Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 Resolutions

Tonight I'm babysitting grandkids, even so, I have a little time this evening to wrap up the old year and ring in the new. 2008 is coming to an end and I have been reflecting and thinking of new year resolutions for 2009. I have lots of goals to set, but I won't make them all public here.

Let me quickly refer to my 2008 resolutions. First I declared to keep a blog which I have faithfully done. The blogging bug has bit me. I enjoy keeping in touch with family and friends via blogs. I'm learning more and more and will hopefully continue learning about all this computer doing.

The second goal concerned temple attendance. I was to double my usual 12 sessions a year to 24, alas, I was somewhere inbetween. Oh, to live in the days of my Provo, Utah experience; to just pop over to the temple easily every week because of the closeness in vacinity. Does it sound like I'm making excuses? I hope not. I so wish there was a temple in the Antelope Valley, but that is not my lot.

Now, 2009 - I will continue to make 24 my goal for increased temple attendance; and of course, I always want to lose weight, but #3 is my mystery goal. I'm not going to tell you, but I'll give you a hint. I'm hoping for a change in my behavior and maybe, just maybe, you'll see a change in me. I'll let you guess if you have the opportunity to associate with me during the year. See if you can see something different about me as we progress through 2009? Oh the anticipation of it all. I will report at 2009 year's end.

"While many of us take seriously our New Year’s resolutions, some of us may not have made any because of our prior problems in keeping them. [Welcome to my life!] We must not overlook the power that making good resolutions can have in helping make our lives happier and more successful—regardless of our past performance." - Elder Joe J. Christensen, “Resolutions,” Ensign, Dec. 1994, 62–67 [I'll keep trying!]

Friday, December 26, 2008

Elder Blair's Phone Call

I can't begin to express how pleased I was to receive Tommy's phone call yesterday. He sounded more mature and entrenched in his missionary work as well he should be. Hughie asked him to bear his testimony at the end of our speakerphone conversation. His testimony lifted me. I'm so grateful for his goodness and service. I love Tommy. I miss him so much, but I wouldn't have him any other place. Like Elder Blair, I'm all about Texas.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
“Teaching them to observe
all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the world.”

Thursday, December 25, 2008

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

"I will honor Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year".
~ Ebeneezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
We are all together today. We'll be getting a phone call from our Elder Blair tonight at 5 p.m. We're all looking forward to visiting with him. We'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from our family to yours!
"God Bless Us, Every One."
~Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens

Friday, December 19, 2008

Our Winter Wonderland

Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and the earth below,
Over the housetops, over the street,
Over the heads of people you meet.
J.W. Watson
Sammy, Becky, and Janna in a rare snow.
video
The snow was a delightful thrill in spite of the cold and mess. They should have canceled school on Wednesday, but they didn't. Thankfully there was no school yesterday or today. We're all enjoying the extra time for our Christmas vacation. The kids got out and played in it, but Hughie and I are showing our age. We hunkered down in the house and tried to stay warm.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kingdoms of Glory

"There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory." 1 Corinthians 15:41

Kingdoms of Glory
by Martha Blair
oil, 24" x 48"
Well I did it. I entered a painting in the Church's 8th International Art Competition. The deadline was in October. I wasn't very optimistic, but hopeful. I boldly sent in a digital photo for judging. I got a very nice rejection letter this week. Out of 1,100 entries only 20% are displayed.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin 1917 - 2008




















"Since the days of Adam, the Lord has spoken to His prophets, and while His message differs according to the specific needs of the time, there is one consistent, never-changing theme: Depart from iniquity and journey to higher ground."

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin,
"Journey to Higher Ground,"

Ensign, Nov. 2005, 16

Elder Wirthlin passed away December 1st with funeral proceedings being held last Friday. I pay tribute to him here for his long standing example, devotion, and testimony as a special witness of Jesus Christ. I loved him. I'll miss him.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

THE WORST SUBSTITUTE EVER!



Last month I substituted Sammy's class for the first time. Considering the class already knew me, I wondered how things would go. I'm fun with music on Thursday afternoons as a volunteer, but now I needed to make sure we got all the work done assigned by their teacher.
It was getting close to recess time and the kids were getting a little lax in accomplishing the task that had been set before them. I announced that anyone who hadn't finish would stay in during recess to finish and I would be available to help them. Groans filled the room, but the children were quickly motivated.
Sam had enough presence of mind not to announce his displeasure in front of the entire class. Instead, he marched up to the front of the classroom where I was standing and purposely stood in front of me keeping his back to the class. He looked up at me; clenching his teeth, quietly, but with great drama proceeded to inform me, "MOM, YOU ARE THE WORST SUBSTITUTE EVER!" I smiled and couldn't help laughing. I gave him a hug around his shoulders as I escorted him back to his seat and assured him that he would probably get it all done in a timely manner; there was still time.
I wasn't shaken by his angst. It comes with the territory. I mean, I've already been designated the "WORST MOM EVER" and the infamous, "MEANEST MOM IN THE WORLD", that's unfortunately life when it comes to discipline.
I'm always on a learning curve when it comes to being in a different classroom everyday. Every school, teacher, schedule, and age group, etc. are different. I learn something every time I work in a class and I'm better for it. Fortunately, my greater understanding helps me be a better substitute and being a better teacher means I'm serving the children better.
I taught a 1st grade class for an entire week in November. I was surprised how I easily got into the routine and learned everyone's name. Just the consistency of being in the same place every day made it easier. I also observe in classrooms how I could improve on things if I could only be there on a consistent basis rather than my one day appearance, but then that's not my lot as a substitute.

Well, was I the worst substitute ever? I asked Sam that question at the end of the day. He admitted that maybe I wasn't that bad. There is one thing I know and I'm confident of, if I have the opportunity to substitute Sam's class again, I'll do better.
A teacher affects eternity;
[she] can never tell
where [her] influence stops.
Henry Brooks Adams