Another Step

Last week, I took the next step towards working with deaf/hard of hearing children again.  I made my resignation from my current job official by letting the teachers and parents know that I would be leaving.  I don't have a last day yet because I will be staying on until a new Director is hired in my place, but the waiting is over.  Now the process begins and I am equally savoring the moments and freaking out.

I have done much to prepare for this next step, and at times I feel nothing but the excitement of the possibility that lies before me.  At other times though, I feel nothing but the enormity of this decision.  What stands out to me is that though I feel that enormity, I do not feel fear.  I feel God all over this and though I know there will be challenges, I also know they will be worth it.

This past week, I spent a day at the West Virginia School for the Deaf working with teachers who are learning to implement a listening and spoken language classroom.  It was like slipping on an old pair of shoes that had been hidden away.

The biggest challenge that lies ahead is growing my client base to ensure that we do not suffer financially.  We are blessed that The Man's job has benefits and that my contribution to our financial coffers need only be dollars and cents, and it doesn't really matter where those dollars and cents come from.  I am hoping to build my client base while still at my current job so that two things can happen.  One, that we can have some actual savings and two, that we can have enough fluid money that waiting to get paid (gotta love contracting with state agencies) will not result in late payments to our bills.

There are moments when this challenge becomes almost overwhelming and I feel the pressure of it, but the moments spent working with deaf/hard of hearing children or working on a training for other professionals who work with them relieve this pressure.  It is as if, I somehow know that this path is the right one and that all will work out.  Each morning and night, I say a prayer asking that my wants not cloud what it is God wants.  I ask that He guide me to right decisions.  And it is in the little things that I feel His guidance.  It is in the opportunities that continue to present themselves.  It is in the successes of these opportunities.  And it is in the pure joy that I feel while sitting down in front of a child who hears only with the aid of a cochlear implant and/or hearing aids.


Quick Quotes

I liked my 7 Quick Quotes a couple of months ago, so here ya go again.  This time, since I've been rereading re-listening to the Harry Potter books (I tried to finish before the 7th movie came out, but didn't make it), I thought I'd go with 7 of my favorite quotes from the books.  In no particular order...

1.  It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. ~ Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

2.  It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.  ~Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

3.  If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.  ~Sirius Black (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

4.  According to Madam Pomfrey, thoughts could leave deeper scarring than almost anything else.  ~ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

5.  It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. ~Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

6.  You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself plainly when you have need of him.  ~Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

7.  There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other. ~Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

And a bonus one, because it was so beautifully unexpected and perfectly placed...

Not my daughter, you bit.ch! ~Mrs. Weasley (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)

Be sure to visit Jen, for more Quick Takes.  Have a great weekend!


Can of Worms

What is a Can of Worms post?

Politics Rant Rant

*cringe*  *deep breath* 

Have I lost my mind?  Am I really writing about politics the day after the State of the Union Address?  Well, you're reading it, so I guess I wrote it.  And really, as I formulate my thoughts they aren't so much about the State of the Union as they are about the state of the union.  We already know that my glass is half full pretty much all of the time and that even my contacts are rose-colored, but in the first 30 seconds of the SOTU Address, it became clear to me where the real problem lies, with all of us, on an individual level.

I logged into my twitter account at the start of President Obama's speech and was inundated with negativity and snark.  Seriously people, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES is talking.  Whether you agree or disagree with his politics, don't you think you should listen?  Don't you think you should hear what the leader of our country is thinking?

Apparently not.  As my twitter feed was full of comments about not watching the SOTU at all, and making snide comments about the president.  Now, lest I am accused of having no sense of humor, I'm not talking about jokes/comments made in fun, I'm talking about downright disrespect.

It is this, the lack of interest and the disrespect, that is the largest problem in the country.  ON BOTH SIDES. Let me say that again.  ON.  BOTH.  SIDES.

Somewhere along the line we got so wrapped up in our own thoughts that we forgot to listen to what the person speaking is saying.  We got so wrapped up in being right that, clearly, someone who thinks differently from us is wrong, before they've even uttered a word.

We all have our 'issue'.  The one thing that is most important to us.  It can be a good thing.  But when it prevents us from listening, really listening, to what someone else thinks it is a horrible tragedy.

This trend of disrespect, lack of listening, and having to be right started to really rear it's ugly head with the scandals of President Clinton, intensified under President G.W. Bush, and (I pray) is peaking under President Obama.  No, I pray that it would just go away (yep, there's those rose colored glasses).

Our egos have gotten too big.  Our lives too wrapped up in ourselves (at a personal and a national level).  We've forgotten what it's like to empathize because we are too busy forming our own argument to truly hear what others are saying.  We are talking at each other instead of with each other.

It didn't matter whether President Obama was a democrat or a republican when he started talking tonight.    Our response was already determined before he uttered a word.  If that doesn't scare you, nothing will.

I know that simply listening to one another will not lead to complete agreement.  But I also know that continuing to talk at each other will not lead to any type of agreement.  It's time to open our minds and our hearts and truly work together; not just talk about it.

*steps off soap box*

This Can of Worms has been opened.  What do you think?


Knock, Knock, Knockin' on Seven's Door



Continuing the Conversation

One of my new bloggy friends Amanda wrote about this earlier this week and I'm so glad she did because it gave me a reason to do so too!  The button originated here.

One of my favorite things about blogging has been the friendships I have made and/or strengthened.  Some have been with people I know IRL, some with people I met in blogland and then got to meet IRL, and some with people I've only met in blogland (to date).  I credit two things to these friendships (as they relate to my blog specifically):

1)  That all of my comments come to me in an email so that I can reply quickly as they come in rather than having to actually log into my blog to do it.

2)  That many of you have an email address connected to the profile that  you use to comment with.

BUT, some of you do not have an email address connected to your profile.  If you have a blogger (or google) profile, it is super easy:
Go to your "dashboard". Click "edit profile". Click the little box next to "show my email address". Click "SAVE".
See?  That's it!

Now, I understand not wanting the whole world to have your first and last name or your personal email address, but there are ways to have an anonymous email as well.  If you aren't sure about this and would like some help, email me at RebeccaWVU02 at gmail dot com.

I love being able to continue the conversation that is started with your comment, so please help a girl out and enable your email address!

(If you're wondering if your email address is connected to your profile, leave me a comment here and if you get an email reply from me, you'll know it is.  If you don't, you'll know it's not!)


Wordless Wednesday

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit here.


Mountaineer Monday

The Mountaineer Men's Basketball team defeated the 8th ranked Purdue Boilermakers 68 - 64 yesterday in Morgantown.  I know because I was there.  For the first time ever I have basketball season tickets and I've enjoyed going to the games, but today was the first day that there was real energy in the Coliseum.  Today was the first day there was a real sense of 'this is important.'  Sure it was a non-conference game, but with Purdue ranked at #8, the outcome could greatly impact NCAA Tournament seeding.

It was a back forth game from early on, but as the final minute ran off the clock it seemed that WVU might actually pull of the upset.  So much so, apparently, that the guy in front of me left, as in left the Coliseum, with 29 seconds to go (with WVU only up by 3 and Purdue with the ball - I KNOW!).  And in this final minute the students began making their way to the edge of the floor, intent upon rushing it when the clock read 0:00.

As I sat in stood at my safe-from-being-trampled seat, I sent a tweet saying that the students were preparing to rush the court.  And as I sang 'Country Roads' with 14,000 of my closest friends while the students celebrated with the team below, I scrolled through the tweets and saw that some people (both WVU fans and not) were questioning why WVU's students rushed the court.  Michelle and I even had a twitversation (that would be a conversation on twitter) about it.  Michelle's a Kansas Jayhawk fan and said she's never seen it done there.  That it is discouraged by the University.  Knowing Kansas's rich basketball history, a piece of me felt bad for her as it was quite a neat thing to watch.  But then again, maybe it's just because winning the big game is what's expected at Kansas?  Hmmm, more on this thought in a minute.

So, were the WVU students overreacting to today's victory?  Should they have stayed in their seats and celebrated with more restraint?  (Side note:  If it had been a football game, they would've had no choice, rushing the football field is strictly forbidden at WVU.  The why for that is another day's tale.)  My take?  No.  I think it was great sight to see and a well-deserved celebration for the team.

Those that disagree with me said that for a team that just went to the Final Four, we should've known the victory over Purdue wasn't that big of a deal.  That we are a successful team and need to start acting like it.  More like the fans at Kansas do perhaps.

I disagree.  The team that played yesterday isn't the team that played in the Final Four last year.  (And they aren't the team that got knocked out in the first round 2 years ago either.)  They are a team struggling for their identity; that some say won't even get into the Big Dance.  They are a team that needed a big win, at home, over a big opponent.  Was beating Purdue the same as beating Duke, Kentucky, Pitt, Kansas?  No.  Was it the big win that this team needed this year?  Yes.

As to our fans (students specifically?) needing to act like we've been here before.  Well, we really haven't.  Yes, we've won some big games in recent years, but as a WVU fan, sadly, you get used to winning the games you should lose and losing the games you should win.  And the really big games?  They always seem to get away from us.  Yes, there are exceptions - WVU's Elite Eight victory last year; the football team's Fiesta Bowl victory 3 years ago, but around here, they are exceptions.  Yes, we were 3 point favorites over Purdue today; but actually winning the game is much bigger than if we'd lost.  If we'd lost, everyone would've said it's because Butler and Ebanks are gone; we are rebuilding; we knew it would be a long year.  But instead, today's victory showed us that yes, Butler and Ebanks are gone; yes, we are rebuilding; and yes, it might just be a long year.  Maybe even deep into March.

So, would Duke or Kentucky or North Carolina or Kansas have rushed the court after a victory like the Mountaineers had yesterday?  Probably not.  Were the WVU students right to do it?  Yes.  When we have a string of 3 or 4 or heck, even 2 years, of reaching the Elite 8 or even the Sweet 16; when we are playing for the Big East Championship for back to back years; when we are starting the season ranked in the top 25 then I will expect to see a different reaction to a win like today.  But a piece of me will be sad too.  I dream of the day WVU sports are consistently top tier; consistently nationally known, but the day that we forget that beating #8 Purdue was reason to rush the court is the day we've forgotten where we came from.

And for those of you Mountaineer fans who weren't there; who didn't feel the energy of the Coliseum but who want to criticize the court-rushing?  Shame on you.


Catching Up - Times 7

1.  I never thought when I wrote last that it would be this long before I wrote again.  Thanks to a combination of a puppy chewing an $80 power cord and a bank account depleted until payday, I have not had a compute at home for almost two full weeks.  (The puppy is fine, the power cord is now replaced.  The Man says she's so cute to prevent us from putting her outside with a 'Free to a Good Home' sign when she does bad things - like chew power cords.)

2.  Due to a lack of power at home and an extremely busy couple of weeks at work, I've been reading your blogs on my reader on my phone.  I am much to far behind to comment on each post I've missed or to even try to catch back-up, so I'll be starting fresh tomorrow.  I will probably go back as I read your new posts and catch-up so I apologize if a random, late comment appears.

3.  My Bible in 90 Days reading is going really well...I've not missed a day yet, though I consciously decided to take today off and I read a day and a half yesterday and plan to read a day and a half tomorrow.  I somehow knew that the allure of having access to a computer at home would test my commitment to read tonight.  I'm gonna say this being published tonight is proof that I was right.

4.  There is so much going on at work.  What was supposed to be my last 2 weeks has turned into, my last who-knows-how-many-months.  More on this another day.  If you would please just say a prayer that the right path becomes clear.

5.  Not having computer access has also increased both my book reading and movie watching.  Who knew I had all this time?  I think my Kindle has also considerably helped in the book reading area.  I absolutely love it - and being able to have not only my bible, but also 2 other books (The Power of a Praying Wife and Drowning Ruth) that I can all have access to any time I want while only carrying one thing around.  I've already read two more books as well!  (Full disclosure: If you click on the links and purchase any of the books/items, I get credit towards my Amazon Associates Account and can get even MORE books).  While my list of have reads and want to reads grows ever longer, I have to ask - what books do you recommend?

6.  Tomorrow, the NFL Playoffs continue.  Part of me was really looking forward to playing the Chiefs and having some trash-talk fun with Michelle and Jaime, but it was not to be.  The Steelers host the Ravens tomorrow.  The Playoffs are the best part of NFL football - mostly because there is no more college football to watch.  Here we go Steelers, Here we go!  Let's get #7!

7.  I felt like I had all kinds of stuff to say, but looking over this list it's really a whole lot of nothing important.  Sorry 'bout that.  What has been going on with you the last couple of weeks?


For the Last Time

I will talk about: Rich Rodriguez.

Why?  Because it is what I've said I would do since that cold day in December in 2007.

It was just a few short days after WVU lost to Pitt in the Backyard Brawl, also a few short days after Rich Rodriguez tearfully promised to stay at WVU until the end of his coaching career.  It was also just one year after WVU's alumni and big donors had shelled out serious cash to keep him at WVU after being courted by Alabama.  Rich Rodriguez snuck out of Morgantown on a late-night flight to Ann Arbor, after calling recruit Terrel Pryor, to take over the head coaching job at Michigan.

I said it then, I've said it a thousand times since then, and I'll say it one last time here.  It's not the fact that Rich Rodriguez left WVU, it is HOW he left.  He lied to a team and to a state.  He sent a graduate assistant to inform his boss.  He told recruits BEFORE he told his current team.

From the moment it was announced, I said "I hope he gets fired."  I know it's harsh.  I know it's just a game.  I know, I know.  I know!  It still hurt.  Not necessarily personally as in my day-to-day life, but as a West Virginian, it hurt.  (Knowing what we know now about the NCAA investigations, maybe it wasn't such a bad thing...)  It seemed like for the first time, WVU Football (and West Virginia by extension) was getting good, consistent press.  People liked us, they really really liked us!  And then our own coach, a native West Virginian, a WVU Alum stabbed us in the back.  He is the one person who may NOT claim to be 'once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer.'

It was one more reminder that the rest of the country looks down on West Virginia.  Our football team, our rich coal history, our family-first ways, all of it. But this time, it was one of our own who said we weren't good enough.

All I've wanted is for Rich Rodriguez to feel a little bit of how he made the WVU faithful feel.  To feel a bit like he wasn't good enough.  I've said since day one that all I wanted was for him to be fired (I know, I know, not exactly the right thing to want) and that when he was, I would let it go.

So today, I let it go.  I go back to complete apathy regarding Michigan and Ohio State Football, and frankly I'm happy about that.  I will only care what either of those schools does if it directly affects WVU.  And when Rich Rodriguez is hired at a new school (he's a good coach, I have no doubt he will be hired somewhere), I will only care about what happens to that school as it relates to WVU.

I'm happy that I can return to apathy, I just wished it never would've been like this to begin with.

I am glad it is the last time I will have this conversation.

Let's gooooooooooo Mountaineers!


NFP Works

When I first mentioned to people that I know IRL that we were using NFP, I received a wide variety of responses.  The one that stands out most in my mind is the one from my friend Kate.

I said something to the effect of:  "The Man and I are starting to use NFP and are really nervous because while we're certain this is the right thing to do, we are also certain it's not time for us to be parents.  We are really hoping that God isn't laughing at us."

Kate's reply: "NFP works, that's how we got Jonah."

My thoughts (that I might've said out loud): "Not exactly the example of 'NFP working' that I'm looking for."

One year later, I can look back and see just how right Kate's comment was AND how it should've been encouraging to me.

I know that I must've said something (or my face said it for me) similar to the above, because Kate quickly said 'no, really, on Day 3 you are still fertile.'  At the time, I had no idea she was referring to post-peak day 3, or that she used Creighton not STM.

What I couldn't see then, but do now, is that while Kate's example wasn't the one I was looking for, it should have been.  It shouldn't have mattered what someone's proof was that NFP works, all that should've mattered was that they were happy when they said it (meaning they meant it!).  Kate's knowledge of when Jonah was conceived should have been an encouragement to me that NFP really did work and it was just a matter of learning and applying the 'rules'.  Kate has never once called Jonah a mistake or an accident or any other negative way to describe a 'surprise' pregnancy, because she knows that he isn't a surprise at all!

One year later, instead of seeing Jonah and thinking, hmmm, maybe this NFP thing doesn't really work, now I see him and think what a beautiful example of NFP working he is!  (And I know his momma does too.)


Bible in 90 Days

Today marks Day 1 of 90 to read through the entire {Catholic} Bible.  I've completed my reading for tonight and I've already switched bibles.

No, not from the Catholic Bible to a Protestant one, but rather from one translation to another.

I downloaded and started with a Douay-Rheims version.  All you need to know about this one is that when speaking of how old Abram was when he first became a father, it was written this way:

four score and six years


And with that, I went looking for a translation that felt that '86' was sufficient.

If you know me IRL, you know I like things as simple as possible.  And while I have nothing against Misters Douay and Rheims, I am quite sure their translation is not for me.

I wish I could say I trusted myself to try again, but I did not.  (I also did not realize that I could download samples to my Kindle before purchasing!)  I called Katie and she helped me out.  I decided on The Ignatius Bible, that not only includes the Apocropha but also the Deuterocanonical Books (if you have a better link for this one, please share)!  And guess what?  It also says that Abram was eight-six years old when Ish'mael was born.

What else stood out to me in tonight's reading?

My goodness a lot happens in Genesis!  Creation, Cain and Abel, The Flood, Sarai an Abram - and we're not finished yet!  I've read Genesis before (in the past I've made it to Numbers or Leviticus before giving up) an this is one thing that never ceases to amaze me.  So many of the 'well-known' stories happen so quickly, it makes me wonder what other great stories I might be missing.  I guess I'm soon to find out.

To learn more about this journey that I'm on, or to read other (more eloquent, I'm sure) takes on this process, please visit Mom's Toolbox.


Two for 2011

I only have a couple of resolutions for this year, not because there isn't a very long list of things I'd like to work on, but because I feel like focusing on these two will help keep everything else in perspective.

1.  To read the Bible in 90 days.
   I'll be starting this one on Monday and participating in a group hosted by Mom's Toolbox.  I'm assuming that the readings will not be assigned using a Catholic Bible, but I will be reading using one.  That said, my goal is to not get behind, even when it means extra reading for me.  I've never read most of the bible, so I'm looking forward to doing this.  My intent is not to do it just so I've said I've done it, but to truly study and learn as I go.  I feel like I grew in my Catholic Faith in 2010, but I know my scripture knowledge is very limited.  I look forward to where this start to 2011 will take me.

2.  To run a 10K (and to not stop running right after I do it).
  I'd love to put run a marathon or 1/2 marathon here, but I'm not sure my knees or attention span could hold out for that long.  I am sure that both can make it about the hour or so that a 10K takes.  The obvious reason would be to get in (and stay in) better shape physically, but exercise is so good for my spiritual shape as well.  Now that we are a 2-car family again, I can return to the gym on my schedule and I'm looking forward to that.  With my Kindle (that I've already downloaded a Catholic Bible onto), I'm hoping I can do some 'killing 2 birds with one stone'!

What are your plans/resolutions for 2011?