Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sneak Peak at the Pictures


Feeling Better

Thanks to those of you who have prayed and commented. Although not much in my life has actually changed physically since Sunday I feel better on the inside.

What has changed is those family members I said weren't calling me called last night. Not because they read my blog, but because they were out of town last week.

Today we had family pictures taken, and some of just Steve and I. I am very excited to see how they turn out. They were taken by an old friend of mine who does photography on the side and is amazing. I will definitely show you once I get them. We did the shoot outside in the exchange and my fingers are still numb, but it was worth it.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Feeling Low

Well if you are my friend on FB you may have noticed that my status last night was less then inspiring. It was downright depressing, but that's how I felt. Last night I was feeling very lonely and depressed after Steve fell asleep. My smile and optimism were broken at best.

If you stop reading right here I will never know. That's the thing about blogs.

I felt last night like I've been trying so hard to be positive and optimistic. About life in general and about some specific things. Like our quest for a house. I feel like I've been singing a false hope tune for two years now as I have believed we would have enough at the end of the month to save and put in our down-payment fund but I was only fooling myself. Even now it feels like we are so far away from our goals. I feel useless because I accepted a half-time position and there is no morning subbing opportunities to be found. I feel like I'm running around in circles and getting no closer to our goal. I feel so much pressure being in a room with another teacher who spends way more time there then I do.

I wish, and I long for someone who lived near by that would be to me like Karyn and Monique. They are too far away for a coffee, or a quick phone call. And as much as I wish that situation would change, it is simply not reality. I can not wish them back for my own sake.

I have not written this for pity, or for applications for a new best friend, but maybe as a prayer request. This is not the first time I have struggled with this but I hope it is the last.

My mind is running and my heart is heavy. I feel spent...

Edited- 10-10-08

Sunday, September 28, 2008

More 101

To be completed this week-

Today I made Steve breakfast in bed... he had gotten up 2 hours before me (6am on a Sunday) so he went back to bed to eat his breakfast. #22

We are having family pictures, and pictures of just Steve and I taken on Tuesday #31 + #33

In Progress...
#45 I am going to the restaurant CHOP tonight with my friend Lynne, apparently they have a 24 layer chocolate cake. Edit- not happening- Lynne is sick... maybe another time.

#94- I have read 2/10 non-teaching books- The first one was False Witness, second was Good-byes Are Always Hard both from our church library. Next I hope to read Blue Like Jazz, and a friend at the restaurant is going to borrow me this book she says is amazing.

On another note... Steve is giving his two weeks notice tomorrow because he got a new job. It's not in radio but we are very excited about it.


Friday, September 26, 2008

If it was YOUR goal

I was looking at my 101 and one of my goals is to go credit card free for a whole month. Today I noticed a snag. Our Yak and Free Press both go on the credit card. Now... if this was your goal. Would you count it as not complete, or complete if you had made no (unscheduled) purchases?

Just looking for opinions. I suppose if I changed both of them from "my" card to "Steve's" card (joint) it wouldn't be on my statement.

Give me your 2 cents...

Cheers to Friday!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

First Field Trip

Today was our field trip to the Steinbach Library. It was pretty good. A couple snags, a couple frusterations as walking in pairs behind another pair, on the sidewalk, without leaving huge gaps was clearly too much for my kids to do all at the same time. They looked like a clump walking down the sidewalk (or on the grass...). The Library is about 4 blocks away from our school and I was so happy to have a glorious fall day to walk there. And we even did some learning along the way talking about the leaves, evergreens and deciduous trees. I even let them feel the different kinds of trees. But their favourite part was the stories. The librarian read us two hillarious stories and she had some great character voices to go along with them. And the kid's "second" favourite... when the librarian gave them suckers.

The mother that I had with me asked me at the end. "How do you do this everyday?" (and she used to be a teacher !?!) to which I replied "With love and patience." I may have to say the same thing 30 times a day but I imagine that as the year goes on I may only have to say that 20 times in January and 10 times in Spring. They have already learned a lot so I know that my work is worth it. Even for the petit paycheques...

Saturday, September 20, 2008


This week has been full of lots of longing... I miss Renee. I long to pick up the phone and call her, to hear her voice, her laugh, her opinions, even her silence. To pick her up at the airport and have cheesecake. To talk to her about life. I think in those last couple months I was too scared, too cowardly to talk about anything of real importance and now I wish I could have asked her what she was feeling, how she was doing in her head, in her heart. It comes up so much more when I sit down and think about her, when I look at pictures and remember her laugh.

I have talked to Karyn and Monique several times in the last couple weeks. It seems there is so much going on. We had a phone call together last week when Monique was in Jordan with Karyn. We've had many FB conversations this week over a book being made about Renee. We were hesitant, after all this was the girl we loved so fiercely and miss everyday. How could someone who didn't know her interpret her and get it right? We had so many fears about trusting this writer with our memories. To me it felt like we were giving the part of our hearts that held our love for Renee to this author without knowing if she would get it "right"... But then we found out more about this author. When I read about her I felt like this was someone who seemed like a girl after Renee's heart. Someone with common experiences and loves. She just might be okay.

So I poured out that part of my heart and mind that holds my love for Renee into words. I wrote until I could write no more. Tears pouring down my face, a refreshing change, a healing change. I wrote about her loves and quirks, her passion and her hope. Renee from my eyes. And what I got in response from the author calmed my fears. This author had never met Renee, but when I got an email back from her it felt as if it was right, her soul was so passionate much like Renee's. It felt as if she could really understand Renee. She wrote how my tribute had brought her to tears... but her response to me brought me to tears as well. It felt as if we could really trust that our memories were in good hands.

Renee died almost seven months ago and at the time my heart ached but there were almost no tears. I lived in that sense of denial and shock for the first while, I wanted to feel but yet I did not allow myself to. I find myself still in shock sometimes, like it can't possibly be true. But it is. This week the tears have flowed. It seems as if the fear that was holding them back has crumbled. My heart has gotten to the point where I am allowing myself to feel and I am no longer numb. There were so many people who loved her so much, she was a great friend and had great friends. I am looking forward to seeing how this book is formed, how all those memories will be turned told. We will have to wait and see. Although we will never get to talk to her again, we may get to see her in a new light as the story of her life is told.

The last line of the tribute I sent to the author was-

She was hope, she was love and she was the smile that we'll never forget.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Maybe the Most Bizarre News You've Heard All Day

I have some good news, but not just any good news.... Krista the heifer became Krista the cow when she gave birth to a bouncing baby bull named Milt last week.

Confused? Bewildered that I had a baby and didn't tell you? Wondering what a heifer is and how it can turn into a cow?

My aunt has a diary farm with her husband in Ottawa. They named their heifers (female bovine before they have a baby) after her female family members (in sequential order). So four little heifer calves became Krista, Karyn, Monique and Renee and so on and so forth. And to further the biology lesson, when a heifer becomes pregnant and has a baby it becomes a cow. So Krista the heifer (and Karyn the heifer I should mention) became pregnant earlier this year and became mom's (cows) last week. We both had boys (bulls)

And to make the story even sweeter... my aunt named the baby bull Milt.

So... I do not think at this point that it would be appropriate to name my first son (child) the same name as my first bull and that's not just BS.


(flowers and homemade meals are not necessary for the birth of my first bull. Although if you really feel elated go ahead bake me something... hehe)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Getting More Done

Here is my updated list- I have 12 in the works, and 5 done (as of tomorrow). Today I went into school early and organized all my files. I love this list! For me it is a way of living consciously aiming towards what I want to do, and who I want to be.

My List
1. Buy a house
2. Get a full-time permanent job

Purchases and Creations
3. Buy a new coffee table
4. Get a label maker... going to be on my Christmas list
5. Buy a new TV stand
6. Get a KitchenAid Stand mixer
7. Get a food processor .... going to be on my Christmas list
8. Buy a bike
9. Buy a new computer
10. Buy a piece of jewelry at Tiffany's
11. Make an upholstered headboard
12. Make pillows for the couch
13. Make a gift for a friend
14. Sew 4 things 1/4 - I hemmed a pair of pants 09/04/08
15. Buy a new(er) car
16. Make bread from scratch (And it has to taste good)
17. Get two new games 0/2... also going to be on my Christmas list
(I selectively used the word get in some places as you never know what people are going to want to buy me...)

People and Places
18. Go to New York with Steve (I've been twice, and he would really love to go)
19. Go to the observation deck of the Empire State Building
20. Go on a plane with Steve (he's been on a few planes, I've been on more but never together)
21. Go to camp for two weeks (not necessarily in the same year)
22. Make Steve breakfast in bed
23. Go camping with just Steve
24. Go on an anniversary trip (probably won't include #23)
25. Go on a road trip longer then 6 hours away
26. Throw a birthday party - My mom's 50th bday party- 09/07/08
27. Have a dinner party once a month for 6 months 1/6
28. Visit a new state
29. Cook a meal for my family
30. Cook a meal for Steve's family (I think this will have to be after we buy a house, there's not room for all of them in our apartment) - By not saying entire family I am completing this 09/13 for my Mother-In-Law's bday- there will be a couple family members missing but we invited them all.
31. Have photos taken of the two of us
32. Send out Christmas cards (most likely including #31)
33. Have family pictures taken with
my family
Visit 3 out of town family members 1/3
I brought my SIL (in Steinbach) a birthday dessert 09/11
35. Buy 3 friends flowers 0/3
36. Go on a hot holiday
37. Sponsor a missionary we're not currently sponsoring
38. Email or call Monique once a week for 3 months

39. Email or call Karyn once a week for 3 months
40. Go on a date night once a month 1/32- we went to the Forks tonight 08/08
41. Invite a new friend out for a meal
42. Bake for 5 friends 5/5
43. Take my parents out for supper
44. Have pictures taken with Karyn and Monique

Out and About
45. Eat at 5 new restaurants 1/5
We went to Niko's- 08/17/08

46. Eat at my old Boston Pizza (for some reason I just haven't been going back)- Went 9/5/08
47. Go to a Goldeye's Game
48. Go to two Bomber Games 0/2
49. Eat outside 10 days in 3 weeks 0/10
50. Eat at the dining room table every day for a month
51. Go to a concert
52. Try 5 new flavours of gelati 2/5- first new flavour tried was Blood Orange 08-15, Pink Grapefruit 08-17

Healthy Living
53. Get a gym membership
54. Go to the Gym 3 times a week for 6 months
55. Eat vegetarian once a week for 6 weeks 0/6
56. Lose 10 pounds and keep it off for 6 months
57. Be in bed by 10pm for 2 weeks
58. Wake up before 7 am for 3 weeks
59. Watch no TV for one month
60. Quit biting my nails for 4 months
61. Reward myself for not biting nails by having one manicure a month for every month without biting
62. Don't eat fried chips for two months
63. Drink only water for three weeks

Home to Stay
64. Create a sports room with Steve
65. Paint a room in our house by myself
66. Create a welcoming guest/Karyn + Monique room
67. Have flowers waiting for overnight guests
68. Start a garden
69. Buy a Christmas Tree
70. Buy a Christmas Tree Skirt
71-85- To Be Determined once we buy a house (#1)

86. Label my files in my filing cabinet at home and at school
87. Frame three pictures I have taken 0/3
88. Start and Finish our wedding album
89. Make a new list by May 12, 2011- by then the list may include... kids...

Can't Put it in a Category
90. Take a cooking class
91. Take a dance class
92. Watch all the seasons of SATC- started with season 3- 09/12
93. Start putting money into RRSP's
94. Read 10 non-teaching books
95. Incur no late fees at the library for 1 year (this may be hard)- Started August 16 with a clean slate!
96. Watch a sunset

97. Watch a sunrise
98. Get a pet
99. Go credit card-less for one month
100. Watch our wedding video (yes, it's been 3 years and we haven't watched it)
101. Blog 3 times a week for 2 months

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My German Kids

Two of my German boys, who I sat beside each other in hopes they could help each other out in German... have now finally discovered that they speak the same language and were helping each other fool me into thinking they don't know what I'm saying. They are conspiring against me and being silly in the process. Sheesh, five year olds... hehe

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Today was my first day with all 22 of my kiddos. It went really well... considering. My crying child from yesterday only cried for half the day today (half of the half day I guess). He even had snack. There was couple other tears, but each of the criers was very quiet about it. There was no huge emotional outbursts.

Every once in a while I try to make up some German to try to communicate with my 5/6 that really have no clue what I'm talking about. For the most part they are able to interact (enough) with the other children and follow the crowd of children when I give an instruction but I feel so bad for them. They will learn English eventually... I thought that the German kids would interact with each other more but they really don't. They are so quiet that they probably don't know that there's others who speak their language.

Today was also the first day the kids came to and left school on the bus. I was there to greet them and so were some of the moms. Some of the moms sent their child on the bus and then drove to school to see them come off the bus. Now that's love. I definitely thought of my friends Andrea and Crystal who also sent their big kindergarten kids on the bus for the first time today.

Well time for bed, got to get ready for tomorrow!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Criers Came Today

I can't really hold it against them. One child cried the whole day but this child did not speak any English and it must have been a scary place to be. This child didn't even want to have a cupcake. Life has to be really rough to not want a cupcake.

That's my solitary thought for the day.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

2 More 101s Done

I've been working on a surprise for a while now. A surprise birthday party for my mom for her 50th birthday. Thus fulfilling my #26- Plan a birthday party. There was roughly 75 people there. It was incredibly frigid (we had it at a park) but she was somewhat surprised and after being really stressed out all week about it, it is now behind me and I can relax... and worry about my students. She definitely did not make it easy but it was worth it.

And #46 to celebrate my first day of teaching we went to my old Boston Pizza on Friday. It was weird because I had not been there since I left and I was wondering how it would feel. Not being there for so long definitely created some separation and so it felt like I knew a lot of people but not like I should still be working there. And BPs now has a multi-grain pizza crust so I got to try that and it was AWESOME.

Cheers to life- and crossing things off my list.

First Day as "The Teacher"

Yesterday was my first day actually teaching. I had only part of my class- 7 kids, and I'd like to say. I could totally get used to only having that many. The other half of my class is coming on Monday and hopefully it will be as successful as my first day.

There were... no tears (if the parents cried it was after they left), the parents didn't stick around, no accidents, and everyone remembered to close the door when they went to the washroom.

There was a minor fiasco when one my students couldn't find her outdoor shoes and so I sent her to her bus in her indoor shoes. Except we solved the problem before she left and SUPER MRS. SMITH got the right shoes on her feet before she got on the bus.

It's all in a days work...


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I've been...

Meaning to take pictures of my classroom... I've brought my camera many days. Except... today was the first day it looked good and complete.

Today was my first day "on the job". It was the first day I had to be there. We had meeting, and more meetings. And then it was Meet the Teacher night and I thought I'd meet a lot of kids but... Only 7 of my 23 kids came. I suppose it makes sense as they all have individual conferences with me tomorrow and Thursday.

Well, I will plan to take pictures of my class again tomorrow. But we'll see what happens!