Friday, February 27, 2009

Our favorite person!

Tonight was senior night at the high school. I used to coach the Railiners, the dance team. So we usually go to the games and watch them dance. I had Heather when she was an incoming freshman. I had her for 2 years, then I quit coaching when I had Eli. We have stayed pretty close. She babysits Eli and is a high school aide in my classroom this year! Eli is always excited to go to the games to see "Heder." Tonight was no different. That was all he talked about was going to see the "Raers and Heder!" He even took her a rose! What are we going to do when she goes away to college?? She's the best!

We Love You Heather!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So the other day I walked into my laundary room (which is right off the garage) and saw these:

Look at all of those buttons! I don't know if I know what to do with all of those!

Yes...that's right! I had a new washer and dryer! Now, I was wanting the "NEW" front loader ones, but with us finishing our basement, it wasn't really an option! So, some friends of ours got the kind I wanted and we bought theirs! They are only 6-7years old and we paid $100 for BOTH! It's funny how things change in life and a new washer and dryer can you really happy! Does this mean I'll enjoy doing laundary more? No, I will still hate it and despise it every time I do it, but at least I'll only have to dry things once!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Best Candidate for the Job!

If you didn't know already, my dad is running for our local school board. I'm posting his letter he sent out to people. If you feel that you would like to have a yard sign or help out financially, just let me know! Remember to vote for RANDY ZOHN for school board in April!

As you know by now I have decided to run for school board. Given the financial state of our nation and the budget cuts looming over educational funding, this is probably not the best time to feel the urge for civic duty. However, I think it is time for the Newton Board of Education to have representation from members that have educational experience. Now is certainly the time to have input on potential budget cuts so that they have the least effect on our students.

In education today there is a lot of talk about research based programs, response to intervention (RTI), multi-tiered support systems (MTSS), and data-driven dialogue. As a potential board member I think that my experience and training in research and statistics would be beneficial in discussions of program effectiveness and fiscal responsibility. For those of you with educational experience, you know how often education has followed the latest fad only to find that the programs were not effective. My 32 years of experience in local education will help the school board avoid mistakes that are costly in lost educational opportunities for the students and wasted tax money by identifying the failed ideas from previous years that were implemented but did not work.

Working with kids, teachers, parents, support staff, and administration over the last several years has been rewarding. Because of that, I feel some ownership and responsibility for the future of education in Newton. Serving on the board would be my way of contributing to the needs of our students and the community.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Prayer Request

A friend of mine asked if I would post some information about her husband. He's been in the hospital this past week and they finally have diagnosed him. I am posting something that was written by someone else. Please take some time and pray for them. They have a 2 1/2 year little girl that needs her daddy back home!

The docs have diagnosed Travis with Wegener's Disease. It is a rare, treatable condition that will be treated with several drugs and take several months to heal. It is great to know what it is and now we can all become experts on this disease. If you post a message to this site we will print them off so he can read them.God is at work in his life and in yours. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. He has the greatest family and friends a person could ask for. Please don't think that just because we know what it is that we are in the clear. This will be a journey and will require continued prayer that the Lord would will a complete recovery. This won't be easy as your prayers will become repetitive but God will honor the prayers of the righteous.If you want to read more about this disease, here is a link that I found helpful:


Eli has really been into coloring lately. Every color is green! His grandpa and grandma Kirtley bought him a tractor coloring book for valentine's day and he LOVES it! He's all about tractors and combines! So today we spent some time coloring. It's so funny to listen to him name all the things in the picture as he's coloring! And if he doesn't know, he asks, "what's that?" Those are his 2 new favorite words. We hear them ALL the time!

And...a little flash back to this summer! Eli was about 14 months old! What a difference!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Check this out...

Check out the write up on Joel and Jess from Etsy. Encourage your friends to check it out and buy something to help build Cora's Playground! The McClenahans story and faith have touched more people around this world than I could have even imagined! Also, check out their site "The Macs." They still need our prayers during this very tough time...

check out etsy now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our Little Drummer!

We know have a set of drums! Aaron broke down and bought "Rock Band". It came with drums and 2 guitars. It's a game that you play on Xbox... I know really important! Well, Eli LOVES to pretend that he's playing the drums. Today's song choice..."Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" Here are some pictures and a video of our little drummer boy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Trip to Denver

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Colorado for a reading conference. It was a good conference, but it was also a long time to be away from my family. I missed them like crazy! There were 10 elementary people that went. One being my good friend, Jamie. I think that made it even better and easier to go!

We rode on the subway in dowtown Denver to pick our resturaunt to eat at. A little scary with the people that were coming on and off!

My friend Jamie and I!

Stephanie won over 800 tickets at Dave and Busters that night!

The mountains! We had to walk between 2 hotels for the conference and this is what we got to look at!

The candy for the trip!

And the move, "Sweet Home Alabama" We watched this on the way hom and "Mama Mia" on the way there! It made the trip a lot quicker. Well at least as quick as an 8 hour drive can go!

A Child of God

So it's taken me a while to post this. I've really been stuggling with what to even say and then not wanting to even say anything. This past week has been very hard to get through. I had come home from Colorado Saturday night and then we got a phone call Sunday morning that Cora did not make it through the night. I was shocked. I had just read on their blog that she had a stable day on Saturday and was not expecting that at all. I was tired and exhausted from my trip and I feel like it has taken my until today, Monday, to recover from everything. Not to mention that Eli got sick last Monday and we had to take him to the doctor Friday. He was put on some high power antibiotics. So anyways....
On tuesday, we went to a celebration of Cora's life:

My frame was not hidden from you wehn I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them same to be. Psalm 139:15-16

The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:21

During the celebration, Cora was refered to as a "little missionary." I agree, her story has touched the lives of many all over the world. God had a plan for her. But I also feel that Joel and Jess are a huge part in all of this. There faith during all of this is what got people reading about Cora's story. Their choice of words, bible verses, praisies and prayer requests are what got everyones attention. I am in awe of them right now and know that they have changed me forever as well.

As I mentioned before, there are many people that are helping to build Cora's playground. There are Etsy shops that are open all over that have donated crafts with all proceeds going to Cora's playground. If you click the pink button at the top of my blog, you can view all of them. There are some really cute things on there and the cause is WAY worth it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cora's Playground

Please click on the pink button on the right. It takes you to a link called Etsy. Here you can buy lots of things that are being made in honor of Cora. All proceeds help to build her playground. There are some really awesome, cute things on there.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Celebration of Cora's life...

In lieu of sending flowers, a memorial has been established to construct the Cora Playground, an extension of the children's ministries department at Grace Community Church. For a tax deductible donation, please make checks out to the church with "Cora's Playground" in the memo. Options for online donations include: a tax deductible donation through Grace Community Church's website ( ) or the Cora PayPal button on this site (this would not be tax deductible).

A celebration of Cora's life will be held at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, February 10, at Grace Community Church, 1600 S. Anderson Rd. Newton, Kansas.
Burial will follow at the Pleasant View Cemetery in rural Elbing.
In lieu of sending flowers, a memorial has been established to construct the Cora Playground, an extension of the children's ministries department at Grace Community Church.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sweet Cora...

Today, sweet Cora Paige went to be with Jesus. Please continue to pray for her family...for healing and comfort as they try to make sense of all of this. Our hearts and breaking for them. For more information read Joel and Jess's blog.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A little nervous

Well...tomorrow at 11am I am leaving for Colorado. I'm going with a group of teachers from our district to go to a reading conference. I leave Wednesday afternoon and come back late Saturday night. I'm excited to go to the conference, especially since one of my best friends is going. However, I have never been away from Eli this long! I know he'll be fine, but I just know I'm going to miss him like crazy. Of course, Aaron works tomorrow and Saturday. So Eli will be with my parents those times. It's nice to have family around! So...just a little nervous and praying that every thing will work out!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

An Eli Moment

We always go to eat with Aaron's parents on Sunday after church. So today I told Eli we were going to eat at Arby's with Grandpa Tim and Grandma Gail. This is the response I got:

"Grandpa Arbys... Cool...I like that!"

Who knows where he comes up with these things, but he makes me laugh and smile every day! I love that he's putting words together. Conversations are funny at our house!