Tuesday, October 28, 2008


A few years ago I wrote a small book called "Gifts From My Mother" about all the things I had learned from her. Recently I realized there were gifts given to me from my children, things they had taught me. Here are some of the things I learned from my kids:
Ben is my oldest and firstborn. As he grew, I felt like he was more like my brother than a son. He was wise even when he was very young. When he was about 5 years old I would run around a nearby track at the local University late at night, after dark with a friend.
Ben begged to go until I finally took him with me one night. Though I was focused on my task at hand (running a certain distance), to a 5 year old it must have been pretty scary, running into the blackness so late at night. Finally he said, "If you'll just hold my hand, I will keep up." What I learned: I should embroider this wise statement and hang it on the wall so I don't forget that even when a child is scared and feeling insecure, they just want you to hold their hand so they can keep up.
Before he could read or write, I decided to have him dictate something for his journal every night. When we began I asked him how he wanted to start his entries - Dear Diary or something else. He thought for a minute then said, "I think I will begin by saying, 'Dear Children'." What I learned: Even at that young age he had a sense of the eternal nature of life and that someday there might be posterity that will look to him for guidance.

My first daughter, Josie, has taught me much about "trying hard". While in college she went to the hospital with spinal meningitis. I talked to all her professors to find out what she needed to do to complete the two weeks of the Spring semester before returning in the fall. One professor, a professor in Medical terminology, told me not to expect her to return in the fall. She not only returned in the fall, she completed her Associates degree and continued her schooling to become a registered nurse.
Josie's first baby was born at 38 weeks, very premature. You could hold her in one hand. Josie has done many things to make life as good as possible for her daughter. Today she is thriving successful third grader.
My second daughter has taught me about having a zest for life. As a child, she would show enthusiasm about the most ordinary things such as, "I just lo-o-o-ve red jello!"
My third daughter taught me about perserverance. Just before her Freshman year in High School, she had an accident and ran a pitchfork through her knee. Some kids at school talked her into going out for the cross-country track team. She told me that when she ran her first race they had cleared away the finish line by the time she finished.
She stayed with the track team all 4 years in high school and even took third place in High Hurdles for the State in Spring track.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Blog

I decided to start a new BLOG as a place to put many of my teaching experiences during my 12 years as a public school teacher as well as other teaching experiences as a piano teacher and a mother. Besides my personal life is not that interesting and sometimes is nothing more than "I sat on the couch again today". It is called Teaching the Teacher with a web address of www.students teaching teachers. You may not be interested in reading it but it is a way for me to record my experiences and thoughts about teaching.

Monday, October 13, 2008

When our kid were little we looked ahead to their teenage years. We didn't want our teenagers spending Halloween as a night of vandalizing and other tricks. Even though Halloween is my least favorite holiday, we began a tradition of Halloween Parties at our house on Halloween night. Coming up with a creative invitation to relatives was always something I enjoyed. When Emily, my youngest daughter was born on October 26, one year I thought we were going to have to cancel the party but my mom offered to have a party at her house that year. We made a little round pumpkin with a bow on it to match Emily and the bow in her hair.

Everyone on both sides of the family supported the party, dressed up in costumes and brought a pumpkin and sharp knife for the pumpkin carving contest. Even Grandma and Grandpa Plant came one year dressed as Teddy Roosevelt and a WWI flying ace. Marilyn and Howard's family always came as clowns. One year Ben was popeye with muscles made with stuffed nylons. Josie had the perfect skinny legs for Olive Oyl and baby Emily was Sweet Pea wearing a long green nightgown that trailed behind her when she crawled. I think Sara, a toddler, was Miss America wearing a swimsuit and sash over her shoulder. We had lots of fun and made lots of memories. HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!

This weekend Grandpa Kern got out of the hospital and he and Grandma have been staying with us. They will leave to go to Marilyn's house today and then on to their own home in Colorado later this week. I have mostly been trying to make myself invisible but it is nice not to be the major sickness concern for a change. Understandably, this has been hard on Grandma Kern but she has taught me a lot about being a "try hard" person.

Monday, October 6, 2008

We have been busy with taking care of Grandpa and Grandma Kern . Grandpa is in the hospital again and Grandma is staying with us. His stomache cancer has spread to other parts of his body so now it is mostly a waiting game. The doctor said 6 months was his best prognosis. Grandpa can't have any more chemotherapy or radiation. He is well into his 80's and everyone has to get out of this world some way. No matter how much you think you are prepared, it is still hard. Everyone is most worriied about Grandma living alone now. It is kind of a day by day situation now.
We enjoyed watching the LDS General Conference this weekend on TV. As usual, all the talks were so timely. It was fun to hear our son, Ben call last night. It was interesting to hear him and his Dad have a good conversation about their favorite talks.
We are hoping to go to the cabin in Island Park at least one more time before winter sets in, peobably for Emily's birthday at the end of October. It is already getting cold in Rexburg though fall leaves are still in their splendor.
I have just about finished recording all the journal entries from past calenders. It has been an enjoyable journey into the past. I bought a new saying to put on my wall. Reading all your blogs reminds me of it. So here's the saying for the day:
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain." Happy dancing!