Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fall 2013, it's a stampede!

I haven't blogged forever, but I made a promise that when my nephew, Wayne, passed away, that was one thing I was going to start doing.....a change for the better that would keep him in my thoughts.  I definitely haven't been blogging at regular intervals, but I don't want to give up.  Life this fall has been a ride for sure!! Two days before I was supposed to start working at Fossil Ridge Intermediate School teaching 7th grade science in August, I took a job teaching Chemistry and Biology at Desert Hills High School in St. George. An exhausting decision after two sleepless nights.  I was pretty much terrified and totally unprepared, but they were in need of a teacher and it felt like that was where the Lord wanted me to be teaching.

It feels like teaching consumes much of my life these days.  I leave around 6:45 in the morning, usually after waking up all of my darlings and trying to have prayer and hugs before I have to go.  I start the day on the run, trying to quickly get copies made, the room organized, and go over my lesson plan before my students show up.  I love my high school students!  They are for the most part really well behaved, tons of fun to teach, and kind and friendly.  Many of them have some pretty big challenges - health problems, family struggles, learning difficulties, etc., and I have learned a lot from being around them.  I have never taught high school bio or chemistry before, so I spend many hours studying on my own time, grading papers, and searching for fun/good lesson plans.  I get home between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m., do my best to try and be a Mom for a few hours before I have to try and get ready for the next day of teaching.

Some weeks go better than others.  Yesterday I felt really overwhelmed because the house was messy, laundry was stacked up a mile high, and I felt like I wasn't a good Mom, teacher, housekeeper, wife, or anything else!  Life always seems a little cheerier after a good night's sleep, though, and I'm so grateful for the chance to recharge spiritually, emotionally, and physically on Sunday.

Now for an update on my darlings -

Devon is a senior (hard for me to believe!!).  He is wrestling and working with Ryan at the cabinet shop and enjoying dating a variety of girls.  (Ryan calls them the flavor of the week! :).)  He is extremely outgoing and social and is always planning some sort of outing.  He likes P.E. and graphic arts and criminal justice at school and pretty much feels like all of his other classes are torture!  I keep thinking of all the "lasts" we're going through right now - Devon's last high school homecoming, probably last Christmas with our kids all home together before they start serving missions, last summer vacation with all 5 kids this next year...the list goes on and tears sneak down my cheeks once in a while.  I love Devon so much!  It's been a blessing to have him in our home.

Dallin is a sophomore and is also wrestling.  His football season just ended.  He has grown several inches this year and is now 6 feet 1 inch tall and passed up Ryan.  He is so good natured and fun loving, always coming up with hilarious one-liners.  He is working on his Eagle Scout project right now, teaming up with Santa Flight West collecting school supplies for "Santa" to deliver to East Elementary here in Cedar City.  He is taking French (a language I love but have forgotten most everything I ever learned!) and does well in most of his other classes.  He is my comic relief and always senses when I need a hug or some extra help around the house.  Love you Dal!
Dallin and friends at Eagle Scout Fundraiser Dance 

Dallin Football at CHS 2013

Tori is 12 now and is loving Young Women's!  She is growing up so fast (okay, she's kind of short still but that's in her blood :).  She started basketball for the first time ever last month and is learning fast.  She begged me to help coach, so I am assisting in that department.  It's been 20 some years since I played and the rules are different and my arms are so wimpy these days I don't make many hoops.  That being said, I've loved helping to coach her team!  I love the sport and it's so fun to get a ball back in my hands once in a while.  I get a little overly competitive once in a while and have to "talk myself down" in my head!  
Tori and I went to a Josh Groban concert with my Mom and 2nd cousin up in Salt Lake and had a blast.  Loved it!!  When she learned she and Josh have the same birthday she started screaming, too cute!  
School Pic this year
Josh Groban Concert 
Tess is in 5th grade and doing so well in school.  After struggling with speech problems and reading difficulties, she is beginning to blossom thanks to an excellent teacher!  She loves her new puppy, Kia, and takes such good care of her.  She is so responsible and helps out a ton with Derek in the morning after I leave.  I will forever be grateful for her dimples and sweet smile.  My sunshine.
Volcano Day

Tess and Kia at Halloween

Derek is still adored by all of us!  We probably spoil him a little too much, a little too often!  He is so much fun to snuggle and cuddle even though he's growing way too fast.  It takes two of us to rock him to sleep at church now!  He loves 1st grade and makes friends easily.  Our "baby" is a dear treasure and I can't imagine life without him!  
Derek, the Hulk at Halloween

Derek and Ryan at Dallin's Eagle Scout Dance in the "clouds"

1st snow!
Ryan is my sweetheart, my hero, my champion.  I couldn't do anything without him.  He keeps me going on rough days, takes me on dates each week, keeps track of the kids in the mornings and until I get home and is my confidante and best friend in the universe.  I love him with all my heart!

I love you, always, forever

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Life....moving like wildfire

Hey, we're alive!  Go ahead and give yourself a neck-ache trying to look at these upside down pictures!  I have spent the last hour trying to get them loaded and don't want to go back out and try to rotate and reload them.  Sorry!  These are just a few pictures from the last few months.  The kids are healthy and well.  Boys finished wrestling and are now loving rugby.  The girls are playing volleyball and had fun birthdays.  Ryan has filled in as Mr. Mom a whole heck of a lot this year.  He has saved our family in my opinion.  He has done more laundry, task delegation, kid running around, and reading/homework with kids than ever in our married life.  He truly has been my saving grace and allowed me to make it through my first year working out of the home full time.  I love him with all I have.  He is my sweetheart and best friend, and I love having him on my team!  

I am still teaching 7th grade science in St. George.  It is crazy but fun most days.  I love the school, and the staff I work with are incredible.  There is never a dull moment - I teach 150 different kids every day and believe me that means a lot of 13-year-old personalities/hormones to try to figure out!  Oh well, I doubt much science sinks in but hopefully they will remember I tried to make it fun and that I love them!  

Big news of the weekend is that they announced a Cedar City Temple at our LDS general conference yesterday!  I was so excited I started screaming!  We have been waiting for this for years and kept hoping it would come eventually.  Can't wait to see what it is going to look like, where it is going to be built, and what we can do to help!!  So cooooool!!