Sarah (age 18) was called to teach the Sunbeams class in Primary last month. Not only was she relieved to get out of Relief Society (she hasn't learned to love that organization the way her mom does yet), but she has a great time making little craft items and teaching those sweet 4-year-olds about Heavenly Father and Jesus. She truly has a gift for working with children and animals. In high school she earned certification to teach preschool, but her goal remains becoming a veterinarian tech.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
This is Sarah on Tuesday at the NPC campus, ready to take on the world!
After watching the new Bobcats get turned upside down while their moms pinned their awards on their collars, an honored tradition in these parts (the pin is upside-down until the new Bobcats do a good deed), Dylan decided he wanted to be turned once more for old time's sake.
Finally, at the end of the pack meeting, Dylan crossed The Bridge from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, with all of his Cub friends saying good-bye on one end while the older Boy Scouts waited to welcome him on the other end. Doesn't he look proud in his brand new official Boy Scout uniform shirt?
Dylan's dad, Mark, and his dad's girlfriend, Diane, were in town for a few days, so they were able to attend Dylan's important pack meeting. That made it even more special for him.
We don't want to leave Jacob out! Not only did he talk about Dylan's loving nature in the Arrow of Light ceremony, but you can see in this picture that the Cub Master strong-armed him into leading the Cubs in a silly scouting song. Jacob has grown so much this summer. He's about 6'1", almost as tall as his dad!
If you're wondering why everyone looks a bit bedraggled, rain had fallen nonstop all day, and just before we arrived at the pack meeting, the heavens let loose a downpour! It was impossible to see across the street, literally. So we were all soaked to the skin as we raced inside the building that night.
It was a great week, but it didn't end so well for Dylan. After school today while riding his bike to meet a friend, the front tire flew off the bike and Dylan met the road face-first. Keep in mind, we live on unpaved roads that are mostly dirt and rocks. He took several layers of skin off his chin and the backs of his hands. After scrubbing the dirt out of the wounds, we were both exhausted and Dylan crashed on the couch.
I'm happy to report he's feeling better now, but he'll be sore for a good while!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I just love the challenges of country living!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Gandalf is spoiled and demanding. He'd do anything for a slice of ham (he's sharing one with Dylan at right). He drinks from the toilet and cries loudly if anyone leaves the lid down. (I doubt Dylan was considering the whole toilet water thing when we took the picture!)
And what do we say about Diego? We got Diego from my sister Karla last summer and he is now 15 months old. Judging by his ears, his color and markings, and his instincts, his father was clearly an Australian cattle dog of some kind, probably a blue heeler.
Even as a puppy he would try to herd our two cats by hovering over them and trying to control where they went. Gandalf and Gimli were not amused. (But we were!)
On the far left you can barely see black-furred Likki Nikki (short for her pedigree name, Licorice Nicole).
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Dylan turned 11 on July 1st, which was during our stay (June 28 to July 5). His Aunt Dana and several cousins (also WorldMark owners) spent 2 days there in their own condo, and they were able to celebrate Dylan's birthday with him. His cousin Brinley taste-tested a goodly portion of the birthday cake while we were all down at the pool! That's my disgruntled boy on the right, glaring through the candle-smoke.
That's also Dylan at the top of this entry, about to be trampled by a cowboy-and-rearing-horse statue. Don't you love it! I thought we were terribly creative . . . or maybe just terrible?
We were reunited briefly with our missing son, Jacob. We picked him up from Camp Geronimo, about 1.5 hours away, on Wednesday and we took him back very early on Saturday morning, just hours before we had to check out of the resort. It was a special treat to get to see him in the midst of his summer job.
Posing for these Old West photos was an unexpected challenge. The first few poses were easy, but by the time we got to the 9th picture we were fresh out of ideas!
This is Dylan again, with his catch-of-the-day, a whopper of a rag-fish! He really thought he had The Big One on the line, but it turned out to be nothing more than a stubborn rag!
We went horseback riding twice, once for Dylan's birthday on Tuesday, and again after Jacob joined us, on Thursday.
We loved the time we spent together in the quiet forest and fresh air. We rode through some charred areas where the Rodeo-Chediski Fire destroyed large stands of pine back in June 2002. It was sobering, but still so beautiful and peaceful.
It was a wonderful vacation. The only rough patch was when I came down with a vicious stomach bug.
It knocked me off my feet for the last 2 days of our vacation (not much fun driving Jacob back to Geronimo while in that condition). Thank goodness for my beautiful friend Gwen, who spent Friday with us. She entertained my children, gave me a neck rub and put me to bed, helped the kids prepare meals and clean up, and helped them start packing for our return home. I honestly don't know what I'd have done without her sweet, helpful spirit.
Now we look ahead to our next summer vacation. We're making plans to spend 2 weeks traveling to Branson, Missouri, just a short drive from my baby brother Darryl's home near Springfield. We can't wait to see him and his family! Family trips are great--yahoo!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
As you can see, the weather was a little unexpected for late May. It started snowing several hours before graduation and continued on into the night, dropping a few inches of white stuff. The ceremonies are traditionally held on the football field, but this year graduation was moved inside the gym. It actually turned out to be quite nice.
One of the perks of teaching at our high school is that the school board invites us as parents to come up on the stand and present the diploma to our own children. This was my first opportunity to enjoy this particularly daunting experience in front of almost 200 graduates and nearly a thousand spectators. It was a little scary, but what an exciting moment, to present my daughter with the diploma she worked so hard to earn!
Sarah graduated with a 3.8+ grade point average and we're so proud of her! She also earned $2500 in scholarships, which she plans to use while earning her Associate degree. Eventually she wants to move to Mesa to attend Mesa Community College and train as a veterinarian technician, her dream career. (PS, my own dream includes grandchildren someday!)
Now there's just one thing left to do: Get a job!
Friday, August 8, 2008
For all the 18 years we've lived here on the mountain, our entire school district (4 schools) and all its facilities have been contained on one large piece of property. No matter what grade my kids were in, they were just a short walk across a parking lot from my classroom. Now we have the brand-new middle school/junior high school about a mile away. Grades 5-6 are on one side and grades 7-8 are on the other, with shared gym, cafeteria, library, and nurse's office in between. It's pretty traumatic for Mom to have her baby boy so far away now!
Jacob (age 17) is now a junior at the high school where Mom teaches. He's jealous that his sister Sarah (age 18) graduated in May and didn't have to join us for that first day of school. She'll soon have her hands full with a job and college classes, though.
As for me, here I am (the Mom) at my old desk in a new classroom in a different building. Our growing high school was able to expand into the former junior high since it has been vacated. When I arrived in 1990 the high school had about 400 students; today it has over 900. Now we have an "East Campus" and "West Campus" so we're feeling pretty upper class collegiate these days! My new room is in the East Campus, where the old junior high computer lab was located.
This is my 19th year at Blue Ridge High and 14th as department chair. As you can imagine, I've accumulated a lot of materials in that time, especially during the 12 years I spent in my last classroom, so making such a major move in a few short weeks was an overwhelming job. Much thanks goes out to Sarah and Dylan, who helped set up my new room and singlehandedly moved most of my furniture for me!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
After we picked Jacob up from Camp Geronimo on Wednesday, we drove on down to Mesa--since we were halfway there already--to do some back-to-school shopping. We enjoyed eating out and swimming and visiting family. Sarah, Jacob, Dylan, and Jacob's friend Bryce spent the night at great-grandma Helen's house and had some time with their dad, Mark, and their former pet, beloved Jack Russell terrier Astro. (I myself luxuriated in a Holiday Inn suite all to myself!) Then we spent time with Aunt Karla and Uncle Brian and the kids' Mesa cousins. That's when we got to meet one of my new grand-nephews, Jaren, and take the attached pictures of him and his big sister Analyce. He is so huggable! Sarah, of course, held him for every possible second!