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!