Saturday JK made the long drive to Visalia to spend 24 hours with us. The plan was to stay about 12 hours, but we coerced them through a heavy meal and promise of uninterrupted sleep into staying the night. We had a great evening--not unlike many many others we have spent together. We sipped coffee, talked incessantly, ate delicious meals, snacked on home-made caramel corn and Triscuits, and played Scene-It, which somehow has become "our" game -- thank goodness newer versions of that thing come out often. We talked about our homes, yards, jobs, families, and spent a good amount of time mulling over the problem (and of course, our solution) of today's education. It was good.
It got me reminiscing about how Kelly and I became friends.

Over seven years ago, Kelly and I met. I had just taken a teaching job at Whittier Christian and was in my classroom, which at that point was filled with piles and boxes. The teacher who had had the room before me had left quite a bit of stuff -- some helpful, some junk-- and I was sorting through it and the pieces I had accumulated in student teaching. I was pretty pleased with an easel this teacher had left and  set it up with a welcome board.

As I laid posters out and made paper towers, in walked Kelly. She was lovely and friendly, introduced herself and welcomed me, and said the reason she had come was to take an easel the previous teacher had promised her. Drat, I thought. The one good thing she left me! I was a bit embarrassed that it was already set up, but it didn't matter. Soon she and I were chatting, and I knew (seriously, I knew) that this girl and I would become friends. We had all sorts of things in common -- newlyweds (our wedding dates are within two weeks of each other) and new teachers (freshmen for me, sophomore for her) who loved cooking and reading and shopping and coffee. Starbuck's was down the road, and we would spend many hours there over the next few years.

Kelly and I had a fantastic three years of teaching together. Except for the actual teaching moments, we were practically inseparable. This, as you can imagine, was something the students ate up. They loved that their two favorite math and English teachers (oh yes, we were the favorites) were also best friends. And they got an even bigger kick when John joined the teaching staff, and Rob came onboard as a sub. (Incidentally, Kelly and I set up John and Rob on a coffee date one afternoon, and their friendship was as immediate as ours.) I like to say that John and Kelly were our first grown-up friends as a couple, and even though early married life had its struggles, it also was a blissful, carefree time for the four of us! We were in southern California, afterall, where ocean waves and Mickey and Minnie were a short drive away. We have stayed close after all these years, through moves and babies and new jobs and new churches.

It is rare to have friends like these--Rob and I are blessed to have a couple of these deep friendships in our lives--and it's amazing what sometimes brings such friendships about. For me and Kelly, it was an easel.
An early picture of the four of us chaperoning a Winter Formal for school.
I need to find the original -- this is from an old blog post, hence the tiny nature of it.


  1. great post! how fun - i will admit to being a bit envious of your friendship as couples!! that is rare and hard to find so enjoy it for all it is :)

  2. Hey Friend! Thanks for the nice post. I can only admit this because I've grown up and am no longer so shallow: The first time I saw you walking across campus, I though, "What I pretty new teacher! I want to be her friend!" I also can't believe that I took that white board after I saw that you had already set it up. You seriously would have used more than I ended up using it!


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