Monday, September 27, 2010


No, not my students. It's me. I've been posting bits of student writing on Facebook without giving anyone credit, really. I'm about to post more student writing here. Now. Can I be prosecuted for this? My doctor always asks for the latest funny school stories and encourages me to "write that book." But how do you write a book using the original words of minors and then call yourself the author? Someone let me know if I'm about to be sued! I'll stop. Promise.

Until then, these are the responses of fifth graders in answer to the following prompt: What is the best thing about being a parent?

M.--"I think it's not being grounded. They can go places they want and go on the computer or xbox when ever they want. And eat things that they want to eat."

S.--"My mom won't tell so I cannot do this assignment."

A.--"They get to stay up late every single night and hang out and watch movies."

B.--"You get really cool phones."

T.--"I think having kids is fun because you get to have them do work around the house. So if there is a big mess, the kids can clean it up."


S.--"Well, I think the best thing about being a parent is staying up late playing video games. And at midnight you have to ask a question about the game, so you ask your spouse to wake up the oldest to come down and you ask the question and the kid gets mad at you for a week. I had this experience before. On the night of my brother's birthday, my dad stayed up until midnight playing Lego Star Wars and then my mom had to wake me up because my dad had to ask a question and here was the question: How do you save the game? It was not pretty!"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kindness and Throwing Up

There will be no pictures with this post! And though the title doesn't sound all that pleasant, don't worry, the details won't be as awful as you may be imagining.

I got sick yesterday. I never get that kind of sick. At the most, I only get that kind of sick perhaps once a decade, if that. But it happened. Yesterday. We're guessing it was food poisoning, but the cause doesn't matter much. I'm just thankful that it happened over the weekend because I wouldn't have been able to function in the classroom had it happened during school hours.

I felt really tired, so I told K I was going to take a nap. This is a crying shame on a Saturday because it is our only day off together and we try not to waste those precious minutes on stuff that we could do while apart. I hated to lie down and miss my Special K time, but I had to. I didn't feel well. He tucked me in and shut the door. He woke me up at our agreed time a couple of hours later so that I could get ready for the Relief Society General Broadcast. Well, I never made it to that.

I went to the bathroom and cradled the garbage can in my arms. I counted my blessings while waiting for that special relief to occur. I noted that we had a trash liner in the garbage can with an additional plastic bag from Target inside of that. Perfect. And who placed that new, empty Target bag there earlier in the day? Yes, my K did that. Because when he's home, he's always looking for things to do to make my life easier and I have never, I repeat, NEVER, had to ask him to take the garbage out.

The grand moment finally arrived and K could hear the proceedings from the other room. After an appropriate amount of time, this man who really can't stand illness, medical situations, or anything of the sort, bravely called out to me, "Do you need me to do anything?" So sweet. I tied up the bags, brushed my teeth, drank water, chewed gum, and went back to bed. K laid next to me, stroking my hair and cooing, "Poor thing."

What did he do while I was sleeping earlier? He went to the store and got the things on my list. He ripped out the tomato plant which had seen it's glory days. He swept the porch afterward. He emptied the recycling. He put the clothes in the dryer. He did the dishes. He took care of the finances. He prayed with me, beside me, and for me before he took off for work. I woke up in time to drag myself to the couch in order to watch the re-broadcast on television. I had to smile when I turned the t.v. on. K had already clicked the remote to channel 11, a channel we rarely use, so that I wouldn't have to bother clicking around to find my show. Such a small thing. Such a great thing. Such a great man, doing his best to comfort me. Oh, how I love him.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Autumn Gifts

On Friday, K and I camped at Granite Flat Campground in American Fork Canyon. It was perfect. The weather was warm and clear. Everything was peaceful. We ate and talked and kissed at our picnic table. The next day we hiked. We returned to the place we got engaged. We get back there at least once a year, sometimes more. The fall colors were amazing! We couldn't have asked for a better scene. And so, these are the gifts! It is a gift to have eyes to see the beauty of the Earth. It is a gift to tread upon the rocks and soil. It is a gift to be with each other, eternal companions. Everything is a gift and I hope we're counting our blessings frequently enough. I hope the pictures illustrate some of what I am unable to write.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Catching Up

What would a blog post of mine be without a picture of nature? This Stellar's Jay wouldn't sit still for a portrait, so I have three poor shots. Also, HAVE to include proof that we grew tomatoes this year!

Railroaders Festival at Golden Spike was another big hit this year. I love to watch K in action while on duty. He is a GREAT park ranger! The little girl is the daughter of another ranger. Love her face. Doesn't hurt that she told K, "Your wife makes the BEST cookies!"

Just wanted to throw in some proof that I always start out being very organized. Oh, I have plans, indeed! This is how my classroom looked before the children arrived. It does not look this way now. In education these days, it's all about the statistics. Numbers. No Child Left Behind. Merit Pay. Test Scores. So, if we're just looking at the numbers, my class this year starts out with a one, two, three, four, five-five. One hearing impaired child, two who go to speech therapy, three with ADHD, four who attend a resource class in special education, and fifty-five percent of my class is reading BELOW grade level. You were wondering about the meltdowns? Yeah, I take my responsibilities seriously. Other teachers beam with happy test scores. How am I supposed to get happy test scores? It is a truly daunting task to teach these children. Fortunately, they are not numbers to me. They are kids that throw their arms around my belly with a genuine hug as I emerge from the cave. They are kids that leave shy little drawings and love notes on my desk when I'm not looking. They are kids who say, "YAY!" when I tell them we're going to the library and p.e. They are wonderful children and I pledge to do my best.

Mmmm hmmmm. When school starts, everything else goes by the wayside. K has been helping me at school a lot. So sweet. He doesn't like the meltdowns either.