Monday, July 27, 2009

Snapshots of a Crazy Summer

So for anyone who actually checks this blog, besides my mother who just complained to me that she keeps coming here and seeing only July 5th, here's a quick look into the past month of insanity. We begin with the beauty of FINALLY getting to see Jessie's amazing and beautiful baby Citlali Rose shortly after arriving stateside. She's a jewel with a unique little mind that she knows well already ;)

From there we go on some crazy adventures with the Hopper crew. I had great times reacquainting myself with Rowan and Adelia whose vocabularies continue to fill me with shock and awe! They're non-stop and ridiculously cute as well. We have here pictures of our little hike to the cave where we saw the rattle snake as well as their lovely fingernails I painted and Adelia's early 7th birthday party.

From there I scurried along, after a long drive from Moscow back to the Portland area, to Wichita where I met up once again with my lovely roommate Laura for a tour of the Prairie's. Yes, the fact that her name is Laura and she grew up on the Prairie shoud not be lost on anyone. It was, in fact, intentional.

It was so cool to be able to visit so many of the places she'd told me about all year. It's also always so interesting just to see people in their natural habitat. We had a great time getting ready for her wedding, including spending 4 hours at her hairdresser. I have for you now some pictures of us in our wedding garb, as well as one of the little school house in which she was married. There were only about 25 people there total, and it was truly beautiful. I should spend more time on each of these events, but at this point I'm just thankful to finally be talking about any of them, so I apologize that it's just this rapid fire approach.

So for anyone who actually checks this blog, besides my mother who just complained to me that she keeps coming here and seeing only July 5th, here's a quick look into the past month of insanity. We begin with the beauty of FINALLY getting to see Jessie's amazing and beautiful baby Citlali Rose shortly after arriving stateside. She's a jewel with a unique little mind that she knows well already ;)

The day after the wedding Laura's mom (consequently her parents names are Tim and Cheryl in case anyone wanted to be amused by the correlation to my own sister Cheryl and her husband Tim) drove me back to Wichita where I met up with Angie and the kids. We did a little shopping and then drove the 4 hours back to Leoti, after which we immediately washed the girls' hair, then got back in the car and went to the hairdresser in Tribune for them to get all cute and stylized ;)

It took them a little while to warm up to me, having not seen me in two years and therefore mostly having no idea who I even am, but once they did we had great times together. I even managed to teach them so Czech! It was so nice to be able to fit in time to spend with them.

I also really enjoyed watching Bob how to figure out the rip-stick :) Emily was pretty good by the end of the evening when one of their friends got it for his birthday, and I'll admit I had no interest in even trying it out!

I've got to say the day I left Kansas was pretty intense. We left Leoti around 7 AM and drove the 4 hours to the Denver airport. After an hour or two my flight took off and I arrived a couple hours later in Portland where my parents picked me up and drove me the hour back to McMinville. We ate a quick lunch at Quiznos, then I drove for four more hours to Janet's place in Medford. In all the actual travel time was about 11 hours, but if you look at the times all in PST it was like I got up at 4 AM and arrived at my final destination at 10:30 PM. That's just a long day by most anyone's standards.
It was well worth it, however, because bright and early the next morning we hustled out to watch the new Harry Potter flick. Good times with the boy crew. I got a nice photo of the boys in their natural habitat.

Also whilst there Janet decided it was time to attempt domestication. Therefore, I can now say I baked a blackberry pie. Not without plenty of instruction, and she mixed up the pie dough. Ryder took copious photographs in attempt to show just how much I did, but I'll just share a couple here.

I also got my fill of baseball games. I attended two doubleheaders. First for Tyler and the next day for Ryder. I didn't take a whole lot of pictures there, but when Ryder came over to eat his dinner with us during the break I got this nice one of him and Janet. They just grow up WAAAAAY too fast!

I've got some more photos I just haven't managed to download yet, but this will have to tide you over for the time being. Needless to say, I haven't just been sitting around doing nothing all this time. I'm currently in Pasadena just starting the second week of teacher training. I think we've got a good new group of teacher here. I'm getting two new teammates this year which is quite exciting. That means we'll have a total of 4 ESI teachers in Cheb. Yeah for growing numbers!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fallen Off the Face of the Planet???

Not exactly. Still alive and kickin'. Just a little on the busy all over the place side. A week in the US and I've already covered more than 1000 miles. I've an incredibly interesting story to tell about almost being hospitalized on my flight home...but I don't really have time at the moment to go into all the details, so you'll just have to ask me about it later. Or maybe a time will come when I've got a bit more time and focus and can actually take a few minutes to go into it.
I got back to Oregon early last Sunday, and was picked up by my parents, Julie and Rowan. Despite the hour, Rowie was adorably chatty the whole ride home, and when my Taco Bell craving got the better of me, he ate a whole soft taco supreme at 1AM as well :) I had a little time in Oregon, and was able to go over and visit Jessie on Sunday. It was so glorious to spend a little time with her and to finally see that sweet Citlali baby. I was a bit worried that she wouldn't warm up to me, but my fears were thankfully pointless. What a cutie she is!
Monday we headed right back to Moscow. Our schedule there wasn't as packed as it was last summer, but the days still just seemed to disappear before I even knew what was happening. There was shopping to be done, a movie to see, food to make (which always seems to take up a good deal of time!) and bikes to be ridden. I was a bit nervous about the bike riding, seeing as how I really haven't ridden at all to speak of since my bike was stolen 7 or so years ago. But in the end Julie persuaded and I gave in and it turned out all right. I was too nervous to be much good at hand signals, but as long as I was just following her I think it was okay.
I got in one 4 or 5 hour Starbucks trip, but it still wasn't nearly enough to catch up in my journal, so I'm hoping my flight to Kansas today will provide me with some much needed journaling time.
I went with Brian and Rowan to pick up Adelia on Thursday and we had a great time playing at a little park by the river, then hiking up to a cave where we braved a treacherous climb, and a brush with a rattle snake in order to enjoy the spectacular view in the beauty of one of God's hidden treasures in the mountainside.
Like I said, time just evaporated and soon it was the 4th of July. Since I'm off all over the place again, we celebrated Julie and Adelia's birthdays on the 4th which was fun and meant more yummy desserts (I'm hoping I still fit into my dress for Laura's wedding! :) We topped the day off with some lovely fireworks then went to sleep to the sounds of explosions all around the neighborhood. I really wanted to let them know that after midnight it wasn't the 4th anymore and they really ought to give it a rest until next year. Ah well.
Yesterday, after Mom finished the final touches on my dress for the wedding, we headed back over to Oregon. We took two cars which meant I had separate chances to drive with Mom and Dad which was nice for conversation. It's been really good to have long drives to talk to people. I had Julie all to myself on the drive to Moscow last Monday, and then this week I had half and half with Mom and Dad and I got to drive the whole trip which makes me happy :)
Today I'm flying out to Kansas where I'm not sure how much access I'll have to a computer. Not that it looks like I've had much this week either...ah well. We'll see what I can manage, and I'll try to get some pictures up as well.