Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Little Things

Today was one of those days when the little things meant so much to me.  Here are a few of them:

  • I was able to get up at 6 am this morning to finish up some lesson planning for today and I got done  just in time
  • I was observed by my university supervisor for the first time as I taught the last lesson in my unit of long division.  I think it went well!
  • A little fourth grader came up to me at the end of the lesson and asked me if I would be willing to stay in with her at recess to practice long division.  I am thankful for the trust she put in me!
  • At lunch I thoroughly enjoyed my peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich, yogurt, apple, and carrots in my little brown lunch bag.  There was also a little surprise in the faculty room for all of us...some delicious cheesecake!
  • I taught a science lesson and a language lesson and they went over well.  I am really loving these fourth graders!  And, get this: they have already learned to say good morning, ready, cool. problems, stop, and now in Dutch!  
  • I attended my seminar after school until 5:30 and I learned so much!  It was focused on implementing music and graphic organizers in the classroom.  I got some great ideas!
  • I ate a delicious roast dinner made by Steph!  Have I ever told you how much I love roommate dinner?  Well, I guess I can tell you one more time...I DO!  
  • Attended the special needs institute class.  That is seriously one of the best hours of my whole week because those people with special needs remind me of what is most important in life.  I am so thankful that I was able to sit next to my buddy, LeDawn.  I am thankful for the cute comments that were made, like the one by Patty: "Heavenly Father, well, He's okay sometimes."  They are so sweet and innocent and pure.
  • Walked out of Institute the same time as Steph so we were able to walk to our cars together and chat.  
  • Wrote letters to some people that I have been thinking about a lot lately.  
  • Talked to my Mom and Brooke on the phone
  • Started the 28 day challenge....I will fill you in on that later...my sisters and I are starting a joint blog.
  • Chatted with Carolynn for a good hour.
  • Went to Twizleberry for the first time with Wendi, Carolynn, Kristie, Steph, Eller, Dee, and Chelsea.  It was super delicious and a great time.
  • Walked across the parking lot with Carolynn to pick up some necessities for dinner tomorrow.
  • Finished the day with roommate prayer.
Bring on another great day!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Cycle

I am learning just how stubborn and bull-headed I am.  I have been going through this cycle for 13 months now and I still haven't learned how to flow with it.  Today I felt like I did on my mission.  In those last three months I can't even count how many days I would wake up at 6:30, exercise, shower and get ready, and then be totally wiped out of energy and strength.  I would force myself to study at my desk until I couldn't stand sitting up anymore.  I would then make my way to the floor next to my desk with all of my books spread out around me.  But before to long I would have to make my way back into my bed with my skirt on and my scriptures next to me because I felt so sick.  It was a never-ending cycle!  At the end of the day I would be so tired of being sick and in bed and I would have such desire to go out and work that I was definitely over-zealous during planning sessions with my companions.  They would always suggest to try and not schedule every minute of the day but to take little breaks throughout so that I could rest.  I didn't want to!  Before that time there wasn't one day in my mission that I had not worked!  I wanted to serve the Lord!  Giving 90% was not good enough, let alone giving 50%.  And so I would convince my companions and myself that the next day we were going to work til we dropped...we were going to give 100%!  But, inevitably, the cycle would start over again the next morning.  Looking back, I don't know how I did it.  I didn't know that I had mixed connective tissue disease.  I sincerely thought that I was just going crazy and that my body was freaking out on me.  Now I do know what I have, and I am not one bit wiser!  Like last Sunday I decided that I was sick of taking naps during the day when I am zapped of energy.  I was never a nap-taker before, I was certain that I could just decide not to be one now.  I set a goal that this whole week I was not going to take a nap.  I did really great until Thursday when I just crashed!  I started to experience all of my symptoms on a larger scale and really felt crumby.  I did take a little nap that afternoon but had no time to do so on Friday or Saturday.  By Saturday night, I was dying...but determined!  I was NOT going to miss church!  I was not going to miss teaching my lesson that I had prepared.  I went to sleep and woke up determined this morning.  I often convince myself that my will must be strong than my body.  Well, after taking a shower this morning, I started to put my make-up on and I could hardly hold up my head.  I was achey all over, I had the chills and a fever, and I had a massive headache.  But I was determined.  I continued to get ready as I did my hair.  I had to take breaks every few minutes when blowdrying or straightening because I just didn't have the strength to stay standing.  I finally got all dressed in my clothes and then it happened....I laid on the bed because I still had an hour until we had to leave at 9:15.  I thought that would be long enough to give me the boost to go to church.  I quickly dosed off.  At about 9, Tish came to ask me a question.  I couldn't move.  I hurt all over.  It had spread to my ears and they were just throbbing.  I wasn't going to make it.  I had failed once again.  As I heard my roommates leave for church my eyes welled with tears.  I wanted so badly to go and worship the Savior.  I craved partaking of the Sacrament.  I longed to feel the Spirit.  I desired to give my lesson.  And really, I just found myself laying in bed, hopeless and alone.  I turned to my nightstand and saw the book that I have been reading over the past week, "The Continuous Atonement" by Brad Wilcox.  Just a few weeks before I had left on my mission I worked an EFY session and Brad Wilcox was the session director.  It was awesome to hear him speak but it wasn't until the second to last day of the week that I was able to personally meet him.  It was actually during the talent show.  I was sitting with my girls watching the different talents and he sat down on an empty chair next to me.  He started talking to me in-between numbers and we got acquainted.  I told him that I was going to be leaving in 2 weeks to serve a full-time mission in the Netherlands.  He was so sincere with his excitement!  He asked how I was feeling about it all and I told him that I was ecstatic but also a little nervous.  Well, our conversation ended quickly and I was just really impressed with how genuine he was.  The next day, as I was walking down the hall of the institute building, I heard someone call out my name.  I turned around to see Brad Wilcox.  He motioned to me to come to him.  He then handed me a grocery sack with his book inside.  He wanted to give it to me so that I could read it before going on my mission.  I couldn't believe his generosity!  When I opened it up that night, I saw a message that he had written on the inside to me.  I was able to read the book before I entered the MTC and it really increased my understanding of the Atonement.  Upon entering the MTC, I was informed that there was already mail waiting for me.  As I was handed the envelope, I was surprised to see that Brad Wilcox had sent me a letter.  It was full of encouragement and best wishes during my time at the MTC.  I wrote back promptly thanking him...and once again, he responded!  You are probably wondering what I am getting at....well, here it is.  Through that experience I learned so much about Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  They are sincere, genuine, generous.  As I was laying in bed today and pondering these things, I was reminded that Heavenly Father and Jesus go through the same cycle with me.  They see when I am setting myself up for failure.  They see my frustrations.  They comfort and bless me.  They never give up on me.  That cycle is endless.  They will always love me.  Because of their cycle, I am able to continue with mine.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Trip to Logan

Once upon a time there was a girl named Lauren.  She lived in the college town of Logan.  She enjoyed life and school but missed her family a lot.  They were always so supportive and they often made visits on the weekends to spend time with Lauren.  They recently made one of their visits.  
 Lauren was so excited when Mom, Brooke, Carli, Lincoln and Carter arrived on Friday afternoon.  She had a very busy week of student teaching so she couldn't be more happy to spend some time with them!
 After checking into the hotel, Lauren went with her family to a local Mexican restaurant, Cafe Sabor!  The food was so yummy!
 Lauren was not only blessed to have her family eat with her, but also her dear cousin, Becca, and her wonderful friend, Tish.  They all had a fabulous time together!
 That night they all slept very well because they were so tired, especially Carli, who decided to be with friends until 12:30 am.
 In the morning, the little ones were so excited for breakfast!  Brooke, Lauren and Linc went to the complimentary breakfast room at the hotel to get food for those who were still sleeping.  After checking out the food options, Linc came to the conclusion that he would have waffles, apple juice, eggs, and "black chicken" (sausage) for breakfast.  He loved it and so did his little brother!
 After breakfast and showers the clan was ready to hit the town!  After stopping to get a doughnut for the little ones, a game of bowling began at Logan Lanes.  You would have thought that this group was professional bowlers by looking at the shoes...not the scores.

 After bowling, they all made a trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up a few craft supplies.  They hit the jackpot and walked out with a number of things, feeling really good about all of the deals they got!  But they also felt sad because little Carter burned his finger!  While they were on the lamp aisle, Carter reached out and touched one the the lightbulbs on a lamp that was very hot.  Poor guy!
 When they arrived at Lauren's apartment, they did spin art, ate left overs from the night before, and tried to get Carter feeling a little bit better.
 He loved putting his finger in water!

 After some lunch and crafting, there were some very tired little people...

 as well as big people!
 For those who weren't napping, the movie Cars was on and popcorn was provided.
 Mom helped Lauren get Carli's birthday present made...and they were pleased with how it turned out!
 After some rest, everyone was good to go again!
 They all went to another local restaurant, The Bluebird, and shared a delicious meal together!

 After eating it was time for the guests to head home.  It was sad that they had to leave but it was time because Logan was making them a little crazy!
 After Lauren got dropped off at her apartment, she couldn't stop thinking about how blessed she is to have such a wonderful family!  She sure loves them a lot!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy (late) Birthday Eric!

Yesterday was Eric's birthday!  I promised him that I would do a blog post in honor of him.  To celebrate, a bunch of neighbors and friends met yesterday at the Factory Pizzeria on Main Street at 5:30 for some good fun.  Eric is a great guy!  I think that all of us who were there (and so many that weren't) are thankful that we know him.  I met him at the beginning of this school year.  He lives in the apartment across from us and has become one of our dear friends.  Eric, I hope that you have a great 25th year!  Make the most of it!

Mark, Ashely, Britta, and Dru

Me, Katie, Steph and Brett
Brett, Eric, and Dru's roommate (he just moved in and I don't remember his name...whoops!), the birthday boy, and Devon

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm alive!

I made a goal to do a blog post yesterday and I obviously failed!  So, I repented and I am doing it today!  I don't really know where to begin to catch up with everything in my life so I am going to write about whatever comes to my mind!  First of all, student teaching is going great...I think.  Today I decided that I pretty much never want to be a teacher...okay, okay, I think I was being a little dramatic but I had good reason!  I love the actual teaching part of being a teacher and I love the kids.  I have been teaching language arts lessons and a long division unit and it has been so amazing!  However, I don't love all of the politics and gossip and negative competition in the field of teaching.  It kills all of the fun!  Anyway, I am sure that it doesn't have to be that way but in all of my experiences so far I haven't seen it any other way.  There have definitely been different degrees of the negativity...I just want positivity!  That's enough of my shpill for today.  But that leads to the whole, "I love the actual teaching par to f being a teacher and I love the kids!"  I have been trying to figure out some kind of a plan lately since I am getting closer and closer to being an official real person/grown-up.  I haven't figured out too much of a plan but one thing that I know for sure is that I am starting a preschool and a kids camp this summer!  WAHOO!  I finally have something that I am completely passionate about!  After a lot of prayer and weighing pros and cons and talking to close family members and friends I finally concocted this plan.  My preschool/summer camp is called "Zomer Kids Kamp"=Summer Kids Kamp (the first one is in Dutch).  Here are the deets.  I will start the 3rd week in June and I will go for 10 weeks which will take me to the 2nd week in August.  For the preschool, we will meet every Monday and Wednesday from 9:30-12:00.  I already have all of the themes of the weeks picked out and many of the activities planned!  The age group I am targeting are those kids that will be starting their last year of preschool in the fall (or the year prior to Kindergarten).  I am accepting 8 children.  The preschool will be stocked with all brand new supplies from toys and dress up to a water table to furniture to books!  It has been so much fun to start shopping and planning!  My Dad owns his own business and half of the building is not used so there is a large room at the other end where the preschool will be.  It will be awesome!  I will include pics soon!  The summer kids camp is for kids who have completed their first year of Kindergarten up to those who have completed 2nd grade.  I will have one group that meets on Monday and Wednesday from 1:00-3:30 and the other group will meet on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30-12:00.  Activities will be based on discovery and exploration with a lot of science and creativity.  I will do that in the enclosed field of my parents' backyard.  That will run for ten weeks as well!  It has been difficult to try and figure out pricing...I don't like money business.  But after talking to others who have done similar things and also figuring in the cost of supplies and snacks for every time, I decided to charge $200 for each child, which is $10 for each class that lasts 2 1/2 hours.  I hope that is fair! In each group I am capping the limit at 8 kids.  If you want to sign someone up that you know or if you want more info or if you want to spread the word, please let me know!  I am also open for any suggestions!  I've already got a number of spots filled so just get back to me ASAP!
Well, that was quite the long little chunk!  Other things are going great in my life!  I definitely count my blessings.  My poor mom's back has been out for more than a week and she is just not making much improvement so if you wouldn't mind keeping her in your prayers, that would be so kind and helpful!  Here are just a few of the latest pictures!  I promise to do a better job at blogging this week!  Love you all!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Today is my little brother and sister's 19th birthday!  WAHOO!  Happy Birthday Carli and Corbin!  It seems like they were just here:
And now they are here:

 I love them soooo much!  I sure missed being able to spend their birthdays with them but it sounds like they had a great day with friends and family.  Corbin is just a month and a half away from leaving on his mission to Thailand!  He just finished up his first semester at the U of U and is now working.  Carli is working and is enjoying her first year of college at SLCC.  She also manages to have at least 3 dates a week!  I am so thankful to have them in my life.  They are two of my dearest friends and greatest examples!  I can't wait to see them soon so I can give them their little birthday surprises!

So, since I wasn't at home, what did I do to celebrate their birthday?  Well, I got up at 6:30 this morning and started my laundry before heading to Wal-Mart to do some much needed shopping.  I was also able to get a little bit of homework done before friends came over at 9:30 for brunch.  After eating, I hit the homework again until 4:00 this afternoon when we started our little craft project!  We had all seen this idea all over pintrest and the web so we decided to give it a try.  It was so easy and so much fun!  You just get a canvas, hot glue the crayons on in the order you want them, and begin blowdrying!

 Here are the finished products!  Everyone's was different and that made it all the more exciting.  I really want to try it again with a different design.  If anyone wants to do it, let me know!

Now its back to school tomorrow.  After a three day weekend it is a little hard to get going again.  But I guess I can't stop it from coming so I might as well embrace it!  Enjoy the week!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tests, Zumba, Tacos, Frogs, Cups, and Miss America

You might be wondering what those seven words have to do with each other.  Well, they actually sum up my day!  It was a very nice Saturday and I am just loving the fact that this will be a long weekend with no school on Monday!  This morning I had to be on campus by 7:15 to take the big Praxis test.  It is a 2 hour multiple choice and essay test that I have to take this semester to get licensed and begin teaching.  It was my second of two that I have to take and I just hope that I pass this one as well!  It was a little more difficult than the last one so I am anxious  to get my scores back in four weeks!  After the test, I went with Carolynn, Tish, Katie, and Wendi to Zumba!  All I have to say that it was fabulous!  This evening we all met at Carolynn's apartment and made tacos.  They were yummy and it was a lot of fun to cook together.  We also played this frog game that my dad just made for me.  It is one of those crazy games that my family played when I was growing up.  We had a great time with it!  Another crazy thing my family used to do was see who could fit their lips around the rim of a cup.  I don't know what gave me the urge to get it started tonight when we were all together but we did get some pretty good pictures and I decided to share them!  To end the night, we went to Wendi's house to watch the Miss America pageant.  I always love the talent portion but I was definitely a little disappointed with the swimsuit and evening gown parts.  No modesty at all!  I am also disgusted with TV in general!  I have not watched TV in a long time and I could not believe the shows that were being advertised during the commercials!  It makes me so sad.  It also makes me thankful that I can find other ways to have good, clean fun...like tonight!