there's a little magic in the air tonight

I have a new nephew! Aaron Michael De Jong, born Dec. 18

Lack of communication leads to duplicate presents!
Nutty family members on Christmas night

Aaron is being "brothered" by Landon and Dillan

Trav and Tami sit back and enjoy their one quiet son

Distressing over Wii badminton

Dillan and Al...buddies!

Yoga class

Christmas with friends!

Philip and I pose with a trash can on our way to Columbia
Site of our engagement!

Minutes after it happened :)

My lovely Thanksgiving vegetable platter
Vancouver at night

Lots of new stuff in the past couple of months!
  • Philip and I got engaged on Thanksgiving and plan to get married next June
  • my sister Al got her master's degree
  • we have a new nephew, Aaron
  • I turned 25
  • Philip and I went to California for Thanksgiving and Iowa for Christmas
  • Lynden got about 2 feet of snow and we didn't have school for 2 1/2 days before Christmas break
  • I slept in the Seattle airport on my way to Iowa
  • I met up with Josh, Rachel, Becca, Walhof, Dave, Shannon, Jonas, and more over break! Good to see everyone!
  • Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas (ok, a few days late) and a blessed New Year!


hp anonymous

i think i'm addicted to harry potter.


my toes are froze

Blogger is still stupid. Why does technology hate me all of a sudden? Nick and Lari and Jasmine visited this past weekend. We played some Rock Band and did some sweating. If you're offended by my sweatiness, good for you.

In other news, I have never been so frustrated by some people who profess to be Christians. The recent elections have raised some anger in circles I am familiar with. Honestly, I am embarrassed to be a Christian if it means pinning all my hopes on a candidate rather than on the One who has raised up that leader. It drives me nuts when people think they know everything about running a country when none of them realizes everything that's involved. I stressed this to my 5th graders yesterday, and although they were disappointed that McCain did not win, they bucked up and we spent time praying for the president-elect. We would do much better as a country if we lifted up our leaders in prayer instead of criticizing someone whose job most of us would suck at. So, if you are one of the bitter people harping on Obama, I encourage you to use your time more wisely. God is not worried about the "wrong" person being in office. He can work through anyone, and I seriously hope that Christians do not doubt that.

Rant over. Go, Obama!


harder and richer

I'm finally back! And Blogger is being frustrating with words and pictures and the layout. Grrr. So bear with me.
Pictures in order:

1) Al and I have matching hats!!!
2)Philip and Basil play hide and seek
3) Al and I take advantage of the beautiful Missoula fall...
4) Philip and Kermit share a good joke. :)
5) Mark attacks Philip's mother while Philip's father sits idly by...
6) We saw Fleet Foxes in Bellingham! Tickets were sold out, but Philip schmoozed with an usher who sneaked us in. The concert was amazing!
7) A stop at the Columbia River Basin on our way back to WA.
8) The Columbia River Basin.

So...life is good. See title of post for more info. I am trying to update, but I always run out of time. More later!


a book a day

when i was in college, i did not read for pleasure. being an english major meant i had to spend the majority of my time reading and writing papers, and reading for pleasure was not in the cards. there were too many other things to do and too many people to hang out with. in the summers, i would indulge in brain candy just to remind myself that reading could be fun. what a wretched english major i was.

but NOW...i am not in college anymore. i am busy teaching and spending time with someone special and singing in choir, but i have discovered that i DO love to read. and not just brain candy, unless you call Jane Austen brain candy. which i don't.

right now, i am in the middle of about 6 books, although i suppose i should qualify that by saying i haven't picked up two of those books since at least june if not longer.

which books are these? you might ask. here is my current list (as of last evening):

anne's house of dreams (l.m. montgomery)
a break with charity (ann rinaldi)
the poisonwood bible (barbara kingsolver)
the bean trees (barbara kingsolver)
harry potter and the sorceror's stone (j.k. rowling)
asperger's syndrome: a guide for parents and professionals (tony attwood)

what books are YOU reading?

*note: thank you, philip, for encouraging my habit. :)


settling in

we are settling into the fall schedule/weather/everything here. the temps are cooling down, the skies are clouding over, and the days are already flying by. it's practically october! i was going to post a couple of pictures from our day at larrabee state park last saturday, and i think i deleted the pictures without downloading them. let me rephrase that...i downloaded them, but they didn't show up anywhere. grrr. stupid lying 'safe delete.'

news in note form:
  • i made a delicious chicken and bacon dinner last night...i can cook!
  • i love the office.
  • i enjoy teaching.
  • philip and i are church-hunting, but we've found one we really like and feel welcomed at.
  • tomorrow is friday!
  • one of my kids is suspended tomorrow and two others are gone. i'm down to 13.
  • i did dishes this afternoon and it was great.
  • i love having someone to talk to about my day. it's awesome. thank you, philip!
  • bed is a wonderful place.
  • i need to drink a gallon of o.j. tonight to wash away my cold.
  • i'm going to watch a movie! yay, no lesson planning!
be healthy and well!


i promise i'm done with lesson plans tonight

Twins-Mariners game in Seattle
Safeco Field!
I think it's still alive...
Picking blueberries near Lynden
Checking out Mt. Baker

School has started well...we are 3 weeks in and I'm enjoying my 5th and 6th graders and my free time (compared to last year). I have a couple of "problem students", but overall I'm enjoying the different challenges of the lower grades.
My last post was a negative weather update, but I'm glad to say that the beautiful fall weather has returned to the Northwest! We have clear skies and sunshine for the next several days for sure. :)
I have so many pictures to share and so little time, so this was a taste. Bon appetit!



today is rainy and cold. it feels like winter in lynden.

i miss summer.


why do i wait so long to post? now i have too much to say and not enough creativity to say it in.

ergo, a list:

  • babysitting nephews increases my patience and is generally fun
  • working in an office all alone makes me grateful that i work with people at my real job
  • working in an office all alone is a nice break from working with people at my real job
  • i helped with dordt discovery days and learned about gamemaking on the computer and physics. both of these areas need a little work.
  • i watched all 15 innings of the all-star game the other night. i will always be a twins fan.
  • philip and i have one year behind us and lots of good memories!
  • more memories are on the way as we drive to california next week and then to washington the following week!
  • returning to washington will be much easier than moving to washington. this time i have my best friend with me!
pictures will come eventually. and that's a promise. unlike my sister, who promised to post more pictures and hasn't yet...

happy july!


i think i drive too much

I say this because Mom and I drove from Lynden to Sioux Center in the last few days and I took about 10 pictures. Total. I chalk it up to driving many many many miles in my life and seeing the I-90 route many many many times as well. But I love love love it!

We stopped in Missoula for a girls' weekend and walked around a lot and ate a lot and enjoyed spending time with Al. Below is a picture from the Higgins Street Bridge in downtown Missoula, overlooking the Clark Fork (one of the 14 times Mom and I crossed it in our journey!). Pretty sunset.

I am in Iowa now...and the sunshine is fabulous.
Highlights of my Iowa summer so far:
  • having my nephews race out of the house and across the lawn to give me big hugs
  • sleeping in my cozy bed
  • eating with my whole family (minus Al...I wish you were there!)
  • running (er...walking with short bursts of jogging in between) with Phil this morning


from the veteran teacher

that's right. a veteran teacher. oooh, that sounds good.

obviously, i am done with school, as of noon today (minus the staff meetings and final grades and cleaning up the classroom). i cried a little. i love my kids.

in other news, the birch bay tide is the lowest it has been in 90 years, so yuan and i went out and checked it out. we got wet and saw dead crabs. it was fun.

in other other news, i am apparently allergic to shellfish. i am sorry, my favorite asian roommate.


4.5 days

top of the space needle

christa & al showing us the moves

al & phil being sneaky at waterfront park in seattle

view from 520'

the best sunday night tradition ever

al & i post-contra-dancing on memorial day...ahh, how we glisten!

rundown of the weekend:
friday night: phil and i vegged out and watched meet the parents and meet the fockers.
saturday: drove to bothell and saw kris and kim get married, ran into my old pastor from when i was about five, hung out with phil's aunt and uncle, met up with al and christa at the folklife festival in seattle, watched them dance, and ate thai food while listening to instrumental christian contemporary music, listened to wonderful celtic/bluegrass music, found out that there was a shooting at the festival near where we were at, but the girl who got shot didn't even realize it right away. oh, hippies.
sunday: went to church with phil's aunt and uncle, ate yummy mexican food, met up with the girls in the city, did some contra dancing myself, went up the space needle with phil, listened to some awesome drumming, got wine, aged cheese, and sourdough bread and had a "quiet" party back in bothell.
monday: last morning of contra dancing--even phil got out and danced with al. i danced with tom, paul (a 50 something with purple converses) , quincy, and al, said goodbye to al and christa, played frisbee with phil after finding his grandparents' old house, said goodbye to phil, and drove home to lynden.

i think i will stop now. it was a superb weekend. and now, only 4.5 days of school left. we're all ready to be done. yes. yes, we are.


my first pedicure!

Denise and I got pedicures last night. Look how boring I am.
Sunny weather + heat + biking + new Camelbak + 13.5 days of school left = AWESOME.


ezekul saw de wheel

lifting the cannon at fort casey
with the barnacles at deception pass on whidbey island
at the beach in stanley park, vancouver
birch bay scouting

al visited this weekend. it was stupendous and filled with water, as you can see.
i don't like saying goodbye.
only 17 1/2 days of school left.
only 4 units to complete before school ends.
only 3 units to start!
al bought me a jasmine plant and a pretty yellow pot. i hope i don't kill it.
i like junk food. and sisters. and movies. all mixed together.
it has been one year since i graduated from dordt.
i'm starting a bible unit on ezekiel, which brought back memories of chorale freshman year. (dooma-looma dooma-looma)


bored enough to make a change

i am waiting for al to come. but my waiting is not in vain, nor in boredom. i gave myself the task of changing my blog template, and with the help of justine and a few questions for blogger, i did it. i was really tired of my old one. and this one is a tad bright and cheery for anything long-term, so i'll probably change it in the near future. but for now, i like orange.

19 1/2 days of school left.


i'm a little dutch girl

kissing tulips
tulip capital of the world

Ok, so I give up my rant. If you're still interested in reading about my life,
look at the post below :)

no pictures...how sad

Blogger is dumb. I've been trying to post pictures and all it does is just sit there and stare at me and pretend to be working when in reality it is not doing a darned thing.

And the tulips looked so pretty, too.

Hmmm. Updates without pictures. Ok, I can do this.

In the last month I have:

-cut my hair
-had a lovely visit from Philip which included much catch-playing and movie watching and eating
-changed my calendar (no, really!)
-seen Mount Vernon tulips (that was today, and I have pretty pictures, but I don't want to go into all that ranting again)
-pared the school year down to 22 1/2 days!!!!
-had a garden planted in my backyard (notice that I did not plant it)
-finally seen Juno!!
-had my first and hopefully last experience with ROSS
-seen very little sun and warmth

Ok, so without the pictures, this post is blah. Hopefully this update will suffice until Blogger cooperates.

P.S. I signed my contract again for next year. I'm teaching 5-6 math and language arts. A welcome change!


in all fairness, i did warn you

i told you that the last blog would suffice for the next month. and here it is, april 8. :)

i am sitting in the dordt library right now. i went to a dordt class yesterday. i saw a dordt play on saturday. i am being infiltrated with dordt. and i like it! even if it is just for a week.

here is a list of things i've done so far:
--1 shot of captain morgan (first things first!)
--1 game of sorry
--1 date with philip
--2 movies
--2 dordt classes
--2 covenant church services
--1 dordt play
--1 picnic with old roommates and friends on campus
--numerous hugs, hi's, and how are you?s
--1 lunch date with a friend
--1 haircut (goodbye, 6 inches of hair!)

people i've seen:
--scott & sheryl
--dre & jason
--matt & april
--melissa s (in passing...sorry, melissa!)
--dave, shannon, and jonas
--mike, heidi, and adelaide
--my puppy
--nate & kirbee
and lots and lots of others...i can't keep track of everybody!

things to come:
--1 play rehearsal of justine's show
--2 family dinners with trav, tami, and the boys
--1 visit to bepa with philip and landon
--1 coffee date with teresa and baby katherine
and who knows what else???

i love iowa.


Phil and I in a tree on Whidbey Island
Deception Pass: the Three Stooges
Taking pictures at Birch Bay (where else??)
Young adult bonding: Yuan, Kerri, Andrea, Tarantula Ted
Another month, another blog. We've been trying to get the internet at our apartment, but Verizon sucks. Don't be fooled by their helpful facades. It's all a lie.
In other news, in less than 3 months, I will be done with first year teaching. Huge sigh of relief to follow. It's going well, but I'm looking forward to some changes in teaching next year. I'll likely be moving down to the 5th-6th grades and teaching only math and language arts. We'll see...contracts come out next week.
Philip came to visit, and it was good to have him see my life out here and be with him for a week. Lots of card-playing and eating enchiladas and sightseeing and talking. A good week.
Mom and Dad come next week! Huzzah! They will hear my concert with the Whatcom Chorale, which is great, because they have only missed one concert in my entire life, I think, and that was in December.
Spring is coming to Lynden...I've been walking around town every Saturday morning, taking in the sunshine and green grass and blooming flowers. All the rain this winter might have been worth it. Maybe.
Ok...I hope this blog suffices for the next month. I have good intentions, but so did that road to hell.


is it june yet?

My new room at the apartment...yes, there is sunshine coming in my (gasp!) WINDOW!
Birch Bay...always beautiful
So, it's been awhile. And I have nothing brilliant to say except that I'm completely discouraged as a teacher. I just finished grading Bible tests. One of my questions was "How can the adults in your life better support your relationship with Christ?"
Most of my kids made suggestions like, "Don't lose your temper. Don't blame all of us for something only one person does. Stay calm. Be patient. Be a good role model. Trust us...we aren't all bad kids. We aren't all selfish." The more I read, the more discouraged I felt because I have failed in all of these areas. What business do I have teaching these kids? I'm tired and discouraged and sick to death of teaching because I say the same things and run into the same problems every hour of every day. I feel like a complete hypocrite because my goal should be to model Christ to my students, and I have utterly failed in that area. How can I encourage the kids to have faith and be Christlike when I can't even do it myself?