Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rudolph the Red Nosed Rusty

So judging by the overwelming amount of comments on my last update, so tantalizingly entitled "Boring Update" (bless you Cindy, for your lone comment) I suppose that I have a hoard of people obsessively checking my blog for more fascinating information about my holidays. Well I don't want to disappoint you, (Cindy) so here it is! Actually, I've been a little lax on checking blogs the last few days--I reinstalled Sims 2 on my computer and haven't really come up for air for a while. Yesterday morning while Trevor worked a half day, I spent ALL MORNING playing it, and it was SO nice to just having nothing better to do and no one bugging me to do something better with my time--other than my own conscience. I grew up in a home where my mother likes to call down the stairs, "What are you doing?" And if your answer isn't good, if you aren't doing something useful and productive (i.e cleaning) then she's got a list for you. Computer time is a precious commodity in my Mom's house. So now I don't have her here yelling "What are you doing?" but she's there. She's there in the back of my head, haunting me.

But I digress.

So we had a very fun Christmas this year. I have been debating whether to post a certain video that was taken at our famly Christmas party--I am the only one who got it on tape (thanks to Crockett!) so the power is mine, all mine!
I cannot just throw this video up without some sort of explanation. You see, every year my Mom makes the grandkids do the whole nativity thing. Well, this year SHE HAD A DREAM. That's right. A dream. She dreamed up this whole big thing where all the ADULTS would to the program this year, and we would just ditch the whole nativity idea and go with hard-core Christmas. Yeah. Rudolph. She had it all cast and planned on how she wanted us to do it.
Well we weren't thrilled. Not that you can tell from the video--we all look quite happy and campy up there, but that's because we are Nielson girls. And we know how to smile through our tears. Boy do we ever! Mom even managed to rope Aundi's husband Matt in. Look closely--he's the one holding the "fog" cloud. Which is upside down. My cousin Mike got stuck holding the "history" book, and Dad is a pretty convincing Santa. But no one had a more important role than Rusty, who was called upon to be Rudolph himself. Dad made his "costume" and I have to admit it's QUITE clever. Bee managed to get off easy by playing the music, and Crockett filmed it. The rest of us were relegated to ridiculous reindeer/greek chorus. So here it is, the only copy of this year's "christmas program" which will apparently be done next year by the grand kids instead of us adults. Oh, the things we do to entertain children...

In other news, our Christmas was wonderful. We really enjoyed our time with the family, and especially with each other. It's been a long time since Trevor had this much time off work. We got suddenly VERY addicted to board games this season. Our friends Ryan and Anna are game freaks too, and Ryan distributes games so he has EVERYTHING. We've played more games the last few days than all year! Our favorites are Scotland Yard, Alhambra, Pirate's Cove, Medici, and Elixer. So if if you're looking for some good games, there are some great ones!
Also, Cindy pointed out that have not mentioned our new kitty on this blog. So here he is: TITUS.

Trevor and I got Titus from Mom's next door neighbor. At first, Tarzan was none to happy. But now they are total buddies! They play all the time, and they are often laying by each other. Not quite cuddling--yet--but the distance between them gets smaller and smaller! Titus is sweet and cute and he will cuddle with me (unlike Tarzan) and he never scratches or bites. I just love him! We got a lot of new cats around here. Mom got a kitty for Christmas from Me and Aundi. This is Duke, named after John Wayne, of course. Mom just loves him, and he's so perfect for her! And, because I have a picture of her and she's GORGEOUS, this is Aundi's cat Miley (yes, stupid name, but she was already named when they got her. Urg.) She's a pure-bred bengal, and she's the most striking cat I've ever seen!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Boring Update

So I'm feelin' guilty that I haven't updated my blog in forever. It seems like there's not much to write. So here's what I've been up to:

1. Ballroom. So my kids are peforming on the 23rd of January and it's pretty down to the wire. The latin medley is coming along but they aren't quite there yet. Last Saturday we had a four hour rehearsal, and Torin came and helped me! It was so nice of him to come! I don't feel comfortable posting pictures of my students on my blog, so here's a picture of Torin and me teaching. (Sorry Torin.) Yeah, I look pretty sexy dancing six months pregnant, don't I?
2. Ticket to Ride. Just got addicted again. I play it online constantly. If you haven't discovered it, you are missing something. Keep missing it. You'll have more time.
3. Christmas shopping. I've bought EVERY gift online. I don't think I've gone shopping once! Ok, well, I DID get Trevor a tie at Sears when were were there killing time one night, but that's it. I'm almost done, too! Hooray!
4. Game Night! I got addicted playing board games with our friends Ryan and Anna. Ryan is a game dealer and has all kinds of brand new awesome games at his house. We were there until 2:00 a.m. playing new games! And we're going again tomorrow!
5. Church Stuff. We spoke in church on Sunday, and it went ok. And I got a new calling. Get this--I'm teaching sunday school to the 15-year-olds. Believe it or not, I'm actually thrilled. I mean, I love teenagers! Though 15 is a little on the high-end for me, I'd prefer the 13 year olds but oh well.
Well that's all I can think of for now. Sorry so boring. I read Cindy's blog and I feel like a piece of crap. She's SUCH a better blogger than me. Oh well. My husband doesn't really snore so I guess we're even...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fun with the girls!

So I haven't posted for awhile, so I thought I'd thow some pictures that I took yesterday on here! Yesterday Jill had the fabulous idea that for our "girls night" which we do irregularly thorughout the year, we ought to do a session at the temple together! What a fabulous idea, Jill! I've never done a session with any of these girls, even though we grew up together and have known eachother for years. I don't think I've done a session with anyone but Trevor since I got married! So I was all for it.

We met a Chili's, Me, Kelly, Lisa, Jill, Molly, and Mary. What a merry group we were ! I have so many childhood and teenage memories of every one of them. I value them each to individually, and I'm proud to call them friends. We had so much fun gabbing and eating, and I'm afraid the conversation was annoyingling baby and pregnancy overloaded, since three of us are pregnant! Here's a picture of the pregnant ones! Lisa is due first (and we coudn't help but jibe her not to go into labor during the session, being 35 weeks along.) She's due on the 8th of January. Then my due date is March 11th, and Kelly's due date is June 13th! Nicki was unable to come--if SHE had been there it would have been FOUR pregnant ladies, since she's due on April 1st! Wow! Lisa and Nicki are having boys, and Kelly is being all patient and waitting to find out when the baby comes, as if this is the 1950's or something.:) Anyway, here's a shot of all of us outside the temple after our session. I sure love these girls!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


So we got cocky. I think that's what happened. We painted our whole main floor and it turned out beautiful. We had the advice of my lovely sister Cindy, who helped us every step of the way. We got the right paint, the right color, and painted it the right way. We knew what we were doing. This isn't so hard, right? Ready for Afton's room!
We already have the bedding for her. It's SO cute. Here's a picture of her blanket. How hard is it to match the paint with the bedding we already have? We wanted stripes. We wanted a chair rail. We wanted a dark solid color. Did we consult Cindy? Did we get a second opinon? Did we make sure we were not insane? No. We just bought. And painted. And this is what we got...

**Cue circus music**

As you can see, Trevor isn't so sure about it...
It isn't done, of course. There's much more. Finishing all the OTHER walls, and putting up the white chair rail in the center, which will have little green leaves painted on it. Then of course filling it with furniture. MAYBE it will be ok. Did we go to dark? Probably. Will it be ok? Ummm...I don't know. All we can do is numbly cry out "Yowzer!" Every time we look at it. What do YOU think? Don't worry, I'll post a finished picture whenever the far off day arrives...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Surprise Baby Shower!

So I had a fabulous experience yesterday. On Thursdays I teach my ballroom team after school. We go from 3:00 to 4:30 every week, and then on the 23rd of January they will perform at the talent show. Anyway, yesterday as 7th period was about to get out, I heard the main office calling downa slew of kids--and realized that every one of them was on my team. Hmmm. I called the main office and asked about it, and they were like, "What? No we didn't." And I was confused. Then I go to get my cd case to head down to practice, and it's gone. Must have left it with the cd player. So I go to the auditorium to get the CD player, which I would then wheel to the lunchroom where we practice, just like every week. No cd player. What's going on? At this point you'd think I'd catch on. Well, I thought something MIGHT be up, but I couldn't figure out what the occassion would be. It's not my birthday, we aren't performing for months, and maybe I was just being self-agrandizing. So I headed to the lunchroom, where one of my students stopped me to say she had to leave ballroom early. (She was really just trying to stall me apparently.) I headed in, and saw no one in the lunchroom. What? Then they all jumped out from behind the wall and threw balloons at me!

I was so surprised! They had a cake, tons of balloons, a cute gift and had even pitched in money for me to buy Afton something. And they made me this really cute poster.
I don't post pictures of my students on my blog, of course, but I figure these are small enough you can't really see their faces. The day before they all gathered and took pictures of themselves in funny poses, then they all wrote notes on the poster for me, telling me how much they appreciated my efforts and how much I had taught them and changed their lives.

When you are a teacher, you don't get many paydays like THAT.

Of course I was all crying, which was exactly what they wanted. They launched into the details of how they had planned it, sneaking in a cake early in the morning and getting the lunch ladies to keep it in the fridge, blowing up the balloons frantically before I arrived and sending Angel out to stall me--it was so cute. The whole thing was instigated by Nicki, a student I had on team last year who comes back with Nick, another kid from team last year, who help me choreograph. They are so awesome and helpful! And Nicki's friend Rachelle was awesome too. It's so amazing to see these kids being so unselfish, thinking of others, and taking the time to do something like that. It was the first time any of them had planned a party, and they did such a good job. I am truly blessed!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

24 Weeks!

So Jodster asked me to put a belly picture on my blog. I thought, "that's a good idea." But then I always forget to take it. So in 1st period today I had one of my 9th graders take a picture for me. They all thought I was weird. Well, when I told her I wanted a belly picture her eyes got all big, and then I explained that I would NOT be doing a BARE belly picture and she wasn't as freaked out. So yeah, that's me in my classroom this morning. The wierd thing is, I haven't yet gained any weight in my pregnancy--which really IS weird because when I wasn't pregnant I was gaining weight all the time! So today I'm 24 weeks exactly. (Yes, that is a bat in the background. It has "Mrs. Rees' Big Red Bat" written on it. I use it to intimidate students and make them type faster. Well, not really, but the kids live in anticipation that I will. And yes, I said "anticipation" not "fear." They REALLY want me to pull that bat out...but I rarely do. Still, it's a symbol of my power and I keep it in a place of honor!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Before and After Pictures!

So I'm back. It's been a long, lonely weekend without an internet connection--one of the evils of getting a new house. Of course we didn't think to call super early to get them to come install internet. So we went a WEEK without it. A week! They are SUPPOSED to come today around 3:00--let's see if that happens. But it's Utah Broadband, not Comcast, so maybe they will actually show up. We'll see. Anyway, I thought I'd post a few before and after pictures of my house! Some of you have already seen the before pictures, but on Saturday I cleaned my house from top to bottom and then took pictures! Yes, I'm so proud. Every box is unpacked except for the "junk box" in the computer room--you know, the one you throw everything in that you aren't sure what to do with. Well, we don't know where to put it in our new house either. So it's still sitting there, laughing at me. Anyway, here we go!

Thi is the Laundry room/Bathroom. Not much different except we painted the walls and added our NEW AWESEOME WASHER AND DRYER! We got them on KSL. Front loaders, energy savers, LG Tromm's for $1,000 total! SUCH a deal! They are SO amazing to use!

This is the tumor. Yes, we are still planning to tear it off. But it might be as long as summer before we can. So we painted it. As you can see, Tarzan likes it. He's the only one. Doesn't look so bad now, but it's still ugly as sin from the outside!

This is room we call the "great room" (it sounds so cool when you call it that) As you can see we totally repainted it. And boy was it a pain in the butt! But it sure made a difference! Can't wait to replace those pendant light with something a little less 80's though...

And here's the LOVELY living room! No furniture really for it yet, but doesn't that red wall look freakin' awesome?? Cindy did a fabulous job taping it off so the lines are perfect. man, what a pain that is!

And last the kitchen. Of course we're getting a new kitchen in a few months so it will look much better, but even tearing off the ugly green border and painting it made a world of difference.

So that's my house! We're having an openhouse on Saturday from 4:00 - 8:00 so feel free to stop by!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tagged! 8 Things...

Thanks for tagging me, Kel! AND I was the first on the list! I'm so honored!

8 TV shows I like to watch - I don't have cable, and my reception is horrible, so lets see if there ARE 8 shows I watch.

1. Pushing Daisies (when I remember its on)
2. Big Bang Theory (when I remember its on)
3. Wipeout
4. Law & Order: SVU
5. Little House on the Prairie (I told you, I only have like five channels. There's nothing else ON! And it really bugs Trevor. Until the other day I caught HIM watching it! Can't convert him to the Brady Bunch, though.)
6. Ummm...News? Watch that a lot!
7. The Office (I used to. Now I forgot when it's on. But I love that show.)
8. Urg! Can't think of anymore!

8 Things that Happened Yesterday

1. Urg. The Server went down and none of my students could log in, and I had to make them read all period every day because there was nothing to teach without computers! And they are STILL down this morning, so I guess we're watching a movie or something. We played Deal or No Deal yesterday and they are all going to beg to play it today but I'll have to be firm. Can't let them have TOO much fun. This is school.
2. I actually unpacked about three boxes that are the "leftover" boxes at the house. The ones that are full of stuff that's not absolutely necessary so they stay unpacked for a while.
3. Played the Sims for as long as I could get away with--while TREVOR made dinner! Yeah!
4. Ate yummy brown sugar meatloaf leftovers for lunch
5. Weighed myself. I look SO pregnant, but somehow haven't gained any weight yet! Wahoo! (Of course, I kinda looked pregnant BEFORE I was pregnant...I've been "showing" for years.)
6. Watched my kitty wander the new house aimlessly meowing for Trevor to come home and wishing he could go outside. But mean Daddy won't let him yet.
7. Used a DISHWASHER. WOW. Haven't had one for 10 months and it was total misery! Oh the miracle that a dishwasher is!!
8. Almost finished my book, "Dairy Queen," which I love and highly reccommend.

8 Favorite Places to Eat

1. Costa Vida (NOT Cafe Rio. Sorry. It's ok but it's not in my top eight.)
2. Del Taco
3. Arbys
4. TGI Fridays
5. Thaiphoon (only when we feel rich.)
6. Indochine
7. Bombay House or Taste of Punjab
8. Olive Garden (it's sad how easy this list was to compile...)

8 Things I Look Forward To

1. The end of today when Ballroom Club is OVER and all I have to do is Ballroom Team!
2. The Talent Show in January when my Ballroom Team peforms! And then it's OVER!
3. My computers actually working again, so I can get back to work!
4. The baby coming. I guess. Actually I'm terrified.
5. SUMMER!!! (Ah, the perks of being a teacher...)
6. CHRISTMAS BREAK! (Ah, the perks of being a teacher...)
7. Getting my new kitchen in March!
8. Getting my CherishBound yearbook printed and in the mail!

8 Things on my Wish List

1. For baby Afton to be healthy and happy when she comes!
2. For Trevor to have a REALLY big month at work so we can beef our savings back up again!
3. A jetted tub upstairs. Really--our tub SUCKS. It's got one of those straight backs so you can't lean back and relax in the tub. I'm just sure a MAN designed it.
4. For the rest of the rooms in my new house to be magically painted so I don't have to do it. We are SO sick of painting!!
5. To have a $10,000 gift card to Home Depot or Lowe's. I get it now. I'm addicted to home improvement.
6. To have the TUMOR removed from the back of my house and everything repaired.
7. To get a second kitty! I'm really pushing Trevor on this one!
8. To magically have money for Christmas. Looks like this year our Christmas is just the house!

And even though it wasn't on the original list, I'm adding one because I feel inclined to do so.

8 Things I'm Grateful For:

1. My husband
2. My healthy baby
3. My beautiful new house
4. A GARAGE. What a remarkable thing a garage is?
5. The practically new FRONT LOADING washer and dryer we got for $1,000 total! AMAZING!
6. My awesome friends!! I love you all! (Especially those who have bothered to read this far!)
7. My new ward. Haven't been to chruch yet but I've met tons of people and you shoudl have seen how many people showed up to help us move in!
8. My job and Trevor's job--they make everything possible!

I have to tag 8 people now, but Kelly got most of the people I konw who blog...
1. Cindy
2. Jodster
3. Rusty (yeah right...)
4. While we're getting unrealistic--Molly.
5. Leslie
6. Nicki. Again.
7. Lisa
8. Umm..I'm out of blogging friends.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Goldfish Story

So I feel really bad that I don't even THINK to post funny stories when they happen to me. And I really wish I was as good as Jodster and remembered to take in-action photos during the entire event. I realized that this event, which happend over a week ago, might be a fun addition to my blog. This, my friends, is the Goldfish story.
As you know, I teach 7th graders. Every quarter we do this huge project where the kids make soap. See that link for details. After they make their soap as a group, we have a big Soap Fair in the media center, where the kids set up their table and display their soap and poster. Three classes come through and vote on their favorite soap, and each time they get a vote, it counts as a sale. Well, I also allow the kids to give away candy or whatever in order to improve their sales. This quarter I had a kid get the brilliant idea of giving away live goldfish. Now, he didn't actually clear it with me, if it would be ok to give away live animals. He just brought them.

So I go over to his table to see what they are doing. It's 4th period, so about midway through the day. He's got this cardboard box, and in the box is a goldfish bowl full of goldfish--most of which are dead, because these poor buggers have been in his locker all day.

And all goldfish do pretty much is die anyway.

So it's too late to stop him now. He's got these ziploc bags and he's putting a fish in them to give to kids who vote for their soap. What the crap these kids are going to do with a bag full of water and a half-dead fish for the rest of the day is beyond me. Probably put them in THEIR lockers, where they can have a sad end like their brothers before them.

The next morning during 2nd period, we are calculating scores to see who made the most money at the Soap Fair. (This kid's group, by the way, actually made the most money in his class...guess the fish worked.) So during 2nd period I go in my backroom to get something. Lots of the kids put stuff back there after the fair to pick up later. Apparently, this kid did too. He thought it would be a great idea to keep a couple of his dead fish in there.

So it stinks to high heaven as soon as I open the door. My girly 7th graders are all covering their noses, even though they are on the opposite side of the room. I'm TICKED. I called the janitor to come get the fish. It's not like I can just throw them away in the hallway and inspire MORE girly junior high girls to cover their noses and act like it's the corpse of a HUMAN they are smelling.

So this kid comes in 4th period and I let him have it. I was kind of laughing, though, because it WAS funny. Did he say sorry? No, he says, "Oh! What about the ones still in my locker?" I told him I didn't give a rats about the fish in his locker. But apparently HE did. Because later that day, I go in my backroom again, which has been open to air it out, and there's that stupid bowl full of fish in my back room! HE WENT AND GOT THEM FROM HIS LOCKER AND PUT THEM IN MY BACKROOM. Does he learn nothing?? I wonder to myself, at what point is he going to come pick them up? Not by the end of the day, I can tell you that. The final bell rings and those stupid fish are still there. About 10 of them and only one dead. I call him down to my room, but he doesn't answer. He takes the bus home. What is his plan here? When is he gonna take them home? I had to teach ballroom so I left them in my room, hoping he'd come get them. Next morning, I come in my room, and about five are still alive and the rest are dead. How long since they've been fed?

I was done. I flushed them. That's right, I'm a murderer. I took them to the bathroom and flushed them all, alive and dead. And was darned happy about it. The kid seemed kinda relieved 4th period when I told him what he'd done. At least he took the empty bowl home...I fined him $1000 from his winnings of the soap fair. And from now on, NO LIVE ANIMALS ALLOWED!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

My (our) Halloween Costume

Well, despite my previous post about no costume for Halloween, I did actually manage to make one for myself after all! Trevor did not get a new costume--he wore his musketeer costume to work in hopes of winning the costume contest--which was TOTALLY rigged and unfair by the way. URG! If he'd won we would have gotten Jazz tickets! Anyway, he was cool about it. He's just happy whenever he can wear his Aragorn boots.

As for me, I made the costume that I've been wanting for three years now. I saw a lady at the mall with one like it and told myself that when I was pregnant one day, I'd have a costume like THAT. It cost me $26.00 to make. I painted it all freehand--not the best job in the world, but I liked how it turned out. And it was so comfortable! Too bad it's not one I can wear every year without making some kind of false announcement. So any my friends out there who are pregnant over Halloween in the future--you know where to come to borrow a costume!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Introducing...THE TUMOR!!!

Cindy says I'm gutsy to actually post pictures of the tumor on my blog. Well, no one looks at it this blog anyway, so who cares? Besides--I'm proud of it in an odd sort of way. If it weren't for this ugly little room, my house would have been unaffordable for me and Trevor. This little sucker made it possible for us to buy, and when we tear it down, I will jump for joy--and shed a tear, for the room it might have been, for the idea it was and the reality it wasn't. It WAS a good idea, but badly implemented and badly planned...anyway, here is another HUGE amount of pictures that I took yesterday. I went to the house right after school and didn't come home until 9:30! SO much work to do!

And here are some pictures of the backyard! It's quite big actually, the lot is .23 acres. It just needs some MAJOR pruning and fixing up.

And now some pictures from last night working. We had a lot of MUCH appreciated help from my parents, Trevor's parents, and Cindy. AND little Bethany. She was a great gopher!

Karen and Stan were great helping us out! They spent a lot of time getting the ugly 90's border off the kitchen wall.

Dad was AWESOME. Man, it's nice having a dad who is so helpful and handy! He was constantly working! Mom was a great help too, washing walls and ceilings. What would we do without them?

Cindy stayed the longest--refusing to go until she'd finished priming the tumor. Yeah, we had to prime and paint it even though we're pulling it down in the spring. It didn't smell NEAR as bad once Dad used the shop vac on the carpet...

And here is Trevor painting the ceiling. WHAT a pain. Poor guy!

Last, this is me cleaning the walls in the tumor. Can you BELIEVE their kids wrote and drew and fingerpainted all over the walls? It came up a lot easier than we thought it would, though some of it wouldn't come up at all.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Inside Tour of the Rees Abode

So it's my 5th period right now, which is my prep. Normally I'm bustling with activity. There's so much to do. But right now I'm kinda at a loss. As soon as school is out I'm heading to my house to start cleaning and painting and I'm SO wanting out of here right now! Two more periods to go! And they are my most obnoxious classes, too! So I thought I'd post some of the 50 or so pictures I enthusiastically took last night at the house.

We got our keys yesterday around 5:00, and spent a good hour going over every last inch of it. We were happy to see that the former owners had left the house in very good condition. Sure, they didn't deep clean it or anything, but they took everything with them and left us no junk, AND they left us a lawn mower and a mini fridge and microwave in the downstairs kitchenette. We were pretty happy about that. Then, after we'd been there a while, a neighbor came to say hi. He's the brother of the guy who used to own it, and he confirmed that yes, we get to keep the lawn mower. Wahoo! I think it's a pretty good sign when you are welcomed into the neighborhood literally thirty minutes after first arriving EVER. Trevor had to go back to work for a closing, so at 8:30 we went back to the house, this time with Cindy in tow, to look again. I decided to go crazy taking "before" pictures. Unfortunately it was too dark to take any from outside, so those will have to be added tomorrow. Here it is--the tour of my new cute house!

This is the front room when you first walk in. Isn't the BEST place to put a Christmas tree?

And now what Trevor and I call "the great room" because it's really big and combines with the kitchen. I love this room, and I LOVE the vaulted ceilings. Really gonna suck to paint them though...

Here's the kitchen. Yeah, it sucks. But you know, there are some advantages to that. When the kitchen sucks, you can justify getting a new one. And when you're dad does kitchens for a living and is incredibly talented, it's even better. LOVE the green border and green counters (not). Obviously this was a 90's remodel...

Upstairs there are three bedrooms--I didn't include pictures 'cause they are kinda boruing. They are square and empty. The house has four bathrooms--one in the basement, one on the main floor, and two upstairs. This is just one of them--it is THE WORLD'S SMALLEST BATHROOM!! Seriously. This thing has to win some kind of award for size...

Here's another strange little room. Not sure what the deal is here. It's the triangle room. They actually "count" this as a room, saying the house has six bedrooms. But can you imagine actually putting someone in this room? Even has a closet--actually, the ONLY closet besides the master bedroom that has a bar for hanging clothes. Weird, huh?

Here's the downstairs kitchenette. It's kinda on a weird wall--not sure where we would put a couch. Strange shape, this room. But nice to have a kitchenette!

And now, I've saved the best for last. Behold the Tumor!! This house has an "enclosed porch" that some poor idiot tried to build on the back of the house. Tomorrow I'll post how it looks from the outside--it's AWFUL. But the inside is pretty bad, too. The kids drew all over the walls, it smells, and there's kitty litter all over the nasty carpet. Unfortunately, we'll have to live with this little growth for the whole winter until the spring when we can perform surgery and have it removed. Yes, we're painting it. We can't stand it otherwise. Oh, you should see it from outside...

So that's our house! There are, of course, more rooms, but I didn't want to overload you you know. (All two of you who even look at this blog...) Tomorrow I will add photos of the outside!!

Friday, October 24, 2008


So, when my friends got houses, I was happy for them. Yay. But then I got a house, and it's the most exciting thing EVER. Kinda like when you get married and it's SUCH a bigger deal when it's you than when it's someone else. Yes, all, I have purchased a house! Trevor and I signed on it today (and BOY do you sign, man!) So on Monday we will hopefully get the keys and we can then spend the week cleaning it and painting it. I don't think we'll actually move into it until the 7th of November. Anyone who adores painting or cleaning or helping other people move is certainly allowed to help us. We'll LET you. We're nice that way. I mean, we COULD keep all that work to ourselves, but it's important to give others the opportunity to serve, right? And of course I could always play the pregnancy card...which is actually a pretty valid play when it comes to moving. Actually, our old ward has offered to help us move, which is so very nice of them.

I'm so glad they are willing to help us, because honestly, I'm just starting to get to that point in the pregnancy where it's becoming uncomfortable, as I realize one by one that there are things I can't do anymore. Like a butt spin. Tried that today at our school Halloween dance. Um...yeah I'm pregnant. Can't do that anymore. (For you non-dance people, that's when you are dancing and you grab the wrist of your partner and he spins you on the floor. I tried it with one of the boys on my dance team. It was not a pretty sight.) Oh, and I can't lie down on my stomach on the flat caffeteria floor either. Tried that too when I was trying to show the boys on my team how I wanted them to get up from a drop in the routine while choreographing last week. Dancing is becoming quite difficult actually, which is highly inconvenient! Oh, and sleepign through the night without having to pee. Yeah, that's over too. Well, that's our exciting news! What a big year 2008 is turning out to be!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Sad Skip in Halloween Tradition

So I'm home today because of UEA weekend, and I decided to send Trevor some copies of our hold Halloween costumes so he can show them off at work. THEN I decided to put them on my facebook page. THEN I decided to put them on this blog. Not sure why--everyone seems to see my facebook page, which I care nothing about, and no one ever looks at this blog. I'm not sure why I even do this. I could annouce I have cancer or I know the solution to the economy on here, and no one would even notice. Still, I thought it would be fun to put them on here for posterity. 'Cause of course my GRANDCHILDREN will look at my blog. Right?


Trevor and I went to a single's dance in 2004, where we danced together once or twice. We knew each other already of course, but wouldn't begin dating for another three months. So this is the sexy little outfit I had on that day--I rented it from Hale Theater. That was the first year that Trevor was Wolverine. He pulls it off quite nicely!


This is the year we went ALL OUT. We were engaged by that Halloween, but had been planning our costumes long before. Trevor informed on our first date in January of 2005 that he would be growing his hair out for his Halloween costume. It was the first sign that I would spend out whole courtship playing second fiddle to the infernal costume! Obesessed with Lord of the Rings, Trevor determined he would go as Aragorn, and just MADE his costume. The chain-mail is from sliced peices of PVC pipe, the vest made of leather that he bought and stained and sewed together. We even made the cloak together. Not to be outdone, I had this Southern Belle costume made. It was NOT cheap, but I told myself I would wear it over and over, unlike a wedding dress that gets worn once. Well...then I got fat. ER. So there went that. Never wore it again! But maybe one day when I get skinny I will... right.


The beauty of being a Junior High teacher is that you have somewhere great to wear your costumes. In 2006 Trevor revived his Wolverine costume and I played Velma. We wore them to my school on Halloween, just like we had the year before. Mine didn't make the stir that my Belle costume did, but it was still cool. And Trevor--well, of course he couldn't wear the knives in the school so it took away from the effect somewhat, but he still had the 'do.


We went all out again in 2007. (we do this every other year--one year a fancy costume, the next year is a cheap year...) So Trevor went as a musketeer, happy that he could wear his boots from his Aragorn costume, which he had made for him by the same guy in New Zealand that made the boots for the movie. No, they weren't cheap. But we weren't married then, so what could I do? Anyway, I found this matching french-era dress that I just loved. Too bad the seams were weak and started to fray once I actually wore the dress.



That's the tragedy my friends. This is where the title comes in. Trevor and I, after a legacy like the one I have described, have NO COSTUMES this year. I mean, we could revive the old ones, but nothing new. There are several reasons for this.
1) It's a "cheap" year, and Trevor has no idea how to go cheap on Halloween.
2) My junior high decided (stupidly) that the Halloween dance would be on the 24th this year instead of the 30th, and so it's not necessary to dress up for Halloween. SO annoyed. I had no motivation!
3) I'm pregnant, so it gets a little more complicated.
Well, at least I can wear one of my old ones. I'll always have something cool to fall back on--especially if I ever get skinny enough to wear that awesome southern belle costume again!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Our New House!

Yup! It's official folks. Trevor and I are buying a house! We've been looking at houses online and driving by them forever, but funnily enough, this house is the first one we ever actually looked at the inside of. We had a list of houses to look at, and when we saw this one--how big it is and then the price, we knew it was a deal and HAD to see it. We called our agent and he scheduled us a showing that very night. Good thing. We made an offer the next morning, and the owners accepted it. Of course, this house is a short sale, which means that owner's bank needs to approve it, as they are taking a loss on it. We are getting it for about thirty thousand less than what the owners owe. So we made that offer just before Labor Day weekend. And we've been waiting FOREVER to hear back from the bank! Finally our agent called us on Thursday with good news! We had it inspected on Friday, and were happy so see that it had no major problems. We should be closing on the 24th of October. Ah!!! So here's a really crappy picture of it--this is from the inspector's report. I haven't actually taken any other pictures of it yet! It's 2600 square feet, and on a quarter lot in West Jordan, close to Westvale Elementary. It's 12:30 right now, and at 1:00 Trevor and I are going to go scope out the ward. What better way to feel out a ward than to watch a testimony meeting? Anyway, we are so excited we can hardly stand it. I'm sure this blog will be FULL of updates as we get access to the house and start making repairs. It will need a very good cleaning, lots of paint, and as the inspector said, "some TLC." It's definately a fixer-upper but shows a lot of potential! Hooray! Homeowners at last!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Exhausting Soap Day!

So I thought it would be fun to post some of the soaps my kids made today in class on my blog! In case you don't know about it, I do a really cool unit with my students in CTE Intro, formerly known as TLC. Some of you might have taken it. I get new kids every quarter, and by the end of the year I have had every 7th grader. So I have this unit where the kids get to make soap. They have to name it, give it slogan, figure out the production cost, and then figure out their price. They make posters and advertise it at a big Soap Fair where kids from other classes come through and vote on their favorite. Each vote counts as a sale, and at the end we figure out how much money they made by multiplying their profit per bar by how many bars they sold! So today we made the soaps, and all told there are 36. Here are a few of my favorites.

If you want to see them all, go the the school website. I am the webmaster of my school, so I get to promote all kinds of stuff about my program unabashed. It's fabulous. I'd love to know what ya'll think, and better yet--which is your favorite! Just write a comment with the class period and group number that you like best. My students would love to know that their soap is the favorite of adults!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Debate--Whose The Biggest Creep?

So I TRIED to be a good american and watch the Presidential Debate last night. Trevor was much more patriotic and lasted through most of it. I lasted about a half hour before I couldn't stand it anymore and hid in the tub. (Ok, I was taking a BATH, not like, hiding in there...) But I could still hear the droning, the constant reminders that they have only ONE MINUTE and the contant need of both candidates to say, "And by the way..." and then go back to the previous question they wanted to say more about. URG...

Have you ever heard that Greek mythology about the sirens? I'm no expert on Greek Mythology, but the story goes something like this. The sailors (I think the main guy is Ulysses) are on this boat, and they hear this amazing singing coming from the shore of a distant island. All the sailors know not to go near it--because if you do your boat will go crashing into the reef and you'll all die. But the singing is SO irrestible, that inevitalbly the sailors drift closer, to behold beautiful half-naked women singing to them and calling for them. There are the remains of crashed boats everywhere, warning them of their fate, but they go anyway, and they all die. And there's something about how, after a while, the sailors either block their ears or tie themselves to the mast when they go by, so they won't be called in to doom.

That's kinda how I feel about Barack Obama. I'm not a big McCain fan, but I am republican and he seemed the lesser of two evils. But last night as I listened to the debates, i found myself being swayed by the powerful orations of Obama--the man knows how to speak (which is kind of nice after the last eight years...) and his answeres seemed a bit more thought-out with less "We can do it America!" banter that you got from McCain. Do I listen? Do I cross over to the forbidden island of Democrats and allow myself to be taken in? Or do I tie myself to the mast and stubbornly insist on voting the "conservative" way with McCain? I don't know folks. It seems to me that the boat will crash whether I listen to the siren or not. Should I just vote Nader?

Well, those are my thoughts, from an average American who knows little about politics. But I will say this--I SWEAR that Palin's voice is more screechy than Clinton's. Who'da thought it was possible?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Give It Up For....BABY AFTON!!

Well folks, thanks for exceeding the terms of seven comments to a whopping 10! Wahoo! And since you've all been so good, here it is! My first real pictures of baby Afton! Isn't she beautiful? Like a good Nielson Girl, I guess producing girls is just something we DO in my family. But I am absolutely thrilled! Trevor predicted a girl on our way over there. And boy did he have tears in his eyes when we first saw her on the screen! I look at my widget--always that baby mvoing around and spinning and I wonder if Afton does that and--yes she does. She was SO active. It took forever to get a positive look. But we DID get one. We're absolutely sure it's a girl. They are very thorough at Fetal Fotos. I'd reccommend them to anyone! I kind of wanted a girl first--I mean, girls are such pleasers and can be so helpful with the younger ones. And I just LOVE her name! Afton Darla Rees. Isn't that pretty? Well, I only have what, FIVE months before I can meet her? Let me tell you, I've been pretty calm about this whole thing, but today's experience has made it all so much more real, and I'm so excited to meet this little girl who is going to become such an important and pivotal part of my life!