Meg's (Ad)Ventures

Friday, December 09, 2005

And As The Good Professor Once Said...

Good news everyone!

MRI results are in:
Nothing is torn in my knee. Yay! There is a large amount of inflammation, but the ski season is officially BACK ON! Woo hoo! A few meds and a bit more rehab and I am back in the game!


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

9 Degrees and Falling

Geez...two weeks since the last post! Where has the time gone? Isn't funny how quickly time can pass when we get caught up in our lives?

Anyway, Thanksgiving was really nice. We made the trek across the barren plains of Nebraska to visit Chris's side of the family in Minnesota. (Note to self: bring nose plug on next drive through NE due to extensive poo smell.) Our trip was really relaxing and filled with lots of quality family time. :)

On the job front, both Chris and I hit the ground running as soon as we got back. Between deadlines on the job site and simple machine projects to grade, before we knew it the weekend was already here!

Friday night, we drove down to Cherry Creek to look for a Christmas tree. Look = walk around makeshift tree lot and sift through trees that have been shipped into the city. We weren't finding much, but then we decided to look in the back corner. There, all by itself, was the perfect little tree for us...fully equiped with a few brown needles! Brown needles, you ask? Well, why would we buy a tree that was apparently already on it's last leg? Well, because it had like 3 inches of brown needles on about 3 branches, we got $13 off the price!! Woo hoo! Always the deal-seekers, us Daniel's. After getting it home and making a few clips here and there, we ended up with a beautiful tree! Jack and Layla are certainly pleased with all the "toys" that are hanging off of it!

Our weeks have gotten off to yet again a wild and crazy start. I have begun teaching human anatomy at school. Mispronunciations and snickers have already begun. It's amazing how hard the word "organism" is to say for 8th graders. What have I gotten myself into? I have also decided to reach back to my days of school theater and am helping with Sky Vista's first ever play. While directing isn't quite my thing, props are. I am heading up the stage crew for the play which opens next week. The play is hilarious and the kids have been doing a great job. Let's just hope that the performances in front of the entire school go smoothly and without too much embarassment. :)

Exactly 8 days of school left before break....'nuf said.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Still Standing

After a day spent with nearly one hundred 14-year-olds, I am still standing. How? Turns out that that my anal-retentive, OCD organization paid off and we made it through the day without any major hiccups.

The morning began with frantic, last-minute tying up of loose ends as I made a few calls, made copies of questions for the kids, briefed my teammates, and organized where the kids were going to put their lunches. During the midst of it all, I had a moment of panic. Was I actually old enough to be doing this crazy adventure? How on Earth was I allowed to be in charge of this many people? Holy crap. If I messed this up, it could be really bad. YIkes! Needless to say, I snapped out of my "moment" - the kids were coming any minute and NONE of my parent chaperones were there yet! Crap!

The next 20 minutes were a total blur with kids whilring by me, questions flying, and parents (finally) arriving. With 5 minutes to go before we had to leave, we were still short 2 parents! I had NO IDEA what I was going to do! Hours of organizing all these kids into specific groups (fully equipped with organ system names!) and I had no idea how I was going to rearrange them on the short bus ride?!?!?!? Just as I was about to crack, 2 angels arrived: 2 moms who just thought they would drop by to see if we needed any extra help on the trip! THANK GOD! Off we went and not a moment behind schedule!

The kids LOVED the IMAX movie and the Grossology exhibit. It was so great to watch their eyes light up and their smiles fill the rooms as they became fascinated with my true passion: science. They wore themselves out so much, most of them fell asleep on the way back. It was adorable.

School Bus For a Day: $150
Admittance to Museum: $450
Admittance to IMAX: $450
Watching Kids Fall In Love With Learning: PRICELESS

Moment of Truth/Broncos Stampede

In a moment of insanity this past August, I came up with the "brilliant" idea to take 97 eighth graders on a field trip. Monday morning, 97 students and 12 chaperones are all going to board buses for downtown Denver to go to the Grossology exhibit. While it is a FANTASTIC exhibit and a super-fun way to kick off our next unit (human anatomy), I am totally freaking out. I have gone off the deep end as far as being organized. My money and permission slip collection was borderline OCD and my methods for identifying which kids belong to which group is clearly batty...the kids will all be wearing flourescent colored sticky badges with an organ system name on it. Totally dorky, I know.

Here are my fears:
1- Lose a child.
2- Child destroys or breaks part of exhibit.
3- Child pukes during Human Body IMAX or while walking through or smelling exhibit.
4- Parent chaperones don't show up.
5- Children steal my crutches during lunch.

Thank GOD Thanksgiving Break is only 2 days away.

In other news...

Chris and I went to the Broncos game today. We were offered two tickets in the 7th ROW of the North endzone!! The game started with Navy Seals parachuting into the stadium with red, green, and yellow smoke coming out of their heels. Very cool! We had a GREAT time and the weather was incredible. Our cheeks even got a little pink on the sunny, 65 degree day. :) Broncos showed excellent form in their first shutout in many years. Denver's offense had the ball for 42 of the 60 minutes and their defense forced fived turnovers and knocked the vomit out the Jets starting QB, literally. Let's hope they continue to do well throughout the rest of the season!

Layla had her "girl" surgery on Thursday and is doing just fine. It turned out she hadn't been spayed at all. She was in and out in a day! She clearly is much more comfortable. :)

We are heading to Minnesota on Wednesday for Thanksgiving break. Can't wait!, fireplaces, good food and SLEEPING IN!!

Speaking of eyes are getting very heavy. Time to get my sleep on.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Oh, Layla Girl!

Oh, the suprises of dog ownership!

We have loved owning Layla since the moment we were able to take her home from the shelter this past July. One of the perks that we were so excited about was that we got to take her home the very same day we picked her out because a little scar on her tummy said that she was already fixed. Woo hoo! No waiting...just playing with our new puppy!!

Well, yesterday, we made an interesting discovery with our beloved puppy. What was thought to be a scar from a spaying surgery has turned out to be NOT that at all. Miss Layla had not been fixed and had left little "surprises" all over the place! We thought she had cut her paw...we were WAAAAAAAYYYYY off!!

Needless to say, she has a visit to the vet tomorrow. :)

Life sure would be boring without all these twists and turns, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Quick Update

The author responsible for our new curriculum model is coming to our school for the rest of the week. She is meeting with each department and teacher individually. She'll be in my room observing me on Wednesday. Yikes! The first week back after break and a personal meeting with a nationally-renowned curriculum specialist and pressure at all!

Just got back from the doctor's office about an hour ago. The good news: My sprain has healed and I got to remove the knee brace. Yay! The bad news: Looks like I have a torn meniscus in my knee. I start physical therapy right away and have an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon to discuss surgery. Doc said ski season is most likely out until at least April or May. Boo.

Incredible! He has been so sweet and has been taking such great care of me. He welcomed me home from my MI trip with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and the sweetest card.

Gotta wait...hobble....

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What A Week Can Do!

Well, I'm finally able to stay awake for more than about 3 hours at a time after my whirlwind vacation to Michigan. I had a GREAT time visiting and catching up with so many friends and family. It seems like just yesterday that Chris picked me up from school and we raced to the airport so I could make it through security and catch my flight. It took nearly 30 minutes for me to get through all the metal detectors due to my cool leg accessory and accoutrements to help me get around. :) It is hard to believe that fall break is just a few short hours away from being done. I didn't get home until late, Thursday afternoon due to several flight delays that lead to a 5 1/2 hour layover in Minneapolis. Had I known I was going to be in the land of 10,000 lakes for so long, I could have met Clint and Katie (Chris's grandparents) for lunch down in Redwood Falls and still made it back in time to fly out! Needless to say, I was pretty much left with just Friday to do some of the things I needed to get done around Denver.

One of the to-do items was to FINALLY register my car. So, yes, I am truly a Coloradan fully equipped with a Colorado driver's license AND license plate. A difference between MI and CO when it comes to car registration is that when you register your car here, you get your license plates immediately (yes, plateS - they go on the front and back of car here). Thus, it's a nice little deal - go to DMV, pay a ridiculous amount of money, and get plates to put on the car right away! Unfortunately, aside from paying extra to request a vanity plate, one doesn't have much choice in the numbers and letters that get put on the plate. I am, thus, an unfortunate victim of this system. Let's just put it this way...a picture is DEFINITELY worth a 1000 words in this case... See below for my new CO plate and a few pics from my MI vacation.

More soon...

I'm definitely going to get a few honks with this on my back end!

The fall colors were so beautiful!

Walker, Quinten, Kristen and I after a family dinner before I came back to CO.

Kate, Marissa and I on Friday night at the Monkey Bar. Lots of friends met there! It was soooo much fun!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Golden Tree

This tree is on 19th & Pennsylvania St. I see it every night when I take Layla out at night. It always bring me a smile and reminds me of the beauty nature holds.

Mom, where the hell are you? Get this guy out of my face...

What a character. Just when I thought we were going to have a bonding week while Meg is in Grand Rapids visiting on Fall Break, he shoots me this look.

Oh how they grow...

Layla just gets bigger and bigger. Ain't she a cutie?

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween! I was going to carve the Denver Broncos logo, but it really doesn't fit the holiday theme. Hope everyone is doing well and have a great and safe Halloween.

Monday, October 17, 2005

And The Prize Goes To....

Gimpy McGimperton!

Yes, it's true. Meghan-the-Klutz has returned in high form. Yesterday, while bringing in a load of binders up the stairwell of our building, I took a fall. But here is the interesting part...I couldn't do it like most people and fall DOWN the stairs. NO! I had to fall UP the stairs! As I fell, I managed to whack my knee in just the right spot so that it could swell up immediately and give me a nice, colorful bruise the size of an apple.

I decided to put my health insurance to use and go see a doc. It was confirmed: severe sprain and bruise of the knee. Treatment: ace wrap and leg immobilizer for two weeks, reevaluation to follow.

I started laughing hysterically when the doctor told me what he was going to put on my leg. The worlst part is that I am supposed to wear this contraption on the OUTSIDE of my pants! My kids are going to make so much fun of me at school...not to mention the fact that I have to ride on an airplane on Friday, go to a wedding on Saturday, and see a bunch of people I haven't seen in 6 months. I am such a dork.

Raise your glasses and have a toast: To the return of Meghan-the-Klutz!

Monday, October 10, 2005


Yes, you read correctly...


Because of the snow, we had an hour and a half delay, so I picked up my friend Dawn on the way to work and we began our slow drive out of the city and to the plains. I was so glad that we rode together because I got to witness someone seeing a heavy snowfall for the FIRST TIME EVER! It was hilarious to watch Dawn as she noticed every little thing about how the snow changed the landscape, the way people drove, and many other sights that are often overlooked. What was most fun was talking with her about the all things that one must do now that the snow is here - everything from buying a scraper for her car to getting a winter coat. This Vegas native definitely has fun winter ahead of her!

I took out my camera phone and put it to use. The quality isn't the best, but nonetheless enjoy the pics from our first snowfall of the year!

Look! All the new little trees lost their leaves! Sad!

Dawn, this morning before school smiling as she stood in her first snowfall EVER!

Outside my building after school today. We all got to leave when the bell rang today!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Latest

Life in Denver continues to provide one crazy moment after another. I am very quickly realizing that my blog-posting has dwindled to a very disappointing frequency. For that, I am sorry. And so, here it is: the latest.

After Dad and Walker paid a visit, Chris and I CRASHED! It is amazing how much a 3-year-old can take out of you. We spent that weekend pretty much camped out on the living room couch with movies, popcorn and pizza. Ideal! Hiding under my favorite blanket (thanks Mary!) didn't last for long mom arrived 4 days later!

When Mom arrived, we hardly slowed down from the speed her jet flew in on. Our time together was jam-packed with dinners, a girl's night, the MSU vs. U of M game (B00), shopping (of course!) and even a visit to Sky Vista for a day. We had so much fun and it was GREAT to see her!

This past week proved to continue at the whirlwind pace of weeks previous...

Chris's job has shifted more to the estimating end of things. He is working his regular long hours, but he gets to work out of the Denver office instead of up in Longmont an hour away. He likes the change and so do our wallets since they get to take a break from all the crazy gas prices.

My 8th grade students had a week of presentations, which translates to A TON of grading. The enrichment class that I teach called Stories to Plague You (a class on investigating infectious diseases) had been researching the SARS virus and held their first Emergency Health Summit. It was hilarious! The class was divided up into delegations from around the world. Picture this: 6th, 7th and 8th graders dressed up in Kimonos, maple leaves and suit coats. It was too precious for words...I think they may have even learned a thing or too! On top of just work stuff, we also hosted a friend of ours who needed a warm heart and a shoulder to cry on.

Today, Chris and I met with a real estate broker to begin the process of entering the market to buy a house. It was super-informative and super-exciting. It was wonderful to hear the the idea of buying a house doesn't just have to be an IDEA anymore and it is something feasible for us in the very near future. Thus, for the next few months the name of the game is SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! So, please send your tax deductable donations to...hahaha. But really, if you want to...just kidding. Seriously though...wink, wink. :)

So there it is, I do hope those of you who are disappointed in not-so-frequent posts can understand why sometimes Chris and I are even too tired to make dinner. We love you all and truly do think of you often. Just think of it this way...time between posts means lots of stuff for us to fill you in on when we do!

Much love and many blessings.

P.S. Please enjoy our version of David Letterman's Top 10 List below.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Move Over Letterman: Chris and Meg's Top 10 List

You know you live in a big city when...

10. the Starbucks in Barnes and Noble mirrors the Starbucks across the street.

9. every person standing on a street corner is a "Veteran in need of a little help".

8. you can eat somewhere new each night for a year and never have a repeat dine.

7. you go to Hard Rock Cafe for the Twisted Mac and Chicken and not for the t-shirt.

6. there are doggy-doo baggy dispensers every 20 feet.

5. ATM's are even more frequent than baggy dispensers.

4. one can get lost for a year on one-way streets.

3. the length of your work day is determined by the best time to beat the traffic.

2. walking and biking replaces all forms of motorized transport on the weekends.

And finally, you know you live in the city when...

1. a house going for $275,000 is considered "a steal".

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Monday Night Football Victory 30-10, Broncos Route Chiefs

Dear fellow Bronco-maniacs,
I finally made did it! Meg and I went to our first Monday Night football game. It was about 55 min before kickoff when we were driving to a sports bar to watch the game, when we suddendy decided to go scalp some tickets and cheer the Broncos on in person. After buying the tickets, I felt I got scalped, but we waited until after kickoff and got the best deal possible. We were already in full Bronco atire, but had no camera, binoculars, or other goods (Meg wouldn't let me take the late 80's foam finger to the bar.) We only missed the first score (a Bronco FG) and had a great time. Meg got an orange Bronco zip-up sweatshirt and I got a new hat! The crowd was deafening loud all game long, and my team was playing with electrifying intensity and a deep hatred of KC. So much for thier unofficial #1 defence. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. Sorry there are no pics, but feel free to watch the rest of the Bronco's games for live, real time pictures of Denver steamrolling other AFC west oppenents. Love and miss you all. Big-C

P.S. I have the best Bronco supporting wife ever!!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Back From Reality...

Wow! I can't believe that it has been nearly 3 weeks since our last post! It's quite amazing how life can just take over you, isn't it? Well, where to begin....

September has brought birthdays, settling into my new job, hiking trips, visitng family, lots of play, lots of flu bugs, and even an adventure of a missing cat. Yes, we've been busy. ;) It is hard to even think of where to begin! Let's see...

Well, I am officially in my mid-twenties. Yes, I am 25. It was funny, my students were more excited about my birthday than I was this year - cards, presents, songs. It was very cute and truly did make the dive into completing a quarter century of my life a bit easier. :) Chris was such a prince through it all and even bought me a mountain bike as a gift! It has been so much fun riding around the city and parks together. We have a few more safety items to get (helmets) before we head off to the more difficult mountain trails, but right now, sidewalks will do.

Life as a first year teacher continues to go well. It is incredibly demanding, but there is this weird fire inside of me that just makes me love every second of it. I seem to come down with some kind of bug each week, which, at times is incredibly frustrating, but I realize comes with the territory of my first job. Sky Vista has become such a unique culture and it is clear that the hard work that the entire staff is doing is paying off. :)

This past week, my dad and my little brother came to visit. We had a GREAT time. We did everything from going to the zoo, hiking at Red Rocks, and even saw some dinasaur footprints in Morrison. Chris and Dad were able to do some work on Donna Dakota to get her ready to sell. Their work proved effective as she is all ready to hit the market now! Walker and I enjoyed reading books each night and played with lots of toys. 3 year olds sure do have a lot of energy!!! Despite all the fun we had with Walker, it definitely made Chris and I realize that we aren't quite ready to have a bun in the oven yet! :)

We had a little scare last night as Jack-the-cat decided to go exploring on his own. Somehow, he snuck out of our apartment and we didn't realize he was gone for 3 hours! As we got ready to go to bed, it hit us that there weren't the usual "Jack sounds" and started to look around. It hit us that he must have gotten out. Thankfully, we found him just a few minutes later - he was hanging out in the back stairwell of our building. Needless to say, he came right to my arms and stayed there the whole night!

Alright, Sunday night is quickly coming to a close and Chris and I both have a big week ahead of us, yet again. I promise that it won't be so long inbetween posts from now on. Enjoy the photos below of Dad and Walker's visit!

Later! :)

P.S. Go Spartans!! 3-0 and with the big game coming up next weekend against University of Michigan!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

View from my Jobsite in Longmont, CO

Hello there folks,Here are a few pics from my jobsite in Longmont, just 10min. north-east of Boulder.

Mark Young Construction is building a two-story office building for one of Longmont's biggest city developers. The first floor is a credit union and second floor is for an invesment firm, A.G. Edwards.

We are constructing the building core and shell, and we will also be doing the tenant finish for the second floor. Work started in late May and will finish in mid December.

Its a lovely view from the roof of the building. Its only about 15min to the Flatirons, which you can see in one of the pictures. These are the mountains Meg and I climbed a few months ago.

Enjoy the view, (its quite amazing in the early morning, and unfortunately I know the sunset is breathtaking as well.)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Definitely NOT Old Enough!!!

Okay, so we are now in the middle of our second week of school and so far it is going very well. Despite being worn out at the end of each day, I am finding it hard to imagine that I ever wanted to do something else with my life. I am truly happy. :) But here's the deal...tomorrow night is Back To School Night (a.k.a. OPEN HOUSE!!) for parents to come and meet the teachers and learn about the classes their students are taking. I cannot believe that I will be standing up in front of all those parents telling them that I am the adult in front of their kids each day!! I am having a serious age crisis here!!! Yikes!!

Anyway, in an effort to lighten the mood of the evening, my teammates and I decided to take an interesting twist on introducing ourselves. We have written our introductions in the form of dictionary definitions! They are really hilarious. I have posted mine below. Enjoy!

More soon...

Meghan Daniel n ( dan-yull)1: posing as 8th grade wacky science teacher, singer, actress, wife, sister, daughter, friend, pet owner, movie buff, master klutz and first-time-Coloradan 2: former life: professional student, server, barista, student supervisor, tutor, production safety assistant, charity recruiter, and turfgrass specialist 3: origins from the Wolverine state, though proud Spartan (see flag in classroom); has been known to spend long days on shores of the Great Lakes; world traveler 4: VIRGO! – and yes, slightly over-organized 5: current Master’s degree student in Secondary Education 6: lover of practical jokes and often the receiver; professional college football fan 7: has been known to tell dumb stories and lame jokes 8: suspected to know almost every person in neighborhood – and their dogs! 9: shoe size: 8.5 or 9 – depends on the day and weather 10: otherwise known as – Meg, Megs, Meg-A-Roo, Roo, Smiley, Miz. D 11: hobbies: sleeping, singing, acting, reading, hanging out with hubby, chasing Jack-the-Cat (a.k.a Kung fu Kitty) around house as Layla-the-puppy follows behind, hiking, biking – being active! 12: mmmmmm food –‘nuff said 13: entertainment – could have bought new wardrobe instead of movie tickets, NPR, Jack Johnson, classic oldies, show tunes, laughing at husband 14: mirror, mirror on the wall – 5’7”, brown hair and eyes, glasses or contacts, classic, yet trendy, has tendency to have curly hair days. ant Mrs. Daniels

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Lazy Sunday Morning

Hey there everybody! Well I can't seem to sleep in on the weekends like the rest of the bunch here. I guess getting up @ 7:00am on the weekends compared to 5:30am during the week does give me an extra 1-1/2 hours. But I just can't seem to compete with the other three sleepy ones. My weekend morning ritual is usually sneaking out of bed a little before 7:00am and taking Layla down the block to Fluid Coffee Shop (Meg's summer employer) and chatting with the owner. I then get a cup of joe and take Layla on a walk until it is gone. Then I go home and make lots of noise whippin' up some breakfast. Either the noise from the silverware and cereal bowl clinking or the smell of pancakes and bacon/sausage gets my girl a'stirin from Mr. Sandman's grip.
Today I did the later (quick breakfast), read a good chunk of the Sunday Denver Post, put away my Bronco good luck memorabilia shrine from the victory against Indy from the night before, talked to G & G and Uncle Dick and Aunt Joyce on the tele, and dinked around all while the others decided to go back to slumber land. Aren't they cute, and there I am wide awake.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Welcome To Mrs. Daniel's Room!

Okay, so they aren't the best photos, but I'm sure you can get the idea of what my room looks like. I couldn't snap any pics during the day when the kids were in there for safety/security reasons so, you'll have to ignore the chairs up on the tables. Also, lots of things are still under construction or in progress at school- hence my makeshift screen at the front of the room!
Enjoy the tour! :)

My classroom skeleton, "Bones" guards my Michigan State flag with pride as he wears his own lab coat!

Standing behind my desk in the corner, I have a view of all the kids. On my desk I have a lava lamp, an Albert Einstein action figure, and lots of other doo-dads that are super-enticing for the kids to play with. They think I am a total dork, but then follow their attitudes with, "Ahhh, hey, um, Mrs. Daniel? Can we play with Albert Einstein?" I just have to be 14 again!

And finally...what science room would be complete without huge atom models and a life-size DNA strand climbing up the wall? Let's just put it this student will ever be able to fall asleep in here! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Operation Protecting Humpty Dumpty

Well, I have offically survived the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! Woo hoo!! I am pretty pooped after a fun-filled weekend with Kristen and Penni in town AND preparing for school to start, so just a quick note...

Instead of the typical rules and regs stuff on the first day, I had my students partake in an egg drop contest affectionately named, Operation Protecting Humpty Dumpty. The day was a huge success and I was thrilled to have had it run so smoothly. (There's something about being able to throw stuff that makes kids want to take part in your class!) Of course I didn't make it through the day without dating myself..."Please look at the dittos in front of you."..."Mrs. Daniel? What's a ditto?" I couldn't believe that the word ditto had been completely replaced by "worksheet". Yikes! Am I really getting that old?

More soon on the Adventures From the 8th Grade!

Fun Pics From The Weekend!

Kristen and I hanging out at Uptown Tavern while she and our friend Jonathan (Penni) were in town. It was a blast having them here!

Our first Denver Broncos game! They played the San Fransisco 49ers. It was a fantastic night and the Broncos won too!

Is this real life or a cartoon? I was fully expecting an anvil to drop on us or this tunnel to be nothing but a painting on the side of the mountain! :) (We made it through for those of you who were guessing how it all ended up.)

The Rockies versus the Cubs! Chris and Penni managed to catch the historic team in action on Friday afternoon. The Rockies ended up winning the series 2-1, despite their not-so-hot record.

Who's the # 1 fan? Take a guess!

Layla definitely had her fill of hiking and playing this weekend.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Hiking in the Rockies!

Chris here - Wow, what a view! While Kristen and Penni were in town this weekend, we decided their trip to Denver wouldn't be complete without a venture to the mountains. The four of us (and Layla) and our friends Matt, Stacey, and their dog Jake took to the mountains and hiked Guenella's Pass, a trail out west by Mt. Evans. We had to drive through a quaint little mountain town to get to our starting point at an elevation of 12,160 ft above sea level! The actual climb was only 600 ft over a few miles in length, but it was breath taking in more ways than one. We all had to stop every few hundred feet to take in the new view and a few gasps of air. We took the trail to a lake who's name escapes me and were in awe of the creation of it all. The stream in the picture was a small little stream filling up the entire lake. There were actually large pieces of ice on the sides of the stream. If you look closely at the picture of the lake, you can see Meg in her red hat and our two other friends at the far end. It really puts the lake's size into perspective, especially from looking down on it from higher up on the mountain. Later the weather began to turn, and it was time to start getting ready for the Broncos vs. 49'ers game, so we began our descent back to the cars. After the hiking was complete, we knew climbing the stairs at Invesco Field at Mile High would an easy task.

P.S. Thanks, Mom for the cherry bars. They were enjoyed to the fullest and all seemed to have disappeared. A little touch of home! Mmmmmm......

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Rollin' in Red Rocks

Greetings from the Mile High City on yet, the end to another wonderful weekend. :)

With the summer quickly coming to an end, one of my teammates opened an invitation to attend a concert with her on Friday night with a group of her girlfriends. The concert was held at Red Rocks, an outdoor natural amphitheater with one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen in my life. Picture this: to the East, the city lights of Denver twinkling in the distance; to the West the sun setting behind the majestic Rockies. (Yeah, I thought it was pretty amazing too.) The headlining group was a band that I have really liked for a while called The Killers so I was really exicted to have been asked to go with Carrie and her crew. The show ended up being so much fun and the music was phenomenal! Even more so, it was so much fun have a "girls night out" and meet some new friends (all of whom were teachers). I know I have said this before, but I truly feel fortunate to have met so many genuine people out here since our move.

Saturday and Sunday brought errands, cleaning the house and relaxation! :) My prinipal opened the school for us workaholic teachers on staff (read: ALL of us!) this weekend, so Chris and I headed for Aurora (city where school is), shopped at teacher store, lamenated posters, cut lamenated posters, hung cut and lamenated posters, organized, cleaned classroom, and finally took a big breath as I shut the lights off because my room was finally finished! Yay! I will get some pictures this week of the school and my room and post them so you all can see it.

On a side note, I have to laugh at Chris and I. What do you get when you marry an engineer with a science teacher? Answer: A couple who sits on the couch together at night each with their laptops in front of them clicking away. Yes, we are oobernerds! :)

Have a fabulous start to the week! Kristen and Jonathan (Penni) are coming on Thursday and I see students for the first time on Friday! Big week!! Off to get some rest....Layla is providing an excellent model of how to do it. :)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The latest

Hello friends!

My brain is very tired and my fingers are moving slow. Our teacher trainings have gotten under full swing this week and I am simply...pooped. The sick thing about it is that I LOVE every second of it! Something seriously must be wrong with me! Because the school is opening for the first time, we have to learn everything from staff development stuff (normal for each year) to how to work the phones, copy machine, and check out books! It is kind of funny - everyone is a first year teacher at Sky Vista! A week and a half more to go of trainings and then the kids come! Yikes! Chris came to school tonight after he was done working and we set up my FIRST EVER science classroom!!! Soooooo fun! Did you ever have a giant DNA strand going up the entire wall of your science classroom????? :) It was so sweet of Chris to come and help - I never would have been able to get it all done without him.

In other news, Layla the puppy continues to do well in her little puppy world. We are currently working on sitting on the street corners before we cross the street. She is usually pretty good about it, but it always seems to be the occasions that there are tons of people sitting or standing outside when she doesn't want to sit. I'm sure you can imagine the scene as Chris or I continue to say, "Layla, sit." over and over and OVER again. It's almost as if she wants us to look as incompetant as possible at being her owner in front of an audience. It is actually quite comical!

I am really looking forward to having some visitors this fall. Next week, my sister and Chris's best friend are coming to visit! We have a lot of fun things planned so I am really excited! The Cubs will be in town, so we are going to TWO games and will also be attending our first Broncos game in between!!! Definitely a weekend catered around the boys, but the company is all that matters. My dad and youngest brother (3 years old) will be visiting in the middle of September for a week and Walker has already started to tell people how he is going to go visit his big sister in "Cololado"! ( and no, that is not a typo - Walker can't pronounce the r's yet.) Wrapping up September will be my mom for a long weekend. Woo hoo! I am REALLY excited to see so many of our friends and family!!

Alright, tomorrow is just a short few hours away and my eyes are getting very heavy. More soon...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Holy Huge Zucchini!

Yes, this is real. This has not been digitally enhanced or grown with any of baseball's steroids. I picked this out of the community garden in our building's courtyard. They are also growing a variety of peppers, eggplant, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and strawberries, to name a few. It looks like you have to be quick on the ripe strawberries or the garden critters will get them. I am going to look for a good "zuc on the grill" recipe for this sucker. It is way too big to be diced down and sauteed, and it would also be way to much work! I am going to keep a sharp eye on the couple of eggplants coming in. If they are even close to this size, I will invite you all over for some eggplant parmesan.

Meg's week of AP training went well, despite the elitest attitude that most of the men had in the class (she was 1 of 4 women). She rocked and held her own though. Monday she starts at school with all her meetings, staff training sessions and setting up her classroom. She and I will be helping to register students on Wednesday night and should be lots of fun. I am really excited for her year to begin!

Miss you all and take care.

Friday, July 29, 2005

100 mph

So I officially begin my first teaching job on Monday. I have never had so many emotions running through me in my entire life!

At our first staff meeting the other day we were asked to create a metaphor for ourselves. I likened myself to a 2005 Mitsubishi Spider Eclipse - driving 100 miles per hour, top down, wind through my hair and having no control over how fast I am driving. So what do I do? Smile, let the bugs hit my teeth and just keep on going!!! The thing is, I DO feel exactly like that. I have (as well as the rest of the staff) so much going on to get ready for the school year that I feel like I am on the wildest ride of my life. It is an incredible feeling.

This weekend, Chris and I are having an arts and crafts weekend. ( Yes, you did read that correctly!) I don't have very much of anything to decorate and fill my room with, so we're going to make stuff! Chris is so sweet and gets excited to help me with this kind of stuff. On the list of crafts:
1 - 3-D atom to hang from the ceiling for the chemistry unit
2 - various signs depicting the stages of the scientific process
3 - fun quotes that I found to inspire comfort, safety and learning in my classroom
4 - apparatus to hang my MSU flag (of course!)

Just some ideas...if you know of any good sales at any nationwide stores that sell artsy supplies, let me know!

I can't believe that my dream is coming true. When did I become a grown-up?

Monday, July 25, 2005

New Ride

Hello Everyone. I hope all is well in the world for you. I am excited to announce that I have purchased my first new vehicle. After reviewing the maintenance costs adding up on the 96 Dodge Dakota, Meg and I decided it was time to do some looking into a new truck. I test drove Toyotas, Chevey's, Jeep Wranglers, and looked in to many others and decided on a '05 Nissan Frontier SE Crew Cab 4x4 truck! She is a V-6, 6 speed manual, sprayed-in bed liner, and the power option. It has four doors which will nicely fit a child safety seat (assuming I still have this car in 10+ years, Ouch, Meg gave me a nice shot in kidney for that one.) One dealer was offering less than half of what Donna Dakota was worth for a trade in, so I decided to sell it outright. This means she will get her last really good cleaning with the "Daniel Touch". Young Grasshopper has learned well from his master and she is sure to shine like the sun when I am done detailing her inside and out. Well enjoy the pictures while I enjoy the head turning looks while I pass the jaw-droppers on the left hand side. Love you all and take care.

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Walk on the Wild Side

What a weekend! I seriously think that Chris and I packed just about as much as possible into a 3-night/2-day timespan. I guess we wouldn't be Daniels if we didn't! :)

By going to help out at Sky Vista so much of the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to get to know several of the staff members pretty well. So, Friday night, Chris and I hit the town with one of the 7th grade English teachers and her husband. They were a blast. They live out in the burbs and wanted to have a night on the town...hmmm...not hard AT ALL to say "no" to walking around this glorious city at night! The four of us strolled down the 16th Street Mall and settled at the Rock Bottom Brewery for dinner and microbrews. I had THE BEST pizza of my life - BBQ Chipotle Pizza - and dreamt about it for days (literally). After dinner, we walked some more down the mall and stopped at a place called Marlowe's to have a nightcap on the patio outside. The company and conversation were great! It was also so much fun becoming better acquainted with another couple!

On Saturday, Chris and I praised the thickness of our new curtains we purchased for our anniversary as we were able to sleep in for the first time in a while. It was fantastic! The sun was out and it was, for like the 1000th day in a row, HOT HOT HOT! A bunch of our friends were at the pool, so we gathered up the gear, lathered up and made our way to the pool deck. Half of the Post residents had the same idea as it was PACKED with people, floaties, and rafts. It was a great afternoon! We wrapped up the day by going out to a Mexican restaurant in our neighborhood called Las Margaritas. We went with our friend Matt (we call him our expensive friend because he likes to eat out all the time since his wife is gone studying at Georgetown for a month). All I have to say is, "Biggest burrito I have ever seen!" mmmmmmm After dinner, we rolled ourselves down to the movie theater and took in the new movie "The Wedding Crashers". I can't even begin to tell you all how funny it was. We laughed about it all the way home.

Sunday, we checked out a new church a few blocks away from our place. It is one of the most beautiful churches either of us have ever seen and all the people were genuinely nice...we need to give it a few more services to make sure it is the one for us though. Summertime is always such a difficult time to start attending a new place, as there are lots of guest speakers and "different" types of services. It is hard to get a real image of what the church is like during these times. We are definitely going to keep giving it a shot though! :) After church, we made our tri-weekly trip to Super Target and STOCKED UP! I love a full fridge!!!!

And to end the weekend...

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"! Two movies in one weekend! Hard on the wallet, but tons of fun. This too, is a new release that I would highly recommend. Johny Depp was fantastic and the boy who played Charlie was simply adorable and perfect for the part. It brought back so many childhood memories and was fun to sit through the new adaptation of the fabulous Rhol Dahl book.

Well, it's time to sign off. Many blessings to you all!

P.S. We seemed to recieve an unusual amount of responses due to the fact that we tasted eel. Before we moved here, I will be the first to admit that I was not a very good risk-taker. But, I have learned since then that in life we need adventure and the opportunity to try new things every once in a while! I'm not saying that either one of us is going to jump off the top of a mountain, but just take a second to imagine what this world would be like if we all took a little walk on the adventurous side every once in a while.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Back In Cyberspace...

Hi there!

Glad to be back in cyberspace once again now that my computer cord has been replaced. I didn't realize just how addicted I was to my little Mac until I couldn't use it whenever I wanted anymore!!! I think that my pulse hass returned to normal now that I can play on my trusty computer again. :)

Things have been going well since our last post. Layla (cutest dog EVER) has been winning our hearts over every day as we get to know one another even better. We are now going for 2 accident-free days in a row in the Adventures of Housebreaking! Woo hoo! Puppies are definitely a ton of work, but so worth every minute. She is the little socialite of the neighborhood - all the dogs and people love her. It is hilarious. In fact, more people know Layla's name that mine or Chris's! Denverites have some serious issues.

I have been going to Sky Vista just about every day to help move things in. Just today, the staff was given word that we could begin moving in our personal items and setting up our classrooms! I am incredibely excited, as I have begun (with the help of awesome friends and family) to collect some great items to put in my room - an Albert Einstein action figure for starters! It has been a ton of fun going to school (despite the dirty hands and sore body parts) as it has provided for several opportunities to bond with individual staff members. I definitely feel as if I will go into the school year with much more confidence with my surroundings. August 1st marks the official start date! Whoa.

Chris has been working SO hard with his job lately. Due to the incredibly high temps lately (around the 100's!), the site superintendent has adjusted their hours to try and beat the heat a bit - 6 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. That means that the alarm goes off at 4:45 a.m. Yikes! Even the dog moans when the tunes start playing that early!! Chris is a champ about it all though and even enjoys being able to get home a bit earlier as a result. Hmm, I think this means that he will be playing around in the kitchen more frequently. Score one for Meg! :)

Denver has a great variety of restaurants. In fact, you could probably eat at a different one each day for a year and not eat at the same place twice! Tonight, Chris, our friend Matt, and I went out to try a sushi restaurant we heard about that is downtown. It is called Sonada's. Neither Chris nor I had ever been to an actual sushi restaurant, so we were really looking forward to it. Matt was a great help in encouraging us to be daring in our choices. We got so daring that we even tried freshwater eel! - and it was actually good! Needless to say, the company, the atmostphere, and the food was fantastic! We are really excited to keep exploring all the delicious bites that Denver has to offer.

Well, it's getting late guessed it...Fluid Coffee Bar bright and early tomorrow morning. Until next time! won't be so long, I promise!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Meet Layla the Puppy

Hello there everyone! Sorry this Blog took so long. Meg's power-cord to her computer took a dive after too many nibbles from Jack-the-Cat. We are now the proud owner of a new puppy! She is a 5-1/2 month old Australian Cattle Dog/Australian Sheppard Mix. It is absolutely amazing how well Layla and Jack get along. I think it helps that they are the same size! It is great having a pet that is excited to see you for more than two minutes and then begging for an ice cube, sorry Jack. We got her from the local pound last Friday and took her to Lake McCounghy in Nebraska with a few friends, friends of their's, and two other dogs. We are working on house breaking her and it is going very well. A few nights of interupted sleep haven't been so bad yet, and it is good practice for those unmentionable things down the road. Of course the first toy I bought her was a plush football toy. I am sure Meg and I will have many more stories and blogs filled with cute mishaps and cute pictures. Here are some of those pictures to make you fall in love too...