Thursday, April 30, 2009

Can't take many of those days....

Yesterday was a stinkin' long day.. Long in the technical sense as I was up at 5:20 for subbing and didn't end my day until I got home from lacrosse at 10pm. And long in the emotional - I cant take anymore stressful things happening - sense. It was exhausting... I'm exhausted... and I'm back subbing again today when all I really want to do is sleep. I feel like I'm accomplishing Steve's big fear and am a walking zombie today (!), but at least I'm at the high school where I prefer to be and get to see lacrosse girl's all day long. Either way... don't ask me too many hard questions, my brain just can't function to process them today.

Subbing yesterday was the end of my floater sub position at the middle school. A few of the sixth graders who had been annoying every other day were actually calmed down and in good attitudes yesterday. Also, I think their teachers figured out how they needed to separate them for testing rather than leaving all of the talkative ones in the library at once. I was also the queen of card tricks yesterday. I know approximately 3 - 1 is super lame, 2 are decent - but many of the boys in the library were learning and perfecting card tricks which thankfully kept them busy. We've (the other 2 subs and I) have been able to leave early everyday because testing was over and no more students needed supervised and thankfully yesterday I was again able to leave at 1:30 to run home, see Steve, and change for lacrosse before heading to our game.

Meanwhile... during subbing, I was fielding calls and texts from Christy and Leah about our game because poor Nathan (Christy's youngest) was having trouble breathing and they had already been to the ER twice. Leah already was not going to be at our game because she had her last major review class (WOOT!) and couldn't miss it, understandably. So... dilemma. Big game against Cleveland Heights @ Heights. Do I take the girls myself and coach both games? Do we cancel? Does Christy drive up separately just in case Nathan needs to go to the ER again? What to do... What to do...

I ended up taking the girls myself (40 of them) and coaching both games myself. Talk about stressful. If it had been Walsh or Green I wouldn't have been stressed, but naturally it was a big game! Unfortunately both teams ended up losing, JV lost 4-10, Varsity lost 3-12, but did so with grace and integrity. Reffing was fine in the JV game, however the other game was unbelievably aggressive, especially for a JV team. Our girls played their hearts out, did their best, and had a few really nice goals.

Varsity was another story... it was reffing like you wouldn't believe. Amazingly one sided, completely unfair, and this is not coming from a "we lost" perspective. Its coming from a frustrated coach, who can't believe that refs would find it okay to treat a team of girl's that way. Yes we lost, by 9, and I am not at all saying the reffing was the only cause for losing. Heights defense was very good, and they clobbered us. But had it not been for reffing we certainly wouldn't have lost by 9. It was 3-6 at half... it was obviously a close game. We got called for charging when we were out of bounds, got called for charging when we had no visible sight of the goal due to 4 defenders all in shooting space, got a yellow card for "check to the head" when there was no wind up on the check and the stick touched the girls arm, got called offsides and had to turn the ball over when we clearly had 4 back already... just a sad, frustrating situation. Unfortunately I couldn't really say anything to the refs because the calls would have gotten worse. In the end though, I am proud of our girl's. They played intense the entire time, they never gave up or hung their heads, and they never played dirty like the other team did. There's a point where it isn't lacrosse anymore, and its just a graceful style of wrestling.... Dear Refs, I give you 2 red cards.

If that wasn't enough... While frustrated, sad and angry about the game driving home from the bus, I got a call from my good friend Kaitlyn in SC about our friend Andy. Andy's brother passed away unexpectedly yesterday after having fallen from his 4th story (5 floors because the group was recessed) dorm window the night before. It was obviously a freak accident, authorities aren't sure yet how and why he fell. Kaitlyn talked to him yesterday a few hours after his brother died and she said he was simply in shock... as anyone would be. Not that its the same, but when my brother fell off the cliff and broke his back, our entire car ride from NC to OH was shock. Not knowing whether to cry, or be happy that he was at least alive, or what... In any case... please pray for Andy and his family. Eric was the youngest of the 3 brothers, and the family has a tough road ahead of them.

Okay... there's my longest day ever in the last few months. The good part of yesterday? I have an amazing husband who held me when I got home, let me exhale all of my frustrations as he listened patiently, and packed my lunch for me for subbing today. To know that I get to come home to Steve every night will always be a blessing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ohhh... so that's what my low fuel light looks like.

I've been realizing over the past couple weeks just how many things have come into my life and new experiences I've had since I met Steve. Some of them I don't know what I ever did without, and some may seem strange. But when any of the following happen, I get a little smile on my face because no matter if what's happening is normally considered good or bad, its good to me because it's from Steve. So here goes...

Before Steve....

-I didn't belly laugh on a daily basis. I laughed, sure.. but not a deep satisfying laugh every day.
-I never knew what my "low fuel" light looked like. I had never let my gas get low enough to see it.
-I didn't have random articles of clothing appear in my home without any idea where they came from.
-I had no idea that I liked Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles Chips. Who knew?!
-I knew a lot less about geeky technology things.
-For that matter... I knew a lot less about comic books too.
-I didn't have an appreciation for Scrabble.
-I had never watched a Zombie movie.
-The sheets were always tucked in, all the way around the bed, every day.
-I didn't really know how often I talked in my sleep...
-I had never experienced someone sleepwalking.
-I didn't have an appreciation for apple computers and products.
-I had no idea grocery shopping could be a legitimate fun date.

More to come... that's it for now! I love my husband!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I have the most ridiculous sub job ever right now!!! Currently, me and 3 other subs are Supervising students who are on breaks from proficiency testing. Basically - we're babysitters... students come in to the library to take breaks from their tests or who are exempt from testing to read, play games, work on homework...etc. Anything quiet. So its pretty mundane. Most periods of the day there are less than 10 students in here, so its pretty quiet, and we've got an easy handle on the students. Monday, during 4th period a bunch of 6th graders ended up in here and reminded me of why middle school students are my least favorite age!
I have this job for 5 days, M-W-F-M-W - its nice that students get a break day in between testing now. I know I could have used that when I was testing! Students come and go, teachers come down and drop students off and pick them up again.
I made the mistake Monday of not bringing a book with me, and there's only so much I can do on the computer that the district does not restrict.
So I'm spending a lot of time playing games with students such as Battleship, Hangman, and Sorry. I'm an expert Battleship player... fyi!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stick Checks and Yellow Cards and Draws, OH MY!

(Written Monday, the 20th)
Big week in lacrosse this week coming off of another big week! Last week we were short on games compared to this week but certainly not short on excitement. We played Stow last week in a big rivalry after having beaten them in overtime last year.
Stow was one heck of a game! We ended up winning 19-15 but not without going back and forth in the difference between their score and ours. At our closest we were tied -At our best we were up by 8!!! You'd think that would be cause to settle the ball and relax a little... however, last year our team was down by 9 to Stow with 11 minutes left, tied it in regulation and won in overtime. Stow fought back with 5 quick goals to make it 18-15 there at the end. We finally had our girls settle with the ball so we stopped making unnecessary turnovers and got one more goal with 2 seconds to go. It was an AMAZING game... truly one I will take with me to Connecticut.
Saturday we made our annual trip to the Hannigan Galipault Tournament (HGT) in Columbus. Extra fun for me as I played in the tourny in High School, it is help at my rival high school, I get to catch up with my former coach, and my parents come every year. We play 2 games, and usually we play pretty fair for the tournament... win neither or win one, rainy weather...etc. Not this year! We played Summit Country day first and won by 5, girls played well, and we got a freshman jv player in with 1min 30sec to go and she got a goal! It was a fun game despite the other coaches complaining about each and every single call. Secon we played Scioto (rival for me in high school :) ) whom we've played 3 times at the HGT in the last 5 years and beat them by 2. It was back and forth all game, and a few of their girls were pretty nasty. Not to mention we had a ref who would not give Kent a call, and no, that is not bitterness, its unfortunately the truth. But despite his best efforts to throw the game we came out on top and game Scioto their first loss of the season! WOOT!
On to this week.... Mon (Today) - Laurel, Tuesday - Hudson, Thursday - WRA, Saturday - Kentston. CRAZY! But we love it :) Our girls will be exhausted by the end of the week, but I am confident we will have multiple things to be excited about. One of our girls - conveniently named Laurel - tore her ACL and Meniscus last year during the Laurel game, so she has a vengence to finish the whole game and probably score a few goals. Kent has never beat Hudson - so there's a BIG rivalry there. Not to mention Christy went to Hudson and would love to beat them. WRA is always a game we'd love to have under our belt - plus my Mom-in-law JoAnn may come as well as my favorite family that I babysit for. And Kenston on Saturday we've never played in lax, but doesn't mean we don't want to win this week outright to improve our winning streak to 8.
Thats right... we're on a 4 game winning streak! This is the best I have ever seen Kent look in the 5 years I've been here and it is such an awesome thing to be a part of.
However the week turns out, it will be a good, busy week, and we will be exhausted at the end of it I'm sure. Can't wait to see how it all turns out!
I wanted to post pics from the tournament, however I bring Steve's laptop with me when I sub (THANKS HUBBY!) and I don't have any pictures on here :) Check them out on Facebook soon though.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Moving Ups and Downs

So I'm really excited to move to Connecticut. Really I am! Its an amazing opportunity that later in life Steve and I may not be offered and may not be able to take if we don't now. The area is beautiful, the school is great, and the fact that we were both offered jobs? Priceless. So we are pumped, and we understand that blessing that is being handed to us through these positions...

But this is gonna be hard.

Most everyone we tell that we are moving is excited for us, but sad for us to leave. We feel the same way. A few times a week, I get really sad when I start thinking about having to say goodbyes to people. Yesterday, I told the family I've babysat for almost 4 years that we are moving, and that news added to the news that their neighbors are moving had the mom of the family in tears. Talk about hard for me to be excited about moving in that moment... I wanted to cry with Elena because it will be so hard to move away from the lives we've made here, and our friends and family. We hope and pray that the paths between Ohio and Madison, CT will be well traveled. It will be friends ad family visiting and falling in love with Madison like we have that will make moving seem easier and more and more worth it. By no means so I have any doubts or hesitations, I whole-heartedly believe in what God is providing for us, and know that it is right. There are amazing teachers and staff at Grove whom we have already met, and I'm sure more who we have not met yet. We will find our community, our closest friends there, and those that become like family. It won't be right away though I'm sure, and I'm trying to be okay with that. Moving to Kent for school doesn't seem like much of a move at all now!!!

Either way... I will bawl my eyes out everytime I say goodbye to someone while reminding myself that we will be back to visit very soon. I will probably cry multiple times once we get there just being an emotional girl and adjusting to everything. But I am confident that this will be good for us... Mike and Elena and my parents up and moved to new cities away from everyone they know right after they got married, and my parents especially have told us its awesome and that we should go. They are more excited to visit us in Madison than in Akron anyhow!!

Okay Madison, this isn't the last I have to say about you... but I need to get back to teaching now.

Hey, random! Meet my brain!

Subbing day again... I'm finding these are the best days for me to post, because more often then not, I have a planning period with nothing to do, or classes in which students are just watching a movie/working on projects/doing busy work. Today is the first job I've received through being a preferred sub. All it means is that I get to see jobs first from the teachers who have me on their preferred list before the rest of the teachers in the system get to see it. Its pretty sweet, I actually got called directly about it last night. The teacher I'm subbing for is pretty cool as is his wife who I've gotten to work with through subbing. Its fun because I see a LOT of lacrosse girls today, and I enjoy the classes I'll teach. The reason I see so many girls is because they all are in love with the teacher I'm subbing for so they have signed up for his class specifically, and all know where to find me! (My cheek itches right now and I can't get it to stop... stupid allergies...)

This is a busy week, which means my brain is on overdrive with lots of random thoughts! Here goes...

In Jesus: Steve and I had an incredibly blessed weekend Easter weekend. We were able to go to Columbus for the day Saturday to spend time with my brother and parents, and Sunday after Mosaic (which rocked) we went to Cleveland to be with Steve's family... and while I don't want to detail them all, Steve and I were seriously stunned by the amount of surprise blessings that came our way over the weekend. Jesus is good... our friends and family are amazing... to say the least...

In lacrosse: Our girls play Stow this Wednesday which is a HUGE game!!! Steve's mom is going to come watch which is sweet, as are best friends Tiara and Megan. And we head to Columbus Saturday for the Hannigan Galipault Tournament which can basically guarantee crappy weather and surprising wins for many at the tourny. Its fun because I played in the tourny all through High School and for the 5th year now get to be a coach.

In friends: Tiara is coming to town!!! Besty and MOH comes to town tonight to stay until Thursday and will officially be our first house/apartment guest! I'm pumped to spend time with her and am so excited she'll be at our game as well.

In work: Monday - babysit, Tuesday - sub, Wednesday - sub, Thursday - babysit, Friday - sub! Busy, busy, busy... but on the tail of multiple "disagreements" about finances between Steve and I, I can't help but see my busy schedule as God's way of providing.

In marriage: Not so busy, but very blessed and overwhelmed. And we get a few date nights in a row... crazy! That never happens! Last night we went to see the movie "Adventureland" at the theater which has Bargain Movie Mondays! ($5 tickets which include a free small popcorn!) It was a sweet movie... and kind of representative of Steve and I. The main dude was a kind of nerdy romantic, the main girl Steve described as artsy, and they end up in NYC which is one of our new favorite places. (Disclaimer.... I cannot relate to the big flub-up the girl has in the movie! But I won't give it away here...)

Other ridiculously random thoughts in my head...
  • In the first period class today (in my room, different teacher) there was a kid who looked exactly like a kid named Ross who went to my high school. It was flippin weird! Naturally I had to text Jenna and share with someone who would understand. If I could have taken a picture to show how freaky alike they looked without being a creeper I would have.
  • Chalk Holders... have you seen these? The little containers that the chalk slides into so you can just hold the plastic container when writing on the board and not get chalk all over your hands? They're not new by any means... I remember asking my mom to take me to the teacher store when I was younger to buy them because I thought they were awesome. I also had a pen which could be pulled out into a pointer. With random things like this in my possession why did I ever doubt I was supposed to be a teacher??!??!
  • Shane & Shane: Big fan of these guys... even more so lately. Thanks to pandora (Steve and I are slightly obsessed) I can type in Shane & Shane and have an entire "radio station" made of all music that sounds like these guys. Thank you Pandora for feeding my growing fascination with these musicians. New favorite song? "Beg" by these guys.
For now... thats my random. So as to not make this post 500 feet long, I'm gonna do another one that will be shorter about something completely different. I'm excited for lunch today... I made a huge batch of Hot Chicken Sandwiches last week and get excited every day when I realize I still have some left that I can heat up for lunch! That's a big 'ol WOOT!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Madison and NYC Pictures

Steve's infamous beard was in full force in NYC!
We were getting hungry.. apparently the leaves looked appetizing
Dude's flipping over 4 dudes in Central Park!
Most aesthetically building ever... and its apple!
Ahh.... Tiffanys!!!
Being cute in Rockefeller Center
My husband loves all things NBC
Financial cutbacks for Batman
Times Square!!!!
Making faces in Times Square... we didn't stick out at all actually.

Steve and I and Lady Liberty!
Ahh.... the beach near our future home
Studly husband straight out of 1940
We missed the Connecticut state sign... this is how Steve thinks people in CT say hi.

And yes... all the pictures did load backwards... not sure why!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Madison who, what???

Madison, Connecticut... a town I never thought of before about a month and a half ago. I had no reason to think about, even dream about Connecticut itself let alone the small town of Madison. This beautiful town sits on the Long Island Sound, about 2 hours North of New York City, sandwiched between Hartford and New Haven. It has a great downtown area filled with a cute bookstore, "Ashley's Best Ice Cream", a Maui Jim store, a movie theatre with only 2 screens, a couple art museums and galleries, and randomly... a business called McLaughlin Associates. Madison is a random, but cute little shore town.

Why do I care about Madison??? Oh... because Steve and I are moving there somewhere between July and September. WHY?!??!??! Trust me, I asked the same question a few times. Truth is, an offer was created and made that we could not resist. Come July/August/September (whenever we move) Steve and I will be the newest teachers at Grove School, a college preparatory therapeutic boarding school (see: mouth-full).

Believe you me... I was as confused as you are right now when I got an e-mail from the school for the first time. As it turns out, I have my resume posted on different teaching websites (doing the ol' job search) and the director from Grove School found it, read my resume, and then contacted me about the position. In talking with the director over the phone, I mentioned something about "my husband" and the director was even more excited about the possibility of us coming to Grove School. Apparently, the administration feels its a benefit to students to be around married couples for maturity and a different connection compared to singles. At that point the director asked us to come out for a visit and an interview which we set up for last Friday, March 27th.

So with a semi-free vacation ahead of us in Madison, we decided to attach on 2 days in Manhattan as well since neither of us had been to NYC before, and my cousin Andy and his wife Lindsey live there.

Last Thursday, we arrived in Madison in the rain and tried to tool around the town as much as possible. We drove to Grove to make sure we knew where to go the next day, drove through town looking for something to eat, and eventually, thanks to the GPS and Cha-Cha, (ask my husband if you're not sure what Cha-Cha is!) we found a little pub to hunker down in. It was obvious, as soon as we walked in, that the pub we found was full of regulars. The beep of the door had everyone turn our way to see who was walking in, only to turn around in confusion about who the random people were, especially the girl in the OSU Fleece. Leave it to me to find a way to stick out like a sore-thumb! At one point, I was the only female in the pub outside of the bartender and waitress, and every guy was completely fixed on the TV's showing the UConn game. Looks like these guys are as serious about UConn game as we are about OSU Football. After much needed food and refreshments we headed back to the hotel to get ready for interviews the next day.

Staying in the most random hotel ever (courtesy of Grove School) means Continental breakfast is a loose term! After breakfast we headed out to our interview, not knowing what to expect. We drove onto campus which looks more like a small community of homes then it does a school campus (think the Dharma/Others housing in LOST) and found the Director we were meeting with. We sat down - together interestingly enough - and began learning about the crazy school we ventured to. We took a tour of the campus, the school rooms, the wonderful art room, the dorms, and sat down for lunch with the rest of campus. We met more teachers than I could remember names for, students here and there, and got to tour/sit down with a girl named Naomi who teaches at Grove with her husband. Naomi and Jacob are finishing their second year as live-in teachers in the same positions Steve and I were looking at. We drilled Naomi with questions about what being a newly-married couple is really like there, toured the apartment she and Jacob have in a boys dorm, and spoke with her about being Christians in this school community. Talking with Naomi was a blessing to get a real perspective on how tough it is to work and live there with your significant other in the same position.

After a few hours at the school we left, knowing that we were calling the director back within a week to tell him whether or not we were interested. We walked around town, popped in shops here and there, drove the short trip to the beach to walk the boardwalk, and enjoyed taking ridiculous pictures of each other. And of course we tried out "Ashley's Best Ice Cream"! From then until Saturday evening, we did not stop talking about Grove School and what our feelings were. I was instantly overwhelmed with the prospect of the positions, and Steve was instantly sold! Come Sunday afternoon, after long discussion with each other, and a long phone call to my parents... we were pretty sold on Grove School outside of a few remaining questions.

Wednesday afternoon we called the director, he officially offered the positions, and we officially accepted. And we're moving! Crazy.... and I'm pretty sure it won't hit me until we're literally in the moving van driving across the NorthEast.

A little about Grove.... It is a school for students who have been identified as emotionally fragile or have behavioral issues. There are only 110 students, only 5 of which are day students. Students come mostly from the NorthEast states, but some also come from other states around the nation. Class sizes range from 6-10 students, with 1 head teacher and sometimes 1-2 aides.

Here's what our new jobs will entail, and the perks that go with...
-I will be teaching Art, with two teaching assistants, an UNLIMITED art budget, and a BEAUTIFUL art room.. CRAZY!
-Steve will be a teaching assistant in classrooms depending on where the need is based upon Students.
-We will be living in an apartment in a dorm, and if we live in a girl's dorm, Steve will have another small dorm/office in a guys dorm for work and dorm supervision and vise versa.
-Our housing and 3 meals a day are covered by the school (Score!)
-We will be on duty (dorm supervision) 2 days a week and every other weekend, and are encouraged to not be around other staff or students on our days off, but to take as many trips off campus and away from the city as possible!
-The whole school has 10 weeks off/year, 5-two week breaks (School is year round) in which students are required to leave campus.
-There are multiple trips throughout the year which staff supervise and some students attend. For instance... there were 3 ski trips this winter, a trip to the Caribbean for Spring Break, a trip to El Salvador in August, a sailing trip in July... etc.
-Currently there is no lacrosse team, but I will be doing my best to start one while there. Steve will hopefully find an activity to start with students as well (running... comic books... etc)
-They are willing to help with moving expenses to get us out there - Woot!!
-For Steve to finish his degree, and if either of us decides to get our masters in Education, they will pay half of our tuition as long as we get an A or a B.
-.....etc... I can't currently remember all the rest of the details.

In any case... this opportunity has God written all over it, and while we will be sad to leave friends and family for at least a 2-year commitment, we are excited, and hope that the paths between Madison and Ohio will be well traveled by friends and family. Please consider this your open invitation (yes we mean everyone!) and we'll see you in CT!

**Sorry this ended up so long... apparently I have a lot to say about this crazy adventure we're starting soon... **

I want to post pictures but am currently having trouble with the website...more to come later!