Saturday, December 25, 2010

"Smurfette" by Lauren and Emma

After eating fondu, decorating cookies, and opening family gifts, we did what most families do... we made a music video and a stop motion animation video :)

You Think You're Cooler than Me!?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oatmeal Breakfast

I got to sleep in almost an hour today because I had a training at the district office (and they don't do anything before 8:30am). I placed my oatmeal and mixed berries breakfast on the roof of my car whilst I placed my laptop and schoolwork in the front seat. Normally I just throw it across the seat when I get in the car, so it was unusual to have my breakfast on the other side.

As I drove away, nothing happened.

Half way down 10600 South I heard a loud noise. I looked in the rearview mirror and noticed the mush running down the back window and the mug tucked against my spoiler. I pulled over and grabbed the mug. I decided that it was necessary to wash the oatmeal off before it crusts and causes issues later.

I was 20 minutes late to my training... yet it didn't really matter. It still makes me smile. Funny stuff!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

LIFE - really?!

I did miss teaching math. Who knew?!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

SPYHOP - Film School.

Training for school, unpaid, 50+ hours, summer time early morning to evening ... sounds like a horror movie! Luckily, I loved every minute of it.

This past week a few teachers from Matheson were invited to participate in Spyhop training. An arts education grant paid for us to attend these workshops on how to incorporate film making into our curriculum, or to enhance our curriculum rather. Because I already love film making, this was a wonderful experience. We made short films about a box, a Public Service Announcement (PSA), a book trailer (like you'd see for movies), stop motion, and a short documentary.

Now when I see a movie or commercial, I can see all of the makings in motion. I feel like I would like to make a documentary about school and children, but I haven't moved past the desire stage yet (well, it has only been ONE day...).

Our documentary, "I Sleep with a Nightlight", was about Tanya and my dreams/nightmares. Tanya is afraid of Zombies and I am afraid of the dark (and many other things). I didn't see it coming together in such a short amount of time, but we pulled it off and I'm pretty confident ours was coveted by other people :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hawaii - the Oahu one.

Island 1 - Oahu (Sunblock 70SPF everyday!)

Flew to Honolulu on the 4th of July, picked up mini-van, and headed in crazy traffic to our hotel/condos: The Royal Kuhio. Angie, Mark, Levi and Dallin in one room, steph, Lauren and Luke in the cool room J We toured our area a little to find out what was around. McDonalds across the street, IHOP down the road a block, ABC stores, Starbucks, souvenirs, and that is all we could see from our balconies. We were starving so we ate dinner/lunch at IHOP with the “Despicable Me” minions. Food never tasted so good and our moods were much improved.

We tried swimming; I made it to my middle and never went deeper. The kids didn’t seem to notice that it was FREEZING! They played and played until their lips were purple. My room stayed up and watched the amazing fireworks over the buildings and some in the reflection of other buildings. They were spectacular!!

We headed to Kailua Monday morning. We looked for the scenic overlook, but ended up chasing chickens and going the wrong way. Finally we made it! The extended Vostis were there, as well as Auntie Lolie/Dave and his family. We played for hours in the ocean and on the deserted beach. We were practically alone. The water was clear and refreshing. We boogie boarded and buried Dallin. After a few hours we ate sandwiches at Auntie Lolie’s before heading back to the beach with everyone else. I took a nap with a shirt on my head (no need to sunburn on day 1). Dinner was deliciously BBQed ribs and corn. (A lot of fish in salads and ravioli!) It was a packed house and we ended the evening with a ping-pong tournament. I held my own against Tim (who took second place). Ryklyn won, but no one was surprised. There were a lot of laughs and much mocking! I spent most of the time tickling backs, ears, and heads. Lots of chaffing.

July 6 - We ate breakfast – yogurt, cereal, and toast… then headed to Pearl Harbor. Vosti went golfing while we went to tourist stuff. We arrived around 8am and received tickets for 11:30am, so we went to see USS Missouri. We got iPod touch headsets. There was a tour and video to go along with the entire ship. We went up top and down below, it was fascinating! I hadn’t realized that it was used in Desert Storm. It was enormous, but at the same time so claustrophobic (small and cramped spaces).

We finished the tour with Dippin Dots and root beer. The rains sprinkled us, but never enough to cause problems. The sun was ever present and soon shone strong… enough to cook us! I took pictures left and right, and nobody objected, always posing when I asked and smiling big. We bought souvenirs and then waited for our turn to boat out to USS Arizona and the memorial site. There were ginormous ships all around (the Reagan had planes and helicopters – HUGE). There was oil still leaking from the sunken ship (60 years later) and members from that ship can still be buried there, with a gun salute and everything out in the water. They are cremated and put into an airtight capsule and scuba dived down. One crewmember had passed away just a few months ago. We did our reverent observance and then headed back.

We met Mark back at the condo (super happy Mark... who shot an EAGLE!). We wanted to sleep the rest of the day away, so Angela started with 2 choices… “To go, or not to go” and Levi chose “not to go!” Ha ha! The choice was whether or not we hike Diamond Head, a volcano crater with a gorgeous view of the ocean. I could have slept, but thought that I should see what I could see and do what I could do. We hiked a steep mountain side in the blazing sun, sweat dripping and Angie claiming to be dropping the McDonald’s fries from her hips left and right (and I was too)! We climbed the switchbacks then a stairway to heaven and through barracks to the top. The view included the oceans several colors blue, from turquoise to navy, a lighthouse, and a beach town. Angie was terrified of Levi jumping to his death, so didn’t enjoy the beauty as much as we did. As we descended, a rainbow appeared in the bright blue sky.

Hanauma Bay – 7:30am. Because of Angela’s perfect planning, we beat most of the crowds and found good parking, grass for our home base and snorkeling before it became too murky to see the fish. We watched a video on how to take care of the plant life (coral) and to be kind and not walk on it. Several people still did, idiots. I took about an hour to warm up to the idea of snorkeling. I went out with Angie and Lauren. We found several species and enjoyed pointing at them and giving each other a thumbs-up for our discoveries! We swam around with our heads under water for a long time. I felt too close to nature sometimes and tried to keep from hyperventilating, remaining calm for Lauren’s sake. At one point I was a foot above a dark hole that had tentacles coming in and out – an octopus. I froze. Remained calm. Slowly I forced myself to propel away from it. PHEW! I didn’t alarm anyone, but we did get out shortly thereafter.

Luke and I snorkeled a bit later… he was terrified, but did a great job. At one point we were pointed out the glowing clear fish when out of nowhere a fish, on its side, elevated from the ocean floor and swam a few feet, covered in sand, and disappeared back on the floor. Luke and I smiled at our discovery and called it a day. The boys chased pigeons and chickens for hours and Angela fed us with delicious egg salad sandwiches. Lauren, Luke and I played made up games in the waves and the beach, by trying to stay in one place. We ate pizza at Auntie Lolie’s.

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) July 8 (happy birthday grandma Ruth)

Our first stop was the Dole Pineapple plant. We saw their acres of pineapples, some regular with others mixed with different fruits. We didn’t stay long. Just enough to take pictures talk to a couple missionary and learn the distances to cities around the world.

Hawaiian Temple was closed for remodeling and construction. We were still able to visit a little of the grounds and take pictures. The welcoming missionary gave us flowers for our hair (or nose, if you’re Luke). Lauren took some great photos with my camera! It is a beautiful place! Some tour buses pulled up after us. We drove through BYU Hawaii, and I wished, deep down, that I had gone there for a semester back in the day. Lastly, we ended up at our destination – the PCC.

The Church just knows how to make places successful and organized. The grounds are beautiful. The park is split up into different Islands – Fiji, Tahiti Tonga, and Samoa, Hawaii, New Zealand… The sun hung high and hot! We were melting. We visited a few countries – tasting Poi (tastes like bland oatmeal), tattooing our arm, neck, leg, or foreheads, playing games with jumping or sticks (Angie and Mark are competitive), and finally sitting a moment to watch the canal parade of cultural dancing. Each boat represented and island and their dances and costumes. They were amazing. We didn’t finish it because we couldn’t stand the heat anymore. SNO CONES!! They were $4.00 big, and we could barely finish them. HEAVEN. We learned the hula, watched the funniest comedian ever explain how to make fire, open a coconut, get the juice, make the milk, and how to climb a palm tree.

We ate a buffet dinner. Everyone got what they wanted and enjoyed sitting in the air conditioning. We were exhausted. The big show HA was later that evening, so we watched the IMAX movie of the island’s story before heading to the outdoor theatre. The fire dances were eye catching and awesome. I slept through some of the quieter dancing. It was a production!! Loved it!

We slept in and relaxed Friday. Souvenir shopping at the outdoor market/International Market. The crazy trees were fascinating and we commented on them each time we saw one – with roots growing from the branches and into the ground all around it. Straight out of The Hobbit or something. After each kid got their souvenir from grandma and grandpa Doyle, we got ready for the beach, Waikiki Beach. Just to say we did. We had to go through the hotels to get to it. Everyone was towel to towel packed on the beach. The kids played with the rest of the world, while I sat under a towel and took pictures (and a nap). We watched the line of the sun slowly move the shade across the beach until it finally encompassed all of the sand. We packed up and headed home. More chaffing.

Early morning flight to Kauai!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Chelanigans (Part 2)

We had a little get together planned at the Kelly’s home with friends Brisa, Lindsay, the Kellys (Linda, Pat, Brogan, and Anna), and a visit from Jo Anna too. They live in a perfectly quaint neighborhood and home. It overlooks the water and made for a wonderful view during dinner (minus some of the threatening clouds and sprinkles of water). They had a delicious dinner set out – chicken, cheese, drinks, crackers, European styled everything. It was perfect! We laughed all evening. Lindsay’s baby entertained us for hours (adorable). In the middle we went to see Anna sing at her recital, she is amazing. The whole family is amazing! It was late, we were exhausted, and the kids had school, so we parted for the evening… as Brogan searched for weed outback…

We ate a delicious breakfast at a farmhouse – Blueberry Farms. They had fresh everything that makes a perfect breakfast, whilst overlooking beautiful countryside. We had made plans to see Stehekin, but it would take all day and we wouldn’t be able to see everyone and hang out, so we saved ourselves some money and went to the Jr. High/High School of Chelan.

The seniors were practicing for graduation (that evening) and we were able to see a few of the kids we rode on a bus with through Europe. It was funny to see them glance over and startle a little, “hey, it’s Utah!” Then wave. The rest of the school has to continue to go to classes for another week! Half of the school is the high school and the other is the jr. high. We visited Brisa’s Spanish classroom – and her HOT substitute Mr. Pearl. We had to drag Ali out of there!

We walked around the adorable little town and met people around the way, played at the lake then ended up at the famous pizza place – Local Myth’s Pizza (with the statue of David throughout). It was delicious. Pat and Linda joined us. We have such easy (and hilarious) conversations I feel like we’ve known each other forever. We purchased some Chelan attire and went our separate ways.

Sandra and Amanda prepared a delectable BBQed dinner. We sat out on the deck, overlooking the lake, and elegantly ate the magnificent meal. We ate garlic sprouts (like asparagus) grilled in butter and limes, grilled pineapple, chicken, and fish that we purchased in Seattle (at Pike’s Place). We felt foolish after realizing our conversation revolved solely around the food: “These limes are so juicy” “I love these onions” “The flowers are really good” “I like pineapple…I LOVE pineapple” but it was all true, so it was hard not to.

Ali and I wanted to take a night swim. The weather was warm and so was the pool. It was calling my name...screaming it actually and I couldn't wait to swim. We rolled back the cover quickly and efficiently - Ali and I are a good team - as we pulled the last foot out of the pool, I squeaked a scream and jumped away from the pool. Ali mocked me before realizing that her "pine cone" was a dead mouse. It was white and wrinkled. i scooped it up with the pool scooper and dumped it into the bushes below. I didn't want to swim anymore.

Saturday was for relaxing. We slept in, ate French toast for breakfast, read books, swam, and lay by the pool. "Alejandro" (our pool boy) came and cleaned the pool. I don't know his real name, Jason or something. It was another perfect day. We swam and swam. Brogan and Anna called and wanted to visit. So they stopped by with Andrea and we took them on a tour of the house then played by the pool telling funny stories.

That night we ate dinner at Tin Lilies with Pat and Linda. Brogan and Andrea (his jr. high girlfriend) came later. It was an adorable place (we took pictures of the bathroom and made sure everyone took their turn seeing it in person). We also requested t-shirts from them. Many quotes made it into the quote book that evening!! After dinner we strolled through town. The new graduates were out and about. We stopped in to see a band play at the local coffee shop. After a little while we noticed that Linda knew everyone. She is the person to know in Chelan J

Church on Sunday was half way between our house and downtown Chelan. Before sacrament meeting started a nice woman came and welcomed us to church. We explained why we were in Chelan and whom we’d come to visit and to our surprise she responded “THE Kellys?!” Like they were the Donald Trumps of Chelan or something. We felt cool, yeah, we know THE Kellys. It was a good meeting; love the church everywhere you go!

We stopped by to say goodbye to the Kellys and head to Seattle, but ended up spending all day with them! They took us through old Chelan, up and through the mountains, rivers, and old buildings. We saw a water snake skipping across the river and a beautiful waterfall of turquoise water. It was a gorgeous tour! They told stories of old and legends and pointed out everything they could see. We learned about the apples orchards being bought out and how they are now a vinery country with expensive wines and grape juice (they’d always throw that in for our benefit! So kind.) We visited the homegrown stores and some beautiful reception buildings. We loved it! So sad we had to head home already.

Ali got sick on our trip back to Seattle so I drove the rest of the way through the Cullen’s lands. Levensworth, a town similar to Midway/Heber, was a stop on our way to Seattle. We had a $100 gift card we needed to use. Ali slept in the SUV while we window shopped and ended up with little trinkets to take home. We also ate in a dim lighted place with delicious food.

We arrived at our hotel late into the night. Ali was starving and ordered room service. Grilled cheese and Fries. They came with mini ketchup and mustard, so cute. She was still sick L and went to bed. We stayed at the Hilton, and felt like queens! Fancy! Too bad we just fell asleep and left bright and early (4:30am I believe – to get people home to go to work).

I want to live in Chelan!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Seattle so soon!

I flew to Seattle (via Spokane) on Thursday. My friends were running the 1/2 marathon and I would be taking their pictures crossing the finish line :)

Sara, Mary, Britt-Marie, Jason and Kerry would be running, steph, Mindi, Sam, Kemi, and Chris would be cheering them on!

We all stayed at Mary and Sam's house... a five minute walk from the Space Needle. We saw all of the sights and were a very silly group. We laughed and played games every day.

Mary's kids were off their schedule, but still had fun with us.

Mia (4 1/2) talks with a really low raspy man-voice and Trevon (2) walked around and giggled (though he didn't like me until the day I left). We ate at all the cool places in town and took pictures of everything.

I learned to play NERTS, a stressful game of SPEED/SOLITAIRE/SKIPBO all mixed together with our group of 10!

It was sunny and beautiful every day we were there, apparently unusual, but both times I've been there this month were beautiful! Makes me want to live there... but I couldn't handle the rain and grayness!

Good Friends and Fun!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chelanigans (part 1)

European Reunion in Chelan, WA

Last summer my friends and I took a trip through Switzerland, Italy, and France with a busload of crazies... I mean, people... (read about it on my blog - which this is - so this blog, just earlier) and loved them. SO, we decided to make a trip to this small town of BIG personalities and see what it was all about.

I think I'm moving there ;)

Day 1 - SLC to Seattle

The plane takes off, a little low for my comfort, into a lightning storm. I watch the lightning strike over the Great Salt Lake and wonder if we’ll be hit soon. As those thoughts are going through my mind, I’m also noticing how low we are still flying and we seem to be struggling, but again, I’m not running this show – what do I know?! After we are lost in the gloomy clouds I relax and sit back with dad’s noise cancelling headphones keeping me company. It isn’t long until the turbulence kicks in. The plane is being tossed around like I’ve never experienced. It would drop suddenly over and over, and at times I was in the lap of the, not so hygiene-happy, guy next to me. I tried to remain calm, keeping my eyes closed and my fists clenched. I imagined my funeral.

I wondered who would come and what it would be like. Hopefully bright – no black allowed – short and sweet (who wants to sit there forever) and everyone would know I was in a beautiful place (fingers crossed). Then I realized my friends were on my same plane. Would we have a joint funeral? Would our other friends have to go to 5 different funerals? That would be tough on people. I figured my death would be pretty clean since I wouldn’t leave any kids without a mom or husband or anything. So I said my prayers and repented of anything I could think of, and made my peace. Then the skies calmed and I fell asleep, arriving safely over Seattle. I could have said safely in Seattle, but the landing was crazy wild! We skidded all over the runway, LITERALLY! Again I made close friends with my smelly neighbor as we swerved hard to the right. The announcement at the end “be careful, luggage may have shifted in the flight” was met with loud NO KIDDINGs and YOU THINK?!s (yes, I was one of those). We lived.

The shuttle took us right to the Holiday Inn Express (thanks Andy) and we entered our suite. It was sweet! A kitchen, front room with pullout couch, 2 queens and 2 TVs (in case Amy wanted to watch her own). The hallway was musty hot and a bit smelly, but the room was lovely. We set up camp, ordered pizza and drinks, and watched some TV. I forgot my jammies.

Amy, Ali, Amanda, steph and Sandra.

Breakfast was delicious; cheese omelets, toast, bagel, yogurt, juice, cinnamon roll, muffins, cereal… anything! YUM! Sandra and Ali went to pick up the rental car from a guy named Ali (Ali’s new best friend). He made them laugh, mocking their idea that 5 girls and girl luggage would fit in the Malibu, and talked them into an SUV. BRILLIANT! We fit perfectly and enjoyed the upgrade. Off to the market.

I helped Ali park in a stall made for compact cars!

The flowers were GORGEOUS and inexpensive (notice I didn’t say cheap… they weren’t cheap in anyway). We made mental notes to come back on our way out. We tasted all the fruit as we passed the samplers, tasted the bread and vinegar, the dried fruit, the pasta… who needs lunch after that?! We needed a sweatshirt for Ali, she is a sweatshirter when it comes to vacation. We found a shop on the corner where you pick out the item and then the design and they make it for you right there. I found some yoga pants (for my new jammies) and printed TEAM JACOB down the side – its not Forks or La Push, but I’m in the right state at least.

lucky pig.

As we walked back past our sampled areas, we purchased those delicious samples for our time at the lake house. Sandra and Amanda bought fish just to see the hot guys yell and throw them across the counter. A counter, mind you, that Sandra can’t even see the over… it is above her head! Then we stopped at the pasta place, the fruit stand, the vegetables, the delicious dried apples and the gorgeous bouquets of bright flowers. We would be fine dining in Chelan (of course, Sandra is with me, so it is always fine dining).

We ate lunch at a little soup, salad, and sandwich shop before hurrying back to our time limited parked car. (We were entertained by some street singers and people watching while we ate).

(I promise I did go on this trip, though there aren't many pictures to prove it!)

I love the laid back atmosphere. I love the fresh food and the fresh flowers. I love that it isn’t even expensive for quality stuff. Where is MY market in South Jordan? Where are MY fresh flowers every day?

The drive begins. Over the mountains and through the woods singing to our homemade mixed tapes (CDs), Glee, American Idol, and other favorites while watching the weather switch from gloomy clouds to sunshine to clouds to sunshine…

At one point I notices the fog and darkness and I KNEW that is where those vampires must live, it totally makes sense.

We were quick and efficient – Ali our driver and Sandra our GPS – and rolled into town right on time.

We slowly drove down the main street and found ACE Hardware, where the Kellys are known to be, and found a grocery store right away… the Safeway. These locals know we’re not from town and looked us up and down with warm smiles and nods. We raced around to pick up the few items Sandra assigned us and met at checkout, all with our adorable matching purses. Ali gave them to us as travel gifts – adorable. As we headed out to Manson (the town that houses our house) we saw this:


THE LAKE HOUSE – the Blair House (Sounds a bit creepy doesn't it?!)

We parked in the carport (made for several cars) and walked up the stone entrance to the house. The keypad opened on our first try and we now had access to our home for the weekend. It smelled like a grandma’s house, or a rental, which it is so no worries. Our rooms each had a theme.

Amanda got the brightly feathered room,

Amy, the Victorian master bedroom,

Ali, the animal wild room, and

Sandra and I shared the Nautical room (or the kid room – my bed had a plastic cover on the mattress…nice). We took a quick look around – pool table, foosball, pool, hot tub, and VIEW OF THE LAKE. Ahhh. It takes your breath away.