First let me start by introducing myself a little bit. I have a Masters in Education with a focus on differentiated instruction, and over 10 years of experience in the K-2 classroom. I have taught both in public schools in the United States, and private schools in Mexico. I’ve also worked with public and private schools to design and translate bilingual curriculum. As an English Language teacher, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching a wide range of content, with academic language and vocabulary being my expertise. I love interactive, hands-on learning and am always looking for new ways to engage my little learners.
As I was reflecting on my top 10 favorite things to write in this post, I realized that it was quite different than it used to be several years ago when I lived in Minnesota. I think moving to the Yucatan peninsula has changed me more than I sometimes realize. In fact, before I moved here I had never even heard of dragon fruit, nor had I ever tasted shrimp or lobster. I was always one of those picky eaters, but moving here has opened my eyes to a whole new world and my taste buds to a whole new menu.
My 10 Favorite Things
- Bright Cheerful Colors: Can you tell I’m the one who designed this blog? I love all the colors of the rainbow and incorporate them into everything. I still remember my dad’s reaction to my choice of paint in my first home. He said, “Wow, It looks like a box of crayons exploded in here.”
- Dragon Fruit: Here in Mexico we call it pitahaya. It’s one of the most delicious tropical fruits I’ve ever eaten. You can eat it plain, or blend it up with lemonade for a refreshing drink.
- Flip Flops: One of the benefits of living in the tropics is that the only time you have to wear real shoes is when you’re exercising or playing sports. Other than that it’s flip flop day every day.
- Chai Tea Lattes: When I lived in Minnesota, this used to be one of my all time favorite things, but now that I live in a hot climate, it’s slowly working its way down the list.
- Children’s Books: As an elementary teacher, I LOVE children’s books, especially multicultural ones. I remember the customs officials asking me why I was bringing so many books with me when I moved to Mexico. “I’m a teacher!,” I told them.
- Shrimp & Lobster: Funny thing about this one is that when I left Minnesota, I had made up my mind that I did not like seafood of any kind because they looked too exotic for me to eat. Now that I live minutes from the ocean, and Eliceo forced me to try them, they’re slowly working their way up my list.
- Clipart: Site-wide sale days on TpT are like a special holiday for me because I get to stock up on all my favorite new clipart packs that I’ve been wishlisting for months. If you’re a fellow TpTer, I know you can relate to this one.
- Tropical Plants: When I lived in Minnesota we had such a short outdoor gardening season. Now that I live in eternal summer, I get to grow all kinds of cool, tropical plants including papaya, passion fruit, and gerbera daisies.
- The Beach: Even though I have to layer on gobs of sunscreen, I love the days our family spends at the beach. We always make the best memories looking for shells, snorkeling and playing in the sand under the umbrella huts.
- Vacations: I probably love vacations the most because I get to spend lots of quality time with my family. I also love to travel and explore new places. I can’t wait for the next one!
First of all, I’ll admit that I’m not much of a blogger, in fact, to be honest, this is my first blog post ever. I’m more of a behind-the-scenes kind of guy in this whole “Nicole and Eliceo” thing. I actually grew up in a very small town in the mountains of Puebla with limited technology. When I was a teen I moved to Minnesota where I learned English and met my wife Nicole. She’s the one who sparked my interest in bilingual education and that’s how I got started in translating educational materials.
Over the years we’ve teamed on many curriculum writing projects. We’ve worked together with large public school districts, small private schools, and individual teacher bloggers on curriculum design and translation. Growing up, I never imagined that I would be involved in this line of work, but now that I am, I would never wish anything different.
So back to my favorite things. Here are just a few of my favorite things. I hope it helps you get to know me a little better.
My 10 Favorite Things
- Sleeping In: My favorite mornings are Saturdays because I get to sleep in as long as I want.
- Hammocks: Growing up in Mexico we always had a hammock hanging up in our house to rest in.
- Rainy Days: I love rainy days, mostly because the weather is perfect for sleeping in my hammock. Are you detecting a theme yet?
- Discovery Channel: I love learning, especially about nature, so this is one of my favorite channels.
- Sports: I pretty much like all sports, but soccer, football, and boxing are my favorites.
- Seafood: I love fish, lobster, shrimp, octopus, sea snails… If it swims in the sea, I’ll eat it.
- Animals: I grew up on a small farm, so I’ve always lived with animals. That’s part of the reason why we started our hobby farm here in Yucatan.
- Coffee: I have to have my cup of black coffee every morning, and sometimes a second in the middle of the day.
- Laughter: If you know me, you know that I’m a bit of a prankster. I love seeing people smile and making them laugh.
- The Ocean: One of my favorite places to be is at the ocean, in my hammock, feeling the cool breeze and listening to the nature that surrounds me.
Hello! I’m Brenda, Nicole’s mom, and Eliceo’s mother in law. I was born into a large family in Wisconsin and moved to Minnesota when I was six years old. I have three children who are all grown up now, and I am a grandmother of two. I have been an educator for over 20 years and have worked with children in preschool through high school. My specialty area is working with children in special education and high risk settings. I have worked both in public school classrooms, city-wide athletic programs, and church ministry settings.
Today I work in the special education department of a large public school district, and team with Nicole and Eliceo to create educational materials for K-3 students. I focus particularly on researching educational topics and writing kid-friendly passages to help support vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and fluency skills.
So back to my favorite things. Here are just a few of my favorite things. I hope it helps you get a better sense of who I am.
My 10 Favorite Things
- Violets: My dad got me started on growing violets and I have grown them by the hundreds.
- Orchids: I love orchids because they remind me of the tropics on cold winter days in Minnesota.
- Gardening: Do you see a theme yet? Yes! I love flowers and have many gardens.
- Crafts: In addition to gardening, I love doing crafts. I think the crafty gene comes from my mom’s side.
- Travel: I love traveling abroad, especially to visit Nicole and Eliceo in the Yucatan.
- Snorkeling: When I’m in Mexico, my favorite thing to do is snorkel.
- Camping: When I’m not traveling internationally, I like to camp it out locally.
- Teaching: Coming from a family of educators, I must have inherited the teacher gene too.
- Volunteering: I love volunteering at my church and working with inner city youth.
- Mocha Lattes: As you can see, I need lots of mocha lattes to keep up with all the fun!