Sunday, April 27, 2008


Yesterday my parents and my brother and sister-in-law came to Tucson. They, as well as my sisters and brother-in-law and I went to the zoo. It was fun. Many of the animals were awake and actually moving, which was cool. I felt bad for the lion, though. He looked too skinny to me. But then we found a sign explaining that he's old, so I guess that's why he was the way he was. After the zoo we went out for dinner - it was delicious and very fattening, I think. Yummm!

Have a good week!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

This is Why I Go to Work Everyday

I just wanted to post quickly about a great experience I had today. I am a teacher - well, more like a glorified tutor. Today the other teacher brought me the phone. When I answered, the mother of one of my students was on the phone. She said, "Hi, Jamie. I got Daughter's report card today," and I thought, 'Oh no! What's wrong with it?' I prepared to explain to her that our report cards are different than those from traditional schools, but then she continued. "Daughter has never gotten such good grades. She's never been that kind of a student. You and Case Manager have helped her so much. You really have. She has discovered that she loves learning and that's because of you and Case Manager. You both mean so much to her." And on and on. This particular student is one of my favorites. She's almost always bright and cheerful. She's kind and friendly to all of the students. She's energetic and participates in whatever we ask her to. I explained to Mother that her daughter is great and we enjoy her. She told me that she had told someone at work about Daughter's grades, and the person bought flowers for Daughter. Then she said, "She should probably give them to you and Case Manager, though, because it's due to you both that she's doing so well." She told me that she doesn't think people get thanked enough, and she just wanted to be sure that we knew she appreciates us.

I'm sorry I went on and on about that, but I wrote it down more for myself than for you. It's more so I can remember it. And I'm not trying to boast. I'm not that great, and it's not because of me that Daughter is doing so well. She's a good kid, and she's teaching herself. It's like I said, I'm more like a tutor who has her own class. The school is self-paced, so my students work on their subjects on their own. I just help them when they have questions.

It was just such a nice gesture of the mom. I love my kids. I think they love me. However, work can be pretty stressful. Usually, I just see what I do wrong. I feel like the absent-minded professor. I'm always misplacing things on my desk, I'm NEVER caught up with grading, there are more kids who need help than I have time to get to in a day, etc. The kids can get pretty frustrated when I make them re-do work that isn't up to my standards. So, it's nice to feel like something has gone right, for a change. I almost started crying after I got off the phone, but I was in class. Fortunately, my attention was pulled to something else pretty quickly.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Tonight one of my cousins called me. It was so nice to hear from him because we haven't talked for at least a year, I think. He's about a year younger than I, and I only got to know him when I went to school up at BYU-I after my mission. He has two older sisters, and, while growing up, I always played with the girls, and the boys always . . . well, I don't' know what they did because we were pretty segregated.

Anyway, the summer after my mission, while living with my grandparents, I got to know my cousin a little. He and one of his friends and I went to a couple of activities together. I'm glad to have him as a friend. I'm still not feeling very well, so it was a little tender mercy that he called me tonight, I think. As far as I know, he doesn't even know about what's going on with me, unless my grandma has told him. I didn't even tell him how I've been feeling lately. It was just nice to catch up a little. Hopefully I'll be able to see him this summer.

It's like my roommate just told me - Heavenly Father really is always watching over us, even (and probably especially) during the hard times.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Do you ever feel like you've figured something out, or like you're managing life well, and then you have to face a very rude awakening - hello, silly person, you haven't figured it out, it's not over yet, you still have to deal with it. Ugghh! How depressing!

That's what I'm being reminded of right now, and it really stinks. It stinks to be in a hole you can't ever quite crawl out of. I feel like I have slowly been climbing up the inside of a deep, dark hole for several months now. I was getting close to the top. I couldn't quite climb out, but I was close enough to the top to feel the warmth of the sun; maybe I even had my head above-ground and could see and smell and almost touch the beautiful world and life outside the hole. And you know what, I thought I could deal with life from that vantage point if that's my lot. Well, all those months of hard work, and I've been pushed back down. I don't think I'm quite as deep down as I was before, but I'm definitely down a ways.

Forgive me for being negative and depressing, but sympathize with me for a moment. I know I need to be patient and wait - maybe something wonderful is just around the corner - maybe I will be rescued and get to leave the hole for good someday. And even if I have to stay in the hole for the rest of my life, I can appreciate the glimpses of life outside of it. I just have to talk myself into climbing to the top, no matter how many times I fall or get pushed back down it. And, if I never make it out in this life, but I do my best to climb out until the end of my life, how much more wonderful and beautiful will the next life be when there are no more holes for me to fall down or pushed into.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

5 Things I'm Grateful For

A guy being impressed by my swing (big band) moves.

One of my students giving me the peace sign instead of sitting down, like I asked him to.

Spending part of my weekend with one of my closest friends (which included working on a jigsaw puzzle with her grandma).

Eating delicious Belgian waffles.

The Savior's love.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

O Frabjous Day!

Callooh! Callay! She chortled in her joy. The elusive camera has been found! One of my roommates, who I have decided really reminds me of Jane Bennet, so I will call her that, I think, found it. Jane is incredibly charitable and made my bed this afternoon. While she was making my bad, I was busy searching for the missing camera. She didn't know what I was up to, but suddenly turned around with my camera in hand. Apparently it was trying to hide between my bed and the wall, but it couldn't escape Jane's eye. Thanks Jane!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

General Conference

Wasn't General Conference wonderful this weekend? Not that it's ever not wonderful, but anyway. I have to admit that I had a really hard time staying awake this time. I think I missed at least one or two talks each session. I was super tired. I tried to get a decent night's rest Friday, but I had a lot of dreams. They were all very detailed, or involved, or something, so when I woke up Saturday morning I didn't really feel rested.

Besides my lack of alertness, I still enjoyed Conference, especially the last session today. My favorite talks were those by Pres. Monson and Elder Ballard. Elder Ballard mostly addressed mothers and talked about how much they deal with and how to keep going and to fulfill that role. It was a great talk, especially because I think there are a lot of people who down-play how demanding it is to be a mother. Not that I know that much about it, but it seems like a pretty intense, draining responsibility to me. I'm not diminishing the role of a father, but I appreciated Elder Ballard's words. I think his words were totally valid, and if I ever get to be a mom I'll probably want to refer back to them.

I especially enjoyed Pres. Monson's words at the conclusion of Conference. I struggled to gain a testimony that he is the prophet, but the Lord blessed me with an answer to my prayers a little while back, so it was wonderful to see him speak this weekend with the conviction that I have of him. I know that he is the Lord's prophet on the earth today. I know it because the Spirit spoke to my heart. When Pres. Monson spoke this afternoon, I was really touched when he told us he loves he. Then he said, "I pray for you. Please pray for me." My roommate and I talked about that tonight. He sounded so humble when he spoke. I love the prophet, and I am excited to love him more and to follow his counsel in the coming months and years.


Yesterday, while shopping with my sister and brother-in-law, my sister and I decided to go hot tubbing at my place while my brother-in-law was at the priesthood session of General Conference. Once we got to my apartment complex, we changed into our suits and headed to the pool area. However, there was some sort of party going on when we got there. We didn't feel like intruding, so we returned to the apartment. One of us came up with the idea of using the bathtub, which is what we did, as you can see. It was a lot of fun. We weren't sure if we would fit very well, but we did alright. My only regret is that my roommate didn't join us. I'm sure we could have made room.
At any rate, she agreed to take pictures for us, so that I could put some on here. Speaking of pictures, my camera is missing, so if any of you happen to notice a bulky blue sock somewhere, it's my camera in disguise. Return it, and you will receive a reward, which will remain unnamed for the time being.
Back to bathtubbing. It was fun. I highly recommend it. If I had access to any of my naked child bath pictures, I would have posted them with these, but I don't. Sorry.