10.31.2010

Halloween Funtivities

Halloween is my favorite time of year. I love the weather, the leaves, the atmosphere, and the excitement. I was sick last year so I was determined to have some fun this year. We started off by going to my schools "Fall Festival" on Thursday night. Cory didn't have a costume so we ran to K-Mart right before and found him a costume. Turns out, he was pretty darn scary. Here is what he looked like in the end:

 He really freaked out the kids. The little ones would either cower behind their parents or quickly move to the other side of the hall when we walked by. We heard whispers of the "scary man" everywhere we went and all the adults kept asking who he was. It was pretty entertaining. During the festival, I had signed up for the pie throwing room where students could come in and throw pies at my face. It was pretty fun and the kids got a real good kick out of it.

We had a great time at the festival!

Our next big day of fun was Saturday. Cory worked, so I went over to my parents and spent the day there. We had planned to go up to Syracuse and visit the Black Island Farms again like last year. However, the weather sucked and our time window was small so we stayed home and played in the leaves instead. The kids were a riot and had so much fun jumping in the leaves and burying each other. I found leaves in my clothes the rest of the night, but we had a blast. I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween!! I can't believe it's already November!












 

10.26.2010

Some Smiles For A Gloomy Day

The First Teacher


On the 6th day, God created men and women.
On the 7th day, he rested.
Not so much to recuperate, but rather to prepare himself for the work he was going to do on the next day. For it was on that day-the 8th day-that God created the FIRST TEACHER.
This TEACHER, though taken from among men and women, had several significant modifications. In general, God made the TEACHER more durable than other men and women. The TEACHER was made to arise at a very early hour and to go to bed no earlier than 11:30 p.m. with no rest in between.
The TEACHER had to be able to withstand being locked up in an airtight classroom for six hours with thirty-five "monsters"on a rainy Monday. And the TEACHER had to be fit to correct 103 term papers over Easter vacation.
Yes, God made the TEACHER tough...but gentle too. The TEACHER was equipped with soft hands to wipe away the tears of the neglected and lonely student... those of the sixteen year old girl who was not asked to the prom.
And into the TEACHER God poured a generous amount of patience. Patience when a student asks to repeat the directions the TEACHER has just repeated for someone else. Patience when the kids forget their lunch money for the fourth day in a row. Patience when one-third of the class fails the test. Patience when the text books haven't arrived yet, and the semester starts tomorrow.
And God gave the TEACHER a heart slightly bigger than the average human heart. For the TEACHER's heart had to be big enough to love the kid who screams, "I hate this class-it's boring!" and to love the kid who runs out of the classroom at the end of the period without so much as a "goodbye," let alone a "thank you."
And lastly, God gave the TEACHER an abundant supply of HOPE. For God knew that the TEACHER would always be hoping. Hoping that the kids would someday learn how to spell... Hoping not to have lunchroom duty... Hoping that Friday would come... Hoping for a free day.... Hoping for deliverance.
When God finished creating the TEACHER, he stepped back and admired the work of his hands. And God saw that the TEACHER was good. Very Good!
And God smiled, for when he looked at the TEACHER, he saw into the future. He knew that the future is in the hands of the TEACHERS.
And because God loves Teachers so much, on the 9th day God created "Snow Days."
~author unknown
 

Humorous Quotes

daisy line

It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber. ~Author Unknown
A gifted teacher is as rare as a gifted doctor, and makes far less money. ~Author Unknown
Experience is a great teacher, and sometimes a pretty teacher is a great experience. ~Evan Esar
Back in the old days it was the student rather than the teacher who had to explain why they could not read. ~Cy N. Peace
Behind each successful teacher is at least one student who knows how to operate the class computer and programme the VCR. ~Paul McClure
Children make the most desirable opponents in Scrabble, as they are both easy to beat and fun to cheat. ~Fran Lebowitz

Laws of Teaching


Disaster will occur when visitors are in the room.
A subject interesting to the teacher will bore students.
The time a teacher takes in explaining is inversely proportional to the information retained by students.
A meeting's length will be directly proportional to the boredom the speaker produces.
The problem child will be a school board member's son.
When the instructor is late, he will meet the principal in the hall.
If the instructor is late and does not meet the principal, the instructor is late to the faculty meeting.
New students come from schools that do not teach anything.
~author unknown
 

Real Teachers

daisy line

Real teachers will eat anything left in the teacher's lounge.
Real teachers grade papers in the car, during commercials, in faculty meetings, in the bathroom, and at the end of six weeks have even been seen grading in church.
Real teachers cheer when they hear that April 1st does not fall on a school day.
Real teachers drive older cars owned by credit unions.
Real teachers can't walk past a crowd of kids without straightening up the line.
Real teachers never sit down without first checking the seat of the chair.
Real teachers have disjointed necks from writing on boards without turning around.
Real teachers are written up in medical journals for the size and elasticity of their bladders and kidneys.
Real teachers wear glasses from trying to read the fine print in the teacher's manuals.
Real teachers have been timed gulping down lunch in 2 minutes 18 seconds. Master teachers can eat faster than that.
Real teachers can predict exactly which parents show up at open house.
Real teachers understand the importance of making sure every kid gets a Valentine.
Real teachers know it is better to seek forgiveness than to ask for permission.
Real teachers know that the best end of semester lesson plans come from Blockbuster.
Real teachers know the shortest distance and length of travel time to the front office.
Real teachers can "sense" gum.
Real teachers know the difference between what ought to be graded, what should be graded, and what should never see the light of day.
Real teachers know that the first class disruption they see is probably the second one that occurred.
Real teachers have their best conferences in the parking lot.
Real teachers have never heard an original excuse.
Real teachers know better than to plan discussions or cooperative groups for last period during an observation.
Real teachers know that secretaries and custodians really run the school.
Real teachers know that rules do not apply to them.
Real teachers give themselves away in public because of the dry erase pen marker smudges all over their hands.
Real teachers know that dogs are carnivores and not "homework paperavores."
Real teachers know that happy hour does indeed begin on Friday afternoons.
Real teachers do not take "no" for an answer unless it is written in a complete sentence.
Real teachers clutch a pencil while thinking and make notes in the margins of books.
Real teachers never take grades after Wednesday of the last week of the six weeks.
Real teachers are solely responsible for the destruction of the rain forest.
Real teachers buy Excedrin and Advil at Sam's.
Real teachers have the assistant principals' and counselors' home phone numbers.
Real teachers know the value of a good education and are appalled upon seeing their paychecks.
AND FINALLY.......
Real teachers hear the heartbeats of crisis; always have time to listen; know they teach students, not subjects; and they are absolutely nonexpendable.

~author unknown

 
 

10.23.2010

Restroom Lessons

Cory and I went to go see "Life As We Know It" last night. The movie was incredible. I bawled, laughed, and even heard "I want that baby!" come out of my mouth because seriously, the little girl is so dang cute. And she even has red hair, which was exciting since our kids will most likely have red hair, thanks to their daddy. Anyway, I'm getting off topic...

I went in to use the bathroom before the show and there were several other women in there. ALL of them, not kidding, ALL of them were using their bathroom break as an opportunity to say unkind things about another person they knew. I don't know if this person was waiting outside, or if they even knew whether or not their friends were at the movies saying things behind their back, but it sickened me. What kind of a society have we become?

Now, let's face it, ladies, we're all guilty of gossip. I'm not innocent of it by any means. So this isn't one of those "preachy" blogs where everyone who finishes reading it goes, "Hm, sounds like Megan should practice what she preaches." I'm trying to. I really am. I was amazed at the things they were saying. It was evident that they spent a lot of time with these "friends" and in one case, a family member, but they were talking with so much animosity that it made me think, "If they're saying these kinds of things about a good friend now, I bet you they will turn around and say something bad about the person they're with tonight!" I've always watched for that in a friend. If they're more than eager to say unkind things about their friends behind their backs, I know I don't want to be around them. I am more forgiving of saying things about people they don't consider friends or really don't get along with. That's my vice as well. It's not any better and I'm not saying it's totally ok to rip on someone you don't like. It's still wrong and I'm still trying to work on it. I know I'll be judged by every word I speak and I hope I can always keep it clean and positive. But it got me thinking about my actions and my friends and how I treat people. I'm not perfect, but I felt confident that I do well in treating those with respect who are my friends and loved ones to their faces and behind their backs when the respect is returned. It's hard with those who push the limits or are unkind in different ways. But I'm trying. I know if I keep trying, I'll eventually make it a habit to conceal any frustrations or hurt feelings I may have. I also thought about the good friends I have. I have no idea what they say when I'm not there. There's no way of knowing without being terribly creepy. Sometimes I get paranoid and wonder if I bothered them or whatever. But I can't go through life being suspicious of everyone. That would be miserable. I just have faith in them, like they do with me. I'm trusting them to do the right thing like they do with me. I'm trying to keep up my end of the deal and I hope they are too. I have wonderful friends. I'm grateful to them and their examples and their willingness to help me when I have issues. I'm grateful they take my advice to heart and ask me for help when they need it. I'm thankful for all the laughs and fun times. I'm grateful that they've proved to me to be the kind of people who don't say horrible things about people they care about. I hope I have proved that to them as well and that I can continue to have the integrity to keep proving that. Those ladies in the restroom probably had no idea that their words were so hurtful or that they were re-teaching me a valuable lesson. But I'm glad I listened and took what I could from it. I'm grateful for teaching moments in life like this that remind me what I should be working on. Someday, I'll get there.

10.17.2010

October Moab Trip, 2010

Like we do every year, we headed down to Moab again. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect vacation. Wednesday Cory and I left with my parents so we could find a camping spot for everyone before the rush got there. After the traffic nightmare in Happy Valley, we made it down there in the afternoon and scored a perfect spot. We set up camp and bummed around until we felt ready for bed. The sun goes down way too early. Every night it would get really dark and we'd be tired and check what time it was and it was only 8:30.  Anyway, we woke up Thursday morning and went for a drive over the La Sal Mountains while we waited for everyone else to join us. On our way we discovered a waterfall and a new campground we didn't know existed before.

The leaves in the mountains were gorgeous and we saw tons of cows. Each time we passed them grazing Cory would roll down the window and clap his hands to spook them and make them run. It was pretty funny.
 We stopped at the summit for some lunch and enjoyed the beautiful view. We took out our chips and they had puffed up because of the elevation gain.
 My awesome parents.

After a great drive we headed back to camp to start dinner and wait for everyone else. After about a half hour they all showed up and the fun really began. The kids had so much fun playing in the sand and on the rocks.


Friday morning we decided to try a new trail called Rose Garden Hill. In the spring I blogged about a road we took through an incredible canyon during our spring trip. This trail is on the same road, only further down. It took us forever to actually get to the obstacles and by the time we did, we were behind a long convoy that took an hour for 2 of their 6 cars to get up. We would have had to wait for them to finish and then try to get up it, and it was already late afternoon so we decided to head home. Even though we didn't get to do anything tough, we still had a great time. My mom made us family shirts that we all got to wear. We took a family picture but I'll have to post that when I get it from her.
Here are the boys showing off their stuff.

 The stud, Brock. He was walking away from me when I was trying to take his picture. I said, "Brock, smile! 1...2..3!" On "3" he spun around and struck this pose, waited for me to take it, then turned around and kept walking. He's so funny!!
 Mommy and Bradlee
 Mom and Lisa
 Papa!
 Adorable Bradlee.
We made it back to camp and had dinner and sat around the campfire. The boys took off to go do the other side of Fins-N-Things, which we never do. It made Cory happy, he loves night wheeling.
Saturday we decided to try this trail:
I have a ton of pictures from this trail but I'm just going to pick out a few. It was pretty fun and the scenery was awesome! I even got to drive some of the trail.


We had a blast! The first huge obstacle was named "The Wall." It looks a little something like this: (It sucks pictures never do it justice)




That was a piece of cake. The ridiculous part was the next huge obstacle called "The Fall." We were thinking it wouldn't be a big deal. We were right about one thing, it was big!
 We decided that rolling off the side of a cliff didn't sound like a good time, so we turned back. We'll have to try that one again when we have a wench. Either way, the trail was a lot of fun and we took some other pictures.
Collin's squeeze, Natalie!
 Heeyah!

We went back to camp and cooked hot dogs and burgers over the fire and talked. Cory and I had such a good time. We really needed a vacation. Everyone got along and the kids were well behaved. The trip was pretty darn perfect! Thanks, Mom, for doing so much for us. It wouldn't have been as successful without your hard work.

10.10.2010

Messages

We've had the most incredible Sunday today. I'm taking a music class and for it, I have to attend 5 concerts throughout the semester and submit reviews on each of them. I have one due next Monday and we're leaving for Moab Wednesday so we decided to attend Music and the Spoken Word this morning for fun, and for it to count as one of my concerts. What an experience.

I've been to the broadcast before, but it's been such a long time since I've heard the choir sing in the Tabernacle. I forgot how amazing those acoustics are. The choir of course sang an amazing performance with a particularly special one to my mom and I entitled "Homeward Bound". It's a celtic folksong that was breathtaking. It's been a long time since I've heard music that flawlessly beautiful. Of course we cried. I told my mom after that it's amazing how we've never been to Scotland, nor were we born there, but we have such deep ties to it and it's culture. Any folksong from there is always dear to our hearts and makes us cry. They even had a penny whistle accompanying the choir. I wish I could describe how awesome it was. The choir ended with "I Believe In Christ" which was another testimony builder for me.

Before the broadcast they announced the special visiting guests. Among those were Glen Beck, Governor Herbert, and Sen. Orin Hatch. We found it odd there were so many political figures present, but they said they would be involved in a presentation after the broadcast. Well, they all took the stage with Mac Christensen, Mack Wilberg, some other church officers, and none other than President Monson. The room lit up with excitement and the intense spirit that always accompanies a Prophet of God. None of us were expecting to see him today. Governor Herbert presented the choir with a declaration that October 10, 2010 is Mormon Tabernacle Choir day. After the presentation, President Monson turned to the choir while they sang everyone "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." Except for Cory, who never cries, I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. The spirit was so strong and I left feeling more edified than I could have hoped for. The Church is indisputably true and I am so grateful to be a member of it. The message given in the broadcast wasn't a coincidence, either. Given the unrest after Conference last week it was a great message. It also applied to my life in terms of letting things go from my distant past, and hoping that others will do the same towards me. Here is the message:

"It's been said that "harboring resentment is like taking poison and then waiting for the other person to die." Keeping a mental list of those who have offended or hurt us serves no good purpose. When we allow ourselves to be resentful, we only harm ourselves.

A middle-aged man learned this much too late in life. In his young adulthood, someone close to him had hurt him deeply. He carried the hurt, which festered into a grudge, for several decades. He spent years accumulating his own sort of "enemies list", remembering others who he believed had done him wrong - most of them unknowingly or at least unintentionally. It wasn't until much later, his heart now softened by age and more of life's ups and downs, that he realized how much he had harmed himself with his own grudges. The poison of resentment held him back from experiencing some of life's joys.

Very often the things that divide people - words spoken in haste, criticisms, accusations, or false assumptions - can lead to bitterness and animosity. And once divided, the people may never come together again.

The solution, of course, is to let the bad feelings go. We all know it intuitively: learning to let go of resentments, whether big or little, can open our heart to love and peace, to rewarding and lasting relationships. Refusing to hold on to hurt feelings leaves more energy for building bonds with those we love. Rejecting the inclination to itemize hurts, slights, and offenses allows for more joy in living.

Consider the lives disrupted, the peace disturbed, the happiness destroyed by resentment. Now might be a good time to clear the heart of past hurts, to drop the enemies list, to let it go."

I know I needed to hear that because I've had a hard time letting go of the resentment for the people who deeply hurt me in my life. Forgiveness is hard to do sometimes, but I'm only destroying myself by remembering the hurtful things I've been put through. On the flip side, I hope that people who may have resentments against me for my mistakes will let it go and forgive me and accept my apologies. Hopefully, without resentment in the church, we can stand together a bit stronger and happier.

Mom's Milestone

Saturday Lisa, my mom, and I did the Wasatch Woman Love Your Body 6k. It was a big milestone for my mom because it was her first race. Because COPD related issues, she's not able to run so Lisa and I walked it with her. It was a lot of fun talking and I have to admit, although I felt like a fish out of water to be wearing a racing bib and not be running, it was nice to not care about my time or how hard I had to work. I could just enjoy the moment. I'm proud of my mom for sticking with it and doing her first race. She even beat her expected time by 10 minutes! Woohoo!! I have pictures but I'm on Cory's computer right now and it won't upload them, so I'll have to post them later. Way to go, Mom!!!

10.07.2010

Standing Firm in the Faith

Living in Utah, it's been difficult for me to really experience people attacking my faith and putting down the Church. With so many members, we're not exactly the minority and many people believe what I believe. Today, for the first time, I experienced hatred and ridicule and deeply troubling words regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints. And to make matters worse, it stemmed from a person who used to be a strong, faithful member and used to be a friend who's now so blind with hatred towards the entire religion. I won't go into depth about it because it really hurt and upset me. It's murderous to have someone attack something you believe so deeply in and defile people you respect above all others. But in a strange way, it strengthened my testimony. I know what I believe is true and seeing that put in harms way was just another reassurance of how happy I am with the choices I've made in my life and the great lengths I would go to in order to defend it. It also gave me a greater appreciation for the Prophet and his Apostles for turning a Christ-like cheek to these offenses. I'm sure they deal with them every day, and yet they never complain about it. The world is ripening for destruction. I hope I can be in the group that makes it to Heaven. I've heard over and over that the righteous will look for the Lord's coming before that wonderful day. I've never understood that fully until now. I'm not perfect, and I have no room to judge others. But the world is getting so wicked that I found myself today saying out loud that I wish the Lord would come and cleanse it. I cannot even fathom how bad it really is out there. We live in a sheltered bubble and I'm sure what I experienced today was nothing compared to what's really out there in the world. I'm just so grateful for the truthfulness of the Gospel and the spirit for comforting me when I was so upset. I love my life and I love my Savior. I'm grateful for the countless blessings he's given Cory and I. Cory is at the top of my lists for the blessings. He's so incredible. I know if I keep striving to do what's right, and repenting when I make mistakes, that everything will be ok. That knowledge makes Cory and I, as well as our families and friends, eternally happy and I couldn't ask for anything more. It doesn't matter what people say about the Church or the horrible things they'll do to bring it down. It will stand forever. I'm grateful and humbled to be a part of that.