Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 2012 on FB

Mar. 1: My other 4th grade class performed "Annie Jr" today: once for the school and once for their parents. They had such a terrific performance for the school this morning, and I heard rave reviews all day! They've been working on this play for 4 months, and I'm so glad they did a great job and that it's over!

Mar. 2: my heart is broken...a friendship has ended and it hurts something fierce.

Mar. 3: i love going on dates with my husband! Eating at a nice restaurant and soaking in the hot springs was so relaxing and soothing and was just what I needed. i sure love that man!

Mar. 3: Watched Jonah and Micah compete in their first wrestling tournament in Montana today. They both did well! Jonah made it to the final round, but lost and was so upset that he was so close to getting a medal but didn't. I'm so proud of both of them!

Mar. 4: To celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday, all my 2nd grade classes will be performing the Seussical Musical jr. play this week! There will be performances every single day this week! It's going to be fun!

Mar. 7: Two of my 2nd grade classes performed "Seussical Musical Jr" for their parents today and did fabulous! I'm so proud of them! Including my own 2nd grade twins, Jonah and Micah!

Mar. 8: The last "Seussical Musical" performance was today! I'm so proud of all my students! I wish the community would understand how a new school would positively affect their lives. They really deserve and NEED a new school!

Mar. 9: It was such a beautiful day out today! The boys mistakenly thought it was summer, so they took off their clothes, brought up water from the creek to the dirt pile, and played in the mud for quite some time! The sun and the bare skin put a smile on my face!

Mar. 12: I like those new Savanna Smiles girl scout cookies!

Mar. 13: Many thanks go out to the Citizens Committee who tried so hard to have a successful school bond vote! I commend your efforts! I am disheartened at all the selfish people we have in this community who refuse to think of the children or of Salmon's future.

Mar. 14: happy hump day, happy pi day, unhappy day-after-another-failed-school-bond-vote day. Also, i do not like rude, controlling, bullying behavior from adults. 

Mar. 15: proud of Ammon for auditioning and making it to the area's Jr. High Honor Band. Gonna go watch him play the trumpet!

Mar. 17: had green potatoes and ham for dinner! happy st. pats day!

Mar. 18: took a siesta with my sweetie on a snowy Sunday. loved it!

Mar. 19: just 3 more days...I've told myself that all day long. Just 3 more days til the 3rd grade program is done. Just 3 more days of work until spring break. Just 3 more days of this March Madness crazy-busy days and nights! I can make it! Just 3 more days!

Mar. 22: WOW!!! My 60 3rd graders were phenomenal today in their Musical Disney Display!!! There were well over 200 audience members in attendance, and I'm so glad because it was such an awesome show! And now I can breathe again...for 10 days! Happy Spring Break to me!!!

Mar. 22: As I was introducing myself to the parents today before the students' performance, I wanted to say "Hi. My name is Kala, and I work in a button factory." I told two people I almost did that, and neither one of them had ever heard of the song before!! Do you know that song?!

Mar. 23: I feel like I've emotionally been under an elephant stampede.

Mar. 24: the twins had wrestling tournaments last night and today, and they did so good! I am so proud of them!!! they came away with medals and smiles after the one at West Jefferson today, and I was so glad! 

Mar. 25: took a fun family bike ride on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. spring break and sunshine and family time make me so happy!!!

Mar. 26: Hooray for spring break and spring cleaning on a blustery day! Got the twins' room all cleaned out and rearranged. Feels good to throw away stuff and fill up a box with give-away items, too! 

Mar. 27: 7 loads of laundry...and the kids' dirty clothes are now all clean. Miracle of the day: finding lost socks in other people's drawers!!! Josh had socks in Ammon's drawer, Ammon had lost socks in Jonah and Micah's drawer, and the twins had missing socks in Kanyon's drawer!!! And all this time, I thought it was the dryer that ate them, but it was just their brothers who never fold socks that had them!

Mar. 28: rain rain go away. i really wanted to go outside and play today.

Mar. 29: I just saw "Tin Tin" which I've wanted to see since the last season of Amazing Race when the competitors had to dress up like Thompson & Thompson and figure out who they actually were. I liked the movie!

Mar. 31: going camping today for the first time this year! the boys are so excited and have been counting down the days! Kanyon came into our room this morning and announced "we are going camping this year", which his brother interpreted for him means "we are going camping TODAY"!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Dr. Seuss' birthday is March 2. I just love his books, because I love silly stories and using my imagination and reading make-believe, and they're delightful to read aloud because of all the rhymes!

The first week in March, my second grade students performed "Seussical Musical Jr" to celebrate his birthday! I have 3 second grade classes, and each class did their own separate play of it. They each performed it twice that week: one for fellow students and one for their family/friends. So there was a total of 6 performances in 4 days! It was a crazy, but super fun week!

Seussical Musical Jr. is so fun to learn and present! The students started working on it after Christmas Break, and they loved working on it! There are 6 songs, each with lyrics taken from stories that Seuss wrote. After we learned each song, I read to the classes the book that the lyrics of that song came from. For every song, the students learned coordinating movements and they stood in different formations on the stage. The dialogue in between each song talks about Seuss' books, too. I played the narrator, and I was always on stage for the dialogue, but I left during each song for the kids to sing it by themselves.

Each student had one line they said during the play, which they got to choose. Jonah's line was "Splash!" and Micah's part was "or Solla Sollew". Even though each class performed the same play, the performances were all a little different because the students in each class are so different! It was wonderful for me to be a part of such great productions, and I enjoyed watching Jonah and Micah perform on stage!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

2 plays, 2 days, 4 performances

One of my favorite teachers ever was Mr. Bahr, my drama director.

In 7th grade, our curriculum at school included a few choices for electives and I decided I wanted to take as many music and drama classes as possible. There was a lady teaching theater that year, and I wasn't a big fan of her, but I was happy to be involved in the theater program and be a part of the play ensemble. She quit at the end of the year. Mr. Bahr moved to town and became my drama teacher and play director in 8th grade. My first major acting part of "Ursula" in Bye Bye Birdie was under his direction.

The next year, I went to high school and had a different drama teacher, but he quit at the end of that year, then Mr. Bahr transferred to the high school my sophomore year. I had him all the way through the rest of my high school years. I was in several of his classes, many of his plays, and was coached by him through a dozen theater competitions, including the year I won the title of state champion in the humorous monologue category. He was good with kids, he had an energetic attitude, he was knowledgeable of the theater, he had a sense of humor, and he was very creative. He was an all-around awesome teacher. There were times that I got mad at him for not casting me in a part I thought I should've had, but he always explained to me why I didn't get the part and why someone else did. I don't know of many teachers that would do that. He was an excellent director, and he had a passion for his work and it showed.

After high school, I attended SUU to become a Secondary Ed. English/Theater teacher. Coincidentally, the year after I quit attending SUU, Mr. Bahr transferred there to work, and I don't think I've seen him since.

Even though I never got my teaching degree, whenever I'm involved in a musical production or directing a program at school, I think of him and use him as my inspiration.  

I teach music to grades K-5. There are two 4th grade classes that I teach. Back in November, the 4th graders began working on Musicals. There were two play choices that fit their age level: The Music Man Jr. and Annie Jr. Both are condensed versions of the full-length plays. Each class read through the scripts, and voted on which play they wanted to do. One class chose Music Man, and the other class chose Annie. Then we watched the movies to understand the full plot of the stories, and had auditions in class. Then we worked on memorizing songs and scripts, stage movement and choreography, wearing costumes, and using scene changes. It took us 4 months from beginning to end to get the finished product, and the last week of February, we were finally ready to perform.

I thought of Mr. Bahr and how much work he used to put into our plays that I had no comprehension of when I was just a student...but now I have a much better idea as the director! These plays took a lot of extra time out of school to accomplish: creating scripts, designing backdrops, finding costumes, making programs, getting props, memorizing lines & lyrics, etc. And having two plays going on at the same time was no easy task...I kept forgetting choreography and mixing up steps that I'd made up for one song that were supposed to go with another song in the other play!

I began getting frustrated with the plays about 2 weeks before the performance date, because it felt like no matter how much we practiced, the students weren't getting any better. They were forgetting lines, not remembering their stage blocking, and never came on at the right times. I wasn't sure the students were going to pull it off even after our final practice. I was so stressed out at the beginning of the week that the plays were scheduled: 3 kids moved, so parts were being reassigned and it elevated my duress. But when we performed our dress rehearsal shows (one show for each play) in front of the studentbody, the students did marvelous! I was shocked and SOO proud of them! The student-audience loved the shows, and there were rave reviews! The 4th graders were a little nervous for their parent performance, and a few things got forgotten or messed up, but overall, they did so good and I was so pleased!

The Music Man Jr. cast:
(Back row: Salesmen, Pick-a-little Ladies, Mrs. Shinn.
Front row: Conductor, School Board, Mayor Shinn, Harold Hill, Marian, Winthrop, and Mrs. Paroo)

The cast of Annie Jr.:
(Back row: orphans, Miss Hannigan, Grace Ferrell, Oliver Warbucks, Servants.
Front row: Dog Catcher, Lt. Ward, Dog Sandy, Annie, Narrators)

I'm glad to have a job that I'm able to direct students in musical productions, because something inside of me comes alive when I'm performing on the stage or when I'm directing students who are performing. It's a rewarding job for me, and so fulfilling to watch the students excel after all their hard work.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

winter wheelerland

When you live on a ranch, in a house full of boys, during the winter, and you've been wanting it to snow for months, and you finally wake up to see this:

You just KNOW that the day will ALWAYS include this: well as cold fingers, several clothing changes, repeated rounds of hot chocolate, wet clothes draped over the wood stove, and lots of laughter coming from happy boys!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Farewell, my friend

I want to tell you about my friend Kevin.

I first met Kevin 8 or 9 years ago. My best friend at that time was Kayleen, and her sister Melissa married Kevin in the summer of 2003. I knew Kevin by association...sometimes when I would go with Kayleen to karaoke, Kevin and Melissa came too. Then Kayleen moved. The summer of 2007, she came back and stayed with the Wright's for a long time and we all went to outdoor karaoke together. I especially loved it because all our kids came and played, too.

I saw Kevin occasionally when I ate at the local restaurant the Coffee Shop, which he owned. He was always pleasant to be around, he was also super funny, had a great smile, and loved to cook for and serve others.

In 2008, Melissa served with me in the PTO presidency, and after the Halloween Carnival that year, I went over to their new house and visited and laughed and ate dried pumpkin seeds. I have fond memories of that night!

In 2009, my son Ammon and his daughter Lizzie were both first-time 4-H kids in the same group. Kevin and I would talk as the kids were in meetings, and when we went to the fair that August, our pigs were in neighboring stalls so we spent time around Kevin & Melissa's family.

In 2010, Ammon and Lizzie both did swine 4-H again, and we were in the same group again. That summer, Ammon's pigs didn't grow very well, so we took a loaner pig that Lizzie raised to the fair. We had some very intense experiences trying to catch pigs at the Wright's house...which we laugh about now!

In spring of 2010, I became very close with Amanda, who was Kevin's best friend from High School. And once again, I knew Kevin by association...we talked and laughed at ward functions, school activities, friend parties, community events, weddings and funerals, etc.

When Kevin's birthday came in December of 2010, I went with Amanda to Bertram's for a friend/coworker party for him. We still talk about that party...and singing happy birthday to him surrounded by a dozen people...and I totally blurted out the wrong name!  That night, I went with Amanda and John to his family birthday party at his house. We sang karaoke, and laughed and talked, he opened gifts, and we all had a good time.

In April of 2011, Kevin had his desperately-needed liver transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. He was diagnosed 10 years ago with a liver disease, and he'd gotten sicker and sicker as the years passed. We were all so nervous and scared for the surgery, and we fasted and prayed for his recovery. Amanda and I helped run a fundraiser in May for him to help with the costs associated with travel and medical expenses. It was a long and painful recovery for him, but he was finally able to return home to Salmon in August. He looked healther and happier than I'd ever seen him. His skin had pink color, his hair was growing thick and curly and no longer gray, and he didn't look as skinny as he used to be. His laugh and smile returned too, and he was so fun to be around!

In December of 2011, we hosted a birthday party for him to celebrate another year of life! The previous year, we worried that it might be his last birthday party, but we were so happy to have the chance to celebrate his life again with him! We had a karaoke party at John's house, with friends and lots of food! Amanda was there, as well as James--another of Kevin's high school buddies. James' wife Shari stopped by for a bit, and Kevin and Melissa came and stayed for a while. We sang and talked and ate our hearts out. We laughed and joked and we had a swell time.

It was less than a month later that Kevin and his family moved away from Salmon. And it was just days after they moved that Kevin became very ill. His family had all gotten sick prior to the move, and he just thought he caught their cold. But then it got worse, and he was diagnosed with pneumonia. The doctors also told him that he had an abcess on his liver, so he had to go back to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. After he got there, he had a surgery to insert a drainage tube into his liver. He was in so much pain. There were some complications, and he passed away within a week of the surgery.

My friend Kevin was my age: he just turned 32. We all thought the successful transplant he received last spring had saved his life. Nobody expected after coming home in August, that he would be gone 6 months later. That liver transplant gave him the gift of one more Christmas, one more birthday, one more season of living with his wife and family at his home.

Kevin did all the important things that needed to be done in this life, and he was an example to everyone he came in contact with. He was married and became a father. He got baptized and was sealed to his wife and family in the temple. He served the Lord in several capacities, and especially loved the calling he had of being in the Young Men's organization. He loved the youth, and it showed.

Kevin never complained about the pain he experienced daily. He never let his disease get him down. He was an amazing dad, and he loved his 3 children tremendously. He was faithful and devoted to his wife. He was kind and giving to so many employees, friends, and family members. He truly lived a Christ-like life, and I've never heard anyone say a bad word about him.

I had the amazing opportunity to sing at his funeral with his best friend (and mine) Amanda. John completed our trio, and we sang Kevin's favorite hymn "I know that my Redeemer lives". Kevin loved listening to us sing together. When the 3 of us were practicing our song for the Salmon Idol this past fall, Kevin and Melissa came to watch and he thought it was so fun and he enjoyed listening and watching us.

I miss Kevin. He will never be forgotten, and I will forever cherish the happy memories I have with him.

His funeral was on a cold, drizzly, depressing Wednesday in February. Kevin was carried to his final resting place in the Salmon cemetary. I know that he is pain-free now, and is in a happier and better place. He leaves behind the legacy of his life and love, and we remain with hearts that hurt in his absence. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

alone and away

Over President's Day Weekend, Josh and I went to Utah to spend a few days alone together. Ammon stayed with Grandma T. in Salmon, and the other 3 boys stayed with Grandma P. in Tremonton. We left home on Saturday, and after stopping in Tremonton for a bit, Josh and I continued on to SLC. We went to see the play "To Kill A Mockingbird" at the Midvale Main Street Theater. I love watching plays in the theater! This was a particulary neat theater, with regular chairs instead of auditorium seating, and the chairs all are placed behind little tables, so you can eat as you watch. I loved it! Some of my high school friends were involved in this play, so I enjoyed the experience even more because of that. Usually, Josh doesn't like watching plays, but he thought the actors did a great job, and he liked the storyline. After the play, we went out to eat at Denny's with Eve and Mark, two of my high school friends. We had a fabulous time talking and laughing and I loved every minute of that evening!

On Sunday morning, Josh and I laid around at the hotel watching TV and browsing the internet. It was very peaceful and relaxing knowing that we had no agenda or schedule or kids to attend to. Around lunchtime, we decided to venture out. I was delighted to see snow had arrived overnight! I had been wishing and hoping for snow all winter in Salmon, but it never came, so it was a lovely surprise!

We decided to take a drive to Park City, about 30 mintues away. I had never been there before, even though I grew up in Utah. I had always pictured in my mind what it would look like, but it wasn't as pretty as I thought it would be so I was a little disappointed. It was very busy, though, because of the new snow and it being a Sunday on a holiday weekend.

We drove down a few of the streets in Park City, just getting a feel for the place. It's very similar to the town of Sun Valley, Idaho. The ski hill is right next to the town, but the mountains aren't that steep.

I was fascinated, however, by one of the ski lifts that was actually IN town. As the skiers came down the hill, they continue skiing on a bridge that's built over the road, in order to get a ride back up the hill on the ski lift.

After lunch in town, we decided to stop at the Olympic Park on the outskirts of town. They were celebrating 10 years since the 2002 Olympics that were held in Salt Lake City.

I reminisced to a date 10 years ago on that same weekend when Josh and I went to see some of the Olympic sites in downtown SLC. Here's a flash from the Past...Josh and I 10 years ago:

We looked around at the Olympic museum in the Olympic Park. It was so interesting to look at the photos and memorabilia and remember what transpired at the '02 Olympics.

On Sunday night, we ate at Dave's Famous BBQ. We wanted to try something new, and had never been there before. It sounded really good, but the food was just okay. But regardless of the food, being alone with my husband at a restaurant was wonderful!

Afterwards, we went and saw the movie "The Gray" in the theater. I hated it. Josh chose what we watched, and since I made him come along to the play with me the night before, I went along with what movie he wanted to see. I don't recommend it...everybody dies and I thought it was awful and depressing.

On Monday morning, we checked out of the hotel, picked up our children, and drove home to Salmon. Getting away for just two nights with the love of my life was refreshing, and I look forward to our couple's vacation every year. We usually go in February, because that's when we receive our tax returns. This year's mini-vacation almost didn't happen because we spent all of our tax returns to pay off the travel trailer and other things. But Josh had to purchase a mower for the golf course from a company in SLC, so the golf course paid for our gas to go pick it up, and we decided to make a weekend out of it. I'm so glad we did! It's good for me to get away, I always feel rejuvenated coming home!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Love, My Valentines

The week of Valentine's Day was a crazy one for me.
On Monday morning the 13th, Josh left for 2 nights to Boise for work meetings. He helps me so much around the house and with the boys, and I miss him tremendously when he leaves.

I took Kanyon to the babysitter in the morning on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and picked him up on my lunch hour each day to take him to preschool.

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, my 5th grade students were performing their "Rockin' to the Oldies" program twice each day, so I was super busy with preparations and with their shows in the mornings and afternoons.

On Monday night, for Family Home Evening, I had the boys each write cards to their brothers and attach a candy of their choice to them because Valentine's Day was the following day.

Valentine's Day is a special holiday for me, and since Josh was gone this year for it, I had hoped that he would remember it would be happening in his absence. I looked all over the house for a secret note or a gift he left behind for me, but I couldn't find any. I thought he had forgotten, so I was sad on Tuesday morning. That same morning one of my 5th grade classes had a not-so-good performance, so I was down about that, too. But during my lunch hour, the secretary at the school informed me that I'd received some flowers, and it totally made a difference in my day. Josh HAD remembered after all! And the card was written in his handwriting, so I knew that he had remembered it before he ever left for Boise. The flowers were so beautiful!

That afternoon, Jonah and Micah's class had their Valentine's party. Each student was required to bring a home-made invention for their Valentine's box. Micah really wanted a Spongebob one, so I took a yellow Golden Grahams box after we finished eating the cereal, cut off the lid, and painted a Spongebob face on it.

Jonah had no idea what he wanted, so I looked for items around the house that could be used. It took a week to figure out what we wanted to do, but we finally decided upon a snowman. I took an old Halloween bucket, spray painted it blue, then painted a layer of white over it. I took an ice cream bucket lid and cut the edge off to fit over a cookie dough container, then spray painted it all black. Then I cut a hole in the bottom of the cookie dough container, and glued it upside-down onto the white halloween bucket as a hat. Then I painted on a black mouth, an orange carrot nose, and glued 2 buttons as the eyes to finish the look.

Both boys liked their inventions, and they had fun during their class party!

On Tuesday night, the boys hid their valentines for their brothers around the house, and we took turns searching each room to find the hidden valentines. They liked reading what their brothers said about them, and eating the candy. We also opened the Valentine's package that my mom sent.

On Wednesday night, I had to be in 3 different places within one hour, and I didn't know how I was going to do it. But thankfully, Josh's meetings ended early, and he came home on Wednesday evening instead of Wednesday late night, and he helped me chauffer the kids again.

I was SOOOO happy to have him back! I sure love that man; he proposed to me on Valentine's Day 14 years ago, and I'm more in love with him now than ever!  

Friday, March 16, 2012


Our youngest son Kanyon turned 5 years old in February. My baby is growing up...he is so smart; he tells me that his preschool teacher says he can skip Kindergarten! He's done so well the past few years, and I love seeing his progress. I'm sad knowing that my youngest son is leaving behind toddlerhood.

He celebrated his special day in 3 different ways. The first one was the preschool party. He got to pick a special snack to take to preschool to share with his classmates. He decided he wanted chocolate creamies and donut holes, and he helped pass them out to his class. They sang Happy Birthday to him and then they all ate. They loved his choices, of course!

We had a family celebration for him in Idaho Falls. He chose to spend the night in a hotel, go swimming, and go ice skating. We went indoor ice skating at the Idaho Falls ice rink, but they didn't have any walkers like the Logan Rink had, so he didn't really enjoy it. His favorite part was a tiny little patch of ice that was right next to the hockey players' bench! He spent a lot of time on that!

The rest of us all got hockey skates, and we tried learning to skate on them. They are different than figure skates, but by the end of the public skate time, we were all doing pretty good!

We went swimming at the public swimming pool during the family fun swim time in the evening. It was the biggest indoor swimming pool the boys have ever been to. They were all so happy! The younger boys went down slides, Ammon practiced swimming, and Josh and Ammon jumped off the diving boards.

As we were taking a break from swimming in their hot tub, somebody puked in the pool and everybody had to get out. Thankfully, we got a really good half hour of swim time in before that happened. So we soaked in the hot tub a little longer and then went back to the hotel.

After we got back home from the birthday trip, we had our third party for Kanyon: opening gifts and eating cake and ice cream. Grandma T. came over to join us for the festivities, too.

One of his favorite gifts was the electronic Thomas the Train toothbrush from Grandma P. He was so happy! He brushed his teeth every 10 minutes that night with it!

He had three gifts that he kept repeatedly asking for: a monster truck that you can drive that isn't a remote control, a real crashing derby car, and a gray sniper rifle. Those were some pretty big requests for a little boy! Josh found a toy sniper rifle for him online, and he was so happy!

He also got a lego star wars DS game, a Kirbyland wii game, clothes, books, and a few more toys. For his birthday dessert, he chose to have a chocolate cake and chocolate creamies (again).

Happy Birthday, Kanyon! We love you so much!

At the age of 5, some of Kanyon's favorites are:
Buddies: Wyatt Nelson, Hudson Bertram, and Aidan Oliverson
TV show: Tom & Jerry, Thomas the Train
Movie: Despicable Me 
Wii games: Just Dance, Lego Indiana "Johns", Lego Star Wars, GoldenEye 
Activities: singing, learning ABC's, counting, playing with uncles and cousins, riding scooter 
Food: plain hot dogs w/BBQ sauce, fruit snacks, vanilla yogurt, bread, vanilla pudding
Toys: trucks, tractors, cars, marbles
Games: Charades, Blokus

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

for the Pats lover in the fam

For years, Ammon's favorite NFL team has been the Patriots. So he was very excited when the Pats made it to the Superbowl this year! I like to host Superbowl parties every year, but I wasn't in the mood for one this year. The week before the Superbowl, the boys starting asking who was coming over for the Superbowl this year, and I kept telling them that I wasn't going to have a nobody was coming. But a few days prior to the big day, I decided that we should have one for Ammon since his team was in it, after all. I thought it would be fun for Ammon if the people who came were his friends, so I invited his friend Hunter's family. Ashley and the kids came over for our mini superbowl party and we had a lot of fun together! Josh and Ammon watched the game with Hunter, and the other kids all played, while us ladies talked and ate in the kitchen! The best part of the Superbowl (besides the commercials) is the food, after all!

Every year before the game begins, I like to have a little contest. Everyone guesses which team they think will win and what the score will be. Whoever gets the closest wins a prize (usually chocolate or candy). It was half and half this year between votes for the Pats and votes for the Giants. Ultimately, it was the Giants who won, and Hunter had the closest score guess, so he walked away with the chocolate prize. Even though Ammon was disappointed that the Patriots didn't win, we were all glad that our friends came over to spend the day with us, and we all got full on great snack food. (Oh...and I was happy with Madonna's half-time show because it hasn't been that great for the past several years.) Better luck next time, Ammon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I am in charge of the inside of our house.
Josh is in charge of the outside.

I put the pictures on the walls, decide what furniture will go where, decorate it how I want.
He does the landscaping, plants the trees, mows and waters the lawn, clips the shrubs. 

We both decided to tackle a few projects this late winter to help us feel more productive and less depressed from the winter blues.

My biggest project was this:
I found a food storage container in the loft of the ranch shop, and I carried it up to our house. I vacuumed off the spiderwebs, scrubbed it from top to bottom, and brought it inside. I rearranged some items in the kitchen and dining area so it would fit, and I went through all of our food storage items in the cupboards, and put all that would fit onto the food storage shelf. It was a full day's project, and it made me feel so good! I've been wanting to buy a rotating food storage unit for a while now, and I was so happy to find this for free!

Josh's biggest project was this:
He's wanted to create a rock walkway for years. He likes the looks of them and their natural appearance. He picked a portion of our backyard to work on, between the deck and the cement steps. He thawed the ground that was frozen and cut out grass between the back doors. He found rocks all around our place that had a flat edge, he placed the rocks one at a time in the designated area, and he got some sand to place in and under the rocks. It took him 3 days to finish the walkway, and it looks great! I was so proud of him and his work! This photo is of him placing some rocks on the half-finished walkway. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Derby Driving

Now that Jonah and Micah are 8, they are in cub scouts. At the end of January, it was the annual pinewood derby contest. Each boy was given a block of wood and 4 tires at the beginning of the month, and they had to come up with the design of the car they wanted to create. Jonah wanted to make a truck, and Micah wanted a race car. Josh helped them cut out the shape that they wanted and then he showed them how to sand their vehicles.

 After they were sanded smooth, Josh took them to the store to pick what color of paint they wanted. Jonah picked a light blue color, and Micah picked bright orange. Josh helped them paint their vehicles, and put several coats of spray paint on them. Then I helped the boys with the detailing. Jonah wanted windows on his truck, and he wanted his bedliner red and yellow. Micah wanted windows on his race car and he wanted flames painted on the front. Then Josh attached the wheels and the derby car and truck were ready to roll! Jonah and Micah were so happy with the final product!

We arrived at the scout meeting on a Friday night, and the boys' cars were weighed. Both Jonah and Micah's cars were on the lighter side: they are supposed to weigh 5 ounces or less, and they each weighed around 3.5 ounces. Josh thought we shouldn't add any more weights to the cars, so we left them as is.

There were scouts from two troops in attendance, and the boys all took turns racing against each other. There were about 15 boys, and the races lasted 2 1/2 hours. It was the longest pinewood derby I've ever been to. Jonah and Micah's cars weren't the fastest, and they only won a few races each. Towards the end of the meeting, I added a few pins to Jonah's and a quarter to Micah's, and they each won a couple of races after that. I was so proud of them, because even though they were losing far more than they were winning throughout the competition, they were happy for others who won and they didn't become visibly upset.

It was fun to watch them race against each other, too! The racecar and truck were pretty evenly made, and they each won different races against each other!

The boys had a fun night and even though they didn't come home with the first-place trophy, they were happy with their cars and they had a good time racing with their friends.