Thursday, December 04, 2008

Coming Through

You know what's good? When someone comes through for you. Maybe for the hundredth time. Maybe you always knew they would. Maybe they always will.

But it's good to be able to believe that.

Thank you for coming through.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Two Cents

I've had this idea bouncing around in my brain for several years now. It's one of those ideas that resurfaces when I am faced with difficult situations. You may find that this idea is inconsequential--maybe it's something you've had down pat for years--but I at least wanted to try to put it down on paper, because for me it's the answer to a lot of questions.

I think I can pretty much sum it up in one sentence:

We should be more interested in loving people than in judging them.

Our job is to love. It's God's job to judge.

I'm not going to waste my time detailing the exceptions to this rule. Yes, I know that there are times when we should intervene in the lives of others. Yes, I know that it is important to use wise judgment in our lives. And no, I am not saying you have to support or condone behavior that goes beyond your beliefs.

But we must love the people.

That is our job.

If I could actually figure out how to live this way, it would change a lot of things. I would spend less time focusing on the offender's mistake, and more time giving the offender a hand up. Throwing them a rope.

Because I find myself in need of a hand or a rope all too frequently.

I suppose living this way would require a lot of courage too. It is not easy to be disappointed by others without changing your view of them. But what would it be like to really invest in that idea? To do the job right?

I am more interested in loving others than I am in judging them.

Just a thought.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Zombies are Prohibited!

I am going to make a somewhat embarrassing confession.

I have a problem.

I have this bizarre habit of imagining what I would do in case of some kind of apocalyptic disaster.

While in the car, I examine neighborhoods, mapping routes in my head to see where I would find water, grow food, and base a defensive stronghold.

When in people's houses, I imagine what it would take to fortify the house. I find myself frowning at large windows because they would be difficult to cover successfully. I also don't like doors with big glass panels in them. If the zombies/crazies/bad guys came, it would be difficult to seal your house off quickly.

I figure out hiding places in my house, so that if unwanted characters ever came into my house, I would have several clever places to conceal myself.

I think about this more than is healthy. I would say it crosses my mind at least once a week.

I apparently need to lay off the postapocalyptic media...maybe permanently.

At least I haven't built a bomb shelter in the backyard!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

ABC to the sixth degree

With 7 weeks of school under my belt, I think I am prepared to make some observations about the school year thus far. Here are some of the things I've figured out:

1. This year has been a crash course in dealing with confrontational situations. Usually, I avoid unnecessary confrontation whenever possible. Some confrontation is undeniably necessary, but there are a lot of things that just don't matter that much. However, this year there has been a lot of confrontation that I could not avoid if I did not want to be steamrolled. But it's certainly been a growing experience!

2. I have come to the conclusion that if the school KNOWS they are giving you students with disabilities severe enough to effect the rest of the classroom, they REALLY ought to train you on the basics of that disability. That way you'd know what to expect, or at least how to react when your student does something way out in left field.

3. Working with friendly people makes a huge difference. Astronomical.

4. I have a problem asking for help, and I don't like to feel like I'm in trouble. (I already knew that.) So it sucks when I feel like I'm getting in trouble for asking for help.

5. 6th graders can seriously rise to the occasion. And one of the surest ways to get them to do so is to give them a responsibility and a little praise.

6. It's good to know that someone's got your back!

7. Sometimes, one positive incentive works better than all the scoldings in the world.

Monday, September 22, 2008


What were you doing 5 years ago?

1. Living with "my destiny" but sleeping on the love couch.
2. Mentally cursing that statue of Karl G. Maeser after all but failing a ZOO 102 exam.
3. Making runs to Cosmo's Connection to get rid of Dining Plus money.
4. Cringing away from any hint of Bobbella.
5. Setting records for solitaire, but not getting nearly enough sleep.

5 things of the to-do list today:

1. Assign a Circulation Road Trip Story in Science.
2. Search through the shared reading library because my class apparently read Treasure Island in 4th grade.
3. Check the tomatoes.
4. Buy tags for the cats' collars.
5. Feed Pax.

5 things you would do if you were a millionaire:

1. Move to Northern California. (Redwood Region)
2. Set up a manatee sanctuary. (I know manatees don't live in No. CA, but this is MY blog, ok?!)
3. Feed the manatees heads of cabbage, and ride them around the tank.
4. Travel, travel, travel.
5. Get a dog.

5 snacks you enjoy:

1. Celery
2. Jonathan Apples
3. Cheetos Puffs
4. Boursin cheese with crackers.
5. Turkey Pepperoni

5 places you have lived:

1. Pittsburg, PA
2. Idaho Falls, Idaho (777)
3. Oklahoma City, OK
4. Idaho Falls, Idaho (559)
5. Provo, Utah

5 people to tag:

1....anyone who would like to!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Trouble With Lipids

We've been fostering kittens for the Humane Society. We refer to them as the lipids.

One of them is the strangest cat I've ever come in contact with. Her name is Dannon. She's a hairy ball of idiosyncrasies. For example, cats are supposed to be relatively clean creatures but this one delights in throwing litter all over the laundry room. She attacks anything that moves, and a lot of things that don't move. Her most frequent nemeses are door frames, large pieces of furniture, and shoes. She takes shoes seriously... as if they wronged her in another life. She has horrible gas, slumps and lolls like a dog, and attacks her own tail.

But the most alarming problem with Dannon is that she gets into everything. She's been closed in several closets, and has climbed into the fridge, cupboards, garbage can, and dryer. The other night we realized we hadn't seen Dannon in a while. We checked all her usual haunts, but after 10 minutes of looking, she had not turned up. I was worried because there is a coverless vent under the bathroom counter, and I kept imagining her falling down beneath the floor.

Finally, we realized we could hear her in the bedroom. Russell found her closed in his sock drawer. I still don't understand how she got in there.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Too Cool For You

Current trends in my classroom...whether my students are aware they have made them trendy or not.

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyers
2. Dance-Off Competitions
3. Elmers Glue Bookmarks
4. The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base
5. Crying Boys
6. Crackers
7. Fresca
8. Writing all over your hands with highlighters.
9. Making bets for way more money than anyone will ever believe that you have.
10. Recreate the Great Salt Lake

6th grade is very different than 2nd. (Imagine that!) But you know what? I don't miss 2nd.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

How does your garden grow?

Last year, I planted 2 zucchini plants in my garden. I ended up with WAY too many zucchinis. So this year, I decided I was going to show the zucchini gods what's what.

This year we figured we would be smart. We planted one zucchini. Then our garden didn't look so good. The plants were slow to get started, and the leaves of the zucchini plant were turning brown. So we planted another zucchini plant fully expecting that the first one would not make it. When we went to the plant nursery to pick up our 2nd zucchini plant we also picked up a pumpkin plant just for fun. We planted them both.

Well, the first zucchini plant perked back up, and started pumping out zucchinis at an alarming rate. The second zucchini plant is going for a world record, and it turns out that the pumpkin was mis-tagged. Can you guess what we found growing on our pumpkin plant? A zucchini that is about 17 inches long. (Not exaggerating.)

Zucchini gods: 2. Star: 0.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Looking for Ewoks

10 Good Things About Northern California

1. Sea Creatures

2. Windows

3. Ewok Crossings

4. Hobbiton, USA

5. Whoa.

6. Free Rides

7. Maps

8. The Locals

9. Sasquatch's Bathtub

10. A Larger Perspective

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


This summer has been full of domestic experiments. Some have worked out better than others, but it's been educational. Here are a few that I actually took pictures of:

Dutch Baby

Mini Pizzas

Fruit Pies
(from scratch!)

Pieced Quilt Top

Temporarily Fostering Cat and Kittens for Humane Society
(They live in the laundry room.)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Several Things

Thing 1. Mononucleosis:

Well, it's not cool. It's boring.

Thing 2. Facebook:

Since I've been so bored, I finally joined. I found out that I know 55 people--which actually isn't very many.

Also, I think it is weird that everytime one of those people say or do anying, it shows up on my page. My little sister--the grand high empress of facebook--assures me that this is normal.

So while it WAS cool to come in contact with people I haven't seen since high school, I still feel as if I am somehow missing the point.

Thing 3. Marriage.

Thanks to Facebook, I now realize that 97% of my high school class is now married. Most with 1.75 children. Really, I think I saw 4 people who are not.

As for my own marriage, we've had to bump the date back to October. (See Thing 1.)

See, it's all related somehow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Last Day

My day of salvation has arrived. May 23rd has come and gone, and I am no longer responsible for 25 2nd graders.

But, just for kicks, I thought I would post about the gremlins one more time.

Here are a list of quotes I collected in the last few days of class.

#1 J: How can you tell if turtles are girls or boys?
JL: Girls have eye lashes.

#2 A: They put ear rings on that Kangaroo.
A: Yes, just like the ear rings that cows have.

#3 M: I've kissed a dolphin before and it kissed me. (Scandalized out cries from friends.) But I ONLY kissed it on the cheek!

#4 D: Miss H, my story is not just narrative, it's informative-narrative because I told everyone facts about killer bunnies. The worst bunny is a killer bunny.

#5 JB: You know how there are pedicures and manicures? Well, what are womanicures?

I do not expect anyone to actually be interested in this blog. It just felt like a nice finishing touch.

Gremlins, adieu!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Numerical Disasters


That is exact time I woke up this morning.

That is also the exact time when students started coming into my classroom.


The number of alarms I slept through without hearing a peep!

The hours of a sleep a night I have been getting lately.

The number of hours I spent at the Marriot Center yesterday preparing for Hope of America.


The number of second graders who were waiting in my room when I finally arrived.

Nothing like a little math to get you going in the morning.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Jumping for Joy

Teachers love Spring Break.

Star in the Tetons.

Russell at the Jackson Hole Play House

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Concert Crowd

We went with my brother Dusty to a concert last night. We went to see the New Amsterdams play with Big Head ------ and the Monsters. Really, I was only interested in the New Amsterdams, but the Monsters' performance turned out to be pretty entertaining as well.

It wasn't because of the music. It was the people who had come to see the show.

It's been a while since I've been to a venue where all the people crowding in around you are in their 40s and early 50s. Lots of long-haired men with t-shirts that say things like: "One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor." From where I was standing, I saw two different men who vigorously played air guitar through the entire performance. The women were also very entertaining to watch. They usually had frizzy-fried hair, plunging necklines, and super-tight jeans.

Now, I realize that I may sound really really harsh. Please understand, I did enjoy watching my fellow concert-goers enjoy themselves. It's just not everyday that I see 45-year-olds getting busted for smoking pot at a concert.


I've been chastised for my lack-o-blogging. So, to appease the angry natives I offer this short and rather vague list of things that have been making me happy lately.

1. "Autumn Manor": Russ and I found a place to live post-wedding. Now, the hunt was not easy. We examined our budget, and were only looking at reasonable options....i.e. ghetto basement-ville. UNTIL we found Autumn Manor. It's a house. A real honest to goodness house! We LOVED it! We went to visit, spoke to the land lord, and then got in the car and drove away to discuss it. Realizing that we would be STUPID not to jump on this, we turned around and went back. And (of course) someone else had rented the place in the meantime. Ouch.
But the good news is that the land lord changed his mind. He decided he would rather rent to us, and he called us back the next day. Bangerang!

2. Two words: Spring Break.

3. I had a job interview this morning. And I felt it went well. And this school is only 10 minutes from Autumn opposed to where I currently work which is 40.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Geography Schmeography

As previously stated, I teach 2nd grade. In the last few months, I have compiled a list of geography facts I was unaware of until recently.

I'm sure you will find them educationally edifying as well.

Here are a list of places that are IN the United States.
1. North America... all of it.
2. England
3. France
4. Asia... all of it, but specifically India and China.
5. The Pacific Ocean. (Maybe like a lake?)

Here are a list of places that countries.
1. Utah
2. Lindon
3. California
4. New York

Facts I learned in the last 1/2 hour:
Mozart was born in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Really, my kids are exceptionally bright, and we have managed to get a handle on most of our geographical issues. But I don't think this is a subject where we have much room to slack off either.

Friday, February 01, 2008

52 Blessings Project

The idea is simple: once a week, post a picture of something you are grateful for.

Therefore, in one year you will have a log of 52 reasons to be thankful.

I stole this idea from my sister, and she stole it from someone else. And I don't know where it started, so I am sorry if I am plagiarizing.

I'm really excited about this idea. I've already started. In fact, I made a whole new blog just for this purpose. It's called The Jonas Chronicles.

The great thing about The Jonas Chronicles is that I am probably the only one who will ever find it interesting. And I'm okay with that.

I hope I stick with it. And I think you should try it too.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Small Moment

I was reading my cousin Jill's blog, and I found a post that got me thinking.

She was lamenting being a young mom with two kids, little sleep, and a wish to somehow complete "more" things without having her two-year-old immediately undo them. I love Jill, and I think she is fabulous, on the ball, and--perhaps most importantly--an incredible family member. And I thought if Jill can remind herself that "this is but a small moment" then I should probably take her advice. So here's the thing:

My job is driving me crazy.

I've never felt so exasperated, unorganized, and clueless. I know what you're thinking. They're just 7-year-olds! Yes, true. But there are 25 of them and only one of me. On top of that, they collectively hand in an average of 150 papers a day. They look to me for support in a near constant way. After all, I am the "primary authority figure" for SEVEN hours of their day. If they get 8 hours of sleep at night, that means they spend nearly 1/3 of their time with me. Therefore, it is little wonder that they want to tell me about every minor injury, piece of news, and dramatic realization. And really, I am happy to share that with them. But there are many afternoons when I leave school feeling like if I have to ask ONE MORE KID to be QUIET then I may very well walk out the door and never come back.

This spring the school is going to send home parent surveys. All the parents will rank the school, the principal, the administrative staff, and, of course, me! Then the school board sorts through the surveys, categorizes and quantifies our faults, and sends us into a meeting with the administration to exact a pound of flesh.

From what I've heard, it's not a pretty thing.

But you know what the kicker is? I already know what the parents are going to say! I know what my faults are! But I also know that I am legitimately trying.

So amidst all of this crazy, numbing chaos I was glad to read Jill's words. "This is but a small moment." Things that are hard or that hurt--even things that hurt you all the way down to that hole you keep behind your sternum--have a way of seeming smaller over time.

I assume that's the way this year will turn out. Exhausting and frustrating, but in the end just another "small moment."

If that is the case, I better figure out a way to enjoy this. I better figure out a way to stop feeling so frustrated. Because I hate looking back at those ugly patches in my life when I was not the person I thought I ought to be. An entire year of teaching would be a big ugly patch.

Kelly used to say, "Just do what you can do." Maybe that's the ticket. That and remembering that this really is a just a small moment, and someday it will be off in the distance, and I will be able to smile and roll my eyes.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

I have a slight obsession with pirates. I even wrote my Senior Capstone paper on female pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy.

Last night, a bunch of us played an awesome board game where you get to BE pirates, and sail around, plundering, blowing each other up, and burying treasure.

According to the internet, my official pirate name is...

My pirate name is:

Mad Mary Flint

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Come on, you know you want to be a pirate.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Technology Gripes

My desktop is old. Almost 7 years old now. And I asked for a big, fatty jump drive for Christmas so that I could start moving files.

I got out my jump drive this morning, and tried to turn the computer on.


It died.

Now, I'm in the market for a new desktop, and I am wondering how I am supposed to get my files off of the old one.

Don't you hate it when things like that happen?