Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas

Christmas started on Saturday, December 20th for us. My family had a family picture scheduled for 9:30am that morning. It was our first family picture in years - probably when I was a 7th grader. It ended up being a pretty good picture considering we had lots of little kids to manage. I took some pictures of my family's Christmas. It is hard not to take pictures of such cuteness! It was a good Christmas celebration at my home. Lots of food as always, but lots of joy and fun as well. My niece got a porcelain tea set for Christmas, so we had a little tea party on Saturday. Sunday, everyone came back to my parents home for more food and more family.

On Monday, I went shopping with Sandy - both of us searching for a few more presents. In the evening, Jeremy and I went to my old youth group get together. It was a sparse gathering as some of the crew were sick and some were still working. It was a good time nonetheless.

Tuesday, Jeremy and I spent time in Canton wrapping up our Christmas shopping. I had a Rockne's gift certificate from last Christmas. We ate there for lunch; it was delicious. For those living in the Canton/Massillon areas, I recommend trying out this restaurant. Yum. That evening, we hung out with my parents. We had waffles and white sauce. Although I felt I had eaten myself silly, I found room for this delicious breakfast dish!

We had the opportunity to go hang out in the morning in Ashland with my brother Nate's family. My little nieces, Sophie and Chloe, are always a ball of fun. Chloe was in quite a mood, but still such a blessing. Sophie and I read about Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and the Human Body. Did you know that if uncut, your fingernails would be 12 feet long? Or did you know that 10,000 strands of hair tied together would be strong enough to lift and automobile... and you have over 100,000 strands of hair on head! So, that one shampoo commercial is real! That evening we headed to the Yoh house to see Jason, Jennifer, and Jeremy's parents.

Christmas day we celebrated first with Jeremy's immediate family, and then we headed to the Bricker Christmas. That is always a festive time. There are about 30 people that gather together in one house to eat, fellowship, and share presents. I got fuzzy bunny slippers from one of the cousins in the gift exchange. They are fantastic! Jeremy got a gift card to Home Depot - looks like some home repairs coming up! In addition, his uncle David had been working to clean up the farm this past summer. During his clean up, he recylced all kinds of scrap metal. He was on his way to recycle the copper wire from an old welder, when he had another idea. He took teh copper to a local jeweler and had pieces of jewelry made for everyone. It is very pretty. Some of you may have read the story in the Daily Record.

Friday and Saturday was more hang out time with the Yohs. We went to MacKenzie's Jewelers in Wooster, ate at the Broken Rock Cafe, and went to the Tschiegg reunion. We headed home on Saturday night. It was good to be back in Columbus. There is just something to be said to coming home! Jeremy is working at the Indianapolis Colts game today - in Indianapolis. It sounds like a lot of fun. Hopefully, it will be. I am sitting here watching movies and doing laundry. I started with One Night with the King, which is the story of Esther. It is pretty good. I also have Catch and Release and The Great Debators on the line up! We hope everyone had a great Christmas and may you carry the hope of Christ into the new year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yea!

We got it! Well, almost. I am referring to the car that we hoped would be available and hoped that checked out and hoped would fit our budget. I met Jeremy during my lunch hour on Monday to test drive the car. It seemed to drive well and the carfax looked good. We made an offer; they countered with what we hoped for; we put a deposit on it. That is why I said we almost got it. The insurance company is still working to get us our insurance check. When that happens, we can go pay for it and bring it home. :) Oh, I forgot to say what we got... a 2003 Honda Accord, 4-door, in a gray-blue color, with 76,000 miles - exactly what we wanted :) Thank you, God, for blessing us with something in our budget.

In other news, Jeremy is officially done with his first quarter of classes to get his GIS certification, only 2 more to go! I have exactly 3 more days of school before break. I am both excited and dreading it. It will be a lot of work because I am working with my kids to mix cut out cookies, roll out, cut and bake cookies, and finally to frost and eat cookies! Whew! I think it is lot of work to do this on my own; I am sure it will be no easier to do it with 25 high school students. I'm going to try to take pictures; hopefully, I can post some that don't show faces (against confidentiality). We still have some Christmas shopping to do - actually, we have all our Christmas shopping to do! I think this will be a busy few days. Have a great week everyone.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Car Shopping

It is exhausting to shop for cars. There so many different types of cars. In one used car lot, I had a field day because all the cars were unlocked, and I could just climb in and out of all of them to see how spacious they were. It was very exciting! I learned that salesmen are currently desparate people who don't have the time to listen to your needs, they just know what they need to sell to make ends meet. News to the salesman: You would sell more cars if you listened to your customer. I learned that finding a Honda Accord (or Toyota Camry) with decent mileage, in decent condition, for $10,000 or under is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I learned that I love the heated leather seat, but not enough to pay a few thousand dollars more to get it. I learned that I would like to be done car shopping sooner, rather than later, but I am willing to wait it out for a good deal. That said, we have our eye on a car that will hopefully still be for sale by tomorrow, and that will hopefully have a clean history, and that will hopefully be bought by us! We still have hope. :)

Otherwise, this is my last week of school - yea! I am planning on making cut out cookies with my students. It sounds exhausting, but was not as time consuming as actually starting a new science topic. We'll save force, energy, and simple machines for after the holidays :) I hope everyone has a great week. Stay focused on the promise this season has brought us in Jesus' birth and not the hecticness of the material holiday it has become.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Crazy Week

It has been over a week since I blogged. For those who check daily, I apologize. This week has been crazy. It started Saturday. If you recall it snowed last Saturday. ODOT did not think that they needed to treat the roads; Jeremy and I wanted to go to my staff party down south. We headed slowly, but surely down I-270. We started counting vehicles in the ditch, spun the wrong direction, or otherwise impaired. We were at 17 by the time we reached our destination about 25 miles from home. We looked around the ceramics studio of the woman hosting (an art teacher at the school). She had some great stuff. They also had a small Christmas tree farm. We decided to pick up a tree. (Side note: One of the people in our small group is teaching a boy whose family is transitioning out of homelessness. Their apartment had nothing but an air mattress in it. We collected furniture, blankets, pillows, pots, pans, etc to give them. We thought it would be fun for them to have some Christmas decorations and gifts as well. The tree went to them.) We strapped on the tiny tree and headed out about 4pm. We made it about 8 miles or so traveling at about 35 mph on 33N (near Hamilton Road at Ricart Ford, for those that know the area) when we hit a slick spot in the road. We started to spin to the left; Jeremy corrected the vehicle, but instead of pointing forward we continued traveling around in a clockwise circle. The truck (Toyota Tundra) behind us could not stop and we collided with them. It spun both of our vehicles into the space between the highway and an entrance ramp; that was a blessing from God because we were out of the way of oncoming traffic. Both vehicles did not look great and were not driveable. All four passengers in their truck and we were okay - no injuries. I think it was because we were driving slowly - and God was with us. A random tow truck was driving by and felt sorry for us since it dark and cold and we had a Christmas tree on our roof. They towed both vehicles to their collision shop which was also a rental car facility. So, right now, Jeremy is driving a "sweet" Suzuki Forenza. We learned on Thursday that both vehicles are going to be considered a total loss. Apparently, in addition to the bumber, grill, and hood being damaged on ours, the frame was cracked as well. We received a decent sum of money from insurance to go car hunting. The process will begin today!

I had Parent Teacher Conferences on Tuesday night. That is a bad day to have conferences because you have so many days of the week left to go. I was at school for 13 hours that day. One of my conferences of the night was really hard. There are a lot of issues with the family that explain a lot of what my student is going through. We rescheduled to follow up them for a longer conversation and look at ways to get them help. The next day things spiraled out of control, and the situation just got worse. I can't go into detail, but please pray in general for families. There are a lot of families that don't see the holidays as a joyful time, but one of lonliness and disappointments. It makes me more thankful for my relationship with my family and a God who will never disappoint me.

The week just continued to be stressful as we waited for news on our car and tried to make decisions. I have been more optimistic than I anticipated, which is also a blessing. I have one more week of school, and Jeremy has one more week of latch-key work before we are off for Christmas break. We are looking forward to going to my family's Christmas celebration this coming weekend. Then, enjoying Christmas Eve and Day with the Yoh's and the Bricker's. I hope that each of you will take time to enjoy family and the blessing of our Lord and Savior during this Christmas season. (And I will try to blog a few times this week!)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Countdown: 10 School days

Really, this is the New York Update, but it feels so good to say I only have 10 more days of school. Today, one of my students that is out in the general education class decided to jump up as entering the classroom and hit the exit sign at the beginning of 7th period. Not the best idea, as the sign sparked in many directions, and led to the power going out throughout that wing of the building! When the teacher asked why he did that, he said, "Because you never said we shouldn't." Duh. We'll have to deal with that on Monday - funny and stupid all at once!
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So New York City... We arrived at Jennifer and Jason's apartment about 10:30pm or so. I was very tired. We went to bed not long after arriving; thank goodness! The next morning we woke up slowly. We talked about what we wanted to do on Friday. Somehow, going to Macy's made it to the top of the list! So, we took the train to Mahattan and joined the millions of people already at Macy's. You can see Jennifer, Jason, and I outside one of the entrances. The interior shot was taken while going up our first escalator. This is the first floor craziness. We continued to travel to the 8th level where the toys and the North Pole were. Jeremy and I were able to get our picture taken with the moose man :) We also went to Rockefeller Plaza to see the very BIG Christmas tree and ice rink. It was pretty, but not what I pictured in my head. The one picture is of us with the tree in the background. We headed back to the house after eat lunch at a little Italian eatery. We cooked up Thanksgiving dinner for the evening. You can see the tables where we ate; there were eight of us with Jason's friend and Jennifer's boyfriend. It was good, and obviously filling meal. We managed to get to bed quite late Friday night.
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Saturday, started about the same as Friday - getting up slowly and deciding what to do. We decided to try to take the ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This ended up being what every other visitor in town decided to do. So, we changed our minds and headed to South Side Bay (I think that was the name). They have small shops, big, tall ships, and a museum. Jeremy, Jason, and I walked past the previous site of the World Trade Center, since I had never been there. It was all under construction and there was not much to see. The one picture is of Jeremy with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. The other picture is of Gloria and I with the big, tall ships in the background.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Countdown: 13 days

Yes, that is my school days countdown to Christmas vacation. This week has actually started off fairly well. Learning about density is a ton of fun - really, because it has a lot of demos to do to show the kids what density is.

We made it home from NYC at 6:30pm on Sunday night. I will blog about the trip AND post pictures; I just haven't had the time. Until then, I hope everyone has a great week.