Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 16 - A song that makes you cry

This video that goes with this song is about Sgt. James Holtom who was taken home to be with the Lord in 2007 while he was in Iraq. He was one of Paul's best friends and an amazing man. His fiance is one of my friends and is a courageous, beautiful, and inspiring woman.

This song and video combined makes me cry every time I see it. Thank you for your service and example, Jim!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 15 - Your Role Model

ummm...excuse my tardiness with this post. I want to say I have been terribily busy with grad school - but I finished that on Tuesday. I want to say it has been with the officer retreat I was conducting with my students after school -but school got cancelled due to inclement weather. It could be I was shopping - but no, I have been done since November. I guess I will just blame it on the snow (like many in VA) and say I was so busy inside enjoying a four day weekend helping spread Christmas spirit and decorations throughout the house. Yes, that sounds good. We'll go with that one...

And now back to the 30 day challenge...

When I first saw this topic, I honestly have to say that a lot of people/characters came to my mind. It seems that one could have a role model in almost every aspect of your life. However, if I had to narrow it down to one person, I would probably choose the Virtuous Woman (aka the Proverbs 31 woman). I admit that sometimes I loathe her as she seems almost unatainable but overall, she is an inspiration to me for these reasons.

#1. "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life (vs 11-12). Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land (vs 23). Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her (vs 28)."

Because we have no children, my focus is obviously my husband. Paul's career requires a certain appearance all the time, and this is not just from him. As an officer wife, I can play a tremendous influence in my husband's career and am looked upon all the time. I read once that you loose all rights to go out to the mailbox in your pj's with no makeup. You are to be presentable at all time outside of the home as an officer wife - wow!

#2. "She seeketh woold, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms" (vs. 13-17).

This woman is not a dumb or under-educated. Buying a field is no small undertaking people. There are nutrients to assess, type of soil, location of water tables, average wind speed and temperatures, etc. Being a woman is no excuse to be dumb and just because you stay at home does not mean that you lose all rights to your brain. You are a help meet to your husband, not a hinderance. This woman knew finances and how to work hard. She is self sufficient so that "her husband safely trusts in her" (vs. 11). I am on my soap box now (but this is my blog...).

Why is it that many Christian circles think that a woman is to be weak and dependant upon her husband for sustinence. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying women should not marry or be career focused, but what is wrong with being well educated and staying at home after you have children? If the home is the greatest mission field for the woman, shouldn't the woman be prepared to serve in that area? If she cannot handle the finances, what will she do if something happens to her husband. If she has no trade, what will happen when her husband becomes ill and cannot work? I am disgusted with some homeschool families (remember I was one and am not against doing it the right way) that think math for their girls is going to the grocery store and completing a recipe. Others still say that college is for the MRS. degree. I think some Christians are twisting the Virituous Woman into the dumb, barefoot, and pregnant stereotype (and now I am off my box...).

#3. "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates" (vs. 30-31).

Simply put, she feareth the Lord. Becasue she feareth the Lord, she lives to a certain standard with everything that she does. She works her hardest at everything and gives God the glory for it. She does not do it for public praise, but for the glory of her Heavenly Father and family.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 14 - A Non-Fictional Book

The Bible, King James Version of course. It is not just the greatest book of all time, but it is our written word from our Lord. It not only contains wise information in Psalms and Proverbs but it also contains the way towards a relationship with our God.

No other book has been fought over.

No other book has had blood shed for it's contents.

No other book chronicles the life of the one perfect person ever to walk on earth (or water!).

No other book can change lives the way this book can.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 13 - A Fictional Book

For those of you who are totally out of touch with reading and don't know what fiction is; here is a simple definition... IT IS NOT REAL! :) Okay, now that we got that covered...

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of my all time favorite books. This book is perfect for a rainy/snowy weekend. It is an easy read for the most part, however, if you are not keen on old English you may want to have a dictionary close by. Oh how I wish I could write like Jane Austen!

I love how it is written in the fact that you are almost transported back to that time period. The author does a marvelous job of setting the characters up so you almost know what they are going to do. When I read this book, I can almost picture certain people I know as these characters. The storyline is timeless.

When I read this book, it makes me want to go back to those times and yet at the same time I am grateful for what we have in the 21st century. I like the simplicity of life, but yet it was hard work. The men were chivalrous, ladies were real ladies, and most people knew right from wrong. People worked hard for what they had and made sacrifices for the love of others.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 12 - Something you're OCD about

That one is easy....


Every time I come inside from being outside, I wash my hands. When I get gas, I hand sanitize. When I go to a restaurant and touch the menus, I wash my hands. After shaking hands at church, after using the facilities, after shopping, after opening the mail, after working out, after touching money, and constantly when I am cooking. I get really germ-o-phobic about other people and their lack of hand washing. My hubby gets a little perturbed with me for this as (a) he is a guy and (b) he could care less. My hands look like seventy year old woman hands in the winter, but hey, they are clean! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 11 - A Recent Photo of Me

I looked at my camera and this was the most recent photo I have of me. It was taken last Saturday at the Spotsylvania Christmas Parade. These are three of my students in front of the tractor that pulled our float. Here is a better picture of the float...

I am so proud of these guys and girls!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 10 - A Picture Of Me More Than 10 Years Old

Yes, I am styling the purple pants, green shirt, and green backpack. This photo is taken above Stanley, Idaho at 11,000 feet. Dad took us up to glass Mountain Goats for a day one summer. I love this photo - just wish my Mom was in it...alas, someone had to take the picture! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 9 - A picture that you took

I took this picture on a spring day before finals in 2008. This is Utah State University's quad and I love this picture so much! It is my desktop on both our laptops and even my school laptop. Love Cache Valley and can't wait to go back!

Day 8 - Picture that makes my heart melt

This photo of Lucy at five weeks old makes me smile every time I see it. She is such a sweet little girl.

This picture of Paul and I is one of the first after we were married on our honeymoon in Kauai. Good memories! :)

Day 7 - A photo that makes you angry/sad

This photo is very graphic but it needs to be shown. People don't realize how terrible abortion is. This makes me so angry and sad. So many people want children and cannot have them. These little people do not even have the chance to speak or voice their opinion. Criminals have more rights than them.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 6 - 20 of My Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things (sung with a Julie Andrews voice)... and are not in order.

1. Dark chocolate covered pomegranates from Costco
2. Hickory Farm's Beef Summer Sausage
3. Snow
4. Reading a good book inside while it is storming outside
5. Reading a good book at the park
6. A comfy down comforter
7. The feeling after finishing another semester
8. Watching my students "get it" and become excited about the material
9. Sleeping in on a Saturday morning
10. Feeling the Holy Spirit move in a church service
11. The feeling after doing what you are supposed to be doing even when you don't feel like doing it.
12. Waking up to my husband there
13. Cooking a fantastic meal and getting "the" compliment from Paul
14. Playing the piano to release emotions
15. Having a student tell me that I'm their favorite teacher
16. Talking to my parents on the phone (would prefer in person...)
17. When our puppy hears the alarm go off and jumps on me to signal the start of the day.
18. Starbuck's Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha
19. Knowing that God will never leave me or forsake me
20. Outdoor activities (skiing, hunting, camping, hiking, etc)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 5 - Your Favorite Quote

I can't decide between these two:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost


No one cares how much you know,
until they know how much you care.
Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 4 - Your Favorite Boook

This one is so extremely hard to choose just ONE book. I mean, come on! I love to read! Almost every Christian would say the Bible, as will I. Some days I just love to curl up with a book by Christian author Ted Dekker. When Paul is gone for long bouts, I seem to always find a Nicholas Sparks book to read. However, the classics like Pride and Prejudice are always a great alternative to the hectic lifestyle of the 21st century. Have you ever read the real Grimm Brother's stories? They are very odd and nothing like Disney portraits, but, they are ever so fun to read aloud in the car while the other one drives. I love Stephen and Sean Covey's "7 Habits" books and I do confess I am reading a little Dan Brown right now (cringe).

But if there is one book I could choose, it would be my Nook. I know, I know, it isn't a "real" book. But, it does hold so many books for me to enjoy at my every whim. I always carry it with me just in case I get that spare second to read. I absolutely love my Nook and recommend it to anyone that enjoys to read.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 3 - Your Favorite Teacher

I have three favorite teachers that I would like to share...I am so breaking these rules...

1. My favorite university teacher would be Dr. Brian Warnick. He is patient with every student and truly makes you feel like you are the most important student he has. Dr. Warnick empowers pre-service agricultural teachers to inspire the youth of tomorrow as he leads by example. Dr. Warnick allowed me to student teach out in Virginia and even flew all the way out to observe my classroom. His teaching style is very similar to what I hope that I can one day imitate.

2. Mr. Steve Wilder and Mrs. Erika Cowman were my agricultural teachers in high school that really made a difference in my life. They both encouraged me to participate in the National FFA Organization and gave so much of their time to see other students succeed. Their teaching strategies were very different from one another, however, they both gave teaching their all and made concepts easy to understand. In short, these two individuals are the big reason that I am teaching agriculture today.

3. My third favorite teacher is my my Mom. My Mom taught me from first grade all the way until I graduated high school. She cared so much about my sister's and my education that she became a teacher at home. My Mom researched the most challenging curriculum and had us participate in extra curricular activities (such as 4-H; guitar and piano lessons; & home-school skiing, P.E., skating, and theater). It is not easy teaching and I cannot imagine teaching your own kids correctly. There are a lot of parents who do not home-school sufficiently; but my Mom is not one of those. Love you, Mom!

Coming tomorrow... Your Favorite Book (this is going to be hard)!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 2 ~ Your definition of success

The favorable culmination of hard work and dedication upon achieving a goal.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 1 ~ Your Greatest Accomplishment

Accomplishment: [uh-kom-plish-muhnt] noun
1. an act or instance of carrying into effect; fulfillment:
2. something done admirably or creditably:
3. anything accomplished; deed; achievement:

I would have to say that my biggest achievement has been graduating with my Bachelors in Agricultural Education. To some this is not a lot, but for me, it is a big deal. Here are my reasons.

* I was married for three out of the four years
* I transferred schools - from University of Idaho to Utah State University
* I am the first person in my family to graduate with my Bachelors
* I graduated with a combined 3.84 GPA
* I participated in student organizations and served in leadership roles
* I student taught in a state completely foreign to me
* I worked part time while attending school
* I was active in our church teaching Jr. Church, playing piano, and helping with the youth ministry
* I finished my last semester with Paul training over 2,000 miles away
* I have zero dollars in student loans receiving over $65,000 in scholarships

However, none of this happened because of me. I thank the Lord for blessing me with the opportunity and resources to accomplish this feat. I also thank my parents for instilling in me desire and a dream. And finally, for Paul for putting up with my late night studying, mounds of laundry, and crazy coffee addiction. Since I am working on my Masters right now, I have been contemplating continuing on towards a doctorate. With Paul's brother finishing medical school, who knows, there could one day be two Dr. Vandenbos'... :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Prepare to be Challenged!

Okay, so I have been HORRIBLE at blogging lately. I saw this challenge on another friend's blog and I thought it would be a great way for me to get back into the habit of posting consistently. I challenge some of you to do the same thing if your blog needs a little help too!
The 30 days Include the following:
Day 1 - your biggest accomplishment
Day 2 - your definition of success
Day 3 - Your favorite teacher
Day 4 - your favorite book
Day 5 - your favorite quote
Day 6 - 20 of my favorite things
Day 7 - a photo that makes your heart melt
Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 9 - a photo you took
Day 10 - a photo taken over 10 years ago of you
Day 11 - a photo of you recently
Day 12 - something you are OCD about
Day 13 - a fictional book
Day 14 - a non-fictional book
Day 15 - your role model
Day 16 - a song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 - an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc)
Day 18 - my wedding/future wedding/past wedding
Day 19 - a talent of yours
Day 20 - a hobby of yours
Day 21 - a recipe
Day 22 - a website
Day 23 - a youtube video
Day 24 - where I live- in detail, what makes it special?
Day 25 - guilty pleasure
Day 26 - your week, in great detail
Day 27 - my worst habit
Day 28 - whats in my handbag/purse
Day 29 - hopes,dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 - car you drive ( and past cars too!)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I know, I know. I haven't been blogging very well as of late. I do have really good excuses though... I promise!!

1. We moved out of our apartment in Stafford. Our "stuff" is now in an ABF storage pod in Manassas awaiting our orders to the duty station. Meanwhile, I am living in Fredericksburg (aka the Burg) with family. Paul is living 3 hours south on the Dam Neck naval intelligence base. He graduated the Infantry Officers Course and is now attending another school as the class commandant too! :) He graduates in February and we are still unsure what schools/training/duty station that will follow.

2. We took a scouting trip to Virginia Beach (which is where Dam Neck is located). It was great fun, but the pictures can do it more justice than I can describe.

Paul was buried standing up...that is how deep our hole was!!! :)

Wet little Lucy

I love this picture! She is such a cutie!

3. Cousin Rach's birthday was in August so I took her to the Kennedy Center for a performance. It was fun to get dressed up for the evening and head into D.C.
At the Kennedy Center

Rach and I in front of the fountain.

4. Paul and I attended the 8th and I Marine Corps Evening Parade in D.C. It was a great evening as we ate at Ben's Chili Bowl first (yummy) and then made our way to the parade deck. It is always fun watching the silent drill platoon - Google it if you haven't ever seen them. The Commandant’s house is also on the end of the parade deck so it was fun to see his home.
The house in the back is the Commandant's.

The parade deck...love this picture!

5. Uncle Hart is apart of the chamber of commerce for Fredericksburg and the Military Affairs Council. We had the opportunity to attend a wreath laying ceremony for the MAC and a private tour of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier area. I have attended a couple wreath laying ceremonies and the changing of the guard, but it was so fun to be able to actually go inside and learn all about it. The Commanding General was present to give us all the information personally. We also got a police escort through the entire cemetery - way cool! On a side note, the recently deceased Senator Ted Stevens was being buried that day so we got to see lots of black SUV's and men with ear pieces along with loads of Senators and Representatives in the cemetery. If I could only give them a piece of my mind... :)

At the top of the hill at Lee's house.

Wreath laying ceremony with Paul's head in the foreground. The lady that laid the wreat in honor of the MAC was a widow of a WWII veteran who was the youngest man at Normandy.

Paul and I with the Army General. :)
6. Paul was in CA for 3 weeks - he is back now! :) He really received some great training in the 29 Palms area.

7. Among those fun filled activities, we have been getting as much time with family and friends as possible. We have a wonderful Christian family here in VA and I am so thankful for them. Our church will be difficult to leave as well. Among fun activities I have also been teaching and continuing my Master's program (fun fun!). I think I will be a forever student as I just love school. Either teaching or learning...you will find me doing one of those! :)

Those are my excuses as of late.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

UT and NE Trips

This past June, I started Graduate School through Utah State University. My summer courses required that I come to campus for one week to work face to face with my professors. This week happened to be the one prior to the Junge Family reunion in NE (check out the blog above). I was more than happy to be able to come back to Logan for a week! My courses were from 8-12 and then from 1-5. This allowed my evenings to be filled with friends and family – which was great!

My parents drove down for the weekend prior to classes starting. We took my Mom to a demolition derby (the first one she has ever been to). It was great fun. My adopted grandparents from our church in Logan also came with us. Mr. and Mrs. Bence are wonderful people to Paul and I – thank you for all your hospitality and friendship! During the week, I was also able to spend time with my dear friend Annie and her little guy. What fun we had walking the Stokes Nature Center Trail, having a picnic, and going out for food. I was even able to accompany her on the piano as she sang for church Sunday evening.

We also got together with another friend and had a wonderful dinner and ice cream. This place was really cool (as the inner nerd in me comes out)! They mixed your batter (custard, whipping cream, yogurt, etc) as a liquid with flavoring. Then they added your fruit, chocolate, etc much like Coldstone. It looked much like a soup mix until they placed the bowl under a tank filled with liquid nitrogen and pulled the lever. It then turned the liquid into ice cream! So wonderful...

My summer classes ended successfully in August and I just started back up last week for my second of six semesters. I am really looking forward to this semester’s courses as one of them is motivation and classroom management. As a new teacher, this is something I am always working on improving. I am also working on my Thesis as I narrow down my research question. How I respect researches much more now. Fun side note, did you know the APA manual’s main editor is a Vandenbos? I told Paul that it must be the reason why they are all so good at writing. :)
"GreenBean" during the half time. I would expect to see this in VA... :)
Dad's view of the derby.

The Bence family (AKA adopted family)

My parents...love them!!

Pink car was driven by a girl who won...kinda lame because she really just hid the entire time...

Annie's cute little man.

My good friend Annie! Such a sweet little lady!

In July, right after the week of grad school in Logan, I was able to go to the Junge Family reunion. The reunion was a “low year” with only 186 people in attendance. This is Paul’s grandmother and her ten other siblings and their families that make up the attendees. It is held just outside of Lincoln, NE in a town called York. Events were planned for three days that ranged from family fishing, cosmic bowling, church services, games, photos, three hour DVD of family history with photos, fellowship, and plenty of food. It was a great time to meet Paul’s extended family and get to know his closer family a little bit better. His great Grandfather sold seed in NE for Dekalb and his family was heavily involved with Agriculture.
Because Paul was unable to come because of training, it was a great way for me to reach out on my own and get to know others. At one point I even got to try on Paul’s great grandmother’s wedding dress that all the female family members get to try on. A big Thank you to Paul’s parents for providing the funds for me to come! I had such a great time and appreciate his family so much more.
Great Grandma Junge's wedding dress.

Our section (Vandenbos) of the Junge Clan. We were the second smallest group in attendance.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In the books!

A little over a week ago I started my graduate studies through USU. The two courses are eight weeks long and require some "light" reading. And when I say light, I mean six textbooks. :)

I am just thankful that I enjoy reading and it isn't a chore like it is for some people. I have been able to keep up with reading really well so far (it has only been a week mind you) and have even finished a 400 page "pleasure reading" book this past week. It is so nice to be able to escape into your own reading!

Speaking of reading, Paul gave me a Nook for my graduation present this past month. It is such a neat little contraption and can hold thousands of books. I am not sure I would take it to the pool with me, but other than that scenario, it is a very smart idea. Notice the handy little touch screen!
When Paul and I have the opportunity to drive together, one of us navigates the vehicle and the other one reads. It makes the car rides go by a lot faster! For those of you out west that don't understand the east coast driving - it generally takes you at least an half hour to get anywhere. We have a little over an hour drive (roundtrip) for church so really makes the time fly by and you aren't "wasting" your life just sitting in a car doing nothing.

Tell me what you are reading right now - I would love to hear!

Well, back to my studies!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Whew, it's been awhile!

After my graduation on May 8, time has just flown by! My parents came out for a week long visit following my graduation; Paul took me to the Adirondack Mountains after his TBS graduation; Paul's parents came out to visit for a week; and now I have started my Graduate courses through USU. It has been a full month, but a very fun one at that. It was so nice to catch up with family while they were here and we enjoyed their company. It was equally nice getting away to the backwoods cabin in NY.
Well, instead of describing it all, I will post pictures for you to stare at. After all, a pictures worth a thousand words...right?

After Paul's graduation with sissy Laura :) Paul is excited, can you tell?

Paul received the highest shooting award at TBS in the rifle and pistol. His Grandpa, who was an excellent nationally recognized marksman, would've been proud of him.

My Undergraduate Graduation! I forgot our camera charger so after four pictures our camera died. I was so excited that so many family and friends showed up for the event. Thank you to those that came and were there in spirit!!

My parents with Paul and I. Can I just say that those caps are my nemesis. I.HATE.GRADUATION.CAPS!

At the top of our hike in the Adirondack Mountains. Such a beautiful day! We could see the Lake Placid area and the ski resort from the top of the mountain.

Our cute little turn of the century cabin. Complete with an outhouse, no electricity, no running water, but a neat hammock!

I love this picture! Taken on our hike.

Covered bridge in Jay, NY
Paul and Lucy discovering this unique covered bridge.
And now a tribute to Lucy, cutest little hypo-allergenic non shedding dog in the world! :)

I have more pictures on my camera that I have yet to convert to the computer...so those will be posted at a later date. I hope to be more consistent with short little updates on here at least twice a week now...we'll see how that goes! :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Just do it!

Tomorrow morning I am leaving on one of these:

and then I will arrive in Boise...

and then my parents and I will drive to Logan (and not look like these people for obvious reasons)...

then we will arrive here...

and on Saturday morning I will be doing this:

and listening to this man, our commencement speaker...

and then be receiving one of these...

and then be eating this (but not Chocolate Chip Mint)
I am excited, can you tell?