Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mr. Turney

First of all, can I just say I love that guy! May has been quite the month for Adam and I failed to mention at the beginning that he was the TEACHER OF THE MONTH! Technically he was the "Golden Dragon" for Tanaka Elementary. Because of this he received a prime parking space (woohoo!) and a dinner for two at The Macaroni Grill. He is also entered into a drawing for the end of year grand prize yet to be announced. Last year the grand prize was a fancy dinner at the Billagio, Tickets to see Phantom of the Opera, and a ride to both locations in a stretch lets hope he gets it!

Not only that, but as you all know, Adam has a part time job working for a company in town called We Serve. He loves it because he gets to see awesome concerts and get a few extra "Adam dollars." Since he is not going to school for two semesters and he will have the whole summer off, Adam wanted a part time job working somewhere. He was just hired at the Sylvan Learning center (a place which tutors children) and will be working 20-30 hours a week there. I'm so excited for him and he is so happy to be doing that. So now he has three jobs haha. That makes Mrs. Turney feel like a lazy bum, especially since he is doing so much of the housework while I am a bit sluggish at it (I do have an excuse though :).

Adam has always known that he would be providing for our family and is always working hard, doing exceptionally well at his job, and picking up extra jobs on the side. I'm grateful to him and his hard work, his up and at 'em attitude and his devotion to his family.

Thanks babe! Nobody could ask for a better friend and love(er hahaha tmi- you all know thats a betty thing to say).

Shark Reef

There are some major advantages to living in Las Vegas and working for the Clark County school of those advantages are free tickets to shows and exhibits at times.

Adam and I have been wanting to go to the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef for a while now. It's 17.50 a person and we just couldn't justify that. Luckily it is available to teachers (and one guest) for FREE! We've just been too lazy to head on out there but today I asked Adam on a date (returning the favor for our movie date last night).

It was actually really incredible. Adam and I are big nerds for interesting things in nature. That's why we sit around watching Planet Earth like it's entertaining or something :) They had a ton of different species of water animals and lizards. The set up was very Disneylandesque and the animals were very active.

There were sharks of course but not as big as I was hoping for (only about 10 feet I'd guess) but they had beautiful HUGE fish and some other fun things too. If anyone wants to do it someday and you are visiting Las Vegas, children under 4 are free and Adam and I will go with you with our ID's and get you in. If you are feeling brave enough, you can even swim with the sharks!

"One of the most amazing aquatic experiences to be found anywhere. Nearly 75 species of aquatic life including tropical fish, reptiles, and yes -- sharks! The centerpiece of the attraction is a 1.3 million gallon tank with a tunnel that runs through the center of it. Guests gaze at more than 100 sharks swimming all around them, including above and below. In with the fishes are scuba-suited experts who wear special headsets that allow them to educate visitors about the sharks and other marine life within the reef."

I've gained some weight...15 pounds

11 weeks
31 weeks

I appreciate everyone's prayers this last week, fortunately I got my results back and my levels seem to be where they need to be, Also her baby body is in the 97th percentile overall and she looks like she's doing great.

Still no name, she won't have one until she's born. One of my second graders gives her a big hug and kiss and calls her "no name baby." For some reason I don't think this pregnancy will see it through to August...which is fine because she's due on August 5th (our 3 year wedding anniversary for those who missed it on my facebook quiz :) so if she comes in July it won't be so soon.

Monday I'll be 31 weeks! I'm feeling pretty great aside from sleeping problems and back pains :) I really can't complain because I've had a pretty easy pregnancy after I got past the morning sickness. My school friends are helping me get through the school day as painlessly as possible and have already committed to me to walk around the Education building to induce labor on my last day of school (July 30th). I have a great support system here in town and I'm grateful for all of them. They waited in anticipation all week to find out about my glucose test and I would tease with them at times when the teacher would have our groups do an activity I would suddenly say "ow my diabetes, you guys take over."

I can often feel her little bum pushing out against my tummy. I'll sit there and poke it for a few minutes until she gets annoyed and shifts positions, but she really likes to stick her little bum out giving me a nice hard spot on my belly.


Yesterday a very handsome young man (Adam) asked me on a date to go see the newest Disney/Pixar movie UP! It is such a treat to go to a fun, clean, movie...especially one with such a great message.

From the previews, I assumed it was about a grumpy old man who had become disenchanted with the changes of the world and decided to leave the city behind and fly away, inadvertently bringing along his neighbor Russell. After the movie started however; it took a new shape, telling the story of a man and wife who spent a lifetime together in love and friendship, and his desire to make all of her dreams come true after she has died (first ten minutes of the movie, don't worry I didn't spoil anything).

The story touches on many themes such as childhood innocence, lifelong dreams, letting go, and being happy with your life. This movie is truly for ANYONE of ANY age (although I must admit, the Turney's always love the animated movies).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

For those who wish to start guessing...


So I got a call from my Dr.'s Office yesterday informing me that the results of my glucose test were abnormally high, and I must be tested again for gestational diabetes...

The facts are these:

My mom was tested high with Megan, but it turns out that she had just eaten Carmel Popcorn for breakfast before her test, which goofed the results.

The morning I went I drank Tropicana O.J. (straight sugar) and quite possibly a couple otterpops (I might eat three or four before breakfast on occasion)

That is the good news.

The bad news is that my levels, PLUS the fact that the ultrasound indicated that the baby's tummy was in the 87th percentile gives me a higher chance that it wasn't just the Tropicana.

What does this mean for me: they will put me on a strict diet and or insulin shots.
What does this mean for baby: Possible high birth weight (9-12 pounds), crashing and trip to the ICU after birth, and some other not so good things.

So pray for me! I'm taking another test today, more blood withdrawn, more glucose drink stuff, fasting for 12 hours for accurate results...Hopefully its nothing and she'll be ok but pray!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baby Update

Baby= Curious. She followed the ultrasound wand around with her eyes wherever it went so we couldn't get a very good profile shot :(

She had her hands up by her face the whole time so we couldn't get very good pictures.

She is a little tubby, with her tummy being in the 85th percentile...must be all those cookies she likes to eat :)

She's in position, found the exit, and pushing right on mommy's sciatic nerve...yay.

She's still a She :)

She weighs 3lbs 12 oz (and lets not forget the part about the sciatic nerve)

She is facing forward looking at my belly button with her spine curved with mine and her feet on the left middle of Mommy's tummy...just as I suspected.

Drum roll.....SHE HAS A HEAD OF HAIR

Everything looks great with our little baby Brooklyn/Sydney/Samantha. She will be all ready to come. Mommy's prediction is that she will be over 9 pounds and that she will come on July 31st.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Now That I Have Graduated

Author: Adam Turney
Saturday, May 9, I graduated with my Master's degree in Educational Leadership. I had not planned to go back to school for a graduate degree until I had been teaching for about two years. However, the cards we were dealt were a little different and I started back during my first year of teaching. The next five semesters I would spend attending UNLV alongside Melissa. I do not know how we did it, but we managed to afford paying both our tuition and stay out of debt. Both of us were incredibly busy juggling school and work, but we made it through.

While I was in graduate school I looked for every opportunity to procrastinate all my school responsibilities and my assignments. My final semester I waited until the last week to finish up 14 assignments from three classes. The end of each semester was incredibly stressful due to my procrastination, but I made it with an A grade in each class. Now that I have graduated I find myself wandering around the house with nothing to do. I am so used to putting off all my work until the day before it is due, but now there is nothing to turn in. I feel a little lost.

So what do I do now that I don't have school assignments? The other night Melissa walked into our computer office room and saw me preparing my substitute lesson plans because I will be missing class on Monday. She was shocked because normally I am rushing my plans out the morning that I call in to be absent. This was the first time I have ever had my sub plans ready before the day I was to be absent...and I actually had them ready 4 days prior. It is odd, now that I don't have anything to try and procrastinate for I am completing my school responsibilities. Without that stress of assignments weighing me down I am now free to focus on other enjoyable things. Heck, I am almost done with report cards and those aren't due for another 2 weeks. I just wonder what I will do with my summer if I can't get a part time job. I sort of can't wait to get back to school in January and finish my second Master's degree. But for now I will focus on helping Melissa get through her program and her pregnancy...oh, and packing for the new house.

Coming along!

The progression of our Home {Sweet Home} April 27th-May 16

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Adam Turney M. Ed

I'm so grateful for my handsome hubby! I'm proud of you Adam!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Home is where the Heart is

"We are so poor," I half heartily joked in Adam's direction as I watched our savings and checking accounts drain into the last two semesters of school, a down payment, and various other expenses this afternoon.

"Yeah," Adam replied casually, "But we have everything we need." That's what I love about Adam. No matter what he wants, he is always satisfied and lives like a King on his wealth of happiness and easy going nature.

"That's right," I replied, adding: "We are the proud owners of your Nintendo Wii, Play Station, Plasma T.V..."

Adam cut me off as he body slammed me from behind, wrapping his arms around me (minding the bump). "No silly, we have each other and that's all we need."

Our conversation, which occurred in the confines of his classroom this very afternoon, evaded my memory until this moment when I emotionally began to pack up our house, our home for the last two and a half years, our first true spot on this earth together.

Although I may complain about our current living situation (frequently)...and often I felt as if we were living a life that was not truly ours inside these walls, we have been truly blessed to live here on El Camino rd.

When we were first married we lived with Susan Gravell. It was amazing we were able to find a place to live with only about a months notice and for less than 600 dollars in Las Vegas, but I admit it was a struggle for two newlyweds to share a home with a stranger and her dogs. We only lived there for one semester and knew that we were going to have to get out after Christmas, as another couple was moving in with Susan from BYU-Idaho. Our friends Scott and Kelly suggested we move into the main house off their guest house which would be vacant shortly.

Moving in to a large three bedroom two bathroom home was pretty crazy for us. We soon acquired our little friend Rocky the Turtle (not to be confused with Timothy Turtle) and thousands of happy memories.

Our landlords have been wonderful to us. They have been there ready to fix everything that needed fixing in the old house, they have looked out for us and been generous with us. At first, we weren't sure we could afford the rent, but soon learned we were getting a great deal.

This is the home where we became The Turney's. We'd been Adam and Melissa for a long time, and now it was time to fuse together and become a family. We had been married four short months when we moved in, just the two of us, and will leave having been married almost three years 2 and 3/4ths of us.

I am a very sentimental person. I get that from my dad who gets it from my grandpa. I guess things like this make me overly emotional. I can't even imagine how it will feel for my aunt, who is just as sentimental to move out of the house she's been living in for over 30 years (?) as she is planing on.

I must admit I am pathetic. After all...I only packed four boxes (that was the amount Adam left, we have about 20 more in the car lol) and began to be weepy. People may think its little baby inside me, and my hormones are going crazy...that may be true, but I am a sentimental person (just ask my husband) and moving is a huge change, especially when I'll be 8 months pregnant at the final move.

Anyway, back to my original matter how many memories I've gathered here with friends, family, and most of all Adam...they are only memories, and I have them forever. I also have Adam forever, which is comforting above all else. Adam is my home, he is my heart...and if he was the only thing I could bring with me to our new home, or to our eternal home, I would be grateful and blessed.

So I need to take a page from Adam's book and realize that we have everything we need.

Status Updates...

Each time I sub for 4th grade, I feel like I spend my entire day on facebook or twitter. There is not one student who doesn't feel the need to update me on their life status.

"Mrs. Turney... I didn't finish my homework last night," They will tell me. The problem is, I don't know how I'm supposed to respond to we usually just stand around with blank stares in our eyes before they decide to sit back down.

Sometimes I respond with "Oh" other times "Ok"or "huh" When I get really agitated I may respond with "and..." or "so..." but most of the time I just tell them to go sit back down.

Some of the greatest, most random status updates I've recieved are:

"I coulnd't find the word seemingly in the dictionary so I didn't do my home work"

"I cut this paper wrong."

"I got really sweaty at recess cause it was hot and I was runing around."

The problem with these and other such status updates, is that the students approach me with these updates as if they are problems. They don't know what the problem is exactly, they may want a solution to the problem or may just want an answer. Students these days seem to have a difficult time formulating thoughts and getting what they want, rather, they look to adults as problem solvers and the be all end all of solutions.

Had the student said to me, "Mrs. Turney, at recess I was running around a lot and I got pretty hot. I need a drink to cool off." Then I would be able to respond appropriatly with an affirmitive answer. The students who do not come up with solutions themselves seem to have a harder time dealing with life than the other students. Some students take the initiative and just get things done, which I appreciate. They look at their hands and notice that they are dirty and realize that they are bleeding. What do they do...they go over to the sink and wash their hands, then they sanitize the cut and bandage it. Other students look at their hands see that they are dirty and bloody and come up to the teacher and say "look what happend."

This mentality inhibates the children mentally and physically. They need to learn to solve problems. All the resources are avalible in the classroom. They have sinks and drinking fountains, they have pencils and sharpeners and paper and garbage cans and desks and first aid kits and computers in many of them and dictionaries and formulas and a teacher, but the only resource they utilize is the teacher.

Yesterday I told the students "You have 50 minutes on the can either do your Nevada projects, or you can go and do ANYTHING YOU WANT on Study Island." One student askes "can we play games on Study Island." I repeated: "you can do anything you want on study island." "But can we do games?" "You can chose to do whatever you want on Study Island." "But can we do games." This is where I quit responding to her. She sat perplexed for about ten minutes until she looked around and saw all her classmates were playing games and decided to join in. You may be thinking, "that was pretty harsh, a simple yes would have answered her question." Perhaps, but I try to teach the kids to think for themselves, to use cues to figure things out.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Precious Children: Fulfillment in Motherhood

This was my favorite talk in Women's Conference that I previously mentioned I would write about. I've been thinking about Motherhood, (since I am surrounded by a variety of Mothers who have influenced my life and my perspective on womanhood), and everything that goes with it, wondering what kind of mother I will be to the little kicker.

To be honest, I'm a little nervous. Since I have lived a somewhat selfish existence to this point, other than caring for my husband, I wonder what it will be like to care for someone so small, helpless, and mine. It blows my mind that right now my body is creating this precious soul and that she will be mine (and Adams).

The talk was about finding fulfillment and delight in Motherhood. Finding fulfillment will help us find the joy. They said "It is not a burden to bare but a privilege to enjoy." An analogy was given by one of the speakers who said that Bananas are not her favorite fruit. If they are ripe she will eat them, but they have to be in perfect condition and then she will not enjoy it, she will just eat it. She explained that a peach however can be enjoyed by her at anytime and she finds delight in the peach. She said some days you will have peach days and others will be banana days.

They talked about how despite popular belief, quality can not replace quantity, rather quality is an appendage of quantity and we should spend a lot of quality time with our family.

One of the BEST things that was said was that we need to chose to be validated by prophets, leaders, and the Lord...not by the world. The world would have us believe that being a mom is a negative thing, a bump on our road to success. The Lord would have us believe that it is our divine calling.

It was also emphasized that we must take time for ourselves (you can't draw water from a dry well). That obtaining an educational degree will help a woman in her role as a mother in every aspect, no matter what the degree.

Satan has always tried to downplay the role of mothers since the fall of Eve, don't let him do this. The fall of woman means the fall of the family. Be the guard of your home. Teach your children to observe and obey every principal with exactness.

Happiness doesn't happen. It is a choice we have to make. Fulfillment doesn't happen. We have to be fulfilled within ourselves. Fulfillment in motherhood doesn't come from what you are doing, but your attitude about your role.

Simplify your life. Just because something is good, doesn't mean you have to do it. Take time to enjoy the moment! Treasure the doing more and getting it done less...

So the talks themselves were fantastic, as you can see from some of my notes... but the thing I loved about it, is because it talked so much about the choices that we make to treasure the children we are given. I've had some inner struggles about my choices after the baby comes and what it is going to be like, and I felt so much peace from this talk. I felt so much more in control of my situation and life after listening to the words of these mothers.

I'm grateful for the example of wonderful moms, especially my mom and my mother in law who raised a wonderful man who is not perfect, but has so much faith in the Lord and who I am honored to be his companion.

As Sisters in Zion

For the past 11 years my mom has joined a "herd" of women down at the BYU Women's Conference. I've always wanted to go, since she seemed to come back pretty uplifted and edified. I was grateful for the opportunity I got to have this year of coming up to Women's Conference for the first time. Not only did I get to spend time with my wonderful Mom, but also both my Grandmothers and my aunts Suzie, Karen, and Lesley. Not only did I recieve great information and spiritual insight, I also got to spend time with these wonderful women who have influanced me through my life. I was in awe as I listened to their stories and insights and council and experience. I truly felt that I was among very elite women. I have truly been born of Goodly Parents, Grandparents, and Aunts (and Uncles but they weren't there;).

I wanted to jot down some of my notes from the conference that really stood out to me and perhaps something I write will be an inspiration for a blog reader. It's going to be a little vauge so if something stands out, I would encourage you to study on.

The first talk by Sandra Rodgers was about Following Christ. She said people who follow Christ understand five things:

1) They understand the purpous of this life
2) They know the charactor of God
3) They trust the Lord, his messangers and FOLLOW his example and council
4) They understand the Plan
5) They understand that drawing near to the Lord will require sacrifice

Another talk on Temples and Temple Attendence spoke about being "drenched in joy." The speaker said "In this day in age how huge is status, how thin is character."

It was mentioned that if we truly understood the ordinances of the Lord, you would crawn on hands and knees in order to recieve them. As we return to the temple, and are ready, the Lord will teach us. We can regularly recieve revelation.

We then went to a great talk on Letting Go of the World called :Its time to Sell your Summer Home in Babylon.

Sister Zeyger said: "We live in a world of spiritual tsunamies that come in the form of temptation and trial. We must get to higher ground." Her three key points were that we must FORTIFY ourselves and our families by prayer, scripture study, temple attendance, and communication; FILTER: our own personal filter is the best defense, teach your children to develop filters which will make them stronger; and FOCUS keep our minds clear and concise. Satan wants us to feel busy, distracte, and inadequate. Don't let him do it!

Sister Edmonds said" "If we are not building Zion, we are supporting Babylon, the distance is not measured in miles but in seperation of hearts from Jesus Christ." Membership in the church is more about who has your heart than who has your record. If we don't lear to deny ourselves of something we want, how are we going to deny ourselves of all ungodliness? Live a simple life. God's Plan is the plan of happiness, not the plan of pleasure. Keep the Sabbath Holy/Wholly

I'm going to save the next one for a seperate blog...It was my favorite.

Council was given on spiritual strength in challenging times: Nothing is impossible, no trial or loss cannot be overcome by the Savior.

Julie B. Beck said: You can't force your family to heaven, you can only encourage and correct. She also talked about the book of Alma and how we learn of Nehor and Korihor who preached the doctrine of "ME." Anti Christ = Anti Family; Anti Family= Anti Christ.

Sister Gill talked about communication 1) be interested and involved, do your homework 2) Don't pass judgment or people will withold information, 3) Deomonsrate compassion and respect.

John Bytheway gave great perspective on a scripture (Moses 1:39) That it is the LORDS work and the LORDS glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man; and we should not take it upon ourselves. We may be willing to do something but unable and that is where Christ comes in. Some learn by instruction (1Nephi 2 16-17; D&C 46:14) Some learn by observation (Mosiah 19:17; Mormon 1:2) and some learn by the things which they suffer (D&C 105:6) "Experience is a school and fools will live by no other." Men talk for information, women for interaction :) Ask yourself "What is it like to be married to me?" (I liked that a lot) Praise for who people are more than what they do.

The last talk I will talk about is: I will make Weak Things become Strong where we learned you don't have to be perfect, just worthy.

Brad Wilcox took the scripture 2 Nephi 21:23 (It is by grace we are saved after all we can do) and then broke it down into several bits: we are refined throughout our lives (not just AFTER) by grace and it is a constant progress in our lives; We can't do ALL we can do ALL the time. Any offering/effort is accepted and God is more concerned with the offerer than the offering; what CAN we do without God? We are required to do things because it will make us better. The WE means Jesus and Me. (D&C 123:17) Jesus doesn't make up the difference, he makes ALL the difference.

Those were just a few of my notes, I really enjoyed the whole thing, escpecially being there with my mom! It was awesome!