Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.


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Teaching Babies to Love the Bible // Children’s Bible Recommendations

Stephen and I take turns reading the Bible to Joel before bed.

One day a couple of months ago, after Joel woke up from his morning nap, in his still-sleepy state, he cuddled with me for a bit. I keep books on the dresser near his chair, and on this day he reached for his children’s Bible, so I brought it over for him to hold.

He studied the cover intently; his eyes scrunched into a smile as he looked down at the picture of Jesus. There was love in his eyes.

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Weird Noises in Church (No Less!)

The four month baby boy in his plaid shirt smiled and then let out a huge, “Shurrrrrrrrtttttt,” –a big pooping sounds mixed with the sputter of a fart in the quietness of the church’s sanctuary. His parents, my husband, and I just bent over, with our hands in front of our mouths in started silent laughter Continue reading


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Cousin Love

My four-year-old nephew, Jack said, “Can I see him!?” as he scooted his way over toward me, and I had to shove our baby’s presents out of the way and have him climb up next to me.

At first he had noticed the baby’s feet sticking out from under the nursing cover where I was feeding the baby. He asked, “Did you have the baby before you came here today?” I responded, “No, it was about five weeks ago.”

Jack was looking at those whale stockinged feet, and then he asked me to pull off the cover so he can see Joel. So I pulled the cover off and then he asked, “Can I hold him?” I answered, “Sure!” And I handed the baby over to Jack to hold. Joel had been fussy, but then when Jack started holding him, Joel snuggled into his arms and went back to sleep!

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How Becoming Pregnant Helped Me Become a More Calm Teacher

Junior high students have a reputation of showing disrespect and being hard to handle, and many adults don’t want to work with them. I started working the junior high students accidentally in a way because my college professors thought I couldn’t handle high school students, so when they placed me for practicums and student teaching they put me with junior high students!

I had positive experiences with junior high students throughout my teacher training — I saw they are funny, awkward and need encouragement just like the rest of us. One student made me cupcakes when I finished student teaching!

Jump ahead to last year; after I started being the lead teacher, I learned how vicious and mean junior high students can be. It hurt to have them not like me at times and show it in their actions and words; those actions made me more anxious about work. I also wanted to do well at my job, so that I could come back the next year if possible.

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Our Little Blondie Has Arrived!

Joel was born yesterday the 14th of November at 2:20am!!! He is a blondie, weighed 9 lb 8 oz at birth and is 23” long. He has Stephen’s forehead and my chin. 👶

We labored at home from Sunday morning until Monday afternoon so that we were 7cm dilated when we checked into the hospital on Monday; after 10 hours of hospital labor, we got to see our baby boy, Joel Christopher Schuh. Then we got to celebrate him the rest of his birthday day!!

I love being a mama!! Joel is a good eater and sleeping pretty well for a newborn; we are so thankful for this gift!

-Mary Hope

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Peaceful Focus


“Focusing is about saying No.” -Steve Jobs

Saying “No,” marks a boundary, making space for what you desire to create, and even though it hurts to reject a person or an idea, protecting that space will result in momentum toward your goal.

For example, this last year as I was teaching middle school English, I had to say “No,” to hanging out with friends on Sunday night because I had to mentally prepare to be ready to teach. In order to be focused, my No helped!

Being able to say no eliminates distractions.

-Mary Hope

Copyright 2017


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Stop and Listen


Last night before we had a picnic with friends on the Biltmore Estate, they gave us a parenting tip that a wise nurse told them after their daughter was born:
“Listen to your child.”

This seems simple, but in our speedy culture, many people forget to do this; the child usually knows what he or she needs, and there will be much more peace  if we just stop and listen and help meet that need. 

I’m going to remember this to use with our Baby!

Have a peaceful evening.

-Mary Hope


Copyright 2017


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The Second Grade’s Chicks!

The second grade students and the teacher are raising chicks! I stopped by to see them this afternoon and got a hold of them in my hands. These checks remind me of fun times I had when I was a child,  and we had chicks in a big box in our kitchen. Great memories! 🐥 

-Mary Hope

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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Painting Beside My Students 


Teaching students who want to learn from you and are painting with you is invigorating. Today I started my arts and crafts club at school. A few months ago, when I was showing students how I wanted them to do a demonstration speech, I showed my students how to crochet. Several students were very interested in learning; those are the students who showed up to my arts and crafts class! 
This week we started out with watercolor painting. I taught them how my mom taught me: just start painting and figure it out. I gave them a few tips such as more water for lighter colors and less water for darker colors, but I just let them explore and do what they wanted. We had four unique and cheerful paintings done at the end of the hour! I was able to also paint some Easter pictures to decorate our classroom.
Sitting next to the students painting is a great way to connect with them. I have three 6th graders, one 7th grader, and one 8th grader. I am so happy to just to talk with them about what they enjoy, what kind of art they are interested it, and a little bit about their family. I left work today feeling happy and satisfied. Art brings people together.
-Mary Hope
Copyright 2017