The title describes how I feel. I have been laid pretty low with a nasty, nasty virus. I hope that I can get over it before I have to start work again on Monday. If you would like to donate to the Chris Rusch recovery fund, please send a check made out to cash to Chris Rusch.
I have not blogged for a really, really, long time. Being in a bishopric, working full time, going to grad school after work, and just living has sucked away pretty much any free time I had before. But seeing that I am on Christmas break, I thought this would be a good opportunity to tell everyone about my year.
Last summer I started grad school. Back in November of 2009, I got accepted to a master of library science program at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. I was pretty excited about this program because it is totally online and there are no residency requirements. What do I mean by residency requirement? Well, some online programs offered through state universities have a residency requirement. Generally this means you go to the school's campus for a couple of weeks during the summer and go through some orientations. Clarion was a very attractive choice because it didn't have this sort of thing as part of the program making it a very attractive choice. Another bonus for Clarion was that they accepted the Miller's Analogy Test as opposed to the dread GRE. Because I did really well on the Miller's and not so well on the GRE, Clarion was second choice behind the University of Alabama. Well, choosing a school was easy because I got accepted to Clarion and did not get accepted to Alabama so by simple process of elimination I chose Clarion.
So far I have completed three classes. The classes I completed are cataloging and classification, collection development, and, favorite class so far, introduction to social research. Next semester I am going to take two classes, can't remember what they are at the moment, but I am confident I will enjoy them just as much as I have enjoyed by other classes.
Grad school has been a great experience. Education and the pursuit of knowledge is a noble endeavor and whether you do it through a university program or self educate with a library card and a hunger for knowledge you are undertaking something noble and your life will be enriched as a result.
Last October marked one year as a member of a bishopric. For those who don't know local Mormon congregations, called wards, have three men who serve as leaders for the congregation. Right now I am the second counselor to our bishop and another man from our ward serves as the first. There are times when it requires lots of time and attention but overall it has been a very good experience. I don't think anyone should seek out this kind of think, I know I did not, but if something like this comes your way it could turn out to be a very good thing.
Work has had some ups and downs. Last summer I transfered from teaching on the children's unit at the Utah State Hospital to teaching on the girls' unit. That was quite the adjustment and I will get to go through yet another one as I temporarily make a switch to working on the boys unit. The reason for the temporary change is that so many girls have gotten discharged in the past couple of weeks that there are not enough students to justify having two classrooms for girls. So, our principle decided that I will work with boys until the numbers on girls come back up. I liked working girls, am looking to working with boys, but I am looking forward to getting the girls back (the boys don't have the best hygiene and so they really smell).
Well, that's about it from me. I guess that I will post again in about eleven months.
I found the movie "Inception" at the grocery store and bought it for him as a surprise the night before.
At Tucano's with Taylor and Katie. We are both members of the birthday club at Tucano's, and you get a free meal with someone else paying. So that we aren't COMPLETE gluttons, we take other people with us.
Me with my presents
I got a great sweater!
I also got a calendar
We went to "The Roof" on Friday to celebrate my birthday
OK, so the one in the picture is not a cherry pie. But I can actually make one of those too. Thanks to the refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts, I found out over Thanksgiving that I am not scared to make pies. In fact, we made two--one for my birthday and one for the people that Chris home teachers--in less than an hour. Way to go, us! P.S. I am also trying my hand at good picture taking, in anticipation of the neat-o camera that I am getting for Christmas. What do you think?
This morning, I got ready for school, and needed to have Chris zip up the back of my shirt. I thought nothing of it. Then I went to school and had a super long day. 12 hours of a super long day. The positive part was that I got to wear a new pair of boots, and that was fabulous. Anyway, I got home from my super long day, and Chris was not home. He was doing tithing settlement. And I could not take off my shirt without his help. Problem. I called him and asked him when he was coming home. Finally I couldn't stand it any more. I had to cut my shirt off. Good thing it only costed $3!
Those are the words that Chris sings to the song. We are more prepared than ever for Christmas this year! And tonight, we set up our tree and Christmas decorations. If we had a bigger place, we would put up more decorations, but this will have to do for now! We listened to Pandora on my iPod touch while putting it all together--what a great night!
Our original plan was to enjoy a peaceful Thanksgiving celebration in Idaho Falls. However, Chris's brother was admitted to the hospital, and his parents had to take an emergency flight to Utah from Atlanta, so we decided to be sociable and stay with the family that only comes here every now and then. That meant, however, that I was IN CHARGE of our Thanksgiving dinner. I did not sleep at all on the Sunday before, because I was so worried about it. I was not really worried about cooking it all--I have seen my parents do that on several occasions. I was worried about fitting SEVEN people in my little condo. But, Chris's mom came early in the morning and helped me cook, and everything turned out fantastically! Of course, we had plenty of help. A BIG thanks goes out to Chris's mom for her help, and to our wonderful neighbors across the street who let us use their oven when we found that our smoker died. We were supposed to get a blizzard on Tuesday, but didn't. However, Tuesday wound up being a GREAT day to go to the grocery stores! Matt is recovering well, and we were able to celebrate a GREAT Thanksgiving together. On Friday night, we went to see the *brand new* lights on temple square. Chris's parents were so excited about that, because they have never seen the lights there before. It was a splendid time had by all, and we are so glad that we were able to spend it with family! The picture of Chris and his brothers is by the center mark in Salt Lake that marks where all streets are measured from. Thanks to Matt, the geography major, we learned about it. Cool.
I have wanted to do this for a few years, and we finally decided to swallow the price and do it. We went to Thanksgiving Point to their Eat Like a Pilgrim celebration. It was fantastic! We got to try some fabulous Pilgrim dishes, such as Corn Pudding, and some not-so-fabulous Pilgrim dishes, such as Stewed Pumpkin. The only utensils that we had was a knife and a spoon. What a riot! Chris got to fire the Pilgrim musket, which was tons of fun. We sang a pilgrim song before eating, and said a Pilgrim prayer on the food. Chris got to try oyster (I passed), and pet animals. I got to enjoy talking with my friends that I went to Montana with last summer. They were helping out with the extravaganza. If anyone gets a chance to go in the future, I totally recommend it! Next time, I will take my camera so that I have pictures to show for it!
I feel that this is something worth blogging about. For the first, and perhaps the only time, we have eachother's Christmas presents picked out and bought on Halloween. You see, when you both have birthdays in December, you have to plan early for such occasions!
Last week, we went to Costco and saw the camera that I have been researching for several months there. It came with everything--a case, a couple of extra lenses, an extra memory card, and 100 free photos from Costco. So we bought it.
Chris has been researching computers for . . . about a week . . . okay, that is less time than I have been researching. But he has been pretty serious about it. He needs it for Grad School. I bought it for him tonight.
So, right now, all we need to worry about is Christmas presents for our families and friends! We are all taken care of! Yippee! What do you want?
My parents came down to Provo for the football game. They bought tickets for all of us, which was very nice. Taylor and Katie came and brought their kids, which was a ton of fun! The cougars won (which was kind of a surprise!), the weather was beautiful, and we got to play with some pretty cute kids too! You should have seen Anna and Max's eyes when they looked at my BYU brownie--they looked like they had not been fed all day! Here are a few pictures of the fun:
Anna and Max drawing during the game. Katie pulled out a pad of princess paper, and told Anna that it was for her. Anna said that she really hoped that it was!
On Thursday morning, we lost our dear sweet Grandma Erickson. The funeral is this week. There have been a lot of tears shed, and a lot still to come. We will miss her greatly, as she was always so sweet to us and called us "her darlings." We went up to play with her in Sandy whenever we could. Here is a picture of Grandma at our wedding, one of the last trips she took away from her place in Sandy. We love you, Grandma, and are glad that you are back with Grandpa again!
For Labor Day, we visited Mom and Dad in Idaho. We went to Island Park and headed to Yellowstone, which was fantastic! We love the National Parks! It was a good break, and really the end of our summer! It's been a great one!
I met this boy. I thought he was actually pretty cool, unlike some of the boys I had met before through LDSSingles. So I invited him over for dinner with my brother and sister-in-law the next night. He came, and liked my family. They liked him too.
Like they say, the rest is history. Two years later, we are married. For our two year anniversary of meeting, we went to Gloria's Little Italy, which is the place where we met for the first time.
On Friday, we caught a plane to sunny Florida. The original plan was to do a cruise with Caribbean Cruise Line (Yes, there really is a separate cruise line called Caribbean. It's not Royal Caribbean or anything). We got to the Salt Lake Airport, and they asked to see our IDs. I KNEW that I had packed our passports, but they were not in my travel folder. So we called the cruise line, and they said that it would be no problem. We might not be able to get off the boat, but we would definitely be able to get on. So, we got on the plane. We were dead tired when we reached the Hominy Inn near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was a complete dive, but we didn't care.
The next morning, we were supposed to go pick up our tickets for the cruise. They informed us that we wouldn't be able to get on the boat without our passports. I called my parents, and my dad searched our condo high and low for them (bless his heart), but was unable to find them. So, we made our lemons into lemonade! We called Chris's aunt and uncle, and stayed at their place, and went to Disney World, which was about an hour away from where they lived.
It ended up being a fantastic vacation that we loved! We went to Epcot, then spent a few minutes in the Magic Kingdom, where we saw the Electric Light Parade. The next day, we went to Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood. We were also able to have a fantastic time with Chris's aunt and uncle. They treated us like royalty, and we had a lot of fun visiting with them. All in all, it was a successful trip!
Oh, and then we got back and found the passports in our car! They had fallen out of my folder during the drive to the airport!
As teachers, summers are the BEST! We love that we get time to go on fun vacations, so here is another one!
Chris's parents came to Utah, and we took a trip down to the National Parks in Southern Utah with them and his brothers. It was a blast. First, we went to Moab and to Arches National Park. We left on Tuesday, and visited Canyonlands and did a hike to Delicate Arch early Wednesday morning. We made it to the top! It actually was not nearly as bad of a hike as it was last year, because we are a lot more in shape!
Then, we went to Zion's National Park. We have been through Zion's a few times, but just driven through without doing any hiking or anything. It was HOT there--like 113 degrees! But we did do a little bit of hiking and such, which was a lot of fun. We also visited the St. George Temple and some other sites in St. George that were rather fun.
It was so much fun to spend the time with family. We got a great place to stay in Cedar City. It was a vacation townhouse rental, which was fun, because we could all be together the whole time. Dad also rented a suburban for us. It was the last trip for this year's National Parks Pass, so it has done us a lot of good--definitely paid for itself! All in all, it was a wonderful trip!