Sunday, November 25, 2007

Early Risers and Shouters!

The alarm went off at 2:55 a.m.--and we actually got up. What could get us up at such an hour? Only the BYU/Utah rivalry game.

With the time difference, the BYU football games are usually on in the middle of the night here. But, that's actually good because that's the only time that our internet is fast enough to actually watch TV anyway.

This is the first game in a long time that I actually got myself up for. I usually sleep through them, waking up a few times to Jason's shouting and cheering when BYU scores. But, today was different.

And the game did not disappoint. It turned out to be everything I could've hoped for. For the majority of the game, it was a defensive battle. BYU seemed to control the game for the most part. It seemed kind of uneventful, but still satisfying.

Until the end of the 4th quarter...then it got interesting. I remember after BYU's drive late in the 4th quarter, when Unga didn't make the catch on 3rd down and then again on 4th down (either one would have resulted in a touchdown). I said to Jason, "they may end up regretting not attempting a field goal when they lose 10 to 9."

And it was as if I had predicted the future. The Utes got the ball back, drove down the field, converting on every third down they had, ultimately scoring a touchdown and going up 10 to 9.
We wallowed in disbelief. That's the problem with defensive games--the momentum (and lead) can change so quickly. I lamented the fact that Unga had had a pretty good game but all everyone would remember were the two passes he DIDN'T catch.

But... there was still about a minute and a half left. There was still some hope. Although I really wanted an exciting finish, I admit, that I kind of doubted it would happen. Just because I hadn't seen our team ever do a 2-minute drill successfully. (Since I haven't seen too many games this year, I was unsure if they had even ever been in a situation to HAVE to score on a drive.) After the first 3 downs, I had just about chalked this one up as a loss.

Then, the 4th and long play came. Just as Max Hall seemed like he was sacked, he scrambled away, threw the ball long, and hit Collie just perfectly. It all went downhill for the Utes from here. With the help of a few Ute penalties, we were able to FINALLY get in the endzone and then score the 2-pt. conversion to put us up 17 to 10. I was able to breathe more easily. We at least would go into overtime if Utah scored again. But, there just wasn't enough time and the best :) team came away with the win. I love rivalries! (especially when BYU wins)

It looked like such a nice day in Provo. It was fun being able to watch the game with Jason without any interruptions from our kids (another benefit of the 3:00 a.m. game time). I was glad that it was Unga that got to score the winning touchdown, but that Hall and Collie were also instrumental in even keeping us in the game. I like the 3 of them so much. And Payne did an excellent job hitting field goals earlier in the game, and I don't doubt that he would've made another one for the win if it was necessary. Although, I'm glad that he didn't have to.

I'm really glad that I have a husband who is crazy enough to get up in the wee hours of the morning with me to watch a football game. I'm glad that he "gets me" when I get sick when I think we might lose or I get butterflies, sweaty palms, and an increased heart rate when it comes down to the last play. It's so nice that we both appreciate and love the games. There have been several occasions when we are at a game and they are honoring someone--a coach or player--and I will get all teary-eyed over it. I'll be kind of embarrassed that football gets me all emotional and I won't want anyone to see and then I'll look over at Jason and see that he's teary-eyed too. Then we just both laugh. I'm glad that we are kindred spirits in that way. It's a fun thing to be able to share together.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Deja Vu

I have always been interested in deja-vu's. I have deja vu quite often and it has always kind of intrigued me. I think it's quite a common thing, but I'm curious, does everyone have it quite often?

Recently it seems like I've experienced it a lot and some of them have been really long--more than a passing moment. You know, the kind where you realize that you are having deja vu, but the realization is also part of the deja vu.

I find it very interesting that I have had so many deja vu moments since I've been in China. I always thought it had something to do with things you had already experienced somehow, but this is my first time in China so it seems strange to have such vivid moments of "I've already been here and felt this".

The other day I had a "double deja vu" or "deja deja vu" (I don't know what to call it). I was riding my bike home from work and I had a deja vu moment that I had already experienced as a deja vu. I don't know if that makes any sense. It was weird. But, really cool at the same time.

If anyone knows any theories about why or how our brain does this, I'd love to hear them. It fascinates me.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Week in Review

This was a weird week. It wasn't the normal school schedule, so it seemed like such a strange week. Here's a little bit of what we did:

*Monday--Monday was a regular day at work. For FHE, we went out to dinner at Jessica's Cafe. It's this sandwich shop here in Clifford. We really like it. They speak English and make really yummy sandwiches on baguettes. They also have really good quiche, cheesecake, and muffins. Afterwards, we went and played at the park nearby. Jason had the great idea that I take Tuesday off work so that we could go to the amusement park nearby--Chimelong Paradise. We have been wanting to go and I have been a bit burned out at work lately, so it was a great idea.

*Tuesday--such a fun day! When Haley woke up I told her that I wasn't going to work and she got so excited. Then when I woke Britton up, I told him that instead of school we were going to have a fun family play day. The look on his face was priceless--he was so happy. We took our Aiee with us which was such a good idea (thanks Mel and Shane for the idea). That way we were able to have fun and play with the kids, but Jason and I were able to go on the big rides together. It was great. Also, when the kids were worn out and wanting to go home around 3:00, we sent them home on a taxi with Aiee and we got to stay for a few more hours. I won't go into any more details because I'm planning on doing another post just about Chimelong, but it was such a fun day. I'm glad Jason talked me into taking a day off.

*Wednesday--all the students went on a field trip, but the Western teachers didn't have to go with, so we got the day to prep. It was nice. I was behind on grading things and putting them in the computer. Plus I had to prepare for Parent/Teacher conferences. It was nice to not have to teach classes. Wednesday was Jonas's birthday, so we got to go to his party that evening. It was a lot of fun. It was a "family" party so our family was there, along with 2 other families who are their best friends here. We had dinner and a pinata and ate brownies and ice cream. Melanie always throws such good parties. I'm glad we got to celebrate with them.

*Thursday--it was a regular day at work. It felt weird though because I hadn't seen my students since Monday. In the evening, I went to Bridge Club. It was really fun. I love playing cards and bridge is such a complicated, strategic game. I'm still just learning, but it's getting really fun. We have a group that plays once a week.

*Friday--we had parent/teacher conferences so I didn't have to go into work until 2:00. I spent the morning playing with Haley and running errands. Haley was so thrilled that I got to stay home with her again. Britton had school, though. I took Haley on a bike ride to the store, then we went to the little play room in the clubhouse here. Parent conferences went well. It was interesting to have to have a translator to communicate with the parents. Ivy, my TA, was my translator. I actually really enjoyed the conferences much more than I anticipated. I had an appointment scheduled pretty much every 15 minutes and then I had an hour break for dinner.

*Saturday--I had to work in the morning to finish up parent conferences. We had them from 8:30-11:30. Jason took Britton to his soccer games, and Aiee stayed home with Haley. It was nice having her there on a Saturday because it also meant that I came home to lunch already made--how nice. Britton went to Jonas's "friend" birthday party in the afternoon. Jason ended up having to go with him because he's afraid to go places without us--what a strange kid. I had a "girl party" with Haley. We didn't do anything special really, but just calling it a party makes her happy. :)

It was such a good week--I got to spend much more time with my family than usual--especially with Haley. But, it was a strange week at work. I didn't teach much, in fact, I didn't even see my 7D or 8C classes at all because of missing Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. It'll be hard to get back into the swing of things tomorrow. Tomorrow I have my formal observation and evaluation. The director of the school, the secondary asst. principal, and my team leader are all coming to observe one of my classes. I'm glad they're all coming at once instead of each individually, but it's a bit more pressure. I'm not too nervous, but a little. They are coming for my very best class, so that is good. And all the students are doing presentations so that takes a lot of pressure off of me and it should be fun and interesting, but at the same time, I don't really have much control over the quality of their presentations. I think it will all go really well though. I prepped my students last Thursday so they know all the visitors will be there and they are all prepared. It should be good, but I'll still feel better once it's over.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Favorite Thing at the Farm

Britton and Jason did this thing at the farm. They got inside of a blown-up ball and went out on the water and tried to stay up. It was hilarious. They were falling all over each other. The pictures don't do it justice. There were times when Britton was flying up in the air over Jason. It was so much fun to watch them. And they had a blast doing it too.

Clifford Farm

A few Saturdays ago, we went to Clifford Farm. It was so much fun. I had no idea about all the fun stuff they had there. They have all the usual farm animals and plants, but they also have lots of little kids rides, a maze, horseback riding, a playground, and probably a lot of other fun things that we didn't have time to do. There are so many fun things to do right here in Clifford Estates.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tuesday Tell All--Movie Madness

I'm not really sure what this week's tell-all was supposed to be, but something about movies. I've been thinking a lot lately about the movies I watched as a kid. I've been wanting to make a list so that I can start to acquire some of these. We had the Disney Channel growing up and we recorded almost all the movies that were on. And then we would watch them over and over again. There were many that we probably had memorized. This list contains some of the lesser known Disney movies that I loved. This will probably be the most interesting to my siblings since they may be the only other people in the world who have seen these movies. :)

1. Absent Minded Professor--I think they did a remake of this and it's called "Flubber". I'm not sure if it's good or not, but we loved the original.

2. Babes in Toyland--This version is way better than the one with Drew Barrymore. This is such a fun Christmas movie--the perfect kid melodrama. "Slowly, slowly he sank into the sea!"

3. Emil and the Detectives--This isn't one that we watched so much to have it memorized, but it's a fun plot. I really loved mysteries and detective shows as a kid (I still do!)

4. The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes--A boy turning into a computer--what's not to love? I'm sure it would be pretty funny to go back and watch this movie now that computers are so advanced and so common, the movie's probably pretty obsolete.

5. The Secrets of the Pirates Inn--I couldn't find a picture for this one which probably means you can't buy it anywhere either. This was a really fun movie. Kids following clues to find buried treasure. It's probably really similar to Goonies or something like that.

6. Summer Magic--a classic! Anyone who hasn't seen this should see it. Especially if you like Hayley Mills. There are so many fun songs in it, too! "Gotta crawl, gotta crawl to the ugly bug ball!" "You must walk feminine, talk feminine..." "She's the pink of perfection!" I believe this is one of the movies that we recorded the soundtrack onto cassettes so that we could listen to it in the car or in our rooms. And I'm not just talking about the music, we recorded the ENTIRE movie onto cassette. So, I'm sure we had every single word memorized.

7. North Avenue Irregulars--Such a funny movie! This is another one that I highly recommend if you haven't seen it. Funny small town church people solving crime. It's a hoot!

8. The Trouble with Angels--this is one of the lesser-known Hayley Mills films, but it's probably my favorite. I've always liked nuns and pranks. Favorite Line: "I've got a scathingly brilliant idea!"

9. Misadventures of Merlin Jones--I don't know that this one necessarily one of my favorites, but I sure did end up watching it a lot. It was on a cassette tape in between the Absent Minded Professor and Candleshoe, so I think it got watched a lot just because we liked the other two. It is a fun movie though.

10. Candleshoe--one of Jodie Foster's first movies. Again, another mystery-type movie. A definite must-see in my opinion. "Teddy and Piggy Wig!"

11. Michael O'Hara the Fourth--This is another detective/mystery show with a girl named Michael. It's great.

12. Moonspinners--Another Hayley Mills movie--I guess I'm a bit of a fan. I remember this one being a bit scary when I was little, but I haven't seen it in a very long time, so it's probably not scary at all.

13. For the Love of Willadean --this was one of my favorites, but I don't think you can get it anywhere. There were two different stories about these 3 boys who were in love with the neighbor girl, Willadean (what kind of name is that?). They have some good adventures stealing watermelons and sleeping in haunted houses.
Hmmm, I think I watched a lot of movies as a kid. I kept thinking of more and more as I was making this list, I'll have to stop there. But, for my siblings amusement, remember "Follow Me Boys", "Sammy the Way Out Seal", "The Whiz Kid and the Carnival Caper", and "The Wacky Zoo of Morgan City"?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A Proud Mom Moment

Today Haley made me come to Primary with her because she was being really clingy and tired. So, I was sitting in there with her during singing time. The first song they sang was "I'm trying to be like Jesus". Britton sat there and sang it so well. It's one of his favorite songs and he sings it all the time at home, but he isn't always very participatory (is that a word?) at church. Well, the Primary president noticed how well he was singing and called him up to help her lead the song again. Again, he sang really well, so she asked if he wanted to try singing it all by himself. Surprisingly, he agreed and stood there and sang the whole song by himself for everyone. It was the cutest thing. It made me so proud. If any of you know Britton, you know that he is a really shy kid. If an adult asks him anything, he usually just stares there unresponsive. He gets really shy around people and won't even tell them his name or age. So, it was amazing to see him up there singing. He has a great voice and really loves to sing, so I'm happy to see that he's coming out of his shell a bit and sharing his wonderful spirit with other people besides just us.

I wish I could say that I was proud of him the whole time I was in there. Unfortunately, probably less than 10 minutes after he sang, he began fighting with the boy next to him--pinching him and getting really angry. I had to take him out where he still couldn't get under control for a while.

I guess that's what motherhood is really like though--overflowing with pride over your child's actions one minute, then completely embarrassed and frustrated by their actions the next.

Maybe I just need to remember him up there singing. And remember the words to the song--He is trying to be like Jesus. And he is sincerely trying. But, "trying" is the key word. I think I need to remember that.