The Weekend in Review

Last weekend was VERY busy.  It all began on Thursday night with Ian's birthday celebration.  We went to Kobe and then out on Dickson to celebrate with him!  Lots of fun was had, and of course we didn't even make it in until around 3 a.m .  Needless to say, Ash and I were incredibly tired for our classes that next morning!  

The birthday boy, and Ashley.

The girls came and met up with us after dinner.  
Left to Right:  Ashley, Me, Katie, Tressa, Amy & Kim

My handsome date, Andrew.

Of course Ian had to spoil the picture.

I can't believe in a little over a month, these two will be Mr. & Mrs.  I love ya'll so much and CANNOT WAIT!

Then, on Saturday night Andrew and I went to an engagement party for his friends Pat & Katie at Powerhouse.  It was so much fun, and I really enjoyed meeting all his friends although I will admit I was incredibly nervous beforehand :)  Afterwards, we went to Sideways where we met up with a few of my friends and then ended the night way too late at West Inn.

Overall, the weekend was great but I was a little tired come Sunday morning!  Oh well... I can sleep when I'm dead ;)

Cherry Grove Beach Pt. 2

Taylor, so excited to be on vacation!

It's weird to think about the fact that I've known this boy since he was about 6 years old and a complete handful.  12 years later, we're still friends.

My "little" nephew isn't so little anymore.  He makes me feel so old!

This was right before Kyle wiped out on the skimboard.

My gorgeous, and very pregnant sister.

This was after waiting 2 hrs for our table.  Not fun at all.

Right before I had to fly back home :(


Cherry Grove Part One

Last week my family went to South Carolina to meet up with my absolute favorite family in the whole wide world-The Torino's for family vacay.  We have known the Torino's for a long time and I've practically grown up with their boys, Tammy is like a second mother to me.  So needless to say, I was beyond excited when I realized that I could fly down there to meet up with everyone for a couple of days.  Here are some pictures in review that I stole from my sister's camera, since I haven't uploaded the ones from mine yet... don't worry, those are soon to come.

Our house for the week, on Cherry Grove Beach.

Shortly after arriving, My nephew, Hunter, my sister, and I

The boys, being...well boys.

Words cannot describe how much I adore these guys and how much I love them.  Seriously, they have grown up into the most incredible men and they adore me, I'm one very lucky girl!  Not to mention, Taylor will be my future husband ;)

I was tired, and very ready for dinner.

Me and Mom after a long day of flying/driving.

Our cabana boy for the week, Kyle (also known as Shannon's boyfriend)

My beautiful and very pregnant sister.

Oh, how I love her!

In case you can't tell...we're sisters.

Family game night :)

Sooo excited about the shark the boys found!

To be continued...


This is what we do in grad school.... we find hillarious videos and share them with the class. Enjoy :)


Schools Kill Creativity

This is an amazing speech on creativity in schools and why we must educate students differently if we want to see a prosperous future. Watch it if you have time!

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity | Video on TED.com

Busy Little Bee

Right now I am a tad bit overwhelmed, so forgive me for the lack of blogging/creativity.

To explain, here's what I've got going on right now:
MAT Classes
UPII Lab (I'm retaking the lab so I will be better prepared to teach Physics in the Fall, my CP2 lab didn't do much for me)
Research on Fish Resistance in the Gulf following the Oil Spill.
Studying for the Earth Science Part of my Praxis 2.
Finishing my online World Literature Course
Finishing my online Psychology Course

Whew!  You might not here from me for a while, but when I'm back I'll be in FULL swing :)


Fourth of July Weekend Recap

Since I am SO slow at getting pictures uploaded on my computer, here is a recap of last weekend:

I drove down to Little Rock after I finished my final for Botany in Ft. Smith.  Tressa, Paula, and I met up for lunch @ Browning's in The Heights.  For anyone who isn't familiar with Little Rock, The Heights is an historic section of downtown Little Rock.  It is filled with gorgeous old houses and most still even have slave quarters in the back.  Amidst all the old homes there is a shopping district that houses unique stores and restaurants.  Next time you're in town, you should make a visit!  It was great getting to catch up with Paula since I haven't seen her in years.  Paula was Miss Arkansas and my pageant coach for many many years while I was competing in the Teen Arkansas system.  Not only was she a great mentor to me, I consider her a friend.  I also babysat her daughter, Aubrey, beginning when she was 3.  Aubrey is 10 now.  Makes me feel old!  After going through a horrible ordeal, Paula married the most wonderful man last year.  Her happiness is contagious and she is such a great example to me.

On Friday my family went out for a celebratory dinner to Texas Roadhouse.  It's one of my favorite restaurants, they have the most incredible rolls!  We were celebrating the fact that I am finally starting my masters program! Woo hoo!  

My sweet, sweet Grandparents.

The fam! Minus my older sister, Natalie.

On Friday night, my baby cousin Stayton came over to spend the night!  I figured it was the perfect opportunity to have a play date with my best friend Summer and her little girl, Greenlee.  It was so funny!
Are we really in this phase of life already??
Of course, it wouldn't be complete without a picture of me and my favorite little girl... Can't believe how big she's getting!  She said her first word on the 4th of July and of course it was Mama (she's definitely a Mamma's girl and a spitting image of Summer at that!)

These little ones made me realize that I will be waiting a LONG time before having any of my own!  It's impossible to carry on a conversation with 2 babies in the room! Haha

The rest of the weekend was pretty low key.  Mom and I did a lot of shopping in preparation for our beach trip to South Carolina.  We took a drive down to Chenal in order to visit the new "Charming Charlie".  IF you haven't been to this store, it's a MUST!  Especially if you like accessories like me!  We also went and saw Eclipse.  I must say it was a lot better than the last two movies.  My mom seems to be Team Jacob and it's so funny to hear her explain why she thinks Bella should choose Jacob over Edward.  My mom never ceases to crack me up!


Not Jenny from the block.

One of my teachers insists on calling me Jenny.  Nevermind how much I tell him that I do not like the nickname "Jenny" and that he may call me any other nickname he thinks of, he still calls me Jenny.  Oh well, he's funny so I guess I'll let it slide.

Great News... I got an A on my first official graduate paper!  Now, I have been called a great writer and a terrible writer.  Never anything in between.  Either you love my writing style, or you hate it.  I'm also a very passionate person about causes that I believe in, in particular teaching and reaching out to "high-risk" students.  My paper was about creating a classroom environment that promotes equality and is conducive to learning.  At the end of my paper my teacher wrote this:

Tell me the truth.  Do you really believe what you are writing?

Well... yes.  I do.  I truly want to make a difference in the lives of teenagers, I know it sounds cliche but that's just me.

Oh and let me just say that I don't appreciate having students in my class who have degrees in Creative Writing.  It really creates an unfair advantage!


"Bringing order to chaos...That's your new job description"

It's only my second day, and already I absolutely LOVE grad school!  I mean, seriously.  Now I enjoyed undergrad, don't get me wrong, but I also found a lot of un-necessaries that were always required of us.  I enjoy learning and studying, but I absolutely hate tests.  Guess what?  In graduate school, you don't have tests.  How great is that??  My dad had told me that I would enjoy grad school so much more, and of course I took what he said to heart, but honestly I just thought it would be a continuation of undergrad.  Nope.  It's great.  I would encourage everyone to find a graduate program because I just love it that much!

Of course, it is incredibly time consuming, and I do not have much free time.  But I'm enjoying what I'm doing.  Class is so fun, and I feel like we are learning things that are crucial for our success as teachers.  Today in class my professor, who is one of the program heads, told us just how much he enjoyed having us in class and how glad he was that we made the decision to take a year out of our lives for this program.  He said that he knew we could have all gone straight into teaching, but we choose to do the MAT.  I do not regret that choice.  I am SO GLAD actually that I choose not to apply for that job and continue my education.  I feel like I am going to be so much more prepared entering my first year as a teacher than I would have going into it straight out of college.

One of the greatest things about the program is everything we do, we can use in our classrooms!  Our professors truly are the greatest and they make us master copies of everything they use so we can use it too! How awesome is that?  I am so incredibly thankful that I am in this program, it is such a blessing!

Today we had a "rules" brainstorming session in one of my classes.  Freeman asked us to take out a piece of paper and write down our classroom rules.  It was neat to see how different each teacher's rules were, and I could definitely point out the teachers that the students would not like.  ha.  He also made suggestions for us based on his own teaching experience.  Let me tell you, this guy is great.  I absolutely LOVE his class!  He gives us so much valuable knowledge for how the "real" world of teaching is.  I feel like I will be forever changed as a teacher by having him in class.

So, long story short. I am loving the MAT program.  So much in fact that I am possibly thinking about even getting my doctorate so I can be a professor in the program!  It's still a long ways away... but we'll see!


First Day

Top quotes from my first day of grad school:

"please raise your hand if you plan on teaching math or science. Congratulations, you're very hireable. As for the rest of you... You're screwed"

Mr. Freeman: is this yalls first graduate class?
Class: no, you're our second for the day.
Freeman: dang it, I wanted to take yalls graduate school virginity, now you're just whores.

"Some of you will feel like you're being thrown in the trenches, well you are."

"teaching either keeps you really young or makes you really old"


"it's better to be stuck in the middle of a boy fight than a girl fight. Boys will stop when you yell at them. Girls don't. They don't hear. They don't see. They are just thinking of one thing.... Death"


How do you define success?

Ok so I found these random questions online, and I really liked them.  So I decided that occasionally I will post one on my blog and answer it for myself.  But I also want YOU to post in the comments section your answer to the question, because after all, everyone is unique and thinks differently!

So here's the first one:

To me, success is having the ability to lay down at the end of every day knowing that you have loved truly, laughed your hardest, and done your best for that day.  It's knowing that tomorrow is a new day to start again.  Success is knowing when you are wrong and apologizing or trying to fix whatever you have messed up.  Success is understanding that God is in control and we are NOT.  Therefore, success is not attempting to change the past but learning to accept the present.  Success is finding out what your passion is in life and pursuing it with everything you have.  It is loving deeply and fully, even if that just means loving your dog.  Success is celebrating in other's joy and weeping during their sorrows. Success is not material possession or fame or notoriety.  It is being the celebrity of a kindergarten class, or the pride and joy of your parents lives.  Success is in the small things, in the details of life that many people overlook.  This is to truly succeed.