Saturday, December 20, 2008

December fun!

Marty's birthday is Dec. 27, so we never get to celebrate with friends because it is so close to Christmas. So, this year I decided that we would celebrate his 26th a little early. We went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants- No Frill Bar and Grill- which if you are ever in Norfolk you need to visit. We had a fun time celebrating with friends, and even sang Happy Birthday loudly, just how Marty likes it :). Then we had friends back to our place for cake. Marty chose a Pineapple Upside-Down cake which sounds difficult to make, yet was easy and very tasty. Below are some pictures of the (almost) birthday boy and some of our Norfolk friends.
The birthday boy looking awkward,





This past week we had our annual gingerbread house "contest" with our community group from church. I was on the best team ever, and even though no one judged our homes and declared a winner, it was pretty much understood that our team won :) We had a great time being creative and competitive together. Check out our house-
Santa is on his sleigh in the front yard, each wreath is perfectly hung with a red bow


Marty's gingerbread truck is below...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Where does your worth come from?

Today was a hard day in Kindergarten. To spare a lot of the details, I had a parent tell me that their child would never learn in my classroom no matter what I did. She told me she knows my type of teaching style and he will never learn in my class, and that I was setting him up for failure. She said this in a meeting with administrators, and various specialists. I am one of the first people to tell anyone that I do not know everything and I am open to feedback on my teaching. Yet, she was putting down my "style of teaching"- or the Chesapeake literacy program- which is something out of my control. I just sat there and took it until my administrator stopped her. I have such a wonderful bunch of co-workers that encouraged me, supported me and affirmed my abilities.

After school, I went to the gym to burn off some frustration and to sort out some thoughts. I started thinking about what I find my worth in. Is my worth in being a good teacher, having people like me and appreciate me, being kind, having it all together, being a good wife/ friend, having a comfortable paycheck, being fit and healthy? These things can get taken away in a second, even when you don't do anything to loose them. Why is our worth in all these non-permanent things? My worth needs to be in the fact that I am a daughter of the Lord and that alone.

Phil 3:8- Indeed, I count everything as a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ my Lord".

I need to be a good teacher and a hard worker, yet my worth is not found in that alone. When I fail, or disappoint, there is someone greater that myself that loves and cherishes me completely.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New continent...


Today we made penguins for our bulletin board outside of our classroom. I was telling the children that penguins live where it is cold, and that is why we made penguins for our board around this time of the year, because it is cold in winter. Ashlyn raised her hand and told me that she knew where penguins lived...they live in Antafrica because it is always cold there. How cute is that!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday's funny from the land of kindergarten...


Like any good kindergarten, we are practicing for our winter show called the "Snow Show". This entails each kindergarten class performing a song for the parents. The teachers chose a couple of students to have small speaking roles before each class sings to introduce the songs. Well, I have a sweet little girl named Autumn in my class who I thought would do a nice job. Her Daddy is "working for America in the desert" right now and he will be returning home just in time for our concert, so I thought it would be really nice for their family to see Autumn have a special part in our performance. Well, Autumn informed me at practice that she was a little nervous, but she was really exited to talk into the microphone. She held it together and said her lines very well. About two minutes after the performance the stage began to STINK. Well, 5 classes of kindergarten students never smell fresh, so we walked back to the classroom holding our breath. About 5 more minutes pass, and the smell is back. This time it is not "Stinky Poopy Pants"(see previous posts), yet it is Autumn! We told Autumn that was really really smelly, and she giggled and said "Yeah, sometimes I have gas when I get nervous!"

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Marty and I got our very first Christmas tree this weekend. Since I am a bad decision maker, Marty made me make a choice really fast. I guess all the trees begin to look the same after a while anyways! They bundled it up, we put it in the truck and off we went. It was really interesting maneuvering the tree around our condo building, into the elevator and to our condo. Once it was up in the stand, it only fell one time, yet we hadn't decorated it yet so it wasn't a big deal. So far it has held up nicely. We have a hodge-podge of decorations on the tree, yet I think that is what makes decorating fun. Who has perfectly matched decorations? Not us. I did make ornaments last year out of brown, cream and pink ribbon, so that is covering the tree. We also have one Virginia Tech ornament for each year of Marty's life (maybe more!). So I guess our tree is a beautiful representation of us both :) Here are some pictures...





Sunday, November 16, 2008

Getting in the holiday spirit...



Marty and I are trying to be ahead of the game when it comes to Christmas shopping this year. The worst thing is when half of December has come and gone and the Christmas list is still a mile long. We were inspired one September day in Target when we saw the perfect present for my Mom. We decided then, it was never too early to begin Christmas shopping. We have been shopping in little bits and pieces ever since. We are waiting for some good Black Friday deals, and we discovered this great website that explains all the deals stores are having this year. Click Here. Some stores are having great deals and some are not, depending on your shopping demographic. Real Simple's website also has some great ideas and tips while preparing for the holidays. Click here . That is enough of Christmas for now, lets celebrate one holiday at a time. As a kindergarten teacher, Christmas seems to last for months and months because of the kids' excitement!

PS- Congratulations to Amanda and Jake for their recent engagement!


Amanda and I are blinded by her ENORMOUS new bling!!! Great job Jake!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The magic voting time...


Today teachers at my school had an in-service day, yet our school was also a voting poll. I had to fight for a parking spot this morning, literally stalk old women walking slowly to their cars to park my car to get to work. Inside, there were lines throughout our entire school filled with people waiting to vote. This morning Marty had to wait in line in the rain for two hours! I have heard stories of people waiting in lines going outside voting buildings and down streets in the pouring rain. In light of all of this information, I decided to leave work a little early so that I could get in line to wait my turn. I arrived at Taylor Elementary School in Norfolk, to discover no lines outside the school. I felt relieved thinking that it may only be an hour wait. I continued inside the school, down the hallway and still did not see anyone. I started to get worried, maybe they closed the polls early, maybe I missed my turn. I arrived at the cafeteria to find one person voting and five voting booths completely empty. All the workers told me I choose the perfect time to come and vote, and they told me stories of ridiculously long lines earlier in the day. So, ladies and gentlemen, next time you go to vote, go exactly at 3:35pm and you'll be in and out in less than 5 minutes!

Last thought- Where have all these voters been for previous elections? That is what I find completely shocking about today. I know that this is a major, historical election, yet shouldn't every presidential election cause everyone to investigate the candidates, register and vote?

Monday, November 3, 2008

My homecoming weekend experience

Let me start this blog with the following disclaimer. I love my little sis in-law. She is an unbelievably intelligent and beautiful young woman. With that said let me tell what I hate (in no particular order). I hate long drives on crowded roads. By crowded I mean two lane roads across the Commonwealth in the rain. Meredith and I drove across what I call the Virginia Hunt Country. Goodness on a normal day I would have peed myself in just anticipation of driving through the area, it is absolutely gorgeous. On our particular Friday it was cold and rainy. It was a terribly miserable drive. That carried us through what I call the highway to hell or 81. This highway was designed before cars could do more than 35mph and before trucks were even invented. Now its dominated by Mersk, Walmart, Perdue, and countless other companies shipping their goods across the country via this integral roadway. I still think its hell. That is enough about what I hate let move on.

Meredith and I arrived at the Sleep Inn part of the wonderful Choice Hotel chain. Two big problems. They put us in a room that faced the Highway to Hell, and the continental breakfast was set up for a crowd of oh 2, yet there were like 400 people in this room. There was a sign prominently displayed that said not to take food out of the room, but with no where to sit I was left with only one choice, to break the rules (I hated it). After breakfast we sat around in the hotel room waiting for, "the game," to start. For lunch we headed to town to grab a bite before kick off. Cathi and Ron (In-Laws) decided that the diner in town was the best place for lunch. We had no idea we were in for the rudest waitress ever. I asked a simple question regarding the contents of my sandwich. It was a bacon cheeseburger melt. (I was wondering if it hand Catsup, Mustard, Lettuce, Tomato, Mayo or anything else on the sandwich. Apparently asking questions about your order in SHippensburg is frowned upon. Her response, "I dont know what does the menu say." Do you think I would ask if the Menu told me what else was on the Sandwhich. Think about it. I might sound slow just because a little twang in my voice, but Seriously, I mean Seriously I don't think I look that ignorant.)

Upon arriving at the game it rained and then it rained harder and got colder.

For the game itself well.... Lets say I have seen pee wee leagues that play better football. There was a total lack of anything resembling college football in Shippensburg that day. The highlight was the band, they were good.

Halftime finaly arrived, only problem was that I was in need of life support. I think I got frost bite. Bethany had set herself expectations not to finish 5th out of the finalist. It was already a feat that she had made it to the finalist. This is not some small school. Ship is 6-7k of the finest from PA. She did well, and looked great doing it. Immediately following halftime, Meredith and I returned home. (Drove through the same beautiful countryside this time with out Rain. It was amazing. I love the Commonwealth of Virginia, The Old Dominion, The Mother of Presidents, The Capital of the Confederacy, The Cousin of Vice Presidents it is such an amazingly beautiful state.

With that my rant over the weekend is done. I would keep going but im getting bored of typing. I hope all is well

Homecoming Weekend

Last weekend Marty and I traveled across the state to visit my sister, Bethany, at her college, Shippensburg University. We went to visit because she was chosen to be on Homecoming Court. We were so proud that we wanted to go and support her on her special day. She was a beautiful court member and we think the best looking gal there. The football experience was completely different from Tech. It was a glorified high school football game, and I don't think Bethany would be offended by that statement. It also didn't help the team that it poured the entire game. Despite the rain, Marty was so excited to get 3 free water bottles from the college girls.

The beautiful Bethany ready to get wet at the game!


We are trying to love the rain.


Marty with three water bottles in his jacket, looking mischievous.


The cousins and Bethany


Congrats Bethany!

Although she didn't win queen, we were very proud of her and excited that she was able to make it that far. Even though the day was rainy and miserable out, yet we had a fun time getting soaked, watching a sub-par football team and cheering on Bethany!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What is that smell?

The past couple of weeks in kindergarten have been such a joy. Almost everyday I am amazed at how different my year this year is from my first year last year in first grade. I am blown away at how different children can be just one year apart. Now, kindergarten is no preschool, yet some of my days do not look much different than preschool. One story sticks out particularly in my mind...

One day during center time, I overhear my assistant ask a child what is on his shirt. I look at the child and he has a big brown stain across his shirt. He looked at her, with a completely straight face and told her that it was poopy, and went back to work. My assistant said, Doesn't it smell? He promptly told her "Yeah, it smells like stinky poopy poop! She asked him how he got it all over his shirt and he told her that he got some on his hand in the bathroom and he needed to get it off his hand! Yuck! Lucky, the nurse took care of cleaning that up.

Although I am teaching my kids all about letters, numbers, shapes, writing, social studies and science, they are still little five year olds. They have accidents,fussy days and still miss their mommy and daddy. It is such a sweet age to teach, and it is so rewarding to watch them grow.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Virginia Tech Homecoming



This weekend Marty and I headed to Blacksburg for Tech's homecoming weekend. The mountains were beautiful, leaves were beginning to change and the air was warm during the day and cold at night. We stayed with Marty's college roommate at his father's house. We enjoyed the pre-game festivities at my old house with lots of Young Life alumni and current students as well. We also had a cookout with friends on Saturday night at the Robinson's. Seeing old friends and being at Tech makes us miss Blacksburg a lot. Blacksburg is changing, with new shopping, new restaurants, and new buildings on campus, yet the small town charm is still the same.




Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vineyard Vines College Collection!

It is Saturday... basically my primary day to relax, check up on e-mail, and serf the internet. While enjoying my leisurely afternoon, I came across something too good to keep to myself. Vineyard Vines has now combined two of my favorite things. Cute, preppy, livable clothing/accessories and college spirit wear. They created a college line which includes ties, bow ties, headbands and totes that incorporate different college mascots. They have represented Ivy league, ACC and SEC colleges on their website and stores. Click here :) to check out the new products. They are so cute!



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Welcome to Kindergarten...


Tuesday was our first day of school, and it went surprisingly well. No one got lost, hurt or sick, which means it is a great day in kindergarten. The kids were a lot less independent than I was even anticipating. Coming from teaching first grade, I tried to expect the kids to act younger, yet I thought they would have some understanding of school. Some of the children did a great job, yet some could not listen, cried or hide under the table, could not hold scissors and cut, some would not even talk. I had a handful that knew their letters and colors, yet some we will have to start at ABCs. Overall, I like this type of teaching more than the older grades. I have two classes, one for the morning and one for the afternoon. This is a great way to break up the day and it keeps my energy level up throughout the day. I have also been blessed to have a great assistant in the room that is so helpful and wonderful with the children. It is nice to work with another adult in the room, it keeps you sane when all you talk to are 5 year olds all day :) I will post some pictures of the classroom in another post, yet I wanted to share that I survived the first day and that I am loving kindergarten!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dear Summer,

Dear Summer,
I am sad to say that I must return to work tomorrow, so it is now time to say goodbye. You always seem to come and go too quickly. I am saddened that I will not get to see you for nine long months. I hope and pray the time flies by until I can be with you again. We have had some wonderful times relaxing together on the beach and traveling up and down the east coast to visit family and friends. Until June I will have you only in my thoughts and dreams. Take care Summer and know that I will never forget you!

Love,
Meredith Grace

Thursday, August 21, 2008

'Tis the season for weddings

Usually, most of our summer is spent on the beach, yet this summer we may have spent more time at weddings, or wedding related events. I guess the early/mid-twenties is the season of life when friends are getting married. To stay true to this stage of life, we have recently celebrated a wedding of a couple at our church. It was a pretty outside wedding on the water.



Because the groom is an architect, they created a game to get everyone building before dinner. We got a bag of supplies, and each table had to create a unique structure. They table with the best creation got to get dinner first...fun idea. It kept us busy until dinner was ready to say the least.

Then we traveled to PA for Sara's bridal shower. Sara is a friend that I met in pre-school, and I am super excited for her to get married in a couple weeks. Here are some pics from the shower...

Bridesmaids- minus 2

The Bride!!!

No bridal shower is complete without cheesy games!

School is right around the corner, so I am trying to soak up every last ounce of summer sun! Have a great afternoon!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ladies, sometimes expect the best...

Yesterday, Marty called me during the middle of the day while I was having lunch with my friend Amanda. I answered and told him I would call him back when I was done. He called again just as we finished lunch while I was walking home. I answered and he sounded down and sad, so I asked him what was wrong and he told me that we would talk about it when he got home. Well, this is not my typical conversation with Marty during the day so I started to get worried. My mind drifts to all the terrible situations that could have happened throughout the day- maybe he got fed up with his job and quit, or maybe he crashed his truck, or maybe he broke the zipper on his pants and had to walk around half naked all day- I don't know. So, instead of worrying too much about it, I decided to fix dinner, put on a sundress I know he likes and at least he will come home to food and his wife. The doorbell rang and I assumed it was our neighbors, so I called "Come in". No one came in, so I went over to open it. There was Marty standing in the doorway, with a 12 pack of Beck's Light in one hand (only 64 calories by the way) and gerber daisies in the other hand. The newlywed still in the honeymoon stage would notice the flowers and squeal with joy, yet all I did was look at the beer and then at the flowers and said "What did you do!" Marty just said "nothing!" and kissed me hello. It turned out that Marty just had a long tiring day and wanted to have a relaxing night. So, ladies, sometimes our hubbies do actually do silly things, yet sometimes just expect the best from them :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Welcome to our new home!

Up until this point in my life I would have never guessed I would enjoy "city" life. Granted, Norfolk is no BIG city, yet there some tall buildings and city-like aspects to Norfolk. Nevertheless, I have truly enjoyed living in our condo near downtown. As I have said in previous blog posts, we are so close to The Market (grocery store), the mall, restaurants, and the harbor. It has been a fun change from the small town life in Blacksburg. As promised, I have included some pictures as well.




We love the exposed bricks, beams, duct work in the high ceilings.



My favorite spot!

Our "backyard"


Family visit for a nice lunch at the Freemason Abbey