Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmastime as a Teacher

I just wanted to write a quick post about how I've enjoyed being a teacher at Christmas time. Here are some reasons why:

Playing in the Snow---> So far, we've had 21+ inches of snow and I feel that I've been able to play in every inch of it. Since all of us are decked out in boots, snow pants, coat, scarf, hat, and gloves there are no restrictions when it comes to snow. I've already made a handful of snow angels and started to build a snowman today (the snow was finally wet enough). PLUS, a couple weeks ago the kids buried my waist-down in the snow and it was a BLAST.

Christmas Songs at Naptime & Christmas Stories for Story-time--> We get to play Christmas CDs during naptime. The kids who don't sleep love it, especially when the songs are sung by the Chipmunks or the Grinch :) Plus, every story we read now has some kind of holiday/Christmas theme and they are so much fun. Today I read a story about a Cold Lady who swallowed some snow, she ate all the fixings for a snowman and then hiccuped them back up... it was funny...

Delicious Food from the Families---> This week the parents signed up to provided food for the teachers in the lounge and oh my goodness... I felt like I ate way too much yesterday, but I felt great later in the day... so maybe that means I need to eat more on regular days.

Generous Gifts---> The kids (and parents) have been bringing in gifts for their teachers and I cannot believe how generous these people are. All I've ever wanted to do is teach and, since this is my first Christmas as a teacher, I didn't realize how amazing the parents think we are in being able to educate and entertain 24+ kids for 40+ hours a week.

Class Christmas Programs---> The greatest thing has been the Christmas program (which was today). We've been practicing for the last couple of weeks EVERY DAY after lunch for 30 STRAIGHT minutes. Now, if you've ever been with a group of 4 t0 5 year olds you know how challenging that can be. Since they're so young, I did my best not to push them with their songs/choreography/props. Yesterday, I pushed them pretty hard and didn't know how they'd react today. Our last rehearsal at lunch was fantastic and the real thing was even better. A few funny memories include reindeer ears for singing Rudolph, Rudolph refusing to have a red-nosed drawn on because of his nerves, 23 melting snowmen, one kids hiding behind the chairs in the back row during most of the songs, Jingle Bells turning into a round, and paper Christmas lights waving in the air wishing everyone Happy Holidays!

I love being a teacher...

Monday, December 17, 2007

AHHH the 80s and early 90s

I just HAD to post this because I actually said yes to everything! So did Greg (except for the ponytail thing)!

You Know You Grew Up In the 80's/Early 9o's if:

1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE.

2. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton
3. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom
4. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock"
5. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
6. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
7. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.
8. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.
9. You played the game "MASH"(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)

10. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
11. You know the profound meaning of " WAX ON , WAX OFF"
12. You wanted to be a Goonie.
13. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (some of us...head-to-toe)
14. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.
15. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
16. You took lunch boxes to school...and traded Garbage Pailkids in the schoolyard.
17. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.
18. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence

19. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.
21. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes.
22. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you are, but what am I?"
23. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"
24. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
25. You have ever played with a Skip-It.
26. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.
27. You remember watching both Gremlins movies.
28. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.
29. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.
30. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool...and don't even flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB"
31. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By The Bell," The ORIGINAL class.
32. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.
33. You just sang those words to yourself.

34. You still sing "We are the World"
35. You tight rolled your jeans.
36. You owned a banana clip.
37. You remember "Where's the Beef?"
38. You used to (and probably still do) say "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?"
39. You're still singing shot through the heart in your head, aren't you!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Christmas Tag

We were tagged by Ashwey and Megbo this time! I like this post because it gets me in the spirit of Christmas, but I won't tag anyone. If you read this and think you want to fill it out for your blog, then I tag you! But... here goes...

  1. Wrapping paper or gift bag? I love the feeling of wrapping and opening a present in wrapping paper. Plus, with wrapping paper there are more creative possibilities!
  2. Real tree or artificial? We have a fake tree. My mom bought it for us last Thanksgiving when she found out that we didn't have one. It's little so it fits our family perfectly!
  3. When do you put up your tree? Usually, the day after Thanksgiving... this year we put it up the weekend before Thanksgiving since went to Texas.
  4. When do you take down your tree? The first weekend in January.
  5. Do you like egg nog? Nope... it's gwoss...
  6. Favorite gift received as a child? Geez... Mom, Dad, Santa, and the fam were always so good to us. I have lots of fond Christmas memories. One of them is the Christmas before we moved from Utah when the four of us got bikes and we got to ride them that day before packing them.
  7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yep see posts 1 and 2
  8. Hardest person to buy for? Greg because he NEVER EVER tells me straight out what he wants... he always says he doesn't need anything. So, I go creative and think of things that have to do with his past and/or interests.
  9. Easiest person to buy for? My siblings because I can imagine how they'd react to a certain gift and that helps me know if the gift is right for them. :)
  10. Worst Christmas gift you’ve ever received? I have funny memories with some. One year, my sister and I got matching pajamas with sheep on them and I FLIPPED OUT because I was a moody teenager and didn't need anything of mine to match my sisters. Well, Megbo started to make 'the sheep' into a joke with the way she said 'the sheep.' Everyone started laughing and 'the sheep' became an inside joke with my whole family. In fact, I still sleep in the sheep.
  11. U.S. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? I LOVE snail-mail Christmas cards, we put them up in our house as part of the season.
  12. Favorite Christmas movie? National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, A Muppet Christmas Carol, White Christmas, and Polar Express.
  13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? November/December or sometime in the year when I find something out and about that I know someone will love.
  14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so, maybe a White Elephant gift somewhere along the road
  15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Pumpkin Pie, Sugar Cookies, and Wedding Cake Bites
  16. White or colored lights? White Christmas lights on the tree and colored Christmas lights outside. I love all kinds of Christmas lights
  17. Favorite Christmas songs? Carol of the Bells by The Calling, Mary, Did you Know? by Clay Aiken, O Holy Night by N Sync, White Christmas by Bing Crosby, I Celebrate the Day by Relient K and The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole. And pretty much any other Christmas song--- I love the Chipmunks, The Carpenters, and Alabama Christmas albums.
  18. Travel for Christmas or stay home? Since Greg and I have been married we have alternated going from his parents to my parents house for Christmas. Since it's our fourth Christmas it's my sides turn. Once our kids are older, we'll see if that holds or if we can afford it.
  19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yep, especially since that's one of the songs we're singing in our Pre-K Holiday Performance. The kids even have reindeer ears... :)
  20. Angel or star on top of tree? Star.. it's all about the Star of Bethlehem which leads to the Savior.
  21. Open presents Christmas Eve or morning? It's a tradition to open one present on Christmas Eve, it always has pajamas in it. We'd change into our pajamas and sleep in them that night. My siblings and I always made sure the first one of us up would wake the others and we'd go down together and scope out the loot. Then we would assume the position next to our individual stockings and wait for Mama and Pops to get out of bed. Then we'd start with the stockings and the rest following... it's the feeling of Christmas :) It makes me feel like a kid again.
  22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People not knowing what Christmas is really about. (amen Megbo) AND the crowds at the stores
  23. What I love most about Christmas? The celebration of Christ and just spending time with family. (amen Megbo) NINE DAYS....

This week...

The snow has slowed down.... I've been sick with a nasty cold that I can't do anything about since I'm preggers... I might have felt the baby for the first time... I have more of a belly bump... I started and finished Eragon... I've started Eldest... We've got presents under our tree... Greg's practically done with his first semester of Grad school except for one final (YAY)... AND our Boise/St. Louis Vacation starts in T-minus NINE DAYS and counting...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

6 Interesting things about me?

In no particular order:

Skiing --> It is my sport. I can ski by myself, I can ski with others. My Dad introduced me to skiing when I was 12. I love being able to go fast without exerting too much effort, I like the cold against my face and the sound of swooshing as I turn. I love the hockey stop with my 6 foot Rossies. Not a big fan of lift lines or slow speed double chairs. Get me out on the mountain.

Scar --> To go along with skiing, I was skiing at Alta one wintry day with Dad and Barb, when I decided to take a shortcut down through a big bowl that had no other tracks. Well, after about 50 yards into the bowl, I did not lean back far enough as the terrain leveled out and my tips dug in... WAY IN! The next thing I know I am laying on my back buried in snow. It takes me 30 minutes to locate my skis and poles because they are so buried in the fluffy white stuff. Later that day back at the Jeep getting ready to go, my beanie will not come off. It was stuck to my head with a bunch of dried blood. I thought man, that headache was worse than I thought. I still do not know exactly how it happened, but the scar is roughly the shape of a ski tip...

Parents --> I was lucky enough to be raised in part by four wonderful parents. Even though one of them has departed this earthly life, all their lessons have helped to shape the person I am.

Monty Python --> Blame Paul's insatiable English sense of humor, but when we get on a roll, we can quote just about any skit or movie produced by the visionary group. Mother beware, she still doesn't get it after all these years... ha ha thats .... funny???

Car thing --> I have this thing for cars. Probably imbued upon me by the two parents who at one point bought matching GM Vegas [still, a vega? really? come on...]. It has shaped my college career, Graduate studies, and eventually my professional career. I'm still a gear-head at heart, even though the research I am involved with may not make an impact on the world for 20 years.

Pregnancy Requests --> As the responsible party for my wife's pregnancy I get to do fun things, like go to Wendys for a small french fry, or watch her eat cool food combinations like garlic salt + cottage cheese or pumpkin pie + reeses pieces, or put up 6 interesting things about myself on the blog...

Merry Christmas from the Twinkle-Toes!

I did our Christmas Elf names on the link at the bottom of the post (Disclaimer: the system is cap-sensitive). Here they are:

Greg: Snappy Twinkle-Toes
Amber: Perky Twinkle-Toes



Thursday, December 6, 2007

6 Interesting Facts: Tagged by Ashwey & Megbo

It's snowing again... one of my co-workers told me today that this is the first time in a few years when there has been this much snow before Christmas... she blamed me because Greg & I were expecting this kind of winter when we moved here.

I was tagged by Ashwey about a week ago and I was putting it off because I didn't know if I could think of anything that I didn't mention in my 101 things; then my sister Megbo also tagged me, so I figured I should at least try...

1. Sleep-Talker: According to others, since I'm asleep, I am a very vocal person when I slip into dreamland. When Meg and I shared a room she'd tell me of the things I told her and we'd laugh. I had to warn friends when I slept over that I might sleep-talk and/or sleep-walk. Greg thinks the talking has gotten worse since I've been preggers. Apparently I even shout and pinch now. Ever since the first person said I talked in my sleep I have claimed no responsibility since I have no idea why I'm saying what I'm saying...
2. Three Eyebrows: When I was four, my brother, Zak and I were swimming in the plastic 3-foot backyard pool. I was in the water floating in my back and enjoying relaxing from my four-year-old woes when I open my eyes to see my three-year-old brother flying pancake-style right at my face. His chin clocked my right eyebrow and the screaming began. It continued through seeing my reflecting in the back-door mirror covered in blood all the way through looking at my brother in the ER with his one-stitch chin. I, on the other hand, has seven stitches and now no hair grows in that area so I have three eyebrows!
3. Creating Addiction: I love to scrapbook, do crafting, decorate the apartment, sew--- pretty much do anything home-makey but I never feel like I have enough time to commit my full effort further develop my talent. I wish I had more time to give what I feel is my best effort. The big perfectionist in me comes out during these projects and so it's hard for me to start something and then come back to it; I can never find the time to come back to it and the project sits ands sits... and sits...
4. Cold Weather Theory: I have this theory that has to do with the cold. I do NOT like it when it's cold outside and there is absolutely NO SNOW on the ground or in the near future. To me, there has to be a purpose to the cold and looking at dead grass and trees without beautiful snow on it is not a good purpose. I think this stems from the winters in Utah and dealing with inversion. Freezing cold with clear skies makes NO SENSE to me. Clear skies equals good weather and outside time; not bundling up and drinking hot chocolate.
5. Duel Zone Body Temperature: Greg says my body seems to have multiple temperatures at the same time. My toes could be 20 degrees cooler than my tummy; I thought this had to do with the fact that my toes are further from my heart. Apparently, I also I have cold nose too. :)
6. Big Sister: Again, Greg says... one of the things he noticed as he got to know me was how protective I am with my brothers and sister. A lot of that stems from other kids making fun of my brother who has a learning disability. I felt as though I needed to defend what he would say to these boys because they wouldn't understand why he acted the way he did. I guess you could say I'm pretty opinionated.

It's time to tag four other people, and I tag: Ashley A., Emily Kate, Melanie, & GWEG (CAUTION: if you've done facts about yourself before, this is harder than you think)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Let It STILL snow!!

It's snowing as I type; it started around 1230 this afternoon and probably won't stop until tomorrow morning. My class had a great time playing out in the snow with the fresh snow; we even made a snow fort from the frozen snow over the past weekend. I'm taking my camera to work tomorrow to take a picture.

We had our most recent appointment today. The baby's doing great... heard her/his heart again. We won't find out if we're going to have a girl or boy until January 4th--- since we're going out of town. I guess the grandparents won't get their Christmas present until a week and a half later...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The First Big Storm

It lasted all day yesterday. We enjoyed watching it go from snow to sleet to freezing rain. We went for a walk and discovered the beautiful six inches of snow was completely frozen over by ice. An article on yahoo said that meteorologists were even cancelling their own appointments because of the weather. This morning, it rained turning some of it into slush. We took pictures of the aftermath. Hopefully, it doesn't snow like this on the 23rd...

Christmas Decorations

Here's the long awaited pictures of our Christmas decorations. We tried to take pictures of what they look like from the outside, but the camera wouldn't focus.

This is one of the wreaths I made last year when we went to Boise for Thanksgiving. It lights up.

This is our table decked out. We got the chair covers as a wedding gift. I love them!

The Tree. Mama bought it for us last year when she found out we didn't have one. It fits a little better in our apartment now. Notice how it's snowing outside!

The Nativity we found during our hunt (see post). It's the centerpiece on our table.

16 and a half weeks

Greg finally took a picture of my growing belly. He wouldn't at first because he didn't think anyone would want to see it grow! Here's a picture of me and my growing belly last week and a comparison picture about a month and a half prior to being preggers at the fourth of July. It really shows that I've grown!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

New Favorite Christmas Song

Since we've been snowed in all day we've been listening to Christmas music all day.

(Side note: To appease some of the Utahns reading this, the snow has been non-stop all day. A couple hours ago it changed from snow to sleet to freezing rain, so they had a good reason to cancel church. Plus, it was Stake Conference and our stake is slightly bigger than stakes in Utah, so the stake leaders thought it was unsafe to have the meetings).

So back to the post, I thought to start off our December posts, I would post the lyrics to one of our new Christmas songs,
I Celebrate the Day by Relient K. Every time the song is on I pause so that I can listen to the beautiful words. I hope you take the time to reflect on what this season is really about... Pictures of the storm and our decorations to come tomorrow...

I Celebrate The Day

And with this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say to let You know
How much You've touched my life
Here is where You're finding me, in the exact same place as New Year's Eve

And from a lack of my persistency
We're less than half as close as I want to be
And the first time that You opened Your eyes
Did You realize that You would be my Savior?

And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever?
And so this Christmas I'll compare
The things I felt in prior years

To what this midnight made so clear
That You have come to meet me here
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life

Friday, November 30, 2007

TGI... Last Day of November

I'm so excited it's the last day of November. I like having a new month, but I also like counting down to Christmas and the new year; I have a feeling this holiday season is going to be extra special. I also happened to have had a fun, but cold, day. My kids have been earning marbles for a secret surprise and a few days ago they got enough for it. So, today I brought in what the surprise was: watching a classic Christmas special. It was okay to do this because we already checked with the kids and parents to make sure they celebrated Christmas as to not offend anyone.

Greg and I decided to buy the two sets of Christmas TV classics pictured. Both of us remember watching these during the past holiday seasons and since we are starting our family we thought it would be a great addition to our growing DVD collection. Anyone the kids voted on nine of the movies and the majority chose, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was so much fun to watch something I've seen so many times I lost count with new eyes. The kids were hilarious; it was fun to listen to them laugh at all the little things. I found myself being very grateful and wishing I could look at the world through the eyes of a child sometimes...

I might get a chance this weekend because we're expecting at least six inches of snow... they are so prepared here that church has already been cancelled... Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures while we're snowed in...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Texas-sized Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Break & Happy Birthday Mama!

Greg & I got back from our wonderful trip to Austin, Texas really early this morning---so we're spending the last day of our break being very lazy, tired, and stuffy. Since we've been married, we've switched the two end holidays between each sides of the family. One side gets us for Thanksgiving and the other for Christmas. It's worked pretty well, but I don't know what we'll do with the baby next year---but that's next year's saga.

We arrived in Austin on Wednesday after being up since 1 in the morning to get to our 730 flight in Chicago. We spent that day helping Barb with house/Thanksgiving dinner stuff. Then we went back to the airport to pick up Dell & Paul for a barbeque dinner at County Line. (if you go to the website--- we ate at the one on the river)

Thanksgiving was a great day--- besides the fact that my allergies went haywire and I couldn't stop sneezing. Luckily, I cleared up long enough to be able to taste dinner that night. One of the coolest things about this weekend was that Greg's half-sister and brother (with their spouses) were able to come from Arkansas to Texas for a nice family Thanksgiving. Greg and his brother spent most of their time going through their dad's stuff. It was nice that they were able to spend so much time together, but it was also very emotional.

One of the neatest things was the time Greg and Brian spent on their dad's 68 Camaro. About a year before Jay passed, he bought the Camaro. He always wanted to restore an old car, since he was sick he didn't get a chance to even start working on it. The car wasn't starting for Barb, so she kindly asked the Hansen men to fix that. The moment that car started was really neat because we all felt like Jay was there. I felt so pulled that I ran from the inside of the house to the garage to see it. It was really special.

Dinner was great. Elaine, Greg's sister, is a domestic diva and brought some amazing stuffing and pumpkin bread with her. Dell made some yummy sweet potatoes and Barb did a fantastic job on the turkey. I was going to make the stuffing but Elaine brought her wonderful homemade goodness and I had my allergic attack. For dessert we had pumpkin pie... apple pie... and rasberry cheesecake.

The next day Greg, Brian, and Elaine spent more time going through Jay's things--- and other items that their grandmother wanted them to have. Jay kept everything. He even had congrats on the baby cards from when he was born that his mom saved for him. Pictures of cars, navy ships, manuels, old business cards, certificate of fire safety as a child, artwork, etc. When I tell my children of their grandpa Jay I can't wait to show them the things we'll have that meant something to him (besides their father :).

We also went to a couple of movies: Enchanted and Bee Movie. I enjoyed both a lot. I was afraid I wouldn't like Enchanted, but it ended up exceeding my expectations. Greg enjoyed Bee Movie more than the 'Disney Princess fairy tale.' Right before our flight yesterday we ended our Texas trip by having more barbeque. We went to a place called Rudy's. If you are ever in the Austin area--- go to Rudy's. If you're a newbie, they'll let you sample everything on the menu and walk you through how to order. Oh.... so good.... After our Rudy's experience, we drove around downtown Austin until we had to go to the airport. Once at the airport, we thought we'd be in the air an hour later... three hours later we finally took off. At 1030 last night, we were finally on our way home. Two and half hours later, at the same time we left on Wednesday morning we were home---exhausted from our Texas-sized Thanksgiving break.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I want to mention what I'm thankful for:
10--- Texas Barbecue
9--- Being able to taste Thanksgiving Dinner
8--- Fresh Pears (thanks Barb)
7--- Heirlooms and keepsakes
6--- Precious memories with family
5--- A Healthy pregnancy (so-far)
4--- The Gospel
3--- My Eternal family
2--- My husband & growing child
1--- My Savior

I'll see if Greg will make a list as a comment.... Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Be grateful for everything you have been blessed with! Sorry there aren't pictures--- we forgot our camera...

Monday, November 19, 2007

What's a Nativity?!?!

Greg and I have made a deal: around Christmas time we get one new Christmas cd and a new decoration. For our CD we chose Relient K: Let it Snow, Let it Reindeer. It's a fantastic mix of alternative and Christmas. For our decoration we chose to get a Nativity. Considering that it's Christmas time, I thought finding I nativity scene that we like would be really easy. Boy, was I wrong.

We had to go to four different places to find an actual selection. Most places only had one and neither of us really like it; one place we went to didn't even have a single nativity. One of my co-workers told me to try Menards because they have a large Christmas selection. Since it was so large we decided to ask an associate for help. When we asked him if they had any nativities, this was his response: What's a nativity? Wait... what? Greg thought he mumbled (which he often does) and I was in shock... wait... what? I ended up saying, "you know baby Jesus." He went oh, but still looked semi-confused while he took us to the outside/inflatable nativity. "Will this do?" "We need a smaller one." "Oh... let me ask someone who'll know what you're looking for." At this point, I turned to Greg and told him that I was going to slug Santa and commercialism.

After asking his co-worker he proceeded to lead us to four or five different sets---best selection yet. We found one we loved and checked-out. My question after this is: Has Christmas really come to this? Where people don't even know why we celebrate the season in the first place? I really enjoy every aspect of Christmas, but I enjoy it on the basis that it's all a symbol for the birth of our one and only Savior, Jesus Christ. Isn't He the actual reason for the season?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Deck the.... Apartment!!!

Greg let me decorate for Christmas today. The only reason he let me is because we're going to be out of town next weekend. Growing up we would always decorate for Christmas on the weekend after Thanksgiving and I absolutely love that tradition. Thanksgiving Day and the day after are always two of my favorite days of the year because I tend to think about all I'm thankful for on those days.

To add to my glee today it snowed for the first time this season! When Greg yelled to me that it was snowing I ran to the window and started jumping up and down. I was really excited. It wasn't cold enough for it to stick, but it still set the mood for our day.

A day of homework (for Greg), lesson planning (for me), decorations, Christmas songs, hot chocolate, and snow. Yay for winter-y Saturdays and the simple joys in life.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Anxiously Tired

I'm really tired--- my job is exhausting. Especially when you have a staff meeting which goes over and makes you miss a baby shower (sorry, midcitygal). The kids have been really wired. We have an autistic child in our class and he's been a challenge the last couple of days. Plus, we have a couple of boys who I feel as though I'm just a broken record to---grr--- do four/five year olds ever listen?

I'm anxious because I love this time of year. I love getting ready for Thanksgiving--- I'm insanely excited for a break next week! I love having the extra time to be thankful for the good things in my life. Emily is right; you take the time to think about what you're thankful for and it's hard to be grumpy or depressed. I'm thankful for so many things--- yay for that.

Plus, after a wonderful holiday where you try to be more grateful you have a holiday that's all about giving and the Spirit of Christ. Yay for our Savior. Yay for having another opportunity to think of him and cause the world to have a better outlook for at least five and a half weeks. And, we've worked it out so we can visit family for Christmas--which is good because I was not looking forward to spending it alone (Greg felt the same way). I'm all for that---which makes me all for Christmas and it's been really hard not to listen to Christmas music, pull out decorations, watch Christmas movies, etc.--- yet another reason to be excited for Thanksgiving---getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Crusin' to the Second Trimester

On this the day 6 months pre-due date, I would like to post a preggers update:

I'm getting my energy back, which I'm very grateful for. This morning, I tried to surprise Greg with breakfast-in-bed and it didn't work. I wanted to do something for him since he's been so patient and understanding the last three months. Not even ten minutes after I started cooking breakfast, he got a call from the EQ asking for his help with a move. I quickly finished breakfast and he ran out the door. Yay for my wonderful husband, even if it's ridiculously hard to surprise him.

I'm still in the middle of two clothing worlds. I'm too big for my regular clothes and too small for my maternity wear (see post). So, I invested in a Bella Band. It's a stretchy band that goes around your waist to allow you to either kinds of pants because it hugs the pants to your body. So, I can keep my pre-preggers pants unbuttoned and not look unsightly. It's helped a lot, and when I'm a bit bigger I can use it as a belly support.

Every morning when I wake up Greg he says two things: "Morning Amer" followed shortly by "Morning Baby." Just another way my love for Greg grows each day. :)

My emotions are through the roof. For example, on Thursday the TCU vs BYU game was actually on TV here. I was so excited it was on/ wishing we were there/ actually missing Provo that I broke into a crying fit. Greg was at the other end of the couch and in total shock. He held me for a few minutes while I calmed down and we enjoyed watching the Cougs win.

We had our second appointment this past Tuesday. It was COMPLETELY different from our first appointment. We spent more time in the waiting room then talking to the doctor. Basically, here's the run down: she told us all the tests from the last appointment turned out okay, I'm O-negative blood type, I got a flu shot (which I'm still feeling the affects of), we heard the heartbeat, and she wished us a Happy Thanksgiving. Oh, did I say we heard the heartbeat? It was amazing; another affirmation that someone is actually growing inside my belly... it's still hard to believe... yay for answered prayers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Everybody Scream... Everybody Scream... in our town of Halloween!

I know... I know... it took me a long time to write about Halloween, but I've been sick and exhausted over the last week. I'll be better about posting, even if it's a small post. Halloween was so much fun. The night before I made cupcakes for my class. I wanted to make some witch fingers, but I was tired (of course) and I really didn't think I could do it with molds. So I used the Red Velvet cake mix and frosting to make a Pumpkin cupcake-cake. I've decided that I like food coloring A LOT. Without it my pumpkin would have been a ghost---which could have worked too. :)

The Hallow's morn then arrived. I got up early to get ready. I was really excited about my costume because I had been working on it since July. Once I got a Gryffindor tie for the HP&DH book release, I knew I could finally dress up as a Hogwarts student for Halloween. As I was getting ready, I realized that I really didn't know 'who' I was. I didn't really want to be a generic student. So, this is how my train of thought went as I was doing my make-up: "I can't be Character A because my hair is too short and my red-headed husband is a Slytherin, not Gryffinor. *insert brilliant thought* I could TOTALLY be Rose Weasley because I have the smarts of my mother (as stated in the book), but considering where I put my wand (in my hair) I have the reckless nature of my father." I thought I was a genius; Greg thought the preggy hormones finally got to my brain. No matter what, he was willing to take a picture of me in all my glory.

I got to school and the kids constantly asked who I was. My co-teacher told other people I was a 'Hogwarts something or other'--- I know, I know, it made me sad too. It was nice when I interacted with parents or co-workers who read the books because they loved that I would dress up as Rose; I told you brilliant among the Harry Potter fans!

The overall day was very crazy. The kids didn't get into their costumes until after nap. Then we had a parade for the parents; after which most of the kids left around 4 (we don't close until 6). Once I got home, Greg and I relaxed (our building didn't allow Trick-or-Treaters) and both told each other how excited we were to dress up our little 5-and-a-half month old next year.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Brief Update...

because I'm tired:

I had my first weird pregnancy dream (that I could recall) a couple nights ago... it was too strange.

I'm starting to feel 'poochie' which means I guess I'm starting to feel pregnant. It's just the feeling of the top-half of my body feeling bloated.

I'm really emotional--- more than usual--- it makes for an interesting day.

It's getting cold--- it might even snow this next week. So cold that I had hot chocolate for the first time this season. It wasn't just any hot chocolate either, it was Panera (St. Louis) Bread Co.... yum...

There's a nasty flu/cold thing going around the school and I feel crappy. It's hard to explain, but I know it's not from pregnancy because it feels different. I really hope and pray that I don't get sick.

Halloween was fun. My class was very cute. I dressed up as Rose Weasley... if you don't know who that is READ A BOOK!!!!

I'll expand on all my thoughts (and post pictures) above sometime this weekend.

Good night and Happy November :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Carving of the Pumpkins

So--- we went to the pumpkin patch on Thursday (see previous post) and on Monday for our FHE activity we carved our pumpkins. It took us a little longer than normal because we were involved with Heroes (highly recommended). Two hours later this was Greg's finished product:
Four hours later this was mine (note: I drew the stencil for carving because I really wanted to do a Nightmare before Christmas pumpkin):I'm pretty proud of our pumpkins--- we had them glowing every night this week until today when Greg (not the pregnant lady) couldn't take the smell of rotting pumpkins. Here they are in all their glory.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pumpkin Patch Spectacular!!!

On Saturday, we went to the Treinen Farm for some fall fun. It was so much fun. It's about 25 minutes north of Madison. As soon as we got there we decided to get tickets for the Pumpkin Patch and the Giant Maze. After talking it through (i.e. pregnant lady getting her way) we decided to do the Pumpkin Patch first. In order to get to the pumpkin patch you have to take a hayride. The last time I took a hayride there were benches and no hay. We go to step into the wagon and there's one bench for 'pregnant ladies and older folk.' I asked the volunteer if I could still sit there even it I'm not showing and Greg moved me along into the hay. I was glad he did because we got to sit in the front---right behind the driver---oh the smell. The horses pulling us along were dubbed the 'slowest two on the farm.' Turtle award aside, Max and Mike made the ride so much fun.

Once we got to the pumpkin patch, Greg went a hunting. I found my pumpkin pretty quick, but being my indecisive little self I started dragging my pumpkin around to see if there was another pumpkin that might catch my eye---while Greg hunted for his perfect one. A few minutes later, Greg came back triumphantly holding the spoils of his find. One hayride later, we were back on the farm. We cleaned our pumpkins and put them in the car so we could continue our fantastic farm fun. Before we tackled the maze, we needed to appease the hunger of the baby. The hunger wasn't common, so the only way to conquer it was to have my first Wisconsin Brat. Oh my---- it was so goooooood. Good enough to take a picture. :)

The big finale of our farm day was no small task. We wanted to conquer the largest corn maze in Wisconsin: The Enchanted Forest. It wasn't haunted (thank goodness), it was just 15-acre monster. The Treinen farm allows for different levels of maze enthusiasts.

First level--- At the beginning of the maze they give you a map that only has 1/8 of the maze on it. Your job is to find the #1 star in that section. If you find that station, there is a mailbox with the next 1/8 section of the maze and the #2 star station--- and so on.

Second level--- The next step was to find eight little green posts with special hole punches on it. If you come out of the maze with four punches, you get a free bag of popcorn per person. If you come out of the maze with all eight you get the popcorn plus a "Maze Master" certificate.

If you didn't feel as though you couldn't handle it, then you can you the stapled full map also given at the beginning of the maze. If that map stayed stapled on the way back, you got a piece of candy.

Enter the maze. Greg and I were excited and having fun. The first couple of sections we found the station and decided to go on--- then we ran into a hole punch. Oh the joys! We found one of the eight! If we found one then the rest shouldn't be that hard, right? Greg and I found our roles. Greg was our human GPS--- he knew how to get us from a 2-D sectioned map to the real thing. I became the ESP hole punch finder. We also worked with a couple other couples to figure out where the hole punches were in the first sections---just in case we found the other six. We figured since the maze was split into eight sections that there was a hole punch in each section.

Until the seventh section we were doing amazing. Greg was great and I had the sight. We had finished the majority of the maze in 35 minutes. Then disaster struck. Our desire for the hole punches overcame our aching legs (man, did we get a work-out) and sweating bodies (yay for water bottles). 45 minutes later we were still in the same section looking for the allusive punch. Feeling both physically and emotionally beaten, we decided to get out and get our free bags of popcorn (we got four punches and knew where a totally of six were). When we got to the candy stand, we bitter-sweetly took our spoils of accomplishing half of our goal. Another couple came after us with a triumphant gleam in their eyes; they had all eight punches and I couldn't resist. I asked where the two were that we didn't know about. One was in the last section; the section we skipped because of our weariness. Another was in a section that we has already covered; a section with two punches. Doh! Oh well, we will be back next year and we WILL get ALL punches next time. Even if we must stop for diaper duty.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fall Pictures

It's the season for new pictures and I thought it would be nice to post two:

1...This is the very first picture of our little 'lima bean.' We call her/him that for two reasons: 1. that's what s/he looks like in this picture and 2. Grandma Barb called him/her that when she first saw the picture. Hopefully, the nickname only sticks while in utero.
2... A few days after the first picture of our baby was taken, it was picture day at work. Since it's a new year, the staff has the option to get their picture taken too. At this point, I'm one day shy of being 10 weeks preggers (two weeks ago today) AND I got up early to make sure I would look nice. I'm glad I took the extra effort.Sorry I don't having recent pictures of Greg--- we're going to the PUMPKIN PATCH tomorrow and I'll post some then!

Stuck in the Middle

Right now, I feel as though I'm stuck in the middle--- caught in the land of in-between. We're living in place that is only semi-permanent. I'm at a job that's half-way between teacher and baby-sitter. Greg's half-way between school and real-life. And last, but not least, I'm in-between regular 'clothes' and maternity clothes. Which means I'm in-between not being a mom and being a mom.

The last two are what brought on the feeling of being in the middle, and yet, it helped me realize just how much of my life is really in the middle. We had a great, albeit, sad time in California last time. Thinking about Jay makes me remember just how much I miss him. In fact, I had a dream last night that Greg and I went to a MoTab concert with Jay and Barb (we really did this last year), or so I thought. I turned to ask Jay if he was enjoying it and as I turned I remembered he wasn't there. I started to cry in my dream (which usually wakes me up in real life) and at that moment a thought came into my dreaming head--- even though, I'm not there physically I'll always be with you. How comforting, and again, stuck in between of emotions. No matter the sadness, it felt good to be around family.

Sometimes, I wonder: when will in-between finally stop? Will I ever feel like in-between has taken me to the next stage? Or is this life just another in-between? That question I know the answer to and that's what helps me when I have my moments of in-between.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Art of Snacking & Using Seabands

I'm really excited to finally say something on our blog, so I'm just gonna come out with it---- I'M PREGNANT!!!

We've known since the week of Jay's passing. It was really nice to find out the same week; it helped us all mourn a little better. We didn't want to announce it yet until we had gone to the doctor and today we did. We saw our little lima bean (it's about that size right now) and it's little heart working so hard. It was amazing.

I'm about 9 weeks and 3 days along--- with a due date of May 10, 2008. Any-who, I'm having all kinds of crazy symptoms. The only thing I haven't had is vomitting (my mom and mom-in-law both went through all five of their pregnancies without puking either). I really hope I have the same luck.

Right now I'm doing fine. I'm really nauseated in the mornings and evenings. Throughout the day I deal with really crazy hunger pains about every two hours. So, I've been carrying snacks around with me. I also use these wrist bands called "Seabands" for nausea. They have helped a ton--- especially when we go on long car rides. When we went to Utah a month ago we were even able to pre-board because of my nausea--- we plan on doing the same this weekend. It helps to be closer to the bathroom.

Right now, Greg and I are super excited that we're welcoming our first child into our home--- and personally I can't wait until my nausea and tummy hungers 'maybe' subdue.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Scenic Fall Drive & Two Plants

Last weekend, Greg and I decided to take a drive around the area. I thought the foliage would be more prevalent. It wasn't as colorful as I hoped for, but it was still breath-taking. The area around Madison is beautiful. Hills and trees are everywhere; we even saw families going to get pumpkins already.

All of these events gets me in a fall mood. I absolutely love fall. I love the leaves, pumpkins, and light jackets. I love getting Halloween decorations out---only the beginning to the decoration season. Fall means the beginning of the end of the year. Moods change into anticipation and excitement. It's great.

To celebrate the beginning of fall, we got our first large house plant. The picture above is the cactus Greg got for me to celebrate our anniversary; it is fun, but we wanted to get a plant that makes a bigger statement in our apartment. So, we got a plant that's pictured on the right. I can't remember the name, but here's a picture. We love it and are super excited to have a couple more living things in our apartment. :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007


So--- We got callings today. Greg got called to be the Ward Building Supervisor; I got called to be the CTR 6 Primary Teacher. I was apprehensive because I teach all the time and my weekends are a break from it. Plus, I like going to Sunday School and Relief Society. I'm pretty sure this is why Heavenly Father prompted the Bishopric to put me in this calling--- to learn in different ways. Either way, we're both excited to serve in ways we haven't served before.

My class thought it was pretty cool that their new teacher is a teacher for her job too; it reminded me why I should be excited to teach even if it means doing it another day of the week.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ambo's Book Pick: Titan's Curse

I love to read. I have always loved to read; ever since elementary school when I read as many books as I could during the summer to get a coupon for one pizza. I love being transported to another world; to have the chance to connect with something that couldn't possibly happen in my life--- or seeing my life in replay through a character. It's very therapeutic--- helps me to relax. Some of my favorites include: Harry Potter, Twilight, and Artemis Fowl. Since I love to read, I thought I would use some of this blog space to recommend books that I enjoyed.

Tonight I just finished the book on the right: The Titan's Curse, Book 3 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. I absolutely love finding (or getting) new books/series to get into. This series has been fun for me for a few reasons:
  • I've always loved learning about Greek Mythology and this book (and the series) is entwined around a half-blood (half-god/mortal) and his adventures to save the world
  • I loved flawed heroes--- and all characters--- hero or villain--- have flaws
  • I also love Children's literature--- and I love getting my hands on a new series that I could use in the future
  • It's the type of book that leaves you hypothesizing about what's going to happen in the next book (out next May)
I would recommend this series to anyone that likes Greek Mythology and---well---a fun fast read. I'm excited to find out what happens next in the Spring! :)

Tagged--- awhile ago---

I was tagged by Melanie a while ago, so here it is:

5 things I was doing 10 years ago......
1... being excited to be a teenager
2... getting used to living in St. Louis
3... taking an across the country vacation with my family to see church history sites
4... getting ready for my last year in middle school
5... excited to come to Utah for Christmas

5 things on my to do list today......

1... update our blog
2... get over my cold
3... go to work
4... read a book
5... spend time with Gweg

5 songs I know the lyrics to.....
1... "That Thing You Do!" by the Oneders :)
2... "We Built This City" by Starship
3... most Disney songs :)
4... "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
5... *hard to admit* every 'N Sync song ever made...

*not to mention a bajillion more songs I know the words to... I like to sing along to the music I listen to*

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire.....
1... pay tithing then invest it after:
2... paying off all of our debts
3... paying off all our parents' debts
4... buy a nice practical family car
5... let Gweg get an old car to restore :)

5 things I'll never wear again......
1... A perm
2... bows on my forehead (thanks, mom)
3... Jelly shoes
4... sleeveless shirts (there was a time)
5... leggin pants with heel straps

5 favorite toys...

1... my Gweg :)
2... my cell phone
3... our new TV
4... our I-Pod
5... my computer

5 lucky people who get to do this next...... ( If you want)
1... Aunt Jenni Elyse
2... Ashwey
3... Meg-bo
4... everyone else has done it... if you haven't and want to I TAG YOU!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Circle of Life

Life has been interesting the last two weeks. I've had a hard time figuring out what to post after talking about my amazing father-in-law; it's been a roller coaster to say the least. Last weekend, we went to Utah. It was something Greg and I thought we weren't going to do again for a long time, but that's where Jay was being buried.

The amazing thing about that weekend was the outpouring of love for Jay and Barb. So many people came to the graveside service it only reiterated what kind of man Jay is (I say is because his spirit is still alive). So many people from our family converged on Plain City, Utah to celebrate the mortal existence of Jay. Greg even saw his half-sister Elaine for the first time in twenty-plus years; I now know that my sister-in-law does exist! :) Greg and Paul (Greg's step-dad and Jay's best friend) gave amazing eulogies, I
tried to conduct through the two most emotional songs ever, and Jay was given the most incredible military salute ever. It was great to be there for each other; having family around helped me get over my fears of not being 'there' for Greg. Greg had love all around him; as did Barb; as did all of us. Throughout this whole thing we were all there for each other---as a family.

When Greg & I got married three years ago, we connected our extended family into one huge family; and I physically saw that last weekend. I'm so grateful to have the family that I have; it helps me live each day better knowing that I'll be with them always.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Jay Walker Hansen: Sept 12, 1943 - Sept 9, 2007

Oh man... where to begin. A few hours after returning from our Windy City Adventure, Greg and I were in the midst of finishing up our sacrament talks for today. Greg's step-mom, Barb, called around 1040 to tell us that Jay, Greg's father, was in the ICU at the hospital. Jay's lungs had finally given out and he was on a breathing machine.

Over the past three years, Jay has been battling lung cancer. It has been rough watching someone we love suffer so much. Personally, I've watched everyone around Jay be strong and amazing---ever positive---including Jay. Being the eternal optimist that I am I wanted to believe that he would win the struggle.

Greg had the chance to talk to Jay last night and it was a very emotional talk. After getting Barb's call, Greg and I called a few more people and began to grieve. Greg, luckily, has finished his talk and I had to pull mine together. This morning, we got up and got ready for church just like any other Sunday (except for we were actually on time). Thirty minutes into the sacrament meeting, Greg got another call. He slipped out the door and found out that Jay passed away at 9:30 this morning. He came back in half-way through my talk and then got up to give his! My husband amazes me. He was able to give a magnificant talk about the restoration of the gospel within minutes of finding out about his father's death. I knew it before, but Greg showed me again today, how truly amazing he really is.

Jay was---and still is---an amazing man. He made everyone's lives around him better. He was frank with all because he cared so much. It is tragic that his mortal time on this earth was so short; the great thing about Jay is that he made the most of every day---every minute. I'm so very grateful that I had the little time that I had with him; I grew to love him as if he was my own father. In fact, I count myself very grateful to have two wonderful father and mother-in-laws. I'm glad that Greg had the chance to visit him a few weeks ago. And I'm very glad that Greg, and all those who loved him, will get the chance to see him again. He was a truly unique and wonderful man who will be missed until that great day of reunion.

Windy City Adventure

Since we had a rough time last weekend getting to Chicago, we decided to try again yesterday. Even though it was a weekend, we got up bright and early to drive the two and a half hours to Chicago. The drive was nice because we had the chance to talk and read the scriptures together. The temple was amazing. I remember going there when we moved to Chicago; I thought it was beautiful then and I still think it's beautiful. In our session there was a brother who had a hearing impairment and it was really neat to see how the temple workers accommodated for him. One of the things I was really shocked about was the small amount of people there for a Saturday. The Chicago Temple district is huge and our session wasn't even full. We had a great time.

After the temple we needed to find a place to eat, so we drove back to the interchange in Schaumburg (which happens to be the area we used to live in back in the day). With two malls in that area we had choices galore and decided to go to Rainforest Cafe. They sat us in the monkey section and every fifteen minutes the animals woke up to make some noise; shortly after was the thunderstorm. We had a great time there and cannot wait for people to visit and take them there when we visit Chicago.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Table and a TV

Monday's activity was supposed to be our first trip to the Chicago Temple. Greg was sweet enough to check the hours, but he didn't check them all the way. It takes a little over two and a half hours to get to Chicago from Madison. We were ready to go by 830; the problem was the last session started at 11. I was really bummed; since I was really bummed Greg tried to cheer me up by looking at dining room tables online. Once I started I couldn't stop. Greg and I decided to go looking for a table since it was Labor Day weekend and furniture stores like to have sales over holidays.

Driving into new parts of Madison and eight hours later, we found the one table that fit the bill. It is an amazing table that came with an incredible deal. The reason I'm writing about it today is because we got it today. I came home from work and saw something in our dining room area (yay for friends who could help Greg while I was at work-- props Soelbergs)! I put decorations on the table and took pictures because of how excited I am.

The other thing we got today was a 37'' LCD flat screen HP TV from my folks. It was a graduation/birthday/ anniversary/christmas present for the year. Apparently Dad got a killer deal and wanted to spread the wealth. Not only is it an awesome new TV, but it was HD capabilities (when we can finally afford it). I'm so stoked to watch a movie and a Cardinals game. Even though it's just stuff, it has made me think about how grateful I am for everything I have in my life. Sometimes I think Heavenly Father blesses me more than I deserve...

So... that was the highlight of the week.... new table... new TV....

Cave of the Mounds

Greg & I wanted to do some fun, relaxing activities over Labor Day Weekend; Greg picked Saturday's activity and I picked Monday's. Greg decided to take me to the Cave of the Mounds on Saturday and I picked going to the Chicago Temple on Monday. My temple trip didn't work out so well, but that will be the subject of my next post...

We had lots of fun at the Mounds. First off, we took the back way to the Mounds--- it was awesome. Two minutes from our apartment we were out in the country. We had so much fun going on the county highways and learning more about the area we live in.

Right before we moved from Utah, we went to Timp Caves. Greg convinced me because he said the hike would be worth it; what he didn't tell me was that the hike was a 1,200 ft ascension up a mountain; and my poor sister was in town visiting. Luckily we ended up having fun (after the hike up).

The Mounds was completely different from Timp Caves. Timp Caves you have to hike a mile and half up a mountain to get to the cave (props to Meg-bo); the entrance to the Cave of the Mounds is right below the gift shop. It was a big contrast to get to the both caves, but the result was the same; amazing natural beauty. The only two parts I didn't like about the caves were the places called 'the meanders' and 'the narrows.' I'm slightly claustrophobic so I was grateful to get out of those places. It's kind of a catch-22 with me because I love going to caves, but I hate small places. Obviously, I survived--- and we made memories... here are some pictures:

Friday, August 31, 2007

Being a teacher...

I'm amazed at the month that has passed in finally becoming a teacher. Granted, I'm teaching kids much younger then I thought but--- I absolutely love it. It's what I want to do and what I've always wanted to do. Years of school and it feels so worth it now that I'm finally doing what I love. The reflection comes on the heels of the last day of the summer class. Next week we get a new class; kids from preschool move up and new kids start. More than half our class starts kindergarten or first grade on Tuesday.

I absolutely hate it when people discredit the education profession. What other job takes you from talking to disgruntled parents, to planning lessons and activities around the curriculum while still making it fun, and simultaneously watching the kids so they don't break themselves or anyone else in the process. Right now, I'm so exhausted from this week that all I want to do on a Friday night is one of three (possibly all) things: 1. sleep 2. read a book 3. watch a movie.

I absolutely adore all my students yet get so frustrated when they make mistakes--- not because I'm mad but because I'm sad they aren't living up to their potential. Honestly I think the only other job that takes this much energy and versatility is being a mom (and they don't even get paid).

Not to discredit any other profession--- each has a purpose. In fact, I believe that you have to believe in your job and what it means to the rest of the world in order to enjoy what you do. A person spends 40 hours of their week (or more) working and I'm sure I would not be able to handle using my time like that unless I loved what I did. Even though teaching is not the most financially recognized professional, I would not change my real rewards: hugs, smiles, and sometimes flowers and presents for just being a teacher.

007 Hair and a Library Card

This week has been pretty crazy. I was in charge of all the events going on in the classroom this week, so it was my first time in charge of the class. It was a very tiring week. The kiddos were great--- a little on the crazy side because most of them are on their way to kindergarten.

My biggest problem was that I couldn't find any of the books that I wanted to use for the classroom. We're supposed to have the books they want us to use for the curriculum, but when I went looking in the pile all the books were different. So, I decided to get a library card (Paul would be proud). I'm so excited to use it the next time I need to teach because then I don't have to break the bank to go and buy the book that I want.

The other big thing that happened this week was the fact that I got my hair cut. It was growing out of control and I hated waking up and trying to do anything with it. After work on Wednesday I went to the closest salon called the.... 007 Salon! That's right, I got Bond girl hair! My hairstylist was super nice; when she started cutting my hair she noticed that one side in my layers was longer then the other!! No wonder I hated it sooo much! I wanted my hair to be fun and sassy again and that's what I got. A little of the side-swept bangs and more defined layers and funk----I can flip it out like I did yesterday or I can wear it straight which is what I did today. I absolutely love it! What do ya'll think?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

1,097 Days and counting...

Greg's home--- yay. The day after he came home was our third anniversary. It was a great day. I had to work; but I came home during my lunch break to a vase of light red flowers. It was beautiful. After work, we went to the most amazing Japanese Restaurant. The food was magnificent. I can't wait for people to visit so we can take them there--- all except Paul and Corey :)

Other than that the week has been full of work. I'm still enjoying it and I get a chance to teach next week. Greg's been keeping himself busy by reading all books. I'm slightly jealous because of all the books he's finished, however I'm glad he's enjoying himself.

Life is good---

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ambo Time: Revisited

Butler... chef... theme song guy... *Ambo's theme music-- baaaaaaaa.....*

Day 4, W. G.: So, I've realized the bonus of being by myself: I get to watch my all time favorite movies that I haven't watched in a while because I don't have to agree with another person as to what to watch.

Currently, I'm watching Kuzco river dancing. Moments before I finally watched my Valentine's Day present from two years ago: the A&E version of Pride & Prejudice (mmmm.... Colin Firth). I absolutely LOVE that mini-series but I never had the chance to watch it because it's five hours long and I usually want to spend that time with Greg. Since he was out of town this time, I didn't have to worry about that. Yesterday I watched the LDS version of Pride & Prejudice and Meet Me in St. Louis.

Don't get me wrong, I still miss Greg--- however, watching my favorite movies keeps my mind occupied. Another thing I've been able to do is listen to more music. Friday morning I listened to music as I got ready for the day. It was great because of the mood the music put me in for the rest of the day. And today, I spent a few hours after church listening to church music while cleaning up a little bit, writing in my journal, and making some signs for the class.

I also didn't realize how much he helps me get ready in the morning. Twice in the last four days, I've accidentally woke up late. This morning, I woke up with my alarm and then turned it off. An hour later (15 minutes before church started) I shot out of bed and ran in the shower. I took the most efficient shower ever--- and got to church while the congregation sang the opening song. I was excited that I didn't miss anything and church was wonderful. I ran into some friends from our BYU ward and took further steps to start new friendships.

The alone time has been fine--- but let's face it--- I'm excited to see Greg tomorrow night.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

101 Ambo Facts

1. I was born on Friday the 13th with a full moon out.
2. I'm an avid fan of most sports--- SportsCenter being one of my favorite shows on TV.
3. I once threw a fit over what type of pizza my family wanted for dinner.
4. I have an real Indian name: Golden Cloud
5. I have a MAJOR purse fetish.
6. My knees point inward which makes me run like a duck (it's a family thing).
7. I love to read---with my all time favorite book being the Book of Mormon.
8. I wrote a song about my Savior when I was ten (it's in my childhood journal).
9. I started playing basketball when I was seven.
10. I've sprained both my ankles at the same time.
11. In a high school speech tournament, I won two third place trophies: one for Creative Writing and one for Duet Improv with Ash (and I still have them both to this day).
12. I'm addicted to In 'n Out Burger--- seriously, have you tried animal-style fries yet?
13. One of my first dream jobs was to be the first woman player in the NBA.
14. The second was to be a teacher.
15. I love all Disney movies and I'm currently trying to get my hands on all the classics.
16. I've seen Emperor's New Groove, Beauty & the Beast, Grease, That Thing You Do, Dirty Dancing and The Sandlot so much that I'm pretty sure I could quote them in my sleep.
17. It took me sixteen years to realize that life is not judge by other's opinions of you, but of your opinion of yourself. It was then that I started to enjoy life a little bit more.
18. I absolutely LOVE learning and teaching others Church History.
19. I started reading Jesus the Christ in 2003 and I still haven't finished it... one day I will finish it...
20. One of my life's desires is to be a great cook.
21. I have more artistic talent then I realize.
22. I adore being a big sister and wouldn't trade it for anything.
23. As a teenager, I tried to think of reasons why I should not like my parents. I tried to create situations in my head to not like them--- and the truth is I always realized that I was incredibly blessed to have them.
24. I know more about football, baseball, basketball, and golf than my husband.
25. I love that I get to teach my husband about sports.
26. When I scrapbook, I go on a marathon and can't stop until I finish with my project.
27. I love the smile that Greg gives me when he thinks I'm not looking :)
28. When I was a kid my favorite TV show was Jem and the Holograms.
29. I had all the dolls, stands, and tapes from the above show.
30. I found the Jem songs online and have them on my computer and ipod.
31. I love classic rock--- especially Styx, Van Halen, Def Leppard, and Journey.
32. The songs I wake up to usually start the mood-- for good or bad-- of my day.
33. My roommate, Liz, and I killed five fishes the day I was set up with Greg. In fact, I used that story as an icebreaker with him.
34. For one of my Laurel projects, I made a weeks worth of shorts to wear at Girl's Camp.
35. I never got rid of the Cardinals' shorts I made that week.
36. I'm a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan--- and I like to agitate other NL central fans (especially now that I live in Brewers country).
37. A perfect summer day is either one of three things: going to a Cardinals baseball game, a water park, or an amusement park.
38. My all-time favorite Christmas movie is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
39. I often wish that I could have gone to Hogwarts.
40. I'm often more sarcastic then I should be and I'm working on that.
41. I love going to 12:01 showings of movies.
42. I haven't stopped dressing up for Halloween--- I don't think I ever will.
43. I have three all-time favorite musicals: Beauty & the Beast, Man of La Mancha, and Wicked
44. I want to name our first daughter Annabelle; it's after my great-grandma. (then I could call her Belle)
45. Fourth of July is my favorite time of year because it's always been a big deal in my family.
46. I love watching the leaves change colors in the fall.
47. One of the things I love about the mid-west is the humidity.
48. It's insanely hard to stay mad that the person you're madly in love with--- especially when he has a heart-stopping smile like Greg's.
49. I like having my hair both long and short, but Greg likes it short so that's the way I keep it.
50. My guilty movie pleasure is the live-action version of Masters of the Universe with Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, and Courtney Cox.
51. My vampire name suggests that I would have died and risen again for love; sounds like me.
52. Sunday afternoons are meant for watching one of four things with the family: Indiana Jones, Star Wars, a Disney movie, or golf.
53. I know I love a musical when it makes me cry.
54. I have always loved sharing my testimony with others; in fact my family started sitting me away from the aisles because I would share it almost monthly.
55. After I came back from Nauvoo, I thought I would serve a mission--- two months later I met Greg.
56. I'm so excited to see what a red-headed baby of Greg's looks like.
57. I love watching Spongebob Squarepants and Jimmy Neutron.
58. I claim to be an amateur Titanic historian and collector. One of my goals in life is to collect an authentic artifact from the ship and possibly become a full-fledged Titanic historian (does anyone know how I could do that?).
59. The above obsession started from a fourth grade research project.
60. I've only been put under anesthesia twice: for my wisdom teeth and laproscopy.
61. The one fish that survived the chaos from #33 died on my wedding day.
62. I was seventeen when I flew for the first time (I even sat in a backwards seat).
63. I'm secretly addicted to Ninja Warrior.
64. I majored in Elementary Education and minored in Theatre Studies.
65. I hope to continue acting.
66. For a class, I wrote a play based on a Japanese fairy tale.
67. Sometimes I think Greg knows me better than I know myself.
68. I love listening to church music as I get ready for church.
69. I hope to serve a mission with Greg one day.
70. I can tell anything to Greg, Ash, Jenni, Megbo, Nett, and my parents (and all of them know how to get it out of me).
71. I hope to go to Japan one day.
72. I was technically engaged to Greg for only five weeks.
73. I love Japanese food.
74. My all time favorite place to be is with my family or in the celestial room of the temple.
75. I got my endowments in the same temple as both of my parents.
76. I'm certified to teach in Utah and Wisconsin.
77. I love rooting for the underdog.
78. I've been a Utah Jazz fan since I was in the womb.
79. Three years in a row at Girl's Camp I had over 100 bug bites on my body.
80. I have mixed emotions about never getting a Harry Potter book at midnight again.81. I like to learn about Greek Mythology.
82. I love Steak 'n Shake (that's saying something since I worked there).
83. One of my current favorite TV shows is My Boys. PJ is a kindred spirit.
84. I love listening to a CD for the first time.
85. Unwrapping DVDs/CDs from their plastic is my favorite things about getting new movies/music.
86. I believe in the power of the priesthood.
87. My middle name, Leigh, is the girl version of spelling my grandad's name. I'm proud of that name.
88. The first CD I owned was a Mariah Carey CD.
89. One of my lesser known nicknames is Clumsy Ape Girl.
90. At one point, I had a three different ways of saying good-night to my siblings.
91. My favorite Looney Tunes character is Taz.
92. Batman beats Superman any day.
93. If I was an X-Men, I would be want to have Jean Grey or Storm's power.
94. I love spinning with my cousins.
95. One of my favorite moments of student-teaching was playing Knock-out basketball with the boys and shocking them with my throwing abilities in catch football.
96. I love playing Settlers of Catan, even though I've only won twice.
97. I'm way too competitive for my own good.
98. Greg won't play Harry Potter scene-it with me because I know too much.
99. My favorite fruit, pineapple, makes me sick when it's fresh.
100. I love finding things to bond with my Dad; I think that's why I pursued sports so much.
101. There's no way I would trade any part of my life anyway. I believe everything happens for a reason and each experience helps us grow.


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