Wednesday, October 28, 2009

hooray for bolt buses!
i am currently riding one of these lovely vehicles. there are leather seats, outlets, and wireless. wow. who knew traveling by bus has been upgraded so such luxuries?? and all this joy for just $13.00! the bolt and i get to be together for over 4 hours today as she takes me from the land of musicals and yellow taxis to the land of wisdom and transcendentalists! (nyc to boston) =)

this morning was a bit of an adventure. if you know me, you know that some adventures tend to make me tear up a bit and stress and worry and a bit of fear. but you will be very happy to know, that i didn't even begin to form a tear. i think i am truly growing up!

yesterday was a perfect new york city day. i have been to new york a few times. i have done the musicals and time square. i have done and LoVeD Ellis Island. i have done chinatown. i been silenced by ground zero. 've explored 5th Ave. all the major NYC spots. thus, i was not stressed to do any of it yesterday.

i got up from a heavenly sleep at jen's. she had an air mattress already for me when i stumbled in at 11:30 pm Monday night. i got ready and walked out to the rain. (don't stress, jen is the perfect martha hostess and had an extra umbrella and metro map and house key for me to use. talk about the dream!) got to the subway and headed to ground zero.

why, you ask? a few years ago, i worked for Girls Quest - a girls camp for low income girls. it was held in Albany, NY. it was during this camp i was told i needed to have my thyriod removed because there was a great likelihood i had cancer in some tumors. i had been hired as the Educational Director. we started working as soon as i got there. we had so many things planned and ready to go. but then, 10 days later i was home. Bev McEntarfer was the director. we had a wonderful time together!! so it was a hard good-bye to say.

Bev is working for another organization, directing camp, and i headed to ground zero area to visit her. we had a wonderful hour long chat and she was off to a meeting. it was soo good to be with her. it reminded me just how much i love working and planning and creating opportunities for the youth to discover their best selves.

i jumped onto the subway from her office and made a quick stop at canal street to buy a gray scarf i had been wanting. and then back on the subway to head to Columbia's Teachers College.

i had a 1:00 pm appointment to take a tour of the facility. i walked quickly through a few streets and got there panting. lovely. i had worn a shade shirt under my blouse - worrying about the weather. stupid! i ran to the restroom and deleted that shade shirt layer. so much better!

in all my hussle, i forgot to eat. so at 2:30 pm i found artopolis. here i had a crepe with egg, ham, and cheese. then, the strawberry mouse - aka strawberry shortcake - was just a little too tempting. talk about heaven!! then, i found myself walking. and walking. and walking. i went through central park that was beautifully wet and covered with fallen colored leaves. i went down 5th avenue and wondered about the lives of those that actually call this street home. i pondered the excitement of being a doorman at the luxurious apartment buildings. i passed a protest. i looked into beautifully decorated shops on madison. i got a cramp in my foot after about 3 hours of walking. i went into the American Girl Store and almost started crying. They stopped making Samantha last year. and i was heart broken. i always had wanted her. and the sign in the door said that Kirsten was next. ugh. i think the company is going to destroy my childhood dreams. i so wanted to buy these dolls for my daughters and enjoy them through my girls. ugh. NOW i just might cry.

did i mention that on one of the subway trips a 60 plus-year old man offered to take me to Paris?? he said he wished it was 30 years ago and he would have! he informed me that my husband (white lies are totally allowed, correct??) is the very, very lucky man. and that i needed to remind him of that and let him know i was almost stolen to enjoy Paris with a stranger. let's not analyze the type of men i attract. let's just enjoy the compliment. right??! :)

back to the night. i went from rockefeller square to union square and met jen at the bald man's chocolate place. (note. this is NOT the official name. check it out here.) we ate way too much. but it was divine! i had my favorite thin crust pizza with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella and for deseret, chocolate chip banana bread with chocolate sauce, strawberries, and real whipped cream on the side. why is this place NOT in utah??

the original plan had been that jen and i and her roommate were going to go to a movie in harlem - good hair. about how black women do their hair. jen said it is definitely an experience because people talk to the movie!!
BUT after walking forever and eating two meals within hours of each other, i was ready for bed! so we went home and just chatted and went to bed.

who knew that i would sleep so soundly that i wouldn't wake up until 9:00 AM!!!! i hurried and got ready to go and went out to get to the bolt bus station. lovely complications that we won't get into, found me at the bus station 10 minutes AFTER the bus was to leave. fabulous. i didn't know what corner of 34th and 8th ave to was to find the bus. i called to see what would happen if i missed the bus. i was told i could just get the 12:00 pm bus. phew! but thankfully the bus and i had similar problems and it was late also!! so i got on just fine at 11:20ish and am not enjoying the quiet and the scenery of the lush east coast.

i was suppose to have an appointment with a professor at harvard. but i emailed she secretary to let her know it probably wouldn't be happening seeing as how late the bus was and how we hit traffic getting out of the city. she informed me not to stress and that i could meet with her later tomorrow. hooray!!

we'll see how things go tomorrow!!
ps no camera :( i'll have to see about begging someone to take pictures for me!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

guess who's on the radio!?!?
weird. me!

this summer, a friend of mine who works and producing a few of the LDS Church radio shows asked me to come be on a panel radio show. it is all about singles and there was a mix of 5 singles - 3 guys and 2 girls. we have all experienced a variety of single's wards and were in various stages of life. it was so fun to do and it is now available for listening.

it's about an hour, so feel free NOT to listen unless you have a while. ;-)

ps one of the best surprises was that one of the guys, jason, is my good friend's brother! sooo nice to have a familiar face!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

the pumpkins!!
drum roll please . . .

because mike and i teach together, i showed the students our pumpkins - without telling who carved them, just said here are two pumpkins - and asked them to vote on their favorite. little did they know they were judging between their pe and their english teachers work!!

mike said i look pretty excited! i think it was more like, "are we REALLY taking these??" even though it was my idea. hmm.

can you guess whose was whose??

Saturday, October 17, 2009


i have these giant windows in my classroom (see post below) and i wanted to make a pennant thing. so that was today's goal. my incredible mom helped me think through things last night and then got out many of her harvest themed fabrics. i worked with some of them, but went to the local fabric store and found some others (may have bought a BiT more than i needed, so if you are looking for fabrics, shop at my house first!).

i cut out the fabrics and had them all laid out in order, when my mom came dashing into the kitchen remembering that she needed to have cookies made for tomorrow. i was ironing the pennants and wasn't looking too forward to the sewing part, so i offered to switch jobs with my mama - talk about a win-win! she doesn't love making cookies and i don't love hemming! tah-dah! heaven! here's how things turned out:

getting prepared to sew . . .
dearest mom taking over . . .
sweet! i get to where my apron miss gave me!
did i mention my mom is amazing!?!
i LOVE the fabrics i found
heaven! heaven! heaven! i'll take more pics of it at school on the windows!
cookies ready for taking
and not to mention the kitchen is clean!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


along these big huge windows, i want to make those cute banners with the triangle flags.
i think that will be this saturday's project, wanna help??
oh and the quote is, "if you wait for inspiration, you aren't a writer, you are a waiter" ;-)

a former student told me that it just wouldn't be miss snyder's room without batman somewhere . . . . oh my crush on christian bale . .

cute stack of books poster soon to be coming above the white bookshelf . . .

dear justyn
"a reader today, a leader tomorrow"

my GiAnT piece of paper - so they see how i want things written (like it works, but i try!)

"don't fear making a mistake, fear failing to learn and move forward"
fyi . . .
the open space above the white book shelf will soon have a hand-made poster of a stack of books, and the space before the reading quote will hopefully have a hand-made poster of an open book . . . hint, hint becca. please?!?!?

remember how i LOVE teaching english?? i have been teaching math this week - long story!! - and as much as i have missed teaching math (truly i have. lots of days i have walked by the math teacher's room and just been green with envy, thus, i took the opportunity to teach it this week . . . ), i have deeply and dearly missed my class, my classroom, and my subject. who knew? i taught all but science for 6 years and loved it all. who knew that i would be so in love with english alone?? but i am.

i miss the feel of my room, i miss the climate, i miss how the kids behave with me in my room (yep, i am different in math, just ask justyn. he has told me twice in two days that he likes me better as an english teacher!! but he follows it up with the fact that he has learned lots this week and does like me as a math teacher too, phew!).

i am majorly excited for tomorrow. lizzy has uea tomorrow and so no school for her. so she is coming to my class!!! it's fun to get to teach her age group - finally!! so she will come in school uniform (khakis, navy, and white) and be with me all day. i can't wait. i've been telling my students about it for a few weeks. she is incredible and i can't wait for my students to know and love her.

i'll take more pics tomorrow night because a friend from school is following me home and we are going to carve/paint/design/decorate pumpkins. miss snyder wood sent me a link to a blog that had some beautiful pumpkins. mike wants to make sick scary ones. i will be making classy ones!! :) stay tuned!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Harvest Fest 2009!!

miss and court have a harvest fest that is one of the greatest highlights of my entire year. it kills me how beautifully martha everything is. becca took some of these pictures. in the one above, you will notice that the cups are stacked in alternating colors. remember how they don't come packaged like that? this means, the ladies did this themselves. who thinks like that?? :( not me. continuing to the right in this picture, you will find a basket. within this perfectly pumpkin color container you will find napkins wrapped around untensils tied with a harvest colored bow. yep. miss chalk, aka martha stewart, is my bff and i am the luckiest person in the world!!

these types of details FiLLeD their home - cake balls in celophane bags and tied with a bow, a garage full of "make and takes" - complete with instructions and all the supplies needed, homemade soups and cider and a table full of harvest delights! along with all this harvest heaven-ness, the beauty of harvest fest is the reunion of friendships. for most of us, it is the one time a year we see each other and catch up. friendships that have been cemented and that are the kind you just pick up in the middle of the intense and tender and often sacred conversation that you were in the middle of last year at harvest fest. this is priceless. and a special gift.

and then, interspersed within the ongoing conversations are the exciting beginnings of new relationships and friends. for example, there was one girl whom i have know from a distant. we have a number of common treasured friendships (heart-mates) and yesterday, we had our first official bonding moment. it was the cherry on top of my harvest heaven.

so, happy happy harvest. happy colored leaves. happy soup and warm fires and blankets surrounding while reading or movie watching.

me and molly making our magnets

preparations for the rolls, they were still baking . . yum!

beautiful michelle and heather. never enough time to chat

amber and her adorable little boy. she wanted me to note that she is 5 months along with baby boy #2!!

me and nat - miss' incredible sister!!

the table of tantalizing treats!

chad rigged the ribbon in the garage. wow!

amy and miss . . .

amy and miss. amy decided to smile for this one!


court got up to dance! too bad i didn't have a video camera!

me and molls being crafty. shocker that i'm talking . . . i'm sure it was very important!

molly and jenn .. .

martha done untensils!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

oh the joys of fantastic rainy fall days!!

that sounds rather sarcastic, but it is 100% how i feel. i LOVE rainy fall days! add some homemade beef stew and cornbread, and it is a "little bit of heaven". thus, today, i experienced what i imagine heaven to be like.

add to this little bit of heaven, listening to the prophet and the apostle's voices for the last 2 days, and my life is pretty close to perfect. wow.

i had 2 tickets from working on the curriculum committee. melissa and tillie flew out saturday morning and mom and dad flew in saturday afternoon. so, i got one ticket for saturday morning, and one ticket for saturday afternoon. definitely not a big deal in my life to do things by myself. i find myself truly getting to experience something at a different level. thus, i was rather excited about the day.

friday night, i found out that i didn't need to be up and ready as early on saturday because melissa's in-laws volunteered to take her and tillie to the airport. so i slept a bit longer and very unrush-ed-ly headed to salt lake at about 8:50 am ish. by the time i found a place to park and walked to the conference center, it was 9:48 am and there were STILL lines outside. i got in and seated and thoroughly enjoyed the first session.

i had packed a little lunch, so as the morning session ended, i headed over to temple square to find a little place to sit and eat. it was lovely. people watching is one of my all-time favorite past times. i love to observe people and just appreciate their goodnesses. conference weekend is the ideal time and place to observe. so, for about 25 minutes, i ate yummy homemade pizza (i LOVE having a gourment chef as my sister!) and watched.

i headed back over to the conference center just as they were opening the doors. it was 12:30 pm, so the center was very empty. it was peaceful just to look around and sit in awe.

then i saw the featherstone's from a distance!! president featherstone was in the stake presidency of a ward i was in while living in east millcreek. he and i had a few opportunities to bond and then i met his wife and wow, i feel in love with their family! sister featherstone came to speak at an enrichment meeting. it was one of the most powerful talks i have heard. then, she was called to be on the Young Women general board, and i got to see her weekly.

they have been one of the most precious relationships i have missed since leaving the Relief Society Building. so, when i saw them, i went over to saw hello and give big fat hugs! heaven was smiling upon me because they happened to have an extra seat. they told me to get my things and come sit with them.
president featherstone is the one behind the camera. yep, he is a filmmaker.
the amazing and beautiful sister featherstone.

it's funny how people rarely know that they have been an answer to prayers. even when you try to tell them, they rarely believe it. the featherstone's definitely were answers to unasked prayers. i love them and they taught me Heaven was watching out for me.

thus, hooray for perfect rainy fall days!!