Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekly report

Friday October 17th I spoke at our institute soup and the spirit. It went well, I think. I know I felt the Spirit and hope that others did too. I used a lot of quotes from one of my favorite talks by Elder Jeffery R. Holland it is a CES talk entitled Terror, Triumph, and a Wedding Feast. It is amazing. If you have never read it you should! He talks about how; yes, there is terror in the Latter Days but we are Saints who know that we will Triumph and that ever other dispensation knew we would triumph too. He says that they need us to be successful so they can count themselves successful. He concludes by saying that when the Savior comes we the members of the church of the Lamb of God will turn the kingdom over to the Lamb of God and that we ,who are doing what we are supposed to be doing, will all be invited to the wedding feast.

Saturday I met some friends for pizza at a local favorite called Moose Tooth. It was soo yummy. My two new friends (blessings for reals) are Charlotte and Lisa. They are amazing girls. So hospitable they let me crash at their place anytime. They have done some amazing things in their lives helping each other and serving their families through some hard times. They inspire me.

Sunday we had some wonderful speakers from the High Council. They spoke on service...and how when we serve others our selfish desires diminish and the divine with in us grows. It was great. Monday night I was asked to speak to the Yellow family and I gave the same message about hope in the last days..well I tweaked it a little. Then we played the sign game. It was so much fun. I love the sign game especially playing with my brothers they are so funny sneaking around the person in the middle.

Wednesday night at Institute we talked about the Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith. We looked at some of his books and talked about how much time he must have put in to know and understand so much. People think that others just come by knowledge naturally while they might have some unique talent for remembering things: they still have to learn them in the first place. He was an amazing prophet who truly knew the doctrine of the kingdom and would have no problem helping anyone with any problem by opening the scriptures and teaching directly from them. The word of God is so powerful. I know that the scriptures bring such hope, love, and joy to my life as I read how willing our Father in Heaven is to help us in our weakness to overcome our weaknesses. I borrowed the Emma Smith movie from the Institute and watched it. It was pretty good. She and Joseph went through some ridiculously hard times. I can not imagine loosing all those sweet babies. How grateful we all should be for the principle of compensation as Elder Wirthlin taught about in General Conference. Knowing that every tear cried will be replaced a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing keeps me moving on...doing my best to just be"good."

The movie made me miss my own family like crazy. I'd give anything for a Jared hug, a Coley kiss, a good laugh with mom and neeners and the girls, a signing time video with Jacob, to hear daddy and Spencer play together, ...Christmas is coming soon. =0) Because of Christ I know I'll be with these guys forever.

Thursday one of my students had a major physical blow out. Completely destroyed my room. It was nuts-o I am glad the other students were at PE. I hate it when that happens because I feel like there is always something more or different I can / could have done...even though I probably couldn't in some situations it is just going to happen. Plus all that adrenaline is hard to get rid of.

We are studying wind and energy in science right now and one of my students made me laugh so hard. We were blowing bubbles and I asked the class what direction the bubble were blowing and there were "up, down, left, right, north, and some souths, and then ....his reply was "...towards me." He is like a 10 year old kindergartner. He is so darn cute. They all are. It really baffles me to realize how easily it is to love others you have only known for a short while. Whether they are kids in my class or part of the summer YSA's that I only knew for a few precious months...I love them like I do people I have known my entire life. Love is a beautiful gift.

Our school started a biggest looser competition and I hope to be a fierce competitor. I joined our local YMCA it has a saline pool I had never heard of such a thing...... no worries I have no plans of getting in it ...... for awhile anyways besides I would not share my secrets strategy with them. --those eggs were a lie stephen..a lie =0)

Today is one of my friends Birthdays and we are all going out to celebrate. It should be a lot of fun I am really looking forward to spending time with some of the young singles. We have good times when we get together. Nicole is amazing she is in the air force and her husband in the arm. He is in Virgina and she is here and they don't know when they will get to be reunited. She is always smiling and happy though making me thankful for what I got here and now...on that note y'all have a great weekend. Love ya!

Oh, the October Ensign has a great article (for any political junkies) on Abortion by Elder Nelson. I have friends who try to say that the church supports choice and agency and so then we should be the article! While Elder Nelson does not make the connection that the Church does not support abortion and should not support a candidate who does. I will. Was it a coincidence that that article came out in October before election time? I think not but that is just my speculation. It is crazy to support a candidate who would "not want to punish his daughters if they make a mistake." Sorry if this if offensive... I couldn't resist putting that out there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Late to School

Somehow my alarm got shut off and I woke up at 7:35 am which is precisely when I am supposed to be in my classroom getting ready for the day. I quickly brushed my teeth put on some clothes and rushed out the door. I called the school while I was trying to wrangle some gloves on my hands to let them know I would be late. Then I called my lovely Teachers Assistant Ms. Mandi and asked her where she was knowing that promptness is not her forte she was still clear across town. I hurried and made it to school at 7:55. My students were definintely concerned as to my whereabouts.

Things went down hill from there. We implemented a new classroom discipline system 1-2-3 magic. While I love it the kids are still getting acclamated to it. Like with anything new they wanted to push the limits and see just how it would work and it worked as it should..except for with one student who thought that I needed to be grabbed by the collar, then hit, and almost bitten. We had the principal and two intervention coaches trying to get me freed from the grasp of an upset student. One student brought three bags of candy to class and would try to put some stashes away from later on this week. Another student had "sprung" his right wrist and could not do any written work. What a day! Only at my school...

On top of that I didn't feel well "volcano" in the of my first days here I went to lunch with a T.A. in the room next to mine (who is a crack up hoot) an older African America woman who makes me look small and still lives at least cosmetically in the 80's..girl she loves her some fake eyelashes and she walks with a cane due to an injury restraining a student here last year. Me and Leelah went to Subway after numerous efforts to stretch her seatbelt to subway she was telling me how she was lactose intolerant but was gonna get her some pepper jack cheese on her samwich anyway and that later she might have a "volcano" in the tummy......and felt nasty all day due to the lack of a nice shower in the morning. Needless to say the students picked up on my vibe and it effected the entire day. I will do a double check tonight to the status of my cell phone alarm clock. =0)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The view from my classroom a close up of the mountains. Then a far away view. The sun beams in my classroom every morning. Finally the third picture is me and Mrs. Papacristo--she married a greek...lucky girl he can cook!! We are on the playground. She is also a first year teacher; we get along great and are enjoying our successes and comforting each other in our defeats.
Oh how I love the snow. It is so beautiful. At Family Home Evening I had us sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing for our opening hymn..snow reminds me of Christmas....maybe I am excited because I get to go home for Christmas. I have also been listening to Christmas music in my car Ray Charles, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Celine Dion, Elvis..and more...Did I say that I love the snow? I love how it feels when it lands on my face cold and damp and then it melts and turns warm. I like the sounds it makes when the huge flakes fall and make this soft clicking noise like ant legs against the hot dry sand. I also love how it coats everything and makes it look so clean and pure. I LOVE : it there is something magical about snow. I am not articulating myself very well ;but, just know I love it.

This week at school has been full of adventure. I got hit with a hanger today, shoved on Monday, and a snowball thrown at me. If you have never been hit with a hanger just know they hurt... bad.

My school day has turned into SNOW PANTS DAYS...take snow pants off...put snow pants on for recess...take snow pants off....put snow pants on to go home...take at least 40 minutes out of our academic day all for snow pants. Not'd be amazed how long it takes ADD 5th graders to put on snow pants..much less to take them off.

Institute is going well. I am taking gospel living and the provident life on Tuesday nights..and the institute council meets on Tuesdays night as well. Wednesdays I take presidents of the church. I really love the Institute instructors they are knowledgeable and they invite the Spirit to be the true teacher. Thursday is choir and I am no singing maestro but they need voices and a voice I have.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was this past weekend and man was it wonderful! I really enjoyed Elder Perry's talk about living simply, Elder Holland's talk about Angels seen and unseen ( thanks to all of you angelic people who have crossed my path) , Elder Uchtdorf's talk about hope, and Elder Eyring's talk about zion and unity in our homes and church. I watched Saturday's conference at the Maplewood Institute building ( I am on the Institute council). I watched Sunday am at Baxter building and Sunday afternoon in Eagle River with a friend. It snowed and was so pretty. I also got to talk to some of my new friends Craig who moved to Idaho and Nicole who moved to Provo so it was a GREAT!

Monday was a typical Monday at school. Tuesday I had IEP training at the district building it was a nice day away from kiddos. Wednesday we had a rough start getting back to having the real teacher in school. One of my kids had a major blow out threw his desk and chair and shoved me out of the way to get to the classroom library so he could throw books. After he recovered we had a great day. Social Studies was especially fun. We made treaties! We had 7 new off days given us by Gov. Palin and we had to compromise where to put them. At Christmas break or over summer so it was fun. I spoke in my best British accent and the kids loved it!!

Well I got to go to institute! I love it here!! There is tons of snow on the mountains. Sunrise is 8:30 am and sunset like 7:30ish.