drops.  Over the last month or so, he had gone downhill and, as it turned out, had had multiple strokes, which resulted in his not being able to move properly and, eventually, able to move at all.  I felt so bad for this energetic little critter that he wasn’t able to be himself.  We will definitely miss him a lot and so will his big brother. They were always so cute all snuggled up in a corner of the cage together.

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 R.I.P. Uggs. August 26, 2011 – April 1, 2013.

After a week…

After a week…

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I have just completed the first week of a four week placement in a Grade 2 classroom at the local public school. Last year, I fought to get into this school to no avail.  I had pretty much given up on it when the opportunity came up for a class at the Community College that would allow me a four week work placement of my choice. 

Being back in the classroom after over a year was a bit strange at first.  Being in a classroom with almost double the amount of students that I’m used to – that has been a huge adjustment.  A public school classroom is very different from a Christian school classroom in a lot of ways. But, in other ways, it’s just the same. 

I get to work one-on-one with a lot of different kids at different levels with different abilities.  I get to teach in front of a classroom – building on ideas and concepts they already know and introducing new ones.  I get to interact with the other teachers and learn from watching how they interact with the students.  For me, that’s an invaluable opportunity – every teacher has his or her own way of interacting with, disciplining and teaching the students. Every opportunity I get to observe that and learn from it is an opportunity for growth for me.

It’s also been a bit difficult getting used to being “on” all the time.  Over the last year, I have spent so much time not having to interact with people other than my family – something the introverted part of me has really enjoyed. Haha.  I’m not quite used to having to spend so much time talking and interacting, but I’m getting used to it.

I am loving every minute of being back in the classroom. There are still adjustments I need to make, but I feel that growth is good – especially when it will benefit me down the road.  Being able to interact with students and see them learn and grasp concepts is what my heart loves.  It’s what I crave being able to do.

In other news, being in the school has been extremely beneficial to my tutoring business.  I already have another student booked and I spoke today with a mother who wants me to begin tutoring her two daughters.  The teacher that I work with told me about a room in the school that I may be able to use so that I can start tutoring right at the school instead of at the library.  All of these things make me very excited!

Tutoring Website…

I have been working for about a year as a private tutor. I have found it super difficult to find students – mostly because people ask for information and then never write back. Recently, my husband began working on a website for me and it is almost finished! I am going to give all of you a little preview.

This website allows my clients to learn a bit about me, pay for the lessons online, and even get a discount by paying for multiple lessons at once.  This is a capability I haven’t had before – and I’m hoping it’s what will really get me going.

So, without further ado, here’s the link:

http://www.tutoringaid.info

Enjoy! Let me know what you think – or if you might want to book a session (or eight!)! 🙂

48 Questions…

Stole this from Shireen (http://justshireen.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/wont-you-come-see-about-me/), who stole it from Emily (http://designhermomma.com/2013/01/48-questions-answered-and-whatever/). Thought it would be fun – I remember doing many, many of these as a teenager and thought it would also be a good way for my newer followers to get to know me better. Enjoy! 🙂

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
My middle name, Lynn, is the same as my Auntie Debbie’s, except it’s spelled differently (I don’t have an “e” at the end of mine.)

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Last Tuesday. I was trying to rush around because we had a ride to catch. I caught my foot in the sheets on the bottom of our bed and threw myself across the room. Ouchies.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
It’s much better since I had to take handwriting as part of my University education. I seem to get a lot of compliments on it…which is…interesting…

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Macaroni and cheese loaf.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
No, but I have two furbabies. Neko and Bernie. You can read all about them on the blog posts I wrote about them.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
We’d both be too shy to get to know one another. Ha.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
More than I probably should, but not as often as some other people…

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
I have half of one. That’s right. The doctor just couldn’t get that piece so it got left behind during surgery.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Let’s see. Let me think about that. Umh. NO.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Brown Sugar Mini Wheats.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Rarely. Only if I can’t get the shoes off without doing so.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
No. I can barely carry both my cats at the same time. LOL.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Chocolate chip cookie dough.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Clothing and jewelry.

15. RED OR PINK?
Pink.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My lack of confidence.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My family. This whole living away from home thing? It kind of sucks sometimes.

18. WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
Being outgoing.

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Tan coloured Roots slippers my lovely husband gave me for Christmas.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Sobey’s Mexican Take and Bake Pizza. Leftovers from last night’s supper and even more awesome today.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Taylor Swift “22” – I am one country music obsessed chick.

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
White or yellow.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Hawaiian ginger perfume. And I just got the body wash – which is equally as awesome. Also, freshly baked/baking chocolate chip cookies. Mmmm.

24. HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS TO YOU?
Not so much. I don’t really have any…

25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Beach house.

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Figure skating.

27. HAIR COLOR?
Brown. (Except right now it’s red, with a brown stripe where my roots are. Very elegant I know.)

28. EYE COLOR?
Brown.

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
False. I am highly opposed to sticking my fingers in my eyes on purpose. (Stole Shireen’s answer. Fits perfectly.)

30. FAVORITE FOOD?
Pizza. See last thing I ate.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
A little of both, but I never watch a scary movie alone!

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Mr. Troop Mom.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Black and beige with a white furry hood.

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Summer.

35. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Ice cream.

36. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
Cardio. Nothing better than a walk with my hubby.

37. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
I often do both at the same time. I do love good TV though.

38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Beverly Lewis’ The Telling. Third book in the series. SO good.

39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
What’s a mouse pad?

40. FAVORITE SOUND?
A purring cat.

41. FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC?
Probably country, closely followed by Christian music of any kind. I have a special place in my heart for Jamie Grace – if you’ve never heard of her, you NEED to check her out. Now. Before you do anything else.

42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Louisiana.

43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
Not looking people in the eye? Haha.

44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada.

45. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Canada.

46. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
Grey. And inside? White, beige, and a few ugly borders thrown in. Lovely.

47. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
A lovely shade of invisible.

48. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 48 QUESTIONS?
I think the better question is did you like reading 48 questions?

Teaching…

Image I really miss these kiddos.

Although I’m not able to do it full-time right now for a variety of reasons, teaching is my chosen profession and is something I am seriously passionate about.  For the past month and a half, we have been a part of a Career Exploration course for job readiness.  One of our main tasks in this course is to determine what our chosen profession or area of work would be and then begin to make steps in that direction.  Every single assessment we do, be it skills, values, experience, interests, etc. etc. etc., comes back to my being a teacher or having the gift of teaching.

Growing up, I was surrounded by so many people my age who just knew they were meant to be a doctor or a teacher or whatever it may have been. Not so with me.  From Grade 7 until Grade 11, I was certain that I would become a Marine Biologist.  In Grade 11, I determined that I would study to be a Veterinary Assistant.  A variety of things came together that meant I did not get to go off to college right after high school as I had planned.  I got a part-time job and lived at home with my parents while all my friends took off and started working towards becoming what they knew they were meant to be.

I still didn’t have the foggiest clue what I should do with my life.  At one point, I started studying Health Information Technology through DeVry University, because it was something I could do at home and something I thought would pay a lot of money.  I did really well in my classes, but I had no passion for it and stopped after two semesters.  Life happened and I found myself living at home with my parents again – working part-time again. 

This time, I was working in a daycare and really enjoying myself – but still had no clue what my purpose was.  I started looking around for local Christian colleges because I felt the need to be surrounded by a Christian community – but that was about it.  I eventually decided on Providence College and decided to study Youth Leadership, mostly just because I had enjoyed the youth pastors I had experienced.

One year at Providence and I was in the mood for something different again.  My then-boyfriend (now husband) was attending Bethany Bible College (now Kingswood University) that coming Fall and we continually joked that I should send in an application just for fun. I eventually did send in that application and things came together FAST.  I was on a plane, headed to Nova Scotia, before it really hit me what I was doing – I have never before done something so impulsive, but it felt so right!

I entered Bethany that Fall and began studying Youth Ministry. Then I switched to Christian Counselling with a Youth Ministry minor. But I still didn’t feel settled.  It took a summer working at a camp surrounded by a bunch of kids to finally sink in.  That Fall after two years of College, I switched into the Christian School Education program. 

I’ve never looked back.  I’ve never thought, “Nope, this doesn’t feel right either.”  Growing up, had you said to me I would be a teacher in the future, I would definitely have laughed in your face. I would have told you how my personality didn’t suit the position, how I was too shy to get up in front of a bunch of kids, how I wasn’t right for it AT ALL.  That’s the great thing about God. He knew all along that I was right for it. That I was built for it. That I would succeed in it.  That my skills, values, interests, hobbies – every part of it – would come together and give me the heart of a teacher. 

Nothing gives me more joy than helping someone learn something new or helping someone realize that they can do something they never thought they could before.  Since we have been in this Career Exploration course, I have been able to help other students – adults my parents’ age – to learn new skills, start to see that they do have a purpose, and that they can do things they never thought they could. And I’m not even the teacher. I just LOVE helping them. I love showing them how to do things – it just comes naturally out of me. This passion is why I am self-employed as a tutor at the moment. I only get to teach once a week – but I get to TEACH. I love every minute of it.  I love watching my student get it. I love watching her face light up when she realizes it is starting to sink in. That is the best feeling in the entire world.

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BERNIE…

BERNIE…

This is Bernie. Born October 6, 2011. Brother to Neko.

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Bernie is a character.  His personality is like that of no other cat I have ever experienced.  He does not walk – he runs, trots, gallops, stampedes, hops, stomps – but never walks anywhere. He hates anyone getting anywhere near his face – he will fold inside out to get away from it.

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He doesn’t know how to retract his claws and often ends up stuck to things – curtains, blankets, the cover of the couch. If he gets stuck and no one’s home to help? He’ll take a nap and wait for you.

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He doesn’t meow unless he’s really upset. He makes very strange clicking noises on a fairly frequent basis. He’s not much of a cuddler, but if he decides to cuddle, he always chooses my husband. I can only trick him into cuddling me if he’s already fallen asleep right beside where I sit down. He loves his baseball.  The other night, I was coming down the stairs and, as I looked down, I saw his little baseball roll out into the hall. Guess he was trying to get me to take the hint.

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Bernie actually earned his name. He and Neko were born to our cat, Phoebe, while we were living in a small apartment in Moncton.  The heat in the apartment didn’t work very well and it was often quite chilly.  When I would turn on the heater in the living room, the cats liked to get as close as possible to get warm.  One day, Bernie decided to warm his tiny little bum by setting it right on the heater – what a stink! And the bald spot! Oh dear. That’s when his name became Bernie.

He is a sweetheart.  He loves to pick on his brother and he loves to cuddle up to my husband if he’s tired enough to do so.  He LOVES food.  He is the biggest of our three cats because he loves food SOOOO much. He loves my in-laws’ huge orange cat, Buddy, and often uses him as a pillow. Buddy, in turn, treats him like his baby and can often be seen bathing him.

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I love my boys. This is Bernie.

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