Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Christmas Bonus

I just had to share my Christmas bonus this year because I just couldn't believe it!

I mean, this year I went from having $900 to spend on my classroom, to only having $200. And in Utah, we believe in FREE education - which means students do not have to provide their own supplies. Therefore teachers use their classroom budgets to buy pencils, erasers, crayons, paper...yep, everything. Which means I have had to use my own, personal money to make due in my classroom.

And I have 10 more students in my homeroom classroom than last year, due to budget cuts. Which makes it difficult to meet the needs of all the students. And makes classroom expenses even more.

And we had five days taken away from us, which is a loss of five days of income.

And we have to work all the way through the 23rd of December.

And we are being told to expect a 3% pay cut next year.

So I was very excited when I found out we were getting a Christmas bonus. Because things aren't the greatest (but thank goodness they aren't worse!) and so teachers could all use a little a little bonus to help out. I happily walked into the staff lunch room and found....












wait for it.............















wait for it......................












Yep...that's it! A caramel apple. Aren't you all jealous??

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What We've Been Up To Lately

I went back to work this week after having three weeks off track. I wrote a TON during that time and have almost finished my first novel!! Phanta loved having me home and snuggles with me every moment that I am sitting down. She's a great heating pad is this utter coldness.

I did a ton of baking and cooking while off track too. Mokie loves to try and be in the middle of all things cooking and it drives me crazy. One day I randomly left an empty box on the counter, she climbed in and never bugged me while cooking. And the trend continues. Happy me!

We headed up to Idaho, for a second weekend in a row, to attend Abbie's baptism. She was so excited. The weekend before she kept asking questions about "her baptismal"! So cute!! When I asked if I could take her picture, she got this huge smile and jumped right up. We are so proud of you Abbie and for your decision to be baptized!!

Here is Abbie celebrating in style at the "after party". The kids were playing with Mr. Potato head...only they were decorating themselves.

We stayed with our friends, Brandon and Emily, and stayed up too late, ate good food and were entertained by their adorable children Kaython...

and Kelton, who had gotten hold of a side of Ranch!

I made a million Christmas cookies...these pictures only show two days worth of baking. My house smelled sososososo good for days. Yummy! Now to put the goodie plates together.

Brian cracked his head open at work. You can't see it very well in this picture but it was really gross so I picked the least disgusting picture. I could actually see skull! NASTY! He actually had two spots that cracked open. One was tiny and healed up, the other was HUGE. That had to hurt!

And my sister Amy's baby Abby is doing so well, she got to come home this week!! It was a total shock for them because they showed up one morning to visit her and were told she was ready to go home. Congrats again, Amy and Barry!! Miracles are marvelous!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving we headed up to Idaho. We weren't able to leave until Thanksgiving morning and got there just in time for turkey dinner. Brian's entire family was able to be there so there was much visiting and playing.

As usual, the cousins were playing games (Ethan and Justin) and checking out games on the computer (Whitney, Chris and Aaron - who hid for the picture).

It's always feets-up in this living room. But isn't that what turkey day is for - family, yummy food and lots of relaxation??

There were craft projects...

Apples to Apples game playing...(can you tell Amy is winning in this picture?? Dance Amy, dance!!)

Lots and lots of coloring... (and it was here I learned that Katie is VERY picky about how her pencils have to be sharpened...SO funny!)

There were birthdays... HAPPY BIRTHDAY Abbie and Kim!

Joel was so excited to play his Cash Flow game. Most joined apprehensively but then they played for hours and hours and hours. Even when the game was technically over, they kept playing.

And I tried to teach Amelia and McKenzie how to crochet. Poor Amelia, she is left handed and I crochet right handed. But she didn't give up. Whoo-who, Amelia!

The weekend was also filled with a one store visit on Black Friday so I could finally get some shoes, but we didn't go until the afternoon. Visiting and late night burritos with Emily and Brandon. Brian's front false tooth falling out in the middle of the night and spending the next day searching for something to adhere it back in place with. Guitar Hero and tacos at the Spencer's. Yummy lunch at Craigo's and a fun visit back to my good old Ricks College days with Mom and Dad Morris. And I FINALLY went to the movie, Paranormal Activity. I was so excited because I LOVE scary movies and this was suppose to be extremely scary, but Brian doesn't like them. However, my niece, Kim, really wanted to go. So we went and were totally disappointed because it was LAME! It was alright but the ending totally made it stupid. We both wanted to laugh at the end because it was funny, not scary. Oh, and a wedding reception for some people Brian knew, but I didn't, who called him Blue Lightening...hilarious!

Well, that's the goods on Thanksgiving 2009! Hope your turkey day was amazing!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Welcome Abigail Ruth!

A big scare and 6 weeks early, Abigail "Abby" Ruth Street arrived on November 28, 2009 at 2:28 pm. She weighed 4 lbs 2 oz and is 16 & 1/2 inches long. Congratulations to my sister Amy and her hubbie, Barry.
She is so tiny! The binky is almost half the size of her head! It's sad that her big brother and two big sisters will not be able to meet her until she is ready to go home. I can't wait to see the new family picture!

Abby is doing great. She is already off of oxygen and is learning to eat. Amy had to have an emergency c-section when her placenta stopped giving Abby oxygen and nutrients. We are all so happy for prayers, family and promptings of the spirit. And especially that Barry was home from his 6 weeks of training for work.
Yeah for miracles!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I'm a blogging slacker!!

I admit it. I've been going through this phase of not liking to be on the computer, at all. I think it's the 100 papers a day I grade and then enter into the computer. Maybe it was all the report cards and Education Plans I had to do for school. Or maybe it was because I was sick and didn't want to do anything that made my brain have to think.

But whatever the cause...I'm back. We still don't have our swanky camera back from getting fixed so I made a blog for any pictures we took. Basically, we have been working, surviving being horribly sick and I survived another Parent Teacher Conference!!

Check out the next four posts...they are all new!!

School Pictures

Yep...it's that time of year again. I got so many comments on last years school picture post I thought I should put up this years version. So here it is. I tried to change my hair style but it doesn't look too much different.I'm still wondering what in the world I'm going to do with all the pictures they give teachers, for free. I have an 8x10, 6 - 5x9's, numerous other sizes including wallets and even stickers. Some are black and white, others have my name on them. CRAZY! Anyone want one?? LOL!

Halloween

HaPpY HaLLoWeeN!! This year I begged, pleaded and begged some more for Brian to be Hans Solo and my sweet hubbie agreed. I am trying to be Princess Leia in this picture but I was sick and just wanted to go back to bed. However, we had been asked to help chaperone a dance so we got dressed up and went. You can't see in the picture, but my hair turned out really cute! So, we started out Halloween by chaperoning the dance the weekend before Halloween...



And on Halloween we went to our ward trunk or treat. It was fun as always! I LOVE handing out candy! We shared candy with Kyle and Kristen and Crystal, Tim, Gavin and Quinn joined us too. Here is Brian showing off his Star War skills.

I didn't feel like getting all dressed up again so I went as a Canadian instead! Naturally curly hair is so strange...look at the difference in curls on both sides. Weird!


After getting a ton of loot at the trunk or treat, Gavin, literally, drove us home. He had a blast but there was this one mom, who was out taking her kids trick or treating, who gave us the most horrible look. We laughed hysterically and joked that we were providing the tricks tonight.

Then we, of course, ended the evening by playing the Wii and eating candy. Don't worry, we had plenty for the trick or treaters that came by!

Here is Kristen trying out our new Wii Fit Plus game. It's always fun when the Wii comes out! It was another marvelous Halloween!

Canning

Two weeks ago I did a bunch of canning. LOVE IT!! I had bought a whole bunch of tomatoes at the Farmer's market and had lots of apples from my Cousins Heather and Jason's tree. Brian and I are not apple sauce eaters and really aren't into apple pie so I debated what to do with the apples. I have LOTS of recipes to use them in, but that would be a lot of baking. So I got the idea to can them the way I would use them from my friend, Tresa. And wah-la! And no, there wasn't only three jars. I put up 8 jars of tomatoes and 10 of apples. Thanks Mom, for teaching me how to can!!

Bowling with Kristen and Kyle

The other weekend we headed out to dinner and bowling with Kyle and Kristen. It's been FOREVER since I've been bowling and SHEESH, is it ever expensive!!!


Here are some happy bowlers. Another thing I didn't know about bowling...those of you who know Brian, know he is the WORST backseat driver ever! Well, you could also call him a backseat driving of bowling. And as you can see in the last picture, I was not in need of pointers.

Kyle and Kristen enjoying someone's bowling skills. My favorite part though, is the couple in the background of the picture totally making out!

Looky - looky! Who is the bowling pro??? Yeah me! :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Saving $ $ $

Okay, what you see is...14 boxes of cereal, 6 big canisters of oatmeal, 2 boxes of granola bars, 6 sacks of cat treats, 3 bags of chocolate chips, 2 bags of Reese's peanut butter chips AND 2 toothbrushes. Now why am I showing you this? Well, the grand total of these groceries came to about $140.00 and I only paid...$40.00!!!

It's this new system I learned about, GrocerySmarts. Basically you just match weekly coupons up with sales and save big time. LOVE IT!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Canadian Thanksgiving

Are you jealous?? That's right, around here, we celebrate Thanksgiving TWICE a year. It's wonderful to be Canadian and American. But the best part of all, for almost as long as I've lived in Utah, it's been tradition for my Mom and Dad to come for the weekend. And we celebrated in style with all the fixings. YUMMY! Here is Janie, Mom and Brian enjoying our spoils. Janie made homemade pies for dessert too! And cute Dad allowing me to interupt his eating.
This is what Jeremy was doing while the rest of us ate. Guitar Hero addict.
Phanta checking out one of the pumpkins Mom and Dad grew and brought to us.
We got Mom and Dad to play Guitar Hero!! They were pretty good, I must say. They went head to head and when Mom won the first time, Dad challenged her to the best out of three. This pictures captures just how much fun they had. :)
We also played Cranium, watched the BYU football game, tried out the waffle restaurant near our house, went to Cousin Maren's baby shower, shopped an amazing sale at Old Navy, went to the Distribution Center and had lots of fun together! It was a great weekend that went by much too fast.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Too busy to blog

We've been up to a lot lately. Just no pictures and so that makes me think I have nothing to blog about.

First of all, I broke our super nice, swanky camera that my awesome brother, Greg, gave to us. It dropped like 2 inches, no exaggeration, and broke the screen. Sony wanted the price of a first born child to fix it, and even then there was no guarantee that the price would fix the camera. So, I was sad, sad, sad. But blessings are a marvelous thing and have a way of showing up in our lives when we least expect them. I randomly was introduce to a guy who is a Jack of all Trades and he offered to fix the camera. He ordered a new screen for the whopping price of $12.00 and it will be fixed this weekend.

I got new tires for my car. Let's just say there were some Heavenly band-aids holding them together until I got a surprise bonus just big enough to pay for them!

I am now the Primary chorister in my ward. I was put in FOUR weeks before the primary program. YIKES! But I am happy to say I survived and the kids did great!

Brian went to Las Vegas for the annual bike fest. I will try to have him do a post and tell you all about it.

Brian was sent to Burley, Idaho for work. He was suppose to be gone for two days, that turned into three. After the two days, he was going to come home and head off to Denver for up to two weeks. Well, that didn't happen. It was a whirlwind of a time with everything changing so quickly. I LOVED having the bed to myself but missed my hubbie.

I went out to Tooele, with my super fun cousins, for General Conference weekend. Oh man, my stomach muscles hurt from all the laughing that took place. It's always amazing fun to spend time with my cousins! And Conference was incredible. I love how there always seems to be a couple of talks that were given just for me.

I have been studying my brains out for my two teaching license tests. I passed the first and am waiting to hear back on the second. I passed the multiple choice part and have to wait to hear back on the essay part. I sure hope I passed! Then I'll have my teaching license!! Yippee!

We went to Idaho for the weekend a few weeks ago. We played and hung out with Brian's family and then went the baby blessing of Sarah and Colton's baby. It was a quick, fun trip.

And several friends, Teri and Cody and Trish and Carl, came up from Idaho to visit for the weekend. We saw this guy in downtown Salt Lake dressed exactly like Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean. He wasn't missing anything in his costume and even had the funny swagger. When I told him he looked awesome, he talked just like Johnny Depp's character too. It was a fun weekend.

See, we have been up to a lot. Now if only there were pictures...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ever met someone with a Wii injury??

Well, now you have...ME! Of course it's me, would it be anyone but me? I seriously have the strangest things happen to me.

I had to share this because I think it is HILARIOUS!! It was really hard to get a picture but can you see the dark spot on my thumb? I was scratching my head, with my left hand, while playing Wii tennis, with my right hand. As I swung to hit the tennis ball, I lowered my left hand and BANG!! I hit the Wii remote into my thumb, really hard. I was actually surprised at how bad it hurt considering that usually pain doesn't bother me.

Anyways, it broke a blood vessel and the entire bottom of my thumb went black and all up along the sides of my nail. My thumb was so swollen I couldn't bend it for awhile.

I had to share this funny story because if you know me, and my past "incidents", you will get a GREAT laugh out of this! :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One year ago...

at almost this exact moment, I was fitted with a neck brace, hauled out of my totalled car, strapped to a board and taken by ambulance to the hospital. What a day! And the lady who hit me? She drove away, in her undamaged van. There have been so many days, many moments when I have wondered why did my life have to change so much? Or, if I had only left work early/later that day, none of this would have happened. Now, while I won't pretend that I don't still sometimes think that way, and I still long for answers to those questions, I'm grateful this year is behind me now.

I had to get a new to me car, and start paying car payments again. Okay, it's only $150 a month but still people, do you know what I could do with $150 a month?? But my new car has limo tinted windows (LOVE it) and is cute and fun to drive. Plus, I LOVE sitting higher up than in a small car.

I had to adjust to never sleeping more than a hour or two at a time. And still to this day I wake up an average of three times a night. (Is that normal when one doesn't have any children and is not pregnant?? Yeah, I didn't think so either.) Sleep...I remember those days and I really miss them. Come back to me sleep.

Pain, sometimes I notice it, sometimes I don't. I like the not noticing days, nights, moments. They are rare but I sure enjoy them. I am happy to say though, I rarely take pain medicine. It has to be REALLY (as in I can't walk anymore) for me to take pain meds. That's just me. Usually I just need to do my exercises or lay down for a while and things are better.

Funny story about pain. I had to go get an MRI on my hip and at this time, sleep didn't exist due to the pain. So I get this HUGE needle inserted into my hip that numbs it so they can then insert another HUGE needle of contrast dye. Well, my hip was all numb and pain free and it was wonderful. So they get me to the MRI room, strap me in so I can't move, cover me with a super warm blanket and insert me into the MRI machine. Well, at this point some people might freak out or need calming drugs - NOT ME!! Oh no! What does a pain free, warm girl like me do? Promptly fall asleep. It was the best nap ever. The technicians actually had to wake me up. And I slept through the entire night that night. I think that was the last time that ever happened. Hmmmm...maybe huge needles aren't so bad after all.

Physical therapy - who knew you could get to know the staff so well? But after eight months of physical therapy, ranging from three days down to one day a week, it's pretty likely. We still keep in touch even though I finally graduated to a home therapy program in July.

Surgery - oh the joy. The surgery went really well. The doctor planned out like three hours for the surgery and it only took half the time. (My question is - why is the bill not 1/2 the price then?) I LOVED lounging around the house for three weeks. Okay, the first couple I couldn't really do much more than lounge but I read lots and had lots of fun visitors. I hope I NEVER have to have crutches again. 12 weeks was 13 weeks too many!

Money - oh the money that has left our pockets. We had double health insurance through most of this year and we still have had to pay THOUSANDS of our own money. And the bills haven't stopped. Thank goodness we haven't settled yet.

So now I'm still recovering. I cannot pivot on my hip unless I want to endure breath stealing pain but at least I can walk crutch free and my hip bone doesn't catch on the broken cartilidge. I am able to run but that's when you can really notice my limp. Well, really, there is a lot of stuff I want back from before the crash. But I've had a lot of time to think about it.

I'm just glad my sweet car, Jadie (the first car I ever bought) took the brundt of the crash for me. I'm glad things weren't worse. And I'm glad I'm still here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Best Note I've Ever Gotten

This is the best note I've ever gotten as a teacher! Here are the words in case you can't read them in this little picture:

Dear Mrs. Morris,
I want to tell you how much I appreciate you. You are the reason I love reading everyday. When I get home I sit on the couch and read for hours everyday. I look forward to going to your class everyday. Whenever I have a bad time in other classes I always know when I get to your class things will just turn perfect.

Ahhhhh....it totally made me cry when she gave it to me.

Sometimes, I love being a teacher!

To Hang or Not to Hang...?

I have a wall in my classroom where I hang all the pictures/cards/etc that my students give me. Here are two pictures I recently got that I'm deciding if I'm going to hang. Here's why...

These pictures come from two very snotty girls in my class. I have often heard them call other students "blooming idiots." So her picture calls me a "blooming flower." Hmmm...should I hang it up because it's nice or do you think she was being rude?
And this girl calls me a "beast" crosses it out and says "best". Now, as a 10 year old, would you hand your teacher a picture with the word "beast" still visable? I sure wouldn't, I would redo the picture. How about you?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Megan's Baptism

Brian's good friend, Lewis, asked Brian to baptize and confirm his youngest daughter, Megan. It was a wonderful night and a wonderful way to spend some time with friends. Megan was so excited! I love going to baptisms. The spirit is so strong there and it always builds my testimony. Yeah for the gospel!! :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Brian!!

Yesterday was Brian's Happy Day!! At his work, they encourage you to take the day off and since it was a Friday, and a long weekend...Brian was VERY excited for his long birthday weekend. We started the day off by going out to breakfast at a new restaurant. It's called Red Rooster Waffle Company and YUMMY! We are totally game to go another time so if you come our way, let's go out!!

Okay, back to the birthday boy. Then he got his presents. Different than I originally planned but he TOTALLY LOVED them!! Yeah! As I type this post, he is already in the garage, playing with his new toys...I mean tools.

My way of wrapping them was to have Brian unload them from the back of my car! He said that taking them out of the boxes was going to be fun enough and he didn't need any wrapping paper. Here is Brian's new drill press and...
a band saw!! There is going to be much creativity going on in our garage now!
Then we were going to go to the Star Trek movie (in the dollar theatre) but Brian was too excited for his new toys and so we didn't go. So FUNNY!!! (that we didn't go to the movie, that is) Then Jeremy and Janie came over for tacos (one of Bri's favorites) plus cake and ice cream. I put all 32 candles on his cake! Here he is getting ready for the big blowing out of the candles.
He got them all in one blow.
Brian requested a white cake with raspberry filling and ice cream. I found an incredible recipe for a buttermilk cake and also made the raspberry filling. YUMMY!
And to further enjoy the raspberries, I made raspberry chocolate ice cream. Also very yummy! Look for the recipes on sallys-smorsels!
It was a great day and a very fun birthday. Thanks for coming to celebrate with us Jeremy and Janie!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIAN!!!