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Monday, December 24, 2007

Countdown to Christmas

Aaahhh, the actual countdown! This is no longer the fun paper chain countdown, this is the real deal! It is 9am Christmas eve. I still have to go to the grocery store to get stuff to take to Mom's tonight, Karen's tomorrow, wrap more presents, contemplate going to buy the stuff that my kids requested YESTERDAY, clean up my house so we're not embarrassed when Santa gets here, consider the fact that cereal for breakfast on Christmas morning is not very festive and feel guilty that I don't have piles of cinnamon rolls on my stove like Darilyn or stacks of cookies like Merilee, oh shoot, that reminds me, we haven't made cookies for Santa yet, and while our santa is not particularly fond of cookies, it will devastate Emma if we miss that detail. I love this craziness, but just hope that there is enough time left in the countdown to get it all done.
12, 11, 10, 9, .... gotta go!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The holidays

I love the Holidays! We had 4 parties to go to over the weekend. When else does that happen? Yesterday was David's birthday and I will do a "David post" soon. Thanks to Ru and Meg for coming over to install his present! He's in love. We only have 2 days left of school before break. I actually had a student tell me that her mom was going to complain to the principal that kids don't need a Winter Break. It sounds like someone has to find a babysitter. I need to find her and torture some sense into her. It is crazy I always try to get stuff done early so that I won't be so rushed, but somehow, this time of year moves faster than all the others and here it is one week to Christmas and I still have so much to do. If anyone talks to Mom before I do, is it possible for me to work with you to make some beef tamales for Christmas Eve. I sort of invited Risa to come over (she said that she never gets invited anywhere for Christmas Eve. Of course, being Jewish...) and well, she and her fiancee don't eat pork. I think I can handle a "chalupa alternative" but I'm not sure about making tamales on my own. That might be frightful.
Anyway, I actually love the craziness that is involved in Christmas and allowing myself to get wrapped up in doing things for other people. I never do get everything done I want to. The addressed unstamped Christmas cards usually sit on the table until I throw them out in the middle of January. Especially lame, because I often handmade them. But hey, you just have to let some things go. Like me, now...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

e-mail tag

Place an X by all the things you've done and removethe X from the ones you have not, and send it to your friends (including me).
( ) Smoked a cigarette. (Not really, but I did pick up grandma's plastic filter one time and inhale because I thought it was the end of a party horn. Ughh, it was awful!)
( ) Jumped out of plane sky diving.
( x) Had feelings for someone who didn't have themback
( ) Been arrested
( x ) Gone on a blind date
(x ) Skipped school
( ) Watched someone die
( ) Been to Canada
( x ) Been to Mexico
( ) Been to Florida
( x ) Been on a plane
( x ) Been lost
( x) Been on the opposite side of the country,
( x) Gone to Washington , DC
( ) Been to Yosemite No, but so close I could almost taste it and David wouldn't go!
( x ) Swam in the ocean
( ) Felt like dying
( x ) Cried yourself to sleep
( x) Sang karaoke
(x ) Paid for a meal with only coins
( x ) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't?
( x ) Made prank phone calls
( x ) Laughed until some kind of beverage came outof your nose
( x ) Caught a snowflake on your tongue and made snow angels too
( x ) Danced in the rain
( x ) Written a letter to Santa Claus
( x ) Been kissed under the mistletoe
( x ) Watched the sunrise with someone you careabout
( x ) Blown bubbles
( ) Made a bonfire on the beach?
( x) Crashed a party
( x) Gone ice-skating
( x) Been skinny dipping
1. Any nickname: Mo, Moses, Mojo, this list could go on and on.
2. Mother's name? Betty
3. Favorite drink? Vanilla diet coke w/extra ice from Sonic.
4. Body piercing? ears, normal two in the lobes and one more in the left that stays empty.
5. How much do you love your job? Depends on the day, love is an overstatement.
6. Birthplace: Mesa, AZ
7. Favorite vacation spot? Usually where ever I was last.
8. Ever been to Africa? No
9. Ever eaten cookies for dinner? Don't remember.
10. Ever been on TV? On the news at a BNL concert when they were giving admission for $20 for everyone you could fit on a blanket and then donate the blanket to the homeless. A couple other times too, but ...
11. Ever steal any traffic signs? No, but I've had them left in my yard for me.
12. Ever been in a car accident? yes, many, including a rollover.
13. Drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle: 4-door
14. Favorite salad dressing? Depends on the salad. Ranch, italian, ceasar, asian...
15. Favorite pie? MMMmmm, pie. Why pick a favorite?
16. Favorite movie? 6hour Pride and Prejudice, Stranger Than Fiction, Mars Attacks,
17. Favorite holiday? The whole Thanksgiving to New Year period.
18. Favorite dessert? What's with you people and your choices. Why do I have to make all of these choices? You and Emma both!
19. Favorite food ? Really, this is getting somewhat annoying.
20. Favorite day of the week? Any day I don't have to work
21. Favorite brand of bodywash? Ginger Fish soap and my new favorite, Margarita from Philosophy.
22. Favorite smell? See previous question, plus wet dirt, rain, baking bread, apple cider, pie, curried meatballs at my mom's
23. What do you do to relax? take a bath and reading. ditto Elise, on this part anyway.
24. Do you have a message to your friends reading this? Hi!
25. How do you see yourself in 10 years? In 10 years Lauren will be 23 and Emma will be almost 19. David will be one day away from 51 and I'm not sure that I want to visualize any of that right now. Just the fact that we are 3 years away from a child with a driver's license is scary enough.
26. Furthest place you will send this message? The world wide web, but the furthest anyone will read it is probably Oregon.
27. Who will respond to this the fastest? Well, I haven't seen Mer respond yet. I laughed when I saw that I was supposed to respond to Meg fastest, did you forget that I don't read my e-mail anymore? I did respond once I saw it, just that was 10 days later.
28. Who is the least likely to respond? People I don't know.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weird things about Emma

Kas tagged Emma, so...
1.I'm the only blond haird person in my family.
2.I,m shy
3.I ate a raw mussel from a lake.
4.My favorite food is crab legs.
5.Turquoise has been my favorite color since I was old enough to talk.
6.I can't decide if I should say neither (ee) or neither (I) or either (ee) or either (I).

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Strange

I seem to be at a temporary loss of things to say. I can't imagine what has gotten into me.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hello again

Well, it has taken me 'til 11 o'clock just to read all the blogs I missed and update to Christmas music, so this won't be too long.
We had a wonderful thanksgiving. It's fun having Tom and Nat and the kids at Mom and Dad's and getting to see them more often.
We did our thankful list for home evening that week and it was so cute, the things the kids came up with and David feeding them his list. We put all of our things in a basket.
It's been so nice having rain and cool weather finally! I actually got to wear my ASU sweatshirt on the day that the Devils beat the wimpcats.
I think we just have the most awesome family in the world and my first song is for all of you spread out across the world. We miss you and wish you were here all of the time.
I will blog again soon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

6 weird things and a cute story

I'm doing this together so I don't break the double post rule.

1. I feel compelled to shut every open cupboard door or drawer that I see.

2. I like it completely dark when I go to sleep.

3. I don't like to ask for help, ever! I do occasionally, but I don't like it.

4. I will read anything. Ok, maybe not anything, but cereal boxes, signs along the road, reader's digest, strangers' blogs (when I have time), most any magazine, teen-age books, the list could go on.

5. I am obsessive-compulsively perfectionist about really weird, meaningless things, like making sure that the stripes match on a wrapped present or tearing the pages in a scrapbook, just right.

6. I love to shop, I love make-up, and all that girly stuff, but I don't really like to dress up or put on make-up. Every once in a while is cool, but not every day. I have way too many clothes and too much make-up for how much I use or wear them.

Ok, now, cute story- The other day Emma and I were driving down the street and she asked me where I got her name from. I told her it was after the title character in a novel by Jane Austen, a girl who liked helping everybody else, but sometimes forgot to make sure she was taking care of herself. (We glossed over the bossy part) She replied, "Oh, you mean she was one of those people who puts themself aside to make sure that everyone else is happy?" We went with that. She answered back, "Yeah, Nana B. is like that." Totally!

Oh yeah, I will tag, and I know I'm stealing everyone, but inconceivably, I got here first.
Merilee, Elise, Mason, Tabi, Teresa, and Chris

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Family

These are some of my favorite pictures from Ty and Shanda's wedding. I don't know how to un-underline this. I realize I could have put more pics of actual Ty and Shanda, but go see them at hirdfam.com. I love to see everyone gathered together. Welcome to the crazy family Shanda, although you've already been here for a while.
It's great to have built in best friends!
And then add some to the pile! I love my little girls!
Emma followed the magician around like a lost puppy. She thought he was the coolest thing ever.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hello Again

In answer to Darilyn - It seems like that much time has gone by, but the talk is tomorrow. It is on gratitude. I always kind of gather info and try to focus on what my talk is centered on, but don't actually put it together until the last minute. Of course, I went to read my Mom's blog and the first thing the crazy, over-active, do everything herself woman does after a crazy weekend is go online and thank everyone else for what they've done. She is such an example.

I don't really want to recover this past weekend. Everyone else is doing such a great job. I would love to see any pictures though, because I am an idiot and NEVER brought my camera anywhere. If anyone got any decent pics of my kids on halloween, I would be indebted.

It was so fun getting to spend so much time with my fam. I live for those times.

Now, to finish writing that talk.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Aaaahhh!

I have to talk in church in 2 weeks!

We have a ward halloween party in 20 minutes!

David's not home yet, from work!

I'm not sure how he's getting home, because the truck is in the driveway!

Merilee is awfully demanding!

Bye!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hola

It's weird. Sometimes I could just write and write and write and other days it seems like there is nothing to say. Life is good, but nothing thrilling. I hope that all of you out in the blog world are doing well!

Just for kicks, check out this blog. If nothing else, look at the list of links that you can blog surf on a rainy afternoon.

http://poppytalk.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ocotillo

I just got off a blog that is listed on Darilyn's blog, Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, or something of the sort. It really made me think about growing up in Ocotillo. I feel so lucky to have grown up on a family farm. This photo is actually a part of the old colored school that was used before our family bought the farm. These buildings were torn down a few years ago and I felt the need to personally document them before that happened. They were back behind the Lewis' house. We never did play in these buildings when I was a kid. I kind of think that someone might have been living in them. There was one building back behind the barn though that we loved to play in. We always said it was haunted and dared each other to go in. When they tore that one down, we would still play on the foundation and claim that it was still haunted. Behind the barn was one of my very favorite places to play. I loved to climb up the cattle loading ramp and play in the shute where they would put the horses when they needed shots. We would climb up to the top of the hay pile. It was all the way to the top of the barn. My big brothers would dare eachother to jump off from higher and higher points. Once we even played with some firecrackers back there so that Mom and Dad wouldn't hear us. How stupid were we? Let's go play with firecrackers by the hay in Arizona! Luckily, nothing happened.

We really loved cotton season. For some reason, it was fun to even pick a few pieces of cotton to play with. What we really loved was to play in the cotton trailers. This was a rare treat. It apparently isn't really good for raw cotton to have children burrowing in it. More often, we would play on the piles of cotton seed. The cotton gin was across the street and the canal. The lot behind the gin would have rows of cotton seed stacked, oh gosh, I don't know, maybe 8 or 10 feet high, but I was a kid, so who knows? We loved to dig tunnels in the cotton. This was not as easy in the seed. Still possible, but tunnels were more likely to collapse. I can't even imagine when my kids would have time to do all of this! Sad. It had to have been late fall, because that is when the cotton is ready.

This leads me to playing in the canal and the ditches. We loved when Bobby would get out his blow-up raft and go from one bridge to the next in it. This was really pretty dangerous and Mom and Dad would get mad at us, but it was worth it. The ditches were not as fun, but still pretty good. The only good thing about getting up on a cold winter morning for school was those days when the ditch was frozen over. The conditions had to be perfect. Just about 3 or 4 inches of water in the bottom of the ditch, otherwise the water would run to fast to freeze for our little Arizona cold weather. The top would just freeze over and you could always break it with your shoe, so fun. These were often the foggy days, when the fog would come up off the canal. This was about as "winter" as we would ever get.

I think I'll save some memories for another day.

Tomorrow Sonny goes in for "surgery" and I have to get up early to take him in to Uncle Keith.

"Domesticated" Cattle

"Domesticated" cattle on the Savannah. I'm not sure I'd buy the domesticated bit. This ostrich sure didn't buy it. Of course, she was not very "domesticated" either. Or at least not very welcoming to her neighborhood. Her wings were even more puffed out than this as she tried to chase the monsters away.
Here is the giraffe picture I liked better.
THERE COMIN' UP THE DRAW! STAMPEDE!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

zoo, zoo again

Emma calling to see if someone can get Megan out of the trees. Ok, I'll drop that now.

I love this picture of Emma who got caught just as she
popped a piece of Kettle corn into her mouth.




















This is not actually the ostrich picture I meant to post. There was a funny one where the ostrich was trying to chase some longhorn cattle out of her spot. She managed to get him to walk in about a twenty foot circle that ended up about 5 feet from where he started.











Lauren had fun trying her hand at "professional" photography. Thanks Elise!













I really liked the other giraffe picture better, too, but Lauren liked this one. I may still post the other one later, but now, I have to go.

More zoo

This is right after the kids got to help feed the elephant carrots. They talked to them about how one of the elephants doesn't get along with the other two so they can't be out on display together. They told the kids that the elephant they tossed carrots to came from a circus. You sort of got the impression that she had been "rescued". They didn't ever mention that the reason she left the circus was because she killed someone. True story.










Here is Megan, probably holding more weight than she should be at this stage in her pregnancy.
The kids always love hanging out with Meg. Even 7 months pregnant, she more fun than their moms. J/k, Elise, I'm sure you're lots of fun, it's just me that got freaking old.









Fun Megan decides to test this jungle bamboo to see if it will hold. What is a visit to the rainforest, if you

don't get to climb it.



















Deciding that it will hold just fine, she heads up.



















Still waiting for Megan to figure out how to get down from the rainforest canopy. Why did we go to Colombia? Doesn't Megan know that she shouldn't do this sort of stuff when she's pregnant? Did I mention that we're in Colombia?

The zoo and prego Mego



We went to the zoo yesterday and had a great time. Lauren, Emma and I went with Elise, Kas, Addy, Zo, and Megan. I'm sure Meg loved walking all over the zoo, preggers. In this picture, there is some sort of African bird that is showing off during a presentation. Somehow, when the African King Vulture was flying a foot or two over our heads, I forgot to take any pictures. The presentation was interesting though.


Now, I messed up the other pictures and have to start over.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lovely Lauren


Where do I even
start with this girl who will be an official teenager this week? I guess, the beginning. This child came into the world with a vengeance. I was talking to Megan the other day about Lauren's birth, and trying not to scare her since it is too late for her to turn back on the baby path. My pregnancy with Lauren was relatively easy, no morning sickness, just some sciatica and gagging on my toothbrush. I was completely unprepared for the drama of her delivery. We did have a little trouble picking a name. We wanted cute and hip, but not trendy. David shot down Katya, we already knew a baby named Mariah, and when we heard someone else talking to their McKenzie at the movie theatres, it just didn't sound right. David also didn't think the world was ready for a little girl named Remmington, Rhett, or Austen. Lauren turned out to be the ONLY name we could agree on at the time.
Finally, the day arrived. We went to the hospital in the morning after trying to put it off as long as possible, I had woken up having contractions. When we got to the hospital, they of course sent us home, or to the park, or anywhere to walk around, just not there. I'm thinking, "How am I supposed to walk around when every five minutes I'm doubled over in pain?" When it became every 2 minutes, we went

back. Several hours later, we were moved to the operating room, because three hours of pushing labor is apparently, not normal. I really didn't want to have a c-section. Of course, I also didn't know that babies could die from being in the birth canal too long. So with oxygen for Lauren on my face, and suction, Lauren came into this world. Of course, by this time, I was completely doped up on demerol and couldn't stop shaking or even lift my arms for that matter. I lay there exhausted, wondering how blood managed to get on my face, while Karen fed my baby the bottle that the nurses brought.
When we went home, things did not get much better. Here was this beautiful baby girl, with this perfect little round face and I still could not feed her. We spent several teary sessions on the phone, both with Mom and the La Leche League. We did eventually figure it out, but not before I had one of the goofiest moments ever in my life. With all the sleepless nights, pain, and newness of the situation, I was a bit loopy. I have to add, I had spent many years babysitting and nannying. I was driving home with a crying baby and the thought suddenly popped into my head, "When are this kid's parents going to PICK HER UP?" The realization struck me right then, I was the actual Mama - forever.

Well, this precious little girl had personality plus from the day that she was born. She loved attention! One of our favorite memories is the time that she climbed up on a chair at Elmer's Tacos and sang Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the entire restaurant. She has become a regular at Elmer's. Every time we go, she asks to clean their tables or sweep their floor. Occasionally, they will let her, and sometimes they give her a soda or a frybread as a thankyou. I think she loves it more than a bean and cheese burrito. For a while, she asked for a job application at just about every restaurant that we went to. This was at about age 10. It was fun watching people try to figure out what to tell the little girl about why they could not hire her.
Lauren would sing for anyone at anytime. She sang Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam as a solo at a stake music festival and always seemed to have a singing part in the ward primary program. She was so excited to find that Orangewood Elementary, where she went to 5th and 6th grade had a drama department and put on a play each year. She is above as the feather bedecked Lily St. Regis in Annie during 5th grade and she played Zanita, the mayor's daughter, in The Music Man during 6th grade. She was great and we loved watching her performances. She also always participated in choir and got to go to California to a choir festival.
It's sometimes easy to only see this top, over-the-top side of Lauren. However, inside is the biggest heart that anyone could imagine. Once, we were driving down the road and she told me that her heart was full of love for the whole world. I couldn't do anything but smile and believe her. She never ceases to amaze me with the power and sense of self that she has. Of course, she has her moments of humanity and self doubt, but she often has to remind me that being herself includes liking things that her mom may not like.
I think that so many things that are wrong with the world stem from people who do not understand that they are sons and daughters of their Heavenly Father. This girl KNOWS that! I am so glad that I get to be the mom of this young lady. I look forward and am terrified at the same time of watching her mature as a young woman. I love her so much!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Templates

I found the link to this while blogstalking. (again) I haven't checked it out, but the couples page was cute.
http://shabbytulips.blogspot.com/

If you're interested. I'll be checking it out when I'm more awake.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weird dream

okay, I had this really weird dream last night. I was so realistic and yet not. I've actually looked for some of the dream meanings, which I don't think I really believe, because it was such an interesting dream.

First, we (whoever we were) were at Nana B's house have a goodbye party for me because I was going away to school. Only problem, I was who I am now, a married woman with 2 kids. We walked outside and there were fireworks shooting off from behind the Chapman's house. Uncle Pete used to shoot fireworks sometimes when he lived there. We admired the pretty fireworks and got in the car to leave, my car, Natalie was driving, and Nana B. was in the passenger seat. I was in back with all of my stuff, headed off for BYU, the place I first started college. I thought that it was nice that I didn't have to go to school until after Thanksgiving and luckily my family would be able to visit for Christmas. Wouldn't it be nice if a semester of school was only one month long, however, I still would have a major problem leaving my family for that long. So, we're driving along in that weird dream way where only the important stuff shows up when we get to a beautiful lake in a red rock canyon. It was like rocks in Sedona, but with a lake. Sorry Em, not Lake Powell. As we drive, we see a beaver dam built by the side of the road that created a pond in a dip in the road. I told Natalie that we should stop and test the depth because I wasn't sure that my car would make it through. She just kept right on going and made it through just fine. I asked her to slow down or stop while I found my camera and took pictures of this beaver dam in the road. She just kept right on going. As I turned around, I saw these skydivers coming down over the lake. I realized, in that weird dream way that isn't actually true, that I had seen the divers jump out of their plane before the beaver dam. Now, they were almost to the lake and it looked so cool. I asked Natalie to stop so I could take a picture. Do we sense a recurring theme here? She kept right on going as the sky divers were landing in the lake. Then my alarm went off and I woke up.

Now I have to rag tie Emma's hair for pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

New template

A quick shout out to the awesome chick who is so willing to share her adorable templates.
http://www.matiekay.blogspot.com/

Beautiful Emma

I was inspired by multiple people today. First, thanks to Natalie for posting one of my favorite photos of Emma. Next, thanks to Merilee for always having such great post ideas and sharing so much about her kids. Finally, thanks to Emma for being such an incredible person.

Emma has always been an unusual person. From before she was born, I have sensed her stubborn streak. She would wedge some body part up above my ribs where babies aren't really designed to fit. Then of course, came her birth. She was pretty good sized and based on Lauren's birth weight (9lb. 6oz.), the doctor suggested we induce labor 2 weeks early. Sonograms showed that she was over 7lbs already and an amnio showed that her lungs and such were completely developed. So, December 29th we headed to the hospital to welcome
Emma to the world. She, on the other hand was not quite ready to
arrive. The doctors did all of their work and we started to wait. Nothing happened. They finally decided on the 30th that we should do another sonogram and see what was up. The little booger had flipped over. So, now that we know that she is breach, I go into labor, more meds now to stop the labor and then, the most excruciating pain of manually turning the child by PUSHING ON MY STOMACH. They did turn her over and immediately strapped a girdle around my stomach to hold her still. Then, more medicine to restart the labor, and voila 5:30 am December 31st, there is little Emma.

Ok, after this, I was prepared for a VERY DIFFICULT baby. Lauren had been such a binky baby and so I just assumed Emma would be too. We were at church one Sunday and I was trying to get the little stinker to keep that binky in her mouth when I suddenly realized that she was only fussing when the binky was in her mouth. We put it away and never used it again. This was an insight into this adorable little baby. She would do things in her own way, and that way might be better than mine.

Emma was a really good baby. From an early age, however, I could still see that stubborn streak. She was always pleasant with her immediate family, but in public she would not socialize with women. She would go into hyper shy mode and hide her face in Mommy's shoulder. I thought at first that she was just really shy. But, then (you know how sometimes at the store you can end up standing really close to a stranger, but because you're facing opposite ways, you don't notice) she started reaching out and touching men - crazy girl! Of course, they would then turn around and start to laugh and ooh and aah about what an
adorable child. I need to scan a baby picture, of course most of you know what she looked like as a baby, but what a face! People would stop us every where we went to tell me how beautiful she was. Lauren (who of course is gorgeous herself) started to get jealous of all of the attention that Emma was getting. Meanwhile, Emma was snubbing all of the women and flirting with all of the men.

Little Emma did not grow out of this insane shyness (or coyness) as we thought she would. She did survive starting kindergarten, loved her class and teacher and made some fabulous friends. In about the third quarter of school (I was in school at the time myself) we had "student-led" conferences. Mrs. Rullifson had helped the kids create adorable little folders focusing on their work and what they had been learning in class. Emma started telling me about hers while Mrs. Rullifson talked with some other parents. While she was reading, Mrs. R. walked up behind us and listened in. When Emma finished, she was shocked and said, "I didn't know Emma could read! She won't talk in class." I had to lecture Emma on the importance of talking at school and participating in class.

To this day, (8 years old, in third grade) Emma is very shy. She makes friends quickly at school, but she still doesn't really like to volunteer in class. There are people that she opens up to quickly, not always men anymore. My entire 6th grade class adores her and they are always trying to get her to talk to them. She hides. However, there is one girl in my class who has a little brother in Emma's class that she loves. She asks me about her all of the time.

Strangely, this quiet little girl can be LOUD, especially about 7 o'clock on a Saturday morning when she climbs up in my bed and starts asking questions. "What are we doing today? What's your favorite color? When is Daddy going to wake up?" She will share this loud side of herself with her extended family (just ask Elise) but rarely any further.

I have to talk about this girl's sense of right and wrong. Boy, is it strong, just ask Lauren.
The other day she told me about her school class. She said that she sits by the 2 worst boys in the class. They want to talk and play all day long. Then she said, "But when they get really bad, I just have to give them the look, and they know they better stop." Already with the mom look. She does not break rules. She does break other things sometimes. There is a sign on the teacher's workroom that says No Children Allowed. She will not go in. You have to drag her to cross on a "Don't Walk". She does have some faults, but if knows what the rules are, it's rare for her to break them. Maybe I need to write down, Do Your Homework. Really, she usually does, but sometimes she forgets. I blame this on her adorably sweet 1st grade teacher who would tell her that it was ok if she didn't always finish her homework, because she already knew how to do it anyway. That was not ok with me.

Speaking of intelligence, Emma has a bunch. She is part of the gifted program at school, but the real demo of Emma is a conversation with her. Several years ago, her Aunt Karen commented after a conversation, "So your just going to skip her right from kindergarten to 7th grade, right?" Her vocabulary is impressive. I think her favorite word is "basically". She would be glad to tell you, basically what her favorite animals are, and everything else that she basically knows about them.

Finally, this sweet little snuggle bunkins is full of love for her family and Heavenly Father and Jesus. One of the rare times she will get mad at David or me is if we shop on Sunday. She does not approve! She often reminds us when it is time for family prayer so that she can go to bed. Occasionally, she asks me if I say my personal prayers too, "Just like you taught me." She loves church and really misses her old class that she grew up with.
The other day, she told me, "Mommy, the only thing that I don't like about you teaching, is that we don't have enough snuggle time."

Well, this is one long post and I have to get on with my day. Lauren's next.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

My non-favorites


Arrrrggghhh, I typed this up much better last night and then my internet dropped and I lost the whole post.


My dear, sweet Emma often asks me what my favorite color is. I often reply, "Emma color". This is because I don't have a favorite color. I am in a blue phase right now and LOVE the color of my new bedroom. Of course, I also love that bright blue of the sky that sometimes occurs during late summer softball games. Blue is beautiful. But then, I really love red. At Christmas time, I want red all over my house, red ribbons and bows and balls and candy.Green is good too. Not only for Christmas, but as my birthstone emerald, and grass and trees. Pink is fantastic! What would Valentine's day and cotton candy be without pink. It's also great fun with little girls in the house. I really love all of the subtle, various shades of brown. I think I really scared Mom when I was going through a brown phase and said it was my favorite color. I think she thought I was depressed, but I really do think it's pretty, not depressing. I'm not such a fan of orange. It is fabulous in Arizona sunsets though. And pumpkins, and candy corn. Being the end of summer, I'm kind of tired of yellow. I love fall leaves. (btw, for all of you arizonans who miss the leaves, try driving down Camelback road about 40th st at the end of october. It's not provo canyon, but it's a quick fix) In the early spring I love yellow. I think I painted my old bathroom yellow in february or so. (Weird typing this next part for the second time) I almost forgot that purple was a color. It's a nice addition to the sunsets, but it's not a color I ever choose to wear. I do LOVE purple flowers. Hydrangeas (also the blue ones) and the little poof flowers that you can throw at people that I now have in my front yard.


Yesterday morning, Emma came in and said, "Mommy, I have some questions for you. What is your favorite animal?" The girl obviously doesn't understand my sick inability to pick a favorite. I could tell that the whole list was going to be favorites questions, so I decided to nip it in the bud. I told her that I couldn't pick any favorites, because I just like too much stuff. So she asked me what some of the animals I like were. I said, "Sheep, dogs, horses, monkeys (and got a lecture on old and new world monkeys), and jaguars. We then had a discussion on the panther/black jaguar dispute. Then it was time to leave for school.


I'm not sure if she's obsessed with favorites or if I am weird because I can't pick any.


But, I had no problem answering my student when he asked me later in the day, "Mrs. Fullmer, who is your favorite student?" "I don't have a favorite. I adore all of you equally."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Do-over

Okay, I think that I need to talk about the things that I am thankful for in order to remember all of my blessings. I seem to have let the activity of the last couple of months bring me down, and I don't like that.

I am thankful for:
a husband who loves me and who is always working to improve himself
Lauren- my sweet 12-year old. She has the biggest heart I know
Emma- my sweet 8 year old. I have never met anyone so naturally "good" she sometimes scares me.
My home- it was a long wait, but I love it
My mom- beyond words, full of faith, open to the spirit, kind, giving, loving, she could be the whole list
My dad- taught me so much about life, from changing a tire to understanding the gospel, etc.
Bobby- my childhood protector
Jamie- living up to your potential
Elise- seeing beauty and showing it to the rest of us
Merilee- always able to sense the feelings of others and lift them if necessary
Emily- cares deeply about so much and drives herself crazy worrying about saving the world
Tom- a great combo of intelligence and charisma trying to find the outlet that will best support his family
Chris- artistic talent and creative insight that are sometimes surprising in someone so funny
Meg- My baby sister who has grown up into a beautiful woman. Carting that adorable little girl around with me and watching her grow up helped me understand somewhat the power of motherhood
Tyson chicken chunks- sweet, sweet boy who asked me when I was coming home. I love it when we all get to come home. Yay, breakfast burros!
a billion nieces and nephews that my kids get to have for best friends
awesome in-laws- you know who you are!
Grandma Pickering- Pie, noodles, confidence, sass, love, a great mom, awesome uncles, good stories to tell
Grandpa Pickering- smackers and certs and barbecues on the patio
Grandma Bogle- grace and poise
Grandpa Bogle- generosity and love for his wife
my health- I have the lucky habit of never getting the full sickness that everyone else gets
cars- the thought of having to travel without them is scary
airconditioning- although summer is almost over, I don't know how people lived in AZ without it
the internet- I love my blog, blog-stalking, and paying bills online
sunsets- proof that Heavenly Father knows what he's doing when it comes to color and design
sunrises- thankfully, I never see them, but without them there'd be no sunsets. Although, I did just remember that soon, I may see them as we move into winter and school start time, sadly, does not adjust
beaches- how does that combo of fish smell, wind, crashing noises, and sandy feet lead to such a wonderful feeling
music- can lift my spirits when I didn't even realize they needed lifted
singing with the piano
singing with the radio
ribbon
paper
color
photos
chapstick
lotion
old things that stay pretty
not having to choose a favorite color
Chandler, Arizona
piles of cotton
a childhood in the country
theater
airplanes (even though they make me sick)
history
ancestors
cemetaries
old buildings
Jane Austen
Colin Firth
beauty
mountains
lakes
streams
trees that grow out over the road
shade
grass
crab legs
steak
Cathy's rum cake
blue berries right off the bush
oranges, cold off the tree
my mom's cooking
wonderwoman
memories
swimming pools
friends
life
love
Dance party USA
Of course, Heavenly Father, for providing it all
Jesus Christ, for making it worthwhile
the Spirit for little reminders
the scriptures, for direction and guidance
the prophets, for giving all they have to guide us
Young women leaders who taught me so much
Relief Society presidents who exemplify charity
people who demonstrate Christ-like lives
Christmas
Fall
time with family
bedtime-okay, I really love sleep, but I don't love going to bed. I always feel like I'm going to miss something good. But it really is time for bed, or I will regret it tomorrow.

Chandler

So, I went to the R.S. broadcast yesterday with Mom, Meg, and Nat. I had forgotten to take a skirt to scrapbooking day and had pretty much decided not to go. I was going to be a bad influence on Meg and steal her to go get food at Elmer's. Nat had brought her skirt and told her mom and sisters that she would meet them there. Well Mom had different plans. She started pulling things out of her closet that I could wear and I figured that I better go along or risk the wrath of the guilt-trip queen. The conference was really good and of course, had all the things I needed to hear (other than the girls in front of us having a massage party). What really struck me though was the dinner afterwards (popped in my head while reading Darilyn's blog). I love seeing all of the old Chandler people and being somewhere where tons of people know me as well. So many people were offering us seats or coming up to say hello. It was so fun to see huge chunks of the Lambson family, including Stacy and Paul's 17 YEAR OLD SON. Claire Kaufman, Sis Porter, sitting with Nat's fam, Diane Lamb, who I saw but didn't make it over to before she left, and many others. I really miss that. I had just about gotten to a place like that in David's stake (of course, I had to adjust to the fact that when most people asked about my parent's, they really meant Thad and Lily, who of course are not my actual parents, because that would be weird.) Now we live in a place where no one knows either of us from Adam. We had to fill out info sheets about ourselves which was weird. It asked for interests and jobs and stuff that I wrote down, but it also asked for past callings. I'm thinking, "16 years of callings. Do they want to know that I taught Merry Miss 10 or so years ago when it was still Merry Miss or that those same girls were my Laurels when I was young women's president. Do they care that I've taught sunbeams and Relief Society and was it more important to be Enrichment counselor or Enrichment leader, because one was definitely a lot more work. Does it matter that I hated writing the ward newsletter (who'd of thunk?) or that when I left my last ward, I was really glad to get released as Primary secretary. And, now I probably won't be "the girl who was brave enough to marry David Fullmer", but who will be the Monique that these people know. It goes back to that conversation about letting other people see who we really are. I don't know, is it ok or necessary to be multiple people depending on your audience? Now, its 20 minutes to church and I haven't showered, gotta go.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Debt and Deliberation

Ok, I am now officially in debt up to my eyeballs. As if I wasn't before. Of course there is the new house and all the payments that go along with that; mortgage, insurance, electric, water, etc. Then we really hated sitting on folding chairs to watch TV, so we bought new furniture(I also put up family pics on the wall in the back room and it's actually starting to look like a home). Then my computer was getting extremely unreliable, so of course, I had to buy a new one. However, I really needed all of the stuff off of my old computer, so I had to buy a new adapter to get the old one running long enough to get the info, along with a transfer cable to move it with. I pondered and pondered how much of this was necessity and how much was desire. The furniture was easier and harder to justify. Of course I need furniture. Every house needs furniture. But, why couldn't I find anything I could live with on Craig's list? David hates slipcovers and I hate ugly. We seemed to think that we had to have attractive leather. The computer seemed somewhat like a luxury, and yet as I lost touch with my bills sheet and went over 400 minutes on my cell phone, it seemed to become much more of a necessity. What in the world would I have done if I lived in the 19th century? Oh, I know, I would have baked pies and taken care of my children and all of the things I wish I could now instead of run off to my 10 hour a day job. Of course, I would also have lugged firewood and cooking water, washed laundry outside, plucked chickens (yeah, right!), beat quilts, made quilts, made all of our clothes, gardened (stifling a giggle), and gosh this list could go on. So, I guess I just better make sure that the debt is short term and stop going through computers so quickly (Wait, 4 years old is a pretty old computer!) Oh, if I were a wealthy man...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Stream of Conciousness

Ok, tonight I'm driving down the road to pick up my mail and "The wind beneath my wings" comes on the radio. Totally cheesy, right? But the words are completely my mom. She has always put everyone else before herself. When we were reading Megan's post about Mom, Emma was reading over my shoulder and said "yep, Nana B. is the nicest person I know." Now she's trying to pinch me for typing about her. So, anyway, I'm driving down Camelback rd. with tears pouring down my face thinking about what I can do as a tribute for my mom who gives her whole soul to everyone around her. At least I have always known that when it comes to my mom, my dad knows he is the luckiest man in the world. Now more than ever. Well, I'm thinking about how Mom really internalizes all of our decisions and that what she would like the most is for me to do the best that I can with my life. I have a slight (wince) tendency to be lazy and I certainly did not get that from her. I am working on my motivation to do the most with my life that I can and to ignore that natural fear of failure that is inside me.

Okay, now Emma gives me a cheesy grin and says, "just post that and let's snuggle" Seeing as how I'm talking about mother/daughter relationships, I think I will pause and return to this later.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Merilee's 2 minute poetry contest

Autumn

Leaves turn from green to gold
Sweaters keep away the cold.

At football games, we scream and shout
and Hokey Pokey, that's what it's all about.

Holidays are lots of fun
and always keep us on the run

Autumn really hits the spot
Except in Arizona, where it's still HOT!

ps. I hated this.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It kinda seemed like the thing to do to put this picture up with my other sisters. I know I haven't posted in a while but my computer has been acting up and I just really haven't felt like it. The cord to connect my laptop has to be bent at a specific angle in order to keep my computer charged and if it comes unconnected, the battery dies in about 1/2 an hour, plus it's really slow. I've been trying to spend time with Mom and Dad at the hospital. Mom can rarely leave because Dad gets so nervous. Now I have a cold.

I still have adorable children and a sweet husband, they're just not getting much airtime right now.

I do have to tell one quick story though.
On Tuesday, I think, I went down to the hospital and they were about to give Dad a transfusion. They asked us to go wait out in the lobby while they set it up. I had just gotten there and so I took all of my stuff with. Mom, Emma and I played a fun little game while we waited and then they came and got us. I grabbed all my stuff off the counter, but my purse was on the floor and I left it there. An hour later, when I realized, I ran out to the waiting room. My purse was there but my wallet was gone. I got to spend the evening canceling cards and checks. Wednesday morning David had to be to work at 6. He got up extra early and went and filled my car with gas and got me some cash before he left for work. It was so sweet! What a great husband!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another husband, of chimpanzees


Ok, lately for some reason, David has taken to singing the BNL song Another Postcard. It talks about all of the chimpanzee postcards that someone is sending. I think that it would be hilarious to start anonymously sending them to him, but I can't seem to find any. Why is it that you can never find a good chimpanzee postcard when you need one? If any one sees any would you please let me know. I have been on the lookout, but not one! Suddenly, while looking for this picture, I had an epiphany. I could possibly print and make the postcards.
Then after this marvelous thought, I realized I may never search the web for chimpanzees again. This was after the picture scrolled across my screen of someone performing a Lewinsky with no warning whatsoever and the caption did not have anything to do with chimps or the actual picture. I'm still grimacing.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bedroom

I am surprised at how much I love my bedroom. I was going to go over the color with a glaze and wipe it off to antique it a little, but I love the color so much I can't. When I'm in my room with the fan on low, it is so incredibly relaxing. I can hardly bring myself to leave it in the morning. That may have multiple reasons behind it of course. It feels like I'm living in a cloud. I had so much to write about when I was thinking about this this morning. I do adore my bedroom, but after 12 hours of school today, I can't seem to remember why?

Housepainting

I love this picture of Zoba!
Ty's shirt compliments the blue of Emma's room perfectly. This is the color blue I talked her down to. You should have seen what she originally wanted. It may not be Shanda's first choice for eye shadow, though.
We'll see if you still as pleased when you're a teenager.

Lauren - happiest when she's in the thick of things, tapes the windows in the what, 20 foot ceiling living room. So easy to paint (grimace) Thanks to all who were willing to climb the ladder, Ty, Toad, Rueben. Thanks also to all who have helped us paint and move. We couldn't have done it without you!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ahh, Sunday Morning

I know, this blog is getting lame without any new pics, soon. Tom, I have that same paranoid "sleep through my alarm" paranoia. So far this school year, every day my last hour of sleep is pretty much a waste. Which is why this Sunday Morning has been so lovely. I woke up at quarter to seven anyway, but then Sonny and I hung out while I paid bills online. Not the most spiritual Sunday activity, but it didn't get done yesterday (after my 5 hour drive to Breck's birthday party) so today it was. An hour later, Lauren finally got up. I'm sure Emma will be down soon. Sonny seems to be adjusting pretty well. He does crave attention though. He is perfectly happy to lay around all day, as long as one of us is beside him. After our early morning rain storm yesterday, Lauren went out and ran with him around the cult-i-sac (as Emma says) while Emma rode her bike. Later they walked him a little further. He loves to play fetch with Emma in the backyard. She says, "He plays fetch, I play chase" (trying to get whatever she threw back from him.) I'm gonna go read blogs now and maybe I'll have more to say later.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Completely Unfair!

Yesterday I stayed at work and wrote in my blog and was late leaving work (5pm) And then it didn't even post. It went to some weird screen and told me that I had to download stuff. LAME
Then I went to run errands and Uncle Ross called and said they wanted to bring Todd over to see the house before he left town again. So my errands didn't get done either. But I did have wings for dinner. Yum!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ok, ok, I'm moving here folks!

All right, I know that I have been away for a while, but it takes some time to get stuff from one house to the other, including internet service. David finally got the computer moved over to the house, then got it set up, then found out the internet doesn't work upstairs. He moved the comp downstairs only to find when the internet was connected, the cable wouldn't work. Anyway, I was really too tired to even think about posting. I leave the house at 7am and usually leave school between 4:30 and 5:00, getting us home between 5 and 5:30. Yesterday, I just dropped off the kids and went to target and fry's, got gas, and got home about 8. I was exhausted and wanted to do nothing, but instead raked a little bit of rocks to make room for grass for Sunny, did a load of laundry, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher (actually still fun) and finally crashed in front of a show debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories. I'm only sort of having a pity party here. It really did start out as an explanation. It's kinda funny because I'm typing this as my students write apology letters to teachers for their behavior in the hallway after school yesterday. One of the other teachers was late for duty and asked me to walk her kids out. The 2 classes together went a little crazy. I love school!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

School, aargghh!




These are the pics I was supposed to include last week. Sorry, I've been negligent. I just get used to being a bum, uh, I mean mom and have to go back to this blasted job.
Aahhh, I'm back at work. I have one more day to get my classroom ready and only need another week. House closing is the day after tomorrow and HOPEFULLY painting party is at my house on Saturday. They tell us that we have to have laser timing to get our keys on Friday, otherwise, it's Monday. Nooooooooooo, so far our timing has not been the greatest. (Read, house closing the first week of school) We are working on making sure that all of the paperwork gets to the title company on time so that it can all get to the recorder's office in time to get finished on friday. Otherwise, we have to wait until the recorder opens again on Mon.


I am too stressed to write about the district ridiculousness, but maybe later.


Meg, congrats on the passing grade in the most insane class ever and graduating college for real!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Crazy idiot trucker

Oh My Gosh! Some crazy idiot trucker ran me off the road today. Nobody is hurt and my car is not damaged, but that was pure luck. I was driving down the 17 west-bound where it joins back up with the 10 by the airport. I was in the far left lane and all of the sudden this semi starts moving over into my lane. I was not behind him, I was right beside him. I even think I could see him in his mirror. When he was about a foot over in my lane, I honked. No response. I honked again as he got further into my lane. I had to swerve over into the inside shoulder. On my third honk, as I'm driving on the shoulder, the jerk has the nerve to honk back at me. Did he think I was just in a hurry, trying to pass him? Did I mention that this was rush hour and traffic was insane. I passed him and got back into an actual lane and shook my fist at him. He honked at me again. I was furious. If there hadn't been a shoulder there we would have been smashed between the truck and the wall. Lauren would have been crushed. I was so angry. I called the cops and gave them his liscence plate number. The freeway, again, was packed and I never got to see the company he was with or I would have called them to complain too. He was behind me until I lost sight of him. I think he was avoiding me for some reason. It was terrible.

Btw, Emma took my camera out of my purse in the car, and so again, I am not posting the pictures of my house yet.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Countdown

I am going to post pictures of my house here, but I'm too lazy tonight. It seems that getting ready for our house and getting the kids ready for school is my life right now. We are 9 days and counting from our close. Friday, August 10th is our close date, as well as the open house at Sunset school. Who ever heard of having a school open house at 8:00 in the morning? Our appliances were delivered today. I feel so spoiled; side by side fridge with filtered water and ice in the door, flat top stove with additional warming burner (my gas stove would just get hot enough to pretend the back middle section was a warming burner), microwave that I don't even understand yet, because it has 2 metal racks in it (I thought that microwaves couldn't have metal), front loading washer and dryer. 9 days to heaven! of course then we got the doctor's bill, $15,000 and all they wanted to do was dip us in plaster. Everything is done except the little touch ups. And the one huge touch up, I think I already mentioned that the landscapers planted my trees smack in the middle of the yard. This is a huge yard and a ridiculous way to plant the trees. I wanted to cry, but I just sent them a little note to let them know that was not what we asked for. Hopefully they will fix it. I am so excited!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

confusing

I'm working on trying to adjust my layout. I found a site that looks like it should help, but I'm not sure if it wors with this site. I really want to change this and make it cute, but now I am tired and going to bed.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Under construction





I've been looking around at other blogs and I've been inspired by what I've seen. I've just followed links of people that I'm connected to and saw such fun things on some Lambson and Ray blogs. So, I'm experimenting with my blog to try and figure out how to frou-frou mine up. If any of you experts out there have any suggestions for me I am so open.


Also, I've kind of had this mental block that I need to have about a hundred pictures on my camera before I load them onto my computer. Merilee inspired me with her "new pop" pictures that I could just photograph what I've been up to this summer and post it. So, here goes...
Ok, so the pictures went in on top. Whatever. This is part of my summer scrapbook, which is literally, a scrap book. I got an old book and tore out pages, glued pages together, and covered them with whatever I wanted to. Way cheaper than buying an album and funner too.
Lauren and Emma both had fun with their cousins in Utah. Lauren is being goofy with Grayson and Emma and Riley hung out all the time. This is them at the cafe where they have good ice and vanilla to put in my diet coke, oh yeah, and food too.
Yeah, I'm still working on how to change the heading of my blog. I experimented with the front of this scrapbook, but that's not exactly what I meant to do. I'll have to change it later, though because we're off to see what's new at the house.

ooh, she got me

1. 4 jobs I've had

token girl at Radio Shack
non-drinking bartender
counting cars on a street corner
cookie factory worker (it was total I Love Lucy, with my best friend Mary. We moved cookies from the conveyor belt into the packages-hilarious)

2. 4 movies I can watch any time

Pride & Prejudice(6 hour)-ditto Merilee
Spiderman
Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Babe( Christmas means Carnage!!!!) Who could not love that?

3. 4 places I have lived

Chandler, AZ
Provo, UT
Phoenix, AZ - 40th St.
Phoenix, AZ - 16th St (about to move to 23rd Lane)

4. 4 TV shows I love

Lost
Law & Order
anything on HGTV
I still miss "Ed" possibly my favorite show ever

5. 4 foods I love

crap in a bag, I mean Crab in a bag
homegrown tomatoes - I'm stealing another one from Merilee. I at three from Mom's garden for lunch one day
Elmer's tostadas, burritos, tacos, enchiladas, tamales
Dinner at my mom's chicken noodles, beef stroganoff, curried meatballs, this list could go on and on

6. 4 websites I visit daily

myyahoo.com
family blogs
'k not daily, but often, msn games - bejewelled
I'm just not that consistent - it depends, probably my bank next most often.

7. 4 places I'd rather be

visiting Washington D.C. with my kids
anywhere cool (although it's been a pretty good monsoon)
Koosharem, UT
Chandler, AZ - I know I can go anytime, but I'd rather live there

8. 4 people to tag

Elise
Meg
Darilyn
Emma - we'll see?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm back

Ok, I actually finished Harry on Sunday, but I have been crazy this week. I'm not sure if I was so busy, or I just couldn't get my computer away from Lauren. She is watching The Prince of Tennis on youtube, another lame anime cartoon. At least this one inspires her to want to do something active - tennis.

Just a little Harry talk, I enjoyed the ending. I'm not saying much, but I guess I'm assuming if you were really into not knowing what happens at the end, you would have read the book by now. I thought that the book was full of surprises and that J.K. Rowling did a pretty good job keeping up with the hype. I actually didn't really like the afterward, but she had to let the public know what happened with everyone. Does Harry really just fade into oblivion? No ministry post or Hogwarts headmaster? David took a little foray into Harry on wikipedia and WOW! some people are really dedicated. It was interesting to see the family trees and realize how closely some of the families are related, but I could never spend the time researching a fictional family the way those posters did.

Alright, since Harry, I've been trying to make sure my kids are registered for school, avoiding setting up my classroom (school starts in 18 days), and trying to finalize the info for my mortgage and house closing. How Scary! They want to see the money in my account for my down payment "plus reserves". I'm like "reserves, what reserves? They have to wait until I get paid again." Megan says to tell them not to worry about it. I'm sure they'll be ok with that.

I went out to the house yesterday. The carpet was in, the electricity, air conditioning, and water was on, and the shutters were installed. It was so exciting. It is hard to imagine how something can be so exciting and so incredibly scary at the same time. Oh, kind of like starting a family. When I look around, there is some touch up painting outside (the railing) and the kitchen appliances need to be installed and that is pretty much it. We're almost done! What a mess of emotions. It's a good thing that I went to Costco and got the GIANT bottle of Tums, because talk about heartburn!

Now, I get to go read other people's blogs. See ya.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

hiatus

I think that I am taking a few days to read Harry Potter. Merilee, how do you post links to, say, yours and Boston's blogs?

Evie and the Apple

Photo by Elise Hird
Evie and the Apple Tree
By Monique Fullmer
Inspired by Grandma Jack


A long time ago, like about ninety years, in a far away place called Oklahoma, there lived a little girl named Evie. Evie lived in an unusual place called a farm, where plants grew and the stores and restaurants of the town were very far away.

On this particular day, Evie’s mother needed to go to the store. Before she left, Evie’s mother called her over to give her some instructions. You see, Evie’s mother knew that her daughter loved apples, any kind of apples; sweet or sour, red or green, juicy or dry, with sugar or salt. Evie loved apples. Evie’s mother also knew that the green apples on the tree outside of the kitchen were not ripe and they would give Evie a giant tummy-ache. And, she knew that Evie would eat them anyway.

So, the first thing on the list of Evie’s instructions (because, of course there was a list of chores to do on the farm) was
DO NOT PICK ANY APPLES!
After that, there were things like sweep the floor, milk the cow, bake a peach pie, don’t forget to feed your little brother, hoe some weeds, and feed the chickens. After all, this was a farm, a very long time ago in Oklahoma.

Well, Evie’s mother left for her long trip to the store and Evie decided that she better do the things her mother told her to do. She swept the floor and milked the cow without ever once thinking about that old apple tree outside the kitchen window.

But when Evie started to slice the peaches to bake the peach pie for dinner, (Evie’s Daddy loved pie) she couldn’t help but look out that window at the big, old apple tree loaded with apples. True, the apples weren’t ripe yet, but as peach juice dribbled down her fingers, she could almost taste the tart-sweet, sour juice of a crisp-green apple on the back of her tongue. Evie did love apples. Of course, she remembered her mother’s instructions before she left for the store,
DO NOT PICK ANY APPLES!
So Evie went on with her chores.

As Evie fed her little brother lunch, she imagined munching on a sour apple with salt. As she chopped down weeds in the cornfield, she tasted the cool trickle of sticky apple juice and oh, how she wanted an apple! By the time Evie fed the chickens, she was nearly desperate for one of those green apples hanging from the tree. Suddenly, it struck her. Mother had said,
“DO NOT PICK ANY APPLES!”
She would not disobey her mother, but she simply had to have an apple.

Evie slowly meandered over to the apple tree. She didn’t want to attract attention. At the base of the tree, she looked around to make sure no one was watching. Evie quickly climbed up into the tree. She already knew the perfect fork in the branch where she could sit. She looked around and spotted a plump, shiny, green apple and very carefully, so as not to pluck the apple from its stem, she began to sink her teeth into its firm green flesh. Oh, it was wonderful! It was sour and sweet and puckered her mouth and tasted like crunchy heaven. Evie continued to gnaw away at the apple until only a skinny, scrawny core hung from the limb above her head.

The apple tasted better than any she could ever remember. However, now that it was gone, Evie began to realize that even though she had followed her mother’s instructions, she might still be in trouble. She worried about what her mother would say when she got home. As Evie worried, she felt a little knot in her stomach start to grow.

The longer Evie waited, the more her tummy started to hurt. Soon, the pain in her stomach forced her to go to bed. It was there her mother found her when she got home from the store. Mother realized almost immediately what had happened. She started to tell Evie how disappointed she was that she had disobeyed. Evie quickly pointed out that she had not actually disobeyed her mother. She had not picked any apples. Mother looked out the window at the big apple tree. She saw the skinny, scrawny core still hanging, firmly attached to the tree. A slight smile stole across Mother’s face as she stifled a laugh deep inside.

Evie learned a lesson about life that day. She learned that her mother would often tell her things that didn’t seem to make sense. Yet, if she listened to her mother, she would save herself from tummy aches or headaches or even heartaches. Evie’s mother learned that her daughter was very intelligent and she needed to be careful and very specific when she gave her instructions.

When Evie grew up and had her own little girl, she told her this story. That little girl grew up and told her little girls and now I’m telling it to you. Pass it on.

AIMS

Ok, this is a letter I wrote Tom Horne our state superintendent of public schools at the beginning of June. He has never written me back. So, now I am posting it here in, what is it? the blogosphere. This problem really ticks me off.

Dear Tom Horne,

I am writing to express my concern to you about the timing of AIMS DPA testing. I am a parent of elementary age children as well as an elementary school teacher.
My concern is that the timing of AIMS DPA is causing difficulty for students and educators. As a result of early April testing dates, the entire set of standards for each grade must be taught by the end of March. As I work on my curriculum map, I feel strongly that it is a misuse of time to rush through challenging lessons with my students, not allowing them the necessary time to develop their understanding of standards and concepts. However, in order to teach all standards before AIMS, that is exactly what I must do.
Additionally, attempting to teach all standards before AIMS leaves the rest of the school year, the duration of April and May, to “fill in” rather than teach. Depending on the school that I have been at, I have been instructed to either begin teaching the next year’s curriculum, or go back and cover the “less important” standards that I had to bypass in order to ensure students achieved understanding of certain “power” standards that are covered more strenuously on AIMS. In each case, the students (I teach 6th grade.) seemed to believe that schoolwork was no longer important, because they had already completed their testing for the year.
Finally, I understand that it is important to have timely results of assessment. However, at this time, test results become available in June. While I’m sure that there is much going on that I am not aware of, it seems that the middle of summer is an odd time for test results. I have spent some amount of time researching on the Department of Education website to try to discover the relevance of the test schedule. I have been unsuccessful. It seems to me that if AIMS were completed either at the end of April or beginning of May, more time would be available to teach the standards, less of the school year would be wasted on teaching what will be re-taught the next year, or should have been taught earlier in the year, and students would not experience the level of “check-out” that they seem to at this time.
I greatly appreciate you taking your valuable time to read my concerns. I have spoken with many, many educators who feel similarly about this situation. I have yet to hear a convincing argument that negates my concerns. I would appreciate your input on this matter that deeply distresses me.

Sincerely,

Monique Fullmer
Jausten70@yahoo.com

Next project

Ok, I think I'm going to do a Mom thing for my next scrapbook project. I just came up with this, so we'll see how it goes. Anyway, I'll randomly brainstorm it here.

Things I got from my mom

The best potato salad ever
Chicken noodles
knowing how to cook without "having" to use campbell's cream of whatever soup
knowing that sometimes it's ok to use campbell's or top ramen or whatever
splotchy legs
lack of chin
sadly, not her body shape
a love of music
a love of family
some patience, but not to the same level
a soft heart - I've seen the woman give a dollar to a homeless man when I knew full well that was the only one she had, and not really sure when she would have more.
a tendency to clutter
if only I had her energy for cleaning
the knack of buying, writing, addressing, stamping, and never mailing thankyou notes
the inability to turn down a plea for help - oh wait- I may have gotten over that one - sort of.
a keen sense of the spirit - I should point out here that she is 25 years ahead of me in everything. Sometimes they seem like light years.
I can drive with my knee- she's better at the turns.
a love of asparagus, but not brussell sprouts, sorry mom
AWESOME GRANDPARENTS! I miss them so much.
a great working knowledge of how to give my kids a guilt trip when they need it
I can't believe I got this far down the list without getting to lemons and salt yet, mmmm
the smell of dirt and rain
a great childhood
I know how to sew
I love to read
I will forget whatever I read by the next day
walking barefoot through cool grass
cracked, gnarly heels
freckles
I know how to bake bread
I've seen her grind wheat
I know that I should be kind
A love for my Heavenly Father and Jesus (these are not in order of importance, obviously)
I did not get her love of gardening, but I do appreciate the fruits of her labors and will keep trying.
I fall asleep on the couch watching t.v.
I don't want to go to sleep, because I might miss some good conversation.
Solitaire
maybe someday I'll be able to forgive like her
we could talk and laugh and shop all day
we love color (yes, mom. Brown is a color.)
Candy
a little touch of 19th century
appreciation for quality
strong fingernails
a true sense of self
She always told me to finish college. It took 17 years, but I did.
speaking of, smarts
an awesome grandma for my kids
a puppy
the ability to look on the bright side
and stay calm
an understanding of others
manners (please and thankyou are the magic words)
lyrics stuck in my head - "I'm did, I'm didn't. I did obey. I didn't. I'm happy, hap, hap happy all the while. Not me"

Well, this list could continue, I'm sure. I hope that it is taken how it is meant, with all the love in my heart for the best mom possible.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

summer vac-a

I love summer! Hot weather, not so much but the time, I love time. Today, I got to go to shops in Phoenix with my Mom, Elise, and Megan. Acouple of them were ok, but Rust and Roses had so much stuf that I wanted to take home. Paris Envy made me sneeze, but Megan was going to move in and I couldn't decide which quilt to buy, so I bought none. But I will definitely go back and get one. There were so many good ideas that I want to use in Emma's room (if she'll let me) The only lame thing about kids getting older is they get a mind of their own, dangit. There was a cute little round stool with curved metal legs that had an overstuffed polka-dotted seat on it with a tulle skirt. It would look so cute at a desk or vanity. It would also go so cute with the brown and blue tulle skirt that I want to put on a lamp shade in her room. So far, Lauren, Emma, and I have all picked out different shades of blue to paint our bedrooms. Mine is a very pale gray-blue. David is terrified of the blue, so we're easing it in. I'm also, probably going to antique that with some brown glaze. Lauren has a brighter light blue that she is going to have her cousin Misty paint a beach mural on one wall. Emma picked out bright sky blue. I'm so nervous to see her whole room in this kind of "wow" blue. But then pretty much the whole rest of the house will be beige. I can't believe that as of August 10th, we will be homeowners! They were laying tile today. Our fans and chandeliers are in, closet cupboards, all kinds of fun stuff. Wow!

Friday, July 13, 2007

#21 did I mention, do something that is not teaching school.
#22 have enough money not to worry about it (is that possible)

Oh, I did it - bike riding





Emma went up to Utah with her Grandma and Grandpa for about 3 weeks before we went up. While she was up there, her cousin Raquel taught her how to ride a bike. She was a little scared to learn on our sidewalk next to the street down here, but apparently dirt and grass in utah are softer. (Not really, because she is covered with scabs and bruises. But obviously, she doesn't care.) We kept using the excuse that she was too short, but David actually had to raise the seat for her when we got up there. We couldn't get her off the bike. She kept begging me to go on walks with her. Which, of course meant, I walk - she rides ahead of me. Luckily, Koosharem is the best place for that. We walked to the park and to the cafe. She could ride around the yard and loved to ride through her Daddy's backyard golf games. She seems to have gotten used to the occasionaly little tumbles and I love the look of pure joy on her face when she whizzes by. The first picture is with Riley on the way to the park. They had a blast together. We all hated to leave Utah. Emma, especially. She keeps talking about moving there. I wonder what she would think of living in that snow. She is anxious for a new bike, even though I think she had coated the pedal with hamburger before to get the dog to chew it off. Now, she has no fear.



These are a couple pics of Lauren in her exciting role in The Music Man this Spring. (I know you saw this Mer.) In the red dress, she is playing Zaneeta, the Mayor's daughter. She was adorable as the silly little flirt - scary. In the floral with gloves, she is a town's person. The teachers who do the play have 2 casts so that more kids get to participate. Even as a town's person, she had a solo part in the Wells Fargo Wagon song. It was so fun to see all the kids (since many of them are or were my students). However, I'm not sure that this topped Annie, where Lauren got to play Lily St. Regis. That was adorable. Btw, these are photos recovered from inside my hairspray melted camera. I was wondering where my camera was, until I cleaned out the back of the car and found it with the hairspray that had gotten pressed down. The chrome was totally melted off the front of the camera and all the buttons were stuck. So, we got to buy "another" new camera. Yay!
Ok, Mer, sometimes I may skip a day. Also, Happy Birthday to all those people crazy enough to be born in July. What were you thinking? Shoot, I have to look around and try to remember how to post pics.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Things I'd like to do:
Inspired by Darilyn

Oh, so many things, where to start.
Some things I want to do again, too.

1. Go to New Orleans and Baton Rouge
2. Spend time in Jamaica
3. Parasail
4. write my great-grandmother's story
5. visit England, France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, etc.
6. Throw tomatoes at that festival in Spain
7. climb the steps at Chichen Itza (sp?)
8. See the pageant at Palmyra
9. Go to all the historic sites in Boston and Philadelphia
10. Go back to New York and Washington and take my family
11. watch whales
12. visit some family history sites North and South Carolina, Virginia
13. Shop in antique stores in Europe, where things are actually OLD
14. watch my children have happy lives
15. learn to play the piano well
16. learn other languages
17. have oodles of ribbons
18. have a house by a lake or on a beach with a wide wrap around porch and a big room with bunk beds where anyone who wants to can just come and stay with us a while.
19. to have a garden of lovely flowers that someone else takes care of for me
20. have a pet lamb

Ok, this is the first 20, subject to be revised, reordered and amended I'm just too tired to continue.

Monday, July 09, 2007







These are some of my favorite people in the world. I just love the unknown man in the cowboy hat. Ok, it's actually Lauren and Emma that I love. This is from our Spring Break trip through Southern AZ; Tucson for eegee's, Colossal Cave, Bisbee, Tombstone, etc. Some places I had never been in 37 years living in AZ. I want to take my kids lots of places. Of course, the draw of some places takes us back again and again. We just got back from Koosharem, UT. 80* in July, and not at 10pm, is quite a draw. Although this year, the big draw was that Emma had already been there with Grandma and Grandpa for three weeks. We wanted her back. The sky is so big there. I could sit outside at night forever, just staring at the stars. I love being able to actually see the Milky Way. I saw a shooting star. The kids love that they can just go... Emma learned to ride a bike. We have LOTS of pics of that. Btw, I love Merilee's slide show and am waiting for her to fill me in on how to do it here.