I'm definitely grateful for my experience in the schools. I understand the system so much better now. I'm sure I'll be very grateful for that knowledge when our kids go through, especially if any of them are in need of Special Education services. I also have a much greater respect and admiration for teachers. They get put through the ringer and they keep coming back year after year. Hearts of gold. Plus they have the most AMAZING skills. I've seen teachers work wonders as they command classes of 26 first graders. They make it look so easy. I never have more than 4 at a time, and even then, I'm struggling. It's just amazing to me that these highly trained and skilled professionals who are shaping the next generation, are getting paid the way they do. It doesn't make any sense to me. One thing is for sure, no one goes into Education for the paycheck so you're weeding it down to those who are truly in it for 'the good of the children'. Once again, hearts of gold. Unfortunately, I'm realizing my heart isn't as pure as I hoped, and I'm okay with that. We'll leave the careers of selfless service to those who do it best. Trying to force that selflessness, just make people unsatisfied with their jobs. Case in point.
On Thanksgiving morning, Dan and I played in a church Turkey Bowl. Fun stuff! Hopefully the Elders quorum isn't tired of me showing up to all their sporting activities. I kinda get a kick out of being the only girl playing football with 30 guys, especially when I can add an interception, tackle (I was going for the flag, but I ended up tackling him instead), and a touchdown. I'm sure that has something to do with the fact that they don't guard me as tight at the begining. Once they realize I can actually play, they start laying on the defense a little tighter. At times, it was to the point where I was really getting hammered. I loved it!
On Saturday we spent part of the day out in the hot AZ sun watching my nephew Smith play flag football. Okay, I need to brag a little bit. His team is awesome! A few weeks ago they won a regional tournament (included Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, etc.) and this weekend his team is playing in a national tournament in Florida all expenses paid by the AZ Cardinals. I think they are at Disney World today and then they play all day tomorrow. What a cool experience for a 10 year old. I'm so glad we got the chance to watch him play while we were there.
Brimley is asking Santa for a trip to Oregon next summer to see her favorite Aunt and Uncle. I sure hope she was a good girl this year! We could probably pass that one off as my Christmas gift this year, love that girl!
The city puts on several of these type of events during the year. Examples include: a Christmas parade, the UFO Festival, Farmers Markets, Turkey Rama, Art Walks, etc. The whole city shows up, which creates an incredible sense of community. Plus, with a population of only 30,000, you're bound to see familiar faces. We ran into several of my students (which makes me feel like a celebrity), ward members, Dan's HS friends, work friends, and family (not only Dan's parents and 3 siblings (+ families) live here, but also several Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins - it's a really good thing they're all great people). The Olson Family - gotta love the mullet. Rex (the one on the right), Dan's cousin's kid.A random kid with an awesome costume.
This small town stuff is still pretty new and exciting to me. Hopefully in 15 years, I'll still be eager to head downtown to enjoy whatever festivities they have to offer.