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!