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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Finding Out We Are Pregnant!


After realizing that I might be pregnant, we waited for a night of the week that we were both free so we could both be there when I took the pregnancy test! I pulled out the white test that we had received as a wedding gift, followed the directions, and then we went down to our new aqua blue couch and waited. We had three minutes to wait; on our aqua blue couch, we held each other a talked about “What if!?” we were pregnant.

After the timer went off, we walked up to the bathroom and looked at the test. Would there be a pink cross? Or would it just be the pink line of normalness?

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School is Out! Happy First Day of Summer

Releasing my students into summer happened a couple of weeks ago (huzzah!). Seeing the room without 34 desks, chairs, and students made it feel huge. On my last day at school, I took time to just sit and my desk and write out that list of suggested books for the summer (see: Young Adult Fiction to Read This Summer)

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Young Adult Fiction to Read This Summer

I’m just wrapping up my year of teaching, and I just sent off this summer book suggestion list to my middle school students, so I thought I would share it with you as well!

If the review is quoted, it is from Patti Tjomsland and her workshop’s “What’s new in Young Adult Literature” handbook that I received when I attended her workshop.

Fantasy

Shadowcaster (first book) and Flamecaster (second book) – by Cinda Williams Chima http://amzn.to/2tmYHyd

For the second book: “Ash is forced into hiding after his father is murdered and his own life is endangered. On his quest for revenge he meets Jenna who shares his hatred for an evil king.”

 

Heartless –by  Marissa Meyer  http://amzn.to/2st5om0

“Ever wonder how the Red Queen became so heartless? Catherine just wanted to be a baker and then she falls in love with Jest which leads to heartbreak.”

 

Genius: the Game –by Leopoldo Gout   http://amzn.to/2sp1GZK

This book has a hanging ending! “First in a new series. Only 200 invitations go out to the best of the techies in the world for a huge competition. Tunde (an engineered genius from Nigeria) and Painted Wolf (an activist blogger from Shanghai) are invited and Mexican American Rex hacks his way onto the list. What is the real reason for this event?”

 And there are more…
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Turkey Three Bean Chili 

I cooked up this chili at my Mom’s request for her mother’s day meal, and we all loved it. The ground turkey makes it have less fat, and having three kinds of beans is fun!

Cook for 10 minutes in a 5-quart pot:

1 lb. ground turkey

1 chopped onion (or 6 Tblsp.  Dried minced onion)

Then add:

2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes

2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes

2 (15.5 oz.) cans mild chili beans

1 (15 oz.) can black beans

1 (15.5 oz.) red kidney beans

4 Tblsp. Chili powder

2 Tblsp. Cumin

1 Tblsp. Salt

1 ½ Tblsp. Molasses

2 cups water

Simmer on medium for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with sour cream, cheese, and corn bread, if desired. Enjoy! Makes about 3 quarts.

This recipe is dedicated to my Mom, who requested it!

Copyright 2017


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Baby Schuh is Due to Arrive in November!

Stephen and I want you to know that we are having a baby in early November! I am almost 17 weeks along, and this morning I felt the baby move for the first time!! While still in bed, I was laying there quietly with my hand on my belly; I could feel my heartbeat, but then I felt more than my heartbeat—a quick dart of movement, like the jumping of a fish, a flash of swimming, and then peace again. Baby Schuh let me feel him or her for the first time, and I got goosebumps and a rush of joy.

Stephen and I are so thankful for this baby! At 9 weeks along we got to see our baby for the first time through an ultrasound, and we could see the baby’s heart pulsing. Baby’s heart chugged away, and Stephen is great at copying the sound (which is like our own heartbeat, but much faster.) Having the picture of the baby has been meaningful and fun to show other people, and so many people are already so excited about this baby!

This is Baby Schuh at 9 weeks old; you can see his or her tiny head, arms, and body. We like to call Baby Schuh “Peanut.”

Last Thursday, I told my students about the baby like this: After they took their last vocabulary test, I said, “We have had another student in our class for the last three months…” Then they started guessing, and then a girl said quietly, “Pregnant?” I pointed at her, and asked her to say it louder, which she did. Then I said, “Yes, I am pregnant!!” Then the whole room let loose with claps, cheers (a dramatic student let out a few screams of joy), and we talked for the rest of class. My students have had a lot of ideas about names, advice, and a few girls said, “I thought you might be pregnant.” My favorite silly name from one guy student, who loves to goof around, is “Bless Schuh”—so it sounds like “Bless you!” Haha.

We are SO excited and thankful for this child. Thanks for sharing our joy with us!

~Mary & Stephen

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Developing My Voice: Becoming a Woman Leader

img_1900The adjective to describe my childhood is “old-fashioned.” This is partly because my parents were in their 30-40’s when they decided to have kids, and they treated us the way kids were treated when they were kids back in the 1950’s. This influenced me toward having an “old soul,” with more old-fashioned values and views on life, including my views on women and leadership, but over the last few years I’ve been figuring out what I think about both of these topics.

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Why Is It Hard To Apply For Jobs?

IMG_0477Especially after being rejected for many teaching jobs the years before, last year it was HARD to start filling out those Applitrack applications after my husband pushed me. He believed I could land another teaching job before I could.

Here’s a passage I wrote last July when I was applying to jobs and trying to figure out my negative emotions; I was answering the question, “Why is applying for teaching jobs so hard?” My answer back then: “I feel shaky inside and scared of being rejected, so it is hard to even try.

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