Thursday, December 13, 2007
and, when goodness abounds, you just have to share it and spread it around.
here are some goodies...
*enjoying season four of gilmore girls - including swoons, laughs and repeat viewings of my favorite moments/scenes :)
*talking to matt on the phone - it's worth the $3/minute (yay for expense reports) :)
*spending the past weekend with my sister - and reaffirming that she is so neat and i am so blessed to not just be her friend but her family, too
*singing at the top of my lungs and jumping up and down like a teenager at the jimmy eat world show last weekend
*baking my mom's festive and delicious chocolate mint cookies
*thinking fondly of my family and getting excited to see them soon for christmas
*watching one of my favorite kiddos from last year break-dance in the holiday show (random, i know)
*congratulating the break-dancing wonder and his cute and modest reaction
*wearing cute work outfits - shallow, i know - but looking okay makes me feel okay :)
*spending some rare social time with co-workers (at yummy macaroni grill)
*getting to know a co-worker better - maybe he and his wife will be our friends? :)
*listening to holiday tunes on pandora.com
*practicing the 'reindeer pokey' for the holiday show
*laughing along with my kiddos when they put their 'tail' in and out - too funny!
*making blankies for our family members - 1/2 down, 5 1/2 to go (i will finish!)
*administering a state test to my kiddos and finding that they're learning (!!!!!)
i hope this week ends on a high note for you all. :)
happy friday, friends.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
full of mostly wonderful things. :)
and a few bummer things. :(
everything going on in this full life of ours could (and should) be it's own post. but lack of time/motivation/words means they will instead be lumped together, into what i will call a mega-post. here goes nothing...
wonderful thing #1: things within the four walls of my classroom are great. the students are just swell. they are bright, sweet, eager, inquisitive, hilarious. sure...i have moments/days when i wonder why i subject myself to six-year-olds. but then...there are the days (more often than not) when it's all worthwhile. i'm definitely enjoying this second time around and look forward to the months to come with my super cheetahs. :)
wonderful thing #2: my sister kaitlin is coming tomorrow to spend a few days with lonely lil' me (more on that in bummer #1). she going to come by my school and hang out with the kiddos and i. and then, she is accompanying me to a concert in the 'big city' where i can see a few of my favorite bands. my mom and pop are super-duper generous and asked if we wanted to stay in the city for the night and sprung for a hotel. i'm super excited to spend more time with her and enjoy some city wandering, shopping and whatever else we feel like.
wonderful thing #3: we are 99.9% done with our holiday shopping. it's kind of nice to have (almost) everything purchased and ready to be packaged/put together. i am making cozy fleece blankets for family members, so i have yards and yards of fabric to cut, snip and tie. easy to do..i just need to do it. :) here are some samples of the fleece-y goodness i'll be working with.
wonderful thing #4: i have been extremely lucky lately - in the give-away sense. at a new teacher event, i won a drawing for a basket of holiday, classroom and edible goodies. it was just a little something...but exciting. motivated by my brief lucky streak, i left a comment on this blog to win an apron she was generously giving away. and...lo and behold...i was the lucky winner and am now the very proud owner of this darling apron:
i even used it tonight to make some delicious cranberry-orange pinwheel sugar cookies. yum, yum, yum. i love cookies...especially when they are mixed and baked while wearing cute clothing protection.
wonderful thing #5: it's starting to kind of feel like something resembling winter -- and i am loving every second of it. i know it bums out some people...but cool, overcast days with a chill in the air energize me.
bummer thing #1: matt is working in south korea again. he's gone until december 21st - but will be back in time for christmas. then, he's off to korea again to finish their project on the 27th of december. it's not fun having him gone...but, on the bright side, his company offered some 'cash an prizes' for those who have to go. basically, the company will pay for us to go on a trip wherever we want, whenever we want. i think it will be an okay trade-off, especially since we're looking in to heading to europe. :)
bummer #2: while my classroom is a positive environment, the climate at my school is growing increasingly negative. in short, teachers in my district don't have a contract for this year and are trying to increase the salary scale and improve the benefits packages. negotiation meetings have been unsuccessful and unproductive - due to 'error' on both sides. with all of this going on, there have been rumblings of striking amongst teaching staff district-wide.
during conversations on this topic, i shared that i would not strike. i am not alone in my desire to continue working. since i (and a few others) have indicated our intentions, things between strike-supporters and non-strike-supporters have been awkward and just plain petty. another teacher in my grade-level has criticized me in front of our grade-level team and, in the last few days, has practically stopped speaking to me directly because of how strongly she feels about supporting the decisions of the union. while i respect and understand her point of view, i do not respect or understand how my personal opinion gives her the right to treat me the way she is. being the people-pleasing, emotion-prone person i am, this has been hard for me to handle but i'm trying to stay positive and not let it get to me (i'll let you know when that finally happens). :)
i realize that i should probably care more about the decisions and negotiations of the union and the district. however, at this point in my career, i am just happy to have a consistent and well-paying job (for teaching, at least), supportive colleagues (most of the time) and a pretty neat group of students to mold and motivate. :) my hope is that this matter is settled soon - either with a set contract or a definite strike - so things can go back to how they were.
***long and rambling soapbox moment for those who care: i got in to teaching because i want to support children, plain and simple. the students in my district come from families with incomplete educations, limited options and the challenge of adjusting to life in the united states. i feel honored to be in a position where i can help these students to recognize alternative options and motivate them (even at age 6) to dream big and work hard for whatever they want in life. my students are my primary concern and i will do what i need to do in order to support them and help them learn. if that means working with students after school (without the promise of $$$ compensation), so be it. if that means staying late to prepare materials and plan a little bit extra, so be it. if i were to strike, i feel that i would be depriving my students of opportunities to learn. sure, they could hear the information from a substitute, but i feel that my presence in the classroom is beneficial to them and that the ways that i structure and plan things can help them achieve success. my focus is my students. and sometimes, i recognize that i sometimes put their needs above my own (which i need to work on) - but i feel like what i do matters and i want to do it the best i can and put in my best effort. okay...end of soapboxing rant.***
okay...that tuckered me out.
i am off to bed to rest up for another busy day with my kiddos.
i'm hoping for the kind of day that can build on the wonderful things.
with all the fun coming up...i think my chances are pretty good.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
for as long as i can remember, i just wanted to be a good kid/student/daughter/sister/friend. i'm not sure where it came from...but it was just there. as i grew older, my desire to be 'good' remained, but took on more meaning as i gauged my actions, thoughts and words against the example of Jesus. i want to be like Him - loving, patient, generous, forgiving. and what is currently occupying my mind is who i am in Him -- the good, the bad and the in-between. i want to embrace the good, transform the bad and adjust the in-between to become the person He desires me to be.
lately, i've been 'battling' with the bad that to wants to surface - the selfishness, the attitude, the negative filter. when i am so wrapped up in myself and negative feelings, it's difficult to love, be patient, be generous and forgive. it's left me where i am now - feeling that my purpose is off-track, that my attitude is keeping me from who i can be, and that being a negative nellie is just no fun - for anyone!
tonight, i finally recognized the flaws in my attitude and acknowledged the need for change. there is no quick fix or simple answer to anything i've put out there all i can do is pray and be patient that God will bring about the changes in me. i've just felt 'off' for a little while now...but i have faith that He will bring me back to where i need to be.
may you all have a wonderful monday and a blessed week.
p.s. a song that touched my heart long ago...and again tonight.
Your love is all I have
it brings me to the floor
i can't ignore the way You make me feel
Your eyes are fixed on me
Your words will light my way
from day to day I will never need a thing
You're faithful to the end
You've let me know through every circumstance You will never leave my side
You're closer than my breath
You're always on my mind
and still there's room for more of You in my life
invade my very heart
change me until I am who You are
come and fashion me until every part is how You desire
those stains that covered me
they all have disappeared since You came near
You've made me like a child
now I see through Your eyes the way it ought to be
You're calling me to never compromise
invade my very heart
change me until I am who You are
come and fashion me until every part is how You desire
~'fashion' by jason morant~
Sunday, November 11, 2007
and, honestly, most of the posts were no good. lots of rambling, venting and 'in the moment'-fueled writing. this isn't stuff i want to write (why, oh why, do i dwell?) and i doubt it's anything anyone would want to read.
and that is where i'm hitting a wall with this blogging thing.
i feel like i waver between mini-updates about my life and complaints about minor things. something i enjoy and value about the blogs i read is the way that the aspects of their day-to-day lives (both the good and the bad) are interwoven with their thoughts and feelings(positive and negative).
my problem: i feel the need to edit and censor myself -- only presenting the person that i want people to know and see.
the person who is happy and positive all the time.
the person who is consistently a generous and thoughtful wife.
the person who is a nurturing teacher, day in and day out.
i'm hesitant to give some friends and family my blog address for fear of what they will think or feel about what i write. do i want people to know the messy/less-than-ideal aspects of myself?
to be perfectly honest, being thought of as friendly, nice and 'together' is kind of appealing. but it is not always realistic.
some days, i am a grump and i fight with my husband for no good reason and i snap at kids who really don't deserve it.
i'm realizing that i need to find the balance between being honest and candid about my life -- but not using this blog as a forum for airing any and all grievances i may have. i don't know what that will look like exactly.
the next few days/weeks/months will be an exercise in being honest about my life - sharing the good and being open to mentioning the bad. since i am overly wrapped up in being the 'perfect (insert label)' - this will be a challenge. but bear with me...maybe by the new year, i'll have struck that balance. :)
now, for those who care, i leave you with some highlights/thoughts. after all, it has been a loooong month since my last post and i'm sure you're all curious.
*matt returned safely - and a week early, too. :) it took a little adjusting for both of us after being independent for a few weeks, but we're back in a groove and enjoying being in the same country. he leaves again in early december - so we're squeezing in plenty of opportunities for quality time until then.
*school is good. my little kiddos are super smart, very cute and pretty well-behaved. we're off to a great start and i'm excited to see where this year goes. it's going by soooo quickly!
*james has been in and out of the hospital a lot lately. matt's family is having a hard time - so prayers would be appreciated. we're going to see them tomorrow and we'll do what we can to help out - whatever that may be. :)
*i'm loving this cold weather. it means warm drinks aplenty, cozy sweaters coming out of storage and using our very efficient heater. i love fall/winter.
*30 rock is an awesome show. we are nerds and watch old tv shows on netflix because we don't have cable. anyways...we giggled our way through the entire season. good times.
*i am looking forward to thanksgiving. i will be participating in three thanksgivings this year - one at school, one with college friends in the city and then the actual day of giving thanks. luckily, i adore thanksgiving food - so this trifecta of turkey will not be a problem.
alright...off to bed on this glorious fall weekend - which just happens to be three days long. happy weekend, all.
Monday, October 08, 2007
with a sixteen-hour time difference.
for three weeks.
it's only been four days (he left friday).
and i'm counting down the days until he returns.
i'm not used to being by myself - i kinda like having him around. :)
maybe i should be stronger.
but, gosh darn it, i miss him. :(
we're exchanging e-mails daily.
but we can chat for only ten minutes a day
which is better than nothing...but still doesn't feel like enough.
it's been an adjustment.
i hope that the next two and a half weeks get a little easier.
if you'll be in the bay area, let me know.
i could use some interaction...with people above six, that is. :)
happy monday/week to you all.
Monday, September 24, 2007
to summarize the last month:
*school started and i am happy to announce that i have a great group of kids. some minor 'issues' (a thumb sucker - ick, ick, ick!), but overall, they are sweet and eager to work.
*we're about 80% moved in to our new apartment. we love it and, despite the hassle of actually moving, it's been a good change for us. we both have good commutes and have our necessities at our fingertips. you know, the important things, like target, costco and el torito (a beloved mexican restaurant). :)
*matt started his new job the same day i started this school year. he's enjoying the change of pace and the challenge of new tasks. he's scheduled for some overseas trips (korea, japan, back to korea) in the next few weeks. he'll be gone for 2-3 weeks at a time, which will be hard, but the silver lining is that i will be able to travel with him overseas when i'm on vacations. and, with all the travel, we'll rack up air and hotel miles - so we can maybe take a cheap-ish vacation (which is just our style).
*james (my brother-in-law who i mentioned a few posts back) is out of the hospital. they still have no idea how to help him...but the doctors are looking in to options. for those of you who want to stay updated, matt's parents created a blog to keep family/friends updated. this will be a better source of information than i can provide: www.prayforjames.blogspot.com.
*i'm looking forward to some visits with family and friends when matt is gone. since i'll have a lot of free time on my hands, i figured i'd put it to good use and see people i don't see all that often.
*and, just because it makes me feel happy inside, fall is upon us...almost. the weekend was positively wonderful...but the next two days look to be not so good. i'm hoping this crisp fall air sticks around -- it's my favorite season. :) and, as a side note and added bonus, fall signals the return of pumpkin spice lattes - which is a beloved seasonal treat of mine.
with that, i'm off to bed. teaching the kiddos tuckers me out and i need my sleep -- otherwise i pity the kiddos who have to deal with cranky me. :) i hope you all had a wonderful start to this week. i'll try to post something with some substance soon.
happy week, all. :)
Sunday, August 26, 2007
the last days/weeks have been filled with curriculum training, room beautification, lesson planning...and a few bouts of stress-related tears.
but the room is finished (for now...), i'm ready (i think...) and we're going for it (starting at 8:15 tomorrow).
i'm super eager to get to know a new group of kiddos.
but i'm nervous about some kiddos who have already been brought to my attention because of their sometimes negative behavior.
i'm wanting to do my very best to turn these kiddos into super readers, writers and (basic) mathematicians.
but i'm worried that i won't have enough time for anything else - can i teach art, science and social studies more often this year?
i'm excited to work with the staff - both returning and new.
but i'm wondering if we'll all be able to interact and create a supportive environment like last year.
i hope to see my old kiddos.
but will they come visit me...and did i serve them well?
i know it'll be a great year...but my stomach is full of butterflies.
more news to come once i'm settled in.
besides my new school year, matt is starting a new job tomorrow with a company that could be a great opportunity to transfer out of state when the time comes. and, to top it off, we're moving. it a lot of changes for our little world...but they're all positive, so we're happy and taking it all in stride.
i'm off to pick out my first-day-of-school clothes, gather my teacher materials and pack up my new orange lunchbox with handy tupperware insert. happy monday/week to you all. :)
Monday, August 13, 2007
Thanks for your prayers for James. He is better now, but it was very uncertain not too long ago. Since there is a lot to write, I will copy the e-mail my husband sent to his co-workers and some friends. So, below is Matt's rundown of the last couple days:
*Thursday - James had 5 grand mal seizures within an hour (basically in a constantly seizing state) and was rushed to the ER. Mary, Matt's mom, noted that his breathing was very shallow so when they got to the hospital, they put him on a ventilator, where he remained for the rest of the night. He was also given a massive dosage of Ativan (similar to Valium) for seizure control. He takes this medicine regularly in smaller doses but, due to the repeated seizures, the amount in his blood equaled up to a very large dose. He was fairly stable and remained in the ICU.
*Friday - Mary called Matt at 2:00 and told him to come to Walnut Creek immediately. He picked me up at home and we arrived. The doctors told us that earlier in the day, they had tried numerous times to pull James off of the ventilator but that he would not start breathing on his own. After running some more tests, they determined that the Ativan was not only suppressing the seizures but also preventing his brain from telling his body to breathe. There were two long-term possibilities (barring anything unexpected): 1) Stay on the ventilator in a drug-induced coma for the rest of his life or 2) take him off Ativan (meaning no seizure control), allowing him to breathe on his own, but ultimately leading to organ failure since the trauma the body experiences during the constant-seizure state is so taxing. Matt and his parents talked about it and decided that they'd wait out the weekend and see is James improved. There was little hope that he would improve, so they were preparing to take him off the ventilator and allow him to pass away peacefully. This was not being morbid or fatalist; the doctors told us that this was going to happen and that they were not expecting anything else than the above.
*Saturday - Mary calls us early in the morning to say that James is off the ventilator. He is still very groggy from the drugs he is on, but he is able to nod and look at people when they talk to him. The drugs keep him constantly struggling to maintain consciousness, but he is doing much better. Saturday evening, the doctor tells us that they see no reason why he cannot get back to where he was before this all started. There is a small scare around midnight right when we're saying good night and about to leave when he stopped breathing, but it was shortly after another dose of medicine so it was chalked up to the shock of the drugs on his system. Matt went over to his bedside and shook him awake and he started breathing again.
*Sunday - James is awake more and able to speak. He behaves much more like himself (smiling, being a 'stinker', soaking up the attention of nurses/family) and is even able to play cards (sort of). He was taken out of the ICU and off all of the breathing monitors. They are looking at releasing him at the end of next week.
So...things are alright now...but it was a little touch and go for a little while. Everyone is doing well and are hoping James can regain the lifestyle he lived before his seizures became difficult to control Continue to keep James in your thoughts and prayers as they seek out what to do nest. There is some worry that this will be a recurring problem...so we're hoping the doctors can suggest anything that could help or make his life/health more stable.
Hope you all have a great week and I'll update again soon. :)
Friday, August 10, 2007
time is short...but i have a request of you.
my sweet brother-in-law james is in the hospital, due to complications from his ongoing battle with seizures. he is on a ventilator and things are looking very uncertain. the family (matt's parents, matt, and his brother michael) is hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst.
any prayers/happy thoughts you could offer -- for james, mary and brian, matt, michael, the doctors -- would be greatly appreciated.
thanks...and i hope to have more information to update soon.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
we have an icky thing going on in our apartment.
while we were in chicago, a family of flies somehow found a gap and moved in.
they're zipping around here like the own the place.
as a result, we've closed ourselves up, meaning very little fresh air is making it in.
and the worst part is that over the last few days they have been dropping like...well...flies.
it's icky and gross and bleh.
does anyone know - is this the time of year for new flies to be born?
i hope they stop reproducing soon.
besides the fly infestation....things are good.
*i can get back into my classroom officially on monday. i wish i twas sooner, but the carpets are still being cleaned and the newly tarred are apparently quite stinky. i'm excited to get in there, organize the crap out of everything and prep my room for the new batch of kiddos.
*i'm seeing my friend aimee this saturday for the first time in a year! it's been too long considering she lives 30 minutes away. but she is also a new teacher (first grade, too) and we were both up to our ears in work. anywho, she is one of my favorite people and i always love seeing her and catching up. :)
*we're moving september first - so we're starting to pack up our stuff. we don't think we have much...but then we realized that we opened all of our wedding gifts in this apartment and put them all away gradually. i am a little shocked at how much junk/stuff we have. i suppose a little 'purge' will be for the best. :)
*other goodness: free movies downtown, snow patrol's cd 'eyes open', nectarines, an a's game next week (free tickets and free food - lucky us!), relaxing with matt, the last days of my summer vacation...
happy friday/weekend, friends. :)
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
i love to read blogs and get caught up on the lives of people i know in 'real life'. but over the last few months, i've come across the blogs of some wonderful, creative and thought-provoking people that i want to continue reading. i don't know about you, but it was getting a little crazy (and super time-consuming) going to each individual blog and checking for ideas and updates. recently, i discovered a way to make my blog reading more 'focused'.
introducing...the helpful and handy google reader!
with google reader, you plug in the url's for your favorite blogs (personal, news, arts, etc.) and google reader will constantly check the sites for updates. it then provides a list of all the new blogs your favorite people post - all in one place! you can also put the blogs in groups - to keep it all organized. :)
i love it and, while it makes me a super lazy blog reader, it definitely keeps me up to date on the people that intrigue and inspire me. hope it helps you keep up with your favorites. and if you have any question, i'll do my best to help out...but i'm not the most tech-savvy gal in the world. :)
happy tuesday friends...and happy blog reading.
Monday, August 06, 2007
hope you are all enjoying the last days/weeks of summer.
also...enjoy just a small sampling of our pictures of chicago fun.
the view of sears tower from our architecture boat tour.
delicious deep-dish pizza.
taking a picture with the bean and the city. (i'm the gal in the blue) :)
one of my favorite paintings -- 'a sunday afternoon on the island of la grande jatte' by georges seurat
the neat kimodo dragon mouth entrance to the wonderful shedd aquarium
sue, the world's largest female t-rex skeleton, in the field museum
grant park -- being taken over by the lollapalooza music festival. sadly, we didn't get to walk through it...so this is the next best thing. :)
the view of the downtown from the sears tower - beautiful views. :)
'the dark knight' -- the new batman movie -- was filming in chicago at night. sadly...there were no christian bale sightings. :( but this is a blurry picture of gary oldman doing a scene for the movie.
matt and i enjoying the city. it was a wonderful trip - can't you tell by our happy faces? :)
Thursday, July 26, 2007
hard to believe it's almost the end of july.
and i just realized that one month from tomorrow is my first day of the school year - yay for new school years and new little kiddos to mold! :)
a lot has been going on in our little home lately. i could probably blog about all of it individually, but i'll keep it brief instead.
1. matt interviewed with two different companies in the last two weeks. they both liked him and their offers both came down last week. there was much debate about which one to take - and he/we decided on one. i'm super proud of him and am excited that he'll be doing something that he enjoys more and will be a valued employee.
2. with this new job, it's looking like we should move. my job is already 20 minutes away and matt's new job will be 30-40 minutes away. both jobs are north of where we currently are - so a move northbound is what we're hoping for.
3. moving north is proving to be a challenge. somehow, in the last year, rent for apartments has skyrocketed (ours has, thankfully, stayed the same). we're a little shocked at how expensive the rent is for a 1BR/1BA place. we might need to give in and raise our rent 'limit' - but since we're both so focused on 'save, save, save' for the future house, it's hard to justify. hopefully something presents itself soon. until then, i will be a notorious craigslist stalker. :)
4. today was my last day of volunteering at the college. i met a lot of great people, learned how to stretch people, learned some basic massage that won't tire out my hands and heard a lot of interesting life stories. there's been a mutual agreement to share what's going on in our lives - so i'll be updated on all them and they'll hear about my adventures in first grade.
5. we're spending the weekend doing things with matt's friends from high school. i don't know all of them - but they're super friendly and have been welcoming to me (the newbie). there's a wedding on friday night (hooray for a cheap new dress!) and a big barbeque on saturday. i think we'll squeeze in a visit with matt's family, too - so it should be a great weekend.
6. we leave for chicago next week. yay! we're asking friends (thanks hil!) and scouring the web looking for the top things to do and are now trying to squeeze them all in to three days. it'll be great to see our friend ken and my uncle todd and aunt sher. we're looking forward to getting out of san jose for a couple days...even if it means hot weather and humidity. :)
7. school starts soon-ish. i'm excited to get in my classroom, find out who my students will be and get to work on planning the year. i loved back to school as a kid - and i love it even more as an adult. i'm sure it'll wear off with time...but for now, i'm excited to get back to work.
have a great friday/weekend all. :)
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
and july is usually hot and sunny, right?
it seems that the bay area is already looking forward to winter. :)
because it's rainy here today.
rain in july is not something i'm used to, but i'm loving it.
the trees are bright green from the light sprinkle, the air is warm, the sky is overcast with the sun trying it's hardest to push through.
it's a pleasant suprise in the midst of this hot summer.
and, as an added bonus, i don't need to pay for a car wash now. :)
hope you are enjoying a nice july day - whether hot or cold, sunny or rainy.
i'm off to watch 'sleepless in seattle' (sigh...what a lovely movie) and enjoy some yummy lunch.
this has the makings of a good afternoon. :)
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
the day after my post about wishing for things to do...an opportunity arose.
a friend from our church small group, jim, teaches adapted physical education for special needs adults at a local community college. i mentioned i was having trouble filling my days - and he had just the answer - help in his class.
so, for a couple hours everyday, i am a volunteer/'physical therapist'/'masseuse'/motivator for some really neat and interesting people.
they are college students, middle-aged adults and senior citizens.
some have suffered an accident that left them paralyzed, some have been disabled their entire life, others are looking for a way to keep their body active and healthy.
it is such a wonderful program because it provides this wonderful opportunity for people who may not receive the care and support they want and/or need.
jim assigns the students to the various helpers, so i've gotten to know some of them a little better.
i work with stephen, a college student with autism. he is sweet and loves to laugh...but sometimes lacks focus. :) so my job is to count as he holds a stretch, help him use the machines/weights correctly and encourage him to push himself a little harder. and - he's making me work hard at the same time - my weak little arms are not used to all these weights. :)
i work with rose, a woman who suffered a stroke in 1980 that left her with very limited use of her left side. she wants to regain function of her left side and she is so eager to improve. she encourages me to keep trying and not let things get me down - she's great. :)
there are others...who i'll try to mention later. all in all, i am so glad that this opportunity presented itself. and even when i am tired and my muscles feel a little beat-up, i know that what i'm doing this summer is something i will never forget.
besides the volunteering, things have been good and busy.
we tried to go 'away' for the 4th - but after some traffic-filled driving and some frustrating circumstances, ended up back home watching a movie, eating yummy food and enjoying the day off.
we saw a good friend get married in slo last weekend. such a sweet wedding and they are so obviously and blissfully in love. *sigh*...weddings. :)
this weekend, we're going north to see the family - and also visit with my aunt kathy and uncle steve (they are the best!) who are passing through town. should be good times with the fam. :)
that's all for now, friends. happy wednesday. :)
Sunday, July 01, 2007
we (matt and i) just relaxed and simply enjoyed one another's company.
we ate carls jr. (his choice) and talked about the future and where/why/when we should move.
we dinked around wal-mart looking for the gaudiest gifts for his brother's birthday.
we ate yummy generic orange creamsicles - can you tell i love them?
we walked around the park and discussed where we want to go on vacation this summer.
we went to a san jose giants game (they're the minor league team) with our friend ken.
we ate yummy bbq, garlic fries and ice cream cones.
we drank icky, but half-priced, budweiser beer when the 'beer batter' struck out. only in the minor leagues, folks. :)
we watched an orange gorilla (the team mascot) seawalk and 'break it down'. it was awesome.
we watched kids run the bases and fall down - then pick themsleves up and run like crazy.
we saw a spectacular (honestly!) fireworks show - especially when one firework went off too soon and probably almost lit the workers on fire. kinda scary...but funny at the same time.
we decided to go on vacation in august to...chicago...to visit our soon-to-be transplanted friend, ken.
we are very excited about this. yay vacation. :)
we went to see matt's brother and the rest of the family for some birthday fun.
we watched game show network (james' favorite) and politely laughed at the contestants they find to be on those shows.
we decided that we would be awesome on those shows and should try out. you may see us soon. check your local listings. ;)
we ate yummy food and the most delicious homemade, from scratch vanilla cake. my mouth is still coated in the vanilla-y goodness.
this weekend was just dandy. good company, good times, good food. good all around.
happy monday/week to you all. :)
Friday, June 29, 2007
and, at twenty-three, going to the dentist still gives me some anxiety.
i used to be a hardcore, six-months-to-the-day dentist visitor.
but it's been over a year - getting insurance squared away was a little crazy.
i want clean teeth (such a great feeling)...but are they okay?
i'm actually kind of nervous.
will the new dentist 'like' my teeth?
have my teeth been good to me this past year?
have i been good to my teeth this past year?
are they cavity free?
did i brush and floss often enough?
are my gums healthy?
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
yesterday, i learned a new thing about myself.
i am not good with coming up with 'stuff' to do.
tuesday's new thing was sad...i tried something new with my hair.
whoa! shocking, i know.
i tried to put it in two braids like i saw pictured in a magazine.
but after many attempts, my arms were weak and my fingers said 'who cares?'
so i did two normal braids.
today, i tried (again) to crochet.
two birthdays ago, my parents gave me a crocheting for dummies book, a pack of hooks and some cute yarn.
over the last two years, i have tried to 'work the needles' - which reminds me of the part in 'never been kissed' when drew barrymore's character reminds gus that she (senorita josie) helped him work the needles.
anywho...the hooks/needles don't seem to like working with me. i need a senorita josie to show me the error of my crocheting ways. my goal is that maybe by winter, i will have something that can keep my warm - a scarf, a hat, a coaster -- i'm not picky.
anyone have tips for how they learned how to crochet? people say it's easy and i am fairly dextrous - but can't seem to get it. any suggestions would be helpful.
now, instead of dwelling on negatives, like my inability to braid my hair in new ways or my inability to 'work the needles', i wanted to highlight some things that have brightened my life and kept me kinda busy with all this free time.
~*~the homemade pork fried rice my husband whipped up lat night - super bad for me to eat but absolutely delicious
~*~generic orange creamsicles from safeway - yum, yum - and it's 'healthier' than fried rice :)
~*~michael buble's new cd, call me irresponsible - his song 'everything' is too cute.
~*~planning a crafty project using our wedding response cards, some modge podge and our kitchen tabletop
~*~writing cards to friends and family - because who doesn't love getting snail mail
~*~hanging out with the treadmill - we're getting somewhere and i think we could be friends after a few more visits
~*~walking the loop at our local park and chit-chatting with matt
~*~tv on dvd (office, a.d., friends) - the ultimate cure for boredom on hot days
~*~thinking of fun things for matt and i to do this summer - baseball games, 4th of july festivities, concerts in the park, etc. :)
~*~browsing all my cookbooks for summery new recipes to try out for din-din
~*~attempting to clean up - then finding an old box and reminiscing about all the pictures, cards and fun stuff inside.
~*~dinner with college friends - okay, it's tonight - but i'm excited and it is making me happy
hope you are all having a lovely wednesday full of delightful things.
also...if you have any fun, creative ideas for hobbies/things to do - let me know. :)
Monday, June 25, 2007
as my last post indicated, the 06-07 school year has come to a close.
i spent the good part of last week digging through my cupboards and filing cabinets - filtering through all of the junk of mine and teachers of years past. it is now (kind of) organized. i turned in my key to the principal on friday evening...and i can't go back until august.
i have almost two months of completely free time.
i'm not so sure yet.
as awful as it sounds, i don't know what to do with myself when i don't have a routine.
without work...what time do i get up?
if i get up early, i don't know what to do all day.
if i sleep in, i feel like a groggy and lazy bum.
spending the summer watching tv would sure pass the time...but i don't want to spend the whole summer inside watching tv on our one channel.
and today, during my first real day of vacation, i have come to the realization that i need to find things to do. and i came to a second realization - i don't really have any 'hobbies' or things i like to do all by myself. almost everything i've done in my free time has been with the husband because free time opportunities was few and far between.
this summer, i'm looking for things to do. in a homage to a favorite episode of 'friends' called the one with all the resolutions, where ross decides to try one new thing everyday, i might try to follow in his footsteps and try new things this summer. and, since i am having trouble coming up with ideas, i'd love some suggestions of things you all do to pass away the free time - you just might inspire me to find a new hobby or two. :)
so...in honor of this 'new thing' goal - i did something today that i haven't done for a loooong time. in an effort to establish some healthy habits and tone up a little bit, i went to the little gym room in our apartment complex. running is definitely not a new activity for me...but it felt very foreign to my out-of-shape body.
i lasted on the elliptical machine for about 10 minutes before my legs felt like jell-o. i then attempted the treadmill - not as bad, but the jell-o legs made moving a little difficult. i feel okay right now and i even want to go back tomorrow - ahcing muscles or not. :)
i'll leave you with a post-workout photo that highlights a source of much mocking during my years on the track team in high school. when my hair is back in a ponytail and i get a little sweaty around the hairline, the ringlet curls from my youth rear their frizzy little heads and create, what one former team-mate called, the 'jill halo'. happy monday all. :)
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
through my blubbering, i think i managed to thank them for being such wonderful arbuckle scholars and told them i would miss them all summer. i made them promise me to visit when they were in second grade. some of them asked, 'will you remember us when we are in second grade?" and i, while crying, promised them that i would never forget them.
thanks for a wonderful year, smart sharks of room b-07.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
and have been for almost a week.
and, due to a busy week and uncertainty of how to write what i've been thinking, it has taken me this long to articulate it all into something resembling complete sentences.
so...here's what has been swirling around my head all week:
1. we live in the bay area.
2. we both have good jobs and earn a decent amount of money, considering our respective careers.
3. no matter how hard we try, it looks like we cannot afford a home in the bay area without paying off loans and making significant payments for the next 30+ years.
4. we'd like to own a home someday, with enough room to have a family and a yard for our little kiddos to play in.
5. problem: the bay area cannot provide that for us.
so we have begun looking elsewhere for places to live.
as i have mentioned (and have then failed to follow-up on), we took trips to boise, idaho and austin, texas to see what those areas have to offer. we'd heard good things from family and friends and decided to check it out for ourselves. and, after both visits, we realized some very important and positive things about both areas:
1. they have job options for the husband and i (more in austin...but there are still options).
2. homes are cheap (by comparison) and we could move into a beautiful house that we could grow into as we start and raise a family.
3. both have great downtown areas, minor league sporting teams (i do enjoy some good minor league athletics), and many other neat things to do that appeal to our interests.
after all the positive things about both places, there is still something that is keeping me from jumping on the 'let's move out of state' bandwagon. after many talks/discussions with matt about all this, i've narrowed it all down to my desire to make everyone happy ~ matt, myself, my family, his family, my friends, his friends, etc.
something we enjoy now is how accessible our families and friends are. if we want to see them, we can just hop in the car and drive (for 40 minutes or 2 hours) and we're there. it's been wonderful to have such close proximity to the people we care about most. we've talked about how nice it would be to have our families close by when we start a family - we want our children to know their grandparents well. and i know my mom would love for us to stay in california for the same reason. we've also looked at sacramento (very near my parents and not far from matt's), but it's also a little more expensive than we can afford.
i keep going back and forth about what factors to consider when we're looking for a new community. jobs are important - we need to be able to find good jobs. the housing market is another factor - the more affordable, the better. and, of course, family is important to both of us, but we also need to consider the family that we want to start. do we stay here in california to be close to our families, but maybe live in a condo or apartment? do we move to idaho or texas and see our family infrequently, but live in a nice house? right now, it's been difficult to consider all these factors and attempt to decide where we might live for the next 30 years.
my question to you, my wonderful blog readers, is - how have you balanced all these factors and made your choice? i know many of you have made decisions to move away from what is familiar and known for a chance at a great new opportunity. ultimately, we'll have to sit down and hash it out...but for now, i'll get any wisdom you lovely, travelling people have to offer. :)
happy saturday friends.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
lots of relaxing and good times with the husband and friends.
and then i went back to work.
and worked until 8:00 tonight.
but the reason for the long night is for a good and worthy cause.
we're going on a little vacay.
we're off to texas, y'all. :)
for some community hunting, family visiting and wedding attending.
we're off tomorrow night and return on sunday.
and i hope to have some fun texas pictures upon my return. :)
have a great week.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
on friday evening, three women who i have grown up with and shared the good/bad/awkward times with came for a visit. we sat, chatted, laughed, ate dinner, took pictures, ate cheesecake, laughed, sipped, shared, and caught up on everything that's transpired since we last met. it was a treat to rest and enjoy their company and listen to them talk about their lives - the good, the bad and the in-between.
at 2 a.m., we turned in...only to depart hours later ('early' for a saturday) for golden gate park. we spent a lovely day wandering, talking, taking (more) pictures, sipping tea (some good, some bad), laughing and enjoying the beauty of the day. we separated (too soon) and went our separate ways, but it was a delight to spend so much time with these women. we've grown up and changed in many ways over the last six years - some could say we're so different. but there's that link, that common bond that keeps us eagerly coming back to eachother whenever we can find the time.
i hope the next time isn't too far away. :)
(fun pictures coming soon) :)
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
and yesterday, we celebrated a happy first year together as husband and wife. it's hard to believe it's already been a year - but it has been a wonderful journey thus far. sure...it hasn't always been sunshine and roses, but we have grown together and created a strong base for the rest of our lives together. we've learned about each other and i know we'll continue to evolve and change throughout our marriage.
to commemorate this momentous occasion, we did a little celebrating. to satisfy the paper tradition of the first anniversary, we exchanged some books we wanted (this for me and this for him) and then went to dinner in monterey here. we ate in this beautiful room and enjoyed a super delicious and very satisfying meal of steak, garlic mashed potatoes, and vanilla creme brulee. yum yum yum. i'm still stuffed. :)
hope you all have a great week. mine got off to a lovely start with our anniversary...and will end nicely with a visit from three of my oldest and dearest friends.
i think i can safely say life is good. :)
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
to make a long story short, i was at school late tonight and witnessed a mother seriously hurting her child. this child (a fourth grade student at my school) was on the ground, screaming and crying, while his mother kicked him in the back and legs and jabbed her keys into his neck and arms. the mother was being so violent and the child looked resigned to this kind of treatment. i can honestly say i was shocked by what i saw. unsure of what to do (get involved? make my presence known?), i decided to call 911 and see what that could do. i described what i was seeing to the dispatcher and an officer was sent to the school.
by the time the police arrived, the woman and her son were already gone, but other people on campus recognized them as living on a nearby street. i went to the office and found the emergency card with the address and an officer went over there to talk to the family. i gave a statement about what i saw...which was a little nerve wracking as i tried to accurately recall exactly what i saw. i hope it can help the police to ensure this child is safe at home.
i know i did the right thing and am just wondering what's next with all this. will someone press charges? do these kinds of thiings go to court or do they get filed and (sadly) forgotten? i'm just waiting to see where this all goes.
apologies for the serious tone of this post...i know it's not pleasant. it left me a little shaken this evening and i figured getting it out of my mind could help me calm down a bit. i just have to remind myself that i might have helped this kid from future abuses. better to err on the side of caution that let it go.
hope you all have a great rest of the week. :)
Monday, May 07, 2007
past: busy week (as usual) as we geared up for the big test we take tomorrow. so nerve-wracking for all involved. hopefully all will go well and they will show the state just how smart they are. i swear - they are little whiz-kids but they get choked up on tests. on thursday, my mom and dad stopped by my classroom on their way to visit my sister at college and were tickled at seeing me doing what i tell them about all the time. my kids were equally excited at seeing that i had a mom and dad and they have requested a return visit everyday. they don't quite understand geography yet...we're working on it. :) then, our weekend was spent house-sitting for a friend and watching his defiant (but adorable) dog, inviting friends over for some cinco de mayo festivities (and discovering that two margaritas makes me silly and sleepy...i am a lightweight), and then heading home to relax and start the week all over again.
present: today's forecast promised some beautiful sunshine and clear skies - something we have been lacking during this fairly gloomy spring. today was maybe in the low 90's but, somehow, it feels like the sun is beating down on my little a/c-free classroom.
oh - and the poor children. based on their behavior and their constant moaning ("it's soooooo hot. can't you do anyyyyything?"), you'd think they were being tortured. i had to remind them that, while i am capable of many things, i cannot change the weather. the last moments of the day were spent with heads down, in the dark, taking deep, calming breaths - kind of for them and very much for me. i can't be too upset at a gorgeous day...i just hope it cools down a bit before it gets any warmer. but i suppose it does give me a good excuse to enjoy delicious and cool starbucks frappuccinos. :)
future: so many wonderful and delightful things to look forward to. this weekend, we will pay our moms some visits to thank them for being amazing. then, monday (the 14th) is our one year anniversary and we are headed out of town for a nice dinner by the coast. i cannot believe it has already been a year. it feels like we've been married longer, but at the same time the wedding seems like it just happened. does that make sense? who knows...i'm suffering from mild heatstroke. and then...to add to this weekend/week of goodness - i get to see some of my most favorite people in the world for a mini-weekend of catching up, eating well and laughing until our sides hurt.
even on the days when things seem a little nuts, it's nice to sit down and reflect on the good, the not-so-good and the greatness to come. hope you all have a wonderful week. :)
Monday, April 30, 2007
last week wore me out.
apparently, the weekend was not long enough.
this week isn't too busy...yet.
it's only monday.
can't believe it's almost may.
and i also can't believe we've been married for almost a year.
how time flies...especially when you're having fun and loving life. :)
all is well.
that's all for now.
so i will leave you, my special (and few) readers, with a mindless meme. :)
happy week to you all.
james brown or marvin gaye? the marvin - of course. so many lovely memories of friends and groovin to 'let's get it on' at mel's. :)
chinese or indian takeout? indian - yum, yum yum!
fleece or knitted blanket? i love fleece - better coverage and it's oh so soft. :)
girls with makeup or without? depends - some people can go without - i like a little concealer for those 'problem' days. :/
costco or whole foods? costco - if only for the free family membership and their delicious lunch menu (i love the pizza, hot dogs and cheap sodas). also, my husband amusingly calls whole foods 'whole paycheck.
wildflowers or arrangements? wildflowers.
tradition or shakeups? tradition...i'm a traditional old lady at heart.
cello or trumpet? cello - i love the sound of strings.
watch-wearing or no? when i remember. i have a fun nike watch. but, i sometimes feel like my left side is too 'busy' with my wedding bands and the watch. weird...but true.
salt water or fresh (for swimming)? fresh - the taste of salt water makes me feel icky.
pants or shorts? pants - but my all-time favorite is capris (or 'sh-pants' (as in short pants) as my dad calls them. shorts are only for hot days when pants simply will not do.
chatspeak or absolutely NOT? not sure what 'chatspeak' is - does it mean 'lol' and things like that? i think i'm too old - i'm not a twelve anymore.
digital camera or old-school? digital - i love to be able to take as many pictures as i want and save/delete as i choose. and it helps me make sure my eyes are open - i am a notorious picture blinker. :(
wireless or plugged in? we have two laptops and i am so anal about not letting the battery die that i am 'plugged in' all the time. matt is trying to break me of the habit because it's bad for the laptop battery. i'm taking baby steps.
waltz or tango? tango - more fun? i have zero dance training =- but i think the tango could allow some room for creativity? i'll have to ask my mom which is more fun, seeing as she is an avid (and closeted) dancing with the stars fan.
brian williams or anderson cooper? anderson cooper - i remember when he was on the reality show 'the mole' a few years ago. i liked it, so i like him. :)
time or newsweek? um...entertainment weekly? :)
waterbed or mattress? mattress - particularly, our 'homemade' memory foam bed. my husband, the nerdy engineer, did a bunch of research and recreated a fancy pants memory foam bed.
cream and sugar or not? i like whatever is in girly starbucks mochas. so, yes - bring on the cream and sugar and whatever else they put in. :)
iTunes or something else? no iPod (and i the only one left without one?) so i get my music fix with the radio and my outdated cd collection.
scented candles or unscented? mildly scented - nothing too overwhelming or it can give me a headache.
prairie or mountain? mountains - especially on a sunny, summer day. :)
socks or barefoot? socks in winter, flip-flops in summer (so quasi barefoot) and barefoot inside only.
matt damon or ben affleck? i'll say matt damon - he's alright to look at and i like most of his movies.
wool or cotton? cotton - nice, comfy and easily cleaned in the washing machine.
willow tree or pine? pine - i love the smell of pine trees. :)
gerald ford or jimmy carter? jimmy carter - i admire his humanitarian and overseas work.
france or italy? italy - such a lovely (and delicious) place
electric or gas stove? i like gas...except for when i lived in a drafty old house and the pilot light went out every other day.
thrift store or outlet? outlet - thrift stores are fun and i've had some luck...but it gets a little frustrating when you can't find the right size.
japanese garden or english garden? english - i love all things english.
sophia loren or liz taylor? liz taylor - she (and the other stars of that hollywood era) fascinates me.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
my kiddos have been gone for a few hours.
and i'm 'done' for the week.
sure, i have to teach tomorrow.
but all of the other stuff - not related to educating 7 year olds - is done.
miraculously, i found 80 hours worth of evidence. so $500 is coming my way someday. :)
i finished my btsa (beginning teacher program in ca) action plan...only to find out last night that it is due in late-may. part of me fumed because i was stressing and working late to finish it. but, on the upside, at least i'm done. one less thing to worry about.
since this is only my first year, i did not anticipate how busy the spring would be. i kept thinking, "i have (6,5,4,3, etc) months left to squeeze in (social studies, science, review, p.e., etc) - i'll do it later." and here it is, mid-april, with only two months left, and my science and social studies curriculum have collected a good layer of dust. and p.e. - does recess count? oh yeah...and some of them still aren't the greatest readers, writers or mathematicians.
i'm working to realize that i cannot realistically expect every student that passes through my door to be proficient in absolutely everything. i can hope, but each kiddo is unique and at works at their own level/pace - all i can do is support them along the way. the perfectionist in me is raging...but i'm gently telling her to shut up. all i can do is keep trying and hope that they can master the basics and be successful second graders. time will tell...and i just hope it's not blatantly obvious which future second graders were in my class. :/
keep my kiddos in your thoughts/prayers these next two weeks. we have a two big tests coming up - one writing and one everything-language-arts - and they are already feeling the stress. i'm trying to be as stress-free - but they must be feeding off of it because some of these little kiddos have serious test anxiety. how sad that 7-year-olds have test anxiety - but sadly, it'll be there reality until graduation. (my thoughts on standardized testing and the weight/importance it's given in terms of a teacher's competence/ability is a topic for another blog.)
besides school - life is lovely.
the husband is sweet, supportive and reminds me to tell the perfectionist to shut up. :) our life is simple (dinner, netflix, snuggles, walks) - but it's going really great. we're nearing our one-year anniversary, which is crazy to think about because it's been a quick year. we're trying to figure out what to do. being that we are both so frugal (and every penny goes into the 'future house' account), we're having trouble justifying what to do. any suggestions of fun, but inexpensive ways, to mark this milestone? let me know. :)
hope you all have lovely fridays and weekends.