Saturday, November 21, 2009

No More a Teacher

Nothing gets me back to blogging like a major change in our lives. Brad is going to be leaving his teaching job at the beginning of January. He has taken a new job in Salt Lake at the Utah State Office of Education. He will be the state science assessment specialist. This decision has been a very difficult one. It is very hard for Brad to leave his class in the middle of the year. It is not a pay raise but for the first little while it is actually a decrease in pay. Brad will no longer have 3 months off in the summer or long Christmas breaks. He will have to commute to Salt Lake since we have no desire to move closer to this new job. So, why take this new job? Because this is the job that Brad wanted when he got his master's degree a few years ago. He has worked with the guy who had the job and loves being involved in making sure that testing is serving the purpose of seeing what a student knows not just what the student can guess by elimination. When Brad was deciding what to get a master's in and evaluating what he would do with a master's degree, he felt that besides the pay raise he would be most interested in this particular job at the State level. This job became available at a good time in our lives. Brad still has a lot of time left before retirement that he can devote to this job. He has completely enjoyed teaching but feels ready to move on. And mostly, after much prayer, this really was the right thing to do. Eventually the pay will not only improve, but will be better than what he would ever make as a teacher. It is just hard to imagine Brad doing anything other than teaching Physics at Pleasant Grove High School. Maybe someday I will adjust.
Since I am finally updating, I will give a run down on the rest of the family. I was called to be the Relief Society President in September. This has been a hard change for me. I loved working with the young women and I still miss that calling terribly. I do admit that I enjoy not having to plan an activity every week but I love the girls and miss being with them. Relief Society President is not a bad calling. I am loving the opportunity to get out and meet people I don't know. I have found that with this calling comes a great love for each of the sisters in our ward. And I have had some wonderfully spiritual experiences that let me know that Heavenly Father is helping me with this calling.
Laura has made many committments about college. She is going to go to Utah State University in Logan, Utah. She has already received a scholarship for half tuition which is really cool. She has two friends who will be going there also and she is already signed up for an apartment with them. It is crazy to think that she is going to be moving and living on her own. It is a good thing that I still have most of a year before this happens. I will miss having her around.
Joseph is turning 16 this next weekend. He is excited and is working on getting enough driving hours to get his license. He still has plenty of hours left to go but hopes to go to Payson a lot over Thanksgiving weekend because we have told him he can drive and that will give him hours more quickly than our little trips around town. Joseph has also been able to attend every BYU home game this year by selling programs with a school club. He has been able to go for free and has loved being where the action is.
Heather is also having a birthday next weekend and is turning 14. She just finished her second school play and is already anxious for spring and the next play. She really loves being involved in drama and doesn't mind the time committment that is involved. It is fun to see her finding something that excites her and allows her to shine.
Nathaniel is just a busy 5th grader who spent all of September and October getting to school half an hour early in order to put up the flag each day. When it finally turned colder I was able to convince him that he didn't need to do the flag every day and that other kids might like a turn also. He agreed and I am happy that he is not standing outside so long in the cold.
For an update on Kent check out his blog. His killing chickens story is absolutely gross!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Finally a New Post

Yes, I am finally writing something new here. I forget how easy blogging can be when I stop doing it. I just need to make myself write more often. So a quick run down of some of the things happening in our family.

Brad is happy to be going back to school. Summer was almost too busy for him but his highlight had to be building a deck on the back of our house and then finishing the backyard. It is a beautiful yard and I love being able to sit out there and read a good book.

I am busy trying to get everyone ready for school to start. I also think we have played too much this summer and now I am the one with all the little things to do. My highlight for the summer had to be helping to plan and organize the Talbert reunion that we had. It was a major success. Everyone had fun, there was space for sleeping and plenty of food. We played until we were exhausted and after the week was over I was completely worn out.

Kent is busy being a missionary and you can read about him on his blog. See sidebar for link.

Laura is looking forward to the end of August but not because of school. In April Laura was in an auto accident (someone else was driving the car and rolled it). Anyway, it took until the end of July to find out that her collar bone was broken and so she has been wearing a sling and brace on her left arm for the past 3 weeks. It does seem to be healing and she is looking forward to seeing the doctor and hopefully getting rid of the sling before September comes.

Joseph has many things that have made this summer great - some of these are having Brian spend a total of 3 and a half weeks in Utah, hiking to the Y, getting some driving time, and going to his first stake dance. However, the true highlight has to be that he is growing - he has grown two inches since April and looks forward to one day being taller than the deacons.

Heather's great accomplishment this summer was spending a week at her cousins' in Vernal. After a week with eight other girls, Heather came home and has been doing her hair every day since. I have tried to accomplish this for years and it only took them one week!

Nathaniel's summer has been busy and good and not a lot stands out for him. However, he did help plant corn in our garden and then has been so excited to watch it grow. I think waiting for the corn to be ready has been the hardest part. However, his patience is paying off and we will have corn on the cob tomorrow night and since his braces came off in May it will taste even better!

I think that is about it for now. I promise not to wait so long before I write again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Elder Talbert

Kent is amazing. Every letter we get from him is filled with such enthusiasm for his mission. No matter what the challenge he loves what he is doing. I love how he is learning to adjust to life in a different culture. I love that he is trying new food. I love that he is learning to love people who's life is so different from his own. I love that he is willing to give up the technology that he loves in order to do what Heavenly Father wants him to do. I love that even in Jamaica he is true to who he is, whether it be budgeting, writing instructions for future missionaries, making jokes about life and bugs, still playing with his rubiks cube, or following the rules he is given. I also love having a missionary and the spirit that this brings into my house. My other children are so much more focused on preparing for their own missions and on missionary work. They are also much more interested in learning the gospel. What a great example Kent is! 

All about Me

I am writing about the different members of my family and I thought I should include myself. I love my job. It is so good to be making a difference in the lives of those who are the future of this world. I also love that I have finally gotten a routine down and am able to get the house clean on a regular basis and get the errands done that just have to be done. I love my calling with the Young Women. I am always amazed at how the Spirit guides me in this calling. The girls will plan an activity and before I know it I am getting promptings on how to make the activities not only fun but something that they can learn and grow from. I also love Facebook because I love being able to chat with my sisters and to be friends with the young women and my children and to see what they are up to and to share in the cyberworld that they live in so much of the time. What more can I say except for life is good and I am richly blessed.

The Love of My Life - Brad

Brad is the perfect match for me. I have really been enjoying my time with him lately. I think this is because we have been doing more active things instead of just sitting around the house. I have especially enjoyed playing racquetball with him. It feels great to get exercise and to have the one on one time with Brad. I am still not sure I enjoy getting up at 5:00 in the morning to play but maybe I will get used to it eventually. I also love that Brad is so capable of doing the things around the house that need to be fixed. This week he has helped with the yard and fixed Laura's car and the faucets in our tubs. He is also making plans to build a deck on the back of our house and to rebuild the fence on the south side of our yard. Along with all of this he is so hard working - he is always doing something extra at school. He is also getting ready to go to a conference in California where he will be presenting and then he will be going to Missouri to help write and evaluate questions for a company that creates materials for students and teachers. Most of all I love the extra gospel insight that he has. I have especially noticed this since Kent left for a mission. Brad's letters to Kent always contain good gospel insight for Kent. I wish I could be more like that.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A few random thoughts from Brad

So I just thought I'd toss my two cents' worth in here. We got word from Kent's mission 'mom' that he and his companion arrived in Jamaica safe and sound. They need work permits before they can start working and the government was shut down for Ash Wednesday, so their fist day was spent hanging around the mission home. I assume that he got his papers on Thursday and got to work.

Things always seem busy at our house. Just when I think that some event will happen (i.e. Kent finally leaves for his mission) and then stuff will calm down, it fails to really happen that way (Kent left, but things didn't calm down). We have begun playing racquetball twice a week, but that's just something new to fit into the schedule. Oh well, its tons of fun so I guess we'll just have to keep it up.

I've got two student teachers, I share with the other Physics teacher to give the student teacher's the best possible experience. Paradoxically, I am busier than ever. I still teach three of my sections and I have to supervise, mentor, and critique theses two really good students.

Wendy talked about the things that make her happy. I try hard to keep the house put together and the electricity working and the plumbing to not leak etc, etc. I love projects. When I don't have one I generally invent one. Sometimes to invent a project I take stuff apart that I probably shouldn't. Wendy just rolls her eyes and walks away. It's best that way.

I know what makes me happy - Life. I just enjoy stuff and people. Some things make me complain, I'm even happy when I complain about them. But generally, I just enjoy the ride. I like to follow roads just to see where they lead.

Well, I'm just rambling without purpose so I'll wrap up. I've got a great family.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Things That Make Me Happy!

I just thought I would list some things that make me happy and bring peace into my life.
Brad - he is such a hard worker and he always does my dishes.
Clean Bedrooms - we have just rearranged many of the bedrooms in our house and all the children have their own rooms. They are doing such a wonderful job of keeping them clean. If only it would last!
Racquetball - our family has started playing this on a semi-regular basis and I really love this sport. I especially enjoy the one on one time playing with Brad or with one of the kids.
Work - I love my job! Junior High kids can sure be a challenge but they have so much potential. Hopefully I am making a difference in their lives as they are in mine.
Missionary Work - I love having a son on a mission. It brings such a peace into our home and it is so great for him. I love how he has grown in the gospel. I have also been studying from the Preach My Gospel manual and wow, it is great! I don't know why I haven't done this before. It is so full of just the right messages for me and adds so much to my scripture study.
Prayer - He is there and He answers prayers. Can anything be more peaceful?!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Blog for Elder Talbert

I only have time for a quick note but Kent went into the MTC today and you can check out the blog I created for his mission at the link on the sidebar of this blog. As he emails us, I will include those emails on his blog. Just know that we are busy but oh so grateful for a son who sets the example for his other siblings and friends and who follows the Savior.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Time Goes By Too Fast

It is hard to believe that it has been almost a month since I wrote on this blog. I have so much to say I don't know where to begin, so I will just have to jump in and see how it goes.
Christmas Vacation: Christmas was absolutely wonderful. We spent a lot of the time just hanging out with our family and enjoying each other. It was so great to see Joseph enjoying himself - he was so sick last year and this year he had so much energy and is feeling so great. Between this and the fact that Kent will be gone next Christmas, I just wanted to savor every moment and make it last forever.
Josh: In January, our nephew, Josh Talbert moved in with us. It has been good to have him with us. All the kids have enjoyed having him around. He was able to get a job quickly and will be busy working full time. Josh will only be living with us for a short time while he saves up money to get himself into an apartment. For this I am grateful, because while I am happy to help Josh out, I am looking forward to separating Joseph and Nathaniel into separate bedrooms and dejunking the mess that they currently have.
Kent: Kent will be leaving for the MTC and Jamaica in just about two weeks and it seems like time is just flying. We have finished most of the shopping and he will be speaking this Sunday. He is so excited to be 0n his way. One of the highlights of getting ready for a mission is when they go through the temple. Kent took out his endowments about a week ago and it was so wonderful. It is probably the very best thing I have ever watched one of my children do - it was just so perfect and is truly the real step to being grown up.
New Job: My new job is wonderful. The flex program is a program where students receive a progress report every day and during a 30 minute time set aside for this program, students with an F or an I report to their teachers and try to get caught up. If they have passing grades then they get to go to other activities, including a movie, video, computer, or board games, scrapbooking, sports in the gym, etc. I am so excited about this program. There are so many students that need to feel the success that comes from passing their classes and if they use this time it can accomplish this. I spent my first week of work going to other schools that have this program already in place and observing. I was especially impressed with the increase in students passing their classes. It has had a real impact and I know from subbing in the junior high that this is exactly what Orem Jr. needs. My job includes running reports and creating progress reports for each student every day. These reports are small, you can fit 10 on a page, and I have to cut them so that each of the 839 students receive a report every day. The students then use these as their tickets to activities or remediation. I am loving being out of the house and busy. So far the kids have adjusted really well. Nathaniel is able to go to and from school with Austen and his mom and that is a big relief to not have to worry about him. All in all things with the new job couldn't be better.
Joseph: Joseph just had his annual biopsy and things looked great. He is having no rejection and shouldn't have to have another biopsy until next January. Hooray!!