Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Tree

Me and Clarke got our first Christmas tree on Friday. I had been looking forward to picking it out and putting it up for awhile now, as it is our first tree as a married couple. I had thoughts of how fun it would be and how great it would look, well its up and it looks great, but the process was not fun. Let me explain:

We brought our stand with us to pick it out, to make sure that it fit in the stand properly. We live in an apartment, so we don't have hedge clippers or saws or anything like that to cut it ourselves. So, we picked out the tree and asked them to cut it to fit the stand. When we got it back to our place we tried to put it in the stand, well it didn't fit. The people did an awful job of making sure it would fit. I was so frustrated. We went to my mom's and borrowed the clippers and a saw, went back to our place and finally got it to fit. Here is Clarke right after:

We were so excited to get it up. Next was the lights. We plugged them in to make sure that they all worked. Why wouldn't they though? I bought them brand new last year right after Christmas. Well, they didn't. One whole strand was out. After checking and rechecking each individual light I couldn't get it to work. We gave up and went to Wal-Mart to buy new lights.

Finally, the tree was done. Putting on the ornaments was really fun after we got past the many frustrations. The tree looks great now, and I love seeing all of our ornaments hanging on it. It is a great showcase of ornaments of both of ours from our childhood, from places we have been together (we started that tradition this year) and from important events that have happened this year (mainly our wedding and Betty). Here it is all done and lit up:

And of course Betty loves it too. She sits under it looking like a little present. So cute. Here she is:

We will always remember putting up our first tree. I am so glad that it is done though, and now we can just enjoy it together.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


In no particular order, what I am so thankful for in my life. Thank you to Shabby Blogs for the cute frames!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Recipe

My mom makes the best sweet potato casserole ever. It's not your traditional kind, its full of sugar and butter and its so yummy. I made it for the first time tonight for our church's Thanksgiving service. I was so happy when it turned out good, you never know when you make it yourself. Here it is right after it came out of the oven:

This dish is a tradition in my family. Me and my brothers always look forward to the sweet potato casserole. I thought I would share the recipe since it's such a big deal in my family.

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I use the canned)
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix all together and pour into greased pan.

For the topping:
1 cup chopped pecan nuts (this is optional, I don't put the nuts on top, but some like them)
1/3 cup self-rising flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

Mix together and sprinkle on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Candy Store

Today I had the pleasure of going to Main Art. It is my favorite art supply store by far. It is local and independently owned. Upstairs is a gallery where local artists can show their work. The only reason why I don't go more often is because when I walk in I become like a little kid in a candy store, I want to buy everything. I could rationalize buying one of everything in that store, as I think about all the wonderful things I could create. Today my purchase was justified by the fact that I needed new paint and some other things to make Christmas gifts. I can't wait till I find the time to use my new supplies!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hanover High

It was a month ago that I finished student teaching. I can't believe it has been that long. For the longest time I would count down how long it would be till I started, it always seemed so far away. As I look back I was truly blessed at this placement. Cindy, my cooperative teacher was the best. She has been teaching for almost thirty years and she shared all of her wisdom about art and teaching with me everyday. It was very different from my first placement. That one was so rough and at the end it left me wondering if teaching is what I really wanted to do. Of course hind sight is everything because when I look back on that placement I can see how much I learned from it, especially about classroom management and perseverance. Hanover High School was a great experience for me and at the end it confirmed that teaching was my calling. On the last day they had a party for me with a cake, I don't know why but that meant so much to me. Below are some pictures of student's work from my classes. :)

Amanda's pen and ink. She did stippling, it's all tiny dots.

Kathyrn's clay vessel. Inspired from Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum.

Courtney's linoleum block print.

Brianna's value drawing.

Meghan's clay vessel. Inspired from the Bird's Nest in Bejing.

Oh I miss all of these students so much! I can't wait till I have a classroom of my own and don't have to leave them after only two months.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Caught In The Act

So for some reason Betty is obsessed with my hair ties. I always find them in the most random places and for a long time I wondered how they got there. One day I finally caught Betty playing with one. After that I would find her in my bathroom with her head in my basket searching for more. This morning as I was getting ready for church I walked into the bathroom and caught her red handed. So, of course I grabbed my camera and took her picture.

Peeking in.

Putting her paw in.

I think she got it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Job Fair

Here I am all ready to go to Henrico County's job fair on Saturday morning. I was so nervous, I hate interviewing. It seems after the interview on the way home I always think of what I should have said or could have asked. They say interviewing is a skill, and like any other skill you need practice. This is true, I wish I could have gotten more though before I interviewed with Henrico County, as they are my first choice. I was discouraged as the person interviewing me said there probably won't be any jobs for the upcoming school year, I thought then why are you interviewing me? I must remember God is bigger than the economy, bigger than the school systems. I know this is what He has for me and I think it is just going to take time. That is the hard part, waiting. I just have to remember in the end it will be worth it all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

So Funny

This is so funny. What will they come up with next?!

Monday, November 9, 2009

All Good Things Must Come To An End

So I am definitely one of those people who always orders the same things at the same restaurants. Sunday afternoon was no exception as I sat down in Baker's Crust in Short Pump.  I couldn't wait to eat the goat cheese. Honestly, that is why I wanted to go there, it is that good. I guess I should say it was that good. To my disappointment, it is no longer on the menu. I couldn't believe it! Why would they take it away? They replaced it with a similar appetizer, goat cheese spread and hummus. It was definitely not the same. Not even half as good as the original. The original came in a warm olive oil with garlic and shallots. This came in a bread bowl. Ugh, I am obviously still not over it.

This got me thinking. Why do companies and restaurants replace things or stop making them altogether? For instance, I remember the bread sticks at Wendy's. They haven't been there since I was in high school, so that's at least seven years. But they were so good, me and my friend Karen used to go there just for those bread sticks. When they stopped I remember the person working told me that according to a survey people preferred more toppings on their salads than a bread stick. I still wonder why they couldn't have offered more toppings and the break stick too. Why did the break stick have to cease to exist just because there were more toppings? Today I was babysitting and the little girl had American Girl dolls. I did when I was her age too, I loved them so much. I told her how I had Samantha and Kirsten. She said "oh, they don't make them anymore". I couldn't believe it! They were my favorites. I wonder why Pleasant Company stopped making them. Why did Honda stop making the Prelude? That was my dream car for so long. Why did Callaway stop making the women's gem starter set? (Although this just happened so I am hoping I can still get them.)

I guess the cliche all good things must come to an end really is true. That leaves me with two questions: One, what is your favorite thing that no longer is made? Two, do you know where I can find some good goat cheese?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Clean Up Crew

I couldn't believe how cold it was this morning. I woke up early for a Saturday morning and me and Clarke headed off to volunteer with our church. There was a group of about a hundred of us, all gathered to help out various people in our community. We went to 13 different homes and did yard work for those who could not do it themselves. The house I was at was owned by a single mother of four who worked and went to school full time. I couldn't imagine being in her shoes. I should have taken a before and after picture, it was amazing how much we got done in a couple hours. We raked up leaves, cleaned gutters, got rid of trash, trimmed the hedges, etc. It probably hadn't been done in years. I think I counted about 25 bags of leaves by the time we finished.

My group (pictured below) was great. I am always reminded of how lucky I am to belong to Richmond Community Church. It's not your ordinary church, it's modern and full of young people who are involved. All the pastors are great, their leadership has made it a wonderful place to be a part of. I was reminded of this as I worked with Pastor Rick today. I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve today, and to be reminded of how blessed I am as well.

Pictured Left to Right: Shelley, Clarke, Melanie, Kerry, Me, John and his Daughters, Casey, Michelle and Pastor Rick. Bottom: Lucas, Home Owner's Little Girl and Colin.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My First Post

So I decided to start a blog. I have done this before, for my technology class at U of R. For that one I had to write about issues in the classroom and technology. This one will be more personal and fun. I hope to recap my journey as I search for a job that will hopefully become my career, start my life with my new husband, and all the fun things along the way. Enjoy!:)