Friday, October 30, 2009

Kids are Quick

Kids Are Quick
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TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America .
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS: Maria.
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TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.
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TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'
GLENN: K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L'
TEACHER: No, that's wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
(I Love this kid)
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TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD: H I J K L M N O.
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.
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TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.
WINNIE: Me!
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TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.
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TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with 'I.'
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'
MILLIE: All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'
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TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.
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TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.
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TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
CLYDE: No, sir. It's the same dog.
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TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

European Adventure: Pisa


Pisa is like a one stop shop. We literally unloaded our luggage from the train, hopped on a bus to the leaning tower courtyard, toted our stuff with us for about an hour, hopped back on the CROWDED bus to the train station and caught the next train to Rome. We saw Pisa in about 2 1/2 hours and I'd say I was satisfied. The Leaning Tower is pretty amazing to look at. After all, it leans! We took some great pictures around the courtyard and stopped at a few shops to admire the trinkets and togs. One thing I've noticed about Italy is that they take historical monuments and incorporate them into boxer shorts somehow. In Florence we were flashed with the David by Michaelangelo every where we went. In Pisa, well, they used a suggestive version of the leaning tower printed on the shorts. I had to avert my eyes many times. Theresa provided some commentary about the history of the tower and surrounding buildings so that was helpful. Before long, we were back on the train heading to our last stop, ROMA!

It's a falling building!


The duomo


Everybody was doing it.... so we thought we had to as well.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

European Adventure: Cinque Terre


We piled in to two cars (literally packed ourselves in… europeans drive small cars) and headed out of Pistoia for Cinque Terre. They (the guys) were estimating a quick trip there because there's not exactly a speed limit on the freeway and you can basically do whatever you want. I hid my eyes for much of the ride. You could tell we were getting into the mountains of Italy because the roads started to curve at more direct angles. Being in the back seat, you can imagine how worried I was getting mainly because I get pretty car sick. We started weaving and weaving and weaving and weaving and yep, more weaving. Basically, we climbed this mountain by weaving and the twisted down the other side of it back and forth and back and forth. I'm so thankful it was dark outside and I couldn’t really see the passing scenary because I would have for sure lost it but at the same time, I know the view was beautiful because we were along the coast. And here comes the kicker. We driving up towards the Cinque Terre area and we see all these flashing lights. As we look ahead towards the approaching mountain, there's fire shooting out the side. Yes, a wildfire and we can no longer travel on that road and we have to find an alternate route. That means, oh brother, we have to go back the way we just came (weaving and weaving and weaving). It was at this point we stopped at a local eattery so we could all get out of the cars (and I could lay down).

After what should have been a 3 hour drive, 5 1/2 hours later we made it putting us in Vernazza at midnight. We met our hostess and she showed us to our room. It was the cutest room we stayed in during our entire trip. We didn’t say much that night, just jumped in to bed and went to sleep. That next morning I went for a walk down by the coast. Vernazza is a cozy little town situated on the coast of Italy making up 1 of the Cinque Terre villages. We grabbed a quick bite for lunch, explored some of the shops, and waited for the Italian crew to join us. When they arrived, we headed to the beach for a relaxing day in the sun. After our friend Lorenzo got stung by a jelly fish, we were pretty much done with swimming in the water. As Melissa and I were making our way off of the giant rocks in the water, Melissa ate it and busted her ankle pretty hard. 2 disasters in a matter of minutes. The Italian crew went up for drinks while a few of us changed and went for walks. We took some group pictures before the sun set and then the Italians had to head back to Florence and Pistoia. They were great tour guides and we're so thankful they were able to join us for part of our trip. They really made experiencing Italy much more enjoyable. That night we got dressed up for dinner and ate at this restaurant that literally sat right along the ocean. After dinner we hung around the water and took some awesome jumping pictures. When we were taking our last one, Cindy got a little excited and kicked off her flip flop into the ocean. It was her way of leaving a piece of her in Italy. Haha.
That night Vernazza had one of the biggest thunderstorms ever! I was convinced that there was going to be a mudslide and our hotel would start sliding down the mountain because it was raining SO hard and for SO long. The thunder and lightning were extra loud because you're in the mountains and its echoing! I didn't get much sleep that night. The next morning we had planned to hike between the villages. However, because of the giant tsunami rain storm, the trails were closed so we were only able to hike around Vernazza. We decided to take the train to the rest of the cities which turned out to work in our favor because we got to see them all. We took some great pictures in Riomaggiore, got ice cream in Manorola, and ate dinner in Monterosso. We walked a ton that day and thankfully, Miley Cyrus' The Climb kept me motivated! (haha, j/k) I would love to come back to Cinque Terre and spend more time but for now, this worked. We caught an early morning train the following day, waived goodbye to Vernazza, and headed to Pisa.

Beautiful Vernazza


Overlooking Vernazza, Italy


View from the top


I love trees!


A man and his red boat


And all the blue boats


Our Italian friends


After dinner... along the coast


A night out in Vernazza

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The coolest little man

I'm babysitting Theo and Mayzie tonight while their parents are at Wicked. Mayzie and I were "cooking" up some vegetables in her fake kitchen and Theo kept running in circles. I asked him what he was doing to which he replied "just getting a run in." He's 2! I love this little man.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

European Adventure: Pistoia

We were lucky enough to have our own Italian tour guides. One of Cindy's friends lives in Florence so her boyfriend and his friends spent some time with us showing us around. Andrea lives in Pistoia so we spent a day swimming at his house, eatting a fantastic lunch he and his friend Lorenzo made, and then exploring the city of Pistoia. They were great tour guides and made us feel so welcome. The language barrier also made things quite interesting.

Andrea and Lorenzo picked us (and all of your luggage) up in Florence and we zoomed out of the city. You see, they have "suggested" speed limits so you can imagine how fast we were actually driving. Andrea's house is up in the hills of Pistoia so the view was beautiful. His pool sits right on the edge of the mountain! The water was a bit chilly but we all made the sacrifice and dove in. Lorenzo and Andrea cooked us a traditional italian meal and it was excellent. Most of the ingredients they used came straight from his garden or around his house. We all got a good laugh about the wine as well. Andrea had visited Tracy (cindy's friend) back in the USA and she gave him some American wine. He said it tasted like dirt. Italian wine is the real deal.

After lunch and swimming, we got packed up and headed in to Pistoia to explore the city and do a partiva. Andrea gave us a history lesson of Pistoia which we all appreciated and a bunch of his friends met up with us. Italians don't eat the same way Americans do. They have breakfast, their lunch is usually a sandwich on the go around 2, they do a partiva around 7, and have dinner around 930. Sometimes they dont even start eating until 11! It's crazy! Well, a partiva is kind of like happy hour. You buy drinks and you get all of these appetizer with your drinks. It's really a great deal and was fun to sit and chat with everyone. Around 7 we took off in our loaded cars for Cinque Terre and what would quickly become a drive from hell.... ahh

Andrea's pool in the hills of Pistoia


Cindy and the water slide


Andrea being a tour guide and telling us all about the history of the courthouse


A fancy spritzer

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My coworkers... they think they're hilarious.

One of my coworkers made a mistake on something and this was their reasoning why: "Must have Twilight on the brain. I have heard that it is common in our department? I think I am going to change my United Way contribution and have it go towards finding a cure for Twilight."

And last weekend, I was shopping with my mom and we were looking at coats. I picked up this coat and said "This looks exactly like the coat Bella wears in the movie Twilight." I then proceeded to look at the tag and sure enough, it was the exact coat she wears. My moms reaction "you're ridiculous".

Only a few more weeks until NEW MOON!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Happy Birthday McKenna

McKenna got dominated today thanks to Sara and I. Happy Birthday buddy....





also, happy birthday to Em too.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Office



I LOVE thursday nights thanks to a little show called The Office. Tonight was Jim and Pam's wedding. I've been anxiously awaiting this episode all season! And it was..... Spectacular! WOWZA. The greatest episode. Thank you NBC. And for the record, I cried.

European Adventure: Fiesole


Considered a hidden gem just outside of Florence in the rolling hills of tuscany... so our little guide book says. Fiesole overlooks Florence from high atop some major cliffs. The bus ride to Fiesole was ever so enjoyable (ahem... i don't do winding roads!) but the view from the top was well worth it. It was a beautiful sunny day and we arrived late morning. We didn't really have any expectations for the city, we just figured we'd walk around and explore. We stopped for lunch right away and had the pleasure of listening to American teenagers at the tables behind us describe (in detail) last nights events. Can you say D-RAMA! haha

After lunch it was time to explore. The first thing that greeted us on our hike was the naked statue exhibit. Seriously, naked. What is it with Italy and their statues? We continued up some very steep roads and wandered around. What was interesting to me was the fencing people had around their houses to keep out animals... or crazy tourists. They used some serious barbed wire and glass. Fiesole was a cute little town and I'm glad we were able to spend part of the day there. Late afternoon we headed back to Florence.

Being that it was our last night in the tuscany area, I decided to go all out and order three courses for my meal. Bruschetta for my appetizer, marsala mista for my salad, penne with spicy tomato and breaded chicken cutlet. Delish. To top it off... what else but GELATO! We found the greatest gelateria in Florence that night with not only the best flavors but the cheapest prices! I wish we would have found that place sooner. We ate our gelato on the steps of the Duomo and did some people watching. An Italian man (more like a boy) asked us to go party with him but we kindly turned him down. He didn't waste any time finding some other American girls to persuade. It was fun sitting on the Duomo steps and continually singing Mr. Roboto over and over again. It was only fitting for our last night in Florence.

Beginning our hike in Fiesole


View from Fiesole overlooking Florence


Hiking in Fiesole


Our last meal in Florence


Eatting Gelato from the best place in Florence

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Welcome to Sucktown...

Welcome to Sucktown. Population: ME!

Working overtime sure has its perks but right now, I'm questioning them.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

European Adventure: Venice


The streets are made of water?! What?! Yeah, we got lost. First impression of Venice: I don't know what's so romantic about this place?! Maybe it's because I wasn't with my significant other but I don't really find charm in riding in a gondola down a packed water street with thousands of tourists staring at me and an old man in a tight white and red striped shirt singing sweet Italian songs which I don't understand. I can just as easily get in a canoe and float down a lake myself and sing my own music.... but I suppose it's what you do when you're in Venice. (except me). We decided to make our way through the city by simply walking and letting our feet by our guide. It was a great idea until we realized we didn't really know where we were and the map of Venice sucked. We were on a tight schedule because we had to make sure we caught the last train out of Venice back to Florence or we'd be sleeping in the train station.

Let's see, Venice was very hot, had great gelato, and lots and lots of water. I did enjoy sitting along the main canal letting the waves crash against my feet. There's really cool shops in Venice that have really beautiful blown glass. The chandeliers made out of blown glass were pretty amazing. If I had $5000 to spend I'd buy one, maybe. We spent time walking around San Marco square and taking pictures in front of the Basilica di San Marco along with 1,000,000 pigeons! Cindy was oh so lucky and had one poop on her arm!

I suppose there was a charm about Venice in it's own special way. I think we just felt rushed for time to really enjoy some of the hidden gems I know Venice has. The best part of Venice was the "graffiti" we came across while we were wandering down a back alley. It read "I NEED TO DO A FAT POO!" It became the running joke for the rest of the trip. And for that, I'm thankful for Venice!

Venice


Water Taxi


View from the Rialto Bridge


Rialto Bridge


Some gondolas


Our mode of transportation for the day


A water street


Basilica di San Marco


Along the Grand Canal

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Guilty Treat

Puppy Chow. Theres absolutely no way to sneak eat puppy chow. Its got built in accountability. That stuff gets everywhere! :)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

European Adventure: Florence


Our train ride from Austria to Italy had some of the most amazing views I've ever seen. However, we shared a room on the train with a husband and wife who were backpacking and I'm pretty sure hadn't showered in about a month. They were very friendly and chatted on occasion with us in their best English but wow, you would think they would notice. It was like the elephant in the room that no one acknowledged. We all got a good laugh about it later though.

The crazy city of Florence. The streets, if you can even call them that, are about the size of a twin bed and yet cars and motorbikes go zooming down them, fearlessly. You watch a bus attempting to turn a corner and you are 100% sure that bus is going to hit the car parked on the street but they somehow maneuver there way leaving only centimeters to spare between the bus and the car. I held my breath every time. We stayed at the Hotel Monica. It was nothing extravagant but very friendly and welcoming. There was an old man who worked the night shift at the front desk who I could have sat and talked with the entire trip. He was my favorite part of Florence. Florence was a big change from Austria. Not only were we speaking another language but the pace of the city changed. The people talked fast, walked fast, and eat very very late into the evening. Who knew I'd have to wait until 9 pm for supper! The wait was well worth it though. We ate at Trattoria Gaelfe and I had this mushroom lasagna thing. I've never had truly homemade lasagna... noodles and everything... and I ate that thing up! Delish. (*Disclaimer: I wasn't incredibly adventurous in my food choices on the trip mainly sticking to pizza, lasagna, and penne pasta so you won't see me comment too much on the food).

Our first full day in Florence we dominated that city by foot. At one point we found ourselves hiking up this giant hill to get to this garden. If I had known that hill would have been as big and long and tall as it was, I'm pretty sure I would have opted for an alternate route. We visited the Uffizi Gallery which houses many many paintings. Strangely enough, there's a painting of a man from the 1700's that looks EXACTLY like Justin Timberlake. (believe me, it was confirmed by about 4 other people around me). We also saw the Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Chiesa di Santa Croce, Mercato di San Lorenzo, and lots and lots of markets. We stopped at a dried fruit market and I got to practice my Italian. I successfully ordered myself some apricots and bananas!

Our second day we spent the morning touring the Duomo... (duomo, duomo, duomo oragato Mr. Roboto Yes, I sang this EVERY time someone said the word Duomo. I even added a little robot dance). We climbed all 463 steps to the top. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it, but I did and the view was worth it! We got to see the David sculpted by Michelangelo which was pretty cool and stopped by some street markets to buy some cute scarves. Wherever we ate that night had the BEST pizza ever. That night after dinner we hopped on a bus which took us to Michelangelo Plaza which overlooks Florence. We watched the sunset on the steps with many others who brought wine and snacks and music. It was probably my favorite place we visited in Florence. I know there were a lot of other places we saw and funny stories to share but to keep this short (yeah right) we'll just have to go for a walk or something and I'll share them with you.

Just some scarves


Doors of the Duomo... oragato Mr. Roboto


Part of the GIANT hill we climbed


Outside the Uffizi along the water


Dried Fruit: the only catch is that you have to order in Italian!


On top of the Duomo ..duomo oragato Mr. Roboto (every time!!)


One of the stairwells in the Duomo... thankfully I was on my way down


View from Michelangelo Plaza


Theresa, Melissa, and I watching the sunset over Florence

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Just regular Joes

Needtobreathe

Just watched this interview on MTV.com. Check it out (click on Needtobreathe). I love these guys! Get their record if you haven't!

Welcome to ROCKtober!

It's officially music month for me. It’s the month where I allow myself to buy lots of music on itunes, lots of cds at Target, and spend countless hours listening to lyrics and being inspired. You see, for someone who loves music as much as I do, I have to put limits on my spending…. So giving myself a month that I can dedicate to music is just what I need. How many Psalms did David write? How many more songs did he write that we don't know about? How many songs do I have on my computer? What artists do I like that you don't know about? Its kind of the same thing right? Just kidding. Rocktober is a time to discover new bands, praise the one who created music through song, and write some of my own stuff (that no one will ever hear). Welcome to ROCKtober!

Friday, October 02, 2009

WICKED... flies in to Des Moines

Can't wait for tonight.


and this makes #3.

Happy Birthday Swilson!


Happy Birthday to Sarah Wilson aka swilson:

I'm partly writing this because she's turning twentyfun today but mostly I'm writing this because she's fan-freakin-tastic.
Sarah is one of my best friends and I can't imagine being in this stage of my life without her. Before we even met, people told us that we would be great friends. The first night that I met her, it was confirmed, we were bffs! How I knew we would be besties: she knew all the words and dance moves to High School Musical. Hahaha. The more we started talking we found out how much stuff we had in common. Sarah went to all of the same concerts I went to, liked all the same movies and music that I did, and we already had a lot of the same friends in common. What was really scary was that the more we started to hang out, we began to notice each others clothes and how we owned basically the same things. Its funny now, when we see eachother, because we'll just say "oh, I have that shirt from Gap 2006."

Here are just a few things I love about Sarah:

Baseball Fanatic: Though Sarah is a Twins fan (specifically a Joe Mauer fan), I still accept her. She may not be a Cubs fan but she's willing to tag along to the Iowa Cubs games and she has a fun time. Last summer we had a GNO to Minnesota (sarah's stomping grounds) for a Twins game and I wore a Twins shirt for her! Some of the funniest moments of my life came from that trip. This past summer Sarah and I took a roadtrip out to Chicago for the Cubs vs. Twins game. It was a glorious victory for the Cubs but Sarah was still a good sport. It’s our love for Baseball that overshadows our rivalry. I let her cheer for Mauer and she lets me cheer for Theriot. It’s a win win… but in this case, the Cubs always win!

Chicago: This leads me in to the next reason why Sarah is So Hip! She LOVES Chicago as much as I do. She lived in Chicago for a semester so she knows the ropes and all the hotspots. She will never turn down a roadtrip to my favorite city in the USA. She is a roadtrip pro. She not only knows what snacks to bring along but her roadtrip playlists are phenomenal! We had a great time roaming the city this summer… well, when we finally made it to the city. You see, we were in a hurry to get to the train station so we were walking pretty fast. Unfortunately we were in too much of a rush and Sarah left her wallet at the train station. What was supposed to be a 35 minute train ride turned in to 2 1/2 hours. The look on the conducters face when we were explaining to him what happened was awesome. "uh.. What are you girls trying to do." I still laugh thinking about it.

SYTYCD: Sarah is a dancer. Plain and simple. During the summer, she works for Just For Kicks up in Minnesota… (did I mention she's from minnesota? That makes her weird, but again, I still accept her). This girl knows how to dance to pretty much anything. She's always willing to throw a late night dance party, dance in the car, dance at weddings, watch So You Think You Can Dance, teach dance, dance dance dance. Recently at a friends wedding, we got a group of friends together and we all performed the Hoedown Throwdown. We were a hit. :)

Emails: Another thing I love about Sarah is her emails. She loves her blackberry and texting and is always sending me messages throughout the day of random things but its her emails that I really appreciate. Its always nice to see a friendly email pop up in your inbox with encouragement or just a quick message from a friend.

Music: I've already commented on Sarah's roadtrip playlists but another way that we quickly formed a bond was through music. We like a LOT of the same music. Needtobreathe, Parachute, Justin Timberlake, High School Musical…….. We love our pop music! We've been to many concerts together including a Wynona Judd show where Sarah sang all the words to her song and I was completely amazed… though I'm not sure in a good way. :) I'll never forget the time Sarah and I were in the car and this song came on (which she had just downloaded) and she proceeded to tell me it was her FAVORITE!!! It was… David Archuletta. Haha, I just shook my head. Sarah is Awesome.

The most important of all: Sarah loves the Lord and because of that, she knows how to love her friends. She wears her heart on her sleeve and genuinely cares about people. She wants to celebrate your accomplishments and wants to cry with you when you're sad. She gives hugs when they're needed the most and laughs at all of my jokes. Sarah is a wonderful teacher and gets the opportunity to love children everyday. People will know that Sarah is a follower of Christ because of the way she loves.

I have a lot of great stories and memories with Sarah and I'm forever grateful for her friendship. She is one of the most wonderful people I know… and she has GREAT hair and loves jumping pictures!! :)