Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Special Place in My Heart

I got to know these two kids really well last year when they were in my class. These two kids had a really hard time reading when they came to me last year, but, we worked and worked all year long to get them on grade level by the end of the year. They made so much improvement in just one school year, I was amazed! Both of their Mom's were extremely helpful and supportive and became some of my best friends. They would take what their kids learned at school and do the same things at home.

At the end of the school year last year it was really hard to let them go. Both of their supportive mom's vowed that they would work hard all summer to keep them reading so they didn't forget all they had learned, and that is exactly what they did.

At the beginning of this school year both mom's showed up in my classroom and asked if I would be willing to tutor their kids this year. We worked out our schedules so they could come to my house every Thursday for tutoring. We worked on more reading and math skills.

Throughout all of this I grew to love these children as if they were my own. We would look forward to having them in our home. Sometimes we finished early and we would let them play the Wii while they waited for their parents to arrive.

Just last week they both participated in the Center Stage play, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown. They asked us if we would come and watch them. Tommy and I got tickets for the Thursday show on the second row. We had so much fun watching them sing and dance on the stage. Everytime they came on stage I would point out to Tommy where they were and we would laugh and smile at just how adorable they are.

This post is just another reason of why I am a teacher, for kids like these two. I love that I can make a difference in the lives of my students. In this case though, these two kids have made a huge difference in our life. Thanks Mckay and Holly we love you!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Homemade Bread...YUMMY!

This week I have off of school because it is Spring Break. This is the first Spring Break I haven't gone to Vegas to get my hair done. So on Monday I made of list of all of the little things I wanted to accomplish this week. I knew that if I did that I would force myself to get up and do things instead of sleep all the time. For those of you that know me I love to sleep and usually I sleep every break away and don't get anything done.

Some of the things on my list included organzing different parts of the house that drive me crazy, trying out some new recipes, running errands, and making homemade bread.

Let me give you a bit of background on the last one. Tommy's mom makes the BEST homemade bread I have ever tasted. Little by little I have been getting everything that I needed to make the bread. A couple of months ago Tommy's parents bought us all of the ingredients in bulk to make bread. I have wanted to try this for awhile now but have never made the time to do it. I have watched Tommy's mom make the bread and I am not going to lie I was very intimidated. (By the way did I mention that you have to grind your own wheat). I decided that this week was the week I was going to try to make it.

The only thing I didn't have was a rolling pin so I went and got a rolling pin and then started the process. After a few phone calls to Tommy's mom for some last minute help and reassurance I did it.

I don't know why I thought that it was going to be so hard. It wasn't hard at all and it tasted so good. We had BLT's last night just to test it out. We had Tommy's sister and our neighbors over and everyone said it was delicious!

Thanks Mom for the help and making me get over my fear of making homemade bread. I think I am going to try to make it at least a couple of times a month from now on.

Here is a picture of my masterpiece. Obviously I need to work on the presentation a little bit, but come on this this my first loaf!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Teacher Appreciation Week

For a teacher this week is like Christmas, we get spoiled rotten! Anyway my room mom who I consider one of my good friends decorated my door this year. So those of you that don't know, Tommy and I are huge Duke basketball fans. She knew this and decided that since it was March Madness that this is what she would do to decorate my door.

As you can see from the pictures she did a phenominal job with everything she put on the door. Click to enlarge the picture and you will see that she remembered all the little details. The only thing I would have made it any better than it was was if I had a bigger door and had pictures of all of my students with crazy Duke blue wigs on, my little Cameron Crazies! (The die hard student section at every home game in Cameron Indoor Stadium is know as a Cameron Crazie)

This picture was taken on Thursday, the day of the big game. Notice the Duke attire.

Unfortunently after persuading all of my students to root for our blue devils they disappointed us, losing to Villanova in the sweet sixteen. It was a sad day in the Deaver home, nonetheless, there is always next year! GO BLUE DEVILS!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Purse" Enrichment

It's about that time again. We had our Relief Society birthday enrichment on March 4th. Sorry it has taken this long to get this event posted.

Since the Christmas enrichment was such a success, I was having a really hard time figuring out what I could do that would top it or at least match it. I was searching online and found a few ideas and this is what we decided to do.

The whole theme of the night was around purses, ya know Home Family and "Purse"onal Enrichment. I wanted to do a purse for the invite, so I went online and found the cutest pattern. It was one of the more difficult and time consuming invitations but in my opinion when you have a cute invite it makes people more excited and more willing to attend. I wouldn't have been able to make 100 of these without Tommy's help. He did all the measuring and marking and I did all the scoring. Then my committee came over and helped fold and glue them together. Here are some pictures of us putting the invitations together.

Inside of the purse we put a little piece of paper with all of the info. Here is what is looked like.

We decided since it was the birthday party to set up 12 different tables. One for each month of the year. The sisters in the ward signed up to decorate a table. This was such a good idea because then others got to help and they were all so different. Here are the pictures of each table.

For dinner we decided to serve chicken salad sandwiches and let the sisters bring salads and chips. The food was delicious.

I didn't have an on time drawing this time, but I did notice that so many people were on time or even came early. WAY TO GO sisters! So the sisters came in and sat at the table of the month of their birthday. If that table was full they could sit wherever the wanted. This was a great idea because it forced people to sit and talk to people they probably wouldn't normally talk to.

After the sisters ate we had a weigh in. The sisters were told to bring their purses. I didn't tell them anything else. I had a scale and the sisters lined up and wrote their name and how much their purse weighed. I gave a free car wash at Super Sonic to the sister with the heaviest purse. The girl that won had a purse that weighed 17.5 pounds. Can you even imagine lugging that around all day!!

After the weigh in our RS president spoke about the different "purses" we carry throughout our lives. She talked about how the different purses that we carry reflect our responsibilities in this life. She talked about how sometimes we don't like the purses that we have to carry and we want to trade it in for something new. She did a great job. She wrote a cute story that she shared at the end. She is amazing and really started the night off right.
Once she was done talking we played a game with the ladies purses. I would call out an object and the first sister to show me that object from their purse got a little piece of candy. I told the sisters that they shouldn't eat their candy because their would be a grand prize for the person with the most candy at the end of the game. This was hilarious. One of the things that I asked for a calculator. A sister in the back pulled out a huge calculator. I am talking desk size. It was so funny.

After that game we played a game of RS Jeopardy. This was by far my favorite part of the night. I explained the rules and handed out the buzzers for each team. We just had 4 tables of sisters group together to be one team. There were 3 teams just like there are 3 different contestants in Jeopardy.
The categories were Hymns Significant to RS, General Relief Society Trivia, Visiting Teaching, Know your RS Presidency, and two categories were Know your RS Sisters. I found some of the questions online and asked for help from members of the ward for the other categories.

We had each team come up with a team name and my friend Kristin was the score keeper. We started the game and I was surprised at how knowledgeable the sisters were. I really thought that I had some tough questions. As the game continued things really started to heat up. I had sisters yelling at me that they buzzed in first. We had teams yelling at other teams that they were first. Whoever said that RS sisters aren't competitive were wrong. I saw different sides of sisters that I had never seen before.
About halfway through the teams were demanding we stop and give a current score. I felt bad for Kristin because she was doing her best to give each team their points but didn't have time to add them up. So I told the sisters we would take a short commercial break to give the teams an accurate score. I was under the impression the sisters could just visit for a minute. Before I knew it the Primary President, another sister in the ward and me were singing the Mormon rap. If you haven't ever heard this it is hilarious and fit perfect with our night. This song came out ages ago but I grew up listening to it. I heard that someone videoed it but I haven't seen it. Wish I had it for the blog.
After we got the scores totaled we had a few more questions then it was time for final Jeopardy. We gave each team a piece of paper to say how much they were going to wager. Then we gave the final Jeopardy question. Boyd whistled the tune for us. I thought it would take them awhile to come up with their answer but once again I underestimated them. It seriously was the funnest and funniest moment yet at any of my enrichments. If anyone wants a copy of the game I am willing to share. I would love to see others use it. Just email me and I will send it right your way.
At the end we all sang Happy Birthday to the Relief Society and ate homemade gourmet cupcakes. You got that right. The night before enrichment I got together with a sister from the ward and her most willing and helpful daughter-in-law and made about 75 cupcakes. They were delicious and were way better then a piece of cake.


At the end of the night I gave this song to the sisters to tie everything all together. Someone has taken the words from Count Your Many Blessings and made it into Count Your Many Purses. Way cute! If you click on it you can see the words.

All in all this was another great enrichment. I am off the hook again until the summer. If anyone has done anything fun in their wards please share I am always looking for great ideas!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ward Talent Show

We had our annual ward talent show this last weekend. Let me rewind a few weeks to when the first sign up went around the ward. Tommy and his friend Boyd signed each other up for some unique "talents." (interpretive dance, swan lake ballet, and fire dance) Neither of them were serious when they signed each other up and each week they got crossed off.

One of our good friends in the ward decided to play a great trick on both of them. During Relief Society when the sign up was going around she signed them both up to do a duet on the nose flutes. You got that right nose flutes. If you have never seen one of these it is a real instrument purchased at a local music store. Neither of them could figure out how to play them until early Saturday morning. We were greeted Saturday morning with Boyd at our door showing Tommy that he finally figured out how to play it. If you have never played you need to check this out.

So Saturday night they put on their performance. They decided on London Bridges. We got them the nerd glasses just to be a little bit silly. Check out the video! Sorry that it is so shaky. I was laughing so hard and couldn't hold still.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The World Should Revolve Around Me

So Tommy was at work talking with one of his co-workers and told me about this fun little activity she did on her blog. So we came home and did it together. It is a blast and really funny. We got a lot of laughs anyway.

Here are the rules...

1. Put your iPod on shuffle.

2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.


WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL? Renaissance- Matt Kearney
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? Like This- Kelly Rowland
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE? Just the Two of Us- Will Smith. Marrying Tommy is the best thing thing that ever happened to me!
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? Summertime- New Kids on the Block. So True. Teaching school makes me live for the summers. Especially sleeping in and soaking up the sun!
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU? Somewhere Out There- R Lady Peace
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN? Say it Again- Marie Digby. So funny. The first line of the song says "I think about love!"
WHAT IS 2+2? Under Pressure- Queen Those that know me best know that math is not my strong subject!
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND? Come What May- Nicole Kidman/ Ewan McGregor
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY? End of the Road- Boys to Men
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU? Clumsy- Fergie. I don't know about my parents, but Tommy will agree that this is true. He jokes with me that I need to wear a helmet. I am so accident prone!
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST? You're Beautiful- James Blunt
HOW WILL YOU DIE? One Step at a Time- Jordin Sparks
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET? Do You Know- Enrique Iglesias
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? Better Together- Jack Johnson
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? Sitting Waiting Wishing- Jack Johnson Could this be any more perfect. The thing I want the most I have to wait for.
WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED? A Long December- Counting Crows
WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST? Pocket Full of Sunshine- Natasha Bedingfield
DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU? Born to Be My Baby- BonJovi
WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW? Crashing Down- Matt Kearney
WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS? The World Should Revolve Around Me- Little Jackie

Super fun. Thanks Kristi for the highlight to our evening. I tag anyone that wants in on the fun. Post it on your blog so I can read your results!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Christmas Enrichment

I have to apologize because I haven't posted in so long. This is extremely out of date but just too good not to blog about. During November we started planning what we wanted to do for Christmas Enrichment. It is tradition in our ward to always serve dinner. I wanted to do something extra special for the sisters in our ward. Here is the rundown.

We decided on the theme of service. I don't know where I got this quote (in fact I don't know if it is even a quote) it just popped into my head as we were planning. It was the theme of our whole night.

Service is the Spirit of the Season

Here is a picture of the invitation. I got the idea from a scrapbook magazine. They turned out so cute. I was so glad. My friend Melanie wrote the wording. If you click on the picture you can see what the invite says. Super cute! I am so lucky to have such a creative friend that just LOVES to help me!

The sisters on my committee and others that could make it agreed to decorate again for me. They did such a great job last time so I was really excited to see what they came up with. I walked in the room and was completely in awe. It was even better than I had pictured it. It was beautiful.

The tables are set and we are ready to PARTY!

Centerpieces- Simple but elegant!

Decorations throughout the cultural hall

The sisters were supposed to arrive at the church at 6:15 to receive instructions for our service project. We had two different service projects to choose from. They could tie baby quilts for Deseret Industries or put together Humanitarian kits for the Humanitarian Center.

While the sisters were doing service Tommy and his crew were preparing our dinner. Here are a few pictures of his helpers.

Many hands make light work!

Tommy's cute apron the Johnson's gave him for this
special night (left) and Brother Johnson, so willing and happy to help (right).

Landon- Happy to help! Ben- The Assistant Griller!
I was worried that most sisters would skip the service project and just come for dinner, and my ward is incredibly famous for showing up LATE! That is where a little creative bribery comes into play. I used some of my budget money along with donated items and put together a pretty incredible on-time drawing. It is a great idea if you want to get people to your activity on time. The prizes were; some rolls of scotch tape for wrapping gifts, HUGE rolls of wrapping paper from Costco, two tickets to the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas Concert at the Conference Center, two mini Christus statues, and a homemade Christmas wreath.

After the service project the sisters made their way to the cultural hall where they ate a delicious spinach salad then waited for the main course. The sisters had a choice between Teriyaki Chicken, Teriyaki Salmon, or Blackened Salmon for their main course. It was served on a bed of orzo pasta. It's all about the presentation.

Mandy- Making the salads. YUMMY!
The Finished Product!
We invited some men to come and help serve the sisters. Here are some pictures of them. We couldn't have done it without them. They did a fantastic job!
My new Brother-in-law offered to help! (left)
Laura came and helped too we just didn't get her
picture because she was taking the pictures for me. Thanks Lu!
Danny Johnson- Our lifesaver (right)

Danny's girlfriend played beautiful Christmas
music while we ate. It was a nice finishing touch!

After dinner dessert was served and we were ready to start our activity.
For our activity we did a white elephant service gift exchange. Basically it is the same thing as a white elephant exchange except instead of giving a present the sisters had to give a service they would provide to another sister during the month of December. Each sister had a card on their table that they wrote their service on, then they put it in the small gift bag on their table.

All of the gift bags were brought to the front and then each sister was given a number. They came up and picked a bag and read the service and who it was from. It got interesting when people began to steal services from others. Some of the services that got stolen were free piano lessons for a month, a Christmas Wreath, crocheted washcloths, free rock climbing lesson, a first aid kit for your car, etc. I have to tell you that the sisters in my ward really came through. They thought of some great services.

To close the night we talked about the importance of service to each other and the unity we would feel in our Relief Society if we would each sincerely do our service. We gave each sister a gorgeous homemade ornament. It had a little tag with our theme to remind the sisters the importance of service during the Christmas season and throughout the year.

This evening was a huge success. Tommy and I, my committee and many ward members helped to pull it off. Thank you to everyone that helped. I couldn't have done it without you. Now I have to start planning the Relief Society Birthday Party in March. I already have some great ideas! I just love this calling!