Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31: The End is Not Near, It's Here!

Happy New Year! Can you believe it's the end of 2009? I can't. I celebrated with Tracy, Adria, and Julia with a fabulous dinner at The Melting Pot and then games.  It was a great night!

It doesn't seem like that long ago when I started this crazy adventure called Project 365. I know that no one who knows me well is surprised that I didn't follow through on updating every day. I have this bad habit of getting overly ambitious sometimes, and I don't always complete my big projects. I am happy that I know what will be on each day, I at least thought about it. Now we'll just have to see how long into 2010 it takes me to get all caught up.

I have decided that Just a Bowl of Peaches will continue, but Project 365 is DONE! I can't imagine trying to come up with another 365 pictures of my life. It's just not that interesting. I seem to keep doing the same things I have always done: teach, hang out with family and friends, go to Disneyland, etc. Maybe my New Year's Resolution for 2010 should be to try new things. We'll see...Keep checking and looking back over the last year. I promise to get things completed, even if it kills me.

December 30: A Day at the Hospital

December 29: Cocoa-licious

December 27: Happy Birthday Bro!

December 28: The After-Christmas Blues

December 26: Wii are having fun!

Friday, December 4, 2009

December 4th: Mickey celebrates too!

My friend Emily and her family are in Disneyland right now. I am so jealous! I went with them at the same time of year a few years ago and it was amazing! Those Disney people sure know how to make the holidays fun (of course they make everything fun in my opinion). There is an enormous Christmas tree at the front end of main street; wreaths and ornaments decorate every building; the characters are in their holiday sweaters; and you can even find Santa making appearances in California Adventure.

The best part of going to Disneyland during the holidays is the two rides they change for the season. It's a Small World is decorated to show holiday traditions in different parts of the world, and it is beautiful. But the best ride in the park from Halloween to Christmas is The Haunted Mansion. They change it from ghosts to the characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The colors are bright and crazy, and the voice talks to you in the style of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. You see something new every time you ride, even if you go on it seven or eight times!

It's all just so much fun, and I wish I could be there right now!

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30: It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

November 29: Gratitude

November 28: Family Super Saturday

November 27: Black Friday

November 26: Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25: Birthday wishes to my new sister!

November 24: The First Thanksgiving: the REAL story

November 23: Turkey Glyph

November 22: A New Calling

November 19: It's Electric!

November 21: Star Wars, Episode I

November 20: Nutcracker Tradition

November 18: Go Jazz!

November 17: Four Ways to Multiply

November 16: 2nd Grade Gratitude

November 15: Michelle's House-warming Party

November 14: I've got to learn to say no sometimes

November 13: Murder Mystery

November 12: A book (or five) for the teacher

November 11: An apple for the teacher

November 10: SEPs

November 9: Roasting marshmellows in the snow

November 8: Ward Choir

November 7: A relaxing Saturday--finally!

November 6: Mistakes cause me stress!

November 5: It's a Blue Day

November 2: Sheldon is my favorite!

November 4: Time Capsule

November 3: Election Day

November 1: The time for turkeys and Pilgrims

October 31: Happy Halloween!

October 30: Time flies when you are having fun!

October 29: Argh, Matey!

October 28: My plan for staying warm this winter

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27: "Wild Things" don't make my heart sing

Last weekend I invited several of my friends to go see "Where the Wild Things Are" with me. To those friends, I want to apologize again! I think we all sat there with a confused or incredulous look on our faces throughout the entire show. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting. Apparently it was par for the course for the director, Spike Jonze, but I wasn't familiar with him or his work. It seemed a little heavy and dark for the audience who reads the book--I definitely wouldn't recommend taking little kids to it. But, if you like movies that have a little of the bizarre and obscure in them, you may enjoy it.

October 26: Thriller!

October 22: There is such a thing as "too much"

October 23: Cake, Cake, and more Cake!

October 25: After 8 years...

October 24: Family Pictures

October 21: WICKED letters

October 20: Q & A with an Apostle

October 18: Dinner at Kristen's House

October 19: Wandering through a maze in the rain

October 16: Monsters!

October 17: Why I wish I had a garage...

October 15: October is the new June!

October 13: The Colors of Fall

October 14: Passing the Torch

October 9: Jack and Frank....but mostly Frank

October 12: Columbus Day

October 11: The end of an era

October 10: Super Saturday

October 8: Giving blood

October 7: Hunger Games

October 6: Holiday decorations make me happy!

October 5: Witches

October 4: We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet

October 3: Aida at Tuacahan

October 2: Hanging out in St. George

October 1: Snow has arrived!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 30: Create-a-Country with Salt Dough

September 29: A New Camera

September 28: Strong and Single

September 27: What you do on the last Sunday of the month

September 26: One Life at a Time

September 25: Back to the Future

September 24: Team Meetings

September 22: Cake Decorating Finale

September 23: Book Reports

September 21: Missionary Suitcases

September 20: Dinner Group

September 19: Hanging out with my parents on a Friday night

September 18: 25 fifth graders, 1 teacher, and a walking fieldtrip

September 17: Jodi, it's your birthday!

September 15: Cake Decorating x 3

September 16: Service Dinner

September 14: Standardized Testing

September13: Music and the Spoken Word

September 12: Moving Michelle

September 11: Remembering 2001

September 10: Kickball Tournament

September 8: Cake Decorating: Take 2

September 9: The President speaks on Education

September 7: Labor Day Hike

September 6: Rise to the stature of the divine within you

September 5: 34 years is a long time

September 4: People Watching at the AT&T Store

September 3: Just Call Me Stupid

September 2: Walking Club

September 1: Cake Decorating 101

August 30: Stake Choir

August 29: UHF

August 28: Apple Cake Pops

August 27: The Pyramid of Success

August 26: Carpooling is the way to go

August 25: Back-to-School Night

August 24: The First Day of School

August 23: Another Temple is Dedicated

August 22: Chatting with the Jensens

August 21: Ready or Not!

August 20: An Organized Planbook

August 16: One Year Anniversary

August 19: Faculty Meeting Fun

August 18: Back to School Bulletin Boards

August 17: The season of the tomato

August 15: Celebrating with Emily

August 14: Jon's Batman Birthday

August 13: I never want to be 17 Again!

August 12: Feliz Cumpleanos Pops!

August 11: Happy Birthday Jer!

August 10: Setting up classrooms

August 9: Sunday Morning Meetings

August 8: Kayaking with Ann

August 7:The sign that summer is coming to an end

August 6: Souvenirs

August 5: Unpacking is so much fun...

August 4: San Francisco Day #6: A Tour of the Bay

August 2: San Francisco Day #4: Happy Birthday Michelle from the Redwood Forest

August 3: San Francisco Day #5: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

July 31: San Francisco Day #2: Locked up in Alcatraz

August 1: San Francisco Day #3: a WICKED day

July 30: San Francisco Day #1: A view from the Temple

Friday, September 18, 2009

July 29: A New Haircut

On a whim I decided to ask my friend Jenn to cut my hair with a different style. I've had the same style for a while and I wanted (in that moment) a style that I could do in more than one way. I will admit that I did not like the cut at first! I felt like I had wings or something. I thought it was a terrible mistake the first week, but it has grown on me. As it has grown out a little bit I have gotten a lot of compliments. Next time I get it cut I will just have her trim a little off.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28: Oquirrh Mountain Temple

Tracy and I drove down to Day Break for the the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house today. It is so different from the Draper Temple, but it is equally as breathtaking. I loved the star design on the windows, the murals on the walls of the endowment rooms, and the beautiful paintings all throughout the building. The most impressive thing; however, was the chandelier in the Celestial Room. I have never seen anything like it, I actually gasped when I saw it.

It's been an interesting year to have two temples open so close together, what a blessing! When you look out over the Salt Lake valley and see four temples, it makes you feel how important the temple is, or should be, in our lives.

July 27: Color Me Mine

Shannon and Jill took me out for a suprise birthday celebration. We went to Color Me Mine, a ceramic place where you can paint your own ceramics. I've never been before, and I was so excited! You pick the piece you want to paint (I chose a plate) and then you paint whatever design you want on it (I did a circle design). We spent two hours there, and I loved every minute. It was theraputic to just sit and paint for a while.

It reminded me of my Grandma Alpha (she must be on my mind lately). She painted beautiful ceramic dolls. I got a different one for each birthday and Christmas until I was a teenager. Every member of my family, and even some random strangers, have these priceless mementos. I wish I could say I am as talented as she was, but I will settle for a plate that doesn't look too bad. We'll get our pieces back after they have been glazed and fired. I can't wait! It's so fun to do something new--thanks for the fun night girls!

July 26: Sunday night gatherings

My family has a tradition of getting together every Sunday night. It all started with my Great-grandma Alpha. My mom grew up going over to her house on Sundays and that continued into my college years. Grandma Alpha was in her nineties when she had to be moved to a care center, but she had all of her family over every week until then. My mom's family has continued to do it since. I don't think we could imagine not having these get togethers. We now rotate between my mom's house and her siblings' houses.

Tonight we were at my Aunt Lori's house. She always goes overboard when we meet at her house. You can count on salad, fruit and/or veggies, chips and dip, and at least three different desserts. The best is when she puts little labels out so you know the names of all her dishes. We usually just sit around, eat, talk, and enjoy each other's company. I know it doesn't sound too exciting, but I love it. I love being with my family, it always rejuvenates me for the week. I'm grateful my grandma started such a wonderful tradition.

Zac helped me take pictures of the fam tonight (Cheese!). We were only missing Mike, Lauren, and Celeste.

July 25: Cecret Lake

Emily invited me to go on a hike with her family this morning. Yeah! My first hike of the summer. I was really excited until she told me I had to be to her house by 7:30 in the morning. (Doesn't she know it's summer?!?) I rolled out of bed and drove to her house, but I refused to put makeup on. They would have to deal with the real me if they wanted me that early!

We drove up Little Cottonwood Canyon past Alta Ski Resort to the trailhead. I was a little curious how Emily's three, four, and five-year-old would do, but I shouldn't have worried. The hike was just about a mile long and they did great! The little lake and surrounding meadows were beautiful. Em brought bagels and fruit, so we ate breakfast by the lake and enjoyed the scenery. I couldn't believe that I grew up so close to this place and I'd never been before. I need to get my family to go up with me sometime. It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

July 24: The Days of '47 Celebration

Today was the big Pioneer Day celebration in Salt Lake. Michelle, my parents, and I decided to go downtown for the big parade. We aren't crazy enough to camp out overnight, so we could only find a spot facing the sun. That wasn't such a bad thing while there were clouds in the sky, but they disappeared just in time for the parade to start.

I enjoy a good parade with big, colorful floats and fun marching bands, and I was not disappointed in this one. These are my favorite entries...

I love that we set aside a day to celebrate our pioneer heritage in Utah. I wish I knew all the stories of my pioneer ancestors, but I don't. I am grateful for all their sacrifice and diligence. I am so blessed because of their faithfulness.

July 23: A complete bedroom set

My parents and I went and picked up my birthday present today: a new headboard that matches my dresser and nightstand. Yeah! Now I have a complete bedroom set and I can finish decorating my room. I haven't wanted to put things up on my walls until I had the headboard. I'll have to do another picture when everything is up. Thanks Dad, for helping me put it together!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 22: Blogging, blogging, and more blogging!

Look at this! Over the last three weeks I have been spending hours and hours writing on this blog. I am finally caught up, at least with the writing which is 3/4 of the battle. Pictures will be coming soon, I promise. I am determined to finish this project if it kills me! (I did only 57 posts today, that's all!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 21: It's my party...

Happy birthday to me! I celebrated with my family today. My sisters and Jodi took me for breakfast at Doug & Emmy's in Layton. Talk about a ton of food! Their scones and cinnamon rolls are as big as their plates! After breakfast Kim and I went shopping and I bought the present my parents are giving me: a headboard for my bed. Mom made dinner, BBQ turkey of course, and we had my grandparents over. There were presents and cake and ice cream, typical birthday fare. Since hitting 30 last year, I'm not too jazzed about celebrating getting older, but it was still a fun day. I love that my family makes birthdays family days. I wouldn't want to celebrate with anyone else!

July 20: Pool Party

Tonight's FHE was a pool party at the Bishop's house. I didn't get in the pool, but lots of people did. Whether or not you got wet, it was fun night for everyone. There was homemade ice cream for dessert. Nothing is better than homemade ice cream! I had mint chocolate chip, it had so many chocolate chips it was more chocolate than mint. Yum! While we were enjoying the ice cream Tracy let it slip that tomorrow is my birthday and everyone sang Happy Birthday. I wasn't expecting that, so my face got a little red. I'm not too comfortable in the spotlight, but it was a nice gesture.

July 19: Spiritual notes

Last Christmas we gave fun little notebooks to all the sisters in Relief Society. These were meant to be spiritual journals that sisters could use to take notes on Sundays. I love having mine. It's nice to record the thoughts I have during lessons so I can reflect back on them later. We have wonderful teachers in Relief Society and Sunday School, and I've learned a lot from the messages they share.

July 18: A new vacuum

Last year when I moved out on my own, a vacuum was one of the many things I needed to get myself. A friend of mine helped me out by giving me her old one. It still worked, and I was really grateful not to have to buy a new one. Well, the old vacuum finally stopped working. Luckily there was a sale at Kohl's. I tried the new vacuum out today, and it works really well! It was kind of sick to see the amount of dust that had collected in my carpets. I guess the old one hadn't been doing a good job for a few weeks. Oh well, it's all clean now!

July 17: Drive-in Movie

Drive-in theaters are fantastic! Two movies for the price of one, your own chair and treats, a warm summer night instead of a freezing indoor theater, awesome! I haven't been to a drive-in theater in who knows how long. A group of ward friends got together to go to the Redwood Drive-in in West Valley. We set out our camping chairs and played games until it was dark enough for the movie to start. It was a warm night, I didn't need a jacket or blanket, even for the second show. We saw UP and The Proposal, both of which I've seen before, but were fun to see a second time. We didn't get finished until after one in the morning, but we had a great time. I think we will try to go back again sometime this summer.

July 16: Playing with the Nelson boys

Today I got to spend time with Emily and her boys for the first time this summer. We used some of my free tickets for the Discovery Gateway museum. Palmer, Lincoln, and Hunter had a great time despite the crowds that were there. They invited me back to have dinner and watch them play their last t-ball game. How could I say no? All three boys play on the same team, it was so much fun to watch them. They were so proud of their trophies. What a fun day!

July 15: Hanging out with my grandparents

I spent the day with my grandma and grandpa today. It was another lunch and movie day, paying up from Mother's and Father's Day. It sounds like a cop-out, there's not a lot of thought that goes into saying you will take someone out, but I love giving this gift. I get to spend one-on-one time with my grandparents. We get to talk and enjoy each other's company. Both with Helen and Grandma and Grandpa I had the time to go home with them and spend the afternoon just talking or playing games. This time is really important to me because they aren't going to be around forever. I need to spend as much time with them as I can now. These grandparent dates give me the opportunity to do that.

July 14: Half Blood Prince midnight movie

A group of friends and I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince tonight. I was so excited to see the movie because I had just finished the book, and it is my favorite of all the books. It's an interesting experience to go to a midnight movie. That's when all the staunch fans go, there were a lot of people in costume.

I was hoping to enjoy the movie as much as the book, but it didn't quite meet my expectations. I didn't expect all the details to be there, you can only put so much into a couple of hours, but I hate it when they change the storyline completely. I was confused when the Burrow got burned down and disappointed with the lack of action at the end of the movie. I also feel like a lot of things important for the next book were left out. Books are always better than the movie adaptations! I think I would have liked it a lot more if I hadn't just read the book though. I've decided I can't read book 7 before the next movie. That way my expectations won't be too high.

July 13: Ward Dance

The activities committee decided to put on a ward dance tonight. The idea took me back to the days of stake dances. Back then I was part of the committee that planned them. It was really fun until my friends decided they were too old to go to them anymore. Then it was just me and one friend who was also on the committee hanging out with all the fourteen and fifteen year olds.

I was anticipating that people at our ward dance would just stand around like those kids used to do. I didn't really think that many people would actually show up. I was wrong! There were about 50 people there dancing and having a great time when Tracy and I showed up toward the end. I thought we would just make a short appearance, long enough to say hi and take a picture, but we ended up staying until the end. Surprise, surprise!

July 12: The Piano Man

Zac loves music. It doesn't matter if it is coming from the radio, the tv, a cell phone, or the piano, he will bounce and dance and ask for more. He loves to pound away at my parents' piano or beat his hands on the table, anything to create some noise.

I love that he loves music. I hope he never loses that and learns to play the piano or some other instrument someday.

July 11: Singles Luau

There was a YSA Luau tonight. There was a ton of food, entertainment, and a waterslide going down a huge hill. The food was delicious, the entertainers were entertaining, and it was fun to watch other people go down the waterslide. It's interesting to people watch at these kinds of activities. They are designed to get singles to mix and mingle, but most people just hang out with people they already know. I was guilty of that. I sat with a group of people from my ward the entire time I was there. It's also funny to see people flirt by throwing water on each other and running away. I just had to roll my eyes and shake my head. Does that mean I'm getting too old for these kinds of activities?

July 10: Ghost pictures

My mom asked me to come to her house to help her find her digital pictures on the computer and get them sent to be printed up. What I thought was going to take a couple of hours turned into a major project. We found pictures for a couple of the years she was looking for pretty easily. Pictures form 2005 and 2006 turned out to be harder to find. The only place I could find them was on their Adobe Photoshop program, but they were only the ghosts of the pictures. The thumbnails were there, but we couldn't do anything with them. Frustration!! We enlisted the help of my dad, which we was sooooo happy to give :), and he finally found copies of the pictures on his laptop. Once we had them all on the computer, my mom picked out the ones she wanted to print and had to upload them to We ended up just printing the pictures from 05 and 06, which was about 400 pictures. Oh what a job! I get to come back in a few weeks to help her with the 07, 08, and 09 pictures. I can't wait! At least we already know where those pictures are!

July 9: Mary Kay Party

Kim invited us to a Mary Kay party tonight. Normally I hate going to these kinds of things because you feel pressured to buy things, but I had to support Kim. We did a facial party, so we got to actually try the product. It was just my mom, sisters, and Kim's mother and sister-in-law. We laughed a lot. I think Kim's friend thought we were a little crazy.

July 8: Rafael's Mexican Restaurant

Today I took Grandma Barbara to a movie and lunch. That was my gift to her for Mother's Day and we finally got together to do it. She wanted to go to Raf's for lunch, and I was happy to oblige, I haven't been there for a while. Rafael's is the restaurant I worked at when I was in high school and college. The Chavez family runs it, and they were great employers. They were good to me and other members of my family who also worked there (Kim, Mike, Jon, Chelsea). Their food is still some of my favorite Mexican food. They have the best soft shelled chicken tacos, fajitas, chili verde, limeade, and rice. Their menu has changed a little bit since they moved to a new location this last year, but it is still good food. Grandma and I certainly enjoyed our lunch today.

July 7: Recipe Group

One of our summer Enrichment activities is a recipe group. We meet every other week and share recipes with each other. Each time we meet there is a different theme: appetizers, salads, soups/breads, etc. We bring samples of our recipes to share so you get a free meal when you come! At the end of the summer we are going to put together a recipe book with all the wonderful recipes we've collected. This was a great idea, I'm so glad our Enrichment committee thought of it!

July 6: Playing with the Parry boys

I was going to hang out with Heather today, but she called me saying she was swamped with preparations for a family trip to Lake Powell. It sounded like she could use some help, so I volunteered to take her boys for the afternoon so she could get stuff done. I picked Brayden, Kevin, and Austin up and we went to lunch at Chili's. Then we went over to Barnes and Noble to look at books. We were there for over an hour--so fun! Austin really wanted to go to a park, so we found one. It was a hot day, so it wasn't too long before we headed home. I love these boys, we had a great day together!

July 5: Heather's happy day

Heather Parry is my oldest friend and it's her birthday today. I've known her since we were eight, just after I moved to the neighborhood, but we didn't start hanging out until one fateful Mia Maid overnight activity when we were fourteen. For some reason, everything just clicked that night, and we've been close ever since. Heather knows all my secrets and shortcomings and she loves me anyway. She's been there for me for more than half my life. I have so many wonderful memories of her:
  • walking around the block between our houses, sometimes with shoes on
  • watching her willingly get put into the trunk of her own car
  • teasing her about "college boy"
  • laughing about the bathroom stall experience at Lagoon
  • going to Lake Powell after high school graduation
  • going bowling when she came to visit me at Utah State
  • trying to talk her out of getting serious with her boyfriend (now husband)
  • believing her when she told me the mark on her neck was not a hickey
  • being the maid of honor at her wedding
  • going to the hospital when her first son was born
  • visiting her at her tiny duplex apartment in Price
  • running through the Denver Airport trying to make our flight
  • scrapbooking with her
  • spending time with her and her boys
  • talking with her and knowing she's listening and that she cares

Happy Birthday Heather! Thank you for being such a wonderful friend!

July 4: Independence Day

Independence Day
by ABE

In the year of 1776
That paper was decreed -
They were tired of oppression
And wanted to be freed
They wrote a Declaration
So the whole world would see -
This was, "the home of the brave
And the land of the free"
They signed that piece of parchment
The leaders of this land -
Knowing, divided they would fall
But, together they could stand
A new world lay before them
Untamed from shore to shore -
They swore the would protect it
If it meant going to war
Battles have been fought -
And many lives have been lost -
So sad something so basic
Has such a high, high cost
'Seems freedom is a luxury
There's some would bind us all -
Like then, together, we can stand
But divided, we will fall

More than two hundred years
Have past by since that day
That each of us celebrate
In our own different way
We should be proud and thankful
Pay our share of the cost -
Not take freedom for granted
For it easily could be lost

Happy Birthday America! I love celebrating this holiday. I am proud to be an American, I love my country. It's been several years since I've been home to celebrate with my family. I've been to the NEA conventions in Orlando, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. All are great places to be for the 4th, last year I watched the fireworks in DC from a boat on the Potomac (very cool!), but I've missed the family barbeque and fireworks. It was nice to spend time with the fam today.

July 3: Babysitting Exhaustion

I really have a new respect for Kim. Zac is exhausting! It is a full time job taking care of him. He decided he didn't need to sleep past 7:30 this morning. That was way earlier than I was expecting. I was hoping to wake up at 8 and still have time to get stuff done before he got up. The best laid plans...

We went to see Grandma Barbara today. She adores Zac, but I think he made her tired just watching him run around her house. We left to go see my parents after that. Kim and Jon get home late tonight and I told them I would have Zac down there in case they wanted to come pick him up. The first thing my mom said was that I looked a little tired. A little? I was grateful I could have someone else to share the load. I even got to take a little nap while she took Zac for a walk. As much as I love the little guy, I will be okay when his parents come get him.

July 2: The Treehouse Museum

Krissy invited Zac and me to go with her and her niece to the Treehouse Museum in Ogden today. I couldn't believe how long it takes to get ready when you have a toddler around. I have a new respect for Kim! We finally made it to the museum and we had a great time, even though we were there during nap time. I was worried there wouldn't be a lot for Zac to do, but he kept really busy. There were things to climb, blocks to build with, and even storytime to listen to. His favorite activity was playing the instruments in the music room. We had a great time, and it was no surprise that both kids fell asleep in the car on the way home. It was a great day!

July 1: Zac and Me

Kim and Jon went on a cruise this week with Jon's family so Michelle and I get to take care of Zac! I picked him up from Michelle's house this afternoon and it's just me and him for the rest of the week. We stopped by the store to get some of Zac's favorites. He loves fruit, so we got watermelon, bananas, and grapes. He also loves pb&j sandwiches. We had to stop by the bakery while we were there and get a sugar cookie to share. We played outside when we got home before having dinner. Kim gave me some very specific instructions for how to put him to bed, it sounds like quite the process. We'll try it out tonight and see how it goes.

June 30: Summer TV

I almost love the summer season of TV more than the regular season. Some of my favorite shows are on cable during the summer. The Closer, Burn Notice, Psych, Leverage, I enjoy them all. The best part is that they are all on different nights, so the viewing enjoyment gets spread out over the week.

June 29: The Holy Secret

I've been reading another book by the author of The Peacegiver. It is called The Holy Secret, and I am enjoying it just as much as The Peacegiver. In this book the author looks at our attitude towards things in our lives which should be holy, but that we usually take for granted. He focuses on the scriptures and the temple. Reading this book has caused me to really reflect on the time I spend on holy things. Do I just skim the scriptures or do I have a conversation with them? Do I find excuses not to go to the temple, or do I find excuses to go? This book has given me a lot to think about. It's another I would recommend to anybody.

June 27: The Melting Pot

Jessica, a former college roommate, called and invited me to go to dinner with her and some friends today. We went to the Melting Pot, which I have heard about but never been to before. Oh my gosh, I loved it! It was the best and most food I've had in a long time. Dinner consists of four courses, three of which are fondue. We had a cheese course with veggies, bread, and apples (surprisingly a favorite). Then we each had our own salads. Dinner continued with the meat course with small portions of beef, chicken, pork, and seafood (not surprisingly not a favorite) that you cooked in the fondue pot. The final course was dessert with chocolate fondue and fruit, cake, and marshmellows. It was divine! It was also expensive, but it would definitely be the place I would go in the future to celebrate something special.

June 26: Dinner and a movie with Ann

Ann is a good friend that I met a year ago in my ward. She has since moved about 40 minutes away, so we don't get to see each other very often anymore. We got together today to celebrate her birthday which was earlier in the month. She wanted to have BBQ, so we found a place in Sugarhouse and met for dinner. It was pretty good food. Afterwards we headed to the dollar theater to see a movie. Of the ones available, Ann chose to see the Hannah Montana movie. I wasn't all that thrilled, but it was her birthday, so it was her choice. It was a cheesy movie, but it was good for a laugh. I need to call Ann more often, she is so much fun to hang out with.

June 25: My old friends, the Gilmore Girls

I caught of rerun of Gilmore Girls on tv today. Lorelai and Rory are two of my favorite characters of all time, they are smart and fiesty. Michelle would tell you I was addicted to the show when it was still on. She's right. I now own all seven seasons on DVD and Michelle gave me the shirt that proves what a fan I am. (I actually do wear the shirt, but not in public.) I need to find a day and have a Gilmore Girls marathon so I can watch all my favorite episodes. Anyone want to watch with me?

June 24: Walking buddies

Tracy and I have been walking buddies this summer. We both needed someone to motivate us to get up in the morning and get a little exercise. We didn't walk very quickly at first because of my cough, but now that it has subsided (finally!) we have picked up our pace and tried some good hills. It's a nice way to start the day, and the time goes pretty quickly because we just talk the whole time. Too bad your pedometer doesn't work, Tracy, it would be cool to know how many steps we really take!

June 23: Cleaning service

Our ward volunteers to clean the local food pantry twice a week. Tonight it was my turn to help sweep and mop. It doesn't take very long, but it is a very appreciated service. Isn't that what service should be all about? Doing the little things for people? I'm grateful for this opportunity to help people who do a lot to help those in need in my community.

June 22: Summer Solstice

Today is the longest day of the year. I always thought that was an interesting description. There are still only 24 hours in the day, but today more of them are daylight hours than any other day. My dad looks forward to this day. He loves the day after winter solstice because the days start getting longer. He hates the day after summer soltice because the days start getting shorter. I love that summer is officially here, the rain is even cooperating now!

June 21: Happy Father's Day

Everything Dad

A little girl needs her daddy

To love her with manly charm,
To soothe her when she’s hurt,
And keep her safe from harm.
A girl needs her dad
To show her a man who’s good,
To help her make right choices,
As only a father could.
A woman needs her father
Just to be aware,
He’ll always be there for her
To sustain her and to care.
You’ve been all these things, Dad.
I hope that you can see
How much I treasure you;
You mean everything to me.

By Joanna Fuchs

Love you Dad!

June 20: Karaoke at the cabin

Karaoke was the highlight for the day. My voice is still gone, though it is getting a little better, so I couldn't participate myself. Shannon, Jon, and others really got into it and had a fun time. They covered hits like "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "I Got You, Babe". I enjoyed just watching.

June 19: Millstreamers invade Bear Lake

Spending time with our ward is so much fun! It was our ward retreat at Bear Lake this weekend. Tracy and I joined up with our ward at the Hanson's cabin. It was a great day! We went for a ride on the lake, had a raspberry shake, ate a great BBQ dinner, took crazy pictures on the shore, played games, and sang songs. The best thing at the end of the night was being able to go back to Tracy's lake house instead of spending the night in a tent on the lawn. We got a lot more sleep than everyone else did, less noise and more comfort.

June 18: Scrappin at Bear Lake

Today I drove up to Bear Lake with Tracy. We are staying at her grandparents "lake house" for the weekend. We spent the afternoon, evening, and late night scrapbooking. It has been a while since I've had the time to pull out my scrapbooking supplies. I was able to finish an album tonight. Now I just have a dozen or so more before I'm caught up. I think I need to spend more time this summer scrappin.

June 17: Kim's special day

My little sister Kimmy (can I still call you that?) turned 27 today. We spent the day together having breakfast and going shopping. I love spending time with Kim. She is one of my very best friends. I'm so lucky to have her as my sister.
There were times that she fit the character of "annoying little sister" when we were young, but I mostly have great memories of growing up with Kim. We made up games, played dress-ups, rode bikes, took sewing and cooking classes, and talked to each other through the heating vents. Kim is pretty mild-tempered even though she gives the best crusties of anyone I know. She is a fantastic wife, mother, and teacher. She finds a way to balance family, work, and church responsibilities. I admire her, she is far more talented than she gives herself credit. Kim, I hope this is your best year ever!

June 16: UP

I got to spend time with Shannon and Jill tonight. We went to see the Disney/Pixar movie, UP. I absolutely loved it! It was much better than the last Pixar movie, Wall-e. I think the reason I loved UP so much was because of the character Russell. He is young boy who reminded me of so many of my former students. He was hilarious! Especially when he was tired of walking and wanted to keep the animals they came across. I love the friendship that develops between him and the old man he's with. It's a really sweet story. I recommend it to everyone!

June 15: Haircut please!

I really, really needed a haircut! It has been over two months since my last one. That is way too long! My bangs have been in my eyes for weeks now. It was way past time for me to go see my friend Jen. She cuts and colors my hair for me. Today I had her do both. The color came out darker than it's ever been before, but I think I like it. It's just nice to be able to see without having to brush hair out of the way.

June 14: I have no voice!

So my cold still isn't gone. I am still coughing. I've consumed more cough drops in the last three weeks than I care to count. There is not one flavor that I like anymore. To make matters worse my voice is completely gone. I have a smoker's voice now,deep and raspy. My best friends don't believe it is me on the phone. Today I tried to conduct Relief Society and I don't think many people could hear me. I want my voice back! I want my cough gone! Three weeks is long enough to suffer, don't you think?

June 13: Grocery shopping

Going to the grocery store is a chore for me, so I put it off when I can. After cleaning yesterday, I decided I couldn't put it off anymore. I headed to Dick's Marketplace and got enough food to last me a while. I came back and used my vacuum sealer to get my produce ready for the fridge. I think that's why I go grocery shopping as infrequently as I do. By the time you get to the store, find everything you need, check out, drive home, unload the car, and put everything away, you've lost half a day. Food's a necessity though, so I guess I just have to keep doing it.

June 12: Cleaning the kitchen

So my kitchen has gotten kind of messy lately. Between the end of school craziness and being sick, I just haven't gotten around to really cleaning it. Tonight I did. It took a while, but all the dishes are clean and put away, I can actually see my kitchen table, and all the moldy food has been cleared out of the fridge. Yeah!

June 11: I hate the rain, it's driving me insane!

I don't remember ever having a June as wet as this one has been. It seems like we have hardly been able to see the sun. I love summer rainstorms on occasion, but it has been raining pretty much every day. It doesn't really feel like summer yet. I am ready for the rain clouds to go away.

June 10: Wednesday night visits

Each Wednesday night my presidency and I get together to visit the sisters in our ward. We try to see two to four girls each week. I love the opportunity to see the girls in their homes and just talk about what's going on in their lives. It is important for us to do these visits because our ward changes so much. We wouldn't get to know all the sisters just seeing them on Sundays. Doing these visits is really one of the best parts of my calling.

June 9: Harry Potter fan

I've decided to re-read all the Harry Potter books this summer. I've never read them one right after another. It is something that can keep me busy while I'm holed up in my house. I love Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I think the Harry Potter series are such fun books and I have had many a student get interested in reading because of them. I think JK Rowling must have some great story maps with all the details she included in her early books that became really important for the later books. I'm going to try to get through at least book six by the time the movie comes out in July.

June 8: Prescriptions

I picked up my prescriptions this morning and then went straight back to bed. I hate being sick! I hope this medicine actually helps. I got a new cough syrup for nighttime. I haven't been sleeping very well at night, so this stuff has codeine and should knock me out. I look forward to not coughing up a lung at two in the morning anymore...

June 7: My 2nd trip to the doctor

Have I mentioned how much I hate going to the doctor? Well, today I felt so crappy that I missed church. I slept all the way through it. I called my mom and she told me to go into Instacare and see if there's anything else they could give me. My colds always go straight to my chest and I end up coughing forever. Add to that the fact that I am losing my voice. I could hardly talk Friday at school. Obviously my first trip to the doctor a week or so ago didn't solve the problem. So, I went back. Today they took an x-ray to see if there was any sign of pneumonia. Luckily, there wasn't. This time the doctor said it was acute bronchitis. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? After going to the doctor I went down to my mom's house. It's true you never get too old to want your mommy to take care of you when you don't feel well.

June 6: Lazy days of summer

I was lazy today. I'm done with school, which in and of itself is a great reason for lounging around, but I am also still sick. Whatever the reason, it was nice to just hang out in bed reading and take a nap in the afternoon. I love summer!

June 5: Last day of school!

I'm free! We cleaned like banshees today and got the room packed up. The kids signed papers and exchanged phone numbers for the summer. We had a final class meeting and said good-bye. I gave the kids their report cards and a photo collage of our year and then sent them on their way. I was actually ready to leave right after them, that's the first year that's happened!What a great feeling! Here's to summer break!

June 4: Island Hopping and Wizard School

The last few days of school are hard. No one wants to be there. Students and teachers both are ready to just be done. In 5th grade we try to make the days go as quickly as possible with a couple of theme days. We have stations set up that the students rotate through. One day they visit different islands and the other day they go to classes for wizard school. They do all sorts of language arts, math, and art activities. To be honest, they just do busy work that I don't grade, but they have fun doing it with their friends. It ends up being a win/win situation. It's a good way for me to have some time to get report cards done! In the middle of it all we have a pizza party using the money we've earned from recycling cans all year long. Fun times!

June 3: Field Day

You know the school year is over when field day rolls around. The PTA had all sorts of fun water activities and yummy treats for the kids today. It was actually a nice warm day with no rain. Perfect for getting wet!

June 2: Fractured Fairy Tales

For the last couple of weeks we have been rehearsing fractured fairy tale plays in our class. Yes, this is another project I do at the end of the year because it uses a lot of our time. The kids had to memorize their parts, paint scenery on butcher paper, and come up with simple costumes and props. Today they performed for another 5th grade class and our 1st grade buddies. One play they did is called "Two Pigs, a Wolf, and a Mud Pie" and the other is "LIVE: Fairy Tale News". These are really funny versions of the original fairy tales. Pigs talk to Snow White, a reporter asks Sleeping Beauty when she is going to marry the little kid who woke her up, Prince Charming runs after Cinderella to warn her about the wolf, and the Little Mermaid gave up her singing career to train a guppy synchronized swimming team. The kids did a great job, we were all entertained!

June 1: Art and Poetry

I was the kind of kid who liked to keep all my school work. I was always so proud of my projects, and I never wanted to throw them away. Maybe that's why I like to have my students create some things that they can keep forever. All year long we have been writing poetry to go along with our art projects. I have been keeping it all for the kids and today we assembled our art/ poetry books. It turns out to be a pretty cool book if they've turned in all their work during the year. I hope it is something they will keep and look at in ten years and remember the fun things we did in 5th grade.

May 31: Ward Conference

Today we had our ward conference. It was nice to hear from our Stake Presidency. Last night Krissy, Adam, Dave, and I went to a dinner with them. They are amazing men. They talked about the temple.

My favorite quote today came from a member of the Stake Relief Society presidency. She spoke about becoming pure in heart. She shared a quote that I really liked: "To do carefully and constantly and kindly many little things, is not a little thing." That helps keep things in perspective, doesn't it. Life is about doing the little things. It's a good reminder for me.

May 30: I love the mountains, I love the rolling hills...

I was admiring the mountains today. With all the rain we are getting lately, they are so green. I love living near the moutains. When I have traveled to places without mountains, I miss them, I feel lost without them. They are the only reason I have any sense of direction when I am driving. I love to be in the mountains. I haven't done much hiking or camping in the last couple of years, but I really enjoy it. I love the colors of the mountains. They are beautiful covered in the white of winter, the green of spring, or the reds/golds of autumn. Mountains are the most majestic part of nature.

May 29: Charm Collection

Everyone in my family (but Mike) collects something. My dad collects golf balls. My mom collects thimbles. Michelle collects ornaments. Kim collects pressed pennies. I collect charms. Whenever one of us goes somewhere new on vacation we keep our eyes open for souveniers we can bring back for ourselves and each other. I have quite a collection from Disneyland, of course. I also have charms from Yellowstone, the Caribbean, and other places all over the United States. It's fun to have a little memento from my trips.

May 28: Happy Birthday Helen!

Today is my Grandma Barbara's birthday. Why do I call her Helen? It's all my sister's fault. Michelle is the queen of creating nicknames that really stick. She started calling my grandma "Helen" when they worked together at my uncle's business a long time ago. Helen is in reference to Helen Keller. Michelle was lovingly teasing my grandma about her difficulties with seeing and hearing clearly. The nickname stuck because Grandma thinks it is hilarious. That is one of the many things I love about Helen, she has a great sense of humor.

She is a master at doing puzzles and playing Scrabble. Her pot roast is to die for. She also makes the best shrimp salad, pasta salad, and chicken noodle soup. I love how I smell like her for hours after I give her a hug. Helen loves jewelry and has more than anybody I know. She gave me my first diamond ring when I was sixteen. She has a subscription to the National Enquirer and leaves it in her bathroom so you get sucked in to looking at it when you spend time in there. A car accident gave her a really raspy voice when she was young, it scares little kids sometimes, but it is so endearing.

The best thing about Helen though is that she is one of the kindest people I know. She would do anything she could for anyone, especially her family.
Happy Birthday Grandma!