Friday, March 28, 2008

Do Your Duty

President Monson is always saying, "Do your duty that is best..." or something like that. One of the things I love most about Devin is that he is so good about "Doing His Duty." I am SOOO glad that I will never be called to be Assistant Scout Master. Don't get me wrong, I love the summer! I am glad Devin is a tough Idaho polar bear that loves to camp with the boys. The only thing that would make him happier is if more boys from the ward would come. He loves having the chance to hang out with them.
The funny part of this camping trip is that they let the boys plan the menu. They decided that Ramen for dinner and oatmeal for breakfast would be great because all they would need is water. I guess the leaders asked if that is really what they wanted to eat. The boys were sure. Then the leaders decided that they were going to show the boys up and bring some real food to inspire them for the next camping trip. We'll see how it turns out. It would make me laugh if the leaders ended up eating the Ramen and the boys ate the nice juicy meat.

My Favorite Game

This last week the 2nd grade went on a field trip to the Children's Museum at the Gateway. It was a fantastic trip, if you forget that it was freezing and trying really hard to snow. I was excited to go. I have been to the old Children's Museum tons of times, but this was my first trip to the new Gateway version. It was exactly what they said it would be. Bigger and Better. The only downer was the fact that there were 3 other school groups there plus the general public. Even with the large crowds we had tons of fun. What kid wouldn't in a museum that has a rule that you SHOULD touch EVERYTHING! My students especially liked the water area, which is a new addition. Sometimes I think my brother Peter should can working for Disney and just come up with really cool stuff for children's museums. A lot of the stuff that is there is right up his ally. I'd really like to go back this summer with my nephews when we could spend all day just playing.

As much fun as the museum was, let's not forget my favorite game. When we go on a field trip my favorite game to play with my students is, "Whoever can fall asleep first and stay asleep the longest on the bus ride home wins the prize." Well, pictures don't say enough. We got 75% of my class out cold, or at least pretending they were. (Which is just as good.) Nothing is better that an nice quite bus ride home. I had to laugh though. I had one little boy who really was asleep and he kept falling into the isle. It is a good thing I was there to catch him.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Funny Peter!

My little brother Peter can't sit still. He is always making noises and has to be doing something with his hands. We caught the perfect example on video. Is this funny to anyone else? I hope so.


100 Things

Ok, so I'm following the trend. As I have read my friends' Blogs with 100 things about them I have gotten to know so many fun things about them. So here we go, in no particular order 100 things about Julie.

1. I love chips and salsa. They are my comfort food.

2. I have taught at three different schools over the past 6 years. Snow Springs, Freedom, and now Westmore.

3. I still know my Elementary School fight song word for word and all the actions. I can vaguely remember my High School fight song. Sorry, all I know of BYU's is random phrases.

4. I love to run. When I get really stressed one of the best things to do is run.

5. One time I ran 16 miles without drinking any water during my run. Then I came home and chugged a bunch of orange juice. Yup, I puked three times at least. Moral of the story, hydration, hydration, hydration. The run was fantastic though.

6. I grew up watching Elvis movies. My mother LOVES Elvis movies, so when Dad was at work on Friday and Saturday night, we watched Elvis movies. My favorites are Blue Hawaii and Harum Scarum.

7. My Dad called me his little angel.

8. I want to write and publish a book or books someday. Devin actually bought me Writing Children's Books for Dummies for Christmas. I have a REALLY good idea for one. I'm hoping to have more time this summer to work on it.

9. I talk in my sleep. Devin's favorite episode was one night when I went to sleep and he was working on his laptop. Apparently I looked straight at him and said, "Are you going to come to bed or are we going to have a problem?"

10. My sister and I are not twins! Many people, crazy people, think we are. Though she prefers to be called my twin rather than my mother. We went to a bridal show, and they gave me the "bride" sticker and then they handed her the "mother of the bride" sticker.

11. Water is my favorite beverage.

12. I love musicals. They just don't make good movies anymore. LONG LONG ago TNT had Saturday Night Sing Alongs. We loved watching musicals and singing along.

13. I have a computer nerd husband.

14. I can't stand messes. I would rather stay up late cleaning than go to bed with a mess somewhere in my house. (Devin's desk is not my responsibility, therefore it stays a mess.)

15. I've been to Girls Camp 9 times. It is one of my favorite places in the world.

16. I turned down the Cross Country Coach at my High School who came to me asking me to run Cross Country. I had good reasons. But my claim to fame is that my high school had the #1 cross country team in the nation. So him coming to me says something right?

17. I fall asleep really fast. Once my head hits the pillow I'm gone. Sometimes I need no pillow at all.

18. I have worked at the Mt. Timpanogos temple for almost 5 years. It is my favorite thing in the world to do.

19. I served a LDS mission in the El Salvador San Salvador East mission.

20. While on my mission I lived through 3 huge earthquakes. 7.9, 7.8, 6.4, and months of aftershocks.

21. One of my favorite things to do is call my Grandma in CA and talk about anything and everything.

22. My Grandpa Upton is one of my favorite people in the world. He makes everyone laugh, is supper smart, and is the perfect example of someone who does good stuff everyday.

23. My favorite thing to do with my brother David growing up was play name that tune. We would spend hours listening to the first 30 seconds of songs, or until we figured out what it was.

24. I don't watch TV. I don't really like TV at all.

25. I love pop corn. Air popped is great. Movie pop corn is good. Microwave is ok, but not as good as the "real" stuff.

26. My closet is color coded and organized by type of shirt or pant.

27. My favorite pair of shoes are my Chaco sandals.

28. I love to read books. I love classic stuff like Dickens and Dumas. Little Women, Christy, the Anne of Green Gables Series, etc. And children's lit. I always have a stack of books waiting to be read.

29. If I were to pick a character from a book that I was most like it would be Joe March from Little Women with a close second going to Anne Sherly (the older version not the young head in the clouds way to much version)

30. I like pickles. Dill pickles. Sweet pickles are an abomination that should be destroyed!

31. I hate olives. I never could understand why kids put them on their fingers. YUCK!

32. I don't like mushrooms either.

33. I keep trying to like celery. I can handle it when it is cooked in soups and stuff, but that whole slab a peanut butter on a stick of celery, I don't think so.

34. I don't look my age. Two summers ago I was flying with my mom to CA. The lady checking us in looked at me and said, "Now you don't have a driver's license yet do you?"

35. I love playing Dr. Mario. I challenge anyone who thinks they can beat me. HA, HA, HA! (Not Marthe though, we all know she is unstoppable at any video game.)

36. I drive a green Honda Civic. I love my car. I love it more when it is clean. Curse you rain and snow! (Yes, I'm shaking my fist in the air right now.)

37. My husband is 11 inches taller than I am. Our favorite wedding picture is me standing on a stool and we are about the same height.

38. I went on Church History tour two summers ago. It was a dream come true. I LOVE church history and it was so amazing to so see everything from the Sacred Grove to Nauvoo.

39. My husband and I have a goal to go to all the temples in the U.S.

40. I have two brothers and one sister.

41. I love the heat. I hate the cold. Isn't it time for Spring yet?

42. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Lots of good food and lots of great insane shopping the next day.

43. I had never been to Idaho before I went with Devin to meet his family in May of 2006.

44. I love Disney World. 2010 can not come soon enough. I can't wait to go.

45. I grew up working at Classic Skating. Therefore I consider myself an expert at making cotton candy, filling up candy machines, and other random rink things.

46. I hate tootsie rolls. This would be because at Classic they give out tootsie rolls and too much is too much.

47. I am allergic to chocolate. My brother says it's all psychological. I tried some a few months ago. I'll never be that stupid again.

49. I don't understand how our TV and DVD player really work. I can make them work kind of. But all the remotes just get so confusing.

50. My mom makes the best cookies in the world! When my parents built their house, my dad wanted two ovens because that meant more cookies faster!

51. I want to go to Europe someday. Italy, France, Spain, England, Norway, Denmark, ....All of it!

52. When we were little we had two big cherry trees in our front yard. We loved climb the trees and pick the cherries. My mom used old ice cream buckets with a string looped through them so we could climb and pick easier.

53. I love Halloween. I'm always trying to think of good Halloween costumes for me and my nephews, and Devin.

54. I can't spell worth a darn. I love spell check!

55. I love going to plays. I have been a season ticket holder at the Hale Center Theater for the past 5 years.

56. My favorite book that I read in high school was To Kill a Mocking Bird.

57. English, History, and Business were my favorite subjects in High School.

58. I majored in Elementary Education at BYU.

59. I was only a few credits short of getting a minor in Humanities.

60. I love Elder Maxwell's talks. I miss him!

61. I love listening to books on tape or CD. I can get more reading done this way.

62. I only paint my toenails red. I'm not very creative.

63. I went through phase during High School where we would just watch really old movies. "Classics" I loved a lot of them. I still don't get Casablanca though.

64. I sometimes feel like to talk too much.

65. My dream calling is Gospel Doctrine Teacher. The last ward I was in I got to teach it and teach all of D&C and Church History and part of Old Testament. What a treat!

66. I'm not very good at cooking. I'm grateful for a husband who puts up with not the best cooking.

67. We love eating dinner at my mom's house. We like washing all the dishes. Washing dishes is way easier than cooking food.

68. I love roller coasters! We went on one at Great America where you were basically flying. Just hanging by this harness thing. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

69. My favorite rides at Disney World are: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Expedition Everest, Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller Coster, ....ok all of them!

70. I people with funny accents make me smile.

71. I like to think I can sew pretty good.

72. I am dyslexic so I read really slow and I can read stuff that is backwards.

73. I love teaching math to my students. I love hearing kids talk about math. It really bugs me when teachers don't do a good job teaching math, when they brush over it in 30 or 45 minutes. That's not enough time!

74. I love reading books to my class. We are reading Where the Red Fern Grows right now. I hope I don't scar any of my students by the tear-jerking ending. Don't worry I wont cry.

75. When I read the book Christy I cried at the end because I was so happy. I think I would have really lost it if it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.

76. Brush my teeth at least 3 times a day. Clean teeth are very important. I have never had a cavity.

77. One of my favorite childhood memories is going to see The Nutcracker up in Salt Lake with my Grandma Beth.

78. My Grandma Beth made the best rolls in the whole world. Luckily my mother now has the gift. It is a gift you know.

79. My family loves bread. There can never be enough bread at any meal.

80. My husband claims that I don't chew my food enough. I think a do a just fine job.

81. I like late church more than early church. I like sleeping in.

82. I like to brainwash my nephews into believing that I am their favorite aunt. If they ask for something I make them say, "Please Aunt Julie the Magnificent." or "Who's your favorite Aunt?" "Julie"

83. I am the third child in my family, so that makes me the favorite.

84. I love to go camping.

85. REI is one of my favorite stores. There is just so much cool stuff to look at.

86. I often have really weird random songs stuck in my head. We often burst into song at our house.

87. I am extremely competitive. Devin and I argue over who is more competitive.

88. I am married to my best friend. He makes me laugh, smile, and just feel happy every day. It just goes to show that good things come to those who wait.

89. We love quoting movies.

90. I like to scare my mom when she falls asleep at the computer by chatting her and typing BOO over and over again so her computer beeps at her.

91. I always wanted to be a teacher. My first grade teacher said I had teacher handwriting and it was all over from that point on. I would be a teacher.

92. I love spending time with my family. I love just sitting around and talking with them.

93. Devin and my first date was to the Orem Public Library to get books for my class and then we went and got Greek food. We have spent every day together since. Unless either one of us has been out of the State.

94. My husband is so competitive that he is currently trying to type more than 95 words per minute. I guess that isn't about me. But I am egging him on.

95. I like to call my little brother Bratman. We spent and still spend way too much time teasing each other.

96. I never feel like there is enough time in the day. But I just can't bring myself to wake up any earlier than I do.

97. I love water skiing. Lake Powell is one of my favorite places on earth.

98. I sometimes eat peanut butter right out of the jar. I like it that much. Don't worry I use a spoon.

99. I firmly believe that raisin are the number one way to wreck a cookie.

100. I am always excited to see what will happen tomorrow. Life is so full of possibilities.

There you go! I hope you enjoyed it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I'm So Proud!!!!!

When most people think of March, they think of Leprechauns, the color green, and perhaps that "March Madness" thing. For me, March means one very important event...The Canyonlands Half Marathon. This is one of my favorite races. This was my 6th time running this race. The best part is something I never thought would happen happened. MY CUTE HUSBAND RAN TOO!!!!! Many years ago I came to the conclusion that I would marry a man who would be at the finish line with my kids. But somehow I have created a little running monster. Devin did a great job! Today he was so cute, he looked at me and said, "Can you believe I ran a half marathon yesterday?" "YES! Isn't it wonderful!!!!!" I am grateful that today he is not too sore. The best part is that he said he'd do it again. Now our only problem is to find someone to watch our kids when we run races together.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

David, David, and David

I am a little embarrassed to admit this, but by some strange force in the universe, Devin and I have become faithful watchers of American Idol. I would almost go as far to say that it has become an addiction. We are not quite sure how it happened, especially since neither one of us has ever watched a single episode before this season. Go figure? Embarrassed or not, we thought we'd share our current thoughts on Season 7 (apparently there were 6 other seasons that we missed :)). Looking to the boys, our favorites are David, David, and David. David Archuleta is our #1 pick. He is amazing!!!!!! David Hernandez is our #2. And David Cook is our #3 because we've got to have one to appease the "rock" side in us. As far as the girls go... Carly Smithson is our #1 pick for girls. It gets a little tricky after that. #2 and #3 are a toss up between Syesha Mercado or Ramiele Malubey. Though we love Brooke White, but don't think that she will go all the way. So there are our current favorites. We like the three Davids best, but Carly is pretty good too. We really think the cute little Mormon boy is going to take it all. I have said more than once, if he does anything that gives the church a bad rap I will personally come after him!!!! No, I really think that is what makes this kid great. He is just a good little Mormon kid from Murry Utah. Check out his last weeks performance and judge for yourself.

Read the Box

Devin loves Macaroni & Cheese. Not the "real" name bran stuff, but just plain old cheep Western Family kind. I have found that I actually like the cheep stuff too so it works out great. Well, the other day we were stocking up on Mac and Cheese and I noticed that there was a recipe on the back of the box. When it comes to cooking, I lack all the confidence in the world. But I do think I have good taste when it comes to what is good food and what is not. We kind of figure the companies wouldn't put a recipe on the back of the box that was really disgusting. The recipe on the back of the box actually looked really good. Devin has been guilty of mixing all sorts of inappropriate things in with our Mac and Cheese, the worst being beef jerky. After the beef jerky episode I think the only thing that he has dared to mix in is sour cream. Anyway, the box had a recipe for Ranch Chicken Mac. Hey, anything with ranch, chicken, and tomatoes usually is a winner. We tried it out this last week and it was FANTASTIC!!!!!! It defiantly gets four stars in our cook book. So for those of you who are Mac and Cheese fans here is a great twist on a classic. Enjoy the great recipe we found, simply by reading the back of the box.

Ranch Chicken Mac
1 (7.25 oz) Wester Family Macaroni and Cheese Dinner
1 (10 oz) can Canned Chicken, Drained
2 T. Ranch Salad Dressing
1/2 c. Chopped Tomato
3 T. Sliced Green Onion

1. Prepare macaroni and cheese according to packaging instructions.
2. Add chicken, salad dressing, tomato and onion. Stir gently and heat until warmed through.

Serves 2