Wednesday, March 31, 2010


What an amazing thing!  I just got back to my desk to find that Ryan and I have received an Easter present from his parents:  a Rosemary Bonsai.

I am definitely going home for lunch now to get this little guy settled in.  How exciting!  And how delicious he smells.  You know what comes next... gotta give it a name!  I'll let you know after we decide (c:

Rosemary is the traditional symbol of remembrance.  Very appropriate for Easter.

Also, I have the opportunity to go to San Antonio for a work conference at the end of May.  Ryan and I will get to stay in one of the nicest hotels on the Riverwalk and go to receptions with dinner and drinks in the evenings.  I'm also hoping we'll get some time with my family and Laura and David.  Sounds spectacular right?  Oh my life does seem like it's exciting sometimes (c:

This weekend we're planning to go camping.  However, it's supposed to be raining all weekend, and Ryan and I are the only two out of 7 people with a tent.  Either we all get to snuggle, or we'll be crashing my aunt and uncle's house (who live in the town where we're camping). 

Either way, I am hoping for a weekend full of laughs (as is always the case with Colleen). 

Hope all have a happy Easter!  Remember why (c:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Junior Achievement Part II

Well, it's freshly over.  My first day.  I was so nervous!  Ms. Hamilton could tell, because she said, "don't worry, they're sweet, innocent kids!"  I was appreciative of her but also embarrassed.  She left the room and that actually helped me a lot!  Even though I'm not sure she's supposed to do that...  anyway, I felt a lot better without her in there and more like I could just relax with the kids.  They were everywhere!!  Everyone wanted to volunteer, ask/answer questions, tell me about their parent's jobs, "My mom works at Shack Daddy's!!"  "My daddy was a soldier and he died."  I was told that the kids would tell me stuff that may be a little awkward, and I was just told to say, "Oh ok!" and move on.  Which I did, but it was hard!

One little girl ran up and gave me hugs at three random times, which I was also told would happen.  How cute!

They were very still and behaved at the beginning of class, but before long, they were out of their seats, surrounding me, tugging on me, telling me things, asking questions.  Wanting to know if they could volunteer.  Wanting to know when I'd be back.  It was a flurry of 2nd graders!

They are awesome though.  So sweet and so interested, and so enthusiastic!  Next time I will be better prepared for them.  I'll draw out three main questions I want to really discuss with them.  As it was, the bazillion questions I had lined up and talking points were futile against the chaotic distractions and I was lost right after I introduced myself.

As I drove away, I thought: my mom is a teacher.  My great-grandmother was a teacher.  Maybe it skips a generation, because I don't think I have the gift.

Now, Elaine totally does.  She embodies elementary school teacher.  She has a "teacher voice" and her ideas are so perfect.  You know the kids would love the activities she comes up with, but at the same time, they are formulated so perfectly that there is that element of child psychology that helps them really learn.

Jacque is going to be a high school teacher, and I never really saw that side of her until last night.  She will be one of those respected teachers, I think.  She talks about wanting to teach them how to learn rather than memorizing history dates.  But she's really behind it, as if no one had ever had that concept before and it was all her own.  She really owns it. 

Anyway, I'm sure they are both weirded out that I'm talking about them on my blog.  Too bad!  :P

Yay, it's almost time to auction off the goodies at the bake sale!!  I made cinnamon sugar biscotti.  I'm excited to see who will want it.  My boss bought cupcakes and claimed to have made them himself.  Oh yeah, Dereck, and I'm sure you just keep edible glitter on hand at all times for occasions such as this.  I've got my eye on our receptionist's Berry Good Vanilla cake.  It looks like just a simple white cake, but the frosting is luscious looking.  Not in a "I'm going to die from a sugar attack!" sort of way, but a creamy, maybe sour cream or cream cheese sort of way.  MMmmmm,and it all is built up to a pile of blueberries and strawberries on top.  Nice!

Junior Achievement

I have my first day of Junior Achievement today. Gotta run over the lesson one more time. Elaine, Jacque, and Christine came over last night and we ended up going through it and I got some special tips from them. It's perfect because Jacque and Elaine are majoring in education, so I feel like I got some insight and they had good ideas.

I don't know why I'm a little freaked out by it still though. I have butterflies in my stomach. Last night I dreamed that I went around and asked them all of their names and it took up the whole 30 minutes to get around the room. The subject is "My Community" and, for my sake, I'm going to run over the points.

1) Hang up the How does a Community Work? poster. (in my dream I kept going around the room trying to find a good place to hang it, but every time I thought I had a good spot, the teacher would just say, "no" and all the kids were staring at me, waiting. Nobody offered any suggestions!! frustrating.)

2) Introduce myself, JA, and my role as a volunteer. So, I'm Miss Kendra and I work at ABC Auto Parts (in my dream I asked them if they knew what that was and many of them did. I don't know if I should really ask them that for real though... lol) in the main office. I work in the marketing department, which means I try to learn what our customers want and make our company a better place for them to get car parts. I just graduated from college so it wasn't that long ago that I was in school, too. But school has been so important for my job and helping me to make decisions about life. I'm so excited to be visiting you today, and Ms. Hamilton is going to let me visit four more times so that we can talk about Our Community.

The reason I'm here today is because I am a volunteer with Junior Achievement (write "volunteer" on the board). A volunteer is a person who chooses to help another person or business, but does it for free. Junior Achievement volunteers help teachers talk to students about real-life business and why businesses are so important to communities. Who can tell me what a business is? It's really easy. A business is a place that sells things we need or want. There has to be people to work in those businesses, right? That's where we get jobs. And that's what we're going to be talking about today. Think about who you know who has a job. What kinds of jobs do they have?

3) Define community. A community is an area where people live, work, play, and go to school. A community can be part of a city where people have many different jobs. When most people talk about their community, they usually mean their city or their neighborhood. Today, we're going to pretend that your classroom is a community.
(hand out mini poster worksheet) Take a look at this poster. What jobs do you see?
(point to each job as the students call them out and write them on the board)

(if I need to encourage discussion, I'll ask questions like...) What is this person doing? Why do we need this person in our community? Do you know someone who does this type of work? Would you like to do this type of work? Why or why not?

(hand out government worker stickers) These are stickers that show government workers. Match each government worker sticker with the one on the worksheet.
(watch the clock) Time's up! Now, can I get two volunteers? We need to keep our community clean. Will the community volunteers please collect the trash from the stickers and throw it away? Thank you very much!

Let's look at our poster again. How does a fireman help the community? How does a donut-maker help the community? Next time, we will be talking more about the Sweet "O" Donuts shop.

There can be a whole lot of different jobs in a community, can't there? Why do you think we need so many different jobs and businesses? Because the people in a community have a lot of different needs and wants. Communities need the special skills of many people working together.
What type of job would you like to do when you grow up?

(have the students write their names on their mini-poster worksheets and turn them back in. Ask Ms. Hamilton to write down the names of any students that were absent.)

Here is a magnet for you to give to your family to let them know that I will be visiting you at school. I will be seeing you again next Friday! Have a great weekend!

Phew, ok, I feel a little better. Thanks!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Orange You Glad?

I am not the type to spend a lot of money on a cell phone.  I always go with "free" or "nearly free" when it comes time to upgrade.  But, perhaps the imbalance of my "phone splurge" deficit was too much for the world, and I have become the lucky recipient of a new, ORANGE, phone (c:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Outstanding in the Field

I read about this tour that basically just goes around the country with a long table and a lot of chairs.  They call on local farmers, chefs, artisans, and winemakers to create meals from the local ingredients, sometimes harvested just a few inches away from where the guests sit.  I thought this beach environment was particularly fantastic, but more true to the name of the company (Outstanding in the Field) they usually set up on farms or ranches.

It's a really cool idea!  I don't know if I'd ever do it except as maybe a gift for someone (hmm, maybe a gift for Ryan, someday) and looked like they mainly tour along the west coast.  Can you imagine what it would be like on the hillside of Lake Travis though?  Beautiful!  Sign me up for that one, when it comes!

Oh yeah you are probably curious what something like this costs.  $180-$220 per person.  That's quite a bit, but I can't ignore their smarts: it's a price people will pay! 

I'd love to go with people someday.  Say, Matt and Corinne and Colleen and Gannon.  They could educate me on the wine (c:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pictures from 2010

In case you were still wondering about that painting from before, it's called October 26, 1993 and it's a painting of a photograph taken of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.  Yes, there are instances where Ryan's resemblance to John Lennon is uncanny, but I personally think my husband is much hotter.  

See?  He's much more adorable. 

This is from when he took apart my iMac.  You remember...

Here are the stars of our patio garden.

Our second tomato off of our plant was a bit deformed.

The herbs before we moved them to real pots.

He wasn't ready for this one. (c:

Collage with all of those CD booklets that we couldn't bring ourselves to throw away.
"Practice safe coffee.  Always use a bongo coffee condom. We appreciate your addiction."
Lauren Brewer gave Ryan the nickname "Twitchy" years ago.  When I came along, naturally I was "TwitchyBait."  This was from the envelope that they gave us a card in for our wedding.

It's alive!!

Snow (c:

Barcode doormat, one of our Valentine's Day exchanges (c:

Flowers, not all the way awake yet.  But I love Peruvian Lillies, they are so pretty and they last forever!

All-edges brownies for V-day!

Remember the retarded tomato? 

Our plants staying all warm and cozy inside.

Honey getting in some video games.  In case you haven't noticed a theme with the car seats thus far, we have taken both my car and the baby truck's interiors apart almost completely in the last month.  Ryan changed out the stereo in my car, and it required him to remove the seat.  And the baby truck, well...

There is a water leak on the back glass.  We kept noticing it getting stinkier and stinkier in there, and one day Ryan felt the carpet and it was soaking wet and it hadn't rained for like 2 weeks.  So yeah, this past weekend we took EVERYTHING out of the interior.  Seats, visors, carpet... right now it's just an empty hollow metal cabin.  I washed every last one of the plastic pieces with soap and water and then Armoraled them.  Some of them had mildew and Ryan even found some algae spots.  We also found about a dollar in change, so, there's the tip (c:
This is probably one of my favorite spots in our apartment.  We severely lack drawer space, but it drove me to a much more favorable solution.  I love being able to display my pretty orange cooking utensils!  These were a wedding gift from my uncle, aunt, and cousins. 

Over the stove, looking rather empty.  This must have been right after I did a lot of cooking and most of my utensils were being washed.

We found this neat wine rack at Ikea.  We don't drink a lot of wine though, lol, so right now it just houses Tito's and Kahlua.

 Ryan's super-sturdy shelves that he installed in our laundry closet. 

Babysitting Ellie Mae.

She looks a little worried!

John and Ellen coming back to pick up their kiddo after their day-after-Valentine's Day date.

Alllllmooost a laugh.  So close!

I caught you vacuuming the stairs!!

My 1st attempt at homemade beer pretzels.

A hearty-beef soup with cheese biscuit recipe that Ryan loved so much he took a picture of it (c:

And last but not least, we ate pie on Pi Day (yesterday).  Marie Callenders made us this dutch apple pie, and we stayed up late last night cooking it and eating it with Blue Bell's Homemade Vanilla and watching The Office.  It was a splurge on so many levels, but it was worth it!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Ok I'll admit it, I am subscribed to I Can Has Cheeseburger on my feed.  Thought this one was cute (c:
funny pictures of cats with captions

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