Thursday, June 28, 2012

First in Fredericksburg!

Mike and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary last weekend on the 23rd. I'm sure everyone says this, but it's crazy to think that it's been 1 year! It was kind of fun because as we were celebrating throughout Fredericksburg, we kept saying, "this time last year I was..." and it was fun to just think about all that.

Mike planned out a weekend trip to Fredericksburg which was so perfect and so much fun! We both LOVE the hill country area so it was nice to get out there. If you've never been to this lovely, little hill country town, it's so worth it! A HUGE Main St. with plenty of stores and shops. 

You know that raspberry chipotle sauce that people pour on top of cream cheese and no one can stop eating?? Ok, well, the place that first made that yummy goodness is in Fredericksburg! Sooo of course we had to sample every other kind! ... and maybe buy a few more...

Lots of restaurants, including our favorite, Hondo's.

Let me tell you why Hondo's is our favorite. Because it has a burger that has queso and pico de gallo on it. Need I say more?

Anyway, we enjoyed spending time at the Pacific War Museum, which of course was very educational and interesting. Definitely stop by all three parts if you go!

We also took a tour of a winery down there. I always really enjoy going on those tours because it really is so neat how they make wine. And every place has their own little method of doing it. It's crazy to me how long, and detailed the process of making wine is, and then Jesus' first miracle was turing water into wine! And not just any wine, the BEST wine. Wine that would probably take years to make! I think that's pretty amazing.

 Of course we got some incredible peach cobbler at one of those peach places on the side of the road!

We also spent some time with some friends from the summer camp Mike and I both worked at. We went bowling and all did a terrible job, then got some yummy pizza to make up for it! We spend a few hours on our balcony patio, just talking, hanging out. We noticed across the street from us there was a bride and groom taking pictures, and so we cheered and yelled "congratulations!" to them. Aaaaaaand then we stayed out on the patio until the very end of their reception. :) haha

Aaaand we all crammed into 1, yes 1 car. We were so inconspicuous 2 cops driving by didn't even notice. ;)

But probably the funniest part of the weekend was going to the Rock Box Theater. What this place does is they have an entertainment group performing a bunch of different songs spanning from the 50s through the 90s. (including a very talented Deputy Barney Fife impersonator!)

Let's just say we were the youngest people there under 50. We were looking around, and everyone we saw had white hair and was just so much older than us! Some of them were even celebrating their high school reunions from the 60s! Aaaaand others were celebrating anniversaries like Mike and I were, but instead of being married 1 year, oh, you know, they'd been married 32 or 54 years. No big deal.

But they did a ticket drawing for a free pair of tickets for the birthday people. And then, jokingly I said to Mike, "We better win those tickets for our anniversary!" What do you know? They not only gave the 54th anniversary people free tickets, but us as well! We were dying laughing. When we were leaving, everyone pinned us as "the 1 years". I wonder how they figured that out? ;)

Our stash that we brought home with us.

It was a perfect weekend! This 1st year has been met with several challenges and adjustments, but many, many, many laughs.

Looking forward to someday being that couple celebrating their 54th wedding anniversary. :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lake Bryan

Yesterday our friends from church, the Clarks, took Mike and me out on their boat to Lake Bryan. Their daughter, Sarah Beth, is in my small group at our youth group. I love her!

Anyway, they took us out on the boat, just a perfectly sunny day! We did wake-boarding, knee-boarding, and skiing. However, we only managed to get pictures of the wake-boaring. It was a lot of fun!

I really like wake-boarding. I even got up and stayed up for quite a while on my first try!!! I felt pretty proud of myself.

There I go! Woo!

Can't you tell just how excited I was?

I actually thought that I would be better at water skiing, but by the end of it all, my legs were just so incredibly tired, I couldn't keep myself up for very long. And after wake-boarding, using 2 skis felt a little strange... my shoulders are feeling it this morning!!!

What are your summer plans?

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Closet Project

When I first arrived at my school, Johnson, I noticed there were 2 closets in my room. Sweet! Lost of storage space for you know, useful stuff! That was what I had thought. However, upon opening one of the closets, I found this.

and this.

You literally cannot walk inside this closet! So I did what any good, sensible, 1st year teacher would do: I left it alone the entire year. I will say that I did ask the 2 previous music teachers at my school if they had any idea what was in there, and they said they didn't really want to mess with it.

I see.

So, I took it upon myself to clean this thing. To actually go through all the boxes and figure out just what the heck is in there. Maybe something I could actually use in the future! I had to know! I also just wanted more space to store things and peace of mind that the closet was clean!

And so I began the cleaning out process last Monday. My strategy was to empty the closet completely, and organize/trash from there.

Step 1. Making room to even get IN the closet.

Wow! There's actually a floor!

And this is all that stuff that was blocking the way.

Step 2. Get everything else out.

Oh goody! I get to go through all these terribly dusty, mostly trash, extremely dusty, old, did I mention dusty, boxes!

A teacher friend moved the shelves to make the most use out of the small space in there, which I was very thankful for. Because then it began to look like this.

Including fresh new labels on boxes! And dust free might I add! I not only scrubbed those lids, I scrubbed the floor, AND the walls. It was like one giant dust ball in there!

Eventually, it looked like this with everything in there.

Clean. Happy. Organized. Not dusty. Spacious. aaaah, it just makes me happy inside.

And now my room looks like this!

All those things ready to be donated, given to teachers, or thrown away. I'm very much looking forward to a clean music room again! It's funny though, when I am done with an organization project. I don't know if this is just me, but I love just looking at it, and staring at it, thinking about what it once looked like, and how much better it is now. How much brighter the sun looks. How much better food tastes, now that it's organized. I could stare at this for hours a long period of minutes.



Aaaaaaah. How lovely.

Completely satisfied,

Friday, June 1, 2012

1st Year Teacher: check!

Is it really over?? Is this school year actually finished? Did I really just complete my 1st year of teaching? It seems so surreal! When that bell rang today, it was ringing in my first summer as a teacher. I have had an incredible year! It's been amazing how much God has blessed me at my school; my principal, my team of teachers, new friends.

One thing I learned this year was to not let things worry me. I had to put on a total of 5 music programs this year and the day of my first program, one teacher came up to me and said, "You are the calmest music teacher I have seen on program days!" That made me feel good! I mean, there was no sense in worrying about it! The kids knew their music, nothing I could do to make it any better! I was more nervous to just speak into the microphone and say something awkward! Those kids shined and sang beautifully and were just so cute!

The best part about this year was creating my own music games and activities. I'm gonna be honest- I know people say that musicians are really creative, which, don't get me wrong, PLENTY of them are! But I am just not that creative when it comes to making things up. But I created several music games and instrument accompaniments for the students to play and they had a blast! Plus, it was fun for me to make and refreshing to have something new in my tool box!

One of the funniest things that a kid said to me (on numerous occasions- practically every single time I saw this one little kindergartner), was "Mrs. Nice I like your hair!" No matter what it looked like! In a bun, in a braid, down with a headband- this kid liked it all. Even today, on the last day of school, I saw him for 1 second, and he turned to me and said it in that little voice of his. It just made me laugh.

I'm excited for next year because the art teacher and I are going to try to collaborate and combine music and art in our classes. The 'Composer of the Month' will be in the same time period as the artist that the students are learning about. She'll play music from that time period in her classroom while the students work on their art. We also want to plan out a fine arts night at our school and have music and arts and crafts for the whole family to come and enjoy! I am getting so excited about that!

It's funny because I still sometimes feel like such a little kid at work. Who wouldn't? I get to play games and sing and teach music all day! But because I am, was a 1st year teacher, I felt sometimes like I was inferior to the other teachers, or I couldn't relate to them. Granted, most of them have been married for years and have kids. But I just have to remind myself that I know what I am doing! I know how to teach! I just had a bit of an inferiority complex goin' on... does that ever go away? I think part of it is because I still look really young. Funny story- so before school started, I was sitting on the floor in the music room going through books or something, and the PE coach walks in and looks at me for a second and asks "Oh, is your mom here?" I had to laugh because that was what I had joked about, saying that I will blend in with the kids! Well, the kids weren't even there yet! :) We still laugh about that day.

If I were to give one piece of advice to anyone about to dive into their first teaching year, I would say this: It's going to be hard, but maybe not how you think or expect. Be confident in what you know and have spent years learning and practicing and preparing. But don't be too afraid to seek help or advice. Oh, and don't stay at work for hours and hours and hours after the kids leave! Go home! And have a life! Ok, that was more than 1, but I just had to share that!

1 year ago I was applying all over the state of Texas for a job. 2 days before our wedding I was offered the elementary music teacher position at Johnson Elementary in Bryan. Get to be close to my sister and brother-in-law, and niece and nephew and LOVE my church and the friends I have there.

God is good. This year has flown by, so I'm hoping that this summer will just take it's time for me!

See you in August school!