Monday, June 30, 2008

Cascade Idaho Part 1

Well we've now been here for one week. Here are some pictures of when we first got here. The movie line that comes to mind is "Scary beyond all reason." (name that Disney movie)

Just know that behind this paneling is all kids of nastiness.
Okay, really, who let people put up wall paper... blast it all, I HATE WALLPAPER!
Honestly, between the wheels painted on the tops of the closets, the WALLPAPER, the weird mountain scene in the upstairs bedroom, and the fact that you couldn't touch anything without being dirty, we about ran away screaming. That probably would have been the smart thing to do, but we didn't so here we are a week into the project that seems like it will never end. Just when we think "We're done with this room," we remember the 12 more things that need to be done, but we're getting closer!

This is the huge woodpecker we saw on day 2 of our excursion... he is huge, and gorgeous, although not so nice to wake up to that constant pecking sound.

I must also mention Tuffy's neighborhood friends. He stops by daily and spends a few hours with Tuffy. It's been nice, because then Tuffy is tired!

Here are some pictures of the kitchen after painting.... yes the nasty panelling did go away, yay!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Driving... Driving... Driving...

Well this last week I've spent over 30 hours in a car... in all truefulness though, it was actually really fun. The first 12 hours or so in a car I spent with the Frei's. Poor guys, they had to listen to me for forever! Thanks for being such good friends, I had a lot of fun!
Scottsdale for school was actually quite benificial, I learned a lot, especially after the keynote speaker the first day. I'm quite excited to put a lot of new things into practice for next year to help my students.
After Scottsdale I was home for 3 hours and we headed out for Logan UT. We stayed with John's cousin Dana, his wife Melanie and their kids. We had a great time getting to know them. Thanks again, you guys! Logan is a beautiful place... to be quite honest. However, I had just spent the week with temperatures over 105 and the high there was maybe 80. So it was really cold in the mornings! Michelle and Darin's wedding was beautiful. I really may start crashing random weddings just to hear the advice that the various sealers have to offer. I've really enjoyed these last two we've been to. Here are some pictures of the wedding.
As nice as the wedding was, I must say the highlight of our time in Logan was seeing Bryan and Tuffy play together. He is 2 and they had a ball chasing each other around, up and down stairs, and getting each other equally muddy in the back yard. Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of the muddy pair, but here are some pictures of them playing together, it really is adorable!

Saturday we packed up and headed for Idaho. We always listen to audio books in the car, it really makes the time go by faster. I will post some of our favorites that we've listened to. I highly suggest if you are traveling, get a book that sounds good to you and get it on CD. You'll have something to talk about and concentrate on rather than how long the drive is.
Well, we've finally made it to Idaho. I really enjoy being here and seeing family. It is interesting to me, now that a lot of the cousins are married, to see how similar and different we are compared to how I remember us being as kids. It is also nice to know that some of my personality traits really are inherited ; ). We all get along really well, and it is nice to get to see them.
We spent last evening with my cousin Dian, her husband Craig and a couple of their friends. Now any of you that know John, know that he's not a huge fan of playing board/card games. However, since they invited us to play he played Scatagories with us. He was amazing at that game!! He always had the best answers. The highlight of our game was when we were supposed to be using the letter e and for nickname ad my cousin Dian put idot... of course she used an e, but it was hilarious! I love you Dian!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Summer Vacation Ranting

So I know that some people think teachers have it really easy with "3 months off" each summer, all I say to them is "Come try it!" I honestly love the part of my job where I am teaching kids! It's what I always wanted to do and gosh I sure do love those kids. I saw one of my former students last week, it was great to see her, and yes I asked my infamous question... "Are you reading lots?" For a first grader headed to second grade that is the biggest concern for me as a teacher... how much will they retain? So amid the worries of: Did I do enough? Will they remember the things they learned last year? What will my new class be like? Am I ready to do this again? Did they learn anything from me about life? Will they ever get it? and most of all Will what I did help them be successful in life? I now am supposed to enjoy my "Summer Vacation."
Well this summer is packed full of things that have to get done. John and I have been determined that we will make it fun and relaxing (whatever that is) as we go along. I'm beginning to see in my 4th summer of being a teacher, that summer will never be mine, it will always be filled with things for school, things for family, and things that simply have to be done but that we don't take days off to do during the year.
Thus today I'm off to Scottsdale for what will hopefully be the last reading first conference I will ever have to attend. Now these conferences are honestly pretty good, and I learn a ton. The problem is, it's JUNE. I don't have a class, I can't go into my classroom right now and try out all the things I'm going to learn about, I have to remember them all to try with a whole new bunch of kids. Another problem is that I don't know my new group of students, thankfully(that's a whole other post). But that makes it very hard to think about what will work for me in my classroom. Needless to say, I personally feel I'd get more out of these conferences if they were held in October. I'd know my kids and what they need by then and I wouldn't be faced with remembering all of these things. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to go and learn how to be a better teacher since there are always things I can do better!
Besides school stuff we've been doing all of those things that we should have done throughout the year like doctor's appointments, vet appointments, cleaning, laundry (ok we do this every week but lately it seems like we have double), and traveling to all of those places we wish we could get to more often to see family. I love visiting my family and John's family, we're getting a lot of that this summer so it's nice! Overall, I'm grateful for summer no matter who owns mine on any particular day this year!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Well, I'm feeling extremely guilty for putting my poor puppy through the agony of being neutered... I know it's what was best for him but that day when he came home he had on this huge cone to keep him from licking... Tuffy hated it! He kept freaking out and tearing it off his head. Then comes Kami to the rescue, she bought him a smaller one, now though he still doesn't like it, and runs into everything, he hasn't been freaking out all the time... poor guy!

These two pictures were taken with my new phone... amazing how well it did!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuffy, Romeo, and the Provo family...

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Well as you can see from the pictures Tuffy loved his weekend in Provo. He spent most of his time egging on Romeo, and staying clear of Poco (which is a good thing). Romeo is 3 and Poco is 12. Tuffy only got in a few tiffs with Romeo mostly because they fought over who was in charge of how, when, where, and what they should be playing. Tuffy also got to meet a bunch of my cousins' kids. Aysha is almost 2 and would see him, scream, and run away... by the end of our hour there she was petting him, Tuffy was great with her! Tuffy also got fed some of our dinner by some of the kids... We not so nicely informed them that Tuffy only eats dog food unless they wanted to ride home with us to clean up the mess. I think we hurt some feelings, sorry about that! Overall we all had a great weekend in Provo. Tuffy especially!

Tuffy's new spot...

Apparently while we were in Indiana Tuffy found a new favorite spot to sit. He hasn't gotten up onto the table yet, at least that we've noticed, but he sure loves sitting in our chairs! He's always finding some new way to keep us entertained!
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Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy 5th Anniversary!

John and I have come to a conclusion... we really love VISITING Provo. We get to see some of our favorite people, eat at some of our favorite restaurants, and it's not 100 degrees (yet). So when we were told a family friend was getting married, we were excited for the excuse to stay with my Aunt in Provo. When we arrived on Friday night we had to monitor the crazy dogs... Romeo and Tuffy. Romeo is a shit-zu and of course Tuffy is a westie.... talk about a lot of energy! They were all over each other for most of the weekend. While we monitored them we tried to figure out the particulars for the wedding... while going through my cell phone searching for people who may know the information I needed I saw Jessi's phone number. Jessi is one of my college roomates. She's great and we love her! Anyway it was 9 and none of us had eaten dinner so we enjoyed dinner together and had a blast catching up!

Well it's true... We have now been married for 5 years. Everyone who heard that this weekend responded with "It's been 5 years?!?" At least they feel the same way I do. While I feel like John and I have been together forever already, it doesn't seem like my wedding day and all of the drama, excitement, family, feelings, etc. happened that long ago. This year, we went to a family friend's wedding up at the Salt Lake Temple. It was beautiful! We also loved the cool weather (okay I honestly thought it was freezing most of the time and hated it) but John and Tuffy LOVED it! Here are pictures from the wedding.

So after the wedding we walked around the temple and then went to the new Tucanos (one of our most favoite restaurants) up in Salt Lake. I must say we will be returning to frequent the one in Provo, we were not so impressed with the new one (except they put there cheese bread balls on the buffet line instead of giving you only a few on a plate).
Then we headed back to my Aunt's house to check on Tuffy and for John to change his clothes before the reception. Our report from Aunt Barb was that Tuffy and Romeo had been fine for most of the day... aka they only tried to kill each other once. We also found out that Aysha, my cousin's daughter had stopped by and Tuffy really like her, and she wasn't so sure of him, she's almost 2.
The wedding reception was up in Park City at a restaurant and it was really nice. I love the drive up Provo canyon so that was another highlight. The mountains sure are pretty this time of year when they are getting all green but still have a little snow. We enjoyed a great meal, great friends, and reliving all of the moments from our own wedding 5 years earlier.
Sunday we hung out all day with Aunt Barb trying to help her get ready for her yearly 3 month fishing excursion to Alaska. Although we weren't very helpful it was really nice to chat and catch up with her. Then her family was having their big summer birthday party. Mike made yummy chicken fajitas and Paige and Kenny cooked beef brisket. Needless to say, we had lots of yummy food! We also got to see for ourselves how Aysha like Tuffy. She'd go look at him and scream and run away... However she did come around and I got this picture:

Overall, we had a great weekend. Tuffy, Romeo, and even Poco all got along, and even calmed down. Tuffy slept almost the entire way home, it was great!