Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Enjoying Summer

This past weekend was so much fun. I put my to-do list away for the most part and spent it with family. Eric, Lindsey, and Virginia came into town and therefore the camera was ready to go. Over 400 pictures...whoops! I won't share all of them although they surely wouldn't bore you. She is the most adorable child in the world. No joke.
Sweet faces...
Big girl!

Mmm...I so enjoyed cuddling with this little girl!
Look at that happy girl and those big blue eyes! She loved swimming in her pool!!
Laughing with Aunt Amy

There was a constant crowd surrounding this girl. 6 people surrounded her tiny pool! :)
It was a fun weekend to just kick our feet back and relax!

No, I am not her mother....just a very proud aunt....and who wouldn't be? She is simply perfect!
She is about to be 1 year old and I cannot believe it! I love her! I am also wrapping up my last week of teaching! I cannot believe it is over! It is definitely bittersweet. I will miss those kids but I am ready to relax....and have my gallbladder removed...haha! Hope everyone is having a good week! Happy Hump Day!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Where Has June Gone?

WARNING: This post might be long :)

I know it is not over yet but I feel like June has come and is going so quickly. The past two weeks have kept me so so busy! You just have no idea. I am learning that once I become a "real" teacher I will have zero time for blogging. This makes me sad but I tell you has worn me out. I know people may think that teaching is the easiest job or that it is just babysitting but honestly, I feel like since I started teaching this summer and actually having a classroom that is my own, I have not stopped thinking about it. There is constantly lesson plans, activities, ideas, and students who are on my mind. With all that said......I HAVE LOVED IT!!! I cannot imagine going into student teaching in the fall without having had this experience. Seriously. I know that not everyone is passionate about teaching but those of you who are understand. (Lindsey :) haha)

So what have I learned? Teaching is a full time job. I am going to have to really force myself to keep my work life and home life separate because I can tell this will be a challenge for me. I have learned a lot about management in the classroom. I have gotten some great lesson ideas for when I actually start teaching and I really do feel like I have been able to make everything that I have done fun for the kids.

P.S. I have the greatest kids. Seriously...there are about 60 of them and they are great. If I could post pictures I would but.....ya know. Can't do it.

Oh, I also now know why teachers have a love/hate relationship with field trips. Can anyone say exhausting? Yeah. They wipe me out. Needless to say.....these last couple of weeks have been so much draining...and so worthwhile. This week and next week are all I have left. I am trying to soak it all up and make the most out of it!

Another new thing that has happened is I have been participating in a Bible study with about 10 other women. We are going through the study, Lies Women Believe. We have only met twice but already it has been so refreshing for me personally to be around these ladies. I am learning a lot and truly enjoying the fellowship. I honestly think it is because I am with 9 and 10 year olds all day long and it is just a breath of fresh air to talk about what we are learning and hear how the Lord is working in their hearts.

It is hard not blogging for so long cause I forget what has happened. Brett and I have gotten to spend a lot of time with friends. We went to a shower for two of my friends one weekend and then got to hang out with a few of our closest friends who we had not seen in a while... Not even sure if that makes sense. I guess if we were close we would have seen them has been hectic for us all. We also got to "chaperone" the AJM prom. I wasn't a very good chaperone since I danced half the night....whoops. What can I say? I love to dance.

Oh....and we also celebrated a very special man yesterday. I hate that I didn't get to blog about this yesterday but......time just got away from me. Happy Father's Day to the most amazing father in the world. I know everyone says that but seriously....he wins.
I thought this was a sweet picture of dad holding Virginia. Anyways....he is seriously the most humble, caring, hardworking, forgiving, loving father. He works so hard to take care of our family. He gives FAR MORE than he takes. I have learned so much from him. He is an incredible encourager and is really one of the smartest people I know. I do not know what I would do without him. So...thank you dad for all that you are and all that you mean to our family! I love you!

Anyways....I am so looking forward to this weekend. I am FINALLY getting to see this adorable little girl... (and her parents!!) I cannot wait to squeeze her! Plus, it has been a while since her Aunt Amy and I have gotten to do a weekend photo shoot so I am pumped!
Crazy girl!
You will probably be hearing a lot about this precious thing over the next couple of weeks. Of course with this weekend and then someone also has a first birthday coming up that I am certain will be documented minute by minute!

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Weekend Blogger

Hello! Hello! So...this title is going to be extremely appropriate for the next few weeks. This is unfortunate but I am afraid it is the way it is. I have a few things to share with you. First of all, I hope your Memorial Day weekend was restful. We spent a lot of it by the pool. Brett's family came into town so I got to spend a good bit of time with them. Side note: I had something completely random happen Sunday night. We went to Macaroni Grill to eat and I had spaghetti like I always do! :) Afterwards, I started getting terrible stomach cramps at the top of my stomach. I figured something just didn't settle right after I ate but it didn't feel like an upset stomach. It just felt really like sharp cramps. As we headed back to Brett's the pain got worse and by the time I was in his house, I was in tears. This is so unlike me and I think I scared Brett and his parents. They called my mom and she came and got me. Keep in mind, I am bawling. I took some medicine, drove to the emergency room but decided not to go in, then came home and took some pain medicine. I was able to sleep that night and woke up fine the next morning. Bizarre. What's the verdict: I have gallstones and will have my gallbladder removed at the beginning of July. Happy summer. :) Just kidding...I don't think it will be too bad!

Gosh, what could top that? Oh, I amazing cookie recipe that I tried on Memorial Day that my family LOVED! I got it from Amanda.

They are called Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
I am a huge fan of sweet and salty so it was perfect for me!

Here is what you need:
2 sticks softened butter 3/4 Cup granulated sugar 1 Cup packed light brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 1/2 Tablespoons pure vanilla 1/4 Cup burnt caramel sauce (you can use any caramel sauce here, like Smuckers) 3 3/4 Cup all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 12 oz bag mini chocolate chips 1 1/2 Cups chopped good quality chocolate

Here is what you do...

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, and swirl in the caramel sauce until well combined.

Secondly, place the flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl and mix. Slowly add to wet ingredients then add the chocolate chips. Save chunks for later. I mixed the dry ingredients by hand and then added them to the wet ingredients.


Third, place a 1/4 cup scoop of cookie dough into muffin top cups.

Fourth, sprinkle a little sea salt onto the cookies

Now it is time to place your chocolate chunks on top!
Then you are ready for the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Also, if I forgot to mention, we baked them in muffin top pans which is what the recipe said but I'm sure you could do it another way.

The result?

The recipe says it makes about 18 cookies but I think we had a few more than that. They are huge and delicious and fairly simple to make! My family ate them all up!

So....what has been keeping me from blogging this week? Well, I mentioned sometime in May that I had applied for a summer enrichment program to get more experience teaching. I am so thankful that I did receive one of the positions and will be teaching 4th grade math. This past week was orientation type stuff, setting up classrooms, planning, and Friday, we had our first day with the kids. It has been such a whirlwind already. I am trying so hard to soak it all up and learn from the good things I do and the mistakes I make. Everything has really gone fairly smooth so far but it is busy busy busy. I felt like I didn't stop this week. My mind has been going 100 miles per hour planning and thinking of new ideas and ways to teach certain things. I feel like I am getting a great experience of what actual teaching will be like. I know it is only a snapshot and not nearly as stressful but it is painting a good picture for me. So, that is what has kept me away and probably will continue to keep me away during the next four weeks. I definitely will try and update on the weekends.

I will say, I would appreciate prayers over the next few weeks. You can pray for my health. I don't want to miss a day of this program and I have already had a couple of....what they call "attacks" with my gallbladder. Basically it is where my stomach hurts really bad and I am in tears. No fun.

Also, pray that I will do my best and remember that everything, including this program, is a privilege that has been given to me by God. I have struggled with thinking I am not prepared enough or good enough to teach this summer. I know that I need to just let go of thinking that I can contribute anything to this program without the help of my Father. I just need to trust Him. You can also pray for each of the precious children that are involved with this program. I know that they need prayers!

Lastly, I have had a struggle this past week with my priorities. I know how important my time with the Lord is and yet, with this work, planning, going to sleep early so that I can wake up early, etc. I have struggled to give the Lord the time that He deserves and that I know I need with Him. Pray that I will prioritize and remember again that I am nothing without Him and that my time with Him is the most precious and valuable time I will have all day.

Okay, I am done rambling. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! See you in a week, if not before! :)
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