Sunday, December 4, 2011


It's been forever since I've written...but life is crazy!

And I had fun decorating our home for Christmas. My family is coming to stay so we've been furnishing things up a bit in preparation for all of the guests!
I'm way excited.
No idea what to put on the walls, but I figure that's a project for way later...we gotta stop buying stuff! I love our first ever coffee table and 'modern' TV. Saves a lot of space not having a TV with a big butt. Also, that papasan chair is awesome because it seats two people, and the two people MUST cuddle to be comfortable. It's great for afternoon naps on the weekends :-)

After watching the Christmas devotional tonight, I decided to frame "Jesus the Christ" and make our entryway table all about the nativity and the temple. I love Christmas time because of our Anniversary.

I did a fun DIY project yesterday where I decorated my own wreath. Used a 50% off coupon for Michaels and got one of their giant wreathes and stuck a bunch of stuff in it! Easy peasey! And for less than $20 I filled a big empty wall with something festive. And I can use it forever.
I'd say that's purty good.

I collect these little handmade German Christmas ornaments. They are so cute.

I definitely am looking for some good Christmas traditions to start so we can remind our future kids about the reason for the season. Any ideas?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I am a teacher

and I love it. I had no idea how much I would fall in love with my students.
This is something I haven't really talked about with many of my friends, but Richard has seen me come home with tears of joy because I adore my students so much. I definitely feel I am meant to be here now with these students. I know that the Lord put me here for a reason, it's like a calling of its own.

My charter school tends to attract students who are very hard workers, and as a result the dynamics are unique compared to a public school. I'm not saying it's a perfect school, but the policies and the curriculum are making a big difference to these children's education in a positive way.

I teach 6th and 8th grade. Sixth grade is elementary school!! I technically wasn't trained to teach such tiny babies, but I am so so so grateful to be around these pure, happy, sweet children. They are everything good you would find in 7th graders and more. They are innocent and still very cute....they have that little kid look to them. I love to sing songs with them, get on our feet and dance to learn the material, see them answer some difficult questions, and watch them grow every day. They have gone so far in a short amount of time. My sixth graders know all of the organelles to a cell, basic scientific method skills, all of the organ systems in the body, and the major bones in the skeletal system among many other things. I'm speeding them through lots of material and they are succeeding so well, and I only see them 3 times a week! They get 3 days of chemistry and 3 days of physics, too! That's 9 hours a week of science!

8th graders are completely different. They are learning high school level material very quickly. They are mastering cellular respiration (Krebs cycle, Glycolysis, photosynthesis), as well as Osmosis, the basics of the lipid bilayer, etc etc. It can get complicated memorizing how many ATP each biological pathway produces and what steps take place when, but they are seeming to enjoy it...:-) They are sometimes "too cool" to do cheesy things like songs and dances, so I have avoided them almost entirely, but as a whole the group is absolutely hilarious. I love the energy they bring to the classroom with their humor and good nature. I enjoy teaching higher level biology and it's a treat for me to finally teach biology the way I WISH I was taught.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Making a house a home

We are slowly but surely furnishing our home. It's been really fun. Having a home definitely has it's perks....privacy, no neighbors to bother, and it's nice and quiet. Except when I'm teaching flute lessons. I have 3 students so far, and it has been such a fun hobby on the side. I'm hoping I can gain momentum as time goes on.

SO, if you are friends with us on facebook, you might have seen our little "pillow fight". Well, once we had some pillows to choose from, we eventually agreed on red with floral accent pillows. I wasn't going to decorate with red initially, but it seemed to work. Pictures don't do the colors of our wall t justice, but they really work super well. Here's Rich chilling on the couch with the new pillows. Gotta love the cheap ikea lamp and tables.....eventually those will go....but you can't beat $7 side tables and a $8 lamp!

Another project that won't happen for a couple of months is this entry-way nook. I'm thinking a little table with some cute pictures/ apothecary jars? Or a bench for my flute players to sit on while they are waiting to be taught?

For now I have those pictures to give that space 'something'.

Last weekend Rich spent a couple hours putting up some IKEA curtains. IKEA is the BOMB! We went to JC Penney looking for something to cover these tall windows, and they gave us an estimate of at least $1000 to cover them up. How much did IKEA cost total to cover these windows? Only $50 max. SO cheap. I don't want my entire house to be IKEA, but for stuff like this you can't beat it. I didn't even have to hem them or anything. They came the perfect height. Now we don't have Arizona sun blinding us while we eat dinner in the evening.

This little nook will eventually be filled with some abstract art work that Richard really wants to make himself. He has been looking for a hobby (not that he has much time), but I'm excited to see what he comes up with.
Another fun project that won't happen for awhile is the curb appeal. Here's a picture of one of the 4 rosemary bushes we have in our landscaping. I LOVE rosemary, and having it fresh in abundance has made for some yummy meals. I will have to put Richard's mom's Rosemary chicken recipe on here because it's delish.

Well, that's about it! The best advice I've received regarding decorating a new home is to take your time and not get in debt. Shop sales, ikea, and craigslist, and keeping it simple is key. That's the goal. :-) Oh yeah, and put pictures up of Christ or the Temple in as many rooms as possible!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Partay in the heat!

It's so freaking hot here!!!!! I can't believe we are finally starting that chapter in our lives that always seemed f-o-r-e-v-e-r away!

I'm a teacher. It's legit. I remember in elementary school wondering why someone would ever want to teach because then school would never end. Now that I have been teaching for one week, I sometimes asked myself the same question! It was a crazy week, but I absolutely loved it. It feels right. My students are brilliant and eager to learn (so far!) and I really feel like I'm a part of the community.

Haven't seen the hubs in a few weeks. I'm anxious to squeeze him until he bursts tomorrow when I pick him up at the airport! Poor guy has been slaving away at unsuccessful door-to-door sales for the past month. Prior to that he was still slaving away at door to door sales, but it was going pretty nicely. Just goes to show that commission = you're never sure what you're gonna get. One week you feel filthy rich. Then the following 5 weeks you wish you had never spent any of the money. At least we were in Hawaii! SO glad that worked out. It was a great summer. Plus we avoided the Arizona sun as long as possible!!! Now Rich has to conquer dental school. I think he can do it. I just have no idea who's going to cook and clean between the two of our busy schedules.

So I learned a few things about the over-rated state of Hawaii. I thought I'd share a few pointers.
Tips on living in Hawaii:
  1. Living in Hawaii is completely different from vacationing in Hawaii. Never move here unless you have tons of family close by and you don't mind being secluded from the rest of the known world.
  2. Don't buy produce. It costs a lot.
  3. Don't bother buying any groceries. It's cheaper to just eat out. Food costs a lot.
  4. Even then, don't eat out unless it's after 10pm and all of the food at the bar is half off. Bonus: free Karaoke!
  5. Don't fly to the mainland 3 times and back in one summer. It costs a lot.
  6. Don't give any money to beach bums unless they ask for it. They are 'beach bums' for a reason.
  7. Close your windows at night, otherwise when it rains you will encounter a giant swarm of termites racing towards your lights. They will climb inside and proceed to die while their wings all fall off into flaky-filmy piles on your bed.
  8. Snorkel every chance you get. It's beautiful and you never know what you might see each time you go. Just realize the prettiest things will always be out when you're sleeping in.
  9. Don't let the undertow of the giant waves kill you.
  10. Take lots of pictures and train your husband to take some when you leave. (this could possibly be the hardest thing to master....)

That's about it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The best movies are from the '90s! Summer movie list

So I have had a lot of free time to watch movies and rediscover older movies (meaning from the 90's or earlier), that are just fun to watch. I have noticed a theme here: the movies are either starring a mentally-handicapped (or diseased) character, or have a science fiction-y theme. They should have introduced a movie with a diseased mentally-handicapped alien, then I would be completely satisfied.

After this movie JODIE FOSTER is my new favorite actress of all time. I thought it was Natalie Portman, but no, Jodie is the
Nell (1994) PG-13

Just discovered this movie this summer.. This movie stars Jodie Foster and Liam Neeson, where she is a woman who has been secluded in the mountains all her life and is met by a doctor (Liam) who teaches her about the outside world and, in fact, he learns more from her about living a quiet peaceful life than what she learns from him. Great movie, Jodie won award for best actress in this film.

Contact (1997) PG
Even though this movie is older, I think it's science vs. religion undertone is still very accurate and interesting. It has always been one of my top favorite movies of all time. You got some science fiction and some drama, makes for a very sentimental film, too. YOU ROCK JODIE FOSTER!! (except, what's the deal with silence of the lambs? I cannot watch you in that film because it's rated R and seems absolutely disgusting and would keep me awake for weeks).

Ok, just ONE more Jodie Foster film:

Anna and the King (1999) PG-13
I watched this in preparation for our (cancelled) Thailand trip. This movie is actually banned in Thailand because showing any weakness in their king is a federal offense in their country. I actually thought this movie showed the King in a very good light.

Artificial Intelligence (2001)PG-13
Not from the 90's, but is close enough. The CGI looks great even today. Love this Steven Spielberg film. Also, Haley Joel Osment is just the cutest little kid ever. You also see him in FORREST GUMP. Yeah, just realized he's little Forrest.

Awakenings (1990) PG-13
Stars Robin Williams. Love the main character Leonard (Robert Di Nero), and now Richard and I want the middle name of our first child to be Leonard..hehe. Makes me cry every time. I was introduced to this movie by my Organic Chemistry professor, because of the use of L-Dopa to help "awaken" the patients with a disease that makes then catatonic.

Lorenzo's Oil (1992) PG-13
While we are on a medical note, here is a great movie about a boy who's father finds a cure for his problem. Saw this in a science class....along with Gattaca. Gotta love it.

Forrest Gump (1994) PG-13
Saw this on TV the other day, and I remembered how hilarious and touching the movie is. You can't deny the genius acting of Tom Hanks.

What's eating Gilbert Grape (1993) PG-13
Johnny Depp, Leo DiCaprio, and yet another mentally-handicapped situation. Great movie, saw it a couple years ago for the first time.

Honorable Mentions: (I saw some of these edited, but they were still way good.)
Mrs. Doubtfire
Jurassic Park
Schindler's List
The Matrix
The Sixth Sense
Apollo Thirteen
October Sky
I am Sam
The Last of the Mohicans

Other 90's movies that look good that I have not seen: (have you seen them?)
The Cider House Rules

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Decor inspiration

So I know we are in a house, and we are still house poor, but I am still going to dream. It will take a month or two (or three or four...) to get a couch as well as other furniture, but but someday (if ever) I am thinking about choosing cooler colors to decorate out in the hot hot desert. We shall see. Here are some photos that I thought were way rad!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


So it turns out our Phoenix selling experience went a little downhill, but we are very happy to be selling in Hawaii now! It's been a great experience so far. It's a great market and of course a beautiful place. I have to be honest, we don't have much time to sight see because we don't have a car (or we share a rental car with a bunch of different salesmen), but it doesn't matter because we have already seen the best parts of this big island anyway :-)

Before we left our home in phoenix, it was a relief to have our appliances set up and running and most of our things unpacked and ready to go. It's a nice clean slate, because we still don't have furniture or even a TV so hopefully we can make enough money to fix that problem once the summer is over. In the meantime, we are staying in a small, very old hotel here in Hilo on the more industrial side of the island. We can see sailboats and a beautiful ocean view out our window. You just have to ignore the factories on either side of us that are kind of an eyesore.

The Hawaiian people are very interesting. They call anyone who is older than them "Auntie" or "Uncle", and they are very kind and easy to talk to. They are kind of suspicious/ not as fond of any company that is from the 'mainland' as they call the rest of the states......they care more about local businesses. However, we have had the most success on this island compared to the others that have offices on them. We are actually #8 in the company out of 60 or so. There are a couple other girls that are selling along with me, so I feel like I'm not the only chick working at this job.

Most people here are Asian and retired, so those are the ones who really need a security system/ medical pendant. There has been an increase in crime, because the homeless hang out at the public parks and bathrooms and then steal fruit from people's backyards. It's kind of weird!

The important thing to me is that even though rich and I are both working, we still get to spend time together and help each other out. If I were in Phoenix while he still sold, I would be so lonely.

Speaking of which, I miss my family terribly. So in July I am actually flying to indiana to see them!!!

Well, I gotta go so rich can use the computer. In the meantime I will try to get the hotel lady to sweep up the flying termites that have died on our bedroom floor. Kind of gross.