Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! We spent the holiday in some beautiful areas of northern CA. Dan was originally scheduled to work through Wednesday, but his boss told him at the last minute on Tuesday that he didn't need to come into work on Wed! It was awesome, because there was a San Jose Sharks hockey game that Dan really wanted to get to on Wed. night to celebrate his birthday a little early. So we started driving on Tues. night after work, spent the night north of L.A., and continued driving on Wed.

When we got to San Jose, we took a tour of the Winchester Mystery House, a strange mansion that was built in the late 1800's by the Winchester Rifle heiress. Rumor has it that she believed she was haunted by the victims who were killed by her company's rifles, and the only way to keep them at bay was to continue building onto her house 24/7. It's an interesting mansion with several oddities, such as a staircase that leads up to the ceiling and a door that opens to nothing but a 3-story drop outside the house!

That night, we got to the San Jose Sharks stadium nice and early to buy tickets, only to discover that the game was sold out! We were pretty much on our sad way out when we found a scalper who had two tickets! He made some money off of us, but we were just excited to get into the game!

Dan is happy

Here's a fun picture of the remote controlled shark "blimps" that were released to fly around the stadium

On Thanksgiving Day, we drove north to tour the wine country in Napa and Sonoma Valleys, then we headed over to Lake Tahoe that night. The wineries weren't open for tours that day, but the scenery around Napa and Sonoma was absolutely beautiful and it was worth it just to drive through the area! We loved the rolling landscape and we'd never seen so many vineyards!

Friday was opening day at Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe, so we took advantage of the chance to break out our ski gear again! We realized how out of shape we were after just a few hours, and called it quits to spent the rest of the afternoon driving around Lake Tahoe and soaking in the gorgeous views.

The view of Lake Tahoe from the gondola on the way up to the ski lifts

Skiing at Heavenly

Some scenes from beautiful Lake Tahoe

We had a blast together, and we both got some refreshing time with our favorite things (Dan=hockey, Debby=the mountains). We hope that Thanksgiving was a fun and relaxing time for you, too!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Back to School!

I had an extreme career change two weeks ago when I took a leave of absence from my job and started student teaching in the 4th grade! It's actually been a long time coming, since Dan and I started our master's degrees in elementary education 5 years ago in Denver. We took all the coursework together, but when it was time to student teach, I kept working while he finished the program. This year is my deadline for finishing my degree, so my boss and I came to an agreement for me to take a leave of absence as long as I: 1) stuck around long enough for him to hire someone else and have me train them to take my place, and 2) promised to hate everything about the teaching profession and come back to work the minute I finished my student teaching! Fortunately for me, #2 didn't come true, because I'm having a blast in the classroom so far!
There are 28 kids in the class, and my teacher is fantastic. 4th grade was my top choice, because they're at that glorious age where they're old enough to be pretty independent, but they're still really sweet kids who love their teacher. :) The school where I'm working (Kate Sessions Elementary) is only about a mile from our house, so I can bike there when I feel like it (it hardly ever happens).
I haven't started officially teaching anything yet, but I think I'll need to in the next week or so. My teacher really loves her job and doesn't seem to be in a big hurry to pass things off to me. But I'm supposed to take over the subjects little by little until I'm running the show at the end of my 15 weeks in the classroom. Then I'll earn my CO teaching license, and who knows when I'll do anything with it, but it'll be great to have it as an option and it's fun to do something completely different for a while! I'll be done student teaching in early March, and it's a blessing to know that I've got my job waiting for me when I'm finished - especially with the job market so tough right now. God is good!