Saturday, August 22, 2009


OK, so B1's 7th grade softball team won a tournament today! Yay! Their season began on Thursday with a 4-0 win against Edwardsville Liberty. Then last night they played Highland in the first game of this tournament and beat them 10-0. And today, we beat O'Fallon Fulton 18-0 and Mascoutah 24-4. Whoo-hoo! Here are a few pics of the champions. In the bottom 2 pictures, B1 is in the back row, next to the coach.

Now that school has started, my posts are probably going to be a bit fewer. Next time, I'll try to post some more pics from Florida.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Florida Pics Part 3

Here are some more pics from our Florida trip. Some of them are kind of random!

First, a pic of Mickey in the afternoon parade at the Magic Kingdom

This is just a cool decoration hanging from a light pole near the entrance of the Magic Kingdom.

The barbershop quarter that performs outside Casey's Corner daily.

Bruce walking down Main Street USA! When I go to Disney World and enter the Magic Kingdom, this view is my very favorite. I just have to stand at the end of Main Street, breathe deeply while looking at the castle, and everything is right in my world again!

This is one of the Friendship boats that took us from place to place. We went back to our hotel after leaving the Magic Kingdom, showered, and changed our sweaty clothes and then booked it over to Epcot on the boat!

And we had to get to Epcot by a certain time in order to surprise Donna, one of my best friends. She was on her first-ever trip to WDW and I knew that she and her family were eating that night in the Canada pavillion at Epcot in a restaurant called LeCellier. So we waited around the corner from the entrance to LeCellier and watched for them to arrive. One they did, Donna was reading the outside menu when I snuck up behind her and put my hands over her eyes. I said "it's someone from home" and she recognized my voice and said "you're kidding me!" She knows how much I love Disney!

This picture and the second last picture show our main course at dinner that night. We ate at Chefs de France in the France pavillion at Epcot. Bruce and I kind of "mixed and matched" our dinners. His came with the steak, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and tomatoes. Mine came with the steak and little fried potatoes. when we got them, we kind of looked at each other and said "you wanna trade" at the same time? Too funny. It worked out perfectly but I forgot to take pictures of the meals before we started to dig into them!

This soup was so wonderful. French Onion is one of my favorites anyway, and this one was great. And it was a pretty nice amount of soup too, not just a few spoonsful! YUM!

One of my goals is to someday eat at all the Walt Disney World table-service restaurants. That is a really hefty goal considering I only get there maybe every 2-3 years (but sometimes only for a day, like this trip). And.....there are A LOT more restaurants there than one might think. For example, there are 12 table-service restaurants in Epcot alone! Plus, there are so many hotels now and each of the larger ones have more than one restaurant. Also, the restaurants (like anything else) change periodically. Anyway, I can dream, can't I?

And finally, dessert! Creme Brulee. Bruce did not get dessert but ate a little of mine.

That's all for today. I still have more, which I will try to post soon. With school starting up, it may be a few more days in between my posts now though.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Florida Pics Part 2

One of my very favorite sights.....the Walt Disney World busses!

Outside Animal Kingdom Lodge before we went in for dinner at Jiko.

Waiting for our reservation time, we went outside in back and looked at the animals.

Inside the lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Disney's Hollywood Studios at dusk. We didn't go inside but instead boarded a boat to the Boardwalk. This was just a stop along our way in the transportation system!

This was our hotel.....the Dolphin.

This was taken outside of Toy Story Midway Mania. I love this ride!

And this is my favorite ride in the entire world.....anywhere.....anyplace! Tower of Terror!

Something that is very coveted at Walt Disney World! FASTPASSES!

I love these green guys!

Friday, August 7, 2009

And Today..... even better! B1 found out earlier today that she made the 7th grade softball team! YES! The wait is finally over and she made it! They were supposed to find out yesterday but apparantly it was a tough decision for the coach, so she waited until today to make it. We are going out tonight with some friends whose daughter also made the team to CELEBRATE!

And here's another really cool thing about it all: Of the 13 girls who made the team, EIGHT of them were from St. Jacob. Yes, EIGHT! I am really really happy about this!

Mathematically speaking, approximately 79% of the girls in the 7th grade are from Troy, 12% are from St. Jacob, and 9% are from Marine.

St. Jacob rocks, and WE KNOW IT! Go Jakey girls! We are PROUD of YOU!

Florida Pics Part 1

I am going to post some pictures from our (Bruce and me) recent short trip to Florida. I'll do this over several days. Here are the first ones.

Flying above the clouds on our way to Orlando!

Road signs leading me to one of my very favoties places!

Welcome to the Happiest Place on Earth!

The sign outside our hotel.....

These were taken in the lobby of the hotel.

These are pictures of our hotel room.

That's all for now.....more in a day or two (or three.....)!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Today Was.....

.....a really good day! It was our last weekday together as a family for the summer of 2009. Tomorrow, the girls have Bible School and Monday, Bruce begins his school year. So today was it. After B1's softball tryouts (they were supposed to find out today who made the team but apparantly it's a tough decision for the coaches, so the results will now be known tomorrow), Bruce had a dentist appointment and then the 4 of us went to lunch in Highland at the House of Plenty. Other than Bruce and a worker, I think there was only one other man there! We then dropped B2 off at Bruce's mom's home for a little while. B1 and I went out to Triad and spent about 2.5 hours working in my classroom. I still have a bit more work to do before I am actually required to be there, but we got a lot done today.

Bruce and B2 picked us up at Triad about 5:00 and we headed towards Edwardsville. We had a quick supper at Jack n the Box (yeah, I didn't cook a single meal today.....another reason it was a really good day! haha!), then went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things we all needed for the school year. I bought 48 notebooks for $.15 each and will sell them in my classroom along with pencils this year. I also got some binders and dividers for my Geometry and Algebra 2 materials. We had decided to go to a movie tonight too. We saw "Aliens in the Attic." Not exactly an academy-award winning movie, but cute enough. When we left the theater, B2 begged us to go to the park near Showplace 12. She claims she LOVES that park. It was beginning to get dark but we went anyway. Just so happens we had a frisbee in the car so while the girls played, Bruce and I threw it around. I am not very good at throwing a frisbee. Kinda sad.

Now we are home; B1 is in bed in preparation for her last day of softball tryouts; Bruce is playing spades with strangers on the big PC; B2 is looking through B1's cell phone and writing down people's phone numbers for some reason; and I am on the laptop. I hope you all are having a great night. One week from now, I will be preparing to go to bed in order to get up for my first day of the 2009-10 school year.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Well, we made it home from vacation safe and sound, we are unpacked, the laundry is done and put away, and life is back to "normal." Whatever that means! August is here. Sigh.....August. Like I've said to a few of my friends.....why does 2 weeks in December sound like an eternity, but in August it just sounds like a little "blip"? When someone tells me that we get 2 weeks off for Christmas, I jump with joy; when someone says that school starts in 2 weeks, I wonder "where did the summer go?"

This is going to be a very busy school year for me. We got new books at the end of last year. New books are great.....shiny, no torn pages or writing in them. But then again, new books for teachers means all new lesson plans, in accordance to those new books. So even though I have taught Geometry and Algebra 2 in the past, I've never taught them out of this book. So I gotta do it all over again. And on top of that, I have a 3rd class this year which I have never taught before. I am depending on another teacher friend of mine to guide me on this one. He's taught the class in the past and he is teaching it again this year along with me.

I get excited about new school years though. Meeting my new students, getting used to a new schedule, making my lunch again (because it's actually a healthy lunch during the school year!), and going to football games! The only really bad part is getting up early. I HATE getting up early. I love my sleep! Oh well, I guess that gives me something to look forward to on weekends, right? Ha ha!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Colorado Day 8 (Last Day)

Friday, July 31, 2009: We didn’t have to wake up real early today, so we slept until about 9am.
The girls and I ate breakfast at the hotel while Bruce walked to Hardee’s. Once we were ready, we left and headed to the US Air Force Academy, which is on the north side of Colorado Springs. We went to the visitor’s center and then walked on our own to the chapel. From the chapel, you can look out at a very large piece of land on campus. It might be their “quad,” but I am not sure. Anyway, there were 10 groups of cadets all dressed in camouflage who were lining up to march. I think there were about 135 cadets in each group. Eventually, after lining up on one side of the square, they began marching and marched right past us. We were standing above them, on the huge walkway of the church. It was neat to see. The church is HUGE and very pretty! We headed back to the gift shop and looked around a little while. The girls bought some post cards, which they have now decided to collect (along with B2’s smashed pennies!). We continued north towards Denver and decided that since Littleton, Colorado is a suburb along our way, we would go there and look up Columbine High School. This is where 12 students and 1 teacher were shot and killed by 2 other students on 4/20/99. Since Bruce and I are both high school teachers, things like this are very interesting to us. We found the school with no problems and when we drove around it, a couple of the vantage points were familiar from seeing them on the TV footage 10 years ago. We asked a couple people and eventually found a memorial dedicated to those fallen in a park next to the school. The memorial was nice, yet sad. We left there about 2:45pm and since our plane wasn’t departing until 8:25, we had some more time to kill. We found a movie theater on the way to the airport and went to see the movie “The Proposal.” We liked it and it was a great way to kill 2 hours! After that, it was on to the airport! We first had to fill up the tank on the car. (By the way, we put 1376 miles on the rental car in 8 days (that’s an average of 172 miles per day!) and it was a bit dirty on both the inside and outside when we turned it in. We even considered taking it to a car wash but upon further discussion decided not to do so because we think that Hertz is a rip-off rental car company and being that we were paying what we considered to be tooooo much money in the first place, they could just clean it themselves! Ha!) We turned the car in, got our receipt, and boarded the shuttle to the airport. Once there, we decided to check in outside the actual terminal, checked all but one of our suitcases (we had to purchase an extra suitcase last night in order to be able to bring home all the crap we bought! J ), and then headed to security. Once through, we decided to eat dinner. I had some Mexican food and Bruce and the girls had McDonald’s. Our flight
boarded on time but didn’t leave until about 15 minutes late because one family was having trouble with their tickets. Anyway, once up in the air, we had some turbulence and had to maneuver around a storm. The pilot said we basically flew to Canada to get around it. I don’t know how true that really was but I do know we got into St. Louis about 30 minutes late, even with a 75mph tail wind after getting past the storm. At that point, the pilot said we were traveling at just over 600mph! The girls thought that was cool! B2 didn’t like the turbulence too much and chose to close the window by her seat! When we got off the plane and headed to baggage claim, Bruce spotted Todd Worrell (former St. Louis Cardinal relief pitcher) in the airport, waiting for someone on our flight. The luggage arrived very quickly and all our pieces were there. We next rode a shuttle from the airport to intermediate parking where we were reunited with our van. We arrived at home about 12:45am. We brought the luggage, etc. into the house but didn’t unpack anything. We just headed to bed, which felt so good!

I think the length of this vacation was just about perfect. Had we driven instead of flown, we would have had to add about 3 days drive time to the trip, but considering we flew, 8 full days of sightseeing was perfect!

The chapel at the US Air Force Academy

The cadets lining up on campus

Marquee at Columbine High School

This isn't a very good picture. It was raining a little. I don't know what that little puff of smoke is either. This was the vantage point I remember seeing on TV.

Bruce and I liked this quote.

The short brick walls with the stone on top have dedications to the killed students and teacher. On the ground you can see a "ribbon" in the stone. And on the far wall are many quotes made by other students, teachers, parents, and people of the community (even one from former President Bill Clinton) about the tragedy.

Overview of the whole memorial area

This is at the entrance to the memorial area. If you click on this picture, you can probably read the words.