Yesterday i had the grand opportunity to take most of the kids on a bakery field trip for a class project.
My sisters were willing to join me with their kids (and day care) to go to the King Soopers bakery for a tour. There was a small glitch in the plans when the bakery manager wasn't there to give us our tour until about half an hour later. But Amber, being the angel that she is, got the kids some juice and snacks for while we waited. it totally threw me off when we had 30 minutes to kill because as much as we talk about all of these strategies in my classes, when i got the chance for practical application my mind kind of blanked.
BUT the manager did arrive and the kids loved the tour!
Checking out all of the decorated cakes:
She's explaining how they get all of their bread made each day:
They got to see how the bakery slices their bread:
in the future we will be able to tell our children that we remember when Hostess went bankrupt. We remember when the Twinkie was discontinued. And it was a sad day when this American novelty was no longer. There was a run on the stores and gas stations similar to that of when there was a run on the banks back in 1929. it was crazy. The article about the bankruptcy came out on Thursday and by Friday afternoon the only Hostess items available were the old-fashioned donettes and the weird fruit pies; which, let's be real, no one likes those anyways. Except maybe my friend's dad. But as far as everyone else goes those are bottom of the totem pole.
We figure the world truly will end as the Mayans predicted because the one food that's supposed to last till through the apocalypse has been discontinued. Way to go, America.
Saturday morning Calah called me with a mission. She needed one Twinkie. Evie needed one Twinkie. The poor little girl needs to be able to say that she has at least had ONE Twinkie in her life. And so my qquest began. i stopped by three gas stations before i remembered that Momo had told me she had a Twinkie in the treats tin her grandpa had given her! i quick as a bunny called her up and asked if i could buy it from her (she doesn't like Twinkies anyways so it wouldn't be a big deal). Like the angel that she is she said yes. Huzzah!
Although it will be a sad time without our Hostess deliciousness, Evie will have the grand opportunity to taste a Twinkie. Now, whether she actually likes it or not will be a whole other thing entirely.
This last weekend my dear sister celebrated her birthday. it was perfect (at least i think so). We went out to lunch with the lovely ladies at work to the absolute best Mexican food place: Joe Bandido's. Then i got to accompany her and her in-laws (some of the greatest people ever) to Red Lobster for endless shrimp. Calah and i LOVE our shrimp!
This also happened to be Evie's first time trying it. The verdict?
She loved it! i know she isn't making that oh-my-goodness-this-is-the-best-thing-ever kind of face, but seriously, she loved it. The girl ate through TWO skewers of teriyaki shrimp on her own. How many shrimp per skewer? TEN! That's right, little Miss Evie ate through a whole twenty shrimp. Obviously she's a fan.
The waiters were also so kind and sang happy birthday to Calah.
Calah and Evie also made a new friend:
Following dinner we all gathered at her grandma-in-law's home for dessert.
Evie made another new friend:
i am so thankful to have Calah. She is one of the best sisters ever and i can't imagine being in Utah without her. She's always there when i need someone and she has some freaking awesome advice (even if the situation isn't particularly awesome). i just love her to pieces!
Sometimes i just want to run away. But not the real kind. My running away involves curling up in a comfy blanket on my bed with cozy music or a movie and diving into a book for hours.
The weather has turned. Clouds rolled across the sky earlier this week and have been here to stay. Yesterday it rained. This morning it snowed. Granted it was only enough to frost the ground but the point is, snowflakes were falling from the sky.
Which means it is perfect "running away" weather. Time to cozy up in my sweats with my hot cocoa and have something playing in the background. i almost always have music or a movie on because i really don't like the quiet. it makes me feel unsettled.
i could run to Hogwarts and join the battle against Voldemort. Maybe i'll go to the Nine Kingdoms and defend the world from Gair's evil doings. i could assist the rebels in The Hunger Games or solve crime in Lake Eden. NeverNeverland is just around the corner as is italy and the land of the giants and Guilder.
i want to run away for hours and stay safe and sound in my room.
Alas...that is for another day. Homework and real life call and i must answer or fail. And we really can't have that.
Whilst watching TV shows on Hulu an ad came on about this guy wanting to publish a book. No publisher wanted it but he persisted and ended up doing the book online and sharing it with all his friends. it ended up making its way around the world and everyone wanted copies. So he gave them copies (i'm assuming he printed them or something, i didn't pay attention to specifics). His whole point was that he didn't want to publish a book for the sake of being a published author or whatever. it was to share an idea that's important to him. One of dreaming big dreams and never losing the magic in that. Dallas Clayton has now written/illustrated several more books and i am in love with them all. So read up, enjoy, and dream as big as you can!
The following link will send you to his website where you can read the book for free and bask in the awesomeness that are his other books.
Every October Gardner Village puts on WitchFest. Basically the adorable little shops stay open till 10PM, everything is decked out all Halloween-ish and witchy, there's music blaring (a good variety too, like 80's and 90's stuff), and EVERYONE is dressed up. Majority are women (obviously. it is a witch fest after all) but you do get the few guys who come and get decked out too. One year we saw Batman there. No joke.
Anywho, this year we had all the girls come out from Colorado, except Brytt and the kiddos got sick :(. So she was there in spirit...
But we got to stay the weekend in Midway and veg and shop and eat lots of yummy food. One such place, a delectable place with cheesecake chimichangas, lets you color on the paper tablecloths. Genius! What did we end up with?
Tehya decided to draw the Earth's creation or something. Here we have Adam and Eve. Except instead of Adam it's Joey (from FRIENDS) saying "how you doin?"
We then decided it was time for the park (as the kids insisted). Which was actually pretty dang awesome as the park had a dinosaur. Who can argue with that?
Tehya was picking its nose...
And then they did their best dead dinosaur pose. (i realize Kaden isn't a girl and is at our girls weekend but the poor kid couldn't be left out of the awesome trip to Utah)
THEN came the glorious event that is WitchFest. The girls made the most adorable tutus and Calah and i had our fancy masquerade masks that Hyrum brought us back from Spain. Pretty much fantastic.
AND we discovered Kierston's wondrous talent of makeup and nails. Not that we didn't know she was good before, but the woman never ceases to amaze as she did ALL of our makeup.
Now. Every sunny weekend has to have a rainy day, right? Maybe it's not an actual rule but it totally proved true for our weekend. That rainy day happened to be the one day we had an outdoor event. But don't you worry. We made sure to have a wonderfully long time at dinner while trying to wait it out. And when that proved to be in vain we went anyways! it was very cold. And late.
We decided milkshakes were in order and poor Tehya had to decide between sleeping in the car and drinking her shake. Except, like the guy in the new Coke Zero commercial says, "who wants OR anymore? What about AND?" So she attempted to drink the shake and sleep at the same time. Needless to say we moved the cup to avoid any spills.
The rest of the weekend was some more shopping and good food. And when there's shopping there's obviously driving and Tehya and i got bored...
To round off a lovely weekend i made sure to bring my baking supplies so i could make some witchy cupcakes with the girls :) Now. The cupcakes themselves tasted weird. i blame the flour because who knows how long it's been in those cupboards. BUT how adorable, right?
Today was the first time i've been able to listen to this song in about 2 months. At first i deleted it because it reminds me of him and since we were no longer talking it completely ruined the song. A couple weeks later i thought, "i still love that song though, of course i can still listen to it". i downloaded it again. Nope, still couldn't. So, again, i deleted it and every time it came on the radio i would switch stations as quick as i recognized exactly what song it was.
Then today happened. i don't know quite what's different about today except i finally thought through the fact that i can only control so many things. And those things i can't control i shouldn't stress myself over. Kind of a go-with-the-flow thing but with a positive attitude. Make the best of the situation and do what i can to the best of my abilities. Literally, that is all i can do.
Now i have no idea how this changes my feelings about this song, but it was on the radio as i was leaving work. My hand went straight to change the station when i paused (i hadn't started driving yet, don't worry). i don't remember just what i was thinking but it was something like "i can handle this now". And i listened to the rest of the song! in the grand scheme of things it is a teeny little win. But in the here and now, after an off week full of crazy emotions and school work, it was huge. All i could think afterwards was, "i can totally, totally handle things now". i don't know exactly what all those "things" are, but for now this is enough.
i was already going to make cupcakes for my evening class, when i realized i didn't want to just leave it at cupcake and frosting, but add cute decorations of some kind. Edible decorations. My sister suggested Pumpkin Cupcakes (in honor of it finally being Fall) and my mom suggested making them look like actual little pumpkins. Genius!
Here's the first batch of decorations:
And the second:
For my first tries at actual cupcake decorating i think they turned out rather cute, ya?
As of yesterday it is officially Autumn; which just so happens to be my absolute favorite season! And the mountains are celebrating with festive reds, yellows, and oranges. it's absolutely beautiful.
it's been a busy (and way fun) weekend so when i got home i just lazed about for a while. But there was this underlying feeling of antsiness and i needed to get out. Where to? i felt like a drive through the canyon was just what i needed to cure this antsy-pants feeling and get in some good alone time outside of the apartment.
As i was driving i just wanted to take pictures of everything, it was that beautiful. i didn't though; because i was driving, duh! But i did stop at a few of the scenic overlook bits so that i could capture a smidgen of the fabulousness that is the mountains. Now the pictures aren't all that due to being taken on my phone (i didn't even think about taking my actual camera with me). But now the memories are frozen and i can always remember what a lovely time i had blasting my music with the windows down driving through the canyon soaking up all that beauty-osity!
Over the weekend i had the opportunity to catch up and have a homework party with my best friend, miss Momo. We'd reminisce of times past and the topic of nostalgia came up. This led me to dig through my baby box and memory box and see what mementos i've kept over the years. Stuffed animals, Valentine's Day cards, elementary school projects, high school cap and gown, and letters amongst some other odds and ends.
Rifling through the letters i found one with my full name typed out on the front in the fanciest font you'll ever see. it was small excerpts of my baby blessing that a woman in our ward at the time had done up for my parents. Reading it gave me the same feeling as when i read my patriarchal blessing. There are things i can see that have played out true and some yet to come. Which leads to my question: can you be nostalgic for the future? if you go by the dictionary definition, then no, you can't. You aren't returning in thought or fact to some former whatever. But there is still a wistful desire; a sentimental yearning...
Being an Early Childhood Education major i get to take the fun classes associated with elementary school such as art, gym, music, theater, and dance. Well i've taken the art, dance, and gym classes and am currently enrolled in music. it's already fun getting to learn the elementary school songs and we get to create a children's book based on a song. To top off all of that fun, my teacher is just fab. Everyone i talked to said to get Jaccard and i was lucky enough to land a spot in his class.
So you can imagine my confusion when the first session of class comes around and we're all patiently waiting for him to arrive. And waiting and waiting. The entire class (about 25 or so girls) are checking our emails and wondering why on earth our dear professor has yet to arrive. Halfway through the class we decide he isn't coming and it's too late to get anything done anyways. So we leave. Later that afternoon we all receive an email from dear Bro. Jaccard apologizing for missing class. He explained that in his 20 years of teaching he had never forgotten to show up to teach; except that first day of class. He was happily writing away in his office (next to our classroom) and realized 35 minutes into class that he should be there. He apologized again and told us what we should bring to class the following session and promised to see us there.
The following session comes around and in walks the cutest little older man: our dear Bro. Jaccard! Seriously though, he is the cutest little thing. And he's crazy knowledgeable about everything. He's basically traveled the whole world and knew my last name was Hungarian AND the Hungarian pronunciation without me saying anything.
Bro. Jaccard knows all you need to know about singing, instruments, voice registers, and teaching children. in fact, like my other fun class teachers, he sometimes instructs us as if we're elementary students. The other day we were talking about voice registers. He told us that most people who say they're tone deaf are actually just singing in the wrong register. Here's how you know: lay your hand on your chest right below your collar bone and say the words to the Pledge of Allegiance. Feel the vibrations? Now do the same but say the words in your best Minnie Mouse voice, all high-pitched. No more vibrations. That, my friends, is your head voice which is where you should be singing (unless you're going for that raspy loveliness). Now obviously you can't explain that to the little children. it'd just fly right over their little heads. instead we took our voices "hang-gliding". As silly as we all felt it was entertaining and solidified the concept of voice registers.
That's basically what we get to do every class. Bro. Jaccard teaches the formal concept and then we participate in the activities we'd use to teach our students. Now who wouldn't love that?
Being an Early Childhood Education major means we focus on Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP for short). Whilst discussing DAP in my curriculum class today we focused on what common misconceptions are, what it actually is, and why it's effective.
So many people think of teaching as babysitting. The teachers sit and let the kids run the classroom and play all day while they don't learn anything. OR the teacher is extremely strict and just lectures the whole time. This is where DAP comes in. it's not a curriculum, but a pedagogical philosophy; a holistic approach to teaching where we incorporate the whole child as well as all of the subjects; an approach that requires a highly organized classroom where everything is intentional, even the child-directed activities.
By the "whole child" i mean all aspects of their being: physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual. The spiritual aspect is tricky to incorporate due to the strict rules of religion in the classroom. But what i've learned is that the spiritual aspect is when we, as educators, are treating our children like children of God, because that's what they are. When you have that one child who's just being a pill, think of him in that light and your entire perspective changes. Your intentions change because you know the greater purpose in your teaching.
The holistic approach involves various styles of instruction as well the Common Core subjects and the "extras". You can include dance and music in your Math, English, and Science lessons. in fact, sometimes it's more effective. You can also integrate those subjects so that your students are getting a more well-rounded understanding of them.
The classroom is organized to facilitate large group, small group, and one-on-one interactions. There are areas for play, reading, and writing. The decorations encourage learning. Everything is deliberate. Even the way the tables are set just so because you don't want to provide a runway for children to be running all about the classroom. The teacher's questions and activities are intentional in their educational purpose.
To the observer, it may look like chaos. Sometimes it might be. But the well-trained educators can make play educational in purpose. They can take the moments when students get distracted and turn them into teaching moments. Rather than get frustrated that it's taking extra time away from the planned lesson, they can find a way to incorporate the lesson objectives into that discussion.
i don't know what you call babysitting but this sure isn't it.
i've always been shy. Relatively unsure of unknown social situations in which i have to fend for myself. Am i going to say the right thing, ask the right questions, will they think i'm interesting or weird? This is where the "reading into things" stuff comes in.
if i'm the one to initiate social interactions (such as dinners and parties) then i take on the hostess role. is everyone having fun, is everyone included, did i forget to invite someone? So much stress when it really isn't needed.
Well, lately i've had more opportunities to come out of my shy shell. i've been attending ward activities, ward prayer, group activities, etc. i've gone with friends to festivals, bonfires, and barbeques. Throughout the last little while of becoming a bit more social, i've learned that it isn't so scary. i don't need to be reading into things or be quite so shy. Granted, i'm still not the social butterfly but i'm also not the timid turtle hiding in my shell.
Sunday night is the night of ward prayer and nice notes, right? Well it's also the night when people generally end up playing games after ward prayer. Last night it just so happened that about six of us decided to play Backwards Apples-to-Apples (where you play the green cards to one red rather than red cards to green). it was actually rather funny because we then had to create a story with all of the red cards we won.
Well by the time the game had ended a few more people had joined us and we decided another game was necessary: Truth or Dare Catchphrase. The game is played like normal Catchphrase but when the buzzer lands on you, you have to choose a truth or dare instead of the other team getting points. Well it ended up landing on me first. Not sure how daring i wanted to be i chose truth and had to answer who my crush in the ward is. One problem though. He was playing the game with us! Obviously i couldn't actually say his name because that's embarrassing all on its own and what if he isn't even interested? To get around it i ended up telling everyone that my crush was in the room with us. Since there were about four guys it gave them something to guess. Phew...
As the game continued there were questions about kisses and dares involving going in random ward members' apartments and completing a task. And one guy had to kiss the top of my foot...which actually wasn't so bad because the alternative was him pulling my toe ring off with his teeth...Ya. The last round comes and all is good, right? Well kind of. i had managed to avoid getting the buzzer since my truth question and it lands on my the last round! Since my last one was a truth i had to choose a dare (as per our rules). The options ranged from sucking on a guy's earlobe to sucking on his Adam's apple and i finally managed to barter it down to kissing a circle around his face (from forehead to chin to forehead). Oh my goodness.
The moral of this story is beware of Sunday Night Gamefest because the crazy ends up coming out in us and things get, well, crazy. Haha.
The last couple of days have not quite been fab. Today finally got to 5:45 PM when all i had left was visiting an exhibit for class and then one of my night classes. i walk up to the exhibit doors ready to get my peaceful feelings on and....it's closed. it closes at 5 PM Monday through Friday. Seriously? This was THE perfect time that i had set aside. it then started to drizzle. i took that as a sign to walk home, clean, and bake something. There's no way i was going to be able to last through a three hour class after that. The results of my evening? A clean kitchen and bathroom and Butterbeer Cupcakes.
For those who don't know what Butterbeer is, it's "described as tasting 'a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch.' Butterbeer is served cold in bottles and hot in 'foaming tankards'.In Hogsmeade, it's sold at the The Three Broomsticks and The Hog's Head, although the fact that the latter pub's stock was described as 'very dusty' suggests that it was not sold there very often. In Diagon Alley, the drink has been known to be sold at the Leaky Cauldron." (http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Butterbeer). For those who don't know any of those references, you obviously haven't read Harry Potter and you need to. So get to it.