Scatter Sunshine

Last night was the General Relief Society Broadcast which I always love because it is such a great booster. It always seems like while the men are told they "need to do better and be nicer to their wives" we are told that we're doing a good job and don't need to be so hard on ourselves. I guess that's one of the great things about being a woman!

After a very hectic week and three lonely days without my hubby (had gone to CA for a funeral) I was running on low and in desperate need of a pick-me-up. While I truly enjoyed all of the talks, it was President Uchtdorf's that really made the difference to me. I love how he tells cute and funny stories, but then he always gives a very powerful and uplifting message. Last night I was so grateful when he said the we are all creators. We all have the power and ability to make things beautiful, to establish a home where we can have the spirit, to make small, but meaningful differences in the lives of others. We have the ability to help to create life, a gift that I cannot even fathom. I often underestimate the power that Heavenly Father has given us in our free agency. I appreciated the reminder that this is my chance to make something beautiful out of my life.

I loved Elder Uchtdorf's quote from J.M. Barrie: "Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." It was just what I needed to remind me the best way to solve some of life's problems is to ignore them and get involved with someone else's problems. No matter how bad I have it (and I usually don't have it very bad) someone else has it worse. There are so many wonderful people in my life who are scatterers of sunshine. When I see these examples, it makes me want to develop this goodness and happiness in my life as well. Thank you to all of you!

What a great blessing it is for us to have a living Prophet and other leaders on the earth to teach and comfort us just as our Heavenly Father would if He were here.



Due to my dunk tanking experience on Friday, I came down with a nasty cold this weekend. I stayed home from school yesterday, which felt great until I went back to school this morning and found my classroom in complete disarray. My sub was this crazy old man who had a story about everything. Apparently the greatest thing my kids learned was that the planet Venus is just like hell. However interesting this fact may be, it is probably not appropriate to tell a classroom full of LDS fourth graders. Let's just hope I don't get any phone calls...

While I was home enjoying my perfectly peaceful day, I got to read for a while and it reminded me that I wanted to blog about my last book. Last summer Bryan read a book called The Alchemist. The initial draw of the book was that it was written by Paulo Coelho, a Brazilian. But, Bry ended up loving the message of the book so he's been pushing me to read it for a while. I finally got to it a couple weeks ago. The story (which unfortunately does not take place in Brazil) is about a shepherd boy following his "personal legend." He goes on a quest for treasure and meets many fascinating people along the way. The book is full of little jewels of wisdom. Here are some of my favorites:

"The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity."

"It is we who nourish the soul of the world, and the world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse. And that's where the power of love comes in. Because, when we love, we always strive to become better than we are."

I loved this book mostly because it really made me think about how I'm living my life, and how I could make my life better. Definitely a winner.

Front Cover


Happy Birthday Canyon Crest!

Last night we celebrated Canyon Crest's 25th Birthday. It was definitely a night to remember.

First, the Dance Festival. My kids got the crowd going with their knee-slappin Virginia Reel. They were cute and did a great job. After hours of practice, it feels good to finally have this over! Here they are:

The stellar sixth grade took us back to 1983 when C.C. opened with an awesome tribute to the 80's. Here's my favorite sixth grade teacher Tiffany in her rockin' outfit. Please note: the costume also included fabulous star earrings and a sweat band.

And, the crowning event- my miserable 20 minutes in the dunk tank. The kids loved it just as much as I hated it. Freezing cold water + very windy night + getting dunked about a dozen times + TONS of people watching = not a very happy Rachel. But, I made it through, and it's something I can tell my grandkids about (assuming I don't get pneumonia from this experience and never live to have grandkids!) Here are some pics for you to enjoy.

falling in!



I wikipedia'd dunk tank and received some of the information I needed. See below:


Depending on the type of event the dunk tank is being used for, the people being dunked may opt for various different clothing options. People will often volunteer to get dunked fully clothed for a humorous effect. For example, school teachers, a boss at a company picnic, or local "celebrities" may choose to wear street clothes in the dunking booth for the added humor. Some even go as far to wear a suit and tie, or funny costumes in a dunk tank. Also, a group may choose to wear a special uniform while on the dunk tank. For example, youth group may wear a group T-Shirt, or a Scouting group may choose to be dunked wearing their Scout uniforms.

If people know beforehand that they will be getting dunked, they often choose to wear a swimsuit or wetsuit while on the dunk tank. On the other hand, if a person volunteers to get dunked without having brought a swimsuit, he or she may simply wear his or her street clothes, removing only shoes and socks.

While some dunk tank rental agencies recommend that footwear is worn when being dunked, most choose to simply go barefoot.

So many options... I didn't know that dunk tanking was such an art.

I am a REALLY nice person

I know many of you may disagree with my self-assessment, but read on my friend, read on.

A few weeks ago I "volunteered" to be in the Dunk Tank at the Canyon Crest Carnival tomorrow night. And, I mean volunteered in the sense that the PTA president cornered me and provided the line that my ego couldn't pass up, "All the cool teachers are doing it." Because of this, I am mentally and physically preparing for what could possibly be the most miserable night of my life. I'm still thinking about following my wise mother's advice, "You gotta get sick before Friday night Rach." What sickness is there that has no symptoms, is over in 30 minutes, and comes on at 15 minutes notice? If you know of one, please let me know. I am desperate.

While you're working on that, please pray for me. Pray that it is a super warm night. Pray that my students have terrible aim. Actually, pray that my sweet kids have compassion on their poor teacher and decide that I am too nice to dunk. Pray that the water is hot and filled with delightful smelling bubbles. Pray that the dunking mechanism breaks. Pray that there's a huge thunderstorm (I'd even take a snowstorm!) tomorrow night which makes the carnival activities impossible. Pray that I don't drown.

One more question- What do you wear when you're in a dunk tank????


Thanks Amy for reminding me that today is...

Can't Wait!


Rise and Shout

This Saturday was a day to remember for the Martinez family, and for Cougar fans around the world. I'm not gonna lie, I went into the game a little nervous. We had won all our games so far, but let's be honest, they weren't that impressive. But, I put on my cougar blue and sunglasses and headed out into the football-perfect day.

And, it was a perfect day.

There was a slight predicament when we found two extremely tall (I realize that almost everyone is tall to me, but these girls were extremely tall) twins with HUGE red hair in our seats. Think about a combination of Ron Weasley, Bellatrix Lestrange, and Hagrid. That's what was sitting in our seats. I kindly informed them that they were in our seats, but they didn't move. I decided that I would give them a little bit because not everyone from our group was there yet. But, within a few minutes the rest of our group showed up and I took them on. I not only took them on, I defeated the redhead monsters. They didn't even know what had hit them. It was a great moment for me, I feel like I really gained a lot of respect, both from myself and from all bystanders.

But, back to the perfect day.

Let's just say the Bruins didn't leave Provo very happy that day. From our second row seats (in the south endzone) we witnessed 5 perfectly beautiful touchdowns. Those were only 5 of the 8 Cougar touchdowns. Guess how many touchdowns UCLA made? ZERO!!!! Guess how many points UCLA got? ZERO!!!!

We cheered until our lungs hurt, high fived until our hands hurt, stomped until our feet hurt. It really was a perfect day, and I'm so glad we got to spend it in a stadium full of 64,000 crazy and excited fans.

go cougs!


The grass is always greener...

I have the "grass is always greener on the other side" syndrome. For all my life I've been saying, "I'll really be happy and have the great life when I'm in high school," then a couple years later, "I'll be happy when I can finally drive," then,"I'll be happy when I'm in college and on my own," and then, "I'll be happy when I'm married and done with school," and now, "I'll finally be happy when I have my own cute little kids and I get to stay at home with them all day." It's not that I'm always unhappy, I'm just always looking for the next great thing that will bring me happiness instead of living in the moment. I also have this problem that I think everyone else has a glamorous, lovely, and stable life while I am barely keeping my head above the water.

Take today for example. I had to drive out to another school this afternoon for an ESL class I'm taking (on a side note- teachers should not be required to take a class from 4-7:00 every Thursday night that also gives a ton of pointless homework.) It was a really cute, brand new, super nice school. As I drove up I thought, "I bet the faculty here always get along and never have any problems. I bet they don't have parents calling all the time and demanding that their son or daughter needs to be in the advanced math class. I bet the teachers here get all of their work done at school and enjoy a lovely night at home relaxing instead of grading papers and planning lessons. I bet there are only 15 kids per class at this school, and I'm sure the students are very polite and sweet, and they always listen when their teacher is talking. I'm sure there is no pressure on the teachers here to perform well on end-of-year testing. I bet they don't ever have stressful faculty meetings, and they never have new math or reading adoptions to get used to. And, I'm positive they don't have to do DMI training."

Not joking, that really all went through my head, and in only about 20 seconds. Luckily, after those 20 seconds I decided to take a step back. Maybe it was a nice school, and maybe there are some things there that are better/easier than Canyon Crest. But, I'm sure this school also has its challenges. I bet some of the teachers at this school would pull up to C.C. and create their own list of "I bets." My point is, it does absolutely no good for me to dream about how wonderful it is to teach at fancy, beautiful, new school because I am at Canyon Crest, and I love it. I need to remind myself every time the going gets tough that I do love it and I am happy where I am right now. I hate to think that I spend any time at all wishing I was doing something else because really all we have is this moment to enjoy. So, here is my resolution to you, my dear blog, that I am going to find something to appreciate every day. That I am going to love where I am and what I'm doing right now, because possibly I will never get the chance to do this again.

School Picture

On a spiritual note, here is a fabulous talk from last fall's General Conference. Apparently I didn't study it well enough to apply it to all aspects of my life, but tonight I have greater resolve to do so.


My World is Shrinking

About 6 months ago I posted about my hilarious and lovable aerobics instructor who could be a body double for Suzanne Somers. I haven't been to that class in a while because A. my Saturdays became really busy B. Lisa moved away and I couldn't go by myself because I needed to know at least one person wasn't making fun of me in their mind the whole time (or maybe she was too...not sure) and C. my gym membership expired and I decided I could just run outside during the summer.
Well, today I'm doing parent teacher conferences and in walks Suzanne Somers aka my favorite aerobics teacher. She's the mother of one of my students!!!! It was so funny to see her again. And, since I was so embarrassed about my skills in the class and my poor attendance I didn't bring it up. But, Lis and I plan on starting that class again soon (whenever I can afford a gym membership again) and then I'll be seeing her every Saturday morning. Will that be awkward??


New Layout

My cute hubby spent all day helping me with my blog. I know what you're thinking- you spent all day and this is all it looks like? We had some complications and it's still a work in progress. But, I'm grateful for a super fabulous, multi-talented husband that is also a little bit nerdy. Thanks Bry!

How minty are you?

It is no secret that my financial skills are lacking. In fact, the class I regret not taking the most at BYU was personal finance. It's not that I've ever had huge problems with money, I just don't keep track of what I have and how I'm spending it very well. It just seems like such a pain and I have no motivation. But, since I'm a team now, I feel a little more pressure to get on the ball and be more organized about things.

Step on the scene my dear friend/accountant extraordinaire Lisa. She told me about mint.com. It's a FREE site that is very safe. You put in all of your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, etc. Then, they track it all for you. You can create a budget, and they create a nifty little graph that tells you how close you are to reaching your budget each month. It categorizes all of your expenses and shows you how close you are to your budget in each of those categories. The site also tells you how much you are worth, and let's just say it would not be a great idea to rob the Martinez family right now. It is fabulous, and I am finally motivated and excited about taking care of my finances.

So, thank you Lisa!!! You can now put on your resume that you saved a marriage :)


Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

You probably haven't read this book since you were in fourth grade, but it's a cute one by Judy Blume. I'm reading it to my kids and we are loving it. So, in honor of this fabulous title, I have a few anecdotes for you from the life of a real fourth grade nothing.

I'm teaching our vocabulary words for the week. One of the words is suspicious. My sentence for suspicious is "I would be very suspicious if a cookie was left on my desk." A couple hours later at lunch, I receive 2 cookies from anonymous fourth grade donors. (ps- I totally knew who the cookies were from)

I'm on recess duty and all of a sudden a student runs down the hill screaming "There's a huge poisonous rattlesnake on the playground!!!!" I was (of course) completely freaked out and created a huge perimeter in which no one was allowed to go. Luckily my classroom aide came to my rescue and took care of the beast. Turns out the gardner snake was harmless, but it was still very creepy and I'm not looking forward to my next recess duty.

A girl comes to school and tells me, "I have a dress just like yours. I like to wear it when I'm riding around in my mom's convertible with the top down. It's also fun to wear when we're driving in my dad's lamborghini. People stop us all the time and want to take pictures of our car. They also stop us when we drive the ferrari and the viper, but mostly they stop us when we drive the lamborghini." My mouth pretty much dropped down to my knees. Let's just say I'm expecting a great Christmas present from that family :)

We start out the year with a unit on respect and one type of respect we discuss is respect for country. We talk about how even if you don't like the president or you didn't vote for him, you should still show respect because he is our leader. Here is part of our conversation:
Kelli: "If Barack Obama is elected, I will not respect him."
me: "Why not?"
Kelli: "Because I just do not like him"
(I've never met a fourth grader that cared so much about politics)
Skyler: "Should we respect Bill Clinton?"
me: "Yes, he was the leader that we elected"
Skyler: "Didn't he lie?"
me: "Well, yes he did lie to the country, which made it difficult for us to show him respect."
Skyler: "What did he lie about?"
me: "umm.... ask your parents about it"

So, there you have it. My life in a nutshell.