Tuesday, April 2, 2013

So I didn't get into Teach For America. That had kind of been my dream for the last year and it was going to be my life for the next 2 years. I made it all the way to the final interview and felt like it went well. Now I'm overwhelmed and discouraged. I have a baby on the way in May and I don't have a job. It's too late to apply for grad school this year so I have to wait until next year. I'm working part-time at a RTC in Spanish fork and part-time substitute teaching, but both pay really low wages and I'm in debt. I'm trying to look for new jobs, but you can't do much with a BA in Psychology. I'm so desperate I've been entering into sweepstakes hoping that I can win some money, but I know those get rich quick schemes never work out. I really just need to find a good job and soon before the baby is born. At least I have byuhitlist. I've won a few small prizes already which really help brighten my day when I'm discouraged. Hope I can win a grand prize soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I threw my wife a Harry Potter party

Sharlie Erb is a huge Harry Potter fan, to say the least. She has read the whole series several times, and Lindsey and her have been collecting them from every country they go to. Now they have Harry Potter books in English (american), English (Britain), Italian, Thai (I think), and many more. Anyway, I figured it was about time for her to have an HP party, so we set out back in January to throw the party of the year. First, we collected ideas from pinterest and got some HP do-it-yourself ideas. Then we made some invitations (as you saw on my previous post) and sent them out. Here is how it went:

Here in the owlery the invitations are ready to be sent out via owl post.

After the owls were sent out we began making the props and decorations. There were a lot of time consuming and ambitious projects we set out to make and even though it was a lot of work and kind of stressful it was worth it.
to make the sorting hat we had to use an old witch's hat as a base, and then make a cone out of fabric, spray it with fabric stiffener, and hang it up to dry so it could take shape.

Next, I had to add fabric strips that had been soaked in fabric stiffener, and try to shape the hat to look wrinkly.
The hardest part was making the face. After that was over, we left it out to dry for a night.

The last step was painting it. I added some black to the mouth, eyes, and some wrinkles to make them stand out.
This is the final product at the party.

Next, we started working on the games/activities for the party. The plan was to first sort the guests into houses, and then play games and award teams to the houses. For our scoreboard we drew the house crests on a big white board...

rough draft

We teamed up Gryffindor and Hufflepuff against Slytherin and Ravenclaw.

We invented a taboo/trivia game that we decided to call Quidoovia (quidditch taboo/trivia). And in order to give the teams chances to score other points we made some horcruxes and deathly hallows to hide around the house for people to find.
Another idea we had/stole was to make a moving portrait booth. Sharlie's Dad made the frame and then we made a video on imovie after the party.
This is the video:

A few other decorations we made were the goblet of fire (for submitting votes for best costume), the ministry of magic entrance, mad-eye moody's trunk, Olivander's wand shop, Honeydukes, and platform 9 3/4.

These are the treats we served at Honeydukes. We had our guests each bring a dish. They all did a superb job. These are some of them:

Sharlie and I also spent a good deal of time researching a good butterbeer recipe. This one is the one that they supposedly use at Harry Potter world. It was super rich (like, I could only handle a couple of sips). It's basically carmel and cream soda. mmmmm...

So, now imagine, if you can, the scene. First our guests walked in through the brick wall at platform 9 3/4 to the sight of Professors Dumbledore and McGonogal, followed by a stop at the moving portraits photobooth. Then, after stopping at Honeydukes and mingling for a while, the Sorting began.

The sorting was complicated. First I wanted to try putting a baby monitor in the hat, but that didn't work out. So instead, we set up two laptops and speakers. Every time someone sat below the hat, I could see them from the other room and I would play a clip of the sorting hat saying a house name. We tried to sort the teams as evenly as possible, but I think the teams ended up a little unbalanced.

After the sorting, we gave each person a name tag, and then we started our quidoovia game.

These are the HP taboo cards we made.
We hid snitches (golden golf balls) throughout the house and sent people out from each team who knew the least about HP to find them (they were seekers). Then, anyone who was able to successfully get there team to guess 3 taboo cards in 30 seconds "shot a quaffle through the other teams hoop". It was the other team's keeper's job to block the shot. The keepers were the most knowledgeable and to block the shot they had to answer a hard trivia question. We also had beaters who would bludgeon the players who said the taboo words. I admit it might have been a little complicated, but hey, quidditch is a complicated game all on its own.
At the end, the losing team was able to challenge the winning team to a duel, which required each team to go head-to-head answering a really hard trivia question. Each team had to elect a 1st and 2nd to answer the question and they were aloud to use the book. In the above picture Mandy and Natalie faced up against Jon and Katelyn.

Afterwards, we had a sorting hat cake courtesy of Emily Watkins, and Sharlie opened her HP themed presents.
She got the 8-film box set of the HP movies

and she got a horcrux necklace.

It was really fun. Good food. Good people, and not too stressful.

Jared (Pro. Snape) won best costume along with Elizabeth (Pro. Trelawney)

I hope you enjoyed seeing our Harry Potter party post. It will probably be a while until we get around to posting again. See you then.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Puppies and Parties

I write blogs about as well as I write in my journal. Have you ever written in your journal, "I am going to write in my journal every day from now on" and then the next entry is dated two months later? That's usually what happens to me. Anyway, a lot has happened since our first post. We finished fall semester and now we're well into winter semester, which is our last!

I guess the biggest news is that we got a puppy "for Christmas" (we actually got her a couple of months before Christmas). Her name is Scout, like Scout Finch from to kill a mockingbird. She was really cute when we first got her

We thought a puppy would be cute and cuddly (and she was for about a week), but actually puppies are a huge pain in the butt. Potty training took a few months, but we finally got her to ring a bell every time she wants to go outside/go to the bathroom. That wasn't the worst part though. The worst part is that she bites everything.

She attacks the cats

She digs holes (in blankets-weird)

She finds trash under the house and tries to bring it inside

We constantly have to keep our eyes on her and tell her "no" every time she is bad, but it is getting better. We took her to obedience school at Petsmart and now she somewhat listens to us. Here are some other pictures of her (she's a little bigger now).

Action shots

seeing snow for the first time

Sleeping in our arms

We still love her even though she's a pain.

Besides that, since our last post we also had a Halloween party at our house. It was really fun. Thanks to pinterest, planning parties is a lot easier than it used to be. We pretty much got all of our ideas from there. We had lots of spider webs, bats on the wall, halloween themed food, and a homemade murder mystery game.

Mummy jars and candles

Bats and Spider webs

We had one table that had treats on it (with a guacamole-vomiting pumpkin), and for dinner we had mummy hot dogs, clam chowder out of a cauldron, and warm apple cider.

We actually got a little ambitious and planned a lot of activities, but we only ended up having time for dinner and the murder mystery game. The best part was seeing our friends and their cool costumes.

My brother Jared and I wrote the murder mystery. We had never done anything like it before and it turned out pretty good.

We had to split up and search the house for clues (follow a web of yarn).

Prizes were hershey's bats and mummies that Sharlie made.

It was a good learning experience. It was our first party, and now we know how much planning has to go into it. Our next big party will be Sharlie's 24th birthday. We are doing a Harry Potter themed party. Here's a sneak peak at the invitations we made:

That's right, we sent the invitations out via owl post. Hopefully, we will post again soon, so you can see pics from the party.