Saturday, December 18, 2010

Michael's Christmas Band Concert, Part 2

John shot some video of Michael's band concert. Here they are:

This is the Jazz Band warm-up.

This is one of the Jazz Band numbers.

John's Company Party and Tron Screening

On Thursday night, John and I went to his company's (Digital Domain) party. It started with an advanced screening of Tron Legacy, then we went to the W Hotel for the party. We hadn't been out in a while on an official "date," so it was a lot of fun to have an excuse to dress up.

Michael's Christmas Band Concert

Michael is in the Advanced Band and Jazz Band this year. We went to his holiday concert this week. He was fantastic! Here are a couple of photos.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Tree Decorating

The kids, John, and I decorated the tree for family night.

Christmas Trees

For the past several years, we've cut our own Christmas Tree at a local Christmas Tree Farm. This year, the Hicks and Livingston families joined us. We had a great time!

You will notice there are quite a few more pictures, because Michael and I each had a camera. Michael also got a few pictures of me.

This one is at the Hicks' home. John and Andy helped put up the tree for them.

David's Gingerbread House

I think I've mentioned it before, but David is taking "culinary arts" this year at his high school. Most recently, they made gingerbread houses. Here's his creation.

One of the Best Christmas Gifts We Ever Bought!

Two years ago, we gave AJ a "Trick Track" car set for Christmas. He insisted that he would use it, but we weren't so sure. Boy were we wrong! Here the boys are again, using it in the new house. (Shh, don't tell AJ, but we've bought two small additions to this set for Christmas this year.)

A.J.'s an Award Winner!

A.J.'s elementary school takes reading seriously. They have a huge accelerated reader collection and use it as part of the reading curriculum. Each child has a goal for the trimester. If they meet the goal, they can participate in a free pancake breakfast. If they exceed their goal and earn 150% of their points goal, they receive a medal and a certificate in an award assembly.

A.J. did just that. We are so proud of him!

Thanksgiving with Friends

We invited our friends, the Livingston's and the Hicks', over for Thanksgiving dinner. We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed spending the holiday with them.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What We're Willing to Do to Save $50

We bought a new dishwasher a little over a week ago. In the past, we've usually opted to have the store install them, and often installation is free. Well, it wasn't free with our new dishwasher. It was $50, so we decided we would install it ourselves. It took a bit longer than we thought (2 1/2 hours, with a lot of that time spent leveling the unit), but it's done!

I've already done 2 loads of dishes and am considering washing all of the dishes that didn't come out so well from the old dishwasher.

David's ACT Score

We received David's ACT scores last week. He received a 33 (out of 36). We're very proud of him!

A Fender Bender with a Trash Truck

I had a fender bender with a trash truck today. Luckily I wasn't squished. The Saturn has a glorified scratch, but it is 14 years old. We can't expect it to be perfect forever.

And I'm fine. The kids were at school, and I was alone in the car. I am grateful the Lord was watching over me today.

Highlights from the Scavenger Hunt

After referring to the scavenger hunt in my earlier post, I thought I'd post a couple pictures of Michael's team. They had to take pictures showing they completed the tasks on the scavenger hunt at the mall.

Fry Holster

Yet another one of the old pictures. I took a picture of this on my vacation to Maryland a few years ago. Every time we visit, we like to go to Roy Rogers Restaurant. It's a fast food place with a western theme. The fry holster was pretty unique, so I thought I'd capture it on film.

Old Pictures: A Lizard in the Sink

I let Michael use my old digital camera for a youth "Scavenger Hunt" activity last week. When I pulled the photos off the memory card, I found all these old pictures that I don't think I shared.

These two are from our old house. I had a few lizard problems while living in that house (finding on in our garage, it ran into a mouse trap, went back later to remove it thinking it would be dead and it was gone; running over a different lizard in the driveway a few days later; and finding this lizard in our house).

This lizard was on our stove the day prior to these pictures, and I really didn't want to catch it. I am pretty good about most things. I can deal with mice, most bugs, etc., but this little lizard freaked me out. Of course, I did have the presence of mind to take pictures. Enjoy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

So Proud of My Sister!

My sister, Mandi, lives in Spanish Fork, Utah. This week, someone she knows proposed a change to a local elementary school's name from "Sierra Bonita" (the name of one of the mountains in Spanish Fork) to "Maple Ridge," because this individual thinks the name "Sierra Bonita" is "ugly."

(Personally, I find it a bit ironic that someone would find the name "ugly" considering that "sierra bonita" means "beautiful mountain range." But that's just me.)

Mandi was not pleased with this pointless and costly measure, so she's taking action. She's set up a facebook page (located here), and a petition (located here) to counter this proposal. I am so proud of her, and hope you will take the time to support her, and sign the petition.

Here's her summary of the action, the flaws in the reasoning behind changing the name, and what should be done.

Title: Keep "Sierra Bonita"
Target: Nebo School District

We support the name chosen by the Nebo School District for the new elementary school

We support our communities history by using the name Sierra Bonita for our new elementary school

We Support Latino children in the community

We support a more inclusive community to help our Latino students feel included and loved. Research has shown that feeling included and loved aides children in achieving their educational goals.

We support and encourage diversity in the community

We do not agree with the suggested name change for the elementary school to be Maple Ridge. We believe that changing the name at this point in the development process would be sending a negative and ethnocentric message. We believe that changing the name at this point will send a negative message, not only to the local Hispanic community, but to all Hispanics.

We do not believe that the suggested change in name has merit. The opposition has stated that the reason for the change is "I don't like the sound of it," and "it's ugly," "we are not a big fan of it," and finally that the kids cannot pronounce it. Furthermore, the opposition says that it doesn't adequately represent our community which lays in the shadow of the Sierra Bonita Mountain.

We believe that it would be an irresponsible waste of educational funds at this juncture to change the name of the school, which would require the school board to create new signs, new letterhead, new logos, and new blueprints for the school.

Please keep the already approved name Sierra Bonita as the name for our elementary school.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Am I That Boring?

I guess I haven't had a very interesting life lately. That, or I keep forgetting my camera, so I don't catch all the interesting parts of my life. Well, this is the best I can do.

I cut the boys' hair on Saturday and thought they looked so cute Sunday morning sitting in the living room in their church clothes reading "The Math Curse." So I snapped a picture. Yes, it confirms that I am a boring soul, but I still think my boys are growing up to be handsome men.