Friday, December 19, 2008

We're Out of Here!

Heading South for the winter.... hee hee. Actually just a quick visit for Christmas. Looking forward to family and old friends. Maybe some warmer weather? Snow kept us here an extra day. We're hoping for a good clear traveling day tomorrow. Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm Back!

I feel like I've been gone a long time. My computer woes are ended. I took the very sick box into the repair shop so that I didn't have to deal with the phone help. They were excellent! And, they worked with Dell to replace all those broken pieces. A hard drive and video card. The best part was that they took a "snap shot" of the HD before they removed it, and when they put the new one in they loaded it up. I got back my computer working just as it used to before problems! I didn't have to load a thing!! Yippee.

My cold is just about gone. Josh is still a little under the weather, but we gave it to Dave and he's pretty sick. We're hoping all will be well before next week when we plan on taking our big drive south for the winter holiday.

We're anticipating a big storm coming in tonight. It is supposed to give us 3" of snow on our driveway tonight, and 12" on our snowboarding mountain. And, the storm is expected to continue until Tuesday next week! It's about time we get some snow up high.
Our garage door got fixed just in time too. I took the truck out on Tuesday for Josh's guitar lesson. When we got home the door wouldn't open and let us back in. We've had to leave the truck outside. It is frozen over in the mornings when I'm off to the gym. With the big storm coming in tonight, I'm glad the repair man was able to finish the job today. He came yesterday but said he would need to replace the entire bar/cable at the top, under warranty!! That was a pleasant surprise. He came back today with the part and left without needing any money. WHat another nice surprise.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Computer Woes

I love my computer. When it works. When it doesn't, it seems everything is tough going.
So, here I am, finally updating but I have no pictures and I'm on the laptop that isn't portable because the battery doesn't recharge. Seems like a short year of life. It rarely gets used these days.

The Big Dell is in the shop. Being the holiday time that it is, it will hopefully be ready on Monday next week. They have to back up the entire thing then remove EVERYTHING, and then reload. I will get it back for the fun project of reloading all the programs. UGH. I'm glad I didn't lose anything though. So, there is always a bright side, RIGHT!?

The boys are off for the holiday. We're going to a church family's for Thanksgiving dinner. Zach gets to practice his math facts everyday and I hope we get to go riding sometime over the weekend.
That's about it around here! See, you didn't miss much.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things Going On

It has seemed busier around here than usual.
We had a "meet and greet" for Josh and a guitar teacher to decide whether or not Josh wants to commit to learning this instrument. It seemed like all went well, and Josh is ready and willing to learn guitar.
I have had a couple of conversations with Zach's teacher and on Friday we have a conference to decide how to proceed with Zach's math class. He is falling behind the class faster than we anticipated.
My computer is not working. It won't even boot up, hence my lack in posts lately. I just got the laptop working sufficiently to get on for this and a few other needed tasks. Dell is supposed to call back "in an hour" to continue the help. It's been almost 2 hrs. I guess the guy really needed a break! I hate computers when they dont work!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Little Light Heartedness

Josh participates in the Variety Show put on by the high school music department.
They decided it was a fundraiser and charged $10 per person, but forgot to invite people other than the parents of the students participating. Not sure why we pay for the class + donations!
They had a good time anyway. This is Josh, being an Oompa Loompa (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
It's good to sit and smile at this when the world around us is so much more serious when thinking about what is to come.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

I surprised the boys with pumpkins when they came home from school yesterday. Josh decided he wanted to do other outside stuff and Zach chose the larger pumpkin and the skull and cross bones. He did a pretty good job. I ended up carving up the smaller one here. The afternoon was perfect for sitting outside and enjoying the craft and weather.

It's been a full week. Monday night I had my first Bible Study Leaders meeting. I'm leading the 4th group for our Wednesday morning coffee break bible study at church. Wednesday our group was about half of the group that volunteered to move over, but we still had 6. That evening the boys had their youth group meeting at the Corn Maze. Dave and I took them and sat and drank hot cider waiting for them. It was cooler than we thought, but at least we were dressed better than most of the kids. There were plenty of them wearing shorts and T-shirts!

I had orientation at the school district on Thursday morning, and was disappointed to find out that there are so many subs in the system that most aren't working and the ones that are get 2 days per month, on average. "Don't expect to pay your bills on this" they said. Ugh. I guess it would take me a long time to get on the preferred list that most of the subs use. They said that 96% of the sub jobs go to a prearranged substitute that the teacher has used before rather than the system we get dumped into. Thankfully, Dave has been working most days these past 2 weeks. He's been doing at least 6 sprinkler blow-outs / day. Nice thing about that is..... EVERY house needs to get it done. There are plenty of houses to go around. For those down south who have no idea what that means, irrigation/sprinkler lines will freeze during the winter with our winter weather, so we need to blow the water out of the lines. Makes for good Fall work.

Dave and I went mountain biking this week. It was probably the last one for the season. I'm not really ready to ride yet, my arm wasn't even strong enough for me to use it to get up on the pedals, nor could I hold the handlebar in a customary way. It was nice to get out though even if I had to walk the bike down the steep parts of the hill.

I've been working on the photo albums this week. I'm making progress, and that is encouraging.I should be able to post a page for you to see here... maybe next post I'll drop you a peek.

Josh and Dave got their first taste of school projects. Josh had a science project due today, in which it must be a funcioning "mousetrap" type set up, using all simple machines. He used a pulley, lever and hmmm.... I'll have to think about the other one, all to cut a piece of paper. Dave dropped them off at school today, since the regular carpool is off to Idaho Falls participating in the State Championship volleyball tournament. Before we pick them up today, we're stopping at the big snowboard sale to see if we can get a deal on bindings for the snowboard we picked up earlier. We are anticipating some winter sporting soon! The motorcycles are are under the battery tender expecting to be stored most of the winter.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall Colors Catch up

I think the trees decided they better hurry up and color up or they would miss fall!

Just 2 days ago this big red tree was glowing red, the brightest red leaf I've ever seen. It is already fading, but still is glorious in color. Be sure to click on the pictures to get a full size look!

This is a Moses' Burning Bush. It really resembles something like it, if you take away the actual fire. These really stand out in the park and in neighbors yards. Dave thought we should get one, and then put 2 tablets of stone with the 10 commandments on it posted in front of the bush. Unfortunately, it would only be interesting for about a week of the year.

Well, I finally got a return email regarding the job interview. I'm 2 for 2, both negative. Remember he wanted a bookkeeper. 15 of us got interviews, and 2 of us were CPA's. The other CPA had "extensive" non-profit experience, so he says this morning. I figured I didnt get the job when I knew he was looking for someone to start tomorrow.

Since I'm still having hesitation on working year round, even if it is part time, I decided to call the school district and register for the real substitute work. A degree is required to sub as a teacher and the pay is much better. I inquired about getting a transcript sent, and asked if my certification of CPA would suffice since it implies that there is a "Degree" behind it. She decided it would work, so I'm set to go to the orientation at the end of the month. I'm not real excited about teaching in a large classroom, but the hours and the holidays/vacations are perfect for us at this time. I really want to be home when the boys are on holidays & vacations. Especially summer. Dave might be home most of Christmas vacation, but it would be nice to be able to go down south to spend time with the family!

And, I can't forget the best part... they NEED subs, and I've already passed the fingerprint & background search. It's just a matter of getting into the system. I am still on the injured list for the cafeteria, and would probably be well enough by the time I finally get through all the meetings for the new position, but I don't think I'll be going back.

Yesterday I got started on my scrapbooking catch-up project. I left off when Josh had his 8th birthday and zach's 7th. I'm a "few" years behind. We sold the home gym that was in the upstairs "guest" room last weekend. That was done for the money and the space. We went to Costco yesterday and got a nice hobby table that folds down for when we need the room for guests. It's already piled with scrapbooking pages. I had only 1 year's worth of actual photos developed that I hadn't put together yet. Then all the photos were taken digitally and never were printed, moved, tagged or hardly looked at. I scanned all those remaining pics plus all the yearly birthday photos and am ready to get scrapping.

I spent my birthday money on getting an easy digital scrapbooking program so that I can get this done before going back to work. Scrapbook Max! So, now you know what I did with the money! I decided to do something with it that was for me and for fun! Impressed? Surprised? I intend to use the same table for quilting, but don't have enough table space to do both projects at once, yet. As soon as I get everything on the computer, I won't need all the space and piles any more. Then, I can get out my mess of quilting and figure out where I left off, and still be able to scrapbook. Isn't the digital age neat! Now, if I could only quilt on the computer and print out the finished project too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Did I Say Fall? How About Snow?

It is the earliest snow on record for Boise. We got about 1.5" on Friday night. The boys were on their way to a home football game and we were so glad to see the neighbors going. We pushed the kids their way and we stayed home warm and comfy. You can see the trees haven't even lost their leaves yet, and all our veggie bushes turned brown and wilty.
I'm still waiting for news about the job interview, and I'm still typing one handed. I'm on the mend, I can now tie my own shoes. Guess I have a long way to go yet.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It Feels like Fall

It's October and the days are shorter and we're cooler, down in the 60's. They expect frost at night this weekend. The kids leave for school in the dark. It's a nice to see so obvious change in seasons.

I had another interview today. I'm 2 for 2 in applications and interviews. This one is also part time but much more flexible. They are a start up company serving non-profits and their bookkeeping needs.

Again, I found out there were 70 applicants, I was one of 15 to be interviewed. I'll find out next week what his decision is. I'm concerned about the health benefits, but I'll wait to decide when I hear back from him. The job market is rough!

Josh had his first concert with his choir this week, and Zach gave his first oral presentation today. We saw the concert, and they did well. Zach said he was ok with his report.

My arm is healing well, but I'm on the "do not call" list with the school until further notice. I worked one handed Monday and was exhausted afterward.
Thats what is going on around our neck of the woods.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thanks for all the Birthday cards!

It's that time of year again... Happy Birthday to me. It's nice to get a mailbox with personal letters, cards, and phone calls. Thank you family :)

I'm taking it easy this week. Over the weekend Dave and I went for a dirt bike ride and I met more than dirt. A log decided to trap me between it and my bike, I'm one handed this week. I got x-rays, and we're thankful that it is just muscle/tendon/tissue damage. Pain pills and ice do wonders.

The boys have off wed-sun this week too so I'm not working, and I didnt make it to bible study or the gym this week. So, its really been a different week. My gym buddies suspected my injury when I didnt show up because I've yet to miss a day in 4 months, except the first week when I had another motorcycle mishap. All I can say is it still is way more fun than staying home!

My job search has slowed down too, since I'm not anxious to explain how I should be able to do things. I am working on an online tutoral for Microsoft Office programs to sharpen my 2007 skills. I havent used the newer version in many years and i'm sure that put me at the disadvantage on the last interview. That wont happen again.

I finished another book on my 888 list. I'm doing good with my daily bible reading, and hope to be able to keep moving along my list. I think my next book to read on the list will be CS Lewis.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Little Red Scooter

This is my new transportation. A 2005 Honda Metropolitan. It gets about 90 mpg but only goes 40 mph on a good day. A good day is wind at the back and a hill going down. I'm also in my "school work uniform." I've been working every day at Les Boise Jr. High. It's a 26 mile round trip ride so I figure it costs me less than a $1 on this scooter. That's important because they don't pay enough to drive a real car. My shifts are only 2-3 hrs. long and at $8.50 it seems hardly worth it. But, I'm aiming for the Verizon phone discount, remember? Govt. discount to all employees. And, No... I don't ride dressed like this. I have a helmet, gloves, and jacket. I even like to wear a reflective vest when traveling further than the corner gym.
I have wished for a Vespa for years, and they still make them. The problem is they are expensive and I can't imagine that I would ever drive enough to make up for a $5,000 scooter. They have a new one that is a remake of a 1979 model, but it's still $3,000 as used. I've noticed people have scooters for sale, and they ask way more than Blue Book Value because they are sold out every where. I guess they are a HOT item when gas prices get so high. I've been waiting for a deal, and this one came along. The Honda dealership told me that I could probably drive this for 3 years and still sell for at least what I paid, if not more. Now that's a deal! Of course, it will get a little chilly in the winter and I'm more a fair weather type, so I'll probably have to put it away soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Got my Call

But, I didn't get the job. Boo Hoo. I was left a polite message on my machine...
Thank you for coming in to interview.... Basically it was a really hard decision for them but they picked one after the last interview today. Good news is they want to keep my application to call again if there is another opening soon. Bad news is I need a job before then.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Interview Over, Now Wait

I drove straight from the Jr. High cafeteria to the Ada County Courthouse and waited for my interview. I was a little stressed over it. It's the first one in 19 years. I was also underdressed, since I wore my cafeteria uniform with a quick switch of shirt in the bathroom.

I was introduced to the elected official Treasurer, along with 2 other ladies. It was a little bigger of a deal than I was anticipating. They informed me that 80 people applied for this job! 5 of us are getting the privilege of interviewing. That boosted my confidence for a moment. Then they asked a load of questions. I felt like I did ok and when they were done they handed me a test! Yes, a 3 page test on basics (or not so basic) Word, Excel and english grammar. Ugh.
It might have been multiple choice, but I'm rusty. I guessed at 3 of the answers, and now that I look at the menu for Word, I see I missed one that I thought I had right. Oops. But, looking in my dictionary, I'm thinking the 2 words I guessed at I got right. Hmmm.... I wonder if I'll ever know??

They had one remaining interview for tomorrow and hoped to be able to get back to us afterwards or by Wed. Until then, I wait for news. Good news is that benefits start 30 days after working, and I can start in just 2-3 weeks.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Get the Interview!

I was so disappointed on Thursday morning when I saw that the job posting with the Treasurer's Office had been removed. The FAQ said that we would get an email if they were not interested in our application, and a call to schedule an interview if they were. I had gotten neither. I scootered all the way to work that morning praying that God would will it to happen.

I went off to work at the cafeteria and Dave called by 10 am that I had gotten a call from the Treasurer's Office! Whoo Hoo! I was just about bursting the rest of my morning.

Immediately after getting home I called them back and got an interview for Monday at 2. Pray hard for me. We could really use this job, and I think it would be a perfect reintroduction back into the work force. It's part time 25 hrs. per week with full govt. benefits. I know, only government would do that. The catch is that I work full time up to 16 weeks of the year during tax time. Since that is Dave's slowest time for work, it should work out fine with the boys. We need the benefits. Well, need is relative and since we've had none in 14 years, I don't know that we "need" them. But they sure would make life easier.

I had a full week substituting at the Jr. High this week, and they asked me back for next week. They have a permanent spot to fill and were hoping I would apply for the job. But, it is hard work, back breaking, and my hands are bleached dry and I feel like I'm volunteering for the money they pay. There are no benefits either. Sorry Les Bois. I'm starting to feel like I need to go back to what I was experienced in to make the best use of my time and get paid for it. This tax clerk job comes closest to what I think I can handle. We'll see if they think so on Monday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mom Visits

Happy Birthday Mom!

We had a fun filled, activity packed weekend. We only had 2 days, and beautiful weather to do everything we had planned. Saturday we got up "early" after a tiring week and the boys just wanted to sleep in.

We got to the Farmer's Market downtown and browsed and sampled and purchased a few choice items. I love my Huckleberry syrup and vinegrette dressing!

Then, we walked up 8th street while the guys dropped off the food items at the truck to keep cool and out of our hands.
We stopped at the STICKS art gallery where Steve made a purchase for himself, and Mom bought us this really cute mirror for Birthday/Christmas gifts for Dave and I for the rest of our lives. Thanks Mom! It fits the entry wall just perfect and it gets lots of fun comments too.

We continued up 8th street until we reached the Julia Davis Park where there was Art in the Park festivities. We ate, browsed the booths, made purchases and left he boys sitting on the grass waiting for us. I'm sure Steve stocked up on postcards, while Dave and I spent another $15 on a real nice key chain holder. Holds all the keys! and is so "Idaho" like.

Then, we needed to go back and get the truck to bring it over to the other side of the river so we wouldn't have to walk so far after our show. For Mom's birthday, we took her to the Terry Fator show at the Morrison Center. He's the one that won the America's Got Talent show last year. He had a fun show! Everyone enjoyed it, and he did a great job with his puppets and singing, and was truely funny. We didn't get home until almost 11pm. It was a full day downtown.

Sunday morning came along, and we dragged the boys out of bed again, and headed off to Idaho City. We were aiming for lunch and ice cream cones and just browse through the old mining town. Along the way we stopped at this old bridge and were amazed at how few boats were enjoying the lake on such a beautiful day. We're anxious for Patrick to get here from AZ this fall so that we can boat with him next year :)

We did make it finally to Idaho City where we immediately went to lunch at Donna's Place. We sat outside to take advantage of the perfect temperature. Then, off to the gift shops so Steve could buy more postcards. Then we wandered the streets looking at the old buildings. After about an hour of that we were ready for ice cream cones so we headed back to the diner and enjoyed yummy Blue Bunny ice cream, Dave's favorite.

We got home early enough to make some dinner at home, and then get the boys ready for school the next morning. Mom and Steve left just before 6am for the 14 hr. drive back home. The boys were off to school and I went and did my gym workout then came home and took a nap!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My First Day of Work

Monday was Labor Day, and we simply enjoyed being home.

Tuesday morning rolls around and I just hung up the phone after the Sears repair guy told me he would be another hr. or so. Then, I got a call to sub in the lunch room. I was so relieved that I had a good excuse. They wanted me there by 9:30 and the repair man wouldn't even be here unti then. I just haven't been convinced that I want to work in the lunch room at the public school since I went to the 2nd orientation. Yes, the hours are good because they never need me when the kids have no school , but the pay isn't that great and I'm not looking forward to bleached hands. I promptly filled my day and forgot all about it.

The Sears repair man came and fixed our fridge. It was freezing up on the top half, and icing over the fridge side but keeping the temp too low. They replaced 3 parts and boy was I glad that I decided to do the extended warranty 6 months ago. At that time, they fixed the ice maker that would have cost $200. This time, the bill would have come to $442! Seems like the $60 ext. warranty was a good deal, this time.

We had the micro go out just 1 day before the warranty expired. We moved in Aug. 15. On the 14th, the micro quit displaying numbers. Only the 30 sec. button worked. The Sears repair guy came and ordered a part and came back again the next week only to find that the part ordered was white instead of stainless. However, in the process, he unplugged the micro and found out that when he plugged it back in, it rebooted, and appears all is working fine! He ordered the correct part anyway, and now if it does go back out, even though the warranty is over, we'll have the part and Dave can install it. WHew!

So, Wednesday morning comes around, and I thought I was safe from the school calls because I told them I couldn't work on Wednesdays. (I'm going to the church bible study this year and it's Wed. morning, starting next week.) Well, they were so desperate that they called me anyway. I got myself cleaned up from the gym workout I had just done, and went all the way out to East Boise to Les Bois Jr. High. Turns out it is the newest, biggest cafeteria in the Boise district. That was a relief. I was having a big problem with the space issues they warned us about. Some lunch rooms are the size of our son's bedroom but 3 people work in there and deal with all the appliances and lack of sink space. So, I cut hoggie buns, counted wheat vs. white, served Domino's pizza, cleaned lunch tables, stalked the line watching for kids without lunch cards, and washed up all the dishes when done. It wasn't so bad afterall. The people were nice, and the cafeteria was big and clean. So, now I can get that pay stub that shows I'm a "govt" employ and use that for some needed discount to get Josh a cell phone.

As much as I was pleasantly surprised with my first day, I am still not convinced that I want to work in various schools for $8.50-9.50/hr. I've been watching the job postings, looking for something that is accounting related that doesn't require full time. They are far and few between! The bookkeeping jobs are slow to find, and wouldn't amount to much at first, and would require alot of driving around. Plus, it is another self employed business subject to the pit falls of no holiday, vacation, or benefits.

I did come across this job posting with the Ada County Treasurer's office.: Tax Clerk part time with excellent full benefits! Hmmm.... the benefits of govt. work and accounting experience and benefits, with only part time! After talking to Dave about it, I applied this morning. Everything is online these days, so I have no idea how long it takes for them to route it to the right dept.
Anyway, I think this would be a perfect job for me this winter while Dave will again be struggling to keep busy. This job is 25hrs/week most of the year, and turns full time for 8 weeks when property tax bills are due. Nov-Jan and May-June. Perfect for this winter when we'll need the income, but I'm still hesitant about the summer. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, I guess. But, I'm excited about this job because it has great potential, and sounds like something I would like.

In the mean time, we're anxiously awaiting my mom and Steve to arrive in town tomorrow. It's a short stay, only the weekend, on a stop over from Glacier National Park on their way to Northern Ca. I'm looking forward to seeing them!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Idaho Fair

This weekend was the last of the fair (there are only 2 weekends). Since everyone was sick last weekend and school started midweek, we hadn't yet been to see the fair. We didn't get here in time for it last year. By the way, Aug. 15 marks our 1 yr. anniversary of moving to Boise!

Josh went to the youth group pool party Sat. It was a time for the incoming 9th graders to meet the other high schoolers. We took him over at 3:30 and we was brought back home at 9:30 that night by someone who lived in this direction.

That left Zachary, and he just wanted to sit and veg on the couch. So, Dave and I went together Sat afternoon. It was a nice time, although it was 100 degrees. I think we've only had about 5 days of over 100 this summer, and it just had to be one of these days. We enjoyed watching the dogs compete for the longest jump into a splash pool. Aussies were taking the lead when we moved on. We had a huge tasty "Saladman" dish of grilled veggies on a bed of lettuce.

We bought some household and car polish. Today I have been testing it out, and polished everything in all 3 baths. Mirrors, tubs, showers, toilets, shower doors, sinks, faucets..... Everything feels so nice and clean and smooth! I love helpful gadgets like that. My arms will be sore from the circular motions up over my head though.

I watched with lust over the demonstration of the professional pressure cooker. How I would love to cook beans from dry in 40 minutes. Or full chickens in 20. But, at $280 for a size that would also can quart jars, I figured we would come back next year and drool some more. There was a booth giving out brochures on a class at BSU learning to can. I've always wanted to learn to can. The neighbor gal said that she buys crates of fruits from the local orchard, and cans 300 quart jars of pears and 300 peaches! I'm not sure where I would store all those, myself. But, I'd love to have some of the fresh summer fruits/veggies to last into the winter.

It's only Tues, and I've finished a whole book on my 888 list, and working on the next in the Hannay series by Buchan. These are fun mystery/thriller type books from the early 1900's. Great literary quality for the genre. There are 5 in the series. I've only been able to come up with the first 4. And I'm reading number 2 now.

Dave is off working in Nampa, so yesterday the boys got a treat, and he picked them up soon after school was over. We noticed the carpool car came home at 6:30 last night! Those are long days.

I haven't been called to sub for the lunch room at the school district, so I'm getting plenty done around the house. But, Dave was talking with his customer in Nampa about me, and it may work out that she needs a bookkeeper for her coffee shop, and for her husband's construction business. She also thought that she knew enough other small businesses that I could keep myself busy enough making a nice tidy income from them all. I'm anxiously awaiting for her to call me when she gets off work! It would sure beat the lunch room dish washing! My only hesitation in getting regular clients as such is that they continue to do business when it is vacation and break time from school. I hate to be having to work when the boys are home. I'll have to be very picky in choosing some clients. But, I suppose I should use my previous skills that can make some decent income for us. I'm sure it will be another slow winter for Dave.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Boys are Off to School!

Here they are dressed at 6am and ready to go!

And, if I have to answer one more, "what did you do all day?" question, my standard answer is going to be... "Did you know Bon Bons have a new caramel flavor? They go great with all those soap opera shows in the afternoon!"

Are you kidding? I've had kids at home 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week for 14 straight years. There is SO much I'd like to do that I haven't been able to do. But, for now, I'll have to settle for getting organized. We have so much homeschool curriculum to sell, a school room to convert back to an office/study, and new responsibilities. Seriously though, you have no idea how many times I've heard that question in the last 2 days. I can't even count anymore. I wonder if they think I don't have a life, or if they think they would be so bored they couldn't think up anything.

The boys' carpool left at 6:15 am! Yes, the neighbors have a tradition they go out for breakfast the first day of school. Our boys tagged along and then were off to school, 16 miles away. It was a LONG day... they didn't get home until 5:40pm. The girl that drives has volleyball practice on M,W,F for the first 2 months of school. I was instructed to put MORE FOOD in the lunch box to tide them over that long.

Josh came home and was excited about his day. I think he liked just about everything about his school. He is taking Algebra, choir, art appreciation, grammar/comp, Bible, Physical Science, and Spanish.

Zach was awake when I came in to get him. I think he was more excited to start the day than Josh. Zach's class has 20 kids, and they only switch for history/science and 1 elective class. He likes his elective class, it's Read to Succeed. Funny, considering he doesn't like to read. Then, I found out it is a class offered to all the 6,7,8th graders so he has our neighbor in that class, plus 3 friends from Church. I had asked if they would switch that class to math tutoring, so now I'll have to decide whether or not it would be beneficial or not.

He wishes he were a 7th grader instead of 6th and is convinced he could handle it. So, I've given him an incentive. If he makes all A's the first quarter and doesn't struggle to do it, I'll go in and speak with the principal and tell her I made a mistake in classifying his grade. He was happy with that, so we'll see what he does.

So, while the boys were at school ALL day, I kept myself busy. I've never even tried a Bon Bon, but maybe it shall be something I will explore in the near future. In the mean time, I planned out the rest of the week for lunches and dinners. Got out the recipes, and made a shopping list. Packing lunches is no easy task these days. Especially when they come home and say, "no one eats sandwiches, Mom." Ok, what do they eat? Pizza, and such. Hmmm... more creativity required. I think Dave and I spent 3 hrs. shopping at Costco and Winco for lunch and dinner menu stuff this afternoon.

If that wasn't enough to do, The kitchen is now clean, I went to the gym for 1.5hrs, I baked 18 banana muffins for boy snacks, cooked dinner and had it ready when they got home, washed, dried, folded and put away 2 very large loads of laundry, and then took a 45 minute nap before the boys came home. See, no time for soaps or retired living. I think I've got at least a month of stuff planned where I will hardly have time to sit down during the day. But DONT ASK ME, "what do you do all day?" You'll get the Bon Bon answer. I'm sure you can come up with a better question :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Sleepwalking Device

This is our new gadget I found online to help us at night while we're sleeping and someone else may be sleeping but also doing other things.

We had a scare. We knew Zach made his way around the house in his sleep, but it has always been just to move to the couch or go to the bathroom, maybe change his clothes. This particular time, it was our neighbors who alerted us that they had a strange visit. At 2:30am! Ringing their doorbell! They were very confused that day when they confronted us about it and we were clueless. I guess we need to keep him home during the night!
This handy device will alert us when anyone goes down the stairs, or comes across its path from any direction for that matter. It works too. The receiver doorbell chime goes off in our room.
So, we will rest assured now that everyone is in their place where we left them, or we will know fairly quickly when they are not.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Weekend Riding

Saturday Dave went riding with the Full Throttle Christian Dirtbikers, a local group we found out about. He went up to the mountains, same ones we ski on in town, and let the advanced guys really humble him. Dave is much better than any of us that have been riding together (aka, us and the neighbors) but when he was compared to these guys he got left behind dumping his bike so many times he lost count. I think he finally got a dose of what we all have felt like riding behind him! This picture is just one of the advanced type of obstacles. Needless to say, he was tired when he got home.

Sunday, Dave and I went up to Idaho City to check out the "Ladie's Choice" ride. Ladies choose the ride, place and pace. Guys come by invite only. The early ride was "Intermediate" and since I told the gal that I probably wasn't intermediate she was so kind to have a second ride after they had already rode 3 hours. I did really well, dropped it only once while Dave saw ground twice. The course was fairly challenging, I just couldn't keep up a fast enough speed to make it to the "intermediate" category. So, they named me "novice". Not beginner, but not comfortable enough to be intermediate. I was amazed at the speed these gals could handle!

The drive to Idaho City is beautiful. There is a stream winding along the road up through the mountains. The green trees were wonderful, and it was so much cooler than down where we live. The road wasn't much of a mountain road though, so easy to get there. It was about 1 hr from our house to parking the truck. We attempted to stop and eat at this nice little diner in town, but found out we didn't have the time. Next time we'll take the boys up and enjoy a whole day up there.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Josh is Brace Free!

The Big Day: Josh gets his braces off. His teeth look really straight, and white. The Orthodontist awarded him with a bottle of sparkling cider and a bag of all those candies he said were not allowed with braces. Josh hasn't even opened them, nor do I think he is interested. He just isn't a candy eater after 2 years of prohibition. Silly... I don't think he was ever a candy eater. He says his teeth feel good and slimy. Just the way they are supposed to feel after 2 years of braces.
He got a permanent retainer wire on the bottom row of teeth. This permanent was defined as in it doesn't come out for temporary eating satisfaction. It remains there for 8 years though, which almost makes it permanent! He gets a removable upper retainer. I think he picked some type of picture rather than color. He only donated molds of his teeth for that one, and will get the actual next week.
We headed off to the Dentist today, and after having all our lives spoiled and well taken care of by Brother Dr. Mike, seeing a bill is stroke material. Josh had one cavity in a molar. He needed Xrays of just the molars, full cleaning, flouride and sealant in the molars for his deep grooves. Even after I arranged for 50% cash discount, the bill was $528!! Ugh. Is that real?
Son, those are mighty expensive pearls you're wearing there.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A New Car!

This is our "new" 1992 Mercedes Benz 300E. Dave got it while he was down in CA for work. He ended up spending his working money...heee heeee, but we were in the market for a cheap car that could be used as an additional family vehicle that got better mileage than our Landcruiser. This fit the bill, and boy is it nice! They must have had it detailed every month. It looks new. I couldn't find a better car anywhere for the price. My sister drove it up for us last weekend, along with 2 of her kids. She flew back after the weekend, and the kids stayed the week. The boys had a great time with their cousins.

We went to the movies since it was so hot to go out. We floated the Boise River and had a cool time. We taught them how to ride a motorcycle, but we didn't get to go out riding because Zach had an accident just before the 4th. He burned his hand while we were all sleeping. Apparantly the boys thought they would rig up their own firework for the 4th of July. They stuffed a GI Joe full of cap gun caps and when he used a screwdriver to smash down the caps inside the head, it exploded. Since he was holding it, his hand got caught in the fire. I heard the bang, and went into his room to find it full of smoke and he was breathing out black smoke. We ended up at the emergency room at 12:30am until 3:15. Mostly 2nd degree burns. We still let them do their own fireworks for the first time this year but there was much more caution.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Family Week

Dave's folks have been visiting for the last 10 days. It was a nice time. We visited some places that we hadn't yet seen, like Lucky Peak Reservoir and the Snake River. We hope to learn to water ski this year up at the dam.
The Snake River also has plenty of water, and maybe we can squeeze in a river rafting trip when the water is warmer.

The folks also got a mini tour of Nampa High School. We had our screening and evaluations last week for the boys. Both were accepted and both are excited for next year. Zach has lots of math to work on this summer. They gave us a 5th grade book to work on and he'll be re-evaluated at the end of the summer to see how he has done.

There was lots of time to just enjoy sitting on the front porch and watching the late sun sets.
We had 2 birthdays, and one anniversary during the week too.
Now, Dave is preparing for driving down to CA for some special customers and their painting projects. We hope he doesn't stay too long, we'll miss him!

Zach's arm healed just fine, thanks to the tip of using Bag Balm. It's the miracle stuff!

I'm leaving you with a picture of our dogs, when they can't come out front with us, they are still there!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The First Ride

Well, I forgot to take the camera. We were all excited to be fully dressed and out in open space.

I did get a picture of Zach's arm, after our ride. He took a dump right after we unloaded his bike and before we even had the others off the trailer. Ambition is sometimes hasty. Thankfully he wasn't going very far very fast. He simply didn't know how to balance when he hit an uneven place with his front wheel going so slow. He has broken in the new bike, it has rub marks just as bad. We hope Zach heals without scarring. The bike will just have to live with it. We were hoping to have some time before we needed to find elbow and knee guards, but guess we'll get them sooner than later!
Besides getting off on the slower side, we all had a great time. We went with the neighbors so there was a nice group of us. The area we went to, Pleasant Valley, is south of Kuna, just south of the prision. We literally stayed on our same Cloverdale that we live off of for miles, then took the road to the left and went a few miles, and we were there. It wasn't crowded, but there were plenty of other people there. Nothing like Galamis where we know thousands go to ride their ATV's in CA and surrounding states.

Once we got out there, I was surprised how fast the kids were comfortable with going. I brought up the rear, to be sure no one got left behind with a bike they couldn't get started. Well, ok, I wasn't going to go that fast, and neither was Zach after his fall, so we were definately slower. So, when we caught up, they would take right off. So much for stopping and resting! We all slept in late this morning. Guess riding a bike is good exercise!
Dave has plenty of work this week and next. He'll be working on Saturday, but hopefully we can take them back out on Sunday next week.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring is Here!

We've been working behind the scenes. Last year we sold our tent trailer before coming up here. We put that money in the pot. You can decide whether or not it was spent on house/bills or still in the pot .

Last week, we finally sold our private campground membership that we used with the trailer. I had a hard time using that money to pay bills, again. So, we decided to join the neighbors with a sport Dave and I have long wanted to do, but couldn't when in CA.

This is the purchase at the beginning of the week. This is Zach's bike, a Honda CRF 80. This was a steal of a deal from a guy that bought this for his daughter, but she didn't like to kick start, so he bought her a new bike with an electric start. It had hardly been used. The guy had a ton of calls because of his offer, and we got there first since we happened to be just down the street.

I've been searching Craigslist all week for more deals. Finally found on Wednesday another deal. A good bike for Josh. A Suzuki DR-Z125. It is older but again, not used very much and just the right size for him.

Friday we got the best deal. I saw an ad that had what looked like a great deal on a trailer to haul 4 bikes, and a smaller bike that we could get by with because of the price. So, we went and took a look, and got to talking. Turned out he had numerous bikes to choose from because he was selling all 4, AND he had a home addition project he was working on and was willing to trade work for the bikes! He has enough work for Dave to trade for the big Kawasaki 300! Dave is in heaven. I got his wife's bike the Yamaha TTR 125 and we got the trailer to haul 4 bikes. Since Dave wasnt working, he took the job and is working there now and they let us take the bikes home! Here they are all in a row in the garage.Zach's is red, then Dawn's is Blue, Josh is the yellow and Dave has the big green machine.

We found all the gear on Craigslist too, except for a helmet and boots for Josh. He needed a size I just couldn't find, so we had to head to the store. We were happy to see some gear on sale so we did ok. So, we're all geared up and ready to learn! It is just perfect that they are starting a new phase for our development. The dirt has been all leveled off and there is big open space just down the street. We got the boys to learn the motorcycle and anatomy in the garage. Then, we took them down to the dirt and turned them loose on learning the clutch and first gear. They both picked it up really fast. By the time they were ready to go home, they were both able to start, stop, find first and second gear and neutral. We're working on technique and control and so far is much fun. They are all smiles.

Sunday we're heading to the trails with the neighbors. I think we'll be ready to get the boys out on trails and they can learn to handle some terrain. There are so many neat places around here to bike we're looking forward to some weekend fun now that the snow is melted. Hurray for Spring! We'll take a pic tomorrow with everyone geared up with their bikes and upload the full pictures then.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nampa Christain School Tour

Well, we did it. We drove to Nampa, and toured the Elementary/Middle School, then over to the High School, which is another 2 miles down the road.

Zach would be in 6th grade, which is considered Middle School. This is nice considering he will be integrated with kids his age, since he will be one of the oldest in his class. His class would be about 23 kids and they switch teachers for History and Reading. The school is a converted barracks, and is indoors. It will work nicely next year when they move the kids around to use up the space that the High School kids left empty in January when they moved to the new campus. They have a gym and sports fields.

The High School campus opened in January, and is a very large, brand new beautiful building. You won't see bathrooms like these at most high schools around where we came from! They have a very large gym, but until it gets fully funded, they won't have the wood floors put in. They have lots of land, ready to build baseball and football fields, hopefully for next year. Josh is expecting to enter this school as a 9th grade freshman.

Overall, the boys are really excited about the hopes of attending these schools. They saw serveral people we know from Church. We need to figure out the logistics of carpooling (it is 16 miles away) and funds for tuition and all the extras that get added up when going outside of the house to school (like clothes and shoes instead of barefeet and sweats).

I think we will visit Cole Valley Christian later this week, just for comparison sake. It is only 4 miles away.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Beautiful Spring Day

Well, last weekend was starting to look like Spring was here, then on Monday we woke up to snow! What a surprise. Thankfully, it was gone by noon, and the weather continued to grow warmer.
Today is 74 degrees! You should see the people come out of their homes and start working on their yards with temperatures like this.

We decided to go to the Foothills Festival this morning. We missed the hot air balloon launch at 7am, but saw one balloon giving "rides", tethered on a rope up and down. The admission line was long. So, we we were looking at the crafts, then through some houses and when we came out, the balloon was packed up and done! Turns out it was a developer's magical way of bringing people out to look at homes! Free admission, farmers market (that didn't show up) craft fair, hot air balloon rides, free BBQ (but not until later and we weren't going to sit around and wait, birdwatching guided tours, and a free Trek mountain bike loan for a premier tour of the new mountain bike race track. Mainly, it was all centered around the open houses. So, what we thought would take a few hours, was a pit stop to another area I had never seen that Dave thought I should. A quaint little town of Hidden Springs, on the other side of those foothills. But, again, it was just a car tour around the small town, and back home we came.

At least we got back up to Eagle for the first time since we got here last fall. I'm anxious to get out and see some of our area, now that the snow should be finished. Bogus Basin Ski resort closes tomorrow in honor of Spring. The mountain is still FULL of snow, but they've had such a great season, they figure why stretch it!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Rachel's Challenge

Wednesday night, we went to the Idaho Center where there was this "Rachel's Challenge" that had come to Nampa and all area schools, families, churches were invited to come and listen.
Rachel was the first to be murdered at Columbine High School in 1999's massacre. Her father now speaks to thousands about her life and how she impacted others with kindness.

Our church's youth group was going, and so we decided to go as a family to help out with the driving. It was remarkable to see how this one girl is able to continue spreading acts of kindness through the family's continuing efforts of bringing her story our entire nation.

As a recap, Rachel loved those who either just needed a helping hand, or needed an advocate when bullied. Testimonies from people who had come into contact with her show that their own lives have dramatically changed, simply by realizing she was doing this with a purpose and how they appreciated her for what she had done for them.

Rachel is an inspiring story, one that if you should get the opportunity to hear about her in your community, you should go! They even had channel 7 news there, broadcasting live to the entire valley community. Click on the title of post to be taken to her website.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Got My Bookcase!

I've been waiting for this for months. All winter, the books have sat in the garage, in danger of getting soaked by the snow melting off the truck and sloping directly toward the boxes. Since construction has slowed to a snail pace, we found a cabinet maker that was willing to give us a great deal. They made the bookcases in paint grade material, and installed them. Dave then spent his time doing his thing.

When I had the boys all start bringing up the boxes, they grumbled that all those boxes would never fit. Close, but I got them all in!
Now, I'll be able to find what I'm looking for. I never want to have to live out of boxes again. Now, the next project is to get the pictures out of the boxes, and get them hung. We could have done that earlier, but somehow, those things just don't get done unless we make it a project of the day.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Quiet Week

I am still doing more standing than sitting. I can't even lay down on my back yet, so sleeping is rough. But, things are getting done, so I'm happy.

Last week, Zach did a volcano experiment. Here is a rare picture of him!
I let the boys do most of their school work on their own, and they did fairly well with the list.
The boys all got their ski passes for the rest of this season and next. I found 2 snowboards on Craigslist so they don't have to rent every time. Dave got a real nice board with bindings and boots that fit great too. We got a board with bindings that we thought was a 149c, but turns out it is a 155 like Dave's, so Josh will use it instead of Zach. Next time we'll bring our own measuring tape! I can't believe the owner didn't know what size they had. With the passes came 3 lift tickets. I'm on a quest to get in shape for next season, and wear those bomber protection pants while learning. THen, towards the end of the season if I care to venture off the bunny hill, I can use the lift tickets to get up on the real mountain. It was a better deal than buying a pass for me.

We finally got our bookcases installed this week. Dave is busy as I type getting them painted. I can't wait to get all the boxes of books unpacked from the garage.

We had a visit from the Elders of the church. Seems they do this once a year and everyone is on a every other year cycle. We got this year's cycle. We found out a little more about the Education fund the church has. Our school of choice is most likely not going to be one of the supported schools for long. We have 3 other schools to choose from, and next year the boys will be attending one of them. Our neighbors go to Nampa Christain, as well as just about Josh's whole Sunday School class. The more local school is Cole Valley, and the third choice is Foundations Academy, a Classical School here in town. I guess our next step is to visit the schools.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Challenge of a Week

Challenges come in many forms. For us this week , it has shown up in a variety of ways in just one week's span of time. At least the view from our Master Window is peaceful.

On Tuesday, the weather was finally so nice, the boys and a neighbor kid decided they would play outside with their airsoft guns. It was beautiful out. Sunny and a warm 45 degrees. I was watching from the front window because I was in the office, and the boys were taking a break on the front porch chairs. They were chatting and reloading their "mags". I think they were being slow about it, in order to catch their breath. It was a typical front porch scene. Just enjoying themselves. Then, IT happened. A new kid walked down the street by himself on the other side, and decided to stare at the boys from behind the front end of a truck. And, he stared for what must have seemed an eternity. He was a 10 year old boy. I know the boys got to feeling uncomfortable with him just watching them, so the neighbor kid says, "what's up?" (a kid way of saying hello?) The new kid say's, "Kendall says when he walks by you riddle him up." (Kendall is a fellow neighborhood boy that plays airsoft with them, and has a way with story telling.) Josh tosses back, "and we'll riddle you too.... (hands up in air waving without any gun) JUST KIDDING, just kidding." He continues to stare. Our neighbor boy remarks to the boys lets push him on, and he shoots off his pistol and says, "and I'll give you 10 seconds to run". It was in the direction of the boy, but the boy was way too far away to actually get shot, and the neighbor boy wasn't really aiming at him. The kid runs down toward the park instead of home never looking back, and we figured that was the end of that. He took the long way home and probably arrived there licky split. I was outside by that time, and gave the boys a quick reminder that we don't shoot at unarmed civilians. It was a general comment, since my own boys didn't do anything that I felt could be punishable, but wanted to be sure the neighbor kid understood the rules we play by. I went to get the mail across the street while the boys continued to discuss what they just saw.

Next I know, the father is at my door with his son, accusing my boys of shooting his son. I let out a chuckle and a sigh, thinking to myself, 'you're at the wrong door', and remarked, "no, they didn't SHOOT him", ready to tell him what happened, but he got so upset he let me know it was totally unappropriate for me to think it funny for teens to intimidate innocent people , and that he was "disappointed in me, and I guess I know what I'm working with." I was so stunned by the rudeness of this man, I simply looked at him with a dropped jaw thinking about an approprate response. Then, he continued to imply I was just an idiot not worth speaking to, I said that I must be unable to help him, stepped back inside the house and shut the door. He clearly was looking for something I just didn't know about.

So, I didn't get much sleep that night. The next day, we decided we would speak directly with the boy as he came home from school that day. Well, his mother came to meet him in front of our house, and she is even more aggressive and rude than the father! However, we found out that the story didn't end with him running. He was so confused, that he ran straight for a porta potty at the park, and called home from his cell phone telling his folks that the boys chased him there and were outside shooting at the porta potty. !!!! Now, they have one confused kid, or an attention seeker. The mother found that it was important to tell us they just moved in, it was his first trip on the bus and walk home, and they know no one in this whole state. (um, I think that applies to alot of us in this new subdivision) Unfortunately, we were unable to even give a simple fact regarding what happened on our porch, except that I informed her that her husband was offensive and rude in his approach at my house. Her simple reply was that she couldn't speak for him. I wondered why she was speaking for her son.

Soon after we stopped the boy to talk with him, he went home and the mother thought she could defend him. I simply wanted the boys to work it out. It easily turned to an argument because she wasn't even there! Of course, she knew what he told her. Since he wasn't willing to stay and sort it out, I was simply amazed at the turn of her conversation, and how twisted things were. She finally consented and said she felt they were attempting to convey they did not intend for that all to happen, and she let them go shake her son's hand and call it good. Both parents are handshakers. They shake and introduce their name, then stab hard. It gave us and the boys plenty to talk about. But, I didn't sleep a single wink of sleep that night, just tortured by the realization that an adult could speak to other adults and children the way they did, had no interest in the other side of the story, and feel like a handshake in the midst of hatred will heal all.

Enter Friday, and our next challenge. The Boise schools were out today, because of a teacher service day. The same neighbor kid got permission to come with us to Bogus to snowboard with us. We left early, and found that there were already a lot of people on the mountain. I guess lots of Boise poeple decided it was a good day to ski. We got all our stuff to the lodge, got our passes, and rented our gear. Then, headed for the lift.

I debated whether or not I wanted to take the chair first, or go for the magic carpet for a practice run. After negotiating in my mind, I decided I'd rather only sit and boot up once rather than several times for such short runs. I got off the chair and headed for the slopes. I was amazed to see how many people cluttered the run. It looked like an obstacle course. I also realized the snow was very different from last week. Last week, as all previous weeks, was fresh powder, soft and moveable. This week, it hadn't snowed in days, was warm during the day and freezing at night. The slope was crusty icey. And, I was aiming straight for a kid sitting down in front of me. You always go for where you're looking, and especially when I couldn't get my board to turn or stop in the ice, I was quickly reaching this young girl. I finally just dumped myself down to stop, and landed pretty hard on my butt. I got up again, moved myself off to the side, and the next time I fell, I could tell I was really sore. By the time I had gotten myself to the bottom of the hill, I was in enough pain that I knew I wasn't going down the slopes anymore before lesson time. When the family came in for lunch before the lesson, I realized I wasn't going to do the lesson either. So, I hung out on the snow pile outside a building, resting my backside in cold ice knowing that icing a bruise is always a good thing.

Unfortunately, by the time their lesson was over 2 hrs. later, I was in such pain I could hardly walk. They all packed up, and we headed down the mountain. We decided to take me in to the chiropractor, since he has an xray machine, is usually a quick visit, and a lot less expensive than going to an emergency room. The chiropractor was in, and after a quick exam, decided to do an xray. Sure enough, he was fairly convinced I cracked my tailbone. He did say that even if we did go in to the Dr, they wouldn't do anything, as we suspected. I just need to take time to heal, sit on a donut, and don't bend over.

Now that it is a couple days later, I'm more sore than before, and wondering if I really want a snow pass that we intended to buy on this weekend's half price sale. I found out that they sell " bomber protection" for snowboarding. These are shorts that have 1/2" foam padding along the hips and tailbone plus an additional plastic protector running on the outside of the tailbone protection. I know that if I attempt this again, I'll be wearing those $75 shorts! Plus, knee padding and wrist guards in addition to the helmet we already wear. Snow might be more forgiving than a street and rollerskating, but not much!

So, there ends a week of working on challenges, every day.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Glorious Winter

Winter. Cold and snowy. Isn't that Winter? Well, apparantly, we are getting a special treat this year. According to the local news, we've had more snow this year than the last 6 years total. There is a run on snow shovels at the hardware store. We now own snow boots, tire chains, hats, gloves, and have anti-freezing window wiper fluid. I find it fun though to wake up and see the new snow scene. And, the ski season has been terrific!

Today we were glad to see that Bogus Basin Road was open for business. Yesterday, they closed it at 1pm due to an accident pile-up and strong winds blowing snow across the road. But, all was well today, and we were there plenty early to get familiar with the new routine of renting snowboards. I like the boots! In fact, we were all more comfortable with the snowboard boots instead of the lean forward hard and tight ski boots. They are so much easier to walk in too, especially on the stairs.

There were 17 of us for the class, so they split us up into a young class and the older "kid" class. It started off really slow, since most of us didn't even know what "foot" we were in order to determine wether we were "goofy" or "regular". Say what? I've been called Tigger before, but never Goofy. Alas, I found out I'm goofy. So was Dave and Zach. Josh rode "regular". This all simply means that we "goofy's" naturally use our right foot forward instead of the left. After we all got our feet in the right place and learned how to fasten our feet in, we were ready for the lesson. A first lesson in snowboarding is usually alot of one foot in and one foot out pushing ourselves along. Yes, we did this back and forth. Then, we progressed to pushing ourselves up a tiny incline and learning how to skate down turning to the left or right. Apparantly we all did well, because we all got to take the "magic carpet" up to the bunny hill.

Beginning snowboarders spend alot of time on their butts. We fall, of course. But, we also sit and wait for everyone to get up the conveyor belt (Magic Carpet), and then we need to sit to strap in our second foot. In some amazing way, the kids can bounce up from sitting to a standing position. I guess I don't have the stomach muscles, or maybe I don't have the flexibilty, but I cannot be sitting on my bum, reach my hand to the bottom of the board under my feet, and stand up. Out of our class of 9, I was the only one that couldn't just stand up, however, I learned really fast how to roll over and stand up from my knees.

After the second or third time up and down, our instructor informed us that we were the fastest moving class he ever had! Well, I don't think I was able to go 3 feet before I was back on the ground again on the first run, but somehow on the second run, it clicked and it was much easier.
After class, we all decided to be brave and took the chair lift up and tackled the big hill. We all survived, and all of us but Dave thought we did better than we thought we would. Dave figured because he was such a confident skier that he would master this fairly quickly. He found it harder than he expected. I guess the rest of us had less expectation.

Forecast for this week says 40 degrees. I guess our snow will melt quickly. After all this, Zach is sad to see the snow melting. He spends most of his available time building snow piles, as big and tall as he can make them.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Skiing Again

We have finished our 3 session ski lessons!
Zach stayed home and watched a marathon of Sponge Bob Square Pants. At least, we left him watching, and he was still watching when we got home.

The morning started out rough. It was very cloudy here and visibility up the mountain was poor. Half way up, we were above the clouds, and it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day! When we checked in they were passing us snowboard boots. Somehow our registration for next month got into the computer early, and it switched our gear for this day. So, we ran later than we planned after getting them to fit us for skis.

We all had a great time. My instructor decided for the last day he would show us the mountain. He took us to the back side, and up a hard to find chair lift. We explored wonderful trails, and had gorgeous views. And, no Black Diamond runs! Whew. I was really nervous last night. Turns out that my class was full of younger kids that were showing promise early on, but they continued to stay with what was comfortable, and were not working hard at learning new techniques, so the instructor decided we weren't ready.

Josh also progressed to where the instructor took his class to the same backside trail! When class was over, Josh and I took Dave on that trail (he didn't get the same tour) and I was really impressed with how well Josh was doing, and he was having a good time too.

After class, Dave felt like he could teach me some of the techniques he had learned. Had he done this on a smaller hill, I would have probably learned something. But, he took me on what he was familiar with, and it was quite the steep slope. Not something I would have done had I known what was lurking over the ridge. I only fell once, but tweaked the knee enough that I was done for the day. Since it was already 4:30, we all felt like we had a full day of skiiing.

I'm looking forward to next month, and we hope to be a foursome again.

Monday, January 21, 2008

More Skiing

Lesson #2 down, one more to go.
This week, we left home early, so as not to be rushed getting up the mountain, or getting our rentals and tickets. We even brought our own lunch and ate before the lesson so we weren't so famished during the lesson and stored our shoes on a shelf so no locker was needed. It feels like it is getting easier. Except the skiing part.

Zach was firm about not skiing. Since he has been sick since last week, we gave in at the last minute. He sat in the lodge fully armored with ski pants, gloves and hat. He slept most of the morning with a head on the table.

Josh also came down with the same cold mid-week, but he decided he would at least do the lesson, but didn't want to ski before or stay and do any more skiing. He said after the lesson that it was nice to learn how to turn and stop. He suggested Zach not come back to the next lesson because he would hold up the class not having this very important info. Since Zach isn't interested in the least, I've filled out his refund form and we'll see what happens.

Dave and I took the chair #3 up and had a couple ski runs down before the lesson started. On the first run Dave and I took the same route. The second time Dave was in front and said, "follow me". I got down the first part of the hill and saw he was WAY out in front and thought to myself..."No Way am I 'following him'." He is a skier. I am a beginner. I can count 3 previous times I've been on skis. I can't just 'do this' and 'follow'. Am I being stubborn? No. I'm being Realistic. I like my knees working most of the time. I like being able to get up our stairs without weird methods to accomodate broken legs or feet. So, I ditched him and went down the more traveled slope, at my own pace.

The lessons began, and we all went to our appointed places. Dave's instructor decided that he should have taken the Advanced level instead of Intermediate. HA. See. I'm not following him.
After 1.5 hrs. of ski lesson, I headed toward the lodge to find Zach. I was tired, and not up for the last run. Last I heard, the instructor was happy with our progress, and was going to get us ready for going down a Diamond run next week for our last bang. What a disappointment. I'd much rather enjoy the trip down the mountain than have to watch every move I make and never see the wonderous view from up so high. Besides, I find that such hard work on such advanced slopes really take a toll on my recovered but weak knee. I'm looking forward to trying Snowboarding next month. The easy boots that don't bruise the ankles and the two feet together on one board should help the knees. And, I might be able to get myself back up after a fall! I see and hear that one learning snowboarding spends much time on their bum, but hey, I got LOTS of padding there.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


We did it! We had our first skiing lesson on Friday. We went to Bogus Basin. It is just 30 minutes out of town, in the local mountains. The facility is really nice and the snow was great.

The boys were in the same class of beginners, while Dave and I were in another group that got split up by ability, so we ended up in different classes. I hadn't ever seen Dave ski, but he must have skied some because he threw out his skis and poles when we were cleaning out to move. He figured equipment has probably changed in 25 years. It most definatley has.

The boys learned to stand up from a ground position, how to walk on their skis, how to snow plow, and how to ride the chair lift.
Josh seemed to do fine with the newness of it all. Zach decided it was punishment to take the day off of school and go skiing. I guess there was a new snowboarder that ran him over while he was down in the snow. Turns out he was also coming down with a cold, because he woke up Saturday morning sick, which probably means that he wasn't in his best ability in the cold, being tested in his resolve to stand up going down a hill on 2 sliding feet. We're hoping he will enjoy it more this coming Friday when we have our number 2/3 lesson.

Dave's class worked in refining their movements and parallel skiing. My class worked on learning to get down the mountain standing up. First thing we had to do was learn how to get up after a fall. Being that my knees have had some major problems in the last couple of years, this was a challenge. I resolved to NOT fall down after I found out how hard it was to get up. And, I succeeded.
Since Zach wasn't enjoying himself, we went home after our lesson and lunch. Next week we hope to stay a while and practice having fun!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Winter Wonderland

This is what the snow looked like in the morning. It was the biggest snow storm we've seen yet. Snow covered everything, making it all look so wonderously clean and white.

This is our lawn after they have spent the day making this GIGANTIC snowman. Complete with MY hat and scarf. Snow melts fast around here. We're lucky if there is still snow at 11am.
The kids in the neighborhood all helped. It was their FIRST ever snowman.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

888 Reading List

I have started my list. It is not finished at this point, so I will add to it as I get all my boxes unpacked (which may be a while). The "rules" state that we can have 8 overlapping books, but that still leaves 56 books for the year. I am going to be realistic and not commit to reading more than a book per week. I've got some other priorities :) I'm sure by the end of the year there will be 56 books read after we finish all our school reading. So, in Jan. you will not find 8 books listed in each category. Blue print is my list to read. Green colored are books in progress. My favorite color purple signifies that it has now been checked off as completed. Note that if you want to keep track of what I'm reading, how I'm progressing, or what I've added as the year progresses you can always get back to this post by clicking on the category '888' on the left side bar.

Children's Classics- These are the books the boys will read this year, so I'll read them too.

  • The Big Wave
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Stone Fox
  • Alice in Wonderland

Christian- for Spiritual Growth

  • Bible in a Year-front to back- currently in 1 Corinthians.
  • How Then Should We Live- Francis Shaffer
  • Mere Christianity- CS Lewis-I got part way through and changed my mind. I'm not finishing this one.

For Fun- Books on the shelf I've been wanting to read

  • Digital Scrapbooking with Photoshop Elements 3
  • America Alone - Mark Steyn- Mom's recommendation
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • 39 Steps- John Buchan
  • Greenmantle- John Buchan

Read a louds- Books I'm reading to the boys. This category will basically consist of historical literature of all kinds. I'll add to it as we find out what we're reading.

  • Lost Treasure of the Inca
  • Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates

Self Education- On being a better teacher, and just learning new info. for self development.

  • Anthony Robbins - Get the Edge series
  • Eat to Live - Dr. Furhman

Classics - Mostly books I've always thought I should read, but haven't. This list could be endless. I'm going to keep it simple.

  • A Christmas Carol- Dickens
  • The Hobbit- Tolkien


  • A Place of Grace- Susan Hunt
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families - Stephen Covey

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


What is 888? It was something I heard about on the Well Trained Mind message board, a homeschooling website I like to frequent, probably too much .

Anyway, the premise is easy. Read 8 books in 8 categories of your choice in 2008, equals 888. It lends to being more rounded in the choices. I need that. I tend to read all non-fiction with Christian interspersed. This will really help me to pick some other things, and make time for the fun stuff. I've always been a big mystery fan, and yet haven't read any in a LONG time.

It will take me a few days just to pick the categories and the books that will go on my list. Most of my books, maybe all of my books, are in the garage, unpacked from our move. I have no bookcases yet. However, I'm NOT going to let this deter me from getting on the band wagon.
Care to join me? Make up a list of 8 categories and the 8 books you'll read within each category. Then, we'll check them off as we go. I've included the link to the "rules" and there are lots of helpful examples there too. (click on 888 above). I'll post my list in the next week or so. Remind me if you don't see it :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

We've Joined Cloverdale United Reformed Church

We are now members of a local church again. We visited our local PCA church when we arrived here, but just seemed to have a difficult time with the timing and distance. When I checked to see what other Reformed churches were available in the area, I found this one. We visited and the boys immediately liked it for the size and number of children in their Sunday School classes. They have a former PCA pastor, a beautiful building for all kinds of worship, fellowship and classes, and lots of relocated southern CA reformed folk. We asked for our transfer of membership a while ago, after attending the 5 week New Members Class but it took a while for it to find the Elders and their monthly meeting and then our interview after that. This was the first Sunday available for us to be able to accept membership. We're happy to have a new church home that is faithful to God's Word.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Vacation Fun!

What Fun we've had! Wednesday night we decided to take the boys to indoor kart racing. WOW. We thought we enjoyed laser tag, but kart racing beats that. It was buy 2 races and get a third free night, so we got plenty of driving in. These cars are fast, and the track is for racing. I was impressed with how well the boys did for their first time driving. We asked the neighbors if they wanted to come along, since they have another boy staying with them this week. We ended up being the only ones there and had the track to ourselves.

Thursday night we went snow tubing at Bogus Basin. We've been wanting to get up there to see where we will be skiing and snowboarding these next couple of months. Turns out they have a tubing hill and the boys thought the ride up on the rope tow was just as fun as going down the 800 ft. hill. We attempted to get tickets for the afternoon, but when I realized they recocommended advanced reservations, I clicked on the "buy tickets" and found out they only had 6 tickets left for 4-6pm. How nice to be able to do it all online. Then, just an hour before we were leaving, the neighbor boy came over to play and when he found out where we were going, he mentioned he did that the day before and wished he had googles because of the wind and snow in the face. I quickly called Dave and had him bring home 4 pair. We were very happy to have had them because it was a breeze going down the fast hill with face protection! Snow and wind in the face would make for not nearly as much fun. As the picture above shows, we bundled up. Being warm and dry meant more fun despite the late tubing time. They turned on the lights about 5 pm and I'm sure the only difference between daytime and nighttime would have been temperature. Our warmest time of the day is between 4-5pm!

I'm sure we'll be doing both activities again.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!

The New Year is here. We look forward to this new adventure in our new town. To start it off right, we've got reservations to go tubing down the local ski resort's tubing hill tomorrow, and we've signed up for Ski lessons for Jan, and Snowboarding lessons for Feb. This will be the year of getting out and doing new things, Lord willing. We hope your new year is filled with high expectations too.