Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday 5

1. I went to the dentist this week. I have problems with my teeth. I really do everything I can to keep them healthy but I still have cavities every time I visit. This dentist actually gave me some prescription toothpaste to see if it helps. He is the first dentist to tell me something other than there is nothing else I can do.

2. Being away from Chris for 8 days was the worst to date, but won't be the worst of the summer. At the end of July I am going to G-camp and he is going to debate camp. We will be separated for 17 days! I honestly don't know how I will do it. I will never understand what it is like to have a military husband and their wives have to be super amazing.

3. History trip = history reading kick. I am looking for my presidential biography to read this year. Last year it was John Adams. This year, I want to read Truman. But I need to find it at the library first.

4. I've had a month off of school and I am ready to start lesson planning now. It is looking more like I am going to be teaching 5th grade Science and Social Studies next year. My top two favorite subjects. It is going to be a fun year with all the stuff I have planned on pinterest so far.

5. Chris spray painted my hand the other day. (On accident and for a legitimate purpose). I am having a hard time getting all the paint off. It is red, so it just looks like blood.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Planes of Fame

We stopped by the Planes of Fame in China, CA during our history trip. The have dozens of planes from around the world and all eras of aviation history. They restore all planes and all of their planes on display can be flown. (For a few thousand dollars, you can fly one yourself.)

This is the "graveyard" for planes waiting to be restored. 

This is the only flyable Japanese Zero in the world. The Zero is the same type of plane that was flown in the attack on Pearl Harbor in WWII. This specific plane was not part of Pearl Harbor, but was used as a prop in the movie Pearl Harbor. 

For anyone who loves planes and their history, I think this is a fantastic place to be. All the talking about planes was a bit much for me after 2 hours. Luckily, there was a dog on site who was happy to go around to the ladies looking for some love. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Check Under the Pillow

Chris brought his shotgun home last Sunday and I was in California at the time. 

I shared my concerns with him. (I am going to accidently shoot myself in the face.)

He says he'll put it in a safe place.

Then I get this picture. 

I do not like guns. It is kind of freaking me out. 

(This is not where it stayed, obviously.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Berlin Wall

One of my favorite parts about the trip was seeing the piece of the Berlin Wall. It would be cool to me to see as many pieces of the Berlin Wall that I could.

The first is at the Nixon Presidential Library. The side with the graffiti was on the west side of Berlin. (The side controlled by the United States, Britain and France.) The other side is completely blank. (From the side of Berlin that was controlled by the Soviet Union.)

The second is at the Reagan Presidential Library. The other side is also completely blank. (Except for a marking that was made to mark which piece of the wall it is after the fact.)

One of the main reasons the wall was built was to stop emigration from East Berlin. I guess when people have a choice between oppression and non-oppression they will choose the first.

Several people who killed or put in prison for trying to cross the wall. However, there were several success stories. Some found ways to dig tunnels, ride a hot air balloon over, or take a zipline over.

The Berlin wall fell when I was only 4 years old. So my students definitely do not have a appreciation for the events surrounding it and the world it was constructed in. Listening to speeches and learning more about the Berlin Wall this past week has been a good way for me to understand, so I can pass that on to my students.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crazy Days in California

I am back from a crazy week in California. We flew into Los Angeles on a Saturday and flew out of San Francisco the next Saturday. 8 days of hotels, bus ride, unhealthy food and little sleep. 

This trip is part of the Teaching American History I am a part of. Throughout the year I have been reading books and attending professional development with other teachers in 3 school districts to increase our knowledge of American history. At the end of the year, we take a trip to visit history sites. 

This is what our map looked like. This year had a lot more driving then last year. There was about 900 miles of driving. 

This was different from the trip last year. I enjoyed it, but I missed Chris so much. I would have been fine leaving on day 6 instead of day 8.

I have some posts this week about some of my favorite spots. 


Friday, June 22, 2012

How to Save Paper Towels

I usually don't watch videos on other people's blogs. So I sometimes assume that other don't too. But watch this one! It will help save the world.

I showed this to my students, and even they picked it up quickly. Well, the girls did. The boys not so much. It might be the only thing they remember in the long run (I hope not) but at least I can help save the world, one paper towel at a time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Postmortal

This was a pretty depressing book. I was reading on my first two days of summer vacation and it didn't help my mood while I was doing nothing but laundry and other chores.

In this future United States, there is a cure for aging. If a person gets this cure, they can still die from cancer or a car accident, but they will not age.

The main character gets the cure at 29, while it is still illegal in the United States. Eventually, it become legal and chaos ensues. People no longer want to be married, because now it can be forever. Resources run out quickly because the population jumps with no one dying.

This guys life was just depressing. So many things just go wrong for him. The book's format is basically his blog and it follows about 80 years. In all this time, he is still 29.

I thought the author did a good job of imagining what life could be like in a society were there is no aging. I thought the consequences he described were realistic, even if they were depressing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Creating Scientists

When I first started teaching, I didn't think I would be able to effectively teach science. I knew that science education is important, especially to our future. But my focus was on history.

Then I got thrown into a math/science position. And I feel in love with elementary science. Now I have decided it is (one of) my missions in education to help create scientist.

My job is to just help spark interest in a few students to one of the many sciences we cover all year long: physical science, geology, zoology, environmental science, conservation, alternative resources, etc.

This doesn't mean I love history any less. But future jobs are in science. For the United States to be a global power, we need new technology and research.

Unfortunately, some classrooms do not create scientist. But hopefully out of my classes every year, there can be a few who leave wanting to be a scientist.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Grass is Greener

I am flying into California today for my History trip. (Like this one I took last year. )

I am coming from Navasota where the temperature has been in the 90s for the last few weeks...

into Los Angeles where the temperature has been 20 degrees cooler. 

I am  looking forwards to spending 2 minutes outside without sweating buckets.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Meet Franklin. My imaginary puppy. 

Chris decided to play a mean mean trick on my on our anniversary. He kept saying that he had a present for me at his parent's house and wouldn't tell me anything. 

Finally I broke him down and he said he got me a puppy. He had worked it out with the landlord, paid the pet deposit, and a Jack Russell Terrier puppy was waiting for me. 

He had answers for everything. I did not believe him, but kind of wanted to. We came up with the best name, but I can't remember what it was. Now it is Franklin.

Instead of a puppy, I got a wedding band. We have been married for 5 years and I have just been wearing my engagement ring because I couldn't find a band I wanted. But I have one now.

But I still kind of want a puppy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Uncommon Reader

I have been trying to read books that are on my Goodreads to-read list, since I am constantly adding to it all the time. This was one of them. It is very short, only 120 pages so it was a quick read.

The uncommon reader is the Queen of England. In a series of events, she finds herself hooked on books. Unfortunately, her staff hates it. She is supposed to show interest, but not favor any habits or hobbies so that she can appeal to all her subjects.

Because it was about books, there were a few quotes that I really liked.

"Can there be any greater pleasure than to come across an author one enjoys and then to find they have written not just one book or two, but at least a dozen."

"The appeal of reading lay in its indifference. Books did not care who was reading them or whether one read them or not. All readers were equal."

"What she was finding also was how one book let to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren't long enough for the reading she wanted to do." (Explains my growing list of to-read books.)

I do not like the use of "one" when speaking about oneself.  I had a professor once who used "one" all the time and it bothered me so much. That was the only downside about this book. But it is a petty downside.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Inviting All

Chris and I are currently attending a branch. There are about 40 members who come regularly. It seems that half are actually from nearby wards who are called to attend the branch and help out.

We have been called as Young Men's and Young Women's presidents. It is most definitely out of my comfort zone.

Chris isn't as lucky as me and doesn't get to teach every Sunday. (Sometimes there are no young men.) I do get to teach. The church updates the manuals every year with some current conference talks, personal progress goals, and Mormon Messages. (Because these are the same manuals that were used when I was in Young Women.) I love the updates.

The Mormon Messages are my favorite. I have used one almost every week I've taught.

This is a good video that works for the condition our branch is in now. It is amazing that all it has to take is inviting someone to come to church, or meet with the missionaries or read the Book of Mormon. This reminds me that we always have to trust that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can work in everybody's life. We don't need to be afraid to share.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

How to Get a Literary Agent in Two Murders or Less

I won this book as a Goodreads First Reads winner. As soon as I read the title, it had my attention. The title is clever, and unfortunately the best part of the book. It would be a book to read on the beach or by the pool this summer. I was interested in the story as I read, there were just parts when I felt it could have been written or done so much better.

Amanda Anderson is an aspiring writer. She has written several books, but can't get any published. She ends up spending her life savings on a publishing conference which turns out to be worthless. However, while there she meets Jonny Goodsnuff, famous author who has actually published books. Soon, he proposes and a month later she has sold all her stuff in Ohio and is married to Jonny living in LA.

Jonny completely changes after marriage, or Amanda didn't know him long enough to even make a judgement call. But Jonny is sexist, obsessed with work and overly obsessed with his agent. A month into her marriage, she wonders if she makes a mistake.

But the title promises some murder, right? It doesn't happen until about halfway through the book. After we have been rushed through backstory and the set up for the actual story.

The main character was someone I could relate to, until she married some old rich guy after knowing him for less than a month. If she did it because she was desperate, depressed or just needed a change in life, that wasn't communicated well enough in the first part of the book.

I like that premise of the story. It was interesting. The characters were good starts. But I felt the writing was rushed, especially when we got to what the story was actually about.

Friday, June 8, 2012


1. I have had a whole week of summer vacation. It has been the most wonderful time of the year. I spent two whole days catching up on chores and otherwise being lazy. But that got old fast. Now I've got some stuff planned.

2. We have been watching Falling Skies Season 1. Love it. It is like The Walking Dead, except with Aliens and less blood. I love TNT.

3. I have 12 books checked out from the library right now. And I want to read all of them. This is what happens when all the books I place holds on become available at the exact same time. I am going to spend one day next week just reading.

4. I am going to build some furniture with my brother this summer for our apartment. I hate spending $40 on a bookshelf that is basically crap and will fall apart. I would rather spend $40 on a piece of furniture that is made with real wood.

5. I made Chris a White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake for his birthday. It was pretty awesome.