Sunday, December 12, 2010

Alien Baby Pictures

Actually, the baby looks a lot more like a baby than it has before - nothing too incredibly alien about it.

It's a... 

Actually we're not absolutely certain if it's a boy or a girl yet. The first thing I said to the ultrasound tech was, "We want to know, but we don't want to know right now..." The plan was to have the tech write the gender on one of the pictures without us watching and then we'd send it off to Hawaii. Since my mom isn't going to be here for the birth, I thought it would be a fun to have her find out first and then buy me something pink/blue to open when we go see them on Christmas Day.

So that's what we did. I pre-stamped and addressed an envelope to my parents the night before and had it waiting in the car to put into the mailbox ASAP. We have a pretty good guess what it is from being there for the whole thing, but we won't know for sure until Christmas. Since we're going to Hawaii, we decided not buy presents, so this will be the perfect thing to open!

Here are a few more pictures of the alien... baby. And one of "the bump" since that's what prego people are supposed to do these days.

I just thought this one was so cute with the crossed legs (knees to feet - left to right)

Cute little finters (fingers, for you non-Boren folk)
What cool technology we have these days - 3D ultrasound! I love how the baby put its hands in front of its face. "Hey! I'm sleeping in here!"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The PUs are in Hawaii

For those of you who don't use PUs as an acronym for Parental Units... now is the time to start.

My parents are off in Hawaii serving a CES mission and Brett and I are living in their house to make sure it doesn't blow away. They were also concerned about the dog and about the yard. So here are some photos (mostly for their benefit), in order to convince them that we have it all under control.

First, pictures of the yard and miscellaneous Halloween stuff. (To view the slide show at your own pace, click the pause button then use the arrows).

Then some shots of the dog doing what he does best - eating bread.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fire in Herriman!

We may not have school tomorrow because of a fire started by machine gun testing at Camp Williams. The original plan was to have the people evacuated coming to Fort Herriman Middle School, but now it is in the fire danger zone. The main problem is air quality. They don't want people coming to school if the air is unbreathable. As far as I know, no houses have been burnt yet... but hundreds of people have been evacuated to the new Herriman High School.

Too my friend and firefighter, Wendy - go get 'em and save my school!

Here's the official news story.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm blogging about a grey blob.

I told Katie she should blog it.  She told me that I should blog it "...from a man's perspective."

Okay.  I will.

Last time we did this, Katie had an ultrasound that showed a gestational sac with nothing inside.  This time it had a grey blob.  And yeah, just one of them (we were worried there might be two).  The blob had a heart rate of a hundred fifty-something and is less than 1 cm.  EDD: April 28.

The original image.
And apparently the blob is already able to form simple sentences, telepathically send them to the radiology tech, and have her write them on the screen for us.  I didn't know Radiology techs got that kind of training...

Enhanced to show detail.
...You know, using that same "enhancement" technology they use on macho hero-man shows when the surveillance camera footage is absurdly blurry, but it magically gets "enhanced" to a crisp, clean image of the perpetrator.
Warning:  Objects in ultrasound arrive sooner than they appear.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Fish (baby.,, not pinata this time).

So, like Brett said in our last post - yes, we did just find out that we're having a baby. I'm not very far along yet (only 5 weeks and 2 days... yes I'm that meticulous in counting), but we're very hopeful that we'll make it to full term this go around. The baby will be due around April 24th (which is pretty much perfect since there's only 6 weeks left of the school year after that - thank heavens for maternity leave!).

If that's all you want to know... I'd stop reading at this point, because the rest of this post is going to be somewhat wordy and emotional (but I'm pregnant, I'm allowed to be emotional).

There are a couple reasons why I want to document this (although it may seem strange to do it publicly)... I want other people who may be going through or who may go through a similar experience to know that I'm definitely willing to talk to them about it. I'm also just soooo happy that it's hard to explain it without describing the opposite. And because this is our family journal, and this is a big family moment. 

If you're wondering what that "this go around" phrase was all about, that's probably because you didn't know that I miscarried last January. I was super excited because my two sisters, Anne and Sarah, were due in June (a month before me), and we just knew Ali would be getting pregnant soon too (which she did). And Cambrie was pregnant on Brett's side of the family (although that ended tragically as well, about a week after my miscarriage). A week after my first prenatal appointment, I started bleeding and was diagnosed with a blighted ovum. Basically, I was a mess. I'm not sure how Brett could stand to be so patient with me crying all the time. But he was amazing as usual, and not only put up with me, but was a huge support when I needed it most.

I thought I'd get over it pretty quickly, especially because I thought I'd be able to get pregnant again pretty quickly. Every month that passed was a disappointment, and I'd be a crazy, bawling, psycho wife for my poor husband. My sisters had their babies, and my baby's due date came and went without any celebration. I finally went to the Dr. because things just weren't normal, and he put me on Clomid... and apparently it worked! I'm a little nervous about twins though, since Clomid can increase the chances of multiples, but I'm not going to worry about that until the ultrasound.

It's amazing to me how closely our emotions are tied to our spiritual strength. I was feeling absolutely horrible... I was in the "depths of despair" (to quote a movie, but actually mean it...). I felt like my faith was at an all time low (in my little brain it made sense to me that if I had enough faith, I would have gotten the answer to my prayer - a new pregnancy - a long time ago). I figured, I just didn't have enough, therefore, no miracle. But of course, all of those scriptures about how "faith proceeds the miracle," "ye will have no sign until after the trial of your faith," "this will be but a little moment," etc. all came to my mind this last month. My awesome mother-in-law asked our family to fast and pray together this last month because there are individual things each of her children needed (and she knew what my particular trial was). I'm very grateful for my family's collective and individual faith - it truly helped to strengthen my own.

We teach primary, and yesterday the sharing time was about how Faith and Miracles come together (like peanut butter and jelly). And so, I figure... it's a miracle to me that we're having a baby - so maybe I do have enough faith after all.

There is amazing truth to the "opposition in all things" law - perhaps I needed to go through "despair" so that I could fully appreciate how incredibly happy I am right now. I told Brett I'll try not to complain about fatigue, nausea, or any other type of physical discomfort related to having a baby because that's just it - I'm having a baby!

And so - for those of you who wanted to know - that's the whole story. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I gots me a new job!

Me, you know, in my vinyl-fence hospital
habitat, ready to totally save some life, yo.
For approaching 3 years, I've been working for Utah Valley Regional Medical Center on the 7th floor (Medical-Oncology Department).  It's a non-stop usually crazy-busy department, but my coworkers were great to work with, and the department forces you to learn a lot -- quick.  My upcoming grad school applications from what I've been reading will want me to have critical care experience, so I'm switching jobs.  Same hospital, different department.  I'll be on the 2nd floor of UVRMC ("IMC" for those of you who know the place).

It should give me some good ol' critical care experience with some good old-fashioned intubated patients, and fancy gizmos and such.  I'm excited for it.  I've been on the floor for school stuff, and they've got a good group of people down there.

I start on Monday with some training and additional certifications, and then I'll ultimately be doing night shift (again) which Katie isn't particularly keen about.  Oh well.  I do what I need to do to support my wife and child. (Oh yeah, and by the way, we just found out she's prego)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Boren Family Fiesta!!!

My two out-of-town sisters came home for about a week a little while ago, and we decided to have a family fiesta! We usually have a BBQ with hamburgers, hot dogs, cheese bread, chips, etc. But I thought it would be fun to do something a little different - and amazingly enough, Mom said, "Yeah, that would be fun." And so instead of the normal BBQ food, we had Cafe Rio burritos like we had at Brett sister, Christa's house a few weeks ago. We made sweet shredded pork, had some black beans, cheese, lettuce, etc. and had the cilantro lime rice (recipe by Brett's other sister, Cambrie), on the side, along with classic chips and salsa.

We made coffee filter flowers with the kids that we put up on the deck, and saved a few for our hair.
Boren ladies with flowers in their hair.

But my favorite part was the pinata. You've got to understand... when I take on a project like a pinata, I go all out. I had a blast making it and then watching it be destroyed. I was pretty proud of how well it held up to the beating. All the grandkids got a few swings at it (all besides the babies, of course). My nephew, Spencer, ended up being the one to completely bust it in the end.

El alma de la fiesta - the life and soul of the party...yup, that's us!!!

I really did love that fish...
Ben was hilarious - he did a lot of serious overhand swipes at the poor fish, but didn't do much damage.

Part of the line-up... hoping it doesn't break before their turn.

Spencer, with the killing stroke.

The aftermath...

I think this is Jordan - I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want a pinata on my head - sounds dangerous to me.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Moab Canyoneering Trip

The advice we've been getting as a non-childrened married couple is:  Play.  More.

So that's what we did earlier this week.  We went with the biggest advocates of the "Play, more" ideology, my sister and brother-in-law, Christa and Brigham, and spent Monday-Wednesday playing.

We took the inaugural trip of their newly purchased car to Moab, and into Arches.

Monday:  We hiked.  Pictures do a better job of it, so I won't try to explain it.  We hit the movies for "Salt" Monday night.

Here's Christa's online photo album of the trip.

Tuesday:  We woke up, left, and showed up to our tour company place to go "Canyoneering" where we discovered that we were very un-prepared for the trip.  To our credit, we did show up the day before to verify that we had all we needed.  We thought we were ready -- she told us we'd be fine.  We weren't.  Luckily, our tour guide was awesome, and went home to get us rain jackets, and the company owner brought in a rain jacket for us.  Secondly, we found out from our tour guide that all of his previous groups he had taken were experienced climbers, and, well, we essentially had no experience at all in the group.  He assured us he could get us through it safely, and we were pretty excited to do it, so... we did.  We got fitted in thermals (yes, thermals in August in Moab -- and yes, we were glad to have them), wet-suits, helmets, gloves, and our borrowed rain jackets.

We drove up a mountain, parked the van, and started on a trail.  When we got to the river, we sort of just found a tree to hide behind as we got rid of the normal clothes and put on a wet-suit and gear.  As we were hiking the trail toward the river, our guide said "wow... you can hear the water already..."  It had been raining previous to our coming, and, well, he said he's never seen the water that high.  Or that cold.  And as if that wasn't enough, again, he was with a group of 4 completely inexperienced climbers on a tour where he had only been guiding experienced climbers. 

The beginnings were a touch rough for a minute as he had to teach us all how to rappel and we clumsily made our way down.  The rest of the way was spectacular.  We were practically inside of a water-carved cave going down the side of, and sometimes, the middle of waterfalls.  We descended 7 rappels in all.  The water was very cold, and sometimes our feet would slip out from under us and we'd end up right in the waterfall as we quickly tried to let the rappel loose to drop as fast as we could.  It was too loud in this near-water-cave place to talk to the guide, so it was, well, exciting to go over an edge, not knowing what we were about to do.  There was a lot of "Figure it out as you go" and I'm sure a lot of "What in the world am I doing bringing these people here..." from the tour guide.  Our guide was great, and very nice to work with.  While the pictures of course can't capture it all as we were trying to protect the camera from the water, it'll give you some idea of what it was like.

Afterward, we did another 5-mile round trip hike on the negro bill canyon trail.  We then ate unhealthy food and hit the movies again for Inception.  We were pressed for time, so Katie didn't have time to finish her frosty.  Feeling sympathy for her, I successfully smuggled the frosty into the theater in my pocket, where she got to finish enjoying it.

Wednesday, we slept in, and hit a few more spots in arches before we left for home again.

Lots of fun trip.  Glad we went!  Thanks for inviting us Christa and Brigham!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A post, not for the queasy. Ali Ward, do not click on this! You are warned.

For the record, I would like to take a moment to post about our roommates. Don't get me wrong -- I'm extremely grateful to live where we do. It works out great for us. We just have some uninvited visitors, for which there are 13 traps (that I can think of) to catch them in. A few weeks ago, I was typing away at my homework, when I saw a nice black spider crawl along the corner of the floor, right into a trap, turn around, and walk right back out of it. I decided it was time to lay out a few new ones. We've already caught a few spiders in them. I've smashed 4 spiders in the past 2 days. That's what happens when you live in a basement apartment on Earth. Click on the picture for a good portrait of our friends.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yellowstone and such

July 17, 2010 – Departure & Bear Lake

The original plan:  End up in Jenny Lake by the end of the day.  School happened instead.  We left late and spontaneously decided to stop at Bear Lake and camp there.  Driving through the tourist traps, I remembered coming there as a kid, and going to some cave around there.  The Garmin gave us directions and we set up camp in a campground on the way to the cave.  Katie managed use her feminine charm to persuade the teenage boys employed there to let us jump in on the last, and already filled to capacity tour of the day.  Pictures pretty much tell the rest of the story, other than the awkward teenage tour guide, who at the furthest point in the cave of course turned off the lights for us to get a sense of the darkness we were in, and then proceeded to tell us “Even thought you don't have the use of your eyes, you can still feel and hear and taste the walls and air around because those senses have been heightened.”  Idunno – Personally, I'd rather rely on my eyes to get me back to the cave entrance, rather than sniffing my way.

We read calvin and hobbes and the bathroom reader before going to bed.  A bird very unexpectedly bombed our table, narrowly missing the camera, and partially hitting the calvin-and-hobbes book.  There's a missing chunk out of one of the pages.  Than you, mystery bird, for not having better aim than you did.  So Katie couldn't sleep at our first campground.  I slept intermittently, and at 1am, we got up.  We stood outside of the tent and watched a pretty spectacular view of the stars, shooting and otherwise.  As we talked, I kept hearing noises and sticks breaking.  Not wanting to freak Katie out about noises in the woods and keep her awake longer, I just ignored them – until I couldn't any more.  I grabbed Katie's flashlight and turned it on.  There were two big eyes reflecting the light back at me, and to sum it up, it kinda freaked me out.  Katie and I spent the next little while in the car, looking for a beast to implicate.  No luck.  In the process, the inside handle of the car door fell subject to a door opening attempt while the door was locked.  We currently can't open the door from the inside any more unless we roll down the window.  We went back to bed, not knowing if we were going to get torn by a she-bear, or if we were just being watched by by a deer.  To justify our little 1am episode, I like to think it was a bear.  Yes, we narrowly escaped death by a bear.  Or it decided we weren't tasty enough.  Or that I'm too tough to mess with.  Yeah. That one.

July 18, 2010 – Grand Tetons, Jenny Lake

Okay, okay, we didn't get to actually camp at Jenny Lake, but we drove there from our spot.  We took the hike recommended by my mom and dad along the south side of the lake and into the canyon.  I'd tell you that it's pretty, and the pictures don't do it justice – but you already know that.  Check out the pictures anyway.  They describe it better.

July 19, 2010 – Yellowstone

We grabbed some wi-fi in the grand tetons before we left for yellowstone so I could turn in my last assignment for the semester.  We went to yellowstone.  Oh, you know: mud pots, hot water springs. Standing in the crater of one of the world's largest volcanos, with active smelly things all around us.  We actually got a shower in the Grand Tetons, so we weren't part of the active smelly things.  We went to “the grand canyon of the yellowstone.”  We got some ice cream because I won a bet (Okay, we just wanted ice cream).  We saw a bear and a couple of cubs on the way back to camp.  We saw a big elk buck right on the side of the road pretty close to camp.  The camp itself, well, lets just say that we had it reserved for 3 nights, but canceled the last two of them.  Sadly, it was more like sleeping in a no-tree parking lot, with car alarms going off through the night and everything.  Oh, and lots of campfire smoke from the densely populated campfires.  We did go to a ranger presentation there about the bears of the park.  Then we slept there, and not much else. 

July 20, 2010 – Yellowstone and Montana

We woke up, packed up, went West to Old Faithful, stopping on the way for little side-trips.  At this point, we were homeless, not knowing where we were going to sleep that night.  We headed out to West Yellowstone and into Montana for a play there called “Foreigner.”  Pretty funny.  A nice bit of entertainment.  We decided we had seen what we wanted to see in the park, and it was okay to go home.  So we started driving toward home from Montana.  Ug.  The Garmin said we'd be home at 2am.  I didn't like that plan.  In an effort to get a shower and a better sleep for Katie, we made calls for hotels along our route home.  There was one suite available and a couple of smoking rooms in Rexburg.  Instead, we just drove south into Idaho, and found a government campsite in a national forest somewhere along the road.  Among the campsites, it was probably the best one on the trip.  Nobody was around us, it was warm enough to be okay with shorts as we sat around the fire, there weren't many bugs, and there was no wind, so we didn't have to keep switching spots around the campfire to avoid smoke.  We cooked hot-dogs and s'mores, and I had two avocados!

July 21, 2010 – Home

We woke up, and because we cut our trip a little short, we had extra food fixin's.  We cooked “hobo dinners” for breakfast Tastey.  We then cooked rolls on a stick and filled them with cream cheese and jam. Tastey again!  We stopped by BYU-Idaho for a tour of my old dorms, which is now some instructor's office.  And yeah, it's strange to think that I'm actually a current student of that school, but I haven't seen it for, oh, 8 years or so. On the way home, we sang to classic rock, and I typed this on the laptop on which I turned in homework previously on the trip.  We're stinky, but still eating home-made oatmeal cookies.  Life is good.

Monday, July 12, 2010


My sister, Alison was in town at the end of May - beginning of June, and she made a super cute baby blanket for her little girl due in October. I thought it looked like a fun summer project - so I dragged my other sister, Anne, out to go fabric shopping with me. I originally went looking for fabric that would be unisex for whatever our first baby ends up being..... whenever that happens. But none of the fabric at the store really struck me, except for the "Americana" stuff - so that's what I bought. Not really babish, but I like it. And so the cutting and sewing began!

I spent approximately 6-8 hours cutting (I kind of stopped keeping track), but had my mom's rotary cutter to do it, so it wasn't as bad as having to do it all by hand with scissors. Then I spent a few hours getting the pieces stacked up perfectly and pin it right (the front, the back, and the middle). But once that was done, it really didn't take long to sew it all up. Then came the couple of hours cutting the seams.

This is by far the most painful part - literally.

I remember my other sister, Sarah (wow... they are all mentioned in this post), making me a fleece throw with the cut edges back in high school. She complained after doing the cutting that the side of her thumb was numb for days afterward. I understand more fully what she meant now. The side of my thumb is still numb and tingly if I press it - and I finished cutting about 2 days ago.

All in all I'd say it took me 18ish hours to make - I dunno, I didn't do it all at once (sorry for leaving the floor a mess with it all laid out in order for a few days, Brett).

So that was my summer project, and it's only mid-July... Good thing I have extra scraps and a desire to make tossable bean bags for school... and maybe a table runner...

Monday, June 21, 2010


So - we wanted to go camping. Unfortunately, our schedules are rather hectic when you figure in work at the hospital (I'm back in the lab and Brett's still on 7th) and Brett's school assignments. We never seem to have time to do all the fun things we want to do together. And so... our first camping-in-the-backyard event transpired.

First, we had to eat hot dogs cooked over a low fire.... We have highly tuned rustic skills as you can tell. Brett ate an entire avacado - which I was jealous of (they look soooo good, but I'm allergic - lame!). The Garden Salsa Sun Chips were another highlight of the meal. After our "well balanced dinner" we scooped cake batter ice cream into waffl
e cones and enjoyed a lovely desert.

After a tasty campish dinner - we decided to utilize the camping facility's Wi Fi to continue our Survivor viewing (if they can call that surviving being on a deserted island, then we can call this camping). We've been quite busy of late, hence the need to watch Survivor which we haven't finished yet - so don't ruin it! (We're in the middle of the Heroes vs. Villans) After getting the computer all set up and ready to go outside (this site has some awesome utility hook-ups) we discovered that CBS took off the full episodes! How lame is that! Still don't ruin it.

Since we couldn't watch Survivor (and because we wanted to anyway), we called the camp directors to come play a game of "Ladder Ball" with us. I won't say who won, that just wouldn't be sporting.

Finally we set up camp, which consisted of an inflatable mattress blown up with an electric pump on the trampoline, a few blankets under the sheets, and a few blankets over the sheets, plus some pillows. Upon finding that I kept rolling towards Brett (we like our sleeping space), we decided to take the bed off the trampoline and set up on the top-of-the-hill site next to the trampoline which luckily hadn't been claimed by any other campers. Since we're both allergic to the outdoors, we both took half a benedryl and spent the night sleeping under the stars. At about 5:30 in the morning, we opted for the indoor facility to avoid the sprinklers which were scheduled to start that morning.

I still smell like bug spray, so despite what the rest of you might say, I definitely feel like I've
been out camping.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Last Day

So it's my last day at school this year. It hasn't really hit me yet...

It's been a pretty great year really. The first few weeks were absolutely crazy, and I've learned a lot about what I want to do differently next year. I'm going to be better organized and have things ready to go WAY earlier. I'm going to get desks instead of the big tables I had this year which took up too much space. I'm going to be better and getting those kids (9th graders particularly), under my thumb at the beginning of the year, and I'm going to keep on them as the year progresses. I found that either I got more lax or they got more comfortable being annoying by the end of the year. Next year I'm going to be much better at the discipline game.

I'm going to stress out about things less - if we have 5 min. of nothing at the end of the lesson it's not the end of the world. If something doesn't work out like I thought it would I'm

Saturday, May 8, 2010

How do you say "late" in Spanish?

Okay, okay, so this post is seriously almost a year old.  Well, the subject of the post is.  Katie and I have done a bit of collaborative journal writing (same journal, same document, same time) on Google Docs. We decided long after the event, that we should journal about our Mexico trip last year.  We just finished.  The following PDF is the end-product.

I understand that by clicking on the following link, I will be redirected to a non-blogger document, which contains far too much information about a trip that I don't care enough about.  By opening it, I understand that Brett and Katie are in fact not compelling me to read the whole thing, or even part of it, because it's long.  Really long.  

This post has been provided out of a realization that we don't post enough.  So there. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Guaranteed Weight-Loss Program


Tired of trying to shed those last few pounds? Do you hate the way you look in a swimming suit? (This actually has nothing to do with how you look in a swimming suit, but it sounded good)

Stop dieting! And definitely stop exercising! If you really want to lose weight, you need to try our exclusive, proven method to get instant, pain-free results!
(While this program has not been approved by the FDA, or any other federal agency, any logical person would endorse it as a sure method for weight loss)

The pictures below are from a happy, satisfied customer, who obtained the dramatic results in less than an hour.

BEFORE:                                                       AFTER:

That's right... she lost those hard-to-lose couple of pounds in a matter of   minutes!!!

If you're looking for a weight-loss program that requires you to sit back and get a head massage in order to lose the weight, then this is the best option on the market. With economic times like these, you can't afford to waste your time and money on exercise machines, diet pills, or celery...

Instead, simply call your local stylist today!

(The results shown are not typical - the customer pictured suffers from a condition known as Obese - Hair Disorder Type III, which is only second in severity to Type IV which is Woolly Mammoth - Hair Disorder. Most customers with normal hair may see a similar but less dramatic affect. This treatment can only be used for real weight-loss after a few years of regrowth. Prolonged use of this method may result in increased risk for baldness. Other side-effects include dry mouth, an over-extended neck from the sudden change in weight, and non-recognition by family and friends).


I'm going to post something today... that much I have decided. What to post about is yet to be determined....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fudge Jumbles

I got lonely last Sunday and decided to make some fudge jumbles to keep me company while Brett was working. They have become long lasting companions as they have joined the ranks of adipose cells in my torso. At least they'll be sticking around for a long time - I will never be lonely again. In case any of you want a long-term relationship with something that you eat, here's the recipe:
Fudge Jumbles
Crust Layer:
      Cream together:
             1 C. margarine or butter
             2 C. brown sugar
             2 eggs
             2 tsp vanilla
      Add: (I put them right in, but mixing the dry ingredients together first might make it more homogeneous in the end).
             2 1/2 C. flour
             3 C. quick oats
             1 tsp salt
             1 tsp baking powder
Chocolate layer - make in a separate bowl
      Over low heat melt (or on low power in the microwave):
            12 oz. chocolate chips
              2 Tbs butter (I'm tempted to leave out the butter, because it seems to make the chocolate go all gritty... I'll let you know how that goes the next time I try it).
      Add and mix well:
            1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
            1/4 tsp salt
            1 tsp vanilla
Pat the 2/3 of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 greased pan. Pour on the chocolate mixture. Top with little globs of the remaining oatmeal stuff. Bake 25 min. at 350°

I think that these are best served after a few hours of solidifying and cooling with a glass of milk, but warm and gooey works too (the glass of milk element remains the same despite the temperature at consumption).


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jordan School District

I probably don't have many friends who live in Jordan School District, but just in case someone pops by this blog on accident, this is for you!

I've only worked for the last school year in JSD at Fort Herriman Middle School. It's really been a great experience. But, unfortunately, since I'm one of the last ones hired, I'd likely be one of the first ones fired. The district is facing at least a $30 million deficit next year, and will likely be cutting many teaching positions. They will be increasing class sizes, there will be fewer elective and arts classes offered (because there will be fewer teachers), and it's likely that there will be fewer supplies for students at school. But one of the biggest concerns I have is for the "extra" staff members who help the teachers so much - it is these people who's jobs are really on the line. We have a woman who comes in to make our copies for a few hours a day. It's a part-time job for her, but it saves us hours of prep time. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to wait and wait for a copy machine to be open and then to stand there and make my 200 copies for each assignment, activity, and test. I hand out a new piece of paper almost everyday for some assignment. I would not survive without the copy lady. We also have a hired hall monitor. She gets kids to class before school, between classes, and gets them out of the building after school. She's also in charge of collecting tracker sheets for the kids who have behavior problems. She is also in charge of taking a teacher's class if a substitute is running late. Both the kids and the teachers love her. Then there are the computer tech guys who help keep all of the labs running as best they can (and they aren't fabulous labs to begin with). If they are gone - no one will be left to fix the computers, and in this generation, it is imperative that students learn how to use computers for both research and making some sort of product. And there's the aides, and the assistants, and everyone else who keeps a school running as smoothly as possible. I suppose I've been spoiled, but I honestly can't see how I'll be able to spend my time grading, planning labs and lessons, contacting parents, and helping kids one-on-one if I have to worry about keeping the halls clear during lunch, and if I have to stand at a copy machine for my entire prep period.

Unfortunately, there are some grossly overpaid positions at the administrative level of the JSD. From what I hear - this is the reason that the community does not want to increase taxes - they are afraid it will go to these administrators who are already overpaid. If the money goes to keeping classes small, and to the teachers, patrons of JSD will probably be more likely to pay the extra ~$11/month in taxes. $11/month. It could save 500 jobs, and be good for the kids at the same time.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Katie's new record...

Most of Brett's family will not find this too impressive, but I think it's a record for me.... I ran (well, jogged slowly) for almost 3 miles today. I was pretty diligent at running during the summer, but since school started, I've had a hard time fitting it in. I've started back up recently, and I do think it helps me sleep better at night - I'm constantly fighting the Boren Insomnia. After my run I went to the temple and did Initiatories - I haven't done that since I went through the temple for myself a little over a year and a half ago. It's always good to go to the temple - and I needed a reminder about those particular blessings at the moment.

And that is all I've done with my day, but it's only 6:00pm, so I guess there's still some time to get something done before I go to bed. Just what something should I do....

Monday, January 18, 2010

24 Carat Plastic

I just made my second most expensive (in dollars-per-volume or dollars per mass) purchase I've ever made.  It's this little piece of plastic you're looking at.  Next time you're on "The Price is Right" and you're looking at this thing, don't guess 25 cents.  You're not going to find it in a gum-ball machine.  Guess closer to $1000.

Very fortunately, the insurance company paid for most of it.

It's the main functional part of what is called a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System.  Not pictured is the sensor itself that actually goes under the skin to read glucose levels.  While the sensor still has an outrageous price, it's not nearly as bad as this 24 carat plastic.

For the curious, it works like this:  The sensor goes under the skin into subcutaneous tissue, and this plastic doohickey reads the glucose level and sends it via radio frequency to my insulin pump.  My insulin pump can then alarm at me if the levels go too high or too low so I can do something about it.

It costs $1000 for this 5.4 gram thing.  Taking that cost to weight ratio and applying it to a the lightest weight 2010 Honda Civic you can buy (3204 pounds, empty gas tank I'm sure), your price tag would be $269,131,472.22.  Yes, quarter of a billion dollars. 

Fortunately I don't need to buy a car's weight in these things.  Just one.