Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We still have another hour to go here before the real deal, but I wanted to take and minute and wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving day. No matter what our lot in life, we can always find something, if even only one thing, to be thankful for. We need to remember to find those things and express our gratitude for them - whether to the people in our lives or to our Heavenly Father, or both.

I am incredibly grateful for all the blessings I have in my life and I forget to express that gratitude often enough. Here's just a few of the things I'm thankful for today:

My family - we have our struggles, but I am so lucky to be surrounded by the incredible spirits of my husband and 4 children. They support me, love me, stretch me, help me to grow, amaze me, surprise me, teach me, and everything in between.

My extended family - I am lucky to not only have incredible parents and siblings, but to have incredible in-laws as well. It's an awesome feeling to know that I have many people there to support and help me in any way they possibly can, not just if I need them, but because they want to.

My friends - I have so many, and I am especially thankful for the gals I student teach with. There are 7 of us that are working at the same elementary school this semester and we all car pool together. They are pillars of support and love to me -and I'm not even sure they know how much they do for me. I hope that I can be that for them in return. We're all under a ton of stress and it's just nice to have each other - to vent to, to laugh with, to talk to, to get advise from, just to be surrounded by other that "get it" because they are there, too.

My cooperating teacher - she is amazing and I'm learning so much from her. We've become such good friends in a short amount of time. I'm so glad that I go to a church school and that the faculty prays and uses inspiration when making our student teaching placements. I don't think they could have matched me up with a better teacher. We just get along and she "gets it", too. She knows I'm stressed, I know she's stressed and we both work to help the other.

Living in Hawaii - This has been a theme to my day today. At my elementary school instead of having the traditional Turkey Trot they decided to hold Makahiki games. It was SO MUCH FUN! I played a lot of the games with the kids and we all had a great time. AND my Thanksgiving turkey is, as I type, roasting away in an imu (an underground oven, pronounced like the bird, ee-moo) here on campus. How cool is that? I so can't wait to eat it. I was a little intimidated by the whole process, just because I didn't know what I was doing. Not that it's a hard process, I didn't have anything to do with the actual imu - just my turkey. But I didn't know how to prepare it. Turns out just just need foil - lots and lots of foil. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Black Friday Sales - Cameron and I have really gotten into Black Friday in the past, but since moving to Hawaii we haven't done the whole early morning thing since it's all an hour or more away. But this year we've got our eyes on a few prize buys, so wish us luck. Cameron's looking to get a new laptop (I think he's jealous of my new beauty, well and his is old and pretty much sucks) and I want the Cricut Expressions with is under $200 on Friday! That's like 1/2 price! I totally missed out on a Cricut sale in October - an educators special that was too good to be true and I was totally bummed. But this is even better! I can't wait.

4 day weekends - well, aren't we all. But I have a lot of homework and assignments and various stuff that I need to get done in pretty much every venue of my life - home, school, business, spiritual, I could probably go on, but I do only have 4 days! But I'm determined to get as much done as I can. There's only 3 weeks of school left this semester and I have to get everything done so I can start my full-time student teaching in January (which is super exciting and super scary all at the same time).

Big Ideas - I'm still in they very beginning stages of my charter school plans and things are already taking a different twist than I had envisioned, but the dream is still alive and well. In fact we just printed up a few business cards to take our networking up to the next level. I'm just grateful that I live in a country that allows us the freedoms to take control of our dreams and make them a reality - the sky's the limit.

There's more that I could add to my list, but I think I'll end it there for now. Maybe 2010 will be the year of gratitude - it would be fun to list all the things I'm thankful for for a whole year. Hmmm, something to think about whilst I'm drifting off to sleep tonight. Mmmmm sleep, I think I'd better get to sleep, I have a lot to do in the next couple of days!

Happy Thanksgiving!!
PS - my spellcheck is being stubborn and refuses to work and I'm too tired to go back and read it all again, so I hope there's not to many typos:)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's the Big Idea?

Well I have a minute (or two) and thought that I would hurry and let all of you know about the crazy and exciting week last week. It's kind of a loooooong story, so settle in and get comfy if you're going to read it all.
Seriously - I'm not joking.

Don't worry, I'll wait...

OK. Now, where to begin. I guess it all started when BYU-Hawaii announced this:

They asked every students to come up with a Big Idea - something that they could do to "go forth to serve" using their education at BYUH. Now I don't know about the rest of the university, but the School of Ed students were none too thrilled about this. Honestly, it was just one more thing to add to our already overflowing plate. (Now if there was actual food on this plate.....oh, sorry, back to the story.) Anyway everyone was up in a tiff about the whole thing, mostly because we were being required to attend this conference and it was a 2 day affair. Even the faculty at the School of Ed weren't too thrilled about that. But we decided that being a part of the University, the School of Ed was going to support the conference as best we could and show that we really were the best of the best on campus. I know that not everyone ended up with that attitude, but I thought it was a good one. So in that light, we were all to come up with this Big Idea to be handed in to the School of Ed. I thought long and hard about this and came up with an idea that I REALLY liked - it had real potential. I totally got hooked on my idea. I was supposed to hand in a paragraph describing my idea - I ended up with 3 pages! Well, I didn't hand that much in, I condensed it down the best I could, it was still a page long. So then the next step was that all those ideas (about 150 from the School of Ed, out of 600 campus wide) were whittled down to 30. Those 30 were asked to make a poster to be displayed at the conference, for our peers in the School of Ed to look at, hear about, and judge. Now mind you, those of us that were in that 30 did not know until Tuesday and we had to be ready for the conference on Thursday - not a whole lot of time. But I love the way my poster came out - which reminds me, I need to go rescue it from Dr. Mitchell's office before he throws them in the dumpster.

So, I guess there's no point not telling you my idea now. It was to open a charter elementary school here on the North Shore of Oahu. Like a said before, I really got into the idea. I still am - it's really the only way that we can stay here in Hawaii after I graduate (which is in June). If I want a job in Hawaii, I need to create a job in Hawaii.

So back to the posters. The students in the School of Ed went around and listened to 22 two minute presentations and looked at our posters. As they did this they were to rank the ideas - this idea I don't think many students actually got, but it was still nice to tell them about my idea and get a little feedback about it.

There were other aspects of the conference on Thursday, but this pretty much dominated my day. And then that night I got a call saying that my idea was chosen from the School of Ed to be presented at the conference on Friday! So exciting, and so ..... I don't know what. But I was definitely excited. However, I had to present my idea to the WHOLE UNIVERSITY! Including members of the President's Leadership Council (read VERY rich and generous donors). Just a little nerve racking - and I only had 2 minutes to present. All in all there were 13 students chosen to present in this part of the conference - 3 from each College (well, 4 from the Business College). From the College of Human Development there was one of us from each of the 3 schools in the college (the other two schools are social work and TESOL - teaching English to speakers of other languages).
Here I am presenting - the pic is a little blurry, sorry, Cameron was a little excited, too I think:

So that's most of the story. My presentation went really well, I was complemented by many very important people. One of which approached me and said that he would like to help me out (with the school). I replied that that would be great, but that I didn't exactly know what I would need yet. To which he replied, "That's fine. Whatever you need, we'll take care of it. Do you know how to get a hold of me?" SERIOUSLY?!? I just about passed out on the spot! We conversed for another quick minute - we were being smoothed by the entire school exiting the building and I think he wanted to catch up to someone else, too. And I had a small line of friends trying to wait patiently to congratulate me.

All in all - an excellent couple of days if I do say so myself! It's really hard not to let it completely take over my life since it's just about ALL I can think about. I have to keep reminding myself that I have to graduate so that I can work at my school when I'm done!

Oh, and I got written up in the school paper - just a couple of lines about my ideas, but you can read the article here if you want to.

Sooo, some of you may wonder if I'm really going to do this. Well I am! At least we're going to try. It's kind of a long and complicated process in Hawaii, but we REALLY need something in the education system to change here. It's out of control, in a bad, bad way. I won't start ranting here, but if you ever want to discuss it, please feel free to write me. I'm always up for a good educational discussion.

Oh, and I formed a group on Facebook if you'd like to join and find out more. There's not really anything there are the moment, but I hope to be adding to it soon. Any questions, comments, advise, or anything else you want to share, please do! You can do it on facebook, or here in the comments, or send me an email at

OK, I'm sure that I've taken up more than enough of your day if you've made it this far. Like I said, things are crazy, but fun.

Monday, November 9, 2009


There is SOOOOOO much going on here that I can't even begin to write about it tonight. I need to catch up on my school work that I've been slacking on - because of everything else going on. So crazy, and fun... and just plain crazy. I promise to fill you all in very soon. In the mean time I need to share my gratitude for 2 things today:

1. I'm thankful that the keyboard gods have listened to and answered my prayers! Juliana poured Crystal Light on my laptop keyboard on Friday night and the keyboard seemed to be totally fried. But after much pleading and praying and faith (you think I'm kidding, I'm SO not) it seems to be in working order today. Hip-hip-hooray! I've only had the laptop since Sept, I was freaking out a little on the inside. There's a few minor key glitches, but nothing I can't totally live with and besides that I'm totally confident (see me exercising my faith) that they will eventually go away.

2. I am thankful for headphones. So I can rock out to Hannah Montana after the kids are in bed without bothering the whole neighborhood. Hey - a woman's got to stay away some how. And seriously, I don't think it's possible to sit still, let alone sleep, through Hoedown Throwdown. You know you love it - just admit it already!

Boom, boom, clap. Boom-dee-clap-dee-clap

Now if I could just make it through The Climb without tearing up. Seriously one of my all time favorite songs. I can't imagine a point in anyone's life where this song is not somehow applicable. OK, now I have to go find it on YouTube so that you can all enjoy it, because as impossible as it seems to me, I'm sure that there are some of you that have NEVER heard the song. Hold on.....

OK, here it is. This is the official video, which I don't actually care for too much, but the other videos were live performances and the song quality was just not as good.

Alright. I've officially wasted too much time on this blog post! Back to work with me.

(PS - if you get this through email and want to see the video click here to see it on my blog)