Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our First Thanksgiving

What a wonderful day!

Jesse and I were so excited to share our first Thanksgiving with both of our families. We had a full house! Jesse's mom came, as well as my dad and mom, and Jon, Kate and Laura. And both sets of grandparents came! Gramma and Papa Don, and Ami and Papa Chuck were all there to celebrate with us. We have so much to be thankful for!

Here are some pictures from our wonderful day:

Dad, Jon, Mom, Gramma, Kate, and Laura hanging out in the kitchen where all the good food was happening :)

Papa Don, Ami, Bianca and Jesse

Exciting about our first Thanksgiving!

Jesse and Dad carving the turkey

The north end of the table

The south end of the table

Aaaaaand the tryptophan sets in... :)

That's one packed car for the way home!

We had such a wonderful time. I've just been glowing with happiness ever since. I'm so thankful for our wonderful family, and for the fact that we live near enough to all of them to host at our home! We truly are blessed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

True Thanksgiving

I received a call at school today. They announced it over the loud speakers: "Bethany Brubaker, there is an important phone call for you in the office." No one has the number to the school I'm student teaching at. I'll only be there for 2 more months, and anyone that needs to get ahold of me can call my cell phone. As I walked to the office, I was sure that someone must have died.
The secretary met me with a grim face, holding her hands primly in front of her and announced, "I must inform you...your husband has been in an accident."

He wasn't on the other line when I picked up the phone, and when I tried to call him back, he didn't answer. The secretary said that Jesse had made sure that she would let me know that he was ok, but not being able to talk to him myself terrified me. Finally, he called my cell phone, and the minute I knew where he was, I was in the car to go be with him.

Strange how things like this happen. We had had lunch together just an hour before. For the first time since I began student teaching, we randomly decided to meet for lunch and enjoy a little bit of togetherness on what is usually a very long day apart from each other. He was on his way back to the office.

I don't even truly understand what happened, but I saw both of the cars this afternoon--totaled. Jesse is crushed that his car is gone, but I'm just so thankful that he is alive!

Today was a reminder to me of how fragile life is. How precious! Jesse and I have nearly been married for 6 months now, and I don't believe that I take anything for granted, but I was reminded today how blessed we are to have each other, how wonderful it is to be in love, to have someone to depend on like I can with Jesse, someone to laugh with, to share every beautiful little part of life with...and how quickly it can all be taken away.

So easily. God really had His hand on the events of today. If I had seen Jesse's car before I saw him and knew that he was ok, I would have expected to be taken to the hospital--or to be told that it was already too late. I can't believe that Jesse came out unscathed--beside a small friction burn on his wrist that he got when the airbag deployed.

We can even be thankful that the other man involved in the accident was such a great guy. He and Jesse were sitting together in a restaurant waiting for me to come pick Jesse up, so I got to meet him. Apparently, he just got back from teaching in the Congo, and is headed to Thailand in January for two years. No sticky arguments or awkward situations. They were both so genuine and warm.

We have a houseful of people coming over tomorrow for Thanksgiving. There is so much to be thankful for! But tonight, what I'm most thankful for, is that my husband is safe, he's at home and unharmed, and that as soon as I post this blog, I get to go curl up in his arms.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I started a new blog today. I realized that too often, I'm tempted to write about my thoughts and achievements, when the main point of this blog was to let loved ones know about the things that Jesse and I have been up to together.

Nothing's going to change; I will still be posting here with news about the two of us, but I will also be keeping a blog of my own to share my ideas, newest achievements as a homemaker, latest adventures in the kitchen, and all the crazy things that go on in my head.

I know that some of you are following this blog, so I won't add you to follow my new one, but if you would like to, please let me know!

love, Bethany

time to check out

C'est si Bon

One of my goals for this week is to finally order some wedding pictures so that we can frame a few and put them around the house (and save the other gazillion of them until I have time to scrapbook!). I spent about an hour this afternoon going through our photos and was simply mesmerized by the beauty of our wedding day. It never stops surprising me! We'll be celebrating 6 months of marriage in a few weeks, and I still can't describe how blissfully happy I am to be married.

The days just fly by! This time last year, we weren't even engaged. And a year ago in September, we were thinking we would have to wait until after my student teaching to get married. I'm so glad we didn't! Even though it would be SO much easier to start our married life when I actually had a paying job, neither of us would change things if we had a chance. Yeah, it's hard to live off of one income, but we're making it! We're hoping to be able to put everything that I earn in the future aside so that we can save it to buy our first home. I can't wait to have a job!

I actually cracked last week and went to the mall to pick up as many job applications as I could. I'm tired of not having a paying job, and since I was 15, I've never been without a steady income. Concordia doesn't want Student Teachers to be working--Student Teaching IS our job. But I figured that since I worked full time all the way through college, I could handle both. I'm not sure exactly what kept me from turning in those applications, but I'm thankful that I didn't. This part of Student Teaching is a lot more demanding than the last was. Third Grade comes with a lot more planning, and I also arrived just in time to be part of parent-teacher conferences and report cards. It will be good to learn how to do all of these things, and for now, I just have to be content with that.
January 13th is the projected last day of my student teaching. After that, it's on to filing for my credential, and substitute teaching until I can find a position.
Jesse has been so supportive--and I'm so thankful for that!

We've really been praying for families affected by all the fires in California right now. It has affected so many people that we know, and the speed and ferocity of the fire is terrifying. I'm thankful that other that a lot of smoke and ash, we have not been affected in Rosemead, and all of the fires seem to be far away from our little home.

This last Friday night was a lot of fun. The church had its annual Harvest Festival, and Jesse and I both got to take part. I helped out with a Cake Walk (I had never done one before!) and Jesse stole the show with the dunk tank! Every time I got a break from the Cake Walk, I ran out to see Jesse sitting above a tank of water waiting for someone to hit the target and send him splashing into the water below. It was the funniest thing! I sure wish I had pictures to share with you...but I forgot my camera that night.

Jesse is heading out of town this weekend for a DYG (District Youth Gathering). He is taking some high schoolers with him and should have a lot of fun. I always do my best to keep myself busy while he is gone, and this time, one of my friends is coming over Friday night to keep me company, and then on Saturday, I'm going with my family to see my brother Jon star as "John" in Biola's production of Peter Pan. Then my two sisters are coming home with me to help decorate for Thanksgiving and have some good "sister time."

Sometimes, I hear from friends who have moved off to new places (such as New Zealand, Vietnam, and Texas) and think of how much fun it would be to embark on an adventure like that. And then I realize how wonderful it is to be so close to all of our family and friends--what a blessing! Our life right here is our own little adventure :)

Just because I'm reminiscing...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oh, the days

They sure fly by! Sorry that it's been so long since my last post. September, October, and November have been pretty packed. Things really pick up near the end of the year for Jesse with the church and youth groups, and he's been busy nearly every weekend for a while now. We're looking forward to January! (That's when things are supposed to slow down).

He's been gone this weekend with the Jr. High youth group down in San Diego, and I'm expecting him back in a few hours. But before I go housecleaning crazy, I figured I should sit down and catch you up a bit.

There is a lot to catch up on!

At the end of September, our friends Kim (my college roommate) and Nathan Brauer came to visit us for the last time before they flew out to Vietnam. They'll be living and working there for the next two years, and it sure is handy that I got Kim married off to a California boy, or she might have stayed there! We had fun hanging out, playing games, eating, and laughing together. Three years of friendships and memories all bottled into the span of a weekend. It was a wonderful time!

The next weekend, Kate and Laura came to stay with us. It was the first weekend that we had both of my (or OUR, as Jesse happily calls them) sisters at our house. We had a lot of fun! Jesse picked them up on Friday while I was teaching, and then we had dinner, played Scattergories all the way through, and had a lot of fun. We bummed around the house all day on Saturday and then went to Jesse's softball game together Saturday night.
Here we are on the bleachers watching the game

and having a little fun...

I've been having a lot of fun making pies lately. Here's my first lattice-top apple pie

I made three of them and took them up to Oxnard at the end of October. It was wonderful to have a family dinner with the Mueller Clan and celebrate Papa Chuck's 84th birthday. I'm sad that I didn't get a group picture, but here are some that I do have:

Halloween was fun. We carved pumpkins the night before

and had friends over for games and food the night of. Jesse was all excited about handing out candy, and bought about 4 bags of different chocolates. He got dressed up as Indiana Jones and was all set! Sadly, though, the majority of our neighbors have reached grandparent-status, and only twice did our doorbell ring (I didn't know until later that it was the same girl twice! she brought her cousin with her the second time. haha!)

Anyway, that's kind of what we've been up to. Student teaching is going well. I've reached my halfway point, and I can't wait until January when I can start getting paid for the work I do. Doing this myself, I'm realizing that teachers are a whole lot more dedicated than I assumed before. Working full time for a semester and not getting paid, on top of having to shell out big bucks for tuition. Just doesn't make sense. Anyway, that's my rant!

This last week was my first week working in the 3rd grade class. I miss my Kindergartners! They are so sweet. They walk single-file past the 3rd grade class on their way to the cafeteria each day, and nearly topple over each other trying to wave at me as they go by. It makes my day!

One of the 3rd graders asked me if HE could call me "Mrs. Blueberry." I didn't realize my reputation would make the transfer! But Jesse has already warned me: "Blueberry" will follow me the rest of my life :-)