26 November 2006

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving was pleasant. We missed being with family, but we are grateful for the chance to spend time with friends.




Stereotypes were flying as the men put a table together and watched football...








...while the women slaved away in the kitchen.











Electric knife-wielding Patrick should always be avoided as he takes the part a little too seriously.












Featured: Nick & Alissa, Us, and Ryan & Sarah. Good times were had by all.










We thought these were cute decorations.






Finally, a true Texas Thanksgiving would be incomplete without these Texas-shaped tortilla chips. Honestly, you can find a Texas shaped anything here.

Chocolate...Mmmm

Some of the girls met for an afternoon at The Chocolate Bar which has created a delectable menu of different chocolate creations. Heaven. Pictured are Amber Whites, Nicole West and niece, Alissa McClure, Amanda Malnar, Me, and Rachel DeMartin.




Later that week, Jeff and Courtney Paul joined us for fondue night. Delicious.

14 November 2006

PDAS

The results are in...Exceeds Expectations!!!

My principal conducted my PDAS (Professional Development and Appraisal System) Thursday, which determines if I am qualified to teach. This brief, 45 minute evaluation determines the entire year! Most importantly, it dictates if I will receive certification since I am on a probationary certificate. I was shocked to find out that she was conducting it so early since my teaching experience began in August and my entire year would be based on my 2.5 months experience in the teaching field. I figure it is better to get it over with early and I'm glad it is over.

The rubric is as follows: Exceeds Expectations, Proficient, Below Expectations, and Satisfactory. My principal told me not to expect anything higher than Proficient since I am a first year teacher (a newbie as some of the others fondly refer to me as). It is the same scale that all teachers are graded on so I should be very pleased with a Proficient rating.

I received my results yesterday. I was given "Exceeds Expectations" in three domains and "Proficient" in the remaining two. My principal said I received one of the highest evaluations she has ever given to a first year teacher, which of course left me beaming. This was exciting to hear because the pressure to impress my principal is off. Unfortunately, the pressure to pass TAKS (state standardized test) is even more overwhelming since my principal is expecting me to perform like a veteran. I'm confident I can do it though and am excited to see how the year will turn out.

:D This is me smiling after I received my results

12 November 2006

Tolmans in Town!

Jessica and Lance had a three hour layover so we were able to meet for lunch at a Subway near the airport.




I was waiting ever-so-patiently for flight 365. In case you can't read the sign, it says, "Luchalibre and Suma Waliki Bienvenidos and Sawadee"







Jessica learned some rather savage ways of eating while on vacation...Yikes!






For the record, we wanted to publicly announce that Lance was right. In the car there was some confusion about which terminal they would depart from. Jessica thought Terminal E while Lance was firm on Terminal C. After looking at the tickets, Jessica said, "Oh, I was wrong. You were right." The week in Cancun wasn't incredibly enjoyable, but being "right" in front of witnesses made the trip worthwhile for Lance. He made her repeat the phrase three times in order to prevent possible memory lapses in the future. Don't worry Lance--we heard it too.

You drive me...

We decided to have a "Driving" date on Friday. Here was the agenda:


We started off the evening with Patrick trying to teach me how to drive a stick shift. We are down to one car and I can't drive it yet!






We then went to the driving range where I sliced miserably (probably due to bad form). There was a guy next to us wearing a Trading Spaces shirt. I wanted to ask him if he was on the show, but it would have embarrassed Patrick too much.





We finished our driving date with dessert at Sonic--America's Drive-In.

05 November 2006

Beautiful Sight

Two nights ago, we saw the most beautiful sight. The full moon was extremely high with a perfect circle surrounding it (think of a CD: the small, cut out circle in the middle would be the moon and the outer edge of the CD would be the circle engulfing it). The outer circle surrounding the moon was actually a rainbow with the red on the inside instead of the outside. It was a gorgeous halo. We tried to get a picture, but it was too big for our camera and the night was too dark. Although we don't have visual evidence, we still wanted to share it with all of you anyway.

I found a website that sort of shows what we saw: http://www.rain.org/~mkummel/stumpers/08mar02.html
It is the photo that says, "Ring around the full moon at night." What we saw was much prettier, but this will give you some idea of what we're talking about. I wanted to place the photo on here (or at least create a link to take you directly there), but I am not very blog-savvy.