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.

My Ambo Time

Day 1, W.G. (Without Greg): Got up at five in the morning to take Greg to the bus station for his ride to Chicago. Slept for a couple more hours of that before I had to go to work. Got to work and enjoyed/exhausted myself out until six. (I love my job) Got home, had dinner, watched Scrubs, Ninja Warrior, and Sports Center. I miss Greg--- and Ashley-- and Jenni.

If I sound sad that's probably a good assumption, however I'm trying to look at the positive. I have a hard time with lots of consecutive 'ambo time.' I'm very much a people person and lots of alone time can drain me. If we were still in Utah this wouldn't be a problem because Ashley and Jenni would be keeping me company. So to keep the drain from going empty, I'm planning a weekend with lots of things for me to do--- busy work to some people.

On the growing list of things to do, I plan to watch all the chick flicks (hello Pride & Prejudice) and read as many books as I can. I also have things I can do for work. We're getting ready for the new class turnover that happens Labor Day, so today we received new class materials. I'm so stoked to start teaching and being involved. It seems as though the teachers before me weren't as involved in the class as I plan to be; my hope is that I don't make my co-worker feel as though I'm trying to take things away from her. She has lots of experience and I hope she will let me try some new ideas that I have for some management and routines.

This weekend shouldn't be too bad--- Greg comes back Monday night--- just in time for our third anniversary... still don't know what we're going to do...

By the way--- I've enjoyed watching the Cards royally pound the Brewers on Brewers TV--- very gratifying--- Go Cards!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Curtains & a Fire Alarm

Greg has decided that I'm addicted to sewing; since that was the case we decided to fix our bedroom dilemma this past weekend. We both love our apartment, however there is street lamp at about the same level of our windows. It gives off so much light that a person can walk around the bedroom and living room without a light on and still be able to see.

So adding my sewing addition to our need for curtains equals fabric shopping at Joann's. Within five minutes we found the perfect fabric. And within the day I made our curtains (see right). It may not match the bedroom as a whole, but once we get the quilt/comforter set we want from IKEA and paint our bedroom it will be perfect. The curtains make a huge difference; the difference is so drastic that we have to close our bedroom door now because the living room is so bright.

The last couple of days have been uneventful---except for two things. One, Greg is going down to Texas on Thursday to visit Jay & Barb. I'm excited that Greg gets to go and see them, but I'm bummed I don't get to go and on top of that I'll be alone for four days. I don't do alone very well, but it's fine if Greg gets to spend time with his dad.

Second, thunderstorms have been almost a daily/nightly occurrence--- it's the summer in the midwest (what else is going to happen). The storm was so bad last night that it woke me up (which is hard to do) and ---on top of that--- the circuit breaker room flooded in our building and the building fire alarm when off at four in the morning. We had to drag ourselves out of bed with the umbrella and get outside. Forty-five minutes later we were back in our apartment; two hours later I had to get up for work. I'm just glad we didn't have to worry about pets or babies to evacuate (and the fact that it wasn't a real fire).

Friday, August 10, 2007

Working Girl

I've officially finished my first week! *insert triumphant music* I'm excited to be done because this week was mostly training (or in other words--paperwork, reading, and more paperwork). The first time I actually went into the classroom was yesterday and I've yet to see a full day. I don't think dull moments exist in a Pre-K classroom. The kids are really rambunctious right now because most of them start kindergarten in September; add on the new teacher and you get a 16 four to five-year-olds acting a little bit squirmy. I was so proud that I was able to remember all their names today; even though most of them will be gone in two weeks!

This morning I started to plan my first week of teaching which happens to be the last week before we start a new term. The teacher I'm with has years of experience and she's open to any ideas that I have (and in my head I already have a few) which makes the classroom environment comfortable and inviting. Honestly, this job is a complete blessing through-and-through. My co-workers are fun, honest, professional, and open. I'm super excited for the new opportunities ahead...

Yesterday, I only worked a half-day, so I spent the rest of the day reading. Greg didn't seem to mind because he played on his computer the whole time. By 7 o'clock, I finished Eclipse. I'm not sure how to take this book because I'm torn between loving and hating a certain hairy character. The ending of the book makes you wish for the fourth (and final) installment right after; it's going to be a long year+ wait for Breaking Dawn.

At last

Amber has been bugging me for a week or so now to post something. My life is just so exciting at the moment I don't know where to begin. Currently Amber is the one working and I am the one staying home taking care of things. I have tried to do one item of house work / running errands per day, otherwise if I got really adventurous, I would have even less to do.

Even so, I managed to get the last of the tubs down into storage so our living/dining areas are more empty than before. I took the car in for an oil change as well yesterday. It was about 2000 miles overdue. This is partly due to us moving out here, and poor planning on my part in the trips to Boise, Pocatello, and Burley ID in the 2 weeks before we moved. Incidentally I took the car to Meineke and they were fabulous. I walked in at 8:10 am and walked out with the job finished at 8:35 am. I will probably go to them next time and it helped that they only had 2 out of their 6 bays occupied at the time.

p.s. if you didn't notice the bolded word, move your mouse over it now

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Working through an Eclipse

Our lesson on Sunday went well; we were blessed to have the Spirit guiding us and have a great group of kids who responded to our questions. It was a good lesson because we could feel the Spirit and marvel at the astounding and painful sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us. It was a neat experience. :)

My first two days of work have been nothing but reading and training---which is why I'm posting a blog right now. It's been good to familiarize myself with my new work surroundings and policies, but I'm really anxious to start working as a teacher and work with the kids. I have training until Thursday and then I get to be in the room on Friday. Woo Hoo!

To top that off, Eclipse came out today. I'm patiently waiting for Greg to get off his computer (and finish his late lunch) so we can go and pick up my book. I'm excited to have the next installment of the Bella/Edward/Jacob saga, but hopefully I'll find some time in the next few days to read and hang out with Greg. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Apartment Pictures: Part 3

The rest of the apartment.... enjoy! The only room I didn't post pictures of is the public bathroom. It's a bathroom with a shower... so there...

Master bedroom looking from the bathroom door...

Turning around in the same spot as the last picture... looking into the closet/bathroom...

*insert choir of angels* my--I mean-- our closet...

Our bathroom... it even has separate sinks!

Home Sweet Home!

Apartment Pictures: Part 2

Here's the next batch:

One side of our sweet IKEA bookshelf

The living room....

Another living room view...

To the right of the living room is the 2nd bedroom... and this my office area...

Here's Greg in his office area...

To be continued...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Apartment Pictures: Part 1

Here are the much anticipated pictures of our new apartment! Since pictures are taking forever to load, I'm going to post our apartment pictures in segments. Here's the first batch:

Looking into our apartment from the entry way...

To the left of the entry way is the kitchen...

To the right is the laundry on the way to the public bathroom...

The dining room looking back into the kitchen...

More to come soon...

Going Domestic

Ever since we got our couch, I've ALWAYS wanted to cover the pillows. Yesterday I finally broke out the sewing machine and made the pillow cases. I think they look great and I can't wait to try more things on my machine.

Here they are... TA DA!!!

Almost Employed

For clarification, 'teaching-type' job means that I started looking for jobs in other places then public education. The job I interviewed for yesterday was at a place called La Petite Academy. I had my interview at 10 and didn't get out until 12. I had both the supervisor and 'her supervisor' levels of my interview.

As the name implies La Petite Academy is meant for pre-school kids. The age starts at infant all the way up to pre-K. Each class of kids has two teachers; I interviewed for one of the teacher positions with the Pre-K class. The academy has their own curriculum, all three meals, and everything. The 'district supervisor' told me that the area around here is so saturated with teachers that it's even difficult for Wisconsin-licensed teachers to get a job. They've even had teacher cut-backs in the districts around here! I couldn't believe that I finally got my answer as to why I hadn't heard from anyone yet!

The interview went so well that I got another call at 330 yesterday for a job offer! In honor of the job offer, I'm posting a 'simpsonized' version of me in front of Springfield Elementary! I haven't officially accepted it yet, partly because Greg & I are so baffled at what just happened. We are excited that our prayers were answered; I'm excited to still have a job in the education field. Our prayers were answered and words cannot describe...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Changes & Interviews

Over the weekend, Greg and I decided it was time for me to try a different avenue of getting into the education field in Madison. So, on Monday I applied for 'teaching' type and/or related jobs. The next day, I had two responses: one for an interview today and another requesting more information from me in order to start the interviewing process.

It's amazing what happens when you start heading down the path Heavenly Father wants you to walk on...

I've been tagged by Aunt Jenni Elyse

Jobs I’ve Held:

  1. Pre-K Lead Teacher
  2. BYU-Education Dean's Office Student Receptionist
  3. BYU-Custodial at the Talmage Building
  4. HP/MarketSource Sales Representative

Places to Go for a Weekend Getaway (pre-move):

  1. Boise, Idaho
  2. Layton/Ogden, UT
  3. (post-move) Chicago, IL
  4. Nauvoo, IL

Movies I Can Watch Over and Over:

  1. That Thing You Do!
  2. any Harry Potters
  3. The Sandlot
  4. Beauty & the Beast
  5. Galaxy Quest
  6. Masters of the Universe
  7. Titanic
  8. any Indiana Jones'
  9. any Star Wars
  10. any James Bond

My Guilty Pleasures:

  1. Watching SpongeBob
  2. collecting Titanic stuff (big nerd)
  3. Watching Reality Shows
  4. Playing my imaginary Wii (I will get one some day)

Places I’ve Lived:

  1. Salt Lake City, UT
  2. Monterrey, CA
  3. San Angelo, TX
  4. Tucson, AZ
  5. Riverdale, UT
  6. Ogden, UT
  7. San Antonio, TX
  8. O'Fallon, MO
  9. Bartlett, IL
  10. Lake St. Louis, MO
  11. Provo, UT
  12. Madison, WI

What Were the First Things You Thought of When You Saw Your Significant Other for the First Time?

  1. He must be related to Ash because he's a red-head
  3. He's going to be in California this summer, what are the odds?!?!
  4. Hansen... hmmm... Amber Hansen... that has a good ring... oh crap... :)

Places I’ve Been on Vacation:

  1. Bahamas
  2. California
  3. Utah
  4. Illinois

My Favorite Foods:

  1. Sushi (any Japanese food)
  2. Fettuccine Alfredo
  3. Breakfast Burritos (or Abel Schivers)
  4. Pot Roast (or Corned Beef)

If in a “Jam” with My Spouse, What Tactics Do I Use to Get out of the Dog House?

  1. I'm not the one in the dog house.. :) just kidding, talk it out and calm down. It's important to use the right wording so either person doesn't start to feel worse.

Websites I visit (Almost Daily):

  1. My blog
  2. My friends' blogs

Best First Kisses Landmarks:

  1. How about the first kiss I had with Greg as husband and wife!

Places I’d Rather be Right Now:

  1. Reading my latest book
  2. The bahamas
  3. on a Disney Cruise (I watched a special yesterday and I've been bitten)
  4. at some form of amusement park
Books I’ve Read This Year:
  1. Next Tuesday (8/7) - Eclipse
  2. No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
  3. The Lightning Thief
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  9. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  11. New Moon
  12. Twilight
  13. Travel Team
  14. Half-Moon Investigations
  15. Hatchet
  16. Midnight for Charlie Bone
  17. and... a whole lot more Children's books that I bought for my classroom collection...


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