Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Free time.... what is this?

Now that I am full time in practicum, teaching almost the whole day I am down to working only one day a week. And that leaves my evenings.... free. I know, crazy. What a concept. I usually get home from school pretty tired. Those kiddies wipe me out. Many nights I have no desire to leave home, but now that I'm getting used to this whole routine I have this desire to do something in the evening. But it's been so long since I have had my evenings free that I hardly know what to do with myself. Tonight I watched a movie, tomorrow I'm going to Pam #3's. Of course I do have some planning to do every night, but I do most of that at lunch time or after school so by the time I get home I have little to do. It will be so different next year once I (hopefully) have my own classroom, because there will be a lot more to do. But for now I guess I'll just have to figure out what normal people do in the evening. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Two Weeks and so much more

I just signed my letter stating my two-weeks notice. Such a happy yet sad moment. I have been at Boston Pizza for six and a half years, almost to the day of the day that I will be ending my employment there. That's a big chunk of my twenty five years! But that job has gotten me through university, it's seen me through getting engaged and married (not literally of course), and now as I graduate it is time to say good-bye. I am ending my employment a little premature of starting teaching as I plan to sub right after I am done with my practicum, but I think it's worth it to me to have that transition time. So far the plan is to sub in May and June, hopefully every day possible. Then I want to work in the summer somewhere fun. I have two thoughts about that, one is Town Shoes and I just checked their site and they are hiring!! I might have to apply now...

Other then all that fun stuff, today, being Good Friday we were at my dad's side of the family. The numbers were a little diminished because of some people who weren't able to come now because they were out only a couple weeks ago for Renee's funerals. However, Grandma's little apartment was still full. I wasn't sure how today was going to turn out, I was a little wary and I think most people who talked to me this week were very aware of that. But it was fairly decent and my fears did not come true. I had prepared myself to visit Renee's grave which is just across the street, but it just didn't right or necessary. After all it's just her body, it's not her.
It just felt odd so I didn't, maybe next time.

I did however, eat a lot of paska, enough for Monique, Karyn and myself (I had to make up for the missing...) but it was so good this year. With Grandma it can be a little hit and miss, some years it's super good and other years it's a little dry, this year was perfect. Just the right amount of lemon, and icing, and despite the initial forgetting of the sprinkles (egad!) that was rectified and the world was once again set straight.

Happy Easter to all and to all a good night!



Tuesday, March 18, 2008

For Four, now three...

Three weeks shy of her 24th birthday Renee passed away. But those who loved got to enjoy her beauty for 23 years and 49 weeks and how can we complain about that when I suppose that is exactly what God intended.

It's been an interesting three weeks because it's been marked with such happiness and so much sadness at the same time. I have completed my schooling as I have written about, but I have also lost a best friend and life is changing at this rapid pace I just cannot keep up with.

Those who know me, know that I am one of four cousins, who have always had a bond closer then one can imagine. At times it feels like the bond that twins must share. We don't always have to be together to know what is going on and who is experiencing what. Karyn, Monique, Renee and I have been best friends from childhood, yet it always surprises me how incredible different we are. I think we've all influenced each other's lives in so many ways, but what we have in common has dwindled somewhat over the years and yet the bond has remained stronger then ever. It's had to grow stronger as we have moved further apart.

Renee was born with SCIDs, which meant she did not have an immune system. She had a bone marrow transplant as a baby in New York and lived very healthily for 21 years until she was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2005, shortly before my wedding. She returned to NYC for treatment, and was able to be a bridesmaid for me which was such a blessing. She returned to Winnipeg at Christmas that year. That fall Monique and her moved out to Vancouver, and that is where she lived until she got the dreaded words that her leukemia was back in October of 2007. She of course then had to go back to NYC for treatment and they planned a bone marrow transplant (her second), which never took place.

Us out dancing in NYC (2008)

Monique and I were able to go to NYC in January to visit her which was blast. She was doing outpatient treatments, so we were free to do so much. We went shopping, to Central Park, Broadway and to several great restaurants!

Fast forward to the end of February, one of our friends was there with her during her reading week and on Thursday of that week Renee was still in great spirits and Friday morning our friend left. Renee was on another round of chemo and after our friend left Friday Renee was admitted
because her counts were out. By Saturday her demeanor had changed, Monday she was having lots of pain and breathing problems, Tuesday she went into organ failure and passed away later that night. It went that fast!

We never really thought that she wouldn't get better but knew because of the extreme risk of the BMT that there was that small chance that when we saw her in January it may be our last time. During this whole bout with the cancer the four of us have never been together. Karyn works in Jordan, Monique and Renee were living in Vancouver, and then Renee moved to NYC.

My anger has come in those who refuse to respect who she was, and who have sensationalized her. I feel to be so wrong to do something now that she would have HATED while she was alive.
My sadness has come in having to explain who Renee was to my friends that will never get to meet her! Overall, the tears have not come. They are locked in my head. Somewhere, only to be found when this actually becomes real. Maybe it will when I visit her grave on Friday.

This may sum it up-

I have been so used
saying good-bye
and waiting for hello
But this time
hello won't come

and good-bye is not enough

Far away, yet here
I am
for something
for tears, for grief
for relief
She is gone,
but yet I don't feel it

after all she will have
to say
hello again,
if only in heaven

Dancing we are dancing
For you, for Him

The one that we love
You will always be
The Little One,

my friend, my cousin
LIFE even in death
You have been true, you have been you.

The memories we have together could fill a book (not that we're going to write one...). There was so many good times. Other then saying good bye I don't remember any bad memories. Renee was just so much fun to be around, even when she totally disagreed with what we were doing, like going to a Gelati shop she didn't agree with... She was such a funny girl, we always knew her opinion even if she didn't tell us. She was the Little One, the youngest, the baby and even though I'm still in disbelief that she can really be gone, I miss her every day. Four has become three but will always still be four. But I know, I KNOW that she's dancing up a storm in heaven, with whoever will dance with her. She won't dance like the others, she will still dance to her own music. That was Renee.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"That's it, I'm calling the Police"

That is what I said last night, and don't worry I was not calling the police on Steve's lame jokes! We live in an apartment building with very thick cement walls. We have never really heard our neighbors until the ones we have right now. The first problem happened in November, they started coming home intoxicated on weekends, and fighting so loud it would wake us up. Usually at night (2am to 3am) but sometimes in the morning too. And since then almost every weekend at least once they come home rowdy and intoxicated and since we live by the elevator we can not only hear through our walls but we hear a lot through the door. Not only them, everyone that comes onto our floor.

Fast forward to Friday night, I was awakened by a very loud fight between two guys. It was short, and one of them left. Then on Saturday night I woke up at 2:15 to a woman screaming, at one point in the beginning she made comments that suggested she was being hurt. It went on for about half an hour, not the whole time but off and on. There was no way I couldn't do something, this was the second time in 5 months that there was screaming suggesting violence.

So I called 911, . It took about 10 minutes and they were there. All we could hear was "Open up, this is the Police". Shortly after their apartment was silent. We think they must have taken him away but we know nothing for sure. We've never met these neighbors before so we don't know much about the situation other then what we hear on the weekends. I haven't told the building manager because she doesn't really seem like one to care, but I will definitely be telling her now.

We know that we made the right decision, but at the same time calling the cops on someone is frightening and unnerving. We live only feet away from this violence and so it is our fear that he will find out that it was us. But a bigger fear is him thinking it was one of the seniors in our hall.

Have I mentioned that I can't wait to buy a house?
Regardless, pray for these two young people as we do not know the situation.
But God knows all...

I've become who I wasn't going to be

I came into the blog world because I love reading people's blogs, and am disapointed when they aren't updated as frequently as I check them. And now look at me! It's been a crazy week with back to practicum, and then last night I went to work. Today I painted at the new Doerksen Manor and then went to worship team practice and finally girls night at Melissa's. Tomorrow has to be a calmer day so I promise that I will have a long post. I've been meaning to write something about Ren, but haven't had the time or energy to do that subject justice. Hopefully tomorrow!

Cheers to life!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Back to Practicum

Today was the first day of my last practicum, and I must say that getting back into the swing of things wasn't that much "fun". It's hard at this point in my schooling to be still working under someone and going by someone else's "rules". I have a lot of freedom, but it isn't my class, they aren't really my students.

However, there are lots of exciting things coming in this practicum. For those who do not know I teach twenty two, usually good, Grade 1 students. They have a lot of energy and are good at communicating (yes, that means talking when they're supposed to be listening). But they are also really excited about learning most of the time. Today I was doing a Social Studies lesson and we were talking about where everyone in our class is from, well that world map was the most exciting thing I could have ever brought into the classroom. They were looking for different countries, and sounding out the names of some of them. It was great excitement!

Another wonderful thing about teaching Grade 1 is the AWESOME books I get to read to them. There are so many great kids books, and today I read them "Pigeon Find's a Hotdog", a great read . It is in the Pigeon series which includes; "Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus"(One of Pam's favourites), and "Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late". All by the fabulous Mo Willems.

And to think tomorrow I get to go back!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Terror has Left the Building

After a long wait, Terror In Bergen Hall 3 finally premiered tonight! The Terror in Bergen Hall series is something that was started in Steve and Paul's Prov days, where they made one and two. And now, after Paul had been working on the movie for almost two years, the day came to premier. Steve is the hero in the movie, and is otherwise known as "The Steve Smith", so that makes me "The Mrs. Steve Smith", oh what joy, oh what excitement. I had a part in the movie, but because we shot the majority of the movie almost a year ago, I had totally forgotten the content of the movie. Which actually made it more exciting to watch. Possible pictures to come once we have the shots back from the paparazzi!


Friday, March 7, 2008

I'm done- I'm really done

I just finished my last assignment, it is all ready to hand in and now I just have to get through the next 6 weeks of practicum (7 including spring break), and I will be a teacher. I sent off my certification papers yesterday and had my grad pictures today (which were horrible but whatever). It seems a little surreal, but then again everything has been so surreal in the last two weeks.

Tonight I am working, and I haven't been to work in almost two weeks! I have gone down to one shift a week for the next month and then I will be done with Boston Pizza. After six and a half years it seems hard to believe. But it means that exciting things are around the bend!


Really, can it be this easy?

Today, as I am finishing my last assignment I decided I should become a blogger. My life isn't that interesting but there are going to be a lot of new changes this year so I might as well start writing them down.