Sunday, September 16, 2012

Family Fun

A couple weeks ago Ryan, Nicole, and little Sophie came for a visit.  It was a much needed break from all the stress/business that my first school brought me.  We had a lot of fun!  

Lots of Yo Gabba Gabba was watched.  Sophie is a little obsessed with it.  
And she went crazy when Nicole bought her a Foofa shirt and doll.  
She loves her so much.  

Fun at the pool.  

The best part of their visit...

...ok, it wasn't the Big Turks {they were a close 2nd}.  The BEST PART of the whole visit was finding out Nicole is pregnant again!  Another Van Orman baby is on the way!  :)  

My mom is heading to California with some friends for a week long trip at the beach.  But before she left, she stayed and visited for the weekend.  She started off her "vacation" by helping me clean/organize/decorate my classroom for a couple hours.  Then we went to a delicious Mexican restaurant for dinner.

Then we stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up some essentials and started our Cameo Creations.  
Saturday was a BUSY day.  

In just one day we:
-cleaned, rearranged, and organized my room, the hallway, laundry room, kitchen, living room, and office. 
-got manicures and pedicures at my favorite "bon qui qui" salon
-went to Wal-Mart {again}, Target, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Jo-Ann's, Scrapbook Barn, and Hobby Lobby
-made yummy dinner
-finished all the cameo creations
-watched the Hunger Games until we couldn't stay awake any longer.  

She left right after church this morning.  It was a fun, short, busy week.  I'm looking forward to when she {and my dad} come back down here for the winter.  


My Cameo Creations!


And what are the odds that on the same day I bought it, Hobby Lobby had its last day of 50% off all scrapbooking paper.  Heaven help me.  

I wish I had more time during the week to play with it, but wanted to share with you a few of my creations.  :)  

My first cut was an epic fail.  

The mat was just too sticky for thin paper.  
After I cut a bunch of card stock, I tried again, and was successful.   

Super cute {and cheap} birthday treats for my kiddos. 
Inspired by Rachelle and Pinterest.  

Natalie made a sweet banner for her 5th grade, so I had to copy and make one for my new 2nd grade room.  
Looks adorable!  I love the bright colors!  
Also love my mom who climbed up on the counters to hang it for me.  :)

 My new 2nd grade team has been wonderful!  It's been a really hard transition starting a class in the middle of the year, but they have made it SO much easier!  I decided I should make a simple thank you gift for them, so thanks to Pinterest again, I made these.  

Another copy cat, I LOVED the mirror Lindsey made, so I made one to put above the sink in my room.  

might have gone a little crazy with the letters on all my bulletin boards...  :)

And finally, the real reason why I bought the cameo was to help my mom make the cute crafts she found on Pinterest.  She is so funny.  After I told her I wanted to buy a cameo, she kept calling me and asking if the "toy" I wanted can make each craft she found.  They answer was always yes!  So we went in on it together.  But luckily, it resides in sunny Arizona with me.  :)  She wanted to start out with a Halloween and a Fall banner to hang around the fireplace.  We didn't get the ribbon yet, but look how cute they are going to be!!

Like I said, I wish I had more time to play with my cameo.  I have a lot more ideas, so stay tuned!  
On another note, I LOVE 2nd Grade!  It is so wonderful!  Back in the spring when I was applying/interviewing for jobs I asked Lindsey how she liked 2nd grade compared to 1st and she said "second grade is first grade on steroids!"  It really is!  I love it!  :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

starting over

Ain't that the truth.  

It was a hard transition starting the year out at a charter school.  It wasn't at all what I expected.  The staff was wonderful, friendly, and supportive, but it was just hard.  Plain and simple.  But, looooooong story short I got a job with Mesa Public Schools teaching 2nd grade!  I'm super excited!  For one thing, it is A LOT more money.  And I'm also really excited to move up a grade.  I've loved teaching first, but am really looking forward to teaching children who no longer wet their pants, can tie their own shoes, can sit still for longer than 2 minutes, can write their name...  On Friday I said goodbye to my first graders {so sad!}, packed up my room, and unloaded it all at my new school.  I start on Monday, but thankfully I get two days to work in my room.  So here we go again!    

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I keep going back and forth with my emotions this week.  We had our Open House on Thursday night.  I was so sick-to-my-stomach nervous!  And I was frantically getting ready up until the last minute.  Then I met most of my 27 new first graders!  They were all so adorable and so little!  I was ecstatic and eager to start teaching them right then and there!  Then I went in to my room today and was completely overwhelmed.  I am nowhere near ready!  I only spent about 5 hours there, and then the laminator and copy machine broke.  Teacher's worst nightmare!  So I was forced to leave and go lay by the pool.  Unfortunate, right?  :)  I hope by Monday I am back to feeling excited.  
(I'm sure I will.  This is completely normal teacher preweek behavior..... right???)  

Me at Open House

My wonderful 1st Grade Team, who have made it a lot easier on me!  :) 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cloud 9

I am literally on cloud 9.  

First of all, do you know Jordan Bluth?  This is key to the story I'm about to tell you.  So if you don't, let me help you out.  He is an AMAZING singer.  I first fell in love with his voice a few years ago when I heard him perform in The Forgotten Carols in Idaho Falls.  I then went on to purchase both of his CDs and am just in awe of his talent.  Here are a few videos to help you fall in love with his voice, too.  

I'm sorry, but I absolutely LOVE men who can sing.
Want to marry me?
Then sing a proposal.
It's that simple.

Ok, now that you are in love with his voice, let's move on to the second key important piece of information.  I am trying to get into a really good choir around here.  I LOVE to sing, but have put that on the back burner since college.  I really want to get back into it.  My first choice is the East Valley Mormon Choral Organization.  It is a phenomenal choir.  They were actually just chosen to be one of 12 choirs competing nationally in 2013.  (In TEXAS, Allyson!!!)  So I am hoping to land an audition with them.  The first step is emailing them a recording of me singing.  

Alright, now that we are all up to speed, here comes the best part.  Guess where Jordan Bluth lives???  That's right, two minutes from my house!  And I just got back from my second, private voice lesson with him!!!!!  I literally can hardly believe that just happened.  If you're not into the music scene, imagine this.  Private cooking lessons with Paula Dean, swimming lessons with Michael Phelps, dance lessons with Julianne Hough.  Any of those help you out?

And it gets better.  He could have just said oh your voice sucks, you'll never make it in any choir or in life.  But no, he said:

That is beautiful.
I'd take that sound in a choir any day.  It's phenomenal. 
I'd want that sound for all my sopranos.  It's really nice. 
It's a really, really beautiful voice.  
Really great work today, your already lovely voice is progressing quickly!

I am so happy.  
Well 98% happy.... he IS married.  Rotten luck.  :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Holy Haboob

I am in love with the weather here.... 98% of the time.  
I could {and do} lay by the pool all day, everyday.  

 But sometimes, out of nowhere, comes these flash floods.  

The picture doesn't do it justice, but water was pouring down as if someone was dumping buckets.  The patio was covered with water.  No rocks or bricks showed, they were all completely underwater.  It was a little scary.  But my neighbors assured me we are high enough to be safe.  :)  I also learned that Arizona has a "Stupid Motorist Law".  Basically if you are stupid enough to enter a "flash flood" area and get stuck, you are responsible for any costs to rescue you.  

And today,  I got home from the pool, started a movie, and all of the sudden the light in my house turned red, and I went outside to see this. 

Thank you Brittany {my Arizona tour guide, via text/instagram}, for informing me of the official name for these "dust storms".  They are called, Haboobs.  Here's a crazier video.  He's much braver than me.  
{You might want to turn off the volume.  He put creepy music on...  freaked me out.}

Again, the pictures don't do it justice.  The sky was more red and brown.  It was crazy.  I literally was outside for about one minute and my phone was covered in brown dust.  I'm still rubbing it out of my eyes.  I'm just glad I left the pool before it started.  That would've been unpleasant.  
Here's hoping it didn't destroy my oasis.  I'll find out tomorrow.

I'd still take these random short storms, over Idaho's constant miserable weather.  
Sorry for those of you who are still there...  Haha.  

Here's some videos of the actual storm tonight.

Monday, July 16, 2012

F is for Friends Who Do Stuff Together

So long story short, my friend Jenny introduced me to her son, Jonathon (who lives in Tuscon) back in November.  We went out a few times and became friends.  He's in the National Guard and deployed this week.  So Jenny, Jonathon, and his sister Analee (who's in the Air Force in Tuscon) stayed at our house for a few days last week while seeing him off.  We jam packed those days with all kinds of Arizona fun...  

We went to Dave & Buster's, where we won a ridiculous amount of tickets and won me this awesome SpongeBob Glitter Lamp.

We went to the Aquarium.  


We saw the new Spiderman in IMAX.  
It... was... awesome!  I don't usually like super hero movies, but I love this one.   

We played mini golf in the heat of the afternoon.  All more prepared to beat Phil Mickelson in the next PGA Tour.  

We learned how to use my bbq and made delicious chicken.  

We found this little stinker IN MY HOUSE.  
But it was too fast to catch.  It's probably going to slither into my brain at night.  

We went to the ceremony for the soldiers.  
Very patriotic and interesting.  I especially loved watching all the families.  This one sweet woman got so emotional.  She had three children, one being a brand new baby.  She was really sweet.  

We got delicious food to ensure Jenny didn't get too depressed after Jonathon deployed and Analee went back to Tuscon.  

We attempted to go to the Ghost Town, but got rained out.  
We didn't leave our car, so I just took pictures through the window to prove we were there.   

And now everyone's gone and I'm officially alone.  
We'll see how long I survive.  Anyone want to come visit???

PS - Here is where the title for this post came from.  :)