Sunday, November 14, 2010

i. love. my. job.

It's becoming more and more apparent everyday that this is exactly where I belong. It's been one of those seasons through the valley where rough things have come about, but it is so refreshing to know I am where God wants me.

So, back to the focus of this blog: I have the best job in the world. :) I work with the craziest, cutest, slightly challenging collection of 2-5-year-olds... and, for the most part, I love every minute of it. Haha. (Some minutes are more than I've bargained for!) I just wanted to share some of the fun things we've been up to in Room 3:

1) A couple weeks ago, our class took a field trip just a mile or so away from school and we had more fun than ought to be allowed... honestly. We arrived to the sight of a giant mountain of corn husk leaves. :) This particular mountain was taller than moi. Really. Ginormous. Needless to say, the kids were slightly intimidated. Don't you worry, though... we teachers were there to show them how fun is to be had. We were jumping in the pile and running down the hill in through the pile and throwing kids into the pile and rolling into the pile... I'm pretty sure we covered every possibility of how to become better aquainted with this pile of corn husks. Although we could have played like that all day long, we decided in order to make the very most of our day, we would take a hay ride around the property. :) And to wrap things up, we had a bon-fire picnic of fire roasted hot dogs. :) So much fun! Naptime was EXCELLENT that day! 

 Everyone had such a good time!

 Beautiful, Iowa corn husk leaves!

 Fun on our hay ride.

'All you gotta do is... JUMP!!'


2) Last month we took a fun field trip out to Hansen's Dairy Farm. The kids were able to see the whole process of dairy production! From the cow's food, where it's stored and transported, to all the cows and even inside the cheese and ice-cream making room!

Hansen's secret marketing treasure
is a picture of a wallaby on their milk cartons...
here they are in the flesh!

 Pretty cool!

This calf was only TWO HOURS OLD!!!

Thanks Hansen's Dairy for the fun-filled adventure on the farm!!

3) And then we just plain have fun everyday. It's that simple. :)

Beloved 'Puppy'.

The wink.

Gotta love naptime! :)

As Thanksgiving approaches I thank God for the amazing job He's blessed me with and all the fun and teachable opportunities He provides! 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Just a little update!

I just started my new job at BEST Kids Daycare and Learning Center... I know, they just can't get rid of me. :) I work in Room 3 with (currently) five 2-5-year-olds... they're kinda crazy! But here's a photo of them:

As wild as it can be, I am really enjoying myself. It's nice to be able to see old friends and there are lots of fun benefits to working out in the middle of the woods! :) (It's a new GREEN building just outside of city limits. Every day I enjoy a nice drive, yummy breakfasts and lunches, access to a gym... the list goes on!)

We just started our 'Oceans' unit today, so I taught them the song, 'Baby Beluga'... we'll see how long it takes for me to regret that idea! Tomorrow we'll be learning about the Pacific Ocean and some of the things you can find in it AND we'll be making starfish mobiles... pretty fun!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Yes, you read that correctly; BMW. That's what we are: Burly Mountain Women. :)

This past weekend, Hannah treated Michelle and I to an amazing weekend out in the Poudre Canyon. (Brace yourself, there'll be LOADS of photos!!) It was so incredibly fun and refreshing. It's amazing what a little time away from the busyness of life and 'civilization' can do to your soul! (Or I could just be addicted to the mountain, either way, it was wonderful!) 

We drove probably 2 hours or so to get to our beloved campsite. It was so perfect. Quietly nestled away into the forest, we found the perfect location for our portable hotel. ;) Don't think this didn't come at a price though! We searched high and low for probably an hour, this is a very popular location! Every site had been reserved. We finally got out to read the fine print and found that we'd be able to camp out until Saturday noon - perfect timing for us to get packed up and head up the mountain. :)

We saw a moose and her baby on our way up to our campground! (I'm not sure where the babe is in this photo!)

Shelle and Hannah gloating in our sweet find.

I guess this photo doesn't show our tent very well... but the shadows are fun! :)

Just for fun, since we had an eight person tent for the three of us... we thought it would be kind of humorous to put up a 'room for rent' sign. :) 
The neighbors were amused.

After setting up camp, Hannah started our fire. She quickly became quite fond of lighter fluid... until she caught on that it doesn't keep the flame around for very long. Michelle surprised us with her vast knowledge of fire building and kindling capabilities! :) I was a bit of a lazy bum... perhaps later I made up for it in entertainment? We'll get to that in a moment. *sigh*

The night before we headed up to camp, Michelle was able to spend some quality time with a friend from out west at the Cheyenne Frontier Days (RODEO) / Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert Concert (I know, lucky dog!) While she was living it up, Hannah and I prepared for our big camping adventure!!! We borrowed this great book from a friend, Leave No Crumbs: Camping Cookbook. Initially, we'd planned to create this wonderful meal of green chili and pulled pork - dehydrate it all and take it up with us to enjoy... then we got practical and realized we'd have the car to tote it all up to our camping site and really needed food for while we were hiking the next day. SO, we made this DELICIOUS Mexican Lime Soup (you can find it in the cookbook too!) for our Friday night dinner, and strawberry/blueberry fruit leather for our hike. 

Everything went really well considering all the crazy mishaps and dramas that are ever so possible while sending three twenty-something girls into the wilderness for a bit of time. ;) The tent went up easily, our fire came together after some teamwork, the food turned out amazing (I'm salivating a bit just thinking about it!! Yikes!)

However, during all of our good times... I had some difficulties. Hannah and Michelle were both super generous and let me borrow pieces of clothing (since I didn't really pack all that well considering I'd be out here two weeks!) I had Shelle's sweatshirt on when I caught an ember. :( Boo. We were carrying on enjoying each other's company and having good, fun conversation when I felt the need to cut a piece of chicken in my soup (didn't want too big of a bite!) Yep, you guessed it, the Mexican Lime Soup spilled all over Shelle's sweatshirt AND Hannah's sweat pants. :( :( Double boo. 

We finished our dinner and enjoyed some delicious Candy Cane Lane peppermint tea BEFORE I UNsuccessfully attempted to potty in the forest (it'd been a while! Like, four years!!) Yep, I peed on Hannah's sweat pants. Gross. I know. It's okay though, she still let me come home with her and let me wear those pants yet again. :) What a gal. 

The next traumatic event of the night was while our conversation came to a lull, I thought I'd change OUT of the potty pants and INTO some long underwear when the chair I was sitting on DISINTEGRATED from beneath me! :( 

So, after all that excitement we decided to hit the hay and prepare for our exciting mountaintop adventure Saturday morning. I thought I kinda needed to potty again, but didn't want to embarass myself any more than I already had. (Not to mention it was dark out and SOMEBODY told me in Poudre Canyon you're never more than a mile away from a mountain lion, comforting!) Did you know it's really hard to fall asleep with a full bladder? Well, let me tell you, it is. And once you DO fall asleep... you have bad, bad dreams about Saudi men coming into your home and stealing your favorite Bible and perfume and lotion and your favorite Bible and then your momma tells you (still in the dream) that  you need to be courteous and feeds these thieves that have just stolen your favorite Bible and perfume and lotion and favorite Bible. Ugh. Stressful. Not restful. 

To make up for the lack of sleep, we had an AMAZING BEYOND AMAZING breakfast. (Actually, we would have had this wonderful breakfast whether I'd slept well or not, but it was so incredibly delicious. -Thank you, Hannah!) In the wonderful little cast iron pot thang, we boiled water for our oats, then we filled tin foil with apple quarters, walnuts, honey and cinnamon! Oh my goodness! Heavenly! The walnuts, honey and cinnamon caramelized into this magical concoction. It was like homemade apple crisp with that wonderful smokiness of the camp fire. YUM!

I'll let the photos tell most of the story of the hike... they won't do justice, so just know it was absolutely phenomenal and incredible. :)

Sweet action shot!

Shelle and the beautiful GREEN canyon!

Silly 'ol flatlanders taking a breather.

We hit a stretch that was super-duper steep!!! This was the deciding factor of how we came down, I'm glad we did, the way down was really pretty too!

Fighting for air, if I remember correctly. 

Victory is OURS!!! We made it to the top of the mountain! (If you look at the following photos, we made it just above the tree line - 11,500 feet!!)

I'll be honest, Hannah was ambitious to take two silly 'ol flatlanders up this crazy huge mountain in high altitude Colorado - we complained a bit on the way up... it really was quite the endeavor... HOWEVER, this incredible view and being able to sit and relax and enjoy lunch on the top of a mountain absolutely made up for every step up the mountain. Oh! And the feeling of accomplishment! Yeah! We did it! ;)

I'm pretty sure Hannah could sell this photo to REI or something and use it in their marketing scheme for their hiking gear. Doesn't she look rugged?!

The beautiful lake at the top of the mountain... see how clear it is?! You can see every rock at the bottom! See those little specks of snow on the mountain in the background? That's what feeds this baby!

"You are glorious and more majestic
than the everlasting mountains." Psalm 76.4 NLT

Monday, July 26, 2010


SUSHI. :) So, here's the story: all my life we had these amazing neighbors from Laos. Phothala is a couple years older than I and after high school headed out to Denver for college. Originally, he'd studied to become a video game graphic designer/artist of some sort. During that time he, as most other college students, needed a source of income, so he started working at a super-sketch sushi place. Although the restaurant was sketchy, he had a great older man to show him the ropes. Pho is now a great sushi chef at Sushi Sasa -- phenomenal!! 
Pho came home at one point probably 5 or 6 years ago and told me of his exciting new career and life in Denver, and I informed him that I would not eat Sushi until he could be the one to prepare it for me. (This was not as kind or sweet as it sounds... I had no real interest in Sushi at the time and, truth be told, in Cedar Falls, Iowa there wasn't much opportunity for sushi!) Little did I know, I'd one day move out to Oregon and meet loads of sushi lovers who wanted me to share this same love of the delicacy. After being offered and tempted time and time again to try sushi, I finally ended up in Denver!!! Here's how it went:

I tried my very hardest not to ask Pho too many questions before we got to Sushi Sasa in hopes to not give away the surprise, but I was able to find out where he worked and called to set up a reservation for two at the sushi bar while he was working. Ah, I love surprises!! His face was so great! That whole jaw-dropping get-outta-town-look is always great. ;) And, let me tell you, if there is ever a time to hold out for something, good sushi is it! Pho and his friend Jeff made us feel like ROYALTY!!! Pho was behind the sushi bar preparing food while Jeff, our server, was attempting to create the best matches for our 'virgin-sushi palattes'. They were bouncing ideas off each other right over our heads! It was so much fun! Hannah and I kept saying how we felt like we were the special guests on some swanky foodie show on Food Network.

Pho creating our 'cucumber rolls'.

Our cucumber rolls had raw tuna and halibut, seaweed, asparagus... and a lot of other things in it! It was placed upon a wasabi sauce and drizzled with a balsamic reduction.

Hannah and her 'lemon-drop' martini. :)

Me and my 'strawberry and pomegranate martini' which they originally 
informed us would not be possible because they'd run out of strawberries. ;)

Hannah and me and our AMAZING dessert!

This was just really out of this world. Pho used some explicits to inform the pastry chef he couldn't mess this one up. ;) Haha. He called the cake 'chocolate mousse', but it was more of a decadent, dense, moist chocolate cake.... with a mousse-like frosting. :) It was really great. Then we also had a wasabi tiramisu - tiramisu with a very subtle hint of wasabi. To top it all off Pho had seen the pastry chef making sake jell-o shots and threw two of those on the plate for us. Whew. I'm pretty sure I was stuffed at round two! Haha. 

Me and our fabulous sushi chef!!!