Sunday, December 20, 2009

End of a chapter... or book, really

As I write this I am officially a graduate of Texas Tech University. This past weekend I went to Lubbock to wear the silly outfit, walk across the stage, and then drive to a completely different building to get my diploma :-). I suppose you want to know a little more about my weekend...

Thursday morning we took off. My mom rode with me and my dad took the boys. We made it to Lubbock in the usual amount of time and checked into the hotel. (It had those Sleep Number beds and I was severely disappointed... but that's not the point) My dad and I ran a couple of errands right when we got there and got a couple of things taken care of, like picking up my cap and gown, for example. We all went to dinner at Olive Garden, one of my favorites, and had a great evening. After dinner we went swimming at the indoor pool, played Marco-Polo and spent some quality family time together. We were just missing my sister and her kiddos. That night I slept terribly because the bed was set way too soft, but I guess I got enough rest.

I woke up early because Friday morning I went to visit my Lubbock students where I student taught. It was really nice to see them and I got a lot of hugs. I wasn't able to spend much time there, though, which was unfortunate. I'm glad I even got to go see them, though. At 9am I had to go practice carrying the banner for the commencement ceremony. I was the top-ranked graduate in the college of education, and apparently that means you get to carry the banner. I was incredibly honored and couldn't believe I was ranked that high. Practice took about 45 minutes, so not too long. At 10am I had to be at an induction ceremony for some Professional Educators something-or-other. I had to sit on the stage, so that was a pretty big deal. We were told to ask a faculty member to present us with a cord, so I asked my Spanish teacher. She has made a huge impact on me and my education and I couldn't think of anyone better to do that for me. I was honored several times throughout that ceremony and even got a nice present from the college (an insulated mug, a necessity for every teacher!). It was super nice to see my friends, too. Only my mom came to that ceremony because we didn't think my brothers would be up for sitting through it and I didn't really care if they came. After that we went to eat lunch then I had to go back for another ceremony at 1pm that was just like the one I already did, but they wanted to mention me as the banner bearer again and I had to be a model for the "graduation regalia (clothes)" presentation. Immediately after that I had to go get my fingerprints taken for a background check for my certification. It took a whole 2 minutes to get that done, which was awesome, so we were done in time to go to a movie with my family. My grandparents made it in to town about then, so they also met us over at the movies. All the boys went to see Avatar and all the girls went to see The Blindside. I didn't even cry! Which, if you know me, is pretty much a miracle. I had an panic attack, however, because I realize I forgot to pick something up that I needed for graduation the next day, from the Honors College, but thankfully I have a great friend who went and picked it up for me (thanks Katy!). Jason and his grandparents made it in to town after the movie was over, so I went and picked him up. We then went back to the hotel, ordered pizza, and hung out for the rest of the evening. It was an incredibly busy day and I was super exhausted. We slept horribly that night because we couldn't get the temperature right in our hotel room, but at least I slept a little.

Saturday morning was uneventful. Jason and I went and ate breakfast at a cute little diner that served delicious, cheap food. We hung out for a while with my grandparents and aunt, then it was time to get ready for the big show! We all ate lunch together, and my aunt brought my cousin's little girls to eat with us. I had to be at the Arena an hour early, so Jason went with me so he could save seats for everyone. I got in there and just hung out, in the seat they told me, and tried to calm myself down. Then, it was time. I went and grabbed the banner and then it was time to go out there. I was the very first person in the College of Education to walk out onto the floor, they introduced the college, and I heard my family hooting and hollering. I was too focused on not tripping to notice where they were sitting right away, but I found them eventually. The ceremony took almost 2 hours and I got recognized over and over again. If you know me, you know that I don't especially like being the center of attention. I'm glad my family could be there, though, because I know it meant a lot to them to see me go through this. And I know they were proud of my recognitions and honors. After the ceremony, Jason, his grandparents, and my friend Rachel met me at the car. I wish my parents would have met me there, too, but they went straight back to the hotel. They felt bad about it later, but it is done now, so no use dwelling on it. We went back to the hotel, also, and relaxed for a couple of hours. Then we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Lubbock, Buns Over Texas. Not only was it me, Jason, my parents and brothers, but my aunt, cousin, cousin's kids, cousin's girlfriend, and cousin's girlfriend's son, and even our friends Anthony and Rachel were able to join us! It was a busy, crazy dinner, but it was so much fun and I'm so glad I got to see everyone! It was a super special day and I'm glad I went back to Lubbock for graduation, even if it cost a lot of money and I didn't get to see as many friends as I wanted to.

I went to bed at like 9pm last night because I was so exhausted. This morning we got up pretty early, packed up, checked out of the hotel, and went to eat breakfast at the same little place as yesterday. We made it back to Albuquerque before 2pm, which was fantastic, and didn't do much once we got home. I loved this weekend, other than the craziness of it all, and am so glad I went and did it. I'm glad so much of my family was able to make it out there to celebrate with me. And I'm so glad I got to see my friends.

So, that is a really long description of my weekend. I wanted to just get all my thoughts down so I can look back after I have had time to process it and remind myself about everything that went on.

In case you were wondering, my major was a bachelor's in Multidisciplinary Studies from the College of Education, specializing in elementary and bilingual education, and I graduated Summa Cum Laude in Honors Studies. Say that three times fast.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

done, DoNe, DONE

I am done with college!! I just finished my online class which means I am completely finished and all that is left to do is graduate! It is so surreal and I can't believe that I will never have to take an undergraduate class again.

I am excited to walk at graduation, although it is going to be kinda stressful having all my family there. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they will be there to support me and I didn't ask any of them to come, they just are, but having 11 of us there probably won't give Jason and I much time to see friends. I am going to try my hardest to see everyone, but I am not sure how successful I will be. There is one couple I will see for sure, but the rest may just have to meet us for dinner or something. Who knows.

To add to all the excitement I got a call from my supervisor yesterday. She has been trying to get in touch with a principal friend of hers that has a bilingual school. We are going to go visit on Monday. I will get to meet the principal, get a tour of the school, and see if that is somewhere I would like to work. The exciting part is that the principal thinks there is going to be an opening in January! Her exact words were "might be" but I don't think she would have mentioned it if there wasn't a big possibility of that happening. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I am having a hard time with that. I will write about my visit as soon as I get back! (If I remember, of course)

We did another step in our kitchen. Last weekend we removed the floor. It was tile and was put on very poorly, which was a huge benefit for us. There was one part that was a pain in the rear, but we got it all up and are now walking on cement floors (BURR!). We are going to put in wood floors eventually. We have to take out the cabinets and prep the floor a little bit more before we can put the new floors down, but hopefully it will happen within the next couple of weeks. I'll try to put pictures up when we make a little more progress.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I can not figure out what was wrong with today, but it was a pretty rough day. I'm not sure if I woke up in a bad mood, became in a bad mood once I got to school, or if the kids were truely irritating today, but it was a tough day. It was all I could do to keep my cool at the kids when they were bugging me or misbehaving. I think maybe part of it was because my cooperating teacher was back today after being gone all day yesterday. I could run the class how I wanted to yesterday whereas today she was completely in control again. It was just weird. And I don't think I did everything just right yesterday which made her a little tense because she had to fix some of the things I didn't do. That made me stress out because I had hoped to do everything perfectly yesterday so she could have a relatively easy day today. Oh well, I guess I can't expect to be perfect during a spur-of-the-moment subbing situation, but it's still a little frustrating because that is just how I am. If I am being completely honest, today was the first day I have not enjoyed being a teacher. I think that is pretty good since I have been in the class for almost a semester, and I'm pretty sure it is a fluke, but it is difficult feeling like that ever.

On a different note, I am starting to get excited about graduation and all the festivities that are going to take place. Some of them seem to be kinda silly, but I get to see all my friends at the same time, which will be nice. On Friday morning I have to practice carrying the banner for commencement then go straight to some induction ceremony for professional educators. Then I am going to go visit my first cooperating teacher and visit the class before they get out for the day. I hope it all works out right so I can go visit them because I would really like to see my students again. That weekend is going to be absolutely chaos, but it is going to be a really fun weekend.

Enough for now, I just had to get my thoughts down.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giving thanks!

Our Thanksgiving break was fantastic! Jason took off of work Wednesday and we headed out bright and early on our 500 mile adventure. Us, my mom, my sister, the two babies, and three dogs left at about 7:15 am NM time in the RV. We stopped in Lubbock for lunch, met up with some friend, and headed back out on the road. We made it to Ivie by about 5:30 pm TX time. All in all it wasn't too bad of a drive because the RV is pretty comfortable, even though it was cramped with all those bodies in there. Jordan did great and we even got him to take a nap after lunch. Shelby did fine although it was hard not being able to walk her around when she got fussy. She did well, though.

Thursday was a day for food, family, and fun. We were able to sleep in a little (we slept in my grandparents' fifth wheel) and then the cooking began. Since my Gran still doesn't have her energy level back up completely she did a lot of the cooking before hand, like the noodles and the desserts. She had a lot of help, too, because my mom, aunt, great-grandmother (Memaw), and sister were all helping. Jordan played outside most of the day, when he wasn't eating, and the boys rode around on their motorcycles a lot. It was a great day and we had tons of food. After eating we played games and just hung out watching football.

Friday and Saturday we played golf. One day Jason, David, Sam and I played together. The next day Jason and I played with my Gran and Grandad. We had a lot of fun, and even though I didn't do great I still did better than usual. It was a great couple of days. We headed back home on Sunday and made it back in time for dinner and getting laundry done, despite driving through snow and having to stop every hour to go to the bathroom, haha. It was such a wonderful vacation and I was sad to see it end.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stinky Start

I have had the worst two days in recent memory, which is not a very fun thing to write about, but I have to get it all out there.
Monday- My day started with finding out that I failed my certification test. It is called the BTLPT (Bilingual Teacher Language Proficiency Test) and basically tests my proficiency in Spanish. I did really well on all of the parts except for the speaking part. It is so frustrating! I had to drive to El Paso that day and I was ridiculously sick during the test. I am really hoping that being healthy will help my mental capacity and enable me to pass the speaking part, but I am trying not to get my hopes up. I have until January to think about it anyway, so no rush. I am trying to figure out a way to practice my speaking, but I am coming up empty. If you have any ideas, let me know.
Then, it was my first day of full-teach in 3rd grade. I don't know if the kids could tell that I was having a bad day and were feeding off of it or what, but they were terrible! They were blatantly ignoring me, and some were actually arguing with me! I have never dealt with a class like that and I do not like it all. It was so frustrating. My cooperating teacher was also having a terrible day, so that just made it all worse. I literally came home yesterday, put on my pajamas, and watched tv all evening. Jason convinced me to go get ice cream after dinner (of mac and cheese) but I didn't anything other than that. It was bad, and I was hoping that today would be a better day. It wasn't...
Tuesday- I was so ready for this morning. I was ready to have a good, productive, successful, enjoyable day. Blah...
At 8:55 school starts. I begin by doing the necessary administrative procedures. After that, I start explaining the work the kids will be doing during the reading group time. Most of the way through that, the principal comes over the intercom "Lockdown! Lockdown! Lockdown!" with a very panicky voice. We all did the procedure as if it were a drill, and we tried to keep the kids calm and quiet just like we were supposed to. I had a feeling it was the real deal but I wasn't sure. After 20 minutes the bell rings and the principal comes back on the intercom "Lockdown procedure is over, staff will be debriefed after school." And that was that. We eventually got info that there was a shooting across the street. Apparently there was a road rage incident, they pulled over across the street, a fight broke out, then there were shots fired. I don't think anyone was hurt, the shots were fired into the air, but it was still incredibly scary.
After that, an acredidation team came to visit the school. Everyone was very tense and worried about staying on schedule, saying the right things, and doing the right activities. My teacher was so stressed it was almost palpable. It turned out to not be a big deal at all, but we didn't know that until the end of the day. And, to top it all off, we had a student vomit in the middle of class. She had been feeling sick all day and it just finally caught up to her. Thankfully I had stepped out of the class for literally 30 seconds and it happened then, which is good because I might have joined her, but I felt so bad for her. The kids all reacted pretty well, and the little girl went home. It was just the icing on the cake for the day.

I really hope that tomorrow is better, but there are no specials or pull outs on Wednesdays, so it is going to be a LONG day even if everything goes well. I'm not looking forward to it, but I can't imagine it would be any worse than the last two days have been. I'll let you know if tomorrow is better, but I'm not holding my breath. Prayers are appreciated!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Plans and changes

I feel like a lot has happened and not much has happened at the same time since I last posted. This week felt pretty uneventful. We had an early release day on Wednesday, which was nice, but it was a pretty typical week. I'm still having trouble adjusting to this student teaching placement... I don't know what it is: whether I am just so used to the Lubbock school system and this is too different, that I am not clicking as well with this teacher, or that I have not fully adjusted to being home. I just am not sure what to do to finally settle in. I still feel like I have to go visit my parents whenever I have some free time because I will be going back to Lubbock any day and I won't get to see them for a while.

On the other hand, I love being here and I feel like the next logical step is for us to have kids. Jason doesn't quite agree with me, though... He wants to have a while for us to be "just us" before we think about kids, which I understand, but we have been married for more than 3 years, we own a house, Jason has a job, I will be done with school in a month and a half... doesn't it make sense to have kids now? I see how my sister's kids are and how much we both love being around them and I wonder "when is it my turn?" My parents are getting to have the "grandparent experience" now that my sister doesn't live with them and I see how much they love it. I want for them to love our kids just as much, but sometimes I can't help but think that my sister took that from me. I know they will love all of their grandchildren, but sometimes I wonder if our kids will be as special to them because they already will have at least two. I don't know, just some things I have been thinking about. I know it is going to be a number of months before we actually consider it, but I so badly want to be a mother that I can't help but think about it often.

I am really missing my Lubbock friends. It is so hard being an hour different than Lubbock because every time I think about calling anyone I realize it is an hour later and it is inconvenient for whomever I want to call (like dinner time or bed time...). I just so badly want to be able to call my friend and just be able to drive over to her house to decompress from a hard day at school, go eat Fazoli's, and play the wii or watch a chick-flick. (You know how you are.) I miss her, especially, but I miss my other Lubbock friends as well. I miss going to church at FBC, painting pottery at Clay Cafe, and having girls' nights out. It is still taking me a lot of time to get used to living here, like I said earlier. I have no idea how we are going to make friends. Jason is not quite ready to get into a home fellowship group through church (like a small group that meets during the week) or to start working in the children's ministry at chuch. I know we will meet people there, but until then we are still hanging out with our parents mostly. Not that that is a bad thing, it would just be nice to have some friends our age. Actually, Jason has friends here. His high school buddies are still here and they hang out at least weekly, and while I enjoy spending time with them they are not the same as girlfriends.

Ok, sorry I'm just ranting. We are seriously persuing our kitchen remodel. The bathroom, closet, and office (finally, after this weekend) are all done and the next project is the kitchen. It is painful thinking about how much it is going to cost us, but we will get it done and it will be much more functional and I will be able to be a better wife because hopefully I will enjoy it enough to want to cook some more. Yesterday I finally got to see the cabinets and counter tops I picked together and I LOVED them. They are just exactly the way I pictured them in my head and it made me so excited! It is going to be hard to stay within our budget, but thankfully the people we are working with are very kind and are able to give us a whole lot of options for what we like. I will post pictures of all the completed projects when we get more batteries for the camera.

I hope you have a blessed week and I will write again when I have a chance! Take care and God bless.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Carnivals, Halloween, and closets

This week was much less busy, but it still felt crazy. The beginning of the week was relatively easy. I went to a math workshop on Tuesday, but it didn't really apply to me since I have never taught math in this curriculum before. I was pretty bored, but I guess it was good for me to go to in case I end up teaching 3rd grade in the future. The weird part was that it was at a building named after someone I knew. She passed away a while back, but she was the mother of a childhood friend of mine. It was kinda strange. A nice tribute to her though.

Tuesday evening we carved pumpkins with my brothers. They have never carved pumpkins before and didn't even know what they were doing until they came to our house. They were so cute, they carved every single side of their pumpkin, lol. David wanted to carve the scariest thing possible, so he picked a scary Jack-o-lantern face. Sam carved Frankenstein. They also did bats, ghosts, initials, a lion, etc. It was really fun to see how much they enjoyed it. Jordan also came over and he colored a pumpkin. He helped me clean out mine a little, but just ended up hurting himself whenever he had a sharp tool, so we just avoided that as much as possible.

Thursday was our fall carnival at school. I convinced Jason to go to see all the teachers that are still at the school who he had growing up. I am student teaching with one of them, and there are 3 others at the school still. He had a blast and I thought it was awesome seeing how excited the teachers got when they saw him. It made me think about my elementary teachers and I wish I could go visit them. We will see if I can work out a time to go over there, but right now I will have to settle for hearing stories about little Jason. He has such a good time, it was really cool.

Friday evening we had our date night after cleaning up the house. We never go to dinner on Fridays because the restaurants are always really busy, but we did this week. We went to Teofilo's, which was delicious. It is a restaurant we never think about going to, but I'm glad we did. I had a delicious chile relleno... mmm...

Saturday we got to sleep in. After getting up I spent the morning cleaning our house. I feel like that is all I get to do on the weekends, lol. I actually got to go to lunch with my sister, her boyfriend, and her babies. It was nice to spend time with them. Jordan dressed up as a boxer and was absolutely adorable. Then I got home and we finished cleaning the house and got the place ready for our dinner party. We just had Jason's parents, my mom, my sister (and her posse), and a friend of ours. My dad and brothers were hunting deer. It was a great evening full of fantastic food and wonderful people. Too bad our house isn't better organized or it would have been perfect and we wouldn't have had to close all our doors so people couldn't see in the messy rooms, haha. We are getting closer though! We had a few trick-or-treaters, and I'm glad we didn't have a ton. It was a pretty relaxed evening.

Today we went to church, went to lunch, got an estimate for our kitchen remodel (OUCH!!) and then spent the afternoon working on finishing our closet and working on homework. Jason's parents came over to help with the closet (which they have practically done all the work for) and I was working on homework. I don't know what we would do without them working on our house like they do. If only they could do all the work for the kitchen we would be set! haha. Yeah, we won't even go there... yet.

Overall this was a good week. I feel like there are a lot of things to write about, but then I never write quite as much as I expect. I hope you had a great Halloween and sorry that the blogs don't come more regularly. Once a week just seems to be the norm.

Jason's pumpkin and my pumpkin

Sam's pumpkin and David's pumpkin

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekly update

Looks like that is all I am going to have time to do for the next few weeks. My life is chaos... I'll try to give a quick rundown of my week:

Monday- Woke up early and drove to El Paso. It was a four hour drive, plus stopping for lunch. Jason's parents drove me, so I didn't have to do the trip on my own, thankfully. We got there about an hour early so we drove around the UTEP campus (weird) and had some ice cream before my test. The test was ridiculously difficult. On top of having a cold and having to drive 4 hours, it was a 3.5 hour test! There was reading, writing, listening, and speaking parts to the test, all in Spanish, and I have absolutely no idea how well I did. I thought I would find out last week, but I didn't, so I just have to keep waiting. I am honestly not sure whether I passed or not, but I figure I have a really good excuse if I didn't: I was sick! Hopefully I passed because I don't want to have to pay the money to take it again. We drove back right after I was done with the test and got home around 11 pm. It made for a really long day.

Tuesday- I got to sleep in a little bit, which was nice because of the long day that Monday was. I didn't do nearly enough productive things on Tuesday, but I did a few. I got the window on our campershell fixed, finally. It broke this summer and we never got it fixed before I went to Lubbock. After that I was able to meet with my supervisor for my student teaching split here. She is super nice and has a very convenient connection... to the principal at the school that I want to teach at when I graduate! Apparently they are really good friends. It is an all-bilingual school that just opened in Albuquerque and my supervisor is sure they are going to want to expand next year. I am so excited about it because she got so excited about it! I will keep you posted on any developments. After meeting with her I went and spent some time with my new niece. She is just precious.

Wednesday- day 1 of student teaching in NM. I am with Jason's second grade teacher. It is really different because the schools are sooooooo different. I had 13 students in TX, but in NM I have 25. That is not the only difference, but it is one of the biggest. I am looking forward to learning from my cooperating teacher and to getting to know the school.

Thursday- Day 2 of student teaching. I felt much more comfortable Thursday than Wednesday. The kids are getting used to me pretty quickly, which is nice, so I know it is only a matter of time before they start asking me things and pushing my buttons to see what the limits are with me. I just hope I can get used to having so few resources in this school compared to TX. They aren't even allowed to make copies! I don't get it, but something is working because their test scores are pretty good. I am going to learn a lot.

Friday- I had planned on being really productive Friday as well, but it didn't happen. I did fill out a job application, but that was about it. I spent time with my sister and her kids while Paul was out running errands. It is nice being around them so much and getting to know Shelby while she is little. I wasn't around Jordan much when he was this small, so it is kinda nice. I started working on Shelby's baby blanket for Christmas, but I ran into a roadblock, so not much got done. That is all that happened on Friday, though, but it was a pretty good day.

Saturday- Another lazy day. Though I did put a box away, work more on job applications, and cleaned the house a little bit. I spent a lot of time with my family again. We went to lunch with Jason's parents as Jason and Ken took a break from working. Then, I went to town with my mom while Jason was working on pulling out our old fence with his dad. I had a really nice, long talk with my mom (that's another post...) and it was a good afternoon. We took the puppy to "puppy class" and ran a couple of errands. Then, Saturday night, we went bowling with my parents, siblings, niece and nephew. Paul even came. Me, Paul, Lauren, David, and Sam played lazer tag while Jason and Jordan played together and my parents watched Shelby. The boys had never played before, so that was fun. Then we all bowled together. I have no idea who won, but it was so much fun seeing everyone play and helping Jordan. I think we all had a good time. Lauren spent most of the time feeding and holding Shelby, so she didn't get to bowl much, but I think she still had a good time. It was a great day.

Sunday- Today we went to church, Home Depot, lunch, then came home so I could do homework, in that order. We went to lunch with my parents and Jordan, which was fun. I got most of my homework done and I filled out another job application. I am always curious as to whether I filled out the application completely right, so that is hard, but I just have to trust myself. After doing homework we went to a house warming party for Jason's cousin. It was nice to spend that time with Jason's family and extended family. They are hillarious. And after that we went to hang out with some of Jason's friends to watch Sunday Night Football. We don't get to spend all that much time with them, so it was nice to see them. Then, we came home and I have been doing this ever since.

I know that was a really long update, but I had to write about my week because so much stuff happened! Tomorrow I get to get back into the classroom and learning more about teaching! I'm excited to see what this coming week holds and I will keep updating when I have time. Take care, and I hope you enjoyed reading about my incredibly crazy life.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New babies and sickness

My sister had her baby on Friday! Little Shelby Grace weighed 6 lbs. 14 oz, which is way bigger than they expected her to be, so we were all very thankful about that. Apparently she was born after 3 pushes, so she practicaly walked out. She was healthy and went home yesterday evening. I met her today. I have a cold, so I had to wear a mask while I was holding her, but it was totally worth it. She is precious and I am looking forward to getting to know her. Paul was there with them when we got there this morning, and we know it will be only a matter of time before he moves in with them, but we are hoping they don't rush into anything. It appears to be Paul's baby, which I think we are thankful about, but he had decided he wants to be the dad no matter what which is mature of him. I still don't think my sister understands how hard it is going to be to have two kids on her own, but she has a lot of help so I think she will be OK. At least I know the kids won't suffer.

So as I mentioned I am sick. I had a temp of 100.3 earlier, which isn't the worst fever I have ever had, but it certainly doesn't feel good. I have a terrible headache and a stuffy nose, but hopefully my fever is gone and I won't have to deal with it tomorrow when I go to El Paso.

Yep, El Paso... I have to take my last certification test in El Paso tomorrow, and thankfully my in-laws are going to drive me down there so I don't have to make the trip alone. I am nervous because I am feeling sick, but hopefully I will pass it the first time and not have to worry about it any more. I'm sure God didn't let me take the test earlier in the year because He knew how much practice I would get during my first split of student teaching, and that would prepare me for the test. I just have to pray that I don't have any kind of mental block and that I use the skills God has given me to pass the test. Pray for me!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So close I can taste it

I am almost halfway done with student teaching! I can't believe that my 8 weeks in Lubbock are already over! It seems like just the other day I was pulling into the driveway with my truckload of stuff to unpack and start my adventure here alone. Now BAM! I am done with Lubbock and headed back home! It has been wonderful, crazy, and a definite learning experience. I am so excited to put into practice all the things I have learned already. Not to mention, I get to meet a whole new class of students a week from tomorrow and I get to learn abot teaching 3rd graders! I know they are going to be quite a bit different from my 5th graders, but at the same time they will still be independent and I will be able to joke around with them a little bit. I really think I am going to like my teacher. I have heard really great things about her. Hopefully I can get into contact with her tomorrow and we can introduce ourselves and get some of the logistics figured out for when I start. It is going to be great to be home!

On the flip side of that, however, I am going to miss my friends tremendously. One in particular, whom I have seen at least 3 times each week since I have been here. We always joke about not being able to be friends anymore because we don't want to get close and then me have to leave. Yeah, so much for that. If anything we hung out more, lol. She is a huge blessing in my life and these past 8 weeks would have been absolute torture without her. I am praying we will be able to keep our friendship just as strong, even while living 300 miles apart.

It feels really weird to be leaving Lubbock. Don't get me wrong, I am going home, to my family and my husband, but I'm not ready to leave behind all my friends here. Plus I know I will not be coming back here until December when I graduate, which is a really long time from now! I hope I can keep in contact with everyone but I know that is not really all that realistic. God has a plan for all this and I have to be open to it, I just hope His plan keeps my friends in my life. Meeting new people back home is going to be difficult. Very few people I was friends with in high school are still in Albuquerque, so I am going to have to make new friends. Our church is so big that it is hard to meet people there unless we join a home fellowship or something, but that means stepping out of our comfort zone, which we are not terribly excited about. We also want to work in the children's ministry at church, but we aren't entirely sure we will have time. All of these things are riding on how demanding my schedule is once moving back. I'm not sure I am ready to grow up quite yet!

Speaking of growing up... my sister is going to have her baby on Friday, if she doesn't have her before then. The doctors are going to induce sometime on Friday. That makes things very interesting because I will be coming home on Saturday and my sister has already asked for my help this weekend. I told her I will do what I can, but I have a certification test on Monday that has to take priority. This stupid test is in El Paso (ick) because they are not offering it in Lubbock. So Jason's wonderful parents are going to drive me down there so I can take my test, however long that takes, then they are going to drive me back home. I wouldn't be able to do it without them and I am so thankful that they are willing to do that for me!

OK, gotta go to bed. Please pray for my sister. Things are about to get really tough for her, and I'm not convinced she knows what to expect, no matter what she says. She is going to need the Lord more than ever starting on Friday, and I would ask that you pray that she would recognize that sooner rather than later. Also, please pray for me: moving home, certification test, meeting friends, and settling back into my life in NM. Thanks and if I can ever pray for you just let me know! Take care and God bless.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Less than two weeks!

I can't believe that I am already going to be moving home in less than two weeks! It is crazy! I feel like I just got here and that I am finally settling into the routines and getting used to living with the amazing couple who have opened their house up to me. But no, in 10 days I will be headed back to my home, my husband, my family, and my puppy! I'm so excited to be going home, but at the same time I am not quite ready to say goodbye to all my friends here. Next week is going to be pretty difficult, and I am sure it is going to go by really quickly.

I have handed back basically all of the subjects I have been teaching and I am pretty much back to just observing. I teach some here and there, but mostly I just watch and help out where I can. Next week I am going to be observing in other classrooms and I am very curious about how that is going to work. I may spend half of the day with another class and then half of the day with this class, just so I don't completely ditch my teacher. We will just have to see how it goes, though.

Anyway, I am completely ready to go home and completely not ready to say goodbye to everyone here. It is a very strange way to feel and I hope I can figure it all out before I leave or I am going to feel very incomplete and confused. Pray for me!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another rough day

I know, it seems weird that I would be writing a post two days in a row, but that is just how much is going on right now that I need to get out. I was so stressed out today that I had a really tight chest this morning and felt like I was going to cry all morning long. It started off with a parent telling me that an assignment I gave out was stupid and that it didn't make any sense to him for his child to have this assignment. Thankfully it was not an assignment I thought up, so I didn't have to defend myself, but it is difficult listening to a parent be so critical. I am thankful that I have an experienced teacher with me that knows how to handle parents like this, but it is still hard on me. I can already tell that is going to be the hardest part of the job, by far.

Then, I had to organize all of the papers that Mrs. D asked me to make copies of and give the students to redo. It was difficult to keep two days' worth of work organized, graded, and separated so that my teacher could easily get everything input into the computer tonight since report cards go out SOON!! I'm thankful that I am really getting the true feel of what it is like to be a teacher. I wish it wasn't so stressful this week, but I am having a very valuable learning experience. I still think God made me to be a teacher! (and a mother, but for now I will settle for being a teacher, lol)

Ok, I guess that is all for now. I get to have coffee tonight with my very best friend in the whole wide world. Super excited about girl time tonight!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teaching in real life

Oh man, this week. There are not words to describe it... So not only am I in the middle of full teach, but my teacher is out all week because she has two kiddos home sick with the flu. It is insane. I didn't know she was going to be gone yesterday, which completely threw me off, but today was even crazier because of all the stuff she needed me to do since she couldn't be there today. I have a bazillion papers to grade, because 5th graders have to do a lot of homework to learn everything they need to learn. Outrageous! Thankfully my subs have been really helpful in that they help me maintain order in the classroom. My classroom management skills still need a little work, but I'd like to think I am getting better at it. Anyway, this week is going to really quickly so far, which is awesome because Jason is coming to visit me this weekend. We are going to the TTU vs. UNM game, which will hopefully be a blowout, but who knows based on the way Tech is playing this year. Should be fun no matter what! We are going to stay at the house I am living at for one night and we are going to stay at a really nice hotel one night. I'm excited.

My sister has gotten some interesting news. Apparently the baby is 3 weeks smaller than her gestational age, which means she is "too small." The doctors are going to keep an eye on her and if there is any sign of stress she is going to be induced a little early. My sister has kind of had a rough pregnancy, and I'm a little worried about how she is going to handle a new baby with a toddler. But, she is staying strong and she will hopefully make it until her due date to keep Shelby baking as long as possible.

I feel like I had so much more to write about when I sat down to do this but I can't seem to think of anything else. I am about to start doing my lesson plans for tomorrow while I watch a movie. Time to get things done so I can relax for the rest of the evening!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just right

I have found the right profession! It is so exciting for me, because through this student teaching experience I have realized how much I love teaching. I'm so glad God told me to change majors all those semesters ago, because I can't think of a more perfect fit for me. I am always exhausted and I hardly ever have time for other things, but I never dread going to school. I dislike the lesson planning part, because my lesson plans have to be so specific for my supervisor, but other than that I don't mind the prepwork or anything. It is hard having to do everything in Spanish and English, because my Spanish is not very good still, but I am getting a little more confident with it every day. I even found myself speaking Spanish when I wasn't supposed to or when I didn't realize it. It was a good feeling and I'm excited about how much I am growing as a teacher through this experience.

I am really ready to go back home, because I miss Jason and my family, but I am also having a pretty good time here. I'm so thankful for the cooperating teacher I have- she is awesome! I am really going to miss her, even if my next teacher is great too. I have learned so much from her already, and she has been so helpful and encouraging. I'm so grateful and excited that I have had this experience.

On a different note, I don't get to go home this weekend :-( The plane tickets were too expensive by the time I got around to buying them. I'm sad about it but at the same time I will have a TON to do this weekend, so it is probably for the better. I should be doing some of that work right now, as a matter of fact, but I don't really have the energy. This is stuff I have to do for my capstone class, not for teaching. So, while I am going to miss Jason terribly, I will hopefully have a really productive weekend so I don't get behind for next week, and so I do a good job on all the things I have to have done for Capstone.

My sister had a doctor's appointment recently and apparently Shelby is upside-down, and my sister is a little nervous that she won't turn back over in time. I think she will, though, because she is a mover and a shaker. Every time I am around my sister she is doing acrobatics in her tummy. I'm excited to meet Shelby, but I'm nervous about what it is going to mean for my sister and the rest of our family. I think she is going to do alright, but it is going to be so much more work than she thinks and I'm nervous that she is going to have more than she can handle, even if Paul is there helping her out some. (Don't even get me started on that situation...)

Ok, I really have to write my lesson plans. I'd say I'll write again soon, but I'm not so sure that will happen, so I'll just say I will write again when I have a chance.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No time to think

It has been brought to my attention that I have not updates my blog in a while, so I figured I would update so a certain someone doesn't get upset at me ;-). My life has been absolutely crazy recently. With student teaching, taking a class, flying home and back every weekend, and trying to find time to have a social life, it is just nuts.

Student teaching is going really well. I love my cooperating teacher and I am so glad we get along so well. She totally trusts me to teach her kids and frequently leaves the classroom while I am teacher because she doesn't feel the need to be in there. I have only taught one subject in Spanish because these last few days I have had to leave or the kids left at noon, and all the Spanish subjects (except math) take place after noon. Last time I taught in Spanish I had a terrible headache because it takes so much energy for me to speak in Spanish for any length of time. Hopefully tomorrow goes smoothly and I won't be too exhausted to think after the day is over. I am most nervous about math because I don't have the lesson plan written out for me in Spanish, though it is totally scripted in English. Not only that, I had to figure out what the most important points to hit were because the lesson can take more than an hour to teach if you do the whole thing. I'm just a little nervous. I'm sure it will be OK tomorrow, but I just have to get through it before I will really know that. I will do my best and that will have to be good enough.

My class is going well, it is just quite a bit of work. It is mostly reading right now, but I know it is going to get a little more crazy in the next couple of weeks. I have capstone class also, which is a TON of work. It is all online and I have to read, write reflections and discussions every week, and stay on top of my portfolio which is much more work than it should be. I have to have descriptions of everything, images for every page and every section... just a lot of unnecessary work. I'm not looking forward to it, and I know I need to stay on top of the work but I have so much going on that it is starting to pile up on me.

I love going home every weekend and I am so glad that I get to do that. The only issue is I don't have much time over the weekend to get stuff done. I have a little while at both airports and on the plane both directions, but other than that I am pretty busy during the weekend and I can't get much homework done. I thought I would be able to do my work on Fridays, but so far I have just wanted to rest on Fridays and not do any work. I think that is going to have to change because I am starting to sink a little.

Ok, so that is the update. I'll admit, it is much longer than I expected. Oh, and I found out that I will be student teaching at the elementary school Jason went to when he was little, and I will possibly be with a former teacher of his. I will be in a 3rd grade class and I have been told I will love this teacher, so hopefully I will. I also have to start thinking about filling out applications for jobs in January, another thing I am not looking forward to starting. Ugh... OK, until next time. God bless and I wish you well.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Ok, in all honesty I did not think student teaching would be this crazy. I am one week and one day in and I am absolutely exhausted. No matter when I go to bed I am drained during the day, kids are germ factories and I am already sick, and my supervisor requires a lot of work to be done on top of just being with 5th graders all day long and hearing Spanish constantly (which still makes my head hurt a little). I taught a lesson today out of the blue. Actually I taught one that was kinda planned (by me anyway) and one that was spur of the moment. Math was a reteach of Friday's lesson but Mrs. D didn't remember how we decided to reteach it, so I ended up doing it. The only problem is math is a Spanish subject and since I didn't have time to prepare I wasn't able to do it in Spanish, I had to teach in English and the kids had to respond in Spanish. I think it was a good lesson, though, and I am glad I am getting the experience I am getting so far. By the end of next week I will be teaching every subject, in English and Spanish, all day long. I am so scared! But, I know there is a reason God put me in this classroom with these kids and hopefully I will be able to impact some lives during these next few weeks, and for the rest of my teaching career for that matter.

This weekend I will be heading home, yet again, for a visit. Actually, my sister's baby shower is this weekend, at my house, so I kinda have to be there. It is just going to be a small event, mostly family, and they will be bringing mostly necessities. I was going to make her a baby blanket but the summer got away from me and I am way too busy right now. Fear not, she will have a baby blanket, it may just have to be after she is born and is about 4 months old. She'll never know, right? lol.

For those of you who are wondering, my sister is doing well. I think I mentioned that my parents bought her a house recently (she moved in less than a week after we got our house) and she is just living there with Jordan. She is looking for a roommate, but not many college students want to live with a toddler and an infant. She may have a friend that is interested but it is very tentative right now. The baby weighs about 4 lbs right now and is super healthy. My sister hasn't had any more heath issues, which we are thankful for, and now we are just awaiting the arrival of this newest addition to the chaos that is our family. This baby's dad is still in the picture (not Jordan's dad) although I am not sure he and my sister are officially "dating." We are pretty much fine with that seeing as they make each other miserable when they are together, but they feel like they have to work it out for the baby's sake. Whatever, that is a decision they are going to have to make and no amount of persuading or advice-giving will help them make their mind up one way or the other, so we are all just going with the flow right now. My sister has started going to church again, which we are thankful for, and Jordan LOVES Sunday School. He talks about it all week long and will barely come to the door when it is over. It is super cute.

Anyway, that is the update. I am mostly swamped with school but I am still making time to go home and see my amazing husband and wonderful family every chance I get. I am ready for this half of the semester to be over with so I can be home for good, but I know my time will come and I know there is a reason I am in this situation to begin with (although I have no idea what that reason is, only He knows). Hopefully I will have time to write again soon, but no promises! God bless.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Week of ups and downs

Maybe it should be titled more like "week of downs and ups" because that is more what it was. It started out with my first day in the classroom. I was terrified that my teacher wouldn't like me, that the kids would ignore me, and that I would be miserable. I was supposed to be in kindergarten but ended up in 5th grade at a different school, so I was completely unprepared, mentally. Well, my teacher was unprepared as well so it kinda took us a few days to warm up to each other. The students started out really shy, but they were really kind and respectful at the same time.

In the middle of the week I got some terrible news (see previous post) and was kinda knocked down. And on top of that, my mom had a little health issues (also see previous post). It made for a very interesting evening.

The day after that I got a very harsh and hateful email about my blog (and more specifically my faith). It was very disturbing and all I can do is pray for this person. He has obviously been hurt by someone in the past and he is now taking it out on me (or Christ in me, actually, because I don't know this person). I will pray for his health and happiness, though, and since I have gotten that email I have been so encouraged by my friends and family. I will not go into the details, but I am so thankful that I have Christ in my life and that He has enabled me to do the things I do and to know that I will be with Him forever. I know I will be persecuted, but God only allows that when He knows we can handle it.

And finally, today was a great day. My cooperating teacher and I are really getting along well and the students are starting to open up and joke around with me. I got thrown into a lesson today when my teacher asked me to explain a math problem because she was confused by it. I didn't do a great job, but I did a decent job. We are going to have to reteach the material anyway because both of us were a little confused, but it was a good learning experience for me. We had fun planning for next week and I look forward to starting to teach some lessons!

So that was my week. I head home tomorrow for the long weekend and hopefully we will be able to get the bathroom almost finished! We have to hurry because my sister's shower is next weekend at my house. Yikes! Ok, gotta go pack.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oh my oh my

Where to start with today? I guess just the beginning.

It was a great day in the classroom. I was finally able to participate a little in the lessons and I am starting to figure out what I am going to teach next week. I am going to take over the English subjects next week then pick up the Spanish subjects the following week. I will teach everything for a whole week, then slowly give back all of the subjects over the following two weeks. It is going to be crazy, and quick, and difficult, but I think I can handle it with the help of my cooperating teacher, the support of my supervisor, and the ability given to me by my Lord and Savior. I just pray He doesn't make me stumble too much while I am teaching these precious kids!

This afternoon my dad called me to ask me how to suspend my mom's pump (she is diabetic). Well he didn't give me any details because he was trying to get her to wake up. Apparently, I found out after talking to her later, she remembers going to the store and putting the groceries away, but then doesn't remember anything else until 2 hours later. It is always a little scary when she has low blood sugar, even though I know she will come out of it. I guess she kinda passed out on the couch and had some horrible dreams. Thankfully my dad was able to show the boys how to take care of her if she happens to have low blood sugar and they are not around. They have never seen her low before, so this was a really good learning experience for them. Not so good for mom, but she is doing well now. It just takes her a while to get to feeling good again.

And, to round out the day, I found out that Jason's aunt passed away this afternoon. She had been battling cancer for 2 years and it finally caught up to her today. We all knew it was going to happen, but while it wasn't a shock we are still very sad to see her go. I honestly can't say if she is in heaven or not, but I sincerely hope she is and that I will be able to see her again some day. I think Jason and his parents are handling it pretty well, seeing as we all expected this to happen, but it is still difficult to lose a family member. This was Jason's dad's little sister. If you think about it, please pray for her family, and that they would somehow come to know Christ through all of this. Anne Marie, you will be missed.

So my day was full of ups and downs. Overall it was pretty good, but kind of emotionally taxing, so I think I am just going to go to bed. Thank you for the prayers.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Newest developments

Ok, so now I am supposed to be in a 5th grade bilingual class. I started in kindergarten as of Friday, then Tuesday it was 3rd grade, and as of yesterday I am in 5th grade. I am freaking out!! I am not scared of 5th grade, I am scared of 5th grade in Spanish. I am supposed to meet my teacher today at 4pm, so hopefully she got the memo that she is having a student teacher this year and she can make it to the meeting today. Well, I will just go to the meeting and see what happens! On a positive note, I have decided to sport some pink nail polish for the next few days and see if I like it. My nails are really long right now and I don't want them to break, so I am trying something new, haha. Like you care, but whatever.

I am so excited about getting to go home this weekend! I have been here for a week and been to like 11 hours of meetings, total, and 8 of those hours were on the same day. It is really frustrating that I have so little to do while I am here, but at least I have some good friends that are helping me through it. I have been eating out a ridiculous amount these last few days and I am sure I have gained some weight because of it. And not only that, but I have not been working out like I should have been. I run every couple of days and do weights, but I am not doing as much as I used to and I know it is not going to get any better when I start student teaching. Hopefully I can motivate myself to stay active, but I am afraid I will not have any energy left when I get done with school every day. I guess I will just have to try my best and that will have to work.

Again, I am so excited about going home this weekend I can hardly stand it. Hopefully we can work on the bathroom and spend some quality time together before I have to get back to Lubbock again. Gotta run! Another movie to watch, by myself, and maybe I will work up the energy to do some homework. Or maybe not. whatever.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

House and school update

I will start with the house. Jason has done all the demolition on our hall bathroom and it is a completely bare room now. It is actually kinda crazy. We are completely redoing the whole thing, so he had to rip everything out. Thankfully his parents are amazing and are willing to help us do all of that. And by us I really mean Jason since I am not there to help. He keeps calling me to ask questions or see my opinion on things and whatever, so I answer him the best I can while I am not there. I frankly don't care. As long as they don't do anything crazy and use at least most of the stuff I already said that I liked, it doesn't matter to me! He is an amazing husband, though, and wants my "ok" on everything he is doing, which I appreciate even if I am not much help.

I played ultimate frisbee tonight with some of my friend from church. I hardly knew anyone there, which is really weird because last summer I pretty much knew everyone. Actually, one guy remembered who I was, so that was nice, because we were on the same team. I had some good plays and some not so good plays, but it was fun regardless.

Before going to ultimate I went shopping with my friend Rachel. We went to two stores in the mall and I was actually pretty successful! I found 3 pairs of pants and 6 shirts this weekend and that is more than I have found in a long time! Plus I had coupons and it was tax-free weekend, which made it all worth it. I actually don't think I even spent $200 on the whole amount! It was pretty awesome.

Then I went to dinner with my Gran, my cousin, and his two little girls. It was so nice to see him and his girls, I don't think I have seen them in like a year. He is going through a rough time, so if you could pray for him that would be great. I'd rather not go into details, but he and his family need a lot of prayers right now. On a bright note, though, his oldest daughter starts kindergarten tomorrow, which will be exciting! Anyway, that made for a very nice evening before going to hang out with still more people and play.

I think I have decided to try to go to Paradigm if I am able to. It is a Thursday night worship service and I haven't gone to one since freshman year. They are amazing but I normally am too busy on Thursdays to go. I am going to try really hard, though, because that will be the only time I will see my church friends since I will be going home every weekend until I move back in October.

So those are the updates. I am trying not to dwell on being apart from Jason but the weekends make it especially difficult- hence why I tried to stay SO busy this weekend. I won't have to do that again, though, so that is good. Good night!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

This weekend

Actually, I will start with yesterday. I had a student teaching orientation meeting from 8-5 yesterday and it was crazy. Well, crazy is kinda the wrong word... more like ridiculously boring and tiring. Have you ever been so tired of sitting that your butt goes numb and your legs feel like they are going to go crazy? That is exactly what I was feeling all afternoon yesterday. I didn't necessarily learn anything I didn't already know, but I did get reminded of some things and one teacher gave a pretty good classroom management presentation with some good ideas. I got my placement, though, and that was a great feeling to finally know where I was going to be. I honestly don't know anything about the school, but now I can at least go drive by and scope out the neighborhood. I am starting to feel a little nervous, but mostly I am excited because I know I will learn a lot and I will also get to try some things that you can't be taught, you can only experience. I hope I am not disappointed!

After the meeting I came back to the house, changed, then went to Dion's for a salad for dinner. Then I went to a movie with my friends from church. We saw Post Grad and it was so funny! "The Passion of the Guacamole" "It is mexiCAN, not mexicant or mexicould" "Cat's dead. I ran over him on accident." HAHA!! Oh, and Megan cracking up next to me for like 10 minutes after a funny part made it just that much better. The quality of the movie was about mediocre, but it was funny and very entertaining, which is what I was in the mood for last night. We then had Starbuck's and hung out for a while. It was a very pleasant evening and I am so thankful for friends like that.

Today was a very nice day. I got to sleep in a little but I did set an alarm so I didn't sleep too long. I worked out today for the first time in a while, running anyway, and I did weights for my arms, too. It felt good to get back into it. I am going to have to figure out a way to exercise when I start student teaching because it is too dark in the mornings, but I hate taking a shower in the evenings as well as the mornings, so the evenings aren't great either. That is probably what I will end up doing, though, so I just need to suck it up and be OK with taking two showers.

After working out I got to have lunch with Gran at Olive Garden. MMMMMMM!!! Then we saw Julie & Julia at the theater (a super cute movie). After that I went shopping. I know, crazy because of tax-free weekend, but the store was surprisingly calm and I was able to find a pair of pants and a cute shirt, all for under $30. I had a $10 off coupon which helped a lot, and I was able to part with another shirt that I wasn't sure I loved enough to buy. It was probably a really good idea, though, because I didn't love it, and I'm not entirely sure I would wear it. I'm very happy with what I bought though.

Then I came back to the house and ate dinner with Dale and Gale. It was a great day and I am so glad I didn't have any homework or other obligations to keep me from enjoying it. Tomorrow I will go to church, see all my friends again (which I am really looking forward to), come back to the house and maybe do some homework for my class, maybe go shopping at the mall (if I can stand to fight the crowds- I have a feeling they will be worse at the mall than they were at Kohl's), then have dinner with my Gran, my cousin, and his two little girls. Should be a good day and I am hoping I can enjoy it as much as I expect to!

On a side note- Jordan cracks me up. Every time I talk to him he asks, "Where is uncle Jason? Where is Abby? Are you pulling weeds?" LOL. He's so funny and his mind works in mysterious ways. He keeps talking about the "tractor" he rode a few weeks ago, meaning the ride his mama took him on at the amusement park. He was scared while he was on it, but now he says, "I had fun on the tractor!" and that he wants to ride it again. Or when he sees my sister-in-law he says, "You fall? Kneeboard?" Because months ago we were at the lake and she was wakeboarding (a word he doesn't know) and she fell once. It is hillarious what he thinks of! Anyway, I just wanted to give you a little idea of the joy he brings to my life. I adore that child and I am having a very hard time thinking about how I could possibly love my own children any more than I already love him. I know that feeling will come soon enough though!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Not sure

Well, so far I have had much more time to blog since Jason isn't around. It is kinda nice to not have distractions, but it is also not nice that I am not with him. One thing that has kinda prepared us for this two months is that he has been working for a while now and I got used to him not being at the house or around me during the day. So really, during the day I don't miss him nearly as much as I do around dinner time (like right now). It is very strange knowing that I will not see him for more than a week, and I am not entirely sure how to handle it.

Thankfully I was pretty busy today which made the day go by quickly. I helped a friend finish getting her classroom ready for the kiddos, which was fun. Then I got my school books from the book store and came back to the house to finish getting my room organized. The closet looks really bare because I don't have very many clothes (especially since I didn't bring any of my winter clothes, that really dwindles it down). I have a TV in my room but no cable hook up and no antena, so it is just sitting on the table right now. All my school stuff is organized on a little shelf and I am trying not to get overwhelmed by the amount of work I am going to have this semester.

Things are going well, though, overall. I am not depressed or anything like that with being away from Jason. I miss my sister and her baby like crazy, but I have to get used to not seeing them every day anyway because I am going to have a job in a few months (hopefully) and the baby will be at daycare when my sister goes back to school. I miss my family as well, but they are out of town right now anyway so I know I wouldn't get to see them if I was at home anyway. This is just an interesting time in my life and I am not entirely sure how to handle it. Hopefully these next two months go by quickly (but not so quickly that I don't get to spend any time with my friends) and I can be home for good and move to the next phase of my life.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quick update

Tonight is going to be stinky. It will be the first night away from Jason since last summer when we decided we wouldn't be apart for extended periods of time... wrong. I am exhausted, and I am glad for it, because otherwise I don't think I would sleep very well. I drove to Lubbock today by myself, 6 hours with stopping to eat lunch, for a meeting that was scheduled for 5:30-6:30 this evening. Well I got to the meeting and it was a whole 5 minutes, basically just meeting the teacher and checking our names off of a list. That is pretty irritating. I am all settled into my house for the next two months. The Latimers are fantastic people and I am so blessed that I am able to stay with them, rent free, for two whole months. It is going to be really rough without Jason, but if anyone can make me feel a little better and a little less homesick it is Gale, and that is why I am so thankful for her.

Nothing is planned for tomorrow. My Gran is coming into town for the next week and we are going to hang out over the weekend, which is exciting. I have a huge long orientation between me and the weekend, though, and I have to get through that before I can have any fun. Student teaching here I come!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I am starting to feel very overwhelmed. I only have three more nights here (including tonight) and I have to go back to Lubbock on Wednesday early in the morning. Not only that, I have to go back to Lubbock by myself, for four meetings over a week and a half with nothing to do the rest of the days. Thankfully my Gran is going to be there at the same time, so I will get to see her over the weekend, which is nice. I will also get to see a lot of my friends whom I have not seen in several months, which will also be nice. But nothing quite makes up for Jason not being there, you know? It is just very stressful.

Also, we are starting to plan our first remodel. We are going to remodel the guest (hall) bathroom. It is the first time we are going to rip something up in the house and I won't get to be here at all. Hopefully I will have time before I leave to help pick out tile and countertops and things like that, but chances are slim. I will just have to find time when I come back over the weekends to do things like that. I won't even get to help do the project very much, which is also kinda not good. I guess Jason will get to do a lot, though, and since he didn't get to help doing the painting and things like that this will make up for it. I just want to be here for those things. it is a good thing I will be coming home so often, though, so I won't feel completely out of the loop.

And, on top of everything, I am starting to get a little worried about my sister. She is having a harder time being on her own than I thought. She is getting stressed out being around Jordan all the time, with no helpers, and I am afraid that is going to make her be an irritated person all the time. I know she won't do anything that will hurt Jordan or anything like that, but I am still worried for her mental health. She is a great mom, considering her circumstances, because apparently it is very tough being around a child all day even if there are two parents around. She had a doctor's appointment yesterday and her baby's dad went with her. I can't decide how I feel about it because it is his baby too (she thinks...), and he has a right to be at the appointments just as much as she does, but I can't stand the thought of her being with him. I am pretty sure they are not together right now, but her being alone is a huge invitation for someone to come keep her company because she hates being lonely. I am just concerned she is going to do something crazy and eventually get herself in a situation that is not good for her or the babies. It is just a little dicey, and I hope she does OK with the situation, at least until my parents get back from their vacation because then she can hang out with them when she gets lonely instead of this guy. I feel a little guilty about leaving because her and I are getting much closer than we have been in a long time, and I feel like if I am here she can come to me when she is lonely and not him, but I can't be because I have to do what is best for me. It is just a little stressful and I don't want to feel culpable if something bad happens.

So, these are all the things that are going through my head right now. As I said, I am feeling overwhelmed by all the things going on, and I am just trying to take everything one situation at a time. I know God can help me through it, but I have to remember to rely on Him, and not myself. He is always good to me, and I am so thankful for that, even when things get a little tough and out of (my) hand. Please help me once again, Lord!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Ok, so we are still working on the house. We have finally finished painting all of the closet doors and they are all up in their appropriate rooms. They are especially nice in the office because it hides the pink that we haven't painted yet, lol. As soon as we hang up some of our decorations I will take pictures and post them so everyone can see what we have done to the house so far.

I just found out, unfortunately, that I have to go back to Lubbock a day earlier than I was planning. Because I have a class that was thrown at me to take this semester, I have to go to an orientation for that class on Wednesday, and my first student teaching meeting is Friday, meaning I can't leave Thursday mid-morning like I wanted to, I have to leave Wednesday early to make it back before my meeting in the evening. It is pretty frustrating, especially because I had to ask about it before anyone told me. This class is going to be a bummer, but I have to take it and there is nothing I can do about it.

Ok, I have one week left here so I should probably be doing something productive (like making my sister's baby blanket that I am going to give her hopefully before Shelby is born in mid-October). Hopefully I can get a lot of things done while I am still here so I don't have to worry about them while I am away. Ugh, I hate that I have to leave...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Internet and house update

We finally have internet! However, I am still too busy/lazy to get the pictures off of my camera to put up that shows what we have done to the house. I will get to that soon, hopefully, but I simply don't have the energy today, lol. I can tell you what we have done, though. We have finished the guest room (minus the closet, but taking a picture of that wouldn't make sense anyway) and our room (again, except for the closet, but hopefully we will finish the closet doors this weekend then nobody will ever know what it looks like inside the closet). We did a bunch of yard work today. I got a good chunk of the weeds taken out of the front flowerbed, so it looks much better. Jason took out a couple of trees that were growing next to other trees in the front yard. Jason's dad, Ken, came over this morning to help with some of the weeds in the back yard and he also helped trim some of the trees in the back yard so hopefully they will start looking more like trees and less like bushes. We are hopefully going to plant some grass very soon for poor Abby, but that is going to have to wait until we get the back yard ready for it. We have a lot to do still, as usual, but we are just taking it day by day, project by project, and know it will be done eventually. Well, like I said, pictures to come in the next couple of days! Until then, more work to be done!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

House update

We have two rooms done! Except for the closet doors our master bedroom and the guest bedroom are complete. Same goes for the office/sewing room but we still have a lot of furniture and stuff to move into the room, so I am not counting it as done yet. The livingroom is really close to being done, too. All we have to do is paint the trim and hang stuff up on the walls and then it will be done! I have a few pictures of the completed rooms, but since I don't have internet at my house yet they are going to have to wait.

We purchased some couches today, so that was exciting! We got a couch and a love seat, and with our chair that we had in the house in Lubbock that makes almost a complete livingroom set. We are still missing end tables and a coffee table, but those can wait a while. We are getting really close to being able to take a break from all the work, but it is a few days away still.

The first big project after we finish all of this will be the hall bathroom. We are going to take out one of the walls in the bathroom and make the whole room feel a little bigger. We are planning to make it really nice but are going to stick to a budget at the same time. Jason's parents said they would help us with that so we get used to doing projects on a budget, instead of just saying, "We need new ceiling fans." then going to get them.

Speaking of Jason's parents- They have been such an amazing help in all of this. They have done more than both Jason and I have done. They know what they are doing, which helps them be efficient, and I feel like I am in the way when I try to help them. They called me yesterday and actually asked if it was OK if they come work on the house while I was gone... Can you believe it? Like I would turn them down! They are so awesome, though, and I am so thankful that they have been so willing to help us, seeing as neither of us have much experience in this area.

I want to thank my parents and siblings as well. They have all helped out: even my dad who just had hernia surgery one week ago today. He was over at our house the day after that painting... crazy! That is the kind of guy he is though. My brothers moaned and complained the whole time they were helping paint and move, but they stuck it out. They even kept going after they found out I wasn't going to pay them! (I told them, "This is what families do for each other. They don't ask for payment. If you move some day I will help you, so you can help me right now." Yeah, they didn't really want to hear that, but whatever, at least they helped a little.) Even my sister, who is 7 months pregnant, was helping us move and paint and do things like that. Obviously I didn't ask her to do anything that would strain her, but she willingly did what we was able to do. So thank you, family!

Ok, enough for now. I will post pictures when I have internet at my house. My house? Still sounds weird. Can't wait to be all settled!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New home

We have, as of yesterday, officially moved into our new house. We have junk everywhere and wouldn't even think about having people over (other than those willing to help on the house, haha) in the state it is in, but we are slowly but surely making progress! We have painted every wall in the house except the bathrooms and kitchen (those are first on the remodel list so we thought it would be a waste of time and energy to paint it then rip it up). We are even painting the ceilings, trim, and doors. We have started replacing all of the switches, plugs, and faceplates in the entire house. We have new blinds throughout the house and new ceiling fans. We are all set up in the master bedroom and the kitchen, but the other two rooms are complete wrecks, and don't even get me started on the livingroom. We can see the progress already, though, and it looks like a completely different house. As soon as I paint the closet doors in our bedroom I will post the "before and after" pictures, hopefully soon. We don't have internet yet so it might be a while, but I'll do what I can.

So, that is the update. The first night in the house was horrible, but that was mostly due to the cat keeping us awake because he hated being in a strange place and he simply would not settle down. We will just go to bed early tonight, though. Hopefully I will be able to update again soon!

p.s. my parents just bought my sister a house, also, and she will move in tomorrow. It is a cute double-wide on a nice lot and pretty close to our parents' house. Everyone was ready for her to have her own space, my parents included, so this should be a good thing. We will see how it ends up and what the situation is like in 6 months, but we are all thinking good thoughts and praying that she is able to make it on her own (with some help initially, of course). I'll try to stay up-to-date on that situation as well.

Monday, July 20, 2009

House pictures and work to be done

So, today I decided to write down EVERYTHING that needs to be done on our house before it will be perfect. The list is pretty extensive. I thought it would make me feel better to write everything down, that way I could get it out of my head and not have to dwell on it any more. Well, I was wrong. Now I am just overwhelmed. Not necessarily about the work but about the money it is going to cost to get this house into perfect shape. I know this doesn't have to happen in a year or two years or five years, but it sure would be nice to get it done sooner rather than later. So, I am going to write everything out here for you to read about and so you can see pictures of the house (not our stuff in it, but when I get new pictures I will change them out).

This is the front of our house. Not a whole lot to look at, and in fact it is the ugliest house in the whole neighborhood. We are going to completely redo the landscaping, roof, stucco, and eventually we will make the porch a lot bigger and bump it out to give it more curb appeal. We will put a fence around it and put a wall around a new sidewalk. It sounds like a lot, but this part does not bother me.

This is the back of the house and the backyard. You will notice there is NO grass. This poses a problem because Abby will need somewhere to be while we are at school/work. Again, the stucco will change. There will a new fence all the way around the propery. We will put in grass, flowers, and trees in the back and side yards. And since the biggest part of the yard is the side we will put a new garage on it for the boat and hopefully for a workshop for Jason.

Here is the kitchen. The floors are nice, though we are going to replace them eventually. Actually, the kitchen is the first big project we are going to tackle. We are going to totally replace the cabinets and the countertops. The appliances will stay the same but move slightly. Most of the wall will come down by the stove so the kitchen will open up into the livingroom. There will be a seating area on the new counter right at the edge between the kitchen and livingroom. There will be cabinets and a countertop on the wall where the fridge is. The dishwasher will move over next to the sink and the sink will be replaced. The wall leading into the laundry room will come down (to the right of the huge cabinets in the first picture) to make a bigger dining area and the laundry room will just get a little smaller. I am so excited about the new kitchen because I think it will make it fun to cook!

Here is the livingroom. The first picture is taken from the wall that is between the livingroom and kitchen right now but will be open once we remodel. The red door is the front door right now, though that might change later on down the road. The only thing we are really going to do in here is change the floors, paint, and maybe expand it out to the left of the second picture a little bit. The second picture is from the hall looking at the kitchen.

This is the porch. The beam that comes down out of the roof a little is where the livingroom would come out to. This would add about 50 sq. ft. to the livingroom, which doesn't seem like much but it is pretty small right now, so anything would help. The porch will eventually extend out further into the backyard, once we get that far.

Here are the two bathrooms. The first picture is the hall bath, the second picture is the master. We will just start with cosmetic changes in here. New vanities, paint, flooring, cabinets. Any major changes will come much later, if at all. We just want to make them pretty and liveable. (Not our stuff in there, this is when the old owners were still living there)

Here is one of the two small bedrooms (they are practically identical, even down to the color). They are really small, so we are going to have to figure out a way to use the space appropriately (one a sewing room, one an office most likely). We will just paint and put in carpet, and leave anything else until much later on. This wall color is pretty hideous though, so that will have to change immediately.

This is the master. Again, not our bed, but this bed is huge so it makes the room feel smaller than it really is. The closet is decent, especially for our clothes, so it will work for now. Eventually we will add on a master suite, but that won't happen for a while, and until then this is where we will sleep. We will start with paint and carpet in here and leave everything else until later.

There is also a garage that will fit both of our cars, yay! We will eventually build another garage out back, as I mentioned before, but that might take a couple of years, so for now this will have to work.

Like I said, this is going to be a ton of work, but it is totally liveable right now as it is, so nothing has to be done immediately, even though a lot of the house is, well, ugly. We are hopefully going to move in this Friday! I will post more pictures once we make things the way we want it and move our furniture in. Pray for us as we start this new adventure!