Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas with my husband

Don't forget to check out our married blog to see some of the things we're doing together this Christmas season!:)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What do you do when...

A child comes up to at school and asks,

" Mrs. BB. Why does everyone say Santa is real and if you're good all year he will come and bring you presents? I'm good all year and he never visits me. My mom and dad don't have money for presents and I always hope he'll come with presents for me.He never does. Why doesn't he ever come?"

Gingerbread season

My mentee and I decided to decorate a gingerbread house together:)

We got to talk while we decorated the lil house together. We seemed to like to laugh alot together:)

She decorated one side and I decorated the other side.:)

This is her first time to ever make a gingerbread house!

This was the start of my side. Not great, but boy did it taste good!

This is our lil house almost decorated completely. Gingerbread, candy icing, gummy bears, sour skittles, and gum drops make a house that we both would love to live in if we had a chance. Talks about hansel and gretel, eating our way out of a house, and willy wonka's candy factory just made the time eating and making a candy house even more enjoyable:).

Here's the front of our house. Look, a little gummy bear friend is at the door!
Here's my side of colorful goodness.

Here's Ailyn's side of gummy bears pasted to the roof:) notice her window with a gummy bear head looking out the window:)
Hope you get a chance to enjoy some time with someone this season with decorating a gingerbread house!:)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My lil sis' pic

So proud of Ashley! Her picture made it to the Beaufort Gazette Newspaper!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas at HOME

Christmas week at home consists of:
  1. Late nights of laughing, preparing, family, and food previous nights to Christmas eve
  2. Cozy evenings of locking myself in my bedroom, wrapping presents and wrestling Peyton
  3. Smelling mom's cooking, and testing everything!!!
  4. Last minute Sister Dates shopping for last minute things for Christmas eve
  5. Peppermint Mocha Coffee with whipped cream and red and green sprinkles in a colorful mug
  6. Sitting in a dim room with a brightly lit Christmas tree with Ashley and talking about colorful things of Christmas
  7. Sticking our heads under the Christmas tree, and looking up at the twinkling lights, and imagining to be in the north pole or Narnia.
  8. Dance parties with the whole family-single ladies part 2!
  9. Guessing what is inside all the wrapped packages under the tree, and hoping the big ones are for you!
  10. Peyton being scared of the wrapped packages under the tree.
  11. Long dinners at the dinner table, laughing about past Christmases.
  12. Christmas movies with ilene and ashley-the Grinch, the Santa Clause, etc.
  13. blasting new Christmas music in the morning to dance to as we all get ready
  14. Running around Beaufort doing last minute errands, and hoping to run into someone you know so you can say, "Merry Christmas!!!" one more time.
  15. Hugs and cuddling on the couch while talking or watching movies.
And on Christmas EVE our festivities begin:
  1. Drive around Beaufort at night to look at all the lit homes with Christmas lights and decorations
  2. Eating a Christmas meal at 10 pm with the family, and having it last for a couple hours:)
  3. Dad reads the story of Jesus' birth and we all pray as a family
  4. 12:01 AM Christmas day, we open our presents one at a time and show it off to a video camera
  5. After presents, hugs, and kisses, we drag the mattresses, blankets, and pillows out to the living room.
  6. The Gamboa family Christmas campout in the living room begins, with Home Alone 1, 2, and 3. (we have forbidden ourselves to watch it any other time during the year.)
  7. Christmas day, we spend the day in the living room and play with our new things!
And this year, we have a new edition to our family!!!

Ryan Brandenberger, the new husband, son, and brother, is gonna be joining our exclusive Gamboa family Christmas activities!:) First boy (and person) ever to join us during our family time Christmas:) I get the privilege of spending our first Christmas as a married couple at my house!:) Yay, i'm soooo excited! Christmas is my FAVORITE time of the year!

My mentee and I

my mentee and I decided to bake cookies together this past week. we had such fun together making snickerdoodles! Neither of us had ever baked snickerdoodles, but we tested them on her friends, teachers, and my husband, and we got all positive responses!:) She was beaming with excitement passing them out. it was fun, messy, and full of laughs.

Our weekly meetings have been something I've looked forward to every week! I am very thankful for being matched up with her, and can't wait for the rest of my times with her:)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Today Lolo passed away. I only have a few memories with him, but I am so glad for those few that i DO have.
I remember praying for him, as a little girl, praying that he would come to know the Lord.
Lolo came to visit us when I was 6 and stayed for about a month in SC. It was exciting to have a grandpa around.
We continued to pray for our Lolo's salvation.
When I was 10, we went to visit the Philippines and got to see him again. he was so proud of us.
I kept praying for my Lolo's salvation.
We got to see his house, and his pictures of our daddy and his neat jeepney.
When I was 14, we went back to the Philippines and saw him as well. It was neat seeing him smile and to see how similiar my daddy (named after my Lolo) looked to him. That was pretty cool.
I continued to pray until this day for his salvation.
Most of my memories of him was praying for his salvation, and praying for his safety, and protection. My family prayed for him constantly, I prayed for him with Ilene, and even to this day, I prayed for him.
Today, he passed away. I'm praying for my family.

God is in control.

Monday, October 26, 2009

super mario galaxy 2

yay, they're coming out with a new one for 2010!!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


josue, vanessa, and gabe:)

high school band
emily...doesn't she kinda look like emmy, ate?
the entire school.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Here are a few pics of where i work. I work alot of the time in the 1st and 2nd grade wing of school, doing "pull out interventions" or what the kids call it "Book Club." basically, the Titles pull kids out of class for twenty to thirty minutes each group and work on their reading, fluency, spelling, and grammar. These are the kids who are not reading up to their speed for their grade, for example, third graders need to be reading about 140 WPM (words per minute). we take the kids who are about 20-60 WPM and spend time working on reading skills, and teach them how to read better. Some of my second graders can't read words like, "and" or "my," so we go over all the sounds of alphabet and all the letter combination sounds. I currently have 5 Intervention groups (book club), and 3 reading groups (where we work with the kids in the classroom, rather than pulling them out.)

here are the lockers for the 1st to 2nd grade...each kid in elementary school gets their own locker in their wing!!!

this is the 1st and 2nd grade wing. with lockers for the first graders on the right, and second graders are on the left. down each hallway are the classrooms.
a few of my Intervention groups happen at this table. I love my intervention groups. We call them book club for the kids, and they love being pulled out of class and doing the reading. It gives them more one on one attention in a small group setting. Alot of behavioral kids end up in these groups, and we notice that their behavior gets better in the small group setting:).
we have 5 Title IAs that share this classroom...we have so much fun in there:)
well, thatz just a lil bit of my every day life. I love love LOVE my job:)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the Hawks!

These lil guys and girls are the Hawks:) they're the team Ryan's coaching and I'm helping him with. Alot of these kids go to the school i work at, so it is pretty neat getting the chance out of school to get to know them. They play so hard, and have impressed us so much by yheir perseverance! I love having the afternoons playing soccer with them. I'm so proud of my husband's coaching too! He's a great coach!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Peyton Manning Gamboa

I miss him.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Favorite quotes from the first week of school...

3rd Graders:
"Are you London Tipton from that Disney Show?!"

"No, I'm Ms. Kristine Brandenberger."

"No, you're LONDON TIPTON!!!!!! and you're just pretending not to be, so you can live a normal life!!!"

"No....I'm not her...but...*thinks about it.* YAY ME!!!"

"you ARE LONDON Tipton!!!!! Its London Tipton!!!!! AAAAAHHH!!!!"

"Are you a cheerleader?"

"No...I'm one of your teachers."

"you ARE?! Are you in High school?"

"No...I'm done with highschool."

"Are you in college?"

"No, I'm done with college."

"You ARE?! how old ARE you!?!"




Cristal: I'm tired of training...just give me the gives and let me teach 'em stuff! I'll teach 'em what they needa know!"

hahahah....ok, now for the Kindergarteners:

"Ok, boys and girls, what is round?"

"A Circle."

"Good! What do we see in the classroom that's round?"

"My Teacher!!!!!!!!!!" (who was sitting at the next table)

"Your teacher?"

"yeah, her head is SO round!"

a child's faith...

my sweet little man, clark, asked Jesus into his heart this month. Praise God for this new life in Christ!:)

Monday, September 21, 2009

After a great first day of work...

i thought today would be interesting after i was driving happily to school my first day of work and a cop pulled me over. turns out there needed to be a license plate in front of my car. anyways, after that i happily went back to driving to work and got there, and started a wonderful day of training! can't wait to start on my own!

the kids were wonderful and the teachers and staff were so welcoming. I am really impressed with the Storm Lake public school...they are very concerned with each individual child's needs-and there are 749 children in the school. I wouldn't have a problem sending my kids to this school.

I went out today and bought some new flats, which i'm in love with:) I went to the one place to shop in town, The Buckle, and bought them. Kinda pricey, but i needed them so we got them:) I'm really quite excited to have some new shoes.

I filled out the paperwork for health insurance, which is one of the best benefits of the job. It's fully paid for me, with a 25 dollar co-pay...its excellent for our budget! We're pretty happy with that blessing.

I got home from this wonderfully filled day, and found the surprise of flowers and a funny certificate that melted my heart when i saw it:) Ryan made it out for me, which made me laugh, and I covered him in hugs and kisses:). on the side is a note that says, "Don't worry about dinner. I'm taking care of it. Love, Ryan." Isn't he just great?:)

To top it off, I received letters from the sweet sweet kids from the Vinnitsa Orphanage in Ukraine. Letters that told me they missed me, loved me, and wanted to see me and my husband soon. Needless to say, i burst into happy tears, and my heart was about to jump right out with happiness. My husband can testify that I have missed the smiling faces alot this past summer.

Well, thatz a little bit about my day. started off kinda weird, but ended in a great way. Tonite is date night with Ryan-i always look forward to our date night each week! Off to spend the rest of the evening with him!
closeup view...hahah, he makes me smile:)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It fell into my lap.

I wasn't expecting it.
I didn't apply for it.
I was just enjoying substituting whenever it was needed.
But God provides...

Today i got offered a full time job.
Was interviewed and offered a job on the spot.
To be an English Language Learning Instructor for all the grades at school.
Teaching phonics, visual phonics, and instructional reading.

They told me they have been watching me and that I was a perfect fit.
That my resume was the most interesting they've ever read!
That they were prepared to offer me a job for whenever I was available.
I start full time on Monday!!!!!

God is Amazing. Ryan and I prayed for provision.
This job has benefits that we needed.
We prayed for guidance for a way to get to know families.
God opened a door through the public school system.
We're stepping right through it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ashley's 14!!!!

(photo of the shoes Ryan and I got her for her bday!:))
My lil sister Ashley is 14!!! I can't believe she's already 14. In the busyness of the week, I didn't get the chance to blog about her until today. I wish i could be there to celebrate this week. She's in HIGH SCHOOL. how weird is that? She's always been my miracle baby sister, the one I prayed for for five years until God blessed our family with her. She's one of my best friends, and the best little sister I could ask for. I love our dates and our talks and the nights we get to stay up late together. Miss you ashley, and I can't wait to see you when you come visit me!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

feeling more like home...

wow. am i actually going to say it? yes, i am...weirdly enough, Storm Lake is beginning to feel like home. Living with my husband and seeing him as my own family is becoming more real to me, and I can't even imagine life without him. My apartment here is feeling more and more cozy, and welcoming to come home to, and the town is starting to grow on me. weird huh?

this past week was a welcome change to the past couple weeks. I spent most of my time at a girl, Sarah's, house. She just had triplets and needed help keeping the newborns happy, feeding them, and changing their lil poop catchers. i spent about 3 and 1/2 days over there just hanging out with her, talking, watching tv, and holding 6 month old triplets. so cute.

I also spent the week subbing for the first time at the elementary school. There is a brand new HUGE elementary school with like 700 kids (and constantly growing), and there are like 8 kindergarten classrooms with like 23 kids each. I spent a day with the kindergarten class, and that was a blast! i got a bunch of hugs, and had fun playing learning games, and practicing handwriting, and reading a bunch of stories. another day, i spent at the preschool classroom subbing with special needs children. some were autistic, some had behavioral problems, down syndrome, etc. i had never worked with special needs kids, so that was a different experience, but enjoyable as well. I'm excited to keep this subbing thing going. Right now, I'm subbing for TA's (IA's here in iowa, Instructional Assistants), but Ryan and I have thought about me getting a substitute teacher authorization, so i can actually substitute teach. that'd be awesome:) we're working on getting that worked out.

it's been a good week, and more to come next week. Today was great, we rested this morning, since it felt like we had been on the go most of last week. We bought a bed!!! yay!!! We've been sleeping on a twin size mattress, which has been cozy and nice and all, but haha, we're ready to move on to a bigger and better, off the floor bed. We got a great cozy queen, so we're pumped to get it in on tuesday. after that we took a nice long bike ride. it was weird cuz we ended up riding on a hughway with cars that didn't quite know what to do with bikers on the side of the road. When I saw three horses grazing, and couldn't see any buildings or the lake, i realized we had left Storm Lake and were on our way elsewhere. Dirt rodes, horses, crop fields, and dust, we went WAY out of Stormlake.

After all that, we took a nice relaxing night to see the movie Julia and Julia...its been an amazingly wonderful day with Ryan...i love thinking I have the rest of my life with this boy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kindergarteners like to talk alot...

Today was my first day as an Instructional Assistant at the Storm Lake Public School. The three elementary schools are all in one big brand new school building. It's huge and really really nice. I wouldn't haven't a problem sending my kids to that school, its a really good one. I had a GREAT time with the kindergarten class, and left there already feeling attached to the kids. That one class room totally reflected how sad the poverty level is here. Some of those kids came to school with toes sticking out of their tiny shoes, worn down and way to small, shirts filthy, and some kids go to school in all their brand name clothing. It was kinda sad to see that, but it was cool to be a part of their lives at least this one day. The kids left today with huge hugs for me, and asking me if I would be back tomorrow. I hope I get another call to sub tomorrow morning, I'd love it!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Should be fun.

Ms. Elaine from my church volunteered me to help with this new mother who had triplets. Ryan and I met her husband the other day, and i'm looking forward to helping her out with the triplets! they are 6 months old, but because they were three months premature, they are about the size of a 3 month of baby. Dax, Shepherd, and Olivia...Should be alot of fun:)

I'll be doing that until I find a job. This morning I got a phone call to sub at the elementary school, but I couldn't take it because I'm going to the triplet's house. I'm excited for the chance to do some subbing. I can't wait.:) well, thatz a brief update on my day. I'm excited for this week:)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

i love my husband.

I love him.
I wasn't feeling good last night-so i crashed on the couch after dinner.
I woke up-and all the dishes were done and the kitchen was all cleaned up.
I was freezing when I went to bed. I woke up and i had TWO blankets covering me.
I woke up this morning feeling a little better and had a sore throat.
My husband was bustling around the kitchen doing laundry, putting the dry dishes away, and making breakfast.
I love my husband:).
Married life is so sweet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

additional blog:)

here's another blog specifically for me and my husband to update on our lives in the middle of nowhere-er, i mean, Iowa. hope you enjoy visiting this other blogg as well as my blog here:)
Here's the link:

Friday, August 21, 2009

"I do."

I am not quite sure of where exactly to start in describing the most amazing day of my life. It started early morning on Saturday, August 8th. I got up from the couch I'd been sleeping on, and looked over and saw my cousin still snoring away. I checked the time-it was already 5:30 am. It all felt so unreal, because in 5 more hours, I'd be standing at an altar, saying "I do." I got up from the couch, and found Peyton asleep next to Ashley, and so I cuddled my favorite puppy in my arms for a few minutes while I waited for the rest of the household to wake up. So many emotions were hitting me as i thought through what was going to happen the next few days.

The wedding ceremony is a blur when i think back on it. I remember tearing up the moment i walked through the double doors toward Ryan at the altar. I remember seeing all the people who were there for our special day, and seeing their smiling faces. I remember dad grinning, and I remember seeing Mr. Vince and Ryan standingg there. I looked away quickly, because I knew I'd lose it if I looked at him. I glanced over at the bridesmaids and Juniors, and they looked BEAUTIFUL. My flower girl, Grace, and my ringbearer, Clark, had done an excellent job walking down the aisle and everyone was absolutely taken by their cuteness. I remember how worshipful it was, and I remember struggling through the long sentences of the vows. (I couldn't remember what Mr. Vince told me to repeat!) I remember looking at Ryan, and not believing were actually at the day of the beginning of our marriage...everything just seemed surreal. I remember our kiss at the altar and the excitement of it in front of everyone.

Leaving the ceremony was like a breath of fresh air. It was over, all the planningg was done, the preparation for the wedding was finished. We were husband and wife, and boy did that feel good!:) The Juniors were riding in the convertible in the back seat, hooting and hollering and screaming out of excitement. I couldn't believe it was over.

The reception was a blast. I just remember it being loads of fun, and seeing people I hadn't seen in so long. I have so much more to write, but since I'm stealing the wireless signal from the local hospital nearby, the signal keeps going in and out, and my husband and I are about to head home. Once I get pictures from the photographer, I will post it. I can't wait to update all ya'll about how life in Storm Lake Iowa is going!:) I'll write again soon when I get the chance to snag wireless signal somewhere else. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer with my favorite girls:)

Some of my favorite memories with Alexandra and Jacqueline...I'm going to miss them...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

10 days...

its getting shorter!!! Only 10 days left til my wedding day! oh wow...

Things to Do:

-make table arrangements and table signs


-figure out order of reception

-gifts for juniors, grace

-find a place to get my hair done

- cake

-type up a schedule for thebridesmaids

I canNOT wait to see all my Moody and Chicago friends in beaufort and show them my beautiful beautiful home town and introduce them to all the friends I've grown up with.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stephanie Campos

Today is a big day that I wish I could be a part of. It's Stephanie Campos' Wedding Day! She's getting married in Alaska, and I was supposed to be there-I had been looking forward to it all year...Unfortunately, my funds were not enough to get me to Alaska for this special day, because of rent and bills, but I wish more than anything I could be there right now.

Steph has been one of the most special persons in my life the past two years. For the past two years, we've had amazing times together, sharing our walks with Christ together, shopping, going on trips, accountability, late nights, sleepovers, and study dates. We went wedding dress shopping, and bridesmaid dress shopping, and made invitations, and all the grand ole stuff of wedding planning. Steph was the one that dragged me around to bridal stores to get ideas of stuff, and she's the one responsible for taking me to Borders bookstore to look at wedding magazines....All that is close to over as she's getting married today, and I'm getting married in two weeks! She'd spend nights over at my apartment to study, and hangout and watch movies, etc. I've missed her alot the past couples months school has been out and she headed back to Alaska:(

She'll be at my wedding in two weeks, and boy, am I so excited to see her and her HUSBAND paul!:)
Wish I were there Steph, but I'm thinking about you ALOT and praying for you and your husband!:) Love you sooo much friend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

19 days left...

19 days til I get married!!! Things left to do:

-make table arrangements and table signs


-rehearsal dinner list and invitations

-find a place for the photographer to stay

-figure out order of ceremony and reception


-gifts for juniors, clark and grace

-find a place to get my hair done

- cake

-type up a schedule for the bridesmaids

-Spend ALOT of time with my sisters

-Run, bike, and rollerblade more to lose my lil pudge-jk

-pack by thursday

- write more thank you notes

Whooooo!!! CAN'T Believe its coming up so soon!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Primary Day Camp

Here's my cabin group and Ethan's cabin group. We split the camp up into
small groups to go to the zoo on the last day of day camp:) It was fuN! the kids
had alot of funny things to say about the different animals we saw. We didn't get to
see the entire zoo, but we saw most of the animals the kids wanted to see:) Wish I could be around next year to help out with Primary Camp!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Most recently-my favorite part of my day.

The month of july has been a joy. These two girls have been the reason why! I've had the privilege to pick them up from camp the past couple weeks, and enjoy the afternoons and early evenings with them. I love sitting on the steps at 3 pm, on a warm summer day, and chatting with the neighbors while waiting for them to jump off the bus. I get excited when i see that big yellow bus with, "Fred's Camp," written on the side, and two girls with big smiles and bright blue eyes jump off and greet me with a hug. I love that. Alexandra and Jacqueline would be in my wedding as Junior Bridesmaids if not for the distance between here and SC. We make alot of stupid videos that, probably only we would laugh at. Our latest favorite thing to do is play baseball, surgery, and wrestle:) (they usually win!!)
Each day they come home, we talk about the high lights of our days, and the lowlights. These two girls are usually the highlight of my day each day:).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Some sweet things from the weekend:
taking time off of work to go home to beaufort. sleeping in
my own bed at home. walking into the house with peyton's face
grinning up at me. driving a car across my favorite bridge. walking
around downtown beaufort with daniel. praying with the community.
running into friends and people i love.fireworks over the water. waking
up with peyton licking my face. late night sonic run with ashley.
bringing my wedding dress home in my safekeeping. finding shoes
for the wedding. running wedding errands with ashley. seeing my three
junior bridesmaids. chatting with old friends and thinking through
old memories with them. hugs from high school friends. being encouraged
through the bible from older women. walking around our
neighborhood with ashley and peyton. talking about life with my lil sis.
going on a walk with my daddy. sitting at the table and chatting with my mom.
getting on the plane and sleeping the entire way on both flights.

i love my times at home.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

We found an apartment!

Stephen Cerrillo and me:)
Ryan and I took a quick 36 hour road  trip to Storm Lake to move some boxes to Ryan's office and to do a lil house hunting. We checked out a few different places to rent, and narrowed it down to a cozy apartment in a really nice neighborhood, like five minutes away from everything in town. It was so well kept, and the outside is absolutely adorable! the grass looked great and theres a little rock pond trickling in the neighbors yard. It is in a really good part of town as well, and the price is so rocking awesome. It's definitely a Godthing!:) It is a two bedroom apartment (so we'll have room for guests!!!) and has a big kitchen with a nice sized bathroom, dining room, living room, and a great yard to play catch in:). its so cozy, and I could just imagine how nice it'll be to have such a cute little place with my man. 

We stayed overnight with some friends I have not seen in eight years-The Cerrillos. They were the youth leaders in our church in Jacksonville, but also are family's really good friends. we used to refer to the boys as "our brothers."I'm soooo excited that they'll be so close by to us, I'm definitely planning on some trips up to visit with the Cerrillos. I got to introduce them to Ryan, and we were both so blessed to see them.

I'm getting really excited to get married and get started with the youth work in Iowa. We had lunch with some of the people in the church, and they kept emphasizing how much they were looking forward to us being there-definitely is so much easier to want to go somewhere where you are wanted:). I can't wait to see whats next. In two weeks, I'll be heading down to SC for my third bridal shower (yay!)-i can't wait to go home.:)

Monya, Sophia, and Anya

Monya, Sophia, and Anya
asking for prayer this week for them...