Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vampire Ladybug

Yesterday, Cedar Falls had trick or treat on Main so Wendy took Ava to see the Jiva girls.  They didn't do the full trick or treating this year....Ava's fangs wouldn't be able to chew up all of that candy! :)

Tyson and I wanted to see Ava in her costume, so Wendy brought her to Snap for a Halloween cookie!  It turns out that I bought the world's crumbliest cookie, Ava loves to play with the ab ball, and she likes to bounce on the Bosu ball.  Maybe Tyson can start offering childcare after all?  :)
Yummy cookie!

This cookie is hard to eat in this costume!

Ava is in a food coma after that cookie!

Yay for Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

This is the 3rd Halloween (Nevada Day) that Tyson and I have been together, and every year we've both picked out a pumpkin and spent a night carving.  Here are the results of this year and the previous 2 years.


2009 - Tyson carved the left side, I carved the right

2009 - My pumpkin

2009 - Tyson's pumpkin

2010 - Tyson's pumpkin

2010 - My pumpkin

Now we're ready for trick-or-treaters!
Now, if you don't know why I said "Halloween (Nevada Day)" above...this is because Tyson calls October 31 'Nevada Day'.  This was the day that Nevada became a state and part of the Union.  So, if you live in Nevada on October 31st, this is a state wide holiday.  We're talking no school, bed frame races in Carson City, parade, and lots of celebrating!  So around our home, October 31st means a little more than just costumes, pumpkins, and candy.  :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait...

I'll start this story back in January when I started subbing in Waterloo.  I had never been in any school in Waterloo, but once I stepped foot into Edison (the first school where I subbed), I felt right at home.  Everyone was very helpful, and even better, Elizabeth was long-term subbing there too!  After months of subbing, new job openings were posted for the 2010-2011 school year.  I jazzed up my resume, wrote cover letter after cover letter, and applied for almost every job possible.  I even applied for jobs as far away as an hour drive. 

I scored my first interview in Iowa Falls.  Yes, it would have been quite the drive, but I wanted a place to get my feet wet and thought this would be perfect.  Strike 1: didn't get the job.  I figured it was for the best, with it being an hour away from Cedar Falls.

Next came an interview at Poyner in Evansdale, a last minute interview at Cunningham, and then another last minute interview at Orange.  (When I say last minute, I mean I got called to interview the same day that I went to the interview.)  Well, none of those worked out.  I was starting to doubt myself and this career.  I started my long-term subbing job at Cunningham for my friend Robin and it couldn't have been a better experience.  It was exactly what I needed to remind myself that this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

Then, after my 6 weeks were up, I got a phone call from the principal at Edison!  She was asking me to come in and interview for a recent 3rd grade position.  I got called Thursday, the interview was Tuesday, and then I had to wait until at least Monday (yesterday) to find out if I got it.  So...I waited and waited and waited.  Monday morning came and went and I was feeling hopeless.  Then my friend Elizabeth sent me a text message telling me that the principal had sent in a recommendation for hire!!!  I finally just got called from Human Resources about 30 minutes ago to offer me the job!!

So...I am now the newest 3rd grade teacher at Edison Elementary in Waterloo!!  I will do some observing next week, then sit through two days of conferences, and officially start on Monday, November 8th.  Elizabeth and I decided that it was just fate and I was meant to end up at Edison! :) :)  I am soooo pumped!!!

Book Worms

It's no secret that Tyson is a book worm. :)  However, as of late, he's been reading about two books a week!  When Tyson and I started dating, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with reading.  I didn't know what I liked to read and wasn't interested in figuring it out.  But, the more time I spent with Tyson, the more I wanted to find a good book. So...Tyson introduced me to Jodi Picoult (after turning down Harry Potter several times). 

I LOVE Jodi Picoult's books! I have 6 books of hers left to read (and one I have no interest in reading).
The only thing I hate is that I find it more and more difficult to get her books from the library.  I must not be the only one who loves these books :).  So....I jumped on the Twilight saga bandwagon and couldn't put those books down!  Well, the first two books I read in a matter of days.  Then I got to Eclipse and was less than interested so I took a few weeks off before trying again and then finishing the final one as well.

I then went for a while where I would start a book and couldn't get into it or would get a few chapters in before I was receiving overdue notices in my inbox, so I would return an unread book.  Then school started and I just didn't feel like I had time to read, and at night, my eyes would be shut as soon as my head hit the pillow. 

Well, I saw (on Facebook I think) that someone was reading a book called The Hunger Games.  I thought I would see what it was all about.  I checked it out, read about a chapter a night for a few days, and then suddenly I could not put it down!  I finished it in about a week.  On Sunday, I drug Tyson to the Waterloo library to get a card and the second book, Catching Fire.  (It was checked out at the CF library and I just could NOT wait to get it!!)  So, 36 hours later, I'm finished with book number 2.  Now, one book remains, Mockingjay, and I NEED to go and get it.  I'll be making an appearance at the library probably in a few minutes. 

So...if you're looking for a good book, I'd suggest any of the above, but right now, The Hunger Games trilogy is a must-read in my eyes! :)  Happy reading!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Heeeeeere Come the Panthers!!

Yesterday was UNI homecoming and the whole family went this year!  Last year, it was just Tyson & I and my parents (along with lots of other fun people!); Darren and Wendy were at home with a brand new baby and Josh didn't make it either.  This made for Ava's first tailgating experience and it seemed like she had a great time!

He HAD to have this shirt.


Merry Christmas from the Pecha, Burton, and Malcolm families! :)

Sibling picture...Josh and Wendy kept complaining about the sun!


Sleepy baby :)

Naked baby!!

Diva baby!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

24 Years Young :)

Don't worry, I didn't forget it was my birthday or forget to blog about it.  I just wanted to wait until all of the celebrating was done!  My birthday was last Wednesday (10/13).  I had to teach in the morning and then was going to have the rest of the afternoon off.  Unfortunately, no one else had the rest of the day off.  :)  My first surprise was in the morning on my way to school.  I got in my car and drove off listening to a familiar song.  Then another song came on and that's when I realized that I was not listening to the was a CD. I ejected it and written on the CD was "Birthday Love".  Tyson had burned me a CD of songs and snuck it into the CD player in my car and had it ready to play when I started my car. :) 

My next surprise came during school.  Someone walked down to the room carrying a a large candy bouquet!  It was so cute!  I immediately knew it was from Tyson!  (But I checked the card to make sure) It was a bouquet from Candy Blossoms in Cedar Falls.  If you haven't seen their work, check out their website:

After school, I came home and took a much needed nap.  Tyson came home for a couple of hours and started getting supper ready and put it in the Crock Pot.  He had to work late this night, so we stayed in for dinner.  I spent the rest of the day cleaning (great way to spend your birthday right??  Hahaha!)

On Thursday, I worked in the morning at Cunningham and then went straight to Hansen Elementary to sub in the afternoon.  I met Elizabeth at George Wyth after school to run.  We then went our separate ways to shower/get ready, and then met back at Carlos O'Kelly's for chips/salsa and 1/2 price margaritas!  After Carlos, we came back to our house and watched Grey's Anatomy.  Elizabeth got me a Scentsy warmer with two different scents!  One is going right now and I love it!

On Saturday night,  Tyson told me that we needed to be somewhere at 8:15pm.  He wouldn't tell me where we were going.  He only told me what he was going to wear.  So I got ready (hoping I was dressed appropriately) and then he told me that I needed to grab a swimming suit. I was REALLY curious.  We ended up going to Ferrari's for dinner and then to some friends' house for drinks and a hot tub after dinner.  He said he wanted to go out for dinner for my birthday, but wanted to make sure we had time actually enjoy it. :)  It was the perfect end to a great Saturday!

Today, we met my parents and the Malcolm's at Pepper's for lunch and I was showered with gifts (thanks family!!).  After lunch, the Malcolm's had plans to go to Heartland Farms and invited the whole family.  Unfortunately, Tyson didn't get to go because he had to run 15 miles today! So, the rest of us took off for the pumpkin farm.  We had a great time!  Ava posed with the pumpkins, we watched the Punkinator, walked through the Haunted Corn Maze, a haunted house, checked out the animals, and went on a hay ride.  On the way home, we stopped for ice cream.  Another great day!
Not so sure about the pumpkins at first

Mommy showing Ava they aren't so bad

Now she likes them!

The Punkinator (yes, this is the correct spelling) :)

Shooting pumpkins at this van!

Haunted Corn Maze


On the hay ride

Last stop of the day: delicious!

So....4 fabulous days of celebrating my birthday!  

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Last weekend, we celebrated Ava's 1st birthday.  This weekend we celebrated Miss Hallie Brown's 1st birthday!  Hallie is the daughter of our friends, Knut and Molly.  It just so happened that I was watching Ava today too, so she got to come to the birthday party with us! 

Ava and I spent the morning at her house, then Ava ate her snack in her highchair that I pulled into the hallway (shhh! Don't tell Wendy and Darren) so that I could straighten my hair in the bathroom.  Then we got Ava dressed in her party outfit and went to my house so I could get mine on too.  I decided to leave an hour before the party so that Ava would take a nap in the car.  She fell asleep RIGHT away, so instead of waking her up when I got to Denver, I took a self-tour of the town. :)

The party started at 12:00pm and Ava woke up just in time (she obviously knew it was time to party!).  Hallie had her party at the park across the street from their house and the weather was perfect! They had food catered in from HyVee and a pink polkadot cake! We ate lunch at a picnic table and while Ava was eating, she decided that she loves Uncle Tyson again! (YAAAAAYYYY!!!)  After lunch and cake, it was present time.  Hallie scored some good loot!!

Happy 1st birthday, Hallie!!  (Her birthday isn't until Tuesday, so she's not 1 quite yet)

Resting up for the party!

Here comes the birthday girl!

Brown family
Ava giving Tyson some (long-awaited) lovin!

Auntie Rachel and Ava
Showing off for the crowd!

Hallie's personal cake
Dig in Hallie! 

Ava thought eating cake was HILARIOUS!

Birthday presents! She was more interested in the cards than the gifts :)

Playing with a new present

Hallie looks like she's going in for the attack!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Give Thanks

No, it's not Thanksgiving yet, but I forgot to add this to my previous blog.  When Robin visited us at Cunningham on Friday she said she had something for me.  I didn't think much about it and took the kids to the bathroom for their break.  When we came back in the room, there was a large white box sitting on her desk.  Here is what I found:


Now I have a teacher/tote bag and I'll look good carrying it too!

Isn't it great?!

Also, speaking of thank yous.  Can you guess what these are and that we've been putting off?  Seriously, we need to get going on these.  Friends and family: they are coming!
Yep, you guessed it.  Wedding thank yous still in the wrapping.