Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Decade in Review

Updated: I remembered a few more things!

Ashley at The Happy Little Home wrote a neat post about her decade "in review". I thought it was a great idea and wanted to steal it for my own. It was pretty difficult to remember things. 2004 was especially blank for some reason but I’m proud for getting down as much as I did!

2000:
• Turned 16 & got my driver’s license.
• Got my first car: My grandma’s red Ford T-Bird.
• Started my Junior year of high school.

2001:
• Received “the” email from Kevin that began our “romantic” relationship on April 1st and thought he was joking.
• Visited New York City at the beginning of July.
• Started my senior year of high school.
• Found out about 9/11 while walking to my locker after 1st period Spanish class.
• Traveled to visit Kevin in California for the 1st time.

2002:
• Spent many hours in airports and on planes between here and California.
• Graduated from High School as Valedictorian of my class.
• Debated scholarships at Baylor, Texas Tech, and ASU.
• Moved into my first apartment in June.
• Kevin and I became engaged in July.
• Started college at ASU in August.
• Married the love of my life in November.
• Honeymooned in the mountains of California.
• Receive Tootsie as a present from my parents and Kevin.
• Spent my first Christmas away from my family in California with Kevin.
• Whew, this was a busy year!

2003:
• Watched Kevin leave for deployment at beginning of January.
• Continued college…
• Kevin entered Iraq on the first day of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
• Changed my major to Business from Early Childhood Education.
• Met Kevin’s ship in Hawaii on the 4th of July when he returned from Iraq.
• Spent summer in California with Kevin, Sarah, and Juan.
• Drove home with Kevin when he got out of the Marines.
• Bought our first home in December.

2004:
• Continued college…
• We went to Buick Nationals in Bowling Green, Kentucky with my parents and brother.
• Inducted into Alpha Chi National Honor Society for being in the top 10% of Jrs and Srs at ASU.
• Kevin has panic attack and is diagnosed with PTSD. Scariest day of my life...

2005:
• Continued College…
• Took 18 hours in one semester and made a 4.0 GPA.
• Turned 21 that very same semester…
• Had my first car accident when a teenage girl ran a stop sign.
• Received Reese as a 3rd Anniversary present.
• My Grandpa died on Thanksgiving Day.
• Graduated from ASU in December with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration.
• Started my first “real” job helping teenagers stay in school and find jobs.

2006:
• Sold our first house. Bought our current home.
• Had my second car accident when I hydroplaned in the rain.
• Started working in Accounting.
• Went to Las Vegas with my family & Lacy and Dusty.

2007:
• Bought my Chevrolet Tahoe.
• Returned to school to complete my teaching certificate.
• Kevin and I cruised to Puerto Progresso and Cozumel with Lacy & Dusty.
• We used the cruise to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary…
• Found Gracie by the highway and tried to find her owners but Kevin bought her a bed and dog tags.
• Got my first job as a high school business teacher.

2008:
• Joined Weight Watchers and lost 40 pounds but fell of the horse and haven’t lost anymore.
• Started Blogging
• Survived my first year teaching and loved it.
• Made the hard decision to leave Eden.
• Began teaching computers to Pre-K and Elementary Students.
• Stood as Matron of Honor in Lacy and Dusty’s wedding.
• Traveled to Washington D.C. and Quantico, VA to see Kevin's picture hanging in the United States Marine Corps Museum.

2009:
• Started graduate school at Texas Tech University.
• Kevin started college at Howard.
• Taught Kids Kollege and Senior Adult summer classes for ASU.
• Kevin and I went to Aerosmith and ZZ Top concert in Las Vegas.
• Started my current teaching assignment.
• 10 year anniversary of the death of my Grandma and Gran-Gran.
I hate that they missed so much and miss them everyday.

2010:
I'm praying that 2010 will bring positive, happy, and exciting events in my life and the lives of those I love!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The many names of...

The first time we met...everyone knew him as Riley.

The second time we met...he went by the name Ace.

Our most recent meeting...his buddies called him Doug.

But his momma named him Justin...

and I think he is absolutely ADORABLE!!!

Although I would never trade my Kevin for anything in the world...

Justin Bartha is soooooo cute!!!

Does anyone agree???



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!



Gracie, Reese, and Tootsie 2008

I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! We are celebrating with our families right now and I hope you are celebrating with yours. I'm setting this to auto post on Christmas Eve because I know we will be busy. I was given this poem by a friend this year and I wanted to post for everyone to read. I loved it and it helps us remember what our focus should be this season. God Bless!!!

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity;
but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir cantata,
but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love does not envy another's home that has coordinated
Christmas china and table linens.
Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love does not give only to those who are able to give in return;
but rejoices in giving to those who cannot.

Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, and endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break; pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust;
but giving the gift of love will endure forever!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Photo Contest

Updated: Kevin entered another picture of our three girls in the contest also so we would appreciate it if you voted for Reese's picture or the picture of Gracie, Reese, and Tootsie! Thanks!!!

Kevin and I entered a picture of our dog in a Holiday Photo contest. I know we're goofy but we would love it if you would go vote for Reese! If she wins the will put her picture in the paper. You have to register to vote but can vote once everyday until the contest ends at the end of the year!!! I would appreciate it!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's Christmas Time Again!



I love the holidays! Seeing family and friends and the overall good cheer (of most people) just makes me so happy! I've been Christmas shopping today for my adorable husband and I was so happy to have a little money to get him some things he would like. I'm even more grateful especially after last year when we felt money constraints the hardest. I know that there are many people that have a hard time during the holidays due to many reasons be it financial, distance, or any other. It makes me realize how blessed I am to have all the many great things that make up my life. I have an amazing husband, brother, mom, and dad. My in-laws are so sweet and and I have friends that I would do anything for and can count on.

I have a job that I love and can say I enjoy even when it wears me out. It is few and far between but I literally get to see the effect I have on a students life. I've been working with a senior boy helping him complete a credit he needed to graduate early. He had been struggling with completion and had no plans for after graduation. His parents are not in the picture and his elderly grandmother really didn't know where to start. He is really intelligent and could do great things but just had no one to help him. I talked with him about college, financial aid, and helped him fill out an application and his other paperwork. He now has classes figured out and financial aid on the way. On Thursday he came in for his final exam to complete his coursework. I helped him complete his remaining assignments and gave him his grade. Once I told him he was a graduate he got so excited that he ran across the room and gave me a big hug while I stood there shocked. He thanked me so much for the help and said he was coming to visit in the spring so I could see how well he was doing in school. I'm glad I have a job where I actually can do something to improve the lives of others.

I'd be lying though if I said that everything is wonderful during this time of year. Sometimes it can makes things that we perceive are missing in our lives seem even more obvious. I catch myself looking at baby clothes or toys sometimes while shopping or wishing I had someone to read the nativity story to and then get a little pain in my heart but I remind myself that God has a plan for my life. If the only children I am meant to help are my students then he will help me do that to the best of my ability. I hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas and remembering the reason for the season. I'll be back again soon since school is out for Christmas break. Enjoy the picture of our Christmas tree. It was taken with my cell phone so once again not great quality but I loved how you can see Reese peaking in at the bottom of the picture. Until next time...

This makes me so upset!

There are a handful of things in the world that get me really upset but this is one of them. I hope whoever did that to this cat has something horrible happen to them! I have a HUGE soft spot for animals and anytime I hear of their mistreatment I just get furious!

As I was leaving work the other day I saw a boxer puppy that was about 5 months old running around on Armstrong (the 5 lane road next to the school). It almost got hit twice and still didn't run out of the road so I turned the car around and tried to get it out of the road. It ran up to a house facing the street so I got back in the car and started to leave but then it ran in the road again! I got out and chased it back up the same driveway again and this time I chased it all the way up to the front door. This is where I proceeded to knock and ask the homeowner if it was there dog. Once they confirmed that it was I told them that the dog had been playing in the street and had almost gotten run over several times. The owner said he was sorry and put the dog in the backyard. My mom was FURIOUS! She said I could've been murdered but I was so mad I just wanted it to be safe. My miniature schnauzer Gracie is an escape artist and has gotten out when people (Kevin's coworkers etc) have left our gate open but I never just left them play in the front yard! He acted like he was just annoyed that I rang his bell! Ugh! Well that is just my vent for today!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

BB

Hi my name is Katy and I am a BB. Yep, you heard me...a bad blogger. Although it isn't the only facet of my life that lacks attention it does make me feel guilty. Things have been going well but very busy. The holidays are always crazy with traveling, shopping, cooking, etc...
Updates:
-I got my wedding ring back the day school got out for Thanksgiving.
-My oven was returned in working order early in November.
-I had a wonderful time celebrating my 7th wedding anniversary with Kevin!
-My brother is doing fantastic in his firefighter recruit training.
-I got an A in my graduate class this semester.
-I really need to suck it up and take more classes in the spring or I'll never graduate.
-Work has been going well. Today was a little rough...I was assigned an extra "duty" today. We'll talk about that later.
-I'm feeling old. I'll be 26 next month and Kevin will be 29 in March. I know we're not...but I can't help feeling that way.
-I've been keeping up with everyone's wonderful blogs but I just never seem to think of something to write for myself.
-A few exciting but messy projects have been underway in our house since December 1st. It looks like a bomb has gone off in my guest bedroom and most everywhere else. I'll fill you in on the details and post pictures this weekend. It should be almost complete by then.
-Everyone should go see the blindside as quickly as possible. It is the best movie of the year. (Yes I've seen New Moon. Adore the books but the movie was lacking details I love.)

Now, off to bed I go. I've been all warm and snuggly in my soft pj's and robe wrapped up in a down comforter with my girls and now I'm sleepy.

4 regular school days and 3 days of finals (2 of which are half days) to go! Just gotta make it a little bit longer!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

7 years...




On this day...7 years ago...I married my best friend. The best decision I've ever made in my entire life. I married the sweetest, kindest, most honest, hardworking, honorable, and perfect man for me. I love you Kevin! You've made the last 7 years the most amazing years of my life!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So I wanted to make breakfast burritos this morning...

I walked into the kitchen, opened the fridge, and started mentally going over what I would need to make them. Eggs...check, cheese...check, sausage...check, tortillas...ugh oh. No tortillas! I started to pout and told Kevin that I couldn't make burritos because of lack of tortillas. He asked if the sausage was already cooked. Huh? I was confused. I said no. He said, "well how are you going to cook it?" This is the point where I turned to point at the stove and saw this...



Ugh! I still do not have an oven or stove which in my sleepy stupor I completely forgot. If you'll remember, we had the great kitchen fire of 2009 where a great cake recipe turned into this...



Our oven hasn't been cooking correctly for a while and the cake was just the final straw. Kevin took the oven to a repair shop in town early last week to try and get it repaired. Friday it STILL was not ready. They MAY work on it Monday afternoon. Needless to say it has been microwaved frozen dinners or eating out for us this week and I'm sick of it.

I'm really considering replacing ALL of our kitchen appliances. We bought them brand new in 2006 and the fridge has broken twice, now the oven, and the microwave will only work on one power level. Once we fix everything I want to list the range, refrigerator, dishwasher (from previous owner), and microwave for sale. I've been trying to look at the cost of appliances though and they are just so expensive. I really want stainless steel appliances but the cost! So while I'm moping about the cost of appliances I see that Mckmama and Stephanie are reviewing gorgeous refrigerators that they were given for free! PLEASE SOMEONE GIVE ME A REFRIGERATOR! I really want to get the fridge that they got but I'm sure it is out of my price range. They are offering the chance to win a $200 gift card to best buy and I'm going to enter. Head on over and enter yourself AND you can donate an appliance to me if you feel like it. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Teachers of the world...I need your opinion!

I very rarely read the newspaper but I read the news on the web constantly. I saw this article today and it really made my blood boil. I don't see how they think they saved 250,000 teaching jobs. Are all the millions of students in the world going to go up in smoke over the summer? Are all teachers going to be magically able to teach 80 students at a time now instead of 30? I thought they were going on and on about how all teachers are incompetent and need to be completely overhauled but now we're so great that we could afford to lose that many of us and still teach all the learners in the world? They can say that the stimulus saved jobs all they want but it doesn't matter. Sure, lay off 250,000 teachers because of budgets and pretend like the remaining would be able to handle what it left. It wouldn't happen. It isn't physically possible. I hate it when they make ridiculous claims in order to make themselves look good. That is just my opinion but I'm more than willing to listen to others who disagree. What do y'all think? I'm going to copy and paste the article below in case the link stops working...



White House: Stimulus Spending Saved 250,000 Teaching Jobs
Report concludes that money sent to states paid teacher salaries.

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration says spending aimed at boosting the economy has created or saved 250,000 teaching or other education jobs this year.

A White House report released Monday concludes that money from a $787 billion stimulus package has helped states fill budget gaps that would have cost teachers their jobs in school districts and public universities across the country.

The 250,000 figure is significantly higher than the 30,000 jobs the administration said last week were created or saved by businesses that won federal contracts under the stimulus law. It also represents an early preview of jobs numbers being announced in two weeks associated with education spending and federal grants awarded under the stimulus effort.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sonogram

Ok so I spoke a little about female issues in my last post. I called my nurse practitioner's (Kelly) office today and spoke with the main nurse since Kelly wasn't there today. The nurse was concerned and scheduled me to come in for a sonogram. The 22nd is the soonest they could get me in without me having to miss work. I was worried about the situation but her reaction scared me a little bit more. I was hoping she was going to tell me that it was just normal as my body adjusts to changes in meds and whatnot but no such luck. If the pain becomes unbearable or if the symptoms worsen I'm supposed to call as soon as possible. Please pray that the symptoms let up because they are making my days at work very miserable and that after the sonogram we will learn everything is ok. I'm really hoping it is nothing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How things have been...

Well I know posts have been very sporadic & random on here lately and I'm sorry about that. Things at school have been really going remarkably well. My largest class has 19 students. I teach around 72 students each day which the is smallest number of students I've ever had. I make 1 set of lesson plans every week and now that Ms. Allen (another BCIS teacher) is back it goes much more quickly. We actually sat down and planned out the entire month of October on the 1st. Grading has me a little swamped but I'm definitely doing better than my first year. Grading in BCIS courses is so subjective. There isn't always one correct answer so sometimes it can take a VERY long time. Oct 2nd was the last week of the 1st six weeks and I was so proud because I actually had all my grading done and my grades verified before I left school that day. I have never before not graded all weekend at the end of a grading period.

I spent so much time on procedures at the beginning of the year that class goes really smoothly. My students walk in immediately get to work quietly on the focus activity...I introduce the lesson...we practice together and then they pick up their assignment and work quietly. It almost seems to good to be true! Sometimes I can't believe it is my classroom. Now that is my BCIS classes. My credit recovery classes are not quite the same. I am basically just administrating & grading self paced computer based courses. I have a few students that will do anything to get out of doing their work. One period is extremely small with only 3 students and last week we had a little wild day. I won't say exactly what happened but I will let you know that I walked the entire class down to visit the principal last Thursday and then Friday the students that were there behaved much better.

The district's administration walks through classrooms monthly in our town. I wrote in a previous post how I had my first administrative walk through with one of the district's assistant superintendents a few weeks ago and she gave me a really great appraisal! I was so excited! I was even more excited when I received my first paycheck on the 23rd! I haven't received a real paycheck since MAY so it was a welcome relief. I received a few small checks for my summer work but nothing substantial. I was thrilled when I realized that my bring home pay was literally twice the amount than my bring home pay from Eden was. Don't get me wrong...there are other school districts that make much more than we do but it is still much more than I've made so far. Kevin and I have been using every penny to pay towards the debt we acquired while I was making so little at Trinity.

Grad school is still going okay. This semester has a lot of time consuming projects but I wouldn't say it is the most difficult stuff I've ever done. I am required to post every assignment to a website I created and that can be a little blah but I guess it could be worse.

Lacy and Dusty wanted us to go on a cruise with them at Christmas but Kevin and I decided we really need to pay for some other things first because everything is breaking around here. At one point my laptop, the oven, microwave, elliptical, lawn mower, and my wedding ring were broken. Now somethings are partly working...some are completely out of commission. My oven has been on the fritz for several months and as I said before it finally caught on fire a few weeks ago. The fire was contained inside and put itself out but it smoked up the whole house and now will not bake anything. You can heat things up but it will not maintain temperature to bake. We cannot change the power settings on the microwave anymore. The elliptical now makes a terrible thumping noise when you try to use it. The lawn mower has been completely out of commission for several months and since we have just over a half acre lot...we have been having to borrow our neighbors riding lawnmower. The laptop I use for my grad classes hit its last leg last month so Kevin bought me a new one. I am now the proud owner of a Macbook Pro and I love it. When it rains...it pours. Obviously the most important things are getting fixed first. My poor elliptical is sitting dormant until it can be fixed. It has warranty but I think there is a copay so it is waiting its turn. We have to get a lawn mower next but I'm hoping we can wait until they go on sale in the off season.

I have been having some bothersome female issues in the last month. One day was so bad I almost had to leave school. I'm going to call my doctor to ask what is going on because one of the symptoms started again last night. I already worry so much about the problems I have and the effects it will have on our ability to have children...issues like this make me just scared to death. I'm scheduled to go back to the doctor in Midland in November. I have been desperately trying to continue losing weight before then but it hasn't been happening. Eating out really hasn't been helping. I have days when I just get so down on our situation. I hear and see more and more people being able to plan exactly when they will be having children and it happening so quickly. I get so frustrated sometimes because people will say..."we can't do that next August because I will be pregnant then." Even Lacy has started saying things like that and as happy as I would be for her it also is heartbreaking. If I thought that way I would spend my entire life not doing anything and being disappointed. It just isn't that easy for us.

Kevin is busy with school and work. He works all day and then goes to school from 4-8 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. He is on track to graduate with his associates next summer. We don't know if he'll continue on to his bachelors or not. I guess we'll decide when that time comes. I'm so proud of him for working so hard. I think this semester has been much better for him than the summer was. His online class is not nearly as hard as the previous ones have been.

My parents and brother enjoyed their cruise and Justin has started at the fire department. I think he is really enjoying it so far and I'm so proud of him. I miss getting to spend time with my parents since I'm working so much but I know its a necessity.

Overall I'm really tired but happy. I cannot believe this school year has been going so well. I really don't know if I'm better at what I do or if the kids that much different. Lets just hope the rest of the year continues on the same path. Until next time...

Meal Kits

I have been having a hard time finding time for grocery shopping since school started. Between spending 10 hours at work a day and then doing grad school homework at night and all weekend we have been eating out WAY more than we need to. That is not good for our wallet or our waistline. There are some night when even though I have the energy to cook...I don't have anything to cook and our house is at least 15 minutes away from the nearest Walmart (we live on the edge of town opposite BOTH Walmarts and HEB).

One night after updating my facebook status about picking up take out when I was heading home at 9 pm, I got an email from my 2nd cousin. She wanted to let me know that she had been making and selling meal kits for the last 2 years and I should try it out. Basically she prepares a variety of main course meals and sells 10 meals for $90. Each meal serves 2-3. We have a similar company in town that is called "Preppers" and I've wanted to try it. It does basically the same thing but is much more expensive so Kevin and I decided to order from my cousin this week. We picked 10 items off the menu and we got them today. It is such a relief to know that dinner is taken care of next week. It ends up costing about $3 per serving. The meals can be frozen so we'll have the option to save some and pull them out when it is really busy. They have the directions for heating written on the top of each one so Kevin can even pull one out and start it heating when I'm not home yet. We have a wide variety of meals to choose from. I'll list what we bought below.

Gumbo with Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage
Grilled Chicken Roll-ups (Chicken stuffed with chicken & bacon then grilled)
White Chicken Chili
Parmesan Chicken with Spaghetti & Marinara
Ham & Potato Casserole
Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles
King Ranch Casserole
Enchilada Casserole
Chicken Spaghetti
Cheeseburger Roll-Up

I'm sad because I really do love to cook and can prepare several of the meals we purchased but I just haven't had as much time to menu plan and shop lately much less cook. I'm thankful for the opportunity to purchase these every once in a while to keep us stocked in a pinch but I'm really hoping that as I get better at work (ie quicker & better routine) that we can get back to menu planning and cooking because I really miss it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shattered Diamonds

Update: Kay's called and my ring won't be back until December 19th!!! It is ridiculous that it takes that long! I guess I'll decide what to do after I finally get it back. Ugh!



So I almost started crying on Thursday on school and no it wasn't because of my students. I went to the bathroom during lunch and was putting my ring back on after washing my hands when I dropped my wedding band. I had already gotten the engagement ring on but when the wedding band fell it hit the tile floor in the hallway. It gave a little bounce and landed right back where it had hit. I've dropped my rings before so I wasn't that worried but when I picked it up I noticed that the center stone had fallen out. I looked on the floor and was able to find the stone but when I picked it up I noticed that almost the entire top half of the stone had broken off. I was so upset!

I tried to find the other part of the diamond but the only thing else on the floor was a tiny pile of diamond dust. Luckily Kevin has my ring insurance through Kays Jewelry and through our insurance company. We took the ring to Kays and they looked at the ring said it would be fixed and they would get us a new diamond with the same cut, clarity, etc as our current stone and it wouldn't cost anything. whew...BUT it has to be sent off and I won't get it back until November 1st. :( I love my rings but the stones have gotten loose several times. Each time they have to be tightened I end up being with out it for quite a while. I'm starting to wonder if the problem is the way the stones are set in the band. The wedding band has what I believe are called pressure settings (kind of hard to explain) while the engagement ring has 4 prong settings.

Part of me thinks that I should have my stones set into a different more secure setting but another part loves my rings just the way they are. It is just so frustrating that they have to be sent off all of the time. This is probably the 6th time they been sent off to be fixed although I've never had a main stone come all the way out before. I'm going to include pictures that I got from the Kays website so you can see the settings. Mine aren't exactly what is shown because the stone size isn't correct and I have platinum bands but you can at least get an idea. What do ya'll think? Has anyone else had this problem? Are they going to be loose all the time no matter the setting? I'd appreciate some input.




OMG

Oh my gosh, I was watching the best tv clips of the week on people.com when I came across this one. I have not watched Glee before but I just set up a recording for next week because this is hilarious! It is a little slow getting started but wait for it.The funny part starts about 2:30. It is so worth it! lol



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just a little smoke...

Ok I'll start out with this...
Yes, there was a fire in my oven on Sunday. No, it wasn't my fault. Everything is ok. Just a little smoke...
Well that is the gist of the story but there really is so much more. On sunday, Kevin and I decided to bake a cake. We have had this cake before and it is WONDERFUL! We made it for my dad's birthday and he absolutely loved it! I whipped it up very quickly and popped it in the oven BUT...you might have heard me mention before that my oven has kinda been on the fritz. It isn't getting hot enough. I set it for 350...it gets to 315... Well apparently my cake boiled instead of baking and it boiled right over onto the heating elements. From this point the cake proceeded to catch on fire and completely fill my house with smoke. Kevin and I walked into the kitchen when we smelled smoke and I'm not kidding when I say we had the world's best camp fire going in the oven. We both stood for a few seconds with our mouths hanging open before busting into laughter. I think we were more stunned than anything when we realized that the fire was confined inside the oven. It burned for a few minutes and then suffocated itself after it ran out of oxygen. There was smoke EVERYWHERE! We opened every door and window and set up air movers (the big blue fans that Kevin uses for work) all over the house. We haven't tried the oven again but I'm guessing that it is time to call a repair man. What do you think? :) The worst part...Kevin and I STILL really wanted that cake!!! I'm so tempted to go to my brother's house and bake it! Yes...I realize we have a problem.

New job is going really fantastic. I don't know if I'm better or if the kids are afraid but everything is running smoothly. I'm enjoying the kids, working my butt off, and exhausted but having a blast. My schedule was finally settled at Credit Recovery and BCIS. I do CR for 2 classes in the morning and then 4 BCIS afterward. I've been having a little trouble lesson planning because we still do not have textbooks but as of today...one of the other BCIS teachers that was having to teach math is now back on her regular schedule. This will help me a ton in time and stress. They are sending all over the place already this year. I have a field trip tomorrow for BPA, a tech prep workshop, a tech prep field trip, a new cte teacher conference in Austin, and then a BIG technology conference in February. That is what was put on the schedule in just last week. I'm enjoying the big school pep rallies! They are much bigger than any pep rally I've seen but not necessarily more fun. We have a good time though. The big school hasn't really been a factor. I've still got some great kids and some exhausting ones. I had my first appraisal yesterday in the form of an admin walkthrough from the building where school board members meet. I thought that I completely blew it but today I received my results and I got fantastic results! They told me that I did a great job! I was so thrilled! Lets only hope that everything else goes as well.

My darling parents and brother are relaxing their days away on the ocean right now. They up and decided to go on a cruise last week and left on Sunday. They called today from Key West and are having a blast! Oh what I would give to be on that boat right now. As sick as I was with allergies, our last cruise was still the most relaxing vacation I've ever had and I can't wait to go again someday. Justin starts with the fire department on October 1st so this is his last hurrah for a while and I'm glad they are having fun. Well I've got to get back to my shows now. Season premieres are keeping me busy...Bones, House, NCIS, NCIS:LA, Big Bang Theory...oh yeah and that little thing called grad school. lol Well until we meet again...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Crazy Cat...

Well I know I have been MIA for a while now. I become such a bad blogger when life gets a little bit busy. I will update later today on how things have been going with the new job and such but first I have to finish my 2nd grad school assignment. It is due tonight and I've put off finishing it long enough.

Now...to the reason for this post. I do not have cats now but I have had many a cat in my younger days. My favorite of which was the world's ugliest kitten I named Shimmer because she was so beautiful she shimmered...but I digress. I have NEVER had a cat that liked water...at all. So when I saw this video I just knew I had to post it. This is the craziest cat I have ever seen. Enjoy!!!



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Teacher Orientation and an Awesome Baby Brother

Just a quick update on the last couple of days. On Monday my school called and asked if I wanted to come up there to get my schedule, my shirt size, my keys, and have a tour of the school. Everyone was very nice and I was able to see my room. I was not able to get anything ready unfortunately because the previous teacher is transferring departments and has not moved out of the room yet. I'm so anxious to get things done and they said I should start bringing my things in but I didn't want to be rude. I also found out that not only will I be teaching BCIS 1...I am also teaching Webpage Design aka Webmastering. Ahh! I've taught almost all of the classes listed under my business certification and they picked the only one I haven't taught! I've been scrambling to tutor myself and find information. There is a textbook sitting in the room about page builder programs but I couldn't find the teacher's edition. Hopefully I will be able to get it tomorrow.

This morning I had new teacher orientation. Basically they introduced all the administration and have a couple of speakers. It also is a chance for all the professional teacher organizations to try and get you to join their group. I am already a member of the Texas Business and Technology Educators Association (TBTEA) so I didn't have to worry about that. Afterwards they took us a nice luncheon at Bentwood country club. I met a couple new teachers from my school and found out that I knew one of them already! Her name is Christa and we went to the same Fireproof bible study as them last February. I'm very glad. I have already had PDAS training so I did not have to attend the afternoon training session. Thank goodness! It was so boring the first time! After the luncheon I went to my brother's house to meet my parents and Kevin. I found out that I will be able to have a refridgerator and microwave in my room and there was a nice locking one on sale at Target so my mom, Kevin, and I went to Target to get it. The matching microwave was on sale too so I got it also. I also went looking for desk chairs because I was told that the chair in my room is the personal property of the previous teacher and that she will be taking it with her. I found a really comfy one for a nice price and picked it up also. It was an expensive day but I'm happy with my purchases!

They best news of the afternoon came after we were back at my brother Justin's house. Justin has been in the process of applying for the fire department since last January. It is a long process that takes forever. He has been #1 on the list for quite a while but just has been waiting for them to call to schedule the oral board interview. His interview was this afternoon and he was very nervous. He looked so handsome in his suit. I will have to post a picture so you can see. I only took it with my iPhone though so the quality isn't very good.



Needless to say I knew he would do fabulous and I believe he did. They sent him to another room after the interview, voted, and told him he had the job before he even left! I'm so proud of him!!!!! Congratulations my darling brother!!!

Tomorrow starts my first day of inservice. I have to be there at 7:30 in the morning so I'm off to bed. Even if the room isn't empty I'm going to start moving in tomorrow. I really don't have time to wait and the inservice schedule is a lot of training. I will have to do most of my preparing after working hours. Goodnight everyone!

2009 Summer Vacation Day 4 & 5

Sunday was SOOOOO hot! I believe the weather channel said it was 106 degrees which to West Texas really isn't that much but couple that temperature with all of the asphault, concrete, cars, and people that pack the sidewalks of Vegas and it goes up like 15 more degrees! We walked up and down the strip sightseeing and sweating along the way. We stopped in front of the dancing fountains at the Bellagio, saw Paris and the Eiffel tower, listened to a lady tell her 8 year old son not to look at the ground every 5 seconds as we walked along. If you've ever been to Vegas you know that the sidewalks and streets are littered with little cards of very naked women. Beats me why a woman would take a child so young to Vegas but it was almost humorous with her shrieking at him the whole time. We finally arrived at our destination hot and sweaty and ready for a drink. Our destination was Ceasar's Palace and the Serendipity restaurant there. Just check out the fantastic dessert that I had before my meal!!! (I know! So bad!)



This is the Frrozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity. They call it a drink but I consider it a dessert! Kevin and I were so hot that each got our own and drank it while waiting for our food. They were huge and so so so good! (I actually drank mine all through our meal and couldn't finish it but Kevin finished his!)

Here is Kevin enjoying himself!


Since it was vacation I did something I would never do...I order only macaroni & cheese as my entree and I LOVED IT! It was probably some of the best mac & cheese I've ever had.


We ate this as a late lunch because we would be having a late dinner that night. We had bought tickets to the dinner show at Excalibur called "The Tournament of Kings". It is a neat dinner show where actors ride horses, have a jousting tournament, and they feed you dinner that you must only eat with your hands. It was aimed at a younger audience but Kevin and I greatly enjoyed it. We also went to see the lion habitat at the MGM Grand that day.

Monday was the day we were to fly back to Houston. I mentioned before that we had a little incident with Kevin's bluetooth earpiece and this is the story. In the Las Vegas airport you go through security and then ride trains to the gate. When we arrived at our gate Kevin realized that his earpiece was missing. He had placed it in his hat to be scanned at security and the screener knocked the hat over. In our rush to get to the gate it must have been left on the conveyor belt. Kevin desperately wanted to return to get it but it was already to close to our flight leaving. It was broken in several places anyway so I said just leave it. Kevin without his earpiece is like a baby without a pacifier and it was a painful few days until we got another one. Which I finally did by complaining to the best buy employee that I had seen the earpiece for $30 cheaper so he sold it to me for that price instead! Yay, go me! lol

This trip just sealed the deal on my hatred for flying because we were once again uncomfortable on a miserable flight with so much turbulance that I got physically ill. It was the scariest situation I've ever been in. We were just about to land in Houston when the pilot announced that there was bad weather in Houston so we would circle above until it was safe to land. Almost an hour later they announced that the Houston airport was now closed and they would be taking us to San Antonio to land!!! Ugh! Once we landed in San Antonio no one new what was going on. We sat in that hot airplane for what seemed like forever. The turbulance made my stomach so sick I didn't even want to take off again. Finally they announced the airport had opened back up and they we would be taking off. We finally landed in Houston around 6 pm when we were supposed to land around 2:30. I'm going to say right now that if it is possible...I would always rather drive!!!

Once we landed we quickly made it to the Westin Galleria and got checked in. The hotel was very nice and connected directly to the Galleria mall. We walked around the mall and ate at The Cheesecake Factory that night! It was so good! My conference started the next day. I will write one more post about the conference to conclude our vacation postings. I'm trying to get these written down before school starts and I never get it finished. We had a good trip and I want to remember it.

2009 Summer Vacation Day 3 Part 2 AEROSMITH!



Going to the ZZ Top and Aerosmith concert was AMAZING! It was definately a once in a lifetime dream come true! We had fabulous seats...I was on the floor in a center aisle seat so I could see straight down to the stage (for us short people...this is necessary!) This is the best picture I could find to explain how close to the stage we were...

You can see Kevin's back on the bottom right corner of the picture and I obviously sat to his immediate left. You'll recognize him by his bluetooth earpiece that he NEVER takes off. We have drama about his never ending use of the earpiece and there was even a more interesting situation around this earpiece during the trip. You'll hear about that later on. The people on the stage were young guys that won a guitar hero contest to play before the concert. They were really funny. They are actually on the very back part of the stage. Steven Tyler spent most of his time on the front of the stage on the little island that stuff forward. When he was on the island he was only about 25 yards away. The only issue I had during the whole concert was with the older couple with long hair snuggling in this picure. They spent almost the whole concert groping each other very disgustingly and dancing in the aisle so I couldn't see. I finally got so annoyed that I had the usher tell them to get back in their seats. lol



ZZTop came on first and played every song I've ever loved! I took some fabulous short sound recordings using my iphone and if I could figure out how to put them on here and wasn't afraid I was infringing some kind of copyright (Sorry the tech teacher in me wins out) I would post them for ya'll. They put on a very good concert and we were so glad they opened for Aerosmith.



This pic is not very good but it was the only one of Kevin and I together in front of the stage. There was an hour long intermission between concerts which I thought was weird but we ended up talking to the people sitting next to us and realizing that our entire row was all from different parts of Texas! Weird!



Due to my pitifully poor point and shoot camera this was the clearest stage shot that we could get. Please ignore the strange hand in the middle of the picture. Steven Tyler is absolutely crazy and I absolutely loved it! This was when he was on the very back of the stage. The next picture was when Steven and Joe came out to play on the island!



During the concert Steven announced that there was a very special guest in the audience and then asked him to come on stage...it was Slash!!! He played on a song with them and then they showed Mia Tyler on the big screen. She was in the audience too! So neat!



We took sooooo many pictures that I'm really trying to limit myself to just a few.



After the concert Kevin and I wandered out onto the strip and explored for a long while. We wandered through the MGM, explored the Tropicana, and left a little money at New York New York. We had a very good time and finally lumbered back to the Monte Carlo very very very tired.

Well I finally finish this post...now I'm gonna get started on the next big parts of our trip. Until then...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 8/9/09


Well I'm back to menu planning after a little bit of a hiatus. As I've mentioned before, my doctor has taken me off of weight watchers and put me on a low glycemic index based diet or basically the south beach diet. I've been struggling to acclimate to this new diet but today I found a website with several recipe suggestions that I think are going to be a great help. It will be a busy week with starting my new job but I was able to get my grocery shopping done tonight and it should go well.

Monday:White Chicken Chili (I've done a white chicken chili before that I love but this is a South Beach Version.)
Tuesday:Mixed-Up Casserole
Wednesday:President's Chicken
Thursday:Joe's Special
Friday:Mock Cheese & Broccoli Bake (This one is only if I can find spaghetti squash at HEB. They didn't have it at Walmart. If I can't find it...then its Chicken Georgia. Who knew my old favorite was South Beach Friendly!)

I'm still trying to figure this diet out. So far I've just been eating the same thing everyday but hopefully this will make it more bearable. These actually sound pretty good!

Friday, August 7, 2009

4 Amazing Words...

"I GOT THE JOB!"

They called and offered me the BCIS teacher position today. I'm thrilled, ecstactic, in disbelief, and exhausted. I literally have become exhausted in the process. I've been praying so fervently all summer just for a position to open and to get a job that when they called today...I was excited but so tired I didn't really get worked up. Instead of immediately calling Kevin and my parents and screaming into the phone, I very methodically typed a simple text message and added several people to the "To:" field and almost immediately after sending...recieved about 10 messages back in about 4 seconds. Thank you so much to everyone who responded and I greatly appreciate your prayers. I know that they are why I'm getting this opportunity.

I interviewed exactly 2 weeks and 2 days ago. I have been absolutely going crazy waiting to hear something. I was going to give up. The HR department called about 2minutes before noon today. I have a 1/2 day new teacher orientation and luncheon on Tuesday and then start inservice on Wednesday. They told me I could call my principal to see about going to see my room and for more info but the school closed at noon today. :( I was really hoping to get a little more information today so maybe I could get some work done this weekend. Guess I will have to wait patiently. At this point I don't even know if I have a permanent room or what classes I will be teaching. It could possibly be more than just BCIS.

I had a little bit of a dilema on my hands because I interviewed for the military training developer position on Wednesday and it went really well but there is one BIG catch. The position is a government contract position that could start tomorrow, next week, or maybe even not develop. They made it clear that I would make MUCH more money and that they would be any other offer I recieve.

I've been praying about it and discussing it with Kevin and my parents. Basically I decided to go with the old saying, "A bird in the hand is better than two in a bush." I almost positive I would've been offered the military training job but they spoke very clearly about the fact that it might not start until October and that government contracts can be pulled at anytime. We cannot wait for income until October and I don't want to even think about being laid off. I really think that it is something I want to do in the future but for now...I'm gonna stick with the students.

I went to Trinity early this morning to finish working on the computers and clean out my room. I got what I believe is everything out of my room and finished 6 of the computers. Once I figured out what I needed to download...it took seconds (literally seconds) to get the sound cards working again. I'll go back this weekend to finish up. I had notified them earlier this week that I wouldn't be able to come back again this year. My principal knew I was looking for full time work and he understood. So...if anyone in my town is looking for a 3 day a week computer teacher position then let me know! It doesn't pay very well but it is enjoyable and fairly easy. I can hook you up!

In other news, Kevin and I did travel to Midland on monday for his test and received some very good news! Kevin's test came back very very very good and he apparently no longer has a low count problem. My doctor called and was very suprised that it improved so much. She said it could be that some of his meds have changed or the fact that he lost the 60 pounds. This is a huge blessing because if Kevin was going to require any treatment for that issue we would have had to pay for everything out of pocket.

I started my south beach diet on Monday...DANG THIS IS HARD! It is fantastic because I'm really never hungry but it is figuring out what I can eat and eating fast food is almost impossible! I never realized how much bread is on every type of fast food. I miss fruit and chocolate soooooooooo much! I didn't think I had such a sweet tooth until trying this. Apparently I was much worse than I thought. So far I've stayed on track and I can't wait until the 17th when my 2 weeks is up. I think I will weigh in the morning to see if there has been any change. I just don't see how there could be though because I've been eating a lot of steak, chicken, and shrimp this week. Oh well I guess we'll see.

I did a big thing this week...big for me anyway...I went to a tailor. I NEVER can find pants that are the correct length. Every pair I buy are always way too long. In the past I've bought shoes to make me taller or just wore the pants even though they were too long (yes I know..this is terribly bad fashion.) I've bought 7 new pairs of pants all on clearance and had all of them hemmed along with 2 old pairs I had. He did a very good job on them and I'm so glad to be able to just put them on without worrying about the length. I've also purchased 2 new pairs of shoes online that I'm waiting to come in. I'm hoping they are comfortable.

Well this post has gotten long and rambling. I've started several vacation posts with pictures but haven't finished them yet. Hopefully I can get several posted tomorrow because I want to always remember it. Again thank you for all your prayers these past months! I am loving my blog friends!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2009 Summer Vacation Day 3 Part 1

Saturday really didn't start out that exciting but definately ended with a bang! When we woke up saturday morning Kevin immediately started working on HOMEWORK using the laptop and an internet connection in our room. BLAH! I know I know but it was due sunday night and there was a TON of it. He is in an online British Literature class right now and his professor is crazy! She has assigned so much work that it takes hours to get it completed. Kevin tried so hard to get it all finished the week before we left but with work there just wasn't enough time to finish it.

I went down to the food court and picked up some McDonald's for breakfast (Yum!) and then headed back up to help Kevin out. I never actually took a sophomore literature in college because I took a test and passed high enough that I was given credit for English 1301, 1302, and Sophomore literature but I did the best I could to help out. It was a lot of the same information that I worked on in AP English in high school (Syntax, Simile, Metaphors, Assonance, Symbolism, Alliteration, foot and meter, Sonnets, Quatraines...) I helped Kevin understand what each of the previous words meant and read the poems to Kevin because they were ridiculously boring and hard to pronounce. Here is an example of one he had to analyze...

To A Louse By Robert Burns
Ha! whare ye gaun' ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly;
I canna say but ye strunt rarely
Owre gauze and lace,
Tho faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.

Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunn'd by saunt an sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her--
Sae fine a lady!
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body.

Swith! in some beggar's hauffet squattle;
There ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle;
Wi' ither kindred, jumping cattle;
In shoals and nations;
Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.

Now haud you there! ye're out o' sight,
Below the fatt'rils, snug an tight,
Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right,
Till ye've got on it--
The vera tapmost, tow'rin height
O' Miss's bonnet.

My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump an grey as onie grozet:
O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
Or fell, red smeddum,
I'd gie you sic a hearty dose o't,
Wad dress your droddum!

I wad na been surpris'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flainen toy
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,
On's wyliecoat;
But Miss's fine Lunardi! fye!
How daur ye do't?

O Jeany, dinna toss your head,
An set your beauties a' abread!
Ye little ken what cursed speed
The blastie's makin!
Thae winks an finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin!

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An foolish notion:
What airs in dress an gait wad lea'es us,
An ev'n devotion!


Ugh! They were terrible! We worked on them almost ALL day long. Remember how I said our room was on the 11th floor? (Yep, I did take this pic.)



Well it was beautiful looking out onto the pool BUT at exactly 12 noon the loudest most obnoxious remixes of popular songs started playing from the pool area! I mean it sounded like we had the stereo in our room turned as loud as it could get! It definately didn't make reading ancient british poems any easier. We finished about 4 pm and I immediately got in the shower to get ready for the ZZ Top and AEROSMITH concert! It deserves a post of its own so I'm closing this one out! Hang on for part 2!

Fantabulously Frugal-A Giveaway!

I've been following this really neat blog called Fantabulously Frugal for a while now. She somehow finds the most amazing deals and free stuff ever! She finds deals online and in person and does lots of giveaways. I like that she finds deals on high end items and more of my everyday purchases also. She is having a giveaway today in honor of her birthday! She isn't actually saying what the prize is but I love her taste so I know they are going to be great! Go on over and check it out!!!

She also led me to a cool website called Rue La La. There are some awesome deals on this website! I'm a little low on funds right now as we wait to hear about the job situation but as soon as that changes I am going to get in on some of these amazing deals! There was a kitchenaide sale a few weeks ago that I had to sit out and I was so sad! Shopping on the website is by invitation only but I can get you in! Click on my link and you'll be able to get in now. Otherwise you'll be put on a waiting list...I don't know about you...but I HATE to wait!

Monday, August 3, 2009

2009 Summer Vacation Day 1 & 2

Kevin and I decided to head out on Thursday night to break up the drive a little bit. I looked on mapquest and booked a hotel in Universal City, Texas. That was almost exactly half way to Houston. We weren't able to leave until pretty late so we didn't arrive until after midnight. It was just a cheap Super 8 motel but was actually pretty nice and included breakfast in the morning.

My dear sweet cousins Audra and Leah came to house sit and dog sit this week. Kevin and I were eternally grateful to be able to leave our little girls with trustworthy people who dote on them like we do and they didn't have to leave home. I was very upset with my vet last wednesday because I believe they hurt Tootsie when the girls were getting their baths. (I'll rant about this later!) Having Audra and Leah to watch them made it where Kevin and I could enjoy ourselves without worrying!



We left the Super 8 in Universal City around 11 on Friday morning and drove to Houston. We've been told my multiple people that we need to stop at a store called Buc-ee's in between San Antonio and Houston. It just so happened that we came upon it around lunch time so we decided to stop and check it out. It is the craziest convience store I've ever seen. It is in the middle of nowhere and is HUGE! It has everything you could possibly imagine and was so packed you could barely walk around to check everything out. We got lunch and Kevin managed to weasel his way into an entire box of home made fudge in multiple flavors. I'm not big on fudge. I'd rather have a brownie anyday but he wanted it so he got it. I swear there was at least 40 very nice stalls in the girls bathroom and Kevin said the guys bathroom was the same. If you are ever traveling that way stop and check it out.

We made it to the airport in plenty of time and were able to sit in the airport for a while. It would have been nice and relaxing after our drive but there were 4 LOUD little kids running and screaming through the gate area. I could not believe their parents were letting them act that way. I saw one almost flatten a little old lady and her husband. The teacher in me had to bite my tongue really hard to keep from saying anything. Our flight to Vegas left Houston around 6 pm. It was the WORST flight that I have ever been on in my entire life (and I've actually flown quite a bit). It was so packed I thought I was going to suffocate and we had the 4 screaming obnoxious kids riding in the seats right behind us. It was a non stop flight so we had 3 hours with the lovely little ones. Flying sure is fast but I really would rather drive.



When we arrived in Vegas it was already getting late (no I didn't take the above picture) so we headed straight to the Monte Carlo to check in. We hadn't stayed there before so we didn't know what exactly to expect but it was really nice! Our room was on the 10th floor and overlooked the pool (which turned out to be a good and bad thing...pics and more info to come). We got settled in and went walking around in the casino and on the strip a little bit. We gambled a little and there was a good food court in the casino so we got some dinner and finally headed to bed pretty late. We were so tired from our constant travel but we really did enjoy the day! Next Post: Vacation Day 3 and Aerosmith!

Home Sweet Home!

Well we have actually been home since late Friday night but I've been slightly lazy since then. We had a wonderful time on our trip but we were so glad to arrive back home. I missed my beautiful little puppies tremendously! I've got a lot of information and a lot of pictures so I guess I will make several different posts. Our break from traveling will be brief though because Kevin has a doctor appointment in Odessa tomorrow. We will head that way early tomorrow morning and hopefully stop by Lane Bryant on the way home. I STILL have not heard back from SAISD yet. I am praying that I will hear from them tomorrow and that it will be good news. I'm going to get started on our trip posts...here goes nothing!