Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Pictures

So I've discovered this thing called Facebook. Do you know what I'm talking about? This online phenomena where you can reconnect with old friends. Where you can spend limitless hours perusing their photo albums, profiles, and such? Yes, I've found it and I'm not sure that it's a positive thing for me. You see, lately many of my Facebook friends have posted new fall family pictures, complete with beautiful autumn colors and leaves of breathtaking beauty mixed with a perfectly coordinated family who have gorgeous (the girls) hair and make up, and (the men) great outfits to go along with the rest of the gang. Hmmm. My thoughts go back to last fall when it was like chopping fingers off to find something, anything, for my family to wear for a family picture. It was like herding cats to get the entire group to decide on a pose and to maintain that pose while I quickly balanced our pathetic digital camera on a rock, set the self timer, sprinted back to my spot, and tried to smile like we were all so relaxed and happy to be there. Yes, we haven't taken any cute fall family photos. Reason number one is that we need each member to be here (unlike my mother and father who had a family picture taken while I was at Ricks College...yes, really.) and Alyssa is definitely not here. Reason number two is that we are slaves to everything football. College football, Optimist football, Sunday night football, ESPN football, etc. Football takes a lot of our time. Reason number three is that I feel like a fashion dork most of the time and I am really not sure what I would have our family wear. I was thinking that we might look good in coordinating Snuggies? Reason number four is that our little camera has been taking pathetic pictures lately (or maybe I just need to read the unopened manual that tells me how to use it) and I just don't want to sprint around setting self timers in a park with lots of unbalanced rocks.

So there you have it. Four reasons why the Ball family just doesn't have any fall pictures that depict our cuteness. You'll have to settle for the grainy, unfocused, candids of what we've been doing lately.

Try not to be jealous if you see them on my Facebook.

Doin' the tummy rub dance on Dad's birthday. You had to be there.

Lindsay's city cross country meet.

Kourtni's choir concert.

Number 81!

Sweaty, sisterly love.

Little Broncos Optimist Football Team 5-2!

My view from the worn out desk chair at the computer.

The cat and Kourtni.

Another running picture with lots of grass in it.

A very muddy practice. The mud did not come out of his shirt but it did come out of his pants!

Bill's 44th birthday!
(See what I mean about grainy?)

Bill's newest friend and my newest nemesis...

My zebra snuggie. We should all get them, look like we've just woken up, and have a family picture taken. What do you think? Sorry you have to turn your head to see this fashionable photo.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Church Thingy and Kourtni

You've gotta love Kourtni. I mean, who doesn't? She is nice, fun, positive, in tune with her mother's emotional needs, funny, happy, and on and on.

She keeps us laughing. She keeps us shaking our heads. She keeps us driving to pick her and her friends up at late hours in the night. She texts almost all the time. She has 8 million friends. She is a character.

Ever since she was a young girl, she has said funny things. We've laughed at mixed up phrases she's gotten confused so many times.

For example: Upon hearing that Bill was going to the landfill to drop off some large hunks of junk, she perked up her ears and said, "I want to go to the land mine!"

When talking of rude people overhearing another's conversation, she proclaimed, "I don't like ear droppers!"

After watching her sister intently, she announced, "I'm watching you like a duck!"

There was a point in time when Alyssa and I started to write down these funny Kourtni-isms. They were that humorous and I wanted to remember them! Too bad I don't know where that hilarious list is.

I guess I'll have to start a new list beginning with her latest proclamation from yesterday (General Conference Sunday) when she asked, "What time is that church thingy on today?"

Yeah. That's our Kourtni! We totally love her sunshine and silliness in our family!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Secret

I've always tried to be a positive person. Tried to be tactful about something negative. Tried to look for the good in unhappy situations. Tried to cheer up the sad. Tried to be a shoulder to cry or vent on. I was really good at positivity (is that a word?) when I was younger and my kids were smaller and had smaller problems.

As the years have crept up on me and my children have grown, I've become less of a positive person and more of a snark. More pessimistic. More sarcastic. More "half-empty" less "half-full". More judgmental. More cynical.

I decided today that I have to change back into the positive person I think I used to be.

If I want to live longer, be happier, be healthier, and just plain more pleasant, negativity needs to become a thing of the past for me. You see the light when on today as I was sitting in a crowded high school auditorium listening to a fabulous presenter about how "worksheets don't grow dendrites". Her comments were very applicable to the classroom - as they were intended to be - but her comments were also highly applicable to typical non-teaching-professional as well.

Did you know you will live 8 years longer if you laugh at least 3 times a day?
Did you know that your brain doesn't recognize the difference between a fake laugh and a real belly jiggling one?
Did you know that everyone needs to wake up each day with a purpose in mind for the day?
Did you know that people who lose their purpose tend to die within 24 months of that lost purpose?
Did you know that most famous comedians live or have lived well into their 80s?
Did you know that most professional successful athletes use visualization to make themselves more confident?
Did you know that it is imperative for your health to get at least 7 - 9 hours of sleep each night for important body repairs?
Did you know that you were born with 100 billion neurons in your brain?
Did you know that when you learn something new you grow a new dendrite? (It's part of your brain that talks to the axons which promotes healthy synapses... makes you smarter.)

I love teaching, but some days it's so nice to be the one being TAUGHT! Thank heavens for October Idaho Teacher Inservice Days! Thank heavens for Dr. Marcia Tate! Thank heavens for her secret! I'm sharing it with you, right here, right now, in hopes of passing along the vital information I learned today... Hope you can use it in your life!

The Secret

Find something to look forward to
Something to love
And, something to do!
Don't worry! Be happy!
Eat as you should
Exercise makes your life all good!

Here's to having a purpose and being positive.