Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve...2010

Another year is coming to a close... and what a year it has been! It's had the good, the bad, and the ugly... and everything in between. Here's hoping that the new year is a blessed one.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

... And out the other side....

I had my MRI today... I can totally understand how someone with claustrophobia would have a hard time! I was okay, it didn't bother me all that much, but I do recommend closing your eyes... it doesn't seem to be as enclosed that way. And thank heavens for earplugs... noisy machine! (LOL).
When I registered, I asked approximately what the price would be - wanna take a wild guess???
The lady who was registering me told me that it would be about $2,300! (Give or take a few (hundred) dollars) Yes, you read it right - $2,300. Thank goodness for insurance - but even that won't cover everything. Still, I know people without insurance, so I feel blessed.
Because of the holiday weekend, I won't hear from the doctor's office until at least Monday... hopefully, they won't find anything too drastic... still, I hope they can figure out what is going on... otherwise it was just a very expensive photo shoot... and I didn't get to keep the proofs... :-)
Until next time....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Through the donut hole....

I get to have an MRI on Thursday ... fun...fun... NOT!


Comforting questions they ask you -
 1) Are you claustrophobic? ( umm...haven't been before- should I start now??? LOL) 
 2) Do you have any metal in your body?( You mean besides the plate in my head and my titanium will???   LOL)


I've been having issues with my back and leg for a while now.... figured I should get it looked at. They tried a few things, but they haven't worked completely, so now they want to scan it... seems to me that should have been one of the first things, but, hey... I understand they have to work around insurance procedures and all that...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It has been a great holiday break so far. Last night my parents and I went to visit with my sister and her family to wish her husband a Happy Birthday - since he has the fortune (or misfortune) of being born on December 24th. We watched part of a Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert with them and had pie and ice cream for dessert. After we left my sister's house, we went up to watch one of my brothers' family do the nativity story. It was quite cute - from an eager angel, to a frowning Herod, to a toddler Jesus, not to mention shepherds and wise guys - I mean wise men... along with a couple of Christmas carols accompanied by by nephews on the piano. I am glad that my siblings are teaching their children the true meaning of Christmas, along with all of the modern seasonal trappings.

Today was a wonderful day with my family. First, after sleeping in just a little, my parents and I exchanged gifts this morning. (Thanks Dad and Mom for all you do.) We then went to visit several of my siblings and their families to see what the jolly man in red had left for them. I'd have to say that the man from the North Pole was very generous to all of us. This afternoon we got together to enjoy a wonderful dinner and good company. It is a blessing to have so many member of my family so close by. We also got to talk to family members that are not here at this time. All in all a lovely Christmas day. May your holiday season be filled with family, friends, love, and laughter.



Friday, December 24, 2010

Real Meaning of Christmas



My sister-in-law found this and shared it. I thought it was a great reminder of what the season is about. (Thanks, Megan!)
May we all remember the real reason for the season.
Merry "Christ"-mas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And so it goes...

Today signaled the end of an era in my life... sounds ominous, right? Not really, but it is momentous for me. I can honestly say that I never thought I would be a principal in any stretch of my imagination. And yet today was my final day as simply a teacher. When I return to school in January I will be a principal. Fortunately, I will still be able to be in the classroom, so it won't be a complete change of scene. Today I found out who my "team" teacher will be  - which is a relief. At least now I know that I will be able to start the new year without having to be a full-time teacher as well as a part-time principal.
Today, we also said a big thank you to the current principal who will now be full-time at the high school. I think that he was touched by the thank you that the students created for him. I hope that he knows he will be missed at the elementary school, not only by the students, but the faculty and staff as well. It hasn't been easy for him to try and be the principal of two schools, especially in the current educational climate. I admire him for even trying. Reality is setting in. I only hope that I can do justice to the job and all those who are counting on me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The only thing constant is change....

      I've heard that quote over the years and have found that it is so very true. Fast or slow, expected or unforeseen - change is always happening. The last couple of weeks have been filled with changes - positive, yet frightening, and a tad bittersweet.
      A week ago on Thursday (Dec. 9) the superintendent and elementary and secondary supervisors came to visit our school. They had decided, with approval from the school board, to create a half-day principal position at our school, thereby allowing the current principal - who has been splitting his time between the elementary and high school - to be a full-time principal at the high school. This is a change that has been needed for many years, but the timing of it came as a bit of a shock. In separate meetings, they asked to speak with the sixth grade teacher and me because we are in the administrative program. They asked if we would be interested in the position. If we both said yes, then they would set up interviews for the next week. We both expressed interest and the interviews were set up for this past Thursday (Dec. 16). It was a bit of a nerve-wracking day, to say the least. My interview began at about 10:30 a.m. and finished about 45 minutes later. It was a bit intimidating sitting across from a good portion of the district office, plus our local school board member. (Okay, there were only 5 of them, but it was still as intimidating as if there had been twice that number.)
       I felt that I was as prepared as I could be and had prayed for the ability to express my self in an understandable and logical way. When the interview was finished, I felt that I had done pretty well, but I really did not think that I would receive the job. I was simply grateful to have made it through the interview without making any glaring mistakes.
       I knew that the sixth grade teacher is highly qualified, as well, and I knew he would do a good job as a principal. He had several good ideas that he had described during our year and a half in the educational leadership program together and I knew he would present himself well in the interview. When I left the interview, the committee said that they figured they would have the decision with 30 minutes. Nearly 2 1/2 hours later, the elementary supervisor came and escorted me down the the principal's office. (Yes, it did feel as if I was going to the office as a child - my nerves were on edge.) After I was seated in the office, they closed the door and proceeded to offer me the job. To say that I was dumbfounded is the understatement of the year! They told me that it had been a very difficult decision to which I responded that I had not envied them the task. We were both very qualified applicants who brought a variety of strengths to the table.
   As they started to describe what would happen, and the timing of when I would start, it started to sink in that I am sailing into uncharted waters. Instead of having months or even several weeks to prepare, my duties begin on January 3, 2011 - less than three weeks away. I am excited, in that this will be a good change for our school, to have a principal on the grounds. Yet, I am nervous as well, because I want to do a good job and I don't want to disappoint anyone. Additionally, a very qualified person, and a good friend and his family were hurt by the decision,  and that made the moment even more bittersweet because that was the last thing I wanted to happen. My feelings have been on a roller-coaster, feeling torn between feeling grateful for this new experience and not wanting to cause any hurt. And yet, the very person who could be the most upset at this decision, has been very gracious and kind. I spent the day, yesterday, with his family, as we studied for the Praxis test that we have to take in January as part of our Master's program. It was a good day and I enjoyed the visit with him and his wife and children. They truly have become very close friends, and I hope that never changes.
       This experience is bound to be a growing one for me. I have no illusions going in that it will be an easy job. I know there are times when I will feel isolated and alone and my comfort will be in knowing that I am never alone, that my Savior will always be there to offer comfort and guidance. I also know that I will have the support of a loving family, wonderful friends, and a great faculty and staff as I begin this new adventure.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Morning Session- General Conference - October 2, 2010

The morning session did not disappoint in delivering wonderful counsel. Here are a few of the highlights of the morning session.
President Thomas S. Monson announced five new temples: Lisbon, Portugal; Indianapolis, Indiana; Urdaneta, Philippines; Hartford, Connecticut; and Tijuana, Mexico.  He also spoke of missionary work as a duty for young Priesthood holders. He encouraged young women and older couples to prepare for missions,  as well.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke of the love that the leaders of the church have for us, and ultimately the love that our Heavenly Father has for us. He spoke of gratitude for the service and sacrifice of members of the church.
Sister Rosemary Wixom spoke of teaching children about the Plan of Salvation and helping them stay on the straight and narrow path by our examples and lives. "We need not be perfect. We only need to be honest and sincere."
Elder Claudio R. M. Costa bore testimony of the prophetic call of Joseph Smith and subsequent prophets. He then spoke of the importance of having living prophets on the earth. He reminded us that the Lord will reveal His will and instructions for us through the prophet. He also made reference to a talk that President Benson gave at a BYU devotional on fourteen fundamentals for following the prophet.
Brother David M. McConkie of the General Sunday School presidency spoke of the most important thing in Gospel teaching being the attitude of the teacher not his/her education or training. He gave four principles for successful gospel teaching: 1) Immerse yourself in the scriptures. 2) Apply what you learn from studying in your life. 3) Seek Heaven's help. 4) Exercise agency and act in accordance to the promptings you receive from the Holy Ghost.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson implored us to consecrate our lives, time, and choices to God's purposes. He spoke of five elements of living a consecrated life: 1) Purity, 2) Work, 3) Respect for our physical bodies, 4) Service, 5)Integrity. By incorporating each of the elements into our lives we can become closer to our Heavenly Father and become examples of His love here on earth.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf urged us to slow down and focus on the essentials of the Gospel. He said that we need to focus on what matters most and to place our attention on the basics of the restored gospel. He cautioned against becoming so "busy" with things, many of which may be "good" in our lives that we miss out on things that are "great" and "essential" to our lives and eternal salvation. He stated that, "Any virtue when taken to extreme can become a vice" and that "milestones can become millstones" and "ambition can become an albatross." He concluded by admonishing us to take care of four key relationships in our lives. Those relationships are with: God, family, fellowmen, and ourselves.

Powerful stuff! I can't wait to hear more this afternoon.

General Conference - October 2010

What a wonderful time of spiritual renewal. I can't wait to hear from our beloved Prophet and other Church leaders giving us counsel and courage for living in these troubled times.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Crystal Geyser... finally!

I probably should be ashamed to say this - and I am - but, I am starting on my 14th year of living in Green River and I had never been to Crystal Geyser - until today. Thanks to a dear friend who wanted to go for a Sunday drive, and knew I had never been to the geyser, I got to go today.  (I never wanted to go on my own for my first time, because I wasn't sure how to get there and I was worried I'd get lost... ) Now that I know where to go I'll probably try it on my own.... maybe... :-) I just wish the road was better - or that I had a truck... LOL! Unfortunately, it didn't go off while we were there - although we did get a little gurgle...
Anyway... here are a few pictures of my first visit... 14 years late...






Saturday, July 24, 2010

Poems-n-such...

I just created a new blog with some of my poems on it. As I get time I'll add to it - so don't expect them all at once. :-) We'll see if this works, and if it doesn't.... I guess I'll try something else... :-)

Pioneers...



What more can I say? Thanks to pioneers past, present, and future...


Happy Pioneer Day!



Friday, July 23, 2010

Pride... Prejudice... Invasion of the podcasters... and an anniversary of sorts...

Pride... and...  Prejudice... *sigh*
Last week a good friend and I were able to drive down together to Cedar City to attend the Rural Schools conference that is held every summer on the campus of SUU. We also had the opportunity to go to a play that was put on as part of the Shakespearean Festival that takes place at the same time as the conference. We saw "Pride and Prejudice." I've loved the story since I read the book in high school and love to see all the different renditions that are made. This play was a wonderful adaption of the story and did not disappoint. It was well-written and wonderfully cast. Elizabeth and Darcy were suitably prideful and prejudiced to begin with, and just as equally in love in the end.
All I can say is.... *sigh*... Mr. Darcy... *sigh*...  :-)
(You know the character of Mr. Darcy really was the first 'McDreamy'..lol)
Invasion of the podcasters...
Over the last year I have been able to be involved in a grant for teachers  to create educational podcasts for Math concepts related to the Utah CORE curriculum for 4th grade. As part of the grant participating teachers are required to create and complete a series of professional grade video podcasts over a period of two years. When finished, reviewed, revised, and approved these podcasts will be uploaded to iTunesU for use by all Utah 4th grade teachers, and basically anyone else who cares to watch them. 
We were each assigned to do a sort of "practice" podcast on math vocabulary to "get our feet wet" so to speak with all of the new technologies we would be using. Once we finished with that we were given our first of three "official" podcast assignments. I'm glad to say the podcast I submitted was approved for inclusion in the first round of uploads. Yea! I still have two more podcasts to create and submit before May of next year, but I've decided I'm giving myself a couple of days off after a summer full of master's classes, summer school, and teacher conferences. 

An anniversary of sorts...
Thirteen years ago today a couple of important things happened in my life. First, my lovely niece Lacey was born. Second, I interviewed for a teaching job in Green River.
I remember well many things about that day. Early in the morning we received a call from the hospital saying that my niece had been born. My dad - who had offered to ride over to Green River with me since he knew the area a little (having worked several years for the county in addition to teaching) - and I - stopped by the hospital on the way over to see the new family addition and then continued on to Green River for the interview. After the interview I had my first meal in town at the Chow Hound and then went for a drive and learned why Long Street got its name! I was able to visit with Iva, a former teacher of mine, that day as well. Who knew we'd end up teaching together?! My dad and I stopped at the hospital on the way back home then continued back to my parent's home in Huntington. When we got there, my mom told me that Mr. Rowley had called and requested I call him back as soon as possible, which I did - and was offered the job. I tell my niece she was my good luck charm. She just smiles whenever I say that. (I think she probably shakes her head to herself and thinks her poor old auntie is slightly loco... :-) )
(As a side note - 10 years ago today, my nephew Allen was born as well - so it's a day pretty full of memories... )

And so it goes...
Well.... I guess I have rambled enough for this post, my post overfloweth... lol .... my apologies to your poor eyes.... I'll give them a break.... for now.... 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Finally.....

*Singing*
(To the tune of When the Saints Go Marching In)

Oh yes its in, oh yes its in, oh yes my final paper's in (for the semester)... Oh how I'm glad to be done with it - Oh yes, my final paper is in.......

(Thank ya, thank ya very much)

I'll catch up more later - just had to share my joy at being done (at least for a week or two).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day - July 4th!


     I sit here listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The Star Spangled Banner" and watching fireworks on this, our nation's 234th birthday. This day commemorates  what was essentially a grand experiment that, at the time, had little chance of succeeding. How could a country that had no standing army or navy beat what at the time was one of the most powerful countries in the world? How did a rag tag band of farmers and merchants overcome a highly trained professional army? It was a struggle every step of the way. There were times when its very existence was far from secure.

      The 56 men who signed their names to the document knew that by doing so they were in essence signing their own death warrant if the war did not succeed.  Yet still they wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It was no idle promise when in the Declaration of Independence they said, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

A few short years later many of these same men came together to save the fledgling country they had create from falling apart. To have these men living at this time was nothing short of the "divine providence" that so many of them spoke of. At the time, Benjamin Franklin said, "I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them: For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others...I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does... I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best."

     I love this country that I was blessed to be born in. I understand that there are millions of others who do not have the same rights and privileges as I do. I also know that with these great blessings come great responsibilities. I must do my part to help this country fulfill its divine destiny. I must take the opportunity to voice my opinions, to vote, and to honor those who defend this country.

Happy Birthday - America! I hope that we can keep you a land that truly is "blessed above all others."

     On a lighter note, yesterday evening my good friends took pity on me (j/k) and invited me to be part of their 4th of July celebration. :-) First, they had a "parade" of their kids on decorated bikes in the backyard.  Then came the delicious BBQ and my contribution for dessert. Afterwards we went out to the gun range to watch the fireworks. (Usually I just stand in my backyard and watch from a distance. I must say, it was better to be closer up. :-) ) By the time the fireworks ended everyone was just about ready to drop from the days festivities. It was a lot of fun. It's good to have such wonderful friends around. Thank you - you know who you are!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cartwheels in my mind.... not to be confused with windmills of my mind...

These pictures are what I would be doing, if I could do a cartwheel! LOL! You're wondering why, aren't you?

After 45 hours (or more) of work over the last several weeks - including 2 marathon days together -  I, and four other colleagues finished and submitted our final paper and presentation for one of the classes I am taking this semester on organizational change. (After the 2 days as a whole team, another teacher and I spent another 20 or more hours collaborating on both portions, while communicating via phone and email with the other members of our team.) We did a presentation of our project last night in class and received an A+ on it. (I didn't even know there was such a thing in college, especially at the graduate level! :-) ) The professor even asked if she could use it the next time she teaches the class! YEA, US!!!!!!!!!!!!

The project consisted of creating a plan for changing a school's organization to better meet the needs of students and faculties. Even though we were writing it on a case study, it felt as though we were doing the real thing for a school that we might lead one day. It certainly was intense enough. We had to do our presentation as if we were in front of a school board outlining our change for them. (It was a teeny tiny bit intimidating.) We received some pretty positive feedback and were glad when it was over!
This semester's classes are finished next Wednesday, with one more paper in my other class due on July 19.
Hallelujah, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Next week I will attend CORE academy, a 3 day science and math workshop put on annually by the USOE. The week after that I will be attending Rural Schools Conference, another 3 day conference for teachers. After that, I will continue working in the summer school program that another teacher and I created and are over. That will end during the last week of July. Then maybe I can take a breather for a day or two before school begins on August 24. (Wow! I can't believe that summer is going by so quickly!)

Well - back to the old grindstone! :-) I still have a few papers to finish for class.... BLAH!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And so it goes...

      It's been awhile since I last checked in, so I thought I'd take a few minutes and "muse" a little. It's been a busy few weeks since school got out. I've had teacher workshops and master's classes and in between the little summer experiment that Mr. H., the sixth grade teacher, and I put together. We've had a pretty good turn out so far. I'm glad that the students haven't gotten tired of us yet.
      I had a drop in visit from one of my brothers today, and it was good to visit with him for a little while. I talked with one of my sisters on the phone a little while after that - exchanging recipes, and news of the 'western front'. It's good to keep in contact with family and I am so grateful that despite differences in personalities and misunderstandings every once in a while we are still as close as we are. Some families are not so blessed. I understand that fact and it makes me treasure my family relationships even more.

                                                                        Family ties...









      I was thinking back the other day and I realized that I have now been in Green River nearly as long as lived in Huntington before going to college. Wow - how time flies! My first class of kindergartners graduated high school this year, as well. (I know - there are those who will say - "Wait until you TEACH with the students you taught!" True, enough - and it may get to that point in the future - but still, this was enough to make me feel just a little older than I'd like to...) I am glad to have been able to spend time with some great teachers, administrators, and support staff in my years here in Green River - not to mention ward and community members. I can honestly say that, for the most part, I have felt accepted as a member of this community almost from the start. I had people who took me under their wings and helped me establish myself, offering places to stay, moral support, and shoulders to lean on. I truly have made lifelong friends that I will always cherish.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day - May 31, 2010

 I've always been a sucker for anything patriotic, and Memorial Day is no exception. I tear up when I hear the "Star Spangled Banner" or see a flag in a parade surrounded by veterans who so honorably carry her. My heart hurts when I hear of the death of a soldier or hear the report of an injury. And I wonder -would I be able to do what they are doing if put in the same situation? I'd like to think so, but I am not sure. It takes a lot of courage to be away from loved ones for an extended length of time and it is even harder when you are heading in to harms way with no guarantee of return. When I think of all of the negative things that are said about our country and the men and women who protect her I sometimes want to say, "Fine then, you don't appreciate our help, let's bring our troops home from wherever they are around the world. Next time you ask for our help, we'll say... no thanks, not this time, we don't go where we are not welcome or appreciated." But, then America would not be what it is if not for the help that we give to others and so we say instead, "We're sorry that you don't like or appreciate us, but that won't keep us from helping and protecting you, because that's what we do. That's who we are." So, thank you to all those serving now and in the past. Thank you to all who have given the last, great measure of devotion. I honor you. Thank you to veterans young and old, and to the families of those who have and continue to serve. It is your sacrifice as well as your loved one's. Thank you for giving up time with those you love so that all of us, wherever we may be can be free. While we are not now perfect, nor have we ever been perfect as a country, we have a collective heart for peace, goodwill, and honor. May we all live up to the potential we have so that we can be that "shining city on a hill." May God continue to bless this land of freedom and opportunity. And may we be worthy and help it to remain so.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

This is the.... Field Trip...













     Our field trip this year was to This Is The Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City. It had been years since I had been to the park myself, but it was supposed to have activities that would cover parts of both the third and fourth grade core curriculum. We haven't gone there before as a school and were wondering how it would turn out. In addition, the weather was a bit iffy, rainy and windy as we left lovely Rio Verde and snowy over the summit.
    We were pleasantly surprised when the storm clouds lifted as we neared SLC even though the wind remained. The park has changed a great deal from the last time I was there. It seemed as though the kids had some fun pulling handcarts, identifying animal skins, grinding corn, and learning in a pioneer school. They also got to ride on the "Jupiter" train. (Well, a replica anyway.)
      It would have been nice to have had a little more time to do some more activities, but I think it was a success. (Thanks to the moms who helped out and provided these great photos.) Enjoy your quick trip to This Is The Place.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Seasons...

     This past week was one of loss to a few of the people around me. Three of my co-workers and friends lost family members within 2 days of each other - a brother-in-law, a sister-in-law, and a mother. It brought to memory those I have lost in my own life. I felt for each of them, and hope I was able to offer comfort in some small way.

     Each of the losses was a blow to those involved in different way. In many ways each was in a different season of their life.  One was a young father in the summer of his life who left behind a wife and children. Losses such as this one can be especially hard because of the life that was yet to be lived and those left behind who are so young. Another was a little older, in the autumn of life, but, like fall there is still so much time and life left. The third was a mother in the winter of her life, with  spring, summer, and autumn living in her memories. She had endured trials of health and there are those who would say it was a blessing that she passed away, and perhaps, in a way, it was. But, her loss was still felt just as deeply by those she left behind.

     I did not know any of those who died personally, but I know they were loved deeply by their families and friends. I was actually able to learn a little more about one of these special people as I was asked to play the piano at the funeral. It was funny and touching to listen to stories about the mother - who was apparently full of spunk during her life - and to see the laughter and the tears that her children, grand-children, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren shared. Talk about a legacy of love!

     It brought back memories of my own grandparents and their lives and legacies and their passing. Many of the thoughts and feelings expressed today were similar to those felt and expressed by my own family members. Even the songs and those who sang them brought back memories. "Families Can Be Together Forever" sung by younger family members, including great-grandchildren, echoed similar scenes in my memory.  I've always loved the song "In the Garden"for many reasons, one of those being that it was sung at funerals of my own loved ones. To hear this song sung by the older grandchildren with obvious love, affection, and emotion stirred those same things in my own heart. Though it was the first funeral I played the piano for and I was nervous, it was truly an honor to be able to help this family honor their mother and grandmother.

     One of the things the events of this past week did was remind me how grateful I am for my knowledge of the plan of salvation and happiness the Lord has presented us, and the promise of eternal families if we will just live worthy of it. What a blessing it is to have the Gospel in my life and to have a family that has been sealed together. Kind of makes all of the day to day squabbles, difficulties, misunderstandings, and just plain STUFF seem so small. In the eternal perspective these are just detours to our final destination.

     Anyway, I guess I've waxed philosophical long enough for one entry. (My apologies to your poor tired eyes! :-) )

    One final thought - take the time to tell those you care for that you love them - often. You can never say "I love you" too many times.

'Nuff said.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Finally!

Finished my final paper for this semester and submitted it...Hallelujah! Now to await my grade... Unfortunately, I don't have a very long break, as Summer semester begins May 17. (Happy Birthday to me - NOT!) Oh well, a small break is better than no break!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Teaching is a work of HEART...

The end of this month marks the end of a remarkable 41 years of teaching for my dad. I really admire the fact that he stuck with the teaching profession through thick and thin. I am amazed that he and my mom were able to raise a family of six children on a teacher's salary! After having taught for 13 years myself, I understand the dedication and fortitude it takes to stick with this profession for the long term - and I'm not even half-way to where he is now. Thirty-one of those forty-one years were spent at Huntington Elementary - a great feat in and of itself. I  know I am not the only one who thinks that Huntington Elementary will not be the same without his genuine caring for faculty, staff, student, and parents alike. We will be having an open house in his honor on May 26. I hope that many of his former students, co-workers, etc. will come and help us honor him. If anyone reading this knows him and has a memory to share - please email it to mrdurrant41@gmail.com  . And thanks, dad and mom for being such good parents and examples to all of us!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rainy days and ... Wednesdays?

Well, we've had the proverbial 'April showers' off and on for the last couple of days. Today we had a couple of what we used to call "gully washers" with thunder thrown in to add excitement. I won't complain, though, because we live in a desert and can use all the rain we can get.

We had our final Parent Math Night of the year and had a few parents show up. Those who showed up were greatly appreciated. We feel like it is an important thing to at least give parents the option of coming. Hopefully it does some good. Now we just have to survive end of year testing!

I have one more week of class for this semester in my master's program and a 15-20 page paper due a week after that. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blowin' in the wind...

I thought these poems were appropriate considering the recent weather...


Who Has Seen the Wind?
Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you;
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I;
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.




The Wind
by Robert Louis Stevenson


I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass

Oh wind, a blowing all day long,
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all

Oh wind, a blowing all day long!
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?

O wind, a blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

... Spring has sprung ... (I think) ...


Except for this nagging cough... I feel as if I am back among the living. All of our snow has melted and most of the mud has dried up (thankfully). I might actually dare to wash my car (which REALLY needs it) sometime soon. Welcome Spring!

Friday, March 12, 2010

And the winner is......... (drumroll please)..........

Pneumonia... you read it right... the big P-New-Moan-Ya. At least now I know why my head was fuzzy. I kind of had the feeling that this would be the verdict. Probably shouldn't have put off going to the clinic for so long, but I was hoping it would clear up and go away. Of course, I'm in good company, since most of the town sounds the same way, including two of my coworkers - one of whom was diagnosed with p-new a couple of hours before I was. Needless to say, I came home with a variety of lovely medicines with which to treat my poor lungs. They had me do a breathing treatment before I left the clinic and it seems to have broken up a bit of the gunk. Of course they sent me home with an inhaler as well. And the advice to use my humidifier. (Now I just have to FIND it... ) They also told me to double my fluid intake - yea! (Hello bathroom - here I come... ) Hopefully by this time next week I will be on the mend. In the meantime... "Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flowers?"

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My head feels fuzzy....

I am glad to say that it appears that Spring may finally be coming to my corner of the world. At least I hope that is what all this mud signifies. It has been warming up gradually and my yard is starting to lose a little of its whiteness. Unfortunately, along with Spring there also seems to come colds and allergies - hence my title... Fortunately, I haven't had any major illnesses so far this year (knock on wood). So, hopefully my sinuses will clear and all will be right with the world again...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Papers, and Conferences, and Classes... Oh My!

Well, it's definitely been a busy February. (I can't believe that Monday will be March!) 
A few weeks into spring semester and already I am sick of writing papers for one of my classes. Oh well... what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. (Or so I've heard...) This weekend I am in Murray for the UCET  (Utah Coalition for Educational Technology). I was able to meet up with a good friend and her husband who had me over to their house for dinner last night. (Let me clarify that... they DID NOT have ME for dinner... they merely cooked dinner and invited me to join them... :-)  ) Then this afternoon after my day of classes was over this same friend took me to The Cheesecake Factory. Can I just say... mmmmmmmm! Delicious! (I may have to break down and go again one of these days when I am in the northern reaches again.) Tomorrow, I head back to the rural reaches again... it'll be good to get back home. Right now I'm listening to someone running up and down the halls and slamming doors... kinda wish they'd get tired and go to bed... whoever it is. 
Anyway... it'll be back to school on Monday. Hopefully March will be a little less busy... maybe.....

Monday, February 15, 2010

President's Day

I will admit that anything with a hint of patriotism creates within me tender feelings. My eyes fill with tears and my heart pounds when I hear the National Anthem, and any number of songs about America. I stand when I see a flag, and find my heart full when I see a soldier serving to uphold my freedoms.  You might wonder why I'm rambling on patriotism today - I  mean  - it's not the July 4th or anything. But today is a special day. Today is President's Day. Named to honor the births of two honorable, yet human men whose birthday's fall during the month of February. Neither one was a perfect man and both had flaws, as we all do. Yet, the more I learn about the strengths and weaknesses of these men the more I admire them for all that they accomplished despite their blunders and mistakes.  I truly see the hand of "divine providence" in the creation of this country. How else could a country started by a revolution against a vastly superior world power and torn apart nearly a century later by a civil war have survived? Given the differing personalities and opinions of those who founded, then later re-united this country it is amazing that it ever succeeded.  Only the guiding hand of an all knowing, ever powerful yet loving God could have helped this country succeed and thrive. My wish on this day is that we never turn away from the Father who loved us so much he gave us the freedom to choose liberty or death knowing that some of us would never make it back Home. May we all do our part to keep this nation free - a nation "under God" by our words and our deeds. So, Happy Birthday George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. And thank you.....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It's still looking a lot like Christmas...

Woke up this morning to another couple of inches of snow and spent an hour or so shoveling my porch, sidewalks, and part of my driveway. I have to say that in my 13 years here in Rio Verde this is the most snow I have seen. It's also been the coldest for the greatest amount of time. I think we have been consistently below freezing for probably 80% of the winter so far. That being said, I am grateful for the snow - we need the water.  (If the weather makes me want to sing Christmas songs all over again - well, that's only natural... ha ha ha!)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

40 years ago today - January 30, 1970 - my parents were married in the Logan Temple. 40 years is quite a feat by any measure, but especially these days when it seems that marriages come and go like the latest fad. I just want to say thanks for everything they have done for my family and me. They continue to sacrifice in so many ways for all of us.  Thanks for giving us all a great start in life. And  thanks for continuing to be there for all of us. We love you! Happy 40th Anniversary!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Global warming?????????

Going on 12 hours of fairly steady snow here. Where's the global warming I've been hearing about?????

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Drip, drip, drop....

So... the weather has been a bit unsettled as of late... rain, snow, blow, sun... then all over again. Can't complain too much, though. We need the water and its been nice to be above freezing. Tomorrow is Friday - Hooray! I mean... umm..... DRAT! I wish there were more days... ummm... ya- that's what I meant. It just means another weekend to read and do homework for Tuesday's classes. Then there's regular school stuff... Ah, I don't think I can handle the fun and excitement....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Freezin' for a reason...

I just wanted to give a shout out to my brother and his co-workers, as well as all the other brave, giving, shivering people who participated in the 2010 Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics. I know that this year's plunge was overshadowed somewhat by the devastating events in Haiti, but it is a reminder that there are plenty of things we can do to help right here in our own country, state, and community. So... thanks bro! Thanks for reminding us all that we can do something to help someone else.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back to the books...

Well, last night began another semester of Master's classes. Lot's of reading, writing... but no 'rithmatic. (I don't think... :-) ) The upside is that when this semester is over I will be halfway through the program. I have to admit that I am learning a lot, although I don't necessarily agree with some of the stuff they have us read. I guess that's the beauty of education - one is exposed to a variety of philosophies, but you can choose what you take from each one.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

May your blessings be more numerous than your trials, and may your trials turn out to be blessings in disguise. Happy 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome to 2010. Here it is the first day of 2010 and the first day of a new "adventure" of sorts for me - blogging. I swore that I would never do it - my life is not the stuff of novels or movies - just me, myself, and I living life. Why anyone would want to read my ramblings - okay - "musings" - is beyond me - yet here I am doing it anyway. May this year be one of blessings big and small for all of us. And may we see the blessings that are all around us, both obvious and hidden.