Wednesday, December 23, 2009

When Christmas Comes to Town

I feel like I can finally start thinking about and enjoying Christmas now that I am done teaching for the year. I will actually be at home in Utah for Christmas. It is just the second time in the last six years that I have been here. The previous two were spent in Arizona, here the year before that, and then the two before that in Seattle. So I guess it is a 2 years away and 1 year home pattern I have going.

I am going to miss being in Arizona. For those of you who have relatives close by and do things with them you are very lucky. I hope everyone appreciates their big families and relatives. In Utah all I have is the four of us in my family, subtract my brother in Mongolia for his mission, and my Uncle. Whenever my Uncle comes over to visit it is a family reunion. That is it for the Horan clan. Quality, but not much quantity.

For this reason, and just because my relatives are awesome, I love being able to go to Arizona where my mom has 6 siblings as well as my Grandma and Grandpa Fife. There I am very lucky to have both quality and quantity. Plus I actually have cousins! It is so much fun to spend time with them and play games and enjoy Christmas for what it really is, a time for family and to celebrate the life and birth of Christ. I feel like I have grown a lot closer to them just in the few weeks of time I have spent with them the past two years at Christmas. I wish I could see them more often.

Christmas here is nice though too, I get to spend some good time with my friends who stuck around in Utah. I also got to watch the BYU bowl game for the first time in a while, because my relatives don't have ESPN. I also will get to have a White Christmas, maybe even get to go and play in it a little bit. Christmas is what you make of it, and I plan to make it a great one.

I hope that you are able to do the same, enjoy it wherever you are and with whoever you are with. Take a moment to stop running around and relax and enjoy it for what it really is.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

It has been far to long since I have written anything. I have had a few ideas, but nothing has seemed blogworthy. There are a few crazy things that have happened and perhaps I will write them soon. This week you may get a few blog posts if I get really bored. Seriously, there is nothing like the holidays to make you realize how alone you are sometimes. Our complex is deserted, everybody went home it seems. The good news is that we own this place, well until they all get back.

I figured the least I can do is write down a few of the many things I am greatful for.

  • My Family
  • Friends
  • A Job
  • Good health
  • Freedom
  • Humor
  • Sports
  • Music

That is a very short list, but I could go on forever and you should be thankful that I didn't. I don't know why I am such a lucky guy, but for that I am greatful. I see so many things going on in the world that are negative, yet my life is good. It is far from perfect, but it is mine.

I am thankful that I am free, and I don't mean just because I live in America. I have the freedom to do what I love. While many are unemployed, I have a job at an amazing school where I hope I am making a difference. I have the financial fredom of not being in debt and being able to have everything I need. I am glad I was taught when I was young how to take care of my money.

How to take care of money isn't the only thing I learned from my amazing family. They have always been there to help me with anything and everything. My brother and I always made a great team. I look forward to getting him back from loan to Mongolia.

I am also thankful for my friends that help me stay sane. I am lucky to work with people that I like and who understand what i'm going through. Sometimes the only person that can understand what i'm going through is someone else who is going through the same thing. I can tell my friends at work about something and they can relate, I come home looking for that same support and nobody gets it. Don't get me wrong I have the best friends anyone can ask for. But if Jared came home talking about some technology thing he was trying to figure out, it means nothing to me either. I consider myself lucky that I have both great coworkers and great friends.

My friends and I have been watching some t.v. shows that Chris owns on DVD and it has been nice to have something to laugh about and share together. I am so greatful for a sense of humor and for other people who do as well. Life would be so boring without something to laugh about.

We have also enjoyed watching some great sports games lately. Real Salt Lake winning the MLS Cup was amazing! I hope it isn't long before we have many more professional championships here in Utah. I am also glad to have had BYU season tickets again this year, it has been a great run. I look forward to this weeks game against Utah. I also am excited that the Jazz will get the Knicks pick in the draft this next summer. I was able to play on some fun intramural teams this semester and look forward to playing more basketball soon. As much as some people may not understand, I love having a great game to look forward to, be it my own or a team I follow.

So much for keeping this short, this however is the end, for real. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and I am excited to start celebrating the heck out of Christmas on Friday!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hey Mama, I Love You!

A lot has been on my mind lately, one of these things is my mom. She is such an amazing person, someone who is always going out of her way to help and serve everyone around her. Whenever I think of her, I think of a doer, someone who is never idle or lazy. To see her stuck in a hospital bed is about as far away from my vision of her as you can get. She is recovering well, she has been there for just over two weeks now. We hope that she will be able to come home in another couple of weeks. I am always amazed at how positive she is and how she is able to overcome the obstacles that come her way. So this message goes out to my mom, I love you!

I was originally going to have the song, Say Hey (I Love You) play along with this, but I was just listening to this song and thought it was more fitting. I am going to include a few of the lyrics below: Smile by Uncle Kracker

You´re better then the best, I´m lucky just to linger in your light.

Lets me know that it´s OK, yeah it´s OK, And the moments where my good times start to fade, you make me smile like the sun.

Even when you´re gone, Somehow you come along, Just like a flower poking through the sidewalk crack and just like that, You steal away the rain and just like that, You make me smile like the sun.

Don´t know how I lived without you, Cuz every time that I get around you, I see the best of me inside your eyes, You make me smile.

I am lucky to have such an amazing family. None of us would be the people we are today without her. No matter how many times I visit her in the hospital that will never be the way I see her. I know she will be back as strong as ever and doing things that most healthy people don't have the energy to do. She will also have to learn again how to let others help her for a while.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Perfect Player

About a week ago John Stockton was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was my favorite basketball player growing up and someone I always looked up to. He made it cool to pass, to work hard, and he always put the team and his family first.

After Bill Belichick’s comment that recently retired linebacker Tedy Bruschi was a “perfect player” Jerry Sloan said that John Stockton is the closest thing he's ever seen to a perfect NBA player. "I'd never heard that before," Sloan told the Salt Lake Tribune, "but it certainly would represent John Stockton in almost every aspect of basketball."

John Stockton led his team to 19 playoff appearances, making it to the NBA finals twice. I will never forget the first, when he made the three pointer over Charles Barkley at the buzzer to win the series. The Jazz didn’t usually show a lot of emotion, but boy did they show it then!

He played in 10 all star games, being named co-MVP of the 1993 game with teammate Karl Malone. He was selected to the All-NBA teams 10 times and named to the NBA All-Defensive teams five times. In 1996 he was named one of the 50 greatest players ever to play in the NBA, he truly did it all.

John Stockton commandingly holds the records for both Assists and Steals. He had 5,483 more assists than second place Mark Jackson. To demonstrate how amazing this is, only 33 players in NBA history have ever recorded 5,483 assists. He has over twice as many assists as Steve Nash who has won two MVP awards.

He holds the record for assists-per-game average over one season with 14.5, and is one of only three players to record over 1,000 assists in one season. Kevin Porter and Isiah Thomas did it once, Stockton did it SEVEN times!

Not only could he play great defense and make everyone around him better, but he was a great scorer. He ranks #30 on the all-time NBA scoring list with 19,711 career points.

With all of these records and success you might think it would go to his head. This was never the case. He was as humble as could be. He was often the smallest player on the court, he didn’t look very imposing, but he always gave it his all. Karl Malone said he would wake up during the off season and think to himself, John’s at home working out, so I better get working. He inspired everyone around him, his teammates often had their best seasons of their career. If they worked hard they knew that he would reward them.

He tried to stay out of the limelight, and was very successful. Check out this video it is hilarious!

I was fortunate enough to meet John Stockton, although not as fan friendly as Karl Malone. (Who I have met a few times, he and his brother gave my brother and I fishing lessons).

His autograph is one of my prized possessions. My dad won tickets to the game that he broke the steals record. (Luckily he got a steal that day) After the game they gave us a certificate that said we were in attendance. Later in the year we attended one of the Jazz practices. We hoped that we could get all of the Jazz players to sign autographs.

Every single player signed for me except for Stockton, this did not stop my determination. We waited out in the parking lot for him to head home, he was the very last player to leave. At this point there was only my little brother and I waiting. We asked again for his autograph and he said only if we would walk with him to his car. We agreed and I was able to get the certificate signed.

As he enters the Hall of Fame I will always remember him as the perfect player. He gave his all, made those around him better. He could score with the best, yet was satisfied to let someone else get the glory of scoring. He never liked all of the attention and awards, yet they came in abundance and may have come more freely if he had been willing to work more with the media and fans. His assist record may never be broken. I know, in my heart at least, that he will always be the best point guard to ever play the game.

This video almost brings tears to my eyes, so many good memories.

1. John Stockton 15,806
2 Mark Jackson 10,334
3 JASON KIDD 10,199
4 Magic Johnson 10,141
5 Oscar Robertson 9,887
6 Isiah Thomas 9,061
7 Gary Payton 8,966
8 Rod Strickland 7,987
9 STEVE NASH 7,505
10 Maurice Cheeks 7,392

1 John Stockton 3,265
2 Michael Jordan 2,514
3 Gary Payton 2,445
4 Maurice Cheeks 2,310
5 Scottie Pippen 2,307
6 Clyde Drexler 2,207
7 JASON KIDD 2,198
8 Hakeem Olajuwon 2,162
9 Alvin Robertson 2,112
10 Karl Malone 2,085

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Better Days

Life has its ups and downs, I know mine has. Although I have had a lot to go through the past year I really can’t complain. I have been trying to think about what to write, but nothing has really come to mind, other than life is good. So let me list a few reasons why:

First of all I love my class this year! Not to say I didn’t last year, because I did, but it is so much easier. It isn’t just that I now have more experience and have learned from my mistakes and successes, but I really have a great class. I have some talkers, but slowly one by one they are getting better. I'm not sure it will ever be perfect, but if it's because they are excited about what we are learning, that is a good thing.

Plus I like to talk too, so I can't really complain. Sometimes at faculty meetings last year they wouldn't let me sit by my team to keep us from talking. They said it was so that we could share ideas amongst grade levels, but then they didn't split up any other teams. Unfortunately, for them, I am slowly starting to make friends with more people, so it won’t work for long!

I have also enjoyed having my students come back and visit me or pop their heads in on their way home. I feel like a celebrity whenever I walk into the lunch room because I hear my name being yelled out with kids saying hi. I know most of the kids that tell me I am their favorite teacher have probably said that to all of their teachers, but it still feels good to hear it. A few of my students have said I’m mean, or not fair, but I always have several other students who back me up, it’s great.

School is not the only thing going great, all is also well in the sports world. I love BYU football and to have them ranked #7 is pretty awesome. We had over 25 people at our apartment the day we beat then #3 Oklahoma. I can honestly say that it was the best atmosphere I have ever been in for a game I watched on TV. We only had 20 people here for our 54-3 victory yesterday, it was still really fun though. I look forward to our first home game!

We have also started intramurals again! Our soccer team may be the best I have ever played with. We had a tie our first game, I wasn’t very happy about it. I actually ran six miles after the game because I was frustrated. It was nice getting to play though. We also have some girls in our ward that are really good and we have been playing a lot with them.

The NBA season is just around the corner and our flag football team has it’s first game soon. It has been nice to be able to get excited about the local sports teams. John Stockton and Jerry Sloan were inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this week. It brought back a lot of amazing memories as I watched highlights and interviews. Even more fun than watching sports though has been playing them. Hopefully we can get some basketball in along with everything else.

Another thing that has made life good is having our apartments full again. There are so many fun people in our ward. Also, for really the first time, we get along really well with all the guys in the ward. In past years it has sometimes seemed like they were the competition, this year they are our friends. The girls are great too, I love my ward!

Between school, sports, and sparks I have written enough I think. I could really go on for pages about why life is good. It’s easy to dwell on the bad in life, but there is so much that is good. Today is a day to be grateful, life is good, life is great, life is unbelievable.

Friday, August 28, 2009


My first full week of school ended with a bang. It had been a good day to cap off a great week. My birthday went well on Wednesday with Mrs. Bakers class making me a nice card and some much needed chocolate, Mrs. Martinek's class coming in to give me a special birthday poem and treats, Mr. C's class also came in and sang to me, he gave me a treat and also gave a treat to each of my students.

I also felt like about half the school came up to me and told me happy birthday. Kids I didn't even know walked up to me and told me happy birthday. A group of my girls from last year give me half of their cookie from lunch... I can't even list all of the nice things! That night when I got home we had a big party at my apartment complex which included food, a dance party, and a pool party.

Here I thought I had the best birthday in a long time when the next day at lunch I went to walk into my room. A mother and three of my kids were putting punch and cupcakes on all of the desks, they also gave me a gift card. When the lunch bell rang we had a belated birthday party for me. I felt like I was on top of the world, that is until two more mothers came in during recess an hour later with a giant Costco cake, now I really was on top of the world. They also felt bad that they hadn't been able to do something the day before. So when the kids came in from recess we had another unbirthday party. My kids seemed to think that every time they sung me Happy Birthday I got a year older, I believe I am up to at least 30 now.

That night I got a text from my friend saying that a group of us were going to Pirate Island. It is a new pirate themed pizza restaurant that my friend Sarah works at. It was way cool! They sung me happy birthday there as well, I got free ice cream! We ate a pizza that was so big that six of us could not finish it. It was delicious!

Today I had another girl bring in cookies, I wonder how long we can stretch this out? School ended and I was excited to start the weekend. I was really tired from waking up earlier and just running around crazy all week. I planned on hurrying home, eating something really quick, then jumping into bed for a nap. I was hoping that way I could have some more energy to play all night. My car though, had another plan.

It decided that I needed a little more excitement. As I entered the freeway I noticed there was a loud noise coming from the back side of my car. I thought, oh no, not a flat tire. I had never had one before so I wasn't quite sure. The car was driving fine so I figured I would get off the next exit. The noise stopped and so I thought that maybe nothing happened. Once I passed that exit the noise started again and I could tell that the car was not performing like it should. I decided I could make it to the next exit and continued to drive. After I excited I planned on making it to the first gas station but all of a sudden I heard a loud bang and I knew that it was no longer flat, I knew I would have to stop immediately.

There was a convenient place to pull over and so I got my car over to the side. I had never actually changed a tire, as I had never had a flat before to fix. I figured I had enough common sense to do so, but then I remembered that I had free road side assistance with my insurance. I figured if I have this feature why spend the time when someone else could. I called them up and sat in the back of my car and graded papers until they could get there, good thing I actually brought some work home with me today!

A few minutes later a lady walked up to my window and asked if I needed help, she said her husband was a mechanic. I said, sure that would be great, within one minute the tire was off, my spare tire was on and I was on my way. I love that there are so many amazing people like that!

I really lucked out that I made it that far, that it died at a spot that had a nice place to pull off and that someone was willing to help out someone in need. I didn't get home as fast as I had planned, but I was never stressed out over the situation. I knew everything would work out and it did. I have always had that confidence about life, it takes a lot to really get me down.

I have so many amazing friends and people that are looking out for me. I don't know why I am so blessed, but I'm not going to complain. It's been a good week and it ended with a bang! Bring it on weekend, bring it on.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Second Chance

This is my last week of summer. As sad as it is to come to that realization, I am ready to get going again. This past year was, by far, the hardest year of my life. Not only with being a first year teacher, but elders quorum president, relationships and everything else. It was also a great year, don't get me wrong, but it was very hard.

I am very excited to take what I learned from my first year of teaching and keep improving every day. I feel much more prepared this year. I have a lot more confidence and many great people around me that I can call my friends. This was not how I felt last year, especially a few months in.

I came in with high expectations, I have always excelled in the things that I do. When compared to my peers I was always right there with them or above. I scored in the top 15% on the Praxis without studying one minute, I had great reviews from student teaching and I was totally confident that I was going to be a great teacher. I have never really failed at anything or felt like I was not good at something.

Unfortunately, I was no longer among my peers when I started teaching. On my team I was the youngest, the only male, and the only one without children. So they all had a lot more experience working with children and teaching and life in general.

I didn’t feel like I could relate to anyone else at my school. I felt alone, I didn't know what I was doing, and all I heard was what I needed to do better, no, different. I tried hard, and I felt like I was a quick learner, but I honestly did have a long way to go. I officially was not great at something.

There were times where I just felt like I made a big mistake going into teaching, I was not good at it, I was ready to quit. I actually remember one night, thinking tomorrow I am going to tell them I quit. Of course, luckily, I didn’t. (I don’t know what I would have done, there was nothing else I wanted to do, I love teaching) I honestly thought they would have been glad if I did though.

I still don’t feel like I really “fit in” at school. I am still the only young single guy, but I can truly say that some of my best friends are teachers at Freedom Elementary. I don’t know how many times I went next door and talked to Stevie, or Dana. I also feel like I became good friends with the third grade team and several others. If I need someone to talk to I know so many people have my back. Our administration was so helpful as well, especially when we would have classes and they would teach us and tell us what they expected. Just like my students sometimes I needed to be taught as well.

Sometimes we all just need a second chance. No matter what I hear about my students I am about to get, I don’t worry about it. They get a second chance with me. I am glad I get a second chance, or year to be a teacher. I am confident, positive, and ready to excel. Hopefully this year it’s justified. Bring it on, i'm ready!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

True Friends

The other day I was talking to one of my good friends. I can't remember who I was talking to, but they referenced a quote by Elder Robert D. Hales. It says, "A true friend makes it easier to live the gospel by being around them. A true friend does not make us choose between their way and the Lord's way.

I really like this quote. I think true friends should build each other up and be on their side. A true friend does not try and trap another or wish to see them fail. A true friend will, instead, help make up for your shortcomings and mistakes. I am grateful for some of the friends I have. Especially the ones that are true friends and who help me reach my goals. Those that want to include me in their plans and make me a better person by being around them.

I hope that I am a true friend. I always try and help those around me, and have a desire for all of my friends to succeed. I know I could do even more though, but today I was able to help one move. It felt good to know that someone knew they could count on me to help them when they needed it. I hope that I can continue to look for more frequent opportunities to help those around me. I have your back if you need it! No backstabbing here, I'll be there for you!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Who needs teachers?

The last three days I have been thinking a lot about school. Mostly not on purpose, I am trying hard to enjoy the summer. It all started a few days ago when I was checking the newspaper online. I had been checking to see if there was an article on the first Jazz summer league basketball game. On the side I saw an article about a teacher and it had over 100 comments on it. It got my attention so I thought I would check it out.

As I began to read it was about a man who had gone into teaching, but decided he couldn't raise his family on that income and decided to do something else. He complained that teachers should make more money and should be valued more. That it was sad that he had to go and do something else just so that he could live beyond poverty.

As I read the comments I was surprised at how negative the majority of them were. About how teachers don't even deserve what they are getting paid now, one said the only reason he sends his kids to school is because it is free child care. They said that anyone could come off the street and put a video on. Anther mentioned that most teachers go into teaching only because they want summer off. There were many more, I was reading comments for about half an hour, but I will leave it at that.

There was a high school senior who said that he had wanted to go into teaching. He had had some amazing teachers and he wanted to give back. But after reading all of these comments and seeing how unappreciative and unsupportive everyone was, he had now decided against it. My favorite high school teacher, or at least one of them, said that he told his children not to go into teaching. Teachers used to be looked up to, respected. Now the parent is always right and the teacher doesn't know anything.

I know that the school system is far from perfect. I know there are some teachers out there that are not the greatest. I had my complaints growing up and also have some now as I am involved with it. I knew the pay wasn't great when I signed up, but I did it anyway. I did all this because I felt like it was what I was supposed to do, it was my call. I feel like I can make a positive change on the world.

There are days that I wonder if I made the right choice, days when parents call and complain when they have never set foot in my classroom. Then when they actually come and observe they think I'm great and are amazed I can do what I do. Even when I was in college other people in my program would question me as to why I wanted to become a teacher. (I figured at least they would understand). I was always near the top of my class and they said I could do anything and make a lot more money. I told them that they were right. I could do anything, I am pretty freaking amazing. What makes me even more amazing is that this is what I am doing. I love it! Teaching is something that works for me, and no, not anyone could walk in off the street and do what I do.

I know people might get sick of hearing teachers complaining about wanting more money and may have complaints about the school system in general. (Who in all reality doesn't want more money? Of course I am going to always be pushing for this, don't you at your job?) But I have met some of the most amazing people who are teachers. I have had some of the best throughout my life and a lot of friends that are currently teaching. I believe we are trying our best and that we really do care. Every doctor, lawyer, athlete, accountant goes through the public school system. Shouldn't you want the best? You get what you pay for and what you value.

Right now I think teachers, like several other professions, deserve a little more credit and respect. Let's work together to improve things, and most importantly, do what is best for the students. Sorry for my little rant, just be glad I waited two days to write this. I just feel like I am trying my best and nobody seems to really appreciate it. At least I can make a difference one class at a time. They seemed to enjoy coming to school and we learned a lot together. I guess I can't change everyones opinions, but I can make school enjoyable and worthwhile for my students.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ready for Romance

My Aunt and Uncle were in town and they took us out to my favorite Chinese Buffet. At the end of our meal they gave us each a fortune cookie. Mine said, "There's a good chance of a romantic encounter soon." So I have my eyes open, we will see what happens.

This reminded me of a conversation I had about a month ago on what I am looking for in a wife. It is a somewhat supperficial list and it is not essential that my future wife has all or many of these attributes, but hey if someone wants to know what I would like, this is it.

Looks: Which of course come first, but after the initial attraction, her personality will either make her truly beautiful, or not attractive anymore.

Hair: I have found I prefer darker hair with a bit of curl.

Eyes: Blue eyes are nice, but I also like brown. More so than the color, she needs to have eyes that you can look into and see hope, knowing that everything is going to be alright as long as you are together.

Smile: This is very important, she must have a heavenly smile and a good sense of humor. I don't want it to be fake though, she doesn't have to be happy all the time. Plus I am really good at cheering people up. So every so often I need to have the opportunity to make things better.

Body Type: I do not want a twig for a wife. Someone who is going to get blown over if the wind picks up. I would much prefer someone who is athletic and has a little substance. I really enjoy sports, so if she enjoyed them that would be awesome. I don't want to take my kids to go kick a ball around and say so long honey, I would love her to be right there with me. She doesn't have to be amazing at it, I just want her around.

Height: Once again this isn't really important but the closer to my height the better. Anything between about 5'3" and 5'9" would be good.

Looks only go so far though, once I am attracted to someone and want to get to know them better, the only thing that matters is their personality and interests. First of all she has to enjoy roller coasters. I don't want to spend all of my vacations only riding the Merry-Go-Round, although that happens to be one of my favorite rides.

I also am a bit of a Jazz fan and she needs to accept that, or enjoy it, which would truly be a dream come true. She also needs to be good with money. I am not going to complain about how much money teacher's make, I made a conscious decision when choosing my profession. I am very good with money and I need a wife that is as well. I would prefer she didn't have to work, but if she wants to then that would be ok.

Music has always been a big part of my life and if she had a good voice I would love to sit around a piano and sing together. Talking about the piano, I am not very good, so if she could play that would be sweet.

She also needs to be someone I can talk to, that isn't afraid to share her opinions and have her own interests. I am very easy going and don't take life to seriously, so she needs to be laid back as well. Someone who is service oriented and who is my best friend. So for those girls a month ago who asked me what I was looking for, that is what I can think of off the top of my head.

I am ready for my romantic encounter. Bring it on!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Best Friends

I have always been blessed to have some of the best friends this world has to offer. This week I was lucky to find a few more amazing people to add to the Best Friends of Dave club. We actually met in the hot tub, isn't that the best place? I think my friend Tyson would agree, that is where he met his wife.

When we were leaving the hot tub that night we told them we lived in Apartment 30 and that they should come over sometime. We have told people this before, and usually nothing happens. Heck people in the ward that we know rarely come over, so why should some complete strangers? Well about an hour later our new friends knocked on our door and we enjoyed a wonderful evening. After they left that night we realized (the smart guys that we are) that we had no idea where they lived. All we could really hope for was that they would come back.

Our luck appeared in the form of a note in the middle of the week. It told us that they couldn't stay away any longer and that they would be coming by Saturday evening and to be plan free. Saturday approached and I found myself kind of excited. Some of our other friends stopped by to invite us to do something, we told them we had plans. Then the moment we had been waiting for, they actually came! We made friendship banana brick and took pictures for a cool stuffed animal love story. We also went shopping so that we could enjoy Sunday dinner together the next day. The night ended with a dance party, what could be better?

Sunday came and dinner was amazing. It was one of my favorites, chicken enchiladas. We also climbed this really cool tree and just sat at the top for a long time and talked. Then we came back, had dessert and watched Toy Story. I love that movie! I hadn't seen it for far to long. I also got an awesome back massage and head scratch. I love head scratches!

I love my friends, I am grateful for all of you who have blessed my life this week or at some point during my life. Friends are what make life worth living. You have made me who I am today, and that is pretty freaking amazing. I blame you!
I couldn't decide which song to choose for this blog, I went with the Toy Story one. The second song that will come on, or that you can go and click on, is more along the lines of remembering our dance parties.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I said on Facebook that I wouldn't write on here until someone made a comment on my last post. Thankfully you responded and now I get to figure out something to write about. I don't really have a lot to say, but here is what has been on my mind lately.

My summer officially started a week and a half ago. I went from being supper busy with my first year of teaching, and also being Elders Quorum president. Then I got released and started summer vacation. Talk about a major life change. It has led me to think a lot about my life and to set some goals.

Goals are important and it is also important that you write them down and share them. This is what I am hoping for today, I really want to use this time, that I am blessed to have, to better myself. I usually divide my goals into four main areas: Physical, spiritual, social, and school. I suppose I could change school to work now that I graduated but it's kind of the same thing for me I guess.

  • Study the Book of Mormon every day.
  • Daily Morning and Evening personal prayer.
  • Be the best FHE Dad ever! (My new calling).
  • Attend the temple at least once a month.


  • Exercise five days a week.
  • At least two days of weight training a week.


  • Go on at least one date a month.
  • Plan more activities.
  • Do more with people outside my apartment.


  • Plan my literacy block better around the science and history units we teach.
  • Come up with more interactive and investigative math lessons.
  • Work on my writing units for the year.
  • Continue working on getting my masters and more education.

These seem pretty basic, but at least it gives me something to work on. If you see me make sure to ask me how i'm doing. Plus even with this, I still have a lot of free time. So if you have any other ideas for me or need some help doing something or want to come hang out let me know. Until then I'm going to try and become the best person I can and not let the whole summer pass me by. Life is good, I love summer!

Me working out and continuing my education

Gotta reach those goals!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I have always enjoyed photography. I feel like I have a decent eye for things, although I really have no idea what I am doing. I have tried the last few months to include pictures along with each blog. That along with one of my other loves, music, I feel really helps get out the feelings that I want to share. Today I reached 300 pictures tagged on facebook, so in celebration I want to share a few of these today.

I really like this one because of the faces of the two boys in the front left corner. They were very impressed by my amazing kick in the 6th graders vs faculty kickball game.

This is a picture from my all time favorite vacation. I went with Dan and Jared to Six Flags and we camped on the side of the road. This picture just reminds me of all of the good times. Naps at the park, Roller coasters, Lost, and many others.

Graduation was a blast! I went because I wanted to see all of my friends I had spent two years of my life with. While I was there I didn't feel much like waiting around and so I spent most of the day wandering around campus with my brother taking tons of way awesome pictures. I will post just one.

We went camping to Arches and there was still some snow, I doubt many people have pictures similar to this one.

One of my favorite pictures I took of the Seattle Temple.

Another of my favorites from Seattle, I have so many more I want to post! I will have to leave it at that. If you have a little more time check out more of my pictures. Especially the Graduation/Moab/Mission Pictures Gallery's.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Summer Fun

I love summer! It feels nice to be spontanious and come up with crazy stuff to do. Here is a list of a few of the fun things we have done the past few weeks:

Two weekends ago: The new people had just moved in and we had a big game of capture the flag. It was so much fun! I like being creative, I used every strategy I could think of to help my team win. Sarah and I went on a lovers stroll hoping that we would pass as a romantic couple. It almost worked, we were so close to getting the flag! We then found a group of six people that weren't playing and had them charge the flag for us while we ran in the middle of them, it ended up helping us win game one. Game two: Sarah and I broke out of jail, just for fun. Neither one of us made it back to our side though, so it really didn't make a difference. It was still fun to try. A little later I made it to the jail to rescue someone but nobody wanted out. So I just sat there, later on in the game I tagged someone and the two of us walked back much to everyone's surprise. The other team ended up winning though because Jeremy let them have the flag if they could beat him in red light green light.

Last Weekend: It envolved getting the fire department called on us, an ambulance, drive by shooting and Satan's barn. It was a really fun night! (Don't worry, most of this stuff isn't what it sounds like).

This Weekend: We went swimming, to get shakes, to my dad's 60th birthday party and then frisbee golfing. It was awesome!

I look forward to whatever comes next. I don't know what is in store, but I know it will be wicked awesome. I could go into more detail on everything, but this is getting long enough. Thank you everyone for being fun! Let's keep the good times rolling. Anyone have any other good ideas to do? What is your favorite summer moment?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Awkward Date

Jared and I went frisbee golfing early this evening and we came across a guy and a girl that looked a little lost. They had been standing for about 2-3 minutes staring at one of the signs on the last hole. We asked them if they were going to go, and they said that we could go ahead of them. He then asked where you started and we told him. He tried to make some awkward small talk with us about how we must go there often, it was wierd. They walked off, with only one disc... We finished the hole and then started to walk to our car.

Directly in front of us on the sidewalk was the girl, about 100 feet in front of her was the guy. She yelled up to him at one point and said, "Kevin, wait up!" He just kept on walking. Eventually they got in the car together and drove off. Must have been one amazing date! He doesn't even know anything about the course, they only have one disc, they leave as separate as you can be while still being together and it was about 6:30. I wish I had more of the story, but it really kind of made me laugh.

I have been lucky when it comes to dating. I always seem to have a good time, and though they may not amount to much afterwards, I always enjoy myself. I would have to say the most awkward would be a girl's choice dance in high school that the girl didn't really seem to want to be there. I still had fun though, it was just weird. I guess if I don't have any good stories I better go on some more dates. I am sure some of you out there have some pretty good stories though. Feel free to share, what is your weirdest/awkward/worst date story?

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Bouquet of Basketball Cookies

This week was teacher appreciation week and I recieved this awesome bouquet of basketball cookies. I also got some notes from my students that they wrote this week when I had a substitute, man they sure are sneaky! You sometimes wonder if any of them really care, so things like that always make me happy. Here are a few of my favorite responses other than just you are nice and fun.

D.r mr. Horan, Thankyou for teaching me evrything I know! (must not have been spelling, but hey, everything she knows is still pretty impressive)

Mr. Horan I like you becaus you let me share funny stories with the class.

Mr. Horan, Thank you for all you've done. I've never had a boy teacher but... I think your ok. No your great. You know I've learned a lot. Well you are a really fun dude so I guess you ROCK!

Mr. Horan, THANKS! Thanks for teaching me most of the MATH I know and teaching me harder stuff. Your the best teacher Ever! Thanks Thanks!

You are the best. I love writing, science, and reading time. I love the soda explostion with mentos and soda. You teach me well. You ROCK!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tales of a Fourth Grade Teacher

I was going to title this Tales of a Fourth Grade Teacher Nothing, but that didn't have much of a ring to it. Now don't get me wrong, I don't actually think I am nothing. Let me explain...

I was all excited for spring break, I had been looking forward to it for a while. A time to relax and have some fun. A time to get some things done that I have put off for a while. Then came the actual break and I haven't known what to do with myself. Most of my friends are getting ready for finals or at work all day and so I haven't had a lot to do. I have tried to be productive and keep busy, but I just keep thinking about school. Here is my week so far:

Monday: I did all of my laundry and went and got my car safety and inspection done. I also went to the gym and then rewarded myself with some time in the pool. I am glad we had at least one nice day this week.

Tuesday: Mailed a little package to my brother in Mongolia, went to the gym, and did some grocery shopping. As I was driving to the gym I passed one of the Provo elementary schools and thought about going and volunteering, that is how weird I am. I didn't though, I then rewarded myself with another afternoon in the pool, even though it was raining.

Wednesday: One of my teacher friends told me I wasn't allowed to go to school and think I would be productive. So of course I decided that today I would do just that, unfortunatly after I started driving, I decided I didn't want to drive in the snow. So I am now on here doing this. I spent the morning at the gym and cleaning my room. I plan on spending some time in the hot tub here in a bit enjoying the snow.

So what does any of this have to do with anything? Well, that is a perfectly good question actually... I guess it has to do with, I AM SOOOO BORED!! It would seem that I am being productive and having fun but I am going crazy. Yesterday as I was going out to swim in the rain, one of my roomates, who I shouldn't have been bugging as much as the rest of them, since he was downstairs and we were all upstairs said, "Man spring break needs to be over, you need to go back to school."

He is right, I guess I realized that I need school, hopefully it needs me too. I have tried to do my best and hopefully that is good enough. I will keep working and getting better each year. A teacher is nothing without people to teach I guess. So for now, until next week. I am a fourth grade teacher nothing.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


A few weeks ago my school had a spirit day where we had the opportunity to dress up as our hero or superhero. It was interesting to see what some of them chose to dress up as. I was a little surprised that a few of my students dressed up as me. I wore a shirt I got when I was serving my mission in Seattle. It had a big S like the superman logo and then said Seattle below. It was not much of a costume and took little effort, but I had a lot of heroes on my mission.

I am sure that when I was their age I would have dressed up as a Jazz player. John Stockton was always someone famous that I looked up to. Although over the years my heroes have gone from famous, to those that have had a personal impact on my life. Don't get me wrong, I still don't like to miss a chance to watch DWill play.


Some of my heroes:

My Family: My mom and dad would do anything for me, they have always been there when I needed them. My mom is always doing service and helping in so many ways. She is a great example to me. My dad has been having a great time being involved in a BYU ward bishopric and always knows how to make us laugh. Even if we try and pretend like it isn't funny sometimes. My brother is currently serving a mission and has always been one of my best friends. He is my hero!

Each of you is my hero as well. Thank you for caring enough about me to keep up on my life. It is so nice to have great friends. I have been lucky to have the privilege of having some great life long friends. We have also found some other amazing people along the way. I wish I kept up better with all of you, but you will always have a special place in my heart.

Feel free to leave a comment of who your hero is and why.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Heartbreak World

Right now my students are working on their stories that are due today. They are so creative! I am waiting for someone to bring their story to me to check it off so they can print it. Right now there isn't anyone in line, so I thought I would do some writing of my own. It has been a rough couple of weeks, luckily I have had some great friends to help me through. Thank you to each of you who has come to say hello or done something with me the last week, it has really been a blessing.

So... one of my students just informed me that I have the third best tasting hair in the class, although another student gave me second place... Never a dull moment! I have the best students, they make me laugh so much.

In class we have been studying weather and we have made weather vanes, anemometers, barometers, measured temperatures, observed clouds, wind speed and air pressure. We then discuss and predict what the future weather will be. I predict that my weather is about to change. I see blue skies and sunshine ahead through the clouds that cover my current world. Thank you again to all of you who make my life a little better!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentines Day!

Today we are celebrating Valentines Day in class. Everyone is SO excited, it is almost ridiculous. It is funny watching them start to have little crushes on each other. One of my students brought a rose for one of the girls, it was pretty funny, and quite a bit awkward. These kids make me laugh so much. Also one of the other teachers was letting her students know today that she was pregnant. So she asked me if I could have a clue in my room that they needed to find in order to find out that she was going to have a baby. We also got to look at all of the 5th and 6th graders science fair posters. Life was good today, it is fun being able to actually enjoy Valentines Day again. Everything is so much more fun when you are a kid!

The only down side about valentines is I got way more sugar than I needed, I still have treats they gave me from Christmas. I have two parents who obviously aren't teachers and had their children bring noise makers and squirt guns along with their valentines... Man what were they thinking? Although one of the 3rd grade teachers who is known as a "party teacher" came in to get a cookie from me and saw my students with their water guns and noisemakers and he told me, "I thought I had the best parties and you beat me, and it's your first year, unbelievable!"

I now have a fair sized pile of these fun items now sitting in my desk drawer. I later went into his class and asked him where his treat for me was and he gave me some good stuff. I then later had one of his students come into my class and give me a sucker, one of the parents that was in helping with my party said, "Wow it's impressive when you are a new teacher and you have students from other classes bringing you valentines". I guess that is just the kind of guy I am. I wasn't to excited about Valentines Day, but today I was reminded how fun it can be. I love my students! Oh and happy Friday the 13th!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Broken Heart

Jenn and I broke up this afternoon. There, it is out there... I am so greatful for all of the good times the two of us had together. She was such an amazing person, it was just not our time. There were so many hard days where I would come home and be so tired, I didn't feel like doing anything, and that was ok. Being with her made me happy, we didn't have to be doing anything. I will miss that. I wish her the best, she will always be a good friend and I get to keep the happy memories. Everything always works out in the end.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I have been all excited about having over 1000 views for a while now. I have loved having a blog and am happy that other people enjoy looking at what I have to say. I know it is sometimes random and sometimes not as exciting, but it has been a great outlet for me. I had forgotten how much I love writing and how writing can bless each of our lives. I notice a lot more now and try and remember details of things that happen in my life. Thanks for checking my blog out!

Some of my favorite posts:

Once Upon a Time

The Importance of Sports in my Life

Farewell to my Brother

Labor Day Parade

Funny Lists

Funny Dating Story

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Teaching: For Better or For Worse

There have been many ups and downs my first year of teaching. There are good days, where I see a light go on in someone’s eyes. When they understand something or enjoy a really good lesson. Then there are days where I think we all need a break from each other. This week had a little of both.

First of all, due to the poor air condition, it was an inside day Monday through Thursday. The students did not get a much needed time to run around and be kids and get their energy out. Therefore, I did not get a break to sit down, prepare, and have a little quiet. Thursday came around and they were getting so restless, recess began and several of my students went to go to the bathroom and get a drink. A perfectly logical thing to do at this time, well they weren't as quiet as they should have been.

I was aware of this and sent one of my students to go round everybody up. Around the same time a teacher decided that she would come and yell at them to go back into my room. Then she came in and yelled at me for a minute when she got tired of yelling at them. Later that day I saw a note on my computer from the boy that I had sent out to bring everyone back in (see I had it under control...). It said, I just thought you should know that the teacher said that you don't care about us and that you are a bad teacher. (I also overheard her make some negative comments to another teacher on Friday about me).

Well if that doesn't make your day... I don't mind if she tells me to my face, or if she, or someone else, doesn't like me. Just don't go telling my students something you know nothing about. I do in fact care a lot about my students, their learning, happiness, and lives in general. I want what is best for them and for some of them that is me. I am not the perfect teacher for everyone, who is, but I think I have made a positive impact on a lot of my students. Oh and I am not a bad teacher, I have improved a lot this year and am, at least, much better than I was a few months ago. I am working hard and will continue to get even better. So there!

I figured I would end this post with the good. Thank goodness there was some of that too. Every week I spotlight one of my students. They get to bring in a poster, I say nice things about them in front of everyone, and then the class gets to ask them a few questions. One of the questions was, if you could have anything in the world what would it be? He thought for a second and then said, "Mr. Horan to be my teacher in 5th grade." A few of the students seemed to think that would be a good idea as well. I would love to have more students like him too, we can wish cant we?

I also have a student that has had a rough time since coming back from Christmas break. He has caused a lot of disruption and made life rough on a lot of us. We have tried a lot of things and nothing has worked, until Friday, he was amazing! I have tried to use as much positive reinforcement with him and to praise him whenever I see even the smallest thing he does right. It seemed to work on Friday and he was so happy. Not only that, but I was able to tell his Dad how well he did. They both had huge smiles on their faces as they walked out of school.

Last of all I have a student who was referred to resource. Before he was able to start, I had 40 days to work with him. Where I was supposed to really focus on him and see if there was anything I could do in class to help him progress. The 40 days came and they now think he will not be able to make it into resource because he is doing to well. It feels good to see someone progress and know that you and they worked hard together to accomplish something great. His mom says that he is always talking about me and how much he likes being in my class. He has grown so much this year! Hopefully he will be up with the rest of the class soon.

I could share success stories about so many of my students. They are amazing! I will keep trying to do what I can to take my students from where they are now and help them improve, even if it is slowly. If I can do that I feel like I am a success. Am I a perfect teacher? Far from it, am I perfect for some? I like to think I’m close. Will I be an even better teacher next year? For sure! So for anyone who knows nothing about me, except that my students are noisy in the halls sometimes, I’m not going to let you get me down.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, here in Happy Valley, lived a man with a quest. His name was Dave, a desirable, daring, delightful dreamer with desires to destroy, demolish and devastate the competition on the basketball court. Then dine at the delicious and delectable IHOP when done.

As he prepared for a physical battle, our protagonist placed proudly, a plethora of gel upon his head. Added unto it a headband and with his new DWill shoes, set out to settle, once and for all, who was king of the court.

The battle began, it was the Bricks against the World. The other team came out hard, making everything, it was as if they were invincible. Shot after shot sought comfort inside the cylinder. Our noble army renewed their efforts and were able to catch up and keep it even until halftime. As they huddled together the troops called for a speech, much was said by all. Praise was given for their defense, and they discussed the intricacies or their intramural offensive schemes.

The second half began, but the enemy was no match for the mighty Bricks. The Bricks outscored them 29 to 10 as they secured their first victory of many 44 to 25. Dave was given the Matt Harpring award for his mighty efforts in getting the other team frustrated, but doing nothing noteworthy offensively. He drew charges, got jump balls, three steals, three assists, and worked hard doing the little things. With leading scorer Chris to his side, and many other notable warriors, they marched into the sunset.

But their quest was not over, as the sun set, and the victory was being celebrated, our hero and his crew had no idea that a new enemy was just around the corner. With his lovely lady in hand, Dave, Jenn, Chris, and Joel mounted their chariot. They began the drive to the post game feast, when all of a sudden, a great fog encircled around them. They marched boldly through the enemy lines, not knowing what was in front of them. The worthy opponent had now decided to destroy the roads, in hopes of stopping them in their tracks. Not to be stopped, they pushed on. They lost no hope when Cul-de-sacs impeded their progress. Not even icy roads of death that sent them spiraling out of control towards a barbed wire fence could stop them.

IHOP appeared as a beacon above the fog, bacon, sausage and pancakes would soon be had by all. Jared, Jeremy, Jake, Jose, Joel, Jose, Jenn, Dave, Chris, and Stacey enjoyed the feast and an enjoyable night was had by all.

The quest was obtained.

Dave returned home, said goodnight to his Princess, and had sweet dreams of victory.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Goodbye 2008

2008 has been a crazy year... In April I graduated from UVU in Elementary Education and on August 18th began teaching fourth grade in Highland Utah. I also had a lot of fun including an amazing summer road trip to Six Flags and Las Vegas with two of my friends Dan and Jared. I spent a lot of time playing sports both for fun and intramural. Both of my soccer teams did really well, football, basketball and ultimate were a blast as well. My brother went into the MTC in October to prepare to go to Mongolia, this month he will finally be on his way, we hope (visa issues). I also met an amazing girl named Jennifer, and she helped me enjoy the last few months of the year. So looking back it was a rather eventful year.

I was able to spend the last two weeks of the year in Arizona with all of the relatives on my mom's side of the family. We were able to take part in my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary, the day before Christmas, as well as my cousin's wedding on January 2nd. I loved the warm weather, spending time with my family, and all the free grapefruits I could eat. I really didn't want to come back, other than I was rather missing Jenn. I am so lucky to have a family as awesome as the one I have. There was always something fun going on, playing cards, watching giant turtles walk by outside of the window, talking, or just doing nothing at all.

I look forward to more memories this year and hope that each of you get to be a part of them. Time is so precious, let's all make the most of what we have. Happy 2009!