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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Two more days.

So there are only two more school days before Christmas Vacation. Can I just say how grateful I am it is here. The kids are getting restless, I'm getting restless and we all need a break. I'm so grateful I get to go to my parent's to celebrate Christmas with the whole family. My grandparents are opening their second mission call this week and I can't wait to find out where they are going to serve the Lord...again! :)

On Tuesday, I'm going to have my own little Christmas party in my class. I usually don't get to have Holiday-style parties or do the general 'fun' activities students do in their regular classes, but I'm going to be a bit selfish and have our own Holiday celebration. We are going to read a Christmas story and have Tim-Tam-Slams. I'm going to bring my Coco-Motion and make Milo for the kids and show them the joys of a Tim-Tam-Slam. I'm so excited that Pepperidge Farm is not making my favorite biscuit from New Zealand! The package says "Australia's favorite cookie" but it's New Zealand's too!

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas and is safe during their travels!
All my love!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reader's Digest Version of My Life

Now that I finally have internet and I've set up my router, I should start blogging again. I've never been extremely faithful doing it in the past, but I'm going to try to get better.
Reader's Digest Version of the Updates in My Life:

  • First lump of school is over with. The honeymoon phase of the first year of teaching is officially over. Being a teacher is hard. There, I've said it.
  • Talked to Darnie on the phone! I MISS NZ!
  • Started physical therapy for my 'catcher's knees.' It's more like physical torture!
  • Got the swine-flu shot. Yay for Cache County School District!
  • Decorated cookies with David for Halloween
  • Went on a couple dates.
  • Threw a bachelorette party for Crista!
  • Downloaded Skype so I can talk to Darnie and Nga
  • Finally bought me a DVD/VHS player.
  • Returned the DVD/VHS player that didn't work
  • Finished physical therapy (as long as Janalyn and I continue to go to the gym!)
  • Got a cold.

That's about it. My life isn't too exciting right now other than school, but that's kind of nice all the same. I'd post some pics if I could, but something is wrong with my blog. I'll try again later.

p.s. Visit my good friend Jaci's blog: She makes the CUTEST hats ever! Need a fun gift idea--get a hold of Jaci!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


So I'm bumming internet off the university because this summer I was too poor to buy it and now I'm too busy to get it. I'm sitting outside the Natural Resources Building and I feel something creepy on me. IT'S A HUGE SPIDER! Monstrous! With a white spot on it's back! So I scream a little, luckily no one was around, and I flip my shoe off and the spider goes flying. Upon further inspection I see a swarm of ants eating what looks like a fry or a dried up apple slice. I keep looking for the spider so I can kill it and then I think that I invaded his space. And it's a little awful for me to think about killing something outside of the natural resources building. Sort of hypocritical. Then I see the spider again. This thing is fast and scary! And the ants are EVERYWHERE! I'm amazed that they all work together and totally creeped out at the same time. I want to move...but then I'd have to move all my stuff and I'd feel like a pansy all scared of nature. I've got the heebies. That's it...I'm moving.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My First Teaching Job

So I'm two weeks in to teaching and all is going well. It's crazy and stressful but I'm doing great. I'm taking things one day at a time and I'm learning patience with myself. I appreciate my family and friends so much--they have been so helpful to me. Especially when I have to call and talk about my day since everything is so crazy. I'm redoing my schedule yet again and I really hope I won't have to change it too much again.

It's great feeling like an adult. I have my own medical, dental and renter's insurance and all my bills are in order. So although I hate having to pay bills, it's great knowing I'm an adult. :) Living by myself is a little lonely, but Morgan and I are still hanging out a lot. I miss seeing her everyday but I know she is having such a fun time being a peer mentor.

I went to my cousin's wedding last night and it was so beautiful. He and his wife were married outdoors on a golf yard overlooking Utah County. It was beauriful and I wish them all the best. They are going to work toward getting married in the temple and I hope and pray that happens for them. I know they'll get there. Love you Wyatt and Alma!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Palm Pilot Madness palm pilot wasn't working with my new computer so I did an online chat with Palm Support and guess what---the Zire 31 doesn't work with the 64-bit Vista. Dumb, huh? So they said I either have to downgrade my operating system (stupid) or upgrade to a smartphone. Then I have to pay the data system and sign another 2-year contract with AT&T. So I'm mad. Ugh.

Monday, August 3, 2009

2 more weeks!

I have two more weeks to get my classroom together before I have to start school! It's crazy to think how fast this summer has gone by. Morgan moves out this week which I'm so sad about. It will be a big adjustment not having her home when I get home, but I know that she's making the right choice with taking the Peer Mentor job and moving on campus. She's going to be amazing and I'm jealous I'm not in her FIG. :)

Wednesday and Thursday Janalyn, Jami and I are going to a Special Education Law Conference in Ogden which will be good to brush up on our skills before school starts.

It's also my dad's birthday on Wednesday! He's so amazing and I am so grateful he's such a big part of my life. Saturday we went golfing with my brother and he gave me a bunch of tips to work on my game. We all went shooting later that evening and I am so grateful that he likes to do activities with us and is always teaching us new things. Happy Birthday Daddy! I love you!

Friday, July 17, 2009

4th of July

I know this is late in coming--but I finally got my new laptop so I can blog away and add pictures! This is a collage of the pics over the 4th of July with my family. It is a Lerdahl family tradition to go to the drive-in over the 4th and the movies we usually see during this time are absolutely horrible. This time we saw Year One and Land of the Lost. Stupid and gross. Don't see them. But it's fun to go all the same. Morgan and I laid in the back of the truck on an air mattress while Mom and Dad enjoyed the lawn chairs.

The next day, Mom, Dad, Morgan and I drove to Delta to visit the Topaz Internment Camp site. (Dane was at the cabin with friends till later that afternoon). It was a long drive but we had fun. For those of you who don't know, during WWII, Japanese-Americans from around the United States were relocated to different internment camps, one of them being Topaz in Delta. Sound familiar? Yes, it's not unlike what the Germans did, however the Japanese-American's weren't forced to work. They were forced to leaved their homes and live in cramped shacks in the boiling hot summers and freezing winters of central Utah with no explanation other than it was "for their protection against angry citizens." We know it was also to prevent any attacks from the Japanese on American soil. However, not one case of espionage was ever found among the Japanese-Americans and many of their brave sons faught in the war. The 442nd RCT and 100th Battalian which was made up entirely of young Japanese-American boys went on to become the United States' most highly decorated combat unit in it's history. Sadly, not enough has been done to memorialize this camp to those who suffered persecution in a free land. I'd love to donate my time to make it a place where people come to learn about these brave people beyond the small placards and bare wasteland. As one of the placards says, "The memory of Topaz remains a tribute to a people whose faith and loyalty was steadfast--while America's had faltered."

After our enlightening trip, we brightened up the day with a barbeque outside and watched a movie together as a family. It was great to spend time with one another and learn about a part of our nation's history on its Independence Day!

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shopping with my Mom and Sister

So my favorite thing in the world is spending time with my mom and sister. We are such good friends and have a blast hanging out with one another. Morgan and I came home for the 4th of July weekend and when we got home, our mom was ready right away to head out shopping. First we stopped at the bank and while we were in there, it started raining. In about 15 minutes, Stansbury Park got almost an inche of rain! It came down in sheets! We ran to the car in it and afterwards felt like we'd taken a shower. We hit the mall and had so much fun checking out the shops. We haven't done that in a long time and it was special to spend time together. I got some cute clothes and a ring and of course had a Mrs. Field's cookie.

p.s. Thanks to Blake for giving Morgan and I his free scoops of ice cream at Farr's during our trip down. It helped the long drive and who doesn't love cherry chocolate chip?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Last Weekend

I'm working so much lately! In fact I'm at work right now...on overtime. But this last Friday/Saturday I got to do Night on Campus. It's an activity where students who are checking out living on campus can spend the night at the LLC and do activities with other people and our staff. It usually is an okay experience, but this time it was a blast. It's amazing to me how a small group of people can influence a larger group of people just by being crazy excited. A group of guys at Night on Campus made everything so much fun and I'm glad I met them. Kaitlyn, Morgan and I are going to go down to SLC tomorrow to hang out with them again. Be prepared for crazy stories when we're done!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shopping Spree

Since I'm now an 'adult' and I have a real job coming up in the fall, I decided I needed some new clothes for my wardrobe. Being in college put a tight pinch in my ability to buy new clothes as often as I needed them, but I received some money for taking a teacher math test and I went shopping last night. First off-my butt is huge. Second, most clothes make me look pregnant. But after 3 hours of shopping at Kohl's (my favorite place to shop other than Glasson's in NZ,) I came out with 3 pairs of shoes, a pair of pants, 5 tops and a watch. I saved over $300 because I bought winter-type clothing for when I'm teaching and I had a 30% off coupon. However, this morning I realized I didn't pull the earrings I loved out of the basket to buy them! I'm so sad, but I'm pretty sure my super-cute new shoes will make up for it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A relaxing weekend with my favorite men...

This last weekend I took time off from work and went to Island Park. My grandparents have a cabin there that they are going to be selling this summer (if anyone is interested let me know). They have decided to go on another mission and can't afford that plus two houses. The cabin has been home to many wonderful memories over the past 7-8 years and we will truly miss it. But we all know that change happens and we're all growing up and don't have a lot of time to spend there.

Anyway, I left work on Wednesday, loaded up the jeep and drove to Island Park. Except for the rain it was a wonderful drive. I got Peter and the Starcatchers on CD so I listened to that on the way up. I spent Wednesday night, Thursday and Friday morning with my grandparents. On Thursday my grandparents invitied me to see Footloose at the Playmill Theatre in West Yellowstone. It was so good!

After my grandparents left, I had the cabin to myself. So what did I do you ask? I spend my time with my favorite men (other than my dad, grandpa and brother of course). My days were filled with Rhett Butler, Doctor Zhivago and Rick Blaine. If men were more like this nowaday (with exception to Doctor Zhivago's infidelity of course) I would be a happy girl. But, alas, I am stuck with black and white representations of real men.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I love chocolate Twizzlers

So I'm in the MVT office. Yes, story of my life, I know. I just finished eating a few chocolate Twizzlers that I grabbed on my way out the door and I realized how much I like them. Licorice in general is a pretty amazing treat, but whoever came up with flavoring those twisted morsels of heaven should be praised on end.

Chocolate twizzlers are a good snack as they are made with real Hershey's chocolate and who doesn't love the feeling of biting into a Twizzler while pulling so the licorice flicks when you bite. I know, I'm rambling, but you try sitting in the MVT office with NO ONE coming and nothing else to think about because you can only be on facebook for so long before someone sends you a flair saying "I belong to facebook addicts anonymous. I've been away from my computer for 10--scratch that, 0 minutes."

Friday, June 5, 2009

I wish I was awesome like Blake

So I have nothing awesome to post like Blake always does. My blog isn't cool like his because I don't have words of wisdom or fun pictures or a Bridget Jones Moment (I'm scared of ridicule). This is my official post that Blake is awesome and he wins the official "Best Blog Award." Cue theme music.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Free to drink beer and rent cars...

It's my birthday! The infamous day where one turns 21 is here. Waking up this morning a gate had been lifted. The gate to the fields of alcohol and Hertz. Unfortunately alcohol is not in the game plan and I already have a car with no vacations in sight where I would need to be a patron to rental car facilities. However, if someone would like to take me on a vacation, I would be happy to rent the car with my drivers license that no longer needs to say "Not 21 until 6/4/2009."

Monday, June 1, 2009

Crying in the Merrill Hall Office

I finally got my pictures from New Zealand developed. Not all of them--that would have cost over $100. But a good amount. I'm sitting here in the Merrill Office and I'm writing on the back the dates/names/places I remember so I don't forget. And then I realize. I've been home over a month. I look at a picture of Darnie and I at Rotorua getting ready to go down the luge and I can't stop them...the tears are streaming. In the middle of my office shift I'm crying. I got to talk to Darnie last night but it is not the same. I miss her. I miss Nga. I miss my barefoot students and butter chicken and laying out in the sun on a Sunday afternoon. New Zealand is my second home. I will never be the same after being there. I became a better person, a stronger person. So I will wipe my tears and vow that I will be back. Soon.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend Fun

I finally got some time off from work and I was able to go home this weekend. It was so nice to spend time with my family! We had a pretty chill night on Friday and went to bed early. The only downfall of going home is that I have no bed. All my furniture is in my new apartment and my room has been converted into an exercise room--complete with a tv on the wall. Wonder if anyone is going to use it. ;-) So I slept on an air mattress amid the treadmill and weight set. Saturday morning I washed my car and helped my dad wash his truck. My brother is such a sweetheart and even gave me the quarters to do it! Then my mom cut my hair--it hadn't been trimmed since before NZ and really needed it. I got to open my birthday presents early! I got a new bed set, beautiful, decorations for my new place and bathroom decorations too! My parents took me for a late lunch for my birthday at the Thai House--which I love! While we were there it started raining so crazy my dad actually pulled the truck up on the curb to minimize the rain on my mom and I. It was a wonderful weekend! Morgan and I drove back to Logan Sunday morning so we could be at our ward. Morgan teaches nursery and I'm in sunbeams. We coordinate with the deaf branch which is amazing. We both have kids that use sign in our classes and I am so amazed at their abilities! Two of them have deaf parents, but they are hearing. I am in awe that they are bilingual at such a young age. The gift of tongues is beautiful.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Graduation Pics

So this week has been crazy. I graduated, my parents brought up my furniture and I started me summer job. I don't have internet at my new apartment yet, so I'm relying on the office computer. I can't upload pictures yet, but if you go to and click on the undergraduate scrapbook there is big cheesy picture of me on the second row down second in from the left. I'm walking in the rain with Janalyn across the Quad. Graduation was awesome! I was Magna Cum Laude and scholar for the college of Education which is such an honor. I was able to sit on the stand for the College of Education graduation ceremony-it was so cool!

Friday, May 1, 2009


I graduate tomorrow. Finally my dream is realized and now I need to set a new goal. Masters Degree? I think so. It's a very surreal feeling being an adult. My parents are on their way to Logan to move in my bedroom set so I don't have to sleep on the floor in my new apartment. I'm waiting on a job offer for summer. I'm getting ready to teach in August. All sorts of new things are happening and I absolutely love it. Change is scary but good. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Back in the States

Woohoo I'm back on American soil! 24 hours of travelling is exhausting and the time change is freaking me out, but I'm excited to be home. My mom, brother, aunt and 2 cousins met me at the airport which was such a treat! Mom made me chimichangas for dinner since I've been craving Mexican food. I'm going up to Logan tonight since I have so much to do before graduation. My parents got me an apartment for the next year and Morgan will be living with me this summer-YAY! But that means moving again...not so much fun. But this apartment has 2 bedrooms and apparently it's super cute and I can't wait to see it! Oh, and my phone now works-I just got off the phone with Janalyn and it was so wonderful to hear her voice! It's amazing how hard it is to live without a cell. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pics of my last few weeks...

I went to Darnie's parents' farm and adopted this lamb. I named her Lola.
Darnie and I shaped USU out of volcanic rock in a volcanic crater in Auckland! Cool huh?

The view from the boat when we went fishing in the ocean. BEAUTIFUL!

Darnie and I met some tourists that we took to the beach for us to dig for pipis. Ian is from the States and Darren is from the UK. It was a fun night. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One More Week

I'm coming home in one more week and I'm having mixed feelings about it. I'm sad that I'm leaving this beautiful country and I'm really going to miss Darnie and everyone I've met, but I'm super excited to see my family. I miss them so much! But I've had an awesome holiday. Right now I'm actually watching some sheep brawl at the farm. It's pretty entertaining. I've gone boogie boarding down some sand dunes. Milked a cow, fed pigs, herded cattle, drank cows milk, dug for pippies, went fishing in the ocean, met some fellow tourists shopped and had a NZ style Easter egg hunt. Oh, and I met an Elder at Stake COnference from Tooele! He comes home in 2 weeks, so I'm going to look him up when he gets back. And I've adopted a lamb named Lola. It's been a crazy week and I'll write more later, but now I have to chase some sheep back into the paddock.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My last day of school...

It was my last day at school yesterday and I was so sad! The kids and I wore our pajamas to celebrate and had a shared lunch. We cleaned out the kids trays, did an Easter activity and finished up a bunch of work. The school had an assembly for the American teachers and they gave me a Chiefs Hat from the local rugby team. They are so kind. My cooperating teacher gave me a Green-Stone Ring and some Kiwi stickers. One of my students gave me a stuffed Kiwi bird that makes chirping noises and another gave me a chocolate Easter bunny. It was a really good day. :)

Last week Darnie and I went to Whangamata and went surfing! We stayed in a super flash beach house and had so much fun!

On Tuesday night Darnie, Jalayne and I went to Raglan for fish & chips on the beach. It was so beautiful I almost cried. Wednesday night was the school disco where we all dressed up in "B" costumes. Darnie was a butterfly and I was a bandit. It was great to see the kids all dressed up and having fun together. Today Darnie and I are heading up North for holiday. We are going to stay with her parents for a few days, go fishing and celebrate Easter, and then we are going to head up to the cape via 90 mile beach. I'm excited to go to the very tip of NZ!

I cannot believe I come home in a couple weeks--but it is exciting that I already have a job and everything is working out. My parents are going to the Robins Award Ceremony for me and are going to start looking for an apartment for me. It's so great to have parents like mine that are so helpful.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Six Days Left

I cannot believe that I only have six days left in the classroom. Time has flown by so quickly! I have learned heaps and I can't wait to apply it to my own classroom. This last week has been crazy with everything including a job interview over the phone and me getting the job. YAY! I am going to be the resource teacher at Park Elementary in Richmond for the 09-10 school year...and hopefully longer than that. :) It is such a blessing to know that I have a job--now I can relax.
Last weekend Darnie, Jalayne and I went to Mount Manganui for shopping and some time at the beach. We had a blast laying on the sand and splashing in the water. We also got some amazing shopping deals. New Zealand fashion isn't much different from that in the States, so I am excited to get things here that I can use at home.
I went to the Hamilton Temple last night and it was so amazing. Darnie arranged for Jalayne and I to join a youth group for baptisms and they were so accommodating. I love that the Church is the same all around the world. After baptisms we went to the visitor's centre (fancy my NZ spelling) and we made lots of connections with the missionaries there. The Church opens up so many connections. Our USU supervisor has brought this up, and I fell so special being a member of the LDS church.

This weekend, Darnie and I are going with the librarian at Vardon to Whangamata. This is apparently the BEST beach in the entire world and Janet, the librarian, has a five-star hotel style house right on the beach. We are so excited to go, especially because Janet has surf boards at the house. We are going to ask some local boys to teach us how to surf because we couldn't surf at the Mount (the waves weren't the best). The only trouble we are having is finding a car--Nga had to take the car to a funeral up north so we are stranded. We have been trying to rent a car--but it is so expensive because Darnie and I are both under 25. Hopefully it will all work out. If not, we're hitch-hiking because we are not missing out on Whangamata.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Last week...(beware: this is long!)

So I have had a cough for the last two weeks and it will not go away! It is pretty frustrating to be tramping through a dark and muddy cave and having to cough. Tomorrow I'm going to the doctors because I'm sick of being sick. It doesn't really hurt, it's just super annoying! I haven't been posting because I've been so busy, but I'm going to give you a quick rundown of my last week.

Tuesday 3/17: Happy St. Patrick's Day! Jalayne, Alicia and I went to an Irish Pub for dinner and a drink (non-alcoholic of course). Then we walked around town, had the best brownie I've ever eaten at another bar and then headed home. It was a faboulous night!

Wednesday 3/18: Went to camp with the senior classes (year 5/6 students). It was so fun to see them all at camp. This age group actually goes away to camp for 4 days to learn outside the classroom. It is an amazing experience for them, especially because most of these kids will never have another experience like it--it's too expensive for their families. During my day there, we started off on a quick bus ride and a tramp up a hill. Then we went absailing a.k.a. rapelling. I was one of the last to go--I wanted the kids to have a turn first, but I was so scared! It ended up being fabulous and I'd love to go again. Then we went rock climbing. Another fun and adventurous things for the kids and teachers. Finally we went caving. You wouldn't think this would be too hard core becuase of the kids, but it was insane! The adults got in a pair of coveralls and we all had helmets with lights on them. I felt like I was in a movie about mining. We jumped into a hold and started crawling through the cave. Literally CRAWLING! We ended up having to squeeze between crevices, pull ourselves up rock faces and we even swam through mud. By the time I got out, I was covered in mud up to my chest and was wet all the way through. However, it was the best experience. I was cold and tired, but it was a once in a lifetime experience. Then I came home, showered and made enchiladas for Darnie and Nga--they'd never had them before! They turned out great and they loved it.

Thursday 3/19- Regular teaching day other than the kids counting all the bruises on my legs from caving. Then I went with Jalayne and Brooke to an enrichment night. It was great fun! It's fabulous to know that the church is true wherever you go. :)

Friday 3/20- Jalayne, McKell, Candace, Alicia and I went to the Stake Country Ball and then to a YSA dance. It was a little flashback to age 14, but it was fun all the same. The YSA dance was pink themed and I had to dress up for that and the country ball, so I look a little crazy, but that's half the fun. :)

Saturday 3/21- I joined the girls at the bush station and we headed to Waitomo caves. We wanted to go black water rafting and we found a place that would take us for only $99 a piece! We signed up and headed out. First we got decked out in a thick wet-suit, helmet with a light and gum boots and then we loaded up in a van. They took us to the entrance of the cave where we grabbed a tube and we headed down 106 stairs and down a bunch of rocks in the cave. We ended up sitting in the tube with our legs on the person in front of us tube and holding on to the legs of the person behind us as we trailed down the river. We turned our lights out and got to see GLOW WORMS! They dotted the ceiling of the cave like stars. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. At one point, we had to turn around and fall off a small waterfall! I did a BACKFLIP! Not on purpose of course, but the guide said I was the first to ever do that. The next waterfall had a slide, and that was easier and more fun. After trudging up the 106 stairs and getting showered and re-dressed, we went to a different cave for a more low-key tour of a glow worm cave.

After getting back to Hamilton, I got ready and Darnie and I headed to the Chiefs Game. They are the rugby team for Hamilton. They played the Auckland Blues and kicked their trash! I love rugby. On the way out of the parking lot, I got hit on! This guy asked for my number and I froze. So I didn't give it to him, but it sure was a boost of confidence. He was super hot and I felt special. :) Next time, no freezing and I'm getting a hot date!

Those were the highlights of last week and not anything crazy has happened this week. I'm planning on going to the beach Saturday, and then Saturday night is the night-glow where a bunch of hot air balloons light up in the sky! I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This is me with my first stamp in my passport-YAY!
This is my group for the river walk field trip. They were so cute. :)

More differences about New Zealand and Utah.

Te ne koto tamariki ma! (Rough translation:hello to you all)

1- There are so many bugs in NZ. Last night, I killed 3 spiders and 2 moths. Ugh.
2- They call corner stores 'dairies.' Odd, huh?
3- Erasers are called rubbers. When a student asks for a rubber, I cringe a little.
4- Math is pronounces more like mass and they write it as maths. Very different.
5- All the Maori boys have rat-tails. Not cool in the states. Other boys have mowhaks or mullets.
6- The H-word and the D-word are not swear words and I have honestly heard them uttered in church.
7- medicines don't usually have flavors. I ahve a cough right now, and the cough medicine is absolutely disgusting.
8-Mexican food isn't popular--SAD!
9- All candy is called lollies, unless it's chocolate, then it's called chocolate.
10- I love morning tea. We get 20 minutes in the morning for drinks and snacks. And then we get an hour for lunch! So much time compared to the states.

So just a few updates about what I have been up to. I'm teaching a lot more and I love it! I'm working really hard with the solar system unit, and I did a writing lesson today. I drove to church on Sunday and to the supermarket last night--I'm getting good at driving on the left side of the road! There is a ball for the stake on the 20th, and Darnie si trying to find someone to take me-- hopefully a cute Maori boy--it's true, I'm starting to think they're cute. Bring on the brown boys! I'm going to Rotorua for a Maori celebration and for shopping this Saturday. I'm trying lots of new foods and loving all of it. I'm making some "American dishes" next week for my family.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I have arrived!

I have been in New Zealand for 3 days and I am loving every minute of it! We arrived in Auckland at 6 am, local time. I only slept about 4 hours on the plane, but I was so excited I couldn't have slept for anything. We took a bus to Hamilton and stopped in a cemetery along the way. It was so cool because it was the location of a battle between the Europeans and the Maori's. When we arrived in Hamilton, my host mom, Darnie picked me up as her husband, Nga, was teaching primary. Darnie's cousin and her parent's American student were visiting and after a quick shower I joined them at the singles ward. It was so much smaller that a Logan singles ward, but the spirit was the same. We walked up to the Hamilton Temple and it was lovely. We had lamb roast for dinner, it was my first time having lamb, and I don't know how I'll definetely be having it again soon! It was delicious!

The next day I started school and we had the opportunity to participate in a real Maori welcome called a Pauwhiri (powfiry). The students sang to us and we sang the national anthem back to them and it was fabulous. We then learned about the culture and language and I've started working on my Maori. We had morning tea, which is a daily tradition at the schools, with all the teachers. I spent the afternoon in my classroom and went to a planning meeting. Then I spent time at home with Darnie and Nga in the evening.

Today was my first full day in the classroom and it was so much fun. This week is Camp Week at school so we started the day off on a river walk. We walked along the Waikato River with all the students in Level 3/4. Even though we had a few scraped knees, it was a wonderful trip. After the walk was swimming. Students have swimming lessons at school during the summer/fall months--isn't that cool?! In the afternoon, I taught a lesson on constellations and the students made their own constellations by making holes with tacks in black paper. They turned out wondrful!

Some of the things that are different between the U.S. and N.Z. include:
1-Students don't have to wear shoes to school. Interesting isn't it?
2-We spell words differently at times, which isn't the best thing for teachers! color/colour, recognize/recognise. It can be messy.
3-People don't go to the restroom. They go to the toilet. In the U.S., that would be almost crude, but not here.
4-There if fruit everywhere and I LOVE IT!
5-When you are immersed in a place that speaks differently than you, you start to pick it up. Honestly, the students understand you more when you speak with their accent. We'll see if it sticks when I get home.

I know I'll pick up on more things as time goes by, I'll keep you posted! Oh, and I'll post pictures soon too!

I love you all and miss you! I'm going to the beach this weekend, and I'll let everyone kjnow how it goes--I'm starting surfing lessons--YAY!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

75 Things About Me

1.I love argyle. However, I only own one argyle sweater.
2.I read dragon books. I am teased incessantly by my family and I try to keep it a secret; but now I’m embracing it.
3.I’m afraid of cottage cheese and refuse to eat it.
4.I’m the only one in my family that hasn’t taken hunter’s safety.
5.I don’t like girls. If I could, I’d always have boy roommates and would only teach boys.
6.Within the past year, my hair has gone curly and I’ve become allergic to tree nuts.
7.I received my middle name for Christmas when I was 17 after years of complaining about not having one.
8.I have always wanted to move to a new place, get a job in a coffee shop and live in a loft above a store.
9.I complain that I don’t look my age, but secretly, I love it.
10.I could be a college student forever.
11.If I had to pick a new career, I would want to become a doctor or a midwife.
12.I don’t do well with young children (less than 6) or elderly people.
13.I have always wanted to be a pop star.
14.I could eat fries every day as long as there was fry sauce with them.
15.I still listen to Hanson, Dream and Hoku. (Often)
16. My rib-cage is three times the size of a normal human being.
17. I’m really not that smart, I just have a great memory.
18.I don’t really like animals. They’re cute, but I don’t want one.
19.I’m attracted to “pretty boys,” as my dad calls them.
20.Dirty counter-tops induce anxiety attacks.
21. The first thing I do in the morning (NO MATTER WHAT!) is brush my teeth.
22.I love old movies like Doctor Zhivago and Gone With the Wind.
23. I HATE BANANAS and tell people I’m allergic to them.
24.I am terrified of failure.
25. I love ghetto reality shows like the ones on VH1 and MTV. It is my guilty pleasure.
26. I love to watch horrible vampire/witch movies with my sister.
27. I do not like soda. The bubbles hurt my mouth.
28.I love to wear thermals. Staying warm is my favorite.
29. Neutrogena Rain Bath body wash is the best—it reminds me of Hawaii.
30. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star.
31. I love garlic—the more the better!
32. I hate birds. Once, my friend’s bird flew in my hair and I have never fully recovered.
33. One of my favorite treats is Tootsie Rolls.
34. I love the smell of books, old or new. The scent of a library is heaven.
35. I could eat a box of Wheat Thins a day.
36.I love sauces and dips—my mom raised me this way! J
37. Funfetti frosting is my favorite. I could eat it with a spoon.
38. I eat peanut butter in my cereal.
39. I leave for New Zealand tomorrow and I’ll be gone for 7 weeks!
40. I have survived without an IPod for almost 21 years. But Blake just got me a pink one—THANK YOU!
41. When I work/study, I have to have music on. My brain must be actively blocking something out or I lose my focus.
42.I love quotes. They’re written on sticky notes throughout my house and I am constantly looking for new ones.
43. People tell me I look like Amanda Seyfried.
44. My nickname throughout junior high was Ducky. Oh, girls camp.
45. I make the best chocolate chip cookies.
46. I write lists incessantly about anything. I often write the same list more than once.
47. I love teaching—it truly is my calling.
48.I have always wanted to be “Cool Aunt McKenzie.” (Not yet though Morgan & Dane!)
49. I’ve known I wanted to be a teacher since 2nd grade. Granted, it’s changed a few times over the year, but I always went back to teaching.
50. The Jordan River Temple is my favorite temple.
51. I’m the 2008-2009 Scholar for the Special Education Department! YAY! I’m so proud of myself!
52. I would rather not wear clothes, thank goodness my roommates agree with me.
53. Most of these things involve food…coincidence, I think not.
54. I am a sucker for jackets. Most girls like shoes, but I would rather have a new jacket.
55. I love to sing loud, even though I do not have a good voice.
56. I am super clumsy. My mom says I’d trip down an empty hallway.
57.I am also a crybaby. I cried watching Toy Story 2. Again, my mom has a thought about this—I’d cry at the opening of a gas station. All I can say in response is, of course I would, it was someone’s dream to open a gas station.
58. I really enjoy movie theatre popcorn.
59. I have the hardest time getting ready and going to work out, but once I’m doing it I really enjoy it.
60. My hands are always covered in white-board marker.
61.I was afraid of using rubber cement for years because in the third grade, I spilled a bottle and the janitor yelled at me. Oh the trauma of my youth.
62.Speaking of traumatic elementary experiences, our elementary school janitor was awful and would wear shirts saying, “I eat kids.” I still have nightmares.
63. I really want to be a mom; but it can wait till the right time.
64.I love my desk organized in right angles.
65. I hate balancing my checkbook so I am extremely grateful for online banking.
66. I think I have cute handwriting.
67. I love thrift stores like Somebody’s Attic.
68. I always dislike math growing up, but now it’s one of my favorite things to teach.
69. I’ve always wanted to work in a library.
70. I have a mole in my belly button and my aunt thought I had a belly button piercing. It made me laugh.
71. My favorite number is 4.
72. Cherry blow pops are the best treat ever. However, the only time you can get a whole bag of cherry blow pops is at valentine’s day, so I stock up.
73. My favorite Easter candy is Peeps-just like Grandpa.
74. I talk to my mom every day.
75. I love the gospel and am so lucky to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I'M DONE WITH MY PORTFOLIO! (except for the ELED stuff I have to do in New Zealand) Everyone needs to celebrate with me! :)

2 days to go!

I'm sitting in my classroom listening to my students giggle, and I can't help but think that I am really going to miss them. My last day is on Tuesday and I only hope that I have influenced their lives in some small way because they have influenced mine so much.

Last night I spent the night at Janalyn's working on portfolio. Her husband, Wade is so kind and made us dinner and cleaned up so we could keep working. It is going to be so hard to be away from her for 7 weeks! But at least we are almost done with our portfolios! :)

Monday, February 16, 2009


Let me tell you, I cannot wait until I live in one place for longer than a year. Because I'm going to be gone until right before graduation, I've decided to start packing my apartment to relieve the stress of moving when I get back. Looking back, I've moved 7 times in the last 3 years. That is way too much!

Not only am I starting to pack my apartment, but I'm starting to pack for my trip. I'm a little lost on what I should bring. I don't want to pack too light and need things over there, but I don't want to pack too much. If anyone has packing tips or travel tips, please let me know. One thing that is helping me is that I know if I really need something, I can get it over there. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

17 Days and Counting Down

I finally have my placement! YAY! I'm teaching Year 3/4 which is the 7 and 8 year olds! I'm so excited. I also found out who I am living with! They are a very nice couple and just bought a new house. They are remodeling right now and hopefully it will be finished by the time I get there. They have a "sleep-out," which I'm assuming is like a pool house that will be all mine! It's nice that I will have my own space when I need it! Nga (pronounced 'nah') is a roofer and he is Maori. Darnie is caucasion and teaches the same grade I'll be working with, however, I'll be teaching with a different teacher. I think that this was smart of the coordinators so we don't get sick of each other. :) They do not have any kids yet and have been married for only a few years. Darnie said they love to get out and they are excited to show me New Zealand! She also told me that they are LDS and that the church is right across the street from their house. They are also only 1 km away from the Hamilton Temple! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself!

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders now that I know where I'm staying. Only 17 days till I leave!

Monday, February 9, 2009


It's been a while since I've updated the blog, so I figured I'd better do it while I have a spare minute. My computer is broken (thanks again for looking at it Wade), so I'm resolved to only getting on the computer at school. I'll be honest, I don't know how I survived not having a laptop before!

My weekend was pretty blah, except for lunch with the girls. I woke up Friday with the worst sore throat and I thought I had strep. I taught all day, and with it being parent day I had to pretend I was filling super great. Honestly, but would you ever go to school with your kid all day long? I never would! I've already done middle school, I wouldn't want to do it again! Anyway, after school I went to Chili's with Janalyn and Stephanie for Steph's belated birthday celebration. It was so good to see them! I had to leave early to go to the doctor and get a strep test. It came back negative. So I went home and got in bed.

I spent all Friday night and all day Saturday in bed. Well, except for the 7 am run to Walmart for medicine, hot cocoa, and popsicles. There are the oddest people at Walmart that early on a Saturday morning! I also took an hour in the evening to practice accompanying my sister while she sang.

Sunday I had my church, I went to accompany Morgan at her church, took a quick nap, went to Stake Choir chilled at home, had a meeting with my Bishop (I got my temple recommend! YAY!), went to ward prayer and then to a fondue party. Talk about a busy Sunday.

I'm still feeling a little blah, but about 100 times better than Saturday. I can't afford to be sick since I leave in 17 DAYS! As soon as I know my placement, I'll let everyone know! One thing I can't wait to do when I get there is to go to the Hamilton Temple. I can't wait!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Dane!

My little brother turned 16 today! It's so crazy to think of him that old! My dad took him to the DMV this morning, but they wouldn't let him take the test due to the snow. Morgan and I are going home this weekend to celebrate with him and see his ordination to being a Priest on Sunday! I'm so proud of him and can't wait to see what the new year brings him!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend with the Girls

This weekend, my mom and aunt came up to visit my sister and I. We had so much fun! Sunday night, we went to my mom and aunt's hotel and spent time in the hot tub and the pool. We spent the rest of the evening watching MTV and eating jalapeno jelly on crackers. Today, we spent time shopping and went to lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. It was so great to spend time with them. I can't wait to see them again, hopefully next time my other aunt can come too! :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm so tired. I don't know how I surrived middle school as a teenager...I'm barely surviving as an adult.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Student Teaching

I started student teaching today and I am so excited about my placement. I'm at a middle school and my cooperating teacher is so amazing. She is really laid back and very organized. YAY! We have lunch and then a prep hour so we have a bunch of time--which is great. The kids are great and I'm loving the curriculum thus far. Granted I have two more periods to go, but I'm expecting the best!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Car!

I'm getting my new car in two days! I cannot wait! The next time you see me, I'll be cruising in a Jeep Liberty! Yay!