Thursday, October 31, 2013

State Soccer

It is long weekends like this one that make me "homesick"! It is not actually a long weekend for me, but it is for my brother and sister. They are both at state soccer this weekend. My brother is coaching a high school team and my little sister is playing for her high school soccer team. I am so proud of both of them! I would seriously do anything to be in Montana this weekend cheering them on from the sidelines! But reality is that I am in Korea, I am a teacher and I have to miss some pretty hard things to miss. It is really hard and sometime I question why God has called me to live so far away from my family for so long. It has almost been 5 years! Then again I am so thankful for technology that helps me to keep in the loop with my family and get updated scores, stories and so much more. I already starting to want to count down the days until I go home for Christmas! :) Nathan and Mia- I want you to know that I love you so much and I am so proud of you! Have a blast at state! Play hard and glorify God in all that you do!

Love, Sis
I can't find a soccer picture of all of us, but I love this picture of my siblings and I! :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lovely Fall

My goal for this past weekend was to rest. Last weekend I posted about how exhausted I was. This whole transition thing is a lot on the mind and the body. There is so much that I am learning and observing that my mind is just tried. My body is just aching. It is a process and I am learning each and every day how to handle it better. Some days I handle it better than others. This weekend I took the challenge to rest and say "no" to many things (if you have known me for long you know that this is huge). I am going to be completely honest with y'all and say "I have a REALLY hard time saying no to things!" Slowly oh, so slowly I am learning that in order for me to be able to give my all I need to say no to some things. It is so stinking hard to find the balance. If anyone knows the secret please tell me!
I love the "crunch" of leaves under my feet!
So for this beautiful fall weekend I surrounded my weekend around these verses from Matthew 11: 28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." My weekend was filled with relaxing and restful things- being still before God, laying in bed awake for an hour before getting out in the morning, reading in the park, staying in my pjs until 3:30 in the afternoon, baking, working on small school projects, writing cards, journaling and praying about decisions. If you would love to pray for me this week that would be wonderful. I have some decisions to make about being apart of a spring break mission trip, coaching high school girl's soccer for my school and leading a woman's bible study. I really need wisdom in figuring out how much I can handle while still trying to figure out this whole first-year teaching business! And, oh, a new country!

Breath-Taking Beautiful FALL
Sunday was absolutely wonderful though! I can't even explain the feeling beside deep joy and feeling so close to God. I love that I am apart of a church community. I love that I got to go out to lunch with sweet friends and spend the afternoon walking through beautiful fall Songtan. Reading in the park was wonderful and a sweet time with Jesus as He whispered to me through words on the pages. On my walk home I found myself lost for a little bit, but somehow I stumbled upon my street. The walk was refreshing as the chilly fall weather is settling and the leaves are changing colors. Fall has arrived as October is coming to end. Anne of Green Gables sums October up so perfectly when she says:

I am looking forward to November as Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays surrounded around being thankful!

  Love , Daniella

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happenings in Second Grade

Dear friends!
There are so many different things that I would love to tell you. I guess this is what I get for being so absent from the blogging world this last month! There may or may not be a lot of blog post this week as I process through all my happenings!
On Friday, my students and I celebrated the 50th day of school. What a huge mile stone! I cannot believe that I have been a "real" teacher for 50 days! In some ways it seems like the time has flown by so quickly from the first day of school. My students have grown so much in their personalities. I love watching the change that happens each and every day! To celebrate the day we did some "activities"! A few of our activities were writing about what we would be like when we are 50 (I love the different things my students wrote- so stinking cute!) , we talked about what we have learned the past 50 days, and drank coke floats because that's what they did the in fifties- get it! :)
This past month we also had parent-teacher conferences. I was a nervous wreck before conferences and had to really humble myself before the Lord. All of my doubts came rushing to my mind. Am I a good teacher? Have my students learned anything the past 50 days? What if the parents hate me? What if I do not know how to handle a situation? All of these doubts put a deep fear and nervousness into my heart and mind. Once again, God is so faithful! I walked away from each parent-teacher conferences encouraged. The parents of my students are so supportive and encouraging! I really could not ask for a better first year class. Yes, we have our ups and downs and challenges, but overall I humbled by the grace I receive each and every day!
The classroom has been an happening place. We have study about apples, fossils, space, and fall this month. My teaching philosophy that I learned from Taylor University is to make learning engaging while still covering all the standards so I am a huge fan of "thematic" units which means each week has a theme like apples! This week theme is spiders and bats and then we will jump into our "Thanksgiving" units starting off with pumpkins!
Another field trip is in the works for this week. We are going to planetarium. My students loved learning about space during our space week so we are all very excited to go see the star show and look at some model space shuttles!
The past 50 days have packed with craziness, exhaustion, fun, learning, excitement, and so much love from my students. I am definitely on a crazy, beautiful, unknown adventure!
100 days of school here we come!

Studying our "cookie" fossils
Our smiling "apples" for Apple Week

Our "oreo" moon phases for Space Week

I am bummed because I forgot to take pictures for the 50th day of school! :( Don't worry I will for sure try to remember to take pictures on the 100th day!


Love, Daniella

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


These days I feel oh, so busy! There seems to be a million things on my never ending to do list. Most things on this list are things that I want to do, but just can't seem to find the time to fit it all in the hours that I have. I wish I had more time to read for fun, to sit and talk with people, more time to plan my lessons, more time to pray, more time to enjoy what is around me and the list goes on. I wish I had more time to write in this blog. There are constant things that come to mind that I think " I should write a blog post about this", but then the day gets busy and days pass by without a post.

I feel exhaust these days... oh, too many things to get done! I am struggling with finding a balance between my job that I love even among the chaos and overwhelmingness of it and figuring out what my everyday life looks like in Korea. This week I have realize that the deep issues are that I want everything to be right, to be perfect, and to be my best. I want everything to be orangized, I want to do too much and I just don't have enough time. I know I can't ask for more time, but how do I figure out this balance. How do I just set down the schoolwork and say tomorrow is a new day? How do I carve out time to spend with people that I really want to spend time with? How do I find this balance that everyone talks about?

I don't know the answer at all, but I want to believe that I am slowly learning it. At this point I am not totally sure that I am, but I hope I am. I hope because I do know one thing and that is that God can give us rest. I need to lay down my desires, my perfectionist, my wants and rest at His feet. I having this deep longing to just rest in God's arms and be still even if it is just for moment...

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62:1-2

...this week I want to seek those opportunites to rest in Him and I chanllege you to do the same. Let's put aside our busy to-do list and rest in God's arms! Oh, this sounds so refreshing to me!

Love, Daniella

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Deep Ache

Since arriving in Korea something that I have seen almost daily is a dragon fly. You may be thinking what is so special about a dragon fly?? While in my life a dragon fly holds a place in my heart. Dragon flies reminds me of my sweet, Auntie Oak. My aunt was like a second mom to me not because my mom was not there, but because my aunt could never have kids so she poured out her love on all of her nephews and nieces. She was such a blessing in my life. She always believe in me, understood me, cared for me and spoiled me. There are so many memoires that I have with her, but I think my favorite was when I spent the summer being her “assistant”! I helped her pack up her house and move into her dream house. We spent hours going through her things laughing, crying, talking and taking shopping breaks or coffee breaks or taco bell breaks. I learned a lot from her that summer.

These days I have a deep ache- the ache is filled with loss- I miss my Auntie Oak so deeply these days. It is still so hard to really think she is gone and that I will not see her until I go to heaven. She was supposed to see me graduate and become a teacher. She was supposed to be at my wedding someday and meet my children. She was supposed to see my siblings do the same. Sometimes I still do not understand why God had her become so sick and take her away from this earth so early, but I know that I can find peace in Him beyond all understanding. She is no longer suffering and she left this world in peace with God and all those around her. I feel selfish in wanting her to still be alive. I just so badly want to talk to her, shop with her, and be supported by her. I wish I could tell her all about my students, and how I decorated my classroom. I wish I could laugh with over my poorly made pillowcases and complain to her how expensive Starbucks is here.

But since arriving in Korea I have been reminded of her often through dragon flies. Auntie Oak loved dragon flies- she had everything dragon fly. Every time I see a dragon fly two things come to my mind that “I am not alone and a reminder of what she would always said to me “live life simply!”.

My favorite dragon fly moment so far  in Korea was on the first day of school. It was the middle of the morning and a dragon fly flew right by my window- it brought a smile to my face and thought “Daniella, you can do this!” I am so thankfully for these little reminders that remind me of my aunt even though these days I miss her more deeply than I have had in a long time. I am so thankfully for the years that I did get to spend with her and I love the memoires that we created, but I’m sad for the days that I don’t get to spend with her. All the days we are missing out on!

Oh, Auntie Oak! I will always love and miss you deeply!

Love, Daniella