Sunday, August 31, 2008


What did we do in Flagstaff?

Well, we went mini-golfing...

...and to the over-priced but wild and fun Deer Farm...

...spent some time in the car...
At the Waputi National Monument museum, we saw this about the "CCC" (for some reason, they think "CCC" stands for the "Civilian Conservation Corps") ...where we had a rainy hike to see the Indian cliff dwelling ruins...

...and witnessed Lisa's creation of the broiled s'more...

THANK YOU, ANDREWS for inviting us to Flagstaff! We had a GREAT time! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wanna Know How to Make A Squishy Sound?

Just follow this easy, step-by-step tutorial by Eli:

Creative Writin'

Lizzie came home with a creative writing assignment to do. It started out like this:

"One day I was ridin' across the prairie, mindin' my own business when"

Her job was to finish the story. Let's just say she took the "theme" and started "runnin'" with it.

So, she showed me what she wrote (spelling all intact):

One day I was ridin' across the prairie, mindin' my own business when I
heard somthin' as quie' as a spur spinnin' on a boot. I decided to get off
Bolony, ma horse, and take a look aroun'. All I foun' was a couple of rattle
snakes 'n cacti. The cactus I 'as lookin' at when ma horse whinied a couple a'
times, it's thorns rustled, and moved aroun'. Ma, personally, thought this was
very odd. I looked down at the cactus at ma very faet (feet).

Two bulging seeds popped out a' the cactus. One of a' thorns was turnin'
sideways! "I ought ta calm down!" I told myself. The thorn spli' apar' an' I
heard a voice sayin' "I'm Spiky, the Cactus." I looke' down. The seeds blinked
at me.

"Ha!" I cackled. The cactus was talkin' to ma.
"Solve please"
said Spiky.

A piece of pape' hung from a thorn. I took it. It said:

I need help. all my friends and family are sick.
Find medicine. We die. Sad.
PLEASE! I sick too. - Spiky

I wen' to a plant. I squeezed the juice. I looked in ma bag. "It
ain't here," I said. I 'as lookin' for ma leather cup. "Here it is!" I gave it
to Spiky. He thanked me. "Ma first case is Solved!"

You should hear her read it out loud.

Yes, I did turn 30.

I have actually started three different posts about this, but each time I have succumbed to overwhelming feelings of gratitude and humility.

Some of you out there know exactly what I'm talking about!

My sweet, dear husband, knows me very well. He knows that even though I protest, I love to be the center of attention on my birthday. And even though this year was a little crazy with the launch of our new business, the new school year, and the fresh virulent viruses that attacked all of us, he still found time to give me a meaningful gift.

My birthday morning was a Sunday, and I woke up with a raging sore throat and ear. I thought: "Ohhh! I'm thirty now, and my body is falling apart! I guess this is what it's like! (Moan, groan)" I stayed home that day and experienced what the house is like while everyone went to church. (It's eerily quiet!)

That night, Adam made me my favorite dish (Sun-dried Tomato Risotto), and then he gave me a packet of paper. This was to be my gift, and I was skeptical at best.

Then I realized what it was, and I started crying. It was a huge compilation from friends past and present, immediate and not-so-immediate family, all writing to me words of love and well-wishes. And stories and memories. It was like "This is your Life" from Sesame Street! (My dream come true). It was just so overwhelming - the tears kept coming as I read through every word. I hope all of you know how meaningful that was to me. I keep replaying the words in my head, so whether you meant it, or were just flattering me because you think we might be rich someday, I cherished every. single. word.

The reason I haven't written and thanked you all sooner is because I am overwhelmed! I didn't know what to say that could express what gratitude I feel at all of your friendships.

Truly, this is the best gift.
Thank you!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The CCC is up and running!

After a crazy week, with being sick and a whole lotta work to do, we pulled off the launch of the Chandler Chidren's Choir!

It was so exciting and amazing to see it all come together after so many months of preparation. All day long, I was thinking to myself things like, "WHAT the heck am I DOING!??!" and "WHO do I think I AM??!?!?" And it was all that feeling... Until... I stood up there in front of those sweet kids, and they looked up at me with complete trust, and we started singing. I taught them "O Music" which is a simple melody that turns into a 3 part round. They sounded so sweet and pure, and they were so darn proud of themselves for singing in 3-part harmony the first rehearsal.

And I was so darn proud of them too.

This is going to be a LOT of fun.

Preparing the music: cataloging, stamping, collating.

Lotsa folders! One for each singer!

First I led a meeting for the parents where we went through the Handbook.

Then I excused the parents, and we sang together for the first time.

After a mini-rehearsal, we played a game called "Meet the CCC"

Cute kids! Notice our "CCC" t-shirts! Thanks for the cool logo, Ward!

Lose some cupcakes, gain some decor...

The sad news is that Fairy Cakes, my most favorite cupcake haunt, has closed. I couldn't have been sadder than when I tried to go get a treat during my birthday week only to find out the shop had been cleared out completely. :(

The good news? Fairy Cakes had a garage sale! Being a loyal customer, they notified me about it, and I'm telling you, I had some good shopping karma today! Lisa and I had SO much fun (we just wish it had been at least 30 degrees cooler...).

Check out our spoils!
And try not to be jealous.

And the Piece de Resistance:

I'm buying geraniums to put in it!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Need a Lesson Plan?

Next time you are asked to teach 5 pre-school girls a lesson on Blue Circles, look no further! I've got you covered. Here are all the tools and steps you'll need for a successful day.

Blue Circles Lesson Plan:
Objective: The Princess girls will be able to identify the color blue and the shape of circle.
1. Read "My Many Colored Days" by Dr. Suess

2. Pass around some blue magnets with pictures to match up.

3. Have a dance party to "I'm Blue" (If I was green I would die). (For my loyal readers, you will remember that this was the very song that the Dreamers performed to, so I knew all the words. All of them.)
4. Practice drawing blue circles to make smiley faces. (p.s. - use washable markers. Sorry Amanda!)
5. Time for a snack of blue, round blueberries. Yummy! (Note: some children eat the blueberries, some chew and spit, some sit on them. Be ready for anything!)6. Blow up blue balloons (talk about alliteration!), and draw smiley faces on them. (Note: when you try to take the balloons away, the children might hate you. Use caution and proceed slowly.)

7. Make blue bracelets with round, blue beads. (Again, this idea was great. But remember that you just asked the girls to eat the round blue things when it was blueberries, and then told them not to eat the round blue things when they were beads. They might be confused about this. Keep a close watch.)8. Have a mini spa treatment, and paint all the girls' toes blue, while they dine on blue, round M&M's. This will reinforce the lesson topic. (You might want to do this the whole time. It worked like a charm: "Don't move - you might smudge your toenail polish! More M&M's?" and so forth.)
9. Eat the red, yellow, orange, brown, and green M&M's while the girls watch "Finding Nemo." (Merciful movie! Bless Nemo!)
Now your Princesses will know what Blue Circles are! There can be no doubt! This information will serve them throughout their Princess lives! Hooray, Hoorah!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Princess School!

Ivy is too young for preschool this year, so we started a co-op preschool with the cutest bunch of girls you ever saw. As we were planning out our lessons for the year, someone (I think it was Xan) came up with the name for our school: Princess School!
The each received their very own crown that they will wear every time they come, and they get to have a backpack and everything! Who wouldn't want to go to Princess School?!! Truthfully, though, Ivy was very hesitant about all this. We will have to work up to the crown!

Their first lesson was on Purple Squares. Tomorrow I get to teach them about Blue Circles! Oh the places we'll go! Oh the things we will learn!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Tale of Two Restaurants

Have you ever gone to a restaurant, or another business maybe, and felt like you were in trouble before you got there? Did you ever want to remind them that they are running a business and you are the customer and You are paying Them Money?? Did you ever feel like their "hospitality" was really really putting them out?

Well, then you haven't been to the Original Pancake House! Nothing compares!

The greeting on the front door:

(and when they say "across the street," they mean across a huge major road. How convenient.

Front desk:Want water? You're askin' for it! Seriously, I haven't had such poor service in years. Our waitress was RUDE!!! Not to mention, we could hardly understand her and we had to wait at least 15 minutes anytime we needed anything. Not only were there at least 4 signs in the restaurant about turning off your cell phones, it was also in the menu in big block capital letters, right next to the "WE DON'T ACCEPT DEBIT OR CREDIT CARDS" section of the menu. I was SO happy when Ward called Lisa and she answered the phone. Oh, and by the way, I took all these pictures with my cell phone. Ha.

I will admit, though, that the Dutch Baby was pretty dern delicious.

As we were trying to pay (cash) to the annoyed host at the front desk, Lisa noticed yet another sign that read "GOOD FOOD TAKES TIME" and also "NO OATMEAL TILL DECEMBER."

Ohhhh. Wish I'd seen that one sooner. And good thing I didn't order oatmeal. I'd be there til Christmas!

But no restaurant, no matter how good the food is, has the right to be RUDE!!!

Which brings me to Pizzaria Bianco.

I should be mad. I could be mad. But I am not mad. We (the Andrews and Stewarts) tried four different times over a period of 8 months to go to this restaurant. It has a reputation for long waits. One night we went, we only got there 15 minutes before it opened, and it was a 4 hour wait. No joke. Another time, we all rearranged our schedules so that we could get there before it opened on a Tuesday. We thought we got the best them that night. Well, we didn't know who we were messing with. They were closed that Tuesday. Not the next day, mind you, just that Tuesday.

But, for my 30th birthday last week, I wanted the unattainable. I wanted Bianco. We had a plan. The Andrews got there first to secure our place in line one full hour before it opened, and us Stewarts and the Laytons came in later. And we got it in the first sitting!!!!

and the food was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good. We ordered alot and we ate Everything.

And the waiter was so nice! And we paid with a credit card! And if we wanted to call someone on our cell phones, we could have!

I loved it. I'm sold.