Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Honeymoon Day 5

On the fifth day of our honeymoon, my husband and I visited the USS Arizona Memorial and toured the USS Missouri Battleship in Pearl Harbor. While I am not a big history buff, it was great experience getting to visit these two sites. It's amazing how "real" textbook words can become when you have the opportunity to visit historical places.

At the USS Arizona Memorial visitor center we were shown a short film about the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the attack itself, then we boarded a boat and rode over to the Memorial. The mood at the Memorial was somber and quiet, people speaking only in whispers out of respect for those whose graves lay below us. Visiting these places really makes you think about those who serve our country, past and present. We are all very lucky to have them.

After we visited the Memorial, my husband and I toured the USS Missouri Battleship. The tour was very interesting (my husband should be writing this post as he could tell you all sorts of things about the machinery and weapons that I can't remember) - I still can't believe that we stood in the very spot where Japan surrendered, ending World War II.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Aloha Christmas

I started putting away my Christmas decorations last night. Yes, I know it's been a month since Christmas! I've always been a little slow about the whole thing - homes look so empty and sad when everything comes down. Before I say goodbye, I had to share another Christmas ornament with you. My husband and I bought it when we were in Hawaii. Isn't it cute?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

ND in January

I think everyone should come to visit North Dakota in January. There's just no way a person can understand the cold unless they actually live it. So, when planning you're next vacation think about coming up here in January for a week or so - I promise it will be an experience you'll never forget!

Monday, January 21, 2008

A First

Today was an in-service day for the teachers at my school. Today was the first time since I started teaching that I attended a workshop I can honestly say was fun! I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard or so much in three hours! We even did some learning in between all our laughing (proves learning can be fun)! I was actually a little sad when the whole thing was over.

I definitely was not expecting today to be fun. It was a surprisingly great day - I love when those sneak up on you! Here's hoping you have a surprisingly wonderful experience this week!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Honeymoon Day 4

On the fourth day of our honeymoon, my husband and I visited the windward side of the Oahu to go snorkeling in Kaneohe Bay. The day was quite chilly - maybe around 60 degrees - and windy. As you can see from the photos, we didn't have much sun either. When we boarded the boat, the captain and his shipmates were wearing jackets and pants. Our tour group thought out loud "That's what they're wearing and they expect us to put on bathing suits and get in the water?" We had a group of great sports and everyone made it in!

The first half of the trip was spent on a sandbar practicing with the snorkeling equipment. The water was only one to three feet deep, so it was a great place to just focus on breathing and not inhaling water before we headed out to the coral reefs. A volleyball net was set up and everyone had a good time goofing around after practicing. Before heading to deeper water, the crew grilled burgers for us and we had a delicious lunch. (Best fruit cocktail I've ever had!)

The second half of the trip was spent out in deeper water (around 30 feet deep) where we could view coral reefs and animals living in the area. Unfortunately, turtles are shy so we didn't get to see any of them but there were plenty of colorful fish and the coral was beautiful. The afternoon was so much fun and I cannot wait to go snorkeling again!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Camera Conundrum

I am currently without a digital point-and-shoot camera. This is the first time in eight years that I don't have one at my disposal. It's an odd feeling.

In 2000, my parents bought me my first digital camera. About a year and a half ago, I thought it was time to upgrade from my little 2.1 mega pixel Olympus so I bought a 5.1 mega pixel Nikon Coolpix. While the camera had plenty of wonderful features, there were two major problems: the camera was painfully slow and all indoor photos came out very dark. No matter what flash setting I tried or the adjustments I made to exposure, my indoor pictures were less than ideal. By Christmas I was tired of dealing with this camera so my husband and I bought a Canon PowerShot. I had a friend with this camera and I thought her pictures always turned out nicely so my husband and I tried that camera. A week later it went back to the store. Unlike my Coolpix, this camera's flash worked wonderfully indoors, but faces were always blurry and the photos were very pixelated (some more so than my original Olympus). The salesperson thought perhaps it was a bad lens so we tried a different camera and while it worked a little better, the quality was still poor. The second PowerShot went back on the same day we sent my Coolpix in to Best Buy to take advantage of a program that pays employees for their old electronics.

I'm not completely sure what route I will be taking next, but I'm hoping I find the right fit here soon. I feel a little lost without a point-and-shoot! Feel free to give me any advice or suggestions - I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Today my 7th-grade math classes began working on converting customary units. One of the examples I gave on the board was
2 miles = ____ feet. Well, we worked through the problem and got 10,560. After I was done with the example, one of my students (probably the smartest 7th-grader I have) asked, "Do we have to put a comma in the answer?" WHAT?! No, of course not - commas aren't important in math. While we're at it, why don't we throw out decimal points, too?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Honeymoon Day 3

On the third day of our honeymoon, my husband and I took a short walk (and by short, I mean across the street) from our hotel to visit the Honolulu Zoo. There was a clever little sign at the entrance that said "This is the best zoo to be found for 2300 miles in any direction."

Playful elephants

Giraffe, rhino, and zebra exhibit

Pretty path


I cannot remember the name of this tree, but when the bark is stripped, you're left with a beautiful rainbow colored wood. I thought it was fake at first!

I thought this sign was lovely.

On the evening of our third day, my husband and I visited the leeward coast of the island to attend a luau. Upon arrival, we were greeted with Mai Tais and shell leis. Before the dinner, there were many events to take part in: flower lei making, Polynesian tattoos, spear throwing, kayaking, and photo ops with unruly parrots. Dinner was a delicious buffet that included Mahi-mahi (a popular fish on the island), pulled pork (cooked right there under the sand for several hours), poi (an island favorite - not a visitor favorite), coconut squares for dessert, and fresh pineapple juice to drink. During dinner, Hawaiian and Polynesian singers and dancers began performing for the crowd. It was a wonderful show and a very enchanting evening.

These parrots broke our shell leis right before this photo was taken. Apparently they like to chew on the shells for the minerals and to sharpen their beaks.

Men pulling the pig out the imu (cooking pit)

Hawaiian and Polynesian singers and dancers

Fire performer

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Settling Down

I'm breathing a big sigh of relief because things are finally going to settle down for a while. I've missed four of the seven school days that we've had in the new year (honeymoon and an out-of-town conference) so I'm feeling a little out of sorts. I definitely like being on a schedule. It will be nice to have things back to normal.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Honeymoon Day 2

Today was my second day back to school after Christmas break and I'm dragging a little bit. I'm emotionally and physically exhausted so I thought I would cheer myself up by sharing more honeymoon stories and photos with you.

On day two of the honeymoon, my husband and I left Los Angeles on time in a huge plane. It had five seats in the middle and two seats on each side - I never thought I'd personally see a plane that size, so I was quite excited. (Before I go any further, I have to give a little shout out to the TSA at the LAX. The were very friendly - the nicest airport officials we came across. Congrats to them on a job well done!) After a six-hour flight, with a little too much turbulence for my taste, we arrived in Honolulu.

After leaving the airport, my husband and I spent the next hour on a shuttle riding around the city dropping people off at their hotels. Our hotel happened to be at the end of Waikiki Beach so we had the longest ride. I guess we got the most bang for our buck (I wonder if my cheap husband thought of that!). After unloading our bags, grabbing something to eat and buying some necessities (I need more than 3 oz. of shampoo for a week!), we spent the rest of the evening visiting shops downtown and walking along the beach. It was a great way to spend our first day on the island.

Arrival at the airport

Walking around downtown

Downtown Honolulu

Bike rack

Hawaiian dancers performing

Waikiki Beach