Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weigh-In Pictures

So... as requested... here is a current weigh-in picture of me.
A few facts about the picture...
* My shorts are a size that I don't remember wearing... the last time was probably in junior high but I don't really know.
* My hair is still long.  It is just in a pony tail.  (Though, I'm considering changing it soon.  I'm kind of getting sick of long straight hair.  I'm feeling like I want to try something new but who knows if I will or not.)
* I have had the brown undershirt for awhile.  I ripped the hem on the bottom trying to squeeze into before.  Now it fits perfect!
* I actually feel like I'm getting smaller--something clicked in my brain.  It is hard to explain.

And here is another picture...
I kid you not about having a new love with flexing.  I never thought I would have muscles and it is an amazing/ unreal feeling! :)  The picture is kind of hard to see... but in person you can actually see a defining line (no idea what that is really called) but it is so cool to look at and realize how hard I worked to get it!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Week 21 Weigh-In

Holy Cow... 21 weeks and still going!

I continue to keep learning about the in = out thing.  We went out to the creamery and I got a child-size ice cream (which ended up being bigger than I thought it would be) and I loved every bite.  I chose my two favorite flavors--mint cookies'n'cream and pralines'n'caramel.  It was in my calorie budget for the day and after we finished I came home and did about 75 squats.  (Just to help the calories start burning instead of sitting.)  And it worked.  I seriously probably ate more food/ sweets this past week than I have for a while but I also burned a lot more calories with extra exercise, bike riding, and trying zumba for the first time.

It was a great week! :D  (finally!)
-5 pounds!!!!

Bringing my total weight loss to date to -76 pounds!

And as a side note:  I have a new love with flexing both my arms and my calfs and then showing Casey! :)  There are actually muscles there and it is amazing to see!!!  He humors me and tells me how impressed he is or something of the sort.  I might have to take a picture of my "guns" ha,ha,ha... LoL!  They still have some work left but really there is a HUGE improvement.  5 months ago, yeah, I'm pretty sure my body didn't even know what muscles were let a lone how to flex!  So much has changed since January... so very much!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

How to Celebrate 18 Months

I love celebrating the little things!  Life is meant to be enjoyed!! :)

But... this celebration was not a little thing.
We are talking about 18 months of being married...
(we only have an eternity left to go--so glad that never changes!)
AND... this was the first "big" anniversary where neither of us were in school.
We had to celebrate!

And so we had an all day date and it was wonderful!
...Starting with breakfast...
This is kind of hard to see but I made Egyptian Eggs in the shape of the Salt Lake Temple!
BTW: there is fruit in the bread--not giant burnt spots!
Then we went RING shopping!  I love it! :)
P.S. I love how you can see Casey's ring too... he was trying to block the sun/ glare.
Next on the agenda was going on a drive.  Driving isn't so bad when I'm the passenger and I get a free kiss every time the light changes to red! :D

On to lunch.  We stopped at Wendy's and got a summer berry salad.  (Sidenote: the salad was just released and holy cow it is DELICIOUS and I am 100% in love--the dressing is the best.  We are definitely going back!!!!!!)  And then we took the food to a beautiful park with a pond and had a picnic.
My sunglasses look HUGE...
It was a little chilly but not a bad day considering it wasn't raining.
Next on the agenda was trying to find parking downtown.  That in and of itself is an event! ;)

And then we wandered around Living Traditions Festival.  It was great!  (And free!)  We watched several ethnic dances and walked around and saw lots cultural art displays.  Casey enjoyed a crepe from some country which I don't remember.  There was so much ethnic food.  We should have skipped salads at Wendy's and just eaten at the festival... but we didn't know.
The sun was really bright.  And we have almost forgotten what it was.
My part burned really bad and Casey's face.  But totally worth it! :)
Finally... what anniversary celebration would be complete without a trip to the temple.  I love being able to go back to the same place we were married!  We were even able to sit and ponder on "our" couch.  (So it obviously is not "ours" but it was the same couch we sat and waited on to be married and therefore has special meaning to us!)
This was taken before we changed our clothes.
I love the beautiful tulips!
Oh... and I know it looks tacky--
but I LOVE being able to finally tie my jacket around my waist!   I don't have to carry it! :D
We went out to eat at Olive Garden.  It was romantic and the food was very, VERY good!  (I even found a very healthy choice! Yes!)  The service wasn't the greatest but whatever... we enjoyed being together!
We were both so tired by this point.  We probably sat down around 8 or later--normally we eat around 5-6!
And then what day would be complete without a trip to Wal-Mart.  This is how you know you are married instead of dating.  We had to buy some things to eat for dinner the next day (it was Sunday so shopping was out of the option).

Followed by a crazy long drive home.  The freeway was more like a parking lot.  We doubled/ tripled the time it took to come home by being stuck on the freeway.  Casey sang "Just the Way You Are" to me when it came on the radio.  And then I took a nice long nap!

We had a fabulous time together!  Celebrating being together!  And the best part is each day keeps getting better!  Eighteen months ago, I never could have dreamed I would be this much in love and so happy.  Although I loved our wedding day, each day really does keep getting better.  I can't wait to feel the joy and love that comes when we celebrate 50 years of marriage! 
P.S. Don't forget to check out Learned in 18 Months!

Goodbye Food Pyramid...

This is a public service announcement.  Ha,ha,ha... ok so not really but I just learned the American Food Guide Pyramid will be trashed on this coming Thursday.  The new dietary food guideline symbol will be released on Thursday as well but according to the New York Times, it will be a dinner plate which will be divided into 4 sections.  Half the plate will be fruits or vegetables.  The other half will have grains and proteins.  Sitting beside it will be a glass representing dairy.  And somehow, it is supposed to clarify between things that are healthy and unhealthy as well as teach about the need for exercise.  It will be interesting to see!  It is supposed to be easier to understand and follow.  (And that makes sense.  We eat on plates and if you match your plate to the guideline then you should be great!)

The reason behind all of this?  It is Pres. Obama's attempt to fight obesity.  (Which really is a problem!  I just read on the USDA Press Release that more than 1/3 of children and 2/3s of adults are either overweight or obese.)  It is also meant to shift the American diet to a more plant based eating habits as well as incorporate the 2008 physical activity guidelines.

(this is the cover for the
Dietary Guidelines Book)
Also, just so you are aware, the Dietary Guidelines for 2010 have already been released.  It is like a 100 page book which I was scrolling through.  There is A LOT of information!!

So how will this affect me?  Well, first of all, I am still in that 2/3s population of being overweight or obese.  And although I have already lost over 70 pounds, I still have some more to go to be "normal" weight.  So I personally am willing to read and study it to help make my life and my handsome hubby's lives better.

But more importantly, this change is HUGE!  Yesterday, I spent the ENTIRE day planning bulletin boards (I have 2 really, REALLY cute ideas that I'm excited about) and writing my 7th grade lesson plan for the second day of school.  Yup... guess what we are learning about.  How to read food labels (which fortunately that won't change!) and the Food Guide Pyramid.  Which I guess now will mean the Food Plate?  Um, not only do I have to read and understand it well enough for me, I have to figure it out well enough to teach my students.  And specifically what the guidelines are for them.

So that means, I have to write a new lesson plan.  I will need to order enough paper copies and information that I can send things home with the students to help them learn (and be excited about) the new plate.  I'm thinking in class we will still go over similar information but instead of coloring and studying the pyramid we will color a plate.  But, I want them to spend time on the new (I'm assuming they will make a new interactive) website.  Maybe I will make that a homework assignment or try to schedule some time in the computer lab.  But that means I'm going to have to spend some time playing around on the website and coming up with an assignment first.  I will also need to order new textbooks.  That likely won't happen until next year though.  And I need to make a cute, attention getting bulletin board to help my students understand the new plate and to help teach them healthy habits.  And I want to teach my kids to make healthy recipes on a tight budget.

Yup... this change affects me as a Food Teacher a lot!!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Planning CTE

As I laid awake last night at 2:45 am, I decided on a new rule.  No lesson planning or organizing or anything after dinner.  I am already so excited to be a first year teacher but not after dinner.  If I do work on something into the evening then it keeps me up all night because I can't stop thinking about it.

Yesterday, I made my scope and sequence for my 7th graders while Casey was making me a personalized teacher calendar.  Isn't he the best?!  These kids are going to have a blast!  Just in case you are not familiar with the CTE program, basically it introduces kids to as many careers as possible.  They rotate between FACS, technology and shop throughout the year.  It is meant to wet their feet, not be an in-depth experience.  The hope is they will figure out what they like and then take more classes on that in the future to help build skills and prepare the students for life.  Even while I have them with FACS, they rotate through several different stations and activities.

To start they year, I am going to introduce foods and nutrition by demonstrating peanut butter playdough (this is the BEST thing ever--1. you can play with your food and 2. it teaches all of the measuring techniques!  Yes!!) and then the kids will be making smoothies (maybe Orange Julius--I need to find a fabulous/ healthy smoothie recipe to talk about the Food Pyramid with), easy cheesy enchiladas (reaching out to my large minority group), oreo cakesters and then they will take turns working in a restaurant/ being customers for pizza pockets.  Doesn't that already sound amazing?

We then will switch gears by taking off our aprons and focusing on play.  Play is how preschool children learn best.  This section will include safety tips, health info and stress levels (kind of funny--I told you everything gets thrown in so fast for these kids!) as well as making file folder games and planning our own preschool.  Then (hopefully) we will be able to have a preschool experience for a day--depends if my principal will approve it.

Next it is on to sewing.  I'm fairly certain I will be teaching my students how to make travel sized pillows  (Hoping my budget is large enough to pay for all that stuffing!) and pillow cases.  While I was student teaching we did locker hangers (which I might offer for extra credit to fast sewers who need something to do) and I have heard of dish towel aprons, hot pads, etc... but I like the pillows the best so that is my thought so far.  This will also include wool bracelets (I need to figure out how to order these) and a glimpse of different fibers and doing laundry.

Finally we will end up this rotation by learning about the family and making a family crest.  Learning about the Smart Home, economics, resources, independent living, and a few other really random topics.  And then the class will be over.  My darling 7th graders will rotate on to the next CTE section and I will have the opportunity to start all over again.  Yeah!  I love that part because the lesson planning will already be DONE!!! :D

And... here is the best part, I am going to make packets and stamp kids off.  This means less paper work for me and more prep period will be spent prepping things instead of grading. :)
P.S. Sorry if reading my general lesson plan was boring... it is consuming my life and thoughts.  And (in case you couldn't tell) I'm so excited about it!  Yipeeee!!!
I get to be a teacher! :D

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Its *almost* bacon!

Ok... so I don't think anything can actually compare to real bacon.  It is hard to match.  But, I just tried some Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey Bacon and I would eat it again.  Not my favorite thing ever but considering it has 20 calories a slice and normal bacon has ~110 calories a slice--its not so bad.  I read the instructions for how to make it crisp (my favorite way to eat it) and was trying to get mine to cook until crisp but kind of became impatient and just ate it anyway.

Don't buy this thinking it is going to taste like real bacon because it doesn't.  But for me, eating real bacon is totally out so this is a nice alternative!

I love it pan fried with cooking spray on it!  It goes nice a crisp--if you are patient.  I also enjoy it cold (it is pre-cooked) and cut up on a salad.  It tastes great in soups, on sandwiches, for breakfast... ok so I guess basically, I just like it! :)
P.S. Using this with the egg beaters makes an EXCELLENT quiche!! :)  Stay tuned for the recipe!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

No more wasted Yolks

Yes, the title of this post is very fitting.  For awhile now, I used to throw away egg yolks.  Sometimes I would give mine to Casey.  But I always felt so wasteful.

There is a solution!  Introducing Egg Beaters!  1/4 c. (equivalent to 1 egg) has 30 calories and whereas regular eggs have ~90 calories.  (1 egg white has ~17 calories which is equivalent to 1/8 c. egg beaters or 15 calories.)  I have noticed that this does not brown as well/ takes longer to cook.  But I have eaten scrambled eggs, frittatas, german pancakes, french toast, and even just used it in recipes as a binder and I love it!  This was a wonderful find and something I imagine I will keep our fridge stocked with.

BTW: Regular egg beaters actually have lower calorie than the egg white beaters.  The serving size is different so everyone would assume the egg whites are better but tablespoon for tablespoon, the original kind is lower.  And (honestly) the regular egg beaters probably are mostly all egg whites but with yellow dye added.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Sleepless Night

Last night was interesting.  You think I should sleep well and be at peace knowing that I have a full time job and don't have to apply for jobs or interview ever again.  It is a great feeling, really so why did this not reflect in my sleep habits??

Well, actually, it did reflect.  I am SO excited to teach and realizing that I will get to have my own classroom and plan things the way I want that I couldn't calm down.  I was thinking about building my scope and sequence and planning lessons.  I was creating PowerPoints and worksheets in my mind and how I wanted to teach them to make in interesting instead of boring PPs everyday.  And then I was figuring out how to make packets and less paper work for me to grade.  And then I was thinking about the general information I would leave for a sub.  And then the list went on and on and on and turning off my brain for the night didn't work so well.  I guess this was reassurance though that I will be teaching at where I'm meant to be....  I'm SO excited, it isn't even real! :D

My goal is to have most if not all of my lesson planning/ worksheet making/ PowerPoint creating/ packet organizing/ etc-ing done this summer.  Then the school year will be SO much nicer!  Like so desperately much nicer because I won't have to do all of that then.  Instead, I can go home when the day is over and relax.  That will be fabulous.  And I figured I might as well put all my eagerness to good use right now while I have it! ;)

So here is to hoping and praying that tonight is filled with deep, school-free dreams instead of mind wandering, counting sheep, quiet noise listening, school planning, tossing and turning night! :)

BTW:  this picture represents one of my favorite songs--ever!
"If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings."

(It didn't work so well last night though because it was my blessing keeping me awake...)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Week 20 Weigh-In

So... I think my body is having a hard time with this weight loss thing right now.  But I can't be too disappointed because I'm still moving in the right direction.  Hopefully I hurdle this low soon and get back to my bigger weight loss weeks soon!

But anyway, I'm still grateful it is negative! :)
-2 Pounds

Meant to Teach

Today is the day.  The phone call would either come offering me a full time teaching job or I would get a phone call saying sorry hope you can get hired somewhere else.  I have been filled with nervousness and excitement and just wanting to know what would happen with my life!

Our morning prayer once again was praying for a job where I will be happy and that we might be able to make the right decision (in case I am offered both) or that we will know what to do next (in case I am offered neither).  After that, life kind of went on and I didn't really have time to think about it.  I had to put waiting for a call behind me because I am still subbing.  I can't just stop class to answer my phone.  So, the call would come and then I would have to wait until at least lunch to learn what the future would hold.  There wasn't much I could do so I just put it behind me and started trying to calm down my class.  Two weeks of school left and a sub equals loud, rowdy students who need constant shhhhing (which I don't do.  I just stand and wait for them to be quiet and their peers shhhh them.).

I'm in the middle of second period.  I feel my pocket vibrate once (it might be a text) and then twice (its a call).  I just ignore it.  Then after the "ringing" vibrates stop, I wait for a voice mail vibration.  I feel it.  AWWWWHHHH!!!  Our fate is now on my voice mail--I think.  There isn't anything I can do though so I don't even check to see who the call is from.

I was talking with the adult teacher aide in that class.  (She is a lifesaver!)  She was asking me if I had heard anything yet.  I told her about the other job that said no and mentioned to her that I know I have a new voice mail.  Bless her heart.  She asked me if I needed to go to the bathroom and told me that she would watch the kiddos while I went.

I leave the room and call my voice mail.  I reminded myself to keep breathing.  Soon I hear the voice of the principal at the junior high.  She says she would like to talk to me when I can call her back (she knows I'm subbing right now and would have to leave a message) and that she has good news for me.  At least she thinks it is good news and she excited for me to call her back so she can talk to me.

Oh my gosh... keep breathing...

I go back into class--grinning!  I tell the TA what the message said.  It is such good news.  I'm SO excited!!! :D  But... I don't know for 100% certain at this point.

Fast forward.  (I didn't do anything else about it at that point.)  It is now lunch time.

Before I call back that principal to talk to her about the good news, I call the high school where I interviewed and explain to them that I have another job offer (I think) and was wondering if they were going to offer me a job or not.  I wanted to know if I had a choice in the matter or if I should just be grateful for the one and a run with it.  The high school basically told me if I have another offer to take it because they were not going to be offering me a job.  Ok.  Good to know!

I (finally) call back the principal who left a message.  I don't know what to say or think or what is a polite/ refined way to respond.  No one ever actually taught me how to accept a job without grinning and practically squealing into the phone.  She immediately asks me if I would like to work at her school.  "YES!  I would LOVE to!!" :D  (So, I think I gave up on the being dignified thing--I was just so excited, I didn't know how else to respond.)  She is now writing up the official hiring letter.  It will come in the next couple of days.  After that, I have to go into the district office and fill out lots of paperwork (uh... I'm a little nervous for this too!  I hope that Casey can get off work and go in with me because I don't know what benefits to pick/ what number to list on the tax form/ etc) and then...

I will OFFICIALLY be a full-time teacher!!!!! :D :D :D
I will be teaching FACS at the Junior High I went to... how crazy is that to go back to my same school?!
THANK YOU so much for all of your love, support and prayers through this many months of waiting, praying and wondering.  I REALLY appreciate it and I do know that prayers really are answered.  Sometimes, not how we want but they are answered.  I'm trusting that this junior high is where I am meant to be and Heavenly Father really does know what He is doing.

So... here are my totals...
School Tours--3
Teaching a Lesson--1
Applications--16 (I think??)
Resumes--who knows, A LOT!  (I passed a lot out at the teacher fair)
Job Offers--1 :)
P.S.  This means we can start planning our lives!  And looking at other apartments.  I now know that moving is happening sometime this summer for us.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Learned in 18 months

Yesterday, we celebrated our 18 month anniversary!  EIGHTEEN MONTHS!!! :D  If I were to have served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I would have just completed my mission.  But lucky for me, instead of being transfered all over the place and having a different companion every month or two, I have been blessed to only transfer (aka move) once and keep the same companion the whole time.  :)

I can't imagine my life without Casey and I'm SO grateful I don't have to!!  I have learned a lot in the past 18 months though and thought I would share some of my insights.

  • The dishes don't do themselves.  When you live in a student apartment without a dishwasher, someone has to actually spend time washing the dishes.  It is way easier if you keep up with it instead of letting the dirty ones pile up.
  • Somethings are better left unspoken.  Tell a private journal if you have to vent.
  • You don't always have to be right and even when you are, is it really worth the fight to prove it?
  • We are meant to be equal, not the same!
  • He eats more than I do.  If I eat the same amount, I gain weight and he stays skinny.
  • Life is not so much about compromising but about finding a solution that both people are happy with.
  • Doing chores are so much more enjoyable when you are working together.
  • Shoot, doing anything is so much better when we are together.  
  • Make time for the little things because they really are the big things!
  • Figure out your spouses love language and then learn to speak it.
  • Trust your spouse with all of your secrets.  Talk about everything.
  • Say I'm sorry often.
  • Make time for the two of you on a daily basis.  The world is brutal.  I need daily time with my sweetheart to face it.
  • Let him open your door.
  • Never stop acting like a newlywed!!!  Kiss at stop lights.  Hold hands everywhere you go.  Say "I Love You" more times than you can count each day.
Results: one happy hubby and one "wuving" wife equals one marvelous marriage!
P.S. Stay tuned for pictures of how we celebrated 18 months.  We had the BEST day together!!! :D

3 Forbidden Words

There are three words that we never say in our home.  (Well other than a huge long list of obvious words that we just don't say anywhere.  Using those words show a lack of intelligence for not being able to figure out a better way to express yourself... anyway....)  I will explain the reasoning behind each of the forbidden words and maybe it can help your home be a happier place too! :)

1. The D-Word (aka Divorce)
Divorce is NOT an option for us.  We made a covenant which seals us together for eternity and we intend to keep it.  However, just because our marriage was in the right place by the right authority, it does not mean that it will always be easy.  I think sometimes it means that it might be harder because satan is working hard to destroy our eternal family.  So, yes, there are times when things go wrong or we don't get along so well.  We might be upset and say things we will likely regret and apologize for later.  But we never say the d-word.  Period.  We don't throw it out there allowing satan to use that as power over us.  We will work through whatever comes our way.
(FYI:  we still sometimes talk about divorce rates or someone we knew that got a divorce.  That is not what I mean.  We don't use the d-word between us.)

2. The H-Word (aka Hate)
This one kind of goes hand in hand with the d-word.  I know a lot of you see us as having a perfect life and always living our dream life because that is what I portray.  I only focus on the positive.  But... we do have our fair share of problems, trials, and disagreements.  When we are upset for whatever reason and having a lengthy discussion, we don't use the h-word towards each other.  One of us may be complete irritated/ frustrated/ hurt/ etc but we still don't hate our spouse.  We may hate the action but not the person.  So it is just easier to never say that because it rapidly breaks trust and to keep the love & friendship alive even during a heated discussion.

3. The T-Word (aka Temple)
Now this one needs some explaining.  We do talk about the temple and even say the word temple.  We talk about how pretty they are and how we were married in one.  We talk about teaching our kids to love the temple.  We sing songs about the temple.  Honestly, our whole life is focused on the temple.  We keep it the center of our vision and walking the straight and narrow path back to Heavenly Father becomes really the only way of life.

So what do I mean by having the t-word on our forbidden list.  We never say we are going to the temple.  When we are planning to go and figuring out our schedules, we never actually say why we are figuring them out.  We both just know and it doesn't need to be said.  As soon as we announce or talk about going to the temple, satan starts working on us and trying to keep us from going.  We used to ask about when we would go to the temple and we would always end up either not going when we planned or having to work through a problem first.  We learned from trial and error.  Life is much more peaceful if we just go to the temple without verbally announcing it.  And so now when we are planning temple trips, we try to go at the same time so then it doesn't have to be planned or use code words instead of saying "lets go to the temple."


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Gold Stars

So I really don't know what happened to my last class yesterday.  But I loved it!  That is the period I have struggled with the most.  Complete nightmare.  There are 4 students that cause all the problems and I'm sure the rest of them are fabulous but the great kids kind of get masked by the bratty ones.

Those 4 students in the past have not had fabric and therefore not worked on anything.  They yell to each other. They are disrespectful.  They eat in class, I tell them to throw it away and then they hide all the trash in the sewing machine.  They sabotaged the serger on purpose.  They run around the room.  Break large plastic rulers. Ignore me.  Argue with me.  Drive all the people around them crazy.  You get the picture.

I tried a seating chart change.  I was hoping that would work wonders--it didn't.  I have tried talking to them individually.  Nope.  I tried my mean teacher be super strict act.  Nope.  Nothing was working.  And it was getting so out of control that I was running out of ideas as to what to do.  I sent my TA to get another teacher.  I didn't know what the other teacher would do but I was desperate.  If that teacher didn't have any ideas, then I was sending them up to the office or calling a principal down.

Well, bless that teacher's heart.  She took them out into the hall and talked to them.  I don't know what she said but they all apparently respected her WAY more than they do me--go figure.  She informed them that if any of them caused any more problems, they would be removed from my class permanently and would be doing book work the rest of the year.  (There are TWO week left... really kids?!)

So yesterday as the last period is approaching, I'm kind of nervous.  I have no idea what is going to happen because the whole drama of getting the other teacher happened the last time they were in my class.  I hoping for good things but am expecting to send them out with a book and not allow them back in.

It helped that 2 of the 4 were absent.  That was a start!  But the other 2 were fabulous!  One brought material (hallelujah) and was actually working on cutting things out.  It seemed to be taking way longer than it should be but at least he was not causing problems.  The other one there yesterday brought fabric that she cut out at home.  And she had already sewed at home too.  It was a miracle! :)  The two of them kept asking me if they were being good and I kept praising and praising them.  Telling them how good they were, how beautiful the fabric was, how much I appreciated their smiles, etc!

The period went by SO fast too... it was amazing!  I hope it can last for 2 more weeks!!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Response One

Casey and I have been praying and praying not only that I would get a job but that I will be hired in the place that is right for me.  The principal at my dream job just called me.  And I guess my dream job will just have to change because his response was a no.  I was SO excited for this job though.  I was planning out what I would teach and how we would review.  It was going to so sweet.  But I guess I'm just going to have think of other plans.  The principal told me he was super impressed with me though and hopes I will apply to work at his school again if there are other openings.  Uh... thanks but no.  Here is to hoping for one of the other two principals I'm waiting to hear back from will think I'm the best!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grandpa's Compliment

I love my grandpa so VERY much!  Whenever we were visiting my grandparents, my grandpa would always have a second shadow.  I would follow him around a lot!  I loved to hear his stories and just be with him.  My favorite memory is eating Thanksgiving dinner together sitting on the piano bench.  Every year we would share the most awkward eating spot.  But I loved it!  Check out "The Lost Chord" which includes videos of grandpa singing and also "3rd Generation BYU Alumni" to see a picture of all of us.  Both of these posts were from last summer but still great!

Grandpa is getting old though.  He has dementia.  Possibly Alzheimer's but the only way that can actually be diagnosed is through an autopsy.  So that we are just grateful that the Alzheimer's is remaining undiagnosed at the moment.  Some times when I see him, he can't remember my name or who I am.  I tell him and he always responds with "oh yeah that's right."  He will ask the silliest questions sometimes.  And then 5 minutes later, he asks the same question again.

Well, today after my interview finished, I went in to my grandparents' home.  My mom was visiting and it wasn't too far away from where I was at.  So I figured it would be a party.  :)

I walk in the front door and Grandma calls me skinny.  It was cute.  Then I go over and sit by grandpa on the couch.  He then asks me, "Have you lost weight?"  (Wow!  I'm honestly surprised he noticed.  Today must have been an up day.  I was just hoping he would connect that I am Lisa and his *favorite* granddaughter--ha,ha... j/k.  I bet most of my cousins feel like his favorite!  He is just like that!)  I tell him yes--70 pounds.
"Wow... [shakes head in disbelief while making a sigh type noise] You don't look so fat!"
Ha, ha, ha... I had to laugh.  What a compliment! :D

plus one means waiting for THREE

No phone calls today...

But I still have news!  I'm now waiting to hear back from THREE principals!  I had another interview today and I think it went really well!  (But I seem to always think they go great and then I'm left wondering and hanging so who knows...)  It was at a high school.  This interview was kind of a little different though because there were 5 people interviewing me.  Whoa!  That is a lot of questions.  And I wasn't always sure where to direct my eye focus to but it seemed to go fairly well.  This school hopes to contact me (hopefully) tomorrow but likely at the start of next week.

You want to know what has been amazing with this whole interview process?  All the interviews the past few times (all three that I'm waiting to hear back from principals on), EVERY time, "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars would come on the radio.  It never failed.  And it always brought a smile to my face.  But what really is amazing about that is I basically NEVER hear the song other than that.  Well, except for when Casey sings it to me A Cappella style or reading a text from him reminding me that I'm amazing.  And here is the best part, all of my interviews have been at random different times but that song has always come on right before I get to the school.  And no, I'm not controlling it.  I just have a standard, commercial blaring, hand tune dial (yeah, my car really is that old) radio.  But the Lord is controlling it and blessing my life through music.

A thing as simple as a song helps me remember that He is near and watching over me.  And really hearing my prayers and will answer them in His own time.  It also makes me think that maybe any of these 3 schools could be right for me.  Or maybe I needed all of the practice from past interviews to be ready for the one that will really matter and to have the confidence and poise that comes from countless interviews. I can already predict a lot of the questions and so my answers are smoother and more refined now rather than filled with a bunch of ums and uhs.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day!  The phone calls will come (hopefully) and decisions will be made.  And life will finally be able to be planned again. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Today I'm waiting...

Waiting for it to be tomorrow...
Or maybe waiting for the next day.

Waiting for a return phone call from a principal.
Or actually waiting for two principals at two different schools.

Waiting to know if I will be offered a job.
Or (gasps) hopefully waiting for two offers and then I can pick.

Waiting to influence the future by teaching at my dream school.
Or perhaps my dream will change based on who hires me.

Waiting to plan life.
Waiting for the phone to ring.

P.S. In case my poetic language only makes sense to me... I will interpret it for you.  I have two principals right now that promised to call me sometime this week.  One was hoping to let me know either today (it came and went with no call) or tomorrow and the other was shooting for either tomorrow or Friday.  I know both principals were impressed with me.  I only hope I was good enough to be the best at one of the schools so when they call me, they will be offering me a job instead of saying sorry good luck somewhere else.  It would be SUPER nice if both principals liked me and offered me jobs.  Then I could choose where I want to work. But I would honestly be grateful with one.  I do have a preference though and have been hoping and praying for my dream school.  So until this week is up and phone calls are received, I keep waiting.  Jumping every time I get a call and hoping.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rainbows = Stress Reducer

I'm pretty sure I should invest in some flippers and wear them to work instead of my shoes.  It has rained all day.  And by rain, I mean hard core down pour stuff.  The kind of rain that would melt a witch instantly.  And just when I thought it might dry up, it rained again.  Coming home from work, I joked with my mom about my car being a good fishy.  Its the truth though--today was a swimming through puddles type of a day.

So as I finally turned on to our street, relieved to be home
(it was a long day.  And super long story short, I'm struggling with some classes that I'm long term subbing for.  Some of the students are RUDE and then today we did a stress activity where they had to list what causes them stress.  Well, a handful of them wrote "The long term sub."  I wanted to tell them it was a mutual feeling.  They are totally stressing me out.  And if they would just keep their mouths shut long enough so I could explain instructions and then they could talk, life would be way happier for all of us.  But I didn't.  Instead I validated them and agreed it must be stressful having a sub that doesn't know where anything is and can't update the grades--all in the last month of school.  Then on top of that, I had to go teach in front of a school that is considering hiring me.  The principal was in the room.  The kids kept trying to be crazy--but I kept them generally under control.  Until the announcements came on the last few minutes of class and then I was basically fighting a loosing battle.)
I saw...
So it is way hard to see but there is a double rainbow going right above the Y on  the mount too.
And I was reminded that life is happy.  Even when subbing wasn't the greatest--life goes on.  I love rainbows!  They are SO beautiful and so calming.  When I look at them, I am just reminded of Heavenly Fathers love and also the Savior's sacrifice for me.  And of my baptismal covenants.  Rainbows symbolize purity and cleanliness.  It is a natural stress reducer.  This was the perfect way to end a stressful/ busy work day and even more perfect to start an evening of pj wearing and The Biggest Loser watching! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Low Calorie Brownie!!!

remember... this is not a photography blog...
judge it based on my recommendation of it being fabulous--not the picture! 
This my friends is 100 calories of pure amazingly delicious guiltless brownie.  And they are HUGE pieces!  Seriously!  It makes 16 large servings and would be perfect for a potluck dinner or a just because dinner or really any occasion.   So I thought a recipe this fabulous is too good to keep a secret!  Please don't laugh when you learn how ridiculously simple it is either!  LoL! ;)

1 16 oz box Pillsbury Sugar Free Devil's Food Cake Mix
1/2 c. Nesquick Chocolate powder No Sugar added (this is the stuff you stir into milk to make chocolate milk)
2 c. canned pumpkin (I'm guessing this would be about the small can size?  I don't know because I only buy large cans and then measure it out.)

Preheat oven to 400*F.  Stir the cake mix and chocolate powder together then stir in the pumpkin.  The batter will be EXTREMELY thick.  It is supposed to be!  You will likely be tempted to add water.  Don't do it!  Instead keep stirring.  It will all go together, I PROMISE.

Lightly spray a 9" x 13" cake pan.  Spoon the batter into the pan and evenly spread it out using the back of the spoon.  Normally, I spread it out with my hands because I find it sticks less and spreads easier.  Bake for 20-25 minutes--toothpick test.

Cut into 16 squares when cool.  Don't forget to share (because even at 100 calories each, the whole pan might be a bit too much!).

Ok. So when I make these for just the two of us, I NEVER make 16 servings at once.  Uh no.  That is too much temptation.  So I cut the recipe in fourths.
~3/4 c. SF cake mix (instead of leveling off the measuring cup, allow it to be slightly rounded or do it by weight... 4 oz.  Store the leftover dry cake mix in a ziploc bag.)
1/8 c. (which = 2 T) SF Nesquick
1/2 c. pumpkin
I use a tiny Pyrex pan we have that is ~ 5" x 7 ".  It fits perfect.  Still bake at 400* but probably for 18-20 minutes.  Makes 4 servings.

Week 19 Weigh-In

Ok... so this weigh-in thing seems to be going on for FOREVER!  I don't know if anyone is still interested and following my weight loss journey because lets be honest... 19 weeks is a long time!

It is so strange to think how much I have changed in 4 1/2 months though.  I have lost a lot but honestly gained so much more!!  I have gained smaller clothes and self-esteem and being picked up by my darling sweetheart.  I've gained an appreciation for maintaining a healthy weight in the future and the ability to look at something and guess how many calories are in it.  And, I know I have gained a lot of blog followers--so thank you!! :)

And, just in case you are interested...
-2 pounds

Not the best week but still a step in the right direction.  And as long as I keep making progress, I remind myself that this weight loss journey is not going to go on for forever!!  That is such a strange thought but I'm so excited!  Probably 3ish more months of around -3 pounds a week and I will be at my goal weight.  The end is in sight!

Planning for Happy Tummies

So remember like a month ago when I jumped back on the meal planning and price matching band wagon?  Well, I'm here to tell you it is working.  I'm not going shopping as often (saving money) and we are using better what we already have (saving money) and dinner is actually something I look forward to now instead of dreading standing in front of the cupboard wondering what I should make and then nothing looks good (happy tummies).

Meal planning is definitely something I'm going to have to teach my advanced foods classes. (assuming I'm hired at that school.  If the principal only knew all the things I continue to keep thinking about and planning for the teaching job I interviewed for.  Other things I want to do include instead of having an end of the year boring test review, we are going to have a college survival lab--or few labs--and use that as a review instead.  I'm going to increase faculty support by having the students take samples to other teachers.  I'm planning how to figure out luncheons by teaching about soups and freezer meals.  Seriously... please hire me.  The opening at the school I interviewed for this past Friday has filled me with excitement the more I keep thinking and dreaming about it.  I just hope I was able to convey that to the principal!!!  Anyway... that is not the point of this post!)

A brief lesson on how I meal plan.  First of all, I kind of take a quick inventory of our cupboard/ fridge/ freezer and see what needs to be eaten up and what we already have.  I also quickly kind of glance at the ads for the week and see what is on sale.  Meaning, if shrimp is on the front page and killer price somewhere then I'm going to look for shrimp recipes for the coming week.  And then this is the fun part (and what takes the longest).  I get out my favorite recipe book(s) and just start reading through them.  Confession: I love reading through cook books!  I see something that I like the looks of and we already have a lot of the items for it/ there are good sales for a lot of the items that week.  I try and guess how much it will make and plan leftovers into the calendar--that part is sometimes difficult and not accurate.  I make a shopping list while I'm filling out the calendar and then go back and search the ads after my shopping list is complete to price match everything.

So what is the plan for this week?  I'm excited!! :D

Yesterday--Caribbean Island Shrimp & Brown Rice
Tonight--Homemade Quiche with Brownies for FHE treat
Tuesday--leftovers (probably).  If not something super fast/ easy because I will be getting home late from my call back (watch me teach) 2nd interview.  FYI: this is not the school I just talked about dreaming to teach all the foods classes at.  This call back is at a different school.  Just so you can keep everything straight! ;)
Wednesday--Pumpkin Enchiladas with Spanish Rice
Thursday--BBQ Mango Tilapia and Apple Slaw Salad
Friday--Homemade Chili and Cornbread Muffins
Saturday--leftovers (no idea what... something in the fridge)
Next Sunday--Crockpot Tamale Pie (and probably a fruit of some sort--maybe I will make a jello salad)
Next Monday--Pigs in a Blanket with vegetable sticks and Cinnamon Rolls for FHE treat

BTW: in case you are wondering, all of the recipes mentioned above are found in one of the "Hungry Girl" books.  I love them because I finally feel like I'm eating again and not just dieting!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Heals the Blind

In Sunday School today we talked about John Chapter 9 (Jesus Heals the Blind Man) and Chapter 10 (The Good Shepherd).  This year, I have been studying the assigned Sunday School scripture assignments before we go to church.  It has been very insightful for me.  And I now LOVE the parable of Jesus healing the blind man.  There is so much I pulled from it on my own study.  But I feel like it got even better at church because I came prepared--I learned so much today.  Anyway, I wrote the following down in my journal after I finished reading it.  I thought I would share.  Keep in mind all of my references are referring to John Chapter 9--if you want to follow along! :)

First of all, I thought it was really interesting that Jesus did not just heal the blind man.  (vs 1-7)  Instead, Jesus spits in the dirt and makes a clay and then pastes that clay onto the eyes of the blind man.  He then tells him to go wash in the pool of Siloam.  I was thinking about this.  Sometimes healing takes action on my part.  The blessing is not enough, but I have to actually do something.  The other thing I was thinking about with this is I wonder how many times Christ is making clay and putting it on my eyes only to have me doubt or complain.  Am I willing to walk to the pool and put forth the required effort to be healed or do I just want something instant.  I know I can learn a lot from this.  I (1) must have faith but (2) must be willing to do my part in the healing.  I need to look at the "clay covering my eyes" moments as a blessing rather than a curse.

I then like how the testimony of the blind man increases.  At first (vs 11) he recounts a history log of what happened.  It didn't mean very much to him other than simply explaining the facts.  I know in church I have been critical of others who share history logs or travel-o-monies during testimony meeting.  But hello?!  I was so wrong to judge.  That is a start.  You have to acknowledge what happened before you can build a testimony.  I know I am going to have more compassion and less judgement during future testimony meetings to those sharing it--no matter what it is.

Then the blind man (vs 17) wants to believe.  After he acknowledged what happened, he wants to believe in something.  He doesn't exactly know what but he does know that something miraculous happened and realizes that it is indeed a miracle.  This really is the beginning of the testimony because he already established his foundation.  He has the desire.

The next step (vs 33) is he believes.  He has a testimony.  It is not rock solid but it is definitely a testimony.  And a good one.  One strong enough to hold him through.  I think parts of my testimony are in this stage.  And then I question it because it isn't the best, the strongest, the unshakable.  But it is still a testimony.  And I have to remember that!  Just because parts of my testimony are on this level, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  This is still a good place to be.

And finally (vs 38) the blind man knows.  He knows!  And he admits that and then acts on it.  I think that is the key to have a rock solid testimony--once you know, you have to then do.  In the future, I'm going to work hard on the doing.  For example, I know the scriptures are true but a lot of times I don't really give them the time they deserve.  Today I took the time to really ponder and try to connect what I read to my own life.  Scripture reading transformed today into scripture study.  And I am almost 100% positive this is the first time I wrote down my thoughts after finishing reading.  My testimony of scripture study is growing.  It is a work in process and one that I am going to keep working (and doing) at.

The last interesting thing I have been thinking about from reading this story is the way the blind man's parents respond.  (vs 21)  Am I afraid to share my testimony (any part of it) with others because I don't know how they will treat me?  I know I have hesitated in the past.  But I want to always be willing to bear record of the truth.  It is not appropriate for me to do so at school but I can still live my life that way!  (And I do!!!)  The light will always shine from my eyes.  I don't want to be like the parents--afraid and sending those with questions to someone else.  My goal is to be more like the blind man and less like the parents!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Daily Dates

Every day is date night!  I am really loving having my husband back for the summer!!  He used to be way busy studying and doing assignments (and going to work/ class) that I really didn’t see him all too often.  Welcome summer and being together every single night! :D  Please stick around for a while, ok?!

Sundayromantic dinner and sweet card celebrating Mother’s Day.  Then we just kind of stayed up laughing and talking. 
Monday—had Family Home Evening together and watched Bye-Bye Birdie
Tuesday—nice dinner and watched TV together… both of us were kind of working on separate things but we were still in the same room and that was a nice change!
Wednesday—we went to the temple together.  By the time we finished, it was too late to actually cook something if we wanted to eat sometime before bedtime.  So we went out to eat at Magleby’s Fresh.  It took some work to get a healthy choice to eat but after altering everything I order, (wheat instead of white, dressing on the side, steamed instead of sautéed, etc) I found a great choice. 
Thursday—walked through the store together.  Then we went on a bike ride for awhile.
Friday—watched Gnomeo & Juliet in 3D at the theater.  It was cute.  Doubt I will watch it again but we enjoyed it.  (Sidenote: I don’t like 3D movies because I don’t like wearing glasses.  I’m not used to moving my head/ laying on Casey’s shoulder and then having things go out of focus.)
Saturday—saw 2 shows at the BYU planetarium.  And a light show.  Plus, it was all free because it was Astro Fest.  We rode our bikes to campus and ended up riding home in the rain.  We also went out to eat with my sister… thanks Julie! :)

See what I mean… every night really is date night.  I love the freedom that comes with school being out and the laughter that erupts and romance that blossoms with all our spare time.

I’m also becoming rather fond of going to work every morning together!  It makes leaving home not so hard because I get to leave hand in hand with my best friend.  I drop him off, we share one last kiss, and then I continue on to the school I’m long term subbing at.  So far, its working out great and making the goodbye not so sad! 



Livin' till 97

With people living longer these days, I have made a goal.  I want to live to be 97.  Actually I want to live to be 97 years 1 month 2 weeks and 3 days.  But... I only  want it as long as Casey is by my side.  So that means he has to live to be 97 years and 3 weeks.

Now... why on earth would I want to live to such a random old age?  Because when I am 97 years 1 month 2 weeks and 3 days old we will be celebrating our
75th Wedding Anniversary!  :D

A lot of people are hoping to reach their 50th anniversary (and don't worry, we plan to party then too!!) but why not shoot for something greater?!

Heres to living to a ripe old age with my BFF!!!