May 31, 2008

Words Fall Short- blog by Ted

We have experienced more than can be blogged. Once we get back to Nashville...Shana & I will post a picture or two and share a a picture or two and share a bit more. Words truly fall short of expressing what we have seen here...the beauty of God's creation. WOW, THAT'S SO BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING, AWESOME, OH MY GOSH, and THAT'S GREAT started sounding so shallow to me, but those were the only words I had to describe what we were seeing/experiencing. Place/Nature have such an impact on me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Maybe it is my artistic soul. Maybe it is because I grew up in the middle of a forest & it is what I know. Maybe it is God speaking to me in a language that meets me where I'm at. Whatever the case, I could have spent days just basking in the beauty of our Lord's design. I felt as if He was holding me tightly as the mist from the falls surrounded me. I could almost hear Him whispering "PEACE BE STILL" as the wind blew round me. I could see His love piercing threw the trees that towered over me as the sun found it's way to my face. People rushing...wanting to move on....and I...I just wanted to linger a little longer. Portland is an amazing place....I'm so glad Shana suggested we come here!!!

May 29, 2008

Unexpected Adventures

Right now we are sitting in Portland enjoying the amazing surroundings. The scene is lush green foliage filled with splashes of color at every turn set to a back drop of blue skies and sunshine. We are loving today! However, yesterday was a different story. Let's just say getting up a 4 AM should be a warning sign that the day may not go as planned no matter how excited you are. I have flown hundreds of times to places all over the world in planes of every size. The two exceptions involve a case of food poisoning in Miami and losing my luggage coming home from Vegas. Apparently, that was just preparing me for what was to come later down the road. There we were eagerly boarding our plane in Denver for the last leg of the trip thinking about all the fun that was about to be had. We had a beautiful take off followed by a few minutes of turbulence as we passed through the clouds. No biggie, neither of us get motion sickness. However, about 15 minutes into the flight I started feeling nauseous. Thinking I'm about to be totally sick, I excused myself to the lavatory. Seemingly all I needed was to move about the cabin because by the time I got to the back of the plane the nauseous had subsided a bit. As I headed back to my seat, I began feeling slightly tingly and a bit light headed. By the time I sat down, apparently I was mumbling something about this is not good I need to lay down in the floor. Then according to Ted, I keep putting my fingers in front of my face to see if they were still moving in between trying not to pass out on top of the lady sitting next to us. My wonderful husband got the flight attendant to assist us. They ended up moving us to the front of the plane to "keep an eye on me." She also informed me that if I completely passed out in the floor that they would have to call for emergency personal to meet us at arrival. Well luckily the more roomie front row gave me a chance to put my head between my legs and regain a semi normal state of consciousness. Oh but the fun was not over, when we exited the plane an airline attendant was waiting with a wheel chair to cart me to baggage claim. Now if I was eighty with a cane or even had a bum leg this might have been fun. Don't get me wrong as grateful as I was that I did not have to some how manage to walk all the way to baggage claim in my some what paralytic sate I was also equally embarrassed by the fact that I am young and healthy but for some reason can't seem to handle the flight form Denver to Portland. As all of this was shock to me it must have been equally shocking to Josh who was waiting in baggage claim fully prepared to run up and attack us with love. Instead we found him standing quite stupefied and confused as to why I was slumped down in a wheel chair with a man name Hosa who spoke very little English. So here we were filling Josh in waiting on our luggage, waiting on our luggage, waiting on our luggage...oh wait that's right my luggage didn't make it! Talk about kicking a horse while it's down! The really ironic part is that in my twenty-five years of flying the only two times that my luggage has been lost has been in the last six months. At this point I am bewildered as to how you can go from being so totally excited for weeks about an event only to be so royally disappoint at the start. It goes to show how Satan can try to take a trip meant to celebrate a friend's ministry and turn it into less. But our God is greater than that. Despite our rough journey here our time has been spent enjoying the glory of God's good work here. We are loving the wonderful beauty of Oregon. There is amazing food on every corner. Most importantly we are blown away by the way that God is working in Josh's life and using him to make a difference in people's lives.

May 23, 2008

To Be Loyal You Can Not Only Live For Yourself...

In high school, there was a guy in one of my classes who wrote “Think before you speak” on all of my folders. At the end of the year, I tore a piece off and stuck on my mirror as a reminder of how often I say the wrong thing. Ten years later I feel like I’m starting to learn just what he meant. Last summer, I read this book Discerning the Voice of God by Pricilla Shirer. The book is about recognizing God’s voice before you make a move. God used those words to deeply convict me about submitting to Him before I speak or act. Since then I have been on a journey of learning to submit my words and actions to the Lord in every regards. It’s been a difficult road. As a Leo, I am known for deep lasting relationships. The Lord has used some of those deep relationships to really drive his point home. In one situation, I have a friend who has made some choices that are clearly not of the Lord. At first, I was in complete shock. All I could do was cry out to Lord on her behalf for mercy. In interacting with her it was difficult to know what to say or do. I spent hours on my knees praying for God’s guidance and wisdom in every word I spoke or action I took toward her. As a result, of my faithfulness to the Lord I have seen our friendship grow and blossom in unexpected ways. The prayers that many of her faithful friends are prompting the Lord to transform her life. While she is still traveling a difficult road, she is growing in the Lord every day. In my foolishness, I thought this was a time in life that I was meant to pull her along. But the truth is it is a time that in our friendship that we are to walk even more closely to the Lord leaning on His direction. Along the way, I have reminded her that some day she is going to look back on this incredibly tough place and realize how far she has come. I can’t wait to hear her story of redemption. At the same time, I am beginning to realize that in a strange way it is also my story of redemption. A story of a girl who more often than not says the wrong thing but who is learning to only speak what the Lord places on her tongue. A few months back, I pride fully thought to myself “Lesson Learned.” Don’t make the same mistake I did because I am here to tell you the minute you think you have it figured out the Lord will ask “Are you sure?” You may not want to know the answer.

Another situation in life that the Lord is using to witness to me is with one of my spiritual mentors. We have literally lived through hell together. She has been there to hold my hand or let me cry on her shoulder so many times that I have lost count. You would think if we could live through the worst of times that we could live through the not so great times together. For the last several months, I have watched my friend change into a different person due to new influences in life. In some ways, I see really great things happening. But in other ways I am surprised by some of the uncharacteristic things I have witnessed. Part of this transformation has been incredibly heart breaking to me because of the cost. Yet again, I often don’t have words of my own to speak. I have had no choice but to submit my words and actions to the Lord. While I feel that in this area I have failed a few times letting my emotions get the best of my words, overall I think that I have been loyal to what the Lord has called me to say and do. The result however has been a strain in our relationship. I can’t tell you how much the situation sucks. Someone once said to me “Of course life is going to suck sometimes. What do you expect? Life is not always going to be a bed of roses just because you walk with the Lord.” Oh how true those wise words are…two situations that I have been loyal to the Lord’s calling with two very different results. Are you sure…are you sure you can be loyal no matter what the cost?

This week the Lord has really brought this lesson home for me. On Sunday, we shared the story of Jonathan and David from 1 Samuel 20. While I have read this story many times, I have never been touched more by the words than I am now. I always thought the story was about David, but really I think the story is about Jonathan. Jonathan is a shining example of loyalty. In this passage, he had to choose between loyalty to his earthy father and his best friend. His choice was to be loyal to God no matter what the cost. His loyalty to God guided him through opposing aspects of human relationships. The conflicting demands of our relationships challenge us as well. If we attempt to settle them our way, then they will end with a sense of failure. But if we continue to be loyal to God’s truth our choices will me much clearer.

My Jonathans

I am blessed to have two Jonathans in my life. They have been witnesses to me for over twenty years. With every day that passes I realize more and more how incredibly lucky I am to have them. Elizabeth, who I have known since I was five, is probably one of the most generous people you will ever meet. She would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it and not think twice about it. She has taught me to be grateful for every gift life has to give from food to eat to time with family. She has stood by me for every major moment in life. At the same time, she has given me room to make my own mistakes. Even when I make really bad decisions she loves me anyway. She has had amazing patience to put up with some of the stupid things I have done. Her gracious heart is always there willing to forgive me even if I don’t deserve it. Emily, who I have known since I was eight, is quite different. She is a lively spirit, an encourager. Although she is a year younger than me, her wisdom seems to out succeed mine. She is very in tune with God’s desires for us. In every situation, she always points back to the Lord’s desires. Both of these amazing women have been an unbelievable blessing in my life. I don’t know where I would be today without them. They have been examples of faithfulness to the Lord who have held me accountable to God’s truth time and time again. They are my Jonathans. My prayer is that some day I too can be like Jonathan…a loyal follower to the Lord in every word and deed.

Proud "Art" Papa

I thought if I said Proud Papa for the title...ya'll would get the wrong idea! Probably some of you still have the wrong idea. NO BABY! ha ha As an art teacher though, I often feel like the father of many & that I'm instilling ideals, values, information, and skills to my kids. Last night I was a very proud "art" papa. I went to Wal-Mart & ran into one of my students. He had an arm full of yard & his mother was right behind him with his weaving(yesterday was the last day of school, and I passed out their work). I had informed my students that if they did not finish their weaving that they could get the same yarn at Wal-Mart that I had in the classroom. Not in a million years would I have guessed that this 4th grader would be the one to actually do it!!! He wasn't my most motivated student during the year, but really seemed to enjoy the weaving project. I had praised him for his amazing color choices...and sure enough..he found those colors to finish off his weaving. What a nice way to end my school year...maybe someone listened...maybe someone learned...maybe someone gained a new appreciation for art.....maybe someone found they had talents they never knew they had.

May 21, 2008

My Guy Finally WON!

Before I met Ted , I was not into Idol at all. I hate riding the trendy-train with everyone else. American Idol certainly holds the crown for popular band wagon. However, when Ted and I were dating he insisted that I watch Idol with him. He wanted to teach me all about the Idol ways and I wanted to cuddle so I went along with it. Well some where along the way I became hooked. I loved watching to see what crazy thing Kelly Pickler was going to do next or Taylor Hick's Vegas like performances. But what I really loved was Chris Daughtry. He had it all...the vocals, the look, the total package! What did America do...send him home! By the end of season five I was through with Idol forever!

Life went on...Ted and I got married...then it was time for Idol again. Being blissfully married I had totally forgotten how mad I was at the end of season five so I began watching Idol again. As much as I hate to admit it, my addictive personality gets so easily entangled into the whole Idol world. Yet again, I found myself tuning in every week to watch. First, I watched in dismay that Sinjaya who couldn't hit a note to save his life could make it to the top six. I actually enjoyed watching Gina and Chris rock out! Of course, Melinda Doolittle was phenomenal! She nailed the vocals every time and made her audience just want more and more...but yet again America sent her home. To make matters worse they chose a whiny teenie booper as the Idol over someone with original talent like Blake. Let's just say I am still ill about season six!

By the time this season of Idol came around, I was completely disinterested...or at least I tried to be. But I feel in love with Brooke White. I know she didn't give the best performances but I loved her bubbly personality. Besides if you put her in folk music she'll do great. while I loved Brooke I knew she didn't have a shot of actually winning. However, I was quite ticked when hippie dread locks guy made it farther than her. What was that all about? I have yet to find anyone who liked him! Moving real vote went for David Cook. I believe he is the epitome of what Idol is...the look, the vocals, and the performance that keeps you wanting more. Now, David A's vocals were on spot every time, but he annoyed me because he didn't sing to his age group. The songs were too old for him therefore unbelievable in my book. Despite all of that, I was convinced he was going to win because my guy never wins. The teenie boopers have nothing else to do but hit redial for four hours so their guy always wins. But not faith in Idol was restored when MY GUY FINALLY WON! So here's to you David Cook...Rock on!

May 20, 2008


Ok, so tonight is the sing off between David & David on American Idol(I captured the image from the AI that illegal?). I like both the guys a lot. I love AC type music(big Clay fan) & I enjoy modern pop/ it's win win for me this year. I have a feeling if David A wins...they will push him into more of an R&B flav. I think he could do it, but not sure if people would believe him in that roll. Kind of like what happened with Katharine McPhee. She is AC, and for her to go the pop diva R&B route was just not believable. I was glad to hear she was going to do an album with David Foster. Right move on her part!! Now if David C wins, I just pray they let him have creative control over the vibe of the album. What we have seen from past winners(and finalists)...when they are pushed into a box that is not their own...they will not fit(Katharine, Bo, Taylor..etc). David C has a great thing going! He knows who he is musically, and has done some amazing things on the show this year!!! He has proved himself to be a true talent.
Anyways..those are my thoughts on AI for now. Should be good!!!! Let me know what you are thinking!!
P.S. Shana wants David Cook to win!

May 19, 2008

Hi-Ho's off to Portland we go! Well, not yet, but with us being in the last week of school...I'm dreaming of a white Christmas....I MEAN...I'm dreaming of a great vacation. Often people say..."Oh, must be nice being a teacher...get your summers off!!!!" Well, to those people...I say...YES IT IS! However, I know few teachers that actually have a full summer off. I'm trying to work as much as possible so I have the cash for grad school! However, Shana & I are taking a quick trip out to Portland, Oregon before I start teaching my summer camps & scrapbooking classes! Why Portland....WHY NOT?!?!? We actually have a close friend of ours out there right now...and thought this would be a great time to see the city! Per Shana's request...and Josh's great joy...I believe our trip is going to be based around great places to eat in Portland. I'm kind of along for the ride. I'm as happy at Taco Bell as I am some 5 star foodie heaven. When we went to Las Vegas for our anniversary in Dec.....that was the farthest west I had been. Portland will be a new record for me!! :o) Now Shana has been to CA a good she has me beat, but never to Portland. So we'll enjoy this new adventure together. It will be wonderful to get away & let the cares of the school year melt away...and have some time to dream of the future together.

May 13, 2008

What's in a Name

What's in a name? My name, Ted(and yes that is my given name), means "Gifted" in some translations. That's a lot to live up to!! ha ha I found one of those name mugs once that actually said "Gifted in the Arts & Musics". Crazy, eh?!?!?! My parents had not a clue when they named me that I'd be an artsy fartsy. However, what I see in my name is my father. His given name was Herman Edward Edinger, but everyone called him Ed. This picture is from my dad's garage. I snapped it the first time I took Shana up to Ohio to meet my friends & family...and to see where I grew up. It's funny..the ED part of Ted sticks out to me. The T is a little lower & a bit off from the ED. Maybe I'm just missing my dad. I wish Shana could have met him. He would have totally loved her(her beauty & firey personality would have won him over). He was a character!!! Never met a stranger, had a story for any situation, very funny, and extremely loyal to his family & friends. For sure I got his looks(I don't have any digital photos...or I'd show ya!)...and I got the "ed" for Ted....but I feel that he modeled that zest for life, family, & relationships to me...even if I didn't know it at the time. May is a tough month in regards to my dad. My parent's 38th anniversary would have been May 8th. My dad would have turned 59 May 14th. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1999 on the 21st & died on the 25th(yes...the same week!). I miss my dad. I didn't realize how much we had in common till he was gone....and that some of the best parts of me are directly from him. Sometimes people slip and call me Ed...people that never knew my dad...or knew that he was Ed. I don't really mind reminds me I'm a lot like my father. And that's not a bad thing. We should be reminded we're more like our Father more often!!! So...what's in a name.....MEMORIES, LAUGHTER, TEARS, IDENTITY, HERITAGE, LOVE, & HOPE. I know, this isn't the most fluid of blogs, but my thoughts are a bit jumbled..and this is what fell out!

May 1, 2008

May is Here...The End Is Near!

No, this is not a dooms day blog. The end I am speaking of is the end of the school year!! Yes, teachers are MORE excited about summer than students!!! I personally just felt the need for summer to be here this week. A large number of my students have mentally checked out. I am finding myself repeating directions...reminding them to stay on task...redirecting behavior issues.....repeating directions(oh wait...I already said that).....more and more! I do love my job..and at this moment...I still love my job, but if it were not for summer break.....!!!!! Yes..I is conditional love. They say that the reason summer break began was because of the farmers need to have their kids home working the land, but I'd like to challenge that. I believe there is a story that was covered up.....of a school system that made the kids go year round...with breaks no longer than a week(Christmas & Easter...that's it!). No one survived....THE END. So...that was the start of summer vacation. IT HAS TO BE!!! FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN...AND THE TEACHERS!!!!!! SUMMER BREAK IS OF GOD!!!! TRUST ME!!! :o) ha ha