Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 2015 on FB

May 3: I just love that Josephine's opened a week early! Josh and I had our favorite pizza "Vic's Special" last night and loved it! There's also a new pizza called "Idahoan" that we tried (it has potato chips on top!) and it was pretty good, too!

May 4: I took the day off work to watch Ammon compete at district golf today in Idaho Falls. I'm so glad I did! It was beautiful weather, and I liked spectating the event with Josh. After the second hole (of 18), he came up to me and said "Why are you here?" I said: "ummm, because it's districts and I wanted to watch you play" (like, duh). Then he said "I always play worse when you watch". Whatever!! I thought he did pretty well today for his first H.S. district tournament! He tied for 4th place individually, and his team tied for first! It was a good day for Salmon golf!

May 5: It was Taco Tuesday at our house tonight; the dinner choice was in honor of Cinco de Mayo. When I told the boys that, they were like "cinco da what?". I love holidays and any reason to celebrate, but apparently I haven't done enough to share that love with my boys. Parenting fail moment!

May 9: So grateful for the lovely weather today! I got all my mother's day gifts of annuals planted (with the help of my young sons), and I'm loving all the colorful flowers around the outside of my home now! Thanks Josh for the gift that keeps on giving throughout the summer! They're exactly what I wanted (since I picked them out myself!).

May 14: whew...what a day! Endured: a puking son (and cleaned it up too), a procedure on my infected tooth (boo to having root canals), being stopped for road construction 3 times (half hour wasted!), an emotional meltdown (of my own), and coaching a soccer game alone (first one of the season!). Hooray for the weekend to be here!

May 16: I passed out again last night--for the second time this year! I got up to go to the bathroom around midnight, and as soon as I sat on the toilet, I didn't feel good and I remember thinking "Oh no, I've gotten the flu from Kanyon". The next thing I remember was Josh saying "Kala, Kala! Are you okay?", and as I open my eyes to look at him, I realize I'm laying face-down on the floor. He said he heard a loud noise (which was me crumpling to the floor), and he called out a few times from bed before he got up and came into the bathroom to see what had happened after I didn't respond. Thankfully, I'd already been sitting down when I fainted, so my knees took the brunt of the fall. It took me a few minutes before I could get up, and then I went back to bed. What a weird occurrence!

May 18: The end is in sight! Just 10 more days of school!! :)

May 21: Josh and I learned how to play a new card game "golf" the other day, and we've been playing it for 3 nights straight with our family!

May 22: I went to work with Josh tonight at the golf course, and we stopped along the course to watch 4 baby owls in a tree above us. I just loved seeing the cute, furry creatures! It just made my night!

May 25: My favorite Mondays are the ones where I wake up and realize that I don't have to go to work or school that day! Today is a gift! Many thanks to those that sacrificed their life serving our country.

May 26: Took Ammon on his monthly date tonight. He chose the Mexican Restaurant Fiesta En Jalisco, because he hadn't been there yet. He's getting culture in his cuisine (last time he chose for us to go to the Chinese Restaurant). It was the first time he's had deep fried ice cream!

May 27: The calendar is always the busiest in May! Tonight was no exception, as there was something for everybody in our family: I taught a piano lesson, Kanyon showed off his book at the 2nd grade author's party, Jonah & Micah had a scout court of honor, and Ammon received an award at the high school academic awards ceremony. Surprisingly, Josh and I were able to make the schedule work this evening so that we could actually attend all the kids' events. Whew!

May 28: What a night! Jonah and Micah both scored goals at their soccer game, Kanyon ran his heart out and played all 3 positions in his soccer game, and Ammon played the trumpet and had a fantastic solo at the band concert tonight! So proud of my boys!

May 29: I loved today! Laughed so hard on a long bus ride to Utah with Darcy, went bowling for just 99 cents and tied Ammon with a score of 110, saw the play Annie Get Your Gun and was so enlightened with the starring actress's performance (she's my age and it made me wish I could still act and perform like in the good ole days).

May 30: I had the TIME OF MY LIFE today! I've never had so much fun at Lagoon before! Spending the day on rides and in lines with other adults and energetic teenagers, and not having small children to take care of, was SO liberating!

May 31: I was so excited this morning to watch Music and the Spoken Word at Temple Square, because I'd never seen the MoTab Choir perform live before. Within just one minute of the start of the program, one of the cameramen passed out, fell backwards, hit his head on a bench behind him, and landed on some people right across from where we sat, and his wife let out a huge blood-curdling scream in the process. The paramedics came, took him out on a gurney, and the whole ordeal was such a major distraction from the show (that still went on), and it kind of ruined the whole experience that I was hoping to have!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Color My World

Salmon doesn't have much besides bars, churches, and gas stations (and not necessarily in that order). We do have two stop lights, one full-service grocery store, a Subway and Burger King chain fast food restaurants, and a King's department store. We used to have an Alco too, but in February it closed down; two months later, we were privileged to have a Shopko Hometown store open. We waited a few weeks to go, because the crowds were unbelievable after it first opened--I could tell because every time we drove by, the parking lot was overflowing with cars, and it wasn't appealing to have to fight the masses for a parking space or have a long wait in line just to go shopping there. When we finally did go there as a family at the end of April, we took our money and had a good shopping trip around the (nearly empty) store together. We all got something we wanted, but Kanyon's purchases surprised me the most.

When Kanyon was in Kindergarten, he completely HATED art. He hated coloring, drawing, and doing art projects. I'm not exaggerating about this: for example, one day, he freaked out so bad during art time that he was sent to the principal's office and placed in the isolation room where he had a 20 minute-long meltdown, and it all started because whatever he drew on the paper didn't look like what he'd imagined it would look like in his head, and he hated that he couldn't make it right. He's always been a logical child, not creative or artistic. But during this school year as a 2nd grader, he's started having an interest in drawing and coloring AND art projects. He's watched some of his classmates draw, which started his desire, and his interest in it has grown from there.

So the day we went to ShopKo in April, he took his money with the intent to buy art supplies. We spent a lot of time looking at all the different colors and prices, and he finally decided on a pack of 64 crayons, a pack of 18 paints, a box of bold markers, and colored chalk, and all for less than $15. When he came home, he was so in love with the box of crayons. He'd never had a box with so many color choices before. He spent the whole evening pulling each crayon out, reading the name, and saying what the color looked like it was meant for. Then he discovered the sharpener on the back, and for the next 3 days, he sharpened lots of our old crayons, and enjoyed making them look new again. He was truly happy with this box of crayons; it showed in his countenance, and in the way he talked about them. Then on the 3rd day, he organized all the crayons in the box by color-coordinating them, and declared that he wasn't going to use any of the crayons until 3rd grade next year because they're just too pretty to use now and he likes admiring them!    

All color coordinated!
After he was done organizing his crayons, he started using his other art supplies. He spent one morning painting lots of different pictures with his new paint colors (which got Micah to pull out some of his art supplies that he got for Christmas but hasn't used much yet), and Kanyon took the paintings to school the next day for show and tell so the whole class could see his new artwork that he was so proud of. 
the volcano, tree, and bulldozer are just a few of his paintings

And he used his new markers to make me a Mother's Day card...although I feel like the card pays more homage to ShopKo than me (which proves just how happy he was with his purchases at the store!).  ;)

I'm so happy that Kanyon has expanded his interests to include art, and that he has the desire to practice and increase his abilities to make better-looking art. Josh and I are both terrible at art, but we both have an appreciation for it! I'm excited that he's so willing to give it a try!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Time Outside

We have had such beautiful weather this spring! After the cold winter months, it is always a delight to spend time outside again. I love sitting in the hammocks and benches around the yard, and breathing in fresh air while watching the boys play outdoors. I am so grateful that we live on the ranch, because it is peaceful and quiet without having any close neighbors, and there's plenty of room for the boys to roam and play and have adventures. 

Kanyon's favorite thing to do in the yard this spring is play baseball, which is quite surprising, because he's never shown any interest in the sport before! Kanyon goes through spurts with his desires--he'll stick with one activity and focus on it for a long time, then he'll all of a sudden switch activities. For example, the last couple of years in the summer time, he's really been into jumping on the trampoline. Then this fall and winter, his focus was shooting basketballs in the hoop--he practiced both at home and at school (and he was getting quite good at it, too). Then one day in April while I was working in the raspberry patch in our garden, I found a ball and threw it in the boys' dirt pile (which is where the backyard toys seem to gather). The next day, Kanyon found the ball, and he's been having me pitch the ball to him multiple times a week so that he can practice hitting it. We usually play in the evenings for a while, and he's gotten pretty good at throwing the ball back to me with good aim, and his batting skills have improved, too. He's just like Ammon: he's left handed while holding baseball bats and golf clubs, but right-handed for everything else. 

One Saturday in April, the boys worked together in our dirt pile on a creative group project. They dug a giant hole and then built a trench that connected it to the ditch. They filled buckets of water from the nearby ditch, and then carried them over to the hole and dumped them into the hole. They wanted the hole to be filled up with enough water that the trench would carry the water back to the ditch. Unfortunately, the trench that they dug wasn't deep enough, and the hole was SO huge, that the water level never got high enough to do that, despite the numerous trips they made back and forth between the water hole and the ditch. It kept them busy for quite a while, though, and I liked seeing them being creative and working together on a common goal!

That's a mighty big water hole in our dirt pile!

The trench is in between Jonah's legs

The boys aren't afraid to get muddy! (or to be hosed off afterwards, either!)

We have lots and lots of different gnomes around our yard, and apparently Micah decided to strategically put mud on one of the gnomes the same day they built the trench. I noticed the muddy gnome the following day (after the mud had already dried) and pointed it out to Josh, who thought it was funny. I never would've thought to add mud to this gnome's bottom, but my boys always surprise me with the ideas they come up with!
The gnome apparently had an accident all down his backside and onto the rock!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Earth Day 2015

There are 3 recesses a day at our school, and I'm on duty for every single one. So for one hour each day, I'm outside watching the kids and monitoring their playground activities and behavior. Accidents frequently happen outside, and there's a lot of cuts and scrapes that occur during recess. But one day in April, there was an accident that was so much worse. As I blew the whistle to signal the end of lunch recess, and as kids started running in to line up by the doors of the building, one kid had a stick in his hand, and he threw it, and it accidentally went through the eye of another student who was heading to the line-up area. The student's eye was bleeding, and he was taken to the hospital. My heart felt heavy for weeks, because I felt like there was more that I could've done to prevent the situation. The previous day, I'd been on the grass and noticed all the sticks on the ground that had fallen from the big tree in a recent wind storm, and I'd thought to myself "I should pick these up, because they could hurt someone", but logistically I knew I didn't have enough time right then to do it: there was only 2 minutes left of recess, and I had somewhere I needed to be immediately following recess, and the garbage can is nowhere near the grass area. But sure enough, the very next day it happened--someone was seriously hurt because of a stick. The accident did permanent damage to the boy's eye, and I was deeply saddened that an accident so severe happened while at school. I felt like I needed to do something--I prayed and prayed for that little boy and his family, and I took action at recess: I finally did what I should've done prior to the accident. The day immediately following the accident, I carried the garbage can over to the grass at the beginning of recess, and about 12 kids helped me pick up all the sticks we could find on the grass and we threw them all away. The next week was Earth Week, so I thought to myself: why stop there?! So on Monday, I carried over the garbage can again, and the same group of kids helped me pick up all the trash that had blown around and was stuck all along the fence surrounding the grass. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more kids joined the effort and we swept and picked up rocks that had fallen out of the giant box surrounding the big and small toy equipment.

And on Thursday, after all our clean-up efforts on the playground, we beautified the black top by coloring on it with sidewalk chalk. The maintenance worker Bobby gave me two big boxes of blue and white chalk that he had in storage, because he remembered that in previous years on Earth Day, I always took my music classes to clean up the sidewalks around the school and draw on them with chalk. I was kind of sad that I couldn't do that tradition this year in music class (since I no longer teach music), but I was so glad that he offered the chalk to me so that we could do it at recess instead! Unfortunately, I didn't realize that that exact Thursday was going to be the day that everyone in the school received their new white t-shirts to wear for school pride, and the blue chalk wasn't the best choice to use while wearing new bright white shirts! But I'd promised the kids all week long that on Thursday we would be using the sidewalk chalk, so I didn't want to go back on my word. At the end of first recess, the kids all had to go inside to wash their hands (because I told them not to wipe their hands on their clothes, but unfortunately some kids did). But I went home at lunch and got some wet wipes, so at the end of last recess, they used those to clean their hands after drawing with chalk and it worked so much better. We had a lot of fun at recess that day and seeing the black top covered in colorful drawings made my heart so happy!

There were a lot of pictures of earth, flowers, and suns. It was so cheery!

One kindergartener drew this "cat in the hat".
The hat was SUPER long, and it had an awesome AB pattern
of blue and white stripes on it! I thought it was so creative! 

One of the things that Kanyon drew was this fish.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Simple Little Pleasures

When I was 10 years old, my Grandma Perkins gave me a set of 6 books for Christmas. The series was titled "Anne of Green Gables". The books had small print, and lots of pages, so I didn't read them right away, but over the course of the next several years, I did.  My favorite in the series was the first book, which I read a few times. 

My first love of Anne came the previous year when our family got cable TV. I was in the 4th grade, and my favorite cable channel became the Disney channel. There were a lot of shows I loved to watch on Disney, but one of my favorite TV series was Anne of Green Gables. Then the TV movies Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea came out, starring the same girl who played the part of Anne. I grew up loving the independent, adventurous, red-headed Anne Shirley,  her sweet bosom friend Diana Barry, her caretakers: the stubborn Marilla and soft-hearted Matthew, and her romantic enemy-turned-beau Gilbert Blythe.

Jonathon Crombie, who played Gilbert Blythe in the Anne of Green Gables movies, passed away this year in April. It was all over facebook, and seeing him reminded me of my youthful days, reading about the adventures of Anne, dreaming about having my own dresses with puffy sleeves when I got older, watching Anne and Gilbert fall in love on TV, and wishing and hoping about someday meeting and marrying my own "Gilbert". 

There are so many fabulous quotes from the books in that series that my grandma gave me, but today I will share with you one: “After all," Anne had said to Marilla once, "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” --L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea 

I have experienced those kind of wonderful days in which I appreciate the simple little pleasures of life, and in April, just days after the death of the actor who portrayed Gilbert Blythe, I had one of those days. It was a Sunday afternoon, the weather was just beautiful, and we were all outside doing our own thing. I felt immense joy at seeing my family appreciate the simpler things of life. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few pics because I didn't want to forget the sweet, simple moment. 
Boys happily playing together in the ditch full of water

Ammon reading a book while soaking in the sun's rays

Josh taking a nap in the hammock under the shade of the trees

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Slackers and Culprits

See these two?! They haven't been doing their jobs this spring!

Tiki hasn't been chasing off the deer; she's become very lazy lately and wants to be inside a lot. And apparently Torch hasn't been catching mice around the house, because he spends all day wandering around in the fields; we barely see him anymore! I'm glad our animals are calm and that they get along with each other and our boys, but for pete's sake, we all have jobs around here, and they've been slackers with theirs!

One day in April, the boys opened up their bathroom cupboard and saw toilet paper bits all over the place. They called out "Tiki has been chewing on the toilet paper!". I thought it was strange, so I inquired further, and found out it was the extra roll that was under the sink that had been chewed, not the one that was by their toilet. So I asked them: "How would she open the cupboard door?". Upon inspection, the boys realized that it wasn't Tiki, instead the culprit was a mouse, who had been using the toilet paper to make a nest with somewhere. Around that same time, I'd been awakened in the night by mice making noises by my bed. That's such an unsettling feeling!!! And I found mouse droppings in the cupboard by the kitchen sink, too. Mouse poop is so disgusting! So, Josh got to work setting out mouse traps in our room, in the kitchen, and under the sink in the boys' bathroom. And within a week, we caught 6 mice. EWWW!!!  Mostly we caught them in our room and the kitchen, but one day, Kanyon came out of his bathroom saying (in a very sweet, pleasant voice) "Mom, I have a surprise for you", which totally lured me in, and without realizing what he had, I was shocked to see that the surprise that he was carrying was this:

I was unprepared for that "surprise" and screamed when I saw it! The mouse still had toilet paper in its mouth for crying out loud!! I took a photo and texted it to Josh, saying that Kanyon surprised me with it, and he replied "that's my boy!". Mice creep me out when they're sneaking around, but it's even worse when they're dead! Thankfully, Josh sets up the traps AND gets rid of them once they've been caught!

I had Kanyon set the mouse trap outside on the porch so that when Josh came home from work, he would dispose of it. But by the time Josh came home, the cat had realized there was a dead mouse and ended up getting rid of it first. Torch (the cat) should've gotten it before the trap ever did though, because I shouldn't have ever had to deal with it in my house in the first place!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Prom 2015

Prom was the 3rd weekend of April. Where I went to high school, prom was mainly for juniors. But here, the school is small and there's not a lot of extra school dances (like stomps), so a lot of high schoolers go to the date dances (homecoming and prom), regardless of what grade they're in, and regardless of whether or not they have a date. We were unsure if Ammon (who's a freshman) would be going to prom (I think he was undecided too), but the week before prom, he finally declared that he was. He made a cute poster (all on his own) saying "Don't Snicker. I would be lucky and charmed if you would go to prom with me". Then he got a Snickers-flavored frappuccino and a Lucky Charms cereal box to go along with it (again, all on his own--I was super impressed!). Then he delivered it to the office on Monday morning for them to give to Sage at school. Sage and Ammon have been friends since they were in elementary school. She responded the next day with a poster and a snickers bar and it said "I wouldn't snicker at you! I'd love to be your date!". We told him that since he's not 16 yet, he needed to go with a group for his dance date. He made plans that week to go to prom with Eli and Tim's group of friends. Saturday the 17th was prom, and they had dinner that evening at the Barningham's, which is where Sage and he met up at. Sage's mom and Eli's mom took pictures of them for me!

The good-looking guys of the group

Tyler, Ammon, Cole, Nik, Tim, and Eli
For dinner, the kids picked what the menu was and everyone was in charge of bringing different food items, and Tim and Eli's moms cooked. They ate breakfast for dinner! Josh and I went out with our friends Krissy, John, and Amanda that night and we went to the 28 Club for dinner which is right by the Barningham's house, so I made Josh stop there before we ate so we could see the kids all dressed up for prom. We arrived when they were mostly done eating.

Ammon and Sage let me take their picture (I seriously had to coax them, but they finally can never have too many pictures of prom!).

Then I had everyone get on the stairs for a big group picture. The kids looked so great! Sage and Ammon are at the bottom, then Nik and Madison, Cole and Jodi, Brianna and Tim, Kaitlyn and Tyler, and Eve and Eli are at the top.
I love that all the guys coordinated their ties
with their date's dress colors!!

Ammon said after dinner they got bored, so they drove around for a while and went to the dealership to look at cars. Then they went to the dance for a few hours, then headed to Eli's house to watch movies, and afterwards he spent the night at Tim's house. It was a fun night for him and he had a good time. I'm so glad he had a great experience and that he went with such an awesome group of kids to his first prom!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Another Anniversary

On April 10th, Josh and I celebrated 17 years of marriage. I'm excited that we're so close to the 18th anniversary now--that will be when I finally surpass the amount of time I was single and under my parents' care! Nearly half my life has been spent with this man, and I am still so glad I that I chose to marry him so many years ago!! I truly love being married to Josh: he is my best friend, my stable rock, and my favorite person in the world! 

We decided sort of last minute to have an overnight anniversary retreat. On Thursday April 9th, we left after our school day and bus routes were done, and headed for Idaho Falls. We got there after 7 and went straight for the restaurant Stockman's to eat dinner. The previous day, I'd researched online trying to locate a restaurant we hadn't tried before, and this seemed to have the best recommendations for the menu items and atmosphere that we were looking for. I was SO glad we went! It's our new favorite restaurant! The building is newer, the service was wonderful, and the food was exquisite!

Josh ordered a steak. It was huge! And it was still sizzling when they brought it to us!

I ordered the Captain's Chicken which is a cooked chicken breast with Garlic Alfredo, mushrooms, and shrimp on top

For dessert, we ordered cheesecake to go (since we were both so full from our delicious dinner). I'm so glad we decided to get some, because it was THE BEST cheesecake I've ever had! Even better than the Cheesecake Factory's! Josh ordered Loco Coconut, and I had the huckleberry. They were so divine, and I've been craving them ever since! The picture (taken with a cell phone) doesn't do them justice!

After dinner, we checked in at the Destinations Inn, a Bed and Breakfast with themed rooms in Idaho Falls. We stayed in the Congo room this time, and I enjoyed every moment of our overnight stay! The lighting was dim in the room, so it was hard to get good quality photos, but this gives you an idea of what our room looked like:
The king-sized bed

The jetted tub, shower, and TV projection screen were right across from the bed

I loved the jetted tub!! I really want one in my bathroom!

This was the wall between the entrance to the room
and the bed.

Looking at the reflection above the sink which is near
the shower. You can see we also had a microwave and fridge.
We took a nice long soak in the jetted tub while watching the TV above our heads after we got settled in to our room, and then we ate our cheesecake and some sparkling cider later that night. And since we had HBO channels, I stayed up late watching the movie "The Fault in Our Stars" while laying in bed. I cried violent tears like 5 times. Josh kept saying "I don't know why you're watching this tonight!". He wasn't really paying attention to the movie, because he was reading and playing on his laptop the whole time. It was so relaxing and I loved hanging out with my husband, even though the movie made me sad.

The next morning we didn't get to sleep in, but we ate the breakfast that they brought to our room, and we got ready and left to go to Rexburg to see cousin Mikey marry Denae in the Rexburg temple. It was the first time we've been to a wedding on our anniversary day, so it made it very memorable for us!
It was a beautiful sunny day!

 I unfortunately left my recommend at home--the last time we went to the temple was in February for Tim & Barb's sealing, and I'd put my recommend in Josh's suit jacket pocket, and totally forgot about it. Thankfully, the temple workers got a hold of my bishop, and I was able to still attend Mikey's wedding! It was a lovely ceremony, and I'm glad we could be there for it!

I think my husband is so handsome! He is sitting by
his brother Gideon, waiting for the newlyweds to come out.

We love our cousins, the Forsgren Family!

We did a little bit of shopping after the wedding, then went to their luncheon and spent more time talking and laughing with family. It was a wonderful anniversary overnight getaway, and I was so grateful for quality time spent with my handsome man!