Monday, January 26, 2015

Yikes - January is almost over!

For real guys, I cant believe it is the last week in January. The past 3 weeks have been a blur. Life is crazy, but good.  So here it is:

I am assistant coaching varsity girls basketball this season. It is much shorter and less intense than basketball in the States, but it is still time consuming - 4+ days a week.  But we had a first 2 games after only 2 practices! That was crazy!  Next week we have a tournament where we will play at least 6 games in 3 days.

Moe is teaching part time now.  He is the 6th grade math teacher at my school.  He teaches two sets of 6th graders.  He has a desk in the office, has his own laptop and everything. He is official and amazing.  The kids love him and he is loving teaching them.  He has even considered and informed the school that he would be willing to have a full-time job for next year.... so that might be happening.

We are considering options for the summer. We are not coming home since we went home last summer. We are considering options for teaching summer school for a few weeks during the summer. We might try to make travel plans but haven't even started that process yet.

Chico is doing well too. He is very hyper...still. He runs around a lot and LOVEs to get scratches.  I am working on teaching him to high-five.  Not sure if I mentioned before that our housekeeper taught him to go to his cage when the doorbell rings, and that has been the best trick he knows! Its amazing!  Here is a picture of him sleeping with a pillow a friend gave me.  The pillow unzips and holds a blanket inside... It is amazing!!

I am taking the semester off of my masters courses for a variety of reasons, but its a good thing.

I know I still need to blog about our trip to Cambodia. Also, I need to post my goals for the year. Coming Soon... I hope.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Year in Review

Wow I cant believe 2014 is over. It was an amazing year full of challenges, adventures, changes, travel, and so much more. I want to highlight some amazing things and reflect on the goals I made last January.  I also want to thank all of my friends and family for making this year incredible. 

Highlights ;)

I turned 25... It was sorta a big deal for me. I feel old now. I feel maturer. I feel appropriate. What I mainly am referring to was teaching. As a newbie teacher and being 23 I felt young, inexperienced, and unknown. Now that I am 25 (I know that 2 years isnt that much) I feel more qualified to be a teacher. I know weird. 

Also in January I started my masters, at Michigan State.  I completed 6 courses this year which is quite impressive in my opinion. I did all of them well and am pleased with my learnings and grades. I still have 4 to go though... 

Moe and I went to the beach in April during our break. It was a wonderful getaway and one that I will always remember. 

In June I finished my 2nd year of teaching and then traveled to America alone, which was sorta scary! Being home with my family was definitely a highlight of my year and being able to watch my baby brother get married to his beautiful bride was wonderfully terrific. 

I started year 3 of teaching in August and became the "head" of my grade band (grades 3-5). I have had to work closely with our new principal this year and help remind and encourage my department, especially since a handful of them were new. It has been a challenging but enjoyable responsibility. 

I coached middle school volleyball again this fall and one of the cool things the school did after the season was have a staff vs. students game. So I was able to truly show my skills ;) during the game. But in reality it was a lot of fun to actually play volleyball again! 

Moe bought a charcoal grill as one of his Christmas presents. We have been enjoying learning how to grill and enjoying the tastiness that comes from the grill! Its been fun and a nice addition. 

Lots of other things too but Im done thinking...


These were my goals from last year with my comments of review added to them 
-  Be intentional about relationships - I do think I did this well this year. I feel more connected and involved in my community now than I have before. I do think I can progress in this, but I have made the first step which is very encouraging to me. 
-  Spend quality time with family and friends - In review I think that this goes hand and hand with the first one. I did spend much more quality time with people. I love quality time though so I might use this one again! 
-  Cook more dinners/Try new recipes - I definitely did this! Moe and I had been eating out way too much our first year here.  This year (2014) we definitely cooked more and tried a handful of new recipes. Some worked and some didnt... we had quite a few complete fails too. But again I want to continue this and maybe try even more new recipes!!
-  Travel (to the beach, Malaysia, and America) - We did travel to the beach and America. We didnt make it to Malaysia... hopefully this year??
-  Finish this school year to the best of my abilities - This will probably always be on my list. I did okay this year though. 
-  Be more specifically encouraging to my students - not just "keep going" "you're doing great" - This is a struggle for me. I am getting to know my students better this school year so hopefully I am able to be more encouraging and more specific with them. Those that I am able to do this with I can see the benefits and their appreciation. 
-  Get organized - UGH! I have done a few things, but still LOTS of room for improvement
-  Blog more - new goal, twice a month.... - UGGGGGGH again. Might have to be the same goal this year. 
-  Be more budget conscious & Save - This one we definitely did. I feel so much better about saving money and being able to do the things we want to do. We were able to travel and buy a 2nd motorbike and all kinds of things because we started saving! Who knew! 
-  Read 15 books.  (I read at least 17 this year, but more than half of them were from my class library...) - This one I can say I definitely did! I read 17 books this year! And I would say only 3 could be consider kids books (but really they were middle school books). 

...... new goals will come in a later post......