Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Wrap Up

Don't worry, this won't be long. I know I have had an eventful year but now it all feels so routine that I feel like it has actually been quite boring. And away we go....

  • Went to Washington, D.C for about 7 weeks to learn more about ASL interpreting and to have an adventure
  • Got a part time teaching job at American Fork High School
  • Was offered and accepted a faculty position at UVU
  • Saw lots of friends get married and have babies
  • Made some pretty important life decisions
  • Spent much of the Fall semester trying to not pull my hair out with all the new responsibilities 
  • Made and lost a few friends
  • Regained those friends I lost
  • Strengthened my testimony of my Heavenly Father and my Savior...this was the best part
2008 was a good year, but I think 2009 will be MY year!  Have a happy and safe New Years, I love you very much and am grateful for your friendship!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Brand New Blog

For quite a few years I have harbored a burning desire to be a film critic.  I love, love, love movies and I watch a lot of them.  I'm no expert by any means but I think I watch them very critically but not as critically as annoying real-life critics.  So I'm trying out a new blog!  Click here for my amateur attempt at my dream job.  Any new (or old) movies I watch I'll post my opinion and give it a grade.  If you want me to test out any new or old movie before you see it, let me know.  I seriously love movies.  Promise.

No Excuse! - 2

Jordan: "How fast does hair grow?"

Rachel: "I don't know"

Jordan: "I've heard it's like an inch a month"

Rachel: "I've heard something like that. It sounds right, that's 6 inches a year"

Jordan: "Six inches? Um....."

Rachel: No reply.  Dead of embarrassment.  Writing this post from the afterlife.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

One More Week!

I planned on going back to Orem yesterday afternoon but I have been snowed in! I wanted to leave before it got dark yesterday but it was snowing. In Logan if it is snowing it means you better not try to make it through Sardine will lose. So I decided to leave after church today. It started snowing while I was helping my mom in Primary! Sigh. I must leave tomorrow! I love being with my fam but I need to get back because....
A new semester starts in a week! I'm not ready at all! I haven't even started any of the syllabi (plural of syllabus y'all) for the 3 classes I'm teaching and writing a syllabus, making a schedule, coming up with lesson plans, etc takes SO MUCH work! I am very excited though! I get to teach 2 interpreting classes and I think I am really going to love it. That doesn't mean I don't need your prayers....I need those the most!
I'm feeling very optimistic about this next semester, I think there are good things in store for me. It's just a feeling (which have been totally wrong before) but I'm going with it!
Good luck to all of you still in school! You'll make it!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

No Excuse!

The setting: The Johnson Family table on Christmas night

The scene: Playing a card game called Five Crowns

Dad: "Woo Hoo! On that last round I went from last to third"

Rachel: "There's only four of us, big deal"


Taylor: "There's five of us"

Friday, December 26, 2008

Too Much...

When I got to my parents house late Christmas Eve I was told that my brother's girlfriend's brother was killed that afternoon in a snowmobiling accident. We just love their family and so it is a really tragic thing, especially the day before Christmas. She found out while she was at our house and has been in a state of shock ever since. She is questioning why this would happen to her family and is really mad at God. We have no idea what to do. This is the fourth death I've been tied to since the semester began and it never gets easier and you still never know how to comfort those who need it.With the death, Christmas, family, etc, I have been thinking about my future a lot. It seems like that is the big question now, "Rachel, what are you going to do after you graduate?" I have no idea. Having ideas and having concrete plans are very different. My dad wants me to stay in Utah and buy a house....I don't think I'm ready for that. On the other hand, I don't know what I'm ready for...other than a social life.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I think that as of right now, 1am Christmas morning, I may be in the Christmas spirit. As mentioned before, I have kind of been resisting it. I have in fact been a Grinch! (I chose this picture because his hands are on his hips, like I do when I'm being sassy) (everyday!)Friends have been great about being bright and cheery but I think something I'm really struggling with is all the commercialization. I think it is truly disgusting how crazy people get about all this. I hate to sound like a Bishop, but what about the real meaning of Christmas? I am so grateful for a Savior whose birth we celebrate this time of year. I reflect everyday on His sacrifice for me and for all of us. I try to be selfless like Him but I know I fail miserably and am therefore thankful for His grace. I'm grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who sent Him to fulfill the plan and save us all, if we will only accept it.

I think the big turn around I have felt regarding Christmas this year came today because of my opportunity to be with my family. They are my favorite people on Earth, I don't have to impress them or look nice for them, they love me for me. I am so full right now of love and joy for all the blessings my family and I enjoy. I hope that you feel the same and that you are able to be with someone you love on this Christmas day.
God bless.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Not for the Sober

After a lovely wedding reception last night I went to Applebees to eat some half priced appetizers and enjoy some more lovely company.  It ended up being karaoke night, apparently it is every Tuesday.  At first I was a bit annoyed but it was really fun!  The picture below is how drunk people do karaoke and let's face it, karaoke is for them and them only.
I know the guy who was running the show, he is also an interpreter.  Just to be funny I signed to him "I want to trick my friend, can you announce his name?"  So, it went something like this, "Up next we have our first ambush karaoke!  Singing for us will be Jordan Barton!"  
The freaking out and refusal ensued.  It was hilarious!  Until the DJ actually got people chanting his name and pounding the tables.  Yikes.  I was not expecting that!  Just a name announcement, that's all I asked for!  He was pulled onstage by a table partner (Par)....
....and together they sang "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer".  It was awful, Par is from France and had never sang the song before and I'm pretty sure Jordan needed his glasses.  BUT, the little dance he kept doing made up for messing up the words.
Jordan, thanks for being such a good sport about it.  Please don't feel like you need to get revenge or anything, that's just not necessary, because while you may have resisted, it still ended up being something really great.  Right?  (I'm trying real hard here to convince you to not get me back in any way!)  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vain? Me?

Check out my darling shoes! I was accused of being vain today because I enjoy lovely things. I say, I think not! I got an amazing deal on these, I literally could not pass them up!  These gems cost me $5.68....go ahead and tell me I should have left them at the store, I dare you!  (In all fairness I think I labeled myself as being vain first, but it was quickly supported) I have a semi disturbing story to go along with these shoes.  As we were looking at the selection some old lady was trying these on.  She asked me and Eliza which ones we preferred, blah, blah, blah.  She then said, "Other than lingerie I don't know what I would wear these with!"  Pardon?  How about all black?  

I also went and saw "Ghost Town" this evening with a group of attractive people, it was great!  I highly recommend it.  Ricky Gervais is a genius, he plays a really awful guy in it, and he plays it well.  If possible, try to sit next to a future dentist like I did, I makes the movie so much funnier!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rachel = Awesome

I have once again been informed that I should make my blog awesome because it is being closely monitored. Intimidating? A little. Flattering? Could be.
It depends on the day. Sometimes I feel like this chihuahua and sometimes I feel like the lady balancing precariously on that itty bitty chair.

Have a fantastic week everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Will You _______ Me?

Ok, I may get a lot of flack for this one, but I think it is something really important and isn't discussed enough. I am Mormon, duh, and I remember when the Church could pride itself on having a super low divorce rate. Especially when compared with the national average. But, times have changed. Our divorce rate is nearing the national average even though a big focus within our church is family, communication and love. How is this all changing? I have a theory so please indulge me.....
I personally know at least 10 people my age or younger who have already been married and divorced once. Think about people you know, how many have already done the wedding/divorce thing? What are common themes? Ones I have noticed are: getting married right off a mission, getting married very young and having very short courtships/engagements.

On the flip side I also know a few couples who have done one or all of those things and are still married (and I am thrilled for them) BUT when comparing divorces, the facts speak for themselves. So, if you're reading this and you think I think your marriage is doomed, I definitely don't. I just wish more people would wait just a little bit longer and really think about what eternity really means.

In August the Church magazine, the Ensign, focused on "older" unmarried members of the Church.  They encouraged this group to continue improving themselves with additional schooling, service, etc.  Funny thing about this is the more girls "improve" themselves, the more Mormon boys around this area tend to get intimidated.  Funny.  While I can appreciate the message of hope the Church released, I would really appreciate if they would address the problem of this super young, already divorced group.  I have been a member my entire life and I only remember two older, established couples divorcing but can easily come up with 10 or more younger couples.  I think that's a problem that they should address.  

Last night I met a guy who has been off his mission for about two months and has already gone on a ton of dates.  I asked him if he was actively trying to get married and he said yes, he was.  I asked why he wanted to get married so bad...was it pressure from his mission, parents, something he really wanted?  He said yes, all of the above.  When I asked him why he really wanted to get married he said it's because we're supposed to.  Yikes.  

I hope this doesn't offend anyone, if it does then please prove me wrong and have a wonderful and successful marriage.  Anyone else remember when they would discuss our divorce rates in comparison with the national?  Let's get them talking about it again in a positive light.  I want to see that divorce rate change, if it changes, I can stop theorizing and continue "improving" myself  :)

I'm grateful for the opportunity we have for eternal marriage.  

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snippets of "The Letter"

Eliza suggested I post a bunch of highlights from the missionary letter I found.  Here they are...I can't wait to hear what you think!
  • Even though we are ten thousand miles apart, we are still getting through the next two years together!  We'll share each other's trials, bear one another's burdens and mourn and comfort each other.
  • Thanks for the list of names! I can't wait to figure out and finalize each childs name.  Basically, we are having LOTS of kids.  I can't wait!
  • Oh, I could go on for hours like this.  I've written too much.  Can you feel my passion?  (He was talking about politics, not their kids names)
  • Do you ever learn about someone in history you can't help but feel a special connection with?  I think if we only lived at the same time we would be best friends - our minds are so compatible.  We understand each other! (talking about Jacob from the Book of Mormon)
  • You are asking if I really want you?  You know I'm not stuck with you.  Couldn't a great guy like me get any other date?  I'll remind you again and I'll remind you a thousand times everyday - I LOVE YOU!  Yes YOU!
  • Next, I've heard it's a good idea to put toilet paper with your food storage.  Most people don't think of it but when disaster strikes, it'll be a disaster!  Just a thought.
  • By the way, I ate a strawberry shake before I licked the stamp.  Can you smell it?  he! he! I love you!
  • I dream of you every night! I can't wait to be with you forever!
  • As a flower is to a bee, as water is to a brooklet, as the sunlight is to a tree, as the muse is to the poet, you are to me.  You are my honey, my living water of peace and passion, my light and my life, my inspiration and meaning.
  • Just look forward to that day when your prince will come rescue you and make you a Queen! 

Your thoughts???

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Worst Day of My Life

Need I say more? My boyfriend is sneaking around on me!

I can still be grateful to be done with my finals though  :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ethical Dilemna

I found a letter in the parking lot at school the other day and I noticed it was mailed from Australia.  Upon further inspection I saw that it was sent by an elder to a girl here in Orem.  (so excited about this find!!!!)  I was planning on delivering the letter to the girl without reading it but tonight Eliza found it in my car and decided to read it (I'm blaming her entirely, even though I didn't protest very much).  It ended up being the most hysterical "missionary to lady love" letter ever written, I can almost guarantee it!  

Here comes the I copy it (and post it on my blog) or just return it to the girl without making any copy?  I'm excited to make her day, I'm sure she's devastated she lost it.  Let me know what you think!

I'm grateful that the sun came out today to melt a bit of the snow that fell last night.  I guess I should be grateful for the snow because it eventually becomes moisture for the ground but I hate living in it!  Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Here I Go Again...

On DVD this Tuesday!  Any of you girls out there want to have a "No Boys Allowed" night?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Goals, NOT Resolutions

I know with the new year fast approaching we all start of thinking of what worked and what didn't for the year.  I think about these things constantly because I'm pretty sure I will never find myself to be good enough (no comments about that statement please).  So, here is my list of ongoing goals:

1. To actually make use of my Rec Center pass
2. To be a better friend and person
3. To be a more effective and concerned teacher
4. To actually come to a decision about my future
5. To stay organized this next semester
6. To learn more about real love
7. To improve whatever talents I may possess
8. To mend relationships and right my wrongs
9. To be more proactive about interpreting
10. To figure out how to return the light to my eyes

This list is far from over and I'm definitely taking suggestions for any additions.  So I guess I'm grateful for everyday that I wake up and get to work on this list.  I only hope that I can be more diligent than I have been.  Good luck with your own goals/resolutions!

School's Out

Fall 2008 semester is officially over! I am so happy about this, even though I still have a lot to do for it. I still need to do 3 finals and grade about a bazillion papers/videos/tests for my students. But I stand by my statement, Fall 2008 semester is officially over!I only have one more semester left before I graduate and it is the greatest feeling ever!  Although I fully expect to have a mental and physical breakdown before I actually complete the semester.  I have 21 credits left to graduate so I'll be doing them all next semester.  So, my schedule is this: teaching every morning at AFHS, teaching 3 classes at UVU, supervising the mentors in the ACIPP and taking 7 classes toward my degree.  Yikes, please keep me in your prayers.

Even though I will be incredibly busy next semester I plan on doing my best to be more social.  I was not very diligent this semester about having a social life and it was pretty lonely.  

I'm grateful for you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ew, gross

I gave a final tonight and one of my students picked her nose throughout the whole thing.
Ew, gross.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to teach at UVU this semester, it has been a truly amazing experience.  My favorite part has been the relationships I have gained with my students.  They are incredible people and I am so lucky to have been able to share my knowledge and experiences with them.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Woo hoo! Today is the 30th wedding anniversary of my two favorite people! I don't have any pictures of them together on my laptop so I had to post them individually. SO sad, but they are amazing separately and even better together.

I am so grateful that Heavenly Father decided to send me to these guys. I couldn't have been more lucky when it came to my parents! I have learned so much from them and continue to be amazed at how much more they have to teach me. They are the coolest parents alive for so many reasons and I need to be better about telling them this. 

Thanks mom and dad for everything. I'll explain what everything is when you get my present, for now, thanks a million. I love you! 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan......As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. . ."  - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

I am extra grateful today for our armed forces. I am proud of my strong military heritage and the love I feel for this country.

God Bless America!


Today in Sacrament Meeting a boy was up sharing and he started it with saying, "I didn't grow up here, I didn't grow up in the Jello Belt". Ha ha! I love it! I hope this makes sense to everyone enjoying my blog, a few people at church seemed a little confused at this.

I'm grateful for people sharing their testimonies, it takes some guts.  I hope you have a wonderful week, I will!  Tomorrow is the beginning of the last week of the semester!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dedicated to Dad

I found this picture and I love it! My dad is a card carrying member of the NRA so I thought I'd dedicate this one to him, love you dada!

I'm grateful for our rights even though they are often misinterpreted and under attack.  

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hair Don't

Attention Utah ladies - weaves, extensions, etc should be discrete.
No one wants to see this.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

He's the Man

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

Dr. Seuss

I'm grateful for being me.  Sometimes I don't like me but then I remember who I am, where I came from and where I'm going.  It's a lot to be grateful for.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why is it...

  • that I find this guy more romantic than the most of the guys I've dated?
  • that I cried while watching a cartoon about robots that takes place 700 years in the future?
  • that I think we could all learn to be a bit more loving and sensitive from Wall-E?
I'm so grateful for my many different jobs.  Not just the ones I get paid for either.  I find the ones I do pro-bono to be the most gratifying!  Like when a student sits in my office and cries about life or shares wonderful news and accomplishments with me.  I'm grateful.

Monday, December 1, 2008

You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.
-Zig Ziglar

I hope I can be the kind of person who is giving other people what they want and what they need.  I am grateful to have people in my life who see that I get what I need.  Thank you for being a blessing in my life and for loving and taking care of me.  Thank you for seeing me through all times, good and bad.  

This quote is very applicable because serving those I love makes me happy and isn't happiness all we could ever want in life?  That's all I want.

My mom has a little embroidered pillow that says, "Friends become our chosen family" and I totally agree with that.  I feel like the luckiest girl on Earth with the amazing people I have in my life, I actually feel badly for people who don't know my friends and aren't in my family.  

I'm a lucky, lucky girl and that is a fact.