Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 36-47.....way too many days packed into one

Day 36: Help a stranger

So it is not really in my nature to help out someone on drugs (that I don't know). But this one kind of fell in my lap....literally.

Here I am minding my own business at the grocery store, when I notice this lady acting all crazy. She was displaying the typical signs of a person on drugs. But I just said to myself "keep walking'. A few isles later, I am reaching for a box of cereal when the sounds of tumbling cereal boxes alerts me to look up.....

Here comes tweaker right for me. Don't know if it was instinct or luck, but the box in my hand flies out and is replaced with this woman. I want to say at this moment she snapped out of her drug induced coma to say 'thank you' for catching her, but the moment passed before her arms are flailing and she is brushing herself off (like she fell on the ground, instead of into my arms).

I just stood there a little shocked. So my good deed may have gone unnoticed to her, but at least it all worked out.

Day 37: Tell a scammer off
Basically, I contacted a man about renting "his apartment" and he took me on the run around. Until he finally said, "Send me the money and I will send you the keys"....hahahahaha we have got a joker on our hands.

So I told him my two cents and his rebuttal "Are you on ruffies?"....

No, because if I was taking ruffies I would be passed out, not telling you off.

Some people!

Day 38: Cheer on my students for their drum performance
Playing rock-paper-scissors right before the performance.

I bring out the camera and they are immediately ready to pose!

Day 39: Drink a new cocktail: Orange infused jalapeno margarita.

SPICY!!!! My lips were burning, but it was amazing!

Day 40: Eat a traditional Saudi Arabian dinner....with only my right hand
Assalam Alaikum" is a greeting between Muslims. It means "Peace be upon you".
It was a wonderful cultural experience and I am thankful to be friends with Radi, who teaches me new things about being Muslim.

Radi and Sultan cooking the lamb they had slaughtered earlier in the week.

Our group :)

Eating with my fingers....but I had to pull apart with both hands. But I ate with just my right, in true Muslim form.

Day 41: Meet children's author Denise Vega and take a writing class from her.
She is most notably known for her book:

It was a wonderful class and I gained a lot of knowledge about writing my own children's book. Check out her website. She is very talented and has some great books aimed for preteen girls.

Day 42: Take Jaiden to the park and watch rockets launch.

Day 43: Donate to the Salvation Army holiday collectors.
Everyone walks by them on their way into the grocery store. They are ringing those obnoxious bells, occasionally saying something along the lines of "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas". So I thew my change in the bucket, when I hear the man collecting money flat out asks me,
"Are you dating anyone?"
I was so caught off guard.
This is not a dating service to pick up women! It is a way to collect money for those less fortunate. I wish I had said this to him, but I was so caught off guard, all I could say was, "Yes" and walk off. That is the last time I smile and donate money to them!

Day 44: Visit Colorado Museum of Nature and Science to see Pompeii exhibit
I will sum up my experience: CRAZY
There were great artifacts, but I was thrown-up on twice (by my students) AND I lost a student for a few minutes. Ahhhh the life of a teacher on field trips.

Day 45: Carry bags for an older person.
Bless this sweet man's heart. He had too many bags for his own good. So I helped him load his bags into his car. He was very sweet and profusely thanked me.

Day 46: Say Happy Thanksgiving to as many people as I can in the airport.
Most people cordially said it back, but there were a few that looked at me like I had three heads or something. I only missed one person, which happened to be the first person I encountered. He was the parking garage attendant, who gave me some bad news. I was so busy telling him no worries, that I forgot to tell him, Happy Thanksgiving, until I started to drive off. So I leaned my head out the window and yelled it, but I am unsure if he heard me, the wind was blowing like 90 mph. But at the end of my time in the airport, it felt good to see all those smiles.

But the giving didn't stop there. I also lent my earphones to the girl sitting next to me on the airplane. She told me it was a sign I was sitting next to her. She made me smile with that.

Day 47: Handstand Challenge: Hold a handstand on the wall as long as I could: 2 minutes and 3 seconds. Pure agony for my shoulders and arms.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Days 32-35

Day 32: Food fight....
All it takes is 4 teachers and a couple of drinks later...

It started with a margarita with a salted glass being heavily salted, which lead to salt being flicked off the rim at each other... and before I knew it we were throwing salt, chips and lettuce at each other. We were quickly stopped by our waitress, who did not find our antics funny. If she hadn't stopped us, who knows what else, we might have started throwing. I can't say she was too happy about it! But I couldn't stop laughing!!
I am in the middle of dodging food!

Day 33: Fancy dinner party
Love, love, love!

Pretty girls, looking all fancy!

The whole group! What a handsome/beautiful group of friends! Cheers!

Friends, h'orderves, wine, steak and snicker doodles. I would say our fancy dinner party was a success. Thank you to Booya, Chelsea, Meghan and Stef for being great cooks and hosts!

Day 34: Help raise awareness of literacy around the world, which lead to some interesting findings.

I asked myself, which country has the highest literacy rate? I knew the United States has a high literacy rate, but I was curious as to where we fell in comparison to other countries and what countries fell significantly behind us.
My research led me to a few countries that listed that they had a 100% literacy rate for all people over the age 15 that can read and write:
Andorra, which is located in between Spain and France,
Liechtenstein, which is located in between Switzerland and Austria,
I was not surprised to find these countries listed as having the top literacy rates in the world. These countries start their education at the age of 6 and offer more trade based education after children attend elementary and middle school. They are obviously doing their job educating their young.

On the other end of the spectrum, I found both Niger and Afghanistan with a literacy rate of 28%. But sadly they were not the lowest. Burkina Faso, a land locked country in Africa has the lowest literacy rate in the world, with 21.8%. Each family is required to pay for their childs education and typically boys are sent over girls. There has been a push to increase literacy in the country, which has seen a double in numbers since 1990, but sadly, it is still the lowest in the world.

So with these numbers in mind, I decided to join a website that helps raise awareness for early literacy around the world.

Here is how it works, the website offers free books online to people who have access to the Internet. When you read a book online, it helps send that same book to a child who does not have access to books.

If you are feeling like helping raising awareness, check it out. You might just find yourself addicted to reading some of the fun books featured on the website.

Happy Reading.... because somewhere in the world, someone can't cherish the joys of reading!

Day 35: Write a letter to a vet thanking them for their service and buy them coffee.

My amazing friend Lauren, who served two tours overseas!

Thanks for your service Lauren! You rock!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 24-31

Day 24: Go to the Denver Ballet with my students
African drummers with Indian dancers. Best part of the show because my students do African drum and they were playing it on their laps.

My two friends are convinced they have mustaches. So here they are showing me their "mustaches" hahahaha I couldn't help but laugh at their peach fuzz

Day 25: Sign up for a writing class
There is a wonderful writing group in Denver, called The Lighthouse. They just so happen to be featuring a class on writing a children's book. So off I go, on November 17th, to learn more about writing a children's book.

Day 26: Make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving.... Seeley Thanksgiving on November 3rd.

Seeley family

My pecan pie in the corner and Roxy pulling another dish out of the oven.
Enjoying the beautiful weather

Magdiel cutting his first Thanksgiving Turkey and getting a lesson from Roxy on how to do it,

Wohoo cousins Megan and Trip with my dad.
Happy early Thanksgiving from the Seeley's. We had a wonderful dinner. Kudos to all who cooked (out of 15 people, 13 cooked). Can you guess who didn't cook?.....

Day 27: Homemade Fondue... all 3 courses
1st course: Cheddar cheese with beer and Swiss cheese with wine! Yummy
2nd course: Beef, chicken, and pheasant all marinated in delicious sauces.
3rd course: Milk and white chocolate with fruits, angel cake, and pretzel to dip it in.

Lets get this party started with some fondue
Enjoying more family time

Day 28: Research the history of Westward Expansion and how it impacted the now, great state of Colorado.

They say, "The best way to learn is to teach." Well, I have decided to brush up on my knowledge about Western Expansion and then teach it to my students for our next unit.

Lewis and Clark, Sacajawea, the Gold Rush, and traveling west in a wagon, here I come.

For my fellow "Schoolhouse Rock" watchers in the 80's, this might bring back some memories.

Day 29: Each vote counts: Have my students vote for the next president on election day.
Here are a few of my students just after they voted. :)

A.J. voted

Oh look, I voted too!
Day 30: Take an IQ test
Apparently, I am not extraordinarily smart.... but who says you need to be? My IQ is 95. Now I know you are all thinking, what does a 95 mean. Well let me just tell you, I am average. Just your average brain. But like my dad always says, "It's what's in the heart that matters." At least for now, that is what I am going to go with.

Day 31: Drink a new wine: Gato Negro
Gato Negro Wine. Its slogan is "A wine for those occasions when you are with your friends, or your loved ones, or just by yourself, and you want to enjoy the moment in a relaxed and simple way."
Well done Gato Negro, well done.
Gretchen even had a gato negro to hang out with us, while we drank.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 23

Day 23: Take Avery trick-or-treating for the first time.
A princess and a dog, we are ready to trick-or-treat.
Sweet little puppy... I am pretty sure he was traumatized!

And we are at it.
But who could leave out that Avery just didn't want to wear the hat.
Happy Halloween 2012.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 18-22

Day 18: Dress as a Harlem Globetrotter for our awesome Halloween Party
Harlem Globetrotters: M.S., S.J, and Luna

Can't forget about Sol... the only man on our team. Nice muscles sol!

Day 19: Take Magdiel shopping (I hate shopping with other people)

I can gladly thank my mom for the "I hate shopping with other people" gene. I remember when we were kids, we would go shopping and I swear my mom had an invisible stop watch in her hand. She would step one foot in the store and power shopping began. We walked fast... practically ran, we shopped fast, I think we might have even talked fast.

We would go straight to the department and get right to work finding exactly what we needed. It was always designated before: Today, we are buying jeans. Today, we are buying a winter coat. There was always a mission.

So I didn't exactly realize I had this "problem" until, I would attempt to go shopping with other people and instantly become annoyed. So I basically quit shopping with other people.....


Magdiel asked me to take him shopping, my gut check reaction was "I hate shopping with other people!" But, how bad could it really be? I love him to death, so it couldn't be that bad.

About 15 shops and a delicious lunch later, we... I should say, I survived shopping together. Mission complete. But don't expect me to run out and go shopping with people again. These trips will be far and few between.

Day 20: Give the men of my house facials
Be one with the facial Kyle!

Yes, it is cold, but deal with it.

Two happy boys, with baby soft skin..... You're welcome!

Day 21: Research how to publish a children's book.
A dream in the making.... stay tuned.

Day 22: Try a new dessert with my friend Amani.
One of my committed followers of my life and project is my dear friend Amani. We met while playing soccer in Southern California and quickly bonded over soccer, music and shoes. He has been a wonderful friend and I was excited to share one of my "things" with him.

We have often talked about ice cream and desserts. So we decided to help me fulfill my "thing" of the day, we would attempt either a new dessert or flavor of ice cream.

We decided on the deep fried cheesecake bites with strawberry and chocolate sauce.....


Smile Amani!
Thanks to my dear friend Amani for sharing in one of my "things". It is an honor to have such an awesome friend like him!