Monday, June 30, 2008


Carter calls his cousin Cameron (in the picture below) "Kid." We think he got this from me always referring to the cousins as "the kids." He says all the other cousin names, yet continues to call Cameron "kid." It is pretty cute. "Kid" and his sister Caitlyn have been staying with us for the past few days while their parents and sister were in Dallas for a volleyball tournament. We have had loads of fun and Carter LOVES having them here. We don't want to let them go home! Today we went to a movie, had a water balloon fight, went swimming in the hot tub, had some yummy pudding, and had a bar-b-que. What a perfect summer day!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


From formal and drab...

To shabby and sheek!

I've been wanting to redo the curtains in our pool room for so long now. Our other ones just looked too formal with the pool table and they were pretty sun damaged. I was finally able to redo them this week and love how they turned out. A shout out to my mom for all the help she gave! (I must have called her a dozen times trying to figure out how much fabric I needed!!) I am still trying to decide if I like the pillows on the chairs though. I'm not sold yet. What do you think?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Family Home Evening Board

I made this really cute board at Enrichment and now I'm not really sure what I'll do with it. It is a white board/magnetic board on one side and then on the other side it is flannel. I loved that it was a flannel board but I kinda thought when I signed up for it that we were going to make flannel "characters" or pictures to go along with it for lessons. So now I have a flannel board with not much to put on it. I do have a book of Carter's called "The Miracles of Jesus" that has flannel pictures in it that I could use but those will only work with lessons on Jesus. Where can I get other flannel things to use for lessons? 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Just to brag a little...

I was featured in my company's newsletter this week for one of my implementations. If only I was really famous from this...

"The walk to success: Pre-Sales through Renewal
A less than stellar history with PLATO Learning on an older platform, glitches in the initial start up of the new implementation, and a car accident that delayed the start of the first PD session... This is the profile of an implementation that, according to the Account Manager and the Educational Consultant, began under the shadow of Murphy's Law.
How did the PLATO Learning Team which included Amy Serrano, Mary O'Malley, Howard Sweet, Jessica Klippel, Pan To, and Anthony Canepa not only keep a series of unfortunate events from heralding full scale disaster but also win a 5-year, multi-site Credit Recovery renewal?"

Engagement Profile
The Effective Edge – June 2008
Product: Enhanced Secondary Library
Implementation: Credit Recovery
Sales team members
􀂃 Amy Serrano, Account Manager
􀂃 Wendy Cox, Account Representative
􀂃 Mary O’Malley, Curriculum & Instruction Consultant
Customer Name
Tucson Unified Public Schools
Technical Support
􀂃 Anthony Canepa, Field Engineer
􀂃 Tan To, Services Support Specialist
􀂃 Howard Sweet, Pre-sales Engineer
Customer History
Several years into a less-than-successful Credit Recovery/CHPWLN implementation at 5 campuses sold by former PLATO AM
Professional Services
􀂃 Jessica Klippel, Educational Consultant
Credit Recovery

The Sales Team credits Professional Services’ Educational Consultant Jessica Klippel with the outstanding success of this implementation.
The Secret to Our Success
Jessica credits the strong lines of communication between her and the Sales Team, and between the entire PLATO Team and the customer.
According to those involved in this implementation, the key words are PARTNERSHIP, PATIENCE, and PERSEVERENCE.
Amy says,
“Partnership with my Sales team members helped me lay out a clear plan for the phased approach; a plan that included specifics. It took patience to help the site see the potential, to lay out the vision for the future-state implementation while beginning in a fairly small way.
The engagement process for this customer came as a direct result of the high level of communication and strong partnership between Sales and Services. This as my first account that included a project manager. I was able to position this effectively with the customer by providing an outline of what the professional development would include. Jessica’s abilities and professionalism brought every aspect of the outline to life in a way that allowed the site to develop ownership and achieve success. She also laid the groundwork for the sites to use their data effectively. This was critical in winning the renewal.
And finally, but maybe most importantly, it took perseverance. From the beginning, there were technology issues including problems with bandwidth. Jessica encountered two major accidents on her way to the very first teacher-professional development session traffic. Once she “hit” the second one, she knew she would be late. When she did arrive, we found that the site sent the wrong people to the session. Needless to say, it began to feel as if everything that could go wrong would. But, patience and perseverance, addressing challenges diplomatically but head on, allowed us to effectively support each site in reaching their stated goals. This won us a long-term relationship that is profitable for everyone involved.”

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day Sean!

Here's to you Sean and the great Dad that you are...a new sink and faucet that you've been wanting for a long time.

P.S. Do you mind installing it too?!? No, OK can you install it today? (We got it yesterday so he could enjoy it on Father's Day--how thoughtful of me, ya!?)

*ugly chipped and scratched sink and cheap ugly faucet

* during all the hard work
*the beautiful finished product. I am absolutely in love with it!! 

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tweenlight Fan Club

I was on my beloved Southwest Airlines Flight yesterday evening trying to make it home from California. I boarded and found my seat, a nice aisle seat with someone who looked nice enough but not too chatty sitting by the window. The crew had just made an announcement that this was a full flight and to take the first seat you saw. A woman in the aisle looks at the middle seat open next to me and then looks at me. I ask if she would like to sit there and she says, "Actually, would you mind moving over there (points at another seat) so my husband and I can sit together." (I was a little shocked to hear this request, I was already settled into my seat, this was only an hour flight and she was in her 40's. It's not like she was being separated from her 3 year old). I kindly reply, "So you want me to give up my aisle seat for a middle seat so you can sit together." The strange woman says, "Well yes, if you don't mind." I reply, "Well actually I do mind, but I'll do it." The strange woman says, "Oh no, don't worry about it." I reply, "No, no, let me get my stuff."  I proceed to move over to my new middle seat and the woman sitting in the aisle says she will scoot over to the middle, I nicely reply, "no, there is no need to inconvenience everyone." Maybe I had had a really long day and was already on edge (I had 35 people come to my training even though I told the school twice that 15 participants was our max. I had major crowd control issues all throughout my training) because I am not normally a confrontational person. I usually think of the perfect line to say back to someone about 15 minutes after the moment has passed. So 1. Yes I was nice and moved for her but 2. I said what I wanted to say (without being too rude) to really tell her that it was a little ridiculous for her to ask me to move (I mean, come on seriously, you can't be separated from your husband for 1 hour?-maybe you shoulda checked in earlier so you coulda boarded in the A group to pick better seats). 

But now onto the better part of the story. So I end up sitting next to this girl who looks about 12. She looks a little scared and is obviously flying by herself. I decide to start making some conversation with her. I happen to be holding my book I am reading (The Host by Stepahine Meyer), she asks if I like Stephanie Meyer. I do and so does she. The conversation proceeds and goes something like this with the other girl doing most of the talking: 

12 year old: "Oh my gosh, I love Twilight, it was so awesome. I totally could not put the book down and I don't even like to read. I read all 3 books like so fast. There are a group of us girls at school that sit together and 5 of us like Edward and 5 of us like Jacob. And we totally argue about who is better. It is so cool. I like Edward. I can't wait for the movie to come out. I have so many pictures on my phone. (proceeds to show me pictures). Here's one my friend cropped of Bella to show what she will look like when she chooses Edward. See how pale her skin is. It's so cool. I have pictures of the Cullens too. I think I will read all the books again before Breaking Dawn comes out but not until school starts again because I really don't like to read. When I was reading New Moon and Edward wasn't in it for so long I was like dying and I said to my friend when does Edward come back and she told me and I almost died making it that far."

I realized that I had so much in common with this girl (except for sitting at a lunch table with other girls arguing over Edward and Jacob). We both loved the same books. And then I realized, I am "totally" into these books that a bunch of tweens are raving about. Apparently, I just joined the Tweenlight Fan Club! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Random Sampler

We've had one busy week so far. Carter has a new fascination with carrying his Mickey Mouse around with him. We've done lots of swimming. Some friends in our neighborhood went out of town and told us to use their pool anytime and we have sure taken them up on it. Carter has been loving it. He is getting ready for his swim lessons that start next month. 

Carter must think the bathtub is his swimming pool--he loves to lay on his back in the tub!! 
Other random thoughts: 

* I returned my rental car at the airport today and the woman first told me I looked very nice. Then she saw I was from Phoenix and said I shouldn't be hot while in Albuquerque. I said no I'm not hot, just tired. She then said, "well, you're hot, just not temperature hot; that's what all the boys must tell you anyways."   Weird. 
* I'm pretty sure I saw some sort of critter run across my closet floor this morning at 4 while getting ready for work. Sean thinks I was just seeing things at 4 in the morning. Now I am kinda freaked out about going in my closet. 
* By the end of the week I will have done trainings for work in AZ, CA, and NM. I don't like it. 
* I have gotten a flat tire on my bike 2 weeks in a row in the same exact location. What are the chances of that happening? 
* 2 weeks ago one of my best friends, and one of Sean's best friends got married. We set them up 2 years ago (in fact the first time they met was at the hospital when Carter was born). Their first date was at our house and we went hot tubbing. This is the first time either Sean or I have played match maker and what a huge success!!  
* I feel bad for people who work in Customer Service. I don't work in Customer Service, but had to deal with LOTS of complaining customers yesterday. It was exhausting, I can't imagine doing that full time. 
* Carter did not do very well in his tumbling class this week. He only want to do the activities if none of the other kids did them. Not sure what got into him. 
* We're going to story time at the library and swimming tomorrow before I leave for the airport. I'm getting a much needed tan this summer and am loving it! 

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Airport Fun

My job used to require me to fly A LOT. We are talking 2-3 flights a week on a regular basis. That has slowed down tremendously in the last 2 years. It is a rare occasion now that I have to fly. I became very good at going to the airport; it was almost annoying to travel among rookies as they slowed everything down! These rookies and their rookie mistakes still bother me when I have to fly but that is another topic. Nothing bothers me more at the airport than the actual airline company US Airways. Southwest is my airline of choice. By far, the nicest employees and almost always on time. I have only been on a handful of US Airways flights that have been on time. This last Thursday/Friday were no exception. In fact my Friday flight came in almost 30 minutes early. How do you do that? I had to stand outside waiting for my ride to pick me up because I was so early. Anyways, my flight was about to begin boarding so the usual crowd rushes up to the podium-even though US Airways boards in zones anyways-so it doesn't really matter if you rush up to the podium because you are probably in zone 19 anyways. When the woman began announcing boarding, this is what she said, "At this time we are pre-boarding for flight 396 with non-stop service to Ontario. We will begin boarding 1st class passengers, passengers who need assistance, passengers traveling with children under 5, Elite members, Silver members, gold members, Mastercard lifetime card holders, and Visa Signature Select members." What?? I thought the list was never going to end. And why is it that someone with a Visa Signature Select Card is more important than my Visa Business Card (well, maybe it's because my card is through Southwest, but still). Next, they began boarding Zone 1. I was Zone 2. I was in seat 6A. However, by the time I boarded the flight was half full and there was no luggage space above my seat. I had to put it further back which makes it very difficult to retrieve when trying to depart the plane after landing. Ridiculous.