"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin
The above quote became a life quote of mine during the time I had to get a divorce. It makes me remember that curling up and shutting out the world can be hurtful to the soul. I try to remember to be open and positive and keep working to move forward and make the world a better place.
I began this program in order to renew my teaching license as well as to be able to provide more for my children. I had always wanted to get a master's degree. As an educator, it is pretty much a given that eventually we all have to do it in order to move up the pay scale, a sort of self-promotion since we are not in the business world of promotions and yearly bonuses. Since I had been a children's librarian as well as an educator, I originally thought that I would get a master's in library sciences or reading. However, when it came time to get started, I asked several others for their opinions and it seemed that instructional technology would be more prudent and useful in a highly evolving technological society.
I could not have begun to do any of this, especially as a single mom, without the wonderful and loving support of my mom and sister. They have cheered me on and encouraged me not only through this program, but also through all the times of my life. I did this for them as much as for my two beautiful children.
I absolutely love that I was able to do all of this as a distance education program. I was able to attend class when it was convenient for me and not have to worry about what to do with the kids when I needed to get work done or be in class. I am extremely thankful to Grand Canyon University for providing a means to an end that fit my schedule and lifestyle. I am also happy to report that I actually really enjoyed the experience. Although it was all online which is supposedly impersonal, I was able to make four friends that I will hold dear for the rest of my life. I would not have had such a positive experience in all of this without my four team mates. We were all assigned to the same group in about the third or fourth class. We enjoyed working together so much that for every subsequent class we all emailed our new professor to ensure that we could continue to work together. We have become forever friends and I will be forever grateful that we were given the opportunity to bond and form relationships even across the country.
The kids and me at the corn maze that is held here annually.
The kids and me at the Avalanche hockey game.
We went on a cruise right before I started the program for my mom's 60th birthday. We are on the Isle Roatan here about to cross a rope and plank bridge. My cousin, Brenda, is with us.
After we crossed the bridge, we were able to hold beautiful birds.
Then we were able to hold monkeys.
Another day on the cruise, we were in Key West where we went to Earnest Hemingway's house and saw his famed six-toed cats. This is Colton and Ellie with two of the cats.
This is a picture of my mom and my handicapped sister, Nellie. Nellie is nonverbal, but here she is expressing her love for our mom with a kiss for her birthday on the cruise.
In 2008, I was able to take a trip to Alaska with a friend. One of the things we did was visit a dog-sledding place. I am a total animal lover and here I was able to get up close and personal with one of the dogs.
During a glacier cruise in Alaska, we saw a beautiful glacier up close and watched it calving into the water.
On the glacier cruise, we saw an orca whale jumping out of the water in front of our boat.
I was able to get some great shots of bald eagles in Alaska.
We went on a bear tour in Alaska. I spent one of the best days of my life up-close and personal with many beautiful grizzly bears. This is one of the smaller ones we saw. Although I have a telephoto lens, this bear was about 30 feet from us... no telephoto required!
This is the backside of one of the larger bears we saw.
This past summer we took a trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota and met up with some other family members for a smaller reunion. This is my aunt, cousin, mom, sisters, nephew, me and the kids.
In the Black Hills, they have an attraction called Bear Country which is a drive thru kind of zoo with bears, wolves, and other North American animals.
Wolves are my favorite animals along with the bears. I captured this beautiful white wolf in the grass at Bear Country.
One of our favorite activities is hiking with friends. This is a friend of ours and his two boys on a trip to a waterfall.
I enjoy taking pictures as you may have guessed. Last Mother's Day, I was able to get some good ones of the kids. This is my daughter, Ellie.
This is my son, Colton, from the same Mother's Day series of pictures.
Here they are together!