August 30, 2011

.melissa’s turns…27!.

Today Melissa turned 27 years old!!

The cheerleaders gave Melissa a fistful of nail polish and they did a little Cupid Shuffle dancing to wrap up practice.


We had our family and some friends over for dinner tonight. We attempted to make pulled pork sandwiches for the first time – Melissa’s favorite!

My Dad got her this ice cream cake from Dairy Queen…I’m not sure what was so funny! My Mom said it was probably the first time my Dad has ever bought Melissa a birthday cake…and I teased him that it was a good thing it wasn’t for me since he doesn’t know how to spell my name correctly! (He sent me a text a few months ago beginning with “Marci…” Seriously?!)



I got her a Keurig for her new classroom – I think she loves it!


Kamryn was the star of the show! She just keeps getting cuter and cuter and so much fun!

She gives Eskimo kisses…


and Melissa is teaching her to make faces!







My Mom kept saying, “Melissa KOCH!!” (as in “Melissa Koch! Knock that off! Stop teaching her bad things!”)


Melissa wanted pictures with the family…(since I’ve gotten a new camera I’ve turned into her personal photographer! Just joking, Melissa!)

 IMG_0678 IMG_0679 

Karlye and I made this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip that Melissa & I had seen on Pinterest. It didn’t turn out as great as it sounds, but it’s still pretty good. Amber was lovin’ it… :)

IMG_0683 IMG_0684 IMG_0685  IMG_0687 IMG_0688   

Happy Birthday Melissa. I hope this year brings you the most happiness and the best health yet – and that you felt loved and celebrated today!  

.first day(s) of school.

Yesterday was the first day of school for all 9th graders along with some select 11th and 12th graders that were chosen to be Link Crew Leaders. The 9th graders got to ease into high school without all the upper classmen and we got to get their schedules ironed out a day early!

Here’s a few pictures from the lunch BBQ:

IMG_0635 IMG_0636 IMG_0638 IMG_0639

Today was the first day for 10-12th graders. We had an All School Assembly where the new teachers were introduced, Mr. Peterson did an inspirational & motivational talk, and the cheerleaders lead the school in the fight song and a class cheer.



These are the ASB officers for the 2011-2012 school year:
Megan, Tyson, Yurisely, Elaine, Grayson, & Matt


The beautiful and talented football cheerleaders!
Selena, Vanessa, Allyson, Kirston, Kayla, Sommer, Madison, and Carly


The beginning of school has been a little crazy for me with scheduling like it always is. This year, it has been even more so since OSPI did not release Math End of Course Exam scores until last Friday. I spent some extra time at school over the weekend to get the schedules done. I’ll be glad when this week is over, classes are balanced, and students are as happy as they’re going to get with their schedules. :)

August 29, 2011

.ten years.

It’s hard to believe that 10 years has gone by already.

Ten years ago tonight, my family was in Seattle – my Dad in the hospital connected to tubes and wires that were keeping him alive after being burned 58% of his body. Mom, Melissa, and I along with my aunts, uncles, and Grandma Marcial were in a motel wondering what tomorrow would bring.

Ten years later, it’s hard to believe where life has lead us. My parents spent three months in Seattle – my Dad went through multiple surgeries, skin grafts, and therapies – my Mom stayed strong for all of us; supporting each of us in our own way.

Dad’s survival and recovery is a true miracle. We did not know how extensive his long term injuries would be…but to see him today, you would never know anything had happened unless he showed you his scars.

We are so thankful for everyone that supported us that day and in the subsequent days – friends, family, community members, firefighters, EMTs, doctors, nurses, and therapists.

The past few days I’ve been thinking and reflecting on ten years. Ten years is a long time and a true milestone. We’ve been through a lot in ten years – two political campaigns, two college graduations (and two successful job interviews!), and an open heart surgery in addition to lots of great memories, laughs, and fun times.

I tried to find the articles online that Tri-City Herald had written on Dad – but apparently they archive them after ten years because I couldn’t find a trace of them. At least my Mom is a great archiver of her own and has them all tucked away.

All my love to my family—days like these remind me how lucky I am to have each of them in my corner.

August 27, 2011

. back to school wreath.

Thanks to my new love, Pinterest, I found this cute idea for a ruler wreath from The Polkadot Chair blog. It looked like it was something I could make on my own!

I found some rulers at Target in the school supply section…I LOVE LOVE LOVE school supplies but I HATE HATE HATE trying to shop around moms that are arguing with their kids about what school supplies are really important. This particular mom was not budging from her spot in front of the rulers. Any item her daughters would bring that weren’t generic were met with a “you’ll have to pay me back for that!” from the mom. Way to spoil the school shopping experience for all of us.

I asked my Dad to cut the rulers in half and got to work!

Here’s the finished product:

ruler wreath (2)

This one is for Melissa’s door.

 ruler wreath (1)

I used more primary colors to go along with her room decor. I hope she likes it!

 photo 1

 photo 2

This one is for my office door. My office is more sage, crimson, and muted colors.

   ruler wreath (3)

The quote on the tag says “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

ruler wreath (4)

 ruler wreath (5)

Happy back to school!

August 26, 2011

.connell elementary ribbon cutting.

Last Tuesday was the ribbon cutting ceremony for Connell Elementary. I didn’t actually go because I was helping Melissa put some final touches on her classroom. Her principal had asked her to have her classroom open for people to see since it was already unpacked and mostly decorated and set-up. What a nice compliment!


Our superintendent, Gregg Taylor, sharing some words.


I heard later this week that there were 250+ people there!


The VIPs – school board members, principal, contractors, etc.


YAY! A new Connell Elementary has been needed for a long time – it’s so exciting to see it completed and ready for the school year to begin!


.melissa’s classroom.

Melissa got word last Friday that she was able to begin unpacking her classroom at the new Connell Elementary. I met her and Mom there when I was done working and we unpacked boxes until 8:30pm!

One week later, her classroom is ready for 2nd graders!

Here’s a tour for you…

The bulletin board outside her classroom


The view from the door


Mailboxes for the students


The sink area (her art supplies are in these cabinets)…and I love the clipboard bucket.


The student’s cubbies for backpacks and coats.


The counter area, looking out onto the playground.


The library! I think she needs some pillows or something!


One of the decorated windowsills….do you recognize that 2nd grader?!


This is the Meeting Place wall – it’s part of their Math curriculum that they do everyday.


She found this on Pinterest and made it her own!


The math manipulatives – so organized!


The whiteboard area.


I made her this cross stitch a few years ago!


The Star of the Week area – a different student will be highlighted each week!


Melissa’s desk – I am so jealous! I think her desk area is bigger than my whole office!


She has it decorated so cute!

IMG_0607 IMG_0608

The view from Melissa’s desk.


The student desks are triangle shaped – interesting idea, but it looks like they’ll work well!


All ready for the students on Monday!


Melissa and her co-worker Sarah made these today (borrowed from an idea she saw on Pinterest).


They punched these scalloped circles out, laminated them, and wrote on them with Vis-a-Vis markers. They attached them to a clothespin and hot glued the clothespin to a push pin. It will be a place for them to put wet art work or to display other outstanding papers. They made them for all the 2nd graders. So cute!


Students come on Monday and I think she’s ready! It will be an exciting year!