Saturday, May 29, 2010

and we're done

Thursday was my last day of school. This was my to-do list of things to get done before I could check out and be done. The kids helped me on Wednesday during school, the rest was done after school was out.

On Friday, one of my now former students showed up with his mom and sister...two hours and one very full minivan later, this is what my classroom looked like.

The last thing I did in my classroom was this:

Tannie wrote that word on the board when she was subbing for me while I was on maternity leave. I never had reason to erase it the rest of the time I was teaching, and at the end of the year it was still there, and... well, that was the very, very last thing I did before leaving my classroom for the last time.

The one and only thing I have left to do is turn in my keys. I intended to do that on Friday afternoon, but I missed the principal by about ten minutes. I'll have to go back to school on Tuesday, but then that's it. I'm done.

seven days until we move

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Party! Party! Party!

You should come!

We are throwing a going away party for ourselves (forgive the social faux pas if you have a problem with that...). We have made a lot of good friends in the time we have lived in Logan and we want to see as many of you as we can before we pack up and head out.

You! And anyone we've met in Logan. And anyone you know who we know that doesn't read the blog and isn't friends with me on Facebook and won't know about the party unless you tell them!
Spread the word!

June 4, 2010
7:00-9:00 PM

1550 N 400 E
Pavilion behind Stake Center

This is an ice cream party--
we will bring vanilla ice cream, bowls and utensils. We are asking you to bring a topping you are willing to share with others. If not, you can just have some ice cream anyway.

Please come!
Although I am excited for all the things that will come next (like living with my husband again), I am sad that we're leaving. I need to end on a happy note. And let's be honest--it'll be really lame if no one comes!

P.S. If you can come, please tell me so I know how much ice cream to buy. :)

P.P.S. I posted a few of Jane's funny stories below...check those out, too, if you haven't already.

out of context

As of late, I have posted some of the funny things Jane has said on Facebook. I want a more permanent record of those, so I am posting them all again here. If you've already read them, don't skip this! I've added another one at the end.

Jane: "Daddy, I made a mess."
Dad: "Why did you do that?"
Jane: "Because I want to. I wanted to make a mess. Now I'm going to get in biiiiiiiig trouble."

"Mommy, I don't want to play with my food.
I just want to eat it."

Jane: "Mommy, say window."
Mom: "Window."
Jane: "Yay! You're right, Mommy! Good job!"

"Mommy, I hurt my bum. Will you please kiss it better?"

I told Jane we're moving to our new house next week. Her response?

"We can't move to our new house.
I can't drive."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nicole Kathleen Mortensen

All of my siblings have had a niece since Jane was born two years ago. I didn't have a niece until just over a week ago.

Nicole Kathleen
May 14, 2010
2:39 pm

7 lbs 11 oz
19 inches

Nicole was admitted into the NICU shortly after being born for observation because a few tests showed possible indicators of pneumonia, so they were playing it safe. Luckily, she was fine and Mom and baby went home the following Sunday. All is well!

We went to a baby shower for Lisa and Nicole on Saturday. Mom was happy...

...and Nicole was asleep. Just how you want the baby to be.

Isn't she cute?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On my list

Before I can attempt to go to sleep tonight, I need to write down all the things I have to remember this week so I don't lay awake with them all running through my head. I thought I'd share. Brace yourselves!

at school:

Send home last communication report to every student--these have to be filled out individually for each kid.

Type the program for the graduation ceremony, including all fifth grade students' names, have it proofread by the three other teachers, and copy and fold enough for all the parents.

Lead the third on-field rehearsal of the Civil War reenactment and make up for what we ran out of time to cover on Friday--if it doesn't rain. If it does rain, ummm...think of a back-up plan before then!

Inform two students that they need to speak in the graduation.

Correct and repair the script for the reenactment.

Distribute the battle speeches to performing students.

Pack the closet and get the rest of everything off the classroom walls.

Oh, yeah...teach 26 fifth graders at the same time!

at home:

Clean up the mess accrued from being gone for three days.

Pack Jane's bedroom so she stops breaking things I left on the floor last time I started packing her room.

Wash the bottles...there aren't any left.

Finish cleaning up the remnants of making hair clips...yes, it's still on the counter. ;)

Oh, yeah...take care of a two year old and a baby at the same time!

in between:

Get fingerprinted at the USU Police Station for my teaching license.

Go to Sam's Club to buy formula for Megan since it's all gone.

Return a temporarily lost dvd to Logan Library.

And that's just Monday.
Oh, man.

Later in the week, we have the actual graduation ceremony on Tuesday followed by three hours rehearsing on the field, our class auction and PTA field day on Wednesday, and the grand finale Civil War Reenactment on Thursday, which all has to be prepped Tuesday and Wednesday nights. And I have to completely pack the rest of my classroom. So far, I've unloaded two and a half bookcases and about three cupboards. There is a lot more to go... I also need to collect all the books my students have borrowed. And get all my files off the computer. And get everything off the laptop and take it back to school.

Wish me luck. I'm not feeling terribly optimistic that I can keep going like this anymore. Four more days. Four more days. Four more days.

Oh, man.

P.S. added Monday morning:
I totally fell asleep on the couch last night after typing all that. Luckily, I did wake up and actually went to bed. Then I woke up this morning to an alarm on my phone reminding me that I have a meeting at 8:30 this morning that I have not yet prepared for. Oh, man. And I have another meeting during my prep period today, which I am also not prepared for, and I lose my prep. Four more days. Four more days...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Metaphors of My Life

If life gets a little too hairy...

...just shave it off and start over.

Chris's dad, Craig, is a third grade teacher. His students reached their reading goal, and this was their reward.

Or if it's a little hairy and you can't change it, you can make some bows to at least make it cuter in the meantime...

Tannie had mentioned on her blog that she wanted to make these flower clips. I needed a no-stress activity that had nothing to do with packing or moving or school. So we killed two birds with one stone--or at least disassembled a few dozen flowers--and made hair clips together.

Yes, they really were clips, not just flowers.

As a fifth grade teacher in the south end of Cache Valley, my class has the opportunity to participate in the Wellsville Mile, a one mile race of all fourth and fifth grade students from several schools. It was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was postponed until Thursday because of rain. Um, yeah. Pretty much the rain waited until Thursday.

It POURED. It was absolutely freezing and everything was soaked. Those poor kids still had to run even though it was raining completely non-stop the entire time we were there.

I occasionally shared an umbrella here and there, but generally, I had nothing more than my jacket. By the end, the rain had soaked through my jacket, sweatshirt, and t-shirt. The rain ran down my jacket onto my jeans, soaking them completely through, too. My shoes have holes in them and my socks were saturated. In short, I was wet, and we just had to stay outside until the races were over and we could finally load the buses again.

I was the most wet of all the teachers, so they watched my kids while I drove home and changed. It felt SO GOOD to put clean, dry clothes on after being so wet. You forget how nice it is to have dry clothes until you don't for a while.

I decided that this was a good symbol for my life. I am drowning right now, and there is nothing I can do to get out of it. But in fourteen days, we will move and I will live with my husband again. I won't have the stresses that come with being a teacher (although I will miss teaching) and I will be able to spend much more time with my daughters and family. Life will be good, and it will be that much better because we've made it through this hard time.

Sometimes you have to be soaking wet to appreciate dry clothes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Indeed it is

Yeah, that's a tooth.

We're pretty excited.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

giving thanks where thanks are due

Thank you, LIZ, for having us over for dinner yesterday. The waffles were quite tasty. And thank you for keeping my girls for a couple hours so I could pack.

Thank you, SHARA, for coming over tonight, with pizza, and playing with my girls so I could pack. To quote Jane, "Thank you for playing with me and thank you for eating pizza with me."

Thank you, CANDICE, for bringing dinner tonight even after I told you we were already having pizza that Shara brought.

Thank you, JENNIFER, in advance, for having us over for dinner tomorrow.

And THANK YOU JESS for helping me pack. And hanging up all my laundry. And helping me write funny pranks on the box labels. And letting me use your memory card. And helping me pack. And dumping out all the water that used to be under Jane's bed. And playing with my girls. And helping me pack.

I'm slowly going brain dead with all the things that I'm trying to do at school and home, operating 17 hour non-stop days on six or seven hours of repeatedly interrupted sleep. Pretty much, I couldn't do it if I didn't have help. And several real meals provided by other people.

thank you

Monday, May 10, 2010

Essay 2

Another "gem" I found when packing...

When I was in high school, I was editor of the school literary magazine. We collected original works from students and published them in one book at the end of the year. I had a teacher who talked about the writing of high school students. They often write something that seems so powerful, so emotional, so unique--and yet they all end up exactly the same. I believe that everyone goes through a stage when they think all their emotions and experiences are completely new--to themselves, yes. To the rest of the world, not so much. So, stories and poems that seem amazing, really, aren't. I saw a lot of those as the editor, and apparently, I created some of my own.

Which just makes me laugh now.

This is a story that I apparently wrote in ninth grade. I think I was trying to be amazing. Now, it's just really, really corny sounding.

"Essay 2"
January 28, 2000

He shivered as he walked down the silent, deserted street. No sound penetrated the thick, cold blanket of fog that covered everything like a memory. Behind him was just a mist, as if it had all been erased. He glanced back and saw only undefined things that he had forgotten and hoped to keep forever behind him, never to remember. Ahead lay a sea of nothingness, filled with love and hate, life and death, hope and despair. He did not want to venture into this great unknown. A vast dread engulfed him, as he feared what he might encounter.

He walked on for what seemed like days, in utter solitude and isolation. His walk was brisk and hurried, as if he urgently needed to get somewhere quickly, despite the fact that he knew not where he was going. He was on a mission, though he did not know what he was going to do, whom he was going to help, or to where he was destined. In his eyes was the fierceness of one with a purpose, as no one had ever seen before. Was it the look of true determination, or sheer madness?

Lurking within the unseen world around him were countless myriads of the small creatures, ready to attack at any moment. They truly were something to be feared, although no one did--but one. Hidden within the folds of a great imagination they prospered, fed by the unsurpassed floods of anxiety and dread.

Will they be conquered? Only their creator, the man lost within his world, can ever tell.


I received an A- for that story. The comment my teacher wrote on my paper was "I really like your penmanship! Very lovely and stylish."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Long ORANGE scarf

My life is busy. Pack up the house, pack up the classroom, take care of the girls, teach my class, and be in charge of most of the end-of-year activities for the entire fifth grade. Ha. There are a few things I'm behind in posting.

First off,

Happy Mother's Day,
Mom and Janet!

This last week was Teacher Appreciation Week. I received quite a few lovely gifts from my students.

The strawberries were delicious.

One of my room moms made this for my door--well, it was actually too big for the door so she put it on the wall.

"Mrs. Wampler,

You know we've had a jolly time being in your fifth grade class this year! We've loved meeting your little chiclets and mastering Our Nova class has helped us make good choices now and later. It's been crazy Fun Dip-ing and Twizzler-ing our brains into our new math book and timings.

We will be fireballs next year when we score so high! We started this year as airheads but now we are smarties! Our reward parties are our PayDays. Now the school year rolls over and we'll take 5 for the summer before we look to middle school.

This year was definitely not a dud! We hope you've been paid 100 grand for all you've done for us this year! Love your 5th grade Goobers. P.S. Thanks for all the Extra help--you've taught us good and plenty!"

Congratulations, Britta!

Britta had her second baby on May 6, 2010, at 9:12 AM (Or 9:14...I heard both...)

Charlotte Ruth
8 lbs 9 oz
21 inches


Congratulations, Heather!

Heather graduated with her bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Doesn't she look excited?

When everyone was down for the graduation, we took the chance to get a few family pictures.

Chris also discovered a new toy at the park.

Megan seemed a little iffy about the whole thing.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Blast from the Past

One of the fun things about moving is discovering all kinds of things that you forgot you had. Like, for instance, 30 rolls of undeveloped film.

Maceys was running a special last week. One roll of film onto CD for $1. Ideal for me. I had no idea what was going to be on the film. I didn't want prints--digital is much better. And you don't get much cheaper than a dollar apiece.

Please keep in mind that these pictures were taken by a cheap point and click camera. Forgive the poor quality.

A few rolls were Girls' Camp. Oh, geez. That was a long time ago.

Yes, that's me. My group was the "Harriet the Spy" group. We were in disguise.

Yes, that's Mom and Amy. Yes, Mom is wearing toilet paper around her neck. It was good to be prepared--you never knew what you would find when you got to the bathroom.


Everybody...can't remember the two girls on the far left, then Caitlin Chapman (Blott), Katie Rasmussen (Strong), Kirsten Forsberg, and me. I don't actually think this picture was taken at girls' camp, now that I look closer, but whatever.

This was the "hi-cap" class in junior high--highly capable, supposedly.

Can you find me?

I don't specifically remember this, but I apparently had a very exciting birthday party one year!

Some shots of the family in Marysville.

There are not many pictures of my brother Michael when he was very small. I was excited to find all of these.

This last one does have some photographic quality.

And finally, as promised, here is my favorite car that I have ever owned. I drove this car for only two years, before it died six days before Chris and I got married. (Thanks, Amy, for letting us borrow your car that week.) It sat in the parking lot of our apartment complex for nearly six months before we scrapped it.

I loved this car. The window handles weren't attached--I kept them in the ashtray, to be easily accessed as needed. The windshield wipers only worked when it wasn't raining. The stereo was possessed--it wouldn't let go of the CD that was in it. When I had the radio on, it would randomly switch itself to CD. Towards the end, it would start playing the CD even when the stereo was completely off. The best part? The CD was John Denver and the Muppets Christmas album. All year round.

Rest in Peace, Todd