Monday, September 26, 2011

Mini-Me Kimi

Today is my young friend Kimi's birthday.

I sure love that girl. She reminds me of myself so much when I was her age!

She moved out and left for college a few weeks ago.

Last year, I helped her paint her bathroom and paint a mural of a castle on her bedroom wall, and then for Christmas I made her a wall hanging to complete the castle/princess theme look in her room. The day before she left for college, I went over to her house to say goodbye, and I took a few photos to commemorate our time together.

I sure miss that girl already!

Happy Birthday, Kimi!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

back to school

I began teaching elementary music in February, because the previous teacher quit mid-year. I was very stressed this past spring. Three weeks after I started my job, the classes began their spring programs and plays and it was constant anxiety and stress until the end of of the school year in May. I vowed that I would be prepared at the start of this school year, and I told myself that I would go in to work once a week during the summer just so that I would feel prepared and not stressed this coming school year. But guess what happened? I enjoyed my summer and the lack of stress so much, that I never went in to school to prepare.

School began on Tuesday, August 30. On Monday the 29th, every grade at school had orientation at different times. I went to each child's orientation, and worked all day in between. I helped Mr. Anderson (my music superior) at the H.S. for several hours, and got my classroom physically ready, and made lesson plans for the week. It was a difficult and very long day, and I came home exhausted, overwhelmed, and full of anxiety and stress. I regretted not going in over the summer and I hated that I felt so unprepared for the following day!

I got home after bedtime, and all the boys were already asleep. I felt bad that I didn't get to say goodnight to them on such an important night--the eve of the beginning of a new school year! I began to cry and cry, and I asked Josh to please give me a blessing. He was very kind, and he fulfilled my request. Afterwards, he was talking to me. He said "What are you so nervous about? You did this last year, you know what to expect, and you're good at what you do, so why are you feeling so upset?" I responded, "Because now I can't just SIT anymore! Now our lives will be governed by constant schedules and never-ending things to do!" I laughed after saying it out loud, because it did sound rather silly, but I felt so much better finally just admitting it, too. I associated teaching school with the constant stress that I felt last spring, and I just knew that once school started, I would be full of stress and anxiety again. Summer never felt so good to me, and going back to school never seemed so difficult!!!

Unlike me, the boys were all excited to begin school the next morning. They woke up early and ate breakfast and changed their clothes, and they had gotten all their school supplies packed into their backpacks, all on their own! Then they all waited for me to finish getting ready (I think I was still dragging my feet)!!! 

This was the loot that Jonah and Micah had to take:

Ammon is now a 6th grader. This is the first year that he doesn't have a homeroom teacher. He has 7 periods of classes. At orientation the evening before, we walked to all the classes and met all the teachers. He was so excited for school to begin and couldn't wait to go!!! He bought this particular shirt with his own money, and chose to wear it on the first day of school (he's a big Boise State football fan):

Micah had been crying every night for a week before school started, because he (like me) also didn't want summer to end and he didn't want to go back! But after going to the 2nd grade orientation the day before and meeting his new teacher Ms. Schauss, he decided that he did, in fact, want to go back to school after all! He was looking forward to seeing friends and playing at recess again! The twins chose to wear their new monkey shirts on the first day:

I put Jonah and Micah in the same class again this year. Ms. Schauss taught Ammon in 4th grade, and she was his favorite teacher ever. She moved positions to the 2nd grade this year, and she's been a great teacher! Jonah was so happy to be going back to school! He'd been looking forward to it, and he's so happy to be a big 2nd grader! Jonah's backpack broke last year, so he got to pick a new one this year, and he chose a cool Phineas and Ferb one!

Kanyon is attending the Pioneer/CDC preschool again this year. He goes everyday in the afternoons, which changed from the schedule of every other morning he had last year. He was ecstatic to go again, and he couldn't wait to wear his new shoes and his new mario clothes! He was so excited when we bought him both things because he felt grown-up like the other boys! He has loved preschool this year, and is a totally different boy than last spring! He looks forward to school every day, and is happy, and his teachers are just loving him and his great attitude and learning capabilities this year!

And as for me...well, after the first day of school, I came home and said to Josh "I'm not sure why I was freaking out. School was awesome today!". In the past month, I've only come home crying twice, and I feel like I'm finally starting to get in the groove of it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

fun fair this year!

We did not take an animal project to the fair this year. After Ammon's pigs were behaviorally naughty and had problems growing last year, we decided to take a year off from 4-H. So, fair this year was pleasant and fun and not stressful in the slightest!! The boys each entered a pumpkin in the open exhibits and they were all happy when we discovered that they all got a blue ribbon for them! And they were even more excited when they received the $3 premium they got for earning a blue ribbon, too!

The fair in Lemhi County is always the last full week of August. On Wednesday night of fair week, they have "Family Fun Night". I took the three younger boys to it while Ammon was at football practice. The boys played on all the free inflatable toys. Jonah and Micah loved the bungee basketball one:

Kanyon's favorite one was the obstacle course. He went on that thing at least a dozen times!

The National Guard came and brought a rock-climbing wall, and Jonah and Micah climbed it each five times, trying to get to the top. Jonah reached the top on his last attempt, and Micah got so close!!!

There was also a cute petting zoo on Wednesday night, and the boys enjoyed having their hands on all the little farm animals!

To me, fair means food! I love the large scones and the giant ice cream cones and the BBQ pulled pork sandwiches at the Lemhi County Fair. After we went on all the inflatables, and saw all the animals, and watched a dog show, and walked through all the booths, I took the boys to get some Hospice ice cream cones before we left. They were SOOOO yummy!!!

On Thursday night, Josh took the boys back to the fair. They ate scones, and went on a few carnival rides, and the boys spent their $3 on carnival booths. Micah came home with an elvis mask he won, and Jonah and Kanyon came home with a little stuffed animal consolation prize from playing carnival games.

I loved fair this year! I loved the simplicity of the events, and I loved being on the sidelines observing things and participating in fun things rather than be constantly stressed with judging, washing, feeding, and cleaning swine!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

32 reasons why... 32nd birthday was my funnest birthday yet of my adult life...

Reason #1: I came home from camping with my family on my birthday (Sunday, August 14) to find my favorite birthday meal cooking in my home! Amanda had made ham, potatoes au gratin, corn on the cob, and rolls! For dessert, she made me my favorite pie: strawberry rhubarb! And she brought chocolate cake for everyone else to eat, too! It was such an awesome surprise!!

#2: I got to eat my delicious birthday dinner with some of my favorite people in the world: my husband, my sons, Amanda, and John!

#3: I was given some wonderful gifts: a pedicure, haircut, and haircolor from Amanda, a digital photo frame from John, a new flowering plum tree for our backyard from Josh, hand soaps from my mother in law, a homemade apron from my mom, and chocolates from my boys! I loved all of my gifts!

#4: I gifted myself a trip for four on a half-day float down the Salmon River the day after my birthday, on Monday August 15. It was on my bucket list, and I decided it was finally time to do it!!! It was one of the highlights of my summer!

#5: I booked the float trip with a local company "Rawhide Outfitters", and they were great to work with!

#6: If I were trapped on a deserted island with three people, I would choose Josh, John, and Amanda. And those were the same people I got to spend all day with on my birthday float trip!!! 

Reason #7: We all looked ridiculous together in our yellow lifejackets!

#8: Well...I thought we ALL looked ridiculous at the time. But now that I can see a photo of all of us together from that day, I realize that I was the only one who looked ridiculous wearing it!!! The life jackets actually seem to fit everyone BUT me! However, I did get a good laugh out of the way it fit me!

#9: John came back from being gone all summer on my birthday! I was so happy to have him back home! Just like me, he had also never floated that section of the Salmon River! We were so excited!!!

#10:  Amanda and I laughed so much that day! By the end of the day, our faces hurt from smiling so much!!!

#11: Josh and I had gotten into an argument the night before the float, and I was sort of mad at him all morning. But he still treated me like a queen when we were floating, and I appreciated it so much!

#12: John decided to ride alone in a ducky (inflatable kayak) for most of the float. He did a fabulous job rowing it! I was so proud of him and I enjoyed seeing him doing it so well!
Reason #13: Before we came upon the first major rapids, he said "the worst thing that's happened so far is getting sunscreen in my eyes". Amanda and I laughed so hard when he said that!!!

#14: I sat across from Amanda and Josh--I loved my view!!! 

#15: The weather was beautiful, our guide was so much fun, and the other riders on the boat were friendly(2 from Texas: Bitsy and Rollins, and 3 from California: Ginger, Lorenzo, and Olga).

#16: Our guide wanted me to 'ride the bull' first--which means sitting at the very front of the boat and holding on to just a rope as we go over some white-water. I walked up to the front of the boat, sat down, and when I held onto the rope, I accidentally flopped over backwards inside the boat! Josh and Lorenzo helped me back up and we all got a good laugh out of it!  

 #17: After I went, the others in the boat took turns "riding the bull". We kept trying to convince Bitsy, the oldest of us, to do it! Finally, I blurted out: "It's really wet and so much fun! Just like spring break"! Everyone bust a gut laughing at that! Olga told me I should write for Hallmark or Playboy or something with my genius comments!!! That made me laugh even harder! (Bitsy did finally end up going, too!)

#18: Bitsy said the funniest comment after she "rode the bull": she said one time she went waterskiing with her gynecologist, and he told her...well, never mind, I'm not putting what he told her on here, but we couldn't stop giggling about it the whole rest of the day!

Reason #19: After everyone else (who wanted to) took their turn "riding the bull", and all of them doing it effortlessly, I decided to take one more turn doing it to prove that I could do it without flopping over. I got up, sat down, and then my foot got twisted in the rope, and I fell backwards AGAIN! Except this time I couldn't get back up, so I flopped around with my awkward life jacket and all my weight hanging upside down, and everyone got a good look of my chest hanging out. Ginger said "thanks for the show"! I felt so dumb! But once again, everyone got a good laugh out of it!

#20:  I was so excited when we hit our first major rapids at Pine Creek!!! And this photo proves just how excited we all were! We all look SO happy!! (Although, now that I think of it...Steve (our guide) did tell us there was a photographer, so maybe everyone was just smiling for the photo!!!)

#21: I couldn't stop screaming on the rapids!!! And nobody ever even told me to shut up! (p.s. i love this photo. see how josh is working so hard rowing in front and i'm doing nothing but screaming? that's how we react under pressure, too: i freak out and he works through it.)

#22: John tipped over only twice during the float, and the first time was on the Pine Creek Rapids. We watched it happen, and he sort of got hung up on a rock after he tipped. The rock took a little chunk of out his leg (which meant the sunscreen in his eyes was no longer the worst thing to happen), but he was a trooper and got back on the ducky all by himself without needing assistance.We were all amazed at his abilities! I was cheering for him and so proud of him! (This photo was taken right before the first tip-over.)

#23: Right before a section of smaller rapids, half of us in the boat decided to jump out and go for a swim. Our guide told us to lay back with our feet up to avoid hitting rocks as we floated over the whitewater section. I tried and tried and tried, but my feet just kept getting dragged down. Amanda was floating next to me, and she kept trying to swim towards me so that we could hold hands over the rapids, but I felt like I was barely floating and so I kept kicking her away. I learned later that my lifejacket wasn't on tight enough, which is why I felt like I was drowning. Anyways, after we made it over the rapids, we had to get back in the the guys in the boat pulled us out of the water one by one. I screamed and freaked out as Josh lifted on my jacket to pull me out of the water, and the jacket went over my head and I couldn't see a thing as I was pulled into the boat! Amanda's jacket also wasn't tight enough, and as the guide tried to pull her in over and over, it was over her head as well, and the straps kept digging into her arms and she couldn't get out of the water. Josh came over and lifted her legs in. John, in the ducky, saw what a silly sight it was and couldn't stop laughing! It wasn't very funny at the time, but it's one of our most talked-about memories from the day that we laugh about now!

#24: Because I was the first person of the 3 groups to request a float trip that day, I got to choose in advance the food we all ate for lunch. I chose our main entree and dessert. When we stopped for lunch, we had barbecued chicken and salad and fruit and crackers with dip and all of it was super tasty!!!

Reason #25: Everyone sang "happy birthday" to me at lunch time, and I was the only one to have a second piece of the most delicious strawberry pie I've ever had. Rawhide even gave me a gift: a mug with their logo on it! How thoughtful of them!!!

#26: We convinced John to ride out the rest of the float trip in the raft with us after lunch, and I was so glad that we were all together for the end!

#27: I took this photo, which is my favorite one from that day. Every time I look at it, even now, it makes me smile! I love these 3 people so much!!!

#28: I wanted to have a good photo of the four of us together, but trying to get that 'perfect shot' turned out to be quite the task. Fortunately, Olga (who took these photos) is a professional photographer, and she wasn't upset that I kept wanting more photos taken. Unfortunately, however, I don't think any of these are the 'perfect shot'.

This one is a good photo of everyone except looks like my lifejacket is choking me!

This one looks like we're all having a hilarious time, but due to some water on the lens, it appears like my white skin and John's bald head are reflecting abnormally large amounts of sunshine

I think this is the best overall of the 3...what do you think?

#29: On the last stretch of the river float, Josh and I were the only ones to jump in for one final swim. It was very romantic, and non-traumatic like the first swim of the day had been!

#30: After we arrived back in Salmon late that afternoon, the four of us decided that we were enjoying each other's company too much to depart just yet, so we went out for dinner at Dave's Pizza. It was so yummy, and as we ate, we reminisced about the awesome day we'd had and all the fun we'd enjoyed together and we laughed about everything all over again!

Reason #31: Even though it was John who paid the dinner bill, he let Josh and I take the pizza leftovers home, and the boys ate it all up for dinner! I was glad to not have to come up with something to make them for dinner after being gone all day!

#32: Josh gave me one final birthday gift that night, and it was the perfect way to end the funnest birthday of my life! (I was in need of some new shower gel, and he got it for me! What did you think I was talking about?!! ;))

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Every summer, I like to go camping at least once to a new place we've never been to before. There are so many places to go camping at around Salmon, and I want to explore our options!!! I've been wanting to go to Bayhorse for a couple of years now. Bayhorse is a state park with an old mining ghost town, and there are lakes, 4-wheeler trails, and camping spots, too. It is southwest of Challis and is about a 2-hour drive to the campground from Salmon.

We went to Bayhorse in the middle of August and spent two nights at the lower lake campground. It wasn't very busy, so it was mostly quiet. The first day we arrived, we set up camp and ate dinner and the boys walked down to the lake to fish:

They didn't catch a bite although they could see fish all over in the lake. They were determined to try again the next morning. So, the next morning, we woke up, ate, and the boys walked down to the lake to fish again:

After a while of not catching a bite, they took another break from it. We walked around the lake and back to the campground, ate lunch, and headed down the road to see the Old Town of Bayhorse, which was 10 miles away.

I loved looking at all the old buildings and reading about the history of the area!

Then the boys played in the creek by the ghost town for a bit before we drove back:

On the drive back to our campground, we decided to see what the upper lake area looked like, so we stopped and walked around the larger lake. It took a lot longer than we expected, but we had a great time doing so!

There was an old brick pile in the middle of the field next to the lake where they used to make bricks during the time that the mining town was busy. I was fascinated by it!

When we almost made it all the way around the lake, the boys played in a shallow area of water for a bit. I loved sitting and watching them! It was so relaxing and peaceful and enjoyable!

When we made it all the way around the lake, we got back in the truck and drove a mile and half to our campground. We ate dinner, sat around the campfire long after dark, and finally went to sleep. The next morning, we decided to hike back over to the upper lake and try our hand at fishing in that lake since we had no luck fishing in the lake by our campground! It was only about a half-mile hike, and so beautiful, too!

We tried fishing on two different sides of the lake, but unfortunately, we still didn't catch a thing!

Well, I guess that's not completely accurate....we DID catch a frog!!!

Eventually, we hiked back to the campground, ate lunch, packed everything up, and headed home! Despite the fact that we didn't catch any fish, we all had a great time camping! And Bayhorse was absolutely gorgeous! I loved being so far up in the mountains, and seeing all the colorful wildflowers and green trees and the blue lakes! It was a great place to go camping!

(P.S. I just looked at all the photos I put on here, and apparently I was obsessed with taking photos of people's backs!!!)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

a fairytale salon story

Once upon a time there was a girl. She didn't like the way she looked and she wanted to feel beautiful on her birthday.

A fairy beautician appeared to the girl and she offered to help her.
She told the girl that she was allowed three wishes, and that once the girl made her wishes, the fairy beautician would make those wishes come true.

The girl's first wish was to have her hair colored.
"You'll look good with some lowlights" said the fairy beautician as she put her special stuff in the girl's hair and covered it with some shiny foil to do the trick. The girl liked the silvery look in her hair, and she felt so rich inside.

The girl's second wish was to have a pedicure.
So the fairy beautician worked some magic on the girl's feet, rubbing them and massaging them...
and then covering the toes with glittery blue.

The girl felt just like Cinderella (with feet of just a slightly larger size, of course). 

The girl's third wish was to have a haircut.

"This will complete your new look" said the fairy beautician. She waved her magic scissors around and VOILA! the girl felt just like new!

Since the girl wasn't wearing any lavish clothes to wear to a fancy feast, the fairy beautician brought the feast to her! Everything the girl desired to eat right then was magically brought by a carriage: there were cheesy breadsticks, chicken pasta, a hearty salad, and caffeinated beverages. The girl ate to her heart's delight.

The fairy had fulfilled all of the girl's desires to feel beautiful. The girl truly felt like her cup had been filled: her heart was happy, her tummy was full, her hair was beautiful, and her toes were pretty. But above all, the fairy beautician had given the girl the best birthday present ever: her friendship.

The End.