Monday, December 29, 2008

My Christmas

Here's our Christmas Eve Chaos. To give you an idea of how this works, we eat, the kids leave to play video games or with the toys downstairs, and when the adults have the meal straightened up, someone just yells "presents!" It's the only time they come the first time you call them.
This is Sam, Holly (Erin's kids), and Lizzie (Scott's daughter) tearing into Christmas jammies. Erin is 8 1/2 months pregnant in back, opening Max's jammies with Valeri. Max is due January 3rd.

This is Valeri with all her boys: Raiden, Draken, Seth, and Orion. Mary's in the chair. She is Kathi's youngest daughter.
This is Sammy. He doesn't know the meaning of personal space, especially when he's around a camera.This is Holly and Lizzie. They are a year apart. Holly is 6 and Lizzie is 7. Here they are sporting new jammies and matching stuffed animals.

This is Draken, Valeri's youngest. He has the funniest little face, and the sweetest smile! He loves to give hugs.

Here are Kathi's kids showing off their jammies. Sorry the flash didn't work. I played with this picture in Photosmart because the flash didn't work but it is still a little grainy. But check out how gorgeous these kids are! And look how tall they all are! Brittanie is in blue in back. She's 17. Katelynn is in pink. She's 19. Jake is next. He's 13. And then Mary in green. She's 15. This is everyone. There are three of them who are taller than me: Katelynn, Orion, and Rainden. I love that some of them managed to look so teenage bored and excited at the same time. They love Christmas Eve Chaos (really, it's not anything like the parties normal families have with games and order).
As we were taking this picture, we asked if it was time for the older ones to give up the Christmas jammies . . .

. . . They all yelled "NO!" The boys in back, left to right, are Raiden, Seth, Jake, and Orion. Draken and Sammy are in front. The girls in back, left to right, are Brittanie, Katelynn, and Mary. Lizzie and Holly are in front. Notice how mad Sammy is in both pictures? He didn't want to get in his jammies.

Christmas Day, I went to Mom's and opened up my presents but no one else could make it in. So we did our little family Christmas on the 26th. The weather wasn't much better. Here is the before picture of my car:
And then after I shoveled and scraped it off (It doesn't look much better):

And then after I managed to pull out. Look how deep the snow is around where my car was.

Despite the weather, a wonderful Christmas. Now, what are we doing for New Years?

I vote we go to bed early.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


It's Christmas Eve and I have been thinking a lot about Christmas traditions. I noticed that for the past three blogs I griped about Christmas. So today I want to share some traditions we have that I love.

Christmas Eve is very special to my brother and sisters and me. My dad was married once before he married my mom and I have two sisters and a brother from that marriage. Through the divorce agreement, Dad got the kids on Christmas Eve, so a long time ago, this became our family's big night. And we still get together every year. Kathi goes all out and buys toys for all the little ones, like she's a skinny, female, Mormon, Santa. And someone reads the Christmas story from Dad's bible before we eat. While we do have ham, it is supposed to be potluck, which means we end up having Doritos instead of potatoes sometimes, but that's okay. Every year, the kids put on their new pajamas and open their new books.
But Christmas Eve is more than a party for us. It is a time for the five of us to get together. We don't keep in touch all year like we should because we are so busy. But on Christmas Eve, when Scott walks in and hugs me and I know that this is my brother no matter what. Every year someone tries to change the day we get together. The individual families are getting bigger and that makes it a little harder. But eventually, we all seem to reach the same conclusion that this night is special to us for more than one reason.
It is a night when we don't have to be husbands or wives or moms or dads or a nurse or an architect or teachers or a student
It is our night to just be Dad's kids.

My second favorite tradition is singing. We are a musical family. We aren't necessarily great, but we're good enough. My cousins Autumn and Emily and my sister Erin and I get together and sing Christmas carols every year. We were in choir together in high school and learned to love singing together. I play the piano. We always finish up with "O Holy Night." Autumn served her mission in France, so she sings a verse in French, and by the end we're all in tears. Then we exchange some small gifts. Nothing says Christmas to me like music. Especially when it's my family singing

Finally, I wanted to share my Christmas Tree ornament's tradition. I started getting an ornament every year when I was 18. I made some, and I bought others. Some were given to me. The idea was that by the time I had my own tree, I would have enough ornaments to fill it. And I do. But I definitely have my favorites.
A few years ago, after my Grandpa Baxter died, we were going through his things and cleaning stuff out. Mom brought home the Christmas ornaments from their tree. These ornaments had been on their tree for years, since my mom was a kid. They are the old hand painted glass ornaments you can't get any more and I asked if I could have them to add to my collection. I have a little horn that wraps around a tree branch. It used to actually make noise, but it has long since worn out. I have a little teapot, and I have a glass bulb. All were my grandparents. I remember putting them on their tree, and my mom remembers putting them on her tree when she was little. I absolutely love these ornaments.

My Grandpa Pettit was a carpenter but an artist at heart. He loved to whittle, and years ago, mom gave me this little truck that had been on our tree. Grandpa made it as a Christmas gift and I remember loving the fact that it was a Christmas tree truck. I love the fact that I have something he made on my tree.

And this year, my new ornament was given to me. Indiana Jones was a gift from my roommate. He isn't traditional, but how fun is that!

As I was writing I noticed that everyone of these traditions was rooted in family. Even my ornaments are meant to be shared with others. So that's my most favorite tradition of Christmas. Being with family.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I have my room back!

I have this pet peeve that has to do with folding laundry. I hate it. I like washing clothes. Yes, I like it. But I hate folding them. That's when I wish for a house elf. Maybe Mr. May from our calendar.
The avoidance of this particular chore goes WAAAAY back. My mom used to separate our clean clothes and put them in baskets for us to take to our rooms. I generally left mine sitting on the washer and pulled out the clothes I needed.
Then mom yelled at me, and I would put them away.
I don't live with anyone who will yell at me anymore (mom tries, but it doesn't have the same effect over the phone) so I have had a laundry basket full of clothes I have needed to fold. I am proud to say that I recently put away. It took me an hour. Think about that. I am one person. The reason it looks so full is because I kept adding to it and than taking stuff from it. Not to worry though. I have now learned my lesson . . . for a few months at least. And then I will fall back into my slothful ways.


The other half of my room has been taken up with Christmas presents since before Thanksgiving. I just haven't got around to wrapping them until this weekend. So that cleared out the other half of my room. And now my room is my own.


Can you imagine the clothes and the presents if I had kids?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

1 1/2 days

I only have 1 1/2 days until Christmas break begins. Which is great. But do you know how NOT prepared I have been all week? Last Friday, while all good teachers were preparing for this week in their classrooms during lunch, so we could party after school, I was busy getting ready for the party. Then we partied like we were tired school teachers (we are some party people).
I never got lessons planned.
I'll admit it.
I've been faking it all week. But to be fair, so have the kids.
And tomorrow we have two assemblies. The dress rehearsal for our concert and the orchestra and band concert (always a crowd pleaser), and Friday we have two assemblies (our school concert and the Olympus High Madrigal Choir).
Then I will fill in my planner saying what I DID this week, and no one will ever know the difference. In case someone asks.
Like on a standardized test.
Maybe tomorrow I should teach some math.

See. Your kids aren't the only ones going a little crazy at school.

Merry Christmas! I'm off to get more caffeine.

Days of Christmas . . .

First of all, kudos to Sarah and Sharlon who are both doing Twelve Days of Christmas blogs to keep them in the spirit. I can't tell you how much I needed that yesterday. And since my comments are WAY too long for the comment section, you guys will just have to read my blog:)

Yesterday I had to deal with the one thing I hate the very most about the holidays. I absolutely abhor the traffic. It is a deep loathing that I can't seem to get out of my system. Utah drivers are crappy anyway. I feel I can safely say this because I am one of them and I am a crappy driver. But at Christmas, we're all out on the road at the same time and it drives me absolutely insane. Maybe this is because all the Driver's Ed teachers were the football coaches. Honestly, what do you remember about Driver's Ed?

Yesterday, when it was still snowing terribly, we had a field trip to go on. The bus was supposed to pick us up at 9:00 but it wasn't there until 9:15. We had to drive from Holladay to the U of U, a drive of about 15 to 20 minutes. It took us an hour because of the other idiots on the road. (And the idiot driver?) Not an accident, just stupid people going too fast or too slow and inevitably causing me pain. An hour on a bus with 70 Christmas-hyper kids. Your head would hurt too.

And we were an hour late for our field trip.

After school I had to go to the pharmacy and finish up some Christmas shopping, and people were ignoring my blinker, my car, basic rules of the road, etc.

I got home and crawled into bed.

No Christmas spirit for me. No Red Ryder BB gun, or a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, or Zu-Zu's petals. It was me grouchy (should I say Grinchy?) So if any of you have some Christmas tips, (Sarah, Sharlon, anybody?) I could use them.

Something besides stay off the roads. I think I learned that one.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's Beginning to Look . . .

I am so sorry I didn't get a picture of our living room BEFORE we decorated for Christmas, but I'm fairly certain with a good imagination, you can picture it.

There are three girls living here. We have each collected Christmas stuff our entire adult life. Jennie has been married, so she has stuff from that. Jessica used to be an interior decorator, so she has a lot of stuff too. And then there's me, the collector. I have tried to buy a Nativity set every Christmas for the past ten years or so. So when we get out Christmas decorations, we have to be very selective. We have on apartment that will only fit one person's Christmas junk . . . barely.

Amazingly, not one of us owns a tree.

For a week we had Jessica's Christmas bins, and my Christmas bins in the living room. There were four Rubbermaid storage bins in our living room. All of them were opened in various stages of unpacking and packing.

Sunday, we got it all together and Monday, Jessica deep cleaned everything. And here are the results.

I only unpacked 8 of my 12 Nativities. And we borrowed my cousin's tree. But with the snow today everything looks so nice and Christmas-y.

So Merry Christmas in 11 more days.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tight Spaces

We had a field trip to the Church History Museum today to learn about pioneers. They actually do a really good job of teaching Utah history. They walk the kids through the different parts of a pioneer's journey. They get to pull a real handcart, label parts on a real wagon, talk to a real blacksmith, and then they get to see a life sized reproduction of what the inside of the ships that many European pioneers took to cross the Atlantic, before they began the journey across the continent.

The inside is small, and the bunks that one family could sleep on measured 6 feet by 6 feet. So my small group was invited to climb in and see what it felt like to be all crowded in there. There were 6 kids in my group and they were wiggling around trying to find room when the guide (an older sister missionary) asked them what they thought the pioneers thought about this arrangement (she was looking for something like, they disliked the lack of privacy or they were homesick). But I think NAthan hit the nail on the head. As he was climbing out, he said very clearly and LOUDLY,

"I think they probably hated it when someone farted."

Sometimes the kids get it right whether we like it or not.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Beware the Pinky Swear

I am the Book Aunt. I get all my nieces and nephews a book for Christmas. And I really try and research the books because I want the kids to love reading. When the girls started high school, I told them that if they wanted something cooler, to let me know (because to me, there is nothing cooler than a book, hence, my wardrobe and weekends). And every year, I am told that they all do two things Christmas Eve: wear their Christmas Pajamas from Nana and read Aunt Nina's book. So, I am also the Cool Aunt. I buy their love.

However, when I started this little tradition 19 Christmases ago, I forgot some things that might be considered important. I probably should have been keeping some lists. You know, a list of book ideas I had over the year, a list of books I already got for each kiddo, and a list of what books were asked for. I also buy a Christmas picture book for each family every year. Now, every year I wonder did I already give them this book?

Those of you who know me are laughing really hard right now. Because I have NEVER been that organized. But I think about being that organized all the time. I really want to be that organized. Mostly it just makes me a little depressed. Chocolate and Diet Pepsi usually help.

Stop laughing.

This year, I got all 12 books before Thanksgiving. I got the family books on sale after Christmas last year. (that's the first time I have ever shopped for Christmas, after Christmas, but it was a really good deal).

Then my sister Erin called me this week and said that I might need to reconsider what I got Holly, her daughter.

Apparently, when I was babysitting about a month ago, I promised to get her a book called "Pigeon Wants a Puppy." I guess we pinky swore and everything. Erin was concerned because Holly was blissfully sure that her Aunt Nina was going to come through for her.

I remember taking her and Sam to the bookstore to look at books, but I honestly have no recollection of this encounter or the book. But Holly doesn't lie, and I googled the book title. It exists.

Dang. Not only are my organizational skills crap, so is my memory.
And my Christmas isn't as done as I thought.

So tomorrow, I'm off to buy "Pigeon Wants a Puppy" by Mo Willems.

Because you never, ever, break a pinky sworn promise.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

For Unto Us

For Christmas, I bought tickets for my mom, my sister and me to go to the Messiah sing-in at Abravanel Hall down town. I went last year and it really brought the Christmas spirit in. So I did it for Mom and Erin this year to see if they would enjoy it. And at first it was a frustrating affair.

This is what I forgot.
A-There's no parking down town and B- my mom and my sister are pretty much immobile. Mom because of bad knees and stuff and Erin because eight months of pregnancy will do that to you. My original plan, without thinking, because it's what we did last year, was to park at the Salt Lake Stake building and walk. That would have taken hours. and what would I do if one of them stumbled? Since mom uses Erin and I for support, who do I save? The old lady (sorry mom) or the pregnant lady?

At the last minute I got my Uncle Jim to drive us there and pick us up. Thanks Uncle Jim! You are Awesome!

But to back up about eight weeks ago, when I first told mom about these tickets she said that she didn't like the Messiah. Who says that about a gift?
Well, my mom.
I believe that we all have a filter between our brains and our mouths, so we don't say every thought that comes to mind. I think mom skipped that line in heaven. I told her she was going and she would like it, because I already bought the tickets. Mom and I have a special relationship.
Maybe I'm missing my filter too?

When we got there, she told the people who were helping how silly it was to have a steep hallway, or a step down, or how uncomfortable the seats were, etc. And the ushers were so sweet to her, because she does walk very slowly so she won't fall. They were patient and warned her about slight rises or little steps down. But I was getting pretty frustrated with her. I think I need a dose of Erin's patience. Or Job's.

During the sing-in, whenever the audience sings, they stand up. Mom couldn't see the music very well to read the words and notes, because her diabetes has made her eyesight pretty bad. And she couldn't stand up that long so she sat and enjoyed the music. And then we sang "For Unto Us A Child Is Born."

Mom's favorite scripture ever since I can remember has been that one. I remember her quoting it to me as a little girl and telling me all those names for the Saviour: Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. When the introduction started She stood up and braced herself on her daughters and sang her heart out. There were tears in her eyes, and she knew every word. And that's when I knew Christmas was here.

Forget the shopping and the cranky people and the traffic. I thought that those were the signs that Christmas was here. They are just unfortunate byproducts. But my mom feeling the spirit and rising to her feet to bear her testimony of the Saviour with that song . . . that was pretty extraordinary. Christmas is here.

Because unto us a child was born.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy thanksgiving!

'Tis the Season for many things . . . shopping, ignoring the very early Christmas decorations, cooking, eating. In my case, I have about three months worth of art that is pretty much expected of me. Think about it. If your children didn't come home with that really cute Halloween cat, or the paperbag Thanksgiving turkey, or the Christmas ornament made from toilet paper, you would be so disappointed. even though I know half of it ends up in the garbage.

Unless you are like my mom, who saved EVERYTHING.

When we cleaned the basement out after dad died, my sister and I had a system. We would let mom go through a box and oh and ah over the memories . . . "I remember when you made this in Mrs. Brown's class. Look how cute it is." etc.

Then, when mom dug deeper and found something else to get sentimental over, I would slip the 20 year old piece of glue and construction paper to Erin who would put it in a hidden garbage bag. I know. We're bad daughters. But that basement got clean. It took three months, but it got clean. And mom never knew until we told her a couple of years ago.
Ah the memories.
And now it's my turn to pass on that grand tradition of construction paper crap. I mean art.
So I got on line and found this great idea that my turkeys this year would be nontraditional. They would be "Turkeys in Disguise." After all, the farmer is after them, so why wouldn't they hide? (I obviously have too much time to sit and think, and a very active imagination) So, only a couple of feathers are showing (we taped feathers on the back as if the escaped from the disguise). And the kids could come up with whatever disguise they wanted.

So I give you, our turkeys in disguise.
I even laminated them so that in 20 years, when the parents are going through boxes of crap, I mean art, these will not have fallen apart.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


So, sorry for my rant last time. You have to understand. I am a teacher and I have to be able to control everything, and everyone around me. Thank heavens classrooms are not democracies.

This week is the BYU U of U football game, and I am so anxious I could scream. You have to understand, I could care less about football. But my family is BYU fans from birth. I think something bad happened to my brother once, like a curse, when he rooted for the U. So I cheer for the Y even though I have never watched a game this season. Football is just a bunch of men running and falling, running and falling, and eventually they will blow a knee and take up coaching. This is what they aspire to. But hey, I teach 10 year olds and find completion in that chaos, so to each his own.

What gets me about this rivalry are the fans. Has anyone besides my sister and me noticed the difference between BYU fans and U of U fans? Of course I'm talking in generalities here, but my experience has been that Y fans can call the game a game and the rivalry fun, and leave it at that. The U fans get a little nasty. Again, this is in generatlities. There are the Y fans who are adamant that the Cougars are the Lord's team, and there are U fans who cheer for the Y when they play anyone else.

But here's what I'm dealing with at work.
There is a teacher has been wearing red and white all week. And letting us know why. Everyday.
When the U won one of their Thursday games, our principal played the U of U fight song over the intercom.
During Red Ribbon Week, when everyone was supposed to wear red, I heard everyday about how I was wearing red hahahahahahahaha.
Someone on Facebook sent me some nasty phrases and swear words regrding the BYU Cougars.

So, Saturday, after we lose, I will wear blue for the next week at school. I will burst into the BYU fight song at strange moments. I will pretend to forget the kids names and instead use the names of famous BYU quarterbacks and coaches. ("Hey LaVelle, I mean Katie"). And on Facebook, I will write on this person's wall continually with the chorus to the fight song ("Rise & Shout, the Cougars are out . . ."). Sadly, that's as nasty as I get.

Don't mail me any white powder.
Go Cougars!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I don't even know what to title this post. I just know I have to say something. It's been rolling around in my head for a few hours now, and it needs saying before I go nuts.
Recently I was looking at the news while checking my email, and I read the updated story about the white powder sent to the Salt Lake Temple and the L.A. Temple. And then I read the comments people posted. Why I do that I will never know, because it always makes me mad. As we all know, only fanatics comment on news stories. You know the ones. There is no middle road for them.
But I kept coming across people saying the same thing . . . that we (insert adjective) Mormons were getting what we deserved. We are bigots, and we hate everyone. So many things go through my mind:
Have they ever met a Mormon?
What were they thinking?
Where are their parents?
Don't they know it is usually little old ladies and little old men working at the temple?

I wanted to shake them till their teeth rattled (not the temple workers, the guy who mailed the powder).

And then I remember what we have been taught (and there were quite a few nasty posts about Mormons following blindly). We love those that hate us. Period.
That is my hardest test. I want to run out there and show everyone exactly how wrong they are and how right I am. (Ask my sister . . . I am always right!)

So today, my mantra is, Love Thy Neighbor, Love Thy Neighbor, Love Thy Neighbor.
I will not suggest to anyone that if they don't like it they can leave, because today I am trying to remember . . . Love Thy Neighbor, Love thy Neighbor, Love Thy Neighbor.

I will not suggest we get out the handcarts and pack up, because today I am trying to remember . . . Love Thy Neighbor, Love Thy Neighbor, Love Thy Neighbor.

Of course my sister will find this easier. She had years of putting up with me so it's second nature to her (Love thy sister, Love Thy Sister, Love Thy Sister . . .).

And then my sister will read this and call me and tell me to settle down. But by then it'll be OK because repeating that actually works.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jessica's back

My roommate Jessica is moving around now. She hasn't been for the past week. See, she threw her hip out of its socket. Then, on the same day, while trying to pop her back she caused two of her discs to slide up and down. It has been a week of misery and pain.

Oh, and by the way, she turned 26 On November 2nd. So Mom and Dad can't have her on their insurance anymore. OF COURSE her back gets hurt this week.

See, last Thursday, when it snowed, Jessica said she fell but caught herself. By "caught herself" she meant with her hands on the pavement. In other words, she fell and landed on her hands. That's when she threw her hip out of joint.

But we didn't learn that until later.

Because her back hurt, (ya think?!) she tried to pop it. That's when the discs slid out of place.
We were at work, so there was no one there to tell her "When you can no longer walk because of the pain, Go To The ER!" What was her choice? She lay flat on her back in her bedroom and cried. She couldn't reach the remote or the space heater for three hours. (I find it humorous that these were the two things foremost in her mind. . . I would have been calling ANYONE to take me to a doctor or a shaman or someone with Lortab.)

She couldn't work herself up to texting until 3:00. Yep, she was hurting that much. And then she asked me to stop by the 7/11 on my way home and get her something to drink. (My first thought when I found out what was going on - how are you going to use the bathroom after you drink all that soda?)

That day and that night were miserable. She literally could only move inches at a time and she would whimper the whole time. I heard her sneeze and then heard her cry for half an hour.

She still wouldn't go see a doctor. I often wonder how three such stubborn women came to be roommates. When Jennie and I threatened to carry her to a doctor, she said she would call.

On Friday she called a specialist, and got an appointment for Saturday morning. To make a long story longer, the doctor started looking at her back and said something to the effect of "Hey, your foot and leg shouldn't be sticking out like that." They put it back in the socket, sent her home, where she's been recovering. She's had to back twice more to have the rest of her back looked at.

But Jessica can't sit still very well. She has been difficult to keep in her room. She wants to cook or go get food, or go driving. Then her back hurts worse. Have you ever tried doing those things without twisting or bouncing in any way?

But on the plus side she has now watched every movie in our library. I am not kidding. Every movie. Even the Masterpiece Theater ones that a week ago she wouldn't look at.

So she can now bend, sort of twist, and sleep through the night. And she did it without pain medicine. Who turns down pain medicine? My roommate is either incredibly stupid, or a superhero.
Maybe a little of both?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Election

Now that the election is over I thought I would share with you who I voted for.

I didn't know who to vote for because I think they are both wrong for the job. (I was going to say "idiots" but I don't want to offend anyone.)

I thought that I might not even vote. I live in Utah. My vote for President never matters. But that's not an option in our family. My Dad used to drive to Provo when we were going to school to get us, take us home to Salt Lake City to vote, and then drive us back. Non-participation is not an option.

So I looked at the candidates.

There was Obama. They call guys with his kind of experience in the mission field "greenies" and the older missionaries play pranks on them. Do I want a greenie for President?

Moving on . . .

There was McCain. A war hero. A senator for 23 years. He's the older missionary that plays the pranks and annoys all the other missionaries and then looks good for the mission president. Yeah, no.

I could always write in. I thought about Mickey Mouse. He's cheerful, everyone likes him, and he gets himself out of tough situations rather easily with the help of a group of (admittedly weird) advisers. Plus he's photogenic. But could Disney World do without him?

Rather than choose one of these, I thought I'd vote for Nader. No one could get mad that I didn't vote, right?

But at the last minute I got smart. I decided to cancel out my sister's vote.

Democracy and Sibling Rivalry alive and well.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween: Episode II

So, my kids didn't get my costume. But more surprisingly Neither Did the Teachers!
One teacher said it was cute. She thought I was a "Candy Person." Huh?
One of them thought I was a Hippie. Were the Hippies in the habit of sewing candy on their clothing?

My kids were more interested in if they could eat the candy. I told them if it fell off, it was theirs. And as they day went on, it did fall off. I sewed them in rows, and once one fell, the entire row went. I started with 100 Smarties. I ended up with 43. Plus my earrings.

I had to tell my class that I was a "Smartie" pants. Once they understood, they thought I was brilliant. And then like the good little loud, sugar-high monsters they were, they told everyone. Loudly. In the hallways on their way to the bathroom. Or just yelling it from the door while waiting in line.

So word got around, and all was well. Or as well as it can be when you are marching in front of parents in ridiculous clothing. And they make you hold a sign that says "Ms. Pettit Room 12." We all feel so stupid holding that sign, we immediately give it to a kid, even though we're not supposed to. (Apparently the PTA is worried the kids might tear it. Of course they will tear it. They will probably hit several people with it. Please, it's a piece of paper on a yard stick. Make a new one next year.

Our Jr. Highs and High Schools had school off because it is end of term for them, so some of my old kids came. My bishop came.

That was fun. Or humiliating. I haven't decided.

Several former students came dressed a Jedi Knights. They told me they wanted to be like me, and where was my costume. I have fans!

Three parents in the parade asked where my Star Wars costume was and told me they specifically came to see that. Really? You come to the Driggs Parade just to see me dressed as a Jedi? How sad.

But now I don't have to try and decide what to be next year. Apparently the parents don't just expect me to be a good teacher. I must also be a force of justice in the galaxy.

I better replace the batteries in my lightsaber.

May the Force Be With You.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Remember when I said teachers hated Picture Day? That it was only third to Halloween and The last day before Winter Break?

Today is Halloween.

I have spent the last two weeks trying to figure out what to be for Halloween. An adult should never have to do that. Last night I finally went to the mall, to look at the costumes there. Everything there was "A Sexy (fill in the blank)." Yeah, I'm sure that would go over really well at an elementary school.

I called Erin, who made sure my clothes always matched in high school and college. After hours (really, it was hours) of talking and wandering, she suggested I get some smarties, tape them to my pants, and be a "Smarty Pants."

Why didn't we think of this last week? It's simple. I can wear my jeans and a T-shirt. I LOVE IT!

But if you know me, I can't do it half way. I never can.

You can't just wear any shirt. I found an old shirt that says ""To save time, Let's just Assume I know everything." Perfect.

I bought two bags of smarties, because more is better, right? Ha.

When the tape didn't stick to my jeans, I spent all night sewing 100 rolls of smarties to my pants. Yes, sewing. Yes, 100.

I made earrings from rolls of smarties.

Yep. My easy, simple, comfortable costume is now as heavy as two bags of smarties (I may need a belt), and it took me 5 1/2 to sew (last night and this morning.) And I now walk like a bowlegged cowboy.

Well, Halloween is the day to be what you aren't. I think I proved that.

I'll post pictures this afternoon, after the sack of Room 12 is over.

* and here I am . . . Thanks Jennie!*

Sunday, October 26, 2008


This must be a new thing, or I have just picked it up. I say this because THREE people have tagged me this week on their blogs. Holy Cow people! When did tagging begin?

It's like those emails about yourself that you fill out when you don't want to work. You answer question about yourself like what color socks your wearing and what you last ate. Things I know everyone is dying to know. (you know you are!)

I was tagged with telling 10 random things about myself and one where you list five things about yourself in different areas of your life and one where all the questions are pretty much for married people (who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Does your spouse snore? Who pays the bills? What is your song?)

Since all the answers come right back to me . . . I can say that I sleep on the right side of the bed and snore after I have paid the bills, and my song is "Someday My Prince Will Come". . . I think I will skip that one.

And since I am inherently a random person, I don't think you would be at all shocked by anything I had to say . . . for example, I don't really check to see if my socks match everyday and I change my ringtone on a weekly basis so I'm that person who isn't sure if it;s their phone ringing.

So, to appease the blogging gods, I will do the five things about myself.

5 things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. I was substitute teaching
2. I bought my first car
3. Erin and I were living at home again
4. I interviewed for my job with Granite district
5. I went to Disneyland with Erin and Autumn and Emily

5 things on my to-list for today:
1. choir practice
2. church
3. nap
4. laundry

5 snacks:
1. Reese's peanut butter cups
2. chips and dip
3. ice cream
4. Pina Coladas
5. Popsicles

5 jobs I've had:
1. Schmidt's Pastry Cottage (not a baker)
2. daycare
3. summer day camp counselor
4. janitor at the Y
5. Teacher

5 things I'd do with a million dollars:
1. pay off the cards
2. make a down payment on a house
3. pay off the car
4. I would invest, but right now, I think I would but some under my mattress.
5. trip to (fill in blank)

5 things that made me laugh this week
1. The Office
2. Jennie
3. Jessica quoting Hitler ("Make the lie big, keep it simple, keep saying it and eventually they will believe it" . . . she was talking about me saying she looked nice)
4. My class watching me sing the BYU fight song
5. Our walking field trip

5 things friends I tag to do this blog:
This is just mean, because I don't even know who reads it regularly, so
TAG - if you read it, you're IT!
Just let me know if you actually did it. I try to check your blogs regularly but remember how random I am? regular for me isn't always on a regular basis.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Walking Fieldtrip

Today we walked from Driggs Elementary to Olympus High to see the first half of the musical "Into the Woods." Which the kids liked, but not as much as the walk there.

We left at about 9:15 am and walked for 15 minutes. Grades 1-6 went. That's everyobody but about 40 five year olds.

The principal came over the intercom before we left and made sure the students understood about the safety of it all. There are no sidewalks in this neighbohood, so they had to stay in a singlefile line in the bike lane. I was busy in the bathroom while he was talking, so I figured my kids were in the classroom being rowdy and ignoring him. They usually ignore me when I talk about safety.

But the kids totally listened!

While we were walking I was so busy worrying and keeping an eye on my class, that I didn't even look up and notice this darling picture until it was almost too late . . .

. . . 600 students walking singlefile along the road with their teachers, kicking leaves and enjoying a cool but not cold morning. Cars were stopping just to look. 600 students actually listened today! Holy Cow! I would feel like that teacher in "Dead Poet's Society" if I had had anything to do with this.

The kids were really polite, and well behaved. They would give me looks when I said something about "fieldtrip manners" like "Ms. Pettit, you're freaking out. Settle down. This one we've got under control."

Also, the leaves were gorgeous today for the first time, which added to the magic (sorry to get all corny but it's true).

So, While I'm tired and ready for a weekend, I am so proud of my Driggs' Dragons!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our Ugly Couch

On Saturday, I posted a picture of my crazy roommate. My dear friend Sharlon noticed not the goofy pink feetsie jammies she was wearing (or the fact that she was wearing them at 1:20 pm) but that our couch was ugly.

All I can say is . . .
You only noticed the couch?!

Let me take you on a tour of our lovely abode. And remember, we moved here because it has been recently "remodeled."

Here is our couch. When I first moved into this complex we had a couch that a roommate picked up off the curb. I graduated from that to a Bean Bag (yes, a bean bag) and a chair my mom donated. Jessica got this couch and all the end tables for a song about a year or so ago. We had a cover, but that was uglier than the plaid.

But ignore the lovely 80's flashback of a couch and travel back in time further as you turn your attention to . . .

. . . The wood paneled wall. Which by the way is not sanded, varnished or finished in anyway. You can get a sliver by leaning on this wall. So all of those cracks are filled with cobwebs that will never come out. Not that we've actually tried.

Now our landlord did remodel the kitchen. There are new appliances, more cupboard space, and new counter tops and sinks and floor tiles. Our last kitchen had smaller cabinets that had been stained a dark walnut and then painted white. Who stains anything dark in a kitchen this small? And doesn't sand before they paint? This is much better. But can you tell what they didn't change?

If you guessed ugly fluorescent lighting you are correct! Check out the stains. And they hum. Loudly.

In the wind they rattle. I think if we were to lift one of the covers up, things would fall out. I'm not sure what things, but things.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Weird Day

Jennie and I are having a really weird day. First of all, I got WAAAAAAAY too much sleep yesterday, and second of all, Jennie still hasn't gone to bed yet. It's 1:20 p.m.

Guess who has the boyfriend and who doesn't.

By the way, Jennie is in her Pink-Duckie-Jammies-with-the-Feetsies. I am fully bathed and clothed. Since 5:00a.m. On a Saturday. See, I told you. It's a weird day. And it all started yesterday. I blame Utah Educator's Association.

Yesterday, I went to take a nap at 3:00 because I am always wanting to take naps and now I can. It's UEA weekend. I woke up at 4:30 in a panic because I thought I missed my ride to a thing with my cousins and my sister, which wasn't yesterday it's today. Autumn had a good laugh at me over that. So I went back to sleep, and woke up at 7:30 in a panic because I didn't know if it was a.m. or p.m. It's the UEA weekend. Does it matter? Went back to sleep, woke up at 11:45 and took my meds and didn't wake up again until 4:45 a.m.

Jennie got off work and went to her boyfriend's house where she was all night (counting submarines in the Great Salt Lake) until she walked in on me scrapblogging at 5:30. Needless to say, we're both a little goofy. I am wide awake and ready to do anything, like clean the house and maybe weed, definitely maybe clean out the car, and then if there's still time, take over the world.

NEVER let me get too much sleep. I'm easier to handle if I am a little lethargic.

Jennie still hasn't been to sleep and she is going out again at 3:00. She'll be a joy.

Between the two of us, we've been singing and dancing and telling really dumb jokes. Apparently, Jennie is normal and I am not. Where Jennie, like most people loses brain function when they don't sleep, I lose it when I get the sleep I need. Between the two of us it was quite a show around here.

I finally sent her to take a nap. Her boyfriend will thank me.

Don't worry. This won't last. Erin, Autumn, Emily and I are staying up late tonight to watch Jane Eyre and eat spaghetti. I'll be appropriately tired tomorrow for church. Jennie and I will catch up on our sleep then.

But right now, I have another hour or so to do my laundry and solve the problems with the economy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My solution

I teach fourth grade which can be noisier than working construction at times. But I have found the best solution! and no one even thought to tell me about it in teacher school.

Yesterday, I was taping some art project together with masking tape, and I had an extra piece of tape on my finger, so I stuck it on the student's mouth as a joke. We laughed, and he said "I'm going to keep it there all day." Yeah, right.

Never underestimate the weirdness of kids.

Before I knew it, everyone in math wanted a piece of tape to put across their mouths. I literally taped all their mouths shut. The nut cases. I took a picture, which I can't post without parent's consent, so, sorry, you miss that fun image.

Maybe they were getting high on the adhesive.

But now you have a solution. Your kids loud and obnoxious? get out the masking tape. They'll love it!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ode to Joy

This how Bach should be performed! LOL!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Picture Day!

Today is picture day. Only kids look forward to picture day. It comes right after Halloween and the Christmas Party on their list of favorite school days. Valentine's is only fourth because they forget it even exists until February 1st.

So I have to actually put a straightener to my hair and make up to my face. I have to wear contacts so the photographer doesn't yell at me to take the glasses off or put my chin down . . . and they do yell. You would too if you had to take 600+ pictures of uncooperative children in one day. Not to mention the uncooperative teachers.

And this morning I realized the only laundry I've done in three weeks is what was absolutely necessary. You know what I mean.

Therefore, all I have to wear today is jeans and nicer T-shirts (meaning the ones that have Driggs' Elementary slogans rather than Star Wars slogans on them) which I could normally get away with for one day until I got the wash done. But I will be in 22 class pictures. I should probably look a little more professional. I did find an older blouse that desperately needs ironing, but my iron was trashed during an art project involving crayons and watercolors.

So, Ms. Pettit's Room 12 of 2008-09 will be memorialized with 22 darling children and a teacher wearing a wrinkly blouse, the same jeans she wore yesterday, frizzy hair (because I ran out of anti frizz stuff), leaning a little because she is wearing uncomfortable boots that are grinding her knees to dust, and squinting because her mascara is irritating her contacts.

All in all, a fairly accurate portrayal of what my teaching career has done to me.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sorry . . . and EWWWWWW!

Alright. I have a job. I have roommates. I have laundry. I have my pet obsessions.

These things take TIME people. So, sorry I haven't blogged in awhile. Get off my back and get your own obsessions.

So Today is Katelynn's 19th birthday . . . Holy Crap, where did those years race off to?!

And Friday was my roommate Jennie's #*th birthday. She blogged about birthday cake, because she didn't get one. (Hey Jennie . . . you can make your own, you have two hands and a working knowledge of the kitchen. . . I'll make the Pina Coladas).

Anyway, if you haven't looked at her blog, which I am assuming you haven't, because most of my friends don't know Jennie and the one who does won't read blogs, you missed this really creepy cake. (In school, that is called a run on sentence. Some teachers call it a runny sentence but that's almost as creepy as this cake.)

Yes. That is a cake in the shape of a baby. I assume it is for people who want to add that extra something to their baby shower.

But what exactly is that extra something?

The baby looks dead. And it looks like it has been dead for a while. Perhaps in a garbage bag?

So what are you really saying to the mother when you give her this cake? Isn't this cake encouraging people to cannibalize their children? After all, you're handing a pregnant woman a baby shaped cake and saying "eat up!"

And I would really like to take a vote . . . if you had to eat a piece of this cake, which piece would you fight for so you wouldn't have to eat the face.

Happy Halloween.

Friday, September 26, 2008


My cousin Autumn and I have an ongoing argu . . . discussion . . . about blogs versus facebook. When she heard I started a blog she said I had betrayed her. I think she was over reacting a little. (She still hasn't read my blog).

I am on face book, but I don't understand it's popularity. Maybe it's because I'm not a kid, but how many times must I be invited to join in duck, duck, goose, or a pie fight? Or be sent a hug by someone I haven't seen in many, MANY years? What exactly do these things really mean? Autumn's position is that you can communicate back and forth better on Facebook than you can on a blog. (If you can even find your "wall").

And you don't have to read crazy people's thoughts. Hmmmmm. I wonder who she means.

So I wonder what she will say when she hears that I have discovered scrapblogging. Which is only natural for a scrapbooker I guess. I just spent all morning working on a new scrapblog, and I know I am going to get teased.

So first, shut up, and second, shut up.

I have decided that this is really neat and Autumn is dumb. There's only one draw back. While I like the final presentation, I don't like the final presentation. I like the music and transitions and stuff. It reminds me of the old slide shows we used to have at family parties.

But I love pulling out my scrapbooks when I want to and just pouring over them. A scrapblog is so much like those facebook piefights.

So a scrap blog is nice, for those of my friends who are actually interested in seeing pictures of my nieces and nephews and my various vacations. Otherwise, skip on down and just read this crazy person's thoughts.

Comments are appreciated.

See Autumn, we do communicate on a blog.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Smallville and other obsessions

Did you watch it?! The season premiere for season 8 of Smallville was Thursday. I turned off my phone, bought a Diet Pepsi and some other junk food and settled in to watch. It was OK. I was mostly excited to see Green Arrow in the opening credits. (Justin Hartley)

I usually miss about half the episodes of Smallville because I am, unfortunately, a Survivor fan as well. And they are on at the same time. I also love The Office, and while that is regularly at 8:00, it moves around. And no, I don't have TiVo. And I hate watching TV on a computer. There's something wrong about watching TV where you do work.

So it's all about prioritizing. During the Survivor season, it's all about seeing that, because there are no reruns. And you catch The Office at 8:00 when you can.

So I generally watch Smallville on DVD. I missed all of last season, so I did a marathon last week, and watched all 20 episodes. And they always leave you on a cliffhanger. But doesn't that make me better than the dork waiting all summer to learn what on earth happened with Clark and Bizarro?

Actually I did catch the end of the last episode in May, so I wondered, but mostly about what the heck got them to that point. At least I don't go to ComiCon to try and get spoilers. (Please, you go online, it's easier).

See, I have always been in love with Clark Kent. I loved Christopher Reeves. I really loved Clark Kent when he was played by Dean Cain, in Lois and Clark, and now my obsession is Tom Welling. (It would freak me out if he actually were 22 . . . ewwww). But have you seen his eyes. Seriously. Those are the eyes every Superman should have.

I think I have a superhero complex. But what girl hasn't ever dreamt of the Man of Steel, sweeping her off her feet. Sigh. Lois had all the luck.

They're saying that this is the last season for Smallville. I had better see some blue tights and a cape flying before they let Tom Welling leave this role. Then I will be happy to re watch my DVDs until someone else thinks up a new slant and I get all obsessed and weird again. I'm afraid there really may be no hope for me.

Help! Superman! Save me!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cat's Cradle

I realize I just posted this morning, but I have to tell you all about this darling boy in my class. I call him Cosmo because he always wears BYU T-shirts, and he told me that's all he wants to be called all year. He didn't used to wear his shirts everyday. Now I'm sure mom does laundry a lot more than she used to so he can. Either that or they made a trip to the BYU bookstore.

Anyway, this sweet child has discovered the game Cat's Cradle. Someone showed him how to start it, and I showed him the next step and now he plays all the time. I would expect this from the girls, but at lunch while they waited in line, not one girl showed interest and all the boys were asking him how to play. And at the end of the day, they were getting pretty good.

I love my class this year! I love how good they are and I love that they can surprise me!

Fourth Grade Olympics or How Teaching is a Contact Sport

Fourth Grade can be rough. It's competitive and it's hard on the self-esteem. Especially on the teachers.
The first week of school we decided to have a Fourth Grade Olympics. We study Asia in fourth grade so it was timely.
Here's the reason we will never do this again.

One of the other fourth grade teachers is an athlete. She swims, plays water polo, and runs marathons. She is VERY competitive. I witnessed this last year during our softball world series. Which she will never umpire again if I can help it.
So, you can imagine, things got really . . . interesting.
When we planned this I "called" India as our country to represent. I worked with a teacher from India in the second grade for four years. I still work across the hall from her. I had access to some great stuff. A few days later, our overly competitive fourth grade teacher came into my room while I was teaching and said "We picked India, is that OK?"
My choices here are to be a poor example to my kids and say no way, or be a wuss and say okay. I chose to be a wuss. We hadn't even discussed the country issue in my class so they didn't know what they were missing.
I told the class that we would be Japan. Because I knew that the flag was easy to draw. And we spent an afternoon drawing red circles on white paper. I have talented children.

My overly competitive colleague got her hands on an Indian flag and then told me I couldn't get a Japanese one because she wanted to be the only one with a flag. It was one of those times when people say something and then they say "Just kidding." But you know they weren't. So I didn't plan on anything more than the paper flags we all made. I hate conflict. Besides. I am not an athlete. This is all about fun. Right?

All week, this other teacher was practicing the events with her kids. I kept forgetting. Oh well. I told them to practice at home. No biggie. I talked a lot about being good winners and good losers. I have a really sweet class.

What I forgot was that I have a Japanese student, and a student who visits Japan every other year with her family. And they came through on the day of the Olympics. Our class not only had a flag, we had Japanese treats and origami. My fellow teacher was not happy. I am not joking. She was really ticked off that my class looked as good as hers. It wasn't me trying. My class did everything.

That's what made it so awesome.

It was a mess to organize. She took it all a little too seriously. I did Olympics for four years when I taught sixth grade and you just need to play with the kids and realize that most of them are not athletes. She was yelling and getting mad because they weren't listening. I wasn't listening. Especially when she started trying to motivate them with the spirit of athletics and stuff. I motivate with candy.

So, I designated myself picture taker. That's how I got in trouble the first time. I took o finish line picture of the boys 100 yard dash. I showed it to her when I heard her results and knew she had the wrong kids. she said "That's why I hate those photos. They mess everything up." Before I showed her, the winners were all from her class. HMMMM.

Then I got in trouble because I only had 28 students that day and the other classes had 30 and I refused to run in the class relay. My fellow teacher ran with her kids. (yep. 30 kids ran one relay race. talk about chaos). I just asked if some of mine could run double legs. We hadn't practiced and I have a student who speaks French so I had to take time to explain to the students what a relay was. I was getting looks for not being prepared.

And then we won.

Oops. Didn't know we weren't supposed to do that.

In front of the entire fourth grade . . . that's 100 students . . . my fellow teacher says "You know you didn't really win that gold fairly, beacause you didn't have to pass off the baton as much."
Nice sportsmanship.

My class went back to our room, ate our Popsicles and danced to the "cars" sound track. Her class did yoga.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I expected this in Rosepark

At 10:00 tonight I was trying to decide if I wanted to watch Intervention or Jon & Kate plus 8. And I was trying to decide how important a Diet Pepsi was to me (meaning, did I want to get up and go to the 7/11 to get it). Then I heard voices outside my window. My window looks over the parking lot. I left it wide open (whoops). So I looked out and I see a dozen people or so clustered around my car, which is parked right in front of our duplex. Upon closer inspection I see a police car. Blocking me in. And the cop to go with it.
I texted my roommates to make sure they weren't in any trouble down there. Then I came down stairs for a glass of water (for a better view from our living room window).
that's when I saw another cop car, paramedics, and a guy sitting on a gurney. Hmmmmm.
As I am typing this they are taking this guy away, and my roommate has just informed there were three cop cars, an ambulance, and a firetruck. She was waiting on the street to come into the parking lot for a while.

Who says there's never a cop when you need one. There's one blocking me in right now so I can't go get a Diet Pepsi.

I'll wait down here and see how this thing works out. Sometimes I miss Rosepark. The programming on TV tonight was looking pretty boring anyway.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I know everyone is dying to know . . .
My meeting was a total waste of time last night. We got all that information during a summer conference in June. And at my table I saw the following from teachers:
  • grading papers
  • planning lessons
  • texting (that was me)
  • sleeping
  • playing games on the cell phone
  • playing games with pennies . . . that's boredom

No one at our table was listening.

We were about to go when some yahoo at another table asked a question that made the meeting longer. My first thought was, "Shut Up!" My next thought was "You were listening? I wasn't that interested in June." But we left our information so we can get paid. After taxes I can probably go to a really nice meal at McDonald's. And we stormed the doors. One dude sat by some doors that were hidden by drapes and got out before all of us, while Miss Goody-Two-Shoes was asking her question. We were all jealous.

At least the dinner was good.

Just so you know what your tax dollars were going to last night.

I still missed Smallville.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I have a meeting tonight . . . from 4:00 to 7:00. What genious planned a meeting for teachers that is right after a work day, and lasts three hours? I can gaurantee three things you will see:
  • papers being graded
  • lessons being planned
  • games being payed on cell phones

I can also gaurantee that we will listen for about ten minutes. And no one will hide the fact that they aren't listening. Teachers make the worst students. I hope no one says anything important.

They finally had to offer dinner and $60 to people so they could get ANYONE to R.S.V.P. Anytime you have to bribe people to a meeting with food and money you shouldn't hold the meeting.

Teachers take their freetime very seriously.

Don't mess with it.

We get very cranky.

Plus, I'm going to miss Smallville.

P.S. If you haven't been keeping up with the comments on our stud of the month, Mr. May wins, and two of you lied and said you didn't like the muscle bound look.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Stud of the month

My roommate has a "Studs 'n' Spurs" calendar, which is in our kitchen. Guys, we are three single girls. Don't mess with the cowboys in our kitchen.

So we changed over to Mr. September today and my roommate Jennie was authentically mortified. She compares all the "studs" to Mr. May. None of them compare apparently. I just think Mr. September looks a little dim, but lets face it. These guys aren't on our kitchen wall for their brains.

I'll let you compare:

Mr. May

Mr. September

Friday, August 29, 2008

A cluttered desk is a sign of . . .

This has been a very strange week. We started school on Monday at 8:35 a.m. At 8:30 a.m. I had two brand new students walk through my door. I have 6 students who are brand spanking new to the school. Two are from out of state. And one is from France, who doesn't speak any English. Yeah! You can imagine, things were not as organized as I would like them to be that first day. However my desk doesn't usually get too bad until the second week of school.

Anyway, on Tuesday, the second day of school, I had to leave at 12:55 because I was sick. I don't get sick very often, so this was odd. But I went home.

Bless the other teachers who helped out, especially with my little French student. (How do you say, "Sorry your teacher ditched you while she was reading a story. Come here and silently pretend to read this book." in French?)

When I got in the next morning, feeling much better, there's this note on my desk from the librarian. She had come in to watch the kids and do a little teaching. The note said:

"I taught lesson 1.1 in math. We couldn't find your planner so we read the first chapters of Fablehaven. Hope you feel better!"

A teacher's planner is huge. It takes up the entire desk, and the two pages that are open show a full week. It is a difficult thing to lose. And here it is the second day of school and already people are telling me they can't find things on my desk.

I cleaned it that morning.

Happily the, the rest of the week was much smoother, the class is DARLING, and I need to learn French. Fast.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My windows face full west!

You get ten points if you know where I got that title.

My classroom windows face west which is nice in the mornings. Things stay cooler (a relative term in Utah schools) until after lunch. And then the sun comes around the building. But by then we only have a couple of hours left. No one has died yet.

The problem comes when the district schedules parent teacher conferences between 4:00 and 7:00 in the evening. I was there for the last two evenings and it was awful.

So here is the first impression my parents have of their kid's new teacher:

no makeup (it melted around 4:10)
sweaty armpits (yuck!)
hair pulled in a scraggley bun (I had it all nice . . . and then I out it up off my neck)

They must think I am some sort of street person. But my earrings were new and really cute. If you know me, my earrings are very important to me. And I did wear a skirt and the outfits were nice. But I forgot to shave my legs. Let's face facts. In a parent teacher conference, no one cares what my legs look like.

The more I think about it, I was probably looked less like a street person and more like some hippie earth muffin. Nice.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I was going to get a Diet Pepsi at our friendly neighbohood 7/11 when I passed this cute little lemonade stand. As I got closer I could see that it was run by two of my previous students. So, on my way back, I stopped and bought a lemonade for 25 cents. I had to. they were my little students and they saw me. I couldn't just leave them there with no customers.

Yesterday, my roommate and I again found ourselves in need of a Big Gulp. They know us by name at that 7/11. And once again there was a little lemonade stand out . . . only with more kids. And they were offering Jolly Ranchers for 5 cents. I think they have our number.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I am 34 and still dating. My family is bored to tears of this topic. But think about this, I have been dating since I was 16 . . . that's more than half my life. I am really not good at this!

Anyway, this summer, since I have left my single's ward and went to a family ward, I decided it might be time to try the online thing. Holy Crap! Talk about taking an awkward situation and making it worse. At least with the blind dates I got set up on (as infrequent as they were) I had someone to vouch for the guy. Now I have the guy vouching for himself. Usually with very poor spelling and grammar.

I know some of you are going to read this and say "I know so-and-so and they met on line and they are now happily married with 12 children and another on the way."

Yeah. Whatever. I think y'all are lying.

Let me set everyone straight. I have talked to a few really nice guys. So there are decent guys online. I've even gone out. But they are few and far between.

The first guy that I talked to had the screen name of "hottestguy" and his first question to me was how I liked to kiss. It went downhill from there. I also talked to a guy who invited me over that night to makeout, this within five minutes of chatting. What the heck?! And what is with the 68 year old dude viewing my profile? Does anyone else find that creepy? A man with children isn't a problem for me, but a man with grandchildren is.

I am really not that picky. The criteria I entered into the LDSSingles site were pretty straight forward.

Human Male, 30-39, Average height, Average weight, capable of speech . . .

I'd also like them to be active in the church and temple worthy.

I fed my criteria into LDSSingles. They told me that there are 84 guys online within a 30mile radius of my zipcode. 84.

I was curious, and I asked how many women with the same criteria were online in the area. 500+

Yeah. The odds are not in my favor.

I guess there would be more if I looked outside of the valley, but I have a job that doesn't allow for any movement. If you leave the district you don't take any retirement with you, and you start at the next district as if you were a first year teacher. I'll only do that if I move to someplace like Hawaii or The Bahamas. (I have tropics and sun on the brain).

Amazingly, I am not that upset. In fact, I am alarmingly happy. For many years I have asked myself "Why me? Why am I single?" I now have the answer. After looking at many, many profiles of single men, I know the reason the Lord has kept me single is so that I'm not married to one of them.

So, I will go shopping, buy a new pair of boots, and feel good that I gave it a try.

And if you know of someone . . .

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Trick

The worst/best job in teaching can be getting room ready for a new year. It is fun because you get to be creative, make everything clean again, and the room looks nice for maybe a week before people come in. It is the worst job because the school isn't airconditioned, and you have to do it in June or August. Putting paper on bulletin boards doesn't necessarily have me running to tell Mike at Dirty Jobs, but it is really awkward and you get sweaty and dusty really fast.

To finish a room, it takes me about a week, because I only work a few hours in the morning. Then I go home and take a shower.

Last May, the District and the State changed our standardized testing format. The students took them online. That meant we had to fit 13 classrooms into 2 computer labs. Thank heavens the little kids still take paper and pencil tests. This meant we started earlier and ended later. All this meant that my schedule for the end of the year was thrown out the window.

I was pulling out old lesson plans to fill the last three weeks of school. After you've taken the tests you tell the kids, "I know you don't have anymore big tests but this information is important too" they look at you and think "yeah, see we just took our tests for three weeks. We're tired. Our learnin' is done this year." (I blame "No Child Left Behind" for making the tests so dadgum important that even 10 year olds are aware that a failed test can "fail" a class, and enough of those can "fail" a school. I didn't tell them that. But I digress.)

So in May during the last week of school, out of desperation, I started putting up the next year's bulletin boards and I got everyone involved. They went up in one afternoon. (I had 35 helpers). I got worried that the sun might fade the paper, so we covered everything with more butcher paper. That took another afternoon.

So, now I don't have to put anything up in the August heat. And it looks really nice. Neat trick!

Just use the underaged workers. I paid them with candy.