Monday, November 21, 2011

A Park in Fall

I've been waiting several years to use this picture. I found it online somewhere. I don't know where it's located, but I love it. Every fall I've forgotten to post and write about it. This fall it's been on my mind and I finally remembered!
You might ask, "What's the big deal about this picture?"

I live a desert, you see. I'm not within 200 miles of anything remotely as green as this. (The mountains of So. Utah or the rolling hills of So. California would be the closest green spots to me.) Some people dream about a new house or car, but my dreams involve naturally green grass and tall, leafy trees.

This picture first caught my eye---with its winding paths, convenient benches, and the colorful leaves on the trees in the background, because I love to run and this would be a gorgeous place to run through. It's so different from what I see every day---it's soothing to my eyes and my emotions.

I wonder if I'll ever find it. I like to imagine this is a park in England or Ireland and someday, while on vacation there, I'll stumble onto it. I'll walk along the paths, admiring the foliage, then stop and sit on one of the benches and admire the greenery around me.

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Photo credit: Unknown

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Making Peace

My friend, Ron, posted this picture on Facebook. I smiled when I saw it, knowing how true it is, and copied it for my blog.

I haven't written or even felt like writing in months. Once my sister's blog was attacked by an unknown hate blogger, I lost some of my joy in writing here. It didn't feel safe. Even when I turned my once public blog into a private one, I felt sick knowing there were people out there looking for nice blogs to destroy.

So I wrote poems and essays in my mind, cataloging them there for later. (If I remember them later, that is.)

Then I saw this picture. I admit, I made judgement calls about several people I know who are not at peace with who they are; always searching for the better car, the next house, the better spouse. They hate how they look or the life situation they were either born in or find themselves in. People who are so unhappy that they have little to no peace. Then I realized, shame on me, I needed to be judging myself.

Am I at peace with who I am? Most of the time. Am I content with what I have? Most of the time. I have my moments.

I count myself one of the luckiest people in the world. I was born to great parents and a large, fun family in a free country. I believe in a God who loves me, and am part of a religion that is truly fulfilling. I am blessed with a child I should never have been able to have, and after heartbreak I found an amazing man I love to spend the rest of my life with.

So I'll keep this picture to remind myself to be at peace; to count my blessings; to be content.

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Picture courtesy of Ron via Facebook

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Who is this woman in the mirror I see?
  This woman there in front of me.

Forty-one years
 of laugh lines,
  of joy,
   of faith,
    of sorrow and heartbreak.

Forty-one years of learning
 the gospel,
  the scriptures,
  the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Forty-one years
 of trial and error,
  forgiveness and trust;
   never giving up.

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Picture credit:

This poem is for my YW Personal Progress Faith project. (Yes, I'm an adult leader working on it AGAIN.)

I wrote a similar poem when I was 16, looking forward into my future and questioning what I would experience and who I would become. (I need to find it and post it.)  I love this one because I incorporated faith and the gospel, not just life experiences. :o) Enjoy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Week Over!!!

First week of school over with. We all survived.

The boys made it through their first week of middle school without incident. (I almost had a nervous breakdown and was WAY more freaked out about them going to middle school than they were. Silly me.)

Steve made it through his first week back to college classes this fall.

I made it through my first week back at my middle school teaching shy seventh graders and obnoxiously funny eighth graders.


Now both boys are gone for the holiday weekend.

The hubby's at work.

I'm watching a chick flick.


(And happy in a quiet house for a change!!!)

In a semi-dirty quiet house that I'll finish cleaning tomorrow.

Corrina L. Terry
Copyright 2011
Photo credit: Me

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blog Changes

One of my sisters has been through a living nightmare with her blog. She was viciously and anonymously attacked by someone who was bored, jealous, or just sick. Due to her experiences, I have decided to keep my blog private and invite only people I know to read it. I don't mean to offend anyone and if I do know you personally, I would (probably) love to add you to my reader list. :o) Thanks and have a great chocolatey day!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Fun Pics

Just wanted to share some of the fun things we've been doing this summer so far.

 J & cousins at Cascade Falls.

Steve & me at Cascade Falls. 

Van Leuven-Durfee Reunion @ Duck Creek, UT.
  J racing against 12 year olds. He's 11.
 He got 2nd place!

Uncle Lew and some of the kids. He's just a big kid himself! ;o)

 My sisters, mom and me. Out to dinner for my b-day.
 Mom, Dad, and Me @ dinner. (Not the best lighting.)

 Steve and I riding around Pine Valley, UT, on our ATVs. I saw the street sign and had to take a pic! :o)

 First place in the BB Gun shoot out!  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ I beat out 4 guys!!!! Oh yeah!

This pic was taken technically BEFORE summer officially began, but I love it because it has my little dudes and one of my sister's kids. They just happened to sit up on the stage @ church and I loved it.

More memories to come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Copyright 2011  Corrina L. Terry
Pictures by Corrina L. Terry on my IPhone. ;o)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Looking at Us

We meet up every year or so,
when she's in town,
at a McDonalds with our kids.

We sit and talk,
catching up on the news in our lives,
reminiscing over past successes,
weeping for lost friends and family,
laughing to tears about new and old funny stories.

Looking at us,
two 40-something women,
you'd never guess we were once 11-year-old friends,
riding the same bus to the other side of town (to end segregation),
14-year-old freshmen,
excited about high school and dances and boys,
16-year-old drivers,
taking chances, speeding all over town, looking for fun,
18-year-old college students,
two small ants in a big university ant hill far from home,
29-year-old moms,
pregnant with our firstborn babies and due within days of each other,
36-year-old women,
crying together over heartbreak and loss, sorrows and struggles,
38-year-old hotties,
attending our 20 year high school reunion in style,
41-year-old sages,
knowing more, understanding more, believing more;
amazed at what life has brought us.

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Photo credit: McDonald's

This poem is dedicated to my dear friend, Jen Cory Alvey. I hope to add to this poem with 50 more years of experiences!  :o)  Thanks for all you've done for me.  :o)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Bathroom Floor

I rarely get a stomach bug. In fact, the last time I threw up was Christmas of 2008 (when I had another stomach bug.) Even though I'm around teenagers every day (whose parents send them to school with everything under the sun) I'm pretty healthy.

Not this week.

A strange stomach flu has circled the Las Vegas area over the past two months or so. I'd heard rumors and whispers of its vile consequences at church, school, and through the family grape vine. My sisters, brother AJ, and their kids have all had it in one degree or another. I assumed my little family and I were immune.

Alas, I was wrong.

I have never spent an entire night on a bathroom floor before. As a kid I stayed in bed and barfed into a yellow bucket my mom put next to my bed. (She knew I'd never make it to the toilet.) Well, I spent the night next to a toilet this week, not once, but twice.

Like all stomach bugs, it hits you in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep and there is no one to comfort you. We're in Duck Creek, Utah, at the family cabin for a reunion this week. My hubby returned to Vegas for work the afternoon of my sickness. The family cabin was full of my siblings and their kids, but I couldn't bear to wake anyone.

So I sat on the carpeted floor of what we call the "new" bathroom (my parents added on a much needed wing to the cabin several years back) where no one could hear me cry or vomit. But strangely enough, I didn't feel alone.

I prayed for help---for my Heavenly Father to comfort me. I know it sounds strange and I'm a faithful person and all, but even I was amazed to feel His arm around me, holding me up, telling me I could get through this. I felt like I was going to die, but I knew I was going to be okay. So while I heaved more times than I dared to count and was left feeling weak and tired physically, my spirit was strengthened.

Then the bug struck again.

Last night I spent most of the night on the bathroom floor with my little man, J. No child should have to go through that kind of thing alone. He was a trooper. I shared him my experience of being alone and sick earlier in the week and praying for help. He was sad I didn't wake him up for help. (Going through this himself, I think he was horrified I didn't have anyone to help me.)

I told J that someday he and I would look back on this night and laugh about it; that it was a bonding moment for us to go through the same thing and spend time together talking in the middle of the night on the bathroom floor. He gave me a strange look. Maybe someday he'll understand.

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Turning 41 & Father's Day All in One!

Every few years my birthday falls on Father's Day. Growing up, my dad told me that was his special gift from Heavenly Father after he and my mom struggled to have kids for 5 years.  It was fun to share my special day with him and now with my hubby, Steve.

Above is the "musical" card my boys bought me. (They love those 2 cartoon characters and have to be pried away from them in the card aisle.) 

Some of my other presents. I have an old mountain bike from college I refuse to part with. It's had 2 flat tires for 6 months. The hubby has promised to replace them for me.  :o)  I also talk on my cell phone a LOT when driving. Nevada just passed a law forbidding this (don't ask me why, I'm a careful driver), so the hubs also picked up a cool bluetooth thingy for my cell phone. I was scared to try it out (old age and new technology don't mix well), but it was very easy to set up and use! I'm going to get a lot of use out of it, I think.

My son J knows how much I love music and downloading from Itunes.

My eyes look sleepy and gross, but I couldn't leave out my yummy box of chocolate from D.

Now for Father's Day @ our house . . .
Remember last year when I didn't check Steve's pockets and washed his Ipod and ruined it? Well, I saved my pennies this year and bought him a sleek silver one!  The boys gave him a picture (D) and an Itunes gift card (J).

It was a fun, fun day. Love my hubby, boys, family, and friends for making it so great!!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

One Week

I wish this pic were a bit clearer. If you haven't already guessed where it's located, I'll give you a hint: The Happiest Place on Earth.
Yes, Disneyland. 

As I leave the 2010-2011 school year behind this week, I release my worries over students' lives and choices, my fears about being laid off or having amazing lesson plans in place, and the stresses of this crazy year. I enter the world of summertime. Like Disneyland, summertime always blends for me yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.

You need to understand, I have the perfect job for this world. My summers are off. I dream, read, and play. Dropping like chains, the former school year falls around me, and I'm a lighter version of me again.

In the world of yesterday, I'm a child once more, swimming all summer long with my sisters, brothers, and our friends at my parents' house. Even better now, we have children and spouses to splash and swim with.

Tomorrow is always before us and stands as hope for me. Hope for a relaxing, fun summer. Hope for better things, such as getting my house renovation completed before I'm 50. ;o)

My fantasies in the summertime are days spent at the cabin or afternoons on a beach. I'll at least get the cabin fantasy to come true this summer. I dream all year long of sitting on the front porch with my feet up, reading a book and taking long walks with my dogs.

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Not very good picture courtesy of me!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Many times I have thought about this quote as I sit down to write. The potential to write good or evil is within every writer. I find myself fighting back and forth over what is often easy for me to write (scary, dark stuff) and what is hard for me to write (funny, positive stuff).

I hope to be a great writer some day; to influence generations in choosing good and feeling happy when they read. Until then I practice (and practice and practice) "combining words" as Hawthorne put it. I continue to try.
Corrina L. Terry

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crossing the Desert

Photo: Desert cactus, Baja, Mexico

Take a look at the above picture. That's what the final weeks of teaching middle schoolers looks like. It's a barren desert with mountains yet to climb before I get to the oasis of summer on the other side. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy teaching and love the kids, but it's been a long, crazy year. (Just ask my hubby who has to hear the stories each day!)

I have a way to go still.

I can make it.

I will make it.

A summer of family reunions, swimming, bbqs, and book reading awaits me. I can't give up now.

Product Details

Picture credits:
Family reunion pics: Me
Desert pic:  by Ed George
Pool pic:
Book pic: & my buddy Janet. She always makes me laugh!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Stuck in Traffic

Stuck in traffic lately? I am daily. Every time I find myself stuck in a lane behind a truck I can't see around (such as the one above) I think back to an experience I had in Provo, Utah, years ago.

It was a typical day for me, driving home after a day of work from the Provo river bottoms to our South Provo apartment. I usually took University Avenue because it was a straight shot home. I haven't lived in Provo in 12 years, so I hope this street has changed, but I doubt it.

At the time it was a tree-lined street with two lanes on either side, a turning lane (shared by both sides of the road) in the middle, and one lane on each side for parking. It felt narrow, especially during Provo's "rush hour."

Day after day I would get trapped behind some large truck or another. Traffic was tight. Cars would jockey for prime positions. I couldn't see what was in front of the truck; I often couldn't see much in the other lane, and so I would plod on, inch by inch, light by light, angry and frustrated feeling that the drive home was lasting forever.

One evening my perspective changed. As I plodded along behind yet another large truck for yet another mile, my frustration mounting, I spied an opening in the lane to my right. I signaled, looked, and zipped over into that lane. I nearly fainted. Both lanes in front of the slow truck (and now me) were open. They were clear! They had probably been clear for some time, as cars had sped past me and Mr. Slow Truck on the right and turned onto various streets, freeing up that right lane.

What I thought had been a slow evening traffic jam was just one slow truck and me following that truck like an idiot, not believing there could be anything better or different about this commute. (Sadly enough, there was also a long line of cars behind me.)

I remember thinking to myself, this is a lot like life. In front of me looms a huge problem or obstacle that I follow for a while, not seeing the end of it. I can't see around it or in front of it. All I can see is IT. I follow it blindly, meanwhile getting more and more distraught when in reality, there is a free and open road right in front of it. 

I took that moment to heart. It became a personal "aha" moment that I'd smile about when stuck in traffic I couldn't see around. Would I let the truck hold me back? Would I take a chance to zip into the next lane and see what was ahead or would I doggedly eat the fumes of Mr. Slow Truck?

Applying it to my life . . . would I let a big, ugly divorce restrain me? Would I let problems at work keep me behind? Would I allow my own self-esteem issues hinder my emotional, mental or spiritual growth? Would my past failures hold me down? No way! No way.

So next time you're stuck in traffic behind a truck you can't see around, think of my lesson. Are you going to let it hold you back or are you going to take a chance and see what's around it?

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Photo credits:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Today's the Day

When I started this blog, my first post was about roller coasters. I compared riding a roller coaster to marriage. I actually wrote that post for my baby brother. (He didn't know it.) At the time he was in his late 20's and while he had dated many great ladies, he just hadn't met the right one. I was so afraid he would give up or grow discouraged about marriage. Luckily he didn't.

Today's the day he and his sweet fiancee marry. I am so proud of them. She has endured a lot of heartache in the marriage department prior to my brother. He has been the lone bachelor in our family for a while. They are our children's favorite uncle and soon-to-be-aunt. They are good, kind people who live righteously and who will make amazing parents. I hope they will have a wonderful marriage and remember the feelings of love they have for each other today when marriage life gets difficult down the road.

I am so glad they took this step to be married in the temple and wish them all of the joy they deserve. Love you both!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Break 2011

Spring Break this year was full of fun and surprises. I'm grateful to my parents, hubby, in-laws, and son J for making it so memorable! I really needed some fun.
 Tron was a BIG deal at our house this spring. We were excited to find all kinds of Tron stuff going on.

Yes, J and I rode California Screamin (in the background.) Loved it!!!

Got to see the preview for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie with real pirates!

After a couple of days at Disneyland, we dropped off Mima, picked up Steve, and headed to Southern Utah to visit Steve's folks. We stopped at Baker Reservoir to check out the massive amount of water there. 

 Handsome devil! You can see why I love this guy!!!!

 J and Grandpa target shooting with J's BB gun out back.

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Photo credit: Corrina Terry

Monday, April 18, 2011

No Crystal Stair

This blog was inspired by a posting I left on an author's blog recently. She'd posted Maya Angelou's poem, "Phenomenal Woman."  I hadn't read that poem since college. It was cool then and made me proud to be a woman, but I was in my early 20's. What the heck did I know about being a woman? I'd only been one for about 4 years.

It seems that I love myself differently for different things, in each stage of my life. (Does that make sense?) What I loved about myself at 20, I still love, but I've found so much more to love along the way. Now at age 40 I love things about myself I never noticed or appreciated before (like the fact that my body is flexible, my knees still work, and I have a confidence in myself I didn't have at 23.) It's pretty dang cool.

There's another poem about life and aging that I read with my students at school. It's by Langston Hughes and is a mother telling her son life is hard, but not to give up.

Mother to Son

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.

'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
    ----Langston Hughes

Life for me ain't been no crystal stair either. Childhood was pretty blissful, but adult life has been the stairway Hughes described. I suppose I love this poem because it's exactly what I'd tell my son Josh. Life hasn't been easy and sometimes it hasn't even been kind, but I'm not giving up. He shouldn't give up either.

Reading this at 40 I feel like I know exactly how that mother in the poem feels, but 40 years from now I know I'll be chuckling at the younger, limber me and saying to myself, "Girl, you had NO idea!!" 

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Photo credit:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has sprung! I love this time of year. Everything is green (in Vegas this is a very short period of time--- February through early June), the air is cool, and it even rains once in a while.

Our Spring Break is exceptionally late this year. It begins Monday and, for me, marks the true beginning of spring. I'm sooooooooooooooooo ready for it! The kids at school have been so squirrelly they'll barely do a lick of work and I'm sick of waking up in the dark at 5:30 am every morning. A week off travelling to Cali and Utah are just what the Doctor ordered.

So here's a toast to spring: Hope our allergies are mild, our grass is green, and our heating bills are low! Bottoms up! ;o)

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Photo credit: Unknown (I found it years ago.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Where I'm From

I don't know why this picture imported into Blogspot sideways and I'm not sure how to rotate it, but I wanted to share the idea with you, the reader.

This is a poem prompt that I use with my 7th graders. It's fun and fairly easy for them to use the template to brainstorm. After all, it's all about them!  I give them an example of my own work  to show them. If you're stuck with nothing to write about, use the template yourself. You'll be amazed at what you come up with.

The poem below is mine from last year. Hope you enjoy!

"Where I'm From"

                                                          "I'm from Las Vegas,
The golden city of gambling and lights,
A city that like a siren calls to gamblers everywhere.

I'm from old-school Vegas,
With its mafia kids, open deserts, and 10 high schools.

I'm from my parents' house,
Big and noisy,
A crystal clear pool and green paved tennis court,
Roller skates, bikes, and big wheels,
Full of life and laughter.

I'm from Cedar Mounatin,
Fresh air, miles of green trees, and blue lakes and streams.
I'm from summers in the mountains with my grandparents,
                                     Building forts, drinking pop, and walking to the
                                                             store for ice cream.

                                                       I'm from Christmas mornings,
Up before dawn, waiting for Grandpa and Grandma,
Opening presents and eating candy.

I'm from my Mom---
Her face, her hair, her baking skills, her optimism.
I'm from my Dad---
His grit, his temper, his desire for knowledge.
I'm from my Grandpa---
His nose, his love of animals, his thoughtful ways.
I'm from my Grandma---
Her stubbornness, her zest for life, her feistiness."
Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry

Sunday, March 27, 2011


My muse has been absent this week. During the week I give everything I've got to teaching and then at home (cooking, cleaning, laundry, boys' homework, lessons, Scouts, etc.), plus I've been working out like a mad women to get ready for swimsuit season. (It starts early here in warm, sunny Vegas.) ;o)

So I've been reading and recharging over the weekends, but there aren't any cool or funny ideas swirling around in my brain this weekend. (Well, maybe for a book, but not for my blog.)  :o)

That's not say I haven't seen amazing things or been inspired this week. Here's a list of a few things that made my week:

1. Steve and D did the dishes for me Tuesday night. It was nice to come home from an evening of chauffeuring J around to a clean kitchen! This hubby of mine is a KEEPER!

2. Students achieving and caring. There is one girl in particular who has come a LONG way in my English class. She's an English Language Learner and struggled remembering nouns and verbs at the beginning of the year. Now she's got simple, compound, and complex sentences mastered!!!! I praised and praised her in front of the class. Her proud smile was worth putting up with the rest of them.  ;o)

3. My courtyard. I bought a new front door mat and replanted some annuals that were bunched together. Flowers are blooming and plants are growing. J and I also painted the front gate last Saturday and now it's looking sharp out there!

4. Primary. I think the Sunbeams are my favorite kids in Primary. They are so fun---I love that age. Today a friend of mine with no children of her own subbed for them. This sweet lady has never taught in Primary. I could just feel her nervousness. Guess what? She ROCKED!!! One of the little Sunbeams looked at me afterward and said, "I like my teacher!" I smiled and told him that I liked her too. I also shared his comment with my friend. I think it made her day. I know it made mine.

5. Sons getting along. I remember growing up with siblings. It can be like "Lord of the Flies" one minute and "Little Women" the next. ;o) Today the boys have gotten along pretty well. When they get along it makes our whole home more peaceful. It also makes their momma's heart proud when they choose the right.

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Photo credit:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Is It Vacation Time Yet???

I still have a MONTH until Spring Break and 2 1/2 months until summer. (I'm not counting or anything.) Here's where I'd like to be right now:

A lovely Caribbean beach.

Or here:
On the North Shore, Laie, Hawaii beach.

Or maybe here:

I'm sensing a theme here. Hmmmmmm . . .

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry