Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo... am i crazy? yes, yes i am.

with all the mundane writing that i'm required to write for school, there are many times where i feel that i completely lack a creative outlet. One that i truly can throw myself into. if i had the space, maybe scrapbooking. if i had the money, maybe piano lessons. I journal, and i write here every once in awhile... though, nothing really draws me to this blog. :S So when i heard about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), something that ANYONE can participate in... (not just those who get paid to write books, or even those who hope to get published), i was drawn to this idea.

See, back when i was about 14, i became completely obsessed with the "Left Behind: The Kids" book series, and actually started my own version of the same story line. I wrote over 300 pages of fiction... i couldn't actually peruse anything using that material for obvious reasons (SAME exact idea that came for my favorite, already-published, book series), but i would write for hours... my heart would race... and i loved the feeling that i could take my characters any direction i wanted... if i wanted more romance, i could do that. If i wanted there to be a sudden turn of events that made a previously loyal character turn into the nemesis, i could throw that in there. i LOVED it. Since then... since i discovered that i could enjoy WRITING as much as i enjoyed reading, and that i was capable of writing over 300 pages... i've played with idea of writing more. Especially now that i'm an adult. I'm thinking that participating in NaNoWriMo might give me the reason and motivation to write again.

The question then comes up... what about school? what about being a mom? well... if i don't make the 50,000 word goal at the end, no one knows but me... and i'll have gotten a good start on something, maybe... and who says that i have to stop at the end of November?

ok, so then what to write about? things personal to my life... high school heartbreak? a whirlwind romance? the experiences of motherhood? Navy life? Surviving deployment? Growing up in a small town? Obviously these things wouldn't be difficult to write about since i LIVED them... emotions are easy to tap into, and i basically just write memories. But what if i let me imagination go a little? what if i write about a life i WISH i had? Travel, adventure, passionate romance (well... i've got a little of that, i have to admit ;)

i've got tonight and tomorrow to think about it... but because it's not like i have a publisher waiting on a book about a specific topic... maybe i'll free-fall it... just sit down and write... and whatever comes out i'll call my "novel". hm.

this shall be an adventure, i think... at least it's something a bit more productive to do in my free time rather than just watch tv, play on facebook, or zone out on pinterest... right? :)

***If you'd like to check out NaNoWriMo for yourself... click HERE***

Monday, July 11, 2011


Weston Eugene Schaefer

Weston joined us in the world on Friday morning, July 1st (his actual due date!), at 10:52am.
He weighed in at a whopping 10lbs. and was 21" long

He's every picture of perfection, and we all seem to be adjusting to our new little family member fairly well! We did come to realize that Justin's little Accord wouldn't allow room for a car seat, SO we've had to purchase a different vehicle in order to accommodate the growing family. Thankfully, God came through BIG TIME, and basically dropped a great vehicle and deal into our laps!

I hope to be able to sit and type out Weston's birth story using this blog soon!

Many changes look to be coming our way...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Yes... for the 57th time... I AM only carrying ONE CHILD.

OOOOOhhhhhh boy... i am READY to have this baby! well... almost. my HOUSE isn't ready, but my poor feet and hips certainly are! There are honestly fears, however, that i am praying to conquer before coming face to face with my new little man... the biggest being "How in the world am i going to share my time, energy, and love with this new little person that is coming into my life when i am SO in love with Nathaniel?"

Yes, i'm trying to figure out how i could ever love another child the way i love my first son, Nathaniel...

i have to believe that other moms on the verge of becoming a mom of 2 have also had the same thought run through their mind at least once... for a split second... right? I just honestly really wonder if the same amazing, all-consuming, and all-inhabiting love and adoration that i felt the moment i held nathaniel for the first time will wash over be AGAIN for this new little boy God has blessed me with... i can't fathom loving another child the same way! My mom assures me that i will... but different. She has constantly said "I love you and carly the same amount... but in a different way... and thats how it will be with you and nathaniel and this new baby!"... still, it's hard for me to imagine.

None the less, i can't wait to kiss this new baby's sweet cheeks and hold him and he snuggles against me. :) It could easily be any day now, as i'm measuring 40 weeks! I'm anxious to start this new chapter in our family's life... and even more anxious to get my ankles back! ;)

little update... That chance at a recruiting position is once again UNavailable. :S I guess though they are starting to hire recruiters all over the US, they are NOT in DesMoines. *sigh* It is a severe disappointment for Justin, and for me as well to be honest... but i have to trust that God closed that door for a reason... :S This does me though that in Aug. or Sept., Justin will be gone for another 2 weeks at least for more training in NY (not required, but highly encouraged since he's new to his rate -aka job in the military), and then we're facing another deployment in 2012. Even the thought sends a little panic through me as it makes me wonder if i'm going to have to put off school AGAIN. i honestly don't think i'll be able to parent 2 young children on my own, AND go to school full time at Central... The annoying thing is with the military, they can't even give you a clue as to WHEN in 2012 this deployment might take place. If it's early 2012, that would require me to take the 2nd semester of my Junior year off... while if it's late 2012, then it would require me to start my Senior year late... i don't think either one is better than the other... but it would at least be nice to know and kinda be able to discuss with my academic adviser! :S Oh the JOYS of military life... even in the part time military! i thought we were going to escape this kind of uncertainty once we went reserve... HA! Silly me!!!! ;)

I am thoroughly enjoying my summer though... lots of time at the pool, and time simply enjoying my son! :) Though my feet are about 2x the size of what they SHOULD be, which keeps me from those evening walks and long bike rides i would normally be enjoying, i'm waddling around as much as my feet and hips allow, and am making the most of it. :) I simply enjoy being able to PLAY with nathaniel without feeling like i SHOULD be reading or writing a paper! Times like these make me wonder if simply being a full-time momma wouldn't be so terrible... though, unless we got back in the military... it WOULD be terrible for our bank account. :P

Ah, to be a grown up... not NEAR as much fun as i thought it would be... some days anyways. ;)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

i'm pregnant... it's 1am... i should be in bed.

i survived! i'm so excited! :) May was a crazy month, starting out with a horrible case of food poisoning (darn you, stupid Panda Garden!)... leading into finals, Women of Faith, a TEST of faith, nerves over test scores and my GPA, and then finally a release of much worry and stress... praise God... truly... that i survived.

Finals went ok... i didn't feel outstanding, but i ended up with a 3.5 GPA, which i am THRILLED with. This last semester was very stressful, as at mid-school year, i was told i would need to seriously consider another career route because my adviser didn't believe i could bring my major's GPA up enough to student teach in another year. I left his office feeling like a failure... weeping to my mom over the phone because i have never seriously considered doing anything BUT teaching... it's just what i know that God created me to do. i was angry at my adviser for not having faith in me, for treating me as a failure already, for not encouraging me- but for simply throwing up his hands and basically telling me i couldn't do it... i was angry at myself mostly though. All i could think were things like

"You should have never believed that you were smart enough to make it at Central College."

"Who are you to think you could really make a difference within the public school system?"

"You're good for nothing but staying home and doing the dishes and laundry... you CAN'T do anything else."

"You messed up... shouldn't have gotten married and had a child if you actually wanted to finish school! You can't be a mom AND a student, Anna..."

"If (so-and-so) and (so-and-so) can do it... why can't you?"

i felt completely defeated. i felt confused. What did God want me to do? i wasn't sure... and am still unsure, as i'm still a long ways away from being certified... but i pulled myself up by my bootstraps, prayed for strength, energy, and help... and about killed myself. but God pushed me through and i made it with great grades... and a GPA that would qualify me to student teach. Now i just have to KEEP it up!

I could tell that Satan was really trying to bring me down though... he was throwing everything at me... food poisoning, but more than that... he attacked my marriage. he attacked it big. and it about had me going over the edge.

there are so many things that could be said about this attack... so many fears exposed... but what good would it do? I must simply go from here... trusting that my God is leading me... and is working in situations that i have to surrender control over... and that He loves me.

I guess the point to this rambling is this... God totally came through for me with my GPA... and He got me through my first year at Central... now, only 2 more years.

But for now... a few things need my attention. I only have 4 more weeks to soak up all the moments i can with my little boy before i have to think about sharing my time with another little one. I'm 36 weeks today. things are almost ready for our new little one's arrival... and i'm excited! :)

The chance for Justin to get a recruiting position has come up once again... and we're going for it. I'm undecided in how i feel about the idea of being active military once again... though the perks are certainly out-weighing the cons right now. As of now, if he were to stay with his Navy Reserve unit... he would be shipping out for a 6-12month deployment in late 2012... which would be smack-dab in the middle of my senior year at Central. Deployment alone brings so many fears and worries for me, as our first deployment was possibly the worst 8 months of my life... add being a mother of 2, being a full-time student in her senior year? Lord, have mercy! BUT... if he were to get this recruiting position... he would not be deployed any time soon. um... YES, PLEASE! Plus, the pay is much better... which we desperately need at the moment. Free healthcare (basically). And Justin would be HAPPY again... because as much as he says he DOESN'T resent me asking him to get out of the military so i could finish my education at Central and have more babies and be close to my family... i know he is unhappy not being a sailor, being stuck in small-town Iowa, in a factory job that has an uncertain direction. *sigh* SO... i am going to follow God's lead... Justin is applying for the job, and we are going to see what God does with that... and THEN i will pray for the attitude and strength needed to live with whatever direction that leads us.

pray for us. :S

Well... thats about it for this long update... sorry. maybe i will try to blog more often, so that my one blog a month isn't so LOOOOOOONG. :S lol

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

FINAL blog for class! WEEEEE!!!!

well, as the year comes to an end, i've been asked to kind of give an overview of the technology i've learned about and the ones i plan to use in my classroom someday (an exciting thought! EEK!)

First off, for sure Wordle! LOVE IT! way easy, and way fun! I think it will be a non-intimidating way for students to get to know each other, and a non-overwhelming way to introduce new subjects to my class. :)

Also, will be using Pandora, to kinda lighten the mood during group time in my class... like if i were to assign groups and tell them to design posters or discuss certain topics, i would most likely have music playing lightly in the background. :)

i'm already hooked on, and i've got Justin playing it too! I think this is such a neat idea! It would be kinda cool to use this in the classroom as a competition... like "Over Spring Break, see who can earn the most rice, or get to the highest level" kinda thing!

Edmodo is another tool i will most likely use... a facebook-style classroom page where students can connect with me and other students in the class. LOVE IT! Very student-friendly!

I also plan on using "clickers" a lot in my class... again, i think this is a very student-friendly, non-threatening way to get my student's opinions, and get them to share personal information... like "How many students are from divorced homes?" or "How many students drink?" which would in turn be compared to the national average. These were exactly the questions asked in my Developmental Psych class, and because we used clickers, i think everyone felt comfortable actually being honest... and once they saw they weren't the ONLY ONES sexually active, or drinking, or from abusive homes, it made them feel like they could then turn and vocally share in large group discussion! LOVE IT!

The idea of using a webquest is also another MUST! SO many different ways to do one, and so many different topics to explore using one! :)

These were my favorites, but there were SO MANY other tools that i want to continue to explore and get to know... with technology changing so fast, i'm sure by the time i'm actually teaching (hopefully only 2 more years *sigh*) that there will be even MORE great tools for me to utilize! :) I've enjoyed this class, in all honesty, though i'm not the most techno-savvy. ;) This class has certainly helped prepare me to teach in this new technological world we live in! Thanks Prof. Day! ;)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

...The Web Quest Challenge...

For my Introduction to Instructional Tech. we've been working on whats called "Web Quests"... which is basically an online scavenger hunt that a teacher designs for their students. They have themes, and then present a specific process through which students are meant to follow in order to meet the assignment's requirements. It can be as in-depth, or as basic as the teachers wishes to make it... which has a lot to do with what age they are teaching.

I was assigned to design my own Web Quest... based on the age i want to teach, and the subject i am studying to teach. I am planning to teach secondary school, which means i could be teaching anything from 9th to 12th grade, and i'm studying Social Science and focusing on U.S. History, World History, and Psychology. Because i'm mostly studying history, i choose to focus my Web Quest on the Holocaust. I then had to build an entire quest around it... this included an introduction, an explanation of the process i wanted them to follow, directions, questions for my students to find answers to, the website links that held those answers, a conclusion, and a rubric by which i would grade them. It was HUGE. i think mine ended up being close to 7 pages long! A lot of this was because of the 40+ questions i included, a map i included for reference, and the rubric table. *sigh* Though, as much of a pain as it was to think up, organize, write, and design, after it was done, i'm actually pretty proud of it! I hope it earns a good grade. :) I present it TOMORROW... :S EEK!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Technology Gender Devide

Today we talked about using technology in class... safety issues, ethical issues, Fair use (concerning what is considered copyrighted and such), and Copyright laws. During the period of time of talking about ethical issues we talked also about the Gender Devide, and about how for most high school computer classes, there was a 4:1 ratio of males to females enrolled.

Though i agree that every female SHOULD have the right and ability to use and explore technology, i simply believe that most females would simply CHOOSE to have more personal relationships, and more emotionally rewarding careers because of female's naturally more emotional genetic make-up. I'm not saying every female, but the majority. When i googled the female to male ratio at MIT, i found this article: "Male/Female Enrollment Patterns in EECS at MIT and Other Schools" It states that females "accounted for only 22% of the degrees in Electrical Engineering. In Computer Science, women accounted for only 15% of the degrees awarded--the lowest ratio of any MIT undergraduate program with more than a few majors.", while in other areas they accounted for about 32% of degrees awarded. Still.... less than half.

Now as a future teacher, i really couldn't care less if ALL my female students wanted to become computer scientists, THATS GREAT... BUT my personal experience tells me that that is not likely. I would encourage any female student to FOR SURE educate themselves on how to bank online, navigate their way around the workings of a computer, and become aware of how to maintenance their computer. But i personally think that most high school girls would MUCH rather go shopping, join a softball team, hang out and talk and look at magazines, and have those face-to-face interactions than sit for hours and take apart their calculators or computers and put them back together, or even sit with friends for hours at a time, eyes glued to a tv screen, and talking via head-set. Men simply don't NEED that relational, emotional connection like women do. This IS coming from a wife that has had 3 men piled into my living room for 24hr. gaming marathons... so granted, i could be a bit bitter. ;) But as i have observed my husband, as well as my sister's boyfriend... MANY times they have chosen video-gaming, computer-building, and computer-involved activities, RATHER than time outdoors, sports, productive work around the house, and time with family. Personal observations that ran through my mind during class... :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Class Activities Monday, April 4th

today in class we're exploring 2.0 Web Tools... and i've found LOTS of cool sites!

One of my favorites is, where you basically just play a game to earn bowls of rice that are then donated to hungry people all over the world! now when i first opened it up, it automatically went to a vocab-themed quizing game, which i loved (and rocked at)! And in a matter of about 10 minutes, i was able to win and donate 1000 grains of rice! I LOVE this! Easy and fun way to make a difference! Check it out HERE!

Another fun thing i could use in my classroom is this White House Scavenger Hunt... found HERE

I could also basically make my own for different websites, with a lot more questions! This could be used as a class/group activity to do in class, as a take-home quiz/homework, or if a made a really big one with really hard questions, i MIGHT do it as a take-home test! WAY good idea, i think!

CNET News also did an article on the year's 100 Webware Tools WINNERS... found HERE which talks about all the different and most popular tools that can be used and found on the internet, most of them for free! As a future teacher, i think it's important that i at least be familiar with these. Personally, i already use a lot of them... such as Facebook (social network), Picnik (online photo-editing program), Pandora (customizable radio station), Craigslist (online buy/sell/trade site), as well as YouTube (online video-sharing site). For sure YouTube could be used in the classroom, as well as Google or GoogleChrome and other search engines. Loving all these new tools that i'm learning to integrate into my classroom! :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

*personal update* just a little bit busy!

A few things have happened these past few weeks that indicate that i am maybe just a little bit crazy. Twice now when people ask what i've been up to i've replied honestly... "Going to school full-time at Central, 27 weeks along in pregnancy #2, working part time at a photography studio, running around after my 3 year old... staying busy, ya know?" hahaha! i guess that response deserves a few funny looks! Many times i just get the response "Wow.", to which i can't really argue, because they don't even know the half of it! lol

But as i mentioned, i'm still going to school full-time at Central College... it's slightly (or not-so-slightly) overwhelming most of the time, but i feel good knowing that i'm getting closer and closer to being done and having a college degree! I have an Environmental History and Policy class that i'm doing ok in, a Modern Latin America class that is NOT fun, a Human Relations class that is speeding up (lots of things due in the next few weeks!), a Developmental Psych class that is fun and interesting, and then that Intro. to Instructional Tech. class that i'm actually involving my blog in! :) Have any of you peeked at my Voki or Wordle? lol I've enrolled for next fall's classes, none of which i'm REALLY excited about. But at this point, i just want to get classes DONE and i need to keep my GPA up. :S eek! Only 6 more weeks of school!

then we can move on to the next big event for our family...

I'm now 27 weeks pregnant... and things are progressing quite uneventfully. This is the last week of my 3rd trimester, which is hard to believe! I'm getting more and more tired as i haul myself around... stairs are my worst nightmare at this point. lol Swelling isn't too bad so far, thankfully! And neither is weight, surprisingly! At 25weeks i had only gained 7lbs! I'm pretty proud of that, taking into consideration that i gained 40lbs with Nate! :S i don't want to get even CLOSE to that this time around! :S EEK! We've moved Nate to a big boy bed, and moved the crib into our room... though we need to fix a few things on it. :S I've only bought a few things... a pack 'b play, a few little outfits, some burp clothes, and some new bedding. I'm excited for when school is done and i can focus on getting ready for baby! :) only 13 more weeks until baby is due!!!!! :D We've basically picked a name... but i'm still kinda hoping for "Noah". Justin is in love with "Weston" though, so we might be stuck with that. lol

I'm still working at Digital Galleria Designs (which, by the way, now has their own blog! :) Click HERE to check us out! It's fun to be back at work, and i'm taking advantage of the time i have there, as after June i no longer will be a formal employee there because of baby and my need to focus on school! :S It's a bummer, but my awesome boss was great about telling me i was welcome back through the summers, or anytime in the future! I'm so glad! i certainly do love taking pictures, and learning new things... the GPA is just demanding more attention. UGH. :( But i'm looking forward to getting maternity pictures taken within the next couple months, and then taking baby in there for pictures once he's here! ;) I wouldn't want to go anywhere else, thats for sure! :)

Nate turned THREE on March 21st! I can't believe it!!!!! He is getting so smart, and loves anything to do with John Deere, Thomas and Friends, or being outside! I don't think he really "gets" that he's going to be a big brother, but i think he'll be good at it. :) For his birthday we did a Thomas the Tank Engine theme, and with the help of my sister we made a cupcake train! it turned out SO CUTE! My sis is just so talented! I was so thankful for her help!

Nate loved it! We had so many people here, and honestly there were many people who we didn't get to invite because of the limited space in our little house. :S SOME DAY, we hope to be able to fit ALL the people we love into our little home! :) Nate was spoiled ROTTEN this year with the gifts he received! And Great-Grandma and Grandpa even made him a special Thomas cake! It turned out great! Can't believe my little man is growing up so fast! I love watching his personality develop, though! He certainly makes every day fun and interesting! ;)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011



This is whats called a "Wordle"... it's a free tool online that allows you to make sort of "word clouds". There are many ways in which you could use this in your classroom... such as introducing a new topic/person, as a biography, highlighting topics of a book, and the list goes on! I really like this tool, and used it to simply put together a "ME" wordle. My wordle includes words/things that i'm involved in! I might have to do another one filled with words more about :WHO I AM", instead of "WHAT I RUN MYSELF RAGGED DOING IN MY LIFE"! HA!

*it's a tad blurry, but when i saved it to my computer it was just the thumbnail size. :S

You can find this tool at It's a fun little thing!

this is also a code supplied on the website... not sure if it'll give you an image, or just a link to the website... either way, ENJOY!

title="Wordle: ANNA's BLOG"> src=""
alt="Wordle: ANNA's BLOG"
style="padding:4px;border:1px solid #ddd">

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

change of pace...

well, my poor little blog has suffered for quite awhile due to my overwhelming school/work/LIFE schedule... but for the next 7 weeks or so, it'll have more posts, though some might not be too interested. lol As part of a Instructional Technology class i'm in, we are to blog about our thoughts concerning things we're learning and different tools we're becoming familiar with. Thus, my posts will be all about things i can use in my future classroom! Which to ME is exciting, but to many of my readers... (ok. all 17 of you)... might not be near as riveting. But bare with me... i'll try to include a little about my personal life.

My first assignment was to read an article about the "Top 10 Web Tools for Teachers" and blog about my thoughts, specifically about tools mentioned in the article that i will want to use someday!

the first tool that caught my eye was Edmodo ( a free (weeee!!!!!) online classroom management tool. Many colleges use sites a lot like this (for example- blackboard or web advisor), but from looking at Edmodo, it seems that this site is much more student-friendly, as it has a facebook feel. As a secondary teacher, this would be especially helpful, as many of my student will be more technologically savvy and some may miss class fairly often during certain parts of the year (like wrestling or football season). Personally, i can see this also helping ME keep things organized and available to my students. It'll also make it so none of my students will have the flimsy excuse of "I didn't know that was assigned on thursday!"... they'll have every assignment, link, and video viewed in class available to them 24/7! I LIKE IT! :)

Other tools mentioned were Chatzy ( and TodaysMeet (, which are free private chat rooms that can be monitored by a teacher. The example given for the use of these websites was that students would be able to chat instantly during class while they watch videos, or presentations in order to get clarification or discuss the topic. I am not as excited about this tool, as i worry about the amount of attention that will be taken away from what is ACTUALLY being presented to the students, and the amount of class interaction, which i believe to be important. Instead, i would think it better to ask my students to take notes during the presentations or videos, and require each student have at least one question to ask/discuss afterward. I might experiment with these tools, but it would for sure be a trial-basis thing. is another tool showcased, and this grabs my attention a bit more. I like the idea of being able to get the opinions of my students in an anonymous way. We've used this sort of thing in some of my Education classes at Central College in the form of "clickers" which are linked to the teacher's slideshow. I like this because it gives the students both a sense of privacy, while still being able to share, AND see that they are not the only ones feeling a certain way, the only ones at a certain point of understanding, or the only one to have experienced something.

Learning about these new tools makes me very excited to be able to get into a classroom! :) only 2 more years! :)

Thanks for reading! if it weren't so late, i'd update you all... but, it's about 50min. past my bedtime!