Monthly Archives: October 2010

Homecoming Week

Remember when you were in high school and homecoming was amazing?  You would dress up for each theme day and then go to the game in your spirit clothes on Friday night and then go to the Homecoming dance.  I know we all remember it but I literally relive it every year that I am a high school teacher.  This year it was especially cool for me as I now teach at a high school in a good district that has a football team.  This week we had various spirit activities and a pep assembly on Friday.  Complete with our football team doing their Tongan Cheer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBBWAZG6ZvE&NR=1.  It’s pretty amazing.  The sad thing was though that our school just got a new football field and the first game was suppose to be homecoming.  Due to the weather this week it wasn’t finished in time so next week will have to be the first game.  The kids were upset but they handled it well.  I have some pictures below of my class, the football field and the school itself.

My Class

My Class again

The Football Field almost completed

The front of my school – there are buildings on both sides you get to through walkways.  On the left are more classrooms and the right is the school health center and the daycare.

So this is where I work every day.  It kind of reminds me of Dave’s high school – Glenbard West.  I still love it every day.  Not saying there aren’t bad days or that I am not usually pretty overwhelmed but I go home happy and am so blessed to work here.

On other notes Dave and I had a great Saturday so far.  I ran my marathon training run – 18 this week and did it in 7:36 miles.  I am pretty happy so far how the training is going and it’s a lot of fun here because there are runners everywhere – even at 4:45 when I am running in the mornings (yes I get up that early…crazy I know but I love it.)  We then watched a little bit of the John Stewart Rally for Sanity – hilarious and then we got Dim Sum.  If you haven’t had it before it’s amazing.  Basically it’s like Chinese appetizers.  You sit at a table in a banquet room that’s really a restaurant and then people come around with food for you to choose.  So Good!  We had pork sticky buns, dumplings, shrimp in green peppers.  Awesome and they have an actual food menu that we will try next time and the dishes looked pretty similar to the ones we had in China.  I cannot wait to try it.  Contrary to what people think most Chinese food in America is not served in China.  They don’t have sweet and sour chicken or fortune cookies:)  Overall a great day so far –  hopefully we will get some trick or treaters tonight or tomorrow night.

Happy Saturday:)

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When I run by myself I have my most intimate thoughts. I look for meaning in some of my important memories, I work through present difficulties, and I try to chart the best course for my future. I also do a lot of dreaming when I run. I can’t tell you how many state championships I won in my mind back in high school, how many NCAA titles I won in my fantasies at the University of Colorado, and how many Olympic medals and major marathons I’ve won in my head in the past few years. Kara Goucher ~Since this is by far my favorite runner who also happens to live in Portland this pretty much made my Monday:) Happy Monday!

When I run by myself I have my most intimate thoughts. I look for meaning in some of my important memories, I work through present difficulties, and I try to chart the best course for my future. I also do a lot of dreaming when I run. I can’t tell you how many state championships I won in my mind back in high school, how many NCAA titles I won in my fantasies at the University of Colorado, and how many Olympic medals and major marathons I’ve won in my head in the past few years.

Kara Goucher

~Since this is by far my favorite runner who also happens to live in Portland this pretty much made my Monday:) Happy Monday!

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Soup – Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Another great recipe for Soup tonight:)  After a long week of school – we had three of our students get hit by a car at my school.  Thankfully they were okay although one of them has a broken jaw and hip and another has a broken leg and ruptured spleen.  It was pretty devastating for my students but the school handled it extremely well and had places for the students to go if they were upset and they let the students know what was going on throughout the whole day.  By Friday though I was spent.  This morning I did another training run for the marathon.  It was 16.1 miles – long but beautiful and the rain held off for the whole run:)  I am pretty sore though – maybe I am getting older?  I am definitely feeling this training but I am extremely happy with my times so far so we will see.  After this Dave and decided we should get some food so we went to New Seasons Market.  It’s a local market in Portland – similar to Fresh Market in the Midwest only it is only in Portland.  I really like it but it’s pretty expensive.  We decided to go check it out since a new one opened just down the street from us.  While there were no really good deals we did sample this awesome Hungarian Mushroom Soup.  It was so good we decided we should get the ingredients for dinner.  We ended up going to Fred Meyer across the street – cheaper but still a pretty amazing grocery store.  We got the ingredients and got a great gyro for lunch from the food cart area on Belmont.  Food carts are all over Portland and they are just what they sound like – food from a cart:)  They are absolutely amazing and I overheard an older couple today say that they get less health violations since there is less to clean.  Either way the one on Belmont Ave is pretty great and has a unique variety of food.  After resting up after the run and enjoying some good college football – go MSU and the Badgers – I tackeled the soup.  It was really easy and made for an awesome dinner.  Enjoy the recipe!

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

4Tbls butter

2 cups onions sliced

12 oz fresh mushrooms sliced

2tsp dill weed

1Tbls tamari – I used soy sauce

1 Tbls paprika – I used chili powder

1/2 c cooking Sherry

2 cups water or stock – I used chicken stock

1 cup milk – I used soy milk

3 Tbls corn starch

1/2 cup sour cream

In a large skillet over medium heat melt the butter and onions until translucent.  Then add mushrooms, dill weed, tamari, paprika and sherry.  Allow wine to absorb then add stock.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  In a small bowl combine milk and corn starch.  Whisk them together to form a slurry.  Stir slurry into mushroom mixture.  Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened.  Just before serving temper sour cream by mixing a bit of soup with the sour cream to think it, then adding it all back together with the soup. 

I also served it with a grilled cheese and added fresh Parmesan to the soup – So Good!!  There was leftovers too:)

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Teen Mom

So I am sure everyone has at least heard of the show Teen Mom on MTV.  I have not seen it because we don’t have cable but I have read about the moms in different magazines.  My personal impression is that being a teen mom is being glorified on this show and after personally observing teen moms that are my students it makes me pretty upset.  Today as I was reading through google news I saw the following headline – “Teen Mom’s TV rage spurs investigation.  It was a video on the Today show that showed one of the teen moms beating her fiance in front of her two year old daughter while the tv crew filmed.  So many things are running through my head right now – first why didn’t the film crew intervene? This is what kills me about reality tv – the attitude of letting it happen for ratings.  Second I hope she gets some help.  This happened in Anderson, Indiana where it’s a felony to abuse someone in front of a child less than 14.  I honestly feel pretty about for this girl.  While she does deserve consequences the stress she is under at being teen mom is undescribable.  I really hope that this girl gets help and that her daughter is put in good care.

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Another Great Fall Weekend

This weekend was a beautiful fall weekend in Portland.  I know people say it’s rainy and cloudy in Portland but I am not sure I agree….it’s been pretty sunny so far.  Anyways Dave and I were both pretty tired after a busy week although I had a pretty awesome Friday.  I gave my students an intro to Software Applications (I know I sound like a nerd but I actually really like teaching computers because then I get to learn more about them:) and the Word aspect of it had them write 10 sentences about themselves.  It was so eye opening.  I have a very diverse group of students who come from all over the world.  I have students from Figi, Somalia, Tonga, and Mexico to name a few.  The students shared with me some really personal pieces of information, but what I really liked was getting to related to the students on that personal level so quickly.  It was pretty amazing and made me realize how blessed I am to be working with these students.  At the end of the day another teacher recommended this place called Gravy that Dave and I should check out.  Since it was in the Alberta Arts District, a place in Northeast Portland that we wanted to go to we decided to go there.  After I finished my 13.2 mile marathon training run we biked up there.  The bike ride was through these beautiful neighborhoods and aside from the terrible hill I had to bike up….Dave of course made it up effortlessly it was a pretty great ride.  The restaurant was amazing – check out the yelp review right here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/gravy-portland . I had eggs and this amazing biscuit and Dave had eggs and chicken and gravy.  Sounds random but oh so good.  We then walked around and went to the Rebuilding Center http://rebuildingcenter.org/ .  This place is an amazing organization that has helped people all over the world like New Orleans, not just Portland.  Read up on it – the place is huge.  We then biked through the rest of the Arts District and ended the afternoon with a nice beer at Belmont Station http://www.belmont-station.com/ which has over 1200 beers.  Overall another great weekend that ended with a nice chat with an old friend:)  I have to say while it’s hard sometimes to be so far from family I can’t imagine a better place to live….:)  And on that note it’s off to some reading for me and Happy Birthday to our sister Christie:)  Wish we could be with you:(  Happy Monday!

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Homemade Soup

I really enjoy Sunday afternoons – a time of rest and relaxation with a lot of school work thrown in for Dave and I.  I hate that my day of rest has this with it but oh well….I secretly love grading the work for my students especially since they actually do it.  I always grew up with the big Sunday lunch after church – since it’s just Dave and I we tend to make a nice Sunday dinner:)  Same idea only a little easier for us.  I get a monthly email from GOOP it’s from Gwyneth Paltrow and she gives a bunch of random stuff you should try.  This past one was all about food blogs.  I love cooking especially since if you knew me when I got married you know I could make two things – stir fry and salads.  I lived on those two meals my entire senior year of college and after I graduated and was living and working on my own.  I knew Dave and I would be in trouble when I made a frozen pizza and kept the cardboard with the pizza in the oven.  Over the years I have improved my cooking and have actually found it to be a huge stress reliever from a long day of work.  Back to GOOP.  One of the food blogs was http://smittenkitchen.com/recipes/ .   I had been to this website before but I decided to actually make some of the recipes.  I made http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/11/come-on-thunder/ and it was probably the best homemade tomato soup I have ever had.  Perfect after a rainy weekend.  Plus there are leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  It was a great way to unwind.  Now on to a busy week – I work late on Mondays for meetings, I have a small group for women I go to Tuesday nights and Dave has grad school on Wednesday and Thursday nights….busy weeks for us but we play hard on the weekends:)  Oh and little tidbit of good news I signed up for the Seattle Marathon which is November 28th.  This is my 3rd marathon and I am pumped.  I have been running a lot of miles since this summer so hopefully it will pay off:)  Happy 10.10.10!!

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Day Off

So today was a mandatory state day off for Portland Public Schools.  Love it!  What was even better was that Dave had the day off today too:)  US Bank has Monday off due to Columbus Day but someone has to watch the database Dave works on since the Market isn’t closed.  Dave decided to watch the system and got to take today off instead.  We had an awesome day.  We slept in, enjoyed some coffee and then biked downtown to Pioneer Square.  We live in Portland but we actually crossed the river today.  We had lunch at a sushi buffet.  It was pretty awful but I am glad we tried it so we won’t ever go there again.  Then we walked around downtown.  We actually sat around Pioneer Square downtown for a bit and watch the coffee tasting that was going on.  It was sponsored by the YWCA and was raising money for battered women.  Then we biked up to the Northwest District and walked around there for awhile and looked at the awesome houses.  We ended up at Rouge Brewery and had some awesome beers.  If you haven’t had a beer from Rouge you need to – they sell them a lot of places but they are made in Oregon.  There is a brewery/Distillary here in Portland and one in Newport.  We then ended by going to Sir La Table which is an awesome kitchen accessory store and got our niece Isla her first ever chopsticks:)  All in all it was a great day just looking around the city and enjoying it.  I love too how we can bike everywhere.  It was a fun day just enjoying each other and our awesome city!!!  Keep Portland Weird is what I have to say.

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Snake’s Visit

So this past weekend we had our friend Jon Brinks come and visit us.  Dave and him met at Taylor and are still really great friends.  Dave actually has about 5 guy friends that he is still pretty close with from Taylor – we all get together for New Years every year and a lot of other times too:)  Some of them have had girl friends, but Andrew has been married to Andrew since when Dave and I got married – and I appreciate her more than she will ever know:)  We were great friends in college and still are.  Anyways we had a great time with Jon (Snake) and got to show him around Portland.  Dave took was able to take him to Multnomah Falls on Friday and then I met them after work on Friday.  Saturday we took Jon to Bunk for breakfast – amazing breakfast sandwiches and then we drove to the Oregon Coast.  It was an awesome day.  Cloudy but beautiful:)  Here are a couple of photos.


On Sunday Dave did his first ever Cycle Cross Race.  Cyclo cross is basically a road bike with mountain bike tires.  It was awesome to watch.  He had to pick his bike up and jump over barriers and he also had to run down this huge hill and then go back up it while carrying his bike.  Plus it was all on grass and a ton of mud.  Insane:)  After that we took Jon to Williamette Valley to the vineyards.  It was awesome. We went to 3 different vineyards – Annie Amie was Dave’s and I personal favorite.  We actually bought it for New Year’s 2 years ago and left the vineyard with 4 more bottles.  We tasted amazing Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grio, Shiraz, and some dessert wine.  Plus the vineyards were beautiful.  Here are a couple of pictures:






Overall the weekend was great.  Jon left Tuesday and by the tweets has left since I am pretty sure he had an amazing time.  I can’t wait for more people to come because Portland is such a great city.  Dave and I are still loving living here.  We had a pretty relaxing weekend this weekend as Dave had a ton of grad school work to do and I had a ton of school work.  We still went to lunch on Saturday at Detour Cafe – awesome food.  I had a great Cubano with an amazing mixed greens salad and Dave had a double stack something that Detour Cafe is known for.  Then we went to a consignment shop across the street that had tons of used furniture, clothing, knick knacks you name it they had it.  We got a bench that can store shoes:)  Dave and I have way too many shoes for the closet so this will nice now that I can finally see our shoes.  Hope everyone is great and that maybe since I am posting this to facebook people might read it:)

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