Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Festivus

Festive Holiday Greetings! Although some of you may be getting the following songs via snail mail, I figured I'd post Marah's Annual Christmas Letter online for those of you (COLIN!) for whom I have no mailing address.

My holidays have been very low-key, with no presents yet because we're waiting for Rachel, Wyatt, and the kids to get here next weekend. Yes, that's right, on January 5th, my family will MOVE TO YAKIMA!!! Score!! Wyatt will actually return to OR to finish up his last week at work while Rachel stays at my parents' house with the kids. During the evenings, she'll come up to town to work on the house. Then, on January 12, the big move will take place. Gracious me! Much excitement!!

Other big things, I preach this Sunday! Deep breaths. I really love serving and teaching in this way, but I usually have to talk myself down out of the tree of fear.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, Marah Jean's Christmas Carols of 2007

The First Six Months (to the tune of Jingle Bells)

Dashing through the year, just subbing for my pay
And working with the Boom Boom Crew.
With new friends I did play.
I met them through Link Crew at the conferences I worked
From Minnesota, Missouri, Toronto, and Newark!

Oh! I spent hours on the planes
Flying to and fro.
If the miles were added up,
I'd be in Tokyo!

And all the while I did fly
All over the US,
I was also training for
A legendary quest!

Starting in Januar' with my friend Lisa Ann
I strapped on some new shoes, and then I ran and ran
And ran and ran and ran, and then I ran some more,
And then in June we ran the marathon in old Newport!

Oh! Quite the feat for my feet and the rest of me!
And I've crossed that off the list
Of Things to Do By Thirty!

Now I have the glory of
A finisher's t-shirt
And a metatarsal pain
That sometimes does still hurt!

The Second Six Months (the the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)

Once I was done with running,
I spent the summer with my fam.
Bennett and Erin Lindsay
Take lots of space up on my cam.

Let's not forget sweet Jaelynn
Who turned two on December first.
She loves to play, with Auntie,
Tag in "Ready! Set Go!" bursts!

Then this fall, I've filled in as
a sixth grade reading pro.
Middle school is quite the fit
For my crazy antics and my wit.

This job has helped me realize,
Though traveling is quite the kick,
I love being a teacher
And getting paid e'en if I'm sick!

Other Events in 2007
(to the tune of Deck the Halls)

Also in the weeks of this year
Fa la la la la la la la la
I have been a church volunteer
Fa la la la la la la la la
On the worship team I do sing
Fa la la la la la la la la
And the sermon sometimes I bring
Fa la la la la la la la la

One large accomplishment I've had
Fa la la la la la la la la
I am now a Gonzaga grad!
Fa la la la la la la la la
I completed my Masters work
Fa la la la la la la la la
A big raise I hope will be the perk.
Fa la la la la la la la la

That is all that happened with me
Fa la la la la la la la la
Except for one thing that caused much glee
Fa la la la la la la la la
I finally bought a new car
Fa la la la la la la la la
That had not been driven too far.
Fa la la la la la la la la

Lots of love -- marah jean

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The goose is getting fat

Because Christmas is coming! Life here has been a flurry of activity, and I don't have anything specific to report. But as I sit here at Sierra Vista Middle School is Sunnyside, WA (perhaps the only district that doesn't block this site), I've decided to make the most of the silent reading time and blog about things I've noticed in December! (Side note -- the next three days of subbing should be fabulous, if for no other reason than my actually classes are done at 12:15! After that, this teacher has individual and team planning time. Yeah -- I won't be sticking around for that!)

Things I've realized in December:

1) I love being a part of a school staff. The last few weeks have included a long-term sub job in sixth grade reading at Wapato Middle School. The kids are fine, the content simple, but the BEST part is the team I've been plopped into. They are so fun and have accepted me with open arms! I was involved with the pixie gift exchange, the cookie exchange, and the celebratory meal at El Porton after the last day of school. One of the teachers is, I swear, my brother from another mother. He reminds me a lot of two of my favorite people: Johnny Gomez (my little brother's best friend) and Cesar Dominguez (my associate pastor and friend). Loves kids, loves Jesus, and SO STINKING FUNNY!!! After the El Porton lunch, he and I played racquetball at the Y, and I haven't laughed that hard for that long in many moons. I cannot even explain the hilarity of seeing this big hurkin' athlete swing for the fences and whiff it. Oh man. Sweet comedy.

My experience at WMS has been so good that it has sealed my desire to get back into teaching. After over a year of subbing and traveling about, I have determined that I thrive in a school setting, especially after I have found real friends on a staff. The friends I have made at Wapato have even got me to consider working at the middle school level, just so I can keep working with them. The other major thought is to find a job at Davis High School, which is right down the street from me. I could totally see myself at either place, so I'm asking God for some major direction as to which avenue to pursue. There will probably be jobs at both places, so I'm very thankful that we have an ever-present God who promises to say, "This is the way. Walk in it."

2) I love racquetball. And I love being a member at the Y. It is so gloriously social! I've met more people in the last month at the Y than I did ALL SUMMER at West Valley Fitness. I spend an average of 90 minutes at the Y each day, with some days topping two hours. Yesterday Lisa and I played racquetball with some army reservists, and I'm sorry, but it is so much fun to be flirted with by cute military men. :-) I don't know if I'm actually getting any fitter. After all, it is the holidays which would not be complete without daily sugar fixes. But I do love being active, even if it isn't running at this point.

3) I love Josh from the Eugene Costco. I have never met this man, but he completely made my day yesterday. I was subbing at Davis and decided that I would finally go to Costco and get my piano. For two months now, I've been visiting "my piano" at the Yakima Costco. This digital instrument with great piano and strings sounds was going to be my "congratulations on finishing my MA" gift. Several people have donated to the cause and yesterday was The Day when I would get my piano. But when I get there, IT WAS GONE!!!! Cue tears in Costco. Not only was it gone, but NOT ONE COSTCO in the ENTIRE STATE had any left! I called my sister to cry and she said, "Do the Costcos down here have any?" After a few queries, I discovered that the Eugene Costco had four pianos left and that Rachel & Wyatt were planning to go to Eugene to Christmas shop. So I called that Costco and spoke with Josh, who totally made an exception for me and allowed me to purchase the piano over the phone!!!! So Rachel is going to go pick it up today, and then next Thursday, she and I will meet in Troutdale and make the exchange. So what could have been a HORRIFIC day and week ruining experience turned into utter joy!! Hurray for Josh!

4) I love my small group. Last night we had our Christmas party and it was hilarious. It was a Bad Sweater Christmas Party (which some of us thought was the Bad Christmas Sweater Party), complete with remixed Christmas songs, flashing Christmas tree lights, and a bad sweater fashion show. Dang. We are funny people. My sweater had two gigantic ducks, each one placed squared over each... well.... you get it. But the clencher was Steve, who had a sweatshirt with four santa hat wearing cats, the back of which showed the cats rears. But that wasn't the best part. The best part was that he decided to wear my sassy boots for his trip down "the runway". I don't know which was funnier: the sweatshirt or the fact that he could fit his calves and his Carhart pant legs into my boots when I have to stretch to get them zipped. :-)

So, in short, the December has been busy and gloriously joyful. I hope you each have found as much to enjoy!

much love and eggnog -- marah jean

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A HUGE Weekend!

The Wood Family came down on Thursday for a weekend of house hunting, birthday celebrations, and -- as it turned out -- SNOW! All things have gone quite well. Rachel & Wyatt found a house, made an offer, and it was accepted -- all within the course of two days. AMAZING!!! We're going to look at it this afternoon sometime, and they are planning to move the second week of January.

Bennett and Erin had loads of fun playing in the snow, and Jaelynn had loads of fun unwrapping her MOUNTAIN of presents. Bennett and I made cookies yesterday, which were very chocolatey and slightly overmixed, but I figure that's what happens when a four-year-old is involved in the process.