Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 13: Teacher Payday

Teaching is a hard profession. I know some people think that it is a cushy job because teachers get breaks during the year and summers off. If you are one who feels that way, I would like to give you an open invitation to come and teach my class for a day. There is a lot more to teaching than some people realize. I don't mean to sound as if I'm complaining--I'm not. I love my job and I wouldn't want to do anything else. But, there are hard days that make you wonder if everything you do is worth it. Somedays when kids don't listen or turn in their work or when a parent sends a rude email its hard to remember why I love being a teacher.

Today was not one of those days. Today was a payday. Today is a day I will think about when I secretly wish I could throttle my 5th graders. Today I got a surprise visit from one of my former students. Jesse was in my first 6th grade class six years ago and today he brought me a graduation announcement. We sat and talked for almost an hour about high school, friends, memories of 6th grade, and future plans. This is a kid who always had a great sense of humor and knew how to keep his priorities straight, and he still does. He probably isn't a 4.0 student, but he made it through. And not only that, he has a plan for what to do with his life and is working to achieve it.

This is why I teach. I teach to help kids prepare for the future. I teach to give them a foundation to build their lives on. I teach so kids can find a path they want to follow and set goals to achieve their dreams. So, today I am thankful to Jesse. Thanks for reminding me that the hours I put in as a teacher are worth it. I'm am grateful to have played a very small part in helping him get to this milestone in his life. I wish him the best of luck in the future.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12: Maturation

It's that special day of the year when every fifth grader magically matures in one hour--
I WISH! Actually today is really one of the most dreaded days of the year. Today is the day my students had to sit down with a parent's arm around them and listen to a nurse say embarrassing things about how they will be maturing socially, emotionally, and physically in the next couple of years. Oh the horror! I can still remember going to maturation with my mom and getting a sample stick of deodorant and having my face turn all red. On the other side of things, it is pretty funny watching kids duck their heads and not be able to look at each other once they get back to the classroom. Those bags of "goodies" go quickly to the backpacks before going out to recess to try to forget about the whole thing. Ahh, isn't growing up so much fun?!

May 11: Memorable First Lines

Tonight our FHE group went to the Bishop's house. He started off with an activity matching first lines to the books to which they belong. Let's see how well you know some of them:

  • Call Me Ishmael.
  • It was the best of times, it was the worst of times
  • It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
  • All children, but one, grow up.
  • It was a pleasure to burn.
  • In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth
  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Bishop used this as a segue to talking about how important word choice can be in the scriptures. He used an example from the Book of Mormon, showing how studying just one word can change the importance/understanding of a passage of scripture. It was a very interesting lesson. There is definitely a difference between reading the scriptures and searching/pondering them.

May 10: Happy Mother's Day!

Super Mom
Mom, you are a wonderful mother,
So gentle, yet so strong.
The many ways you show you care
Always make me feel I belong.
You're patient when I'm foolish;
You give guidance when I ask;
It seems you can do most anything;
You're the master of any task.
You're a dependable source of comfort;
You're my cushion when I fall.
You help in times of trouble;
You support me whenevere I call.
I love you more than you know;
You have my total respect.
If I had my choice of mothers,
You'd be the one I'd select!
--Joanna Fuchs

Mothers deserve more than one day a year. These are three of the mothers I know and love.

Kim, I admire the way you are raising Zac. You are so loving and patient.

Mom, you love me unconditionally. What more can I ask for?

Grandma, you are a pillar of strength. Thank you for your example.

Happy Mother's Day!

May 9: Spring Cleaning at School

Jer and I spent time cleaning out some 5th grade closets today. There was a bunch of stuff that our friend Ruthanne left when she became an administrative intern. Neither Carrie nor Cassie did much with it because they both only taught with us for a year. (There is no time to dig through all that stuff when you are trying to learn a new curriculum.) With another new-to-5th grade teacher coming next year we decided it was time to purge. It was a good thing we did! We took three cupboards worth of stuff and simplified it down to one cupboard. I could not believe all the junk we threw away. These pictures show how much we were able to get rid of.

May 8: Sense & Sensibility

I am a Jane Austen junkie. I read Pride and Prejudice about once a year. I own the six hour BBC version of the P&P movie. I also own Emma and Sense & Sensibility. I watch them all frequently. When my friend Adria invited me over to watch the BBC version of Sense and Sensibility tonight, it was no surprise that I jumped at the chance. It is a longer version of the story than the Emma Thompson version, but I loved every minute of it! The guy who plays Edward Ferrars in this version is so much better than Hugh Grant. (Especially when he cuts wood in the rain!) I'd watch it again anytime, in fact, I just might have to buy my own copy!

May 7: Conference Ensign

I believe that is a good way to face the unpleasant things in our lives, not complaining but thanking the Lord for the trust He places in us when He gives us the opportunity to overcome difficulties.I love getting this issue of the Ensign. It is so nice to be able to read through the talks that were given in General Conference, to take notes and mark them up. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
  • The Lord always suits the relief to the person in need to best strengthen and purify him or her.
  • Before we yield to temptation, we must learn to say with unflinching resolve, “Get thee behind me, Satan”
  • You don’t have to spend time as a Laman or a Lemuel in order to know that it’s much better to be a Nephi or a Jacob.
  • Those who are caught up in trying to save their lives by seeking the praise of the world are actually rejecting the Savior’s teaching that the only way to save our eternal life is to love one another and lose our lives in service.
  • By listening to the prophets, keeping an eternal perspective, having faith, and being of good cheer, we can face life’s unexpected challenges and “get on with our lives.”
  • We don’t acquire eternal life in a sprint—this is a race of endurance.
  • because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so
  • Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.
  • Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    May 6: Wreaths

    A couple of years ago I bought a wreath stand. Ever since I have been a little obsessed with finding cute wreaths to put on it. I have quite a few seasonal wreaths that I switch out through the year. My favorite is the one I put up for the fall, I love the colors.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    May 5: Fiesta!

    More Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo than Mexicans, did you know that? It's not Mexican Independence day, which is what many Americans assume. It is actually a celebration of the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla. Well, I'm one of those silly Americans because it gives me an excuse to eat Mexican food. (Do I really need an excuse?) My family has gotten together the last few years to celebrate, but this year we decided that we'd partied enough over the weekend. So I was happy when Emily called to invite me to celebrate with her family. I took chips and made a tomato/avacado salsa. Emily made chicken enchiladas, spanish rice, and lemonade pie for dessert. It was all delicious. What a fun fiesta!

    Monday, May 4, 2009

    May 4: Take the PLUNGE!

    I am a game person. I love learning fun new games, and we played a fun one at FHE tonight. It is called Plunge, and yes, you use plungers to play. It is a mixture of Scrabble, Spoons, and Horse; which makes it a little complicated to explain in words, but it was a riot! I think I need to make a set of cards and find small plungers so I can play with my family.

    Sunday, May 3, 2009

    May 3: Last Minute Lesson

    Today was my turn for teaching in Relief Society. I have always been the type of person that procrastinates preparing for that kind of thing. My ideas seem to flow so much better when I'm under pressure to get something done. I should have known I would run out of time with the wedding stuff this week. So after being up late with the wedding I had to wake up early this morning to try and come up with something. Deciding on a topic didn't take too long, but I would have liked to have the time to find supplemental resources. Oh well, I did it to myself, right? Well, I can't say it was my best lesson ever. It didn't seem to flow that well, at least from my point of view. My counselors said it went well, but I think they were just being nice. I hate not doing my best on something like that. I guess that teaches me to wait until the last minute...until the next time I do it.

    Saturday, May 2, 2009

    May 2: Mr. and Mrs. Adamson

    Mike is a husband! I can't believe that my baby brother is married. It was such a wonderful day. The ceremony was beautiful, Mike and Lauren were so lost in each other's eyes that the sealer had to keep reminding them to look at him. It was a blustery day, but the rain cleared out for us to take pictures outside the temple. There was just enough time afterwards to go home, eat lunch, and then get ready for the reception down at Thanksgiving Point. The weather was beautiful for the photo shoot, and the grounds were covered with tulips in bloom. You couldn't ask for a better setting. The reception was so fun with a live band and dancing. At the end of the night we sent off the newlyweds with sparklers. Michael couldn't have found anyone better for him. Lauren makes him a better man. We are so excited to have her in our family officially. Congratulations, Mike and Lauren! I wish you all the best in your new life together.

    Friday, May 1, 2009

    May 1: Wedding Dinner

    Wedding weekend is finally here! Tonight was Mike and Lauren's wedding dinner at Madeline's Restaurant in Sandy. The room was packed with family and friends. The food was great. Lauren's sisters told us to be prepared to share something about Michael because they were going to talk about Lauren. Michelle, Kim, and I argued about which stories each of us would tell. It was fun to hear everyone's thoughts. I was proud of my mom; she didn't cry. It was great to hear Mike talk about how much he loves Lauren and how excited he is to marry her.

    Tomorrow is going to be a wonderful day!