Sunday, June 9, 2013

London's Callin

 Alright! So I have been meaning to do a post with photos from our London trip but it kept getting pushed back so here you go!
So a summary of what led up to us going to London.
1. Warren joined a CFA(certified Financial Accountant) team with 3 other guys from UNLV to compete in an annual global competition where each team is assigned a business and then they have to analyze everything about that business and give a presentation as if to a potential buyer on whether they should buy, sell, or hold the stock in that company.
2. They competed in a regional event against other western states in AZ and won by .8 points. :)
3. They went to Ontario Canada 3 weeks later to compete against all of North and South America. They beat out a ton of other schools including some of those high end Ivy league schools and won all of the competition. (crazy right? When he called me I didn't believe him)
4. They then went to London to compete with international teams which included, India, Poland, and New York ( they get to go because New York has so much financial clout).
5. They got 2nd place. Poland won, but everyone thought we won until they made the announcement it was that close.

So I got to go with Warren and putz around in LONDON!! for 4 days. It was wicked awesome. So here are some highlights.
Buckingham Palace Gates. So Fancy!!

Changing of the guard. It was spring break for most of Europe which we didn't know, so there are like 2,000 people here on a weekday.

Who knew that the changing of the guard included a full band playing awesome hits from Abba?

These guards looked like little kids, I really wanted to touch their hats. They looked SO FUZZY!

English version of trash. :)

Old doorway that is part of the Abbey.

Having a nice time and taking photos in front of the parliament building. Wicked old building.

Side view of Westminister Abbey. Awesome gothic architecture.


Front view of Westminister abbey. They wanted 25lbs to tour inside which is like 35$ for us so we just took a picture out front.

Amazing sandwich shops! They had all these varieties just made up and they would wrap it up for you. We had a hummus with roasted vegetables. So yummy....

Buckingham palace is at the very end of this picture. This is The Mall. It is a walking path that goes along St. James park. I walked around on my own for an afternoon. I think I probably did 10 miles, my feet hurt so much at the end.

This was the other end of the mall, it is called Admiralty Arch. So dang Fancy!! It just awed me at how old all their buildings are, I've never seen stuff so well made that it just lasts for centuries.

Trifalgar square and the National art Gallery. As an art teacher this gallery was the most amazing place I have ever been. You know when you see artwork in books. They had all of that artwork here. I saw Monet, Gaughin, Rembrandt, and thousands of others. Paint strokes so amazing that the flowers looked transparent. I wanted to stay there forever.

Yeah! The sun came out and we had lunch at this pub. It was meat and potatoes, but their dessert! Those English make amazing desserts.

Upward view of our hotel, the Crowne plaza St. James. Look at that Moulding!!!!  

Hey all you silly tourists!

I always like to take pictures of the walk signs, every country has a different attitude. It is fun to see the difference in symbols.

Covent Garden Market. We did some fun shopping at the locally run booths. It was super cool with an upstairs and donwnstairs. There was a group of students playing stringed instruments, it echoed through the whole place. Beautiful..

Really old archway I think it said it was built in like 1652. I mean really? an archway that is over 300 years old.

The changing of the police guards. We were walking back to our hotel and probably 150 guys walked out of that red building, it was like a magic trick I didn't know where they all fit. Oh and English cops don't carry guns, and they walk everywhere. Pretty cool and it was only 3 buildings down from our hotel which made us feel even better,

St. Paul's Cathedral. Just a gorgeous gorgeous building.

The water fountain for St. Paul's Cathedral. :) Have to have a fancy water fountain for a fancy building.

The Thames river, the setting for many classic books and some of the London skyline.

Hey thats our reflection in a big ball!
So our trip was pretty awesome. It would have been even better if we could have stayed longer but other than that no complaints.  On our last day we also visited the Tate Modern art gallery. Again I was in pure paradise. I showed Warren some of my favorite artists.This one below is a sculpture by Alexander Calder (rates up there in my top 3 artists)  he was the first to make mobiles. It was sitting perfectly still on a pedastal with no movement and I was aghast at Hello!! this is a mobile, it is supposed to move!! So I bent over the red rope and blew as hard as I could and it rotated! Made me so happy. Some guy recorded me, so maybe sometime I will find that recording online. I'd really like too because it was definitely an awesome moment.
Moral of the story, get out and explore the's good for you.  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Summer is approaching

So much fun that summer is coming up again. Warren  and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary this week .Crazy that it has been 8 years. We took Eleanor and went to steak n shake..mmmmm

There is a new teacher at my school who is young, brown haired, and short. Her kids keep calling me by her name....yeah not cool with that. So a change in hair color was in order. First time being blonde since I was a natural at like 4 years old. Not too shabby. :)

Scared me though. I thought my hair was going to fall out or come out orange. This picture makes it look kind of orange but it is like gold with an antique gold at the ends.

In April, my sister and I had a booth at the UNLV festival of communities. These are the best photos I did. They had a photo competition but because I am not a student, I couldn't win. Soooooo not fair.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Catching up

Birthday Party for my awesome Brother in Law, Karl. They have misters. Ooooooo

Eleanor really likes the misters, if we ever get a porch I would definitely add those in.

Still a couple cool nights in June so we did camping in the backyard. Then Eleanor has asked at least 2 times a week since then if we can go camping again.

Warren said Eleanor stayed up super late so here she is sleeping in.

Birthday party for Eleanor's best friend, Charlie. The pool was super cold so we hit up the sprinklers.

I asked her to smile. :)

I am amazed at Eleanor's memory, she brings up trick or treating all the time, asking when we can do it again and if she can wear her lady bug costume.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Where has the time gone?

The latest photos of Eleanor and I. :)
Friday was Kentucky derby hat day at school, I found this hat and gussied it up with some of my hairclips, yeah nobody else had a kentucky derby type hat at school. :) Guess I am special.

Ah, my little Eleanor. She is so amazing. She will be turning 3 in a little over a month. We did potty training over spring break and it took like 2 days, then a week later I decided to put a little potty in her room so she could go at night instead of wearing a diaper and it worked. We are completely diaper free, it just floors me. She loves to sing and make up her own mixes of songs. On the way to church she sang yo ho ho I'm a pirate. She likes to mix in row row your boat. She can sing ring around the rosies super fast including the second verse and do the actions. :) She is a whiz at puzzles, her favorite is her princess puzzle. Takes her about 15 minutes. She loves to dance, twirl, and do balancing stuff. She is all about girly stuff. She can ride her bike or scooter around our block. And she is super happy and LOVES us. I love that she is a snuggler and a kisser. She makes me smile and teaches me so much patience. My awesome Eleanor.

It has been a busy spring. Warren was laid off and went back to school full time which was a big adjustment for him. He watches Eleanor 3 days a week and the other 2 days he goes to school and she goes to our friend Jackie(who is amazing). I've just been teaching away. Two of my schools finally figured stuff out and got me into a portable!! So now I teach 3 days a week in my own portable and 2 days on a cart, not too bad. :)

I was hired on as the new art teacher for Louis Wiener Elementary for next year! So excited to have my own room and we have been enjoying coming up with Wiener jokes. :)

Just found out I am pregnant. I'm at 6 weeks. I can't really celebrate or get all excited because I don't know if it will last or if I will lose this one too. We've decided that if I do lose it, this will be the last. I can't do that again. Otherwise, if everything is good we will have a baby sometime in the last week of December. We are hoping for that because I really want Eleanor to have a sibling, she is such an awesome kid I know she will be a great older sister. So I'm just trying not to think about it...

Whoo hoo only like 4 weeks of school left!!! I have some plans for fixing stuff up over the summer, working on my new art room, volunteering, working out , and hanging out at the pool.

I'll also be able to keep my blog a little more updated. :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ahh the holidays...

December was definitely a fun month. I think I will kind of recap the month in a list because it is simpler for my brain to think that way.

1. Teaching school was pretty great that week before break. We had a teacher conference day where I had no students. Then my kindergarten teachers canceled art class one day along with my last period of the day so I only taught 2 out of 5 classes that day. The last day of school was a little nuts but not as bad as I thought it would be.
2. We bought a tree this year. Usually we go and cut down our own but it didn't work out so we bought one and I Loved how soft and full it is. Our usual trees are pretty scraggly because they are desert pine trees.

3. Eleanor understood the whole Santa Clause thing this year so she had fun meeting him at the ward Christmas Party. We checked out a couple christmas board books and she wanted to read those every night and now she knows all the words that go with the season.

4. Eleanor Loves Christmas lights. We took her to the cactus garden at Ethel M and she kept saying "Look at these lights!" Also anytime we were driving at night she would point out the lights. Happily alot of people on our street like to put out lights so that made it festive.

5. This year Warren's parents went to AZ to visit their oldest daughter and her family so we got to have a  Christmas at home, which was extremely relaxing.

6. We were able to go bowling with my family on Christmas Eve(family tradition). We haven't been able to go since the first year we were married, because we usually spend Christmas Eve with Warren's family. Eleanor had fun bowling but mostly just running around with her cousins. Warren bowled his best score ever and beat everyone, I think it was like 122. 

7. The week before Christmas, Eleanor received a visit from Santa and his elf(Warren's cousin Andrew, and his sister Laurel) They brought her a present and visited a little. She was a little hesitant at first but was pretty happy at the end, especially when she got her first present to put under the tree.

8. Christmas morning, Eleanor slept in because she was so tired from bowling. I had to finally wake her up at 8:15. My sister who has 4 kids, gave us the scooter and bike since her kids had grown out of them. Eleanor loved those the best out of all her presents. I had a lot of fun this year just watching Eleanor open gifts and to see her reaction.

9. We went to church which was a nice break and it felt good to have an hour devoted to the real meaning of christmas. Then in the afternoon we went to my parent's house were we opened presents, ate food, and did the story of Christ's birth. I made a white dress for Eleanor to wear as an angel and she was so excited to get to be the Angel and wear her dress. She wouldn't take it off once we put it on. I'll have to ask Warren for a picture, he used his phone to do some since I was a shepherd.

10. We also did a holiday party with two couples that are the same age as us and they each have one kid. That was a ton of fun. We put the kids at one house with a babysitter and then all the adults came to my house and we did a ham and everyone brought food. It was enjoyable to just visit with each other and talk and play games. Definitely something we will have to do more often.

Overall, December was an awesome month. I enjoy the holidays so much more now that I have a little person to share it with. I'm grateful we were able to spend time with family and friends this month. It was a great month to remind us of what is important in the coming year. I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Time

Christmas 2011

I think 2011 was way better than 2010. 2010 I didn't even want to send out a christmas card because I felt it was such a junky year that I wanted to just move on and do a new year. So this year was quite an improvement on it. So this year in a recap.

1.Warren finished his financial classes and got some traveling in. He visited Kentucky and we went with him to LA.

2. I went back to substituting which was emotionally challenging but ultimately made me feel much better about myself.

3. Eleanor had her 2nd birthday and is such an amazing kid, I can't believe all the stuff she does. 

4. I did a 4 day girl weekend with my sisters to Los Angeles and it felt amazing!!

5. Warren did a 50 mile hiking trip through the Sierra Nevadas for Mt Whitney and he survived!

6. We went to Solvang CA and then to San Francisco where we stayed for 4 days at a fancy hotel, ooo la la!

7. I was hired on as a full time art teacher at 3 schools so I get to teach awesome classes and not get asked to do anything because admin forgets I 'm there.

8. Eleanor Loves hanging out with her friend Camden during the week, sometimes she doesn't even want to come home with me. 

9. We've been trying to have another kid but haven't had much luck but I think next year will be our year, and if not, I'm ok with that, I'm so grateful that I have Eleanor.

10. Warren is losing his job but now he can finally finish his Bachelors degree which will improve his opportunities and he will get to watch Eleanor 3 days a week which will help relieve my guilty feelings and he is a big kid so they will both have fun. :)

My faith has grown stronger this year as we've made decisions based on what the Lord wants us to do and we have seen our lives go on a good path because of it. I know that what I am doing is right and I am grateful for this year, that I have grown and progressed. I hope other people have improved this year, I think that is something we can all do, work towards slowly improving ourselves so each year we get a little better. I wish all my friends and family a wonderful Christmas season, thank you for all your love and support. 
Many blessings to you, 
Love, the Stenders.

Welcome to Stenderville!

Thanks for stopping by.
My name is Melinda and my husband's name is Warren. We reside in fabulous Las Vegas!
I am a stay at home mom and Warren works for the local Plasterer and Cement Mason Union.
We like to do all kinds of stuff and we like to keep in contact with all our family and friends, so we hope you enjoy our blog and please let us know what you think.

Love to all our family and friends and hope you have a great day!