30 September 2007

Primary kids

Most of you know I have recently been called to work with the children's organization of the LDS church. If the Lord has something in mind for me to do, I am very unaware of what that is right now. However, I am giving it my best shot. I can't say it's the easiest thing I've ever done--but even challenges have their reward (don't they?).

So today, when all 50 kids got together for the last 20 minutes of sharing time...the 5-year-olds were a disaster! Running over each other, tripping their friends, yelling, and just being totally obnoxious. So, after several times of getting onto the "rowdiest" of the group, I kindly asked them to scoot over and I sat between them (must I have to act like my mom at such an early age...I don't even have my own kids yet!).

After a few minutes of bonding with the kids, giving them the "evil eye" and trying to make them feel special and trying to get them to obey me (instead of hate me), it turned into quite a nice experience. The one I usually have trouble with said "My shoes are untied...can you help me?" He proceeded to put his little shoe on my lap, and told me just how to do it...loop this one, loop that one, pull them together in opposite directions, and then we have to do it again my mom says...you have to double knot them. After all was said and done...he said "yours looks better than my moms."

That put a smile on my face...the little rodent had just won me over...and he didn't even know it!

Marriage advice

Several things that are going on in my family at this time have caused me to ponder deeply what exactly a "happy marriage" is made of. I look at all of those "old folks" sitting on their porch swings and wonder...if I asked them the secret to how they've made it this far...I wonder what they'd say. Most of the time, they've given me the answer; "lots of hard work" or "lots of patience." But in my own family, people who I thought were hard workers, very capable of loving and being loved...well, things just haven't gone so right for them lately.

Today after church, I did a bit of research, and thanks to the Internet I found a great article posted on Redbookmag.com (yes, the magazine) and found an article entitled "The 9 Secrets of Happy Couples" and would like to share them with you. Most of the time, I consider this magazine and Cosmo along with it, to be fairly slutty and a waste of time to read. However, I was intrigued by this one. So, thanks RedBook for publishing something normal for a chance!

9 Secrets of Happy Couples
1. They use terms of endearment
2. They do stuff together
3. When the going gets tough, they don't call mom or dad
4. They stay connected to their parents
5. They don't "nickel and dime" about chores
6. They fight constructively
7. They give each other gifts
8. They never lose their sense of humor
9. They take "for better for for worse" seriously

And the best quote is this:
"Most couples think they should strive for a relationship that's 50-50, but the fact is, they should each give 150 percent. In good relationships, couples give everything they can. They don't nickel-and-dime each other, and they respect that each person gives different things."

This is something I need to work on...loving my husband, caring for him and taking care of him 150% of the time, and realizing that my opinion isn't the only one that counts. Yes, most of the time I'M right (he he), but sometimes I forget just how blessed I am to have the husband I do have, and I forget to thank him for being my partner for eternity, and the one who I get to grow old with.

25 September 2007

Mexico, here we come!

For Spring Break this year, my colleague and I will be taking a group of students to Mexico. We will go to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Chitchen Itza, Cozumel, and several other places of interest.

Some days I am really excited to go! Other days I wake up thinking..."have I gone completely insane; volunteering to take an unknown group of Junior High kids outside of the country?"

I'll definitely have to keep you posted...

Here's the latest funny story... today a student was told there is "no way we are taking you...you act like a buffoon in my class, how am I supposed to put up with a bunch of buffoons like you in another country?" Well, her mama called after school (before her daughter got home w/ the news, obviously) asking exactly who she needed to make her check out to, and exactly how much it should be for, because if her daughter was "going to Mexico...I will be chaperon"....Well, I have news for her. Neither her NOR her mama will be going with us this year or any other year!

24 September 2007

The good, the bad, and the ugly

EVEN though marriage is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me, it sure can be rough sometimes. I'm not going to air out my dirty laundry for everyone to read, that's for sure! But I did want to publicly thank my husband for putting up with my tears, my fears and my heartaches, my smiles, my thrills, and my excitements.

Steven, you are the best thing in my life! I love you so much, and I know it only gets better from here. I know they say marriage is hard, and I believe we're just now figuring that out. But I know that we can do it, and I have faith that we don't have to do it alone. So, here's to looking forward to spending the next 50 years with you trying to figure out this whole thing called "marriage" ...

What a day!

who needs them, anyways?

Mondays are so crazy! Today was like pulling teeth to get the students to respond. It doesn't help that tomorrow is an early release day and the kids are only in classes for 18 minutes each. What kind of "productive day" is that???

21 September 2007

Day of Rest

Everyone needs a day to relax and hang out with themselves. I'm glad that I had the courage and enough sense to realize I needed some "me time" today. This week has been a week from hell with so many things to do, so many deadlines to meet, so many meetings to attend, and so many things to catch up on. I was sick, sick, SICK...physically and emotionally.

In the midst of all this chaotic madness, I managed to sleep for 12 hours last night and be at home when my husband came home this morning. He had Hardee's in hand, and some pucker'd up lips. It was GREAT!

Man, I need this more often!

15 September 2007

To Steven - working all day




On Thursday I gave my students the assignment to create a dialogue between two people. They were able to choose their own partners, and after lecturing them on how to "properly choose a partner...not just your best friend," I'd have to say they did a pretty good job.

This was their first BIG project, and it is kind of scary to see what they come up with. Most of you are thinking....PROJECTS....cool, I love projects! But I've found out that if you don't set high standards and expectations from the beginning, things just get worse and worse as the year progresses.

Anyway, the students had about 15 minutes at the end of class on Thursday to begin their "creative thinking." On Friday, they had to present. After all kinds of mean looks, questions of my sanity, "are you serious"-type faces, and many many MANY excuses...they completed the task.

Yesterday after school, I was on cloud nine. They were the best projects ever! My students are very creative this year, and even though they only have a handful of words in their banks of vocabulary, they found a way to make it work. The rule of thumb is..."If you don't know how to say it...either find another way to say it, or don't say it at all!" Most students find this rule very cruel and hard to live with. But that's ok...they learn so much more when they use what they know, and are forced to "make it work" with the little they have been given.

11 September 2007

September 11th

Sad Silence
World Trade Center

September 11, 2001

Through the eyes of an eight year old

I heard the glass hit the ground,

even though I only seen it through a screen

I could feel the pain go through so many life lines,

even though I could only hear their screams

Little children wait for parents to come home,

but the only thing that will is love that will always be with them

An invisible hand gently touching their cheek...

Courtney Nicole Gaither, Berry

Copyright ©2001 Courtney Gaither, Berry

06 September 2007

Let's get S-I-C-K

Yes Indeed, the time has come again...school has started.
It's only been three weeks, and I'm already halfway through one box of Puffs!

Why me?

04 September 2007


Today, I literally felt like I was a drill sergeant. I had all of my Spanish 1 students out marching and chanting the entire Spanish alphabet! It was GREAT!

The idea was not planned originally, but due to circumstances (no air conditioning) in my first hour class, we decided to go outside and stand in a circle in the open fields. I had told them to make a circle, and to my surprise...they just kept walking. So, I let them just keep walking. It was AMAZING! All of the kids that just want to fiddle or daydream...they were all on task!

Sometimes the biggest disasters end up becoming a huge blessing. Today, I experienced just that. So, whoever it was who made me so upset this morning by turning off the AC unit in Trailer C this weekend, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

¡Muchíssimas Gracias, amigo!

01 September 2007

Relaxing Saturdays

I just LOVE Saturday mornings.

Waking up late with Steven, lying in bed procrastinating cleaning and bills, dreaming of the fun Internet games I didn't get to play all week but will soon get to play, tweaking my Spanish lesson plans and having fun coming up with projects, making a few calls to friends who I never talk to anymore, doing laundry, etc, etc, etc.

All of that is great and all, but the best part is breakfast. Hardee's is where the fun begins. I crave either the biscuits & gravy or the sausage & egg biscuit. Their Coca-Cola beverages are wonderful as well.

Can't EVERY day be a Hardee's Day?