Friday, December 7, 2012

9 Things-December

HELLO! Hope you are well. I am 5 days away from starting my Christmas vacation!! I am happy to be employed, but figuring out this new role makes me very tired. I don't do much else during the week......but luckily there are the weekends. So a long Christmas break sounds great!

1) le Rey had some time off the past couple weeks and it was so nice to see him relaxed and not stressed!! We got a Christmas tree, finally got around to buying a TV, and the flat was cleaned thoroughly! 

2) It snowed Wednesday! I was so surprised when I opened to the door to go to work! It melted pretty quickly, but it was still an exciting day at school.

3) le Rey and I took a short money course (similar to Dave Ramsay's ideas if you've read his books) just to acquire some useful techniques for budgeting. I had read Ramsay's books, but this mini-course helped us actually start. Jar with money for weekly grocery shopping? Check. Let's do this.

4) I am getting my hair colored tomorrow. Darker for the winter. Yes, we've started a budget...but I'm not giving that up : ) And yes that's boring and I'm writing it on my blog. But I'm really excited about it. And it's Friday night and I'm super tired.

5) The older I get, the more I seem to want to be silly. Is the same for anyone else? le Rey and I are like 2 small children, cracking up at the stupidest things. One of my favorite things about having older students this year is the banter, the conversations and the laughs. I do love to laugh!!

6) I was sick for nearly all of November (sinus infection) and am so happy to be feeling better now. My goal is to get to an ENT Dr. over the break. Hope you're all feeling well.

7) My only goal for Christmas is to mail out a card printed with wedding photos (I can't believe I haven't printed any yet!)....hopefully no one will mind and we can go with the 'better late than never' thing?

8) I miss everyone, especially around the holidays (not to mention my tan!), but I am quite content here. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

9) Alright that's about it.....I'm watching Scrooged and getting distracted now (gotta love Bill Murray).

Hope you're laughing often!

Kelli xx

Friday, October 5, 2012

September....I made it!

I made it through my first month at my new school!! Well, new school for 2/3 of the year, but still.

Did you know that I was quite scared about this job?

Actually, I was mostly scared about the interview. Not the interview technically. Just even applying. 

Don't stop reading yet. This whole post is not about teaching, it's about fear mainly. 

So, some very lovely people I know from my church told me about this school that they heard had an opening. They actually put a good word in for me (so thankful). You must know that it's SUPER hard to find a teaching job in the UK these days. Maybe it's the same in Arizona too, I don't know.

Anyway, I went to have a 'tour' of the school (standard over here), and had a great chat with the Head Teacher (amazing woman). When I heard it was going to be mostly Year 5 & 6 English (Fourth & Fifth Grade US) and that they are very high level at this private school and that I would have to push them even higher as they started taking exams to get into really good secondary schools, I thought.......hmmmm maybe this is not for me. I'm more of the bring-up-the-young-students-that-are-behind kindof teacher.

I even emailed the Head Teacher after the tour and said thank you so much........maybe I could just volunteer and learn from this really awesome school, because P.S. this school has really got it together and did not appear to have any BS going on there. A place I would love to work at.

Anyway. long story short, yadda yadda yadda, the Head Teacher emailed me back and told to apply.......blah blah I did, I got an interview, I got the job (maternity cover) and guess what?!!

It's absolute heaven.

A job that I thought was OUT OF MY LEAGUE.

My thoughts before:

-private school.....I've never worked at a private school before.
-uppergrade.........I haven't taught much uppergrade.
-getting kids ready for secondary exams.......I've never done that.ever.
-I'm American......some people do not like that. they will not want me to teach geography.
-how will I learn all that content?.......I hope they have a specialist math teacher.

Needless to say, it's the best job ever, with the best kids ever, and the best staff ever. Before you say, oh well it's a private school so of course it is, let me say this.

This school is not super fancy. It is not like a boarding school-Harry Potter type private school. 

It's in a converted house if you can believe that! There is 1 class per grade level, with small class sizes. So literally my classroom is the size of a bedroom : )  

The kids are sweet, respectful and work their butts off (which does make my job pretty easy, yes). I love that this school has a balanced curriculum of English, Math, History, Geography, Science, Religious Education (overview of religions), PE, Music, foreign languages and the choices to be in Rock Band, Pottery classes, Chess, Martial Arts, etc. All of this with hardly any assessments (love!).

It's a LOT of curriculum to learn, and it's a lot of work........but it was nothing I'm incapable of adapting to. How funny that we can doubt ourselves.

Which made me think.......have you ever done anything you were scared of, and you were blown away by how it turned out?

Here's some pictures from the last couple weeks (wedding in Scotland and Wild West Day at school).

Feeling Grateful,
Kelli xx

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August: 6 Things

Hello! Hope you're doing well! Can you believe August is nearly over? Here's where I'm at:

1) I got my keys to the classroom Monday! I am soooo excited to get into this school year! I have not had a class, a challenging curriculum, or a routine in a LONG time!

Get this-first up in my History curriculum is World War 2! Like I said, challenging curriculum (or I should say vastly different than the type of history I've taught in the past......."This is George Washington, our first president. Can you say his name?")

2) These treats at Costco.

Mini brownies and mini cinnamon rolls. So I keep buying these and putting them in the freezer for "guests" but I'm sure you can figure out what happens.......holy crap I can't stop!!!

3) Summer.

Today I went to the Paralymics Wheelchair Basketball. Great atmosphere, great athletes.

A friend and I went to Hyde Park during the Olympics (concerts, food, games) and the band Temper Trap performed while we were there!!! This band sings my favorite song of the past couple years, Sweet Disposition!

A couple weeks ago I also went with some friends to see Singing in the Rain in the open air cinema at Hampton Court Palace. We brought our food and wine and had such nice time! We're thinking about going to the open-air cinema at Kew Gardens in a couple weeks when Grease plays there...

The trips to Paris were great and of course spending time with le Rey always makes me happy. 

4) People walking while texting/reading text. Be warned. I will hurt you.

At the moment, nothing is more irritating to me than people that have their head up their ass looking down at their phone as they're walking. Remember that I'm in London, and I walk everywhere.

I have a new strategy now. If I see someone coming at me (crowded streets by the way), and they are wrapped up in their stupid phone......I don't get out of their way anymore. We now bump into each other. Sometimes very hard, sometimes not so hard. Sometimes I will just yell "Get off your phone!" 

Yup. I really do.

To further my rant, can I just say how much I hate all of this phone stuff? I see people out together for a coffee, each texting, etc instead of conversing. I see moms with small children in a park, not paying attention to them at all because they're in their phone. 

Has no one told them? We don't actually hang on your every word, waiting for the latest tweet, status update, picture etc!! Just be in the moment and do that stuff later. At home. When there's no humans around. I mean really, it can't wait?

That's all. Sorry for the dramatics.

5) Upcycling stuff for the flat.

le Rey and I love taking stuff and making it into new stuff. Does that make sense? We like it because it's creative, thrifty, good for the earth (1 less thing in the landfill right?) and we can put our personal stamp on it. We also like to buy things that are meant for other things and use them in a different way.

I think some people think we're crazy for caring so much about our flat (painting, furniture, shelves, etc) since it is temporary, but I think 
a) this flat is so small, that if we don't downsize & make sure everything has a place from the beginning......this place is going to be a mess.
b) life is too short to make a house into a home "someday". What are you waiting for? le Rey and I are definitely on a tight budget, but there's lots of ways to make a home without much money. More pictures to come ..........

6) Phoenix in October?

I have a 2 week fall break from school in late October. It's looking very likely that I will be home in Phoenix for a visit (hopefully le Rey too, if he gets that off work)!!!!

I'm ready to hike! Pumpkin Spice Lattes anyone?

That's all for now--

Love you all!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer! I am! Hope you are well! Let me recap from late June!

le Rey and I were watching the tennis on TV on a Friday night and thought....let's walk over there to join the "atmosphere" (while we're still living in Wimbledon).....somehow they were still selling some tickets (basic, cheap tickets.....not for center court which is lots of ££!) and we got in! It was beautiful weather, we walked around and watched some matches, and then sat on a hill to watch the major match on a large screen : )

I got a (semi) steady job! It is technically a maternity cover position, but as maternity leave appears (to me) a bit different here, this job goes for 2/3 of the school year. I will be teaching English, Geography and History to Year 5 and Year 6 (fourth and fifth grade in the US)! I may also be doing the gymnastics portion of P.E. for Year 3-6...........I will be sure to share what that entails.....will prove to be comical I'm sure! The independent/private school is very small, 1 class per year level, with around 14 students in each class (I'm spoiled!). It will be quite a change, but I'm excited about what I'll learn and the growth I'll make as an educator.

I love the motto of the school: 


It it pretty amazing to be in London for the London Olympics. I didn't get tickets for the current games, but I will be attending a wheelchair basketball game at the end of August for the Paralympics. I have been watching any and every sport in the Olympics, almost watching too much (kindof like when you eat too much candy corn) I'm trying to take it all in moderation.

As for this random photo, here's the story:
I was subbing at this a school one day and whaddya know, the Olympic torch was making a stop there! We all got our pictures taken with it (nope it wasn't lit)...glad I had my camera that day! 

But actually it's not THEE torch. Here's what I learned-
-the torch is 800 mm tall.
-it has 8,000 perforated circles (holes) all over it.
-it travels 8,000 miles.
-there are 8,000 torches for 8000 torch bearers taking part (they have the option to buy the torch if they want).

le Rey and I were very blessed to have had a place to stay temporarily when I first got here. The time is up at this amazing flat/apartment in Wimbledon and we are moving to a new place in Kingston (closer to our church) over the next couple weeks. I have so many recycling/upcycling projects I want to do! And paint! I want to paint! Don't know if we're allowed, but...I am adding some color somehow!

how gorgeous are these colors? I want this kitchen!


I have been loving this time off in the summer. The weather has pretty much been fantastic. If I can wear shorts, I'm happy. I've worn shorts for several WEEKS now, so that is a good summer in my opinion! I spend my days cooking, going for walks, meeting up with friends, reading blogs, reading, and creating things. I am never bored--there are so many things to do/explore!! I haven't even been to half the museums I planned on this summer!

It's been really nice to have this time to create teaching resources for my portfolios/journals and sell them online. I've been very encouraged by teachers from across the US that have given me great feedback about my documents.Would love if a curriculum company would pay me to do this on a daily basis!!

le Rey and I had the opportunity to visit his brother and sister-in-law in Paris one more time before they moved back to South Africa. Glad we took advantage, as the train prices are comparable to flights from Phx-LA (much, much cheaper than flights from London-Johannesburg)! We had a great time again, and the weather was awesome!


Alright, back to watching the Olympics! Love you all!

Kelli xx

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

~Bonjour Paris~

Last weekend, le Rey and I went to see his brother and sister-in-law at their apartment in Paris! I went to Paris for a couple days way back in 2006, but it was a very quick trip. Since Reichardt and Karin have been living there for almost a year, they know their way around (and can speak French quite well!). They are there for Reichardt's job.

His work pays for their amazing apartment.

I know.

And his company pays Karin a small "salary" instead of a work visa. So she takes French classes, works on her photography skills, plans trips and does housewife stuff.

I know. Amazing. That is the way to move abroad. Have the employer take care of everything!

Anyway, Paris was soooo different this time around (as we got to stay with them, they have a car, and we were there for 4 1/2 days). It was a fantastic to spend time together and to see Paris through their eyes. They have made the most of their time and seen alot of France, as well as fitting in 3 week backpacking trip around Europe!  Karin is an inspiring woman-usually in the typical workforce, she has patiently put her career on hold while she and Reichardt enjoy this special time of their life in Europe. She happily cooks, cleans and enjoys Parisian life. She has reminded me to live in the moment and take things as they come.

We know it is quite a blessing to be so close in proximity at this time and we are so fortunate that we could see them! The train from London to Paris was only 2 hrs 15 min!!! Can you believe that?!

We are hoping to fit one more trip in before they move back to South Africa.............

Paris is more beautiful than I remember, and indeed a romantic city. What a great time!

Sunday, June 10, 2012



Schools were on holiday this past week, but I still do not know where the time has gone!  Hope you are doing well.  Here are some pictures from walks through the park and a trip to Camden market with a long-lost (not really lost) traveling companion!

{sidenote}: as I upload these photos, I'm watching the movie Dear John. I remember watching this in Australia when le Rey was in Afghanistan. I feel guilty that I don't say a prayer of praise everyday thanking our merciful God for protecting le Rey through his deployments. How quickly I forget what those times were like. 

If any of you have a loved one on deployment, my heart goes out to you. I know it's heart wrenching and uncertain. I hope you have moments of peace as you wait, and the deployment ends quickly.

That's all for today. Feeling grateful that my sweet, wonderful husband is sleeping peacefully in the next room and that I don't have to wonder about the next phone call.


there were some huge mansions on the way home from my walk


Friday, June 1, 2012

May summary

Hello family and friends!!!

Although cloudy yesterday and today, last week and all weekend the weather was SUNNY AND WARM!!

My mood improves dramatically over here when this happens. Sunday afternoon le Rey and I went with our friend Toni to a pub and sat in the garden having some drinks and appetizers.all

I got to wear shorts and a tank top.

If the whole summer could be like that I would be so grateful.

I have decided to celebrate with a shop in London (that will remain nameless because I am far too old to be shopping there....take your guesses) and get myself some new tank tops. 

This is not wise because basically warm clothes are need for about 10 months out of the year here, but hey.

Moving on.....did you know that it's the Diamond Jubilee this weekend? 60 years of reigning as the Queen. 

Red, white, and blue bunting or Union flag bunting or Union flag suitcases or cups or WHATEVER is everywhere.

I don't know if I'm going to do anything for the festivities.......I may wander upon some street parties or whatevs. I care more about the weather and getting my white legs back to their normal color of TAN. That would make me most happy this weekend.

On the job front, I took a very big risk and applied for a job that is very much out of my comfort zone. The reward is greater than the risk, so I went for it. The outcome looks good, but I will explain more when all is finalized.....stay tuned : )

Yesterday le Rey had the day off. It was great to have more time together.

One of the things we did was go through a LOT of his clothes/things. He had clothes that were too small, stained, old, hadn't been worn in forever. We made it a lot of fun, and I couldn't resist taking a few pictures:

Really le Rey, where did you think you were going to wear that SPERM shirt?

Tears for a favorite South Africa top that was stained and missing buttons.

I don't have a picture of everything we're donating, but it's alot!!

Thanks le Rey for letting me put up these photos (don't know if I specifically asked you but....)

I still have mixed emotions about being here as I miss friends and family and yoga at LA Fitness on  83rd and Union Hills and laying by the pool with my sis and meeting my girls for coffee, but I'll try and stay in the present and enjoy everything now. 

Life with my dear husband is great. He treats me like princess--I am so loved and adored. We're loving every second of our life together!