Monday, April 30, 2012

April 2012 on FB

Apr. 1: Hiked to the Gold Bug Hot Springs yesterday for the first time with my family. It was absolutely lovely! The kids did well on the hike, the natural springs were beautiful, and the weather was gorgeous. But legs are KILLING me!!!

Apr. 2: love love love the sunshine!!!

Apr. 3: My first graders' spring musical performances are the next two days, and I'm so excited for them! They are such a wonderful group of students, and their final practice today was spectacular! It definitely made my heart proud!

Apr. 5: 20 student performances in 6 weeks: officially DONE!!! YAY!! I am soooo looking forward to this weekend: Family reunion in St. Anthony, Easter Sunday, and lots of happiness to be had!

Apr. 6: lovin my family reunion in St. Anthony!!! Happy Easter!

Apr. 7: all of my siblings play "words with friends" with each other on their phones, and they're addicts. I've never even heard of it until now! Am I missing out?

Apr. 13: workin in the soil outside on a sunny day fills me with happiness, despite the rough and dirty fingers it makes me have!

Apr. 14: our little garden patch by our house is now rototilled and rock-free. yay! I am dying to plant some raspberries!!

Apr. 17: I'm so excited to go to a music teacher's conference in Couer d'Alene tomorrow! I told my students today that they would have a substitute for their next class time. I haven't taken a full day off yet this year, and one of my students said "you don't need to go, you're already a good teacher". So sweet of them...but I'm excited for a chance to get away and learn something new!

Apr. 19: Day 1 of Idaho Music Educators Conference was fabulous!!! Had some awesome teachers and listened to some fantastic performers!

Apr. 24: I just love the new show Smash!!!

Apr. 26: today I learned from my first graders that peanuts grow under ground. I just assumed they were like the other nuts and grew on trees! Who knew?!

Apr. 27: What a happy day!!! Ammon got his personal best time for running the mile at the track meet of 6:32! Ammon also got a first place in the 4x400 relay today, beating 8th graders! And after months of frustration in learning, Micah finally tied his shoelaces for the first time today!!!

Apr. 29: I'm working inside on lesson plans for school this week, while the sun is shining outside, and I can't help but think about how many school days are left until summer's arrival. There are now less than the number of my fingers and toes: only 19 more school days!!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

stuck in the mud

On the way to Jonah and Micah's last wrestling tournament in March, Josh said to me "I was thinking....about taking a different way home". We were headed to Mud Lake, a town that is a 2-hour drive straight down Highway 28 from Salmon. 

"Ummm....okay", I replied. Whenever Josh says "I was thinking..." and then pauses, I know it's either for something monetarily big (like wanting a new truck or purchasing a business) or for some kind of boyish adventure (like a motorcycle ride or 4-wheeling excursion). This was in the adventure category.

"I've always wanted to go on the road through Howe that leads to the Pahsimeroi Valley". The road is not technically "on the way" back to our home in Salmon, but it wasn't too far off, either.

Jonah and Micah's wrestling tournament didn't take a very long time, and by noon, we were done. So, we decided to take the detour route to head home. It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed seeing new mountains and sage brush and ranches along the road that we'd never traversed before. Over halfway home, Josh needed to use the bathroom. There was a little campground out in the middle of nowhere with an outhouse that we could see from the road. He used the outhouse, then instead of u-turning and going right back to the road, he decided to continue to drive through the campground because it connected to the road on the opposite end. 

This is where disaster struck (AKA stuck).

Because we were driving on the dirt road in the spring, it was very wet with subwater. It didn't appear to be so from the naked eye, but as we were driving, the car started beeping because the tires were losing traction. In the rearview mirror, we could see our tracks in the road, and looking back proved that the road was indeed very muddy. Josh could see a puddle in the road ahead of us, and he knew we'd never make it through it, so he stopped the car and tried to turn it onto the hard ground next to the road. But the car just stopped, and didn't turn. He tried to just turn it around and head back the way we came, but we made it exactly 90 degrees before it would no longer turn.  

Keep in mind we were not in an adventure vehicle--not a truck, not an SUV, not a motorcycle. We were driving our silver car, the low-riding box car. We were now lodged and officially stuck. The length of our car was the same width of the road, and the car was sandwiched in. The road rim was steeper than the front and back bumpers were tall.

We walked around and found rocks to put in front of the front tires and behind the rear tires, and then Josh tried to reverse onto the road rim, and then tried to go forward onto the opposite side of the road rim. This just made the tires go deeper in the mud. Josh pushed the accelerator and drove, as I pushed from the outside of the car. We tried turning and going at an angle onto the rim. We tried jacking up the car and putting rocks under the tires, and then the same driving/pushing routine. But nothing worked. The car was only getting deeper and deeper in the mud. The mud on the campground road was clay, and it was so sticky and yucky and it got everywhere. Our feet were covered in it up to our ankles, and the mud was all over our clothes and hands and arms.

I saw a man drive past in his truck on the road 50 yards away, and I tried flagging him down but he wouldn't stop. If we'd had a shovel to dig with or a 4WD truck to pull us with, it would greatly help our situation. We were in a remote area without any cell phone service, so I couldn't call anyone for help, either. So, I sent Jonah and Micah out to the road, and told them to jump up and down when the next car came along. While they were waiting by the roadside, I started using rocks and my fingers to dig away at the rim of the road, and Josh jacked up the two front tires one at a time and put more rocks underneath the tires. 

After over an hour of being stuck in the mud and trying to break free of our calamity, we finally got the car out. After we drove up onto the hard ground surrounding the road, we walked over to the nearby stream and washed off our feet and hands.  We called to Jonah and Micah, and they came back (since no other car drove by) and then we proceeded to drive along on the grass to escape the campground, get to the road, and go home.

It was quite the adventure...Jonah and Micah said they prayed while they were waiting by the road for passers-by that we would be able to get out of there alive. They thought we would die there stranded!!! We all survived to tell about it, thankfully, and the car survived without injury, too. But the next time Josh says "I was thinking..." and the end of the sentence has to do with some kind of road adventure while we are in the silver car, I think I will remember this experience and say "".

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I am a lover of the arts: theater, music, dancing, performing, painting, etc. I have tried and tried to pass this love of mine onto my boys. But none of them are into it like me. All four of my sons prefer to be involved in sports instead. {sigh}

I am proud of them for their continued successes in the varied sports that they play, but I never envisioned myself growing up as a person who would someday be interested in or be involved with sports! Motherhood is a magnificent thing that introduces you to a whole spectrum of activities and situations you never would have been a part of otherwise!!

The winter sports that the boys were involved in this year were basketball and wrestling. Wrestling is one sport I especially never thought my sons would do (and football too, but Ammon has played that for 2 years and continues to love it). I remember in high school watching the wrestlers starve on days they had meets, and I told myself that I would "NEVER" let my sons be wrestlers because it was so unhealthy and so physical!

Ammon was involved in Jamboree basketball for the 4th year. He really excelled at the sport this year, and it was so fun to watch him play! At his final game in December, he scored a whopping 20 points for his team! He was on fire! And it was so exciting to see him and to cheer for him as he played so well!

We signed up Jonah and Micah to be a part of the Little Savage wrestling team. None of our boys have ever wrestled before, nor had any member of Josh's or my immediate family. This was a whole new experience for all of us. I signed them up hoping that Micah's aggressive behavior could have a positive outlet, and the twins could learn some new ways to deal with their phsycial nature.  It turned out quite the opposite of what I had hoped.

Micah didn't like wrestling at all, and at each of the meets, he would give in to his opponent without a lot of fight, but he was always upset that he didn't get a medal.

Jonah didn't like wrestling either, but he gave it everything he had and at every meet he made it to the medal round. 

It was fun to go to their out-of-town tournaments and to see their different styles of wrestling. Thankfully, they never had to wrestle each other competitively, but there was a few times that they were both wrestling at the same time, and it was hard to watch both of them simultaneously!

All season long, they both said that they didn't want to do it again next year, but at their last tournament they competed in, they both earned a medal and they were both very happy about that, so perhaps they might change their minds.

Ammon, Jonah, and Micah all inherited athletic abilities, unfortunately none of which came from me! I am so proud of them for participating in sports and for being involved in activities that keep them physically active!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

news and notes

I don't like to watch the news, read newspapers, or stay up-to-date on current events.

But my husband does. And he spends a lot of time devoted to it.

He reads the Post Register (Idaho Falls newspaper) daily, the Recorder Herald (the Salmon newspaper) weekly, he watches morning and evening and nightly news, and he gleams information from the internet on current affairs. So whenever I need to know something about the weather, or community events, or national news, or a world crisis, I just ask him. He likes to know factual information, and he remembers so much of what he reads and hears. 

I, on the other hand, like to stay current on what's happening in people's lives. I like meeting people, talking to people, and knowing people.

I read others' blogs daily, check up on my online friends through faceboook morning and night, and I text my local friends periodically. I like to know social information, and my brain is good at remembering people and faces and names and personal facts. So, when Josh wants to know something about someone, like where they're from or how many kids they have or where they work (etc.), he just asks me.

I like that Josh and I retain different information in our brains. His knowledge is of great use to me, and my memory is benefecial to him, too. Josh and I have a lot of differences, but I think that the things that make us different from each other actually make us work really well together.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

One of my Qwirks

I am board game addict. I have been ever since I was a teenager, when I played some games with the neighbors that our family didn't own.

Every time I go to D.I., I check out their board games, and I almost always come away with one or more. I like the idea of not paying full price for a game that I might not like (which happens, and I'm always giving away games to the schools that our whole family won't play together). Every year, I like to purchase at least one brand new game too, and I research different and new games that would be good for our whole family to play: adults and kids alike. Josh's brother Gideon knows how much I love games and how often we play them as a family, and every year for Christmas, he asks what game I would like that we DON'T own yet. This year, he gifted us the game of Qwirkle, and I absolutely love it!!! (thank you, Gideon!)

Qwirkle is easy to understand, and fun to play! It deals with shapes and colors, so kids can play (even Kanyon who was 4 when we got it), but there's diverse ways to add the tiles onto each other for bonus points, so it can be challenging for adults, too. It's similar in set-up to dominoes or scrabble. We have played it so many times in the last few months, and I haven't tired of it yet! Have you played "Qwirkle"? I highly recommend it!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

green & mean

One of my goals for 2012 is to try one new recipe a month.

In January, I made a hamburger/lentil/vegetable/rice soup. It was delicious and I loved it!

In February, I made ham hocks with beans that I spiced with homemade salsa. It was filling, but the leftovers weren't so good.

In March, I sort of forgot to make a new recipe. But then I remembered that I DID try something NEW with a food that I've made before. On St. Patrick's Day, I made mashed potatoes and ham for dinner. And as I was cooking the potatoes, it occurred to me that I should add something green to the dinner menu to celebrate the holiday. Instead of just adding green beans to the meal, I decided to add green coloring to the mashed potatoes. So, after the potatoes were cooked, I put green dye in the milk before adding the milk to the potatoes. It worked beautifully! I was so proud of my quick-thinking, creative idea! It was a total surprise to everybody when I opened up the lid after everyone sat down for dinner. The boys were excited to see it; Josh was not (he doesn't like to try new foods). That night, he had a tummy ache and had to keep using the bathroom, and he blamed it all on the green food coloring that I put in the mashed potatoes! Which I thought was absurd...but he was just making sure that I realized his displeasure with the change I'd made with dinner that night! Silly old tricks are just for kids {apparently}!!!