Growing up in Loomis, California was an outdoor adventure. With our cousins living on the next hill, my siblings and I explored the open 25 acres behind us. We poled a raft across the Mansion Pond, fished in the Turtle Pond, navigated through Miner's Cave, braved crossing Scorpion Cave, hung over a cliff to watch eaglets, climbed granite boulders, avoided rattlesnakes, waded through the flume, riding our bikes to Folsom Lake, and watched bats across the sunset from the perch of a massive oak tree. I enjoyed country living and going to school. By the end of the first grade I told everyone who asked that I was going to be a teacher when I grew up. During that summer I ran a "school" in the family den, teaching my siblings and neighbors' children English, math, art and Spanish. My mother's homemade cookies were their treat at the end of the day. As I grew older, I made costumes for our group, and we put on neighborhood plays. Being the oldest child, teaching came naturally to me. At lunch time, I would create bulletin boards for my classes. Later, as a teenager, I taught catechism and continued helping my younger brothers with their homework and school talent shows. When I was a senior, I starred in our school's annual dance production and continued this interest in college. For a while, I even danced with a jazz band! To save money, I went to the local community college and then graduated in three and a half years with a BA, majoring in Social Science and minoring in English. I then earned a Lifetime Teaching Credential and the following year was hired by the school district I graduated in. My department chair was my former Civics teacher, and it took me an entire year to finally call him by his first name! After my first year of teaching, I married my college sweetheart. One of my senior classes was quite interested in my wedding plans so that became their reward, 10 minutes of fabric, flower, and food samples at the end of each Friday. I taught for four years, subbed for the year I was pregnant, and then took time off from teaching to raise my son. After living in the Bay Area for many years, we moved back and live just a few miles from where I grew up. Now my son is the one hiking around Folsom Lake.