Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dave & Karen

Summer's almost over. Shoot.

This is summer!
We're enjoying it thoroughly right now!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer vacation

Finally I'm having my summer vacation! I don't want to think about school starting in 3.5 weeks, or getting back into my classroom to get everything organized and ready to go in 2.5 weeks. Shoot.

Instead I'll think about what's going on now. I spent a wonderful week at home and now I'm back with Dave. He was home for 4 days but had to come back early to get back to work. If I could I think I would stay down here with him for the next year or so. However long the job takes.

Kristin and her boys are on their way here to visit for a few days. Company!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It really was the best!

Dave and I spent a weekend in New York City at the end of June. My favorite trips there have involved relaxing around different parts of the city, taking lots of photos, and good food. That's what this trip was all about. Lucky me, Dave likes the same (well, checking out different parts of the city and good food... I don't know if he likes so much me with my camera, especially when he has to be on the other side of it sometimes).

We flew in early Saturday morning, took a bus into the city, and started walking.

An easy starting point in midtown is the NY Public Library. We stopped here to people watch and generally take in the bustle of the city.

We walked and I took pictures. I love this car!!

He was really patient when I wanted to stop and take pictures. And take more pictures. And more. This is in Columbus Circle.

We went into Central Park from the southwest corner and checked out some areas I don't always see, including this sweet bridge. I love the textures!

We walked on and saw a few baseball games in progress. This batter is about to hit a home run (inside the park)!

One of the things I love about the city is the markets, fairs, and events. This time there was some kind of adventure fair in the middle of Central Park. There was a chalk artist drawing on the sidewalk.

These next two guys were showing off on a trampoline. Sweet background elements, hey? :)

I had quite a few of these guys on their snowboards, and when I saw this one on my computer I couldn't not post it.

This next one's for Liz. She and I have been to NY together five (?) times and every time we go to this (the Bethesda Fountain) because she's determined to see it with water in it. The first two times we were there together was winter so it made sense that it didn't have water. After that, though, we went in the spring and summer. There really should've been water. Now every time I see it with water, I have to take a picture for her.

The adventure fair was going on up here, too. We could've kayaked around "The Lake" but it was really hot and we didn't feel like waiting in line. It was more fun to get in the shade and watch all of the activity.

We started venturing back to the city (and out of the park) and saw this guy making his living. The girls were laughing, so it must've been a good guarantee. :)
Later that day we went up to the Empire State Building and those photos are on another post.

We woke up the next morning and made our way downtown to Battery Park to get on a ferry to go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Check out this bridge. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connects south Brooklyn and Staten Island. I biked across this bridge at the end of the 42-mile bike tour I did with my nanny friends when I lived in Connecticut.

Lady Liberty! I learned a lot more about her this past school year. I got some dvds from the History Channel of a show they produced, "America: The Story of Us" and the episode about the Industrial Revolution tells the story of the Statue of Liberty's journey to completion once it was shipped to the United States. I highly recommend the series. (Not just for history buffs, either. All of my students enjoyed the episodes and they even voted to watch an episode on a free day when they had other options.)

After our ferry trip, we ventured around lower Manhattan. Here's the progress of the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero. I was amazed at how high it has gotten since last summer. I didn't have my wide angle lens and I couldn't get far enough away to show the whole thing.

After that we headed to the South Street Seaport for lunch. We dined on a second floor patio with this as our view:

Later that day we walked around midtown some more. We found this fountain and Dave decided to take the camera.

After I got the camera back I was experimenting with some settings and got this shot. It was hot out so I don't blame him for trying to cool off. :) Right after I took the photo, the bird fluttered away. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a better, clearer shot of him sitting on the edge.

I must've put my camera away for the rest of the weekend.

Oh, what a fun time!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fun Times!

It has really been a great summer so far! I've been buried in schoolwork for my Master's Degree but that's almost finished. I'm so excited to have three weeks really off - with no school or schoolwork! We took a trip at the end of last month around our first anniversary. We're taking advantages of opportunities to travel because we never know when we will get a chance to go again.

These pictures are from our trip and are probably my favorite series that I took all weekend. We decided to go to the top of the Empire State Building for the sunset and it was gorgeous!!! I highly recommend going up there for the sunset. I've been up there in the middle of the day and at night before and nothing compares to this time with the sunset. Wow!! The sun was so radiant and shined off of buildings, roads, the river, and everything!

If I'm on the ball again later I'll post more pictures from our weekend. I have to get back to my school work and finish. I only have three assignments left!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Part 1

Sights around Andy and Laura's last Friday night.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quick Preview

of our weekend home.

There was a big birthday party at my mom and dad's for my dad, Dave (husband), Jason, and Michelle's two-year-olds.

Andy and Laura invited us over for supper and sauna/swimming on Friday night. I took out my new camera for about an hour and snapped some photos of some of the things the kids were doing. That included this - some kind of game they were getting ready to start.

I tried uploading a lot more photos but the Internet here is really slow right now so it timed out. Maybe tomorrow I'll have a chance to go somewhere that has better Internet so I can share some more photos.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I just looked back at what I was talking about the last few times I blogged and realized there were some cool things that happened at the end of the school year that I haven't mentioned.

The seniors finished :) Well, most of them. They had a big service learning project to do before they were done and after lots of hard work and many extra hours, it turned out pretty good. I learned a lot for next year (the biggest thing is to start it as soon as the term begins and finish as early as possible) so hopefully next year's project will be even better.

We had ZERO snow days the whole year, but to make up for it in the end, we had a power outage day in May (on a beautiful day, no less) and one again in June. It was like a dream having two beautiful spring days off! I got lots of yard work and painting done on my two extra days off.

My students tested well in March so it was fun to get the results back. I told the 11th graders that if the average ACT score for the whole class was higher than last year's average, I'd give them a pizza party. They did it! and collected on the pizza party one afternoon.
I coached a team at a Local History competition and we placed 2nd! I was so proud of my students! The best we had done before that was 7th or 8th so we were really pumped.

Year Three was definitely better than my first and second years so we will see what Year Four brings. If the tenure laws don't change in Michigan, I should have tenure after next year, and I also have to renew my certification to become a Professional teacher (rather than the Provisional teacher I am right now). The tenure thing doesn't mean too much but the re-certification means that I'll have paid thousands of dollars to a university while spending (way too much) lots of time working on higher learning.


I've tried to post a few times from my phone but that hasn't worked for me. I guess that's my only excuse for taking three months off. Wow, three months.

Happy first day of Summer! Hopefully you're somewhere that is getting summer today. I am - it's 90 degrees here.

It should be a wonderful summer being off for three months, but right in the middle of it I have to take three courses for my Master's Degree. :( I've been looking at the syllabus for each class and all the work I have to do for just one class is looking overwhelming. Not to mention adding the other two. Shoot. The fun starts on June 27 and lasts until August 5th. It doesn't sound right (looking toward the end of the summer), but I might start to really look forward to August 5th.

Aside from that, it's almost our first anniversary. In some ways it feels like we've been married longer than a year because some of those stretches when we were apart went by r e a l l y
s l o w l y. At the same time, a YEAR already?!

We're going to New York for a couple of nights this weekend before we head home for a two week vacation (full of getting stuff done like home repairs, making wood, and tons of homework). We're hoping to camp for four nights in the middle of all that but we'll see. I just may bring my school books with me for some "leisurely," entertaining reading material.

I hope you're all enjoying "summer!"

Sunday, March 13, 2011



I'm not looking forward to tomorrow and I'm already hoping this week will go by quickly. That doesn't sound like a very good combination already.

Tomorrow we start a new term so I have some new classes. That includes one that I've never taught before so it means lots of work. I'm going to complain for a minute. It also includes a class that has 90% of the senior class. Booo-hoooo. Remember when you were a senior? You thought you had it so rough and couldn't wait until it got to that one very important day... I'm not talking about graduation, but the last day you had to go to high school. The last day you had to put up with school (for now anyway).
Well, I can tell you (from a few years' worth of experience) that the teachers were probably looking forward to that day even more than you. Senioritis? Really? Do you want to pass this class (and graduate)?

Maybe it's been too long for me to remember "what it was like" being a senior. Whatever it is, I don't care... Those seniors still have (at least) one more class to pass before they can collect that diploma and move on. If you're in my class, you still have a lot of work left before you're done.

On a much more lovely note, we leave for our vacation in 11 days! :)

I attempted bread again and it's better but not as good as I want it to be. I think try #3 will be next weekend.

One week down, one week left until my hubby's home again. I try not to think about how long he's gone for during the first half of it, then really start counting down during the second half. It's starting to feel long so I hope this week goes by quickly!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm always counting down to something. I don't set out to do it or anything but I always find myself thinking "only _ _ days until _ _ _ _." Or "Wow, I can't believe _ _ _ _ _ _ is only _ weeks away!" or whatever.
I'm not counting my life away or anything. I don't think. It's just the way my mind works.

That being said...
This is exam week, which means Friday off! Even better: we're 2/3 of the way done with this school year!! I looked at my calendar the other day and realized between now and May, I only have three regular (as in I'll be there all 5 days) weeks of school.

Caribbean vacation: we leave in 17 days and cruise in 19 days! Woo-whoooo!!
It's snowing right now. I hear we're supposed to get a "significant" amount on Wednesday. I'm not sure what that means but probably more than one inch. Shoot. It makes that number up there (17, 19) that much sweeter!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

One of my goals

I like bread. More and more I can't find bread at the store that I like so it's been a goal for about four or five months to start making bread. I don't have a bread machine but I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and today I finally put the hook to some use.

Here is the result...

It was alright. Dave liked it (or at least he said he did). I learned a few things so maybe next time it'll be better... It's actually probably better than store bread but Dave's mom's bread is so much better. So is my mom's (when she makes it). And everyone else that makes their own bread.

My ultimate goal is gluten-free bread. I'm looking for a good recipe!

Monday, February 28, 2011


(Crazy thought) This winter is going by really quickly. Somehow.
Tomorrow's March already. We're finishing up our second trimester this week with exam week next week... that means we're almost 2/3 of the way done with the year. It's been a great year and I have some new challenges coming with the start of the third trimester. I'll be teaching a math class for the first time at this job. I'm really looking forward to that but I know it's going to be lots of work.

Dave was traveling a lot at the end of 2010 and beginning of this year. He's been home quite a bit since the middle of January, though, so it's been really really nice! He's leaving again in a couple of days and I'm not looking forward to it. The good thing about the end of the school year coming up (quickly) is that over summer I'll be able to travel with him again.

Speaking of travel, in a few weeks (at the end of March) we're going on a Caribbean cruise vacation! Seven days of cruising plus a couple days in Florida :) :) :)

Hope you're enjoying the sun these days!