Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday

It's been a while since I've blogged.

So I figure, why not post two times in one day. If you didn't listen to the song in the post below, you should. Because it's beautiful.

So now I'll go with Things I'm Thankful For.... You know, since it's Thursday. And Thankful Thursday is a catchy post title.

My extended family
God's faithfulness
My job
Good friends
Family photos... especially my mustard.seed ones
Good coworkers
Cooler weather! Finally!
High school football (yes, I did just say that)
My students
Candy corn
my Paula Deen Creme Brulee candle

What a Savior - Laura Story

We've started singing this song at church recently, and I LOVE IT!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Home Away from Home

Back to school! This means I spend almost more of my waking hours in S210 than at home!! After a LONG summer full of construction on our campus, we were finally able to get back in the building a week before the start of school and get things set back up. BIG, BIG, HUGE thanks to my mom for helping me in my room, and my dad and mother-in-law who did their share of Parker-watching to make this happen. I did a complete "makeover" in my classroom.... which looked amazing before I put anything on the walls simply because they replaced my 1970's orange carpet with glorious white tile!

Here are a few shots:

The Alma Mater banner
I'm (eventually) going to have all of my students write/draw/color their name on a 3x5 card, and hang the cards up with this banner
The blank panel now says "We are CENTRAL" in big block letters. I need to take a new pic.
View of the room from the door
Student computers (only one works, by the way!)
Spirit Ribbon Banners- a tradition I started my first year at Central, and the kids LOVE it.
My desk from the back of the room
My cute name sign-- one of my summer art projects
I started these two boards last year- pics of and from my students, going all the way back to my first year at ZHS! :)
Desk- it is a HUGE mess now, haha
View of the room from my desk

The only "change" other than the one maroon panel is a big banner on the back wall that says "We were born to succeed, not to fail." (H.D. Thoreau)

So far, it is a GREAT school year. My new kids are awesome; my new co-teacher is working out beautifully; I have a great schedule. All in all, life at CHS is good!! :)

(Check out our Allen Family Blog for pics of Princess P's CHS spirit.)

Monday, August 30, 2010


So I decided to deactivate my facebook for a while. This is a huge deal for me because, quite honestly, I am way too "addicted" to facebook!

I just needed a break. Now that I'm back in school, I find myself using facebook as an excuse to not do schoolwork. It also walks a fine line of distracting me from time I could/should be spending with Parker and Trent. So... I'm on facebook vacation. Not sure how long. Hopefully my break there will help out my blogging frequency. I need to get back in to writing something other than a status anyway!!

So here's to one less distraction in life.... Let's see how long it lasts!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Starry Night

We heard this song while we were out on the boat on False River last weekend, and I think we've listened to it about 87 times since then! I love what it says...

Starry Night- Chris August

From the Birds that Sing, In the Tallest Trees.
To the Human Life, of you and me.
From the Desert Sands, to the place we stand.
He is God of All, He is Everything.

I'm giving my life to the only one who makes the Moon reflect the sun.
Every Starry Night, that was His design.
I'm giving my life to the only son, who was and is and yet to come
Let the praises ring, 'cause he is everything
'Cause he is everything

From the Autumn Leaves, that will ride the breeze
To the Faith it takes, to pray and sing
From the Painted sky, to my plank filled eye
He is God of all, He is everything

I'm giving my life to the only one who makes the Moon reflect the sun
On that Starry Night, He changed my life.
I'm giving it all to the only son who gave me hope when I had none.
So let the praises ring,
Ohhhh Let the Praises Ring

I'm giving my life to the only one who makes the Moon reflect the sun.
Every Starry Night, that was His design.
I'm giving my life to the only son, who was and is and yet to come
Let the Angels sing, that he is Heavenly

So let the Praises ring
'Cause he everything

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So Long, Insecurity?

One of my favorite things about the summer is the fact that I get to attend our church's Stay-At-Home-Moms Bible study. The women who meet each week are as diverse as can be, and each one has a beautiful testimony of the Lord's faithfulness, unique gifts and talents they use in ministry, and not to mention, pretty cute kids! This summer's study is a journey through Beth Moore's So Long, Insecurity.

Let me start by telling you that the title of the book alone evoked much fear and hesitation in my heart at the beginning of the summer. The fact of the matter is-- I have insecurities. Some of them are extremely silly and could be considered "unfounded"... others come from very real hurts and struggles in my past. I was scared to even do this study because I often find myself "insufficient" in the Lord. Like, I don't read my Bible enough; I don't pray enough; I don't go out doing street evangelism or go on mission trips enough....

While this book has been challenging and eye opening, the Lord has really used this time to affirm in me that He has NOT given me a spirit of fear... He HAS given me everything I need for life and godliness... He rejoices over me with singing...

The lesson may be difficult, but His truths have been SO CLEAR. I am by no means at all "there" in being totally secure... but I am wholeheartedly embracing the Lord's truth in my life, and that has been so freeing. I cannot wait to see what He has in store for my heart and the women walking through this with me.

But as with anything in life, it seems that as the Lord does a great work in my heart.... the Enemy tests my faith. It has been wonderful to see God's hand at work in these trials and tests.... but whoever out there is praying for patience for me... you can stop now! Ha!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Show Us Your Life- Favorite Bible Verses

I've been reading Kelly's blog for a long time, and finally decided I'd participate in her Friday "Show Us Your Life".... this one is easy for me! Yet hard to narrow down!! Go to Kelly's blog to see other posts! :)

My favorite Bible verses RIGHT NOW....

"Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked." ~Psalm 84:10

*This verse has been a favorite since high school... because truly, better is one day with Him than a thousand without Him!

"The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to save! He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing!" ~Zephaniah 3:7

*Even though I don't understand it, I totally love that MY God could be delighted in ME!

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." ~2 Peter 1:3

There are so many things about this verse.... HIS divine power... EVERYTHING we need... CALLED US by his own glory and goodness. Love it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Name?

I'm thinking of changing my blog name....

New name/new look/new post in the works...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer Reading

I just finished my first book of the summer, and it completely gripped my heart! I have been reading Angie Smith's blog "Bring the Rain" for quite some time, so I was very familiar with Audrey's story. But this book....I Will Carry You... Wow. I'm just speechless at Angie's willingness to let the Lord use her loss and heartache to speak truth about how He sustains. If you've never read her blog, link to it from the button on my sidebar and read back to hear her heart. It will be worth it!

Friday, May 28, 2010

FIVE years!!

Today officially ended my FIFTH year of teaching. It is SO hard to believe it has been this long already. Thinking back, my life has changed SO MUCH in those five years.

Year 1- English I and English IV Honors teacher at Zachary High. I got married that April, switching from Ms. Wilson to Mrs. Allen mid-way through the second semester. I was new, young, wide-eyed, and completely clueless. Katrina happened. I experienced MAJOR ups and downs with some great kids.

Year 2- English I and English IV-AP teacher at Zachary High. Also Senior Class Sponsor. I got pregnant that fall, and spent the year extremely crazy and hormonal. Ha. This was also the first year of Zachary's "Freshman Academy," and the teaming aspect of the Academy taught me SO much about "relational teaching." I became MUCH more effective.

Year 3- English I and English IV-AP teacher at ZHS. No longer Senior Class Sponsor, but I did start the "Scrapbook Club." I had a newborn. I had no sleep. I had a GREAT year. I finally felt like I was "in the groove" of teaching.

Summer between Year 3 and Year 4, I got a call *TOTALLY* out of the blue from Central High. I called my friend Meg and basically said, Ok, if this is supposed to be my job, I'm gonna pray they offer it to me in the interview, and that will be my "sign" from the Lord. I went in for the interview. Principal said "I don't really want to interview you, I want to offer you a job." Ok, Lord. That was easy. The goodbyes and transitions... not so easy.

Year 4- English III Teacher and Co-Yearbook Sponsor at Central High School. I LOVE teaching at my alma mater. It was definitely a year of transition, but I grew a lot and taught some kids that I know will be special to me for the rest of my life.

Year 5- English III Teacher and Co-Yearbook Sponsor at CHS. MY BEST YEAR YET! As those of you who have been reading for a while know, this was definitely not an easy year at Central. It was a year full of great tragedy, and great triumph. Unspeakable sorrow, and elating joy. It was a year of learning and growing and really falling in to what it means to teach as a very significant ministry.

I am SO thankful that the Lord called me to teach. I am SO thankful for the lives I've been able to *hopefully* change in some way, the kids I've been able to love with His love. Five years down.... 25 to go.... unless He calls me elsewhere.

Now, my summer of being a Stay-at-Home-Mom begins!

Let the SAHM Bible Study, crafting, "swimming" in Parker's pool, sewing, lesson-planning, "field-trip"-ing, FUN begin!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I still *distinctly* remember several details of my junior Prom. The weather was horrible! Think rain that flooded streets, power outages all over the city, wind so bad that an umbrella was useless....

But I loved my dress. I had fun with my date. It was a great memory.

Senior Prom- equally fun. One of those "lasts" of high school. To say that I was obsessed with my dress would probably be the understatement of the century.

Fast forward what feels like about 20 years. Not really, but it certainly FEELS like forever.
CHS Prom 2010. Prom from a TOTALLY different perspective.

Somehow, as a teacher, it's more "scary" than "glamorous."
I don't know that I will ever let Parker go to Prom.
Scratch that, she can go, but I'll still be chaperoning.
And the after party will be at my house.
Where they can have as much sweet tea or Dr. Pepper as they want.

Here are a few highlights....

Dawn, me, and Shannon... my sweet friends!
Beautiful Heather and I
Precious Jenna! I've known her since she was a tiny little girl!
Sweet Mark
Two of my former Zachary girls were there! I taught them as freshmen! And now they're graduating!! (Have I really been teaching long enough for that??!)
I don't know what I'd do without Abby at work!
Brandon brought Alyssa! I LOVE this pic of them!
Me with sweet Lys
Oh, Cooper! :)
Beautiful Dylan
My "little brother".... can't believe he's graduating

All in all, it was a good night. I don't know that I've ever prayed quite so much for my students. But they are great kids, and I love my job because of them!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I am not.

I am pretty sure that the Lord often has to use extra doses of patience when He "deals" with my heart.

More to come on this subject, but for now, I will post a few lines from a song my friend Nathan wrote that pretty much sum up what He's teaching me...

Sweet forgiveness, Grace Unending
My heart broken; My voice singing
You are God, You are I AM, and I am not.
You hear my voice and you know my every thought
How sweet to hear the song I AM is singing in my heart again
You are God, You are I AM, and I am not.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vote for Parker

One of my friends, Amanda Causey, is a great photographer who we have worked with before! She took some AWESOME family photos for us back when she was just starting out in her business, and we LOVE them! Amanda is one of my high school friends who does photography in addition to her other job because it's just something that she loves.

She's doing a "cutest kid" contest on her blog and facebook, and I'd LOVE it if you'd go vote for Parker. Because, let's face it, Parker is just too stinkin' cute.

You can go HERE or to her Facebook page to vote for Parker!!! She's #10!

And if you wanna post this plug on your own blog, I wouldn't mind that either! :) Ha.

You can vote once a day on both sites every day from NOW until next Wednesday (the 21st!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Two things....

I don't do a whole lot of "promoting" other blogs on my site, probably because there are likely only about 7 people who READ my blog- HA! However, today there are two things I want to tell you about!!!

I don't know how many of you read the "Bring the Rain" blog (link here or click the button on my sidebar), but if you don't, you should. Angie's husband Todd is a part of the Christian group Selah, and her blog is an incredibly powerful, incredibly raw view of their family's journey through life, grief, joy, restoration, etc. Even if you don't read her WHOLE story (and trust me, it is worth reading, you should absolutely check out this post she just wrote called "Tree of Mystery." COMPLETELY amazing/beautiful.

And second, my friend Lindsey (of the blog "Playin' With the Pencils") has an amazing website for her photography business Go read her blog, check out her photography business, then give her a call to have some pics made of you and your family.

Enjoy this beautiful day! :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Weekend...

How Deep the Father's Love....

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast inJesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Good Weekend

Reasons I had a good weekend...

LSU baseball game/date night with the hubs Friday night....
Beautiful warm weather Saturday afternoon for bubbles and sidewalk chalk with the munchkin.... (after a family lunch at Voodoo BBQ)

Chaperoned the TWIRP dance at school Saturday night... I *heart* my kiddos
(Me and D'Shea)
(Kelli, me, Jenna)
(Me with Will-- good grief, I'm short)

And then today- grocery shopping, nap, church tonight!

Good weekend? GREAT weekend!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I had these verses underlined in my Bible....

"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy." Colossians 1:17-18

and this note written next to them....

"Sometimes God's truth wrecks our view of ourselves and puts things back in proper perspective... Where HE is first and we stay out of His way!"

Um... Yeah... How's that for perspective?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


One of my favorite parts of my day is second hour (my off hour) when I get to go visit our Community Based classroom. I LOVE THOSE KIDS!! And the teachers! :)

One of my favorites, Alyssa, is having a super important, MAJOR back surgery Friday. Alyssa is the most absolutely precious 17 year old who has lived with cerebral palsy her whole life. Her surgery is going to be extremely difficult, but it should help her SO much in the long run! Please join me in praying for this precious girl as she has her surgery tomorrow! May God give her and her family peace and may He heal her quickly!!

Alyssa and her brother, Brandon, at CHS Prom last year

Alyssa and Carlee at Prom
Lys dancing with Corey
Lys dancing with Brandon

Sunday, March 7, 2010

This week...

This week was a long one...

Loss. Grief. Frustration. Watching "my" kids deal with emotions and make decisions I wish they'd never have to make. (Try listening to three 18 year olds try to decide what's appropriate to wear to a wake for one of their friends... NOT easy.) Questions. "Why does God...?"

This week was a challenging one...

(See above paragraph, plus...) Trying to be His light. Trying to point to His peace. Relying on Him for strength. Relying on Him for the words to say, or to know when to keep my mouth shut.

This week was full of decisions....

Go on as normal? Change plans? Talk? Stay quiet? Some decisions were well made. Others.... well, lets just say I wish I had a do-over.

This week was full GOOD...

Parker. "My" kids trusting Christ to be their strength. Pretty (no, gorgeous!) weather. The zoo. First crawfish of the year! First flip-flop day of the year. Learning new things about myself and about Him.

This week, I was....

Blessed. Challenged. Extremely emotional. (I mean, who cries watching Wizards of Waverly Place??) Tired. Strengthened. Sinus-y. Filled with His peace. Filled with His joy. Frustrated. Relieved. Loved. Blessed.

This week....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Addendum: HOPE

So after I blogged about HOPE yesterday, I went to church, where we sang this song:

There is nothing like Your love
No exchange for all You gave
To be welcomed into life
So I can know the love that saves

Now forever to belong
To walk with You for all my days
Theres no greater love than this
You are the Author and the Way

This is the sound of the redeemed
Rising up to praise the King
Our HOPE is in You
This is the sound of the redeemed
Rising up to praise the King

Singing glorious glorious One You have saved us
Honor and Power and Praise to the Savior.
You are the Answer; You are the Answer

You come with power come with fire
As we lift Your name on high
And join with all the saints to sing
In bringing Honor to the King.

OUR HOPE IS IN YOU!!! YOU ARE THE ANSWER!! Wow. What power in those words. So even though today was a tough day, and there will be more to come, my HOPE is in HIM!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


For the past two and a half months, I've been wearing a hot pink "Live-Strong" style bracelet that simply bears the word "HOPE." In the inside of the bracelet, the name of a sweet, beautiful 18 year old girl serves as a reminder of a tragic accident, a journey to recovery, and a startlingly painful loss.

In early December, our school and community reeled at the tragic news that one of our senior cheerleaders had been devastatingly injured in a car accident. Together, the community rallied in prayer, fundraisers for the family, and the overwhelming HOPE that God would do a miracle. And it seemed that He was. As thousands of visitors read updates on a CaringBridge site, we rejoiced as it seemed God was slowly, yet surely making Kelsey whole.

On February 26, He did just that. He made her whole. Just not how we thought He would. So now, as our community mourns the loss of this beautiful young woman, we search for God's purpose in all of this.

I may not understand why God chose to take Kelsey, after it seemed like she was doing so well, but I know one thing... He is in control. Through the last two and a half months, God has done a work in our community that truly only HE could have done. Now, as we stand questioning the circumstances, I am praying that we would not question His faithfulness to us.

Kelsey is whole. In fact, she is far more perfect and beautiful now than she ever was on this side of Heaven. So I'm keeping the hot pink bracelet on my wrist as a reminder to keep that Hope. Hope that God will use this tragedy to draw others to Himself. Hope that I would be His light in this dark time. Hope that we would see that He is still GOOD and His mercy endures.

As Steven Curtis Chapman says in his song "Beauty Will Rise"....

But buried deep beneath all our broken dreams
We have this HOPE
Out of these ashes beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of this darkness new light will shine
And we'll know the joy is coming in the morning...
Beauty will rise!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things I'm learning lately....

1. He is ENOUGH, period. I have found myself becoming disappointed with people rather easily lately. No one person in particular, just various situations in life. God REALLY convicted me in this area because the problem wasn't that people were necessarily doing things (or NOT doing things, in some cases) to spite me or anything like that. It was that I was relying too much on PEOPLE, and not enough on GOD. By design, PEOPLE are not created to be "enough" in my life. But HE is. I need to focus more on HIM, and less on my expectations and desires of others. Chances are, I was falling short in most of those situations as well.

2. He is not limited by my feeble mind. Another area I've been super convicted lately is not trusting God to work fully in all situations. Well, let me be a bit more specific. I trust Him with things. I believe that He has the power to change any human life. I just sort of put boundaries on what I expect him to be able to do. AND THAT'S SO WRONG. Sometimes, God chooses to work in a situation by having us accept it for exactly what it is, not changing anything about it. Sometimes, He changes tiny details and circumstances in ways that affect bigger things. And sometimes, He TOTALLY steps in and changes things completely around. Any way He chooses to work-- it's for His glory. Who am I to tell Him (or others) how I think He is going to work??? Because I'm probably going to be wrong! I'm probably underestimating Him.

3. Community is a BEAUTIFUL thing. I've had the greatest joy watching the community I am from rally behind several of its own lately. This is one picture of community. An actual physical, demographic community. But it's also a totally perfect picture of a Godly, Biblical community. Stepping in and taking care of your own. No matter the cost. No matter the labor. No matter the reason. Love.

4. I am totally doing what God called me to do. For a while, I secretly struggled with the desire to be a stay-at-home-mom. Not even because I had this burning passion or desire to stay at home with Parker because I thought that was God's plan for our family. But for totally selfish reasons- some big reasons like "Well, all of my friends get to stay at home with their kids and I'm jealous." or "I'm missing out on SO much that I could be doing with Parker." or even ridiculous little things like "I could do more sewing/scrapbooking/napping/blogging/crafting/playdates/etc." I also found myself feeling inadequate up next to some of the women I know who ARE stay at home moms. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT GOD CALLED ME TO DO! Believe me, if God calls me to stay at home and raise my child (and other children if He chooses to bless us with them), I will totally, wholeheartedly be thankful and gladly transition in to that role. BUT- right now, He has called me to love on some absolutely AMAZING high school students in a public school setting, and I LOVE IT. Sure, some days are super tough and I want to pull my hair out and cry and yell, etc., but for the most part, what I do is a tremendous blessing. My kids are the best- I love them as though they were family. I get to invest in their lives. And hopefully, in the process, I get to be a reflection of Christ, even if I can't BLATANTLY share Christ with them. It truly is the best job in the world.

More later.... this is probably a lot to digest considering my last few posts have been so skimpy/frivolous/non-informational. Ha!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Song on my heart: Beauty Will Rise

Promised lengthy post to come... but for now, a "teaser" if you will... the lyrics I've had on my heart all week.

Praying for Haiti.

Praying for Kelsey.

Praying for Michael.

Praying that beauty WILL rise.

from "Beauty Will Rise" by Steven Curtis Chapman

Out of these ashes beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of this darkness, new life will shine
And we'll know that joy is coming in the morning...
In the morning... beauty will rise.

This is our hope
This is the promise
That it would take our breath away
To see the beauty that's been made
Out of the ashes.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Post on other blog....

I finally put up a new post on our Family Blog....

A new post is in the works for this blog too. I'm sorry it's so neglected...

Until then, go check out our Christmas pictures!!