Beyond the 8-5

Raising Chickens and Gardening Pots

Embracing the Simple Things of Life

The challenges of work can become stressful and overwhelming at times, but restoring a sense of peace and calmness for me comes through gardening and raising chickens. These outlets not only allow me the ability to detach from work, but also connect with the beauty of nature. Both professionally and personally I've learn so many skills by simply trying and exploring new ideas. Learning about chickens and gardening were no different. Being willing to dabble, explore has brought great joy in learning about chickens, enjoying fresh eggs, harvesting herbs and flowers, and even dabble in photography.

Published Sketchnotes

One of my favorite hobbies includes sketch-noting, using pictures and text to communication a message. When I came to Clover School District I was given an apple pencil with my iPad, and I quickly decided to learn to sketch-note. I always struggled to draw stick figures, but what I had learned through several of my Twitter mentors (@wterral, @sylviaduckworth and @karlyb). When I started this journey, I shared my learning on Twitter and received many comments and questions about the process. This led to a friend asking me to created several sketches for her book she was publishing. This was a great opportunity and has led me to consider writing my own book using sketchnotes.

Zhytomyr, Ukraine

Prior to the current war in Ukraine, I had the opportunity to visit and serve throughout the region of Zhytomyr, Ukraine. Working with Jane and Vasily Povoroznyuk and a musical group from my church back in the United States, we traveled to city centers through the area to work with children and host a musical concert for the people of the community. Learning all of our music in the Ukraining language brought tears to attendees of our concerts as they were able to hear each song in their own language. My heart has been saddened by the war's affects on the Ukranian people, but to this day, I still follow follow the progress of these people through the organization that sponsored our trip.

I had a wonderful opportunity to serve in the village of Canyar on a missions trip to Peru. I was able to mix my love of serving and teaching by minister in the village and meeting with the teacher and students in the school. Interestingly enough, students in Peru complete math work just like my students did, and the gifts my students bought were greatly enjoyed by the boys and girls of Canyar. One of the greatest take-aways I experienced on this trip was how much I take for granted. Simple things like plumbing, transportation, refrigerators, and clean water are precious commodities many people in Canyar did not have. Even without such things like air conditioning and safe cars, the people of Peru radiate a true happiness that I learned while I was there.