Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend excitement

What a fun weekend! Here's some highlights...

Friday night, we went to the Astro's game with Julie and Justin Lenamon. Such fun! The Astro's played the Red Sox (aparently a really good team) and the 'Stros lost...badly. Not a big downer for me though. Watching the people arouns us was much more interesting. I love to people watch and try to guess the lives they're living. Do they have kids? Are they happy? Where have they come from?

One interesting person we observed all night was the man selling concessions up and down the seats. Wow, what a hard worker who took his job seriously! His big selling point was that his drinks were cold. Instead of just carrying a few drinks at a time to sell, he carried around his entire cooler of ice with the drinks all the time. He kept reminding us, "What is this stuff? That's right, its ice and that makes things cold!!" It seems there's some politics involved in the concessions people as well. When our guy left periodically, someone would come steal his section and this didn't make our guy happy when he returned. A whole world I've never really thought about before.
We also had a COR group event with our Sunday School class and the theme was ROCK BAND! If you don't know what Rock Band is, please let me know and I'll explain, or better yet, you can just come over and try it. The group had a blast and really got into it. Ben shocked and awed them all with his amazing singing and super skills and I wasn't too bad either :). This is a pic of our fearless COR group leaders rockin' out - Rachael and Nathan Herrington! Thanks everyone for a fun time!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Part II

Dallas Vacation: Part 2

I got to spend the rest of my days with all the people I love the most that live in the Dallas area. I managed to fit in time with Mom (more than just the first day!), Dad, Keith (brother), my sister Anne and the rest of the Kalinkes (Bob, Jacob, Andrew, Zach), Grandmother, Jamie (my super sweet friend!), and even all the Cooper's for a few hours. My family time bank was almost filled up. Family dinners are my favorite.

Anne my sweet sister. She's amazing. She's a mother of 3 boys (6, 10, and 11) and a great example for me as a wife and mother. We also have had a lot of wonderful times growing up. She was really almost grown up (15 years old) when I was born so she got to watch me grow up. I visited her in college when I was 4 and was a junior bridesmaid in her wedding when I was 9. I had a much different life than most kids...but I loved it! This weekend, we shopped around like we love to do and had a lot of good conversation and laughter. She's always an encouragement to be around.

Sweet Jamie. Jamie and I have been friends since 2nd grade. We met awkwardly in Sunday school class when I was new and my mom was trying to find friends for me. "Lynn, this is Jamie." I shyly said hello and sat next to her. She was my second friend in Allen (the first was my neighbor Chelsea). We were a part of the famous four-some in our highschool youth group, four of us girls who did everything together. We went to different colleges but remained best friends. Last summer, she was the perfect maid of honor in my wedding and I am blessed to be her friend today. One of our favorite summer passtimes is to lay out by the pool and get sonic for lunch. Mmmmm a sonic drink, chicken sandwich, girly magazine, sun, pool, and a friend - that's a good afternoon. Well, we got to do this while I was there and it was thoroughally relaxing. We baked in the sun but it was all worth it. Thanks wonderful family for a great week!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sweet Mom

This past week, Ben and I went to Dallas and Arlington to visit our families. I hadn't seen my family since Easter. Shopping, eating, watching TLC, and just hanging out characterized our visit. All in my list of favorite things. So much happened that its really too much to write about in one post. So I'll start with my mom and leave ya hangin for the rest.

I love my mom. Being the last child by a lot (13 years), my mom and I have spent so much time just running around in the car doing random stuff for me and for the rest of my family. Its one of my favorite things to do now! Amazingly, we have some of the deepest, most real conversations just driving around. My first day there, Wednesday, we visited my grandmother and then went to Half Price Books. Our stamina is low so we went home, watched tv, and took a nap. That's my kind of vacation. Throughout the weekend we ran around some more looking at furniture, going to random stores, and eating out.

Another treat of going home is that my parents have been taking care of my sister Anne's dog Cody on and off while they do some construction at their house. I confess that I'm more of a cat person (as many of you know) but Cody definitely grew on me. By the end of the weekend, I was sitting with him cuddled in my lap, talking to him like a baby. We have all fallen in love with him! As all dogs do, he loves to take walks. In my growing love for him, I walked him one morning all by myself. All was merry until I realized I forgot to bring the little baggies for the poop! He started to go and I freaked out. What do I do now? I thought I could just make a break for it, but there was a trash man nearby staring at me from his truck. I was so afraid he was going to come out and give me a ticket or a fine for not picking it up. Do they do that? Well, turns out they don't or else he just let me off the hook. Needless to say, after that the walk was over and we headed home.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Another new look

So yes I know, I know. This is like the 3rd or 4th background I've had on my blog. I just hadn't found one I really liked. I would find one and then I'd see someone else's blog and get blog envy. I wanted mine to look like thiers! But of course, you can't go and get their template (lam-o!) so I had to go and find a cute one of my own to spruce up the blog. I think I like this one...we'll see how long it lasts. I just don't like the ad at the top but it seems that I have no choice...any tips? Is there any way to get those ads down at the bottom even? I'm sure someone out there knows some fancy html. Just checking.

On another note, we moved today. Currently we have two apartments - until Monday. The new one has no internet or cable until Tuesday. Our old one has internet and cable until Monday. So while our couch, chairs, food, and mostly all our stuff are in the new apartment, we and our tv are in the old apartment on the floor. Haha...that's silly you may say, just sit and read a book or play a game. Well, it seems you just don't understand. The US Open is on this weekend! Tiger has returned! This is no ordinary tournament and not a tournament to be missed. So you sit on your couch, you rest in your chairs. I will be on the floor this weekend, enjoying an exciting round of golf.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Spanish Lessons

Today I had my 2nd Spanish lesson. I took a test my first lesson (this Tuesday), my teacher assessed it and came back today with a full plan on what we will do each lesson for the summer to whip my Spanish into shape. My grammar is sloppy and its just been so long since I had a formal Spanish class. I'm so excited. We're doing it Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for an hour and a half each day. My teacher's name is Nelly and she is from Ecuador. She observed in my classroom this past semester for her education class at a nearby college. She did a wonderful job today of teaching me different grammar points and idioms and I learned sooo much. The greatest part about it is that if we get off, it's totally ok because we're still speaking Spanish. She's also really good about not speaking any English. I might tend to want to cheat but she's smart! The most essential thing is just to practice Spanish. Talk talk talk.

Another interesting part about today was that I got to walk in the shoes of my kids (school kids that is). It was really really interesting to be in their place - being a student in my 2nd language. Nelly and I did a lot of just talking back and forth. While yes I understood about 95% of what was said, I missed things at times. Sometimes I would ask her to explain but sometimes I really thought I could figure it out. Wanting to save face and hope to regain understanding as she keeps explaining I politely respond with a nod or an "ok". As do my kids - and I totally buy it! They're smart. Most of the time, I'm able to come around and understand what was going on but sometimes not and a smile and nod is just the least embarassing thing to do.

Then, we did a worksheet together. It was about idioms and phrases. There were a couple that I really didn't know and felt pretty lost on. I sat there and quickly tried to figure it out, feeling a little silly that I was not understanding. I mean I'm a teacher! I should get them all right! Then, without really reading all of it, I just guessed...wrongly. Guessed again...wrong. Even a 3rd time I guess wrongly. That's totally what my kids do - and sometimes they get lucky - and I buy it! They just start pulling things out of their hat to get it over with and hope for the best. I enjoyed being a student today. Such valuable insights gained today in Spanish lessons with Nelly. Maybe sometime I'll post in Spanish...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Precious little children

June 11, 2008

Day 3 of VBS. I love VBS. I love little kids and I love 3rd graders. They are so tender and sensitive. I have loved getting to teach about Jesus and to get to talk to these kids about what is most important to me and what gives me hope and joy. I love getting to sing these little kids songs that have such deep and significant truth in them. I sang and learned about Jesus all week. It's been very encouraging and a wonderful reminder of how amazing my Jesus is.

Today was decision day. The Bible lesson was on Jesus's life, death on the cross, and His resurrection 3 days later. I taught the lesson today. After I presented the gospel, they wrote on a paper canoe (the theme is Outrigger Island) in Hawaiian Pau (means finished) for if they were a Christian, Ae (Yes) for they want to ask Jesus to be their Savior, or A'ole (No) if they are not ready today. This is all in the lesson plan booklet - I didn't just make it up. We had 3 write Ae's on their canoes. They went up during the decision service and prayed to receive Christ today along with a few others. It's amazing. They are just little kids but God has called them to Himself. Today was a very significant day in their life. Its very special and its a privilege to get to be a part of it. There were so many children that became believers today in all the grades. It was touching to see. When I see them, its a lot more clear what it means to have the faith of a child.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Family visit

June 9, 2008

Oh I love family. One of my favorite things is to be with a whole bunch of family - all different ages and stages of life. Being in Houston, I definitely don't get my fill of family, but this weekend was a wonderful dose of family. Ben's parents came down to visit. They just stepped for a weekend into "our world". We were proud to show it to them. Friday we went to Beck's prime for a good ole' Houston burger. Saturday the guys played golf and Pat and I drank coffee, set her up a blog, went shopping at Ross Dress for Less and Old Navy (with much success), a delightful lunch at La Madeline and a whole lot of good conversation inbetween...what a treat!

Saturday night,we took them down to Kemah boardwalk. They were amazed that you could see the ocean so close to Houston. We ate, walked around, and just enjoyed the area. Let us out of Jail! (do we look like we're in jail? I was trying to look distressed)

Pat and I trying on hats
I am greatly blessed by my in-laws. They treat me like a princess, compliment me constantly, pray for us, and have fun with us. They are a blessing from the Lord.
In other news, I did 3rd grade VBS today at First. It was enjoyable and I'm getting to work with some fun people.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Summer time

June 4, 2008

Summer time. Oh glorious summer time. Wow, give me 2 interrupted, free days with no one but me and myself and I can accomplish more (of non school related stuff) than I accomplished since January. Here are some things I have gotten to in the last 2 days...

Working out (twice!)
Cleaning out the abyss of random stuff that our bedroom corner had become - I even found a bag of trash that had been sitting there since like February! Storing trash! Ugh!
Treating my car to an oil change
Found the Library and checked out books!
Made friends with two neighborhood stray cats who a neighbor was feeding under the stairs- very hard to part with
Finished Harry Potter 5
Went to the cleaners
Made dinner (twice!)
Painted my boring colorless toenails
Browsed IKEA
Read some more of Leviticus

Wow! What a chill 2 days its been. It's a different summer I will admit. I've never had summer in Houston before. I'm far away from my normal summer buddies, but I've got my sweet Ben and my Houston buddies and my new cat friends (ha, they might not be too safe though). Oh glorious summer.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Well, I'm officially out for the summer. WOO-HOO!! We had to go back today to clean up and check out. It felt amazing leaving school today. I put on some wonderful music, zoomed out of the parking lot, picked up some lunch (a crunchwrap supreme), and went to the apartment to chill with Gilmore Girls. It was a lovely afternoon. Now, let me tell you that I do love teaching and I do love the children. They are precious and rewarding to teach. I can't imagine spending my day with adults only - it just wouldn't be as colorfulor interesting. That being said, I thought I'd give you a little list of the things that I will NOT miss in the next 2 1/2 months...

1. The sound of my last name at least 1000 times a day
2. Constantly trying to make people walk in lines
3. The never-ending search for the blessed dry erase marker
4. TAKS practice, even the word TAKS
5. Scarfing down my lunch

Now the top 5 things that I will miss in the next 2 1/2 months...

1. Love notes every day from my sweet girls
2. Discussions about the most random topics possible
3. Junie B Jones
4. Teacher friends
5. The constant supply of funny stories

Enjoy the summer everyone!