Sunday, July 27, 2008

School Excitement ....

I always always always get way too excited for school to start, (I really don't know why -- five days into the year I am ready for a 3 day weekend ... it doesn't really make sense!) I have to force myself to wait until August to go into the school and set up my classroom -- just so I don't beat the other teachers by more than a month! I am pathetic! This year is no different. I am going crazy here at home all alone ... so the eve of my first return back to school is an exciting one! YES -- I am giving in and going back tomorrow. My dear friend, who is now on bed-rest with her baby, has offered to help me cut out all of my new school decorations that I have made. After I am done with that, I am going to go to my room, arrange my desks, and set up my bulletin boards. Stephanie always comes to help me ... and generally makes fun of my OCD tendencies to make everything perfect. That is okay -- it is my home for 10 months of the year! I know that I am a loser but ....


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Crazy Weather!

I was downstairs reading my current book and I heard a sound in the back of the house that made me think ... man someone is trying to rip through my house! I take a look outside and there are huge balls of hale falling madly to the ground!

Since our house is at the bottom of the hill, all of the water always gathers at the base of our street -- right next to our house. It took mere seconds to accumulate this much water on the road. It was CrAzY! My kitchen floor has water all over it from the heavy water forcing its way through the doggy door. Within 10 minutes or so, the rainstorm reduced to a normal quite downpour. You can still see white patches of hale on my back lawn though!

**I just looked back at the front yard -- and the water has come up over the sidewalk and has started to come up onto my yard. It is a good thing that my house is pretty high above the side walk! **

I took a short clip of the water racing down our street. WOW!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Am A "CookieMonster"

I should have written this last night while the adrenaline of the concert was still racing through my blood. Joe and I like to go to a big concert a year. It is something that we plan for and look forward to. I was so sad when he found out that he would be on a business trip the week of the concert. (Steph wasn't so disappointed though!) Accepting the fact that Steph was my new idol partner -- she was forced to love David Cook as much as I do. I made her listen to many of the songs that he sang on Idol. Soon she thought his voice was dreamy and I had her hooked. So we decided to make a day out of it.

We started out by going and getting the perfect "david cook" outfit. We shopped at Old Navy, Kohls, Sears, and JC Penney. Steph found hers pretty quick -- but mine took some effort. I have a weird body shape that is hard to fit and it gets frustrating -- especially when your kid sister is super cute and looks great in everything she tries on. FINALLY -- when we were about to give up -- I found the perfect outfit. We shared a salad at Chilis for lunch and headed out to the nail salon to get a manicure and pedicure ... I mean we gotta look good for David ... right? We went home -- got beautiful -- took some funky "I'm ready to party" pictures and left.

It was Steph's first big concert ... ever ... so I had to buy her a T-shirt ... and I got my David Cook T. We sat down and got acquainted with our neighbors -- they were from California and were big Jason Castro fans. We were on the first row of the lower bowl -- close to the back. They were pretty good seats, but it was tough getting good pictures. There was more room to dance though so it wasn't all a waste! The show started and they ran it in reverse order -- from 10 down to 1. Here is my recap of the top 10 AMERICAN IDOLS:

10- Chikezie came out and was cute and fun -- but kind of deserved to be in the #10 spot. That's okay -- We cheered him on anyway -- we were a good crowd :)

9- Ramiele was next -- she was pitchy in parts ... and it kindof seemed like a cruise line performance ... haha only kidding. She was cute -- but boys are SO much more fun to watch than girls.

8-Michael Michael Michael. This is when the show started for me. He started with a queen medley. He definitely knew how to work the crowd. We were singing and dancing ... and of course screaming. He is destined for super-stardom! Halfway through his set of songs he showed us what was under his jacket -- he had an "I voted for David Archuleta" T shirt on and drank out of an Archy water bottle. It was pretty funny.

7-Kristy Lee Cook came out next. I kindof felt bad for her because the crowd was so hyped for Michael ... and then it just kindof died. No problem girl -- we got your back. Steph and I still supported her :) I actually got a bit emotional when she sang "God bless the USA". I cry a lot.

6-Carly picked the crowd back up fast. She was raised to the stage from underneath when she started singing her first song by Evenescence. She looked like a super-star! She was gorgeous -- her hair was flowing back in the wind and ... got the whole arena to their feet. LOVED HER!

5-Brooke White always sang behind a piano or guitar on the show so I was wondering how she was going to adapt her performance for the concert since there was no piano. It was her turn and the piano came out of no where -- raised from underneath. She was cute -- but we had our favorites already.


4-Jason was next and we knew that the 17 year old Californian next to us was completely flustered with excitement. Steph and I started chanting ... JASON JASON JASON and she loved it. He was better than he ever was on the show. I have always like Jason's voice -- it is so fresh and clear. He has beautiful eyes -- and was fun to watch. Not my favorite -- but fun!

3-Syesha came out "slut-tastic". I have never seen a dress look so much like a nighty. It was actually a bit distracting. She was all bust and butt. She has a powerhouse voice though --


2-The crowd knew who was next -- and they showed it. I have never heard an arena so loud in my life. He is such a cute little kid -- and has an amazing voice. He got to sing 4 songs, (everyone else besides Cook got 3,) and they were all amazing. You could tell that he was glad to be home and was grateful for all of the support. It was hard to really enjoy his songs when I knew who was next ...

I don't really like to watch the auditions for AI -- so I start watching when they are the top 24. The first night it was on I recorded it and watched it later. When I finished I got to the spot of David Cook and made Joe watch. I told him that this guy was my favorite. I love it when I pick the winner!

1-David is a rock star. He opened with "Hello", then went to "The Time of My Life", "Don't Want to Miss a Thing", and "Hero". Steph and I were going crazy -- come to think of it -- it is probably good that Joe wasn't there -- I think that I might have professed my love for Cook one too many times :) haha! He was so comfortable on stage -- and I am sure he was nervous playing for the Archuleta capitol -- but it didn't show. We were dancing -- and screaming a lot. The girls next to us told us that we were "good screamers" and could win a contest. He finished Hero and threw his pick to the audience -- and left. I was like ... hey what about Billy Jean? Our wish was granted. I LOVE DAVID COOK!!

When he was done the whole crowd came out and sang "Don't Stop the Music". I had to get part of it on video since Joe couldn't be there ... I don't know if that is illegal -- so don't turn me in. Here it is:

Well this has been long and if you made it to the end -- I hope you enjoyed my recap of the AI tour. It was WAY too much fun! I am getting excited about it again :) AND if you hear of DC coming to Utah on his own tour -- LET ME KNOW since I am nothing more than a big COOKIE MOSTER! haha

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I KNOW that I will be posting about this experience soon -- but now I would just like to post about my total excitement about going to see David Cook and the other idols TONIGHT at the American Idol concert! I bought the tickets a couple of months ago before we knew that Joe would be in Mexico on a business trip. When we found out that he would be gone I had to find a replacement. I immediately called my baby sister! WE are both SO excited ...

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Joe and I are now finishing Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. It is a young adult book that we started on our camping trip. We decided that we really like young adult novels for two reason: 1) They are full of out of control ideas and 2) we don't have to worry, (as much), about inappropriate material. Here is the synopsis of the book:

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tall's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

I am really enjoying the book and will start on the next soon. Joe and I have had a lot of conversations about what people do to get "pretty" and how society treats them. If you think about it -- our world revolves around looks ... and a lof of the choices that people make are based on how something or someone looks on the outside.

In the beginning of the novel Tally and Shay are making images of themselves on the computer so that they can give the surgeons some ideas of what they want to look like after the operation. They believe that everything symmetrical is beautiful and start with flipping both sides of their faces to see if they want to start the transformation from the left side or the right side. I decided that it might be kindof fun to try it myself. It is hard to do because you have to look for a photo that is pretty straight on -- so that when you crop it you don't have two noses. I have included two of the "transformations" of myself ... and thought that I would try it on Joe too! hehe.

So what do you think ... do you like our left or our right side better?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer's Half Way Over ...

I have never been able to endure the entire three months of summer vacation.  It is always about mid-July that I get anxious to get back to my normal, structured life.  I am starting to feel that mid-summer restlessness.   Yesterday I decided to start creating some of the decor that will soon be placed in my classroom.  

When I started teaching I made bulletin board borders using my stamps and coordinating colors, (bordering blue, chocolate chip, old olive, and pumpkin pie).  I was so excited to get them up in my room that I neglected to get them laminated.  The boarders didn't last all that long -- they were written on and dust from the whiteboards staining the boarders.  I don't know if it is the "stampin' up!" inside of me -- but I like everything to match!  Because of this I find it necessary to make my own things rather than buying them ... (I think that it looks cuter anyway!)  I decided to remake the boarders and took the opportunity to change my color scheme, (it is similar ... old olive, so saffron, close to cocoa, brocade blue, and ruby red).  Since I threw out the pumpkin pie, not only do I need to change my borders I need to remake most everything in my classroom so that it all ... matches.  

I am not very good at stopping projects once I start -- so last night when I was in the middle of my inspiration ... I couldn't just go to bed.  I stayed up all night playing around in my stamp room and finally went to bed as Joe was getting up.  I slept in until noon today and have been 
working every since.  I was able to create ... a calender, with date squares to velcro to the calender, class agenda signs, rule poster, and a reward/consequence poster.  I just hope that Office Max is going to have a teacher special like they did last year.  The laminator at our school can't handle posters this big -- plus the quality is better there.  

I am pretty excited for school to start.  I am not quite ready for it to start tomorrow -- but I am enjoying getting ready for it.  I will probably go in about two weeks to get my classroom set up. 

Moon Lake Vacation

As Joe and I were hiking the day before we left for home Joe mentioned that I could create 10 different posts for our vacation.  We had SUCH a good time in the mountains.  We were concerned about taking a dog with
 us.  When we signed up for the camping site it specifically mentioned to "leave the loud obnoxious dogs home".  If you have met Daphne you know that she can definitely be loud and obnoxious.  We were very pleased to learn that Daph is our camp dog.  She was PERFECT!  There were other dogs all around, squirrels and birds chirping in the trees and Daphne just looked at them and kept walking.  

We went down to the beach the first night that we were there and I grabbed a rock.  I asked Joe if I should throw it in the lake to see what Daphne would do -- neither of us even considering that she would jump in.  He told me to go for it since Daphne has NEVER shown any interest in water.  Joe and I were on the ground laughing -- she didn't even hesitate!  She plunged into that water and started swimming out to
the splash.  Since it was a rock -- she obviously couldn't find it so I threw a branch so it would float.  It was getting pretty late and we didn't want a wet dog sleeping in our tent so we went on this mini hike to try and dry her.  We went to the lake and 
played with Daphne every day that we were there.

There were several amazing trails that we went hiking on.  We always went on a hike after Daphne got in the water.  It was a good way to get her dry and I was able to wear my suit and catch some nice sun.  (I wore a 
different suit pretty much every day and have some crazy funky tan lines on my back!) We took Daph off of her leash and she trotted about 10 - 15 
feet ahead of us the entire time -- frequently looking back to make sure that we are still coming.  She would come back to us and whine a bit ... apparently we were not fast enough for her.  

I had to get a picture of the bridge that I mentioned last week. 
 It was weird ... but I felt very close to my mom while I was there -- like we had a memory and now I was letting Joe in on it.  I am so glad we came here it is such a beautiful place.

It has been awhile since Joe and I have gone on a "vacation".  It was so nice to go away and we decided to make camping over the fourth of July a yearly tradition.  We will pick the place that we want to travel to next year 
while we are camping.  We have decided to go up to Yellowstone next year.  Neither of us have ever been there and are excited to go!  We will be researching it over the next year and finding a 
nice place to stay over the next year -- or a nice campground at least -- although it might be fun to try camping in a cabin!

It was such a good week and we are so happy to be home.  The craziness of the world can be so overwhelming sometimes and it just nice to get away.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

On Our Way

Tomorrow Joe, Daphne, and I are headed out on our first camping trip together. Joe and I have been camping before ... but have never brought a dog along with us! We are headed out to Moon Lake which is in Roosevelt. We decided to take Daphne because she is the best behaved dog off of her leash. She is very good at coming when called and staying close by. I trust her ... 94%! I can't give the full 100% since this is so unknown. We are hoping that she likes the lake. Labs are supposed to like water ... I just hope that she likes lake water better than bath water. She is not too fond of that. We are going to be gone July 2nd - July 5th. We are very excited to go on vacation!

The last time I went to moon lake was probably close to 20 years ago. Spencer was just a baby and Greg was probably 2. We were there with the entire Stohel family -- some sort of family reunion. The night before we were supposed to leave my mom took all of the cousins on a small hike. I remember singing: "when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie ... that's amore!" to the full moon as we crossed a bridge. We all loved it. The next morning we were packing up to leave and we couldn't find Greg. My parents were frantic -- they had to look for close to two hours before they found him. He was sitting on the same bridge we passed the night before. Greg has always been the silent curious one ...