Friday, October 30, 2015

Cake, Hockey, etc.

I returned from teaching all day followed by attending my three hour university class to find that my husband had purchased some round cake pans and baked a cake. Ah, he makes me chuckle. It's delicious!

I just wrote a 57 line paragraph here about having to teach PE, but I don't dare publish it. I should talk to my administration instead of being passive aggressive on my blog. So here's the 3 lines I edited it to be.

These shoes must have been on sale...

A couple of eighth graders stopped by to say "hi." They grow up so fast, but I'm glad to hear how they're doing. They said, "Eighth grade is weird." I said, "I know. I taught eighth grade once."

Sunday, October 18, 2015

All Is Safely Gathered In

I've said it before and I'll say it again, K is the BEST canning buddy ever! Especially when he's vested! By vested I mean...he'd rather be caught canning tomatoes than apricot jam, but he'll still help with apricots. He just won't eat them.

Wish we could take credit for the actual growing of the produce, but Yellowstone doesn't afford us the opportunity...besides, the deer, elk, bears, etc. would get it all. We credit a wonderful teacher at my school and her husband, Farmer Scott, for generously sharing their bountiful harvest with us. They gave us beautiful carrots, amazingly huge green peppers, yellow crook neck squash, zucchini, cucumber, and loads of tomatoes! I just had to snap a few photographs.

We saved some tomatoes to eat fresh and when K asked me what to do with them (where to put them), I told him to throw them on a plate. So this is what he did with absolutely no coaching from me. He ripped off a paper towel, folded it in half the triangular way, and proceeded to arrange the romas as pictured! It just made me smile. I guess he's picked up a few of my habits after all.

K was so happy while picking tomatoes. Big smile on his face, lots of "Thank You!" pouring from his mouth, and I do believe I detected an extra little skip in his step. We watched football while we canned and then we rejoiced as we counted all the little POPS afterward. We will enjoy gorgeous and nutritious food over the winter!

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Most Patient Hiker in the World

We had the loveliest of days!

We went to the Payson Temple to do an endowment session. Ken had never been and my only visit to that temple was for the open house this spring. It is such a beautiful temple. I heard a patron say to the woman who was cleaning the restroom, "This is THE temple of all temples!" It really is stunning. Also, we were asked to be the witness couple for our session which happens to us quite frequently, but every time it does, I feel like Heavenly Father is saying to me personally, "Welcome Home! I just wanted to let you know that I'm glad you're here."

After our session, K was starving and suffering from a migraine. We tried to go to a little diner that someone suggested, but it had such long lines, so he headed to Taco Time. He just needed some literally fast food.

Then we drove up Payson Canyon to see what fun we could find there. We skipped Payson Lakes this time because it was $8. We ended up hiking toward Rock Springs and I must say, I did okay with my knee brace, but my husband is one very patient hiker when it comes to my pace. We, uh...deployed some bear spray while up there. It costs around $50 a can, but this was expired (after 5 years), so we wanted to practice spraying the real stuff in case we ever have a real situation with a real bear. K sprayed first for about 3 seconds and then I sprayed the rest of it for about 4 seconds. We did this in a huge open meadow with no one around and no wind. For me, it was just like spraying a fire extinguisher.

We drove the remainder of the glorious Nebo Loop which had beautiful golden aspens! Really, that canyon was like medicine. Once we got out to Nephi, we headed north again stopping at the Red Barn for fresh apples and pears. Then we came home where I started chopping onion, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms to start dinner. Our home smelled so great! Then I went on to laundry.

Sadly, I've lost another student, Layna. They are dropping like flies. She is moving about 30 miles away. Darling girl.

French toast was yesterday morning. We haven't purchased any new syrup since the fridge was replaced, so we used powdered sugar and raspberry jam--really good. Along with the eggs and milk, I put cinnamon, vanilla, and a little powdered sugar into the batter. I cooked the bacon first and added a little butter to the grill for cooking the French toast. I just thought they looked really good and snapped a photo.

These two days of Fall Break are over so quickly, but I thoroughly enjoyed having a two day forced lay-off from school. We made the most of our time together and it has been rejuvenating.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Gifts, Little Origami Gifts

A boy handed some white folded paper to me, "Here. I made a piano for you."

My first origami piano ever!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Went to a Movie By Myself

We don't see many movies in a year, but TR sees more than I. Yesterday found TR parked in front of the television watching his beloved football games. We had decided to see a movie together later in the afternoon, so I was looking up times and places on the internet. I've lived in my city for eleven years now and have never been to the local town theater. When I looked at their listings, I saw that they were still showing "Once I Was a Beehive" and it started at 10:30 a.m., so off I went. He didn't miss me one bit.

So I'm not good at first experiences when it comes to getting into parking garages or sending a bank deposit through the drive-up tube, or going to a new theater by myself. TR thought I was making that up, but he's lived with me long enough to say, "I can't believe stuff always happens to you even when you try to be normal and do things correctly!"

Example: The first time I ever used the drive-up window at my credit union, the tube got stuck. It wasn't my fault. I just put the check into the tube, talked to the nice teller giving my account number, pushed the "send" button...and the tube got stuck. Of course. The teller said it wasn't me...

Example: I often can't open things that get sent to me over my school email or can't do simple functions and so our former computer teacher would have to help me a lot. She would always say, "It's not you, it's your computer. Hmmm, why won't this work for you?!?" I don't know just doesn't.

Example: I was driving in SLC once and TR suggested I pull into a parking garage. There were two lanes so I chose the one on the right. I stopped at the little ticket dispenser, rolled my window down, and pushed the "get ticket" button. Nothing happened. Tried again. Nothing. So then I called the attendant (who was not in view) over the intercom and asked about it. "Oh, I guess it's out of tickets so you're going to have to BACK UP and try the other lane." I explained to her that two other cars were already behind me in my lane and she responded, "Well, you're just going to have to wave at them and get the message to them because your only choice is BACK UP!" Right. My husband was incredulous. I'm so paranoid now that I ask questions like, "Did I do something wrong?"

So I entered the theater and purchased my ticket. My feet were stuck to the floor in front of the cash register. It was pretty bad. The clerk noticed and asked if the floor was sticky...and then apologized that it was. He sent me around the corner without mentioning which theater my movie was in, so I assumed there would be another employee around the corner to further direct me. No one. So I looked at the various theater doors and saw no signs and no numbers. Five other females came along and because I'm not afraid to ask strangers questions, I asked. They said, "We're seeing that too. It's in Theater 3." I asked which door was Theater 3 and they said, "This one," so I followed them. We were all sitting in there watching the commercials, etc. when the clerk came to let us know our movie was in the next theater over and he was so sorry and he could start the show over for us...see? I do my level best, I look around, I ask questions, I get reassurance that I'm in the right place...and I'm still making mistakes.

People tell me I explain things really well. Maybe that's because...others don't? I've had so many of these micro-traumas.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Foundations of Literacy

I'm in this program through BYU in order to obtain my reading endorsement. This first class is called Foundations of Literacy and is a history of teaching reading in America which includes the reading of lots of classic research. There are two dense texts plus a whole shootin' match of articles on course reserve. I write 1-2 papers weekly, present to my class, lead discussions, etc. It's the real deal.

And I love it. I had to miss the first class since it started on the day of Grandpa's funeral in Iowa. It's taken me five weeks, but today I can say that I'm finally all caught up with the reading and the writing. I got an assignment back from my professor today and I got a perfect score (a paper I wrote) with lots of wonderful comments.

I've been putting off an endorsement for years due to the flexible nature of our living circumstances what with the park ranger running off here and there. This endorsement will shorten the time I get to spend in Yellowstone next summer, but I had such a happy, peaceful feeling when I decided to apply for it. Also, I didn't make the first round cut. I was so sad. But then they called and said someone dropped our so I was IN!

Every single week, in spite of the work load (or because of the work load), I feel so happy about the things I'm learning. My eyes have been opened, I've had an epiphany or two, and I've met some incredible educators.

It's just what I need to be doing! I don't feel this way when I come home from Round Table...did I just say that...but taking this class is a really great and happy thing for me!

Like Millions of Others, We Shall Ponderize

This was not my favorite talk from General Conference, however, we are on board (at the moment...let's see how long this lasts) with the challenge to ponderize (ponder/memorize) a scripture weekly. This was the spiritual part of Family Home Evening last night along with the eating out part and the purchasing a new refrigerator part (and the foot rub part).

Being the Patriarch of our Home, Ken chose the first scripture and I must say, my sorry little reaction was, "What?!? TWO verses?!?"

I figure if I type it out loud here, I may be on the road to memorizing it.

And because of the silly paragraph breaks symbols I must type, it may not look like Bible verses exactly...

Matthew 18:12-13

12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Way to a Man's Heart

TR has been shopping for refrigerators today. I taught school. We kicked off Family Home Evening by heading out to eat...his choice since he's recently back to civilization from the woods. He chose Chuck-a-Rama. First mashed potatoes. Second attempt, still no mashed potatoes! I went for my second plate and there was a fresh new batch of mashed potatoes. I scooped some into a bowl and put gravy on top. When I set the bowl down in front of him, his eyes lit up with gratitude and he exclaimed, "You are such a little Sweetie!"

And that, my friends, is all it takes to stay happily married.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

TBR Piles

I've got some serious readers this year and here are some of their TBR piles. For the uninformed, TBR stands for To Be Read. One of these children exclaimed the other day, "I just need a year to myself so I can read!" Amen.

Not pictured is my own TBR pile, but just know that at the very top of it sits endless classic research articles for my Foundations of Literacy class...

I checked out four picture books at the public library the other day to have on hand for some emergency escapism due to the fact that I probably won't get to finish another novel until December.

Our school had our Battle of the Books kick-off assembly the other day and I'm pleased to know that I have a majority of the winners from last year's champion 4th grade team in my class. They have already formed a new team and are working away making flash cards and coming up with practice questions, with no mention or suggestion of any of that from me.

Also, students were invited to dress up as their favorite book character for the assembly (I wore my Battle of the Books t-shirt). I had two Michael Veys, one Yellow Fang from Warriors (I think that's who that was...), and a kid named Pete. I asked my student who "Pete" was because my student was just wearing his every day clothes and I've never heard of this character and obviously didn't recognize Pete at all. He matter-of-factly explained to the class that Pete was a character in a story that he's currently writing. Oh...gotcha.

I've got some folks who don't care for reading at all, but I'm slowly trying to administer small doses of Mrs. Kyburz's magic reading elixir so that they'll be coming around to the whole idea sooner than later. Reading is simply the BEST!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Farewell, Braxton Dear!

Today was the last day for one of my precious students. Now I'm down to only 17 boys and 12 girls. This kid is funny and smart and happy and creative. He declared to me on the playground this week that he's pretty sure he'd like to work for NASA. Hate to lose 'im.

We were granted an incredible rain storm complete with hail and when that happens, I just let the kids gather at our classroom windows to watch the spectacle. It's the same as if a grizzly walked by, one cannot compete with epic rain. One of my boys said, "Today is a good day to listen to Chicago in our sweats and eat ice cream." Where do they come up with this stuff?

I can't remember how long it takes to get to Evanston but that's where the ranger was when last he texted so I think he'll be home in minutes and I'M SO EXCITED!! I would have prepared a lovely home cooked dinner, but...I teach school and today is Day 20 without a refrigerator. He said he's bringing hot dogs from his fridge, so perhaps we'll celebrate our reunion with those. He probably has ketchup too. I can't wait to hear his little comments about not having a fridge. He'll likely take the cooler route, but buying ice will become a chore. I don't know that we'll rush RIGHT out to purchase a new appliance, but we'll get one soon...I'm the only one in this family who can somehow be so extraordinarily scheduled that a refrigerator becomes a ridiculously low (LOW!)priority. After all, I STILL have papers to correct, lessons to plan, and HOMEWORK to read and write. I left school "early" today to greet my husband on his moving day.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Days Are Here

I noticed this little scene and snapped a photo today. Just a little slice, a small moment, a mere detail of my daily life with school children. Captured.

I called the warranty people and a nice woman named Netta took my statement of being without a refrigerator for 19 days to heart, "Well, I can certainly understand your frustration! My name is Netta and Netta gonn' take care of you!"

I knew I was in good hands and everything would get better from this point forward.

We are taking the cash out. Buh-bye repair guy! No more waiting for parts to come in. No more waiting for someone to call back. No more worrying about the welding smoke the repairman mentioned would be necessary, not to mention wheeling the fridge across the living room floor to work on it... We can just use our constitutional freedoms and go fridge shopping! We have nothing against the appliance itself. We just need one that works. Sooner than later.

Anyway...I corrected a LOT of papers today and I dearly wish I could spend more time with each student to let them know how great they're doing or to let them know there's a way to unlock the mysteries of math. I stayed until 6:15 p.m. at which time I dashed home to change into my BSA uniform and head for the stake center to participate in Round Table.

A wonderful, generous person we know texted during Round Table to offer us JAZZ TICKETS!!! Can you believe it?!? Lower Bowl seats with refreshments thrown in! Although I truly do have a testimony of Scouting, that text was the best part of Round Table. It was all I could do not to flash my phone to the high councilor sitting next to me and say, "Someone just gave us free tickets to a Jazz game!"

Speaking of "us" ... he'll be home tomorrow! No more praying over the phone! For a season anyway.