Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hey Mom, this one's for you

Here are the flowers you sent me for my birthday this year. Since you are so far far away I thought I would post this pic for you.

Also, I remember you asking me about the ones you sent while I was on the mish. See, they are beautiful! Thanks Momma, love you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

#5 Reason Why I Hate This Place

The body contortions you have to inflict upon yourself in order to not slip on the ice.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Motivation and Pivotal Point

I've been pondering the whole lose weight scenario for..... years. But more so the last few months. I watched most of last seasons "Biggest Loser: Couples", and have felt quite motivated. Well, somewhat. :) I've got plans in the works anyway. Yes I know they are camped out in a far away place where they are watched over 24 hours a day with meal plans and are fed to them three times a day, and a gym full of every possible work out equipment ever desired. But, I'm pretty sure I can begin my own journey. Hopefully. Doesn't Michelle look fabulous??

Since I was in 7th grade, whenever someone would ask me, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" I would respond, every time without fail, "A teacher for the Deaf." Well, after 13 years, I think I'm going to change my mind. Holy Cow, I know! This is huge. All my schooling the last 7 years has been ASL classes. But I am so stoked for my decision. It feels really great.
Some of you might remember when I worked at The Learning Center for Families. When I was a senior in high school I was in the service club, R.A.S.K.A.L.S. (random acts of kindness and little surprises). Debbie Justice, the director of TLC, was invited to come in and share about TLC and the great things they do. She briefly discussed internships that were available. I went home that day, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I decided to call her and find out more info. I then discussed it with one of the counselors at school and the possibility of having it count as credit hours. It worked out, and the last two quarters (equivalent to one semester, AKA four months- anyway, like you care!) of my senior year I was able to spend half my day playing with kids. My first period I was a TA for Mrs./Sister Lafaele, and then I headed to TLC till halfway through 5th period. (Laf's class was doughnut runs and movies, and 5th period was Mrs. Bucholtz, whose class was the first class I ever ditched. A bunch of fun gals in the class (Jocee, Laura and Carly {smile}) convinced me to skip out of class one time because I miss half of it anyway, and to go hang with them at Carly's house. I thought, sure, why not. The WHOLE time I felt so guilty and squeamish (is that a word...?). Well the next day in class they all got in trouble except for me! She just assumed I was still at TLC. Fun memories!) During the last few weeks of the school year Debbie offered me a job. I was so excited! I began at the bottom of the totem pole, and didn't get very far- but I loved it! I work for two years as a classroom aide smelling like clorox for those two years. Meeting some of the most beautiful children, and making the closest and greatest friends. Some I will have for the rest of my life. I learned how to look inside of person to see who they really are, and how to find joy in small accomplishments. Such good things.
I left for a great opportunity to mentor and interpret for a class of Deaf students. Also a fabulous opportunity. During the summer of my second year with the Deaf kids, I happened to pass Tena on the road. I followed her back to the center. Lo and behold, she was about 8 months pregnant! After a year and a half absence, I once again returned to the land of TLC :) Another year later and a half, I left it all and served the mish. And now, almost four years later, I am preparing to return. It's just so good!
So, this is what happened. Honestly, I haven't been too thrilled about the whole ASL/Deaf stuff. It hasn't quite floated my boat for a while. I haven't been as excited about it as I was in the past. The point that I have arrived at hasn't been as enjoyable. Class wise, I am done learning vocab and now all classes are in ASL. And I've learned something, its hard to hear but its the truth- in class, we are all judging each other! Its true!! And very sad. We are all interpreters and we judge each other by our ability to sign. Most of those opinions are negative. We are a sad little group.
Also, when people ask my major I get a basic three responses. #1: "Death education....? Oh! You mean DEAF education." #2: About 3 minutes after saying my major, "Oh, so you must know sign language. Do you know some sign language?" #3: "That is such a great goal. It will be so great for you to help those people." And I am done with struggling to come up with an answer less than 30 seconds long in defense of the Deaf, against the ignorance of people. It's just so hard.
Anyway, last week UVU was having a career fair in the "freshman building". As was headed to calss, jammin' to my ipod, I looked over and there staring back at me, were pictures of little ones sitting in red and blue chairs playing with yellow and green toys. My heart swelled just a bit. I knew right then, I needed to make a change. So I'm going to!
A couple weeks ago I went in and chatted some specifics with my academic advisor, as I already mentioned, that I only need two semester till I can receive my Associates Degree. So, I'm going to work towards that goal, and then move on to changing my major to Special Education/Early Childhood stuff, focusing on children birth to five. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shopping with Grandpa

Poor Gramps broke his foot falling on black ice while he was working about month ago. He's been pretty much glued to his lazy boy chair for the past month. He's been improving and is now able to bear half his weight on it. Nana, Grampa and myself carpooled down last weekend. I think he was feeling a bit suffocated and was suffering from some cabin fever. We took our sweet Nana shopping for her birthday all day Saturday. He was even willing tag along! That same evening we decided on a late night Wal-Mart run cause we were a bit bored. He jumped at the chance! and Nana came along too. Good times :)
(not sure what Nana and Grandpa are looking at...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Do I Dare Say It....?

I, uh, I think I'm enjoying school. Oh gosh. Did I really just admit that? It sure has surprised me! I know it's still early in the semester, but I think it's gonna stick :) I've only been taking the required 12 credits for the past 5 semesters, so I'm slow in coming. But, I finally grabbed a moment with my new adviser and chatted specifically about the status of the degree. It looks like two more semesters and I will have.....drum roll please...... my associates! It's only occurring after 8 years of on again off again schooling :) Yea!!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

In Memory

Well, it's been awhile since I had a post with a little meat to it. I've even given some of my fellow bloggers a hard time about posting, and here I am ..... with nothing to share. Well, I have a story for today.

This is dear sweet Diane King. She was the first person I taught as a missionary. I first met her on August 4, 2005. It was my second day in Oregon. She loved to talk! And would share her story with all who would listen. You couldn't help but love her. For years she had turned missionaries away, even claiming to be atheist at times. Eventually Sisters were transferred to the area, and we soon won her heart.

Albany was my first stop in Oregon. Sister Noorda (Emily) had been teaching her for a couple months. I was able to come in and finish the lessons with her, and witness her baptism. She had lived quite a life, and experienced many things. From my time with Diane I had many of my own lessons. In meeting with her, and sharing my knowledge and feelings regarding the gospel my own testimony was strengthened greatly. While I was striving to bring her closer to the Savior, she in turn, was doing the same for me. I taught my first lesson; shared my testimony for the first time; said my first prayer of sincerity for her to gain a testimony; extended my first commitment, and learned to love as the Savior.

Every couple of weeks or so, we would take some time to do some service for Diane. Help do her dishes, some dusting and vacuuming. This time around, Sister Brunson (Camille) decided to take some time and wipe down her blinds. It quickly turned into a two hour project! :) Fun times. I think we ended up being late for a meeting of some kind...
Here is Dexter, Diane's loyal companion. He never left her side and was very protective of her. He LOVED chasing his white squeaky ball.

For different reasons I don't recall, Diane was missing a good portion of her teeth. In the Albany 3rd Ward, there was a very kind and generous Dentist, Dr. Berg, who provided Diane with some new teeth! He told us to let the spirit be our guide. He didn't want Diane to feel indebted to the church. He would remind us that his "hands are here to help." He was a sweet man. It was a great and exciting day :) Diane couldn't stop smiling, she could eat some of her most favorite foods again! This is a before and after shot.

I took some time tonight and browsed throughout my missionary journal. Funny stuff! It's always interesting to go back in time and see where I was and who I was at certain times. So many good times, and so many tough times. So many.... many of which shaped me into who I am today.

Today my dear friend Camille, Sister Brunson, gave me a call to let me know Diane passed away today. I haven't quite known how to feel, or what to think. I can't believe she's gone. She struggled with many medical concerns, some of which were consequences of choices, and others just bad luck of the draw. I know she is in a much better place, free from these physical pains. I don't want her passing to turn into something selfish about myself, but I couldn't help feeling immense guilt about not keeping in touch with her more, being there more for her. I've thought about her almost everyday since about Thanksgiving, which is her birthday. I never did call. I missed such an opportunity.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

#4 Reason Why I Hate This Place

I walk into work with the day looking all promising, and then...

I come out at the end of my shift and it looks like this. :(

(Sorry, I'm on an "I hate snow" rampage.)

#3 Reason I Hate This Place

The piles of nasty old dirty snow that takes up half of the parking lot. :(