Monday, May 26, 2014

Graduation and the National Suzuki Association of the Americas Conference

Saturday May 10th: 

Mum and Daddy arrived in town for Graduation! We had lunch at Jason's Deli and enjoyed several hours to just sit and talk. How I've missed that...

Sunday May 11th: 
Graduation Day!! I was thankful to get to spend it with so many of those dear to me, and via webcast with the rest! (Shoutout to Daniel and Sarah Beth who cheered from a distance!!!)

Photo: Emily B. 

I could write pages and pages about this dear lady and how much her friendship means to me - how God has used her to speak grace and truth and beauty into my heart more deeply than I knew was possible. I love you, dearest Lindsey. I can't wait to watch the path God has for you unfold over the months and years to come!
Photo: Emily B. 

It was such a beautiful day, full of celebrating the faithfulness of God over the last five years. What a journey it's been! I can't wait to see what God has in the next five!

Tuesday May 13th: 

Tabitha came to visit!! What a refreshing visit with such a beautiful friend - inside and out!!!
 (Oh and great Deep Dish pizza :) 

The rest of the week was spent working, organizing and talking with Mummzy before she headed back on Saturday. I will treasure those days for a long time. Missing you, Mum!!!

Saturday May 17th:

My first full day at work and on my own. It's an odd feeling but beautiful in its own way and I'm thankful for the adventure and all that God is going to teach me through this new phase!  

Sunday May 18th: 

Trip to Starved Rock for Sydney Tanner's Wedding. The countryside was so beautiful! 

Monday May 19th: 

Out on the golf course for the first time without my coach :) What a beautiful spring day! 

Tuesday May 20th: 

After a busy morning, I headed out to Northside Park to enjoy the sunshine and some uninterrupted time in the scriptures. It was much needed and very refreshing! As you can see, I had some beautiful company! 

Wednesday May 21st: 

After a good teaching afternoon, I met the Sidebothams for Gelato. I got in my baby fix too - little Clara let me hold her for a long time which was so much fun. Then spent the rest of the evening  packing up for the National Suzuki conference in Minneapolis!

Thursday May 22nd: 
The trip was beautiful through the Wisconsin and Minnesota countryside! 

Our Hilton view...

Two of my most influential pedagogy mentors. 

Each day was packed full, running from one session to the next and taking furious notes. It was so incredibly inspiring and practically helpful. But I will admit, it was a relief to get on that bike at the end of the day after so much intense concentration! 

Traveling necessitates at least a little eating out, and Minneapolis has some very tasty food!!

Yukari Tate, one of the original children to come over with Dr. Suzuki in the 60's on the trip which resulted in the birth of the SAA. 

The Beautiful Hilton 

I got to share a room with a bunch of other teachers from the CSA. It was so wonderful to come back after a full day and get to talk shop with these experienced teachers!!

Reuniting with a former Wheaton Student and friend who now teaches in Texas.

Ms. Lindquist came! What an incredible year it was with her...

Downtown Minneapolis :)

Saturday May 24th: 

After another full day, dinner brought more delicious food at a local Irish Pub...

CSA's Vivaldi Strings warming up for their performance! What an incredible honor for them, for the Community School for the Arts and for Ms. Bickel!!

In Performance

Sunday May 25th:

Teachers playing at brunch honoring Bill and Doris Preucil, legendary Suzuki teachers. It was so inspiring to see student after student testify to their legacy of kindness and excellence and the deep positive impact they had on all those around them.  

After the final sessions, I went for a long walk through the park and listened to this excellent sermon from John Piper. Much needed reminders and well worth the listen right to the end. 

Sunday evening brought a breathtaking concert from the entire Preucil family. It was such fun to get dressed up and experience this once in a lifetime event with so many new friends!!

Monday May 26th: 

A safe trip back to Wheaton with lots of good reading, including a few chapters of this favorite. This leather-bound copy was a gift from a student this week...can you tell they already know me well?