13 November 2011

The Newest Addition!

So the buzz is out on facebook and we have told people in real life too, but I figured I should still post about it.  After all the first child is BIG news right?  Yes, you read that right, our first child.  God willing, at the end of April, Ben and I will be proud new parents of a baby (boy or girl? Don't know yet, we are waiting until the delivery to find out!).

Currently this is the beginning of Week 16, meaning we have 4 months down and only 5sh to go!  So what has this mean in our lives during the last several months?  Well, we found out about 6 weeks in that we are pregnant and at first there were little side effects of the pregnancy...  then the sheer exhaustion kicked in.  Ok, I know some of you (like all the seasoned parents) are thinking, this is just the beginning, you think you're tired now, just wait till that little bundle of joy shows his or her face, then you'll REALLY be tired!  Well, my understanding is that the baby will no longer be taking my energy from my body to use for growing, so that means the tiredness will at that point come from a lack of sleep.  I also won't be working full time right after the baby is born, so certain other pressures will be relieved as well (though I must say, I really do enjoy my job a lot).  This tiredness is unlike anything I have encountered before.  I simply did not have the energy needed to get through the day though I was napping and sleeping longer at night...  Which made it really hard for me to get through my duties and responsibilities of the day.  This is where changes definitely happened for Ben, he has been so great about helping out when I didn't have the energy to do ANYTHING!

Ok, that was still just first trimester and as that trimester ended so did the severe exhaustion.  Now I just notice that I might tire a little quicker than I did before, but I at least feel like I have energy.  Oh yes, I was a little nauseous too during the first tri, but honestly compared to many stories I've heard, my nausea was nothing, which I am thankful for.  I always imagined me spending hours in the bathroom when I got pregnant and am happy to find out that that hasn't been the case (though I frequent the restroom a little more frequently these days...).

Other fun tidbits would include the fact that my regular pants have not fit in over a month and my bump is showing itself a little more each week!  So that is fun!  No, I did not dread the awkward "fat" stage where it wasn't clearly a bump...  Let's just say I slept through that portion, so even if I normally would have been concerned, I was too tired to care!

Starting in December and January we will start getting our basement organized better so we can more some furniture out of the guest bedroom in order to make room for a nursery.  We won't probably take out all the furniture, but a lot of the stuff inside definitely needs to go.  We probably won't have the baby sleep in our room, just because there isn't room in there to put a bassinet and the baby's room is just steps away from our room.

Anyways, that is a more thorough update on Baby Venteicher and we hope to have more and more updates as time goes on.  We will probably have an ultrasound in December/January so we are really pumped about that.  We also got to hear the baby's heartbeat last month which was pretty awesome (especially with my light symptoms it was good to hear our baby is doing fine inside there!).

19 October 2011

Time Flies When You're Busy!

I just got on here and realized I haven't posted anything in a few months...  Not good!  I'm really sorry about that!  Let's just suffice it to say that I have been VERY busy!  But that is definitely not a bad thing!

First and foremost, working as a full-time teacher really takes a lot of time and energy!  This school year has been full of figuring out what it means to be a first year teacher and what it means to teach well.  I am still working on it (both parts of it), but it has been a great experience so far!

Some of the challenges I have found is balancing a good lesson plan when class sizes are so vastly different!  I teach Spanish III & IV with classes ranging from 10-22 in the same level!  Some days I do better with that balancing act than others.  If you have any ideas of how to make a good plan to help balance them let me know, I am always open for suggestions!

Overall though it has been a very good experience.  My students work hard are a really good kids (which I remind myself of on days when their energy level is higher than their concentration level) which makes them fun to work with.

Other than that I have not had time to do much of anything else!  Last weekend Ben and I brought a group of youth to visit Concordia University Wisconsin.  That was especially fun for me because it is my alma mater and it was Homecoming!  It is amazing to see all the things they have done to campus since I was a student there and it is hard to believe that it has already been 4 years (this December) since I was a student there!

Watching the end of the football game was fun.  We finished the college visit with the kids, got them settled with the college students they were staying with, and headed out to catch some of the games that were being played.  We made it to the football game just in time for the 4th quarter and it wasn't looking good.  They were down, 20 to NOTHING.  Well, we watched them score one touchdown.  Then we watched them score another touchdown.  So finally they were kicking the ball to the other team with seconds left on the clock.  They did a short kick, recovered it and went to run it down the field....  when they were stopped and lost the game after all.  So even though they still lost, we personally believe we made it for the most exciting quarter of the game!

Well, I need to get some things done yet tonight, but watch for future posts.  I am cooking one up right now to write later!

27 August 2011

Much Has Happened

I haven't written since the very end of June and a lot has happened!  Some of the highlights have been that my husband and I went to D.C. on vacation.  My Mom, Dad and little brother came and participated in a 5K or 8K with us.  We had VBS at Church (I helped with the little kids drama).  Oh and I started a new job!

I really want to focus on that last point in this post, hopefully I can also post pictures of our D.C. trip at some point in the near future.  As for the race, I couldn't run it, I had to walk it because my knees are still bothering me...

So I got a job teaching Spanish III and IV at a private school.  As many of you know I wasn't planning on applying for teaching jobs.  It's amazing how things can change and how quickly those things can change.  Someone I know also works there and when one of their Spanish teachers resigned in July so came to me to ask me to apply, but I didn't want to.  So she came to me again to ask me to apply.  The more I got thinking about it the more encouraged I was to apply.  Here are two reasons of my I decided to apply after all:

  • The school is a much smaller school than where I student taught.  I think I felt lost there because I come from an extremely small school background (in fact both schools I attended growing up were K-12 and both have been consolidated with other schools, due to how small they were, after I was there).  My schools always had 100-200 students in the entire K-12 facility and I student taught in a school that has more like 1400 students in the high school alone...  The school I am currently teaching at is a K-12 building (though much larger than any that I attended growing up) with less than 1000 students in the entire building.  Still many times the size I ever attended, but not nearly so large either!

  • I also applied because I knew there would be another Spanish teacher there.  I wouldn't be left on my own at the school trying to figure out all 4 levels of Spanish out by myself.  I teach levels III and IV and our Spanish I and II teacher actually used to teach III and IV and she seems to be a wonderful teacher.  I am excited to be able to work with her!

Yes, there were other reasons I decided to apply, but here are two of the bigger ones.  Needless to say I applied and then got the job (exactly 3 weeks before kids would start school).  About a week after getting the job we left for D.C for a week and a half, then I came home and went straight into teacher in-service (that was almost 2 weeks ago now).

The first two weeks there have been extremely busy, but good.  Now we all could have appreciated having air conditioning several of those days, but we all made it through that.  Just pray for cooler weather so I don't feel like I'm melting!  :-)  The kids overall seem to be responding well to me and I do enjoy my students.  You probably won't find me writing in too much detail about my job here, but I wanted to at least let you know I have it and that I am enjoying it.  Though it is definitely not what I saw myself doing at this point, it is proving to be a good adventure (as all of life is an adventure).

Pray for me that I can teach these high school students to the best of my ability with keeping their needs in mind!

30 June 2011

Fired Up!

So this evening I had Hope Circle at Church.  It is the LWML Circle that I attend.  What I wanted to tell all of you who might be out there reading my blog (and I know some people do!) is that we are about ready to start a 2 year process of reading through the Bible.

We are doing it with the Today's Light Bibles, which is a great devotional Bible.  It provides a preview of the reading, then you read scripture and at the end it has a summary/devotion of sorts to bring it all together and most importantly remind us of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Bible can be purchased in brown or in purple either at the links provided or even at your local Christian Bookstore.  If you want to be part of our discussions online please follow this link and subscribe to the blog on the left side.  As we want everyone to be "In the Word, Of the Word, Walking with our Lord" this is something that is open to everyone, male or female.

The actually Bible Study that meets is just for women though, as it is an LWML group.  :-)

I just can't wait to celebrate the 4th of July with the first reading from this wonderful devotional Bible.  I have done it before and I think highly of it.  Please consider joining me!  If you don't want to purchase the Bible, you can still subscribe to the blog and we'll make sure you know what the readings are.

28 June 2011

LWML Convention: Top 10 Things Learned

So last Wednesday thru Sunday I was in Peoria, Illinois at the LWML Biennial Convention.  I found myself going there because I was selected to be a Young Woman Representative (YWR) for my district.  A friend from CUW was the other one selected for my district.  I did not know what I was getting myself into...

Now for all you wonderful ladies that do not fit the stereotype, to many of us younger women LWML (Lutheran Women's Missionary League) is a mystery to us and mainly made up of white and gray haired ladies that run the kitchen at Church.  Now some of us might know this isn't completely true (Ok, some of us had mothers involved in it and they still aren't white or gray haired), but I don't think many of really know what the LWML does or what it's purpose is.

Well, going to the convention was a learning experience.  Somethings that I did discover is that it is not about a bunch of older women, wearing purple, asking for mites and running the kitchen at Church.  Now I think deep down inside I knew that all of that isn't what the whole organization is about, but I never really knew what it was about either.

I would just like to give you a brief rundown on what I found out.  If you are part of an LWML society and would like to get young women connected in your Church, let me know and I will try to share some of the wisdom that I gleaned from the weekend.

10.  Not all the women have white and gray hair.  :-)

9.  Despite some lunch serving problems and technical difficulties Phyllis Wallace was still a great speaker and found the humor in a frustrating situation.

8.  I still don't completely understand the problem with the word "intentional."

7.  The first worship service I have ever attended where when written "women only" for a hymn stanza it didn't sound very different from when men and women were singing.  However, when it said "men only" you suddenly knew where to find all the men in the crowd!

6.  There are some younger LWML groups started and thriving out there.

5.  The LWML national president that finished her term is a wonderful lady who has a focus on Women "in the word, of the word, walking with our Lord."  And who would knock Bible Study?

4.  National Conventions are busy and I came home feeling way more sleep deprived than I ever imagined at an "older women's" conference!

3.  Katie Stam is not only completely gorgeous, but very Lutheran and an amazing speaker who made everyone cry at her speech.

2.  I couldn't walk anywhere without running into someone I know or at least someone who has strong connections to someone I know.

1. LWML Mites are mighty strong in supporting missions!

They raised $1,825,000.00 to go towards missions and this page to see where they went to in the past.

13 June 2011

San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

A week ago yesterday I did something I never imagined myself ever doing...
...I participated in a full marathon!

This was something I had been training and fundraising for since the end of January.  I did it with Team in Training (TNT), and with it raised about $2,900 to fight blood cancers.  My reward was to go to San Diego and do the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon there.

Training was bumpy at best.  Basically since the end of September you could write in the calendar that every 3-4 weeks I would have a cold and you were probably right.  During my training, the cold would sent in really hard core during my big mileage build ups...  So I missed a fair amount of training...  At the recommitment time with Team in Training, I was feeling good about what I had been able to run and thought that if I just don't get sick much more (I mean eventually I am going to stop having colds right?) I should be golden on my marathon goal.  Then came my April cold (which I went to the doctor for to get antibiotics to fight it) and then my May cold...

Well, I was still feeling ok about the running I had done.  When I went out, the runs went pretty well!  So I pushed forward to the 20 mile run day...  That day was the day my knees started giving me trouble. During the colds I had in April and May I stopped doing all the weight training I had been doing before and my knees did not like that.  I didn't intentionally stop, I just was sick and didn't have time between all the subbing, tutoring, choir concerts, meetings and everything else that I was involved in...

After that day (3 weeks before the main event) I gave my knees a rest and basically did not run.  I tried to go out one day, but quickly realized that it was a bad idea, as my knees started bothering me right after I started running...

On the plane to San Diego I was nervous, thinking I shouldn't even try to run, just walk the whole thing, walking doesn't hurt my knees after all!  Well, that was when I met Linda.  She also was participating in the event and her daughter, Natalie, was going to meet us in San Diego for it as well.  She was also a TNT participant.  She suggested I try a few things at the expo and just give the running a try on the day of.  So I did.

I got my knees taped, I rolled out my muscles with the Stick and prayed for the best.  I got to do some walking around and site seeing in San Diego while we were out there too.  Sunday morning quickly arrived and I put my gear on.  Nervously I made my way out to where Natalie and Linda were lining up.  Soon the race started and about 40 minutes later our corral left the gate.

Amazingly we were averaging about a 10 minute mile!  This went on for about 5-6 miles!  I was ecstatic, my knees did not hurt real bad and I was making amazing progress.

Then the knee pain set in.  For a few miles (ending at mile 11) we were on this highway that had a grade, so one foot was generally higher than the other.  My knees were shot, they did not like this marathon idea anymore and let me know it.  I stopped at a med tent and got some tylenol.  It helped some.  I was left with walking out the rest.

I kept a pretty good pace.  In fact I was running with Natalie, but when I started walking she kept running on.  I walked so fast that I caught back up to her by mile 18 again.  After which we both walked together for a while.  Actually looking online, at mile 20 I had only been out 4 hours and 40 minutes (a 14 minute mile, despite knee pain).  But the last 6.2 miles took me almost another 2 hours to finish (making my average pace end at just under 15 minutes a mile) with an ending time of 6 hours and 26 minutes.

The rest of the day I spent icing my knees and feet and hoping for the best.  To my surprise I woke up the next day with virtually no knee pain, just the rest of my muscles were sore from the 26.2 miles.

It was a lot of fun, I don't know if I would do a whole marathon again, but I would definitely do a half again.  Currently I am signed up to run the 8K at the Fifth Season Race here in town on the 4th of July.  Ben will be running with me.  They also have a 5K which is a run or a walk, so feel free to come join us for some 4th of July fun!

My other goal is to run the Park to Park half marathon in September.  I am always good for company on any or all the races that I do!  The important thing is it be active, so whether you are a runner or a walker, it is all GREAT exercise!  If you have never done a race I strongly encourage you to do it!

01 June 2011

You know you like to play games, when for your anniversary you play 7 different games in one night.  This is a photo log of who won what games.  Note Ben that won most of them, I wanted to let him think he still has a chance.  I can't beat him all the time!  ;-)

Ticket to Ride:  USA Map
Ticket to Ride:  Scandinavian Map
Milles Bornes 
My Wins!
Ben's Wins!

And we still love each other!

We had a very nice anniversary.  I would celebrate that way again!  It was fun!

24 May 2011

2 Year Anniversary

So today marks the two year mark in Ben's and my marriage.  :-)  For many people this seems like no big deal, you can say that you've been married for 10, 20, 30 or even up to 60 years!  That is something I think is fantastic!  Unfortunately in today's world where divorce is so common, staying married for long becomes more and more a struggle as statistics I am sure would tell you.

Ben and I are not normal however.  We love each other and we choose to love each other every day, even when we do things that irritate the other...  Divorce was never intended to be part of creation and as we share our faith in Christ it will never be an option!  We have shared 2 great years and I look forward to that number just simply going up and up and up!  I still wake up some mornings and think, "How did I get married to such a wonderful man?"

Looking back over the last year of marriage there have been some really good times (though some tough ones mixed in too).  Ben started his new position as the called DCE at Zion and that has been wonderful.  I have been privileged to support him in his ministry there.  One thing that he is working on that I get to be involved with is growing small group ministry at the Church.  We have started 2 groups so far, what happens is that after one gets up and going we invite a new group of people to be involved in the next group!

I ran my first 5K and 10K and now I am training for a marathon.  Now this does require a lot of support and encouragement from the husband.  I just started running just over a year ago and without him encouraging me and dealing with slightly less time with me at times, I would never have gotten as far as I have with running.  It is a bit of a sacrifice on our parts as, especially with the marathon, I am spending hours on the trails running.

We painted our house together at the end of last summer!  The exterior of our house looked pretty terrible, but last August/September we took care of that!  That require us both doing our share of painting.  The porch was mainly my doing (as it has lots of edges and corners it took a long time) and the high up stuff was mainly Ben's doing.  We both have somewhat of a hesitation towards heights, but Ben seems to have a bit less of one!

Ben supported me during my student teaching.  This really did require a lot of support.  I got sick all the time from being around all those kids spreading their germs...  I was also struggling with whether I really wanted to go into teaching or not.  At the end of the time I decided against applying for teaching jobs at this time and for building my own business as a private tutor out of my home.  This means he gets to be supportive of me as I grow my business that includes working a lot of evenings.

Also I get to continually support Ben with his guard stuff.  It hasn't worked out very well this past year to go with him on many drills, but that's ok.  I still get to talk to him as he is driving the last few miles there and generally I stay up for him when he comes home.  I make sure he has clean uniforms as soon as I can after he gets back.  I also get to spend a whole week without him at times while he is on annual training.  Which that is a funny thing, separation from family and friends never used to bother me, but now when he leaves for a while, even just a week, I can't wait to have him home again!  I am thankful he hasn't been deployed since we've been married, but I know we would get through that as well.  :-)

Basically, I love my husband and I can't imagine life without him.  He helps me be a better person and makes sure that I don't get too serious about life!  I love you Ben!

10 May 2011

Cinco de Mayo

One of my jobs is being a private tutor of Spanish and German students.  Currently I have 6 Spanish students.  For a while I have wanted to host some language nights for my students and last Thursday I finally did just that.  I hosted a dinner at my house for my students and had a friend come over and make authentic Mexican enchiladas.

It was a lot of fun, I invited my students over and they could each bring one friend.  Three were able to come and one brought a friend.  So we were a group of 6 (4 students, my friend and myself).

Going into the evening I was kind of nervous that my students would get nervous and not want to talk much.  I had asked them to prepare a few questions in Spanish to ask my friend that evening.  They were also going to be required to speak in Spanish some with my friend and each other.  In preparation for the evening, I made copies of different pages out of the 50 Most Beautiful People edition of People en EspaƱol.  I was going to have the girls look through them and choose one, then "introduce" their person in Spanish to the group.

It turned out I was nervous for no reason.  After we dished up my friend gave them a brief outline of what Cinco de Mayo is all about in Spanish and the girls followed her very well.  I think they impressed themselves at how well they did understand.  Then they commented on the food (which was very well received) to my friend in Spanish.  They started in English, but after asking them to say it in Spanish they were quick to try their hand at it.  After a while I had them go around the table and "introduce" the person on the picture they chose.  Throughout the evening I made sure that each of them had asked at least one question in Spanish.

The whole evening was a great learning experience for them.  They were able to to see that they can make mistakes and still be understood.  During our tutoring sessions I tend to be somewhat picky with their Spanish, so this opportunity to show them mistakes are not bad was great.

It even seems that the evening inspired some of my students with their Spanish.  It's only natural to be more motivated after having an opportunity to use Spanish in a more real situation.

02 May 2011

Palm Sunday, Easter and Les Miserables

Now that it is a week after Easter, I am finally getting around to writing about it.  :-)  It has been busy and I have been sick again...  This time I did go to my Doctor and got some meds to get over it more quickly and hopefully not get sick right away again.  We'll see how that goes!

I have been wanting to write about Palm Sunday weekend for a few weeks now because of what we did at our Church that weekend.  We had a travel team from OAFC come to our Church to help us with some outreach into the community.  OAFC is something my husband was involved in for around 10 years, until working full time in a Church.  Now he is trying to find ways to get the youth involved in it and I think that weekend did perk the interest of several of our Church's youth.

An OAFC weekend goes something like this:
Friday evening:  Bible Study, songs, skits with the members of the congregation that attend.
Saturday morning:  Canvassing does and don'ts, form canvassing teams and head out for round 1.
Saturday afternoon:  Come back from lunch, talk about the canvassing, then head out for round 2.
Saturday evening:  Write prospect letters to people who seemed interested in coming to the Church, tally up the results of the canvassing, supper, more skits and songs.  Or in our case, run off to the Saturday evening Church service...  Things were kind of short on time for us because of the Saturday evening service.
Sunday morning:  Participate in all services and talk to the congregation about what happened during the weekend.

Canvassing is actually pretty cool.  Basically you go door to door and ask if they'd like to take a short religious survey.  If they say no, you ask to leave some information with them and simply leave.  Nothing too annoying.  If they say yes, then the main information that you try to find out is if they are currently go to Church or previously went to Church and if yes, where.  The big question we then get to is if they know where they will go when they die.  Now as the Lutherans we are, we are all about Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, so we love hearing people say they are going to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for them.  Many people do not see it this way.  Often people haven't even thought of it, or think they will go to heaven because of the good deeds they have done.  This gives us an opportunity to share our Christ centered faith.

This is just a brief description of what OAFC does, but it is a worthwhile ministry to be involved with, even just very occasionally.  It is equipping our youth with confidence to tell people the Good News of Christ, which is something we need more of in our youth these days.  Keep your eyes open for an OAFC travel team near you!

This Easter was not a good one for me.  Saturday I woke up just feeling terrible once again.  I have had so many colds this year, it is terribly frustrating...  In fact on Saturday night, though I took cough syrup and a nose spray, I didn't hardly get a wink of sleep.  Sunday morning rolled around, my favorite holiday, and I had no desire to even leave the house.  All I wanted to do was snuggle up in a blanket and finally get some sleep.

Well, I did go, mainly because I was involved in Choir, Flute Ensemble and Handbells that morning.  Though I don't really remember what happened, I think I would have been more sad to miss the services completely.  Easter is truly the most important holiday for Christians.  Some people like Easter more because it is less commercialized than Christmas.  I like it more because it gives the reason for Christmas.  Christmas was never a holiday to be by itself.  The Bible points us to Jesus' death and resurrection for our salvation, it was never meant to stop at his birth.  Easter is the reason for our faith and if Easter were to be proven wrong, our faith would be nothing.

So this year was sort of a miserable Easter for me, but that's ok, Easter is just another day that happens to be set aside to remember what happened years ago on the cross.  :-)

Les Miserables
Barely was I starting to feel better when Ben and I jumped in the car to go to Nebraska.  My brother had asked us if we'd like to go to this showing of Les Mis months ago and the weekend was finally here.  Only he bailed for the last and final shuttle launch, which now doesn't seem to be happening until next Sunday anyways.  Oh well, how was he to know?

We were able to make a nice visit of it.  On our way to Nebraska we stopped at some some friends in Iowa and had a good visit with them.  Then on Friday we went and had lunch in Nebraska with some college friends of mine.  I miss my days at Concordia and relish any chance I get to hang out with my friends from my time there.  Then we spent some time with Ben's Grandma.  It had been 6 months since Ben had seen her and probably a year since I have!  That afternoon we went golfing with one of Ben's aunts.  It was not the most ideal weather...  The wind was crazy and there were a few times we went to hit the ball and we almost got blown over....  We still had fun and Ben's Aunt gave me lots of pointers (very welcome, as it was only my second time golfing).  That evening we had supper with another one of Ben's Aunts and Uncle.

Then, that Saturday after sleeping at one of his Aunts' houses, we drove to Omaha to meet up with my family for the show.  After having lunch and driving downtown we ran into some End of the World people.  They are the ones from the California group that believes May 21st, 2011 is Judgement Day and October 21st, 2011 is the End of the World.  They are running around the country trying to spread this news to everyone.  I was reading up on them online and it seems there are many people who have left their families to join this movement, which I think is sad.  Reading through how they decided on these dates showed that their thinking is rather flawed and we need to pray for these people and their families that they will be able to get their lives back together when this is all over.  Though I am curious to see what will happen after May 21st when they don't see all the dead raised to life...

The show was good.  It had been probably 10 years since I had seen it, and I was glad for the short synopsis in the program.  Les Miserbales by Victor Hugo is on my list of books to read, which I think will be good because the musical is definitely a very abbreviated version of the story.  Ben did not really know much about the show and was also thankful for the synopsis.  All in all it was good to go to the show and see lots of family.  We don't get many opportunities to do that, so we are glad to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself!

12 April 2011

Languages... Or Specifically, Italian :-)

So most of you know that I have a little thing for languages.  :-)  I love learning languages and teaching them too.  Which is why for the last week I have been hard on organizing online resources for my Spanish students.  Again, check out my other blog Spanish Practice to see the current results of that endeavor.

I just want to share an online resource that I discovered in the process that I have fallen in love with.  Last fall I had learned about StudyStack as a website to do free online flashcards.  Though it has a large variety of games to play with it I quickly found that I wasn't learning the Italian vocabulary from my Busuu units like I wanted to.  So when I stumbled across Quizlet I was like a kid in a candy shop!  That's seriously how much I geek out at language learning resources.  :-)

Here is an example of what Quizlet is like:

As you can see there are different modes you can set it on.  If you sign up for an account you can do a game called SpaceRace and create tests to take online with the flashcards.

I have been finding with these flashcards it has been forcing me to learn the Italian words I am studying much better than I ever did on StudyStack.  I have fallen in love with this resource and encourage everyone to check it out who is learning anything.  You can make flashcards on Quizlet for any situation and there are many ways to customize your flashcards and different learning modes as you use them.

08 April 2011

The Prius and a Government Shutdown...

Ben and I recently decided and acted on buying a new car.  A Toyota Prius.  Our dealer at the dealership actually just sent us a thermos as a thank you gift, addressed to just me.  Thanks Dennis!  It was actually everal weeks ago Ben that mentioned a desire in buying this car (for the obvious benefits of better gas mileage, and if you know us, we sure know how to rack up the mileage on our cars), but he mentioned it with the thought of not buying it until about August.

Then the tsunami hit Japan.

That same weekend Ben stopped by the dealership to talk Prius and was encouraged to look at buying it sooner than later.  You see, up thru now there have been some really good incentives on the Priuses to buy them, incentives that very easily will go away with the manufacturing power behind them swept away.  The priuses are manufactured solely in Japan.  Today I ran across a video discussing the future of Toyota in Japan and found it interesting.  Check it out here.

I think it is interesting how interconnected and interdependent our world is.  The future of Japan is definitely something we need to keep in our prayers.  They are in for a hard period of rebuilding that will last a long time.  Having seen how long it has been taking places like New Orleans get back together (and there is still work to be done there) gives me an idea how long it will take Japan.  Though I imagine it will take even longer yet.

One of the reasons we bought the Prius (and for the week we've owned it, we have enjoyed it very much) was to take it on long trips.  Ben is in the guard and his unit is a ways away.  This weekend he is gone to do his duty for the weekend.  Well, he got to drill and now there could be a government shutdown.  So his guard unit decided to cancel the drill just in case.  Which basically means all the prep work for the weekend that he and others have been doing is for nothing.  They have to clean everything back up (throw out food...) and just go home.  Good news, I'll see my husband again soon.  Bad news, the government just threw a wrench in a lot of peoples lives due to not being able to agree on the budget.

Now I don't know all the problems with trying to agree on a budget.  I don't listen to or read the news enough to be any sort of authority on that.  What I do know is that our nation depends on the government to be able to establish a budget for the year and they have failed to do so.  Check out this article for interesting insights on how this will affect different jobs.

07 April 2011


A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sing the Verdi Requiem with the community choir I am a member of.  This work is demanding on the choir that sings it and the orchestra that plays it.  The choir was composed of our choir and the choir from a local college.  We put in long rehearsals and many extra rehearsals during the week before the concert and when it came to concert time, I was only able to sing the Saturday evening concert, as I developed a bad sore throat before the Sunday afternoon one. Regardless, it was COMPLETELY worth it!  Check out this video of the Dies Irae.

It kind of reminds me of several undertakings that I have had since Christmas.  Currently I am training for a marathon (see last post) and fundraising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Not only am I putting in long training sessions (which getting sick made very difficult recently), but I am working on raising at least $2,900 (but I would love to surpass that by a few hundred if I could).  So again, I am doing something that is very demanding and takes a lot of long hours and extra work.

Also I am working on building up my tutoring business.  Tutoring includes working evenings and doing a lot to prepare for my students.  Yesterday I have been working a lot on gathering and creating resources all in one convenient location.  Check out my other blog Spanish Practice and see the work I have done on that.  Feel free to use those resources and pass them on to others that are learning Spanish.  The materials on the site are of course focused on my students' needs and catered to the curriculum their schools are using.

I am active at Church as well and recently have been selected as a Young Women's Representative for the LWML 2011 National Convention.  When it comes to LWML I am also helping start a new circle at Church.  Right now we are focusing it on other young women in the congregation and basically we meet and have Bible Study once a month.  So far we've met twice and I have really enjoyed it so far!  I can't wait to get more involved in LWML as time goes on.

Along with that I am also still working as a substitute teacher.  March was rather slow with it, but that was fine.  We had a lot of company and I was sick.  It is also to be expected due to spring breaks being on different weeks.  There are just not a lot of jobs in March.  I still enjoy working as a substitute.  I think what I like the best is seeing the students and giving them as hard of a time as they try to give me.

I am just amazed at how busy I have been since student teaching finished, but it has also all been a lot of fun.  It keeps me busy and at times I am probably busier than I should be (my husband can attest to that), but I can say that I at least enjoy the work I am doing and the activities I am involved in.

21 January 2011

Team in Training

Hey all! I am finally updating things here again! :-)

The biggest new news is that I signed on to run a marathon with Team in Training. This is the largest fundraising organization for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. So basically I am running with a cause and accepting donations towards finding the cure to these blood cancers.

What is the big deal about Leukemia and Lymphoma anyways? Well, according to the Society's website every 4 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer and every 10 minutes someone dies from one. The money I am fundraising goes towards research for finding the cure to these blood cancers, this way this terrible death rate can be decreased!

I am running with an Honored Teammate, his name is Josh and he is seven years old. Just last August he was diagnosed and is now going through chemotherapy. Please consider donating money for my race (which is the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego marathon) towards this worthy cause!