Wednesday, December 3, 2014

An Update...

It has been a while (ok...almost 3 months) since my last post but something has happened and I feel like I need to post so that you all know that my family and I are all ok.

It is now international news that an American teacher was stabbed to death in a high-end mall in Abu Dhabi. I have a friend, who is also a fellow blogger and teacher, in Abu Dhabi and her post this morning is well written and really says it all.

PLEASE click here and go read her post: Sometimes things just happen... by Audra Raye Abroad.

and an update on the incident: The suspect has been arrested. Read the full story here.

The company that recruited both the American teacher who was killed and my husband has started a campaign to raise fund to help her family get her body back to the States and to start a trust for the education of her children. Please donate if you can. Also, please share the campaign as every donation and share will help.   
Click here to donate, share, and learn more.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Where were you? I still remember... {repost}


It is hard to believe it has been 13 years since that horrific day...I can still remember it like it was yesterday! I still get a knot in my stomach, an ache in my heart and tears in my eyes. My voice still cracks when I try to talk about what happened or where I was. When I think back to that day, I realize that God had me in that place for a reason. Let me explain...

I was born in Minnesota, I grew up there and in Washington State. After college I moved to Arizona, got married and had a baby and quit teaching to stay home with her. Then in January of 2001 my husband got laid off of work and I had to go back to work. I had recently earned a Master's Degree in Educational Counseling and wanted to pursue that avenue rather than go back to teaching. This meant we had to move. I was offered a position as a Guidance Counselor for 5-8th grade in a small town in New Jersey.

In late August, my 18 month-old daughter and I moved to NJ with the help of my sister (my husband stayed in AZ to try and sell our house).

September 10, 2001 ~ Unicorn and I took my sister to the airport in NYC. We looked up at the World Trade Center and other landmarks and talked about taking a trip to NYC soon to view the sights. That afternoon my sister flew back to Seattle.

September 11, 2001 ~ I dropped Unicorn off for her FIRST DAY of daycare and went to work. At 8:30 am I went to met with the principal in his office. The next thing I know a parent comes in screaming that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers.  (A little background here: The city I worked in was a commuter city for NYC. Of the 500 students in the school at least half of them had a family member that worked at the WTC. Also, the city is only about 45 min. from NYC).

As the events of the day unfolded it became clear that it was not an accident and that the US was under attack. I wanted nothing more than to grab my stuff and get my daughter and go home and cuddle with her. As a school counselor, that was not an option. The school went into lock-down mode. I was allowed 5 minutes to call my family and let them know that I was ok. The ONLY member if my family I could reach was my dad in Idaho. He was then tasked with getting in touch with my husband (in AZ), my mom (in Canada at the time) and my siblings (both in Seattle, WA). He was also able to confirm that my sister had arrived in Seattle safely the night before.

From about 9:30 am until 5:45 pm, I made phone calls and went to each classroom to explain what had happened. We had to call the families of every student who had family members that worked in NYC (approx. 250) and then to talk to each student and let them know that their moms, dads, aunts, uncles, etc. were ALL ok! It was a miracle. Not one of our students had a family member die that day. Unfortunately, we were not so lucky with the staff. One staff member lost a family member in the WTC that day.

At 6 pm I was finally able to go pick up my daughter from daycare and take her home and cuddle with her.

I know that I was there that day to help the staff and students through that day. My ability to stay calm during a crisis and to think clearly was definitely useful that day. I grew and changed that day. I would not be who I am if I had not been so close to that tragedy. I also wouldn't have been as needed had I live elsewhere. September 10, 2001 was the first and last time I ever saw the WTC towers. My little family moved back to AZ after that school year. It is the only time in my life that I have ever lived out east.

I will NEVER forget where I was that day? Will you?
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Back to School

Well, vacation is over and it is time to get back to real life. For us that means homeschooling! This year Unicorn is a sophomore in high school, Ladybug is in 3rd grade, and Monkey is in 1st grade!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Our European Vacation {Day 13 - Frankfurt Temple}

On our last day in Germany we had breakfast with E and M and then drove to Frankfurt. We wandered around the grounds of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple. Just as we left the Temple it started to pour down rain.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Our European Vacation {Day 12 - Rothenberg}

We drove to Rothenberg today. What a neat little town. The main reason we went was to see the famous Christmas shop that is there. Unfortunately we couldn't take photos inside the shop.
There was so much to look at that I couldn't get them to stand still for the photo.
The kids enjoyed playing on the playground after wandering around the town.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Our European Vacation {Day 11 - Trier/Luxembourg}

On our way back to Nurnberg we drove to Trier and took a bus tour of the city and had lunch at an Italian Pizza place. Since Trier is right on the border of Luxembourg we decided to take a little drive into Luxembourg. We decided that Luxembourg is German for U-Turn. ;) Once back in Nurnberg we went to E and M's place to relax and have dinner.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Our European Vacation {Day 10 - Koln}

Today we stayed a little closer to the timeshare and went to Koln (Cologne) to see the Cathedral. Hubby and Ladybug walked all the way to the top of the bell tower. Unicorn made it 3/4 of the way there. The Cathedral was beautiful. On the way back to the resort we stopped at a hotel that had a summer toboggan run (alpine slide). The kids had a blast on the toboggans!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Our European Vacation {Day 9 - Kinderdijk}

A friend recommended that we visit Kinderdijk in the Netherlands, so we did! The windmills were amazing! We took a little canal boat cruise so we could see all the beautiful windmills.
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