Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Old & New



It's official...

I'm out with the old
and
in with the new!

____________________________________

After three years and three months I'm saying goodbye to my old phone






and with open arms, I'm welcoming in the new one.




Here's to:
  • phone calls (that won't be interrupted due to any glitches)
  • texts (that will be received when they are actually sent)
  • power (that will remain on unless purposefully turned off)
and
  • battery life (that will actually allow charging to happen)

Goodbye old, it's been good (except for all the bad).




My new phone and I are ready for the new year!
Hope you are too!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A quote


After a long few days, a few words from Dr. Seuss:

Today you are you!
That is truer than true!
There is no one alive that is you-er than you!
Shout aloud, "I am glad to be what I am!
Thank goodness I'm not a clam or a ham,
or a dusty old jar of gooseberry jam."

I am what I am! What a great thing to be!
If I say so myself: HAPPY EVERYDAY TO ME!


Thanks Dr.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Yours



This little boy is darling. Sometimes I sound and look like this while trying to play my guitar & sing (except he's quite a bit better on his instrument)...





Who wouldn't want to be HIS after that?





Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Off-Track


December of 2008:
After being hired to teach 5th grade, I began what is now a huge part of my life.

Last year at this time I was frantically trying to clean-up a classroom. Trying to get rid of age-old things and do my best to organize manipulatives, books, baskets, the classroom library, tables, desks....you name it. Planning reading groups, math instruction, science centers, etc.

But this year...I'm enjoying my time off.

My classroom still has not been "de-junked" of everything..there are still a few drawers I haven't had time to go through yet. But overall, I'd say I've made some progress.

Being on B-Track, I have 4 weeks off in December. What a great month to get some time off!
I spent most of last week subbing for another 5th grade class--which would have been so much more enjoyable had there actually been lesson plans! I can wing it for awhile, but by the 3rd day I was done.


I'm down to 3 weeks left. Which means I can think of it as my break is
1/4 of the way gone...
or...
I still have 3/4 of my break left (this one sounds much better!)




Anyway...here's part of my to-do-list while I'm off-track:

  • get oil changed
  • get tires rotated or possibly purchase new "snow" tires for the winter (i'm hoping mine will hold up though)
  • Write Christmas letters to students and actually mail them
  • Watch Harry Potter #6 (again) & The Proposal
  • Go running more at the gym
  • Work on a cute Christmas Craft w/ Wendy
  • Plan a Persuasive Writing Unit (anyone have some good ideas here???)
  • Do some fun things with people in my ward~

Of all those things (although they're not complicated)... I can cross one off and hopefully add more things like this:


On Saturday night a group of us from my ward went to Temple Square to see the lights. Although the actual "light seeing" didn't last long--it was still a good time.



*F.Y.I. the "good time" does not include the terrible winter storm we followed
from Salt Lake all the way to Provo. *



Well--I'm off to bed in hopes of better weather and crossing something off my list tomorrow.



Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween



I had a little bit of a break-through during this crazy week of mine....

In between all of the Pumpkin Walk planning/putting together, the Student Council Leadership Retreat, and the various Halloween festivities that come with elementary school....







I discovered.....

I like my class.... I like working with kids.



This is something that I typically wouldn't question--but after a rough start and a long few months with certain students, it's starting to come together this school year.

Who would have thought that it would take such a crazy week?




*-*-*-*-*

Student Council getting ready for the Pumpkin Walk


Team-Building Activity during the Student Council Retreat

The Retreat included these type of activities and a fabulous guest speaker who motivated the kids and helped me out a TON! (You rock Wendy!)




Check out these AWESOME pumpkins that were entered into the Pumpkin Walk...
We had over 250 participants!





Pumpkins.....Having to dress up....Pumpkins.....Parade for Parents.....Hyper 5th graders.....
More Pumpkins.....Class Party.....
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to November.



*-*-*-*-*

These photos from the week are being posted while I wait to pick up my car from the shop.

Car dying on the free-way on my way to school
+ speedometer and lights going out simultaneously
______________

= borrowing Wendy's van at 7 in the morning and awaiting a new alternator
and battery.

There's always next week, right?



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

RUN. DRIVE. SLEEP? REPEAT.

Warning: Long post ahead.


We've been back from Las Vegas for 3 days now and I'm finally getting around to this:

Between myself and 11 other runners we ran 172 long miles through the Las Vegas desert. I should add that it went pretty much like this: RUN. DRIVE. SLEEP? REPEAT.





Notice the ? behind SLEEP.... that would be accurate...which is why RAGNAR puts it on all of their merchandise. I believe I slept for a totalof 2 and 1/2 hours (no more)--which is probably more sleep-time than 1/2 of my team!

I could write about how tired I was, how I threw up right before and during my last leg of the race, how things weren't perfect, etc...but instead, I'm going to write about what really happened:

*-*-*-*-*-*-

About 2 1/2 months ago, Wendy asked me if I wanted to RUN in the RAGNAR instead of just drive. I hesitated, but said YES. I then set out to train 4 times a week to get ready for this race. I encountered some pain and doubted whether or not this was really possible. And when October 8th rolled around, ready or not, we set-out to do it.

The drive to Vegas was a blast! The company so enjoyable...it was like we were all trying to ignore the fact that we'd be running in the desert for 30 + hours the next day. Dinner was great and we got the vans decorated. Take a close look at the picture below to see the ADORABLE doughnut necklaces Jaime made for the entire team. (Our team name was the SWEET CHASERS)--I wore that necklace on my last run despite it bouncing up and down. I love it!






The next morning my van (Van #1) headed down to check-in and begin the race.


It kind of was surreal until it became my turn to run. I'd like to share with you my three legs of the race:

*-*-*-*-*-*-*

1st:
8:30 AM-Wendy receives a panicked phone call from me. (She was in van 2) I was totally worried and nervous. It was about my time to start...she totally encouraged me in the ways she always does and helped me think, "it's just another run--i've done this so many times"

8:42 AM-- Runner #1- Cheryl Bullock (who did an incredible job) hands off the bracelet to me and I slap it on and go...slowing a little to get the gum, Christine (Runner #4), retrieved for me. With a fresh piece of gum and some encouraging words I was off. (A little too quickly and I soon had to slow to get my breathing back to somewhat normal)--my route went from nicely paved road to dirt/sand that seemed to last forever. After the sand I was back on pavement and facing a hill. It was here where I had to stop. I walked for a few paces and realized that I really could keep going...so I did. I went until I saw the exchange. My favorite part of this run came after the actually "running."

9:24 AM-- One down. I handed the bracelet to Yollanda and she took off. I cooled off with some water (yes, it had started to get hot around 9:00 in the morning) and made a phone call. It felt so great to call Wendy and my other teammates to let them know I had done it. I felt successful and they were so supportive and excited for me. :) I'll never forget what that felt like!

Here's a great photo of the sunset Wendy ran in during her first leg:



While Wendy and the rest of van 2 ran...we spent time at an exchange and tried to rest.




2nd:
10:27 PM-- After Kellie Mellot (runner #6) handed the bracelet off to Tifany from Van #2 earlier and we tried to rest at an exchange, it was my turn again to wait for Cheryl to pass it on to me--she didn't take too long, and at 10:08PM I was off for my longest run. There happened to be a lot of runners around this time and as I was listening to "Another one bites the dust" at least 10 people zoomed past me, I finally had to change the song. I was discouraged by being so much "ROADKILL" and at knowing I wasn't even half way done. I slowed down (alright, I walked again) and "CHASING CARS" came on my IPOD. As the cars were driving past me in the dark and my head light lit up the road a little I felt like the song was perfect. I again was encouraged to pick it up thinking of all my teammates and their hard work.

11:23 PM--4.8 miles DONE....A much desired hand-off to Yollanda.

Here are Christine, Kellie and Yollanda waiting for me:





Yes...I get that this photo is very blury. But that's the hand-off.
Notice all the "night-gear?"


3rd:
5:30ish AM-- Couldn't decide if I was sick or had heat exhaustion...but definitely didn't feel good...Gave Van #2 a call and Wendy was out running. I talked to Tif, who talked to Lisa who gave me some advice...I sipped lots of gatorade and it kept going straight through me...eventually I tried a cracker and that seemed to hold--

*The other runners in my van were trying to come up with a solution as to how I could just rest and not do my last leg--I was almost willing to find a way, but was reminded by how much I wanted to do it, how much I wanted to finish!

7:15ish AM-- Van #2 had come to the exchange waiting for Lisa to hand off to Cheryl to start one last round of runs. I got to spend some time with Jaime, Tif, and Wend and see how they were doing. They had done such a great job so far and Wendy had to run an extra mile during her 2nd leg due to a tragic accident. My heart goes out to Jeremy Kunz and his young family from Utah. He was hit by a drunk driver while giving water and support to his teammate and was killed. I can not even imagine how difficult this would be----his family and team are in my prayers. Jeremy was running Wendy's same leg, so check out her blog for more information:



8:32 AM--The bracelet goes on my arm for the last time as I give it a shot. (Thanks to Kellie for running a bit before with me to see how it felt)...

Probably about 1/2 way into my run I started to hyperventilate thinking about almost being done and I had to stop and walk to calm back down. Lots of great songs that reminded me of all the times running with Wend and through the Provo Canyon came on and I was good to go. About 100 yds from the exchange I burped and more than what I expected came up and I stopped, puked a little, and continued. I could see the end...and I was determined to make it there!


9:07 AM--I did. I made it. Me...Melanie...the, "I am not a runner" and "I can't run" finished with my best time.

*-*-*-*-*-*-


That was the end of my turns, but as the day continued I rode along with Van #2 to support them and see them finish. All along the way I felt such a part of something--everyone whom I knew and met for the first time , strangers on the course, were encouraging and welcoming. I may not have looked like the "rest of them," but my team and the other RAGNAR runners made me feel included. :)

Check out Yollanda spraying off Christine during her last run.





I learned so much about myself and my team...Just to mention a few: I am capable. We might not be the best, but we are strong. I can do hard things. With such a great team and friends, anything is possible.

Libby and Wendy after Libby's last leg







RUN. DRIVE. SLEEP? REPEAT.
incredible




Saturday, September 26, 2009

P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S


What is a repetitive pattern?

The Dictionary's Definition: something that is repeated over and over again.

My Personal Definition: TODAY


7:00 AM
Get dressed in running gear, drive to Pleasant Grove, run for 3 + miles with Jaime and Wendy, drive back to Provo, take a shower, change into PJs, ice my back, take a quick nap....

1:00 PM
Get dressed in running gear, drive to Pleasant Grove, run for 3 + miles with Jaime and Wendy, drive back to Provo, take a shower, change into PJs, ice my back, take a quick nap...

7:30 PM
Get dressed in running gear, drive to Pleasant Grove, run for 3 + miles with Jaime and Wendy (in the dark), drive back to Provo, take a shower, change into PJs, ice my back, go to bed!




*Amidst the repetitive pattern, I did manage to get some good head-lights for running in the dark, watch some of the BYU football game @ Wendy's, take some pain medicine, and eat. (just didn't list those things, because they'd throw off the pattern).

Why the repetitive pattern?

One word: RAGNAR


(Only 12 more days until the race!)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Two months


So, I meant to do this post yesterday....because as of yesterday it has officially been 2 months since I last posted. 2 MONTHS!

If this were my "journal" I might write something like this "It's been awhile, but I'm going to do better at it." Wait a minute...I am going to say that.

It's been awhile, but I am going to do better at it. :)

What's been keeping me away?

*-*-*-*-*-*


The new hooligans at school & being sick.

This video clip pretty much sums it up!








Running:

That's right--running. I am running. Or at least I was. I've been training for the Valley of Fire RAGNAR race in Las Vegas. I've recently encountered some leg/hip/back/butt problems but am crossing my fingers I'll last until after October 10th.



Later I'll post a photo of a group of us who ran the BEAT BEETHOVEN 5k in Pleasant Grove last week. But for now.... these are my cute running shoes :)




And last but not least....FACEBOOK.

I am a typing maniac and will sit down to play that game any chance I have. I get a high score and then am determined to beat myself (over and over and over).





*-*-*-* I know...they're not really good excuses. Like I said before, "I'll do better."




Saturday, July 18, 2009

Two weeks:


July 2nd: Last day of school (including teachers vs. 6th grade softball game and being dunked over and over again in the dunking tank). My first "1/2" year of teaching flew by and I was sad to see them go (not so much after the dunking however) ;)

July 4th: Great picnic/fireworks at the park

July 5th: Boarded a plane, flew to Detroit and then on to Dulles International Airport. (Washington DC). Met a few teachers who were attending the same conference and took a 2 hour bus trip down to James Madison University in Harisonburg, VA.

Made everyone a little late to dinner because I didn't "check-in" with my group before leaving the dorms. (oops) Later got to introduce myself as the "person who made you all late" at the opening banquet. Also became quite famous there for being the youngest teacher and for only teaching 6 months so far.

July 6th: Hmm...oh yeah. Thiswas the day I set my alarm for 6:00 PM. Not very helpful in gaining a good reputation to the 43 other teachers present as I hurried in late to the first lecture.

July 7th: Spent time checking e-mail and not paying attention during the lecture. Oops

July 8th: Took a nice bus ride to visit James Madison's home in Montpelier, VA. It was beautiful!


*Most memorable part of the conference is about to be posted*

Walking home from dinner, in the middle of an intersection, my new "little friend" (yes, that's what i called her) that I had started to get to know, had a Grand Mal seizure. Let's just say that I've never been so scared in my life and amazed at what adrenaline can do in such an emergency. Staying calm, calling 911, directing traffic around her, finding out her medical history, all fell in line.

Spent the majority of the night at the hospital trying to re-jog her memory and answer the few questions I could that the ER was asking.



July 9th-11th: Spent the rest of the week replaying the incident and being, quite frankly, freaked out. Meanwhile, prepared for a Congressional Hearing (being an expert on the Constitution in a simulation w/ judges) and was overwhelmed. Got the advice and encouragement I needed, and it all turned out fine. (thanks Wend)

July 12th: Boarded the bus @ 4:15 AM and drove back to the airport. Most teachers were going home, I was headed to DC. In no hurry, I was the last person off the bus. Not all of my belongings chose to come with me. (that's how I like to remember it). My camera was on the bus as I frantically searched for it before realizing the bus had left. Ended up waiting in the airport for 8 hours (literally) for it to return. Luckily it was able to and I wasn't in any hurry. In fact, I quite enjoyed my book that I was able to finish. (My Sister's Keeper).

July 13th-17th: Megan, a teacher I work with, flew out on the 12th and we spent the week here...




*More photos to come*


July 18th: Had a good time and new experiences, learned a lot, and happy to be home :)

(I am not, however, ready for or excited that school starts again so soon!)


Friday, June 19, 2009

Around the Town


Who knew that it was possible to drive, stop, and shop from Pleasant Grove to Brigham City, then up to Logan, back down to Bountiful, clear out to Tooele, from there, the back way to Lehi, and down all the way to Springville, in less than 9 hours?!!


All I have to say is that it is! Not only is it possible, but when you throw in lunch at Einstein's, tasty frozen yogurt, a beautiful low rainbow in the middle of nowhere, hilarious company, teaching/singing fun little songs with a 4-year old, and ending with dinner at Zupas...that 9-hour road trip is a blast! (Not to mention yummy---Zupas...have you tried it?) 


(Isn't that a great photo Wendy took of Emma and the Rainbow?!)


I love doing the Quilt Shop Hop! 

The best part about the whole thing is how after all of that in one day, we hopped right back in the car and spent Friday doing the last 9 shops around Utah and Salt Lake counties. It's a great feeling to hand in your completed/stamped Quilt Shop Hop passport (unless you're Emma who we forgot to have get her's stamped in Tooele..of all places...), hoping you might win a prize, realizing you probably won't!



Overall, we saw new things, had some good laughs, Wendy found the fabric she needed, I got a new sewing/stitching idea and some DARLING baby blankets to work on, and near the end we had Israeli falafel for a late lunch.

Can't go wrong with cute quilt shops, treats at every place, free patterns, tasty meals, and good company! 


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stepping into Summer...


My students and I were all just a little excited to go off-track last Friday.
It's our little taste of summer..... 

hence the eager bulletin-board!











check these out...
                                         






That would by REAL sand paper f.y.i.




I think they should start giving out bulletin-board prizes for teachers.
 


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Go green!



Bluffdale Elementary, where I teach, has been basing a lot of things lately on the theme, "Go Green!" So having kids recycle things really shouldn't come as a shock I know. However, I found myself being a bit surprised the other week:

It was a Thursday, we were cleaning up and getting ready to go home. It went like this:

2 boys: Miss Fisher, Miss Fisher! We'll take the recycling out. 

Me: Well, the student council will do it tomorrow, so we can just wait. 

2 boys: But it's overflowing and we can be back really fast.

Me: (realizing they just wanted to leave class and go outside together). Alright.

2 boys: YES! (and began walking very quickly, stoked about getting to do it)

Me: Wait. Turn around and look at me. (they did so). Make sure you take the box that says recycling and NOT reports. 

2 boys: Ok, Ok. (still being very stoked about this opportunity)


Meanwhile, the remaining 28 students all had questions and all needed to talk to me. Everything was ready to go 20 seconds before the bell rang.

(The 2 boys enter the room. One of them carrying two state reports).

2 boys: Miss Fisher. We saved these for you, in case you wanted to use them for next year! (they were so proud of themselves)

Me: (looking a bit confused before it dawned on me). Hmm...which box did you boys take out?

2 boys: The one that said RE....repor....  oh! 

*at this point the entire class knows what they have done and I'm hearing comments around the room such as:  "Oh---you are busted!"  and   "Uh---oh!"  *

THE BELL RINGS

Me: Awesome. See you tomorrow everyone! Boy #1, and Boy #2, come with me.

We took a quick stroll to the recycling dumpster and there sitting on top of all the ripped up paper, old newspapers, etc. were stacks of President and State reports. (A few of which had not been graded yet.) Now, luckily most of these reports were just copies that I have been getting ready for next year. But we're talking A LOT of new, organized, ready to go for next year, copies! 

Well, my arms aren't very long, the dumpster wasn't very full, and the top of the dumpster was padlocked. You can see the predicament I was in. Thoughts of shoving one of my boys in the dumpster ran through my mind, but with parents picking up their kids, buses driving by, and the principal standing by the front doors, I decided it would be best to let them off the hook.

It turns out that our school doesn't have a key to that dumpster and it usually gets emptied at some point on Fridays (no one seemed to know exactly when.)

Well, with being a new teacher, and not part of the Union yet, I couldn't very well put one of my students in the dumpster (that just doesn't seem like job security to me). 






So why the photos of  a student in the dumpster?



I couldn't put a student in the dumpster who's parents don't know me. But luckily, a colleague of mine who has known me for a long time has a daughter in the 5th grade. I grabbed her out of class Friday morning and took her to the dumpster (this is after okaying it with her mom by the way). I have never seen someone get in and out of a small rectangular hole as fast as she did! Luckily she's small and has taken gymnastics in her lifetime. Worked out well for me :) 

Thanks Katie! 
Boy #1 and #2 thank you also! 



I've decided that going green might not be such a bad thing after all. 



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Purpose, Thoughts, & a Book


My blog could use an update and I have the best thing(s) to blog about-- 
so, here goes: 


I spent 7 hours in my car yesterday. 7 hours! I drove all the way to Moab and back. Yeah, it sounds like a lot of driving---but the PURPOSE for going, the THOUGHTS i had while driving, and with my BOOK on tape, it was great!


PURPOSE: The Canyonlands 1/2 Marathon!

If you just had the thought that it was ME participating, you're crazy! Just the thought of running 13 + miles is insane to me! My crazy, I mean remarkable, friend joined the 5,000 + crazy people and did it! She ran through the canyon, up and down hills, and 13 miles later....crossed the finish line! 


THOUGHTS: Pride, Inspiration, and Love

Pride: As the 2 1/2 hour time clock rolled on I watched as hundreds of people pushed themselves for the last stretch of the race. But what was even more fascinating was watching the people who were watching them. A sweet elderly lady stood from the bleachers near the finish line with pride in her eyes for her daughter who was slowly limping by. A group of young men jumped into the race to run with their buddy to the end. That boy had some friends who were quite proud of him.

But I witnessed and participated in the greatest pride as a certain someone came up the street: A sweet husband stood by with a camera in hand encouraging his wife---their sons yelling and cheering--their little girl holding a bouquet of flowers---a friend watching her friend accomplish something hard, something great. All of us---we were so very proud! 


Inspiration: I was so inspired by all of these runners--not to run a 1/2 marathon or anything--let's be realistic---but I was mostly inspired by my good friend, her running buddies, and all the people who didn't come in first or even in the top 4,000--but those left towards the end who still pushed ahead--did their best--and finished a long and hard race!


Love: I love the fact that I went. I love that I saw what hard work and determination for months can bring. I love that someone I know pushes herself and accomplishes great things. I love the example she sets and the person she is! 



Wendy, you rock. Way  to go!



I'll add some real photos within the next few days:

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * -

Oh yeah, and the BOOK on tape: "Sarah's Quilt." (Sequel to one of the best books out there: "These is my Words.") Definitely not as good, but totally worth listening to in the car!