Saturday, February 28, 2009

Joyful Seasons of Life

We had a bi-stake womens conference this morning with Ardeth Kapp. If you have never had the chance to hear her speak or read one of her books, I feel bad for you because you have missed out. She had us laughing. She had us crying. And sometimes she had us laughing AND crying. The whole conference was on joy. She spoke on the different seasons we have in our lives and how to find joy in each of them. Everyone, all 700 women, went to her workshop,then we each went to 2 different workshops and we had lunch. We signed up for the workshops we wanted about a month ago, with a couple of alternatives. With 700 women attending, I can imagine what it was like to get it all organized!

My second workshop was Finding Joy Within, given by my very dear friend, Leslie Austin. She is a 7th grade teacher here at Cedar Ridge, plus I have the fortune to be in the same ward as her. I don't get to see her much because she is a Stake Relief Society President in one of the University Stakes. She was as delightful as ever. We laughed so very hard and when she accidently knocked over her glass of water on the podium, I could so see myself doing that very thing. She was awesome about the whole thing as she wiped it up while talking to us still. She talked about learning to own who we are. The good and the not so good and made it all seem so natural to do so in such a humerous way.

My third workshop was Facing Adversity Cheerfully given by Lila Cooley. I chose this one because the name of it sounded very interesting. She did a wonderful job. She showed how sometimes we don't always face things cheerfully, but come around to the cheerfulness after it's over. The joy is in the journey, not the destination. When we reach the destination we are then on a new and different journey, so we should learn to be cheerful in getting there.

I am going to try to put what I learned into practice. I am going to try to laugh more and have more joy in the everyday things. The spilling of milk, the breaking of glass, the typical everyday life as a mortal. I think I might start with the laughing more. What do you think?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pay it forward

Pay It Forward

Here's the idea. Be one of the first 3 people to leave a comment on my blog and you will be the lucky recipient of a hand made gift from me some time this year. When it comes will be a total complete surprise! Now here is the catch, you have to post the same thing on your blog and do the same for 3 lucky people. GOOD LUCK! This is going to be fun!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Chomping at the bit

Gary turned 18 a mere 5 days before high school graduation last May. He is pretty much the youngest of his friends. They have mostly all been gone for a while, though there are still a couple yet to leave, as well as him. One of his best friends has been gone for 6 months already and Gary figures he won't leave until Jordan has been out for 1 year. When Jordan left, they figured they were saying good-bye for 3 years.

Gary decided to not go to college until after his mission, just work for the year before he left. He worked all summer for a landscaping company & loved it, which afforded him to by a motorcycle. But as fall approached, he knew that he would have little to nothing to do all winter if he stayed there. So he got a job at JM Mechanical where Andy works (& worked before his mission). They build heating and cooling ducts and install them. The big commercial ones for the church, Walmarts, Lowes, etc as well as installing some residential. Gary builds it as well as delivers, clear up into Montana and down in Southern Utah or into Colorado sometimes. But still, he's chomping at the bit.

He has been filling out his mission papers, getting the Bishop to put him online as soon as it was legal to do so. He filled them all out and came and hovered over Wynn and I until we filled out our part. We were getting ready to leave for the rec center one night and he asked me not to go yet. He had just gotten home from work and I was informed he was getting in the shower, then putting on his suit so I could take his missionary picture for his papers. He made his own appointments to the doctor and dentist and took himself there. Then he made his appointment for his wisdom teeth and told me when it was so I could take him. He sent his papers to the Bishop & made his appointment with him. The Bishop sent them to the Stake President and Gary made his appointment to meet with him. Today is 3 months before his 19th birthday and he could send his papers in today....only 1 catch. He couldn't meet with the Stake President until tomorrow night!!! He has been chomping at the bit and this one more day is killing him. This is also killing his sister, Drew, since she is going out of the country for spring break. Since that is right when his call should come, she is afraid she won't be able to be here when he opens it. Guess we'll see.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Today is my parents anniversary----48 years, 7 children (spouses), 24 grandchildren (3, and almost 5, with spouses), and 1 (2 next month) great-grandchildren later, I think they are still happy, if not a little nuts from it all. I don't have the pictures my sister has, but I do have some from the wedding in November.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!

Dean and Elaine Jenkins, Andy and Leza Jenkins, Gary and Inez Hulsey

(I thought I had one of just them and Andy and Leza, but I can't find it, so....they are on the right by Leza with Wynn's parents on the left by Andy.)

Friday, February 13, 2009

After much weeping and wailing and nashing of teeth

I finished my online CERT course today!!!

Colleen and I have been printing off the lessons, 2 to 3 at a time, and taking them home to read and highlight them. Then we would go back to school the next day and answer the questions from the lessons we highlighted. Then we would do it again for the next couple of lessons. Yesterday we printed off the last 3 lessons...and the test. We have been working on this since January. We highlighted 2 of the lessons at school, so we only had 1 lesson to highlight and the test, 40 questions, to answer, and since it was 'open book' it would be no big deal. Then we could just go through and mark the answers on the computer.

I went to get my hair cut, help Lexie shop for a couple of things she needed, got home and had forgotten about Morgan and Lexie's basketball game. We were going to be late so decided not to go. Then Drew got off work and texted that she was just going to meet us there, so we decided to go. I figured I could just read and highlight while they played. Started highlighting and then my friend got there so we visited instead. Got home and still needed to get dinner, Tanners' homework done, and my CERT stuff done.

I got it all highlighted and started on the test. It wasn't too hard but not everything was phrased the same on the test as they were in the lessons. One question in particular could have had 2 answers because of the phrasing and I just couldn't figure it out. I searched and searched, and worked on it and worked on it and just couldn't find which was the right answer. Since I was tired and frustrated, and just tired of CERT, I started to cry and worry (weeping wailing and nashing of teeth) about what was I thinking. How could I go back to school if I was too stupid to do this test? Wynn talked me through it, told me I wasn't stupid and I would figure it out. I watched some Burn Notice (always cheers me up) and I eventually finished the rest of the test, late last night.

I only had to teach for one hour today so we spent the rest of the time answering the lesson questions then took the test. That question was still bothering me & she wasn't sure either. She answered one way & I answered the other. It still bothered me. She got them all right, 100%. I had gone back and changed my answer, so I got a 100% as well!!!

So now I know that I was so frustrated because in my subconscience I knew the other answer was right. If I will just listen to my gut, still small voice, or what ever you want to call it, I will do fine in school. There will still be frustration & feelings of being overwhelmed, but I will be fine.

And did I mention.... I GOT A 100%!!!!!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Shame on me and this is what I do

It's been a week-OK, and a day- since my last blog. Shame on me, I was doing so well! And I realized I've had a few blogs that I said, "I'll explain later" or "expound later" or something along those lines, and I never have. Shame on me again. I admit last week was crazy, I have had some long, late, grueling days at work lately, which with my job, I shouldn't be having. But with AmeriCorps, we're the 2 that get to do the extras. Which brings me to........

AmeriCorps. I said I would say what keeps me so busy, and at times, so stressed. So... What is it and what do they do? Think of the Peace Corp, only for literacy. Volunteer for 1-2 years (Aug-July) and get a living stipend for 10 months each year. You can do AmeriCorps for only 2 years in your life. At the end of each year, they give you an educational stipend. You can use it to pay off student loans or to go to school. At the end of 2 years I will have enough in the stipend I get for 1 year at USU. That is depending on what tuition is at that point! I'm in the middle of my 1st year. There are requirements, some are the same year to year, others are different. This year:
  • 900 hours for part time (me)--split between training, community service and direct service
  • Week of training in Ogden, which coincided with the first week of school here for my kids, so I drove back and forth
  • training--study groups once a month (sept, oct, nov, feb, mar, apr) about an assigned book. First book was a simple yet redundant skinny book about teaching phonics. Quick, easy read. This time it is a book with 300 some pages called Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber. First 10 chapters for Feb study group. Not bad but they also give us a book of questions to have answered, go to her website, visit her blog, sign up for her contests, and then start a scrapbook about our own wishes. I don't scrapbook. We also have to have CERT training. We had the choice to do the 20 hours on line and not be fully certified to be called out for disasters, or take the actual 7 week course and be certified to be called out. I opted for the online course! Plus we have individual 1 hour training with our leader 3 times a year, plus another week long training.
  • 50 hours of community service--25 that can fall in an 'easy circle' (I drove the girls for color guard practice and competitions) and 25 that have to fall in a hard circle. I did the kits and toys for CAPSA plus volunteered at a care center. We also had a MLK day 6-8 hour project with our study group that didn't count toward the 50 hours. We tied quilts for DI (the Humanitarian project) And we have a week long project in May for AmeriCorps week that we have to come up with. Doesn't count toward the 50.
  • List any service we do on a Presidential website. I have a lot of hours listed here. I was actually quite surprised. Of course everything you do counts here, including Church callings, taking dinner to a neighbor, etc.
  • Homeland security project and a literacy night project.
  • Direct service is what I do every day--I teach 2nd grade and kindergarten reading groups--5 hours every day. Being in AmeriCorps, we have the most at risk groups. It is sad to see them so far behind, but so great to see how far they come. Sad for those who don't really progress because of non-attendance or no help at home.
  • Report all dibels scores 3 times a year. Listed by child.
  • Any time anything extra needs done at school, we get to do it because we aren't on a time clock. And there is always something extra. I'm supposed to work from 8:30-1:30. There are times I don't get off anywhere from 3:30-6:00.

I had a wedding in November in the middle of all this as well. By Christmas I had wedding done, my 50 hours service done, Homeland Security done, Literacy night done, Presidential site up to date, had helped Colleen get most of hers done (she's going to college right now!). We are 1/2 through with our CERT course now. And yes, I'm planning on doing my 2nd year next year. #1-It pretty much guarantees me a job at this point. #2- the educational stipend.

Now I'm tired just listing it all. Think I'm going to go watch some NCIS until it's time to go to the rec center. Oops, maybe not. I have to take Morgan to her orthodontist appointment. And numerous other 'mom' things.

And I fell on the sidewalk this morning on the newly fallen snow, and think I broke my thumb.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Superbowl Sunday

It is Superbowl Sunday. We don't follow as closely as we used to, or even would like to. It just seems like there gets to be too many things going on as the kids have gotten older. But Gary & I were talking, during the game,about how when he was little and we were living in Star Valley, we would lie on the floor with a bowl of popcorn (he and I) and watch football on Saturday. I don't understand everything, but I would explain what I did understand. (As he got older he and his dad explain what I don't understand.) Maybe that's why he played football for a while in middle school and high school. Then we would watch with his dad and Grandpa on Sunday. Yes, on Sunday.

Today we had a full schedule. Because of various schedules, we do FHE on Sunday. That way we are all actually here. So for today, to get everything in, we did it this way.....
  • Got home from church at 2pm and changed clothes and made sure the DVR was set to record
  • Had FHE lesson
  • Fixed dinner so we could start watching the Superbowl. It was my turn to pick Sunday dinner and I had picked baked potatoes with chicken/veggie chili. It sounded like football food.
  • Watched until 5:45. Changed clothes. Gary went to his 6:00 mission prep class and the rest of us went to the 6:00 New Beginnings for YW. This is why we have the DVR, right?
  • Came home and finished watching the game with the FHE treat (cake and ice cream to look like the Hill Cumorah), little smokies, and crackers.
  • Got excited that the Arizona Cardinals might actually win. (except traitor Gary, he was rooting for the Steelers)
  • Got very sad that the Steelers won. They've won 6 Super Bowls. Would have been nice for Warner to get to win 1.

At least it was a good, close, lots of action game. We don't particularly care for the run away ones. Too boring. And I know some don't think we should be watching football on Sunday, but we got a new quote from Captain Stottelmeyer on Monk Friday....

"Even God took one day off from work. You notice it was Sunday? That was so he could watch football." That's our story and we're stickin to it!