Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Miss Her...

come home already!

Oh, and by the way, your dad is going to be in IF on Saturday so have a blast of unsupervised fun for the next few days when it comes to a screeching halt. Sorry.

Love, Mom

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Carmel Chocolate Pretzels and a Swearing Jar...

Ever since last Christmas when my cute sister Teressa made and sent our family the most delicious carmel chocolate dipped pretzels (she made a thousand of them!), I've been drooling, dreaming, and deciding that those were the delicious little morsels I would make and take to neighbors, friends, colleagues, etc. for a little Christmas treat this year. I mean how hard could it be to dip thick pretzel sticks into carmel then into melted chocolate?

Ummm, Teressa, where'd you get the candy making gene?

Obviously, after 2 abysmal attempts, the first one resulting in such a sticky mess that a filling was almost yanked out of my mouth, it is clear that I still don't have the gene, and I don't think I ever will. Suffice it to say, that after my ranting and yelling over overflowing carmel on my stovetop, Kourtni felt we needed something to control her mother's harsh words, so she has made a "swearing jar". Yep, she said that, in addition to our "burping jar", we need to have a "swearing jar" and every time Mom says a "bad" word, one dollar from the mama needs to go into the jar. "Bad" words? More like well deserved words after sweating over a hot stove and watching your delicious confection bubble over the top of the pan like a science experiment.

Next year I'm giving out candy bars while singing this tune:
(You can sing it to yourself to the tune of Jingle Bells...)

Dashing from the mall
with groceries yet to buy,
Lessons, work, and housecleaning,
Life is so crazy, why?
Bells on our phone ring,
The machine will take the call,
We have no time for family or friends
It drives us up the wall.
Oh, how are you?
How's your life?
We'd really like to know. We'd love to chat and hear the news
But please don't talk too slow.
How are you? How's your life?
We'd really like to know. Are you ready for Christmas? Now maybe it will snow.
A day or two ago, we thought we'd make a treat.
A special homemade goody (carmel chocolate covered pretzels)
For all our friends to eat. Our intentions were top-notch,
But our schedule would not budge (well the schedule really had nothing to do with it, just dorkiness in the candy making department)
So here's this year's rendition of homemade Christmas fudge.

By the way, we all hope you had a very Merry Christmas and if you received any pretzels from us, please don't send us your dental bill.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The White Stuff

If you'd like to see snow through the eyes of a dog

If only I were this happy when it snows...

By the way: Do dogs have white knuckles, racing hearts, and anxiety when the white stuff falls? Just wondering.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Joy To Everyone

Do you have 4 minutes and 13 seconds to listen to a beautifully written and exquisitely performed
Christmas message?

Well, if you don't, I think you need to re-evaluate your stress level, remember the real reason for this wonderful time of year, focus on our Savior's birth, sit down, click on the link, and let the music move you to a better place this holiday season.

This is a beautiful video
that shows so many of Heavenly Father's children.
I Loved It!
I think you'll like it as well.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Think pink

I took my girls and got their pictures taken the other day... no, not of Alyssa, Kourtni, or Lindsay -


I knew several years ago that I should have gotten one when my sister's OB (who I happened to go to high school with) told her to tell me that it was time to get my first mammo because of our family's history. About 5 years have gone by, and I didn't think too much about it. However, after receiving a miserable score on my health profile that I completed a couple of weeks ago, I decided the time had come. I fought back the fear of squishing, flattening, pinching, and humiliation, and made the dreaded appointment.

It was easy really.
Call the number, talk to the nice lady, make an appointment, and fret for the next week until it's time to submit to the torturous feat. I think my anxiety reached its peak when I was told I wouldn't be able to use deodorant, perfume, or lotion...the
3 staples of my "morning routine". Hmmm, I thought, I just might stink as I being compressed into that cold, impersonal machine. Oh, well, serves the technician right, huh?

As it turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong!

The whole experience was not bad. The only painful part was the 8 minute DVD that included lots of different sizes and shapes of women's mammary glands, which demonstrated the "do's" and "don'ts" of self examination. I kept wishing someone else would have been with me to giggle and point...
Anyway, I didn't get squished, I didn't get flattened (but really, how much more flattened can I get???), I didn't get compressed, and I didn't get pinched! In fact, I was told how much muscle I had behind my important parts. hmmm. joy. (At least weights are helping in my digital
mammogram picture...)

So, here's my advice:
Go get a
mammogram, ladies! It's insightful, it's necessary for your health, it's the right thing to do for your husband and children, and you just might save your boobies!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Some of my class could use this...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wordless (and hopefully, very soon, PAINLESS) Wednesday

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Turkeys

HaPpY TuRkEy DaY!!!

Yay! A season of eating and counting blessings has begun. Here's some things that I'm thankful for this season:

I'm thankful for silky soft blonde hair that Payton lets me endlessly run my fingers through. He's a trooper when it comes to letting his mom love him - he is my baby after all even though he's 10! He is so fun to have around: to tease, to play with, to give kisses to, and to be in awe of his incredible talent of catching quarters on his ELBOW!!! heehee
Love ya, Patey.

I'm thankful for a 12 year old daughter who still likes to hang out with her mom and have meaningful and fun conversations. I love the way she listens to me and wants my opinion on stuff! Yay! (One out of four kids ain't bad!!!) Let's hope it continues - check in next year at this time!
Love ya, Linds!

I'm thankful for a daughter who exhibits such devotion to friends and family. She's a friend to so many and loves to laugh and have fun - especially at 11:00 at night when she's toilet papering her friend's houses. This kid is always looking for something fun to do and if she can't find something, she's texting someone to find something.
Love ya, Kourt!

I'm thankful for a daughter who is independent, motivated, funny, and smart. She knows a lot about a lot and, at such a young age, I am impressed with her depth. Next year at this time it will be a sweet reunion as she visits from college - I can't believe I just said that. She was just born, you know!
Love ya, Lyss!

I'm thankful for the guy that listens to me, eats what I put in front of him, laughs at my silly remarks, pays our bills, makes money to pay our bills, supports me, lets me vent, buys feminine products for the women in this family without batting an eye, and loves me for ME!
Love ya, Alfred!

OK, we took the picture right after he unbuttoned his shirt to get out of his church clothes.

Just a few more things to be thankful for:
$1.77 gallon of gas
2 days of no paper correcting

shopping at 5 in the morning with my girls
sleeping in past 4:45 am
seeing how the light fills the house at times of day when I'm usually at school
a new sports braaaaaahhh
cleaning things I usually don't have time to clean - yay!

It's the little things, isn't it?

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving day, Thanksgiving dinner, and post-Thanksgiving shopping trips!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Twilight for me, thanks...

OK, so I'm NOT a fan of Twilight books. Just look at my profile, peeps!

I didn't like the first one - thought it was a total TIME SUCK, but, I thought I'd give the second one a shot -

another TIME SUCK, and don't ask me why I even bothered with the third one.

I'm ashamed to admit I actually read the third after not even liking the first two.

But mark my words:
I will not read the fourth one. I will not read the fourth one. I will not read the fourth one.

Up to this point in time, I thought that Alyssa, Kourtni's friend's mom Shawna, and I were the only three people who actually thought these books were brainless and empty with a leading character who lacked any depth or charisma.

That is until now! After stalking Bill's cousin's blog and some of her friends' blogs as well (I know, it's an addiction, people!!!), I came across the most intellectually stimulating review of the Twilight "books" that I have ever read.

You can read it here.

Trust me - it's a very thoughtful analysis of what I've been feeling all along! (I just couldn't put it into words like an English major could!!!)

Thank you, thank you, "brilliant leslie"!
My thoughts and feelings about these pitiful books have been totally justified!!

I can now finish the rest of my day on a happy note!
And by the way, if you want to read a really good piece of vampire literature, read:

The Historian
Elizabeth Kostova

Now that's a vampire book!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shine On

Mom: "My, that looks like it hurts. Did you cry when it happened?" Him: "A little."
Mom: "Did you go to the nurse?" Him: "Yep."
Mom: "Did she give you some ice?" Him: "Yep."
Mom: "Did you keep playing football?" Him: "Yep."

We had FuN watching the colorful changes of the bruising of Payton's eye take place during the course of a week, then, overnight, he was back to his normal, white skin tone. Mother Nature is really something!

It's fun having a boy hanging around.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Free stuff from Oprah

I like Oprah. Or. Maybe it's just that I would like to be Oprah, on occasion, which, I guess, is not the same as liking her.

  • I'd like to have a great wardrobe.
  • I'd like to have someone do my hair each day without EVER having a bad hair day.
  • I'd like someone to do my make up so that I look fresh and fancy each day.
  • I'd like to have a magazine with my picture on the cover making me look about 10 years younger and quite a bit slimmer.
Did I mention I'd like to have a great wardrobe? Do you like Oprah like I like Oprah? Well, even if you don't, do you like her favorite things?

Well, even if you don't, do you like free things?

A friend from school told me that if you click here
you can upload your photos and make your own free hard bound book from Snapfish. It's a about a $30.00 book and all you have to pay is the shipping and handling of about $7.00! Another friend of mine has made several of these cute, fun, cool, personalized books with pictures of her family and they are adorable! Go now! Hurry, before it's too late because...

The only catch with this offer is that you have to redeem your coupon by midnight tonight - Friday, the 14th- and use it by November 22 at 11:59 PM!

I like Oprah. And I like free things, so I'm there!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lipitor girl

Cheerios or oatmeal, anyone???

For most of my teen and adult life, I have been oh, so fascinated, with exercise and good nutrition. I have chosen to eat wheat infused Chips Ahoy cookies, sneak wheat flour into the banana bread, eat brown rice with a happy expression on my face - gotta love that nutty texture, family - and make my sandwiches from 100% whole wheat Classic Harvest bread with no high fructose corn syrup in it. I have frequently passed on soda at restaurants instead going for the water option, and I hardly ever buy pop at the store unless there is a big BSU game, Super Bowl game, or another special televised event on. I opt for dark chocolate - preferrably 70% or more cacao...hehehe that's a funny word, cacao. To be careful with calories and portion sizes I've counted out many wheat thins and Triscuits to carry to school for part of my lunch. I've mentally kept track of the various fruits and vegetables I've consumed during the day so as to make sure that I get my 5-a day the colorful way! I've eaten tomatoes from the garden ad-naseum, and have stunk up the whole house in the cooking of broccoli and cauliflower.

I work out at least 6 days of the week - as well as Sunday if you count Bill and me going for a nice, long walk after dinner is over. I strength train at 2 to 3 times a week as well, and I'm not saying any of this to toot my own horn, because right now my horn is not in the tooting mood.

My horn is not in the tooting mood because I received my "health profile" on Friday in the mail. I participated in this at school and had my blood drawn, bloop pressure taken, hips and waist measured, received a free pedometer, AND a Starbuck's $5 gift card. In return I got the rating of 44 out of 100 as my score... Yes, folks, my health is "in need of improvement".


My cholesterol is borderline high with a total score of 221. My blood pressure is "high" with a reading of 122/64. I don't handle stress well - WHAT'S NEW? I get too little sleep - uh, that's because I have to get up early to go exercise, duh... And I haven't had a mammogram yet. Truth be told I'm afraid to have my little assets squeezed between some huge robotic frigid plates...I don't want pancakes on my front. But I know I need to get it done...

So, as a result of this unwelcome news:

I've tried not to be too depressed. I've tried to picture myself as an actress on those Lipitor commercials. I've checked each label of food I've eaten to make sure there isn't too much cholesterol, fat, sodium, or high fructose corn syrup in it. I've tried to figure out how I can get more exercise into my day. I've written down the telephone number for the mammogram sadists. I've sworn to drink only skim milk from now on. I've tried to think about going to a happy place when my class of 5th graders goes a bit nuts this week. And the list will continue to go on and I will continue to worry and wonder about what I can or, quite possibly, cannot do to thwart any unforeseen health conditions that may arise as a result of this "health report". Deep breaths, happy thoughts, prayer, and run. A lot.

At least I got something right, however, I always wear my seatbelt!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Go to my blog!

Ok so this is Lindsay talking and, guess what, I made a blog! Hooray for me. Anyways, to get to MY blog type in: there now ok? Alright, see you there. Bye!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

No gypsies this year...

Where have all the gypsies gone? There were plenty of Hannah Montanas, Spidermen, witches, princesses, Darth Vaders, and such, but not one gypsy came trick or treating to the Ball house on Halloween. When I was a kid, I was a gypsy for about 6 years out of the 8 or so years I got to go trick or treating. As a matter of fact, the 5th graders in my class really didn't even know what a gypsy was when I gave them that word as part of their Halloween spelling list. I had to try my best to be politically correct while describing what the word meant. Lots of confused looks surfaced as I rambled on and on about roaming bands of nomadic people in modern times... I mean, come on, people, where have all the gypsies gone?

Maybe it was so easy to be a gypsy because of all the 100s of canning rings that were floating around the kitchen during my childhood, due to the fact that my mother was the number one "Home Canning Extraordinaire"! I didn't have pierced ears, but We.Had.Canning.Rings! Simply slip a string around the ring, make a loop, and hang it around your ear for gypsy glamour! That, plus a lot of mismatched clothing, a long skirt, and a lovely head scarf of some type...usually a hand towel or a clean cloth baby diaper...and you were a gypsy! No one during the 70s had to ask what you were when you appeared on their doorstep. It was crystal clear: "What a cute gypsy you are! I love your beautiful earrings!"

Little did I know when I was younger that my children would never dress as gypsies, except for Alyssa when she dressed as Esmerelda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. (Do kids nowadays even know that Disney made that show???)

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have children portraying their father's occupation...

Or, dressing as I did during high school...

Or, wanting to be a crazy B S U fan???

Who would have thought? Not me, but then again, none of my kids would be very good gypsies anyway, because we have no cloth diapers or canning rings floating around the kitchen.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fall Family "Funfest"???

Do you have a "good" side? You know, when you take a picture, do you think,

"Oh, that's an aWeSoMe picture of me, must be my "good" side!"

The older I get the more I realize I definitely have a "good" side when it comes to the photography aspect of life. It all became shockingly and totally evident when I loaded up the family in our coordinating fall attire to attempt to get some fairly "ok" pictures that we could use in the family Christmas card.

Um, can you say "herding cats"???

Yep, that's what it was like to try and get some cooperation, smiles, poses, seriousness about the whole losing daylight thing, the right lighting with not too many shadows, the right amount of fall color, and so on and so on... The day was beautiful, it seemed like a nice thing to do on the Sabbath, a downright family funfest, I'd say. But then reality hit and I realized that I have 2, and almost 3 teenaged daughters who think they have a "good" side, think they shouldn't be in front, don't want to smile, think their smile is too dorky, want to go home, too cold, too boring, they want to be funny, and so on and so on...

Let's just say that the resulting photos did not bring out my "good" side - photographically or emotionally, and that's why you will not see a family photo on this post - I can only take so much.

However, a week has passed, I'm over the whole experience, and I'm not going to tell anyone which side is my "good" side -- you'll just have to guess! But as for the kid in the picture below, all of his sides are "good" ones!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What a strummer!

Life has been busy lately. Busy, befuddling, interesting, challenging, and so many more adjectives that I don't have the brainpower at this time of night to think of! So, it was nice to take a load off, enjoy each other's company, relax, and sit down tonight to listen to our youngest child exhibit his new found talent and take our minds off our busy befuddlement. We hope you enjoy this early taste of the holidays! (Now, now, don't be a grinch! You really only have about 2 months until the big day!)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

She ran...

She ran like a Greek Goddess. You know, the ones that have little wings attached to their heels? Long, lean, limber legs that propelled her to the finish line quicker than most girls her age. She did this in elementary school, then on to junior high, and, of course, in high school. She ran all the time. When in junior high, she rode her bike to the place where she would begin the run. An athlete all around. Her naturally golden curls were secured in a pony tail that followed her as she competed in the mile run or in a cross country meet. She was an inspiration to her teammates. She ran with the boys: she kept up with them during practice runs. She trained during the off season and she ran like a Greek Goddess; as if she had wings attached to her heels. At most events if one arrived late to watch one's child, the question would always arise, "How did Sarah do?" "Oh, she took 2nd," or, "she took 5th," or, "she took 10th."

Sarah, pictured with some of her team, is 4th from the left.

Saturday was to be her last run. She took 10th place at the Puma Invitational in Bend, Oregon. Her last strides taken on those long, lean legs. Her life ended today, and so did those amazing, awe-inspiring races yet to be run. She left behind friends, teammates, a family, coaches, teachers, neighbors, wanna-be long legged runners, and a proud school where Sarah was a track/cross country runner extraordinaire. There is a feeling of despair now. Sadness is reigning, and typical "problems" seem so insignificant. Questions with no real answers yet. Teenagers who aren't used to having a friend leave so suddenly. Parents who have to deal with the worst thing that could ever possibly happen to them.

There is solace in what I know, however: I know that where she is now, she is running. Running with those long, lean, limber legs into the arms of Someone who loves her and is welcoming her home. Run, Sarah. Run.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's all relative...

I was reading a blog of a friend of a co-worker's sister - in - law, of a mother's aunt's neighbor...Yep, sometimes I get carried away with the blogs I read WHEN I get the time...There are just so many fun links! It's a fetish, I know.

AAAAANYWAY...I read a blog recently that voiced disgust by being told she looked like Sarah Palin. Now, I'm not sure who I'm voting for in this year's election. I get annoyed at John McCain's voice, I get annoyed at Sarah Palin's voice - too nasally, I get annoyed at Barack Obama's um, um, um, way of talking, and I don't even like Joe Biden. This election is like comparing airplane food and school cafeteria food and trying to decide which food you'd rather eat, but, again, I digress.

I'm not a fan of Mrs. Palin's nasal tone, but I do think she has great hair - although I think the updo needs a little downdo more often- she has beautiful skin for a 44 year old woman, and she seems to be in great shape. So, as a 41 year old woman, of course I compare the lack of lines on her face, forehead, and jowls, to the apparent ones on mine. All in all, she looks pretty rockin' for a grandma - to - be. Well, the blogger I mentioned didn't know who Sarah Palin was or what she looked, where has she been??? Does she have a tv or look at any magazines??? She looked up Sarah online to see what her features entailed and she was SO OFFENDED that someone would have the audacity to compare her to a 44 year old woman. Oh, the atrocity! The misery and disgust of a 44 year old woman's features! I felt so sorry for that "young" woman blogger person whomever... Sheesh!

Oh, well, I guess that's like me being compared to someone who is 55 - Hillary Clinton maybe?

I am so offended.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kidney Stone Kris

I'm not at school right now. I'm supposed to be at school right now. But right now I'm in front of my computer in a Norco-induced stupor trying to make my fingers hit the right keys so I can relay the events of this morning while it's still fresh.

I started the morning like most mornings: get up at 0 dark forty five, head to gym, run 5.5 miles, come home, get kids up, get husband off to work (after wishing him happy birthday!!!), get myself ready for school, ignore pain in lower back and "other" areas, eat breakfast, ignore increasing pain in lower back and "other" areas, say goodbye to children, drive to school, start to sweat and then shiver, can't ignore pain in lower back and "other" areas, walk in to school, climb stairs, try not to throw up on stairs, walk back downstairs, inform secretary that this teacher is having a kidney stone attack and will need to leave immediately, could you please get a sub??? Of course, get out of here and take care of yourself, Kris!

Drive to emergency clinic located in Albertson's, find out it's closed until 9:00, walk out to car to wait for 2o minutes, help guy jump his car (can't he see I'm in excruciating pain???), car gets jumped, clinic opens, can't be seen at this location because no "specimens" can be taken due to fact that clinic is in grocery store. For. Pete's. Sake!!! Drive to other clinic down hill, shakily walk to clinic which is clear in far back region of store, read note on door that states physician is sick, walk through store again to car, call regular doctor who should have been called in first place, drive in hunched over position to 3rd location, "walk" in to clinic, "say" name to receptionist, "sit" in hard chair waiting for doctor to see me. Yeah, it was as painful to experience as it is to read this silly post!

Long story short, I've had about 8 kidney stone attacks in the past 12 years, I've had to make 3 trips to the ER, I've had 2 ureteroscopies, AND I've had lithotripsy (to blast the suckers!!) so I KNOW when I'm having an attack. I think I should just keep a supply of Norco on hand just for this reason. Nothing can help. No position is comfortable. No one can understand unless he or she has had an attack. Childbirth is less painful. Fetal positions are of no comfort! AAAHHHH.

I'm OK. Once I get a pain pill in my system, my body relaxes, and that #$%#@ kidney stone
slips its sweet, dragon headed, jagged edged way out of my body like nothing ever happened! Curse you, kidney stone, curse you! So, that's my story. I'm not at school. I'm sitting in front of the computer in a now goofy feeling Norco induced haze. My kidney stone is in the sewer where it belongs for all eternity!

Oh, and by the way, if the pharmacist at Albertson's is reading this, I'm not a drug seeker, I usually have color in my face, and I have a very long attention span when my back is not threatening to explode from the inside out! ( Just in case you were wondering.)

I'm off to drink lots of water...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Where has the time gone?

Where has the time gone? It seems like I was just writing about the first day of school and now we'll be entering the fourth week of school. So much has happened since those first honeymoon days...

Bill had a visit from Miss Morphina and a kitty scan at the local ER after a bad spill from his motorcycle while riding on some steep hills above Boise. Thank goodness nothing was broken or lacerated or punctured or ruptured... Just deeply contused - a chest contusion to be more specific. Nope, 42 year olds do not bounce like 22 year old men do. Nope, they sure do not! 2 weeks later and he is still one sore hombre! Don't even ask him about sneezing...

Kris had a visit from the birthday fairy and turned 41 last Saturday. The day was spent going to Payton's football game (go little Broncos!), spending time with Lindsay at the art museum viewing cockroach art (yes, really, there was a cockroach exhibit) and visiting all the many booths at Art in the Park. Cute stuff there! After all the running around of children, Bill and I enjoyed a yummy dinner at Lucky 13 - Moon Pie Pizza to be exact: Chicken, garlic sauce, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, and garlic. Yep, I was in pizza heaven on my birthday!!!

Alyssa got asked to Homecoming with real snow made into a real snowman... I know! Where in the world does a 17 year old boy drive to get real snow in September??? I tried hard to think of which mountains had snow on them??? I just couldn't think of any. But it looked like real snow, it felt like real snow, and it tasted like real snow. Hmmm.. Boy, did the guys get a kick out of the gullible mother mumbling to herself and trying like heck to think of mountains within driving distance that this snow would have come from... Any guesses? Sun Valley? nope. Bogus Basin? nope. Owyhee Mountains? nope. Idaho Ice World? Yep... Hey, that's not a mountain!!! Anyway, Alyssa was very glad that she had a date for her senior year of Homecoming!

Pretty much sums up how the poor senior girls played during the Powder Puff Football don't wanna know who won...

It was a blackout during the Homecoming game and the boys prevailed! Not too shabby for a freshman quarterback!

Awww... wasn't she just born???

Wow! I've never seen so many guys back in black. Good looking group of THS kids!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

First Week Favorite

So I've completed my first week as a fifth grade teacher. It has been an eye-opening experience to say the least! As someone from the Wizard of Oz said, " You're not in Kindergarten..I mean Kansas anymore". Ain't it the truth. All these kids I teach now can say my name correctly; no more "Mrs. Bald" or "Mrs. Balls" or "teacher". Now it's Mrs. Ball, the correct way.

Fifth graders have more capabilities than Kindergarteners; not that Kindergartners aren't capable, it's just that 10 year olds can finish assignments WAY MORE QUICKLY than 5 year olds can. Overpreparing for each day is a good thing! Keeping 10 year old hands and minds busy is a very good thing!

This week we each took a turn introducing ourselves by including 5 things in a paper bag which described us. I included trail mix (favorite thing to eat), a measuring cup (like to try new things to cook), a flower magnet (like to plant and grow flowers), a Robie Creek magnet (like to torture myself with that race each year), and a picture of my family (I'm a Mom, hello!). Well, through the course of the week each student had his or her turn. On Friday, as we were finishing up our introductions, I had a student who was very concerned that her mother put in the wrong picture - instead of a family picture, an individual picture was included. I told the student to tell us about her family if we couldn't see the picture of them. She started out by saying that her family included her dad, and that he was really old. 40. "Ahem," I protested, "I'm 40." She hurriedly said, "But, Mrs. Ball, you don't look 40. You look like you're 20. My dad looks a lot older than you do."

OK, I know who my new favorite student is!!!

Only until someone else chimed in (breaking a class rule of not raising her hand) by saying, "I think you look like you're 15!" Boy, oh boy, do 5th graders know how to work a teacher! Let's just hope that by the end of the year I still look like I'm 20 to them and not like some frowny lined old bat of a woman who can't wait for her class to get on out the door to 6th grade...stay tuned!

Friday, August 29, 2008

"August Rush"

Monday, August 25:
A day to go down in infamy -

Kris: The first day of teaching 5th grade - They're just 3rd graders in bigger bodies. They're just 3rd graders in bigger bodies. They're just 3rd graders in bigger bodies...

Alyssa: The first day of the last year of high school. She's so used to school by now that she took off for the first day on her bike with NOTHING - that's right, no pens, paper, backpack, purse, or any of the other necessary items so many other school aged kids need. Not to worry however, she did take her phone!
Me: "Where are all of your supplies?"
Her: "I'm a senior and it's the first day of school!" she yelled as she left on her bike.
Me: "What a low maintenance kid."

Kourtni: The first day of 8th grade with a cell phone in her pocket - can I get a "woohoo"?

Lindsay: The first day of 7th grade in a new school, with a new locker, new teachers, and lots of new friends to make! But no cell phone in her pocket!

Payton: The first day of 5th grade with no sisters to go to school with! He's the big guy now.

Kris - practicing her "mean teacher" look...(Is anyone scared or intimidated, maybe just mortified????)

The time has come for Alyssa. I can still remember what she wore for the first day of Kindergarten: An Esmerelda T-shirt and some lovely red stretch pants.

Get ready junior high 'cuz you've got two Ball girls comin'!

Payton all geared up and ready for 5th grade.

Yes, the day that went down in infamy - well, at least for us it did!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Eight All Together

Hey, that's a lot of kids, don't you think? Yeah, 8 is enough!

This weekend we got the chance to get all together to celebrate Jana Rae's 40th birthday (Jana Rae in cream) in beautiful Midway, Utah. The weather was perfect, the location was beautiful, and there was never a dull moment during the lively conversation.

Steve asked me to do a "roast" for Jana Rae during the evening, and since I've been in "schoolfreak out mode" lately, I decided to roast her with rules she's followed during her 40 years. I like to be positive about rules in my classroom: using the word "always" instead of "don't". Here are rules Jana Rae has tried to abide by during the past 40 years:

1. Always play with your older sister in double knit polyester outfits riding trikes, playing in the ditch, and swinging in the tire swing attached to the old cherry tree.

2. Always hold on tight when your mother pushes you in said tire swing and you go hurtling through the air.

3. Always swim in a wading pool with hot water supplied by mom fresh from the kitchen stove.

4. Always dress in matching church dresses with sponge roller curls.

5. Always share a bed with your older sister, but don't be a cover stealer.

6. Always be brave when you go to Kindergarten and don't cry - leave that to your older 1st grade sister...

7. Always visit cousins, grandmas and grandpas, and aunts and uncles as often as possible and play "Planet of the Apes" with them.

8. Always help get your family out of a burning house and help keep them out so no one goes back in for shoes!

9. Always get a home perm from Mom about every 3 to 4 months. Be sure not to wash for 2 or 3 days, and DON"T GO SWIMMING DURING THAT TIME!

10. Always take swimming lessons each summer then, when older, take own children back to same pool and point out leathery lifeguard who taught you swimming lessons!

11. Always stand at bus stop by the mailbox and pump arm up and down for passing diesel trucks to honk, and chant "Here comes the bus, the B.U.S.!"

12. Always wear Dittoes or Oz jeans to school.

13. Always avoid sister in high school hallway of school when wearing her clothing without permission to avoid name calling, dirty looks, and near fist fights.

14. Always wash clothing before putting back in drawer or hanging in closet.

15. Always get up early to go to drill team practice and on the way, ALWAYS remember to remove gas nozzle from tank of orange VW before driving way from pump...

16. Always curl hair with tiny curling iron in 1 million curls, flip head upside down, then snap head up and quickly spray with cheap hairspray. Make sure wings are present on sides of head.

17. Always work at a clothing store for employee discount and fashionable wardrobe.

18. Always go to BYU Hawaii to get a good education, become exposed to different culture, and get a KILLER tan.

19. Always marry a good man who will take you far away from your family for lots of years, but will eventually bring you back closer to them.

20. Always have lots of snacks on hand for 5 hungry world travelers.

21. Always be generous to visiting sisters and Mom.

22. always look for a good deal on clothing, furniture, and food. Be sure to go back east to buy all furniture.

23. Always have good friends and party and travel often with them. Then, move within a mile away from them.

24. Always have a listening ear, advice, and an interest in others.

25. Always breathe deeply when husband is far away working and house needs to be kept clean ready for prospective buyers, when roof is leaking, when sink or dishwasher is broken, when creepy workers are leering at 18 year old daughter, when children need to be shuttled to Crew, soccer, and other events. Just breathe and keep it all together!

26. Always turn 40 only once.

27. Always remember that 40 is the new 30!

"It'll be ok, Jana Rae, I'm almost through my first year of 40ism"

Thanks for the fun evening and welcome to the over 40 club. It looks GREAT on you JR!

Love, Kris

Happy New School Year


I'm in a melancholy mood right now just trying to deal with all the emotions (mine and my kids') of a quickly approaching new school year.

Lots of moms are anxious to get their kids out the door and into the classroom. Well, I am too, sort of, but that means I have to go back into that classroom and take control! Don't get me wrong, I love teaching, but for the first few weeks, I miss my own kids and constantly wonder how they're doing during the day and hoping they're good students, good examples, good friends, and overall good people!

I always wax sentimental when a new school year approaches. I mourn the departure of summer and the casual scheduling we enjoyed. I miss the puttering around the house that I get to do. I miss the way the light looks in the kitchen or family room at certain times in the morning. I miss the glorious soaking in of the sun while I lazily lounge at the pool. I miss the skin which was once tan and now quickly turns to white and freckly again. I miss the early morning outdoor runs. I miss the warm evening walks with Bill at 9:00 in the evening. I miss the watering of my various pots of flowers. I miss wearing flip flops everywhere. And I miss seeing my kids sleepily appear from their rooms much later than they have to appear during the school year!

But, I can't mope for too long! Monday will be here in no time and my mindset has to change. I will conquer my dislike for the treadmill during those early mornings. I will enjoy hustling around the house like a mad woman ready to leave for school before 8:00 each morning. I will assign more jobs to my kids so the house doesn't look like Hurricane Ball has hit each day. I will enjoy helping the kids with homework or projects or friend problems or whatever comes from a full day away from the sanctuary of home. I will continue to try to be organized with household responsibilities that arise. I will support each child in their extracurricular activities that occur each day. Of this I can assure you I will do because, if I don't, who will?


(Bring it on!!!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ceramica Happy

Ceramica is an artist's playground! And, since Lindsay is quite the "artiste", she decided to have a couple of friends (and siblings, of course) join her at Ceramica for a belated b-day party. The pictures sorta tell it all.

Happy Birthday, Lindsay! (Again...) more birthday posts...