Monday, April 23, 2012

a peek at our weekend.


[1] lots of saturday tutoring.
[2] a distinguished mustache.
[3] our nephew liam's 1st birthday!
[4] liam enjoying his birthday cake. 
[5] a murder mystery party (more to come!)
[6] cinnamon rolls are a sunday tradition over here.

Hope you had a great weekend, too!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Homemade Corndogs and Cheese-on-a-Stick!

Daniel and I got ambitious the other night and decided to make homemade corndogs. I have a hotdog phobia, so we made cheese-on-a-stick for me instead. You was heavenly. They tasted just like the ones you get from Hot Dog on a Stick at the mall! I'm ashamed to admit how much I love that place. But who could turn down fried cheese and cornbread? Not this girl.

You'd think we'd have to buy a million things at the store for this endeavor, but the only things we didn't have on hand were hot dogs, cheese, and yellow cornmeal. We had the oil, eggs, and pancake mix already! The mix was super easy to put together, too.

Corndogs and Cheese-on-a-Stick were a major success! We used The Pioneer Woman's recipe, and it didn't disappoint. They were so tasty. The only thing I will change next time is to use American cheese instead of cheddar cheese inside my cheese sticks. That would make them authentic Hot Dog on a Stick style!

Some more ideas:
1. This would be a super fun meal to make with a husband or friends. We had as much fun making them as we had eating them!
2. We halved the recipe (the original makes 18) and we still had TONS of leftover batter. Keep it in the fridge overnight and use it to make pancakes the next day! They are my new favorite. I put honey and butter on mine, and Daniel said they tasted great with syrup.
3. Since we made more than 9 corndogs, we definitely couldn't eat them all in one sitting. The best part is - you can refrigerate/freeze them! They taste just as wonderful the next day. Just put them on a tray in the oven and crisp them for a few minutes before you eat them. It works with the cheese ones too!
4. I learned that you are not supposed to pour oil down the drain of your sink because it can really mess stuff up. To get rid of it the used oil, we funneled it back into the bottle it came from and threw it out - so don't throw away the bottle.

I think that's about it for the corndog tips. So go out and try an ambitious recipe - it will be an adventure!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This is why finishing student teaching is a full time job.

Here is my day:

1. Woke up early and immediately started working on a website for my last class that, let's be honest, I should have been working on all semester.

2. Worked on the website until I realized I needed pictures of things from my classroom, and I never took those pictures. I also had lesson plans on the school computer, and not on mine. Dilemma.

3. Hurried to shower and get ready so I could actually be decent when I went over to the school.

4. Assembled a packet of my documents to give to the Principal while I was at it.

5. Drove to the school, gave the papers to the principal, and got mauled by all of my students.

6. Finally got my pictures taken and my lessons off the computer.

7. Raced back home and realized I had basically no time to finish my website before I had to be at an interview for Canyon's district.

8. Used what little time I had to sloppily finish the website and Google directions to Canyons.

9. Drove 50 mph on side streets so I could get to my interview on time.

10. Actually made it there, and had a great interview.

11. Except the interview took forever and I was going to be late to my class.

12. Called my friend and asked her to tell our professor I was running late.

13. Realized I needed my laptop for class because I was supposed to present a slideshow. Except I had no time to go home and get it.

14. Daniel met me at my class to give me my laptop.

15. Got to class 20 minutes late.

16. Presented my crappy website and cool slideshow.

17. Went to pick up Panda Express (Daniel's favorite) because he was so nice to bring me my computer. Except the line was SO LONG!

18. Waited in the line because I love my husband.

19. Raced home so I could eat before I had to go tutor a student.

20. Tutored a student.

21. Came home and had to finish a paper for that class that was due at 11:00.

22. Finally finished the paper.

23. Died.

24. Just kidding, I blogged about my day instead.

So...this free time...what is it again? Pretty sure tomorrow is going to look similar. Minus the papers and websites.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A bull in a china shop.

Sometimes Daniel is like a bull in a china shop. Have you ever heard that saying? It means means you often drop or break things, or move roughly in small areas. Today, as we were on the floor duct taping the broken rung of Daniel's dining room chair, we came up with a comprehensive list of everything Daniel has broken in our apartment since we moved in:

1. Dropped a pocket knife that cut through our bed sheet and the mattress pad underneath.
2. Slipped in the shower and cracked the wall when he crashed into it.
3. Slipped in the shower again and pulled down the shower curtain rod.
4. Dented the ceiling moving a grandfather clock into the apartment.
5. Chipped the white finish on the stove dropping a bowl.
6. Cracked the light fixture in the kitchen. (In all fairness, it was me who asked him to screw it in tighter).
7. Broke the bottom rung of his dining room chair, as stated above.
8. Squeezed the pink printer ink too hard, and made a lovely design on the carpet. (Bonus: his hand was dyed pink for two days).
9. Shattered a glass cup on the kitchen floor.
10. Dented the IKEA dresser with a belt buckle.

As we were making the list, we discovered that I'm not innocent either. So here's my list of broken things:

1. Spilled an entire melted lilac candle on the bedroom carpet.
2. Dropped a bowl and dented the microwave (the first week we had it).
3. Fed a spoon to the garbage disposal.
4. Ruined a white dress shirt with eye-makeup.

So there you have it. I've said it once, and I'll say it again. It's a really good thing our apartment manager doesn't read my blog.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dear D,

You deserve an award for being such an awesome husband. Just thought you should know. But since I don't know of any husband contests going on around these parts, I decided to write you a thank you note instead:

Thank you for being so thoughtful. You remembered the time we were at the store and I saw that beautiful Kate Spade bag on a great sale. I never told you how much I wanted it, but somehow you knew. After a long day of interviews, field trips, and teacher panels, I couldn't believe my eyes when I got home to find it sitting on the table with the sweetest note. I love my new bag, but I love you even more. Also, I'm sorry that I cried.

Thank you for laughing with me all the time. You have such a wonderful sense of humor. I love that it still feels like a sleepover, even after more than a year and a half, when we get to go to sleep together every night. I also love that we can start an epic game of truth or dare while the dinner is taking an extra long time to cook. It makes those little moments so much more fun!

Thank you for never getting frustrated about the constant piles of papers and notebooks that are all over the apartment. Teaching comes with more papers than I could have ever imagined, and I'm so grateful that you are understanding.

Thank you for volunteering to do the dishes, even when it's not your turn. You know how much I hate to do them, so even when it's me that let them pile up, you do it without being asked.

Thank you for always being supportive. You encourage me to do whatever makes me happy and remind me to take time for myself when I need it.

Thank you for going on adventures with me, like picking up random ingredients at the store because I want to try a recipe I saw on Pinterest. Or going on a walk with me in the pouring rain when you've already showered for the day. Or going to the D.I. to find a costume for a party. I appreciate it more than you know.

Thank you for always telling me that I'm beautiful. I notice how often you say it. Some days, I really need to hear it.

Daniel, you are the most wonderful husband and you are perfect for me. Lately, I have been feeling extra grateful to have you in my life. Every single day, I thank my Heavenly Father for sending such a wonderful person to be my companion for eternity. Thanks for being my partner in everything.

Love always,


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

 Last night, we had tons of fun coloring Easter eggs with these guys! It was my first time ever mixing up the dyes myself, and I was probably way too excited about it. John made an awesome egg that kind of looks like his face (pictured above). To get the letters, we used my Cricut to make vinyl stickers and put them on the eggs before we dyed them. My favorite egg I made was an ombre blue one. Can you spy a picture of it?

Church today was also absolutely wonderful. It reminded me of the true meaning of Easter. One of the speakers in Sacrament Meeting shared this story that I had never heard before. It really touched me today, so I thought I'd share it on the blog if you'd like to read.

Wait Three Days

On Easter Monday morning, I paused for a moment on top of the steps leading to the avenue, now crowded with people rushing to their jobs. 
Sitting in her usual place inside a small archway was the old flower lady. 
At her feet, corsages and boutonnieres were parading on top of a spread-open newspaper. 
The flower lady was smiling, her wrinkled old face alive with some inner joy.
I started down the stairs--then on an impulse, turned and picked out a flower.
As I put it in my lapel, I said, "You look happy." 
"Why not?" she answered. "Everything is good." 
She was dressed so shabbily and seemed so very old that her reply startled me.
"You've been sitting here for many years now, haven't you? And always smiling. You wear your troubles well." 
"You can't reach my age and not have troubles," she replied. "Only it's like Jesus and Good Friday..." She paused for a moment. 
"Yes?" I prompted. 
"Well, when Jesus was crucified on Good Friday; that was the worst day for the whole world. When I go through troubles, I remember that and then I think of what happened only three days later - Easter, and our Lord rose from the dead. So when things go wrong, I've learned to wait three days and somehow everything gets much better." 
She smiled good-bye, but her words still follow me whenever I think I have troubles...Give God a chance to help...wait three days.

--Author Unknown

In our primary lesson today, it mentioned that the news of Christ's resurrection was the best news the world has ever received. I'm so grateful for that news, and what it means for each of us. Hope you are all having a fabulous Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gift Idea for Students: "Owl" miss you!

I decided to stay up until 2am make these little owls to give to each of my students on my last day of student teaching. On the back, I simply wrote "Owl miss you!" It was a fun and easy way to let them know how much they would be missed.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Scrapbook paper (brown, gray, white, black, and orange)
  • 3 different sized circle hole punches (I used one regular sized one like this, and the larger two were different sizes of this brand from Joann's)
  • Mini cellophane bags
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stapler
  • Glue
  • Marker
  • Candy (Something with a gold wrapper. I used Twix, and Rolos would work great too)
  • Optional: An awesome husband who thinks your new hole punches are really cool so he wants to punch out all of your circles for you.

I started by using white cardstock to make a template for my owl's face. It took a lot of trial and error to get it the way I wanted, so if you want to use mine, here it is:
Then, I traced the template a million times on brown paper and started cutting while Daniel punched out lots and lots of circles for the eyes and cut out little orange triangles for the beaks. I folded my  owl templates in half, and glued all of the circles and beaks on.

I stuffed Twix in the little cellophane bags, and then stapled the bags shut at the top. Then I folded the finished owl templates over and taped them to the outside of the bags. 

After that, I added the little message on the back with a marker.

Here's how the whole thing goes together:

And this is what your living room will look like afterward.

I thought you deserved a fair warning about that. Happy crafting!

P.S. I originally got the idea for the owls from this pin on Pinterest. However, it had no original source, so I was left to my own devices :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Confessions of a Teacher-in-Training: That time I survived student teaching!!

I can hardly believe I am sitting here, writing a post about how I actually finished student teaching. I can still remember exactly how I felt just a few days before I met my students. And so much has changed since that day in April when we met the "survivors" of last year's cohort to discuss the wild ride we were in for. I remember looking at them and thinking: "Wow. These people are amazing. What was their secret to getting through this so successfully? They must know so much more then me." They were my pretty much my idols. I wanted to be them someday. And now, it's surreal to think that I am. 

Were there moments I thought I wouldn't make it? 
Did I feel like giving up sometimes? 
But overall, was it worth all of the time and hard work I put into it?
Without a doubt.

On a different note, I am going to miss my students so much. The photos above are from the "photobooth" I set up for my going-away party on my last day. Let me tell you - it was a blast! The students thought it was the greatest thing ever. I bought a bunch of props from the dollar store, and set up my camera on a tripod. I loved this idea even more after I saw all the pictures. It was the perfect way for me to remember each of my students and their unique personalities. I had a truly amazing class this year. In some ways, I feel like they taught me far more than I taught them. And I won't ever, ever forget them.
So watch out world...I'm going to be a teacher!!

P.S. Remember how excited I was when I found out what grade I would be student teaching? Also, here's a post about my first two days of student teaching, a mid-semester update, and a couple of funny stories along the way here and here.

P.P.S Stay tuned to see the little craft I made for my students to say goodbye! I'll give you a hint - it involves owls!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The last time I posted, there was a picture of snow.

Which means it's been way too long since I've posted. Spring has sprung, and I have the allergies to prove it. There are also some springy daffodils outside my apartment window that I can't get enough of! I have a THOUSAND things to blog about, so I promise I'll catch up this week. In the meantime, here is a song that you should probably listen to, because I'm kind of obsessed with it.

                   Some Nights by fun. on Grooveshark

Also! I got Instagram!! This is cause for celebration. I've only been waiting ages for it to be available on Android. You can follow me if you'd like: mandy_sorensen.

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