Thursday, December 30, 2010

DECEMBER 2010: A NEW DREAM & A NEW REALITY

I want to own my own house someday...





Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined. --Henry David Thoreau





I would love to stop renting and find a place of my own, but right now it is just a dream. If I am going to make my dream a reality, I need to make some changes. That might mean getting a Master's degree...maybe. It might mean getting a summer job...maybe. What it definitely means is making and sticking to a budget.


My new reality includes a monthly "budget night" and carefully tracking my money so I can save more. Hopefully it won't take the rest of my life before I can make the dream of owning my own home a reality.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NOVEMBER 2010: A NEW MUSIC EXPERIENCE


I love a great concert...


Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul. -- Plato


Tracy and I got tickets to the Lady Antebellum concert in early November. I had never been to a concert like this one before because it was at a small venue (the Rail Event Center in Salt Lake), and it was standing room only (it didn't take long before we felt like sardines). But when the concert started, nothing else mattered. It was the BEST concert I have ever attended. I am such a FAN, and we weren't too far from the stage. I didn't have much of a voice going in, and I certainly didn't have one when I came out. They sang all their best songs (of course I like ALL of their songs), and their encore lasted forever. No one there wanted to concert to be over, least of all ME!



I'm sure that when Lady A comes back to S.L. it will be in a much bigger arena, so I'm grateful we took the chance to see them in such a unique setting.





video


Thought you might like to hear some of the concert!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

OCTOBER 2010:NEW HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS

Painting pumpkins with six boys is a riot...






I invited Heather and Shawn and their kids over to decorate pumpkins. That meant I had 6 boys between 3 and 10 around my kitchen table painting and hot gluing and making a mess. It was SO MUCH FUN! While we waited for the pumpkins to dry we ate potato soup out of bread bowls shaped like pumpkins. The kids also found a few games to play. It was great to get with these wonderful friends and their children. I hope we can keep finding excuses to get together!


Visiting a graveyard with 4 boys is a blast...
Emily invited me to join her family at the Salt Lake Cemetary one night. I drove in and met them there. We went around to see the prophets' graves. We saw President Hinckley's, President Hunter's, President McKay's, and President Grant's. Afterward we went to Arctic Circle for dinner. It was a GREAT night!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

SEPTEMBER 2010: A NEW CLASS

11 years and 33 students...




FREE EVERY MONDAY-FRIDAY: KNOWLEDGE. BRING YOUR OWN CONTAINER. anonymous


You would think I'd have everything figured out after ten years of teaching...


You'd be wrong!



That's one of the things I love about my job. It can't be described as boring! Every year is different, every class is different.



This year is no exception. In fact, this year brings more changes than I've had in a while. This is my first year with a class over thirty students, 33 to be exact. The most I've ever had before is 29, and that was several years ago. Last year I had 26. You wouldn't think that 7 students is a lot, but let me tell you, 7 more than 26 IS a lot!



It's amazing how much is affected by those seven: the number of papers to grade, the number of parents at Back to School Night, the number of desks in my classroom, the number of voices trying to be heard, the number of planners to sign at the end of the day, the number of bodies to count during a fire drill, the number of backpacks shoved around the coat rack, the number of volunteers needed keep my classroom running, the number of seconds I have to wait for the class to be quiet, the number of pencils and glue sticks that are consumed, the number of spare minutes in my day. Seven changes everything!


Take a deep breath...this will only last 180 days!



Maybe when I reach 33 years of teaching I will only have 11 students!! One can dream...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

AUGUST 2010: A NEW CAR?

I'm beginning to hate my car... I have spent SO MUCH MONEY on it this summer!


I bought my little 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer from my dad. He was looking to sell it when my 1992 Honda Accord decided to die. Buying from my dad was a lot easier than shopping at car lots, so...

Now the Lancer is on its last leg. I replaced rear struts to the tune of $700 last month, the back tire was shaking badly. And this month it was the radiator for $400. Imagine the air conditioner feeling like the heater in the middle of August--no fun! I really like my car guys at Triangle Tire, but I am sick of seeing them.


I guess it's time to start looking for a new car. Any suggestions?


I think I'm partial to the Hyundai Elantra, and maybe I'll buy a brand-new car this time. We'll see...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

JULY 2010: A NEW AGE

I'm another year older...


We know we are getting old when the only thing we want for our birthday is not to be reminded of it. --anonymous

I don't know exactly how I feel about this. I was told to think about my age as being "thirty-two-riffic." I can't convince myself to say that out loud.

This year was supposed to be all about adding life to my years. In some ways I feel like a failure. My "new" things aren't very adventurous or exciting.


But as I thought about how I spent my birthday, I don't think I could ask for a better life.

I spent the day with my family. Michelle, Kim, and Zac took me out to breakfast at Ruth's Diner and then we went bowling. Kim and I decorated my birthday cake (I told you it was addictive). My mom made my favorite bbq turkey and homemade peach ice cream. All of my grandparents came over and ate with us. I received some very nice gifts, including new dishes. It was very low-key day, but I didn't want it any other way.


I love my family. They make my years count. I hope I have many more years to spend with them.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

JUNE 2010: A NEW OBSESSION

Cake decorating is addictive!



A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes that he has got the biggest piece. --Paul Gauguin


Kim and I took a cake decorating class together last year. We still enjoy decorating together. This year we decided to branch out into the world of fondant. We offered to make the cake for the celebration of our grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary.
side note...

50 years is AMAZING!

My Grandpa Dan &

Grandma Dorothy

are my heroes.

I want to grow up

to be just like them!


We spent hours making a two-tiered cake. One was chocolate with a raspberry filling. The other was white with a lemon filling. We layered each with white fondant and stacked them. Next we piped a design that included their initials. We used gold pearl dust to paint those accents. Small and large flowers, both with gold accents, were added. We created the numbers 5 and 0 using melted chocolate and a template. Once they had hardened, we painted the numbers gold and added them to the top of the cake. The final accent was gold ribbon around the bottom of each tier.

We were VERY pleased with the result:


Because we didn't feel like that took enough of our time :) we also make some cake pops that we covered in white chocolate and painted gold.

The anniversary celebration was a wonderful event. Everyone loved the cake, especially our grandparents. Their reaction made all of our time and hard work worth it!