We Are Fami-Lee

We Are Fami-Lee

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Read, Read, Read

What do you do with a kid that never stops reading, even when he's supposed to be doing other things. It's not like I can get mad at him, because I'd rather him want to read than do nothing at all. But, seriously, every time I'm talking, he has his head down and he thinks I won't notice. Even now, he's supposed to be doing make-up work (because I'm sure he reads all night instead of doing his homework :) and he keeps looking at his neighbors book and is trying to read it. C'mon. Seriously? Funny kid, but I really don't know what to do with him!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stinky Breath

I am married to a man who is very clean. Sometimes, he will take 3 showers a day, if he gets dirty or sweaty. Usually, it's just once, but whenever he feels unclean, he'll clean himself up to make sure he looks and smells alright.

For the last couple of weeks, he has had really stinky breath. Now, I know he brushes his teeth because I'm always home when he does it and he's never had stinky breath before, so I didn't know what was wrong. I usually only smelled bad breath after work, and when we would brush our teeth at night, we would typically go to bed right after. I thought that maybe he had acquired that stinky breath syndrome that makes your breath smell even if you brush your teeth all day. I wouldn't tell him everyday because I didn't want him to feel bad, but occasionally, I'd let him know, just because I would be embarrassed if my co-workers could smell my breath all day and I would want to know. He never got his feelings hurt, thank goodness.

Well, last night I figured it out. We went and brushed our teeth, but then we stayed in bed talking for a little while before going to sleep. I had been in the bathroom when he brushed his teeth, but his breath still stunk!!! What was the deal?


I asked him to breathe on me, and sure enough, our toothpaste had the worst smelling scent I had ever smelled in a toothpaste. It smelled just like stinky breath. I couldn't believe it! After that, I threw away that stinky toothpaste and got some better kind. All along, we BOTH had stinky breath because of some darn toothpaste...

Whoever thought of that scent should be fired!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I've really been struggling the last couple of weeks with the teachers on my team. I wrote about it a couple posts ago, but I don't think it came across how hard this is becoming. It has gotten so bad that I talked with my principal early this morning about it so she would know what's going on and maybe give me some solutions.

Yesterday, we had a faculty professional development. Our principal started by doing some team-building activities. One activity required us to solve a hard problem but what made it harder is we had different personalities or jobs to perform during the challenge. One was the Leader, another the Harmonizer, another the Questioner, another the Antagonist, another the Helper. After the activity, we talked about the different personalities and our principal wanted us to think about what type of person we are on our team. I thought that I would either be a leader or a harmonizer. I was definitely the harmonizer last year on my team, even if that's not my natural inclination. As I thought about my other team members, the only role that they play is Antagonist. All 3 of them. It's always, "This is so dumb. I don't want to do this. Let's just leave early. Let's not collaborate until the principal comes so we have something to say while she's here." It's constant. And they sound like 5 year-olds!

That's when I really started feeling overwhelmed. I spent the rest of the afternoon quiet as they complained yet again about how stupid these team-building activities were. I just thought, yeah, you would think they're dumb, especially because you know it's for you!!!

I don't know. It's been hard to keep my spirits up. It's constant negativity and I'm starting to feel negative too. I hate that. I want to feel like I can control how I feel, but the negativity really just bears down on me and I can't seem to escape it.

Today was a bit better because I tried to avoid everyone as much as possible. But, I can't do that for 8 more months. I don't know how to deal with these people. I don't really have any validity in my opinions because they've all been teaching for longer, so I can't naturally stand up and take the lead. I have to be a follower, but I don't want to follow them. It's definitely frustrating.

My principal didn't have many suggestions but she said she would talk with some other principals who have had negative teams and see what they did to solve the problem. Luckily, I don't see them all the time, but literally, whenever there is a time when our kids our gone, they'll just come into my room and negative, negative, negative. And, it's not always about school either. There's one who tells me every single thing about her life and why her life is so much harder than everyone else's. It is wearing on me.

Anyway, I'd thought I would vent. I haven't done that in awhile on here, so I thought it was about time! Here's to another 8 months!

Monday, September 27, 2010

School's Out for...

The day!

Yep, it's 1:57 and at 1:45 the kids all went home! Sweet!

It's how our district is handling budget cuts, so instead of 4 paid professional development full days, we get 4 days but it's only 2 hours a day. The kids go home early, and we get more time to collaborate and learn. It's nice, but not nearly as nice as it could be! Oh well, count your blessings, right?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Finally Figured it Out

I knew that teaching at Alpine Elementary would pose different challenges than at Cherry Hill, but the ways that I thought I would be challenged haven't come to fruition, at least yet. I thought that I would struggle with bratty kids, but more specifically bratty parents. So far, I have only seen great things from both parents and students. I couldn't be more thrilled.

But, I have found out what specifically will be my challenge this year, and it wasn't necessarily what I expected. I knew from the day that I met them that my team would be a tad hard to work with. Not because they aren't great people, but because they didn't like to do anything together, and I noticed that first off. It has been very hard going to collaboration with them (every Monday is early-out so we have about an hour to an hour and a half to talk and collaborate as a team) because they don't want to talk about anything regarding students. On Monday, they knew that the principal was going to come in and check on us, so they literally said, "Let's not talk until she gets here so we have something to say!" How hard is it to talk about what we can be doing better as teachers, or what we've done that's worked really well for us? Apparently, pretty hard.

So, I have figured out why this is so hard for teachers here in Alpine. It's because no matter what they do, their students will pass end-of-year testing. No matter what they do, Alpine will probably be the best school in the district when it comes to scores. So they don't need to worry about what they can be doing better. They can just do what they've always done and get on with it. Collaboration to them is a waste of time because they haven't seen a need for it. I, on the other hand, understand how wonderful it is to have a team that talks with one another and bounces ideas off each other and continually tries to be better than they already are. And that's because I taught at a school where we did have to worry about how many of our students would pass. We had to constantly think about how we were teaching things because we wanted to try and help our kids progress from one year to another.

I think I like the other mindset a bit more. As hard as it was to teach at a school with so many low kids, it challenged me, which I liked. It was my first year, yes, but I tried everything I could to make each lesson of each subject meaningful so that my students would learn something. I already feel like I'm slacking a bit and adopting the mindset of "I don't have to do anything special and these kids will do just fine in life." That scares me a bit.

Hopefully, I can keep up my motivation to be the best teacher I can be regardless of how my team feels.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Smile Big...

It's Picture Day!

Got to love school Picture Day! As a teacher, I never knew that I would get a free package of pictures featuring my beautifully and professionally touched-up face. If anyone wants a wallet, just let me know! There's nothing quite like having a grown adults face in several different sizes. I have an 8x10, you know. But, you've got to be a REALLY good friend to get that one. I don't just give that one out to anyone!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


This is the bat on our wall, right outside our door. It's been sleeping there since at least 7 a.m. this morning. It's small, but I'm making sure to move fast whenever we leave...

All in a Day's Work!

8 peppers
5 tomatoes
1 cucumber

We have a lot of vegetables to eat! And, there's more to come!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Yesterday was my birthday, and I had a great day! My students all knew it was my birthday, so the day before they asked me if they could bring me something. I told them they could make me a card with a nice note in it. They asked if they could buy me something. So, I said I like Skittles and Butterfinger. I didn't want them to buy me things but I knew that they would anyway, so I wanted to make sure that they were inexpensive! Some of them kept teasing me saying they would bring me a puppy because they knew how much I love them. It was pretty funny. Well, on the day of, I got home-made cards, butterfingers, skittles, balloons, flowers, and even some sunglasses. These kids are so funny. I accepted graciously after telling them I was mad at them for not just making me a card. Luckily, they all understood I was teasing too and that I was grateful that they had thought of me!

While my kids were in Computers, I got surprised by my mom who came and brought me balloons. She had had a doctors appointment and on her way decided to drop by and wish me a happy birthday. What a sweetheart!

After work, I drove up to Derek's work in Sandy and then we both went up to the airport. Derek's friend, Ryan, had a layover in Salt Lake and neither of us had seen him in a long time, so we picked him up and we all went to dinner. We met Jen there since she works in downtown Salt Lake too. We went to the Red Iguana. It's probably the best Mexican food in Utah! It's gotten several awards and was even featured on the Food Network Channel on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." It was delicious!

After we dropped Ryan off again, we drove home and then rented a movie. It is called "Memento." It is directed by the same guy that did "Inception." I wouldn't say the movie was as good as Inception, but it definitely made you think. In fact, I'm still not sure I understand what actually happened. It's about a man who has no ability to make new memories. His sole purpose in life is to find the man that killed his wife and took away his short term memory. The movie is just snippets, but they don't come in order, so it's like a puzzle you have to put together by the end. I must not be that good at puzzles, because it was hard to understand...Also, it was rated R, and probably for good reason, because the "f-word" was said way more times than any movie needs.

Then, we went to bed!

It was a great day! I got calls from my brothers, and most of my sisters-in-law and brother-in-law (Steph, I'm pretty mad that you didn't wish me a happy birthday...just because you're in Jerusalem doesn't mean you can slack on your familial duties! :) My niece and nephew called me and sang me Happy Birthday in their sweet little voices. They were too cute!

Overall, a very happy 23rd birthday! Hopefully the rest of the year is as good!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Today, we had an excellent lesson on tithing! We gave each of the sunbeams (they are 4 years old) 10 pennies (after they pretended to work by vacuuming, dusting and wiping things). They put 9 of them into a jar we gave them, and the other coin they put in a tithing envelope that we had already filled out for them. Then, we walked over to the bishop's office and gave it to him while he told them how proud he was of them for paying their tithing! It was so cute to see $.01 on all of their tithing slips! They were so excited to give their tithing to the bishop. I hope it doesn't sound like we are brainwashing these kids, but it really was a cute lesson for them to learn. And, I think they'll remember about tithing for a long time!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Weight Update

Okay, so the summer didn't go as planned. I was going to lose 20 lbs by the time school started, and I went to the gym almost every day, I thought I was watching what I ate, but I lost nothing. That's right, NOTHING! I was kind of annoyed, even though I still felt good about working out.

It was after I went to Whistler with Derek's family that I decided enough was enough. It is partly because my sisters-in-law are so skinny (including Carolyn, who had a baby last year...) that made me decide I was done! (Thanks for being my motivation girls!)

In the last 3 weeks, I have lost 5 lbs! Wohoo! Yay for me. I think it has to do with the fact that I'm teaching again, so I'm on my feet more, walking around helping students. It's also because I got the display for the bodybugg so I can actually see how many calories I'm burning each day, just by looking down at my wrist. It's been nice!

My new goal: lose that 20 lbs before going to Hawaii in November. I think I can do it. Only 15 lbs to go!