Well several weeks ago Jeremiah and I found out just how low the housing market had sunk out in the west valley. We LOVE our home, but when the house across the street (which is MUCH bigger than ours) is cheaper than our house- it made us think. Because of our situation, we qualified for a nice loan with a really great interest rate. So... we began looking...
I fell in love with a house... the only major difference was an extra bedroom and bath and a little bit bigger kitchen/family room.
Our only obstacle... finding a renter (because we would lose money on our house at this point). So we looked around- a few prospects fell through and we prayed hard! Jeremiah and my last prayer about it was "Lord, give us a CLEAR direction." The next day, our last prospect for a renter (a renter that we knew/ church family that we trusted) fell through and the only house we really liked was sold! After every house we looked at, we came back home and we just said "wow, we really have an amazing house."
I (along with many amazing ppl) have spent so long decorating, painting, improving this house... after our CLEAR direction was shown- we decided... why not spent the money we had been saving on improving our current house- to make it something even more lovable. So... that is what we did!
Nothing in our house was new. Every furniture piece and appliance was used either from family/friends or off craigslist. We decided to get a new sectional, coffee table 2 more sitting chairs. This changed our living room from seating 2-3, to seating 9! Then we decided to landscape our backyard. It has been nothing but weeds and dirt since the house was built. We are now totally changing everything! A huge new patio, flag stone seating area/planter, fire pit, rock, trees, bbq, flowers, patio furniture- the works! ALso redoing the front yard with a new rock and plants. We realized that spending a lot of our savings on a down payment of a new house with no new furniture was not as appealing as spending just a little bit of our savings on improving our house now.
I am excited to really make our house an entertainment house. Lots of places to sit, fire pit to entertain, patio to sit on and seating galore!
Pictures to come soon. The backyard is in the works (will be done totally in about 2-3 weeks!) and we just need 1 more end table to complete our living room. I am excited at this decision- still knowing that a bigger house will be in our future (once kiddos come) and the market rises just a tad :)
God has blessed us IMMENSELY and brought people in our path to help us to get out of previous debt and be very secure in our marriage financially. I just pray that we continue to use our money to bless God. We believe that even allowing our house to be more of a place of fellowship through more space to bring people in, is a small way to praise Him through His money in another way.
Can't wait to show everyone the results of it all!!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Well several weeks ago Jeremiah and I found out just how low the housing market had sunk out in the west valley. We LOVE our home, but when the house across the street (which is MUCH bigger than ours) is cheaper than our house- it made us think. Because of our situation, we qualified for a nice loan with a really great interest rate. So... we began looking...
Posted by Amber Hann at 6:48 PM
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I can't believe it's been a month since I blogged. In 1 1/2 weeks, I will be 25% of the way done with my first year of teaching.
WHAT!?!?!? Can that be true!?!?
My schedule is nuts at this school because I have not repeated a lesson in 8 weeks... so I have done a year's worth of lesson plans in 8 weeks and now in 2 weeks I finally get to just repeat almost everything I did the past 8 weeks. SOOO EXCITED!
This year so far has been absolutely incredible. I have had my really hard days where I got up at 5:30 (everyday haha) and just cried on the way to work thinking "is this what I am supposed to be doing" and almost everyday after my first class is over... I have a renewed spring in my step thinking "yes! yes it is!!"
I am so attached to all 250 kids I have right now. in 2 weeks i get a new batch of 250 kids... I hope my heart melts for all of them just the same. I have 5 year olds who don't know how to sit on their bottom or tie their shoe and a few hours later I have 13 year olds who are dealing with more issues at home and with their self image than I could ever imagine. It is a challenge but to see their faces light up with joy in my class can never ever out weigh the hard days.
My prayer has been to uplift those hard students (and man do I have some hard hard hard students) and encourage the great students at the same time! God constantly reminds me that there is more to each of these students than what I see. I have students in foster care, students who were abused, students whose parents are both in jail, students who have to work on the weekends to help provide for their families, students who have great lives and spirits, students who are spoiled, students who care so much about the adults around them and students who have been burned by so many adults that they aren't sure if you are for real... It's so much to deal with sometimes but man is it a great position to be in! So much influence!!
I have my first "concert" on Friday and I am sooooo proud of my students. My junior high students are doing STOMP (learning rhythm and putting together a performance with random household instruments). Last week right before we started learning the routine they said "Mrs. Hann- we aren't going to be good. This is going to look so bad!" and I promised them "If you work hard, I will NEVER let you embarrass yourself or look bad." On Friday they finished learning half of their routine and they all had the biggest smiles on their face. One of my rough kids came up to me and said "High five Mrs. Hann! This is going to rock!" It just made me want to cry. They aren't becoming amazing musicians, doing ground breaking things- but they are growing in their confidence and trusting another adult in their life not to disappoint them!
I am so so so so so blessed. To have an amazing husband, a great ministry and home church and the most amazing job.
My students always ask "Why don't you have kids Mrs. Hann- you're married so you should have kids (haha so funny)" and I told one of my classes "Well I have all of you guys- that's enough kids for me right now" haha. They all said "oh we are like your kids!!" Gosh even typing about them right now makes my heart melt!
I am excited to take a week break on the first week of October to rest and recoup from this crazy quarter! Many more successes and praises to come!
Posted by Amber Hann at 1:19 PM
Saturday, August 15, 2009
FINALLY UPDATING :)
It is a good thought to know that I have enough free time right now to finally update my blog.
These past 3 weeks have been ridiculous.
I have officially been a teacher for 2 weeks now :) and I... LOVE IT!!!!!!!
It is the greatest reward, the hardest thing I've ever done and so worth every tear, laugh, penny, loss of sleep.... worth it all!
I had a great first day of teaching. I actually had my admin come in and observe (my first day- yikes!) and they announced at staff meeting how impressed they were with me- it was a nice feeling... but..
day 2 came haha
I cried on day 2 and 3- I didn't think i could do it anymore (sounds weird but true). I knew the first week would be hard but finding out that I had a class full of kinders who didn't speak English, who had specials needs but weren't tested yet, 32 5th graders who also had language barriers and 7th/8th graders who I wasn't sure would enjoy the "elective" they chose to be in my class.
Monday came of week 2- and I spent SO long on lesson plans, making it work well- and it paid off! Week 2 was great (had its struggles) but I pushed forward and got so many great rewards this week. I love giving the teachers a prep during my class, I love encouraging teachers by telling them growth I see in their class, and I love meeting my coworkers and making friendships.
Being a believer in my work place has been difficult, not because I can't share with the students (because I believe the love and acceptance I show to the students will speak so much louder than most things) but with my coworkers. A lot of them have asked me to hang out with them and I have been invited to a junior high teachers party next week (which I think J and I will stop by at- just to make an appearance because I do enjoy those teachers a lot) but a lot of their "hanging out" is not something that I do because it usually involves alcohol. So I am hoping that this party next week, will be ok, that I can still enjoy myself and not make a big deal about not drinking. I want them to respect me and be able to speak into their lives through that respect (not through condemnation).
I am optimistic about this year- I know it will be hard but I am keeping my head above the water and truly can say I am happy!
(not to mention we have 2 paychecks! Let the saving begin!!)
That's the scoop. Check out my class pics on my facebook :) Until next time.... :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 5:18 PM
Monday, July 20, 2009
With only 2 weeks left until my first day of teaching, emotions ran high today.
I got into my classroom today and was completely overwhelmed...
I went to begin decorating and because another teacher (the band teacher) is using my classroom for the last hour of the day, a lot of the stuff in the class was hers and there was SOO much stuff in the back storage room that overwhelmed me... I just felt as thought there was so much that with the little time I have with the students that I couldn't possibly handle it all.
I think any first year teacher feels this way... but it wasn't until today when it all became real did I really emotionally crack. I am a confident person and in my abilities as an educator and musician... but I am no longer under another teacher (whether my college professors, observing with other teachers, or my cooperating teacher from student teaching)... I AM IT and that scares the heck out of me.
When I went in to get a tour of the school last week, it shocked me how much the admin valued me. The assistant principal said to me "Amber, right after you finished your interview, we unanimously decided that you would be hired- even before we finished all the rest of the interviews." He said, "The other school that you interview for, one of their admin was at our school after you did the interview there and they asked us who we wanted to hire and I told them, Amber Hann, and they said 'darn! we so wanted her!"
Not trying to seem overly confident, but it was a GREAT reminder and assurance that they had faith in me even before I set foot in my classroom.
Well this morning after I had my break-down, Jeremiah tried his best to comfort and I love him for standing by me even when I doubt myself... I needed to get a stapler from the front office and at the EXACT moment that I walked into the work room, the principal of my school (who I had not met yet) ran into me and introduced himself and pulled the AP aside to talk with me also.
I was not crying at this point but I mentioned that I was a bit overwhelmed but that I had so many great ideas and want to do lots of programming and little concerts and they both just smiled and got so excited.
I live for programs (haha thats what I've done and been apart of since grade school) and it's my passion. So I am excited to show the school and community that this school deserves to see their students perform musically... They just want me to have a very well run classroom (management wise) and to see the results of my students' music through programs. I CAN DO THAT! :)
I am not praying enough... I need to... only God can hold me during the hard days, only He can give me total confidence in the abilities HE has given me... I can do this...
I have lots of work to do this week with lesson plans (I realized that I don't need to have all my 900 lesson plans for the year done by next week... haha I just need 50 or so... no big deal :)
well time to go to bed. Headed to the dr. tomorrow b/c I need to find out why the heck I am getting UTIs at least once a month. it's painful and it's moved to my kidneys (so my back is killing me!) I hope they can do some tests or something and find out!
Well pics of my class to come soon! It's a work in progress!
Posted by Amber Hann at 8:12 PM
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I am sooo excited about going to Wicked tonight! I had that soundtrack memorized right when it came out 6 years ago! My girlfriends and I would sing "Popular" while driving in the car! Such a cute, great, AMAZING musical. If you haven't heard any of the music, go to Youtube or something and listen! It is great!
Jeremiah has never seen it and my parents have a friend who could get great seats for free- so as an anniversary present they got us tickets to go with our family. We love musicals- our favorite part about Disneyland i the Aladdin musical they have (at Cali Adventure- it's like an hour long- go check it out!)
Anyway.. all that to say- we are going to get all dressed up, head to dinner with the fam and then have our minds amazed!
Posted by Amber Hann at 9:53 AM
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Well today marks our 1 year anniversary! I can't believe it came and went so fast!
That day was such a blessing! Our family, friends, people around us to encourage us. Today Jeremiah surprised me with a DVD of our wedding day and reception. We have had the tapes sitting in our office area for a year and I guess he took them several weeks ago and converted them to DVD and made a whole movie out of it. It was incredible!!
So many things have happened since June 20, 2008...
an amazing honeymoon-
some great concerts-
wonderful first holidays together
some fun adventures
Long hard road of school, student teaching and... GRADUATION
This year has been wedded bliss (no pun intended). Jeremiah has treated me like a queen, he is so special to me.
We have worked so hard this year on our marriage. Working through struggles, fights, differences, time restraints, money issues, and God came through every time in the end. I doubted so many times, God revealed Himself each and every step of the way.
Jeremiah, to my wonderful husband and best friend,
You have showed me how God calls a man to lead his family. You have loved me more than I could have ever imagined. You fight for me, protect me, cuddle with me, kiss me, care about my feelings and pray for me. You have given our relationship up to Christ and He is blessing us. Thank you for reminding me daily that I am worth the love that God gives and that you give to me because of Him. I pray that we grow even more in love each day, week, month and year and that we look to God for each decision in our life. I cannot wait until the year of our marriage that we can grow our family with children and new adventures. I can't wait for another year and what amazing ways God will show up in our lives. I pray that our ministry is a reflection of our marriage and that our love is a total reflection of our relationship with God. I love you Jeremiah Richard Hann, with all of my heart. One year... 100 years... I will always love you. You are my best friend and my biggest supporter- thank you.
With all the love I have,
Posted by Amber Hann at 1:19 PM
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The closer and closer July comes, the more nervous I get that I am actually going to get my own classroom... Everything is up to me (for the most part). I have always been so confident in my abilities but now that I am accountable to myself basically (no professors, no cooperating teacher to fall back on... just me). I stayed up late last night just thinking (worrying haha) about if I can do it.
This Thursday I go and sign my new teacher hiring paperwork to make it official. I get all my information on my salary (still unreal!), benefits, schedule and new teacher orientation (at least there will be other people in my situation. I hope that once we get back from vacation I can finally see my classroom, find out what resources and curriculum I have and get down to work with lesson plans, choir music and many ideas! I am so grateful that my mom works for a city choir so I have TONS of music at my disposal and I have so many music teacher friends who will be of great help and support. I am the only music teacher at my school (minus the band teacher who travels to a few schools) so unlike a regular classroom teacher, I don't have a team of people that are teaching the same thing, going through the same thing, so that's the hard part about being a specials teacher, you are basically it.
I know that first year teaching is "survival year" but that scares me to think that I just need to "survive." I'm sure it will be tough, rewarding, eye opening and a blessing. I just want to get ahead of myself with the 3 weeks I have before meetings start to get at least lesson plans started... I can't wait to decorate my classroom, figure out my classroom rules and meet the over 850 kids that I will need to learn their names, faces, personality, etc.
I am most nervous about my colleagues and making "friends." haha it's like high school again (making friends haha). I tend to be an introvert when I'm in new situations (not in my classroom but around people my own age or older). I don't want to isolate myself but I know it will take time for me to open up and meet others... I just pray God gives me confidence, humility and wisdom. I will definitely have to rely on God moreso than I ever thought this next year. I can't do this on my own... I can do anything with Him though! :)
This is my beautiful new home for the next year :) This school is SOOO beautiful, I can't even imagine what my classroom will look like!!
Posted by Amber Hann at 9:45 AM
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Sometimes I look back at my life and wonder why God has blessed me so much... honestly. It scares me to think that I have not gone through much heartache or pain in my life. I have been disappointed, heart broken, felt alone and many other "hard" times but sometimes I think, "when does the really hard stuff come... and am I ready for it?"
I see the extreme pain that people are going through, so much even this week. I know God will prepare me for it when it does hit but have I lived such an innocent life so far that when real true pain hits- will I run straight to God and know that I am ok?
So many people have been in my mind the past couple of days, some of them people I don't even really know. But I think, God must know they are ready for something this BIG- does God want me to dive deeper in His Word, draw closer to Him, pray like mad and prepare myself for tragedy that is inevitable?? YES- I don't think I take that serious enough.
I have not experienced loss like most people have (death or abandonment), I have not experienced physical pain hardly at all (haha child birth might be the first way I break myself into that haha), and have had little disappointment in my life. What is the first big thing that will come into my life and am I too naive to think that it can happen at any point. I feel almost like knocking on wood as I write this post (God forbid something does happen).
Can anyone else relate? I am so blessed and yet humbled to think that God in His infinite wisdom knows when I will be ready and will walk with me through anything. Do I take His sovereign plans seriously enough to do something about it?
Posted by Amber Hann at 10:16 AM
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Have you ever just watched junior high students who like each other? (or remember the days...?)
You spent all your time thinking about them, talking about them, writing about them... but rarely any time actually TALKING to them.
I watch these relationships play out every week (seeing as though my job and ministry revolve around teenagers) and was compelled to think that that is what my relationship with God is like sometimes.
I tend to think about God a lot, write about Him in blogs, status, etc., and talk about Him a lot to students, parents, others etc.
But I was convicted to think how often to I actually talk TO God. Not as much as the others I'm afraid.
It was a big awakening to think that I think it's silly for younger students to like someone so much, think about them so much- but not EVER ACTUALLY talk to them.
Am I like that?? Too often... yes.
Posted by Amber Hann at 1:49 PM
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I am so excited that we decided to go out on a limb and use priceline for our vacation in 2 weeks.
There was one set back but other than that - it was perfect!!
We bid on 4 & 3 1/2 star hotels and got some amazing deals. We are spending 1 night in Hollywood and we bid $60 and got the hotel Marriott in Downtown Los Angeles :) It's beautiful! The set back- they charge you to park (and you have to valet park) -boo. So we are going to try and park somewhere close and walk, but we'll see.
We next bid on hotels in San Diego and that was a bit harder, but we ended up getting another Marriott hotel really close to Sea World but again we got hit with a parking fee (I think we will have an easier time finding a place to park in San Diego but downtown LA might be harder).
Needless to say when we averaged our hotel rates at $70 a night for amazing hotels! Heck even if we have to pay the parking fee, it still makes the quality TONS cheaper than the normal price.
We are so excited to find great deals for this vacation and spend less money than we thought :)
We did our research for priceline and got lots of tips and it definitely paid off :) Give it a try sometimes!
Posted by Amber Hann at 9:32 AM
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
This is for you Lauren!
Well this summer were had many different ideas for vacation... we were not sure what this year would hold with my job situation so we planned on using some tax return money to get annual passes to Disneyland. This would ensure that no matter how type money continued to be that we would have a sure-fire vacation for the next year.
Well since the job offer at Country Place Elementary- we had been thinking of a less expensive summer trip since we want to save up to go to New York next summer (our favorite place ever!)
So my cousin told me about a deal that Costco has for a Southern California pass (it is on sale this summer). So we have decided we are going to get this pass which will give us a 3 day park hopper to Dland, 1 day to Sea World, 1 day to the San Diego Zoo and 1 day to Universal Studios!
Jeremiah has never been to San Diego or Universal Studios so we thought it would be so much fun to spend some time in Dland then spent the rest of the time in San Diego and LA. Gives us more of an adventure and will be fun to go a few places Jeremiah has never been. So now we have to make a few hotel arrangements (Pastor Greg might come in handy with his Priceline/Hotwire intelligence!) and might not be able to go hit up Saddleback but will definitely go to some church that weekend either in LA/Anaheim or San Diego (always fun to check out other churches and youth groups on our weekends off).
So that is our plan this summer. That gives us about a week to wind down, be together and get away and then I will jump straight into my classroom, meetings and ready for the school year.
For now I am relaxing, cleaning, meeting up with some girl friends I haven't seen in a while and getting lots of SLEEP!
Posted by Amber Hann at 12:42 PM
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Well this week was the most incredible experience of our ministry life so far.
Last summer we had camp, but as I have said before, I just did not put any heart into it (seeing as though our wedding was the same week and I had laryngitis- haha crazy time).
This year we dove head first into planning camp, praying for the students and preparing ourselves for what God was going to do- but I NEVER thought God would work in these students' lives as much as He did.
Some setbacks happened a few weeks before camp which discouraged us but we were determined to make this about the students and not dwell on things that were no longer in our control. There are several things we wanted to do differently but God had a different plan and I knew He was testing our trust in Him. I could feel Him saying "Will you trust me if I take this away? What about if you don't have this anymore? What if this happens?" and each step of the way Jeremiah and I said "Whatever happens, we can handle it with God."
We started off not thinking we would have enough kids signed up (we had to pay for a minimum of 100 kids- whether they signed up or not, that was our contract with the camp. As of 2 months ago we only had about 50 kids signed up- that was soo scary thinking we would lose that much money- we don't expect to make money off of camp but we definitely did not want to owe tons of money. The day we left for camp we took 119 people with us to camp! That was a miracle by God, we gave out many scholarships to kids that would not have been able to go and we even had to add another cabin of boys because so many students signed up. It was INCREDIBLE!
I got SUPER sick last week and was not able to help as much as I could, but I pushed through it and God really gave Jeremiah extra strength and energy to be able to take care of me and get camp in order. Miraculously, I was over my sickness the exact day we left for camp. God never ceases to amaze me.
The camp was amazing, students were eager to hear from God's Word, to make new friends and play some awesome games! Jeremiah, for the first time I believe in his time at PVC, really became the face of the jr. high ministry and he was so excited to feel and be seen as their pastor and not the worship leader or the helper. It was amazing to see him come full circle, grow in his confidence and really let God use him and to see the students embrace him.
Our students are going through some amazingly hard things in life, they were hungry for answers, questions about life, my small group of girls asked hours worth of questions about the Bible and questions about God- I was blown away by the questions and discussion we had and the other mentors said they had the same.
We had about 20 students raise their hand that they accepted Christ for the first time and a majority of the students took Pastor Greg's challenge on the last night to stand up and live their life for Christ. The whole camp was called Fl!P- all about flipping their lives from what the world teaches to what God teaches. I cried on the last night, watching the students tune in to Greg's message and really challenge themselves. I am so proud of our junior highers and our leaders.
Junior high ministry is one of the least rewarding in the sense that they usually take and take and take from what we give, and we rarely see thanks in return. This past week I was moved to tears in thinking that this is the exact ministry God has called Jeremiah and I to and that we are rewarded in seeing life change from the students and are encouraged that they are becoming prepared to go to high school. I am so thankful that we have people supporting us either through prayer or being apart of the junior high ministry. God has called some amazing volunteers to join us and we are so thankful for people who have a heart for junior highers- without them, we don't know where we would be!
We are home now, after Sunday at 12:30 we will get to settle down, have a date night and get ready for our vacation in a few weeks! This summer is going to be great!!
Posted by Amber Hann at 1:22 PM
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Well it's been 2 weeks since I graduated and it has been SO eventful (great and horrible at the same time).
After graduation, I knew I had 2 weeks of "free" time before jr. high camp madness, but I never expected those 2 weeks to be totally full from the start.
I had a day with Jeremiah, just to ourselves, and Tuesday was the most uneventful day of the 2 weeks. Wednesday I went back to the school I student taught at and helped with the talent show and whatnot and Thursday the madness began. Thursday I had a zillion things to do after graduation, thank you cards, organizing things around the house and Friday morning I got the best call ever... "Hello Mrs. Hann, I am calling to schedule an interview with you for Country Place Elementary School for the music teacher position."
I just about panicked and called Jeremiah and my family... haha didn't even have a job, but just an interview freaked me out! So I started looking up interview tips and questions and whatnot. Saturday was the Phoenix Children's Chorus alumni concert so I got to see some old friends and loved watching Jeremiah play bass.
Sunday came around and I got another phone call.. "Hello Mrs. Hawn (haha), this is the future principal for Littleton Elementary School and I would like to schedule an interview with you for the music teacher position at our school."
WHAT!?!? This was unreal!
I got super sick on Sunday but sucked it up on Monday for my interview, I felt very confident in the interview but there were 4 other people interviewing. I get a call on Tuesday evening "Hello Mrs. Hann, this is Mr. Matera from Country Place Elementary and I would like to recommend you for hire to Human Resources for the general music/choir position at Country Place." (I ALMOST SCREAMED!)
Well after much counsel, I decided to go on the second interview I had on Wednesday, got a call Wednesday evening saying "Hello, Mrs. Hann (she figured out how to say it correctly) I would like to recommend you for hire to HR for the music position at Littleton." OH GEEZ.
So long story short- I felt more pulled towards Country Place and their direction for the music program (while Littleton was a great, warm environment). I accepted the position at Country Place.
So this week amidst a great sickness (severe UTI and a viral infection in my stomach), I leave for camp on Monday, and a week from this Monday I go down to the Department of Education and get my teaching certificate and soon after go down to the district to sign my contract :)
I am soooooo nervous to actually be a teacher, alone, on my own- my OWN classroom. I already subscribed to a music teacher's magazine that I LOVE and have several things I want to get for my classroom. YAY my dream has finally come true and thinking about actually having a FULL TIME pay check is unreal!
thank you for all of your support, encouragement- next year will be but I know I have great people around me to help! :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 3:46 PM
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Well the day came and went... college came and went and now I'm a college graduate. It hasn't really sunk in that school could officially be over for me. While I would love one day to get my Masters and maybe even Doctrine (I have big dreams haha), I also know that I could be done with schooling.
I am in a period of waiting right now. I am not nervous about it, anxious, upset... anything like that... I am relaxed, curious and kinda interested to see what God will do with an open plate. I have put my application, resume and whatnot into several districts, I get my certification within 2 weeks and then let God work in whatever area He wants me to be in. I pray that is full time teaching music somewhere.
Graduation was incredible, a very good ending to a long, great 4 years. During college I learned to be independent, I grew closer to my family, I met some of the most incredible people in my life, some of my best friends, made my relationship with Christ my OWN, dove into the Word, met my best friend of all times, married my best friend, got our own house, finished school, lived off of 1 salary for 6 months, taught 926 kids and learned most of their names, and now.... it's done.
I am so blessed and ready for the summer to recharge and spend time with people I have not spent time with in a long while!
Enjoy these pics from the day :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 4:35 PM
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Well we didn't post our weigh in last week but in the past 2 weeks I have lost another...
J has lost another 5.5 pounds!!!
So I am down almost 13 pounds
Jeremiah is down almost 17 pounds!!
HOW EXCITING! It is a slower process then I originally thought but worth it thinking by the end of the summer we could be at our goal weight as long as we stick to it!! :)
The eating is becoming so much easier (sometimes we cheat more often than we planned on- little snacks here and there)
We boosted up our work out with weights and cardio and today we did our workout class tonight and we OWNED that class! We didn't have to stop at all really ( and it was a new lady filling in and she was TOUGH)- 10 minutes of straight cardio and then 5 minutes of weights- no stopping.
I feel incredible, I have so much more energy and a great confidence about myself. I usually start something like this and don't make it longer than a week or so, but with Jeremiah pushing me, encouraging me and seeing results in himself, we are unstoppable!
Tonight is whole wheat chicken enchiladas for dinner- the recipe is great if you want (kind of a cheat night for us but we LOVE them and love that we don't waste calories anymore, we don't live to eat, we eat to live and it has changed our marriage and our friendship).
Thanks to everyone supporting us and those of you who have jumped on the band wagon and doing it along with us- GOOD LUCK!! YOU CAN DO IT!!
Posted by Amber Hann at 7:25 PM
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Well now that I have this summer to unwind a bit... (this year has been more than eventful- marriage, buying a house, last semester of school driving 90 miles a day, working at 3am, student teaching 40 hours a week with no pay, passing my AEPAs and as of next week- graduating). I have junior high camp in a few weeks, and our vacation in June. Other than that I am planning on teaching voice, looking for a teaching position and catching up on life!
My question to you is:
What do you do to relax, unwind, refuel... what fills you back up?? I'd love to hear your thoughts and encourage others to take that time! :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 4:14 PM
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I thought that life couldn't get any better, a great student teaching experience, Jeremiah and I making it 7 months with only 1 income (pastor's income haha), having an amazing year of marriage coming up and excited for summer, but....
seeing my test scores with the word: PASSED: next to them- beat it all. I have worked SOOO hard for 4 years, pushing through hard classes, tough teachers, struggling and succeeding in voice lessons (hardest part), working for the school, and growing as a woman and it all came down to these 2 tests...
It didn't matter how hard I worked, if I graduated without passing these tests, I didn't have much of a chance of landing a job next year.
I wanted to go into this job market with all odds my favor (not the excuse of not being qualified enough) and I am excited for whatever God has for me, even if that is subbing for the next several months. I am going to dive into serving and volunteer work, spending time with my family, doing everything I can to get as much time with J as possible and many more things. This summer is going to be bliss. Summer camp, week vacation with J, and many new adventures.
God is so good. He is always good. At the Catalyst conference I had many thoughts in my head of how to apply everything and step up as a leader. God's HUGE, resounding take-away point was.... Prayer. Prayer for Jeremiah, for our ministry, for those around me. It has been transforming. I am reading 'Power of the Praying Wife" and it is just incredible to be able to serve Jeremiah in that way that I never thought about, honestly. It has opened up a new season of our marriage (yes yes, only been married less than a year but so great to have "seasons" already haha).
I am so blessed. This week is filled with family for Jeremiah's birthday, work outs and a fun surprise date I have planned for J on Sunday :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 8:17 PM
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
This week was hard- less workouts and harder with food
I lost about 2.5 pounds!
3.5 pounds!! :)
Cali this week with the church so we are bringing good snacks and gonna work hard to stick with our new food types :)
Stay tuned for next week :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 7:20 PM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Well we got our butts kicked in our workout class tonight. I like the lady that runs the class, very positive and calls us out when we are wimping out :)
We did one cheat night this week and that made me nervous but after today's weigh in, I walked out to meet Jeremiah and his face was just as glowing as mine was..
4.5 pounds this week!!!!!!!!!!
My total- 8 pounds in 2 weeks! (my short term goal is 20 pounds by graduation- May 9th- I CAN DO IT!)
5 pounds this week!!!!!!!
His total- 9 pounds!!!!!
we can't tell a different in the mirror but man it feels SO good. We wanted to run and tell everyone haha.
Thanks for the all the support- check in next week for #3!!
Posted by Amber Hann at 6:29 PM
Monday, April 13, 2009
Here is the recipe for the protein bars (you can make one batch and cut them into 2"x2" bars. They don't taste like a candy bar but they are a great snack substitute with a tiny hint of chocolate to give ya a smile :)
6 eggs (egg whites only are better)
2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
4 scoops protein powder (chocolate flavor if you have it)
1 tsp olive oil
4 tbs peanut butter (or as much or little as you want/like)
1/2 package Carob Chips (look like chocolate chips) or 1/2 package of peanut butter chips (I use dark chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 325
Mix all ingredients together in the order listed above
spray 9x13 baking dish with non stick spray (very important!)
back for 23 minutes
After they cool, cut and refrigerate!
I also answered a few questions in the previous blog comments if you want to check it out :) I have lived this life for forever (cuz my parents are health/work out freaks- so I know all the answers, I just got lazy and let myself go, so it's nice to know how to put all this into good use :)
I always eat a protein bar before we work out, gives me a little boost and doesn't make me feel dizzy or full when we're working out :)
Tomorrow is weigh in #2 after our group workout session. I'm nervous and excited. I'll reveal the results tomorrow! :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 7:08 PM
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Well several people have asked "what are you guys changing that you saw several pounds in the first 5 days??" Well I figured I would share what we are doing now and I'm so excited/nervous to weigh in on Tuesday again. I cheated and weighed myself on Thursday and I had already lost another pound so it was an exciting motivation. I have to stop myself from checking everyday.
Here is our routine on a normal day
Breakfast- 2 choices: protein shake (2c. water, 1 tbs fat free vanilla yogurt, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, half a banana, handful of frozen, sliced strawberries- blend)- IT IS AMAZING, OR- 2 eggs only 1 yolk) and 1-2 pieces of turkey bacon
snack- apple & 1 tbs peanut butter or string cheese or 8-10 almonds or orange
lunch- few slices of deli meat, string cheese (only if you didn't have string cheese for snack), piece of fruit, carrots
snack- protein bar (homemade- my mom and dad found a recipe for healthy, GOOD protein bars because most packaged protein bars are either really high in sugar and fat, or they are just SO expensive. If you want the recipe, lemme know- they are so cheap and one batch makes enough for both of us for 2 weeks!)
dinner- meat and veges (either grilled/baked chicken with seasoning or fat free marinade- no fried or with oil), turkey meat either for taco salads, meatloaf (1 pound ground turkey, 1 cup bread crumbs, 8 oz fat free sour cream, salt and pepper- mix all together and put in a pan- bake for 50 minutes, top with little bit of brown sugar and ketchup), pork- grilled or baked, you can do fish but Jeremiah doesnt like fish haha so that is out- or VERY lean beef- we don't eat much beef.
veges are always steamed or baked. Broccoli, green beans, corn (rarely), or a salad with meat on top and fat free dressing.
dessert- we have 2 choices that we like- Skinny Cow ice cream pops (we get skinny dippers- 80 calories in one) or sugar free, fat free fruit/yogurt bars from Sams Club). It is a great little treat
We work out 5 days a week for an hour to hour and a half or we do group workout classes on Tuesdays. Cardio for 75% of the time- in our target heart rate, and then we do a cycle of stations that work upper and lower body and then we always do core (crunches, planks, etc).
It was SUPER hard the first week and this week it is fairly easy. It is more hard to resist when people offer stuff that we can't have. We have both been good and stuck to it. For easter my mom got us a basket full of orange and apples haha. :) so nice :)
So that is basically what we are doing for right now. High protein, almost no sugar, very little carbs (no complex carbs like breads, pastas, potatoes, etc.)
We had our first "cheat" meal on Friday and we went to Pei Wei and got lettuce wraps and chicken teriyaki with brown rice- ha so we didn't cheat too much but it hit the spot :)
I'm hope for 5 pounds this week which will make it almost 10 in 2 weeks and then about 20 pounds by graduation :)
Any questions or comments- feel free to!! :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 12:06 PM
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Well we got our butts kicked at cardio class today and then we weighed ourselves-
with 3 big work outs this week (we had a lot of orientation nights at the gym so less work outs then we hope) and doing REALLY good with food--
Jeremiah lost close to....
HOW EXCITING! Now that we have the motivation that this is working, we are going to be very diligent from now on and get the most out of our work outs!! :)
I will update each week, so keep us accountable so it's like our "weigh in" haha.
thanks for the support guys! It's just the beginning!
Posted by Amber Hann at 6:53 PM
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Well lately I just have been really convicted of our health and the "honeymoon" weight that we have put on. I have never been a "small" girl by anymeans but I was always athletic and I never worried about fitness or food because in high school I was at softball 6 days a week and my parents were health freaks so I always ate healthy. College hit and ramen noodles and microwave foods were cheap and easy with a busy schedule. I carried that into a marriage (not so much ramen noodles but just cheaper, easy foods) and I have been looking at pictures of us lately and even comparing to our wedding and how in 10 months we have let ourselves go.
So last week we decided not to make excuses anymore and we just went full force into a new lifestyle and while it has been somewhat of a challenge, we feel so good about the decision!
My dad is a fitness guru (as in he has like 6% body fat or something ridiculous and my mom has always had a good handle on personal health and so I know all the correct answers, ways to eat, work out routines- so I had no excuses at all! :)
So on Monday we went to Lifetime Fitness to get a tour and set up our plan with them. let me say-- Lifetime is AMAZING! It is a little more pricy than the other gyms but they offer so many different things, open all the time, and they really have given us many tools for success. Granted Lifetime is basically the closest gym to our house but it has been great so far. Everyday day this week we hit up the gym together- I love spending that purposeful time with Jeremiah. We did a group cardio class on Thursday and MAN it kicked our butts- can't wait to see how much easier it gets with time.
We have changed our eating habits DRASTICALLY- very few carbs and almost all protein, fresh/steamed veges and fruits. Ha when I look back at what we used to eat, one of our dinners before would have been the amount of calories we eat all day now. We have our mid morning and mid afternoon snacks as well- everything high protein and fresh produce. It is challenging to find varieties that we really enjoy but that was an excuse I used before-
I can't wait to step on the scale on Tuesday to see how far a week has come- as long as I loose something, it will be worth it!
Posted by Amber Hann at 10:48 AM
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I have to say, Jeremiah and I LOVEEEEEEEE reality TV- all reality tv (minus like nasty Jerry Springer Junk)... let's name a few we love!
The following are in no particular order :)
what can I say, we need some release from everyday life :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 8:05 PM
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The first full day of spring break to do nothing and it is pure..... BLISS!!!!
I slept in... haha 9am was my max of sleeping in. But it has been wonderful. Yesterday Jeremiah and I spent the whole day together. We went to the Moreno's for a voice lesson with Cory. Then we went to guitar center to get some stuff. We drove to Deer Valley 30 and went to our favorite little restaurant- Bamboo Grille... MMMMM. Then we saw Taken (GREAT MOVIE!) Then we went to Penny's to give Hayley a little birthday surprise and then hit home for some dinner and a butt whooping to Jeremiah on Mario Party.
Today has been relaxing, cleaning and waiting for some mysterious package from FedEx that we dont know about. haha.
Brittini got married this past weekend and it was just perfect. The weather, the people, the bride and groom. Simply perfect. I am so proud of the woman Brit has grown into. I have known her since 8th grade and it's funny to see us be there for each other in our weddings and I hope we can have babies together one day and since we both live in the west valley haha it's perfect.
Posted by Amber Hann at 12:09 PM
Friday, March 13, 2009
Oh thank the Lord for spring break!! 2 whole weeks of freedom. Gonna do some lesson plans, sleep, CLEAN BIG TIME, go to NAU for a weekend with Jeremiah and the rest of About the Author, go to the zoo with the Moreno's, hit up an awesome Christian concert, have some quality time with Penny and anyone else who is free too!!... I'm sure there is more but I'm trying to keep it pretty open so that I can rest.
It's hard to believe but I only have about 7 weeks left before my graduate- save the date---- May 8th at 11am! So exciting! Soon i'll get paid to bust my butt daily haha. The kids have been great these past 2 weeks- today we had a snowball fight with recycled paper, freeze dance, musical dots and much more- it was great!
Definitely up for these 2 weeks- hope everyone else is getting some much needed R&R also!
Posted by Amber Hann at 12:42 PM
Saturday, March 7, 2009
well March has started off with just a blast of emotions. Birth(days), weddings, memorials... it's all too much at points. I sat at a memorial today for a girl who's life seemed to be cut very short, barely 20 years old. A girl full of life, love and from the standing room only at the church- full of impact and encouragement to others. That last night the same room was set up for a celebration of two lives being joined. God has so many things in store for us in life. That is evident this weekend with so many land marks in people's lives. Today the Whitney's mom (such a strong profound lady she is!) said something that reallly hit hard. Something that I have known most of my life but to hear her talk about her daughter who is in the presence of God really let it sink in. She said...
"no matter what happens in life, God is WORTHY to be praised." Whether we like what has happened, whether we understand.. God is still just as worthy to be praised as He was in the beginning and will be in the end.
Tonight I will be at one of my best friend's bachelorette parties- she gets married next week. I couldn't help but think- one day Jeremiah and I will lose each other (I always tell him that I have to go first because I can't even stay home alone for a night let alone a life time) and I have never lost anyone remotely close to me. Grandparents I have but I remember my grandma at the age of 90 telling me that she was ready to go home to Jesus. I can't imagine someone who's life seemed to hold so much more end so quickly. It reminds me that God is in control. It reminds me that the small things in life that consume my mind don't matter in the end. If God is at my center thoughts, I won't be consumed with the world's worries.
Whitney left a lifetime of memories and encouragement but her Savior is forever and now she is forever with Him. :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 2:43 PM
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Well I heard this quote this past week from another music teacher that said teaching music is like "throwing 9 birthday parties a day for 5 days straight."
I laughed so hard and then stopped at thought for a bit.
The beginning of the year when I got home after observing all day it was great. I had little to do and had lots of energy.
Now that I am teaching all 9 classes I really understand that quote. There is a big difference between a regular classroom teacher and a specials teacher (esp. music)- you are "on" every minute of class. A regular classroom teacher has many different breaks during the day with recess, reading time, individual work time, etc. and direct instruction is not constant (on the other hand, regular classroom teachers have a TON of paperwork and outside work in order to make those breaks possible.) but as a music teacher the second the students enter the room they stare at you and wait for a creative, fun, energetic, non stop great time.
I wonder why I am so exhausted by the end of the day now that I am teaching all day long- I am going non stop for 45 minutes and then have a 5 minute break (but the regular classroom teachers are usually late so my 5 minute break turns into 2- and then the next class comes in with the same expectant eyes.
I sit at home on a saturday afternoon enjoying a big break :) church, bridal shower and bachelorette party all part of tomorrow's day, so I'll take this break now!
Posted by Amber Hann at 2:11 PM
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I am so proud of Cory. I met cory about a year ago when his dad said "he is pretty shy about singing but has a great voice." Ha jeremiah and I never knew what would come out of that little body! I now have the privilege of having Cory in my voice studio and I am so excited to take his God given talent and work with him. He has also been selected to sing for many other sports games (D-backs, Coyotes, and hopefully Suns). He is a remarkable boy with a lot to offer other than his voice and I am excited to see where his voice and God's plan will take him! :) check him out on YouTube by clicking the video below!!
Posted by Amber Hann at 8:13 PM
Friday, February 20, 2009
I am having such a blast this semester!! I know I keep saying it but it's so true. Sometimes I end my day so drained from discipline and rude children but something always reminds me that this is what I love.
This week has been a weird week- I am teaching half of the classes and next week I will have 6 out of the 8 classes and then in 2 weeks I will have all 8-9! :) It's tiring. Yesterday the 4th and 5th graders were so awful and the k and 1st's were just a delight. Today on the other hand.. haha. the kinder's were just not good. It was partially my fault b/c I should have planned like 8 songs but I thought learning 3 songs and dance moves would fill 25 minutes- nope... i look up at the clock at the end of my lesson and I still have 10 minutes left- Oops! I survived but they just got worse.
Well I had had enough of my rude 4th grade class- like honestly they were just a mean group yesterday- well I decided that I wasn't going to take that anymore! (you don't wanna mess with mean Mrs. Hann haha). So right before 4th grade entered my room- I put up a powerpoint slide that said the 3 directions they MUST do when they enter the room (they know but I wanted to reallllyyy make it easy for them to follow the rules). So I let everyone in except the 5 students that were the worst yesterday. I told them that I was very disappointed at their attitude yesterday and that I have given respect and it was not returned. They all immediately sank into themselves. They walked in and in the blink of an eye they were great students!! I was shocked!
We had a blast after that!! We got through the whole lesson (recorders- woohoo) and we laughed and had a great time! Man I was so encouraged. No matter the awful or amazing students- the teacher can change the dynamic of the classroom and that is the biggest thing I have learned so far these 7 weeks!
God is good and He has been with me every step of the way!! :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 6:55 PM
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Open up the 6th picture folder on your computer.
Post the 6th picture in the folder and tell the story of it.
Then tag 6 of your friends.
This is a picture of the night Jeremiah proposed. He sent me on a scavenger hunt ALL over maricopa- this was one of the stops in downtown phoenix where my clue led me to Robby and Kelly (our great frends who actually moved to Buckeye as well!- don't see them as much as I'd like though). Jeremiah is the biggest romantic and I love it!
I will never forget that day!
Happy Valentine's Day! Jesus loves you!
Posted by Amber Hann at 4:23 PM
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Well my family, entire family of over 50 people, gets together every month without fail. We do birthdays and do it at a different house each month. Well after some debate and hard negotiating I convinced them that now that I am first grandchild of SEVERAL to get married that I can be considered an adult. Adult means you sit with the adults, you exchange gifts with the adults (not $7 gifts from another kid haha- literally the max is $7 for a kid) and you get to host dinners.
So this month was mine and it was adults only (we do one adult only get together a year and we decided to do it at my house since it's smaller)... well Jeremiah and I cleaned all day long (well all week long) and I cooked all day and all yesterday to make a 4 course meal. My dad and mom came over early and my dad helped relandscape our front yard a bit (took our our ugly cactus things! and put in some flowers.. yay)
well it went great! I think people assume that if you are young, married and have a place that the place has to look like a dorm room or something. I just love how we did our house (With the help of my mom and Penny!-thanks!!)... it's sophisticated and modern and my family was a bit shocked I think at how nice it looked.It made me feel very good about the work we have done to this house and the time spent making it fit us and be warm and inviting.
Next is the backyard but... hah we'll see. Now jeremiah has set up for church at 9 at night which leaves me to clean up and do some more laundry :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 9:06 PM
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I can't wait for this next year of life :)
I just have a feeling that it will be the best year yet! Granted getting married and a home and all the great things with this past year have been amazing but for my personal spiritual, physical and emotional life... this year is just going to blow me away I think... God is preparing me for something big and I'm not sure what... could be the reality of first yaer teaching... could be something else.
So far Jeremiah has been great... Red Lobster (annual dinner) and beautiful roses for my "early birthday" and a secret dinner (haha not too secret cuz he is using one of our gift cards) and then to the exhibit then lunch with my mom on Saturday! yay!!
(haha side note, my mom just got texting and it's sooo funny to wait for her texts and how long it takes her to write back.. haha)
Can't wait for another year of blessings, hardships, and love! Thanks to all my great friends and family who have already made my birthday special!!
here is a picture from our annual red lobster dinner :)
Posted by Amber Hann at 9:10 PM