Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Boarding and the Beach



















On Monday, December 18, 2006, Phil and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary. We had wanted to go snowboarding for the weekend but June Mountain where we have passes doesn't have enough snow so it's not open. We hemmed and hawed and at about 1:30 AM on the day of our Anniversary we decided we would go snowboarding in the morning...after we woke up. So, after about 4 hours of sleep we dragged ourselves out of bed and drove to Mountain High. We had a nice time on the mountain although we weren't used to the lift lines because June doesn't usually have lines. We left the mountain after about 4 1/2 hours of boarding and drove home, took a nap and then jumped back in the car and drove out to the beach! We've always wanted to go snowboarding and to the beach in one day. Now we can say we've done it. We enjoyed a nice dinner in a "Chicago Ribs" restaurant and then we ran out onto the beach in the pitch black and took some pictures. We were going to watch a movie as well but decided we were too tired and we headed home. All in all, we had a GREAT day!!









Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas Tree (the real one) & Decorating

Well, today Phil and I actually went hunting for OUR Christmas tree. We went to the tree lot that is owned by one of my student's parents. (No, I didn't get a discount...although I wish we had!) We walked in, looked around briefly and then met a worker who was going to show us some new trees that had just come in. I saw one in a stand while he was talking to us and I said, "How about this one Phil?" He looked and we took it. Pretty easy trip. We toted the tree home and set it up. I think it looks beautiful and I LOVE having the house decorated for Christmas. It's such a nice time of year! One of my favorite things I did today was decorate my railing. It turned out beautiful. After I took these pictures, I set up my Nativity that I received from Katie Coffin and her mom for my bridal shower. I LOVE it and set it up on my new buffet. It looks so perfect there. Anyways, enjoy the pics.

Phil came home the other day and found Puma sleeping in our wreath. We had to take it off of the door temporarily because it had been painted. Here's a cute picture of Puma sitting in it. I couldn't get one of her sleeping in it.

















My beautiful stair railing















Our pretty tree




































A Christmas hanging made with love by
Great Grandma Della. She gave it to me last Christmas.

Christmas Tree Hunting with the Kuhners

Well, it's been awhile since I posted. I had a MARVELOUS time with the Kuhner's up North! Phil was able to come up as well which made it that much more special. I LOVED seeing my beautiful niece for the first time and I got lots of quality cuddle time with her while I was there! Definitely makes me want a little one...especially since I wasn't the one getting up in the middle of the night to feed her. Unfortunately, I took more pics on Sarah & Mom's camera than my own and didn't end up getting their pics before I left. I do have some cute ones I took when we went Christmas tree hunting with the Kuhner's and they're Sunday School class. Phil and I had a fun time hunting for trees of our own (even though we weren't planning on flying them back on the plane with us). Here's what we came up with!

First, Phil wanted a nice big "manly" tree.



















I liked this one because it had lots of cute pine-cones.
(Um..the picture wouldn't load!) Grrrr.

Next, Phil picked out a tree small enough to take with us.
(Again wouldn't load)

I then thought this tree looked like a good spot to sit...unfortunately, it wasn't very comfortable so we left it behind.





















My sister, Sarah, thought this tree would be very easy to water and it would have ample space to stack presents under. Unfortunately, Chris didn't give his vote in favor of the tree.

(As you can see, we had a lot of fun!)










I got a cute picture of Sarah & Bekah sitting on an old wagon. Aren't they cute!?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Conferences

Well, it is that time again...report cards are done but I'm in the midst of conferences. I have finished 11 and have 19 to go (13 tomorrow!) So far, conferences have been fairly good. Almost all positive responses (or acceptance) from parents with just occasional questioning of grades. I sat on the right side of the table yesterday and switched sides today and that really helped not stress my back out too much! Learned that lesson from last year! So, if I can make it through tomorrow, I'll be nearly there!


On a brighter note, my friend Kim went to Home Goods with me to help me find kitchen decor last week. We had a nice time looking at stuff and Kim helped me pick out some things that I really like but may not have been brave enough to buy on my own. Although I like color in things, I tend to buy things that are neutral/white/silver/black for some reason. I now LOVE walking into my kitchen (except for looking at all the dirty dishes!) because I have cute decorations around it that also add some color. I tried "grouping" things as best as I could. I'll be adding a few things too like greenery that will make it even better. However, for now, I am proud of what I came up with...with Kim's help!

One end of my itty-bitty kitchen




On top of the fridge...I love the platter! I bought that last summer.




This is my favorite part of my kitchen. I love the white jars with the green ducky. It reminds me of "Make Way for Ducklings" which I loved as a child.


While I was at Home Goods I saw a piece of furniture that I absolutely LOVED. I've always wanted a buffet ever since we had one in PA. I think it's a great place to add some decor to the dining room and a great area to use for entertaining. I tend to like the style better than a hutch and I found the perfect buffet the other day. So, I showed it to my parents who liked it as well and then I dragged Phil down to HGoods and showed him. I asked for it for a Christmas present. :) Although we don't have a lot of room in our current place, there is a spot that it will fit snugly in our dining room. However, after seeing it, Phil told me all of the reasons why we shouldn't get it. One more thing to move, one more thing to get damaged in the move, more money to save for the move etc. I was sad and gave up on the idea of getting the buffet because I saw his reasoning. However, the next day when I came home from work, I walked into my living room and there was Phil, a friend and MY BUFFET! I LOVE IT! It has some nice storage space and actually fits in our present apartment! Although it doesn't match our current table, that will come someday. So, here's a picture of my newest piece of furniture. Hopefully I didn't bore too many people with this blog because it's not really that exciting to anyone but me. Hope you like the pictures though.













My new buffet. Isn't it pretty?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Museums and Visiting



Well, this weekend, my parents drove back from Phoenix and stayed with us for two nights. Phil was fighting a fever (which I am praying none of the rest of us get) so he stayed home most of the weekend. On Saturday, Mom, Dad and myself drove to LA to visit the Gene Autry Museum. They had an exhibit of Yosemite that was beautiful and a great deal of Native American and History of the West. We saw many beautiful artifacts and had a little fun at the same time. Mom got to star in her very first, very short film while riding on the back of a horseless sadle. As you can see, she was very in character. (You'll have to wait to see...I couldn't get those two pictures to load). I got to ride in my very first stagecoach...that didn't move and Mom and I ended up in jail near the end. We were able to pay off the bailif and exited freely with Dad.

That evening, since Phil was feeling better, we went out to a Japanese restaurant called Yamato's. If you haven't been to one, try it. We had a lot of fun watching the chef prepare our food in front of us and watching him make a flaming volcano with an onion.

Mom and Dad are now gone. I am fighting off Phil's sickness and trying to finish up my report cards. I only have FIVE more comments to write! I can do it!

This will be a pretty intense week at school as I have conferences Tuesday through Friday with 13 on Thursday alone! Hopefully, everyone is receptive to what I have to say. I can't wait for the week after next where I have an ENTIRE WEEK OFF!! YIPEE! Phil and I are going to visit the Kuhner's and I will get to see Baby Rebekah for the first time! I can hardly wait to spend some time with my sister, niece and the rest of the family. It's less than two weeks away!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Camps' Playdate

One of the families in our Sunday School class, the Clark's have 3 children: Jordan, Matthew and Morgan. A few weeks ago, Morgan asked her mom, "Mom, when do I get to have a playdate with Megan." Her mom thought about it for a minute and then began asking Morgan which Megan she was talking about. She replied with a few Megans that she knew near Morgan's age. Morgan then said, "No Mom, Miss Megan. She wanted to have a playdate with ME. :) Anyways, her mom mentioned to me when we were down in Mexico a few weeks ago what Morgan had said and I told her I'd have her over for a playdate and we could make cookies. Well, today at church we were talking about it again and Phil said all the kids could come over to hang out after church. So, today Phil and I have our very first "playdate." Or, at least our first in a long time. I don't know how many grown-ups get asked to have playdates but I feel very special. So, if your kids want to have a playdate with us too, maybe all you need to do is ask. We might be up for it. :) We had fun and fed the kids lunch afterwhich, the boys all played videogames and Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) and Morgan and I baked Thanksgiving themed sugar cookies and frosted them. We all had a great time.











Phil and the boys playing DDR
















Morgan and I showing off our beautiful cookies.

















Morgan with her dark brown frosting she created
(you can't see the frosting that's on her face too).


Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Nice Relaxing Weekend

We have been really busy the past few weekends between me flying to Santa Rosa for Sarah's baby shower, our Knottscary Farm adventure, a missions trip to Mexico (sorry I didn't blog about it...I didn't take any pictures!) and three activities last weekend. Phil arrived home after a week of work training this past Monday through Friday in Cleveland.

Soooo...this weekend we have relaxed. Yesterday, we tried out The Grove in downtown L.A. We enjoyed it and ate at The Cheesecake Factory for dessert. This morning we woke up and were running a bit late for church until we drove in the parking lot and there was no one there. Yes, we forgot the time change so we actually got to eat breakfast and get to church early! Best of both worlds...we just missed out on our extra hour of sleep. We'll catch up on that tonight.

This evening, we enjoyed a nice dinner over at our new friends,' the Luna's, and afterwords, headed out to the tennis courts for an enjoyable game of pairs tennis. Phil and I won the match 6-2 but the Luna's put up a good fight.

Sorry's this isn't a very exciting post...not too much really happening here. Oh, for a picture, I'll post a Solar System bulletin board I completed this week. The kids painted all of the planets. Not too bad for 5th graders huh? I'm proud of them. :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

More about Bekah

I just can't get enough pictures of my niece! Look at her beautiful little face and I love the first family picture down below. :) Enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2006

New Baby


Congratulations to the Kuhner family!!! My sister had her first baby on Sunday morning and I am now a VERY PROUD AUNTIE MEG! Rebekah Jeanette Kuhner was born at 11:42 Am on 10/15/06. She weighed in at 6lb. 6oz. and was 19 inches long. My mother tells us that is exactly Sarah's height and weight when she was born. Like mother, like daughter! Here are some pictures I stole from the Kuhner webpage...thanks Chris...since I haven't been blessed with the chance to see her yet myself. I'll unfortunately have to wait until Thanksgiving time before I can hold, kiss and cuddle her. For more pictures check out Chris and Sarah in my bloglist.

I love Bekah! Isn't she the cutest!?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Knott's Scary Farm ALL Night Adventure

First of all, an apology to those of you who read my blog as well as the Sunday School blog...I used the same post on both pages. Read on for details about our exciting adventure last night.

The Knott's Scary Farm trip is over. We had a great time even though it took us a little longer than we expected. We ended up with 3 couples going. Altogether, we had Bob, Denise, Keith, Jennifer, Phil and Megan on this adventure. We left the Kohl's parking lot around 4:30 PM. We had a nice drive with a little bit of traffic and ate at El Torito for dinner. We made it to the park close to 8:30. After waiting in the ticket line for quite awhile, we finally made it into the park around 9:30 pm. It was quite packed but once we started going through the mazes we had a lot of fun.






We were a little worn out by the time the park closed but we all hung in there until the end. As we were leaving, one of us made the comment that "At least it will be an easy drive on the freeway on the way home."
Ha!! That comment definitely was humorous and I remembered it a few hours later. Yes, I said hours! We got on the freeway and everything was great for the first 15 minutes or so. All of a sudden, traffic slowed down, not to a snail's pace but to a STOP! We sat on I-5 without moving 1 inch for an hour and a half!! Traffic stopped about 3:00 Am and didn't start again until 4:30 am! There was some kind of accident about a mile ahead of us. We were too close to be able to exit at an off-ramp so we just sat, talked, slept, walked around and waited. Below you can see the view we had for an hour and a half this morning, in front of us and behind. We never did see any accident because by the time they allowed us to move, the entire accident had been cleared and there was no evidence left behind other than brake marks and a little glass.
Anyways, we made it home a little after 5:00 AM. When we got home, our newspaper was already on our doorstep. Needless to say, we're a little tired today. :) However, both friends and memories were made. I'm sure we'll all look back on this event with smiles on our faces. Next time, maybe the rest of you would like to go with us. ;)





A picture of Keith sleeping during our little traffic stop. (Hope you don't mind Keith)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Midas Touch

Well folks. Although I hinted at giving you the story of Phil's and my first date, I think I'm going to hold off for the time being. We went on our first date ever to "Fall Thing" at TMC. "Fall Thing" is the casual, inexpensive themed party that is thrown for Master's kids every year in...the Fall. Hence, Fall Thing.

Our second Fall Thing was a Hollywood theme. Phil and I always wanted to have a creative costume if we were going to go to a themed party. We thought and thought about what we could do for a Hollywood theme that wouldn't cost us a lot but that would be interesting. We decided to dress as the Oscars. Yes, that's right folks. Our plan was to paint ourselves and our clothing solid gold. We used 8 cans of spray paint to paint all of our clothing. When we tried the gold face paint it looked green next to our gold clothes so we wiped it off and used our gold hairspray to paint our faces, hair, hands and necks. (You have to hold your breathe while the other person sprays...there's a technique to it). Anyways, we ended up at the Fall Thing leaving a little gold trail behind on everything we touched. We had a great time and ended up winning something like "Most Creative Costume." We won a gift certificate to a restaurant as a result of our efforts. Altogether, it was an evening well-spent. So, if you're ever feeling creative and have a Hollywood party to go to, you know what you can go as.
I still have the gold shoes which I wear to school on our Red/Gold spirit days. :)

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Trip Down Memory Lane

This past weekend I started rummaging through old photos and came across one I wanted to scan in of one of Phil's and my "dates" from our poor college days. While I scanned that photo I decided to look for other photos from our dating days. Unfortunately, I had trouble locating the box so I ended up cleaning out my entire upstairs closet. I finally located the misplaced box in the last tub of other items in which my photos should not have been. I then took a trip down memory lane as I went through section after section of photos. I have found a number of events I would like to share on my blog, both for the happy memories they bring back to me and for your viewing pleasure. So, over the next few days, I hope you'll enjoy some of the good ol' early days of when Phil and I began dating...and when we were a little on the lighter side. ;) Enjoy!

This first photo is the original photo I found.
Phil and I were both dirt poor in college and had to be VERY creative with our dates. Since we enjoyed watching movies together but didn't have access to TV's in the dorms and paying for a movie was out of the question, we discovered the creative option of selecting a movie from the school library and watching it together, with headphones at the back of the library. No popcorn, no comfy seats, just great company and a movie.

Another pastime that Phil and I participated in a few times in college was the awesome activity of cardboard sledding. You can see the shear joy on our faces as we went tearing down the "mountain" on our highly advanced cardboard sleds. If you've never been, it's definitely a must-do activity at some point in your life. However, be prepared for a few bumps and bruises along the way. Especially if there are some hidden rocks under the grass. (You tend to find every one as you go down). If you're interested in participating, grocery stores are great places to pick up a few free boxes.



Keep tuned for the story and photos of our first date. :)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sick Days

Am I ever glad it's Friday. I've been fighting something since Monday. Called in sick on Wednesday (which I never do!) and went Thursday and Friday even though I still felt terrible. Being sick is sure not fun, especially when you still have to maintain control over 30 students and teach lessons that make sense.

So, if you're wondering when my next blog post is coming...when I get better, I'll post again.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Strongest Dad in the World

I received this in an email today and thought it powerful enough to share on my blog. I hope you'll take a few minutes to stop and read the story and watch the video. It made me cry.

[From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]

I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots. But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs. ``He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. ``There's nothing going on in his brain.''

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want to do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore for two weeks.''

That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathalon?''

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathalon? Still, Dick tried.

Now they've done 212 throttling, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time'? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.'' And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was

95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' one doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.''

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston , and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland , Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some back-breaking race every >weekend, including this Father's Day.
That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad would sit in the chair and I would push him once.''

Here's the video....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryCTIigaloQ

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Fun Birthday



On Saturday I celebrated my 25th birthday. For some of you that might be super young and for some super old. I'm definitely feeling like I'm becoming more "adult" rather than "young adult." Really not ready to get older yet. Sigh...some things can't be helped huh?

On Saturday, Phil and I slept in nice and late. We didn't have plans so I looked for something to do online. I ended up deciding it would be fun to go shopping at the Camarillo Outlet Mall. We had never been there before and we ended up having a great day. I needed some new clothes for work so it turned out quite well for me. I left with a number of new tops and a skirt. Phil also bought me an attachment and two lids for my KitchenAide Mixer. :) Yeah!

I got/made a few phone calls after we shopped and then we drove around looking for a good place for dinner. We found this great little place called Bandit's BBQ. It was SOOOO good! I seriously haven't had meat that good for a LONG time! I ordered the tri-tip. MMmmm! We were a little full for dessert so we decided to save it for Sunday evening.

On Sunday evening, Phil and I went out to dinner then went to the one place I am definitely addicted to--Golden Spoon! (If anyone wants to go with me sometime, just give me a holler!) We joined up with our friends Kim & Cam and Jeff & Angie. It was a great time hanging out, eating frozen yougurt and talking. After the ice-cream, Phil and I went to watch Pirates in the theatre at 10:15 PM!!! Yes, I know we're crazy!! We didn't get home until 1:00 AM but we both survived work today. ;) No harm done. All in all, I had a great birthday weekend. Thanks to all my friends and family out there who gave me a "Happy Birthday" greeting.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Pedicure & Back to School


Well, yesterday was Back to School Night. Although I wasn't that nervous about meeting the parents, I guess the stress leading up to it really got to me. Last May my name was drawn at school to receive a pedicure at Glen Ivy Spa. I, being one who doesn't like to spend a lot of money on myself, have never before had the pleasure of a pedicure. I chose to use it yesterday, before Back to School Night, to help me relax and feel a little less stressed. It was WONDERFUL. Not only do my toes look better than they have in my entire life, I enjoyed 50 minutes having my feet & toes buffed, soaked, scrubbed, clipped, painted, trimmed and massaged. Wow. Definitely a treat. Although I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it, I don't know when or if I'll next be persuaded to actually pay for a pedicure.

With that said, Back to School Night went well. I believe I said most of what I needed to say and hopefully got my points across. I was definitely nervous and spoke WAY too quickly. There were a few times I actually had to stop to literally catch my breath. Whew. I didn't feel nervous but I think maybe it was the pressure of having 30-40 adults (most of whom Ive never met) staring at me in such close proximity that made me sound so nervous. Anyways, I'm glad it's over. Now, I just have to prepare for my PPP a week from Monday!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Funny Photos

I'm still waiting for my photos to work on the blog. This was a blog I forgot I wrote so I'm posting it now.

If you can't tell, I've been looking back through my digital photos that are stored on my computer. I'm finding some shots I didn't even know I had!

Phil and I are always up for a funny photo or two. Here are a few from the Thanksgiving before we got married.

I don't know, should Phil try to get a job as a mall Santa this year?














Don't we make a cute walrus couple?



Saturday, September 02, 2006

Coming soon...

I promised on another blog that I'd post some bad hair pictures. The blog is written but the pictures won't load so I won't post it until the pictures work too. Later.

What to do on a Friday Night

Phil and I are always looking for new ideas of things to do on a Friday Night. We don't usually want to spend money (or a lot of it) so quite often we get a movie and stay home. We sometimes go on walks, go to Santa Monica, or go get Golden Spoon (my very favorite ice cream!) What type of suggestions do you have of activities that are inexpensive and fun. :)

I LOVE sleeping in on Saturday mornings...awe the joy of getting as much rest as I want. (Except that the dumpster across from our window gets emptied EVERY SATURDAY morning. Ggggrrrrrrr!) This morning Phil and I enjoyed sleeping in as late as we wanted; which turned out to be pretty late. I then finished reading a book and spent 4 hours online with tech support trying to get our wireless working correctly and spyware cleared for our computer. Four hours and $99 later everything is working great.

I wanted to also post pictures of our redecorated living room. We finished it back in June but I never got pictures before I went up North. So, here they are. We are loving our new couch and that we actually have furniture that isn't from the dumpster. (We don't really know where our last couch was from. Phil got it for free at college.) Check out our adorable kitty, Puma sitting happily in the living room.