Author Archives: jessicagravert

About jessicagravert

I'm twenty years old and go to the University of Northern Iowa where I'll be a junior. I plan on being an elementary teacher after I graduate. Maybe a Special Education teacher or a Literacy teacher. Whatever God takes me, I'll go!!! I have loving friends and family who I spend most of my time with. Hope you enjoy my blog :)

Things are Changing!

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Okay, so I haven’t blogged since first semester……. Sorry about it!! I was so busy second semester and definitely got off the track of blogging! There has been so many changes that has happened in my life the past four-ish months! I’ll catch you up…somehow.

First of all, my second semester was taken over by a practicum that I did for my special education minor. It was pretty intense, but SO worth it! We were paired up with a student who needed extra help in something. We had to collect data on their behavior and their progress in the specific skill we were to help the student on. I remember sitting in the first couple classes feeling like I had no idea how I was going to get through the semester. I ended up being paired with an eight grader who needed extra help in math. I was scared (shame on me I know). Reason 1- the highest grade level I’ve taught was 3rd grade and Reason 2- I am terrible at teaching math. First time I ever met this student she wouldn’t look at me and just raised her hand when I said hi. She did not want to work with me. Her teachers told me that she would probably not want to talk to me and would most likely refuse to do some things. I was like ‘shaking in my boots’ (haha). Once we had our first one-on-one I felt like I was able to open her up a little bit. BUT she refused to do almost anything of mine when we started the teaching part. I was becoming super discouraged because I was working so hard and staying up late to find things to make her more excited about working with me, but she wouldn’t do anything that I planned. Finally, I went to my professors to ask for assistance and they decided that I should just switch students. It was a good and bad thing. I felt like I was quitting on this student who was refusing my agenda, BUT I knew that I would learn more if I had a compliant student. I ended up getting a 5th grade student who had so much fun working with me. I am so thankful for the whole Phase One practicum experience. I feel way more confident in my teaching!! I’m starting my Phase Two next semester and I hear it is even more work (yay?). I’m sure I’ll feel more confident after phase two also, but I just want to enjoy my summer for now!! 🙂

Second, thanks to a good friend (that I met in my practicum) I got a new job at Hudson Middle School doing an after school program there! I haven’t been there long but I enjoy it a lot! My friend ALSO got me a nannying job for the summer. She is definitely a go-to girl for jobs I guess!!! I’m also still working at Younkers so I’m going to be busy this summer!

Third, I moved into a new house in Cedar Falls!! I actually have to be an adult and pay rent! :p I’m really excited about it though. It took awhile, but my mom, dad, and aunt came to help me move in! My room is pretty much all organized somehow! Ha!

I’m really excited for the summer. Every time I don’t have to work I’ll be traveling back to Albia to see my awesome little brother play soccer and baseball! I’m so sad that he only has a couple more years of his sports! 😦 BUT he might possibly (crossing my fingers) be coming to UNI in fall of 2013!!

My friend showed me this quote that she found: “I want you to stop panning, stop wishing, and allow Me to bring it to you. You just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things. Keep learning and listening to the things I tell you. You must wait.” “Don’t be anxious and don’t worry. Don’t look around at the things you think you want. Just keep looking off and away up to Me, or you’ll miss what I have to show you.”

Just wanted to share it because I know that God does have a plan for us all and we need to just wait and trust Him.

Do something good for someone else 🙂

Crazy Love

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So I finished the book, “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. I definitely recommend this book to you if you have any doubts about your faith or just want to be reminded how great His love is for us. There were a few things in this book that I just HAVE to share with anyone who reads this blog.

When I was reading it I was examining my life and how I love God. In the book, the author said, “Do you love this God who is everything, or do you just love everything He gives you?” This is the first time that I have ever thought about that. To kind of clear things up this is an example that the author had considering a parent-child relationship, “I don’t really love you or want to love you, but I would like my allowance please.” After I read that page, I had to put my book down and evaluate how I love Him. Do I seriously just love that he does good for me, or do I love HIM and only HIM? I really do think that I can admit that I often just thank Him for what he has done for me. I don’t praise Him the way I should.

In another part of the book, the author talked about having faith. He said that he was once asked the question, “What are you doing right now that requires faith?” He said he was deeply affected by this question, and I was also affected. The author quoted a verse. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” We must not stay comfortable with our lives to get by. Our faith is not being tested if we just stay where we are and do what we normally do. God calls us to trust Him so much that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.

This book was really amazing. I think everyone should read it!!! I learned so much from it!

Do something good for someone else 🙂

My Mom is Cooler Than Your Mom!!

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Ohhh my mama bear is cooler than your mama bear!! My mom is a more understanding than your mom. My mom is more supporting than your mom. My mom is a better advice-giver than your mom. My mom is more thoughtful than your mom. My mom is a stronger Christian than your mom. My mom is a better Farmville player than your mom. My mom is better at giving hugs than your mom. My mom is a faster reader than your mom. My mom is a better sports fan than your mom. My mom is a better organizer than your mom. My mom is a better cook than your mom.

Sooo… I’m not trying to start a fight or anything, but my mom rocks. 🙂

I really do have a great mom. Her birthday was yesterday (December 17). I would have wrote this yesterday, but I worked a lot and my brain wasn’t working right from exhaustion!! Haha! I won’t say how old she turned because she would probably kill me! 🙂 Let’s just say she’s pretty darn young! My mom is seriously a super hero; no doubt about it! She does A LOT for our family. She knows what is going on at all times. I have no idea how she knew what was going on with all of us kids when we all four were living at home. I’m looking back and thinking, “I don’t think I would have survived without my mom!!”

My mom is very easy to talk to. I can ask her questions and get a true/straight-up answer from her. She wants the best for me, so she would go the extra mile for me any day, any time. When I was in high school, I remember thinking, “My mom never lets me do anything!” I am SOO thankful for her protection because I am sure that I would have strayed off into the wrong path if she was not there to set me straight. My mom (and dad) taught me and showed me how to work hard at everything I do, and I am so thankful for that. The things that my mom and dad taught me will hopefully be passed down through generations of our family.

I found this quote: “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” –Unknown

My mom taught me how to be a hard-working, respectful, faithful, etc. woman, and then she had to somewhat let me go out into the real world. My mom will always be my “go-to” person when I am in need, and I know that she will be waiting with arms wiiiiide open!

This is a really cool song that I often listen to. I think of my mom and how she raised me whenever this song plays! 🙂

I LOVE YOU MOM! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Do something good for someone else! 🙂

Small List of my Life

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I’ve decided to make a list of what is important to me and what I want to get out of my life. Sometimes I get off the right path and I forget my goals. Sometimes looking forward is one of the best things you can do to feel better about your life. I’m stuck in a “rut” right now, and making a list like this might help.

• Family: I love my family. They care about me no matter what. They are always there for me. Somehow they are always there when I need them. Having a family is also a goal that I have. I want to be a great mom and wife when the time comes.

• Friends: I care about my friends. I want the best for all of my friends. I try to make sure they know I care about them.

• Teaching: I look forward to having my own classroom to develop an environment where every kid feels like they are wanted there. If I’m impacting at least one child’s life positively then I’m doing what I want to do with my life. Yes, the educational part of the job is also very important to me. I love to see students succeed. Seeing a little girl/boy get so excited for spelling someone right or doing a good job on something is one of the best feelings; always get goose bumps when that happens.

• Faith: God is the only person in the whole wide world who will ALWAYS love me, who will ALWAYS be there for me. When I feel betrayed by a friend, I know that Jesus is right there loving me and “holding” me. He is the only one that I NEED in my life. It’s so hard to actually believe this all of the time. Sometimes when I’m upset and feel alone I don’t always feel comforted because I block my faith out. Everyone needs some Jesus in their life to make them happy. I want to help people put Jesus in their life because they WILL need him.

• I want to make people feel loved. I don’t always do this because I’m selfish sometimes, but even if I don’t agree with a person’s life I want them to think someone loves them. I like leaving my roommate notes telling her to have a good day or something like that. I like to let my friends know I love ‘em! Loving others helps me love myself.

• I want to travel! I know that I will be living on a teacher salary and I obviously have a shopping problem, but if I learn to get my finances right then I’ll be able to travel somewhere! I have always wanted to go to Greece! I want to learn another culture and actually be PUT into their world.

• I want to be able to take time to smell the roses. This is something that I haven’t been doing lately. I’ve been busy or stuck on emotional aspects of my life that I shouldn’t be stuck on. I want to walk through life being able to stop and look at what a beautiful place God has put me. This is REALLY hard for me right now, but I’m working on it! 🙂

To end this blog I wanted to give you a quote that I ran across. Usually I always see the normal quotes that people use over and over again, but I have never seen this quote. I’m sure all of you have, but I really like this one. It’s from someone who actually means what they say too.

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”
– Mother Teresa

Isn’t that quote cool? 🙂

What do you want to get out of your life??!! And by the way…this list did help 🙂

I hope you “smell the roses” today!!

Do something good for someone else 🙂

“I Can Play What I Want”

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I’m on break!! Woo hoo! 🙂 I love not having to go to class or work! I have to go back Thursday afternoon because I have to work at 11:30 pm that night. I’m not so thrilled about working 11 hours in the middle of the night. This will be quite an experience. Tonight I went to our girls’ basketball game. It was an intense game. It made me really miss basketball. I wanted to run out there and play so badly!!
I have one more week of my Level 2 field experience. I’m so sad! I’m going to miss it. Last week while I was at my experience, a little girl that is super precious taught me a lesson. It’s crazy that a little kindergartener named Claire could teach a twenty-year-old a lesson! Hmmm! It was during centers, and we were playing house (hilarious, I know). She wanted to play “jail”, and I was the one supposed to be in jail. Another little girl told Claire that she didn’t want us to play that because she wanted to play house. Claire just stood there for a few seconds staring at her and said, “It’s not your decision what I do. I can play what I want. You don’t have to play with me.” I had to laugh out loud at this, but I don’t think they noticed. 😉 The reason why I say she taught me a lesson is because sometimes I catch myself doing only what others want of me. I have been challenged to be brave and somewhat stand up for myself (beliefs, values, interests, etc.). I’ve been known to let people choose my path. I don’t always do what I want to do, or say what I want to say. I don’t think I should do that! No one should let other people choose their path or choices. We have freedom for a reason! 🙂

I’m too tired to write anymore since I just made my brother’s project for Spanish class that is due tomorrow. Haha! I love being home even when I have to do things for my little brother! 🙂 Love you Gaber.

Do something good for someone else 🙂

I Guess I’m a Hot Air Balloon!

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So… I’ve never thought of myself as a hot air balloon, but I am! Haha. This isn’t necessarily true, but I was told about an analogy that was absolutely true. I have trouble “finding myself”. I was told by a great person that I’m like a hot air balloon.

OKAY, let me explain this analogy. You’re probably thinking, “Oh my gosh what in the world is this girl talking about?? A hot air balloon?? What??” So I was talking to someone about some issues in life. He told me that I’m like a hot air balloon when they are attached to weights on the ground about to let go into the air.

He told me that I’m already blown up: This means that I have lived my life so far. I have my morals and values that I grew up with. I have somewhat of a structure that I live on.

He told me that I have the little fire already going: This means that this fire is Christ inside me. I have this fire inside me that is lighted and others need to see that light inside me.

He told me that I’m still attached to the weights at this time in my life: This means that I am trying to figure out who I am. I’m trying to figure out who I want to be. The ties that are connected by the weights have to be untied when I learn who I am and what I want. Once I figure these things out, I’m able to be FREE. I can be untied from the weights and let go to be ME!

He also talked about when you go to a hot air balloon “race” or something like that we notice how pretty all the hot air balloons are. They are all very unique. That is just like everyone in this world!! We are all beautiful and unique in different ways!

I was in awe when he told me about this awesome analogy. It made me finally get where I am in life. I am so thankful for this analogy and understanding.

Lately I’ve been pretty busy. I started my Level 2 field experiences for my teacher education procedure. I love it! I’m in a kindergarten class and enjoy going each time! The students honestly make my day every time that I’ve gone this past week. It is so exciting!!! Work has been awesome as always. I’ve made some good friendships at work! We are getting a lot of new people for the seasons, so it’s crazy how many people I’ve been meeting lately! I actually have gotten to train two girls in the past couple weeks. It’s so fun getting to know new people! Life is pretty good right now. I’m sitting at my home in Albia watching TV and writing my blog. This is a typical night at home, and I have missed this very much. I’m going to spend the day tomorrow watching my awesome brother play soccer. I plan on reading a lot during the day since I have to write a paper over the book this week!!! I definitely procrastinated. I hope to have a great weekend with my awesome parents and brother. Home is definitely where the heart is.

Do something good for someone else! 🙂

Happy Birthday Daddy :)

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Today is my dad’s birthday. I’d like to send a shout out to him to tell him how great he is. Many of you reading this blog know my dad, but not like I know him! 🙂

My dad and I are pretty close. We might not talk all the time, but we have a special friendship between us that I will never let go of.

My dad would do just about anything to change someone’s life. He gets frustrated when he thinks he’s not doing anything extraordinary. I don’t think he sees how many people he has inspired. I can think of a handful off the top of my head that absolutely adore him and his awesome heart (and they are not even part of our family).

Some people put my dad down mostly because my dad is so great that my dad isn’t going to fight back. My dad is a type of guy that follows the verse Matthew 5:39. “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” It takes a lot of courage not to strike back at someone who has hurt you and your family. My dad has a lot of courage obviously.

My dad was my coach and supporter throughout my life. I was successful in sports because my dad pushed me enough to do great and work hard. He wasn’t the type that pushed TOO hard. If I said I didn’t want to go to the gym he wouldn’t fight with me, but I knew it disappointed him a little bit and I regret that.

Dad and the Siblings

There are not many people like my dad out there. I pray that I meet an amazing man just like my dad. My dad cares about our family more than anything. He cares about each one of our siblings so much. He cares about my mom beyond measures. Seeing their love makes me ache for something special like that.

I’m honestly very protective of my dad. I laugh at some of the things I said to people because I got so angry with them for putting my dad down. My dad is so important to me, and when someone hurts him they hurt me. My mom and dad are probably reading this and even get a little giggle at some of my actions in the past. I don’t usually get extremely angry, but in these situations I became a very angry and rude person. Eh, you mess with my dad you get messed with by me!! 🙂 Haha!

All in all, my dad is the greatest person I know. He and my mom are the reasons for me being where I am today. He deserves nothing but the greatest on this lovely birthday! I wish I could see you today to give you a hug dad! 🙂

Do something good for somebody else! 🙂