Monthly Archives: September 2006

What Kind of Mark Will You Leave?

“Over here is where we put finished homework! And this is a graph of who has brother and sisters, who only has sisters, and who only has brothers! This is a picture I drew of myself, and this book is all about me!” Dorothy raced from one side of the classroom to the other, eager to share with us all she could about what she was doing and learning at school. I watched her teacher smile and laugh. The pleasure shone in her eyes, I could see how much she loved teaching. We have had her for three years in a row now. Elizabeth had her for kindergarten and first grade, and now Dorothy has her for first grade. What a difference I noted from my first grade horror.


My teacher was older, crotchety, rather plump and seldom smiled. Looking back now, I think she had lost the love of teaching. Her name was Mrs. Falbo, and she had suffered years of abuse as insensitive students had called her Mrs. Fatbo. I’m sure they never called her that to her face, but I am also sure she had heard talk in the halls and cafeteria. The assignment was to color a picture of pink pigs. I was so careful to be sure to use realistic colors, as this teach would never approve of something like Technicolor pigs in a world of green sky and blue grass. I tried so hard to stay in the lines; my fingers ached with tension as I controlled the small crayon. When I had finished, it was practically perfect, I had only crossed the boundaries once or twice in my efforts to color the perfect picture.

Always excited to please I brought my picture to my teacher with all the fervor of a 6-year-old seeking the encouragement only an adult could give. I sucked in as she took the picture from my hand, her frown deepening into the furrows of her face. “You colored outside the lines.” Her voice was matter-of-fact; an essence of ‘I don’t care’ hung around her words as she crumpled up my paper in front of my eyes and tossed it in the trash can. “Do it again.”

I bit back tears as I heard the snickers from other kids in the class. I wouldn’t let her see me cry, not ever. Crying was for sissies and wimps. I didn’t tell my mom about it for a long time. And she began to wonder why I hated school, and why over the next two years my grades continued to plummet.


At one point I switched schools and stepped back a grade. That is when I found the teacher that would change my life forever. Her name was Mrs. Trinch and she taught 3rd grade. My mom spent hours working with me and catching me up to where I needed to be, tutoring me after school, but Mrs. Trinch was the one that taught me learning could be fun. She taught us to spell e-n-c-y-c-l-o-p-e-d-i-a to the song in “Pinocchio” because it was such a long word, it would impress everyone with how smart we were. I still remember her placing her hands down on the chalkboard with her back to us and wiggling her bum to the rhythm as she chanted, “You change the ‘y’ to and ‘i’ and you add ‘es’!” I remember getting the first ‘A’ in math ever, as my poorest subject turned to one of my strongest. I had hated reading until her class when she opened my eyes to the wonders contained in the most exciting books. It was then I realized that I wanted to be a teacher.


When I reached middle school we had moved across the country to Oregon. In 7th and 8th grade I discovered another teacher that would open a new love in my life. She taught us language arts and focused a lot on creative writing. I never knew much about writing stories, though I often had them rolling around in my head. She discovered my writing and encouraged me to write stories, and inspired in me a love to write. Her name was Ms. Mac and she is still teaching, though this year she is taking a break working in the district office. I saw her at the beginning of the year, and told her that because of her, I still write.

Over the years I have encountered many good, and a few more bad, but there are only a few that have left a mark on me that will last through the years.
I once heard a parent say that most children are resilient and can survive even the worst teachers. I thought about that, I survived, but only with my mom’s help, and because she took an active role in changing my atmosphere. Last night as I talked with the girls teachers and watched their excitement in their classrooms, showing me every little thing they could. I smiled inside. Seeing them so happy makes me happy that they are enjoying a far better start than I did. It makes me grateful for the teachers that made a difference in my life, and for the teachers that are making, and will make, a difference in my children’s lives.


Filed under Children, Memory, Philosophy


I have my laptop back. 🙂 Thank goodness for warranties, our motherboard had to be replaced. It was all covered. So I am now happily writing in my comfy chair. 🙂


Filed under Every Day Life

Honorary Ding-A-Ling

After I gave myself the lawn-mower pedicure I was terrified of someone, or something, running into my foot. A couple days after the incident we were sitting in the family room, my foot propped in the air, examining the shoe I was wearing the end of it was cut, nearly clean off.

“I have an idea!” She said as she disappeared into the depths of her office. A little while she came back out with my shoe, some plastic canvas, and some yarn. She proceeded to fashion a ‘toe guard’ (basically a little cup) that she sewed onto the end of the shoe. On the end of the toe guard in bright red yarn I cross-stitched the word “OUCH!”

It was a hit, and it kept everyone away from my foot.


A week later I found myself with the band in Orlando, Florida. The benefit to being on crutches was that while at Disney World, and other such places we got to use a wheel chair and were always ushered to the front of the line, (oh, and you get flirted with a lot more too, heh). The draw back was watching all your friends at the water park because you can’t get your foot wet. And the absolute worst was standing in the Caribbean (for the first time ever- we took a day cruise to the Bahamas) on one foot.
On one particular day, while in the Magic Kingdom, I was sitting in my wheel chair waiting for my friends. There was a barbershop quartet, The Dapper Dans, singing nearby and I was enjoying listening to them.

Shocked out of my revelry I noticed they were calling me.
“What’d you do? Run into a parked car?”
“No. I lost a fight with a lawn mower.” I chuckled as they winced.

I was then invited up to join them. Mid my protestations my friends, who had by then reappeared, wheeled me up to join them. I was handed a set of chimes and we played “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.”

I was given an honorary member card and pronounced, “And Honorary Ding-a-ling.” So there you have it. It was made official years ago.

Ding a ling 2

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Filed under Humor, Music, Youth

"Call Me Ishmael"

We have a new addition to our family. It’s big, it’s white, and though it is not a whale, it would certainly qualify as a boat. A land boat anyway, a beautiful buick that Paul drove home from Montana to replace the sadly limping little truck that has seen us through our engagement (Paul proposed to me in that little truck), my learning to drive stick, a whole bunch of moves, and 4 children. The ‘date mobile’, as we fondly referred to it, is being replaced. Paul’s parents were getting rid of the ‘great white’ when they figured they may as well pass it on to us.

That car has to fill some pretty big shoes after the truck (well, actually, the truck is a midget compare to this thing, heh) and I figured it needed a name. Something grand, something great, something larger than life. Yup, I christened the car (much to Paul’s dismay I think) “Moby Dick”. I have never been in the habbit of naming my cars, my little van, still remains unnamed since it’s adoption into our family, but this car just called to me.

Welcome to our family Moby, we are glad to have you. 🙂

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Filed under Every Day Life

Things That Make a Mother’s Heart Pound

I walked in the door this evening and greeted my babysitter. My hubby is out of town again this weekend and so I got a baby sitter so I could go to the General Relief Society broadcast for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As I visited with the babysitter about the evening she mentioned that she thought Jacob might be sick. He had been really cuddly, tired, didn’t eat much and felt warm.

I bid her farewell and went to take Jacob’s temp. I hated that nervous feeling as I walked into his room to look into his crib, it felt too similar to the events early on in his life, and I was glad to see him fine and smiling at me as I said his name. I expected a slight fever, 99, 101 maybe. He, nor any of my kids but one on one occasion had ever had anything higher. I was greeted by a whopping 104.2! He was perfectly fine this morning, active, rambunctious even, no sign that he wasn’t feeling well, and now all of a sudden a high fever. Thank goodness there don’t appear to be any other symptoms along with it. His breathing is fine, he doesn’t appear to be congested or in pain. Just fighting off a high fever.

I’m sure it’ll drop (I gave him some tylenol) but it makes me nervous all the same, especially with hubby out of town until late tomorrow night. I’ll just sleep a lot more comfortably once his fever has gone.


Filed under Children, Heart, Jacob, Parenting



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Filed under Children, Em, Photography

“Put another nickle in, in the nicklodian, all I want is loving you and Music, Music, MUSIC”

Maybe I’m in a meme mood, or maybe it’s just that when Karen posted a music meme I couldn’t resist the monstrous temptation:

What is the first music you remember hearing?
I remember as a little girl huddled with my family around the radio listening to ‘Peter and the Wolf’ by Prokofiev. It was one of my favorite pieces and I was so confused at how they got the entire orchestra to fit into that little black box.Did you come from a musical family?
Yes, yes, most defintely yes. My grandma played piano and taught (taught my mom to play), my other grandma was an amazing singer, my mom taught all of us (and many others) to play piano. While my brothers quit when they started other instruments, my sisters and I continued. In our family(my siblings and I) we have a flutist/baratonist, a cello/pianist/organist, a violinist/pianist, a clarinetist/composer, and a french hornist/trombonist/pianist/organist.

Do you remember a lullaby from your childhood? If so, what is it?
I remember one lullaby in particular: “Rock-a-bye, don’t you cry, we will go to grammy’s. Up the hill behind the mill to see the little lambies.” When I was in labor with Elizabeth Paul was singing it (I had taught it to him) at some point and the two of ust wrote our own second verse: “We’ll go down, and see them there, laying in the pasture. They’ll have dreams of knights and queens and happily ever after.” We sing both verses to our kids now every night as we tuck them in. 🙂

What song(s) changed your life?
There are sooo many. 🙂 But there are three main ones I can think of:
1. A french horn concerto, most likely by Mozart. I was too young to remember which one, I just remember hearing the glorious sound of the horn and knowing as my soul took flight that I would play that instrument some day.
2. While on my mission I learned the spanish version of the hymn, O Light Divine, or Divina Luz. The words in spanish are so powerful it has truly helped me become the person I am.
3. Jupiter and Mars from Holst’s Planets. The first semester Paul was at Ricks (it was my last) we played those songs at our last concert. Jupiter became ‘our song’. Those songs hold a lot of memories and were part of the cause of getting us together in the first place.

If you could have dinner with three dead musicians which three would you choose and why?

Sounds rather morbid, heh. 🙂 I would love to pow wow with Lizst, so I could see how huge his hands really were and to hear him play would have to be the most astounding thing ever, I would love to meet Rchmaninoff, for many of the same reasons as I would love to hang out with Lizst, and I would gladly sit down with Barry Tuckwell (or Dennis Brain), two of the greatest horn players.
(I would also love to meet Danny Kaye, because he is just so dang funy!)

You are stranded on a deserted island. You are allowed the complete musical works of one band and its members. Which band or musician would you choose?
I would have to go with my new found love of ‘Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band’, if nothing else, they would keep me laughing, but then, if I am on a deserted island, Harry Belafonte would seem so fitting, especially if it was a tropical island and there were lots and lots of bananas . . .”Day-o, me say day-o, daylight come and me wanna go home . . .”

Does music play in your head? If so, what is playing right now?
All the time . . .right now? Well since I was just singing the banana boat song in the question before, it hasn’t left yet. 🙂

Can music truly soothe the savage beast? If so, what music soothes your beast?
So Karen pointed out that the correct phrase is ‘savage breast’ but in memes we’re apparantly supposed to keep typos intact (I suppose then, that in my last meme, Deb really was going for tomato soap rather than soup, heh) 🙂

Definitely. When I am ticked it helps a ton, especially if I can play it. Paul always jokes that he can tell if I’ve had a bad day by how hard I’m pounding away at the piano when he comes home. 🙂 As far as what music it depends on what is bothering me at the time. Usually I enjoy things that are peppy and fun and get me thinking about and looking at the positive side of life. 🙂

That’s all folks! 🙂

(For those of you unfamiliar with the title of my post, it is a line from the song Music! Music! Music! popular in the 50’s. Here is a link if you want to hear it, it is a favorite of mine to play on the piano and have Paul play the spoons to it) 🙂


Filed under Family, Lizy, Meme, Memory, Music

Evan (The Adventures Of An Awesome (Sometimes) Mother) Heart Surgery

Evan (not to be confused with Evan Braveheart) underwent heart surgery today (fontan for those who are heart savvy). I’m sure they would appreciate any support and prayers you can send them. At this point the surgery is over and things have gone well thus far.

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Filed under CHD, Heart

Probably More Than You Ever Wanted To Know . . .

This was at Deb’s, and though I’m not much of a meme girl I am feeling low on creativity, so I went with it . . .

Juliana Hossenfeffer Jingle Heimer Schmidt (My mom’s pet name for me)

Favorite Drink:~
Berry Smoothie in Summer, Hot Chocolate in Winter

No. Well, unless I count the blue mark from where I was stabbed by a pencil as a kid like Perpetual Chocoholic did. 🙂

Body Piercings:~
I am not a leaky sieve, though I do have one hole in each ear

How much do you love you job 0-10:~
A perfect 10

Birthplace:~ Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Spot:~
Vacation? I’ll have to figure out where my mind goes and then I will let you know

Stolen any traffic signs:~
Nope, just used them for gathering information to send to the enemy

2 door or 4 door?~
3 door (our van is the stone age style that still only opens on one side, heh) unless the kids decide to use the backend for an escape hatch

Salad Dressing:~
Honey Mustard Poppy Seed or Caesar

Favorite Pie:~
YUMMMMM I have never met a pie I didn’t like

Favorite Movie:~
Ever After

Favorite Holiday:~ Easter (It has a whole new meaning, especially now) and Christmas

Favorite Food:~
CHOCOLATE and anything I don’t have to clean up after 🙂

Favorite Day Of The Week:~

Favorite Soap:~
(Now this says soap. Deb answered Tomato. ??? Does she like tomato soup or soap . . .) I’ll go with soup (I don’t have a favorite soap) Rachel Soup (She’s a lady in my church that makes it, it is soooo yummy, she brought us some after Jacob was born and we have called it Rachel Soup ever since) Nothing like a complicated answer to a simple question

So that’s where Elmer’s glue comes from, I always heard it was ground up horse hooves (that’s probably not right either, I just remember thinking that in elementary school)

What do you do to relax:~
Read, hide from my kids, and play the piano

Where do you see your self in 10 years:~
If I’m still alive by then, not tied up in a closet, or not in an insane assylum I’ll let you know, but figuring that I will have three girls ages 17, 16, 14 there is a good chance that one, if not all, of those senarios will apply

What do you do when bored:~
memes heh 🙂
No really, bored? With this rabble? You’ve got to be kidding. . .

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Filed under Meme

Random Jacob Post

How is it that someone with short chubby little legs, not even a quarter the length of your own can run circles around you, even when you are in top form? Jacob officially turned 18 months last week and I think someone flipped a switch inside him and sent him reeling (or maybe I’m the one reeling) into toddlerhood. Baby no longer, we have a boy in the house! 🙂

My girls were quick and curious, but nothing compared to Jacob. After his exploration with the straw he managed to get a hold of my mini mp3 player that I strap on my arm and listen to when I walk in the mornings. As I walked my three miles I realized that my left ear was gargling. It must have been introduced into the doggie bowl as well.

Jacob decided that Susie (our dog) needed to bob for her food and dumped it into her water without my knowledge. Poor Susie got sick and threw up (at least it was outside) because she got too much water while trying to eat her food.

Jacob snagged a toothbrush out of the bathroom (one of his fortunate sisters) and proceeded to brush his teeth . . . yup! With dog water.
I sure hope there are some great benefits to dog water, because at this point, he’s had a lot of it! 🙂

I was not feeling well on Saturday and I layed down on the couch to watch Star Wars Episode I. The kids were bored and I didn’t want to watch another insipid cartoon for the 500 millionth time, so I put in Star Wars, because at least it was something we could all thoroughly enjoy. Jacob awoke from his nap at the very end where the big light-saber battle is in play. I plunked him in the middle of the room after changing his diaper.
He turned and looked up at the tv to see the amazing duel. His face lit up like he’d just gotten a free pass to Disney World. His chubby legs carried him quick as lightning around the back of the chair. When he emerged he had one sword in each hand and was waving them wildly in the air.
Yup, he’ll do just fine. 🙂

If it has even the slightest remote possibility of being climbed . . . it will be, regardless of the consequences. Nothing can keep him in and nothing can keep him out.

We were walking into the store this morning when a big loud truck drove past us and started to park. Jaocb stopped in mid-step. “Yea!” he said clapping his hands together. He wouldn’t budge until the ignition was turned off. Just stood clapping and cheering all the while, then as we walked away he proceeded to wave bye-bye to the truck and blow it kisses.

One last thing we have noticed about our little toddler boy. He appears to be left handed. He eats and draws with his left hand, though he does a number of things with his right hand too. It’s just kind of fun to see all the changes and to finally experience how different a little boy is from 3 little girls. 🙂


Filed under Children, Heart, Humor, Jacob, Parenting