Sunday, November 21, 2010

Playing at the river

On Friday afternoon, I took my nephew, Jude, now almost 17 months old, to the river. It is a short walk from their house and the minute we turned out of the driveway and crossed the street, he knew exactly where we were headed. He started chanting excitedly, "Bafta, bafta, bafta!" (bathtime). I reminded him of the sign for water and he started to use it.... as we were leaving to go back home. The whole time we were there, it was "bafta" this and "bafta" that, "bafta" over here and "bafta" over there. I love this little boy and I am so thankful to have him inmylife every single day.


"I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen. Not because I see it, but because by it, I can see everything else."

~ C.S. Lewis

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Have you ever....

.... stopped when you saw a veteran or an active soldier and said, "Thank You!" They truly deserve it! Please try it. It makes you feel so wonderful. I talked to a great WWII vet and his daughter in McDonald's a few weeks ago. He was an angel! Sometimes you feel weird striking up a conversation with a complete stranger, but all you really have to say is, "Thank you!" and your heart will say the rest. They will understand. You might even get a hug!!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Books= brain candy!

I love books. I love everything about them. New books with crispy pages, old books with yellow, dog eared pages and a deep, stuffy library smell. Big books, small books, children's books, adult books. Classics, biographies, fiction, non fiction, picture books- I love them all. Here are a few quotes about books and reading that I like.

"No skill is more crucial to the future of a child, or to a democratic and prosperous society, than literacy."
~ LA Times, "A Child Literacy Initiative for the Greater Los Angeles Area

"We read to know we are not alone."
~ C.S. Lewis

"The more you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go."
~ Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Thankful Heart

"In life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy."
-Brother David Steindl-Rast @

'Tis the season to measure that which I am grateful for. This is a wonderful blessing that I have (and you too!)... to count each blessing inmylife; which is usually "small and simple" (Alma 37:6), but occasionally very great, and soon I start to see just how much I have been blessed with every day.If we can cultivate an attitude of gratitude in our hearts, we will have the power to overcome all of life's challenges and those debilitating feelings of inadequacy that come from the adversary in an effort to keep us from reaching for that power that we have within us to do something amazing and become someone beautifully divine. Each day during the month of November, I am going to add to this list something that I am thankful for, no matter how small or insignificant it may be. In order to discover the power of gratitude to unleash unlimited abundance and happiness in YOUR life, click here.

November 1: I am thankful for my warm, comfy bed.

November 2: I am thankful for the opportunity I have to vote.

November 3: I am thankful for my students who know how to make me smile.

November 4: I am thankful for my family.

November 5: I am thankful for soldiers, firefighters, police officers, and all others who protect and fight for our life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

November 6: I am so thankful to have been raised knowing that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that God loves me enough to provide a way to overcome sin, weakness, and all types of pain. What greater love is there than that?

I am thankful for my beautiful nephew and his sweet spirit. He truly loves unconditionally!

November 7: I am thankful for good music and the power it has to lift your spirits and bring you closer to God.

November 8: I am thankful for rain.

November 9: I am thankful for prayer, especially at 2:00 in the morning when everything seems so hopeless.

November 10: I am thankful for warm clothes and the heat in my car on a frosty morning. I am also thankful for the heat in my home on a cold afternoon and evening.

November 11: I am thankful for my grandfather, William Allen Myers, Jr and his service to America in the US Coast Guard. I miss you, Bucky! Thank you for being my hero and my guardian angel. I am also thankful for another grandfather, Garn, and his service to America (Air Force) as well!

November 12 I am thankful for the weekend and to have report cards all finished and ready for conferences next week.

November 13 I am grateful for friends. Today I am remembering a really good friend and missing her lots on her birthday. I also was able to spend some time with some good friends from Page that I haven't seen in 2-3 years. Yay for friends.

November 14 I am grateful for Sundays and the spiritual nourishment and refreshment that I get.

November 15 I am grateful for small breaks in between parent teacher conferences. Enough to take a swig from the Dr. Pepper and run to the bathroom.

November 16 I am grateful for my job. Even though the little "turkeys" are loud, sometimes naughty, don't listen too well, and sometimes are energy draining, it sure is rewarding to get a hug from so many of them as I walk across the playground. You would think I was Hannah Montana or something, the way they run up to me yelling my with their arms stretched out for a hug. :D

November 17 I am thankful to have so much to be thankful for.

November 18 I am thankful to be done with parent teacher conferences, and that only 2 people stood us up.

November 19 I am grateful for nice strangers, Santa's Little Helpers! Today I was at Maverick getting at soda and the stranger, an older gentleman sneezed so naturally, I said, "bless you!" Well when I went to buy my drink, I found he had paid for it. That is the 2nd time in recent months that a stranger has paid for my stuff.

November 20 I am thankful that I was able to learn how to read. I am thankful for books, and for all the enjoyment and learning that I get from them.

November 21 I am grateful to have a place of my own. No one cares if it is messy, except me. I can sleep in since no one is making noise. I can do my laundry when I want and not have to worry whether the washer or dryer is available. Its all mine....but I do wish I had someone to help me clean it.

November 22 I am thankful for my weaknesses and the humility they have helped me to develop. I am thankful for my ADHD and the things that I have learned about how to learn. Even though I didn't really struggle in school (aside from math), there is so much in other areas of my life that I struggle to learn and it has helped me understand how to be patient with myself and others, and how it feels when you think everyone thinks you're stupid or slow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BID #3

Something I have always wanted to learn how to do inmylife is learn how to play all kinds of musical instruments. Unfortunately, I quit piano as a kid. Maybe someday I will find the motivation to try again. I can still plink out the songs in my Christmas song book I have had since I was ten, as well as many songs in middle c. Beyond that, I am lost! I also had a short stint in the school band in 6th grade in the brass section...French horn. The most useful thing I learned was how to empty the spit valve. But one of the two instruments I have always wanted to learn is the violin (the other is the trumpet, ironically similar to the despis-ed French horn). Someday, I will do that! It is officially submitted to the BID list.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Fall

Today Erin asked me if I could take some pictures of Bub (the rest are on Facebook) so that she could enter him into the Gap Casting Call competition. We drove out to Staheli Farms in Washington, but they weren't open and we had no idea if they would even be open. Note to Stahelis- a sign out front with your hours of operation, or answering your phone, would be helpful. So we drove out to Hurricane, LaVerkin, and Toquerville, hoping that somewhere out in the sticks there would be a farm of some sort where we could get some good pictures. Finally, I called Staheli's again and someone answered. Their hours? 3-6:00. So we drove back. By this time, Bub was not a happy boy, tired and cranky, so it was difficult to get him to cooperate, but we did get some really cute pics. Hard not to with a cute boy like him. I am so grateful to have this little punkin inmylife!!!!

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Auntie Annie loves you Bubs!

That huge hole in the Earth

Since Kelly and I both had a four day weekend for UEA Weekend (better known down here as Utah Exodus to Anaheim), we decided to road trip up to the North Rim. Despite the fact that I have had several opportunities inmylife to visit the canyon while serving a mission in northern Arizona for 1 1/2 years, and while teaching school in Page for 2 years, I never have found the time. Unfortunately right now, it is in it's last few days before completely closing down. The lodge and Visitor's Center have already closed down, in fact. But it was a beautiful drive up through the Kaibab Forest. The aspen trees were the most amazing golden color. Especially, at about 4:00 or 5:00 when the sun was getting low. There was one patch of trees on our drive back that we noticed with lots of aspens clustered together and it looked like they were on fire because of the way the sun was hitting them. It was truly amazing. I have always thought that the aspen is one of my favorite trees. We had a picnic inside the park overlooking the canyon, then drove up to the lodge and walked out to Bright Angel Point. The story, Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry is about a little donkey that lived in this area of the canyon for about 40 years and helped create a trail down the canyon. He got to meet Teddy Roosevelt and was the first one to cross the bridge after it was built. I read this story to my students last year and they loved it! I love the history of this area. After enjoying the view at Bright Angel Point, we drove up to Imperial Point, the highest point in the canyon and enjoyed the view from there. It was a nice opportunity to enjoy some of God's greatest wonders and have a look into the majesty of some of the creations of the earth. The weather was wonderful with rain off and on, cool, but not too cold. There were some great looking dark clouds that were hovering over the canyon, threatening an oncoming storm, but it never really showed up. I would like to go back sometime when I can take more time and enjoy some of the hikes. My knee was not putting up well with even the short walk at Bright Angel. I would also like to take another trip down the river sometime. That is always a great experience. Maybe I will have to post some pictures from that, even though it was several years ago, and maybe I will even share my near death experience story from my first river trip when I was thrown from the pontoon boat and pulled under, frightfully close to the props. Maybe...
Oh, and I will also be getting the rest of the pictures up on Facebook soon so watch for those. They are spectacular!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blessings in disguise?

I have been thinking about my dad a lot lately. Unfortunately, there is a big gap between the dad that he is and the father that I wish he could have been inmylife. There is so much that a girl needs her father to teach her and because he never did, I feel like there is so much that I don't know. I think the most important of these is how to trust and be a daughter. I feel like my relationship with God and the Lord could be so much deeper and stronger and more meaningful if I understood how to trust in them and lean on them. I have had to put so much effort into developing that trust that I feel like I have missed out on learning so many other things in the meantime.
I have been spending a lot of time and effort and faith on forgiving my dad for the things he did and those he didn't do, as well, and on remembering the things he did that made me feel good and loved. I want to get to the point where I accept the fact that he was the person that I needed to be my dad in order to become the perfect daughter that I want to be, and where I love him despite the painful things he did, he said, and the things he didn't do or didn't say. I know I am like him in a lot of ways, some good and some not so good, and I know that there are a lot of things that I can learn from him, whether he taught me by example or by non example. I guess some blessings are strange like that, they can be disguised as the painful thorns that keep the enemies away rather than the beauty of the flower, so easily recognized.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


"And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul."
- 1 Samuel 18:1

"And now Zoram, I speak unto you... I know that thou art a true friend unto my son, Nephi, forever." -2 Nephi 1:30
"Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."
- D&C 121:9

I consider myself lucky to have been blessed with amazing friends. I have never been the person that had loads of friends; always hanging out at parties or social events, but I have almost always had at least one or two really good friends inmylife who have helped me cope through the hard times and helped me to be a better person. In fact, just the other day I heard a quote, I think it was in the movie "Forever Strong", that a true friend is the person who makes you want to be a better person and, inmylife, I have found this to be true to the utmost extent. Those true friends, the real friends, always stood by my side when I wanted to be better, stronger, truer, and to "stand a little taller," while some of those who I thought were friends left when I didn't want to do what they had to offer. This is still true today. I thank God every day for my true friends, even those who I don't talk to every day anymore. Even those who are not here anymore. Even those who may have gone a different direction due to hurt feelings, challenges, or other unfortunate situations, and in these painful losses, I pray that forgiveness and healing will someday come, and we will be able to be friends once again. I still consider you my friend because you have made me want to be better than I am. I hope you feel the same way. To all my friends; those who stand by me today, those who once held my hand, those who are no longer walking this earth, and those who I hope to someday call a friend again, I love you and I thank you for all you have taught me about who I am and who I want to be. I especially thank those friends who have led me to seek for the friendship of the only person who can truly understand everything I have been through and the mistakes I have made and, yet, still love me and be my Friend when no one else knows how to or has the strength or courage to be.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happiness Is...

Maintaining a black belt perspective

It is often said, in the martial arts world, that a black belt is nothing more than a white belt who never gave up. This is the black belt way of thinking. Persistence. Confidence. Meditation. Visualization. Focus. Effort. Sweat. Intensity. Creativity. Power.
These are the traits that I continue to work on inmylife outside of the dojo. Even though I am not currently a formal martial arts student, I am a martial artist. I have a black belt, and I hope to, when the time is right, continue on my path of black belt excellence, however far it will take me. When I tell people I meet that I am a black belt, I want them to look at me and say, "Of course you are! I knew there was something amazing about you!" not "You are? I never knew that?!?!"
You do not need to be a martial artist to have this kind of strength. You just need to find a way to develop it through positive thinking and meditation. We can accomplish anything we want to, whether it is breaking a stack of boards with our bare hands or conquering Mount Everest or just being happy with who we are and where we are at, as long as we tell ourselves we have that kind of power. You don't need a black belt around your waist to think like a black belt.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

BID #2 Travel the Mediterranean

There are so many places I would love to visit inmylife. This is only one of them. What a gorgeous area of the world rich with ancient culture. Culture dating back to the time of Christ. The Apostle Paul traveled around this area after the death of Christ preaching the gospel throughout the known western world. Stadiums, museums, churches, art...there is so much to see, and then, there are also the beaches! Wow! What wonderfully blue water with gorgeous white sands and loads of privacy. Sunshine all year round and delicious food too. What can't you enjoy?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

9/11 Never Forget

When we went to California last week for the funeral of a friend (Paula Giles), we spent Monday in Malibu. Pepperdine University students had placed nearly 3,000 flags on their lawn at the corner of Malibu Canyon Drive and Pacific Coast Highway, overlooking the ocean in remembrance of the victims of 9/11. This display was left up from Sept 11-19. I wish everyone could have seen it! What a beautiful way to remember those heroes. Many people were stopping and photographing the memorial. I decided to share a few of my favorites. (I have more on Facebook, if you want to have a look.) Never forget! If you want to see the whole story click on this link.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"what's a motto?"

Remember that line from the Lion King? Well, I was just thinking today about how sometimes inmylife it seems like I am running a loser's race or fighting a losing battle and I remembered the words of the Special Olympics motto.
I used to have a tee shirt when I was in 4th or 5th grade that had these words printed on it that my grandma had bought for me at one of my brother's Special Olympic competitions. I have a poster in my classroom from 2 years ago when we learned about the Olympics when they were in Greece. It has this motto and an olive wreath hanging next to it. Sometimes we just have to recognize that some battles we will lose but that doesn't mean we have to give up our courage or our ability to enjoy the experience. We might (no, we WILL) lose a few, or find ourselves down or behind, maybe so far that we can't even see the person ahead of us, but we never have to allow defeat. There is victory in merely finishing, even if we finish dead last!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

BID #1 Dolphin Surfing

Something that I noticed my sister Erin doing on her blog was posting B.I.D ("Before I Die") items. She chose this acronym because she does not like the term
"Bucket List" and when I read that I realized that I, too, do not like it either. Don't ask me why. I am not sure. Well, here is item #1 on my BID list. Ride with the dolphins! I don't know how long it has been that I have wanted to do this but as long as I can remember. One time, a friend came back from Mexico with pictures of her family riding with dolphins in Cancun, I think. I actually started to cry looking at the pictures. I don't know what it is about this creature, but it has stolen my heart...and if I could do this in Mexico, that would be even better. Who needs a black Escalade when you could have this sweet ride?

An undeserved and priceless gift

Titus 3:3-7 Words of Paul to Titus

3- For we ourselves were also sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4- But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5- Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6- Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7- That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Karate Creeds

A few days ago, I found myself struggling to remember the words to the student creeds and that really ticked me off. For two and a half years, I recited them almost daily, and now I can't remember them hardly at all. :( I think I am getting early onset Alzheimer's or something. I got my black belt in April and then some things inmylife really started to go downhill and I think part of that was that the Lord was trying to tell me that I needed to reevaluate my priorities, of which karate was taking up a huge part of my life, and although I was learning important things, I needed to start to learn some other lessons, so I quit the karate in July. I hope to return to karate training someday and continue for the rest of my life, but right now there are other personal and spiritual things I need to do.
Anyways, as I started to realize that I was forgetting these creeds (after only 2 months) I was really upset because I want to remember them to help me inmylife. Luckily, I found them on someone's blog. Yeah! I am going to make them into posters and hang them in my extra room, which I need to start to use as my workout room. I also want to put up my karate pictures and Black Belt certificate. Let's see if and when all this happens. :)

1: I will develop myself in a postive manner and avoid anything that will reduce my mental growth or my physical health.

2: I will develop self discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others.

3: I will use what I learn in class constructively and defensively to help myself and my fellow man and never to be abusive or offensive.

And (this is not really a creed, but a good quote)

"I come to you with only karate-empty hands, I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles, or my honor- should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong, then here are my weapons, karate- my empty hands." Ed Parker (kara-te translated means "empty hands")

Life's BIG and and not so big adversities

I don't know if this post is really going to have a main idea or whatever, but I just thought I would get on and get some things out of my head. I don't even know if anyone reads my blog anymore since I have become less than active about writing. Things have been getting better in some ways but then again I start to think maybe not. I still feel really lonely a lot living by myself on the opposite side of town as my family. But I have started to realize a lot of things about myself that I never would have realized had it not been for the many firey experiences of the last six months.
In the past month, there have been two long time family friends that have passed away from back home. One unexpected and one after a brave battle with cancer. Both were young still, at least in my book. I know that we do not know when our life here will end and this has made me more aware of my mortality. This morning on the radio, I heard a country song that I think I have heard before, but never really listened to. I don't particularly like the song, but the words hit me suddenly considering the friends I have lost in the past few years, especially Ginger.

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
She'll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh and
Life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no
ain't even grey, but she buries her baby

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

And I’ll be wearing white when I come into your kingdom
I’m as green as the ring on my little cold finger
I’ve never known the lovin' of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand
There’s a boy here in town says he’ll love me forever
Who would have thought forever could be severed by

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

So put on your best boys and I’ll wear my pearls
What I never did is done

A penny for my thoughts, oh no I’ll sell them for a dollar
They're worth so much more after I’m a gone
And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singin’
Funny when you're dead how people start listenin’

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

The ballad of a dove
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep ‘em in your pocket
Save them for a time when your really gonna need 'em oh

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

So put on your best boys and I’ll wear my pearls

Switching subjects...I was really sick yesterday. I mean REALLY sick. Maybe I am overreacting because I am not used to being sick because I can not remember the last time I had the flu. I think it was probably 5 or 6 years ago when I got sick with the flu on Thanksgiving Day. That's right, of all the days of the year to get the flu and not be able to eat, I got it on Thanksgiving Day. But even then I was not as sick as yesterday, I don't think. My BIL and nephew have had the flu last week and earlier this week and I hadn't seen Jude for a while so I spent some time with him on Wed. night and he ended up being sick. So Thursday night I went to bed quite early, not really feeling ill, just tired and a slight headache. At 11:00 I woke up feeling like I needed to puke and, sure enough, I did. I spent the rest of the night up about every 1.5- 2 hours throwing up. By 7:00 I had been sick 5 times which, like I said, I can not remember ever being that sick. I called in for a sub, which was the 3rd day this week because of the funeral in California on Tuesday, and literally dragged myself to the school after puking for the 5th time to write some sort of sub plan for the day. Luckily, Fridays are easy. I slept for most of the day, but felt nauseous all day long and had nothing at my house to ease the aches, pains, or nausea of the flu and couldn't get a hold of anyone to bring anything to me. I really thought I might end up in the ER dehydrated (and who knows what else?) if I didn't stop throwing up. At about 3:00 I decided to take a hot bath to relax a little and that lasted til 4:30 and then another nap. I was hoping my mom could bring me some Zofran (anti nausea?) that my sister had from when Jude was sick, but with Erin being sick herself, she was not answering the phone and I ended up falling asleep again. At about 7:00 I woke up again and told mom not to worry about it and I dragged myself into the car and up to the Albertson's that is a mile away. I hadn't thrown up in 12 hours so I thought I would be ok. I needed to find something that I might be able to eat and something to help with the nausea. When I got there I realized I didn't have my debit card or my DL so I had to write a check and hope that they didn't ask for my DL which happens a lot at Albertson's. Halfway through my shopping I started to feel really sick again and thought I was going to lose it. I was praying the whole time that I wouldn't and that they wouldn't ask me for my DL because I needed this food and medicine and had no idea where they were (they ended up being in my desk at school). I felt like Ramona in the book "Ramona Quimby, Age 8," which I just finished reading to my class last week. "Please God, don't let me throw up in this taxi cab. Please God, don't let me throw up in this taxi cab." Well, needless to say, I made it home and thanks to some Sprite, Emetrol, Tylenol PM, bananas, and a few saltines I made it through the night without throwing up again and without going to the ER. I went to bed and prayed that I would make it through the night without having to throw up, but kept my pot there just in case. :) Well, thankfully, I slept great and woke up this morning having survived. I feel much better today, but I sure hope I don't have to suffer through that again for many, many years...or ever- I hope.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I know that the Lord's purposes are wise and I don't expect to understand them. But I just wish I could understand why some of His children feel so alone and hopeless to the point where they feel there is no other choice than to take their own life. We had a family friend who reached this breaking point on Thursday. I don't know any details of what kinds of things he was dealing with but I hope he is feeling better now. Sometimes I wonder, though, how much regret you might suffer seeing your family and children dealing with such a loss. I am not judging, I have certainly entertained the thoughts, as I am sure most of us have at some time, but I just wonder. I hope our friend is free of his pain and knows how much he is missed and loved.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

thanks grandma

One more thing grandma taught me...without speaking. Grandma had a quote on her fridge for the longest time. ( I wonder if its still there...I guess I will check next time I go over). But it always stuck with me and I share it with my students EVERY year because I think it is one of life's most important lessons.
"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel." Let's always remember that we are all children of God and treat each other as such.

happy birthday, Grandma Irene

Grandma just celebrated her birthday this week and since she is such an amazing woman, I thought I would share 82 amazing things about her. Happy birthday, Grandma! I am so grateful to have had you as the rock you have been inmylife!

1. She brought the Gospel to our family by accepting it and being baptized.
2. She can do everything with one hand that it takes me two hands to do.
3. She has taught me how to sew.
4. She has a brave, strong heart.
5. I can see a lot of myself in her.
6. She helped provide the things we needed growing up, like school clothes and cars.
7. She is a stylin' grandma.
8. She has always had tons of energy.
9. Her house and clothes smell so wonderful.
10. She is neat and organized.
11. She is smart and values education. Even though she didn't finish school as a child she went back as an adult and got her GED and other vocational training.
12. She has worked hard all her life to be self sufficient.
13. She is very talented at sewing and made us dresses when we were children. She made most of my mom's clothes.
14. She loves family history and served as a missionary in the FHC.
15. She is forgiving.
16. She is generous.
17. She took us in when we needed a safe place to live.
18. She has a "beauty mark " on her lip.
19. She fought cancer bravely and won.
20. She has a wonderful sense of humor.
21. She is a proud American and is concerned and informed in politics.
22. She has an eye for beautiful antiques.
23. She always has the most amazing quilts.
24. She still has dolls.
25. She got me my first Cabbage Patch Kid and I still have it.
26. She has a quiet, but strong, testimony of the Lord and His church.
27. She decorates her home beautifully.
28. She let us sleep in her bed with her even though we kicked and stole the covers.
29. She had sleepovers with us and we would watch "Golden Girls" and "Johnny Carson" with her.
30. She loves dogs, especially pugs.
31. She always wrote me on my mission faithfully.
32. She has a caring heart and took special care of Deeda and Fowie in their final years.
33. She draws cute Smiley faces.
34. She has lots of neat things that she enjoys telling the history of.
35. She is interested in me.
36. She is proud of me and my siblings for even small accomplishments.
37. She is stubborn about the things she believes in.
38. She doesn't give up.
39. She has great stories of growing up in Arkansas.
40. She still tries to learn new things.
41. She is a great friend.
42. She has a great vocabulary- "whoopie!" "For Pithie's sake" and "dear Gussy"
43. She still looks great in jeans.
44. She has traveled many places.
45. She put up with us to drive us to Arkansas when I was ten to see her family.
46. She has overcome great challenges in life.
47. She cooks great Southern Comfort foods: fried chicken, fried potatoes, fried okra.
48. She raised my mom and taught her to be a loving mother.
49. She is a good listener.
50. She patiently taught me how to drive.
51. She colored with me when I was little.
52. She taught Erin and me how to make paper dolls.
53. She took me to Disneyland by myself when I was 8.
54. She is a shopping pro. She wore me out as a child.
55. She knows how to find the best bargains at the best stores.
56. She has always been involved in our lives.
57. She is protective.
58. She has spent many hours helping my brother and his wife with paperwork and dealing with government agencies.
59. She always looks great.
60. She took me places and picked me up when Mom was at work.
61. She is always willing to help or listen, no matter the hour.
62. She chose an amazing husband who took my mother as his daughter and loved his grandkids fiercely.
63. She chose another amazing husband who accepts us as his family and blesses us with his Priesthood and is always willing to help in any way he can.
64. She let me live with her while I went to college.
65. She looks at least 20 years younger than she is.
66. She knows exactly the right gifts to buy.
67. She loves kids...not a grumpy old lady.
68. She knows and remembers my friends.
69. She makes the best spaghetti.
70. She hurts when you hurt.
71. She is always thinking of someone else.
72. She would watch Jazz games with me.
73. She likes football.
74. She has a wonderful laugh.
75. She likes to play and have fun.
76. She's classy. :)
77. She worries about me.
78. She always brings back special presents when she goes on a trip.
79. She has lived a life of faith.
80. She is a good example to me.
81. She still colors her hair red.
82. She is beautiful and wise.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Another quick, but deep, thought

In everything that has been going on since April, I have come to realize that I was pretty dang smart when I was 6 years old and realized that "Life's not fair!" This has been something that I grew up knowing but not accepting. Why is life not fair?!?!
I realized it recently.
Life isn't fair and we should be happy that its not fair, because if it was fair, we would get what we deserved... and that would mostly be bad.
Christ suffered not only for our sins, but also all of our pains, so that life wouldn't have to be fair.
That's pretty amazing, if you think about it.
(but I still wish I could win the lottery and have a perfect family like they do...)<3

More on the meaning of suffering

Facebook friends will have seen my recent update with the quote from Viktor Frankl on the meaning of suffering. "Suffering ceases to be suffering in some way at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of sacrifice. . . ‎In accepting this challenge to suffer bravely, life has meaning up to the last moment, and it retains this meaning literally to the end. In other words, life's meaning is an unconditional one, for It even includes the potential meaning of suffering." -Viktor Frankl (Holocaust survivor and author of Man's Search for Meaning). When I read this, considering all the crap I have had to deal with the past 4 months, or so, I just started to bawl. This was a man that suffered in Auschwitz saying this, and here I am suffering in my own little "garden" (which I am not minimizing at all, but it is not a concentration camp, after all), expressing such courage and strength about pain and challenges. I am on this search for meaning. (That sounds so chivalrous! "a quest for the meaning of suffering.")
In thinking about all of this, I am reminded of a quote that a friend sent me when all this first started. Hopefully, I will someday reach this point where I can recognize the growth I have made and look back on all of it and say, "Wow, that really wasn't that bad after all! Look at me now!!!"
"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God....and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulations, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven...." ~Orson F. Whitney


Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Let It Be" The story behind the lyrics

"I was going through a really difficult time around the autumn of 1968. It was late in the Beatles' career and we had begun making a new album, a follow-up to the "White Album." As a group we were starting to have problems. I think I was sensing the Beatles were breaking up, so I was staying up late at night, drinking, doing drugs, clubbing, the way a lot of people were at the time. I was really living and playing hard.

The other guys were all living out in the country with their partners, but I was still a bachelor in London with my own house in St. John's Wood. And that was kind of at the back of my mind also, that maybe it was about time I found someone, because it was before I got together with Linda.

So, I was exhausted! Some nights I'd go to bed and my head would just flop on the pillow; and when I'd wake up I'd have difficulty pulling it off, thinking, "Good job I woke up just then or I might have suffocated." Then one night, somewhere between deep sleep and insomnia, I had the most comforting dream about my mother, who died when I was only 14. She had been a nurse, my mum, and very hardworking, because she wanted the best for us. We weren't a well-off family- we didn't have a car, we just about had a television – so both of my parents went out to work, and Mum contributed a good half to the family income. At night when she came home, she would cook, so we didn't have a lot of time with each other. But she was just a very comforting presence in my life. And when she died, one of the difficulties I had, as the years went by, was that I couldn't recall her face so easily. That's how it is for everyone, I think. As each day goes by, you just can't bring their face into your mind, you have to use photographs and reminders like that.

So in this dream twelve years later, my mother appeared, and there was her face, completely clear, particularly her eyes, and she said to me very gently, very reassuringly: "Let it be." It was lovely. I woke up with a great feeling. It was really like she had visited me at this very difficult point in my life and gave me this message: Be gentle, don't fight things, just try and go with the flow and it will all work out.

So, being a musician, I went right over to the piano and started writing a song: "When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me"... Mary was my mother's name... "Speaking words of wisdom, let it be." There will be an answer, let it be." It didn't take long. I wrote the main body of it in one go, and then the subsequent verses developed from there: "When all the broken-hearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, let it be." I thought it was special, so I played it to the guys and 'round alot of people, and later it also became the title of the album, because it had so much value to me, and because it just seemed definitive, those three little syllables. Plus, when something happens like that, as if by magic, I think it has a resonance that other people notice too.

Not very long after the dream, I got together with Linda, which was the saving of me. And it was as if my mum had sent her, you could say. The song is also one of the first things Linda and I ever did together musically. We went over to Abbey Road Studios one day, where the recording sessions were in place. I lived nearby and often used to just drop in when I knew an engineer would be there and do little bits on my own. And I just thought, "Oh it would be good to try harmony in mind, and although Linda wasn't a professional singer, I'd heard her sing around the house, and knew she could hold a note and sing that high. So she tried it, and it worked and it stayed on the record. You can hear it to this day.

These days, the song has become almost like a hymn. We sang it at Linda's memorial service. And after September 11 the radio played it alot, which made it the obvious choice for me to sing when I did the benefit concert in New York City. Even before September 11th, people used to lean out of cars and trucks and say, "Yo, Paul, let it be."

So those words are really very special to me, because not only did my mum come to me in a dream and reassure me with them at a very difficult time in my life – and sure enough, things did get better after that – but also, in putting them into a song, and recording it with the Beatles, it became a comforting, healing statement for other people too."
- Paul McCartney

Life's Challenges

Disclaimer: This is a bittersweet post. Mostly bitter, but slightly sweet. . . maybe.

I'm back! I know I need to get back into this blogging thing, but I always think that my life is so boring, what with having no children or husband to add excitement to my daily journey. I don't have a whole lot going on myself, just work and that's pretty much it. After I got my own place in April, things started to take a plunge inmylife. Pain that I thought was long ago buried somehow found a way of creeping up and haunting me. I found things that I wanted to change and wounds I wanted to heal. This has been a very difficult journey, to say the least. I have lost friends, or so it seems. Something inside of me is still hoping that maybe things will get better eventually and friendships will rekindle, but I am not sure. I have cried nearly every day since May. Sometimes, all day long. I wonder if the Lord really hears and answers my prayers because, although things have become at least bearable, I don't think they are really better. At least I can make it through each day and say, "I'm alive," which at least, on some level is a huge accomplishment.
However, now that school has started, things are somewhat back to normal. I am not doing karate any more. Although, I hope that within the year, I can get back into it. With everything that has been going on, I am not in a place emotionally to be able to do it and have fun. I was starting to get burned out anyway as I got closer to my black belt. Since quitting, I have found other reasons, too, that I needed to take a break from it. I need to take care of some debts . . . my school loans are barely coming out of deferment/forbearance, so I need to start paying those off and I need to start working on my Master's (which will put the loans back into deferment if I want to). But I am hoping to get back to the karate in the spring or summer if everything works out and I find that things have gotten better.
Right now, though, it seems as though all I do is work and then go home and spend time reading or on Facebook, which I hate, but I feel like I have nothing better to do (when I know I really could be doing better things). But I guess I am not doing so bad after all since I am surviving and starting to feel a little hopeful about things in the future. Let's just see how I feel tomorrow.

Oh, and P.S. another good thing is that I am will be an auntie again. This time a little niece. Lauren Michelle Watts is due mid January. January 18th, to be exact, and that is my sister Kelly's birthday. She is a proud auntie and hoping that Lauren makes her debut on schedule.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Time Travelers Book 1 in the Gideon Trilogy

I am about half way through this really great book (author Linda Buckley-Archer)! It is the story of two 21st century children, Kate Dyer and Peter Schock, who are whisked away on a time traveling adventure when they come in contact with an anti gravity machine. They are taken back to July 1763 and the villain called, the Tar Man steals the machine taking with him their chance of returning home. They end up journeying through the English countryside with Gideon Seymour in an attempt to get back home.
This is the first in a trilogy of time travel books and is certain to be a hit among children and adult readers for a long time!

More juicy details to come as I continue reading.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Great Kapok Tree's Bit of Wisdom

Last Friday, at school we read a story called, "The Great Kapok Tree" from the basal. This is a really neat story about a tree in the Amazon Rainforest and the animals telling a man why he should not cut it down. Anyways, there was a line in it, that never really hit me until this time and we had to stop and have a discussion about it and then write it on the board as a classroom motto for a while.
"What happens tomorrow depends on what you do today."
This can be considered on several different levels, of course. Our discussion of the story had to do with the fact that if we destroy nature today then our children won't be able to enjoy it in the future. But then, it led to a discussion about things like studying for the test if you want to get an A, or practicing for the game if you want to do your best.
But now, I am thinking about it on a spiritual level. We are children of our Heavenly Father and He loves us very much. He wants us to be our best in this life and to return to Him in the next. We can't just go through this life like a kite carried by the wind. We need to direct ourselves so that what happens tomorrow is not a surprise to us. For example, the prophets have foretold of disasters that are to come in the last days and have counseled us to be prepared by collecting food storage and getting rid of debt. If we do these things today then we can make it through the disasters on our own rather than having to rely on the help of others.
We have been promised great blessings if we follow the commandments and do the things that the prophets counsel. We have been told that God has a mansion prepared for us and that we are His divine children with a divine inheritance. What we receive tomorrow depends on what we do today.

My new casita

So, as you can see, I have not been the best blogger lately. Actually, I think for about the last year. Ouch. But the truth is... my life is just so freaking boring that I never have anything to really blog about.
For those of you who keep up with me on facebook, you know that I have been in the process of moving. For the last two years, my mother, sister, and I have been living together in my mom's house. I never really wanted to do this, I had really enjoyed having a place with my sister, but we were trying to save some money. Well, the time came that I needed to get my own place. So that is what I did. I didn't expect to find something in my price range so quickly, but I lucked out and found a fairly nice 2 br town home close to work for a really good price. I love it! It is weird to have a place of my very own without family or roommates, but I love it! I get to decorate and no one eats my food, or yells about the dishes being dirty (which incidentally, the house is cleaner than I have ever lived in... I do the dishes and make my bed every day- who knows how that happened?) It was a little scary the first few nights being on my own, but now I really like it. It is really quiet and I can hear the ticking of the clock instead of the TV coming from the other room. I never realized how comforting I find the ticking of a clock until now. Is that strange? It is, sometimes, a little lonely, but I am so busy during the week that I hardly notice. But I think, once I have the place all put together and acquire a dining room table of some sort, that I will enjoy having people over to watch a movie, play games, or have dinner.
The best part of it all.... I get to sleep in an extra half hour every day because I live a mile from the school rather than ten.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oh how I do appreciate Mr. Twain...

Good ol' Sammy Clemens...He had such a wonderful ability to express the true feelings of his heart without worrying about how other people will feel and react. Here are some of my favorite "Twainisms" :)

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."

"Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."

"Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."

"Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."

"After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her."

"Last week I stated that this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister and now wish to withdraw that statement."

"I like a thin book because it can steady a table, a leather volume because it will strop a razor, and a heavy book because it can be thrown at a cat."

"Don't look at the world with your hands in your pockets. To write about it you have to reach out and touch it."

"I haven't any right to criticize books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone." (I like this one, in particular, because I do not enjoy Jane Austen novels...)

"I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."

"Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR per G.G., CHIEF OF ORDNANCE" (preface to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- my favorite book ever!)

"I was born lazy. I am no lazier now than I was forty years ago, but that is because I reached the limit forty years ago. You can't go beyond possibility."

"In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


So today was the first day back at school. I woke up with a headache just thinking about the problems and the horrible behavior that the kids would have today coming back. Guess what? They were really good, but the headache persisted even though I only had minor problems...
Minor Problem #1....a kid knocking on the door for twenty mins this morning hoping that I would bring out the balls... he just kept knocking and staring in the window, and despite the fact that he could see that I was there and was not going to get up and bring out the balls, he kept knocking. I wanted him to get the clue that he needs to be polite and just let me work whether or not he can see that I am in the room or not. So when he came in, he got to start off the new year by changing his card at 9:01 am. Hahahaha.....
Minor Problem #2 could be expected by a child I will call Billy. Billy is somewhat of a brat, if I can say so. He is always arguing with me before he even checks to see what I am talking about. For example, if he gets a question wrong, he will whine, "no it's not" before he even sees if he put an answer down. So today, he brought a paper up to me and I said, "Billy, you didn't put your name on your paper." Then it came, the protest, as if I would lie to him... "Yes, I diiiiiiiiiiiiid!!" So I said, "Billy please go change your card." Then, the same thing as always, "Ohhhh I'm sorry," and the crying begins. What can I do to keep my sanity here?
Minor Problem #3 . . . Another somewhat challenging, but very bright, highly gifted boy who likes to get into power struggles was not paying very good attention and after a couple of requests to focus more, warning him that the next time he was not looking at the board and listening, he would change his card, he decided to roll his eyes at me. Hellooooo? How rude! So I said, "Did you just roll your eyes at me?" No answer. Please go change your card. He was fine the rest of the day.

So, I guess it was actually a really great day, after all. But, I can't be too excited. It will be back to "normal" here in a few days. This is what we in the education world call the "Honeymoon Period," which happens at the beginning of the year and after long vacations, if you are lucky. But you can't let it fool you. Don't judge the kids as angels until they prove to be that good even after a week or so.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Not New Year's Resolutions

I don't believe in setting New Year's Resolutions because I think resolutions and goals should be something that are a continual focus, rather than simply in January (and forgotten by February). I do, however, believe in setting and achieving goals all throughout the year, big and small. I have several goals that I am working on right now, and two that are really big! I mean, really big, but I know that they are achievable! You know me though, DREAM BIG or don't dream at all!
1. PARTICIPATE IN THE UTAH SUMMER GAMES in Cedar City. I have been considering this since a few students in my karate school were talking about it last year, although only one of them actually did. I would really like to do this to gain some valuable experience.
2. EARN MY BLACK BELT. Since I was a kid, I have dreamed of doing karate and now I have done it. I am so proud of myself for finally doing it. Now after several years, I can actually see, smell, and taste the black belt (well, not really, but you know what I mean). This was never part of the dream and I am so excited that I have made it this far!

Wellness Challenge

Every year the school district participates in a wellness challenge sponsored by the health insurance company. I participated last year and enjoyed it. This year I am doing it again. I think I will push myself harder this year to set more goals rather than just try to win by racking up the most minutes. I feel so bad lately because I had lost about 70 pounds a few years ago and then, since last Christmas, I have gained about 25-30 of those pounds back. I would like to get back down to where I was by the end of the competition in March. Then I would still like to lose about 30 more to get to my ultimate goal, but right now, just getting back down to that point would be great!
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