Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mystery Device

This morning I had an epiphany moment as I walked through my home.  I realized that there is a mystery device in our home that is meant for women alone.  Apparently, these devices are completely invisible to the male species until they reach approximately middle age.  I know this because these devices are almost never engaged by the three young males who reside in this house.

If you are a man, stop reading now.

This is classified information.

This is on a need-to-know-basis only.  You may already be able to see these devices, but you must learn about them on your own.

Below is a photo of the mystery device.  Please remember that these are invisible to young males and plan accordingly.

Please note the three-letter word written on the mystery device.  This denotes the appropriate position for most daylight hours.  Oh, how I wish my sons could see and read these devices!  Maybe someday. . .

Monday, January 18, 2010

Romance. . . or Nightmare???

It's that romantic time of year when young ladies at Lehi High are asking the young men of their dreams to the Sweetheart Dance.  You have to ask early, or some other young lady might ask first!

Brittany made plans with me this week to come over on Saturday afternoon while Colby was playing basketball at the church.  I managed to get him to clean his room under the guise that we had to take down his little Christmas tree. All seemed well. . . until I took Colby to Barnes and Noble and he decided that he would rather stay at home and read than go play basketball.   At that point, I called in the troops.  A quick call to Becky Struthers and in just a few minutes Paul was calling Colby and getting him revved up for the game.  The minute he walked out of the house I called Brittany and she came right over.

The torn sheet says "It would be a nightmare if you don't go to Sweethearts with me."  There were little candies all over the bed. . . but inside the bed were rubber spiders and snakes!  He didn't fond those until later and it was pretty funny. . .

So, now he has to decide how to answer. . .  Of course it will be YES!  But it has to be creative. . .  I told him that he should give her a sweet dreams pack with a mask and stuff since the nightmare is over.  But what do I know?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lock Down!

My life has become much busier in the last couple of weeks- not only because of my City Council duties, but because I am substituting a LOT at the high school.  Our most wonderful new band director, Mr. Seamons, just happens to be in the Army Reserve and he will be deployed to the Middle East on May 3.  He has training for most of January and March, so I will be subbing for him while he's gone.  I will actually be at the school more than he will be there this spring!

It is a little weird substituting in the same classroom where I taught for 6 years. . . but I am having a blast.  The kids are great and I already knew many of them because of their associations with Colby.  I was pretty burned out after 15 years of teaching, but now that I have had 5 years off, I am enjoying it again.

Except for Friday.

Some dumb kid decided to call in a bomb scare, so the school went into lock down.  I had the percussion ensemble, so we kept right on rehearsing for a while.  I figured it was just a drug bust.  But after a couple of announcements, it was clear that there was something going on and we needed to be able to actually HEAR the announcements, so we packed up.  Not long after that, the school psychologist came to the room to help me check for out-of-place items or articles that did not belong to one of the students in the classroom.  Hello!  This is a band room!  There are hundreds of cases and bags!!!  But, there were a couple of items that looked a little suspicious, so she decided that the dog should come in.

At that point I decided to tell the kids what was going on and that the dog was coming- just in case I had someone who was going to freak out.  There were a couple of kids who were a little nervous, but the big surprise came when one of the kids said, "Uh, you should probably know that I think I have firecrackers in my backpack."  Oh my heck!!!  Duh!!!

I thanked him for being honest right up front, stopped him from retrieving the firecrackers out of the backpack, and reported the problem.  When the dogs came in all was well because the handlers already had a heads up.  The suspicious items turned out to be fine and the perpetrators were arrested.

After about 1.5 hours the lock down ended.  The students gratefully headed to lunch and the restrooms.  I headed for the young man with the firecrackers and used a little teacher voice on him.  If he doesn't clean out his backpack this weekend, I'm gonna bust him.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snowboarding Lessons

We had a GREAT idea for a Christmas gift this year- snowboarding lessons at Sundance Resort.  They have a great starter package for Scouts that includes 4 hours of lessons, 4 hours of free ski time, and gear for under $100 AND you get the Snow Sports Merit Badge.  On top of all that, Reed says that it was, "The most fun I have ever had in my whole life!"

DISCLAIMER:  We have had injuries.  Despite the helmets and lessons, stuff happens.  Parker's very first fall last week landed him flat on his back.  This dislocated his rib, both in back and in front.  He had a hard time breathing and was in pain.  That didn't stop him!  Yesterday he had the rib adjusted in the afternoon, had it knocked back out at Scouts last night, and had it re-adjusted late last night.  (Ron Anderson is an AWESOME chiropractor and a good friend- who else would meet us at 9:30 at night???)  We will probably be back there tomorrow since there were some issues when Parker fell tonight, but he's hanging in there.  The ligaments are so stretched out that they are not holding the rib. . .

Today was their second lesson.  They were excited to go and everything was simple and easy.  The board shop had all their equipment ready when we arrived, so there was no fuss.  Tonight they learned about waxing a board and they mastered S turns.  From what they say, they are doing really well.  I must say that we were pretty surprised at how much better they were today.  Colby stunned us with his smooth descent to the lift- he looked awesome!  Reed and Parker show less finesse, but are more daring. . .  I think I am glad that I can only see a small part of the mountain.

This is the lodge/snack area that is right at the bottom of the slopes.  This is where Ed and I have spent HOURS drinking cocoa and playing rummy.  We actually even met a couple of new acquaintances who were also hanging out.  We enjoyed watching the parade of people in their various "outfits" as they warmed up and had a snack.  We are sedate people.

Sundance has just begun having night skiing again after many many years of darkness.  This has worked out really well for us since it is so close.  I want to take the boys snowboarding during the day so that I might have a prayer of catching some action shots!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Scary Task. . .

We have some wonderful friends- the Sampsons.  We have been camping and eating out with them for years- ever since all of our children were just little.  Here's the scary thing. . . their eldest daughter is engaged.  Now of course we think that she's WAY too young to get married (heck I was 24), but that's far from being relevant.  Miss Jamilyn asked me to take her engagement photos.  Whoa!  I am no professional photographer, but I figured that if they came out bad and she wanted someone else to do it, I would not be offended.

Today was about the clearest day that we have had in three weeks.  The inversion is icky, but we made it work.  Because it was pretty cold and we were losing sunlight at an alarming rate, we did this three-location shoot in about 20 minutes!  I didn't want poor Jamie to have a red nose!!!  I was worried that the shoot would be a disaster, be we got some good shots.  I did it all in manual mode- and shot them using RAW.  Although the results are not in the realm of professional, here are a few of my faves!

Congratulations Jamilyn and Kendall!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's Official!

I am now an official member of the Lehi City Council.  We had the swearing in ceremony this evening in the Council Chambers.  Once I sat down in the big chair, reality struck!  Oh my heck!  I am actually on the City Council!!!!

I am really excited to have this opportunity to serve my community.  I hope that I will be an effective decision maker.  Everyone that I talk to gives me advice, and from 75% of them it is, "Give 'em hell."  The other 25% say something a little gentler, like, "Go get 'em!"  I am still not totally sure who the 'em is, but I am on it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Milestone Reached

Ed and I had an interesting experience in church on Sunday- we found ourselves sitting alone. Reed turned 12 on the 19th and was ordained as a Deacon. This past Sunday, December 27, was his first day passing the Sacrament. It was an amazing experience to hear Colby bless the Sacrament and then to watch Parker and Reed pass the Sacrament to the congregation.

This is the first time ever that we have had two children in the same "group" at church with both Parker and Reed being in the Deacon's Quorum. It won't last too long because Parker will turn 14 in May, but I think they are enjoying it! This morning they had to be at Brother Lemon's house at 7:15 to go to the Temple to do Baptisms for the Dead. This was Reed's first time at the Temple.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Finally. . . a cougar!

We were able to spend the past few days at our cabin in Fairview.  Just after we entered SMR, I noticed an unusual bird soaring through the light snowflakes- I was stunned to realize that it was a Bald Eagle!  That is the first time we have seen our national bird in Fairview, so it seemed like a good omen.  I had a feeling that it was going to be my weekend to finally see a cougar. . .

This morning I was out taking photographs of the birds around the cabin when Parker came screaming into the driveway on the ATV.  He wanted me to jump on, but I protested saying that I wasn't wearing socks or a coat.  When he responded that there was a cougar treed on Birch Creek Road, I was on that ATV so fast it would have surprised any bystanders!  We tore down the hill and around the corner onto Birch Creek Road.  We had only gone about 1/2 a mile when we came upon a clump of cars.  We jumped off and headed to where Ed was standing.  I couldn't believe my eyes!  A real live cougar!  I only had time to take four shots before the big cat turned and ran down the tree and along the creek with the yowling hounds headed after him. 

The crowd dispersed and on our way back down the road, we stopped to talk to the people who treed the cougar.  They are the Adamsons of Lehi and Jake is their lead dog.  He's a handsome critter.

As we left them and headed down the road, the cougar ran across the road right in front of us.  I missed it, but Ed and Parker said it was cool to see him run.  He headed up the hill towards C loop, so we alerted the Adamsons and the dogs immediately picked up the trail and were tracking. We headed back up to the cabin and ran into the Adamsons on the middle road. . . they said that the dogs had just gone through towards the north.  (The dogs wear special GPS collars so that they can be tracked.)  I exclaimed that they wear heading right for our cabin!  By the time we made it around the corner, the dogs were headed on the other side of the road. . . and I needed socks on, so I went back to the cabin.

The first thing that I heard when I got off the ATV was Colby yelling at Lewis and Clark to be quiet.  He was quite frustrated with them and said that there had been a couple of dogs running by the cabin that got the boys all wound up.  Apparently one of the hounds even went under the deck!  I have to wonder if the cougar did. . .  After a few minutes we let Lewis out and he immediately headed north- up by our water wagon.  Parker chased him and found cougar tracks.  All I can say is that it was a very exciting morning!  A little too close to home, but exciting none the less!

I guess that it is a good thing that we have Ice Sword Reed around to keep us safe!