Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Houston for the Holidays

after about 24 houra of travel we made it to was long journey and not much fun, but it's a necessary evil to spend time with family.  we rented a car at the airport in houston which was nice and convenient.  we made a starbucks stop on the way to paul's parents. 

our first stop after his parent's house was to t-mobile to get new sim cards for our phones.  we then walked around in whole foods and got some snacks. 

his parents made it home and we got to catch up and hear what's going on.  then we went to my brother's house to go to dinner with my family.  we tried to new freebirds location here in sugar land and it really hit the spot.  amazing place and i don't think i will ever get tired of it.  by the end of dinner we were both fading fast and feeling the jet lag.....

back to paul's parents for bed.....thanks goodness for family.  we love them!

Friday, November 4, 2011

really, it's november....

i cannot believe that it's already november.  the time seems to fly by.  crazy times.  life has been busy per the usual here in PP.  we had many house guests the month of october.  it was fun and hectic and great to catch up with folks.  i do have to say though, it was nice for our house to be just us and the kitties again.

the rainy season has been especially rainy here in SE Asia.  i am sure many of you have read on the news of the crazy amounts of flooding going on in the region.  rainy season comes to a close next week with a festival that marks the end called water festival.  all the events and much of the festival has been cancelled this year b/c of all the flooding, but the time of year still marks the end of the rainy season.  this is nice and also marks the time of year when temperatures begin to drop to reasonable.  it's been quite hot here lately which makes for any tasks to be done outside to be miserable.  the weather in december and january is always nice and relaxing.

things are good here on our side of the world.  the first semester of school is coming to close which reminds me of report writing.  i have a new game plan this time around and hope i can implement and sustain the goal of working on them a bit at a time instead all in one go.  paul is busy too with work stuff and taking care of this and that as things come up.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

i am...

tired, down, drained, exasperated, fatigued, done, pooped out, worn down, burned out, strained and many other interesting words from

i need a change.  not sure what/why, but i do.  that is all for today....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Celebrating my birthday....

my birthday is seriously my favorite time of year.  sometimes i feel silly getting so excited about this time of year b/c it seems a bit narcissistic.  i love being able to celebrate with friends and family.

paul pulled out all the stops this weekend to celebrate.  he booked two nights at the sofitel here in phnom penh and we stayed there the whole time.  it was similiar to our cruise experience but we weren't on the sea nor were we going anywhere.  it was fabulous.

he picked my up from school on friday in the pouring rain with three orangey colored roses in hand.  it was super sweet.  then we went to the sofitel.  he had already checked in and taken our bags, so there was nothing to carry or do once we arrived.  we went up to the room which was amazing.  my favorite part of staying in really nice hotels is the bed---usually always super comfy and fluffy with crisp, clean white linens...yes, please.  the shower/tub area was fantastic too.  it was all in one enclosed room---shower and tub which were separate but in one area that one might get all wet if desired.  the design was nice.  we went down to le bar in the lobby for a before dinner cocktail.  after our fancy drink we went to la coupole which is the main dining area for the seafood buffet. was crazy and fun.  one of the best things i ate was the tempura veggies---light, crispy, wonderful batter on green, red, and yellow bell peppers---seriously like eating candy they are so yummy.    i ate way too back up the room and seriously considered throwing up to make myself feel better.  it was quite rough.  i went straight to bed instead which was about 8ish.  nuts but it felt good.   

on saturday, we woke up and went down to breakfast in the same dining area.  i had learned my lesson the night before so i took it slow this time around.  i had an omelette, some fresh bread with butter and jam, yummy grilled bacon and the best fresh orange juice i have ever had.  it tasted like mushed up oranges.  so good.  the coffee was also nice.  we went back up to the room to hang out.  i ended up napping some more while paul did some work.  i also took advantage of the large shower and tub.  it is so nice to have a tub that fits and is lovely.  i miss that for sure.  the shower is nice and spacious too which is something we don't have at our apartment.  the cotton waffle robes were a highlight too.  it's the small things for me.  :)  i read some and just napped much of the day.  no plans or expectations on what we did.  it was quite nice to not have anywhere to go.  about 2pm we got hungry and went down to the le bar in the lobby for afternoon drinks and lunch.  paul and i both had a caesar salad.  on our way back to the room we popped into the chocolate shop for a light dessert---strawberry and caramel chocolates.  YUM!  we ate those while we rested in the room some more.  we both napped after our late lunch.  dinner was at 6pm at the italian restaurant in the hotel.  we have eaten there before and loved it, so i was looking forward to yummy italian food.  we tried new things which paul liked much better than i did.  i did enjoy the salad we ordered which was fresh arugula with small cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan tossed in a balsamic olive oil....yum!  the two pasta dishes were okay, but nothing i would try again.  we topped off dinner with tiramisu which they do well.  back to the room to watch some of the tv paul brought with us--the big c and the last episodes of rome.  it was quite nice to lay in a comfy bed while watching television.  when the tv was finished we were hungry again so we ordered room service.  the nicest room service ever.  they wheeled the table in all set and fancified.  i had to admit when the guy left i had to check under the table for spies and audio bugs like in the movies.  the whoel rolling table reminded me of something out of a bourne movie.  too funny.  paul and i giggled about it.  dinner #2 was nice and it was fun to eat at this nice table in our room.  a nice fun way to end the day.

sunday morning i slept in some more....surprise, surprise!  paul brought me up a coffee and chocolate croissant from the dining room to wake me up.  :)  he's the best.  then we just chatted and began to get ready and pack up before our brunch reservations and check out.  we watching some cnn which is also a treat since we don't have cable at home.  the sunday brunch is a big deal and came with good reviews.  we were hoping for the best, but would not be shocked if it was a let down.  we tend to prepare for the let down as many buffets we have had that are raved about are not our thing.  we walked into the dining room and paul had already selected our table.  as we walked over to it, i realized that paul had gone above and beyond---he had invited our close friends to join us and celebrate my birthday with us.  it was the perfect ending to our mini vacation!  paul is so good at knowing what makes me happy.  there were eight of us total and the two couples with kiddos had even gotten sitters to make it an all adult affair.  it was sooo nice and a pleasant happy surprise!  i love paul and my friends here.  huge heart swell as i sat down to share a meal with all of them.  :)  the brunch was great and much better than we expected.  everyone was thrilled and happy which makes me happy too.  i got some kind, sweet notes from them which paul requested instead of presents.  he knows my love language.  it was so perfect!  i cherish kind words more than anything.

after lunch and checking out, paul went to the coffee shop to work while i had a manicure and pedicure at my favorite place.  i came home to nap and settle back into real life while he worked much of the afternoon. we had take out sandwiches for dinner with J & T from downstairs and then watched some modern family.  always so nice to laugh out loud....i love this show for that.

it was a great weekend and i feel so rested going in to this week.  i have the best husband who does his best to make me feel loved and special.  God is so good to have brought us together.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

yes, i am alive and well....taken a break and back on the horse....

so here we's almost mid september and i find myself being inspired to blog and share on the world wide web again.

we had a FABULOUS summer holiday!  it was quite nice to be away even though it was a long time.  we went to tokyo, seoul, seattle, a cruise to alaska, and then to houston.  a fun time was had by both of us.

the school year has started and it's going well.  i am quite pleased with my change--i moved down to teach a mixed class of 2nd and 3rd graders.  it's taken about this long (31 days) to find our groove as a class and feel like we are hitting the stride now.  i love the kiddos i have and find so many times through out the day when they just make me smile.  i have 17 of them which a nice number too.  i hope that it continues to go well and i continue to grow as a teacher.

five days from now i turn 34 which is quite hard to believe.  i feel younger than 34.  it's interesting to think that i potentially have completed about 1/3 of my life.  weird, exciting, morbid, and a bit scary.  i am looking forward to spending time with paul and our friends here in phnom penh.

we are having a mini vacation this weekend here in phnom penh.....we are going to stay at the sofitel for two nights to "get away" and spoil ourselves.  i am excited and looking forward to "unplugging" for the weekend.  paul knows how to make me happy for sure.  he is amazing.

on the 23rd we are going to thailand for a week long holiday.  i am also super excited about this trip.  we are revisiting a favorite in northern thailand called chang mai.  really great food, fabulous used book shops (a whole street of them) and some funky, eclectic shopping.  we will spend the first part of the week in chang mai then on wednesday we will fly down to bangkok for some big city fun (read lots of shopping for things we cannot get here in phnom penh).  yes, i have created a list of things to look for and get while there.  it should be fun.

we have a new addition at our house....her name is pip squeak.  she is now just over 2 months old and is a lovely creamy and orange color.  we should have considered dreamsicle as a name b/c that is what her coloring reminds me of.  she is spunky, fiesty and cuddly, not to mention too cute.  here's a pic of her in action with one of her favorite toys---yarn....

in other big news i have signed up to run/walk a 3K in december.  i cannot believe i have really done it, but it's true.  i have always wanted to do something like this, but never had the motivation.  i am not quite sure about the motivation at this point, but i am signed up and going.  it will take place on sunday, dec 4th in siem reap and should be quite nice of a run/walk.  it will be out near angkor wat so the scenery will be cool to look at.  at this time of year the weather has cooled quite a bit for here so it should be fab weather to be outside doing physical activity.  for now, i need to start my couch to 5K and get moving on a regular basis.  this is my goal for now.  the couch to 5K is 9 weeks and there is 12 until race day.  so my planned start date for training is monday, oct 3rd.  prayers are appreciated .... i know i will be proud and happy once i have done it, but at the moment i am still not feeling quite sure about my decision.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

it's thursday....

and i am still in one piece, but barely.  this week has panned out as i had projected--challenging, exhausting, and stressful.  tuesday night, after a superbly long day at school, i slipped and fell in the alley way to our house.  imagine petri dish for all kinds of bacteria and germs.  i got up and limped to our stairs where i was greeted by our neighbor, N.  she is amazing and runs the little shop in our alley.  she took all my bags and helped me up the 64 steps to our apartment.  she informed me that paul was out and helped me make sure i was not gushing blood or anything serious going on that i could not see.  it looked as if i just had a few scrapes, but my clothes were covered in gross dirt/mud.  N left me to take a shower and clean myself and she went down to get J.  J came in and wanted to make sure i was okay.  when she arrived i started to bawl......i was so upset and the fall was just the icing on the cake to an already challenging and tiring day.  J and N left and i got in the shower where i really cried and just stood there.  paul arrived home, instantly asking if i was okay since he saw J and N on the stairs.  i cried and cried.  i stood there having an "i hate living here" moment.  i cleaned myself up, poured rubbing alcohol over my scrapes to make sure all and any germs were dead, and had a nice, frothy beverage.  i went to bed shortly there after in hopes to just get some much needed rest.

it's now thursday and i am still moving, but this week seems never ending and nearly impossible.  praying for the strength, patience and endurance to get through this weekend.  

Monday, May 16, 2011

this week ...

is going to be tough to say the least.  at this very moment, i am frustrated, overwhelmed and wanting to throw in the towel.  there are days in which i could live simply....stay at home, hang out with jesus, listen to worship music and just be.  be a wife and a friend.  i am tired of dealing with all things school--the adults especially.  my kids are great, but it breaks my heart when others drop the ball and i am not prepared well enough with details to help them be successful.  maybe i should work like a mad woman doing my job and everyone elses, but i can't.  it's not physically possible.  i need others to hold their end of the stick up so we can all do this together.  i am reminded of the quote, "it takes a village to raise a child." okay, i get that, but some people in this "village" are not doing their part and it makes life for everyone harder.  i have a million things to do this week and the current mess is not something else i wanted to deal with.  when i speak up, i am heard, but that is as far as it goes....nothing changes, no one is spoken to, instead i end up being the "bad cop".  how fun is that?  it sucks.

the only thing that will get me through this week is the verse from Hebrews 12:1-3--"...let us throw off everything that hinders us and sin that so entangles us.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  NIV

>>gulp<<  so i guess with THAT perspective i will make it through this week.  i can endure all this day to day junk and make it to friday without losing heart.  i do have to say though at this moment it feels almost impossible.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Countries I have been to.....

Here's my list....
South Korea
Cayman Islands

Saturday, April 23, 2011

my ponderings.....

i know i need to add the india blogs up here and i am working on it.  this week was tiring since it was my first week back, but i do have to say it was a good one.  the new unit i working on with my kids is exciting and school went really well this week.  i actually felt like i knew what i was doing.  as a team, we are organized and doing well making a plan.  it felt really good to be "in the groove" this week at school.

on the home front, paul has been super busy working on his current projects.  he spends a lot of time working, but we have managed to do things here and there this week too.  friday we had friends over for tacos (ming made) and called it "fiesta friday".  it was so fun to have friends over and just hang out.  we looked at pictures, laughed, talked, shared a meal and just were together.  i really love this in my life.....i am definitely made for community and need to be surrounded by others.  thankfully my maker, God, had the same idea....yeah for Him!

today we slept in and had an epic rest.  i love saturdays for this reason.  my day of rest.  we woke up at 1:55 when our neighbors texted an invite for lunch and fun.  J & T are awesome and live just downstairs.  they were actually how we found our new place and they are AWESOME.  they same a 10 month old son, I.  (i like to use first initials to protect privacy b/c i am sure not everyone wants to be made public on our blog).  we had chicken fajitas and then played Settlers of Catan.  i had never played before and it was quite a bit of fun!  i am definitely hooked and hoping to share this game with my friends and family this summer.  i came in 2nd place with 8 points while J took the glory for winning.  the boys tried to keep her from winning, but their strategies weren't panning out.

after the game, I was hungry and needed to start his bedtime routine.  paul went to get fatboy subs and then we watch four episodes of modern family with J & T.  we thought we would be watching a movie, but that did not work out.  it was a great day.

hard to believe it's easter weekend.  it rained like mad here this evening and i am hoping it will help with the heat.  this week has been especially hot and sauna-like.

some goals for myself---

  • post india blog posts
  • upload pictures to flickr
  • read and rest

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

India Update....

Day #2 was good.  we did more shopping and eating.  will write about it more later.....

Day #3 was trying, very trying.  we went to Agra where the Taj Mahal is.  it was super hot and kind of anti-climatic.  paul is not feeling well and i am still trying to process the day.  we are back in delhi...paul is asleep after taking two tylenol.  he might have fever, but we aren't sure.  i hope he is okay.  i will sit, process and pray.  we are okay, so don't panic.  it was just a very trying hard day in many ways and on many levels.

more to come.....paul's computer shocks me when i type and that sucks.


Monday, April 11, 2011

day #1 in Delhi was a full day of shopping and taking it all in--the people, the colors, foods, clothing.  it was amazing!  we had breakfast and a cup of chai before heading out with mrs borges to go to a few markets.  we rode the metro which is quite nice to our stop.  at the front of every train they have a "ladies only" compartment.  mrs borges told us it was especially helpful when the train is super busy and crowded at the peak hours.  i am determined to try it before we go.

our first stop was the dilli haat market.  it's open air and full of artisans from each state of india.  it quite the place and it costs about 30 cents to get in.  this helps keep out beggars and pushy vendors selling sunglasses and other items one has no need for.  we walked around for a while....stopping here and there learning about all the wares for sale.  we looked at rugs, shawls, kurtas, sarees, toys, food, etc.  i bought a kurta which is a cotton, tunic like top that is awesome.  at this market items tend to be a bit more pricey, but nice quality.  they also had my size as which i learned later in the day is hard to find.  many curvy women have their kurtas stitched to fit.  paul bought a small string guitar that he played with the seller for a bit.  i loved that.  he sat on the ground and strummed away with the seller learning how to play his new toy.  i also bought a child's toy that you pull and these small sticks beat on a little drum.  it was fun and each item was about a dollar.  the local currency is rupees which is fun to say.  this first market reminded me of what a bazaar might have looked like centuries ago in this area.  lots of archways and wares hanging up all over.

for lunch we also ate at dilli haat market.  again, they have food from each state in india which makes for a diverse experience.  mrs borges made the lunch selection---chicken fried momos, a thali, a paratha and some tandoori chicken.  it was all totally yum!   the momos are like dumplings (gyozas, mandu, etc) and they were served with spicy tomato sauce.  the thali set is like a set meal that gives variety.  ours had a little cup of dal makhani, mixed veg, and paneer (local made cheese made with buffalo's milk) also comes with two chapatis (bread), rice and a pappa (large tortilla like chip with roasted black pepper inside).  the paratha has panner and coriander inside which was delicious.  it's another kind of bread that is made with whole wheat flour and stuffed. we also had some tandoori chicken which is straightforward but oh so yummy.

after lunch, we got in an auto rickshaw (like a tuk tuk) and made our way to the sarojini nagar market.  a very busy place indeed and reminded me of the markets we have in phnom penh, but a bit nicer.  the crowds were there for sure.  we walked around taking in everything.  paul had an indian treat at a famous little dive of a place.  the treat was a breaded like cup like thing that they put spicy water in.  it was good too and quite cheap.  you got three treats for 10 rupees ($1 = 44 rupees)  i am not sure what the treats are called now.  i ended up buying another kurta in the market.  our last stop at this market was the saree shop.  wow!  it was such a colorful shop and the experience was cool.  i picked out two and it cost about 20 dollars which was cheaper than i expected.  we then had to buy the two separated pieces for each and then they have to sew in some bits in the saree to make it ready for wear.  i am excited.  i cannot wait to wear them.

we made our way back to the b&b for a rest before dinner.  we both had naps after our bout of shopping.  mr borges picked us up at 8pm for dinner at their house.  mrs borges had made homemade dal makhani (paul's favorite), paneer curry, some veggies, and chana curry.  wow!  it was all super amazing and we ate until we hurt.  it was nice to see how they live as locals and also have great conversation.  it was soo good.  mrs borges' dal makhani has set a new standard for us that may never be reached any where else.

for the first time we experienced a power cut which happens often in delhi.  many have back up inverters that keep minimal power going like a few lights and fans.  it was quite cool last night, so it was okay that the air con was not working.  paul stayed up and worked and i went straight to bed.  the power came back in the middle of the night.  the interesting thing i have noticed here is the entire schedule of many people are shifted later......dinner is much later than our usual time which is fine, but just interesting.  many people don't eat until 8:30 or 9pm.  then the mornings are slow to get started as well.  it makes it nice to be able to rest and live in a place that likes our schedule too.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

welcome to india!

after a full day of travel we landed in new delhi!  i cannot believe we are really here.  it's still surreal a bit especially since earlier this same week i was awfully ill.  we had a warm indian greeting by mr and mrs borges, a teaching colleague's parent.  they are lovely and so warm!  i feel like we are visiting relatives.  we got our phones and sim cards sorted and then made our way through the large airport to the taxi.  we aren't too far from the b&b.  we got to see lots of cards and transportation on the way from the airport and had fabulous conversation as well in the car.  our b&b is great!  the room is large and the bathroom spacious.  we had our first chai tea in india this evening with mr and mrs borges at the b&b.  so fun!  i was excited and we waited to see what they would do with their tea before we sipped ours.  :)  it was nice, warm and flavorful.  i have had chai before, but not in india.  :)  we settled up our plan for tomorrow and then said good night to our lovely hosts.  paul and i need to get some rupees from a cash machine, so we went out and about.  it was nearly midnight, but things here are still quite awake at this hour.  we walked down to the PVR cinema near the b&b where there is a small area with food stalls.  we had a peep around and then decided to try  mcdonald's.  we had read that there burgers are made with lamb and not beef, so we were intrigued.  tonight's menu just had chicken though--paul had a spicy chicken wrap and i had a spicy chicken sandwich.  we are back at the b&b and settling in for a good rest before our outings tomorrow with mrs borges.  cannot wait.  india is great so far!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

what i have been up to....

lately.  sorry i have been quiet.  it has not been intentional.  i got the new chrome and changed some apps on my home page, so i don't see my blog everyday as before.  this might be an idea that i need to change it back to my blog.....i digress.

we have found a church.  yeah!  we have committed to a great little community and have been going every sunday for about a month and half now.  the pastor is a colleague of mine.  he and his wife moved to cambodia from south africa via taiwan to plant a church.  it's really for the locals, but we love it and feel like God wants us there too.  it's taken some adjustment, but we do feel like we are in the right place.  we also started a small group on tuesday evenings at their house.  it's just the four of us for now and it's great.  what a difference it makes to be in community with other believers.  i did not realize how much it influences my life until we had it again.  praise God for new opportunities!

i also started exercising.  about four weeks ago i went to the doctor to check in and start a relationship with an ob/gyn here.  i know that is a lot of information, but i don't know how else to explain.  one of the reasons we decided to move from korea when we did b/c we are hoping to start a family and that was not possible with my job situation there.  so here we are over the six month mark in cambodia and thinking about the whole family thing.  with all that in mind, i needed to get to know a doctor.  i know i need to be healthy.  she suggested that i try to get fit too in addition to working on losing some extra pounds before we begin the process.  that was motivation for i started the "couch to 5K" about 3 weeks ago.  it has been great so far, but could not run/walk last week b/c i had a bummed shoulder.  stupid muscles!  i feel good and so far have lost about 3 pounds or so.  i am kind of keeping track, but not manic about it.

we have had quite a situation with our apartment which is a long, complex story.  for now, i am going to spare you all the details.  it's been hard, full of emotions and uncertainty.  just pray that we can figure it out and do what God wants with the whole thing.

the next few weeks/months will be busy but good.  this weekend we have friends coming to visit from seoul, D, S & C.  the weekend of march 3rd we are going to bangkok so i can visit an established PYP school there.  i get to spend a day there and ask lots of questions.  i am excited and hope that some of my confusion will be cleared up and some questions to be answered.  i am such a visual learner that i hope "seeing" an established school will help me feel more affirmed in what i have been trying to do.

until next time...

Monday, February 7, 2011

spirit week

i am rocking the "fashion clash day" like no other. my kids are so proud of their crazy teacher. the funny part is the head of school commented on my outfit and how much he liked it without knowing it was spirit week. seriously? does this craziness really suit me? ok, maybe i don't want you to answer that question.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

oh my!

Jen and I went to lunch and then to Bloom Cafe for dessert. Oh my...we had a great time. We each had five cupcakes, yes FIVE! it was outrageous! here is my selection....there were new flavors to try and i could not resist! they were amazing! my favorite was the coffee cake with bailey's cream cheese icing. YUM! here is the picture of the amazingness! Enjoy!

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Monday, January 31, 2011


i am reading the book, The Element, by Ken Robinson at the moment.  it was a suggestion from my husband after he saw Ken's TED talk online and insisted that i watch it.  he knows that i love all things about education reform, creativity, and rethinking how we are teaching and loving on students.  anyhow, i bought the book.  i am reading it and cannot put it down.  i am reading two books and loving both, so i have to share the love and keep up with both.  i find myself carrying around both and deciding which to read and then taking turns the next time i have a chance to read.  ok, back to the point.....

books like these have me thinking and reflecting all the time.  i think about my own life, my interests, my desires, things i am passionate about.......and then i ask myself questions such as, "do i love what i do?  do i love it so much that nine hours feels like twenty minutes?"  last week, i was thinking more along the lines of teaching is not really my "element" as Ken puts it.  although today i am thinking it is.  it seems that i could change my mind daily for the rest of my life.  i am a nerd.  i think more than anything i love to see kids learn and LOVE it.  i love to read about kids who are passionate about a topic and learn all they can.  i love to see learning "click" in their heads.  it is an amazing thing to witness and be a part of.

just now, i was catching up on reading blogs in google reader and i come across this post written by Kristen.  her son is a third grader and has just learned about money, entrepreneurship and getting out of debt.  her writing is real and it makes me laugh.  i read her post and i am reminded that i love watching, hearing and learning of kids loving learning.  he may not get his multiplication tables done in less than a minute, read independently b/c he loves it, but he does GET the economics system his teacher has going.  that is awesome!  that is a huge deal!  so much more than grades on a report card or standardized testing.  i don't know these folks personally, but i know that her son is awesome and if i were his teacher i would be so proud and energized by her son's passion for starting his own business.  stories like this make it all worth it--the crazy parents, the days when you just want to go back to bed, behaviors that test patience forever, being judge judy---stories like this one encourage me.

i am passionate about learning.  i am passionate about helping kids finding their passion for learning.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

turning over a new leaf....

this week i began doing to the "couch to 5K" running program. basically, one goes from being a couch potato to being able to run a 5K over the course of training slowly in nine weeks time.  for nine weeks, i am exercising three times per week.  this week i ran/walked three times--monday, wednesday and friday.  monday was brutal, wednesday was rough, but friday was good.  i am excited to start working on becoming more fit over the next eight weeks.  a friend that i teach with, K, is exercising with me which makes it much more tolerable and the time goes by faster when we work out together.  fun times!

i am also trying to keep an eye on what i am eating.  i am trying to keep it to healthy choices as much as possible.    i feel that i am pretty good at portion control, but i need to make sure i am keeping track of what is going in and making sure it is a healthy choice.  i also have given up alcohol since it's all empty calories.  i am reserving glasses of wine for once in a while and special occasions.  for instance, tonight at dinner i had a glass of white wine.  i felt like i needed to reward myself for the great job i did exercising all week.  i only had one glass and drank lots of water in between.  it felt great!

here's to continuing to make great choices to treat my body like a temple and not a trash can....


  • i slept in until 10:30am
  • i made breakfast for myself
  • i caught up on blog reading all the blogs i follow
  • we went to lunch at a new cafe called la pitou on street 19
  • we went to bayon supermarket for a grocery run
  • we came home
  • we watched episodes of the sopranos
  • we decided to go to dinner at yumi, one of our absolute favorites
  • we stopped so paul could get a latte at brown on street 51
  • we came home
  • we watched the newest episode of portlandia

Thursday, January 20, 2011

love this....

a blogger i follow posted this on her blog lately and i was inspired and encouraged....

Jeremiah 29:13
“When you seek Me you will find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart.” --NIV

“When you come looking for Me, you’ll find Me. Yes, when you get serious about finding Me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” --The Message

love it because i never get this far--- one of my favorite life verses, Jeremiah 29:11, about hope--is where i usually stop, but i love this verse too.

good stuff for my heart and head.  :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Summer Dates for Travel

We have purchased tickets---YEAH!

We arrive in Seattle on June 20th, leave for cruise to Alaska on June 25th, and get back to Seattle on July 2nd.
We will arrive in Houston in the evening on July 2nd and leave Houston early in the morning on July 19th.

Mark your calendars!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

my cool new pens

first 11 of '11: 1.8.11

oh, saturday how i love thee...this is the one day of the week that paul and i have this incredible ability to sleep past noon until almost one or two o'clock.  it's awesome and something we kind of cherish.  it's sounds silly, but it's something we do almost every saturday.

we ate lunch at lone star saloon (#30 on street 23) which is always fun and guaranteed to be satisfying.  paul ordered his favorite migas and i had eggs on toast smothered in cream sausage gravy (tastes like my momma's).  it was divine and wonderful.  whenever we eat here it's a reminder of being back in texas and eating home food. the staff is super nice and friendly.  the owner is from fort worth which you might already know from other posts.

after lunch we had some errands to run.  our first stop was gloria jean's for a coffee fix for paul.  then off to peace book center to check out flatbed scanners.  we have never been to this shop either, so i had to take inventory of all the lovely office/school supply items they offer.  it makes me happy.  i bought four new colored pens and a whole set of staedtler colored pens too that came with a nifty zip pouch.  yes, i am obsessed with all things school supply related especially pens, markers, crayons, etc.

next stop russian market to pick up the lamp shade and two new lamps i ordered.  the exciting part of the trip for me was that i knew exactly what entrance to go in and walked right to the shop without having to figure out where i was.  this may sound mundane but is a huge accomplishment when making one's way around the markets here.  unfortunately, the lamps and lampshade aren't ready.  :(  i have to go back on monday.

back at home, i am trying out all my new pens i got at the book center and planning to scan some receipts for health insurance claims.  super exciting stuff here at the falgouts.  i did blog about our summer plans and receive news that one of my cousins, marc, and his wife, casey, gave birth to their first child on the 7th.  i know that my aunt is beside herself excited to be a grandma for the first time and have a grandson to spoil and love on.

a quite productive evening here--scanned all the receipts, organized and cleaned off the desk, and had some creative ideas for home decor.  woo hoo!  we went off to dinner at k'nyay which is always a treat.  i had chicken amok and paul had prawn amok.  amok is a traditional khmer dish that is curry like and served with rice.  so good and full of flavors.  we had ice cream for dessert which is vegan--coconut milk instead of cow milk---and it's amazing.  paul loves the cherry & almond and my choice is usually the chocolate & orange.  wow.

last stop before coming home was another coffee fix for paul.  instead of gloria jean's we stopped at a new place near GJs called bread is ready, coffee is done--BRCD for short.  it's a great space with lots of local art up on the walls.  fast wifi, power plugs, and lots of seating to choose from.  we also learned that the owner is korean and we met his sister who is here in PP on holiday from uni in australia.  super nice and i even got to speak korean.  yeah!  the coffee is decent and i will report about the pastries in the morning after i eat them for breakfast.  i got two scones and a blueberry muffin.

now for some tv or a movie to top off the evening here at the falgout casa.  it's a toss up about whether we watch more big bang or a movie.

summer plans announcement

excited to share that we are traveling to the states this summer for the holiday.  some of the tickets have been purchased and plans are being made which makes it all pretty official.  we aren't sure on the dates of arrival and departure as we have not purchased the plane ticket from cambodia to america yet.  paul is working on that part.

the only plans we know of right now are that we will be on a cruise leaving seattle from june 25th-july 2nd to ALASKA.  we will be traveling with paul's parents and we are thrilled.  i have been on one cruise before and paul has never been.  i told him that to get me to go again we had to go somewhere that i think is cool---such as the mediterranean, around the southern part of south america or alaska.  so here we are....going on a cruise to alaska.  i have a few activities i hope to take part of while on this trip--my wish list--1) to hang out/see/participate in dog mushing and 2) to see bears and other animals in the wild.  paul has been doing lots of research on how to best make this happen for me which makes me love him so.

the unofficial plan is to arrive in seattle from PP a few days before the cruise and play in the city.  it's one of our favorite american cities.  then after cruise we will fly to houston to see family and friends for about two and a half weeks or so.  i have started the "to do list" for houston, the "shopping" list, and the "must visit these stores" list.  i am weirdo, i know.  i also have the "friends i must see/visit with" list.  i am list making queen, as many people can affirm.  it works for me.

mark your calendars, peeps!  we are coming to america!

first 11 of '11: 1.7.11

we slept in this morning and it was great.  we got up about 11am and the house was crazy quiet since our friends left last night.  it was almost freaky.  we went to fatboy subs again for lunch.  it was fantastic and yes, i had the same thing---filly cheese steak sandwich.  paul walked me home and then went off to work at gloria jean's.

i washed up some dishes, tried to work on our ant problem (seems futile), had some ice cream with fanta soda (flavor not sure b/c i cannot read khmer, but it tastes like root beer) and caught up on all my blogs that i read in google reader.  i also was able to check one item off the weekend to do list too which is always nice--skype with my close friend K in seoul.  we have not caught up at all this break, so it was fabulous to do so today.  i miss her and her family dreadfully and always love that we can connect via technology.  i attempted to clean/organize our desk, but that did not get too far.  it does look better, but not great.  we are in desperate need of some sort of drawers/shelves for that space for all the paperwork/extra office like stuff one has.

i read a blog today that has me thinking about our "stuff".  the author mentions a book that i quickly added to my eBook wish list at barnes & noble.  it's called the 100 thing challenge: how i got rid of almost everything, remade my life, and regained my soul by dave bruno.  the idea intrigues me.  i might download soon and give it a browse to see what it is about.  although i am thinking we might not be able to do it since we have collectibles from our travels.  who knows?  anyone read it?

the book i am currently reading i am still unsure about.  i picked it up based on a colleague's suggestion and found it in the free pile in the staff room, so i figured why not.  i am just over half way and cannot decide if i like it, want to keep reading it, or just abandon it.  part of me keeps hoping that it will change and get better, but i am not so sure.  i have never read a book that bothers me in a way that i cannot really put words to.  it's the oddest feeling.  it's called a fine balance by rohinton mistry.

a short afternoon nap once paul got home, then we were off to dinner.  we decided to give magnolia (vietnamese) a try again because many people keep saying how much they like it and such.  so off we has a nice ambiance for sure.  we chose to sit outside and unfortunately were disappointed to learn that they only serve pho at breakfast.  what?!?!  come on.  strike #1.  we finally decided what to order--spring rolls with steamed crab (off a specials menu), i ordered the grilled beef with garlic and paul ordered a beef salad cambodian style.  the spring rolls were not so wonderful.  strike #2.  my beef was ordinary, but not mind blowing or anything.  then paul's meal arrived and he began to check it out and discovered onions after ordering specifically no onions.  strike #3.  we were done.  it took us a while to track down a server who spoke english well enough to communicate he ordered no onions and indeed there were onions in the salad.  ugh.  we asked them to remake and off they went.  shortly we thought we would just be done, so again i attempted to wave down an english speaking server to explain that we wanted to cancel the salad remake and would like the bill.  confused he walked away, but brought the bill later.  magnolia is not on the nnot so great list of our food choices here in PP.  we don't get it b/c many people we know have raved over it, but we just cannot make the magic happen here.  the great thing is that there are a million other choices that we enjoy and want to try, so it's not a big loss.

we walked across the street to a place called fortune pho or pho fortune.  we are not sure to be honest.  it's a small, simple pho shop.  no frills, but has all the good pho.  the menu has mostly pho choices so paul was thrilled.  the staff is friendly and tries there best to make the most of communication with us.  a nice change from magnolia.  paul ordered beef pho and i ordered fried spring rolls.  both were quite good and we will go back.  simple and right on.  this place gets two thumbs up from us.

after dinner, we made one more stop at fresco on the riverfront for a dessert.  i got a scoop of hokey pokey ice cream (butterscotch flavor with small bits of butterscotch) and paul got some special banana, coconut smoothie.  got home and watched more episodes of big bang theory.  the current tv choice since many of our shows have been on a break for the holidays.  i think many of them start back up this week.

Friday, January 7, 2011

first 11 of '11: 1.6.11

today was an overall great day!  it all began just before 10:40am when i roused myself awake just before the alarm went off.  i got to sleep a bit more since paul claimed the shower first.  yeah, i love when he does that for me.  the girls went to lunch at the living room cafe down in bkk and it was fabulous.  the younger girls played in the kids playroom while the older girls chatted and reflected on the holiday here.  it was a fabulous time and all of thoroughly enjoyed being together.  we had lunch and then made three stops before coming back to the house for the afternoon--the frame shop, monument toys, and the pharmacie.  i got the cool indigo dyed fabric i bought in laos sorted out for framing as well as the piece of art that our favorite cafe owner in seoul, jenny, made for us when we were there in october.  big check off the list of the last bits for now of the home decorating.  monument books/toys was to get a birthday present for the smallest girl of the bunch and both of them spent a bit of their christmas cash on crafty items too.  last stop was the pharmacie, my friend needed to stock up on some basic meds that they can get here and not get in seoul.

afternoon tea at the house with our housekeeper, ming, and her entire family.  stu made scones and they were awesome!  we visited, took pictures, and played video games.  the afternoon breezed by and soon it was time for round one of goodbyes.  ugh....they are hard no matter what the circumstance i think.  the girls were really sad to say goodbye to sreyleak.  they have had such a great time being together for the last few weeks.

we kept dinner simple by ordering in pizza.  we shared one last meal together before starting round two of goodbyes which were more gut wrenching than the first.  ming did not want to leave the girls and they surely did not want to leave her.  it was hard to watch and totally a heart breaker.  soon after the girls laid down for a nap before having to leave for the airport.  the adults sat down stairs doing one last bit of chatting before the tuk tuk crew arrive to carry our friends and all their luggage to the airport.  it was sad, hard, tough, and tearful.

paul and i again closed the night with some episodes of big bang theory to cheer up our moods and topped it off with the latest modern family.  no big plans for the weekend at this point......we just want to rest and i am sure that won't be an issue since we seem to have genetic gifts of sleeping and resting.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

first 11 of '11: 1.5.11

word of the day: REST!

i did lots of it and it was awesome.  paul and i had lunch together which is always a treat since we don't get to when i am working.  we went to fatboy subs around the corner from our house.  they are super good.  simliar to subway, but SOOO much better.  subway on steroids is the description we often use.  i had a filly cheesesteak and it was so yummy.  we shared a cookie (paul got it free with his frequent buyer card) and then he walked me home.  he was off to gloria jeans to work and i had no plans for the afternoon.

i spent much of the afternoon in bed---sleeping and/or cuddling with our cat, India.  she loves to cuddle and just have attention since Sam passed away.  it's been a nice change since she usually can be quite the independent kitty.

last night we took our friends and their friends to Yumi which is easily one of our favorites here in PP.  it's a fusion Japanese place and has an unique menu.  the Yumi pork ribs are the best i have ever had.  it was fun to go with more people as we tried much more of the menu than we usually would/could.  it was such a smattering of this and that and the best part was that everything we tried was amazing.  i cannot wait until our next visit there.  such a gem in our city.

paul and i finished off the evening watching somce big bang theory after our friends went to bed.  we really have grown to love the show and always have a good laugh which is therapeutic.

another great day of holiday.........three more days before i go back to work.........

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

first 11 of '11: 1.4.11

today was a whirlwind of a shopping day, but not for me.  my friends spent much of the day at a local designer's shop, ambre, trying on lots and lots of clothes.  i sat by and watched the madness which was interesting, thought provoking, and filled with lots of artsy like thoughts.  i learned i am not really into being fashionable, but i prefer being comfortable.  i do like certain things, but prefer a much more casual look than my friends.  some are made for fashion, some are made for comfort.

dinner was simple....paul and i went to our local little indian place around the corner.  it was quite tasty and good.  always a nice meal!  we came home and watched more big bang theory which is always guaranteed to provide a good laugh.  paul and i are tv junkies.  this is one of the ways that we spend quality time together even though i wished we watched less, but it is what it is.  i am not going to punish and berate myself for the facts of life.  it's not going to kill us.

Monday, January 3, 2011

first 11 of '11: 1.3.11

today i slept in until 11am which was glorious.  india has been quite the snuggly cat since the beginning of the holidays.  when i woke up this morning she was sitting near my head, curled up and asleep.  so nice!  got up, gathered my clothes and took a shower.  then sheree and i made our way out the door for another trip to russian market.  i was armed with a list--lamp lady, silk lady, and mirror lady.  i bought some orange silk for cushion covers and a runner for our bedroom.  i also some to cover the new lamps.  i am so excited about the new look for our bedroom.  after the silk lady, we went to the lamp lady to give her the orange silk to cover the new lamps and give her my sketch of the korean lamp that is still in need of a lamp shade six months later.  :)  thrilled about this too.  last stop was to purchase the big mirror i had found a few days ago.  we bargained her down and i was thrilled with the final price.  i had asked her for the measurements so i could come home and make sure it would fit and look proportionate.  she wrapped it up and added hangers while sheree did some clothes shopping here and there.

the last stop before coming home was at the frame shop, but again they were closed.  not sure where they are or what the deal is, but they possibly might be on holiday.  who knows?!?!  we will try again tomorrow.  i bought some beautiful indigo blue fabric in laos that we cut into 5 one meter strips to be framed separately.  then i also have a piece of art made for us by our favorite cafe owner in seoul, jenny.

now back at home, we had lunch of cheese toasty sandwiches, fresh mango and bananas, and some leftover roasted veg from last night's dinner.  so good.  i think it might be time for a nap and some reading.  i love the holidays.

paul and i had dinner out together at tell restaurant.  we chose the cheese fondue and beef fondue.  it was quite tasty and we were happy with our selection.  it was nice to have dinner with him and be able to catch up and just be together.  we ordered vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert.  yum!

made a short stop at bayon for beverages and other needs before coming home to watch some tv.  we chose to watch some more big bang theory which is hilarious.  we have decided that season 2 episode 11 is the BEST show to date.  we laughed until we were crying.......great fun!

first 11 of '11

had this genius idea today while running errands around town in the tuk tuk.....

going to reflect at the end of each day for the first 11 days of '11.  first two down, nine more to go....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

first 11 of '11: 1.2.11

slept in a bit more today as the first stir and conscious moment was about 9am.  it feels so nice to sleep until i want to get up instead of being jolted awake by an alarm clock.  today was a low key laid back day which i wanted.  i ate some breakfast amongst the madness that is our home at the moment.  i love the people and hustle & bustle.  it's so nice to have so much going on in one small place.  i made a hair appointment for myself as i needed to redeem the hair-gone-wrong situation that i was living with.  walked down to sokun's place hoping and praying for some redemption and good style for my hair.  a few hours later i walked out pleased and happy. it is truly a huge difference---color and cut.  i am so much happier this go round.  came home to an empty house which was nice, surprisingly.  i caught up on blogs and just sat in the quiet.  i ended up laying on the couch for a bit too which was lovely.

everyone came home about the same time and we all shared about our day and adventures.  the girls had been to the pool, gotten ice cream, and played in the sandy area at the cafe.  they had lots to share.  i planned and drew some of my ideas for the guest room and accenting our room while everyone busily did their own thing.  stu made dinner, paul worked, the girls played and did this and that.  sheree managed to make the rounds to see what everyone was up to and doing.

dinner was amazing.  roasted chicken with roasted veggies, a super yummy gravy, broccoli and cauliflower bake, and yummy honey drizzled baked carrots.  wow!  it is nice sharing meals with others.  i love that our table has been full of folks when we sit down for dinner.  all six of us piled around, passing plates, talking, sharing.....makes my heart happy.  the adults do some tag team washing up while the girls wait patiently for the desserts to make appearance.  after dinner, grace teaches her dad a thing or two about the new super mario on the wii while sophie and sheree sit and watch.  i sit back and take it all in and paul is back at his computer working.

another great day here at the falgout abode.  off to read before bed.

first 11 of '11: 1.1.11

paul and i went to lunch at java cafe.  it was nice.  we sat upstairs outside on the balcony.  the weather was perfect and there was a gentle breeze that made sitting there heavenly.  i ordered a christmas coffee sans the orange peel and iced with a breakfast sandwich.  yum!  paul had a beef fajita wrap.  after we went to gloria jean's where we spent much of the afternoon hanging out.  i read some, attempted to start a new crochet project, and people watched.  paul worked and plugged away at learning new action script.

later i went to russian market with sheree to hunt for things for the house.  she had a list too.  i found some new fabric that i am going to use in our guest room, a mirror for our room, ordered a lamp shade, and eyed some new lamps for our room too.  it was a fun trip and i am feeling much more confident shopping in russian market.

we made our way home via the frame shop, but she was closed for the holiday.  for another day it seems!

we had dinner out with all four of the adults and left the littles at home with ming.  we went to ocean for dinner and it was fantastic per usual.  i chose the beef fillet a la ocean.  yum!  we had some great conversation over amazing food.  so nice to connect with friends and talk about all sorts of things.


this year:

  • spent the holidays in Houston with family and friends
  • mandy accepted a new teaching job in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • visited Boston
  • visited Nashville
  • mandy got her first tattoo in Nashville
  • cleaned out the closets in preparation for the move
  • visited Phnom Penh, Cambodia for spring break to see our new home
  • mandy designed another set for the 4th grade play, 1,000 Cranes
  • packed up all our stuff to be shipped to Phnom Penh
  • mandy got 2nd tattoo in Seoul
  • said goodbye to our good friends in Seoul
  • moved the family (cats and all) to Phnom Penh
  • mandy's mom came to visit us (our first visitor)
  • went to Siem Reap and visited Angkor Wat
  • mandy started a new school year 
  • leslie came to visit us in Phnom Penh
  • spent a week in Seoul visiting friends and places we missed
  • took the bus to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to visit a friend
  • watched and prayed as Cambodians experienced tragedy 
  • celebrated paul's 30th birthday in Kep, Cambodia (surprise!)
  • watch our dear Sam, the cat, decline in health and be put down
  • welcomed friends from Seoul for the Christmas holidays
  • traveled to Luang Prabang, Laos for five days
  • rang in the new year at home--mandy asleep and paul working