Sunday, November 30, 2014

Who doesn't love a bagel?

TR had a conference in Denver so he drove there. I kept teaching and then caught a flight over there on a Friday evening.

On Saturday morning, we checked out of our hotel and headed to downtown Denver for the conference. I would have been fine walking around town on my own, however, I attended the big group meeting and just blended right in sitting with TR, a ranger friend of ours...BJ, some other guy from some other park, and the chief of interp from Zion. When people asked me which park I work for I simply responded, "I'm currently not employed with the NPS but I was an interp for nine seasons at Timpanogos Cave." K and BJ went to some other sessions after the big group meeting, but I found this guy. His name is Wil Reding (Kalamazoo) and he took us on a walk around town demonstrating various interpretive techniques. He has taken on the persona of John Muir.

Everyone else in our walking group (25 people or so) had their conference name tags dangling from their necks, but no one questioned my presence. In fact, Wil mentioned that sometimes he'll be doing these walks/talks and complete strangers will just join the group!

I learned a lot. We came upon three bananas thrown on the sidewalk in front of the 7-11 store and he used those to demonstrate "handles." If you're an interp, you'll know what I mean. The guy totally had me in tears not once, but twice! I couldn't believe the emotional connection I made while he talked about his grandfather's tractor! He wasn't perfect at his craft, but he was pretty good!

The squirrel was making bank on that bagel!

After the morning sessions, TR and BJ and I went to Noodles and Company for lunch before hugging goodbye. And off we went to explore the Denver area a bit more and to head for Limon, Colorado.

On Sunday, we attended church in Limon. The Limon Branch is struggling just a bit. They all thought we were Brother and Sister Fife, the guest speakers from Colorado Springs. They meet in an old building that they lease from another faith. It was a great little meeting and we were glad to join with them. After Sunday School they announced that church was over with for the day because the toilet was acting up again and they had "no restroom facilities."

We headed for Wichita.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

For a Rollicking Good Time...

One of the great joys of my life has been discussing Roald Dahl's The BFG with three of my students. It happened on Tuesday.

We started with setting, plot summary, problem/conflict, etc., but soon...soon the most delightful thing happened! We just talked about the book. Naturally. With enthusiasm. And who cares about try/fail and climax and conflict resolution? I don't. Sometimes. Especially not when I've got three fifth graders making me feel honored to be part of their book club.

With absolutely NO urging from me, they were referencing the text and insisting we all turn to page such-and-such. They were trying to be patient while someone else talked so that they could have a chance to share their two bits. One of the best parts was when they brought up the cool vocabulary.

Whizzpoppers! Now THIS is a word. With little grins and slight chuckles, nodding their heads knowingly, they all confessed that one of the most hilarious parts of the book is when the giants are discussing whizzpoppers which are...farts.

"Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music to our ears!"

"Everyone is whizzpopping. Kings and Queens are whizzpopping. Presidents are whizzpopping. Glamorous film stars are whizzpopping. Little babies are whizzpopping."

There's more. For a few moments, the Big Friendly Giant stood quite still, and a look of absolute ecstasy began to spread over his long wrinkly face. Then suddenly the heavens opened and he let fly with a series of the loudest and rudest noises Sophie had ever heard in her life. They reverberated around the walls of the cave like thunder and the glass jars rattled on their shelves. But most astonishing of all, the force of the explosions (this is where I began to chuckle aloud myself) actually lifted the enormous giant clear off his feet, like a rocket.

Sophie burst out laughing. She couldn't help it.

Mrs. Kyburz couldn't help it either.


We have been blessed to say we've been married for TEN YEARS!!!

The minute we got engaged I began to worry one of us would die before the actual marriage. I've calmed down a little since then. A little.

My beau surprised me with flowers. From Costco. I sent him there on an errand Monday evening. When he presented them he said, "I looked into having some delivered to your school, but..." I cut him off by interjecting, "That's much too expensive!" And then he finished, " was just so expensive." Good call, Honey! Flowers are nice occasionally, but not a requirement for this girl. The real heart-melting comment was when he offered, "I tried to match our wedding colors...did I come close? I remember one of them was sage..." What a DOLL! Who thinks like that?

I gave him a picture book authored by three kindergarten boys and published by Scholastic. It's called How to Get a Girlfriend. It didn't need much more from me but I did write a few extra comments and inserted them via yellow sticky notes. It was perfect.

We plan to continue our anniversary celebration tomorrow. And the day after that. And all the days after that...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Sad Part of Posting Pictures

I posted a recent professional photo of ourselves on Facebook this morning and the comments have been interesting. The ones that bother me consist of things like: "Wow! You look happy. You look so pretty."

The translation in my mind goes like this, Wow means..."How did you become so plastic and unreal looking in this photo?" You look happy means..."Why don't you ever look happy except in this photo?" You look so pretty means..."Why don't you do your hair like this EVERY day?"

The photo was taken on Monday 20 October 2014. I woke up at 4:30 a.m., exercised, showered, did my own makeup, attended professional development all day, ran to the salon (since we only get professional photos once every five years), paid her $25 to style my hair (it takes the professional a full 45 minutes to do my hair this way--no hair cut...just styling--and that includes her use of 47+ magic elixers...which all makes it impossible for ME to do my own hair this way, otherwise, I would), and then headed up the canyon to meet my husband and the photographer.

It was a hot day. I was trying not to sweat too much. I have no idea what the photographer does in his edits, but I don't think he fiddled with our size/weight or anything. We look pretty real to me. I see all of my flaws. He did use artificial light for every shot, however.

I'm so sensitive about these comments. Just how awful do I really look on a daily basis and do people think I'm not happy?

I want the world to know I'm happy. I am so grateful for the rich blessings Heavenly Father has bestowed upon me: the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my temple marriage, my darling husband, our jobs, the children that fill my life, family members, friends, health, and the list goes on!!! I'll try to start acting more like it. Can't promise anything with the hair though...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Not As Many Funny Stories???

For one young gentleman the "Christmas Morph" begins early!

People keep asking me for funny stories. They still happen, but I think I'm too tired to share them. When the owner of the paper above asked why I was photographing it, I simply replied, "So I can blackmail you later."

One funny thing I've been hearing about is how much candy the parents have been eating after the kids have gone to all the trouble of hunting and gathering. And from the sound of it, the parents aren't bothering to be sneaky at all. One student shared that his mom has instituted a ten percent candy tax as payment for driving the fellow around on Halloween. Gas ain't cheap you know.

Another boy said they put the "For Sale" sign up on Halloween so of course, everything inside the house has to look really clean for all the showings. He said his parents made a big deal out of filling these clear glass jars on the kitchen counter with candy and then telling the kids it was totally off limits "because we want the house to look nice so someone will buy it." However, the boy reports that it's actually the parents, not the children, who continually snitch candy out of the jars and it just makes him "so mad!"

Another boy in my class, age eleven, has taken to wearing cologne daily.

I am working on my Vitamin D deficiency. The lowest it should be is 30. In August, mine was 23. I was already taking a daily multivitamin, but as per the doctor's suggestion, I purchased more Vitamin D and added that to my daily regimen. I was also enjoying foods in my diet such as salmon, tuna, and mushrooms, but I upped those for the cause and drank milk more often. I also stopped wearing sunscreen now that I'm inside all day. Throwing caution to the wind each time I've had bus duty or playground duty, I've been soaking up the rays sans hat.

I went back to the doctor after ten weeks of all that consistent effort to find out that my Vitamin D had improved! It's now at 24!!! So, he put me on prescription Vitamin D which is 50,000 units dosed one time per week. So far, I'm trying to feel the improvement, but I'm still pretty tired. In fact, stupidly, I asked, "Does taking Vitamin D make you feel sluggish?" No. His reply was, "NOT having enough Vitamin D makes you feel that way." Oh. But I get through my days.

I'm trying to remember something funny about my husband, but all I can remember is that he rubbed lotion on my feet last night went I returned from Round Table after 9:00 p.m. He still tucks me into bed every night as he has always done. He tried a new minestrone recipe this week and it was delicious. He made brownies last Sunday and when he brought one to me the other evening, he told me that because I'm his Special Girl, he gave me the CENTER brownie (9x9 pan) and he took the harder, crustier, edge cut for himself. That's true love right there!

He's tired too. It might be time for a vacation.

I had no clean underwear in my drawer this morning after my shower. Aloud I said, "I can't believe this is happening." You know, the panic sets in and the bewilderment and the strong will to problem solve. K said, "Well, the whites basket IS overflowing." I was tempted to sass back, I'll admit, however, something made me think of my 72 hour emergency backpack and sure enough, I had clean linens in there! It's the first time my 72 hour kit has really saved me. Hooray!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Jazz Beat Suns!

Our friend, Ann Mitchell, invited us to the Jazz game last night! We rode up with her and her mom and had a great time eating dinner together and enjoying the game.

She got us fabulous seats--center court! The people sitting around us were really great; no one was yelling or rude or cantankerous. The Jazz started out pretty slow and it was looking dismal there at the beginning, but they ended up winning solidly. I/we hadn't been to a game in quite awhile, so it was fun for me to get familiar with the team again. It's also fun to observe the behaviors my husband exhibits at a live sporting event.

At half time, K went to get a soda. He brought me a cold bottle of Dasani and half way through it, I said, "Thanks so much for the water. It's really, REALLY good!" K said, "I'm glad you like it because it cost $4!" :)

Ann is a season ticket holder so she gave us this card with our tickets that we could flash at dinner, etc. to get discounts on all our purchases. We were livin' the good life! It was just a really great evening out. What's more, in Annie's words, we "didn't know when we woke up that we would be going to a Jazz game!"

Thanks for thinking of us, Ann! We LOVED it and we LOVE you!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

Not a fan. Used to be, but teaching school all these many years has rather ruined it for me. Got through the morning parade...dressed as a cat. Back in '88 the members of the Kumamoto Branch wanted us missionaries to do a Halloween party so I made this stuffed black tail and this headband with triangular felt ears on it. Presto! Cat. I wore black yesterday, dug my trusty costume out of the closet in my classroom, pinned my tail on, and added some dark glasses to live it up a little.

The class party planned by amazing parents was just perfect. Showed a YouTube video of Jerry Seinfeld with his Halloween Story (hysterical and only 6 minutes). Stellar teaching right there. Got through the afternoon.

Three former students, all sisters, came to drop off a wedding announcement for the fourth sister! Wish I could have visited with them a little more.

Ran to the library for early voting. No lines there on Halloween afternoon! Stopped at the health department for my annual flu shot. Guess what? No waiting! Headed for the temple which was...eerily quiet. Felt great about my time spent there. Headed home and waited for my darling to get off work. We headed straight for the Olive Garden which was also a "no waiting" scenario. Perfect. Shopped at Target...pretty much had the place to ourselves--we loved it. Happy Pay Day to us--looks like we made it!