Saturday, February 28, 2009

February 28: Getting Caught Up

The hardest part about going on vacation is catching up on the work you missed while you were gone. My sub helped get some assignments corrected, but I still have quite a bit to go through. I brought some stuff home to work on over the weekend in an attempt to get caught up, but I only made it about halfway. Hopefully I can find some extra time next week so I don't get even further behind. I hate feeling swamped!

Friday, February 27, 2009

February 27: Have a taco with your sour cream!

I went out to dinner with Shannon tonight to a local Mexican restaurant. I wanted a little sour cream with my chicken taco.

This is what I got: Are you kidding me? They wasted a half of a tub of sour cream when all I needed was a tablespoon or two. It was so crazy that I just had to take a picture.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

February 26: Me and My Gang

Best Concert Ever!

I could almost stop the post there...but I won't. Rascal Flatts is amazing! Tracy and I lost our voices, our hearing, and a good chunk of change, but it was all WORTH IT. I wanted the concert to keep going--I could have listened to them all night long. If you've never been to a Rascal Flatts concert, I highly recommend getting tickets to the next concert.

I'll see you there!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February 25: Art Reflections

This is one of my favorite art projects to do with my students. Thanks to my friend Jer who gives me the ideas for all my art projects! This one is created by designing one corner of a square piece of paper, and then reflecting that design across several lines of symmetry. The designs look pretty neat, but the coloring makes all the difference. It's interesting to see the details when you look at them closely compared to further away. The kids have a fun time working on these, and I really love how they turn out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February 24: The Newest Parry on the Block

Heather Parry is one of my oldest and dearest friends. One of the reasons I am so grateful for her friendship is that she has adopted me into her family. Her boys are my surrogate nephews and I LOVE spending time with the entire Parry family. Well, as of today, there is one more Parry to love. Heather had her 4th son, Landon, and he is beautiful. He is a carbon copy of his older brother Kevin--can twins be born seven years apart? I would almost think that is possible after looking at the two of them. Holding Landon made me miss having a little baby around. I guess I just need to go hang out with the Parrys more often!

Monday, February 23, 2009

February 23: "Grand"pa

Happy Birthday to my amazing Grandpa Dan!

He is the only grandpa I have, but I will say he is the best in the whole world! I cannot tell you how much his example has influenced who I am. Here are just a few of his qualities I try to emulate:

  • patience: he never rushes through things--he even reads instruction manuals from cover to cover
  • generosity: he does whatever he can to help anyone
  • support: he came to every dance and piano recital I ever had with a smile on his face
  • strong testimony: I've heard him bear his testimony a few times, but I see him live his testimony every time I am with him
  • respect: he treated his mother with great respect--I'm sure they disagreed sometimes, but I never saw him argue with her or complain about having to take care of her
  • charity: he loves my grandma with his whole heart and shows her that love every minute of every day

    Thanks for being such a great example, Grandpa! I love you!

  • Sunday, February 22, 2009

    February 22: Back to Reality (ugh!)

    Why can't a trip to Disneyland solve all of my problems? I came back to cold weather, a busy Sunday, and a nephew who screamed when I tried to give him a hug. Let's just say today wasn't the best day ever. I guess there's nothing a good cry can't solve though. Thanks, Michelle, for lending me your shoulder. I promise I feel better now!

    Even though he wasn't glad to see me today, Zac did like the presents I brought back. I can't wait to take him to Disneyland with me--we just have to wait a few more years.

    Saturday, February 21, 2009

    February 21: Adventures in California

    Today we spent most of the day in California Adventure. Our first stop was the newest ride in the park: Midway Mania. It is a blast! You shoot a laser "cannon" at a variety of different 3-D carnival games. We really enjoyed it, but we only rode it once because the line was extremely long the rest of the day.

    My favorite ride in California Adventure is Soarin' Over California and we were able to ride it several times today. We also went to the Hyperion theater in the park to see Aladdin. Just before we had to leave to go back for our shuttle to the airport we went back into Disneyland to ride a couple more rides one last time. I think we ended up riding Buzz Lightyear the most of any ride. I was sad to leave, but I think Tracy was ready to go.

    Back to real life now! :(

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    February 20: M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

    Another fabulous day in Disneyland! We headed straight for the Nemo Submarines this morning. It is a new ride and the line gets long really fast. I'm glad we did it that way because it's a fun ride, but not fun enough to stand in line for 45 minutes or more.

    We spent a good chunk of the day in California Adventure because Disneyland was really full today. One of the cast members told me it was winter break somewhere and that's why he thought it was more crowded than usual.

    Our reservation for the Blue Bayou was for today. That is the restaurant in Pirates of the Caribbean. Tracy and I both got a Monte Cristo sandwich and we shared the chocolate cookie/ice cream boat for dessert. Needless to say, we didn't have to eat the rest of the day.

    The park was open until midnight, but both of us were exhausted around nine. We decided to do some shopping in Downtown Disney then head back to the hotel. Our feet were so tired by the time we reached our room that it was all we could do to stand. Of course I couldn't find our room key because of a hole in the lining of my purse. We ended up sitting outside our door for a few minutes while I fished it out, laughing/moaning the whole time. The saddest part was that we couldn't even soak our feet once we got in our room. We had no bathtub because we were given the handicap room that only has a shower with a bench in it.

    You just have to laugh sometimes, don't you?

    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    February 19: The Happiest Place on Earth

    We're finally here and we are having a blast!

    Today Tracy and I started off with an early entrance into the park. We made our reservations for the Blue Bayou and then we were off to ride as many rides as we could. We decided we needed to take our pictures at all of the official Disneyland pictures spots, so we stopped every once in a while for those. I can't believe how warm it is in Anaheim in February. I didn't need my jacket unitl we watched Fantasia by the water. I even ended up with a little sunburn. It was a little busier than I thought it would be, but we made good use of the Fast Pass.

    The best part of the day was being named and honorary citizen of Disneyland! Harold, the Autopia guy, gave Tracy and I a special pin for waiting patiently in line. We were really proud of ourselves until we found out that you are only supposed to get the pin for doing something really nice or helpful. Oh well, we have the pins now and we will wear them proudly. No one has to know, they can just think we are cool!

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    February 18: Don't Delete!

    I was at the District office today working on a project for the District's online program. My friend and I were asked to create online lessons for the 5th grade science curriculum. It was very productive day, we were cruising along, and we on course to be finished with all the units we were assigned before we had to leave. That is until I hit the delete key! I had all of our stuff on my jump drive and was going to copy one file to the desktop for the District and delete the one we didn't need anymore. Of course, because I'm me, I had the wrong file highlighted when I pressed Delete. And, as you know, you can't recover files that you deleted from your jump drive. I freaked out! We had to basically start all over again, and I felt horrible. Luckily it didn't take us as long to recreate the second time. Unfortunately, now we still have one unit to finish later.

    Duh! At least tonight I can forget all about it when I board the plane flying to sunny Southern California!

    P.S. Today's the day!!!

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    February 17: Sub Plans

    Being a teacher is not like a lot of other jobs. Yes, I do get time off in the summer, but taking time off mid-year is really hard. I have to spend a lot of time preparing to be gone. In fact, it is ususally harder to be gone than it is to just go to school. That's why I have to be pretty sick before I will call a sub. Disneyland, on the other hand, is worth it. I spent all afternoon getting sub plans ready for the next three days. I'm pretty picky about the subs I will call, and I'm very detailed in my sub plans. Just because I'm gone doesn't mean it should be a free-for-all in my classroom. Luckily I have a great substitute this time, she student-taught with my friend before Christmas and knows how things work in fifth grade. It's nice having someone I trust to cover the curriculum and keep my kids in check. I will really be able to enjoy my time away because of that.

    P.S. 1 day...

    Monday, February 16, 2009

    February 16: Presidents

    I have so much respect for George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. I am glad we have a day to celebrate all they did for our country. It's also nice that I get a day off work!

    This is a poster I got at school because this year is Lincoln's 200th birthday. Abraham Lincoln is a man that fascinates me. I have read several biographies about him, and even more books about the Civil War. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult things were for him during that time. The quote on the poster is one of my favorites from him. He could have led the country to be bitter and seek revenge, but his message was one of forgiveness and love. It's a good message for all of us.

    P.S. 2 days...

    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    February 15: Stake Conference Soundtrack

    Today was Stake Conference, and the highlight was our Stake President's talk. He spoke on the importance of music, actually I guess you could say he SANG about the importance of music. Pres. Mabey actually sang lines from hymns and primary songs for most of his talk. It was awesome! He's not the best singer, but what a fun way to give a talk! He definitely got everyone's attention.

    It made me think of how MUSIC is such an central part of my life.

    • I took piano lessons for about ten years, which taught me to love classical music. I particularly enjoy Chopin and Rachmaninoff.

    • My favorite shows to see are musicals and I love to listen to the soundtracks. Wicked is my all-time favorite, followed by Aida and The Secret Garden.

    • I am in charge of teaching all the music to the 5th graders for our program.

    • I wanted to get a music emphasis with my elementary ed degree, so I took all kinds of classes, including a conducting class.

    • I started listening to country music my senior year of high school and three of my car radio buttons are set to country music stations, but I do have FM 100 and KOSY 106.5 for Sundays.

    • I often hum without even thinking about it. My sisters used to laugh at me all the time for staring out of the car window and humming a random tune.

    • I have a hard time getting songs out of my head, which can be a fun or annoying thing depending on the song.

    I also thought about what songs I would use in a talk if I was giving a talk like Pres. Mabey's. I would definitely have to include "I Believe in Christ", "Where Can I turn for Peace", "I am a Child of God", and "I Wonder When He Comes Again". I don't know if I would ever have the courage to just sing a bunch of songs from the pulpit by myself, but who knows, I may surprise us all one day!
    P.S. 3 days...

    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    February 14: My Funny Valentine

    I have the cutest VALENTINE ever!

    Zac spent the night at my sister Michelle's house, and I went over to play. We had so much fun making fish faces and patting our tummies and running around the room. Who could ask for a better way to celebrate Valentine's Day?

    P.S. 4 days...

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    February 13: 5th Grade Valentines

    Valentine's Day in fifth grade is much different now than it was back in 1988.

    • Gone are the days of trying to design the coolest Valentine box--we make bags in class as an art project.

    • You don't spend time picking the most appropriate valentine for each kid in your class now--most kids don't even put names on them because that makes handing them out harder.

    • You used to have to make sure that you didn't put the "I LOVE YOU" candy heart in with a boy's valentine (unless you had a crush on him)--now giving out candy hearts isn't good enough, it has to be suckers or candy bars.

    • The valentines themselves have changed too--it's got to have Hannah Montana, High School Musical, SpongeBob, or Batman on it these days. I really don't even remember having characters on my valentines--did they even make NKOTB valentines back then? I wouldn't have gotten those even if they did, so I guess it doesn't matter that much.

    • Another difference between 1988 and now is how excited I get for Valentines day. It used to be pretty fun, but now all I can say is that it is great to celebrate it on a Friday when the kids go home early and don't come back for three more days!

      P.S. 5 days...

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    February 12: The Search for Delicious

    Right now I am reading a book with my class titled "The Search for Delicious." The premise of the book is that the Prime Minister is writing a dictionary, and no one can agree on what the definition of DELICIOUS should be: fried fish, apples, nuts, etc. So, they send a boy out to survey the kingdom. Whichever food gets the most votes will be put in the dictionary. As you can imagine, this only causes more chaos in the kingdom. In fact, one character's description of his delicious vote is very detailed, including times and places and people to eat it with.

    I think I am most like that character; delicious isn't a simple definition for me. During the summer, the best thing to eat is my mom's bbq turkey with mashed red potatoes. The best thing for a snack is chips and salsa; but not Pace Picante sauce, the chunky pico de gallo kind. If you are going out to eat, you have to get Rafael's Mexican Plate with a soft-shelled chicken taco or Joy Luck's tangerine chicken with brown rice. And, nothing can beat homemade rolls or sugar cookies, but unfortunately they both are so time consuming to make.

    For me there are certain food items are the exact OPPOSITE of delicious. Broccoli, eggs, and fish fit in that category. Texture is important when considering deliciousness too: soggy bread, mushrooms, and brownies or banana bread with walnuts in them are definitely NOT the definition of delicious.

    So, what would be your definition of delicious? Could you sum it up with one food item, or are you PICKY like me?

    P.S. 6 days...

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    February 11: Best Invention Ever!

    As a single person, I have thrown away so much food (and money) because I can't eat it before it goes bad. Then the Reynold's Wrap company made my life easier. They invented vacuum sealed bags and a handheld, battery-operated "Handi-vac".
    Yeah! I can actually buy in bulk now. My favorite thing to do is get all my salad ingredients chopped and ready to go, and then seal them into individual bags. My produce now lasts 2-3 times longer than it did before, and making a great salad is really fast. I highly recommend this product, I would even do a commercial for them if they asked!

    P.S. 7 days...

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    February 10: Shopping Green

    I hate plastic bags. I'm not really a devout environmentalist, but I hate collecting plastic bags under my sink, and I really hate just throwing them away. So, I invested in some cloth bags. I just have to remember put them back in my car after unloading groceries! (I'll be honest, I did a retake of this picture after going to Disneyland. The Disney bags are cuter, of course, and I couldn't resist putting it on.)

    P.S. 8 days...

    Monday, February 9, 2009

    February 9: Fontastic

    My computer at school just got replaced. I know it's important, but it also is a huge hassle. I had tons of cute fonts loaded on the other computer that I now have to reload. It will be worth it when it is done though. I can't handle having all my documents typed in Comic Sans, Arial, or Times New Roman, which is what all my documents have been converted to. I HAVE to have variety. Plus, how can I make cutesy valentine notes without the font that has hearts? It just isn't possible! PS 9 days...

    Sunday, February 8, 2009

    February 8: Meeting the Sybrowskys

    Mike has been dating LAUREN since last summer. She is the cutest girl; we all love her and she is really good for Mike! Tonight her mom invited all of our family over for dinner. We got to meet mom Elaine, sister Lindsey, sister Somer, bro-in-law Brock, and niece Greta. It was a great evening. The food was fantastic and it was fun to get to know everyone. Good times!

    PS 10 days...

    Saturday, February 7, 2009

    February 7: Zac Turns ONE!

    I cannot believe that my little Zac, aka Bubba or Mr. Magoo, is ONE YEAR OLD! We had his construction themed birthday party today. Zac was surrounded by over a dozen adults watching his every move as he walked around the room, which he now does with his right hand on his ear and his left hand pointing where he wants to go. Kim opened his presents for him, his favorite part was the boxes. She then stripped him down so he could enjoy his birthday cake. He got that chocolate cake all over, but only one little bit at a time. (Zac hasn't discovered the joy of ripping paper off a box or stuffing your face with cake yet.)

    Zac is one loved little boy! His closet and toy box have been replenished, so he will continue to be the cutest baby around with the best toys. However, the best present of all was the quiet book my mom made for him. She spent a lot of time on it, and it is amazing! It will keep him occupied for many church meetings to come. All in all, I think everyone had a great time. It's easy to enjoy a day to celebrate our little Zachy-Beans.

    Happy Birthday--I love you little guy!

    P.S. 11 more days. . . .

    Friday, February 6, 2009

    February 6: Grandma's Love

    Today is my Grandma Dorothy's birthday.

    She is an amazing woman, someone I consider to be a hero in my life. She has had many health problems all throughout her life, but she is so strong. I don't think any of us know how much she hurts sometimes, but she doesn't complain. Grandma has such a capacity for loving people. She knows everyone and used to send a birthday card to all of them every year. I don't know that I can think of any major event in my life that she hasn't been there to share with me: birthdays, dance and piano recitals, graduations, she has been to all of them. Some of my favorite memories though are the birthday lunches we used to have together. That was my time to be alone with her, and I loved every minute. I need to find more opportunities to have lunch together now. Grandma, I hope this year is a good one for you. I hope you know how much I love you. Happy Birthday!

    PS 12 days...

    Thursday, February 5, 2009

    February 5: 100 Days of School

    Today was the 100th day of school.

    I can't believe how fast this year has gone! We celebrated today with math games and writing activities and all the kids decorated a hat with 100 items. There was candy, paperclips, yarn, beads, cereal, and pipe cleaners, among other things. My hat has a 100 scrapbooking things on it--surprise, surprise! It was a fun day!

    PS 13 days...

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    February 4: Chick Flicks

    Target had chick flicks on sale for Valentine's Day. I couldn't resist picking up a few that are my favorites. I admit that most of the movies I own fall into the chick flick category.

    Who doesn't love a good, and sometimes cheesy, love story? PS 14 days...

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    February 3: I Hate Laundry!

    Because of parent-teacher conferences, I haven't had a lot of time this week to do chores around my house. I have been avoiding the laundry room especially. I HATE doing laundry. I HATE getting things sorted, washed, dried, folded, and ironed. I HATE it all. Maybe I can force myself to get caught up with my laundry this weekend. We'll see...

    PS 15 days...

    Monday, February 2, 2009

    February 2: Old Roomies

    I had dinner with Michelle and Jodi tonight. These are the girls I lived with for EIGHT YEARS after college. Michelle is my older sister, Jodi is my surrogate older sister, and all three of us are teachers. I love to just be able to hang out with them now. After eight years together we got on each other's nerves a lot as roommates, but now we can just be FRIENDS. They are both wonderful people who I love and admire. Girls, we need to have dinner together more often! Tonight was fun!

    PS 16 days...

    Sunday, February 1, 2009

    February 1: Mary-Kay Must-Have

    I am not a Mary-Kay obsessed person, but there is one thing I can't live without: the Mary-Kay Timewise cleanser. I haven't had the right kind for a while, and my face shows it. THANK YOU to my friend Adria for helping me get the kind I need!

    I can already tell a difference! PS 17 days...