Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You...

This totally made my day (and I've had a pretty good one). It's the trailer for The Half Blood Prince!!!! It looks positively thrilling. The young Tom Riddle is quieter than I expected, but that makes him SCARY....

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Young at Heart

Last week, I spent 4 days with my amazing friends, Marcy, Renato and there 2 adorable girls. Lucky me! Pre-children Marcy visits normally would include intense shopping expeditions, beach days, laps at the pool and gourmet meals which took us five hours to create. Not a lot has changed! Glad to report that we hit BOTH H&Ms in the greater San Jose area. Wednesday, we all traveled to Capitola. To prove that we're not old, Marcy and I hit the waves with the goal of swimming to the buoys (brrrrr). We were stopped by two black heads bobbing about 10 yards ahead of us. Harbor seals! Marcy pointed out that sharks tend to feed on seals so we resorted to floating and treading for a while watching the wild life. The next day, we went to the pool for a swim. (Marcy's oldest daughter wasn't easily fooled by Ring Around the Rosies.) Renato made us all happy with a doughnut run... Speaking of, our five hour meals are reduced to true 30 minute meals with Renato at the helm! This visit was similar to the countless other visits, but it was a little richer with all that has been added Marcy's life. She says that the kids keep them young on the inside. I'm so glad that they share the fountain of youth!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bye, Bye, Bakersfield

Yesterday, my family packed a U-haul and I said good-bye to Bakersfield (I'll be back to turn in keys!). This event has put me in a reflective mood. Most of you will remember how I came to be in Bakersfield in the first place. I was offered a job teaching 1st grade in Bakersfield, but I had an interview for a 6th grade position in a Santa Barbara school. I interviewed in Santa Barbara on a Friday, got the job, took the Bakersfield job, and moved with a suitcase to the valley (this happened in one day). School was scheduled to begin on Monday. That Saturday, I met with the 1st grade team. A co-worker walked in, and before introducing herself she said, "I just have one question... Why Bakersfield?" I remember spluttering out something about living for four years in Santa Barbara and wanting to try something different and something about how 6th graders are scary (give me a break...I was 22!). Now, 7 years later, I might have a better answer for the "Why Bakersfield" question. Just for fun, I thought I'd try and come up with a retrospective Top Ten list.
Why Bakersfield Top 10:
10. I learned the joys of home ownership: locating the water valve (remember, Midori?), snaking toilets, and gardening in 100 degree weather!
9. I had the opportunity of teaching three different grade levels (1-3) in a respected district..great resume builder!
8. My brother spent two years as my roommate, finishing his degree. (He was my personal chef.)
7. I finished my Masters degree (something I might not have worked on in SB).
6. Daddy took me out to dinner every Thursday, his Bakersfield sales days.
5. I worked at a brand new school with really loving students and really fun technology.
4. I had awesome colleagues who challenged me, made me laugh and are my very dear friends.
3. My Bible study group. (I could write an entire post about them! I absolutely loved growing with you all...We've seen God work in our lives. That's powerful community stuff).
2. Bakersfield is an awesome junction between the Central Coast and Northern and Southern California, allowing me to stay connected with my family and my Westmont friends.
1. I learned that living a contented life does not depend on where you live, it depends on who you serve (please remind me I wrote this when I'm complaining about Albanian power outages, trash and stray dogs!).

Saturday, July 5, 2008

July 4th Mania

Greetings! My blog is going to take you all over the world, but I thought I'd start it in my own front yard. Yesterday was July 4th. It's not unusual to find grown-ups behaving like kids on Christmas morning, at least in my family. Yesterday was no exception. My brother and dad created the "Ferris Wheel of Death," and set a trashcan on fire. This tradition of pyromasters dates all the way back to the cannons of '76. Let it be known that we are the United States of America and we are free. I have a feeling that over the next few years I'll be learning to appreciate a free America even more.