Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Yes...I am lame--but I need a quick post tonight.  Happy Halloween!
Cedar Ridge Academy's photo.
And they snuck a picture of me at work today!
This is what I wear every year!!! I love my hat and they stuck this on the Facebook page.  Go like us to see more pictures of me and my students :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why You Should Love Books

So...I really get a kick out of some of these lists that seem to pop up on the Internet.  The one I learned about today is called: The 23 Best Parts of Being a Book Lover. I wanted to share my two favorite from this

Of course #1

Finding the coziest reading spot, making a hot drink, and opening up to the first page.

Finding the coziest reading spot, making a hot drink, and opening up to the first page.
Has to be a hot chocolate in my book :)
And then #14

Having a permanent dining companion

Having a permanent dining companion.
No wine for me...but totally a Sprite or something
Why do you love books? My #1 reason: They are just plain awesome!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top Ten Books to Read During Halloween

Hmm....this one might be interesting but still very important---I just don't read "scary" books so lets see what I come up with.

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.....I feel like this is appropriate
2. Harry Potter series....something about magic and wizards says Halloween to me
3. Alanna series (Tamora Pierce)....being a girl dressed up as a guy is not exactly Halloween...but the dress-up part is
4. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier...the whole is there a ghost or isn't there thing says Halloween
5. Dracula....of course

Okay so I am out of book ideas....but I do have short story/novella/poem ideas

6. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving....of course
7. The Tell-Tale Heart--what's spookier than a beating heart beneath your floor?
8. The Raven---You have to watch the Simpsons Halloween special on this one
9. The Birds by Daphne DuMaurier---They are coming to get you!!
10. A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner--Creepy creepy!

Monday, October 28, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? October 28th Edition

2aHaven't hopped on this linky in a while because I felt like I was always saying the same books!  And I'm kind of in this weird thing of reading like four different books at once...but they're all different and for different settings and moods which is how I justify it I guess.  I use to be a strict one book at a time girl....but I guess that's when I read faster.

1. 1984 by George Orwell--This one is for school.  The kids are really really enjoying it so far, and I'm liking the second go around.

2. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult--This one is my audio book for the turned into an unexpected historical fiction book and I'm really liking it!

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth--This was on sale last week on my Kindle and I just barely got started....I am excited to keep reading. My students are loving this book right now and I want to find out what the hub-bub is about.

4. What DaVinci Didn't Know: An LDS Perspective by Andrew C. Skinner, Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, and Thomas A. Wayment--I downloaded this from Deseret Book after I finally finished DaVinci Code because this is one of those books where you wonder how much of this is true and how much of this was created for the book.  I often don't end up reading non-fiction books often with feeling like I do that all the time for work--more like college...but I think I'm getting over that.  This is pretty well written.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Utah Council of Social Studies Conference Wrap-Up

First off you have to know how much I love going to conferences. Being the only Social Studies teacher at my school, I need to go hang out with "my people" every once in a while.  And this is one is a tradition for me. Twice a year UCSS puts on a conference that is absolutely superb.  Why you ask?
  1. It is on is hard to take a "day off" from school
  2. I always have three sessions that I can attend and learn something new
  3. And usually in these sessions I have at least one thing that I can use on Monday if I so chose
  4. Great people that present and great people to meet
I wanted to give you a little bit of how awesome my day was.  First I had the great opportunity to hear from a teacher who got her Master's in England and taught there for four years.  England does high school a little bit like I do in the fact that they only have class once sometimes twice a she can only do the big topics like me.  England focuses A LOT on sources it sounded like.  This is something that I need to be doing more of! And I loved the advice and resources she had to offer. 

Then I had the opportunity to hear from author and illustrator, Nathan Hale.  His talk was very entertaining and really brought home how much more I need to use visuals with my students. They get the visuals in lectures and PowerPoints--but the visuals of books is an awesome thing to do.  Quinn Rollins followed him up with a great list of books--which he promised to put on the UCSS I hope to see that soon because he had a great list!

Finally, I went to a great session in which the presenter had created a list of the top 10 pre-modern and modern migrations.  I learned SO much!!! World History and Geography are where I don't know as much background information---and now I have so much more and a serious desire to get more! And I think my students would be very interested to understand why some of these migrations have affected and still affect our current affairs. 

Overall, thank you UCSS for an amazing day of sessions-I loved the conference and can't wait for spring!

Knit-along Step 1: Get Yarn

So...I was in Provo today for UCSS Conference (more on that tomorrow)....and after the conference I stopped by JoAnn's. Now you know that I have A LOT of I really shouldn't be buying more...but I am because I am going to start a new project...which is also dumb because I haven't finished the one I am working on now.  So why am I doing this? Because of a knit-along!

I have seriously always wanted to do one of these....but either A. it is crochet B. it is too soon that I figure out it is happening and I can't get materials because I live in a small town or C. it is like a sweater or something that looks SUPER complicated.  This one actually doesn't look too bad because it is a scarf...but it does have that "intermediate" thing on it which always makes me nervous!!!

I wasn't a huge fan of the colors.....but I did like the grey idea so I got....

They should match the yarn the pattern asks for....and I really like the colors--I hope it will turn out great. P.S. It starts Tuesday so there is still time to jump in if materials aren't hard for you to find.  Go here for more info. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Another Reason to Love Reading!

I was looking through my e-mail today and I found this quote from Goodreads:
I read so I can live more than one life in more than one place. --Anne Tyler
I loved this quote the minute I read it because it is a great explanation of why someone should read.  I don't get to go on big fancy adventures.  And I don't get to spend a lot of money on trips that are more stress than books sometimes.  So I think Anne Tyler was a very wise women to think this. So go read a book and go on an adventure!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lies, D* Lies, and Statistics

I am loving that I came up with my title the way that I did....this is a quote often attributed to Mark Twain...but he stole it from Benjamin Disraeli. And then it makes me think of the great episode from the first season of the West Wing.,_Damn_Lies_and_Statistics
It came to mind today because I first saw this graphic on Facebook:
I opened it up because I wanted to paste it in here..but then I got wondering about where these statistics came from.  So I went to the original website and found the link above.  He learned that his stats might not be true....and that's a bummer to me because a couple of them actually seemed legit.  Like the high school grad and college grad one....the no bookstore one makes sense if they are only counting stuff like Barnes and Noble because most people buy online now.  I really wanted to know more about the chosen field one--that is actually not bad.

On the website he created a new graphic....which keeps that 7 years idea...which is apparently not a statistic....just a nice thought.
This still has some interesting numbers on it...but it is mostly just about literacy--but that reading frequency declines and over the age of 16 ones sound about right too. What this whole situation really shows me is that we can't trust statistics....they really can be just lies like Israeli and Twain have said.  What do you think?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An Interesting Week for Teachers

This was a perfect picture to express what I was feeling when I opened up this window tonight....
Overcome Writers Block with These Blog Writing Ideas | Blog Hands
So I went looking....and I found an interesting article on Education Week called: We Need a National Teacher Monument.  This got me thinking about this week for teachers.  This author's opinion is that we have a lot of monuments in Washington D.C. and not even ones that you could think of right away...just a little statue or plaque.  But among all of these monuments there isn't one for teachers, and there should be--especially if the president and Secretary of Education we are going to say that it is the greatest job to have and we should do more than just give them gifts on Appreciation Week. 

Then I started thinking about the fact that two teachers died this week...because of their students. These news stories always hit close to home.  Thankfully, I work at a pretty safe school--either that or I'm just naive. But you always wonder--"Will that ever be someone I know?" This might be a place to start....honoring the teachers that have lost their lives in the line of duty....just a thought today as my brain struggles for ideas :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unusual Character Names

Today's top ten Tuesday is all about names that we read in books that are just plain strange.  Here is my list:

1. Katniss--Hunger Games....just weird
2. Renesmee--Twilight/Breaking Dawn....double weird
3. Alanna--Alanna the First Adventure....not super weird but unusual
4. Hermione from Harry one knew how to say it until the 4th book :P I always wondered if she did that because everyone was saying it wrong.

Hmm....that was what stuck out right away....its been a long day or I would probably think more.

Monday, October 21, 2013


This is going to be a super lame post because I have parent-teacher conferences this week and I am SWAMPED!!! So my goal is to...

Follow one course until successful!  Awesome.
And hopefully I do....end up successful.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

1984 by George Orwell Part 1

So right now at my school, I am teaching a class that is currently reading this book together.  This is kind of a fun class because I am excited to be doing class discussions with students that are reading a book all at the same time.  Tomorrow we will be discussing part one of 1984 by George Orwell.  And I have been contemplating a lot of the different themes that come out in this section. One of the things that is really sticking out to me as I am reading this is the comments that George Orwell is making about history.

Winston contemplates a lot about how the Party has completely rewritten history and regularly does it--and he knows this because it is apart of his job.  And there is the idea that we don't know exactly what is true and what is not true. He realizes that without a record and no memory of the people, proving whether something happened or not is really tricky.

He even goes to talk to a man that is old enough to have lived before the Revolution to see what he remembers....which is not a lot.  Winston even tells the story of three high Party members who were going to be purged by Big Brother---they are arrested and confess to their crimes.  But one day, Winston gets a copy of a newspaper article that actually contradicts what they said in their confessions....proving that the three were just told what to say and that history is being changed.

As a history teacher, we understand that there is bias that is inevitable in history writing.  But this story takes that bias to the max! Everyone knows that the history is written really by the victors and this book really begs the question, how much of that can we really believe?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Service is Important

I found this quote today for my lesson tomorrow and I am going to use it as a handout. By the way...I love this website where I got this handout from. It gives me handouts 99% of the time :) And she does more than just YW quotes so find Relief Society quotes.

You are My Hands April 2010 Conference
It is important that we serve each other...not only for them but for ourselves.  Everyone always says that when we are struggling or feeling down that we should go serve other people.  And it is so true!! So the message today is: feeling depressed? go help someone out.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Best Moments in the 2013 NLCS!

Today I had the ultimate pleasure to watch the St. Louis Cardinals TROUNCE the Dodgers 9-0.  I was thinking that for my blog post I would do the best moments of the game....including awesome facts :) The first best moment though doesn't really have to do with the game---but I got to watch almost all of the game at a sports bar on a huge screen!  It was great to sit with my husband, enjoy great food, and watch an amazing game! Here come my best moments:

  1. Puig had two errors...and we scored on both
  2. 4 runs in the 3rd and 5 runs in the 5th
  3. Going through the whole order in the 3rd and 5th inning
  4. Learning that we got Wacha from the draft number trade with Pujols....ha would rather have Wacha Wacha than Pujols right now :)
  5. Carlos Beltran's amazing catch in the 5th
  6. Staring contest with Joe Kelly...too bad he was following the ump's directions first
  7. Wacha became the 3rd rookie starter in the history of baseball to have two wins in a NLCS
  8. Wacha earns MVP and he is only the 2nd pitcher to do so
  9. 19th NLCS...most in MLB History according to the matter what we have more than the ALCS (so that includes the Yankees if you remember my previous post we are better)....according to Wikipedia, the Giants and Dodgers franchise have more.....but I think they are counting it by the fact that there has always been a franchise in St. Louis even though we've changed names a lot.
  10. Carlos Beltran's first World Series!!!

Photo: Your Cardinals are headed to the WORLD SERIES!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Top 5 Places to Visit in Salt Lake City

Being in my small town...there are often needs to go out to Salt Lake City.  I was thinking about that today as I contemplate the stores that I need to go to and pick up/shop for things.  So I thought I would make a list of the top 5 places that are a "must see" in Salt Lake City.

  1. Temple Square--so pretty especially during the Christmas time--I am excited for that!
  2. Abravanel Hall--Home of the Utah Symphony Orchestra which is the reason why I went--and it is an awesome building
  3. The Living Planet Aquarium---Though you better wait until it re-opens--they are opening a new building that is going to be so better than the first one!
  4. Utah State Capitol--and I have actually never been inside, but the grounds are pretty 
  5. Memory Grove Park--This is a great park because they have memorials for all the major wars....and it is a beautiful park and it is just below the Capitol Building

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

You Tube Favorite

So I was really struggling today for a blog post idea.  It was a long day and I am tired.  So I didn't want to be super creative...but I have this list on Pinterest that gives me ideas....sometimes.  This one stuck out today: "Share a YouTube favorite."

So...I was like hmmm...and then I remembered I shared this on Facebook as a must watch and I still feel like it is the same today...I have now watched it 3 times and I never do that with videos!

So you must watch this video!!! (Even though it is a bit long...I promise the end is worth it)

  1. Handshake fail (about 2:02)
  2. Jimmy Fallon starts waay too early on the first song...its funny! (about 2:25)
  3. If you watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt sing the words Tiny Dancer...he starts to say Tony and seems to almost say Danza and switches it to Dancer (about 3:50)
  4. Stephen Merchant calls Jimmy...James all formal and British like (about 4:55)
  5. "We weren't notified in England of that" (about 5:15)
  6. Awesome Beyonce dance :) (about 6:09)
  7. "Considered the national anthem...but then we decided to stick with the one we have." (about 7:00)
  8. Jimmy Fallon's very 80s dance (about 7:20)
  9. Seriously how fast Joseph Gordon-Levitt can move his lips on this last song is insane!!!! Honestly my favorite song in the whole clip! And I HATE the original. (about 8:20)
Honestly I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the winner....just for that last song.  This should seriously become something people do at parties!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top Ten Books I Was Forced to Read

Being an English major and going through honors English in high school, never mind teaching students Shakespeare...I have been "forced" to read things that I probably wouldn't have picked up on my own and I LOVED!

1. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier--My absolutely favorite book from English class high school
2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas--It was a great story from high school!
3. Richard III by William Shakespeare--I read this because the festival did it....and it was SO hard to get through at first, but I really enjoyed it.
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee--This is one of my FAVORITE books and I wouldn't have read it without high school English and loved it more with teaching.
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald--My first exposure and it was great.
6. Macbeth by William Shakespeare--Great story of the tragic hero!
7. Death by a Salesman by Arthur Miller--Great story of the American dream.
8. The Crucible by Arthur Miller--Inspired my thesis!
9. Hamlet by William Shakespeare--I learned what true writing was with this play.
10. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield--A fellow teacher assigned this and I wanted to read it with the students in my Social Studies classes and it was a great book.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Book Quote for Today

So I am pulling a inspire quote today....
A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way. 
This is from Caroline Gordon.  Apparently  she was a prominent literary figure who was friends with writers like Flannery O'Connor, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  She was very well read when she was around, but she hasn't survived into present day.  Makes me want to find a book of hers to read!

But I really loved this quote--this is why I love reading and try to get my students to read too.  Thankfully, most of my students catch on with the reading bug and I love it!  But I think this is why movies do very well--it is the power of the story.  But I feel like reading is more of a magic carpet because it is your imagination that pushes the plot forward.

Thank you Wikipedia!
But she looks fascinating

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Great Cardinals Moment

This post on Sunday was suppose to be my final day of I Love Yarn Day...but not so much.  I had planned to show you pictures of my brand new completed project, but its not done yet.  I am closer--I did work on it today.  But I have about 90 more rows and it is going to be a bit longer---the marathon of the baby blankets that is my life.

So...I found out about this article today about the St. Louis Cardinals and I just had to share it. This article makes me wish that I taught English more than I do right is an AMAZING example of voice and audience. So any English teachers out there....consider using this on my behalf :)

So with audience: this article was written by a columnist that presumably lives in New York at least works for the CBS affiliate of New York.  The title of the article is: "House of Cardinals; Is St. Louis America's Team?" He argues that the Yankees dominated in the 1990s, so they demanded respect of their baseball prowess.  But then on the other hand, the "Evil Empire" spent enormous amounts of money on their players so they were more like a business than a team.  I want to quote now from the article to show you some of his voice...which I find oh so amusing
There’s a crack in Darth Vader’s mask. And the St. Louis Cardinals have slipped through it, blooming like a rose from Middle America.
While the Yankees lick their wounds and grab their wallet, the Cardinals are deep into another fall run toward the Fall Classic. If they can squeeze out four games against the talented but tormented Dodgers, St. Louis will be the hub of America’s pastime yet again.
And they do it with a fraction of our budget and our bombast.
Yep we are awesome like that--we are all about baseball and not about the business of things. He then proceeds to remind us that the Cardinals recently lost people from their organization--and so did the Yankees but look who is still able to keep going.  The Cardinals--because we work from the bottom up. He even gets rid of the argument that the Yankees are better because they have a long standing tradition of greatness...but so do the Cardinals--we even beat the great Mickey Mantle.  Then he says this:
And they play in St. Louis, appropriately placed in the middle of the map, like the aorta of baseball. Almost every player, foreign or domestic, preaches the Cardinal Gospel. St. Louis is a special place, they say, the real Field of Dreams, a pastoral wonderland where players are beloved no matter their last plate appearance.
They don’t even boo their players. This is the land of Stan Musial, who stayed like a spiritual buoy for over 90 years. The land of Bob Gibson and Ozzie Smith. They can find victory in virtue.
New Yorkers don’t understand that. It singes our elitist sensibilities. To us, it is our prerogative to torture whomever melts on the mound at Yankee Stadium. We serenade opponents with vulgar chants, get the middle finger from our own pitchers (Jack McDowell), and applaud while our old owner (George Steinbrenner) warned another pitcher (Dennis Rassmussen), “Columbus, here I come!”
Again awesome writing...and it is all true in my book. This weekend the Dodgers came and visited...two regular players and one coach use to be former St. Louis Cardinals.  Skip Schumaker (2005-2012) and Nick Punto (2011) plus Mark a Yankee situation they would have been booed out of the park. These men were applauded in a high-stake game not booed. This is why St. Louis is the best baseball town ever! I also liked the idea of us being in the heart of the country and therefore baseball.

I also love how in this article he basically calls all New Yorkers entitled and takes guts! (Again he is insulting his audience...great example of audience)
New York City can’t fathom why anyone would want to play anywhere but here, despite the car wash we put them through. We don’t acknowledge a world west of the Hudson River. The rest is for rednecks. Right. Now we are paying for our excess, our sins, our arrogance. We have become the land of A-Rod and TMZ. We are the new country for old men and bloated contracts.
Finally he ends with this quote....which puts the icing on the cake:
And New Yorkers will look longingly toward St. Louis. Not that we will ever admit it.
(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)
Celebrate it up!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I Love Yarn Day Part 2

So yesterday being "I Love Yarn Day"---I decided this weekend would be a yarn weekend for me...because I didn't get a lot done yesterday.  I had wanted to organize my humongous pile of yarn and in the midst of the projects that I am in the middle of.  After looking at a variety of ways to organize my yarn on Pinterest....this was still my favorite option.

12 Tips to Organize Your Yarn Stash
The next step was figuring out what to put the yarn in to make it look like this.  I saw that some people put them inside shoe organizers--and I didn't like that idea.  Others thought of liquor boxes that the ship the bottles in.  I thought that might be kind of cool, especially I could stain them and decorate them.

So I thought of these at Wal-mart...they are fabric drawers that can go inside a bookshelf type thing.

I only got four of these...two navy and two natural ones....and I didn't get a shelf thing because first I didn't know for sure if they would do what I wanted them to do...but also, I have that vent--smack dab in the middle of the where I am working.  And I don't want to cover it up. So I have two on either side. And they look pretty good with yarn in them. you can see I still have run out of space!  I have decided to get six more...a nice even 10 but I'm still not 100% sure that will be enough.....I might get 12--we'll see. But I can't stack them--tried that and you can see how they buckle a little even with the bags with yarn on top.  And then there is the huge bag of projects and these...which I thought looked cool in their little containers.

But I'm not quite sure how I am going to get a shelf thing in there....but I'll be back at Wal-mart Monday since I will be in Vernal anyway and see if I can't figure it out.  I might be able to even do a piece of wood all the way across and create my own shelf...but I'm not sure if they will support that.

Friday, October 11, 2013

I Love Yarn Day!

So today is I Love Yarn Day! Yep there really is such a thing. When I found out about this...I thought that I would come home from work and just knit all night in honor. Today when I knew what I had on the schedule that I might come home and organize all of my yarn that I haven't done since we moved in. But then I didn't come home until almost 5.  And as soon as I hit the couch my eyes involuntarily close--a sign from my body that I am more tired than I think I am.  So I think this is going to become a yarn day weekend.  So I can knit part of the day on Saturday and Sunday along with organizing my yarn.  I really want to finish the blanket that I am working on! So today...I am going to show you some of my great funnies about knitting that I found today.

Photo: New motto: "If you can't say anything nice...just keep knitting."

Pin it:
So funny!

Especially when it is my students...because they usually come
from money and like expensive things

Photo: "A granny a day keeps the doctor away!"

Have you ever done a 365 knitting or crochet project? The idea is to make something each day and end up with a beautiful, finished project at the end of the year! This afghan is stunning!
This was a 365 project....she made a square a day.  And not all of them went into this blanket
Def. crocheted...
A little bit too tempting as I approach the end of this 365 project...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pinterest as Inspiration

So first off....I am way sad that no one responded to my Count of Monte Cristo read-a-long plea....I still don't know what to do! And I am trying to figure out what to write about today...I am way tired and getting really sick of being in pain.  Actually...that gives me an idea--can I vent about that for a sec?

To catch you up---collapsed/fainted in April with a sharp lower abdomen pain...rushed to idea what I see a bunch of doctors trying to figure out if it is ovarian issues/related uterus problems or digestive issues.  We seem to focus on the women's stuff...but finally a doctor decides to focus on the digestive because I definitely have those problems which might be why we can't figure out the women's stuff.  So we get rid of the digestive system stuff then we can get everything he sends me to the surgeon to get a colonoscopy---this is now end of July that I did this.  

The doctor learns that my colon is inflamed and prescribed an antacid because the theory is that I might have an excess build up of acid in my colon that is causing it to be inflamed.  The instructions were that in 2 weeks call him if it didn't get better.  This made sense and I was so excited! I wanted a was a simple fix...and I finally had answers.  2 weeks went by and I didn't feel better but I felt like it might be getting better so I gave it more time.  After a month, it clearly wasn't going to be getting better so I called the doctor.  They had talked about referring me to a gastrointernologist so I figured that was what was next.  But the doctor never called back after I left a message with the nurse.  So two weeks later I was sick of waiting so I called back....and she said the doctor had been out of town. He was back Friday (this was last Friday) and she would talk to him and call me back.  I figured I would probably hear early this week because he was coming back from vacation.  But no....I haven't heard anything and I am now about ready to hit two months with this pill--and my pain this week has been so not fun.  

So now I'm contemplating what to do next...I am sick of calling them and it not going anywhere.  I am feeling like I am pestering them by calling and I know that they must be busy...but seriously I have been waiting for a month for answers. I have also thought about making an appt. with the doctor that sent me to the surgeon in the first place....see what he thinks.  I have also thought about just making an appt. with the surgeon so that maybe they will actually talk to me.  I also really just want someone to stick me in a machine to see if my colon is still inflamed...I want to know if these meds have done anything!  

Ugh.....this actually brings me to why I started thinking about this--my Pinterest inspiration.

Teacher funny ... sick!
I have woken up a couple times this week wishing that I could just stay home....but I am already super behind in my grading--why would I get farther behind?!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

More Reading??

So I just found out about this....
TCOMC RA Button is only the 9th so I can hope in on this read-along...and I absolutely love Count of Monte Cristo---though I have only read the abridged version.  But...I have always been wanting to read the whole unabridged version....and this is a good excuse. But I already have so many books that I want to read.....I should just say no!!

Never mind the fact that I am trying to get ready for parent-teacher 2 weeks!! EEK!!!! So it is not like I have time for this....but she does say 2 and a half chapters a day....which I could actually probably do.  

SO I DON'T KNOW!! I am putting it up for a vote to you the comments simple say DO IT or DON'T or some variation thereof....I am going to decide in the next day or so....that way I don't get behind.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Best/Worst Endings in a Series

I feel like I've done this before....but maybe not.  We'll see how many I come up with.


  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows--loved and I didn't feel like I needed more!
  2. Rilla of Ingleside--I loved the ending, it is a great send off for the characters
  1. Mockingjay---I have said before that I'm not a fan...and its not great
  2. Breaking Dawn--Not a fan..could have ended differently
Hmmm...I didn't think of anything else that really stuck out.  It is moments like these when I feel like I don't read as much as I should!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Today has been a weird day...

I have debated a couple of different posts for tonight....but I have decided to just kind of vent about the day. It has been a weird day.  This morning I woke up and I had a feel today was going to be a bad pain day....and sure enough I was right.  I struggled climbing the stairs at work and I knew it was going to be a long day.  I managed to survive work through the pain...and I actually felt pretty productive.  Yeah I still have a lot to do with parent-teacher conferences coming in two weeks....but it is nice when I can come home and feel like I don't HAVE to do anything.

I then was hit with two different pieces of bad news from friends...and it just sucks. Sometimes life throws people really hard curve balls....and sometimes we're glad that we dodged and didn't get hit by the pitch.  But other times we were hit hard with the pitch....and yeah we get that free walk to first and that might be great for the game...the bruise still hurts and stings.  Maybe it even takes us out of the rest of the game until we can get back on the horse tomorrow. It is moments like this when I wish we could just all have magic wands or fortune telling ball thingys....just so we knew that everything would be okay eventually.

Then there comes the weird part...I am cheered up by my awesome St. Louis Cardinals winning their game and we are headed back to St. Louis to win this last game!!! And then I am super excited that I unpacked some more of the kitchen...and I figured out a great way to keep my towels for the kitchen.  I don't have a drawer to put them in so they end up in baskets all cute like :)

Brand new towels are awesome!
And then now we have all of the clothes in the house clean.  Yes to mothers with children this is not that big of an achievement.  But for me this is huge.....never at one time are all of the clothes clean at the same time.  I feel very accomplished and proud.

So get what I mean about the weird was like a roller coaster.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

General Conference Part 2

Today was another great day of General Conference.  President Monson said in his talk this morning that this session was the most spiritually uplifting that he has ever been to.  Considering he is celebrating his 50 year anniversary of being a general authority that is saying a lot.  But I wholeheartedly agree!  Ever single talk in this morning's session was a serious favorite.  I was thinking as the session ended, "I am going to have a lot of trouble writing my blog post with just one speaker as a favorite."  But now that I'm sitting here writing..what's wrong with telling you why I liked everyone's talks?

Henry B. Eyring- He spoke about what choices will lead us to happiness. I loved this talk, because I feel like it is what I needed to hear this weekend.  Some days it is hard to put one foot in front of the other, but if I remember that I am working toward eternal life then it can get easier.  And if I remember to love my Heavenly Father, that will get me through.

Dallin H. Oaks- His talk really tied into President Eyring's in the fact that he said this: "Our ultimate priority should be to love the Lord."  He continued with talking about how the Plan of Happiness is for everyone, and I loved this quote too.
"Our understanding of God's plan and His doctrine gives us an eternal perspective." –Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Bonnie L. Oscarson- As the newly called Young Women General President, I was excited to hear her speak.  She talked about how conversion comes through living righteous lives.  I love how she reminded us that no one can be converted for you--we have to gain our own testimony.  The biggest way to gain our own testimony is to exercise faith and act on the commandments. She explained it so simply, it was great.

Richard J. Maynes- I can't wait to go back and re-read his talk because he had so many great analogies.  I loved how his really brought home the fact that we need our testimonies to have endurance and spiritual stamina.  We have to be in gospel shape, just like our physical bodies need to be in shape.

Richard G. Scott- He always seems to talk about the Atonement, and today was no exception.  My favorite take away quote from his talk was that "The Atonement brings personal strength to the children of God." But at the end he threw another great idea in there--which was to fill your life with service because Satan's temptations will lose their power as a result. How cool is that?!

Thomas S. Monson- As always, the great storyteller reminding us that our testimony, patience, and endurance can see us through trials.

"Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, He is with us. He has promised that this will never change." –President Thomas S. Monson
This is my favorite Pinterest quote from this session for sure--as I continue to wonder if and when my pain will ever go away...I need this reminder that my Heavenly Father is always there for me and that won't ever go away.

The last session of conference is always bittersweet for me.  This session brought more great talks, but I think my favorite talks from this session were Neil L. Anderson's and David M. McConkie's.  Elder Anderson reminded all of the Church how important women are and how essential the priesthood is no matter our circumstances.  A lot of people have been talking about the "ordain women" movement, and the brethren really have heard it and I think tried to address it but Elder Anderson's was the most direct to me. And I loved this quote from him because it reminds us that we are all needed.

“As men and women, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters of God, we move forward together.” –Elder Neil L. Andersen
Finally, Brother McConkie spoke about the power of a teacher in the Church. The thing that stood out to me the most was the need to be spiritually prepared, not just prepared with my lesson.  It made so much sense the way that he explained how if we are prepared, the lesson will be more meaningful to the students. 

Overall, another great day of Conference and I am sad it is over.  Back to the daily grind of tomorrow :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

General Conference Part 1

So this weekend, millions of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gather together in Church buildings, homes, etc. to listen to the words of our leaders that we believe are prophets, seers, and revelators.  It is an amazing weekend of instruction.  There are five sessions that are two hours each that always seem to go so fast!  Today and tomorrow it will be my whole day, and it is a great weekend.

One of the things that is cool for me this time around is the Pinterest quotes, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts that the Church is doing.  After each session, I have been going to this site after each session to grab favorite quotes all day long. I have been retweeting stuff and pinning stuff all day long! I wanted to share with you guys a couple of my favorite quotes and impressions. So of the three sessions of conference today, I wanted to share a quote from each and why they stuck out to me.

“Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.”  –President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Uchdorf is an amazing speaker. He often speaks in clear ways and in his talk this morning he discussed why we join the Church that we do.  Not only do we ask that of people around us through missionaries but we need to ask this of ourselves on a regular basis.  People have their agency to choose the Church or not and some do leave.  Often times we doubt our reasons to have faith, which is why I love this quote.

“Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend.” –Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Elder Holland is always one of my favorite speakers, along with many around the world.  Everyone waits to see what he will say this time because it is always so powerful.  This time he decided to talk about those with depression.  He recognizes that this is a hard thing to go through as people.  As I listened I wrote down "Never loose faith" really big in my notebook with three lines underneath it--because it is so important when going through these hard times.  Our Heavenly Father really does love us.

“If we hold tightly to the word of God, we will remain on the pathway to eternal life.” –Elder L. Tom Perry
Tonight, there were a lot of great moments....but I loved this image along with the quote.  Together as husband and wife we need to be reading the word of God and move forward together towards eternal life. Returning to live with our Heavenly Father and our families really is our goal--and we need to hold on tight to is so important to keep this eternal perspective!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Five Favorite Front-Page Features...Teacher Style

I don't know if I have five things...but I have been doing current events moments with my kids at school.  So I thought I would share them with you.

First off...government shutdown: like this one because of the ping pong analogy really life situations

Second off...Affordable Health Care Goes Live

We have also been reading articles from the NY Times Upfront---which is a great resource for teachers that have subscriptions---but right now its free :)
Magazine logo :)

The High Price of Cheap Fashion....all about our globalization--the pros and cons

10 Things You Need to Know About Washington Part 1 and Part 2--this is great for government classes...they talk about the nitty gritty of the works of government

Has the Arab Spring Failed? --Great to talk about world geography and world events because they do a nice job bringing the kids up to speed

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Movie Review: Something Borrowed

Recently I watched this movie for the first time....and it was actually not too shabby.

Summary: Two best friends are really complete opposites named Rachel and Darcy.  Rachel is the down to earth book-smart one, while Darcy is the crazy party animal.  Rachel introduces Darcy to a good friend of hers from law school--Dex. Darcy and Dex hit it off and end up engaged to each other..but what about Rachel's and Dex's inner appreciation to each other.  Does Rachel stop the wedding or let Darcy and Dex be happy?

What Did I Love?
  • The honesty...yeah it is a romantic comedy, but it had a flavor of truth to it....the fact that two people would never admit to liking each other seemed really true
What Did I Hate?
  • Not a huge fan of the Marcus character....he is a random friend that no one seems to know what to do with...and neither do I! But he is important to the ending.....
Bottom Line...I watched it off my DVR which was great...might buy it on $5 DVD bin but you're not missing out hugely with this--just a cute romantic comedy.

Sounds like there might be a sequel at some point
which I will probably watch eventually

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

I finally finished this book!! I loved reading this again from start to finish...even though I started in July.

Title: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Genre: Historical Fiction, Classic
Rating: 5 out of 5 ( is rare but this book is awesome)

Why Did I Read? I started it with a read-along....and then I didn't get a chance to finish it. 

Summary: Told from the perspective of an adult Scout, she recounts the events of her childhood around the time her father took on the Robinson trial. It is an interesting time for the family as they deal with racism during the time of the Great Depression. We follow her and her brother, Jem, and their friend, Dill as they explore their world of Maycomb.  We are fascinated as they are with Boo Radley, the loner shut-in down the street. And we watch as their father, Atticus, makes fictional history sticking up for a black man. 

What Did I Love: I have loved this book ever since college.  I read it in high school--but it was just a story about some kid whose dad was a lawyer.  In college, I learned a lot about this book--and realized that though summaries are often all about the Robinson trial--probably because that's kind of the climax--most of the story is not the actual trial and you don't even really realize about the trial until way into the book. 

I also love how well this is written and how much Scout is an adult but not in the book.  Honestly, if you haven't read this book you need to!!

Front Cover
Interesting cover that I haven't seen before

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top 3 Posts of September

It is October 1st....EEK! As a result, I make a list of the top posts September.

3. Movie Review: Safe Haven A great weekend of movies..this was the "chick flick" of the weekend

2. Movie Review: 42 The same weekend of movies....the "drama" of the weekend

1. Top Ten Tuesdays: Classics Paired with Current This was honestly one of my favorite Top Ten Tuesdays EVER!  As I said in my post...the English teacher in me was thrilled about this list.

This month....has very few goals....mostly just survive... AND CHEER ON THE CARDS!!!

Yes we do!!!!