Monday, September 19, 2011

Definitely a Monday

Today was definitely a Monday at school or should I say work. It should have been a relatively laid back Monday since I was giving a test today. However, I remembered early this morning that I forgot to run off the answer sheet for the test. So as soon as I got to my classroom, I sent the copies to the printer. No biggie, except I did not realize that my word file had a blank page after my answer sheet page. Needless to say I ran off 150 blank pages that I had to sort from the answer sheet. ARGH!! And of course, I was my regular self and had a typo on the test but this time the typo was kind of a big one. Opps!! Then during my 2nd period class, one of the fish tank groups decided to do a water change. Not a problem except that they did not screw the hose on to the faucet properly and water was squirting all over the electrical outlets. Not good!!! After they fixed the hose problem, they ran out of time to fill their tanks back up to the proper level. I told them that I would go ahead and fill their tanks so they would not be late for class. The first tank fill-up was taken care of without a problem. The second fill-up did not go so well. I got so busy starting my next class that I forgot about the 2nd tank until one of my students asked me if I was aware that the tank was overflowing. Oh yeah, I definitely felt like Noah. I had a major flood. And by the way school paper towels are not efficient for cleaning up a flood of this magnitude!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I love to see the temple

On Sunday, August 7th, we went with Arielle's family to Temple Square after dinner with Mike's family. We really enjoyed walking around the grounds. The hardest part was trying to keep Em out of all the pools of water. Arielle had fun taking pictures with our camera. Thanks, Arielle!! We actually have some pictures of me now!

Naomi and Kaylee in front of the Christus

Naomi & Kaylee looking at the temple
The girls by a reflection pool

Em in the pool

All three girls
Our family with the temple in front of us

The girls

Berry Picking

On Saturday the 6th of August, we, along with Arielle, Joel, and Emmalee, took a scenic drive through Payson to find a Berry Patch. We finally found a Raspberry Patch over on West Mountain in Payson. Before finding our berry patch, we stopped at a dollar store to find some berry picking supplies. The website for the berry patch suggested a container that tied around the waist so both hands could be free. We improvised and tied black scarves to some buckets. Naomi and Kaylee really got into picking berries. Em enjoyed picking them and then eating them. We ended up picking 8 lbs of raspberries which Arielle and I turned into raspberry jam. The jam is DELICIOUS!! Now I just need to find another berry patch because I am running out of jam. Only 3 jars left!!

Naomi picking berries
Kaylee picking berries

Joel and Em picking berries

Arielle, David, and the girls picking berries

Em picking berries and eating them ;o)

Our haul of berries

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hogle Zoo

Another activity while in Utah was visiting the Hogle Zoo. Hogle Zoo had animatronic dinosaurs set up all around the zoo for Zoorasic Park. Kaylee especially liked the one that sprayed water at you. For this outing Stephanie, Jacob, and Eliza came with as well. This was definitely another fun outing.

lft: Naomi and Jacob rt:Kaylee and Emmalee on wooden horses
Naomi, Kaylee, and Emmalee on a tiger

Oh no, look out for that dinosaur

Naomi and Eliza

Arielle, Em, Kaylee, Naomi, David and Joel by the musical elephant

lft to rt: Kaylee, Naomi, Emmalee and Jacob

Kaylee getting sprayed by a dinosaur

Living Planet Aquarium

One of the excursions Arielle planned for us was the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy. We all really enjoyed it especially me! I know that is a no brainer after all I am an Aquatics teacher. :o) But hey if you live in Utah close to Sandy it is well worth it. Here are some pics from that day:

This display allows you to feel the electrical currents of an electric eel. I only lasted a couple seconds. Kaylee kept her fingers on for a couple of minutes.
Naomi, Kaylee, and Emmalee sitting in a canoe in the Amazon exhibit

Emmalee trying to pet a sting ray

Emmalee, Kaylee, and Naomi looking at some jellies

The girls and a frog (maybe if they kiss it, it will turn into a prince)

Visiting with Family in Utah

The second leg of our family vacation (and the majority) was spending time with my Utah siblings (Dan, Mike, Arielle) and their families. Arielle and Joel were wonderful in allowing us to stay in their Orem condo while they were finishing out their South Jordan apartment contract. Arielle acted as our event/activity coordinator and planned out an itinerary for things for us to do when we visited. Check out the individual blog posts on those fun activities. Here is some random family pictures including pictures taken at our big family dinner:

Kaylee, Emmalee, and Naomi with Beamer (poor kittyboy)
Naomi reading to Jacob

Sleepover (Em is sharing the sleeping bag with Naomi, and Melanie is kneeling by Kaylee)

Yum breakfast for dinner (Clockwise starting in bottom lft: Em, Naomi, Kaylee, Jacob)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Swiss Alps of America

After summer school was finished for me, we decided to take a family road trip. On the 30th of July, we headed out and we pulled back in to Houston on the 16th of August. Our first leg of the trip was to Colorado. My dad's sisters live in Montrose, and I love to visit anytime that I can. (PS: I was born there.) This was David's first time going to Montrose and seeing Colorado. David absolutely loved Colorado and would not mind moving there. One of my favorite places to visit when I go to Montrose is a little resort town about 1 hour south called Ouray. Ouray is nicknamed the Swiss Alps of America. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see why. It is absolutely gorgeous. It was rainy the day we went. So we spent our time browsing the shops. Next time we visit, I want to bring the girls to the natural hot springs that is opened all year round. When I was in college, I actually went swimming in it during Thanksgiving break when it was snowing!!

The girls (if you look closely on the right right above the car there is a waterfall in the mountains)
David and the girls
David and the girls in front of the sign

Sea Center with Grandma and Pop-pop

The last week in July my parents came for a short visit. On our one exclusive day with just them, we brought them down to the Sea Center in Lake Jackson. (FYI: for those Texans this is a free marine aquarium/fish hatchery/nature exhibit open to the public) Being an Aquatic Science teacher, I love to visit the Sea Center. I love the different aquaria displays that show the different aquatic habitats of Texas. If you get a chance, it is also fun to take a tour of the fishery that supplies a lot of the red fish for fishing here in Texas. They also have a small touch tank to touch various native aquatic animals. Naomi was quite scared of the crabs and was pretty leary of putting her fingers in the water. Don't worry they actually remove one of the claws on the crabs so they don't pinch. Kaylee's favorite part was the stock ponds. She liked buying the fish pellets and feeding them to the fish. She was quite inventive when we ran out of quarters for food. She started picking up stray pellets off the deck and feeding them to the fish.

Pop-pop trying to convince Naomi to touch an anemone
Grandma showing Naomi that the animals in the tank aren't harmful

Kaylee taking pictures (man that camera was an excellent investment)

David and the girls by the statue

The girls feeding the fish in the stock pond

Bringing Big Sis to the Circus

In July, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus came to town. We love to go to the circus. When we found out Kaley had never gone to a circus, the girls and I decided to drag her along with us and have a girl day. We all had a blast. We loved going to the pre-show before hand. We got a lot of autographs from the performers, and the girls got to try on circus costumes. Kaylee loved the bouncing acts the best. At the end of the circus, Kaylee said she wants to be in the circus when she grows up.

Kaley and the girls in circus costumes
Kaylee all decked out!
Naomi looking glamorous!

Clowning Around!!What a bunch of clowns!!

4th of July 2011

Fourth of July this year was pretty low key. In the morning, we dragged Kaley with us to our ward pancake breakfast. After the breakfast, we went and cleaned my classroom for awhile (yuck!!) Later that evening, the Bounds invited us to their house for a BBQ (thanks Bounds). Afterwards, we headed to the local mall to watch fireworks.

The girls in their matching 4th of July outfits Kaylee watching fireworks with Dallin

Naomi ahhing over some fireworks

You Scream, We Scream...

We all scream for ICE CREAM!!!

The end of June we brought the girls and their big sis (Kaley) to the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory in Brenham, Texas. The tour of the factory was fun. However, our favorite part by far was the free ice cream at the end of the tour. My new favorite flavor is Krazy Kookie Dough. It is a cake batter ice cream with multi-colored sugar dough cookie chunks. Yummmy!!! For those of you who have never had Blue Bell Ice Cream, ya'll are missing out.

Naomi, Kaley, and Kaylee by a display of Blue Bell ice cream flavors
All the girls by the old fashioned Ice Cream truck (ps the girls did not like wearing those hats!!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quotable Kaylee

Kaylee in her new nightgown made by Grandma Braithwaite

Kaylee has said some interesting things the past few weeks.

Quote 1: Kaylee fell down in our entry hall. I asked her if she was okay. Her reply, "I hurt my clap bones!"

Quote 2: "Mommy, it's not fair that Naomi gets to be a teenager before I do!!" (I am so going to be in trouble when she gets older.)

Quote 3: After rotating clothes to the next size for the girls. "Mommy, I hit the jackpot on regular clothes. But Naomi hit the jackpot on swimsuits!!" (This was her argument for going to the store and buying a new swimsuit.)

Summer School

One of the many reasons I went into teaching was that I had the summers off. However, the last two years I have needed to work. Last year, I worked at the zoo which was fun but it was hot and the commute was a bear. So this year, I am trying something new and will be teaching Aquatic Science in summer school. Today was my first day. It was the usual first day today. We were given our class rosters, room keys, etc. And of course the rest of the time was spent getting our classrooms ready. I am extremely blessed and only have 11 students in my class. Tomorrow is my first day with students. I only teach M-Th with Fridays off. I get a short break between semesters (over the 4th of July weekend). And then I will be done the 2nd to last week in July. My summer vacation this year will be the last week in July and the first two weeks in August. I will let you know how things go. Here is crossing my fingers that my 11 students are great students, and I have a blast teaching them!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Swim Lessons

Every summer, I tell David that we need to get the girls swim lessons. And every summer we never get around to it. This year after both girls almost drowned. We decided it was time to stop dragging our feet and get them lessons.

Ok, so now most of you after reading that both girls almost drowned would like the rest of the story. Here is the rest of the story... we were invited to Kaley's (pretty much our surrogate older daughter's) graduation party. The graduation party was a luau theme with swimming for the younger kids in their backyard pool. When I said the girls did not swim, Kaley said it would be no problem since they have a small kid section in the pool. Not really knowing what the kid section would entail, I unfortunately left the water wings at home. The girls were doing pretty well hanging on to the side of the pool or sitting in the shallow kid section. Then Naomi tried to go after a little float not realizing that she was going a little too far, and she started drinking some pool water. We were able to throw her a noodle and she got back to the safe zone. (As a side note, I was dressed up for graduation which I had to get to in a little while. And David was in khakis.) After David dropped me off at graduation, instead of heading home David went back to Kaley's house and the girls continued to play in the pool. Towards the end of graduation, I received two text messages on my phone but could not get them until after graduation ended. After the ceremony finished, I read the texts which were from Kaley. She told me that David's phone did not work because he jumped into the pool fully clothed to rescue Kaylee from drowning. Yes, this time Kaylee got a little to close to the deeper water but instead of drinking a little pool water. She bobbed under a few times. By the time, David met up with me outside the place where graduation was both David and Kaylee were still a little shaky!

Now back to the swim lessons portion of the post. I was able to find someone in our ward who gives swim lessons at another family in our ward's pool. She is only charging me $15 for a half hour lesson for both girls. The girls had their first lesson yesterday and loved it. They will start going on Saturdays. Naomi is already starting to gain confidence in the pool again. Kaylee still likes to cling like a koala to whoever has her but at least she will get in the pool. I will keep you updated throughout the summer on the girls progress with swimming. I am hoping the girls will at least be able to float by themselves by the end of the summer!!