Sunday, October 5, 2008

Life Lessons from Maisey

As most of you know I teach a class of children with disabilities. I have a class of 12 students this year and they share a total of 4 different classifications including learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, autism, and communication disorder. I have one little girl I'll call Maisey with down syndrome. This is my third year teaching Maisey and I have learned a lot from her. Lately she has been creating sentences from her spelling words. As I have read these I have found bits of wisdom and humor that I thought you might enjoy. I will pass on bits of Maisey's wisdom and good humor in my blogs as they come from her.
The first profound bit of wisdom came from a sentence in which she used the word "usually". She wrote "Usually I smell okay." I got a good chuckle out of this thought. I have never really pondered too much the way I smell. It's just one of those things that you try to take care of in the morning and then go on your way and never give it another thought. I realized that indeed Maisey did usually smell okay and that this brought her a great deal of comfort and pride. Good for you Maisey!
The second bit of wisdom that Maisey passed along came when she wrote a sentence using the word "playground". She wrote "I go to the mean Barbie playground." I realized that we all have spent some time on the mean Barbie playground throughout our lives. I have learned some of life's most valuable lessons while in the midst of some mean Barbies. I am glad to say that now, in my old age, I choose not to spend much if any time with the mean Barbies either in their playgroung or anywhere else for that matter.
I hope that you will enjoy the life lessons to be gained by and through Maisey!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day- The End of Summer

Labor Day is such a bitter-sweet day. While yes, it is a holiday and another three day weekend, it also represents to me as a teacher the end of my favorite time of year. I have just completed two and a half months of wonderful summer vacation. We didn't go on a trip or have any grand vacations but it was just so much fun. From watching grandchildren run through the sprinklers, to sleepovers, to swimming, to family get togethers, to spending time with the family, it was just a fun summer.
Now, with Labor Day here and marking the first of September, all that has changed. While the start of school holds its own excitement with the smell of new school supplies, kids in new clothes, and the faces of children ready to learn we all must face the fact the another summer is gone. With fall a reality sets in. It marks a passage of time. Routine and work take center stage. (Woah! I waxed poetic and it was quite a downer if I do say so myself!) Any who, have a great farewell to summer. Help it go out with a bang even with the threat of hurricanes and thunderstorms. Have a final lemonade or run through your shower in lew ot the sprinklers but take summer out with a bang!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Let's Relive a Little!

I just read Shannon's blog and thought that this would be fun. If you want to leave me a memory since with age I find that I've forgotten so much!
It was fun to see what others had posted on Shannon's blog so I wanted to join in.I got this from Shannon. I thought it would be interesting (or possibly embarrassing) what everyone comes up with. So let's rehash the past....1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Bucket List

A while ago I watched the movie "The Bucket List". While the reviews of the movie were not that great, I loved the movie. I am not a big fan of Jack Nicholson but I could even overlook that as I watched these two old men live out what would be there last time together. I loved the way all of the items on their bucket list were checked off one by one, at times in ways very unexpectedly. I realized that as I live my life I am living very much in the present which actually works well for me. I am happy, at peace, I feel much like Jen Woodard does in her blog (if you haven't read it I encourage you to do so). I don't look to the future too much because I find it very precarious at this time, and even a bit scarey. But after contemplating the concept of a bucket list I reckon that I should write down some of my life goals now while I still can and while I hopefully have time to fulfill some of them. So here goes, five of my items in my bucket list. If you read this I encourage you to do the same. If you do please let me know and I would love to see them. Mind you, these are in no particular order or priority.

1. Write something that is worth publishing. I love to put thoughts down and I have some notebooks with ideas in them. I would love to see if they could be put together in a form worth publishing.

2. Read and understand better all of the scriptures. I am ashamed to say that while I have read most of the Book of Mormon and most of the New Testament, I have never really studied them or ever even attempted the Old Testament. I want to know these and get to love them.

3. Travel to more places than I can name. The top three are Scandanavia, Austrailia, and Europe. I know that these make up more of the world than I have seen in my 53 years so I better get on my traveling shoes (and make some big bucks!).

4. I want to know that I have made a difference in my teaching. Sometimes teaching children with disabilities is so different than the rest of my peers teaching children in "regular" ed. They see leaps and bounds in the children they teach. I, most times, see incremental baby steps. When my students leave I don't hear about their accomplishments. I don't expect that. I just want to make a difference in the lives of the kids that I teach. I love teaching!

5. I want to know that what I have done as a wife and mother is enough. I realize that this wish can only be determined accomplished by me. It isn't something that will be measured by pages read or places visited but by a peace within me knowing that what I have done is enough. My husband gives of his love and gratitude constantly and generously. My children are rare. They continually amaze me at thier intellect, generous love, and wisdom. I learn so much from all of them and am in continuous awe of them.

Well there are five of my "bucket list" items. One day I hope to be sitting here telling all of you out in the vast void of technology of my adventures and accomplishments. In the meantime let me know about your dreams and wishes.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oh What a Summer!

It has been some time since I have blogged. Summer is so fun and so busy. Also, I keep forgetting how to upload the pictures that I want to use in my posts. Help Kirstie or Mandy! This summer has been great between the picnics, swimming, outings up at the canyon, etc. I LOVE SUMMER! I know that it is hot but I just keep thinking about the cold of winter and then I try not to complain. We have celebrated Frankie's third birthday, Syd's eight birthday and baptism, Jeff's thirty second birthday, the Coopers' new trailer, the fourth of July, the two Tims' birthdays, as well as more that I can't think of right now. I hope that all of you are enjoying the wonderfulness of summer.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Chilling with Calvin

Calvin and I spent some time together this week. One and a half year olds are so much fun. We sat outside and he just walked and walked, not far, just around the patio. It was great exploring. He picked up tiny rocks, leaves, twigs and brought them to me to join in his adventure hunting. Then he would toddle off to the swingset for a turn down the slide. Big doings for such a little man. I love the spring when life seems to slow down just a bit and a few afternoon hours can be spent just enjoying the little things.
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Dancing with Frankie

Last week I got to watch Frankie while the rest of the family was busy. We had a great time playing and eating treats. Then I put on some music and Frankie started shaking his little bottom and moving his feet and doing that great three year old dance. Well, he started laughing and if you know Frankie you know that he has one of the greatest laughs ever. Then I started dancing and laughing with him. There we were a three year old and his grandma just having the time of our lives. I am learning more and more that the essence of life is not the great big memories but the small everyday moments that bring joy. And after all, everything is better with a three year old.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Helping the Homeless

Some time ago I decided to put a garland up around our front door. It gave our entryway a touch of class and I knew that it would be fun to change it with the change of seasons. In the winter I put up some ivy and gold stars, in the spring I had cherry blossoms and greenery, summer time brought some beautiful hydrangeas, and then in the fall came the beautiful fall foliage with the fruit and berries. Well, my changing of the garland came to a halt one fall when a family of finches moved into our doorway. They made a nest by the light and moved in for the winter. Needless to say, I couldn't change the greenery and leave these little critters homeless so the fall garland stayed up all winter and well into the spring. When spring came we heard the little chirping of new babies and sure enough a new family was created. For years now the fall garland has stayed up year long. I promise that it is not due to laziness on my part but for being a sucker when it comes to the thought of leaving our finches without a home. I just can't bear the thought of them filling out forms, government workers coming out to see if they really qualify for low income housing, or thinking of the young ones living out of some spare branch somewhere with no permanent address. So when you come to our home you will see the fall garland around our door no matter the time of year. And if you are lucky enough you will hear the sounds of our new family residing just above our front door.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A tag from Shannon

How to play this game of tag. Post these rules on your blog. List 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 current obsessions/collections, 3 random surprising facts about yourself. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
First, my 3 joys (in no particular order). I am finding emense joy in this spring. I love warm weather and the beauy that spring brings. My next joy is my family. From my great husband to my kids to my grandkids to my mom, sibs, and so on, I love my family. Third, I find great joy in teaching children. Kids are so forgiving and they are a riot sometimes.
Now, my 3 fears. I'm afraid that this is the best that our country will be for a very long time. Next I'm afraid of that I'll die and then other people will find out how dirty my house is. Third, I'm afraid that I haven't made enough of my life (but that's a whole other blog).
Three of my goals as of right now are to exercise more, read the scriptures more, and show more gratitude to all those around me.
Three of my current obsessions are scrapbook supplies. I love getting new papers, stamps, stamp pads, and embellishments. I would also consider my being a fan of James Taylor an obsession. I can listen to his CDs over and over and never get tired of them. Another obsession/collection is children's books.
Now for my random facts. I am a counter. I count things all the time in my head. Things like the exits until I reach my destination, the # of steps to a place, or seconds on hold on the phone. I also like to window shop on line. I really never buy things on line, I just like looking. An finally, I memorize song liyrics a lot. I love to sing along to songs.
Now that I spilled my guts I tag Mandy, Kristy, Beth, Kari, and Jen.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Random Mother's Day Thoughts

It's the day before Mother's Day. This is my least favorite holiday of the year. It's the day when all of my guilt of bad mothering comes crashing down on me. All of the accolades that are given in church don't help either. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom. I have 4 wonderful children that I feel grew up in spite of me. If they really wanted to celebrate mother's day they would have free day at every spa, all of the calories would miraculously fall out of treats, and we would have an entire day of lounging around watching T.V., reading, and talking. Now that, my friend, is an ideal Mother's Day. I do want to say happy Mother's Day to my mom. She's amazing!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Book Tag

I just read Beth's blog and found her book tag. The closest book to me is The Magician's Nephew loaned to me by Henry Lovell. On page 123 the 5th sentence reads "Uncle Andrew's temper at last got the better of his fears."

Priesthood Session

I don't know how men feel about the Priesthood session of conference but I can tell you I am all for it. It is a wonderful time for the gal folk to get together and do just what they want to. I'm sure that men think that we sit share red punch and cookie recipes but that just isn't true. This spring my daughters and I got together and made cards and ordered Johnny Corinos to eat (the kids had p.b. & js). We had a great time sitting and talking, eating, and oh yes, creating. Yes, I think it's just fine not to hold the Priesthood as long as it lets me enjoy a night of gal fun!

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Guy

I am so blessed to be married to my best friend. Guy is the person, for better or for worse for him, that I turn to talk to in the best and worst of times. He is always ready to listen and when I need him to, offer sound advise. He is also the person that I have had some of the greatest times with. Guy can make a trip to Home Depot an adventure. The time spent together is always fun.
We have been lucky enough to go to some pretty remarkable places together. From Las Vegas to Hartford, Germany each of our trips have been SO incredible. Even when we are watching a DVD at home we have a wonderful time.
Guy is also the best grandpa. He loves each of his grandchildren and looks forward to spending time with them. He has taught them art lessons, made them dinners, watched the same movie countless times with them, and just talked to them. One of his favorite sounds is one of his grandchildren calling him Papa Guy.
Thank you, Guy for making each day a great and wonder full adventure!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sydni and Owen Sleep Over

Syd and Owen slept over on Friday night. I was just one of those spontaneous things. I love having the grand kids over. The evening and morning events went a little bit as follows (literary freedoms might have been taken by the writter). On Friday night we got home just in time for dinner. Did we just have a "dinner"? NO! Syd and I had to be the cafe cooks and serve pancakes to Grandpa and Owen. Sometimes I cooked and other times Syd cooked. Delicious pancakes! We then all went downstairs and watched Nanny McFee. Owen's burning question was "When will she get pretty?" On Saturday morning while I was getting ready for the day Owen decided that just putting a puzzle together wasn't enough of a challenge so he dumped every puzzle together and mixed up the pieces. Then we spent 30 to 40 minutes sorting the pieces. While Owen, Grandpa, and I were anxiously engaged in our sorting activity Syd had covered a glass jar with paper, decorated it with Easter stickers, punched holes in the top so that we could have a "tea" party. We all sat around the coffee table and had orange mango soda and marshmallows. These are the times that I'll remember. Of all the places I could be and of all the people I could be with, I'd chose to be in my home with the people I love. I LOVE MY FAMILY!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Guy's been tagged!

Here are the rules.#1 Link to the person that tagged you. Post the rules on your blog.#3 Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.#4 Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.# 5 Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

1. I seldom recall movie titles accurately so I'll make one up. The funny thing is Karen will know exactly what movie I'm talking about.
2. I wish I had the patience to write. I think there are good stories floating around in my head but I don't have the patience or discipline to let them out.
3. Tests tell me I use each half of my brain equally which means I'm too passionate to be a successful businessman and too analytical to be an artist. I may be mediocre... but, I am very well rounded.
4. If there was any money in it I'd like to be a voice-over actor.
5. One of my top two favorite things in the whole wide world is the sound of my wife's laughter.
6. I am shocked at how much you can love your grandkids. I am so grateful to be called "grandpa."
7. My name has been a curse for over 40 years now... but, people seldom forget it.

I've been tagged!

Here are the rules.#1 Link to the person that tagged you. Post the rules on your blog.#3 Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.#4 Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.# 5 Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.
I am tagging my husband Guy because I would love to learn 7 new things about him. Here are my seven facts:
1) I worked as a maid at Jackson Lake Lodge in college and only lasted one month. I HATED IT!
2) My sense of humor is so dry that sometimes I don't even get it.
3) I am an American Idon junkie. Guy and I are such nerds that we watch every episode. We even talk to Randy, Paula, and Simon and give them advice as to how to judge. Every season we say we won't get hooked but every season we do.
4) Things I've tried but I can't enjoy:
a. gardening, I find no satisfaction is digging in the earth, pulling weeds, or even planting
b. talk radio, if I want to listen to shouting and arguing I'll talk politics at a family dinner
c. hiking, too much work since you can buy a postcard of what you are going to see once you
get to where you are going
5) I truly think that my children and grand children are the brightest and most beautiful.
6) I have seen 5 of my 6 grand children born. Thanks to Kirstie, Mandy, and Mary for sharing the greatest miracles I'll ever see in my lifetime.
7) I love Peeps and Circus Peanuts. They are disgusting junk food, I know, but I love them.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Family Bragging

Aren't grand kids the best. For one thing they are always excited to see you, what a boost to the ego. Second, you get to joint the ranks of old people that always say and really mean, "My grand kids are the cutest and smartest kids in the world." Guy and I have been blessed with wonderful kids and grand kids. Luckily our kids are much smarter parents than we ever were. Henry just celebrated his 8th birthday and will be baptized this coming Saturday- we're proud of you. Syd will also turn 8 this year, she is doing well at school and is our family's social butterfly. Lucy is full of sunshine and is soooooo ready for kindergarten this year- I hope her teacher is ready for her. Owen is the strong silent type. He is a handsome five year old who enjoys puzzles, gameboy, and not being in the spotlight. Franklin is our resident sparkling two year old. He is very busy, funny, and in to everything. He is quick with a smile and a hug. Calvin is a beautiful one year old. I have never seen any kid who is prouder of everything that they do than Calvin is. We are truly blessed.

Can this winter BE any longer?

All right all ready, time for spring! By nature I am not a winter person. I hibernate. When the holidays are over I head into the cave and try not to emerge until the first real signs of spring, that usually means 65 degree weather. I go to work every day but by 5:00 I am in my home and usually in my p.j.s. Now that it is actually the end of February I actually have plans for coming out of my cave and returning to society. I apologize for the absence. Time for some fun!