Saturday, June 29, 2013

Random Thoughts with Liz

1.  This past week I gained 3 new students in my preschool classroom.  I have seven kiddos now.  That's a good size for a classroom of 2 1/2 year olds.  On Thursday, one of the teachers was out so I had FIVE extra kids.  Two of my regulars were out for the day, so I "only" had ten kids.  The crazy thing is, although the table was crowded and the room was full to the brim, it wasn't that bad.  The day went by quickly!  Sarah is my helper this summer, so having a second set of hands was great on Thursday!

2.  The locusts are back.  Well, they're not really locusts.  That's just what we call them.  (you know...the plague of locusts from the Bible)  See, every year in late June or early July, the cicadas come out.  Hundreds of them!  From what I understand, they lay eggs in the ground & live there for 17 years at a time.  Every year, we see a million holes about the diameter of a Kindergarten pencil in the ground & that's when we know they're back.  They come out of these holes & go find a safe spot to light where they stay until they molt from their tight skin shell.  They live for about a month & then die.  And I suppose somewhere in that 30 days, they go lay more eggs in the ground because they come back every year.  I guess there is a constant stream of cicada eggs growing underground at any moment in time.

At night, you can hear them flying around & bumping into the walls of the house.  Little thumps & bumps might scare you if you don't know what it is.  Like moths or other bugs, they are attracted to light, so they often thump & bump into the windows until we turn off all the lights.  In fact, I'm sitting next to a window listening to them now!  They make a cool chirping/buzzing sound and for most southerners, they recognize it as a peaceful summer night sound, kind of like crickets chirping in the fall.

If you don't know what a cicada is, let me show you.   This is a live cicada.  They are about 2" long & have a fat, heavy body.  When they first come out of their shells, they are a light green color, but after their wings dry out & they are ready to start flying around & banging on your windows and walls, they turn this color.
You may have seen a cicada shell in your lifetime.  Most people have, but many don't realize what it is.  Around here, we see hundreds of them stuck on EVERYTHING every summer.  The trees, our brick walls of the house, on the grill cover, our tires, the dog house...everywhere!  The shells look like this.

King of freaky looking, huh?

The funniest part of these little bugs is that they FLIP OUT if you try to pick them up.  You can grab onto its wing & it will start having some kind of crazy bug seizure until you turn loose of it.  Our dog is fascinated by them & will eat them if she can get a hold of one on the ground.  Crazy dog!

2.  Tonight, at about 8:20 I left our church to head to the grocery store. was 8:20 pm.  This is what my car thermometer said.  (And the car was parked in a shady spot!)

Seriously.  That is crazy.
I know I should be used to this, but I'm not.  Every year it surprises me to see how hot it is in Texas.  And as if that weren't enough, the humidity level stays at about the 80-90% mark most of the summer.  Fortunately we haven't hit that point yet this year, but I know it's coming.  Ugh!  Most of the year, I loveeee living in Texas.  I'm proud of my state.  But from late May through at least late October, it's just too freakin' hot to move.  Going outside is too miserable, so a lot of our summers are spent indoors, trying to keep from dehydrating on the spot or wrinkling up like a sun dried tomato.

3.  Speaking of summertime things to do, I made a Summer bucket list a few days ago with the kids.  I saw the idea on Pinterest a year or more ago, but like so many of my other pins, I forgot all about it.  Last week, I saw a post on a friend's blog about how she'd made a bucket list last year and I was inspired to make one!  (Sorry, I had to edit the pic a bit for our safety!  No location identifying info!)  You can click on the pic to make it bigger & see what we have planned for the summer!

4.  Tonight we had an evening of worship & scripture at church.  It was awesome.  Just a month or so ago I was asking my local friends on Facebook if they knew of any upcoming worship events.  I was really craving some focused worship time.  And then it happened---a few days later, our worship pastor posted an 'ad' about tonight on the church website.  Savannah was working tonight and the younger 2 kids weren't really interested in going anywhere because they were doing some personal Bible study (just kidding, they were playing video games) so Larry stayed home with them.  I was a little bummed that we weren't all going together, but in the end, I was excited to go alone so that I could really focus.

When I got there, I had to decide whether to go straight up front where I could totally focus & not be distracted by someone around/near me OR if I should sit near the back so that I wouldn't distract anyone else if I moved/stood/raised my hands, etc.  I ended up picking a seat near the back.  Fortunately I picked the side of the building that happened to have several other standers/hand raisers so I didn't feel weird or out of place.

Here's the thing.  I never know how demonstrative people will be in church.  I don't really care what anyone else is doing or what their worship style is.  It's usually based on whatever they grew up doing, what they saw their parents do, what feels comfortable for them.  But the truth is, I always feel more inhibited and reserved if NO ONE ELSE is moving/standing/raising their hands, etc.  I always try to remember to close my eyes & block out what everyone else is doing & only focus on God and respond whatever way the Spirit leads me.  Someone (I can't remember who) once stated that, in a worship service, you're either worshiping or you're watching everyone else worship.  I know that sounds like a "duh" quote, but it's so true.  If I'm not focused on Jesus and participating with my own adoration/confession/prayer, I am watching (read: judging) what everyone else is doing.  And that's not what I'm there for.  Whatever they are doing is between them & God.  That's always stuck with me.  If I get distracted watching others, I might as well be reading a magazine or writing a note to my friend.

The only downside about tonight is that I wish it could've been about 3 hours long, but I guess our worship pastor needs to have a voice left to lead on Sunday morning so I suppose just 1 hour was wise.

5.  Like the past several summers, I am actively looking for a new job.  If you're new here & want the whole story, email me.  Most of you already know why I'm looking.  Join me in praying for the right job.  I am sooo tired of job-hopping.  I want to find the right job & settle in 'til retirement!  The jobs I am MOST hoping work out are a few full time aide/paraprofessional positions in our school district.  For the hours, the schedule, the year-round salary, being able to be off in the summers with our kids and a million other reasons, I would LOVE to be able to stay with the school system.  But if that doesn't work out, I have applied for a few other jobs so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

It's nearly 1:00 am, so I think I'm going to shut this thing down now.  Goodnight friends!

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