Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
During the first week of June, I was able to spend time with the delightful and caring Ann Hoemann. When I returned, I spent time with my talented and kind friend, Hilary at Rainbow Softball field and in her pool. I spent quality time with Mom and Rachel on two separate St. James visits within a mere six days. Tonight Elegan, possibly my smartest and most congenial MU / West Junior High friend is staying at my house as she attends a weeklong Nuclear Chemistry Teaching conference (snooze). On Tuesday, the lovely and enthusiastic Amy Wiggins returns to Columbia for a final fling before moving to Chicago. How awesome is all of this? Very.
In addition, I've had nice facebook chats with some classmates from St. James and friendly opportunties with the Chinese students I am teaching.
With all of these great relationships, I am keenly aware of how UN-lonely I am right now. I've had some really hard times in the past year. One year ago I was pregnant and teaching junior high. I had no idea what would be in store for me in 2008! I know that I could not have pulled through it without the comfort and kindness from friends. The Bible says :
(John 14:18 KJV) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.I think I wasn't ready to seek God out, but that God actively sought me out by working through my friends. They showed me God's love when I was unable to see it on my own.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I bought some steak at Gerbes, and then I passed by the fresh produce. I light clicked on and I decided to marinate the meat in seasame and ginger sauce.
To prepare the dish, I loosely followed this recipe from recipezarr. Then, I chopped onion into small pieces (about the size of my pinky finger) and sectioned the broccoli into florets. Using EVOO as the stir fry substrate, I added 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and the vegetables. Meanwhile, I allowed the meat to cook in its marinade until I determined the small pieces were medium rare. To the vegetbales, I added soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch. I followed the Rachael Ray method, ignoring measurement. After about five minutes, I added the beef and let it cook for a few minutes. It was super delicious!
I think I am inspired to cook because the students I teach. Each day, the students scurry off to their campus apartments to prepare lunch. In their Chinese culture, individuals prepare lunch fresh everyday and then take a rest. I am hoping they invite me soon!
Friday, June 13, 2008
We went to my cousin Matt's restaurant outside of St. James. I ordered beef tips, and they were tasty. It sure is not Douglas Company, though! When we got home, we had a special treat. Rachel made an amazing turtle cheesecake and covered it with these cool candles.
Here's the recipe she used:
- 2-1/2 cups crushed chocolate cookies or vanilla wafers
- 1/4cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- Caramel Topping (used the kind from ice cream topping aisle)
- Chocolate Topping (used the kind from ice cream topping aisle
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
It was super delish, and super riche.
My father gave my mom diamond earrings and a diamond journey necklace. When he went to the store, he asked the clerk to show him the jewlery. He asked to see the "journey's end" necklace. His little mistake is so funny to me! Mom said, "Hey, its not the end of my journey yet!". The necklace was really lovely, and it was great to see my mom so delighted. (She is, however, always as surprised as she looks in the photo below.)
Tomorrow, I am planning to go yard sale-ing with Mom and assist Rachel with a cover letter. My husband, father, and a cousin are going to St. Charles to a gun show. I have started to read the Jane Austen's memoir book, so hopefully I will have time to read it on the deck and catch some sun! My Florida tan is fading!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Tomorrow is my mother's birthday, and we'll be traveling home to visit! I haven't been in St. James for five weeks (not that I think much has changed). I'm looking forward to it. Dan doesn't work tomorrow, so we can leave well before Jefferson City traffic!
I started back tutoring this week. I missed kids! One student, T.H., is especially fun to work with. His brain works so quickly, and he is so quirky. I appreciate the fact that he has a short working memory, long term memory, appreciation for wit, and ADHD.
I went to the Asian Affairs Center for a teacher orientation and meeting. Wow, I can really see a career in this! I will begin teaching English to a group of Chinese (Inner Mongolian) government officials begining June 23rd. I'll let you know how it goes!
I'm doing some home re-decorating.
- I bought a great new coverlet that is called "jardin green", but is probably more like fern green than a French Garden. Its high thread count and peaceful.
- I am thinking of painting a mural, or else ordering wall decals. Dan is in favor of spending the money on the vinyl decals and also in favor of painting the bedroom an new color, too. (Painting is super stressful to us, so is generous). I was thinking of using an overhead projector and making some cherry blossom branches or a tree, similar to some on this website, but I want to keep thinking about it for at least a week before I mark on the wall or select paint.
- Dan wants to add chair rails and tile in the kitchen, and I want to add some more color. I've also been working on making wall panels out of sari fabric my friend Amy gave me. I will post pics for sure, but here is the tutorial I used to get it done. I get to use a staple gun, which is fun.
Hm, all for now. I am going to read The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen to inspire sweet, British countryside dreams.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Highlights from my week:
- Ann's birthday! We had a day full of celebrating! We went to a great restaurant, Bonefish, and had lots of pleasant laughs. John surprised her by ordering plane tickets to Jackson to visit her parents in August.
- Bachelor and Bachelorette marathons on VH1. All day, everyday.
- Shopping! I LOTS of things (dress, tanks, heels, etc) from Bethany stores and some souvenirs for Dan at the Jimmy Buffet store. I had a full suitcase before, so it will be a challenge to pack.
- Sweet tea accentuated by key limes. Oh so delicous and refreshing.
- Pool time! At least twice a day. I have spent probably twenty hours in the pool, relaxing and reading. I may miss the pool more than anything else ;o)
- Mini Golf! We played at 11 pm last night. I may have worked up a sweat (humidity or cardio?), but Ann definately kicked my butt.
- Sushi at Mikato with Ann. Hello to my newest favorite rolls, the American Roll (which has asparagus, cream cheese, wasabi, avacado on the inside and white fin and normal tuna on the outside) and Panama City Roll (very similar but without the asparagus and with salmon)
- Reading! I have read five books so far. I will write reviews of them later.
The low points... sunburn, noticeable lack of oysters, no husband's jokes, and making decisions about careers. My latest decision, which I am sure I will blog about... I accepted a teaching position with the University to work in the Asian Affairs office and teach a daily morning English/America course to visitors from inner Mongolia. I declined the elementary aide job, since it paid WAY less and didn't allow me to actually teach.
I am done blogging for now. I want to go on an alligator adventure to Gator Lake with Ann! It will be so fun, I am sure of it.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I had my first "teacher nightmare" last night. I couldn't sleep, what with my sunburn. I tossed and turned, and then I began to dream about showing up to class, totally unprepared. I had a mentor teacher looking over my shoulder and making judging remarks, too. The classroom was so large and filthy. I struggled to get students into a proper seating arrangement and asked them to clean up the walls. I wasn't prepared to begin teaching, and it was STRESSFUL! Even now, my heart is beating a little faster than normal.
I accepted a second teaching position this afternoon for Summer Adventure at Mill Creek Elementary. It will be the 1, 2, and 3 building for the district. I will be a Newton Aide, which is like a paraprofessional. I am over qualified for the position, I know. I only have to have 60 credit hours, rather than the 130 I had for undergrad, 35 I had for Masters, and 20 I had for additional grad work. I'll also be making less (WAY LESS) than I have in five years. But I will be around young children, honing the skills I learned in my elementary methods courses, and networking. I need A LOT of networking to help me escape secondary ed! (Escape in a good way, like move into a new phase of my career).
Its been tough to make these decisions while on vacation visiting my good friends, the Hoemanns. However, Ann, Dan, my mom, and Elegan have offered me great advice. I would be totally unhappy if I wasn't offered ANY teaching position before the school started. I don't want to sub. I don't want to take an non-ed job, and I don't want to choose a PhD or EdSp program just yet. I do, however, want to be a classroom teacher, have a salary, and feel a sense of purpose and direction in my life. Its a shame that next year I won't be able to teach elementary mathematics or literacy, subjects I really want to tackle with reckless abandon, but perhaps I will in the near future. Its hard for me to call to mind that a teaching career is dynamic and lengthy and that I will probably make transitions from district to district to grade level many times.
Here are the PROS for my new school:
- I get to teach my favorite HS subjects
- to quote the Asst Principal "We've got GREAT kids"
- there was only one fight in the building last year!
-there are half as many kids in the four year building as in the two year junior high
- I like sophomores, and would primarily teach them
- small staff, shorter faculty meetings!
- they told me, "We know you want to teach younger students, but we are happy you'llbe with us for now. Our school is lucky to have you, if only for one year."
Today, my friend Ann and I spent lots of time nursing our now blistering sunburns with Solarcaine and reality TV! VH1 showed a "Bachelorette" marathon, and we re-watched Trista and Ryan fall in love. The host of the show used my favorite reality tv show lines, such as "Most Shocking Elimination Yet", "Wedding of the Decade" and "Its time forthose of you who did not recieve a rose to take a minute and say your goodbyes".
Other good things that happened today.... delicious asparagus at Bonefish, buying the COLLECTOR's EDITION COMPLETE SERIES OF SATC at Borders for half off, reading a book poolside and in the pool, my arms turned from pink to tan, laughing with my friend, and talking to my husband on the phone.
What a long blog. What a lot on my mind.
Monday, June 2, 2008
I can't upload pictures using John's laptop, but hopefully I will find a way to show you a bit more of my trip through words.
Not right now though... its time for me to go shopping with my bestest Ann!
PS.... we saw SATC:The Movie and it was everything I hoped! And, best part, no one dies!!! No, he best part are the dresses and the Carrie-freak outs. :o)