Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer 2012, As Busy As It Gets

Things really took off in July. We've been running around like mad people! I really hope I remember everything! Jay, please remind me if I forgot something important so that I can post about it!


We did finally get to go camping this summer! The best part is that we've been to a few of my favorite places in the world (so far, I haven't been many places). No, not Yellowstone National Park, we might do that next year, but this year we've been to the Unitas, specifically Whitney Reservoir, and to Hidden Haven up by Bear Lake.
When we got up to Whitney Reservoir we were disappointed when we saw how low the lake was. Seriously, I would have given it 20 feet at its deepest and 60 feet at its widest. We weren't surprised, Dad warned us, but wow! We drove on about 5 minutes further and ended up at Beaver lake. I don't know if it was low or not because I don't remember it very well from when I was younger, but it at least looked better and there was a beautiful place to camp just waiting for us.
 I gotta say, my Jeep looks awesome when it has trees and mountains as a backdrop. The definition of wildness, there. :)
We did one of my favorite things to do while I am camping. We wandered. I love going off the road, off the trail and just heading toward whatever captures my interest. It makes me so happy. We had a great little walk. We saw a deer, which Gabby chased. We also happened upon a cute little beaver pond, that was pretty cool. Didn't see any beaver, though.
Some of you might be saying, "What idiots! Don't they hear the stories of boyscouts getting lost in the Uintas all of the time?! And they had their baby! What irresponsible people, that's bear country." Don't worry, I always keep an eye on the scenery and know where I am. Plus, I've always been really really good at knowing what direction North is. Never fear, we weren't lost for a second.
We  actually caught another fish! That puts the count up to 3 in our entire 4 years married. Go us! The fisher-failures. 
Then, it rained, like all afternoon. It was beautiful to listen to. 
We discovered that if we are going to make chili for dinner while we are camping that we should pack a can opener. Luckily, our not too distant neighbors had one! :)
Nights were cold, so Charlie ended up with us in bed each night. It was nice, but not a habit I want him to get into. He seemed to enjoy camping, but did not like being left in the pack n play while we put the tent up. He was mad!

We also made it up to Hidden Haven for Raspberry Dayzz. It was a lot of fun! I love Hidden Haven. It was nice to hang out with Grandma and Grandpa and Pam and Glenn. We got go down to the craft fair, which was kind of disappointing this year, and we got to see some pretty fireworks. 
We also rode on some 4-wheelers. Gabby chased us up Booth mountain, poor dog. She could hardly walk for a week. Silly girl.
We also had some super yummy raspberry milkshakes. Yum!

We're planning on going up to Hidden Haven in another couple of weeks for Labor Day, only this time Carrie and Jayde will be there. I am so excited.


 Every weekend in July we went hiking. Mostly, we were trying to prepare for Timanogos. In August we really kind of stopped, which isn't good, because Timp is this weekend! Oy, its gunna be a painful hike. But fun, I'm sure.

 I'll be sure to include photos of that!


 Well, it's happening, he's walking. In fact, he's almost running. Crazy little guy is growing up so fast! He isn't much for communicating yet, but I think he'll get there soon. He points at airplanes, vroooms at cars. He says  Mamamama and Dadadadada and Amma and Ba (that's grandpa). It's cute. I think he knows Dog too.

 Almost one year old. In fact, that's next week. I can hardly believe that its been a year! That makes me sad, but happy, but sad. I just don't want him to grow up too quickly.


Well, the summer is nearly over and school has gotten very close. I have been trying my bests to prepare lessons and such so that I am prepared to teach. I am so anxious I can't sleep at night. I think everything will be fine after that first day of school, but right now its all so new it is scary.
I have gone to a week of Professional Development that I really like and I am excited to use what I have learned there! I also went to a teacher orientation with the district. That was kind of a waste of time, aside from the time that I got to explore the district office a bit.
Wish me luck, I've got my fingers crossed!


So, my friends Carly and Jenelle have just closed on houses. So has my cousin, Amanda. It has made me supremely jealous. This week we went up and actually saw Jenelle's house. This just sent me off my rocker. All that night I just sat and looked at houses in areas we want to live in.
I discussed my feelings with Jay and my idea that I think we could possibly afford a house payment when I start getting paid. He agreed, but we're both worried that there is a chance that I won't get hired on again next year, just because my position is being paid for by a grant. The school is growing by almost 1,000 students next year though, so I mean, the odds are in our favor. But, I don't want to take chances when it comes to getting a house.
So, we made a deal. We are going to save up some money this year, and once I get hired on for next year we are going to start house-hunting. I'm still looking at the houses available in West Jordan, South Jordan, and Sandy. :) I'm thinking 4-5 bedrooms, 2-3 bathroom and .23-.25 acres. Big backyard! he he he We'll see.

Lazy Times

Though I haven't been working, I have been trying my best to plan for the school year. I got 2 units planned and a tiny bit of the 3rd unit planned. I am so excited to start. Even if all my plans crumble and I have to start from scratch. ;)
I did, though, spend a marvelous summer with my little boy. I watched a lot of court shows and read some books. Part of me will miss my leisurely times.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hanging Out In NATURE

The past few weeks Jay and I have been trying really hard to spend a lot of time outdoors. Of course, there have been times we were stuck inside: like when the whole of our little family was puking and sick and Charlie had bronchialitis, or when we were just so tired we needed to collapse on the couch. We have, though, made quite the effort to be outside.
Sometimes I feel bad for Jay. When we were dating I was depressed, so I didn't get out as much as I would have liked. Now, I am back full force and during the summer I constantly want to be outside. It's not that Jay doesn't want to be outside, he loves being outdoors too. He just doesn't have the stamina I have. Plus, he has allergies that plague him every time we go into the mountains and a few weeks afterward. He's awesome to go out with me almost every time I suggest it, though.


We've been doing a lot of hiking this summer. We are preparing to go to hike up the back side of Timpangos, one of the hardest hikes I've been on. So, every weekend, or at least that's the goal, we've gone hiking. Charlie gets to come along on most of our hikes. He has a nice red backpack and it is really fun to take him. The photo opportunities on a hike are gorgeous, too. The downside is that Jay has to lug him and the backpack up the mountain, and its heavy. Jay, understandably, gets a little grumpy from time to time on our hikes mostly because that carrier wears him out. Well, like I've told him, think about how easy Timp will be without Charlie on his back. Charlie is definitely not going on that one. We're going to go on a very steep hike this Saturday, Mt. Aire, so he will not be coming then either. Poor Charlie. Oh well, I doubt he really cares all that much.
Gabby, on the other hand, would be heartbroken if she were left behind. She loves hiking, and Millcreek is great because she's allowed off of her leash on odd-numbered days. I am a little worried about taking her up Timp, though, because she's started really dragging at the end of these short hikes, and limping a bit. Poor girl, she's getting old. She's 6! Wow!
I just love getting outside and smelling the air. When we went to Dog Lake this last Saturday it had just rained and it smelled beautiful. I love that piney smell!

Out in the Jeep

We've gone out a couple of times in my Jeep without the top on. It is so much fun. My favorite time so far was on the 4th of July. We went off-roading up by Mirror Lake. Oh that was awesome! We even got to have a picnic far away from everyone else, which was awesome because Gabby got to run around. My Jeep now looks properly dirty. :D


Well, we haven't been fishing much. I think we're tired of failure. Jay did manage to catch a rainbow trout this year. Yay!


Surprisingly enough, with all of this outdoor time, we've only been camping once so far this summer, and that was clear back on Memorial Day. This makes me incredibly sad, because I LOVE camping.

We have a couple of camping trips planned for the end of the summer, though. We've all just been kind of sick whenever the opportunity presents itself. Charlie has had a cold all summer, or so it seems, and we just keep thinking about how miserable he was at night when we went camping over Memorial Day Weekend. Well, it has warmed up, so its time to camp!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's Been A Busy Past 6 Months

6 months! It's been 6 months since I have posted. Almost 7. I am seriously disappointed with myself! To be fair, for the first 5 months I had good reason to not get to it; I was student teaching. But things have kind of slowed down at least a little bit for the past few months! I guess if you are so busy you cannot breathe for 4 months you forget about your blog completely. Well, that's just dumb. I will do better! Well: here's a summary of the past few months to make up for it.

Student Teaching

Student teaching CONSUMED my life for 4 whole months. My last post said I was going to student teach a Hunter Junior High School. I did; and I learned a ton.
1. I had an awesome cooperating teacher. Her name was Mrs. Grossaint and she has been teaching for more than 30 years. I was her first student teacher, but I think I  gave her a good impression. Most student teachers get thrown in and left to learn how to swim by themselves. I can see the value in that, and I was prepared to do so. Mrs. Grossaint, though, was very protective of her classes. She works hard as a teacher, and she wasn't willing to just let a stranger  mess that up. She eventually came to trust me.
2. I taught 3 honors biology classes; They were very moody, but I learned a lot about teaching from them. I learned that worksheets are not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it really helps cement some things. Still, I like to limit how many worksheets  I give students.
I also taught 3 7th grade classes, one of which was GT. They were a lot of fun. They were still really excited to learn. I learned a lot about behavior management from the 7th graders. STRUCTURE STRUCTURE STRUCTURE! They were fun,but they really tired me out. I liked working with the older students more... they understand sarcasm. :D
3. I never have imagined how much behind the scene work teaching requires. Grading and such, but ESPECIALLY planning. Making PowerPoints can take up to 6 hours sometimes. I think I made really good PowerPoints, though. I got so some nights I had to totally ignore Charlie in order to get everything done. That was just depressing. Luckily, he wasn't quite mobile yet so he hung out a lot in the Baby Einstein jumper and I worked right next to him.
I really did love student teaching, and now I am sure that teaching is what I do.

It was a good time to decide, too, since I GRADUATED!!!

April 20th 2012, I graduated. Biology Composite Teaching Major. Oh, it feels good to be DONE! Except I'm not. My Master's Degree is pretty much a must, but I am at least taking a few years off!

Brine Shrimp Project Closure

I forgot to mention that my Brine Shrimp Research is finally done. I even presented at NCUR (an undergraduate research thing). It felt good, even if nothing comes from it. It was like one giant science far.

Job Hunting

Even before I graduated I had started the job search. My first little bump was from Mrs. Grossaint, who really wanted me to teach in Granite School District (which is the one I wanted as well). She convinced me to go to a job fair at BYU for some interviews. She also told me that I needed some girlier clothes because when she first met me she thought I was a 12 year old boy, then she thought I was a lesbian, until I told her I was married and had a child. (Now, keep in mind that I love this woman, but she is very BLUNT, she meant it to help me. I think in the end her advice helped). So, I got some new clothes (after HOURS of searching for something that I would actually wear, I hate shopping for dress clothes).
It turns out that the BYU fair was a waste of time. All of the interview slots were filled up with BYU students. So all I did was wander around getting How to Apply pamphlets from various districts. It was very disheartening, but I got some good information. I don't know that it was worth walking form one endof the BYU campus to the other in shoes that really hurt my feet, but hey, who knows.
From there I  had some interviews. Many interviews. 
My first interview was with Morgan Middle School. I wasn't really planning on accepting there, but I was thinking of it as a practice interview. I'm glad I went, it helped boost my confidence, because they offered me the job. I turned it down.
I also was offered a job at Mt. Jordan Middle School, but that was Canyons school district and Granite hadn't even started interviewing yet and I wanted to wait and see what else I could get.
Well, I had a few more interviews. Sunset Ridge Middle school, Hillcrest Junior High, and T.H. Bell Middle School. I was starting to get worried that Granite wouldn't start interviews and that I'd be burning bridges if I turned down offers. I voiced this concern to Mrs. Grossaint and the crazy  lady actually called Bonneville Junior High and told the principal to get on the ball and interview. Well, he did, but I didn't get that job offer. 
Then I interviewed at Herriman High School and I was all set to want to teach there. I didn't get that job ffer either.
I had seen a opening at Granger High School, but the posting said it was a year position, which wouldn't be what I want. I applied anyway, maybe the interview would shed some light on the whole year thing. I didn't get my hopes up yet. I was starting to get worried, though, because the job offers had stopped. While we were in D.C (more on that later) Wasatch Junior High School called and tried setting up an interview. We ended up doing a phone interview the afternoon we got back. Apparently that went REALLY well, because I was a finalist with them. They were going to decide by having us teach a lesson, a Teach-Off! Totally awesome. 
Before the teach-off, I interviewed at Granger. The Principal said that the reason the posting was only for a year was because the position would be paid for by a grant and they couldn't gauntness the money any longer than a year, but that he was definitely planning on it being longer, especially because they would be in the new school in another year. Oh MAN! I was so excited! But it kind of felt like I blew the interview. It was a strange interview, and we talked a lot about me taking over the stage crew, which I admitted I had no training with that. So,I felt I had flubbed the interview for my dream job. :(
I was preparing to teach my lesson at Wasatch when I decided to ask one of my teacher friends to kind of sniff things out at Granger for me, so I knew if I could just accept at Wasatch if it was a lost cause. She said she would do that.
I taught the lesson and it was perfect. So perfect that they pretty much offered me the job on the spot. I did tell them I would want a few days to think about it because I was waiting on one other place to give me an idea on if I would get that job (Granger). They were fine with that, but they really pushed their school, they really wanted me. I was happy to be that wanted, really happy, but I didn't really want to teach at a junior high, and it would have been 8th grade science (honors classes). 8th grade is more physical science than life science, so it wasn't really my thing as much as Granger's Biology would have been. And it was GRANGER!  My high school, my dream job.
Well, my teacher friend had sniffed things out and she said that the principal didn't seem very interested in me, that he even said that I'd really like Wasatch Junior High (apparently she told him my situation). 
So, I was just about to pick up the phone to call Wasatch and accept when Mrs. Grossaint called. Apparently Granger's Principal had just gotten off the phone with her and she really talked me up. I told her I was very excited about that because it meant that I wasn't written off at Granger. She seemed really optimistic. So, I waited until the next day (Friday) to call Granger, I had to let Wasatch know what my decision was on Monday, so I needed some idea of what they were thinking. Well, the Principal offered me a second interview. He knew I had to let Wasatch know by Monday afternoon so we scheduled the interview for Monday morning and told me he'd let me know by Monday at noon.
Well, the 2nd interview went well enough. Then I had to run over to Hunter Junior to substitute. I told 5th period that I was expecting an important phone call and they agreed to be awesome while I was on the phone, and they were. When the principal called he offered me the job!!! AWESOME MOMENT!
So, yeah! I will teach Biology at Granger next year! So happy! (Substitute Teaching is not fun by the way).


Charlie was only a few months old last time I wrote. Now he's 10 months old and is HUGE. He hadn't started rolling yet and now he's crawling and almost walking. He's grown so much. He's also a mommy's boy, he cries if I am in the room and not holding him. He's a crazy babbler. He's 29 inches tall! BIG BOY! More on Charlie in Charlie's blog will come within a few days. 

Washington D.C.

Jay's parents took us all to Washington D.C. at the end of April. It was awesome! Jay's Great Aunt was having a memorial at Arlington Cemetery. That was my favorite part, it was so beautiful there, and the ceremony was really cool.(Even though Charlie was "talking" the whole time, it didn't seem to bug anyone, though the preacher guy mentioned him).
It was really cool flying in a plane (so pretty) and getting that far east. It was hard navigating without the mountains, but I did pretty well. I should have updated my blog after we went, because now everything is kind of dim in my memory. 
We went to the Holocaust Museum, that was really nice, I learned a lot about WWII. Also, my advice to everyone one, walk around the Mall at night. It was so very pretty.
We wanted to see the White House during the day, and we did, but we got moved away quickly because of a bomb threat.
We also went to Mt. Vernon. That was fun too, Washington was awesome.


Finally, after pestering Jay for years I have my Jeep! It was my Graduation, Mother's Day, Birthday, Christmas Present. It's a 2012 jeep unlimited Sahara Forest Green. Beautiful! Lovely, everything I dreamed it would be and more. :D :D :D