Friday, January 4, 2013

Just Another Day at the Office

Day 4

Does anyone else have a guy at work who is constantly pranking everyone?

Pay back is sweet.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

All Right Stop, Collaborate and Listen

Day 3

I am a first year English and History teacher at a public school. I worked as an English paraprofessional at a therapeutic boarding school for about a year and a half while I was working on my degree. So, for the past few years, I have been knee-deep in education. One topic that always seems to come up with other teachers is the idea of collaborative learning. I am always amazed when teachers say that they don't like (or use) collaborative learning because it creates an opportunity for students to cheat.

While I don't disagree with their claim, I find myself weighing this possibility with the innumerable pros to collaborative learning. I know that my students are the most engaged when they work together. Not only do they feed off of the ideas of their peers, but they also debate. I LOVE debate because if forces the students to look at something from all angles. This is another benefit of collaborative learning- students have to stretch their minds and constantly think outside of the norm.

I came across this article from Edutopia that really stuck out to me. I love how it says "In preparing our students for college and careers, 21st century skills call on us to develop highly collaborative citizens." Isn't that our mission, as teachers, after all?

I also really like the structure of the article. The headings are Teach Them to Listen, Teach Them the Art of Asking Good Questions, Teach Them How to Negotiate, and Model What we Expect. This means that collaborative learning takes time and effort from the teacher. Yes, if you put a worksheet in front of 4 or 5 students, they will probably cheat. But, if you take the time to teach your students (crazy idea, right?) , they will truly grow into the "highly collaborative citizens" we hope they will.

All right. I'll get off my soap box now. Enjoy the article and the website in its entirety!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Painting Poor Judgement

Day 2

Diannah and I bought our house with so many plans for renovation. However, a year and a half sure did fly by and the only real change we made to the upstairs was painting our bedroom. We debated over what color we wanted for days. Diannah really wanted a yellow bedroom. She said that it would feel like the sun was always shining. She promised that it would be a light yellow and against my better judgement, I eventually caved. We picked out a color together that we thought would be really mellow. 

Needless to say, I have woken up every morning for the past year with an instant headache because of the awful, yellow walls. That will all end this weekend as I am finally painting over our terrible mistake. 

Diannah is no longer allowed to pick paint colors.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Day 1

Cody and I have been talking a lot today about New Years resolutions. I have always found it humorous that people make these huge, life-altering declarations or ridiculously difficult to attain goals and then forget all about them by Valentine's Day. I was just reading a friend's blog which commits blogging each day for a year as her resolution. This really inspired me and so, as any nagging loving wife would do, I reeled Cody into the project.

So here is the plan. There will be a new post each day and it will come from either Cody or myself. This means we will write about our marriage, work (high school or Moon Lake), projects, vacations, interests, favorite readings, or whatever we feel like!

Cody and I value our time together. The past 3 1/2 years of marriage have really flown by and we have shared some wonderful memories and accomplished lots together. We have also both worked very hard to become stronger, more well-rounded individuals outside of our relationship. This blog is something that we hope will serve as a common interest between husband and wife but will also give us a chance to document our life together and as individuals. We hope you enjoy our little corner of this massive, ever-revolving, lovely world!

Cody and Di

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Last Christmas, I decided to get Cody tickets to go flying over Heber Valley. About a week before Christmas morning, I blurted out the surprise (Strike 1). I was sooooo mad at myself, because I knew that it was the perfect gift! So, I told him I got a refund, though I actually saved the tickets for his birthday.

A couple of months later, I planned a great birthday weekend for him. Everything was a surprise. We were going to spend the weekend in Salt Lake and do all of his favorite things. The trip would start off with our plane ride in Heber. Unfortunately, there was a horrible storm and the pilot canceled our flight (Strike 2!). To be honest, I had pretty much forgot about the tickets until I received an email that they were going to expire on the 6th (When we will be in Hawaii!). 

Ducking a third strike, I decided to take him out this weekend for a little pre-vacation / half birthday celebration and it was awesome! Well, to be honest...I was a bit bored and quite nauseas! BUT, Cody was SOOOO excited and had such a good time that it made it unforgettable! Cody has expressed the desire to take flying lessons some time in the future and I always joke with him that he can have his own plane as soon as we win the lottery. Well, no luck yet... but the pilot did let Cody fly for awhile! Anyway, here are some pics from our precation....
Cody was SOOO excited....
...but I was a wreck!

Here are the controls...seriously looked like an arcade game. It did nothing to calm my nerves :/

The View from Up Top!

Cody knew how nervous I was.
He kept reaching back and
squeezing my leg :)

Finally back on solid ground! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Little Inspirations!!!

I recently started coaching volleyball to the girls at the therapeutic boarding school in which I work. Most of the girls have never played volleyball, or even been part of a team. I was quite nervous when I first started coaching, but now our practices are filled with inspirational moments in which I find myself taking little mental pictures that I will cherish forever.

I wish I could adequately express how inspirational the girls are to me. They are so personally invested in practice, that I cringe when it is time for them to leave for the day. From day one, I have pushed their limits and challenged their minds and bodies. I can tell by their glistening foreheads and panting chests that they are not used to the exercise or the challenges I give them. However, the smiles that remain on their faces and the intensity in their eyes convey how much they appreciate the opportunity to grow. Sports is about so much more than the physical growth one gains in a season. It is about perseverance, intensity, leadership, and self-confidence. Each one of these girls exhibits these qualities and their exuberance truly is a breath of fresh air!

I have never once heard one of the girls complain during my practice. They are engaged, devoted and eager to soak up as much knowledge and experience as possible. As they leave the gym each practice, they thank me for taking the time to teach them and to push them (mental pictures).

The first day of practice, I had the girls complete suicides (a running drill), except they had to do leap frogs on the way back. One of the girls, who is new to the program, had just 3 jumps left and she was the last to finish. She started walking and said that she couldn't do anymore. I had her go back to where she had quit and I cheered her on as she finished. After practice, she sincerely thanked me for encouraging her to finish (mental picture). 

I have another girl who is really soft-spoken and dainty. One of the most crucial aspects of volleyball is communication and the girls are to call each ball that comes to them. This particular girl seems to whisper "mine" each time she receives a pass. I have been trying to get her to release her inner tiger. The other day in practice, I stood next to her and called her ball....MINE!!!! It scared the wits out of her (mental picture)! Since then, she is much more vocal.

Each one of the girls is amazing in their own way. I have one athlete who has been a bully to some of the girls in the past. She has completely transformed on the court and today, the girls voted her team captain. I have another girl who is in my English class. Before we stared the season, she was disengaged and disrespectful. Now that she is part of the team, she is enthusiastic and involved. I am certain this is a direct result of her exemplary attitude on the court.

I am so excited for the rest of this season. I am so grateful for the wonderful example the girls are for me. They are truly an inspiration.