Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Dream Job

Last week for their journal assignment, my kids had to write about their dream job. I finally got around to reading them (don't judge me...) and this one moved me to tears.







Amen, my dear. Amen.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankfulness Day 7

I thought about sharing this one Sunday, but decided to save it for last.

I am so thankful for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am SO very grateful for the knowledge I have of my Savior, Jesus Christ and the Atonement. There are no words to express how much this gift from him to us means to me, that it is available to me every minute, every hour, every day, no matter how often I screw up or need to feel his peace, He is there for me.

I am so thankful for the plan of salvation, that I know who I am and what my purpose here on earth is. I am thankful for the temple and the knowledge we gain there. I am beyond grateful for knowing that families can be together forever and the sealing power to bind us together for eternity.

I am so thankful for prayer. I can't imagine a God that wouldn't provide a way for us to communicate with Him. He was given us his Spirit and scriptures, living prophets and apostles, to guide us and lead us back to him.




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thankfulness Day 6

I am so grateful for technology. It amazes me what we are able to do nowadays.

This spring/fall I have been so thankful for FaceTime. It was so awesome to be able to be a part of family things, especially primary election night, even though I wasn't able to be in Tooele. Same thing goes for the final election night. It was so nice to be able to have Katie on my FaceTime and Marcus on my dad's and have family prayer before hand.

I am grateful I can keep in touch with family and friends so easily. I know texting kind of gets a bad rap, but it is such a good way to just keep in touch with people. And let's be honest, when you are standing in Michael's trying to pick out a color scheme to do a craft project with, it is just so convenient to shoot a pic to the bestie for her opinion.

Over the past two years, I have been SO SO grateful for email. Getting to hear from Marcus every Monday was the highlight of the week. Letters may have not come every week, but I could count on that email!

I also love having the ability to have church resources (scriptures, Ensign, etc.) with me all the time. I can't count how many times I have been bored getting my oil changed or while waiting somewhere and been thankful I could pull out my phone and read without having to carry my scriptures with me.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thankfulness Day 5

Oh how grateful I am for my career! I love my job. Some days I am positive it is the hardest job on the planet. Some days I seriously think about never coming back. Some days are an absolute nightmare. But I love my job.

I love my children. (And yes, I always refer to them as my children.) They are tough and sweet. They are energetic and crazy. Sometimes they drive me bonkers, but they always make me laugh an feel loved. They are so caring and giving.

I am pretty sure I learn more from them every day than they do from me. If you have every wondered why we are taught to become like little children, come spend a day with me.

I am so thankful to work at the school I do, to work with the wonderful teachers I do, and to know/teach the children/families I do.






Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thankfulness Day 4

Today in Sacrament meeting our intermediate musical number was done by the brethren in the ward. As they all stood at the front of the chapel singing "Ye Elders of Israel" I felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the music we are blessed with in this life.

Music is a big part of my life and always has been. Nothing can touch my soul faster or more deeply than music. Whether it be the perfect song on the radio to rock out to in the way home from work, time to sit down at the piano and just let all the problems fade away, or a powerful hymn sung in Sacrament meeting, there are very few things that can ease pain, increase joy, or soothe the soul faster than music.

I am so grateful that my mom never gave up on the stubborn 8 year old that went to piano lessons and sat on her hands the entire time. I am grateful my dad put up with the squeaky violin playing through elementary school, junior high, and high school.  I am thankful I was able to dance for so many years and learn to "feel" the music.

I am thankful to belong to a church that puts such an emphasis on music. It is such an important part of our worship. It has an ability to join people together, to bless the weary, and strengthen its members.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thankfulness Day 3

After spending some time in Logan this weekend, I can't help but be grateful for that wonderful, beautiful place. People often saying, "Oh you just love Logan because of Utah State." Not really. I love Utah State because of Cache Valley.

There is something so special about that valley. Every time I come out of Sardine Canyon and see the view 't take my breathe away. It doesn't matter if it is the middle of the day and you can see forever, or dark and all you see are the lights across the valley. It doesn't matter if it is summer and everything is green or the dead of winter and everything is covered in a blanket of snow. Logan in the fall is a beautiful sight, but Spring can be just as lovely. There is a beauty there than can be found no where else.

I love that from just about anywhere in the valley you can see the Logan temple. And the view of the valley from the Logan temple is just as breathe taking. My favorite road in the entire valley is the one way road that winds up behind the temple from the southwest.


I love the weather in Cache Valley. Yes, it is butt-freazing cold 5 months out of the year, but it seems more...worth it... there. There were times I thought for sure that I was going to freeze to death walking across campus, especially when the wind starts blowing out of Logan Canyon. And I was always thankful for the shortcuts I found through buildings on my way to the next class. But, it is a beautiful cold.

I can't be thankful for Logan without being thankful for USU. The first time I can clearly remember going to Logan was for the UAC summer workshops. I think I was about 12. I can clearly remember driving up Aggie Blvd. and my dad pointing out the different buildings and things to see. I clearly remember thinking as we drove past the education building that one I WOULD go there. I made my decision right then and there.

That building became my home away from home. I can't count the hours, especially Fall semester 2009, that I spent in that building. I made friends there that will be friends for life. I am so thankful for the education I received there. Just today I was talking with some friends about how absolutely wonderful the ELED program there is compared to other schools in the state.


I am so thankful for the decision I made to apply for the A-team. I was crushed after not being accepted as a school ambassador when I started at USU. But looking back on it, there is no doubt in my mind that the A-team was by far the better blessing. The people I worked with, the students I met, the chance it gave me to get involved and make a difference are all things I will forever be thankful for.


More than anything, I am so thankful for the people in my life, because of Cache Valley, because of Utah State. I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family still there. I have made many, many trips to Logan in the 5 years since I have graduated, and every time it is a little harder to leave.






Friday, November 21, 2014

Thankfulness Day 2

This one might sound kind of funny, but I am thankful for politics. Many of you know that my dad's job is an elected position. He has been the Tooele County Auditor for the last 14 years. Because of changes at the county level, this year he decided to run for county treasurer.

The last 11 months have been very, very difficult for our family. It is not easy to watch someone you love be torn apart and ridiculed, knowing it is all a lie. Sometimes the hardest part for us was just keeping quiet. I was often amazed at how unkind and downright ruthless people get, especially when using social media.

How can I be thankful for all of this?

First, I am thankful I got the opportunity to watch my dad through it all. It was hard on him most of all, but never did I see him lower his standards to fight back. He was determined from day 1 to run a clean, honest campaign. And he did. He never lost his integrity throughout the entire thing. He treated everyone he met with respect and kindness.

Second, I am thankful the voters of Tooele County saw that. And they saw through the lies. The support we received from family members, ward members and neighbors, friends across the valley, and people we didn't even know was amazing. I personally got to meet and know so many wonderful people through all of this that I never would have met otherwise.

Third, I am thankful for all the clerk/auditors we have gotten to know over the last 14 years. We have had so many adventures traveling the state of Utah every summer for UAC conferences. These people have watched our family grow up. All of our adventures, from tours of dams and coal plants, shooting ranges and rafting the Colorado River to horrible concerts and strange dates in small town Utah that we still laugh about to this day, some of my favorite family memories come from these trips.

Last, I am thankful that my dad still has a job. I am thankful for the new adventures that will come with this new job and I am thankful for all the people we will get to know now.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankfulness Day 1

Yesterday in institute we talked about gratitude. It was based on Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from April 2014 General Conference, Grateful in Any Circumstances. The main point is being grateful IN our circumstances, not just FOR a list of things. And that is very true, but I would like to take the next week to express all those things I am thankful for.

Today is dedicated to the people in my life that I am most thankful for.

My family has to be at the top of the list, of course. I seriously have the best family in the world. People have always said that we are "super" close, and I love that. I love our adventures and road trips. I am so grateful that we all get along so well and enjoy spending time together.



I am thankful for Jessi. I never could have asked for a better best friend. I am so thankful that it doesn't matter that we live so far apart. I am thankful that she listens to me complain. I am thankful she is a teacher too so she just gets it. I am so thankful for all our fun times and memories, for Vegas and basketball.


I am thankful for the wonderful people I work with. I have said from the very beginning that there are very few people I could fit in with so well. They may be 35 years older than I am, but it doesn't matter. We fit. I am terrified of the day they leave me. I would not be the person and teacher I am without them. I am thankful for the people that no longer have a responsibility at my school, but still take the time to help me, bail me out when I need help, and check in every once in a while to make sure things are going well.

I am thankful for my bishopric and stake presidency. I have been very blessed to get to know them. They are all wonderful men and men of God. I am so grateful for my calling and the chance it gives me to serve them and serve with them.
(I mean, whose Bishop is THIS cool?)

I am thankful for all the people the Lord has put on my path to help me and bless my life. There are so many of you that have enriched my life and made it so much better. I am thankful for each one of you.




Monday, September 22, 2014

#my26by26 ~UPDATE~

On my birthday, I made a list of 26 things I wanted to do before I turned 26 on the 26th. Check out this post from March6 months in and 6 months to go!

Red has been done, blue is in the process, black ones still to go!

#my26by26
1) Go on a GOOD vacation (in other words- Logan, Tooele, and Fish Lake don't count)











2) Go to the zoo












3) Go horseback riding
4) Pay for the car behind me at the drive through

(Sorry I don't have a picture of this one..)

5) Watch the sun rise and set on the same day













6) Go to a NEW MLB park/game












7) Have dinner at a fancy restaurant 
8) Pay off my car loan

9) Read the Book of Mormon again
10) Sing in a choir
11) Get my motorcycle license (so I can drive my mom's scooter)
12) Hike Timp













13) Take a big risk/do something way outside my comfort zone












14) Visit all the temples in Utah
15) Give a boy my number/tell him I like him
16) Have a water gun fight

17) Run a 5k (Let's be honest, this is probably going to be the hardest one. I don't run!! At all.)
18) Go camping












19) Slow dance in the rain
20) Take a photo every day (not necessarily of me, but of something legit)

21) Get my concealed weapons permit
22) Hike Deseret Peak











23) Read 10 NEW books  
24) Lose 20-25 pounds (this one incorporates the whole eat healthier, exercise more thing)

25) Actually start the teaching blog I have wanted to do for over a year
26) Do at least one random act of service each week
Bonus: Get a passport and actually USE it (I originally had this on my list and then thought about the fact that I was actually going to have to pay for all of this myself. Remember, I am a teacher. I'm not exactly making the big bucks. So I am adding it as a bonus. I still really want to do it, but I am not making it "list official.")

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dear Boys #40

Dear Whip Cream,
You give me "chills".
Love, Jess


Dear Shawn, 
You, me, Manda, #jaserboy. Soon. Yes?
Love, Gus


Dear Johnny, 
Ready...Set...Go!
Love, Jess


Dear MGM,
What it is with you boys?? What is this spell you hold over me??
Love,  Jess




Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Dear Boys #39

Hey, Hey Good Lookin'
I am still here. You are still here. We should still be here together.
Love, Jess


Dear _______________, 
If you are waiting for the opportune moment, this is it.
Love, Jess


Dear Johnny, 
Yep. I am on board. 100%
Love, Jess


Dear Shawn,
Keep your head up!
Love, Gus


Dear Warrior,
Too bad you are just a young'un...
Love, Jess

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Lord's Time Table

We often talk about waiting on the Lord's time table. "Be patient. It will happen on the Lord's time." "It will happen when it is supposed to happen." 

No one ever mentions what to do when those amazing opportunities come at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME. I am not talking just bad timing, I am talking there is literally no time that could be more awful. 


And then you get on Pinterest, and the very first pin you see is this.


And you know as much as it stinks, everything is going to be ok. No matter what happens.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dear Boys #38

Dear Johnny,
I'm back. And I'm still interested.
Love, Jess


Dear _____________,
Your enthusiasm excites me.
Love, Jess


Dear Traveler,
We are both in the same city now. This could work.
Love, Jess


Dear Chef Boyardee, 
You should have a chat with Middle Man. He may have some good advice for you.
Love, Jess


Dear B, 
I miss you. More than I thought I would.
Love, Jess


Dear Elder, 
Welcome home!!
Love, Big Sis


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#jessbrain 2.0

Once again, I feel the need to blog and have so many things I want to say, but don't really know how to say any of it so this will be #jessbrain, version 2.

First and foremost, my brother is home!! We picked him up from the airport 2 weeks ago! It is so nice having him home! He has adjusted well for the most part (and already had a date). Funny story, the first night he was home, our sister sat next to him on the couch and he slowly eased away from her, then slid to the edge of the couch, and eventually got and moved to a different seat. And it was all done without him really thinking about it.

A couple days ago, at my grandparents, I read an article in LDS Living called "10 Things LDS Singles Wish You Knew." (Which was pretty actuate, if I do say so myself.) However, I want to add one.
#11- Just because we are single, does not mean we are depressed about it or want your pity.  Yes, I am 25. Yes, I am single. No, I am not sad about it. Yes, I wish I was dating someone. Yes, my plan was not to be 25 and single. No, I don't need you to tell me it will be alright. Yes, I already know that.  Yes, I know that I need to keep trying. No, I have not given up. Yes, I know you are only trying to help. Yes, I know "there are worse things than not getting married." No, I don't need your sad eyes and sappy words of encouragement. Yes, I know they are well meant.  Yes, I REALLY AM OK.

A few weeks ago I took a trip to San Francisco with a friend and it was a blast!! We did just about everything there is to do- Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf, Jelly Belly Factory, Oakland Temple, Lakeside Park, Ghirardelli Square, Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Park and Beach, Lombard Street, rode the cable cars, AND a Giants game. (We didn't stop in Chinatown, but we saw it!) I got to cross two things off #my26by26 list. I got a good vacation in and went to a new MLB park, which by the way, AT&T park is pretty cool. Literally. It sits right on the bay and the wind blows. It was chilly, but AWESOME. Plus, we got to see "The Freak" pitch.

Last week my bestie came down to work for a big event in my hometown and she had a day off.  It was so nice to see her again and have her go  4-wheeling with us. I really wish we lived closer together so we could do more, more often.

Guys, I am having a really hard time finding the motivation to attend my own ward. It doesn't really have anything to do with the people in the ward. I like them. I think its a "singles ward" thing. I just really don't feel it right now. Which is ok, because I haven't really been around lately.  It may also be the "I hate living here" feeling again. I think I fight this same battle every 6 months or so. When did a one year job in Happy Valley turn in to 4 years and the decision to stay until there is a legitimate reason to leave...

School starts in less than a month. I am SO not ready to think about it. I feel like I just finished the last year. I got my class list yesterday. 29 kids so far with a set of quadruplets and two sets of twins. But it looks like a pretty good group.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dear Boys #37

Dear Johnny,
I definitely wouldn't say no.
Love, Jess


Dear _____________,
I think we have the small talk down so let's take it to the next level shall we?
Love, Jess


Dear Chuck Norris,
There is no level too low for you to stoop to, is there?
Love, Jess


Hey, Hey, Good-lookin'
Why do you have to be such a good guy??
Love, Jess


Dear Elder,
Two weeks!!
Love, Big Sis


Friday, May 30, 2014

Dear Children, (2013-14)

This year has been full of many...adventures. This morning, as I sat in our classroom, looking at the empty bulletin boards, empty desks, waiting for you to walk in for the last time, I realized how much FUN we have had this year. I have watched you learn and grow. I have seen some amazing personalities develop as you found yourselves. I have watched you laugh and play and dance and love and paint and sing. 

Once again, I believe you have taught me more than I could have ever taught you.

I've learned that no test can measure the love in a child's heart or what kind of person they are.

I've learned that it's ok for me to be funny and to make you laugh.

I've learned that sometimes the only thing to do is just shake my head and smile.

I've learned that it's ok to stick a movie in, just to watch a movie, because we all need a break.

I've learned your stress level rises when my stress level rises. 

I've learned that I can be just as stubborn as you.

I've learned that attendance matters more than you could ever imagine. I can't help you if you aren't here.

I've learned that one of my favorite qualities in children is your ability to forgive and forget.

I've learned that the "momma bear" instinct applies to teachers as well as mothers.

I've learned why we are told, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter in the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3-4) 

I've learned to really, truly, enjoy my job. (Even when it's hard.)

I've learned there is nothing like a Russian substitute to make you love and appreciate me even more.

I've learned that the three people you always want to be on the good side of at school are the secretary, the custodian, and the PTA president.

I've learned the power of having a best friend- to lift you up, push you harder, and never give up on you.

I've learned that my curly hair is more than just hair to you. 

I've learned about the power of food- to motivate, to teach, and to empower.

I've learned that I pour every ounce of my heart and soul into you. Sometimes it is exhausting and sometimes it is painful, but it is always worth it.

I've learned that messy learning is often the best kind of learning.

I hope each one of you knows that you will ALWAYS hold a piece of my heart.  Know that you will always be considered one of mine.

Love, Miss Jensen







Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Dear Boys #36

Dear _____________,
Guess I need to start practicing the piano more often.
Love, Jess


Dear Chef Boyardee,
I am thinking of starting a support group.
Love, Jess


Dear Elder,
Down to 2!!
Love, Big Sis


Dear Next Person to Interrupt My Conversation with a Certain Person,
I will punch you.
Love, Jess


Dear Shawn, 
I miss you. The end.
Love, Gus


Dear Moonlight,
You are quickly losing your backup.
Love, Miss Jensen




Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Dear Boys #35

Dear ___________,
(I cannot for the life of me come up with a Dear Boys name for you...)
We should get married, and have cute curly-haired babies, 
and live happily ever after.
Love, One VERY interested girl (seriously though...)


Hey, Hey, Good-lookin'
I heard a rumor you may be coming back into my life... 
Love, Jess


Dear B,
You give me just enough "butterflies" to get me through the week.
Love, Jess



Dear John Wayne,
Seriously, if only you were 8 inches taller.
Love, Jess


Dear Elder, 
4 more Fast Sundays!!
Love, Big Sis


Dear Dead-man Walking,
I wish I knew the whole story. 
Love, Jess


Dear MLB,
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks!
Love, Jess


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

26 by 26

It's my birthday!! I love birthdays. I think I get it from my mother.

Next year will be my magic birthday (turning 26 on the 26th) so I made a "26 by 26" list. 

26 things I want to do/accomplish this year. Many of them are things I have done before and want to do again, some of them are things on my "real" bucket list that I want to be able to cross off, some are just for fun, and others are of a more serious/spiritual matter. Some will take all year, others will be a one time thing. They are not in any particular order and I don't have any of them "planned out" yet.

I am going to report back here, post pictures, etc. I need you guys to help hold me accountable. I am also looking for traveling buddies and friends to do these with. They are always more fun with other people!! And a big thanks to everyone who contributed ideas when I got stuck! 

#my26by26
1) Go on a GOOD vacation (in other words- Logan, Tooele, and Fish Lake don't count)
2) Go to the zoo
3) Go horseback riding
4) Pay for the car behind me at the drive through
5) Watch the sun rise and set on the same day
6) Go to a NEW MLB park/game
7) Have dinner at a fancy restaurant
8) Pay off my car loan
9) Read the Book of Mormon again
10) Sing in a choir
11) Get my motorcycle license (so I can drive my mom's scooter)
12) Hike Timp
13) Take a big risk/do something way outside my comfort zone
14) Visit all the temples in Utah
15) Give a boy my number/tell him I like him
16) Have a water gun fight

17) Run a 5k (Let's be honest, this is probably going to be the hardest one. I don't run!! At all.)
18) Go camping
19) Slow dance in the rain
20) Take a photo every day (not necessarily of me, but of something legit)
21) Get my concealed weapons permit

22) Hike Deseret Peak
23) Read 10 NEW books  
24) Lose 20-25 pounds (this one incorporates the whole eat healthier, exercise more thing)
25) Actually start the teaching blog I have wanted to do for over a year
26) Do at least one random act of service each week

Bonus: Get a passport and actually USE it (I originally had this on my list and then thought about the fact that I was actually going to have to pay for all of this myself. Remember, I am a teacher. I'm not exactly making the big bucks. So I am adding it as a bonus. I still really want to do it, but I am not making it "list official.")

Ready. Set. Go!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Being "Miss Jensen"

My name is Jessica and I am a teacher-aholic. 

There I said it.

I once had a mentor teacher tell me the best thing I could learn early in my career is how to leave work at work and to save home for home. I feel like for the most part I have that down. Very rarely do I actually bring work home (grading papers, lesson plans, etc.) Every now and then I will but only when I know that it won't interfere with other things. 

However, as well as I do that, there is one thing that is harder for me. I may be able to leave the work at school, but I can't leave the teacher at school.

My friends often give me a hard time about using my "teacher voice" and "teacher look." Somehow all my conversations seem to come back to school or my kids. When I am with fellow teachers, we can't seem to stay away from school topics for very long. I can spend hours on Pinterest looking at nothing but school ideas. I actually enjoy teaching summer school.

And I am totally ok with that. That's who I am. Being a teacher is not a desk job. It's not a lock-the-door-and-walk-away job. It is engrained in every part of me. I view the world through "school-bus-yellow colored glasses." I love my job. 


My name is Jessica and I am Miss Jensen.

Sometimes I like to think I am a pretty cool teacher.
(I would have put a picture of my awesome kids right here but it's against the rules...)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dear Boys #34

Dear Chef Boyardee,
You are teaching me a new level of self control I never knew I had.
Love, Jess


Hey, Hey Good-lookin'
Ready... Set.... Go!
Love, Jess


Dear B,
Your friendliness is going to get you in trouble one of these days.
Love, Jess


Dear Hunnicut,
Help a girl out- talk some sense into your homeboy!
Love, Jess


Dear BOYS,
That's the way I like it!!
Love, Your biggest fan