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!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

MAY 2010: DECORATING A NEW ROOM

I redecorated my bathroom. Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is. --Charles M. Schulz

This inspiration for my redesign: a Scentsy warmer.


These are the things I got to go with it:
a new shower curtain new towels new wall decor I love the final look!

Friday, April 30, 2010

APRIL 2010: EXPLORING A NEW GALAXY

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... it would be a sin to be 31 and to never have seen the Star Wars movies...


May the force be with you. ~Yoda


This is a truth I would NEVER have learned on my own. I owe my ward friends a debt of gratitude for educating me and for offering to help me correct the error of my ways.


We found one night a month to designate as "Star Wars Night." We started with Episode I: The Phantom Menace. I learned that this is starting at the beginning of the story's chronology, but it was actually the fourth movie to be released.


April was the month we watched the final (or third) movie in the series: Episode 6: Return of the Jedi. In celebration of this momentous occasion Tracy and I made cupcakes that were supposed to resemble Jabba the Hutt.



Luckily, the real Jabba is ugly too.



I now know a lot about light sabers, wookies, the Death Star, the Empire, the dark side, Jedi Knights, and the FORCE. My education is complete, so I can honestly tell my friends that I'm GLAD I watched the series...once.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

MARCH 2010: SETTING A NEW FASHION TREND

I am not known for my fashion sense.




Fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic. ~George Bernard Shaw




I tend to just wear what is comfortable, not what is trendy. But one day, I decided to try something NEW. I thought I should mix and match things that I already owned and see if I could start a new trend.



So this is what I wore to school one day...




Ok, here's the real story:


I was not feeling well which made me late for work. I quickly threw on the shoes I found in my laundry room without turning on the light and then ran out the door. I didn't even notice they were different colors until after school had started.



There was nothing I could do then, except try to hide my feet.


Only one student commented. I replied that it was "Wear Mismatched Shoes Day".


She walked away with a confused look on her face.


Oh well! It was good for a LAUGH!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

FEBRUARY 2010: NEW FURNITURE

Remember the couch I HATED?




I HAD to get rid of it. So I took Tracy couch shopping with me.



I was looking for a deep couch and an oversized chair with an ottoman. I wanted BROWN with NO FLOWERS OR STRIPES. I found out this was no small order.
I finally found what I was looking for at John Parras Furniture. I ordered the couch, chair, and ottoman to be custom-made with the perfect textured fabric and fun pillows. I had to wait a few weeks to get my new furniture, and when it was delivered the old couch and chairs were long gone. Maybe someone who likes teal and pink together can buy it at the DI.


Delivery day was President's Day. I was excited and worried. I have a split entry and I didn't know if the couch would be able to fit down the stairs into my living room. Luckily the professionals were in charge. They were able to get it in without much trouble at all.
I can't tell you how COMFORTABLE my couch and chair are. I frequently take naps on both! If you haven't had the opportunity to enjoy my new couch, you are officially invited to come experience it for yourself!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

JANUARY 2010: A NEW JOB?

No, I didn't give up my day job.


I was asked to be a participant in my ward's "Dating Game" activity.

I politely declined.

Being Bachorlette #2 would be going TOO FAR out of my comfort zone.

I decided that I couldn't let myself totally off the hook however. So, I agreed to HOST the event.


Now, I'm no Chuck Woolery,

but I put a smile on my face


and introduced the BRAVE contestants.



It ended up being a really FUN event,


even if NO REAL LOVE CONNECTIONS were made.


2010: A YEAR IN REVIEW

Ok...I know...I know...

I'm sure no one is even checking this blog anymore because it has been so long since the last time that I posted. All I can say in my defense is that trying to come up with something to write about EVERY SINGLE day of the year was a little difficult for me. I got burned out.

I don't want to give up on my blog all together,but I am going to keep 2010 (and all future years)

simple.


Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. ~Albert Einstein



My last post of 2009 said that my goal for 2010 was to TRY NEW THINGS. At the beginning of the year I thought I was inspired by Taylor Swift's song, "Fearless." I was going to do things that scared me, pushed me out of my comfort zone, or made me uncomfortable.


huh...
I have decided that I am, at the very core, a wimp. To be honest, I did not do much in 2010 that was new or exciting, let along daring.

What follows is a list of 12 NEW THINGS I did in 2010: one for each month of the year. I didn't come close to building an ark, but it's the best I could come up with.