Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tales From a Mute Day 3

Today was a hard day with the whole not talking thing. I hung around this morning and tried to rest. I think I have figured out that I am just pretty bad at resting when I'm told to do so. Being lazy on Saturday and Sunday? No problem. Rest because I had surgery and need it? Impossible! I finally got up and did all the laundry and cleaned the apartment until I ran out of paper towels. Annie came by and we went up to the mall, Target, and Starbucks. I think this is when the no talking thing really got to me. Annie and I haven't seen each other in like years it seems like (really like a month) and I just really wanted to talk to her. Instead, I had to motion things out to her and write on a dry erase board. Although it was pretty funny to watch Annie guess what I was trying to say. **Warning! Never have Annie be your partner in a Charades. She stinks at it**

Tonight Dustin and I went over to my mom's cousins house. Some of our family members that we never get to see were in town. Dustin was driving and had no idea where he was going and I was trying to give directions. This can be very tricky if it's dark and he can't see where I'm pointing. Let's just say there was a lot of banging on the dash board to get his attention and a lot of furious writing on the dry erase board. I'm sure if it had been a comedy movie it would have been hilarious. We hung out awhile at the Family Get Together, but I started to not feel well. In our chaos of trying to get where we needed to go, I accidentally used my voice and swelled up really bad. It was a sad parting though because my cousin Allie that I never get to see was in town. Her and her husband Nat just got married a year and a half ago. Nat has been overseas since the morning after their wedding pretty much, so they are really doing all the newlywed stuff at the same time as us. I so badly wanted to just sit and catch up with her and exchange stories about everything. We were able to communicate a little via dry erase board, but I was still so frustrated. Luckily, they are stationed in Kansas right now so maybe we can get together soon.

Headed to Houston for the 3rd of 6 Christmas' tomorrow. I get to see the Sprague family and I can't wait!

A Very Hotchkiss Christmas

 This past weekend I had my very first Hotchkiss Christmas. I have to say that I consider myself very blessed with the in-laws that I have. I have always felt like I was part of the family and that is just extremely comforting to me.

We got there Friday after sitting in traffic for forever. I have to say that is the only bad part about driving to Abilene. It goes down to one lane for forever and it becomes a parking lot. Friday night we opened up all of our presents and Dustin and I were surprised with iPad 2s. I knew Dustin was getting one, but I had no idea that I was going to too. It was an awesome surprise and we are already very much addicted to them. We can barely put them down. It has been helpful since I can't talk. We have been able to message back and forth on them, and my dad even found an app where I can type what to say and it repeats it for me. I'm still using the laptop for blogging. Do any of you blog from your iPads?

We also got to celebrate Morgan's first Hotchkiss Christmas too! It was fun to see her become so interested by her toys. Dustin and I got her a jacket that looks like a mini north face and a little lovie that has her name on it. She kept kissing the lovie, it was absolutely adorable. She also got a few toys from her Nana and PaPa. Can you believe she is already 8 months? She is going to be walking in no time. I think sometimes she thinks she can and tries to just take off while you hold her up.

Later on, Dustin ended up some how locking the oven door shut for two days and setting his brand new iPad cover on fire. Both on accident and both hilarious stories. How does that happen? He leaned on the oven and shorted out the button. So when the oven locked we couldn't get it unlocked. He finally pried it open with a fork on Sunday. Then he accidentally leaned on the oven again and turned the stove on which burned the iPad cover. Needless to say, Dustin is not allowed anywhere near the oven any more.

Saturday we hung out all day and went to eat at Perini Ranch steak restaurant. It was delicious! Dustin's aunt and uncle and our good friends Mark and Kim came over to hangout. Mark and Dustin have been best friends since elementary school. They have the sweetest little 6 month old daughter named Paisley that we loved getting to play with.

Here a few pictures from the weekend!
 Morgan opening her first gift.
 Loving on her lovie that Uncle Dustin and Aunt Taylor got her
 Her mini little jacket. She immediately tried to eat the zippers off.
 Playing with Uncle Dustin
 Fixing the oven
 New iPad 2s!
 Morgan and Paisley becoming friends.
Paisley and Kim.

Matched Series

Gees, I feel like I should be not talking and off school more often! I am like a blogging machine lately.

Since I cannot talk, I am getting a ton of reading done. Once again, most of the books I read are aimed for middle school kiddos because most of the time I'm reading to put them in my library.

I just got done reading Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie. These is a series I have been wanting to start for a long time and they are absolutely awesome! I finished them so quickly and I can't wait for the 3rd book to come out. Only problem is I have NO IDEA when it is coming out. I didn't get a title, a little excerpt, a release date, or anything! I'm dying here Ally!

Technology, disease, and freedom of choice overtook the world. A new Society was made and they make all the choices. They decide what your job will be, how many calories you get to eat, where you will be every part of the day, your social status, when you get to get married, what age you have kids at, and who you get to marry. Cassia has always planned to follow Society's rules. She becomes the "It Girl" when at her Matched Banquet she gets paired up with her very best friend, Xander. Most girls have to move away and marry someone they have never met. She gets to marry her best friend and the person she has known for all of her life. Everything is perfect. Until Cassia gets home to look at the micro chip of Xander and another face comes up. Problem is, she knows this face. It is Ky, the boy from down the street. Instantly, Cassia doesn't know what to do. Society is perfect; it doesn't make mistakes. How can Xander be her Match, if Ky is too? With the help of Ky, her grandfather, and some poetry Cassia begins to see the cracks that are within the Society, and starts to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

I don't want to go too much into detail about Crossed. It will give away too much that happened at the end of Matched. I'll put it this way, that it has a ton of adventure. You get to see a new side of Cassia. This strong, survivor side that can only be brought out by the man she loves. Here we still see the same battle between who she should be with Ky or Xander. She thought she had finally made up her mind, but now there may be a secret that could cause her to choose the other boy.

These books were really great. If you enjoyed the Hunger Games you will enjoy these. It has the same sort of stand up for your rights, go against what you have been brought up to believe themes. It doesn't have all the violence and killing though. It still has the girl torn between the boy she knows and another that has come along. It also has a strong family connection as well.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tales From a Mute Days 1 and 2

Well, it's official. I am mute until at least next Tuesday. Maybe even longer if the doctor feels like my vocal chords nees to heal a little more at my post-op appointment.

Monday morning Dustin and I woke up bright and early, picked up my mom, and checked into the hospital at 8:15. This was when I started to get pretty nervous. I have not been in the hospital since the day I was born. I've had two other surgeries, Lasik and getting my wisdom teeth pulled. Neither I had to put on a hospital gown, lay in a hospital  bed, or have an IV. I was a little freaked out. My mom and Dustin were able to sit with me until the end. I don't remember much after that. I remember them carting me into another room and moving to the other bed. After that I got nothing. The next thing I remember is a nurse asking me if I needed any pain meds. My throat was hurting, but it was not extremely painful. I was uncomfortable and very drowsy. Even though I wasn't supposed to be talking I think I remember telling one of the nurses that I felt like I was in a dream. The same nurse kept asking me if I needed more pain meds and kept telling me I could still have more. I think I finally got to a point where I thought... eh, why not?

I finally got carted off to another room where my mom and Dustin could come sit with me. This is where the waiting began. This may be a little TMI so I apologize now but, they wouldn't let me leave until I peed. Which for some reason was completely impossible. I guess I got really dehydrated during the surgery and didn't drink as many liquids as I should have the day before. During school, I am really good about drinking water. I go through a whole 24 pack in about 4 days. When I am out of school I just don't think about. Anyways, after TWO IV bags, a glass of apple juice, two glasses of tea, jello, 2 things of apple sauce, chugging two glasses of water, and one threat of a catheter, I finally went after only 3 1/2 hours. It was ridiculous. We spent the rest of the day hanging out at my parents house and laughing at me not being able to talk. Luckily, I am not on any diet restrictions except that it can't be something that will poke at my throat like chips. I am dying without chips and queso.

I am on a pain medicine I take every 4 hours and some steroids to help my throat not swell and help me not clear my throat or cough. This morning was interesting. Since it is really just a sore throat I forget I still need to rest. I got up this morning and went shopping with my mom and Nana. I carried around a dry erase board with me all day. At one point in Buy Buy Baby, I lost my mom and needed help finding something. When the lady asked if I needed help I whipped out the dry erase board and just started writing. My mom was moritified when she came by and  I was communicating with this lady on a board. Morgan came over later and took me to Target where I got the rest of my Christmas shopping done. I am officially finished Christmas shopping which I am super excited about. I finally came home, wrapped my presents, and crashed. My throat was killing me and it was really hard to swallow. After my nap, I felt a billion times better. Just shows that I push myself too much and need to learn to rest. I have ordered myself to the couch tomorrow and will rest.

I have forgotten three times that I can't talk. I got onto the dog this morning for jumping up at the counter and that really hurt. Twice I talked to Dustin, but caught myself. My voice sounds funny though. Hopefully it will all work out. The doctor said not to expect immediate results.

Dustin has been super sweet. I thought he was going to drive me nuts, but he has been taking care of me. His favorite thing to say is "You know, you must be really mad because you haven't said two words to me all day" or when I try to mouth something out to him and he say "what?! speak up!"

 They put this "Fall Risk" braclet on me, and I thought it was hilarious. In fact, I'm still wearing it.
Trying to avoid my mom while she takes a picture of me. That gown looks massive on me doesn't it? 

Holiday Treats

This year I was trying to save money and decided to make treats for all my teacher friends. Since I am as non-creative as you can get, I decided to steal an idea from Pinterest and one of the blogs that I follow. Just as a heads up I made entirely way to much. I was trying to make sure I had enough for 16 school friends and ended up with enough extra to give to two friends, my parents, and my in-laws.

First on the list, were the smores treats. I found this idea on Pinterest and it came from this cute little website.

As I said, I am not very creative and most things I end up making/baking don't turn out all that great. These were super easy.

Box of Golden Grahams
12 oz bag of chocolate chips (if you are a nut like me and bought too many bags you can use two)
1 bag of mini marshmallows
5 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla. (I used a little more and couldn't tell a difference)

 Morgan came over to help me bake everything and she was a huge help. It was getting pretty late and she helped with all the cleaning. I think Dustin silently thanked her because who knows when I would have gotten to it.
 This is actually step two. I forgot to take a picture of step one. Melt the 5 tablespoons of butter in a pan on the stove. Once it is melted add in the vanilla and 5 cups of the marshmallows. Keep stirring it until almost all of it is melted. Pour all of the melted mix into a large mixing bowl and add in the box of Golden Grahams bag of chocolate chips (or two), and the rest of the marshmallows. Start to mix it all together. I used a spoon because it was super sticky!
 Pour the mix into a 13x9 pan. They are supposed to be pretty thick. For my friends from school I made them pretty thin. I was able to use two pans and a pie plate. For mine and Dustin's parents I made them thicker and I think they stuck together better. They need to sit in the fridge to set together. We were kind of in a hurry and put them in the freezer. I even left my families in their over night and they stuck together perfectly.
This is what they look like when they are done. These were the thinner batch that we made. They taste just like a smore and are delicious. My mom and I kind of went back and forth on if they need to stay in the fridge or not. I thought they tasted soggy if not, but my mom loved them. I will say they don't last more than about 2 days. By the time we got to Abilene to see Dustin's parents, the cereal was sort of stale. These were super delicious though and extremely easy!

The second treat I made I got from a blog I follow called Mr. and Mrs. Smith. If you don't follow Natalie you totally should. I used to work with her husband in college at Bless Your Heart, and I so wish I would have gotten to Natalie more because I think we could have been really good friends. Their two boys are super precious too!

These were the Reindeer Treats that I made that Natalie showed. I have to warn you that this makes a ton of treats! I was worried looking at the ingredients that I didn't have enough so I went out and bought everything again. I ended up with entirely too much! Dustin is loving snacking on all the extras.
Half a box of Rice Chex
Half a box of Wheat Chex
Half a box of Pretzels
Half a bag of marshmallows
Half a bag of M&Ms of your choice
12 oz bag of White Chocolate chips

(Just think I did this by 4! Ridiculous!)
 Melt the white chocolate in a pan on the stove. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Since I didn't use half of anything and just used the whole bag or box I ended up with three huge mixing bowls for each batch.
 Once the chocolate is melted, mix it in the bowl. It won't seem like a lot of chocolate, but I promise it goes a long way. You will want to really mix it. I started to notice that I had huge chunks in some places and dry spots on the bottom. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes and then dish it out. This was a huge hit at school. I had another friend at school that made the same thing, but she used some sort of candy and put icing and sprinkles on them to look like stockings. They were super cute.
Us two at the end of the night. Please don't judge this picture too much. It was very late. Next post coming up... how I am going to lose weight!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mortal Instruments Series

In case you don't know, I am an avid reader. I constantly have a book in my hand, purse, by my bed, or in the car. Becoming a reading teacher was the most perfect job for me. My students laugh when I tell them about my piles by my bed stand. I have about 30 books by the bed right now and I always have to do the next book in the pile and never jump around. I'm crazy I know. I figured some of you all would like to know the books I'm reading. Now, most of what I read are for my classroom and are geared towards 7th graders. I try to mix books for adults in, and every once in awhile a book I think is for my class ends up being totally inappropriate for the 12 year old mind. I also know, that if you are like me, you find the young adult/teen books more interesting then the trash that gets written for our age group.

I recently just got into the Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare. I was hoping I could put it into my classroom, but it needs no place in a middle school classroom. High school kiddos would like it. If you were a Twilight fan, you'll love this. If you weren't because you thought it was cheesy you will love this too. This is a more mature version of all of those books and is not just a love story.

If you like to read before the movie comes out, this series is being turned into a movie too. Clary has a pretty simple life. Her mom, Jocelyn, and her are pretty close. It has always been the two of them since her father died at a young age. Jocelyn's friend, Luke, has always been like a father figure to Clary, and she also has her best friend, Simon who has been acting a little weird lately. Clary and Simon head out one night to the club in town. While there, Clary sees three people dressed funny take a good looking guy into a back closet. Clary follows them in there where she sees the three figures kill the man. She soon finds out that she is the only person who is able to see the three who we later find out are Jace, Isabelle, and Alec. Fast forward a few nights later, Clary and Jocelyn get in a rare fight. Luke and Jocelyn have decided they will be moving far away from everything they know and soon. They refuse to tell her why. In her anger, Clary storms out of the house to go see Simon's untalented, nameless band play a gig. Clary gets a phone call from her mom to stay as far away as possible and never come home. Out of nowhere Jace, one of the people she saw at the club, appears and takes her home. Once she gets home, Clary finds a torn apart apartment, her mother missing, and a demon who wants to kill her. Clary soon finds out that everything in her life has been a lie. Her mother and herself are part of a group of Shadowhunters. Their main goal is to eliminate demons from the world. She in introduced to this world by Jace and his family. Jace and Clary soon find themselves in a romantic relationship. It was one that I was really wanting to see work out. It didn't seem childish like Twilight. It also was not an unhealthy relationship which is what we normally see in these paranormal romances. A relationship where the other cannot survive anything and they will lose literally everyone for that one person.

 I really enjoyed these books. It put an adult twist on a simple story. I couldn't put the books down. There will be 6 in the whole series. This was the only thing that made me a little upset. I feel like most authors these days are jumping on the trilogy/series bandwagon. They stretch stories out longer than they should. At the end of book 3, I had no questions. I was happy with where each character was, and I wasn't wondering what happened to any part of the story. The story kept going into a 4th book. I thought the author would at least change the villain. Show what it was like now that Clary had a better hold on her life. Instead she stretched out the same one and probably will for the remainder of the series. I also have to warn you that the first book takes a disturbing twist near the end. It was something that really bothered me and took way longer to fix it self than I thought it should have. All in all, I loved these books. I'm sticking with the last two because I'm attached to the characters. I want to see what happens to each one and I'm really pushing for Clary and Jace.

 Pictures from

Friday Night Movies #2

Dustin and I enjoyed another Friday night of watching movies last weekend. I am totally loving this whole movie night thing with my guy. Dustin is very much of a go-go-go person. He is constantly bored and wants something crazy to entertain him at all times. If you know me, I am very opposite. I love my crazy nights out where I get to dance the night away. However, because I am around 1,000 middle schoolers every day and work crazy hours, most nights I just want to sleep. Anyways, here are the two movies we watched last weekend.

First on the list... The Help.

If you haven't read The Help  you are seriously missing out.It was probably one of the best books I have read in a long time. Emma Stone (who is my personal favorite) plays Skeeter who just graduated from college with a journalist degree. While most of the girls in her town go to college, they all come back with their MRS. instead of an actual education. This leaves Skeeter as the odd girl in her group of friends especially her two best friends Hilly and Elizabeth. Skeeter is trying to find a job with a big magazine or newspaper. She is also battling a judgmental, cancer-stricken mother and the fact that the maid who raised her from birth has mysteriously left without a goodbye. Skeeter's friend, Hilly, is the one around town trying to make sure that the help have separate bathrooms and is constantly on all her friends to do the same. This is part of why Skeeter decides to write from the help's point of view. She convinces Abileen, Elizabeth's maid, to tell her stories of what it is like to work for a white woman. Abileen is able to convince her angered, funny, takes no mess best friend Minny to help. I thought the movie was super cute. It, of course, wasn't as good as the book, but they never are. I loved it though! Very close to what the book was.

Second movie of the night.... The Change Up
This was Dustin's pick and I was totally against it. I thought it looked horribly stupid and seemed like yet another stupid Freaky Friday movie that we have all seen a thousand times. Once again, I was completely wrong. He has now proved me wrong for two weeks in a row. This was movie was pretty funny. Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman have been friends for forever. Ryan's character, Mitch, lives the single life. He brings different girls home every week and has no plan or goals for his life. Jason's character, Dave, is married, has two kids, and is on his way to being partner. Both the guys go out for a night on the town where they start to talk about the perks of each other's lives. Soon they drunkenly find themselves peeing in a fountain and wishing for each others lives. They then wake up the next morning inside the other's mind. You can pretty much predict what happens next. It is the exact same as all the other Freaky Fridays that there are. I thought this was hilarious though. I could not stop laughing. Totally worth seeing on a Friday night home.

My surgery is tomorrow morning at 9:45. I'm super nervous and excited at the same time! I'll let you know how it goes. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday Night Movies

Dustin and I are on a huge movie kick right now. Last Friday we watched two movies after coming home from dinner, and did the same thing this past Friday. I loved all the movies we have been watching and thought I'd share the two we watched last week.
First movie of the night: Friends with Benefits. This was the cutest movie I have ever seen. I was hesitant to watch it because we had already watched No Strings Attached with Ashton Kutcher and this was pretty much the same plot line. I liked Friends with Benefits so much better. It was a super cute love story. Justin Timberlake's character, Dylan, gets broken up with and decides to take a job in New York. Mila Kunis' character, Jamie, is the recruiter that gets him out there and becomes his only friend. She too is fresh off a break up. Eventually, their friendship leads to an intimate relationship with no strings attached. The chemistry between the two was so cute. I always love movies that I feel like the relationship could actually happen. Not something taken out of a fairy tale that gives girls that hopeless dream of this magical ending. I cried twice during the movie. Dylan's dad is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. This hit a little close to home because my grandmother has started to forget more and more the past few years. The other part that brought tears was the ending which I won't give away. I highly recommend this movie. It was so cute and a flash mob which always calls for a good movie in my  book. (Side note- one of my life long dreams is to be part of a flash mob! or at least see one!)
Second movie of the night: 30 Minutes or Less. To be honest, when I saw the previews for this movie it looked ridiculously stupid. In fact, I think I refused to see it in the theater when Dustin asked. Since we had watched a "chick flick" as our first movie, he got to pick the second. This movie was actually funny. I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times. Jesse Eisenberg's character, Nick, gets a bomb attached to him by two guys named Dwayne and Travis. Dwayne is trying to get enough money to pay a hit man to kill his dad. The two tell Nick he has a certain amount of hours to rob a bank and get the money to them. In Nick's hurry he tells his best friend Chet. The two make a plan to go rob the bank and from there a series of events happens that turn the whole scenario into a hilarious mess. I'm glad we ended up watching  this because it was actually funny and not as stupid as it looked. I wouldn't recommend it be your first pick on a lonely Friday night, but if there isn't anything else to watch it is certainly a go to!

I'll update you on the other two we watched later on. We are on a 8 day countdown until I have to become mute for a week. Expect lots of rambling updates then. I'll have to get my communication out somehow. Tales from a Mute maybe I'll call it. Have a good week!