Sunday, December 2, 2012

Baby B loves to swing!

Peek-a-boo and crawl attempts

Baby A is sad he can't crawl...

In this video, he is letting us know how frustrated he is that he can't crawl yet. But then I cheer him up. During that part, we mention that he pulls a "Giselle!" -- that's what we call it when our boys get so excited they shove one of their fists into their mouth because it reminds us of the prince in Enchanted when he's in Central Park and hears Giselle and does the same thing. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Morning Exercises.

Here we show the boys trying to stand this morning. I should have put them in pants so you could see their efforts better. I'm only barely supporting Joshua, but I had to hold James up to steady him at first. James just gets so excited he's up, he always starts dancing around, and then he loses his balance :).

ps. Joshua standing back up really was mostly due to his strength, I just helped him balance on his way back up!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Joshua joins the team...

Yesterday, Peter was playing with the boys and decided to place our giant exercise ball in front of James. I was about to take a nap when Peter called me into the front room excitedly. I ran out and found James kicking the ball like crazy (see the post James: Our Future Soccer Player). He had kicked it a few times and then got excited by the reaction and so started kicking it even more. Peter and I cheered him on and made a big deal about him while Joshua just watched us all with a serious expression.
Later in the day, during one of the boys' playtimes I noticed Joshua just staring at the blue ball so I placed it in front of him. He was so funny. He picked up his legs slowly and placed them up on the ball, and then looked over at me with a big smile on his face. Haha... it was like he was trying to tell me, "Look Mom- I can do it too!" He didn't quite get the kicking thing until this morning when Peter thought it would be fun to put the ball between both of the boys and let them kick it back and forth between them. See the video to see how happy this made them!

Soccer Practice Part 2

James: Our Future Soccer Player

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baby Talk 1

Joshua thinks he can talk... since we chat all day long, I thought I'd try to cature some of his talking on video.

Baby Talk 2

Talking to both boys...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

35 1/2 Weeks

35 1/2 weeks... the babies could come any day now!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I made a movie!!! Michelle Returns from Mexico by mskris

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our Babies :)

Twins do NOT run in my family. I did not expect this at all. Peter and I went to the doctor's office yesterday for the first baby check up and we were so excited to see our baby in the ultrasound.

I was just calmly waiting for the ultrasound to start and the only thought that mindlessly popped into my head was, "I've never been able to read these pictures."

I was just staring at the screen of the picture thinking, "Oh that's nice," when the doctor asked, "So I have a question- do twins run in your family?"


"They do now."

"You're joking."

"I'm not."

"No, you're joking."

"I don't joke about twins."

He pointed them out to me and I had a hard time believing it. I think the only thing I said throughout the first half of the ultrasound was "Oh my goodness"... about twenty times.

So that's mine and Peter's news! We're almost three months along with twins.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Third Grade Philosophers

So in my class, for fun, I let my students write proverbs. I gave them the beginning of the proverb, and then they wrote the rest based on what they thought made sense. Here are some of my favorites. The given part of the proverb is bolded, and how they finished it is in normal font. Enjoy!

Dead men stay under ground.

A friend in need needs a toy.

Barking dogs want sufting. [something... we're working on spelling:)]

When the cat's away the dog is too.

Some other cute ones were:

He who plays with fire is a bad kid who dos'nd lisin to his mother.

Great talkers become annoying.

and (the winner of the Spanish Fork award)...

You're never too old to hunt. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The BEST pizza crust ever (and easy!)

I found this recipe just a little while ago and tried it out last week. It was a hit! And it was the easiest dough I have ever worked with. I was skeptical about not starting my yeast before I added everything together so I made two batches... the dough that I followed these directions with actually did turn out better. I guess the creators of this knew what they were doing :)

2 1/2-3 cups flour
2 T sugar
1 rapid rise yeast packet
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup very warm water
2 T oil

1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt, and undissolved yeast and stir well :)

2. Gradually add oil and water to the mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened. Then beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in remaining flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.

3. On a floured surface, knead dough until it is smooth and elastic,

4. Roll out dough into either two 12 inch round pizzas or onto one large cookie sheet (that is what I did and it was a perfect size :) It worked out perfectly to just fold the dough over on the edges to create a crust- it poofed up very nicely.

5. Prick the dough several times with a fork (this is fun :)

6. Let rest for 15 minutes. (the dough will want time to recover from getting stabbed before it is placed in a burning oven)

7. Prebake the pizzas for 7 minutes at 425 degrees,

8, Top with desired toppings and then return the pizzas to the oven for 7-10 additional minutes.

9. Enjoy the best homemade pizza ever.

And the best part? Less than 45 minutes from start to finish.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Marriage advice from 9 year olds...

So my mom has posted some of these on her blog, but since the big day is coming up soon, I decided I'd post all of them :)

Here is a list of marriage advice from my students...

1. Don't get divorced, have fun living with each other, and don't ever get in a fight. Just be nice.

2. Hug and kiss but make sure he likes you first.

3. Love each other, respect each other, and never give up on him.

4. Never yell at each other or be rude to each other.

5. Get speakers to get Peter's attention.

6. Eat lots of cows.

7. Stick together and give gifts to each other.

8. Have 28 kids and eat lots of cookies.

9. Get a 19 layer cake for the reception.

10. Don't let Peter go out with his friends a lot.

11. Keep believing in him- Never stop believing. And never stop loving him.

12. Never get a divorce because you both are really nice and smart.

13. Peter should be our substitute teacher next year.

14. Kiss. Have a good time. Have kids.

15. You should know, Miss Wagner gets nicer and nicer as the days go on and if you keep going she'll be the nicest woman on the planet.

16, You should kiss Peter with lipstick and you should kiss him before you say I Do.

17. Take good care of Lacy [the family dog], Peter.

18. Never fight. Play with him. Take each other to a restaurant.

19. Be nice. Eat lots of ice cream. Play frisbee.

20. Be nice and have fun.

21. Always go to BYU games.

22. You should name all of your babies after people in our class.

23. Get 3 children. Go on dates often. And go to Chuck-a-Rama.

24. I think that you guys won't fight, but if you do, the first thing you should do is compromise.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Letters to Peter

So in May, I gave my class their morning work assignment to write a note to someone, and I couldn't believe it when almost every one of them wrote to Peter! I guess they were just way excited we had become engaged... I was! Here are some of my favorites...

And finally, here's the last letter. For the life of me, I can't figure out what I ever did to make him say this... :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

St. Patrick's Day- The luckiest thing...

So it has been forever (over a month- can you believe it?) since I have posted... luckily I have a bunch of stories I can put up here... I just need to make the time to just do it :)

For St. Patrick's Day my class made a clover and wrote on it, finishing this phrase:

The luckiest thing for me would be:

(here are what I consider my top ten answers I received :)

1. To make 60 friends every day.
2. If I could have my birthday every month (I bet she wasn't thinking what her age would have to be in a few decades :)
3. To get to go to school every day- even on weekends.
4. To have lots of legs.
5. If hunting was forbidden (this girl is obviously not a true Spanish fork girl :)
6. If I could write with a quill instead of a pencil.
7. If I could have my own room (this one was written 13 times)
8. If I never had to have the hiccups.
9. If I could always live anywhere but Alaska (Hahaha I wonder why this kid feels so strongly against Alaska...)
10. (And the one that will make this boy's parents proud) If I could be like Captain Moroni and save the world.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Picture of the Week

One of my students illustrated a story for me with this picture. Hahaha it looks like it would be a terrible/sick/twisted story, but it ended up only being about a kid going out to play baseball with their dog.
But it still makes me laugh :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stake Talent Show

Here's a really cute and clever song written and performed by an apartment of boys in my ward. They wrote a parody of Teenage Dream called RM Dream.

I was so worried about missing the beginning that I started filming too early (song starts at about 18 seconds into it) that I ended up running out of memory card space and missed about that much of the end. Just the big finale... no biggie... oh well.

This still gets most of the good stuff. It's pretty funny. Enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Love in the Classroom

A few stories I've been meaning to write for a while now... enjoy!

1. I bet parents would be moritified if they knew how much their children divulged during the school day. One day a little girl came up to me and said, "Guess what, Miss Wagner! My aunt and uncle just got a puppy!."

"That's so exciting for them!" I replied. (random...)

The girl went on, "Yep... my aunt told my uncle it was time for either a baby or a puppy so he said PUPPY!"


2. Don Juan is at it again. Near the end of January, I brought my students each a treat for a reward party they earned. As they were eating them, Don Juan asked me if i could bring everyone treats everyday. "Ummm no" was my response as I continued passing the brownies out. But then the little girl sitting next to him piped in to say, "I'm bringing you a treat for Valentine's Day!" (Valentine's Day was only a month away... :)

3. But Don Juan is not the only one inspiring love in the classroom. At the beginning of January, I rearranged the seats. When the bell rang for afternoon recess to start, a girl stayed back in the classroom so she could talk to me. (picture this conversation with all of the drama a nine year old is capable of)..."Miss WAGNER! I canNOT believe you seated me so close to Johnny (fake name)!"

I looked over at his seat... it was at a whole different table... I pointed this out and she responded, "But he is SO close. How am I supposed to concentrate?"

I told her I was confident that she'd survive, but she just shook her head, grabbed her coat, and mumbled on her way out the the door, "I don't think I'm going to learn anything this term..."

Can you believe it?

Somehow I forgot about the crush, and they ended up next to each other last week when I switched the desks again. But... it worked out for the best (for me...), because after one whole day of sitting next to him, she stomped up to me after school to tell me, "I don't like Johnny anymore. He's sooooooo annoying. I can't stand him! Can I move?"

Apparently Johnny should stick to long distance relationships.

Love the drama :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

The really strict teacher

So in my class, I have a little girl who is a such a little hypochondriac. I feel so bad for her, but some of the things she comes up with are pretty funny. About every half hour (usually starting after lunch), she'll come tell me something like that her tummy hurts, her finger aches, or even that she thinks she's probably going to get sick sometime soon, but she just wanted me to know. Most times, I just look at her in a really concerned way and say, "Oh my, that's terrible. I guess you're just going to have to be really brave today."

But today, she started earlier than usual. Right after the bell rang, she came up to me rubbing her face and told me that today it was her jaw that was really hurting. Again I tried to show as much concern as possible, but instead of just telling her to be brave, I decided to try giving a cure and told her that perhaps she might want to just try breathing really, really carefully during the morning.

"Ohh, okay Miss Wagner," She took a deep breath and nodded her head. "I'll try." Then she walked away with the most serious expression. I just smiled. But then I had to regret my choice of cure (or at least saying it as loud as I must have) when I heard a boy across the room whisper to his friend, "Uh oh... Miss Wagner said somebody's breathing too loud."

Uh oh... when that story gets around I'm going to look like such a psycho teacher.

Thank goodness Parent Teacher Conferences were last week.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

My mom pointed out to me yesterday that it's been over a month since I've posted any good stories on my blog. A lot of funny things have happened, but life has just been so crazy lately that I just haven't been able to keep up with it.

So here's my latest amusing moment. It just happened an hour ago and it's probably going to get my class beat up at recess this afternoon...

As I was walking my class to music, one of the fourth grade classes we passed by had their door open so I told my class to wave to the fourth graders. They were happy to wave and everything was fine until my class clown and secret favorite :) pointed into the room as it was his turn to pass and said in a disdainful (and unfortunately loud) voice, "Fourth Grade Nothings!"

Hahaha- have you ever read that book? I guess it's my fault for reading my class, "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" every day this week before lunch! But I couldn't help it in that moment. I was thrown so off guard, (and really, I thought it was pretty clever) that I just laughed, and my class must have taken that as my consent as a moment later, the rest of them pointed and said it again (in perfect and clear unison) to the next fourth grade class that also had their door open.

Oh boy... I'm probably going to be shunned by the fourth grade teachers today at lunch. And I told my class as we waited outside the music room door, that if they get picked on at recess today, they brought it on themselves.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dear Santa Highlights

My Classroom Christmas Tree

On Monday, my students all wrote letters to Santa. They were really cute. It really surprised me how many of them are concerned with their "Good List"/"Bad List" Standings. I forgot what a big deal that was/is :) Here's some of the quotes-
From my math genius so this didn't surprise me...
Dear Santa,
Am I on the good or bad list? I think I have been good 51/100 of the time and bad 49/100, but that's still mostly good so am I good?
From a kid who probably should be worried about his standing with Santa... :)
Dear Santa,
I've been good for the last 6 days so I'm wondering if you could get me ....
And I loved this justification.
From the sweetheart of the class...
Dear Santa,
I think I am on the good list because I helped my mom cook dinner last night.
From the flirty kid from a few posts ago...
Dear St. Nicholas,
Hello, it's me. I have been mostly good this year. My brothers are the bad ones. You know what I want so I won't bother writing it.
haha good luck Santa.
I also loved the boy who wrote about the different guns he wanted and then finished with "but you can get me anything. Just not girl stuff."
And the letter that wins the Most Likely to Depress Santa Award has to be (and enjoy the spelling :):
Dear Sana Claas,
You are the nicest purson ever. And the elves. Plus the raindeer. I have a question for you. Are you always going to be the same Santa. Or are you going to die? Please write back.
I think I would have waited to write that letter until after I had received my presents Christmas morning. But so cute. Hope you enjoyed :)
Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

I think this is so funny even if it is a little twisted... :)

Merry Christmas!!! (only 27 days away!)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bran Muffins

This morning I decided to surprise my grandparents with bran muffins. But they're the best warm (and grandparent's deserve the best, right?) so my sister and I just showed up to their house with the batter.

I popped them into the oven, and then went back to join everyone in the other room and announced, "Be excited, Grandpa. You're 15 minutes away from heaven."

His eye brows shot up. "I sure hope you mean symbolically."

Oh shoot. Me too... wrong choice of words.... but we had a good laugh :)

I sure love him.

BEST Bran Muffins (courtesy of my cousin Monica :)

1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 beaten eggs
4 cups buttermilk
4 cups All Bran Cereal (the kind that looks like cat food)
2 tsp. salt
5 tsp. baking soda
2 cups boiling water
5 cups flour

In a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar. Add eggs and mix. Then add buttermilk, cereal, boiling water, baking soda and salt. Mix. Let cereal dissolve a bit. Fold in flour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18 min.
(And if you don't want to cook it all at the same time- my cousin Monica says the batter can last in the fridge for over a week) Enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

This boy's going to be trouble- I'm just glad I'm not his mom!

I have a boy in my class I like to refer to in my head as Don Juan. He has definitely done his best to earn the name. It doesn't seem to matter who I sit him next to, he will fall in love with her. It wouldn't be such a big problem except that the girls seem to all fall in love with him too! So this last seating chart, I decided that I would be strategic and put him next to this extremely quiet girl, because I figured she'd be the last person to give him any encouragement.

I must have been wrong.

Last week I was in the middle of a multiplication lesson, and I had to turn my back to the class to write a few problems on the board. When I turned around it was to see the last thing I expected in the middle of a math lesson (who knew math was so romantic?). There was Don Juan leaning over in his chair with his arms around the shy girl, his eyes closed, and a contented smile across his face! The poor girl looked scared out of her wits and was grimacing in an enduring sort of way.

Iwas so surprised I just gasped.

The boy's eyes popped open and unfortunately, he let go.

The poor girl fell right out of her chair with a thud to the ground! And the whole class got to see it as my gasp had focused all their attention on her. (Luckily, they don't know all the details of the situation- I'd hate to encourage any more of that happening!) I felt so bad. When she climbed back up, her face was the same color as her her bright red hair. But what I couldn't believe is that it didn't seem to phase my little Don Juan one bit! He just went right back to writing his math notes with a cocky shake of his head and a big grin on his face. What a stinker!

A few minutes later I announced there would be a new seating chart the following day. Lucky me, at recess, I had a whole procession of girls coming up to request to sit next to that boy because they said they thought it'd be fun.

Ohhhh I bet it would.

Which is why it's NOT going to happen.

Instead he is currently nicely seated to the next best thing to a boy: a tall tomboy.

And I'm loving it :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Picture Perfect

My students draw portraits of me all the time. I guess that's what I get for standing in front of them 8 hours a day. Some of them make me wonder what the kids really think of me... The one shown above was gifted to me today. Oh boy. But I think it's my favorite one yet.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Not in a million years....

Today we had our weekly class meeting to start the school day. Each kid always gets the chance to tell about something that has happened over the weekend (if they want to) or they can pass. This morning when it came to one boy's turn, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a sack of all of the baby teeth he's ever lost. He pointed out the new addition from this weekend and held it up for all to admire. But then before I could even consider stopping him, he passed it to the next person so it could go all the way around the circle for everyone to see. That's when I wish I could've had the option to pass. Or at least wish that his family believed in a Tooth Fairy.

But it beats my two girls who came up to me right after announcements were over to tell me that one of their dogs had just had puppies. "That's so great!" I said.

But then they asked me, "So we were wondering if we could bring in their tails..."

"What?!" I stopped flipping through papers. They had my full attention.

"Our dad had to chop off all their tails and we saved them in a bag so we could bring them for the class to see."

Hmmm... I think I'm going to save that show and tell day for a day that I have a sub :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

Here I am with my roommate Jayna in our Saturday Halloween Costumes

Too bad we were too sick to actually go out in them last night... we got ready but soon realized there was no way a night of party-hopping was going to happen. Lame, huh? But at least we were supporting the best team! I LOVE the Suns and right now I'm working on converting Jayna. That's why I posted this picture as proof that I must be making some sort of progress because there she is in a jersey!


I especially love that the Suns creamed the Jazz on Thursday. I was so bummed that I had Parent Teacher Conferences that night. Is it bad that I was tempted to offer an extra treat to any kid who could bring the score with them when they came with their parents?


Don't worry- my better judgment warned against it... at least for my first conference :) But it would've been nice :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We made the newspaper again!!!

It might just be the Spanish Fork newspaper, but hey, it's still a newspaper right? And with Parent Teacher Conferences next week could I have asked for better timing? :)

Here's a copy of the clippings:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why you shouldn't lie....

Yesterday my roommate and I made treats to send to her brother at the MTC, because it was his first day. I was heading up to campus anyway to have lunch with my former boss so I told my roommate, Jayna, I'd drop it off at the MTC dropoff in the basement of the Wilk while I was up there.

And that is where I learned my lesson on lying.

I set the package on the counter and the girl began filling ou a slip about who was dropping it off. I figured my roommate would be a better contact if there were any problems so I decided to submit the package as her. The girl started making friendly conversation as she assisted me.

"So what's your relation?"

Since I was Jayna at the moment, I answered, "Brother."

"Oh! How long has he been in?"

"This is his first day." I put on my best proud sister smile.

"Where's he going?"

Uh-oh. I tried to find it on the address but I couldn't see it, so I was finally honest and said, "You know,Uh... I don't know." I smiled. I looked like such an idiot.

She looked very confused.

So like a ditz I continued, "Hopefully he'll write me back soon so I know where he's going."

I paid for the package and walked away.

And she probably told everyone else at work about the ditzy girl, who should have been a blonde, who's officially the worst sister ever.

And hopefully while she's telling this story she doesn't remember that my name's "Jayna."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The things they write

When we studied habitats, each kid created a 3-D model of their biome and designed a creature that could survive there. Then they each wrote a story about their creature's adventures. One of the girls turned in this story. I am the creature she designed. I don't know whether I should feel honored or not... But at least I survived which is better than my fate in another writing project...

During our second set of centers this week, my students had to finish Halloween story starters. I was killed off in the one below. But at least I was still alive as a ghost. I couldn't believe that the girl remembered that my dog's name is Lacy- I've only said it once! How funny she had me and my dog show up as ghosts (you can also see our gravestones), but my favorite part is my speech bubble of what I'm saying. Apparently I came back from the dead to visit this little girl to say, "Holla!"
We also wrote "How to" books this week. The kids weren't being too descriptive in their descriptions, so I tried to illustrate it for them. "Pretend you are writing this for the stupidest person in the world to read. That's how detailed you need to be."
Then I heard a boy say, "Oh good! I'll give it to my brother!"
And finally, after I got the books back, I saw the most politically incorrect book I've seen all year. How to draw the chocolate woman. Oh Utah. We've got a ways to go.

But the sweetest story I've seen was in one little girl's journal. It was called Princess Wagner. I lived in a huge castle and everyday I'd take walks into the forest where the animals would flock to me. Then I'd teach them math and spelling and the animals all followed me back to my castle, because they wanted to learn more. How cute.

Elementary School Love

I found this letter in my classroom yesterday. When I started reading it and I saw the girl was trying to explain to the other what the game of War was, I expected to find instructions for that never-ending card game. Nope. Apparently at my school War is just girls chasing boys or boys chasing girls.

I guess I should have expected it. For instance I have 2 boys I call my Don Juans. They can't sit next to anyone too long for all the flirtations that inevitably happen. And it's like it doesn't matter who the girl is! As soon as they're seated next to a girl, I see them move in with a "Well hello."

Maybe I should seat them next to each other. :)

Like my mentor told me the other day, spring must have come early to my school.

My favorite elementary school romance moment was when I was teaching a 6th grade class Shakespeare in my free time last week. I gave them descriptions of several plays and had them vote on which ones they wanted to perform scenes from for my third grade class. They overwhelmingly voted for Macbeth, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet. Because of the descriptions I gave them (and because of my judgments about the class) I selected one of the opening scenes of Romeo and Juliet where the families brawled instead of one of the sappy romance ones.

The group that chose to be in that play looked it over and then a boy asked in frustration, "Where's Romeo?"

I said he wasn't in that scene yet, but they could go a few extra lines and then he'd be there.

"But Juliet isn't. The best part is when Juliet and Romeo get to be together."

Whoa. I wasn't expecting that from this cool-looking, popular sixth grader.

Then a girl volunteered, "I'll be Juliet!!"

I told them I would copy the scene where they meet for them to do as well if they really wanted it.

Their response- "Duh."

When I brought it back, their conversation was so funny. The boy looked it over then shyly addressed Juliet. "So we should probably... hug or at least... uh.... hold hands. Make it more realistic."

Oh Romeo. That sixth grade teacher is going to have her hands full too.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The things they say...

It's officially only been one month since school started and the wall by my desk in my classroom is already covered with all sorts of original artwork. Many times I've even been honored to be gifted portraits of myself. It's a tough choice, but I think this one is my favorite. Oh boy- please tell me I don't look like that.

But if you can believe anything could possibly be more entertaining than their pictures you should see their writing.

One of the funniest things I've seen was when one boy wrote, "I like school because I can learn mathematics. Why? Because you need them in life. I just don't know where..."

One of the cutest things I've seen was in a story a little girl wrote. I just love this phrase, "We were so happy we could not lose that smile of ours."

I want to frame that.

And one of the most heartbreaking things I've read was actually written on Friday. Each child wrote about the person they most admire. One girl wrote, "I really admire my dad, because I look like him and I love him too. He works at -------- and I don't see him enough."

Makes me so glad for the dad I had and the decisions he made so he could be home as much as he was and is.

The day that did NOT go as expected

I love my camera but for one morning I wish it had better picture quality. Utah usually has lame sunrises and sunsets (I guess that's the price you have to pay when you live so close to the mountains- I think it's almost lunchtime by the time you can finally see the sun overhead :) But two weeks ago I was finally taken by surprise. My camera doesn't even do justice to what I really saw. But the picture can help you picture it. Just imagine this ten times prettier.

I just stood and watched it. It only lasted a moment before it turned boring again. But as I was driving off to work, I thought to myself, "With a sunrise like that, I know today's going to be a great day."


Haha this ended up being the beginning to some of my hardest days of the school year so far. I got to work 2 hours early to get a project ready for the kids to work on. But when I got to school, my internet on my computer was out.

Everything I needed was on my email.

I was a little panicked because I thought I was already cutting it close on time to have the project done for all the parents to see in just three school days later. I thought of running home to grab my laptop and then had a brilliant idea to run down to the computer lab to see if there was internet there. Maybe my computer was the only one at the school that had lost it.

In hindsight I wish I would have just driven home. After all, I DID have 2 hours before school started. But instead, in my hurry, I decided to RUN to the lab. I guess I'm not a patient person. And unfortunately, I'm also klutzy, and somehow as I was running, I managed to trip on my own feet and fall to the floor, smacking my chin against the ground, causing my teeth to crash into each other.

Ow. It still makes me cringe.

By ten when my kids were at their specialty classes, I realized there was a problem that it still hurt too much to talk. I called my mom and cried and you should have seen my kids' poor faces when I picked them up from music and they noticed I had been crying. They looked scared. But at least they stopped making fun of how I was talking :)

My mentor teacher was so nice to me. She covered my class so I could run to the dentist at lunchtime to find out how much damage had happened. Luckily, I found out my teeth were essentially fine- they were just traumatized. But to be safe, to keep them from all dying, I shouldn't eat anything hard, crunchy, chewy, hot or cold for at least a week. So I had 7 days of lukewarm yogurt to look forward to. yay.

At the end of the day, I realized that I hadn't made ANY headway on that giant project that needed to be done now in 2 school days. I had been so out of it all day with pain, that my class was also going to be behind schedule in almost EVERY subject. And I realized that something like this was going to stink for the next few days too, because it made talking painful and that's all I do all day.

When I drove back into my parking lot, I remembered my thought from the morning, that with a sunrise like the one I saw, the rest would be destined to be a perfect day. And I was kind of ticked that it had actually been quite the opposite. But looking back, I know that I shouldn't have seen it as a sign to make feel entitled to a perfect day. Instead, after everything else, it was the blessing of the day- the compensation for how much worse everything was to get. And I am so grateful for that short burst of light that ended up making that otherwise not-so-enjoyable day worth it.

I'm happy to report that I'm fine now. Three days ago I took my first bites into something crunchy. Hooray for being normal again. I could almost forget it ever happened if it weren'f for my students reminding me everytime we walked down the hall to walk slower so I don't hurt myself. How pathetic is that?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

If you're selfish you'll get what you deserve. I know because...

In June, I was really blessed that I got to go to New Zealand with my parents and two of my sisters. We boarded the plane in LA, and I was sitting next to my mom with an empty seat between us until she moved to an empty seat next to my dad in the row in front of us. This left me on a row of 3 seats by myself! I crossed my fingers that no one would arrive late with a ticket for the extra seat. They didn't. But after the flight attendants shut the doors, I noticed that people on the crowded plane DID start looking over with hungry expressions at all of the space next to me.

So what did I do? I was a brat and I moved to sit in the middle seat of the row.
I nestled down for a nap after take-off and luxuriously stretched out on my private row. I was able to sleep as well as I would have in my own bed, UNTIL... my dreams were interrupted and I dreamt that a bucket of water was thrown on my face and I woke up freezing and wet, repeating to myself "Oh, Oh, Ohhh." I opened my eyes and looked up to a light shining overhead and five silhouettes of heads bent over me. In a moment they were all patting my face with napkins while I groggily tried to protest.

Apparently a flight attendant had tripped while holding (from what I could taste on my face) a pitcher of icy iced tea. If I hadn't been selfish and hogging my own row, I would have been safely asleep by then (Wagners have a gift of being able to sleep anywhere :) in the window seat.

On the bright side, I can be grateful that the flight attendant wasn't carrying coffee! And the rest of my flight became even better when they replaced my blankets and pillows with down-filled ones from Business Class. Furthermore, the very attractive, one-size-fits-all gray pajamas (pictured below) I also received as unnecessary compensation made my wet seat and crunchy hair almost seem worth it. :)

But I doubt such luck could/will last my whole life. Next time, I'll play it safe and share :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why my class might need therapy after this year.

#1. Shel Silverstein poems. My mentor let me borrow a Shel Silverstein book I had never seen before called Runny Babbit (instead of Bunny Rabbit :). I thought they were so clever so I posted one up on the board for our poem of the week this week (please forgive my non-teacher handwriting skills). I read it to them on Monday and what did I get as a reaction? A bunch of blank stares and confused whisperings to neighbors as the students regarded me like I had gone crazy. I read it again and they got the pattern, but I'll never forget their reaction to the first reading. Priceless.
#2. If you really know me, you know that I'm competitive, and I think (from what I've been noticing recently) that I've passed this on to my kids.
Example 1. Every day my kids tell me we HAVE to beat the neighboring 3rd grade class to lunch. I'm not complaining because that incentive is the best thing I could have ever dreamed of to get them all to line up quickly and quietly. But I feel bad for the other class. They don't even know they're part of our race!
Example 2. Last week we had a pool party field trip at a nearby pool. When the whistle was blown to signify the end of our reserved time there, I got my class in order and then of course we were the first ones out. Unfortunately we had over 1/2 a mile of a walk to get back to our school and my students were TIRED. It was hard keeping 28 exhausted 8 year olds walking together and the pace seemed destined to get slower and slower. So just think how happy I was when about half way back, I hear my stragglers at the end yell, "There's somebody on our tail!!!!" as another class rounded a corner a few blocks behind us. I didn't have to prod another kid. They insisted on jogging the rest of the way so that we could be the first ones back at the school.
Example 3. (Last Example) This last week our school had a Box Tops drive. The PTA sent out an email saying that the winning class would get playground stuff for their classroom. My class rocked it. We got 496 box tops (they asked me to go to the store during my lunch on Friday so we could have an even 500. Luckily, they were collected before I had that chance :). We got first place in the younger grade competition. We were ecstatic. Shortly after the announcement, and to my students' delight, a PTA lady walked through the door with a large basket of playground equipment. We thought it was our prize. We were wrong. Instead of leaving the basket she told us we could pick ONE item as our prize. I thought, "Are you kidding me? Man, we're getting jipped." We ended up getting a wall ball. yay. I was worried my class would be disappointed with the prize but they didn't seem to even notice. Instead of groans, I just overheard them telling each other how excited they were that they beat everyone else.
I have a feeling we're going to own the kickball competition at the end of the year :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

My funny teaching moments

Now that I'm finally writing again, I have so much I could write about with all the funny things that have happened in my classroom (third graders are hilarious), but I'll just give you the top highlights.

A few days after school started, a few girls walked in at the bell holding a bouquet of sunflowers and brought them to me. I thanked them- I love flowers- and asked them where they got them. They responded, "Oh! We were playing at recess and saw them in the yard across the street." Which used to have a beautiful garden. Oops. But it was so sweet.

At the end of the first week of school I had all the kids write me a letter so I could write each of them back. The one from my child genius of the class cracked me up. He wrote,

"Dear Miss Wagner,

I don't know what to say. Ummmm.... I'm glad I'm in your class. A few days ago, I thought, 'I wonder if my teacher will like me. Will I like her?'

Well, if she does, I can reward her with her very own 'All about Miss Wagner Website.' I do like you, and you like me. If you like the idea, write me back and tell me about yourself. I'll give you the site address."


On my gosh. What do you say back? I think I handled it alright, but I couldn't believe how funny he was.

This last Friday was a great day. The whole school had a field trip to go swimming at a local pool. My kids all showed up to school with great excitement and asked me after Bellwork if I was wearing my swimming suit. I had to tell them no, because I had left it in Arizona and they were all bummed. I was too.

So at recess a little girl in my class came up and asked, "What size of swimming suit do you wear?" I answered, "Uhh I'm not sure, I'd have to check."

She went away with her brow furrowed, deep in thought.

But the persistent little girl came up at lunch again but with a friend this time and said, "Teacher, we really need to know what size of swimming suit you wear, because I really think you could wear my mom's!"

Oh my gosh. Thank goodness she didn't call her mom. That would have been so embarrassing. But so sweet, right?

And then my last one was my mistake. I bought some Nilla wafers to have in my classroom for when I needed a snack when I worked late. I took them to the teacher lunchroom with me on Friday to have some with my lunch. When I returned to my classroom, I didn't have much time so I just set them on my desk before I went to retrieve my class from recess. My mistake. Because when we returned from the field trip that afternoon, I let my class go into the room ahead of me and all of a sudden I heard a chorus of cries, "Our teacher brought us cookies!!!!" Oops. I was all of a sudden a hero. I couldn't let them down. I no longer have any cookies.

But isn't life great? I'm sure I'll have some more to write about soon :) Teaching is the best job ever.

Bed Bugs and the Psycho Roommate- Me.

It feels like forever since I wrote my last post and that's probably because my life has been crazy. And because I don't have a computer for the moment (which happens to come in handy when posting) but that's another story.

Today's story is about how all my roommates probably think I'm crazy. (But since I've lived with them for almost two weeks, I hope they think I'm normal by now. Hopefully)

Everything went topsy-turvy two weeks ago. I knew it was going to be a crazy week, because it was the week before I started my internship teaching school and because I also had to move out from my old apt to my new one. But I had a plan. I had my goals of what I was going to do each day- I'd make moving a gradual process so it wouldn't be such a pain. I was going to be just fine. Right?

Wrong. Everything was fine until one day my roommate came home and told me that she had just returned from the doctor and they told her that her spots that had been bugging her were the result of bed bugs. We couldn't believe how this could happen to us. We're not slobs. We wash our laundry. Finally we concluded that maybe they had been brought back from a hotel from a recent trip or something. But no matter where they originated, the gradual process plan was thrown out the window- I wasn't going to be there a moment longer with that in the apt. I moved out that night.

I had to go into action mode. I threw away my bedding (sad day) and took my stuff to my new apt where I realized I needed to start purging things FAST just in case some had traveled into my stuff. I didn't have any bites and everything looked fine but I had to clean everything for peace of mind and to just be on the safe side.

But I didn't want to tell my roommates because I didn't want them freaking out or spreading the word that "Bug Girl" had just moved in with them.

So I started a crazy clothes washing frenzy in between making the trips back and forth between my apts as I retrieved my belongings. My new roommate probably thought I was a freak when I returned from a trip and saw in a panic that she had turned off my bedroom light that I had left on (they come out in the dark you know!) and I said, "Umm... could you leave my light on while I'm gone?" I didn' t know what to say to explain my odd behavior so I stumbled on lamely, "I like the light to be on when I get home."

I cringed. I sounded crazy to myself. But what else could I do?

I stayed up until 1 washing things down and then woke back up at 5 to keep on going. Between going to bed and waking up to find me still doing laundry (I had to wash purses, towels, coats- everything), and seeing me wiping EVERYTHING down- not to mention the looks I got when I was vacuuming my new mattress- my roommates were probably regretting the decision to live there, because I probably looked like the most insane clean freak ever.

But I'm really not. I'm relatively normal. Things that you think only happen in movies really do happen sometimes.

Now you know my story. I haven't had any further problems, so it's safe to laugh about it now.

Just please don't refer to me as Bug Girl :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Countdown starts NOW!

Tomorrow marks the 2-week countdown to my first day of teaching 3rd Grade!

I can't believe it. One, because I feel like I have so much more to do that it shouldn't be able to come up that fast; and two, because I just don't feel like I'm old enough for this to actually be happening.

It's funny that the choice to do this, instead of the shorter and simpler student teaching route, took me so long. I'm never indecisive. In fact, for almost everything else I can think of, I only let myself be in turmoil over something for a maximum of like 24 hours (who wants to lose sleep?). And then I stubbornly stick with it and charge forward. But this choice felt like it took me forever to make.

And I can't even imagine why now, because I'm so excited!!!

I have a feeling this next year will be my best adventure yet. After all, "You never know what kinds of treasure you might find in 3rd Grade..." (or so says the cheesy sign I made for outside my door :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

One of my shortest entries yet

BIG NEWS! My Aunt Melissa has a blog! Click HERE to see.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Storytime with a Sailor

So for the final project of my music class I had to write and illustrate a book. Go figure. At least it had to have music written on almost every page or it really would have been hard to see the relevance... But hey- drawing a bunch of pictures is MUCH better than having to sing in front of the class or something. Thank heavens I didn't have to do that.

My family wanted to see how it turned out and this was the easiest way to show them so here you go family! Just don't judge too harshly- I only had 2 nights to work on it...

I had to pick a children's song from our teacher's selection and turn it into a story with a suspenseful plot. Suspenseful is not really the word I would choose to describe most children's songs so hopefully what I came up with will work.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Favorite Board Game I've ever Played

The marble game. Aka the funnest game ever. Don't play it if getting killed will get your feelings hurt, because being cutthroat is just part of the game. :) I have my good friends, Lane and Logan to thank for introducing me to it. Although, I must say, Lane's hand-carved board is much more impressive than my ghetto posterboard imitation- so give it a chance before dismissing it because of the picture. Plus, I think my edition of the game turns out just as fun- especially since you can't use marbles on the board (balls rolling everywhere would be a crazy mess) so we get to use Peanut Butter M&M's instead!

My sister-in-law and a few other people have requested the rules for it so I'm posting it on my blog so they'll be available online to anyone anytime for forever (or as long as my blog lasts).
I think my brother has likened it to a glorified version of Sorry, but it is so much better than that. Every person I have introduced it to has been hooked. And if you think you're the exception, call me and I'll teach you and you'll see you're wrong :)
Here are the rules:
1. All of the marbles/M&M's/skittles/Fruitloops or whatever you use start out in the pods (the round bunch of colored dots) So you'll need 5 M&M's of each of the six colors.
2. Every person is dealt 7 cards. You'll need at least 2 decks shuffled for the game. You get to look at these cards- they're the options you have for how to move your pieces each time. Going clockwise, each person gets to take a turn playing a card to move a marble. After you move your marble, you get to draw a new card before the next person commences his/her turn.
3. You need a King, Queen, Jack or an Ace to get out of the pod on your turn. But playing that card only moves you to the one dot forward (if you are extremely unlucky and happen to not have a face card, then you get to discard and draw a new card for your turn, which hopefully will allow you to play on your next turn.). After that, Kings, Queens, and Jacks will move you forward 10 spaces and Aces will move you forward 1.
4. The marbles move clockwise around the board. Although you can't have one of your marbles pass any of your other marbles in their progression, they are free to pass any other colors as they make their way around the board.
5. There are two teams of 3 players each when you play with 6- every other person makes a team. (on the above board, Red, Blue, and orange are a team and green, yellow, and black are a team)
6. Seven's are a special card because they can either be played to move one of your marbles forward, or you can use it to move TWO (only two) or your marbles forward. (i.e. 6 spaces for one, 1 for the other or 4 spaces for one, 3 for the other, etc...)
7. Eights are also great to have, because when you play an 8, you can ONLY move that marble BACKWARDS 8 spaces.
8. If one of your marbles lands on a marble of the opposing team, that marble is "killed" and sent back to the start pod. However, if you happen to land on a teammate's marble, then that marble is sent to the black dot right outside their colored homestretch. Thus, you just saved that marble a trip all the way around the board.
9. Make sure you play with two decks of cards that each still have their Jokers- these will be the most coveted cards of the game. The jokers allow you to move ANY one of your marbles (even one sitting in the home pod) to any spot on the board (except for a colored spot so unfortunately, it's not a complete free pass home) But, it does allow you to send one of your teammate's marbles to the beginning of their homestretch, or one of your enemy's marbles back to the start pod.
10. You cannot land on your own marble. People have tried to get away with this, but no, you cannot send one of your own marbles home on your own. But nice try :)
11. Once all of your marbles have made it into the home spots, then you will start playing for the team member on your left when it's your turn. The game starts moving really fast for a team once they have one member finished.
12. VERY IMPORTANT: You cannot verbally (or even nonverbally) discuss strategy amongst your teammates. For better or worse, each person has to play their own turn according to their best judgment. So just be sure to pick smart teammates :)
I think that covers it. But feel free to call me if you have questions.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Don't take Shortcuts

Image taken from google search. Click here for webpage.

I went to hike the Y way early in the morning on Saturday but there were so many people there, the closest parking spot I could find was at a church way at the bottom of the hill. So I got a really great hike. But I guess when you head out to exercise you shouldn't begrudge more of it- then I'd be as bad as those people at the gyms fighting for close parking spots :)

So the hike went well but on my way back I decided to cut across a large, weedy field to get to my car since the road that wraps around it doesn't have a sidewalk anyway. It seemed like a good idea until I got into my car and I reached to put my keys into the ignition and I saw something moving it's way up my upper leg.

It was a tan spider.

And that's when I noticed lots of other tan things everywhere else on my legs. Oh my goodness. What did I do? I think I did what any girl would do- let out a blood-curdling scream, jump out of the car and start dancing around while slapping myself (priceless picture to envision, right? If only life had a replay button...).

After a moment or two, the first spider was removed (and probably crushed in my frightful-panic dance... sorry spider). And that's when I finally realized something (to my chagrin)... the other tan things weren't spiders at all. They were little stickly pieces of dead weeds that only looked like spiders.

Fright can make you crazy.

That's my moral for the day.

And don't take shortcuts- or at least that one.

I'm just so glad all those cars passed by during those moments so they could share that experience with me.

I love my life :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Classroom Preview!!!

After three days of hard labor this month, here are some pictures of what my classroom looks like so far-

Here's my desk and cubby area in the back left corner:

I love the curtains my Aunt Judy gave me. Although, I think Martha Stewart would be appalled that I stapled them up there. But they've been up for two whole weeks now so who's to say I should do otherwise? :)

Here's the back wall (you'll probably have to click on it to open it up to see all the details):

Here's the bulletin board by the door. I know I'm probably going to lose cute teacher points with that calendar, but the only one's I've been able to find have been like $30! Would you want to spend 1/3 of $100 just on that? Me neither. But I've got big plans for this one. Just you wait.

The below picture is of my favorite place in the classroom. The front reading corner.

Below is a close-up of the tree. The monkey is supposed to be Curious George, but since I was working on it late at night at the school, I just called the first draft good, but hopefully you can at least tell it's a monkey. I did add a tail on him though- even if that does turn him into a "fictional-fictional" character. I still can't believe Curious George doesn't have a tail.

And the last one of the back right corner of the classroom:

Just kidding.

Like I would really do that :)