Third Grade

Well, my blogging has totally taken a hiatus in the past three weeks! I am happy to report that I am back! School starts on Monday and therefore my classroom is "almost" complete.

We had open house for the Third Graders on Thursday. It was fun to meet so many of my students and their parents. Tonight was open house for the entire school and parish community. We received a great turn out and it was nice to meet so many kind people.

I just can't believe our summer is over...I can't believe I am teaching third grade...I also can't believe that I have been blessed to be a part of this amazing school.

Our classrooms have Ebeam interactive boards, iPads, document cameras, and outstanding curriculum programs that challenge the kids to use incredible critical thinking skills.

This first week we have half days--thank goodness! It will be wonderful to get to know the kids and start our year off slowly.

Tomorrow I will go to school to put name tags on the desks and to finish a few last minute items...and to mildly freak out :) but Monday morning I will meet my 27 little humans at the door of 3A, with a bright smile and butterflies in my belly...prayers for peace of heart are welcome!



Normally, the Fox Family is just David and I...but we were so excited that last week life with "The Fox Family" included David's parents.

Seeing them Monday was so great, and we were able to connect with them again on Wednesday night.  We met them down on the Strip for some true Vegas fun.  We walked to Lagasse's Table (Emeril's sports bar and grill, complete with stadium seating) and enjoyed a delicious meal!
Between the four of us, we devoured cold beers, perfectly unique sweet potato fries served with cinnamon dipping sauce, BBQ chicken pizza, hamburgers, BBQ pork sandwich, and a wedge salad.  It became a group meal for some of us--sharing, sampling, and tasting one another's food choices. Everything on the table was really fantastic!
We then walked to the Bellagio to enjoy the fountains and a brief stroll through the casino.  The night was truly perfect and could not have been more fun.
It worked out that on Thursday, we were able to have more Fox fun!  I went down to meet Walt and Kris at Table 10 in the Palazzo.  We had a wonderful happy hour and lots of great conversation and completed the afternoon with a relaxing stroll along the Venetian's canal.
David was in court all day, so he did not get to join us, but after our walk through Italy...we drove to Nellis to meet up with the Captain.  David toured his parents around the base and we had a brief stop of to explore the commissary and class six...always a great adventure to be had at the liquor store.

The evening ended back at our house.  A dinner of BBQ salmon, couscous and salad accompanied by a brief night swim and a lightning storm (don't worry--it was in that order and no one was harmed)!
It was an absolute delight to have The Fox Family here and although we missed Caitlin, we were excited (and a bit jealous) that she only missed out because of the amazing European adventure she is on! We are so thankful to Walt and Kris, it was such a joy to have them here and we can't wait to see them again!



In just four days we were able to unload and put away all but *two* of our indoor boxes! Yahoo! The garage has about twenty to put away still, but those are things like Christmas decor and golf clubs...things that are not necessary for our daily life to continue so no judgement please :)

It's a good thing we hustled and got the majority of our stuff put away last weekend because tonight was a big night for us...we had our very first dinner guests...The Foxes! Kris and Walt came to Vegas for vacation and a visit and tonight they came to our new home for dinner.

Plans went a bit crazy because David is working a lot of extra hours this week (he has a case that will start Thursday) so I ran out to The Strip and brought them back to our place.

After a brief tour, they settled right in loving on Mac and Walt even went swimming! I ended up going to get David because his truck wouldn't start :( and then we were back in a flash ready to eat.

David grilled blue cheese burgers on the BBQ, which we accompanied with Harvest Grain from Trader Joe's--a favorite of ours that you must try! We enjoyed chatting by lamplight on the patio, and we were able to catch a few of the Olympic Track and Field races.

It was a very low-key evening and it was very special to have Walt and Kris be our first dinner guests in our Nevada home. We are so excited to see them throughout the week ahead, for more catching up and some wild shenanigans!



On Thursday our things were delivered...four burley men would bring boxes inside, yell out a number to David--who would check it off the inventory sheet, then I would look at the contents written on the side of the box and tell them where to put it.

In three hours they had unloaded all of our stuff, set up the beds, and unpacked the kitchen and stemware boxes. By having them unpack some of the more fragile items, you ensure that if something is broken it will be documented on the spot...one less paperwork step (and in the military the less paper you can deal with, the better).

We spent the rest of the day unpacking our things and trying to figure out where furniture needed to be put to make our new space fit our needs. And after a day of unpacking, the only logical place to eat dinner is at your neighborhood casino's Mexican restaurant...right? Oh, Vegas.

On Friday, David returned to work and I took my boxes of school stuff to my classroom. I unloaded my stuff and tried to get a vision for what my classroom will look like. After a few hours of moving desks around it was time to step away.

One thing we have learned in all the moving is that sometimes you have to make yourself walk away. To continue staring at the same space or continually moving box after box around a room--you just have to step.away.from.the.stuff. So, Mac and I decided the only true solution was a swim in the pool to cool off and recharge before conquering the unpacking and organization of the kitchen cupboards.

It is now Sunday and the entire downstairs is put away. Today I will tackle the upstairs and David will go into work for the day (he was already put on a case for this week) and tonight we will be trying out the UNLV Newman Center for mass.

Life in our new home is exciting and it will continue to be even more so as the boxes unload.


PCS To Do List

When you PCS there are an absurd amount of things on your "to do" list upon arrival at your new base.  

When we arrived in Las Vegas we checked into the on-base lodging.  Once we unloaded ourselves and our car into our TLF (temporary lodging facility), we set out for our inaugural trip to The Strip.
Our friend Kim was in town for her work, so we were able to meet her for dinner!  We went to New York, New York and it was truly the most amazing gift from God that she was here in Las Vegas.  David and I have never vacationed in Vegas, so we felt so blessed that our dear friend was in town to not only to catch up and show us the ropes of The Strip, but also to give our new life a touch of our old life!
Finding a house is something that you can do before you move or you can do it once you arrive.  When we moved to Wichita Falls, I went out ahead of time to find our house.  It worked out well and we felt very lucky to live in a sweet little home with the most amazing landlord!  

This time, we decided to try something new.  We made the decision to come to Las Vegas and look for a house upon arrival.  We knew that we wanted to have a private pool (so Mac can get exercise in the extreme temps) and so that we can enjoy living in this very warm climate.  

After months of obsessively looking online and then one afternoon of walking through homes with a realtor, we found the perfect house for our little family.  It feels great to know that we can experience this new adventure in the comfort of a beautiful home...with a pool in the backyard...and 4 big bedrooms (so please come visit)!

Part of moving to a new place is finding the new resources we will be utilizing most frequently...including the nearest grocery store.  We have some great shops around our house...a Target is just 5 blocks away! But one of our favorite places in the world, Trader Joe's is right near my school!  What a pleasant surprise!  Cheap wine, great cheeses, and all natural foods are things that do not exist in Texas, so it is a GREAT thing to have a Trader Joe's right on my way home!
We were not only excited to find the local Trader Joe's, but also to re-join Costco!  There are only Sam's Clubs in Wichita Falls (if you weren't aware, Texas does have a love affair with Walmart ) and it was a GREAT day when we walked through our local North Las Vegas Costco and their lovely liquor section!
Over the past week of settling into our new life, we have also attempted to settle into our new jobs.  David had to go to his office and "check in" on Thursday with his new boss.  He saw where he will be working and learned what he would be doing.  While I went on Friday to meet my principal.  I returned yesterday to get my keys and meet my teaching partner.  It is the area that we are the most nervous about.  David is at a new base, with new legal issues and I am at a new school, teaching a new grade level.  We are unsure of what all these things will entail but at the same time, we are both so excited!
A very time sensitive item on our "to do list" was to find David a car to drive.  David sold his truck before we left Texas.  His *very* rustic and oh so "vintage" truck.  We spent the past week talking to dealerships and stopping by car lots, perusing Craigslist and test driving vehicles.  

Yesterday, David found the perfect vehicle that he will drive while we live in Las Vegas. Amazingly enough he bought another truck!  Thankfully, this new truck comes fully loaded with A/C, power steering, and...it was even built in 2004!
One of the things that has been on our hearts, is to make sure that McCovey is adjusting to the move.  Last weekend we found a great dog park and went for some beautiful walks.  Getting Mac adjusted is important not only for his sake, but for our sanity!  A relaxed and happy dog, means a relaxed and happy dog-Momma!
The last thing that has been important is to ensure that we are living it up in TLF.  Living in a hotel room (with an oven and a refrigerator) leaves something to be desired, but David and I have figured out that we need to be comfortable, so that we can achieve all of our other goals.  We have found ways to live simply and yet be successful and comfortable.  We make good meals, that are simple and easy, we create routines and a new normal and we give McCovey a lot of love!
Tomorrow our water, electricity and gas will be turned on at our new house and we will be able to live there with our air mattress, camp table, and folding chairs.  We will be excited to get out of TLF but we will be even more excited to see that moving truck pull up with all of our possessions (sadly, we don't know when that will be yet).  

We welcome all of your prayers, good energy and positive thoughts for a quick and speedy delivery that will complete this PCS "to do list" and allow us to start our lives here in Las Vegas!



We drove into Phoenix on Tuesday, exhausted and ready to relax.  
We had a swim at our beautiful hotel...
And we met Jessica, David's cousin, for drinks...
...the night was complete as we enjoyed drinks, a fire pit, and a great meal, poolside at our hotel.

 Driving out of Arizona and into Nevada...a crazy feeling...we are ready for this new adventure--a new chapter is about to begin!


On day two we left the beauty of New Mexico, with its White Sands and mountain ranges and arrived late in the afternoon in Arizona.
Stopping in Tuscon to partake in the Man vs. Food challenge of eating "Bacon Wrapped Hot dogs"...let's just say it was interesting and my tacos were a delightful treat compared to David's heart attack in a bun.  
Due to his late night party antics, Mac slept the entire second day of driving...but he was glad when he woke up and we were in Phoenix...at the single most dog friendly hotel on the planet...stay tuned for the gorgeous pics from Phoenix!

The Fox Family

Bright Lights, Big City...Life in Las Vegas