Before I continue with what happened in the job saga, requests have been made about some of the more day to day details of our new life. It doesn’t occur to me to talk about them, because they don’t seem as dramaticly narrative:)

As far as friends go, we have met a few that seem pretty awesome. When we went to our new church last weekend, St. Seraphim OCA Cathedral in Dallas, we met this lady named Katy. We saw her the week before at Saturday Vespers when we were with Mike and Courtney, but we didn’t get a chance to talk to her. The next Sunday (a week ago), she came up and introduced herself. It went something like this, but much more bubbly: “Hi, I’m Kaaattty!!! Are you guys Russian? I didn’t talk to you last week because I figured you didn’t know any English!” Apparently, I now look Russian. Maybe you’re right Mom, I am too pale!!!

Anyways, she introduced us to her daughter, Christiana, who is a 15 yr. old high school student who is very beautiful, but a pure Plato nerd through and through. She also knows Latin like it’s her native language. This was very illustrated when we walked out of church and one of the deacons walked up to her and said, “Christiana…..I have a present for you!” and handed her the Vulgate. She stopped, grinned sheepishly, and took it saying to us, “What. This is who I am. Now you know. Don’t judge me!” She explained that she likes to do her morning and evening bible reading in another language so that she can be solidifying two things at once!

Katy also introduced us to her young adult friends and godchildren Benjamin, John, Curtis, and James. After bringing us upstairs to see her bible memory game that she had put together for all of the Sunday school children, she invited us out to lunch at Madeleine’s, this great cafe restaurant chain that they have here. Sure enough, all eight of us went and ordered lunch (every single worker in the entire restaurant knew Katy by name and kept giving her free stuff). And you know what? Five hours went by and we were all STILL THERE! It was crazy, we kept talking about stuff forever, from church to movies to books that we had read. It was awesome, it felt almost as good as home. At one point, Katy leaned over to me and said, “Do you have a cell phone? Can I have your number? You are so new here, you must be lonely!” I nodded yes, and she went, “Ohhh!!! I’ll be your friend!!” It was very cute.

As far as other friends, I still haven’t been able to get in contact with Jeanne Luthi, my old friend from junior high who goes to the University of Dallas. But I will soon.

Other stuff….Jesse likes his classes a lot, although Greek is “kicking his butt” (he says this, but he was in the measly 12% of the class who passed their quiz last week!). The teacher is a former student of Al Geier’s, and is HARDCORE. Jesse says it takes him at least 1/2 hr. after class before his butt cheeks start un-clenching. Uh oh, he probably didn’t want me to say that. Anyways, apparently it’s harder than normal Greek because they are learning all of the accents and it’s Attic Greek. It’s seriously taking him a minimum of 2 hrs./day studying (even weekends- like right this minute!) But they said by next year he should be able to read the Plato’s Dialogues. He is also taking Ethics, and Philosophy of Being, and looking for a job.

Mirabelle is back to her old self again, only a lot more cuddly and lovable. Her favorite new toy, and I kid you not, is a water bottle (something about the fact that she can bite it and it bounces back again…). She also has learned to play fetch with her new feather toy. There was one time that we almost lost her, I opened the door and there was this family of midget cats right outside. They are the weirdest looking creatures ever, a phenomena in and of themselves in that they have no joint in their legs, just 4 inch stumps. They also have phylasoraptor meows. Anyways, Mirabelle heard them and went to kill them like the courageous lion that she is. Only, I picked her up and threw her back in the house.

That’s it for now!

The Texas Conspiracy

Once upon a time, there was girl who had never had a full time job in her life. One day, she moved to Texas, and suddenly , without warning, she found herself amongst TWO jobs which were violently pulling on her all-encompassing sense of duty and exploiting her unquenchable affinity for getting lost on random lonely highways.

Yes, this is the tragic, yet strangely resolved tale of Kelly Marie, who thought she knew exactly what her job was going to be when she got to Texas, but found herself with more than she bargained for.

Her first day of work- roughly only 24 hrs. after arriving in the fair city of Dallas, was one of the worst in history. Mostly because, well, in Texas they like to play cat and mouse with their drivers by fluctuating between two extremes- not enough information signs, or OH-MY-GOSH-WHAT-DOES-ALL-THAT-MEAN–signs. It really isn’t very fair, because most Californians are used to helpful road signs. And Calfornians usually assume that the rest of the world plays nice.


It has to be a mass conspiracy. I mean, why else are there completely inaccurate signs all over the highways? Why else are there four different highways with the EXACT SAME NAME?? Why else would they tell the driver: “Exit to Denton Lane- 45 mi.” and then conveniently forget to ever remind him again?

You probably know where this is going. On her first day of work, Kelly left at7am, with the hopes of arriving at Castle Hills Montessori by 8am. Things weren’t supposed to start until 8:30, but hey, she figured it would be good to double Google Maps estimated travel time, just in case of traffic. Of course, there’s never any of that in Texas! (this is obviously a lie- EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas).

But Kelly could not find I-121 anywhere! She kept looking at the map going, “It says it’s right here! Where’s the sign? When do I enter?”. She drove around like this for 1/2 hr. before buying a map and asking the nice gas station man a few pointed questions, such as “Where am I?”. He responded by saying that the I-121 is actually called the I-183 for the first 4 miles. For no explained reason.

Obviously Kelly is stupid and doesn’t understand conspiracies.

So, she went about 20 miles, clipping along at a good pace on the “I-121-which-is-actually-called-the-183” until she reached the fork in the road. Or rather, the 4 1/2 forks in the road. The 1/2 is for the extra fork that they want you to take so that you crash. The other 4 went exactly like this (and I kid you not!): 121 N, 121 N, 121 N, 121 N.

Kelly took a 1 in 4 chance, since Google Maps obviously wasn’t in enough on the Texas Conspiracy to specify. She was on her own. And she chose wrong.

Now, since it was already 8:15, Kelly called the school to ask them which one of the remaining 121Ns she should take. The secretary took a 1 in 3 chance (the odds were getting better!) and guessed. Only, it was again wrong.

You’d think in a cat and mouse game that the cat would actually give the mouse a little room to fight back or run away, right? Well, not so with the Texas Conspiracy. For Kelly to get back to this particular hellish junction meant fighting her way through 4 lanes worth of traffic funneled into 1 measly frontage road with stoplights. So, to go 1 mi. back to the junction took a little less than forever.

When Kelly finally arrived at the school (at 9:30!!), they had to combine three 1/2 hr. classes into 1 giant 1/2 hr. class to make up for missed time. At first she thought that 25 kids wouldn’t be that bad- all that was planned for the day was learning names and teaching the “hello song”. It wasn’t until they were ushered in that she saw the horrendous truth- they were all 3-4 yr. olds. And roughly half of them were crying the only word they had learned thus far: “WAHH!”.

Somehow Kelly made it through. The rest of the week wasn’t so bad, only a few other minor mishaps. She thought that if I could just make it through one more Castle Hills Montessori Tuesday morning, all would be well. Unfortunately, the next Tuesday ushered in an accident right in the middle of the 121.

So, once more, she arrived at 9:30. And of course, the 3-4 yrs olds decided to break all of her crayons.

On top of that, like yarn unraveling, Friday arrived and she drove to the wrong “Carrollton Montessori”. How could that be? Well, the good ole boys of Texas decided to give 2 schools in the same city the EXACT SAME NAME! Go figure!

That night saw a lot of tears and frustration of the part of poor Kelly Marie. What was she doing trying to defeat the huge Texas Conspiracy? What if she got lost and wound up in Oklahoma? Maybe she should quit her job and find an 8 to 5 knitting.

Then, the strangest thing happened! On Saturday morning, she received a phone call from a Medical Office that had received her application a month prior. Their original response to her resume back in July was, “Well, we actually hope to have the position filled before you can move here, so sorry!!”. But now the phone call went something like this: “Our other employee didn’t work out, and we would like you to come in for an interview as soon as possible. The position is for our Front Office Manager, and we pay 40k/year with excellent benefits.”

True to form, Kelly can never resist the prospect of money. So there she was at 9am Monday morning, in the heart of Dallas, standing in front of the large Dallas Presbyterian Hospital.

Of course it was pouring rain. And also true to form, Kelly had forgotten her umbrella.

What does Kelly decide to do? Which job does she take? Will her tortured heart survive this Texas sized dilemma? Tune in for Part 2 of “The Texas Conspiracy!”


This is mainly to give you pictures of us in Texas if you would like to see some. So far, all of these are from when we visited San Antonio and stayed at the Voss home. We toured downtown San Antonio, mostly for the Riverwalk and the Alamo. Along the way, Jesse bought Kelly an awesome 1 year anniversary gift:)

My new ring

Here is an album of pictures on Facebook:

That’s all for now! Off to meet with the realtor!


First of all, I have a confession to make…I love Texas!! Well, I should say, I love North Eastern Texas- its just beautiful. Soo green, so many trees, the bluest sky ever…I know it isn’t always this way, it’s been an usually wet summer (which is why it’s so green that you can’t even tell its August, and they say its the first summer in a while that it hasn’t made it over 95 degrees). But I still am continually stunned by how beautiful everything is. I think my favorite part is the architecture- lots of brick and stone. Its very Georgian. especially when they’re nestled between lakes and trees. I think I’m actually going to have to take pictures so that y’all will believe me!

Yes, I did just say ya’ll.

Must take a break, Jesse brought me some Oreo Icecream:)

Okay, moving on.

Today I went and met my boss for the first time at her house in Grapevine. I only got a little lost, but hey, I got to see her town, which is, by the way, you guessed it, beautiful. It is, in fact, where many of the Dallas cowboys families reside in humongous castles by Southlake. The prices there are even almost as bad as LA!

Anyways, back to my boss, I really like her. She is not at all what I expected, probably because in some twisted way I was expecting her to look like Rhonda (anyone who knows this story will know why). But she totally didn’t, she is super cute and friendly, kind of like a “Jina Hawk” type. She was super organized and gave me this huge binder full of directions to every school that I will have to teach at this week, along with separate directions for how to get back to our apt. 🙂 I also got a big music duffle bag full of teaching gear, stickers, books, charts, etc. So thoughtful!

After a quick visit for necessities at Walmart, I picked up Jesse and we met a Realtor in Irving to look at houses. Our goal for the day was to get to know the area in terms of what would appreciate or depreciate in value. After several hours with her, a few hours sightseeing on our own, and a couple hours of research on the internet, we figured out that the best area, both in terms of beauty and long-term value, is North of the University of Dallas (basically anything North of the 183). We saw many homes in this area, and have a list of some to see tomorrow. So excited!!

Last but not least, Jesse and I visited the University of Dallas for the first time. We drove in, and I started to tear up. This wasn’t the first time I have gone all sniffly, because it’s like planning and planning something for months on end and then finally getting to see the fruits of your labor. Like going into labor for 6 months. I was just glad to finally see some results!! We looked at the Graduate Humanities Building, wandered around to the library, and hung out there for the rest of the night. I really liked the school- its about as small as Biola’s campus, but because of all the wide open space around it felt bigger.

Well, that’s all for tonight! I have to get up at 7am for my first day of work tomorrow- whooppee!