Friday, February 28, 2014

Cussing in School

Actually, it was the same student both times!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sabbath Springs

Our weekend has been pretty chill. Layin' around...watchin' Olympics...laundry folding parties throughout the day...soup for lunch...chit-chat...perfect if you ask me.

We finally got ourselves out of the house to play The Grocery Store Game. Our score last night was $37.85. Life is good and we won't complain.

This morning I woke up and went to feed the ducks at the wetland area where we live (a ninety second walk from our front door). The only reason I thought of it was because we have some older bread (never did this happen?) we're not going to eat. Don't worry, I've already beat myself up over the fact that park rangers shouldn't feed bread (of all things!) to ducks. In fact, we should let the ducks forage for themselves in their natural ecosystem. The only other time I've fed these ducks was one December when I was talking to a neighbor one evening as we were leaving someone else's home to head to our own homes. It was pretty cold and I felt a tugging on my skirt. When I looked down, it was a duck who was saying, "Hey, Lady, can you spare a dime?" So I took pity on those creatures, walked home, grabbed perfectly fresh bread, and said when I returned, "Here are a few calories to help you make it through the night."

Well...obviously someone else has been feeding the ducks because when I showed up with my sack of bread at 6:40 a.m., they knew just what to do. So I ripped up a couple of slices and then pulled out my camera. A few more slices and THAT, my friends, was a total deal breaker. Those ducks headed for safety and no amount of bread tossing thereafter could lure them back. Message received--no photography allowed!

I then walked around the springs mindful to stay away from Duck Hideout. The mist from the springs, the ripples on the water, the gurgling sounds, the twenty-five degree temperature, and the sunrise all made for a peaceful haven. I love that Ms. Timpanogos was so well reflected in the pool. This morning reminded me of my early morning Yellowstone adventures and I can't wait to get back to do more exploring. It was a great beginning to the Sabbath.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Suz's Day

We were honored to be invited to Suzette's wedding and enjoyed every bit of it. She deserves all the happiness in the world! It was a rainy, misty morning in Idaho which I think made everything look all the more beautiful. Personally, I like the photos I was able to get of the Bride and Groom just as they were coming out of the temple. So much happiness! The luncheon was great and part of the entertainment included the nieces singing a song and dancing to it--they all adore their Aunt Suzette! The groom's son plays a mean ukulele and sang a song he wrote about his dad (something about punching a cow). Talented folks. What really blew me away was the tear-jerking song the groom's thirteen year old daughter wrote and sang with her dad at the piano. I only got a pic of the first part of the lyrics...will need to get the whole thing emailed to me soon.

The song goes on to ask, "Where do I fit in and how is this all going to work now?" So heartfelt from a child's perspective concerning the day her mother announced the divorce (loved the line about the beat up old couch...fitting). The song goes on to say that when Suzette showed up (Because She Came), everything got happy again and all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. She also sang about Suz's amazing family and her disbelief that they were now a part of her life. There's a line in there about how she knew now that her daddy would be okay. Somewhere in there is this cute question, "Suzette Gee, will you marry me?" Yeah, we were all crying. I was impressed, reduced to tears, and like I said, blown away.

We are so humbled and grateful that we got to share in their special day. Love them!

Half a Year!

Half a year is twenty-six weeks. And for half a year, I have been exercising consistently. I have never been more consistent in my entire life. I never exercise on Sundays, but sometimes I exercise twice in one day. I began 19 August 2013 and through yesterday which was 15 February 2014, I have exercised 163 times over the course of 180 days or 26 weeks. K asked about the percentage and it came out to 91%. I can't believe it myself!

Each workout is a minimum of 35 minutes. Everyone says you should exercise for 30 minutes a day, so just to be sure, I decided to go with 35. Also, I have exercised a minimum of 6 days each week which means...every day except Sunday. Just to clarify, this means that I never exercised twice one day in order to make up for a skipped day. No, if I exercised twice in one day, the second time was just a bonus.

The miracle of all of this is that I've been able to make it a priority no matter what. I got through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, K's Birthday, and Valentine's without throwing in the towel! Total miracle. I got through all the traveling we do (I've exercised in SO many states in SO many hotel fitness centers). I've also been able to make it through a couple of nasty colds and another more serious medical issue which involved lots of doctor visits, hospital tests, scary words, and earnest prayer. All of those things have now been resolved. I kept thinking, "If I can keep exercising through all of THIS...then I can keep exercising forever!" Well, you know, someday I WILL stop exercising...but let's not think about that now.

One of the most frightening things about proclaiming all of this to the general public is opening myself up to unwanted comments and judgments. No, the weight is NOT dropping off. It never has. It never will quickly, magically drop off. However, there is a lot of peace involved with knowing that I am giving my best for myself in this department. Also, I can't even begin to enumerate the multiplicity of other benefits that come with regular exercise.

I really don't have too many bragging rights, but following are a few fun things that I can say that not everyone can say. I've never had high blood pressure, but at my last doctor visit it was 114/59. The nurse said, "Woo hoo! That's some GREAT blood pressure you've got there!" I'm not proud of what I weighed on my wedding day, but I can say that I weigh LESS than what I weighed on the day I married. Can YOU say that? Even my sweetie can't say that. Also, I weigh less than what it says on my driver's license. Not everyone can say that either...

The other frightening thing about reporting to you all is that I don't want to jinx myself. They say you should make yourself accountable to someone so you'll be inspired to progress, etc. I don't know...I've been doing great by staying pretty quiet about my daily triumphs. I just thought HALF A YEAR deserved some sort of milestone celebration. I'll go back to being quiet about it now.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The "VALUE" of People

Happy Valentine's Day! Whether your heart feels gray or pink today, I send my best wishes to you.

I taught my students the art concept of "value." They really enjoyed making nine hearts each and then deciding which to display and which to give. They enjoyed mixing three out of four colors and playing around with the tone/shades/value. I've been thinking all week about the importance of being positive, finding the value in people no matter their personality, and building up unity in the "herd."

I say "herd" because I showed a video clip from Yellowstone to teach a Bully-Blocker lesson this week. Mr. Grizzly approached a bison herd and at first they just ignored him. Then they moved a little ways away. And then when push came to shove, all the bulls lined up like soldiers with the cows and calves in the back. One of them must have yelled "charge" because they simultaneously went after Mr. which time HE thought to himself, "Oh, crap! I'd better leave!" I explained to my students that in real life, the bear is NOT a bully and that everybody's gotta eat, but the clip did tie in nicely with anti-bullying tactics.

And with no transition, let me just say...sigh...I love my husband with all of my heart! I'm really looking forward to spending the evening with him! It's been Valentine's Day all week! Well, actually, for over nine years now. Blessed!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thank You for All These Words

Parent teacher conferences were held this evening and last. I must say that it brings a lot of joy to visit with parents about the progress of their children. I share my findings and great conversations ensue.

My first conference began with a mother sobbing, unable to speak. We reached for the tissues and I waited patiently for her to gain some composure. When she felt like she could form words, she thanked me. And then I began to cry. She thanked me for helping her child blossom and discover his potential. This may or may not be true, but I was humbled.

The last conference was with a father and his son. I let him know that he is raising a wonderful boy. Dad works hard and Mom isn't feeling well. He's taking her to the doctor tomorrow. Dad was so happy to see the good grades on his son's progress report. Happier still to hear about respectful behavior and a strong work ethic. Dad said, "I only made it to high school. I hope he can go to college." I agreed, "Yes, he is headed to college!" The man's eyes began to water. He shook my hand and said, "Thank you for all these words."

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Emily and I went snowshoeing again after school yesterday and the Pine Hollow Trail did not disappoint. There was new snow and all the trees were flocked! It was sunny and glorious while we walked in a winter wonderland. We are both participating in the pedometer challenge at school so we were able to add to the team points in a most beautiful setting. The conversation was great too!

The Mister and I had briefly discussed our dinner options the evening prior. However, when I returned home, there was nothing thawed from the freezer. I had forty-five minutes until his arrival. After a short search, I had a plan! But first, a shower.

There have been some late nights at school this week (I presented at our school's Parent Night about reading comprehension) and I'm sure my husband didn't expect one thing. Boy was he surprised when he walked in to find angel hair pasta with meatballs and marinara complete with grated cheese and a side of...broccoli (something green at least!) Fortunately we had enough things on hand that I was able to whip up a hot meal. He would not have minded if I hadn't prepared anything, but my cooking was better than a frozen meal.

Today was a school day for our team. We chose to be at school from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. to collaborate and plan. One of my teammates brought her cocomotion machine and it was just the thing for the chilly school on the weekend. Another brought chips and salsa. Such thoughtfulness! We accomplished some important work and had some great discussions.

Today is also the anniversary of our first date back in 2003. We went to the Cracker Barrel for lunch back then. Today, K chose Golden Corral. We shopped afterward and he purchased new ski socks. I purchased new athletic socks. We stopped at the library for a quick checkout and then hit the grocery store. Still dating after all these years! :)

I love him with all my heart.