July 21, 2011

Summer Swimming

Chan and Andee.. and the gang came down last week to hang out for a couple of days before heading to Lake Powell. They have never come in the Summer before. Usually it is for Easter. It was fun as always to enjoy each others company and relax. That is one of my favorite things to do with these guys... just chill and talk. One of the days, we went to the city pool to cool off. Andal has this awesome water camera that we brought into the pool with us. Loved it. Stace and Dad brought Porter and Tessa too, so I had more kids to love. As I have said before, and will continue to say... I am lucky to have the Crismons in my life. They take good care of me and let me be who I am with them. Thanks guys !!

July 14, 2011

Rah.. Rah Shish Boom Bah.. Blah, Blah, Blah

It has been a crazy summer thus far. Busy !! Is one word. Tired !! Is another. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. Seriously, if I get bored... I think too much... and who wants to do that??!! :) Last month was spent mostly at school for Drivers Ed. and Cheer. I am so proud of my Cheerios. They worked so hard every practice and did great at camp. One of the greatest awards they got was the Leadership Award. This is given to the squad that is voted on by all the other squads at camp. It is awarded to the squad that shows friendship, leadership, service, and that all other squads want to be on. What a great tribute to my girls. When they announced our name... The girls ran up to get the plaque. When they ran up, 300 girls from other schools started moving their arms and chanting "Dixie Flyers". I got goosebumps.. and started to tear up. It isn't hard to make me cry as of late. But, it was definitely a good cry. :) Drivers Ed. is same old, same old. I do really enjoy being with the kids. They make me laugh and teach me so much. It is where I belong. Soo... that is me in a nutshell for the last month. Now, that I facebook and twitter... it is hard to keep up with it all. But, at least I have a record of me being alive in three places... Just in case I ever lose myself. :)

May 27, 2011

Angels Among Us

I can't believe another school year has come and gone already!! This year at our faculty year end party we lost two amazing ladies to retirement. When I went to college for my education degree.. most of my professors would say the same thing to us future teachers over and over again. "Treat your secretaries and custodians like gold, because they run the schools you will be teaching in." There is so much truth to this, and in the four different schools I have taught in, there have been some amazing men and women that have dedicated their time and service to make my job easier. These two ladies are great examples of this. Susan and Pat are both angels that have always been there for me... whether I needed something for cheer, seniors, or interact, to talk, food, a hug... etc. How blessed I am to have such an amazing job, and work with awesome people. I will miss them soo much, but am grateful for the memories of them both that I will carry with me, as I continue to teach at Dixie High School where there are angels among us. :)

May 22, 2011

I Am a Grandma

Somewhere along the lines of my mom's passing, Tessa stopped calling me Tampa, and now calls me grandma. At first, I wasn't all to happy about it. Let's face it, it definitely aged me, and I felt it somehow wasn't fitting. But, as time passed I realized that to her somehow that is what I am, and that is all that matters. It is quite amazing when you think about it. No one told her to call me that. A two year old, with the wisdom beyond her years made me a grandma because deep down she knew that is what I needed to be, not only for her, but for me. Now, when I hear that name, it warms my heart, and I come running... willing to do whatever she would have me do. Let's face it, with this face I would bark like a dog on all fours if she wanted me to. :) But, for now I will let her call me grandma... because she loves me enough and trusts me enough to make it so. I am a lucky grandma !!

May 11, 2011

My Escape From Middle Age

Well, April has come and gone already. Seriously, the older I get the more I forget what day it is... and then the school year is over. :) One of my students today said, "Miller what are you 30?" I grabbed and hugged him hard and said, "And you get an A this quarter !! " Haha, no but, I am turning 40 this year. FORTY !!! Can you believe it??!!! I definitely don't feel it or think I look it. K, not true.. I feel like I am a little emotionally off more at the girl time. Yah, I know too much info... But, I definitely get whackier at that time... or it might just be cause I had the year from hell... :) But, in the middle of my life I find myself pondering what I have done and what I want to do... and I also find myself making more decisions for me. I think a lot of time we forget that we need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. I know that most of growing up, I would make decisions to please my parents, or boys, or friends. But, now I honestly feel that I make decisions that our good for me. Now, there would have been a time in the past when I would have felt that was selfish.. but now I realize that it is just healthy and satisfying. So amongst all this thinking and self evaluating... I have a spot where I do my "Middle Age Thinking". It is my backyard. I work my butt off to make it a beautiful place to escape. I have the tan to show for it too. :) But honestly, it soothes me and straightens out my rattled brain when I need it most. My friend Andee was down for Easter and took some great pics of it. She has one of those artsy eyes that can picture the angle... so she took some great pics. But, before you look, I want you to promise to make an escape for yourself. Whether it be exercise, spa, nails, walking, reading... or whatever. We all just need to say NO sometimes and go to our escape. We need to recuperate, rejuvenate, and self contemplate. Then we can go back out there and get dirty again... live and enjoy life. We shouldn't live and survive life.... so take the time to escape !!

April 09, 2011

Give me a "D" again

I don't know if I truly believe things happen for a reason. Sometimes I think they do.. sometimes I don't. It is kinda like what Forrest Gump says, "I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time." So whether it is my destiny, or by accident, I am doing cheer again. My awesome friend from school, Brandi, got asked by administration to coach cheer. She then came down and asked me if I would help. Now, those of you that know me, know that I have a hard time saying no... especially to those that I love. So, I told her no... but then said yes. Yah, I had a rough patch of coaching cheer before, but I really, truly feel that there is a reason that it keeps falling in my lap. Plus, with Brand by my side, it should be a little bit easier. Last week was tryouts.. which is never easy. I actually got a nice message spray painted on my Drivers Ed. car. Haha !! But, I expected that.. and I think now, I know better... I know what to expect.. and how not to be, based on my past experiences. I am excited about our cute squad this year. We took a small group, but I look forward to growing and learning with the girls. So whether it is destiny.. or accident.. I am glad to be where I am.. and excited to see how it turns out.

April 06, 2011

Sadness Defines You

It has been awhile !! To say that a lot has happened in my life is an understatement. Sometimes I feel like my life is a movie script and any minute some guy in a cape and tights is going to jump out of nowhere and say... "Hey I am Fix Your Problems Guy !! And I am here for you !!" Ha !! But, I know better. Cause whether it feels like your life is a movie or not, you gotta deal with it. I got lots of favorite quotes. I find them as I read, or hear them on the radio or TV, or friends share theirs with me. This is one as of late that fits how I feel, "Your joy can fill you only as deep as your sorrow has carved you." Kahlil Gabrin. I have been straight up, carved out, these past couple of months. I will just start at the beginning.... And I am not going to mince words. My family has been through a lot as of late. We found out six years ago that a lot of my mom's depression and behaviors were caused by the fact that she was severely abused throughout most of her childhood. When this came out in the open, it was scary to say the least. The things that happened to her were unimaginable and ugly. Well, it triggered memories for me, and I had been abused in the same circumstances as my mother when I was younger by her family. The pain and realization of this was at times unbearable to me. But, through counseling, family and friend support, and my Heavenly Father, I have gotten to the point where I can deal and live with this pain. So after all this happened... and came out into the open, my family dealt with it in different ways. I shop !!! Yep, that is my coping mechanism. I have filed for bankruptcy, make a lot of money a year... but never have any. It is a sickness. My brother turned to prescription pills. My sister turned to being a rebellious teenager. We all dealt with it differently... to survive. It is funny how you hear that typical saying... a pebble thrown in the water makes a constant ripple effect. Well this ripple is still occurring... still rippling. My brother got arrested last month for his prescription addiction. This was the beginning of the two months of hell my family has had. The second thing, was my mom passed away on my birthday... March 6th. This was a hard thing, but a blessing in disguise as well. She has been in a long term care facility for six years now. After she told us about her childhood, she went crazy to the point where she was a danger to us and herself.. so we put her in a home for safety and for her benefit. She hasn't been well in years... so her passing was a blessing because I know that she is better off now... but still it was bittersweet for me. There are a lot of unresolved issues for me that I know will not be resolved until I see her again. But, I miss her !! My mom and I were close... extremely close... and I miss her !! And then... (It happens in three's) my baby sister is going through some serious issues with her family. She and her husband were arrested as well. It is a joke now with my dad about when he is going to come bail me out of jail. See.. the ripple is rippling !! My dad is an amazing man !! He is just there for us without question or guile. I love him !! But, amidst all the sadness and pain, I can see the horizon. I have always had that capability thankfully. I think it goes back to that quote... I have experienced great pain.. thus I can feel and see the joy. I have so many things in my life to be grateful for.. health, my beliefs, family, friends, career, my home.... that the sadness pales in compare. I have learned that it is how you choose to deal with sadness that defines you. If you face it, feel it... ride out the ripple it becomes a part of you, a carving. But, you have to let the good things in your life fill up those carvings. So the sadness is still there.... but filled with joy. It is the only way I can keep going... keep living. It is still not easy... I doubt a lot, and want to cave often... but it a daily thing. Living by the moment... waking up in the morning willing to fight everyday. I wrote a poem for my mom that I read at her funeral. I think it pretty much sums up how I feel right now. My mom was an amazing woman. She was an amazing mom. Yah, she made mistakes.. did a horrible thing to me.. but it does not define who she is. I will not let it because I choose that !! She brought more joy to my life.. than ugliness. I can't wait to see her again. When I was little she used to always tell me that she was an ugly duckling when she was little. After she passed, we were going through her stuff and I found a picture of a beautiful swan in a lake. On the back my mom had written... Me swimming in the lake. At that moment.. I understood why she would always say she was an ugly duckling... it became clear. Everyday I feel her, and am grateful for that relationship I still have with her.. and the knowledge I have of the after life. This poem is special to me... but I want to share it with you. I will try to keep the blog up to date. Life is good and bad... but I am living !! :)


I was born into this world as an Ugly Duckling.

The one that did not fit in. Ridiculed, manipulated, abused, and cheated of her childhood.

No one protected me from the ugliness… not my mother, father, brother. I feel like I don’t belong in this place of darkness, hatred, ugliness.

I sought solace in my friends, singing, make-believe, makeup, shopping, and eventually my religion.

Soon the ugliness was wearing thin. I could see past my ugly beak, my tattered feathers, my nightmares, my gawky cries.

Light penetrated my soul, and I was reborn. Escaped my past, to start anew, to learn I am not an Ugly Duckling, but a loving mother to be.

The love of a child made me whole. The ugliness pushed down deep inside me, set aside my needs for my children, to ensure that they knew no ugliness, no harm, no hate. They were not Ugly Ducklings in my eyes.

Give of myself to all. I understand pain; I can empathize with the pain of others. Take their ugliness away. Don’t want them to be Ugly Ducklings. I will carry their pain. I want to carry their pain.

No time or place can change your past. Fought for the good, the light, but my ugliness was within, calling me, beckoning me. I lost one child to it. Pain, ugliness, always beckoning me. Not strong enough to fight it. Not fair, a victim, I will always be an Ugly Duckling.

Family now broken but not hopeless, I still have hope. Never lose hope. Hang their pictures on my wall. Write their names in my book, call their names in my sleep, and whisper their names in my prayers. My family, my light, the only thing not ugly in my life. I am tired of being an Ugly Duckling. Sickness afflicts me, makes me weak. Why must I be an Ugly Duckling? Hold onto the light, hold onto my family. My light.

I close my eyes for good in my sleep. A light beyond all others penetrates my soul with peace. I see his strong, brown eyes of comfort and peace. His outstretched hands waiting for mine, the scar in his hands warms my soul, and lightens my pain.

I am home. I look up to see my reflection in his eyes. I am not an Ugly Duckling, not a deformed bird. I see white, a beauty beyond anything I have seen before. I am a Stunning Swan in his love. I was always a Swan. I understand now. The ugliness is gone forever. Never again will I be an Ugly Duckling. I am a Graceful Swan, swimming in the pools of heaven, preparing the way for my family to swim by my side. My Baby Swans to be with me again. Here I am progressing. Not standing still anymore, not sick but strong, for I am an Unfinished Swan. I work towards being a mother again, a Shining Swan for her young. For that is all I ever wanted to be and will continue to be.

January 20, 2011

Buster's Baptism

A couple of weekends ago, I went up to Cedar for Hutcher's baptism. How beautiful and special it is to see someone you love so much walk up to you dressed up all in white with a glowing grin on their face. Hutch is so special. He has this inner strength about him, that makes you feel stronger. He also has the ability to make you feel like you are the only person in the room and that you matter. I love him so much and am so proud of him !! I am grateful for the gospel, and the basic teachings it gives us. As I get older, there is nothing better than to see the children in my life believe and live these teachings. It is a joy to me !!

January 11, 2011


For some reason I have been getting free movie channels lately. So of course, I have been going through and taping ones that I have not seen yet. Dad and I watched one last night, "Invictus". Loved it. It is a true story based on the life of Nelson Mandela. What a great example of forgiveness and perseverance he is. Plus it had some great music, rugby, and actors in it. But, by far, I loved the poem that the movie was named after. Mandela was in a small prison for 27 years... some say wrongly accused. He used this poem to get him through. You know it is easy to complain about the problems in our own lives... we didn't get this, or being tired... etc. But, when I look at someone like him, and what he overcame... I have no room to talk or complain. We can choose our attitudes, our reactions, our words, our lives, our friends, our beliefs, our everything. How blessed are we to live in a country where we can be "Captain of our Souls". It was an inspiration to me. Yah, I will be purchasing it !!


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

December 16, 2010

Angel Storm

So the last couple of weeks I have been bombarded and busy with Angel Tree stuff. Our club provides Christmas for children in need. The kids have been busy planning different activities in hopes to raise some mula. Seriously, if I did not have Mrs. Brandi Sawyers.. I wouldn't make it this month. I am so glad she is here at Dixie with me. I love the spirit of Christmas.. and what it stands for... it definitely comes out when you are running around with your head cut off. We don't get much snow in St. George, but we are getting plenty of Angel Tree, an "Angel Storm" is what I call it. Busy and happy !! :) Good times.. good memories !!

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A video the kids put together for motivation !!

December 08, 2010

Thankful for Friends

This year Chan and Andee paid for me to fly up to Sandy for Turkey Day. It was such a good time. Good food, friends, shopping, and chilling. Chan is an amazing cook.. amazing turkey with brine ??!! Still not sure what it is, but who cares cause it was dang good. And waldrof ??!! salad, yummy !!! My favorites were shopping with Andal, laughing like crazy at the table making toasts, and sitting by the tree just chatting. It was freaking freezin... on Thanksgiving I think the high was 19 degrees. We also went and saw Harry Potter. Will had to explain things as the movie went cause I am not a big Harry Potter fan. I do like Hermoine now though. She kicks magic ass !! Thank you soo much Chan and Andee for loving me and being good to me. Love you guys !!

November 19, 2010

My Nells

This last Monday was my cousin Nells birthday. Me, Dad, Charlie, and Tessarou went over to Chris and Lauren's for some grub and cake. It is her 50th birthday, and I wanted to do a post about her because she is an amazing woman. Some of my best memories of Nells, is driving with her as she blared Juice Newton and rocked out by hitting her steering wheel, while puckering her lips. :) I also remember great times when I lived with her, Julie, and Sue my senior year of high school. Nells has always been there for me. When I first started remembering things with my mom... Nells was there, and although the news was shocking, and unbelievable, she never doubted me or judged me. She was there for me when I went through the temple, to be my side when I took my endowments out. But, when I think of Nells, not only do I think of these things, but I think of a strong amazing woman that has been through so much with her health and her mom... and she has kept her head held high... and shown so much strength !! Nells, I love you very much !! And admire you so much for your strength and courage !! I am proud to be your cousin !!