Friday, December 19, 2008

Going to the Inauguration

So I have really exciting news. I got tickets to the inauguration for President-elect Obama. I know! Isn't that crazy? All I had to do was contact my senators and Senator Bennett totally hooked me up. I invited my mom and Kassie Brown to come with me. We will fly out on the 19th of January and come home on the 21st. Doug and Sara are letting us stay with them. I am so excited. I mean, who gets to do this sort of thing? So instead of watching on TV while sitting in a warm room at home, I will watch in the freezing cold on a jumbo-tron in DC. Much cooler right? Ya well, I let you know how it goes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Update for the holidays

Hey, I haven't blogged in a while, so I thought I would give an update. Thanksgiving was a blast. I met up with my family in Pine Valley, and took a friend. My basement-mate, Kassie, and I drove down together and spent the weekend eating, talking, and watching my nephews and niece waddle around. I had a pretty great time. While we were there we took a family picture. Don't we look great?
It was nice to be together for the holidays. Christmas will be different with all of us in various places. I am hoping for lots of snow this weekend so I can spend most of the break skiing regardless of my family's plans. Please let it snow. 

I recently applied to grad school. Utah State, University of Utah and the Bread Loaf School of English are the schools for which I have applied. I don't know what will happen, and at this point I don't know if grad school is my best option. It will be hard to walk away from a good job only to become a poor college student again. I might be worrying for nothing though. Maybe I won't get accepted and my decision will be made for me. Ah, the indecisive person's dream. (hehe) 

Here are some other pictures of the weekend:
Kassie and Me on the Pine Valley Porch. Aren't we cute?
My niece and nephew are turning one this month so we had a party for them. Here they are having their cake and eating it too. Faye handled hers delicately while Aiden ate his in one giant bite.

And here is Parker. He is always the life of any party.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good school day

After my vent about misbehaving students last time, I thought I would talk about something good for a change. Today in school the superintendent came to talk about bonuses. The faculty gathered in the library (which has a secret door to my classroom). Last year my class decided to be as loud as possible by yelling, wrestling and wreaking havoc. I had to leave the meeting to quiet them and was mortified that the superintendent, and the rest of the faculty, heard them like that. My students were very repentant for the rest of the week. I got really mad. 
So this year I was worried. I could hear my class trying to listen through the door at the beginning. They weren't loud, I just chose to sit close to the door just in case. I could hear the murmur of voices throughout the meeting, but nothing much. The meeting gets over and we clapped because we got a little bit of money, and I heard my class start clapping. I smiled to myself. I walk in ready to settle any misbehavior, but instead I see one of my students had found our regular vocabulary worksheets and passed them out. Someone turned on some music (which I usually do anyway). They were talking, but generally getting things done. I was so proud. They mentioned they tried to read the book we are reading as a class, but they wanted to wait for me. They are such good kids when they think about it. I was just beaming with pride and joy. Anyway, thanks kids for making my day. (oh, the surprise money helped my mood I guess ;)

Friday, November 14, 2008

This is my serious face!

So I literally yelled at my students today. I have been stern in the past, but I got all sorts of red-faced and angry today. It was great. I collected the writing assignment I had due today and in my first hour class only five on my students turned it in. Every class the rest of the day was about the same. Frustrated is a kind way of putting how I felt. I started raving about taking responsibility, growing up and my h@!# do your homework. I was extra mad because the rough drafts for these were due Monday, but no one did it. I extended the deadline for the next day with little retribution on their part, and to think, this is how they repay my kindness. I let them know my disappointment. One of my fellow teachers says it is good to freak out at your students every once in a while. I've never had to do it, but played the part really well. Usually when I get mad I start laughing. But not today! Anyway, I am just proud that I found the courage to get mad at my classes (yes all four of my classes got the same lecture) and keep a serious face at the same time. Mr. Johnson will be proud :) 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fun Fish Lake weekend

This weekend, the young single adults went to our branch president's cabin on Fish Lake. We left in the evening and had to drive in the dark. Even though I have lived in rural Utah most of my life, I haven't dealt with almost hitting a deer before. On the way up, however, I got my first taste of it. Thanks goodness for my car though. My brakes are awesome!! I've always had a special bond with my vehicle, but now my Versa and I have a whole new relationship-- built on trust (and great brakes). I'm sure the deer appreciated it too. 

My love grew stronger still when I saw the steep, snowy road that lead to the cabin. The truck in front of me slipped all around and had to turn on his four wheel drive. I got really nervous because my Versa doesn't have a long resume with snow either. I got a little head start for momentum, but made it all the way up without any problems. I love my car!

So anyway, enough Odes to my Versa. I drove up with Kassie Brown and another girl from the ward. Kassie and I do and say funny things, so I hope we didn't scare Tana too badly. We got there safe and sound, with only a little extra adrenaline from the deer. Bishop Tom Anderson (my bishop from when I was in high school) gave a great little Fireside on making easy things hard-- a lesson I seem to remember him sharing in Bishop meetings as a young woman. He also brought his famous dutchoven sourdough bread. It was good to see him again, and my respect and love for him grows each time I get the chance to hear him speak. 

We finished the night off with some spotlighting and a chance to show my ignorance around guns. The guy driving asked me to unload his pistol just in case we got pulled over. Ya, right. I got nervous and people laughed, but what do I know? The next morning we ate a hardy breakfast, walked around a little, and headed for home. It was kind of a crazy weekend. I had friends in town from all over. Lacey, my high school friend and original connection to the Browns, came to town, and so did a camp friend, Alex. It was so good to see them. They gave me a chance to laugh all weekend. Alex and I went to High School Musical 3 just for something to do. We sat in the back and laughed the whole show. It was . . . interesting this time around. And on Sunday, I got to teach my first lesson as relief society president. It went fine. I'm learning a lot already, like delegation. :)

Anyway, I'm boring. Happy birthday to my dad tomorrow. I wish I could come celebrate. 


PS Kassie's blog about this weekend is cute if you can get invited. Just know that she is funny and had a picture. Thanks Kass!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Belated UEA Photos

A couple of weeks ago my family got together, nearly on accident, for UEA weekend. We all happened to be going to Salt Lake for different reasons. Mine was boredom, but Bret and Lori came up to watch Lori's brother coach during the Colorado Utah game. Holland passed through on his way to and from Logan to help a friend get engaged. He needed to offer moral support, I think. While we were together, I got to hang out with my niece and nephews a lot. I went on a picnic with Kim and Cody and went to "Little Haunts" at Heritage Park with Kim and the boys (the lobster and the shark). We had a lot of fun talking, riding on hay wagons and trains, and collecting candy. We took a treat bag, but I think Parker ate his candy before it could even go in the bag and put his trash in the bag. Cute kid! Anyway, I promised pictures to brothers. Here are a few. I have a lot more. Maybe I can get them to you on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, I hope everyone enjoys my beautiful niece and handsome nephews. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An update: Relief society and Mexico

Well, my grand plans to go back to Mexico for Christmas have failed. The candle of hope started flickering a while ago, but somebody blew it out today. A few weeks ago, Holland (my younger brother) told me he could no longer go. I was mad for a minute, but decided I could probably get someone else to go with me. I just talked my friend and roommate-ish, Kassie, into going. She had her passport paperwork ready to go and traded her days of work off. As luck would have it, there is apparently a lot of violence in Mexico right now. One of the members in Ascencion told us not to come because it is too dangerous. Alton Thacker (the man in charge of the trip) had been trying to get supplies for Christmas over the border, but hasn't had any luck getting across. I got an email today saying the trip has officially been cancelled. Combined, the hardships have been too much. So if you were planning on donating materials or making a quilt, you are awesome, but we won't be going. I think the Thacker family will be taking a little food over, but just their immediate family is going. To say the least, I am bummed. I guess it is better to be safe though. Anyway, it looks like I'll have to cancel my substitute and stay in town for the holidays. Maybe I'll look for something else fun to do. 

On a different note, I have been called to be the Relief Society President in my branch. I got sustained and set apart on Sunday to make it official. I am a little nervous about it. Relief Society is a program in the church I have never served in. I guess I'll learn a lot(ha ha ha understatement, right?). I've already started thinking about getting more people to attend the branch instead of their parent's wards, and activities are piling up with the holidays right around the corner. Oh, and I'll probably have to find someone to teach on Sunday. Dang. It will have to be me. I called our only teacher to be one of my counselors. Oh well. It should be fun. 

That's all I have for now. Nothing else is really going on. School is fine most of the time, and days are speeding by far too quickly. Hope this beautiful fall weather finds you chilly but happy. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Well, the good news is here. I am done with my stake conference talk. I know I sounded stressed about it and I was, but now I feel great. I talked about what I thought the general membership of the church should know about its young single adults. Kind of an obvious topic to give a girl like me, but I made the most of it. Instead of talking about weighty hardships and the possibility that we could all be wallowing in our own vast loneliness, I talked about how cool it is to be single. You know the bright side. . . .  I talked about all the cool stuff you can accomplish while being independent. For the most part, I was just glad that is seemed like people were listening and not sleeping through my 10 minutes of talk time. In fact, my branch president gave me a wink and a nudge and told me he even stayed awake (which is a feat for him--I don't think I've seen him stay awake through an entire sacrament meeting yet). I got a lot of kudos (even from a few students), and it felt nice. People seemed to appreciate the light-hearted message about singles. I also got to see some people I haven't seen since being back in the valley. It was cool, and I'm glad I had a little help from a higher power to get my message across. 
Now that's over and things are fine. School is going okay. I am in a teacher slump right now. I have so much I need and want to teach my students that I am depressed that I can't get to it all; therefore, I don't know where to start. I just wish they could know what I do about reading and writing. Then, maybe they'd appreciate its power. 
I finally got my GRE scores back. I did better on parts than I expected and worse on others. Deadlines are coming up for applications, so I am rushing to get everything done. The Breadloaf School of English seems to be my best bet for the type of program I want. It is a summer program that takes about 4-5 summers to get your Master of Arts. It has an adventure element to it, too. I can study in Vermont, North Carolina, Santa Fe, or Oxford, England. It's designed for teachers, and I really hope it works out. I am also applying at USU. Something about that school keeps pulling me back. U of U will get an application from me too, but it seems like a pretty tough program to enter. Their application process is the most intimidating at least. I just wish it were obvious where I'll be living 7 or so months from now. 
Man, my mind is wandering tonight. Better go before it escapes me completely. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I tag Brayden, Kim, Janet, and Kassie!!!

I know it's taken me forever, but I got tagged by Harmonie for this. So here is the 4th picture from the 4th picture folder on my computer. Here's the story: I had just received my new computer and was showing mom that it could take pictures with the Mac camera. So we were riding tracks (I don't remember where to or from) and took this photo. It's rather embarassing, but . . . what the heck. At least I picked the honest picture. We weren't planning on being cute. Don't hate me mom :)
Now since my immediate family members have all been tagged, I tag Kassie Jane Brown, Kim and Josh Gleason, Janet LeBaron, and Brayden Santo. 
Tehehe Tag!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's Next? I mean, seriously!

WORD! I realized today that life is hard. Now, I know most of you figured that out a long time ago, but I am a little on the slow side apparently. No, I'm kidding. I've always known this whole surviving thing would be difficult, but life has been crazy lately. So like I mentioned on my previous post, I have been preparing for the GRE for a month or two. I took it on Saturday. Finally. For weeks I have been living to that date. My thoughts consisted of, "Once I take the GRE, things will slow down. I can breathe then." Well I took the stupid test. (I did alright by the way. Probably about average. I won't know my percentile scores or my essay scores for a few weeks. Thanks for asking :)) So I got back Saturday from the test to MOUNDS of student homework to read. I realize this was all poor planning on my part, but I had two huge projects due this week for my students and it is the end of the quarter tomorrow. More seasoned teachers have told me just to assign points, but I always feel a little guilty for assigning something and then not taking the time to read it. Sure that feeling will fade with time, but for now I am reading everything, and it is a lot. (Did I hear someone say, "Whiner!"?) So, now I am thinking, "Just give me 'til Wednesday. Then I can breathe." 

(take a breath)

PSH! Ya right! Someone higher up has better plans for me. I was taking a nap on Sunday when I received a phone call here at the Brown's. Not many people call me here, by the way, that's why I have a cell phone. Kathy Brown told me it was President Anderson. I figured this to be my branch president so answered cheerily. Yeah, well it was Stake President Curtis Anderson! I knew I was in trouble from "hello." Stake Conference is in two weeks, and you guessed it, I am one of the speakers during the Sunday session. I only have to talk for ten minutes, and it will be fine, but I can't help but feel like my life is turning into "Get to this date, then you'll be fine." I mean what kind of way to live is that? Oh, I know. It's not that much fun! It reminds me of my college days-- living deadline to deadline, and essay to essay. I thought those days would be over once I entered the hum-drum reality of adult life. What the heck! I feel duped (gre word). Okay, I'm done. 

Whew . . . that felt good. Thanks for listening, or well, reading. A friend already gave me a pep talk (she's pretty good at it), but I just needed to whine a little bit more to get through this. You know, the whole concept that writing can be relieving, etc. 

Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing some family and friends during the UEA break. That is if I get over my cold and dare get close to my nephews and niece. Ya, I'm sick too. I love appreciating those cherries that top things off in life. I'd stay and bless you a little more with my negativity, but I have more book reports to read. wOOt! 

Just get me to Stake Conference. Then I can breathe ;)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Conference Weekend

I just got home from St. George after spending the weekend with a bunch of family. I drove down with my mom on Friday night. She hasn't really been back to Gunnison since they moved, and I forced here to come to the Homecoming game with me. We only stayed for the first half because we needed to get on the road, I'm glad she obliged long enough for me to show my face, say hi to students, and take some pictures. We won by the way. Go Bulldogs!
I had a great time in St. George hanging out with fam. We went to Lori's play on Saturday afternoon. The play was great and had an awesome cast. Lori was wonderful. I also got to help out with Faye, my favorite niece. I love being an aunt! We watched conference and stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Snow. Pine Valley was gorgeous as ever. 
It was a long drive, but traveling with my mom was pretty fun. We got caught up on a lot and took in the view. Apparently it snowed in the mountains this weekend, so we stopped to take some shots. None of which did the view justice. 
This week I'm getting ready for the GRE. I'm pretty stressed out. I don't know what I was thinking, but I picked to take the test the weekend before the quarter ends. My poor students. They'll get to see basket-case Ms. Olsen all week long. Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes because heaven knows I won't be blogging until I've taken it. 

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mexico here we come!

So, as Bret already mentioned, Holland and I will be heading south of the border for Christmas. I have been trying to figure out if I could go for a while, but figured it would be too hard to go alone and didn't have the money and couldn't get the days off of school. But, then I emailed Carol Thacker and asked if there was still room on the trip. She said yes, so I called Holland (my partner in most things spontaneous) and talked him into it. My principal is all for it and had no problem letting me go two days early for Christmas. I'm lucky to be in the school I am. I know there is some family that probably wanted to go. I remember some disappointed cousins last year, but I don't know if it is too late or not. I had to get the money in right away, and that was over a week ago. Anyway, if anyone wants to help, I know they can always use more blankets, beanies, coats, and kits (school, hygiene, newborn, etc). If anyone is looking for projects, this might be a good way to help. Even if you just want to donate materials for a quilt or something but don't have time to quilt it, send it my way. I know the people will really appreciate it. In fact, I am hoping Lori Michelle will teach me how to make beanies so I can make a few dozen before we go. Anyway, hasta luego!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Parent Teacher Conferences

Those of you out of school life probably don't keep track of time like I do, but I can hardly believe my school is having parent/teacher conferences on Monday. We sent midterm failing notices out at the beginning of this week, and I'm stunned. When these parents show up on Monday I am going to have nothing to say. My classes are awesome. I don't have hardly any rowdy kids or behavioral problems. I haven't assigned any big assignments (well assigned, but not collected), so most of my student are getting A's. Of course, I can hardly complain about any of it. I'm not nervous to meet any parents, because I don't have much to say negative. For more experienced teachers, this could be the dream situation; however, it is making me nervous. Have I taught these kids anything besides some vocabulary words and parts of speech? I guess I'll come up with something. Well, parents, here it comes. A's for everyone! (just kidding ;)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Olsen Pictures

So my parents commented on the lack of images on my profile, and I agreed. I know it is a new blog so it might take some time to make it look as cool as Bret's or Kim's. Anyway, here are some pics from the Olsen reunion from Labor Day Weekend.
Lori and Villa "chilling" by the fire. 
Aiden eating Cody's Oregon State jacket.
Bret and Parker fishing at the "lake".
A picture with Kim's eyes open (: 

Here is my immediate family that attended. 
Here are my cousins Avery and Amber. Man, we look like Olsens here. And everywhere else for that matter. 
So, ya, here are more pictures for you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yes, apparently if you jump off a cliff, I will follow.

So, here's my first blog. Kind of handy. I just sent an email to most of you about this new blog, but had an update of my life in that email. I am, however, back from my Olsen Family reunion, and will be posting pictures soon (some of which I stole from Amber-Thanks). I had a great time seeing family and catching up. My immediate family was seriously underrepresented, but I'm glad Cody and Kim, and Bret and Lori made it for as much as they did. The camping trip was interrupted by some inclement weather, which made the trip hard for babies. Despite the cold and wet weather, we managed to have a really great time. Thanks to the Steve Olsens for hosting this year's event. The area was gorgeous and the company outstanding. Anyway, my life is boring for now. That's all I've got for this post.