Friday, November 30, 2007

Elf Yourself

If you haven't tried out THIS website, it's hilarious. Here's one Susannah made with Abraham, myself, Adam and her. Abraham's elf is outrageous. We died laughing!


The other day, one of my students, Marty, brought in this bark she had taken from a tree they'd found at her aunt's house over Thanksgiving.

Her mom helped her bring it in; it was pretty fragile and was just falling off the tree. You may think it's not that special until you take a closer look . . .

The whole piece was covered with imprints of different insects and creepy crawlies. It was so cool! Her mom said all of the bark was like that!

This is just a picture I had to take of Paige! So cute!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


This Thanksgiving we were so excited to have our family come and spend time with us. It was nice to be at home.

The night before, we stopped by the store for some essentials.

We ate our actual Thanksgiving Dinner at the Call's house hosted by Uncle Darrell and Aunt Maylene. They live just a couple of miles away.

My dad made good use of the tomatoes he brought from his garden.

Not to be outdone, Adam, AKA the Giant, added carrots for a more dazzling effect.

My mom and I enjoyed some after dinner pie.

My dad liked the carrot idea.

Here's a random shot later that night as we gathered for games at my house.

Apparently I wasn't informed about the gray sweatshirt club.

We played games and had cheese fondue! Yum!

The next day we solicited some help in our Christmas preparations. Susannah and my mom sawed off the bottom of the tree so it owuld be perfectly flat. We don't want any of the drama we've had the last 2-3 years with our Christmas trees. Don't ask!

We enlisted the giant in Christmas light duty. The ladder wasn't tall enough to reach the top of the house, so Adam climbed on top of the porch cover and then onto the roof.

He went over the the front and started putting on the clips. He installed satellite dishes this summer and is pretty comfortable on a roof. This, however, was the worst roof he's been on. Too steep!

After he got the clips on, we didn't send him back up with the lights. Abraham tried later that night, but it was way too dangerous. We're looking for an alternative. Negative number one about having a tall house!

Navajo Tacos

Being from Northern Arizona, you can imagine that I would be a big fan of Navajo Tacos. Even if you wouldn't imagine it, it's true.
As part of our Native American unit at school, I had my kids make fry bread. I shared some with my teammates and they were big fans. I decided to have them over for a fry bread extravaganza!

Here they are loading up their fry bread with all the fixins! It was a fun time. Thanks to Susannah for helping me with everything!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I've been dying to post about our upstairs painting endeavors of a couple of weeks ago! We decided we wanted to surprise our parents with it since they were coming for Thanksgiving. I couldn't post it, because my mom is one of my most regular blog readers. I have been informed that my parents are currently driving here, so I can post it now!

We started on a Friday evening. Abraham really helped out a lot for a few hours.

Jen is a super fast roller. She helped out tons!

Susannah painted the brown accent wall herself! It's super scary painting there because it's so high and is on the landing of the stairs. There's not a ton of room and the ladder is at a very steep angle!

I finished off the blue Saturday morning. I had to run and get more paint in order to finish it off.

I taped off and painted the stripe and word box. It took me almost an hour! It's still a little lower on one side than the other! Shhh!

Susannah applied the wall stickers after the paint had dried and the tape was removed.
Several days later, we added some embellishments.

Here's what we've got as of now. We're still hunting for some good frames and more pictures to put up. We love it. What do you think?

Thanksgiving Program

Our first graders had a Thanksgiving performance on Monday night.

Here's my class (minus one who came late) in their shirts and headbands for the performance. This was the day before the show.

One of my teammate's dads is very handy. He built us this Tepee frame out of PVC pipe. It takes a while to assemble, but it looks great.

My class also made paper mache turkeys to help decorate for the program. They're really cute!

Here are the kiddos singing during the performance Monday night.

Since it was a Monday night activity, we combined it with our Bushman Funhouse FHE and invited everyone to the performance. Here Susannah, Jen, and Bradford (in the back) arrive.

Adam and Abraham were among the others that came.

The FHE friends came over after for some treats and the shenanigans began. Susannah and I somehow ended up with red marks on our face from Adam's pen. Weird!

Susannah's phone was missing after everyone left. We heard it ringing and it took us awhile to find it. It was stuffed inside a bell pepper! How nice of Abraham to wrap it in a paper towel so it wouldn't be damaged.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Here's the video I've been waiting for! I decided not to stick it in sequence after all because it would already be on the second page! Yikes!

This was at our camp out. Adam and Abraham were sleeping out under the stars. We were in a tent. When we tried to leave our tent, Susannah found that it had been tied shut with fishing line. We obviously thought it was those two jokers so Susannah decided to wake them up with a nice steamroll. It turns out that it wasn't them who pranked our tent, but they deserved a good steamroll anyway!


Susannah is famous once again. She was having her Relief Society presidency meeting at the stake center the other night and there was a news crew there from FOX news. They were doing a story on Mitt Romney and how his faith plays into the whole election thing. They filmed several things, one of them being part of their meeting.

They made it on National news on Thursday night. This LINK should take you to the video. They're only on there for a couple of seconds towards the middle/end of the video. (The Mitt Romney picture was taken by Brian Snyder/Reuters).

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Last Sunday night, we were eating dinner with the Calls and my Aunt Maylene brought out a bunch of notebooks, paper, and various odds and ends to see if we wanted them before she tossed them out. Little did she know what she started.

Jen picked up one of several book covers and, unsure of what it was, put it on her head. She looked like a cat/cat woman so we all had to try it!

We even tried tucking our hair in with the other side.
We had too much fun!

Regina Spektor

I actually have two awesome people to thank for this post. First of all - Adam Warr. This summer when Susannah and I went with him to Lake Powell, we were introduced to Regina Spektor's music and fell in love with some of her songs. When he heard she was coming to Houston, he got us (himself, Susannah, and me) tickets as "early birthday presents." Nice! The second person is Daina Steward! She and her sisters also attended the concert. She brought her camera in and these are her pictures. I didn't think they'd allow cameras in so I left mine in the car and the line to get back into the concert was ridiculously long.

She took this picture of dowtown Houston from near the concert venue. The skyline is actually pretty incredible. I'll have to get more pictures of that sometime.

Here's Regina on her guitar. I think she only did one song with the guitar.

She spent most of the time on the piano. She's a fantastic musician! I was really impressed with her vocal and instrumental abilities.

This song was the most impressive thing I've ever seen at a concert. I wasn't up close enough to see, but it sounded like she had some sort of bass drum pedal she was beating. What I do know for sure is that she was hitting that chair with the drumstick in this cool rhythm with her right hand, playing chords on the piano with her left, and singing like nobody's business. Wow!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Going to the zoo

The first grade classes at our school went on a field trip to the zoo last week. The weather was fantastic.

This is 1 of 2 buses full of first graders. My class is near the back of the bus.

We actually took a whole class picture, but it was the ugliest picture of me I've ever seen so I didn't put it on. I stuck this one on instead (not cute, but much better than the alternative). This is the little group I was in charge of. We had lots of parent chaperones.

We saw the coolest bat exhibit in the rainforest area! I love this picture!

They also had this cool little crawl-through in the aquarium in the rain forest area.

Not long ago, we had a little performance where the kids sang the song, "We're going to the zoo." This is a tiny little excerpt. It's a cute song.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Kristal tagged me in this "crazy 8" thingy. Here goes:

8 things I'm passionate about
8 - Having order in my life
7 - Doing the best I can
6 - Being happy no matter what
5 - Doing what I know is right
4 - Having fun!!!!
3 - My friends
2 - My family
1 - The Church - my relationship with God
8 things I want to do before I die
8 - Travel to every continent (you really can visit Antarctica!)
7 - Learn to speak another language (Spanish?)
6 - Become proficient and excited about family history
5 - Develop the talents I already have and find some more
4 - Pay off my house!
3 - Make sure I have no regrets
2 - Have babies!
1 - Get married.
8 things I often say
8 - Your mom
7 - What the . . . ?
6 - Are you serious?
5 - What? Oh, I thought you said . . .
4 - Prayers
3 - Please and thank you, of course
2 - Various school lingo
1 - I love you (okay - I don't say it often enough - but I do really love my family!!!)
8 books I've recently read
8 - The Infinite Atonement
7 - Harry Potter #6
6 - Twilight
5 - The DaVinci Code
4 - Harry Potter #7
3 - Into thin air (didn't get to finish!)
2 - The New Testament (currently reading)
1 - The Book of Mormon (currently reading)

8 things I could listen to over and over
8 - the Tabernacle choir
7 - Regina Spektor
6 - Jack Johnson
5 - Ben Harper
4 - Coldplay
3 - My soundtracks
2 - Island music
1 - My family and friends
8 things that attract me to my best friends
8 - Funny
7 - They listen to me
6 - I can trust them
5 - Willing to help and be helped
4 - They remember things I tell them
3 - They spend time with me
2 - They make good decisions and treat others well
1 - They like me!
8 things I've learned this past year
8 - I don't want to be a public school teacher forever (or very much longer)
7 - I can run a half marathon!
6 - I still have a testimony
5 - I'm content to follow the Lord's time table for me
4 - Plantar faciitis is extremely unpleasant
3 - Not all seafood is gross
2 - Blogging is fun!
1 - My family continues to be even funnier/cooler that I thought

Now, I'd love to tag Dadra, Susannah, Trisha, and my Mom!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Soccer Mayhem

For our ward's combined Family Home Evening activity the other night, we played soccer with this HUGE inflatable soccer ball. It's actually pretty heavy. I tried to be cool and do a head shot once and got an insta-headache.

This could have possibly been the funniest thing I've ever seen. I could never catch it on film, but people (even the big guys in our ward) were getting knocked flat on the ground. If someone in front of you kicks that ball, you've got nowhere to go but onto your back. While I was playing, in about a one minute time frame, about 3-4 people had huge collisions with the ball and ate it hard. Susannah was one of them. It was too much for me to take. I was laughing so hard, I almost didn't make it to the bathroom in time. I had to run out of the gym to the restroom. I tried to get some of the soccer mayhem with my camera after that, but had no real luck. I have several videos, but I chose this one, because at the end, Blake does a great accidental air kick - a swing and a miss. Great FHE!

Tacos and Fried Crab Wontons

After that YSA camp out, Abraham and Megan came over and decided to make us some food . . . just for fun. We were A-OK with that.

Megan made fried imitation crab meat wontons and Abraham made soft tacos, authentic Mexican style, of course. Both were fantastic. I'm actually really proud of myself because I don't love seafood, but I tried the won tons and they were really good!

Here we are enjoying the feast - minus Megan who is taking the picture.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

YSA Camp out

The Kingwood, TX stake hosted a YSA camp out up near our neck of the woods. It was lots of fun.

Adam stole my camera and took this of himself. I had at least 6 to choose from.

Not to be left out, Abraham stole my camera after dinner for several "self portraits."

Adam got a little payback when Jason Read started wrestling him.

If I remember correctly, Adam was mouthing off while they were trying to set up tents. It was a good show.

Lest the campground be too "primitive", they jazzed it up with some port-a-potties. Daina and I tried them out.

This is a shot of a few of the tents that were set up. There were probably at least 40 people who camped out!

There were lots of activities in the morning: soccer, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, hiking, biking, etc. Susannah dared Jeremy to play soccer with the cone on his head for 1 minute. She said she'd give him a dollar. He couldn't quite make the minute.

Here are some sweaty boys after a big game of soccer. Susannah got a new video camera and we shot some great video of waking Adam and Abraham up this morning. I'll see if I can upload it in another post!