November 29, 2010

Thanks for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was so much fun this year.  I know that we always have had lots to be thankful for, but this year I was feeling extra thankful.  Here are some of the things:
First SNOW of the season!
  • Family and Friends
  • Contentment
  • Teaching jobs (both temporary and subbing)
  • Jason's acceptance into PSU's special education program
This last year has been one where we learned a lot and grew as a couple.  Although nothing is ever for sure, and jobs as we have realized are fleeting, I am so thankful for the family and friends that God knew we would need to help get us though.
Christmas is here :)

We got to spend  thanksgiving with both our families again this year, but it didn't feel as stressful as in years past.  We spent the early afternoon with my mom's side at my aunt and uncle's house.  It was so good to catch up and spend time with a group of people that make me laugh so much.  Kinsey and her roommate (Maddie) came down as well...always love the times I get to spend with Kinz :)
Sister shot: Aunt Pat, Aunt Susie, Mom and Aunt Pat

Roomies: Kinsey and Maddie
Me and my Dad

 Then we went to Jason's side of the family Christmas at his parent's house.  Thankfully this year we didn't have to eat to meals...we have done that the last two years....I think my stomach thanked me at the end of the day :)  We played games and relaxed as the turkey took effect.

Sisters
Nial and Kinsey
We got to go to the Singing Christmas Tree up in Portland again this year. :) Even though it is almost the same each year, I still love it, and it seems to help the Christmas season start off right.  Then we went to the Spaghetti Factory (yum!).  It was a much needed and amazing break.

As of right now I have three more weeks of work at Claggett.  The principal told me over conferences that she doesn't expect the past teacher to come back...I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but it has been amazing to have my own group of students and get to watch them learn and grow.  We will see what happens, but for now I am thankful for what I have.

Spending some time with the person I am so thankful for.
Catch a ride on the Christmas Train!
The Girls
Jason found out right after Thanksgiving that he was officially accepted at Portland State for the special education program.  He will start this coming January, and be completed the following March as far as we understand.  He will be taking classes once a week either in Portland or online up until the summer.  When summer comes he will once again be a full-time student...not sure he is super excited about that :)  He is excited to start the program and feel like he is heading somewhere...although it is a path we did not foresee, I know he is going to do amazing.

Happy Thanksgiving...now let's celebrate CHRISTMAS!!! :)

November 09, 2010

New JOB!!!

I have a new job!  I was officially hired last week, and today was my third day of teaching at Claggett Creek Middle School in Keizer.  I am so thankful for this opportunity, and although the last week has been crazy busy, and everyday comes with new challenges, I am so thankful.  I am hired at this point up to winter break, with the possibility that the job could be extended to the end of the school year.  Only time will tell, but for right now, I am a TEACHER :).
Here is a picture of the school...if you look to the third story on the top far right side, that is my classroom. :)  I have been working during my prep and before and after-school getting the classroom to feel like my own.  The teacher that was in there left a little over a month ago, so the room was in chaos to say the least.  I was told to box up and remove anything that I wanted, and to think of the room as my own...so I have been, which I love :)  I redid the bulletin boards today (I put some pictures of my classroom below), and plan on organizing some more.  The learning curve has been pretty steep...conferences are in less than two weeks, so I have been attempting to get some grades for the students...it's a lot of work, but it is so comforting to know that I will be there tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after...
Board all about me :)

Room 300
Jason is also getting started on his new journey...this Wednesday he has his interview at Portland State University for the Special Education program.  If he gets in, he will start classes in January, and will complete the program the following summer.  It is a program designed for teachers that are working already to add the endorsement.  When he is done with the program he will only need a few more credit hours to complete his master's.
So excited to get out on the ice!

Serious.
Jason and I have also been busy helping out with the middle school youth group at our church this year.  We are working with students that go to Judson and Walker.  I am diffidently getting my fill of middle school :)  We call the small groups D-Teams ) devotional teams. My D-Team got to go to the pumpkin patch together.  They crack me up, and have such amazing hearts that desire to please and serve.  We also went "Broom-Balling" with the mid-high up in Portland on the ice!  That was a lot of fun...I was shocked that I didn't fall the whole time :)
Not serious.
Judson/Walker D-Team

Cuddle time :)
Needless to say, we are so thankful for where we are, and are looking forward to what is going to come in the future. :) 

September 26, 2010

Extreme Home Makeover

Well, it back to subbing for Jason and I, and we have been busy already this year with sub jobs.  Last year we only got about one sub job each in the month of September, and already I've had three (one more already scheduled), and Jason has had five (two more scheduled).  That is a blessing considering we have not been able to save any of the money we have made lately working our part-time jobs.  Although we were anticipating, and hoping this year was going to be drastically different with job (full-time teaching jobs) we are thankful for what we do have and the tentative plan for our near future.

In January Jason will be starting classes to gain his special education teaching endorsement that will eventually turn into a master's degree in special education.  He will be going to school part-time at Portland State.  He is excited about what's to come; and teaching special education is something that I know he will excel at.  God has gifted him in the areas of patience and flexibility...very important and essential for teaching in that specific area.  Although it will take him a little over a year to gain the endorsement, he will only be a few classes shy of gaining his master's degree when the program ends.  Getting his master's done this soon was not originally on our radar, but it is exciting to think that he will have that done and out of the way before we have kids and our lives get even busier.



Recently I was able to help out at the Extreme Home Makeover that took place at the Deaf School here in Salem.  I took sign language in high school and so I took trips with my class to the school before the make-over.  I also went through the haunted house with friends a few years ago before the total re-do....I must say I was scared walking through the haunted house when the lights were on!  It was so much fun working out there with my dad and the other hundreds of local people that took time out of their own lives to impact the lives of others.  It was neat to look around at midnight and see all the smiling hard-working people.  It was one of the most amazing and humbling experiences I have had.
 

Just a glimpse of the haunted house....amazing all that they can do in a week!
My dad and me :)



 Jason has also been playing on a softball team with some of his college friends and his dad, my dad and his friend's dad.  They have been playing softball pretty consistently since April...lots of games.  Recently they had a tournament up in Washington....they ended up doing pretty well, and seemed satisfied with their result.  It always amazes me how caught up in a game I will get...they can get pretty "intense"... :)
Tired out after a lot of softball games :)

September 06, 2010

Here Comes Fall

I can't believe that it is fall already! I really don't know where summer went. Lately Jason and I have been spending a lot of time with our friends and family, which is much needed. :) We are so thankful for the support and group of people that we have surrounded ourselves with. This is me with some of my best friends, Darcy and Lizzie. I have known them both since kindergarten and first grade :) So thankful.We are going to need all that support as we embark on yet another year of substitute teaching. I will be working at Starbucks again, but will be leaving Wednesday through Friday open for subbing (we get benefits through Sbux so I'll be there at least 20 hours a week). Jason will be full-time subbing this fall. Starting in January he will be starting a program at Portland State to get his special education teaching endorsement. All the classes will eventually transfer to a master's degree...but for now we are going to work towards him getting another certification and area that he can teach in. We are working hard at being content with where we are at. We were hoping and praying that this year would be different for us, but here we go again...We went to the fair this year. It is always fun to watch the shows and people watch...there are a lot of interesting people at the fair (that's a understatement). We watched the acrobats and the hypnotist. We also got to pet some pretty cute little animals:)We have also been enjoying the funny antics of our sweet little kittens...here is a video of them "helping" me make the bed...

video

August 17, 2010

Tohoe 2010

We got back a few weeks ago from the annual Tahoe camping trip with Jason's mom's side of the family. It was a lot of fun this year, and the weather was perfect everyday. We drove down, and had NO car trouble ;) Those of you that know Jason and my past with car trips know that is an amazing feat. We went to the lake everyday, relaxed, made smores, played disc golf, mini-golfed and played games. It was a wonderful week, and a much needed and appreciated vacation.
Below is a picture of a cliff...somehow I was convinced to jump off of it. I sat hunched on the edge of the cliff while everyone else went at least once. There was a seven year old girl who went seven times before I got up the guts to even stand up on the edge...haha. You know a cliff is higher than you expected when you have time to complete full thoughts as you plummet towards the water. :)We also went to a baseball game for Bryce's 50th birthday while we were down there. It was so much fun even though I didn't know anyone who was playing ;) There is something about being in a huge stadium with tons of screaming fans that makes you cheer too.

July 02, 2010

San Juan Camping

We had our first official camping trip just the two of us. :) It was a trip that's for sure...
It all started off with us driving up to take the ferry to the San Juan Islands in Washington. It all started off perfectly. We got on the road around 8:30am and made our way in good time. Suddenly...about 45 minutes from the ferry we were trying to catch when our car lurched on the freeway. We pulled off at a family owned car shop and they let us know there was something wrong with our transmission... So...we drove to the nearest Ford dealership where they informed us that a part of our transmission was broken and needed to be fixed immediately. The only problem was that that part was back down in Portland and wouldn't be able to be fixed until Tuesday (that would be the end of our vacation). Needless to say Jason and my spirits were crushed. We didn't think we were going to make it to the San Juans. Thankfully they informed us that we could leave our car with them until it could be fixed, and that it would be paid for under warranty. :) We then rented a car and made it to the ferry that left at 8:30pm!!We set our tent up in the dark and 10:30pm and slept so good that night...
The rest of our trip was amazing! :) We camped on Orcas Island, but we also spent time exploring Friday Harbor and Lopez Island. We went on a hike on Orcas Island to a beautiful forested waterfall:We spent lots of relaxing time around the campfire...getting to talk about life, dream about the future and have so many laughs. There is something about being in the outdoors that makes you just relax and be completely yourself; and what better person to do that with than your husband. :)We went to Friday Harbor one day and explored the many shops and looked at the countless boats docked at the harbor...Then we played some disc golf...pretty sure that was Jason's favorite part of the whole trip ;) He is pretty talented I must say...I was his disc spotter...much needed considering half the holes were in the woods:It was the perfect vacation with my best friend/husband :) So many great talks and funny memories. San Juan Vacation...check! :)