Thursday, December 31, 2009

Farewell to 2009 and also to Canada

2009 has been a great year. But that's not what this post is really about. This post is about Canada.

I teach geography to 9th graders. (One of the many great things that happened in 2009) I recently finished a unit on Canada. The students each researched a province and gave presentations on their province. As an end of unit wrap-up I had the students write a farewell to Canada. There weren't many rules. It was to be 1 page long and it was to mention the required information from their powerpoints. (history of the region, culture of inhabitants, economic factors, and physical geography) Some students wrote poems, some wrote songs. I got a rap, I got an angry letter, I got several break-up notes. I'd like to share with you a few funny parts from their papers.

To Canada in general:
"Don't be an ice-hole." (The student gave credit to the Colbert Nation, I shouldn't laugh but I did)

To Prince Edward Island:
"At first I thought I loved you,
loved your fishing, beaches and pastures too.
But now Prince Edward Island we're done, finished, we're through.
At first I thought I'd stay with you forever, leaving you never!
I was drawn to Green Gables, the horses in the stables,
But those horses smell weird,
and Green Gables should be feared!"

To Canada:
"We still have 5 cents on your dollar!"

To Canada (tune of Frosty the Snowman):
"Farewell to Canada
goodbye to mind numbing cold
We've had some fun
Now it's time to run
On to Central America!"

To Canada (a 2 page breakup note):
"Red and white look especially cute on you my little bread basket."
On Canada's "Stunning Figure"
"You have very intoxicating Rocky Mountains plus clear reflective lakes specifically in Banff. I don't even know if I could live without your long luscious plains/crops."
"You have a strong history which makes you interesting. I mean French and English men were constantly fighting over you until I came in and swept you off your feet."

As you can see, we are having a blast in class. The last note I read to the class like I had confiscated it from a student and it took the class till about halfway through to figure out what it was. They crack me up.

So farewell 2009 and Canada, we're moving on to 2010 and Central and South America whether you like it or not.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

P.R. for the H.R.

I have a job. I love my students. My last post alluded to some of the frustrations I have been having with said job. I have begun more actively searching for a new job. Not because I don't like where I'm at. I am not full time where I am at. I want to be full time. I want to be taken seriously and not taken for granted like I am at my current job. The interview I am talking about is for a job that wouldn't start until next August so it isn't like I am abandoning my current job. I just wanted you all to know this. The real post can begin now.

Today I did my hair. This is a rare occasion. I like to save it for special days so that it means more. "Oh Amy did her hair there must be something really important today!" Or maybe I'm just lazy. It is much faster to just spray a bunch of product in my unruly hair and pretend like it's "done". I know I'm not fooling anyone but it just takes so long to straighten. I know it's been too long since I've put effort into my hair when people are convinced I've cut it or dyed it when all I've done is straighten it. But this is only part of my story today......

Today I was supposed to have a job interview. It was a special occasion so I did my hair. I wore heels. Teaching in heels isn't a fabulous idea. Walking down the halls in heels draws way too much attention to yourself from the classrooms you pass. (Is that a horse I hear coming down the hall?) I was supposed to have this interview before Thanksgiving but they had to reschedule because the administrator who wanted to be present couldn't make it to the first interview. I told them I am already teaching and would need to schedule an afternoon interview. You would think that this would be a pretty standard request when interviewing teachers for a teaching position on a school day...."I teach at a school across the valley currently can I schedule an afternoon interview?" "Sure. How is 12:30 on Tuesday." Seriously? Luckily that was the interview they decided to reschedule and so a 3:30 interview was looking much better. I did my hair, wore my heels and put my phone in my bag, in a filling cabinet while I taught. Because good teachers don't conduct telephone business while teaching. Which is why I was surprised when I checked my phone at 1:00 and saw that the scheduler had tried to call me multiple times during the morning. She left a message saying I needed to come a half hour early or tomorrow. I got permission to leave early so I could make it. I called and she didn't answer. I called again a half hour later and she said that my early option was no longer an option, so she rescheduled with me for next Friday. (with no option for tomorrow like her message said) She had the exact same reasons as last time. The other interviewer couldn't make it.

Where is the communication? Shouldn't the scheduler be checking with the interviewer before scheduling? If an administrator is agreeing to an interview time and then canceling repeatedly is this a good sign? I had many struggles with this same district over the summer and have actually been trying to schedule this interview since last March but have been getting the run around since then. Even in school as future educators when discussing job opportunities with current educators this district was never spoken highly of. Sure the schools are nice. Sure the teachers are good. Sure the kids tend to be highly motivated and well supported. But every time they talk about the district it was negative. (Think about it... I'm sure if you pay attention to the news and talk of education you know which district I'm talking about... what have you heard? making decisions without talking to the community, taking away retirement money from long time teachers or forcing them into early retirement...) So here is what I think. I think the H.R. department needs some P.R. training. (Ashley? You on this?) Stop treating the "customer" badly when that customer is actually the person who will be teaching your children. Because when you treat teachers badly, they go elsewhere or they never come at all.

Unfortunately, with the way the job market is these days, I'll take the job in a heart beat and the run around will be validated to them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not feeling witty...

I have been trying to think of something to write about, but I haven't had many adventures lately and I haven't been feeling witty so deciding what to write in posts is hard. To make it worse the last 2 weeks in church we've had journal writing lessons. That just makes me feel like I REALLY should think of something to write. So I'm taking a page out of my cousin Ashley's blog and I'm going to make a list of some highs in my life right now. I'm not going to list the lows because I know what they are and so does most everyone, but that's not where my focus needs to be right now.

1. My students tried to nominate me for a teaching award even after I told them I wasn't eligible since I'm not a full-time teacher. They were "sticking it to the man".

2. We've started talking seriously about where we are going when we leave the home we're in now. It will be hard, but I'm getting really excited about the possibility of owning my own home.

3. Our ward is awesome and I have met some of the kindest most caring women. They remind me of my mother and are exactly the kind of women I want to be.

4. A woman I was talking to in a professional setting (she will remain nameless) burped under her breath and apologized then said, "only not really because I love that feeling. Do you drink Diet Coke?"

5. Driving home today I turned on Ben Folds louder than usual and I sang as loud as possible. I laughed through my tears at the irony of the "black tears running down my face" while I tried to remember that life could be so much harder and that I really am truly blessed.

6. Tonight I made dinner, NOT from a box. We even had side dishes. We ate fruit muffins and the fruit wasn't canned pineapple and mandarin oranges. It was kiwis and blackberries and fresh pineapple and bananas. (Thanks Jackie for leaving the fruit here!)

7. People like me dang it! And I'm cute!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ninjas vs. Pirates The great debate

So I gave my first "official" test last week. The students did fairly well, especially the ones who studied. There was also an extra credit question at the end of the test to help them out. The question was: "Which is better, Ninjas or Pirates? Support your answer." I've never seen 9th graders willingly write as much as they did. I got full page responses on the merits of both ninjas ans pirates. Any debate coach really should use this topic. I was impressed with the responses that I got and it led to a discussion on forming your own opinions and I even was able to sneak in a little soap-box on being an informed voter. We talked about listening to both sides of an argument and forming an opinion while still respecting the other sides views. Here are a few of the responses that got this discussion started:

One girl arguing for ninjas said,"Ninjas get to wear awesome black outfits that look good, while pirates look like they shopped a terrible thrift store."
Another girl arguing for pirates said, "Pirates get to wear colorful beautiful clothes while ninjas wear boring, drab, black."

One girl arguing for ninjas said,"Ninjas can kill you with their bare hands."
A boy who chose pirates said,"Pirates have guns and can shoot ninjas before they are close enough to use their bare hands."

One boy who liked ninjas said,"Ninjas train for years and are very skilled."
Another boy who liked pirates said, "Pirates don't have to work so hard, they just find treasure, drink rum and float in their boats."

So as you can see, there is no right or wrong answer. But I really was surprised that nearly all the arguments were the same argument just opposite sides of the opinion.

And since I know you are dying to know. Ninjas won in one class and pirates in the other. But over all Pirates took the lead.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flashback Friday: Lokalgrown

When I first moved out of my parents house I moved into a house with 2 of my cousins. Megan and Ashley are fabulous and I am lucky that I have the kind of extended family that you can live with! My cousin Ashley is a few years older than Megan and I and so she already knew everyone who was anyone in Logan. She had all sorts of hookups around town and was always bringing us with her to parties and concerts. She kept us really busy and taught us the ways of college life. Ashley happened to be friends with a group of guys who were in a band named Lokalgrown. Their music is awesome and they were THE band when it came to USU bands. Ashley happened to be their Public Relations specialist which meant that as her roommates Megan and I got to go to every concert they had and sell their shirts! This photo is of Megan and I with one of our other roommates (her name was also Ashley but she wasn't our cousin). This was about 2 days after I moved in and it was my first Lokalgrown concert. It was the 4th of July party in South Jordan back in 2004. We loved going to their shows and we were sad when they graduated and left USU. Their drummer was one of our good friends, Keith. He is currently the band teacher at Layton high school. Last week for a band fundraiser Keith got the boys together and Lokalgrown had a concert. A couple of the original band members live out of state and so they were replaced by fabulous singers and guitarists from the area. The show was fabulous and I was glad I got to share a lokalgrown concert with Brad since he never got to hear them in Logan.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Last year my favorite holiday fell on a Friday and so I did a Flashback Friday about it. This year since I've already told you how this holiday came about and one way I've celebrated I thought I ought to help you celebrate it yourselves.

I am of course talking about International (that's right, we see no borders when it comes to celebrating this holiday) Talk Like a Pirate Day. So to help you talk like a pirate I have stolen this list of terms you may or may not be aware of to help increase your pirate vocabulary. First off is the basics:

Ahoy! - "Hello!"

Avast! - Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise, "Whoa! Get a load of that!" which today makes it more of a "Check it out" or "No way!" or "Get off!"

Aye! - "Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did."

Aye aye! - "I'll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over."

Arrr! - This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. "Arrr!" can mean, variously, "yes," "I agree," "I'm happy," "I'm enjoying this beer," "My team is going to win it all," "I saw that television show, it sucked!" and "That was a clever remark you or I just made." And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!

Once you've mastered the basics, you're ready to start expanding your pirate vocabulary. Try these for starters:

Beauty – The best possible pirate address for a woman. Always preceded by “me,” as in, “C’mere, me beauty,” or even, “me buxom beauty,” to one particularly well endowed. You’ll be surprised how effective this is.

Bilge rat – The bilge is the lowest level of the ship. It’s loaded with ballast and slimy, reeking water. A bilge rat, then, is a rat that lives in the worst place on the ship. On TLAP Day – A lot of guy humor involves insulting your buddies to prove your friendship. It’s important that everyone understand you are smarter, more powerful and much luckier with the wenches than they are. Since bilge rat is a pretty dirty thing to call someone, by all means use it on your friends.

Bung hole – Victuals on a ship were stored in wooden casks. The stopper in the barrel is called the bung, and the hole is called the bung hole. That’s all. It sounds a lot worse, doesn’t it? On TLAP Day – When dinner is served you’ll make quite an impression when you say, “Well, me hearties, let’s see what crawled out of the bung hole.” That statement will be instantly followed by the sound of people putting down their utensils and pushing themselves away from the table. Great! More for you!

Grog – An alcoholic drink, usually rum diluted with water, but in this context you could use it to refer to any alcoholic beverage other than beer, and we aren’t prepared to be picky about that, either. Call your beer grog if you want. We won’t stop you! Water aboard ship was stored for long periods in slimy wooden barrels, so you can see why rum was added to each sailor’s water ration – to kill the rancid taste. On TLAP Day – Drink up, me hearties! And call whatever you’re drinking grog if you want to. If some prissy pedant purses his lips and protests the word grog can only be used if drinking rum and water, not the Singapore Sling you’re holding, keelhaul him!

Hornpipe – Both a single-reeded musical instrument sailors often had aboard ship, and a spirited dance that sailors do.

Lubber – (or land lubber) This is the seaman’s version of land lover, mangled by typical pirate disregard for elocution. A lubber is someone who does not go to sea, who stays on the land. On TLAP Day – More likely than not, you are a lubber 364 days of the year. But not if you’re talking like a pirate! Then the word lubber becomes one of the more fierce weapons in your arsenal of piratical lingo. In a room where everyone is talking like pirates, lubber is ALWAYS an insult.

Smartly – Do something quickly. On TLAP Day “Smartly, me lass,” you might say when sending the bar maid off for another round. She will be so impressed she might well spit in your beer.

So to all my Brethren of the Coast, here's to hoping today be not the day we dance with Jack Ketch! And to all you land lubbers, talk like a pirate or walk the plank!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Flashback Friday: Phlegmily

When I was in High School I had many best friends. In fact chances are, if you read this blog and I knew you in high school you were at one point probably my best friend. Actually chances are if you read this and I knew you EVER, you were probably at one point my "best friend from..." whatever it was I knew you from. It's true, just ask my Father-in-law. (by the way he's pretty much my best friend out of all my father-in-laws) But this story is about one particular best friend. Her name is Emily Llewellyn Dabczynski Bell and her favorite letter of the alphabet is the letter L.
Emily moved to Utah from upstate New York when we were in 10th grade. We had a class together that year but unfortunately we didn't really get to know each other then. Our junior year we had English together and yet, we still didn't realize that we were meant to BFF's. At one point she wrote about me in her journal (she is an avid journal writer) and she referred to me as "Amy Fleming, Junior Class President" because that was all I was to her at that point in our lives.

And then all that changed.

Our senior year we were both assigned to be secretaries for our high schools Acappella choir. We spent a lot of time sitting in the choir office, making seating charts, giving grades, and keeping track of all of the 160+ students in the class. We realized we should have been friends all along and here is a short list of some of the reasons why we were destined to be friends:
  • We are pretty much the same person. Pretty much.
  • We had the same nicname. They were spelled different, but had the same effect. Flem and Phlegm.
  • We both love Pirates. She loves them so much she decided to be born on Talk Like a Pirate Day!
  • We both love making lists.
  • People have been calling me Emily accidentally my whole life. Even before we found each other and even if they don't know we are pretty much the same person!
  • We would unknowingly buy all the same style of clothes and accidentally wear them the same day. Except for yearbook signing day and graduation when we planned to wear the same thing so that we would be the same in all our pictures.
The reason I decided to reminisce about Emily is not only because tomorrow is her birthday and I love her, but because she recently took "the big plunge" and got married and I got to share her special day with her and I am so happy that she is so happy! So happy birthday Mrs. Bell and lets please see each other sometime sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Right before I got my job I did another sewing project. My aunt made one of these for my mom and she has been the envy of every lady who has seen it since. It is a first aid kit. I'm planning on keeping mine in my car but my mom keeps hers in her purse. You just need a pot holder and a handful of ziplock bags.

You just sew the bags to the hot pad and then you sew a button on the front of the hot pad so you can link the loop around it.

Brad wants one for his car but he wants me to find a hot pad with a superhero on it... I think I may just have to sew some superhero fabric over a hot pad.

I am also an activity day leader in my ward and I think I'm going to make these with the girls.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


As a teacher I will have the summers off from teaching so to most people my summer of watching movies and sleeping in didn't seem like a big deal and it appealed to most everyone. I on the other hand was a little nervous because I didn't have a place to go to when school started again. I interviewed at several schools and felt good about the interviews. I was told several times that I had been the top candidate until it came to the fact that one other candidate had an extra endorsement. It was very frustrating to say the least. I had hoped to spend the summer making lesson plans for my classes but couldn't begin without knowing what subject I would be teaching.

As school approached I began to apply more heavily to jobs outside of education. I personally think I would make an awesome secretary. I didn't get many calls for the non-educational jobs and so I was even more frustrated. I finally got an interview at a company that I had applied for on a whim on an online job site. I wasn't sure I was qualified but after 2 full days of group interview and individual interviews I was offered the job. I came home from the second day of interviews and just didn't feel right. I spent all summer wanting a job, any job, but I knew that if they called me for this job I would have to say no. It wasn't easy.

Shortly after turning down that job I got a call from a school that was looking for someone who could teach part-time geography. They weren't sure if I'd even be interested because it wasn't even a contract job, meaning I wouldn't receive any benefits. I was very interested. I wanted to teach geography from the very beginning. I told them I'd love to interview. I interviewed on a Monday and by that night I was offered the job. I went and picked up my keys the next day and began getting ready just as fast as I could because school was beginning the following Monday. So I had one week to plan and I've been going pretty non-stop. I was working just 2 hours each day and I was ok with that. It got my foot in the door.

On Tuesday of this week (the first week of school) the principal called me into his office. (I got nervous... I should get over that) He offered me a job as a BHA (Behavior Health Aide). I will be working with the special ed teacher and helping students remember to turn in assignments and working with them in their study skills class. I am very blessed and am really excited to begin teaching and working with the students. I am loving the school I'm at. The students are motivated and from what I hear the parents are really involved. The faculty has been very kind and supportive. I'm sure I'll have more stories to share about it, but right now I have lessons to plan!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flashback Friday: The cop who stole my drivers license

Right before I turned 16 Utah passed a law that said you couldn't drive with peers in your car for 6 months after getting your license, unless it was a school event and you had a written note from a parent saying that you had permission. It is for this reason that I remember that the first time I was ever pulled over was exactly 6 months and 2 weeks after my 16th birthday. I guess a more simple way to remember would be to just remember it was the day after Christmas, but you know me, I don't do things the easy way.

So it's 6 months and 2 weeks after my 16th birthday and I had a car-load of friends that I was driving around town to check out what other friends had received for Christmas. I was driving Gray Ray. Gray Ray was my first car and he was a Honda Accord. One of those cool old Accords with the flip up headlights. Well on this fateful night, one of those cool flip up headlights happened to be out. We were all headed to south Provo to check on the last friends loot. We were less than a block from her house when we came upon a group of police officers all leaving one particular house. I had to slow down to go over a particularly deep dip and as I came out of the dip my lone headlight shone directly into one officers car. We all knew right then he was going to pull me over. We were glad it was 6 months and 2 weeks after my birthday so that we weren't going to get in trouble for just being in the car. I told everyone in the car to say we didn't know the headlight was out. As soon as the cop asked me if I knew I had a headlight out I broke and admitted we did. He took my license and registration and went to his car. About 5 minutes later the cop came running up to my window. Because it was December I had rolled my window up. Before I could even roll the window down all the way the cop had thrown all my paperwork and even his pen into my car and yelled, "it's your lucky day" as he jumped in his car and took off at 90 miles an hour with the sirens blaring. As we waited for the shock to wear off we tried to gather the papers up and organize them all. As we went through all the things on our laps we realized my license was nowhere to be found. We got out of the car and looked on our seats and under the car and on the road between where his car had been and where my car was. We went back through the papers. We eventually gave up and just continued our trek to the friends home.
The next day I called the police station. I asked if any cops had brought my license to them. They had a box full of lost licenses but mine wasn't in it. The car in question didn't belong to just one cop. So it was out with a different officer in it. The car was flagged to be cleaned and searched for my license. That search came up with nothing. After checking in with the station every few days for a couple weeks I began to give up on the idea that it would be found. That February my high school choir was going to Disneyland and I needed a drivers license to get on the plane, so I finally went and got a new one. Over time I began to forget about my missing license. I began driving Greta and my brother had Ray. Several months later my brother was driving the car with his friend. When his friend reached under the passenger side chair to get the cd case she felt something else under the chair. My license apparently fell between the chair and the e-brake and sat hidden in my car the whole time.

Sorry Mr. Policeman that I blamed for stealing my license. I shouldn't have been so bitter and I shouldn't have bad-mouthed you under my breath when I had to pay 10 dollars to get a new license.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


At the end of last summer I decided I wanted to get a sewing machine. I haven't sewed since my class in middle school, but I thought it would be a good investment. We didn't get it until summer was ending and with student teaching I didn't have time to make anything. Since subbing required much less preparation and since my cousin Megan was about to have a baby I decided making a baby dress would be a good idea. Plus if I screwed up I could just buy her a different present. In the end it turned out well. I'll be honest though, I had to go to my mom for help with the hard parts (read: zipper) so I can't take all the credit. I'm pretty sure while I wasn't there she unpicked the whole thing and resewed it but she claims she didn't so here is the end result.

And now for the best part. The baby! She is so cute. The dress is still a little big and is apparently delicious.... Her mom should send me another picture where you can see her face and the cute details on the dress... hint hint megan...
So I am now working on a skirt for myself. (With a different pattern, because no the baby skirt doesn't fit me) We'll see if that turns out or if I have to take it to the pro for fixing...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Flashback Fridayish: cooking

I know it's not Friday but I haven't blogged in forever and I've definitely missed some Fridays so I'm going to show you all these photos before I forget I have them.

Growing up my mom didn't do a lot of baking. Jiffy muffins equal homemade as far as I'm concerned. Grandma Sycamore bread is almost like homemade since we know the guy who owns the company... I think his name is Jim or something like that. Anyways, once a year my mom would always make her Braided Swedish Bread. She would make dozens of loaves to give away as Christmas presents to the neighbors. I loved when she made bread because we always got to keep some loaves. I also kind of hated it because I wanted to keep ALL of the loaves. So this past Christmas I decided that I should try to make some bread in my tiny apartment kitchen and since I had no friends I could keep all the bread! I managed to make ruin the first batch by accidentally making bricks instead of something edible. I then made a couple decent (I hope) loaves that I gave as thank you's for the teachers that helped me with my student teaching. (Dang conscience making me give away the bread!) And then while making my own batch this happened:

The last photo is of the massive chunk of dough that somehow jumped out of the mixer while the flour was busy being flung all over my tiny counter space. I don't miss this tiny kitchen. But I do miss that bread.... I might have to break tradition and actually bake some bread in July.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Trip #3 Philly

Wow. You'd think with nothing to do I'd blog more. I don't even have any excuses so here goes.

In May (I know I'm way behind) Brad and I went to Philadelphia. We went to visit my dad. He lives in Philadelphia. If this is news to you then I'm sorry. If you want to know why he lives there, you will have to ask him because honestly I'm not sure. I think I just realized why it took me so long to post about this trip..... SOOO how's about we just going to talk about the trip and not why we went.

I was really excited to go to Philadelphia because the history teacher nerd in me wanted to be able to say I'd seen stuff like this:

and this:

and also this:
And of COURSE we saw this:
You don't know what that is? Oh it's just Ben Franklin's "Privy Pot". That's right. His toilet.

My need to see these things is like the French teachers need to go to France. Which reminds me, I watched 'The Jane Austen Book Club' and loved it. But back to the trip. We ate great food from here:
Can't tell where that is? Here I'll help:
We didn't eat at Geno's. Too many flashing lights.
You mean you don't spend your spare time watching food network so you have no idea what the hype is about Pat's and Geno's? Well they are a big deal. Just believe me.

We went out to Lancaster county where we saw a bunch of this:
But I had to steal this photo from google because those buggies go too fast and managed to escape my ancient cameras terribly slow lens. Also I feel like it's cheating for the Amish to be using leaf blowers. It was interesting to see one man plowing his field using a gas powered tractor that was being pulled by horses. Pretty much everything I thought I knew about the Amish is apparently wrong.

We went to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ben Franklin's house, Reading Terminal Market, Lancaster County, Pat's and Geno's, and Valley Forge. If you want to see more photos of the trip I have them in my facebook album titled Summer '09. If you aren't my friend on facebook then I'm not sure how I'd let you look at the photos so I'm not going to try to figure out how to link to that. At the end of it all of course we did this:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Trip #2 Vegas Baby!

One week after our trip to Logan my mom, sister and I packed up our belongings and headed to Vegas for a wedding. Because my mom had to work that day, and Erin was checking out of her apartment in Logan before driving down to meet us, we didn't leave Provo until after 6. This meant that we got to Vegas at about midnight (1 am Utah time) Luckily we were staying at my Aunt and Uncles house so we knew we'd have beds waiting for us. Saturday morning mom and I went to the wedding while Erin went with her cousin to search for jobs. That evening we went to the reception. After changing our clothes behind our car we headed to the Bellagio to watch the fountains. When we got home we did the traditional road trip tattoos and then came home early the next morning. It was a fast trip but it was fun to hang with the girls yet again! Here are some photos of our awesome tats and of the world record setting chocolate fountain at the Bellagio!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Very important post!

I was going to keep posting about summer trips but I just remembered it is a holiday today! When I was in college I was privileged to be friends with a girl named Haley. (That's right Haley, I consider it a privilege) She came up with a really great holiday and I think it is something that everyone should take part in. Every year on June 1st she goes out of her way to try something she's never done before. I know it sounds so simple but so often I let myself get into a rut of doing the same things over and over again and this is just the push that might be enough to get me to try new things. Haley has done many things including walking to another state (inspired by my crazy roommates) going fishing for the first time (today!) going to antelope island for the first time and hiking ensign peak.

So I think everyone should take Haley's challenge and do something today that you have never done before. My sister Erin, went to the Great Salt Lake today for the first time and she didn't even know it was a holiday! Even if you are reading this too late to do something today do it tomorrow and call it a belated celebration of June 1st. I'll post later about my own June 1st experience.

Summer has begun.... weeks ago

So because I was all hung up on what to post for the big one O O, I let some really fun trips go by without reporting about them. Now that school is winding down meaning no more subbing jobs for me I have some time to tell you about my fun summer trips.

The first summer trip I went on started out with my moms sisters. Every year around mothers day (this year was a few weeks early) my mom and her sisters have a girls weekend. It started out as a way to get out of going to their own churches on mothers day (my mother says she doesn't enjoy hearing about how great everyone elses mom is...... makes her feel bad. She really shouldn't) This year they spent a weekend in Salt Lake staying at a fun hotel and partying all night. (or at least until 10) The next day I got to go with them to see "American Fork Idol" at the Desert Star Theater. I love that theater and if you have never been you ought to go see a show. My aunts are a hoot and that made the show even funnier. After the show we all went to my aunts favorite Chinese restaurant. When everyone went their seperate ways my mom and I went to Logan to visit my sister Erin and watch her perform in her last concert as a member of the University Chorale at USU. It was a big production of Beethoven's 9th symphony. It was really neat but something I will only need to see performed in its entirety once in my life. After staying in the scariest motel in Logan we went to participate in Erins last lesson in her relief society. She taught a very nice lesson on families and temple marriage, a topic that was really difficult for her to discuss due to recent events in our family, but she did a wonderful job and got a lot of girls talking and thinking about the subject. We were able to help Erin pack up a few boxes to be ready for her move to another apartment for the summer and we also got to interview her date on Saturday night. Even though it snowed a little while we were there I'm still going to label this summer trip number one because it was the beginning of summer for the college students so it counts.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why I haven't posted...

So I know this will sound lame, but the reason it has taken so long for me to post anything new is because every time I would open my blog I would see that I had 99 posts and my next post would be post number 100. I felt like there was some sort of pressure for my 100th post to be full of awesomeness. I couldn't post because I couldn't come up with something that was worthy of such a milestone. So this is me rebelling against that pressure. I will not post any cool pictures, I will not talk about the goings on of my life, I will not leave you with anything witty to ponder. Take that post number 100. Now I can move on.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Brads homework

A few weeks ago Brad and I decided that we should go on an adventure. Since Brad was taking a humanities class that required him to go to a museum we decided to make a day out of it and go do his homework together. We'd tried a couple times before to get to the museum but because I work early and he works late it was hard to find a time when we'd both be home and the museum would still be open. Finally we had a Saturday without conference or Easter or visiting relatives. We drove out to the end of the trax line in Sandy and we got on the train. We rode into Salt Lake and then switched trains to the University line. While waiting for our transfer train we watched a very inebriated woman confess to the poor volunteer working at the platform that she was running from the cops. At which point she proceeded to try to get on a moving train. She didn't succeed and instead decided to go back the way she came, which would have led her right into the hands of the cops.... if there had actually been any chasing her.... and she stagged up the street, almost missing a curb. Once we got our connection we rode to campus. We got off at the stadium because we really had no idea where we were going. We found a map and started hiking. We hiked up the hill to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. We weren't sure what kind of fee there would be to enter and as Brad pulled out his wallet to pay we were informed that it happened to be a FREE Saturday! So we got to walk around and admire/ponder the art without feeling like we HAD to enjoy it just because we'd paid to get in. After the museum we took trax back to the gateway and had a fabulous dinner at "The Counter". A cool place where you custom design your own burger. When dinner was over we rode trax back to our car and came home. We met a really friendly woman and her homeless boyfriend and their child while we waited for the ride home... I hope for the childs sake that somehow they have a roof over their heads. Overall it was a fun time and we felt really cultured afterwords. Minus a few blisters (I had new shoes and terrible bandaids...) it was a really fun day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Back at Bennion

I got a phone call from a very pregnant teacher at Bennion (where I did my student teaching) and she was in a panic because she was due in less than 48 hours and her long-term sub had just torn his Achilles and had to go to emergency surgery. He wouldn't be able to stand, drive or walk for the next 6 weeks. So I am back with my seventh graders, and some new 8th graders that I hadn't known, this time teaching science. I wanted to be a science teacher once......... I was 5. It was what I picked right after carpenter (my favorite show to watch as a child was This Old House). I'm enjoying it even though it's outside my realm of previous teaching. The seventh graders were sad that their previously scheduled sub wouldn't be there (he is a regular at the school) but by the end of the first day I had students running into the room yelling, "Is it true?!" because word had spread that I was back.

Because I'm not teaching any of my 9th graders this go-around it has taken them a little longer to find me. Every day I see a few more and they all get excited and shout my name in the hall. It's like they think I'm not aware that I'm back. I had two 9th graders who were so excited to see me that they nearly tackled me before class started on Wednesday. Today they both were standing in the hall way with their science class waiting for their teacher to unlock the classroom door after a trip to the computer lab and they decided it would be a good idea to start yelling, "I love Mrs. Dimick!" Right in the middle of class. My students were watching a movie and they all looked at me confused. I just got up and shut the classroom door. I've figured out classroom management fairly well but for some reason I can't seem to get the kids to stop loving me so loudly..... It makes me nervous that the other teachers will dislike me because their students are yelling my name. So if you are one of those teachers...... I'm sorry.

Also, if you are an employer, I'll try to not be so awesome so the kids at your school wont yell my name in the hall. But I can't promise anything.

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Experiences

I just had the first realization of living in an upscale neighborhood. In a way it's not really like this was a new experience because even when I lived in apartment complexes people came to the door trying to sell things, but today I'm pretty sure they came to my door because of my neighborhood. I don't like door-to-door salesmen. Part of why I don't like them is because they want you to like them so much! They use your name and they tell jokes and they get you outside of your comfort zone to try to get you to buy their product. This particular one includes a "youth program" so not only are you not helping them sell you are making some poor child not have a "program". This guy made it a little easier by telling me that I looked 7 years old. Thanks. He then more seriously asked if my mom was home, and continued to refer to me helping my mom clean even when I told him I was the woman of the house. He asked if I had my own bathroom, and I wanted to be like "no dude, this whole big house doesn't have a single bathroom in it. We go to Wal-mart to use theirs." So in the end I told him I "wasn't comfortable making purchases without talking it over with the family." He was ticked but I'm sure he wished that I'd let him to whoever actually lives in this house.

Monday, April 6, 2009

It pays to blog!

I was under the impression that my husband only reads my blog when I opened it and put it right in front of his face. Turns out, sometimes when he's bored he actually reads it on his own. I found this out when he called me the other day to talk to me about my car. I hadn't forced him to read my last post about my car because, let's be honest, it was kind of boring. But he read it anyway and he had a brilliant idea while reading it. You see Greta still runs (mostly) and so maybe now would be a good time to sell her to get a small addition to our downpayment on a car. After talking to my mom we decided to do it! So we started the hunt for a new car. We looked at used cars on ksl and we looked at brand new cars on dealer websites. In the end we went to a local Ford dealer and we purchased a 2008 ford focus that has one previous owner and was a screaming deal. It was a better deal than the used cars being sold by owners and we get the benefits of buying from a dealer. So thanks to some help from Brads parents and thanks to my blog.... we are now the proud owners of Bianca my 2008 ford focus.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My vehicular history.

This just may be the most boring post I've ever written. Consider that fair warning.

When I turned 16 my brother and I began sharing a car. My family has the habit of naming cars, and this cars name was Gray Ray. Gray Ray was a Honda Accord formerly owned by my Uncle and Aunt. It was one of those old school, cool cars with the headlights that flip up. The problem with sharing a car with my brother was that I wanted to drive to school every day and Nate wanted to drive... anywhere else. One day I drove to school and when I went to leave in the afternoon the car was gone. I called my mom, crying, to tell her that the car had been stolen. She informed me that Nate needed to drive somewhere so he'd walked to the school and taken the car. This was the point when I realized that it might be better if I had my own car. I'm not sure my parents would have ever bought me my own car, but as luck would have it the same Aunt and Uncle that sold us Gray Ray were upgrading their second car and offered to sell us their '90 Honda Civic for a good price.

That is when Red Greta came into my life for the first time. When I moved to college she came with me. I fit everything I owned inside of that little civic, a feat that will never be possible again, and then drove to Logan by myself for the very first time. When I was a sophomore in college I was the only person who would park in the first parking stall of our complex because it was a tight fit and my little car had a great turning radius. That same year Greta began doing strange things. She began turning off at stop lights and other inconvenient things. The summer after my sophomore year I moved to Alaska. Greta moved back to my moms house for the summer. It just so happens that my sister turned 16 that summer. She took advantage of the abandoned vehicle and made Greta her own. My Aunt who had sold us the cars passed away that year from a brain tumor and so knowing my sister would be needing a vehicle my Uncle sold us her Subaru. Since Greta wasn't as trusty as she used to be she stayed in Provo with my sister so she wouldn't have to make the trek over the mountains anymore. Valerie Sue Subaru (Sue for short) was very useful and the big cargo area was useful for moving wedding gifts when I got married. Now that I've moved back to Salt Lake and my sister has moved to Logan, Greta has returned to my custody.

So how is Greta these days? Well she no longer knows when the drivers door is open. Meaning when I get out of my car there is no dome lights and there are no warnings when my lights are still on. The most recent problem she is having is the speaker on the passenger side door has a short. When I go over bumps the speaker turns on and off. When I only have sound in one speaker I have to turn the radio up, which just makes it that much scarier when the sound suddenly comes back in the second speaker. I'm nervous that one of these days I'll hit a pothole and the speaker will never come back on. Today the speaker went out and I wasn't even going over potholes. So while we house-sit we are saving money for a house, but there just may need to be another big purchase some time soon.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What no one likes to see on their car

There are many things that people don't like to see on their car when they approach it; dead cats, bird poop, gangsters, meteors etc.... One thing that never makes people happy is when they see a florescent envelope under their windshield wiper.

Imagine my dismay when I had 2 students tell me they noticed a hot pink notice under my windshield wiper. My first thought was actually "Creepy stalker high schoolers! Why do you know which car is mine?" Not only was that my first thought but it was actually what I said out loud to them. They then pointed out to me that I have a name badge hanging from an air freshner hanging from my rearview mirror. Which is true. So it was my own fault that they knew it was my car. Since they obviously were right about it being my car I had to think hard about why I would have a ticket. They said that they didn't want to get in trouble so they didn't touch it to figure out what it was for. Since they told me this as class was starting I couldn't focus on the lesson as I mulled over the possibilities of why I would have a ticket. The class began brainstorming for me, "Did I have a Kearns high teacher sticker to enable me to park in that lot?" No, but I have a Granite sticker that lets me park at any school in the district. "Was I not completely in my parking spot?" I'm pretty sure I was when I left my car....

Luckily the lesson plan that day involved watching a little Oprah, that left me a little time to run out to the parking lot to check my car. (Don't worry I have an aide in that class to help the special ed kids and she's an adult and completely capable of watching the children. The only requirement she had was that I check her car for a ticket too) I get to my car and sure enough there is a bright pink paper with "Salt Lake County Sherriff" on the back. I grab it and flip it over to read my offense. There was a list of possible offenses including overnight parking and not having a permit. The box that was checked however, was the "other" box. The offense? "Please check for dead cats."

Turns out the students who warned me of the ticket are enrolled in a criminal justice class and one aspect of that class is to patrol the teachers lot. After finding my car (stalkers!) and telling their teacher (the school resource officer) the cat story he approved the warning. So they knew all along what the "ticket" was about. (They also reminded me that my license plates expire next month.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Do you Twitter?

Some of you may know that I love watching Ellen DeGeneres. She's my girlfriend. Only not really cause you know...... But anways, she has been talking about twitter a lot recently and she is collecting followers on twitter. So I've been considering getting an account, purely because Ellen told me to. Do you people have twitter? I've looked around the site but I'm not REALLY sure how to work it. I'm not sure if this trend will stay but I'm thinking I may become a twitterer (tweeter? twizzle? Couldn't they come up with something easier to say?)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Parent Teacher Conferences

Even though I am "just a substitute" I was asked by the school secretary to stay and sit at my teachers table for parent teacher conferences. The teacher I am covering for needed to be out of town so she couldn't go in like she originally planned and so since I know all of the kids and how they are doing and I am the one giving them their grades anyways...... I went. It made for 2 very long days but since they fed us before it was fine. I heard several funny and odd comments from parents and since I haven't updated my blog for awhile I thought you ought to hear them too.

One of the other teachers that I know, is a new teacher, and she happens to be just one year older than I am. She and I were standing outside the cafeteria waiting for the doors to open so that we could take our seats. It was getting close to time for the conferences to start and parents began lining the hall. One father kept looking at the other young teacher and myself. I thought he was just amazed that we both looked so young to be teachers. Finally the reason for his staring surfaced when he just blurted out "Which one of you two is the mom?!" He then picked for himself and asked me, "Are you the mom?" That's right. I'm a 22 year-old mother of a 23 year old. We laughed and explained that we were both just young teachers. He agreed that made much more sense.

I have one student who likes to argue with me no matter what I say. This frustrates me to no end. Especially since she was one of the first students I met before I started subbing at this school and I had planned on making her my go-to student. I quickly learned that wasn't going to work. I understand she has some home isssues, and she brought her neighbor to PTC's which I think is great that at least SOMEONE cares about her education. Well her neighbor happens to be the PTA president. She also seems to know a lot about this girls day to day activities. She knew all about me, plus some.... You see the student told this woman that I HIT HER! Now those of you that know my student teaching experience may think this is possible.... but I did NOT touch this student. I was furious. So there goes my letter of recommendation from the PTA president of that school. Even the teachers around me commented on what a weird experience that particular conference was.

I had a couple students whose parents didn't speak english and so the kids would translate what I was telling them. One students mother began talking to her and the student kept agreeing with her mother but then didn't ask me any questions from what her mom said. I finished the run down of her grade and asked if her mom had questions and she said, "Nope, but she wanted me to tell you that you have really pretty eyes." That was kind of random, but nice. So what did I say back? "Thanks, I grew them myself." Sometimes my oddness surprises even myself.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Settling in

Brad and I aren't 100% moved into the new house yet, but we're loving the house so much! We love that we have our own walls and we can't hear our neighbors talk to each other, vacuum, fight, burp, watch tv, etc. It is going to be interesting to see how much money we can save up and we hope that in 18 months we can afford to have a place where at least SOME of our walls are our own.

We went to the new ward on Sunday and everyone was so friendly. We've already had neighbors call and drop off goodies and offer to help with anything. One lady called last week to write an article about us in their neighborhood newsletter. She asked me if I liked to read and when I told her yes she asked if I wanted to be in the book club. I was in book club up in Logan and I've missed it! So I said yes. She then informed me the meeting was in less than a week but that she'd drop off her copy of the book since she couldn't go. I was thinking I would read the book, but might not go to the meeting since I wouldn't know anyone there. She brought me the book and she even talked to someone about coming to pick me up and take me to the meeting. So I spent all my free time yesterday finishing the book and I'll go to the party tonight with some lady whose name I don't remember.

The book was The Secret Life of Bees. I loved it. If you want a good read, I'd suggest it. Now I really want to see the movie. It also offers good insight into the civil rights struggle so I'll probably put it on a list for extra credit reading for a history class! Have you read it? Did you love it?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

cat killer

How come when I walked out to my car tonight there was a cat sitting underneath my passenger side door? What is it about my little civic that just screams "commit cat suicide here". Don't worry. I saw it before I started my car so that cat will live another day.

Also, I talked to the ladies in the office at my apartment complex and the cat that died was a stray that usually sat by the hot tub to stay warm. I know it doesn't excuse the fact that it was a living being that is now no longer living.... but at least little Suzy isn't missing Felix at night.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another death at Kearns High

This death is much less serious and while it is sad it also is a little bit vomit-inducing...... so my pregnant friends may want to stop reading here if their gag reflexes are easily triggered.

About 2 days ago I was walking out to my car and I thought I saw something beneath it. I looked under from my side but couldn't see anything. It was cold and so I didn't want to walk around my car so I just got in and as I pulled away I looked back in my spot but there was nothing there. Strange. Yesterday was a smiliar experience. Today I stayed after school for awhile preparing some stuff so when I left the parking lot wasn't really as full so I walked around my car and looked under the car. Any guesses what I saw? (I hope Grandma Ginny isn't reading this....) I saw the head and the front paw of a dead, decomposing, cat. It was just hanging kind of behind my wheel! I was so grossed out and I didn't know what to do and even though I'm pretty sure I've driven with it there for awhile I couldn't make myself drive with it there again.

I first called Brad to find out what he thought I should do about it. He told me to just go home and he'd figure it out tonight. I then called my mom to tell her and she just laughed at me while I wretched just thinking about it. Neither of those responses were going to help me since I couldn't make myself get inside the car. Because there was the shooting at the school last week the parking lots have lots of police officers patroling around after school. So I decided that maybe I should ask a police officer what he thought I should do. There happened to be 2 Salt Lake County Sheriff's vehicles parked next to each other at the other end of the lot. So I walked down and they rolled down their window to see what I needed. I said to them "I have kind of an odd question/request?" The very nice policeman said "I doubt it's that strange. We hear really strange things." (I thought, "Don't speak so quickly mr. policeman.") So I said to the policeman, "What do you do if there is a dead cat hanging underneath your car?" They both just started laughing at me while I proceeded to laugh/cry/gag. They suggested I drive to Jiffy Lube to make them take care of it but decided that first they really wanted to look at the dead cat. They drove over to my car and then sat and poked it with their batons for awhile before they decided they might be able to get it out themselves. They had me pop my hood and they found where it was twisted up in my axle. Apparently the cat had gotten on my tire to stay warm and it didn't move when I started my car and it got sucked up into the axle when I backed away.
After half an hour of prodding with their batons, cutting with a pocket knife *gag* and lifting the car up on jacks so they could reach underneath the car......... they eventually freed the cat, who was frozen around my axle. In a way it was good that it was cold, the cat had no smell even though it had probably been there for a few days.

The police did admit that it was indeed a strange situation and they were not expecting that when I walked up. They also threatened to write me a ticket for being a cat killer so that they could get paid for doing my dirty work. I have a picture of the cat after they got it down.... but I probably shouldn't put it up on here because it might make some people cry. It actually didn't look too bad. But still! It was a dead and decomposing cat! Much thanks to Officers Wilkins and Adamson for dealing with my problems so I didn't have to!

Monday, January 26, 2009

25 things.

Ashley tagged me on this post and I don't wanna pack.....

Rules: "Once you've been tagged you're supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person that tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to learn more about you." (I'm not tagging anyone..... but if you want to do it, it was a good way to waste several hours......)

1. I love to learn, especially about historical events or social issues. This is why I was a social studies major. My biggest problem is remembering things once I've learned them..... Some day I'll learn how to do that.

2. I love to travel. Part of that love goes back to my love of history. I love going to a place and learning about things that have happened there.

3. I hate standing in one place. If I have to be still I'd much rather sit. This is part of the reason I don't like to cook. Too much standing in one place.

4. I was born in Colorado but my family was just waiting for me to come so they could move to Utah. They left Colorado the day of my 6 week check-up. So when I'm famous and Colorado tries to claim me you will all know that my true "hometown" is Provo.

5. I finished the first grade at Caroline Brevard Elementary school in Tallahassee Florida. My family lived in Tallahassee for just under a year while my dad did a sabbatical at FSU.

6. I might be a legal midget. I'm not entirely sure to be honest. Some people say if you under 5 feet you are considered a legal midget, in which case I would be. The only reason this would matter is because people have told me I would qualify to get a handicap parking pass.

7. I lied on my drivers license and said that I was 5 foot because I don't want the debate of whether or not to get a handicap parking pass. I am capable of walking, so I will walk.

8. I kissed a boy when I was in kindergarten and my brother saw. My family has never let me forget it.

9. I think I'm funny. I feed off of people laughing at me. Sometimes people are laughing AT me but I can't tell so I just keep going...... so don't laugh at me unless I'm actually funny, it just encourages me.

10. I have really short legs. Everybody knows I'm short, but really my height deficiency is all in my legs. I have the torso of a normal sized person.

11. I collect best friends. I love having friends and I don't think you can have too many best friends. So if you are my friend chances are I've given you the title of "best friend from ____" at one point. This is why I didn't have bridesmaids. Too many best friends.

12. I'm pretty sure I survived my freshmen year of college eating only fruit snacks and easy mac. I've asked my roommates if I ate anything else and the only other thing we could think of was the occasional granola bar. No wonder I lost the freshmen 15 instead of gaining it. (I've found it since then though.....)

13. I love buying coffee table books. Especially ones with pictures of places I've traveled to.

14. My favorite television show when I was younger was "This Old House". I even told people I was going to be a carpenter when I grew up. I still love watching home decorating shows and dream of some day being able to decorate my own!

15. I worked in Alaska for a summer. I absolutely loved the experience even though it had it's moments that weren't too pleasant. I would totally live in Alaska during the summer, but I couldn't survive winters there.

16. I went to a concert with my family when I was probably about 7 years old. It was hosted by the local oldies station and it was a woodstock-esque concert. (It was actually called Live-stock) There were lots of crazies at that concert and that was the day I learned what french-kissing was.

17. My senior year of High School I was able to sing in Carnegie Hall with my school choir. I've also toured Europe with a band/choir performance group. Even after those opportunities I'm still not convinced I'm necessarily a good singer. Decent, yes. Good...... maybe.

18. I was once the primary chorister. Right after that in a new ward, they made me the ward choir director. Leading the primary and leading adults are very different callings that require very different skills. I was not qualified for either job, but I don't think anybody quit the church because of me...... that counts as succeeding right?

19. I graduated High School with a 4.0 gpa. I had a teacher who threatened to give me an A- just so that I wouldn't stress out about getting a 4.0. I cried. When it came time to apply for college I got the absolute minimum score to recieve my scholarship. I only scored moderately well on the ACT and so my gpa was my saving grace and that one A- would have been the difference between a full tuition and half tuition scholarship.

20. I thought maybe I only got good grades because I didn't push myself in high school, but I graduated college Magna Cum Laude. 3.81! Not bad for college.

21. My favorite colors are black and hot pink. I used these two colors for my wedding colors even though I got married in December. I don't like how these two colors have become Emo or whatever trend it is that uses black and pink with skulls. (even though I love pirates.....)

22. I love pirates. My favorite holiday is National Talk Like A Pirate Day. (sept. 19th) My first date was in celebration of NTLAPD. We dressed our dates up like pirates and then went to ARRRby's for dinner. After dinner we roasted SmARRRRR's and then watched hook. Sept. 19th is also my best friend from high schools birthday. Fitting, since my love for the golden age of pirates only grew while driving in her car, the green pearl, with her by my side.

23. Growing up my mom always made breakfast for our family and we always ate together. Tuesdays was pancake day, Thursday was french toast day, and Saturday was waffles. Every other day was cold cereal but she always had the table set and cereal ready to be served. Brad doesn't really eat breakfast so I haven't done the same but I plan on doing the same for my children.

24. I don't love vegetables. For most of my life if it was green I probably wouldn't eat it. I'm growing up now and can handle a larger number of veggies but I still don't really enjoy eating them.

25. I love my family. No matter what my brother says, I do look up to him. He's a very funny and completely random guy. Some day he's going to be great at whatever he decides to do. I have the smartest, prettiest, taller little sister. As I've grown up I've found that she is one of my best friends. I hope she doesn't hold it against me that I used to make her do everything for me.... I was just teaching her to serve others. My mom is my best friend that trumps all other best friends. (remember I have lots.....) I hope that some day I can be as good of a mom as she is. I wish I had known my older sister better before she passed away. There is only so much you can remember when you are 4 years old. But I bet she's somewhere painting beautiful pictures and making people smile.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I should be getting hazard pay

Those of you who watch Utah's news religiously (I wouldn't blame you since I love Whit Johnson's smile....) might have heard about the lockdown that happened at Kearns High School today. There was an incident and a student was shot. It happened off campus and I was never in any danger. I don't want to perpetuate rumors but I want to say this: As a sub at a school that goes into lock-down things can be a little confusing and slightly scary. My first thoughts were that I couldn't believe no one told me there would be a drill that day. I then sensed the urgency in the principles voice as he continued making announcements about different codes and schedules and all this weird stuff. I normally have a teacher across the hall that helps me out with things but of course her class had gone to the computer lab. Looking out in the hall I began to see cards sliding out from under teachers doors. I realized if they had cards I probably had cards too so I found the firedrill packet and sure enough, inside were the instructions for all of the codes being announced.

Luckily I know the username and passwords to all of my teachers files and so I was able to get into her email and recieve the emails from the office as things were being passed down to the teachers. This all happened while I was in my prep period and so I had no students in the class and so I didn't have to worry about keeping anyone calm or entertained as they continued the lock-down. My biggest worry was what to do with myself in a classroom all by myself for 2 and a half hours. I had my sudoku book and so I sat in a corner and worked on sudoku until the lockdown ended and everyone was released.

So my friends, if you are subbing at a school you should make sure there is a way to be in contact with the office and you should find out where the emergency instructions are because you never know when you will need them.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I know I said I don't vacuum because of the noise. But I still like a clean floor. Brad vacuums every now and then. If it gets out of control I'll do it. But I honestly don't understand my upstairs neighbors. They are going to have to get new carpet soon I'm sure because they are wearing theirs out with their vacuum. They vacuum almost every other day. They also vacuum at ridiculous times. They just finished vacuuming around 10:20 tonight. The first week I started my student teaching they began vacuuming around midnight. I had been asleep but was so bugged that I got up and was getting presentable to go ask them to stop. By the time I put my shoes on they stopped. I was a little sad that I couldn't go stop them. (I have this thing about letting people know how I feel.... most of the time it's better if I don't, so I didn't) But yeah, 2 weeks from today we will be on our way out of this apartment and it can't come soon enough because I am so sick of hearing vacuums constantly above my head. Maybe it wouldn't bother me so much if I liked vacuums at all.

Friday, January 16, 2009

An update on the big move..... you forgot didn't you.....

So some of you may think I moved in November. Probably because I told you I was going to. But I didn't. We got excited to leave our pot smoking neighbors but then there were some complications when Grandpa went to the doctor for his pre-mission checkup. But thankfully when Grandpa went back to the Doctor this Monday they gave him the clearance to head to Tokyo on February 2nd. So we ARE moving and it's going to be wonderful. So come visit any time after February 3rd!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kids do the darndest things

I am officially back at work. For those of you who know, I'm being a long term sub for a lady in my ward while she stays at home taking care of her brand new baby. She had him last night. One week over due. She kept working until last Friday (2 days past due) but I took over her classes this Monday. She has her classes so well planned and prepared that I hardly have to do anything. It is so much more relaxed than student teaching. PLUS I get paid! It's nice to feel like I am contributing to our family again.

In honor of being back in the school here is a couple of fun things that have happened the past couple of days:

  • On the way to the library for a group lesson the very last student thought he was all alone in the hall. Just as I rounded the corner I caught him looking at his reflection in the glass of a trophy case, brushing his hair to side, and giving himself an approving thumbs up.
  • Today as I was entering scores for the journal entries the students do to start class I was reading through a few of the entries. The classes are starting a unit on marriage and so the topic for the entry today asked about qualities they desired in a mate. One of the girls had written one thing down. "Robert Pattinson". I hope she is willing to compromise a little on that one.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Things I worry about- (with an update)

So I've already compared myself to the crazy lady in Lemony Snickets but for some reason I have this feeling I should share some of the crazy things I do to prove to you all that I am indeed insane. So here is a list of some of the things I worry about, things I'm afraid of and/or some of the crazy things that I have actually said out loud that I should have just kept inside my little worried head. Some of these you will probably recognize from random posts and some of them you might just already know about me.

  • I worry about having diseases. Some people call this hypochondria I call this being prepared for the worst. I can't prove that my headaches aren't a brain tumor and neither can you. Unless of course you have an MRI machine; in which case go ahead and prove it cause it will probably make me feel better and make the ulcer that I got while worrying about it go away.
  • I am afraid of loud noises. This is a pretty large category that has manifested itself in many different ways....
  1. I don't enjoy vacuuming because it's too loud. Honest. It's not just an excuse for why my house is never clean, I really don't like it.
  2. I don't use a blender even though I LOVE milkshakes and smoothies, I'd rather go without, than use a blender. (But anyone else can make them for me I just have to able to leave the kitchen when the blender goes off...)
  3. I am also afraid of wind storms and thunder. Not because of the damage they can do, but because of the noise. If I was afraid of the damage they can do I would be afraid of lightening, not thunder. But I actually like to look at lightening, especially if it's pictures of lightening or lightening on tv where I don't have to listen to thunder shake the house afterwords. This is where the "things I've said" part comes in. One time my roommates and I were visiting some friends when the weather started getting a little choppy outside. The clouds got all dark and it started to rain a little. Instead of saying we should go home before it started to storm, or before it started to rain too hard I said "We should go before it gets too windy." Since we don't live in Tornado Alley I think the chances of it really getting "too windy" for us to safely drive the 4 blocks back to our apartment in our small, wind resistant car, were slim to none. But I still worried about it.
  • I worry when anyone talks about being prepared for the future. Utah is overdue for that big scary earthquake but I shut down if I try to think about preparing for it. Food storage? what? So if you really like me and want me to survive a disaster you should probably prepare me a disaster kit. (side note, if we do end up moving into Brads grandparents house I think we'll be ok because they are good people who have food storage and all that kind of stuff... So we're good for the next 18 months while they will be gone)
  • I worry about getting rid of things I'll need later. I didn't live through the depression but I tend to hoard things like I did. example: I had a panic attack (overexageration? maybe...) in 4th grade when we played a class game of Oregon Trail. They told us we could only pack like 150 lbs of belongings and gave us a list of all of our belongings to pack from and what they weighed. I really struggled leaving behind my imaginary grandmothers pump organ. I was sentimentally attached to something written down on a piece of paper that didn't really exsist. And if that wasn't bad enough I had to leave things like pots and pans that really could have been useful too!
I'm sure there's others. I know there are lots more but I'm starting to feel a little self concious about how much I've shared already. Plus I can't think of anymore off the top of my head. Except for my pogonophobia.

*UPDATE* - My mother just reminded me that I quit using our treadmill because I couldn't stand how loud it was. So because of my stupid problem with noise I'm also getting fat.

I'm a horrible stalker

Alright, that's it. My tracker is broken. I now know that at least some of the people I stalk on here also read my blog (thanks by the way for commenting so I could have proof of that) but my tracker still says nobody has been to the site for over 2 weeks. So I think I'll get a different one. Does anyone have any ideas? Do you have a tracker you like? I know it's not important but something inside of me wants to know.....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm watching you.

So I have a tracker on my blog. It tells me when people look at my blog and how long they stay and blah blah blah. I honestly don't really know how to use it to its full extent but there is one feature I understand. The day by day counter. It tells me how many times a day people look at my blog. According to this feature nobody has looked at my blog since just after Christmas. I'm pretty sure I got a comment during that time so I think it is lying to me, but I'm not sure..... Apparently people are sick of reading "year in review" blogs and so they have avoided mine.

Also, back when people looked at my blog I had hits from Africa and Europe! I wish I knew who those people were or why they were reading my blog.......

Monday, January 5, 2009

My year in review.

Many of you know that I love Dave Barry. Dave Barry is a syndicated columnist from the Miami Herald that writes hilarious articles and books. Every year Dave Barry writes what is called his "year in review." If you haven't read his review of 2008 already you should. Unfortunately 2008 wasn't a really funny year, what with the economy failing and politics dominating the news... but he still manages to make it funny. You can read that article here.

The way that Dave Barry writes his year in review is that he breaks down each month and what happened in it. I wanted to do that with my life as my little "Christmas card" "new years update" or "valentines letter" as it happens sometimes in my family. I wrote January's paragraph back in November and then realized that nothing really happened in my life for a few months after that. You know it's true because I didn't start my blog until April. I had nothing to blog about before that.

So here is a small recap of some of our favorite parts of 2008 not in month form...
  • We finally moved into our first apartment together. As soon as we were done unpacking we had to repack to have the place sprayed for cockroaches. Who knew cockroaches lived in the frozen north of Logan. I guess if they could survive a nuclear holocaust they can live in Logan. That part wasn't our favorite...... but being married was!
  • I was primary chorister for 4 primary children. I sang some great solos.
  • Brad got a great job that he loved working for Hawkeye Technology.
  • I lost my phone twice and found it twice. Both times it was found in a pile of snow and both times the phone continued to work after a little warming up.
  • We drove to Vegas for one night to see Spamalot then turned around and came home the next morning. Worth it!
  • I started my blog!
  • I took and passed the 2 praxis exams I was required to take. One of which I passed so well that I got a certificate saying I got in the top 15% of anyone who had ever taken it!
  • I got a 4.0 Spring semester. (Fall semester didn't count towards gpa points since it was student teaching but I'm sure I would have aced it too!)
  • We got to go to Florida as "chaperones" for Brad's younger sister and her friend. I rode a really big scary rollercoaster and didn't cry!
  • I joined an awesome lunch group.
  • We went to the Shakespeare festival and to Tuahacan with my mom and sister and saw lots and lots of fun plays.
  • We saw "She Loves Me" and "Into The Woods" at the Hale Theaters and "Sweeney Todd" at the mental institute ampitheater in Provo.
  • Lots of my cousins got married. (Andrea, Jordan, Kate, Logan, Paige, Keith....... did I miss any?)
  • We moved to West Jordan so that I could student teach at Bennion Jr. High.
  • We got approved for government subsidized housing so that we could save up a little bit of money and maybe someday own our own home!
  • We went to Oktoberfest and I rode a zipline and didn't cry!
  • I saw an original copy of the Declaration of Independance.
  • I spent an entire day teaching about the geography and history of pirates. I also spent an entire day teaching about Alaska. Another day I didn't speak to my students except with sign language and they paid attention and got involved. I loved those days.
  • I finished student teaching and I still liked teaching, considering I was in a middle school I think that's an accomplishment!
  • I graduated from college Magna Cum Laude!
  • I was ward choir director and I conducted the entire Christmas program and even managed to make it a little bit my own by adding the closing song in sign language.
It was a busy year with a few low points as well (besides the roaches those aren't listed), but we had lots of fun and we look forward to 2009 and hope that it will be just as great, if not better.