Friday, December 22, 2017

Fall 2017 Top Ten

For TEN years, I've been posting seasonal "Top Ten" lists at the beginning of each season. I'm a goal-oriented person, as well as a person battling depression, so I find that if I make goals and lists of things to look forward to, it really helps my depression by focusing on positive events in the near future. Also, at the end of each season, I do a wrap-up, summarizing what we got accomplished on every seasonal list, which has both helped me retain the memories of what happened during the season and to look back at my life with happy reflection. However, this is my FINAL season "Top Ten". We are slowly entering the next phase of our life, with our kids getting older (Ammon is graduating high school this year and moving on, Jonah and Micah are entering high school in the fall, and Kanyon is graduating from elementary school) and I find that I am evolving as life moves forward in directions that I don't always have planned. With all that's changed recently, I find that I don't need "lists" as much anymore to help me look forward to things as much as I used to, and I'm so busy with teaching full-time and living in split households, that I take life more as it comes now, by being flexible with our plans and living spur-of-the-moment, rather than creating goals and ensuring that certain things happen. is our final Top 10:

FALL 2017 Top 10

1. Go to Eastern Idaho State Fair
[Completed 9/1 AND 9/7] Josh and I went to see Jeff Foxworthy, and Kanyon and I went to see Bill Engvall. We ate good food, walked around, and laughed at the comedy shows.

2. Watch the boys' XC meets
[completed 10/28] Ammon, Jonah, and Micah all had great seasons. They all received medals in different races, and were proud of their P.R.'s. Jonah and Micah's team placed first at the huge Bob Firman meet in Boise. Ammon made it to State and his team earned the title of Academic Champions and they also placed 2nd overall at State.

3. Ammon's final homecoming
[completed 9/16] His date was Hannah and they went with a big group. They had a fun week with all the festivities: Lip Sync, Skit, Powder Puff, and Buff Puff.

4. Celebrate Jonah and Micah's birthday
[completed 9/22] They turned 14! They got phones, and I took them to a BSU football game to celebrate.

5. Harvest the garden
{completed in October] We had a great turnout with our raspberries this year, and were also successful with the onions, corn, and the potatoes did alright.

6. Kala perform in Salmon Idol
[completed 10/24] I performed a duet with high schooler Peyton Mark. We sang "Royals" and acted like gangstas. It was so much fun, and we WON first place!!

7. Carve pumpkins
[completed 10/29] This is the first year we haven't had a pumpkin patch since 2009! We actually had to go buy a couple of pumpkins, since they didn't grow super well in our garden this year (we moved the pumpkin plot near our house rather than the quarter acre by the road). I love doing this annual activity with my family!

8. Go to State XC
[completed 10/28] State XC was in Boise this year. Although it wasn't the weekend neither Ammon nor I wanted it to be (my car broke and his team didn't place first), both of the Salmon teams ran very well, placing 2nd and I was able to see Ammon run his last race and ride home on the bus with the love of my life.

9. Celebrate Josh's birthday
[completed 11/7] We spent the day together--going to the hospital lab and to the doctor's office (not fun, but part of aging--haha!), and getting massages, going to see a movie, and eating out (all the fun stuff to balance it all out!).

10. Spend Thanksgiving with the Tolmans
[completed 11/23] We ate at Josh's parents home along with his sister Tiffany and her family, his brother Malachi & Molly, Uncle Tim & Barb and her son Scott and his wife. We had a good crew, and it was a very delicious and relaxing meal.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

November 2017

NOTE: Although this blogging entry is post-dated in December, I'm actually writing it in May of 2018--6 months after the events transpired. My memory isn't what it used to be, which is why I take a lot of pictures: if I look back at the pictures, I am reminded of what happened, but if there's no pictures, I usually can't recall much at all. There weren't a lot of photos taken in November, so naturally, to me, it seems as if not much happened at all--not that I can remember, anyway!! 

NOV. 3: Josh and his dad went down to "rescue" the broken-down silver car left in a dealership parking lot in Mountain Home. Edward was taking the horse trailer to deliver some steers in Wendell; we'd measured the interior width of the trailer prior to going, and knew the car would fit in the back (thanks to Ammon having an identical car). After they dropped off the steers, Josh and his dad drove to Mountain Home, and thankfully the transmission worked just long enough for Josh to drive it into the trailer (and then he climbed back out with the hatch) and bring it home! Pretty redneck, but also really resourceful!

NOV. 4: Snowfall on the ground--we received several random storms in October, but this was the first time this season that the snow stuck.

NOV. 5: Kanyon was part of the Stake Youth Choir that performed at Stake Conference under the direction of Camille Williams. I was the pianist. We'd practiced every Saturday for about 2 months and even mid-week once prior to the actual performance. The kids did fantastic! Although Kanyon doesn't like singing, he's very talented with music and I was proud of him for participating.

NOV. 6: Micah joined choir this fall, in addition to band, and had his first choir performance at South Fremont for a regional conference. Josh drove the bus, and I drove over after to school to watch. They did great! There were a LOT of kids, and they performed some fun songs! I enjoyed it!

NOV. 7: For Josh's birthday, I took the day off work, he drove down from Salmon, and we spent the day together in Idaho Falls. The day started with X-rays and MRI's of his back. He's had back pain since last May, and it steadily got worse. He saw doctors in Salmon, went to a back doctor in Idaho Falls, went to physical therapists for months, and tried different medicines, but nothing was helping. We both just wanted some answers as to what was causing it. The doctor in Idaho Falls finally ordered these tests to find more conclusive results, but we had to wait until the end of the day to see what they showed. In the meantime, we got couple's massages done (we haven't done that since Mexico!), and they were fantastic! We went to the movie theater and watched "The Mountain Between Us", and went out to eat at the Snakebite Restaurant (neither of us had been there before). It was such an enjoyable day (mostly). We ended back at the doctor's office; he showed us the results, and let us know that Josh has arthritis in the lower back. This is a good and bad diagnosis: good because we know what's causing all his pain, bad because there isn't a long-term solution.
leaving the hospital early in the morning

Happy Birthday to my sexy man!

The image reminds me of an angry clown!!

NOV. 9: Terreton Elementary had a wonderful patriotic musical assembly to honor the Veterans. The kids wore red, white, and blue, and sang patriotic songs to the Veterans in attendance. Kanyon's class also did the pledge of allegiance in sign language.

It's hard to see Kanyon--but he's just to the right of the black POW, MIA flag. 

NOV. 11: I'd taken the twins to the church for a scouting activity, and Kanyon had a primary activity or something there, too, so I just worked on my computer in the foyer until they were done and it was time to go. It just so happened to be stake potato day, too. I'd never gone before, but I couldn't believe the amount of people that showed up! A giant conveyor belt was set up behind the potato truck, and as the potatoes rolled out onto the belt, people filled boxes/bags/buckets full of spuds. It was crazy busy!

NOV. 13: I drove up to Salmon to attend the XC banquet. That same night, Josh and Ammon were driving to SLC to fly out to visit the campus of SVU in Virginia. Their golf coach was trying to recruit Ammon to their team, so they paid for his flight to visit there, and Josh went along, too. I had the small gray car, so I met them in Leadore, and we exchanged vehicles--they took the small gray car (that Josh purchased last month), and I took the suburban. One of the gray car's headlights was burnt out, so I took it to the auto parts store to get a replacement, and it had taken them a while to locate one in town to put in. I was stressed, thinking I wasn't going to make it to Salmon in time, but thankfully it all worked out. The boys each got certificates, and Ammon also received a plaque from the coaches, and a blanket from the girls' team. The coaches had also gotten each runner the T-shirt designed with the logo that Keyra had come up with. It was a lovely banquet! I submitted all the photos I took during the XC season, and they played them on the overhead projector during the program, too.

NOV. 14: I drove through a bad snowstorm the next morning to get back to West J. I don't mind the drive as long as the weather is good! I was white-knuckling was the worst storm I'd encountered so far this year (but there were even worse storms yet to come).

Meanwhile, Josh and Ammon got to play on this [still-green] golf course--they weren't experiencing winter conditions on their trip!

NOV. 15: The campus at SVU is unique, historical, and spectacular to behold!

Ammon enjoyed playing with college students, and being shown around the elite, remote campus.

NOV. 23: Ammon accidentally got elbowed at basketball practice, which produced a big cut on his face. He had to go have the skin above his lip "glued". It made for a miserable Thanksgiving--he couldn't eat a lot, because the movement hurt his lip and caused more pain. We had Thanksgiving dinner at Josh's parents house. Our contributions to the meal were mashed potatoes, gravy, and homemade pumpkin pies.  

Beautiful flowers from Josh--as an apology
for what? I don't exactly remember now! ;)

NOV. 24: We went hunting for our Christmas tree above Williams Lake again (it's where we went last year too). Josh wanted to get a pine again (we used to always get fir), and we wanted to go high enough to where the snow was, so it would feel more Christmas-y. On the way there and back, we passed a small herd of mountain sheep. We found the perfect tree in less than 30 minutes on the mountain; Josh cut it and hauled it back down the mountain while the boys played snowball fights and with each other. That night, we went to the annual Parade of Lights in town to officially kick off the Christmas season!

NOV. 25: The boys helped me by decorating the Christmas tree. I brought in all the supplies and the ladder, put up the lights, and they did the rest. They did a fantastic job of picking the color scheme and hanging all the ornaments! After it was done, Josh and I went to play games with the Jackson's. Darcy had been gone since August at nail school in Boise, and we hadn't spent much time with them the past few months. We had so much fun catching up, eating, playing games, talking and laughing! However, the boys texted us while we were gone to say the Christmas Tree had toppled over! Darnit!
We moved the red couch into our bedroom to make
room for the Christmas tree in the family room. We
moved out our double recliner to the living room since
it was bad on Josh's back. Josh and I have different jobs
regarding the tree: he picks, cuts, and sets it up, and I'm
responsible for lighting and decorating it. His job was
done, so he sat back and enjoyed while we worked!

The boys picked red and gold decorations to adorn the tree. 

Our favorite games to play with the Jackson's are Ticket to Ride,
Settlers of Catan, dominos, and card games. We introduced them to the "Train Game". 

We also played Cards Against Humanity that night, and there was such
truth in this double choice selection! 

NOV. 26: I fixed the tree problem by finding small 2x4 remnants and setting them in the tree stand between the tree stem and the stand. Josh helped me lift back up the tree and set it in place. The decoration damage was minimal, and we re-hung the ones that had fallen down. All was right once again!

NOV. 28: Ammon's first basketball game of the season was in Challis. I couldn't go, but Josh drove the bus.

NOV. 29: I went out to a movie with some of new lady friends in Idaho Falls. We saw Bad Mom's Christmas. It was hilarious! I sent a photo text to Josh, and he sent me one back of the silver box car that he had started taking apart to fix, which was a complete surprise to me! Last I heard, he was trying to sell it, but it didn't work out. He ended up buying a used transmission from a salvage yard for $650, which was a huge discount from purchasing a new one and having an auto body shop install it for around $2500 (which was more than what the car is even worth!). So basically, the month started and ended with the car (and my husband solving auto problems)!