Thursday, December 31, 2009


Seven years ago today, Martin and I unofficially started dating.  It was our senior year in high school and we had gone over to a friends house for a New Year's Eve celebration.  We played games and watched The Breakfast Club. Martin and I stepped outside waiting for my sister, Kate, to arrive to the party.  It was snowing and it was magical. I was wearing my flip flops like a cool high school student would and I was freezing cold.  He asked me if I wanted to go for a walk and I simply pointed to my feet. I was disappointed about my fashion choice and we headed back inside. 

When it was almost time for the big count down everyone was pressuring Martin to kiss me when the clock struck twelve.  I was really rude and made Martin feel bad when I said, "Eww no!" I was too shy. I felt bad so I boldly grabbed his hand. Luckily he accepted and he's never let it go since...

*Happy 7 year anniversary honey!* I can't wait for 2010 and all that it will bring! I'm so lucky to get to spend another year with you...and this year I promise to give you a big kiss when the clock strikes twelve.  
Martin and I the summer before college (2003)


Today is a boring lazy day.  I think I'll take a nap right here on the floor with my cat in the warm sun spot.  That way I'll be all rested up for the big celebration tonight. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

busy day

Today was a busy day.
7am: alarm goes off...snooze for an hour
8am: get up, get ready
9:30am: get emissions tested for new car, wait for 45 minutes, pass with flying colors
10:30am: go to bank to change name and combine accounts
11:00am: go to Snooze for a nice brunch with my husband, wait for an hour, enjoy yummy pancakes
1:00pm: go to the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art..Martin told me to pay attention so I could see how our house would look someday...I'm hoping he didn't mean the whoopee cushion exhibit
2pm: go to Crate and Barrel to buy my new lamp that I LOVE!
2:30pm: venture into the mall to exchange a headband and look at clothes I can't afford but really really want
3pm: go to the grocery store
3:45pm: HOME, only to find cat throw-up with the ribbon that Wilson ate two days ago

now it's 6:30pm and I'm listening to Martin laugh hysterically at The Simpsons...and Margo is trying to hack up a hairball 

just trying to cram it all in before the new year! 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Margo Wolfe

Well, Margo has officially melted our hearts.  She's here to stay!  =========================e3 (that was just typed by Wilson...
it means he's happy too)
Last night Margo finally came out from under the bed and her and Wilson had some play time and nobody killed anyone so we're seeing progress! She's quite the cuddle bug.  And Martin has learned an important lesson which is to never bring home a homeless pet again with out discussing it first with his wife :)

Monday, December 28, 2009


When I walked into my apartment yesterday I was greeted by my two favorite boys.  One, who is more hairy than the other, was acting a little strangely.  I think the first thing out of my mouth to Martin was "What did you do!?"  I figured it out really fast when I saw another furry black paw sticking out of Wilson's cat carrier.   

When I went to visit Martin at work last week we were so enthralled by the fact that a cat that was up for adoption looked EXACTLY like Wilson, except a girl.  We thought for sure they were siblings separated at birth.     

Martin was very sweet and thought I really wanted this other cat so he brought her home for a trial see how her and her lost brother got along.  Let's just say there's not much brotherly love right now.   Last night was pretty fun when I was awoken abruptly by the sound of hissing and low growling and then an 8lb cat body landing on my face.  Martin slept through the whole thing...

The funny thing about the two of them is that they both have unique old man features.  Wilson has extraordinarily long toe hair and Margo has extraordinarily long ear hair.   Maybe they are meant to be together.  So far today there has been very little hissing and now they are both sleeping in their established places in the apartment. Wilson looks like he's probably chasing Margo in his dream right now...his little feet are moving so fast.  

I feel like we're new parents again...scared, uncertain, wondering if the first born will be jealous or think we don't love him anymore.   I guess it just takes time and soon they will be best friends...or so we've been told :)  

which ones which? 

Christmas at the Redente's

Merry Christmas from the Redente family! (Backos family and Wolfe family :)

This year our family incorporated Don's Greek traditions with our Italian traditions
Christmas Eve Dinner:
greek salad
green beans 

Don reading Kate's fortune in the Greek coffee grounds

Christmas Dinner:
Ravioli (meat and pumpkin)
cranberry sauce
homemade rolls

deep in the basement is where the best 
Christmas dinners are made

we spent lots of time playing Elizabeth and Don's new Wii 
The thing I loved most about Christmas this year was spending time with my family and my friends, the traditions that we've carried on for years and years, and of course spending it with my new husband 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mama's Country Biscuits

What's better on a cold day then homemade biscuits 
a couple of Christmas movies
and snuggling with my little family tonight when Martin gets home?


New Friend

Wilson has a new friend.  He's been protecting him since he (or maybe it's a she) arrived at our apartment for Christmas vacation...watching it closely, occasionally jumping in its cage. 

Wilson assures me he is treating his new friend nicely

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sweet Dreams

My sweet Wilson...waiting for Santa Claus

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Time Is Here...

Elizabeth and I

Elizabeth and Don

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Nothing like millions of Christmas lights and some Christmas music to get you in the holiday mood!  Five more days...and three more days until we get to see Kate and Bobby!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jessica R.

When I was in elementary school I was known as Jessica R.  There was another Jessica in our class and she was known as Jessica S.   I hated being called Jessica R.   Everyone else got to be called by their first name.  

When my student Angel came into school this morning after being absent all week the kids all cried, "Hi Angel R.! Welcome back Angel R.!"  Then, while I was waiting for some of my students to be picked up after school one of my little boys walked away yelling, "Bye Miguel G.!!"

What have I done!

I have three different duplicates of names in my class this year. Two Miguels, two Eduardos and two Angels. Without thinking I've been attaching the first letter of their last name onto their first name.  Now it is not simply Angel and Angel,  it is Angel R. and Angel E.   That's what they're going to be known as for the rest of their so sorry...I totally feel your pain.

My solution: Dear Parents, please be more creative when naming your children (and I don't mean naming your child Moonbeam or spelling Jennifer...Jaenipherr)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Survival Mode

Okay I'll admit it, I'm just as excited as my class of five year olds that Christmas Vacation is almost here.  Now the question is how do we survive the next two days!?   I think every teacher has downgraded into survival mode.  It's the only way we can make it through the week.  We all sort of look the same with glazed over eyes, a constant 'teacher look' stuck on our know the look, and piles of fun Christmassy worksheets stacked on our desk.   Our students are so excited they can no longer focus for more than a minute at a time.  So if we have anything imporant to say we have to condense it down to ten words or less and spit it out as fast as possible.  No wonder I'm tired,  it's like I've been a commercial the whole day...30 second intervals: loud, flashy, and fast.   It doesn't help that this is the week we are finishing up testing and filling out report cards.   I guess our reward is 14 days of uninterrupted bliss! No whining, tattling, and crying for 2 glorious weeks...the perks to being a teacher!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I thought I would upload some pictures of my classroom so you can see what it looks like!  Our rooms always seem to be a work in progress...they change with the seasons, what we're exploring in class, and what works best for the kids.  We usually get it just the way we want it and then it's summer vacation and time to pack it all up again :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009


This is my dad!! Back off!!

don't be alarmed, he was just yawning 

yes, that is Martin sound asleep... 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pajama Day!

Where else do you get to go to work and wear your pajamas?  This week was spirit week and today was our all time favorite spirit day....PAJAMA DAY!! Or as my students called it P-yama day.  "Mrs. Wolfe, I love your p-yamas!"  We were all decked out in our pjs...lots of spiderman and pink.   It feels so normal to be walking around your pajamas when everyone else is doing it.  I think people thought I was pretty stupid this morning scraping the ice off my car in my pajamas.  I wanted to yell, "It's pajama day...duh!"   I guess when I get home from work I'll already be ready for bed....

My lovely p-yama wearers

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Official!

I just received my new driver's license with my new name on it!  I guess that means the last of my 'Redenteness' is officially gone.  It's a little bittersweet.  I really liked my maiden name, I mean that's all I've known for the past 25 years, and I was just getting really good at signing my signature.  Now I'll have to practice my new name in my notebook like a teenager....Jessica Gale Wolfe...Jessica Wolfe...Mrs. Wolfe.  It has a nice ring to it.

There's a funny scene in one of my favoite movies Barefoot in the Park with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.  They're checking into the hotel for their honeymoon and the desk clerk says,
"Mr. Paul Bratter?"
"Is Mrs. Bratter staying with you?"
"My mother?!?"  
haha I wonder if it's a little strange for Martin hearing people call me Mrs. Wolfe :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Saved By The Gym

Thank goodness for open gym time!! It is a Kindergarten teacher's saving grace.  Today we got to have some uninterrupted gym time because our students haven't been able to have any recess (inside or outside).   It was so much fun watching 100 little kinder children running and laughing.  They were just as happy as their teachers :)   What I loved seeing the most was that these kids don't need a lot to have fun.  They just need an open space and their best friends and they are off running as fast as their little legs will carry them.  They were so excited.

One of my students, who is quite round, was putting all of his energy into the climbing wall.  
"Mrs. Wolfe! Watch me, watch me!"  
He kept running back over to me after he attempted the first handhold (about 1 foot off the ground) and would yell, "Did you see how high I was?!" 
"Wow! You were on top of the world!"  
When he made it to the second handhold (about three feet off the ground) I heard him yelling, "I'm too high! I'm too high!"  It was then Mrs. Wolfe to the rescue...I think I'll add that to my resume, 'Climbing wall rescuer.'

I may be a little deaf from all the yelling and shouting, but it was worth it!

'A Little Chilly' is an Understatement

The weather has been so unbearably cold the past week.  I think this morning the temperature read 5 degrees!  It's just pure torture thinking about going outside. I keep thinking of my sister, Kate, who is enjoying 80 degree weather right now and an occasional beach visit.

Our school building has been getting colder and colder as the temperature oustide drops.   We are all bundled up in layers upon layers so we can stay warm from the constant drafts and snow blowing under the doors. Some of my students have resorted to wearing their pajamas underneath their clothes.  I'll be honest, that idea doesn't look so crazy when you can't feel your eyeballs because it's arctic temperatures inside.

I used to be the envy of my hallway.  My room was toasty warm and so cozy.  Then our superintendent stopped by for a visit and said, "It is MUCH to hot in here!! We must get this fixed at ONCE!!" Well when your superintendent wants something done it gets done.  Within a blink of an eye a maintenance man was in my room re-setting my thermostat.   Now we are suffering like everyone else, runny noses, frozen hands, constant shivering.   Our poor hermit crabs are probably wishing they were back at the beach with Kate instead of in room C7 freezing their shells off.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Card Photo Shoot

let's just say someone wasn't having any part of this whole family photo shoot idea...

Ta daaa!!

notice how Wilson has the Christmas spirit within him

Saturday, December 5, 2009

In Remembrance

A special day to remember Martin's dad.  Everyday I see some of John in Martin...the way he walks, talks, so many things about his personality...they are truly a gift from his dad.   It's comforting to know the people we loved the most are still with us in so many ways.

The past three years Martin has been the proud owner of his dad's BMW.  Whenever Martin is driving the car he can't help but smile.  Even when times were financially hard, it was out of the question for us to sell the car.  I remember in high school, John told Martin and I that Martin was not to use the BMW to teach me how to drive stick...and boy has Martin stuck by that promise!

But what I remember the most is John telling me that I needed to always take good care of his son...and that is a promise I intend to keep.

     The Wolfe Family~ Thanksgiving 2006

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Inside Recess...umm no thank you

What do you get when it snows  a little bit and is average winter temperatures outside?  That's right folks, glorious inside recess.  I don't mean to sound uncaring, but we are raising a generation of wimps.   The minute there is a snowflake on the ground it is a mad rush to get the kids inside.  Hurry hurry hurry!  Don't let that tiny little snowflake hit you on the head.

Do you EVER remember having inside recess when you were in elementary school?  I remember playing in the snow at recess and I'm pretty sure I'm still alive.  So the kids get a little cold, then I guess they'll be running a little faster on the playground.  Let's build some character in these kids...I mean we had to walk to school in 200 feet of snow uphill both ways...remember?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Little Wilson Cat

Last March, Martin and I adopted THE MOST ADORABLE CAT ON THIS PLANET! at least in our opinion.   He is so cute I could seriously stare at him all day and not get bored.  Our family cat only likes my parents...which could possibly have been caused by the fact that my sister and I hugged him a little too much...  So I can't tell you how happy I am to have a cat that LOVES me back!

Wilson is about a year and half old and has officially reached his terrible twos.  And let's just say my wonderful husband hasn't helped the situation much.  I looked over into the kitchen a few weeks ago and saw Martin showing Wilson how to jump onto the counters.  "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!???" I calmly asked.  "I thought he'd want to see what was up there."    Hmmm

Despite his occasional moments of taught defiance, Wilson, has become the perfect fit to our little family.   And whether we know it or not, he is teaching us valuable parenting skills. Like not teaching your toddler how to jump onto the kitchen counters.

(sleeping in the laundry basket...I promise we won't teach our children this either.)  

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday my family had the largest Thanksgiving celebration we have ever had! My dad cooked up two pans of his homemade lasagna (I couldn't be more thankful that I don't have to eat turkey on Thanksgiving) and we enjoyed our Italian feast.  Our day was shared with my new mother-in-law Pam and her friend Jeff, along with my Aunt Jane, and my cousins Ann Marie, Mary, Jean Marie, Lee, and Kiya!  We were just missing my two sisters...who I'm sorry to say had to have some kind of poultry for dinner yesterday.

Jean Marie, Kiya, Ann Marie, Mary, and Me

(And here is my special plug for my cousin Mary who recently came out with her CD called Breakaway. *available on amazon and iTunes*  She sang a few of her songs for us yesterday and we are all blown away! Check it out for yourself! )

It was a perfect day...I'm so thankful for my wonderful, wonderful family

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday to my sister, KATE! Which I guess also means it is my birthday too!  We were born the day after Thanksgiving, 25 years ago, two minutes a part.  I am the older and wiser one, of course.

I'm excited it's my birthday, but I'm feeling kind of down because it's another birthday Kate and I can't share together.   It's a little too far to drive to Florida...I don't think I would make it in time.  When we were younger I sometimes wished I could have my own day.  We shared everything...couldn't I at least have one day where it was just about me?  But now, when we can't be together, I wish I could take those thoughts back.  I would do anything for my sister to be here with me.   It's just not the same.

We are sharing at least one thing though...our birthday dinner tradition of homemade Fettucini Alfredo...mmmmm!  Our all time favorite meal, or as my mom calls it, "Heart attack on a plate."  A little artery clogging is well worth it for this one day.  

I guess because we can't be together today, we'll have an even bigger reason to celebrate again when she comes home for Christmas...I can't wait! 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Car!

I am so excited to share with you the newest addition to our, no not a baby...a car!

I had been driving the same car since high school. It had definitely served it's purpose, gotten me where I needed to be (for the most part.)   Although we had our battles, I was sort of sad to see it go.  I'm going to miss all its little quirks, like having the inside light never turn off.  It was pretty acrobatically challenging when I would have to drive with my hand covering the light when it was dark outside.  Ahhh, those were the days.

Now the new adventure begins.   I feel so adult...and I owe a HUGE HUGE thank you to my dad...he's a very good haggler  :)


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yea For You!

My older sister and I are taking a boot camp workout class together...don't be jealous :)  It's pretty nice because it's just me and my sister and the trainer.  Yesterday during our class my teacher said to me, "You're doing such a great job!"  ...see? I can be athletic.  It gave me such a huge boost of confidence to finish the incredibly sweaty workout (I have seriously never sweated that much or even known I could sweat that much!)  It made me start to think about what praise can do for someone's self esteem.

Every teacher has had a student who basically drives them up the wall.  Some days we are more patient then others, and some days I know I wish I could have seen a little more of the 'good' in that child.   I have a particular student who is very wearing on my nerves.  He has so much energy and he cannot sit long enough to accomplish a single task.  I try my very best to be calm with him...but today was one of those days.  Towards the end of the day I felt worn down and felt bad that my student and I had had such a rough day.  I realized I hadn't given him much praise today so I watched him for a moment and saw that he was actually sitting in his chair.  I hurried to fill out one of our award certificates for good behavior...before he moved...and announced to the class, "Good job Adrian! I love how you're sitting in your chair!" (we like to celebrate the little things in Kindergarten) You should have seen his smile!  He jumped up and as he walked by his classmates so proudly he couldn't help but spread the news!  "Hey Dylan? Did you see I got a BARK award? Look Timothy!"  And you know what he did after that? He actually sat down to write his name...well at least the first three letters :)  Better than nothing!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Five year olds are really good at telling you when you're wrong or you've messed up.  Pretty much everyday I forget to change the specials on the daily schedule.  I know I've forgotten as soon as I hear "Mrs. Wolfe, YOU FORGOT TO CHANGE THE SPECIALS!"  Today I left music up on the schedule from Friday.  Someone started the domino effect by shouting out that, "We did NOT have music today, Mrs. Wolfe!"  Then I think every student after that proceeded to tell me that I still had music up and today was P.E.  Clearly, I hadn't heard the first voice.  

I dismiss kids from the carpet by row color.  This afternoon I was going about dismissing the rows "Red row may go, blue row may go..."  Then all of a sudden I accidentally slipped and said, "Green table may go..." You would have thought I just cursed up a storm.  The whole class corrected me immediately saying "YOU SAID 'TABLE' NOT ROW!!!"  okay, okay geez.

But the all time worst is when they correct your appearance. We have school spirit shirts that we are allowed to wear on Fridays.  When I haven't done laundry that is usually my choice of attire.  I opened the door to let the kids in and one of my little boys says as he walks by, "Did you have to wear that today?"  

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Martin and I have been talking a lot about what we should do next year.  Should we stay? Should we move? We pretty much go back and forth on our decision every week.  I think my family is getting tired of hearing, "Well we made a decision! We're moving!" and then an hour later, "We decided we're going to stick it out a few more years." What if we decide to move and it ends up being the worst decision ever? Or what if we don't move and then regret it for a long time?  Anyone want to tell me what to do?

This winter will be my third year here in Denver, and I think I'm finally starting to settle in (let's just say it takes me a while to get used to things :) I know where the grocery store is, the Target, and my school.  It's not as scary driving around the big city once you get used to it.  Oh, and yesterday I found the Post Office (well, Martin drove me), but I paid see?  I now know where all the necessities are.

I never in a million years would have pictured myself living in Denver, but here I am for now.  Our apartment is literally the size of a shoebox, but I think we have finally made it feel like home.  My older sister and brother-in-law live in a different building in the same complex, which is convenient when I need to borrow a cup of sugar or just be around my family :)   If I think about it we have it pretty good here...hmmm I think I've changed my mind again.  I'll let you know when we make a decision.  :)

For now, here are some pictures to help you visualize our life here in Denver.