Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 2013 on FB

Mar. 1: In a week from today, I will wake up in sunny Las Vegas instead of snowy Salmon.

Mar. 6: you are you, that is truer than true. today is the day, I'll be off and on my way. Magic awaits me, so I'm filled with glee.

Mar. 7: Arrived in Las Vegas! Had a great long day of driving with my cute hubby. We saw my Grandma Rose, had a picnic at the Fort Cove and then toured it, went to the Las Vegas Temple, and checked into our hotel at Circus Circus. I'm so excited for what tomorrow will bring! It's been 15 years since we've been here...

Mar. 9: Yesterday our Vegas adventure included golfing in the rain & hail, going to the top of the Stratosphere and riding the Big Shot, having lunch at Hash House a Go Go with my friend Heather, and watching a show at the Luxor. Today is a lot warmer and actually sunny, and I'm soooo excited to see Celine tonight!

Mar. 10: We had a full day in Vegas yesterday: went to see Hoover Dam, ate lunch at Naked City Pizza (it was on Diners, Dives, & Drive Ins), walked & shopped on the Strip, watched the Bellagio fountains, and saw Celine in concert last night! I'm sad to be leaving today, because the weather is absolutely gorgeous here! The plan is to make the 12 hour trip home all in one day...

Mar. 11: I am voting YES YES YES on tomorrow's school bond for a new K-8 school. I am tired of working in a falling apart, moldy, smelly building that is a football-field-length away from the elementary school that the kids have to walk to every day in cold, snowy, rainy weather. The music room that's included in the new K-8 design would be SOOO much better for all my students! Not to mention a million times safer!

Mar. 12: For the 8th time, our school bond did NOT pass. It is so depressing to live in a community that's full of people who do not support the schools or the students or our future.

Mar. 13: One of my 2nd grade classes performed the "Seussical Musical" today and it was remarkable & magical! I loved watching them! They did an awesome job and definitely made my heart happy to see!

Mar. 14: I love my 2nd grade students! They had 2 more fabulous performances today of the Seussical Musical, and I am one proud musicv teacher!

Mar. 16: I love the show "Smash". I hate that I had to wait a year for its second season, but it was sooo worth it!

Mar. 25: It's spring break, so we're spring cleaning. Already rearranged two of the boys' bedrooms, and gotten rid of several bags of garbage and several bags of donations. Feels good to clean house!

Mar. 27: these are a few of my favorite things (over spring break): sunshine, laying on the freshly mowed grass, rearranging furniture, clean bedrooms, watching movies alone late at night, sleeping in.

Mar. 27: It's official: my kids are hoarders. I can't believe how much garbage and boxes of stuff we cleaned out of their rooms! They don't get it from me, but I can't say the same for their dad!

Mar. 28: I'm not a good dancer, but I can sure kick butt on Wii Just Dance! I need to choreograph some dance movements for the 5th grade Shrek Show, and I think I'll just use some from the game, since that's the only dance moves I'm good at!

Mar. 29: I have so much enjoyed my last 7 days off for spring break--it's felt like a taste (and teaser) of the summer to come! I'm excited to spend our last 3 days off in Utah for a wedding, family time, and Easter before going back to school for two more months.

Mar. 31: I completely LOVED easter weekend with my family! And I'm not ready to go back to school tomorrow after the 10-day spring break off! I can't wait for summer!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

School-plays Rock!

I have a background in theater. My first memory of performing is in the 3rd grade; I remember the level of excitement I felt at being on stage in front of an audience saying my line and singing with my fellow classmates. Performing onstage is one of my great passions in life that has become so unutilized since moving to Salmon 12 years ago.
As a music teacher for grades K-5, I like to incorporate my love of the theater into my job. So, I decided that the 2nd & 4th grades would annually produce plays as their musical show. After all, I did go to college to become an English & Theater secondary level teacher, so I feel that I can still teach part of what I learned in my education to my students, and pass on my love of theater to them. Except, this year, I don't think I projected that love to my 4th grade students...I think I passed on my crazy to them instead!

Back in November, the 4th grade classes started working on the play "School-house Rock". There are 3 classes this year, and they're a talented group, so I wanted to do a play that gave more students parts instead of the plays we've done in the past that have a limited number of major roles. It's a play that I've never seen or done before, and it's based off the 1970s & 80s Saturday morning cartoons with the same name, which I've also never seen before. But after reading through the play, and watching some old cartoons on You-Tube, I thought it was something that these students were capable of and that it would appeal to them, and I felt that it was a challenge that I was willing to take on full throttle.

Each class learned 6 songs for the play. Each song teaches an educational subject in a fun way that makes learning appealing. We learned "Interplanet Janet", "The Preamble", "Three is a Magic Number", "Interjections", "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly (get your adverbs here)", and "I'm Just a Bill". The songs are all very fast and use big words, so it took us almost 2 months just to learn and memorize the lyrics and sing them with the fast rhythms and melodies with quick tempos. Then I held auditions in each class for soloist and speaking and acting parts. Then all the parts were assigned, and I began teaching them stage blocking for each song, and they practiced using props.

Each song is so completely different from each other, and I incorporated a LOT of props into our play to go along with the subjects of each song. It took me a lot of extra hours creating, compiling, and completing the props & set for the show. That doesn't include all the extra hours of lost sleep from thinking about it and putting it all together in my head, either. I do some of my best thinking at night when I lay down to sleep and the house is silent, but unfortunately, once I start thinking about a subject, I find it hard to stop and I lose a lot of quality sleep from it.

Lack of sleep always causes me to become emotional, and about two weeks before the plays were scheduled to happen, I started mentally losing it. I knew that the students wouldn't be ready in time, so I scheduled 7 extra practices (2 for each class, and one extra for a class that needed it) during my prep hour time for two weeks. So in addition to not sleeping well, I was also losing valuable downtime during each day. I started to become physically and emotionally exhausted, and I began losing patience with my students. I am not proud of the fact that as a result, I became more demanding and yelled a lot at them. So the students began reacting to me and there were several that started acting out during class and rehearsal time: getting in fights, swearing in class, breaking props, being disrespectful, not following directions, etc. I threatened 5 boys that they would be kicked out of their class plays if this type of disruptive behavior continued, and I've never had to do that before. I felt awful giving such ultimatums to my students, and I was emotionally upset that it had to come to this. I blamed myself, and improved my own behavior during rehearsal time, but unfortunately, 2 of the boys did not do anything to change their behavior, and had to be removed from backstage and from play practices during music class. But after that, the classes seemed to be more productive during rehearsals.

I finally felt that things were coming together for the students during the final days before the shows. The last week of February were the performance dates. Each class performed their play once for students, and then again for their parents. So there were 6 performances total scheduled for that week: 2 from each class. I knew it would be a stressful week with so many shows taking place. To make matters worse, my husband was gone to work meetings out of town that week, and I had to find a daycare for Kanyon in the afternoons. Kanyon is not good with change, and since Josh has been taking care of him in the afternoons during the winter months, he hasn't had to go to daycare since November. I didn't want him to be mentally freaking out and throwing fits while I was already very stressed, so I knew that he needed to be with someone who he liked and trusted instead of dropping him off at an unknown daycare. I asked around prior to this happening, and nobody was able to watch him for me that week. I was growing uneasy and anxious, but I tried to remain faithful that it would work out. At last, and only 3 days before Josh left, I found a reliable, trustworthy person who said she could watch Kanyon and her son is one of Kanyon's best friends, so I felt very good about it.

On Monday the 25th, the first 4th grade class had their school performance. It was difficult to watch. It's like they had forgotten everything we'd worked on for 4 months over the weekend. They forgot their lines, their cues, their solos, their props, and they were super noisy backstage. I was completely shocked and disappointed. Knowing that there were still 5 performances to go, I was worried that if this was the beginning to a week filled with shows that were anything like the 1st one, I wouldn't be able to survive emotionally.

On Tuesday the 26th, the second 4th grade class had their school performance. This show was filled with technical errors: about an hour before the performance, the DVD player quit working (I project two of the cartoons on the back wall during parts of the show), then the microphone wouldn't produce any sound. I finally got the DVD player to work, then I called the maintenance crew and they fixed the microphone problem, and this all happened while I was teaching other music classes. After the 4th graders came and their show began, the projector quit working--so although the DVD player was now fixed, nobody in the audience could see the cartoon on the back wall. We had to cut a song during the middle of the show, and I was proud that the students kept going and continued acting, despite the technical flaws. The students finished the show, and I gave them their critique, but then I began to fall apart, and I couldn't keep the tears from flowing. I called the school's computer guy, and he came over and fixed the projector so that it would work for the afternoon parent show of the 1st 4th grade class who'd had their school performance the day before. After crying all during lunch hour, and then for another 10 minutes after he fixed it, I just prayed that the afternoon show would go okay. I went on teaching my other classes until about 3:00. I had that first 4th grade class come 1/2 hour early before the parent show, and we ran through the entire play to make sure they remembered all their cues and lines and solos that they'd forgotten during the previous days' show. And then something miraculous and magical happened: they had an absolutely perfect performance. The show went off without a hitch, and it was exactly how I'd envisioned it in my head. I couldn't believe it; they were phenomenal! I was extremely proud of my students, and I cried tears of joy after their show because I was so amazed at what they'd just done and I finally felt like there was hope for the 2nd half of the week that had started out so rough.

On Wednesday the 27th, the final 4th grade class had their student performance that morning. I felt prepared to have a terrible show, from what had happened with the previous 2 students shows. But I wasn't too distraught; after all what else could go wrong that hadn't already?! When the class came, they had students absent, so I knew that I had to be their fill-in for a solo and a speaking part. During the middle of the show, things began to fall apart. I sang the solo at the beginning of the song "Interplanet Janet" for the missing student, then the girl who played the role of Janet got stage fright, and didn't come onstage, so I ran off and got her costume on, and came back on after the missed cue and pranced around the stage, then a boy forgot to say his line during the middle of the song, so I pretended I was him as I was still dressed as Janet, then I quickly had to go pause the CD at the end of the song, turn on the projector, go get the costume off, and console the girl. It was a whirlwind! I couldn't believe that I had 3 identical plays produced by 3 different classes, and the 3 students shows had all been so different from each other in their problems. One Kindergarten teacher brought her students to multiple shows that week, and she commented that it wasn't ever the same show twice! That afternoon, the second 4th grade class had their parent show, and they were nervous that there would be technical issues, so again I had them come early, and we ran through the entire play before the parents came so that they could be confident that everything was fixed and working fine. Again, the parent show went fabulous, and the students performed very well and we had a full and supportive audience viewing the play.

On Thursday the 28th, the final 4th grade class had their parent show that afternoon. I was happy that I'd made it this far into the week without completely losing it! Josh came home on Wednesday night, and Kanyon had a great week at his friend's house, and I was maintaining everything at home and school alone. I was looking forward to finishing off the week successfully. The last parent show ended up not being as polished as the other two parent shows, but thankfully I didn't have to play the parts for my students in it again! There were no missing students this time, just missed cues and missing props and errors in their stage blocking, but nothing too major. 

I was glad to finally have it be over. When the last 4th grade play was done, I could finally sleep again at night, and not feel so stressed during the day anymore. I told myself I would never go through this again! But the truth is, I'm pretty sure I will. I have to have long enough time in between 4th grade plays to forget about what an emotional and stressful rollercoaster ride it is before I want to do it all over again. I was thinking this was the first year I'd ever gotten so stressed about producing a play, but then I read back to last year's 4th grade play experience, and I had gotten stressed about it back then, too; I had just forgotten how much so!

I enjoy directing, producing, and teaching--otherwise I wouldn't do this job. I get paid minimum wage only for the hours I teach at school, and I have so many extra unpaid hours that I put into my job, too. I work so hard because I want my students to succeed, and I am motivated by the fact that they need me. I tell myself that if I wasn't there, the quality of their music education wouldn't be as good, and I want to always know that I put 100% into fulfilling my expectations for myself and thus, for my students. I question myself during times of stress prior to every performance if I'm in the right job for me, or if I'm doing the right things for my students. But whenever their performances happen, I'm reminded of why I love my job so much: I love watching them excel, and seeing them feel pride in their work, and knowing that what I do makes a difference in their young life, and you can't put a price tag on that kind of worth.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

therapeutic holiday

I was so grateful when President's Day came this year. I needed a break so badly from school and stress and schedules. Because we are on a 4-day school week, and since President's Day is on a Monday, that meant we got a 4-day weekend, and it felt like heaven to me. These were my moments of bliss during that weekend that helped me survive the rest of February without having a mental breakdown:

I went to bed early every night and two of the mornings I got to sleep in. Because I have raised my sons to be independent, they get themselves up and dressed and eat breakfast all on their own in the mornings. So on weekends, when they all insist on waking up early, I can just lay in my bed for a few extra hours without feeling guilty. My bed feels so good to me in the morning, and I like to stay in it as long as possible! I was so glad I got to sleep in for two days that weekend!

Josh took me and the twins on Saturday night to Sharkey Hot Springs. There was only one other family there, and they were preparing to leave when we arrived. It was nice to have a peaceful soak in the pools, and be the only people there. It was very calming and my body always feels so soothed after soaking in hot springs.

Our cousin Janoa invited us over to Sunday dinner at her house. Her dad Uncle Ed was up visiting, and it was the first time I'd seen him since the death of his wife Aunt Joy.
(Uncle Ed & Aunt Joy are in the middle of this photo & Uncle Joe & Aunt Louise are on the outsides. July 2011)
It was a full house for dinner: Uncle Ed, Janoa & Dennis, Trisa & Greg, Ed & Kathy, Tim & Barb, and Josh & I with our twins (Ammon & Kanyon were home sick). Dinner was absolutely delicious, and there was so much good food. Eating comfort food always feeds my soul. Janoa asked us to bring our ice cream machine & make some homemade ice cream for dessert. I was in the mood for oreo ice cream, so I experimented with making that flavor myself. We made the vanilla ice cream and put it in the machine, and let it set up for a bit while I crushed some oreos, and then we added that to the mix. It turned out super yummy! I'm definitely going to try that again sometime!

Other than church and dinner at Janoa's house, there was no other place I had to be at any specific time for the whole weekend. Since Kanyon & Ammon were sick over that weekend, I stayed home more, and whenever I went out, I only took the twins with me. It felt so good to just let the days turn out however I wanted them to, instead of having the days' schedule be the boss of me!

Monday, March 25, 2013

red hot hearts

Valentine's Day is a fun holiday for kids, and it is one of my favorite holidays that we celebrate while I'm working at school. The kids give all their little valentines gifts and cards and candies to their schoolmates, so all the studentsin the school feel so loved and so happy on Valentines Day!
Jonah and Micah made their own Valentines containers--we just got Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough containers (we buy that in bulk from Sam's Club, so they are bigger containers), spray painted them red, and cut a hole in the lids in the shape of hearts. Then Jonah and Micah put their names on their containers using stickers so that they would know who's container belonged to who.

Kanyon made his container at school with his Kindergarten class; they made giant red envelopes and put their own stickers on them to decorate them:

The 3 younger boys picked out their valentines and what candies they wanted to attach to the cards; Micah picked Whoppers, Jonah chose Sixlets, and Kanyon selected Pixie Stix. They all had to work on writing their names on the valentines, taping the candies to the cards, and folding the valentines shut. They were good little workers, and it was a happy project for them, because they definitely reap the rewards! They all came home with their containers full of valentines from their classmates! That's why I just love this holiday--it's so positive for the kids!

I also love this holiday because it's the day that Josh proposed to me, and every year I think about that major decision that's affected my life more than any other. Josh came to school this Valentines Day and surprised me with a Chai and a bag of Ghirardelli chocolates. I was delighted with the sweet little surprise! I love that man so much! Saying yes to him 15 years ago was the best thing I've ever done.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

blog books

I discovered two years ago that I could turn this online blog into the form of printed books. My friend Marsha posted on her blog about the process she used to transform her blog into published books, and it really intrigued and excited me. I met her at her house one day when I was in Utah, because I was so interested in the quality of the printed blog books, and I wanted to examine them before purchasing them and investing in them myself. She gave me a few tips about what she did and what she liked about the book-making process. It sounded so easy and I found myself wanting to print one even more!
I used the website Blog2Print. You enter in your blog address, and the date range that you want included. It automatically pulls up all the blog posts you've done during those times, and you can click on any particular posts that you might want to edit before printing or delete any from printing, too. Then you choose a book cover, a cover photo, and you're set. It's really that easy! A year ago, I got my first two years of blogging printed into two books. It takes about 3-4 weeks after ordering for the books to arrive, and when they did, the boys were so excited about getting them and they loved looking through the books. I took them to show the 2nd grade class that Jonah and Micah were in, and read them a few of the stories out of them, and they were fascinated, too. The 2nd graders had just finished their author's project of writing and illustrating and creating their own books, and I wanted to show them that the possibilities are still open to them even as adults to make their own books!
My blog is like an online journal, and having it printed is like having a family journal and photo album combined.  I love these books! They all have hard covers, and are bound really well, and they are the size of my high school yearbooks. The books are costly, though, and the price depends upon the number of pages. The 2008 book (green) cost $60, and the 2009 book (blue) cost $100. When I received some money this past Christmas from Josh's mom, and my dad, I knew that I would be able to afford to buy two more. Since I blogged so much during 2010, I split the year in half and made two books out of the one year. I ordered them when Blog2Print had a 15% special, and the books cost $65 and $110. It was a wonderful Christmas gift to me and the boys! Thanks Dad & Kathy for the awesome gift! I ordered the two new books at the beginning of December, and we received them over Christmas Break. The boys spent all week reading and looking at the books!

The only thing I don't like about the books is that you can't pick how large the photos are inside; they all come in a standard small size. Blog2Print is constantly making changes to their book-making process, and I think they've received enough feedback about this problem, because I received a survey from them recently asking what feature the customers would like to have changed, and this was the option that I marked. 

Have you turned your online blog into a printed book? If not, I definitely recommend it! My main reason for blogging is to have a record and a written memory of my family's life and by turning it into a physical book, it truly feels like it justifies that reason.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Drums & Bones

My 3rd grade students' musical program was on February 13. Last year, I had the 3rd graders do a program all about Walt Disney and his company, and the students sang Disney songs. It worked out so well, that I decided to do another Disney Display this year. But I never want to do identical shows, so I changed it up a little bit.
This year, instead of talking about Walt Disney and his company, I had the students all write down their favorite Disney movies and why they like it. 20 of the students read their narratives in between the 7 Disney movie songs that we sang. I also changed a couple of the songs in this year's program.
For each song, there are special parts that students audition for. Each student gets one special part to play, and in our program, there were: action dancers for the Little Mermaid song, drummers for the Lion King song, soloists for the Beauty & the Beast song, bones players for the 102 Dalmations song, partner dancers for the Toy Story song, ribbon dancers for the Pocahontas song, and scarf dancers, soloists, and globe spinners for the Aladdin song. I really feel like it's important that every child has an individual part to play in every production that I do. The students feel more pride in their work this way, and it helps them develop talents in areas that they might not otherwise choose to.
We worked on the show for over 2 months--and what I like about the Disney music is that it's easy to learn due to all the rhyming words, catchy tunes, the fact that the kids are already familiar with it, and they like it so it's funner for them to learn, too. After learning all the songs, the audition process began.
Jonah and Micah both knew that they wanted to audition for instrument parts. Since there are 60 kids, and limited stage space, I only allowed 6 kids for each special part (6 ribbon dancers, 6 drummers, etc.). The audition process was tough for me selecting the top 6 in each category. There are so many talented kids! I wish that I could've had each child could do whatever part they desired, but it's simply not possible. Thankfully, both of my sons had quality auditions, and they both qualified for the parts that they wanted: Micah was a bones player for "Digga Digga Dog" and Jonah was a drummer for "Hakuna Matata". I thought that both my boys did a great job of playing their instrument with the correct rhythm. It is so wonderful for me to watch my students perform after all their hard work, and it is doubly rewarding to watch my own children perform among my students!
The students had a dynamite dress rehearsal, and a flawless student performance, and I was so proud of them! It was so enjoyable for me to watch them succeed after all their practicing! But, in show business, it tends to be that if you have an awesome dress rehearsal, you'll have a terrible opening night, and vice/versa: if you have a terrible dress rehearsal, you'll have an awesome opening night show.
(Jonah and Micah are both in the 2nd row--Jonah 3rd from the left and Micah on the far right)

Their final performance was for their parents, and it didn't turn out quite as polished and perfect as their previous performance had been for the school. During the parent show, a girl fell off the stage and face-planted the floor and had to be escorted away, a boy almost passed out during his solo and sang his phrase in one quick breath with his eyes shut, and the students talked and whispered on stage when they were supposed to be quiet. But overall, it was still a good show and the students did a great job remembering their parts and performing them the best they could!

Friday, March 22, 2013

happy kids about angry birds

Kanyon turned 6 in February. He'd been looking forward to it for months because he knew he would finally be able to have his first friend birthday party. Last September, he decided he wanted to have an Angry Birds party. Even though he'd been thinking about it for so long, I sure hadn't! This was the first birthday party I've thrown where I put everything together the day of the party! I wasn't even stressed about it like I usually am, and the party went very well for throwing it all together at the last minute.
I bought some supplies at the grocery store a few days before the party, and the night before his birthday, I baked the cake. When I woke up the day of the party, I got to work decorating it to look like an angry bird. I am a terrible cake decorator, so I bought some things to help me make it work...licorice for the eyebrows, flat cookies for the eyes, rolos for the eyeballs, butterscotch disks for the mouth, bit-o-honeys for the tongue, and then I used icing to complete it. I think it turned out pretty good!

Then Kanyon helped me put together the goodie bags with items I'd gotten at Zurcher's a few weeks earlier and some candy we picked out the day before. He was very happy to help me the entire morning cleaning and decorating and preparing for the party.

He found 6 different colored golf balls in his room for one of our planned activities, and we applied angry birds stickers to them.

 I tried to draw angry bird faces on different colored balloons for another activity, but they didn't end up so good. Thankfully, after the balloons were blown up, the faces weren't even visible. But I tried!

 He invited 3 girls and 2 boys to his party, and they all came! Abbi is his friend from church, Briella is his friend from daycare last year, Wyatt is his friend from preschool last year, Keegan is his friend from Kindergarten, and Raegan is a family friend.

When they first arrived, we played the balloon game. Each child picked a colored balloon, and they had to try to keep it in the air without it touching the ground. We played two rounds of this game, and Keegan and Kanyon both got 1st place.

The second game was the kids threw a small angry birds frisbee at a target. I came up with this idea the day of the party. The goal was to toss the frisbee and hit the target of the pigs' noses on the wall. Each child had 4 turns to try, and Kanyon and Wyatt tied for first place.

The third game was miniature golf. Kanyon came up with this idea the day of the party, too. Each one of my sons picked a room in the house, and created an obstacle course that the kids had to hit their balls through. Kanyon had the family room, and he had the kids hit their balls under the red couch, under the mini trampoline, and into a sideways cooking pot. Jonah had Kanyon's room, and he had the kids hit their balls on a track surrounded by pillows and under a bench and into an open box. Micah had his own room, and he had them hit their balls on a track surrounded by toys, and under an open book. Ammon also had his own room, and he had the kids hit their balls on a track he made out of his shoes, and into a cup; it was the best conceptualized one of the four. The kids had a great time hitting their golf balls with putters in the house. I counted each of their strokes, and Raegan won with a score of 19.

The last game was an Angry Birds game that we borrowed from a friend. They all had six tries to hit the targets out of the pig wall using the slingshot to catapult the angry birds. Keegan also won this game.

When the games were all done, we gathered in the dining room. We sang the happy birthday song to Kanyon before he blew out his candles. Then the kids ate cake and ice cream sandwiches and apple juice. 


After dinner, Kanyon opened the gifts that his friends brought for him. It was exciting for both him and his guests!

Then we gave all his friends their goodie bags, and all the winners of the games received bags of angry birds graham crackers. Then each of the kids played with the toys they just gifted Kanyon. I loved watching them play with the toys that they all brought! They were all so happy! Before I took them all home after the party ended, I took their group photo. What a great bunch of kids! Kanyon is lucky to have such nice friends.

That evening, we ate Kanyon's requested meal for dinner: pizza and applesauce and breadsticks. It was delicious!

Grandma and Grandpa T. and Uncle Tim & Barb joined us for dinner and dessert and gift-opening. Kanyon received a lot of great gifts, and his face was just beaming! It was a wonderful way to end his special day with family.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ravens and Niners and Pats, Oh My

Ammon has always been a Patriots fan. He was super stoked when they made it to the NFL conference finals this year. He got his jersey on, and had the twins wear their matching jerseys to help support him and his team for the game against the Ravens.

Unfortunately, wearing their jerseys didn't help the Pats team enough to win...because ultimately they lost the game. Ammon was bummed, of course. But I informed the boys that we could have a superbowl party in 2 weeks, and they all were glad about that. I let them invite who they wanted to, and after discussing it together, they decided we should invite the Tarkalson's. The Tarkalson family came to our superbowl party the previous year, and they accepted our invitation to join us again this year.

My superbowl party tradition is to have a guessing contest. Every person guesses which team they think will win, and predicts what the score will be. I write all the predictions down, and the person who guessed the closest to the actual score with the right winning team, wins a prize. When the Tarkalsons arrived, I wrote down all the predictions, and we got straight to vegging on the couch, watching the TV, and munching on all the goodies that Ashley & I had prepared. I let each of the boys pick one food item they wanted me to make, and I made them all: ham wrapped pickles for Kanyon, chocolate chip cheesecake squares for Micah, muddy buddies for Jonah, bbq lil smokies for Ammon & Josh, and fruit with dip for me. Ashley brought yummy taco dip & chips, homemade chocolates, and drinks. We engorged ourselves on food all night!

The superbowl game was the Ravens against the 49ers, and I'm not a fan of either team, but I sure enjoyed the company of the Tarkalsons. And I actually watched a majority of the game this year instead of just the commercials. There were a lot of great commercials this year, too. I really liked the Doritos (dad dressing up to have tea party with daughter), Taco Bell (oldies out on the town after curfew), Oreos (quietly tearing up the library), Tide (stain on jersey in the shape of Joe Montana), and Dodge (God made a farmer) commercials.

The only thing I didn't like about the superbowl party this year was the fact that the power went out on the stadium during the game, and that half hour of waiting time made the kids start getting all antsy! That delay also made our night a little longer, too. But Ashley & Eric stuck it out with us, and we so much enjoyed hanging out with them!

The final score of the game was Ravens-34, 49ers-31. My guess at the beginning of the game was Ravens-32, 49ers-27. I was the closest person to the final score with my predictions, so that meant that I was the winner! I was so excited! It was the first time that's happened, and I got to keep the bag of chocolate that I bought as the prize! ;)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

he shoots, he scores!

During the months of November and December, Ammon practiced basketball with the 7th & 8th grade boys. For Jamboree Ball they met 3 times a week, two of which they would practice, and then once a week they scrimmaged against each other. They were coached by two of the dads, and it was great practice for their upcoming season beginning in January against other schools' teams. The boys got used to playing with each other, and increased their ability on the court.
In January, Ammon became a member of the school's 7th grade boy's basketball team. It was an 11-member team, and they were coached by two brothers who both played basketball in high school. The team played several other schools during their 7-week season, and they won all but 4 of their games. They had a great first season together, which ended in mid-February, and they were so awesome and fun to watch!

Ammon's abilities and skills increased during the season, and it was a joy to watch him play!


His favorite place to shoot was from the corner. He got several 3-pointers during the season from this same position.

 We were so proud of Ammon and his team for a great and exciting first season of playing ball together! We look forward to the years to come with this group of athletic boys playing the game together!