Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas in India!

Merry Christmas!(a little late!)
Our Christmas was great! We stayed up until midnight...dancing to worship techno music(can't wait to share that video), talking with the girls and giving them gifts. I have never seen people more greatful for gifts that most Americans would consider junk. It was so humbling. For 30 girls, we spent 3,000 rupees, which is about $60. For 30 people! I am still blown away by that. It is so little, but the girls are forever changed by it. Christmas day was awesome because we had Chinese food(so I ate, yay!) and I was so blessed by the girls and the staff, as many people gave us gifts. I have lots of stories that go with this day, and I don't want to share them all now!

Thank you for being faithful in prayer. My health is good, and I have just been very careful about food and not getting sick! We went sight seeing in Kolkata..Mother Teresa's house, some Ghandi monument and this huge momument for Queen Victoria. We visited a local market where I bought all of my presents to take home. and then we visited the other side of Kolkata...this huge, beautiful mall, with things I can't even afford. Such a contrast. We had more chinese food and some pasta...which makes me happy. :) I am feeling refreshed and I am missing the girls...tomorrow afternoon we will go back to start our last week in Daksin Barashat.
Please pray for:
-good sleep at night, I wish I could describe these beds lol
- a girl at the school named Sanu. She is one of the few girls in the school who refuses Jesus. Her and i have become very close this week. Pray that I can help her realize who her Savior is, despite her muslim beliefs.
-Safety in traveling to and from Kolkata and the school.
-All of us and the staff, who have been passing around a cold.
You are all the best! Thanks for reading! :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Indian Experience

Wow. It has been a whirlwind of a few days. Everything is great, but India is nothing like I expected. Which isn't good or bad.

The air pollution is really affecting my health, so please be praying for that! Oh and I haven't really eaten in 4 days...pray for that too. :)

I have been SO blessed already. Everything is great and the people are awesome! Thank you to everyone who is praying. Can't wait to blog about everything! Love and miss you!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Tomorrow(Saturday) I leave for a 2 week missions trip to Kolkata, India. I will be going by myself(I know, I know) and working at an orphanage that is home to 300 children. I am SO excited about this opportunity. I realized today, that I have never had to trust God more in my life. There are a lot of unknowns and this trip will test my flexibility and faith, I'm sure of it. All I know is that after a 21 hr flight, 2 missionaries will be picking me up at the airport, and my journey will begin!

Thanks to everyone who has already been praying...If you want to join in, here's some things you can pray for too!

1) I'm sick :( pray it goes away quickly!
2) That I'll be able to rest on the plane
3) That I don't have any problems with customs...I can't tell them I'm doing missionary work.
4) That I am safe, and for comfort for my mom :)
5)That I will be able to touch the lives of as many of those kids as possible!
6) That I will be a blessing to the women who run the orphanage.
7) and most importantly (haha) I won't get sick, and I can handle the food!

I love you all, and thanks for praying! Talk to you in 2 weeks!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recipe of the Week #4

Another fun night of dinner! This was super simple and really yummy. Annette brought homemade pazookie(huge cookie with ice cream) for dessert. So much for the healthy factor... ;)

Chicken Tostadas

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked
  • 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 6 (6 inch) flour tortillas
  • 6 tablespoons fat free sour cream
  • 6 cups salsa
  • 6 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. In a large bowl combine the chicken, lettuce, green bell pepper, tomatoes and onions. Mix together and set aside.
  2. Heat tortillas by placing them in a large dry skillet over medium high heat and turning once until golden and puffy.
  3. To Assemble Tostadas: Place a tortilla on a plate, top with some of the chicken mixture and garnish with sour cream, salsa and cheese. Repeat with all tortillas.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


So, as previously mentioned, my friend Rachel and I are training for a triathalon. Right now, we are on a running program and in February, we will switch to training for all 3 things! It has been fun to spend so much time with Rachel.

While I have been training, I have decided to make a lot of changes in the rest of my life. I want the triathalon to be easier for me. So about a month ago I changed my diet and already started feeling better. Since that went so well, I kept going..haha. Now, I've given up Starbucks(except for iced tea) and alcohol.(The Starbucks being more of a big deal than the other one.) So far it hasn't been that bad...and it is definitely much better for me!! It's also awesome because I'm saving money. :)
Then, last week, due to something that happened in my personal life (and because I was already in the spirit of making changes) I gave up facebook. I know...crazy. Ok, so it was only 3 days...but it was an awesome 3 days. I used all that time I usually spend on the computer to read my bible, pray and spend time with my roommates. It made me realize that I need to cut back on the time I spend on it. It is a fun way to keep in touch, but I waste a lot of time on it when I could be doing a lot of other things. It was a great time with God, even if everyone on facebook did mock me. :)
Is there anything in your life you can give up for awhile to better your life or to spend more time with God?

Recipe of the Week #3

So far I'm doing well on my plan for trying a new recipe every week. It has been fun to learn new recipes, but my favorite part is the people who come over to eat it with me! This challenge has been a fun way to connect with friends. Here's recipe #3(and grandma...I eat a lot of chicken, sorry. :) I got to share this with my brother, Brittany and the Marchessault family! It was a hit. Enjoy!

Mushroom and Swiss Chicken

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun-style seasoning
  • 1 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Combine oil and garlic in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Add chicken breasts and coat well with the oil and garlic. Sprinkle with the vinegar and Cajun seasoning.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from oven and cover with green onion and mushrooms; then add a few more sprinkles of oil and vinegar and return dish to oven for 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from oven and immediately place 1 slice of cheese on top of each chicken breast; cheese will melt. Serve immediately.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Home for Thanksgiving

I had a great week visiting family and friends during my Thanksgiving Break! I am so thankful for all of these people. I am so blessed, I can't even describe it. It will be SO weird to not be home for Christmas...

I drove to Pasadena on Saturday, and spent the night with my friend Rachel. It was so fun to catch up. The next morning I headed to San Diego. I had breakfast with Missy, a best friend from high school, and then I did my triathalon training. All of that finished just in time for the BIG Chargers/Broncos game. We killed them, it was awesome. :) Grandma went home crying....

On Monday, I drove up to the OC to see my other family. It was so great to catch up with K and T and to hang out with the boys. It had been way too long. I miss all of them, a lot. We played lots of Settlers, had mini meatloafs and our tradition of sushi lunch! It was a really fun time with some of my favorite people on the planet!

The rest of the week consisted of shopping, relaxing, running and Thanksgiving festivities. I love that we get to have tons of people over to our house. It makes me happy! It was fun to hang out with the grandmas and my cousins, who I never see. It was especially fun to watch the Raiders lose. haha. In the evening, I went to my dad's for a second Thanksgiving. It was great to see them, also.
On Black Friday, grandma and I went out shopping, but not til noon when it wasn't as bad. The rest of the weekend was family time. We all saw The Blind Side(go see it! sooo good.) and on Sunday, I got to go to my first home Chargers game! It was seriously the highlight of the week. The game was not close at all, we won 43-14...but it was SO fun. I also didn't feel like I was going to die, like at the Raiders game. :) One of my closest friends from high school, Kathleen came, and it was so fun to catch up with her! My bro and his gf, Brittany also came. It was an all around great time!
Thanks to everyone who made this week great!!! The next few weeks are sooo busy. My brother comes to visit this weekend, Christmas parties, Disneyland for my birthday, more parties, and then India!! I'll keep you all posted.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Recipe of the Week #2

Last week, I didn't try a new recipe. The Avocado chicken one was sooo good, I made it for Rachel's family. This week, while I was at home, I tried this one out. It tastes much better than the picture looks, I promise!

Artichoke Chicken

4-5 Boneless chicken breasts
1 package of sliced mushrooms
2-14.5 oz cans of tomatoes
1-2 cloves of garlic
2-3 small cans of artichoke hearts
1 cup of flour
1 tbsp of pepper
2 tbsp of paprika
1 tsp of oregano
olive oil
Linguine noodles

1) Cut chicken breasts in half and place in a ziplock bag with the flour, paprika and pepper. Shake to coat chicken.
2) Brown chicken in a pan with olive oil.
3)Saute mushrooms in butter (while the chicken is cooking).
4) Mix in a seperate bowl: tomatoes, oregano and garlic.
5) Once all of the chicken has browned, place in a 13 x 0 pan and cover chicken with tomato mixture, mushrooms and drained artichoke hearts.
6)Bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours or until tender.
7) Serve with linguine and parmesan cheese.

Friday, November 20, 2009


This past month for one of our Life Group Igniters, I chose to make a list of things I am thankful for and why. It has been fun to see how God has blessed me lately! Sorry if it's kinda corny. Here's some of my list:

I am thankful for:

  • A powerful God who loves me no matter what
  • My family
  • My job, even if it's not always my favorite
  • My car, even when it's not working lol
  • My friends, I have some of the best in the world...They love me, they challenge me and they encourage me.
  • Reunions with college friends or other old friends
  • My electric Blanket, soo cold in the mountains
  • Facebook and texting, you might laugh at this one, but I have my reasons.
  • My's pretty
  • Santa Cruz weather
  • The chance to change lives through teaching
  • youth group kids
  • My life group
  • Second, third, fourth families...who all love me as if I was their own.
  • triathalons...ok I'm not really thankful for those, but I'm thankful for exercise with Rachel!
  • An awesome house
  • The best roommates
  • Scrapbooking
  • Sports
  • And many many other things.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 13, 2009


I've decided that I need to do more cooking and way less eating out, if I am going to be ready for this crazy triathalon. (Did I mention I'm training with a friend for this?!?!) So I figured I'd post some recipes that were a hit! Enjoy. :)

Avocado Chicken Stir Fry


1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces

2 cups snow peas

2 cups cremini mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced

4 bunches green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large ripe but firm avocados - peeled, pitted, and cut into large chunks


In a bowl, stir together the chicken broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and garlic until the cornstarch is smooth, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, and cook and stir thechicken until cooked through and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes. Remove from the wok and set aside. Place the snow peas into the hot wok, and cook and stir until bright green and still crisp, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and green onions, and toss with the snow peas in the hot oil until the mushrooms are tender and have given up their juice, about 5 minutes. Pour off excess juices, if any.

Return the chicken to the wok, and stir briefly over medium heat to combine with the cooked vegetables. Stir the reserved sauce ingredients to recombine, if needed, and add to the wok. Gently stir in the avocado, and let the mixture bubble until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir gently to coat everything in sauce, and serve.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Life without a car

2 weeks without a car. This reminds me of when I broke my right foot in college. I had to rely on everyone. I couldn't make it up the stairs in my apartment, and I got to live with the Nugents for 2 weeks. (which were some amazing weeks lol) Anyways, when you have to rely on other people, you learn some things. Here are the random things I learned:

- I need to be prepared at all times to talk about Jesus, even if I think 7 am is too early to talk about that stuff. The person who picks me up for work, wants to talk about it every morning. It's been good for me. :)

- I take so many things for granted, like going to the laundromat or to the store.

-I need to walk around Mt. Hermon more. It's so awesome and I have been enjoying it.

-I have amazing friends who drive me around or come to me, since I can't come to them.

-Not seeing people for 2 weeks feels like an eternity...I have been sad, on more than one occasion that I can't see the people I normally see during the week.

-My roommates are the best. They have driven me around a lot, and I have LOVED spending time with them, since I've been home more.

God usually gives me these kinds of things (broken feet, broken cars) at a time in my life when I need to slow down and get my priorities back in order. It's working, but can I please have my car back now?? :)

Monday, November 09, 2009


Again, pretty sure I say this everytime I it's been forever. I can barely keep up on work and life this year, let alone my blog. :(

Life has been busy, in a good way! At the end of September, I moved to a super cute cabin on Mt. Hermon, with 4 awesome girls. It is a little far from work, about 30 minutes, but it is SO worth it. The house is amazing, and the 4 of us have a lot of fun!

Other than that, I have been SO busy with work. I feel really overworked this year. We never get a break, until about 4 pm. It has really been affecting my whole life. I'm working on trying to leave work things at work, but it's hard for a teacher!

I can't believe it is already November!! Where did the time go? This past weekend, I went to youth convention in Sactown with our youth group. We had a great time, and it was fun to spend time with the kids. Next month brings birthdays, Disneyland and INDIA! So crazy.

So there's the short update on life. Most importantly, God is good and has blessed me in ways I can never comprehend. I'm looking forward to everything He is going to do in the next few months!

And for grandma....some pictures from the last few months (AND the Chargers/Raiders game where I almost lost my life) :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I never have time to update my blog anymore. And when I do, I don't have pictures because I lost my camera cord so i have to put them on my pc which has a card slot and transfer them to my mac. phew. too much work.

Anyways, I started back to work 2 weeks ago. So far it has been nothing but crazy. I LOVE that I get to work with Ashley this year. Things are going so smoothly, but with 35 students there is never a break in the day. We have yard duty 3 days a week in the morning and then we run a math club at lunch for kids who don't know their times tables. It's crazy, but it is paying off. After 5 days of math club, my class went from 3% of them knowing their times tables to 35%. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. I love my job and every second is worth it, but at 3:30 when I finally get to sit down, I am exhausted!

But all that aside, I have a fairly good class, even if they are Chatty McChattersons. I enjoy them. We are trying to plan a field trip for every month of the school year. So far we have Sept, Oct, and Nov covered! It's going to be a fun year, and I'm really looking forward to science camp in april! I found some pictures I had on twitter of 2 paintings we did. One is a Van Gogh self portrait and another is a Picasso (two different students) I love teaching them about art and artists. I love that we have made time for it this year! Although it was interesting fitting 68 self portraits on the wall....

In other last post was about my friend who is doing an awesomely long bike ride for a cool cause, and he was giving away an iphone or $200 gift card to Apple. Check out the video of who won here: (Spoiler: I won, but the video is pretty funny anyways)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Coastal Ride 09

My friend, and the worship pastor at my church, Bobby is riding his bike from San Francisco to San Diego for an amazing cause!

Check out his blog and the give away he is doing!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gleanings for the Hungry

The first week of July, I went on a short missions trip with the youth group at my church. We were a small group of 6, but we had TONS of fun. We went to Dinuba,Ca(central valley) to serve at Gleanings for the Hungry. This is a YWAM ministry that packages food to send to third world countries that need it. In the summer, they make dried peaches. Days start at 6:45 am and don't end until 11 pm.
The days consist of 2 hours of work in the field laying out peaches and then 4-5 hours in the fruit plant, processing peaches. By the end of the day, you are exhausted and can't wait to get the peaches out of your hair! I loved it because I had SO much time to spend with the Lord. I got to pray for things that had been on my heart, and the Lord told me a lot about my future in missions. It was an amazing experience. My favorite day was water park day and a day when we got to pray over a truck going to Honduras.
I built some awesome relationships with the students I went with, and it was nice to get away. We stayed up late talking and getting to know each other. We got to go to a waterpark, we went bowling, and made up lots of songs about peaches. It was an awesome time! I encourage you to check it out and take your family! It is hard work, but it is so rewarding. :) Enjoy the pictures of our week.

Our crazy bunk beds
Bryan on the cup up station, making sure the peaches are all facing the right way.
The cutters--so boring :) All you have to do is turn your row of peaches right side up.
At the love feast, our group drank 8 pitchers of punch--which is now a Gleanings record! haha
Brandon, Bryan, Ed
more fun on the cutters
The final product--dried peaches
Looking for bad peaches
Our awesome team!
The field of peaches! There was about 3 times this many, but I couldn't get them all in

Monday, July 20, 2009


This summer is flying by! I thought I wouldn't be busy, but here I am. :) Just some snapshots of the summer! I have a couple more posts with specific events. Maybe later this week! BUT most importantly: Melissa had her kidney transplant. Dan donated an amazing kidney and they are both home and doing great! Praise the Lord!!!!! I am so excited to see Mel feeling better. :)

Doing the twist at Graciela's wedding.
The beautiful bride and some work friends. Church picnic!!
Waiting in a crazy long line for Harry Potter, with my awesome friend Rachel. :)
Life group at the beach! Me with cute lil Micah. :)
Andrew at the circus!
Brandon, Bobby and Dan at the Wild Rovers!
Spending time with my 5th graders who left me. :(
BBQ with Mike, Brian and Alyssa!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Reading...

Just in case you care, or are looking for something to read, I have been on a reading kick and am loving it! Here are some books I am reading or already finished. I can't get away from vampire books, but I am doing my best to break out! Some of these are books my students would read. I love reading them because then I can recommend them! Students always come to me looking for recommendations.

A 5th grade-ish book. I'm halfway through and am loving it! Looking forward to reading her other books.
Vampires. Kinda corny, but still hooked. I think there are 2 out in this series.
Another 5th grade book. I LOVE this author. I read Palace of Mirrors in 3 hours. so good! Just Ella is my next read.
A girl at borders recommended the Lightning Thief to me. It is a 6th grade level. It is about a kid who figures out that his father is one of the greek gods. The whole book is about greek mythology. It's awesome! You get to learn and the action is really fun. Can't wait to get to the rest of the series.

The Vampire Academy series. I love this series. The first one was kinda slow, but the rest of them are awesome! Next one out in August.

My school secretary and I are racing to see who can read 25 books first. But she's not not fair. What are you reading?? Doesn't have to be fiction. :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The rest of vacation and graduation party

When I got to San Diego, my grandma picked me up and we got to walk around downtown and have breakfast in Seaport Village. (somehow I ended up with no pictures of her!) After, we met my bro and his girlfriend at the Padre game. 6 hours and 18 innings later, the Padres finally lost so that we could go home. :( But it was still super fun!

On Wednesday, my parents came back from their vacation, so I hung out with them for a few days. On Thursday night I had dinner with my dad and sister, it was SO fun. On Friday, I went to a breast cancer fundraiser bunco night with my mom. It was also really fun. On Saturday, my parents threw a big graduation party for my masters degree. I am still waiting on my test results, but I am pretty sure I owned that test! So I got to celebrate with 30-40 of my closest family and friends from San Diego and Orange county. I was sooo blessed and reminded about the family I have everywhere I go!