Thursday, August 19, 2010

Taken for Granted

Sometimes I take things for granted and get so wrapped up in my own world that I begin to think that my problems are huge and that no one else could possibly be struggling as much as me. But tonight I was reminded that my problems are so small in comparison to the struggles that others face. I read a blog of a woman that I barely know who has been dealt an awful bloww in life, and I was amazed, inspired really by her faith, her strength, her courage, and her determination. I'm not sure that I would ever feel the same if I had gone through what she had, but I hope and pray that I draw closer to my God, so that if that storm ever did come I would have the faith to stand strong. To the anonymous woman, who inspired me today, thank you and may God bless you for your faithfulness and courage and for your ability to maintain dignity and grace in the face of hard times.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Car!

So after 7 years of driving my Jeep, Tyler and I decided it was time to retire it. For one, the Jeep was beginning to experience some problems like the window button not working on the passenger side, the front speakers being blown, the air randomly going out as I was driving, and the check engine light coming on every time we got gas in the car. The Jeep had also surpassed the 100,000 mile mark this year while traveling between two schools, so we were a little concerned about any major problems that could start to pop up. And of course we are thinking that in the future we will need a more "family friendly" car, so we decided to go shopping. But we had no idea that we were going to be purchasing a new vehicle so soon. We went to the Kia dealership to test drive a Sorrento, because I had decided a year ago that it was the car I wanted. Tyler wasn't too sure, but he had done his research and when they offered us $4,000 for our Jeep, well, we couldn't refuse such a good deal. So after 7 years of fond memories, driving to college, hauling things to our new house, driving it to Tennessee for our honeymoon and all the other trips we've taken, it was time to say good-bye to my 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport and hello to my pacific blue 2011 Kia Sorrento!! :)

I'll miss the Jeep, but I gotta say that I love my new Kia!! :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Florida Trip

I realize that I am a few months behind in posting this, but with all the craziness after we got home I never had time to share about my trip to Florida. We had such a good time. It was relaxing and peaceful, it gave Tyler and I a chance to reconnect and spend some quality time together, which seems to be quite the struggle when we're at home and both working.
So here's a few photos...

Us on our dinner cruise

The boat we rode on for our sunset dinner cruise

We also spent our evenings walking along the beach searching for shells, which seemed to be in abundance this year!

We also found these on our walks along the shore...

Sea turtle nests! We were hoping to see them hatch, but the babies weren't quite ready to make their appearance while we were on our visit. We did learn later that they typically only nest for about a week, so if we'd only stayed a few more days we might've gotten our wish!

Even though we didn't get to see the sea turtles hatch, we did get to see plenty of dolphins! And one night, we were fortunate enough to be able to capture some videos of them swimming along the shore only a few yards from us...

We had such a great time! No matter how often we go, I just can't get enough of Naples, FL. There's always something new to see or do, and the time we get to spend together is so special because it's a chance to escape from our busy lives and just have fun together! I can't wait until next year's trip!! :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Why I Don't Shop at Wal-Mart

Today, I began my back-to-school shopping. Yes, I know, I have no children, so why would I be doing back-to-school shopping? Well the answer is quite simple, I am a teacher. To further explain that, I am a teacher who has learned after 4 years of teaching that while each year my students are given a supply list of what they need to have for the year, many of them fail to ever bring those items to class and will use their lack of supplies as an excuse to not do any work in my classroom. I'm sure you're shocked by this, because what kid wouldn't want the opportunity to learn for free? But sadly, there are many who do not realize how priviledged they are to be living in a country that believes that everyone should have access to free education and will look for any excuse to get out of learning. I, how ever, refuse to allow any student in my classroom to miss out on this wonderful opportunity to lear, so I have made it my mission to pre-empt every possible excuse a student can come up with in order to prevent them from being unable to participate in my classroom. This means that each year, I go to the stores, price out items, and then purchase the various materials my students will need for my class such as 1 subject spiral notebooks (1 for each student), 2 pocket folders (preferably with prongs unless they are not on sale), loose-leaf notebook paper, pencils, pens, highlighters, tissues, 3x5 cards, hand sanitizer, erasers, markers, crayons, colored pencils, rulers, etc. I know this might sound crazy, but I have become an expert in shopping for back to school items and can tell you where to get the best deals on just about any back to shool item you might need, which is why I was at Wal-Mart today.

To be honest, I used to love Wal-Mart, until I moved back to Roanoke. I love getting those bargains, but the Wal-Mart I live near is not the safest place, and the people there are rude and sometimes strange. So I typically only shop at Wal-Mart two times a year. Once around prom time to get cheap decorations and the second time at back-to-school time because no one can compete with the deals I find at Wal-Mart. When I was in college, I learned that I could purchase 1 subject spiral notebooks from Wal-Mart for 15 cents a piece and 2 pocket, 3 prong folders for 5 cents a piece (due to inflation they are now 15 cents a piece FYI)! What a bargain!! Well, when I began teaching I decided that to help my students be fully prepared for the year, I would buy each student 1 spiral notebook and 1 folder. So each year I go to Wal-Mart around the end of July to begin my back-to-school shopping. I typically buy between 100-125 of these notebooks and folders that I carefully count out based on the number of students I estimate I will have for the year. I usually hand the cashier one folder of each color and tell them how many of each color I have and then I hand them one spiral notebook and give them a number so that the customers behind me don't get annoyed with me having each item scanned separately. But this year it didn't quite work out as I had planned...

Today, as I loaded up the conveyor belt with all of my items, I carefully pulled aside one spiral notebook and one of each color folder to tell the cashier how many I had of each. Well, the folders were no big deal, but this year the cashier informs me that she needs to know how many of each color notebook I have. I have no idea since I just took down 4 cases of 25 notebooks each and did not count them out by color. So now I have to remove each notebook from the case, divide them by color on the conveyor belt, and then count each stack to see how many of each color I have. I looked at the woman behind me and with the most apologetic look I said, "I am so sorry." Luckily, she just smiled and said it was no big deal. After we finally got it all scanned and rung up, I piled everything back in my cart and headed for the door, totally embarrassed for holding up the whole line. But if that wasn't enough, the woman at the door decided that she was going to need to check my reciept against the contents of my cart to make sure I was not stealing anything. By this time I was fuming. It wasn't like I was buying huge ticket items, in fact after everything I bought, my total only came to $60, but they decided to carefully check each item to make sure I had paid for them all.

When I got to the parking lot, I was so frustrated and I began unloading the contents of my buggy into the back of my car when this young girl backs out and nearly runs me over with her car. It was a great ending to my shopping trip to Wal-Mart, and I can honestly say that I am glad I won't be going back until sometime in April or May for prom even if they do have great deals! My sanity is just not worth it!!