Friday, November 28, 2008

Fun at Woodfield Mall

This past week, Katie Barker and I went out to the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg to do a little Christmas shopping and just enjoy the holiday decorations and atmosphere. We had such a fun time.

Here are some of the beautiful decorations. The mall is just so huge and the central area is just gorgeous!
This area is like a little North Pole Wonderland... so cute.

So we went into the MASSIVE Bath and Body Works store. Seriously, it had like 3 separate wings to it. We were in there forever... but we didn't even realize it. They had this deal going on that you could by 7 of the large lotions, sprays or body washes for $35 and then you would get the 8th one free. So we each picked out 4 that we liked... and then Katie had 4 coupons ($10 off if you spent $30, home fragrance free with purchase and so on) so basically we got $125 worth of merchandise for $27 ! We each only paid like $13.50! What a deal!!!

After that we stopped by an A&W to get a root beer float. And by that point it was like 8:30pm and we were exhausted! So we were a little zany to say the least:)

This one of the two of us was taken by a "bus boy" at the restaurant. He did not speak English and we were using my camera phone because we had both forgotten our cameras... so anyways, it quite the funny experience.

All in all we had a great time. It was a good way to kick of the holiday season and to spend some time with a good friend :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

37 Weeks and Counting

Well, here I am at 37 weeks. I can hardly believe that I am almost at the end of this journey of pregnancy. I have been feeling pretty good still. It's just getting a little painful to walk around too much and of course I am exhausted at the end of every day. But it is good to be able to see the "light at the end of the tunnel". I am seeing my doctor weekly now and he told me yesterday that she as head down and all looks good. So I am very excited about that. That is something I was specifically praying about.

I only have 2 more weeks of teaching at HFLS. (3 days this week 4 days next week) so only 7 more teaching days! I can hardly believe it. It will be nice to be finished and hopefully to have a few days of quiet at home before Maddy comes. Tim has asked me to wait until the 17th(the end of his semester). I am not sure I want to wait that long, but we will see :)

I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving Holiday this year. We will miss not being home with family, but we are celebrating with another family at our church and will be helping to host some of the college kids in our group from church. I love the holidays. I am looking forward to getting my tree the day after Thanksgiving and setting up all of my Christmas decorations!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Obama Victory is an Inspiration

I know some of my more conservative readers might automatically think, what in the world is she talking about? Let me explain. Although I do not align myself with all that Barack Obama stands for, I am thankful for the inspiration that he has been in winning this National Election. I have a unique perspective on how this President-elect has impacted specifically the African-American community. As many of you know, I teach at a school on the west-side of Chicago.  The demographic is 100% African-American. Although this has been somewhat of a challenging transition for me, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of teaching in such a culturally different area (especially compared to my previous job in VA Beach).
The day after the election, students were heard shouting "Obama - Obama- Obama!" in the school hallways. There was a sensation of new hope that came with this new day in American History. Our principal gave an inspiring speech about how there are no excuses left for why anyone cannot become everything that they dream to become. She shared how Obama was not handed everything he got; he worked hard for it. Students were reminded that they need to take advantage of their education and not make any excuses about why they cannot succeed. They have no reason to say now, that their life is too hard or society is against them. Barack Obama has proven that America is a country where any person (no matter their race, gender, or religious views) can have the "American Dream".  What an encouragement! I am personally encouraged with seeing how far our nation has come in the civil rights movement. This truly has been an historic election. One I am sure we will remember for many years to come.  

I want to end with one little interaction between our Chaplain (pastor Hunter) and the students. I wish I would have video taped it, but this is how it went:

Mr Hunter: Good Morning Holy Family!
Students : Cheer and yell, Good morning Mr. Hunter!
Mr. Hunter: I heard a rumor! (in loud excited voice)
Students: A rumor? (in excitement and anticipation)
Mr. Hunter: Yea, I heard a rumor!
Students: A rumor?!  
Mr. Hunter: Yea, that the next President of the United states looks just like YOU!
Students: Loud clapping, cheering, stomping, hooting and hollering!!!!

I am encouraged that these students have a positive African-American role model that doesn't bounce a ball or bust a rhyme. They have someone before them that has applied himself, by getting  a great education and is having an historic impact on our nation and world.