Monday, April 30, 2007

Movin' on up...

It’s hard to believe that I’m weeks away from completing my seventh year of teaching. SEVEN years! In all honesty, I was sure that I’d end up being a statistic and not make it past the five year mark. Surely I would have 'retired' by then. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the job, I had just created my own timeline about the marriage and family thing. Funny how the way things are turning out is WAY better than any timeline or plan I could have made for myself.
My first year of teaching was kindergarten at Provost Elementary in Provo. Man, I loved those kids. Who knew I would love singing songs and hanging out on the carpet so much? Exhausting, but so much fun. Then I came to California and have taught third grade for the past six years. It’s been the best experience. Third graders, especially the group I have this year, are the best.
There are so many great moments like when a girl in my class last week was paining an Indian mask and out of nowhere said, “I love this! I feel just like Bob Ross!” I’m pretty sure Bob Ross was more of a ‘happy cloud’ painter than a Native American mask kind of guy, but it just made me smile. Admittedly, I was a little disheartened that the other kids had no idea who she was talking about, but it was still one of those fun moments that come along when you spend your day with kids.
Last week I received word from my principal that I’ve been assigned to teach fifth grade next year. What a shock. This was definitely not a part of my timeline or personal blueprint. (Oh wait, I’m not really in charge, am I?) I have to admit it’s been frustrating coming to terms with going from 20 students to a class of 34 larger and smellier ones and dealing with every new piece of curriculum. There have been some definite struggles to find any kind of silver lining around this storm cloud. I really enjoyed being ‘held back’ in third grade every year. I was becoming an expert at teaching some of this stuff!

But, I think after a week, I’m coming to terms with it now. O.k., maybe that’s not entirely true, but I’m getting there. To go from kindergarten to third and now fifth must be a good sign. Maybe someday I’ll get to graduate from teaching and move on to another ‘school’ of learning! :-)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Food Cravings

We all have them, right? I'm NOT pregnant, but we all know that those who are tend to be notorious for theirs. For some reason pickles are always the one that's brought up. Incidentally, last week Nate had me try a Claussen pickle (which he and my sister agree are the ONLY ones to eat) and I actually liked it. Who knew at 28 I'd decide pickles were o.k.? Salty, but o.k.
Anyway, back to cravings and pregnancy, well sort of. Here's the news: Nate might be pregnant. Well, not really, but he's had a strange food craving or two lately. I could definitely write a blog about my weird food desires, but Nate's more fun to report about. A few weeks ago he and some coworkers were out of down and decided to eat cheap for dinner. You or I might head to Taco Bell or even Wendy's to get something off of the super value menu, but these guys headed to an All-American favorite: Denny's. Ask yourself, when's the last time I went to a Denny's? I bet it's been a while. I had to go way back, and I think it's been since some midnight outing with friends in high school. Maybe it's not so All-American though because one of the first things I saw when we arrived in Costa Rica was, you guessed it, a Denny's.
So yesterday after a long day of Saturday to-do's and Nate studying for his next CPA exam we decided to go out to dinner. Guess what my sweet husband has been wanting for a few days? A Mega French Toast Slam. As Denny's puts it: three thick slices of our Fabulous French Toast with two eggs, hashbrowns, two bacon strips and two sausage links all for $5.99. Its probably one of America's best bargains, but who craves that? After being so diligent all day, how could we not reward his studying efforts? You know what I discovered? On a Saturday night Denny's really isn't that bad. I learned they have healthy eating options (might I recommend the egg white vegetarian omelet?), there's no need to call ahead or make a reservation and the way you slide onto those vinyl seats at a booth takes you back to some point of eating out from your childhood. The service was great, the place was clean and we were out of there in less than thirty minutes.
Both of us agree that Denny's is strictly a breakfast only ordering place. We heard a guy behind us order tilapia and his wife got swiss steak. I'm not really sure Denny's is the place to get the catch of the day or a fine cut of beef, but breakfast is pretty satisfying. Who knows where our cravings will take us next?