Sunday, April 28, 2013

quick weekend update

Tonya and her boys were down Thursday night.  We didn't get a lot of time together but Tonya did go with me to Special Needs Mutual.  The boys, my kids, and a couple neighbor boys had a fun soccer game until fairly late. 

Chandler had a soccer game Friday night.  His team tied.  That was nice because they've really struggled this year and have lost a lot of games by a large margin.  Shanley had a sleepover at Jolyn's with her cousins.  McKayla went to a dance concert with a group of track friends and then they came to our home and had me make them alfredo.

Saturday Kevin helped Brakston and Whitney move out of their apartment.  They moved most of their stuff into storage in preparation for spending the summer in Spokane.  They will stay in their apartment (on a mattress) until Tuesday.  Then they'll stay with us for the rest of the week.  Saturday they will leave for Washington.  McKayla and I went to her track meet at Davis High.  She cut 13 seconds off her previous Utah best time.  Alec went to a soccer clinic for those with special needs.  Shanley had a dance performance.  Her team earned two first places.  Chandler had a soccer game and lost badly.

Quite a sporting weekend - must be spring!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Frustration = Exhaustion

The frustration of a teacher is new to me.  I am sure my teacher cousins have experienced it and probably learned better how to deal with it.

Simply put, I do NOT understand students who make NO effort.  They don't do homework.  At all.  They don't listen in class.  They fail tests and then don't take you up on your offer of extra tutoring and a test retake.  This is foreign to me.  I did my homework.  I cared about not failing and about graduating and going to college.  Luckily, school came easily to me and I didn't have to struggle to learn but I don't understand not taking offered assistance.

I am also learning to understand the frustration of students missing class (sometimes for choir tours or other school-excused absences) and then me having to re-teach everything that they missed.  I spend so much time re-teaching.

I've also just been given a senior who needs a quarter math credit to graduate.   Never mind the fact that we are 3 weeks into the quarter.

It's exhausting.

Monday, April 22, 2013

more college letters and Chandler's running

McKayla has received 3 more letters from track/cross-country coaches in the past few days - a private university in Tennessee, Columbia University in New York, and Utah Valley University. Kind of exciting and heady stuff although it comes with a lot of paperwork to fill out.

Chandler ran a 5K Saturday morning and took 1st in his age group and 11th overall. I was quite proud of him!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

God also inspires

My last post was about God answering my prayer. This time it's in gratitude on his inspiration. In my teaching, I've been following the schedule of another teacher. She'd told me she was covering 17.3. I looked it over and felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of material presented. I wasn't sure how I was going to teach it to my students without them feeling very overwhelmed. I stressed about it but wasn't sure what to do. I awoke in the middle of the night with a very clear impression that I should combine a portion of that material with a lesson planned for the following week. They fit together well and I felt it would be less overwhelming. So, that's what I did. After teaching the first class I mentioned to the other teacher that I had done that and that I'd cover the angular speed from the section on another day. She then told me that she wasn't covering angular speed at all (just had forgotten to tell me). I was so grateful that I hadn't wasted my time or my students' time presenting this info. Heavenly Father truly directs our lives for good if we listen.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

God answers prayers

I have a firm testimony that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. Still, it was wonderful to have this testimony confirmed in such a striking way. Almost 2 weeks ago McKayla and I flew to California (Los Angeles area) for a track meet. We fly standby but getting there was a breeze. Getting home turned out to be a different story. We showed up for our return flight home only to find that the flight had filled up and there were 13 other people on standby. When the flight was ready to leave, there was only one seat available. Luckily, we had the most seniority so I put McKayla on that flight and thought I'd catch the next one. By the time the next one came, it was oversold and the airline was paying people to go the following day. I began to get really nervous. I really needed to get home. I had just started this teaching gig and one of the things the principal had stressed was the students' need for consistency in a teacher (they'd been through a series of subs). I started looking at flights from other airports (there were 5 airports within about an hour's drive). Not a single airport had any available seats to SLC that day. I got more nervous. So, I started looking at non-direct flights. What if I flew to St. Louis and then back to SLC? Albequerque? Dallas? Chicago? Absolutely nothing. More nervous. I looked at other airlines (we can fly on a lot of them for pretty darn cheap). Nope. No seats. Zip. Nada. More nervous. I looked at the possibility of just renting a car and driving home. Not economically feasible. More nervous. In fact, about this time outright panic set in. I could just picture me calling Brad (the principal) on Monday morning telling him I wouldn't be in that day. I said a prayer. I explained the entire situation to my Heavenly Father and asked for help. I felt an immediate peace. I walked up to the ticket counter of my original airline and asked the agent if she had any suggestions for me. She started clicking away on her keyboard and said "No. You've tried everything and this last flight is completely sold out." Then she said, "Wait a minute. Someone just cancelled. There is now one seat available." She went on to warn me that someone could buy it or that someone with higher seniority could end up with the seat but I wasn't worried. I knew this was an answer to my prayer. I walked back up to the gate and read calmly until the flight boarded and I was given that ONE remaining seat. What a dramatic and immediate answer to prayer! I am so grateful to a loving Father in Heaven who watches over me and who cares about me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Grandma June's funeral

My paternal grandmother died about 2 weeks ago. We weren't super close so it wasn't devastating to me. Also, she hasn't been in good health (or good mind) for a while so I viewed her death as natural and as a blessing for her. I am sure she is happier where she is now. The wonderful thing about the funeral was seeing all of my family. I was able to see so many cousins that I haven't seen in years. It was great to catch up with them and the things happening in their lives. I have been truly blessed to have wonderful cousins, aunts, and uncles. I love them all so much! I wish I had taken pictures of everyone but I was TOO busy talking to take out my camera. Here is a shot my SIL of my parents, my siblings, and I at the gravesite.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

card from the U

Exciting stuff for McKayla - Friday morning at school she was called down to the office where she was handed an envelope addressed to her.  She opened it to find a card from the U of U track/cross-country coach congratulating her on her run at Arcadia and asking her to keep him posted regarding her season.

She was pretty excited to say the least!  The U is not her first choice but she's still flattered and excited that she's caught someone's eye. 

Her 3200m run at Arcadia last weekend was terrific!  She ran an 11:06!

Of course, that's at sea level but she's still hoping to run at least an 11:16 here at altitude this year.

Friday, April 5, 2013

It's time to check-up on my resolutions and see how I'm doing. I'm a bit behind on this checkup but better late than never.  If I don't keep checking my progress, I lose sight of my goals and nothing happens.

  • pray daily to be led to someone to serve and then do it  - Doing okay but could use some improvement. It's too easy to get caught up in my own life.
  • fill a new scripture study journal with thoughts, quotes, and insight - worked on it
  • lose 25 pounds - The batteries went out on my scale so I honestly don't know but I'm sure it's not pretty!  I've been out of town so much this month and it feels like all I've done is eaten out.  Plus, that whole camping trip last week meant a week of eating treats.  Ugh!  I've got to get serious!
  • express appreciation for someone at least once a week - Need improvement!  I am recommitting.
  • spend one-on-one time with each child every month - Did it! 
  • 1 home improvement/organizational project each month - I painted my master bathroom.  I am really happy about that because when it was the girl's bathroom is was pink.  Ugh!  Pink.  Not my color.  So happy that it's now a nice neutral "mushroom bisque".

End result - making progress in some areas and needing progress in others.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I am so behind on blogging.  I have composed so many posts in my head but can't seem to find any time to actually get on the computer long enough to write them. 

Lots of news on my front but I guess the most life-changing at the moment is that I accepted a long-term substitute job for the entire 4th quarter (9 weeks).  Riverton High is in need of a math teacher.  I had originally told them no but the principal called me last week and I ended up agreeing to do it.

I teach:
  • two Algebra 2 classes
  • two College Prep math classes
  • two Secondary Math 2 Honors classes
Three different classes is a lot of prep time.  So far the Secondary math and College Prep math classes are pretty easy but I am nervous for Algebra 2.  They are on logarithms and I'm REALLY rusty on that!

I spent a couple hours tonight trying to get up to speed on logarithms and trying to put together my pacing guide for the next couple of weeks.   Wish me luck!  (or better yet, pray for me!)