Monday, April 6, 2015

Been Lovin' This Past Year

I worked for 4 years in Jordan School District.  I learned a lot, made good friends, but it was time for me to go.  The commute (while not too bad in of itself) was getting to me.  It took 2 hours out of my day, took me away from my family, and put wear and tear on my car (80 miles roundtrip)

I got a job at Clear Horizons Academy.  It is a non-profit private school for students with Autism.  I got to work with a teacher that I used to be an aide for years ago.  It has been great working with her again. I have a small class of 7 students which range from 1st to 6th grade. I have great aides in my class.  They are knowledgeable and really love the students.  We've been having lots of fun.

The year is winding down.  I don't know what next year is going to be for me.  My school is changing its format for next year and is joining forces with Utah Autism Academy.  Hopefully I will be a part of this.  I am looking at going back to school to get a Masters along with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst certificate.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hump Day

Oh my gosh I can't believe it's been a year since I last posted on my blog.  And that it has been a year for Zac to be on his mission.

He is doing well.  He is on his 6th transfer and 5th companion.  Here is his year in review:
August 28, 2013 entered MTC.  His companion is Elder Cannon.  After a few weeks they are joined by Elder Shibata.

October 28, 2013 Zac flies to Japan.  He is in the largest transfer of 36 new missionaries.  His companion is Elder Golightly (a kid from Spanish Fork from whom Zac took guitar lessons).  They are together for 1 transfer (6 weeks) in Kamagaya.  Zac stays in Kamagaya and is with Elder Kyotani for 2 transfers (12 weeks), they are joined by Elder Druml.  Then Zac goes to Yachiyo and is with Elder Buxton for 2 transfers.  After that he is in Abiko with Elder Shibata (again) for 2 transfers.  Zac stays in Abiko and is now the senior companion to Elder Turley.

He had 1 baptism in his first area, Ryouta.  Zac had a few investigators here and there, but none seemed to commit.  In his current area there was a Nepalese family that was baptized and he's got another prospect.  I think he was getting depressed in not having any baptisms or interest in the church for quite a few months.  He's also struggled with some ward members.

Zac has gotten better at eating the food there.  He's willing to try more stuff.  Lately he's been having a hard time with the weather.  The summer has been very hot and humid.  He was very prone to heat exhaustion.  I worried that he wasn't getting enough water.  Also, he's skin was having a weird reaction.  He was treated by the mission doctor, some creams were ordered.  I don't know if it was eczema or fungal infection.

His spirits have lifted, his health is getting better, and he is enjoying his companion.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Zac's Mission

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 we took my oldest child to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.  He will be serving a 2 year mission in Tokyo, Japan for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We slept in, got cleaned up, finished the final packing and then headed off for a nice lunch together.  We went to Sizzler because missionaries eat free there on Wednesdays.

I was fine, no tears shed, no nervousness or anxiety.  We drove up to the MTC and there were a lot of cars, families, and missionaries.  We were directed to a spot at the curb to unload our missionary and his bags.  Just as we come up to the curb I start to get teary-eyed.  I start crying when I open my car door.  There is a host missionary to greet us and he comments to me that it is natural to cry (duh).  I turn to Zac who had just gotten out of the minivan and I say, "I'm already crying and I haven't even hugged you yet."  We hug, all of us are now out of the minivan giving Zac hugs and helping to get the luggage out.

I knew that the MTC changed their system to curbside drop off.  Before (back in the olden days) they had the MTC President and his wife speak, there was a video/slideshow about missionaries, everyone stood to sing "Called to Serve" then time was given to hug and say goodbye.  Finally it was missionaries through this door and family/friends through that door.  That's how it was when I took my 2 brothers and 1 sister to the MTC.

I was worried with the new system that I would feel rushed and not able to give a proper good-bye.  Our hosts were relaxed and patient while we took some pictures.  They chit-chatted a bit about how long they have been in the MTC and where they are going on their mission.  Then is was, "Alright, are you ready Elder?" and off they went.

A few more tears shed as we drove away, but I've been fine.  Kyle and I both sent emails to Zac but we have yet to hear from him.  If you'd like to email him...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

We are as the Army of Helaman

Two of my sons had a chance to march in the Spanish Fork Fiesta Days parade as 2000 Stripling Warriors in the Army of Helaman.

They carried staffs and made their own flags as Titles of Liberty.  They were given costumes to wear.  The boys and men were ages 11-26 years old.  Some of their leaders walked with them.  They were divided by Stakes (you can see the tall white flags designating their group).

A vehicle was in their midst playing the Primary song We'll Bring the World His Truth (Army of Helaman) and the missionary hymn Called to Serve.  The boys would tap their staffs in time to the music.  Periodically they would stomp and give a chant and tap their staffs.

You can see my sons at about the 1:20-1:24 mark of the video I took.  Zane's staff has a white flag tied with black shoelaces.  Cooper should be near him.  (Sorry about some of the picture my hand was getting tired).

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Little Miss Spanish Fork

Chloe participated in Spanish Fork's Little Miss competition.  Girls are divided into age groups.  Minis ages 7-8, Littles 9-10, Junior 11-12, Teen 13-15.  Chloe was in the Little category.  There were 18 girls in her group.

First we had to be there about two hours before the pageant for interviews.  There were three judges and they each asked her two questions.  They asked her about pets and her family.

The pageant is opened with all the girls (Friday night Minis and Littles, Saturday Jr. and Teen) dancing a production number in the same outfit.  Each contestant is introduced with their name and number.

For her talent she performed a dance she learned with her dancing group at Devotion Dance Academy.  It was a lyrical dance routine to Little Things by One Direction.  We had to change a couple of movements since this was performed as a group.  There was a section where they lifted a girl and rotated her.  So some choreography was altered showing off some technique like leg lifts, straddles, and leaps.  She was doing great on stage, she remembered the first two changes.  Then she got ahead of the music, forgot one section and froze for about 5 seconds (which seemed like forever) quickly remembered and finished the song.

I met her backstage after her talent performance and she was crying and I was crying because I knew she'd be crying because she messed up.  We talked with her dance teacher and choreographer backstage and she got us calmed down.  We got her changed for the party dress portion.  She wore the dress she got as a flower girl in her aunt's wedding.  Each girl was walked out with an escort and walked to key points on the stage while information about the girls was read aloud.  Information as in who her parents were, who her siblings are, and what her dreams and aspirations are.

After some entertainment while the judges calculate their scoring the girls are brought back on stage for the announcement of winners.   There are four attendants and a queen for Minis, and four attendants and a queen for Littles.  Chloe did not place.  I didn't expect her to for her first time out.  I don't think she expected to win either. Backstage there were girls crying because they didn't win.  Chloe was just fine.  She even commented to me in a sympathetic voice about how the girls were crying because they didn't win.  Our only crying was in relation to her talent performance.

Overall, I think she had fun and it will be a memory she has for a while.  We talked about her doing this again next year.  She is up for it and hopes to perform better to even place.