September 23, 2011

Wow, what a crazy past week or so! So much has happened and yet we still have a full schedule for the next couple weeks.

I started my full time job at Kids ‘n’ Stuff – a daycare for ages 1-11. I am currently with the 2-3 year olds as a “teacher”. When I took this job, I wasn’t expecting that I would actually have to plan lessons – I thought it’d be a mindless job that I could use as a resume builder until I can actually teach – but my boss expects me to write lessons for a circle time, story time, and art. This isn’t too difficult, but after working 8 hour days, all I want to do is plop on the couch and do nothing, least of all lesson planning! I guess I have to get used to this…

Eric and I finally got to visit home this past weekend! We LOVED spending time with friends and family. I got to meet Lauren’s new little baby and she is so precious!

Eric, Evalee, and me

We also decided to bring home a new little kitten! Ghost is the cutest little guy, but our cat, Guen, hasn’t been too happy about a new friend. We did have fun with Ghost and our niece and nephew before we left Virginia, and I can’t help but post a picture of Adelaide and Ezekiel with the new kitten!

Ezekiel, Ghost, and Adelaide

This next weekend we will be travelling to Ohio for the wedding of one of my college roommates, Bia, and her fiance, Mike. We’re really excited for another long weekend and to get to celebrate with Bia and Mike!

After being home, we are both looking forward to our next trip home and for the next weeks which will be filled with fun trips. We are doing great and it was so good to see some of our friends and family this past weekend! We can’t wait to see you all again!

– Jessica


September 11, 2011

This week has been a lot of fun, but we are mostly looking forward to next weekend because we finally get to come home!

I started working at a daycare called Kids ‘n’ Stuff this week. I only got to work 10 hours, which was kind of disappointing, but it is kind of nice to ease into a full time schedule instead of jumping straight into it. Right now I just help out where I’m needed, but soon I’ll be in charge of 2 and 3 year olds full time as a “teacher”. I’ll plan a few lessons each week and hopefully get these kids into a good routine.

Eric and I joined a small group from our community group at church and really enjoyed meeting and talking with them on Thursday. They meet every other week and are going through a devotional book that Eric and I just recently ordered right after we met with them. We are waaaaay behind but we’ll try and catch up in the next weeks before we meet again!

Guen has continuted to make us laugh and do really goofy things. I came home one day to see her watching a TV show on Eric’s computer with him. She looked really into it!

Watching TV with Eric

This week has been an experimental cooking week for me… we finally got our grill moved over to our apartment and were excited to try Eric’s Mom’s London Broil recipe.

Our Grill!

I made the marinade and we grilled the steak, but when I went to make the sauce, I COMPLETELY butchered it… twice. The sauce is the BEST part of London Broil, so I was really disappointed but I’m sure we’ll try again soon. I think I figured out what I did wrong. The one thing that I tried and that turned out to be REALLY good was cheesecake stuffed strawberries. They are so simple and delicious! I only wish the strawberries would’ve been in season and fresh.

Chesescake filled strawberries

This weekend also consisted of the 2 dollar theater again and going to Chick-Fil-A for a free breakfast. Love us some Chick-Fil-A! This next week, I plan on working 10-15 hours and then getting Friday off to come home and see family! We are really looking forward to spending time with everyone and I’m looking forward still to meeting Evalee.

Eric just changed into gym clothes which means it’s time to work out! I’ll write later and hopefully have some more interesting things to say!!

– Jessica

September 7, 2011

This week has been a little bit unpredictable! On Sunday, Eric and I were looking forward to going downtown and watching fireworks for Boomsday – but it poured all evening long, so we ended up just watching the fireworks on the TV. It was still fun to see how Knoxville celebrates Labor Day, but it was a little bit disappointing to miss going downtown for fireworks.

Boomsday Ad

This week I’ve started working just a little bit. Yesterday I had orientation for a few hours and today I was supposed to go in to work at 10 this morning but got a call saying attendance is low and they don’t need me until 3 o’clock. I like easing into a work schedule, but I also like the idea of earning some more money than what I will be earning this week! But I’ll use the time this morning to work on my substitute teaching course and to plan some lessons for the kids at the daycare.

A couple weeks ago Eric and I finally got to attend a “community group” at church. Community groups are what I would have called “Sunday School” growing up. They are groups of people getting together before the church service and listening to someone teach on a specific part of the Bible and also to get to spend some time with other people at church. Our community group is for newly married couples and it was a lot of fun to finally meet some people our age who could be good friends. I have never felt so welcomed into a group before. We will get to go to a small group on Thursday with some of the members of our community group and are really excited!

We have really enjoyed Fellowship Church here in Knoxville – even though it is very different from what I am used to in the sense that it is about 50x bigger than my home church! The people are all so friendly, though, and the sermons are also very biblically based.

Today I am trying to make some crock pot meat balls and some corn on the cob. The corn on the cob, I am predicting, will be pretty terrible because it’s not fresh. But I’m hoping the meat balls turn out okay! I’m looking for all kinds of slow cooker recipes, so if anyone has a good one, send it my way!

This upcoming weekend will hopefully be spent mini golfing, getting a free Chick-Fil-A breakfast (go here — — if you like Chick-Fil-A and would like a free breakfast!!), attending community groups again (last week community groups didn’t meet because of Labor Day), working out, and maybe taking Guen for another walk! But mostly Eric and I will spend time relaxing together and preparing for hopefully a full week of work next week for me! We’re crossing our fingers!

I hope the week ends well for everyone! We are thinking of you all!

September 3, 2011

I just had to write about a couple things – mostly the adventures of Guen this week!

On Thursday we decided to go to the park in the evening instead of work out. At the last second we thought… maybe we should bring Guen! So we loaded her up in the car and set off for the park. Guen is not the biggest fan of car rides, but she toughed it out and made it to the park with us. My first thought was, we’ll have to sit and watch her and make sure she doesn’t run away… but we started walking and she started following us. So we decided to take a walk and she stayed behind us the whole time and only strayed off our path once! She was like a little puppy! It cracked us up. We could tell that she was getting tired, though, after about 20 minutes, so we took her home and she immediately went for my cup of water and started re-hydrating! Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me at the park, but here is Thirsty Guen!

Thirsty Guen!

I guess Eric was feeling ornery because once we got back from the park, he dipped Guen in the bath tub!! At first, she didn’t seem to mind the water but as soon as she realized she was up to her chin in water, she slipped and grasped to get out of the bath tub as FAST as possible!

Wet Guen, fresh out of the tub

This weekend, one of Eric’s college friends, Brad McAlister came to hang out with us and stay at our house overnight. We got to eat out at our favorite place, Wasabis, a Japanese Steakhouse.

I’ve been decorating for fall and Eric and I both are eagerly anticipating fall weather. We are looking forward to hiking in the Smoky Mountains!

Some of my fall decorations

Mouse Creek Falls in the Smokies

This weekend is “Boomsday” in Knoxville – I guess the point is that they just put off fireworks for Labor Day! So we will hopefully find a good view to watch the fireworks.

Well, we just got back from the gym so now it’s time to relax! Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

– Jessica

September 1, 2011

Hi family (and the occasional friend who is bored enough to read this)! I was thinking about how I wish I had the time to email everyone and send updates and get updates back, but since there are so many people and soon there will be so little time, I thought a blog would be a good idea for those who care about what’s going on in our lives down here in Knoxville!

I hope all is well with everyone! Eric and I are enjoying our time settling into our new apartment in Knoxville and being married. I’m sure you all know that Eric gave in and went with me to get a kitten a week after we moved in. Her name is Guenhwyvar (pronounced Gwen-i-var) and she is a precious little barn kitty who has kept us surprisingly entertained! She does the goofiest things and we laugh at her a lot.

Cozy Kitty!

Eric is still working at a Tax firm (is that what you call it?) and I recently found out that I will be employed at the beginning of next week at a daycare facility called “Kids ‘N’ Stuff”. Yeah, I don’t like the name either! BUT I am so grateful for this job and will start orientation next Tuesday at 10am and from there start out as a part time employee and hopefully transition quickly into full time. I plan to work for this daycare for a few months just while I get to know Knoxville a little better and then as soon as I finish my degree (I have one more class online to take) I will start substituting in Knox County Public Schools and hope to find a full time job in the school system!

Eric and I are getting anxious to visit home in a couple of weeks. We’ll get to spend time with family and go to the wedding of my best friend’s sister! We’re so excited to spend time with everyone whom we miss and I’m excited to meet Lauren (Benner) Shifflett’s new baby girl, Evalee Marie!

Evalee Marie Shifflett

Well, this week has gone by quickly. Eric and I usually go to the gym after he gets home from work but today we’re going to check out a park that we’ve never been to, so that’s a treat to me. Hope the rest of the week goes well for everyone and the weekend comes quickly!! 🙂

– Jessica