Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2nd Place Winner!

At my school we have a long-standing tradition of decorating the main hall with trees for the 2 weeks or so before Christmas break. Each club and organization is invited to put up a tree, and then there is a contest and the winner is announced at the Holiday assembly on the last day of school before the break.

Last year the RAIN club decided they wanted to do a tree, and so they proceeded to make plans and collect supplies.

One of the girls donated a tree. Another bought colored icicles. Others donated old ornaments from home, and I donated colored paper for paper snowflakes. They then spray-painted and decorated the tree by color, from red at the top down to purple at the bottom. It was awesome.

The girls had some rainbow candy sticks for club treats while they worked on it. Several of us thought the candy would look great on the tree, but the student who brought it was afraid that it would get stolen off the tree.

So what if it does, I said. Let's put messages of equality on the candy sticks, and that way when students steal them, they get a message to go with it!

So that's what we did. We also made ornaments out of colored cardstock with the same quotes on them.

It looked awesome!

At the assembly, ever tree got its own individual award. There were probably 20 trees or more. Ours was deemed "The most colorful" but also took second place.

They used pretty much the same tree this year (except the candy sticks were gone) and won second place again with a different group of student judges.

Here are the quotes I found for the tree, in case you are interested:

Human beings seldom step outside of themselves to really grasp the needs and fears of others. We often project our own thoughts and beliefs upon strangers, and make judgments based upon how we think they 'should' be living their lives. If only we could experience a few moments inside the feelings of another person, the world would be a much more compassionate and benevolent place.
— Chelle Thompson, Editor of Inspiration Line

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
— Mother Teresa

We will never know the difference that can be made in our life and the lives of strangers unless we choose to be open to all possibilities.
— Chelle Thompson, Editor of Inspiration Line

The highest result of education is tolerance.
— Helen Keller

The greatest and noblest pleasure which we have in this world is to discover new truths, and the next is to shake off old prejudices.
— Frederick II, the Great

I think we have to own the fears that we have of each other, and then, in some practical way, some daily way, figure out how to see people differently than the way we were brought up to.
— Alice Walker

Man is always inclined to be intolerant towards the thing, or person, he hasn't taken the time adequately to understand.
— Robert R. Brown

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try to understand each other, we may even become friends.
— Maya Angelou ("Passports to Understanding")

How do we create a harmonious society out of so many kinds of people? The key is tolerance, the one value that is indispensable in creating community.
— Barbara Jordan

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.
— H. Jackson Brown

Until you have learned to be tolerant with those who do not always agree with you; until you have cultivated the habit of saying some kind word of those whom you do not admire; until you have formed the habit of looking for the good instead of the bad there is in others, you will be neither successful nor happy.
— Napoleon Hill

Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up.
— Jesse Jackson

The goal of compassion is not to care because someone is like us but to care because they are themselves.
— Mary Lou Randour

Oppression involves a failure of the imagination: the failure to imagine the full humanity of other human beings.
— Margaret Atwood

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
— Albert Schweitzer

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.
— Mother Teresa

We are not fighting for integration nor are we fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as human beings.
— Malcom X

It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.
— Harvey Milk

All men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words.
— Harvey Milk

Monday, November 1, 2010


I could choose to be miserable.

Somehow, instead, I am choosing to be happy and to enjoy my blessings. Not sure how I am even able to make this choice, must be many prayers in my behalf.

I'm sure it is also that when Noah is happy, he is more helpful and kind, and it makes it easier for us all to be happy.

So rather than think of it as losing a husband, I prefer to think of it as gaining someone to help with the honey-do list.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dragon Training

We recently re-watched the movie "How to train your dragon." I was very impressed with it when we first saw it in the theater, and I was not disappointed watching it again. It follows the same storyline as many great movies and books--conflict and rejection that requires sacrifice but ends in peaceful resolution.

Let's look at the details:

1. Father rejects and is ashamed of son.

2. Vikings fight dragons because they think they are bad, but they really just don't understand them. Stories are told of the dragons, stories told as though absolute truth, but Hiccup discovers that the stories are not true at all, and that the dragons are feared because they are misunderstood.

3. The young generation stands up for what they discover is right, acting with much courage to change tradition. Risk and sacrifice are involved in finally helping the older generation to understand, and years of fighting and fear end up in peace and joy for both the vikings and the dragons.

But for me, the story is not just about Vikings and dragons. There is much more to it than that, a message of hope in youth and in the future.

So, here's to hoping that the new generation will change tradition and bring understanding and peace. Here's to my brave LGBT students. Here's to my loving and accepting children. Here's to hope of a beautiful future and the courage to fight the battle that will get us there!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This week one of the RAIN club officers texted me to apologize for forgetting to come by my classroom and get some permission forms that she had asked me to copy for her. She said she was distracted by her girlfriend presenting her with flowers right after her last class that day.

I told her it was no problem, and then commented that no one brings me flowers any more. :( (In Noah's defense, I am allergic, so although I LOVE flowers, having them in the house tends to make me sneeze.)

This morning she came to my classroom with one long-stemmed red rose for me. A friend of hers (and former student of mine) was already in my classroom getting help from me with his math assignment from a different teacher.  This kid has been like a therapist for the last couple of years, and always insists that I tell him how my life is going. He commented that I should notice that the rose was "single." It had a very thick stem, so I commented back that it was also strong. One single, strong and beautiful rose.

I love my job!

...and my kids...

...the ones at my house as well as the hundreds that have come and gone from my classroom over the past decade. I am very blessed with angels in my life.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I recently saw the stake president at my church meetings. He greeted and chatted with me, then mentioned that he had called my father-in-law a few weeks ago.

So I asked Noah's dad about it this past weekend, and he said that the phone call was to forewarn him that they may need to call Noah to a disciplinary court.

For what, I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure I've never heard of a court being held for "word of wisdom." There are no morality/chastity issues....not yet, anyway. Does looking for a boyfriend count?

I guess it could be apostasy...

I couldn't sleep well that night.

When I mentioned it to Noah the next day, he became very frustrated. "I was thinking of resigning my church membership anyway. I guess now is the time." Then he settled into a bout of depression that lasted over the weekend.

I wish he was still taking his antidepressants. He claims he is fine without them, but I'm getting tired of this roller coaster...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The List

When I was in the LDS Young Womens program as a teenager, I'm pretty sure that I made a list of what I wanted in a future husband so that I could keep certain qualities in mind as I began to date and seek for that special someone to be with forever.

Now, I have begun mulling over a new list just in case I ever decide to seek for a new relationship in my life.  Here is what I have so far, in order of importance.

1.  Straight
2.  Completely and totally in favor of gay rights, including gay marriage, and okay with me being a gay-rights advocate.
3.  LDS would be good, or if not, LDS background with testimony, and if not, then Christian background with strong faith in God and Christ.
4.  Likes to cook.  Not sure I can live without this one.
5.  Good with kids.
6.  Likes yard work.
7.  Organized and motivated to keep things organized and working.
8.  Okay if he likes sports, but NOT a sports fanatic.
9.  Handy man with regards to computers and other household basics.
10. Good, stable employment, including benefits and retirement plan would be nice.

Hmm, I'm sure I could go on, but this is enough for now. I doubt this will be an easy search.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I recently watched "Evan Almighty" with the kids. What a great film. I loved the ending message. Life is about ARK: Acts of Random Kindness.

Just thought it was appropriate to this blog, and wanted to share.

Thanks to all of you for the kindness you show to me. It means a lot!