Saturday, November 28, 2009

Well it has been a pretty busy few days here. We had a very nice Thanksgiving with our family and friends. We had two special guests all the way from China celebrating their very first Thanksgiving. My parents and brother work with International Students Inc. and have become friends with these students. One is attending Arizona State and the other is going to the International School of Global Management. I don't think a smoked turkey has ever had it's pictures taken as much as this one did. It was fun watching their expressions as they tried to take it all in. They definitely had a sweet tooth. They really seemed to enjoy the Dream Pie, a staple at most of our family gatherings. After lunch, we all when on a little hike. It was a beautiful day to work off all those Thanksgiving calories.

It has always been a tradition to get up early the day after Thanksgiving to see if we can get any great deals the stores are offering. My family has probably been doing this for the past 30 years. Well this year would be no different. I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. and met my mom at Steinmart by 6:30!! I know most people will find this weird, but I think it is fun to go out in the morning while it is still dark. However, I would only do this one day a year. I do have standards. I would not wait all night in line or be at any store before 4! We like to go out the day after Christmas too, but it's usually 8. And yes, we did find some good deals!! By noon, we were dragging so we went back to my parent's for lunch. Some of use took a nap. Later in the day, my whole family went to see The Christmas Carol. A great movie for the holidays.

Today I spent most of the day taking down fall decorations and putting up Christmas. I need to find a couple more extension chords, but at least the Christmas tree's lights are on. The weather has turned a little cooler here, so it kind of feels like the holidays. I never thought 55 degrees would seem cold!

I guess this is all for now. I hope everyone has had a great holiday weekend.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Well, I'm ready to get this short week started. I can't believe that the holidays are just around the corner.
I'm stuffed as I'm writing this post tonight. I tried a new taco soup recipe today. It was so good and easy!! Just the requirements I need to cook. I had it simmering all day in the crock pot which I think made the flavor even better. I'm thinking it might taste good for lunch tomorrow. Lunches are probably my least favorite meal. It seems it is so hard to come up with something that sounds good the night before! I'm really enjoying cooking, but coming up with the ideas are probably the most difficult. I found a great website that has a load of recipes. has practically any recipe you could think of and even more.

Yesterday I took my early childhood test for certification. My license is k-8, but I decided while I have the years of experience, to go ahead and see if I can get that on my certificate. There were over 1,000 people there taking tests, so parking was an issue. Fortunately I allowed enough time that even though I had to walk a mile, I still made it on time.

Later in the afternoon, my mom and I did some grocery shopping. BIG MISTAKE!! Everyone in Scottsdale had the same idea. Usually we shop around 9 or 10 at night when all is quiet and the aisles are clear. I definitely had to work on my patience skills because it was not quiet and the aisles were full of other people trying to get their Thanksgiving shopping completed. I know one thing. I will not be going to the store on Wednesday!!! If I can help it. :)

Well I need to get to bed. 5:45 will be here before I know it. Have a wonderful Monday!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wow what a week!! This has been a very busy, but nice week. Here is a very brief recap.

After class on Tuesday night, we had dinner with my dad and cousin who was in town from Dallas. We figured that it had been 17 years since we last saw each other!! It was nice to catch up. We had dinner at Monti's near ASU. We had never been there, but the restaurant has been a landmark in Phoenix for some time. Very rustic and western. I thought we were going to get lost as they seated us as it seemed we winded around and around.

On Wednesday, we did a very minor hike up Pinnacle Peak. We had not done this trail in several months, so I was hoping it would be easier since we have been hiking four miles every week for the last month. Well, what a difference a month made!! I felt like we could have gone further, but time did not permit it. It's nice all that hard work is paying off! With everyone schedules this weekend, we probably will not go out until next Wednesday.

Since Wednesday was Veteran's Day, I was off from school. My mom and I did some shopping. She took me to great consignment store. I found a sweater that will be perfect for Arizona winter. I think this will be a favorite place to shop. As great as it was to have the day off, it really confused me the rest of the week. I woke up on Friday thinking it was Saturday!! Oh well, at least I didn't miss Saturday!

Thursday night we went to Harkens theater to watch Journey to Everest presented by Mission One. Mission One supports key leaders and national missionary teams doing evangelism, church planting and holistic ministry among Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and tribal peoples in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They are located in Scottsdale. The film was great. The director, David Kiern is developing movies that are adventure/faith documentaries. One thing I know after watching the movie, I have a long way to go before I would ever attempt to hike to Everest base camp!!

Well, once I realized that it was Friday and not Saturday I finally got myself to school. It was a pretty good day. I can't believe that Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away though. Friday night we decided to experience some of the local entertainment and went to Fort McDowell's Adventures. I was a little concern when we got off the highway and proceeded to go down and dark, dust road which felt like miles (it was only 2, but hey it was dark outside). I was pleasantly surprised when we finally got there. It is definitely a family event. It is set in an old adobe mission. They had everything form hayrides to Famous Dave's Barbecue. Live music complemented the evening. The only downside was how dusty the car got. Lucky for us, my dad likes to clean cars!!!

This morning, we got up early to help with the all work day at church. I was assigned to the administration offices. I dusted, swept, and cleaned a few bathrooms. We worked along with one of the full-time facilities members. Afterwards, I thanked her for the work she did. I know she gets paid, but that is still a lot of work they do every week. I did learn a very important cleaning lesson today. You should not overlook dusting the office chairs!! I came home this afternoon and cleaned ours. They were not a pretty sight!!

I guess this pretty much raps up the week. I'm not sure I was brief though. Hope everyone has a great weekend.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

I guess it has been awhile since my last post. I thought I would start out the night with some Christmas music. It may seem early, but I wanted to really enjoy the season. I think Celine Dion has a wonderful voice, so who better than to sing O' Holy Night. I hope you enjoy. Come back to hear more later."

We are trying to recuperate from our hike this afternoon. Again, I was hoping it would be getting easier. It is such a feeling of accomplishment when we come down that last mile. All the sweat and tears seem to be worth it. Okay, maybe not a lot of tears, but definitely a lot of sweat. We met a nice couple at the peak who told us about another trail that offered some wonderful scenery. I had to laugh when I asked them how often they do the Gateway Pass. They very politely said, "Oh we come out every day." I can only hope that someday I can say the same thing. Let's just say that if I did it everyday, I would look just like them. Not an ounce of fat to be found!!!

We celebrated my dad's birthday last night. They grilled steak and my mom made red velvet cake (I think I know why we are all hiking). He wanted a hiking pole and a water hydration pack. We found a great pole at Cabelas and today he found a camelbak to hold his water and any other supplies. I know I really like my pack. Can't imagine not having it when you are out in the middle of the desert.

School is going great. This week we had some visitors from the district office visit our sixth grade tutorial class. They seemed very excited to see the students using Cornell notes and working in learning communities. I'm currently developing an inquiry based science learning project that we will be conducting with the sixth grade next spring. I am hoping to have some collaboration with some local companies and higher institutions. I'm looking forward to the possibilities.

I guess it's time for a nice hot shower. Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend.