Vacation!

I am so glad it is winter break! This semester at school has been really good but I was in need of a break! So far it has been relatively relaxing! Amy and George came up to visit Sunday and we had dinner and went to Christmas at the Zoo! It was really cold but we had a good time!

The rest of this week is pretty eventful. Christmas Eve we go to Clint's aunt's house. Christmas my whole family comes to our house. Saturday we visit my grandma's house and finally on Sunday we go to Clint's parent's. I can't wait to play some games!

Next week I will relax some more of course...but then I am having lunch with the girls from school and will have to actually start thinking about school...because I don't have anything ready for when they come back!

We are also going to have people over for New Years Eve...hope that will be fun!

Merry Christmas!

Zoe is such a cutie pie!

Zoe loves to lay in crazy ways and lay all over everything in the house. Clint really hates when she jumps in bed...even worse, when she lays on his side!


Lindsay gave Zoe her 2nd flying monkey toy. Both were loved dearly by Zobo but she ate them.


I like to dress Zoe up whenever I can.

This is my new favorite picture of Zoe!

Chewing is her favorite hobby!

Christmas Time!!

I love when we have all our Christmas decorations up! Then it really starts to feel like Christmas!


I even did a little decorating in my classroom! I also have a wreath on the door, two strands of lights up and a mini tree.


Going Back to School

So I recently was admitted into IUPUI's Master in Elementary Education with a Focus on Technology Program (I need an acronym, but the actual one isn't very fun). I applied along with Emily, a fellow 2nd grade teacher at CGE. We decided that if we did it together it would be more bearable. We had originally decided to apply to the El Ed Masters Program, but I wrote about technology in my personal statement, so they automatically decided that I wanted a different program. After some investigating, we found out that the program I was accepted into was all online, which is huge plus. We were looking for some online classes here or there, but this whole program is online. That means no late nights at IUPUI, no parking passes, and no lectures!

Another plus to the program is that we will be completed after the fall 2011 semester; two full years instead of three. The bad part of that is that we have to take 2 classes every session. We are a little anxious about having 2 classes during the school year but with both of us working together it might not be that bad (we hope!). The other bad thing about 2 classes at a time is that it is 2 times the cost initially. I knew I would take multiple classes at different points, but right off the bat we had decided that we only wanted to do 1. So now I have to prepare to start spending $2000 every few months for the next two years! Yikes!

I am excited to finally start working towards some higher education because 3 out 4 immediate family members now have more education than me! Including my little genius sister! Don't worry though...she's only 1 semester ahead of me now! Soon, I can say that I have more smarts than dad! And of all people to be on the bottom of the totem pole, I never would have guessed it to be my dad! He is still the Jeopardy King though!

Rental House

Some people may know that at the end of July of this year we bought, with another couple, a rental house in Marshill. This house was only $5500 and the boys thought that it would need minor fix-ups....well that was not true. Just take a look...3 1/2 months later.


It sits at the back of the lot.

He looks like a lost puppy.

They had to dig a completely new water main line...75 feet long and 3 feet deep. Fun.



This is the kitchen after they tore down 2 walls and everything else that was the kitchen.

Well...they have all the inside walls painted, the cabinets are installed and I started painting them Monday. They have installed the bathtub and tonight are working on the bathroom again; hopefully it will be done soon. Then the flooring begins!

Their 45th deadline is to be done before Thanksgiving. I will truly have something to be thankful for if that happens!
Meet Owen, our class tortoise!



Tortoise Update

I guess I should have waited a few more hours to post about the Tortoise project because I could have said that it was fully funded before 9pm last night! I am so pumped about how DonorsChoose.org has worked! Every project I have written has been funded within a week. I never would have thought that my tortoise project would only take hours! Thanks to everyone who donated or passed on the link!

I told my kiddos about it today and they were so excited! I told them that we would decide on a name as a class and one of my girls shouts out "Michael Jackson!" She has been obsessed about MJ since school started this year. I was cracking up...but told her no. :)

I also received an email this afternoon that I can go purchase my pet and it's habitat today! I am hoping to do it tonight. As soon as I do, pictures will follow!

The Life of a Tortoise

I finally got my Tortoise proposal on DonorsChoose: The Life of a Tortoise. The original price was $520...after the Wayne Township Education Fund gave half, about $260 was needed to fund this project. After only 6 hours all but $75 has been donated!! That is so awesome!

I cannot wait to get this tortoise! I think I am going to have the class help me name the little pet...I may have to modify some names, but we'll see!

Math Night!

Tonight the 2nd grade put on a Family Math Night! It was really exciting to see so many kids bring their families for some popcorn and fun games! We had around 90 people show up for an hour of fun! The kids and parents both seemed to really enjoying playing games together. I know a lot of our families have a hard time spending time together with their hectic work schedules and single parenting roles but it was really fun to see them all having fun!

camping!!

Well I am nearly finished packing for our camping trip to Spring Mill. We have been camping at Spring Mill for 6 or 7 years in a row now. It is beautiful campground with lots of fun caves to explore and lots of great trails. Last year we went camping a few weeks after we got Zoe and Clint said no to bringing her. This year she gets to go! I know she is going to love it! I had to take her to the vet yesterday because she was having a lot of green pus cmoing out of her eyes...well the vet said she has pink eye! Yuck! But it doesn't seem to bother her so we're taking her anyways!

This year is a much smaller group. We usually go with Mike and Betsy and Amy and George...plus 5 or more other people. This weekend it will just be Clint and Me, Mike and Betsy, and Lindsay and Ange. We should have lots of fun though! Especially because Lindsay isn't much of an outdoors person so I know she will be funny to be around, all bundled up!

I hope that the rain holds off...the forecast called for 40% rani tonight but none the rest of the weekend...I'm hoping for the 60% no rain!

To All My Fans...

Sheesh! My fans are so demanding! Some people have busy lives and cannot write new blogs on a whim. Sorry to disappoint you all but this is going to be a quick blog. I have some good ones in mind but I have a lot of things to do tonight.

Yesterday I joined Clint at our rental house. Nicole (business partner's wife) and I decided that we were going to pull down the wallpaper border that was up from probably 1970. Well that task took us a little less than an hour. So the rest of the time I played with Zoe and bugged Clint. Nicole had also brought their little lab, Willis, with them and Zoe was so excited! They raced all over the house for almost 2 hours. Well this morning Zoe was limping all over the house. She didn't ever wimper or whine she just didn't walk on one of her back legs. Clint thought that maybe she had something in her paw from the house, since it is pretty messy. I looked at her paw and she had a big piece of the skin on her biggest pad peeled away. Poor baby! Well this was right about the time Clint and I both needed to leave, so I quickly googled what to do. Everywhere said to just leave it alone and that it would heal in time. Whew. After school today I got home and it looks like she has chewed off the little piece that was hanging off. It doesn't seem to bother her much except when she's running around. Hopefulyl it will be better soon.

As many of you also now, I post projects for my classroom on this awesome website called DonorsChoose. I have completed enough projects to have earned 8 points to my acct. To post most projects you have to have 1-2 points in your acct. You earn more points by writing thank you letters, confiming your project in time, and taking pictures. I decided that I wanted to write a new project to purchase everything for a new class pet, since my first try at a class pet failed. Because this is a special project it requires 6 points. I really hope I get funded since it requires so many of my hard earned points! I am in the process of writing the project titled, The Life of a Tortoise. Once I completed the draft and it is accepted I will post a link for you all to share with others!

Well, I need to go plan, grade, and watch Criminal Minds and Law and Order: SVU.

Thank you for your needs.

Zoe's New Workout Plan

So a few months back mom decided she wanted to get rid of her treadmill. I had a membership to a gym but wasn't getting there very often with my younger sister and workout partner moving away, so I asked if I could have it. Well it sat in the garage for almost 2 months because we had no real space for it upstairs. Well we finally rearranged everything with the purchase of 2 new desks and made room for it in an extra bedroom.

After setting it all up, I decided to see how it worked. As soon as you turn it on it makes this loud beeping noise. Zoe went crazy with that noise! Then she started attacking the treadmill! Watch for yourselves.

video

Moral to the story: Dogs don't want to exercise at home. They want to go for a walk.

New Car!!

Yeah! Today we closed the deal on my new car. I didn't have time to take my own pictures so here are a few of my actual car from the dealership:



It's a 2007 Pontiac G5 with 27,000 miles. I am so excited! It gets 10 mpg more than my Jeep and we are saving a couple thousand on our loan and my payment went down too! We are going to put the extra money on Clint's truck because it is almost paid off, then we'll have Clint's truck payment to put towards my car. Hopefully we can pay it off in less than 2 years! Happy Birthday to me!

edit: This car is an improvement over the Jeep for a few reasons (that my stalker sister reminded me of). My Jeep had a radio, cassette player, and an mp3 input...but no cd player. Also, when I say radio, I mean a tuner style radio, with a dial and all. So I never could really get a station unless I tried hard. My new car has actual preset radio stations! You never realize how nice they are until they aren't there! I also have a cd player now! I remember last year when the Sugarland CD came out and I rushed to Target to buy it. On my way to my car I ripped the package open, hopped in the Jeep, and held the cd in the air while I realized that I still had no cd player. I had to wait until I got home! Boo.

Another bonus is that my number 2 setting on the air/heater control works! In the Jeep the 1st, 3rd, and 4th setting all worked great. So you either had just a little air or full blast, which sucked. Now they all work!

Finally, the back rest part of the passenger seat in my Jeep was tilted so you kind of sat at an angle. Now you can sit straight! Woo Hoo!

So that pretty much sums up my new purchase!

Country Fresh


As most people know, I worked at Cracker Barrel for almost 5 years. The first 6 months or so I worked in Bloomington when I went to IU. I started there as a hostess because I didn't have any serving experience but I slowly earned my way to the server line. I transferred to the Plainfield CB when I transferred to IUPUI. Let me just say that it was a culture experience. There were maybe a handful of girls working there that were under the age of 35 and only 1 boy server at the time. Of course there were male cooks and managers but the restaraunt has around 50 servers. Talk about estrogen and menopause.

After the first night I wanted to quit...but I slowly grew to love it there. I actually liked working there more because everyone as a whole was a lot more dependable than the college kids that ran the Bloomington CB.

In case you are wondering, and this was the most popular question, "What do those stars mean?" Well, you earn 1 star after your 1st month and 1st passing evaluation. You earn your 2nd star after another 3 months and another passing evaluation. You earn your 3rd star after another six months and passing evaluation. You can earn the coveted 4th star after a grand total of about 2 years and multiple evaluations scoring 98%. Of course, I never missed an evaluation and earned 4 stars in both hostessing and serving. So in all, I had 8 stars. Impressive, I know.

After almost 5 years, even I had regulars! Of course they could all be my grandparents but they tipped well and I really enjoyed waiting on them. It was so nice to be requested and to have them look forward to you waiting on them.

Well the end of this magnificent journey had to come sometime...last January to be exact. I have only eaten there twice since then, which seems crazy since it was my favorite restaurant before I started working there. Before working there I only ever got the french toast. Well, I learned that I liked the chicken strips both grilled and fried, the pancakes, the pork bbq, and of course just a cheeseburger. All of a sudden I feel hungry. I miss a lot of the people I worked with, although I still see some every so often. One thing I don't miss is the grease you wear home; it's on your skin, your clothes, your hear, everywhere! Grosses me out just thinking about it.

The best part of serving is that it is one job I know I can do that the rest of my family could never do! :)

Criminal Minds

As my closest family members know, I am addicted to 2 shows.

Law and Order: SVU. This is my original addiction. Not only do I own several seasons on DVD I got my sister hooked too. Both of our DVR's are full of SVU's.


My second, newer addiction is Criminal Minds. I have been watching old episodes from my DVR ever since Clint started working on the rental house we bought. If I have to sit alone at home, I might as well watch my fave show!

I know I could be doing much better things instead of watching tv: cleaning, laundry, lesson planning, playing with Zoe, reading books...but I am addicted. I am especially addicted to Dr. Spencer Reid. He is the tall nerdy one in the back. He is a super genius with nice wispy hair :)

Of course I have one other show that I am anticipating the season premier for: Amazing Race. I would LOVE to be on this show! I love traveling and want to travel so much more. I also love competition! The only problem might be my potential partner: Clint :)

What do you love to watch?

Traveling


I couldn't think of a better title to this blog post so I decided to just be straight to the point.

I have traveled a little bit in my short life (yes I know I am about to be 25 but that is still a short amount of time to me!) but not extensively. I do have hopes though of reaching the far corners of the earth, like my sister Lindsay. It just might take some time.

Here is a quick rundown of where I have been so far:

California - I was born here, so I know it kind of doesn't count...except that I left before I was 5. I have been back a few times but that last was way back in 1996 (I think) with my sister. There is a plan in the making to create an RV experience out there with my sister.
Colorado - last summer Clint and I drove to Evergreen, Colorado with my bff and her boyfriend. It was so pretty there! We stayed at the highest point in Evergreen (at least on our 'little' mtn). The drive was half the fun! I really enjoy road trips!

Pittsburgh - see previous post about this trip...really enjoyed it although it was brief.

Scarborough, Canada - In 6th grade I played softball in the Peace Games. We traveled by bus (again, another road trip!) to Scarborough. We went to an amusement park among other things that don't really stick out in my mind. We played 2 games, both of which I pitched. I had a really good time seeing some place so 'different'.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Clint and I spent our honeymoon at a Couples Resort in Jamaica. It was absolutely beautiful! The ocean was the perfect temperature so we barely used the pools and the sand felt good between our toes! We decided as soon as we got that they we would return some day.

Well those are the more exciting trips I have taken. Of course I have been other places; Michigan with Hilary twice, Myrtle Beach with the family years ago, Holiday World several times, and Yellowstone national park when I was younger. Most of those trips didn't have anything too exciting or I don't remember many details.

My next post will be about the places that I really want to see and actually have plans to get there someday (as opposed to just wanting to go there). Leave me comments about great travel ideas/destinations!

16 mpg? you gotta be kidding me!

So everyone knows that I drive this cute little Jeep Wrangler:

Well, some people don't know what kind of gas mileage it gets. Let me tell you: crappy. I really like my Jeep and don't mind the terrible gas mileage because I don't really drive that much anymore. Well, when Clint and I drove to PA we drove my sister's Cobalt. It got almost 35 mpg! Seriously! That's double my mpg! We got to Pennsylvania on 10 gallons of gas.

So, Clint and I had this awesome plane that we would try to sell my car. I don't know if you know anything about Jeep people, but they love their Jeeps. I didn't think that it would be too hard to sell it and not lose too much money on it. So far it hasn't been successful. We want to sell it outright because trade-ins never get much.



We might try to trade it in though for a Cobalt or something similar. We will lose some money on the Jeep, but my payment and loan would be a lot less, the gas bill would be less, and the insurance would probably be less too. Not to mention that it would be helpful for the environment! Too bad I can't get a hybrid. Keep your fingers crossed that we can work something out!

Pittsburgh

This weekend we visited two high school friends who moved to Pittsburg after college. Clint's friend got a job out their and his girlfriend moved with him. Well, Justin has visited Clint and all their friends several times since moving to PA, but no one has really been out their to visit them. We decided to make good use of our three day weekend and drive out there.

Saturday we left around 1pm...much later than we had planned. We borrowed my sister's Cobalt to get better gas mileage. And by better, I mean almost double what both of our vehicles get. We made it there and back on 20 gallons. Not bad. So good actually that we are debating a vehicle change in our household. More on that later.

We got to their new townhouse and ordered pizza. We then ventured to downtown Pittsburg. There are 3 rivers that go into the downtown area. It made the city look so neat. I forgot my camera the first night, so I don't have anything pretty to show :( We went to Bar Louie for a few drinks. It was a really nice bar...seemed fancy but the city was like an old industrial building. They had these cute little cozy booths...but they were too small for 6 people.

Next we headed to a little strip of 3 bars: Bar Room, Saddleridge, and Steelhouse. Steelhouse was just a regular bar, except way bigger than any in Indy. It was nearly empty so we decided to try out Saddleridge. This is a country-rock bar. Complete with a mechanical bull. Of course, Clint had to try it out. He had tried it once before at 8 seconds and was thrown off very quickly. However, in PA he lasted pretty long. Check out the video to see for yourself :)


video

We hung out here for a while because it was more happenin than Steelhouse and not as loud as Bar Room. Bar Room was a really loud dance club with a huge dance floor. We spent a little time there in the middle of the evening but it was so loud and there were drink spilled everywhere. We ended up going back to Steelhouse for a little bit and then decided to call it a night.

Sunday we ate at EatnPark, which is kind of like Dennys. It was pretty good. We then decided to catch a Pittsburgh Pirates game. Bri and Justin have seen quite a few games and even got free bucket hats. I decided that I wanted to be a true fan that day, as well as make Clint one too.


I also took some nice downtown views.


So in conclusion, I decided that I really love Pittsburg. Except that I can never remember the h at the end of Pittsburgh. I kept telling Clint that we should move there. If I could get my family to move there I would totally be for it 100%. I love the big city feel that Indianapolis is seriously lacking. He wasn't too keen on the idea...mostly because of family and friends. We'll see in a few years :)

family...for better or even better?

So my family is pretty close...and I don't mean just one side either. I'll explain it from both sides.

Dad's Side
My grandma has birthday dinners every month (except a few). Whoever has a birthday that month gets to pick the dinner menu and dessert. If there are 2 birthdays, then there are 2 entrees. Sweet deal huh? Now I wouldn't say that these get togethers are anything spectacular. They are actually kind of overwhelming now. When I was little I loved going to grandma's because we would usually go to a hockey game and stay the whole weekend (blog on weekedns at grandmas to follow). Now, as an adult, it is overstimulating. My grandma and 2 aunts talk the whole night...and I don't mean each takes turns. Oh no. They all 3 talk the whole night, at the same time, all trying to be the loudest. Nevertheless, it's family time that I do enjoy. When Clint first started going to family events was when I noticed he was a bit dramatic. He would say that we were always going to grandma's for dinner. I thought once a month was nothing. Well...we hang out with Clint's extended family maybe 3 times a year. So, I see where he is coming from.

Mom's Side
Now...when I say my mom's side I actually just mean my mom. Her whole family lives in California...so obviously we don't have monthly get togethers. I do see my mom a lot though. We love to get together for game nights. We are all avid game players...and good ones at that. My favorite 3 games also happen to be my sister Lindsay's least favorite games...Peanut, Shanghai Rummy, and Blurt. She claims that it's because they are too fast paced. I think it's because she can't hang. I feel like I need to blog soley on games now...more on Sardines later.

So basically...I get a large dose of hanging out with the family. Clint took some time getting used to it but now he just whines in silence because he knows we ignore it :)

Like a smack in the face!

So on Friday I said goodbye to a lovely little boy in my class because they were moving. Now when I say lovely, what I really mean is naughty-drive-me-looney-want-to-paddle-his-little-bottom bad kid. He has his moments...I mean seconds when he can be pretty funny and a nice kiddo, but most of the time I want to sit him in the corner because he is driving me crazy. So when I found out he was moving my patience did a little jig.

Well this morning while I am telling my little bright-eyed sunshine-smiling kids "Good morning" I see a familiar little brown-haired, square-toothed-grin walking my way. Bless my lucky stars! He's back!

This happened last year with a really bad kid...moved for 2 days then came back. Well he ended up moving for good. So, I talked with my little guy's older sister and tomorrow is their (2nd) last day. I know I can make it one more day but I won't say that I won't be in a good mood Wednesday if I only have 25 kids.

Dead gerbils, Spider Bites, & Puppy School

So I have completed a week and a half of school...and it sure was exhausting. I have 27 students until next week when one moves (and hopefully no move in). I will go ahead and say that I am kind of glad this kiddo is moving. He drives me bonkers!

So I had this great idea over the summer of having a class pet. Well it turned into class pets because I bought two cute little gerbils, Oreo and Butterscotch.


Well, school started on a Wednesday. On Friday when I got to school, Oreo had died :( Well over the weekend I decided to get a new black gerbil and not tell the kids the sad news, after all they had just met the sweet little gerbil. So last week went well, the gerbils made many appearances, being loved by all.

Well, this morning when I arrived in my classroom, I saw Butterscotch laying on the 2nd floor of their abode, dead. So I packed her up and the kids didn't notice anything amiss today.

After school, I took the cage home cleaned it out and returned the only live gerbil I had, Oreo Jr. So, tomorrow I am going to have to break the news to my students that our class pets were short lived. RIP girls.

Well the 2nd point in my title is just as newsworthy. Last Wed or Thur I had two bug bites on my left bicep. Thur night before going into the Open House meeting at school, my hip was itching and I noticed another bite. Well the bite on my inside left bicep kept getting bigger yet more oval like. Over the weekend this mysterious tail appeared on it, traveling up my arm. So I talked to my aunt, an RN as well as my school nurse, also an RN. They both recommended that I see a Dr. stat. The school nurse really wanted me to go tonight, but I told her that I had an appt in the morning. So, she drew around the edge of it and told me that I had to go to a Dr. tonight if it moved outside of the pen marks.

So tomorrow I will see the Dr who better take care of it!

Finally, Zoe, my cute little energetic ball of fur will complete half of her puppy training school at Petsmart on Wed. While she is a very naughty little pooch, she is the best dog in her class of 3 puppies. She is very good at all her tricks, while the other 2 dogs sit there like bumps on a log or adhd mutts. Like my sister, I may do a dog report on Zoe sometime soon because this little excerpt does not do her justice!

Well, even though I get to sleep in some tomorrow before the Dr, I forgot to mention that the little snot nosed kiddos gave me a cold! Off to bed!

Welcome to our blog!

Most of you know when I had a blog on Xanga...well I stopped using it right before I got married. I just got so busy getting married, building a house, and looking for a job that I never really had the time or felt like updating it. Well, I recently created a website for my classroom, which also has a blog. I really enjoy working on my school website, so I thought that maybe I should return to the world of blogging.

I decided to try to make this blog a little more about Clint and I's family. No...we aren't having kids yet :) We do have our pets though:


First, there is the older brother Jack. He is about 2.5 years old. The we have:

Zoe! She is a pretty naughty dog but she just turned 1. She is also going to puppy school to learn how to be a better dog!

Currently Clint is extremely busy. We started a business and bought a house with another couple to fix up and rent. So Clint is over there almost every day except Sunday, their "rest" day. He is also coaching little league football with 3rd/4th grade kids. He also started a new job today. He left the Terre Haute local to come back to his local in Indy and is currently working on a school in Zionsville. We decided that we are going to ride to work together since I am not too far out of his way to work. That way we get to spend more time together and I can hopefully start using my time more wisely at school :)

Leave me some comments about what you want to hear about our exciting life!