Saturday, November 24, 2012

Attempting Family Pictures

Griffey and I went home to Eugene for Thanksgiving.  This is what it looks like when Adam, Griffey, and I try to take Christmas pictures.

hS9JEM on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

We wiggle a lot.

make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Classroom

Welcome to Mrs. Dimock's 6th grade class! Here are a few pictures of my classroom so you can get an idea of where I am everyday.
Every day we do reading work stations, where half the class does one reading/ writing activity and the other half does something else and then they switch.  This is how I keep track.

Job Chart! It's hard to see, but Table 3 is "Captain Planet."  They are in charge of taking care of the recycling and encouraging their classmates to recycle because no one does here.

This is the class agreement that they came up with and signed at the bottom.  It still needs to be tweaked a little bit, but they are pretty proud of it. 

I know homework is one word and this bugs me every time I see it, but there were no more little w's. I need to cut that w down so it does bug me anymore.  This is where I list their homework every week and where they can get extra copies if they weren't here.

This is the writing center where all the writing supplies are and all the helpful writing information is.

They love writing book reviews, so when they are finished with something early, they can grab a book review paper and fill it out to be put on the wall.

"Books are the plane, and the train, and the road.  They are the destination, and the journey." This is the reading center.

This is the reading center/ classroom library.  There are still boxes of books that need to be organized.

Here is another view.  It is pretty disorganized right now.
I will post more pictures of my classroom later on. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Arizona State Fair

Griffey is here now in Arizona and we have been keeping busy going to the library, many parks, and just last weekend, the Arizona State Fair!
I had free tickets from my school, so all we paid for was a hot dog that we shared and $5 in rides.  I tried to be cheap and luckily Griffey is so easy-going that he didn't mind skipping the fair treats and just getting a 79 cent slurpee from the gas station after we left.
We did all the free stuff too, including the NFL training camp, where we got to wear armbands and throw footballs through holes and race eachother on Wii balance boards.
 We also went in a free exhibit that was a huge tent filled with butterflies.  They gave us q-tips that we dipped in nectar and then we walked around and got to scoop up butterflies and hold them.  You rub the nectar on their feet and they hop onto the q-tip because they eat with their feet, I guess.  Griffey thought it was hilarious when they would all fly around in front of him and especially when one landed on me.

 I took a picture of this clown ride because it was supposed to be genuinely fun and happy but it looks terrifying.  I am not afraid of clowns, but after seeing this ride, I understand why people are.
 For his one ride, Griffey chose to go on the giant slide.  He has always loved these giant slides and knew from the second he saw it that he wanted to use his tickets on it.  We walked around anyway just in case to make sure he chose what he wanted to do most.

 There was a large petting zoo with sheep, goats, llamas, kangaroos, donkeys, and pigs walking around. (The kangaroo seemed out of place.)
 I love Griffey's face here because I can hear the sound that goes along with that face, "ohhohhoohhhhhhh)" something like that.
It was a fun evening and we stopped at circle K for drinks on the way home to complete the evening.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Big Changes

It has been a while since I have written a blog post because I have been so busy!

In August, I finished up my master's program and took on the full-time job of finding a full-time job.  I spent the mornings and early afternoons looking for jobs and filling out applications and spent the afternoons and evenings playing with Griffey and Adam, mainly Griffey because Adam has been in school almost nonstop throughout the summer and into the fall.

I had a few interviews in Oregon, but there were not many job opportunities and the jobs that were posted in Oregon were mainly looking for teachers with actual teaching experience and not just student teaching experience.  I was frustrated with the lack of jobs in Oregon, but was willing to be a sub in Lane County and get a lame night job to make up for not having a full-time job.  Then I found out that Eugene 4J, the main school district in the area was not accepting new subs because they didn't need anymore. lame, i know.  So, I would only be able to sub in Springfield and surrounding school districts.  I kept going back and forth between being okay with subbing a little and having a minimum wage night job because I would gain a lot of experience and see how a lot of different teachers do their thing, and not being okay with subbing because I went through a lot of work and years to get my degree and I wanted my own classroom way more than I wanted to sub.  I finally decided that I would rather accomplish my goal of being a classroom teacher with my own class and broaden my job search outside of Oregon than stay in my hometown just because that is what I know best.

It was very scary and uncomfortable to realize I could be moving outside of Oregon, but it didn't actually seem like a real option until I had two job interviews for schools in Arizona in the end of September, followed by two job offers on the same day of that week.  I ultimately decided to take a 6th grade teaching position at a school in downtown Phoenix over the other job which was a 5th/6th grade combined class in a small Arizona town called Bouse.

I had my job interview on Wednesday, got the offer on Friday, packed on Sunday, and left on Monday.  Luckily, I didn't have to make the 20-hour drive with the U-haul pulling the car by myself; my uncle Scott came with me and actually drove the whole way.  We stopped overnight twice and spent a few hours driving through LA before taking the 60 over to Arizona.

We stopped at a rest area around midnight in the middle of nowhere as we came into Arizona.  When I got out of the car, it finally hit me that I was moving here and I switched over from roadtrip mode to 'time to figure out how to set up my life in a strange state' mode.  At that rest area in the middle of the night, it was way too warm and there were way too many bugs as big as my palm buzzing around.  As we approached Phoenix, I woke up and was instantly trying to make my plan of attack. Scott said we were in Phoenix, but it still took a good 25 minutes to get to near where I would be living, so I was instantly overwhelmed with the size of the city.  I took note of where the Target was, just in case, then I saw another, then another, and another.  The city just kept on growing.

We stayed with Scott's wife, Carrey's, aunt and uncle from Thursday, when we arrived, until Monday, when Scott flew home.  In that time, they helped me unload my u-haul into a storage unit, I found out where the church was a found a potential babysitter for Griffey, Scott and I toured as much as we could all over the Phoenix area, I took a picture in front of my school, and we ate In-N-Out and Chik-Fil-A multiple times.  Luckily Scott knows the Phoenix area really well because when he left on Monday, I felt pretty confident get around the areas that I needed to.

On Monday, I went in to the district office and filled out paperwork, which I continued to for a few more days that week, and then I brought Scott to the Mesa Airport and drove home, by myself, in a new city, with a new job.

Griffey and Adam stayed in Eugene while I get settle in Phoenix because I wanted to make sure I had a handle on my job and had the necessities unpacked and ready before Griffey came here.  Adam brought Griffey out two weeks later.  Adam only stayed from Friday-Monday before he had to go back to Eugene to finish up his last term of school.  He will be done in December and will come to Phoenix after that.

Griffey has been here for two weeks now and we are getting into a rythym finally. We are staying with my friend Michelle, who I met in my Master's program at the UofO, and her boyfriend, Matt.  We will stay here until we find a place in November or December.

We found a babysitter for Griffey who lives a few houses away from the school I work at.  Her name is Anita and she has watched many of the teacher's kids for many years.  She currently watches Griffey and a four-year-old boy who goes to preschool at my school.  Every morning she walks Griffey and Junior to my school, drops Junior off at his class, and brings Griffey by to see me during my prep time.  Next week, Griffey will start preschool there also, so she will drop them both off and pick them up and watch Griffey until I get done in the afternoon.  It has been working out really well so far and Griffey has been learning a little Spanish from Anita because she speaks mainly Spanish.

There have been a lot of changes in the past month, but our family has always been confident in knowing that this is what we were supposed to do.  Every step of the way, we have been assisted and comforted, from having a place to stay, to having someone to come here with me, everything has been falling into place for us to be here in Phoenix. 

And for everyone back in Eugene, don't worry, we moved here with the understanding that we would be back there in 1-3 years and that is still the plan.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Griffey's first day of preschool

Griffey started 3-year-old preschool a few weeks agoat Emerald Child Development Center in Eugene.  We chose that preschool because he already had 4 friends from nursery at church going there and his friend, James, also started going there. 
I wasn't nervous about him going there because he has had so much experience being babysat at other people's houses and he seems to make friends easily.  Griffey was so excited too because he liked the idea of going to school just like his mom and dad, plus they have an awesome playground and huge monster truck tires to play in.


Griffey and his friend Aiden, from church.

Kylee, Griffey, and James on James' and Griffey's first day.

Ms. Diana hd play-doh and toys all set up for them on their first day.  The  paparazzi parents all documented the whole thing.

First day of school ever!
After I picked him up from his first day of preschool, Griffey and I went to Papa's Pizza and ate pizza and played in the play area.  It was fun to celebrate his first school experience and share how proud i was with him.

Since, Griffey will be moving to Arizona soon, he only has one more week of preschool (he went for four weeks total).  I had so much fun riding my bike with him in the back seat down the street to drop him off at preschool and that is a part of our routine that I will definitely miss. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

20 Questions: Griffey, 3 years old

I found the idea on another blog to ask your kids the same 20 questions every year and put them in a book altogether.  It will be fun to compare his answers and how he has changed over time.  Also, it’s cute just to hear his answers now!

20 questions: answered by Griffey, age 3

1. What is your favorite color? blue

2. What is your favorite toy? Monster trucks
3. What is your favorite fruit? cherries
4. What is your favorite tv show? Mighty Mega Monster Trucks on netflix
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Chicken nuggets
6. What is your favorite outfit? Church clothes and pajamas and shorts and pants and blankets; monster truck shirt
7. What is your favorite game? Mario Brothers at Little James’ house. “I watch him play it on his ds.”
8. What is your favorite snack? pretzels
9. What is your favorite animal? bear
10. What is your favorite song? Temple one.  (I love to see the temple)
11. What is your favorite book? Nighttime sound and pop-up book at Grandma mama’s
12. Who is your best friend? Little Bear
13. What is your favorite cereal? Cherrios
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? “Squirt water in my water gun”
15. What is your favorite drink? Water and blue gatorade
16. What is your favorite holiday? “Christmas Snow, singing loud…” (quoting Elf)
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Blankets and Bear
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Chicken Nuggets
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Big Rabbit or a Monster truck driver. “How am I going to get out of that big monster truck?!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Two more weeks until graduation!! I can't believe it has already been a year since I started Grad school.  It has gone by so fast and it is already time for graduation.  After graduation, I will have six weeks of summer classes and then I have no idea what the furture holds!
Adam and I at last year's graduation
The great thing about where Adam and I are at in our lives is that we are willing to move anywhere for a few years, then we can always come back.  Okay, when I say anywhere, I guess I still have preferences...

So far I have applied all over Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, and Hawaii and I am planning to start looking at Colorado and Montana. 

It is really hard to be in Grad school, teaching full-time, attending night classes, and trying to apply for jobs, so I haven't applied for as many as I want to yet.  Also, each application takes a couple of hours.

I am just staying positive and proactive and doing all I can to get myself out there.  This is going to be a big year of change for us!
Brittany and I at last year's graduation

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April Showers Bring...

...My Birthday!

One more week until the big 2-6!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Eyes Keep Turning Green

I have gotten to that point in grad school where out cohort is changing their tone from "we're all in this together!" to "we are eachother's competition!"

The kick off to the competition was the Oregon Educator's Job Fair this past Tuesday and Wednesday in Portland.  Tuesday was the job fair, which was open to everyone who registered to walk around and have brief meetings and interviews with many school districts from Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, California, and Arizona.  Wednesday was reserved for people who made a great impression and were invited to have a formal interview with a school district.

For the most part, Oregon school districts were not doing interviews because they do not have many openings right now.  Mainly the interviews on Wednesday were for different states and for different fields of education than elementary. 

Due to the lack of interviews being scheduled by Oregon districts, the few peole that had successful meetings or interviews could not stop talking about it!  It is one thing to modestly say that things went well and you were asked to interview, but it is another thing to say, "Oh, I have five interviews and a job offer, but no big deal"--and it is a whole other thing to say this multiple times!

I am in a weird position where my friends and classmates, who I really like and genuinely want success for, are my competition for a career.  I thought I could handle this, especially because I anticipated that I would be competitive and I had to give myself a pep talk about being supportive because we are all on our own paths and everything will work out fine and I will be a great teacher that people will want in their school and blah blah blah, but I was still very competitive and envious of others.

I had a great interview when one school district came to the University of Oregon.  They took my picture and gave me a 'fast pass', which was basically a ticket for a second interview at this past week's job fair.  At the interview, I felt confident and spoe from the heart and what I said seemed well-recieved.  They said they would contact me about setting up the next step which is for them to watch me teach, so I left feeling very, very confident and excited.  Then I found out that some people didn't just get the "we will contact you to schedule the observation," but they actually had an observation time scheduled at their interview at the job fair.

This made me insanely jealous! I thought I had done great, and I am sure I am still on the top of their list, but my confidence was shattered when I heard other people had already moved ahead of me.  I was so jealous! I cried and felt sorry for myself and made Adam and Brittany console me.  The worst part is that when we were in out night class on Wednesday (the night after the job fair), one of my friends, who is so kind to everyone and deserves success, was talking about how she was nervous because they were going to observe her teaching on Friday.  I was shocked when I heard that she had moved on and could not control my jealousy! I told her I was very happy for her and she would do great and then I immediately got up.  My jealousy was so out of control that I couldn't be there to congratulate and celebrate my friend's success.

I have had to pray for humility over and over lately because I will be out of control in these next few months if I keep getting caught up in the interviews and offers of the other 80 people in my cohort.  I know that things will work out the way they are supposed to for Adam and Griffey and I and I truly do know that someone will see my talent and passion for teaching and I will be a teacher.

I need to calm down and reel it back in.  It is just hard when no one else has humility or modesty and feel they need to share every particlar of their job search on facebook.  I don't want to hear about it anymore, which is why I am not going down the same path as everyone else in my cohort.  I will not boast or rub my successes in other people's faces. ( I am not exaggerating though.  I think everyone is so boastful because it is our first experiences with getting started on our career and so everyone feels the need to share every step of that journey regardless of how their vanity and self-absorbtion may affect those around them.)

Monday, April 2, 2012

P.F. Changs Lettuce Wraps

We had the missionaries over for dinner last week for lettuce wraps, which were sooo good! They tasted just like P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps.

Here is the link for the recipe:

Changes I made:
After reading the comments, I decided to double the recipe, and there was only a little bit left over.

Also, I fried up the rice noodles just like at the restaurant.  It was really easy.  You just throw them in the hot oil for a second and take them out.

For the chicken, I just used ground chicken, which was so much easier!

I didn't put the hot mustard or garlic and red chili paste in, but instead just had Sriracha on the side.

Button Canvas

I found these two monogram button ideas on Pinterest a while ago, but forgot about them until I found a ton of blue and green buttons at Ross last week. How random is it that Ross had buttons?

These are from the Etsy shop, Letterperfectdesign (
I painted a canvas from Ben Franklin's gray and sewed the buttons right onto it.

1.I printed out the font I wanted (I used lower case times new roman) on regular paper that was the right size for the canvas.

2. Next, I put graphite paper, or transfer paper, onto the canvas and layed the printed out font on top of it.  To transfer it, I just traced over the letters, which imprinted the graphite onto the canvas, making an outline of each letter.

3.  I sewed larger buttons randomly throughout each letter and then added smaller buttons to fill it in.  I tried to layer the buttons in different way- some are overlapping on one side, some are on top of others, and some are side by side.

I really like the way it turned out and it only took about two hours to sew it altogether.  I painted and let the canvas dry a few days before I sewed the buttons on.

I have a bunch of extra buttons, so I may make one in the shape of a heart or something.  With the colors of buttons I have, I could make a picture of the Earth, but that may be a little hard.

There are so many different ideas for using buttons to make a collage.  The picture ideas are endless!

The following picture is another craft project with buttons that caught my eye.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Break- Portland Zoo

We went to the zoo in Portland this past weekend and it was so fun to watch Griffey experience it.  It was his first time there and he was very excited to see the Giraffes.  He even wanted to wear a giraffe t-shirt for the day under his cool new Oregon sweatshirt.


The otter was my favorite animal to watch because it was so active and funny.

Griffey said his favorite parts were seeing the giraffe and watching the monkeys sit next to each other and pick at eachother to clean them.

We all had so much fun and it was nice to get away from Eugene for the weekend, plus it was neat watching Griffey learning new things.