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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Funny story of the day! I gave a bunch of spelling tests this morning, and one particular 4th grade boy was doing great on his! Didn't miss any of the words, until I got down to the word cow. He spelled it colw. Surprised, I pointed to it and said, "Uh-oh, looks like you accidentally messed up on one! How do we spell cow?". He looked at me funny and goes, "Um...well, what is that?". Slightly flabbergasted he didn't know what a cow was, I used it in a sentence, "There is a cow in the field...y'know, a bunch of cows are over there...Mooo?". I saw the light bulb go off on his head, "Ooooohhhh, COW. I thought you were saying cowwell. I didn't know what that was!". Haha, guess that month I spent back in Texas took it's toll on restoring my accent!! Apparently we Texans don't pronounce them 4-legged wildebeests right! :) Haha, it really gave me a good laugh today once we figured out the prob!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009: Year of the Carrot

Sitting here working on wrapping it up for bed, I'm reminded of my New Year's Resolutions. Why, you might ask? Because as my tummy grumbles, a huge bag of carrots sits next to me. Just purchased last week, this 2 lb bag of rabbit food is nearly gone. Part of my New Year Resoultion has been to eat healthier...starting with no food 4 hours before bedtime! This plan would work...if only I would actually go to bed when I planned! Instead, the "no eating" rule stretches on to 6-7 hour marathon mini-fasts. Finally giving in, I munch on...carrots. And you know what? They taste good! I reaized tonight though, I better get use to this, because 2009 is not the year of Sugar and Spice, and everything nice....no, this is the year of Veggies, and green, and everything lean! Tofu, here I come...!

This past week has been extremely busy for me. So busy...that I've really had no interest in watching TV. So busy, and so fulfilling, that I've been able to push past the woe's of the new year, and find a real satisfaction with what I'm doing. The key has been a fulfilling job, service to the girls of 1st ward RS, and daily gratitude.

You know all those quotes from general authorities about gratitude making us happier? Now prepare yourself for a shocker: It's really true! ;) Everynight this week, I've jotted down a few lines of how I've seen the Lord's hand in my life, or tender mercie's of the day. I've started looking forward to it, and today I realized that I was even looking for things throughout my day to report about! And...i'm happy. I feel a happy, content feeling with life. Confusion over the future is still there, the questions are still there--but so is the feeling that I'm okay with it all and enjoying the ride!

Today I divulged my family history obsession and bought picture frames. I'm making my next project creating a huge 4 foot by 3 foot framed colage of old family photos. It should keep me busy for a few months, but if I do it right, it'll at least give me a visual aid for prosperity to use with all those stories I like to tell! :) At least if I start to ramble, they'll then have something to look at 'till they can distract me ;)

It's a new year, and new songs have been chosen for the blog! At least, through Valentine's season that is. I chose just a few songs, but these are the songs that all make me smile right now. The music players are like a snapshot of life--what am I wanting to listen to right now? Apparently, all country, and most talk of Love in some form (yes, I planned that purposfully for V-day!) Enjoy! I recommend giving all the songs a chance, but if it's really gratin' on your nerves something awful, just go to the next one. If that's bad too...try "Crazy Like You" by Josh Grider. Haven't found a person yet that didn't like that one.

And a PS thought for all you ladies in Phoenix with me--Joann Fabrics is offering a one day class on Rag Quilting with an adorable star pattern. It doesn't look too dificult, but fun enough (and cute enough!) to put the energy into. The workshop it March 7, at the Dobson location. Anyone interested??? Let me know! :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Miz Beth's First Day Adventures!

So, it was the official first day! And at the end of the day,I can honestly say...that I'm very happy with the new job! It was simple, yet challenging. Demanding, but not quite taxing. Slow paced, but not dragging. Here's the pic of the outfit I wore for my "First Day of School" (this is especially for my mom's benefit, as the top was a Xmas present from her! Thanks Mom!! :)

Highlights of the day:

1) Memorizing 25 names by the 2nd hour (of the kids...of all the other teachers, I'm lost!) AND I've never seen a class with such "normal" name before. Besides two Indian girls with foreign (although very cool) names, I have Tommy, Alex, Daniel, Phillip, Julia, Nicole, Megan...the list goes on and on. But...in this day and age, most classes are filled with odd names and even odder spellings. Not a one in this class!!:)

2) Reccess time...usually a boring duty to stand there and watch them play, but 2 other teachers had duty with me. Everyone was so friendly! I have honestly never worked somewhere with co-workers so welcoming the 1st day!

3)Having the head teacher ask me to teach a lesson, and only giving me 20 minutes to prepare...and yet pulling it off successfully (and having fun!). [Gaby approached me saying, "You know about the French-Indian War don't you?" me: "Uh....I've head of it." Gaby: "Great! Here's some library books. You can teach it to the kids. Make it sound fun and exciting. We start in 20 minutes!" ahhhhhh! I went through the textbook and thought "How on earth is this going to be "fun". I could already picture the kid's eyes glazing over! But then I found some cool facts, and when 2 and 2 came together...even I was excited about the French-Indian War! The kids actually listned, commented, asked questions, and thought it was a "cool story". It made me think by to Mrs. Savel in 6th grade, who brought History alive for me. She use to tell history like a storytellr, completely captivating us. I wasn't quite THAT good (the woman was a story-telling genius!), but I looked at all their bright, interested eyes and thought, "Oh my gosh, I'm being a Mrs. Savel! I'm talking about a time period of history I love...and kids are actually listening, and liking it! Is this my dream job or what?!" And side note, the War reallyis pretty cool (and bless Lynn's heart for listening to me retell the tail when I got home!) More on that later..so that YOUR eyes don't glaze over :) ]

4)The Chocolate/peanut thing the lady from Spain made and shared. Divino!!

5)Being able to give tons of one-on-one attention to the kids who needed it in class.

6) Being asked to develop a 4 month long writing program...starting the 1st lesson tomorrow. (Okay, the tomorrow business is kinda stressfull, but it's still cool to be entrusted with some actual teaching the first day).

7) The fact that the KIDS cleaned up the classroom the end of the day, instead of me! :)

8) Driving home towards distant clouds, so billowing & huge, that I thought they were the mountains! (hmm...maybe this means more rain?

And that was my day! There's was always something I could find to do, but nothing that ever really stressed me out during the day (except for maybe 20 minutes of prep time). And a "boss" that was so easy-going, and yet thorough in her support. I think this is going to be something pretty fulfilling, challenging,and enjoyable! :)

Now, for all those that can take it...Why the French and Indian War is so cool:

-The French and Britians were racing to be the first to build a fort on common ground (moddern day Pittsburg)
-150 soldiers, led by a young Leuitenant named George Washington, raced to the Forks of the Ohio to secure the area. Once there, the Indians told them of a French Camp. Washington attacked, taking POW's with him...thus starting the war.
-The French Retaliated, capturing Washington. They let him go, telling him to go home, and leave them alone. Washington said, "Sure....:)"
-A Man named Benajamin Franklin wanted the colonies to unite, and have one president. They didn't feel ready for that, so...
-Red Coats came over to help colonists fight the war. They fought in strait line formations, thus being slaughtered by the Gorilla warfare tactics of the French & Indians. This, however, taught the Americans a useful tactic the milita would later use during the Revolutionary War.
--The British eventually won (with the help of the Iroquois), gaining American territory, as well as Canada & India. however they helped create some nice resentment from the French (which really helped us out later when the Colonies turned against the French. If not for the French help, we could not have won the Revolution).
-Londoners didn't like paying extra taxes to support troops protecting random colonists thousands of miles away, so King George III started taxing the Colonists instead. Which makes sense...except that they were already being taxed from their own legislators. AND they had no say.
--King George III forbid the colonists from colonizing the new land (Appalacian Mts. to the Mississippi River), so that the Indians could have more hunting ground..thus hoping to decrease tension. This only ticked the Colonists off.
--The aftermath of taxes & being told they couldn't spread their wings, really ticked the coloists off, thus leading to the Boston Tea Party...
--The French & Indian War trained made George Washington, while putting Ben Franklins "United States" idea into everyone's head.

And THUS, the War of Independance came about 20 years later...thus gaining us our freedoms, and creating the amazing Nation we call home today :) *Sigh*, isn't that cool? I was fascinated by the story! This is why I'm a history nerd :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First Impressions of the New Job

I spent a few hours this morning getting a tour of the classroom & my duties from my head Teacher. First off, let me say that I am SO excited to work with this woman! She is just nice. She introduced me to about 5 other teachers, adn all of them ran to give her hugs. She seems to be just a humble, discreet woman, that everybody adores! All the other ladies were good humored & with cool personalities. Very culturally diverse. My head teacher adn the teacher next door both are from Mexico, so they break out into Spanish with each other...and are quite relieved I can actually understand it so that they don't have to try and translate! Ha! :)

And apparently I've won a free trip to Washington DC!!!! First week of May they have a class "fieldtrip" there, and she told me today that I WILL be coming to that, so she wants me brushing up on my American History :) I think it'll be pretty fun going there with the kids, I'm guessing we'll visit a LOT of smithsonians. Maybe even tour the White House? Now THAT would be cool, I've never done that before. I thought if we visit Arlington National Cemetery, I could do some homework to find where my great-great grandfather is burried in there, maybe leave flowers or something. Just help connect us to the experience. Anyway, I met two of the girl students today in the classroom, and they were super sweet kids! One was 9, the other is turning 12. I felt like I was about to start working in Young Womens :) They were both so polite, eager to please, and just good kids. Apparently, it's mainly the boys that need the extra attention and help staying on task!

One of the girls was so cute, she was telling us she was going to get her haircut today, and dye her hair a darker brown. Ms. Gabby (and I'm "Ms. Beth"), asked why she would want to do that. And she goes, 'Well, I just hate it when people call me blond! (then she gets embarressed) I mean....it looks good on YOU (she points to me), but...I just don't want to be called a blond!!!" :) It was so funny, and really cute.

Anyway, I got a better idea of what I'll be doing today. Basically I interact with the head teacher before and after school, but during the day we don't really touch base TOO much. So...lots of freedom to kind of do my own thing with interacting with the kids (Yay!). I'm specifically in charge of teaching a writing workshop 3 days a week (to help prepare them for testing. She says due to english being her 2nd language, she's not very confident teaching it to them). And I'm in charge of "Deep Cleaning" hour on Friday afternoons...where I manage them cleaning up the classroom. :P She also said she really doesn't know much about the calligraphy and music sections she teaches...which I assured her I have backgrounds in both, so she seemed pretty happy about that :) We'll also be starting a garden this spring to make it prettier outside! Oh, and every two weeks, we cook in the kitchen (yes, there's a full blown kitchen in the classroom, complete with a huge fridge, sink, microwave, oven, stovetop, and coffee maker!! They're going to be in for a surprise the first time they ask me to teach a kid how to make coffee!!). A group of 4 kids is in charge of planning the meal, budgeting for it, going to the grocery store to buy the supplies, then cooking it for the class. I get to take them to the grocery store, and we ride a free bus that serves only Ahwatukee. Interstingly enough, the bus route begins practically at my apartment front door, and ends at the school! I guess good to know, in case I ever need an alternate way to get to work!

First day starts Monday, wish me luck!! :)