24 April 2008

Not much to say...

Ya right...So much to say!

Life has thrown Steven & I some funny twists and turns lately. Steven's job is in jeopardy and he leaves everyday, wondering if he will get a phonecall saying "don't bother showing up tomorrow"...not that he's getting fired...but he's being "let go."

To me, and to our little family of two, that means



Let's be honest with one another, buddy! I wish they would just let him know one way or another. It hurts me to see Steven so uptight, so worried, and so downhearted...all b/c of a news station that is eventually going to go out of business.

Besides all of the turmoil that thought brings...it leaves me (the REAL worrier) to think about life...just a few questions floating around in my head right now...

1. Will we still be able to move out in June? Can we even afford it?

2. Does this mean we should move, and I should pass up the opportunity to go to grad school, and support Steven...is that what the Lord is trying to tell a 25 year old stubborn girl? (Yes, that's my age...every year...starting 3 years ago...I've turned 25!)

3. What if I don't have a job either next year? Recently, our school district has had to cut $10 million, and non-tenured teachers are being let go. Will I be one of those cut?

4. Does this mean I destined to remain in my mother's BASEMENT with all of my treasures in the storage unit?

5. Is it time to have kids NOW or LATER? I just don't know...I barely have time to spend with my hubby. I'm starting to spend WAY more time with students...that ain't a good thing! How will I find time to be a good mother? How can I afford that?

6. What if Steven's car doesn't last much longer. It's falling apart a bit more every time we turn around. How can we afford THAT? We both have HORRIBLE paying jobs!

Now then...see why I haven't blogged in a while? It ain't pretty...my thoughts these days. Not much positive coming out of my head. And to make it worse...I start my period in a few days, & I ain't had my Dr. Pepper in a few weeks...does THAT have anything to do with all this stress? ... just a thought...

I heard a lady turned 115 this week...somewhere up in Indiana, I think. After much research, they have found that people who live to be over 105 years old, they don't stress out much. They take the trials that come their way, and they work through them...no big deal, they say. Well, I need to learn something about THAT...or I may end up 6 feet under some time soon!

And I thought I was stressed....

12 April 2008

A few updates & a bit of rambling, too

I have been SO busy since being back from Mexico that it's unreal. Today was supposed to be a relaxing Saturday, but instead I have spent my "day off" running errands, doing laundry, cleaning house, lesson planning, going to school to laminate stuff, making copies, doing Primary stuff, and taking care of Steven for the few minutes I've seen him today. So today, I thought I would let off some steam, and here's what I have to say, dang it...

First of all, here's a pic of our new cell phones. Yes, we FINALLY chose to stay with AT&T and we signed up as new customers. We could do that b/c both of us were on Family Plans, so we just decided to get cool new phones, and stick with what we knew was a good thing. Plus, I get a discount through work. So, here's a pic of them:

I find myself longing to go to Mexico again. Ok, really to just go on a REAL vacation. Just wanted to share my favorite souvenir with ya'll. Here it is. I have decided that I am going to collect masks from different cultures/places that I've been. I have one from Chile, and now one from Mexico. They really intrigue me...don't know why, but here's one that represents a lot of Mayan culture:
Don't know why I wanted to include this pic, but I am really proud of our lil' Dyson vaccuum. It is the greatest thing on earth! It was Steven & my first HUGE purchase since being married, and I'm sure we won't regret it. I have to have a vaccuum that works well, and we got a great deal. Here she is, the Dyson Slim (can't remember the number, sorry)...

We are SOOOOO ready to move! Have I mentioned that already? Here's a few reasons that I can think of:
  1. We have so much JUNK, I mean cool stuff that I can't wait to use! All that registering, and gift opening was fun, and now I want to use it. Everything that we got, pretty much, is still packed away, and I am longing more and more to open everything and use them. I go in the storage room ever so often, take a gander at stuff, just to remind myself everything we got. I tend to forget. But that's the coolest part, it's like getting presents all over again. So, here's a gander at the huge shelf that is in my parent's storage room, with a ton of our wedding gifts in bags/boxes.

AND....to top off all those endless boxes and gifts remaining untouched by human hands...I have framed some wedding pics, our marriage certificates, Proclamation to the Family, etc, etc etc...and I'm DYING to hang them up. I haven't done so b/c I really just want them to adorn the walls of our new adobe. Here's a sneak peak at two of my favorite pics. Both are just sitting on the floor, surrounded by phones, cords, dust, shoes, and Steven's laundry bag:

Also...can you even see a kitchen table in this pic? It is so cluttered with PRIMARY activity stuff (and will be for another 2 weeks) that I can't stand it any longer!

I just want to move. I need more space, and I need to feel like Steven & I have something of our own. It's been great living in the basement of my parent's home, but let's get real....it's past due...the MOVE! June can't come any faster!

01 April 2008

Mexico Trip - Part 2

This is the wall of one of the cemeteries at Chitchen Itza. If you look closely you can see the small stones are carvings of heads. Each head represents the head of a person who was sacrificed for losing a game of a sport similar to basketball here in the US. Anyway, since it was an honor to be sacrificed, each team wanted to win, but only the captain was sacrificed and his head was cut off. Interesting.

This is the head of the "serpent" Quetzalcoatl. He was the serpent the Mayans were in search of for some years (actually it was about 300 years, if I remember correctly). When they reached what is now Mexico City, they found a feathered serpent, and considered him a God. So, surrounging the cemeteries, and the temples, and other regligious beuilidngs, you will find a head to commemorate this beast/God.

He is an Iguana that was climbing the bottom of the pyramid at Chitchen Itza. It was the first of MANY we encountered in Mexico. Cute, huh?

This is a picture taken from the bug-infested motel, Las Molcas. If you haven't read the following entry...read it first! The boys w/o shirts on are 2 of my former students. They'd just been asked (or told, better like it) to get the heck inside, and stop yelling at the local girls and asking for their digits.

We wanted a hotel where we could be "immursed" in the cultre...not the bugs, but we ended up getting BOTH! Just on the other side (to the left of the picture) was the path that lead down to the ferry to Cozumel. This was at Playa del Carmen. Nice place, lots of beautiful beaches, tons of fun shops, great prices, excellent restaraunts, not-so-clean hotels.

Spring Break in Mexico

I'm sure you are all DYING to know how Mexico was! It was superb...the students were better behaved than the adults were...go figure! We left on Tuesday morning (at 2am) and returned yesterday, Monday, at 6pm. We got stuck in Dallas, TX and had to stay the night, pushing back our return home to Missouri another night. In a few words, it was HOT, AMAZING, HOT, YUMMY FOOD, BUGS, BEACHES, CRAZY DRUNKS, GRUMPY PARENTS, and COOL RUINS! In short...would I do it all again? HECK ya...if I could leave two not-so-pleasant women at home.

I just wanted to let you know a little about my trip. So, here goes nuttin'.

First day was kind of easy goin'. We met our tour guide, Claudia at the Cancun airport, and we were off to our hotel. We stayed at Club Verano Beat. Here's a link to show you what the actual rooms looked like. Not bad, but it it gives you an idea...we must've been missing the flowers in our room, 'cuz it sure didn't have nice flowers and it was a bit dirtier than the picture shows, but the location right on the beach and the atmosphere made up for it. Click here to see the motel.

On the second day, we headed to Chitchen Itza. It was FABULOUS! It was a two hour bus ride, there and back again, but well worth it! We had a tour guide named Guillermo who is fluent in Mayan and who shared all kinds of cool stuff about what life was like back when the Mayans were around and actually used this temple, and the buildings surrounding the temple. Did I get to climb the stairs to the top? NOPE! Did I want to? YEP! They stopped letting people climb the pyramid about 2 years ago. It was getting trashed and destroyed by graffiti and other things, so they now have it roped off. Did you know that Chitchen Itza is now considered one of the 7 Wonders of the World? Here's a pic of the group I traveled with...they look innocent, but beware...they'll get ya!

That night, we ate at a Mexican buffet where there was a family that did traditional Mexican dancing for us while we ate. But beware...the granny makes the tortillas at the buffet and if you don't ask the correct way, she gets a bit snippy (yep, she yelled at me...ugh!)

The third day, Thursday, we went to see the city of Tulum. Click here to read more about it. It is almost a complete city that still stands today. There is a temple, and it is a walled city. It was cool to see the wall around it, and then to look and find that on one side of it is water. There were several things that had religious symbolism and it was cool to see the city. Although we didn't have a tour guide here, it was cool to come home and do a bit of research today and find out more about what I saw, and the grounds where I stood for an hour.

Later that afternoon, we went to an Ecological Water Park named Xel-ha. It was all-inclusive, and it costs about $100 to get in. That includes all the snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, hammock laying, buffet eating, daiquiri drinking, music serenading, sun bathing you can handle! It was a blast to go to! This is a picture of one part where you could go snorkeling. There was a cool island in the middle of it.
At the top right, on the other side of the island was tight-rope walking, to the left was the lazy river and walking across bridges filled with water. Behind me, there was the buffets, hammocks, and the dolphins. This was one of my favorite activities by far! That evening, we went back to Cancun and ate at the Rainforest Café (authentic, I know). By that time, I'd had enough of Mexican food anyway...SO I had a salad which got my digestive track back on track. Here's a group picture at the restaurant. Go figure...I was front and center with the sombrero!

That night, we spent the night in Playa del Carmen at Las Molcas. This is where we had HORRID experiences...from the Doimno's Pizza man trying to charge us $90 freakin' bucks for 3 large one-topping pizzas to finding BUGS in our beds...it was a horrid experience! I yelled at the front desk clerk for laughing at me for wanting to know what he planned on doing for our group of almost 30 when I had kids crying and screaming over sleeping with bugs. Needless to say, he continued to laugh and mock, while the kids slept in the hallway with their sweatshirts for pillows, and I found evidence in several rooms that I plan on letting them know about. Crazy story, but I'll just chuck it up to an AUTHENTIC Mexico vacation with 27 people.

The next day, we left that infested and rude motel, and took a ferry out to Cozumel. It was a lot of fun. We went to another beach-type resort and it was fun as well to swim in the ocean. It was really pretty, and it was lots of fun to go on the ferry ride (even though I though I was going to vomit and lose my stomach several times)...a very bumpy trip to and from the beach! We left Playa del Carmen and went back to Club Verano Beat...although it wasn't as nice, the kids loved it b/c it was on the beach and had 4 beds per room (that way, boys didn't have to touch each other...he he he).

The last day, on Saturday, wasn't really part of the trip to begin with. So, it turned out to be a free day in Cancun. We went to the mall, the Hard Rock Café, and spent several hours on the beach. We sure did save the best for last...get a load of the beautiful water and the vacation lovers here...
This was a shot I took from the Hard Rock while I was waiting for my burger to come. Then, we just walked off the pier and jumped in the water. It was nice...that's all I have to say! The waves were large, and many kids got their knees skinned up pretty back b/c of the rocks, but it's just all part of the experience, right?

That night, we flew in to Mexico City and stay at a shwanky motel, El Ejecutivo. It was nice to stay at a normal place for once. Then the drama started again...We left at 6am the next morning only to see that our plane had been delayed, and we ended up missing our connection in Dallas, Ft. Worth. BUT, American Airlines paid for us to stay at the local Sheridan, so I didn't mind so much anymore. They paid for dinner that evening, breakfast, and we ended up getting too many vouchers, so we ended up getting our snacks paid for the next day. So yeah, we had to take Monday off of school, and we spent it in a group of 27 sitting in airports all day. Sounds like fun, and it certainly was!

Would I do it all again? There are things I'd do the same, and definitely things I'd do differently, but...Heck ya, I would travel again! We plan on going to Spain in the summer of 2009, if I'm still here and still willing to do it...watching some bull-fights is in my future. But the next time, Steve is coming along, too. :)