Monday, March 24, 2008

Las Vegas!

Here are the highlights from our weekend Las Vegas trip! The weather was gorgeous and we even got to relax a little! We got there Thursday night at midnight. Friday we slept in, enjoyed the free breakfast at the hotel. Then we went to the Las Vegas temple for a session. It was beautiful!
That's me by the signThere's Dan by the sign
We of course had to go to In-N-Out Burger! YUM!

Friday night we went to the strip. We saw the fountains at Bellagio.

Here's the cool display inside the Bellagio lobby

butterfliesWe also stopped by Madame Tussaud's Wax museum. But, we didn't want to spend the money to actually go in. So we took pictures with the displays outside. Here Dan with Nicolas Cage. So handsome! (The one on the left :))
Here's me with Whoopi. Word!

Saturday: We slept in again, ate free breakfast, then relaxed by the pool. The sun felt so good! I forgot to tell Dan to take off his sweater. ;)

For dinner we went to the Rainforest Cafe at the MGM Grand.

My new best friend

After dinner we went to M 'n M world! So much merchandise and way overpriced M 'n Ms (1lb for $10!). Still, good times!

After that we went to the Planet Hollywood Theater and saw the show Stomp Out Loud! It was AMAZING! Who knew they could make noise/rhythm with so many different things! It was very high energy and I would highly recommend it to anyone!

On our way to the car, we stopped in a shop and Dan found a Lightsaber! The end. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

The past week...

So I know it's been over a week since we've posted and here's why. I was studying all last week! That's right- STUDYING! I felt like I was back in college. Since the year 2003, all teachers have to pass this exam (called the Praxis), within the first three years of their teaching career, in order to progress to their level two teaching license. This exam consists of 4 case studies and 24 multiple choice questions. It was a 2 hour timed test (which I don't do well on). It basically asked questions about different student learning styles, different types of assessments, ways to communicate with parents, and teacher professionalism. I had to know educational theorists and basically recall everything I've been doing for the past year and half in my job. I barely finished in time and felt ok-to-good about it. It's a pass/fail thing. And I'll get my scores in about 4 weeks. So... I'll keep you posted.
The next big thing I have to talk about is, after two years in first grade I finally get to move up to 2nd grade!! You may think this is exciting news, but I have to move up a grade against my will. My principal calls me into his office (Friday, March 7th) and tells me there won't be a need for 7 first grade classes next year. And since I'm at the bottom of the totem pole (senority wise) I would have to be "placed" somewhere else. Luckily not another school. So bottom line is, I think I'm going to love working with 7 and 8 year olds, I get to keep the same track (year-round school), I get to keep my same classroom, BUT- I have to come up with a whole NEW curriculum! Wish me luck!

So after being stressed out a little about these things, Dan and I have decided to spend this weekend in the one and only-- LAS VEGAS!! Dan has spring break this week and I have Friday off of school. So we're leaving Thursday night and we'll be back Sunday night (Easter Sunday). We hope to see and show or two (either Blue Man Group and/or Stomp), go to the temple, and relax in the hotel. Hopefully our next post will have pictures from our little trip.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I've been seeing how much fun Laura has been having making posts, so i thought i'd give it a dance and give you some insight into my life. I'm currently working for Valley Mental Health at a day treatment facility for mothers that are in recovery from drug and alcohol addictions. My job in the program is to facilitate relationship building between the mothers and their children. And who better to help them than someone with no children, right? Part of their treatment is to attend groups taught by therapists and case managers on prevention and recovery skills, health and nutrition, prenatal classes, and love and logic parenting. It's been an interesting experience, and i've seen such great changes in these womens' lives. It has also helped me to really appreciate my family and the impact which positive influences, especially the Gospel, can have in our lives.

Anywho, the reason for this post is to share with you all an interesting group that i sat in on this morning. I heard there would be a two hour presentation on STDs and AIDS, and that all clients and staff were invited to it. Always eager to learn more about things i know very little about, a coworker and I decided to attend. Little did i know what i was in for...

First, let me explain the scene here. I'm one of two men in this group occupied by 25 women, some with newborn babies (i've discovered that this man/woman ratio is pretty typical in social work, which could be a future blog entry). The presenter begins by holding up a gallon sized ziplock bag filled with made-for-men contraceptives and explaining that we should not be shy and grab however many we want. Without going into too much detail, the scene that followed was reminiscent of giving a primary class a bag of candy. The presenter then spent the next hour and a half talking about and showing pictures of syphillis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea along with their causes and treatments...YIKES!! Again, to spare our newfound readership of the awful comments, invasive questions, and awkward situations which i witnessed, i will tell you that it was an informative presentation. I now know more than i ever thought i would regarding something that is such an ever-present force and circumstance in so many these clients' lives.

I just read this post again, and feel i must apologize for making my first post about STDs. Most people talk about how cute their kids are, the trips they've taken, or recently gained spiritual insights. But i've been told that it's entries like these that blog readers enjoy, so in a way, you asked for it. So as a consolation, and to begin a Dan-posting tradition, i'll include a picture.

This is from my sisters' wedding, where none of us had STDs. That is all.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Viva Voce!

Some of you may or may not know I'm in a women's choir called Viva Voce! I auditioned and joined in January and we had our first concert today. It was actually more of a festival where we invited high school choirs to come perform for us and we performed for them. I love singing in this awesomely GOOD choir! This is a picture of our costume- a nice SPARKLY jacket. Of course my wonderful husband DAN came to support me. Thanks love! Dan's fabulous mom came too. She used to be in the choir before they went on their mission 3 years ago. She's the one who encouraged me to audition. So thanks Sylvia/Mom for helping me get involved in this! I would put the link for the choir but it's not working right now. Check back later.

Real quick, I also wanted to mention that today was my 100th day of school (this school year)!! I had my first graders each bring 100 items (cereal, pennies, paper clips, candy...). They wrote about what they would do with $100, drew pictures of what they might look like when they turn 100 years old, put together a 100 piece puzzel, read a story with 100 words and did a dot-to-dot with 100 dots. We also did 100 jumping jacks. It was a fun filled day with lots of 100 things!