Saturday, September 29, 2007

Nickki's Heart Walk

Nickki is a great party planner and today she was special party that she planned for the Heart Association...the 17th Annual Los Angeles Heart Walk. Congratualtions Nickki...the event was great and many lives will be changed because of it. To find out more visit...http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3047301.
A bunch of us girls were volunteers for the morning....me, Ellie, Deon, Nickki, Jami, Staci, and Allison. We all had special jobs to help out with the event.
I brought some of my Young Life friends along to volunteer and I made the pose with some of the fun exhibits.
When we arrived at 5:45am we saw the balloon arches being made...they make them so fast.
I thought this was cool...a huge group from the LA Firefighters Explorer program participated in the event...they traveled as a pack!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dad's Mission Spirit Award

This afternoon I was able to attend a special award ceremony for my dad. All my life my parents have attended everything I have been a part of and always supported me so it was fun to be there for him today. My dad as worked at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank (where I was born) for 30 years. Today he received the mission spirit award for exemplifying the core values of the hospital. For my entire life my mom and dad have always displayed an excellent work ethic for me and I am proud to be there daughter. Pictures in the photo are Paula (my dad's boss and good friend of our family for my entire life, my dad, me, my mom, and my super funny Uncle Dave (my mom and my uncle also work at the hospital). I actually started crying a bit in the ceremony when they talked about how my dad was Mr. Mom growing up. When I was younger my dad worked in the day and my mom worked at night so my sister and I would always have a parent at home. At the time it was just normal Pawlak life...I know see what a sacrifice it was. I love my family and I am forever thankful for all of them!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Typical Teacher Jen

Monday night I was "typical teacher Jen"...doing my school work in the middle of Monday night football. The pictures below are proof. Shannon goes to Monday night football every week with her "other" friend Jen. They trade off going to fun sports bars in the South Bay. I am not as hardcore as a fan as they are...yet I am always up for the company and good food. On Monday night I joined them for Monday night football at Tony P's in the Marina and yes...I spend the entire three hours there doing school work. When we left Shannon said, "I don't think I ever saw you look at the TV"...to which I responded..."yes I don't think I saw any of the game!"

Proof that I was grading papers (with the injured thumb...good thing it was the left thumb!)


Me, Shannon, and Jen (she has a cute convertible VW beetle...so super cute).
Grading honors quizzes...some good scores (and the of course stickers) in this set...love it!
The bar has all of the beer pulls from the decorating the entire sports bar...fun to look at!


Monday, September 24, 2007

God is so GOOD!...and now my finger is too!

Tonight was I reminded of how good GOD is to me! He has brought an amazing group of friends into my life and tonight explains why I love and appreciate the more than the words in this blog can describe!

We will call the story...A Slice of the Finger!

Act 1

Opening Scene...my kitchen...time 5:40pm. Characters: Me (at this point!).

I was in the kitchen finishing up making a cake for school tomorrow...ran to the sink to wash the dishes and the rest is history. In typical "Jen" style I was moving quickly to wash the spreader (it is brand new, sharp, and serrated) I used to ice the cake. I sliced my finger open with the spreader and began to panic...the water made the blood look worse...I grabbed a paper towel began to apply pressure...and of course started to cry. I was going to Becky's with some of my girlfriends for our cooking club as was due there at 6pm (and I did not want to ruin the night for the girls).

By 5:50pm Becky, Lacey, Sheri, and Tim were at my apartment to care for me. They jumped into action. Becky began stroking my hair and back and comforting me...Lacey jumped into action and began explaining step by step how we could go about dealing with the situation at hand (she called her mom a nurse and got the 411)...Sheri and Tim were great supporters!

Act 2

Fast forward to a little while later at Matt and Becky's (where Sheri was hosting cooking club). The finger was wrapped up and we were watching the bleeding and on the fence about the need for stitches. Matt (who is a lifeguard) and Anna then saw the finger for the first time and gave an absolute thumbs up..."you need to get that checked"...stitches could be in your future. Anna said "the fatty piece of skin" she saw when the bandage was torn was the key that made her think "yes...the ER is in tonight's future."

Intermission

Sheri instructed a great dinner making session...I watched from the chair, read the recipes, and monitored the ingredients (as Ellie said). I was just in awe that my friends were so great to me to care for me and be okay with whatever I needed.

Act 3

Anna (who was my last roommate in Redondo!) offered to be my hospital buddy and at 9pm we we went to Little Company of Mary. The triage nurse said stitches were in deed in order (as we assumed yet were glad to be affirmed before waiting). Anna and I went over lesson plan ideas in the waiting room (very productive which I love) because she is starting a new teaching position (tomorrow). She was a great friend to take me to the hospital and attend to my needs so it was the least I could do to talk about the "teaching" something I am passionate about.

Act 4

ER Room 17 (my favorite number) were Anna photographed the entire event and a wonderful nurser practitioner (Erin) sewed me up like new...so here are the photos...and warning...some are graphic!

Before the process began...we remembered about the camera and the BLOG (this is me before)!

As Erin stock here wonderful needles in my thumb I squeezed Anna's hand super tight and felt my finger getting super big (as Erin said it would and it deed...medicine is so interesting.)

Anna and I with her textbook and lesson planning book...thank you Anna you were terrific!


the sterile supplies
I think there are 4 total...I will get a count in 2 days when I take off the bandage. The stitches are in for 10 days.
When I called my dad he asked when my last tetanus shot was...I don't know for sure. So don't worry...I added one of those to my ER order (this is my hospital band and shot sticker).

All better and ready to go home at 11:30pm...not bad for the ER.

Act 5 - It is 1:18am and I am finishing this entry...I am tired and nervous about getting through the day tomorrow...all the little obstacles when you are teaching high school with one less thumb.

And I am again crying thinking about how much I love my friends and how great they were tonight. You are truly amazing caregivers and I am forever thankful for you and how much you showed God's love to me tonight. So again the finger is all better...and I am thankful that God gave me a little story to remind me of the importance of community and how BLESSED I AM!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kristine's 3-0!

Today is Kristine's 30th Birthday (and my cousin Quinn's 2nd birthday). We celebrated with a dinner party at Paco's Tacos (they make there own tortillas!).

Kristine is a beautiful sister in Christ who I met when I was student teaching. I am so thankful for her friendship. Her husband (Ben) asked us to think of a few favorite things about Kristine that we would share at dinner. Kristine is so humble and chose not to have us share at the table so I will share on my blog instead!
What I love about Kristine is that she always speaks God's truth (even when I might not want to hear it!). She can be comfortable in heels or flip flops. She is so crafty and creative (check out her blog for a few samples!).
The berries and cream cake from Lido bakery in Manhattan Beach. They do good work...that is where Kristine and Ben had their wedding cake made so why not bring it back for the 30th birthday...my stomach appreciated it!

A Bike Upgrade!

So my faithful blog readers know that I love my bike (yet I do not have the bell that says, "I love my bike!"). All summer I have been talking about how I want another bike. After a long time of Shannifer bike shopping...I decided I wanted a "six three zero" bike from Beachbikes.net. I had to be patient and wait about two months for them to get more in stock. I waited and it was worth it because I love my new bike (today was the bike day)!
It is the "CLASSIC" edition in navy with a brown seat (and a new big...can hold lots of beach stuff basket).

Do not worry friends...I did not get ride of the "Target" bike. It has been good to me this past year and is ready for anyone who wants to come out to the Gundo for a bike ride (Laurie...Sarah...we are ready to go ladies!).

Now both bikes live in the garage...at least they have each other out there!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More Retreat Photos

Here are some more photos from this weekend's retreat! I love the weekends!


We love our books! Shannon, Becky, and I were reading in our pool. See book club ladies...I only had a few pages left of our Elephant book!

The girls in the car!

Two photo to prove that I did relax and unwind last at our leadership retreat. I did not even know Shannon took these photos.



Monday, September 17, 2007

Thank you secret bunco pal!

As many of you know I play BUNCO once a month! We have secret bunco pals (it is like secret Santa and we bring "theme" gifts every other month. My secret bunco pal (who is still a mystery until December) is very creative and thoughtful. She spelled out my name with letters from a magazine to disguise her writing! She got me a fun little clutch purse in blue my favorite color. This month the gift them was color accessory...perfect in both categories! A huge blog hello to all of my BUNCO friends! I just checked buncocentral.com and the 2008 World Championship dates are not set...stay tuned everyone...it is going to be BIG!

Outlet Leadership Retreat

This weekend I was blessed with a time of fellowship and relaxation in Palm Spring for the Outlet Leadership Retreat. A special thanks to Tim for taking us all on a weekend of rest (much needed!) and to the Andersons for letting us stay in their wonderfully air-conditioned home. We had great conversations as we shared about how God was working in the Outlet and in us as leaders.
As my dad would say, "What beautiful friends I have!"
Tim with special assistant Rich were master grillers as you can tell by the cloud of smoke!
Here is Billy (aka Eli) giving the camera "the look!"
We know how to have fun!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Shout Out for AAA


God is so good and today so was the AAA (Automobile Club). My mom practically forces me to have a AAA membership. I come from a long line to AAA members and my membership card reads that I have been a member for "44 years"! So here is the story. Last night my battery was dead...the wonderful Disneyland security started my car for me. Then this morning when I was leaving the hotel we stayed at in Anaheim it was dead again and would not take a jump start. So I called AAA.
Here is the amazing part! I placed the call to the 1-800 number at 7:17am. Bye 7:42am I was driving away. The wonderful helpful man (his name was James) from the AAA arrived quickly and replaced the battery very quickly. I did not even know about this service...they come out and will sell and install a battery right there. It was a little expensive for a battery yet I was willing to pay for the quick service.
So that is my story for the day! Don't worry...I already called and gave a positive report to the AAA!

Women of Faith

On Friday night and Saturday I (with my mom and other friends from Journey and some from Santa Clarita too!) went to the Women of Faith Conference at the Honda Center in Anaheim. We heard great speakers with powerful stories. The final speaker Luci Swindal reminded us that we often need to "Show up, Shut up, and Let go so God can work!"

Mom and I at Downtown Disney were we spent Saturday evening! Everyone says we look alike...I agree!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Jen's Math Song

Just the fraction dance!

Some DDR...last weekend I DDDP!


Some enjoy DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) last week I had the opportunity to go to two birthday parties and participated in what I would like to call DDDP...Dance Dance Dinner Party. On Saturday night (for Lauren B's birthday we went to a Japanese restaurant in Long Beach and were served in a private room). It was requested that I use the space ot share my fraction dance so of course I did. Check out the above post for the legendary "FRACTION DANCE"...do divide fractions. I apologize that you have to turn your head...we cannot figure out how to rotate it.


The above photo is from Sunday night's dinner (for Matt's Birthday) at Papadakis in San Pedro. It is a very cool family operated Greek restaurant complete with tap dancers, singer, and yes a belly dancer. Don't you know it that at our table of 23 people the belly dancer goes right up to me...gets me out of my seat (it wasn't too tough) and teaches me a little belly dancing. Just another night in the life of Jen! (Good thing Erik got this shot for the blog!)

A good one of me and Laurie after my dancing queen moment (Laurie stayed with me for a week and a half while she was back in LA for work. I love when she comes to be my roommate!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My 26th First Day of School!

From what I can calculate today marked my 26th first day of school! How do you figure?
2 years of preschool + 13 years from K-12 + 4 years at CSUN + 1 year at UCLA (the second year overlapped with my first year of teaching so we will not double count that + 6 years of teaching (this is day 1 of my 6th year...wow I cannot believe it) = 26 First Days of School...I hope I make it to 50 first days of school (that will be an accomplishment!).

Me (with my official teacher id...good stuff!), Lauren (a super fun Spanish teacher), and Melissa (my special math teaching buddy)...these are some of the amazing Christian woman that help to remind me that our job is totally worth it (on the days when the little things seem to get in the way).
I was trying to find a blast from the past photo of my sister and I on the first day of school and this is what I found instead...a holiday shot! I have the blond bowl cut and Christy has the famous curly due. I think I am about in the first grade or so (I am sure my parents can verify).

Monday, September 3, 2007

The not so much "labor"...Labor Day Weekend!

Stephanie visited on Friday...I am still trying to perfect the "selfy" picture!



The picture of the Manhattan Beach Pier says it all..."everyone in Southern California wants to live in the South Bay!" As you know I love living in the South Bay and by the number of umbrellas lined up on the sand it looks like many others feel the way I do (or at least travel to the beach to celebrate the last moments of summer!).


We rode bikes to Hermosa to Fiesta Hermosa (a street fair with lots of fun things to purchase, food vendors, etc.) Taylor and Shannon had fair food (as you can see from the clean plate where there once was a funnel cake) while Laura and I enjoyed one of our favorites...the Pita Pit! (I heart Pita Pit in a major way...try it if you have one nearby!)

A Special Labor Day BBQ

On Friday afternoon Taylor and I had the opportunity to serve at a special labor day BBQ in Redondo Beach. This is one of the monthly summer BBQ's that Kings Harbor Church sponsors to feed members of the south bay who need an extra helping of God's love!
Nik and Lindsey are the super organizers of this event. They have huge hearts and give so much to this homeless ministry. If you would like more information about these events please email Nik and nikbringleson22@yahoo.com and he would be happy to share more with you.
Taylor and I in the food line. The menu included hamburgers and hot dogs with all of the fixings, watermelon, beans, iced tea lemonade, and yummy homemade desserts.