27 August 2011

Life Lately...

Life has been a whirlwind the past 2 weeks or so. Seriously, we have not stopped moving until the late hours of the night and then we're up at the crack of dawn again for round 2!

A recent recap of life: We signed for our house on post last Monday. Last week we ran loads of boxes to our new house from the apartment every night, as well as trying to get the apartment clean so we could officially move out. Oh yeah, and I started my job...I got my students on Tuesday, and the day went great! I was literally sweating bullets when I got my first class...I was so nervous! And the air conditioning is pretty much nonexistent in my classroom, which I think added to the beads of sweat on my bead and running down my back...felt like I was burning alive. Hopefully my savvy teenagers didn't catch on...My highschoolers were gone from Wed-Fri. on a spiritual emphasis retreat which allowed me to get used to my other daily tasks at school as well as do some "revising" to what I already had planned. Here's how my day looks: 8-12:30: First grade assistant/Special Ed assistant...I spend a lot of time with an autistic boy, even doing pull out class with him every day for an hour. The 1st grade teacher just happens to be a friend of mine though so it's a blast being in class with her all morning! And I'm learning a lot about 6 year olds, such as: they do not know how to control their bladders and/or can't remember to go to the bathroom; they usually need help opening at least one item in their lunch box; they are MAJOR tattlers; one second they think you're the devil, the next they're telling you "I love you, Mrs. Page!".
I have also learned a lot about first grade; I'm trying to remember all of the phonics I so hated at that age as well as explain things like place value and making up goofy movements so that they can remember Bible verses...Katie (the 1st grade teacher) and I often share lots of laughs as well as looks of frustration...they are so cute but can be so whiny at times! :)

Next, I take the autistic boy (who's also in the 1st grade...) out for an hour so we can do specific practice on things like counting, the alphabet, and much more. I'm learning a lot about teaching and working with all types of students but I can't say it's always easy...I've already had to chase him down (literally, I'm sprinting) a few times this past week...we had some hard days, but I'm hoping for better next week! He's a really sweet boy when he wants to be ;)

After my morning of 1st grade,  I head off to teach my Spanish class. I was supposed to have both a Spanish 1 as well as a Spanish 2 class, and in fact, I still do...I just expected them to be at different times. Instead I teach them both during 7th period. I'm calling this a "creative challenge"...ha! And truth be told, I made a command decision to move some of the original Spanish 2 kids down to Spanish 1 because after I gave them a diagnostic test I realized they knew nothing...seriously, nothing. Thankfully my principal was cool with that :) They had a variety of Spanish teachers last year so it's an understandable situation.

After that, my afternoons vary. On Mondays and Wednesdays I help with the high school choir. Yes, please start laughing because if you know me, you know I cannot sing. I wish I could, but I'm at best an alto with some very good singers standing next to me who I can try to blend my voice with and match their note...So with choir I sing with them and do crowd control...it's hilarious to me. The rest of the afternoons I'm either with 1st grade or being the yearbook sponsor, which is another title I carry for this school year...haha! Also no experience with this, so we'll see how it goes. I truly love the school I'm working for as well as all the teachers, and the day keeps the time rolling along, even if I am doing laps around the school!

So, school has provided me with quite a workload of lesson planning and grading, and once we got done with last week, it was time to rent a U-haul.  We picked it up Friday afternoon and starting loading up our cars.  Saturday we have some dear and generous friends come over and help us move all of our stuff to the new house...no rest for the weary, right? We started at 7 and got done around 1...had to do it while it was at least a little cool out! This past week we have spent unpacking and trying to get things set up, but progress is slow...I think we're burned out! We helped our friends Stuart and Dana move today into their new house which was very exciting! Most of the friend group is now established in a house...so much better than cramped apartments!

This last week was busy with unpacking and unit-related activities. We had a battalion pre-deployment ball last night which was a blast! It was a really fun night and I got to know some of the guys Brian works with and see a lot of friends which made for a great evening. Disregard the fact that it took me a solid hour to get my hair to cooperate...grrrr. It is at times the bane of my existence.

Brian is doing well; work has slowed down some and they now have all of their official gear for deployment. The deployment uniform looks a little different than what they wear in garrison, so they get issued all this stuff in the new camo...uniforms, ruck sacks, body armor...the list goes on. You should see our storage closet-it is a mountain of green and tan! He's set to leave soon; in keeping with OPSEC (Operational Security...another Army acronym for ya!) I'm not going to publish exactly where he's going/when he's leaving, but if you want to know his mailing address or something like that let me know and I can get it to you once he gets overseas :) He loves Vienna sausage. Disgusting, right? Just the sight of those slimy things makes me queasy...  Perhaps that's why he makes a good infantryman...he will literally eat almost anything. As long as it's not a tomato.

Well I'm sure I'm forgetting things but I think that's plenty for now...Pictures of the house to come once it's all set up!

15 August 2011

Disney World and Moving!

Well, this post can't be too long because of all the life happening right now, but I figured I'd update you on the latest happenings in the Page household(s)...

Last week, Brian and I flew to Disney World for one last hoorah before he deploys in a few weeks (ahhhh). We arrived on Monday afternoon and decided to hit the park immediately! We started with Disney's Hollywood Studios, which used to be MGM. Of course the first thing we do is Tower of Terror...I forgot how exhilerating that ride it! After some rainshowers and getting free ice cream (bonus!), we headed back to our resort. We stayed at Shades of Green, which is a Disney resort specifically for all branches of the military and their dependents. It's very nice and we had a great time there last week! Tuesday, it downpoured again while we were at Epcot...we finally broke down and bought ponchos because we were getting so wet...but that didn't deter us! We spent 4 hours walking around the "countries"; if you've never been to Epcot, they have about 15 countries represented in small clusters with food, artifacts, videos, and sometimes rides associated with that country. We had a blast--I loved seeing all of the creative architecture and eating delicious German carmel and chocolate...and Brian of course had a beer :) At Epcot we also rode a ride that simulated a space shuttle take-off and flight...it was awesome! We realized at the end of the day as we watched an amazing fireworks show that we had been walking/on our feet for over 13 hours...yes, my feet were aching!

Wednesday was my 24th birthday and we spent the morning sleeping in a bit (it was downpouring again...) and eating breakfast in bed....breakfast being PopTarts, that is. Everyday we carried in our own lunches and snacks to deter some cost...their food is pretty expensive! That afternoon we returned to Hollywood Studios and did the Rockin' Roller Coaster as well as Tower of Terror...three more times. Seeing a trend? We also went to the Indiana Jones Show which was really great! They go through how they accomplish special effects in the movies-lots of explosions! That night, Stacey and Zach drove down from Gainesville to have dinner with us at Paradiso 37 in Downtown Disney. It was sooo yummy! It was so great getting to see them too and catching up on life as well as laughing a lot!

Thursday we got to get into Magic Kingdom an hour earlier than normal since we were staying at a Disney Resort, which was awesome! That meant that in 1.5 hours, we had ridden Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean! We got quite a few fast passes that day and rode Splash and Space Mountain various times...Splash Mountain is Brian's favorite, and Space is mine :) We saw lots of Disney characters as we roamed around too! Which reminds me...I definitely got a picture with Mulan, my favorite :) And if Nemo had been around, that probably would've happened too... :) Yes, I'm 24 years old, why do you ask?... haha!

We flew back into Huntsville (after being delayed 2 hours), arrived at 6:45 PM, said goodbye to our families at the airport, and drove to Jackson, MS. We got to Jackson around 11:30 that night, and we pulled out of the driveway Saturday morning at 6 AM sharp...We were planning on stopping but we were making good time, soooo we drove all the way from Jackson to El Paso for a grand total of about 1,050 miles...15 hours or so. But hey, the GPS said it was going to take 18 hours...take that! The reason we wanted to get back quickly is because we had so much to do! I had a bunch of lesson-planning to do and we had to pack up the house...which we signed for this morning! We officially have a house on post now! Hooray! So this week consists of...Brian going back to work, me starting my job (get my students tomorrow!), moving...and about 12 things for the FRG in our unit. One step at a time, right?....

I'll update you on school whenever I find a second to breathe...until then, I will be moving boxes and educating minds! :)

07 August 2011

The Epic Vacation of 2011

Thought I'd update the blogworld on the Page happenings over the past 3 weeks or so...and the craziness isn't over yet! In a nutshell, I've been living out of a suitcase since July 21 and will continue to do so until August 14...yep, almost a month!

A brief recap of my life before the "real world" starts on August 15...
July 21-flew to Jackson for Krystina and Eric's wedding weekend! And what a wonderful weekend it was. The rehearsal and the ceremony/reception went off without a hitch except for a brief rain shower...or rather, monsoon. The rehearsal was at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame (Eric's a huge sports fan!), where Stacey, Karen, Elizabeth and I played all of the interactive games at the museum. We were such enthusiastic participants that Elizabeth ripped the slit in her dress so bad that Jan had to walk behind her on their way out! It was so much fun though! I stayed with Karen and Jared, which is always so much fun--I love their darling house and ridiculously comfortable bed and their company of course! Karen took me to her Bunco group Thursday night and I almost won the award for "Most Losses". Who doesn't love a game where you can get a prize for losing?

Saturday, Krystina was a gorgeous bride; I had no doubt about this because the girl is stinking drop dead gorgeous in everyday life, so I was sure as a bride she'd be beautiful! It was probably the most people I've ever seen at a wedding ceremony...perhaps because Eric is the pastor of the church they got married in! You could tell how much the congregation loves these two...I know they must be a blessing to their church! Then they swept off and spent the week in Hawaii. jealous. Their wedding also allowed me to see almost all of the MSU girls I was close to in college! It was so neat to catch up and hear about how their lives have developed over the last  year.

After the weekend in Jackson, Stacey and I drove up to Starkville Saturday night. Sunday I was flooded with love from some of my dearest friends at First Pres in Starkville. FPC was probably the hardest thing to leave behind in Starkville, and it was an absolute blessing to get to spend a morning in worship there again, especially because Joey, our college minister, spoke!

That week I stayed with Clay and Lindsay in their darling house; it is quintessentially cute, and has so much CHARACTER! I'm  dying to be in a non-cookie cutter house/apartment! Lots of windows, natural light, and old house charm. Unfortunately I took no pictures of their house...but Lindsay has some up on her blog!

That week was insane...better to just give a brief synopsis: lunch/visits with old bosses, student-teaching teachers, friends, children, church family, and so many more! We spent the week cleaning up/setting up Lindsay's new classroom at Armstrong Middle School! So proud of her!

Thursday I headed down to the beach with the youth group as a chaperone to BigStuf, a youth conference in Panama City Beach. We went last year and had a great time, so we decided to repeat again this summer! We had some pretty good speakers (and one we didn't care for as much...) and the youth leaders got to spend time being poured into from the leaders of Think Orange, a ministry that's aiming to join families and churches in one mission to raise up their children as followers and disciples of Christ...amazing! We also played some intramurals, and made it to the finals in frisbee! We lost, but the kids were great sports and showed awesome sportsmanship.

We returned on Sunday, and mom picked me up in Birmingham to cart me home...thank goodness for family to be my chauffeurs! Brian also arrived from El Paso last Monday, and we spent last week at home between mine and Brian's houses, catching up with family. Last Tuesday, I drove with mom to Atlanta to pick Emily up from India! She's been there for the last 4 weeks with a project from Clemson, and she told us some hilarious stories about being chased by monkeys and sittinng on elephants as well as various temple visits!

We've just returned from Birmingham from an epic friend reunion...almost all of our friends from MSU were able to come, as well as both our brothers and their respective wife/fiancee! We spent the day shopping/window shopping, eating great food, and spending time in great conversation. It was the last time for many of them to see Brian before he deploys, and it meant so much to us for them to drive such a distance to see us. It's so refreshing to see friends! I miss living in the same town as all of them!

And the epic vacay is not done...we're flying out to Disney World tomorrow morning! Whoo-hoo exciting! Brian wanted to go before he left, so we're heading down there to spend a few days to ourselves :)

It has been an insanely crazy few weeks but I wouldn't trade them for anything! When we get back, we sign for our house on-post, I start my job, and Brian goes back to work...all on Aug. 15! It's going to be INSANE! Moving, new teaching job, and a lot of Army-related things to do...I try not to think too much about it, otherwise I feel stress building...instead I'm focusing on the fun of right now and I'm just going to take a deep breath when I get back and soak in my last few weeks with Brian before he leaves!