Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lumpy and Bumpy

About 21 years ago, on a very lumpy, bumpy double bed, in a quaint house Bill and I called home, I made the decision that would affect the rest of my life. (No, it was not to get a queen bed either...) There were 2 options for my future employment: teaching or nursing. I chose the first and have really never regretted that decision. After all, there are many good things to like about teaching: June, July, and August. And that isn't just something you read on a teacher's mug, either. It's very true and right now the third reason is almost over and it's time to bite the bullet and get back at it.

My kids have always been real troopers when it came to the classes I taught. When they were young and needed a babysitter, I loaded them (Alyssa and Kourtni) up in the car with a babysitter in the front seat, and headed out to school. Now babysitters are no longer needed and their actual help is very much appreciated! They have always been interested in the funny, sad, disgusting, and interesting stories I told them about the children in my classes.
"Miss Kris, my dad thinks you look like a dinosaur...but I don't think you look like a dinosaur!!!"


"Mrs. Bald, your make up is soooo pretty!"
"Mrs. Balls, your earrings are beautiful!"

They have had to compete, in a way, for attention from me - I have had an additional 20 to 25 kids in my life as well as the ones I gave birth to. They have always asked me about my students. They have been interested in my days. But most importantly, they have always been quite willing to help me out during the middle part of August when my classroom needed to be moved into, rearranged, put together, etc. etc. I've been lucky to have great helpers who, only occasionally, will barricade their brother in the square crawl space in my room...

They are excellent at organizing my things.

They are wonderful at resting when it gets too hard to handle.

And they'll hang posters 'til the cows come home for a new pair of jeans from Hollister or American Eagle...
Thank you, Ball children. I love you and appreciate all that you put up with from having a mother who is also a full-time teacher. You are the best! Thanks for your help again this summer.

Thank goodness for that lumpy, bumpy double bed in the quaint house in Rexburg where Bill and I called home 21 years ago. I know I made the right decision!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lucky Lindsay Lou!

Awww, feel the estrogen in the air!!!! Mmmmmmm! We have another female teenager in the Ball house as of August 12, 2009. Lindsay turned 13 which explains the picture above! It seemed only logical that we eat her birthday lunch at one of our favorite local places of pure yumminess - Lucky 13!

We enjoyed a fun day of helping Mom in her classroom, eating lunch out (the best part of the birthday!), making the Funfetti cake (requested by the birthday girl), eating Chicken Alfredo for dinner, going to Young Women and winning the Fugitive Game (yay, Lindsay!), then returning home for a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday singing, ripping open the birthday gifts, and the devouring of cake and ice cream...literally devouring. (We love cake in this family.)

Lindsay, we absolutely love you in this family! You are most excellent in so many ways!
Since you're now a teenager, I thought I'd list some totally awesome things you're, like, so good at:
- You are the bomb at setting goals and following through on them.
- You keep a most excellent room in most excellent order.
- You like to hang with your Mom - STILL!!!
- You are, like, the best cook at breakfast time - often making eggs for you AND Kourtni...
- You know how to prioritize your to do list - fer sure!
- You are a totally excellent mix of serious and silly.
- You are still happy without a cell phone - yessssss!
- You are so awesome at keeping a ultra cool journal with ultra cool illustrations and keepsakes.

There are many more ways to love Lindsay, but I'm sounding a bit cheesy so I shall stop for fear of further embarassment from our newest teenager.

Love you mucho - Lindsay Lou!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It's Over! (And I'm still alive)

Well, I'm baaacck! Back from good old Girls' Camp, back from the all-summer-long-dreaded- 4th-year-overnight hike, and back from sleeping in my cold car to my nice soft warm fluffy soft warm fluffy nice soft bed...

As you may remember, at the beginning of the summer I blogged about dreading 2 things: running at 3 in the morning and hiking into the wilderness and staying overnight. Yay! Those two events have come to pass and I am still alive and kicking! I'm also deliriously happy to say that I had a fabulous time during both of those said events!!!

I have to give a huge Kudos to my darling of a husband, Bill.

He prepped me, previewed the hike with our family and hiked by me, talked lovingly to me, filtered my water, cleaned up our camp, hung up our food to keep it away from the bears, allowed me to freak out a few times in the preparation, and still managed to love me in my states of mental unsteadiness that occurred as we got ready for this. He. is. a. STUD!!! I love him mucho mucho!

We hiked with 18 girls and 5 of us adults. The scenery was breathtaking, the experience was one every young woman should have. It helps build character and lets a young gal know she can do hard things - like carry all of her possessions for 2 days on her back! Sure we sweated through our clothes as we carried 35 pound packs on our backs for 3 hours. Sure we had no bathroom facilities. Sure we had to sleep on the hard ground. Sure we were not able to have a campfire since we were in the wilderness. Sure we had to be careful with our water so we didn't get any giardia. Sure we had to listen to the high mountain winds howl around our tents all.night.long... But we all made it! And I think that all involved are better people since we did it.

It sure is good to be back, though. Payton is glad to have a mom again, he's glad to have company during the day, and he and Bill are glad to have something for dinner besides cold cereal...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bitten by a Bolt

For years Bill and I have taken a nightly walk during the spring, summer, and early fall evenings. We love this time together. It's like a mini date each night! Sigh...
On Thursday night we decided to take our "walk along the canal" route. Nothing too strenuous, you get to see the sunset, dogs bark at you from way down below since the canal bank is situated high above the homes below. Easy route, good company, nice conversation, solving the world's problems... you get the drift. Well, as we commenced under the broken chain link fence, and proceeded up Federal Way (It's a road with an incline on our way home), we didn't have a care in the world! Cars whizzing by us at 45 miles per hour don't scare us since we have a nice section of bike path that we traverse on the way home. However, sadly, the bike path ends when we have to turn down the final road that heads home.

Amity Road, scary Amity Road.
No sidewalk.
Cement guardrail on one side of the road and metal guard rail on the other side.
Cars approaching at 40 to 45 miles per hour.
And did I mention that there is no sidewalk to walk on?

I usually walk on the side of the guardrail that puts me out of direct impact with approaching traffic. I feel safe, Bill is protecting me on the opposite side of the rail, and the dogs who bark at us from their safe back yards are still far below us.

EXCEPT---The metal guard rails are fastened to their wooden posts with something that is
extremely sturdy and makes the guard rail stick to the wood. Huge metal bolts with sharp teeth and long fangs. Well, maybe not fangs, but sharp teeth!
I, however, didn't notice the particular bolt sticking out 5 inches ready to make contact with my thigh until it was too late and I felt like I had been bitten by a metal bolt - the kind Frankenstein has sticking out of his neck, Folks!

Notice the blue aura around the gash...ouch.

This photo just makes my leg look fat(ter)...

Yeah, this nasty bolt managed to rip a huge hole in and ruin my favorite shorts and gave me a terrible looking gash on my thigh. The worst part about this injury is that the bruise surrounding the gash is so sore! I can hardly walk without throbbing heartbeat pain in my thigh! I know it will get better, but you can bet I'm going to walk next to the traffic in all upcoming walks!