Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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Do What You Love, Even if it Scares You!

Here’s a scene from coming back from northern Wisconsin yesterday, and here’s a challenging quote that I found in Christy Wright’s book Business Boutique: “Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.” -Susy Kassem. 

Choose to do what you love even if you are scared sometimes! Teaching junior high students was one of the things I have done scared. What have you done–even though it gave you anxiety?
-Mary Hope

#greatquotes #businessboutique #christywright #naturephotography #treesoftransitionart 

Copyright 2017

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Compliments from Students?! Wow!!

“Your teaching is 3000 times better than our literature teacher last year!” One of my students said this to me this afternoon, and he explained that my way of teaching writing helped him feel confident for our ACT Aspire test that we did this week. His words made my heart happy!


Yesterday all of our students took a writing test that I had been working with them toward all year. I taught them brainstorming techniques, about thesis statements, and tips on time writing test, and yesterday was the day where they put it all together.
I saw six of my seventh graders using their brainstorming techniques, and I heard from a lot of the other teachers that my students used their brainstorming skills on the writing test! Several six grade girls let me knows that knowing how to write a thesis statement really helped them on this test. One of them started blushing, but I’m really glad she let me know.
To top it all off, the eighth graders, who have challenged me all year, admitted that what they had been learning really did help them on the test. One young man said, “what you taught us really helped me on the test! I brainstorm for about five minutes and then I took the rest of the time to write my essay.”

My response was, “Hearing this made my year!!!”
I had been hired with the goal in mind to help our students improve their writing, and hearing this feedback from the students helps me know that I have accomplished at least some of my goal. I am so thankful for my students and that they are learning!
-Mary Hope 
Copyright 2017


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Happy Easter, Family & Friends!

Jesus is Risen! Here’s some of the fun we have been having yesterday and today:

Stephen made a carrot cake, and I got to decorate it. 🥕

Stephen and I in our Easter Sunday best!

Dancing around the church to celebrate celebrate Jesus’ resurrection!



I’m so thankful for family, friends, and church on Easter. Thanks for stopping by!

-Mary Hope

Copyright 2017


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Let Spring Break Commence!

This afternoon when I released the students to head home, my spring break began. I still have a meeting tomorrow, but it doesn’t feel like work because I do not have to manage students for a whole week and a half!
Spring break has begun! Happy Wednesday. 🌿
-Mary Hope 
Copyright 2017


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2016–My Favorite Year Yet


Why is 2016 my favorite year when some people are moaning about how bad it was? Well, if you had to wait 34 years before getting married, wouldn’t you agree that the year you finally married your best friend is the best one so far? And if you had been trying to get your career started, but kept getting mediocre jobs until this year–wouldn’t this year be a great one?

My favorite events in 2016 include:
Marrying my Stephen on June 18th, traveling to Hawaii and then having a second reception in Napa, California. Having so many supportive family and friends around us has jump-started our marriage.
Changing my name to Mary Schuh, and getting a full-time teaching job helping junior high students learn to write has been exciting, exhausting, and satisfying. (Having students call me “Mrs. Schuh” multiple times a day helped me learn my new name!)
Finding out that my sister is having a baby girl in February, makes me grin! 
Watching the curse over the Cubs be broken made me cry, and my Grandma Winnie would have been so happy that the Cubs won the World Series.
Moving out of my postage stamp studio apartment into a wonderful home provided my husband has been satisfying. We love sitting by the fireplace, and this year is the first time Stephen had a Christmas tree in that house.
2016 had been the year where it feels like I’m getting on with my life, developing my skills deeper than I thought I would, and becoming more intricately connected with wonderful folks.
There is so much hope on the horizon for 2017 — choose to enter in and make the best of what God gives us.
Happy New Year!
-Mary Hope 
Copyright 2016


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Merry Christmas, Friends!

I’m valuing the people in my life more and more because relationships with God and people are what is important! I’m thankful we get to celebrate God wanting to know us so badly that He sent His son as a baby–Jesus. Merry Christmas, Dear Friends!
-Mary Hope

Copyright 2016