Happy Saturday! 

Today is day four of Early to Rise. I will not rise early on the weekends during this challenge, but I will continue to do the readings on those days so that I can stay on track with the book. Oddly enough, I woke up early today unintentionally. Shortly after 7:30 AM while pondering whether I should just get out of bed, I received calls from one of my students who missed the SAT and just knew that because she missed the test all her college dreams and hopes were dashed. I guess it was good that I was already awake! After calming her down I decided I may as well start the day. 

Today's key idea: Waking early is something that is within our control. I am not sure I completely agree with this, but I think the general idea is that if we do wake up we have to decide: will I get up or will I continue to snooze. By choosing to get up, we take the day into our control, instead of the day controlling us. Will you take control of your day today? Me, I plan to run some errands, shampoo my hair, and get some rest. Enjoy your Saturday!
Today's thought: You want more, and there is not enough time between 7 am and 10 pm to do all the things you want to do. 

I find this to be very true. When I roll of out bed in the morning, I am rushing to get to work, and I might even forget something at home. By the time I get off of work, finish cooking dinner, cleaning up the dinner mess, I don't feel like doing much of anything unless it involves my couch and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. So my goal is to use my Early to Rise moments to be selfish and do the things I want to do, like blogging, reading, exercising, and enjoying a nice cup o' joe. I also think this will teach me discipline, which is why I am so determined to make rising early a habit. How will you be selfish with your mornings?

Today's action item is to buy slippers. Thanks to my good friend Falland, I have the best slippers ever! I love these things. They are so comfy and sturdy. 

I'd like to be polite and say good morning, but today is feeling more like a "bah humbug" kind of morning. I made the decision to get out of bed on time today, but my body is not happy about it. Doing this challenge is really teaching me mind over matter. My mind has to be stronger than my body when it says "stay in bed, just one more minute."

Key point from today: Today is an adventure, and by getting out of bed early, we get a head start on the wonderful adventure called life. Let's just say I am tired, drained, and have  slight headache, so I am not feeling very adventure-ready right about now. I will press on, because I know that this too shall pass and I will once again enjoy the adventure. I am downloading the sleep cycle app on my phone to help wake me up during the lightest part of sleep (within a thirty minute time gap). Maybe that is why I am such a grump this morning....but I will press on.

Thought to ponder: A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner. - Anonymous. How are you sailing this morning? Make it a great day.

Good morning! Today is Day One of my Early to Rise Challenge. As you can see, I made it out of bed by 6 am as planned today! Listening to day one of Andy Traub's book as I write this. I don't want to give away too much of the book (because you should buy it!) but Monday - Friday I will share one key point from the daily chapter.

Today's reading is about believing that you can do this challenge. It asks us to IMAGINE. Imagine a different life -- one where we are refreshed and ready to meet the day and all of it's challenges instead of rolling out of bed and rushing though the day. Instead of the day controlling us, we control the day. I imagine working on the goals I set at the beginning of the year, and greeting my students from a place of peace instead of frustration and chaos. I imagine quiet time with God through prayer and reading in the morning. I imagine better health and fitness by returning to my morning yoga. 

What do YOU imagine for your day? Whatever you do, make it a great day!

A couple of months ago I embarked upon a challenge to rise earlier for 30 days in order to become a better person. I did not complete the first thirty days. The second time, I completed the 30 day program, but I was unable to stick to rising early after I completed it. The goal is to renew that spark for rising early and make it a continued part of my daily routine, even after I have completed the month-long reading.s. 

I enjoyed the quiet time I created for myself at 6:00 am in the morning. Time that allowed me to make and eat breakfast, brew and enjoy a cup of coffee, pray, read, and work on my life goals list. Not only did I reap those benefits, but I arrived at work more alert, refreshed, and ready to tackle the day and whatever it brought. And trust me, when you work with high schoolers, the day brings a whole lot!

Tomorrow I will begin the challenge for the third time, and hopefully the last! I commit to waking up no later than 6:00 am Monday - Friday, allowing for grace on the weekends! For accountability, I will post the times I wake up each day and what I did with the early to rise time. Now, who wants to join me? :)

Hey Y'all, 

Please forgive me for my extended absence! My intentions were good but life got the best of me for the past month and  a half, and I have not had a chance to write. What have I been doing with my time, you ask? Well, a better question might be what haven't I been doing!

My spring is off to a great start, beginning with a trip to the Nats vs. Cubs game at the Nationals Stadium. Although we lost, I had a fun time visiting with friends and a coworker, who taught me about the game of baseball. To top it off, we had great seats, courtesy of my job. Thanks DC-CAP!

Hey Friends! Hope you are enjoying this wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I am excited to share with you a project that was started by my friend and colleague, Shenita Denson. Please check out The Bohemian Bella, www.thebohemianbella.com, where you can read about people who are daring to be themselves and positively influence others their world. Read the article on the Bohemian Bellas, and you may see a familiar face! :) 

Thanks for featuring me on your blog Shenita! I am so honored that you condi I am looking forward to reading more of your blog and supporting your non-profit! We need more inspiring people like you in the world!

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
Hey y'all! I hope all is well with you on this lovely Sunday afternoon. I am very excited to announce that today, after much thought and prayer, I officially committed to serving on the National Community Church mission trip to Honduras this summer!!! I am SO excited! This will be the first mission trip I have taken, and my first real travel outside of the country. While in Pena Blanca, Honduras, our team will help build an orphanage for girls without homes. Not sure how great of a builder I will be but I pray that God will use our team for His will. Please pray for our team as we prepare to embark upon this journey. Thanks in advance for your support! Will post updates on the process. Yay missions! :) For team information and online giving, please visit http://www.razoo.com/users/min07f. For more information on the A One: Eight movement, please visit http://www.aoneeight.org/. Have a wonderful week everyone!
Ordinary people, empowered by God’s Spirit, doing what Jesus did, together, wherever they are. (A1:8 purpose)  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”- Acts 1:8
Hey y'all. Writing to you from the comfort of my neighborhood (well, close as I can get) Starbucks. I thought it would be fun to shake things up and have a change of scenery to write. That and the fact that I am often quite distracted at home! This has been an exciting past couple of weeks with my mom's visit during spring break, viewing the Central Park Five movie, my coasters being featured in a giveaway, and exciting events at work!  

My mom came to see me during my spring break week and we had such a fun time that she extended her trip another day. We slept in, we dined, and we attempted to shop. We attended the Tenebrae Good Friday service at NCC and enjoyed a free screening of The Place Beyond the Pines. She has been to visit before, so I wanted us to do something new that neither of us had done before. I found a groupon for a cruise around the harbor and I knew that it was meant to be! If you haven't taken a cruise around the harbor, then you do not know what you are missing! For the first time, my mom and I enjoyed a 90 minute cruise with DC Harbor Cruises. At that time, only one cherry blossom tree was in full bloom (see pic above). Now, most of the trees are in bloom so you would be in for a treat! Take 60 or 90 minutes to cruise on the waters, learn new facts about buildings in DC, and leave your cares behind. The music was lively, and the cruise director was humorous, which made the trip all the more enjoyable.

In addition to the cruise, mom and I went to see The Central Park Five at Georgetown University Law Center. The viewing is part of a series with the Equal Justice Film Festival in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Gideon vs. Wainwright and the 125th anniversary of the Georgetown Law Library. The film details how five African-American and Latino youth were railroaded into giving false confessions, serving time for a crime that they did not commit, and later, their exoneration. After the film, there was a Q & A session with the film director and one of the defendants, Yusef Salaam. It was a truly a moving experience. If you haven't seen this powerful film, you can catch it this Tuesday on PBS. For details and more information, visit http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/centralparkfive/. You definitely don't want to miss this and the dialogue that ensues! Watch it with your children. Discuss it with them. Share it with your students. Let us talk collective action to prevent innocent people, especially our children, from serving time for crimes that they did not commit! For information on the last two films in the festival, visit http://www.law.georgetown.edu/library/about/125/filmfestival.cfm.

Another exciting highlight from the week: Cornell University's band performed at the high school where I work. It was a neat experience! I really enjoyed listening to "Requiem for a Hummingbird" composed by Marc Mellits. After the concert, the band invited our school band to join them on stage to play a piece. They also stayed to work with our band students on their techniques, how cool is that?!  I hope the band students benefited from the lessons and enjoyed the concert as much as I did! Pic below.

So as you can see I have been a busy bee--but I look forward to blogging more in this upcoming week. Don't forget to check out www.faketillyoumake.typepad.com to enter the two set coaster giveaway featuring coasters made by me. There will be two winners! Thanks to my good friend Sara for hosting this giveaway. Stay tuned for some exciting updates this week that you won't want to miss!!!

 Exciting news!! Two of my handmade coaster sets (not the ones pictured) are being featured in a blog giveaway by my good friend Sara over at Fake It Till You Make It: Turning Sense Into Dollars. Please check out her awesome blog for career advice and tips on frugal living. And don't forget to enter the coaster set giveaway!! This one will have TWO winners!