Friday, December 31, 2010

Chapter 5: I Grew Up Here

I didn't post yesterday because I spent the night at my parents after not wanting to drive through the snow storm.  I don't want to get behind, I have other things to post besides things about me.  So today you are getting both chapter 4 and 5 of my autobiography, written as a 16 year old.  We are like halfway through my current life!

Chapter 5:  I Grew Up Here

I have always lived in my house in Orem, Utah.  My parents have lived there their entire marriage, it was even the place that they met, but that is another story for another time.  Even though I lived there my entire life I had a lot of places that I liked to go.  When I was little we would get season passes to the Scera Shell Outdoor Theater.  I would go and have a great time, I always wished that someday I could be up there on that stage.  I have been in a show there now, and we still get season passes and go and see everything there.

I also loved to go to my grandma and grandpa's house.  They lived just 3 miles away, so we could visit them often.  They also came to visit us often, my grandpa came over everyday after he finished golfing at Cascade Golf Course.  I always liked to do things with him because he always made me happy and I had a lot of fun.

I live right across the street from Canyon View Jr. High.  I could run home in between classes and get stuff that I had forgotten, it was great!  Orchard Elementary was just behind it as well.  So I have always liked to go the school to play on the playground.  My little brother and I used to run away from home (we always told our parents where we were going though, because it was a rule to tell them where we were going).  We would go to the playground and set up a fort on the big toys.  Then we would sit there and eat candy and listen to our radio.  In the winter we would go sledding there.

My friends, Jeff and Brandon's house, was always where we would hang out, especially during the summer.  We would go there and play soccer, basketball, hockey, or Nintendo.

I also liked to go to the Rec Center.  We got year passes a few times and went often.  I have always liked to swim and was on a swim team during the summers in 4th through 6th grades, until they stopped giving out ribbons for finishing 1st and instead focused on beating your own personal times.  I could not care less if I improved, I wanted proof that I was better than everyone else.  Once the competitive side of it was gone there was no point.

For fun our family liked to go bowling and miniature golfing.  I always liked doing this and often times could win or have really good scores.  Bowling has been one of my favorite things to do, but I don't get to do it very often.

Some of my favorite restaurants are Pizza Hut, Schlotsky's, Los Hermono's, Italian Place, Arby's, Wallaby's, Subway, and Golden Coral.

I also love to go to Seven Peaks, it's probably another water thing, I love being in the water!  It is one of my favorite places to go, hopefully this year my little brother and I can get a season pass.

These are a few of the places that I like to go here in wonderful Happy Valley Utah.

Current Commentary:
My parents still live in that house, I am so glad that I grew up there.  My dad actually worked in SLC and commuted up there everyday for over 30 years.  I can't imagine growing up anywhere else, I had the best group of friends.  I could not have dreamed up a better group of people to grow up with.  I know my mom would have loved to have lived in Arizona and it would have been convenient for my dad to live closer to Salt Lake, but thanks for letting me grow up there!

I just bought a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom house in Lehi this summer, hopefully my wife shows up at my doorstep soon too.  If my children luck out to have half as good of friends as me they will be lucky, and sorry you have to be Pioneers and wear purple kids...  You could be a beet digger...

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Chapter 4: School Bells

Chapter 4:  School Bells

I started kindergarten when I was still 4 years old.  I was very excited to start school.  I learned things easily because my mom and dad had been teaching me things all of my life.  I always liked to play soccer at recess, I was pretty good.  I also liked to jump rope and swing on swings.

I finished kindergarten loving school.  Then I got to first grade and got Mrs. Robinson.  She was the meanest teacher.  Everyday we would do the same boring things that she had probably done for over 20 years.  There was never anything new or exciting.  Just the same things all the time.  She didn't seem to like boys, she thought they were dumb or something.  During the entire winter she wouldn't let us go to recess.  She didn't want us to get snow in her room, or to get sick and then get her sick.  So for 4 months we didn't get to go outside for recess.  For a little kid being stuck inside school all day was usually bad enough already, but without recess there was no way!  To make it worse she made us watch an aerobic video instead.  So here we were with great snowy weather outside and we had to watch aerobics!

My parents went to talk to her, and said that little kids should be getting to run around and have recess, that it wasn't fair to keep us in.  Mrs. Robinson thought that was the worst thing anyone had ever said.  My parents even suggested that she could let me go out with one of the other 1st grade classes, because they all went.  But she just blew them off.  The next day she lectured the entire class about how stupid it was to want to go out in the snow and have recess.  She mentioned me by name and said that I had wanted to go to recess, and asked if anyone else wanted to be as stupid as me and go out to recess.  Several were ready to raise their hands, but were too scared.  I think one or two managed to get their hands up, but she pretended like she didn't see them.  Welcome to 1st grade!

It was around this time that I decided I would go home for lunch, the lunchroom was always to noisy and crazy for me.  Plus this way I had permission to go outside everyday, because I was going to my house to eat lunch.  I even got to go out on red flag days, I could play in the snow on the way if I wanted, and get some fresh air.  I continued my tradition of going home for lunch all through elementary school and Jr. High.

The next year I think Mrs. Robinson must have gotten fired, she wasn't there anymore.  I was kind of happy, but I sure missed out on a lot of fun stuff I could have done.  I also wasn't very excited for school anymore.

In second grade I got a teacher that liked me again and that did fun things for us.  I learned all kinds of cool stuff, and like always, got good grades.  I liked her a lot!  But on her birthday I forgot to bring her something.  So when I went home we found her address from another teacher we knew, because it wasn't listed.  My dad and I drove to her house and sung her happy birthday, in Donald Duck!  She seemed to enjoy it very much, not many teachers get kids coming and singing go them at their house on their birthday, especially in Donald Duck voices.

In third grade I got the two teachers that have probably been my all time favorites.  We did the most fun things!  We went on a hike up the mountain one time and built different types of shelters out of what we could find.  We also went up there another time and each group had to make a fire and cook our food on it.  We sung a lot, the songs were really funny and we had a great time.  There were so many things we did in third grade that made school enjoyable.

In fourth grade we put on the fourth grade play.  This year was Cinderella, I was so excited!  I had always wanted to be an actor.  We always got season tickets to the Scera Shell Outdoor Theater and I always loved seeing the musicals.  I wanted to be one of the mice.  We learned the songs and some words and we auditioned.  I just so lucked out that I got to be the very first one out of the entire 4th grade to go up on the stage and sing.  Everybody was watching me and I didn't get to see anyone else do it to learn from their mistakes or see what they did good.  I did a really good job though, while we were singing I saw one of the teachers look at me with an amazed look.  I was excited and figured I would get a good part for sure.

I didn't many ANY main part, not even a small one!  They put me in the ensemble because she needed people with strong voices there.  I was really mad, well not really, but I wanted to be.  I am not very good at being mad.  I didn't care if she needed strong voices in the ensemble, I figured a strong voice would help a lot more if I was up on stage more instead of out in the audience.  It was a lot of fun anyway though, I really enjoyed it.

In fifth grade one of my favorite days came because I got in trouble.  We were in line coming back in from recess and 3-4 boys were pushing each other back and forth in line creating a domino effect.  I was right in the middle of them all and so I knocked into people behind me.  They had been watching through the window and the 5 of us that were there all got in trouble.  I said I didn't do anything, but I got in trouble anyway.

They sat us down in the hall and said they would be right back to talk to us.  We all sat about 5 feet away from each other because that was what they made us do.  We still had a ball from recess, so we just rolled it around to each other and talked for about an hour.  They completely forgot about us!  Then a teacher walked by and saw us talking and rolling the ball around.  She got mad because we were in the hall, but we told her our teacher had told us to and that she was going to come talk to us soon.

The teacher went in and talked to our teacher and then she came out.  She said, "I was wondering why it was so quiet in there, you guys just missed an important video!" if she was trying to make us feel bad about that it didn't work.  For our punishment we had to go outside and shovel snow on the playground.  We decided we would start by one of the basketball courts.  Kids started coming out for lunch and said we were supposed to go to lunch 10 minutes ago!  A few of the kids just stayed and saved the court for us, while the rest went to eat really quick.  When I got back we played basketball, we wouldn't let anybody play, except for the people that shoveled.

So by getting in trouble I got to sit in the hall and talk for an hour, be outside for another half hour, then play basketball while everyone else in the school had to try to play in the snow.  That was a really fun day, I guess I should have gotten in trouble more than once in my life since it was my favorite day.

Current Commentary
I guess nothing exciting happened in 6th grade, we were kings of the school and excited to go to Jr. High.  Besides 1st grade, I really liked school.  On the 5th grade tests that we took I was in the top 10% in the nation for my overall score and in the 99th percentile for math, so the top 1% in the nation.  I loved school so much that I would come home and make worksheets for my brother and teach him what we learned.  I guess it was the beginnings of becoming a teacher, plus it made my brother really smart because he was 5 years ahead on some things.

I was always one of the smallest kids in class, because I was small, but also the youngest in my class.  This never stopped me from competing intellectually, or athletically with anyone in my grade.  I have always been competitive and had a high belief in myself.  I really thought that I nailed that audition in 4th grade and should have had a part, should I have, everyone who had the leads did great, so they didn't choose wrong.  But I believed I was as good as anyone and could compete for anything, often this belief was realized, and sometimes I came up short, but I always tried my best.  My parents had the choice to start me in school that year or wait until the next year, I am so gald my parents decided to put me in school when they did.  It would be been nice to be able to date and drive before the second week of my Jr. Year.  It would have been nice to be one of the bigger, older kids sometimes, but I also graduated at 17 years old and was able to graduate college and start my career at 23.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chapter 3: Suddenly, I Became Me.

I think I must have gotten a lot of this information from my mom, because I don't think I would have known any of it.  This chapter gets a little long and has a lot of baby information, when I walked and stuff like that, so if you are into that sweet, if not skip this chapter.  Once again this is more for me, but some of it you may find interesting.

Chapter 3: Suddenly, I Became Me.

As soon as I was born, they quickly took me away and started working on me.  My mother said, "What did I have?" They had taken me away so fast that she didn't know whether she had had a boy or a girl.

I came breach and my little behind was all black.  My dad said I looked like an old man because I was so wrinkled.  I surprised Dr. MacArthur when I stuck my foot out of my Mom.  He thought I should come head first.  They cleaned me up, and put an IV through my naval.  I got some food and antibiotics through it.

I had to stay in the hospital for three weeks before I could come home.  I weighed 3 pounds and 11 ounces when I was born.  As soon as I had gained 1 pound they let me go home.  I was very lucky and didn't have anything wrong with me.  They had put me on oxygen for a few hours but soon took it away.

It was hard on my Mom having me in the hospital.  She came three times a day to feed me.  They fed me through a tube, and also let me have a bottle.  I was so used to the bottle that I never would nurse for my mother.  After two months of trying my mom said, "Enough is enough," and put me on formula.  I ate every three hours because I had gotten used to that in the hospital.  So my parents didn't get very much sleep because every three hours I was ready to eat again.

My mom didn't take me anywhere for a long time.  I was still very little.  The doctor told her not to take me anywhere for two months.  Finally I was able to go out in the middle of October, which was when I was supposed to have been born.

My dad's favorite holiday is Halloween.  He didn't want me to miss out on my first Halloween.  So he put me in a cloth pumpkin that my mom made and took me out trick or treating.  We only went to two places, but I did get to go.  We went next door, and across the street.

I slept through my first Christmas.  We went over to Grandma and Grandpa Horans.  I slept on their bed while everyone opened their gifts.  After we opened our gifts we went to Salt Lake to see my Great Grandma Horan.

After almost 6 months, my mom took me to the doctor for a checkup.  I now weighed 14 pounds and 9 ounces and was 23 1/4 inches long.  I was growing up rapidly.  My mom gave me cereal for the first time on the 19th of January.  On the 20th, I rolled from my stomach to my back.

On March 18th, I went to Phoenix for the first time.  I got to meet my mom's brothers and sisters and my cousins.  Mom and dad were planning a trip to England with Grandma and Grandpa Fife, and I didn't even get to go!

On April 24, 1985 I started to crawl.  I was now 8 months old.  Weighing 17 pounds and 4 ounces and was 26 1/2 inches long.  As soon as I learned to crawl, I went all over.  I was a good baby and when my mom said not to do something, then I didn't do it.  I was allowed to play in 1 cupboard in the kitchen and I loved to get out all the bowls and pans.

I have always liked music and would sit at the piano and play.  I soon learned about clapping and would play and then clap, play and then clap.

I got a little toy to dog on wheels to ride on named Barnaby from my dad's cousins.  I liked to ride around the house and anywhere else I could on it.

On June 1st I went on my first airplane ride.  My mom and I flew to Phoenix.  Mom went to Uncle Rodger's wedding.  We got back home on June 16th (Fathers Day).  I couldn't be gone on my dad's first Father's Day could I?

I had a party on my first birthday.  My grandparents and my Uncle Gary were there.  Mom made me a Donald Duck cake.  I had a great time.  My grandpa had painted the rocking chair and horse that were my dad's for me.

The day after my birthday my mom and dad drove to Burley, Idaho and left me with my aunt, uncle and cousins.  My mom's twin sister Beverly looked after me for three weeks while my mom and dad went to Europe.  While I was there I was introduced to M&M's and root beer.  I hadn't had candy up to that point.

In October I was climbing and getting into everything.  On October 2nd, when I climbed up on the dresser and knocked a plant off, my mom had to rearrange my room so I couldn't climb around as easy.

I went out trick or treating again on October 31,1985.  This year I was a clown.  I started walking in November and now I could get into things even faster.

In December I went Christmas caroling, and took around chocolate cards that my mom had made, it was a lot of fun.  This year I was awake for Christmas.  My grandma, grandpa and uncle came over to our house and then we went to Salt Lake again to visit my Great Grandma Horan.

On December 31st I demolished my crib.  I would jump up and down and pull on it until I would dislodge the mattress and could get out of the bottom.  After doing that twice one day my mom got rid of the crib and put me in a bed.

On March 1st I went on another airplane ride to Phoenix.  My mom went to look after her sisters children,  my cousins, while their parents were in Florida.  I had a lot of fun playing with my cousin Matthew.  We played in the dirt, the swings, and on the slide.  I went on my first Easter egg hunt at Honeywell while I was there.

In April my mom bought a swimming pool for the back yard.  I loved to fill it up and play in it.  We had 3 tubes that I would play on in the pool for hours.

On June 25th, 1986 we went to Yellowstone.  We also went to Lewis and Clark Caverns.  My favorite part there were the bats.  Mom and dad had wanted to know how I would do in a cave, so they had taken me to Timp Cave earlier.  I fell asleep right before we got in, and didn't wake up until they got me out of the cave.  But i did enjoy going to Lewis and Clark Caverns, and managed to stay awake.

Then we went to Moose Jaw Saskatchewan and Buffalo Pound Lake in Canada.  My Great Grandma lived there and Sylvia and Arthur.  We had barbecues, canoe rides, a bon fire with lots of marshmallows, and all kinds of other fun things. I loved to play in the sand by the lake, they gave me a little shovel and pail to dig in the sand.  I had lots of fun in Canada.

On July 12th I went to the Hogle Zoo.  I loved to see all of the cool animals.

It was almost time for my second birthday.  My dad wanted me to be able to blow out my candles on my own, so my mom bout me bubbles and I practiced blowing.  When my birthday came I was able to blow out all 2 of my candles.  My dad was so proud!

I still liked to play the piano, listen to cassette tapes, have my mom read me stories and play with my friends.

In October my parents went to Florida on a cruise.  They left me with Doug and Sue Helsten. While I stayed with them I got to go to the Sand Dunes and even got to ride a 4 wheeler!

On my third Halloween I dressed up as a football player and my dad took me out trick or treating.  I still only went to a couple of houses.

In November it started to snow and I started to make my first snowman.  It was very cold and some of the neighborhood children stopped and helped me.  I decided it was much easier to have them make it and I liked watching them.

It was now 1987.  I went to my grandma and grandpa's a lot.  My favorite games to play at their house was pool ball, and cookie in the pocket.  I watched basketball games with dad, and liked to dance with my mom.

In February I got to help decorate Valentines cookies.  My mom said that i put too many sprinkles on the cookies though.  We ran out after 2 cookies and had to buy more.  After we made and decorated cookies I got to take some to my friends.  I got to decorate more cookies in March for St. Patrick's Day.

I helped my mom tend Shane Rowley.  I told her I wanted her to have a bay so that I could have a little brother or sister.  I knew how to give a baby a bottle, and burp him, and bring him blankets.  What else is there to know?

I was a happy, energetic boy with beautiful blue eyes, who liked bubble baths, hair cuts, riding my big wheels, and my toy dog Barnaby, dancing and listening to music and stories.

Current Commentary
Wow, that was a lot of stuff.  I credit my mom for keeping such good records.  I don't think I would have remembered any of this.  I love how many cool experiences I was able to have at such an early age.  Caves, 4 wheeling, time in Arizona, Idaho, and Canada,  swimming, "playing" the piano, dancing, decorating cookies, building snowmen.  What a lucky boy I was to have such great parents that taught me and were willing to do so much with me and include me in much of what they did.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chapter 2: Before I Was, There Were...

A continuation of my auto biography written as a 16 year old.

Chapter 2: Before I Was, There Were

I have had many people influence me over the years.  My mom and dad have influenced me the most.  They have raised me since I was a very very little boy.  They read to me, and played games with me.  They have always tried to teach me the best they knew how.  They have almost always been a perfect example of what you should do.  They were always willing to help me with homework, even when I didn't want them to.  They care very much about me, sometimes to much I think, but it's always nice to have someone that cares about you.

My Grandpa Horan also helped a lot.  He lived in Orem, only 3 miles away from where we live.  He used to go golfing everyday and then stop at our house and get a cookie and a glass of water.  He would talk to us and tell us stories and eat his cookie and drink his glass of water and then go home.  He was the nicest guy you could ever meet.  He always talked to everybody he saw.  All of the neighbor kids that lived around him called him Grandpa Russ.  He died a little under 2 years ago, but I will always remember what a nice guy he was and how much fun I had being around him.

I have always had a lot of great friends, we have a lot of fun.  Jared and I always used to play basketball together when we were in elementary school.  He would come over before school and we would play until we needed to leave.  We used to do almost everything together until I went to Jr. High and he was still in 6th grade.  But we still do things together now and still have a lot of fun.

Brandon and Jeff moved next door to me the summer after I was in 4th grade.  We basically lived at each others houses during Jr. High.  Especially during the summer.  We would talk for hours about a lot of thing, play night-games, Nintendo, basketball, soccer, and hockey.  I can always turn to them when I need to know something.  We stick by each other and I think we must have the record for inside jokes.  Especially between me and Jeff, we could talk for an hour and have nobody understand a thing that we said.

Denika was the first girl that I was ever really friends with.  Before then it had been all boys.  We became good friends in 9th grade, we told each other everything.  It was nice to have a girls opinion every once in a while, and to talk about different things than you get just with boys.  But once I went to Orem High and she was still in Jr. High we haven't done much.  But still today if I ever need to talk she will listen.

Near the end of Jr. High I met this awesome girl named Jessie.  We weren't able to do much that summer, because we were both really busy or on vacation.  The next year we also didn't do as much because we were at different schools, but this year we have become really good friends again, and she has taken over for Denika on who I usually go to first when I need a girls opinion.

I didn't know Jake until about 8th grade, but ever since then we have the funniest times together.  During my High school years he has come over most every day.  He is almost as funny as me, or maybe even more.  We have the greatest times when we are together.  We don't have tons in common or talk about as deep of things as I do with Brandon, Jeff, Denika, or Jessie, but there is never a dull moment when we are together.

There are many others like Rachel, Matt, Jeremy, Brock, Alex, D.J., Raman, Jarom, K.J., Annie, Macie, and many others, but these are the main ones that have stood by me most of my life.  They have helped me out, or just been someone I could talk to and have fun with.

Current Commentary:
I will have to add another chapter about friends and people who have been important in my life my Senior year, mission, and college life.  I have been lucky to still remain good friends with these people from high school.  Jared and I who used to hang out in Elementary school have been roommates for about 5 years.  Jake, Jeremy and Matt and I have all been roommates.  Jake and I still laugh a lot, but we also have amazing deep conversations now about all kinds of things.  I wish I saw more of Brandon, Jeff, and Jessie, and the others, but a few times a year we still all try and get together.  I guess I need to get married, I'm sure it would be slightly easier then.  These are the people that made me who I am, I am a better person for knowing and associating with each and every one of them.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Project Me: Chapter 1

As I was going through some old stuff I found an English project from 11th grade.  We wrote a little auto-biography about ourselves which includes 10 chapters.  I am going to add a chapter a day, more for my sake than yours.  It is interesting to me on what I thought back then. I will end each post with some current commentary.

Chapter 1:  Introduction of Myself

I was born August twenty-sixth, nineteen-eighty four, in the Provo, Utah hospital.  I was born two months early, weighting only three pounds and eleven ounces.  I came out of my mom backwards, which usually isn't a good thing.  The doctor told my parents that I was going to be the neighborhood bully, because I was such a fighter.  But in the end, once I finally gout out of the hospital, everything was fine.  I have never gotten into a real fight in my life.  I weigh a lot more, and I still live in Happy Valley Utah.

Short-term goals:
I want to get a 4.0 at least once in my life.  I got a 3.97 one time, but I want to get a 4.0.  I want to graduate from Orem High School.  Then go to UVSC and graduate from there with some cool degree.  I also want to go on a mission.  If I had a choice of where I went right now it would probably be New Zealand, because they have my favorite animal there, the Kiwi Bird.

Long-term goals:
 Get married in the temple to a really nice, smart, caring, and amazingly attractive girl.  Get a job that I enjoy, and that makes a reasonable amount of money, have 3-4 kids, be in a famous musical group, have my own stand up comedy show, sing on the streets of New York for money (last time I sung in New York all we won was a 1st place trophy), write eight books, and have the biggest, most famous stamp collection in the world.

Present Commentary:
I still think it's funny that the doctor thought I was going to be a bully.  One thing about our family, we are fighters, but more so in our desire to live life.  I was so excited to live life that I came out 2 months early.  We don't like to sit still for to long.  I must have got this fighting spirit from my mom.  As I have watched her the past few  years fighting for her life in a battle against Cancer, (Lung, Liver, Colon), Sepsis, and other things, I have been amazed. She is stronger than anyone I know. I remember one day that someone was bringing our family dinner, but she heard about someone else going through something and so she cooked them dinner.  She just continues to serve and help those around her, even when she has been stuck in a hospital bed the past few weeks I am sure she finds a way to help those around her.

I did pretty well on reaching those goals.  I did get a 4.0, it wasn't until college though.  It was a lot easier to get good grades when I just focused on school instead of basketball, soccer, singing, acting, helping mascot the football games, girls, and countless other things, although I guess I should have still focused on girls a little more.  I also thought that it was interesting that as Jr. I had already planned on going to UVSC instead of BYU.  That was the best decision I ever made, well probably not ever, but I LOVED it there!  I didn't get sent to New Zealand on my mission, but I loved every minute of being in Seattle, God knew what he was doing.

As far as the long term goals, I do have a job that I enjoy, I have had my singing on at least 3 cd's, one that has been listened to by millions of people all over the world (When I sung in the Priesthood session of LDS conference).  I don't have a comedy club, but I do have 33 people who come to listen to me everyday.  I have not written a book yet, and I have never in my life collected a single stamp, I don't know where that goal came from.  My long term goal of finding a nice, smart, caring, and amazingly attractive wife goal has now moved into the short-term goal range.  As soon as that happens I think that I have done a pretty good job of achieving my high school goals.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Teacher Appreciation

Bing is donating money to education and on Twitter we have been having a discussion about several things.  Someone asked me to blog about some of my answers, since 140 characters can not really explain everything perfectly, so here you go.

Q1: HOW DO YOU APPRECIATE TEACHERS DURING THE HOLIDAYS? HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM OTHER TIMES?

Eventually this got to the subject of what do you give teachers for gifts.  For me personally, I try really hard to be healthy.  I do not give my class treats as rewards, and I told them I try to take care of myself and eat  healthy as well.  Believe me, your mom does make the best cookies, yes those brownies should be the talk of the town, and will I eat them and enjoy it, heck yes I will!

But what do you do when you get 20 of those on the same day and most will only truly be great for a day or two?  Then they get hard and stale, and sit on a table.  Plus, like I said, I try to be healthy.  On Friday so many kids asked, have you tried mine yet?  There was no way I could have even taken a bite of each of their treats.  I am going to have to throw a party or else half of these treats will never get to be enjoyed.

I would much prefer food over treats.  A $5, $10 or more gift card to a place I like to eat, a grocery store, bookstore, iTunes, Amazon, gas card, would be much preferred.  Everyone needs to eat and teachers love reading and music.

But in all reality, I just want to be appreciated.  I hear so many complaints about teachers and public education.  Yes it is far from perfect, but almost all of the teachers I know are trying their best.  I don't need a token gift, yes I work hard, I should, it's my job.  I don't care if I get anything. Just do your best to help your child be successful, that is why I spend hours and hours outside of school doing what I do.  I want your child to succeed.  So check their homework, make sure they get it done, tell them it's important and I will be more than happy.

Other good gifts are things that our classroom needs and uses everyday.  Kleenex, paper, hand sanitizer, pencils.  It seems like you always can use more of these things.  Plus these gifts help who matters most, your students.

I am going to leave it at this, maybe I will post another day on some of the other questions.

I just checked my mentions and here are a few questions/comments I will answer real quick:

Hi @! What is your favorite thing you've gotten from a student?
I am a big Jazz fan and one of my students wasn't using their tickets and they gave the two of them to me.  I did not expect this, nor plan on it ever happening again, but it made my day.

@ really? When I taught I loved the famous treats, got me out of holiday baking! I'd take platters 2 parties.

I know I have a lot of other teacher friends, what do you think?  How would you like to be appreciated?  Favorite gift?  Things you would rather not get?  I could start an amazing Hot Chocolate Mug collection.

P.S. I appreciate every single thing I got, if you read this and you gave me cookies, I appreciate it more than you will ever know.  Nothing in this is a complaint, I am just answering my own personal preferences, thoughts and ideas.

Bing will donate up to 1 million dollars, all you have to do is go to this page and click.

http://www.bing.com/gives/default1.aspx#fbid=tamxdGknwv7&wom=false

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Life, Live It!

I was reading some quotes about life and I thought I would share some of my favorites.

Everything happens for a reason, people change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so you can appreciate them when they're right, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together.
Marilyn Monroe

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain.
Author Unknown

In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular.
Kathleen Norris

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
Jack London

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Mother Teresa

Friday, November 26, 2010

When Christmas Comes to Town

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I feel like it has stayed true to it's true meaning more than any other holiday out there.  I love thinking about all of the things I am grateful for and spending time focused on family.  This Thanksgiving I was able to help much more than usual to help things come together, it was fun to be able to rally around with my family to get everything done.  I am glad that I made Thanksgiving a special day and season, but I am also glad that it is time for Christmas to come to town.

Today I spent a few hours helping put up decorations at my parents house.  So many of the decorations have special significance and so many years of tradition.  It was fun to be able to, once again, spend time time with my family.  I look forward to the day when I have more of my own decorations that mean something special to me and my future family.  I plan on doing my best to remember the true reason for the Christmas season just as I did with Thanksgiving.  We really are so blessed. 

Bring on the food, the music, the family and friends!  It's Christmas time!  What is your favorite Christmas tradition/decoration/memory?  Please post it in the comments section.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gratitude

This time of year is always a special one.  It is a time where we forget ourselves and focus on those around us.  Gratitude, the Savior, goal setting, service, and love fill our hearts.  We are surrounded by family, friends, music and all of the good things in life.  It isn’t surprising that so many people love this time of year, yet it is sad to see what has become of many of these holidays.

Thanksgiving began by those who would have seemed to have little to be thankful for.  They had made more graves than huts.  Things weren’t looking good, yet they set aside a day of thanksgiving.  We too are in a time where sometimes it doesn’t seem like there is much to be thankful for.  The economy isn’t looking good, it seems like more and more of our rights are being taken away, the family is being attacked on all fronts and good is being called evil and evil good.

Yet we of all people have the most to be grateful for.  I could spend the next few hours making a list of everything I am thankful for, but I’m sure you are thankful that I am not.  If you think for a moment about those around you that are the happiest, you will think of  someone that is grateful.  Gratitude is the best attitude.  On the flip side those that tend to get on my nerves the most are people who are always wining and complaining.  

There is no greater difference between men than between grateful and ungrateful people.  ~R.H. Blyth

I think that too often we get complacent, or are so used to having the things that we have that we forget how great they are.  Indoor plumbing, heaters, computers, music, clean water, a warm bed, grocery stores, I could go on and on.  We are so lucky to live in the time and place that we do.

Life is short, treat every day like it is your last.  Tell people how great they are, tell them that you care, thank them for what they have done for you.  Why do we keep these things in so often?  Why can’t we just tell people how we really feel?  A simple thing like, talking to you is the highlight of my day, thanks for being my friend and listening to me.

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.  ~G.B. Stern

There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed.  If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.  ~Robert Brault

Today at church we were challenged to say a prayer of gratitude.  I feel like I don’t do this enough.  God has given us so much and without him we are nothing.  If it has been a while I would invite you to do this, it is always such a humbling experience.  Some of the times I have felt God’s love the most are when I remember to thank him.

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.  ~Meister Eckhart

As this holiday season goes by way to fast, take time to pause, reflect, and focus on what is truly important.  I love you all and am so grateful for all that you have done for me.  I am grateful for an amazing family and for the faith that they have even in tough situations.  I hope that I can be a little more thankful and when those hard days come, and they do come, that I can have an attitude of gratitude.


Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.  ~Kak Sri

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Writers Block

There are a lot of things that I love, but being told what to do is not one of them.  At the beginning of the month we were asked by our principal to write a story by the end of the month.  I thought, this is going to be easy, I love writing!  I could probably even just take something from my blog or that I have already written and turn it in.  But just like growing up, and being told in school that I had to read a certain book, it took all of the fun out of it.  It went from being something I loved to do, to something that was an assignment.  I have had writers block all month on what I am going to do.  I could still just take the easy way out, but I really want to put together something meaningful.  So here we are at the end of the month and my back is now up against a wall, which is when I work best, so we will see what happens.  At least it got me on here writing again, finally. 

In other writing news November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo in its shortened form.  So hopefully I can overcome this writers block and just go crazy next month.  So does anyone have any ideas what I should write about or what you do when you have writers block?  Also have you had any teachers that have helped you be excited about writing?  I sometimes forget what I didn't like as a student and I do the exact same thing to those I teach.  I understand there needs to be assignments, due dates and expectations, but how can we make it as realistic as possible and keep that natural excitement about sharing our lives and ideas?  I feel like I am doing better at this this year than I ever had, but I am always looking to improve.

If I come up with anything good before Monday I will post it here.  If not it means I just used the story I wrote to go along with our personal narrative that I used with my students the first month of school.  I posted it on here earlier, you can check it out. 

http://downrightdave.blogspot.com/2010/03/ghost-of-vacations-past.html

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Conference

Priesthood is always my favorite session.  I don't know if it is because I get dressed up and have to physically get up and sit down and pay attention, or if it really is just extra super awesome.  Here are a few of the things I remember from tonight.

Elder Nelson began by talking about missionary work.  The missionaries were part of the choir, and he had them and any other missionary stand.  Elder Nelson then said that we need more missionaries, more worth missionaries.  He mentioned President Monson's remarks earlier of how missionaries should be preparing themselves.  Paul wrote to Timothy and said, Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

We should all be examples of the believers.  We can have the image of God engraven upon our countenance.  We need to reach out to those that we don't know.  Every week reach out and meet one more person that don't already know.  We need to be ready and prepared for questions.  Our response to these questions should be warm and cheerful, but relevant.  We may be the one to open the spiritual door for someone to come to God.  We need to invite people to church, many do not know that they are welcome to our church buildings.  Share the Book of Mormon as another witness of Jesus Christ.  The Book of Mormon is the tool to gather the lost tribes and prepare for the last days and second coming.

Elder Nelson told a story of when he shared his copy of the Book of Mormon to a friend.  The friend brought it back a week later and said, thanks a lot!  Elder Nelson said, thanks a lot?  That is a totally unacceptable response!  You didn't read it did you?  I want you to take it back and actually read it and then bring it back.  Tearfully he later returned it after he had truly read it and prayed about it and felt it's power.

There are many new ways to share the gospel such as mormon.org, blogs, and social media.  We can and should use these as well.  There was a man named Zach who saw a TV add, went to mormon.org was intrigued, found where the nearest church was, attended that week, was invited to dinner that night, met with the missionaries and was baptized within 2 weeks. Serve with all your heart, might, mind and strength.  We are preparing the earth for the second coming.

Elder K. (couldn't read his or the next guys names from where I was sitting) He talked about the healing and peace that comes from the Savior.  He began with a story of when he was a child, living by the desert.  His parents had told him to always wear shoes because of the dangers that could come from the desert.  They were camping one day and he decided that flip flops would be OK, they are basically shoes.  As he was walking he felt something sharp pierce his foot.  He looked down and saw a scorpion. 

Ye yelled for help and his parents came and they took him to the hospital 2 hours away.  He thought he was going to die, but everything was fine.  He learned an important lesson from this.  Flip flops do not provide the same protection as a pair of shoes, and he paid the price for it.

Disregarding what we know to be right always brings consequences.  Don't be rebellious or lazy.  (I liked that he included lazy, I don't think most people are always trying to be rebellious or sin) When we chose the wrong path we justify our rebellious, or laziness.  We cannot say that it is OK to stray from the iron rod, that everyone else is doing it, that we are the exception and immune.  Exact obedience is needed or you will get stung. 

Like the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's we must lay down our weapons of rebellion, you know what yours are, then He can heal you.  If you try to cover your sins you are left to kick against the pricks.  He quoted Elder Faust, "When obedience becomes our goal, it is no longer an irritation; instead of a stumbling block, it becomes a building block."

He finished with a story about soldiers that were driving through a mine field.  One of the vehicles did not stay exactly in the tire marks of the vehicle in front of him and hit a mine and the driver was killed.  We to cannot move to the left or the right of the path.  There are no exceptions, but if we have strayed we can return.  No one can find peace in a minefield, but as we follow God's path we will find peace and healing.  Have you any afflicted in any manor?  Bring them hither and I will heal him.  Come unto God and you WILL find peace.

Second Elder that I couldn't read his name:  He told a story of a family that was trying to have scripture reading.  The dad was trying to make sure that it happened but his girl was not cooperating.  He began to lose his patience and he proclaimed that in his house they were going to read the scriptures because it was what they were supposed to do.  His little girl ran away and slammed her bedroom door.  There went the spirit they were trying to have from reading the scriptures.

The father realized his mistake and went into his room and prayed.  As he was praying he felt that he should go and say he was sorry.  He continued to pray and was inspired again.  So he went and knocked on her door, she didn't respond.  So he opened her door and saw that she was crying.  He told her he was sorry, she then pulled out her scriptures and flipped them to where it talks about how the natural man is an enemy to God and unless he must put off the natural man and become as a child.  This father knew that scripture was meant for him.  But his daughter replied in conclusion that she was sorry.  She had read this scripture and likened it to herself.  The two of them embraced and the spirit of unity returned to their home.

The home is the only place that can compare to the temple.  As fathers we must not have contention in our homes, or amen to the priesthood.  We must use persuasion, long-suffering, kindness... We must forgive one another our trespasses and yield to the will of the Lord.  He teaches us to be meek, not easily provoked,  humble, modest, submissive, patient, not to murmur and full of love.  As we do these things our homes will be the place we want them to be.

Elder Uchtdorf:  He talked about how in 1989 President Benson's talk, Beware of Pride, was a topic that had weighed heavily on President Benson's mind.  It to is weighing heavily on his soul as well.  When he told his wife that pride was going to be his topic she said, "It is so good that you talk about things you know so much about."  No one has avoided the sin of pride.

He said it is OK to have pride in some things.  To have pride in your children, your country, your work.  You are allowed to rejoice in righteousness.  God introduced his Son saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Alma and the other missionaries gloried in the goodness of god and the work they were able to accomplish.  Elder Uchtdorf is proud of this church and all that we accomplish for good everyday.

So what is the difference?  Pride is sinful because it breeds hatred.  It is a sin of comparison.  It starts at look at how wonderful I am and ends with therefor I am better than you.  This goes against the two great commandments of loving God and loving our neighbor.  It is a sin of setting ourselves up, setting ourselves on our own ramiumtum (however you spell that).  Pride is a deadly cancer, a gateway sin.  Every other sin is a manifestation of pride.

He talked about sports, and how they can sometimes turn wonderful people into hateful ones.  He asked, how can we hate each other and try to find any flaw in our opponent and magnify it then associate it with everyone associated with that team?  We should hold ourselves to a higher standard in life.  We all wear the same jersey, we are on God's team.  We want all to return to Him. 

One day Elder Uchtdorf was driving with, I think Elder Faust, to a Stake Conference and Elder Faust told him that a lot of church members will say wonderful things about him and church leaders.  Be greateful for that, but do not inhale it.  We must not be focused on our public image.

The Lord chooses the weak things of the world to confound the might.  We are given the priesthood to work and serve.  We like the Savior need to give the glory to God.  We can become great tools through God, and with him all things are possible, but they are because of Him. 

Pride is a switch that turns off priesthood power, humility turns it on.  Charity is the answer to overcome Pride.  Humility is not convincing ourselves that we are meaningless, or to withhold our talents and abilities.  It is not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking less ABOUT ourselves.  There are so many people in need that we could be thinking about instead.  Don't forget about your family.

Elder Uchtdorf had a favorite pen he used as a pilot.  It had 4 colors that you could click and choose from.  The pen never complained and said you should use black instead of blue, it didn't complain if it had to work after 10:00, or would only work on important documents.  It performed every task asked of it, and was always ready to serve no matter how important.  We should be like this pen and serve wherever we are called.  Blessed are those that humble themselves and do not have to be compelled to be humble.

Elder Eyring: My hand was getting really tired by this point... He talked about the power of the priesthood.  He shared a story about some people who had been found by the missionaries in the early days of the church.  As they were crossing the plains this man and women were talking to each other about what a miracle it had been that in Switzerland (I think) of all people the missionaries had found them, and how miraculous it was that they believed it.

These missionaries had the power of the priesthood, whose power to serve was magnified by the Holy Ghost to find those who were prepared.  We as priesthood holders need to have the Holy Ghost.  Never miss an opportunity to partake of the Sacrament.  To take upon you the Name of Jesus Christ and to always remember Him, that you may have His spirit to be with you.

Read, Study, and Ponder the scriptures.  You can gain some from reading the scriptures, as you study you can find patterns, but only as you ponder will you invite revelation into your minds.  Then we lost the feed for about a minute... He then talked about how a deacon was asked to go and visit another deacon he did not know.  He said that we need to respond with faith and to go forward.  The spirit will calm our fears and we will have the words we need provided to us.  We will feel God's approval no matter the outcome.  The person we visit will remember that we cared enough to come, even if they don't immediately change.

He talked about a man who as a kid had this experience and many years later he still remembered the name of the deacon that came to visit.  It only took up part of the boys day to make this visit, but it meant something for years to this man.

Elder Eyring hated going to hospitals when has younger.  He never knew what to do or say to those there.  Then one time when his own father was in the hospital Elder Kimball came to visit.  Elder Eyring was excited to finally see a great example of what to do.  Elder Kimball asked his father if he had had a blessing, he had so Elder Kimball leaned back in his chair and just sat and smiled for a while.  He didn't say much of anything, then after 5 minutes he said, I will leave you to rest and left.

Later his dad said that of all the visits that lifted his spirits the most.  He didn't say much, but his companion was the spirit of the Lord.  May we each have that same companionship and fulfill our priesthood responsibilities.

President Monson:  The 3 R's of Choice: Right of Choice, Responsibility of Choices, and the Results of choices.  Next to the gift of life the gift of how to live that life is the best gift.  Satan tried to take that gift from us.  If he had, none of us would have been any wiser or stronger.  We knew it would be difficult, Jesus offered to sacrifice himself for all so that we could have the choice.  We will always have the right to choose.

We cannot be neutral, there is no middle ground.  Each of us has the tools to make correct choices.  We cannot afford a detour from which we may never return.  Don't be indecisive.  He talked about Alice in Wonderland when she was trying to decide which path to take.  The Cheshire-Cat said, "It depends where you want to go, If you don't know, it doesn't matter which path you take." We do know and it does matter which path we take!

Decisions determine destiny.  Do not deviate from the path that leads to eternal life.  All choices have consequences.  If we make a bad choice we have nobody to blame but ourselves.  Salvation is an individual operation.  There is a way to correct bad choices, it is repentance.  Our Savior died to provide us that gift.  Our sins can be as white as snow and He will remember them no more.  The sooner you make your way back the sooner you will receive peace and joy.

A basketball player decided not to play on Sundays.  His team ended up making it to the Championship game which was to be played on Sunday.  He prayed to ask if just this once it would be OK, but before he finished he knew he already had the answer.  He didn't play even with all the pressure from all sides.  He said that this decision was the most important of his life.  Even though he had a extenuating circumstance that he stuck to what he knew was true. 

It was the most important because now late in his life he has realized that he has had a lot of extenuating circumstances and that if he had made an exception once it would have been easy to keep making that decision.  It is easier to keep the commandments 100% of the time than to keep them 98% of the time.

I know that was really long, but there you go!  I hope you enjoy conference as much as I have!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Gambler

Gamble: to take a chance on; venture; risk.

I have been thinking the last little bit about taking chances.  There are two major lines of thought on how to live life.  One is to play it safe, and the other is to take risks.  My friends and I have been discussing this, mainly in regards to BYU football, and their strategy to keep things simple and disciplined.  We personally think that they should take a few more chances and get more creative.  I would love to see both Nelson and Heaps in at the same time and see some trick plays, or at least keep the defense guessing.  I admire the coaches and program, but they drive me crazy sometimes.  They have stuck to their guns though, and I suppose you have to admire that.


How easy it is to look at others and say that they should take a chance.  Looking at all the talent and potential that they have and wish they wouldn't hide it in fear of making a mistake.  Maybe they will be less likely to throw an interception with this strategy, but mistakes can still happen and you miss out on some spectacular moments.


Then I began to think about myself.  I think I am pretty great, I am very happy with where I'm at and who I am.  I live life without many struggles, without fear.  I try to work hard and be disciplined, and life always seems to find a way of working out.  But like BYU, sometimes I don't really let people see the whole me.  I play it safe and hope that as I take care of myself, I can handle anything that comes my way.  Most of the time I come out on top and if I lose I can say, well I stuck to my guns and played a disciplined game.


I fear that at times, even though I love life and have not thrown many interceptions, that I too sometimes miss out on those amazing plays that life can and does provide.  Luckily, this weekend I took a chance and when invited to go to a concert, with a few people I didn't know very well, I accepted.  I could have easily said I didn't know the band, or said I had plans. (Several other people had in fact invited me to do stuff) But I went and had an amazing time and got to meet some new people, as well as get to know others better.  I also found out I really like the band fun. 


Some people may look at things in life and call it a gamble.  But I have found that very rarely do I lose when I take a chance to venture out and take a risk.  Life is meant to be lived, not discussed and diagrammed.  There is so much potential in each one of us, don't hide your life, share it with anyone and everyone you can.  I am glad someone was willing to give me that chance and that I "gambled" and came out a winner.  Hopefully I can start calling more plays that lead to touchdowns, or be ready whenever my name is called.  Now if we can just get BYU to understand this...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Change of Heart

I am LOVING this school year!  Which is very good, because I went into it worried about the upcoming year more than ever.  This summer I worked really hard at trying to progress as a teacher and learn more and more.  I earned 8 credits for my efforts and came across a few things that will benefit me and my class this year.  Unfortunately, it did not leave me a lot of time to actually focus on getting ready for the year.  Then I found out my scores from last year and I felt like they did not reflect how much I improved my second year.  In fact, my scores dropped in everything, except for science, which once again was the top score.

That does not look good, to do worse your second year of teaching.  It took me about a day or so to come to grips with it and to stop dwelling on something I could no longer do anything about.  I was worried though, maybe I was not as good of a teacher as I had thought.  I am used to being at the top, and am very competitive.  I always want to be the best, and I wasn't.  So I was a little apprehensive for school to start.

Then I met 33 of the most amazing people I have ever known.  Some of them were excited to see me, some were very nervous to have their first male teacher.  But they quickly realized that I am not scary and that if nothing else, I care about them.  In fact, one of my boys told me that the first day of school I made him feel so special that he almost cried.  I have also had several parents thank me for the things I am trying to do.  As a teacher you can always do more, but I am trying my best.  I feel, with more confidence than I have ever had, that this year is going to be something very special.

My best is all I have to give.  I have nothing to worry about, because I know that I am a great teacher.  I care about my students and I have the knowledge and skills to back my heart up with.  Now, a week into school, when I have a dream that I got fired (I honestly had to stop and check when I woke up to see if it was real or not) my dream ended with my student's parents being so angry that they all signed a petition to keep me.  So even subconsciously I have an army to back me up.

The brain can only hold one thought at a time, make it one worth having.  So far this school year my thoughts have all been ones worth having and I don't plan on that changing anytime soon.  I think to many of us get down on ourselves.  We aren't doing as bad as we think we are.  I am one of the most positive people you will ever meet, but even I forget sometimes.  If you too have forgotten, I give you permission to have the same change of heart I did.  Life is great!  Live it that way.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Faith, Hope and Charity

I hadn't blogged all summer and then I had 3 all in a row.  My last two were average and don't seem to be sparking much commenting.  I am worried that hidden behind those is my previous post which many people may have missed.  So I am posting it again:

Today marks the beginning of a new era.  Even though I moved into my house 4 months ago I still had one foot in my old apartment.  I felt like I never really left because I had so many friends there.  Apartment 30 was still like my home, I even had a toothbrush I kept there. 

There had been a group of us who had been there for 3 years or so and now everybody finally went their separate ways.  Many of my new friends are also going other places this fall.  Luckily, I still have many that I can call my friends there and will continue to visit and keep in contact with.  But today Sparks II Apartments died a little. 

Today two of my best friends moved in with me.  It will be really nice to have people around here.  I LOVED having my own space, but being alone wasn't always amazing.  I learned a lot this summer and felt that one benefit of having a summer by myself was getting to see who I was.  I wasn't going through my day doing what was convenient or just following other people around. I had to actively choose what I was going to do, who I was going to be.  Would I just sit at home by myself or go and be somewhat social. 

I remember the first Sunday here I decided to go to the family ward, so I could meet my neighbors.  It was really weird as I was getting ready.  Nobody else would know if I went, nobody was expecting me to be there, I don't think I had ever gone to church by myself before that.  I tried to start good habits this summer, unclutter myself from the world a little bit and become a little better.  I was far from perfect, but I felt like I had a very productive summer and am a better person than I was 4 months ago.

Now that I have had more time to think and work on myself individually, I get to see if I can take those small improvements and continue to work on them while surrounded, again, by others.  Luckily I surround myself with people that make that easy.  Sometimes you look back and realize how far you have come.  Sadly, there are times when you realize you haven't done as much as you would have liked or have let yourself go in the wrong direction.  I hope that this is a stepping stone and that I can return to where I want to be. 

Another thing I also got more into this summer was politics.  Once I had DVR one of the programs I had it save was Glenn Beck.  For those of you who haven't actually watched him, and have only heard about him, good or bad, you are missing out.  I especially love his Friday episodes where he has been talking about our founders and other people who have been taken out of our history.  I love being able to sit and learn about our American history.  The reason I bring this up is that this also helped me in improving myself.  He issued a 40 day and 40 night pledge to to practice faith, hope and charity.  From his website:

For the next 40 days and 40 nights, I pledge...I COVENANT to practice faith, hope and charity by doing these things.

First...faith. I will pray on my knees every night for the next 40 nights...starting TONIGHT. Pray for guidance, inspiration, peace...pray for the leaders of our country. Pray for their safety, and that they will receive wisdom. I will re-establish my relationship with God.

Hope...hope comes from truth. You can't have hope based on lies. If you go to the doctor and you're in the early stages of cancer, but the doctor tells you that you just have the sniffles...that's false hope, and it won't help you, in fact, it would kill you. So, we have to have honesty, to have real hope. So, I will stop all lies for the next 40 days. That includes lying to myself. I will establish a pattern of honesty and make it become habitual. I will question with boldness...everything...even the things Glenn Beck tells you every night...I will do my own research...and then pray for my own confirmation on the things I have learned. I will find out what is true in my life.

And third...I will have charity. Charity begins at home. I will do something kind for every member of your family at least once a week. I will write it down, and then do it. Also, I pledge to take notice of how blessed I really am. I live in the greatest country the world has ever known...and even the least prosperous among us, are among the wealthiest people in the world...I will be grateful.

It continues if you want to read the rest and make this pledge you can go here:  http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/39452/

I don't understand why so many people hate Glenn Beck.  I have watched every episode from his show the last few months and all he talks about are finding truth for yourself and trying to be a better person.  Because the "Change" everybody is hoping for can't be one made by the government, it has to be individual.  What makes America great are the people, not those looking at Americans as foolish and unable to take care of their own problems and managing our lives for us.  I have taken this pledge and feel I am better for it.

I know this has gotten really long, but the point of it all is...  I am grateful for all of the amazing friends I have.  I am glad that I was able to see how strong I really am and that I truly have a desire to improve and that I can and will succeed in doing so.  I have come closer to God and whenever that happens you always have a desire to share that and bring that joy to others.  So I invite you to do so.  We need to return to God, His is the only way that will lead us to peace and joy, there is no other way. 

One chapter of my life may now have ended, but I have a feeling this next chapter in my life is going to be a great one!  Don't worry sparks, I'll still come and visit you, at least whenever I come down to watch BYU football and when you invite me to awesome things you are doing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Part 2: Favorite Quotes

Twitter allows you to quote someone else (retweet).  Some of these are just good old fashioned quotes, and some are things that other people said that I just had to pass along to people who follow me.  Some of these I got from school or other places that I found and then posted on my page.

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you! @kasons4 RT by @jessibradshaw

Not a single time have we gotten a right from Congress or from the President. We get them from God. @glennbeck

Like this #quote: Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a pool. @LDSguy

"What good is success if you're not willing to share it." -Karl Malone

The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles @LDStweets

Today I will behave as though this day is the one by which I shall be remembered. -RA Twerski

A writer is someone who is enormously taken by things other people would just walk on by. -James Dickey

While we must always begin from where we are, we need not stay where we are. –Maxwell

Are you and I helping our children become agents? Or have we trained our children to wait and be acted upon. -Elder Bednar


Barely survived another daylight saving time, or as i call it, nightdark stealing time. -Stephen Colbert

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. -Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Tomorrow is earth day. so don't forget to stick around tomorrow and be on earth. -Stephen Colbert

I do not want to go back to the past I want to go back to the past way of facing the future. –President Regan. via Elder Perry

Kindergarten safety tip: do not swim in hot lava. -seen on picture hung in the hall.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Year in Review

Every August I do a lot of reflecting.  It is my birthday as well as the time when school starts.  I usually set goals and think about where I was a year ago and where I would like to be in a year.  One year ago on August 1st I joined Twitter.  The main reason I got it was because I heard Deron Williams posted some awesome stuff there and I go NBA crazy in the summer when nothing is going on.  Since then I have gotten into it and especially during conference I can go a little crazy, I apologize.  In a little over a year I have 256 tweets that I have saved on there.  I went through today and read them all and it is amazing what has happened in the past year.  I went from finishing my first year of teaching and living in an apartment to now starting my 3rd and living in my new house.  I have picked some of my favorites, about 40 to share with you as part of my year in review.  I have divided them into two parts, today will be things I posted and next time will be some of my favorite quotes.  Remember a 'tweet' can only be 140 characters long so sometimes you have to get creative.  In true twitter style starting with the most recent and going to a year ago:

As I was driving today I decided that if I ever own a deli my slogan will be: Get in my Deli! Dave's Delightful Deli Debuts December!

Yesterday @woodypaige said If you can read this thank your teacher. No thanks, so either they can't read or they don't watch @AroundTheHorn.

Today I used @oldspice deodorant, body wash and after shave. Mountains crumbled before me then grew 2X as tall as a monument to my greatness.

I added blueberries and a banana to my protein shake today, instead of strawberries and a banana. I love when I get creative in the kitchen.

My pillow exploded in the wash, are you not supposed to do that? So I am conveniently on my way to wal-mart.

Make the @glennbeck pledge. I pledge to practice faith, hope and charity. http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/39452/

5 of the 9 options in the District Soda Machine are Diet Coke and 2 are Coke. I guess we know what teachers like. Drinking Fountain for me!

Lebron finally made a decision, to join twitter... @kingjames

I have been watching this program, what's great about america. We really are lucky and live in an amazing place.

Isner tied at 59, continues tomorrow. This set alone easily beat the previous record for longest match. Amazing!

@Utah_Jazz I am really excited about the draft party! I hope that if I boo, it will be because we are getting our next John Stockton.

I am excited for grandparents day today, especially because one of my students grandparents were my mission presidents! Can't wait to see em.

I am now the proud owner of a ladder! A guy came to my house today and asked if I was remodeling, I said no I just don't own anything.

I have a tweetimony of conference! RT @LDSTroy I love being a 'Twaint' in the Twitter Stake of Zion. #ldsconf

Just watched DWill on the Jazz do the chicken dance. It was awesome!

You can change the words in my mission statement but you cant change my desire 2 B a positive influence for good in the lives of my students.

Old Spice has such amazing commercials! I commit you to buy their products and support their writers, I promise it will bless your life. 6:19 PM Feb 14th via web

I decided the only thing more boring than watching cars drive in circles all day is to watch a pot hole get fixed, Nascar fans did both.

Finally went and saw Avatar, loved it, even though Pocahontas was played by a giant blue lady.

We just had someone fish us a Merry Christmas. What are we going to do with the fish though?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Turkey Suit Up!

You can't buy the necessities of life with cookies.

If you would have told me two months ago that Real Salt Lake was going to win the Eastern Conference Finals I would have called you crazy.

I love General Conference! So far my favorite line though, is how the kids sing songs about streams that talk and trees that grow popcorn.

Today I learned that prayer works. During the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting, he blessed us that we would not fall asleep, I didn't :(

Suppose you buy an item that costs $5.03, why might you give the salesperson $10.03? My student answered: Because he'll just give it back.

So that is a small part of my year in review, some of these will make no sense to most of you, but they brought back a lot of memories for me. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Oregon Trail

I have been a horrible blogger this summer. One of the main reasons is I don't have internet at my house, that will be overcome next week. This is not a very good excuse, because I spend a lot of time at my old apartment. This is where I am now. This summer I have been very busy with classes and has not had much time for crazy exciting adventures. Luckily I did have half a week to go to Oregon and Washington.

As part of this drive/trip we followed the Oregon Trail and went to a few Lewis and Clark sites.  We had a lot of fun and we learned a little history too.  Later this week or next, I will blog about all of the fun things we did at the beach and in Seattle.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Teacher Appreciation


It is teacher appreciation week and my class took good care of me. It helps that I have an amazing room mother organizing everything. She and her son were the first people I met on back to school night and they asked if I had a room mother yet. She said that her son really wanted her to be it. I gladly accepted and she has done an amazing job, as have many others who have helped me this year. On Tuesday they put together an alphabet book of words that they say describe me (Below). They also put together a book full of cards that they made for me and gave it to me Wednesday, Today (Thursday) I got this poster with candybars pictured above. I feel so lucky to get to work with such amazing people all day. I hope that they are a little better than they were before I got them, I will miss them when the year is over.
Mr. Horan:
A: Accurate, Awesome, Athletic, Amazing
B: Brilliant, Basketball Star, Best at Teaching
C: Cool, Cooperative, Completely Awesome
D: Dynamic, David, Dessert Lover
E: Extraordinary, Extreme, Educator, Example
F: Fantastic, Fast-Footed, Fabulous, Fun
G: Good, Great, Glorious
H: Happy, Helping, Horan
I: Important, Incredible
J: Joyful, Jump Ahead
K: Kind, 'Kool'
L: Lovable, Likable, Liked
M: Macho-Man, Muscles, Magnificient
N: Nice, (K)nowledge
O: Outstanding, Out of this World, Outrageous
P: Participant, Patient, Perfect
Q: Quiet, Quick
R: Racer, Runner, Radiant
S: Spectacular, Super, Smiley, Spontaneous, Scientific
T: Talented, True, Trustworthy, Teacher, Terrific
U: Unbeatable, Ultimate, Undefeated
V: Very Good Teacher, Veggie-Lover, Valuable
W: Winner, Wonderful, Wickedly Awesome, Willing
X: X-iting, X-tra smart
Y: Yes You're Cool, You Rock!
Z: Zesty

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

House


Several of you have been asking for pictures of my new house. I haven't taken pictures of everything, so there will be more pictures to come. I focused on my living room and kitchen today and will have more soon. It is a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with 2 car garage. Right now it is just me living there and I am enjoying the peace and quiet, but missing the fun and craziness. Luckily, Provo is just a few minutes away whenever I need it.





I plan on painting the master bedroom soon. Right now it has one wall that is maroon, and the other walls are a choral color. Yuck! Any suggestions from all of you seasoned home owners, or paint experts?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Conference!

Those of you that are friends with me on facebook or twitter have noticed that I have been rather busy during conference. Some of you may hate it, some of you may enjoy it, but the fact is that it will continue. I have felt excited about this conference more than I have in some time. Maybe I am growing up, maybe I just really need to hear some things right now. Either way it has been amazing so far! Since I didn't get to tweet about priesthood session here are a few of the things I learned:

Elder Oaks: I had made a comment during the afternoon session that I wanted an Elder Oaks talk and priesthood session brought it to me! It actually fit in nicely with the general theme of the day, comfort and healing.

He said that medical science is not at odds with our faith. We should apply every remedy available to us and then ask God. We use them simultaneously. We urged us as priesthood holders to always be prepared to use the healing power of the priesthood. He said that there are five steps in using the healing power: 1) The anointing. 2) Sealing. 3) Faith. 4) The words of the blessing. 5) The will of the Lord.

Elder Oaks said that we should never be worried about what to say in a blessing, God's will will be accomplished. Healing does not come from the words spoken, but by faith. Also there is no need to be blessed multiple times as this is a sign that you lack faith. It also shows that you are putting more trust in those that are giving the blessing and not taking responsibility for yourself. He mentioned that in the scriptures the Savior often said, "Thy faith hath made thee whole." It is your responsibility, not the elders. It is up to you to claim that blessing by your faith.

Two examples were given of times when it was not God's will for someone to be healed. Elder Oaks proclaimed that our faith is in Jesus Christ and is not dependent on outcomes. God's will shall be accomplished. We cannot change his will.

President Uchtdorf: Patience, he told of a study done with four year olds where they were given one marshmallow and told if they did not eat it and waited fifteen minutes they would give them a second one. Only 30% were able to wait. They followed these children for years and those who had patience were more successful in life.

Patience is a rare virtue, without patience we cannot please God or become perfect. If we want to reach our potential we must learn to wait. Patience is not passive resignation it is an active waiting and enduring. We must continually work and endure with faith.

He talked about when he moved to a new country and things were different. He got behind and had begun to wonder if he could succeed. He had a teacher who believed in him and taught him patience. That if he was steady and persistent he would be able to learn and succeed.

Never give up on anyone, and that includes never giving up on yourself. Be patient and endure to the end. The promises of the Lord are not always swift, but they are always certain.

President Eyring: Diligence, Learn what the Lord expects of you, then do it! Our priesthood responsibilities are more than just doing what He would do, but to become as He is. Let every man be diligent in learning their duty.

He mentioned a little bit about how the Duty to God program of the church will be changing and the blessings that these changes will bring to our youth.

Remember the Savior, He is our perfect example. Follow Him and bring others with you.

This will have to do for now, I need to get some sleep so I can be ready for another exciting day tomorrow! If you want to check out some of my quotes from the morning and afternoon sessions of Saturday conference check out my twitter account.