Sunday, November 21, 2010

D Day

Happy Birthday to my brother, Jordan.

For your gift, I will blog.
You're welcome.

I've now enjoyed about 10 days of absolute freedom. I had my master's defense on November 11. I was absolutely sick to my stomach scared for that moment. I couldn't eat or function in any way. My advisor told me to prepare a 20 slide PowerPoint with only talking points on them. I wasn't supposed to use notes or anything else. I had to just memorize all the information from my 100+ page paper. I had practiced a few times, but could never do it without my notes. On d-day, I was amazed by how well it went. There were three members on my defense team: my advisor, another education professor, and a professor from the languages department. I felt completely comfortable with them and went smoothly through my presentation. I didn't use notes, and just flowed from slide to slide. They didn't ask me any hard questions (like statistics or research and writing). After one hour and forty-five minutes, they sent me out of the room while they deliberated. That was the most nerve wracking six minutes of my life. After that, Dr. Squires opened the door and said "Congratulations! You passed!". I was just beaming the rest of the day!

I met my parents for lunch afterwards. They were on their way to Arizona, and just happened to be passing through on d-day. We spent a couple of hours together, and then went our separate ways. The rest of the day I was on cloud 9, beaming everywhere I went. It felt like a 91,594 pound weight was lifted off my shoulder.

I celebrated my new found freedom with my besty, Wendy. We will forever call November 13th "Freedom Bash 2010". We began this glorious day with some delicious German Pancakes while we watched "Date Night" (funniest movie EVER, btw). Then we went to the gym for a couple of hours, showered, went to a matinee, "It's Kind of a Funny Story" (not my favorite movie, but only $2 wasted). We then ate dinner at Wendy's apartment, painted our nails, and watched another movie, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" (SO funny). It was the best day EVER!

Now my life consists of doing whatever I want, whenever I want. It is AWESOME! I'm reading the books I want, going to the gym, cooking, watching tv/movies, seeing my friends I've alienated the past 2 years, and keeping my apartment clean! All great things!

I've never been so happy in my entire life.

And yes, you must all address me as Master Van Orman or Master Janae.

A huge thank you to my good friend, Liza, for loaning me her laptop since mine died. I am thanking my lucky stars it did not break before November 11th.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I don't really like Halloween, but being a first grade teacher kind of forces you to dress up and embrace this ridiculous holiday. In the past, I have always been a cow. The reasons being:

-It was only $7 at Wal-Mart
-I refuse to be a witch (so cliche, every does it)
-The only other costumes available were slutty versions. First grade teachers can't be slutty. It's in the handbook.

That being said, I still think I made a pretty cute cow.

Last year, I tried SO HARD to find a different costume, but all I could find were witches, slutty versions, or costumes over $50. That's a bit out of my price range. So, I ended up being a cow... again. I didn't really mind, since I only wore it at school and the children think it is so funny.

This year, I FINALLY found the PERFECT costume. I was in a costume shop in Pocatello and saw it. The Tooth Fairy! But the premade version was $52.99! Yeah right! So my dear friend, Victoria offered to help me create my own version. I have to say, it is much better!

My class LOVED it! And I felt great wearing this costume, instead of the cow. You can't really tell int he picture, but my hair was all glittery. I also had white tights and silver flats.

So from now on, I will be the Tooth Fairy!

I didn't do much celebrating. We had a school carnival on Friday night which I helped out at. Each teacher did their own station and got to keep all the profit. It was a great idea and I ended up earning about $112. Oh the things I can buy...

On Saturday I was too worn out from the busy weeks and needed a day off. But today, my friend Wendy and I made delicious Halloween sugar cookies. My mom's recipe is my all time favorite, and I make them every holiday. You should all feel so lucky I am going to share it with you!

Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture 1/3 at a time.

Chill 3-4 hours. (But, if you are as impatient as I am, about 30 minutes in the freezer)
Roll 1/4 inch thick
Bake at 375 for about 6 minutes

1 tablespoon soft butter
2 cups icing sugar (or powdered sugar in America)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

check it out

Doesn't it look so beautiful?! I can't believe it is finished. I finally did it! I turned in my master's paper today!!!!!! In two weeks I defend it, and then I am officially a MASTER!!!!!!!!!!

(I'm sorry, but this post really needed a lot of exclamation marks)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

just call me grandma

Okay, fine. Georgia convinced me. Here is a quick, not very creative post about turning over the hill. I am officially in my late 20s... I'm not too happy about it, but I did have a GREAT time celebrating.

I LOVE my birthday. To me, it should really be a national holiday. And it is so much fun in first grade. A few gave me real gifts, but most gave me drawings, dances, songs, hugs, etc. We celebrated with a color party of rainbow jello jigglers and color bingo. It made them feel like it was a really party and my principal feel like it was still educational.

My spectacular friend Georgia came up from Soda to spend the night with me. We went out to dinner with my friends Wendy and Sarah. It was delightful. We went to Carino's, and since my roommate works there, we got 50% off. THAT was a real treat! Wendy and I shopped at Ross (my new favorite store and part of her lovely gift to me). Georgia made a delicious chocolate torte that we devoured in a matter of two days. Michelle came over for a little visit. It was a fun day!

Birthday Gang

A few days after my birthday, my parents sent my birthday card/gift with Michelle's parents. So I got to celebrate my birthday all over again! Disappointing, right? :) My dad finally trusted me enough to get me a new camera. I have literally had about 63 cameras in my lifetime that have been lost or broken. Now I have this little beauty I am going to take care of. Promise.

Another update: I have exactly 22 days before I turn in my master's paper. Then 14 days after that I defend my paper and officially become a Master! Bring it.

On a side note, don't I have the cutest nieces/nephews ever? This is sweet little Gus showing you his awesome/spooky trick.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I have very good intentions to blog. But somehow, I keep finding better things to do with my time. Sad, huh? An update will occur soon. But for now, if you want to see what I've been up to, go here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

hello goodbye

Staying up late
Sleeping in
Spontaneous vacations
Weeks with family in Canada
Camping trips (I'm almost to the point where I can say I really enjoy them and can't wait for next Summer... almost)
Care free days
Clear, stress free mind
Social life
Going to the bathroom whenever I need to
Manicured nails

Going to bed at the same time as my grandma
Waking up before the garbage men
Working 16 hour days/6.5 days a week for approximately 5 cents/hour
21 first graders/basically just taller kindergartners/infants
Stressful mind wondering if there is any way to get these illiterate children reading in 163 days
Holding it for up to 8 hours
Smiling all day long
Getting set up by your student, whose dad "hasn't had a girlfriend in, like, a month"
Tieing shoes

3 days down, 160 to go

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Going Private

You know the drill. Send me your email if you want to keep reading. If you were a reader when I was private before, I still have your address listed, so don't worry!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Have you heard of {q.a.} DESIGN? It is run by Jenna, who creates a lot of artistic and creative blog designs and prints. She is making me a print of Alberta, similar to this one:

Some of her other great prints include:

Right now she is having a giveaway for a free custom blog header. Take advantage of a great opportunity! Check it out here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The following is a short story that proves good things really do happen to good people.

The last few days I've been having some problems with my phone. I charge it, don't use it all day, and then it dies during the next night. That didn't seem quite appropriate for a phone to do. After a few nights of that problem (good thing I have back up alarm clocks), it started dropping my calls. I would be talking to someone for a few minutes, and then all of the sudden, neither of us could hear each other, even though the phone still said we were connected. I decided to go into Verizon today to see what was wrong. The salesman took out my battery, did some update, and sent me on my way. I tried a few more calls this afternoon, only to have the same thing happen. I went back to the store, found out my one year warranty was still in effect, and started to order my replacement phone. They were going to send the exact same phone, but apparently they don't make it anymore and didn't have any in stock. SO, I got to choose from three beautiful phones instead. Two of them had qwerty keyboards (which I can't stand on cell phones), so that narrowed it right down to this beauty:

The Chocolate Touch

They are overnighting me this phone FREE OF CHARGE. They were also out of the batteries for it, so they are sending it with an extended life battery FREE OF CHARGE. I have never been so happy in my entire life.

There you have it.
New free and awesome phone = the good thing
Janae = the good person

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Grade Fun

Michelle and Max came over this morning for some fun with play dough!
Check it out here:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Family Story

Once upon a time, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, a young lady is passing time while waiting for her dear friend Michelle to come home from her married friends and go on a walk. She started watching “The Next Food Network Star”, when all of the sudden, the contestants were surprised by a visit from their loved ones. Tears began to fill this young lady’s eyes as she watched these contestants embrace their families. While she has only been away from her family for approximately five days, she is counting down the days until their next visit. After about 20 seconds of sobs, she began to laugh at how ridiculous she was to be crying during a Food Network show. Seriously?! So don’t you worry, she hasn’t become a total basket case yet, she has just realized that it is definitely time to make the move back home. If only a job would open up for her...

Think it’s time for a new family picture???

Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy Friday!

Ever wonder what really happened to the dinosaurs?

Well wonder no more!

Thanks, Brittany!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

School Fever!

Is anybody else out there having school fever?? I am seriously counting the days until school starts again. I cannot believe we still have another entire month before we start. Yes, I love summer, but I am dying to be back in the classroom, cleaning, decorating, organizing, planning, and writing letters to my new students! I cannot wait! I love the beginning of school so much. I’ve been buying pretty much everything in sight. Carson Dellosa, Really Good Stuff, Michaels, and Walmart have brought me close to bankruptcy. In all my excitement for school to start, I’ve been browsing teacher websites and blogs. I have found so many great ones, but decided to start my own! Check it out here. It doesn’t have much yet, but I’m hoping to post pictures and ideas once I get started. If you have any suggestions or ideas, let me know! Shout out to Whitney for making yet another awesome header!

And for those of you interested, I am planning on teaching another year in Idaho. Eventually I hope to move back to Alberta, but only when there’s a job for me!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Check out the first Be a Wellness Pro giveaway!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I’m Augustus.
My friends call me Gus.

My mom and dad haven’t set up a blog yet, so I have to rely on my outstanding Aunt Janae to connect me to the world.
I am so lucky to have her as an aunt.
She is the best, and my most favorite!

I am about two months old now and have been told I am outrageously cute.
I am getting blessed this Sunday, and the only person in the world I want to be there, isn’t coming.
She has no money and is stuck at home working on her paper.
But that’s okay.
I know she loves me anyway.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Team Edward vs Team Jacob


1. Edward does sparkle like a princess' tiara.
2. I want to bake cookies on Jacob's stomach.
3. Bella is a whiny do nothing who doesn't deserve either one of them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Camping - Take 2

I had the best time this past weekend, playing with the nieces, exploring Warren’s (more accurately Ally and Grace’s) ipad, reading my book, watching Backyardigans and Grey’s Anatomy, and playing cards.

Did I mention this was all accomplished in a luxurious trailer while the winds blew and the rains poured during our camping trip? Well, it did. Unfortunately, on our four day trip to Kananaskis we only had about 6 hours of nice weather. We were still able to have one fire, go on a few little walks, throw rocks in a river, swim in a hot tub, go on a bike ride, and consume much delicious food.
That being said, I guess it was a successful camping trip!

If you remember the last time we went to Kananaskis, you’ll remember the park puts on fun and informative programs for families every night. This year, Warren was lucky enough to be chosen to play the lead role in the hit soap opera, “As the Tree Grows”. He was in a serious love scene where a squirrel and mushroom were vying for his love. It was a smash!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Van Orman Family Reunion - June 2010

Instead of staying home to get my work done,
I came along to join in some family time fun.
I sat in the trailer on a beautiful day,
While all of the others went off to play.
Desperately trying to meet the deadline,
I had limited time with this family of mine.
I made sure I set my priorities straight,
But there were some activities that could not wait.
Bike rides, campfires, hoodoos, and sun tans galore
Are a few of the activities I made time for.
I discovered many a mosquito bite.
Against them, I couldn’t put up a fight.
At the end of the week, I simply must admit:
This family reunion was an absolute hit!

Little Gus and his parents were only there in spirit... but I wanted to include a picture of this ridiculously cute baby boy!