Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mama Bear at the Movies

This holiday season has been one of shopping, eating, and movie seeing. We took the kids to a couple of movies and I really enjoyed adoring Robert Downey, Jr.'s hair, quirky personality, and wit. I also admired Tom Cruise's Ray Banned face, stunts, and smarts. Studs, I tell ya. Both of them, pure studs.

Our family enjoys a good movie complete with stadium seating, gifted movie tickets, and crowds galore.

What I don't enjoy is the occasional doofus who sits in front of one of my children and turns around to tell my child to quit kicking his chair.

Doofus: (Turning around) "Quit kicking my chair."

Me: (leaning over to Payton who is 3 seats away) "Did you kick his chair?"

Payton: Shaking his head "no".

Me: Settling back in to enjoy Tom and his chiseledness - is that a word?

Ten minutes later...

Doofus: (Turning around) "Quit kicking my chair!"

Me: (Leaning over to Payton who is three seats away) "Payton, are you kicking this guy's chair?"

Payton: Looking shocked and shaking his head "no".

Me: (to the doofus in a loud whisper) "He's not kicking your chair. His legs aren't long enough to reach your chair. Leave him alone and turn around and watch the movie!"

Doofus: Turned around and watched the movie for the rest of the evening.

Me: (Heart pounding out of my chest leaning over to Kourtni): "Keep your legs very still, I don't want to pick another fight!"

Yeah, I'm a grizzly mama bear when it comes to defending my children. Don't mess with me, especially in a dark movie theater cuz I will. take. you. on.

Tom Cruise has definitely worn off on me. Sheesh.

"Don't you be messin' wit our momma."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Houston, we have a concussion...

A couple of weeks ago, I picked Payton and a couple of his buddies up from a jumpy-bouncy-flippy-how-can-insurance-companies-let-this-happen-place. He and I made eye contact when I walked in the door and I could tell something was wrong with his face. As I got closer to him, I realized his nose was the shape of a 'J' and his eyes were red from tears. Um, what the &*$# happened, only son with a perfect nose of mine??? Long story short, he had done a double flip (it was a double flip, Mom.) and his knee made contact with his little perky nose. I'm not one to remain calm when it comes to accidents happening to my kids. Nope. I scurried him to the car, got on the phone with Bill who told me to call Jeff - our brother/brother-in-law Physician Assistant. I was prepared and ready to hyperventilate as I drove toward the hospital to have his little sniffer checked out when Jeff told me not to. He would check him the next day at Thanksgiving dinner. Needless to say, I was a mess the rest of the night and kept telling Payton to come look at me. Yeah, I know, I'm a little obsessive about this only boy child of mine. He couldn't breathe very well for the next week but the swelling went down and now his little schnoz is the shape of a mild lower case 'j'... Pretty sure he didn't break it after all, but it sure got me worked up and I still ask him to come and look at me so I can determine if there is any "movement".

Fast forward 3 weeks, new situation, new sport, different child:

Bill, Pate, and I walked in to the gym to see Kourtni's basketball game, but she wasn't on the court. She had gotten a head to her nose within the first 13 seconds of the varsity game and was on the sideline with an ice pack ON HER NOSE. Sheesh. What is it with these kids of mine and their noses??

Engage freak out mode for this momma. Great, just great. Another possible broken nose in the Ball household. But it was worse. Much worse than a broken nose. Poor Kourt had to be escorted out of the gym by the trainer because there was evidence that she had suffered a concussion from the rock hard noggin of the player who head butted my daughter. I waited for her to come back to the gym. I waited and waited and asked Bill if I should go to her rescue...he said no. Wait, just wait. Pretty soon the Athletic Director climbed the bleachers to where we were sitting and told us I needed to come with him because our daughter had suffered a concussion. Serious stuff. Especially in the state of Idaho. Within the past couple of years there have been major steps taken to protect young athletes who have had concussions. Kourtni was put through a battery of cognitive tests while she was laying on the training table. Her pupils were tracked, questions about months of the year and scores of previous games were asked along with a myriad of other questions to test her cognition. Two weeks minimum away from playing her favorite sport. No running allowed, no "thinking" recommended, no driving, no sports watching on TV, no high school basketball game attending. All in all - a mellow weekend was prescribed for our Kourt. This was all very concerning and I was a little afraid for her well being until I heard Kourtni say, "I just want to punch the girl who did this in the face." That's my girl. I knew she was ok.

She still isn't practicing with the team; instead doing 30 minutes of monotonous stationary bike riding until she gets the clear from our local hospital. It's been a pain for Kourtni. She wants to play. Her team has been plagued with injuries, and she wants to get in some "ballin' time"!

Better safe than sorry though. Even though she really likes the black eye she's sporting, we want Kourtni to leave high school with as many brain cells as she had when she entered! Oh, and her nose is just as button-like as ever, by the way.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Yearly Addiction

It happens once a year. I make my nemesis.
My "crack".
My addiction for a day.
My buttery, corn syrupy, brown sugary, molassesy (is that a word?) confection.

Ah, yes, it is my love. It is what makes my legs squish out more when I sit down. It is what makes my belly hang over my belt with more abandon. It is what makes my face look like Alvin the Chipmunk. It is what makes the butt part of my jeans fit a little bit tighter. It is...

the dreaded

C A R M E L C O R N!

I look forward to this treat all year. I throw all my health food crazed notions to the wind on this day, and I indulge with a capital "I". Yes, people, I am an addict of crunchy carmel crazed goodness.

I have a great recipe and I'm not afraid to use it. At any other time of the year I would laugh hysterically if you asked me to consume even a fourth of what I ate today. I would scoff at the notion that corn syrup - alas, even the high fructose variety - would enter my body. And the butter, oh, the butter. I am not afraid of the vast amounts of butter on carmel corn day. I laugh at it in the face as I unpeel four cubes of the greasy stuff to put on the stove to melt into oblivion in my delicious concoction.

The fifth, sixth, and seventh batch. I've eaten almost the whole pan with the green spoon in it...
I'm good like that - er, actually BAD like that.

I'll pay for it tomorrow, and the next day, and when I want to wear my skinny jeans, and especially when I get the courage to step on to the bathroom scales. BUT...I'll run harder, longer, I'll work out with more gusto, and I'll have amazing memories knowing that I had a day full of bliss with my beloved carmel corn confection.

Payton was in his happy place while I was in mine.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Bill on the phone to Payton: "It's time to come home, Payton, we're going to the Christmas party."

Payton: "I really don't want to go."
Friends in the background: "Don't go, we're not going, don't go!"
Payton: "Do I have to go?"
Bill: "Well, we're eating dinner there, what will you eat if you don't go?"
Payton: "I don't know, I'll find something."
Bill: "OK, you don't have to, you can stay home."
Payton: "Does Mom want me to go?"
Bill: "She'd like you to come with us."
Payton: "OK, I'll be right there then. I'll go. Be right home."

Isn't that the cutest, sweetest thing you've ever heard a son say to/about his mother? I'm so glad I have a boy - a great kid who still kisses me good-bye when I drop him off at school, in front of the jr. high, where 7th, 8th, and 9th graders are walking into the building acting all cool and whatnot. Yep, that's my Patey and I'll take as many loves as this boy is willing to shell out to his mother!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thanksgiving break + a little time = a new post

First off, the date today is really November 20...disregard the date above. I'm a computer dork and don't know how to fix it... Carry on:

There comes a time each fall when most people are more thankful than at any other time of the year. You guessed it: Thanksgiving. I'm also very thankful for Thanksgiving: the food, the pumpkin desserts in abundance, the smells, the weather, the love, the (gas) fire in the (gas) fireplace, and a wonderful family whom I adore!

There is another reason I get absolutely giddy with thanks at this time of year...

One whole week off from school!

Oh, my goodness, how I am thankful for this week off from the alarm clock, from planning lessons, from chaotic mornings, and from rushing here and there to find things for school.

Yep, I (and every other teacher in my school district) and EXTREMELY grateful for this week of bliss and celebration!

Oh, and it also gave me a little time to put some pictures on this pathetic ole blog! Enjoy! (I know I will!!)

Here is a little peek of some things that have been going on this fall here at the Ball's:

Yep, when we get together we love to eat and be photographed enjoying the food...

Mr. and Mrs. Seth Roth! What a great looking couple, no?

Four of the Ball boy cousins - Payton, Ryker, Ryan, and Preston.

Aren't the backs of their heads ridiculous??

Candid shot of the very candid Ball gang.

We didn't even try to coordinate and look how great these gals look! Lindsay, Brynlee, Kourtni, and Alyssa.

Two blue-eyed beauties - and best friends/cousins. So sweet.

The family at sweet Grandma Burleigh's funeral in Evanston. What a beautiful day to celebrate her life. A wonderful program with lots of family to see and re-acquaint ourselves with.

Mom and her kids minus Kenyon who had to catch his flight to Hawaii.

A labor day bike ride - yeah, we still can't get enough of the baby of the bunch. We love to hold him whenever we can...

Lindsay took to cross country running like a pro. She was born to run.

First day of 11th grade. Where has the time gone...

My newest sophomore, little Lindsay. sigh.

The stud of the eighth grade...(at least in mom's eyes!)

Summer lovin' (note the tans...) and summer birthdays!

Two chocolate cream pies from the truck stop, please. Yes, it was a request and, yes, they really were from a truck stop. Delicious, too!

Little trekkers off to the Owyhee desert for 3 days to get a taste of what the pioneers faced. Bill and I got a taste of what empty nesting will feel like: WIERD!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bye bye flip phone...

I have never thought twice about the coolness of cell phones. Truthfully, they are not a status symbol to me. Never have been, never will be. I didn't mind when Kourtni and Lindsay got my upgrade 2 years ago. Didn't mind when Bill and Alyssa got cool new phones WITH data plans last Christmas. Nope. It was just me and old blue - old "flipper"!

I never thought twice about my status as a flip phone holder. Never even thought I was uncool when I answered my phone by unfolding it. I didn't even realize what I was missing when everyone around me was surfing the internet, reading the news in class, checking Facebook at church, or, heaven forbid, reading their scriptures on those little gadgets.

Never thought twice about it until I pulled out my phone in a class I took with several teachers from my school.

Me: Pulling out my phone to check for a lone text that one of my children didn't send me.
PE teacher: Aghast - YOU have a flip phone?
Me: Yeah, I do. I use it to text and call my kids and husband.
PE teacher: Aghast - I didn't know anyone had flip phones anymore.
Me: Well, I do, and I love it!
PE teacher: Still aghast and speechless.

It was a great relationship with old "flipper". We got along well, I learned to text at lightening speed, and I could talk on that thing for hours without getting too many neck cramps. I really liked him. (Not sure if the phone was a girl or not...)

I dropped old "flipper" in the parking lot a couple of weeks ago. I had done it plenty of times before so I didn't give it much thought as I bent over to pick up the three pieces that had fallen off after skidding across the blacktop. As I put the pieces together, a feeling of dread came across me. There was no life in my phone. Just a white screen. A barren white screen. No familiar picture that told me if I had texts or messages! Crap. Crap, crap, crap. A trip to the T-mobile store was in order.

Fast forward to the next day. I was weak. I needed a phone and needed one pronto. I was prepared to pay $0 in the store and get myself another good old flipper. Imagine my horror when the sales guy told me that the 6 flip phones he carried were going to be obsolete in a couple of months. WHY would I NOT want a SMART phone??? Peer pressure crept over me. Panic struck at my core. I was totally missing out on something I really didn't care about - I know cuz the sales guy told me. Pressure, fatigue, desperation, and weakness set in.
I caved.
I tested.
I listened with tired ears.
I pondered.
I purchased.
I didn't spend $0.
Nope. Add about $130 to that number.

What's a girl to do? Most of MY parts are becoming obsolete; I don't want my phone to become obsolete as well!

Long story short, I am now the owner of a SMART phone that makes me feel very UN-SMART. In fact it makes me feel rather stupid. I miss my old phone. I miss the ease at which I could operate it. I miss the cute little envelope that told me I had texts, or a message. I miss old "flipper".

May he (or she) rest in pieces...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall in the Palm of my Shirt

Yes, that's my shirt holding all those lovely homegrown wonders...And I didn't even plant a thing this year. All those gorgeous gals are compliments of last year - volunteers who wanted to stick around for another year in my measly, pathetic weed infested, chicken loving garden.

I'm glad they stayed. Wish they could be here 'til November when I'm REALLY craving a garden treat. *sigh*

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. Ball

It was his birthday yesterday.

He took me to Hawaii this summer!
(I know it's blurry but I like it...)

He's a GREAT dad!

Lookin' good in them glasses, boy!

His kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE him!

He goes as many of the kids' events as he can, AND,
He can pull off wearing a beanie indoors!

This is where he'll spend the majority of his time during college football season...
(With that goofy kid in the background along for the ride.)
And I'm definitely OK with that.

Love you, Bill
46 never looked so good!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mars Midnight

I got by with a little help from my dark chocolate, sweet carmel, delicious nougat friend.

Yep, it was one of those days.

Look what getting ready for school does to me.

I'm weak, I tell you.



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happiest Place on Earth

True Fact: In all my 43 years of living I have never been to Disneyland. That all changed in July when Bill and I took the kids (and myself) to the happiest place on earth where all your dreams come true. (And you stand and stand and stand and stand some more in mile long lines. Good thing I'm 43 years old and VERY patient.)

We took lots of pictures. Lots of them. I could show you the pictures of us in a traffic jam from Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga, or I could show you pictures of the Disneyland fireworks, or the pictures of our "nasty" little motel across the road and down a ways from Disneyland, or I could post pictures of us eating lunch in the park, or having a picnic on a high school lawn, or maybe I could show you the pictures taken at the San Diego Zoo, or a picture of Shamu from Sea World, but, to tell you the truth, the funniest pictures of all
were the pictures we took
of the pictures the park took
of our final seconds on some of the most fun rides I have ever been on.
Yeah, those are definitely some of my favorites so here you go:

Space Mountain - stood in line for 2 hours for this baby.
Good thing we were patient and that the girls had long hair so Alyssa could practice her mad hair skills on their long locks. Lots of cool "do's" were done in that line.

California Screamin' - 0 to 55 mph in less than 10 seconds! We were screamin'!

More California Screamin' - or in Payton's case: California goofin'

Now it's California sleepin'...teasin'...and mouth openin'...

Tower of Terror - Absolute Favorite!
(Notice Lindsay's hair!)

It was sooooo fun, we had to do it again!

The Simpson's Ride - Can you say "Doh!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Must Read

What is summer break without a good book or two to occupy your sun filled days? On our trip to California, I knew I could count on Alyssa to bring along some excellent books and she didn't disappoint me. I quickly fell in love with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Historical fiction from post World War II and written in letter format, I was quickly sucked in with the quirky characters and funny dialogue. One minute I was laughing and chuckling, the next I was trying not to cry out loud at the sadness and human atrocities that occurred during the Nazi reign of terror. I felt a sense of urgency to get this book read so that it could be returned to Alyssa's roommate when we returned. It is an easy read with no F bombs being dropped every other sentence - what a welcome relief from the many books out there with yucky language.

Read this book!
You'll be soooo glad you did!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kona, Kona, Kona, Friday bye-bye

I knew that going to Hawaii meant coming home from Hawaii.
Sure I missed the kids, my familiar surroundings, and my house, but that was about it. Oh, well, such is the nature of a vacation, so we went to the beach and the pool one last time and called it good. One final dinner in downtown Kona, one futile attempt at a last shave ice (WHO RUNS OUT OF ICE AT A SHAVE ICE STORE???), three stuffed pretzels eaten on the trunk of the rental, a final inhale of fresh ocean air, a 5 hour flight over the dark Pacific Ocean during the middle of the night, a 1 1/2 hour flight from San Francisco, and 3 kids and a mother-in-law who were very glad to see the travelers return.

Bye-bye for now, Kona. Maybe we'll meet again someday...

This bad boy fell on Bill's empty chair while we were getting lunch. Ouch.

The view from my lounge chair. I know, right??

Part of the ocean/swimming pool.

Pretty windy, but beautiful still.

My view when I decided to look up from my book.

Yeah, I'm pretty happy around ocean, palm trees, beautiful scenery, and warm tropical breezes.

Yeah, I'm pretty sad when it's time to leave the ocean, palm trees, beautiful scenery, and tropical breezes.

Crazy pretzels that took the place of our shave ice. Shave ice would have been much better.

Life is good in Kona, Hawaii, but there are more people who love us in Boise, Idaho!