Sunday, 12 October 2014

Ten Things I Am Thankful For!

This year I have been so blessed!
I am so thankful for the blessings and opportunities I have had!
  1. I am thankful for my husband. 
    • This school year has been so busy and I am constantly feeling guilty about abandoning Matt to be a bachelor at home while I work late at the school. He has rarely had a home cooked meal and has even resorted to doing his own laundry. Despite my neglect, he never fails to reassure me that he doesn't mind. He is so supportive!
  2. I am thankful for my family.
    • Last weekend we were able to go up to Edmonton to spend time with my family and celebrate our own thanksgiving and enjoy conference. This week Matt has looked back at the pictures from the weekend a fews times and said "It was such a fun weekend!" I am so grateful that we all get along so well and can have so much fun together. I know that this is not always the case and feel so fortunate to have family members who are also my friends. 
  3. I am thankful for my in-laws.
    • This weekend we had thanksgiving at the Goughs. It was a fun weekend and I can always count on the Goughs to be a party and a half. The house was jammed packed, as always, but even with so many people around it is always a blast. I have listened to other people deal with in-laws who they do not get along with. I am so grateful that I don't have crazy in-laws and that my kids will have such fun and loving cousins, aunts, and uncles to grow up with. 
  4. I am thankful for friends.
    • Many of our friends have started having kids and moving on to different stages of their lives. I am so grateful that we have such close friends and that even though we don't see each other as often we still have a blast and catch up when we do. 
  5. I am thankful for the gospel.
    • Last weekend was conference and I have to admit that we weren't the most disciplined conference watchers out there, but this week I was able to listen to a couple sessions while I was working in my classroom. I am so grateful for the messages that were shared and for how perfectly each of them apply to my life. I love listening to conference twice a year and having the opportunity to refocus myself and my life on the gospel. It is such a great reminder of the basic principals that we need to be living. 
  6. I am thankful for education.
    • In my teaching position I have had the opportunity to work with students for whom education is not a given right. Many of them will not go to school past grade nine and I even had a twelve year old boy switch to home school in grade six so that he could work at the same time. I am so happy that I was able to receive an education and for the gift that it has been to me. I treasure the experiences I had at school and the knowledge that I gained. I feel so fortunate to be able to bring that joy to my students (hopefully!). 
  7. I am thankful for my career.
    • I am so lucky to have the teaching job that I do. This week I was inducted into the ATA (Alberta Teachers Association) with the other new teachers in my district. Many of the new teachers were part of my graduating class but it reminded me of many friends and classmates of mine that were not able to get a teaching position. Not only do I have a teaching job period, but I get to work with staff members, administration, and students who I love and who are so supportive. I love my job! (Matt probably thinks I love it a little too much.)
  8. I am thankful for my students. 
    • Everyday I get to hang out with 28 students who love learning (most of the time) and make each day awesome! I love teaching them new things and opening their eyes to the world. We have so much fun together and I feel so blessed to have the class that I do. 
  9. I am thankful for my health.
    • On mondays I play volleyball and on thursdays Matt and I play basketball intramurals. It has been such a blessing in to me to have each of these nights as a break in my busy week. Being able to get exercise and having a healthy body is a blessing in my life. I know that not everyone is as fortunate 
  10. I am thankful for food!
    • We just had a delicious thanksgiving dinner! I love food and too often I forget to eat lunch at work and am too busy or tired to make a very good dinner when I get home (although Matt has started making some awesome meals). This is kinda pathetic, but when we do get a really good meal I feel so blessed.

Last but definitely not least I AM THANKFUL FOR MELISSA! (As I was writing this post and making my list I took a break. Matt and Melissa grabbed the computer and added Melissa to my list so I couldn't publish the post without including her!) She is so funny and always brings the party. She is also the one who encouraged Matt to go out with me in the first place so I owe her big time! 

It is so nice to be able to visit family and reflect on all of the blessings in our lives. I have been so lucky to have an awesome family, a supportive husband, and an amazing mom who would sacrifice everything for me and my siblings. I have a pretty great life!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

September Long in Waterton

Our labour day weekend was an awesome break after a busy first week at school.On Friday night Matt and I drove out to Waterton to meet up with his family who has been camping there for the week. Friday night we went to The Chevelles at the Thirsty Bear Saloon. They were awesome, as always, and we had a lot of fun dancing and people watching. The Chevelles always seem to attract an interesting crowd and to me watching the weirdos is almost as entertaining as their music haha. It totally made the short trip out there worth it! 

After packing up camp on Saturday morning we headed into town. It was super windy and so we only spent a little bit of time hanging out and eating lunch on the shore of the lake. It's always fun hanging out with the Goughs and the nieces and nephews always seem to find an adventure. I have been putting my birthday present to good use and taking lots of pictures! You might notice in some of the pictures that Matt is getting a little bit sick of it haha. 

On Monday we headed back to Waterton to hike Carthew-Alderson with Derek and Meg. It was a little bit chilly in the park, perfect hiking weather! Melissa drove us to the trail head and we left at about 9:30. Once we got past the tree line the wind was freezing cold but it never stopped the boys from hitting 30-40 golf balls off the peak. I think they felt pretty awesome because the wind carried the golf balls way farther then they would normally go. They got pretty close to hitting some mountain sheep that were down in the valley. 

On our hike Meg and I really realized that our husbands never actually grew up (especially when they get together). We spent most of the hike listening to them reminisce over stories from when they we kids. It think I made them want to go back to those days because every time we got to any water they immediately threw (or tried to throw) big rocks in just to see the splash. It wasn't just one or two either; we waited about half an hour at each stop.

On one of these excursions they were at the top of some shale just below a huge cliff. They were happily rolling boulders down the shale when out of no where a big rock flew right past Derek's head! We looked up the cliff and some mountain goats were about 200 feet above them knocking rocks down. The rocks were hard to predict because they bounced off the cliffs in all different directions. Matt almost got taken out by a huge one but they both escaped unharmed. We joke that the goats were just getting back at them for trying to hit them with the golf balls. 

It turned out to be a successful hike! I have been begging Matt to come hiking with me all summer so it was the perfect end to a crazy summer. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

My First Day of School

I am officially a grade 5/6 teacher at Central Elementary School!!

I guess I have technically been hired since June but there is something about having students in my classroom that really makes it official. I AM A TEACHER!!

After school today my mentor texted me and asked how my day went.. "First day rating: 1-10... 1 being awful - why did I become a teacher!? and 10 being best day ever!!" I told her it was probably about a 7 or 8. I had an overall great day and am so excited for this year but I am not going to pretend that I have nothing to work on with my students. I can not wait to get going on the curriculum with my students and do some more planning now that I know a little bit about them. Today spent a lot of time chatting with them and they are all so awesome. This morning after all of them got there I had to remind them that it was okay to talk.. I mean what kind of fifth and sixth graders have to be reminded to talk!? 

The day started out great. I met most of my students at the door or outside my classroom and in the beginning they filtered in slow so I got to talk to them one on one which was nice. It also gave me a chance to meet a few of their parents which was good because that was one thing that I was really nervous about. For those of you who don't know, I teach in the mennonite program at Central. It's nice because I have little to no classroom management issues. I does make me nervous because I don't know the culture very well and just based on today there is a big range in how devout my students are to the religion. I have been really up front with them and told them to confront me if anything makes them uncomfortable. 

As soon as we got settled into the classroom and the announcements were done a boy in my class turned around in his chair and puked all over the floor. Gross!! I think the kids were still really nervous and so basically no one reacted. I didn't even have any "EWE, GROSS" haha. Instead, the boys around him just backed away and I grabbed him a chair and the garbage can. He finished puking and then headed to the office to call home. They say that every elementary teacher has to deal with puke at least once a year... I guess I got mine out of the way early! LUCKY ME!

The rest of the day went good. A few of our classroom routines need some work but I think that might just take some time. The kids really bought into a lot of the activities I planned which made me feel good about the rest of the year because we did everything from skits to individual work.

Here's to a great year!! I LOVE TEACHING

Monday, 18 August 2014

My New and Improved Classroom

Well, It's official... I have the best mom and sister a girl could ask for! Kelti and my Mom drove down this weekend just to help me set up my classroom. We had a very productive weekend and my classroom is actually starting to look like the real thing! I am so lucky to have such a supportive family.
It is such a relief to have my classroom relatively ready. I am starting to get really nervous for school to start (one week from this Wednesday! Yikes!!) I can now spend the rest of this week getting my unit plans ready and my first weeks completely planned.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Waterton Camping Trip with the Family

For the past few years my family has camped in Waterton during the summer. I love the trip especially the time I get to spend with my family! This year we had a little bit of every type of weather possible... hail, rain, wind, sun. No matter what my family always makes the best of the situation and as my mom says "we make memories". 

We got to Waterton late on tuesday night. On wednesday we hiked bears hump and then played in the water at the sandbar and the driftwood beach. On thursday the weather was terrible and we spent the morning walking around town. In the afternoon went swimming at the pool and played rook in the tent. On friday the wind died down a bit and we hiked to Wall Lake where we did the ice challenge for cancer. Kelti's brother-in-law dared them to do it. It started in New Zealand; there they dump buckets of ice water on their heads and donate money to cancer. We decided we would just jump into the freezing cold water, it definitely was freezing but it was lots of fun. Saturday we floated the St.Mary's river which was also freezing! Jude even came, he had a rough time but we all survived even with the sunburns. 

It was an awesome trip! I can't wait for next year.