Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Experiencing Things for the First Time.

One of the most interesting things about having a kid is experiencing things like it is the first time.  Of course I can't remember the first time I saw snow.   I can't remember stepping in it and feeling stuck.  I can't remember looking at the beautiful powder and not knowing it is bitterly cold.  Experiences like this I would never even about without having Brad. 

Sunday's are rough at our house if we don't make a very conscious effort to get outside.  Usually we just go to the park but with winter quickly coming this gets a little more tricky.  As I was starting to think about the Thanksgiving week ahead I was thinking about starting to pack for Brad and myself.  I seriously squealed with delight when I saw what the weather is going to be like at Jason's parents house over Thanksgiving! 

Literally squealed.

But before we spend the break in the delightful 90 degree weather... I figured Brad needs to experience snow.  So we went for a drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird Ski resort and Brad experienced snow for the first time of the season. 

He was super excited about it at first.... but he learned the bitter reality of snow quite quickly. 
 It's cold.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Yesterday was a good day.

 I want to remember yesterday.  (November 11, 2017) I hope when I look back at this time of life this is what I remember.  I don't want to remember how insanely stressed I am about school or the doctors appointments or hear Brad's whine.  I want to remember days like yesterday.  So I figure as I sit here and stare at my Christmas tree I will document our day.
I woke up yesterday morning at 5 instead of the 3 that I have been waking up every morning this week.  (I don't set an alarm for 3 am of course but when I naturally wake up at 3 and my mind starts racing about the yearbook deadline on Monday, the fact that I don't have anything planned for class that day, or the essays I haven't graded.... I just get up and get started.)  But today, since it was Saturday... I let myself sleep in.  (until 5 :)

I got up and worked on a project I am doing for my mom that I am super excited about.

Then I went to the gym at 7 to my 2nd favorite gym class, High.  It was a good day at the gym, I felt great.

On the drive home I decided it was time to clean out my car.  So although it was quite cold outside I clean out, vacuumed, and wiped down my car while listening to a biography on Teddy Roosevelt.

I walked into the house around 8:30 to find both Jason and Brad had slept in and had just barely got out of bed.  This was fantastic news because Brad has been waking up super early all week. (Thanks time change.)

I made Brad oatmeal while Jason snuggled him on the couch.  Brad ate almost an entire bowl of oatmeal which like never happens.  He topped it off with a berry and beet smoothie and we called that breakfast.  I had a spinach, peanut butter, chocolate protein smoothie that was pretty delicious.

After breakfast we cleaned the house, took showers, and decided to head to the zoo.  Brad was absolutely delightful the entire drive there, he ran around every step of that zoo, and we even got to see the lions up close and personal.
After the zoo we stopped at Walmart to do our weekly grocery shopping which included getting new lights for our Christmas tree.

We made it home perfect timing for Brad to take a nap.  So while Brad napped, Jason worked on a dirt bike he is fixing up to sell next spring, I made our new favorite chicken recipe, a pumpkin pie, and started on making macrons for my presentation on the culture of France for my AP students.

When Brad woke up he ate some snacks, I decorated the Christmas tree, and Jason searched the internet looking at  cars he thinks my mom should get.

We headed to SouthTown mall to get Jason some new shoes and me to get some new smelling things.

The night ended with watching Robin Hood, eating chicken tacos and pumpkin pie, and doing a dance party to the theme song from Grey's Anatomy.

I know this doesn't sound like that eventful of a day.... it really wasn't.  But it was a perfect day of everything I love so much about life. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Oh Teaching.... What am I suppopsed to do with you?

And so the saga continues.... the life of a teacher.

A lot of things have changed this year in teacher.  I have WAY too many responsibilities.  I am trying to change WAY too much.  But for some reason I have a new found fire to try and change and inspire my students.  The fire has a lot less energy in it than the Miss Parson of the past... but it is there and it is fighting like heck to make a difference.

The biggest change this year compared to previous years of teaching is I now teach the top achieving students at my school.  The last nine years I have taught the lower half of the school and oh what a difference.  So this year I have 1 AP class, 3 Honors, 2 Regular, and 1 yearbook class.  (But we are going to ignore yearbook for this post because it has given me more of a headache than I'd like to record at this time.)

Although teaching the high achieving students isn't always a walk in the park, kids are kids, teenagers are teenagers.  No teen in his right mind loves to work hard.  It all takes persuading.  Teaching is just one big sales pitch.  But I'll tell you what, when I get these kids on board, man do we have fun learning.

There have been numerous times this year when we have hit the absolute euphoria.  How do you hit euphoria in teaching?  When the dismissal bell rings and the students are bummed.  Like they audibly sigh in disappointment.  Not only have they been bummed, but sometimes we have been so caught up in our learning that we have completely lost track of time and are startled when it rings.  And guys, when classes are 85 freaking minutes long... with 38 15 year olds crammed into a tiny dungeon of a classroom.... that is an absolute miracle.

And when something happened yesterday in class I almost couldn't believe it.  I gave my honors students homework for the first time of the year.  A reading assignment.  I gave them two options of what they could read.  You aren't even going to believe it.  Or maybe you won't be surprised (which means you don't really hang out with many teens).  I had students who asked if they could take both articles.  Yes.  I had students ask to voluntarily read 2 articles.  Two articles about government and history.  One about the horrors of Communist China and one about the rise of power of dictators of the 21st century.

I have to say, I have loved the teaching part of my job so much this year.  Absolutely loved it.  Of course I know part of it is because I am teaching about my favorite subject right now, government.  And of course it is because I feel like I have finally ironed out a lot of the kinks of it. OH and to be real of course I just gave my regular Geography class the test yesterday and more than 10 students completely failed it.  But man do I love teaching.

The magic of getting 38 kids to open up their minds and really start to think and explore the possibilities... is just that, magic.

The thought of leaving this profession, this only professional world that I've ever known, is a scary thought.  It makes me insanely happy, the thought of leaving all the crap, but it also makes me so sad. But alas I need to stop writing about teaching right now and get to work.  It's already 4:30 and I haven't started on the lesson for AP today, ethnic separation, cleansing, and genocides.  Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Cedar City Temple

We went down to Cedar for the weekend to attend the Cedar City Temple open house.  Shockingly, it might have been the longest time ever that I have gone without going to Cedar.  The last time we were in Cedar was the 4th of July.  That is 4 months people..... crazy.  (I know I know, I am worried too.  What happens if we move to Alaska or New Hampshire or South Carolina and going home to Cedar and only once a year becomes a regular thing.  My world will be rocked but I'm sure I'll learn how to cope somehow.)  Anyway back to our trip Brad got his first (that I know of) Happy Meal.  McDonalds sure knows how to make things cute. But actually it's a lie that Brad got a Happy Meal because by the time we got the Happy Meal, he was asleep... and there was no way I was waking him up.  So at least I took a picture of it.


When we got to Cedar Brad as in heaven.  A huge house to run around in and explore and lots of new toys he doesn't remember at all.  My parents put Jason straight to work fixing all the things that they couldn't figure out how to fix in the last 4 months.  He fixed the car, the snow blower, and the kitchen sink.


Brad's favorite thing to do is the run down this steep scary ramp out in the backyard.  I was waiting for him to faceplant.... but luckily or skillfully he never did!  


Saturday we waited for Craig, Marcie, and Max to come to town to visit the temple.  It was one of those notoriously windy Cedar City days.  Probably even more windy than usual but it made visiting the temple even more memorable.  We probably went at the most busy time of day and my parents learned later at a Open House meeting that 16,000 people went through the temple that day.  And with two toddlers... needless to say it was a bit of craziness for all of us.  We took turns walking Brad and Max around the temple grounds while the rest stood in the line to get in.  

I tried to get a cute picture of Max and Brad sitting on the curb... but between the crowds, the wind, and probably not knowing each other very well... it didn't work out.  Maybe when they are older.
Craig stayed with us last week while he worked in Utah County.  We sure loved having him around.  

Although it was a bit of a mad house inside the temple.... reminded me of touring the Vatican Museum.... except of course on a lot smaller scale, the inside was absolutely beautiful.  I loved the gold, white, and light blue.  Pretty heavenly if you ask me.  (I stole this picture off the church website)
I am so so happy for the people of Cedar.  They deserve this beautiful addition to their town.  And I am even more grateful to have a temple half a mile from my babysitter!  We will be making trips down to Cedar a lot more once it is dedicated.
Our best attempt at a family picture in the wind.

Oh how I love this little boy.

And I am so excited for these two to be able to be best friends!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Happy Halloween!

Our sweet little branch of a ward (most of our ward is a retirement community) hosted a Halloween Carnival Saturday night.  All 8 kids in attendance were spoiled with games, prizes, and treats.  It was so so sweet of them to go to such effort for the few kids in the ward.  

Picking a Halloween costume is tricky business.  I knew it would be difficult to get Brad to wear any type of hat.  Face paint was out of picture.  So.... I had very few options.  I was super excited when I got this idea.  

Jason was afraid that no one would get it.  And then when Jason started to get excited about it he suggested that we find an adult tiger costume so he could be Hobbes!  Sadly... never found one.  But I sure do think Brad is the cutest Calvin the world has ever seen. And luckily for us, Hobbes had velcro on his hands so he easily hung around Brad's neck when Brad grew tired of his new best friend.

Getting into character.

My dear friend Heather who teaches a pump class I have attended for years is really big into holidays.  Any holiday but especially Halloween.  If you remember, I even ran the Halloween Half Marathon with her a few years ago.  But anyway, I leave my Halloween costumes at school and I forgot to bring them home the night before Heather's Halloween class.  Luckily my mom had just given me a flapper dress she made back in the 60's for a roadshow.  So I threw on my flapper dress and off I went!  (Without a feather in my headband, a bob haircut wig, white gloves, my maryjane heels, and a cigarette in hand some people thought I was Pocahontas.... but that's okay!)

Then on Halloween night I wondered if Brad's costume from the previous year would still fit.  It sure did!  Sure Brad wasn't having it.... but it was fun watching that cute little tail bounce around as Brad ran round like a little mouse...


Monday, October 30, 2017

The Zoo and Aquarium

Since getting our pass to the Zoo we have spent quite a bit of time there.  Not necessarily because Brad loves the animals so much... but more because he loves to run around.  It has been a beautiful fall and the zoo has been especially beautiful.  I treat going to the zoo like taking Brad to the park.  Except it is actually way more fun for Jason and I than just the park.  There are lots of things for Brad to jump off, crawl on, and lots of ramps for him to "Go, go, go!" as he runs down them as fast as he can.  (Yes sometimes he totally wipes out)  And we get to enjoy the beauty and the occasional awesome animal as we wonder around.  

Like I said, Brad is way more interesting in things like big rocks to climb than lions, but I am perfectly okay with that!

 This Saturday, we had the lucky opportunity (thanks to my uncle who got us in for free) to visit the Aquarium.  It truly rivaled the zoo in it's awesomeness!  The animals were much more active at the aquarium than the zoo.  We LOVED the penguins!  (Yes Brad is wearing the same outfit.  It is my favorite outfit of Brad's right now and Saturday and Sunday are the only days I get to dress Brad.  So he usually wears this on Saturday)

 (Insert Brad squealing with delight in the picture below)

I have eaten king crab legs as long as I can remember... but I don't think I have ever pictures how HUGE a king crab would be!  It almost made me never want to eat one again.... kinda disgusting!

All sorts of cool things for Brad to play on and go look in.  

We loved the aquarium!  Thanks Uncle Glenn!