Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Friday the 13th

While Friday the 13th is supposed to have an ominous shadow over it, my last Friday the 13th was great! I subbed in a 1st grade classroom that was well organized and the students were well behaved. Or a least as good as they can be on the day of their Valentine's party.

It has been years since I attended a first grade Valentine's party and was I in for a treat. All day long I had students asking me if it was time for the party yet. Of course I had announced to the class several times what our schedule would be, but when you are six and there is a party - you just can't wait.

Finally, it was time to pass out the Valentine's and I got such a thrill watching them carefully drop their cards and candy into each others bags. At last they all sat down, well some couldn't even sit they were so excited, and began opening them. The joy on their faces and the sounds coming from their mouths was what childhood is all about.

There was a darling little boy named Jose who kept coming and showing me the Spiderman cards he kept opening - they were holographic - nothing could be better. As I stood watching them, Jose came up one more time and asked me if I had any Valentine's cards and I said no but that was okay because I was just a substitute. He then handed me one of his cherished holographic cards. When I protested he said that he didn't want me not to get any cards and that he had a lot. Jose then proceed to offer me some of his candy. I was amazed that this little boy would think of me, really a stranger, in the middle of all this excitement.

We ended the day with sundaes covered in chocolate syrup, carmel, sprinkles, candies, nuts, and topped with whip cream. The students thought they looked SO good and had to make sure their sundae had EVERYTHING on it. Then they took three bites and promptly threw them away. The joy was in the anticipation and the making - not the eating.

After spending this Friday the 13th/Valentine's Day with this first grade class, I was reminded of the joys of holidays, childhood and the goodness of a child's heart. So in the midst of home foreclosures, the stock market crashing and rising unemployment, life is great especially when you are a kid or with them!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Catching Up

So it took me FOREVER to finally finish all the blogs from over the holidays and I figured I would catch you up real quick with what has been happening since then.

Preston played basketball with our ward during the month of January and every Wednesday Garth and I got to watch him play. The last week of the month his team won the tournament with Preston sinking quite a few 3's to help them win. They were hilarious to watch because only Preston and one other kid could even dribble the ball (kind of tells you about the competition they had). Several boys were soccer players, one was a football player and one thought he was a basketball player but only in his dreams. Preston was by far the best ball handler they had and we were proud of him.
Over Martin Luther King day my friend, Cindy, invited me and my friend, Wendy, to go hiking. I had a million things to do that day but I was so glad to take a little time and hike with my friends. We went out to Ussery Pass and the day was perfect. I miss hiking with my friends all the time, they are so great!
We were selected, as usual, to host the Super Bowl party this year. Our numbers were few with much of the family on a South American cruise (you can see those who weren't invited - they were at our party!). I had it easy this year, Uncle Paul did most of the cooking. He made beans, enchiladas and green chili wraps and I just made some appetizers, a salad and cornbread. Frank and Dawna brought a bunch of food also. We definitely needed more people to eat all the food we had.
We were excited to have the Cardinals playing in the Super Bowl but at half time a lot of those hopes had died. The Cardinals ended up putting on a pretty good show though and came back in the fourth quarter. It got really exciting at the end and we actually thought we had it won until the last minute or so. Such a heartbreaking loss.
I started back to school again and have been taking two classes that I really have enjoyed so far. We celebrated Jason's 21st birthday without him and are starting the count down until he comes home - just 4 1/2 months. And Dave celebrated his 29th birthday by getting a new puppy, Elle. Life is good, you can't beat the weather here in the winter. In just a couple of weeks we will have five huge orange trees loaded with ripe oranges. Come and visit and you can have as many as you can pick and carry!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fiesta Bowl Parade

Our day began early with taking Anita, Rob and the kids to the airport at 5:00 am. Rob had forgotten his most important luggage - his golf clubs - so while Garth ran home to get them I was able to spend a few more minutes with one of my best friends. We had had such a great time having them all here. It was busy and fun and we hope they will come again.

Our next stop was Paul and Judy's house for their annual Festivas brunch. We never miss that because the food is to die for. After filling up we headed to the Fiesta Bowl parade. We were disappointed that Anita and her family couldn't go to it, so most of these photos are to show them a little of what they missed.

Since Ohio State was playing the Fiesta Bowl, we were anxious to done our OSU apparel and show support. Notice who isn't wearing the red? The Ohio State student! It took us a bit to find the parade route because it had been moved since the light rail now runs down Central Ave. where the parade always went. The parade just isn't the same without all the tall buildings surrounding you and even though we were late, we found a great spot to watch from. It looks as though we are about the only ones there but we are behind a couple of rows of people sitting in chairs Disappointment was on the horizon though when we found out that we had just missed the Ohio State marching band - the the one entry we really wanted to see. But we showed our spirit by doing the OHIO sign and yelling to any other Ohio fans we saw.
Of course the Fiesta Bowl queen and her court came by in their carriage.
And as you can see, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade isn't the only one with big balloons.
There were some entries with some pretty crazy costumes like this one from the Caribbean.
And no Arizona parade would be complete without the Mexican dancers in those dresses Lonica always coveted.
Since we had just had Dutch visitors we were especially aware of the marching Dutchman band from the Midwest.
Check out these "wooden shoes", I can't imagine walking the whole parade route in them.
The Bill William's Wild Man always have to appear in the parade
along with their counterparts, the Wild West Women.
But our favorite entry of the whole parade were the Star Wars characters. Check them out! Darth Vader and the storm troopers,
C-3PO, Princess Lea and Hans Solo,
Chewbacca, and every other Star Wars character you could think of.
It didn't matter if you couldn't walk or you were very short, there was a character for you!
All in all, another great day in the Valley of the Sun.