Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Celebrations

On Thanksgiving morning Adam and I went to church with Mom and Dad. Then we went over to their house to get the cooking and preparing started! Everyone came over and we had a really enjoyable dinner. After dinner Christina came over with her boyfriend Paul and baby Christian. We love to see him (and them!). And to top off the night, Emily and Elizabeth also came by later!

Peeling the sweet potatoes (one of the dishes I was responsible for)

Adam chopping them for me...they were very hard!

Mom handing out Christmas ornaments

Mom cooking

Me and Adam =)

The whole gang that was there for dinner. If you don't recognize the guy to the left of Uncle Jimmy, that is his friend who is in from out of town who had no place to go for Thanksgiving dinner.
(starting from the far left going clockwise: Dad, Uncle Richie, Dan, Uncle Jimmy, Uncle Dave, Grandpa, Uncle John, Aunt Mary, me, Adam, Mom)

Christian taking after his great Uncle Ed!

Uncle Jim, Grandpa and Uncle Dave enjoying YouTube clips of people on Jet Packs getting into accidents. (Grandpa felt the need to sit down in the 3 inches of couch in between his sons!)

Christian making a Christmas list with all the Black Friday sale ads

Christian and his grandma (Aunt Mary)

Uncle Dave with his great nephew

Uncle Richie and Emily


Me doing ball squishes...
See...the story work in the motor room (see the Inde Therapy Kids blog listed on my class website) the OT does ball squishes with my kids and I have always thought I would like someone to push on me with a big ball. So I convinced Dad and Emily to do it to me on Thanksgiving. I did it to Emily too and she agreed it felt good!

Me and Adam checking out the sale ads for Black Friday
(Mom and I went shopping on Friday. At a normal shopping time (9:00) not a Black Friday shopping time, but we still got some great deals!
On Friday, Adam's brother (Aaron) and his wife (Amanda) had the whole gang over for the Hopkins family Thanksgiving. They only have a table that seats 8 (and we were 15) and they didn't want to use card tables because their table is bar height and it would be uneven. So.....Aaron built an extension at the right height that matched their dining room table perfectly. Way impressive!
From the left around clockwise:
Austin, Heidi, Chase, Zowie, Amanda, Sue (their aunt), Aaron (at the head of the table), Tony, Jessica, Rodney (their dad), Luann (their step-mom), Andy, Zonda, Adam and me (not pictured)
Playing Apples to Apples
(Heidi, Amanda, Zowie, Jessica, Sue, Austin, Chase, Zondra)

Chase with his light saber sword fighting someone (as always)
I had two very fun and filling Thanksgivings. Thank you Mom and Dad and Amanda and Aaron for being such wonderful hosts! And thank you to everyone who so thoughtfully made me yummy vegetarian dishes!

Black Wednesday

I came home from Mom and Dad's house on Wednesday to find Adam and his brother working on my spigot. Some background info.....Over the summer, we tried to hook up a hose so I could water my garden. Well....that opened a can of worms because it started leaking and wouldn't stop (it was a slow drip).

I kind of forgot about it because of the cold weather, but noticed the other day that an iceberg had formed on the outside of my house due to the leaky spigot! Adam opened up the wall in my closet to see what was in store. Apparently it looked good and fairly easy to fix so he called Tony over to fix it (Tony is good with plumbing!).

Adam holding it in place.

Tony trying to solder it. There was a slow drip inside the pipe, so it was keeping it cool and wouldn't solder. Tony used the "bread trick" that he learned from an old Italian dude and it worked! The bread stopped the water, so he could solder it and as soon as the water was turned back on, the bread came shooting out! Thanks Tony!

Of course on Wednesday we had to go out to celebrate Black Wednesday.
We went to Boogie Nights for the biggest bar night of the year.

Adam and me

Bridget and me

24 Redemption

Last Sunday, "24" (the TV show) had a 2 hour special. We were really excited because we watched all 6 seasons of 24 on DVD and have been waiting a year for season 7 to start. Because of the writer's strike last year, it was never on last year. We thought the season was actually starting last Sunday, but just before it started we found out it was a sort of "movie" that was 2 hours long. We are hoping that the season picks up where "24 Redemption" left off!

I made "24" cupcakes!

Yummy dinner before the show started.
The Vitos joined us after dinner to watch Jack Bauer on his adventures!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

10 Things I am Thankful For

Here are 10 things I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving:

1. and 2. Adam and my family (I couldn't pick one to be first)

  • I am so thankful to have my family. I love my parents and I also love hanging out with them. When I was 16 I never would have guessed they would end up being so "cool". I also love my grandparents. I am very lucky to have so many grandparents and that the ones I have are so neat. I love that I can just chat with Mommom about TV shows that we both watch! I am also thankful for my sister, even though she is crazy and went off to Africa and I miss her a great deal. I love hanging out with family and I wish we were able to see the family that live elsewhere more often. I am also thankful for family members who are not blood related, but might as well be! I am thankful for all of you!

  • I am thankful for Adam. Sometimes I think that it is crazy that we met randomly at bar (which we both said we would never do!) and now I can't imagine my life without him. He is wonderful to me and he puts up with all of my quirks an neuroses (including understanding that I get crabby when I am hungry and it is not a good idea to change plans without warning me first). I am also thankful for his family because I love the new group of friends that I have gained in his brothers and their significant others.

3. I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful that I am still friends with Meghan after 22 years. Even though we live across the country from each other, we can still chat like always. I am thankful for my girlfriends from college. We continue to talk several times a week even though they have gotten married and started to have babies and I know they will always be my good friends. I am thankful for my friends I have met since college and co-workers that have become way more than simply co-workers.

4. I am thankful for my job. I love teaching preschoolers! Although it was devastating what happened a couple years ago to the program I worked for, it has turned out so well. I love what I do and I can't imagine ever not being with my little ones.

5. I am thankful for my house. I am very lucky that I was able to live with my parents for a year after college so I could save up enough money to buy my house. Although I am not always so thankful when the furnace breaks or the spigot starts leaking, I am thankful for the people in my life who help me fix those things!

6. I am thankful for being able to go to grad school. Even though I have been complaining every step of the way this semester, I know I am lucky to have the luxury of continuing my education (I will even try to be thankful when I have to start repaying my loans!).

7. I am thankful for my church. I have belonged to my church since I was little and I love the sense of community that I feel when I am there. I LOVE directing Vacation Bible School, teaching Religious Ed, and of course doing the ice cream booth at Country Fair. I love teaching kids about God and instilling in them the sense of welcome that I feel at church.

8. I am thankful for Kailey. Without her, I would never have gotten on the path in life that I am now. I probably would have gone to nursing school and dropped out because science is not my thing. Because I met her when she was 3 years old, I learned sign language, volunteered at her school, went to NIU for deaf ed, got the job I did, and ended up where I am. I could even go as far to say that I wouldn't have met Bridget at work, we wouldn't have become friends, we wouldn't have gone to BluRazz and I wouldn't have met Adam without Kailey. It is crazy how one 3 year old could change my life!

9. I am thankful for my health. Minus a few colds and strep I get from those kiddos I am so thankful for, I am very healthy. I am thankful for my health and I continue to pray for those who are not so lucky.

10. I know this is a little lame....but I am thankful for my computer and the Internet. I am in love with the Internet. I check my email too many times a day to count and I LOVE that you can find anything on the Internet and organizing and planning is much easier with the use of a computer. I am also thankful for it because it makes it possible to share pictures with my family across the country and stay in touch with those that are not near. It makes it possible to do this thankful list today!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Nobody puts Baby in a corner!

In October, Adam gave me tickets for us to go see Dirty Dancing the musical. I have been SO excited to go see it and last night was finally the night. Of course, Murphy came along with his oh-such-perfect-timing laws and on Thursday I came down with strep. Lucky me, I have had strep enough to KNOW when I have it, so I went to a Take Care Clinic (at Walgreens) after school. Although the rapid strep test came back negative (like it always does for me), she trusted how my throat looked and how I felt and gave me a prescription. The catch was that I was supposed to wait two days, see if I still felt the same and THEN fill it (that would be Saturday!?!?!) . But see.....I KNEW that I had strep, so after hashing it out with mom and her agreeing with me that it was OK to go ahead and I wasn't taking antibiotics unnecessarily (because I am really against that), I got the Rx filled right away. So glad I did! I did take off work on Friday, because I was not a very effective preschool teacher with the way I felt on Thursday. I slept for 10 and a half hours on Thursday night! So glad I did, because I was rested up and READY to go "have the time of my life" (even if I was still taking Advil and throat lozenges every couple hours).

Adam had a long day at work because he had to work outside for 8 hours in the below freezing weather, so when he got home from work, he took a nap. We didn't have time to go to dinner beforehand, so we got in the car and headed to the theater, relying on Chloe (24 reference), my ever-reliable GPS who has never gotten us lost. We were going along just fine, until Chloe told us to take Lower Wacker. Sounds like a fine idea except....LOWER Wacker is underground. As we were toolin' along, waiting for the next direction, suddenly Chloe said, "lost satellite signal" and she refused to tell us where to go! After we finally got out and waited for her to find her signal again, it was a little tense for a while as we drove around in circles. We FINALLY found the parking garage, booked it to the theater, and made it inside JUST in time.

I REALLY enjoyed the show! It was very true to the movie and a lot of it was word-for-word from the movie. There were scenes that weren't in the movie, but they just added to the plot. It was pretty cheesy at times, but so is the movie! Adam even said he enjoyed it quite a bit! We both agreed that the part that was a bit disappointing was there wasn't very much singing done by the leads. It is a musical, so there was singing, but the chorus did pretty much all of it. For example, at the end, when "Time of my Life" is playing and Johnny and Baby are dancing, there were two people in the back (up on some stairs) singing the song, while Johnny and Baby danced. Their voices were amazing, but the singing was not a focal point of the show. Overall, we really liked it and if you like the movie, then you should go see the show!

"I carried a watermelon?!?"
After the show, for $20, you could take a picture of Johnny with the watermelon...
we didn't take them up on that offer, but I had to take a picture of it anyway!

The usher-nazi came and yelled at me for taking this picture during intermission,
but I just had to have one!

The sign outside the theater!

Has anyone else gone to see it? Are you planning on going? Tell me what you think!


So you have probably head all the rumblings about the book Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. All the teenage girls are really into the series and are in love with one of the main characters, Edward. I had absolutely no interest in reading the series, because the thing you need to know, is the series is about vampires. I have typically have no interest in anything fantasy or sci-fi....with Harry Potter being the exception of course! Anyway, after hearing everyone and their mother talk about Twilight, I finally decided I should read it so I borrowed the series from Adam's niece Zowie.....
And I LOVED it! I could barely put it down for the couple of days that I read it. In fact, a couple of days I was running late to work because I was reading it while blow drying my hair and couldn't put it down when my hair was dry!

Then I read New Moon, the second book in the series. It was like slitting my wrists with a spoon for the first 300 pages..... So BOR-ing! But then it started picking up the last 300 pages. It was no Twilight, but at least all 600 pages weren't lame!

Now it is time to read Eclipse, the third book in the series of 4. Zowie couldn't find that one, so I need to go to the library to borrow it. New Moon had the first chapter of Eclipse at the very end so I got a bit of a taste of it. I am very anxious to get started!

This weekend Twilight the movie came out. Lots of people went at 10:30 on Thursday night to see it and even more are going this weekend. So far I have heard at least one good review from a teacher I work with, and I know a couple other people that went/are going so I look forward to hearing from them. I'm hoping a certain someone blogs about it....maybe even with a picture of the shirts she made! I'm a little skeptical about the movie because the previews look really dark and scary and the characters are not how I pictured them....but I still do want to see it!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Weekend

Friday night:
Working on portfolios. They are a GREAT way to show progess using authentic assessment by using pictures and anecdotal notes. They do, however, suck my will to live. Sometimes I wish I could just do report cards! Aunt Kris, this is the fun you have to look forward to in Early Childhood Education!

Religious Ed
Celebrating Andy's birthday (Adam's bro)
First, Dinner at Amanda and Aaron's house....thanks!
Second, The New James Bond Movie
(If you like a lot of action and very little plot...this is the movie for you! It was definitely no Casino Royale (which I thought had an interesting plot line). Just as a plot started to develop (very weakly, but at there was one), the movie ended!)
Third, Drinks at BluRazz

Interpreting at church
Making cheesy potatoes
Christian's First Birthday Party!
Happy Birthday to my First Cousin Once Removed!

The worst part of the weekend.....
It is November 16 and it is SNOWING. Real Snow! And it was sticking too because there was a thin layer of snow on Adam's car when we got back to Mom and Dad's from the birthday party.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Pack Expo

Adam, his brother (Aaron) and I visited Dad at the PackExpo Sunday at McCormick Place. It was REALLY neat. I was just going to see dad's booth, but I was AMAZED by all of the automation and robotics. Adam wants to get into the packaging industry now! I took a video of one of dad's unscrambler and filler. Very cool!

Mom and Dad's House

Mom and Dad have been making some improvements to their house and I am finally posting the pictures here!

Ripping out the grass in the back to put new landscaping in.

They ordered "dormant" plants...we shall see if they actually grow in the spring!

Dad and Adam loaded up the sod into the back of Adam's brother's truck and dumped it in Adam's field.

The beautiful new concrete driveway.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I want to be like Mommy

Our secretary sent me this after I told her about a discussion we had at circle time today.

Me-What else do you notice on our calendar?
I-Thanksgiving is on 27!
Me-Yes! Thanksgiving is coming up soon. What do we do on Thanksgiving?
D-Eat turkey!
Me-What else do people like to eat on Thanksgiving?

C-On Thanksgiving my dad likes to drink A LOT of wine.....and he sleeps a lot.
D-My dad likes to drink beer EVERY DAY! I tell him, Dad, don't drink so much beer!
Me-...........On Thanksgiving I really like to eat stuffing!

(Just imagine what your child is telling/will tell his/her preschool teacher????)

(Mommy works at Home Depot; she was selling a shovel)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween Fun

This month at school I did a castle theme (as you probably saw on my classroom blog) and we had our culminating event along with a family activity intertwined with Halloween on Friday. Miss Erin and I both did the castle theme this month, so we hosted a "Pumpkin Ball" on Friday complete with story telling, snacks, crown-making, and of course tasty treats. I was a princess using the bridesmaid dress that one of the girls wore in Adam's brother's wedding! Miss Erin was Audrey Hepburn, but called herself a princess for the kids!

Miss Stephanie and Miss Erin as princesses

Last night Adam and I went out with his brother and wife for Halloween so I pulled out the handy cat costume!

The token "take a picture of ourselves"!

Jessica, me, and Devon

P.S. I only got 1 real trick-or-treater yesterday. I LOVE Halloween and it made a me a little sad. I got two 8th grade-ish boys who were not in costumes that came around right at 7:00, but I didn't want them to smash my pumpkins and it kind of made me happy to hand out candy, so maybe I can say that I had 3....????