Saturday, August 31, 2013

DMB - Colorado Style

This past Saturday we went to see Dave Matthews Band at the soccer park here in Colorado.  I have been looking forward to this since March. It was fun because it was a night out with Jason and it was a DMB concert!  However, I was highly disappointed in the set-list.  I LOVE I found it pretty impressive that I could be so bored with the set-list. Almost everyone (excluding those who were super drunk or high...which there were plenty of those!) who was in the stands were sitting for a majority of the concert so I think it's safe to say I wasn't the only one who felt that way. There were two shows here in Colorado last weekend and Fridays set-list looked amazing so what a bummer we went on Saturday. I was still super excited to be there since its still Dave but now I'm just more anxious and eager to see them again and hopefully it'll be sooner than 2 years that I have to wait!!

Second Week of Teaching

So I won't be updating every week but I wanted to check in and share how great my second week of school went.  Behaviors were still there, my lack of ability to schedule where my TA's and kids should be has still proved to be a major flaw of myself and it's still craziness but it's becoming MY craziness!  I have so much more support than last year.  My kids are amazing, my TA's are plain awesome and things are slowly coming together. I survived my first "Back to School Night on Wednesday and I am proud to say we even had our first fire drill on Friday. Without giving any details about my students I will just share that what you may think is a normal bump in the daily routine for middle can be the biggest challenge of the month with 5 students with autism and other severe needs.  But we did it! And now it's Saturday where I sit about to enjoy a long 3 day weekend!  Ahhhhh, peace!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First Week of Teaching

I survived my first week of school with the kids and TA's and by survive I really mean survive. It was exhausting and I am so glad the weekend is here. I have a lot to do and a lot to learn in a very small amount of time but this is it, it's my time to shine and give it my all. That's all I'll post on the job...maybe say a few extra prayers for me this week. :) Happy Saturday!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

First Hike of the Season

Yesterday we finally went for our first hike of the season. Since we are now in a small group on Sundays and seems like we've had other plans every other Saturday of the summer, our weekends are pretty jam-packed. But Jason did some research and found a close place to do an afternoon hike. It was beautiful! The pics don't do it justice but it was gorgeous and so peaceful.

I hike a lot slower than them so they had to wait on me a lot :) 

 Cooper LOVES any kind of water her can get into!

Beautiful day for a hike! Thanks for planning it Jason!

Sunday Song - Christ is Risen

Happy Sunday!  It's a beautiful summer day here in Colorado and Jason and I have so much to be thankful for these days. God has blessed us in every way possible and for that we are so grateful.  Today's Sunday song is more of an Easter Sunday Song but I love it and it's a great reminder that Jesus is always with us no matter what we may be going through.  Even when days are hard He is with us. So today when I have all I could imagine, I am so thankful for you Jesus!

"Christ is Risen" -- Matt Maher

Friday, August 9, 2013

2 Weeks of Training to Kick off School Year 2013-14!!

Today was my first of 6 days in my classroom before the kids come!  So exciting! Last week I attended a training specific to teaching autism and loved every single second of it! I am like a little sponge taking in any information that will help my students with autism be more successful.  I already knew much of the content that was discussed and taught but we were able to put it into practice and then watched how well it worked with real students with autism! Now I am able to put all I learned into practice with my students!

This week I had training that will eventually lead to me having a mentor which I am also really excited about. My three months at the elementary school were difficult because I felt like I was on my own. This time I will have a mentor (and many other people in both the district and in my school) to turn to when I have so many questions!  YAY!!

As I said, I finally got into my classroom today and was able to see IEPs and start planning how I will run the classroom. I have so much to do in the next week before the kids come the following Monday but I am so excited this time is here!  So thankful that I followed God's plan for me last year as a TA which then led to the long term sub job.  Everything is in the right place and I am so ready to begin my first year of teaching!

Goodbye summer! Hello 2013-2014 School Year!!

Oklahoma - The Musical

Last year we went to the local theater and saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and both loved it so decided we needed to do it again. This time we went to see Oklahoma and it was so much fun! It's a chance for Jason and I to have a date night where we get a little dressed up and enjoy a night a theater. We started the night with PF Changs (yum!) then went to the musical.  Such a cheesy musical but also appreciated just how cheesy and clean it is! We decided maybe we could make it an "end of the summer, back to school" tradition! Love it and highly recommend the PACE Center in Parker for a (cheaper than Broadway) fun night of theater!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Trip Back to Chicago

Its been a week since I've been back so felt I should take some time to finally write about my almost 2 amazing weeks in Illinois!

I had such a great time catching up with lots of friends and family and getting some much needed time at my parents lake house and in Chicago.  At first I was supposed to go for about 10 days but then found out I had to come back early for a training for work. I got a little greedy then and changed up my trip leaving on a Wednesday and coming back on a Monday night. I thought I needed that much time there to see everyone and do all the things I wanted but after a few days there I realized I was going to miss Jason and the animals a little too much! But I sure did a lot and enjoyed every minute! It was a wonderful 12 days and I got my fill of family, friends and Chicago to hold me over until Jason and I get to go back together in October.

Some of the highlights of my trip were that I got to:
  • See my super smart and super cute neices several times
  • Meet up with many many many of my friends getting to dine at lots of different restaurants, some which were my favorites and others that were new
  • Get in lots of quality time with my parents
  • Spend 2 weekends in Chicago where I got to see more friends and run along the (flat/sea level) lake a couple times  
  • See Andrew who I used to babysit for when he was 6 months (is now 6 1/2)! and his two little sisters and family
  • Go shopping with my mom several times
  • Eat at Portillo's many times
  • Spend time with my Uncle Dennis and Aunt Marilyn
  • Have a coffee and pedicure date with my mom
  • Eat Potbelly's several times
  • Meet my friends baby who was born in April
  • Have a nail painting party with my cousin's girls
  • Eat at Antico Posto with my parents
  • Go to Willow Creek...twice!
  • Spend a couple days at the lake house with my parents which also included a run along the lake and a boat ride and some relaxing on the pier.
  • go to the DuPage County Fair with my nieces, mom and god daughter, Katie
  • Have a sleepover at my grandmas and a lunch date with her to Olive Garden
  • Get a manicure with a friend
  • Enjoy a little party/get-together with almost all my relatives at my cousins house
  • Celebrate my nieces 3rd birthday at her party

 DuPage County Fair with Kaitlyn, Kaylee and Katie...K1, K2 and K3  ;-)

Happy 3rd birthday Miss Kaylee!

Driving into the city...practically in tears I was so excited to be back in my favorite city -- 
Miss everything about it so so so so much!!!! (well...except the parking tickets, politics and weather!)

Sitting enjoying the lake (Lake Summerset) where I spent just about every single weekend growing up

Enjoying a (very chilly!) run along the lake Saturday morning 

Painting my nails with a few of my favorite girls!

I had such a great time seeing everyone and just "being" in Chicago. I really wish I had taken a LOT more pictures with everyone so I could document it all! Next time! Thank you to everyone who met up with me and huge thank you to Andrea and Nikki who offered up their homes to me in Chicago so I could stay there overnight. Thanks to Jolene for coloring my hair! Thanks to my parents for all the meals and loaning me their car many days and their hospitality. Thanks Kristi and Joe for hosting the party so everyone could get together! I am so thankful for all of you who spent time with me!

Sunday Song (on Monday) - Sovereign

I'm a day late but better late than never!  I wanted to do this Sunday Song last weekend after visiting Willow Creek for the second time in two weeks. That church allows the Spirit to speak to me in every possible way. From the second I walk into the church I feel so filled up, almost to the point of tears. As worship goes on I cry and feel such a connection to the Spirit. The sermons always speak to me no matter who is preaching  I miss that church so much and am so thankful that I can still listen to their podcast every week but miss their worship music which they don't post.

My parents went with both times which made the experience (yes I'm describing church as an experience because it moves me that much!) even more special.  I love being them being there with me and seeing how God is working through their lives too the past few years. Thank you Willow Creek for being a place where God uses to transform and challenge me.

This weeks Sunday Song was sung last week and while I have blasted this song in my car and even heard Chis sing it at Red Rocks in May it took on a whole new meaning for me last Sunday.  How powerful of a song to sing that "no matter whatever comes my way I will trust you." It can be so hard some times but is exactly how I want to live my life and I will use this song as a reminder through the good times and the bad.

"Sovereign" -- by Chris Tomlin