February 22, 2011

It's that time....for National FFA Week!

So, I absolutely love, Love, LOVE National FFA Week...the one issue I have with National FFA Week is that NC State's spring break always tends to fall right around that time.  In other words, that means that all NC State students have loads and loads of work to be done, exams to take, and group projects to work on while all of the high school students get to enjoy their time dressing up as cows, eating BBQ lunches, and having a great time learning and promoting agriculture.
 That is the one thing I loved about FFA Week...it made those that usually don't feel important, feel like they were on top of the world.  It was so much fun to wear official dress to school and to promote agriculture among the members, school, and community through fun activities. Students all across the nation are celebrating this week of wonderfulness (if that is even a word) in so many different ways.  State and National Officers are conducting leadership workshops for students and are learning about chapters in rural and urban areas.  It is amazing how so many people come together to focus on one common goal: student success and agriculture!

So, as a college student, I miss this week....I miss it A LOT! My room is filled with FFA pictures of people that I love dearly.  There is just something about being part of a student led organization that makes a difference in the lives of people, schools, and communities.  It is something that has taken me farther than I ever thought I could happen.  The best part about this organization is that it is based on agricultural family values.  Students care for each other, for adults, and for the world around them. Many students are no longer farming, but are part of something so much bigger.  Students are becoming agriculture educators and extension agents, biologists, political leaders, animal scientists, veterinarians, geneticists, bio-technologists, sales agents, they are helping to grow and promote our food  industry...so how can you not help but love us?

We Feed You!

So, next time you see someone in agriculture....thank them for what they do.  They are making a difference in your life each and everyday!  If you don't believe me, just watch this short video...

 And....if you are interested in learning more about the National FFA Organization and the amazing people in it, check out the website.  www.ffa.org

So, back I go to being the studious college student, but before I do....
        1. Thank someone in agriculture today
2. Put a smile on your face :)
        3. and HAPPY NATIONAL FFA WEEK!

February 20, 2011

latest obsession

Yep, I am supposed to be doing my homework...You know that feeling; there are 12 days until spring break, you have a load of stuff to do, but you simply just don't want to do it.  That is EXACTLY how I feel right now.  My list of stuff is unending... chapter FFA officer handbook, lots of reading to catch up on, study guides to fill out, programs to prepare for, tests to study for, and I simply just don't feel like doing it!

I am excited for spring break...I am leaving for Indianapolis in 12 days and I cannot wait.  In the middle of that week I may take some time to head up to the even more frozen tundra of Michigan to visit with some friends and family.  My parents and sister are up there right now celebrating my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary...sadly enough, I have to work.  Go figure.

There is just something about that though...something about being married for 50 years that makes me smile.  How can it not? I love "love"; it's just that simple.  I love reading love stories, I love seeing people getting married, and I love celebrating these amazing milestones in life; hence, begins my latest obsession. 
I never thought I would be one of these people.  I always thought Hallmark greeting cards were overpriced and their products were too gifty for me (especially since I don't like stuff/material objects), but ever since I have been in a long distance relationship, I have begun to LOVE this store.  Every Friday after classes, I take my weekly trip to the local Hallmark and spend at least  1/2 of an hour perusing their cards section and the other gifty things they have to offer.  I pick out one, two, or three cards to send to my significant other and friends, swipe my Hallmark Crown Rewards Card, and go to find a nice quiet place to being writing.  After that, it is off to the Method Rd. post office where the postal women know me by name and ask how I am doing. It is such a great feeling to know that I may have the potential to make someone's day.

During my last visit to Hallmark, it made me wonder a little more about the history of the company...and it is fascinating.  It all began in 1910 when Joyce Clyde Hall stepped off a train in Kansas City, Missouri with nothing but two shoe-boxes of postcards under his arm.  He had very little money, not even enough to get a carriage ride, but he had an entrepreneurial spirit and the determination of a pioneer.  He joined his brother in business and began Hall's Brothers Greeting Cards.  In 1917, the brothers began to innovate and invented the modern gift wrap.  J.C. Hall continued with greeting cards; he was intrigued by the word "hallmark" that goldsmiths used as a mark of quality.  From that point on, they began using Hallmark on the back of every card and was the first greeting card company to advertise nationally. In 1932, they signed their first licensing agreement with Walt Disney...look where that has taken them today!  During that year, they also invented what is called "Eye-vision" greeting card displays. "Eye-vision" is took the cards out of drawers and put them on display racks where people could easily read and access them. All across the nation, greeting cards are displayed like this...all thanks to Hallmark! A lot has happened since the beginning of this company, but as Hallmark says....

   "We've come a long way from a man with empty pockets, two shoeboxes of postcards, and a dream. But most importantly, we've held onto the enduring beliefs and values that fill the basic human need to
connect with others." 

 And here I am...connecting with the readers of this blog, hoping to conjure some sort of thought in your mind today. Being Lutheran, we celebrate the season of Lent and most people tend to "give up" something, but this year, rather than "giving up" something, I am going to give something.  

Each day, it is my goal to send at least one card to someone special in my life.   

Everyone knows that feeling...the feeling of opening the mailbox and receiving something that is not junk mail or a bill, but something that is handwritten and full of love.  The wonderful mother of the love of my life sends me cards quite frequently and the women at Jordan Lutheran Church send care packages with cookies and cards...I never realized the impact that it made in my life until just the other day. 

So, today, think about what you can do to make a difference in someone's life.

February 19, 2011

this is the first day of the rest of your life.

Life. It has been different these past few months, that's for sure.  The past few years of my life have been completely surrounded by the National FFA Organization....I did nothing but breathe and live the FFA each and every day.  In October, I ran for National FFA Office, was not elected, and now am in this position of...what do I do; not so much with my life, but with my time?  I am doing pretty well keeping it occupied with this thing called academics and being a resident advisor, but each and every day I thirst for something to keep me sane.  I need something that I can call my own again.  I need something to give me the energy to make it through the day. I need something that gives me lasting friendships. I need something that will fulfill the happiness that once was in my heart. 

Even though I am still feeling the emptiness of the FFA within my heart and the search for something new is an everyday task, I have finally found something that I can really see myself enjoying for the rest of my life.  I love being in agriculture education, especially now that I am learning more and more new things about the animal industry,but I have fallen in love with figuring out people and why they do the things they do. After much prayer, God has lead me to the possibility of school counseling, in other words, working as a guidance counselor in a elementary, middle, or high school. I love the idea of this career, but I also know that my heart is still in agriculture and will always be.  I love the family atmosphere that agriculture creates, and the thought of not being part of the agriculture education family scares me.  I am so comfortable there; my friends are there and the FFA; those are the only things that I have known since I moved to North Carolina. It is so hard to step out of our comfort zones sometimes....

Amidst all of this contemplation in my mind and change in my life, I have found someone that makes me feel so much better about the life I am living now...No matter how good or how badly the day ends, he takes the time to listen, question, and understand me each and every day. I look at him, hear his voice, and know that he is the one that makes my life complete... he gives me hope to make it to the next day. Sometimes, fairy tales do come true.  I know mine has.

Alive again...that is what I desire...but until that point

love will hold us together