Monday, December 29, 2008

Twas hours after Christmas....

Twas hours after Christmas and all through the house,
Dad and Mom go back to bed and the girls are quiet as a mouse.
With the tree, presents no longer adorn, but the crumnpled up paper is stacked by the door! The shopping and preparations are gone in a dash, but smiles on faces are shown with a flash. Christmas is gone for another year, But memories will last and are held real dear.

The Tree after Christmas morning

M with her DS that Santa brought her

T with her Aeropostal Christmas.

C with some of her treasures. She asked for clothes too.

The wrapping paper piled by the door!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What kind of Christmas are you?

Your Christmas is Modern

Your wish for the New Year is more happiness.

For you, Christmas is a spiritual holiday. You can't separate it from your beliefs.

You are patient when it comes to Christmas. You don't celebrate too early, and you don't like seeing holiday decorations in October.

You like Christmas traditions, but you're not uptight about them. You do things your way.

You like to celebrate Christmas your own way, and you don't like to have to compromise.

You enjoy Christmas more than anyone you know. Some might call it an obsession!

You give a big during the holidays but nowhere near as much as you'd like to.

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

*This was a tag from Susan, my friend from SITS. I was also tagged by Tonya, and I will do hers in a couple of days...

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

1. Egg nog or Hot Chocolate?
I like eggnog, but not the calories it brings.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
A little of both. Santa will place large items under the tree unwrapped, but the others are wrapped. I love big fancy bows, and pretty wrapping.
3. Colored lights or white?
White lights
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
5. When do you put your decorations up?
Usually I get the decorating done the Saturday after Thanksgiving, along with the tree decorated, and Mike usually puts the lights on the house too.
6. Favorite holiday dish?
Yams and I love peppermint iceream, although, I could eat it in a huge dish
7. Favorite childhood memory?
Christmas at Grandma Johnsons. She has been on my mind alot lately, and I miss her waffle cookies.
8. When/how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Fourth grade, and after that Christmas just wasn't as fun anymore, until I got married and had children. I tell my own children that if they stop believing, then Santa stops visiting.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No, unless it is from Nana. She will sometimes give the girls pajamas and then we let them open the gift up, so they can wear their new Christmas jamas.
10. How do you decorate the tree?
Mike sets up the tree. Since moving to Arizona, we have an artificial tree. The white lights are already on it, so Mike just puts the thing together. I put the gingerbread men on, the bows, berries, pinecones, and the girls put on the candy canes, and all of the red bulbs, along with their hallmark treasures from Grammy (Mike's grandma) and then Mike puts on the big bow on top.
11. Snow. Love it or dread it?
I miss the snow. We love to ski, and sled. I would love a white Christmas! I do not miss driving in it, or spring never coming.
12. Can you ice skate?
Yes. Another thing I miss about Cache Valley. Ice skating at the park.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Probably a kitchen that Santa brought me when I was 4.
14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you?
celebrating Jesus' birth, and teaching the girls that Christmas is about giving, not receiving.
15. Favorite holiday dessert?
Peppermint icecream
16. Favorite Christmas Tradition?
We always have clam chowder in bread bowls, along with Ceasar salad on Christmas Eve. We then have a birthday cake for baby Jesus. For Christmas morning, we all take turns opening presents, that way Christmas lasts a little longer, and we enjoy each other. AND THEN THIS IS THE BEST PART...MIKE MAKES A HUGE CHRISTMAS BREAKFAST AND CLEANS IT UP!!
17. What tops your tree?
a big bow
18. Do you prefer giving or receiving?
Both - I love to find that perfect that you know someone will love, and it is fun to receive a surprise.
19. Favorite Christmas song?
I really like that song "Mary Did You Know?" by Kenny Rogers
20. Candy canes. Yum or yuck?
I hang the things on the tree, but I don't really eat alot of them. I do like those soft peppermint ones. Infact I got a peppermint burn on the roof of my mouth from eating to many the other day.
21. What do you want for Christmas?
A white Christmas, to see my family in Utah, and go skiing.
22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party?
I have missed the last 2 years of the annual facutly party. Other things going on. (Dance recitals etc.)
23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear P.J.'s?
We wear jeans, and sweaters. We try to be dressy casual.
24. Do you own a Santa hat?
Yes, I wore it to school yesterday, and I was the only teacher with a hat on:( The girls wear the hat on Christmas morning.
25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?
We usually spend it with family. We do our own Christmas morning at our home. Then in the afternoon we go to Mike's parents home and hang out. We usually don't do a big Christmas dinner. We usually do rolled ham, turkey, and roastbeef with rolls, salads, and junk food. Christmas Day should be relaxing.

I'm just going to leave this open to anyone who wants to play along....I know Tonya just finished a HUGE tag week, it would be fun to hear how everyone else does Christmas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our weekend journal of pictures...

Our weekend started with M having her December Winter Ballet concert. This is her 5th year of dance and she is in the intermediate ballet class. She did very well, and is the youngest in her class. She is 9 and everyone else is 12.

Next, came a Saturday of crafting. The girls and I made at least 12 of these metallic bulletin boards with magnets. We bought a scrap of 12 by 10 sheet of metal from Home Depot. We then covered them with cute scrapbook paper, and added a bow. We slightly bent the bottom of the sheet of metal so that the bulletin board can stand freely. The magnets are those clear plastic rocks that you put in fish tanks and we hot glued a magnet on the back it. They turned out darling, and they weren't that expensive to make. Great friend gifts and teacher gift.

Next, came my treasure. This is Goldie! 10 years ago, I refused to pay the $100.00 that ebay wanted for him. I was collecting Beanies back then, along with my mom and sister. I know that Beanies come a dime a dozen now. I payed 50 cents for him out of a vending machine at the pizza restaurant. He even has his plastic hang tag. My husband wants to sell all of my Beanies to a vender now!

Sunday we went to see Christmas lights. This is the next Criswold's house. After we came home watched a Santa movie and had hot chocolate.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh how Sweet it is....

Years Ago...Before we moved to Arizona, we would come visit for Christmas, and you could smell the orange blossoms. I just loved that smell. Anyways, last year Costco had a whole bunch of fruit trees on sale, and I bought three of them for our yard, thinking that it would be years before we actually got fruit from our little trees. Well, I was wrong. Our little orange trees are producing fruit, the yard smells sweet, and they taste yummy.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Traditional Black Friday....

Okay...Some of you may call me crazy, but shopping on Black Friday has become a tradition at our home. It all started a few years back, when my friend Tonya and I got up early, and stood in the freezing cold in Marysville, Washington at Wal-mart to buy gameboys for a screaming price. I remember the line was forever long, and past the garden center when we got in line. After we drove to Everett to Toys R Us.

For the last 3 years, my oldest daughter and I venture out into the dark to shop. Three years ago she wanted a digital camera and that was the main shopping item. Since then she looks forward to fighting crowds, freezing cold, and impatient shoppers to find a few Christmas wishes.

Today was no different. We woke up at 2:30 am and we were at Kohls in line by 3:10. The doors opened at 4:00 and I was through checking out by 4:20. The girl in front of us, said that Kohls' lines can be long, so T went and stood in line at Target for us. Our new shopping friends from the Kohls' line joined us, and we all stood in line until Target opened at 6:00. We were right in the front of the line. T and I were through with Target by 6:20. (T and I split up in Target, that way, we were guarnateed some of our wish list items.)

We were home by 6:30, and getting the other girls up so we could all go to IHOP for breakfast. After stuffing our faces with pancakes, we headed to Kmart, where we lucked out, and then off to Michaels and then then the mall.

We got everything we wanted but the lite brite from Kmart, and I think I will head to Walmart to price match it later.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


My first graders have been learning about the Pilgrims and all of the trials that they endured from the time they left England until that first harvest. As we completed our unit this week, I asked each of my students what they were thankful for most, and I was so surprised that most of them said they were thankful for family, friends, school, and pets. One little girl, said that she wouldn't have wanted to be a Pilgrim because the children had to work to hard, and if she had to be a Pilgrim, she would rather be a Pilgrim boy vs. a girl, because the girls in her opinion, had to do more work.

I have asked my own family to list the things they are greatful for this season. As the Christmas lists are beginning to form, I reminded my children that we have a million things to be thankful for and what more could we really want or need. I mean we can always make wish lists, I have my own, and I am heading out into the rain for the traditional Black Friday Sales tomorrow with my daughter; to fulfill wishes.
Here is the Gratitude lists condensed:
M- thankful for his home, wife, children, security of a good job, and hunting.
J- I am thankful for my husband and children, friends, a home, my freedom, my faith, insurance, my education, and my health that lets me laugh with my girls, look at sunsets, and run in the desert.
T- thankful for family, Molly and Sage (our labs), school, our house, electricity, a nice warm bed, indoor plumbing, her contacts
C-thankful for family, freedom, the military, clothes, her friends, i-pod, Dr. Pepper, cheerleading,
M- thankful for her house, her family, her 3rd grade teacher, dogs, flowers, dancing, birthdays, Primary, shoes, webkins

Monday, November 10, 2008

At last the Big Game!!

Today was the First Basketball Game of the Season for the Wildcats! Calla was so thrilled to finally cheer, she's been waiting forever for this day to come. I think there were more cheer moms there supporting their girls than actual basketball fans.

Calla is a flyer and gets to stunt! I hope these 7th grade girls don't drop my girl on her bootie!! She loves stunting and being tossed up in the air.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Exactly what is a boogie?

Okay...Something is going around my classroom, and now I have it! I scrub the desks, wipe the sink, and sanitize my hands to the point that I am now the lotion bottle's best friend! Exactly how do you prevent yourself from catching what is going around? Can you over sanitize?

On Monday, this little boy in my class said "Mrs. B, can I hold your hand?" as we walk down the hall to lunch. Usually, I will hold his hand, because he walks much better. But on Monday...I said, "Have you picked your nose today? (which he does constantly) and he says "uh, huh", "Nope, you can hold Kiley's hand." She said "NO! I don't want his snot on me!"
SO...Now that it is finally cooling down, I guess it's Boogie time. (I thought germs didn't like the cold)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A trip back in time....

Here I am in 1996. Friends and Seinfeild were the top shows. We had just re-elected President Clinton, and I was scared to death of what would happen in our country. Calla was just a baby, and we had just bought our first home in Elko, Nevada. Grunge was popular, and millions of us went to see the Titantic!
Here is my favorite hair style of all times!! My husband now refers to it as bat wings and poof bangs. I loved BIG HAIR!! I wish it would come back in style. The year is 1990. I had just celebrated my first anniversary and the favorite movie was Pretty Woman!

Here I am back in high school, 2 years before I graduated in 1986. The year was 1984, and I just got my driver's license. I was rockin' to Billy Squire and Van Halen and I was hauling all of my friends around in my parent's '74 Galaxy Ford. I remember it was brown. I was working hard at the Bear's Den on school nights and weekends, saving for college. Jake Ryan was my biggest heart throb! I wanted to celebrate my 16th birthday with him!!

Here I am back in 1974. I loved my skinny jeans, mini skirts, and so wanted to date Greg Brady!The year is 1966. My Go-go boots were so groovy! I loved the Beach Boys! And my itsy-bitsy-tiny wienie, yellow polka dot bikini!! is what I would of have looked like back in 1950. My mom was only 4 so, I guess this is what my grandma would of have looked like. Although, I have seen pictures of my grandma back then, and she was so beautiful. A little bit of Mayberry life may have been nice!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Place for a Million Dreams....

Well, Fall break has ended, and it's back to school and a routine again! We spent a fabulous, fun, filled four days in California at Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm (Knott so Scary Farm). Maddie was tall enough this year to enjoy all of the rides that her older sister love, except she really dislikes the "Tower of Terror" and she didn't care for "California Screamin." Infact, she was in tears when we climbed on, and the attendant made her get off. Here is the picture of her after she got finally decided to ride the coaster. Although, she didn't ride it again!

We were chosen by a Dream Team member and we got to ride in the wheel house of Tom Sawyer! We were hoping for the unlimited Fast Pass prize, but this was one of the highlights of the trip! It was fun to hear some of the secrets behind Disney, and the girls and I got to toot the whistle, and horn. The ship is guided by someone other than the people in the wheel house, but it was fun spinning the big wheel anyways.

This is the girls with Cruela D. She was so hillarious! She gets to be cranky on the job for real!

Here are the girls and I standing with our Toy Story 3-D glasses. The line was long for the ride, but the wait was so worth it! It was one of the best rides! For the ride, you get to ride through the toys, and shoot at them like a shooting range, everything is 3-D. So much fun!

Finding Nemo! Another fantastic ride with a very long line. But the girls were mesmorized by the underwater computer graphics and figures. It is so weird, that they can take a ride that was 20,000 leagues under the sea and turn it into something so neat!

Here is Calla, Maddie, and Mike on Grizzly rapids. We all got soaked, but it was so hot that day, that a little water just made the day more bearable!

Calla loves rollarcoasters! She rode them all day long. When we went to Knotts Berry Farm on Friday, there were no lines, and she jumped on and off all of the coasters one right after another. After doing 12 loopy loopy loops in row, she finally decided to call it quits for a while. Tiff and I like coasters, but I can only do a couple in a row, then I start feeling queezy. I guess I am getting old! Mike rides the coasters with Calla, but the day at Knotts he had the flu!

My Mr. Incredible with Mr. Incredible. They almost look the same size!:D

Maddie loves Minnie! We ran over to Toon Town to meet Mickey and Minnie, since that is about the best place to find them in the park! We waited quite a while for Mickey to show up at his house, but it was so cute inside and Maddie and a fun time playing in his house. The other girls felt that Toon Town was a little to babyish for them, so they along with Mike, ran to ride Splash Mountain, and get fast passes for other rides.

Now that vacation is over, and we are all back to school, and my new master's class has started! I just wish that the Magic could last a little longer!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tagged Again...

My friend from St. George has saved all of her tags up, and tagged me on this one.

7 weird things about me...(Do I only have to think of 7?)

1. I am a Utah State Aggie, but not a true Aggie. To be a true Aggie, you had to be kissed on the A on a full moon. (I think that was how it went)
2. I was 25 when I got my first cavatity.
3. I am constantly making sure there isn't anything in my teeth! (I am really OCD, see #4 and #6). Until last year, my teeth were discolored due to flouride in our water when I was young. Being a teacher, my students, and some parents used to say things, about the color of my teeth. I was teased as a child too. So, I have been very self conscious about my teeth. Last year, I paid to get veneers on my teeth. The veneers straightened them, made them a nicer shape, and made them all white! Now, I have pretty teeth, and I just worry occassionally if there is a pepper flake in them.
4. I am extremely organized!! Everything in my house must have a place! I have to have things tidy, and beds made, before we leave for school in the morning, nothing bums me out more after school than seeing cereal bowls still in the sink or better yet, cereal stuck to the sink for hours!
5. I collect witches! I got my first witch from my mother-in-law the first year I was married to Mike. We give each other witches, as gifts, she now has quite a collection too.
6. I have an earwax fettish! I cannot stand earwax glopping out of my kids ears. I am always checking to see if they have gobs of earwax that needs a good Q-Tip! I have been tempted at school to pick at a child's ear, but don't think that is appropriate:)
7. At 40, I still think Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth! I love that place!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Two names you go by:
1. mom
2. teacher
Two things you are wearing right now:
1. Khaki shorts(how nice it's Oct. 2nd)
2. cream shade shirt
Two of your favorite things
1. my husband
2. my girls
Two things you want very badly at the moment
1. my microwave fixed
2. no mortgage payment☺
Two favorite pets you have/had
1. Sam (our 14 year-old lab)
2. Dumb and Dumber (our black lab rescue, and Sage our other yellow lab)
Two things you did last night:
1. Went to my master's class
2. Went out to dinner/drinks with the girls from my masters class
Two things you ate today:
1. a granola bar
2. cheerios
Last two people you talked to
1. Mike (on the phone, he's in Denver)
2 Tiffany (she got home from babysitting all day)
Two things you plan on doing today
1. Watch the Palin/Biden standoff
2. Take Calla to the Dentist, library
Two longest trips taken in the last five years:
1. Alaska
2. A trip to Lake Powell for a week
Two favorite holidays:
1. Halloween
2. Christmas
Two favorite beverages:
1. Diet Coke with lime
2. Dannon flavored Berry Water


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I can...

On Monday, Tiffany and I got up at 5:30 a.m. to can our Utah pears. With it being still 105 in Arizona, we had to start early so the kitchen would not be 105:) We finished by 9:30 and had 18 quarts canned. I felt pretty accomplished and I have 18 little trophies:) The girls loved it when we canned pears last time, and made a couple of the quarts green. So...we have 1 green jar for St. Patties day. (If they last long)

Don't you love the nice space above my stove?? The mircrowave broke, and the scary Sears man came today and ordered the part. Needless to say, we won't have a microwave until Oct. 13th!!!! URGH!!! Thank-goodness we will be in California next week at Disneyland & I won't need to use it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

If you don't have anything nice to say....

I think Sarah Palin ROCKS!! I am so tired of the press trying to find something to dig up about her so she looks like a drip. I wish the press would remember that golden rule-If you don't have anything nice to say... I think Palin is the most straightforward, got her act together candidate that we have had in a LONG TIME!! The only reason they try to dig up crap on her, is because they can't find any fault with her, and the press knows that she is salt. Even Bill Clinton has been noted for saying good things about her. I watched a short clip on Fox News with Elizabeth from the View, and she had the best things to say about Palin. I wish I could remember all of the things she said, because she said exactly how I feel about Palin.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

slacker? I think not....

Slacker... Yes, but I have been busy! A couple of weeks ago Mike took me to Pei Wei. My fortune said "Don't give up; the beginning is always the hardest." Well I am finishing up my first grad class. It was a 6 week class, and I really loved it! NOW...I am stressed. I have power point presentation next week, a pamplet due, and a 5 page APA style report to write. Do you know how loooonnng it has been since I have written a report, let alone an APA style. WHAT THE BEEP is APA? So I am trying to get ahead of schedule and work on my report. Sunday after church I spread myself out all over Mike's office and began to write that report! I am almost done with it, I hope I have cited my references right.

Other good news to share:) Calla ended up making the cheer team after all. Her principal called us last week and they were going over the score sheets so they could add some new girls to the team. Calla should have actually made the team to begin with they just misplaced her score sheet and it was set in the reject pile! She is very excited about the team. She just wished she would had her name on the original "YOU ARE A WINNER" list. Anyway, better late than never I guess.

Monday, September 1, 2008

We waited and waited...

Well, we've waited all season...and Labor Day is here! Most places it is the last bang for summer!Thank-heavens the weather in Arizona is beautiful until October and we can go to the lake until then. Mike gutted our ski boat in May and redid all of the carpet, vinyl, and redesigned the inside of the boat. Our older boat is now a new boat! Well, we finally got our boat back this week, and couldn't wait to take out to the lake. We drove to Lake Roosevelt on Saturday and had a fun time tubing and boating. Calla, Tiffany and Maddie love being pulled behind the boat on the "stratosphere." The wind kicked up making some humongous waves and the girls went flying. Unfortunately, Calla landed wrong in the water and bruised her arm (we thought she might have broken her wrist) so we left the lake, and hurried home. Thank-goodness her arm was fine! Can't wait until next week. Hope you all had a fun weekend too!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Some Gals have all the luck...

Well, we won some this weekend and we lost some:(
1.Calla tried out for cheer and was a fantastic candidate! She landed her back-handspring, and did a front walk over, unfortunately, she wasn't chosen to be on the cheer team. It was very sad. I can't describe how I felt as she stood at the door, where they posted the winning girls' numbers. We watched as Calla searched for her name, and then walked back to the car. She said "I can't find my number, I must of not made it." So I jumped out of the car, as some girls, who made the squad watched us, along with the coaches. I ran over and double checked the list. Sure enough, her friend made it, but she didn't. I could feel her disappointment. She cried herself to sleep, and I did too.
2.Saturday, Calla, Tiff, and I went to the new Sport Chalet, and did a free underwater scuba class. Calla and Tiff were naturals, and on the bottom of the pool within minutes. Me, I am a little claustrophobic, and it took me 45 minutes to finally stay on the stairs sitting down in 5ft of water with my head underwater. Finally, the last 10 minutes or so, I walked on the bottom of the 12 foot pool, I still was a little nervous, but I ended up liking my experience. I truly thought for a few minutes I might suck the whole tank down, and cry at the same time. Mike and I want to go to Belize next spring, and we want to scuba if we go. I am going to have to get used to the underwater thing!
3.While at Sport Chalet, I won a youth size BMX bike. It's red, and great for a boy! Which I don't have. So I think I might put it on Craig's list. Even if I make $30.00, I am ahead!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

How safe is school?

Well, we are in the second week of school. On Wednesday, a boy brought a 9mm handgun to Calla's Middle School and was showing his friend how to load and unload it. The young man, brought the gun to school to take care of a boy who was "picking on him." A teacher on duty, saw the young man with the gun, and called the principal, and authorities. THANK HEAVENS that a teacher was aware of what was going on in his/her classroom. I can't imagine the horrible things that could have happened. The boy was arrested and taken into custody. His parents are here in our country illegally, along with his brother. They are going to be deported back to Mexico. Which is causing major debate in our area! Send him back, I say. I just finished reading the book "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult and it's a story about a school shooting. Since Columbine, most schools now require teachers, and students to wear I.D. badges. While reading the book, I often wondered if the I.D. badges were for safety, or to identify the dead after a school shooting. Great read, if you want a good book! if you want to see the full story from the news and watch a video clip, click on

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

School Dayz, School Dayz...

Well, we started school on Monday, July 28th. I can't believe summer is over. Tiffany is now a sophomore in high school. She is practicing driving with her dad, because she gets her permit in October. Be glad you all live far away...Sorry to my neighborhood friends...Stay off the curb!! Tiffany loves her classes, except Spanish, and we are doing a schedule change today. Her Spanish teacher teaches in Spanish and T doesn't understand a thing he says. One year of Spanish, last year, didn't give her enough understanding to comprehend all of the lessons taught in Spanish. Maddie is in 3rd grade and loves her teacher, Mrs. Horst. She is making new friends. Her classroom is right around the corner from mine. Calla loves 7th grade. She is trying out for cheer. Every night she is practicing her splits, kicks, and flips. I will be glad when tryouts are over! Calla's favorite class is science. She says "Mrs. Berry is the bomb!" They have already been in the science lab twice this week, and it's only Wednesday! I teach 1st grade again this year. My class seems to be a good one! I have several children that can already read!! YEAH! That will give me more time to help focus those who can't.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oh! What do you do in the summertime....

When it's 107 outside? Do you play outside because it is hot? Do you play with your friends and ride a bike? NOT. Do you swim in a pool to keep yourself cool? Is that what you do? So do I.
Although the pool is more like a warm bath in July...The girls, Maddie's friend, and my nephews; enjoyed the last week before school starts by jumping off of the trampoline and into the deep end. The pool has been the best investment ever!!! Although it will take years to pay off, my kids get up in the morning and swim all day. It's the best babysitter! All of the neighbor kids come here to play and swim. We often spend our family home evenings playing Marco Polo.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Stays in Vegas...

Mike had to go to Vegas for business a couple of weeks ago. He invited me to go and arranged for his mom to come and watch the girls at our house. (Even though she lives 25 minutes from here) I was excited to get out of town! and maybe enjoy a little bit cooler temperatures. He told me to pack something nice to wear for one night. I was all excited thinking that maybe he bought tickets to Cher or Bette Midler, who I would love to see in concert. I wasn't even thinking Phantom for some dumb reason. Anyway, he bought us 8th row tickets in the center. It was so fantastic!! When the chandelier fell, it landed on the lady's head 2 rows behind us. We felt the heat from the fireworks and smoke. I really enjoyed the show. Shopping at Ceasers Palace was fun too.