22 September 2011

Swimming in BBQ and 1st grade-isms

Hola blog world! Thought I'd fill you in one the happenings of the Page household...for one thing, our garbage (up until yesterday) and kitchen (still...) smell of the approximately 65 POUNDS of barbeque pork Brian and I cooked up  last week. Yes, 65 pounds. Let's just say my crockpot and one that I borrowed from a friend were running non-stop from Monday night to Thursday afternoon...

A little background: I serve as a co-leader for our FRG (Family Readiness Group) for Brian's company. We decided to have a predeployment picnic and wanted to step it up a notch from the normal hotdog menu...If you need a reason to dislike hotdogs, go volunteer to unwrap 150 of them and grill them...but anyways, we decided to change the menu to a BBQ, complete with pulled pork and all the sides. Thankfully, we had a lot of wives and soldiers bring sides, chips, and desserts, which meant my leader and I were responsible for all the meat, drinks, and servingware. Well, we were preparing for around 100; there are about 150 guys in Brian's company, but we figured not all would come...until we got word (on Tuesday, before the cookout THURSDAY) that it was now a "mandatory" event for all soldiers...hence the need to up the ante on the meat! I seriously love BBQ pork, but if I don't eat it again for a solid 2 months or so, I will not cry. I have never in my life made so much food! (on top of that I made a ridiculous amount of pasta salad...) The picnic though was a great success and I think fun was had by all. Much thanks probably to the 2 kegs and whatever the guys brought in, but whatev. I was happy with the turnout :) And they ate my food. But they didn't eat enough, because I still have 1 1/2 crockpots full...hello, freezer.

I always get so nervous before things like this because I'm paranoid that I will run out of food and then people will make fun of me. No seriously, they would...that's how these guys are! :) I know they mean it in jest, but I would feel terrible about it for days...so I just opt to have too much :)

Needless to say, I was glad for last Thursday to come and go! This past weekend, one of my friends (who dates a guy in Brian's battalion) decided to host "Thanksgiving" for our group of friends before they left since they won't get to have a real Thanksgiving overseas. It was so much fun! We cooked a 25 pound turkey (see, she too worries about not having enough!), 4 pumpkin pies, apple crisp, 6-8 quarts of mashed potatoes, gravy for days, mac'n'cheese, grilled butternut squash, and homemade whipped cream for the pies! Can you say 10 extra pounds?...But it was SO.GOOD. And so much fun! Love making good memories before they leave!

Finally, I leave you with some of the most hilarious things that 1st graders say:

"Mrs. Page, one time, I was dancing around by myself, and I was swinging my arms and I accidentally punched myself in the face." (he just randomly told me this one day, which makes it that much better)

(after I had read a book about fish and they were telling me what kind of fish they'd like to be) "Oh yeah, I'd be an ALIEN FISH! Did you know that alien fish are more powerful and dangerous than any other fish? They can kill any other fish that swims in the sea...they're that powerful." (and on, and on, and on about alien fish)

The same kid said these things. He is so funny, and he doesn't even mean to be. What's even better is that he gets so excited that he talks super fast and when he runs out of air he takes a gasping breath and continues. Seriously, Katie and I love this kid. Even if he does talk to himself and distract the class all day long...

17 September 2011

My nickname is Tyra

A few weeks ago, I was asked by several of the other teachers in my school to help them with a "project" they had at their second job...They work at Christopher and Banks, which is a clothing store, and needed "models" to show off their fall line. Well, Katie (the 1st grade teacher) and I say yes, more out of a feeling of obligation than a true desire to walk the catwalk. Well, as it turns out, Katie's husband deployed today, so I had to fly solo! I knew a few other of the teachers who said they were going, but...let's just say I almost chickened out! Thankfully it was only in the store, not out in the middle of the mall. And we got a 40% off discount for doing it...bonus! I basically laughed embarrassedly (is that word?) thoughout the entire thing...yes, you may laugh at me too :) But their clothes fit the bill for the dresscode at my school...skirts below the knee, no sleeveless tops, and closed toe shoes. Yes, I resemble a nun every day that I walk out of the house. But I'm thankful for the job! :)

The first graders this week were chock-full of funny things they said, one of which being the following.

 We have a sweet girl who is Hispanic in our class. Well, she and a friend were returning to the cafeteria after a quick trip to the bathroom. (seriously, 1st graders have to pee ALL. THE. TIME.) She came up to me and the male teacher, with whom I was having a conversation, and loudly delcared, "Mrs. Page, there's a crotch-rotch in the bathroom!!!" With a look of consternation on my face, I asked her to repeat what she had said. She responded, a decible louder, "A crotch-rotch!!!" Thankfully, something clicked in my brain and I said to her, "A cockroach?" To which she and her friend replied "yes yes yes! A crotch-rotch!"

Soooo hilarious. To make it even better, my school is very conservative (you know-Nun Rebecca) and I doubt the word "crotch" has ever been uttered within its walls. Annnnd I was standing next to a male teacher. He wasn't so amused, but I was dying laughing.

Hope that brightens your day and that you don't find any crotch-rotches in your near future.

11 September 2011

An Oddly Quiet Sunday

I am sitting at the computer, attempting to get a grip on my numerous lesson plans, and I cannot let go that today is the 10th anniversary of 9/11. And it is strangely quiet. Living on a military post, I expected some sort of ceremony of remembrance for this significant day. And perhaps there is one...I am a little out of the loop these days! Or maybe it's because each day we eat, sleep, and breathe the reminder of 9/11, so everyday is a memorial to those historic events. Either way, it is quiet. On that day back in 2001 I would've never in my wildest dreams thought I'd be here on it's 10th anniversary; a military wife, a bonafide teacher, in the desert of Texas, and about to send my husband overseas. I suppose days like these help us to be reflective of life, and that it is just a mist, here and then gone. James 4:14: "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." That is not meant to downplay the significance of life, but rather to help us realize our time is short; we must use all we have here for the glory of God.

Perhaps it's quiet because not everyone can remember the searing images of that day; my students were only 5 and 6 years old when it happened, and when they mentioned the anniversary this weekend there was a distance in their voice; there was awe and sympathy, but no relatability; they cannot relate to what they cannot remember. For me though, I was 14 years old and that day and the following day are forever in my memory. I wonder if this is how people felt after Pearl Harbor, or the OKC bombings, or the various other attacks people have committed against us. What is really strange about my memories is that I only remember the colors red, white, and blue. For example, my English teacher was the first one to catch wind of what had happened; she always watched the news before we got to school, and that day, she couldn't get the TV to turn off (it was a TV/Computer contraption that sometimes worked against you...). She turned the TV around so that we could watch; she had on red shoes. I had on a red and blue striped shirt. When we made it to Geometry, my friend Lydia had on a red shirt and red ribbon in her hair. The next night at youth group, we--teenagers--spent 2 hours at the alter, surrounded by red, white, and blue candles, crying our eyes out and crying out to the Lord. I was so burdened for the ones left behind; I remember weeping for those who couldn't find their family members, those who had perished, and for the fear the attacks put into my heart.  In college I met a guy who's dad had been in the Pentagon when it'd been hit, and he'd not made it outside in time. To this day when I hear personal accounts of that day, I always end up in tears...I probably will for the rest of my life.

And now, 10 years later, we have found two of the biggest offenders of 9/11, as well as many others I am sure, lost many lives, and sent soldiers overseas for longs months or years away from their families. That day though, and the months that followed, showed me, and I think the rest of the country, what it is to be an American again. And as believers, we have an even greater responsibility to continue to pray for our country, for everlasting peace, our national leaders, those who protect us and our freedoms, and that eternal truth would come to those who do not know it.  

06 September 2011

A Visit from the Pages

Over Labor Day weekend, the Pages and Eric flew in to see Brian once more before he deploys shortly. We had a packed weekend of fun activities and little house projects!

Saturday morning we went to Hueco Tanks, a state park about 30 minutes from us. It's the easier hiking around here...fewer cacti to run into! No, I'm really being serious...We ran around and scaled up numerous boulders and saw some neat cave paintings; Brian and I have been here once before with friends and it was nice to go back! This time though, some of the rainy season had passed, and things were GREEN! Excuse me?...Aren't we in the desert? Amazing what fractions of an inch of rain do to this place!

After hiking around and working up quite a sweat (still pretty hot in the desert!), we grabbed a quick lunch and then cleaned ourselves up! The guys headed to Lowe's to buy...PAINT! Yes, we painted two of our walls, which is so exciting! Military housing always has white-ish walls, and we're tired of them...so we painted two green walls this weekend, and with the Pages' expertise, we got the whole job done in about 3 1/2 hours! It adds so much to the rooms. I am already dreaming of painting some more rooms! The Army's only stipulation is that you either pay a fine for each wall you paint or you prime your painted walls before you leave so you don't get charged...definitely keeping my rollers so I can prime!

We spent the rest of Saturday evening watching football and catching up! Sunday we headed to church and heard a great sermon and Sunday school lesson! I haven't talked much about church yet, but we've started going to First Baptist and are really enjoying it. The teaching is solid and based purely on Scripture and we have found a GREAT Sunday school class! The teacher does an excellent job of facilitating the class and everyone contributes--it is so neat!

Sunday afternoon we headed to Cattleman's Steakhouse, which is about 45 minutes outside of El Paso. It's famed for it's food and atmosphere; several movies were filmed out here and they also have a variety of animals to look at and feed...like goats, rattlesnakes, longhorn cattle, horses, buffalo, and ostrich! We got to go on a "covered wagon" tour of the movie sets as well as see some replicas of pioneer houses. It was really neat! We ended up being there almost 4 hours! And of course, the food was delicious. If you've never eaten a cow that was grass-fed, do it. It is the BEST BEEF you will ever taste in your life! Thank you, Texas for excellent red meat :)

The filmed "Courage Under Fire" here! As well as a Chuck Norris movie...haha!

As we drove into town Sunday we gave the Pages a tour of where Brian works and then headed home to be lazy...we had just eaten a very large lupper...aka, lunch/supper. The rest of our time we spent talking, telling stories, and just catching up--it was so nice to have visitors, especially now that we have the new house! I'm so glad they were able to come out and see us before Brian deploys. 

Well that's it for now...this teacher is beyond exhausted.
More to come on life in general, school, and Brian's deployment...