Monday, January 26, 2009


We celebrated my 26th birthday the good way, where the celebration lasts for a week instead of just one day. Robby's family took us to lunch on the Monday before my birthday, since we had the day off for MLK Day. We went to Tazzaria downtown. I keep hearing how great their lunch is, so I thought it would be nice to give it a try. As promised, it was delicious, although the wait was a bit long. Instead of traditional birthday cake, I chose a piece of their amazing carrot cake, which was the best I have ever had.
The party continued through the week when my birthday actually came. I was up late the night before preparing a sub plan (no, I wasn't ditching school; I had a meeting at the district office), so Robby let me open a gift early. He, as usual, did great with his gift giving - I got a great Juicy sweatsuit, which I had been wanting! So cute! The next day, he was able to meet me for lunch, which was very special. We went to Panera Bread and had yummy paninis and soup, as well as one of their amazing chocolate chip-walnut cookies.

Later, we met my family for dinner at Cool Hand Luke's in Tulare where my dad treated us all to a steak and prime rib for me. It was very good, and the best part was my complimentary ice cream s'more sundae, which, typical for my family, made its way around the table for all. Yum!

Even though Chelsea is still Guatemala, she very thoughtfully had a present ready for me. Thanks for the awesome shoes, Chels. I love them! My mom also helped make my birthday sweet by bringing chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting and chocolate covered cherries. Mmmm...
Think the celebration is over? Oh no. John and Kelly came the next night and continued the fun with us, gifting me with a great black purse and their wonderful company. We, as always, ate out a lot, getting to what is becoming the usual for us: Henry Salazar's and Fugazzi's.

I forgot to mention one of my favorite gifts: the beautiful flowers Robby brought me with the sweetest card. It was a great birthday, even though I now am officially closer to 30 than 20.

I'm hoping the great celebration will be indicative of my 26th year of life.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Long-Awaited Visitors

We have been trying to plan a visit with Dave and Andrea for months now, and it finally happened. They came Friday night and stayed until Sunday evening. Here's a snapshot of our weekend together.
No visit with Dave and Andrea would be complete without Taco Bell. This Taco Bell is in the middle of a remodel, hence the drafty open wall next to Andrea. This will ensure that they come back...they'll have to see how the remodel turns out!
We upgraded a bit for dinner time and took Dave and Andrea to our favorite, Fugazzi's. Here, we sat in the lounge while we waited for our table. No drafty open wall here!

The weekend consisted of simple things that added up to be a great time. We ate, went shopping, lounged around, and played Wii, of course. The new addition to our Wii family - Mario Kart. So fun!!! Dave and Rob playing the game the "bro" way
And of course, no trip to Visalia would be complete without pizza at Me 'n Ed's. Yum!
All in all, the weekend was a success. We better start planning the next one, so it can happen by summer.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Back in School

A week is over, and it went okay. I was thinking about all the problems I did not have this week, which I think tells me things are getting better. Here's the list:

1. I was not called a bad word -- either to my face or under a student's breath.
2. I did not have any students walk out of my class without permission.
3. I never had to yell to get my students' attention. (Most were actually paying attention!)
4. I did not have to break up or prevent a fight from taking place.
5. I did not write one referral or detention.
6. I only had about 10 tardies total.
7. I did not cry.

All in all, it was a good week. Everyone told me the students really settle down after Christmas break, and it's true - they do! I'm so glad I never have to be brand new at Green Acres again. Just a few more months to get through...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Back to School

Tomorrow I go back to school, back to the students, the tests, the grading, the early mornings, the accomplishments, and the challenges. Am I excited to go back? No, excited is not the right term, but I am ready. I have been reminded that Christ commanded all of his disciples to make disciples, and for me, this is where I can do that. Perhaps I won't lead them to Christ, but hopefully my students will see that I am a teacher who loves and cares about them. Thank you to all of you who prayed for and encouraged me through this past semester. I need it again!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Two Weeks

Rob and I have been living in our new home for two weeks. I'm working on putting together a little "tour" of our home, so that will be coming soon. In the meantime, here is a highlight we've had recently. John and Kelly came to visit and celebrate after-Christmas with us. We had a great time hanging out, shopping, exchanging Christmas presents, and of course getting a slice of cheesecake at the Factory. (We had to travel to Fresno for that treat.) It hasn't been the same without our best friends close by, so we loved having them come and stay.
Kelly and I are ready to open presents. Kelly was ready the moment she got to Visalia, but we made her wait until that evening. The deGrassie's gave us a beautiful vase and a gift card to buy something really great for our home. I'll have to post a picture of what we got later.
Rob and John have this wonderful "tradition" of buying each other gifts that Kelly and I refuse to buy them ourselves. An example would be the crocs Rob bought John for his birthday last year. (I'm still sorry about that, Kelly.) To show his gratitude, John bought Rob a polo shirt, something that I don't particularly go for when I'm shopping for Robby.
It's Wii time! (Rob's Christmas/birthday present from the VK's)
Action shot


All finished...
...and serving its purpose in our new home.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever!