School's Out for Summer

The last day of school left me feeling overwhelmed with a medley of emotions. Luckily, I can deal with all emotions in one simply way- crying. I will be totally prepared when puffy, red eyes become the latest beauty craze.

Of course I feel happiness, or make that elation, at the glorious free summer ahead of me. I'm looking forward to lots of reading, sleeping, being outside, scrapbooking, traveling, and catching up with family and friends. I'm sure at some point I'll miss my excuse for why I'm not on top of the laundry, dishes, shopping, cleaning, etc. But, for now I'm really excited to finally get those things done!

My excitement is contrasted by a deep sadness. I'm not going to be at Canyon Crest next year and it was even harder than I thought it would be to say goodbye. I read Dr. Seuss's "Oh the Places You'll Go" to my kids and completely lost it before I even got past the title page. I am full of gratitude for the experiences Canyon Crest has given me- the wonderful friends who have helped me through and taught me so much, the amazing families who are so generous and kind, the adorable and hilarious students who make me smile every day.

The exhaustion from nine months of handling 26 fourth graders has definitely caught up with me. I will enjoy not having to talk all day, and not having to run around a classroom (in heels!) trying to make fractions exciting. I'm also full of hope that I made some difference for these kids. Maybe they learned long division, or they found a passion for reading, or maybe they just learned how to spell Martinez.

I regret to admit it but I am still feeling frustration and confusion at all that has happened this Spring. After hearing that I would most likely not have a spot at C.C., I was relieved when I was later told I would be able to stay. I was assured over and over again that I was going to stay only to have a bomb dropped on me at the end of April. There was no spot for me. I jumped back into the job hunt and very luckily quickly found a job at another school. One week later a spot opened up at my school. For a couple hours I thought I could maybe go back on my commitment to the new school, but that didn't work out. So, here I am.

My Mary Engelbreit calendar provided me with a perfect quote for May, "Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards." Though it seems like a cruel joke right now, I know there is some reason for the drama and stress of these past couple months. I know that someday I will look back and be grateful. In fact, I already am grateful. I have learned valuable lessons, and I know there are many more to learn. For now, all I can do is keep living forward, and try to stop all these tears.


How to not cook dinner

by Rachel

Monday- Take a trip to Costco around dinner time. Costco at dinner time = samples + pizza
Tuesday- Go to a Ward Barbecue
Wednesday- Go out to dinner (Magleby's) with friends to recover from a very intense School Community Council Meeting
Thursday- Attend a fancy dinner at Riverside Country Club honoring one of your students that won an essay contest
Friday- Party it up at the faculty end of year celebration at Los Hermanos


Books on the Go

Sometimes I wonder what my family did before the Harry Potter series. It's one of the few things that we ALL enjoy- from my forty-something dad to my six year old brother. Once a stick is picked up, it automatically becomes a wand used to send expelliarmus towards another member of the family. We have the toys, the costumes, the books, the movies, the coloring books, and any other kind of memorabilia Warner Brothers has thougt up.

But one of the greatest things about Harry Potter is listening to it on tape/CD. We have every single book either on tape or CD and it is an Anderson family addiction. Bethany can't go to sleep without listening, Leslie listens while she is doing her homework, and we cannot go on a road trip without at least one book. The soothing and miraculous voice of Jim Dale has prevented us from strangling each other many many times.

In the past year, my love of listening to Harry Potter has caused me to enter into the realm of listening to books on CD. It all started last summer when I had a lot of time on my hands when I was all alone. The tv got old pretty fast but I needed something to keep me company (this is where you insert the Bride Wars quote about not being able to be alone with your own thoughts.) So I started listening to books and I became hooked. All summer I listened and when the school year started, I didn't want to give it up. I don't have anywhere near the time to listen as I had before, but I do have the 15 minute drive to work and then back home as well as some brainless grading time. It makes me so happy to relax and enjoy having a good book read to me. So, if you have never listened to a book on CD before, please go try it, you may find that you have been missing one of the most delightful things this technological world has to offer.


Summer Lovin

The beautiful weather this weekend demanded that Bryan and I get out and enjoy.

On Friday we went to the park to enjoy the four main food groups of Summer-

corn on the cob,

watermelon, and ice cream
*no picture, ate it too fast.

On Saturday after running five quadrillion errands we hiked to Stewart Falls.

{Please be impressed by the rainbows in the waterfall}

And now I get to enjoy watching You've Got Mail while Bryan writes his talk for church tomorrow.

Life is sweet.


Hands of an Angel

For as long as I can remember, my mom hasn't liked her hands because of their appearance. And, I will admit, she probably will never be asked to be a hand model. But there are many reasons why I will always love and cherish those hands.

Her hands held and rocked me as a baby. With those hands she fed me, bathed me, changed me, and tickled me. It was to those hands that I took my first brave steps. Whenever I felt sad or upset, I would find solace in those hands.

With her hands, my mom patiently taught me to write, to play the piano, to set a table. Those hands drove me to all sorts of activities and clapped at performances, even when they were terrible. Her hands are skilled at brushing, curling, washing, blowdrying, straightening, crimping, and braiding hair.

Those wonderful hands helped me learn to drive, iron clothes, and cook dinner. Her hands edited countless papers, and helped me study for many tests. With her hands she helped me get ready on my wedding day. Her hands reached out to me to comfort me when life seemed too hard to bear. And, when her hands couldn't touch me physically, they were always quick to pick up the phone when I needed some extra support.

Her hands have made thousands of meals for her family and for others. Her busy hands have planted gardens and pulled weeds, painted and decorated bedrooms, cleaned mess after mess, and done countless loads of laundry. Those hands have wiped tears and created smiles.

My mother's hands are a tribute to the great service she performs.

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." Abraham Lincoln

"When we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with-- here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed, heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind." Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Happy Mother's Day! I love you Mom

(Thanks to Kim Waddoups for the quotes from her fabulous Mother's Day talk)


Mr. Mom

For the past two weeks Bryan has been in an interim between finishing the school year and starting a summer internship and it has been great. I told myself I wasn't going to be obnoxious and leave him honey do lists. (Well, more like he told me that wasn't acceptable.) But, the amount he has accomplished all on his own is incredible. Here's a taste of his greatness:

- Makes dinner every night (really, I can't remember the last time I made dinner)
- Took on the task of mailing Mother's Day gifts
- Came to have lunch with me at school, causing my cute girls to chant "Kiss him! Kiss him!"
- Printed resumes and cover letters for me, then printed them again the next day because they weren't right
- Cleaned the entire apartment (I realize it's not that big, but it is now sparkling)
- Planned a fun date night for last night (date on a Wednesday?? Unheard of during school)
- Put together a mini wagon replica to teach my kids about Utah Pioneers
- Don't worry, he's also done some fun things like hiking to the top of Y Mountain- and I don't mean the Y, I mean the top, like the very top of the mountain (insane.)

Things have been going so smoothly these past two weeks, I'm contemplating making this a permanent thing. I mean, lots of families do the Stay-at-home Dad thing. I could come home every night to find a clean house, delicious dinner, clean clothes, full refrigerator, and happy children that have finished all their homework and practiced piano.

One problem- not sure my salary would be sufficient for a whole family. Maybe Bryan can work on that one...


I'm so funny

Today is Bryan's 25th and a half birthday- definitely an occasion that required celebration. So I swung by Day's Market on the way home from school for a killer half birthday surprise. I didn't have a lot of time (or money for that matter) so I felt very befuddled as I perused the aisles. And then I came to the candy aisle. And then I came up with my most brilliant idea ever. What better half birthday present than half of all your favorite candy bars? So I grabbed the candy and broke them in half in the car (I may or may not have eaten a couple of the extra halves.)

I came home and put the candy bar halves in a cute little bag and presented my offering to my favorite 25 1/2 year old. I could tell he was really excited and surprised, but when he opened my package I didn't get the exact result I had anticipated.

"What??? Where is the rest?"

By this time I was laughing so hard at my brilliance I barely noticed his disappointment. "They're half candy bars for your half birthday!" Apparently, the only thing better than getting half candy bars on your half birthday is getting whole candy bars.

The good news is that Bryan is really excited for his whole 26th birthday in November!