Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Midas Touch

Well folks. Although I hinted at giving you the story of Phil's and my first date, I think I'm going to hold off for the time being. We went on our first date ever to "Fall Thing" at TMC. "Fall Thing" is the casual, inexpensive themed party that is thrown for Master's kids every year in...the Fall. Hence, Fall Thing.

Our second Fall Thing was a Hollywood theme. Phil and I always wanted to have a creative costume if we were going to go to a themed party. We thought and thought about what we could do for a Hollywood theme that wouldn't cost us a lot but that would be interesting. We decided to dress as the Oscars. Yes, that's right folks. Our plan was to paint ourselves and our clothing solid gold. We used 8 cans of spray paint to paint all of our clothing. When we tried the gold face paint it looked green next to our gold clothes so we wiped it off and used our gold hairspray to paint our faces, hair, hands and necks. (You have to hold your breathe while the other person sprays...there's a technique to it). Anyways, we ended up at the Fall Thing leaving a little gold trail behind on everything we touched. We had a great time and ended up winning something like "Most Creative Costume." We won a gift certificate to a restaurant as a result of our efforts. Altogether, it was an evening well-spent. So, if you're ever feeling creative and have a Hollywood party to go to, you know what you can go as.
I still have the gold shoes which I wear to school on our Red/Gold spirit days. :)

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Trip Down Memory Lane

This past weekend I started rummaging through old photos and came across one I wanted to scan in of one of Phil's and my "dates" from our poor college days. While I scanned that photo I decided to look for other photos from our dating days. Unfortunately, I had trouble locating the box so I ended up cleaning out my entire upstairs closet. I finally located the misplaced box in the last tub of other items in which my photos should not have been. I then took a trip down memory lane as I went through section after section of photos. I have found a number of events I would like to share on my blog, both for the happy memories they bring back to me and for your viewing pleasure. So, over the next few days, I hope you'll enjoy some of the good ol' early days of when Phil and I began dating...and when we were a little on the lighter side. ;) Enjoy!

This first photo is the original photo I found.
Phil and I were both dirt poor in college and had to be VERY creative with our dates. Since we enjoyed watching movies together but didn't have access to TV's in the dorms and paying for a movie was out of the question, we discovered the creative option of selecting a movie from the school library and watching it together, with headphones at the back of the library. No popcorn, no comfy seats, just great company and a movie.

Another pastime that Phil and I participated in a few times in college was the awesome activity of cardboard sledding. You can see the shear joy on our faces as we went tearing down the "mountain" on our highly advanced cardboard sleds. If you've never been, it's definitely a must-do activity at some point in your life. However, be prepared for a few bumps and bruises along the way. Especially if there are some hidden rocks under the grass. (You tend to find every one as you go down). If you're interested in participating, grocery stores are great places to pick up a few free boxes.

Keep tuned for the story and photos of our first date. :)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sick Days

Am I ever glad it's Friday. I've been fighting something since Monday. Called in sick on Wednesday (which I never do!) and went Thursday and Friday even though I still felt terrible. Being sick is sure not fun, especially when you still have to maintain control over 30 students and teach lessons that make sense.

So, if you're wondering when my next blog post is coming...when I get better, I'll post again.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Strongest Dad in the World

I received this in an email today and thought it powerful enough to share on my blog. I hope you'll take a few minutes to stop and read the story and watch the video. It made me cry.

[From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]

I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots. But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs. ``He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. ``There's nothing going on in his brain.''

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want to do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore for two weeks.''

That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathalon?''

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathalon? Still, Dick tried.

Now they've done 212 throttling, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time'? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.'' And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was

95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' one doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.''

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston , and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland , Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some back-breaking race every >weekend, including this Father's Day.
That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad would sit in the chair and I would push him once.''

Here's the video....


Monday, September 11, 2006

A Fun Birthday

On Saturday I celebrated my 25th birthday. For some of you that might be super young and for some super old. I'm definitely feeling like I'm becoming more "adult" rather than "young adult." Really not ready to get older yet. Sigh...some things can't be helped huh?

On Saturday, Phil and I slept in nice and late. We didn't have plans so I looked for something to do online. I ended up deciding it would be fun to go shopping at the Camarillo Outlet Mall. We had never been there before and we ended up having a great day. I needed some new clothes for work so it turned out quite well for me. I left with a number of new tops and a skirt. Phil also bought me an attachment and two lids for my KitchenAide Mixer. :) Yeah!

I got/made a few phone calls after we shopped and then we drove around looking for a good place for dinner. We found this great little place called Bandit's BBQ. It was SOOOO good! I seriously haven't had meat that good for a LONG time! I ordered the tri-tip. MMmmm! We were a little full for dessert so we decided to save it for Sunday evening.

On Sunday evening, Phil and I went out to dinner then went to the one place I am definitely addicted to--Golden Spoon! (If anyone wants to go with me sometime, just give me a holler!) We joined up with our friends Kim & Cam and Jeff & Angie. It was a great time hanging out, eating frozen yougurt and talking. After the ice-cream, Phil and I went to watch Pirates in the theatre at 10:15 PM!!! Yes, I know we're crazy!! We didn't get home until 1:00 AM but we both survived work today. ;) No harm done. All in all, I had a great birthday weekend. Thanks to all my friends and family out there who gave me a "Happy Birthday" greeting.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Pedicure & Back to School

Well, yesterday was Back to School Night. Although I wasn't that nervous about meeting the parents, I guess the stress leading up to it really got to me. Last May my name was drawn at school to receive a pedicure at Glen Ivy Spa. I, being one who doesn't like to spend a lot of money on myself, have never before had the pleasure of a pedicure. I chose to use it yesterday, before Back to School Night, to help me relax and feel a little less stressed. It was WONDERFUL. Not only do my toes look better than they have in my entire life, I enjoyed 50 minutes having my feet & toes buffed, soaked, scrubbed, clipped, painted, trimmed and massaged. Wow. Definitely a treat. Although I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it, I don't know when or if I'll next be persuaded to actually pay for a pedicure.

With that said, Back to School Night went well. I believe I said most of what I needed to say and hopefully got my points across. I was definitely nervous and spoke WAY too quickly. There were a few times I actually had to stop to literally catch my breath. Whew. I didn't feel nervous but I think maybe it was the pressure of having 30-40 adults (most of whom Ive never met) staring at me in such close proximity that made me sound so nervous. Anyways, I'm glad it's over. Now, I just have to prepare for my PPP a week from Monday!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Funny Photos

I'm still waiting for my photos to work on the blog. This was a blog I forgot I wrote so I'm posting it now.

If you can't tell, I've been looking back through my digital photos that are stored on my computer. I'm finding some shots I didn't even know I had!

Phil and I are always up for a funny photo or two. Here are a few from the Thanksgiving before we got married.

I don't know, should Phil try to get a job as a mall Santa this year?

Don't we make a cute walrus couple?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Coming soon...

I promised on another blog that I'd post some bad hair pictures. The blog is written but the pictures won't load so I won't post it until the pictures work too. Later.

What to do on a Friday Night

Phil and I are always looking for new ideas of things to do on a Friday Night. We don't usually want to spend money (or a lot of it) so quite often we get a movie and stay home. We sometimes go on walks, go to Santa Monica, or go get Golden Spoon (my very favorite ice cream!) What type of suggestions do you have of activities that are inexpensive and fun. :)

I LOVE sleeping in on Saturday mornings...awe the joy of getting as much rest as I want. (Except that the dumpster across from our window gets emptied EVERY SATURDAY morning. Ggggrrrrrrr!) This morning Phil and I enjoyed sleeping in as late as we wanted; which turned out to be pretty late. I then finished reading a book and spent 4 hours online with tech support trying to get our wireless working correctly and spyware cleared for our computer. Four hours and $99 later everything is working great.

I wanted to also post pictures of our redecorated living room. We finished it back in June but I never got pictures before I went up North. So, here they are. We are loving our new couch and that we actually have furniture that isn't from the dumpster. (We don't really know where our last couch was from. Phil got it for free at college.) Check out our adorable kitty, Puma sitting happily in the living room.