That’s right… we’ve moved. Find out what’s up with us at www.feedingthegoodwolf.com !!
Happy first day of summer!
I honor of the commencement of the season, I’ve put together a little summer bucket list of sorts. These are some of our favorite things to do in the summer, as well as some of the things I’m most excited about this summer:
- Go to the beach
- Make popsicles
- Eat dinner by the pool
- Have a fire in the backyard
- Go to a Tide’s games
- Pick blueberries
- Make Homemade pizza
- Go to a wedding
- Go to Bergey’s Dairy Farm for ice cream
- Vacation Bible School
- Check out Ocean View pier
- Dinner party in the backyard
- Swim at the lake
- Make margaritas!
- Pick peaches
- Ride the ferry
- Neighborhood bike rides
- Sleep with the windows open
- Make jam
- Homemade ice cream
- Mediterranean Cruise! (more on this later)
What’s on your summer list?
So I am excited to announce that I’ve successfully finished my first year teaching! And while it is really one of the main things that kept me away from this space, it was a really great experience, and I learned a lot. I am going to ease my way back into writing over the summer (hopefully) and try and keep this corner of my world up to date.
I’m planning on going back next year and I’m ready to put into practice all of the new systems I’ve established for myself, as well as to get a new group of students. I am actually really surprised how much I have enjoyed teaching over the past months. I didn’t expect to like it so much! During my first year, I had to figure a lot of things out, so I put together a short list of things that I’ve learned:
- Teaching is rewarding. I have really enjoyed taking a step back from the law firm over the last 10 months and really getting to have complete creative liberty over what I do each day – at least while I’m at school, anyway. I especially like the paradox of teaching teenagers the same things that they learned in elementary school, only in a different language. If we want to study vocabulary, we’ll play bingo. Verb conjugations? Relay race! The dynamic has helped keep the school year fun – although I can’t speak for my students.
- Teenagers are hard. This isn’t really new information to me, especially since Justin is a youth pastor, but it comes into a while new light when you deal with them every day. While I don’t know if I would like teaching elementary, high schoolers have their own set of difficulties. I am also learning not to compare them to each other, but to recognize each of their own strengths and weaknesses in and of themselves.
- If you’re going to teach it, you should probably know it. One of the things I used to love about being in the school of business in college was being thrown into a situation where you had to think on your feet. In many ways, teaching has done that for me this year. Partly because this is my first year teaching, and partly because it’s been a while since I’ve studied the in’s and out’s of the French language. There have been many early mornings at school cramming in the day’s lesson and trying to remember all the details so that I at least have the appearance of knowing what I’m talking about. (Just don’t tell my administrator.)
- Some students will do the absolute minimum to get by with the grade they want. While grace has its place in a classroom, you have to know that some students push that line as far as they can. A small minority will absolutely blow you away with the effort and creativity that they put into their work.
- Having two jobs is hard. And tiring. And absolutely impossible if you’re sick. But from my perspective, the creativity and autonomy and interaction that comes from teaching makes it a lot easier. 5.b. Teachers are underpaid for all of the work they do. For realsys.
I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve been away from this little space here! Much, much too long. So long, in fact, that I have actually been putting off this next post for the mostly because I be forced to see the date of my last post… Much has been happening around these parts and I am just now finding myself able to breathe and relax a bit.
It’s during the busy times in life that you can tell the difference between the natural writers and those of us who have to work at it. Natural writers have to write, have to get it all out on paper, or a virtual blank page in order to process and get through a busy time. People that have to work at writing, people like me, use busyness as an excuse not to write and see it as another thing to cross of the to-do list. But while I do sometimes find writing to be a chore, it is certainly something that reaps great benefits. I’m excited to look back in a few more months when the year is over and look over the past 12 months (though maybe I should only be allowed to count 6 of them!) So there’s that.
In other news, I have gone back to school.
Ten years ago I entered high school as a shy and quiet thirteen year old, fresh from a small Mennonite elementary and middle school. I knew practically no one and set off on my own personal journey to independence and adulthood.
Fast forward a decade and I am returning to high school not as a student, but as a French teacher! Oui, bien sur! While I intended to share this information before the school year started, the school year started and it didn’t quite happen. So here I am, telling you that this opportunity completely and totally fell into my lap as I received an email, followed by an interview, followed by a job offer. So I have reduced my hours working at my current job in order to make time to be at school. It is a University Modeled School, which means that they attend from 8am to 1pm, 4 days per week. I have blindly been feeling my way around all things “education” including classroom decorating, lesson plans, essential questions, grading and of course, having two jobs.
So far, so good.
I have not yet broken down into tears (and still hoping that I don’t) and none of my students are failing (hooray!). I come home later from work, but I feel like I have more purpose and like I am doing something maybe a bit more meaningful, more fulfilling.
I think it’s going to be a good year, but I’ll let you know in June – which, according to my blogging history, is probably when my next post will be.
So since we just got back yesterday from our second vacation, I figure it’s time I share my first vacation with you…you know, so I don’t get BEHIND.
Every year we go with Justin’s family to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His parents and grandparents have a timeshare and have been going since Justin was a wee one. I have been going with them since high school, so I know the ropes by this point.
Despite the fact that I have grown up 30 minutes from the beach, I am not necessarily a beach person. I would go every once in a while with my family for the afternoon, but hauling kids, coolers and umbrellas down to the beach to ride home wet, sandy and sticking to trash bags on the car seats apparently wasn’t my parents’ idea of a “relaxing” afternoon. So it wasn’t until I started going to Myrtle Beach that I really started to enjoy it.
Our condo is right on the beach which means we can come inside for lunch, leave our stuff outside, and rinse off whenever we want. It really is the best way to enjoy the beach. No car rides – no trash bags… just simple, clean and easy. My kind of vacation.
Since I’ve been out of school and working, I have never truly appreciated vacation like I do now. I spend most of the week reading on the beach, or on the balcony as was the case this year since we had more rainy days than usual.
When it was sunny, we spent our week walking the beach, digging in the sand and reading in the sun. Justin was VERY excited to find his first shark’s tooth this year… We are feeling rested, ready to take on the fall season and looking forward to next year!
We have been having a great time lately with our friends, Michael and Heather, who just recently got married and moved into our area. Good friends are hard to come by, especially those of the married variety.
Plus, I’m pretty picky.
We are so excited that they are both finally living here. Earlier this month we went out for collective haircuts (is that weird to do with other people?) pizza, and of course, doughnuts. What date night is complete without doughnuts?
We hit up one of my favorites, California Pizza Kitchen in Virginia Beach. It was a really beautiful night so we opted to eat on the patio. There was some live, jazzy slash cover music going on across the square and we sipped drinks and enjoyed our pizza.
After dinner we were past Krispy Kreme and I swear I could feel the car veering off the road towards the lit “Hot and Ready” sign in the parking lot. We got a dozen doughnuts and despite our intentions to save them for a movie snack, we devoured them while watching the doughnuts fry through the window to the kitchen. Couple dates are always the most fun!
Yes, I do realize that it is, indeed, August.
I know it’s only been two weeks or so, but it feels like forever since I’ve done a proper blog post. I suppose that means it’s becoming a habit… There have been so many things I have wanted to share over the past few weeks, but I’ve been so busy doing the things that I haven’t had the time to write about them. And now it is August. We have been crazy people lately, running from one event to another, and then on vacation, and soon to be another vacation!
So let’s journey back, shall we? We had a super fun 4th of July weekend this year. For some reason it always feels like people go out of town and so in years past we’ve kept it pretty low key. This year, though, we spent lots of time with friends, hanging out, eating delicious food and watching fireworks. Our city always puts on an amazing fireworks show, usually the day before Independence Day. This year it did not disappoint.
On the 4th we made our way to an All-American cookout and played some very intense games. I am either very laid back, or very competitive when it comes to games. I prefer the former, because I also tend to be a poor loser. So it really takes the right balance of personalities for me to enjoy playing games. But good company and good food reigned, and we had fun.
I’ll be back soon with more posts from July!
This is my brother.
We are very two different people… he is a risk taker with very few plans… the more spontaneous the better. And while I do enjoy some spontaneity, I am a planner, a calculator, a rule-follower. Despite all of our differences though, we do share some similar traits. We are both loyal – to a fault. We are both followers of Christ and we share the same memories that have made us who we are.
Today my “little” brother is twenty-two. He just recently moved to Norway, pseudo-permanently to start a new adventure for himself and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
Love you, Dan!
It has been radio-silence here on the blog this week. I have been cooking up some new things I am pretty excited about (both literally and figuratively.) I am hoping to introduce some serious changes to the blog and have been spending time trying to get all of it together! I also want to get my 4th of July photos up… we had SUCH a great vacation weekend. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the next installment in the Summer Photo Series.
7.1.11 | A night at the Tide’s baseball game… go Norfolk!
7.2.11 | Ending a perfect summer day with a bike ride (preceded by a swim at the pool and a day-date movie)
7.3.11 | Fireworks at Chesapeake City Park with friends and family
7.4.11 | Dinner and a night of heated games on the 4th
7.5.11 | Popsicles after youth group on Tuesday
7.6.11 | A light summer shower and dinner with J’s family
7.7.11 | A storm is a brewin’ at the Brew house
7.8.11 | A CLEAN bathroom courtesy of my amazing husband
One of my favorite things so far about this summer besides our success in the garden has been our CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a program we are participating in for the first time this year. Basically, you purchase a “share” of a local farm and every week in the summer, you get to share in the bounty of said farm. It has been so fun to see what we get each week! Every week is different, so it’s really been teaching me how to improvise in the kitchen and use up what I already have.
People are right when they tell you that fresh, local produce is unlike anything you can find in the grocery store. It’s so much more flavorful and delicious. The carrots taste like carrots (and the snozzberries taste like snozzberries) !!