Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 2014 on FB

April 6: Today's good news: I got to sleep in with my hubby, I stayed in my PJ's all day, I heard some wonderful talks at General Conference, I passed off a college math lesson, and I went for a bike ride with Josh. It's been an awesome Sunday!!

April 9: I took my first WGU college class final over the weekend, and my mentor told me last night that I passed with an 80%! I'm SUPER thrilled!!! What a good feeling to have the first class over and done, and being one step closer to having my teaching degree!

April 11: Okay, did everyone get the memo about National Siblings Day? I've never heard about it before! Now I'm wondering...Is it a facebook phenom or a real holiday?

April 16: [in response to a quiz called "What Color Matches Your Personality?", I got: You are pink! You're full of love and affection, and family is everything to you. Sometimes you need protection, special treatment and desire to live a more sheltered life.]  Apparently I am pink. Although I HATED this color growing up, I've become quite fond of it this year (as evident in the pink streak in my hair!)

April 19: What a fabulous egg hunt this morning in Salmon! Thank you Rotary!!! My kids were so happy! Now we are heading to Utah for an Easter weekend with my family and I'm SOOO looking forward to it! I just LOVE Easter!

April 22: Soooo proud of my 4th grade students for their awesome play performances this week! It does my heart good to see them excel after 4 months of hard work and practice!

April 24: What. a. WEEK!!!! I directed two 4th grade class plays equaling 4 performances. And the students were phenomenal and made me cry! I took a final exam for my college math class. AND PASSED!!!! And I just rode 14 hours on a bus with 44 kids from Salmon to Seattle for high school choir/band tour!!! SO glad to be off of moving wheels and on solid ground again!

April 25: Had an uplifting experience, 520’ above Seattle at the Space Needle! The SHS Show Choir sang a song for all who were on the Space Needle to hear: "525,600 Minutes". 

April 25: I'm at Chihuly Garden & Glass in Seattle
April 25: SHS Choir & Band students had dinner at the Hard Rock Café on Day 2, along with 2 other high schools. The whole restaurant was rockin' and all the kids were moving and singing along to music videos while we ate. It was completely awesome and I absolutely loved it!

April 26: All 44 of our awesome performing students! I love traveling with this group!

April 27: While waiting for the bus to get us after dinner on Day 2 at the Hard Rock Café, the choir broke out in song in downtown Seattle. It was beautiful! We were at a regular bus stop and a sweet old lady, who was waiting for her bus, couldn't stop crying as they sang!

April 27: While we were at the Mariners game, every time there was a break and music played and the large screen showed people dancing, our huge group got up and danced and made noise. We wanted so bad to make it onto the screen. We never gave up hope, but alas it never happened. Sad face  I'm gonna say it again: I just LOVED our group!! It was so much fun to be with these outgoing kids who know how to have a good time!

April 28: Oh my gosh! My new favorite flavor of chocolate: Robinson Cano is on Jimmy Fallon right now! I just saw him for the first time at the Mariners game yesterday and fell in love!

Soul Sisters & Twisted Scissors

I started working for my friend Amanda at her new hair salon "Twisted Scissors" in March. I work a few hours each Friday for her (it's my day off of school). I answer phones and make appointments. I run her errands and make deposits for her. I do some sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, washing, and cleaning. And I love every minute of it! It's a nice break from what I do the rest of the week! Not only do I get to hang out with my awesome friend Amanda (who has an excellent sense of humor, who knows me well, and who I have the bestest times with), but I also have a few perks for working for her like trading my work hours for product...

I've always been the kind of girl who doesn't dye her hair, who waits as long as possible to get a hair trim, to buy the cheap kind of hair shampoo and hairspray. And now, I'm actually pampering myself. I get my hair trimmed every few weeks, I get my hair colored every few weeks, and I've gotten a few hair products on the days I haven't had my hair cut or dyed. I love it!!!

Here's one day that I got my bangs re-colored pink in between appointments with her clients (my hair wasn't styled yet because I was waiting until her next client was finished).

I'm so grateful for the extra time I have to spend with Amanda on Fridays! And I'm so thankful for a small part-time, non-stressful job!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Movies 101

Every year since I started teaching, I've had one musical performance that's kind of my pet. Each year there's been one show that I create and write, one show that I spend a huge amount of extra time and effort on, and one show that I hope and pray works out exactly how I imagined it. The first year I had this job, it was the 1st grade's "Celebrate Spring" performance. The second year, it was the 3rd grade's "Disney Display". The third year, it was the 5th grade's "Shrek Show". This year, it was the 2nd & 3rd combined grade's program of "Movies 101". 
Last spring, I found out that there would be one combined class this year with 2nd & 3rd graders in it. Although split-level classes have happened before at the school (Ammon was in a 3rd/4th split class when he was in 3rd grade), I've never taught one. As soon as I heard about it, I began thinking about possibilities for a new musical show this upcoming year. Traditionally, the 2nd graders do the Seussical Jr. play, and the 3rd graders have done the Disney Display the last two years (both are very popular and fun for the performers). But I knew that with the one specific split-level class, I couldn't do either of those shows. If I did the Seussical, then half the class wouldn't be happy because they'd already done it. If I did the Disney show, then half the class would possibly be repeating the same show next year, which wouldn't be interesting for them.
One day last summer, my friend Amanda and I were quoting some famous lines from movies (we love quoting movies!), and I had an idea: I could do a program all about movies. In all of my musical programs, I like to make sure that each student has some special part because I feel that each child deserves to have their own spotlight. I was thinking that every student could say a quote from a different movie during the program, and then each class could sing songs from some famous movies.
The more I thought about the idea, the more I liked it. I tried to work out all the details in my head how this could possibly work: with 5 classes of students, and over 100 individuals, and making sure the program didn't last longer than about a half hour (otherwise it's too long for the little ones' attention spans). I thought about every detail and created a master plan: each class would walk onto the stage one at a time, and as they walked on, the students would stop at the microphone and say their individual quote (of their choice) from a movie. After all the students said their quote, they would stand on the risers on the stage, and sing the songs their class learned. Then when their class was done, they would exit to the left of the stage as the next class entered from the right, and repeat the process all over again. This meant that no time was wasted in simply moving on and off stage or down and back from the microphone--there was always something going on during transitions.
That was the main conceptualization regarding the order of the event, and from there, details were added to make the program more interesting... As each child said their movie quote, the picture of that particular movie was projected onto a screen behind them (this was my first experience ever using PowerPoint, but it really made the show a hit!).  There were 4 student MC's that kept the flow of the program moving along--announcing the classes, and giving additional quotes from the movies that each class sang songs from. The MC's also asked the audience to guess which movie each song was from, and took their answers after the class performed the songs. It was a fun aspect to add audience participation into the young performers' program, but a little tricky to teach 8-year-olds how to do improv! And of course, I added props and movie-themed details to the performance space to enhance the surroundings of the gym & cafeteria that we performed in.
I've never had a production before in the elementary gym/cafeteria. I've always used my annex building for performances. But it would've been impossible for a show this size to fit in my narrow building. The stage in my building isn't big enough for 100 students, and there wouldn't have been enough room in the seating for the audience to fit, either. Having this show in the elementary school was the most complicated part of the entire process--I had to schedule times that would work for all 5 classes to practice and perform that didn't conflict with breakfast/lunch/P.E./teacher prep schedules. During the week of their performance, we all practiced together every day in the space to prepare for the large program, and at the end of each daily practice, I had to take down every piece of equipment used in order to clear the area for P.E. and meals for the following day.  Whew! It was a hectic week! 
The students began working on materials for this program in January. Each class learned two songs, and all the classes learned one song that they all sang together as a finale. Then I had the kids each choose a quote from a list of over 300 quotes from movies that I worked many months on creating. Several of the kids came up with their own quotes that weren't even on the list, which really impressed me! Then I had all the kids each color pictures on a paper, that when I put them all together looked like a large filmstrip to help decorate the gym walls for the show.  

I titled the show "Movies 101" because there was over 100 kids (102 to be exact) in the show, and each child gave a quote from a movie, so there was about 101 Movies quoted!

The day of the performance was Thursday March 20, which was the last day of school before a week-long Spring Break (which felt like a reward after all our hard work!). I decorated the gym that afternoon as a final preparation for the show...
This was the sign I put in the hallway for audience members to see when they first entered the building. 
I made this sign and propped it by a directors-style chair at the gym entrance.
I had some gold & silver stars hung on the high-curtain.
On both the left & the right side of the stage were some large cardboard video-cameras

In front of the microphone that each child spoke their part,
I rolled out a red carpet and had gold stands w/red theater ribbon.
I was so nervous for the show to start--the day before when we performed for other students in the school, I'd had some problems with the sound system. So, before the parents began arriving, I checked the microphone, and CD system, and Keyboard and all the amplifiers & speakers. I finally felt ready after that. I couldn't believe the amount of people that came to watch--I believe it was the largest audience that's ever come to one of my shows (we set up 230 chairs, and they were all full, as well as rows of people standing in the back)!

As each class performed their songs, I captured a photo of them from my angle at the piano (each class sang one song using CD accompaniment, and one song with me on the piano as the accompaniment). Mrs. Wilkins' 2nd grade class sang "Do-Re-Mi" (from Sound of Music) and "I Believe I Can Fly" (from SpaceJam).

Mrs. Foote's 2nd grade class sang "Let's Go Fly A Kite" (from Mary Poppins), and "On the Good Ship Lollipop" (from the Shirley Temple movie Bright Eyes).

Mrs. Schroeder's 2nd & 3rd grade combined class sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (from Wizard of Oz) and "Raindrops Keep Falling" (from Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid). I tried to get songs from a variety of movies: westerns, musicals, cartoons, old, and new. The Butch Cassidy movie was the hardest one for the audience to guess what film the song was from! 

Mrs. Tippett's 3rd grade class sang "I'm a Believer" (from Shrek) and "Seize the Day" (from Newsies).
Mr. Lund's 3rd grade class sang "Movin' Right Along" (from The Muppet Movie) and "Tomorrow" (from Annie).

The final song, when they all came together on the stage was also from the movie Annie; it was the song "Let's Go to the Movies", which was a very fitting ending! The boys sang part of it, and then the girls sang part of it. It was awesome to see so many kids on the stage singing together!
I was SOOO extremely proud of all these 2nd and 3rd grade performers. The show went exactly how I envisioned it so many months before in my mind. I cried at one point, and got chills several times because I was just so happy with their performing abilities. I have received several compliments from audience members since the performance: they liked the audience participation with the movie guessing, they liked how there was a visual presentation to go along with all the quotes, they liked how each class got spotlighted, and how the show was new and different.
It's times like this when I remember why it is that I love my job so very much. I love using my creative skills to produce musical shows, I love seeing my students' abilities grow, and I love seeing them perform their talents for an audience and feel so happy with themselves! The kids bring me so much enjoyment and satisfaction, and I'm so blessed to have this opportunity to teach them.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hot Air Balloons and Rocky Mountain Oysters

In case you're wondering: the items in my title have nothing to do with each other. Except, I guess they're both round, and attached to other things (okay, I admit that that just came to me and I'm laughing at my own humor).

Also--another common link between them is that it takes an adventurous person (or a regular person in an adventurous mood) to try them.

A random thought occurred to me today that I want to add riding in a hot air balloon to my bucket list. When I was young, like really young, as in 6 and 7 years old, my family lived in Spokane, Washington. There was a park down the street from us, and occasionally on Saturday mornings in the summer, we could hear and see an assortment of hot air balloons being inflated and taking off. I loved the sight and sound of it. I wished even back then that I could ride in one of those colorful, majestic balloons. It's a dream I'd forgotten about...but it's a dream I want to make sure happens, so I'm adding it as item #9 on my list of things to do before I die (the other items are listed on my blog sidebar). 

Also, I ate Rocky Mountain Oysters for the first time last month. I actually already forgot about that, too, but I was looking through photos on my phone tonight and discovered the picture I took before I ate them (I HAD to take a photo because I was so proud of myself for even trying them!). My friend John and I went on a spur-of-the-moment drive up to Montana in the middle of March and went to dinner at the restaurant in Wisdom, and I decided to be bold and adventurous and order them.
They look delicious, don't you think?! Overall, eating them wasn't a bad experience. The thinner slices tasted good (almost anything tastes good dipped in batter and fried, right?!). But the thicker slices were not as good--they were chewy and had a weird texture. I'm not sure if I'll ever eat them again, but I'm glad that I can say I at least tried, because there was a time when I wouldn't have even considered it...

I can remember going on cattle drives with Josh when we were newlyweds (back when his family owned beef cattle and range land), and discovering what Rocky Mountain Oysters were (I was an ignorant city girl who knew nothing about ranch life).  I gagged and seriously about barfed the first time I heard that our neighbor and Frank ate them! I've come a long way since then!

I like trying new things. I know that eating Rocky Mountain Oysters and dreaming of riding in hot air balloons may not sound very adventuresome, but when I try ANYTHING new and foreign, I feel exhilarating and adventurous and happy!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

School Projects

In March, both Kanyon and Ammon had some school projects that required a little bit of extra time and help at home.

Kanyon's 1st grade class had a Museum in their classroom in mid-March. They went on a walking field trip to visit the local Museum as an introduction to the class project. He really liked going to the museum, and told me and Josh about all the things he saw there. Then all the kids brought something from their past to the classroom, did a presentation about it, and all the items from the class were on display just like they saw in the local museum.

Kanyon chose to bring items from Cousins Camp. He brought the two photo books, and an item of clothing that he wore to the camps. The first camp was in 2010, and we made and decorated our own shirts, so he brought that shirt. The second camp was in 2013, and we went swimming, so he brought the swimming suit that he'd recently gotten and worn at it.

He wrote about these items, and memorized his description, and presented his oral explanation to his class during the day, and to me after school when they had their open house. Here's a link to YouTube to see that presentation: Kanyon's Museum Presentation

In addition to this segment of the museum, they also had other historical sections in their classroom. There was a "History of 1st grade" wall. Each child interviewed one person and learned about that person's 1st grade experience. Then they wrote about what they learned, and had a picture of the person interviewed on display. Kanyon interviewed me, and here he is standing by a photo of me when I was in 1st grade:
 This is what his paper said about my 1st grade experience: "My mom Kala was a first grader in Spokane, Washington in 1985. She played kickball outside. She didn't have a lunchroom. She had a lunch cart in the hall. Then she ate her food at her desk. She walked to school. She had a big soccer field to walk across."
Kala in 1st grade in 1985
The last section of the museum in his classroom was about "Candles and Cabins". They learned about candles, and they made their own candles by dipping a string in hot wax. Kanyon really enjoyed that activity. His candle is the middle one on the right side: 
Do you see that insect-looking picture to the right of his candle? That's his picture of Abraham Lincoln. They learned about him, and the size of his cabin, and taped off the same size on the floor of the classroom to understand how small it was. The students all drew a picture of Abraham Lincoln, and wrote a report about him. I loved Kanyon's drawing! The way he outlined the legs and arms, and how the body is so round and the neck so long, it truly looks like an insect man to me!!

Ammon had a science fair project due in mid-March. We've really lucked out with the science fairs: He didn't have one in 5th, 6th, OR 7th grade. When he was in 6th grade, the 5th grade teachers decided to do one. Then when he was in 7th grade, the 6th grade teachers decided to join the 5th grade for a science fair. It wasn't until this year, that the older grades had to do one too. He wasn't really enthused with the idea, since science is his least favorite subject (it was mine, too). He chose to do a boring project, which demonstrates how unenthusiastic he was: "Mechanical Pencil vs. #2 Pencil: How does the type of pencil affect writing fatigue?" When he first told me that's what he picked, I was like "Really? That's the best you could come up with?" Thankfully, he did all of the work required for this project on his own. The only thing he needed help with was creating the display board:

And he scored an 83 on the project, which he was fine with. He was just happy to be done!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

hot springs hotties baring arms

The first weekend in March, Josh and I went out to dinner with our friends Krissy and Amanda and John. It was a nice meal, and we had a good time, so we decided to extend the night out by going to the hot springs afterwards. 
The closest hot springs is Sharkey, which is a 25-minute drive to get to down the highway and on some dirt roads. We like it, because there's two big tubs so you don't always have to share space with other people you don't know (although we frequently do), they're basically free (there's a donation box), they're well-kept and managed by the BLM, and we like the time together on the drive to get there.
On this particular night, Josh thought that we could all fit in the silver box car (instead of taking our van like we sometimes do, or taking Amanda's van, or Krissy's Yukon). And since Josh is always our chauffeur (he prefers to drive, and we like his driving skills), we agreed with him. But after we all got in, I'm not sure why we went along with it! John sat up front with Josh, and the three of us girls sat in the backseat. The silver box car is really narrow, and we were SOOOO squished!!! Seriously, we were practically on top of each other the entire drive! We could barely move, and body parts were wrapped around one another's body parts. It was very comical, and we couldn't stop laughing! We tried to take a whole bunch of selfies to document the moment, but in the small car and with our positions, we could never get more than 2 1/2 faces in the shot at once! So, we told John to take our picture using Amanda's phone from the view of the front seat, and he took a few.
It wasn't until he was done and we looked at them that I realized the flash was reflecting off my very unflattering, very white, very wide upper arm.  Apparently John didn't even notice how much arm was in the picture when he was taking the photo. can you NOT?!!! Sheesh! I would've had Amanda cover me with her arm! Krissy and Amanda both had covers on over their swimsuits in the car...I was unprepared this time (we decided on a whim to go), and wasn't wearing a shirt over my suit. So---here's the four of us (Krissy, Me, Amanda, and my Upper Arm):

Now that you've seen the photo, you can obviously see what I'm talking about. I like to use Photoshop, so I thought that perhaps I could just cut out my upper arm and focus in on our faces. But the cropped image looked a little disturbing--with the weird angle of my body and no swimsuit visible here, and Amanda's seductive face and her fingers on my round, naked skin, it appears like something strange was going on here, don't you think?!:

So, I tried cropping it with just two heads in it (as that completely left my arm out of the picture). But then it didn't look right with some strange hand on my neck: 

So I tried cropping our heads in the opposite direction. But after cropping out the arm, there wasn't much left but a whole lot of Amanda's and I's faces, and I didn't like the way it looked.

So then I thought I could just disguise the arm, but that ended up just bringing more focal attention to it:

So I tried the opposite: covering it up. Although it looks dumb, I like this one the most!
Lessons to be learned:
1. Don't take the silver box car to the hot springs when all 5 of us go.
2. Wear a shirt or robe over swimsuit in the car when others are around.
3. Be the first to yell "Shotgun" when riding in an overfilled car.
4. If circumstances are like this again, don't sit in the MIDDLE of the backseat.
5. When taking a photo while being squished in the middle of the backseat, face forward instead of turning to the side (I think my cleavage would be more attractive to view than my upper arm--as evidenced by this next shot of Krissy's view of me!).

Friday, April 11, 2014

"It's okay"

One Thursday in February, Kanyon brought this paper home in his weekend school folder:
"It's okay for white people to like back (black) people.
It's okay to mery (marry) a black persin.
It's okay to mery a black woomin (woman)."

In addition to his teacher, I loved the message that my little 1st grader thought and wrote about. Josh and I figured that he must have had a lesson about Black History Month, so we asked him how he knew it was okay "for white people to like black people". We thought he would say something like "Oh, my teacher told me about it", but instead he said, "You know, because that one time when Kimi brought her boyfriend to our house". Kimi is my good friend that used to babysit the boys when they were younger and she was still in high school. She is in her 20's now and goes to college, but she still stops by and visits us occasionally when she's in town. When she came home to Salmon for Thanksgiving Break, she came over to our house and brought along her boyfriend Preh. They are a cute couple, and we all liked meeting him. We enjoyed their company and had a good time hanging out with them on Thanksgiving night.

I was amazed that Kanyon remembered the visit from 4 months ago and linked that to his school report. Josh and I were even more amazed that Kanyon accepted the concept that interracial relationships are acceptable, because we've never taught him about this. Josh and I both feel that love is universal, despite what it looks like: despite gender, or color, or nationality, or age, or religion. We didn't talk to the boys about Kimi's boyfriend being a different skin color. In fact, we've never even mentioned Preh's skin color--because to us, it doesn't matter. 

After hearing his answer, it piqued my curiosity, and I asked his teacher if she had taught the 1st graders a lesson on interracial relationships in honor of Black History Month or something. She said she hadn't. She had read the book called "It's Okay to be Different" to the students, which teaches that people have a variety of differences, and it's okay for everyone to be themselves and accept others for who they are.

Then she asked all the children to write a paper on what they learned. She said only 3 students in the class wrote about a deeper concept of acceptance, and Kanyon was one of them. I was so proud of the lesson that he understood and wrote about. I want my children to grow up being open-minded and accepting of others, so it truly made my heart happy to know that my 7-year-old is open-minded and open-hearted. I'm so glad that at such a young age, he already understands that it's okay to "mery" a person who may look different or have a different skin color.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Scratch & Dent

During church on the last Sunday in February, Josh took two other guys in the ward with him over to Discovery Center (the assisted living center in Salmon) to have church services there with some of the elderly that live there.
It had snowed that day, and when he was stopped at the stop sign right before crossing Main Street, a woman was traveling south-bound on Main Street, and she turned right onto the road where Josh was stopped. She was heading to church, and was being cautious, but because the roads hadn't been plowed, her car didn't make the corner, and she went straight into the driver's door on Josh's car. Because he was stopped and she was driving really slow, the hit wasn't a major impact, so it didn't affect Josh or his passengers or the other driver, and our car door was still able to open and the engine and transmission were just fine, too. But, there was a good-sized dent on the door and a yucky scratch that would've rusted, and the hood of the car was bent near the front wheel base, so we had the car fixed under her insurance (and good thing, too, because it cost a whopping $3700 to fix!!!). It took a few weeks for the auto detail company to get the parts ordered in, so it didn't get fixed until the second week of March.
I took these photos of the car before we took it in to get fixed--the car obviously wasn't clean this day, but I wanted to document the damage that was done before it was made new again!
Here's a photo of the side of the car that was injured:

I know it's hard to see with the dirt on the car, so here's a close-up of the scratches on the door.

From this angle, you can see the damage on the hood around the wheelbase in addition to the door scratches.

The funniest part about this whole incident was the fact that found out about it from someone else! During Sunday School at church on the day of the accident, I went out into the hallway, and I saw Josh and his friend Jason standing in the middle of the hall talking. When they came back to the church from the Care Center, they never made it to class because they were catching up with each other. When I saw them, they were talking about the recent experience that some youth in our ward had had the day before at the Scout Klondike Derby campout. I stopped to chat with them for a bit. After a few minutes, Jason mentioned to me that my husband had been T-boned a little earlier. I sort of freaked out! My heart panicked, and my eyes got big, and I would've yelled, but we were in the church! But then he explained it all to me, and that he was fine, and the car was not too bad, either. Of course, as luck would have it, we had JUST finished paying the car off the week before this accident happened! Crazy timing!

As far as accidents go, this was extremely mild and now it's nothing more than just a funny story to recall. I'm grateful that on all the snowy roads we had late this winter, that this is the only accident we endured, and that it wasn't worse than it was.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Thirty Something

Just last week, I was thinking about how much I love the phase of life that I'm in right now. I was having these thoughts as Josh and I were driving home after seeing a movie in the theater with our friends Amanda and John and Kerry.
I turned to Amanda and said "I love who we are in our 30's" and I meant it. I haven't stopped thinking about it all week long. I've been thinking of why I feel so happy lately, and this is what I've come up with:
I love the relationship that Josh and I have now. We are comfortable with one another, and appreciate one another, and are in love with each other. We go on dates frequently, and like being alone with each other. Our relationship hasn't always been so wonderful, but the last 3 1/2 years have been the best of our marriage, and I enjoy every day I get to spend with him. 
I love the ages that my children are. They are young enough that they are still fun to be with, but old enough that we can leave home without having to get a babysitter. We know they are responsible and independent so we don't worry about what they're doing when we go out. And they take care of themselves and like being in charge in our absence. They are involved in lots of activities that they enjoy, and it's a joy to watch them learn and grow and develop their personalities.
I love that Josh and I are established in our adulthood: with our jobs, and our finances, and our house, and our stability of being in the same community for so many years. We know who we are, we know what we want, we know what is best for us and our family, and we are on track in fulfilling those acknowledgements.
I love our friends. We can be with each other and appreciate our differences and the dynamics we each bring to the friendship. We can be ourselves without having to try and impress each other; it's so freeing and exhilarating to just be me. We have a good time together no matter what we do: eating, playing games, soaking in hot springs, watching movies, dancing, etc. My friends bring out the best in me, and I have the best times when I am with them.  

I truly love life as a 30-Something!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Taking Shots

Ammon played on the Salmon Middle School's 8th grade boys basketball team this year. The season lasted 8 weeks: from the beginning of January to the first of March. They played 4 home games and 4 away games, and at the end of the season they competed in an all-day District Competition.
Ammon had a good season--at one home game, he scored half the points for the team in the first half of the game. That was a fun one to watch for sure! His favorite shot was the 3-pointer, and he made several of them which was exciting to see! Josh also refereed the home games, and drove the bus for almost all the away games, so he was able to be with/watch Ammon the whole season.
These first few photos are from our home game against Firth. They were a rough team, and the only one we lost against during the season. One of the kids on their team fouled Ammon pretty hard, and then the kid's dad (who was sitting in front of us in the stands) started yelling at Josh for calling it. Then Kathy (who was sitting next to me) started yelling at the guy. That was an interesting game...

These photos are from the game they played at Leadore. Ammon and two other 8th graders joined up with the 7th grade team to play, because Leadore only has one team with a lot of young players, so our entire 8th grade team didn't go. That was a hard game for Ammon because he was playing with members of a team that he'd never practiced with, and the Leadore kids range from super tall 8th graders to very short 5th graders.

At the home game on Valentine's Day, our school had a contest where the audience was given paper to make paper airplanes with, and then at half-time, they could shoot the airplanes onto the basketball court. If the airplane hit a heart target, they got to win the prize that was on the heart. That was so fun for my boys! (even though we didn't win anything!)

On Valentine's Day, our home game was against Challis. This was Josh's least favorite game to ref the whole season. A majority of the Challis ball players are also wrestlers, and they manhandled our team the whole game. Even though we beat them by a long shot, it was a very physically challenging game.

On Saturday March 1, District Competition was at Firth High School. Josh drove the bus, so I drove the younger boys down in the van myself. It was a super snowy day, and the roads were really slushy and icy. My parents had stayed the weekend with us to see Ammon receive his Eagle Scout award, and they followed behind me down to Firth (over 2 1/2 hours from Salmon). When I got to the freeway, I white-knuckled it, and went in the non-plowed passing lane to pass several slow cars. That was when I lost my parents. I drove on until I got to Firth, and barely made it in the gym when Ammon's first game started. After a half hour without seeing my parents, I started getting worried. I texted my mom, and she called me back saying they'd slid off the road. When they took the Firth exit from the freeway, the incline and ice pulled their car down into the borrow pit and they were unable to make it back onto the road, so they were waiting for a tow truck. Finally, in the last few minutes of Ammon's first game they arrived. The District Competition was 3 back-to-back rounds of basketball. They played Challis in the first round and won.
Their second game was against Ririe. It was a close game, but Salmon came out as the winners. My parents stayed to watch that game, and then they left to drive back home to Tremonton.

 The 3rd round was the championship game, and it was against Firth. It was an ugly game. At half time, we were leading the game. But in the 4th quarter, they took a big lead. The refs were awful and tried to kick my husband out of the game (for making a 'traveling' gesture!!!), the scoreboard official screwed up twice and then yelled at our crowd for catching his mistake, the scoreboard official and the refs kept playing this whistle-beeping game which annoyed everyone, and the scorekeeper kept erasing her team's fouls. It was unpleasant, and I realized why Firth has such a bad reputation in Southeast Idaho. They have poor sportsmanship. I felt bad for the boys for enduring such a difficult situation, but they played their hearts out and they received 2nd place in the district and we were very proud of them.

They had a great season overall. Their coaches, Boyd Stokes and Trent Beyeler, did an excellent job. It was a joy to watch the boys grow and develop their basketball skills over the season. I can't wait to watch them in high school next year!