Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas...we're off!

 John and I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope that you had a great holiday! Today was really nice to relax and visit with family after the last few weeks. We had a busy few days, but are all moved out of the apartment and ready to hit the road and water. We head to Seattle tomorrow and set sail around 6pm. We'll be on the ferry until early Monday morning, when we get to go pick up the keys to our new condo! Merry Christmas to us! We are very excited to be together and to start our new adventure. We will be out of range once we get on the ferry until Sunday, but we'll keep everyone up to date. We love you all and can't wait see you again! MERRY CHRISTMAS! We love you! 
 Mili and Ammo wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and show you their treats!
 Last walk in Pullman today, we're ready for the two day trip to Juneau!

 We love our new travel blankets and will enjoy their warmth on the boat :)
 Skyping with the family is always nephews are getting way too grown up and!
Merry Christmas and goodnight! 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Good Weekend! Ready for the last week of school.

This weekend John and I went on a few adventures and got more settled in for the big move! Saturday I took a previous student of mine and the young man I teach swim lessons and his parents to the Palouse Falls national park. Mary had wanted to go after I showed her a picture of it. It was fun to take them out there and see them enjoy it so much. Mary had a great time taking some amazing pictures and Carter and his dad Kyle had fun exploring ways to get closer to the water. Afterwards I took them to the tastiest restaurant in Pullman and they were mean enough to take the bill from me that I already called and paid the whole bill, Even Carter was in on it and was hiding under his seat. I'm still mad at them! After dinner Carter gave me a beautiful Willow Tree that said "You'll always have my heart". They didn't know that I collected Willow Tree's so it was an amazing surprise for all of us. It was an awesome day! John also had a great time in Juneau. He spent the day hiking to two glaciers, one of which we haven't been to yet and required a 10 mile hike round trip! He loved it and says Alaska is awesome! He has his first "normal" week of work this week and is already impressing coworkers with his excel skills. I took another stab at the crock pot and my first approach at my favorite soup; it didn't work out because of the chicken broth I think, but I'm going to try a different recipe. Fortunately I didn't spend the whole day making it. After church Robin, Hal and I went over to the nativity showing in Moscow. It was really cool to see so many different nativities from around the world. I loved seeing and reading about all the different cultures and personal stories of the owners of each nativity set. I am very happy I got to see the sight before they took it down today. Now the new week starts and it'll be a busy one (I'm working 4 days in Troy this week instead of two), but it'll be fun and good to see everyone a bunch before I go. Troy gave me a great farewell lunch last Friday! I have one more assignment to work on this week and then it's Christmas and moving week. I get to see John next week :D Let the excitement begin!   
 The 5 mile hike into Herbert Glacier
Checking out Mendenhal falls again, man that guy is a cutie 
 Carter loved exploring Palouse Falls and the beautiful rocks around the river!
 The not so great broccoli cheese soup
 Unto us a child is born
 Loved this sign! #Sharethegift

 This one's from Quebec, Canada
 Loved this cool Silver Nativity!

 This one is my favorite, such a fun unique way to make a nativity :)
 These cool glass nativities were made in Poland, where my professor is from.
 This one was made out of leggos!
 These nativities are all from Mexico :D

 Oh Ammo thinking he owns the neighbors place.
I will cherish this forever, I can't wait to see it in my classroom! Thank you so much Carter, Mary, and Kyle!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Finally a moment to reflect and an update!

As I sit here tonight at 11:10 pm I hear myself going "is this is the best time to write a blog? Shouldn't I go to bed and get some rest since the last few nights I've only got between 5 & 6 hours and now I will probably get the same tonight?" Yes I suppose I should, but instead I want to update our blog because writing to you seems more comforting than sleep right now. Although I know most people don't have time to read our blog, I still find comfort in writing, because it's like talking. I just finished a long, but great conversation with my in-laws. Just them and me, the puppies were in bed and we conversed for hours about whichever direction our talk went. I finally had to call it as I thought about my puppies needing out and the meal in the crock pot probably getting dry (fortunately it is still great and the puppies made it till I got home :)). However if I could, I would have stayed in their presence and continued to talk. The last week (can you believe it's only been a week since John got to Juneau?) has given me a lot of time to have quite because I've needed to be home to let the pups in/out and I've spent a lot of this time reflecting. A lot has happened this last week; John made it safely and started his job in Juneau, he attended a company Christmas party and has spent a few hours out shopping/driving/misc. stuff etc., I completed two classes(including one that really opened my eyes about how the world sees people with disabilities), I COOKED 2 meals in the crock pot and they were BOTH SUCCESSFUL, I began reading a paperback (not audible) book for real (no breaks or long time spent not reading it), I went on a walk with my professor, I got the pets official health certificate from the vet (whoa my babies are expensive, good thing they're healthy), I had a little friend hang out with me over the weekend, John met new friends at a local gun store(shocker) and had a pretty cool holster maid, I was the main presenter in one of my graduate courses (I've decided I really like being a resource for people and hope that I can continue to be, even though we won't have classes anymore), I went to part of church twice(which is a lot considering I haven't been in a long time), I got an official placement for student teaching in Juneau, John went house shopping today and we skyped for the very first time haha (funny to think about that considering all of the time we've spent apart) and we put in an offer on a place (which is not technically, but kind of our first home!) !!!! With all of this said, I find it silly what I've taken from it. Although I miss my husband dearly and can't wait to be with him again, having him gone has left me alone most nights and made me find ways to stay busy. In the past I have visited with friends, watched TV and spent hours at the gym. Because of the dogs and the distance from my home to friends, spending a lot of time with them or hours at the gym isn't as possible, so I've spent more time at home doing homework, reading, or watching movies. Because we are so busy, this wasn't enough to fill my schedule so I've filled it more by cooking (cough cough hell did not freeze over), going to church, reading a lot more, pinning education and home stuff and recipes and visiting for longer with friends and family, rather than just a quick hi or study/work session. This has made me reflect on what I find important and what I make a priority. We all find family important, but do we make them a priority? I find God important, but do I make him a priority? It's so easy around Christmas, but what about the rest of the year? I find health important, but how much work am I willing to put into it if it's not active? I find my friends important, but do they continue to be a priority when it's no longer convenient? I think back to my experience with education and how I have always made it such a priority even when it's not easy, cheap, fun, or convenient. I'm diligent in my work, I never quit, I love my time spent doing it and I ALWAYS make it a priority. With finals being next week and my masters wrapping up, I won't have homework keeping me busy at night and on weekends. Instead I'll be busy with other things of my choice. Although I know it will be filled with reality such as paperwork, lesson plans, and cuddling with my family (don't get me wrong, these are all great), I also have a choice how I fill my time. While I love school and teaching and cannot possibly wait to be a teacher, I also have come to recognize that life requires balance of all things (not just school/work and my hubbie(although he's the best)). I want to make time for my biggest cheerleaders (my parents), my role models (my sisters), my mini me's (my nephews and nieces), my behind the scenes cheerleaders (my in-laws), both of my heroes (my grandparents, although I'm better about this one) all of my friends, and God (he has certainly kept me in his life and I've neglected to keep him in mine). Going on a walk with my mom recently and talking to her more filled such a comforting space in my heart. Having full conversations with my sisters and getting caught up on their lives brought such harmony to our relationships and showed me their great support. Conversing alone with my in-laws has given me a chance to see how far we've come as a family and gives me great hope for our journey ahead. Emailing my nephews and hearing about their current events from them personally has showed me even more how amazing they are and made me so excited to hear from them more. Finding time for God and more time for friends has shown me how important they are to me and demonstrated that I NEVER want to lose them. I want more than just a casual hi or amen, I want relationships and I want harmony in my life with my wonderful husband, like I have, who couldn't make me happier. Sometimes life takes you places you never thought possible and sometimes life makes you make hard choices. Last week at church a lady spoke about Sharing the Gift this Christmas season. Perhaps that was my gift, the start of a reflectful week, so I'm going to share the gift with you and although you may not be mormon, maybe this gift of Christ will bring you some comfort just because it's Christ (not because it's mormon). And if you don't want to hear about Christ, you can find comfort in your family and what brings the most happiness to you, not necessarily what you make the most priority for. I am so excited to become a teacher. I am so excited about our new journey in Juneau and as it gets closer and things come together, I look forward to seeing where life takes us and remember to make those people and things that are important to me, a priority!
 John's prime rib and shrimp dinner from the holiday party (what a party)!

 Enjoying a 40 degree morning with no homework!
 Healthy babies!
 Look at all that snow!!!!
 Creamy chicken!
 The fairy in Seattle!
 John's room for two days on water!
 The crazies playing with a squirrel!
 Last time living in Pullman together!

 Last event with Moscow Special Olympics!
         #Share the gift

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Alaska Day! A sign maybe?

I forgot to mention that John and I chose not to go on our camping trip for our anniversary because we new we'd be going to Alaska the next weekend hehe so that was actually planned and believe it or not October 18th is not only our anniversary, it's also Alaska Day! How perfect, it must be a sign :) Happy 9th Anniversary to us!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Going on an adventure!

Well the cat's out of the bag, John and Em are going on an adventure to Juneau, Alaska! That's right we're moving to the beautiful town of Juneau on the south east peninsula of Alaska. We're SO EXCITED! If you're not familiar with the geography of the state, you can see Juneau on the map below. As you can see Juneau is surrounded by ocean and mountains, but has very few roads and there are no roads leading into Juneau so you can only fly or take a boat to and from Juneau. Wild right? Juneau is a temperate rain forest on the coast of the Gulf of Alaska so it rains quite a bit and is actually warmer than many parts of Alaska, the climate is similar to Seattle. However it is MUCH smaller so you don't get any traffic and in our opinion much prettier :) Juneau is surrounded by mountains that are covered in snow year round and absolutely beautiful. Juneau also has a ski resort that gets snow in the higher elevations, although it rains a lot it snows enough to have lots of fun. Snow shoeing, skiing, ice skating and even ice climbing! This beautiful part of Alaska is called the valley of the Glaciers because there really are a lot of glaciers that have run/bike paths leading straight to some of them from town! How awesome is that?! Mendenhal Glacier is a huge, beautiful glacier on one end of Juneau that has ice caves underneath we can go explore and the glacier lake freezes over in the winter. Locals ice skate on it, instead of a man made one! In the summer time this place is so incredibly green (more green than it is now) surrounded by beautiful mountains and has an ocean full of whales and some of the best fishing in the world. The locals say that after a year, you'll think of whales like we do cows because they're around so often. That is so freaking COOL and I can't imagine getting sick of that sight. The little wannabe marine biologist in Em is ridiculously excited! Juneau also has an awesome running club that puts on a lot of events all year including a marathon and triathlon. Everyone she spoke with up there participates and encouraged her to come join them. There's even an Ironman nearby :)
Although Juneau is known for much less sun than the average place in America and gets a lot of moisture, it is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen when it clears up. How do I know? Well as some of you recently found out, John and I had the opportunity to fly to Juneau a few weeks ago because an old coworker of John's asked if he'd still be interested in Alaska (when John and I were in Poky, he applied for an internship up there, but it didn't work out). His prior coworker had given John's name to Hecla mining company in Juneau because they asked him who would make a good cost analyst. Isn't my husband awesome?! So John applied and after having a successful phone interview they scheduled an onsite, but insisted that Em came because they wanted to make sure that the whole family is on board for this experience. Well that only helped sell Em on the idea and on the last day of the interview at dinner (did I mention they took us to sushi) they offered John the job! While in Juneau, Em set up a meeting with a few people from the school district to discuss potential job opportunities and to give them her resume. That went really well and Em is going to have a lot of opportunities up there. She is getting her final semester of school (student teaching) all set up in Juneau and she's waiting to hear on a few jobs :) Did we mention over the summer they had sped, PE, and adaptive PE jobs :D After talking about it for a while and trying to defend staying in Pullman we decided that it just didn't make sense and that this was way too good of an opportunity and an ADVENTURE. We said "Why Not?" we're young, with no kids or a house holding us back so let's do it! It's going to be quite the adventure and will take some adjusting, but like the locals say you just embrace it and love what Juneau has to offer and you'll love it. Thank you to our friends and family that have been so excited for us and shown their support, it means the world to us. We know some aren't real thrilled, but we are and we know this is what's best for our family at this time so that's what matters! The memories we've made in Pullman and the relationships we've built will stay with us forever. Em wishes she could take her kiddos with her, but technology will have to do. Em's department even chose to support her from Juneau by flying her to San Diego to present at the national CEC conference in April, even though they has already planned on it from Spokane. What an amazing department! Em really knows how to pick em ;) John will be starting work on December 1st and jumping on the ferry November 26th. His new job is going to move ALL of our stuff for us, and it'll be an adventure just getting there. We'll drive our cars to Seattle to jump on a ferry and take a 2 day trip to Juneau with the pups and TJ and then get the rest of our stuff a few weeks later. John is going to fly back down for Christmas and then we will take the kids and Em's car to Seattle and jump on the ferry. We'll be there before New Years! We'll be back in Pullman in May for Em to graduate with her masters! We couldn't be more excited and blessed to have such an amazing opportunity and are looking forward to this great adventure!
 Us in front of the glacier after Em met with the school!
 The waterfall near the glacier!
 Part of an beautiful and sacred memorial. The memorial of St. Theresa!
  The view right after it opened up from the fog :)
Mendenhal Glacier!

For more pictures check out Em's google plus link below.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Holy Smokes it's already November!

Geesh, I can't believe it's November 4th already. WOW time flies! Em was just saying to someone yesterday that she graduated from college last year, but it feels like it's been many years. Is that possible? How is it that we have lived in Pullman for 2 years now? Not only that, but we have married for NINE YEARS :O that is pretty crazy! So much has happened in 9 years and we have come so far in that time together. John and I picked a beautiful time of year to get married, but it wasn't actually the best time in regards to schedules. We often take a day to go somewhere outdoors and celebrate, but this year we have just been so insanely busy and the weather didn't really play out for us. Instead we grabbed a bite to eat where John got to enjoy a bib and a lot of sauce!

You could say that Em got a pretty amazing anniversary gift, but it wasn't really planned ;) Em enjoyed yet another amazing state conference in Boise at the beginning of the month. She got to see her friend Samo, who she hasn't seen since she moved from Pocatello and attend some great sessions. She even won a small gift for buying a ticket to help a group of students head to the national conference. She also gained a bigger distaste for big cities and the traffic that comes with them. Cities are nice to visit, but we would never want to live in one. I know Boise is a small town for most, but we like really really small towns :) However the day that she left Em's jeep decided to really break down. She had been having some minor problems before hand, but John had done some work on it and thought things were fixed, because they acted fixed for a bit. By the time Em got to work that day, her car was over heating and she had to park it for a while. It continue to over heat so she got to take John's baby on its first long trip and drove it to Boise. When Em got back, John and his friend Mike had done almost all the work they could on her jeep, but it was still struggling so she took it into a shop and they reported a hefty 3,000$ fix and a lady that had a lot of miles on her. So then came the we fix her or do we trade her in? After getting a second shop's opinion and talking with the Jeep dealership, we decided to get Em a newer car with better gas mileage and whole lot of other updates. The dealership gave us a great deal and Em is quite happy with her new rig which includes heated seats, auxiliary, traction control, and anti lock breaks! She's looking forward to getting bigger tires ;)  

John enjoyed his first conference, a Project Management one in Phoenix Arizona and returned on Halloween. He had an awesome experience and learned a lot. He also received a lot of confirmation on the direction he is going with his career. He got to fly over the Grand Canyon and Mt. Renier, which were both incredible. He looks forward to going to more conferences and traveling more. Oh and Em is pretty proud of herself for encouraging him to look into the idea ;)

On top of Em's conference and her broken down car, she had more news shared with her the day she left for the conference that contributed to the roller coaster ride. She received an email the morning of her trip that the article she wrote with her professor was accepted for publication in the biggest special education journal! She was and is so excited to have such a blessing in her life. Things are already moving along quickly and as soon as it's published she will be able to share it all with you. That is one step closer to a great career for Em and she's extremely grateful for her professor who supported her in the process, this wouldn't have been possible without her. 

Anyway, well welcome to November and the ever extremely ridiculous early time of Christmas. Can we please enjoy Thanksgiving and turkeys? Christmas is great, but the Turkey wants to keep its month and the Klein's would appreciate saving Christmas talk until after Thanksgiving day! The end of the year always brings busy times thanks to school and the holidays, but it'll be over before we know it so we better enjoy it!