Words to Live By from the Birthday Girl

Today is my sister, Katie’s birthday. There will never be enough words or blog posts for me to fully describe Katie Thomas or to thank her for being my big sister. She is one of the most passionate people that I know. You can see her passion through the work she does and the relationships she has with the people in her life. She is the best role model and I am so blessed that I can call her my big sister and friend.

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We are four years apart and we have had our ups and downs but at the end of the day we love each other. We have experienced so much together and I can’t imagine going through this thing called life with anyone else at my side. Many people say that we are nothing a like and some say that we are. I think we make a perfect balance. She is on the go and persistent, while I am laid back and take things slow. She has straight hair and I have curly hair, but as you can see when I straighten my hair we look so much a like it is scary!

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As my older sister she has taught me so much. She gives me advice and help when I need it and when I don’t ask for it. That’s just what older sisters do. I am lucky that she always looks out for me and pushes me to do my best.

Here are some of my favorite Katie Thomas Words to Live By:

“Have passion finding your passion.”

“Life can be messed up, but fabulous.”

“A front porch is the best place to be in the world.”

For those of you that haven’t heard, my big sister is gettin’ hitched next month! I am beyond excited and happy for her to start this new adventure with Brett. I only hope that later down the road when we start our own families that our children have a relationship much like I do with my big sister.

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To sum it up, happy birthday Katherine Mae. Thank you for all you do and for being you. Love you!

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It Happened. I’m a College Grad.

Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent.

Last Sunday I graduated from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) with a degree in Elementary Education.  It was also Mother’s Day, so I was able to share the day with my lifelong educator, my Mom.  This milestone was a rough one for me to accept. Sure I am going to miss being a college student with all its wonderful perks. It’s hard for me to grasp that I am growing up.  I am figuring out who I am and what roads I want to take and trails I want to leave behind.  It is has been hard for me to accept that this is the first chapter of my life that my Dad won’t be apart of.  He got to see me start my college career.  The truth is I am scared of entering a new life chapter.  I am afraid of failing and not making the right decisions.  I have never been a perfectionist, but I do like to do things right.  And, well, I hope that I am doing life right.  These are the words that I am trying to live by right now, “Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent.”  I need to remember that it’s okay if I don’t have everything figured out in the beginning of this new life chapter of mine.  It’s okay if I can’t do things right the first time.  I will get.  I will catch on and get to where I am supposed to go.  If it takes some time for me to get there, than so be it.

So, what’s next? I am looking for teaching jobs. I am being a bit picky right now. That will probably change, but I need to do what’s right for me. I want to be in an environment that fits me and my teaching style. So, if any of you readers know of any schools hiring in Central Indiana let me know please and thank you!

To sum it up, right now I am enjoying being a 22 year old college graduate with her friends, trying to figure out this chapter called, “Life After College.”

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Have a fabulous Wednesday!! What are your words to live by when you are entering a new life chapter?

The Farmer’s Verse

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which has been planted.

Ecclesiastics 3:1-2

One of my favorite Bible verses and words to live by is the Farmer’s Verse. Farmers have to be patient souls and work to keep that patience and faith at all times. A farmer must keep an open mind and understand that there is a time for everything and that God will always provide for him whether the farmer sees and understands God’s plans or not. After the drought this past summer I have grown an even bigger appreciation for those in agriculture communities and the industry because sometimes the “times” aren’t what we want. But all of us and especially the farmer need to remember, “That’s just part of it.”

Please keep all farming and ranching families in your thoughts and prayers as they begin the busy spring season of planting and bringing new life into their farms and ranches.

The Definition of a Hoosier

“There are two things that really define a Hoosier: basketball and agriculture.”

— Indiana Lt. Gov and Secretary of Agriculture, Sue Ellspermann

Many Indiana farmers, ag industry leaders, FFA members, and state lawmakers celebrated Indiana Agriculture at the State House yesterday. March is Agriculture Appreciation Month here in this flyover state. I know that I will be doing my part in showing how much I appreciate Indiana farmers and their families and I hope that you will too.

Yesterday I read “How Did That Get Into My Lunchbox: The Story of Food” by Chris Buttersworth to my first grade class. Before I read the book I explained to the students that March is Ag Appreciation Month in Indiana. Many of the students had never heard the word “agriculture.” We had a conversation about what ag is and what it means to Indiana. I was so excited to teach them about ag, but I was also heartbroken that the first time they ever heard the word was when they were six years old.

At the Ag Appreciation celebration yesterday at the State House, Indiana Lt. Gov and Secretary of Ag, Sue Ellspermann summed up why Indiana is such a great state, “There are two things that really define a Hoosier: basketball and agriculture.” I could not agree more! She also said, “It is important that we tell the story of Indiana agriculture to those outside our industry.” I hope that many farmers and ag industry leaders share their story as often as they can. We must bridge the gap between farmers and consumers.

To sum it up, Indiana = agriculture.

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How To…

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My first graders have been working on writing “How To’s” in class. They are learning how to write with details and use words that describe time and events (i.e. First, Then, After, Next, Finally). I have seen “How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.” “How to Shoot a Basketball.” So far my favorite is, “How to Write a Book.” The little girl asked me to help her come up three steps to describe how to write a book. So, I asked her, “What does an author need to decide on before he puts words on paper?” She told me that they need to find something to write about. Then I said, “Yes! They need a topic. What do you think they need to do after they have their topic?” She said they have to have some characters. Again I told her yes and asked, “What do you think authors do once they have their characters picked out?” She told me then they can write a story.

I love that she chose “How to Write a Book.” I hope that one day she uses her own “How To” and writes a book with her own story to tell. That’s why writers write. They see something and want to share their own story. A story that no one else can write but them. My goal later in life is to become a children’s book author because I see something that no one else does and I can’t wait to tell my story and share it with all of you.

Happy Wednesday! Do you have a story to tell?

Need a Pep Talk?

We all need a pep talk every now and then and it’s even better when it comes from someone smaller, younger and more optimistic than you.  I am in my final stretch of my college career.  Senioritis is kicking in a little bit.  I am excited to graduate and be done with school.  It has been a long four years and I am definitely over writing papers and all the reading.  At the same time I am terrified to enter the real world and get a grown up job.  I just need a pep talk every now and then to remind me that I am ready.  To tell me “its time to do something.”  I am going to come upon many many roads that diverge into two.  I hope that I choose the one less traveled because I too “want to be on the road that leads to awesome.”

What will be your Space Jam? What will you create that will make the world awesome? Have you thought about it or started going after it?  If not here’s a little pep talk to get you going.  To sum it up, I know I am ready to “create something awesome!”

Happy Wednesday and remember “we’re all on the same team.  We were made to be awesome.”

My Words to Live By in 2013

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These are the words I plan to live by every day in 2013. If you haven’t seen the movie, We Bought a Zoo I recommend that you do, it’s great.  2013 is going to be an incredible year.  I already have many events marked in my 2013 calendar.  I will be attending many weddings, graduating, hopefully finding a job, and experiencing other wonderful events I am sure.  I am so excited about this year, but I am going to need some courage along the way.  20 seconds of courage is doable, especially if something great comes out of it!

Here’s to 2013 and all the great somethings that will come with it!

What are your words to live by in 2013? Share them with me in the comments!

What I Am Thankful For

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I am thankful for:
my family and friends
my home
my education
my faith
farmers and ranchers

I will use my family and friends in times of need. I will use what precious time I have with them to enjoy my relationships with them.  Life is short. Show your love ones how much you love them.

I will use my home as a shelter and a place to appreciate who I am and how I was raised. For if ever I leave I know there will always be a place to call home.

I am extremely blessed that I grew up in a home that values education. I plan to continue pursuing my degree to become an educator. I hope to teach my future students the value of being educated.

I will use my faith to believe in the man upstairs and to have faith in His plan for me. I will continue to thank him for my blessings every day.

Last and certainly not least, I will continue to support farmers and ranchers in the agriculture industry. I will be an advocate for agriculture and thank them for all they do every chance I get.

I hope that you all have a blessed Thanksgiving and that you plan to SHOW your blessings how thankful you are.

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Thank you for your support and stopping by my blog. I am thankful for you.

Experience

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”

— C. S. Lewis

I am in the middle of my first semester of student teaching, and boy is it an experience!! An experience that is stressful, fun, exciting, overwhelming, long, and educational. An experience that I am so greatful to have at a great school and with students that I truly enjoy. I am learning how I want to set up my own classroom, what kind of classroom management I like best, strategies for teaching and much more. I will definitely be walking into my future career with experience.

Sure I have some rough, long days. I believe everyone has those days. Experiences can be good and bad. They are never perfect. If they were then you wouldn’t be challenged, you wouldn’t learn anything. You wouldn’t gain experience to help you down the road. I’m not hoping for a perfect student teaching experience. I just hope for one that I can learn from.