Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our world the past week has been interesting, to say the least! It's been full of both good and bad. The day after Nils got here, we went to a luncheon to meet other exchange students with the program.
What a bunch of good-looking kids!
The girl sitting next to Nils is staying with some friends of ours (the ones that got us interested in hosting!). She is from Switzerland.



Monday was the first day of school for both of us. Both of us managed to survive, but the next two days of school were canceled due to Tropical Storm Fay. So we both had a SECOND first day on Thursday, and then....guess what? No school Friday! This might have been a welcome event for others, but I would have rather have been at school Friday. The kids were monkeys on Thursday because of the changes in their schedules, and I know it's going to be even worse on Monday! Plus we'll just have to make it up later. But oh well, what can you do?

We did manage to go fishing on Lake Harris in between all the rain and craziness. Nils got to be pretty good at casting!



"It's all in your elbows, Nils!"


We just love having Nils here! Brooklyn is the only one that is not impressed, but that's pretty normal for her!
A Trip Down Memory Lane

My mom recently handed me a bunch of picture cd's that were collecting dust in her office so they could collect dust in MY office instead. I found some pretty interesting stuff - let's reminisce, shall we?



Here I am in 2001, my junior year of high school, with my unsuspecting homecoming date. All I have to say about this picture is that I don't remember being that skinny, EVER.


Funny thing is, I still keep in contact with a lot of these people. I loved that dress I'm wearing. My mom made it.



Let's reach back a little further.........................HERE we go:


These pictures were taken on a mission trip in 2000. Oh man, I ROCKED those bangs!

Taping....something.

I just remember being SO happy to finally have my braces off!

Monday, August 18, 2008

More News

You may be wondering who the handsome guy is in this picture. If you're wondering who the blonde chick is, you probably shouldn't be reading this blog! But back to the handsome one....our family has gotten a little bigger: we have welcomed a foreign exchange student into our home for the school year! Nils is from Germany, and we are so excited to have him! It's been a whirlwind couple of days, between the new job and the new kid, but we've enjoyed showing him America and getting to know him.

We've been asked by several people how we got into hosting a foreign exchange student. We know a couple at church who have hosted several times, and when she mentioned it to me several months ago, I agreed to talk to Mike about it, thinking he would say no and that would be the end of it. Well, he was actually kind of interested! And the more we found out about the program, the more interested we became. I've always said that sometimes you know when God wants you to do something because every obstacle is moved out of the way, and that was definitely true this time. And to be honest, once I got ahold of Nil's application and got a look at his picture, I knew I wanted him to come. We've all connected really well, and for that I am truly grateful.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

News

This blog has been silent for a while for a good reason: I got a job teaching first grade!! School starts on Monday, and I have been spending the week getting ready. Getting hired so close to the start of school creates some special challenges, but I am really excited to start teaching!


I totally don't have time for this, but Lynn did it and I just couldn't resist:

I present to you The Kitty Olympics!!


Freestyle Sleeping (Morgan gets the gold for this event!)


Wrestling
































Track and Field



Freestyle Climbing











"Phew, I need a break!!"

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Did You Know that I'm Also a Nerd?

That's right, folks, I am a full-blown science nerd. I love anything relating to nature, animals, dirt, and plants, so when I started reading about keeping worms for waste management and fertilizer, I knew I just had to give it a try. It's a combination of all the things I love!

I found these instructions, which explain how to set it up very clearly. I'm keeping it in our office closet, away from light and curious kitties.

You start it out with shredded paper, a few eggshells, and a light misting of water. Eventually, the paper will look more like soil and I'll be able to start adding kitchen waste. Instead of filling up landfills, some of our trash will be turned into free, rich fertilzer for our garden! Plus once they start reproducing Mike will have worms for fishing :)
They're already starting to produce worm castings (the little black things), which are black gold as far as dirt is concerned.

The farm is in a rubbermaid-type container for now.Morgan says, "Can I eat it?!?"
If this turns out well (and if I get a classroom), this would make a great classroom project!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Hello My Name is Jacki and I am an Orchid-holic.

One of my orchids is set to bloom any day now. It actually has THREE spikes. I don't remember what color this one blooms into, but it appears to be fuschia. The question will be whether it has any white in the middle.





I'm also trying out a new orchid media: pecan shells!
I took two babies off my epidendrum radicans to try it out - if anything, I love the look of the pecan shells!
This guy also got a re-potting. I got him from Walgreens after Mother's Day - he had no blooms and was very puny, but was very cheap, so he came home to see what I could do with him. I have no idea what type it is, but hopefully he will start doing better.

I have seen flowers come in stony places
And kind things done by men with ugly faces
And the gold cup won by the worst horse at the races,
So I trust too.
-John Masefield

Friday, August 01, 2008

Eye Candy Friday: Sophie and Morgan, BFF.