Monday, November 24, 2008


i am so excited! michael and i are hosting thanksgiving this year and i can't wait! it's going to be such a great week filled with family, friends, food and fun!

mom, dad, landon, sarah, ellie and gray are coming today. matt and mandy and greg and sascha are coming on wednesday night and nanny and pawpaw are coming thursday morning. wahoo!

the house is ready and clean and more decorated than ever! it's still not done, of course, but much further along. i hope everyone has a comfortable and joyful stay.

happy thanksgiving week everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

take two...

michael had a meeting with the immigration office today. good news! it seems our I130 has already been approved! yea! the lady who michael spoke with was very helpful. she gave him a list of every form that needed to be filled out.

our plan is to get all of that filled out this weekend and meet with them again to make sure everything is correct. we'll send in the paperwork and our one fee of $1010 and be done! without a lawyer!

thank you, God, for providing a way.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

a teacher's influence...

in one of our stations, my kids are working on building words. they have word building cubes that are put together to make real words. after making the word, they practice reading it and then write in their work journals.

today, a student looks up and seriously asks, "mrs. kotze, is zipit one word or two?"

i guess they do repeat what they hear huh? well, if they didn't talk so much i wouldn't constantly be telling them to zip it...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

my very own mastercard commercial

when michael originally came to this country, he entered on a student visa. after graduating college, he was able to stay here with a work visa. last november, we began filling out the paperwork to change michael's status to permenant resident, which is now an option because of our marriage.

normally, this process is supposed to take, on average, 3-6 months. if my math is correct, we're now at 11 months people.

11 months.

apparently, our paperwork has not been approved for one reason or another. to make matters worse, michael's work visa expires in january and we are supposed to leave the country for new zealand in march for michael's sister's wedding.

thankfully, we found out today (from our new attorney) that if we resubmit all of our information and repay one fee that we've already paid, we could possibly have all of the paperwork necessary for travel in hand by the very end of february. that is, of course, if everything goes perfectly. see, if we waited the 3-4 weeks it might take our attorney to find our original paperwork, figure out the mistake, correct it and resend it, we will mess up our very critical timeline.


1 immigration attorney: $2200
1 medical exam: $150-$450
1 I130 Fee: $355
1 I45 Fee: $1010
1 permanent resident husband who can live & work in the u.s. and travel internationally without difficulty: priceless...i hope

i can't imagine what we'll go through when we start on the citizenship stuff. eek!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

round one goes to the girl

this afternoon, a substitute took my class and another first grade class out to recess. all of the classes were out there, as well as two other first grade teachers, but today...i got to stay in! i heard the kids coming down the hall for the bathroom so i walked out to meet them. the sub pulls me over and begins to "explain the situation that took place during walk and talk." she tells me everything and includes the way she handled the situation by making a couple of students sit out.

i stand by the door as my class walks in and i point to two students, "meet me at my desk." without even blinking, they walk directly to my desk and stand with their backs to the class. i got about half way there when nicole, with her back still to me, says, "johnathan and i were walking and just playing with each other. i punched him in the stomach on purpose." i sat and stared at her waiting for more detail to the story. she did not disappoint.

apparently, they were touching each other (dont' worry, it was all appropriate...i checked) in a game of walking tag. when it was johnathan's turn to touch nicole...she punched him. right in the gut. on purpose.

i thought we girls weren't supposed to turn fickle until our teens. ouch.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

nice day

wednesday might be becoming my favorite day of the week. it's just so nice when you get to wednesday and think it's only tuesday. i mean seriously, my week is almost over...already! i love that!

i woke up this morning and lazed around getting ready. got to work about 7:05am and lazed around my classroom until it was time to get the kids. for being at work, it was a pretty good day. to make things even better, i got home and michael wanted to take a nap. if you know me, you know i'm not the kind to turn down a good nap. :) i, of course, ended up sleeping about two hours compared to his 14 minutes.

i'm just thinking i've got one more day, then it's friday. everyone knows friday is really the best day of the week!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

bullets, here we come...

  • i'm excited for the retreat this weekend!
  • this week, michael and i painted our family room. with each thing that is accomplished, our house feels more and more like home.
  • crystal's husband and coworker are staying with us while they are in town for a convention. it sure makes me miss my friend a lot!
  • i'm praying for our new president elect and for our nation.
  • our incredible hanging plants are starting to die and it's making me very sad.
  • an electrician will be here later this weekend to help fix and change a few things we've had on our "to-do" list for quite some time.
  • we've had a steady supply or egg nog in our frig since it hit the shelves.
  • i've had at least one glass of egg nog every day since it entered our frig.
  • my family will be coming here for thanksgiving and i wanna make it really special. i hope mom knows she's still making the turkey and dressin'! :)
  • i miss my parents.
  • i was talking to ellie on the phone the other day and she said, "hold you, jo." and hugged the phone to her chest really tight. i almost cried when my dad told me that.
  • i need to pack for the retreat.
  • michael and i have decided, once again, to start running. this time, i'm using the program that seph was using. i like it so far! we got up this morning pumped for our run at was pouring. maybe tomorrow.
  • my sister's bday is saturday and i can't wait to give her her present!
  • tomorrow is friday, a.k.a jeans day. thank goodness!
  • i was looking for material for drapes in my dining room. as soon as i found a great website, i found a fabulous material. it was so expensive i immediately forced it from my mind. how can someone even charge that much for a yard of material?!?!?!
  • jerry took us to pf changs for dinner. yum!
  • i drank a dr pepper at dinner. first one in a while. double yum!
  • our neighbors had their yard landscaped and now have an awesome fountain/pond in their backyard. it not only looks great, it sounds great and i'm totally jealous! :)
  • i think i'm ready for bed. night night.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


i know i'm near the bottom of seph's list, but i can't help it. i just don't have anything to say. this past week was the longest week of the year so far and i was exhausted by tuesday. it was a tough one. i almost didn't even have enough energy to check blogs. almost.

now, michael is playing cards with some buddies upstairs and i, having just finished painting a wall in my living room for the 3rd time, am sitting in my chair watching the news and looking for pictures of all of my lovely babies at rtp or any other halloween event. please people. post. i'm begging you.

i just realized my immediate need for egg nog.