Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to School for Me

For the past two years I've been taking classes at BYU to finish up my General Education requirements and electives.  I would take two to three classes per semester averaging 6-8 credit hours.  I would take classes on campus right after work, and also take an online class. 

Online classes through Independent Study are great.  I like that I can be home more with the family, I can do the lessons on my own time, I can "attend class" while in my pajamas, or even in my underwear like my sister. (Hahaha, comment on that one Sis.)  Anyway, I've taken some religion classes online, and was able to structure my time so that I finished the class within the semester even though I had a whole year to complete the class.  Well, I then had two classes, American Heritage and Health.  I was not structured with my time and let it slip away.  The end of the year was nearing and I wasn't finished with either class.  Then the end came up, I was able to file for an extension (that added 3 months).  I studied and crammed.  I requested the final exams by the last day of classes.  This gave me another 30 days to complete the final exam.  I studied and crammed for the American Heritage class.  I wasn't worried about the Health class, before I realized I didn't have anymore access to the online lessons to study since they expired. 

I took those two finals this past week before I start a new semester of on campus classes.  I did the Health exam first since I would be flying blind anyway. I got a 65% which is a D.  I did worse than I expected but it was harder than I expected.  Since I had A's on all the quizzes it averaged out as a B+ for the class.  I'm happy with it, but disappointed in myself for being cocky thinking that I could take an exam without studying because it would be "easy".

The next day I took the American Heritage exam.  There were multiple choice questions, definition of terms and 4 essays.  This test was not Scan-Tron but Instructor Graded, so I do not know what I scored.  The instructor has two weeks to grade and post the results.  This class was hard.  I'm not a very political person.  This class was not a History class of dates and events, but more about the political philosophy behind the events and the people involved.  I flunked this class the first time I took it back in 1991-92.  I'm just hoping to pass it, but I think I did well.

So let this be a lesson to you to not procrastinate, because you just end up running out of time, rushing and cramming.

Today I start the Fall Semester of classes.  These are on campus in the aftenoon and evening.  I will be taking 16 credit hours!  These classes are for the Special Education Teaching program.  I have 1 1/2 - 2 years of this program and then I will be a Certified Teacher.  That is assuming that I pass the PRAXIS which is the exam for certification.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Baby is Going to School!

Wednesday marked the first day of Kindergarten for my youngest child.  
My baby is going to school! 

I walked to school with the kids.  I took pictures of Chloe with her backpack and ready to go.

Then I took a picture of Chloe at the school.

Then I took of picture of her outside of her class.

After we put her stuff in her cubby, she went into the classroom.  The teacher had Chloe find her seat and begin cutting a kite.  I barely got a goodbye from her.

I didn't think I would cry.  I don't think I cried with the other kids.  Isn't school just a part of life?  Why cry?  What's so sad about it?  I'm not one of those moms who aren't able to let go of their children.

So, I'm leaving the school, I see the principal, I think about telling him that he has the last of my kids.  I don't even get those words out.  He says hi, asks how it went, all I could say was "good".  Then he says it's going to be OK.  I don't think I sounded choked up, but I realized that I was getting choked up.  My baby is going to school!  So I called Kyle right away to tell him that Chloe was sitting in her class.  He too sounded a little sentimental.

After school, she had lots of stuff to tell us and show us.  She has a couple of kids in her class that she knows from church, so I think it helps that she has some ready-made friends.  She was also able to walk to school with her brother, his friends and their sister which is her friend, but in a different Kindergarten class.  She was excited that she got to walk to school with Aubrey.
My baby is going to school!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Homebody, not by choice

The elementary school where I have worked for the last 2 years was unable to work around my BYU class schedule, so, I was not hired back. I learned this 2 days before school was to start. I have looked online at other job postings within the school district. I have applied to 4 of them. I have also thought about substitute teaching. So, that is what I am doing today, revising my resume and going to the temp agency. While I would be limited in the type of subbing jobs I could take because of my schedule, I figure some income is better than no income. Hopefully the subbing is just until I can get hired on as an aide at another school.

I have also had the time this week to study for finals for my 2 online classes. Chloe and I have run errands and cleaned the house. I admit, it has been hard to wake up in the mornings. I know I need to get up to get the kids up for school. But I don't have the drive to get myself up and go workout before going to work since I don't have work. It's like, what's the point of getting out of bed?

I'm just not proactive to structure my at home time. I should set a schedule; when to workout, when to study, when to clean, when to play on the computer. I love making lists, so this should be up my alley, my problem is sticking to the plan.

Not having a job at this time makes me worry about bills. My tuition for this semester was paid by my mini-scholarship. Today I noticed I have a Pell Grant credit to my BYU account, so I will be paid that in two weeks. That will help with book costs, maybe get a laptop for my studies. I had applied for student loans to help with living expenses, I don't know when those come in. Kyle wasn't too happy about my getting loans. He's still paying off one of his student loans. I feel that after I graduate, I will get a job making more money where I will be able to pay off the student loans. I'm not worried about the future finances, I'm worried about the current ones.

I hate being in limbo.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

School Days

School starts today. Zac is at the high school this year as a 10th grader. His school starts at 7:55am. We apparently don't live far away enough for Zac to catch the bus so he needs to walk or catch a ride. I think the school is 1 1/2 miles away. I think I heard his alarm go off at 5:30 am. He was gone before 7am when I finally rolled out of bed.

Zane is at the junior high school as an 8th grader. His school starts at 8:oo am. He and a friend walk the 4 1/4 blocks to school. His friend showed up 1 minute before my alarm went off at 7am.
I don't know what the rush was other than they were going to eat breakfast at school. But still, it just seems awfully early to me.

Cooper is at the elementary school as a 3rd grader. His school starts at 8:30 am. He was already up when I got up. He was dressed and ready to go. I told him to get some breakfast. He said that he eats at the school. Well, I told him he can eat at home today since he still has 1 1/2 hours until school starts. That is plenty of time to eat. Last year he ate breakfast at the school because he would lolly-gaggle around and not finish in time before his friends would come to pick him up to walk to school. They have about 4 blocks to walk.

Chloe starts Kindergarten next week, she will walk to school with Cooper and then go to a friends house after class while the rest of us are at school or work. Then we will pick her up in the afternoon.

Apparently my kids are anxious to get to school. Is it because they have a thirst for knowledge? No, I think they are excited to see their friends.

The elementary school where I was working informed me Monday that they are not able to work around my BYU class schedule, so currently I am out of a job. I do have applications in at three other schools. Just waiting to hear back.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Tuesday as we were heading home from the reunion in Nevada I started getting sick. My inner ears felt itchy which to me is a sign that a sore throat or cold is coming. As we drove on, my ears had that clogged feeling. Now, traveling from Nevada to Utah there are mountains, hills and canyons to drive over and through, which means altitude changes. Normally, your ears will feel clogged and you just have to swallow or something to adjust the pressure in your ears. Well, add a stuffy nose and clogged ears into that scenario.

Then throughout the rest of the week the cold gets worse. My nose is stuffy, I'm constantly blowing my nose or sniffling. Then the cough starts. I get to coughing so much I give myself headaches and a sore throat. I can feel the glands in my throat are swollen. I don't have a fever and I don't feel blah, in general. I don't have that taste that signals it is strep throat.

I skip church on Sunday, 1) because I don't want to spread my germs, and 2) I don't want to annoy everyone with my hacking cough. That night my chest feels kind of rattle-y and wheezy. Kyle hopes that I don't have pneumonia, I wonder if it is bronchitis. So, Monday I go to the doctor. I tell him all that's happened for the past week, all the meds I've taken for it, and all my symptoms. He checks my ears, my eyes, my throat (by the way, they have me wear a mask in the waiting room, and the doctor wears a mask during our visit) and he listens to my lungs. He has me do several deep breaths which sets off a coughing spasm. I told him that I didn't take any cold medicine that morning because I wanted him to see this illness in all its glory. He then said, "Oh, putting on a show for the doctor, eh?"

He didn't think I had pneumonia but probably bronchitis. He put me on a Z-Pak, which is the antibiotic azithromycin. He also put me on a narcotic cough suppressant that has hydrocodone, and he put me on a ventolin inhaler of albuterol.

Within a day, I can feel that my ears are less clogged and I can breathe better. Hopefully I am cured by the weekend because we are doing a bbq booth at a city event.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Family Reunion 2009

This year's Miller Family Reunion took place at Carson City, Nevada.

For the Phillips family we started our drive Thursday, July 30th. We finally got on the road by 10:00 am MDT after loading the van, getting breakfast and gasoline. Naomi did the all the driving to Carson City. It's not a control thing, just that Kyle had worked an extra long shift the night before and we wanted to make sure he wasn't driving while drowsy and putting us in a ditch. We arrived by 6:30 pm PDT.

We stayed at the very nice Holiday Inn. They have a great continental breakfast of eggs, omelettes, sausage, bacon, biscuits & gravy, yogurt, milk, cereal, bagels, and cinnamon rolls. The Holiday Inn had a fitness room where I spent 20-40 minutes every morning walking on the treadmill. We also enjoyed swimming in the pool and relaxing in the hot tub.

Friday night, Kyle and Grandad went to Reno for Hot August Nights. Kyle has been wanting to go to this for years.

Meanwhile we stayed behind to play games and swim in Gram's pool.

Saturday was the reunion day. Every family had their own color. This is so we know who belongs to whom in the pictures. We wore gray Dickie's work shirts. Emma's family wore brown, Rachel's wore blue, Sarah's wore green and Ruth's wore yellow. Gram & Grandad wore red shirts and denim overalls. We got to go on a train ride at the Virginia-Truckee train museum.

We played games and ate way too much food. There was also a talent show. There was magic, music, dancing, juggling and comedy. Kyle performed his notorious 3 second comedy act. For those who missed it, here is a transcription of that comedy bit. "Poop, Pee, Diarrhea, Butt, Booger and Fart." One audience member Zane stated, "It's funny because I get it."

Also, there was a play written by Emma of the lives of the Miller Children, Gram & Grandad. The grandchildren played the various parts. The play included 'picking up the floor', 'being-have', 'bus driver children' and 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves'.

That night we went to the church for a ward fiesta. There was a salsa judging, and Gram won 2nd place! There was also a pinata that the kids got to whack at. Then there was candy galore!

Sunday we went to church and then afterward we went to Lake Tahoe. We didn't go swimming but did go wading and fed the sea gulls. The kids dug pits and made trenches.

Monday we did the tourist thing and went to Virginia City. We went to the museum and learned about the mines there. We also shopped at some of their stores and bought candy and knick-knacks. Of course we took the necessary photos.

After that we went to the Honey Store, the Chocolate Nugget and Bowers Mansion Park. The kids got to play on the playground and feed the squirrels. I found the squirrels interesting. They were brown with a white ring around their necks. Grandad was surprised at how close the squirrels got to the kids. He wondered if he put some bread on his chest and laid down in the grass if the squirrels would climb up and partake.

Kyle and Grandad went back to Reno for another round of ogling cars. Meanwhile the sisters and I watched North Avenue Irregulars, played Dutch Blitz and Scattergories. We also had a round of Bob that weekend. After Grandad and Kyle returned from Reno we celebrated Kyle's 39th birthday with cake, ice cream and rootbeer floats.

Tuesday, August 4th we headed back to Utah. Kyle did most of the driving. Naomi started coming down with a cold. Zach was also sick on the drive home. Chloe had a runny nose all weekend. Zach bounced back, but Naomi is still battling the cough, stuffy nose, runny nose, clogged and itchy ears. Inspite of the illness, a good time was had by all.