Saturday, September 22, 2012

September flying away!

I can't believe how fast this month has gone by! I just completed my fourth week teaching at Havelock HS and enjoy it immensely.  The staff and administration are so welcoming and are truly caring about my welfare.  For example, the Principal asked me how I was doing but then after my standard reply he re-asked in a "no, how are you really doing?".  He then proceeded to ask if I had been making friends and was staying active in church.  Such a great guy!  Couldn't have asked for a better school to teach at!

I took my students on their first adventure this past week.  We left to attend a Regional Leadership Conference at a college about two hours away.  It made for a long day since I didn't get home until 10 pm, but it was worth it.  The next morning my students reiterated to their friends and to me how much fun they had.  Those smiling faces and the questions asking about our next trip made it all worth it.

When I am not at school, I can be found doing the random things around the house that need done, preparing lessons, writing my thesis, and sleeping.  Pretty much repeat all those things and that is why September has literally flown away!  The good news is that I have FINALLY set a date to defend my thesis (I know, contribute to the "about time" jokes).  Because of it's approaching deadline, which is only 50 days from today, it has been consuming all my "free" time.

Another bit of good news...I have a timeline for Paul's arrival!! Yay! :) It's a window and I am hoping days before that window is here will continue to fly by like this past month. :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

The past month

This past month I had the opportunity to meet up with this handsome man for two weeks.  They went by much too quickly for both of us.  

We spent many days looking at this view. 

Now I have spent the past week looking like this:

  I am loving it and it is making the time go by very quickly. From North Dakota to Singapore & Malaysia, then back to Minnesota for a quick drive back to North Carolina to start teaching at a high school.  This month has been crazy but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Playing Dirty

My Dad and I competed in a Mud Run this past weekend.  Part of the proceeds went towards Homes for our Troops, so it was nice knowing some of the funds were going to a good cause. The race was located at Huff Hills Ski Resort.  We thought the hills wouldn't be that bad, since we are in North Dakota after all. However, out of nowhere there are some rather large hills in ND that can get pretty steep in places. :)

The weather was 94 F when we started our heat and the sun was rather warm with no cloud cover. There were thirteen man-made and natural obstacles.  These ranged from 20 foot walls, junk cars, mud pits, steep hills, barbed wire, fire, tires, and garbage dumpsters.  
The Course Map ~ Many Hills
The Before Shot
 This was the Medieval USA Combat Team in full garb.  They were really going to town on each other and I actually thought someone might get sliced with their weapons.
 This was the starting hill.  Trust me, the picture looks flatter than it was. :)
 About 3/4 of the way through the race, the trail reaches the spectators.  Just crawled through mud and under barbed wire here.
 On the last small hill down towards the one ton hay bales that we needed to jump over.
 Yay! Can you see our smiles? We had a blast!
 Dad is just to the left of the sign in blue and I am on the very left about to jump over the fire to cross the finish line.
 The After Shot

 Dad scaled the 20 foot wall like a Ninja Warrior.  However, when he came over the edge, his leg got stuck in a crevice just big enough for his leg.  His body kept going over but his leg stayed there.  Ouch!  He had this giant goose-egg from it.  So thankful he has thick bones and legs or he would have snapped it.

I love my Dad!! The only thing that would have made this race better would have been Paul.  He was with us in spirit though. :) Every time I was climbing, I kept thinking of him in the 120 F heat with gear on, no AC, and MREs to eat. 

 See that hill in the very back?  That was our second obstacle of thirteen.  Hamburger Hill was a very appropriate name. :)

What a fun day! My Dad is an awesome hill climber.  He trains multiple times a week for hills so he was ready for this event.  I, on the other hand, have been running the small hills in our neighborhood and more flat distance running.  I was not prepared for the "on your hands to keep from falling over" hills.  My Dad was so kind to stay with me (he knows I am seriously accident prone) and we completed every obstacle/hill together.  I love my Dad!

They are posting professional photos this week, so if I see any good ones, I may just post again... :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Family = The Best

I love love love my family.  You always here people talk about "their in-laws" and the relentless jokes.  However, I am so fortunate to have been blessed with a family and "in-law" family that I love. 

My trip to VA was so much fun! The only bad part was that time literally flew by.  We spent time making sushi, playing cards, sitting by the pool, attending graduation celebrations for my cousin Rachel, and just having a great time with one another. 

I just can't wait for the next time!
Grandma made a quilt for cousin Jack out of scrap fabrics that span many many years. We were playing "guess what this originally was".  :)

Cousin Jack.  Love this guy and wish we got more time together before he left for Kenya on a missions trip.

Praying together during the graduation ceremony.

Yay! They are done!

Sweet Rachel is done!!

The ladies in attendance for her big day.

Love her!!

Grandma Ruth and I. :) Love her too.

Trying on fancy tea hats.  Love my Mom in Law!!

Blingin' it out!!

One giant wolf spider.

Memorial Day they light luminaries in a Fredericksburg Cemetery where over 15,000 service members are buried.

This is what Memorial Day is all about.

Sushi we rolled! Yum Yum!

Grandma is always washing, cleaning, and getting her hands dirty.  I needed a picture just in case I ever forget (not likely)!! What a good example of a hard worker!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Congrats Cousin!

One of my two favorite cousins (her brother is the other one) is graduating from high school this weekend!  I am so excited to fly out at 5:00 am tomorrow (not the 5:00 am part) to be with her and the family for a week.

Rachel and I at her Christmas Story production. 

We love chocolate pudding.  It's a given when we are together.

Easter 2010 with Todd the Easter Bunny at the O' Club.

Thanksgiving 2011 - Bacon wrapped turkey!
Rachel is an amazing girl and I am so thankful for her friendship.  I wish her luck as she em-barques on the next chapter in her life - college! She is such a sweet hearted, caring, and sincere person that loves the Lord; you can't help but enjoy life when you are around her.

Love you, Rachel!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Paul's unit has a secure website that features news, video updates, and pictures.  I was looking through some of them today and noticed this picture.  
This is of Paul's Regimental Colonel. 

 I am so thankful that God has brought us under the authority of a praying man!  You may think, "Sara, this guy is just praying over his food." However, I see it as him still making time for God and being thankful even in the little things.  He is in a leadership role over the entire 6th Marine Regiment and that job comes with lots of stress and decisions to be made.  This man has a lot of weight on his shoulders.  It was such an encouragement to me to see this photograph that I had to share.  

To give you perspective on his duties, check out this link:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Go Home!!

I had just finished mailing off a care package to Paul at the downtown post office.  I was sitting in my car at the exit of the post office parking lot with my windows rolled down.  It was a gorgeous day and I was in a great mood. I see a lady walking towards my car when I hear her her yell:

"Gooo Home!!!"
{insert ugly mean face}

Just because I have a VA license plate you are going to yell at me to "Go Home"?
I could see if I was driving like a maniac you would assume I am a terrible VA driver (and I would agree with you that VA drivers are scary). 
However, my car was stopped.

Start of rant:
I must assume that this lady is sick of people "polluting" her beloved ND.  There are many people here like that and I even hear their moaning at work.  They are tired of all the "outsiders" coming and turning ND into a place where they can't leave their car running while they run into the store or leave their homes unlocked. 

What they don't see is how well their state is economically.  Houses sell here in less than a week and most of the time over the asking price.  I have never seen so many restaurants and always packed too! People eat out here multiple times a week because they can afford it.  Shopping is a favorite thing to do here as well. New cars, new jewelry, new boats - you can see it everywhere! And if they don't have it here, then drive to Minneapolis to Mall of America to get it. 

This state has "outsiders" to be thankful for because they are bringing money to the state.  Granted it is ND oil they are coming for, but these people are helping build a strong economy.  If no one came to ND to explore and capture the oil, then North Dakotans would not be "living so high on the hog".  Honestly, their opinion of the state of our country is so skewed because of the riches they are experiencing right now.
End of rant

So before you decide to yell at some stranger through their open car window because they have "outsider" plates (I highly discourage this as it is very offensive); please think about that person.  You have no idea why they are even here!  I wish I had the nerve to yell back "I'm here because my husband is fighting for your freedom to yell at me" or "I would rather be at "home" with my husband, but he is in Afghanistan". 

Instead, I drove off shaking my head saying "Just another day in North Dakota..."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Third!

So this week marks the one-third mark of Paul's deployment!


It has progressed quite quickly for 4 months.  I know that God has given me strength and has kept my mind off of the time apart by staying busy with school and work.  He has brought individuals into my life that are such an encouragement and are uplifting.  I am so thankful for them, even though most of them live many states away.

There is of course the ones that don't understand whatsoever and you just feel like slapping them for whining about their spouse being at work for too long or gone for one day, but then I slowly put my hand back down but then you just laugh it off.  ;)  The other one is the pity pat - I hate that!  For your information, pity patting someone does not make the person feel better.  I know you are trying, but it isn't working.  I am not a basket case, nor have I been that way this entire deployment, so I don't know why people automatically assume deployed spouses are unstable and need to be dealt with gently.

Even though Paul and I don't communicate as much as we thought we would, we still have maintained open communication.  I am just so thankful for email and satellite phones!  I can't even imagine the couples in WWII and before trying to stay close during censored mail that was a month or more delayed.  I look up to these people so much! 

As of now, Paul and I are looking forward to RR (rest and relaxation) for two weeks sometime in the future.  We don't have dates yet but we are looking into destinations.  Paul gets flown anywhere in the world so I think we will take advantage of a free airline ticket to somewhere exotic.  He deserves it. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Week in Pictures

Easter Outfits
I came home to this!
Hugs and Kisses from my hubby!
Lucy loves popcorn and sometimes it gets caught in her fur. :)

Before: I attempted to sew a "play outfit" for Lucy so she wouldn't bring so much dead grass inside with her. 

She loves it (and looks so dumb)!
"Stop taking pictures and throw the ball already!"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


A few weeks ago I was back in Idaho for my sisters wedding.  While there, I was able to spend a little time with my very cute nephews.  

The oldest one says the funniest things and has quite the imagination.  I am excited to see what he grows up to be as he is quite the talented young boy. 

Anyways, we were making funny faces for the camera.  
After taking the picture he asked to see it (don't you love digital cameras?).  

His remark: "Aunt Sara looks like an Angry Bird!". 

It must be the eyebrows.

Honesty. Got to love it. 

Monday, April 2, 2012


I have been reading a lot lately and absolutely LOVE it! Oh how I have missed reading for fun due to the hectic school schedule. Although I am finishing up my Masters, I have found the time to read and have no regrets about late night "quiet time".

I wanted to share a website my friend shared with me.  It is called GoodReads and is amazing!  You can rate books you have read and it will generate recommendations based on your critique. There is also a section where you can give your honest opinion of the book and justify your rating.  For example, I really enjoyed Tim Tebow's "Through My Eyes", however, I am not a huge football fan so I noted there were some sections that were "dry" to me.  That is nothing against Mr. Tebows book, because obviously it was written by a football player.  What did I expect?  I therefore kept my rating 5/5 because it was inspirational.

If I still haven't convinced you of the benefits of GoodReads,  I hope the single fact that it serves as a way to catalog what you have read this year will justify it's worthiness.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flower Power

At Utah State University (USU) while studying my undergraduate degree in Agricultural Education, I had the opportunity to take classes in floral design. Actually Paul was also able to do it too and you can see a picture of him still on my department's website.  You can see his face is just loving every minute of it. :)

I absolutely LOVE creating floral arrangements, boutonnieres, corsages, etc.  When I taught in VA I was able to teach a Floral Design course and had a blast using hands on approaches to help develop the students' potential.  I love it so much that if a teaching or extension position doesn't open in NC when Paul gets back, I may just work as a florist!

So when my sister got married last week, I was honored to create her centerpiece for the reception as well as the girls' and her bouquets.  Since she had over 50 corsages and boutonnieres I was very thankful she had a flower shop complete those because I would have been stuck in a back room all day Thursday and Friday getting those things done!

Here are the pictures! Beware I took them in the utility room of the church (AKA my workshop) and so the lighting is horrible.  I am sure the photographer got better shots so I will steal them one day...
Don't the red chords look lovely with the purple flowers? ;)

Laura's colors were eggplant, silver, and off white.  This shot makes the arrangement look bottom heavy so I am hoping the photographer got a better angle.

Top shot of Laura's bouquet.

Side shot of Laura's bouquet.

Bridesmaids bouquets.

I urge anyone wanting to learn things from floral design to photography to take a class! I never thought I would be able to accomplish or even enjoy it, but I was pleasantly surprised!  I also think the Interior Design course I took in college helped a little with colors, textures, etc so expand your horizons and have fun!