We Are Fami-Lee

We Are Fami-Lee

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hawaiian Vacation!

Hawaii was a much-needed, much appreciated vacation from life! It was just amazing.

We kayaked on the ocean, swam with dolphins, went to the Polynesian Cultural Center and Pearl Harbor, ate delicious food, lounged on the beach, hiked to a beautiful waterfall which we swam in, and went scuba diving! It was too much fun!

My favorite part, by far, was scuba diving. They taught us how to do it in a pool first, which I'm really thankful for because it helped a lot! Then, we went into the ocean. It was a little scary, I'm not going to lie, but only the breathing part was scary. I was worried that I'd find the ocean scary, because c'mon, it's the ocean, but that part was fine. It was the breathing. It just didn't feel right that I was breathing under water. It took some getting used to. I kind of panicked on our first dive because my regulator (the mouthpiece you breath in and out of) fell out and even though they taught us how to get all the water out, it kind of freaked me out because when we practiced, I knew it was going to fall out; in the ocean, it just fell out from a strong current. It was scary. Once I put it back in my mouth, I pushed the button that takes all the water out of it and took a breath, but it still had some salt water in it, so I swallowed a mouthful of seawater. That was unexpected as well, so it took me awhile to get my breathing under control. I just had to tell myself to relax, and it was fine. After that, it was smooth! We saw so many sea turtles, we touched an octopus that inked us several times, and we saw a couple of eels, and of course we saw beautiful fish. It was breath-taking. One of the sea turtles was literally inches from Derek's face and just stared him down for about 30 seconds. It was amazing. We had an underwater camera, but unfortunately, we ran out of film before we saw all of the cool things. We took most of the pictures on the first dive, because we didn't know we were going on a second, and literally right before we saw the first sea turtle, our film ran out. Derek also said that he was so used to digital cameras, that he forgot he couldn't take as many as he wanted. Oh well! It's just an excuse to go again!

I wish I had pictures from the rest of the trip, but Judi and Jen took all of them on their fancy cameras and we haven't gotten them from them yet. We'll see if I post them once I get them. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


We are going to Hawaii in 3 days.

And, I'm starting to feel sick.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's November; Time for Some Thanks!

When Derek graduated from college in 2008, he started working for a company called DeltaValve. They made valves for oil companies (that's really the extent of what I know, because I'm no engineer...). He tried to be positive, but it got really hard because he just wasn't getting the kind of work that even the lowest of engineers should have been getting. With over 70 people working for the company and only getting drafting jobs, he couldn't really impress the types of people he needed to.

A little over a year ago, he was asked to spend 6 weeks helping a sister company called TDC to work on a specific project. TDC had recruited several of DeltaValve's engineers for projects like this but it was known that it usually took longer than the time they had recruited them for. Derek knew this, but there wasn't much he could do. He went over to TDC and started working on this project.

About 4 weeks after starting at TDC, DeltaValve had it's 3rd set of layoffs in 5 months. And, this was a big one. Derek's boss at TDC called him into his office and said that if Derek had still been working at DeltaValve, he would have been laid off, but because Reuben (TDC boss) had seen Derek work for the last several weeks, he had talked to corporate and asked if he could hire him on at TDC, for good.

Without Derek having to do anything, he was fired and hired all in one day. We were pretty lucky.

Derek has liked working for TDC a lot more than DeltaValve. With only 8-10 people working there, he has had many more opportunities to prove himself and get the kind of work that he should have been getting from the start. It was hard work, and he actually had to do more work because there were fewer people, but he really loved it!

Yesterday, Derek was told by his boss that all of DeltaValve was moving to Houston, where corporate is located. He said that DeltaValve was doing 3 more rounds of layoffs, at the end of which, only 12 people would be asked if they wanted to go to Houston. 12, out of like 50. He said that the 12 who would be going would most likely be those that are high in rank, who had been working for the company as long as it had been in operation. I asked about TDC and what was going to happen to it, and Derek said that all was well, and his boss was projecting more hires, not fires in the next few years.

I cannot tell you how blessed I feel that Derek was asked to do a short-term project at TDC, exactly at the time that he was. He wouldn't have survived that 3rd lay-off a year ago, and even if he had, he never would have made it past now. He wouldn't have been asked to move with the company, and even if he had, I can't leave until my school year is over so we couldn't have done it anyway. He's happier at TDC, he gets more work, and his job is stable. I have a job, and as long as we stay in Utah, I have definite job security. My principal loves me and I also have several people at the district level who know and respect me, so I'm fine.

We both have jobs. We are so blessed.

Friday, November 5, 2010

UVU Volleyball

In August, I got an email from the coach of the UVU girls volleyball team asking if I wanted to have my students write letters to one of his players. I said I would love that!

In October, they sent us the profile of one of the volleyball players and I had my kids write letters to her. She wrote back, and I expected her to write one class letter, but she wrote one to every student that had written her. It was so nice! With her letters, the coach also sent us tickets to their game. 2 for each student. I told the kids and they got so excited.

Tonight was the game. Derek and I went and eight of my students came. It was so much fun. It was nice doing something with my class without having to worry about them. All of their parents were there, so it was their job to worry about them! The kids made posters for our volleyball player, who turned out to be the captain of the team, and they cheered to whole time! Finally, our "pen pal" saw us and waved. The kids loved it!

At the end of the game, the players all sat behind a table and the kids got to get all of their autographs. They gave them a team photo and each player autographed their picture. It took awhile for all our kids to get through the line, but I think it was worth it.

I loved seeing my kids in a different way tonight. And, I loved having Derek finally meet some of them. It was fun chatting with some of the parents and cheering for the team.

Oh, by the way, UVU won 3 games to 0!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I've lost 10 pounds! Woohoo! It took 3 weeks to lose the first 5 pounds, and a whopping 2 months to lose the second 5 pounds. Oh well, at least it's off. I won't make my goal to lose 20 by Hawaii during Thanksgiving, but I really feel great! I feel like I look better than I did when I was 10 pounds lighter than this just because I'm more toned. I'm still going to try and lose 10 more pounds, but I'm just not sure when that will happen. I'm hoping to at least keep the 10 I've already lost off over the holidays. If that's all I can do, great, but if I can continue to lose during the holidays, even better. Anyway, that's my news! Go Me!