Monday, January 21, 2008

Cute pics, just because. . .

Just a cute moment in the middle of playing. It's fun watching Chloe & Aaron as they play together. They often make each other laugh :) They're becoming quite a cute brother/sister combo.

Daddy and Chloe trying out a motorcycle at the Bass Pro Shop.

Aaron "This is serious business! "

Chloe "If I get it at just the right angle. . ."

Driving a boat at the Bass Pro Shop. (too bad there's no water and the boat won't actually move. . .)

Chloe takes over and drives alone. Everything looks calm. . .

Chloe, her cousin Anna, and Ginger (the guinea pig). Chloe and Aaron both loved having their cousins here AND the guinea pig for Christmas!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another Mommy Tag

My friend Joni tagged me again. . .this time I have to tell you 6 things you may not know about me. It's hard to come up with interesting things. . .

1. When I was in high school I got a paper cut in the dead center of my eye. Yes, I did say PAPER CUT in my pupil!! It was not pleasant. One of those freak accidents--a friend of mine in choir had her sheet music in her hand and somehow my eye came into contact with it. It was very painful, but I did manage to check myself out of school and drive myself to the doctor. Eye injuries such as this usually heal relatively quickly, but I had an allergic reaction to the first batch of liquid antibiotics. . .so, there goes the quick healing! Anyway, once I got the patch off my eye I had a doctor's excuse to wear sunglasses at school for the next week. So, that was kind of cool. 2. From elementary school until my freshmen year of college, I planned to go to law school and become a lawyer. I wanted to be a criminal defense lawyer. I was even on the Mock Trial team in high school. However, somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to work with teenagers and got a teaching degree. Then, I realize I wanted to do counseling and got my master's degree in Social Work. And, at this point, my main goal is to be an effective stay-at-home mom!! :-) And trust me, all that education has been very helpful in what I currently do!

3. My freshman year of college, I went on a camping trip the weekend before finals and broke my foot! It was the first time I had ever broken a bone. It was tons of fun {sarcastic grin} to get around BYU campus on crutches during finals week. Below is a picture of us hiking in Southern Utah on that trip (before my big fall. . .) The camping trip was a lot of fun until my big fall. Even, then it was quite the adventure. I think it was about 8 hours until I finally made it to a hospital. My roommates and I had gotten off the beaten path and had quite a time finding our way out. Thank goodness we ran into some very kind and helpful people!!

4. WANNA GO TO PRISON?? That's what was on the flyer that I responded to when I began my journey into the world of teaching life skills classes at the Utah State Prison. One of the various volunteer opportunities I was able to take advantage of when I was at BYU. I taught a great life skills curriculum to classes in the men's facility in Draper, UT. The program was great. We always team taught with someone else. I did that twice a week (two hour classes) for a couple of years. I really enjoyed it (even though I later learned that my classes were composed mostly of sex-offenders. . .) But, I always felt completely safe and comfortable because I knew a guard was close by if needed--but that was never the case for me.

5. My bachelor's degree is in Social Sciences Teaching for Secondary Ed. For my semester of student teaching, I was accepted into a BYU program to do it at a school in Washington D.C. Below is a picture of one of my classes. I taught U.S. History, Sociology, & Psychology. It was quite the experience considering my cooperating teaching never came back to school after my first two weeks and the substitute they put in with me was not exactly proficient in English. Being in D.C. was fun though. Lots to do and see. 6. After my semester in D.C. I moved to Texas and got a job teaching at the Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program (JJAEP) for Tarrant County in Fort Worth. It was an even crazier experience than my one in D.C. since I was hired to teach math and English rather than something I'm actually certified to teach. In one classroom I would have students enrolled in Basic Math, Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. Needless to say, the students in my classes were not exactly prone to being intrinsically motivated to learn indpendently (i.e. work in small groups while I go around and teach each individual subject). However, I can honestly say that in all my teaching experiences I really did like all my students on an individual basis--but collectively, well, that was often a different story. . .
I tag Jacqui :-)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Christmas 2007!!

Christmas was great! We hosted Natalie's family. All of her siblings & their families, except Thad (brother in Utah with a newborn), were able to come. We had a wonderful time! It was quite noisy! :-) Chloe and Aaron sure did enjoy having all those cousins around!

The Saturday before Christmas, those who were here, went out to eat at a restaurant in the Great Wolf Lodge (hotel/water park that Simon helped build--the architectural side of things). Below is a picture of the view of the hotel lobby from the restaurant.

Below is just a funny pic of Nicholas and William (cousins)

After eating at Great Wolf we took the kids to the Bass Pro Shop. The kids enjoyed seeing the fish, reindeer (real fish, pretend reindeer), and exploring some of the boats.
Below is a pic of Grandma LeVar with all the grandkids (well, all except for David, Gracie, and Ruby who we all missed--I can't imagine why my brother and his wife didn't want to travel across the country with a newborn. . .{sarcastic grin} Oh, and Leah is also missing because they didn't get here until Sunday and this was Saturday night.
in the picture: William, Nicholas, Christopher, Natalie (adult), Aaron, Grandma, Joshua, Beth, Chloe, Sarah, Josh, and Anna
Below are the kids making gingerbread houses in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. Ginni and Lance headed up that project (Ginni's great with crafty arts stuff).

A little while after the gingerbread houses were finished, we had a white elephant gift game for the kids. No worries, the kids game did not include the ability to steal a gift. They just passed it around a circle according to a story I read and then ended up with whatever they had.

Below are the kids opening their gifts. Not everyone was totally thrilled with the gift they ended up with. But, overall, I'd say it was a successful activity. No major breakdowns :)

Of course, we also had a white elephant game for the adults. We played it the traditional way with drawing numbers, choosing gifts, and stealing.

Below is Natalie's mom (Karma LeVar) opening one of several gifts (I believe hers kept getting stolen. . .)

Then, of course, below is gift opening actities on Christmas morning. I think everyone was quite pleased with their presents. As you can see below, Aaron seems to be quite happy just inspecting a plastic cup. . .two year olds are great fun :)