Common core is the newest educational change going on in our public schools right now.  This is the first year it has been implemented. I do not have children in the public school system at the moment but I have not heard anything positive about this new movement from my friends with school aged children.
I have been interested in preparing my four year old for kindergarten and therefore checked the library for books on teaching children how to read. I came across the book What Your Kindergarten Needs to Know: Preparing Your Child for a Lifetime of Learning. It is edited by the founder of the Core Knowledge Foundation, E.D. Hirsch, Jr. and John Holdren, the senior VP at K12 Inc, an online provider of education for grades K-12.
In the introduction of the book, the authors explain the goals and purposes of "Common Core." As I understand it, the goals are to bring a better foundation of knowledge to children across the country in the areas of history, geography, mathematics, science, language arts and fine arts.  They gave one example of this when learning how to read.  Learning how to sound out the letters of a word and say the word is one thing, but if you do not know the meaning of the word, then how can you comprehend the thing which you have just read.  If you cannot comprehend it, then can that be counted as reading?  If children are taught not only vocabulary words found in fiction books but in non-fiction books as well, they will become better readers. For instance, a word like vertebrae probably won't be found in a story you might read with your child and if they encounter that word later on they might not be able to understand the sentence they are trying to read.  The authors encouraged parents and educators to read non-fiction books along with their fiction books so that children might get a wider range of knowledge, thereby increasing their vocabulary and increasing their ability to read. 

Along with providing students with a broad knowledge base, they also want the things children are learning to be more detailed and specific from state to state for each grade.  That way, if a child moves to a different state, or even to the next grade with children from another class (with a different teacher), they will be on the same page.  They gave the example of a teacher talking about Christopher Columbus and some children saying, :"We learned this last year," while others had never heard of him. While they have standards of what they think all children of a certain grade should know, they also leave room for individual schools/states/districts to be flexible in  meeting the local needs. You can find what the standards or "Core Knowledge Sequences" are for each grade here.  Click on the link at the left that says "Download the Core Knowledge Sequence". 
So after reading the introduction to the book and the first section on Language and Literature, I decided to buy the book.  I am actually really looking forward to working on these things with my four-year-old.  The book gives great examples of how to teach your child.  I started using some of the things they suggested when reading a simple story right away.  It was fun to ask Nora what she thought was going to happen in the story after only reading a few pages instead of just breezing through the book.  She really stopped and thought about some of the questions I was asking her.

The one thing I personally found negative while studying what "Common Core" is all about was found on the Philosophy part of the website.  It stated , "Our work is not driven by ideology, but logically by science, history, and research." Now, I just hope this isn't saying that they are going to teach against believing in God.  I know its a touchy subject in the schools right now and I am not saying that they need to teach about God in schools but I would be very uneasy if this is saying that children are being taught not to believe in God because He can not be explained by "logical science, history or research".

Overall, I am excited about the book I got and to work on some stuff so my daughter can be better prepared for Kindergarten. I hope to continue to learn about "Common Core" and be able to be a well educated parent.

I would love to hear your thoughts on how your children have been affected by this new movement and whether or not you are pleased with the changes.  I know it hasn't even been a full year, and it will probably take time to get all the kinks worked out but I would love to hear if anyone out there has had a positive experience with this. 

There are books in this series for each grade up to 6th grade. But you can download the Core Knowledge Sequence for up to grade 8 HERE .



HELLO WORLD! Yesterday was SUCH a beautiful day in the lovely Salt Lake City, Utah! The high (according to my phone) was 63 degrees! And yeah if you don't know the date, it was FEBRUARY 25! Not only was it 63 degrees, but it felt like it was in the 70's! (If you were standing in the beautiful sun, which wasn't hard with no clouds!)
This picture was taken by Kaylee!
Yesterday was also a day of firsts. Really only one first but it is so exciting to me that I am going to blog about it! If you couldn't guess by the title of my post, me, Ashley Christine Peterson, registered for her first EVER half marathon! That's right! Its the Salt Laky City Marathon, Half Marathon, Bike race and 5K. It is going to be awesome!

So lets talk about how this exciting event began. Once I had babies I gained a lot of weight… really most of it was put on in the pregnancy of my second baby, Alyvia. (A-Liv-E-UH) Anyways to get to the point, I just did NOT want to look like that for the rest of my life, so I began running. About 8 weeks after I'd given birth, with the okay from my doctor, I started to run. The first week was BY FAR the worst! I couldn't run 10 yards without feeling like my lungs were going to explode from my chest.

This is the only picture I have of myself right after I had her.
It was hard to continue running, when before I had children, I could go weeks without running and still be able to run at least 2 miles without having any problems. Thankfully with the help of my 2 friends, Heather and Brooke, who would wake up at 6am with me every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and run with me, I was able to keep going!

Heather and I did not purposefully wear the same shirt.
11 weeks after Alyvia was born, I ran my first 5K in about 34 minutes. (I know that's not the best time, but I didn't come in last place, so I was happy with myself!) Now 8 months and 3 days after that amazing day I registered for my first half marathon! And it feels SO good! Not only do I feel so proud of myself for actually running but my body feels great too! I love running! It gives me such a big self esteem boost! Not only have I realized that I can push myself to do hard things, but when your done you feel on top of the world! I can not wait until I run this half marathon! I can do it! And starting my official training on the most beautiful day in all of February in the history of time, was the greatest time to start!



Hello, and happy Monday! Did you all have a nice weekend? I hope so! Mine sure was nice. Mondays can be really dreadful sometimes. It's time to get back to the hustle and bustle of the work week, or school week, or less-time-with-daddy week or whatever else you do that makes you resent Mondays. Although I do not love Mondays, I am really happy about it today! Want to know why? Because I have a lot to look forward to this week!

Yes, I am a really big Bachelor fan. It's one of two shows I actually watch. Clark and I started watching it together our first year of marriage (I've been watching it off and on from the very first season!) and it's been a fun thing for us to watch together! We laugh, we I cry, we make fun... it's a good bonding experience for us haha.  This week there is an episode tonight and tomorrow night. I think the hometown dates are tonight and then they will be off to some tropical paradise tomorrow night. The preview makes it seem like there is going to be some serious drama. Oh don't we love it! Well I do and I am excited to see what's in store.

Once a month my office has a party where people bring treats and we are closed for a few hours in the morning. Our celebration this month is tomorrow and the theme is Red Foods {in conjunction with Valentine's Day, of course}. Free food really makes me so happy and is one of my biggest motivations to attend events so I could not be more thrilled about it! 

I have something that I am so eager for on Wednesday that I will probably blog about sometime in the future. That's all you're going to get out of me!

I am going to get a hair cut this week! I am in desperate need for some hair pampering time. As a lot of you probably know, I chopped my hair off in September. I love my short-do. It's been a really fresh change and I'm probably going to keep it short for a while but want to see what I'm bringing back?.... ba-ba-ba-ba- baaaaaangs!

!!!!DUB 16 REUNION!!!!
K this is the absolute best part of my whole upcoming week aww I could cry I am so so so so so so so excited! This Saturday -- March 1st 2014-- my sophomore year roommates and I will finally be reunited after 3 years! These girls made such an impact in my experience at BYU that I will forever cherish. We had so many crazy shenanigans from scouching, choreographed lip syncs, black light dance parties, matching sweat bands, work outs, a road trip to Magic Mountain, pranking people, nap times and so so much more -- I will seriously never forget how much living with these girls changed my life. I love them with all of my heart and am so glad we will all be able to be together again this weekend! They are some of the most amazing, loving and talented women I have ever known. 

Aren't they gorgeous? Awe I love them! These my girls, we have fun! 

What are you looking forward to this week?



HELLO! This week I have done so many things that are totally NOT what I usually do! I created things! (and not one of them was from pinterest!) 

The first thing I made, was inspired by Kaylee. She had been given some healthy recipes and healthy snacks, so when I went grocery shopping I had to buy some. (Because deep down, under my love for sugar, I really DO want to eat healthier!) So I bought this HUGE bag of Kale from Costco. Kale is incredibly good for you. Check it out HERE if you want to learn more about it. I initially bought it to put into my smoothies, but with such a huge bag I needed to find more things to do with it. I talked to one of my friends who suggested Kale chips. (Which honestly taste a lot better than they look or sound!)                                               
I sort of used a recipe found HERE. I say sort of used, because I did it a little differently. I didn't need to de-rib it, because that was already done, and to get the Olive oil more evenly placed, I would suggest tossing it all in a bag and shaking it up, then laying on to the cookie sheet. I also didn't turn them over half way into the cooking time as suggested, because I didn't think it would be necessary and mine turned out just fine!

Yesterday was my sister-in-laws birthday! She was coming over to our house so I did lots of birthday things for her! I decided to make cake pops, and yes REAL cake pops! Not the cake pops you put in the machine, which I guess are okay. Anyways the recipe I used was from my other sister-in-law. It was super fun to make these but I'm pretty sure I dirtied EVERY dish in my house!

This sign says Happy Birthday Aimee

I had to throw in a picture of these cute kids!

And last but definitely NOT least!, I love my little 2-year-old, but he doesn't always listen, and do the things I ask him to do. So I came up with a sticker chart! (I know I'm not the first one to do this, but I thought of it all on my own!) Anyways these are Chad's "chores"; just in case you can't read them they are: eat breakfast, eat lunch, eat dinner, (in order to get the sticker he CANNOT cry or scream and has to eat all his dinner), pee in potty, (which he is good at, but sometimes he doesn't want to stop playing if he is having so much fun), poop in the potty, (ever since he has started peeing standing up he REFUSES to sit down to poop, so thats awesome), NO hitting, spiting or pulling hair, and clean up toys and books.

After he does each of these things he gets a sticker! YAY! and honestly it has been going really really well! I also added sharing, it isn't on the list, but if he shares I put a sticker on his shirt! I was surprised at how much he started listening without whining and crying if I gave him a sticker for doing these things! I am very proud to admit that my life has gotten so much easier! I LOVE IT! Also, for a disclaimer; I REALLY wanted him to start pooping in the the potty so I let him pick out his own stickers specifically  for pooping on the potty, and if he wants one of those stickers he HAS to poop on the potty! It has seriously worked fabulous and I love it!!!

It really has been so fun making new things. I never get this creative, and I really don't make things like this often. I feel very accomplished and I like it!



I first heard this song on a commercial and it spoke to my soul. It's very catching and gets stuck in my head easily but it also brings back memories through my mind of when you go to places that you feel like you've been to before.

I know this may have another meaning and the music video might be a little creepy with the black eyes. But I love the beat. I love how music can take you throw so many emotions and can even help inspire you.

This song reminds me of every time I go back to Iowa and nothing has changed. It just feels like I never left. The only thing that has changed is the fact my family doesn't live in the house I grew up in or the town. But when I go back it feels like I never left.

It reminds me of my favorite place in the world. My cabin. The starry night skies you can see for miles that are not polluted by city lights. The smells of nature that creep into your nose when you breathe in all of the natural beauty.

It reminds me of when we go to Boise and the incredible feeling I get when I am with my husbands family and the love they have shown me.

This song makes me want to find new places. Explore the unknown. Find beauty in the undiscovered.

Please enjoy this song and close your eyes and see what it brings to you.



Hi you guys! So due to Valentine's Day and the long weekend {thank you Pres' Day!} I had the most fun weekend ever! Want to know what I did? Well we started Valentine's Day out with a yummy breakfast -- Yes I did get up really early to make a breakfast for Clark before he got up! I made heart shaped scones and chocolate covered strawberries. They weren't the prettiest by any means but they sure were super sweet! here are some pictures to help show you what all went down. 

Clark ate lunch with me like we always do but he greeted me with these beautiful flowers! He did real good, don't you think? I loved having the sweet smell of flowers on my desk all day. It just made the day so much happier! 
At my work we always have cute and fun things for holidays. Every Valentine's Day we have a v-day box competition. I made mine at 10 the night before and actually got 3rd place! Pretty proud of my cute little luv van. 
 Clark picked me up after work. We stopped home real quick and to my surprise there was a pretty turquoise necklace and a dress on the bed with a note saying "you can wear this tonight for dinner". Clark is such a sweetie! Then we went on our way to Cheesecake Factory. I love that place! So yummy and we had such a nice server!  
 After dinner we just went home, watched a movie and had a relaxing night. Saturday we made plans to go to a natural hot spring that fills an old crater in Midway, Utah. It was such a cool and fun activity! People were scuba diving below us while we were floating on the top of the water. The water was about 95 degrees. Such a relaxing activity. I already want to go back!
 Since we both had Monday off for President's Day we made a plan to do something really fun which to probably no surprise involved a hike. It was our first hike of 2014 and we had so much fun! We went up to Bell Canyon which was the second date Clark ever took me on when I was 17 years old! We had a lot of fun reminiscing about old times. We tried making it up to a waterfall at the top but unfortunately it was too icy for us to make it all the way up.
Hope you all had a great long weekend! Whether you've lived in Utah your whole life or are just visiting I would highly recommend visiting some of these places!

Cherry macaroons



So after living with a guy for a year, I feel like I have gained insight to what guys like. With Valentine's day right around the corner aka tomorrow, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a little list of some idea's to get your man this year with the help of my hubby.

1. A T-Shirt of their favorite sports team, even if they just recently lost the Super Bowl. Also, Star Wars shirts and memorabilia are always a hit with my guy.

2. A sweet key chain, like the Thor Hammer Key-Chain I found. (Found and purchased by Cam) Or anything involving super heroes works.
3. A Watch. If I know anything, you can judge a guy by the kind of watch he wears. (Or isn't wearing yet because you haven't bought it for him...)

4. A Wallet. Every man has one and probably needs a new one. 

5. Or what about a book? Make sure it has lots of pictures.
We hope this list helps you get your last minute gifts for your guy. 
With love, Lindsay and Cam 
*For good shopping choices, we go to Amazon, E-bay, or even Etsy.