Wednesday, October 31, 2012

trick or treat

Happy Halloween from one Japanese Princess

and one muscular super hero (who's hair must have met up with a kryptonite comb).
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

nothing but the facts

If I told you I spent the better part of Saturday evening with Nate, Steve Young (and a lot of other Youngs for that matter), would you believe me?

What if I told you that we rocked out to the lead singer of Linkin Park backed up by Billy Morrison and Steve Stevens (currently touring with someone named Billy Idol), would you believe me?

You should.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Have you ever for a split-second wondered if you got into the right car and then felt an immense amount of relief when you saw the Pokemon cards on the front seat and knew you were in the right place?

Umm, me neither. Ahem.

Friday, October 19, 2012

raising the bar

Did I ever tell you about the time I took the kids to a biker bar?

Probably not.

Because it just happened TODAY.

We took a little 60 mile jaunt to our favorite arboretum (click here, if you want to be reminded). We did the full loop this time and saw bazillions of butterflies. We also saw many lizards, they were awfully cute. We snacked on goldfish (crackers, not live y'know). We met some elderly friends (remember my post from yesterday? The snowbirds are truly here and they are in action). We climbed rocks. We reminded each other to stay on the path. We admired very large rocks. Then we got hungry (goldfish only get you so far).

So we drove up the road to the thriving metropolis of Superior. I had read about two places to eat. Of course once I was in Superior, I discovered my phone service was very low and my phone's ability to process maps was quite dismal. We overheard in the gift shop of the arboretum (because how can you go anywhere with a gift shop with your children and not be coerced into going into the gift shop?) that a particular restaurant was a great place for lunch. Not being able to find the two previously-researched places to dine, we went to the one mentioned in the shop.

I laugh now as I reminded Sir James the need for good manners as we exited the car and ventured forth to the fine establishment. We passed one door which was closed and had a sign on it that read "restrooms for patrons only" and went straight for the door that was standing wide open. Jimmy ran straight in and much to his delight discovered pool tables and "games." Grace and I sauntered in and found a large bar full of avid bikers (not cyclists, bikers) and saw that there were a few tables towards the back.

Is this it? Is this the place? I guess so, the other door clearly was for restrooms only!


After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence (including the bar patrons, but not Jimmy of course because he was so excited about the "games") the bartender finally jerked her thumb and announced, "Next Door!"

Next door indeed. Inside we found a table to seat ourselves. A greasy menu to pursue and what happened to be incredibly greasy food afterwards to consume. The kids had a great time. I'm just glad the drinks were cold.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


We got back from 5 wonderful days in Illinois yesterday. I'm sure I'll tell you  more about it later. But what I will tell you about today is that it is Fall there (a real, true to life, glorious Fall).

It is hard to believe that it is Fall here. In downtown Chicago, the trees are all yellow, and orange, and red. The air is crisp. The wind is brisk. Here in mid-town Scottsdale, the high is 91. The sun is shining bright. The evenings are cool (at 72 degrees). The cactus are just as green as usual. The breeze is light and airy.

But there are a few reminders that it is Fall here:
1. It is Fall Break. How can it not be Fall, if we have a whole week off of school dedicated to that precious (and non-existent) season?
2. The snowbirds are flocking here. Our plane was full of them. I've not seen so many white-haired individuals in one place in a long time (probably since the last Senior Special Wednesday at the grocery store   towards the end of last "winter.")
3. The Cardinals are playing baseball on my TV. Our nostalgia for all things STL is at a tremendous high. How lucky to have them in the post-season once again! It must be Fall if I'm getting teary-eyed thinking about David Freese and his game-winning homerun.

Go Cards, Go!!!
And thanks for bringing Fall to my family room.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


This morning was my first foray back into the classroom since the start of school. This afternoon will be my second. Why is it that for two months there have been no opportunities for classroom participation and today there are two????

I did literacy centers in Jimmy's class. So fun to see the kids and feel a buzz from their enthusiasm. We did a snippet on Christopher Columbus. Interesting fellow, to be sure.

This afternoon it is art in Grace's class. Her teacher has requested some Fall leaf art. Sounds great, until one realizes that 91 degrees doesn't quite qualify as Fall. So I'm bringing in some clippings from my desert landscaping and we're going to do some leaf prints from those. Palm fronds are sure a far cry from maple leaves, but I'm hoping the result will be cool nonetheless.

I'm also hoping the mess from the combination of paint and 5th graders will be minimal.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


This is a guest post by Nate.

Tonight for Family Home Evening, we talked about our family and wrote letters to the children's Great-Grandparents.  We started by discussing who they are, including those who are no longer with us.  Then the following unedited conversation took place.  Enjoy this window into Jimmy's perspective on life.

Mom: "What kinds of things could we write in our letters?"
Jimmy: "We could write the things we feel."
M: "Ok, Buv, like what?"
J: "Like, 'We feel sad that you died'."
M: "But the people we are writing letters to are still alive."
J: "Oh. Then we could write, 'We are happy that you stayed alive'."

What a touching sentiment.  I don't know how our living grandparents would feel about Jimmy's letter, but I know a couple of those on the other side would have really enjoyed it.