Friday, May 28, 2010

From the Newest Ex-Teacher

Today was the last day of school! 19 years of continuous 'first' and 'last' days of school, and I still don't know which one I get more excited about. It was a little sad taking down my classroom and saying goodbye to the students and staff, but I can't wait for what's to come our way.
We had a teacher's luncheon with a nice 'goodbye' for the 5 of us leaving. Our principal is leaving to go to the high school, one teacher had to transfer schools because of the budget, one teacher lost her job because of the budget, and 2 of us are leaving to have babies, which is so much the reason I'd prefer.
One of the saddest parts was giving back my laptop. Now I'm not only without a husband and a job, but also the internet for the next 5 days. This is me at a kiosk in the provo library. I'll be biking here everyday about this time, except for when its closed Sunday and Monday. AHHH I am so internet-dependent!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Darth Jason

Jason got to play "Darth Vader" at our nephew Evan's birthday party this weekend! (He told me it was actually a lot of fun, answering the door and chasing the kids around) I wish I could have been there!

Monday, May 24, 2010


I was GOING to be early to school as I got into Jason's beast of a car in the pouring rain this morning, until it wouldn't start and I realized it was going to be one of those. Some big problem I'm sure, because its not the battery. I called my cousin Gary, who is holding my brother's car for the summer while he's in Alaska, but when he went down to pick me up, Travis' car wouldn't start either. It was wedged between two other cars so they couldn't reach it to jumpstart. So my other kind cousin Carl offered his car this morning, but without heat in the car, I had to hold a hair-dryer-type-heater to the windshield as I drove through the SNOWSTORM so I could even see the road. Seriously, there was snow covering the ground on May 24th. Of course, I was late to work and ran in to see the principal teaching my first period class. Thank you everyone! We'll see how the car does in the morning. Just 4 more days of school, Smelly Nelly, then I'll leave you alone and I won't put so much pressure on you to perform.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rachel's Run

A sweet girl from our ward was diagnosed with cancer recently, and since Jason and I both have good reasons to hate cancer, we wanted to help in the effort raise money for treatments with "Rachel's Run" this morning! Since Jason's still gone (11 more days till we're together!), best friend Natalie ran it with me in his place! Well, actually we played it safe and did the wimpy 1-mile walk, but we did it briskly!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Blue Beauties

Blue was certainly the color of the season. Here are the 4 dresses I made for this year's Prom. They designed some beautiful things! I can't wait for next year's Prom!Melissa from ArkansasCarson from Ohio

Jamie from Iowa

and Katrina from Ohio (with my studly brother Derek)

You look beautiful, girls!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Men and their Meat

I really miss Jason :( A week and a half down, two and a half to go. I miss my car too, but I kindof like driving his beastly Oldsmobile because it reminds me of him. I used to get really excited every time I saw his car, because it meant he was home, and so now, I see his car all the time, he's not home, but I still get excited when I see it. And I wear his bathrobe around the house because it smells like him. And I keep making meals that turn out to be way too much food for one person, so I end up eating them for the whole week. Alone.
Before Jason left, he cooked up these yummy ribs. I think cooking meat on his grill is one of his absolute favorite things to do! He's really good at it--he should cook for you sometime. Mega Ribs

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

He Ain't Heavy

Despite this HUGE belly, I haven't gained a single pound this month (and only 2 pounds for this whole pregnancy). Ridiculous, because I feel like I'm eating absolutley ALL THE TIME. If I haven't gained atleast 3 pounds before my next appointment in 3 weeks, my doctor is gonna be so mad! Forget the frozen yogurt. Ice cream, anyone?
16 weeks17 weeks

Monday, May 10, 2010

Teaching Scrapbook

Well, despite what it may appear, I do have a day job. Teaching for the last 2 years has been rewarding beyond belief. I never would have thought I'd be a teacher growing up. I was set on doing Music/Dance/Theater (to perform) or Nursing (to help people), and settled on something kindof in the middle where I get to do both: Teaching. I get to perform in front of 30+ audience members every day, always finding better ways to keep their attention and give the right message, and in the most entertaining way. AND I get to help people. (Just a warning, this is going to be the biggest blog entry you have ever read. Its more of a way to document the experieces for myself, a kind of yearbook for me.) One of the classes I teach is called CTE (Career and Technical Education). I teach a quarter of it, the Family & Consumer Science portion, on rotation, so I get to see a majority of the 7th grade. Its required by the State of Utah, so I get an even number of boys and girls, all darling and scared to be in junior high. The first thing I teach is cooking!! I posted these pictures before, but here shows the difference between boys and girls in their table settings.
We make caramel popcorn, breakfast burritos, and then put on a restaurant! We interview for the positions of manager, cashier, hostess, cooks, waiters, bussers, etc. The one half works while the other half are customers, and then we switch. We make smoothies and breadsticks with different choices of sauces.
My mentor and friend, Lenora, has helped me so much to learn the ropes!


Then we sew adorable reversible drawstring bags. Some of my best sew-ers tend to be boys.
They get to sew on brand new Berninas; I'm so jealous.

I love seeing these show up all over the school, carrying books, or gym clothes, or lunches.


We learn about laundry, and textiles, and then about childcare. We organize a period-long preschool where the sevies can bring in their little siblings or neighbors. We do art projects, sing songs, play games, have snack, and one awesome puppet show.


And now on to TEEN LIVING!! This is an elective class, so I usually have 25 girls to 3 boys in these classes. This class is only for 9th graders, and all about being a teenager. Moreso than in the field of math or science, I get to talk about some deep life topics and express what I feel is so important for these teenagers to learn. We have incredible discussions and opportunities to connect with eachother. I've tried to listen and share what I've learned throughout my life as they share their experiences with divorce in the home, drugs, abuse, gossip, peer pressure, death, etc. I have absolutely LOVED teaching this class. One of my bulletin boards in my "movie star" themed classroom. One of our first classes is on dealing with STRESS, so I lead them in a fun 20-min. workout!
I try to throw in enough kick-boxing moves so the guys don't feel like its an aerobic dance routine.

Colors, Court, and Butter

Another one of my favorite lessons in the early part of the year is talking about personalities and taking the Color Code test to learn more about ourselves and why we act the way we do. It totally helps me a teacher as well, to see early on how many of each color I have in my classroom. For example, with a class full of "reds", I can see group projects not being a problem because there are so many leaders. With so many "yellows", I know I'll need to have lots of active activities and opportunities for spotlighting. Pointing out the "whites" helps me see who are my calm peacemakers who will tend to be the listeners, and locating my "blues" helps me see who are the passionate ones who I can call on to express their opinion about topics. My caring "blues".
My dominant "reds", aka the two future US women presidents.
My peaceful, misunderstood "whites".
And my crazy, hyper "yellows".
We talk about being responsible, and how to get along with our parents. We try something the old-fashioned way, and shake jars of cream for the whole 84-min. class period, to make yummy butter, while I provide some delicious "homemade" bread.
We also talk about critical thinking, and why/how we make important decisions. We put on a "mock trial", where I provide the case, and they fill in the roles of defendant, attorneys, judge, witnesses, and jury members.

Teens in Action

I give them a mean project called "Teens in Action" where they have to go out in the community and do/learn something. They make a poster and present it to the class in a 10-min presentation. How cruel, I know.

Family Day

My very teacher-like picture for the wall and yearbook. Do I look legit? For "Family Day", we talk about our roles in our family, types of families, responsibilities of being a family member, etc. Here's a yarn game demonstrating how we're tied together with family bonds, and how our actions affect every family member, good or bad.
Glorified 'trust fall'. Do you see the 'hole' or the 'whole' of your family?

Dating & STDs

We talk about the importance of friends, then kick off our dating unit with a dance instruction day!! We learn line dances and show off cool moves. Sometimes I bring in Travis so I can have a partner help me demonstrate slow dancing, EFY-style.
Limbo & YMCA
Then I make them try a little "speed dating", where they get 30 seconds with each person to get to know them as if it was the first time they'd met. They hate me for it.
Introduction into Human Sexuality/Abstinence/STD unit:
One day, I bring in a delicious snickers cake to each class period, and ask who would like a piece. The first piece is served on a china plate with a silver fork and napkin. The next piece is on a paper plate with a plastic fork, and so forth until the last piece, which I smash onto the table with my fist and ask if they still want it.
The moral: Wasn't your first kiss amazing? Or atleast extremely memorable? And then by the 10th person you kiss, it isn't that big of a deal, and you don't get the same butterflies in your stomach and replay it in your mind all night long. But its still a kiss; nothing has changed. Its still a piece of cake whether its presented nicely, or smashed on the table. But don't you want your wedding night to be that first piece of cake feeling, and not the 10th? Is a smashed piece of cake what you want to give your spouse? Maybe the experience hasn't changed, but it is all about how its presented and how you valued it. So abstinence, students!!
PS--They will never be so well behaved and quiet as on the day I give the human sexuality lesson.
Lenora and I put on a "Group Date" at lunch, where they all have to ask someone in the school to share an ice cream sundae with them. They take it so seriously, its adorable. I would love nothing more than to hear in 5-10 years that some couple got married because they met at this group date at lunch for Mrs. Millar's Teen Living class.