Saturday, September 27, 2008

A funny memory: A boy and his lizard

Okay, so Kelly mentioned something tonight that I totally forgot about and I need to write it down so that I don't forget it again.
Last year, I had a little boy named Erasmo in my class, but we called him Lamito. He was so funny and way smart, and even had a slightly naughty streak (but always loaded with humor!) So one Friday as I came in the morning, there was a group of kids hanging out on the ramp (Lamito was one of them) in front of the classroom and I wondered what was going on, but didn't think to ask. Then when Lamito came in, he came in and asked if we could have Show and Tell. I said, I don't think so because I don't like Show and Tell. Well, he didn't say anything else, but for some reason 2 or 3 other kids asked me if we could have Show and Tell that day. Well, this started to get me wondering slightly what was going on, but again, I didn't question it too much.
So finally, after lunch I believe, when we were switching to new seats and cleaning tables, Lamito told me he really had something that he wanted to show me and a couple of other kids were with him. Their faces were so excited that I could tell it was something big. Well, Lamito reached into the front pocket of his hoodie and pulled out a lizard.
Okay, so I asked how long he had been hiding the lizard in his pocket like a prisoner and he said since the morning. I told him he had to take it outside and let it go. He asked why and I said because he was just a little lizard and probably didn't want to be kept in a sweater pocket and plus, what if he got out??? "I have been very careful. I have been holding him in my hand in my pocket all day so he doesn't get out." Well he begged if he could keep him and I told him he could show his friends the lizard, but then please let him go free, then I went back to what I was doing. A minute or two later, everyone was hovered around Lamito and he was down on his knees. They were all saying, "Lamito's crying, he's sad."
"Lamito, come here." I said. "Why are you crying?"
"I don't want to let my lizard free. He's the best lizard I've ever had. I've never had a lizard like him before." Through sobs...
"Let me see your lizard." I actually don't think I had looked at his lizard yet. So we sat down at the table and he pulled the poor lizard out of his pocket and held it in his hand.
"Put him on the table so I can see him," I said.
"He likes dark places, he will hide under the books." Sure enough, the little lizard ran under the stack of books. So we talked and I asked if he knew what the lizard would eat."
"Do you have some crickets for him?"
"And where will he live, in a jar?"
"No, I have a tank for him."
"Okay," I said, since the day was almost over. So he started to feel better and we talked about some other things, then I told him he could go finish moving to his new desk and cleaning up. He asked...
"Can I take my lizard back too?"
Can you believe it? I had forgotten the stupid lizard was under the books. "Yes," I replied.
No the story doesn't quite end here.
We took a bathroom break a few minutes later. I have a coconut half shell that I use as a hall pass and he wanted to carry the lizard in that shell so that the kids could see it. So I allowed it.
As we were walking to the restrooms they were all certain that the lizard was licking it's eyeballs like a gecko. I looked at it and said, "I don't see him licking his eyeballs. It looks to me like he is squinting from the sunlight..."
I know, I am so mean, but I was a bit wasted of energy. It was a Friday and the whole situation had been very dramatic and draining.
It makes me laugh hysterically though now. Especially thinking about him saying, "He's the best lizard I've had. I've never had a lizard like him before."

Super Swiss Days

The town of Santa Clara had their annual Swiss Days celebration today. I have never gone to it before, but finally did today because my karate school was participating in the parade. After the parade we had a booth set up next to the town hall where people could come and break boards. I mostly just hung out with my instructor's wife and kids, but we had tons of fun. The weather was pretty nice too. Although it was warm, there was a really nice breeze throughout the day. I did still manage to get burned on the back of my neck, arms, and the good ole raccoon sunglasses face.
We had a good turnout for the parade. A bunch of kids came and we walked the few blocks and did some kicks and demos. It was nice and short, but still fun. The kids were really excited. I saw a lot of people that I knew from school since I teach on that side of town. It was a great Saturday activity and I will definitely be going again. Not to mention that Santa Clara is such a cute and pretty town, especially the historic area where the events took place, and I don't get to get out there very much so it was nice to see that too.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Karate Kicks Butt!

Kelly was kind and patient enough with me to get some great pictures in our backyard. Yes, I chopped my hair too...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

God Bless America

E Pluribus Unum... Out of many, one.

September 17, 1787 was the day that the Constitution was ratified and became law.
In hopes of persuading some of the delegates who were somewhat uncertain and unwilling to sign, Benjamin Franklin gave the following speech on the final day.

Mr. President
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. Most men indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far error. Steele a Protestant in a Dedication tells the Pope, that the only difference between our Churches in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is, the Church of Rome is infallible and the Church of England is never in the wrong. But though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as of that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain french lady, who in a dispute with her sister, said "I don't know how it happens, Sister but I meet with no body but myself, that's always in the right — Il n'y a que moi qui a toujours raison."

In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other. 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; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded
like those of the builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another's throats.
Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die. If every one of us in returning to our Constituents were to report the objections he has had to it, and endeavor to gain partizans in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received, and thereby lose all the salutary effects & great advantages resulting naturally in our favor among foreign Nations as well as among ourselves, from our real or apparent unanimity. Much of the strength & efficiency of any Government in procuring and securing happiness to the people, depends, on opinion, on the general opinion of the goodness of the Government, as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its Governors. I hope therefore that for our own sakes as a part of the people, and for the sake of posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this Constitution (if approved by Congress & confirmed by the Conventions) wherever our influence may extend, and turn our future thoughts & endeavors to the means of having it well administered.

On the whole, Sir, I can not help expressing a wish that every member of the Convention who may still have objections to it, would with me, on this occasion doubt a little of his own infallibility, and to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.

What a blessed nation we have been and still are! The Lord has stood by us when we have turned our backs on him. I have been, for some reason, blessed to be born and live in the Promised Land and He is still by us and holding out his hand in protection because He has consecrated this land. But, my fear is that we are headed quickly to that horrible day when this Constitution will "hang by a thread" and we will be that "corrupt" nation that, as Mr. Franklin said, would need a despotic government... I feel like this is the time... this election is going to tell us who we are and in who we trust. Is it still in God? I hope that we as a nation are not so corrupt that "the voice of the people" will choose to trust in Satan or his servants.

In God We Still Trust!

Monday, September 15, 2008

When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, "Let it be."
And in my hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, "Let it be."
Whisper words of wisdom, "Let it be."

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, "Let it be."
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, "Let it be."
There will be an answer, "Let it be."

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me
Shine on till tomorrow, Let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music
mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, "Let it be."
Whisper words of wisdom, "Let it be.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I REALLY want to figure out how to do a cartwheel. I could do them when I was little of course, but now I am too scared. I see everyone in my karate class do them no problem and I feel really lame. I have been working on it for several days but I can't kick my legs up high enough to get them over my head. Uggh. Anyone have some advice?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shocking and sad

So I have wondered what happened to one of the boys that I had as a first grader a couple of years ago. His name is Juan and he is an amazing, smart boy. The other day it occurred to me that I had not seen him this year and I assumed that they had moved. Today I found out that he is in another 3rd grade class, but has not been to school. He is at Primary Children's Medical Center and has a brain tumor. He had surgery at the beginning of the year and is going through radiation or chemo. I do not know what the outlook is. They do not expect him to come back to school this year at this point. I was hoping that he would be in my class. I was thrown for a loop when I found this out! I can't believe it.

Oh, Juanito! I am praying for you and I hope you get better. I miss you. Don't give up.

Please, please pray for little Juan. We need him to get better.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Daily Journals

Yesterday morning I gave the children no writing prompt for their journals. It was a free write or go back (go back to an old entry and add) day. There were some really good entries and I gave anyone who wanted to share theirs time to stand up and read in front of the class. Joel (pronounced Ho-el because he is Hispanic) wanted to share his. He can't hardly read or write. I had no clue what it said, but he sure did. He stood up bold and strong and read his few sentences. "I have 8 people in my family. There are 5 boys and 2 girls. I love my family. We have fun. But my mom and dad like to say that they got me and my brother in the dumpster because we are not the same color." We all laughed and I said, "That's a joke, huh Joel. They didn't really get you in the dumpster." He laughed back and said, "Yes, just because we look different." It was quite funny. They weren't adopted or anything, it's just some of the kids are darker than the others. Joel and his brother are dark and some of their siblings are very light. It is kinda weird. I wonder if that is like having the milk man as your father.

Some pictures from my summer

Hidden Valley Ward girls and leaders

Hidden Valley Ward Camp Leaders

I had so much fun!

Mom and me at Flathead Lake, Montana

Ginger's guestbook

If you knew Ginger Clinton please visit the guestbook for her obituary and sign it. It will be available online through September.


La Casita de los Angeles
(written in my best Spanglish!)

Mis angeles viven en una casita antigua y blanca con agujeros de bala muchos.
Mis angeles, los angeles hermosos.
You were my angels, you are my angels.
You held me in your broken wings.
La casita blanca de los angeles fue mi casa.
My house, my angels.
"El es debil," ellos dijeron.
"No salta en el."
"Mis chicas! Mis bebes!"
"Usted ha creciendo tanto!"
"You will break hearts! You have stolen mine!"
The only broken heart is here in this chest of mine.
It beats still, but without reason.
"Ven aqui, sientate en mi rodilla."
"Eres feliz? Besa me mis bebes. Te quiero, mis angeles."
No, you are my angels.
My angels with broken wings and weak knees.
But now, I imagine, they must be strong.
Mantenga mi, porfavor ahora. Ahora soy debil.
Hay orificios de bala que nos rodean son.
El enemigo espera que nos puede herir.
But, on your knees and under your wings we were safe.
Where have you gone?
Donde estan mis angeles?
El angel tuvo las sonrisas. El angel tuvo los abrazos. Los angeles fueron arrugas y (no debil pero) FUERTE.
We are protected from the bullets.
You were my shield and my hope.
Los angeles. Donde estan mis angeles?
I want to say thank you.
The house may have been old, may have been small, and it may have had holes . . .
But it was white. It was heaven.
Pero, esta blanca. Esta cielo.
It was the home of my angels.
Esta el hogar de los angeles.
Mis angeles.
Gracias. . .
Gracias para todo.
July 2007

I Am

I am creative and courageous.
I wonder if my dad ever missed me too.
I hear "Teacher, teacher" in my sleep.
I see a brighter future ahead.
I want to earn a black belt.
I am creative and courageous.

I pretend that I am telling the truth.
I feel amazed when I look at the stars.
I touch children's lives.
I worry about what people really think.
I cry when I can't hold it anymore.
I am creative and courageous.

I understand that "Life isn't fair."
I say, "Never say I can't!"
I dream of having a happy family.
I try to make a difference in the world.
I hope I make my grandpa proud.
I am creative and courageous.
February 26, 2008


A beacon of light
Constant, unchanging, and true
Guides my ship tonight.
September 5, 2008

Each grain of sand feels
the rushing waves as they fall
through a full moon night.
June 2008

Twinkle, twinkle little star

Twinkle, twinkle little star
Do you wonder who you are?
Up above the world so high
Do you wish that you could fly?

Brightly shining little star
Reaching faintly from so far,
Do you look around and see
Millions brighter far than thee?

Listen closely, little star
What a treasure that you are!
Can you sense divinity
And what you can someday be?

How I wish that you might know
Just how much that you will grow.
And little star, can you feel
That your Father's love is real?

You're not JUST a little star
Shining faintly from afar.
You're a diamond in the sky
Guiding sailors from up high.

I'm one sailor here below
Watching you forever glow.
Without you to guide me here
Darkness is my greatest fear.

So, little star, twinkle bright
In the darkness of the night.
You are special, it is true
There is no star just like you.
- Annelise
September 5, 2008
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