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


     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


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  . And thanks, dad and mom for being such good parents and examples to all of us!