Monday, December 22, 2008

4th Grade Christmas Party!!!!

Me and my cute (most of the time crazy) 4th grade class!

Enjoying my hot chocolate :) (I am 31 weeks here)

Me with Maliana, Brendon, and Alex. They are showing off their cute christmas tree ornaments.

Chase and Isaac eating their sugar cookies that they decorated with an inch thick of sprinkles! Yuck!

Me with Shelby, Mariah, Amanda, Chase, and Devin

Caitlin and her Christmas tree ornament

Me with Kenzie, Kaelin, Cierra, and Ellie

Most of you know that I am a fourth grade teacher and most of you also know that I have sure had my ups and downs with this experience. Last week we had a class Christmas party and it was definitely an up! We had a blast and the kids were just so darn cute that day that I had to take a bunch of pictures. They had a bunch of different stations that they were working at during the party; sugar cookie making, a christmas game, hot chocolate and christmas stories, and ornament making.


Mom and I in the Stardust Theater before one of the shows.

Trying out the cool/funky/crazy chairs in the Spinnaker lounge during the opening social with Close To My Heart.

In October my mom and I were able to go on an amazing cruise in Europe. We visited Barcelona, Malta, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Nice, Monte Carlo and Monacco. It was the trip of a lifetime and I can't thank my mom enough for taking me on it! My mom is a director in the company Close To My Heart (its a scrapbooking company) and every year she earns a cruise. We take turns on who gets to go with her each year and this year was my year! It turned out to be perfect because with a baby on the way I probably won't be able to just pick up and leave like that again. We had a blast together and I had a lot of fun spending so much time with her. I have to admit though, I missed my hubby a lot and I am still trying to make it up to him. He wasn't very happy I went on the trip of a lifetime without him :) Here are a few pictures of mom and I on the ship and then there are quite a few posts on the stops that we made during our cruise. Enjoy! (If you are curious, I was 21 weeks on the cruise. I thought I was so big and showing a ton but looking back on these pictures, I barely look pregnant!)

Barcelona, Spain

Asleep in the lobby waiting for our rooms

The fountain and light show

Gaudi's House of Masks

Some columns in the Park Guell

La Sagrada Familia... It is SOOO large we couldn't get a shot of the whole thing

Gaudi's interpretation of the Nativity Scene

Mom and I decided to go a day earlier than the cruise began so that we could have a tour of Barcelona. The day we got to Barcelona was a very interesting one. We arrived in the early morning but the hotel wouldn't allow us to check into our rooms until 4pm. Mom and I were EXHAUSTED after our 12 hour flight to Barcelona and we couldn't keep our eyes open. A lot of the group that came a day early with us went out sightseeing but mom and I were WAY too tired. We crashed in the hotel lobby until our rooms were ready :) Once they were ready we went straight upstairs and fell asleep. When we woke up we weren't sure how long we had slept. We knew it was 6:00 but we didn't know if it was 6 that night or 6 the next morning because it was slightly dark outside. We finally figured out that it was only 6 that night so we decided to go out on the town. We really wanted to call home and let our husbands know that we had made it but finding a phone was an adventure in and of itself! We spent two hours trying to find an international phone card. First, we went into a little convenience store and asked a man if he sold phone cards, he didn't speak very good English but he seemed to understand what we wanted. He handed us a phone card and told us we could call home with it. Then, we told him that we wanted to buy food and all of a sudden he could speak perfect English! We thought this was slightly odd but realized later that we had been ripped off. After searching for an hour for a phone that would let us use the card he sold us we found out that the card he gave us wouldn't allow us to call to the U.S. What a slime ball! So we found someone who did speak English (which was nearly impossible) and he showed us the card we needed and what phone we needed to use for it. I finally got to talk to Rick! That was wonderful. Mom called Dad and got the update from home and then we headed over to the famous light and fountain show that Barcelona has. The next morning we went on a tour of the city and saw some incredible architecture done by Antoni Gaudi. We saw his House of Masks, his Park Guell and the famous Sagrada Familia. I cannot believe what an amazing architect he was, his taste is not exactly my style, but I can definitely appreciate his style. After our tour of Barcelona we boarded the ship and were off!


Malta was very beautiful, almost everything was white. This is mom standing outside of the city entrance.

A view of the Maltese coastline from my cabin balcony

St. John's cathedral... we weren't allowed to use our flash inside the cathedral so the pictures we got are really poor quality but I still wanted to show a few different views of the amazing cathedral

The whole floor was lined with these beautiful tombs. They painted very detailed pictures on each tomb.

The whole cathedral had very intricate gold carvings

This is a picture of me outside of the Cathedral in the courtyard.

Our very first port was in Malta, it is an island off of Greece. Mom and I didn't book an excursion this day, we decided to take it easy and just sight-see on our own. It was a very beautiful island. We visited St. John's cathedral and went into many shops on the main street on the island. We were very impressed with how well the natives there spoke English, one guy even helped me find a phone that I would be able to call my hubby on....that made me like the island even more :)

Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri

Mt. Vesuvius...this is a view from our Cabin balcony when we first pulled into the dock.

Mom in front of the "Town Square" in Pompeii

Me in front of the "Town Square" in Pompeii

More Ruins

A plaster cast of a victim of Mt. Vesuvius

This stop was a lot of fun. First, we went to see the city of Pompeii. Pompeii is a Roman city that was buried and completely destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. I was SOOO excited to see Pompeii because I had just finished teaching my students all about Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii the week before. I was fascinated by the city and the architecture. They were very ahead of their times. Many buildings were still standing and were very solid. After we spent a few hours in Pompeii we headed over to Sorrento and had a wonderful Italian lunch. We then got on a clipper (a fast boat) and went to the island of Capri.


The Colosseum!!

The inside of the Colosseum

The amazing Trevi Fountain

St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

A view of the Vatican, this is where the Pope comes out once a week and addresses his people.

Okay so this day was AMAZING! We docked in Rome at 7 am and didn't leave until 7 pm. It was a full day of walking around and me and my pregnant body was EXHAUSTED by the end of the day! We had a blast though and saw so many incredible things that you have only read and heard about. It was so exciting to actually see the history I had learned about my whole life! We started out at the Colosseum , then we headed over to the Trevi Fountain, saw many exciting things like the Spanish Steps and then headed to the Vatican. The Vatican was absolutely AMAZING, my very favorite part of the whole day was the Sistine Chapel. This was so beautiful and I just cannot believe that a mortal man made this awesome creation, Michelangelo was truly a gifted and talented man!

Florence and Pisa

Funny story... Mom and I were shopping in the marketplace in Florence and taking goofy pictures with all of the Italian leather and these two Italian guys saw us and said, "Take our pictures! We are famous Italians!" My mom laughed and said, "Okay." But when she pulled the camera up to her eye they said, "No! She needs to be in it too!" So I got my picture with the two famous Italian boys in the marketplace...I was hoping I would meet someone famous on my trip :)

Mom with an Italian leather purse

Me holding my shopping bags...look at all the Italian leather purses in the background! So fun!

The Duomo, a famous cathedral in Florence

The beautiful cathedral in Pisa, including the Leaning Tower

The Leaning Tower of Pisa!

Buying Pinocchio souvenirs for my fourth grade students. When I told the lady I wanted 25 keychains, she didn't believe me :)

Our next stop was in Florence and Pisa, Italy. This day was absolutely incredible! We started out visiting a beautiful cathedral in the center of Florence and then mom and I did a lot of shopping. We heard that Florence had the best shopping of all of the stops and boy did we hear right! This is where we got almost all of our souvenirs for home. After we shopped for a while the group headed to see The David statue done by Michelangelo. This was one of the most incredible things that I have EVER seen and also one of the most emotional things that I have ever been through. I know, I sound like a huge dork.. I mean, who gets emotional over a statue right? Well, me. I can't believe how beautiful The David was. It seems almost impossible that a human carved that out of stone! I absolutely LOVED this part of our trip. We weren't aloud to take pictures of The David so sadly there aren't any on here, it doesn't matter though, pictures just don't do it justice. After we saw David we went to Pisa and saw the leaning tower. It was so cool! You grow up your whole life hearing about the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and it was so surreal that I was actually standing in front of it!

Just an aside...the author of the original Pinnochio was born in Florence, Italy so there were Pinnochio figurines everywhere! I decided to bring a Pinnochio souvenir home to my students. I searched all day and finally found the cutest little key chain Pinnochios, the last picture is of me buying them!

Nice, Villefranche, and Monte Carlo

Our last day we visited Nice, Villefranche, and Monte Carlo. It was so much fun visiting the famous Casino Royale in Monte Carlo! The gardens surrounding the casino were beautiful and breathtaking. Mom and I spent a long time taking pictures in the gardens of the flowers, fountains, and ducks! The top picture is of mom standing in front of the famous casino, the middle one is of me in Nice and the bottom one is of me outside of the Casino Royale.

Baby Girl at 21 Weeks

Okay, now here are my 21 week ultrasound pictures. We discovered at this appointment that she is just like her daddy and is a tummy sleeper. She just nuzzles her nose straight down and sleeps on her tummy. The doctor even took a pic of her little foot, it is from the bottom like you are looking at the sole of her foot, her heel is in the air and her toes are pointing down. It actually made it really difficult for the doctor to tell if she was a boy or a girl. He said, "If I had to say right now I would say it was a girl but lets wait til next appointment to say for sure because she should be on her back then." Well, next appointment, sure enough she was on her tummy again :)