Saturday, October 17, 2009

I love Fall!

I love the colors, the weather, the smells, the warm foods... I love it all!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

If she were here to listen today

Dear G-
I have been thinking about you. Man, you are so missed. Nearly a year and half has passed since you've gone and it is still so hard for me to believe that you are not here. I miss you so much still and can't think about you without nearly crying. No loss has ever hit me in the same way, it is still so unreal as if I will wake up any moment and realize it was all just a bad, bad dream. I did have a dream about you the other night. It is still so clear. You know those dreams that seem so real that you don't realize you're really asleep? When I woke up I was sad to realize it was only a dream and I cried because I wanted it to be real more than you could imagine. You came and told me that you loved me and gave me a big hug. I could actually feel your arms around me! Maybe you knew I needed that and that things are a bit stressful right now and some of the fears I am facing. In life, you were always willing to listen and I could tell you sincerely cared. I know you would still do the same if you were here today. I want to let you know that I appreciate you and love you.

I want to share the words to one of my favorite songs. (I have changed a couple of the words to better suit our relationship as friends).
Love you forever,

Who can say for certain
Maybe you're still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory, so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration
Can it be
That you are my
Forever friend
And you are watching over me from up above

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you're there
A breath away not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn't faith believing
All power can't be seen

As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
'Cause you are my
Forever friend
Watching me from up above

And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you're there
A breath away not far
To where you are

I know you're there
A breath away not far
To where you are

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Texas RoadHouse Sunday Surprise

As my family and I were breaking our fast this afternoon at Texas Roadhouse Grill, that Elder Holland and his WHOLE family (mother, wife, kids, and grandkids) were in the booth and tables behind us eating.They appeared to be celebrating his mother's birthday. My mom died when I tried to sneak a cell phone pic, so sorry, I don't have proof, but my word is as good as a picture! It was awesome.He was sitting at the little kids table and growling to make them laugh. He was eating ice cream and sharing it with the little kids. He was in his standard suit and tie! LOL. He paid with his credit card and after he signed the slip he handed it to the guy and said, "Thank you, buddy." As we left, I overheard one of the hostesses say to the server, "So you got to meet Elder Holland, huh?" And he just said, "Yep!" Awesome.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mi vida loca

I guess I need to update this here blog thingie since it has been nearly three months since I did. The days are passing at whirlwind speed and nothing really new has been happening, just the same old same old as they say.
School started at the end of August and we are already doing report cards and SEP's (parent teacher conferences) next week. The school that I teach at has gone back to an extended year, or year round, calendar this year. We are the only school in St George that is doing this and so, we are already at the end of our first term. We have a week off for Fall Break starting next Friday. Then after that, we will start a Fall Intersession. This is kind of like Summer School, except a better model because we will have much better attendance since it is not a traditional time for vacationing. The teachers have the option of teaching for extra money or taking the time off. I opted to take the time off. I do not know if I will teach during the Spring Intersession which will be after Spring Break. Right now, I have declined, but I may change my mind. I am well known for that. I have pretty good classes this year, which I am happy about. I have my Gifted and Talented Endorsement now, so I have one class that is called a "cluster group" which has the gifted kids in it, and none of the lowest kids and my other class is an average class. It helps to meet the needs of all the learners so that you don't have such a wide spectrum of abilities to reach. I have found it to be working out well except that the other class is falling behind so I am having to do a lot more planning.
My nephew, Jude, is so amazing. He is about 3 1/2 months old and he is beautiful. He has a smile that melts my heart and he loves to chatter and talk which is tons of fun to listen to. He seems to be teething a little bit already and loves to suck his thumb to soothe the pain. He has a very easy going, happy personality and has really been a blessing to our family.
Erin had her 30th birthday last week and planned a bonfire out on the Arizona strip to celebrate. It was fun. It is just starting to really cool down lately and feel like Fall, which is my favorite time of the year. I was really cold out there, but once that fire got going, I thought my eyeballs were going to melt. ;) Jude was mesmerized by the fire. Erin said he has been out there a couple of times with them and loves the bonfires. And to add to the excitement and beauty of it all, it was a full moon night! Gorgeous!

I have a karate tournament coming up next month in Saratoga Springs, Utah. I am looking forward to it a lot. I am on the leadership team, also called STORM (Special Team of Role Models), and we have been working on a team demo to do at the tournament. This will be the first time our school will be participating in the demos since opening a couple of years ago. All the other schools are much bigger and have more experience doing this, so we have just barely gotten on it. The next day will be my individual competitions in katas, weapons, self defense, and sparring and that night will be the Black Belt test which I may stay and watch because my instructor and his 12 year old son will both be testing for their 2nd degree black belts. I will probably have to help referee the Black Belt sparring, which I just found out today. That will be an interesting experience. Hopefully I don't mess up and get any black belts mad at me. LOL.
I also have a test for my next belt, Chan Ban Bu, in November, but I am still trying to decide whether or not I really feel ready to test this time. Up til now I have tested and advanced every three months, but I have been struggling the past several months as the requirements and curriculum have really started to get more difficult, especially mentally. The kata, or form, that I have to learn for this belt has had me so confused and on the verge of tears so many times. I finally started to learn it when he put a bo staff in my hands and showed me what we were doing. I was like, "ohhhh, that's what my hands are doing" and I had the first half of it in 10 minutes after struggling to learn it for 2 months. The whole combination of foot movements, advancing and retreating, Chinese covers, and upward, outward, inward, and downward blocks, reverse bow steps, pivot punches, ball of the foot, heel of the foot, and on and on and on, still has me so confused. My instructor tells me that I am doing well, but that I am just too critical and perfectionistic, and to look at the small bits of progress. If I do test and continue on track, I should be able to test for my black belt at the end of April. If not, I may wait until October of next year.
I am hoping to be able to make it out to Cali for Christmas time. I want to go to Disneyland badly. I haven't been at Christmastime in a long time and I love it at that time of the year. Also, I have an uncle there in Simi Valley who has been having some serious health problems and I would like to go see him. Erin needs to take baby to see the Cali family and so we have been thinking about doing that. We have not had a big family Christmas out there in several years and Erin and Will have been in Houston for the past few Christmasses so it would be very nice to do that again. A lot like the "old days." It is my hope anyways.

"It's just good music if you can feel it in your soul!"

Two of my new favorites:

Uncle Kracker
You're better than the best
I'm lucky just to linger in your light
Cooler then the flip side of my pillow, that's right
Completely unaware
Nothing can compare to where you send me,
Lets me know that it's ok, yeah it's ok
And the moments where my good times start to fade

You make me smile like the sun
Fall out of bed, sing like bird
Dizzy in my head, spin like a record
Crazy on a Sunday night
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Ohh, you make me smile

Even when you're gone
Somehow you come along
Just like a flower poking the sidewalk crack and just like that
You steal away the rain and just like that

You make me smile like the sun
Fall out of bed, sing like bird
Dizzy in my head, spin like a record
Crazy on a Sunday night
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Ohh, you make me smile

Don't know how I lived without you
Cuz everytime that I get around you
I see the best of me inside your eyes
You make me smile
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild

You make me smile like the sun
Fall out of bed, sing like bird
Dizzy in my head, spin like a record
Crazy on a Sunday night
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Ohh, you make me smile

I'm Alive
Kenny Chesney with Dave Matthews

So damn easy to say that life's so hard
Everybody's got their share of battle scars
As for me I'd like to thank my lucky stars that
I'm alive and well

It'd be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you've sat and watch go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me... I'm alive

And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I'm alive and well
I'm alive and well

Stars are dancin' on the water here tonight
It's good for the soul when there's not a soul in sight
This motor's caught its wind and brought me back to life
Now I'm alive and well

And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
Now I'm alive and well
Yeah I'm alive and well

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ban Bu

As many of you know, karate has become an important part of my life. I have been training since January 2008. Right now I am a brown belt, one of four girls who are the highest rank at my school. It's kind of exciting but stressful. We have been training for our Ban Bu test. Ban Bu is a brown belt with a black stripe in the center. It is the first of the high level belts and the testing process becomes quite a bit harder. We are required to do a physical test which includes running 2 miles in 20 minutes and then completing the rest in another 10 minutes (100 sit ups, 50 pushups: 10 each of uppercut, vertical knuckle, horizontal knuckle, fingertip, and triangle, and 5 pull ups or holding above the bar for 30 seconds). Then, we have to complete the curriculum testing that takes several more hours and includes all kata (forms), self defense, and sparring. There is also a written test and a written thesis that we complete. This is the same test that you have to pass for all belts above Ban Bu (Han Ban Bu, Chan Ban Bu, Black, Black Belt higher degrees), but some of the requirements on the written tests change and more curriculum is learned and tested, of course.
I am having a horrible time with the physical part of the test. At this point, I have not been able to run the 2 miles in 20 minutes or do the pull ups so on the practice tests, I have only gotten 15/40 points on that portion of the test. This is very stressful for me and I am trying to remain positive and know that I can complete it just like everyone else who has done it.
The "real" test is coming up a week from Saturday. I will have a horrible birthday if I don't pass it, so everyone, just pray for me, please!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I couldn't ask for more!

I had an amazing Independence Day! I feel so blessed to be able to live in America and be able to enjoy the freedoms that we have and, so often, take for granted. We didn't do anything really amazing to celebrate, but I just felt so happy to be able to enjoy such simple things.
1. Yesterday morning I woke up and said to Mom, "Will you go get some pancakes with me?" Kelly, Mom, and I went to Golden Corral and ate more than we needed to and went home full. How many people in this world can only wish for a meal like that? And we left food on our plates because we were stuffed.
2. We went to Wal Mart to get some extra things for our family barbeque we were going to have. Hot dogs, dessert, and lots of extras. All right there in one store. Plenty for anyone who needs it and we had the money in our pockets.
3. We spent the day getting the house and yard ready for the family to come. I feel blessed that we have a home that we can celebrate in with friends and family. A nice yard to relax in and feel the blessings of living in a beautiful, free country. Even when it has to be cleaned and the water fountain breaks, causing stress.
4.We had a barbeque dinner with the family (except Michael and Natalie, who are at her family's reunion, and Will, who had to work). Again, there was more than enough food for everyone to get more than their fill. We are blessed to be able to live so close together and see each other pretty much when ever we want to. We spent the night eating, relaxing, laughing, and swooning over a brand new baby, who other than a bout with jaundice, was born perfectly healthy to loving parents in a clean hospital, by means of quality medical attention and with care and supplies necessary to start out strong and healthy.

5. We were able to see much of the fireworks show from all the way across town. We sat on our front lawn and watched neighborhood children setting off fireworks late into the evening, beautiful reminders of our fight for independence over 200 years ago. "And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there."

I am so grateful to live in this country and to be able to feel God's protection over His promised land.

God Bless The USA
by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I’m proud to be and American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Introducing Jude William Watts

He's finally here! The boy we have been waiting for for so long! Jude was born this morning, June 30, 2009 at 7:54 am weighing 8 pounds 1 ounce and 20 inches long. He is perfect and beautiful, so chill, relaxed, and easy going. He doesn't cry too much and when he does most just whimpers. He completely enjoyed his time on the baby warmer, it reminded me of a tanning bed or something. He is happy and beautiful and we love him so much.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shame, shame, shame!

I just want to say that anyone who can watch a nine month pregnant woman slip on the wet floors in Wal Mart and just walk away deserves a whole lot of shame heaped on their shoulders! I hope that they really feel bad.
So if you are wondering what in the world I am talking about, Erin slipped in Wal Mart yesterday after it had been raining. And can I just say that those are some slippery floors indeed. I once slipped on them going in and going out on the same day because I was wearing Crocs. The way out I was really trying to keep my balance and it was just impossible. I told her that yesterday and she said she had been wearing Crocs. She slipped and did the splits, landing on her knees. The door greeter simply said, "Whoaaa!" and left to get a mop. No questions about if she was okay and no offer to help her up. Then several guests just walked by and looked without offering to help her up. What has our world come to? Seriously when people can just turn the other way and ignore such an accident. So she went to the hospital and was monitored for several hours because she was in such horrible pain. As far as I know, everything is okay with Jude.
Please promise me, readers of this blog, that if you ever see ANYONE slip and fall that you will offer them your hand... especially a pregnant lady!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Big sigh of relief

I had to take the Praxis test again today because I didn't pass it in April. In fact, I didn't even finish it in April. Not even close. It is a national test for teachers and I took one of them three years ago on content knowledge and passed it just fine the first time. This one is on the Principles of Learning and Teaching, lots of pedagogy and philosophies. There are 36 multiple choice questions and 4 case studies with three written responses each. You have 2 hours to complete it. Last time, I only finished 6 of the 12 written responses because I was writing too much. I looked up at the clock to see that I had a half hour left and 8 questions left, I think, and I knew it would be impossible. So anyways, this time I timed myself very carefully and wrote much briefer responses and I finished, even a few minutes early! Awesome. Now I have a sore arm, truly! I am not exaggerating at all. I have to wait several weeks to see if I passed, but I feel pretty good about it. Last time, even though I had half of the questions still to do, I only failed by 7 points. So I am hoping that I did pretty well. If not, well there's always another chance.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another great gospel allusion

Okay, so I have a bit of a one track mind at the moment. I have been in a summer school class all week and now that it is finished, I want to do nothing else but finish rereading book 7. There are so many things that I have forgotten in it and as I read it I start to remember things that are yet to come. (By the way, does anyone remember where it is that Petunia explains to Vernon and the rest of the family why Harry has to stay at the house and what the meaning of "Remember the last" is? I want to read that part again and can't remember where it is.)
So here is the passage for today. Very brief message about the atonement and resurrection/eternal life.

The headstone was only two rows behind Kendra and Ariana's. It was made of white marble, just like Dumbledore's tomb, and this made it easy to read, as it seemed to shine in the dark. Harry did not need to kneel or even approach very close to it to make out the words engraved upon it. . .

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Harry read the words slowly, as though he would have only one chance to take in their meaning, and he read the last of them aloud.
" 'The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death' . . ." A horrible thought came to him, and with it a kind of panic. "Isn't that a Death Eater idea? Why is that there?"
"It doesn't mean defeating death in the way the Death Eaters mean it, Harry," said Hermione, her voice gentle. "It means . . . you know . . . living beyond death. Living after death."
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pg 328.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gospel lessons in fantasy?

Yes, yes, yes... we all know it. I love Harry Potter. I am rereading book 6 right now and coming to some very, VERY interesting things. There is a selection that I have been very impressed with given the fact that Rowling does not share the same religious beliefs as I do, yet this recurring message of the story continues to help me better understand the plan of happiness, agency, and especially how Satan works and why he will never succeed as long as there are righteous people who are stalwart and willing to fight on the Lord's side. This selection hits me every time to the very core of my soul and I think it is probably the most vital message of the whole Harry Potter saga. Yes, it is somewhat long, but soooooooo amazing! I need to learn the lesson Dumbledore has been trying to teach Harry. I'm sure many of us do.

Harry sat in thought for a moment, then asked, "So if all of his Horcruxes are destroyed, Voldemort could be killed?"
"Yes, I think so," said Dumbledore. "Without his Horcruxes, Voldemort will be a mortal man with a maimed and diminished soul. Never forget, though, that while his soul may have been damaged beyond repair, his brain and his magical powers remain intact. It will take uncommon skill and power to kill a wizard like Voldemort even without his Horcruxes."
"But I haven't got uncommon skill and power," said Harry before he could stop himself.
"Yes, you have," said Dumbledore firmly. "You have a power that Voldemort has never had. You can-"
"I know!" said Harry impatiently. "I can love!" It was only with difficulty that he stopped himself from adding, "Big deal!"
"Yes, Harry, you can love," said Dumbledore, who looked as though he knew perfectly well what Harry had just refrained from saying. "Which given everything that has happened to you, is a great and remarkable thing. You are still too young to understand how unusual you are, Harry."
"So when the prophecy says that I'll have 'power the Dark Lord knows not,' it just means - love?" asked Harry feeling a little bit let down.
"Yes- just love," said Dumbledore. "But Harry, never forget that what the prophecy says is only significant because Voldemort made it so. I told you this at the end of last year. Voldemort singled you out as the person who would be most dangerous to him- and in doing so, he MADE you the person who would be most dangerous to him!"
"But it comes to the same-"
"No,it doesn't!" said Dumbledore, sounding impatient now. Pointing at Harry with his black, withered hand, he said, "You are setting too much store by the prophecy!"
"But," spluttered Harry, "but you said the prophecy means-"
"If Voldemort had never heard the prophecy, would it have been fulfilled? Would it have meant anything? Of course not! Do you think every prophecy in the Hall of Prophecy has been fulfilled?"
"But," said Harry, bewildered, "but last year you said one of us would have to kill the other-"
"Harry, Harry, only because Voldemort made a grave error, and acted on Professor Trelawney's words! If Voldemort had never murdered your father, would he have imparted in you a furious desire for revenge? Of course not! If he had not forced your mother to die for you, would he have given you a magical protection he could not penetrate? Of course not, Harry! Don't you see? Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do! Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back! Voldemort is no different! Always he was on the lookout for the one who would challenge him. He heard the prophecy and leapt into action, with the result that he not only handpicked the man most likely to finish him, he handed him uniquely deadly weapons!"
"But it is essential that you understand this!" said Dumbledore, standing up and striding about the room, his glittering robes swooshing in his wake; Harry had never seen him so agitated. "By attempting to kill you, Voldemort himself singled out the remarkable person who sits here in front of me, and gave him the tools for the job! It is Voldemort's fault that you were able to see into his thoughts, his ambitions, that you even understand the snakelike language in which he gives his orders, and yet, Harry, despite your privileged insight into Voldemort's world (which, incidentally, is a gift any Death Eater would kill to have), you have never been seduced by the Dark Arts, never, even for a second, shown the slightest desire to become one of Voldemort's followers!"
" Of course I haven't!" said Harry indignantly. "He killed my mum and dad!"
"You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!" said Dumbledore loudly. "The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's! In spite of all the temptation you have endured, all the suffering, you remain pure of heart, just as pure as you were at the age of eleven, when you stared into a mirror that reflected your heart's desire, and it showed you the only way to thwart Lord Voldemort, and not immortality or riches. Harry, have you any idea how few wizards could have seen what you saw in that mirror? Voldemort should have known then what he was dealing with, but he did not!"
"But he knows it now. You have flitted into Lord Voldemort's mind without damage to yourself, but he cannot possess you without enduring mortal agony, as he discovered in the Ministry. I do not think he understands why, Harry, but then, he was in such a hurry to mutilate his own soul, he never paused to understand the incomparable power of a soul that is untarnished and whole."
"But, sir," said Harry, making valiant efforts not to sound argumentative, "it all comes down to the same thing, doesn't it? I've got to try and kill him, or-"
"Got to?" said Dumbledore. "Of course you've got to! But not because of the prophecy! Because you, yourself, will never rest until you've tried! We both know it! Imagine, please, just for a moment, that you had never heard that prophecy! How would you feel about Voldemort now? Think!"
Harry watched Dumbledore striding up and down in front of him and thought. He thought of his mother, his father, and Sirius. He thought of Cedric Diggory. He thought of all the terrible deeds he knew Lord Voldemort had done. A flame seemed to leap inside his chest, searing his throat.
"I'd want him finished," said Harry quietly. "And I'd want to do it."
"Of course you would!" cried Dumbledore. "You see the prophecy does not mean you have to do anything! But the prophecy caused Lord Voldemort to mark you as his equal . . . in other words, you are free to choose your way, quite free to turn your back on the prophecy! But Voldemort continues to set store by the prophecy. He will continue to hunt you . . . which makes it certain, really, that-"
"That one of us is going to end up killing the other," said Harry. "Yes."
But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew, and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents- that there was all the difference in the world. - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, pgs 508-512

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I know it's a bit late, but I want to say thank you to all the mothers in my life. Those that I know, those that are an example to me of what I hope to become some day, those that have been a "mother" to me in so many ways, and especially my own special mother and grandmother who have been there for me since the day I was born. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for putting so many caring and amazing women in my life. I wish I could name them all, but that would be impossible, and I would probably forget someone.
On Sunday morning (Mother's Day), I fell into a very deep and detailed dream early in the morning involving Ginger. She was a wonderful mother who was taken from her children too soon. This was the first Mother's Day since her death almost a year ago. I wish I could remember the dream better, but my mom woke me up before it was over so that I could go to church. I awoke feeling sad and lonely, wanting to be able spend more time with her, even if only in my dreams. I wish I could have seen her more and talked with her more before she left this life. She is a great example of a loving, spiritual mother.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Calm down people

So today we found out that we are facing the possibility of having to close down all the schools in the school district should any cases of swine flu be confirmed in Washington County. When that happens, we will be required to conduct lessons via the internet or phone and through packets of work that is sent home to kids who do not have internet access . . . for the rest of the school year. Although this may sound fun to some (yeah, no school), I am, always the pessimist- completely not thrilled. This is because we have been informed that each grade level needs to put together a "packet" of work that is sufficient for three weeks worth of lessons. . . and we need to do it tomorrow. Seriously? Seriously!
My own view on this "pandemic" situation is that if people panic, it will just cause more problems. So considering the circumstances, let's just calm down people.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Boo hoo

I failed the Praxis. I didn't finish 5 of the 12 written response questions. I took too long and then I looked up at the clock and I had 30 minutes to finish 2 more case studies and 6 answers. I knew that was impossible, but I gave it my best. When the proctor called 9 more minutes, I almost quit, but pulled myself together to complete one more answer thinking, well if I did awesome on the rest of the test, maybe one more answer could give me a passing score, but honestly, I know that is not possible.
Oh well, it was a learning experience and I guess I am glad that I know right away and don't have to wait to find out. I can register now for the next session and know that I need to make my "short answers" really short. Kelly said they don't even have to be complete sentences or paragraphs, just bullets or ideas. I knew that, but had forgotten. Boohooo. I don't have 90 dollars to take it again, but oh well, c'est la vie.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Test Anxiety

I have to take the Praxis test tomorrow . . . well, actually today, since I look at the time and see that it is after midnight already, and I am freaking out. I have been having an anxiety attack, not a huge one, but it just makes my asthma act up to the point that as I try to breathe it is so difficult that every time I try to take a good deep breath the side of my neck actually hurt and I struggle. I hate written response tests because they are so . . . (crap I can't think of the word right now). . . "arbitrary"? . . . strike that AMBIGUOUS . . . anyways . . . and I hate multiple choice questions because I can usually narrow it down to two good answers and then I sit there and become way too analytical and find it nearly impossible to determine the "best answer", they all seem to be the "best" answer. Crap! I need to go to bed and just forget about it... There's nothing more I can do except show up and take the friggin test and pray that I pass...

I WILL pass!........(i hope)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I have been thinking about one of my life long friends, Ginger, who passed away almost a year ago. A few weeks ago, her family and friends all joined together in her memory and ran in the "Great Race," a race that she had done just two months before she passed away. As she was getting ready to participate, she had written on her blog "tomorrow's the big day! at 7:30am I'm running in the Agoura Great Race 5k, my very first race ever! I'm so NOT a runner and I've only been "training" ... for about 3 weeks. yikes! what am I thinking?? I'm thinking that it will be fun and great exercise, right? ... Jason is also running the 5k, but I told him I don't want to run "with" him. I don't want to run beside anyone I know. I don't want to feel like I'm holding anyone back or (and I doubt this will be a problem) I don't want to BE held back by anyone. I want to feel free run at my own pace, that's all. I'm sure it would be special to cross the finish line as a couple and all, but oh well! I wanted to have a goal for the 5k, so here's mine: I want to finish in 30 minutes or less. I'm not even sure that's realistic, but that's an average of 10 minutes per mile. surely I can do that, right? thinking positive thoughts...... wish me luck and I'll post my time tomorrow."
And then .... "29:59:55 yes!! under 30 minutes! I knew I could do it! :) "

After she passed away, one of her brothers had made a touching comment on her blog that shows an amazing amount of faith and is full of hope and determination. He wrote,
"Ginge, you ran a great race and you finished at 30 (at least this leg of the race). You didn't let anyone hold you back, but you definitely helped countless others along your way. You broke the tape first in our family and we look forward to seeing you when we cross the line and giving you a huge Ginger-style victory hug on the other side of the finish line. Until then, we know you will be watching us, cheering us on."

I want to be able to leave that kind of imprint on the hearts of those around me. I want to inspire them to be better, to reach higher, to push a little longer. But first . . . I have to become that person. I am on my way. That's MY goal!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Not for those with a weak stomach...

Diary of an "abscess"

Monday: It is discovered in it's hiding place just at the belt line. 2 inch diameter. Bleeds and bleeds and bleeds some more. I go to the Instacare and am told that nothing can be done until it forms a head. A dotted circle is drawn around the red, inflamed area to see if it gets bigger. No definitive diagnosis is determined. Antibiotics are prescribed. 1st and 2nd dose are taken. Pain, pain, pain, and more PAIN. Unable to sleep. Awake at 0230 hours in pain and apply heat.

Tuesday: 3rd and 4th doses of powerful antibiotics are taken. More pain. Mystery red spot is now 3 inches in diameter and very, very hot! A bit more sleep, but not much. Very grumpy.

Wednesday: 5th and 6th doses of "extremely powerful" antibiotics are taken. Still more, unrelenting pain. Still about 3 inches in diameter and on fire. Still virtually no sleep.

Thursday: 7th dose does not sit well and I lose my breakfast. Don't eat all day except some goldfish crackers. Redness is above all redness and hotter than St. George in the middle of August. Pain beyond anything I have experienced in a long, long time. Now 5 inches by 3 inches in size. Go to ER at 11:30 pm. Pain level 8. Mystery spot is now diagnosed as an abscess, or boil. It is lanced with great pain and packed with gauze. Pain relievers (Lortab) are prescribed and filled at Walgreens at 12:45 am. Finally go to bed at 1:15 am.

Friday: Wake up at 6:30 am and go to work. Pain level 4. Return to ER to have wound rinsed, repacked, rebandaged.

Saturday: What? Because of the Lortab, I suppose, I arise for the day at 12:40 pm.
Another evening visit to the ER is in store and I can't wait!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Just thinking about things

I can't believe it's Friday again already. Don't get me wrong I love my weekends and I am very happy when they come around again, but March has come and gone so soon, which also means that payday is next week too, another treasure that comes so rarely. It seems this school year has flown right by and really, we only have a few more really good weeks of school left because once end of level testing is finished, the kids truly think the year is over, which is enhanced by Spring Fever, the wonderful weather, and all the great activities that we have to look forward to at the end of the year.
So this week our computer teacher decided he found a better job. No one thought to tell me until I was waiting for him to open the door. When he didn't (2nd time this has happened recently)I went to the office to ask if he was gone for the day and found out that he had quit. So now, until they find a new teacher, which could be who knows when, I have to lose my prep time and take the kids to the lab and make sure that they are all using the computers right and stuff. I really think that sucks big time.
TTFN... gotta go, but I will add more later.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Finally putting all the pieces together: Those Crazy Housewives of Wisteria Lane

So I have been a Desperate Housewives junkie for several years now and at first it was quite funny. But now, each episode is a confusing set of events secretly tied to the lives of every other person on Wisteria Lane. I have been very confused about this Dave Dash dude that married Edie and is all secretive and wants to get in tight with the other boys in garage bands and camping trips. Last week I finally realized that he was determined to ruin Mike by killing Katherine. I had no idea why yet though. So he got them all out in the woods and convinced Katherine to go hiking with Mike on a romantic hike. Then he sneaks out with his hunting rifle and aims straight for Katherine. Luckily he missed but now has to cover his tracks and they all leave immediately to get away from "illegal hunters." Meanwhile, Edie has discovered the truth about Dash through whatever braincells she could conjure up and convince to do research. She texts Dave and tells him she knows EVERYTHING and to get home now. So they all rush back from the woods. Edie learns that Dave all along has been trying to find a way to get revenge on Mike because when he and Susan got in that huge car accident Dave's wife and 3 year old daughter were killed. (A bit of irony since Mike and Susan's son, MJ and Dave and Lily Dash's daughter were born on the same day in the same hospital in rooms next to each other.) There was a trial and Mike was aquitted.(Doesn't Mike know who Dave is from the trial?)Well, Edie decided that she was going to call and warn Mike about Dave. Dave then strangled her. . . nearly to death. So she ran out to the car to drive and make the call. At that moment, Orson Hodge, was standing in the middle of the road with a ski mask on and all bloody from trying to steal from a neighbor who whomped him good with a bat. That's a whole other story, his newly found talent of piracy and cleptomania. But not quite as interesting yet. So back to Edie, she swerves to miss Orson and crashes into a tree and some powerlines causing the lines to come down. Not dead yet, Miss Edie slowly pulls he bedraggled body from the car and carefully keeps a grip on the door as the weakly steps out onto a small puddle of water and an electric line. Down she goes! Is she dead? Is she alive? We do not know. Her fingers were twitching- could be electrical impulses shivereing through her bones. But the preview shows all the wives coming out and talking to her, "you're gonna be okay." and all that jazz. I never really liked Miss Edie all that much, but I do like Mike, so I hope that she at least lives long enough to get the message to him. And I also like the Scavos a bit so it might be nice if this somehow lead to the dead doctor/fire incident that was blamed on the Scavo boy- Porter? I think. Well, this is the current DL on DH.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Aging beautifully!

Happy Birthday Mom! You look beautiful! I love you.
We had a picnic in the park yesterday that Mike and Natalie planned as a surprise for Mom's birthday. The weather was amazing and we had a great time.

It's getting harder and harder to wait

Jude William Watts 26 weeks.
Every time Erin comes over with new pictures I get so excited. We can hardly wait for our new little Jude and we are all waiting impatiently for April and May to pass. I am amazed more and more each time I look at the new pictures. I can't believe what technology can do now! Look at his face! He is so adorable. Erin disagrees, but I think he looks like her. This picture is the wallpaper on my cellphone now and I can't stop looking at him. He is amazing! I'm gonna be an aunt!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Plummeting interest rates!

I have had it. I pay my bills every month and it barely covers the finance charges. Credit cards suck! I am the last person to lecture on them, but they are carried over from my college days and so I am still plugging away at them. A few weeks ago I decided to try and call Care One Credit Counseling to consolidate them into one payment and everything. Well, what they do is consult with your creditors to get them to lower or eliminate the interest rates. So this is what happened:

Home Depot 21% down to 9.90%
Bank of America 25% (I know... ouch) down to 16%.
Capital One 23% (another ouch) down to 7.4%

Woo Hoo! Do you know how much that will save in finance charges alone? Wow! I am so happy! Maybe I will actually be putting money into the principal now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One quick question... well, maybe two.

What in the world is California going to do with over 30,000 less teachers? Can anyone tell me how many more students that averages to be in each classroom? Yeah right!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Erin Go Bragh

Pinch pinch, make sure to wear your green today. Good luck!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Piggies

First day of Spring Break... the sandals are calling. I couldn't resist the pedicure! Grandma and I went together and had such a great time being pampered.

By the way, I added some new stuff at the bottom. Check it out.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Feeling better on so many levels

Today I started to feel better. I think I may have sneezed a total of three times although I am still coughing and my back still hurts. I was able to go see Erin in the hospital and I asked for a face mask, but I am the world's worst claustrophobe and it didn't work so well. I hate to have my nose covered with anything; a blanket, a sleeping bag, a face mask... so I really didn't use it correctly, but I tried. She is doing a lot better and the doctor told her that she could maybe even go home tomorrow. He also said he had never seen such a seperation heal so quickly. We all know why though, don't we? Thanks for the prayers and remembering our whole family. She has felt the strength of all your prayers and blessings.
SPRING BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jude Watts is already training for the OIympics

I have not been able to go visit Erin in the hospital because I have been so sick, but I have heard some fun stories about the ultrasounds that she has had over the past few days. Jude is still so small and has been very active so he has been quite elusive and difficult to catch and get a heartbeat. Yesterday my mom got to see him swimming around and she said it was quite cute. He was on his belly kicking his feet quite violently and moving his hands all around his head. I thought "he is getting ready for the breast stroke, duh." Today when I called, Kelly and Mom were there and Kelly was laughing. She said that they had the microphone hooked up to listen to the heart beat and Jude was right under it breathing really hard. Hooooooh Hooooooh Hoooooh like someone on the phone, (or I thought like Darth Vader, but instead of "Luke, I am your father" he was saying, "Will, I am your son."). It also seemed like he was teasing us all trying everything he could to keep us from hearing him.
The good news is that the doctor has said that things are looking really good and that it might not have been a real placental abruption after all. He is not sure and there is definitely a separation, but he is hopeful that it could heal itself in a few more days and she could go home and not be on such strict bed rest. This is all really good news because this means that Jude can stay right where he is and continue to grow and also Erin's health will not be in such great danger either. I am hoping that I can start to feel better in the next day or so because I want to make it over there and see him while they do some monitoring, but I don't know if I will. Everyone is telling me I NEED to go to the doctor because I have been sick for way too long but I am resisting. I don't like to go unless I absolutely have to. We shall see. I am pumping myself full of OJ, Sudafed, and Ibuprofen because my back hurts so bad, especially when I cough and sneeze. I am hoping that I can get some much needed rest this week during Spring Break and be back to fully restored health by next week.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Update on Erin and Baby Jude

Today at lunch, I decided to try and call my mom at work and see if she had heard anything new about Erin and what is going on. The other lady in her office told me that she had gone to the hospital to try and locate Erin because she had gone back in today. So I tried to call Will and got a hold of him and found out that things have been worse. I have now learned that the problem is a placental abruption, in which the placenta detaches from the uterus. This causes problems in the baby getting oxygen and other nutrients he needs. So they were getting ready to do an emergency c section because Erin's blood pressure was dropping way low and Jude was in distress, his heart rate and blood pressure were dropping a lot too. Luckily though, the drs. were able to get things under control and have stabilized mommy and son for the time. We are hoping that things stay under control and she can keep Jude happy in his temporary environment long enough. She is in the hospital for at least the next several weeks, maybe the rest of the pregnancy if things don't improve enough to send her home. Please remember her in your prayers and pray that Baby Jude stays healthy and happy in his little water world.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What a day!

The good, the bad, and the ugly...
1. I am STILL sick! What's it been, like 2 months now? Now it's down in my chest and I can't stop coughing.

2. School stories.
"Dude" So, the boys can't stop calling everyone "dude" all the time. "Dude, what page are we on?" "Dude, can I use your red crayon?" "Dude, you wanna play soccer with me at lunch?" Even to the the girls. "Dude, will you let me see the book?" "Dude, do we have to do the problems on the back?" So I have been getting so tired of it and today I heard someone say it about three times in 10 seconds so I said, "He has a name and it's not 'DUDE'." He looked at me like "Huh?" and I repeated myself, "He has a name and it's NOT DUDE." He kind of chuckled then went back to what he was doing. A few minutes later I heard it again, but then a little girl said, "He has a name and it's not 'Dude." Then someone else said, "Yeah, teacher said "He has a name and it's not Dude." I laughed inside thinking, "Uh huh, THAT'S RIGHT. Glad someone listens around here!"

Candy bar thieves: I have a small, plastic, purple basket in which a wonderful assortment of candy bars are stored for birthdays (and my afternoon chocolate rescue, but shhhhh, we'll just say they're for birthdays). Today I had pulled it down and left it on my printer so that I would remember to let someone get their birthday bar. Well, as we were getting ready to go home, I was busy helping a couple of kids fix their math and also handing out homework folders. I was sittig at the table right next to the printer (just a few feet away literally) and a boy (a very naughty boy, always in trouble) decided to snitch 3 or 4 of them and pass them around to friends. After several minutes a little girl says, "Ummm (so and so) is stealing your candy bars. I looked over at the basket and could tell that they had been taken because it was completely full before. So I called him over and he proceeded to say that (boy b and boy c) had the bars and they said (boy a) took them and gave them to us. (Like we're completely innocent). So I asked, "did you know he took them from me?" Yes, they said they did, and I explained to them that means they are just as guilty. So they brought all the bars back, or so I thought. After school we were still trying to figure out the consequences and Boy A (the main suspect) proceeds to accuse girl A of eating a candy bar- a Kit Kat. Well this is wonderful girl who never finds trouble and she had already high tailed it out of there. However, she was "apprehended" and returned to the scene of the crime. She continued to deny to me that she had anything to do with it so I told her to go tell Boy A to his face that he was lying. At first she had no problem doing so and he continued to accuse her of it. I said, "Well someone is lying straight to the other's face. Can you continue to look straight in their eyes and tell them the lie?" Then he said, "Come on (girl A)!" So then she admitted that she had eaten "just a tiny bite" when she knew he stole it. So then I ask, "So who ate the rest?" He said, "I don't know!" I looked straight at him and said, "Did you?" He shamefully hung his head and said, "Yes..." Then they both started to cry pitifully. Boy B and C just watched and didn't seem affected at all. Kinda sad but funny at the same time.

3. When I came home, I found out that Erin is on bed rest for something that is wrong with her and the baby. I don't have very much information right now, but the dr. wants to make sure that it doesn't get worse so that Jude has a better chance to survive. If he can wait just 6 weeks survival will go up about 60%. So we are praying for their family.

Oi ve! What a day!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Code Adam Scare in Wal Mart Keeps Local Woman Awake All Night

So the Ambien decided not to work so well tonight and I only slept for about 4 hours and now I am awake and nothing to do but blog.

Yesterday, I had a lot of fun. My karate instructor's son was having a birthday party at the dojo and I came just to hang out with Shalynn and help her get it ready. The kids had so much fun and they were all so cute to watch running around.

Then we went to Wal Mart, the Wilson family + one, and that was quite the experience. Marc and Shalynn both needed a few pairs of black pants for this conference they are going to in Denver for Mile High Karate, who we have paired with and we are now Bobby Lawrence Mile High Karate. So they had to have all this special apparel and were a bit overwhelmed. I helped Shalynn find the perfect pants (because I had bought them a few weeks ago and we were lucky because they only had 4 or 5 pairs left, but one of them was her size)!

Then we were looking in the toy department and Marc had to go take some of the pants back that he was not getting. SO Shalynn, the boys, and I were there looking at Leap Frog things and Shalynn, Kade, and Brayden left to go a few aisles down. Jordan (4) was sitting on the floor next to me looking at something and he got up to go find mommy but my back was turned and I didn't notice. (Actually I didn't know he was with me at all, I thought Shalynn or Marc had him.) So I went to go show Shalynn something I was going to get and she realized I didn't have him. We all started a search and Shalynn was freaked out because he was just instantly gone. No one saw him leave, almost like someone had taken him. She called Marc and Marc didn't have him. We were all over the place. I decided to head to the front and look for him in the candy and toys displays on the way. I went to Customer Service and tried to call Marc to see if he had been found but then realized that he was up at a register talking to a lady and on the phone with his wife. So I went over with him. They told me to stay up front and Marc to go to one of the exits while an associate goes to another exit. They issued a Code Adam and described Jordan but almost immediately after that he was found and they issued the "Cancel Code Adam." When Jordan left me he went to look for mommy. He said, "I was with Anne but went to find you. I'm sorry for scaring you Mommy." I asked him if he was scared and he just said, "nope." Brayden was really scared and Kade was like "whatever I know he's around here somewhere." It's funny to see how different brothers can be. I am just so relieved that we found him because if I had been the last one with him and he had gotten lost or stolen I would not be able to forgive myself.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hey Jude

So Erin is having a boy!!! When she went in for the ultrasound a week or two ago, they couldn't tell what it was because he was riding the umbilical cord. But she went to this place that does 3D pictures of the baby and was able to get some really great pictures of him sucking his thumb and posing for the camera. He is so cute! We are all so excited and can't wait for Jude to make his debut in June! For the really good pictures and news go to her blog-

Sunday, February 8, 2009

CS Lewis on Prayer

I got an awesome book for Christmas, The Quotable Lewis, which I have been wanting for a super long time. I have been having a hard time with prayer lately and so I decided to read some stuff from different authors and church leaders. I looked in this book and found some awesome, awesome, AWESOME!!! thoughts from him.

"Take not, oh Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in Thy great,
Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate."
-Poems, "Footnote to All Prayers" (1933) p. 129

"The prayer preceding all prayers is 'May it be the real I that speaks. May it be the real Thou that I speak to.' . . . Emotional intensity is in itself no proof of spiritual depth. If we pray in terror we shall pray earnestly; it only proves that terror is an earnest emotion. Only God Himself can let the bucket down to the depths in us. . . The most blessed result of prayer would be to rise thinking 'But I never knew before, I never dreamed . . . ' I suppose it was such a moment that Thomas Aquinas said of all his theology, 'It reminds me of straw.' "
- Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, chap. 15, para. 15-17, pp. 81-82

"We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us."
- Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, chap. 4, para. 15, p. 22


Look at the stars, Look how they shine for you
And all the things that you do.
Yeah they were all yellow.

I came along, I wrote a song for you
And everything you do.
And it was called yellow.

So then I took my turn
Oh what a thing to've done
And it was all yellow.

And your skin, oh yeah your skin and bones,
Turn into something beautiful
Don't you know?
You know I love you so,
You know I love you so.

I swam across, I jumped across for you,
Oh, what a thing to do,
Cuz you were all yellow.

I drew a line, I drew a line for you.
Oh, what a thing to do, my love,
And it was all yellow,
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And your skin, oh yeah, your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
Do you know?
For you I bleed myself dry.
For you I bleed myself dry.

It's true,
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Black Belt/Leadership Essay (Kwon Shu/Kenpo)

So, I had to write a short essay for karate as an assignment for acceptance into the leadership team. This is what I came up with:

"Over the past 14 months, karate has become a very important part of my life. As a child, I had a great desire to get involved in karate, yet I don’t really know where this dream came from. None of my friends or anyone in my family was interested or involved in martial arts at all. It just started to grow in me one day until it became all consuming. Maybe it was from the first time that I saw the movie, The Karate Kid. Something about that movie just spoke to me, but the possibility of ever achieving that dream was almost instantly pushed aside when I realized the futility of asking for something like that. I remember asking to participate in soccer, and laying in bed thinking about what I would say and how I could present it to my mother, and when I did I knew I would have to have a way to come up with the money. That was no where near as expensive as karate would be all year, and so I never asked. I knew she would respond with frustrated words similar to, “You know we don’t have the money for that. Why don’t you call your dad and ask him if he can pay for something like that!” I knew full well that would never happen, especially since I had already asked him to help me buy my $15 PE uniform, which he refused, and so, that was it, the hope of ever fulfilling that dream was gone. I dropped it completely, knowing it was hopeless to continue to even think about it at all. But dreams never do really die. They always seem to find a way to pop back up from time to time, always tormenting you until you take the time to pursue them, which is what I finally decided to do. I was talking to my mom on the phone one evening and told her how much I wanted to do this and reminded her of how I had wanted to do this since I was about 8 or 9 years old. She had completely forgotten it and was surprised. I started to cry terribly and told her I felt like I would never be able to do this and that I was so frustrated that I let myself just sweep so many hopes and dreams aside or ignore them all these years just because I was so worried about everyone else. I didn’t know why it was so important to me, but the emotions became so strong, and the years of frustration finally just started to pour out.
I am grateful beyond measure that I finally listened to my heart and took the initiative to do this! I have learned so many things through karate, not just about self defense, but about myself; who I am, what I hope to achieve and be, and what I can be. From the time when this dream was born at 8 years old until I finally acted upon it last year, I never really thought, “I want to be a black belt.” I don’t know why I wanted to do karate or what I hoped to get out of it, I just wanted it and I knew I needed it. Something about it just called to me even though I didn’t know what it had to offer. But, since I started, I have learned to set higher goals and to believe that they really can be achieved. I have always been a determined person and once I start something, I usually see it through to the end. Yet, since starting karate, I have become even more focused on what I can become. Earning a black belt isn’t about status or rank and it isn’t the end of the road either. As I see it, earning my black belt is just the beginning. Maybe I will continue on and earn higher degrees, but even if I don’t, it is about the fact that I listened to myself and responded. This tells me that I can continue to listen and respond for the rest of my life, no matter what the situation might be.
For me, it isn’t about why I would be a great black belt. Instead, it is about why a black belt would be great for me. Until last year, I would never have seen myself where I am today and where a black belt can take me. Knowledge, wisdom, strength, confidence, faith, determination, physical health, and spiritual and emotional awareness are just a few of the things that I have seen grow and I know will continue to grow on the road to earning my black belt. These are things that I could develop through very few other pursuits. I don’t know that I have anything more to offer than anyone else, which would make me a better candidate for a black belt, but I know that what it has to offer me is something I can not deny or refuse."

Friday, January 30, 2009

I feel so smart!

I got my SMART board all installed in my classroom. Woot woot! Now I just have to figure out how this thing works...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...