Tuesday, November 11, 2008

it happend just like I always IMAGINED!

That is....

I got a beautiful, huge, PLASTIC heart-shaped ring. And it happened just like I always imagined it would!

Matt walked into my room yesterday afternoon and we were talking like any other day. I could tell he had something on his mind because he was pace much more than normal.


Matt S. is one of my student's from last year. He was actually quite the hellion and one of the more difficult students I had to deal with. However, he is hilarious and totally inappropriate...which made it hard to handle him....I always wanted to laugh at him, but I couldn't. So now that Matt is not my student anymore, I enjoy his company 10 times more!


So Matt S. was in my classroom and we were visiting. See, I ran into Matt S. about a month ago in the hall, after not seeing him much since school started. I convinced Matt, and his little buddy Matt L. (who I also had last year, who was also a little hellion), to come visit me after school. So from that day on, Matt S. and Matt L. have been coming to visit me. About 3 minutes after I dismiss my class I hear the pitter patter of Matt S. and Matt L. walking down the hall. I have the timing just right so I can look up from my desk as they stroll into the room.

I have a little confession, though. I think part of the reason they keep coming back to my room to visit daily is because I gave them a piece of candy the first day they came in. Then the next day. And the next day. After a few weeks of giving them candy, I realized I couldn't bribe them with sweets to come into my room. So naturally I started weening them off the candy. I know give them each 4 Frosted Mini-Wheats (for being in 4th grade).

In any case, they usually look at my daily schedule and ask questions about what my students did in class. Then they tell me about their homework. And generally little Matt S. will make mention of the 35 W Bridge as he is completely obsessed with it (last year every time he presented a Current Event, it was about the Bridge. Weird obsession if you ask me!).

Yesterday was a little bit different, though. Matt L. was in the classroom, but he was sitting on a chair away from my desk (which is where we normally visit). The boys weren't as inquisitive as normal. I didn't hear anything about the 35 W Bridge. Matt S. walks up to me and had a little grin on his face. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his clasped hand. I think I was grading some papers so I didn't really pay too close of attention to what was in his hand. Then in the most adorable and endearing voice, Matt S. says, "Here Ms. Ventura....this is for you," as he held out his clasped hand.

I held out my hand, curious about what he had, and before I knew it, I was holding a RING...a big one at that. I would venture to say it was quite the BLING! Matt S. got a ring and brought it in to give to me. I was speechless. Literally. I thought it was the cutest thing EVER. I quickly squealed (mainly because Matt S. had never been so polite and sincere before!) and said, "OH MATT....that is SO kind of you! How did you know I like PLASTIC, RED, HEART-SHAPED rings?!?" He got the goofiest little smile on his face and I quickly put it on my finger!

I assured him that I would take good care of it and that I really appreciated his kind gesture. And with that, Matt S. and Matt L. walked out of the room, with 4 Frosted Mini Wheats each, and headed down the hall. I stood outside my room and waved them goodbye.

And just like I was left with a ginormous ring...a ring that's all mine....and was meant just for me!

Boy....it happened JUST like I always imagined it would:)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

haven't seen THIS in a while...

I haven't seen THIS in a while...

Yes...that's right....gas under $2! I really don't even remember the last time that I paid that much for a gallon of gas. Although, I do remember when I first driving that I could get gas for just about a dollar a gallon...boy does THAT age me a bit:)

In any case, on Friday, I filled up my entire tank for about $27. HOLY COW.

I don't totally get how this drop in the price of gas is possible....any economist willing to share (...Jaime...)??? But while I don't really get it, I am totally fine with it...actually, not just fine...I am ecstatic about it!

Does anyone else just feel like taking a road trip now that prices are so "low" ???

Friday, November 07, 2008

the GAP jackpot...

Well...I had no intentions of buying anything today (other than a gift for someone else) but when I stepped foot into GAP I couldn't help but notice the big $1.99 and under signs flashing at the back of the store (they weren't REALLY flashing...but anything that cheap somehow becomes flashy)....

I am glad I decided to look....cause I totally hit the JACKPOT! I got 3 sweaters, a tank top, and a super cute dress for a grand total....drum roll please....$30.00 (the dress I bought was the most expensive thing at $22 bucks)! YIPPPPIE! Talk about some bargain shopping. I did the math and if I had bought all that stuff at full price it would have totaled $214....DANG, I am a great shopper:) Ha!

I walked out of GAP with a bag full of very cheap goodies...successful stop if you ask me...except I didn't get what I was originally in there for.....oooppps!

(You really can't tell how cute these items really are by this picture...trust me, they are CUTE...and fit like a glove:))

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween Fun....

This year, Laurie and I had the brilliant idea of being PUMPKINS for Halloween...you know, gotta get into the spirit for the kids that come knocking on the door, right?? Well this costume was quite the process. Just take a look....

First we had to get our all black outfit on for under the pumpkin...

Then we had to get plump like pumpkins...

Then we put on the pumpkin bags....

Then I fell over onto the couch and couldn't get up...

And then we waited for kids to come....

Finally, our other roommies had to join in on the fun, so they got dressed up too:)

The end:)

around the world in 80 days?!?

*disclaimer...this note looks SUPER long...but its almost all pictures...be sure to look through the whole thing*

Ok...that is an exaggeration...it's more like "Around a very SMALL part of the world in 40 days..."

Since I've been back to work lots of people (teachers and parents) have been asking me how my summer was...what I did...etc, etc. I have realized that my answer generally ends up sounding something like this...

"My summer was GREAT....it flew by so quickly....I was traveling A LOT so that kept me super busy..."

So after giving that response a good 17, or so, times, I realized that I have yet to share all about my summer trips with you all...and it's about time! Hang onto your seats....here we go...


Honduras was the first trip I took this summer. I had just about a week to transition from grading papers, and send out reports to life working on a mountain in beautiful Honduras. What an awesome experience it was to spend time in this country!

A group of people from church and I were able to work with a family (that previously attended our church) that started a ministry in/near Siguatepeque, Honduras. We worked on building a house, as well as hanging out with the community up on the mountain...playing with the kids, talking to the moms, passing out clothing donations, etc. It is really hard to sum up such an amazing week in a few words. To make a long story short, we were all challenged, blessed, and amazed at the time we spent in Honduras!


About 4 days after I got back from Honduras I was ready to make my next trip...this time in the States. It was off to Omaha for Nick and Erinn's wedding! Laurie, Matt, Booth and I set out for the extremely interesting trek West to good old Nebraska! The ride there was fairly uneventful, but being in Omaha was quite the opposite:)

We got there and were welcomed to the SWEET city by a HUGE storm which accounted for Laurie and my time in the creepy basement of the mall, and trees down everywhere! Once we got through the storm, we got to the highlight of the trip (the wedding) and some GOOOOOOD dancin!


I had enough time to unpack, do my laundry, and then head out 3 days later for Canada. This trip found me in Edmonton, Canada visiting a friend.

When I was in Canada, I saw many "wonders" which account for the awesomeness that is our northern neighbors. I went to their "Mega Mall" and saw a dragon spit out real fire, played a crazy game of mini golf (in which I got at least 2 holes in one!), went fishing (catching the biggest fish...oh, and a tin can), and watched some sweet movies including "Breakin" and "Rocketman" Canadians do have really good taste in movies, eh?! :)


I got home from Canada on a Monday, and left for Tennessee on Friday...whew! This time I flew from Minneapolis to Atalanta, from Atlanta to Detroit...slept for about 4 hours and then woke up to drive down to Tennessee (I know...it makes no sense....but it was cheaper!)

We spent the week at Fairfield Glade ("the Glade") where we spend a week every summer. It was a good time to hang out with family and spend time soaking up the sun and enjoying the beautiful weather!! Most of our time consisted of family, good food, naps by the pool, games, laughing, and falling asleep while watching TLC....oh the joys of a relaxing vacation!!!


I had a whole month in between Tennessee and Chicago....but this was my final trip of the summer. I took the Mega Bus (which could be whole other blog) over to Chicago to meet my whole family for the weekend...we were there to celebrate my 25th birthday and my mom's birthday too! It was the shortest trip of the summer, but super fun!

We ate at plenty of AWESOME restaurants...went to Navy Pier....took a brunch cruise....shopped on the Magnificent Mile...rode the HUGE Ferris Wheel late at night....and had a mini birthday party...some "bubbly" and all!

And that's it...what a whirlwind of a summer....but despite the hectic schedule of the summer, it was one filled with LOTS of memories and fun times! Probably one of the best summers ever!

So I guess I didn't get all the way around the world....but it surely was close:)