Monday, December 31, 2012

A Resolution!

Dec. 31, 2012

So, as you've probably noticed, I've gotten really behind on blogging.

Sometimes I feel a lot of pressure to blog - almost like it's a chore or an assignment that I'm putting off. And that makes posting not seem so fun sometimes. I realized I shouldn't feel that way! Blogging is a hobby. It's a way for me to document our life together so that I'll always remember our fun adventures. 

So, as 2012 comes to a close, I am making a quick New Year's Resolution to post some of the adventures of the past year that really should have made it up on the blog. But I'm not making any promises to post three times a week. Or even once a week. Because that is a chore/assignment. And let's be honest - I don't need any more of those!

So, Happy New Year everyone! 

2012 left us with some amazing memories.
We can't wait for the new adventures we are going to have in 2013!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Tale of the Pencil Sharpener.

Our class electric pencil sharpener decided to die a few weeks ago. It was no problem, because I have a smaller electric pencil sharpener that I brought in to tide us over until I figured out what was wrong with the real one. That is, until our back up one decided to die yesterday. 

Teaching with no pencil sharpener proved to be no bueno, so I brought home the first pencil sharpener to see if by some chance Daniel could fix it. It took him about 30 minutes to take the entire thing apart, get it working, and put it back together again. 

Would you like to know what was wrong with it?

There were four (yes, four) paperclips inside it. FOUR of them. And also a wad of paper, and part of the lid of a pen for good measure. All of that somehow jammed into a poor, defenseless pencil sharpener. 

So, class began today with Mrs. Sorensen holding up a plastic bag filled with the evidence. This was followed by a little lecture about why the pencil sharpener would be making its new home right in the middle of my desk from here on out. 

I brought my other sharpener home today to see if Daniel can fix it too. I can't say I'm not  a little concerned about what we might find when we take that one apart. 

Bets, anyone?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Zoology 102 with M & D

Remember the time Daniel and I debated the difference between an aardvark and an anteater? Well, we have finally found our subjects for Zoology 102 with M&D. While eating Sunday dinner with the Jacobsens last week, we got into a discussion about seals. Brief background: my father doesn't like seals. He truly, thoroughly, doesn't like them. He claims they're "ugly" and "they eat too many fish." Yeah. We don't get it either.

Anyway, after discussing my father's serious dislike for seals, my brother asked him how he felt about sea lions. My dad decided that they were okay. This sparked some discussion about what the difference was between these two animals - if there was a difference at all. So, naturally, we turned to our trusty smartphones at the dinner table and Googled some pictures of these guys. Want to know what we discovered?

In the case of seals vs. sea lions...

This guy is a seal:

And this guy is a sea lion:

It turns out, both animals are members of the pinniped family (along with walruses and even otters). But they have some very key differences, as you can see from this diagram:

Here is a more in-depth comparison.

After reading up on these guys, we now feel like we know a little bit more about the animal kingdom. What we still don't understand is how my dad can look at this little guy square in the face and tell him he doesn't like him.

There are some things we'll never understand. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

a story for your thursday.

Embarrassingly enough, that would be my desk at School. UEA weekend couldn't have come at a better time, right? I'm super behind with grading planning organizing cleaning laundry dishes general life, and I woke up with a bit of a cold today (sad face). Take this story that Daniel told me yesterday as further evidence that I seriously needed a break from school:

The other night, I went to bed a little before Daniel did. These days I tend to fall fast asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, so I was already fast asleep by the time Daniel came in to get ready for bed. I remember none of this, but according to him, I said his name a few times so he came over to the bed. Then I launched into a mini-monologue about how I had explained a story problem to him, and he just needed to do it. I had already told him how, so why hadn't he done it yet? Daniel was trying really hard not to laugh at me, but apparently I was talking with my hands and basically giving him a lecture as if he were one of my students. Finally, he gave up trying to reason with me and told me that I was still sleeping. I guess I was in a compliant mood, because I simply sighed and said "Okay," rolled over, and fell asleep again.

We both got a pretty good laugh out of it, especially because talking in my sleep isn't one of my normal characteristics. Conclusion? We think teaching school is slowly making me crazy. Either way, I'm planning on relaxing this weekend. I see a lot of movies on the couch with blankets and  hot apple cider, long walks outside, and a possible trip to the pumpkin patch. 

Happy weekend!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Life & teaching & stuff.

Photo from our two-year anniversary (!) which we celebrated this past August.

Just wanted to post a quick update on our lives over here. It's been pretty quiet on the blog lately, but our lives have been quite the opposite! Between teaching full time for me, and the work/school mix for Daniel, we don't have a lot of free time. However, can I just say how amazing it has been for me not to be a student for once? I can't say that I miss it.

When people ask me how teaching is going, the short answer is that it's going great, but it's a lot of work. The long answer is: I absolutely love my students, and I have a blast at work (almost) every single day! Being a teacher is the single most rewarding thing I've ever done. But grading papers, long days at the school, e-mails to parents, working with struggling students, and planning double the lessons for my split class has been absolutely exhausting. I constantly feel behind no matter what I do to try and catch up. There are even times I have a nagging feeling that I'm not doing this whole thing right and my students aren't going to learn anything. I've had to take a step back and remind myself that it's my first year, I have a split class, and I'm doing the very best I can.

I was talking to Daniel last night, and I realized that teaching is probably the most stressful job ever for my borderline control-freak/perfectionist personality. My goal is for all of my students to learn and be successful, but there is only so much I can do before it is up to them to listen, and put in the work themselves. Teaching has really forced me to take a "chill pill" when it comes to every little thing being perfect. I have learned that in some situations, that is just never going to happen. I am just grateful that I am not drowning this year. In fact, I'm far from it!

As far as our lives go, if you were to ask Instagram, this is what we have been up to lately:
 Cheering on our Utes!
 Getting our culture on and visiting the new Museum of Natural History. 
Which we highly recommend, by the way.
 Crazy hair day (that I wore out to dinner and a movie afterward), 
and the shirt that my students have named "The Owl Shirt."
Turning garden tomatoes into homemade salsa with my mom, as is our yearly tradition.
 My owl bulletin board, and the sentence that made us laugh out loud for hours.
(Those things make grading papers infinitely more entertaining.)
Our trip to the State Fair, and the creatures that are living in my classroom this Halloween.
(From left to right, a bat, a crawfish, and an octopus preserved in formaldehyde.)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

we will never forget.

Today, I'm taking a minute to remember the heroes and the victims of the September 11th tragedy. I can't believe it's already been 11 years since one of the most humbling, saddening events in our nation's history. It's even stranger to think that none of my 4th or 5th graders remember the events of that day. Only a few were even alive.

I am so grateful to live in such a strong, resilient country. I am grateful for the freedoms we enjoy, and the brave men and women who keep those freedoms safe. Especially my father-in-law, who is currently serving our country in Afghanistan. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

We will never forget.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fall To-Do List

Now that it's September, I feel like it's officially fall outside. I'm getting excited to do some of my favorite autumn activities this year! So without further ado, here's my official Fall 2012 To-Do List:

1. Go on a drive to see the changing leaves
2. Visit the Pumpkin Patch
3. Carve Pumpkins
4. Watch a scary movie
5. Dress up for Halloween
6. Go to a haunted house
7. Have a sleepover at the cabin
8. Read a good book
9. Eat breakfast at Ruth's Diner
10. Get a great fall candle
11. Eat a slice of pumpkin pie
12. Visit to the Utah State Fair
13. Purchase a new pair of boots (like these, or these, or these, or even these)

What's on your fall to-do list? I'd love to hear. I've already checked #4 off my list (I watched The Woman In Black by myself the other day...even though the cover expressly says "do not watch it alone.") Hope your fall is off to a great start!

P.S. A bit of trivia: Fall doesn't officially begin until the autumnal equinox on September 22. (The things you learn when you teach 6th grade). Also, I will give 100 extra credit points to anyone who can explain (without Google!) what actually causes the seasons. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer Happenings.

Want to know my top three reasons for becoming a teacher?

June, July, and August.

Haha! Don't worry, I'm just kidding. But we have had a pretty fun and relaxing summer so far. Here are a few snapshots of what we've been up to. This summer, I have...

Spent hours and hours setting up my classroom and getting organized for the school year.

Gone on a handful of fun adventures, including getting glitter strands with Lizzie, a hike to donut falls, and swimming/volleyball at Grandma & Grandpa's pool.

Discovered a new hobby: gardening and keeping houseplants! My very first tomato plant was a success.

Gone on several dates with my handsome husband. Going anywhere with D is my favorite; whether it's to the movies, the cabin, or getting shakes at Iceberg.

Said goodbye to my little brother, and it was not fun! In case you're wondering, he's doing exceptionally well in the MTC and has picked up Spanish quickly. We're all so very proud of him!

Eaten a lot of way too much good food. The Sweet Tooth Fairy is too good to pass up, peach shakes are my favorite summer treat, and I make a pretty tasty loaf of banana bread if I do say so myself.

Gone to three beautiful weddings with great friends. Congratulations Allison, Marianne, and Maria! 


Graduation, ages late.

I figured it was time I posted some photos from one of the most important events in my life thus far: 

The day I graduated from college!

Even though it was nearly three months ago, it all seems pretty surreal. I actually graduated from college! I learned so much in the process. Hopefully I learned enough to be trusted with my own class of students this year...but I guess we'll find that out in a few weeks! Eek! Pray for me.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dear Elder.

I'm kind of freaking out today. My little brother Steven recently got his mission call to Tempe, Arizona speaking Spanish! He's reporting to the MTC on July 5th - just two short days away. I'm feeling pretty sad that I don't get to see this guy for two whole years. 

Steven, you and I have had some great memories together over the years - sharing a room when we were little, playing Settlers of Catan, driving to high school together in the Weasel every day, picking you up from hospital when you broke your foot, jam sessions in the car, going to the temple with you, and many more.  Recently, one of my favorite memories is staying up half the night while you patiently taught me how to play Minecraft. I will also never forget how you were there for me when I had a really rough year.

Steven, I want you to know how much I love you! Things will be a lot different without you around, but I'm so proud of you and the decision you've made. You're going to be a totally awesome missionary! Those great people in Tempe, Arizona don't know how lucky they are.

Love you, Steve-O! We're gonna miss ya!

Your "Little Big Sister",


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