Should we name new kitty Jax or Fivel?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

McLean Stake Rules!

One thing I really love about our Church is the focus on service.

Last Saturday, our stake (collection of congregations) Relief Society (our Church's womens' organization) pulled off an unbelievable service fair. You can read about it HERE. The pictures don't do it justice; every inch of the building was being used. I brought donated goods for move-in kits and kids dress-up clothes, made cards for kids in hospitals to give out to parents and nurses, took a class on self defense, and got information on some awesome community groups. Oh, and ate the yummiest food ever. The planning and organization behind this fair blew my mind. I was so glad to be a small part of it!

Also, the youth in our stake put this together a few weeks ago:

Pretty awesome, huh?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


In case you are one of the two people who read our blog and missed my super-awesome Facebook status update last week...

Britty's going to grad school!

One day mid-March, Joe came home from work/school and mentioned there was a Special Ed. program I might be interested in. Suddenly, I was obsessed with the idea, and emailed Joe's friend that night who got me in touch with someone who could get me an interview the next week. I finalized my application, completed my interviews, and took the MAT within two weeks, and then waited...and waited...and waited.

And one week ago I got the news: I'm in! I never, ever, EVER thought I would go back to school, but this program is so me! I'm just going to steal the description of the program from GSEHD's website instead of trying to explain it:

Special Education for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities
The program for teaching students with emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD) provides training for teachers of students with EBD in the psychoeducational theoretical framework. Graduate students in the program gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to facilitate effective instruction and improve outcomes for troubled students, grades K-8.  

The full-time program for teaching children with EBD is a 39 credit hour, one-year program of study, wherein graduate interns complete a two-semester clinical internship during the school day and attend course work at night. This model is centered on the daily team-teaching experience at one of the three professional development schools (PDSs) partnered with the University.

Our full-time program prepares teachers of elementary-aged students with EBD in a PDS model. PDSs provide a clinical component to teacher preparation that mirrors a medical school model. Graduate interns are thoroughly immersed in school environments and become active in the daily operation of all aspects of the school program while taking university courses in the evenings. Each training classroom has a master teacher and a team of two graduate interns. Throughout the year, graduate interns practice:

1) planning and delivering effective instruction,
2) implementing positive behavioral interventions, and
3) expressing qualities of professionalism and the skill of self-reflection. 

This intensive training speeds up socialization to the field through having graduate interns experience “life on the front lines” with the guidance and interpretation of on-site master teachers. In addition, university faculty and staff provide supervision to each of the graduate interns bi-weekly, which includes observation of a lesson, anecdotal notes, videotaping, and immediate feedback. A weekly seminar accompanies this internship, serving several purposes:

a) supporting the intern cohort, b) sharing experiences, c) teaching new concepts, d) reexamining theory, and e) refining skills.

These are rigorous and demanding training experiences. The results, however, are that graduates are ready to assume the role of special educators as if they have a year of experience, rather than as neophytes. Graduate interns have the advantage of working with many professionals whose experiences and practices contribute to their developing philosophy and practice.

A HUGE thank you to my super supportive, awesome husband Joe who gave me the idea, believed I could get in, and is hereby committing himself to at least another year of working at GW so we can both benefit from his employee tuition discount. I'm already tired thinking of the super long work/school days ahead of me, but Joe had been doing super long work/school days for a year and a half! It will all make sense in a few years when we come out of this with two graduate degrees and no debt...right?

I start in seven weeks!

Monday, May 17, 2010

More Cat Pics

We just found out that the cats' original parents have seen the blog, so I wanted to show off a few more pictures:

We sure love these two! They make us laugh every day!

Quick trip to the Beach

Joe and I went to Virginia Beach for a quick trip last weekend. We tried something new, and stayed at this cute B&B a few blocks from the beach:
This was our suite. The managers left a cute note on our bed with our names on it :)
I was most excited about our shower. This thing was CRAZY! We really didn't know how to use it, but it was still fun to push lots of buttons.
Since it's definitely off-season (and the weather stunk, like it always does when we're on vacation,) we were the only ones in the hot tub!
Hot tub lights party!
The next day we were pretty much the only people walking around VA Beach...
so we hit the arcade:
and got a cool yo-yo with our tickets.
Then we went to the boardwalk for a few minutes. p.s. Joe always tries to take pictures of me when I'm not quite ready, so capturing this expression totally made my day.
We went to a museum that was on a "must see" list, but the main part was closed. We did get to see this:
which was awesome!
We drove by Regent University. This is where they film the 700 Club:
The campus was really pretty,
but we wondered if we felt the same way that visitors felt when they go to we were definitely the outsiders.
Last, but certainly not least, we went to see our fave-fave band SAY ANYTHING at the Norva. They were amazing, as always.

And that was our trip to the beach!

Belated Anniversary Post

Our fourth anniversary was April 29. We celebrated at one of our favorite restaurants, Chef Geoff's. Then we came home and took pictures :)

Get it? We're holding up four fingers because we've been married for four years.

My Teeth

I finally got my new tooth last month! For anyone keeping track, this should be the end of the dental adventures for awhile (fingers crossed).

Lew Was Here

(Barb: This photo was obviously taken after we all had some Green Smoothie!)

Lew has been our only visitor this year! He came back this weekend, and we had a great time with him. Poor Lew had to spend 10+ hours at Dulles yesterday until his plane was FINALLY deemed un-flyable. Hopefully this does not discourage any future visits.

Making the bed when Lucky is asleep

DeeDee came up after the bed was made.


Last month I went trapeze-ing again. It will probably be my last time because I am not a "natural," and I would hate to try and learn such an expensive hobby at such a slow pace. At any rate, it's been a BLAST! I have gone every time with fun friends, and we have really enjoyed ourselves. 

The trapeze setup has moved from a parking lot in Chinatown to a custom tent by the Nationals stadium. It was really nice to be indoors, and we got some cool pictures! The rest of the photos and a few videos are on Flickr here