Sierra's View: September 2012

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

RIP Simba.


There is something so devastating about losing a pet.
It's sort of like losing a family member.
I remember, about 4 1/2 years ago, when my two kitties, Topaz and Key-o, passed away at age 18. (yea, they were old and senile ha). I was a mess. Those cats were basically mine. 
Yes, I know, most people hate cats. 
I don't even care. 
I love animals. 
All animals. 
So when I found out that our kitty, Simba, went outside last night and has yet to return, I was actually super bummed. My parents got Simba the summer before I left for college, so I haven't been around very much, but I always loved playing with him when I returned home.

Yes, I am aware that this may be the most pathetic post known to man.
Judge me, I dare.

He was a pretty cat, OKAY.
He was a psycho cat that looked like a girl.
But he was still MY crazy, psycho female-looking cat!

RIP Simba Sue:
you crazy, weirdo, too-pretty-to-be-a-boy, spoiled, diva fraidy-cat pet...

It doesn't help that I am already on edge. 
I woke up with a severe migraine this morning. 
Just let me be sad. K?
Love you mom & dad. Hope you're doing okay!


*Yes, I am one of those people who took lots of pictures of our pet cat.
You sure you all still want to be my friend?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012



Who is ready for a 
(I even put that in color. With my migraine, this is the most "cutesy blogger" you will get out of me right now)

Free Food
....more free food
other really good looking people (bloggers, duh).  

602 East 600 North
Provo, UT

Tuesday, Oct. 2nd 
7-8:30 pm

Other Sponsors:
~A gourmet cupcake bakery~ 
~Local party decorating & hosting ~

Awful Waffle is treating bloggers to free Belgian Waffles and Crepes for the evening. 
The other Sponsors will be treating us as well. 

Yes, there is a catch though...
If you would like to attend you must:

 1.  Write a review blog post of Awful Waffle on your blog.
After the party, of course. 
After you write your post, you must comment/email me that you did so. 
You will need to link it back to my blog and Awful Waffle. 
I will write a reminder post afterwards to remind you all :)

2. Be a Follower of Oh, Just Living the Dream 
That's this blog in case you forgot. 

3.  Have at least 100 followers on your own blog. 
(if you have less, just send me an email and we can maybe make some exceptions :) ) 

4. RSVP Sierra (that's me) by Monday, Oct. 1
Email me:
(those who have my number may text me!)
+your name 
+blog name 
+a promise to write a review afterwards. 

You know you want to come hang with me:
I mean, look at that face.

Let's get ready to party!

P.S. If you would like to write a post of your own regarding this party (which I would absolutely love!), please make sure to give the appropriate information on your blog. You may copy and paste this information as long as you link it back to Oh, Just Living the Dream. 
Thanks, lovely people!

Monday, September 24, 2012

A 4th Grade Classroom

I know, I know.
I already posted about my classroom here.
But I just got my new camera and I want to use it!


Plus, I spent sooo many hours on this classroom (and IN this classroom)...I have to show it off somehow, right?

Just go with it.

My classroom theme is Sports. And I did not do this simply because I am obsessed with sports, but because I want my students to learn that we are all a team. That team members work hard, have fun, and succeed. I want my classroom to learn that we are all working together for them to achieve positive results: from student to student, student to teacher, parent to teacher, etc--we are all working together to learn. It is absolutely amazing to watch these students already learn to work together and use those attributes. 
By my desk.

Front of the room. 
Our "Team Rules" or Class Rules:
1. Follow Directions quickly.
2. Be Respectful and Honest.
3. Make Smart Choices.
4. Be Ready to Learn
5. Make Your Dear Teacher Happy.

Every morning we say our Class Pledge. At the beginning of the year we talked about what each sentence meant. They whine and complain instantly when I state, "Okay! Everybody up! Class pledge time!" Yet, Often times, I hear my students saying it to each other. Half of the class already has it memorized. It's so important to watch them take responsibility and follow the pledge.

Class Pledge: 
When we care about each other in the classroom, we share what we have, listen carefully, help each other learn, work as a “team”, work hard and have fun together. We understand that everyone makes mistakes, that we stand up for ourselves and others, and that when someone asks us to stop, we stop. This is who we are even when no one is watching.

All Star of the Week Board.
Each week, we feature a student in our class. They get to make a mini poster and on Friday, we all write little notes to that All Star saying kind things. It's fun to watch even those shy ones to get their attention for the week. 

When I need their attention, I yell "Give me 5!" They all instantly give me 5 back (sometimes). This means their pencils are down, eyes are forward, they are not playing in their desks, they are not talking, and their ears are listening. 
I am constantly amazed at how atrocious some of these boys and girls handwriting is. So I explain to them what "MVP work" looks like and I remind them often, "Write it nice or write it twice!" Yes, I have made a student redo one of his writing assignments because it was so poorly handwritten. 

"What voice are we using?" I exclaim as the children are talking extremely loud. They look at the board, roll their eyes and say "It's a no voice time." Ha. This thing is magic.

MVP Work board. This is where I put high quality work! (Aren't those drawings of themselves so cute?!)

At the beginning of the year, we talked about our "Hall Acronym" by the door. When my students line up at the door, I say, "Hall Acronym: what should we look like?" And the students know that that means (or should mean) that they are not talking, not touching each other, and looking forward. We are, unfortunately, still working on their hall line skills. 

Lunch Count. They place popsicle sticks on the lunch that they want for the door and I have a lunch count helper help me each day to count them. I love this so much!

My kids love to be classroom helpers. So each day, we rotate our "Assistant Coaches" -- lunch count helper, ball bucket carriers, paper passer, attendance clerk, etc. 

I have jerseys hanging up all along the side of my room. The students always talk about which team they would want to be on. Ha. 

Still my favorite bulletin board!

Opinion Writing board. 

Science bulletin board (biomes). 

Writing Bulletin Board. 

Journeys/Literature Bulletin Board. 

At the beginning of the year we read the book, "Have you Filled a Bucket Today?" Essentially, it means that each person has a bucket that needs to be filled. We do not want to take out of their bucket and be mean, but fill their bucket with nice things and compliments. So when we have some down time, I allow the students to write bucket fillers to each other. So far, I have had no problems with mean notes......yet. 

Reading Dugout or Reading Corner. 
That is our class dog, Copper. At the beginning of the year,  I allow them to vote and choose the name for our class pet. He likes to sleep in the reading corner. I allow them to rotate to hold Copper during silent reading time. They love him. 

Teaching my students how to pick a silent reading book. 

Come visit! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I've Started to Write a Book...

Yes. In all of my spare time.
It's happening.
...I have 3 pages done.
But it's happening.

It will be done in about 6 years.
I figure I can continue to work on it throughout this important transitional period of my life.
Growing up and moving into the "real world" is a difficult transition. And I find that I can put some of my thoughts, my feelings, into words through this "book."

So, I thought I would share with you some of the beginning.
Please be kind. It's very, very rough.

I have always wanted to write a book. Always. And I'm doing it. It will take forever, but I am doing it.

I am one of those readers where I open a book and read the first page. So, tell me, would you want to read this book after reading this page?

Blaze. That was the only word she could use to describe this moment. In this instant, she literally felt an entire fire exude throughout her whole body. She, however, was not sure if it was a negative inferno or a positive one that would somehow magically make everything okay. All she knew was that this “burn" was a feeling she had not seen coming. She stood, in the midst of a constant crowd of people. She was frozen; they continued moving. It was amazing how alone she felt as she stood amongst thousands of people. Couldn’t they see her body was protruding redness, a conflagration of its own?
She glanced down. She wasn’t on fire at all. This blaze she felt was only commiserating on the inside.
How could that be? She thought to herself. Laney Lexington was sure; no, she was completely confident that this blaze inside of her had to be exuding to the outer world. She hated feeling this way.
“Calm down!” Laney yelled at herself. She was not your typical twenty five year old woman. She did not portray your typical emotional-I-cry-over-every-sappy-chick-flick typical girl. Which is exactly why she hated her last name. It was too ostentatious, too feminine. Which was, by no coincidence at all, exactly why she hated her first name as well. Eleanor. Eleanor Lexington. Really?  What in the world was her mother thinking? It was as if from the day she was born her mother subconsciously knew what to do to piss her daughter off. 
“Let’s find a name that will make my daughter hate me even more. Brittany? No. Too popular. Tiffany? No. Too preppy. Eleanor? Yes. It will go perfectly with her long blonde curls and flowered sundresses,” Eleanor cynically imitates her mother as she starts walking down the exponentially busy sidewalks of the city. 
She wanted a stronger name, a name that yells: I am a confident woman and I do not want any rich, pretentious human beings tearing me down! Much to her mother’s dismay, Laney was born with brown hair. And not the beautiful brown like you see on Selma Hayek or Jessica Biel (yes, she knows all about the celebrities).  It was just a plain brown. Plain. That was a perfect word to describe it. Any other adjective would make it sound more interesting than it actually was. 
“Good thing I practiced on Barbies every single day as a seven year old,” she repeats out loud sarcastically.
 She then stops and looks around. She laughs to herself and continues on her arduous journey of fifteen blocks with black high heels back to her apartment. She has always had this issue. She was, what the books call a “daydreamer.” She would dream, think, and analyze in every aspect of her life. She would dream about ideas that seemed to good to be true. For example, earlier that day, she dreamed about teaching French to a bunch of ten year-old children in Paris. In her head, she miraculously came home from a perfect day at school with little French girls in their dainty dresses, while singing French songs and having a very French-y (?) rendezvous with them. Her apartment was filled with colors and happy flowers. The chairs were retro yellow; the couch a peach color. The walls were a light shade of blue that were accentuated with yellow and peach curtains (to match the furniture, of course). There was no television, only shelves of a mini library with books that included Tolstoy and Jane Austen. :  Her long, brown hair (oh look, long could be an adjective to describe it. But that’s about where it stops).
Yet, as she straggled open the keys to her apartment, she is instantly awakened by the lack of reality she is constantly living in. Her daydreaming schemes only lead her to wish for a different life, a different apartment. "Not this dumpy shack," she thinks out loud.
She held her cup of passion herbal tea to ease her pain from the hardness of that day. It was as if sipping the steaming tea would somehow disintegrate and smooth the awful roughness the rest of her body felt. Sometimes, she felt as though drinking this tea would wash away the lump that was in her throat; the ache that was in every single part of her body. 

To be continued...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why God Made Moms

This is so cute! I had to share.
Found here
Okay, are you kidding?
Most adorable little girl ever.
My future daughter, please?
Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:
Why did God make mothers?
1.  She’s the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2.  Mostly to clean the house.
3.  To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1.  He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2.  Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3.  God made my mom just the same like he made me.  He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1.  God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2.  They had to get their start from men’s bones.  Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1.  We’re related.
2.  God knew she likes me a lot more than other people’s mom like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?
1.  My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2.  I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3.  They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1.  His last name.
2.  She had to know his background.  Like is he a crook?  Does he get drunk on beer?
3.  Does he make at least $800 a year?  Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1.  My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world.  And my mom eats a lot.
2.  She got too old to do anything else with him.
3.  My grandma says that mom didn’t have her thinking cap on.

Who’s the boss at your house?
1.  Mom doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dad’s such a goof ball.
2.  Mom.  You can tell by room inspection.  She sees the stuff under the bed.
3.  I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What’s the difference between moms and dads?
1..  Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2.  Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them..
3.  Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power ’cause that’s who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4.  Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1.  Mothers don’t do spare time.
2.  To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1.  On the inside she’s already perfect.  Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2.  Diet.  You know, her hair.  I’d diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1.  She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean.  I’d get rid of that.
2.  I’d make my mom smarter.  Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3.  I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Out of the Mouth of 4th Graders

I am consistently laughing in my classroom.
My kids are out of control, but my goodness, they make me laugh!
I try to write down awesome quotes from my 4th graders so I don't forget. I can't write their names (stupid legal crap) but enjoy!

~"Miss Ainge, you look like an angel!"
(I know, right?)

~" Ms. Ainge, I mean, like, you're by the far the coolest teacher in this school, right Tag? (as he looks at his friend)... Tag nods. But you're also one of the prettiest ones too. But, I mean, not like that. Just yea, you're pretty. And cool. And a wicked awesome teacher."
(I do what I can, dear. I do what I can)

~"Miss Ainge, I'm really glad I got you as my teacher!"

 ~"Dear Miss Ainge,
You are an awesome teacher! You work very hard for us and I really think that is great. Everything that you plan is very fun for me and I hope it is for you and others too. You've been the best tacher and very respectful. Thank you!"
(yes, an actual written letter) 
(Are you kidding? My heart...)

~"Ms. Ainge, your hair looks pretty today!"

~"Dear Miss Ainge,
You are the best teacher and I'm happy that you picked me to be your student!"
 (Well, funny story, I don't pick....but you are welcome. I'll take the credit for that). 

~"You're actually really funny!"

~Student: "Miss Ainge?"
Me: "Yea buddy, whats up?"
Student: "I just wanted to thank you for being my teacher. That's all."
 (how precious)

~A letter:
"You are the GRADEST techer and the best techer ever."
 (we'll work on his/her spelling....)

~"How many frens do yu have?"
(yes, an actual written note)

~A letter:
"You are the best teacher evere I am so happy in this class and I like your beatufile rings i love the color of your hair and your niceness. your the best teacher ever."
(my grammar insides are killing me...0 punctuation. ahhhhh) 

~A letter:
"Ms. Aang,
You are the best teacher in this school."
 (well, you're a little biased. Oh, and I'm not asian. AINGE.) 

~"Ms Ainge, today you have been really nice, cute and funny."
 (hmmm am I not normally?)

It's an emotional rollercoaster, people.
I love my job.

P.S. Birthday Pictures here!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's My Party, I Can Cry If I Want To...

Just kidding. I didn't cry.
Oh, and guys, I swear I am still living.
I wish I could explain to you how much I keep telling myself that I am going to be a better blogger. But, alas, my exhaustion wins every time.

Last Sunday was my birthday.
Woot Woot. The big ol 22 (boringggg).
I had a dessert party and it was so fun to see everyone. I was impressed who decided to show up.

And guess what?
Subliminal messages work, people. Thank you mom and dad.
I got a little flash happy and took a little too many pictures.
It's fine.

But first, watch this.
Because 1. it's hilarious 2. It's actually pretty good (ha).

Roommates! Allie and Lindsey.


I don't think there were enough pictures....
I was so grateful for everyone who showed up!!! Made me feel so loved.
I am so grateful for another year.
Another chance to grow, learn, and love.