Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Deep End

It's hard to believe that I have less than a month left of school. For those of you familiar with the inside workings of a school, you know this time of year is very unique. It is exhausting making the final push...everyone is beyond tired, summer is just around the corner (although one wouldn't have guessed that with the snow we got here today), and there are always soooo many things left to teach/learn/finish in the last month. In spite of all this stress and tiredness, though, you start to see a twinkle in teachers' eyes. One of the bright spots at school this time of year is the promise of an end in sight (not many professions get a clean start each year) and the hope of a new year...a chance to try again, try differently.

The fact that I won't be at my school next year is even more obvious as so many discussions in the lounge and meetings turn to next year. It is such a strange feeling! Strange because I feel left out and a little jealous of my teacher friends who know where they're going to be next year. Strange because I'm starting to see my school and what we do with a little different perspective....that of an outsider.

I have no doubt that Jay and I are on the right track to where we need to be going. Do I know where that is? I wish! There are so many unknowns, and that is hard for me. Really hard for me. I like love crave order and plans. Not too much of either around here right now!

Since we began this journey many months ago we both have stated that we had faith things would work out. Looking back, that is really an easy statement to claim when you both have jobs and the jumping point is over half a year away. Well, as the time is quickly approaching, and we have less and less of our "security blankets" to cling to, the meaning is taking on more truth. We both still believe it. Even though we don't know where we're going to be after Jay is done with school or what we'll be doing, God does. We're okay with that. Always have been.

I love the saying, "It's easy to have deep-end faith when you're splashing around in the shallow end." I have never related so much to this quote before. Previously I had thought about it when someone I knew was going through a trying time. I used it to remind myself not to judge the way in which they were dealing with their situations. Now, though, I can apply it to our situation. We are leaving the shallow end. Leaving behind the comforts and security of jobs, the known, and time. We are moving farther into the depths of the unknown and having to truly trust in what is unseen.

Tot ziens!

Friday, April 29, 2011


Disclaimer: Don't be fooled by the Dutch title of this post. I have officially postponed my study of the hardest language in the world Dutch until I'm in The Netherlands this summer.

Besides windmills and tulips, The Netherlands is most known for wooden shoes (well, perhaps there are other items one would associate with the place, but they aren't appropriate to mention here!). These clogs, called Klompen in Dutch, were traditionally worn by farmers to keep them from sinking into the boggy land they were working. They also wore them for safety reasons. Think steel-toe boot...your foot is going to be safe from dropped objects, rusty hardware, or a cow stepping on your foot. Some also claimed your feet would stay "healthier" because they were allowed to breathe and not be stuck inside a sweaty boot. The most likely reason they wore them, though, is they were convenient. Easy on and easy off. If Jay has learned anything about the Dutch people, it is they are efficient!

Wooden clogs aren't worn regularly today, although one of Jay's professors said he wore them as a boy. I think it would be safe to say that most of the wooden shoes made today are for these two!

A few weeks ago Jay and some of his classmates visited a business where wooden shoes are made. He said it was quite fascinating, and he even came away with this purchase for my Grandma Phyllis. It is a bird house made out of the front part of a large wooden shoe. He carried it in his carry on luggage all the way back to Amarillo. He said it got some attention as he was coming through customs! It is arriving in Iowa today via my mom, and I can't wait to hear her reaction!

Tot ziens!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just 2 Months

First of all, let me assure you that I have not spent the time since my last post practicing my Dutch. I am very discouraged by how difficult it is, and I really don't have tons of time right now! I think I mentioned in my last post that I end up shouting at the computer to get it to approve my pronunciation...I know it sounds crazy, but my friend Amber will attest that it is so natural to do! I got an audio cd with my computer course, and we listened to it one day when we carpooled. She was shouting right along with me. It's kind of like the cliche of speaking louder and slower when someone doesn't understand a languge. Ha!

Several of my kids at school have been curious about my adventures, so I took the cds into school for them. It was THE most hilarious thing ever. My kids were surrounding the cd player, semi-shouting "het meisje" and "een man". They were certain their pronunciations were perfect and couldn't understand why I haven't mastered the language yet. :)  I'm not giving up, but I am putting it on my list of things to work on when I'm in The Netherlands this summer.

So, you might ask, what have I been doing then? Well, I'm not really sure, but time is just flying by! In just two months I will be in The Netherlands for the duration of Jay's time there schooling. I put in for a year's leave of absence from work. This allows me to come back to my job if we end up back here. It is a nice option to have, and I'm thankful my principal looked into it for me. We still have no clue where we'll end up after Jay finishes school, but surprisingly I haven't really been stressing (too much) yet. Right now the thought of having to pack everything up and get it moved out of the house is more stressful for me.

As of now, our plan is for me to pack up and put everything into storage here. I will then drive Junie to my grandma's house in Iowa. (She's cat-sitting for me this summer.) Then I leave for The Netherlands at the beginnig of June from Iowa. I really can't believe it. I haven't started packing yet. I'm going to start over Easter weekend. I'm afraid if I start now I won't stop and will end up living out of boxes for the next few months! Here's what is filling up my basement right now...

I am ready and am having to show restraint not to just jump in and get it taken care of! Thank goodness I work at a school, though. I haven't had to go scrounging for any boxes yet!

Tot ziens!