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.