Tuesday, September 28, 2010

7th grade lessons apply to the student teacher...

It is ironic how I taught stress management to my 7th grade class today and now I am totally stressed out.  My class even went well and the kids were all so very well behaved.  Some kids even thanked me for teaching them.... awh!!!  But, I guess I need to practice what I preach eh...?  

All I have to say is lesson planning equals stress overload!!!!

In case anyone wants to know the 5 stress management techniques that I taught...
1. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly (I'm basically failing and scared of the scale right now)
2. Tense and Release (This might help but I don't want to force myself to get even tenser...)
3. Deep Breathing (I can't breathe deep enough for this to be effective I guess because even the deepest of breaths aren't conquering my stress)
4. Mind Vacation (I like this one but it takes way more time than I have to spare.)
5. Laughter (I haven't tried this yet... I guess I just need to hear some good jokes!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

from the heart

The only thing I want right now is to curl up on our couch with hot chocolate and popcorn and watch a good movie! :)  It has been a long day....

Every morning Casey and I have a devotional.  We sing a song, have an opening and closing prayer and then share a spiritual thought and scripture.  It is amazing and I HIGHLY recommend it to all!!!!  Anyway, the thought today was such a blessing!  Casey picked a quote today from Pres. Hinckley.  "Teachers must speak out of their hearts rather than out of their books to communicate their love for the Lord and this precious work, and somehow it will catch fire in the hearts of those they teach."  

Ongoing Goal:  Teach from the heart! <3  (Especially with my classes that teach me more than I could have ever imagined...)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

...a long look back over the past week...

This past week was sewing with my CTE (7th graders).  Let's just say I was so nervous about it.  I wasn't sure how sewing a locker hanger was going to go over with my students because the vast majority of them had never used a sewing machine before.  I was stressed that they wouldn't finish and we would be seriously far behind.  I was also worried about their fingers because I have heard horror stories from my mentor teacher of what kids have done in the past.  

Well, it all worked out!!!  I had to warn one of my classes on the last day for sewing that if they choose to keep talking instead of sewing and were not able to finish the project that they would all have to take partial grades because the project had to be finished today.  That seemed to help because the kids started "ssshhhhhhing" their peers and fortunately they did finish.  I also have a different period that is so well behaved and finished sewing so early that I allowed them to use the decorative stitches.  Those kids LOVED it and it was so rewarding to watch them all just enjoy sewing.  A few of them got carried away with the decorative stitches and turned their pockets into patches because they sewed across the top.  Tragically, I did not make it through all of my classes with no accidents! :(  I didn't think I had to warn the kids to pay attention to their fingers while they were using scissors to cut off a corner of their locker hanger.  Apparently I did because not only did he clip his corner but he also clipped his finger.  But, we had no sewing machine accidents and I am so grateful for that! :)

One of the Bell Ringers I had my 7th grade write this week was in celebration of National Sewing Month.  (Its real, I promise!)  Anyway, I had them either write a poem or short story or draw a picture about their experience with sewing.  I loved looking at them to grade!  I had one kid write a song and some really cute poems.  Several of the pictures were classic!  One of the pictures had a before and after.  The before picture showed the kid really angry with a thought bubble saying "Sewing is for GIRLS!"  The after picture showed him calmed down and happy and saying "Sewing is awesome!!"  I loved that!  I don't know if any of my 7th graders will ever sew again (my mentor teacher sure hopes they do and I have to constantly keep trying to "sell" the 8th grade class) but I was grateful to see that they have enjoyed their *brief* experience with sewing!

I added my second class subject this week, FACS Exploration.  So now I am teaching 2 subjects and 5 periods.  That is so much grading!  (Sidenote:  I *love* having a TA!!!!!  She is my grade saver and I am so thankful to have her in one of my periods!)  Anyway, teaching my FACS class for the first time seemed to go pretty well on one day.  The kids all warmed up to me pretty well and accepted that I would be teaching them now.  The other period did not go over so great!  Those kids were not warned that I would be starting to teach them so that alone was a shock to their systems.  Then it just got worse as I explained the concept of a bell ringer to them.  My mentor teacher has never done them and she just allows the kids to do whatever as class begins and she is taking roll and etc.  I think I am way more strict with the kids than she is but I don't know how to manage a huge class without some strict guidelines.  For example the bell ringer.  Purpose: have kids in their seat and quiet when the bell rings.  I don't know their names and can't take roll with everyone wandering around.  This period just kept getting worse because I made them take a pre-test instead of allowing them to continue working on their "Log Cabin" pillow.  They all shot darts at me through their eyes and by the time the period ended, I was almost certain that most of them hated me.

The next time I had these kids in class, I started out by celebrating the weekend!  I asked what fun weekend plans they were doing and talked with them.  That definitely helped to easy the tension.  After we talked about their exciting plans, I then read them the bell ringer and they all started working.  Yeah! :)  Later as I was connecting my computer to the projector, I gave them permission to get up from their assigned seats and go talk with anyone they wanted.  Once the computer was connected correctly, they would have to return to their assigned seats.  That was probably the best thing I did that entire day even though it only lasted for maybe 2-3 minutes.  This class of 8th graders is so friendly and talkative and they hate being in their assigned seats.  I doubt this reward/ behavior management would work with all of my classes.  And honestly, I don't think I want to try because it just adds a little extra confusion but with this particular period the freedom to talk changed the way they felt about me.  After that, they all seemed to like me and were willing to sit quietly and take notes while I taught them about grains and symbols.

I didn't realize that Friday is October!!!  Every week, I have to have my lesson plans approved by my mentor teacher and then after they are approved I send them to my BYU supervisor.  Well, I showed my mentor teacher the plans for the rest of September and she easily approved them.  She always does!  She (fortunately) thinks I write beautiful lesson plans.  (If she didn't like them, I would have to redo either part or all... ugh!)  Yesterday morning as I was working on more lesson plans I totally realized I forgot to have Friday approved because I didn't realize it was a different month.  Oops!  Where has September gone???  Seriously!!!  It really has flown by so quickly but then at the same time, it seems to drag out too.  I think I feel both because holy cow September is already gone but on the flip side, I still have to teach Oct, Nov and the beginning of Dec.

My teacher work sample is slowly coming along.  I don't really have unlimited time to spend with it because I am constantly writing lesson plans nor do I know how to answers all of the different sections and questions.  Between super limited time and a difficult prompt, it takes awhile to get it going.  Last night I was joking with some friends (Sidenote:  I actually was able to see people my own age and friends at that!!!  We watched the RS broadcast together!)  to bail out of being an education major.  This student teaching stuff and Teacher Work Sample is SO much work.  But honestly, it is worth it.  Watching some of the kids finally understand or being so proud at what they made or etc makes it all worth it!  It is a ton of work but I wouldn't trade the experience even if I could.

Well, that about sums up my week!  Casey has been so incredibly busy too!!!  Last night he was up until 4 am working on a computer assignment.  He took a test earlier this week in the testing center and he said that went pretty well.  He also took another test last night on BlackBoard.

Earlier this week (or maybe it was last week???  I really can't remember!) his car was having troubles.  I think it was the alternator and maybe something else.  He was fortunately able to fix it himself but spent several hours doing so.  I am deeply grateful he is so handy! :)  But since that time that he fixed it, it began to have more problems.  Now, it won't shift out of park.  Sometimes it will but most of the time it won't.  If anyone reading this happens to have any suggestions please let us know.  So, it stays in our driveway because I don't trust that I won't get stuck somewhere with the gear shifter refusing to budge.  Hopefully that will get fixed soon....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Great Quote...

My mentor teacher told me this quote the other day and I totally thought it was worth sharing!

"You can tell a lot about a person's character by how they handle these three things:

  1. Tangled Christmas Lights,
  2. Lost Luggage and
  3. Rainy Days."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Count Your Many Blessings"


So I am counting my blessings...

1.  Casey!  He made me breakfast this morning!!!
2.  Casey!  He washed my car last night and left a love note written on a napkin inside.
3.  Casey!  He cleaned up the living room.
4.  Casey!  He vacuumed!!! :D
5.  Casey!  He wrote a love note and put it on our fridge.
6.  Casey!  He tells me stories at bedtime (no, I am not too old!)
7.  Casey!  He washes the silverware as soon as we are through so it won't get old.
8.  Casey!  He made the bed this morning after I left in a frantic rush for school.
9.  Casey!  He gives amazing hugs!
10.  ♥ C ♥ A ♥ S ♥ E ♥ Y ♥ ! ♥   He loves me forever!!

10 months ago was the most special day of my life!  I am so eternally grateful to be able to count Casey as my blessing!  Happy 10 Month Anniversary!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

off to the editor

Our couch is regularly wide enough to comfortably sit four people.  (It is huge!)  But right now, I feel like there is barely enough space for just me!!!  I started out early this morning working on my Teacher Work Sample and just keep spreading more and more papers out.  

I just sent chapters 1 and 2 off to my editor (thanks Mom!) to be reviewed, critiqued and possibly reworked.  That means I only have 5 chapters left to write!!!  I am definitely making good progress on this monster "thesis" paper!

Now off to write mega amounts of lesson plans....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I have a plan...

It is late so this must be brief... but I have a plan to try out with my challenging class.  I am going to start acting like they are my favorite class.  I am going to love everything about them from their questions to random comments to interesting situations.  I am going to put the quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe into practice. "Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse.  But treat a man as if he were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be."  I am going to apply this to my class.  I am going to make it work!  I will write about the (hopefully positive) results later!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Star Notes

I realized that the only student's whose names I really know are those who have to constantly be told to pay attention.  I didn't like where this was going so I decided to make Star Notes.  I told my kids about them and now have most of my class willing to do anything because they want to earn a note.  My mentor teacher decided if they save them until the very end of the term, she will add extra credit to their score.  (I will leave the week before the term ends.)  Most of them liked the idea of the note itself but add that with extra credit and everything seems to be going better.  And it is really helping me too!  I am actually learning the names of my students who are always doing what they are supposed to and more by going the extra mile.  It takes me a little bit of time to write them a thank you note but I will keep doing it if the results continue!

One of my classes is quite a handful and it is easy for me to become frustrated.  As I could see myself becoming annoyed, I would think of what Pres. Packer shared at our stake conference this past Sunday.  Although I don't know what it is like to have a kid let alone a teenager, I do know that some parent loves that student dearly. I think of their parent and how they would want their kids to be treated and then try to act accordingly.  If anyone has any great ideas for how to cope with a difficult class, please share!!!  But just so this doesn't become a complaining blog, I will say this--most of the kids in this class really are trying and I do love their enthusiasm for life.  My binder fell today and of course it landed awkwardly with everything tumbling out.  One of the girls reached down and started to clean up my binder and papers for me.  I was so grateful for her kindness!  I definitely wrote her a star note! :)

Today was the first time I had to teach with the sewing machine.  It went well!  We practiced crazy stitching.  The purpose of this activity was to learn control and how to guide your fabric.  They sew around random patterns without thread.  The machines were all still in one piece but more importantly, all of my students are still in one piece.  We went over the rules and then reviewed them and thankfully the kids listened and paid attention.  They were all so quite while they were sewing and watching their fingers.  I am really hoping to make it through student teaching with no accidents!!  Knock on wood!

On a note not related to school at all.  I am seriously the luckiest girl in the world!!!  Casey is SO wonderful and treats me like a queen!!!  The other day I was pretty sure I had time to either eat breakfast or blow dry my hair.  I went with eating because I was starving!!!  My darling husband went and got the blow dryer and proceed to do my hair while I was eating!  He is amazing and that simple act of service meant the world to me as I was rushing out the door that morning with dry hair.  Another example:  Casey spent all of yesterday fixing his car.  The alternator went out as well as some other problems.  By him fixing it himself, it cut the cost by about 80%.  Holy cow--such a huge blessing to be married to someone who knows how to deal with cars.  Different example:  my school does not have you tube and there are some great educational clips I would love to show.  He installed a button so I can just click it to download the video and then he spends some time converting it into the right format.  I have no idea how to do this but am I ever grateful he does!  Last example:  Casey folded the laundry!!!  I for sure did not have time to deal with that.  It was so sweet to watch him squeeze it into his life.

By the way... I LOVE having hot water!!!!!  I know this is something that we all take for granted but after we had to deal with a water heater that would constantly go out, it is so nice to have it work.  A Questar person was working outside yesterday doing some routine maintenance.  Once he finished, he came in to help relight everything.  Casey told him that he could do the water heater because he does it all the time.  The worker then inquired why and then asked if we would like him to take a look at it.  He realized that all of the filters were clogged with dust and went out to his truck and brought in an air compressor to clean it out for us.  And at least as far as I am aware, the water heater now stays lit!  Yeah!

This is such a learning time in both of our lives.  We are so grateful to have each other as we continue through day by day.  And thank YOU so much to all of the love, support and prayers you give in our behalf!  It means so much to both of us!! :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Spiritual Weekend

This weekend has been wonderful for us both.  A lot of the reason why it has been so great is because we have been together.  We really are the happiest when we are together and I am so grateful that I can share my life, my dreams, my testimony with someone so magnificent!!!

Friday night the institute was having a "Young Married Seminar."  We decided to attend for our weekly date and I am very glad we did!  The fireside speaker was very uplifting and encouraging.  He had 6 points to help strengthen your marriage and he came up with a catchy phrase to help us remember.  It was a much needed break and we were able to induldge in Costco pizza!!!  Yum--it was so delicious because it was piled with cheese!

In case any one want to know what the "6 points to keep your marriage on track" are, I will write out my notes.  His catchy phrase was 1-2-3-A-B-C.
1.  You are the one.  You have the power to make things happen.  Be the change you want to see.
2.  View.  What is your vision?  What do you expect to get out of your marriage?  It is not enough to say "eternal life" because you need something now that you can grasp on to.
3.  Deity.  Do you include Heavenly Father in your marriage?  Are you praying daily for your spouse but more than that praying with the intent to learn how you can bless your spouse?  If you don't ask, you won't get the answers.  Oh and I *love* this next part!!!  If you pray for bread, often God will send rain.  The rain will water the seed and grow.  Eventually the wheat will be harvested and then milled and then turned into bread.  It is so easy after the harvest to ask God where He was when you prayed for bread.  He was right there all along it is just we can over look His answers.  (Seriously, this was probably my favorite thought of the night!!)
A.  Appreciation.  The problems come in marriage when you aren't thankful.  There is a power in saying thank you, it shows respect.
B.  Believe the Best.  Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt.  Assume the good and doubt the bad.
C.  Connection.  C has to be more than just communication, you have to make the connection with your spouse.  Everyday you need to connect both physically (holding hands, hugging, kissing) and emotionally (listening).

Saturday morning, I woke up with the best idea for how to teach my "SMART Home" topic to my 7th graders.  I was stuck because everything I could find was SOOOOO boring and the kids would hate it!  I wanted to make it something they are so excited about that they are eager to go to college and learn because in reality my 7th graders (and younger) will be the ones who make this technology actually possible.  There is a dream right now and I want to plant seeds in my students not make them build walls.  I have been thinking about this for a while and just kept hitting dead ends.  I am thankful for the early morning inspiration that came to me! :)

In the evening we went to our Stake Conference Adult Session.  I just love being in a married student stake.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it is such a blessing to have us all riding in the same boat together.  All of the talks were so applicable to our life right now.  I loved that!  One of the stake presidency counselors shared an interesting statistic.  95+% of our stake has been through the temple and holds current temple recommends.  I bet this is the only time in our life when that number will be so high!  The talk was focused on returning to the temple and how we really will find safety while we are there.  Our stake president talked about some defining moments in our lives and how to allow differences to strengthen our marriage.  This was his first Stake Conference to preside over and I think he did a marvelous job!  And as an extra special treat, we had BYU brownies afterwards and were given cute bags of M&Ms.  Happy tummy! ;)

This morning we went to the Stake Conference broadcast.  The conference was being broadcast to all of Utah and Wasatch counties which is about 1/2 million members.  Wow!  I loved an idea shared by Sis. Julie B. Beck.  I don't think I wrote it down exactly correctly but I tried--it is at least a good paraphrase of her comment!  "It is work to be a mother in latter days.  I worry about you young mothers.  Time spent on the computer lets life pass.  Our children need us.  The computer is no more valuable than a dishwasher or washing machine--it should help fulfill your daily tasks, not overtake them."  It made me think of the things that really do matter the most in my life and honestly facebook is not something that is going to have eternal consequences.  I haven't seriously been on facebook for over 4 weeks and you know, I don't really miss it either.  I love having more time to spend with Casey!  I am already SO busy with school and I'm grateful that I can give my spare moments to him!!

A great "take home" message from Pres. Packer's talk was when he was sharing a story about when he was a young seminary teacher.  (I think the reason I loved it so much is because I am now a young teacher.)  He went to a seminary teacher convention (can't remember what it is called.  LoL!) and the presiding authority opened it up for questions and answers.  Pres. Packer raised his hand and related the following scenario.  He was so frustrated with one student in particular and honestly thought the kid made the best contributions when he wasn't there.  He said the kid probably thought his name was "Johnny Stop" when he entered first grade because that was all he was ever told.  Pres. Packer summarized his question to be "When can I kick him (the disruptive student) out of class?"  The presiding authority, who I can't remember his name (if anyone who is reading this knows who the presiding person was, I would love to hear it in the comments!!), paused for a long moment and then finally replied, "What if he was your boy?"  Those 6 words changed Pres. Packer's teaching career and life and I think it just changed mine too.  I hope to remember that as I am teaching and come across the really difficult kids... "What if he was your boy?"

Later tonight, we are headed back to campus to listen to the CES broadcast.  Elder Scott is speaking and I am SO excited to hear him!  I love all of the general authorities but Elder Scott has a very special place in my heart because his words have touched me so much.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Take a Deep Breath!

Holy cow!!  Today has been a challenging one for more reasons that I can even begin to express.  I don't know what it is with all my students but as soon as they walk through the door, their favorite question is "What are we doing today?"  And allow me just to state that that question is my most hated question--ever.  I write on the board "SWBAT" (meaning Students Will Be Able To) and then basically list an outline of what we will be doing. The kids are still getting in that routine so I can't be upset with them but wow does it try my patience.  

But in one of my classes, I think I heard that question (and countless other distracting questions) more times than I could count.  The period started out rough because of all their questions and me trying to calm them down.  I am grateful that they want to learn though!!  Maybe I need to do a bell ringer that says "write down all of your questions."  But anyway, in this particular period, getting through the demonstration was challenging.  I made it through and was able to have the kids help measure things. Before I passed out the Peanut Butter Play Doh (so yummy but even more fun to play with before you eat!), I went over the behavior expectations.  Everything was going well and fortunately, the kids understood how critical it was to keep the play doh ON their plastic wrap.  My patience level was still exhausted though.  Some kid came up to me and asked me something.  I don't even remember what the question was but it was more than I could deal with.  I told my student to wait a moment and then turned my head away (like I was looking at something on the board).  I took one deep breath and that was enough to calm me down.  I have never had such a calming effect come to me by taking a deep breath.  But was I ever grateful for it.  I turned back to my student and then dealt with the problem.

It is so crazy but I also learned about the phrase "what goes around comes around" yesterday and today.  One of my student's is the child of one of my BYU professors.  It is so interesting to watch how this world really is so small!  My hope is that I will be able to be just as good of a teacher to my student as the student's parent was to me!  I learned so much more in this class at BYU then just the subject being taught.  I truly learned by example to care about your students and doing everything you can to help them succeed.  This teacher demonstrated patience and concern towards me.  My biggest hope is to be able to pay these characteristics forward--not to just this one student but to all of them.

I saw the first glimpses of fall today as I was driving home.  The very top of "Pride Rock" (can't remember what the real name is...) was beginning to turn red.  It was so beautiful and made me SO excited!!!  Fall really is my favorite season! :)  It has both of our birthdays and now our anniversary as well as it is just so fun to crunch the leaves below your shoes!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

sausage, skilled and sign ;)

I just wanted to say how grateful I am for my darling husband!!!  When the alarm went off, I fell back asleep this morning.  He got up and made me a delicious hot breakfast!!!!  I am such a lucky girl! :)  I woke up (and got out of bed) to the smell of sausage cooking this morning.  Thanks so much sweetheart!!! :D

Teaching went well today!  My student teacher was impressed and I felt good about it!  When I was explaining their breadstick lab (p.s. SO yummy!!!), I had them flip over their other assignment so they wouldn't be tempted to color/ work on it while I was explaining what to do.  My mentor teacher thought that was so impressive that I thought of that because according to her, that was something that a skilled teacher would do.  I'm a "skilled teacher!!" :)

I also forgot to mention in my last post how it is such a HUGE blessing that all of the Deaf kids have their locker right out my door--literally, I can watch them every time they come to their locker.  Some of them didn't understand how to do the combination correctly and it has been such a great help to them that I could explain it in the language they understand.  Most of the teachers have been constantly explaining how to open lockers to all of the students outside their door for the past week and I thought it was wonderful that I could be there to help the Deaf kids with ASL--even if my speaking skills are getting rusty because I don't use it regularly.  In the past week, my ASL has improved and I am once again talking to myself in it.  LoL!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

week 1

I love junior high!  It is crazy to say that but holy cow, I seriously LOVE teaching!  Although I haven't really taught very much yet--this past week was more observing and writing lesson plans, I already love it.  Several times each day, I find reasons why I am so blessed to be assigned to the school I am.  It is a great experience and my mentor teacher is fabulous.  We have different styles on some teaching things but we get a long so well!  I feel like I have known her and been super close friends for years!  On Friday, she surprised me with some lotion as a "Congratulations, you made it through your first week" gift.  That was so thoughtful on her part and means so much to me!  Plus, the lotion is lavender!  Not lavender blend just lavender!  And lavender is a soothing smell to me that I have trained myself to fall asleep with.  My mentor teacher didn't just give me lotion, she gave me a bottle of sleep!!!!

While I was at back to school night, some of the parents took me aside and told me about all of their student's problems.  I have also sat in on an IEP meeting and read several other reports.  It was shocking to see how many people had problems but then I thought about it and decided that we all have problems and wished I could get reports on everyone.  But anyway, one of my students is a mute.  I didn't know what that meant and I spent a fair amount of time researching it.  I wanted to make this student feel welcome and on the first day I was there I smiled at this student and didn't know what to expect in return.  But I got a smile back!!!!  It melted my heart and I think I feel in love with teaching at that moment!  These students are real--problems and all--but I have an opportunity to hopefully touch their lives.  I'm so excited about it!

On Thursday, I realized I forgot my phone at home as I walked through the school doors.  Oh well, I would just have to go without my "right arm" for the day.  (I have heard people joke before that someone would rather loose an arm than their phone.)  One of the classes is a homework/ study hall type of a thing.  I was at the back of the room making a poster about the sewing machine rules for my 7th graders in CTE.  I look up and see Casey standing to my left.  He gave me a super short kiss and then told me that he had brought my "right arm" to me!  It was SO sweet!!!  By this point, all of the students are DEAD silent and staring at us.  These kids are NEVER quiet.  Casey kissed me again and then left.  As soon as he was out the door, one of the girls asked me, "Is that your boyfriend?"  I responded nicely and told her it was my husband but I wanted to ask what part of MRS. do you not understand???  The title in front of my names says I'm married!!!  Not to mention I wear a wedding ring!!!  The situation really made me laugh inside though.

Writing lesson plans takes up all of my spare time.  I am at school all day and then come home and write lesson plans till I crash at night.  I spread things out across our entire living room floor--you can see exactly where I sit because their is literally a semi-circle going around my "spot".  I have to see all of the worksheets and probably 15 tabs on the internet of lesson plan ideas to figure out what I want to do.  I probably could get away with doing less.  But writing these plans isn't about me or my time.  It is about my students and I care about them.  I want them to succeed and learn as well as enjoy my class.  I am SO excited to teach some of them!!!  As I have been planning and figuring out what I want to do (my mentor teacher is super flexible and if I don't like something she is doing, I change it to fit how I want to teacher)  I become so giddy.  I can hardly wait to teach some of the lessons because I know the kids will enjoy them (at least I know I will!).  

I look forward to dinner time every night now.  I am SO (and will be forever) grateful that we can eat dinner together.  This is honestly about the only time I see and converse with Casey during the day.  We normally get up in the morning at the same time but end up just rushing around trying to get ready.  In some of my classes at BYU, we would talk about how sacred dinner time is and I am already beginning to see it.  It is our "pause from life and reunite as a family" time.  I can already tell that dinner time will continue to be one of my favorite moments as we start having kids and they grow up and get busy with activities. 

Casey is enjoying his classes.  Though he says that the classes he wants to start slowly (i.e. generals, esp. biology) are starting off sprinting and the classes he wants to jump right into (i.e. computer classes) are barely getting going.  He has to keep track of participation points in one of his class.  He is required to follow a blog and comment on it.  I. Am. Jealous.  He spends practically all of his time studying too, in his "office" (aka the desk in our room).

We went on a lovely date to the temple together and then drove to Utah Lake and walked up and down a sidewalk/ trail at dusk.  It was pretty but we didn't stay out to long because the mosquitoes were flocking to us in abundance.  Seriously about every other step I would feel one land on my arm or see them fly right in front of my face.  We ended up going to Winco and bought a HUGE bag of bulk granola cereal (Casey's favorite) and also everything to make smore's.  For an upcoming date, we are going to go on a picnic up a canyon and start a nice campfire.  We are both really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

a new love

I have fallen in love with...
(totally a "soul" saver!)
(love notes from my hubby)
(my cute students!)
(love reading with a goal--everyday!)
I may not have time for everything 
but I do love what I have!!!