Sunday, April 26, 2009

Boogity Boogity Boogity Let's Go Racing Boys

Go Dale Jr!

NASCAR was a foreign term before I met Adam, and now it is a part of our life from February 7th until November 22nd. Most Sunday afternoons, not all begin with "Gentlemen start your engines!" At first I was hesitant, but it has created many wonderful memories with family. Everyone in the family has a different race car driver they cheer for, and let me tell you it has created strife a time or two. Whether Dale Jr., Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, or Kyle Bush win it has been a time that brings our family together in fellowship and that is something to be happy about. I also enjoy it, because watching the race usually involves food and the race always begins with a prayer. Not many sports begin with thanking God for the blessings that are already in their life and I think that is so important to do. Jr. didn't win today but it was fun to cheer him on with great family. Thanks for spending a great Sunday with us William and Stephanie! Here is Adam and his cousin William in their custom MADE FOR EACH OTHER Dale Jr. shirts.

William and Adam making "The 88"


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Beaufort Beautiful

Beaufort Vacation Here We Come

Adam and I are nearing our first anniversary on May 3rd, so we planned an early get away during my spring break. If you are a teacher or know a teacher you will have heard us grown about writing sub plans. I promise it is just easier to go to work, so we traveled when sub plans were not necessary. We settled on Beaufort, S.C. which is smack dab in the middle of Charleston, and Savannah, the two other contenders. Tranquil, yet enchanting is how I would have to describe it. Adam and I just had the best time relaxing in this slow moving town away from the hustle and bustle of our regular routines. Saying good bye to Sadie (the pup) and Lily (the cat), we zoomed out of town on Friday to embark on this adventure. Our accommodations(The Rhett House Inn), the food(too many to name them all), the activities offered in this charming town had Adam and I so content.
Front Porch of the Rhett House Inn

When we arrived we ate right away...for those of you that do not know Adam and I, we LOVE to eat! We then window shopped and swung down by the waterside park prior to our walking tour with "The Spirit of Old Beaufort!" How history rich this little town is...I was enthralled, just ask Adam. I will forever remember what a goober pea is...since we sang a song about you know what they are?
Our Period Dressed Tour Guide

On Saturday we were more adventurous...heck who are we kidding we have "the nuvi" (navigation) that kept us in check. We drove out to Hunting Island and we climbed the Hunting Island Lighthouse. Don't know how I made it up all 167 steps, well with my trust in God and not looking down for a second I was able to get to the top. Once we reached the top I could hardly step out on to the observation deck with my fear of heights so Adam took the pictures for me.
View from the beach

It really was an amazing view up there too bad I couldn't see
this from the inside of the lighthouse...haha!

After my heart stopped trying to jump out of my chest we enjoyed a pleasant walk on the beach. The waves coming up to the tree line was amazing! The water however was freezing our toes were not happy with us :( After all the morning excitement we were hungry (of course) and scooted on to the Shrimp Shack. For those of you that are from Williston it was like Frog's but for seafood....yum yum. We waited patiently in line unlike Barbara Streisand wanted to do while filming "The Prince of Tides" (1991) in the area. It was delicious and it was super fresh shrimp since there was a public shrimping dock right across the road.
My amazingly handsome husband with all the trees on the beach.

Once we finished stuffing our faces we headed out for our next adventure to Port Royal (discovered 3 years prior to St. Augustine...ask my b-i-l, DW for who the explorer was) where their annual SOFT SHELL CRAB festival was going again! Soft shell crab is quite yummy, I was surprised! We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Beaufort and enjoying all the architecture, until we came across THE CHOCOLATE TREE. Oh MY goodness we have discovered bliss. Hands down the best chocolate ever, and Tom Hanks thought so too! While in Beaufort filming "Forest Gump" he took a liking as well and that memorable "box of chocolates" from Russell Stover were actually filled with chocolates from this store.
The gardens and homes were breathe taking...I LOVE THE IVY STEPS!

Adam and I enjoyed our last night in Beaufort at the Saltus River was fancy but oh so worth it. We chowed down on more soft shell crab, shrimp and grits, and scallops. We were sad to head home on Sunday, but we were ready to get home to our family and friends!

I can't wait for our next adventure together in July for Adam's big brother's 30th birthday cruise celebration! Hopefully not as much of that post will be about about food. :)


Spring Break...Spring Happiness

On Thursday, April 9th at 2:00 p.m. all teachers packed up and headed out for a week of some much needed R & R. I headed on down to that big city of Tampa on Monday after a glorious Easter with Adam and his family. Adam put together the sweetest Easter basket with my very own bible. Yes...and it even has my name on it! I cannot wait to begin reading it and finding the scriptures that speak straight to my heart and discovering more about our amazing Lord! As I said, I was in need of some much needed mom/daughter time and I got so much more. Grandma D, my mom's mom was down from Michigan visiting so we planned a three generations luncheon, with me, my mom, Grandma D, Bigmama, and Grandmommy. My Bigmama was unable to come due to back pain, but it was truly a day to remember. It was such a privilege to sit and talk to these remarkable women who have had such an impact on my life. They are so wise and I still have so much to learn from them. I hope to plan another luncheon for my next visit when summer break gets here.
Mom and Grandma D

Grandmommy, Me, and Grandma D

So with Grandma D down the guest bedroom was taken, so that left me to choose Michael, the 17 year old or Matthew, the 13 year old to bunk up with. I chose the latter. I have to say it was sweet to hangout and watch TV with Matthew as we got ready for bed. The most precious was when he said "Good night Lauren. I love you and glad you are home."
My brother's (Matthew and Michael)

In my last post I upload a picture of my family from June 2008 which I am ashamed to say was the most recent so I made sure to get one while I was home...missing Adam though :( The setting sun in the back ground was amazing.

The Crazy Family that I love!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Easter Thoughts

As we near Easter it makes me think of family. It has been fun to mesh Adam and I's family traditions. Every family, not just ours has a particular way they celebrate Christmas, birthdays, Easter, etc. It has been a joy for Adam and I to incorporate each others family traditions while making our own this first year as a married couple!

My family (June 2008)

Adam's Family (December 2007, Mom on right, Dad on left)

All the past holidays have been super busy, filled with family, and great memories, but this holiday everyone seems to doing their own thing. Adam and I will get by with out all our families around but I will sure miss all the commotion and craziness they bring. I am looking forward to Sunday's Easter service with Adam as we celebrate what life should be all about praising our Lord, for His unwavering love and for giving us HOPE for eternal life in heaven (I love you Devin and Annie for your strength and complete trust).

Lent is coming to an end as we near the celebration of Christ's resurrection, and I can't help but thank the Lord for what he has given Adam and I. Forty days appears to be a long time, but it went by so quickly when you put your trust in the Lord. In an earlier post I revealed we were reading The Purpose Driven Life, which we are now on Day 38 and I am looking forward to completing it, to only begin reading it again. I am not ashamed to admit that I went through the motions of being a Christian, but Jesus spoke to my heart Ash Wednesday 2009 and opened my eyes to what love he truly had to offer Adam and I. I go into each day with a more confident attitude because I am not worried about controlling my life's every move. I know the Lord has a plan for us as long as we live each day open to God's will. Day 37's devotion discussed the idea of spending your time and money sharing God's word so that you will have eternal friendships in heaven, so my Easter promise to God this year is to try to show my brother, Michael, the love He has for him. Please pray for me because it can be hard to love my brother (he is 17..that may explain how it can be difficult to love him..haha), but I have to remember that God so loved us all he gave his only Son for us, so sacrifices are in store. I just can't imagine eternity with out my Michael Ryan!


Monday, April 6, 2009

What an Adventure...

I have mentioned already I am a big city girl...that big city is Tampa, Florida which is no NYC, but enormous in relation to lovely Williston. I never intended to move back to Tampa after I finished school at UF, but I never knew how scary it could be to move to somewhere new. I am extremely lucky I did not have to move to that somewhere new all alone. Although Adam is from Williston he has been with me every step of the way as I have found my footing in Williston to make this my home. I appreciate every moment he has sat and listened to me as I tried to find my nitch! With that said on my last post I let on that I had a busy, busy weekend...and oh was it ever! It was a wonderful weekend that has provided many new memories with my amazing family and friends.

I was a newbie this year on my schools RELAY FOR LIFE team and I am so glad I took part in such a life changing, yet fun cause. Our school paired up with our sister intermediate elematary school and sold pickles and held hat days to reach our monetary goal. (I have to say I am super excited there is no more pickles...they stink!) This experience has not only changed peoples lives with cancer, it has also fostered so many avenues for me to grow closer to some of my co-workers. I said earlier it has been scary moving to a new town, because most people have their friends and social circles already perfected were a new friend would just throw it off balance. I can say I have found my people, despite that fact I was the outsider! My people have taken me in and made me feel so welcomed! Together we had a blast setting up for RELAY FOR LIFE and walking together for a cause!

The theme for this years RELAY FOR LIFE was Relay through the having many teachers who grew up during the 80s at our school we became "The Ladies of the 80s." Being the newbie I really did not know what I was getting my self into, especially with our amazing, yet competitive administration staff who wanted to win all the categories...haha! I unaware of the pressure I would be under to win volunteered myself to be the member who dressed up for a costume contest. I had to dress 80s...and with the help of my Team leader we had the perfect costume/outfit. I do mean perfect, because we won of course after I had one person crimping my hair while my principal and team leader were applying my make up.

My competition (Decades represented are 80s, 60s, 70, 50s)

My team was there to cheer me on as I danced across the stage, yes, I said danced! It was a night to remember!!


Saturday was a day to recoup and get me some much needed Adam time! We ventured out to that big city of Ocala filled with oh so many gems. We made a stop by Adam's favorite, Hobby Lobby (he did say it was 10x better than Micheal's) to get pom poms to finish "The Bunny Express" for that big Whitehurst Easter party I mentioned. We helped Fast and the Furious be the top selling movie and we stopped by Jenkins Acura to see if we had found Adam and I's dream JEEP. We are looking for the perfect JEEP to set out on our weekend adventures...we hope to find one soon that will fit our needs, budget, and vision for all the accessories we want to add to it! I went to the website to save the picture but it wouldn't let me :( After a great Saturday together we geared up for this Whitehurst Easter bash! After church we hurried around to help Annie, my SIL and Devin, my BIL set up the party! Adam and I being a young couple with no kiddies were put to work! We did a hay ride for the children and of course it had to be a bunny trailer! Here was my creation with those pom poms we got from Hobby Lobby!

The Bunny Group

There was a duck race, a fish pond , a pick an egg game for all the Whitehurst children! The children were separated by grade level so the egg hunts would be fair, Adam and I took the hunters on a ride while the mom's and dad's hid the eggs! However nothing was sweeter than Adam and I's niece Annabelle who I held as much as possible, since Annie was busy playing gracious host!

Annabelle and Aunt Lauren

The party was a great success and it brought the Whitehurst's together for a great reason to celebrate being a family! I look forward to what tomorrow will bring and anxiously await Easter where we can celebrate God's great gift to us, eternal life!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jumping out of our Routine

This school week has provided a whirlwind of excitement for my students. We had Monday off for our local livestock fair, on Tuesday and Wednesday we had early release days, Thursday we had a story teller for the students, and Friday the Easter Bunny is hopping into town early...basically a week void of instruction or so I thought.

So with that said, I planned for a lazy reading week full of science and math exploration. We have been reading Because of Winn Dixie, which they love! It is the one time they can lay down during whole group instruction, and they take full advantage of it. I use this story time to foster retelling what has happened in our story, mind movies (visualizing), inferring what is to come, plot development discussion and making connections to the story (psst...between me and you they don't even think they are learning). I tell my students that the book is always better than the movie, so I plan to rent the movie once we complete the novel so they can make up their own mind. I think it would be a great opportunity to have them delve into some serious persuasive writing. What do you think? Also for any upper grade teachers this book would be a great tool to help student discover the inner voice of a character. I love Kate DiCamillo because every book of hers that I have read can be a great model/tool for a writers workshop!

The majority of our days this week were filled with SCIENCE! Our school has adopted the SUMS FOSS kits which allows for exploratory learning, which is great but can also have its cons. I have found it difficult to incorporate it into our schools integrated reading block when it is a hands on curriculum. The students have thought they were playing all week but you would be amazed by the learning that is happening in our classroom. Our kit this nine weeks covers standards on air and weather. The students have discovered that air is matter (gas), it can be used to move things from place to place, it takes up space, bubbles are air, a parachute helped them discover air resistance, you can compress air, etc. We have just had a great time breaking out of our normal daily routine and it has made for an enjoyable week.
My parachute designers

The shouts of joy and the students running toward the jungle gym was enough to make me smile all day.
Oh and I almost forgot that Tuesday was supposed to be our CIRCUS FIELD DAY...but we were rained out! Even though we were rained out of our outside activities we still were able to attend our scheduled magic show. Of course Mrs. Whitehurst's scalawags were so excited we arrived first to the cafeteria and got front row seats to see Donovan the magician do his thing! Donavan was such a charmer that he convinced me to be one of his star audience volunteer. Let me tell you I am a STAR, I am "the teacher whose hand was still attached after he cut it off!" Oh yeah that is me and no I will not give his tricks away! I wish I had pictures because I am sure they would have been a sight to see.

I am looking forward to Friday...because it is the start of a busy weekend! RELAY FOR LIFE (Ladies of the 80's) and our big Whitehurst Easter party!