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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Christmas Highlights-2006

We just got back from NY and had a great time with Mike's family~(despite the stomach flu that many of his family members got) we were glad to be home for a week.
Fortunately Mike and I did not get it...his brother's, him and I were obsessed with drinking Arbonne.
We stopped in DC on the way to NY and finally got the meet Courtney! Courtney is the girlfriend of Brian (Mike's older brother) and I must say that I am glad I took her a Christmas present ;(yes-it was our first time to meet her-and we totally approve too Brian!) but I know how Mike always is-so it was my way of saying "do not be scared away from the family!"
We stuck to the family tradition of appetizers for Christmas Eve Dinner. It was great-
I made a Frech Onion soup and Mom Riese made "yummy" Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Phil did a first for the meal this year-and made delicious Coconut Shrimp! (I just liked the coating on the shrimp-I have never been a lover of seafood!)
We had plenty more to eat...and this year we opted not to make a special dessert since we had nearly 5 dozen differernt kinds of Christmas cookies!
Christmas Eve we open up all our gifts and I loved all the gifts we got-but by far-we had a blast giving all our gifts this year.
I always treasure the time with the family...and this was a memorable Christmas. I missed my family-but will look forward to Christmas of '07 together.
Christmas Day was great to get together with all of Mom Riese's Family and catch up with everyone. It was then next day that many got sick...Mike was convinced that it was food poisoning...but we knew it wasn't!
It was good to see good ol' Syracuse and shop a little with the brothers-brought back alot of memories being in SYR. and our first home! Can't believe that we have been married 4 & 1/2 years. We are in the midst of deciding on a big celebration in June!
Can't believe that New Years Day is tomorrow-
Happy New Year~May God bless you all in 2007-
Jenn & Mike

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My Greatest childhood memory of Christmas

As Christmas Day is approaching in less then 2 weeks, I am reminded of so many memories.
I have to say one of my all time favorite Christmas memories was the year that my mom and dad made a huge sacrifice to go above and beyond the call of duty and get me "the doll!" Mind you I was the one daughter who had to have "the doll" every year for Christmas. My parents were in the ministry and money was tight! Ever since I can remember,I was always fasinated with "dolls!"
The one doll that always brings me back to Christmas morning memories was the year I was in second grade. I had just been introduced to "Real Baby" at school by a friend. I played with this doll all day! My heart fell in love with her...I just knew that was what I wanted for Christmas!) Little did I know that she was the most expensive doll that year. As the school day came to an end, I was wondering how to ask for a doll that I figured was probobly too much money! I remember getting off the bus and seeing my mom shoveling the snow! I slowly walked up the walkway to our house and said Mom- my friend brought this doll "Real Baby to school! Can I get one?" My mom then went on to say"Yes, I know what doll she is-(I could not believe she knew what I was talking about) and she then went on to say the words that broke my heart,"she is to expensive!" I remember crying a little bit-but I decided to put her at the top of my list!
I certainly did not get my hopes up and really knew there was NO way I would get her! We knew Jesus was the real meaning of Christmas-but Santa brought presents to our house and that morning was one of my all time treasured moments of Christmas....
..There was a big box that had Jennifer on it! I just knew it was Real Baby-but "she was to expensive"As I opened the box and my eyes focused on the figure inside the box and the name on the outside of the box, it became very clear to me and I burst out with joy-"Real Baby-Real Baby!!! I got Real Baby!"
(And I even got the one that came in the Bunny Rabbit outfit-I must have really wanted that one!)
That morning all I wanted to do was play with her! I named her that morning with my sister Jodi, and we agreed on "Katie and Lynn (after my sister Jodi's middle name.)
To this day, I still have no idea how Mom and Dad got the money for her. I still do not even know how much she cost! ( I doubt that they still have the receipt....) but she was priceless to me!
As you reflect on Christmas- my prayer is that you will find more joy in giving and the real reason we celebrate Christmas;Jesus and the meaning of his birth!
It is always a real blessing to give to others; sometimes a sacrifice on our part will make a world of difference in the life of a child or loved one!

Thanks Mom and Dad for fulfilling one of my greatest Christmas wishes for me! (It meant the world to me!)
( I still have my "Real Baby-Katie!")
Remember to focus on giving this year-and most of all forget not the greatest gift ..."Baby Jesus the Savior of the World!"

Blessings of the Christmas Season to all,

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

BUNKO "Queen!"

Great story to share~
Tuesday night I had the best night playing with 11 of my neighborhood girl-friends(whom I am still getting accquainted with!)
In the south it is a tradition for many of the neighborhoods to have a Bunko Club! There are 12 members for 1 year and you meet 1 time each month at the neighborhood clubhouse or (in our case) at one of the member's homes. (Each lady hosts bunko 1 time a year!)
Top ten reasons to play BUNKO
  1. Fellowship-someone is cooking you dinner
  2. Play the BUNKO GAME -aiming to WIN
  3. Laugh often,eat great foods, see each other's home
  4. Get prizes for winning the most rounds
  5. Get a prize for losing the most rounds
  6. Get a prize if your name is drawn out of the Door prize bowl
  7. Get a prize for having the most Bunkos
  8. It only costs $5.00 (and you could walk away with 50-$100.00 in gifts)
  9. get to know more about each other's family
  10. Have some company while DH is away -or great excuse to get out of the house (after a long stressful day!)
I was asked to become a sub member in Aug. and I willingly said "yes" since BUNKO is on Tuesday's nights and my lovely Mike-is away most Tuesdays.
I went last night and had the time of my life-no clue that I would walk away with 2 gifts and be so tired...but relaxed when I got home!
Here is the object of the game-(not sure this makes sense)....
  • In the game of Bunko you have 3 sets of dice(3 in each set) you split up into groups of 4....go to 3 different rooms and play the game (at the same time).
  • When the head table rings the bell-the game begins.
  • The Goal of the game is to aim for the digit on your paper (to roll that) on the dice. We have 6 digits on the dice-so you begin with 1 -
  • Each play takes a turn rolling the dice...any time that I roll that dice on Round 1 -and it has a 1 dot on it-you get a tally continue this each time...till you can not roll that number.
  • You also gain the points of your partner!
  • If at any time on your roll that you accomplish to roll 3 of that is called a BUNKO and you automatically win that round with your partner (no matter wich team -at the table was ahead!)
  • Once you hear BUNKO- or JUST the Head table (who rings the bell) gets to 21 then the round ends
  • Then you move on to the next room and begin playing the next row...which would be 2's!
All of that to say.... I am known for 1 month know as the BUNKO queen -until Jan. 9th- because I successfully had 3 BUNKOS last night!(It is totally on a luck of the throw of dice!) I was thrilled and more shocked at how many Bunkos I had. Then to make matters funnier I also gained the door prize of the night-they drew my name and I got a beautiful serving casserole platter and Iron rod stand for it. My Bunko prize was a crystal dish!
I can not wait till I host it...and have no clue what my theme or meal will be! Good thing is-I can sit and ponder it for 4 months!( I do not host BUNKO until April 9th!)
In the meantime I have many more things that will preoccupy my mind: Work-Christmas presents-Christmas cards, Mike( and I am excited to see him...he is on his way home)!
I am so glad I could bore you with my life of BUNKO World!
Until next time-
Blessing to you all,
Jennifer (aka: "BUNKO QUEEN!")

Saturday, December 02, 2006

December has arrived!

Happy December! (Hard to believe the year has just about come to an end!)
Here is the latest of my nephews:
Josh (on the left is 8 1/2 months)
Aunt Julie (pregnant here with her first baby in April-Jack) and she's holding Sam who is 5 1/2 months.
Sam on the right with his big grin

Hopefully all of you had a great Thanksgiving? My whole family (in MI) got ill with the BAD stomach Flu! Mike and I almost went to MI, when I found out my sister was flying in with Sam ,and my aunt was coming from CO. with my cousin Brittany! However, it would have been 11 hours of travel and considering we'd only be there for 2 1/2 days, it would not be a relaxing holiday that we so needed! I do miss my little nephews and Grace!The boys have grown so much since I saw them last!
We had a great time with Chris & Meghan and way to much food-but isn't that what the holidays are all about?
We got most of our shopping done this year-on line! I only have to finish a few more gifts. Christmas cards are nearly done-just have to take the photo (I think we are wearing PINK!) Mike is into the fad of guys wearing pink. He actually looks really good in it too!( LOL)
Last night began the Holiday Season kickoff for us: We went to Christmas Party #1 for Mike's work. (It was just the department he works in! There was a catered meal and a great band playing Christmas music!)
Next Friday is the Annual Atlanta PWC Christmas Ball-it is Formal-and I have been told that I have enough Formals outfits, and I do not need to go buy another new one! (He's right-we'll see what kind of mood I am in and which outfit I go for next Friday!) I always look forward to the adult conversations and great food! (I have so many conversations with 8 & 9 year olds (and talk so much to Abbey), that I look forward to spending time with Mike and few friends of ours from the firm!)
Work is very stressful for me this year and I am getting ancy for this Curriculum review to be done with! We are up for renewal on our certification this year~ and the headquarters are coming in March. I have a wonderful team-but this is their first year in 3rd grade at the school. So I am the only one who has taught all the material and knows what to write/ update! Within our team, one is great at typing and the other is really good with Biblical Integrations! We are in the midst of finishing language and are stalling some with all the Biblical integrations-so many people do not have a clear concept of how deep it really has to be. My Bible degree is helpful-but I am still being stretched here! Any idea about teaching adverbs and theBible-I will gladly accept any thoughts.
I am off to go catch up on laundry? Mike is back to Busy season and working on Saturday Mornings.
Blessings to all of you as you prepare for the Chrismas season,
Jenn and Mike

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

May God Bless you all as you reflect on the things that he has done this year.
We are so thankful for God's unconditional love and all of you who are so dear.
All around America today, Family and Friends are gathering today- to celebrate a time of thanks and joy for what God has done.
May the day be a memory for you all, filled with love, thankfulness and fun!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!
Mike, Jenn and Abbey

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Debt Free Cars !

What an amazing year it has been for Mike and I since joining the "Dave Ramsey-Total Money Makeover!"
It all started 1 year ago when a good friend of ours from Church told us about Dave Ramsey! Mike finally heard Dave Ramsey on the Radio and decided to check him out! He called into the show, got his book (free...of course)- Mike has his ways) and read it in 2 days! Once he had the book read the road to "being out of debt" began for us!
We paid off Mike's car in the spring- 1 year early. And as of Saturday, Nov.18th, we paid off my car -3 years early! It is exciting to know that we know have no more car payments! We still have college debt and then the house mortgage to go, but drum roll please.....We have officially paid off $29,7000 of debt in 1 year! Having a marriage where we know where we are headed financially is key! So many marriages have fallen apart because of finances and we are looking forward to "living like no one else now-so we can live like no one else later!"
Saturday-was a good day for us too,because we got to go see Dave Ramsey LIVE! It was a great seminar and we highly recomend anyone to go to him.
Check out his site:Http://
I am not sure if I am excited because it is Tuesday afternoon and I have a break for 3 days-or that fact that we are getting out of debt!?? One way or the other I am looking forward to relaxing and staying in GA with friends from Charlotte (Chris and Meghan Metzler!)
We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday-We are very thankful to have that chunk of debt behind us!
Jenn and Mike

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How to Brighten One's Day!

"Don't Worry-Be Happy!"

I can see that I am now becoming more accustomed to a "monthly blog entry" instead of a weekly blog!

We are busy with work and are doing good-however this is one of my busyiest school years ever!
I embarked upon a "first" and went to visit a student today at his house!
I have a student who is due to have surgery,Monday morning,on his arm due to a severe injury!
I have one of those students that makes everyone smile, and no matter what his circumstances are he always has a smile on his face. Ethan is prone to accidents and adventures!!!Here is the background of Ethan's reason for my visit today!
  • My school year began with Ethan getting an ear plug stuck in his ear, in late Aug. and having to go to the Dr. and surgicially getting it removed.(Never a dull moment in 3rd grade litterally! I just go with the flow with my class!)
  • In the beginning of October, He was on his "Wheelies"-and took a fall and broke his lower RIGHT arm and was in a cast for 4 weeks!
  • So-here we are in November-Guess what he did this time?Last night,Ethan was helping his 5 year old brother cut a piece of plastic off of a toy truck with his "Swiss Army Knife" and accidentally sliced his LEFT arm! He sliced his arm, to the extent that he cut a vein and tendon in the arm. He nearly beld to death! The Dr. told his mom he was 5 mm. short of slicing the main artery and bleeding to death...God's angels were protecting him! Ethan has a follow up with the surgeon tomorrow morning to determine the extent of the surgery for Monday and what movement & sensation he may or may not have! Keep him in your prayers please!
  • My class made him pop-up cards today! They were so sympathetic to his injury, that they wanted to go way out on their hand-made cards.
  • We had a 1/2 day of school (for a teacher work day this afternoon) and I took the cards and a big singing balloon- "Don't Worry-Be Happy!" to him at his house.
He was ESTACTIC! I have seen him glow before-but not as much as I did today! He was so excited to see all the cards.. and then this big, gigantic balloon! It really reassured me: why I do-what I do! Papers,hours of hard work, lack of big salary, and all the effort pay off when you can make one of your students' days brighter by visiting them at their house! (I had a tough day yesterday...and felt like I wanted to quit my job with all the responsibilities this year ( I will save that for another entry!)...Then I got this phone call at 10:00 last night about my Ethan-and my whole perspective changed!)
Looks like God still has a mission for me to fulfill at NCCS!

May you be able to find someone this week to lift up too?!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A fun 29th and forever will be!

I guess I am over due for an entry and have to say that I am now 29 and will be forever! It was fun to see my Mom and Dad and my in-laws (for Joy and David's wedding)...just before the big 29!
Thank you, to so many of you for all the cards and gifts.
My sisters all surprised me and sent me a Lily plant to School on the 13th ,the day before my birthday it was a fun surprise! Following work that day, I got to see Molly, my childhood best friend !We met for dinner and shopped a little bit. It was a sweet way to say "Hello-29!"We have stayed in touch for 29 years...that is something to be proud of! (Very rarely can one say that have been friends with someone for 29 years!!)

My class had some great gifts for me and it was a fun day. (A necklace from one of my students...very nice too!)
My good friend from work took me to Cheesecake Factory on Saturday and then ....The best gift of all was Mike's surprise to me...He took me to Emrils!
I have been wanting to go to Emrils restaurant for 2 years now! It was a huge
We had a wonderful dinner and of course the food was out of this world.

The best Banana Cream Pie too!
There is much to look forward too; I am told begins at 30? Looking forward to another year of adventures.

Mike is into Busy season and begins Michelin on Monday. I am already looking forward to Christmas...becuase I will have some time to see him! (We will be going to NY to spend the holiday with his family...we spend ALOT of time in the car!)
I just got done with my first quarter! (Only 3 more quarters to go!) We did report cards all day yesterday for teacher workday and then my team and I went to The Teacup Cottage for Lunch! We have conferences on the 27th, and I am thankful that I have a really good class! (Nothing to worry about on the 27th, thankfully.) Some years-there is that "one conference" you dread doing! I do unfortunately have a very "CHATTY" class -so chatty that they have not gone to the prize drawer in over 2 weeks! I am still loving the job of teaching and making an impact in the lives of 8 and 9 year olds. I was just thinking the other day about my first class of 3rd graders... they are now Sophmores in H.S! We will see if I make it to their H.S. graduation! It would be fun to attend. It is truely amazing how fast time flies. Before I know it...they will be turning 29!
Have a good weekend to all who have had time to read this~
Jenn (and Mike)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fall is in the Air!

As I was taking Abbey out on a walk tonight, I started to notice a slight change of leaves. We have a longer summer here in GA. BUT, the trees know when Fall is approaching.!It is absolutely my favorite season of all! (It has nothing to do with the fact that my birthday is in October ~but it makes it more fun!)
I love the changes of the leaves. I am anticipating a beauty of scenery when I go home (to NY ) next week!
Joy and David are getting married next Saturday and I am standing up in their wedding. It is so amazing to see where they were 1 year ago at this time! I remember sitting down with Joy and David,after they got engaged, and helping them try to plan the best weekend for a fall wedding! We are praying that September 30th is a beautiful day and no rain!
I still have much to do before I fly out next Wed. night for the big weekend. Mike is headed to Austin,Texas for the annual PWC softball tournament and so that means he will not be there to be my date! :( I am saddend!But, at least I will have the next 2 men in my life to be my dates: My dad and my father-in-law!)
(I am so excited that Dad Riese is going! Not common for Dad Riese to just jump the wagon and go to any wedding!) (Do most men usually plan ahead to attend a wedding?) Joy is special to me and I know he is going for me because of how special she is to me! I am sure he will get the audience into some laughter too, as I come strolling down the aisle! You never know what a Riese guy will be up to...especially at weddings and graduations. It means alot to me that you are going-Dad Riese.
I am praying that my time is multiplied as I get all my work ready for my sub. I love to go away...but it is SO much work to prepare for a sub! (Not to mention all the work when I return-easy to write "TEST" in my plans...but much more work for me in the end!) It is all worth it though, for you Joy!
I can't wait to see all of you in NY when I come home! It has been a while since we have been there!
Make sure the leaves are pretty !
Jennifer (and Mike)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Finally! A Bedroom Set for our House!

I got an email yesterday from the Development Office (here at school-) telling me that if I bought 1 item from our Christian Collection Catalog sale, from my class consumption-I would win $100! (My class had to sell 210! They sold 209!) I hardly had to hesitate to spend $8-10.00 on an item that would in return allow me to gain $100.00! (Actually I would really get ...($82.00 to make out for the money I am already spending!) To fill you in-we have been selling Christian Collection! (It is a Catalog fundraiser to help out our school!) I do not contribute to the class orders...but once in a while, I will order from a student outside of my class room! So in the world of a husband who is an accountant ...he was all into helping me choose something last night! Anything with a goal-numbers- and Money back-HE is all for!) Michael told me it was a smooth move! We looked through the catalog to see what was the cheapest, to get the "1" item!
I actually found a great Stocking gift for Mom Riese!!! It was not so cheap...don't worry Mom Riese!
Speaking of blessings and money....Mike is due to get his Bonus for work, next week! So, we went out and bought a whole NEW bedroom set on Labor day! In 29 Years- (almost 29 :) I have never gone out and picked out a brand new bedroom set! I always remember, being so excited when Dad would get me a new bed that he got a garage sale! I was so happy whenever something was passed on to "felt" new in my room! (My life of a purple bedroom and crisp white furniture-such the memories!)
So, I was like a kid at the Rooms-to-Go store-to pick out a new set! I wanted it delivered as soon as possible!! The "Soon as Possible" is actually not going to be delivered until,Saturday, Sept. 22! Oh the days will not come soon enough! But then when it comes...I will be so excited!
I am proud of all your hard work,Mike! I love you!Thanks for getting the Bedroom set for "US!" As Mike and I have been taught...decorate 1 room at a time (when you buy a house!)
We are loving the house and taking it slowly to decorate as we pay upfront! Patience is a big lesson through all this! Don't go into debt to decorate!!!
So my overall moral today: Be wise with the Money God has given you!
Blessings to you all,
Jenn & Mike

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Blue Tailed Skink (AKA) Abbey's Friend!

Hello ( I am writing on behalf of Abbey!)
Abbey was in her glory on Friday afternoon!
Everyday, when I arrive home she anxiously awaits for her friend "Blue" *A bluetailed skink to come out of his little home and she wants to go chase him!Abbey annoys me like (7-8 times), some days, to go out-and chase "Blue" ! She got out Friday and she actually caught him! She caught him with her paw...HE DIED from wounds in his side! (*Poor little guy!)She was happy and I told her he died...but she just wagged her tail! I must say that there are plenty more still living in the back yard, for her to chase! It is amazing what kinds of creatures will excite your dog-squirrles, other dogs, rabbits...but this little critter is her all time favorite!
We just got back from TN! We went up and spent the weekend with Joy and David! It was an adventurous weekend with Joy-getting ready for the upcoming wedding! I love you Joy,and I know all the plans will come together-perfectly!
Next weekend we will be in Charlotte,NC (for the nice long weekend!)Mike is headed to the Syracuse/WakeForest Football game-with his NY buddies (who live done here too!) We are meeting up with Chris (Mike's roommate from SU) & Meghan (his wife)- who live in Charlotte. I will be hanging out with Meghan, while Mike and Chris go on to the game! Looking forward to a fun weekend...again! (We will be staying put for a few weekends after Labor-day!
Can't believe that September is almost here!
Blessings to all,
Jennifer,Mike and "Happy"-Abbey!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Long overdue-summer update!

Hello -Hello!
As you can see summer is still going on-but for Me, it is over!
I went back to work on Aug. 8. I returned home from Calgary on Aug. 1~ and was still pretty tired when I went back to work. I would not have traded the time in Calgary. I was so glad that I got to go and see Sam!
I am now into my second week of 3rd graders.....but this is my 3rd week back! Hard to believe that I have been doing this now for 7 years. I am starting to feel older too,especially when they have new fresh out of college grads. I am getting tired quicker these days...then when I first began!
I have a whole new team of teachers! We all get along GREAT! We each have a different personality!
This year most of our Teacher In-services will be on personality assessment! You may have heard of the DISC personality testing! I am an "I" if you are familiar with it! (Meaning -Outgoing!) You would have never guessed that would you? LOL-
I am loving it-because I am starting to learn the personalities of all my kids~and how to better meet their learning style! I do have one challeging one in my room! I am learning so much already from this student and it is only the second week of school! Never a dull moment in 3rd grade!
If you have all this time to spare...our school website is changed daily! From time to time this year, there will be photos of my class and I on the website! My class schedule and all about 3rd grade at North Cobb is on there!
So many things have gone on outside of work for Mike and I!
Last night we had dinner with Megan (Mike's college roommate's wife!) So nice to get together and have friends close by...only 4 hours away. We are headed to TN next weekend to see Joy and David. Only 6 weeks to go till the wedding!! I am excited to be in their wedding & I just got my plane ticket for the big event!
We are no longer working with the 2 year olds at our church and now we are working with 7th graders. Big jump...diapers to hormones!!! So far we are enjoying it! I am on a little bit of overload with work -and I am thankful that I have 2 other ladies that teach the girls with me! (We totate week to week on teaching! So appreciated!)
Mike has now moved into his 5th year at I am excited for all the hard work he has done! (BUT the traveling is what is still hard!) He was taken off a client in TN and the start to "early Fall" season has been so relaxing for him! (He is home before 8:00 and playing X-BOX!) Once Jan. comes it will be busy for I am use to that routine!
Mike's 2
"almost as good looking as him" brothers have fallen in deep "LIKE" with 2 lovely ladies! We have heard so much about them this summer and we are hoping to meet them soon! We might meet Brian's 'significant other' around Thanksgiving time! (Fingers crossed!) Phil, Mike's younger brother, departs for Egypt on Wed. and will be doing a study abroad program for SU. So we are praying for safety for him!
My family is doing good and the babies (all my neices and nephews are growing!) Grace was 2 on May 9 ! She loves to wear her Sundresses!
Josh is now 5 Months old!
Sam is now 2 months old

I will do my best to keep all more up to date ...
Blessings to all,
Jenn (and) Mike

Sunday, July 30, 2006


SAM smiles for Aunt Jenny!

I am having a wonderful time here in Calgary, while I am visiting my sister Jolyn, my brother-in-law, Eric and my newest nephew, Samuel! He is precious and such a "mom dream" for a first born baby!
I miss Mike dearly, and he misses too. I think he has really come to appreciate my normal work hours, (since I am around and there to take care of Abbey!) He has had to make special arrangements for Abbey to be checked on, for all the LONG hours he worked this past week. (And Abbey is just a dog!!!)
There is so much to say about the week...But some of the highlights have been:

  1. I would make the top of my list, meeting Sam, and of course finally getting to see Jolyn & Eric's condo. Since Sam's arrival, they feel that they have already outgrown their house.
  2. And I would also say the mountainous sights are a plus too. We went up to see the famous "Banff, Alberta"- it looks alike like Breckenridge, CO or Vail,CO. It is a breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains. We even got to see a couple of Moose along the side of the road on our way up to Lake Louise to see some Hot Springs. It was a fun,long, fulfilled day for Jolyn, Sam and I.
  3. My not so exciting moment- my visit to the Walk-In center for a horrible rash I picked up while traveling here! I got on a good, strong steroid and it is almost gone now!

    Can't believe that tomorrow is Aug. 1. Where did the summer time go? I know that summer time is usually through Labor day, but for me it is nearly over.
    In the meantime this has been a great way to end the summer-seeing Jolyn, Eric and Sam.
    Blessings to all,

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Congrats- John & Nicole!

I am down to my last 3 weeks until I return. :(
I will actually go back to work on Thursday, Aug. 3 (once I return from Calgary!) and start getting things done in my room, before orientation begins on Monday,Aug.7! My kids do not start class until Tuesday, Aug. 15th! Anyway-it is gerorgeous ,sunny and too HOT to go to the pool! I could use a little more sun..but I think I am still "pooled" out from all the family and friends.
Speaking of Friends...Mike's good friend from H.S.,John Shepard and his girlfriend Nicole got engaged, Saturday, July. 15th~! (So the photos are of John in our wedding and then he and Nicole are on the right at the Cheesecake Factory with us back in April!) We are SO
happy for them and I am sure we will make every attempt to attend the wedding! They have not set a date yet for the wedding...but Mike has tried to clue them in on a great weekend in June to get married! (LOL)
Mike had a business meeting today at the GA aquarium~ so I am sure it is more then a meeting!
Off to get some school items for a great deal at Walgreens!
Summer Blessings to all,

Here are some of the latest summer advenures with family and friends!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy July 4th !

We are back from Fl. and we had a great time with Mom Riese, Aunt Jackie & Brian! The resort we stayed at was georgeous! (THANK YOU MIKE for staying at Marriott all those nights in the winter so we could have a great time in FL.!
Here are some photos from our stay....!
1. the house I tutor at- (That is their pool and Hot tub attached to it!)
2. Resort we stayed at in FL
3. Dinner at "30 Degree Blue" Restaurant for our 4th anniversary.
4. Mike and Mom Riese are loading up Brian with Sunblock for beach!
We had Mike's cousins here too, to visit for the weekend-so we had a great time being entertained by them (to say the least!)
Today we are recovering from all our late nights being out ! We are headed to a Braves game tonight-(I got the tickets from a student for an end of the year we are looking forward to it tonight!)
Happy 4th of July to all,
Jenn & Mike

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Summer Drought!

Mike and I finally got some flowers and rose bushes planted. Joy sent us some rose bushes to plant, so we planted one in the ground and one in a large pot. We will see which one does better. (No color to them-so pretty aren't they?) Now that we got flowers planted by the mailbox (and 1/2 are growing/the other 1/2 died) and the rose bushes planted-we have a drought! We can only water our lawns on odd days (we are an odd #) so Sunday/Tuesday's and Thursdays are the only days we can water!! LOL Planting is not our "cup of tea!"

I talked to my dad and Mom on Father's Day...and they were babysitting little Sam. He is a pacificer baby. He had sucked his hand most of Saturday night and had a little blister! So now he has sock mittens (to protect his hands) and a pacifier to keep him content till it is time to eat! Can't wait to see him!

Mike is on vacation with me till July 9th! It is is like the summer we got married! ( He didn't start with the firm until Sept. in 2002) Hard to believe that it has been 4 years of marriage...but we go back to 7 years of being together! WOW! It is so awesome to see how far God has brought us and can't wait to see where we will be in another 4 years from now. June 29th will be our 4th this point we plan to celebrate this weekend. We will be with his family on the 29th!

Tomorrow I am headed to The Women of Faith conference with a mom from my class-her sister mailed her 4 tickets (front row) and she decided to invite me. I was honored and can not wait to go! The theme this year is "Contagious Joy!" She is waiting to hear from a friend if she can go or not-if her friend from church can't go then I get to take Joy!! I'm praying that Joy gets to go, but I do not want to get my hopes up!
Next week we will have with Mike's family here and then heading to Panama City, FL. We can not wait for the break!...My good friend, Yvette and her daughter are going to watch Abbey for us!! Thanks Yvette-

I am off to clean kitchen- it is a mess.

Blessings to all,

Friday, June 16, 2006

Baby Sam-Finally arrived!

It was a long day and a half for my sister Jolyn, and my brother-in-law,Eric! After 18 hours of Labor- Sam finally decided to arrive! My parents are both there and got to see him right after he was born. We are all so happy that he is finally here!
Our second nephew (3rd Clark grandchild)was born at 2:11 AM -this morning!

All 3 of his aunts got a phone call and I think the only aunt that actually awakened to talk to Jolyn was biggest Aunt, Jodi!

Samuel John Robert
June 16th -12:11 AM (C.S.T)
8 lbs. 14oz
21 inches long
Lots of light hair ...keeping the Clark grandkids tradition going..."full head of hair!" Biggest Clark grandbaby yet!! Way to go Jolyn-we are so proud of you!

Blessings to Eric, Jolyn and Sam!!
Aunt "Nenny" and Uncle Mike (for the 3rd time!!!)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Happy Birthday-David and Sam!

Happy Birthday David Ashworth (my best friend, Joy's fiance')!
The last few days-we have had Joy and David in town visiting from TN and they went to Six Flags! Today, we went out to lunch for David's birthday at the famous-Sweet Tomatoes (the place they ate at on their first date-LOL!) I am so glad that Joy is finally 2 hours away. She is waiting for all of her furnirture and belongings to arrive from Phoenix (to her apt. in TN) and she just got called that they will be coming tonight! She is excited to get back and finally get moved in!
I am on the phone with My mom in Canada and my sister, Jolyn. Jolyn is in labor today and looks like little Sam will arrive soon. Eric and Mom are taking turns getting little breaks and making calls! My dad is in the air and due to arrive tonight! So amazing how we have an agenda, but the babies have an agenda of their own!!! I am excited to meet little Sam the end of the summer before my return to work in August. It has been a great vacation thus far and tutoring is an awesome summer job!
I will post more once Mike and I are Aunt Nenny and Uncle Mike for the 3rd time. I am sure that he is not the last Clark grandchild!
Photos are of lunch today with David and Joy.
Happy 30th Birthday,David
(I know you are older...but so young at heart, and look like 30-thanks to Joy!)
Blessings to all,

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Summer Vacation-Finally

I am in my first week of the Long awaited Summer "Teacher"Vacation!
I actually had to go back after (being off only 2 days) and re-do my report cards, along with 4 other teachers. We were all glad to be there together...but had agenda's already. Needless to say, we got the errors corrected in 2 hours.
Saturday, I was ambitious and used some money from my class (the Home Depot Card) and decorated the masterbathroom. It actually turned out fabulous. My good friend from work, Yvette came over to be 2 extra hands to help me paint the whole thing. Mike of course, was woking on the monthly bills, and budget. He even got her on a budget!!! Dave Ramsey is making a huge impact....!
As for the rest of the summer: I will be tutoring 2 students from my school,spending 10 days here with Mike's family (who comes in on the 26th of June),taking them to FL for 2 days, Celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary my favorite time of the summer is 3 weeks of vacation time with my precious, love of my life-Michael, waking up and both being here and thinking about what we will do for the day, and sitting at the pool...etc. We have been waiting for June 19th!!! He is off the 19th of June-July 10!!!!
We hope you are all well and for all of you in the North-Summer is coming soon!!!
Summer Blessings,

Monday, May 29, 2006

Farewell Class of 2015!

My class was very special this year! I am totally amazed at how much you get connected to a class after 2 years! I taught many of them for 2 years and really watched them grow. I will miss them and their parents. Here is a letter I wrote to them last Thursday...don't cry!!
Blessigs to all,
Farewell Riese's Pieces
(Class of 20015)
My Dear Riese’s Pieces,
It has been my joy and pleasure to teach and mentor each one of you to be more Christ- like this year in 3rd grade at N.C.C. S!
I have been blessed beyond measure by: your smiles, hugs, ”ah-ha” moments (when you finally got those tough math lessons), treasured all the class parties with you, gifts from you, awesome grades you worked hard for, even the tough days you had- to see what God taught you, words of encouragement from you and your parents, seeing prayers answered, hearing about all the awards you received outside of school, seeing you get rewarded in many ways that you earned, and above all, teaching you to know the LOVE of GOD and what it means to be Jesus to others.
As you look back on this book one day and see the characteristic of the “Fruit of the Spirit” that the class chose for you, may you still be showing it and exemplifying all of the Fruit of the Spirit! Remember- “You might be the only Jesus some will ever see &meet!”
I feel blessed to have been your teacher,and now I must graduate you on to 4th grade and begin all over again with a new group of “Riese’s Pieces” in August. If I may, I must use your class # again next year for a “new Riese’s piece” student? Don’t be sad-you will always hold a special place in my heart! Rejoice in the good work you have done and pray for the future classes that follow.
When you have tough times- “Don’t give up-keep your chin up!” Remember that you are loved by your parents, friends at NCCS and Mrs. Riese! God has a special plan for you! I can not wait to hear about it as you grow in Him.
Blessings to you all “My Riese’s Pieces”~
(Class of 2015)
Love your 3rd grade teacher,
Mrs. Riese

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Debt Free -Car!!!!

Hello all (who find time to read our blog~)
This is Mike,
I am very excited (yeah baby-yeah!)
Today, Jenn and I paid off our 2003 -Toyota Coralla!
It feels great to have paid it off 13 months early! Now onto the other things we must pay off (Jenn's Rav 4, 2 College loans and the house!) We will have a big party when all the others are paid off!
Just had to share some excitement-somehow-what better way then to tell you all!
Happy Mother's Day ,Mom, and all you other mommies out there~
Mike (and Jenn too!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Life right now...May 10, 2006

Rainbow of Thoughts today because of HIM!

I Live: with my husband and love of my life (when he is in town) and our dog Abbey
I Work: at North Cobb Christian School
I Talk: a lot...part of my job-(unless I am on the computer thinking!)
I Wish: my husband were here

I Enjoy: Friday's at 2:30 and Mike coming home
I Look: tired right now~
I Find: ways to encourage my students
I Smell: Glade Plug In
I Listen: to my 3rd graders all day and listen to my friends hurting hearts! (*I love you Yvette!)

I Hide: some receipts (till budget time)
I pray: each morning with my students
I Walk: with God daily!
I See: people who deserve my compassion
I Sing: in Chapel and Church
I Laugh: often at my 3rd graders
I Watch: 24
I Learn: to love in all my students

I dream: about our future children
I Want: to Glorify God
I Cry: when I hear about another business trip
I Read: Bible and Children's books
I Love: my God, my husband, my job, my friends
I Sometimes: wish I lived closer to our families~
I Touch: 8 & 9 year old lives every day!
I Hurt: when Mike is away, friends are going through a divorce or loose a loved one

I Fear: about the PWC workload for Mike
I Hope: I am a good, wife, teacher, sister, aunt and Friend
I Break: you can't break whats already broken
I Eat: not much-on a great diet...going very well...lost 6 pounds
I Quit: being sad
I Drink: Water~Water~Water!
I Save: to many emails
I Hug: my dog every day (some students too)
I Play: jokes on my Vice Principal- Debbie-she is a blast!
I miss : my husband, sisters, Joy and my childhood friend (& friendship) Molly!
I Forgive: because I have no right not to and God forgives us all!
I rejoice in: MY SALVATION and the peace that passes all understanding!

There would be no I sentences tonight, were it not for God and all he has done!
I smile at all of these, some are sad...but help me reflect the road God has me on!

Blessings to you all,


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Princess -Grace!

Dear Grace E.,
Happy 2nd Birthday!
We are so glad that you got the opportunity to come to Atlanta and see Aunt Jenny and Uncle Mike. I know you had so much fun playing "Basettball" with Uncle Mike too! Yes-my favorites were the party, playing with the squirt gun in the big tub each night and of course the "Wyons" at the Circus too!!

May you enjoy the next 365 days! I know you will learn so much over the course of the year! We can't wait to see how much you grow over the year and what God has in store for you-you are special to us all!
We love you-
Aunt JENNY & Uncle MIKE (and Abbey too!)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Priceless Memories!

Monday night we (4 sisters) & Grace and Josh celebrated Grace's 2nd birthday!
We had a big party (we think for the 4 of us more so,to enjoy) but Grace was loving every minute! She dug her face into the cake and loved the frosting!
We got her in the tub before we took off at 6:30 and decided to be crazy and go to the circus from 7:00-9:30!!When we arrived at the circus she was totally in awe of it all! Her eyes were twice as big as she saw the big Tigers, clowns/(she was totally enamored with them) but I think she really loved the "Elphants" (as she calls them) the Pony and Big Goat! The best way to end the night was at 9:00 (late for her...but she slept from 1:30-4:00) was when we walked out of the Circus (there was a fair and they had Pony Rides- Grace saw the ponies and she said-"Me ride Pony!"
Jodi gave in and paid $9.00 for a ride and a picture...
(Just like the Discover commercial says-The whole day was well spent but it ended the best way with a great pricelesss look! )/
Birthday cake- $30.00
Gas to get to the Circus-$45.00 (to fill up van)
Parking for the circus-$2.00
Price of the admission for the 4 adults -$20.00
Water bottles, BBQ CK Sandwiches and Corn on Cob-$20.00
Look on Grace's face as she rode the Pony- PRICELESS!!!
Anyway as I was riding around the pin with her- she saw some brown goats off to the side in the next stall over and said "What that?" I said those are goats - they say "BAA" she repeated it! and About 5 minutes later we were walking down the side and there were 2 camels -giving rides! She saw them and said "Me ride BIG GOATS!") Hilarious!
They left last night and I was sad to see them go!
But truely loved every minute together!
Blessings to all,
I will post photos once I locate my camera in the house~

Friday, April 28, 2006

Finally here!

My sisters, Niece and Nephew are all here-safe and sound!
What a huge suprise it was when Julie saw Jolyn!
She just sighed and said-"AHH-JOLYN IS HERE?!?!" Then she just sobbed!!!
We really got her good! It was fun to pull it off! Then we all stood there and admired baby Josh and then moved to admire Jolyn's pregnant belly- Little Sam!~
Mike just stood back in complete awe of 4 sisters and the connection going on!
(In the meantime Gracie was enamored with "Aunt Juey's" Chapstick!!)
Had a simple night of eating PaPa John's Pizza- they messed up the order so we got it for 1/2 off!! Grace was in her glory swimming tonight in Aunt Nenny's Garden tub and we all took turns cuddling baby Josh! He is on his 5th diaper since being here! Poor little guy has a sore bottom!! He is an absolutely precious baby!
I am very thankful to my coworker June who traded cars with me for the next 4 days...she loaned me their 7 passenger mini van and we all fit perfectly!!
Looking forward to much more adventure...Mike is on his way home from a softball game and I am headed to bed.
Long day today, but priceless being with my sisters!
Blessings to all~

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sisters' Weekend!

I am so excited..
My sisters are coming to spend a long weekend with me!

(Friday-Tuesday) I took my last personal day for Monday, May 1st. I had hopes of spending the day with Mike, but he unfortunately was not able to get the day off.
So, I emailed my sisters and asked (jokingly) if they wanted to come and bond for the weekend. They are coming!!! They got great flights~(considering that it was only a 10 day in advance booking) and the best part yet....I get to meet my new nephew, Joshua (J.J) Jodi is bringing both kids-Thanks to some help from Julie- AKA- "Aunt Dewy"
I think most of the weekend will revolve around the life of my precious niece Grace and what she thinks seems appealing at the moment. We might just ger in to take her 2 year old pictures and visit the Atlanta Zoo! I know we will celebrate her 2 year old birthday, thanks to a special bakery that I won a gift certificate too, along with some other restaurants! (I won a basket of gift certificates at our Spring Fling!) There is a neighborhood Garage sale this weekend here in Chandler Ridge...We might find a few things to sell! But might have more fun shopping for Baby Josh. Lots of little kids in this neighborhood. We will see how it all unfolds. I do hope to get in a pedicure with my sisters, maybe Uncle Mike will enjoy Nap time (with the kids) on Sunday and let us all get away!! Mike babysit alone~??!! I had to take 5 extra hours off of work (to get all back to airport) but it is all worth it to be with my my sisters! Family First...over work!
Off to go get baby diapers for this weekend and go work out at gym.
Blessings to all,
I will post pictures when they arrive here from MI.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Time is ticking away!

As of today- there are only 26 days left till school is over! I must say that it has been a wonderful year...a few bumps in the road, but they were good growing pains! I will be going into my 7th year of teaching come August!
WOW time has flown! I remember the first day I started teaching 3rd grade...I was totally in awe of that control that I had.
Speaking of time flying, Joy and David are counting down the days till their Sept. 30th wedding. It will be an exciting weekend!
So, we plan to forfeit the NewYork Vacation in July, beacause I will be there in September, to stand up for Joy and David's wedding. I wish I could say "WE" will be in NY, in Sept. BUT somebody has a very important engagement to attend...."A Softball Tournament!" Mike is heading up the ATL -PWC. office League; he will do what he can to attend the ceremony...but at this point...( I can not plan on him being there!) It is a weekend for me to bond with Joy before she is MRS. David Ashworth and spend time with the lovely in-laws! (They really are too!) So we will both be off doing what we love!!!
Time has so many meanings to it...right now when I say time in 3rd grade, my class thinks I am talking about their "times tables" that they need to know, or the "time-minutes" they owe for disobeying. As we all know, God is the ultimate controller of time- how much time have you given him today? I hope that you can set aside time for him each day, because he has given us so much time in our day. (I am speaking to myself too!)
May you continue to praise God for the many things he done for you. Don't waste the time God has given you!!
Jenn :)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Congratulations, JOY & DAVID!!!

This is a very exciting weekend for my best friend,Joy! I found out 2 weeks ago that David, Joy's boyfriend was going to propose on Good Friday-and I could not say a word! It was killing me!! She said,YES! I am so happy for their upcoming wedding this September! (Put that Bridesmaid dress in the budget, MIKE!!)Anyway, We are here in Knoxville,TN visiting with David and his family and will be spending Easter tomorrow with them! We even had time to fit in dress shopping (Joy, David's mom, and me!) She found a dress!
Mike is still getting through this client....and it is still not DONE!!! But he was sweet enough to come for the weekend!!
I hope all is well s with you and that you rejoice in the celebration of our Savior's resurrection tomorrow!!!
So happy for you both, Joy and David!
Love ya-
Jenn & Mike

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Back from D.C.

We had a wonderful time in DC with the family and even saw some good friends.
We are back to work tomorrow and then back on the road Easter Weekend~to Knoxville,TN to see Joy ,her boyfriend,David, and his family.
Enjoy all the photos.
(Photos are as follows:
  • Mom and Dad Riese in the Bahamas,
  • Washington Monument (looking through the Cherry Blossoms),
  • Dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with John and Nicole (Mike's Friend from H.S)
  • Mike and I at the F.D.Rosevelt Monument (posing by his dog ...that looks like our Abbey!!!)
Blessings to all,

Thursday, April 06, 2006


March Madness is over and the results from the PWC Bracket tournament are in!
We won 2nd place out of 144 entries!! YEAH- I say "WE" because the entry that won had my name on it! However Mike chose them all so he really won...but he is being generous and allowing me to use a portion of money from the winnings to go to Canada this summer to see Jolyn! YEAH, Again!
Today is the 1 year anniversary of Uncle Moose's homegoing. We are praying today for all of you Parkers and want you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers especially today. Precious memories we will allways treasure of him!!
We saw some sites today of D.C. we will upload photos soon. We are waiting for Phil to return from class so we can download the photos.
Off to go make Turkey dinner for the guys. Mom and Dad Riese return tonight!! Can't wait to hear all about their cruise'n adventure!!
Blessings to all,

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Off to D.C.

We have been cleaning out cars, and cleaning up the house(OK- Mike was...while I was at the Salon!!)
We are leaving for our vacation , finally!
We will be in Washington,D.C. to bond with the brothers and Mom & Dad Riese- Never a dull moment when we are all together.
Blessings to all,
Jenn :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spring has sprung and Summer is coming!

Gorgeous day despite the fact that it took us longer to get up this morning!
Why was it so hard to get up and go to church?....We lost an hour! Did the time change get to any of you? Gotta love the Spring Forward time change!!?(Makes me sad, Joy,..that we are now 3 hours apart!) Mike is amazing...he never lets the time change afect his mood. It was a rough morning for me...but he helped me perk up! The message today was all on "The Plank." (Matthew Ch.7 )We can be more of a blessing and minister to others, once we take care of the plank in our own eyes!! *Judge not...because we need to know that we too are being judged. Focus on what matters-serving the Lord! Have you had the recent "I" Exam to look for that plank in your eye! Very powerful!!We often judge others and have no idea that we are doing it!

As we were driving home from Church the flowers and trees were all breathtaking today and an excitement for me that school is soon to end! Mike was smiling, because it was a beautiful afternoon to play soccer! They lost the game, but he still enjoyed playing today and I enjoyed it(despite the loss) but I got some good sun in! (Remembered why the time change!!)
We leave Tuesday night for D.C.-We are headed to see Brian and Phil. Mike's 2 favorite brothers. This week is Spring Break for my job! It's the first time in 4 years that Mike has taken the week off with me. He deserves the break- It has been a long winter with the ever famous Greenville client. Now I am just working on him taking a week in July to go to the beautiful land of Alberta,CA and see my sister Jolyn, her husband Eric, and their soon to be little boy! I didn't get a No today...I got a..."When are you planning to go? Hmm!" We will see how persuasive I can be. "Help me Lynn! He might actually persue it!"
Have a great evening~
Enjoy the extra sunshine today!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Life is but a breath ...

Today was a relaxing Saturday, catching up on time with my hubby Mike.
We spent the morning walking Abbey( 0ur westie)..have not done that in about 6 months! (CPA's are consumed at work in the winter months!)
So I really enjoyed the special company today on my daily walk with Abbey. (She felt really spoiled and was a bit confused when Daddy asked her if she wanted to go for a walk!)
He never asks her that!!!
The afternoon was spent with Mom and Dad Riese at the Atl. airport.
We are sending them on a 4 day Cruise to the Bahama's for their 30th Anniversary.
That is somethingTHEY DESERVE! IT IS DEFINITELY SOMETHING to celebrate these days in society!I am so proud of the godly heritage Mike and I both have! Our parents have been great role models of what a godly marriage is all about! We hope to be at 30 years too, someday and will celebrate! They had a 4 hour layover here in Atlanta and it was fun to see them!
I was reminded today of how precious our life is...but this life here on earth is just temporary. My home is being prepared.
Today, my mom informed me via email of a college friend's spouse, passing away. He is now with the Lord. Mark Palmer- What an amazing testimony for the Lord. I am grateful for the time I had my freshmen year at BBC in Vibbard Dorm (with Jen-his First wife!) I know that one day their Son Micah will be in awe of the godly parents he had! My heart goes out to Amy (Mark's wife of 16 months) and all that she has in raising this little boy of Mark and Jen! What an honor and journey she has ahead.
In Psalms I was reminded of how precious our life is and we need to treasure the time we have here...but Live each day for the Lord.
Psalm 39:4-5
4 "Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. 5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath."
Never take for granted the time with Family and friends. You never know how much you miss a loved one, till the Lord calls them home!
I treasure each day that I have with you Michael and I can not wait till your work schedule winds see more of you!!!