Friday, December 25, 2009

I Wonder...

It is against my personal policy to post on the blog unless I have pictures to accompany the post. That becomes a problem because I seldom have my camera and hardly ever remember to take pictures. So I wonder if anyone will read this post - EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE NO PICTURES (there. I said it. Those who want to stop reading now can).

It's Christmas! It's almost 2010! Only 2 more years until the world ends, apparently. This was my first Christmas with Russ's family in Arizona, and it has been quite fun. On Christmas Eve we had a big family dinner (and when I mean big I mean 34 people - and 3 families weren't even there!). It was delicious! I've never SEEN so many mashed potatoes!

Then we had a Christmas program and sang Christmas songs. All the men in the family have a tradition of singing "It's the Holiday Season", during which I noticed that I definitely married the most attractive Lee brother (not that I am biased in any way). Then we read a poem about the Christmas spider and I got the honor of putting the spider ornament on the tree. Russ, however, told me that I had to get up and dance like I spider so I really didn't hear the poem - I mean - how do you dance like a spider anyway!?! Apparently you only get this honor once so I had to make it good. I had Russ put me on his shoulders and I put the spider on the tallest branch of the 10ish foot tree. It's great how families have traditions. Even though my family's traditions are different, it was still fun to see new traditions.

Since it was just Russ's parents and us, we woke up at about 9:00 to open our presents. It was even a "white" Christmas because there was a THIN layer of frost on the ground. Russ and I opened most of ours in Provo before we left because we didn't want to pack them (thank you airlines for discouraging us all to NOT take luggage) so this morning was sort of anti-climatic, not that gifts are the important part anyway!

Then the Lee clan all came over again for a giant omelet brunch. I must admit that I missed mom's Christmas ham and cinnamon rolls brunch at that point, although omelets were good too!

So for the next 8 days or so, I plan on having a real vacation: hanging out with family, sleeping a lot, reading books, seeing movies and wrapping it all up with a WEDDING!!!! So Merry Christmas everyone! Sorry I didn't have any pictures!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

Now that it's December, I suppose I should fill in October and November!

My mom came for a visit. She helped me in my classroom and made many wonderful meals for us. Also, we were all able to go to the Provo Temple to do sealings. That was pretty awesome.

For one of the days of my fall break, we went hiking with our friends Bonnie and Brian to the Spanish Fork hot springs. It wasn't a bad hike, but it smelled like rotten eggs once we got there so there was no way I was swimming in that (hence why I am the only one fully clothed in the picture). While they played in the water, I heated up our lunch on the hottest rocks I could find!

Here is a shot of how beautiful the woods were with the fall colors
The Holdens came down just before Halloween and we were able to go to the TCU v BYU game. We snagged some first row seats, but it just gave us a better view of our utter defeat.

This was right before our only touchdown of the game.

The best part of November was going to visit the Holdens in Boise for Thanksgiving! Britney and I made one DANG good feast, and the turkey was the best I've ever had. It was completely delicious!!!!

The finished product.

Of course, we also relaxed while we were there. (Note the remote STILL in Russ's hand while he's napping)

One day we went to the Boise Festival of Trees. It was something I think my mom REALLY would have enjoyed. It was just a giant convention hall filled with different theme-decorated trees.

We have our first day of snow today!

We looked out the window and what did we see?

Snow falling down right on our tree,

Winter had brought us such a nice surprise,

Snow falling down right before our eyes,

You could take an armful and make a treat,

A snow packed ball that would throw so sweet,

It wasn't very so, nor is it meant to be,

Snow falling down right on our tree.


-composed by Russ Lee.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Mary tagged me in her blog post about telling ten honest things about myself. In a new plan to avoid doing teacher stuff for 10 hours during the day AND bringing MORE work home.... I guess I'll give it a shot! (So thank you Mary, for saving me from myself! :D)

1. I like grammar. I am losing my skills with the combination of not having a real English class since high school and spending my days with 6 year olds, but I cringe when people use the wrong "your". Bleh.

2. Cracking knuckles is the most disgusting sound in the world to me. It's just not natural!!!

3. I am an anxious driver and terrible at parking, especially when I have to turn left into a stall. TERRIBLE. I'm like Zoolander - couldn't he not turn his face left? :)

4. Not a fan of being cold. When I'm cold I don't want to do anything or go anywhere. Winter is pretty from inside, but it's not my favorite time of year.

5. It seems like every time we go over to a friend's house to watch a movie, I fall asleep. Many people can attest to that.

6. I don't love Relief Society. I don't have a particular reason... but because I feel that way I'll probably serve in Relief Society all my life.....

7. We will NOT raise my kids in Utah. Maybe when they are young, but once they hit those teenage years, Russ and I agree that we want them away from Utah. The main reason for that is that in Utah there are still bad kids, they just also go to church with you.

8. I love love love love love to organize, clean, unload the dishwasher and do the laundry. Give me a day to myself without other responsibilities and I'll watch movies while I clean all day.

9. We love watching movies. I counted yesterday and we have about 85 movies!!! That is ridiculous considering we probably watch them once a year thanks to redbox. However, over 40 of those movies are either church movies, family friendly movies (like Singing in the Rain), or Disney movies so I don't feel quite as bad. Then we have about 10 chick flicks and 30-something action movies.

10. I am a big fan of leftovers. MmmmmmMmmm

Well I don't know how many people you are supposed to tag, but I'll tag Lissa, Bonnie, Britney (again), Bri (like Mary again), Jamie, Abby, and Michele.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bah Humbug, Halloween!

I am not really a fan of the whole Halloween thing. You dress up in a costume that you think is really cool but people don't always understand and then go knock on doors and get some good candy but also a fair share of stuff you'd never eat, and normally I'd go do things that scared me and regretted it later. It isn't all bad, of course. My siblings and I had a lot of fun. My favorite tradition was making sugar cookies in Halloween shapes.

1990 Lissa - catwoman, Tyler- batman, Garrett, spiderman, Adri - Little Red Riding Hood

1995 with our handmade Star Trek costumes (I loved Deanna Troy)

So far, Russ and I are 0 for 2 when it comes to Halloween. We didn't carve pumpkins, carry on the tradition of sugar cookies, dress up, watch any scary movies, go to any Halloween parties, or go to the Haunted Forest (although we did last year). Maybe it'll be more exciting when we have kids of our own...?

Sunday, October 11, 2009


It has been far too long since our last update, and we have done a lot of cool things. Here is our September Top 10.

10. Russ is having fun being on an intramural flag football team

9.I've actually started to enjoy teaching and my students, but it's also still hard

8. As a brand new family bonding experience, Russ and I went shooting with my ROTC brothers. Russ was good at it. I was not.

7. Jamie, Russ, and I attended the BYU vs Utah State game. It wasn't too cold and we won, so all in all it was a good time. Plus, for half the game we were at the 50 yard line and the 5th row. I've never felt so close to the action before.

6. After only a year, we finally scheduled a date for Russ to take the GMAT so we can find out what next year holds in store for us.

5. We were able to attend the sealing of some friends. It was the first one I'd been to since my own, so it was a neat experience.

4. Russ came to school for a day and the students decided to make him "King of the Day". This HONOR included them getting to ask him questions and draw pictures of him for a book. Several pictures showed him with earrings and a dress.

3.I learned several things from my students....
1)we have two presidents: Obama and Thomas S. Monson, (only in Utah!)
2)that they know when I'm upset because my "face gets all red" (Perfect.)
3) the plural of desk is "desk-is"
4) Kids don't cut in line anymore. They "butted" in line.

2. We and the Stapley's drove up to Boise to see the Holdens! We have missed them since they moved in June and had so much fun we plan to visit again for Thanksgiving:

A reunion! (minus the Killions, that is)

We all did sealings at the Boise Temple

At BSU's blue football field

Russ and Emrie playing together

the men contemplating the meaning of life...

1. We bought a new car, which was inspired by Transformers:

Not. We got this car instead...

It's a 2004 Camry and we LOVE IT! It was the biggest purchase of our marriage so far. (Second place goes to my wedding ring, third place to our flat screen TV :D)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No One Told Me!!!

A student comes in this morning and hands me a daisy. A big fat, not just picked off the side of the road, daisy. However, he hands it to me and says, "Here teacher! I put it in my backpack and all the yellow parts fell off". Thanks. A petal-less flower. He was so proud of it. Maybe you had to be there, but it was the best gift I've gotten all year (and trust me, I've gotten lots of weird things so far).

I honestly don't remember much about my own 1st grade year, and I'm hoping things will be much the same way for my students because I feel like I'm not the kind of teacher I thought I would be. I find myself doing worksheets or just having them color a picture for no reason (but I am working on being more "intentional" with my teaching). But I do it because managing a classroom of 20+ students has just turned out to be a LOT bigger deal than I ever thought. Plus, I don't think I was prepared for first graders. They are so small and so many things are so new to them! It's surprising how often you have to say and re-say and RE-SAY things.

I feel like no one told me teaching would be hard. Or else people told me but I just thought, "No. It'll be different for me." Wrong. TEACHING. IS. HARD! Mostly because management is hard - especially at the beginning of the year. I am happy to report, however, that it gets easier each day. Teaching is great because every day is a new day. You can try a new management tactic, the crazy kids haven't gotten in trouble yet, you can look at things with a fresh perspective, etc.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Mrs. Lee! Mrs. Lee! Mrs. Lee!"

Welcome to my FIRST GRADE classroom!

These pictures were taken before school started and I have already moved some furniture around - for management sake, but people have been asking about pictures so I thought I would put them up. I was kind of anti-buying decorations because I felt like ones I made would be cuter - so I probably spent a lot more time and energy than most people would/should, but I really think it turned out great...

Jungle animals in the window AND the "Mrs. Lee" name plate :D

The front of the room (I've moved that table because all the stuff on it was too tempting while students were lining up at the door) :)

Their cubbies and school supplies

The back corner (haha! I have no books!). I have already had to move the bookshelf because kids will play with the books while sitting on their cool multi-colored carpet.

The other back corner of the room...

A close-up of my two favorite things I made for the room: the crayons and the monkey!!!

My cool bulletin boards that I don't really know how I'm going to use :)

The front/bare corner of the room

My mom is so great at making things! She made me this wall hanging for my room and it's definitely one of the coolest teacher things I have ever seen! Thank you so much, mom!

Here is my leaving for my big first day!

I have 22 students (10 girls and 12 boys) and most of them are really good. Although it's only been two days, I must go on record as saying that teaching is a LOT harder than I had anticipated or experienced in the past. I wasn't at all nervous on the first day, but the kids are having a hard time adjusting to school - especially because first grade is full of so many, well, firsts (for example, being at school all day, walking in a line down the halls, sitting at their own desk instead of at tables, structure in general, not having a bathroom in their class they could use any time, and just sitting still after a summer break). I've found that my best moments were when I really just enjoyed the kids instead of trying to quiet them down. So hopefully as time goes on and we get into school and into a routine, we'll be able to have more fun and learn instead of walking up and down the halls to practice being quiet! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

First Anniversary

I can hardly believe it has already been a year! We have had lots of fun together and have been very blessed. We both have our quirks and our stubborn moments, but I am glad to have Russ Lee as a friend and companion to have spent the past year with and the rest of ...forever with. :)

After 1 year of marriage, Russ and I made some lists of....

...what we've accomplished:
- Russ graduated
- Russ got a full-time job working for BYU (and he LOVES his job)
- we've made two apartments feel like home
- we've gotten by with just one car (which seems incredible to me)
- Adri got on the dean's list (while taking a full load of classes, working 2 part-time jobs, AND in her first semester of being married)
- Adri got a teaching internship
- we've made more friends (yay! Olsens!)

...things Adri still wants to learn:
- make the bread machine work!
- keep us to our budget!
- talk to customer service reps and get what you want

...things Russ still wants to do:
- take the GMAT
- love and help Adri
- more house chores

...things that we want do together in year TWO:
- start a year supply
- choose a side of the bed to sleep on! (we still switch)
- start a little garden
- family history
- go to leper colony in India

Russ's parents were kind enough to keep our wedding cake in the freezer and bring it up to us so we could eat it. We were skeptical and heard stories about how nasty the cake could be after a year, so we decided to document eating it. My voice sounds kind of funny in it, but I think everyone just thinks their own voice sounds weird on videos, so enjoy!

The cake...

Adri trying it...

Russ trying it...

Finally, partially to celebrate our anniversary and also to celebrate GARRETT getting engaged to KRYSTAL, all the family in Provo went out to eat at Little Italy. It was fantastic food and we all left fat and happy!

Tyler and his super cool lost-and-found girl sunglasses

Garrett, Krystal, and sparkly diamond ring

Russ and Adri

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Day Off

I have been really busy with student teaching and getting my classroom ready, but today was Pioneer Day (a holiday here in Utah) so I took the extra time to work on a craft I wanted to make for a while. They are season blocks, and I saw them at my friend Michele's house and they were so cute! Mine look a little different, but they still turned out really well! The whole thing cost only $10 but took around 5 hours! Here are the final products:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One Year Older and Wiser Too

This past week I had my 21st birthday. I know, I know, I seem SO MUCH older and more mature than that. I think birthdays are my FAVORITE "holiday" because everyone gets one day a year where they are "it". I mean, what isn't cool about birthdays? You get presents, people are nice to you, AND you get to eat cake! I went to bed on my birthday feeling SO grateful for all of my family and friends. It's just a good day.

Since I have a summer birthday, normally I lounge around and try to go the number of my favorite things as years I am old (in this case, do 21 of my favorite things). This year, however, was a little busier because I was student teaching. I woke up at 6:30am, put on a new dress Russ got me and I was off. Nothin' quite like 40 3-5 year olds wishing you a happy birthday. Some of the other teachers in the preschool told students it was "Miss Adri's" birthday so they came to give me all their best. My favorite was when one student asked if I was turning 100 years old.! :) I brought in cupcakes for a birthday treat and they seemed to really like them, but who knew they could be so messy!?

When I got home, Russ couldn't wait any longer for me to open my pile of gifts. He did such a great job hiding them. I thought I had a good stack going but then he just kept bringing things out from different spots around the house. He felt the need to take a picture of me opening each of my gifts. I am not posting them all, but if you are Lissa, mom, or my grandparents, there is a picture of my reaction. If you aren't, feel free to skip the next little bit of this post:

**Note: These pictures are in no way staged. This is just exactly what I did. Really.**

A beautiful Children's Songbook from my grandparents.

The "idols" (as Russ calls them) of a father and mother praying. As we have children, we will add them as well.

Wii Fit Russ got me because I always say I wish I had time to work out!

The SUPER CUTE purse my mom made for me!

Earrings from Russia, from my mom.

Then we had some of our friends come over and we ate an amazing cake that Bonnie made, talked, hung out, and played Wii. It was a good time. I loveeeeeee birthdays!!!!

Half of the party people - Tyler, Bonnie, Brian, and Avery...I'm not sure why there isn't one of the Stapleys also.