Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Word to the Wise

Teaching is hard hard work.  If there is a teacher in your student's life that is doing a good job, please tell them.  Write them a little note.  You don't even have to give them anything.  Just let them know you appreciate them.  

Because the sad thing is, it takes 100 good comments for a teacher to get over 1 negative one.  I spent the day with absolutely fabulous teachers.... amazing, some of the best test scores in the state.  But they are considering quitting... they don't feel like it's worth it.  

This morning I got a note from a mom that ended with,  "Thank you for influencing my daughter so much.  Your school is lucky to have you."  I'm sure it didn't take her much time, but that card makes it worth it.... you spend so much time and energy as a teacher worrying about these dang kids.  You worry night and day that you aren't doing enough.  You wonder if anything sinks in... is all the time and energy you are putting in even making a difference???  So it's cards like this that let you know, you affected at least one.  At the end of the year cards like this almost make me put on rose colored glasses.... almost forget any difficult times throughout the year and only remember the good.  It makes me feel like I could do it again next year.  After I got this card I walked with an extra skip in my step for the rest of the day.



 (Maybe it's because I got paid to go to Lagoon....but who's counting! :) 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Days Like Today


Part of me wants to write a post about Veterans.... How grateful I am for them, how proud I am of both of my grandpas... Part of me wants to write about how emotional I get when I think about our freedom... How I bawled like a baby yesterday as we sang America the Beautiful in church.  But you see... I'm on my iPhone right now and both of these ideas will have to wait. Rather I will tell about my memorial day because honestly I don't think this day could possibly have gotten any better. 
- First: I woke up around 7.
- Ate a bowl of honey bunches of oats and went back to bed. (Nick loves to do the same thing and Jeanine things we are so so weird.)
- Woke up at 9.
- Watched some Saved by the Bell with Craig and Chad while I sipped on my morning "coffee". 
- Hit the gym for an hour. Lifting weights and did some step. 
- Rode my bike the 18 miles to New Harmony Gas Station where I was picked up by all the fam. 
- "hiked" to Red Cliffs natural pools and waterslides. (AKA heaven on earth)
- Had a BBQ in my parents amazing backyard. 
- And now I'm laying in the back seat of my car watching Harry Potter as Chaddy drives and Craig sleeps in the front seat. 
- Later I'll meet up with the BF to tuck me into bed. 










Honestly people life just doesn't get better than a day like this. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Old"

I am hit with it all the time... when I quote Mr. Belding and only get blank stares... when I'm asked what year 9/11 happened...  or my favorite, when I'm asked how we remembered peoples' telephone numbers before cell phones.

Today I reminded again.

My students are taking the "National Council for Geographic Education Competency-Based Geography Test".  I thought I would be kind and put on music while they are taking the test.  I figured my Pandora "Glee" station would be our best bet.  I didn't think anymore about it as we sat and took the test together. (I think I should take the test every year just to make sure I know what I am talking about.)  About half way through the period a sweet quiet little girl finally got the courage to say, "Miss Parson, can we please turn off the music?"  I was shocked and said, "Oh is it distracting you?"  Another, bolder student said, "No! This music is terrible!"  Shocked once again, I looked at what songs we had listened to.

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - Cheek to Cheek
Frank Sinatra - A Wink and a Smile
My Fair Lady - I Could have Danced All Night
Billie Holiday - Let's Do it, Let's fall in love

Everyone one of these songs I LOVE.  But I faintly remember how much I hated old Jazz music as a teenager.  How did that happen?  How did I go from a punk teen to an old jazz lovin' adult?  Next thing you know I will be liking brussel sprouts and canned beets.... nah.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DTR

Conversation last night as we were walking into the mall.

Him: So when people ask me I tell them we are dating.  Is that cool?
Me: Yep
Him: Great, that was the quickest DTR ever.

Who knew it could be that easy?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Russ

Like  many times when I start a post, I just stare at the blank screen with the cursor blinking anxious to get to work.  I don't know how to communicate what I want to say in this post.  So I guess we'll start at the beginning.

Russ and I carpooled together for 2 years.... that's on average of an hour and half together every day... just me and Russ and when I was driving my radio was broken so typically my pathetic collection of burnt CDs from the late 1990's.  If you are thinking poor Russ... you are right.  Someday maybe I'll have to try and write about the lesson's learned on those many car rides.  But that is not the purpose of this post.

Now I wonder what I am trying to write.  I mean it's kinda awkward that I am making a whole blogpost about him.... I actually am hoping that he doesn't read it.  Or if he does, he can just pretend like he didn't.  But that's kinda how our friendship works, although I typically like to pry into everyone's lives... with Russ, if he tells great, if he doesn't, I just wonder.

Russ is hands down the kindest, coolest guy I know.  He's a genius.  (Literally.) (For your skeptics out there, he scored so high on the PSAT in junior high that he had a full-tuition and possibly more scholarship to college) (He scored in the 99% on the GMAT) Anyway, I am so jealous of Russ right now.  He is doing what I think I hope to get to do some day.

What is he doing?  He's driving across the country.  I would give anything to be on his trip right now.  He is just that cool.

Point is: read his blog.  It's awesome.  (and for the record I am not saying this just because his last post is named Disneyland.)


Friday, May 18, 2012

Ramblings

There are all sorts of topics dancing through my head.

- I want to talk about rejection... (yes I've been rejecting and being rejected all bloody week and I am sick of it)

-I want to talk about the Julius Ceasar's "Let the die be cast" heart to heart I gave today.... I want to write about all the papers I read from sweet 15 year old girls that their biggest regret was not telling their parents as soon as they found out their older brother was doing drugs (yes I got 4 papers on that this year). Stupid brothers... I hate that these poor girls feel like it's their fault that their brothers almost ODed.

-I want to talk about how I have no clue where I will be staying this summer, what I will be doing this summer.

-I want to write about how I chose to be with Peter Pan, he really hates the name I gave him, can you blame him, but it is so fitting!

-Oh and I want to talk about the Season Finale of Grey's and Vampire Diaries.... both of them, kinda done.

But the most wonderful thing is... I know my mom is alive!  How do I know you ask?  Because suddenly someone from Madrid, Spain keeps reading my blog.  I sure can't wait for her to get home!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eleanor Rigby

Forty years ago, The Beatles asked the world a simple question, they wanted to know where all the lonely people came from.  Meredith Grey thought they came from hospitals.  I think they come from break ups.




It's strange how fast you can feel loneliness.  It's bizarre.  You can be surround by people and still feel so lonely.  Today, tonight, I feel lonely.  Where just a few days ago I felt like I had so many options pulling me in every which way... tonight, I lay in bed and stare at my messy bedroom and just wish I was packing a bag... Because we all know there is one place that cures anything, heartache, loneliness, worry... a place where there is a dream that anything you wish will come true.



So what am I going to do to cure my loneliness?  I'm headed to Pack Meeting.






Monday, May 14, 2012

The Battle Rages On

The Grand Total of Kristin's Relationship Decisions:

Head: probably 49
Heart: 0


Well, I did it again.  I let my head make the decision because clearly it makes better decisions than my heart.  But I'll tell ya what, as Chad said today, I'm not getting any younger, and my poor little heart can't handle many more break ups.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Battle of the Chocolate Chip Cookie


It seems that every girl has her signature chocolate chip cookie.  Every girl.... except me.  Don't get me wrong, every time I go to Glendora I make the most killer chocolate chip, coconut, walnut, oatmeal cookie...  But when it comes to the classic chocolate chip cookie, I am totally lost.

So this weekend was the finale on my quest to find the ultimate chocolate chip cookie.


I made 2 recipes.

Diane Can Cook: go to Chocolate Chip Cookie

Preheat oven to 375; bake 10-12 min


wet
1 C. butter flavored Crisco
1 C. Sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp.Vanilla
mix all together then add:


dry
1tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 C. flour


add Chocolate chips


The 2nd recipe I made was pretty intense. I've been reading about it for quite some time... so I figured this was the weekend to do it.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 3 dozenPrep Time: 20 minCook Time: 14 minTotal Time: 25 hours (includes idle chill time)
This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tried. The instructions state that you should let the dough chill for 24 hours and you must do this!


ingredients:
2 cups minus 2 Tbsp (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds dark chocolate chips
Sea salt


directions:
Using a sifter or strainer, sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl. Put off to the side.


Using a stand mixer fitted (with paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, cream butter and sugars together. About 5 minutes or until light colored. Add eggs, mix well. Add vanilla and mix well.


Add dry ingredients in batches and mix until just combined, 10 to 20 seconds. Do not overmix. Add dark chocolate and mixing to incorporate, try not to break them and don't overmix.


Transfer dough to another bowl or cover stand mixer bowl with plastic. Be sure to put plastic directly on dough to seal. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before baking.


After the dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.


Scoop 8-10 balls of dough using a 2 Tbsp cookie scoop and place onto a baking sheet. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches between each cookie dough scoop. Add sea salt lightly on top of each cookie and bake until golden brown, 13-15 minutes.


Place sheet on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then remove cookies and place on another cooling rack to allow the cookies to cool even more. Repeat with the other cookie sheet. If baking several batches, rotate cookie sheets so that cold dough is placed on a cool cookie sheet.


Slightly adapted from The New York Times, originally adapted from Jacques Torres.




 I had a lot of people taste both sets of cookies and the shocking part is..... the verdict is... no verdict.  Both were very fabulous cookies.  Some people like shortening better while other like butter, some like milk chocolate chips others liked the dark chocolate.  Moral of the story is: both of these recipes are fabulous.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Decisions

Caution: very very cryptic post ahead.

Life is so funny. When I don't have any options in life I feel like my life is dead ended. I feel like I am Catherine Brooks when she's visiting Green Gables in the summer and thinking about teaching she says, "Bend in the Road? There is no bend in my road; I can see it stretching straight out in front of me to the skyline." (Pretty melodramatic I know)But sometimes when there are no options I feel this way.

Then there are times when I feel like Alice in Wonderland talking to the Cheshire cat... because he has a point... it doesn't matter what path you pick if you don't know where you want to go, it doesn't matter what direction you head.

Then there are times like now. I see so many roads in front of me. Some roads I can see straight to the skyline while others I can't tell the future beyond June 1st. Life is interesting like that. We get to choose. Our destiny is ours. We get to decide if we want to settle with the known or risk it all for the chance of something better. Often times I think of the time my dad, a newly graduated artist with a wife and 2 kids, was offered a teaching contract in one of the highest education paying states in the nation. He had taught there for a year and had enjoyed it. In front of him was a path that seemed secure, comfortable, and realistic. Due to some inside or I guess we should say above help, he didn't renew his contract. He took the path untraveled. He was absolutely nuts. He tried to make it as a professional artist. And how different his life has been since.

If there is one thing for sure, I think I have a commitment problem. Some might be laughing right now thinking, really Kristin, you are just figuring that out? But it is true, I have commitment issues. Heck, I can't even stay in the same city for more than two weekends.... but it might be time to buckle down because today... tomorrow, whatever this next little bit of time is called, I have to make more decisions big decisions.

What decisions will I make? What will I pick? Who will I pick? Where will I be in a month?



I have no idea.



Even worse, my mom and dad are not in a location that I can make them decide for me.


P.S. If this is too cryptic, just text or call and I'd be happy to tell you all. But I figure some things are not meant for the World Wide Web. XOXO

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Love Weddings


Our day at Disneyland was interupted for a few hours to go to the family dinner the night before the wedding.  There is something just spectacular about the golden hour as the sun is setting.  The dinner was amazing!




My family is starting to have a tradition of visiting a McDonalds for breakfast before a wedding.... because heaven forbid we be hungry in the temple!

After the ceremony there is a long waiting period... so we got lots of good pictures in!
Hands down my favorite picture of the WHOLE weekend.








Nothing like a Diet Coke to make a wedding better.





I LOVE the wedding parties clothes!











I can't even say what was my favorite... the flowers, the food, the CAKE (which didn't have frosting, it was AMAZING!), or the band.  Probably the band.  It was unreal!


Bouquet number 29.... yes I caught it, but I gave to Sadie immediately!
There was LOTS of fun dancing... so we had some great judges.


I know this video is sideways, but I just wanted you to get to hear some of the band.  It was so awesome.... excuse my laughing.

What a great day!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Parson Disneyland Trip 2012

Let's just let the pictures speak for themselves!




 Clearly they are so excited to get to Splash Mountain, that they had to run.

 Waiting for it the park to open.


 Peter Pan! (Nick clearly isn't the person to ask to take a picture with a DLR camera.)



 PIRATES!


 What was the highlight of the day for Del?  Hanging out with the artists!...shocking.












 Jake AKA Indiana Jones was quite the celebrity.  Everyone wanted to get his autograph, pictures, or other celebrities wanted to talk to him.
 

 One of our fondest memories of Disneyland is playing the "Penny Game".  It's quite simple really, but boy it can be awesome!  All the game is, grab a penny and throw it at a wall.  The person that gets closest to the wall... wins.  The kids loved playing with "Grumpa"




 The new Ice Cream parlor!  The sprinkle dipped waffle cone was FANTASTIC!

Del getting popcorn.  It's just funny, cuz Del doesn't buy anything. 

 

Best Disneyland Trip Ever!



Up next.... The Magical Wedding!