he knows me too well.

my sweet husband surprised me by booking a massage for me today.
I love me some good massages.
I think he wins husband-of-the-year award.
He knows me too well.
I'm off to relax!


I'll take it.

Today is "college day" for the seniors and "ACT practice test" for the sophomores.
Which means--NO CLASSES!
Since I'm not proctoring a test, I am assigned to "help" one of the proctors if he needs to go to the bathroom or something.
Which basically means, I am sitting in an empty classroom all day, blasting pandora over the surround system, prepping, reading Harry Potter, and taking a long lunch.
I'll take it.
Oh, the perks of being a high school teacher. ;)

OH. And the cold has begun.
Getting pretty excited about that.


just because i have to.

I know I mentioned this in the blog post I just barely posted, but I wanted this picture to be a post all in its own.
I was walking into the house, when he stopped me and said, "Wait, I have a surprise."
Then he pulled out the flowers with his cute little grin and said, "Flowers, madame?"
I made him stop so I could take a picture.
I just love this man.
He really is a gem.
(he was also awesome yesterday because he cleaned out ALL of the kitchen cabinets, and ALL of the kitchen counters!)

start to a great week.

Taylor and I have a new goal:
"wedding weight by marriage date."
We have 14 days to accomplish this. ha!
Even with running and exercise, I am still about 6-7 pounds heavier than when we got married.
We are not the most healthy eaters ;)
I was probably a little too skinny when we got married (at 96.5 pounds).
We will see what happens in the next two weeks.
But in just the short time since we have started, I have already lost 2 pounds!  
Probably just water weight...but hey, I'm taking it!
We are mostly taking this opportunity to be more aware of what we are eating.
And it sure is working.

Reasons why this week has started off GREAT:
1. Down two pounds this week
2. Taylor came home from Costco yesterday and surprised me with flowers.
that boyyyyy. :)
3. Last night I was in bed at 8:30! For the first time in a long time, I got to read for a whole HOUR before I fell asleep! p.s. I have restarted the harry potter series. my, oh my, it's pretty dang fun. Even on the fourth go-around. 
4. today my classes are testing--all of my grading is done. Which means...I will be reading harry potter all day (and getting paid for it). Sounds like a done deal to me! ;)
5. taylor is joining me for lunch today.
6. I get to go shopping with my little sister tonight! love that she is at BYU now!
(okay, shopping for me does not mean spending money, since it's still no spendtember, but it will still be fun!)



A few weekends ago, we went to Othello, Washington to celebrate Taylor's grandparents 50th anniversary.
 Here's Tay with his cute grandparents.
They are so in love and so adorable.
I just love them.

While we were there, Othello had their annual rodeo.
I think us city kids stood out pretty well.
Instead of boots, we were in sperrys.
Instead of button down checkered shirts, we were in tees.
And our heads were completely void of cowboy hats.

I can't even begin to explain the fun we had.
It was my first rodeo EVER, and I can't wait to go again!
I had my hand over my mouth the whole time--how are people brave enough to ride a bull!?
And that poor little cow that got roped around the head!
But my oh my, I enjoyed every little second.

We really had such a fun time with the Gilbert fam.
We can't wait to see you again, Othello!
(and you better believe we will be there for next year's rodeo!)



Today in class, we were talking about the Constitution and Constitutional Convention.
We do a mock constitutional convention.
It's one of my favorite activities that we do all year.
I had never done it with classes quite this large, so it was an added challenge.
(especially with one particular class that drove me up a wall--little monsters today)
But the students all said they loved it.
They are basically divided into 11 states (because 13 was too many for the game..ha)
and they are all trying to get certain "items" passed in the constitution.
Each "item" (slavery, representation, etc) is worth a certain amount of points if it gets voted in.
It's super fun, and I think it really helps them understand all of the concepts.

(there's mr. president and scribe leading the convention)

I make my students memorize the first ten amendments (aka the Bill of Rights, you non-history-people;))
To help them remember, I teach them hand signs for each one.
While on "freedom of speech," I was telling the class how sometimes your "freedom of speech" is limited (airports, movie theaters, school, etc.).
We were talking about how there are some things you can't say on airplanes.
Then I told them this riddle:
A man is sitting on a plane and he sees his friend.
He says hi to his friend and then gets arrested.

(can you solve it?)

I always tell the students that whoever figures it out first gets extra credit AND the title of "smartest kid in the class" for the rest of the year.
(by the end of the year, so many of them own "titles," it's cray cray ha)
The students always come up with the craziest answers.
One student said, "OH! I get it! His friend's name was OSAMA!"
We all started laughing.
It was one of those laughing moments when I knew I needed to stop laughing and continue being a teacher, but I just couldn't stop.
Then another student chimes in,
"I'VE GOT IT! His friend's name was O-BOMB-A!"
That one killed me.
I have to give it to them for their creativity.
I think we all got an awesome ab-exercise today.

It's times like these that I wish I could hug all of them and tell them how awesome they are.
And it's times like this that I wish that society would stop knocking our youth down.
These kids are so innately good until society tells them they just aren't good enough. 
It breaks my heart.

Oh, hey, have YOU solved the riddle yet?
His friend's name was Jack. ;)


washington weekend

This was our scenery all weekend:
There is something serenely peaceful and exciting about being out on a huge farm.
Taylor's grandpa is a true farmer. 
He owns acres and acres of farm land, and he took us on the coolest tour.
We really enjoyed our time there. 

More pictures and videos to come :)


eight simple things for teachers

I know I've only been teaching for two years, but it's still enough time to learn a few things!
Let me preface by saying that NONE of these ideas are solely my own.
I see a good idea online (or from a friend) and modify it to fit me and my classroom.

I just wanted to share a few simple ideas that make my school day 10x easier and 100x more organized.

#1. Seating chart with sheet protector. 
(this seating chart is especially sloppy because students keep transferring in and out. beginning of the year woes)
 Whether you have seating charts in your classroom or not, you can implement this.
Kids tend to sit in the same seat every day even without a seating chart.
I use a small erasable marker and mark absences and tardies--obviously, you do this in the computer as well, but just in case time gets away from me and I happen to forget, I always have a reference to look at.
I also use it to tally negative participation points.
If a student is being disruptive, annoying, or too chatty, I can easily put a mark next to the name and worry about entering it into the computer until after school.
Every so often, I'll have an assignment that I'm just checking for "completion."
I just take this handy seating chart around with me as I check each student's work.  
I can easily mark a "zero" or dock a few points if the student failed to complete the assignment.

In addition, sometimes I need to remember to tell a specific student or a specific class something next time I see them. 
I'll just remind myself by putting a sticky note on that class seating chart.
Then, the next time I have that class, when I take out their seating chart, I'll see the reminder!
It really is handy, I tell ya.

#2. These gems
I HATE the question "What did I miss yesterday?"
I have finally found a solution.
Every day, I update the calendars above the bins.
I briefly describe what we did that day and *STAR* any handouts I passed out.
In the bin, I have manilla folders--each one labeled with a number (signifying a day of the month: 1, 2, 3, 4, etc).
When a student is absent, they can easily go check the calendar and pick up the handouts.
I love it.

#3. My class website
I update it every day.  I also upload all handouts for them to print/download.
If a student ever loses a worksheet, they can easily print it at home.
It's also wonderful for parents, because they can see all assignments/HW online.
The constant parent emails asking me to explain assignments have magically disappeared.
I always refer them to the website--it really is a time saver, for everyone.

#4. Remind101.
Students can sign up to be texted reminders for HW, tests, etc.
It's AWESOME. My turn-in rate has soared since I started this.
You can even schedule texts!
At the beginning of the week, I usually schedule them all for the whole week (I always send the texts at about 6pm the night before the assignment is due).
It's a beauty.
And students just LOVE it.
Oh! And I have all of my parents sign up too! Parents JUMP at the chance to be reminded about student assignments!
(disclaimer: I cannot see students' numbers and I am NOT texting from a phone number--just an online program! Students cannot respond to the texts.)

#5 Pass back papers
Okay, this is probably the most simple idea.
But for some reason, it took me a whole year to come up with it.
Last year, when I had papers to pass back, I would place them in a "pass-back" pile on the front desk to remind myself.
But the papers always seemed to get mixed up--different classes ended in different piles, and it was so annoying.
This year, I realized...DUH. Manilla folders with each class labeled.
See? Stupidest, simplest idea ever.
And yet, it makes my life so much easier!

#6. Automatic hand-sanitizer dispenser.
 It sits right by the door.
Students use it as they file in.
(I also have about three regular bottles throughout the classroom).
I'm kind of an OCD germ freak when it comes to my classroom.
The students love it.
And it's cheap!
$14 on Amazon!

#7. Floor pens!
(I spy with my little eye...one of my many hand sanitizer bottles...haha)

I will bet anyone and everyone my entire paycheck (which is SO much money!!!! HA!) that there will ALWAYS be AT LEAST one pen/pencil on the ground at the end of the day.
And everytime, I will win.
At the end of the day, I pick up the pens and stick them in this little cup.
When the unprepared kids come to class, they don't need to bug me for a pen or pencil.
They know straight where to go.

#8 Clorox wipes.
I always have these laying around.
I've had to clean up boogers, gum, and icky stuff one too many times.
Plus, once a week, I choose a class that gets to wipe down their desks.
The desks stay nice and clean, the room smells good, and the students are unnaturally excited when I've chosen their class.
Everyone likes a clean desk, right?

And there you have it!
The eight simple things that I praise up and down every day.
I am looking for good ideas all of the time--so if you have something that works awesome in your classroom, please share!
Teacher plagiarism at its finest ;)


an airport story.

On Thursday night, the Gilbert siblings hopped on a flight to Washington.
Mom and Dad Gilbert drove out a few days before us, and they were nice enough to buy all of the kids plane tickets so we didn't have to drive! ;)

After parking our car in the airport parking lot, we jumped onto the shuttle.
As soon as we stepped on, I turned to Taylor frantically and asked, "Tay, did you grab the camera bag out of the car!?"
He gave an exasperated sigh and answered, "No..."
Then he quickly grabbed our suitcase off of the shuttle so we could jump back off before the door closed.
Seth (Taylor's brother) stayed on the shuttle and went on ahead.
As soon as we jumped off of the bus and the bus doors closed, I noticed that the camera bag was on my shoulder the whole time! haha!
I burst into laughter, held it up, and said, "Found it!"
Taylor just stared at me.
He didn't think it was very funny....hahaha.
I kept telling him not to worry--we had 45 minutes until our flight left!
Plenty of time.
When we got to the counter to check our bags, the desk attendant nervously looked at our ticket and said, "They already finished boarding.  I don't even know if this bag will make it on the flight."
What!? There was still 35 minutes until our flight took off!
How could they have finished boarding!?
Taylor gave me the "I-can't-believe-you-forgot-your-camera-bag-and-put-us-behind-15-minutes" look.
You know the one?
He turned to me and said, "Not so funny anymore, eh?"
The attendant took our bag, gave us our tickets, and said, "Run. Now. You might not make it."
So off we ran.
Of course security took forever.  The lady in front of us was trying to jam her stroller through the bag-x-ray-checker-thing.
It kept spitting it back out, and she kept jamming it through.
At this point, Taylor and I were both stressed.
We kept trying to call Seth and Regan who were already through checkout, but neither of them would answer their phone.  
Did they really already leave!?
Finally, we got through security, and we started booking it.
I, of course, was in flats that made it extremely difficult and painful to run through the airport in.
I thought that I was being smart wearing them--you know, because you have to take your shoes off when you go through security.  But apparently, my foresight wasn't quite good enough.
We got the funniest and most sympathetic looks running through that airport. haha
My bags (camera bag included ;)) were ramming into my body with every stride I took, I was constantly telling Taylor to slow down through my huffing and puffing, and I had a pained expression smeared across my face due to my newly forming blisters.
Taylor finally got ahold of Seth, who told us to hurry--they had already finished boarding.
So we ran even faster.
And my feet hurt even more.
We finally run up to our gate, and I run straight to the ticket lady, completely out of breath, and held my ticket out to her.
Then I hear Taylor behind me saying, "Kelli, stop! Kelli!"
I turn around to see Seth and Regan, calmly sitting in the airport chairs, and dozens of people staring at me.
Regan and Seth burst into laughter and say, "We were kidding! They have barely started boarding!"
I just stared at them, with my hand still holding out my ticket to the ticket-lady, and said, "I'm going to kill you guys."
Everyone at the terminal started laughing.
While I am glad we could provide everyone with entertainment for the night, my feet nor lung capacity will ever be the same.

We still don't know why the check-in lady told us to run--I knew they hadn't finished boarding!
But regardless, it turned into one crazy experience and one very good exercise.

So, if you're wondering, we did safely make it onto our flight.
With time to spare.

I guess I should thank the camera bag for this one. ;)


no spendtember

We've decided to turn the month of september into the month of no spendtember.
aka We are making a game of trying to spend as little money as we can this month.
It's actually quite fun!

When Taylor started his own business over the summer, he really started to hit it big.
And our little hearts and eyes yearned for everything we wanted.
With the money flowing in, we didn't think twice about what we were buying.
We weren't completely foolish, but we definitely weren't being good little savers.
So we decided to step up in September.

At the half-way point, I'm happy to announce that we are doing SO good.
We haven't gone out to eat once!
I actually am really loving this part, because it forces me to cook every night.
Before, if I was too tired or lazy, I would just suggest that we go out to eat.
Now that I don't have that option, I have to find something yummy to make every night.

We haven't bought ANYTHING extra besides our normal bills (rent, phone bill, groceries, etc.)
OH and I only spent $76 on groceries for 3 weeks.
That's what's up.

On the third day of no spendtember, we actually ended up eating out, a new skirt from j-crew for me, and new basketball shoes for Tay. 
But the best part?
That was all from Mom and Dad Gilbert. :)
So we didn't have to spend a dime.
We get pretty spoiled by them.

We treasured our gifts in "no spentember" because we knew it would be the only ones we would get!

We are already thinking of what we can turn October into.
Any ideas?

This weekend, we are in Washington for a Gilbert reunion.
Today, we are off to the town rodeo.
I'm pretty excited.
Happy Saturday!



I figured out how to access blogger at work! 
I can now blog again during my frustrations.

High-five me.


Lake Powell part 2

Just a couple more Lake Powell pictures!

^^okay, yeah, that hurt.^^

See here for part 1.
And here for the Lake Powell video.



Today is a bittersweet day.
I got released as Miamaids advisor, and was called as Primary President.
I am SO sad to be leaving the Miamaids and other Young Women.
They've really become my best friends over the last two years.
I've known for the last two weeks that I was being released--and it was really hard not to say anything to the girls.
I was very emotional the last two Sundays--knowing that it was my last time with these wonderful girls.
They have the strongest testimonies, the brightest smiles, and the warmest hearts.
They have blessed my life more than they will ever know.

Two Sundays ago, I got a call early Sunday morning asking if I would meet with the bishop in 30 minutes.
I quickly woke up and got dressed.
As I got ready, I wondered what it could possibly be about.
On the way to the church building, a thought suddenly came to me:
"You are being called as Primary President."
I laughed. Out loud.
Yeah right.
We are in a total family ward (not a young married ward)--Taylor and I are one of the youngest families.  Why would he call me?
When the bishop released me, I cried.
And then he said, "Let me tell you why we are releasing you. The Lord is calling you to be Primary President."
I stopped. And said, "That's a joke, right?"
I half-hoped he would laugh with me and say, "Gotcha!"
But instead, he smiled and told me it was not a joke.
The bishop and I had a very emotional and spiritual conversation.
One that I will never forget.
I won't go into detail here, because it's a little personal, but in that office, I knew of a surety that the Lord knows me and he knows his children.
I still don't understand why.
I feel so inadequate and so young.
And if I somehow make every possible mistake as Primary President, I know that there is one thing I CAN do.
Love the children.

Even with all of the nervous jitterbugs I had today, I am SO excited for this new calling.
And here I sit at my brother's house with a full heart and happy mind, ready to start this new adventure.


The Polo. Part 2

Check it out, if you haven't seen it.

Here's a shorter version, if you're too lazy to click on the link above ;)
Once upon a time, I got a polo from Summit Academy (the school I used to teach at). The teachers wore this polo every Friday. My trendy husband thought it was THE ugliest polo in the world. He tried burning it, cutting it, and throwing it away. But his guilt always got the best of him.

So for his birthday, I decided to give him an extra special birthday present. 

Enjoy ;)


Dear Orem High School Sophomore

I am sorry. Truly, I am. You have a lot going on in your life right now. The excitement of a new school is beginning to fade as the workload begins to grow. The joy that comes with meeting new people is being overshadowed by solidification of friendships you have no part in. The realization that your new adventure is starting to look a lot like Jr. High. Then finally you have by now calculated despairingly that you have 10 more months before summer comes again - only to realize that you must repeat the entire rigmarole 2 more times until before graduating and moving on to an "adult" life.

If that were not enough, some of you have been unfortunate enough to have been assigned Mrs. Gilbert as a history teacher. While all the combined effort of circumstance beat you back to the brink of mediocrity Mrs. Gilbert throws this distraction at you:

She's hot. 

I know it is going to be difficult to focus, and I apologize. Try doing homework with that girl in the room. Impossible. Stay strong friends. 

     -The Apologetic Husband. 


Lake Powell Part 1

We were lucky enough to have a talented (and professional!) photographer with us on our Lake Powell trip! 
Here are some of her awesome shots!

This cute husband of mine is a true little boy at heart.

More pictures to come tomorrow!
We had SO much fun.
I miss it already.
See here for our Lake Powell video!


A sob story

(hey, remember when I had long hair?)

I really miss my coworkers at Summit.
I had just about THE best friends there.
As much as I love my new school, I haven't quite bonded with anyone like I did at Summit.
Don't get me wrong--the staff is INCREDIBLE.
But I am definitely the youngest teacher--by maybe 15 years?
And they all know each other, and have inside jokes, and eat in a secret teachers lounge.
Just kidding about that last part...kind of.
On the first day of school, I went into the teachers lounge, and waited for teachers to show up.
Nada, nothing, no one.
I was beginning to wonder if I messed up the schedule--maybe it wasn't really lunch yet!
Then, the next day, I found out there is a "make-shift" teachers lounge on the third floor of the school.
I decided to give that a shot the next day.
And wala! I found all of the teachers.
As awesome and friendly as they are, I felt just a little awkward.
I hate being the newbie.
I don't know their names, or what subjects they teach--and I feel like I need to interject and ask questions every 15 seconds to understand the conversations.
C'mon--can't we talk about things that didn't happen last year? (or 20 years ago?)

The past few days I have been eating my lunch in my classroom.
I surprisingly enjoyed it the first day or so.
I turned on Netflix and watched the Office.
And unlike in the secret faculty lounge, I understood all of the jokes and knew all of their names. ;)
On my third day of eating-by-myself-in-my-empty-classroom-while-watching-netflix I learned something terrible.
Netflix is now blocked on my school's internet system.
I can't tell you how devastated I was.
I had just found new lunch friends (jim, michael, pam dwight)--and then lost them all within a matter of days. 

So, today, I ate in my classroom.
By myself.
And told myself--this is good. You enjoy it still. Use this time to grade.
But instead, I felt lonely.
And I wished I had hiked the two flights of stairs to awkwardly sit with a group of people I don't know.
Because, let's face it.
I gotta be surrounded by people to feel happy.
Isn't that why I teach?
Will I have the courage to do it tomorrow?
We shall see.

And that is my Wednesday sob story.


working buddies

tonight, taylor and I are working buddies.
(do you see him?)
he's catching up on work-stuff and I'm planning lessons.
we decided to drive up to taylor's office so we wouldn't get distracted at home.
Our goal is to work until 11pm tonight!
Wahoo for the moments we pause on work and surf the web and laugh at silly stuff.

p.s. do you love my high school senior shirt I'm rocking?
thasss right. Cordova reppin!

I'm supposed to be productive right now...so, adios amigos.


Hello, world!

1. My new school's internet system blocks blogger.  Which is really unfortunate.  Blogging was a nice release during my prep, before school, or after school. So...blogging just got 10x more inconvenient.

2. I promise to be BACK in September.

3. My little sister lives in Utah now! BYU's got the cutest, smartest little sister around! Did you know she got a full-tuition scholarship? geesh... It is so fun taking her around to get the little things she needs.  I've been reminiscing all weekend of when I first moved out to Utah and my older sister, Marci, did the same for me. I sure have the best sisters.

4. Taylor and I went "pottering"  a few weekends ago.  And...I sucked. Majorly.  In fact, I ruined my pot so bad, that our little instructor couldn't even fix it.  So I just watched Taylor rock his. Why is he so good at everything? It really drives me insane.

Our teacher gave me this beautiful finished pot.
I think because he felt so bad that I was so miserable. haha

5. Remember this post? I went to the doctor that day--turns out I have the beginnings of an ulcer on my cornea! Ugh! So I've been stuck in these frames that are giving me major headaches, because they are the wrong prescription. Thank goodness for modern day medicine though, right? Except for the headaches, my eye feels SO much better.

6. Look at my cute date! Those dimples do me in.

7. We had SO much fun when my parents were in town a few weekends ago.  Lucky for me, they were here during my first week back at school.  And man alive--look at how cute my little mama is!

We played knock-out at the Gilbert's house almost every night. We seriously love this game!

 good photo bomb, daddy!

 Okay but seriously, my goal is to be my mom someday.

8. All of my students say I look like Brittany Snow...?  I can maybe see it if I cover the chin.  I mean--I'll take the compliment, but they are convinced I am her twin.  

 Last year, when I cut my hair, my students told me I looked like Julianne Hough.  I guess I'm in good company with these pretty women. Ha! Do you see it? I'm struggling.

9. I've been stressing lately. More details to come.

10. All of our Lake Powell pictures are in! We were lucky enough to have a super talented photographer with us on our trip.  I'll share those tomorrow!

11. SEPTEMBER!? That means--our TWO YEAR anniversary is in one month, Thanksgiving is in two months, and Christmas is in three! Where did this year go!?

12. My husband rocks--this week he surprised me with fresh flowers, back scratches as I fell asleep, and lots of little love notes. How did I get so lucky?