Monday, May 6, 2013

Being a Champion!

I love the TED talks. I thought you might enjoy this one, the wonderful parents that you are. Thank you for being the champion for your kid so that's one less off my load! You guys all rock!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shh...It's a Secret!

The Secret Garden has opened! Here are some news spots we did this morning. I'm not in any of them, but my cast is!! Check them out ASAP (I don't know how long the link is good for).

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Trial of Faith

Today I get to teach Relief Society, which I love. I was asked to teach about Elder Andersen's conference talk "Trial of Your Faith". Check it out here As part of the lesson I'm sharing this Mormon Message I love this story and have reflected on my trials as I listened to it. This past year has definitely been a hum-dinger for trials for me. My faith and trust in the Lord has been stretched and pulled in so many ways. I can't say this is a trial that I've been able to look back and say, "I understand why it had to happen that way!", but I do know that because of it, I've come to truly appreciate the peaceful, bliss-filled moments. And I've learned how I can create them if they are absent. I'm so grateful for the peace the Gospel brings. On a side note, I've decided to move grades next year. I'll be teaching first grade at Edison next year (same school I'm at now). Seeing how my goal is to eventually teach teachers, this will give me a better understanding of how to coach teachers of all grade levels. It will be hard, but I know I'm going to grow so much! Thanks for your love and support!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It's Finally Done!!

Sorry I missed our conference call this week. Thought I would update you a little via my blog instead. School starts back Monday and I've had a fabulous break. Mom and Dad came down and helped me do some remodeling (more about that later). I also spent time chilling on the couch (my favorite place) and hanging out with friends. I also started rehearsals! Hooray, 12 months and 13 auditions later, I FINALLY got cast in a show. It's a comedy called "Four Weddings and an Elvis" and it's about four weddings (or planned weddings in a Las Vegas chapel) and an Elvis (or more accurately 2 Elvis's). The director is someone I've known about for the past few years, performed with her family members, but never had the chance to work with her. I think the cast is going to be fabulous and I look forward to working with them! Most of all, I look forward to performing again!!! If you're in town the last two weekends of February, I've got a show for you to see!! Now to the remodeling. After 6 1/2 years of living in my place, I decided to do some major remodeling. Up until now, dad has tiled two rooms and put a screen door on, but I haven't done anything drastic. I finally decided on colors for my bedroom and decided to redo my bathroom (which I detested for how small it is/was). If I was doing my bathroom, I figured I ought to do the bathroom upstairs too. The 3rd bathroom (yes, I have 3 bathrooms one person) will be done later... Below are the before pictures (I forgot to take "before" pictures of the bathroom upstairs):
I repainted my room and dad came and did the floors and it's gorgeous. I got a new bed frame and bedding, built drawers (okay, assembled drawers) for under the bed, assembled a shoe cabinet, and decorated. I even make my bed everyday!
(I also found a great way to hang up my jewelry!)
(This board is where I've put pictures of the family. I get to wake up to your smiling faces everyday! Keep those pictures coming!)
After 6 days of tiling (I learned how to tile! Thanks dad!), grouting, painting, demo, reinstalling cabinets and toilets and rewiring lights, the bathrooms are finished!! (The upstairs bathroom is first)
Today, Danny's brother came in and rewired for the sconces. Don't worry, he's an electrician.
I am beyond thrilled with how this turned out! I'm am so grateful for everyone that helped with this project. Mom and dad did a ton and Danny helped me plan it all. Feel free to stop by sometime to see it in person! Love you guys!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tooting My Own Horn

I haven't posted in forever and now I'm going to post to toot my own horn. Vain? Definitely, but sometimes I need an ego boost. I received an email today from a co-worker who saw the following post on Facebook and passed it along to me. It came from a counselor at the middle school my students go to:
Yesterday I had a 6th grader in my office crying...saving the details...he has a very "complex life"...we talked the meantime our secretary got his former 5th grade teacher on the phone after I realized that he had done very well last year despite all of the challenges he faces. I called him over to the phone after speaking to her and asked if he'd take a call from Ms. Vance. The look on his face was one of relief and complete happiness. You would have thought that the person on the line was a superstar sports figure, Santa Claus, or someone extraordinary...he grabbed the phone, plopped down in my chair and talked to her for a while. He emerged from my office feeling happy and his outlook positive. He returned to class ready to go again into his day. To all the teachers out there working with kids of all kinds, keep fighting the good fight, you never really know which kids will need you the most or how much you will make a difference. And to you Ms. Vance, you are extraordinary.
Many of you know how unhappy I am about my job and the teaching profession in general. However, moments like I had on Friday, where I was able to reconnect with a previous student and make a difference, remind me of how much I end up loving my students. I feel so blessed that I developed a great relationship with this student last year and that I could help him out this year.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On the other hand...

Since January, I have been looking forward to this weekend, specifically March 24th. That was the day of auditions for The Sound of Music at Hale Theater. If you've never heard me talk about Hale, you've either been asleep or not listening. It's a community theater that pays! You walk away from a run with about $1000. The costumes are great, wigs done professionally and they cast a lot more talented performers than the motley crew you may be surrounded by at other theaters (not that they're all perfect there, but usually there's a higher level of talent overall). Generally, it's REALLY competitive and you have to know someone to stand out. Which I do, the music director is the accompanist for my voice lessons. Perfect! Now, unless you are a lead, this is not a great ensemble show. However, I didn't care because I thought few would be auditioning and it would be a foot in the door.

Or, so I thought.

I went Saturday for the audition and find out that I would wait a few HOURS for an audition time and even with that, they may not get me in before they close the auditions. This is NOT normal. Usually, you show up and in an hour, you're done. I felt like I was on American Idol. Seriously people, it's The Sound of Music! Over 1000 people auditioned (450 were adults)! After 3 1/2 HOURS of waiting, I was finally able to sing my 45 seconds of a song. I did great! I was proud of my audition and the look on the music director's face told me I did awesome. They made the announcements for callbacks right after my group auditioned and.....

I didn't get called back.

That's right, after all that, I don't even have a shot at doing the show.

And I couldn't be more delighted.

My summer will now be full of hiking, swimming, camping, rock climbing, bike riding and learning how to sew. Of course, if anyone wants to ship their kids my way, I'll make sure to spoil them rotten and squeeze them into my summer o' fun. Here's to summer and its adventures!

Too bad I have 45 more school days.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Two posts in one day?!? Well...don't get used to it!

I didn't want to put ALL the pictures in one post. It will look better on my blogger stats if I've published TWICE in March!

Afternoon Tea at the Grand America Hotel!
My fellow teachers and I were recognized as the 5th grade team with the most growth on our reading scores between the beginning of the year and the mid-year reading fluency test. We were invited to "Afternoon Tea" at this Hoity-Toity hotel in downtown SLC. This is where the presidential candidates and sports stars stay (we saw the Miami Heat leaving while we were there).

We started off with a little tea (or hot chocolate in my case). It was almond something. Pretty much amazing.


For the "tea" we had quaint little sandwiches. I felt very British.


Of course, we wrapped it all up with some pretty amazing desserts. The best ones were on the bottom.


We were also visited by a TV news anchor who expressed her appreciation for us and sat and chatted with us individually for a few minutes. It was really nice that she didn't just come in, say thanks and leave. It was nice to feel appreciated! I also got a autographed copy of a book by one of my FAVORITE authors (Shannon Hale). Pretty amazing afternoon!

I had a birthday! Shout hurray!


My cake(s) were pretty much amazing. Red Velvet and Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse. Thank you Costco for making such delicious cakes! The best thing about your birthday is that you can eat cake for breakfast and not feel guilty. Or, at least, I didn't. I'm thinking we need the Red Velvet cake for our family gathering. No worries, I'll pick it up on my way to mom and dad's....

My birthday dress. I love it!!! I wore it to school a few days after my birthday and I overheard some 3rd graders talking about my outfit. One of the girls said, "How come Miss Vance always dresses so cute?" Another girl responded, "Yeah, she has the best clothes!" Praise from a 9 year-old? I'll take it!!



(This one is a weird angle, but I was trying to take a picture before I headed to church and no one else was around to take it. Well, Ella and Sam, but lack of thumbs kind of cancel them out.)

My birthday meant that I needed to renew my driver's license, something I last did 5 years ago. A lot can happen in 5 years.

Here's to a fantastic and astonishing year of my life!!

(P.S. I love how my post is almost all pictures of food and my last picture is celebrating my weight loss....Ironic.)