Thursday, October 28, 2010


I'm pretty excited for tonight!!  (Well, not as excited as my students were in class.  The girls were gushing... LoL!)  Anyway, tonight is Sadie Hawkins and I am the luckiest girl in the entire world because I have the VERY best date!!! :D  And it will be super fun because it is like reliving our first date together when we were sophomores! :)
For Stealing My Heart
A night of fun, memories, & dancing
at Sadie Hawkins
By the way... I learned about the history of Sadie Hawkins...  Miss Sadie Hawkins ran around and caught herself a husband.  I caught mine from Sadies.  :)  You should google it... kind of funny with an interesting comic strip too.
P.S.  So far, I LOVE high school!!! :D  TOTALLY different than Jr. High!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I don't know if anyone remembers my post called "I have a plan..." (I wrote it on Sept 16 when I realized I was really struggling with one of my classes.  That class period was extremely difficult, with several language problems including many students who did not know how to be quiet, 2 deaf students, 1 Spanish only student and 1 mute.  It was interesting!  On top of that, there were kids who loved to throw things and had problems sitting down.  Anyway, that post shares one of my favorite quotes and how I was going to try it out.)

I am pleased to report it worked.  By telling the kids they were my favorite, they really rose to the expectation I set.  Some days they pushed me and I got annoyed/ frustrated.  They were no longer my favorite on those days but rather had the potential to be my favorite again.

Now allow me to share my success story.  (Keep in mind this is the class that I changed the seating chart several times trying to help the students find a "friendlier location," meaning one where they would not be disruptive.)

One day, I see one of my Deaf students not writing down any notes.  This is not an unusual sight but I decided to investigate and try to figure out why he refuses to take any notes in class--even if it was just copying a word or two from a PowerPoint.  This day the students were taking notes from each other.  I passed out some strips of information to the kids, they read it and then would teach their peers about it.  I thought this was much better than hearing from me ALL the time.  I have the student with number one come up and begin to explain what he learned.  This is when I notice my Deaf student not writing or paying attention to his interpreter or anything.  I hand my microphone to my student presenting and go over to talk with the Deaf student.  (I was so grateful that I knew sign language.  It helped being able to actually talk to him instead of through someone else.)

At that point, I realized that my Deaf student was completely frustrated.  He doesn't know a lot of the signs and I began to see that is why he wouldn't pay attention to his interpreter--he doesn't understand the language.  Well, I spent a lot longer than I realized signing what his peers were presenting and explaining what the words meant.  I am still signing with my Deaf student and I begin to feel everyone staring at me.  I look up from signing and upon seeing that every eye is watching me sign, I assume that the class stopped the activity after number one.  I ask for number two and the kids told me they already did it--they went through the ENTIRE worksheet without my guidance or help.  The students relied on their peers.  After they finished, they were waiting SILENTLY for me to get them started on the next activity.  This challenging class really did rise not only to my high expectation but far beyond.  They were ALL in their seats, with their mouths shut, not throwing anything, just waiting.  (I almost still can't believe it!)

Another day, we were taking notes (I promise we really didn't take notes that much!) and it was right before Fall Break.  The class before them was slightly crazy because of the anticipation of no school the next day.  Although this "difficult" class period was just as excited and eager about the break, I was able to get them quiet.  The classroom was so quiet I probably could have heard some of the kids breathing at the back of the class, if I listened hard.  I reminded them of the expectation of being quiet while I was talking and then they calmed down and completely respected me.

If anyone doubts, "Treat a man (or class) as he appear to be, and you make him worse.  But treat a man (or difficult class) as if he were what he could potentially be, and you make him what he should be," then I hope these two examples and helped....  I know it works! :)  This class honestly did a complete 180 change, simply because I believed in them!

Monday, October 25, 2010

a pair of mittens

I never thought that I could learn so much about my faith, my testimony, my role from a pair of mittens.  A PAIR OF MITTENS...  but I will never be the same.  The mittens changed me.

I have learned of knits (type of fabric).  I have talked of knits.  I have touched knits.  I have watched others sew knits.  I have never personally sewn a knit before.  It frays.  It twists.  It unravels.  It stretches.

I realized Saturday, how difficult sewing mittens are.  First of all the pattern was not perfect.  I have small hands and the mittens were too small for me.  I was frustrated and redesigned the pattern and eventually ended up with something that would fit my hand.  I thought of how grateful I am that in life there is a perfect pattern.  I don't have to worry about Heavenly Father's pattern not fitting my hand or life because it is a perfect fit.  He designed it and knows what He is doing.  

When I was looking at the pattern (even the one I designed) I could not figure out how it would actually create a mitten.  It was awkward looking (the one I downloaded was super confusing).  The pieces didn't seem to ever fit together.  As I kept a larger perspective though, I could see how it would all fit together.  This is just like life.  It is SO easy to become caught up in having a narrow focus.  You only see the one seam you are sewing and even that is wobbly.  Focus out.  It will all work out because He really does see the bigger picture and know how each piece of the mitten will fit together.

As I finished each step of the mitten, I eagerly showed it to my husband.  I was so thrilled when I finally had a pattern that would fit my hand.  I loved being able to show him the lining was done.  I rushed to his side to show him the wool mitten.  I placed them on my hands time and time again once the button was in place.  I didn't just celebrate the final product; I enjoyed each step of the journey.  We celebrated together.  My success became Casey's victory.  I am so grateful that I have an eternal companion by my side that will always celebrate each step of our journey.  

Finally the last thing I learned was a quote from Elder Scott.  This quote showed up in the lesson we were teaching yesterday and the mittens changed the meaning.
"As a mother guided by the Lord, you WEAVE A FABRIC of character in your children from THREADS of truth through careful instruction and worthy example.  You imbue the traits of honesty, faith in God, duty, respect for others, kindness, self-confidence, and the desire to contribute, to learn, and to give in your trusting children's minds and hearts.  No day-care center can do that.  It is your sacred right and privilege." (emphasis added.  Ensign, Nov. 1996, 74).
Just like all of the threads are weaved together in a knit, my influence will be weaved together on my (future) children.  Each trait is a different thread and if one unravels, the rest is sure to follow.  I don't know what it is like to be a mother but just as I had success with sewing a knit for a first time, I hope (someday) I will have success in weaving the patterns into my children's lives by teaching and being an example.

My Beautiful Creation...
just like each of us--God's beautiful creation!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Campfire Date

So, as I was downloading the pictures from Boise, I found these pictures from our Campfire Date about one month ago.  (It was during September's full moon, "Harvest Moon.")  I decided it was better late than never! :)  We had a campfire for the evening with just the two of us.  It was great to just get away and enjoy life for the evening! :D

I love the colors of fall!!!

Casey building our fire!

I made "Muffins in an Orange."
This is one of my *favorite* campfire recipes!!!
Learned about it when I was a Girl Scout Camp Counselor.

Sorry its so blurry.  Fire is hard to take a good picture of...
(This is the best one we have that shows the color of the flame.)

We forgot our roasting stick... so Casey is making one from a tree branch/ limb.

Roasting our Hot Dogs.
We had to be careful not to burn the stick!
The stick also gave things a slightly interesting taste...
but don't worry, we are obviously still alive! :)

Enjoying the warmth from the fire and watching the stars.
The moon was SO bright that night!!!  I loved it! :)


This past weekend, we traveled to Boise for my brother's wedding reception.  We stayed in a Marriott suite with my parents and sister.  It was perfect because we each had our own room (well, my sister's "room" was the hide-a-way bed in the couch in the living room) and we each could control our room's temperature.  I loved that!

While we were driving, we listened to Conference.  It was nice to hear again!  Well, at least the parts of it that I was awake for.  I don't know what the deal is but put me in a car for long periods of time and I fall asleep.  It is really odd because I have a very difficult time taking naps but in the car... I'm out!  Casey and I would trade off driving.  But he ended up driving more because I would get so tired.  I'm really grateful that he doesn't have the same driving sleepiness thing that I do! :)

As we were driving up, we stopped in Twin Falls to see the temple.  It was very pretty--all temples are!  It reminded me of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple in Salt Lake.  We wanted to go in the temple but the hours were not convenient.  It is a small temple and you have to plan your schedule to fit when the temple is open.  It was at least nice to drive past though and take pictures! :D
Twin Falls, ID

Temples = Love Eternal!
After our short photo shoot, we kept traveling to Boise.  We were the first ones to arrive and I was really grateful that the hotel allowed us to check in under my parents reservation.  (My mom called ahead and explained what was happening.)  I had been to Boise a few times when I was very young but I didn't really remember too much about it.

We went to the temple in Boise.  I love how the church is true no matter where you are!  This temple is very small (maybe I am just used to a huge one) but everything was still the same.  I love serving inside the temple! There is such a wonderful feeling and peace that come.  I am also always filled with an eternal love!  Additionally, prayers are answered! :)  After the temple, we found a locally owned "mom & pop" restaurant.  It was delicious!!!!  So good in fact, that we insisted on going back to it again with my whole family!
Boise, ID
I love temples!
The next day, we went to a Chinese restaurant and were able to see my grandma again.  (She is a step grandma and I don't really remember seeing her after my grandpa died when I was in first grade.)  It was nice visiting with her and realizing how much she still cares about each of us--even though we have had very limited contact.  After we finished eating, Casey and I went and walked around her house together.  I have some very slight memories of it.  They have this super cool "tree" house (it actually is a room that sits on top of their garage).  I'm not sure if I remember playing in it or simply remember it because of the pictures I have seen but either way, it was awesome to take Casey up there.  My grandma told me that my grandpa built everything--I had no idea!  It made the little house even cooler.
Brian & Jenae`
Dad, Mom & Julie
Me & my sweetheart!
Family Picture
(the restaurant had this sweet painting on one wall)
I just thought this was cool.  It is a chandelier that obviously is shaped like a ship.
After our excursion, we went home and worked on homework.  Exciting, I know but such is the life of a student...  (And my TWS is almost done... still have a bit more to write but thankfully I got as much done as I did in Boise!)  Casey studied a lot and even took a test.

The next day, I went shopping with my mom and my sister in the morning.  It was fun wandering around trying to find last minute forgotten items for the reception later that night.  I miss hanging out with my mom and sister so this was a nice "girl" retreat!
It was very fancy!  The colors were blue and purple.
the food

the cake
(I loved watching the lady decorate and arrange the flowers!)
Bride & Groom
We all had to wear blue.  (Her family was purple.)
awh!!! I LOVE this picture!!
I'm an equal "arch" kisser... LoL!
BTW:  I made the scarf I'm wearing... my sister has a matching one
(but we don't have a picture of us together...)
 We checked out the next morning and started driving back home.  Casey planned out which time church would work the best with where we would be.  We ended up picking a ward in Twin Falls because it started at a time when we would be driving through.  Afterwards we stopped and took a scenic picture then headed home.  We were blessed to be able to eat dinner with his mom that night and we were both deeply grateful!
The Snake River
The water was really green!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Self Fulfilling Prophecy?

I actually remember what I dreamed about last night.  Honestly that doesn't happen very often.  I personally think I am so exhausted that I don't dream.  Anyway, last night, I was saying goodbye to my classes and telling them that I would miss them.  I have one period in particular which was by far the best behaved.  This class was also my smallest which I loved because I felt like I could teach instead of manage! :)  This was the period I was dreaming about.  

Well, maybe it is a self fulfilling prophecy but as I was telling these kids goodbye today, I started to get teary eyed.  I sure am going to miss seeing them every other day!!  I told the kids about my dream and thanked them for being so amazing.  Several of them came up and gave me (side) hugs--totally practiced this skill last year while I was an EFY counselor.  I am grateful EFY taught me so much, including the hip swivel/ bump thingy to dodge full blown frontal hugs.  LoL!  Anyway... I know these kids, and all of my classes, will go far in life!  I hope I run into them in some unplanned place in the future.

I can't believe it--I am HALF WAY through with student teaching and now completely finished with JR. HIGH! As I walked out of the school today, it was kind of an odd feeling, knowing that I'm not coming back on Monday.  My darling sweetheart came and picked me up and we were able to leave hand in hand (and carrying a ton of stuff).  Goodbye Jr. High Kiddos!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

cookie update

This morning, my 7th graders were making a wish list of what they want to have/ own/ be doing when they are 25.  After their list of expenses was complete, most of them needed $60,000 plus annual salaries.  I wonder if we (meaning Casey) will be done with school by the time we are 25--personally I doubt it.  Anyway... before the kids started making their wish lists, they had to take a guess at what they thought their parents paid for housing and utilities and food and etc per month.  (It was obvious that most of them really have NO clue!)  Well, one boy raised his hand and asked me what the "health" category meant.  I tell him to guess how much his parents are paying for insurance, dr.'s visits, medicine, etc per month.  He told me that his family didn't have health insurance because his dad was laid off.

Well, his comment made me cry.  I fought off the tears and tried to remain composed.  The reason his comment made me cry is because this is the same student that brought me cookies (I posted about that briefly yesterday).  His generosity and kindness touched me!!  I didn't ask if his mom was working or not--I honestly have no idea.  But I do know that their family must be struggling having his dad be laid off and yet he still shared the cookies he and his sister made with me.  Wow!!!  If that kid only knew how much his sweet actions meant to me....  I wrote him a thank you note (actually one of my star notes) and expressed my thanks but somehow I just feel like my words are inadequate for my deep level of gratitude.... :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

a few random thoughts...

Boise was wonderful!  Details and pictures to come....  We were both sad that our short vacation had to end so quickly.  We would have been content staying in Boise for another week!!  But fall break ended which means life goes back to school.  It was wonderful to sleep on our own bed last night though.  (The one at the motel was great but it was nice to be home!)

Yesterday we went to church in a random ward in Twin Falls.  We checked out of the motel and started driving then stopped later. Coincidentally, we happened to pick the ward of one of my BYU friends who graduated last April.  It really is a small world!

This is my last week at the junior high!!!  YEAH!!!  It has been a great experience with huge learning moments.  I will miss my students but this means that I'm half way done with student teaching. :D  Next week, I will start at the high school and be teaching foods.  I am looking forward to both because I have always loved working with high school aged kids more and cooking is my favorite!

I had a student make me cookies.  I think they were pumpkin flavored and my classes know how much I love pumpkin.  It was SO sweet of him!!!  I had another student make me pumpkin pancakes (see with the pumpkin) and I am really excited to get this recipe!  I was surprised with how thoughtful the kids were!

Our furnace was red tagged by Questar.  This means it is permanently turned off until it gets fixed.  When some people came out to our house to figure out what was wrong, they thought it would likely be cheaper to buy a whole new furnace.  I'm sure our landlord was "thrilled" with the announcement....  (Can you read the sarcasm??)

I only have 3 more chapters to write in my Teacher Work Sample.  I am making progress!!!  I would love to write a longer blog with pictures but I have to start and finish one of those three chapters tonight.

Monday, October 11, 2010

moment worth remembering!!!

This is a momentous occasion!!!  I am finished with writing lesson plans for my junior high experience!!!  Whooooo!!!! :D

(Technically my 7th grade is not "done."  But also technically, I will be team teaching with my mentor teacher having the students explore a computer program called something like Utah Career Futures???  So really, it is done because I don't have to do it!!!!)

P.S.  Teacher Work Sample... here I come!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Blessings of the Temple

Yesterday afternoon, Casey and I had the opportunity to attend the temple.  I realized that it was about a year ago when I went through the temple for the first time.  We love going to the temple together!!!  It is a wonderful experience to be with the one I love the most in the place I love the most!  

I love this message shared by Pres. Monson.  "In the holy temple the precious plan of God is taught.  It is here that eternal covenants are made.  The temple lifts us, it exalts us, it stands as a beacon for all to see.  It points us to celestial glory.  It is the house of God.  All that occurs within the walls of the temple is uplifting and ennobling.  The temple is a place of tranquility, it is a place of kindness and love and light."  (Note:  this quote is from the Mormon Messages, "Why Mormons Build Temples" at 2:20.)

Recently, my mom was doing family history and she found some of our ancestors that desperately wanted their temple work done, one woman in particular.  Her husband's work had already been done.  She wanted to be with him again.  It was a choice opportunity to take her all the way through and have her sealed to her beloved husband.  The spirit was so strong.  I would cry at times and try to choke down emotions.  The temple workers that were helping me experienced the same wonderful feelings.  

I am so thankful for the blessings that come through the temple.  Life really does continue after death and families really are forever through the sealing power.  I will forever be grateful that Casey and I made the decision when we were young to live worthy to one day enter the temple so we could be married for time and all eternity.  The blessings are still conditional upon our worthiness.  But day by day, we keep working on it and together we will make it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Birthday Celebration :)

I could hardly believe that it was already my birthday.  The week before, I had lost track because of the fast paced/ so much to do environment which is standard for student teachers.  Casey did so much to make my birthday special for me!!!  I will treasure the memories forever! :D

Casey woke up early and made me a delicious breakfast.  It was chocolate chip pancakes--heart shaped-- and eggs.  Yum!

While at school, Casey then brought me a dozen roses during the middle of one of my classes.  (My birthday was actually the first time teaching this class... made for an interesting day!)  The roses were SO beautiful and I was so excited! :)  They are my favorite kind for sure and Casey knows that.  (Sidenote: the roses ALL still look BEAUTIFUL today!!!  They have lasted for a long time!)  I have always dreamed of getting flowers at school!  Casey totally made my dream a reality!!!  He also brought a bag of mixed tootsie rolls for my class.  They thought it was the greatest thing ever!!  They all sang to me and I enjoyed that! :D  It was amazingly enough two other girls birthday as well.  I gave away one of my roses because the one girl didn't have anything--the other girl was given some roses from someone--and every girl deserves flowers on her birthday! 
This is in my classroom when Casey came to drop off roses.
I drew balloons next to the date on the white board!
BTW: the image on the projector screen is from the "Elmo."
 It is a sweet camera that I use for demos all the time!
My mentor teacher also wanted to do something to celebrate my birthday so she ordered sandwiches and picked them up.  They were from Honey Baked Ham.  I didn't know they made sandwiches but I have one word--delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Casey came and picked me up after school.  We had to drive separately though because he had driven his car to campus (normally he rides the bus) in order to facilitate buying roses. He beat me home.  As I walked in the door, I saw my birthday cake.  Casey had decorated it and made it double layered.  I was so shocked when I saw this because I couldn't figure out how he had time....
This really is still the same day, even though I changed shirts.
The pale yellow one would not have held up with modesty very well in the rain.
And please ignore my crazy/ wavy hair.
 It does that when it rains and I can't really control it too well...
After school, we rented "Letters to Juliet."  I watched this movie once in theaters with my sister.  We rarely watch movies so this truly was a special treat!  I really like that movie and honestly think it is up on my top favorites list.  

It downpour rained on my birthday.  Crazy enough, it was record breaking heat the day before.  Autumn seems to be here to stay and I don't mind!
I know this picture probably seems random and it is!  But I loved it!
This was what the sun roof (aka "rain roof") looked like on my birthday.
That tree over hangs our driveway.  
There was a Fiesta that night at the city library.  We weren't sure what to expect and neither of us have any Spanish skills.  (We both took it in Jr. High.  Casey remembers more than I do, but that is not really saying too much...)  It was lots of fun though!!  I loved watching all of the Spanish dances and even listening to the people sing in Spanish.  Even though I didn't understand the meaning, the song tone was still beautiful!
This was my favorite dance to watch!  I love the twirly skirts!!!
The day before, I opened presents with my family while we were up for my brother's reception.  My sister gave me some pumpkin smelly spray--love it!  She says that Bath and Body Works has other pumpkin flavors and I would love to smell them too. 

We went out to lunch at Chilli's with Casey's mom and his sister and nieces on Saturday.  My parents took us out to dinner on Tuesday to the Olive Garden.  Both were wonderful! :D

I loved my cards and also enjoyed reading through so many happy birthday wishes on Facebook.  Wow!  FB sure has a way to make a girl feel special! ;)  Thanks so much!!!

It truly was a wonderful birthday and I am so thankful to have spent the day with my sweetheart!  My childhood wishes finally came true.... ;)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Maybe I will never understand...

But, can some one please tell me how posting your status on Facebook as to where you leave your purse does anything to help with Breast Cancer Awareness???  Really?  What about when is Lung Cancer Awareness month and the status can be "which is your favorite lung--left or right?"  Don't get me wrong... I am ALL for supporting research and those that have dealt with this trying situation.  I complete support it!  But telling me where you left your purse doesn't help find medical cures or seem to provide much comfort to those suffering.  Sometimes I just wonder who comes up with these things....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Apple for the Teacher

My 7th grade class learned all about childcare and preschool for the past week.  Yesterday and today were the capstone experience for each class as they had preschool day.  I wasn't sure what to expect with most of the 7th graders bringing a preschooler.  That is A LOT of kids for me to be responsible for!  I was very pleased with how well it went though!  I only had to deal with one 7th grade behavior problem!!!  The 7th graders planned some great lessons and all of the preschoolers loved going to the "big kids school."  It was a great experience for everyone involved.  (And I LOVE preschool--for sure on my top favorite list of classes to teach!)

Anyway, yesterday in preschool, I see one kid hanging out by his dad.  I go over to him thinking I am going to have to pry the preschooler away from his dad and convince him to stay at preschool.  When I notice he is holding an apple.  My first thought is that this kid has a strange attachment (like holds on to an apple instead of a blankie) and then my next thought is the kid must have some medical problem that requires him to eat more often.  So I squat down to his level and am about to inquire what his name is followed by what is going on but the preschooler shoots the first question.  
"Are you the teacher?"
"Yes I am."
"Here this is for you.  An apple for the teacher."
Shock.  Smile!  "Thank you that is so sweet!!"

That preschooler seriously made my day!  It was the cutest thing ever.  And even if preschool had been a bad experience, (which it wasn't) that would have made it all worth it! :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Receptions and Conference

I wanted to share a few pictures from this weekend.  It has been very enjoyable but also so super busy!!!  I know this coming week is just going to get busier so I figured I should do it now.

We spent the weekend at Casey's mom's house.  I was able to sleep on a water bed for the first time.  (Casey used to sleep on this bed before we got married; he loves it!)  It was an interesting experience for me and lets just say that I am grateful to sleep on a mattress normally.

The reason we stayed the weekend is because Friday night, we went to a reception for my cousin.  Before the reception, my parents took us out to dinner to Costa Vida!  Yum!  The reception was held up at This is the Place Heritage Park.  It was fun!
I love matching! :)
With my parents at my cousin's reception...
Then on Saturday, I woke up early to go help set up my brother's reception.  I was ironing a lot!  I left to go watch Saturday Morning General Conference Session with my sweetheart at his mom's house.  I really loved all of Conference and am so thankful to have such a wonderful opportunity to watch it.  We both took notes for some of the sessions and I am excited to discuss what we learned together as well as study the Ensign in the coming months.

Anyway, we went out with Casey's family for lunch to Chilli's.  I had been craving a salad a little while ago and was pleased with my selection!  I also got free ice cream because we were celebrating my birthday!  Sweet! :)

Brian's reception went well.  It was so weird being back in the cultural hall because the last time either Casey or myself were in there was on our wedding day when it was our reception.  We also joined in dancing and had a wonderful time laughing together! :D  (Hopefully, I will post some of their pictures with the family soon!)
Does the arch look familiar?
Maybe this helps!!! :D :D
The arch was from our wedding--just decorated different...
I'm "Lucky I'm in LOVE with my Best Friend!"
After the reception was cleaned up and Casey returned from the Priesthood Session of Conference, we all went out to eat at Golden Corral.  The food was delicious!!!  But I could NOT believe that we were eating dinner at like 9pm.  Holy Cow!!  I am willing to take a shot in the dark but I am almost certain that this did not help with my inability to sleep last night....

This morning most of Casey's Aunts and Uncles came to watch Conference at his mom's house.  This was the first time I met some of them because they live in Idaho and Montana.  It was enjoyable being able to meet more of his family members!!!  They were all so sweet and loving.  They brought a warm comfortable feeling and it was great.
We forgot our tripod... So the angle is kind of weird because the camera was balanced on some
pillows stacked on top of a chair.  Oh well!  The angle is odd but the memories are amazing!
BTW:  I could see a strong family resemblance between Casey and his uncle on the far left.
And he has our same last name!!!  I love it! :)