2008 - 50th post (almost)

hi friends. this was supposed to be posted in 2008 as my last post of the year. instead it will be the first post of 2009. i was busy and not near the internet on the 31st; yesterday was a day of new wood floor (pictures coming soon) and shopping with mom, then i got sick last night. all day today i felt pretty crappy and did not blog. so here is a post almost just to post but i will try to fill you in on what would have been a well thought out reflection of 2008 and a good look ahead to 2009. 

2008- did it seem that this year just went by so fast? i am amazed at how fast things happened and flew by. we saw ups and downs of 2008 such that i have never experienced before in my life. i can say that God is good and i am learning to trust Him with everything i experience. the first part of the year was heartbreaking with the miscarriage of my first pregnancy, but God took care of us and is still teaching us His will in that situation. 

the summer was filled with new opportunities for me. i attended two training "seminars" to further help my teaching. one being a month long in june to help me teach writing in my subject and use it as a helpful tool in learning. i now have a new group of supportive teachers because of the writing project. july came with a mission trip to jamaica with 12 other people from our church and 20 or so more from california and new hampshire. i had a great time experiencing the jamaican culture and climate. i hope that i can continue to reflect on things i learned about myself and God's plan for those who are less fortunate than i and to always be available to help in whatever way God calls me to. 

school started again in august and i am working harder this year than i ever have. i currently teach four different classes, geography, world civilizations, academic decathlon, and sat/act prep, college prep classes. i enjoy teaching, but i hope to never teach this many preps again. 

october brought good news for me and pete because we found out i am pregnant! we announced it to friends and family in november and i told people at chs in december. so far everything is going great, i am now 17 wks along and my doctor is taking great care of us. i have been able to have an ultrasound every appointment so far. at our last appointment we found out that baby g is probably a little girl! this new part of our lives obviously takes up a lot of my thoughts but i am still working and doing whatever i can to remain "normal" but a lot is changing and it is great. i still fit in most of my pants of which i am grateful, at the same time, i can't wait to wear maternity clothes. 

God is teaching me more now about how to trust and live for His glory than ever. 

2009 - obviously thoughts of 2009 are filled with becoming new parents in june. i want to be able to work as long as i can, possibly until the end of the school year. pete and i have a new year's resolution (which i don't think is the right way to say it or if it is, then the new year has the resolution, not me) which is to read the Bible through this year. 

i would like you to be a part of my new year by praying for our health, especially for baby g. and praying for our walk with God to grow along with our friendships.  

thanks for reading, amy 

bella - one year, flew by so fast

our bella dog has been ours for one year now. we brought her home last thanksgiving (i am barely blogging about it now) when she was just a puppy and now she is one year old. i have some pictures of her from the puppy days to now. she's a lot scragglier now, but we love her. we are still trying to teach her not to jump on people but she is a lot calmer than she used to be. she's a good dog for me and pete. 

break time!

i am officially on Christmas break! our school gets two whole weeks this year and i am so excited. my break is quickly filling with parties and cleaning and school work, but i will make time to see friends who are in town and those who i see all the time. i have a long to do list, but most of it is my choice anyway. i hope you can find at least some days off to enjoy those close to you and remember God's choice to leave His place in heaven and come to earth for us. 

if you have any suggestions for a song i could sing with a few other girls at the Christmas eve service i would love to hear them (yes i am a bit behind but planning to tackle it saturday and sunday) i am thinking - o come o come Emmanuel, or what child is this? or something else, i don't really know. 

upcoming post = bella is one year old! 

camera is back!

finally i can blog about what i have wanted to. our camera broke and we recently got it back. so now you can see some pictures of our "new" kitchen. we got a new stove and a microwave! plus, now my mixer fits on the counter! woohoo

this is the before picture. right after we moved in (about 2 1/2 years ago):

and this is the after: (not much changed but it looks so much better)
our beautiful sink and it's friend crockpot
the red mixer finally has enough space on the counter! 
view from the living room. 
thank-you, come again

God is good

today at work i received the weekly devotion in my email. our school has a spiritual committee made up of local pastors (such as pastor terry) and a board member from the school. every week one of the pastors (tim) writes a devotion that is sent out to people (i don't know who all receives it) anyway, enough intro. this week the devotion is about God and how He is good no matter what situations we are going through. the verse he used was "ps. 107.1 - Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever." no matter what is happening in our lives we need to remember that God is good, He always has been and always will be. How has God been good in your life recently? Let me know. 

God has blessed pete and i financially and we were able to purchase a new stove and microwave (i know it is silly, but i am excited and our camera is broken so pictures coming when i remember to take one with my computer)

God reminds me of how blessed i am to know Him every day as i realize that i am no longer of the world! 

a person i once knew used to say: God is good and we would say: all the time

so as you go about your day, remember that- all the time, God is good. 

fun weekend

this post is to thank those who helped me have a great weekend. 

my weekend began after work on friday. i came home, played with bella, packed for my scrapbook extravaganza, and cooked a delicious empanada thing for pete and we ate it. i was then picked up by my mom and we were off to croptoberfest (craptoberfest as pete calls it). we stayed all night at a hotel with about 75 other people. i actually scrapbooked and finished my trip to italy (you need to see it those who care). my sister came too and we stayed up till 1:30am (my mom was actually the one we had to convince to go to bed.) the breakfast in the morning was great and then it was off to scrapbook some more. we had a great time full of snacks, prizes, and gifts - i will definitely make this a yearly or bi-yearly event. 

saturday evening we went to javiers for dinner with kaytee, and jesse came too. we heard the birthday song 3 times in one hour (lots of birthdays on the 8th i guess.) we later went to hang out with mat, noah, and mike, which was a surprise to them, and we played guitar hero/rockband, and hearts. jesse won, but i was a close second. 

sunday we had a great church service (go out and show God's love), cheese to the max for lunch, followed by laundry and a nap then dinner at lanie's with some pizza and friends. 

so thank-you to all who helped me have a good time, and thank-you to pete who let me scrapbook almost all weekend and next saturday too! you are the best (also shout out to the longboarders who helped keep pete happy while i was gone)

tagged? i changed the rules

okay, so i think i was tagged by melissa, but i didn't like her game so i found a new one on someone else's blog. here's how it works: 

go to your photos and click on the fourth file folder. in that folder you choose the fourth photo and tell about it. so i did that, and ...

it was the folder titled, amy and pete pictures. so i will tell you about it. this photo is from 2003 i think. i can't remember if it was before or after we were engaged. this photo is one of my favorites. little side note, my eyeshadow was a chillstick from marykay and i loved it (they don't make them anymore but they should), end side note. we were at pete's house just being silly, but it turned out to be a pretty good picture, thanks for reading. 

at this point in the game you "tag" four people. so i want to know what the fourth picture in your fourth file is: 

leah z
jen k
mat w (maybe it will help you blog, hint hint)
carrie w (yes you)

good day

teachers are great

this weekend is busy for me. it is the end of quarter one at school so we have to turn in our grades by monday. friday was a 1/2 day at school but i missed it because of a conference i presented at down at byu. so i have a lot of grading to get to today and tomorrow. the plus side, i had a great time at the conference. it was the utah council teachers of english annual conference and i presented because of the wasatch range writing project i participated in this summer. in order to attend the summer institute for free, i have to present my work twice this year to a group of teachers. the ucte conference was my first time presenting my "research" i won't tell you all about it on here, but you can ask me if you want to know what my presentation was about. overall, i did fine. about 20 people came to my session and they are all very nice. i enjoy talking to a group of teachers because we are all similar and everyone is very nice (even if it is just a front.) end note, english teachers seem to be more friendly than other content teachers; maybe because there are more women than social science teachers. either way i think all teachers are great. so to all you teachers out there, thanks. 

new toys

recently i have had a very busy schedule that is just starting to slow down. i have been to parties and weddings, and meetings. all good things too. i also spent a week home alone while pete was in china. 

we bought a new camera (see picture) so pete could take it with him and i use it now for everything else. 

the following pictures are of my other new toys. 

i went to a sensy party at sabrina's house and bought a large sensy and an outlet sensy with three scents.

the large helps my kitchen smell like good things and the outlet sensy is in my classroom and the students love it. 

thanks for letting me share my new toys with you. hopefully my posts will have more pictures in them because now i can take my camera in my purse wherever i go! have a great day. 

where am i?

i thought i would put a little geography quiz on my blog, since i am a geographer. look at this picture and tell me where it is. what city is it in and if you are really talented, the street or exit it is near? there are no clues other than what is in the picture so you will only know if you have driven near there. happy guessing...

field trip for science

i recently went on a field trip with the 9th grade science class. we went to the aquarium in salt lake (way out there at 106 S.) the pictures below are from the trip. there were a lot of cool fish and some scary ones too. so join me on a picture journey:

they have a fresh water and salt water area. the fresh water is about the water in utah
the frog was cute (bad picture, though)
i forgot what kind of fish these are (some sort of trout), but they were huddled in the corner just floating (i also used flash on this one, don't tell)
this toad was fat and lonely
the ocean area had two big coral tanks and a shark tank
this eel was building a house but he didn't make any progress because the moment he moved the little rocks out of his rock place he would drop them on the other side and they would fall back down into his place. it was sad to watch
these are tiger fish, very pretty, very poisonous
try to guess where the fish are in this picture...
that's right, they are the two ugly things in the corner (freaky huh?)
this fish was big and ugly but the black light made him look cool
the jelly fish changed colors as their light changed. 
this is a bad picture of the octopus but he was big and he moved a lot
next to the octopus is his friend the lobster, the biggest i have seen

the sea horse were fun. they held onto the kelp with their tails. 

the video of the shark tank didn't upload, sorry. the girls i was with really enjoyed being scared by the fish that would swim by.

the trip was fun. we also could touch the stingrays and starfish. i felt bad for the fish that lived there (i don't think it was close enough to their true habitat but that is another story for later i guess) overall i had a good time, but once is enough times to go there because it is so far away and we were late coming back so both my classes missed instruction time (which i am very covetous of). i think elementary students would benefit the most from the aquarium so take them there if you have them. end. 


every once in while my itunes asks me if i want to update, i usually say yes (out loud i say, "yes itunes, of course i want you to become a better version of yourself" wish someone would say that to me) anyway, the last update brought a whole new itunes to my computer. it displays my albums the same way i see them at the itunes store and it has a new feature called genius. genius will create a playlist based on a song of your choosing and use similar songs from your itunes. so far i have not been pleased with the genius feature - first of all, the genius sidebar displays songs similar to the song you are listening to that are available in the itunes store which would be great except it is very tempting to buy them! second, sometimes when i want to create a playlist a message pops up telling me it cannot create a playlist for this song! that has happened about 10 times, even for songs like johnny cash and such. however, today genius redeemed itself with a playlist so good i saved it. the playlist is centered around "a better way" - downhere which is maybe why it is so good. i think i am just in the right mood for all the songs on the playlist. there was only one song out of 25 that i did not want on the list! lesson learned, i think it will get better as more people use it, and i don't have to use it if i don't want to. finally, have a great day. 

Lord, help me truly see...

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16.11

i have been struggling lately with blogging because every time i think, "oh, that was a fun time, i should blog about that!" i end up realizing that yeah, it was fun but is it worth blogging? do people care? and yes i know many of you would say, "yes amy, we care about the little snippets of your life don't stop." but i say to you: 

i want my life to show something; not the fun little parties, not the annoying happenings at work, not even the weird things my dog does or how many times pete has been stung by bees this summer. those are all important and i value all the people who are involved, but i want what i say and write to be something that shows God to others.

i am challenged this year with teaching my students what a "christian worldview" is (which is another post entirely.) i want them to understand that as we study history we are studying God's plan to redeem us to Himself and the fact that history declares God's glory. how can i teach them those things if i often struggle remembering that myself. i want my life to declare God's glory (i know you would maybe comeback with an encouraging statement like, "oh but amy, it does most times." you are my friends and you want to help me feel better.) this is not a pity party of myself, but a realization that i am not deliberate enough in my love of God. 

i truly want to see God in my daily life. i want Him to be so alive that whatever i say and write on here will reflect that. i need to give up MY worldview for not just a christian worldview but for GOD's view. i want to live, speak, and see the world as He wants me to. i also pray you will find encouragement through my blog, more than it has been lately. love you all

blog on empty

hi my friends,

i have been trying to blog every week lately, but i am running on empty in the blog department. i do not have a good post for you yet. i already blogged about school and that has been consuming my life as of late so nothing new there. also i have realized that the more i change my status on facebook, the less i think of things to blog. i think i will start saving my status' and explain them in more detail on the blog. if there is something you want me to blog about, a topic or idea, let me know. until i blog again, thanks for reading.

nailed it!

okay, the first day of school is complete and i not only survived but i feel that it went very well overall. because this is now my third year (can you believe it) i think i have a better handle on the first days of school. i also think this year could possibly be the hardest yet and here's why:

i took two training/classes this summer which is awesome, but also shows me where i have weaknesses in my teaching practices and that is difficult for me to let pass by. (i can't do everything all at once)

i now have students that i have taught for three years now, and they think they have me all figured out so it is a challenge to continue to make things better and slightly unpredictable for them. (because i am completely predictable)

i am still a "newbie" but i feel like more is expected from me now, which is good but hard to live up to already.

more updates to come (especially those of a non-teaching nature) thank you for being my friends and reading about my life. hopefully we can talk face to face soon.

whatever you do, do to the glory of God

2008-2009 school year

i have many ideas in my head about the next school year, what type of teacher i will be, what i desire for my students and from my students, and the relationships i will form with my fellow teachers. all of those depend somewhat on me and partly on others. i was frustrated the other day with all my plans because i did not know how i would fit them in. i decided to take a break and read my Bible, which i am getting better at doing on a more regular basis. i am still reading through 2 timothy and i often forget where i was so i read the same passage more than once (can't hurt right.) it was in chapter 2 and 3 that i found my "motto" or reminder for the next year. 

2 TIMOTHY 2.22-3.17 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. 

Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

the first half has the verses i will focus on. i want to be a person of righteousness, faith, love, and peace; not quarrelsome, but kind, able to teach and patient to endure evil. i pray for wisdom in handling quarrels and knowing when to step away from ignorant controversies. hopefully ending with the Lord granting them repentance that leads to a knowledge of truth. 

please check this passage out and tell me what you think. what are your thoughts? i want to know. this was written to timothy and i feel right now i am in a position that could be similar (obviously no one will put me in prison right now for teaching but i do hope i can be bold and include the gospel in my teaching all the time.) please pray for me as the school year begins and tell me what i could pray about for you (really, tell me and i will try to pray for you). 

have a great day and remember that all scripture is God-breathed  

august 6th 1962

today is the official day of celebration of jamaican independence from the uk. i thought it would be appropriate to blog about our trip today as sort of a shout out to the jamaican people. (okay, i wasn't going to blog today but i check "this day in history" quite frequently and jamaica was on today because of their independence.) this post will by no means be everything i want to say or learned about jamaica, but it will be enough for you to get the idea. 

our trip was good, some of it great, some of it hard. i did not get too sick or too hot (too often anyway.) i enjoyed meeting the other people from new hampshire and california. i also enjoyed the place we stayed (it exceeded my expectations.) 

what we did: 

played with kids at an orphanage
some people painted (3x) 
some constructed a fence and some steps (go tom!)
we did two days of vbs twice each day 
played music for church and twice as a street ministry 
held a medical clinic almost everyday we were there (blood pressure, blood sugar, and vision)
pastor murray conducted a 3 day conference for pastors to come and learn more about ministering to their congregations. 

what i learned: 

jamaicans are very intense whether extra friendly or very cross - a lady at customs told me to, "(h)old de phone and stand over there" it was interesting only because sarah and i follow directions very literally - i'll tell you the rest later 

i was more flexible than i thought i would be - turns out, because of rain or darkness, we only did street music twice instead of five times. which i was fine with even though we had practiced quite a bit and brought a bunch of musical equipment down. 

i am not good at reading my Bible and praying no matter what country i am in - although i did pretty good in jamaica with doing it every day because that was one of my goals. how sincere or private it was is another story; there was nowhere to hide in that house. 

i saw more churches there than anywhere else - they were literally on every street. 
Protestant 62.5% (Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, Pentecostal 9.5%, Other Church of God 8.3%, Baptist 7.2%, New Testament Church of God 6.3%, Church of God in Jamaica 4.8%, Church of God of Prophecy 4.3%, Anglican 3.6%, other Christian 7.7%), Roman Catholic 2.6%, other or unspecified 14.2%, none 20.9%, (2001 census) - cia factbook
my lmh official dictionary of jamaican history said that jamaica has more churches per square mile than anywhere else in the world (also in the guinness book of world records)
i also read that someone wants to translate the Bible into their other language - patois! 

i enjoy missions trips, but they always make me feel bad for leaving and wishing that a full time missionary would go instead of us (42,000 is a lot of money)

i am not a risk taker person nor do i like to try new things like snorkeling - i did try new foods most of which i did not like (gnips yuck) 

that is enough for now - i will post more later. here are a few pictures from our trip:
captions to pictures - because the layout isn't working they are in order sorry it is confusing- 
1 house we stayed in, i got to shower almost every day 2 transportation while we were there 3 a couple of the girls i talked with the little puppet doll is named mary. the girl was so excited when i gave it to her 4 sunset at the beach, beautiful water too 5 strange bug we saw the first day. it is about 2 inches long "welcome to jamaica!" 6 jamaica is green everywhere 7 a place we ministered at called gravel ground - i think we were all affected by this place and the people 8 the baptist church we did church, vbs, construction, and medical 9 the kids like to take our picture with our camera (sarah eventually got hers back) it is a great picture 10 medical at open Bible the other church we did vbs at. the whole team did such a good job. 

now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. amen. jude 24 - 25


because i have taken the train to slc the past two days i have listened to music and done various things (like blogging - i am on my way to slc now) on the train. i like it, especially when it is not crowded. a song i came across is called changed by phil joel from his deliberate people cd. it is about how Jesus changes us and continues to change us. my favorite part comes near the end when he lists things that have changed in him because of Jesus. they are things i pray will change in my own life: 

You have changed the way i do everything

You have changed the way i wear my wedding ring

You have changed the way i treat my family

You have changed the way i see all my friends

You have changed the way i spend my time

You have changed the way i use my mind

You have changed the things i spend money on 

You have changed everything i ever thought was mine

You have changed my emotions

You have steadied me

You have changed my eyes and what i let them see 

You have changed the course of my history

thank God You're still changing me

the frontrunner is fine, if you're not late

today and tomorrow i am attending an economic training seminar in salt lake. the two day conference is free and i will receive professional development credits for it. the only thing i have to promise is to use it once in my classroom this year, no problem. because it is in salt lake i rode the train. i didn't want to ride with pete because he leaves too early. i was planning on being 30 minutes early leaving me plenty of time to get on trax and find my way around. well, that did not happen. i missed my first train because bella threw-up in her kennel last night. the second train was on time, but we had to wait for about 8 minutes in roy (i am not sure why). it is now 8:00 and we just passed bountiful. the conference starts at 8:30! i am not going to make it on time, story of my life. i enjoy the train because so far i have emailed the guy to tell him i am late, read an article on the country i am assigned to, checked my email, and blogged. if i had driven (which i should have, the traffic was fine) i would not have been able to do those things. good-bye for now, i hope your morning was a bit smoother than mine. i hope to blog about jamaica soon. 

viva las - utah!

i am back in the states and had a great time in jamaica. the picture is after 12 hours of travel time. there is a lot to process. i will be at church tomorrow (today) hope to see you there. happy birthday mom, your party will be fun. love you all and thanks for praying for us if you did. more to come, 


viva las - may pen!

hi from las vegas! just an update, we are doing great, only two more flights to go! pray that we have an awesome time and nothing gets lost. God is already teaching me things - like, it is good for me to write my thoughts. 

here is a picture of my "buddies" we keep each other from getting lost

love you all - more to come i hope

jamaica here we come!

the house is clean, laundry almost finished, dog fed, and the bags are packed. i finally found time to post as i wait for pete to come home. tonight i fly to jamaica for our mission trip! i am excited and nervous. for such a tiny island there is a lot to know about jamaica that i don't know. i would like you, as my friends, to pray for me and the team as we attempt to let go of ourselves and let God use us how He wills. a few things i am expecting and praying about:

i pray God will use me in a great way, and i will notice it.

i want to be a person of encouragement to my team, with no complaining.

i pray for a renewed awe of who God is and how great and mighty He is. 

i want to notice God's work in those around me (and tell them when i do)

i pray i will find time everyday to spend with just me and God.

those are a few things i am praying for and if you want to pray too that would be great. verses i chose to help me on this trip are:

philippians 2.3-4

galatians 5.13

thank you for your support in my life and i hope you have fun this week

love amy

evening in south weber

tonight i went to my parents house after Bible study because my grandparents were there and sarah thought i should be there (my grandparents are really funny sometimes, but only if you are in the same room.) the following pictures are a recap of the evening. my mom wanted to hang some lights on the patio; my dad did most of the work, my grandpa helped in his own way, and i, my grandma, and sarah took pictures (sometimes of each other).

this is my grandpa, climbing on the wrong side of the ladder! we yelled at him a bit. he was handing my dad a hammer

mario came and watched the process. i'm sure he was thinking, "how many people does it take to hang some lights?" he was also thinking, "that old guy keeps making noises at me"

for about 30 seconds, my grandpa made meow sounds at the cat. it was so funny because my brother does the same thing.

the finished lights, aren't they nice?

sarah, doing a crazy dance

also, i took a picture of a hummingbird on the front porch