Sunday, September 30, 2012

Movin' on up!

Well it has been quite a while since my last update. I haven't really had much to update you on. I've just been settling into the everyday life of a teacher in a new city! We are having so much fun in Room 104!! I have such a fun group of kids!! I am constantly getting a good laugh with them! :) I am learning so much as a new teacher. Some lessons have been a little harder than others, but that is expected! I am so blessed to be working with the people that I have behind me. My team teacher, Katy, and I work so well together. It has been such a blessing to learn from her!
This last week was a very tough week for me. I have done a pretty good job of settling in and keeping myself busy to keep myself from being homesick. On Thursday my Daddy had a his 4th heartcath done. It is very hard being so far away from home when things like this happen. I am grateful that the faculty and staff at WCS were so encouraging and supportive of me on Thursday as they knew it was a tough day. Good News! Daddy didn't have to have any new stints put in, the place of concern was actually old scar tissue, not a new blockage! This was very good news!
As you know, I have been living with my TX parents since I have been here. Calvin and Margie were my house parents when I was the youth intern for the last two summers. They have been gracious enough to allow me to stay with them for my first couple of months here to allow me to get settled in and financially stable. Well.... the Lord has once again provided so much for me. There is a girl that works at WCS with me that happened to be looking for a roommate right about the time I was, and we have been able to find a really nice apartment together! Tomorrow is the big moving day! I am so excited because I will be so much closer to the school. What used to be a 25 minute drive to the church, has quickly turned into a 35 minute drive with Houston traffic. So, I will now only be about 5 minutes from the school!! Super excited to be able to save some in gas.
But the Lord wasn't done providing. The young marrieds class at Westbury has literally completely furnished our apartment! A friend of mine sent out an email saying I was in need of a few things, and literally not even a week later I have a completely furnished apartment! I am so blessed!
I'll do another update this weekend with some pictures of my new living quarters! Feel free to private message me and I will give you my new address!
Thank you all for your prayers, phonecalls, and letters in the mail.....they make me feel so loved!!!
 Miss you all!
 Hollyann

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I am still alive!!

I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to update, but things have been beyond crazy to say in the least!! Let me being by saying that my plans aren't always the Lord's plans....but thank goodness, because he knows so much more than I do about my future!! It has become so evident to me over the last four weeks, that WCS is where I was meant to be. I have 27 of the most adorable little 2nd graders. Of course, I am blessed to be in a smaller school, so I get my students 14 and 13 at a time. If you're a teacher...you know how big of a blessing this is!! My life has been a literal whirlwind since school has started, but frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way! The Lord has been so sweet to give me peace in the last month. I really struggled with being here at the beginning, but I am 100% confident now that I am where God needed me this year. I love my school, my coworkers, and my students....ya'll they have to be the most adorable little children!! For all of my folks back home, you will be pleased to know that my students say ROLL TIDE very well....and with a cute southern accent too!!! We have had so much fun in Ms. Borden's room in the last 4 weeks! I have made so many sweet friends with some girls my age that I work with. If you know me at all, this is a big deal!!:) Several of the families at Westbury have adopted me into their family, and so I am staying busy and entertained!! We have parent meeting night this Thursday, and I am so excited about this! I am honestly in awe of God's providence as I read my last post. I remember being so self conscience about being a first year teacher, but the Lord has been so faithful to build be up with confidence. Please continue to pray as I am still settling into my new life here! I still miss my family and friends back home like nobodies business!!! But I also have a peace that passes understanding in knowing that no matter how tough it is being here, I am where God intended for me to be...I don't think life gets any better than that...fulfilling a purpose you were meant to fulfill...so blessed, and so thankful to have you all in my life!!!
Until next time...
Hollyann

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One Day at a Time!

Well guys, I have officially reached the part where I can either get REALLY stressed out, or just take it one day at a time! I wish I could say I wasn't stressing over some things...but you know...it happens. I wanted to quickly update you guys on a few things. Since I last updated I was able to meet my team teacher, Katy Shirley! WCS had a Summer Social, so I was able to meet a few of my students and their families! I have met and worked one on one with a student that has special needs...and of course, I have been doing A LOT of decorating! I started my first day of inservice today as a new employee! I was so anxious going into today, but the Lord was so sweet to calm my nerves and give me an extra boost of confidence and boldness as I met my new colleagues! (seriously, I felt like a Kindergartener on the first day of school!!!) Today went really well, not much to update about because I was in meetings ALL day long!!!Tomorrow will be full staff inservice, and we will leave Thursday morning to go to San Antonio for a conference!
So...here are the items I am asking for you to place on your prayer list for me in the next two weeks!
  • I am feeling very anxious and intimidated with being a new teacher and all that goes along with that!! 
  • Please pray for safe travel to and from the conference in SA. 
  • I have Meet The Teacher/ Orientation night next Tues. and school starts next Friday!!
.....so needless to say...I have a lot on my mind!! Please pray that God multiplies my sleep, and gives me a peace of mind! I want to be rested, confident, and on top of my game when my sweet little 2nd graders come in next week!! I promise to post final pictures of my classroom once everything is in order!! It is literally a HOT MESS right now! I will have it all ready by Tuesday night, so look for a detailed update then!!! I love you all and I am SO beyond thankful for you! I am so blessed to have you on my side interceding on my behalf...between Jesus, you, and myself...I know God will get the picture....THAT GIRL NEEDS HELP!!! :) Until next time...
Hollyann

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Life....Your Way...

The title of this blog is the only way I know how to sum up the chain of events that have taken place over the last 9 days. My family and I have beckoned the Lord's favor on my life for a very long time, more specifically since this Spring, when I graduated college. Little did we know the emotional journey we would all too soon face. In short, as many of you already know, I have spent my last two summers as the youth ministry intern at Westbury Church of Christ. This past April I was invited back to  Houston for an interview at Westbury Christian School.Of course I fell in love with the school immediately, and it was a major plus to already know the majority of the administration and staff of the school. I was offered a contract and given 7 days to sign it. Let's just say, those were the longest/hardest/most stressful 7 days...In the end, I declined the offer due to the retirement laws changing in the state of Alabama. Currently teachers can retire after 25 yrs of service, starting Jan 2013, they will not be eligible for retirement until the age of 62!...Not knowing where the Lord will take me over the next 40 years, I decided to stay and get a job in AL in order to be grandfathered in to the current retirement plan. After declining the position in Houston, I embarked on a very long journey to find a job in the state of Alabama. I applied at well over 150 schools, visited well over 75 of those schools. I had very little luck in even getting the principals to call me back!! I was fortunate to have 3 very good interviews...some of which I was very hopeful would result in a job...Unfortunately, due to the wonderful state of our country's economy.. (please excuse the sarcasm)...the State has cut the education budget, and so few positions are available!! I am BEYOND BLESSED to have so many people standing behind me, and helping me find a job. Leading up to this past Thursday, I had no luck in my search, and frankly I was at my wits end in trying to find a job! Out of the blue, I received a phone call from Greg Glenn, the head of Westbury Christian School. He offered the position to be AGAIN...the trick was that he would need to know within less than 24 hrs or he would be offering another teacher the contract. Yes, I was a HOT MESS! I have never felt more pulled in 50 different directions! Our family is anxiously awaiting the arrival of my niece or nephew (we find out Wednesday!!), and it was going to be very tough to leave my family in such a monumental time in our lives!...But after much prayer, I felt like the Lord was clearly reopening a door for me, so I accepted the position at Westbury on Friday morning! On Saturday, Mom, Dad, and I sat down and started making plans for the big move (uhaul rentals, hotel reservations, gas budget, etc.) As I was driving to church Sunday morning I was emotionally preparing myself to say goodbye to all of my friends and family that I have known my entire life at Greenbrier...It was when I pulled into the church parking lot that my plans and security in my decision came crashing down. After praying for so long for a job in Alabama and not having any luck..you would know that there would be an amazing offer come up AFTER I accepted the position in Houston. I have never felt more torn, than I was last Sunday. Torn because of my family, finances, and so many other reasons! But to make this VERY long story very short...the Lord made it very clear to me that he needed me in Houston. Looking back I am so thankful that the Lord granted his favor on me in providing this job. So, due to my family's crazy schedule, this last weekend was the only time that my parents could help me move all of my things to Houston...Let me interject here that I feel once again BEYOND BLESSED to have so many people standing beside me, praying for me, and supporting me. I want to publicly thank all of you who sent me a Facebook comment, message, email, text, phone call, and even all of the wonderful visits I recevied! It meant the world to me to see how many people I have in my corner! After many tearful goodbyes, Mom, Dad, and I packed everything up and hit the road last Thursday afternoon. We drove all 12 hours to Houston, TX in blinding rain!! But thankfully we arrived safely in Houston Friday afternoon. I am so thankful that Mom and Dad were able to be here with me as I made this new transition in life! Mom was able to spend several hours with me in my new classroom ( many pictures to come soon!) This was such a sweet time for us to visit, and enjoy our last few days together before they headed back home without me. As for the goodbyes....well let's just say it wasn't easy!!
I am so thankful to have the best parents in the entire world! I know it wasn't easy for my parents to drive their little girl halfway across the country and leave her there...but they did everything in their power to make this such an easy transition for me!! Please continue to pray for our family, as this new lifestyle will take some time to readjust!! As for the title of this blog...My Life, Your Way...this is my new motto! One week ago, I never would have thought I would be sitting in Houston, TX typing this blog entry...but my family and I have been through an amazing journey that has I believe has taught us all so much! Though we don't always understand His plans, He holds our future in His hands! And for control freaks, like me, it is hard sometimes to take a step back and allow the Lord to lead...but as I was sweetly reminded, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4
In a few more days, I hope to have my classroom looking a little more like a classroom and can't wait to share some pictures with you!! Thank you all for your prayers and support!! It means more than you will ever know!!
Until next time,
Hollyann

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Beginnings...

This blog has been utilized for me to be able to journal my way through my internship in Houston the last two summers. I have reluctantly decided to reopen my blog as a log of my new journey...as a TEACHER! The Lord has really been at work in the last few months...after many many ups and downs, my job search has finally come to an end! After much prayer, I have accepted a 2nd grade teaching position at Westbury Christian School in Houston, TX! I am very excited to see what the Lord has in store for me in Houston. While I am very excited to embark on this new journey, I am very sad to be leaving my home and family! Please keep me and my family in your prayers as this change is happening very fast. Mom, Dad, and I will be leaving Alabama this Thursday, to arrive in Houston on Friday. I know many of you are wanting to know how everything came about and what all happened. I promise to take some time in the next week to let you in on how the Lord is working. However, this week I am enjoying every last moment I can with my sweet family! I love you all and I can't wait to see where the Lord is leading me! 
"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord...plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans for HOPE and a FUTURE." Jeremiah 29:11
~Hollyann~

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Last week in Houston

Here are a few more pictures from my last week here...also I am going to post a few videos from camp...be sure to scroll to the bottom and pause the music so you can hear!:)


Cars 2 Lunchbox for my gift!!!!

Water Party for my going away!

Rachel, Abby, and myself raided Walmart really late one night...and took some crazy pics! 

Ok, here is a video of Cabins jack and Jill at PT with Bob (this is a camp tradition..) Pay close attention to the video at the end. What you will see is each of the boys proposing to the girls...and the girls answering with their number (roll call)...Me and the Jack counselor bring up the rear...listen to what he says!!
video



Camp Bandina 2011!

I can't believe this summer has come to a close so quickly!!! It seems like just yesterday Ellen and I came blazing in to get ready for WCS graduation! We just returned home this past weekend from Camp Bandina in Bandera, TX. Oh my goodness, this week was absolutely AMAZING! Let it be said that on the way to Bandera, we blew two tires!!..I know you are wondering, 'what in the world is the deal with their tires?' Luckily, this was not tires on the bus, it was on our trailer....making it alot easier to change! What should have been our 4 1/2 hr. trip quickly became a NINE HOUR trip!!! But all matters is we got there safely!
I have attended this camp for the past three years...but this year most definitely tops them all! Our theme this year was Intentional Decisions. All week we were encouraged our kids to look at their lives and evaluate the decisions they make and how they affect their eternity. We shared so many laughs all week long! But most importantly we shared so many victories with 16 NEW BROTHERS and SISTERS IN CHRIST!! How awesome is that?!!!
We returned  home Saturday afternoon...VERY EXHAUSTED! Sunday night after church we had a family night...this acted as my going away party!..It is still so crazy to me that this summer is almost over! What an amazing summer it has been! It has been pretty difficult coming to terms with the reality that this season of my life, with these amazing kids, is coming to a close. They have changed me in ways that I never thought possible. I will forever be grateful to Westbury Church of Christ for allowing me this opportunity to play such a big role in the lives of their teens. They have been so hospitable to me, and have met every need I have had! I am so thankful that God saw fit to place me here, and bless me with such amazing friendships.
Please continue to pray for me as I journey into my Senior year of college....my life is about to hit a big wave of changes all at the same time! I know there are many exciting things on my horizon!
"For i know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, Plans to prosper you, not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
I will leave you with several pictures from Camp and the past week. I will try and post some video footage I have from camp...just for a few laughs!
Love you all!
Hollyann
Cabin Clean Up!!

One of my most influential mentors...Bob Owens.

Cabin Jill....BEST CABIN EVER!!!

Some of my girls ready for my Girl's class.

Cabin Jill cheering on Cabin Jack in the football game!

Jack and Jill Family....BEST FAMILY EVER!!

Staff whooped Camper booty in volleyball!

This kid was ME for Hollywood night!! ...I was Taylor Swift!