Sunday, November 29, 2009

happy happy sunday!
it was so grand being back at church in the land of the living. i got to teach Gospel Essentials again today. and i commented that although the being sick part of swine flu wasn't so fun, the time to just be and reflect was incredible. it was much like my cancer summer when i was isolated for a week, but i wasn't sick with the radioactive iodine!! crazy!

i re-read Christy on Monday. i soo love it! i borrowed val goodrich's over the summer - last summer? it was sooo hard not to mark her book up with writing my thoughts and underlining and highlighting thoughts. this was the first re-read with my own copy (lame. yes. i know.) and let's just say it may look more like a workbook than a novel. :)

you may remember the series on tv a number of years starred the girl from "life goes on". corky's sister??

it is about a young girl in the early 1900's who leaves her well-to-do family to teach in a mountain town. there is a mission home that is the center of the town where she lives. she learns about herself and mainly who she is in relation to her God. needless to say, this is why there are so many things underlined and notes in the margins. 

i shared a part from the book in class today. if you haven't read it. OR it's been a while since you have, here is your assignment, READ IT!! :)

again, not that you care, but here is the proposed outline of the class. but, like any class, things didn't really follow as plannned, it was better!! how i love the people in my ward. they are full of wisdom and experience. 

okay, that's about all the excitement in my life. i am working on grad school applications again. AND practicing my handwriting lots. lame, but my friend and i watched the illusionist the other day and i LOVED the handwriting the credits. soo weird. my friend thought i was more than a little odd!

OH and i guess there was Thanksgiving!! one of my favorite friends, mike, came to join us for the day. 


melissa and aaron and tillie were here for the week. they stayed with the woods, but we were able to steal a few moments with them. we soo LOVE having them around. last night, we laughed that the new baby will tweak our life style. we are going to texas for Christmas, in less than a month. melissa and tillie jump on the plane all the time to visit. with another baby, it's really going to ruin of lives!!

OH, and last but not least, the BYU game!! dad, me, aaron, and aaron's dad all went to the game and goodness, it was AMAZING!!! i was screaming my guts out!! i went a little hoarse.  

although i think we were all rather disappointed in max hall's comments after the game, it was a typical nail-biting game. and on a physical note, andrew george's arms are InCrEdiBLe!! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

now i like pigs, probably more than the rest of you.
i gave lizzy a book about Toot and Puddle one year and she began collecting stuffed pigs ever since. i think she has over 40 in her room.

that being said. when i told my principal today that i have swine flu, he lovingly asked it i had kissed a pig while in boston. as cute as these little piglets are, no thank you. but alas, swine flu and i are going to be friends for awhile. dr. mower declare that i am out-of-commission until next tuesday. not a big deal. UNLESS i need to get sub plans ready. and UNLESS i'm not co-incharge of the first middle school dance tomorrow. and UNLESS tuesday isn't the last day before Thanksgiving break. and UNLESS my students aren't writing essays for a class magazine and some of them are dying to meet with me to help them edit.

oh well. hooray for fevers. it's been a long long time since i've had one, so i am getting my dose now. hooray.

love, me

Sunday, November 8, 2009

there are a couple thoughts on my mind today . . .

i get to be the gospel essentials teacher in my ward. this is a class for new members or people interested in learning what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe. AND, it's for any member. today was the first lesson and it was on God the Father.

here are my notes:

God the Father

(on the board i had the word "ABBA" and talked about how it is the greatest word in all of scriptures to me. it is what the Savior called the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. it means "father", but it is the intimate form of the word; "Daddy". to me, it represents the intimacy the Lord would have us have with Him.)

  • What things testify to me that there is a God?
    • Alma 30:44
  • What are some of God’s attributes?
    • Bible Dictionary Faith
  • Why is it important to understand the nature of God?
  • How can we come to know God?
    • Who is someone you feel you truly know?
      • Hearts match. Similar hopes, dreams, behaviors, understandings.
  • What is dad’s paying job? What is dad’s character? How do the two influence each other?
  • What does knowing the nature of God strengthen my relationship with Him?
    • Bible Dictionary Prayer
  • Why would knowing your Father in Heaven help you better know yourself?
  • What characteristics of our Father would you like to possess in this life?
  • Does knowing who you truly are change your daily decisions? Why? How?
  • What does the Lord do to demonstrate these characteristics to us?

Robert D. Hales, “Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 29–32

Most of us will not see God, as the prophets have, but the still, small promptings of the Spirit—the thoughts and feelings that the Holy Ghost brings into our minds and hearts—will give us an undeniable knowledge that He lives and that He loves us.

Even more, with your own testimony of God, you will be able to bless your family, your posterity, your friends, your own life—all those you love. Your personal knowledge of God is not only the greatest gift you will ever give, but it will bring you the greatest joy you will ever have.

As a special witness of the Only Begotten Son of our loving Heavenly Father, even Jesus Christ, I testify that God lives. I know He lives. I promise that if you and those you love will seek Him in all humility, sincerity, and diligence, you will know with a surety too. Your witness will come. And the blessings of knowing God will be yours and your family’s forever.

The Book of John:

Bruce R. McConkie, “Understanding the Book of Revelation,” Ensign, Sep 1975, 85

In my judgment the Gospel of John ranks far ahead of those of Matthew, Mark, or Luke; at least John’s record of the life of our Lord is directed to the saints; it deals more fully with those things that interest people who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and who have the hope of eternal life. But even ahead of his gospel account stands this wondrous work, the book of Revelation; or at least so it seems to those who are prepared to build on the foundations of the gospels and epistles and to go forward forever in perfecting their knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom.

To this there is an unqualified answer. It was John—John the Beloved, he who wrote the Gospel of John and the three epistles that bear his name.

Neal E. Lambert and Richard H. Cracroft

In this book [the Gospel of John] we feel, through the prophetic sensitivities of John, the great soul of Jesus. We sense perhaps more intimately than any other place in scripture the divinity and godhood of the living Son of God.

He “was God.” But he was a God who “was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), and so was known to men—to some only at a distance, to some secondhand. But to a few he was known closely, intimately. And it is the voice of one of those intimates that speaks to us in this Gospel. John, the beloved apostle, had not only heard the words of the living Lord, he had “leaned on his breast at supper.” (John 21:20.) He not only knew the teachings of Jesus, he knew, in a way we can hardly appreciate, the stirrings of that divine heart. It is the profound depths of that heart and the infinite heights of that divine glory that John presents for us in his Gospel.

John 17:3

And this is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

John 18:19

Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

John 5:19

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 7:16

Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

John 8:28

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, these things.

These things I know:

  • He wants more than even I want for my life.
  • Like when I am asking Mom and Dad for something that I have shown my sincerity, my working, my desire for, of course they will give it to me, IF it is the best thing for me.

there you go. the notes of the lesson. it was a learning time for me today in class, like it always it. i selfishly love to teach because i get to steal people's thoughts.

today was the Primary Program. our Primary president is wonderful. she encourages and molds the activities and events to allow thinking from the children. and today was no exception. the children prepared their own thoughts about topics. Primary children accompanied the songs, soloed in the songs, gave talks, and shared memories and articles of faith. it was powerful. yes, i was weepy.

inspired relationships. i feel like i have a lot of them. and i love it. i am in awe by the people i get to know. there are people that i know that i have in my life for what i learn with them and from them. people that help me see who i want to be more clearly in certain areas. people with whom i can share tender, sacred parts of my heart and thoughts. people with whom i need to become something more.

with that, sweet dreams. it's time for a priceless Sunday nap. ;-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

warm fuzzies
this past General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Monson talked about warm fuzzies. well, he really talked about doing good to others and showed this picture of warm fuzzies that a primary gave him for his 82nd birthday. the past few days i have received a few warm fuzzies, and i feel so blessed.

at one point in my journey of life, i was able to chat with a dear lady. i was going through a hard time after being diagnosed with chronic fatigue; my body just wouldn't function as i wanted it to. this lady shared an idea to have an emotional first aide kit. she suggested gathering notes, reminders, etc. that you are loved. it has proven to be a great idea and as i have shared it with others, i've witnessed the great positive uplift these reminders can be.

that being said, please allow me to indulge:
  • i went to boston (obviously from my last post. i should probably finish my adventure story. but for now, let me just declare that i LOVE boston! as i flew out from the logan airport, i looked out the window and "knew" that i would be back. not sure about the time frame, but boston felt like home. AnYwAy, while in boston, i attended a LDS Single's Conference. there were many many positives from the conference. i met some great people and reunited with people i have loved from my past.
    we were divided into groups. we sat at tables in a large ballroom at the copley marriott hotel. i didn't know anyone (ended up that i actually knew 2 of the guys. random.). we had an assignment to work on together about 3 hours into our time together. after we worked for awhile, one of the guys and i walked out to grab something. as we walked, he told me that i had been his institute teacher at byu! he is now working on his master's degree in teaching in another state. but he said that he has only had one great institute teacher, and it was me!! he said he remembers a number of the lessons we did and that i taught during a particularly difficult time of life, but that things we did in class helped him in some very special ways. this incredibly impressive man then had tears well up in his eyes. he said, "if you ever feel like you aren't influencing people, know that you definitely are." he also said that he told his friends all about me when he saw me.
    talk about humbling and validating. wow.
  • today, i was called into the principal's office. through out my entire 12 years of public school, i was only called in the principal's office once - and i can't even remember why. i just remember the fear! the fear continues!! :( i am always so nervous that i have completely messed up. so, i was nervous again. ugh.
    we talked about a number of "housekeeping" topics. and then, my principal said he had been at a training at the Utah State Office of Education for trainings the day before our Fall break. they were reviewing the book, Six Types of Teachers. I guess one of the types, and the ideal type of teacher, is the "wow" teacher. as principals, they were asked to describe a wow teacher at their school.
    he shared about me. wow. wow. wow.
    i was so touched and humbled again and felt like maybe i'm not messing up too many things.
  • and, on sunday, i was able to spend the evening with kurt and jenn knight. i worked at efy with both of these wonderful people. kurt and i actually go back to freshman year. we were both hall president's for our resident halls and went to a conference in moscow, idaho (yes, there were cows directly next to the campus!). he and fernando were the only ones i remember being nice.
    kurt and jenn have been living in boston for the last few years. it was a joy to be with them and their adorable kids. we had wonderfully enriching conversations about a variety topics. it continues to amaze me that some of my richest and most fulfilling relationships stem from efy.

thanks for letting me share!! i hope that not only are you having days of warm fuzzies, but that we are people that are giving the warm fuzzies to those in our lives. :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

hooray for bolt buses!
i am currently riding one of these lovely vehicles. there are leather seats, outlets, and wireless. wow. who knew traveling by bus has been upgraded so such luxuries?? and all this joy for just $13.00! the bolt and i get to be together for over 4 hours today as she takes me from the land of musicals and yellow taxis to the land of wisdom and transcendentalists! (nyc to boston) =)

this morning was a bit of an adventure. if you know me, you know that some adventures tend to make me tear up a bit and stress and worry and a bit of fear. but you will be very happy to know, that i didn't even begin to form a tear. i think i am truly growing up!

yesterday was a perfect new york city day. i have been to new york a few times. i have done the musicals and time square. i have done and LoVeD Ellis Island. i have done chinatown. i been silenced by ground zero. 've explored 5th Ave. all the major NYC spots. thus, i was not stressed to do any of it yesterday.

i got up from a heavenly sleep at jen's. she had an air mattress already for me when i stumbled in at 11:30 pm Monday night. i got ready and walked out to the rain. (don't stress, jen is the perfect martha hostess and had an extra umbrella and metro map and house key for me to use. talk about the dream!) got to the subway and headed to ground zero.

why, you ask? a few years ago, i worked for Girls Quest - a girls camp for low income girls. it was held in Albany, NY. it was during this camp i was told i needed to have my thyriod removed because there was a great likelihood i had cancer in some tumors. i had been hired as the Educational Director. we started working as soon as i got there. we had so many things planned and ready to go. but then, 10 days later i was home. Bev McEntarfer was the director. we had a wonderful time together!! so it was a hard good-bye to say.

Bev is working for another organization, directing camp, and i headed to ground zero area to visit her. we had a wonderful hour long chat and she was off to a meeting. it was soo good to be with her. it reminded me just how much i love working and planning and creating opportunities for the youth to discover their best selves.

i jumped onto the subway from her office and made a quick stop at canal street to buy a gray scarf i had been wanting. and then back on the subway to head to Columbia's Teachers College.

i had a 1:00 pm appointment to take a tour of the facility. i walked quickly through a few streets and got there panting. lovely. i had worn a shade shirt under my blouse - worrying about the weather. stupid! i ran to the restroom and deleted that shade shirt layer. so much better!

in all my hussle, i forgot to eat. so at 2:30 pm i found artopolis. here i had a crepe with egg, ham, and cheese. then, the strawberry mouse - aka strawberry shortcake - was just a little too tempting. talk about heaven!! then, i found myself walking. and walking. and walking. i went through central park that was beautifully wet and covered with fallen colored leaves. i went down 5th avenue and wondered about the lives of those that actually call this street home. i pondered the excitement of being a doorman at the luxurious apartment buildings. i passed a protest. i looked into beautifully decorated shops on madison. i got a cramp in my foot after about 3 hours of walking. i went into the American Girl Store and almost started crying. They stopped making Samantha last year. and i was heart broken. i always had wanted her. and the sign in the door said that Kirsten was next. ugh. i think the company is going to destroy my childhood dreams. i so wanted to buy these dolls for my daughters and enjoy them through my girls. ugh. NOW i just might cry.

did i mention that on one of the subway trips a 60 plus-year old man offered to take me to Paris?? he said he wished it was 30 years ago and he would have! he informed me that my husband (white lies are totally allowed, correct??) is the very, very lucky man. and that i needed to remind him of that and let him know i was almost stolen to enjoy Paris with a stranger. let's not analyze the type of men i attract. let's just enjoy the compliment. right??! :)

back to the night. i went from rockefeller square to union square and met jen at the bald man's chocolate place. (note. this is NOT the official name. check it out here.) we ate way too much. but it was divine! i had my favorite thin crust pizza with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella and for deseret, chocolate chip banana bread with chocolate sauce, strawberries, and real whipped cream on the side. why is this place NOT in utah??

the original plan had been that jen and i and her roommate were going to go to a movie in harlem - good hair. about how black women do their hair. jen said it is definitely an experience because people talk to the movie!!
BUT after walking forever and eating two meals within hours of each other, i was ready for bed! so we went home and just chatted and went to bed.

who knew that i would sleep so soundly that i wouldn't wake up until 9:00 AM!!!! i hurried and got ready to go and went out to get to the bolt bus station. lovely complications that we won't get into, found me at the bus station 10 minutes AFTER the bus was to leave. fabulous. i didn't know what corner of 34th and 8th ave to was to find the bus. i called to see what would happen if i missed the bus. i was told i could just get the 12:00 pm bus. phew! but thankfully the bus and i had similar problems and it was late also!! so i got on just fine at 11:20ish and am not enjoying the quiet and the scenery of the lush east coast.

i was suppose to have an appointment with a professor at harvard. but i emailed she secretary to let her know it probably wouldn't be happening seeing as how late the bus was and how we hit traffic getting out of the city. she informed me not to stress and that i could meet with her later tomorrow. hooray!!

we'll see how things go tomorrow!!
ps no camera :( i'll have to see about begging someone to take pictures for me!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

guess who's on the radio!?!?
weird. me!

this summer, a friend of mine who works and producing a few of the LDS Church radio shows asked me to come be on a panel radio show. it is all about singles and there was a mix of 5 singles - 3 guys and 2 girls. we have all experienced a variety of single's wards and were in various stages of life. it was so fun to do and it is now available for listening.

it's about an hour, so feel free NOT to listen unless you have a while. ;-)

ps one of the best surprises was that one of the guys, jason, is my good friend's brother! sooo nice to have a familiar face!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

the pumpkins!!
drum roll please . . .

because mike and i teach together, i showed the students our pumpkins - without telling who carved them, just said here are two pumpkins - and asked them to vote on their favorite. little did they know they were judging between their pe and their english teachers work!!

mike said i look pretty excited! i think it was more like, "are we REALLY taking these??" even though it was my idea. hmm.

can you guess whose was whose??

Saturday, October 17, 2009


i have these giant windows in my classroom (see post below) and i wanted to make a pennant thing. so that was today's goal. my incredible mom helped me think through things last night and then got out many of her harvest themed fabrics. i worked with some of them, but went to the local fabric store and found some others (may have bought a BiT more than i needed, so if you are looking for fabrics, shop at my house first!).

i cut out the fabrics and had them all laid out in order, when my mom came dashing into the kitchen remembering that she needed to have cookies made for tomorrow. i was ironing the pennants and wasn't looking too forward to the sewing part, so i offered to switch jobs with my mama - talk about a win-win! she doesn't love making cookies and i don't love hemming! tah-dah! heaven! here's how things turned out:

getting prepared to sew . . .
dearest mom taking over . . .
sweet! i get to where my apron miss gave me!
did i mention my mom is amazing!?!
i LOVE the fabrics i found
heaven! heaven! heaven! i'll take more pics of it at school on the windows!
cookies ready for taking
and not to mention the kitchen is clean!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


along these big huge windows, i want to make those cute banners with the triangle flags.
i think that will be this saturday's project, wanna help??
oh and the quote is, "if you wait for inspiration, you aren't a writer, you are a waiter" ;-)

a former student told me that it just wouldn't be miss snyder's room without batman somewhere . . . . oh my crush on christian bale . .

cute stack of books poster soon to be coming above the white bookshelf . . .

dear justyn
"a reader today, a leader tomorrow"

my GiAnT piece of paper - so they see how i want things written (like it works, but i try!)

"don't fear making a mistake, fear failing to learn and move forward"
fyi . . .
the open space above the white book shelf will soon have a hand-made poster of a stack of books, and the space before the reading quote will hopefully have a hand-made poster of an open book . . . hint, hint becca. please?!?!?

remember how i LOVE teaching english?? i have been teaching math this week - long story!! - and as much as i have missed teaching math (truly i have. lots of days i have walked by the math teacher's room and just been green with envy, thus, i took the opportunity to teach it this week . . . ), i have deeply and dearly missed my class, my classroom, and my subject. who knew? i taught all but science for 6 years and loved it all. who knew that i would be so in love with english alone?? but i am.

i miss the feel of my room, i miss the climate, i miss how the kids behave with me in my room (yep, i am different in math, just ask justyn. he has told me twice in two days that he likes me better as an english teacher!! but he follows it up with the fact that he has learned lots this week and does like me as a math teacher too, phew!).

i am majorly excited for tomorrow. lizzy has uea tomorrow and so no school for her. so she is coming to my class!!! it's fun to get to teach her age group - finally!! so she will come in school uniform (khakis, navy, and white) and be with me all day. i can't wait. i've been telling my students about it for a few weeks. she is incredible and i can't wait for my students to know and love her.

i'll take more pics tomorrow night because a friend from school is following me home and we are going to carve/paint/design/decorate pumpkins. miss snyder wood sent me a link to a blog that had some beautiful pumpkins. mike wants to make sick scary ones. i will be making classy ones!! :) stay tuned!!