It was 8 years ago today that I was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Being baptized into the church changed my life. I have loved every second of it. Knowing the truth is so comforting. If you want to know more about the gospel, please visit www.mormon.org.
Today is our 6 month anniversary! We have had a wonderful 6 months of marriage. My parents took us to Dunston's Steakhouse. That is where we had our wedding reception. We are thinking we might make this a tradition. Dunston's is where my parents had their first date over 30 years ago. We had a wonderful time remembering our wedding day. We highly recommend marriage!
Our tiny apartment has been decorated for our first married Christmas! We thought long and hard over how to decorate the tree. Evan wanted blue and silver while I wanted traditional red and green. We went with blue and white after we saw these cute snowflake ornaments. I think it turned out pretty good. The Russell door hanger is one that hung in Evan's house growing up. We had alot of fun putting these up this year. Hopefully I can take a picture of our balcony to our apartment. The apartments have a balcony decorating contest and you can win a gift card! We want to win! I hope you are all having a great holiday season!
Every year, my parents add more and more to their ever growing collection of Christmas decorations. These decorations are stored in 30 gallon plastic bins. These bins are stored in a small basement closet underneath the house in our play room. These bins must be carefully removed from this closet, carried up 2 stairways and through 2 narrow hallways where they are stacked on top of one another. There they are unpacked one by one. I guess I didn't realize how not normal this was until I helped Evan's family put up their decorations this year. It literally took them 3 hours to put up BOTH the inside decorations and outside. It takes us 6 hours to only put up the inside. Here is a picture of most of the bins stacked together. Remember, this is only the inside decorations and ornaments. I will post pictures of the final products once everything has been put in its proper place. Here is also a picture of Evan resting after helping bring some of the bins upstairs. Once everything is said and done though, I do enjoy going to my parents house and walking into their personal Christmas Wonderland.
.... and the stockings were hung, on the island bar with care..... well it's not as good as a chimney, but it'll work. :)
Can you believe I found these at the Target dollar bin!? They were $2.50 each. I'm thinking about going back and getting some for our future kids. Evan says I better buy at least 6 more then. HAHA! A friend from work embroidered them with our names for me. I just can't wait for the holidays!!!
We have a new addition to our family!!! We would like to introduce you to our new SUV! We are the proud owners of a 2008 Chevy Equinox Sport. We were planning on waiting until January, but we have been looking at used cars on the internet and found one that met everything on our checklist. It is rare to find a sport edition. It is silver with black leather interior. It has a 6 disk CD changer, heated seats, remote start engine, sunroof, auxiliary MP3 input jack, and lots of leg room in the back seat! It was a great experience overall. Our sales guy was awesome and because we knew what we wanted going in, it only took us 3 hours from start to finish ( it took over 9 hours to buy my Corolla). Anyway, here are the pictures of our car from the dealer's website. We will take more later.
Happy Halloween! Evan and I had a hard time deciding what to be this year. We wanted to be 2 things that went together. Last weekend, we had a coworkers Halloween party to go to. I had class untill 3pm and the party started at 7pm. So after class, we went to look for costumes and couldn't find anything we liked. Finally we stopped by Target and Evan just loved the gorilla costume. So we were thinking that I could be Ann Darrow from King Kong and that I could just find a Marilyn Monroe type dress. Well, that wouldn't be too appropriate to wear to school, so we had to think of something else. I remembered seeing a banana costume at Target but this Target didn't have one. We called 5 Targets in the area and only 1 Target had 1 banana costume left. So we rushed over there, changed into our costumes quickly at our apartment and headed to the party. Yesterday, we were able to wear our costumes to school. We were a hit! Evan decided he would pretend to follow me into the cafeteria during both breakfast and lunch and chase me around the cafeteria. It was pretty funny. Our computer tech teacher even caught it on camera. The kids came up to me after school and said how worried they were that he was going to eat me. HAHA! One of my kids said several times, with bulging eyes, "I'M GONNA EAT YOU!" It was funny at first and then got a little creepy haha. Anyway, we hope all of you have a wonderful Halloween full of lots of treats and a few tricks!
Our visit to the State Fair this year was so much fun! We decided to do something we haven't done there before, and test drive some cars. Well, that was a mistake because we are now in love. Let us introduce you to our new love affair. The 2010 Chevy Equinox. Can you believe this SUV gets better gas mileage than my Corolla!?! Evan and I have been discussing whether or not to fix the car he has just paid off (it shakes pretty hard after you get over 60mph) or just to get more money for trading it in sooner than later. We will see this beauty on the road and both of us will just get so excited. Its like we are 2 little kids waiting for Santa to arrive. We have told ourselves that we need to wait, but each day feels like agony. Our goal is to save up money the next few months and buy a used Equinox in January. We just can't get over the new one though. It was love at first sight.
Evan's friends, John and Kelsi Gagnon, surprised us with a wedding present this weekend while we were in Oklahoma. We just love it!!!! I want to find out how to make stuff like this ...and the clock we got too.
I can not tell you how excited we are for the STATE FAIR OF TEXAS!!! This is a major tradition with my family. I need to start exercising more now because I just can't resist all of the good fair food. If you have never been, it really is a treat! Fortunately, teachers in Texas get free fair tickets! We highly recommend going. Here is a picture of us at last year's state fair.
This weekend marks one year since Evan and I met. It seems like so much longer! Just incase you don't know the story, here it is. I added the event "Colleyville YSA Conference" to my events on facebook. When I did, I noticed that there was an attractive guy who had said he was going as well. I thought "what the heck!" and I poked him. The next day, I got a message from Evan saying...
Shelbee, have we met? If not, nice to meet you, and if we have, what kind of jerk am I? :) haha. I just moved to the area a month ago, and am still getting to meet people around here. How long have you lived here in Texas?
Over the next few days, we messaged back and forth. Finally he asked me if we could have lunch on Saturday before the conference. We met at a gas station 5 star resteraunt (http://www.chefspointcafe.com/). After lunch, we went back to his apartment and watched Heros. That evening, instead of going to the conference like originally planned, we went to an Amos Lee concert. Evan says he knew from that first night that he loved me. For me, it was our 3rd date to an Italian resteraunt called Sardines. Here are a few pictures from when we started dating one year ago.
My friend Morgan posted this on her blog and it really touched me. I knew instantly that I wanted to share this with many of you. Like her, my favorite quote from the video is, "No matter how bleak the chapter of our lives may look today, because of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may hope and be assured that the ending of the book of our lives will exceed our grandest expectations." President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
THANK YOU SONIC DRIVE IN!!!!!!! Sonic has decided to fund my classroom grant for a new document camera worth $400! In less than 3 weeks, my grant was written, posted, and funded! The staff at my school was great about collecting the peel offs from their drinks and in the end, my class recieved over 100 votes! The "Limeades for Learning" is not over yet though! If you are a teacher and want to get free stuff for your classroom, go to donorschoose.org and create a grant. Thanks for all of the support and for my new document camera!
Our friend Beau recently won concert tickets to see the Celtic Tenors preform with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson and he couldn't go so he graciously gave them to us! It was fantastic! The Tenors were simply AMAZING! So good in fact, that Evan and I really want to go back to see Ben Folds preform with the symphony on the 30th. We also found out this weekend, about a cool program that Bank of America has. They have partnered with over 100 museums across the country to grant FREE admission twice a month with those who have an account with Bank of America. The first Saturday and Sunday of each month, if you show your Bank of America ATM or Credit Card and photo ID, you can get in free to several museums. The ones in Dallas include the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science. It also includes the Ft. Worth Museum of Science and History. I am all about the FREE! If you go to museums.bankofamerica.com you can get more info. I hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend. We got some much needed sleep since we are both currently sick, Evan worse than I. We also both completed a few homework assignments for our classes. Kindof boring, but needed. Well, time for bed. Have a great 4 day week!
Dear Friends and Family, Sonic and DonorsChoose.org have an exciting new program called Limeades For Learning. With your help, I can get the funding I need to inspire my students to learn. Your part is simple. Just order any drink* at Sonic during September to get a vote code, and then go to LimeadesForLearning.com to vote for my project. Sonic will donate more than half a million dollars to the projects that receive the most votes. But I need your help to make sure one’s mine! Here’s the project I submitted: Displaying Creativity and Imagination with ELMO (#309681) My school is classified as having a high poverty population. I am a second grade ESL teacher with a wide array of students with various ability levels. I am limited in providing my students the visual instruction they desperately need to understand the curriculum across subject areas. My students are also lacking a way of displaying their authentic written accomplishments and illustrations to the class. This dilemma can be solved by the means of an innovative piece of technology. Through the use of a document camera, my students can not only understand concepts through visual learning, but also display their creativity to the world! With your vote, you will help ensure that my students gain knowledge and express their creativity in more ways than ever before! Go to LimeadesForLearning.com to learn more about it. And don’t forget to buy a drink and vote. Thanks for your help!
I started my classes this week. I have one every Tuesday night from 8:00 to 10:30 (but she said we would usually get out about 9:30 instead). It seems like it is going to be a great class! It's about students with disabilities or "special populations". We will have guest speakers at almost every class which is AWESOME! I am really excited because now that I have experience teaching, I can really relate to what I am learning in class and apply it. My other class meets only 3 weekends for a Friday night and Saturday from 9-3. It is Intro to School Counseling. It is really interesting especially because it focuses on being a counselor at all grade levels, including high school. I like it, but there are quite a few projects I have to do in between sessions of class and several are group projects. Fortunately I found 2 teachers to be in my group that teach in Irving at a neighboring school so it will be easier to work with them. Anyway, I am pretty excited about my classes. I also found out that I can obtain a probational counselor certificate after 24 credit hours and 3 years of teaching. I can start applying for counseling jobs then. If that is the case, then I should be able to apply for a counseling job after this next summer if I want. I think I will wait until I have at least a few more years teaching so that I can enjoy being in the classroom before I leave it. Well, its time to go watch some more episodes of 24 with my hubby! Goodnight!!
We started back to work today! I think being a teacher is like having a kid (even though I haven't had one). You prepare and prepare and then when the day comes (the first day of school) it is REALLY painful but with time you forget how painful that day was and you are ready to do it again. But by then you have had some time off, and then when it comes again, you remember why you needed the time off. HAHA Anyway, saying that, today was actually a good day. The more you go through the first day of school, the more you expect. I have a few kids that already think they are "too cool for school". They will find out real fast that they in fact, are not. It has been really fun seeing old students though. I didn't get that the previous year because of moving states. I love seeing how much they have grown and hear all of their stories.
Evan had a good day today. The job seems like it will be alot like babysitting at first, but he will get to help do lessons and stuff later. The teacher he is an aid for had to change kids diapers 12 times today! She is one strong lady because I don't think I could do it. Evan also started class today. He has an American Lit class but it seems like it will be fairly simple. He got approved for a grant that more than covers tuition so we are hoping to pay off some previously accrued debt... so exciting!
I start my class tomorrow. It lasts until 10:30!! Which means I won't get home until 11 which is WAY past my bedtime. I am excited and nervous all wrapped up into one big ball of EXHAUSTION. It will be good though. If I just stick to it, I know I will be done in no time.
When we got home today, I made some dinner and then Evan ran to class. In the meantime, I got some alone time tanning and swimming laps. Of course, my luck, there was this 7yr old kid (the same age I teach) splashing around. As soon as I got in she started following me, asking me questions, and intentionally trying to get in my way as I swam laps. I played along at first, answering her questions and asking her some in return, but then it just got annoying. Finally her dad got off the phone and got in to entertain her.
Anyway, I hope all of you teachers out there had a good first day back. I also hope that all of you parents of school aged kids enjoyed the first day back to freedom. ;)
One more week 'til school starts.... CRAZY!! This will be my third year teaching and my FIRST year of my Master's degree!! Evan is continuing his bachelors after a short break. The other day we sat down and looked up the salaries of our desired professions. Like little kids, we each said what we want to be when we "grow up". I want to be a counselor, and hopefully will be in 2 more years! Evan wants to be a principal. He needs 2 years for his bachelors, 2 years for a masters, then at least 3 or 4 years as an Assistant Principal. When its all said and done, we just want to be happy in what we are doing. Registering me for classes was a breeze (besides the $600 PER CREDIT HOUR!!). Registering Evan on the other hand was a little trickier. Evan is at a crossroads where he is pretty much done with all of his core classes that he could take at community college. We had a few advisers evaluate his transcript and find maybe 3 classes that he could still take. So, we need to decide soon where he wants to finish up. So besides the few visits to the advisers at North Lake CC, we also had to go to the admissions office SEVERAL times to try and prove his residency. Evan has lived here in Texas since the beginning of last August, but he moved several times because of his work. Well the school won't recognize any of the documentation we have from last August because 1) his company had him living at a hotel 2) his company is an Oklahoma based company and 3) he has no other bills or licensees showing he was here last August. So, we are going to try one more time tomorrow to claim residency and then we will just have to fork over the out of state tuition if it doesn't work. In state = $250 Out of State = $867...... bye bye $600......... Anyway, besides that fiasco, life has been good. We drove to Oklahoma for a few days to surprise Evan's mom for her birthday and we had a blast. It was my first time at the OKC temple and it was BEAUTIFUL! Today we celebrated my Dad's 57th birthday by going to Uncle Julios. Yummy! He was surprised at work on Saturday with a midget Mexican stripper that a coworker had played a prank on him with. My mom says the pictures do not give the experience justice haha! Evan is contracted to work starting tomorrow, and I start on Wednesday. I have been having nightmares about school starting. One involves a class full of this one trouble maker and I try everything I do to get them under control but I can't. The other recurring dream is where I wake up on the first day of school and make it there right as the bell rings with nothing ready... I mean nothing, no bulletin boards, no back to school packets, no school supplies, no worksheets, NOTHING. That one scares me the most because I hate being under prepared. Anyway, I am rambling now, but I hope everyone is having a good end to their summer. I know my summer has been one I will NEVER forget :)
I FINALLY have gotten my name changed on most everything. I finished the checklist with a stop at my District Office today to change my name for work. I am officially a Russell now. It's going to take some getting used to, but once I hear it from 20 second graders, 50 times a day, I think it will sound normal to me. Speaking of second graders, I started training today for work. I have a few days this week, then next week off, then more training and then school starts! It's so crazy that summer is almost over. I wanted to cry this morning when I had to pull myself out of bed, and it wasn't even at the time I usually have to wake up for school. I am excited to get into a good routine though. I started a teacher blog for everyone to share ideas. So make sure you stop by and leave a comment! Even if you aren't a teacher, some of the stuff we talk about could possibly help you with your kids. You never know. Anyway, time to go eat some MONSTERS. Click the link for the recipe on my recipe blog!
I have been wanting to post pictures of our apartment for some time now, but it wasn't quite ready. Evan and I deep cleaned it tonight after we got home and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Here ya go!
I started a recipe group blog! I want to start cooking more and thought I would enjoy trying to make recipes that the people I love, love! The address is www.recipegroupforall.blogspot.com. If you want to be an author and post your own recipe, all you need to do is send me your email address. If I haven't requested you yet, it is because I do not have your email address. I am SOOOO excited to start trying new recipes!!!!
We received a late wedding present gift card to JCpenny. Since we have pretty much bought everything we need for our tiny apartment, we decided there are 2 options. Option A, spend all of the money on something fun we can both use or option B, split the gift card 50/50. Well, not long into our search for an item to fill option A, Evan found this. The Dough-Nu-Matic. He put up a good argument, but sadly lost. Here is Evan giving his goodbyes to the Dough-Nu-Matic.
After much anticipation from many, here are a few of our favorite wedding pictures! The amazing Jenny Rossi was our fabulous photographer. She is amazing! She does everything from bridals, weddings, engagements, families, babies, seniors, EVERYTHING. On top of that, she is extremely reasonable in price. You need to check out her blog at jenniferrossiphotography.blogspot.com . Anyway, without furthur delay, here are some of our favorites. To see more, let me know and I will send you an email to view our facebook album.
We were married on June 20th, 2009 in the Dallas LDS Temple. We purchased our first home in Mansfield, TX in 2010. Our daughter Rylee was born April 7th, 2011. We have 2 puggles named Barkley and Bella. Shelbee is a school counselor in Mansfield and Evan is in school for Special Education. We are excited to continue our adventures in life together as a family of 3!