Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Farewell...Oh just kidding!

(For this post to make sense, read the Summer 2010 post first).

With the excitement of the 4th of July, I was anticipating an interview for a teaching position in Snowflake. Applying was paying off. As most know I did well enough in the interview that I was offered a 5th grade teaching position at Snowflake Intermediate. Now as crazy as this sounds, I had lots of anxiety for some reason. I did accept the job but with several reservations. What reservations? I have know idea. I guess one was that I was not ready to move back to Snowflake but that was not a good enough reason to pass up the only job offer I have had since I graduated college. I was unsure that I did the right thing in accepting this job. Everytime I thought of moving and teaching a little piece of me just broke down. (I know that this sounds harsh but I was really being torn apart). This was a great test of my faith. I knew that whatever would happen, I would have my Heavenly Father and Savior helping me every step of the way. I just had to act myself. It was also a time of trust and prayer.

This meant that I had 3 weeks left in Chandler. I will admit that this turned me into a very emotional person. I do not know if it was nerves and anxiety for the job or the move. I knew I had to take the job and just forget about other aspects of life and make the best of it. For some reason, the Lord had given me this job offer and I had to take it. With limited time in Chandler, my friends gathered around me and put me at the center of their lives. I am still amazed at how much time they sacrificed on my behalf. Within this amount of time we were able to check off most of the things on my wishlist. There were a few things I have always wanted to do or just sounded like fun so we put our best effort into doing these things before I left for the small town.

What was my wishlist? Well, first I never have karoaked and I had been talking about doing it for months. What ended up being a 'let's see how it goes' night at Native New Yorker ended up being an awesome time. Sadly I picked "I'm leaving on a jet plane" (good farewell song right?!). I will not sing that one again because it was too sappy for the occasion. Here is proof of this event...

The next thing on my list was to have some delicious German cuisine. I have been home for just over a year now from Germany and I have not enjoyed a single schnitzel, bratwurst, or potato salat since returning home. I needed some crispy, breaded pork mit kraut und salat. I found a quaint little restaurant on Main St in Mesa to help quench my craving. The food was okay. The atmosphere awesome and the company amazing. I was joined by Eliza, Adam, Lauren, and Karina. Pictured below is us with our food. We all ordered schnitzels. My favorite thing was the red cabbage kraut. AmAzInG!

That was 2 weeks of adventures. Not pictured was the trip to Bahama Buck's and the Sunday night parties. It was ending up to be a memorable time. I could not have asked for more. But there was still one more weekend (or at least we thought). During the last week of my living in Chandler I got a call from a friend who just got hired in Maricopa. She said they needed another 5th grade teacher. If I wanted the job, I had to act now. I immediately called the principal, got an interview, applied, and in short I did get the job offer. It was not official because of funding, grants, and school board approval but I had to decide now between staying in Chandler or go home. I had to make the decision quick. With the anxiety about Snowflake, I still poured out my heart to Heavenly Father to know which job I should take. Well, the last weekend had come and the final party was set to go. I wanted to just enjoy the weekend just in case I did go ahead a move. I postponed my decision for a few days...

Finale of this time was a night full of food and fun. I know many people put lots of thought into making this night special. Food was supplied by Moki's, a hawaiian restaurant. (I had craved Moki's for the 8 months I had been in the valley but had not been able to get over there to eat it.) We practically overran the small restaurant with our crowd and it was awesome! Nothing like a room full of friends and chicken katsu! Mmm good!

Crowd #1

Part of Crowd #2
After we let our delectable mean settle, the party train headed to Discovery Park where Bahama Buck's snowballs and coolers of snow waiting to be thrown. Yes, that is right! We had snow at the end of July in Arizona! (Luckily Adam knows where to get it and for free - the ice rink!) It felt so wonderful to be freezing in 100 degree weather. Of course it didn't take us long to warm up and dry.

After being snowballed, thrown in a snowpile, and water ballooned there was cake to be had for dessert. I am still amazed at the thought and beauty of this delicious creation. Just perfect for the occasion! Thank you again my friends! One big apple, surrounded my little apple cupcakes each with their own little tootsie roll warm. Cute!
~the "cake" ~

~ the "cake" and I ~

With the cake ended the fun but the memories still live on. The party ended up not being a 'farewell' but just a 'congratulations on the dream job' because I did not end up moving. I have taken a 5th grade teaching position at Butterfield Elementary. I was blessed to have to option of two jobs, especially in the education profession. Each one would have made me grow differently but I do know that I made the right decision to stay in the valley.

I would like to end this blog by giving my greatest heartfelt thanks to the many who have prayed on my behalf and supported me through the last month. You all know who you are and I have felt so much love over the past month that I am forever in your debt. Without your prays and faith, it would have been a thousand times harder.

To my family, who have given me places to lay my head at night and nourishment. And to my dear friends who helped me with my wishlist - you guys are just amazing!! I do not know why I am so blessed but I only hope that I can take that same love you have shown me and share it with the world.

Summer 2010

So you would have thought with all my time this summer that I would have been blogging. Especially since I have had an awesome summer!! Each day was a new adventure and most likely a memorable one. I have had lots of laughs and tears. Lots of ups and downs and crazy turn arounds. But in the end I have grown so much!

To begin the summer, I lost a dear one to me. Grandma Pearl Bates Solomon passed away. As much as a loved having this most amazing woman in my life, I was grateful to see her exit this life and back into the arms of her husband and loved ones who have also passed on. She will be missed.
~ Grandma's last birthday, 90th ~
And what is summer without a little bit of fishing and tree swinging! One Saturday afternoon we took to the lake, to sit back and relax. We found a spot along the Silver Creek where we also found a swing. It was a lot of fun. No fish were caught, just memories were that afternoon.

Throughout the summer I applied and applied and applied...and applied to every teaching position I was qualified for. But we will come back to that...

Summer nights brought fun times. Birthday parties and "just because" parties brought me closer to the wonderful friends I have made here in Chandler. It has been great to laugh, joke, and smile everyday. I could not ask for more.

--still applying for a job--

As most of you know my favorite holiday is during the summer. I love America! And I love celebrating the independence of this great nation. There is no other place but Taylor, AZ to celebrate this great day. The small town pride just hits home with me every 4th of July. Luckily I was able to celebrate it with not only my family but some of my close friends. I was able to introduce to them the crazy traditions of firing the anvil, the Jenning's band, cheese souffle, Patriotic program (Taylor style), Navajo tacos (twice), Taylor rodeo, fireworks, and more.

~Eliza and Devrin~
~ Truck full of "Anvil Followers" ~

~ Alison, Adam, Eliza and Me ~

It was a long day but you only get to celebrate the 4th of July once a year so you have to make the best of it which is not very hard to do in Taylor. I have to say sharing my small town with city folk was an awesome experience. I was glad to 'educate' them especially when it came to the rodeo and anvil.Maybe the best story about a city folk was Eliza thinking the bulls at the rodeo were called "Bucket Bulls" because they come out of the bucket. She now knows they are called "Bucking Bulls."
This 4th of July was definitely another memorable holiday. It was great to get back to my roots again. All my applying for a teaching job was about to pay off too. The constant applying, praying, and worrying was about to return my back to my roots 24/7.
...to be continued...