Monday, February 23, 2009

TAKS Training

Today I had a TAKS training after school.

I cannot BELIEVE all the silly things they make you do/not do on TAKS day. I was almost laughing out loud in my seat. But I didn't dare because it is so "serious." Ha ha. I have no idea how anyone can take that silly stuff seriously though. It is absolutely ridiculous.

It is so funny that if a kid falls asleep there is a "statement" that I am supposed to read to them. If they don't bubble in their answers--another written, formal statement that I read to them. Question about the test-statement. Bathroom break-statement. Kid asks to sharpen their pencil-statement.

Blah blah blah-statement.

Apparently I am not allowed to say ANYTHING that is not already written down for me to say. Our computers HAVE to be off the entire day after we've taken attendance, and we have to sit at the lunch table in the cafeteria with them the day of the test. They are not allowed to say ANYTHING to each other. Poor kids. I would hate school, too, if I had had to do this when I was younger. Fortunately the state wasn't crazy back then. Ha!

Our first TAKS test day is Tuesday (one week from tomorrow), and I can already tell that my principal is stressed out. It is crazy what this test does to students, teachers, administrators and parents. I'm starting to think it does more harm than good.

My (6th grades') first TAKS test isn't until April 28 & 29. We don't take retests like 3rd & 5th do, and I am glad.
Anyway, all I am trying to say is, I HATE TAKS.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I want YOU to pray!

This weekend Casey and I are flying to McAllen, TX for Chris DuPree's Disciple Now. Chris DuPree was my asst. youth minister when I was in 11th and 12th grade. He was also Casey's boss when Casey was the asst. youth minister at Mimosa Lane and Chris was the head youth minister. Anyway, now Chris and his wife Kristy live in McAllen, and Chris is the youth minister at a church called Baptist Temple. Chris asked Casey to come to their disciple now and be the main speaker!!! Casey was honored of course, as this is his first time to be hired as an event speaker. We fly out tomorrow at 9am, and so I had to take a personal day off of work. I don't mind. I had a three day work week thanks to this and a staff development day on Monday! Woo hoo! We will get back on Sunday around 7:30pm.

I need to buy a book to read on our down time because I am sure I will have a lot since I am not the speaker :) I am thinking about The Shack or just a Francine Rivers' book that I already have, but haven't yet read (I have a couple of those). I really wish that I could read the Twilight sereies for the first time, but I just need to get over it. I just have to say to myself, "I have already read it. I can't go back in time. Get over it Lauren."
Speaking a few minutes I am leaving to go see Twilight with Rachel at the dollar theater (I know some of you are actually laughing at me right now for being so obsessed). I am glad to be going with someone who cares because last time I felt like I couldn't like it because Laura and Casey kept snickering! Ha ha!

Here is a picture of my fantasy hero.
Anyway, back to this weekend...Casey has been working really hard on his 4 talks for this weekend. So, I ask two things of you. 1) pray that the kids are open and receptive to God working in there heart and 2) pray that Casey is in tune with what God wants to say through him.
Pray for this guy! He needs it! :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Decorating by Lauren

Last week when I posted pictures of our black and white bedroom Casey got onto me because he said I should've just waited to post the pretty ones! :) The bedroom had already been completed, so he didn't understand why I posted old pictures.

I did it because I was too lazy to get up, take new pictures, and then download them all onto my computer! Ha Ha. Anyway, here is the finished project:

All of this was my bedroom furniture that I got in the 9th grade. It was all raw, and we stained it in when I was in high school. Casey thought it looked out dated, so we sanded it and painted all of it black! Then we found this super cute bedding! I LOVE the pillows.

Here are a couple of pictures from our "formal living room." At first I had no idea what to do with this space, but now I am glad we have it. I love these cute pillows I found at Burlington Coat Factory! Who knew?!

This side is still a work in progress. I guess the whole room kind of is. It just feels a little unfinished to me, but we'll see how it turns out.

Here is a picture of our dining room. This old table was my great grandmother's (but it's probably only from the 70's or 80's). She gave it to my parents when I was growing up, and my dad gave it to me. Kind of neat. We sold the chairs and got new, leather ones to replace them. They were really outdated. We thought that we might not find chairs to match, but we love these! The plates I got for Christmas from Casey's parents. I love that they are square. Then I recently found all of the place setting stuff on clearance at Target. I love Target.

That is all for now! Later I will post some pictures of our bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room :) Our office has a lot of work left to do, so it will probably be quite some time before I take pictures of it!

Our 2nd Married Valentine's Day

Casey never ceases to amaze me on Valentine's Day. He has always gone above and beyond to make me feel special and loved on Valentine's Day. Some guys refuse to do anything on Vday, but Casey always talks about how it is HIS day to be sweet to me (and not the other way around--although I do try to do something for him!). This morning he woke me up with breakfast in bed and a dozen, beautiful, red roses on my breakfast tray.


This was something new that he has never done before, and I thought it was so sweet, of course. He made my favorite: bacon and cinnamon rolls with milk. I was asleep all the way until he brought it into our room, so I was completely surprised. He is so sweet! Here is a picture of the sweetness:)

Tonight for dinner we went to Johnny Carino's for dinner (because the place we tried to go to had an hour and a half wait!). When we got home, Casey gave me a card and this sweet bracelet that he had engraved. On one side of the heart it says "LOVE," and on the other it says "Casey & Lauren." It has one strand of silver and one strand of real pearls. Again, very sweet :)

Here is the homemade card I gave Casey. This picture was taken on our "fancy date" before I left for college in 2005.

I also made him these cupcakes! (It was my very first attempt at making cupcakes, and they turned out massive!) :)

Here is a picture with me and my pretty, red roses.

Valentine's Day 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Black & Whiteness

Here are a couple of pictures of our guest is a little different now, but I was too lazy to get up and take some new pictures, so I am just showing some older ones. There is a headboard with the bed now that's not in the picture--it really makes a huge difference! Also, there is an armoir facing the bed that I don't yet have a picture of either. I'll take some good ones later :)

All of this furniture was my old stuff from back in high school. I actually got it in the 9th grade. It was all raw and we stained it back then, so it was a light pine color. Recently though, Casey and I sanded and painted all of it black! We think it looks pretty good! The cute bedding added a nice touch :)

I love the cute lamp, too!


Well, I have officially been stinking at putting pictures on my blog, but I HAVE NOW SUCCESSFULLY FIGURED OUT SCRAPBLOG!!! You cannot possibly understand my excitement! I have had my blog for almost a year, and I have never been able to do it! Tonight I was so frustrated, I almost threw my computer across the living room. I completely ruined my blog. Every time I opened it, it was just a tiny little picture in the top, right hand corner. No words. Nothing. I thought I had lost all of my posts and everything. Luckily, my artsy and computer savvy friend Rachel, called me back to help me with my emergency. (I hate to admit it, but I use to think I had some computer finesse, but I really don't at all. It has been a very slow realization). Anyway, I have now done a very simple scrapblog header. I don't care that it is simple. I love it.

So excited.

In other news...
Sunday after church I had the rare desire to get our office, otherwise known as the "junk room," into order. We have just been pulling a box out here and there to organize, but on Sunday we got it all done! It was almost shocking. Now we have all of our junk hidden in closets and all the rooms are neat and clean. They aren't all done by any means, but they are at least clutter free and clean! Yessss!

I promise to add a picture of the clutter-free room soon. Don't be alarmed though; it still has a lime green wall, thanks to the previous owners!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Disciple Now

This weekend was awesome! We had more than 300 students for the weekend, and it was more than we expected. The total number is somewhere around 315. We had a dozen students accept Christ and many, many more make decisions to follow Him, whatever that may mean for them.

Thursday night was our kick-off! We had a comedic hypnotist come to the church, and lo, and behold, I was hypnotized. There is a video, and I am going to try to get it on here somehow! Pretty funny, and a really interesting experience!

Friday and Saturday were awesome, and we got to watch students from 7th-12th grade worship! I loved dNow as a student, and I love it as an adult! Great times. Casey says that dNow is his very favorite youth event--above youth camp and everything else.

This morning we had over 500 people in the 9 o'clock service (due to all of the high school dNow students in the first service and middle schoolers in the second)! All regular chairs, fold-out chairs, and standing room were full. (We normally only fit 350 people in the sanctuary, so this was quite a few more people!) We had 2 awesome kids give their dNow testimonies (which drew tears to the eyes of many), and 2 awesome couples, who opened their homes to our students, speak. It was great!

Casey & I love cLife and are so happy to be apart of such a special event!

Ps. A special shout out to Casey, whose 26th birthday was Friday night! I think of him as a trooper to share his birthday with 400 people, but he thinks it is cool. More power to him!