Thursday, December 29, 2011

Changes of 2011

Our (slightly late) Christmas Card with our 2011 letter below.  
Hope you enjoy both!
Click to play this Smilebox greeting
*
Dear 
Family
and Friends,
 I remember when
 2011 just started &
 feeling so uncertain
 about the year because
 we expected so many changes
 but at the same time didn't know
 what, if anything, would happen.  Well, 
I'm pleased to report the changes were
 wonderful and our lives are so deeply
 blessed.  First, I was hired as a full time
 Family and Consumer Science teacher at
 the junior high we both attended growing
 up.  It has definitely been a learning experience
 this year with times of feeling overwhelmed and
 wondering why I am doing this but generally I
 enjoy it.  The next change resulted in us moving.  
I fall asleep so easily in cars that commuting for
 around an hour (possibly longer) both directions
 for me was not an option.  Casey instead commuted
 back to UVU but generally took the bus and was able
 to study while riding.  Casey also had a change this year
 when he started working on campus as a help desk technician. 
 He greatly enjoyed this job and was good at it but change happened
 once again when he decided to quit because he working way too many
 hours a week.  Another big change for Casey was he was called to serve
 as the Elder's Quorum Secretary in our new ward.  We love our new ward
  though it was a huge change from our student ward the first Sunday realizing
 there was actually a large primary and mutual as well as several seasoned
 members.  Probably the biggest change in my life is that I got my life back.
  I started out 2011 with a determination to loose weight.  Well, this has been a
 lifestyle change for both of us and one that I'm never returning.  Seeing the difference
 and feeling the change in my energy level was amazing as I continued to gradually loose
 weight week by week.  Bringing the grand total of weight loss to 93 pounds.  Finally our
 biggest change this year (in case you missed it) is we are expecting our first little one.  I am
 due in June.  We are both so excited for the wonderful opportunity and know it will bring a whole
 new set of changes in 2012 but we are eager to face them together and with the help of Heavenly Father.
Although there have been so many changes there are some things that will never change.  One our love for each other.  Two our testimonies in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And three being together
 for eternity.
We hope you
 had an equally
 wonderful year.
Wishing you the
best in 2012!!!
Photobucket & Casey

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Q&As

It seems with announcing our wonderful SURPRISE that it tends to bring (1) several congratulations {THANK YOU everyone for your sweetness and support of us!} and (2) a whole list of common questions.  So enjoy {or skim} as I try to answer all of the questions I hear frequently.

How far along?  14 weeks 4 days

Due?  June 23 (apparently that is Pres. Hinckley's birthday--that would be cool!  The baby would have a great legacy to live up to... LoL!)

Morning Sickness?  Yes.  Unfortunately.  I have been very blessed though that I have not thrown up--I don't throw up--ever.  So I guess this makes sense.  But oh my I have felt awful.  I have been sick from about day one--even before the pregnancy tests came positive.  To help I would smell ground ginger often.  And pray.  Most of the time I would only feel sick at school during first period and luckily those classes were amazing.  I would normally survive until about 3 or 4 pm when it would hit again.  I have been blessed to have the sickness interfere so little with teaching.  As a general statement, I am getting a little better.  I now have better days (not great) and trying days still.  I am hoping this trend continues and I start having mostly great days with only a few better days!

School and being pregnant?  Generally it hasn't been too bad.  Some mornings when I felt sick, sick, sick, it made teaching lovely.  I have to sit more often and snack on stuff all the time.  My students don't know.  The worst moment was when we were making Rice Pudding.  Some of my kids decided to use less water and left the rice cooking on high to make it go faster.  Needless to say I could NOT handle the extreme burnt smell in my room.  I had to go stand in the hall for several minutes.

Tired?  For the first time in my life, I have been able to take naps.  And I do so regularly.  I have always had sleeping problems/ insomnia and naps were out of the question.  Now they are a part of my day--especially on Saturdays and Sundays.  And I get short of breath so easily.  Seriously.  I do miss being able to run up and down our two flights of stairs with easy.

Sleep?  I still have insomnia on some nights.  Pre-preggers I would sleep on my stomach.  That doesn't work so well.  I can't sleep on my side though if my knees touch so I have to put a pillow in between.  And no back sleeping--I can never get comfortable.  I wake up generally only once during the night and am able to go back to sleep {sometimes... sometimes I don't go back to sleep} after going to the bathroom.  We bought a memory foam topper for our mattress.  BEST INVESTMENT EVER!!  Seriously.  It saves me from all of the pressure points and pains I hear others complain about.

Maternity clothes?  Yes.  They are the only things that fit.  I tried wearing some of my "plus sized" clothes that I saved but I looked like a clown.  They would fit (or still be too big) on my waist and then be huge on my legs or arms.  My "small" clothes that we bought to start the school year are too tight now.  They hurt and make my morning sickness feel worse.

Wedding Rings and Shoes?  I am still able to wear my wedding and CTR rings.  Hopefully my fingers don't start swelling.  Also my feet are the same size and I still wear all of my same shoes.  I would love it if this continued till June. ;)

Showing yet?  I think so.  I will have to post a recent mug shot of myself so everyone can judge for themselves.  But my coworkers are all starting to speculate because I hadn't announced our exciting news.  I think if you know what I looked like in September when I actually {for the first time in my life} looked skinny/ healthy and compare it to now--you can definitely notice a change!

Stretch marks?  Well--my skin was already stretched out from loosing so much weight and it didn't take much at all for them to appear again.  I think I will be blessed to always have stretch marks and it will remind me of my weight loss journey and how I never want to make a return trip.

Movement?  I'm going to say yes.  It is so weird but so thrilling at the same time.  I can feel flipping in my lower stomach and it is different then when I feel sick (which the sick feeling is normally in my upper area).  It is hard to explain but I definitely think it is our little baby saying "I Love You Mommy!"

Cravings?  Generally I haven't had very many cravings.  I don't like cooking so much anymore.  I guess I could say my cravings would be anything I don't have to cook. :)

Food Aversions?  Anything sugary, greasy/ fatty, or vegetables.  All three make me sicker.  I used to be able to not eat ANY sugar without getting sick.  It is getting a little better and I was able to enjoy a few Christmas treats but it definitely has to be kept within a very small amount.  The vegetable intake is also improving slightly.   I can eat and love starchy vegetables like potatoes.  I ate some corn and iceberg lettuce recently and managed.  Dark green, healthy stuff--no.

Doctor's visits?  Our first visit was on Dec. 1.  It was hard finding a time because I have to have after school hours appointments.  It was SO exciting because we heard the heart beat and saw our little baby bunny.  Everything was measuring perfect and there is for sure just one.

Gender?  We are going to find out the gender.  The ultra sound will probably be around the end of January/ start of February.


Well... that is about all of the questions I can think of for the moment.  If I skipped something, leave a comment and I will try to answer it.  Thank you again to everyone for your well wishes and support.  We are SO excited and so grateful to be on this journey together!
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P.S.  In case anyone in the future is searching by topic for all of the pregnancy updates, I labeled it "Miracle in Progress" because we truly feel we are experiencing a miracle right now! <3

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Surprise!

Casey and Lisa
{Standin' near} a tree...

K-I-S-S-I-N-G

First comes LOVE...

Then comes MARRIAGE...

Then comes a BABY in the baby carriage!
(in 6 months!)


Merry Christmas!!!
Photobucket & Casey

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Introducing Jingle Bell

I would like to introduce you to Jingle Bell.  Jingle was dropped off by Santa to observe good and bad behavior so he can make a full report to Santa when he comes on Christmas Eve.  (To be honest, Jingle was RIDICULOUSLY hard to find!!  But I'm so grateful to have found our elf.  I can see him becoming a favorite tradition for December in the future.)  If Jingle reports good things, then Santa will leave presents and if not... well, a lump of coal or something.  Today is Jingle's last day in our home until next year.  When Santa comes down the chimney tonight, he will listen to the report and then take Jingle back to the North Pole with him.

Jingle gets bored extremely easy and you turn your back on him and he ends up into mischief of some sort.  The other day I found him climbing the Christmas tree.  I do have to admit, he is good although I was nervous for the ornaments breaking.  He made it all the way to the top.


Happy Christmas Eve!  I hope all of your elves have good reports for Santa tonight! :)

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Accidental Discovery

The only good part about being cold in the winter is the abundance of Hot Chocolate.  I recently found some individual packets that are fat free and around 25 calories or so per glass.  Pretty sure I'm on a at least weekly visit (if not daily) with this amazing warms my fingers and soothes my soul drink!

I made an accidental discovery with Hot Chocolate the other day.  Mine was too hot--like burns your tongue and you can't taste it hot.  I should have watched the timer a little better.  Oops!  But it turned out to be one of those blessing in disguise type of a moments.  I wanted to put some (fat-free) whip cream on top to help it cool down.  But we didn't have any so that option was out.  Instead, I saw the container of egg nog and decided why not.  It was perfect.  The best "too hot how can I cool this down" discovery yet.  And one that I have since purposefully recreated.  Seriously, my friends, if you like egg nog and hot chocolate you HAVE to try this!  Trust me, your mouth will thank you as you savor every sip of this delightful creation!

And for your enjoyment, I thought I would share a classic Hot Chocolate clip.
Happy Hot Chocolate with Egg Nog splash drinking! :)


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Monday, December 12, 2011

Sweet Tooth Confession

We had the most wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  We were able to see both our families and everything was delicious.  The problem was the deliciousness was short lived.  With several people in attendance at both, the leftovers were few and we were not sent home with any.  The next day, I bought a clearance turkey and decided we would have our own feast once the bird defrosted.

About a week later, we had our own Thanksgiving Dinner with just the two of us.  And we now have leftovers to spare! :)  My favorite use of turkey leftovers is (1) on a sandwich with Miracle Whip and cranberries or (2) in a casserole called Turkey Tetrazzini.  Both are incredible!

Anyway, back to the reason for this post--"My Sweet Tooth Confession."  To accompany our feast, Casey decided to make a pecan pie instead of pumpkin.  Allow me just to say, we both LOVE pecan pie.  I can't ever remember having it homemade before though and Marie Calendars puts up some tough competition.  But I am in L.O.V.E. with Casey's made-from-scratch, melts-in-your-mouth, lick-every-crumb pecan pie.  Needless to say, the pie didn't last too long at our house....


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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Called to Teach

Last Sunday when I was asked to meet with a member of the Bishopric, I was super curious.  I was anticipating a calling of some sort but had no idea what to expect.  I am still the ward chorister and was not released from that.  I was nervous that we would be called to Trek.  I would love to be a trek ma with Casey as the pa but the timing of next summer just didn't seem right to either of us.  So as we waited, we hoped it wasn't for Trek.

To our relief, no Trek call was issued--at least not yet....

I was called to teach Relief Society.  I know this probably sounds kind of odd but I was so excited that I almost squealed.  I really do enjoy teaching!  And being able to teach about the things that matter the most to me, instead of trying to do everything to side step around the religion topic at school, will be amazing.  Well, I obviously accepted eagerly.  Hopefully it isn't too weird that I was excited for the calling!

Today I was sustained by my ward members and then set apart after church by the Bishop.  I will get to learn from and study the manual, George Albert Smith as I prepare to teach and discuss the lessons with the other sisters in my ward.  Before I started reading my manual, I knew that he was called as President of the church--no idea when but long before my time.  And I was guessing that he was related somehow to Joseph Smith.  I {obviously} have SO much to learn this coming year.  But I am still excited because I really do LOVE teaching! :)
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Collecting Cards

As we were putting up Christmas decorations, I wanted to display Christmas Cards.  I decided our coat closet was the perfect place.  And so I strung wide ribbon back and forth across the door and then got out some regular clothespins.  Simple, easy and practical.  But it is beautiful, sentimental and slowly filling up!


Now all we need are more cards!!  The top is filling in nicely but the bottom needs some more love. ;)
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Evidence

Last week, we were privileged to be able to attend our ward Christmas party.  It was a delicious breakfast and I am deeply grateful to all the hands involved in the preparation!

I already knew that I am the luckiest girl in the world because my husband is absolutely amazing.  But now... now, I have EVIDENCE!


I don't think Casey even knew I took the picture.  But thanks sweetheart for always finding ways to serve me and to also serve others.  You truly are the best! <3
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Magic of Christmas

Christmas is all about the magic of doing something for someone else without them knowing.  It is looking at beautiful Christmas decorations and realizing that this season really is happening.  {Sometimes it is easy to forget that anything happens outside of teaching....}  It is taking the time to make something gorgeous and then giving it away to someone whom you love dearly just to spread Christmas cheer.

So to my dear Teacher Fairy... thank you!  Thank you for brightening my classroom and making the next 11 days be filled with Christmas magic instead of wishing the time away.  Thank you for making me excited to go home everyday just so I can see a beautiful wreath reminding me that someone loves me deeply.  I love both of your sweet, beautiful, thoughtful wreaths and can not even begin to thank you enough.

Small wreath hanging up in my classroom
(Thank you Teacher Fairy!)
Large wreath (really it is much bigger even though the pictures look practically the same)
hanging up on our door at home.
Fairly certain we have the most BEAUTIFUL door in the neighborhood!
(BIG THANK YOU TEACHER FAIRY!!!)
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our First Big Tree

One of the things I loved the *most* about our new apartment {sidenote: maybe I shouldn't still be calling it new... we have lived her for about 5 months now... anyway} was how spacious the living room was.  Since we have moved in and arranged furniture, I have always had a plan for a big Christmas tree.  Since Christmas time was only 5 months away from our move, I figured it was better to just plan ahead then to have to drag furniture and heavy bookcases all over the place.  Kind of funny, I know.

Anyway, I'm so excited because we finally live in a place that can accommodate a "big" tree.  The box claims it to be 7 feet tall.  Our first two Christmases together, we had probably a 2 foot tree--maybe 3 from the right angle.  Our last two apartments were simply too small to house anything larger.  Our first apartment was a studio and it was a learning how to share practically nothing and still felt like we had everything type of a situation.  Brand new newlywed life has a way of doing that.  The tree sat on top of our folding kitchen table that year.  Luckily we didn't stay in that apartment for long.  Then our last apartment was substantially bigger than our studio but the living room was filled with two oversized couches and our kitchen table since the dining room was filled with our computer desk and keyboard.  That year the tree sat on top of the DVD case, behind the front door.  It was the only place unless we wanted it in the middle of the room and turn our couches into obstacle course walkways.

But this year... this year, we are in love with our beautiful fiber optic tree and pine scented candles.  The magic of Christmas is in our hearts, lives and home.  And I sure hope it stays for awhile! ;)
(Not the absolute best picture... but you get the idea)
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P.S. We are still deciding on our new ornament this year.  I think we are leaning towards a teacher thing because my job has had a huge influence on both of our lives in 2011.  But the jury is still out.  We will have to figure it out soon though or all of the cute ornaments will hanging on someone else's tree and no longer for sale.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Occasional Blogger

It is so sad when I realize that I truly fall into the category of "The Occasional Blogger."  Especially because I enjoy writing so much.  But there is only so much one can do when you stay every night till crazy late trying to get things ready for the next day and then have to make dinner, clean, etc all before our early bed time arrives.  But here are some random thoughts to catch you up to speed.

  • Sometimes I wish I was paid per hour instead of on a salary.  The joke among all of the other first year teachers, who stay just as late as I do, is we would be making the most money and the teachers close to retiring--yeah they would be the lowest because they leave so close to contract time.
     
  • My impromptu teaching skills are improving.  While I was teaching how to thread the sewing machine, I realized that I couldn't have 40 kids stand around me and see.  I have a document camera but it doesn't work for demonstrating because it is mounted and without a flexible arm.  What can I do with half the class that keeps them occupied because I have nothing copied or planned ahead for such circumstances.  While my students were doing their self-starter, I ran (literally) to the office and grabbed some white paper.  I had them make cards for their teachers.  They all enjoyed it, probably more than the threading part.
     
  • With the card making business, I wasn't expecting any of the kids to actually make them for me.  That thought had honestly not crossed my mind and it surprised me when they gave them to me.  I now have a cute little bundle of cards declaring how much the (1) love cooking or (2) love me as a teacher.
     
  • The reason the cards for me came as such a shock... well, lets just say that the day before (different class) I had some major issues with one student in particular as well as that class in general.  I have always struggled with that class.  I don't think many of those kids like me.  And I guess I just thought that all of my students were in the boat of not liking me--it was nice to be proved wrong!
     
  • So anyway... exciting news with Casey.  He is working really hard and studying a ton but the results are paying off.  He is doing so well in his classes this semester!  He keeps earning over 90% on most tests with some even being 100%.  And the best part, because he quit his job, we actually have some time to be together.
     
  • We celebrated our two year anniversary.  I posted this on my facebook but our anniversary is seriously my favorite holiday.  It is the day we get to celebrate us.  Our love continues to grow stronger everyday and I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have such an amazing best friend.  We went down town and ate at the Lion House Pantry--allow me just to say that I am in LOVE with their rolls.  Then we watched "Savior of the World" at the Conference Center Theater.  That play is breath-taking.  I really loved it and would absolutely recommend it to anyone searching for a Christmas play this season!!!!!!
     
  • On our actual anniversary (Monday) we both went to work/ school.  Life has to go on when you get married mid-semester....  But the evening was special.  I got Casey "17 Miracles" and told him that we have the greatest love story and that he was my #1 miracle.  He got me "Tangled" and declared that he hopes we always stay tangled up in love.  So funny that we both picked movies for our anniversary gift this year.  There was no discussion before hand about it.  Then we went out to eat at "The Cheesecake Factory."  We had never been there before and had a lovely time.  The best part was simply being together!!
     
  • Speaking of rolls earlier, my sister stopped at Blue Bird Cafe in Logan and brought home several dozen.  These rolls are incredible.  We discovered the place on our honeymoon and maybe that is partly why I love them so much because they hold such wonderful memories.  But they also are delicious.
     
  • We continue to exercise every morning.  I like seeing the progress I make and realizing things that used to be difficult are now easy.  It is funny listening to my students' reaction as they look at my wedding picture on my desk and then at me.  All of them are shocked when they realize how much weight I have lost.
     
So no promises on when the next post will be....  Hopefully sooner than later!  Maybe more to come this weekend as I enjoy my student-free life! ;)  

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!  I know I personally have so much to be grateful for this year!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

11 Reasons I LOVE my life!

So 11-11-11 is pretty big today.  Maybe my friends are all just nerds but "Happy 11 Day" has spammed my facebook page.  My students sure got a kick out of writing the date on their papers today.  I'm willing to guess that their are countless marriages being performed simply because people think it is lucky.  So I kept thinking about 11.  What does 11 mean to me.  Why is today so special.  Well, I will list 11 good reasons why 11 is a great reason to celebrate.

1.  I love spending 1 on 1 time with my sweetheart!
2.  I'm grateful my school is about an 11 minute drive--seriously.  (But only when I happen to hit mostly all green lights.)
3.  I love listening to 11 minutes (or more if I'm waiting at a red light) of conference twice a day.
4.  I was married in the 11th month two years ago!!
5.  I only have 1 plus 1 subjects to teach.  (Love only having two class subjects!)
6.  My fingers are well below size 11 when before they used to be pushing it.
7.  I can always look forward to my 11 minutes (plus or minus) of scripture time.
8.  Just under 11 years ago I met my eternal best friend.
9.  I look forward to my 1:1 phone chats with my mom.
10. I'm pretty sure my texting speed is at least 11 wpm... who knows maybe faster.
11. Every night I get to spend (hopefully more than) 11 minutes together with my love at dinner.

Happy 11-11-11 Day... after all this 11 experience will only come once in my life time so I might as well enjoy it!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Close Fairy Encounter

Please forgive the terrible picture...
My fairy came again today. :D  Thank you my dear fairy for your thoughtfulness!!!  The bouquet/ arrangement is BEAUTIFUL and something I will treasure every Thanksgiving season! :)

Here is the irony.  Apparently, you came into the office today during my prep period.  And guess where I was, in the office.  But I didn't see you.  I didn't even know you were there until one of the aides handed me a bag.  I was sitting on the floor by the secretary.  You see, I like being up in the office but I decided my to-do list was way too long so the only way I would go up there was if I was working on something.  Then I could be with friends and still be productive.

So, I was working on making a worksheet for my students to learn the sewing machine parts.  I copied the diagram out of the instruction manual and was then whiting out everything the kids were not allowed to touch. And then I was handwriting the questions for my students to answer.  About the time you came I was commenting about who makes worksheets by hand anymore and that this takes WAY too long.  (Maybe you saw me working on the floor--which I can explain why I was on the floor.  I was kneeling by the desk for awhile borrowing white out, Sharpie, pen and tape to make the worksheet.  But my knees started hurting way too bad.  And there wasn't another chair and I didn't want to have to walk back to my classroom because I had to keep copying and cutting to make this assignment.  So the floor it was.)  So anyway, I didn't even hear you ask for me because that was the time I was talking to the secretary and feeling kind of silly for one being on the floor and two making a hand written worksheet.

As the aid placed the bag beside me, I leaned back trying to see you and I saw nothing.  I was tempted to run to the window like a little kid watching for Santa but decided I didn't want to ruin the fairy magic.  So I sat on the floor and oohed and awhed at the harvest flowers.  It is SO pretty with buttons sticking out and beads.  And the fall colored leave table runner is so realistic and so colorful.  I love them both!  I decided to take them home instead of leaving it in my classroom.  First of all, I didn't know a great place to put it in my room and second of all, I didn't want to take a chance of my students doing something to it.  I seriously will treasure this for countless years to come!

Thank You My Fairy!  You have a way of making hand written worksheets not seem so tedious.  And super long and stressful seventh grade cooking labs (but overly exciting and delicious for the students) not be such a burden.  And the dreaded fact that I always stay WAY after my supposed contract time wasn't even so bad today.  Thanks for brightening my spirits and for loving me so much to do small things that mean the world to me! <3
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Friday, November 4, 2011

The Hand Washing Dilemma

I feel blessed.  I have two separate classrooms and a huge office.  Space is definitely something I am blessed with.  I also feel blessed because I have 8 sinks in one classroom and 1 sink in the other.  I also have hand sanitizer in both rooms.

On a regular day I will wash my hands probably around 6 times--more if I am doing a demo.  And every time I walk out my classroom or have to touch my hallpass, I put hand sanitizer on.  First of all, who knows how many germs are growing on the hall pass.  More than I want to count because I can only imagine the places my hall pass has visited and what the students have done to it.  Um, actually, I don't want to think about that for too long!  You see, I am doing everything I can to stay healthy because I would way rather just be at school then to have to figure out sub plans!  So I decided every time I walk out my door I would put on sanitizer and rub while I was in the hall for hall duty or rub while I was walking to the workroom to make copies or rub while I was leaving to go shopping or rub just to rub.

And so far, so far my germ attack has worked.  The kids come in with sniffles and they keep them to themselves.  I {knock on wood} have not gotten sick this year so in this regard, I plan keep up my soap scrubbing and sanitizer rubbing game plan.

So here is the dilemma.  My hands are cracking.  My knuckles are burning.  My hands are bright red.  I currently have Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment soaking into my excessively dry but clean hands.  This stuff is slightly overpriced but a little goes a long way and I love the soothing feeling.  Definitely something worth the investment.  But I can't keep this stuff slathered all over my hands at school.  It is like a jelly and it doesn't rub in.  Or maybe it is supposed to rub in but that just proves how dry my hands really are as little is absorbed.  Plus, if this stuff is all over my hands, how will I keep them clean?  So that is the real dilemma nasty illness or ouchy hands.  And it seems that ouchy hands are winning because at least that is only two smalls things that hurt rather than my whole body.

If anyone has any brilliant ideas to keep killing the germs and prevent the cracking, I would love to hear your advice! :)
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reminded of Christmas

I'm pretty sure I am going to be teaching my students how to make hot chocolate in the near future.  The only thing I can think about sometimes is how cold my fingers are.  I'm pretty sure I have seen electricians/ heater repair men/ janitors/ etc in my room EVERY day for about a month trying to make the heater work.  I keep putting in work orders.  They keep thinking they got it fixed and then the next day comes.  And my fingers are just as cold as ever with my jacket zipped up as high as possible.

So you can imagine the temperature in my ice box today as it was snowing outside.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVED watching the snow.  Sometimes maybe a little too much and I would pause and stare out the window instead of helping my students for a moment.  But with super drafty windows and my desk right by them, you can only imagine how cold it was.

The only thing that kept me going through the day--simple, thinking about Christmas.  I {love, love, LOVE} the month of December because of the spirit of love and cheer that exists in the stores and the magic of twinkling lights and smelling the yummy cinnamon and pine scents.  I love nativities and stockings and egg nog and gingerbread and mistletoe and Christmas music.  Yup, I just love Christmas.  So instead of being miserable with how cold my room was, I just kept thinking about how cold equals one of my favorite times of the year.

What is your biggest lemon right now?  Have you made lemonade yet?
Happy Squeezing! :)
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P.S. I am hoping, crossing every finger and saying umpteen prayers for my heater to start working.  Please heater--the warmth of Christmas can only glow for so long in a freezer.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Our CORNY Date

We decided it would be fun to go on a theme date.  For the entire month, I was desperately wanting to wander around a corn maze.  I'm not sure they are Casey's favorite thing in the world but he obliged because I was so excited.  So that left me with the choices of either CORN or MAZE for the theme.  We went with corn.

To start our date off, we had CORN chili and {mini} CORNbread muffins.  --As a sidenote: the mini muffin pans were a birthday gift from Casey.  I was super eager to try them out.  They are adorable but needless to say we each probably ate 10.

While we were eating, Casey kept cracking CORNY jokes and we even managed to take this CORNY picture.  Don't laugh too hard--just feel honored you get to see it.  When we turned the camera around and saw we both got a really good chuckle.

For dessert I made candy CORN pudding.  I know it is kind of hard to see but it was actually really fun because the bottom layer is yellow then orange then {a slightly oversized serving of} whip cream

And finally we made it to the CORN maze.  When we left our home, it was still cool/ cold outside and cloudy/ overcast.  So I bundled up.  Needless to say, the sun came out and I never used my coat.  I just kept it tied around my waist--awesome sidenote: I could actually tie it around my waist!!  That was pretty exciting business.  Here is my suggestion though, don't ware crazy thick sweater tights under your jeans if the sun is shining.  My legs were cooking.  Anyway, while in the maze, we only got 50% on the CORN trivia game.  Oh well, it was still good enough to win us free ice cream!

We had a marvelous CORNY date.  And who knows, it might be continued tomorrow or Monday as we watch a CORNY movie and eat popCORN.  LoL!
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P.S. We had so much fun with this maybe next time we will have to pick a different them like CHEESE or something. :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Follow-Up to Summer Goals

So remember about 7 months ago when I made a long list of my "Summer Goals?"  I decided to write a follow-up post to it and check off the things that we accomplished.

~Summer Goals~
*Two more states added to our list... bringing the grand total of states we have been to together to 4! :)

* We did NOT end up going to an amusement park. :(  However, we went swimming at a pool that had two huge water slides.  We ran up the stairs so many times that my legs were feeling it by the end of the night.  It {almost} counts.  I guess we still have something to look forward to next year!

* No 5K.  Every time I would go seriously running outside my feet, legs, back, hands, you name it, would be in major pain.  I decided exercise is not supposed to be a miserable, painful experience so I gave this up.  Instead I kept training with The Biggest Looser for Wii, riding my bike and going on walks.

* We went to Iron Mine Campsite and had a marvelous time.  The only downside was because of ALL the rain we got in late spring, several of the hiking trails were still flooded.  We made the best of it anyway.  And I know the picture already says this but allow me just to emphasize.  I am seriously majorly addicted to campfire popcorn.  We had no idea what we were doing and quickly decided to cover the pan with a tin plate--good idea because shortly there after, it started popping and it would have been all over the place.  I am SO, SOOOO excited for another campfire when we can make this yummy treat again!

* We went swimming.  I did not go every day like I had hoped but we at least went!

* Lesson planning for sure happened.  I was totally motivated in June and August.  July I did almost nothing.  Funny how as much as I planned though, I still feel completely behind.  We also spent some MAJOR time cleaning and CLEANING my classrooms--as well as decorating.

* We moved.  It is (1) a lot of work and (2) super expensive so we hope to stay put for a long time yet.  I love our new apartment!!!  Our ward is very sweet.  We have very well covered parking--no more scraping windows, our own washer & dryer, a second bedroom, AND a storage shed.  Yup, totally living the dream life right here!! :)

* July was filled with parades and fireworks in celebration of Independence Day and Pioneer Day.  Fireworks are one of my favorite things to watch--and it was even better that we could see a HUGE show right from our balcony!

* And it was so nice to catch up with my little sister again.  We had her over for dinner several times--I'm pretty sure she ate more vegetables at our house those few times than she probably ate the entire year at college... LoL!  We went to iWorlds on a mission with her being part of the crew, painted each others' toes, ate more snowcones than I care to admit, walked around fairs & watched fireworks, watched movies, had a sleep over and she helped us move.  Golly I miss her... Julie--hurry up and finish your degree in your far away land so you can live close to us again!


~Other Summer Fun~
* Hiked the Y, Ensign Peak, Ceret Lake (which ended up being more like boulder hopping) and other random trails.

* Probably went on a weekly picnic--if not daily sometimes, enjoyed several long bike rides together, played tennis and many other active/ outdoors activities.

* Met The Biggest Looser season 11 pink and grey team and I continued to work on my own TBL challenge.  AND my hair under went some drastic changes.

* We listened to a concert at the BYU bell tower and ate J Dawgs--two must do's before you leave Provo.

* Vacationed in St. George which included several ice cream splurges, visiting the temple, shopping, eating out, and sleeping in a motel.  (Sidenote: this was actually fall break but whatever...)



~It was 100% a WONDERFUL summer.  I'm so grateful we have so many wonderful memories to cherish!!!~
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Living a BUSY Life

Um... since when did I become a once a week (if that) blog writer?  What happened?!

Well, teaching sure keeps me busy.  There are so many thousands of hilarious stories I wish I could share but can't.  Everything I post, I make sure I am ok with all my students, parents of students and the whole world reading.  If I think someone would have a problem with it, I don't share.

Anyway... to add to my lack of posting, it was fall break this past week and we went on VACATION!  It was SO nice to break away from the business of life and to just enjoy being together again.  I remembered how much I love being with my handsome hubby constantly and holding hands all the time.  I realized, my hand missed holding his but our time together is limited and we generally don't hold hands while we are eating dinner.  I also enjoyed eating out and snacking on car munchies and splurging with lots of ice cream.  I did however pay for this with about a 3 pound gain from the past week.  Oh well.  I only have one fall break a year!!  I will have to post pictures about this (hopefully soon).

We have also been busy decorating for Halloween and enjoying the deliciousness of fall--meaning pumpkin.  I have found several amazing pumpkin treats--some not so healthy but some are very healthy--another post I should write about.

And that is about all the time I have right now.  We are off to regional stake conference.  I decided yesterday night that adults still have firesides too.  It is just that we call them adult stake conference instead of the cute "fireside" phrase for youth.
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Friday, October 7, 2011

Its the Little Things

I have been thinking about the little things.  Little things have the power to change a cloudy day to a sun shining in your soul day.  The little things can get you out of your grumpy pants and into you happy face.  Little things don't just make a difference--they are the difference.

Little things I'm grateful for:

  • Being able to control the heat in my classroom.  When most people walk into my room, they assume the heater has one setting--blasting hot.  But really, I have total control over it.  I call it opening and closing the window.  I'm grateful for heat.  But I'm really grateful for a window!
     
  • Jackets.  A simple thing really.  But when you had to face yesterday with no blasting heat, a window that was stuck open (luckily the janitor came and fixed that fairly quickly!), the first snow of the season, and only a light windbreaker about 3 sizes too big, all of the sudden, jackets are your favorite thing.  I now have two jackets just hanging out in my closet at school--just in case.
     
  • Going lab shopping with my mom.  Ok.  Lets be honest.  Shopping for my classes for labs is not my favorite thing.  But when I get to wander around the stores with my second best friend and chatter non-stop, it really isn't so bad anymore.  And it gets even better because she volunteered to go back to my school and help carry in all the groceries.  Score!
     
  • Waking up cold.  I'm so done waking up in the middle of the night and sweating.  I would try cranking up the fan but then the extreme wind tunnel noise would prevent me from going back to sleep and so I would lay there and sweat.  Last night when I woke up cold; simple fix.  Quickly spread the blanket--which was right by my bed, I was prepared for such emergencies--over me and back to sleep I fall.
     
  • Microwave Cake and Little Cesar's bread sticks.  Confession--I ate both today.  And not something that is really helping me to slim down at all.  But there are days when school is long.  The faculty meeting is long.  And then there is still a ton of things to do before I leave for the weekend.  Yup, pretty sure days like today call for a nice break from life.  And breaks include (but are not limited too) cake, bread sticks and girl time with one of my teacher friends.  (She is a first year too and so we can empathize together!)
 
See... life really is about finding the little things and then cherishing every moment of them!

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

To My Fairy,

Dear Teacher Fairy,

THANK YOU!  I have no idea who you are.  I tried asking the secretaries at my school (because everyone knows that the secretaries know everything) and they said they have never seen you before--except when you brought flowers during the first week of school.  But you obviously know me because the flowers are beautiful.  And they smell A.mazing!

I seriously almost squealed when the office aid came in my room with flowers today telling me they were from The Birthday Fairy.

Thank you for remembering me.  Thank you for caring about me.  Thank you for making me feel special on MY most special day of the year!

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P.S. I know 100% certain it is not my mom or hubby--both are completely off my suspect list. :)
P.P.S.  THANK YOU AGAIN my fairy friend!!