Thursday, December 24, 2009

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Merry Christmas!!! Not X-Mas!
It's been a wierd Christmas for me this year and it's really been hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit. Partly I think because school this semester really was overtaking all of the joy of the season. Because of stuff that I had to do over Thanksgiving, I missed out on most of the decorating for Christmas, and what parts I did help with I was just worrying about what I needed to do before I went back to classes.
Then in my apartment we had a small little tree, which thanks to Elizabeth eventually got some lights, but that was the extent of Christmas until a teacher that was at Jefferson Elementary where I was doing my practicum gave me a wooden snowman, which Liz also furnished with lights. But basically the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas were basically the same as any other days in the semester, just a whole lot colder. And a lot more stressful because of finals, and the fact that this was my last finals and that I really had to prove myself.

So it wasn't until I got home that it started to feel like Christmas, and it still didn't really. There wasn't really any snow and yeah our house was festive, but most of the time I've been home it feels like I've just been planning and trying to get stuff together to go to AZ.

There have been some highlights and I've been trying to get into the Christmas spirit and quite worrying about moving stuff until after Christmas.

Last Sunday we had our family FHE with our extended family and that helped get me in the season a lot, just seeing the joy on my second cousins faces as they anticipate the arrival of Santa, and Grandpa read to us from Luke the Nativity story. And I've been reading a book with some of the histories behind some Christmas songs.

Truely this year, though, I'm realizing the meaning for the season. There hasn't really been anything this year that I was like- "I gotta have this" instead, most of the things I think I'll be getting for Christmas are just things that I need for my new place. So many people out there though are just shopping for "something" to give to someone else. Often I think that gifts have lost the meaning behind them. Gifts are to me, symbolic of the greatest gift, the birth of the Christ child and his gift to us of the atonement. This is the greatest gift we've received and I think that all other gifts should just remind us of Christ.

But I think now, often it's easy to just fall into the habit of giving gifts without any meaning other than a name checked off on a list. I know I've done it. However this year I've really tried to put some thought into my gifts. For Christmas I actually got tickets for our family to go to the Forgotten Carols-which we never had before and it was something nice to do together as a family.
And then both my mom and brother have their birthdays the week of Christmas, Mom's is the 23rd and Wayne's is the 24th. So I tried to actually make gifts for them this year.
I made Mom one of those wooden signs that says "Together, the best place to be" with the help of my Dad cutting out the wood. It's dark blue with a light blue edge around it and the vinyl lettering is beige. And it was total stress relief. I forgot how much I love to paint!

And then Mom and I gave Wayne a quilt that we've been working on, basically since last Christmas and again Dad helped with as well while we were tying it. But the quilt is black and red and the print on the front is of guitars and pianos and drums and trumpets and a ton of musical intruments, which basically describes Wayne's love for musical stuff to make noise with. :D But he absolutely loved it!!!

And then tonight we went on our annual Christmas Eve Christmas Light Tour (aka family tradition of driving around the city looking at lights and listening to music) I realized something. And it was actually brought about because we were listening to the "97 hours of Christmas" on KLCE (... which I think have been well over 97 hrs, since the station's been playing Christmas music since Thanksgiving!) but anyway I noticed something and I want to give kudos to KLASSY 97. Every song I heard playing tonight was a song about Christ. EVERY song!! Which helped to remind me again that Christmas is about Christ's birth not just Christmas trees and Santas and snowmen and reindeer with red noses.
So as we were driving, once I realized that all of the songs were about CHRIST I began to reflect on the words of the songs and they gained more meaning to me. And I was able to think about the meaning of Christ's birth.
I also noticed the decorations more as well, and I realized that there is also more to Christmas lights than just pretty lights and glowing Santas and snowmen and flying reindeer, sleighs, and cars (yes, one roof had a light up car that appeared to be flying off it on Candy Cane Lane, I think it was Kevin Call's house- the owner of Farr's ice cream). I also noticed how many Nativitys and star were out on people's lawns. These really are the most important decorations. And I've made the goal to make sure that the Nativity is the first thing up in my home for Christmas.
And yet again, I'm up way later than I should be, Christmas morning comes early, so I need to get to sleep. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Some roommate pictures from Fall 2009

Elizabeth's bridal shower. And yes, James did come to it too. Liz is watching the video for the first time.

Bridal Shower Gifts

Another gift that shall remain pictureless, but it was tasteful. :D

She can fly!!!

Almost a normal shot.....

Aren't we totally attractive. ;D

I love this picture.

The lovely ladies of Mountain Pines 110. From the viewers left- Laura, Ashley, Deanna, Elizabeth, and Jamie.
Hurry, hurry, hurry. Catch them while they're still single gentlemen. Women of this caliber won't last long. In fact one of the five is actually already taken. (Elizabeth, 2nd from the right) So hurry, hurry, hurry, these ladies won't be single much longer.
James and Elizabeth in the ward talent show. Sorry the lighting was odd there so not the prettiest shot.

Beware the candy corn monster... she will attack if you try to steal some of its candy :D.
A video when Liz and James were singing. I wish I had sound but at least you can see some of their actions.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

No longer living in college housing. AKA... I can't fit all my stuff in the back of my car any longer!

Sorry forgot to post this initially, but now I've updated at the end as well.
So you know how excited little kids are when they finally get a "big boy/girl" bed? Well, now I'm really looking for a "Big girl" bed. I'm leaving for Arizona in a week. And when I get there I'm going to have to buy a big girl bed, well not the whole bed at the moment, I'm happy using a mattress and boxspring and probably a bed frame. And I decided that if I'm going to have to pay money to get a mattress etc. I might as well get one that I can use for a while, aka, once I'm married two of us can still fit into it. And I decided I might as well buy queen sized because if I'm going to be putting money into it, it might as well be a nice one. Not that I'm going to be buying a brand new department store one that costs more than my rent for the semester. No, I just want to get a mattress that I'll be comfortable on for a while. I've dealt with enough crappy mattresses via college apartments, and really not all of them were that bad, but some- especially the ones in Riv #6 reminded me of what you'd find in a jail cell. So for the last 5 yrs, I really have had no option of what I'd be sleeping on. Now I do. And it's really hard to decide if I want firm or plush, or pillowtop etc. I wandered through the mattress section at Sears today and I tried a few mattressses and seriously it's hard to decide.

That's what I had written, but neglected to post. Now the update of info.

Well I bought a nearly new queen size Serta Posturepedic mattress set (someone had used it in a guest room for less than a year) and a foam thing to go over it for around $100 plus the cost of the foam thingy.

Not only did I acquire a mattress set thanks to but I actually ended up getting a beautiful Oak Sleighbed for FREE!!!! Someone had just upgraded their bed to a king size and decided to give the old queen bed away. Lucky for me I happened to be the first person to see the posting and got the bed- for FREE!!

And guess what else I found for FREE on Craigslist in Mesa, a clothing armoire. Evidently it had been used in their 3 yr olds room to hold blocks and he sat in the bottom of it, so the bottom drawer you have to push a little harder, but still for free I can't complain at all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Final White Glove

So I survived my FINAL white glove. Hallelujah!!! Unfortunately all of the girls in my apartment moved out meaning that all of the junk in the apartment had to be cleared out as well. So since I was the local, and didn't really have a specific time I had to be leaving, no bus, ride or flight to catch so I ended up staying to help Jamie, who had to leave on the 2am shuttle on Saturday, to make sure that everything was out of our apartment and that it was spotless (which it was when I moved out). I unfortunately forgot to get a picture of the spotless apartment as we left, but believe me it shined.

But it took a lot longer than we'd planned to clear all of the junk out. We discovered that over 1/2 of the stuff that we'd been using in our kitchen all semester, no one claimed. It had just built up over the last few semesters. So We picked through the junk and kept the nice stuff and the rest will eventually end up in DI.

But I "inherited" a really nice 6" non stick frying pan, a 9" and a 12" frying pan that are stainless steal. And two cake pans that are a couple of inches smaller than a 9x13 but perfect for layered cakes. As well as a really nice black bendable neck desk lamp, and an iron. And a couple of nice white hankies, still in the wrapper.

I've also included a visual about what I also found while I was cleaning the couch out-

13 cents

1 comb

6 pens

1 chapstick

5 bobbie pins

1 sock (I don't want to know how long it's been in there)

1 feather
1 paper clip

2 hair ties

6+ candy wrappers

and some candy (skittles and mikes and ikes) and pretzels.

All of which I promptly trashed, with the exception of the 13 cents.

And I am currently 13 cents richer, and hopefully $100.13 richer when I hopefully get my full deposit back as well.

But can you believe all the junk that I ended up with. Jamie had a nice collection at the end too, and there's still a box of junk that we're going to let the other girls go through before we send it all to DI. We deserve to get some nice stuff though, we cleaned out a TON of crap too.
So THANK YOU former occupants of #110.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Drum Roll Please....

So I'm going to announce a couple of things here rather than facebook first, because I promised myself that I would not get on facebook again until I am offically done with finals. And I should be able to take the last one tomorrow.

I could have taken the last one today, but I decided completing 2 finals today was enough.... I also thought that my remaining final had a multiple choice part and a write on section... and after having typed 11 pages (even with size 11 font to save paper) full of short essay responses over the last couple of days, I decided I didn't want to deal with it.

And instead I went with most of my roommates to Joe's Filling Station here in Rexburg, originally for ice cream, but basically just turning into me indulging and allowing myself to overspend on myself just this once. And over spend I did- my burger with tax ended up being over $8, but I decided that it was worth it for the conversation and the fact that I am done with classes here at BYU-Idaho, and to celebrate some other exciting information for myself, which you'll find out shortly...

But back to the point of the test I delayed. --- I found out a little while ago from some friends that we don't have to do a write on portion anymore- I'll consider that a Christmas miracle!

So now I'm really not worried about my test at all. So I'll probably wake up tomorrow, enjoy a joyful apartment breakfast with my roommates and then meander to the testing center take the test and consider myself done, completely.

The most important thing I want to post, and another reason I splurged in celebration, however is the fact that I finally got my student teaching placement. So drumroll please.......

I am going to be student teaching in a 4th grade class at Johnson Elementary in Mesa, Arizona.

Evidently this is actually my second placement. I was placed early on in the semester with another teacher, but I guess she had a death in her family and they had to get me a new placement.

But the school is about 2 and a half miles from where I'm going to be living, so pretty close considering. I was worried I'm have to drive to the other side of Mesa or something every day.

But a little bit about what I'm going to be teaching....

I have had the feeling for a while that I was going to be placed in 4th grade. I knew I had that kind of luck. Not that I'm not excited, but that means that I'm going to be teaching state history... for Arizona. Yeah, I haven't got a clue about Arizona history.... or at least I don't at the moment.

It also sounds like about 1/3 of the school is actually Hispanic, but thankfully according to the teacher all of my students will speak English!

So I've got a very general idea of what I'm getting myself into. But it's definately better than I had two days ago.

So yeah that's a little bit of an update. But I'm still not sure when I'm going to be moving home.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Where I'm living in Mesa

So I'm still trying to understand my good luck, but somehow I lucked out and this is the place I'm going to be moving in AZ. And for at least $200 less than I was going to be paying elsewhere.

The house is 4 bedrooms with 2- 1/2 bathrooms. And at least until February there's just going to be me and the owner living ther, and then sometime in February another girl is going to be moving in. Needless to say, I'm going to have my own room and my own bathroom for a time.

The girl I'm going to be living with, Heather, is a junior high drama teacher and she also coaches track and crosscountry.

From the conversations that I've had with her, she seems really nice, and I'm pretty excited.

I unfortunately still don't have the placement for what school I'm going to be at, but at least I have somewhere to live and that's the most important thing.

Oh, and if you feel like writing me here's my address.

5810 East Grove Avenue
Mesa, Arizona 85206

I won't be moving in until the end of December/early January. I have to be to whatever school I'm placed at by January 4, so I plan on moving in at least by January 2.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ponder this

"Try to change the world, and the world will destroy you. Change yourself, and the world changes around you. " - I think this is the first time I've ever found something worth quoting in a textbook.