Monday, December 31, 2012

Conference Room Please!

J and I sit here in a conference room at the Brian Head Town Hall taking advantage of their free WiFi and to get out of the packed car. He's at the end of his cold and didn't feel like snowboarding with his brother and dad, so he's stuck with me!

We left Duck Creek this morning and the guys had a day of snowboarding planned. I had planned on a leisurely afternoon grading papers, entering grades online, and possibly curling up with a book somewhere. (No skiing for me. I'm babying my knees these days.)

The people here in Brian Head are super friendly and nice to allow us use of their conference room. (On New Year's Eve the Town Hall is hardly a bustling place.) I was able to spread papers out all over the conference table instead of my dashboard.

It's not how I expected to spend the last afternoon of 2012, but I'm glad J's with me. He's a good kid, even if he won't let me take pictures of him. I usually have to sneak them.

Brian Head itself is a gorgeous area, all season long. They have good food, lots of lifts, and even a tubing run! It's changed a lot since I last skied here in 1991. (Sad, I know.)

(Steve & D after a day of snowboarding.)

Happy New Year everyone! 2012 has been awesome!!!
Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry
Photos: Corrina L. Terry, Unknown

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Walk in the Snow

This is one view of my walk in the snow today. For fun I marched along my summer jogging route. It usually takes me about 30-35 minutes to jog it in the summer. Today walking in compact snow, it took me about 50 minutes. (Not that I was complaining. It was GORGEOUS!)

Living in an older part of Vegas, I'm surrounded by homes, concrete, and pavement. I love looking towards the mountains in the east, where the temple is, and in the west, where there is a snow cap in the winter, but I miss living closer to the mountains like I did in Provo and Salt Lake. This is why coming to Duck Creek, one of my favorite places on earth, is home to me.

On my walk today I recommitted myself to finding beauty wherever I am. I also drank in the scene around me. I took a picture (literally) to post here and send to my mom (she couldn't make it up here), but also to keep in my mind for those days when I've had enough of the city. It's something I've done since I was a kid. Those scenes and memories have kept me going when my spirit was low.

Below is a small cabin on the edge of the forest service land. It's tiny, but darling, and it's backyard is forest service land for miles. Steve and I hold a dream of owning it someday. We'll see. Owning any cabin (or piece of property up here) would be a dream fulfilled!

Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry
Photos: Corrina L. Terry

Saturday, December 29, 2012

View From My Front Porch Today

So my goal of blogging every day of my Winter Break crashed and burned yesterday. We were running errands and putting out fires from morning 'til night. I literally laid down in bed at about 11:30 last night. I was so dang tired! I thought about blogging, but just couldn't get motivated.

Part of WHY I was tired has to do with the pictures posted today. We were getting ready for a winter visit to the cabin at Duck Creek, Utah. It was in the low 20's when we got here, but gorgeous. We are enjoying every minute and are lucky enough to have my brother Truman and his lovely wife, Megan, with us. From our Winter Wonderland to wherever you are---hope you have a great Saturday!
Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry
Photos: Corrina L. Terry

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blogging Again!

I'm blogging more often because a) it's Winter Break and I have time and b) I have a new laptop!

The picture above is my new baby. I love it! I needed a new laptop for classes I take for my post-Masters (only 10 more credits to go before I max out at Masters + 32 credits), but also to show church videos to the Young Women in my Laurel class. (My hubby got tired of me dragging his laptop to church every week.) Now I can drag my own laptop and blog whenever I want to! Yes!!!

You can probably tell it's sitting on my bed on my lap desk. I do my best thinking (and hopefully best writing) sitting here. Thought I'd give a realistic view of it.

I challenged myself to blog something EVERY DAY of Winter Break. I feel rusty and out of shape writing. It's been a LONG time since I've blogged or even written anything for fun on a regular basis.

Today I don't have anything profound to blog about, but my sister and her family is in town, RC Willey messed up on our dishwasher order, and I've been eating too much chocolate. Besides that---I have a new laptop! :o)

Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry
Photo: Corrina L. Terry

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Missing Christmas

I'm not a huge winter/snow fan, but I love Christmas. From December 1st through Christmas Day, my radio is tuned into the "all Christmas songs" station. I sing, I hum, and I belt out Christmas tunes like a pro. Well, maybe not a PRO-pro, but I try.
I'm always a little sad the day after Christmas.
The presents have been opened.

The Christmas feast eaten.
Time with family is over and most people go back to work.
The radio station goes back to their top hits from the 80's and 90's.
But a tiny piece of Christmas magic still lingers in my heart. I can't wait until NEXT Christmas!
What will have happened in a year? How will things be? What fun presents will I find for my hubby and the boys?
I think back to all of my favorite Christmases and add yesterday's to my list.
We were relatively healthy. (Poor J.)
We were with family.
We were able to give our boys presents that they asked for.
We gave service and gifts to others. (The surprise ones were my favorite.)
We read about Jesus' birth from Luke.
We read President Monson's Christmas article and chose what gifts we would give the Savior and others this year. (A great tradition I hope we carry on.)
It was a Christmas worth missing.

Copyright Corrina L. Terry 2012
Photos courtesy of:,, unknown.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

"Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a good night!"

It was a beautiful day. The only downside was that J was/is sick. :o(
We got to play, talk, eat, visit, and spend time with our family today. It was one of the best days of 2012! I love spending time with my hubby and boys and my big, crazy family. Just wish J felt better.
Merry Christmas! I am so grateful for Jesus Christ. He came to earth to teach us and to save us. I can't imagine how his parents felt holding him the night he was born. They must have been amazed and overwhelmed of Him and the responsibilities that lay ahead of them. I am also grateful to our Heavenly Father, who allowed His Son to come to earth and to die for our sins. He trusted Jesus Christ to do the right thing. We are so blessed that he did.
Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry
Photos: Corrina L. Terry and Unknown

Monday, December 24, 2012

Lesson Learned (The Hard Way)

I had hoped to post a picture of three beautiful pies I baked for Christmas dinner tomorrow. Instead, I've got three hideous pies to post and a lesson learned.

When following directions in making pies, it's best not just to double check that you've added all of the ingredients, but to triple check. I forgot the eggs.

So I will begin again after dinner tonight. I bet I never forget the eggs for this recipe again.

Merry Christmas Eve!

The NEW and IMPROVED pies:
Hurray for second chances!

Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry
Photo: Corrina L. Terry

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Counting My Blessings

I may not be wealthy by the world's standards, but according to God's standards, I am one of the wealthiest women on earth. I have so many blessings to be thankful for.

I was born into a loving family, with good parents. They not only provided me with food, clothing, education, and shelter, they did everything they could to teach me right from wrong. They supported me in my interests and taught me about Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
I cherish my education. To my family, education was a crucial part of our personal growth. We read, wrote, learned, attended college, and in my case, continue to. I am so grateful for my education. It has made me a better person inside and out.
My friends are kind and patient with me. Some are old and some are new. I have learned so much from them and enjoy sharing my ups and downs with them.
I was told having a baby was nearly impossible for me, but was blessed to bear one amazing son, my gift from God, J. J is wiser than his years. (Don't tell him that.) He is more than I could ever hope for in a son and I look forward to watching his future successes.
Heavenly Father also sent a wonderful man late into my life to be my husband, partner, and friend, Steven J. Terry. He makes me laugh and is the best kisser on the planet! ;o) He's also a wonderful priesthood holder and father.
Steve brought with him a son I didn't bear, but call my son, D. D has taught me more about myself than he will ever realize. He has so much to be thankful for if he could just see it. I am grateful that he is part of our family.
I have a rewarding job that allows me to help, teach, and guide others. I know this responsibility is a gift from God who also blessed me with talents to be able accomplish this work. (Some days better than others.)
My calling in the Young Women's program brings me joy every week as I teach them about God and Jesus Christ. These girls are future leaders and mothers. I look forward to seeing their lives as women in the gospel.
My house may be small, my paycheck even smaller, but as you can see, I am very blessed.
Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry
Picture from:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Feeling Peace

The youth in our ward sang carols at several "old folks" homes last week for a service activity to celebrate Christmas. The kids were hyper and happy. They had only one more day until Winter Break. The adults were tired and subdued; it was the end of a long week, but we were glad to be part of giving service to those who need it dearly.
Our son, D, asked how singing could be a service to someone. I explained to him that some people live in retirement centers and rarely have visitors. They are older and may be sick or their friends and family may not visit enough, so having new faces come in to sing brightens their day. He seemed content with that.
As we sang I felt peace. Those we sang for were glad to have us. Some sang along or clapped. Others smiled and their eyes lit up. We received hugs, handshakes, candy, and positive comments. We were doing God's work and I could feel the love He has for each of His children---old and young. He knows us and sees us and loves us!
(Me, Grandma Thacke, my Mom in summer of 2009. Gran died in early 2010 from cancer.)
I also missed being around my Grandma Mildred Thacke. There's nothing like Christmas to remind us of those we have lost. Gran was a pistol---funny as can be and quick to have an opinion on EVERYTHING. (My hubby tells me that I remind him of her. I don't think I'm half as funny though. Just opinionated.)
I miss hearing about her life. I miss being able to ask her questions about the Great Depression, World War II, and Vegas in the early days. For a moment I forgot I would see her again. I panicked, but the panic was quickly replaced with peace again.
That peace is the knowledge that God sent His son, Jesus Christ to earth to live, die, and be resurrected for our sins. We will live on in spirit after our earthly death. We will be resurrected and our families will live together forever. Jesus ensured this for us. Our brother Jesus' life began in a humble stable and is celebrated by us as Christmas in December. Christmas is a holiday to celebrate His life.
I am so grateful for this poignant moment I experienced in a rest home just days before Christmas this year. It was a beautiful way for me to be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.
Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry
Nativity picture:
Family picture: Corrina L. Terry

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Epiphany Summer

The photo above was taken over Memorial Day weekend. I blinked and already it was September. Wasn't it just June?

We had lots of fun (and work) this summer. The boys went off to various Scout Camps and visited their other parents. Steve enrolled in a training that kept him busy both weekdays AND most weekends, so we didn't do much as a whole family. I worked, but towards more degrees.

I call it "2012: The Summer Alone."

I was alone for weeks without the boys and until late evenings without my hubby. I knew I had to keep busy or I'd go crazy, so I signed up for 18 credit hours. It was a program entitled "Technology in the Classroom," and was all online. I had never before taken an online class. I was out of my comfort zone. I freaked out. I panicked. I cried almost daily for the first week. (We slogged through a HUGE manual on Microsoft Office 2010 in the first 3 weeks alone. That was just ONE class. Trust me. It was painful!)

Looking back what got me through it was lots of prayers, really reading my scriptures daily, and FORCING myself to sit down every day for 3-8 hours and slave away at learning new programs. I haven't been that uncomfortable in a long time, but it was worth it. I'm way more comfortable using technology in my classroom. The pay increase alone will assist our humble little family to pay off debt in a more timely fashion. Plus I learned to be more disciplined. The downside was that I was so sick of being on the laptop all day, that I didn't blog!

I also learned to survive on my own again. It's been almost 13 years since I've had more than 5 or 6 days without kids. That alone was an epiphany for me. I got a glimpse of life in 6 years when my two little punks are out of the house. I'll be sad, but I'll be prepared with a class (or 2 or 3) to keep myself busy.

This summer I realized the following:
1. Keeping busy is good for me.
2. My dogs CAN be trained to take a walk without dragging me along.
3. Too many mint M&M's aren't worth the extra run/walk time it takes to burn the weight off.
4. My hubby and I can talk about things other than our kids.
5. I've still got it when it comes to taking classes.
6. I'm not afraid of computer technology.
7. I can be alone all day and it's alright.
8. My Heavenly Father must really love me.

Hope you had a great summer too!  :o)
Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day

Taken from the talk I gave in my ward on Mother's Day, 2012.

Mother’s Day is a sensitive day for many people. As women in the gospel, we are all loved by our Heavenly Parents the same, whether we are married, single, divorced, widowed, have children or are childless. It wasn’t many years ago when I avoided Mother’s Days and found any excuse to be somewhere else rather than in a ward full of happy mothers and babies.
I recently discovered that I have friends and female relatives who look on Mother’s Day as a day of insecurity in how they are raising their children.

I can’t help but feel that satan  (lower case on purpose here, he doesn't deserve upper case) is happy when we have these feelings of doubt, sadness, and regret. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy---no matter what situation in life we are in. We can't let these feelings keep us from striving to be the best mothers we can be.

“We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are.”
Marjorie Pay Hinckley
My talk today is not to emphasize what we may not have as women, but to examine what we do have. Everyone has a mother. Not every mother is the same. Some are good mothers, while some are not. I teach middle school in a rough area of Las Vegas. Many of my students are blessed with kind and hard-working parents, but some are not. The parents that abuse, neglect, and ignore their children break my heart. The gift of parenthood, of Motherhood, is a not something to be taken lightly and our children are not objects to be tossed aside when a burden or in the way.

One of my favorite examples of good mothers is in the Book of Mormon. The Stripling Warriors who fought under Helaman were the children of converted Lamanites known as the Ammonites. Their parents had made a covenant never to shed blood, but their male children, the Stripling Warriors, had not. They fought to protect the freedom of their families. They were known to have the greatest courage among all of the Nephites. Here’s why. In Alma 56:47-48 it says, "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the aliberty of their bfathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their cmothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their amothers, saying: We bdo not doubt our mothers knew it."

These young men had courage because their mothers had followed the principles of the gospel and taught them to follow the principles of the gospel also. While some of them were wounded in battle, none of them were killed.
If we were born to goodly parents, as the Stripling Warriors were, we have had good examples of mothers to follow. If not, we may have found “mothers”  in our Primary teachers, Young Women leaders, or Relief Society sisters, seminary teachers, teachers at school, grandmothers, aunts, older sisters or the mothers of our friends.

I have been blessed with a mother who has been a good example to me and many other young people. She decided to be a member of the church when her parents did not have an interest in the gospel and often attended church alone or with her grandmother. She had a strong desire to be married in the temple and raise a family in the gospel. She kept her eye on this goal as she grew up and never gave up on it; marrying my dad and raising 5 kids in the gospel. This is a legacy that she is giving her children, grandchildren, and generations to come.

My mom also welcomed into our home any of our friends or family members who needed a place to stay or live. My friends from high school and college still remember this and ask about her when I see them. She is also an example of strength. When my dad was bishop of the University Ward she took all 5 of us kids to church (actually in this building) on her own. We may not have been the best behaved children in the ward, but instead of doing the easier thing, staying home, she showed me that if she could do it with 5 kids, I could do it with 1 son. In my first marriage my husband worked weekends, then was sent to San Diego for a year and then the middle east for 6 months. I could go to church with my son while I was divorced, and now when Steve has to work. I am so thankful for her example of strength and courage to me.

I have also been blessed with two “angels” in law (see my earlier blog posting about these angels in my blog history), as I like to call them. Most people are not blessed with one good mother-in-law, much less two. I am.

Darlene Rhodes, my ex husband’s mother is also an excellent example of a woman in the gospel to me. Even though I am no longer married to her son, we still consider each other family. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the mid 1990’s. She has endured this disease in faith and in good spirits as she has slowly lost mobility and depends on others to assist her. Darlene's testimony remains strong and she does not mourn her condition and ask “Why me?” I know this because we have had several discussions about it, but I also know this from her example. She never whines or complains, but goes about her life with a smile on her face, determined to enjoy life.

My other mother-in-law, Rhodell Terry, is also an excellent example to me, as well as a source of strength. She and my father in law, Lamar, were both divorced single parents with six small children between them when they married. She became a brave mother of six children under the age of five and ten years later had four more.

After my divorce, while dating Steve, and then marrying Steve, she has been positive, supportive, and helpful in steering me through the complications that divorce and step-parenting bring. Her advice and listening ear have helped me more than she will ever know and I am grateful to her for all she has done and continues to do for us. She is a woman of faith who knows and loves the gospel.

No matter what our circumstances today, I challenge each of us, especially the women, not to think of where we lack or what we don’t have, but to think of the “mothers” in our lives who have made a difference. I am forever grateful to Sis. Abbott, Sis. Thompson, Sis. Hyte, Sis. Stewart, Sis. McConnell, Sis. Alger, and others who taught me correct principles in Primary, Young Women, Relief Society, and thru their actions. They are all true ladies in the gospel and have mothered me in various ways as they have served in their callings and served the Lord.

In closing I want to share one of my favorite quotes from Marjorie Pay Hinckley:
“I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.
I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

I am so grateful to be a woman. May we all take a moment to think of the women in our lives who have been mothers to us.
I bear my testimony that these things I share with you today are from my heart. The gospel is true. Jesus Christ lived and died for us. I am so grateful for my ancestors, who sacrificed so much to join this church and move West. I am also grateful for goodly parents, who like Nephi, taught me right from wrong. I love my husband, Steve, and am grateful for him in my life, as well as our two boys. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why Do You Care?

Why do you care about a man who left us
  to find himself or find
  another job or whatever
  reason he gives.

You are an amazing kid.

Why do you care about a man who never calls you
  or visits, yet insists it's not his fault
  that he never sees you
  or talks to you.

You deserve more.

Why do you care about a man who treated his
  friends far better than you
  and continues to.

You make me smile every day.

Why do you care about a man who turned
  his back on God and his family's religion
  for the world, science, and reason.

You are stronger than you realize.

Why do you care about this absent man in your life?

I know why.
Because you love with all of your heart,
  you forgive;
you dream that someday he will change.
  I hope you're right.

In the meantime, you brighten our home with
  your peaceful spirit,
  your musical and mathematical talents,
  your jokes and stories,
  your good heart.

Copyright 2012  Corrina L. Terry
Photo credit: Corrina L. Terry
My apologies---I don't feel like I'm a very good poet. I don't really have the patience for it, but I had to get this one out. It wouldn't go away. I've had a haunting melody in my mind for about a week now and the words that go with it are, "Why do you care about a man?" I knew it would be a poem about my son, J, and his bio dad, but didn't know how it would eventually come together.

I cried the whole time I wrote it. (Still crying.) J won't see this for a very long time, if not forever. I don't want to hurt him, but needed to work through some of my own frustrations as his mother, watching him light up when the phone's for him and his face fall when major holidays and events go by without a call or visit.

On a happier note - - - my new hubby, Steve, stepped into the Dad role without missing a beat. He's the man J calls "Dad." He's a role model I'm happy to have J follow.

I hope that J knows how much I love him. He is the BEST kid in the world! He's amazing in so many ways and has so much potential. No matter who or what his bio dad is, J can be whole. He can overcome the pain of divorce and loss and have a happy life of his own. He's worth every sacrifice and every moment spent as his mother times infinity! I am truly blessed. :o)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Blast From My Past

I sat in the parking lot for a while,
eyes closed, remembering . . .
 football games, fire drills, the spaces
that used to exist
 where buildings now sit.

I wondered if there was any trace of me,
of us, the class of '88

The building, still squat and square,
still concrete grey
with a splash of color across the top,
sat as it always had.
Patiently allowing thousands of students
to walk in and out of its halls
over time.

             I climbed the steep stairs,
            recalling (years ago,)
           my friends,
          and enemies,
         the boys I loved,
        the joyful voices,
      music of the 80's,
     polo shirts with the collars up,
    topsiders without socks,
   ridiculous nicknames,
  hopeful dreams,
 youthful skin,
spiky hair.

I remembered. I paused. I sighed.
  I continued to climb.

Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry
Photo: Courtesy of Chaparral High School

I attended a training at my former high school this morning. It was bittersweet. The school was cleaner and happier looking than I had seen it in years (thanks to a new principal), but my memories tugged me backward.

I miss my easy friendships of those days. They were some of the most wonderful people! I miss having my entire life in front of me, not knowing the disappointments, deaths, and sorrows yet. I miss being free from the debts and responsibilities of adulthood.

But then I watched a boy come in late, baseball hat in hand, head bowed, asking for a pass to class (he was tardy), and I thought, "Phewy! I'm glad to be my age! I'm glad to know what I'm good at and what I'm not."

I love, love, love my hubby and sons. Life without them would be so lonely and boring! I love having some responsibility and living up to it----it's like a good run---stretches your legs, gives you a bounce in your step, yet keeps ya winded.

I do miss my younger, youthful, wrinkle-free skin though. ;o)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Practically by Accident

OUR MISSION                            NUESTRA MISION
Monaco staff will promote           El personal de Mónaco
the value of education                  promoverá el valor de la
throughout the community.          educación a través de la comunidad.

I wasn’t always a teacher. In fact I never dreamed I’d teach, much less to inner-city middle school kids, but several years ago in my late thirties, my soon-to-be ex-husband left the church and the state, while I stayed behind  in the church, with a mortgage and bills up to my eyeballs.

I’d been a stay-at-home mom working part-time jobs for friends’ businesses because I could bring my young son with me. Suddenly I faced entering the work force full-time again, but I didn’t know what to do. I was torn between earning more money in the business field and having less time with my son, or teaching. Teaching, with evenings, weekends, holidays, and summers off, fit my son’s schedule.  After many prayers I felt prompted to choose a career that would allow me as much time with my son as possible. I signed up to teach.

I’d never before been so grateful for that English degree I earned at BYU, but I had no teaching license. That would take an additional year, money, and time I didn’t have. Heavenly Father blessed me to be at the right place, at the right time, for help. My school district had such a shortage of teachers that they were willing to put me through an accelerated teaching license process while at the same time placing me in a classroom and paying me a teacher’s salary. I was blessed.

The only drawback (I thought) was that I was asked to teach in an inner-city neighborhood. A majority of my students are immigrants or first generation Americans. My ancestors have been in America since the 1500s. Most of my students speak Spanish at home. I know very little Spanish. Most live at or below the poverty level. I grew up in an upper middle class LDS family. Many have wonderful, caring, hardworking parents, but some don’t. Many have histories and home lives that break my heart. They need extra attention, love, and patience. I admit I was nervous. What could I possibly have in common, much less teach these kids? Would they accept me?

I soon realized that those years teaching Laurels and Beehives in Young Women and sisters in Relief Society paid off. One of the first things I learned teaching in church was to know and love my audience. I asked my students about themselves. I prayed daily for my students and their families. My administrators were amazed at how comfortable I was in front of the classroom and with teens. All of my church experience had been practice for a career that would help me make a living for myself and my son.

I found myself absolutely loving teaching English Language Arts and I loving my students! Helping them grow in reading and English, not to mention society, is very fulfilling. I obtained my teaching license and went on to earn a Masters in Teaching. This job has been the perfect fit for me and my son. I am also an LDS example for my students in a school with few LDS students. They know that Mrs. Terry does not permit swearing in her classroom and they often ask me why I’m so happy.

When I tell people that I found my calling in life at age 36, practically by accident, they look at me skeptically and ask me what I do. I proudly tell them, “I’m a teacher.”

Photo & Mission Statement: Courtesy of Monaco Middle School, CCSD, Las Vegas, NV
Copyright 2012 Corrina L. Terry