When I was growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I graduated high school and enrolled at Concordia College in River Forest, Il. which was just down the street from my high school. Due to step-father complications I had to live in the dorm which terrified me. I was still really awkward and shy. My mom died 1/2 way into the first semester and my step-father cut off all ties with my brothers and me. I had to drop out of school and move to Canada to live with my grandmother.
At one point in Canada I tried to go back to university, but the campus was huge and intimidating and I just couldn't cope. I tried going to a small business school after that to be a secretary and met up with some very sweet girls who tried to convert me to their religion. Unfortunately they told me my mother was in hell since she had been a devout Catholic. I ended up becoming depressed and dropped out of that school too.
I worked in a grocery store for a time and was a nanny. I knew I enjoyed children and desperately wanted my own family, but I couldn't see how that would be possible with a minimum wage job. By that point I had given up on the idea of going back to school. Eventually I decided to go back to the States and join the Army. I called up my biological father and asked if I could stay with him while I went through the enlistment process. Then I called a recruiter in the Chicago area and set up an appointment.
The recruiter was pretty shocked when I actually showed up - he didn't have many people calling him from Canada to enlist lol. I entered the Army in April of 1998 and went to Basic Training in Fort Leonard Wood, MO. After Basic I went to Fort Bliss, TX for additional training which is where I met my husband. We were married after 4 weeks of knowing each other.
Here's Steven and I when we first met - about a week into our whirlwind courtship lol!
Then we moved here to Fort Sill and I began attending Cameron University. I was blessed to meet some wonderful teachers/mentors. I continued to attend full time, even through my pregnancy with my 4th - in fact I had him on a Monday and was back in class that Wednesday night! With every class I took I became more convinced that this was my calling. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Stoll - I took at least one class from her every semester (including summer!) for 6 semesters straight! She is truly a fabulous woman who understands what kindergarten is all about!
My husband was sent to Korea for a year just a few weeks before I graduated. I ended up not walking since I didn't have a babysitter for my 4 kiddos! I was lucky enough to get a job offer after my first interview. I dragged those poor children with me to set up my classroom, then had them staying late, going in early and coming in on the weekends all that first year while my husband was away in Korea. I truly did not know the meaning of the word "balance".
Steven took this picture of us just a week before he left for Korea.
Here we are a few months after he came home. The sun was very bright and right in our eyes!
Well now that one linky is finished, how about one more - nothing better than killing two linkys with one post right? When I started seeing "Tell Me More" as everyone's blog post title tonight I was intrigued. Good thing I clicked over to find this great linky from Amy over at Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons:
Hmm what quirky things have I not yet revealed?
1. My family loves Nutella. I used to get made fun of all the time for having Nutella sandwiches in my lunch in grade school. They didn't know what they were missing! However, Nutella also now calls up this memory - which everyone still teases me about:
This is my youngest, naked on the countertop, eating Nutella and sprinkles with a butter knife. We had just walked in the door after a long day at work/day care (this was during my first year of teaching while Steven was gone, remember?) and after a few minutes I realized that he was being way too quiet. I walked in the kitchen to find this scene. By the way, he was constantly naked at that age - I used to think I would have to duct tape his clothes to him, no sense of modesty at all unlike my other ones!
2. I don't wear jewelry. Not even my wedding rings. I can't stand watches/bracelets on my wrists and I always snag my rings on things. My engagement/wedding rings are currently in my jewelry box because I lost a diamond out of one (snagging it somewhere) and I just can't be bothered to go get it fixed because I'm so used to not wearing it now. Steven doesn't wear his ring either because of his job, so at least we match! I do love earrings though, but have a bad habit of taking them off in random places and losing one!
3. I love to stay up late - like 4am late! Then I go back to bed for a few hours and get up whenever the kids start getting around. I drink a lot of coffee to function, but I love having the quiet house all to myself!
4. In case you didn't notice above, I like to dress my boys in matching outfits:
Especially on vacations, my boys are always dressed identically. This is partially so that in case we lose one I can just point to one of the others to show everyone what the missing one is wearing. Partially it's just because it's so much easier to get them dressed that way - everyone knows that they're wearing the same thing!
5. Whenever we go someplace, I am forever counting our kids. "1,2,3,4 out the door" is what I say before we leave any store, just so I make sure I don't leave anyone behind. It hasn't happened yet, which I attribute solely to my fanatical counting.
6. I read incessantly. Romances mostly - especially paranormal romances. Complete fluff. But, in my defense, I read all of the classics for fun in high school. For fun people. I attended an all girl, Catholic high school taught by nuns - so yeah, Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist and Cyrano de Bergerac were my idea of party time. Now that I'm grown, I'm making up for lost time by reading young adult fiction and romances - and I skip a lot of the descriptive paragraphs!
I think that's enough of my craziness for now! I'm really enjoying reading everyone else's stories too, so be sure to go link up if you haven't yet!