Tuesday, July 24, 2012

365 days

"I have quite the to-do list....I need to get on that blog", I thought about 5 minutes ago. So here I am!

This was my post 365 days ago exactly (which is really impressive, because I didn't even plan this.) I was 25 days away from moving to grad school and completely terrified. After all of the lessons, both hard and harder, that I had learned and that Christ was still diligently and patiently teaching me, leaving for my "Abraham land" as  I referred to it, because I was merely following a calling, was a huge step. I came here with not much more than that prodding, an acceptance letter, and what I could fit in a too-small U-hall trailer.

All that to say, here I sit in that apartment  that I got to "put my things in" one year later. It's incredible to look back over the past year at all that I've experienced; some anticipated (mostly that I'd be in school...that's about as predictable as this has been) and most that has completely unexpected, to me anyway. I can tell that grad school has changed me-for the better-but still, changed me. It's pretty amazing what can happen over the course of a year! I've walked through some of the hardest days I've seen in quite some time, and have had to sift through some buried lies that Satan has been speaking into my life for quite some time that slipped under the radar. 
Grad school, and my Terre Haute experience in general, has made me a better clinician, a better professional, and a better thinker overall. I've met some of the most incredible people, and have had the privilege of calling many of them friends. I've sat with friends in the middle of their seasons; I've sat though my fair share of seasons as well. I've watched relationships that I've cherished morph into long-distance relationships. I've learned that I have the most incredible support system a girl could ask for. I've laughed, cried, and worked harder than I ever have in my entire life. I honestly think I look at life differently than I did a year ago. I was given a gift not too long before my move last summer. It was something I had "picked out" and hangs in my hallway-the word "trust". Because up until that point, that was what I kept coming back to. Trusting in a God who is bigger and wiser and stronger and more able that I can  ever hope to be. And I'm happy to report that this same word is how I can sum up the past year-trust. It's been hard on LOTS of levels, it's been fun, it's been silly, and it's been scary even. But through it all it has come down to this:

This little sign I picked up at Hobby Lobby years ago and has made many a move with me, but still sums up things better than I can.

I know I have a lot more tomorrows, a lot more change, and a lot more "unexpected" ahead of me. And knowing Who holds it all makes it that much more exciting. 

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; "...Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”-C.S. Lewis; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pinterest Perusings

Let's face it. I have no idea how speech therapy happened before Pinterest. (Actually, I know those SLPs are just SUPER creative and I one day hope to be like them!) I was lucky enough to start grad school just about the same time as I discovered the big, big word of Pinterest, and it is clearly reflected in my therapy! Our clinic director even approached our class one day and said "Okay, what gives. Everyone  has therapy activities that eat things!!" (think the "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a ________ " cereal box activity).
I love to wander aimlessly through Pinterest in my spare time when I should be doing a million other things, and this summer is no exception! I've started my "to do" list for materials to make between now and the beginning of our clinic semester! Here's what I've found, so far, that will be joining my already-too large collection of therapy materials.
Note-none of these are my creations, I just love them. Click on the link associated with each picture to check them out!
Glitter Bottle Time-out Timer
Glitter Time-out Timers-I'm thinking some of the small reusable water bottles would be a shorter time...maintaining behavior or those nasty meltdowns I'm proud to say I survived with my lower-functioning clients!
Artic + Lang Cards + Library Pockets. Game called BAZINGA! 
Bazinga! For those times when artic OR language cards are just a must (blech!) This makes it a little more fun, while maintaining a good number of opportunities! 
Customized Chipper chat with printables
Custom Chipper Chats-I.love.Chipper Chats. What's even better is that my clients love chipper chats! They'll even ask for it as a reinforcer (not by name, of course!) I'm not sure if they love the wand or the oodles of opportunities I can get from using one sheet, but I like to think a little of both ;)
Sweet website of 150 great childrens ebooks - All free!
This site is so cool! You simply select a charity, and you have access to a BUNCH of great books. The best part? It's free! I plan on using this as much as possible!
sensory bin
Sensory bins-I love them. All of them. Plain and simple. I also love using them for artic, language, you name it. 
I often times want to apologize when I go on "Pinterest binges" to some of the people who follow me that aren't Speechies/Educators...they must think I'm crazy. Or 6 years old. Or both :)

So share and share alike...what's on your Pinterest to-do list before the year gets going again?


Friday, July 13, 2012

Patio Garden Update

Well now that Indiana summer is resembling Indiana summer a little more, and Texas a little less, I decided to  update you on the patio garden! Let's just say it's turned out much differently than I anticipated!

The flowers:
eeehhh.......we'll just let these pictures speak for themselves, shall we?

I guess 2 weeks of 100 + degree temps just aren't for everyone. Also, you can't see it, but the pink flower that used to be paired with the green fern is also no more.
The Green Peppers:
I had 4 peppers almost ready to pick until the drought hit, but against my best watering efforts they were just too small to make it. I had all but given up on this plant until the other day I was watering and saw BLOOMS! They're tiny to see in this picture, but I'm holding out that these guys will make it!

The Herbs/Chives:
I've had to cut both of these down several times and use them/give them to family when I visit, and it looks like I need to again! All in all they've done well...and are tasty!

(anyone else feel like I'm talking about people now instead of plants?)
The tomatoes:
These guys have been doing so well. Please don't laugh at the way I've had to tie them up...it's pretty sad resourceful! (C'mon...doll rod from a speech activity I made and some "Little Princess" ribbon I used when I was a camp counselor years ago? Works for me!) I have 3 green ones still growing, and have picked 2 already!

So for my first go-around, I must say I'm pretty impressed...I didn't set my expectations TOO high, but with what crazy heat we've had so far, I'm thrilled to have what I do! Although I must admit I do miss my flowers. Unfortunately the white ones didn't fare well, either. I don't do well in super crazy heat, either, so I can't say I blame them.

Also, I've started up another blog (I know, I know)....it's explained a little better over there, but I've decided to separate my "speech life" and "the rest of my life" a little better. So this one will still be just as active (and I'm still guest blogging at the end of the month!) but will remain a little more "food, life, friends, faith", with the occasional speech post thrown in. But for everything else, pop on over to Let's Talk Speech Therapy. It's just a baby, but I think it's cute and am excited about it!

How about you? Has the crazy heat effected what's come out of your kitchen lately?


Monday, July 9, 2012

One month, one day...

Ok, so it's been while. But, during an intense 5 week stint of grad school,2 3-hour classes, 7:30 AM 4 days a week, working semi-part time, my life looked a lot like this:

yes, that is a neuron. No, I do not want to talk about it.

Starbucks had a frappuccino sale...Mocha cookie crumble. Real life.

Notice a trend? My life consisted of a lot of reading, a LOT of coffee, and even more studying. I can easily say this was my HARDEST semester of grad. school yet (although if you ask my mom, she will tell you that I say that every semester. ...so maybe I do. )  I took this weekend and got out of TH, and it was spent doing wonderfully "normal" things-spending too much time on Pinterest, going to Target, falling asleep before 11, baking, and spending time with some of my favorite people I don't see near often enough. 

Summer II classes started today, but the good news is that I have just ONE class to go to and an online class. So that means there will be much more blogging, picture taking, food making, and life ramblings going on around here. So thanks for your patience! I've got a couple good posts in the works as we speak. Also, I'm a graduate assistant this 5 weeks (which is nothing fancier that sitting for 2 5-hour days in our clinic's material room. Did I mention no one is in the clinic over the summer? And it's in the basement of our building?) so I will have all kinds of time on my hands to write. Hold me to it! 

In other news, my dear friend K is engaged!! It's been a long time coming, but she and J are perfect together and I can NOT wait for her wedding!

This picture is old and neither of us like it...which is mostly why it made the cut to be here!
She's been my friend through thick and thin and far away...it's her fault I shamelessly watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Her wedding also marks the 5th  wedding that I am in between now and next October. So if you follow me on Pinterest and see me pinning just about every wedding pin that is out there, don't be alarmed. You're not missing out on big life information on my end :). 

Side note... at the end of the month, I'm guest blogging at A Step in the Journey, one of my favorites on my reading list! I'm quite excited, and I'm not sure if its because I've never done a guest post before, or if its because someone else wants me to ramble on their blog for a while ;)

Be well,