Wednesday, February 19, 2020

August 2019 - Jacob's 21st Birthday and a suprise surgery

Jacob came home for what was supposed to be a quick trip after his school was done and it ended up being longer than we all planned. 

Jacob started out his time celebrating a birthday. The big 21!


Happy Birthday Jacob!!

While he was home he wanted to have his shunt checked because he was having some worrying symptoms (that he hadn't really told us about). 

We got him in for an appointment and Jeff had them rush through test results and a day before he was originally planning  to fly back up to school he was going into Choc for a surgery. It was a whirlwind and scary, especially when he passed out and started having convulsions as they were putting the IV in his hand for the surgery. (Made for a scary beginning!)

It was a long wait in an empty hospital since it was a Saturday. They didn't even tell us when he was done because there wasn't any volunteers working that day. 

We were very relieved when we got to the room and Jacob was awake and alert and the surgery was done!

We could finally relax!

Jacob's visit was longer than expected and we go to enjoy having him home. 

Playing video games for some Bro time. 

We had some of Steve and Tahna's family over to visit too. 

We drove up for a lunch with Grandma Nelson. 

Before Jacob went back to school he went to Norma to have a haircut. It was pretty stylish and he looked much better!!

Right before Taylor went back home Jacob treated us to a concert of one of his latest songs that he learned while he was up at school. 

August 2019 New Job for me

At the beginning of August I got a call from a Principal at Central Middle School about a week before school as supposed to start. They were looking for a long term sub that could work for 1/2 the year. I was surprised and I wasn't planning to work full time this year but since I had done student teaching for the same amount the year before I knew what type of time commitment I was looking at. 

I liked the campus, I liked the sense of community and I really liked the administration so I decided to take a chance. It was a lot of work (for sub pay) and I had a lot to learn but it was a really good experience and I'm glad I did it. 

I had a week to get ready, come up with rules, expectations and get ready to teach. They were just transitioning to a new curriculum so we kind of were working it out as we went for a lot of the time. Here are a few highlights. 

The teacher I was filling in for was on maternity leave so I had to clean up the classroom, and make it my own a bit. I started by organizing and throwing away old food and stashing the mess, ha ha. 


I rearranged bulletin boards, moved tables around and used my Cricut to personalize the room. 

My classroom rules....nice but next time I would have explicit expectations posted for things like labs and tests. 

The first few days of school I was pretty nervous but I learned to be adaptable, learn quickly and be open minded and ask lots of questions. One of our first activities we did four corners to do an impromptu science experiment to poll what kind of super powers the rest of the class would like. to have if they could. 

We did a mystery substance lab. We did lots of labs...

I had them record themselves with videos 

We did some projects outside. 

We did engineering challenges, like the paper chain challenge and make the tallest tree. 

I participating in things like Crazy Hair Day and even got on the Central Instagram page. 

I had good days (like the boy that drew me this picture)

And bad days that were frustrating and long 
(like finding this mess in the sink, and having classroom things destroyed)

Middle Schoolers are loud, destructive, do things without thinking but are also social, engaging (most of the time) like novelty and are generally interested in science. They take patience and grace but I also felt I had instances where I could support and build them up and I would like to think that I was an asset to the school while I was there. 

August 2019 Random Events

Some random events from the month of August...

Jacob was taken to lunch by the Ralston/Allen family when they were up in Idaho checking out schools! What a nice thoughtful thing to do! Jacob was happy to see them!

Ashley become a ginnea pig babysitter for a month. While Jolene went up to Utah and decided whether she could take Gus up with her Ashley was practicing being a good pet owner. She was pretty good at it and even was able to cut his nails without him squirming.  

The new thing was the FaceApp that makes everyone look old. We have a day when we were swapping pictures back and forth to each other of us looking old. Hillarious! 

About a week after we got back from staying at the beach house I took Ashley and Anna down to the  the Vans US Open in Huntington Beach. We met up with Virginia, Jared and Dean as well. 

We watched some of the BMX riders, the surfers and skateboarders. We shopped, played games and even won free swag. 


At the end of the day we ate dinner at our favorite Italian Restaurant Mama D's. 

A couple of my crafty endeavors. I learned how to make paper flowers. This was something I wanted to learn ever since I went to the Pinners conference and wasn't able to go to the flower making class. 

I also was able to use a lot of my fabric scraps to finish and deliver 24 blankets to project linus!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

July 2019 - Beach house at Newport

So this summer we did something that's been on Ashley's bucket list for awhile. We rented a beach house in Newport! The house was a couple of blocks from the beach and when we got there it was bigger than we thought it would be! We had a rotation of family and friends that came and stayed with us that week and we just threw in a few air mattresses and enjoyed our time in Newport.

The Oleson's and Zooks were our first guests. We enjoyed the beach and made smores on the patio out front. 

We ended up going to a local ward with my family and this was the mural they had outside the church building!

More beach fun.

We had fun playing games at night and just relaxing. 

The Oleson's had to leave and then Cheri and the girls were able to come and overlap their stay with Angela and Robert and their kids for a night. We enjoyed walking along the pier at Sunset. 

We watched some community music jam session and Cheri and Ashley ended up dancing with the people. Ha ha

The next day we enjoyed some more beach time. 

Later that night it was time to say goodbye. We were so happy to have you all come down to visit. 


After everyone left we drove down to the Laguna and walked around the tide poles. The ocean was really rough that day so we didn't stay long. 

Ashley was tired and wanted to go back to the beach house so we dropped her off and Jeff and I went to the pier and ended up eating at Dukes just the two of us and celebrated Jeff's birthday again!


Ashley had her long time friend Jenna over to stay with us!

We celebrated Jeff's birthday all together at Mama D's that night which is one of our favorite dinner places in Newport. 

The next day Ashley had more friends out including the Hales girls. 

Elsa and Jolene came out to visit too!

We had some fun game time with everyone there. 

In the middle of our time at Newport Jeff had a New York Life event at the Santa Anita Race Tracks. I've never been to the races before but it was fun to do something different. 

We had a nice meal and Citlalli even got Jeff a cake since it was his actual birthday that day. 

Back to the beach! Ashley had Kate and Laney Thompson out to visit.

Our last visitors at the end of the week were Steve, Tahna and family and Dale and Elsa! 

We spent our last dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory with everyone.