Thursday, November 25, 2010

we are thankFULL

As our Primary chorister said best, "We need to be thankFUL, not thankEMPTY."  I am very thankful this year.  I feel blessed to have a wonderful, healthy family.  I am thankful for an amazing husband who loves and cares for our family so well, who honors his priesthood, who sets a wonderful example for my children and I to follow.  I am thankful for children who love and honor me, who try so hard to be good (and exceed most of the time), who live the gospel so well.  I am thankful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I am thankful to live in this country that gives us freedoms found nowhere else in the world.  I am thankful for my calling in the Primary.  I am thankful for the beauty of the world around me.  I am thankful for extended family who bring me and my family so much happiness.  I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice he made for me so that I can live with Heavenly Father again.  I am thankful for the knowledge that I can be with my family forever.  I am thankful for temples that allow us to be sealed to our families for eternity.  I am thankful for technology and its wonders that allow us to communicate in things like blogs over great distances.  I'm thankful for yummy food!  And that brings me to Thanksgiving....

The day before Thanksgiving Kyle had a party in his classroom.  His teacher provided yummy treats and they got to enjoy time with their friends.  He has such an amazing teacher.  I am so thankful for her.  She does absolutely amazing things with those children.
Kyle with his friend, Jace.
The next day was Thanksgiving.  I had been cooking for three days.  I made a berry pie, a pecan pie (typically this is only for Mark who eats the whole thing in one day), Alton Brown's brined turkey, a double batch of rolls, fresh green beans, cauliflower, stuffed mushrooms, and stuffing.  My parents and Heidi were able to join us (it is so fun having them live so close!).  They brought 2 pumpkin pies, mashed potatoes, an amazing sweet potato casserole, and ham cooked with mango chutney (yum!).  We had quite the spread!  As is typical, we were all way overstuffed.  We spent that day and the next working on a Christmas puzzle (a tradition from my family).  It was such a fun weekend!

Monday, November 15, 2010

a boy and his dog

Abbey (our dog) drives me absolutely crazy.  Because of her, I'm not sure I will EVER have patio furniture.  She would chew it to bits.  Although I probably would not choose to have a dog if we didn't have children, it's moments like these that I understand why she is so good for them...
That is her electric collar lying next to her.  Bryan takes it off each night before putting her in her kennel for the night.  That collar is the only thing that keeps her from ripping out all the drip lines in our flowerbeds and around our trees.  If she goes near them it shocks her.  If only I had a remote control...

You may wonder why she goes in the kennel each night?  We put her in there and cover it with a sheet - just like a bird.  It keeps her from barking at the cats that walk along our back wall each night.  Cats that belong to the same neighbor who complains when she barks????

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

5th Grade Field Trip to Southern Arizona

Getting to chaperone a field trip with one of my kids is a major privilege at our school.  The parent participation is amazing!  Everyone wants to help do everything.  Our principal even takes the time to go on every single field trip - and he is a blast.  This principal plays kick ball with the kids every day at recess.  Because of this they love him to death - as do the parents.  They have to do a drawing before every field trip to make sure it is fair.  Once you have attended a field trip with that specific grade that year, your name doesn't go back in the pot unless they are in need.

So when Morgan let me know my name had been drawn for her field trip we were both ecstatic!  And this was a fun trip.  It was an overnight trip to several sites in Southern Arizona.  After being at the school by 5am so we could board the buses, we drove 2 1/2 hours to Kartchner Caverns.  The tour here was 2 hours long.  I wish they would have allowed me to bring my camera was beautiful!

We started at the visitor's center...
 Morgan with her friend, Ella...
 That afternoon we went to the Queen Mine in Bisbee - an old copper mine that was closed in 1975.
 Before beginning the tour they outfit you in jackets, helmets, and a belt which they hang a light which is hooked to a battery pack on the back of your belt.  Now we were ready to enter the mine.  It was 47 degrees in there!
 To travel into the mine we road on small railroad tracks on this little train.  This is the entrance.  Once inside the tunnel was not very wide (if I stretched my arms out I could touch both sides).  As we were going in we felt like the Seven Dwarfs..."Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go...".
 At different points along the tour the train would stop and we would get out and walk a short distance to different parts of the mine.
When the mine was operating someone would bike this cart around to fill it up with debris, then bike it out of the mine.
 Here you can see the elevator shaft with the bell they used to communicate with the surface.
 The man giving the tour used to work in the mine when it was still operating.  This cart was the bathroom.  It was even a two-seater!  So much for privacy.  It was also carted around through the mine.  How would you like that job!
 That night we went to the town of Tombstone.  There we slept in the gym of the local high school - boys on one side, girls on the other.  Glad I brought my air mattress!  Before going to sleep they handed out popcorn and everyone watched Toy Story 3.  The kids actually went to sleep pretty quick.  I think everyone had a pretty long and exciting day!

Morgan invited my to sleep by her and her friends.  I felt pretty special considering other girls would rather their moms slept by the other moms.  Thanks, Morgan!

The next morning we were up bright and early (6am) for our final day...
After packing up the gym, we went to Boothill Graveyard.  This is the old graveyard where many of the old gunslinger's made famous in Tombstone are buried.  The most noted that we saw were Billy Clanton, Tom McLaury, and Frank McLaury who were killed in the O.K. Corral gun battle against "Doc" Holliday and Wyatt Earp.


From Boothill Graveyard we drove an hour to Colossal Caves just outside of Tucson.  They allowed cameras in the caves...these were taken without a flash or a tripod (except for the one with Morgan in it).  I didn't want the flash washing out the color in the rocks.

Everything we saw was a lot of fun, but my favorite part was being able to spend a good chunk of one-on-one time with Morgan.  I sure love you, Morgan!  You are absolutely amazing!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Soccer Crazed Kids

Soccer this year was bittersweet.  Bryan absolutely LOVES to play.  Unfortunately, the team he ended up on this year was terrible.  It was a struggle to get him to practice because he did NOT want to be there.  It wasn't fun.  It really made me appreciate some of the good teams we have been on in the past.  At this point, when we find a great coach, we want to stick with them - even if the practices aren't conveniently close.  It was fun to watch Bryan at games.  He's a really hard worker and a great player.  Here are some shots from his final game...

Colton and Kyle were each on teams with coaches they had never played for previously.  They were wonderful!  The kids had a great time.  The coaches knew what they were doing and did a great job of getting them to work hard at learning the game, but also helped them have a great time doing it.  Kudos to those parents out there willing to coach kids.  It's a really hard job!

Here are some shots of Colton's final game.  They rotate through different positions throughout the season.  During this game Colton played goalie.  He was awesome!

 Nice save, Colton!!
Kyle is one QUICK little runner.  He can really put on the jets!  It was amazing to watch him on the field.  At that age the tendency is to run around in a pack.  Not Kyle.  He would stay to the outside of the pack and could predict where the ball was going to go.  When it was kicked outside the pack, he was there, ready and waiting to take it and go with it.

The other thing about Kyle is he is a brick wall.  When another kid decided to come at him head to head, and they both connected with the ball, Kyle went right on through as if the kid wasn't even there, while the other kid went flying.  He wasn't trying to take him out, he just keeps going as if the other kid isn't even there - he's a brick wall.

Here he is with his teammate, Jaden.
 In this shot Kyle had just made a goal.  He was SO excited!  He held his arms in the air and was so proud.  Everyone was cheering.  He took that ball from one end of the field to the other and didn't let anyone slow him down.  When he got to the goal he just slammed it in there like it was nothing.  It was amazing to watch!
 Anyone who knows Kyle knows he's a bit of a ham.  He LOVES to be silly!  Here he is celebrating with some of his friends after the game...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cold Clarinet

We will tease Morgan about this story for the rest of her life...

This morning while getting ready to leave for school Morgan could not find her clarinet.  She needed it for band today.  She began to get tearful when she had turned the house upside-down and it was nowhere to be found.  I, on the other hand, was getting angry.  I informed her that if she had lost that clarinet she was going to spend over a year trying to pay it off to her dad and I.  She was picturing how long it would take to earn $200.

After both of us had searched the house I told her that she had probably left it at school.  She assured me she had it that morning and she didn't think it was at school.  There was nowhere else to look, so I told her she needed to call me from school in the next 30 minutes and let me know if she had found it there.

She called me 30 minutes clarinet.

When she called I was at Sam's Club picking up milk.  When I got home and proceeded to put the milk away in the garage refrigerator - lo and behold...the clarinet was inside the fridge!

I don't know if she mixed up her lunch with the clarinet?  They both have handles...she keeps her lunch in that outside fridge...who knows.  I had a good laugh and so did the secretary in the front office at the school when I dropped it off.  That was one cool clarinet!