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!

BLACKMAIL - Info for Comments...

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I just read Jodster's blog, and she always has SO many comments. I get jealous. Where does she find these commenting friends? Where can I find such friends? I want to know that my beautiful blog is looked at and adored, and not taken advantage of. I have SOME friends who are so fabulous at leaving comments, and I read them and love them and cherish them...but you LURKERS out there(oh please tell me there are lurkers!) Well, now it's time to blackmail you. I'm blackmailing you all!

At about 6:30 this evening I will be going down to Fetal Fotos. That's right, Fetal Fotos. And I'm going to find out the gender of my baby. And if YOU want me to post it HERE then I had better have at least SEVEN comments by the end of the day! (by different people!) Until I get my seven comments, there will BE no post about whether this baby is a boy or a girl. No! You will have to wait in agony, wondering, not being able to sleep, tossing and turning, turning and tossing, with great weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Oh yes! Do not underestimate my drive here! Is seven comments so much to ask? I think not. I think it quite reasonable actually, and I will have them! I will! Jodster uses GUSHY means to incite comments from her readership. Ha! I will use threats and blackmail to achieve my ends! So let the comments commence! You have approximately 12 hours to make this possible--don't let me down. And more important, don't let dear, poor, innocent little Afton/Elijah down. He/she is counting on you to SHOW THE LOVE!
As said baby is only 17 weeks along, there is a small chance that the gender cannot be determined at this time, and will have to be deferred for one more week. If this is the case, all bets are off, and you're just plain out of luck...