Monday, August 30, 2010

Writer's Notebook

As I recently started my fall semester in my graduate program, I've returned to an old love of mine. Writing.

I have definitely neglected this part of my life for quite some time, and although I love to do it, and love the feeling of creating words and meaning, I just haven't found time to get it done. I am horrible at journal writing, horrible at blogging, and just a procrastinator by nature. I don't know why, but one class of mine seems to have broken that habit.

Maybe it's because she's forcing me, but I have consistently over the last week been writing in my "writer's notebook." It's nothing fancy, but I've been asked to keep one as this might be something that I use in my future classroom. We are supposed to write for at least 10 minutes, 5 days a week for the full 15 weeks of class. This probably seemed daunting to most of my fellow students, but to me, it was a challenge that I embraced. I went to Barnes and Noble and bought some little journals I could carry with me and I copied my entry from class that day onto the pages.

I missed two days this week, which is all I can miss according to the syllabus, and I've felt great. I really do miss writing. I miss reading too and journeying through those wonderful worlds that I create in my head. I must sound so hippie right now...but oh well. I have realized that there are enough hours in the day, and that I do have enough time to do the things I want to, I just need to prioritize.

I now need to find more time for scripture study, for prayer, for talking on the phone with my husband when we're apart, and for contemplating. I have found those extra 10 minutes a day to write and to enjoy it. Maybe little by little I'll find the time.

Who would have thought that this inspiration would come from a class? The only thing I wish is that it wasn't forced...but maybe that's just what I needed. ;)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2nd Anniversary/Summer Break

Happy Anniversary Babe!

Life has been a little crazy lately, but I hear that is what life is all about. I just got back to Colorado yesterday from an adventure to Kansas and Minnesota! Two places I previously had no desire to visit until my husband moved to Kansas and my sister moved to Minnesota and had another baby. It was a great couple of weeks away.

I arrived in Wichita at 11pm on Thursday August 5th, the day my classes ended, and Jon picked me up from the airport. It was so amazingly good to see him, it had been almost 7 weeks since the weekend he came to visit me in Colorado. He had to work on Friday morning, but that afternoon we were able to take a trip down to Oklahoma City and stayed the night with Jon's grandmother.

Jon Driving
Me and Bing

We went to the Oklahoma City Temple the next day for our cousin Sterling's endowment, and it was also my 2 year mark from receiving my endowment. It was a very special session for both me and the Brillharts.

We spent Saturday afternoon driving, went to Eskimo Joe's for lunch with part of the Brillhart clan, and went out for our anniversary dinner at Cafe Bel Ami. Eskimo Joe's was as expected, a great little burger joint that's apparently world famous and resides in Stillwater, OK, where Jon was born. I got shirts for me, Colby and Saige there. Cafe Bel Ami was an amazing Italian place in Wichita that was very high class. The food was excellent too.

On Sunday, it was our actual two year mark! 08/08/10! We didn't do much but enjoy each others company, go to church, entertain some Brillhart children, visit with Alli and Chris who were driving back from Texas, and go to a birthday party for a different Brillhart child. It was definitely a packed day, but not really with Anniversary stuff, especially since it was Sunday.

Monday Jon cooked me breakfast which we ate kind of late, and then we headed out to see my Anniversary present. Jon took me to Tanganyika Wildlife Park where we are members!

It is like a private zoo where you can get closer to the animals and really enjoy your visit. Even though it was terribly humid, we still had a lot of fun with the animals.

A Lemur - yes we were really that close to him

A Red Kangaroo - if they get close enough you can pet them, but they didn't get close enough to that was kind of sad.

The Tortoise...

And the Hare!

A huge Rhinoceros

And a baby Giraffe

We were supposed to get a welcome packet in the mail but it didn't come in time. Oh well. As far as zoo's go, Wichita also houses the Sedgwick County Zoo. We weren't able to go on this trip, but there will be another trip to Kansas I'm sure. :)

Now time to visit Courtney and Company! I flew into Minneapolis St Paul airport at 11pm on Wednesday August 11th. Then I had to drive 4 hours to Bemidji where Courtney and Mark live. I arrived safely and was so happy to see my niece and nephew. I hadn't met Saige yet and she is already 4 months old! Where did the time go? She is so big, and she looks older than 4 months. She's still a little chunk just cause she doesn't crawl or walk yet. Colby is cute as ever and just a great kid. He looks so old now that he has a little sister. He is a good big brother and likes to 'help.'

Colby liked to wear my hat

Saige with the ugly Elephant I made her...

Colby and Saige

Friday we went to the Mississippi Headwaters, since Bemidji is the first city on the Mississippi River. It was a really nice day and we had a good time.

Colby with the river behind him

Looking through the slats

At the headwaters

Playing in the water
We walked across the Mississippi!

Courtney with sleeping Saige

All of us at the headwaters

On Saturday we went to Paul Bunyan Animal Land. When you first get there, it looks pretty ghetto, and it kind of is. The animals are in sort of makeshift cages and some of them don't look too happy. The best part was seeing Colby enjoy feeding them, and feeding the deer and camels. We spend most of our time in the deer pen but we did walk around to see all the other animals.

Colby feeding the tortoise

The tortoise enjoying his carrot

Colby with the lion

The animals in cages were fed through a tube.

I felt pretty bad for this bear

In the deer pen. It was so cool! There were tons of deer and they ate the corn right out of our hands. Here is Colby feeding one of the deer.

A picture of other deer in the park

Colby feeding his favorite camel. It was so cute because this camel followed us and stuck his head through the barn window just so Colby could feed him. I fed this camel too and he slobbered all over my hand. It was disgusting, and after I shook of my hand from the slobber, Colby decided he would do so too. So cute!

Colby feeding a different camel

They had some other animals inside and a pond of rainbow trout. The animals they had were pretty random, but it was a cool experience to see them, and to see Colby just love it so much.

They even had a baby kangaroo inside!

Sunday was my last day with the Ellis clan, and before I left for the airport we took one last stop at Paul Bunyan Park, which is Bemidji's Visitor's Center.

You can see the little train in the background!

Courtney and little Saige

Me with Saige, Courtney with Colby by Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox!

My camera died right about then, but Courtney did get some great shots of me with the kids by the lake on her camera. After visiting the Visitor's Center, I hugged the kids and my sister goodbye and drove to the airport in Minneapolis. I hated leaving those little ones. They grow so fast and I live so far away. I'm sure I'll see them again soon though.

It was also my only 'summer break' since I've been in school all summer. I did get the results back from my last 6 weeks of classes and guess what?! I earned all As again. YES! Now I feel like I have a reputation to uphold and I'm super nervous about the fall semester. :( It is going to be crazy busy and I really don't want to deal with that right now. I have one more week of freedom till I'm back to classes and also teaching in an elementary classroom! That's right, I'm starting a practicum that requires me to spend 15 hours a week in an elementary classroom and I'll be teaching in a Fourth Grade classroom at Shepardson Elementary School in Fort Collins! I'm so excited to start this new semester, but definitely nervous still.

Now I'm just waiting on the results of my Praxis Exam to see if I passed the test to be an Elementary Educator. In the mean time I'll be super busy, so don't plan on many more blog posts!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cake Decorating

"We heard you liked cakes, so we put a cake on your cake!"

Over the months of June and July, Tabi and I took two cake decorating classes. Through these classes we learned basic decorating techniques, as shown in the cake above, as well as how to make different designs and flowers.

Here are some pictures of my cake decorating adventures!

Assorted Cupcakes!

Shaggy Mum - One of my Favorites

PomPom Flower - Another favorite

My not so great final project, it should have writing on it and leaves... (She wouldn't let me do what I wanted to do, so it was really frustrating and I didn't get much done on it)

Button Flower


Pink Roses - Lower right was the best


Apple Blossom

Daffodil - This was probably my favorite!

Lilies! My favorite flower

Up close of the white lily

Up close of the yellow lily

My final project for the second class has yet to be completed, but I will add it to the end of this post once it is. It was a lot of fun to learn a new skill. I'm glad I got to take these classes!