Thursday, December 22, 2011

For the Love of John Adams and more...

Let love and vanity be extinguished and the great passions of ambition, patriotism, break out and burn." John Adams

Ok so I love, loVE, LOVE that quote! Granted John Adams said it before he met Abigail, but still its AWESOME! I have been reading John Adams and its very how he was the 14th to graduate from Harvard in his class of 25 because their order was all about their rank in society. Funny how we know nothing about the rest of his graduating class, huh?

Life would be a lot easier if I didn't have to worry about finding love...because it doesn't seem to be something that will come my way. There is a lack of gentlemen callers, lack of crushes---so basically no options. No one seems to be scoring high on the "crush factor." Ya I threw that in there for any of you who read my blog from the 98th ward. True one doesn't really play the game anymore, but sometimes I catch myself still using the same familiar rubric--if only in my head. :) Wouldn't it be great if all we had to think about were passions of ambitions and patriotism?

Secondly I have other carrying multiple suitcases of baggage that prevent me from really allowing myself to go forward with anything. I become a saboteur of all kids of relationships. Ya truth is I don't like anyone, but that is mostly because I don't allow myself to. Good thing I have my TV and movie star boyfriends..

Monday, December 5, 2011

December Craft Night

About a year ago, Teeno and I decided to start craft night...we have been off and on for a while and haven't done one for a long time actually. Well we finally did a craft. Added som new faces too. We made a Christmas Wreath. It was awesome. Emily, Jillyn, and Lisa came too. We made a huge mess with all the glitter and it is still permeating my life. Its all good. As always we had great food. I had a million ribbons and didn't use them all. Emily said I am a walking craft store...sometimes that is kinda true, not gonna lie. Anyway here are some pics:

Dorky pose

My wreath on Teeno's door

Lisa's Wreath

Teeno's Wreath

Yes I got blisters from burning myself with the hot glue gun

Glitter aftermath

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thrill the World 2011

Ok back in October we--Denise, Lisa, Ashley, and I--did Thrill the World in Park City. I love that dance! Bonus points to anyone who can pick us out!

THANKSGIVING and mini recap

Ok followers, I know its been way to long but life gets busy. Here we go since June, ready set go:
June: JHAT--Loved the class, learned a lot about US history, did awesome on my quizzes--one of the best in the class recharged for the next school year.
July: Started cleaning out the classroom---ya I got moved to the portable, it was awesome to have to move everything and organize it all. Mostly got it, but not quite...Went to Zion National Park and Shakespearean Festival with Lisa. I do love his plays. Always fun. Saw Charlotte for the first time in years and went to the St. George Temple for the first time.
August:Went to California with Matthew. Visited the Long Beach Temple and Los Angeles Temple. Went to Disney, California Adventure and Universal Studios. Also went to San Juan Capistrano and the Beach. Great visit staying at Michael's place. Sad turn of events was that the guy at the wax musuem broke my camera--good thing ipods now come with a camera. Pictures will follow in the future. and of course started school.
September: Cousin Rick's funeral. I drove with aunt Lenora to Cali got stuck in the worst traffic of my life. The El Cajon pass was shut down and we were on i-15 forever. YUCK! It was a very uplifting funeral. It was great to see some cousins I don't see to often. Went to the Nixon Presidential Library--"what would Nixon do?". Started ESL endorsement.
October:Learned the Thriller Dance. And ya I am pretty much awesome now. We did a flash mob for the stake activity with the ward and then went to thrill the world activity in Park city. We dressed as Zombies and pretty much had a great Zombie Apocalypse. Who knew what a good zombie I could make?
November: Big items were Thanksgiving. Ate dinner with Mom, dad, Matthew and Stephen's family. Made some no added sugar pies for dad. The fruit pies could take the fake sugar...but dang the pumpkin pie's mom made were nasty. Kaye had Matthew and me go to Black Friday to get some stuff for Christmas. This year it was 10 pm open at Walmart. It was crazy but I had a job that wasn't nearly as bad.

So here are the pies:


And overall key words about this school year: Hard, busy, chatty, portable, stealing: Its been a hard school year thus far. Kids are good, but forget that they are good. We are working on it. Kids are getting a little less chatty. Have to remember to look at it day by day. It is great having Mar in class though. I do love that girl! She is pretty much the best5th grade niece ever. And to not leave anyone out I also have a great 4th great nephew, Kinder nephew and 7th grade niece. Ya they are the greatest and make me smile. :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Calling, Shopping, and More

So the wait is over...I have been called to be the Relief Society President. It is a little overwhelming, as anyone could tell you, but also I think it will be good for me. It will teach me some much needed skills, ie taking control and being in charge. Yes I do have to do this for my job, but its different making decisions with a bunch of 11 year olds. I have found myself not sure what decisions to make regarding the different Relief Society committees, but ultimately I have to make a decision--so goodbye indecisiveness.

Shopping---I hate it! I went on a date yesterday with a new guy, another set up type. This guy was 40. Egads! I feel like that is a little too old for me. He is my older brothers age---I mean my oldest brother's age. You know the guy who helped change my diapers and stuff...With that said, he was ok, it wasn't the best date, but also wasn't the worst. (Much better than my last set up a few weeks ago where it was hard to carry a conversation.) He asked me if I liked shopping and the answer I told him was NO! He asked if I liked it in Jr. High and High School where girls go hang out in the mall and talk and have girl time, the answer is still no. I don't like shopping. I hate looking around for things and as for girl time, I would rather just hang out at someones house and chat, or do it on the phone or go to lunch or something. That being said, I do like new things, like every good consumer does. I like new clothes, I like new options of food to make and eat, I like new electronics. I just don't like going to the store to get it. I hate trying on clothes, I hate looking at all the options, I just hate it. Often clothes don't fit the way you want, or they don't have the product you want or any of that. It actually is worse if it is in a "Tupperwear party" format. Those are so much worse. I hate the scrap booking, pampered chef, Mary Kay, jewelry parties. ALL OF THEM! You get invited, you feel like you have to attend, and then you feel pressured to buy something. I am not saying these products are bad, I just hate the format. It is the same for me in shopping for a husband. I hate dating! Loathe it actually. I am not saying I will hate the end product, I just hate the process. So shopping for a husband, I hate trying on different guys for size. They often don't fit. I hate looking and the product or guy I want is out of stock. Even when you think you find something, it doesn't always pan out.

More...Well the more in this case is the cake fiasco of 2011. I was making my birthday cake and as we have already established in this blog, I like making cakes. I decided to be just a little different this year and make an "adult" cake. Not like my giraffe cake from a few years ago, or the pirate cake for my 28th, but a real adult round two layer cake with some flowers. Nothing too big, but something adultesque. I was going to even go for a new taste. So I made my chocolate cake. I baked it into two round pans and waited for it to cool. While this was happening, I made some marshmallow fondant to cover the cake with. I also made some new frosting--ie the new taste. I made strawberry buttercream, using real berries. When the time came to take the cake out, the bottom stuck a little. I did grease the pan and put flour on it, but alas it wasn't enough. I finally go it out with little problems. I started frosting the cake with the buttercream(FYI all fondant covered cakes need buttercream first before you cover it with fondant). Now here is where the monumental cake disaster happened. The top layer started falling off the bottom layer and broke in half. It was unrepairable. I put all of the cake into a bowl and had little options. I couldn't just serve a bowl full of crumbs, right? So I called my mom and she suggested a trifle. So I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a trifle bowl and more strawberries and cream and whipped up something, that turned out looking ok, and tasted ok, but was still a little disappointing. Good thing fondant keeps for a little while.

So all in all my birthday was ok--good even--I just happened to be a little emotional starting with the cake. I had some good friends at dinner who ordered for me when I had a mini breakdown and couldn't decide what to get.

Strawberry Buttercream

Falling Cake

Crumbly Mess

Trifle From Top

Trifle From Side

Saturday, May 28, 2011

30 Flirty and Thriving

Yes its official, I am 30! Happy Birthday To Me! In the past few weeks I have had many more changes than I have bargained for. But don't worry I can handle it, even if I did tear up yesterday for a few minutes (just feeling a little overwhelmed). 30 is going to be a great, if not busy year. No worries though.

So I am moving classrooms, again the second year in a row. This time to a portable. I have to have it done by Thursday. My mom helped me for a few hours yesterday and now all of the cupboards are done. Its just the other stuff that is left.

I also have a new calling, but since I haven't been sustained get to wait. And its pretty overwhelming don't you worry.

I got the ipod touch for my class this week! Love it!

And best news of all is I am going to get an Ipad 2 for my birthday. A present to myself by myself. All ipads are on back sad news is I have to wait, nonetheless I am excited. I am going to get the plants vs. zombies app. In the words of my cute nephew Tanner "Why wouldn't I have that app.?"

I am going to Thai Siam for my birthday dinner with friends tonight. It will be great and last night I at at Cafe Rio. Yummy food for sure!

Candice, my cousin, was the designer of my birthday henna! I love it!

And btw---the date was just ok. It was really hard to keep up a conversation despite the fact that he is nice.

Famous people I share my birthday with: Gladys Knight, Colbie Caillat, Kylie Minogue, Ian Flemming, Jim Thorpe, Rudolph Giuliani, Glen Rice etc...I also share my birthday with my aunt Mariane.:)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blind Dates and Relationship Blindness

Blind dates---everyone's favorite right? So over my dating life I have been on many of these so called dates. They aren't exactly my favorite, but hey they are something. For every 3 or so dates that one wants to set me up on, only about one actually ends up a real date. I figure I always say yes, what's the worst that can happen? A great story perhaps, or a mediocre date. No big deal, right? So recently I have had a lot of these offers... I don't really love them, but its something to help me think that I am doing something to try to get married instead of letting things happen to me. I feel like I have a more participatory role this way in my dating life.

Relationship blindness---how often are we blind to our feelings, thoughts about ourselves or about the one we are dating while dating them. We don't always see their true colors, or even our true feelings or true thoughts about them until it is too late or not at all...We are blind because of our chemical feelings, our hormones our emotional baggage or whatever. We all are prone to not seeing what is in front of us. We look past their little things that might be nothing, but in some cases may be something. I guess my fear with this post is that I have fallen into this before and don't care to repeat it. They say "Love is Blind" that may be good in someways, but you don't want to end up with some guy who is not worth your time. I don't mind the blind dates, ok so I don't love them, but its only a night, but relationship blindness can last for a long time.

In case you are wondering...Yes I do have a blind date on Saturday. (wish me luck!)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Since When Do I Crave Tuna?

Never is the answer...until tonight. I don't even really like tuna. I keep buying it when its on sale thinking that I will eat it. It never happens and I end up giving it to a food drive at school or somewhere else. What does that mean? I am sure there is a metaphor in there somewhere, or at least a simile. :) I wasn't too hungry, hence I didn't eat dinner, but I was getting a little hungry and as I walked by the pantry a sudden craving hit-TUNA. So what can you do but eat a can of tuna?

So back to my changes--ok so still a little scared of 30. I am preparing for the new common core and honestly the new ward doesn't seem that bad. Yes there have been some uncomfortable moments, but ultimately those moments have come as a realization that I am glad I am not married to the "jack" that is my former fiance. That's not entirely true. I have been glad for basically the whole time we have been broken up, what I would like to add is that I realized that he really truly is a "jack." And not just to me and everyone else loved him--meaning something was wrong with me, but to other people too. So I guess I realized it really wasn't me. I know, a long time coming. But in someways its hard not to. When someone breaks up with you three weeks before your wedding date(better than the day of, I know) but does it over the phone and then refuses to see you ever again, the insecurities inside kick in and you feel horrible about yourself. So this is a good thing that I truly see what was going on. Who tells their friend they are unsure about their engagement, but not actually to their fiance?...oh I know my former fiance...

Back to the metaphor or simile because I am using as: So maybe something positive will happen in my future with change. My feelings will change. Just as my feelings and understanding about tuna is changing so are my feelings toward myself, relationships etc will change and for the better! Maybe tuna is ok afterall. :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Arranged Marriage

I just watched this movie called Arranged about a Muslim girl and an Orthodox Jew who become friends and are both facing arranged marriages. It was interesting. Perhaps the movie was a little on the stereotypical side with cultures, but truth is--isn't that what movies are showing a stereotype or archetypes of characters. And not just movies--all stories. It reminded me of a book I read called For Matrimonial Purposes. It was about an Indian girl who had to have an arranged marriage, but nothing seemed to work out so she moved to the US, furthered her education and still was somewhere in between her culture and what the "modern independent woman" should be. So what these women in these stories had in common was that they were committed to their culture, and their faith. They were unwilling to yield to having a relationship with someone out of their culture. In Arranged, the girls ended up finding someone and it worked in their youth. In the book she was much older and as the years went by her prospects got smaller and smaller. But yes in the end it all worked out--even though she was an "old maid" in her 30s.(Never realized how frightening or hurtful that game is as a child btw).

Arranged marriage does seem so much easier than the dating world I seem to be in, but at the same time their prospects are just the ones their parents, or match makers can find. Pros for arranged marriage- you get set up and you have people actively looking to marry you off, you have less options so you have to make a choice or a choice made for you(can also be a con) and you already have everything out in the open as far as past and future prospects etc. Cons- you can end up not having a choice and being forced into an unwanted marriage.

So now onto my Mormon Dating-Pros- we have choice(in some cases too many choices--but as you get older those choices are fewer and far between), we can be active in looking for ourselves and not just rely on others to arrange meeting people and introducing us. Cons--choices seem to fade as we get older.

What impresses me with people who go through these arranged marriages are that they are committed to their marriage for the long haul. Even in the LDS cultures it seems like Divorce is still a too easy choice if things don't go quite as you would like. So perhaps they did not "fall in love" in the same way we see it in the movies, or hear from our friends and such but they learn to love each other. It reminds me of the scene in Fiddler on the Roof where Tevya is asking Golde if she loves him. After 25 years she realizes that she does. There are so many ways to love one another that it seems to me that as we go through different circumstances in our lives-our love will change with those changes. Just because it changes doesn't mean that divorce is the option or should be. Commitment should still be essential. Our love should be lasting like Tevya and Golde--perhaps we should realize that we love each other throughout--but it should be lasting with commitment. Fidelity to a person is a choice not a feeling.

After reading For Matrimonial Purposes years ago it did give me hope. This girl seemingly has no options, but it worked out, not on her timetable, but it all worked out for the best--with someone who was suited for her. So waiting isn't such a bad thing. My timetable isn't what matters, right? I should have faith that it will all work out.

New Favorite Recipe

Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach

The ingredients:
6 Tbs. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 box (1-lb) penne pasta
5-oz. fresh spinach, chopped
1 Tbs. dried basil (or 1/2 cup fresh)
6 Tbs. lemon juice
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small glass bowl in the microwave for about 1 minute to blend flavors. Pour about 1 tablespoon of the flavored oil in a skillet. Salt and pepper chicken and cook in the oil over medium high heat until chicken is browned and juices run clear. Add the chopped and spinach and saute with the cooked chicken for 1 minute (or until just barely wilted) and remove from heat. Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on package; drain well. Add cooked chicken/spinach to pasta, along with basil, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. Then stir in the remainder of the flavored olive oil. Toss lightly until all ingredients are well-combined. Serve immediately. Makes about 6 servings. Enjoy!

I found this at the Recipe Shoebox.
I used spiral pasta instead and also added tomatoes. It was yummy!


So changes--am I afraid, nervous---well maybe. FDR said "The only thing to fear is fear itself." Pres. Monson said "Our future is only as bright as our faith." Well with that said here are my changes:
1. New YSA Ward
2. Turning the big 30.
3. New Common Core to teach from

Last year when I changed from 2nd grade to 5th grade, I was a little nervous, but I knew it was a good change. It has proved to be true in many ways. Yes there are still issues with working on a team--and there will always be with so many different personalities, and desires. I LOVE my kids. They are a good group of kids. Some don't always remember that they are good, but deep down they are and sometimes don't always think through the consequences of their actions. I was a little hesitant to make the decision to change, but deep down I knew (since Jan. 2010) that that was what was going to happen. I knew that if I was going to stay at Elk Meadows I was going to move to 5th and not stay in 2nd. So my point is I am not always fearful of change--hesitant maybe, cautious absolutely, but fearful---NO!

So now to my new changes New YSA Ward--Ok so there are benefits. I will be with new people--and still have a comfort zone of people I already know that are moving with me to the new ward. New boundaries were created, so I get to have the best of both worlds, in theory anyway. My old ward was becoming, or perhaps already was, stagnant for me. I had been in the ward for 4 1/2 years. Almost as long as the ward I had been in when I had graduated high school. So here is my hesitation: I am a little afraid of the fact this used to be former fiance's ward. Yes, I know he is married now, and I know that their boundaries were changed too, taking people out to put my stake into the mix. So what's the problem--I know some people are still the same, The Bishop to be exact. I know bishops are great and wonderful and all, but...they are only men. I know they make mistakes, just like I do, though probably on a smaller scale than my own, but mistakes none the less. I am afraid he will say something to me, unintentional as it may be, but something that will bring up old wounds. Wounds that I am trying to forget, forgive and move on. I am trying to move forward, not backwards. It will probably be fine, and I actually am more ok with it now then I was earlier this week. My first Sunday is tomorrow. I am sure it will be fine, or at least hope. And FYI I am very pleased with the new changes in the Wasatch front to YSAs. Singles Stakes are a great decision. I think this will help with the YSA problems I have seen in my decade or so of being a YSA.

Now to turning 30. So I am among the last of my single friends to turn 30. I didn't feel like it was that big of deal to them, but to me...I am kinda freaking out! I never expected to be this "old" and still single. Granted I only want to be married, if it is a good marriage. I would much rather be single than to be married to the wrong guy. That said, this is not what I anticipated with my life. As I have been talking to my married friends--the ones who I work with who have kids that are much older, not just elementary age--I think I have determined the reason of my freaking out: 30 kind of is the symbol of my youth ending. In your 20s you are still young, but 30s you really are a true adult. I know age is all relative, and its all about how young you feel. So in truth I shouldn't freak out, but I am.

Now the new common core. Hooray for education moving into the direction of a common core across states. That means that if I teach something to my students here and they move mid year to Idaho they will not have lost a huge chunk of knowledge because the cores are different. I went to a training yesterday in regards to the new core. It wont be fully implemented for about 4 years. Many teachers are skeptical because the pendulum of education changes all the time, or the name changes on the same thing, etc, etc, etc. So truth is I am excited about this change! I think it will be a great opportunity for me to bring my kids around to higher level thinking, and get them better prepared for the next grade and their future in education and beyond. See---I am not afraid of all change--HA! It will be good, a lot of work, but good!


So to end Russell M. Nelson last conference said, “Each individual will make his or her way in a constantly changing world—a world of competing ideologies. The forces of evil will ever be in opposition to the forces of good. Satan constantly strives to influence us to follow his ways and make us miserable, even as he is...we do not need to let our fears displace our faith. We can combat those fears by strengthening our faith.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

Even More Cakes

More Cakes...

So not all of the pictures fit in the last post.

Cakes I Have Made

So I enjoy making cakes--it takes a little while to do, but they turn out really cute! Enjoy! Some were made recently, but some were made a while ago. PS some of them I made with my sister.

Easter Craft

We made some pretty stellar Easter Egg Topiaries as a center piece.

Here is how:
1. Get supplies--Paper Mache Eggs, Tissue Paper, Elmer's Glue, Skewers, small planting pots, paint, floral foam, raffia
2. Ready your supplies: paint your planting pot, cut your tissue paper in small squares, poke skewers through the bottom of the egg.
3. Glue tissue papers one at a time onto the eggs. Use another skewer wrap end with tissue paper square, dip in glue and paste to the egg. Its best to start at the bottom of the egg.
4. Continue until you are done covering the entire egg.
5. Put the floral foam into the bottom of the pot, put the skewer into the foam cover with rafia and hooray you are done.

Way cute, but each egg takes around an hour + to finish.

Idea from Twiggle Box.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cheese Crackers

I made homemade Cheese Crackers. I know, amazing! It wasn't too hard, but honestly the cost was about as much as just buying some cheese-its, or goldfish. They do taste better and are more healthy, so there you go.

Cheese Crackers
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 8 ounces grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons of water to be used later
1. Pulse the flour, butter, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper together using a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Pulse in 3 to 4 tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time, and only enough so that the dough forms a ball and rides the blade.
3. Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours.
4. Heat oven to 350° F.
5. Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.
6. Roll the dough out to 1/8th-inch thickness. Cut out as many crackers as possible using a 2-inch cutter or your choice. I used a star. Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours.
7. Place them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking pans.
8. Bake until golden and crisp ‑- 15 to 20 minutes.
9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
10. Repeat with remaining dough and scraps
11. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
12. ENJOY!

This is taken from Yum Sugar.

New Blog

So I have decided to start a personal blog of some adventures and records of what I am doing in life. Nothing much, but something. I am eager to try to recipes and show off some crafts as well as just tell whats going on. :)