I'm thankful...

For Friends...who I'll be seeing over the next few days! Stacey, Haley, Lindsey, Dan, Lisa, Courtney, Austin, TJ, Daniel, Adam, Celeste and John and who knows maybe more along the way.

For Family...who I'll be visiting with and celebrating with this Thanksgiving!

And for Job Prospects...I know it's a little out of the box from friends and family because usually the next thing to be thankful for is good health, which I AM thankful for, but this has been a big weight as we get closer to the new year and I continue to look for a job (trying to be ever so patient), and not just any job, but hopefully the right job. Well thank goodness that lately things seem to be moving in the right direction! As I posted earlier last week, I have been having some interviews FINALLY and they continue to come...tomorrow morning I interview at Larkspur Middle School for an English as a Second Language position followed by an interview next Monday for a Theater position at Kempsville High School (only a part-time position, but still a great job) and then next Wednesday, my second interview with Roche! I hope the right job is amungst these opportunities. So please keep your fingers crossed and keep praying and know that I am so thankful for each and everyone of you who love and care about me and my future! I am so excited for Adam and my future here in the Hampton Roads...I am thankful God brought us here!

Thanksgiving Meals

Our church has been collecting Thanksgiving items and canned foods over the past couple weeks and this past Sunday night we, as a student ministry, had the opportunity to organize all the donations into 29 boxed Thanksgiving meals that would be brought to families this week.

Our lovely group of volunteers
We started out by organizing the donations onto ten tables which had different categories taped to them. Categories varying from canned soups to vegetables to stuffing, cereals, rice, pasta, beverages and much much more!
An amazing amount of veggies...especially green beans and canned corn! Other tasty additions for each boxes Thanksgiving meal
Next everyone paired up in teams of two and filled two boxes full of food from the various categories that were laid out along the tables.After giving each family about ten cans of corn and green beans each, we decided the rest of the left over veggies would be donated to the Union Mission in the area that way even more families would be blessed this Thanksgiving.After the meals were prayed over by the students, all 29 box sets were brought over to the missions lobby of the church to await a turkey and some other fixings which would be purchased and added on Monday just prior to delivery. We hope these 29 families are blessed this Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

A ROCKIN' good time

The Waves and Elevate, our church's Student Ministries, kicked or should I say "rocked" off this year's fundraising efforts with a 12 hour Rock-a-thon that ran from 8pm Friday night through 8am Saturday morning. Students got pledges ahead of time to sponsor them for the hours they would be rocking and Adam and I were there to the keep the students rocking all night long (literally)!

Students had to rock for 50 minutes straight and were given ten minute breaks each hour.

Here is everyone in their rocking chairs rocking away. People brought tv sets and game systems as well as end tables and comfy cushions to help "rock" and relax the night away in comfort.

Let's just say a lot of guitar hero was played! This along with simply chatting entertained from about 8pm til 11pm.

We even had one of the students' favorite bands come and "ROCK" out during the twelve o'clock hour!

During the next couple hours we alternated between students playing Guitar Hero on the gigantic screen above the stage and listening to another student band play while in rocking chairs of course!

The final four hours of the evening, morning by now, were spent watching movies on the big screen. We watched a great movie about a musical prodigy (the name escapes me at the moment) and High School Musical. I finally found out what all the hype was about regarding High School Musical. What made some moments from that movie even better were Adam's commentary on the cheesiness from up above in the sound booth.

Note...I enjoyed a more cushioned chair at times because you have no idea how hard a good old wood rocking chair can get after 8-10 hours of rocking! Lucky for me I was not rocking for pledges so I could take breaks and sit in more comfy seats if needed without having to feel guilty. The students however did not have such luxuries! Oh the perks of being a leader.

Here we are on the other end of the all night Rock-a-thon! We didn't even lose anyone along the way. It was a huge success and a lot of fun. We even had some students raise enough money to cover their winter retreats! AWESOME!

Overall, it was a ROCKIN' good time!

It's raining interviews...keep em coming!

I know I've been MIA recently from the blog world, but for good reason I promise.
This past week has been the week of interviews and they're not over yet.

Last week I had a phone interview on Tuesday with a great pharmaceutical company, Roche. Then the district manager called to schedule my next interview which occurred last Thursday. Up to this point those interviews have all gone well, but there are more to come in the process if they decide to continue in the hiring process with me. Then today, I had an interview with the person who is pretty much the gatekeeper to all ESL jobs in the Virginia Beach school district and it went very well. There is an ESL job at one of the local middle schools and I needed her stamp of approval before the principal there would think about contacting me. She was excited to meet a fellow Wildcat and even called Caroline Bernard for a reference. GO GREAT BRIDGE! I've also applied for a part-time theater job at Kempsville High School, but I'd rather be working full-time, so I'm not sure where that is going to lead. So the common thread in all of these interviews was the comment, "You present yourself well." Please keep your fingers crossed that that means well enough to get another interview that will lead to a JOB! I appreciate all of your prayers and will continue to keep everyone posted. I know I'll wind up in the right spot, it's just a matter of time now.

Welcome to the World

We wanted to take a moment to welcome
Miss Sophia Caroline Herndon Sydnor
to the world!
She was born on November 10th to the proud parents, our cousins, Sarah and Raph Sydnor.
She weighed 8.1lbs and measured 20.25 inches.
We can't wait to meet you little Sophie at Thanksgiving!!

Congrats Rachel and Nick

Just wanted to say Congrats on your engagement!
My cousin Rachel recently got engaged to her new fiance Nick.
It looks like they'll be getting married a year from now on November 7th.
We can't wait to celebrate that joyous occasion with you both!
(Rachel is my mom's brother's younger daughter or my Uncle Victor's daughter.)

A Riddle about The Mazzios...

What do celebrities like Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Ricky Martin, Lance Armstrong, Jennifer Lopez and Marcia Cross have in common with Dan and Lisa Mazzio??That's right folks...TWINS!
Congrats Dan and Lisa. They will be so lucky to have such fantastic people as their parents!

Back to the days of Subbing!

Well here's the latest job news...Since I have yet to nail down a full time teaching position in the area, I am now substitute teaching in both the Virginia Beach Public Schools and at Atlantic Shores Christian School. So here are some comics about the wonderful experience which is subbing (wink)!

No I did not feel the need to leave at noon...though the students did give me a run for my money at times.A true depiction of what it can feel like as you sub when you don't know the students.
Honestly, my last couple days subbing have been just fine and I haven't had to take too many punches. Hopefully I'll be able to continue to say that as I sub some more.

A Historic Moment

And our next President is... "Yes We Can!"


Get out there and cast your VOTE!

Our country's future depends on it!

Oh and if you vote you can get a free coffee at Starbucks... well that's the case in Virginia Beach...an added bonus!

Mom's 50th Celebration

My mom turned the big five-zero this past weekend and we all traveled to her new cabin to celebrate for the weekend. Mom, Adam, Chloe and I headed out Thursday to head up to Meadows of Dan where the mini-me cabin is located. We stopped on the way at a great New York pizza place in the middle of the country, very random, but delicious!We arrived at the cabin around 9pm (it's about a 5 hour drive from Virginia Beach) and it was pretty chilly upon arrival since we had to get the wood stove going to heat things up. So needless to say, that's why we hung out at the kitchen table close to the stove for a while when we first arrived. Then we watched a movie and relaxed away the rest of the evening. This was also Adam's first visit to Chateau Barker (the new cabin's name).
This is the pretty view I awoke to Friday morning, a beautiful fall day and blue blue skies.
After cooking a yummy breakfast Adam headed out to build our fire pit for the evening's entertainment.
Then we headed out for our afternoon explorations. We stopped at this little chapel up the road. It was built in the 1800s for monks and was recently uncovered and restored and it's right up the road from Chateau Barker.
Then we set out for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway in search of fall foliage. We definitely found some gorgeous views like this one. I love the contours of the mountains.
Next on the agenda was a stop at Chateau Morisette, one of the best vineyards in Virginia. We have loved their wine for years now since Cola introduced us all to Our Dog Blue more than ten years ago. The vineyard is extremely dog friendly, so Chloe was able to walk all around grounds with us and there are water bowls set out for the dogs too. She even went on the tour with us. These oak barrels cost 5 to 7 hundred dollars a barrel and they only get three to four years use out of them, which is three to four batches of wine because they age in the barrels for seven to ten months depending on the wine. I asked if the red coloring is the wine seeping through during the aging process, but it's just stains from wine being spilled on the barrels.

I think I have decided that out of all the Virginia vineyards I've visited and that's quite a few, Chateau Morisette is now my absolute favorite. There wasn't a single wine in the tasting that I did not like, which is pretty rare. My only qualm was that they make Hokie Wine, which I don't feel right drinking and I think they should make some for the Hoos too to be fair!This is the bottle my mom bought, Angel Chardonnay, because we all know she loved angels and the wine was tasty too and of course we bought a bottle of my favorite Our Dog Blue. An interesting fact about that wine is it was sold under a different name in a plain bottle and when the company changed the name to Our Dog Blue and made the bottle blue sales went up 600%! Just shows how much people like their pets! So the vineyard started naming all their wines after their family dogs like their red wine, The Black Dog.
Adam and I hanging out while dinner cooks just before the rest of the crowd arrived.

Dinner time! Everyone got there just in time for steaks, potatoes, corn and some fresh squash.

After dinner, Adam got the fire going out front and we all sat around the fire pit relaxing, telling ghost stories since it was Halloween and roasting smores. The funniest part of the evening was the fact that there seemed to be a hundred cows somewhere off in the distance mooing at the top of their lungs for hours. The sound had actually woken my mom up that morning and had continued throughout the day. We couldn't decide if it was cow mating season and or a forgotten round of milking. This remains a bit of a mystery!The next morning everyone got ready and we headed to breakfast at the famous Mayberry Mill restaurant. They have the best pancakes! I had a combination plate that included a sweet potato pancake, a cornmeal pancake and a buckwheat pancake. They were all yummy, but Adam and my favorite was the sweet potato pancake, so we ordered an extra one to share.
The afternoon was spent relaxing and making Chicken Chili, a cabin classic. Check out Aprons Required for the promised recipe.Anna and Will arrived soon after lunch was cooking. They had spent Friday night at Radford to celebrate Halloween College style. They dressed up as Rocky and Bowinkle. Cute!

Finally the Birthday finale had arrived! 50th Birthday Presents and a tasty Italian Dinner made by Chef Cola.

Some festive drink ware for the Martini Queeni and a Perfectly 50 year Aged wine glass.Mom had asked for an Ipod for her Birthday. So Brad got her the newest generation Ipod Nano and we bought a speaker system for the Ipod and Anna and Will got her Ipod covers.

Anna also got mom some cute pink items to go with the Ipod covers, like pink lotion to keep away aging skin and a pedegg to keep skin soft.

The birthday dinner consisted of homemade Caesar salad complete with homemade croutons followed by baked spaghetti with spaghetti sauce that had simmered all day long. Adam and I had to get on the road after dinner to be back in Virginia Beach at a decent hour so we could get up for church Sunday morning so we missed Birthday cake, but Brad had picked up a huge carrot cake for the occasion and I'm sure Cola will be posting more shots of that birthday moment on Inside Out.
We were so excited to celebrate such a momentous occasion with you! We hope it was all you wanted and more!

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