Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Friday, August 31, 2007

This Filipino prison has found a new way to torture their inmates . . .

although they call it exercise . . .

Open Letter to Houston Drivers

August 31, 2007

To my dear fellow Houston Drivers:

Where do I begin? We share a bond that shall tie us together for generations to come . . . Or at least until one of us moves out of the greater Houston area . . . but never mind that. I love you dearly, for loving the city I love and for giving your time and money to help H-town become a greater place. However, the full moon has passed. Why all the lunacy this morning?

Dude on the Honda bike, wearing the over-sized royal blue shirt with khaki shorts and long white socks peaking out of the Caterpillar boots (we shall discuss your obvious fashion ineptness later), what's with the no helmet thing? I understand you need to prove yourself as a man, but darting in front of cars trying to merge lanes on I-10 without the proper headgear is sheer stupidity. And it makes me nervous as I drive behind you. And I'm typically not a nervous driver. But I couldn't help but seeing you're life pass before my eyes. So please, for my sake, wear a helmet.

My Beltway 8 Grand Prix comrades, forgive me if it takes a minute for my little car to adjust from inching along I-10 to racing for his life down the Belt. Earl does the best he can. And since when has driving 75, almost 80, mph become a speed slow enough to merit you having to pass us? I didn't get the memo that the speeding limit changed, so my apologies.

And whoever was in that SUV that cut across three lanes of traffic to quickly get into the Westpark Tollway left exit lane, the car in front of me was gracious. Surely I would have laid on my horn. Next time, maybe think ahead, start moving over one lane at a time. That way, your fellow commuters, both young and old, won't have heart attacks on the way to work. Personally I think twenty-seven is too young for me to start having heart attacks, but you may disagree. Just a friendly suggestion.

So, my dear comrades, thank you for letting me voice my concerns. Enjoy your long weekend, drive safely, and I shall commute with you again on Tuesday.

Debbie & Earl(the little gray car)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

School Days

I'm still alive. Tired, but alive.

Man, adjusting back to a work schedule is tough! I miss the days of sleeping in and lazying around the pool. *sigh*

But my new students are a hoot. And quick as a whip. They are definitely more advanced than the group I had last year. I still see last year's bunch in the hallways. I miss those babies. Many of them run out of their lines to hug me, and I never know how their teachers will respond to that. Esp the new teachers who don't know me. But I still stop to give a hug.

I saw one little boy the second day of school, Jason Trejo. He's so grown. But he's really little. Cause he was a bit sickly. He waved at me from his line. Casting glances at his teacher from halfway down the line, he gestured for me to call him. He made a telephone with his hand, put it to his ear and mouthed, "Call me!" Then he said, "Come to my house." And he emphatically nodded and gestured while telling me to first take a right, then another right, then a left. It was hilarious! This is the same boy that gave a note to one of my Brianna's last year. It said, "Jason likes Brianna S." Then it had two little stick people holding hands, one smaller than the other. An arrow pointing to the larger stick figure was labeled "Brianna," and an arrow pointing to the smaller stick figure was labeled "Jason Trejo." (Did I mention he's really little? But so smart! He can read anything you put in front of him - English AND Spanish!) But he didn't stop there. He wrote his number on the paper. In fact, he wrote TWO numbers on the paper. And they were real phone numbers! And they were really HIS phone numbers! My friends and I were laughing about that little note for days.

So I'm looking forward to this school year. It's already majorly stressful, but the good thing is that will help the days pass quickly. Oh, and we had a first potty accident today. The boy sat and poohed on himself and didn't even say anything until the smell started filling the classroom. It was disgusting. I was not happy. But the kids walking down the hallway with wrinkled noses or hands tightly shut over their noses, helped keep me chuckling.

Here's hoping there there's no pooh tomorrow -- both literal and figural!


Just thought you'd might like to know we had more pooh Friday. Loads of pooh. Both literally and figuratively! Praise Jesus for a 3-day weekend!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I've had AT LEAST 4 migraines in the past 10 days

However, when I was picnicking here:

And saying hello to these guys:

And riding through these streets:

And walking across this river:

And getting lost and caught in the rain here:

And reading in the cafe:

And skipping down narrow streets:

And wearing a sweater and scarf in the middle of August:

And drinking wine out of mugs in the park surrounded by patriotic British people, with live classical music playing in the background:

And reading on the train:

I never ONCE had a regular headache, yet alone a migraine. What gives???

Monday, August 20, 2007

But I'd rather be here:

Doing this:

At First I Was Afraid

Thanks for the prayers! They definitely helped make today smooth and relatively stress free. It helped that only 13 of my 22 students showed up! And they were rather quiet. I know it won't last. It's all strategy. They're feeling me out, seeing how much they can get away with. Plus, I'm sure the noise level will spike once the other 9 kids show up. I'm just praying tomorrow will be just as smooth. And fast. Today flew by! I seriously don't know what happened to the time! I didn't even have enough time to show the kids the complete routine. But that's what this first week is for -- to work out our class rosters and lay the ground work (i.e., rules, consequences, routines). So let's keep praying that the whole year is as smooth as this first day! And I'll post pics of my AWESOME classroom once I revive my dead camera with new batteries.


My alarm is going off in three hours.
I'm leaving for work in four and a half hours.
I'll arrive at work in five and a half hours.
New children will begin arriving in my classroom in six hours.
I barely have anything planned.
Some of them may be crying.
Some of them may try to tear up my room.
Some of them may not even speak English.
Most of the parents probably don't speak English.
I'm not fluent in Spanish.
I've been in England for three weeks.
That makes my Spanish even rustier.
Or is it "more rusty?"
My point?
And hard.
I may not survive without it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

There & Back Again

So I've been back from England for a week and I literally had to "hit the ground running." My original flight was set for Thurs (Aug 9) but when I got to the airport the electronic check-in kiosk said there was a prob with my reservation and I needed to go to the check-in help counter (British Airways is now very high tech -- you check yourself in either online or at a kiosk, then you wait in the world's longest line so they can check your baggage; if you have probs, then you're allowed to see an employee behind a counter who will check in you and your luggage). So after waiting in line for about 40 minutes I get to the counter and the lady tells me there's a problem -- my flight has been canceled! The plane got stuck in Barbados, of all places! So I HAD to stay in England for two extra days. Boo hoo.

After I finally got everything sorted (had to wait another hour in customer service line and then decide if i wanted to travel the next day and bother w/ changing flights and airlines and moving luggage OR wait two days and catch the same non-stop flight I originally had -- that was a no brainer!) we dropped my luggage off at Jez's brother's house and explored Croyden - a community just south of London. Actually, Jez and Justyna mostly shopped and I decided to sit outside and finish reading The Goose Girl -- such an amazing book, btw!!! It was nice to relax and be on my own for a bit.

We ate lunch in a Spanish restaurant and I tried tapas for the first time. They were yummy! And their Sangria was very nice -- there were bits of fresh fruit in the glass, as you can see.

I spent my last day just hanging around Bedford; mostly in Jez and Justyna's house. I had already bid farewell to people and had my mind set to be alone on a plane for 10 hours, so I wasn't that bothered to go out or anything. I'm just sad I didn't get to see my friend Sarah again. She didn't get my messages until Saturday, when we were already heading back to London. But she called me Monday morning, as I was at work waiting for a meeting to start. It was nice talking to her, even though it made me wish I was back in England and not at work; something that's not hard to do, anyway. Being back at work -- that's a whole other post. *sigh*

So I'm going to forget that school starts tomorrow and that it's Sunday morning and I still need to go up the school and finish my classroom and leave you with a few cool photos of our time in Brighton. I definitely need to go back there. Although I could do without the rocky beach. Yes, ROCKY beach.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Can't believe I'll already be heading home in less than 3 days. How is it possible for two weeks to pass so quickly, yet it still feels like I've been here forever? I guess cause this place fits so well and feels so much like home, minus my family; therefore, I feel like I never left.

I've taken lots of great pics and I'll post some tomorrow because I can't be bothered to go upstairs and get my camera cord. Besides, I'm going down to Brighton tomorrow (a city on the southern coast) and I'm sure I'll have more pics to upload. So I might as well do it all in one go.

Well, just wanted to check in and let u all know that all is well with me. Minus the fact that I go back to work in less than a week. Ugh! I need some serious prayer: 1.) That I'll start the new school year off with the right attitude and 2.) That I'll actually get on the airplane Thurs afternoon. They're still offering me a job here at The Nightshelter . . . too bad it's voluntary and I'll only get a small stipend that won't even pay half my monthly student loan payments. Ugh! This being a responsible grown-up thing is sooooo overrated!
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