Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Today is Election Day, as you probably know.  And while I think it is important to vote, I am not the biggest fan of politics.  In fact, I paid no attention to the ads, campaigns, speeches, etc. until last night when I sat down with my ballot to make my decision.  I found a neutral article from Yahoo that laid out the issues and what each candidate thought and read it.  I pray that the person that God thinks would be best for our country is the one that is voted in.

Meanwhile, one of my friends posted a great prayer on Facebook that I wanted to share with you.  Her name is Christina and I believe she got this from someone else but regardless, I thought it was really well said.

"Most people would say pray for our government to change. My prayer is not for the government to change. It's for people to know Jesus Christ. And for the church to be the church" -friend from East Asia -- That's my prayer for America too. For people to know Jesus and for the church to be the church. The solution and true hope ultimately is not what is on the ballot. Whether the person I'm voting for wins or loses, I know God is still sovereign. Voting is not enough. Get personal and love. Let's unite humbly for America and not ask God to bless America but America to bless God.

One last thought...if you live in Howard County, check out the fourth name from the top....I think he would be our best choice for president!  He would always know who was naughty and who was nice!

 This is one of the write in options for president!!!  Santa would totally turn this country around!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

After Superstorm Sandy

Since the Superstorm, things have been busy around here so I apologize for not updating!  I do have some pictures but they are pretty much pictures of rain since there wasn't any real damage here, praise God!  We lost power around 8pm Monday night but got it back Tuesday night around 11pm.  We didn't have much in our fridge and we had already taken our frozen stuff to Ben's parents' house so we didn't lose too much.  School was cancelled again Tuesday and Ben didn't have to go into work.  By Tuesday morning, most of the storm had passed, however we were cold in our apartment!  Ben's parents didn't lose power so we camped out at their place for the day and evening to keep warm and get work done!  Ben had to finish his midterm anyways so it was nice to be around electricity and internet.  As always, Riley enjoyed having the bigger house to run around in!  All in all, we were very fortunate with the storm and have already been able to get back on track with work and home.  Judging on the news and pictures from NJ and NYC, we were very fortunate.  Praise God for keeping us and our friends and family safe!  Our prayers go out to those who are still working through what Sandy left behind.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Superstorm Day 1

So far, not much has happened for us on Day 1 of the Superstorm.  School was cancelled for me and Ben is able to work from home so neither of us have to be on the roads today, thank the Lord!  Right now, it is raining and the wind is picking up here and there but overall, not much has happened.  I wish I could say the same for the Eastern Shore, which is where all of my family lives, though none of them live on the water thankfully!  It has been pouring there since yesterday and it's pretty windy.  The main damage so far is in Ocean City, MD.  The water has already crossed over the dune line and is starting to wash into the streets, even farther in the lower areas of OCMD.  And the sad news so far is that over night the fishing pier was destroyed by the storm surge.  Officials are saying about 100 feet of the pier has been destroyed and washed away. :(  Hurricane Sandy isn't even here yet!  She is still off the coast of NC I believe, making it's way towards the Mid-Atlantic.

Officials are now saying that the storm is going to come right across the Eastern Shore/Delaware/New Jersey.  They thought it was going to hit more of NJ/NY but now Sandy has changed course.  The worst of it is supposed to happen tonight.

Here's a shot of the pier before and after.  I hope my beloved Ocean City doesn't wash away!

Here's another shot of the waves coming over the beach onto the boardwalk last night.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Prepping for the Frankenstorm

Have you guys heard of the Frankenstorm that is coming???  Hurricane Sandy is going to merge with a winter storm coming from the west and a cold front coming from the north and will morph into a super storm, dubbed the Frankenstorm!!  The problem is that no one is quite sure where the storm is going to make landfall...anywhere from Virginia to Main it could hit.  It also depends on what news agency you are watching.  The most common projected path is for the storm to make landfall at Delaware/the Eastern Shore of MD (where I am from!) and passing right over us as it makes its way inland. We also aren't quite sure when the storm is going to hit.  It could be anywhere from tonight to Tuesday and it's expected to stay around for a few days.  Right now, the storm is off the coast of South Carolina and the road from NC to the Outer Banks has already washed out!

Ben and I have been lucky in that we haven't had to do too much to prep for the storm.  I picked up some water on my way home from school on Friday and we made sure we had plenty of peanut butter, bread, granola bars, and cereal.  We also made sure we had plenty of food and water for Riley.  Since we are on city water we shouldn't lose our water capabilities.  Our biggest thing will be losing power.  We have candles and some flashlights ready to go.  Ben's parents were kind enough to loan us some of their freezer space so we took our freezer food over there yesterday.  They have a generator and will be powering their freezer if they lose power.  We didn't want to go through what we did this summer when we lost power and lose all our food!  

We also shouldn't have to worry too much about the rain since we are on the third floor of our building.  We also don't have too many trees around so hopefully the wind won't be a problem either.  Our biggest concern is taking Riley out during the storm to go to the bathroom.  Hopefully we won't get blown away!

For as long as we have power, I will try to post pictures and updates.  Right now, it's cloudy and a slight breeze has started.  The rain from the storm is supposed to reach us later today with the wind coming tonight.  I am procrastinating and not writing lesson plans for the week yet until I see if I have school or not.  We shall see what happens!!!

If you are in the path of the storm like we are, stay safe!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

UMD Football

Since it is fall and all (though some morning temperatures make it feel like winter!!  33 degrees and frost...really Mother Nature?!?)  we have to do fall activities of course!  Last weekend, Ben's office mate, Kelly, scored some free tickets to the UMD vs. Wake Forest game!  She asked if we wanted to go with her and we said yes of course!  Who's going to say no to free tickets, especially if it is their alma mater?

So the three of us drove up to College Park and since it was Kelly's first time there, we had fun pointing everything out to her on campus.  Our tickets were for the nosebleeds but we had a really good view of the field!  Over the summer, UMD put in a new turf field and the field looked really really snazzy!  The field is a one of a kind in the nation and it has something to do with lowering the temperatures on the field so play is more comfortable for the players, etc.  Something like that.  All I know is that it is the only one in the US.

We really had a good time at the game.  By the 3rd quarter, we were ready to go though.  The game was being played very s-l-o-w-l-y and since we were at the top, it was really really windy so we were freezing!  All three of us decided that Starbucks sounded like a warmer idea then finishing the game!  We headed to Starbucks and on the way home, heard that the Terps had managed to win.  Go Terps!

Beautiful new field!

The Mighty Sound of Maryland getting ready to take the field!

An upside down M.

Go Terps!

University of Maryland

An upside down shield of Maryland.

What a cutie!

The halftime show was Warner Brothers (I think...it was hard to hear everything the announcer was saying.)  Here's Bugs Bunny!

The Jetson's space car.

Flintstones!  It's their (upside down) car.

After the game, we came home and just relaxed by ordering a pizza and catching up on our shows.  Later in the evening, this is how I found Riley on the couch.  She's so lady-like!

What a silly dog!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Rosh Hashanah! and an update

Hi everyone!  Today is Rosh Hashanah which means on the Western shore, all the schools have off!  Growing up on the Eastern shore, we never got off for Jewish holidays so this was news to me when I moved over here.  So Happy Rosh Hashanah to all my Jewish friends!  I am celebrating the day off with some Starbucks and trying to cross off many things on my to-do list.  Next week, I get to celebrate Yom Kippur by having another day off!

Not much has been going on with us recently.  Ben and I are just trying to get back into the routine of the school year.  I am really starting to love first grade!  The first two weeks were touch and go....sometimes I loved the grade, sometimes I really missed second grade.  I quickly realized that there is a BIG difference between first and second grade.  First grade is a big reading/writing year for the kids and that was a little daunting at first.  But, I know I will make it with the help of my great co-workers and of course, being able to rely on my wonderful mother as a resource!

 Last week, week 3, I really started to love the grade.  My students are wonderful and we are finally starting to get into our routine.  They are learning and understanding my expectations and I am learning more and more about them.  One thing I LOVE about first grade is that they are so cute and will believe anything you tell them!  I told them last week that I had special ears that only allowed me to hear students who raised their hand, not called out.  They were really in awe of my magic power and it has helped them to remember to raise their hand!  They are also very impressed with anything....I got complimented on my neat and fast coloring skills this past week!  One student said in awe, "Wow Mrs. Alvarez!  You color so nicely and fast!"  At this, about six other kids rushed over to see what he was talking about!  I told them that when they were as old as me, they would be able to color like that from years of practice!  I am really looking forward to the school year and seeing them grow and chance so much!

Ben started his next class for grad school.  He thinks this will be one of his harder classes he will have to take.  He is super smart though so I have no worries that he will do excellent and get an A++ in the class!

Other then that, we are just enjoying the start of football season (Go Redskins and Terps!!) and the changing weather.  Riley starts doggy school in a few weeks so that will be fun.  Riley went to puppy school and did great but with me in grad school last year and our lives being so on the run, we (sadly) didn't continue working with her as much as we should have.  But we found a wonderful training class and Riley is all signed up!

Enjoy your Monday!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

More Deep Creek Lake

Hi everyone!  Sorry it has been a week since posting the first pics of our trip to Deep Creek Lake!  Teachers went back to school this past week so I had my days full of getting my classroom ready!  But more on that later...

Here is the rest of our DCL trip!  After spending the day on the water, we were exhausted!  The next day was a little bit more relaxing.  The guys played a round of golf while the girls went on a short hike and then to the beach.  I don't have any golfing pics but the men had fun even if they were a bit rusty with the game!

The hike we went on was a short 1 mile hike.  On the hike, there was access to three beautiful waterfalls!  Two of them were smaller and we were actually able to wade in the water.  Some people were jumping off the rocks into the big pool below the falls but none of us were dumb enough to try that!

This was the first falls we came to.  It was also the biggest and the one that we weren't allowed to go swimming in. (Though that didn't stop other people from doing it!)

Chessie and her friend!

This was the second falls.  We didn't go swimming in this one.

This was the third falls.  A little smaller.  We went wading in the water at the top of the falls.  It came up to our knees.  The rocks were really slippery though so we tried really hard not to fall in and get soaked!

Someone's dog hiking with them!

DCL has a little man-made beach that we went to.  However, it was so cloudy and windy, I was all covered up! It was really cold.

Saturday was our last full day in DCL.  Ben and Kevin spent the day mountain biking down one of Wisp's trails.  The ski lifts took them up to the top and then they would bike down.  At the end of the day, they saw a wedding party and guests riding the lift up to the top for a wedding!  I don't have any pictures of that but it sounded pretty fun!

While they were biking, Brian relaxed at the house while the four ladies went white water rafting!  At the top of the mountain, there is a man made course for rafting and kayaking.  The course can be changed to different levels of difficulty.  Kim had been white water rafting before but neither I or Chessie and her friend had been so it was probably good that we went on a man made course and not a river!

This is a (really bad) picture of the course.  The big pool is where they drain all the water at the end of the day and it's also where we started.  We would paddle onto a conveyer belt that would take us up into the smaller pool to begin the course.  It was a lot of fun!  We went around about four times in two hours and our guide stopped us along the way to have us try different things.  At one point, he made us all get out and jump from one of the rocks into the middle of the "river" and swim back.  Then, he had us go "surfing" in one of the falls, which is where you paddle really hard against the water and the idea is that the front of the raft will get stuck under the falling water and hold you in place, therefore surfing on the water.  It took us two tries but we finally got it!  The first time, our raft didn't get stuck and we all fell sideways.  Chessie and I were in the front and I fell into her, knocking her out of the raft!  Once she got back in we tried it again and were successful at surfing.  The third thing our guide made us do was he had the two front people (me and Chessie's friend, Elissa) put our paddles down.  As we were going down the fall, our guide counted to 3 and on 3, we were to jump out of the raft.  The idea was to coincide our jump with a certain point of the fall which would launch us up into the air and into the water.  Neither of us succeeded in that but we did jump out!

The rafting was a lot of fun!  We really enjoyed it!  The rest of the day was spent relaxing at the house because we were all so tired from rafting and biking!  Sunday was just spent packing up and heading back to Columbia!!!  It was a great trip and I think we would definitely go back!