Thursday, May 27, 2010
Next year, I'll have a sixth grader, a fourth grader, a first grader, and a pre-Kindergartner. We're still not sure what to do with Easton next fall (he misses the kindergarten start by 19 days with his five-year-old birthday on Sept 19th), but we'll figure it out soon. He'll do great no matter where he goes to school. I love him so much!
We are all so excited for school to be out for the summer. It's time to take a break from the Mon-Fri early morning rush getting the kids up, dressed, fed, hair fixed, lunches made, last minute homework signed, and promptly to the bus stop by 7:17am.
It's time for no more late night homework sessions, no more packing lunches, no more cleaning out the daily backpacks.
It's time for mom and dad to be able to sleep in until 7:00 if their hearts so desire (and if the bright 5:30 am sunrise or their pre-wired internal alarm clocks don't get us up at the crack of dawn - more a problem for me as the morning girl and not so much for Ryan as the perpetual night owl).
It's time to not have to cram the workout in before the crack of dawn and before the kids are up for school. Yet I know that since summer is here and they don't have to wake up at 6:30 for the next 10 weeks, that they'll likely be up even earlier. Crazy how that works. Hopefully they'll let us sleep if we want to.
Ahhh....yes, I'm beginning to relax already.
Yes, we are excited for the reprieve from the routine, even if I know it will fly by so much faster than I'd like. We are looking forward to staying up later if we feel like it, more time for leisure reading, time by the pool and lots of playing. Of course, there will still be chores and instruments to practice here and there, Thursday morning yardwork days with Grandpa Steve, and a few summer projects that I have in mind, but mostly, it will just be a break for all of us.
Our Hatch & Weaver cousins are in town this week and weekend, visiting from Colorado, Utah and Virginia. It was planned as sort of a last harah for the Hatch crew to gather before Matt goes on his mission and before the Weavers move to Washington for Derek's residency. All five of the Teeples' sisters (my mom, Pauly, Laurie, Nancy and Krissie) and all of their kids I think (except my cousin Phoebe who lives in Alaska) will be together this weekend for a family reunion. We are pretty excited about that. And it's our style of reunion: a big BBQ Saturday afternoon by the pool, visiting, hanging out, eating, shooting some pictures, kids running free with their cousins, all of us catching up.
No matching t-shirts.
My cute cousin, Brittany, and her four awesome kids (and one on the way) flew in Tuesday night so that they could spend a few extra days with our family. They are staying with us and my kids couldn't be any happier about it. They stayed with us last year, too, and our kids have asked no less than 20 times over the past year when they were coming back. So when I told them a couple of months ago that they'd be here for Memorial Day, our kids were so thrilled. My cousin Nick's wife, Jenna (who is such a doll), and her unbelievably adorable baby, Siena, are staying with us too. Our kids love love love having so many cousins in the house and have been counting down the days. Good thing we have plenty of room!
So...Hooray! Summer and cousins and free time....they're finally here.
Since Easton graduated from preschool last week, he's been our lucky kid to be home with the cousins the past two days while our girls have endured the two final days of school. Yesterday, all the kiddos picked apricots, swam, swam, swam, went the library, swam some more, and then we all ended up at Grandpa Reid's for pizza and playing. Today, they're having a picnic and playing at a water park in Fountain Hills, then swimming some more I'm sure.
Tonight we have a movie planned in our backyard. I'm stoked to bust out my new projector and set up the movie outside on the big screen! A little popcorn, a little moonlight, a few lawn chairs, hopefully no scorpions. Should be a blast.
Here's to summer! We're so glad you're here.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Somebody, somewhere, figured out an ingenious way to make history "come alive" for our 5th graders. A wax museum! So fun and such a great way to engage these bright eleven year olds in their study of American History. The culminating project for the Hale Elementary fifth graders was to choose a famous American in history (and there could be no duplicating among all the fifth grade classes), write a report, make a poster and include a timeline, and then....THEN, the best part, was that each student got to become their famous American for a day.
Barrett chose Sandra Day O'Connor, the first female justice of the US Supreme Court. Doesn't she look fabulous? Thanks to Beth for letting us borrow the Judge Judy robe from Halloween long ago, and thanks to Ashley for offering up your wig. Unfortunately, Barrett tried on the old lady wig and declared, "This is not Sandra Day O'Connor hair."
So we were back to ground zero on the hair. What to do, what to do....
Well, let me tell you, getting Barrett's hair do to look like that took some serious effort. We started at 5:45 am (we had to be done by 6:30), curling, ratting, spraying, smoothing, powdering, styling, pinning, and more powdering. She was pleased with the end result, though, and really looked terrific. Add some pearl earrings, a little hot pink lipstick and mascara, and voila! Court in session!
At their wax museum, each student had a blue "button" cut out of construction paper taped to the floor in front of the them. The museum patrons (aka parents and fellow students) who toured the spectacular Famous American museum in the Hale cafeteria could step on the make-shift button and listen to each "wax" figure deliver a 30 second speech about their life. Yes, I may be a smidge biased, but I think Barrett’s speech was among the best of them all. She was very prepared, spoke loud and clear, and delivered a great speech (over and over and over…)
Some of my other favorites were Benjamin Franklin (her friend, Adam), Jackie Kennedy (her friend, Emily Woods), Elvis, Babe Ruth, Albert Einstein, Wyatt Earp, Dolly Parton, Helen Keller, Paul Revere, Calamity Jane (her friend, Riley), and Ginger Rogers.
What a great idea to engage our kids and get them thinking outside the box. I loved it.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
But, if I'm really honest with myself, I'd admit that part of me is glad that it's over. May Madness has been all that and a bag of chips this year. Seriously, every single stinkin night we've been gone with games or recitals or programs or school projects or church functions or appointments or something. All good stuff, just too much of it. It will be nice to breathe.
Here's the Panther brood after last Saturday's second tournament win. Lots of smiles, happy to be moving on in the tourney.
You go, Barrett. I love that serious look. You've been the MVP of the team this year with your good pitching, strong defense and consistent strong hitting. The coach has had you batting clean up all season and we are so proud of you! I am glad that you've had a blast this season.
Love this pic. Afton on deck. Ready to hit.
Until then, we'll be playing some catch, taking some BP at the retention basin (if we can stand the heat), and enjoying lots and lots of time by the pool this summer. Our first vaca of the year is coming up in a 11 days. But who's counting?
Hmmm....I'm dreaming of:
mangos on a stick,
vanilla popsicles on the beach,
reading under the cabana,
laying out poolside,
Miami Ice (virgin of course),
fajitas at Ramon's,
jewelry shopping on the sand,
a nice tan,
and the list goes on.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
My 20-year high school reunion is coming up this fall, and I’m heading up the planning committee. (No, I wasn’t the senior class president, just a lowly class rep, but sometime before graduation I must have agreed to be on the reunion committee. I can't remember when. I got a call from our class president 10 years ago when it was time to plan the first reunion and ended up helping to plan our very fun 10-year reunion.
Well... our infamous senior class president decided to bail on this one. He said he had “a bad experience” with the last one and has denounced his official senior class president duties. What?? How does that work? Isn’t that all part of the gig you sign up for when you run for election and place your hand in the air and pledge to do your duty???? I guess, like Nacho Libre, he wanted a “better duty.”
The reunion company planning lady contacted me last fall and voila – I’m holding the reigns. But it will be fun. Thankfully, we have an awesome committee (including my husband and SIL who both graduated with me and some other great friends) and the plans are moving along. The date and venue are set and the PR is in the works.
Anyway, as I’ve reflected about this big event that’s no longer so far away, I started reminiscing about some of my high school memories and had a good laugh or two. Or three. So…again, in the spirit of documenting my personal history, I share yet another of my crazy late night brainstorm lists. (I like lists. I can capture a decade on one page, I don't have to use complete sentences, and I seem to recall much more when I'm in pure brainstorm mode.)
And just for the record, “the day” refers to my junior high and high school teen years (yes, back in the 80’s).
Back in the day…30 things I remember…
- I wore blue eye shadow and red lipstick and thought I looked good.
- My removable shoulder pads made their way into every shirt I owned.
- I spent a week each summer in California with my brother and parents (and usually a friend) staying in one of the many Marriott Hotels, enjoying the beach, hitting a couple of major league baseball games (AZ had no team back then), doing crazy fast thrill rides at Magic Mountain, and of course, shopping for the next school year.
- Nylons and “pumps” were mainstream accessories with my Sunday attire. I'm not sure you could pay me to wear nylons in AZ now. Thank heaven for spanks!
- I got a new "spiral" perm every summer right before school started. It took like five hours to roll.
- Guess Jeans, Forenza, Gap, & Express monopolized the labels in my wardrobe.
- My Dairy Queen uniform shirt had a permanent band of blizzard spray (aka ice cream) across the chest.
- I should have bought stock in Rave (my brand of firm hold hairspray).
- I thought my Kino Junior High colors were atrocious (green, gold and white).
- I drove a 1979 yellow Cutlass Supreme. Tough as a tank, seating for six comfortably (8 if you squished), killer stereo and great AC.
- I pegged my jeans at the ankle with a safety pin to make them skin tight.
- I hung out in the McDonald’s parking lot after the Friday night Mountain View (lovingly referred to as Mountain “Pew” by our rival schools due to the ever so potent dairy farm across the street) football games (along with every other kid from my school), until my senior year when the “cool” post-game venue shifted to DQ. How lucky was I to be employed there and serve ice cream and fries to my whole school?
- I wasted far too many summertime hours laying out by the pool perfecting my tan.
- I came home for lunch with my girlfriends and watched The Young & The Restless.
- I studied nightly by the lamp light in the dining room of my house.
- I wore bunched up colored socks with penny loafers and K-Swiss tennis shoes.
- I saw M.C. Hammer in concert (Can’t Touch This). Are you laughing or singing along? Or both? (But it was so awesome!)
- I worked out during the summer at a little private gym with a too-intense personal trainer named “Jay” who had biceps the size of trees and no sense of humor whatsoever.
- The 80’s Big Hair Bands were just following my lead.
- The dollar movies at Tri City Mall and Westwood Theatres were the place to be.
- It was not uncommon to find my friends and I playing mini golf at Golfland (and scouting for cute boys), shopping at Fiesta Mall (and scouting for cute boys), or patronizing the theatres at Power & Main (in my pre-driving years).
- My initials occupied the high score list on Ms. Pac Man machines everywhere…
- I played four years of softball and volleyball for my schools (Kino & Mtn. View) and played basketball as a freshman. I got serious pneumonia after the second day of basketball tryouts my sophomore year, but I wasn’t crushed about it. I thought I might just die from all the suicides we had to run. Hmmm...wonder why they call them suicides?
- We had open campus for lunch, and our favorite lunch spots (aside from home) were Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
- I graduated with a better than 4.0 grade point average (thanks to AP classes).
- Some of my favorite bands were Prince, Michael Jackson, Def Leppard, Madonna, Depeche Mode, Guns & Roses, and Duran Duran.
- I loved to go dancing at Sgt. Peppers and Devil House on teen nights.
- My cousins, Julie & Laura, and I shared wardrobes (purchased with the wages from our hard working DQ days). I went one whole school year without wearing the same ensemble twice (so caddy and vain, I know, but sadly, all true).
- I thought my Brother automatic typewriter was the bomb.
- I could do 200 push ups and 200 sit ups in volleyball practice warm ups and not think anything of it.
Ahhhh, yes...back in the day.
So glad that I live in this day now.
So glad that the shoulder pad factories are out of business, that blue eye shadow is only worn sparingly or for an occassional high fashion statement, that the dairy by Mtn. View moved away, that I haven't watched a soap opera in decades, that I get to read and study what I want, that I don't need a new outfit for each day of the year, and that I am living the life I love.
I'm not really sure if I could be any luckier. I have the most terrific mom in the world, married the love of my life, and have four amazing, healthy, smart, good to the core kids. What more could I hope for on Mother's Day?
But because my kiddos love me (and also because they have an awesome dad who took them out for a super fun night of out shopping last week, and because they have terrific teachers who helped them create priceless homemade gifts at school and church), I had quite the haul yesterday.
I made out with a bag of sour jelly bellies (my favorite, Easton), some stylie earrings and a scrapbook class (thanks, B.), some super cute Roxy flip flops from Tilly's (you rock, Afty), and some super cute jewlery including a hand beaded bracelet a la Rowan (I love them!) Ryan, my mom and my mother-in-law were all way too good to me too. Seriously, I am so spoiled.
I loved the little book that Easton made at preschool. Each page was a flower pot and had a blank within a sentence for Easton to complete. Things like, "I love my mom when she _____" or "My mom is good at __________."
I giggled hard at the "Mom mom weighs _____ pounds." My incredibly endearing four year old smartly completed the blank with "14." Yep, 14 pounds. That's me. Oh, and he thinks I'm 20 inches tall. Maybe that's my mini-me he's thinking of??? Hmmm...14 pounds. I can't even remember 114. Maybe 8th grade?
Happy Mother's Day, Cheri! Thanks for raising such a great son. I'm crazy about him you know...
Ryan's folks, my folks, and all of our siblings and their families came over yesterday for a super delicious Mexican food pot-luck dinner. Tasty stuff. Kudos to my brother-in-law, Ryan Stoker (below), for the amazing enchiladas. Jayme is teaching you well!
After I took the first picture of Jayme & Ryan, I did the quick digital preview and told Ryan that he needed to look happier. This was the result.
Easton & me at his preschool program last Thursday. They sang 13 songs (yes, really) and presented us with all sorts of fine treasures (gold spray-painted handprints, a decorated flower pot filled with dried beans and two homemade flower pens, a lovely card...). I LOVE the silouhette that his teacher did (it's on the box in the picture above). No doubt that's going in his scrapbook. My favorite song was "Mama's Soup Surprise." Too hilarious. Easton has sung it so many times at home, now, that all the girls know the words now too and belt it out at full volume.
The chorus goes something like this (and picture it with hand motions and full grins):
Chicken lips and lizard hips and alligator eyes. Buzzard eggs and monkey legs and salamander thighs. Bunny ears and camel rears and toasty toenail pies. Stir it all together and it's mama's soup surprise.
Yes, priceless I know.
Rowan & Grandma Cindy last night after dinner. Rowan is lucky to have such a great woman in her life. She adores her Grandma. I think the balance is good, too, since Rowan and I sometimes clash with our wills. I think hers is definitely stronger, but I'm still the mom. I think...
The Goodman & The Brown girls - Mothers and mothers to be.
My SIL, Lacey, & Mike. She's going to be our next new mother. She's due with #3, her first girl, in late June. Jessie & Jayme are both having their fourth babes this summer too. Can't wait to be an auntie again three times over!
On my final note, I was thinking about how so many women out there don't care for Mother's Day. I've heard women vent about it throughout the years and was reminded of those same feelings again as I read a few friends' blog posts this week. I've heard that some feel like the gratitude and love they receive this one day of the year isn't genuine as they don't feel that same love/attention/respect the rest of the year, or more commonly that some women feel a huge sense of guilt. With all the praise and adoration bestowed upon mothers, they feel like they don't measure up or don't quite fit the ideal. And some women who haven't had the most ideal mothering influence in their life or whose mothers have passed away, the day brings unwanted reminders.
But for me, in the shoes I wear today (and I realize that my shoes are mine and mine alone), my perspective on Mother's Day is quite different. I think that Mother's Day is a day that we as women should feel extra grateful for our most important and rewarding calling in life. Sure, it can be hard. Impossible perhaps at times. Tiring so much of the time. But really, would we ever truly want to give it up? I couldn't imagine my life without my children. They are my joy, my life, my blessing.
Really, I am the luckiest mom in the world.
And Happy Mother's Day to all the good moms that have helped me become (and are still helping me become) the woman that I am today. Your influence has been significant in my life.
Last week, I helped my mom make these cute magnet clip handouts for her relief society leadership meeting. The saying on the front (which she got from a plaque that my Aunt Diane gave her years ago), goes like this:
Here's to Good Women:
May we know them,
May we be them,
May we raise them.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Rowan and Me (Ryan & Easton were gone to Father & Son's so they missed out on all the fun. But they did make it back in time to come by Grandpa Reid's house after the bowling and eat pizza and cake with all of us.)
The Goodman grandkids, my mom & dad's posterity, minus Tate & Easton.
My Aunt Pauly & Aunt Krissie
My Aunt Laurie holding her granddaughter, Lauren, and my cousin, Ashley standing behind. Three generations right there - all blondies and all beautiful inside and out!
Rowan was cracking us up. She bowled on the same lane with me, my mom, and Shari. She picked the lightest ball possible, but she was still having to heave it back and then whip it around with all her might to get it down the lane. It would crash with a mightly plunk and then oh so slowly roll down the lane, always curving at the last second. Thank heaven for the bumpers they put in the gutters. It was pin ball city for the kids, but it sure makes it fun for them. (Note the mulit-layer ruffled skirt. Very appropriate bowling attire I know. But would you expect anything less from our Rowan?)
Our cute cousins, Ella & Lily
Grandma Cindy and Tallin were both having good games. My mom used to bowl on a league with my Aunt Laurie and Uncle Mick when I was younger. She's goooood!
Barrett & Randi Girl. They, too, were fortunate to have the bumpers up. Just sayin'.
This is my favorite picture from the whole day. All the kids love Krissie and she loves them. Even though Kris has been having a really hard time with her health and dementia issues lately, she still lights up on occassion and I was lucky enough to capture it on film. It's moments like this that make my heart melt. Happy 48th, Kris! We love you so much and hope that you can break through this trial you're facing and find some peace. Everyone is frustrated that the plethora of doctors and specialists you've seen can't seem to figure out how to help you or even diagnose the problem, but we know that our Heavenly Father is aware of you and sees you. He hears our prayers for you. Thanks for letting us share this day with you. We had a blast! What a great family we have.