Wednesday, October 6, 2010


The temple pic is to help make nice pics come up when someone googles "Mormon" images. The more good lds pics out there on the web the more good pics will come up on google images so spread the Mormon love and repost the picture...

Now on to ME glorious ME! Ha Ha Ha!! Wow Jun 9 was the last post MUCH has happened. I moved back home to AR and had a wonderful trip home with my grandparent, my mom's folks. We stopped at Yellowstone and Cody WY. I was reminded again how much I LOVE to travel and I have done a bit of that since I have been home.

In July, I went to Utah with two of my best girl cousins Mandy and Val we met up with my sister Janeen to give her the car we drove out and with my brother Spencer who live in ID, We also met up with Emily; Val's sister and Jeremy one of our many many cousins. I got to go to a setting apart of a man I helped to teach as a misisonary, he was set apart to be a counselor in a Bishopric it was so neat and meant to be, I will always remember that day! The other girls went to Music in the Spoken Word and met Elder Ballard at church. We stayed with my grandma's sister and got to go do some temple work at the temple she works at. We saw like 12 temples and had a blast being together!! It was a great trip!

Then I really looked for a teaching job in AR had some interviews in August...then things got crazy. I spent two weeks up in Northwest Arkansas scoping out the YSA ward and UofA. Decided not to live up that way. So the rest of August was crazy..Quincy and Amy moved so I watched kids, helped move, then helped clean. We had a baby shower for Amy who after 5 boys is expecting a girl =-)

Then September, we had an Open House for Eldon before he left for his misison ,to the same mission I served in SLC-S, UT. Spencer came home we all went to a Sam Bush concert, he is incredible on the mandolin and a good singer (both really but I was speaking of Sam). Then all 5 boys took a road trip to UT while me and mom kept Justin's kids(Amanda had to go home for a teacher conference, she teaches online with the Florida Virtual School). The boys got home and the same day me, mom, Justin and kids took off for Florida where we watched their kids while they went on a cruise. It was a blast! I had a great time playing with them esp swimming with them in the pool. I miss those two!! Oh and Amanda is expecting #3 yay!!

On the way to Florida we pit stopped at my childhood bff's house and her dear mother was there so we had a great breakfast and a joyous reunion. I love the McDonald's and will forever hold a special place for them in my heart!!

What will October bring? A new McKinney healthy baby, we pray. Eldon as a missionary in his mission. It has been so great hearing from him! He is doing so good. He was a zone leader in teh MTC and just had an amazing experience there. We miss him but sure love the good news he is spreading! Me getting hired on permanenetly at ROse Bud School, I hope and pray! I am taking the GRE at teh end of the month to get my Masters in Special Education.

Time sure flies when you are having fun and man have I had fun this summer driving from Alaska to Arkansas to Utah to Florida-- from one end of the country to the other. I love this country and am so blessed to live here with my family!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

AK fun before I flee

So moving is always such an emotional roller coaster for me...full of highs the anticipation of new beginnings and adventures and lows of saying goodbyes and packing!!! Not to mention stress and anxiety which is probably why I am blogging at 1 23 am. Joblessness is a big stress even though i say I am not worried ( i know the Lord will provide something for me) got a call from a principal who said call me and if we haven't made a choice by then I'll interview you..same everywhere lower 48ers do not do phone interviews.

My youngest brother flew in on Friday and we have been partying up in A-town. We have gone white water rafting, to a glacier, through a 2.5 mile long tunnel to Whittier, an old gold mine, Girdwood to Alyeska ski resort, Talkeetna on the 3 rivers jet boat tour, seen moose, eagles, other birds, a fox, all kinds of wildflowers and mountains, a movie at the new theatre, playhed war ball, football, church, walk on the coastal trail,and it is only Tuesday night. He is hilarious and I have enjoyed being around him again! He should be getting his mission call any day now!!!! Way for him! He is going to be a great missionary.

Mom and Dad have had an adventure getting here already but things seem to be going smoothly now. I can't wait to see them and feels like I have been saying good bye for a month now; first to school people, now everyone else...granted I need this time to really process the move. I am ready to be on the way and feel the high and not be in the low--having Eldon here helps. One of my closest friend here said you act more comfortable with him here. It is so true having someone who has known you forever and loves you unconditionally (almost ha) is so calming. Plus he is a great kid and we have such a long past things come so easily. I think people give up to easily on new relationships intimate ones or not because they don't give the time to really grow a past a shared experience if you will-sorry total tangent but I can't be blamed its now 1 31 am and still not dark.

I just want to say how much I have learned in the past 2 years in my profession and in the gospel. I have made precious memories that are mine forever. We are our experiences and this has been a good one! I have learned more about TRUST and that faith is always exercised for a future event.

Friday, May 21, 2010

"alaskan" adventure about to end

So the students' last day was yesterday and I had them pull out all their old work for the year and we talked about what we did that we liked, and DID not like, and what was really fun! This was good for me esp as I was feeling like I could have done more with these ED (emotionally disturbed) kids.

My two history classes I had a short timeline of the year and they had to put it in order without their books and that was fun to see them do that...they did pretty darn good. Another class I made a graphic organizer for food, dances, projects, guest speakers, and movies. We filled it up and we all had a great time remembering the year. We watched old commercials and 20/20 interviews we had made, plays, skits, photos, and it was hilarious to see how they changed. We had a student who gained at least 30 lbs, two who drastically cut their hair, and they all grew so tall.

I will miss these kids and the familarity of the school and feeling like I know how to work the environment of the school i.e. the practice rooms, grey isolation rooms, cops there daily, and kids leaving for long stints in juevy and mental health facilities. I only had one crier he was in my 5th grade room last year and Ihad him in 6th grade social studies this year. He was going to miss me, but I think he was really crying because he forgot a card he made me at home. So goodbye kiddos! I will miss you and think of you often.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I have had a great birthday! Some friends took the weekend to go camping in Kenai. We had a great time around a camp fire making smores. "how can I have more if I have not had any?" We rented a bike made for 4 that looked like an antique car and had fun riding it down to the softball fields to play some ball. We had tin foil dinners down on the beach and watched the sun set it was gorgeous!!! We drove back Sunday am and stopped at the Wildlife conservation center and saw some of the animals there, it was fun.

Church was good and then my dear friends and coworker Kay Papakristo invited me to her place for a birthday bbq. It was gorgeous outside!! Sunshiney.

Then I went with my roomate on a whale cruise out of Seward. It was amazing. We saw humpback whales a mom and baby, stellar sea lions, dahl sheep, thousands of birds, old WWII bunkers, eagles,and sea otters. We went to the Sea life center and had a great time there. One tank had some harbor seals and one of them hung out at the glass and played with you. He would follow your hand all around. He was sooo cute. I saw swimming birds up close and touched lots of sea plants and star fishes. It was great!! I think I will take my parents and grandparents there in a few weeks.

29 wow! This is not exactly where I saw myself as a youth but it has not been a bad ride. Some hard times now and then but overall some amazing experiences!!!!!!!!!!!! I have lived in 6 states (that I remember) 4 of them as a YSA. I feel like I am a well rounded person (no pun intended) who has been a risk taker. I have lived in every region of the USA. I have been exposed to city life, rural life, freezing climates, and hot climates. I have remained true to myself and to the covenants I have made. I have continued to love the Lord even through disappointments, trails, sorrows and know that the best part of my life is ahead of me. Faith is always facing forward. (remember lot's wife elder holland talk...AMAZING)

I long to have my own family and put down roots; when I get discouraged about this I just remember what I have control over and what I don't. I also remember that it only takes a short time to get married. I have known lots of couples who met and very quickly their lives changes dramatically. 2 from my ward here are now about to be parents, wow the difference a year can make...BUT if not then; I will continue to live my life having faith in the Lord and His infinite goodness, kindness, and His plan for me. I know part of my mission on Earth is to be a good example to others, to love others, and to learn all I can. These 3 things can keep me busy for a long time!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

SUNSHINE Y'ALL -- and scares!

Today is the third day of absolutely gorgeousness; clear calm skies and sunny sixty degree weather! I have been have some grand adventures lately!! Saturday I took my good friend and co-workers daughters to the Eagle River Nature Center we saw some swans on the way out and a bunch of eagles and other "Alaskan" birds there. That night, after eating and feeding the missionaries at my friends Lexi's, a group of us in 4 trucks went off-roading /4 wheeling for 6 hours out at Jim Creek, just off the knik arm bridge. The sunset that we saw driving out was amazing. We had a blast smashing through mucky muddy, and sailing through cold creeks; I know it was cold because the truck I was in the water seeped in after crossing a dark deep mud hole. After 1 flat tire, 1 chainsaw useage to free an axel from a tree, 1 trip to the woods to pee, 1 wrong turn down a too narrow trail so we had to back out, we still did not make it to the Mat-Su glacier but boy did we have fun!!!!!!!! At 4 am on the way back into Anchorage you could see the sun starting to come back up.

Sunday night one of my BFF's here Erika, I played the piano at her baptism and now my baby is all grown up and going off to preach the gospel in Germany and Austria, texted me and told me the Northern Lights were out, 1: 15 in the am. I ran and put on my ARKANSAS hoodie and got myself outside. At first I didn't see it then she told me to look over Mt. View and then I saw it. It looked like a hazy green moving cloud. It was awe--some!

Monday at FHE we played ultimate dodge ball. When you get out all the people you got out are back in, never ending game. Then we got in teams of 3 and if someone in your team got out the team was out, within 20 mins we had a winner. So much fun to play and watch! We went to cold stone yummo! Then went to a middle school to play football, mosquitos are out and attacking. During the last play of the game my Erika had a seizure... scary! I was glad I was with worthy boys who were ready to give her a blessing. She came to and was fine within a few mins. Friday night my dad was in a tornado. He was driving and the storm got so bad he decided to get in a culvert. A tornado went right over where he was and two trees feel on his upper body and legs that were sticking out. He is lucky to be alive!! These two things were such a reminder of how important family and friends are to me and that life is so fragile. There are no guarantees for tomorrow all we have is the here and now.

Tuesday was a good guy friends b-day party after food, we went and walked on the Tony Knowles coastal trail and got cussed out by a crazy native lady because Erika's dog was off it's leash and she had to slow down. Good times! We were watching the sunset, seeing all sorts of birds at chester creek lagoon, and hearing the creek run into the ocean. The mountains on all sides and their reflection in the water was a spectacular to behold. We walked back holding hands and singing we're off to see the wizard. Such a great night!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lunch funny and Recognition

So I often will go across our back track over to The ARC of Anchorage, an organization that helps disabled kids. They help them learn work skills; part of their program is an in-house cafe. I got a baked potato. I came into the gym like I have many times before, only this time one of our "special" kids grabbed a handful of hot potato and threw it then licked his hand. It reminded me of our Downs Jacob he is so fast at grabbing food and he will do the same thing. It made a great mess all over me and the gym....oh geeze!

I felt awful for him cause he kept saying hot hot hot hot hot..and his aid felt bad for my lunch. Our administrative assistant went and got me a new potato over at the cafe while I was helping our janitor and special kid clean up the mess. How sweet!

Yesterday at our end of the day meeting our Principal ,who is maybe 5'1 and sometimes looks really funny talking and dealing with kids who are seriously 2 or 3 times his size, recognized me for my giving up my prep period to go in with the 6th grade PE class and helping out Coach Danny who has 9 kids and no teachers assistant in there. Everyone clapped and it felt nice to be recognized publicly for that effort/sacrifice!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Alaska Roadtrips

Since there are several people from the group I pal around with a lot who are moving in the near future we have decided to road trip on the weekends until we all leave. Fairbanks was the first road trip and probably the longest!

This past Saturday we drove to Girdwood and went up to the 7 glaciers restaurant; which is nestled on top of a mountain at the Aleyeska resort. We took the tram to get up to the top of the mountain. It was gorgeous! The food up top was sooo expensive; it was a 5* eatery. It was tasty especially the creme brulee ! The drive there was spectacular. It was a clear sunny day and the sun was sparkling on the sea. The sunset while we ate and reflected some color onto the snowy mountain side. On the way home, the nearly full moon captured our gaze as its' light danced on the mountain side and the surface of the wavy water.

I will post some pictures soon!

On a side note- I can not believe that another year of school is almost over! The end of the year around here gets intense. Last week we had 4 students arrested and 2 intervention coaches i.e. security guards taken to the hospital for x-rays. One for a hand that got slammed in a door, the other for his nose, head butt to the face. We had a brawl in the hallway right outside my door that I thought would end up looking like a saloon fight in a John Wayne flick but it only dragged in 3 students. It has been nuts around here for sure!!! I am sure there is only more to come.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fairbanks, Chena Hot Springs, and ELDER CHRISTOFFERSON

Went up to Fairbanks, AK some YSA's invited us up to hear Elder Christofferson and Elder Brad Rissenmay, recently called to the 70, at a stake conference. There was not stake president release and Elder Christofferson said he kept getting asked why are you here? He said he was sent as a message of love and as a symbol that there is no place so remote, so isolated, so far that Heavenly Father does not know where you are and is aware of you. He spoke about light and how important it is in our lives temporally and spiritually. He said we need to invite the things that the Lord has touched into our lives, just as the stones that gave light to the Jaredites.

We decided since we were so close we would go to Chena Hot Springs. In Arkansas there is a town called Hot Springs that has natural hot springs too. It was a blast! The Spring was really hot!!

Then we drove over to North Pole, AK. My 1st cousin Spencer Sherwood is serving his mission in Alaska and he started in North Pole. We went to Santa's house and had fun poking around there.

Then we went to the Fairbanks stake conference and heard from one of the 12 Apostles. Elder Christofferson. It was powerful! We heard from him again on Sunday am and afternoon for a special YSA/SA meeting. We got to shake his hand and he took pictures with a lot of the YSAs. We stayed at the same hotel too but never saw him there.

The drive up and back was spectacular the Alaska Range of mountains is amazing!
the mountains looked like they were on camera could capture this lovely moment

moosing around at Denali Princess was still boarded up for the winter
YAY for Santa!

The museum on the University of Fairbanks Campus
Ice museum at Chena Hot Springs
WOW so high up on the globe!
the hot springs so hot!!!

this was in theUoF museum..ode to alaska outhouses. in the lower 48 rest stops have running water and flushing you get an outhouse and if you are lucky some hand sanitizer.
view almost to fairbanks
view from hotel room of the chena river
picnic after church

Elder Christofferson and Risenmay on the stand on the left is the mission president and his wife Elder and Sister Dance, they are amazing too!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Count your many blessings

Yesterday in fast and testimony meeting (once a month we fast 2 meals and give what we would have spent to help those in need around the world) I realized I only had 2 more of them left before I move back to Arkansas. Moving is always bitter sweet..I was filled with sweet memories with members of the congregation and the closing hymn, which I pick out by the way, was count your many blessings...the tears were flowing down my cheeks and the names of dear friends running through my mind.

I have really enjoyed the spring and summers here..winters are brutal. People literally hibernate and then March comes and brings sunshine and we all start hanging out again and doing stuff and it is a complete blast. I will miss the YSA social life back in Arkansas but I will love being close to the family there! Esp with a new baby coming in the Fall =-)

I love meeting new people and building those friendships Alaska has been an overall great experience and one I am glad I chose to have!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

General Conference

WOW if families did not hear the message loud and clear I don't know what will help open their ears to the message. Raising your kids is a huge responsibility! Fathers step up and be the priesthood leaders you are supposed to be; the one homes need; the one children need if they are to emulate you; mothers let the brethren and encourage them in this priesthood role, it is theirs! Women -and Mothers focus on the most important things YOUR KIDS not the latest fashion or hobby or tan or being 120 lbs. Take the time to plan what you want your children to know and be,....then correlate it with what the Lord wants and needs them to understand and become. Then plan the activities and provide the opportunities for them to learn that skill i.e. to work hard..plant a garden; if you want them to learn to be financially reliant set up a chore chart with payment for work then have them pay taxes, tithing, and bills. So many talks on how the HOME is the best place to teach a child and that the church is a support to the family and should not supplant families. As a public school teacher I am amazed at some basic skills middle school kids don't have. We have to prepare them and start early..crib side!!! Place those tiny feet on the gospel Sod!!

I am so thankful for my parents efforts in teaching us to understand and to become the people we are. We have had our ups and downs like every family but overall I think we turned out fantastic! Quincy with his impressive gospel scholarship and Amy and their 5 boys soon to be 6 ( i am hoping girl) yay! Those boys will look up things in the encyclopedia if they have a question. They are amazing and I love them. They love the Lord. When I was home last I got to hear Jacob say a prayer and it was so precious! Jared and Ann Marie and their commitment to the Lord shows their kiddos how to do the same; even through hard times of pain and sorrow. Emily Rae is so loving and sweet a natural nurturer, the boys so funny and cute! They are being taught early. I have such wonderful examples of how to mother. Justin has shown courage, perseverance, and determination that I don't know if I have. Amanda supports her family in many way. Their Kade is smart as a whip and Keely is so adorable. Spencer and his righteous desires to create a family, Janeen and her fearless self with a firm testimony, Eldon,a Lion of the Lord, he is going to be an impressive missionary having gone through the McKinney Training Center; the MTC will not be a place new doctrines are revealed to him (sis becks talk mothers who know).

My fantastic family and many others ,Elder Perry said, is in thanks to Mothers who are with their children (or should be) teaching them, loving them, and nurturing them. Of course I think my momma is pretty spectacular. She has taught us so much with not only her words but her example, and activities she has invited us to participate in with her( reading the scriptures, memorzing scriptures, fhe, cooking, gardening, sewing, laughing, reading, snuggling, working, forgiving to name a few). I love to see these good traits and activities passed to my nephews and nieces! I love to see them grow in the gospel. I was grateful for all the Aunt references in conference. I love my role as Aunt and as a Women to be nurturing and kind to be endowed with those tender feelings. I have a deep love for small children...I have much to look forward to!!!! I can't wait!

I know I have many flaws and that our family does too; but I also know in whom we rely and that He will help us to continue to become the family he wants us to become!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

PCOS and Isaiah

So I don't usually go around spouting that I have PCOS but a recent lesson in Institute was so powerful; I don't know how to talk about it without talking about PCOS and if I can help one other person feel not so alone in their suffering then it is worth it..maybe even courageous.

In Institute last week we were talking about the scattering of the 10 tribes of Israel and looking at why were we scattered just to be gathered again later? Why did Christ descend just to be exalted? We were scattered to help those around us and He knew we would feel alone. He knew we would come to earth at this time when the world is so wicked; that we would be few in numbers but strong in spirit. He sent us to be the Ensign to the world to call them to Christ. He knew we would all feel utterly alone at some time; that is why He worked out the Atonement utterly alone so He could succor us accordingly.

In speaking of being alone we looked at Isaiah 54. Well I guess it is here I should put in that It have PCOS and its effects for me mostly manifest in baldness, excessive hair in other unwanted places, and blood sugar / weight issues. I will have no idea about the fertility part until I start trying to have babies; which is a whole issue in and of itself. Weight struggles plus the baldness and having to wear a wig make me feel unattractive, unwanted, and unlovable and begs me to ask questions like who will be able to look past all my physical issues to marry me? How do I tell some worthy man that I may never be able to bear him children? I have gotten past the why me? and on to the what am I to learn? But I can not seem to keep my mind from thoughts like I may never never be kneeling across an altar making sacred covenants, be able to share my life with someone, feel a baby kicking my ribs, nurse a child, or hear a little voice call me mommy.

Most days I can laugh about it and say oh it is just hair and in the grand scheme of things it is not that important. (I have been lucky at my job and other place to not have had 1 hair mishap =-) Other days it seems to be overwhelming and I feel like a crazy person ready to snap at anyone who begins to whine about their bad hair days or husbands or children. On these days, I am filled with a hurt and a pain so perfect that I am sure no one else can feel it as deeply and certain as I do.

I was having such a day on the day of Institute class. Isaiah 54:1 sing O barren, thou that dist not bear: break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord. ~ This one verse brought me a peace and comfort not previously felt since 2001 when I got diagnosed. One day it will be all made up! The hurt and pain will be wiped away just as He promises to wipe away all tears in Revelations. He remembers the promises He has made. He knows me and is aware of my needs, pains, struggles, grief, and disappointments. In the back of class, I was weeping those precious tears borne of personal revelation that brings both peace and comfort. I found it so interesting that in referring to Christ coming and healing us Isaiah chose to use this example of one who wants these sacred blessing of children in their life and most desperately wants to be rescued from being alone. What greater healing could He bring? What greater pain could He overcome?

This chapter goes on For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou was refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee: but with great mercies will I gather thee. He will one day gather and deliver all of us from our feelings of being "forsaken and refused", if we are obedient and faithful to Him. I know I can and need to do much better! He will not forsake or forget me; even though I feel that way. Those thoughts and feelings are lies sent from Satan. They are not my reality nor do I wish them to be. These verses motivate me to stretch reaching for a higher level of obedience. To become more steadfast and immovable. It also motivates me to reach out to Him who does and will succor me with "great mercies"and suffered unimaginable pain in order to do so. And to take better care of the body I have been intrusted with remembering all the things I do have: eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to feel, and legs to take me where I want to go.

How I love Him and His prophets! I know that this is a small moment and that there are people whose trials are bigger, harder, tougher than mine. I know that He offers them the same promises. How thankful I am for his "word" which is so powerful that it can heal mine; and all wounded souls" (Jacob 2:8) !! I am also grateful for the CES program of Institute and Brother Bacon and his lesson that so fully invited the Spirit to class and touched my spirit forever!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring is Srung and Thumbs

So last night I jammed my thumb a big one! I did not think much of it until I woke up the next day and it was so swollen and bru-uuised! My school nurse advised me to go get it x-rayed. My family is not the x-ray type but it hurt really bad so I went. Not broke but the MD is pretty sure I tore my ulnar ligament also known as skiers thumb or gamers thumbs. It is pretty painful and life without a thumb is hard. Somehow I am always surprised by how much I use something when I can't anymore. I am reminded of my not too distant tailbone use those butt muscles a lot! Also how much our bodies are connected the thumb is connected to the wrist bone the wrist bone is connected to the get the picture. I am grateful for these little reminders.

SPRING in Alaska so fun. It is like the earth litterally is shaking off the bands of death by dark cold snow and is awakening to glow and bask in the soft sunshine. I love this time of year; here people are literally more alive with the added light. I am so excited for General Conference and am glad it is on Easter Weekend how symbolic.

I caught the sunset a few nights ago over cook inlet and the sunrise this am over the mountains and both were so gorgeous!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dan's got muscles how but you!!!!!

The top picture is Jared's youngest Jack..he is sooo adorable.
The second one is Quincy and his little one Daniel, doing muscles. I love Dan's face Quincy's too.
Thanks Ann Marie for the pictures!
Thinking about being close to home makes me smile and get extremely excited but thinking of leaving here makes me sad; bitter sweet all the way around.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Student work

Dioramas--Rain forest 7th graders

18th Ammendment Prohibition posters 6th graders


Beluga Point a great place to watch the whales in August....
Driving in Wasilla
Cannery trip--yes we have a LDS cannery in is so fun to go and help out here.
Out the back door of my classroom 3pm
My dirty car and the snow pile taller than my car

Sunset gorgeous!!
Sledding good times!