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Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Flashback #27

A flashback of Olivia (this 'flashback' is really just about two months old, but I still want to use it): 

While driving down to Florida the four of us (mom, me, Olivia, and Jud) stopped at Craper Barrel, oh I am sorry Cracker Barrel.

Anyway, I was doing a crossword with the kids and I read the clue: I unfold before travelers to show them the way to go.

And I asked, so what do you need to show you the way?

Olivia responded: A GPS

..... The answer was A Map

Kids these days.

Thankful Thoughts Days: The last half of the month

I know I have failed in the last half of the month things got so busy, but that does not mean I was thinking of my list.

Day 16: 
I am thankful for airplanes. 
I am so grateful that this technology exists for us to use. This makes it a lot easier to go home! I can't imagine traveling thousands of miles on a boat!

Day 17: 
I am thankful all the blog writers out there. I like being able to read all the creative, insightful, and wonderful things all these writers put on the blogosphere. Thank you all for taking the time to share your lives with me.

Day 18: 
I am thankful for the gift of journaling. In this day and age, journaling can be so easy. It is no longer necessary to have a pen and paper to get your personal history out there. I have always being a big believer in writing down your history. When I was in the fifth grade, I read one of my mom's first journals and I was so happy to get to see a bit of her childhood through her 3rd grade self.

I personally think just by blogging I am able to record my history in way that can be easily preserved. If you have not recored your history, I encourage you to do so. Your children and grandchildren will be grateful- trust me!

*And a little plug to my new obsession gandake.com  
check it out- journaling has never been easier!

Day 19: 
I am thankful for my girlfriends. Having close girlfriends is the trick to keeping yourself sane. I am so happy and grateful that I have these wonderful girls in my life. Whenever I need to vent, or share, or even a daresay gossip, these girls are there for me.

Ladies you know who you are.

Day 20:
I am thankful for movie nights with my baby love. There is nothing I love more than snuggling down and watching a movie with Matt. Whether we are in the theaters or at home, I love the movies.

Day 21:
I am thankful for rainy days. For real though, rainy days in Hawaii actually make it feel like it is winter time.

Day 22: 
I am extremely grateful Matt and I were able to fly to California to see my dad for Thanksgiving. And I am thankful Matt took it upon himself to learn how to prep and cook the turkey! It was such a wonderful dinner and we had a great time seeing my dad.

Day 23: 
I am grateful we were able to go to Sprinkles cupcakes while we were on our trip. It was yummy yummy! And I am always a fan for a good cupcake.

Day 24: 
Beach days! Matt and I don't go often enough, but I am so thankful we live in a place where beach days are possible.

Day 25:
I am grateful for pedicures. This might seem a little shallow, but I am thankful that we can afford for me to get a pedicure now and then. I feel so much better about myself when I get one of these, and they are so relaxing.

If you have never tried it- do so!

Day 26:
Well duh... I am thankful for eternal marriages. Two years ago I married my best friend for time and all eternity. This would not be possible without the temple. Words can't express how thankful I am for this blessing.

*Also, I am so thankful for my marriage! Two years baby!

Day 27:
I am thankful for the holiday season. I love the attitudes of people during this time. I love the Christmas music. Our little Christmas tree and our decorations. I love drinking warm apple cider. I am so happy when this season arrives!

Day 28: 
I am grateful for my contacts. A small thing, but I am so glad I have these babies. Without them I would be completely dependent on glasses- which I hate!

Day 29: 
I am grateful for the simple moments in life. It is in these moments that one can really appreciate life. Life is not made up of a few big events, but of many small simple moments. In my life these moments are- my husband making my breakfast and lunch each morning.... a good phone conversation with my mom on the way to work.... a letter in the mail from my little brother Jud... a picture from a student. These are the small moments that make up our days and what we remember.

Day 30:
I am thankful for seeing the examples of others with posting what they are thankful for and leading me to take this step. I don't know if this counts as a last cop out, but I am glad I took the time to remember the things, both small and large- both silly and serious, that I am thankful for!

I hope you enjoyed reading and if you missed out this November, it's not too late!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankful Thoughts- Day 15

Day 15: 

I am thankful for Hulu plus. 

I know this is a little shallow, but I love being able to relax and watch my shows after a long day at work. I also love being able to watch said shows at my convenience. So thank you Hulu. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thankful Thoughts- Day 14

Day 14: 

I am thankful for chapstick. 

For real, I love this stuff. And I can honestly say I can't live without it. 

Thankful Thoughts- Day 13

Day 13: 

I am thankful for my mom passing down her love of reading. 

I think books are such an important part of life. Without books, so much is lost. Many of my students don't read at all and I think that is such a horrible thing. I firmly believe the more you read the more you learn. Reading is a skill that you can't get away from- even in this age of technology you have to read! I am so thankful that my mom read all the time when I was growing up, so it just was naturally that I started reading a lot. 

Thank you for reading my Thankful Thoughts. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful Thought- Day 12

Day 12: 

I am thankful for adoption. 

I am so glad that my parents decided to adopt two wonderful babies from China. Olivia was adopted in August of 2004 at the age of 15 months and Jud joined our family in November of 2006 at the age of 3. 

I seriously cannot imagine my life without these two kids. They have only added joy to our family. There is no doubt in my mind that they fully belong to in my family. I think adoption is one of the greatest things a person could do. There are so many kids out there that need a home. Matt and I plan to adopt in a few years. If you have never thought about adoption I would encourage you to look into it. My family went through Children's Hope. 

(This is right after my parents got Olivia.)  

(Jud and Mom in China.) 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful Thoughts- Day 11

Day 11: 

I am thankful for our little studio in TVA. 

It is no secret that living in TVA has been a challenge for Matt and me... more so me than Matt :) (Which really, if you consider our two differing personalities, should be no surprise.) 

Anyway, we moved to Hawaii in January of 2011 and had to live in off campus married housing. We were really just lucky that we found a place that was relatively clean and really close to campus that we were okay that it was literally a bedroom with a sink and that this 'bedroom' cost $990 a month. I think we would have stayed there until we could get into TVA, but our landlord was a horrible person. 

We stayed in that room for four months and then moved to studio apartment that was bigger, closer to campus, cheaper ($900), and had great landlords. We stayed there for only two and half months because we got into TVA June of 2011. Matt and I were tempted to stay in our new studio because of how great the landlords were, but TVA is so so so much cheaper. (It's about 650 a month.) 

Anyway, we moved into to our studio apartment and have made it our true first home as a married couple. Because we knew the other places were temporary, and because they were fully furnished, we never decorated our first two places. I will admit that we have put a chunk of change on decorating the studio, but since it was a long term stay we wanted to decorate. I would not have been able to stand staring at white walls for two years! 

I am so happy that I found blogging and all the wonderful ideas that people put out there. I am so thankful Matt and I could practice our hand at decorating and find our style. Plus, when we leave the island we will sell most of the stuff we purchased so the money can go to our new home. 

I am thankful that Matt and I were able to get into TVA so quickly after we arrived to Hawaii. And even though a one bedroom would have been nice, I am glad we got the cheaper studio. 

I am thankful that Matt and I got to have our first true home as a couple and it has been great. I might get annoyed at hearing screaming kids all through the day, or neighbors being ridiculously loud throughout the evening (when I am trying to sleep), but I always try to remember how much a blessing this TVA studio is. I actually just bought this home journal from Gadanke (check this place out if you have not heard of it) and I am so excited to start journalling about our two years here. 

I am thankful for our first home. 

Here are some pics of our little place: 

(The white wall space above the table is currently getting a make over.) 

Thanks for reading my Thankful Thoughts. 

Thankful Thoughts- Day 10

Day 10:

Today I am thankful for being able to live in Hawaii. 

During the first semester of my freshman year at Georgia College, I applied to BYU Hawaii as a transfer student. By February, I had gotten accepted and was seriously considering whether I should be over 4000 miles away from my family and my home state of Georgia. 

As most of you know- I chose Hawaii. By August of 2007, my mom, me, and four suitcases were on our way to the beautiful island of Hawaii. I had a signed contract for a house in Hau'ula (a town about three miles away from campus and Laie). I was excited and beyond scared... I was also not 100% sure of my choice to go to Hawaii. 

I always had such great dreams of traveling and living on my own, but in reality I am a home body. 

I went to school at BYU Hawaii from 2007-2009. I adjusted to living on an island... seeing a lot (and I mean a lot) of Asians... I got really close with my cousins in Hawaii - The Johnson Family- I went to the beach a lot- saw the huge surf waves during the Winter months- I got called Haole a lot- and I met some really great girlfriends. 

It was a great experience. I was so lucky to have been giving this opportunity. And after a quick 18 months of some life changes (i.e. studying abroad in London, and getting married) it was time to go back. 

I enjoyed my time in Hawaii and when I left in April of 2009 I felt like I was not quite done with life in Hawaii. 

So, while Matt and I were engaged and talking about our future we decided it would be best to move back to Hawaii so I could finish school. As a newlywed couple we moved back (well I moved back) to the beautiful island of Hawaii in January of 2011 and have been ever since. 

While I enjoyed being here as a single lady, it has been way better with my husband. I don't get as lonely or as homesick like before and now Matt and I have awesome memories of our first two years of marriage. 

We have been able to explore the island and go on many adventures. We have gotten used to living in close quarters (i.e. a studio apartment). We have been able to stand on our own as a newlywed couple. I graduated with my bachelors, and Matt started back at school. And we have been able to spend time with Matt's family that live on the island. 

It has been a great blessing to be able to live here. I can't believe I have been able to live in one of the best vacation spots! I am thankful we have this opportunity. 

Thank you for reading my Thankful Thoughts. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Flashback #26

I have been in the nostalgic mood lately and really can't wait to travel again. I know you know- but I loved living in London and being able to take mini-trips to different places in Europe. 

Anyway, I was scrolling through some pictures and I found these beauties. 

Here is some background for those that don't know (although most of my readers where in London with me.... so this is pointless)- anyway I will tell you regardless- while in London, Matt and I were skyping a lot and he really wanted to go to the different places I was going to. So to be funny I printed his picture out and put it on a popsicle stick... or coffee stirs I stole from Costa... and took him to Paris. 

It started out pretty funny, but it ended hilarious. By the end of the first day, Matt's picture became like a strange real person in that I carried around in my backpack. 

I remember saying stuff like "Do you want Matt to be in the picture, or just girls?" 
In which Jenny would reply: "Just girls" or "Yeah, Matt come join" 

Oh wow that was a lot of background! 

Okay here are the pictures- finally 

In these pictures, Matt and I are at Versailles and it was so so windy. At one point, I dropped the picture flew out of my hand and the bottom picture is the result of that event. 

I really think I thought Matt was falling to his death. Hahaha it was a strange time- as you might tell from this here video clip. 

Thankful Thoughts- Day 9

Day 9: 

I am thankful for cell phones. 

Most of the time cell phones drive me crazy... not really crazy... but I feel people are way way way too attached to their cell phone. I particularly get upset with my students because they are on their phones literally all the time. I see students at school before school starts talking on the phone... and they are like oh yeah I see you okay I am walking towards you... ARE YOU KIDDING ME... these girls were talking to each other and they can see each other- and I am thinking JUST WALK DOWN THE HILL  lazy bums... 

Oh wait- this isn't a post about pet peeves about cell phones- it's me being thankful. 

For serious- I am thankful for this technology. Where would we be without our phones? I am especially glad I have my phone when I drive to work (1. I can call my mom to keep me awake and 2. I know that I have it in case of an emergency) 

I know it's a little materialistic, but whatever.

Thanks for reading my Thankful Thoughts. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thoughts- Day 8

Day 8: 

I am thankful for dental floss. 

For real- sometimes dental floss is a life saver- especially when I eat popcorn. I know we are supposed to floss daily, but I don't. So often I forget about the wondrous dental floss. But the other day it literally saved my life. 

And that's that- I told you some days would be that simple!

Thanks for reading my Thankful Thoughts and keep on keeping on.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful Thoughts- Day 7

Day 7: 

I am thankful for our Nissan Maxima. 

Now, Matt and I have had a few car issues in the past year and half since we bought this car, but I am beyond grateful that we are able to afford this means of transportation. 

If we did not have a car we would be completely dependent on the bus system- which is not so great. I have to drive an hour each way every day for work and that would easily double if I had to take the bus. So thank you Mrs. Maxima! 

Thank you for reading my Thankful Thoughts! And I challenge you to find some of your own! 

Sewing With: Part II

Lesson 1- Threading the Needle

If you missed Part I you can go here, but because I am nice here is a recap- for my job I teach one class of FCS and right now I am teaching my kids how to sew. That's it. Oh wait... I don't know how to sew. So between my helpless students and my helpless self this should be fun!  

The first couple of days after quarter 2 started the students were finally given a needle and thread for their first lesson- Threading the needle. 

So I told my kids- we are going to thread the needle this is the first step. Everyone get their thread and cut it about a foot long... check 

Step 2: Put the thread through the eye of the needle....I said this WHILE MODELING what they should be doing...  Check (or so I thought) 

(Now I was teaching them how to double the thread so the knot goes at the bottom and you just tie the two sides together.) 

So I explained and check check 

Now just to make sure you understand what I was doing while I was explaining the info - I was wandering around check on all my students.... 

Okay so after they tied the knot I said Good Job you have threaded the needle... now we can move onto practicing stitches... 

At this point, I was thinking so far so good.... no big issues!

NOT SO FAST!  Right as I said the good job a student (usually one of my higher level students) said ...

Student: Wait what do we do with the needle?

Me: What are you talking about- we are going to start stitches with it...

Student: But when do we put the thread on (Student holds up thread-less needle)

Me: Where is your thread? What were you doing during instruction? 

Student: I was tying my knot (holds up tied thread.... NOT on a needle) 

My student had just tied the thread without putting the needle on!!!!! 

I don't know what concerns me more: 

1. That I did not see student A just tying string (which in my defense it's hard to see a tiny little needle)


2. That it took student A that long just to tie a knot.... 


3. What part of we are going to THREAD THE NEEDLE... did student A not understand? 

All I gotta say is this sewing bit is going to drive me CRAZY!!!! 

Stay tuned for Part III. I decided this is just going to be a monthly post! So check back on December 7 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thankful Thoughts- Day 6

Day 6: 

Today I am thankful for the right to vote. 

I am so glad to live in a country where we can vote for our leaders both on the local and national level. I firmly believe that if you don't vote you can't complain. 

Now I definitely have a political opinion, but this thankful thought is not about political party- it is the fact that as Americans- we have the right to vote! 

Today I voted in my second presidential election and I am happy happy happy! 

Thanks for reading my Thankful Thoughts! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thankful Thoughts- Day 5

Day 5: 

I am thankful for my husband and his family. 

Let's call them my 'new' family. I am such a lucky girl to have married into one of the most amazing families there is: The Ho Family. 

First, I need to talk about my husband. He is AMAZING! He is always supportive of my personal long term goals. He always works really hard, whether that is in school or at work, to ensure that we have a good life. He is the perfect balance to my extreme personality. I am glad that he has been a part of my life for the past 7-8 years and I honestly can't imagine life without him. 

Now to my amazing in-laws. Matt comes from a small family. He grew up with his two parents and his one sister Malia- compared to my blended split crazy family. From day one I have loved Janice, Kevin, and Malia. Even when Matt and I were just friends I loved spending time with his family. In fact, Malia and I were closer friends than Matt and myself. I swear if you look up supportive in the dictionary Kevin and Janice's picture is sitting right there. In the last two years, there have been some low moments- some adjustments had to be made- but overall things have been great. 

(This is actually the extended Ho/ Graham Family: Back- Kevin, Janice, Obachan, Claudia (Kevin's sister), Tommy (brother in law), Front- Me, Matt, Malia, and cousins Windy, and Josh) 

I am truly grateful that I married into this family of Ho Hos. 

Thank you for reading my Thankful Thoughts! And I challenge you to find some of your own! 

Nesting... For the Non-Pregnant

This weekend I have been on a organizing, heavy cleaning, getting rid of clutter KICK! And do I mean KICK! I was joking with Matt about nesting for no one because of how much I wanted to get things organized.

I think it started because Matt and I had a white glove (cleaning check) on Saturday and I had just gotten back from my trip and felt a little unorganized.

For white gloves Matt and I usually clean pretty well and I do a deep clutter clean at the end of every semester, but this time I could not wait until after Christmas!

I felt like the clutter was taking over our small place. If you don't remember, Matt and I live in a studio apartment with limited amount of storage.

I cleaned out/ organized our storage shelves and drawers.
I threw out old papers that we no longer needed.
Donated stuff we don't use anymore.
I organized the bathroom cupboard.
Organized our important documents.
Scrubbed our house down.
Shoot I even planned our November Dinner Menu and I set up a Blog Calendar (this will help keep me organized and more focus during my blogging!) CRAZY I KNOW!

I may not have worked on any work stuff, but I feel a lot better about our humble abode! Luckily, I have Monday and Tuesday off, so I can work on my work stuff.

In other news, Matt and I picked up some new picture frames so we are working on a new frame wall! (Pictures coming soon!)

Thankful Thoughts- Day 4

Happy Sabbath Y'all! 

Day 4: 

I am thankful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

I think this is natural, but the older I become the more I appreciate the church and the lessons of the gospel. There are so many blessings that have come into my life and I am glad I am a member of this church. I usually don't go into my religion a lot, but I feel like if I didn't mention it now it would be ridiculous. I am where I am right now because of the church. 

Don't get me wrong- there are many things I struggle with and most days I feel like I am not doing that great of a job being a member, but everyday is a process. I think it is the effort that makes the difference.

If you have no idea what I am talking about please check out this wonderful website!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Favorite Things: Keep Calm and Carry On

I thought I would do a new blog series on my FAVORITE THINGS. A lot of bloggers do it and I thought it would be fun. So here is my first Favorite Thing and it is really a mixed favorite thing.

This phrase Keep Calm and Carry On is everywhere right now! And I love it and I hate it at the same time.

Let me explain. I have known and understood this phrase since middle school. I have always loved history and in the 8th grade I went to London with my parents. This trip started my love of all things British- including history.

One of the greatest things about the city of London is that it is very obvious that a war was fought in this country. England does not hide that fact that they were severely attacked during WWII- they keep buildings with bomb damage so they can remember the war and al those that fought for the cause.

But I digress... during that trip I heard this phrase for the first time and I learned the history behind it.

For the past year or so this phrase has been everywhere! I love that I can find posters.. pillows... cell phone covers... whatever with this phrase, but it annoys me that no one seems to know the background behind this! I think the blogging world is to thank for this!

So while I love it- I hate it! And I will admit being a little snobbish about it- I get really frustrated when people buy something with this and have no idea what it is! So my end thoughts are I love it for me and my decorating needs!

For those of you that have no idea what I am talking about here is a history lesson: (Just skip the red writing if you don't want to know!)

Keep Calm and Carry On is a catchphrase that originally appeared on a World War II-era British public safety poster. After one of the original posters was recovered and placed in a British bookshop in 2000, the inspirational message was shared online, sparking a series of image macros centered around the phrasal template “Keep Calm and X.
The Keep Calm and Carry On poster was commissioned in 1939 by the temporary Ministry of Information in England, following the printing of two other inspirational posters stating “Freedom Is In Peril. Defend It With All Your Might” and “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory.” It was intended to be used to strengthen morale in the event of a large-scale attack or occupation, which many considered inevitable at the time. Though more than million of these posters were originally commissioned, after the war ended they were kept in storage where most were destroyed.

In 2000, Stuart Manley and his wife Mary found the poster folded at the bottom of a box of old books they purchased at an auction for their Alnwick, England bookshop, Barter Books. Not knowing its origins, the couple had it framed and hung it in the shop, where they began selling prints of it the following year. According to Mary, they had sold over 40,000 copies by March 2009. As of 2012, Barter is not the only place that houses original copies of the poster. The Imperial War Museum in England has approximately six and fifteen additional copies were found in February 2012, where they were appraised on the television show Antiques Roadshow.

Source: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/keep-calm-and-carry-on

Another thing that is happening is turning this phrase into different sayings like:
Keep Calm and Play Tennis
Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes.
Keep Calm and Teach On

ECT, ECT, ECT! They are everywhere!

And to be honest with you I actually like these- I find them very funny! So I guess I am not too snobbish!

So here it goes:

Thoughts anyone?????

Thankful Thoughts- Day 3

Day 3: 

I am thankful for my family! 

I don't even know how to start explain how amazing my family is. I have always been close to my family, but moving away to Hawaii in 2007 really made me appreciate them more. This post would be really really long if I talked about every single person and the impact they made on my life- let's just say I am one LUCKY lady to have such an amazing family. 

Like all families we have our ups and downs... but at the end of the day we love each other and would do anything for each other. 

Every part of my personality is made up of traits from the members of my family. I love to plan parties and organize like one of my aunts, I am type A and driven like my mom, I love family and Thanksgiving like my Abuela, I am political passionate like my Papa (regardless if we are on the opposite side of the spectrum).... I could go on and on! 

Thank you family for being so awesome! 

(Back row: Barry (my second dad), Mom, Papa (holding baby Ava), Aspen, Beau, Coda, Sara, Abuela
Front: Oliva, Sage, Jud) 

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for tomorrow's Thankful Thoughts

And I challenge you to find your own! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Friday Flashback #25

In honor of this weeks festivities:

October of my senior year of high school my aunts, mom, and Abuela decided to on a 'Girls Trip' to New York City... seeing as I didn't want to be left out... I tagged along (read here- forced myself along)!

One of the things we wanted to do was get on the Today show (you know- be the obnoxious people in the background waving at the cameras). So we came up with the idea (and by we- I think it was just my Aunt Nickie- the one with the orange hair) to have matching shirts relating to Halloween. So we did different witches that start with W. (Wise, Wild- Aunt Sara-, Wicked, Wacky, and Waggish) Nickie also created a candy gram all about the Today show and us... it was great!

I am pleased to share that we got on the Today show... not just once but TWICE and not just for a second... for a lot of seconds!!! It was awesome! It was freaking freezing and we had to get to the studio at like 4:30 in the morning, but it was such a great experience and I am happy to have shared it with these fun ladies! I usually don't like being such an obvious tourist, but it was fun to just let my guard down and be the obnoxious Southern in the Big Apple.. plus I was on T.V. which is just awesome.

Thankful Thoughts- Day 2

Day 2 of my thankful journey. Just a recap: November... Thanksgiving.... Thankful Thoughts

Day 2: 

I am thankful for my education. 

December of 2011 I graduated from BYU- Hawaii. Now my experience with BYU-H had a lot of ups and a lot of downs. I got homesick A LOT! I got into many arguments with the admin office! I dated a couple of duds! But at the end of the day- I got a great education! I never thought I would go to a BYU CHURCH school, but it was a great opportunity! 

I loved all my History professors. I loved being able to study in a great field that was not a very popular major so the classes were super small! Most of all I love that my education prepared me enough to be able to get a job in my field  right out of school! 

And on the really good side I went to school in HAWAII!!!! I was able to experience living in a place that had a different culture... I was able to live right on the beach... and meet really great people.  And I got my degree!!!! 

Yay for education! 

(I mean how awesome is it that I went to a place where THIS is the tradition!) 

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for tomorrow's Thankful Thoughts

And I challenge you to find some of your own! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankful Thoughts- Day 1

Seeing as it is now November - the month of Thanksgiving- I thought it would be appropriate to blog about what I am thankful for. Some of these will be preplanned because they are always on my mind and some of these will be just random things that I noticed throughout the day- just to mix things up! Plus, sometimes the small things in life you are thankful for are the things that make a difference between a good and a bad day!

I love Thanksgiving and I love November, so it would be selfish and lazy of me if I did not do this. Plus, I think at this time in the year people start to get a little HOLIDAY CRAZY and forget what this time of year is all about... So here it goes 30 days of Thankful Thoughts!

Day 1: 

I am thankful for my job. 

Let me explain why I have put this. As most of you know, Matt and I live in Hawaii- one of the most expensive places in the U.S. to live. After I finished school, there was a period of about three months where I did not have a job. It was summer break for the schools here in Hawaii and no one was really hiring. As June turned into July, I was really really worried that I would not find a teaching job and if this did not happen- I was not sure how Matt and I would continue to be able to live here while he finished up his program. 

Luckily, I found a job at one of the best schools on the island- Mililani Middle School. This is where I did my student teaching... and it was the same grade level.... with the same subject (Hawaiian and Pacific History)!!!! So I was able to reuse a lot of my material. 

I know without a doubt I was hired because of all the prayers and fasts that my family and friends did for Matt and me. I also know that I owe a lot to my education program and the fact that I was ready to be a teacher. 

I am so thankful to be able to work at a school with good resources, good people, and good kids (most of the time)! I am also thankful that I am able to bring home a consistent pay check for my little family of 2. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the rest of Thankful Thoughts

Happy November Y'All

Ah, is there anything more beautiful than Fall in Georgia? 

The answer is No- there is not! ... Well, maybe Fall in London...

Now, I know Fall really starts maybe late September through October, but I always consider the start of November to be the perfect Fall. 

The leaves have changed colors, the weather is cooler, the air smells crisper, and Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. 

I LOVE November. I think it is the best month ever! I love getting Carmel Apple Cider from Starbucks... I love wearing scarves.... enjoying the weather... and of course Thanksgiving!!! And now I can add celebrating my wedding anniversary! 

Living in Hawaii- I don't get to see the beautiful leaves... or wear a scarf.... or drink hot apple cider... but it's not too shabby here. The waves are getting big and my drive to work is beautiful. I just wish it was a bit cooler and there was a little bit of orange in the trees. 

Have a great November you guys and if you live where there is a true Fall please enjoy it! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween With the Kiddos

This year I actually had to fly back to Hawaii on Halloween, but this did not stop me from doing many Halloweenish things with my Georgia family. 

First thing First: Had a blast with some pumpkins

Joe and his girlfriend Mandy carved pumpkins and I had some fun taking pictures. The kids (Jud and Olivia) carved pumpkins Tuesday before Halloween. 
 (Mandy is behind Joe holding the pumpkin) 

(Jud's pumpkins is a paw print because that is the theme of Wild Kratts.. more on that later.) 

Second: Made a Halloween costume at a really late hour: This year Jud wanted to be Chris Kratt from Wild Kratts on PBS Kids... If you have never heard of this don't be ashamed most people (including other 9 year olds) have not. But mom and me wanted to make this costume good for Jud so I went and did some research and I found a blog post dedicated to making the "Creature Vests" they wear in the show and a whole Wild Kratts birthday theme.... and a WHOLE Pintrest page dedicated to Wild Kratts DIY party wear!!!!! 

I mean they are not joking when they say you can find anything on the internet! After reading this blog and one trip to Wal-Mart, Mom and I were ready to make Jud's very unique costume! I think it turned out great! 

Here is what Jud was shooting for: (Chris Kratt is the one in the green) 

Here is what Mom and I came up with: 

Okay let me explain the  intricate parts of Jud's costume. 
1. The Creature Vest: the Kratt brothers put this on when they go on different adventures learning about animals in the wild. 

Mom and I got green felt from the store and spray on adhesive and we cut one of Jud's old shirts to make the vest. 

2. The gloves: see explanation above. 

These were just regular gloves from Wally world. 

3. Creature Power Discs (the colored circles with animal pictures): these go in the center of the paw and represent which animal they are exploring that day..

I did these on my computer. Then we laminated and stuck magnets to them. The paw print had a magnet in the middle as well so the discs would stick! 

4. Power Pouch (aka the purse Jud had around his waist): this holds the power discs!

5. Name Tag: I was afraid no one would know who Jud was.... I know crazy right... so I made an id badge that said "Hi, my name is Chris Kratt from Wild Kratts on PBS."  

(Sorry for the unclear pic... I stole from my Aunt's Facebook) 

Here are both the kids and my cousins and my Abulea on Halloween night. There is Jud in all his Chris Kratt glory. Olivia was Maria Sharapova- I also made her and ID tag that was a Player pass from the Australian open... I know genius right! 

All in all I think the costumes turned out well! Mom and I had to sew a few of the pieces of Jud's costume together but I think he made a great Chris Kratt. 

Many thanks go to the wonderful Mother over at Mom Endeavors for the wonderful blog post about all things Wild Kratts! 

I hope all of you had a wonderful Halloween!