Saturday, December 5, 2009

Busy Blur

The past few weeks have been a busy blur of activity. We have had extra dance practices to get ready for Glendale Glitters, school plays, birthday parties and of course Thanksgiving.

Athena was in a play at school called Stone Soup. She was very excited to have one of the 3 biggest roles! She had several lines and even a short little singing solo. She did a great job and her music teacher commented that she learned from the best! (meaning Hailey) When she had music the next week she was sad that they weren't going to be practicing for the play anymore.

Here is a little clip from the play!

Then next was Thanksgiving. We had a really nice time, Hailey ended up not having to work, the Newtons came over to celebrate with us and I finally mastered gravy! I am usually too busy cooking to ever get any pictures but I got a few of the Guitar Hero session after dinner! I think the highlight of the game was Stephens Michael Jackson impersonation! Hilarious! It was a great day, and I don't care how ugly my Croc's are, being able to walk the day after was worth it!

Then just 2 days after Thanksgiving was the big dance performance at Glendale Glitters! It went by so fast. We hardly had time to change costumes let alone get any pictures other than the first costume. Athena had a great time though and the rain stayed away thank goodness.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and that the next month is a happy time for everyone!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween!

It was so nice to not have school on Halloween this year. It gave me time to put curlers in Athena's hair, paint her nails and the girls carved their pumpkins. It was also nice to not have to rush through dineer! On Friday Athena had a fun party at school. Can you believe I forgot my camera?! Shawn surprised her by showing up for the party too, she loves when he is able to do that. They did a couple of crafts, including the cutest little bat pumpkins, and had some snacks. Then Saturday she went out trick-or-treating with Dad and Bubbles. She thinks her awesome costume got her extra candy, a few houses gave her 3-5 pieces because she looked so cute! She was only out about an hour but she had a great time and was done and ready to eat some of it. And since she is her fathers child, had to have a dose of Pepto around 9:00!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Wow did I really miss out on a whole month? I haven't posted on here since August? I guess I'm just a blog about the happiness kind of person and September was not the greatest of months. We lost my dear sister Lisa, it is going to be so strange to visit for the holidays and not see her anymore. I will really miss her! Then Hailey was in an accident and Lovey (the Honda Civic) was totalled. Yes it is just a car and I am very, very grateful that Hailey is okay and was not injured at all. But that car marked a pretty big milestone in our life, it was the first time we could afford to be a 2 car family. But life goes on and it's October in Arizona, one of my favorite months! I'm busy making Athena's Halloween costume and then there is dance stuff to get ready. And of course Christmas to start thinking about. So hopefully October will only hold happy events and I will have plenty to blog about!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday we were just making it to the hospital in time for Hailey to be born. And now just moments ago she headed out the door for her first day of college! I hope college is a great experience for her and that it leads to a very happy life! I know Hailey is the kind of person that is going to get exactly what she wants out of college.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

1st of 3rd

WOW! My baby is in 3rd grade now. It seems like somtime over the summer Athena had that overnight transformation from little kid to little adult. She doesn't need help pouring the milk anymore (unless it's brand new) She can get pretty much any snack she wants herself, she showers all on her own. And boy does she have an awesome sense of humor! She had Hailey rolling the other day just by making an appropriate Big Lebowski reference. While I am a little sad to see the little girl go I love watching her blossom.

The school combined meet the teacher with curriculum night this year so Athena was with us for the curriculum part for the first time. She was a little overwhelmed getting all that information at once until I realized she isn't usually there for that part. 3rd grade is going to be a challenge but she is so excited! Cursive writing, division, algebra and writing a 5 paragraph essay by the end of the year are just a few things that were thrown at them. We love the teacher, she has a great philosophy about teaching and learning. And it was a great sign when Athena left the class on the first day with a hug for her teacher! One of the things she is most excited for is the Thursday spelling pre-test. If you get 100% on Thursday, you get to play a game on Friday while the rest of the class takes the test again. Since Kindergarten Athena has only missed 3 spelling words! She is never going to test on Fridays!

I have to mention though that it was more than slightly odd to not be taking Hailey's first day of school picture yesterday as well. Man I'm feeling old these days!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I hate Walmart

So anyone that knows me well has probably ended up in a political conversation or two with me about the many reasons I hate Walmart at some point. The fact that they don't pay their employees enough or give them any health benefits whatsoever. Or the fact that the poor women and children making all those "cheap" clothes in far away lands only get paid pennies a day so that they can pass the savings on to you. There is even the fact that every Walmart, even a brand new one, smells like BO. Do they pipe this scent in or what? But I do admit that on a rare occasion I do find myself in the pits of Hell. Like this weekend. Athena has been wanting a chemistry set for a while, but we decided we could do a bunch of stuff with regular household items. Shawn looked up some experiments online and made a list of items we needed. Borax, a glass jar, pipe cleaners, plus there were a couple of other things we needed. Athena needed new PJ's, I wanted a new pan with a pour spout for my sucker making. So we looked at each other and decided that the only place we could get all these things in one stop was Walmart. Well I haven't been tortured in a while so what the hell let's go! We wander around the whole store, dodge the crazies and find 1 or 2 things on our list. Well if you want to buy a glass jar at Walmart you have to buy 16. If your child wants pj's they better like nightgowns, that's all they have. And don't even think about finding a pipe cleaner in all those acres of stuff! After we left, the list unfinished, I decided we could have gone to Target and Joann's in less amount of time and gotten everything on the list! I guess I just have to be reminded once in a while that I hate Walmart!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Why did I get a tattoo? I really should have my mom send me the picture of me at about 7 with my serious, tough face holding up my shirt to show off my temporary tattoo on my belly. I have always been fascinated by them. I have wanted one for years and came close to getting it quite a few times, but I always had a hard time with the idea I had being on my body forever! Recently I decided I wanted the tattoo to have some sort of connection to my kids. I thought about getting a bug to represent Hailey and an owl to represent Athena. But then Hailey got the desire for one too.

Skip to Hailey's childhood. Anyone that knew Hailey as a child and has read To Kill a Mockingbird should notice the similarities between her and Scout. I have video of her reading at 4 years old! All the moms in Kindergarten would ask me how I taught her to read. Well I didn't, she was just born reading. There were even instances in her life when like Atticus I was basically asked by teachers not to teach her things! What?! That is just crazy in my opinion, you never discourage a child from learning. I don't care if cursive isn't in the curriculum until 3rd grade, if my 1st grader has a desire to learn it I'm going to teach it to her!

So last year during one of my many re-reads of To Kill a Mockingbird I had the idea to incorporate that too, since it is my favorite book and Hailey has fallen in love with it now too. So we thought of the tree. At first we were both going to get the whole tree and we were going to have all kinds of things going on with the tree. Then Shawn came accross a site of literary tattoos. Most of them were quotes and the idea of adding our favorite quote came. Sometimes matching tattoos can seem cheesy to me so I thought it would be kind of cool to each get half of the tree. Then we would match but each still have our own tattoo.

We almost got them last year, but I guess I chickened out. There was always something else to spend the money on, Hailey was a minor and lots of places have a problem with that, I didn't know where to go to have it done. We thought about auditioning for L.A. Ink but they don't do minors either and have a really long waiting list. So this year rolls around and Hailey says she is going with or without me!

So you see this wasn't a whim. I have really given it a lot of thought. Maybe too much!? Now that it's done, I love it and the bonding experience of doing it with Hailey was wonderful. I'm glad I waited. I told Athena when she is 18 we can go and get one together too, she said "NO WAY! she does not want a tattoo" especially after seeing Hailey's face during hers, they hurt too much!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Craters and Canyons

We had a very nice little vacation this week. We left Monday morning and headed towards Flagstaff. Since the room wasn't available until 3:30 we did some sightseeing on the way.

Our first stop (after some confusion over which crater we were going to) was Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. The wonderful smell of pine hit us right when we opened our doors at the visitor center. We took the lava flow trail hike that meandered around the base of the volcano through lava rocks. Then a short drive to the Wupatki Pueblo trail. This was a quick walk to some of the best preserved pueblos I have ever seen. I even learned something!
Then to the hotel to check in. We stayed at the Ski-lift Lodge at the base of the SanFrancisco Peaks. The room was a cute little cabin under the pine trees. It was so quiet here. Our only complaint was the room was so tiny there was no room for a table and chairs so the only place to sit was on a bed. But since we didn't spend much time in the room this wasn't a big problem.
After dinner in historic Flagstaff we headed up to the Lowell Observatory. (Pluto was discovered here) We watched an interesting film, checked out the on hands exhibits. Athena weighs over 200 pounds on some planets! We got to look through some of the big telescopes. We even saw a star before it got dark! This was a really fun place to visit.
The next day we were up bright and early and headed for the Grand Canyon. The weather was wonderful! We started hiking along the rim trail at Bright Angel Lodge. The views were amazing and since most of the visitors chose to ride the shuttle from point to point we had the canyon all to ourselves most of the time! I think we went an hour once without seeing another person. Poor Athena was really a trooper though hiking over 7 miles that day!
Before we headed home we had to use our free tickets for the skyride! Snowbowl has one lift open to ride to the top of Arizona. The views were amazing, we could even see the Grand Canyon from up top. And the ride down was actually chilly. I am trying to remember that feeling now back in the valley and 110 degrees!
One last stop at Meteor Crater. Yes it is the best preserved meteorite impact site on the planet. Yes it is amazing to think how big and how fast the meteor was moving when it hit. But was it worth the $32 (that's with a discount coupon!) admission price? Not really. Especially when the big hole in the ground we saw the day before was much more impressive!

It was a fun vacation and it was very nice to get out of the heat for a few days. We did really miss Hailey though. Hopefully she won't have work conflicts the next time we go out of town.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Camp

I believe we have another actor in the house! Athena went to summer camp at the Arizona Broadway Theater this year. She loved every second of it! She was there from 10-4:30 everyday but still came home and danced and sang until bedtime. They did a short little show today to celebrate the end of the camp. She was adorable (well as adorable as a 4 eyed pirate can be) We could really tell she was very into it and seemed to be having a great time. After the show she wanted her picture with one of the teachers Miss Morgan, she mentioned to us that they could always count on Athena to know all the words and what step came next! Just like her big sister :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Last Closing Night.....again

Little Shop of Horrors closed last night. And although we already went through the "this is the last night of High School shows" with Into the Woods, there was once again another show. Hailey wasn't going to do summer theater this year, she had said good-bye and come to terms with that chapter in life being over. Then she found out they were doing Little Shop! It is one of her favorites, one of my favorites and even one that Shawn actually likes! So she had to do it. It was a cute show, they did a good job. Hailey was adorable of course! Here is a little clip of her solo song, she's the blond ;) I didn't get too worked up but did get a little tiny tear in the corner of my eye at the very end. And I finally got my curtain call that I was supposed to get with Anne! Hailey was front and center and last to bow. It's the little things when you are the mom of a theater kid!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


One night of recital down, one to go! After all of the gluing of sequins and rhinestones, months of extra practice on the weekends, recital time is finally here! Everything went great last night. I even survived my initiation of a one song costume change. She barely made it in line but we did it with a little help from one of the other moms. She had a great time and did a wonderful job! I can't wait to watch the video since I only saw everything from the side of the stage, no time to run out front this year with 5 costume changes! I'm very proud of my little dancing queen and look forward to the many years of dancing to come.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jonesing for Disneyland!

It's that time. About every other year I start to get a hankering to go to Disneyland. We were supposed to be going this summer with Athena's dance group, but with the economy the way it is there were a lot of families that just couldn't afford it this year. So we decided to go somewhere different and save Disney for October because I have been wanting to see the Halloween decorations in person for a few years now. But will I be able to wait that long? It doesn't help that Hailey just got to go to Grad night this week either! I need my Disneyland fix bad!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Farewell Sweet Girl

On Saturday May 16, 2009 our sweet girl Mallory passed away. We are going to miss her so much. She was our first dog as a family and will always hold a very special place in our hearts. She was one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known. Her mild manner with the kids was amazing! Both Hailey and Athena tried to ride her at some point in their lives, and there were many times they would use her as a pillow! Mallory enjoyed snacking on hats and books in her youth and we often joked that her favorite was Charlotte's Web because she ate not one but two copies. She loved the snow and probably missed Utah more than the rest of us. She would prance through the yard like a deer after it had snowed. She never really understood that she was a Labrador retriever, she hated the water and never really brought anything back that was thrown. I will miss having to dodge her on the kitchen floor when I am cooking dinner, or on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Though she will be missed very, very much we are so thankful we had her in our lives for 13 wonderful years!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tears of ?

We have been to the last opening night, I cried at the last closing night. Listened with joy to the last choir concert. She has researched colleges, made her decision, applied and been accepted. We enjoyed the day of orientation at ASU, supported her decision to change her major. Yes I have joked about being old, I have been a little more sentimental lately because of what is happening, but it wasn't until she walked in the door with that damn cap and gown that it really, finally hit me like a brick wall that my baby is grown up! What happened to the tiny thing in dresses and Doc Marten's, with pig tails down her back? What happened to my muscled, only girl in the class, tough as nails black belt? Where is that shy little Freshman singing her heart out in the chorus of Children of Eden? I'm not sure if they are tears of joy, sadness, regret, or fear. But I do know I am proud, happy, scared and a little sad to see her go out into the big scary world.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bon Voyage

Athena's class set off on a cruise for the last three weeks of school. They emptied their desks last week, packed a suitcase and headed off. They are going to visit Mexico, Australia, France, Hawaii and lots of other places. It is such a fun way to get them re-focused for the last weeks of school. They were all so excited to be there Monday morning, something that has really been missing lately. Yesterday a parent brought in their boat so the kids could learn all about port and starboard, the galley and head, bow and stern. Athena came home and told me one of the dolphins splashed her and that she had a great lunch in the galley. Today they are visiting Mexico and I am going in to help weave. It is going to be a fun 3 weeks for them! All of the second grade is cruising but one class started a week earlier. So last Monday they had posters and flags adorning the wall outside the classroom. Well Athena's teacher comes up to me and says "did you see the wall? This is my project I can't be shown up by another teacher. What can we do?" Well the picture didn't turn out great but I think you get the idea of what happens when you give me a creative outlet and tell me to out-do something! My inner-Martha came out!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Life Extended

Our sweet old Mallory is getting up there in years. She is white around the mouth and eyes, she is much slower and has a hard time getting up when she is lying down. The past couple of months she has started coughing. We were in denial and refused to go to the vet because we were sure it would not be a pleasant outcome. Well over the past few days the cough has worsened and started keeping her (and us) up at night so we decided it was time to take her in. Shawn and I were totally prepared for the worse case scenario, and I really didn't believe we would be walking out of the building with Mallory. Well an exam, an X-ray, several bottles of medication and a few hundred dollars later we did walk out with Mallory happily leading the way! Although she has an enlarged heart (very common in labs) and it is not reversible, we did get some medication to help her be more comfortable. So while she may only have a few months to a year left with us, they will be cherished days that we didn't think we would have.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Moments in the Woods

I know it was a while ago but for those of you that didn't see it live, here is Hailey's solo from Into the Woods!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Athena lost a tooth last week and I was found out. I tried several times to get into her room without waking her. Shawn said to just talk to her and she would go back to sleep and not remember it. Well when I woke up the next morning she says "the tooth fairy didn't come last night, but you put $2 under my pillow!" I just held to the story that she must have dreamed it because I wasn't in her room. I think she only has 1 or 2 baby teeth left but needless to say Shawn is in charge of those!

Friday, March 27, 2009

One of Those Days

I am having one of those days. Why is it that the day after I do my sort of weekly trip to Target for dry goods and Swedish Fish and the tile is gritty with dirt from all the wind we have had the the past week that my mop decides to disintegrate!? Luckily I remembered that when we moved in years ago we got a free coupon for one of those wet swiffer things. I didn't use it very much because it just seems so wasteful, but as luck would have it there was one pad left in the box! So even though my tile isn't as clean as it would have been with the mop, at least it is cleaner than it was a few hours ago. Now if only I could find a compare and contrast essay on a really boring subject all finished somewhere in the laundry room I could relax and enjoy the weather with the rest of my day!

Monday, March 23, 2009

18 and Counting

Eighteen years ago my life completely changed. I know it's cliche but I married my best friend. No matter what I am doing or who I am with I always think it would be better if Shawn was with me. We haven't had the easiest of married life but it has always been worth it. I love my husband more and more every year that we spend together and I honestly can't imagine what life would be like without him! Even though today is just like any other (except for the root canal ;) ) I am grateful that I know you will always be by my side no matter what life throws at us. I love you Shawn.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Starting the Dress

So I got Hailey to Joann's yesterday to pick out her fabric for this years prom dress! She wanted something with a cool back this year and probably green. She found one at JCPenny to show me for an example, it was $200!!!! So far for the pattern, fabric and lining (didn't find the right zipper yet) we have spent $35. Maybe next year I will put an ad in the paper to make dresses for other girls I could make a killing!

Monday, March 16, 2009

To Facebook or not to Facebook?

We had such a great time with all of our visitors over the last 2 weeks. Thanks again for making the trek down to visit and see Hailey's show. It really meant a lot to her to have so many fans in the audience and it might not be the last one after all. This morning she was talking about finding a song for summer theater auditions! While Shawn's family was here they were all talking about Facebook. So now they have me wondering if I should venture into that whole craze or not. Will it take away form my blogging and flickr time? Or will it add to the communication I have with family and friends? Not sure yet but keep an eye out I may be on there someday soon!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Last Opening Night

I'm not supposed to be calling it that, but I am. The show last night was cute, funny and Hailey did an amazing job. Watching her up there last night I couldn't believe how much she has grown, in her acting, her singing and just into a beautiful and talented woman. She didn't seem like a little kid up there anymore. Hailey I know you are going to go off and be a wonderful pharmacist, medicinal chemist or researcher of some kind but I hope that I will still get to see you on a stage once in a while in some form or another. You were wonderful and I really enjoyed your work! ;)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tea at the White House

Last Friday we went to Tea at the White House in Athena's classroom. The kids were all dressed up as historical people and they sang a few songs for us and then we got to walk around the room and meet them all. They have been working on this project since right after Christmas. They each had to read a biography about their famous person and then learn the answers to questions that we were given to ask them. They all did a great job and it was a lot of fun for us and the kids. Here is a little video of the songs and then one of our interview with Pocahontas.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dancing with the big girls

Just when I get the feeling that Athena is growing up too fast something happens to remind me she's still just a kid. This weekend a guest choreographer came to the dance studio to teach the whole performing group the closing number. Athena was so excited to finally be dancing with the big girls. When we picked her up Saturday she couldn't stop talking about how much fun she had and all the cool things the big girls could do. The first thing she said this morning was "I'm so excited I get to go to dance again today". She was so cute and little out there amidst all those teenagers!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday

Athena had a great turn out for her birthday party! The bounce house barely fit in our yard it took up every inch of space we had free. And surprisingly with 15 little girls in the house there was only one minor tiff and not a bit of cake spilled at all! I think she had a good time, and wanted to rent the bounce house again the very next day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

First Broadway Show

Thanks to Hailey Athena has been a fan of Theater since she was 4 and while all the other girls her age are listening to Hannah Montana, Athena can be heard belting out show tunes from her room just about everyday! She has been to every one of Hailey's shows but last week we took her to her first "real" Broadway show, the Lion King! She loved it! and before we were even out of the parking lot she asked when we were going to the next one. She was so into it and could hardly hold still, she wanted to act it out along with the cast.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

When I Grow Up

At 37 years old I have finally decided what I want to be when I grow up. Oddly enough it is what I remember wanting to be through most of my childhood. I am in the process of registering for some online classes and have plans to possibly transfer to the community college in the fall and then on to ASU after I get my associates degree. I've decided I want to teach 2nd grade! I have been volunteering in Athena's class a lot this year and I just love being there, some days I find it hard to leave. I even find myself watching the teacher and thinking of better ways to get her point across. I am going to take school slow though so I can still be around for all the field trips and class parties for Athena but by the time she enters High School I hope to be entering the work force again!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Student of the Month

Athena is Student of the Month! We are very proud and enjoyed going to the assembly today to see her receive her award. This is what her teacher had to say about her:

"Athena is a strong reader, pushes herself in math, loves to write and is a caring friend to others. I have seen many moments of tenderness in Athena that have shown Athena's true character. She is a good citizen, picking up trash and keeping her area neat and tidy. I can trust that Athena will follow through when she is asked to do something. She is a very responsible student and articulates her thoughts and feelings very well. Athena is going to go far in life!"

All the 2nd grade student's of the month!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nothing to Blog About

I have been missing my blog time at the computer but have had a very hard time trying to think of anything to blog about lately. January is such an uneventful month. The holidays are over and everyone goes back to school and work and I have to get back into the swing of my day to day chores again. Hailey had auditions this week, but that really doesn't involve me, other than showing support. So I've turned to planning Athena's birthday party. I can't believe my baby is going to be 8! So I am looking forward to February and more opportunities to have something to blog about.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ahh the silence

Well things are all back to normal today. The kids are back to school and Shawn is not working from home today so I have the house to myself and it sure is quiet. Hope everyone had a wonderful New Years celebration and I hope that 2009 is a good year for all our loved ones. It is going to be a pretty big year in our house what with our baby graduating! I can hardly believe it is so close now. I'm not really a big resolution maker but I do have a few goals for the year. Last year I learned how to knit and it turned out rather well so I'm thinking I will try something new this year too, maybe quilting. We also have lots of projects we want to work on in our house. The few rooms left that need to be painted and we hope to re-tile our master bath too! So here's to a great and productive year!