Princess Training

I have been progressing in my training to be a Disney Princess, so I thought I would update on that a bit. 

 

The first step was my wardrobe. In my family, we don’t really buy that many clothes during the year, but buy a bunch at the beginning of the school year. So I have been getting lots of new clothes, and to my surprise, I have found myself buying quite a few dresses and skirts. I love wearing dresses, but I usually don’t buy that many. But as a DPIT (Disney princess in training), I guess that it is fitting. What? You DEMAND to see a picture of one of these dresses? Well, I guess that if you insist, I’ll go put on an adorable dress that I’m not allowed to wear until school starts. I just have to. I mean, you are twisting my arm here. 

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I love this dress

 

The second step was getting other people to admit I was like a princess before I told them. I went to a week long church camp, where the guys had to escort the girls everywhere (I know, awkward and yet, so much fun with um, cough cough, certain guys). But whenever we were walking across campus (it was at BYUI) I would run off and take pictures of the flowers. I took over 300 pictures of just flowers. 

 EFY Flower Collage

 

So whenever I saw a flower, I got really excited and happy about them- I can’t help it, I just really like flowers!- so my group started calling me Rapunzel. Well, I do like ducklings! I just told them that Pixar had to base her off of somebody. 

 

Really though, it’s kind of weird how similar Rapunzel and I are. Even discounting really long hair (Rapunzel has me beat there, plus hers is MAGICAL) we have scary similar personalities. You know the song,“When Will My Life Begin”? She is much more talented than I am, but the same activities. I can’t play guitar, so violin. I am also terrible at painting, and pottery is also a no go, but other than that, I do everything she does. It’s a little weird. And honestly, we just get excited about things. On a hike with my church group, whenever we saw a particularly pretty wild flower, (they were SO PRETTY) I would make everyone look at it and start jumping up and down and just be excited to see it! It’s not just flowers though (that’s a big part). Animals also make me super happy and excited. That’s why I volunteer at a zoo. It is so much fun to learn weird facts about weird animals. Like that sloth bears 

Sloth Bear

Don’t have front teeth. They are basically bug vacuums. They also have very squishy noses so they can press their face into the ground to suck up bugs. (I love sloth bears- they are really fun and playful to watch.)

 

Also, condors, specifically Andean condors, are the heaviest flying birds. They also have the largest wing span (not longest, but largest).andean condor They are bald in order to eat dead meat- carrion- without getting their head feathers dirty, because that would be very hard to clean. They also poop on their own feet when they are too hot.  I have handled feathers that the one at the zoo dropped, and it is longer than my arm. It’s really awesome when it opens it wings, because it does have such an impressive wingspan. Have you ever heard of thunder  birds? That’s a condor. 

 

Butterflies have microscopic scales on their wings. Penguins don’t really have taste buds- that’s why they can eat rotten fish. Giraffes have a natural insect repellent in their skin, because their tail would never be able to flick insects out of their eyes. Spotted hyenas are jerks to striped hyenas. African porcupines have rattles in their quills, much like a rattlesnake. Rubber boas feel like a plastic snake, and often get their tails and heads mixed up to confuse predators. Name an animal. I’m sure I can remember something strange about it. 

 

So yeah, animals and flowers make me happy and excited. And when I get excited, I act a lot like Rapunzel does- you know, the 

rapunzel

and then I do the

 

and occasionally, if I’m really happy, I do the 

 

So basically, since both Rapunzel and I are happy and excited 95% of the time, I am and forever will be a DPIT.

Hugs and Kisses,

Aspen

 

P.S. Another cool animal is the Sarus Crane. They dance. And they sound like elephants.

 

 

Click the pictures for the links

 

 

Disabilities

This blog is honestly more like a journal. I can’t really ever imagine anyone actually reading this besides my mom, (hi mom) yet it is so hard to share something like this where other people could read it. But it is a part of me, and honestly, I feel like being okay with sharing can help other people, even if no one ever reads this. It changes my attitude, and that’s why I am sharing this. 

I have something called dysgraphia. It’s a form of dyslexia, and I am sure everyone has met or heard of a dyslexic person. My condition is similar, but a bit different. I can read just fine (in fact, I read at 12th grade level in 3rd grade) but writing is really hard for me. I love writing, but my handwriting is atrocious, and it takes so much energy to write anything. Even a simple worksheet can become daunting, because if i try to make my handwriting readable, then it takes forever and it is exhausting. My mom, the awesome special ed lawyer, has made it possible for me to use a computer in all my classes. I just carry a laptop. And that is awesome for schoolwork purposes. But it was also hard socially.

It singled me out. I was that girl with the computer. If people asked me why I had it, (and plenty of people did) I would tell them why. I don’t mind questions. What’s hard is the stares. The first time I pull it out, I can feel the stares. As a sixth grader, that is terrifying. Even now, I don’t really enjoy being the center of attention that much. I like being noticed when I am doing something, like at the Zoo, I don’t mind presenting stuff to a crowd; in fact, I quite enjoy it. But having everyone look at you for doing nothing, just having to sit there and refuse to acknowledge them was daunting. 

The other thing that I hated was how people treat me after I first tell them. I am twice exceptional, which is a term that means I have a disability, but I am also gifted. I know that people are used to thinking of gifted as meaning “smart”, but that’s not what it is. I’ve done a lot of research into this, and what it is is actually the brain aging slower. A 5 year old is able to learn new things much faster than a 10 year old. The brain can just remember facts and absorb information better. Well, gifted children can learn things on the first try. They don’t need repetition, like other kids do. And yes, usually they are smart. But it is not simply being smart. Usually we are really bored. I know I was. And another side benefit- weird textures make me throw up. Seriously. A sensitive stomach and mouth are another symptom of being gifted, one that hardly anyone knows or cares about. 

So, yes, I am gifted. I often finish my assignment first, and I am fairly clever. So when I tell people that I have a disability, for a week of so,  they treat me differently. It’s like people cannot understand that someone could be smart and have a disability. Yet there are people like Stephan Hawking who constantly prove that wrong! Albert Einstein was dyslexic, or dysgraphic. Many gifted kids have dysgraphia. It comes with the territory. So, I don’t know why everyone treats me differently. I’m not saying I am like Stephan Hawking or Einstein. What I am saying is that yes, smart people have problems in school to.

I have had teachers that were wonderful, but I have also had horrible ones. They can’t accept that one day I am teaching the math lesson, because the teacher doesn’t understand (true story, happened in 5th grade) and then the next day I cannot do the worksheet at all. They think that I am just not trying hard enough. I also tend to be extremely disorganized when stressed, so I would complete an assignment and then start to read and lose the paper somewhere in my mess. I love being organized, but it is something I have to try really hard to do. 

Honestly, I don’t know why I am posting this. Like I said, I don’t really expect anyone to ever read it. I guess it’s a little like cheap therapy. It’s nice to talk about things. 

Hugs and Kisses,

Aspen

PowerPoints

Out of all my many skills, (hair flip) one of the actually useful ones is using power point. I am terrible at Excel, meaning my engineer dad has explained it to me about a thousand times. Lately, I have been getting better at Excel, but yeah, not a talent of mine. I can type just fine, and Word is my friend. Publisher is chill and all, and I use Notebook constantly throughout the school year. But, above them all, the spotlight shines on one program, coming out of the fog, the bright, blazing glory that is… POWER POINT!

I seriously love using Power Point. Sure, there are topics I enjoyed doing more than others, but even if it is the most boring, stupid topic in existence, I will go all out on the presentation.

For example, for my personal finance class, we had to do a presentation on various things like bonds, stocks or gems. I got bonds, so of course, I made a Power Point. (I’m not sure how well this will show up, but there should be a link or something here)
Bonds

So that’s like the most boring topic in the world, and yet, I really enjoyed making it. Of course, I also obsessed over it for about 3 days. I’m like that whenever I am working on a project. I can’t stop thinking about it and tweaking until right before it’s due, but then, once I turn it in, I can calm down and do other things.

So anyway, onto the story I originally meant to write. Now you know my love for Power Point, this will probably make more since.

When I was in second grade, my mom was in law school. She was quite busy. Now, don’t think I was neglected. She was a great mom, and payed plenty of attention to both me and my brothers. Just a disclaimer. Anyway, my animal fascination at the time was manatees, so I told her that I had a power point on manatees due the next day in class. I just wanted to use her computer! But she dropped everything to help me, despite the enormous amount of work she had to get done. Anyway, I made the power point with her than admitted that I didn’t actually have to do it, and had completely lied about the homework assignment.Yeah. She was not happy with me.

So the moral of the story is, don’t lie about homework in second grade. Because your mom will constantly remind you of that fact in high school when you desperately don’t want to do homework. It comes back to bite you.

Hugs and kisses,
Aspen

List of Healthy Meals

During the summer, I  find myself eating potato chips for breakfast and melted cheese for lunch. That really has happened. It gets pretty bad. Most of my problem is I usually feel like I’m stuck in a rut that’s impossible to get out of.  Every single day is just another can of soup. So, I turned to my handy Pinterest and found many delicious meals to make at home that are also healthy for you. I haven’t tried any of these, so if they don’t turn out, sorry?  Each of the names (with a few exceptions) are hyperlinks back to the recipe.

 

Breakfast

  • Smoothies

o   Berry-banana smoothie

o   Berry-green smoothie

o   Strawberry-peach smoothie

o   Tropical Lassi

o   Basic smoothie recipe

o   Pink smoothie

o   Breakfast smoothie

o   Peanut Butter and Banana

o   Green

  • Eggs

o   Egg muffin

o   Egg and avocado tostado

o   Egg in pepper rings

o   Egg white omelet in a mug

o   Different version of egg muffin

o   Egg and avocado on toast

o   Mexican egg scramble

o   Taco egg muffins

o   Egg white Pizza

  • Make-ahead

o   Egg breakfast sandwiches

o   Sweet pepper quiche

o   Slow cooker breakfast meatloaf

o   Frittata (make mini with cheese crust)

o   Natural Protein Shake

o   Pizzatatta (make in muffin tin)

o   Coconut Baked Oatmeal

o   Breakfast Casserole

o   Turkey-Pepper Brunch Strata

o   Banana Fosters Topped French Toast

o   Homemade Granola

o   Spring veggie, Cheese and Potato Frittata

  • Other

o   Roasted breakfast pears

o   Breakfast Burrito

o   Toast

o   Yogurt and granola

 

Lunch

  • Sandwiches/Burgers

o   Sweet Potato and Chickpea Burgers

o   Black Bean Burger

o   Open-faced Tuna w/ Avocado

o   Egg, Tomato and Scallion Sandwich

o   Greek Salad Sandwich

o   Avocado Egg Salad

o   Creamy Avocado Salad

  • Salad

o   Spicy black bean and guacamole

o   Warm Spinach Salad

o   Roasted Vegetable Salad

o   Taco Salad

o   Roasted Mushroom Salad

  • Soup

o    Lentil and Chicken Soup

o   Creamy Tomato Soup

o   Broccoli and Cheese Soup

o   Egg Flower Soup

o   Butternut Soup

o    Pea and Pesto Soup

o    Mushroom Soup

o   Roast Chicken Soup

o   Chickpea Kettle Soup

o   Broccoli Soup

o   Roasted Corn and Potato Soup

  • Other

o   Mini veggie pizzas

o   White Pizza

o   Pizza Rolls

o   Cauliflower Pizza (many)

o   Skillet Mexican Zucchini

o   Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • Lists

o   SkinnyGirl

o   5 ingredient Meals

o   Daniel’s Fast Meals

Magic Potions

On Friday, I babysat for some people in my ward. They are pretty cool people, and their children are adorable. Their children are also very smart, so it’s hard to keep them entertained. It is always my goal to bring something new or fun for them to try. Honestly, it goes back to reading the Babysitter’s Club books. They had kits that they brought with them on each babysitting job, and I’ve always thought that it was a good idea.

 

The activity I brought last time was magic potions. I did this last summer after I saw it on Pinterest. The link is here: http://extremecouponprofessors.net/2013/05/milk-and-food-coloring-experiment/.  Basically, you put milk in a dish then food coloring drops on top. Then I drop some dish soap on top and watch the colors swirl. Honestly, the instructions call for half and half, and a q-tip dipped in the soap, but even when I did it by myself last summer I did it my way and it works just fine.

 

Just seeing the colors move is pretty mesmerizing, but the three girls I was doing it with love to play make believe games, so I called them magic potions because they look pretty magical. We did one together, and then I let each of them do their own. Once they had mixed to their heart’s desire, they named the potion and decided what it would do.

The first one was the Leafy Me potion, and it allowed the drinker to control plants. But, you also felt the plant’s pain if you drank it. (This girl is so creative and smart. She’s a ton of fun)

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The second one was Rainbow Change, and it turned you into different animals, but all the animals are rainbow colored.

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Image  The third girl is pretty young, so we helped her. I was pretty sure she was going to stain her clothes, but she was fine. Hers was called Rainbow Moods and the drinker changed color based on how they were feeling.

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Mine was Dragon Up, and it turned you into a dragon.

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After we made all the “potions” we ran around the house trying them out. (they didn’t actually drink the dish soapy-milk). It was epic fantasy tale involving villains, revenge and ancient powers passed down through a magical bloodline. Coming soon to theaters near you. It was truly a story for the ages

This was a really fun activity, and I think it’s pretty different from the normal summer things. I will probably do this again when babysitting other people.

Hugs and Kisses,

Aspen