Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blogging Bulimia

I've spent the entire morning trying to catch up my blog on the happenings of our family over the past 2 months. I am so linear, I tried to go back and put the posts in chronological order. However, in doing so with the assistance of my calendar, I am realizing how many more things there are write about. So here are a few highlights that won't merit posts of their own at this time.

1. Dan's Knee Surgery

On September 9th, Dan had a tumor removed from the back side of his knee. The tumor was discovered originally as a mass blocking the MRI pictures that were to determine if knee replacement was necessary. Only as they got into his knee to remove the mass, did they discover this almond-sized tumor. They removed it and cleaned up some torn cartilage. It was determined that he doesn't need total knee replacement at this time, just partial. So for now we wait and try to determine the least intrusive time to have it done.

2. Books

I had a goal this summer to read 5 books, and as of last week, I did it. I know it isn't exactly summer anymore, but these books bear mentioning. First I jumped on the Hunger Games bandwagon. I thoroughly enjoyed these books. They were a fast read, action packed, and well written. I'm an adolescent literature junkie, so I'm not surprised that I enjoyed them.

My former Mountain Ridge colleagues and I perpetuate the nerdy English teacher stereotype by having book club once a month. In June, we read Major Pettigrew's Last Stand , a charming little romance about an old British soldier's second chance at love and about overcoming cultural perceptions. Most recently, we read The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbury about a concierge in an elegant Parisian hotel. This was a delightful book. It is beautifully written and profound. I've marked more passages in the book than I can count. Not sure how I feel about the ending, but definitely worth my time. Makes me want to speak French again...

3. 4.0!

This summer I spent 4 nights a week in class with these dudes:

"Uncle Cliffy"

and "Buddy"

Uncle Cliffy taught us about curriculum and what an acid trip was like in the 60's (somehow there was a link to curriculum). Buddy lead us out of the proverbial cave and discussed all things pertaining to educational philosophy. It was one of my favorite semesters, maybe because it was a much needed break from writing papers and making presentations. I managed to complete the 5th of 7 grad school semesters with my 4.0 in tact. Even though Uncle Cliffy and Buddy both renounce the whole concept of G.P.A., I'm still proud of it!

4. Pioneer Crossing

Pioneer Crossing is the new road that provides a quick route from American Fork to Saratoga Springs. It also happens to be right behind the houses at the end of my street. I've prepared a Haiku to record my thoughts:

Construction was lame,
Driving is much quicker now,
Road kill abounds.

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll do a much better job in the future of documenting our story while it is happening rather than much after the fact...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

80 is the new 50!

This month two of my favorite ladies turned 80! My grandmas are by far the most classy, intelligent, funny, stylish, and amazing women around. On September 11, we celebrated Grandma "Gaga" at the Blue Lemon in Highland.

On September 28, we celebrated Grandma Yvonna's birthday at Missie's.

I'm the luckiest girl around to have such amazing grandmas who live in close proximity and are involved in all facets of my life. From their example I have learned courage, resilience, humor, compassion, independence, determination, faith, etc. I can only hope to emulate this qualities and pass them on to my children and grandchildren the way that Joanne and Yvonna do! Happy Birthday, Grandmas!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Little Earthquakes

Life's unexpected twists and turns always seem to bring this phrase to mind. We had a little earthquake this week in the form a leukemia scare for Hank. Thankfully, he does not have cancer, but a condition brought on by exposure to e-coli. Still very serious, but very curable. At this point he is still at Primary Children's Hospital receiving treatment. This weekend as I watched my babies sleeping peacefully in their beds, I couldn't contain my emotion. What an incredible gift to be healthy and to live in close proximity to family and to renown medical facilities in times of sickness. These little earthquakes are often gifts in that they cause us to be shaken from our routines, our schedules, our frivolous cares and concerns and to be reminded of what is truly important--family, health, love, faith. It is as if I'm seeing the world through a smudge-free lens--my children sleeping feels miraculous rather than routine. Such moments of profound clarity cause me to resolve to do a better job savoring each moment, enjoying the journey, appreciating the miracles that do occur around us each day.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Home Improvements

We've been busy this summer with home improvements. In our living room, we got rid of our yellow armoire and heirloom hand-me-down television (complete with lots of cords)

And got this new cabinet (finished to match our kitchen cabinets) and flat screened t.v.

Our library has undergone a transformation from this:

To this (notice my new pillows!):

We finally got window coverings in our basement--much better than butcher paper, eh?

Dan also painted and hung doors in the basement, which was a major improvement (especially in the playroom). One of his subs gave him enough lumber to frame the remaining room to be finished in our basement--so I guess we know what our next project will be!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Day of School

A new school year has officially started, and this year brings big changes to our family. This is the first year that both girls are in the same place at the same time for the whole day! Isabel is now at Snow Springs all day and has bidden farewell to Tanya, Chantelle, folding Clay's underwear, and the kids at daycare. Both girls are finished with school at 2:15, and then they walk home together. They eat a snack, practice the piano, start on their homework, and look out for each other until I get home. They are so big and independent! I LOVE it!! Here are some pics from the first day:
Isabel--1st Grader Extraordinaire

Sassy PoseLucy--Sophisticated 4th Grader

Sassy Pose
That night we had the good fortune of attending The Lion King at Captiol Theater in Salt Lake. We ate dinner fist at the Mayan and then met up with Grandma Joanne, Barbara, Robyn, Maddie, and Alex for the show. It was a fantastic end to the first day of school. However, it did make for a sleepy second day of school!

Channeling their inner Broadway stars!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Marathon Birthday Season...

Summer marks the peak of the birthday season for the Ross family. Isabel, Dan, and I all celebrated marathon birthdays this year. We all managed to celebrate for days, and days, and days. We kicked off Isabel's celebration a day early this year. The family came over to open presents and for some ice cream cake and ice cream cupcakes (I heard they were delicious--but as I didn't taste them myself, I can't be really sure...).

Isabel with her very own Sonicare!

Izzy loves her grandparents!

Make a wish!
Isabel was surprised at the end of the party with an early gift from us--a TRAMPOLINE!! Too bad there was no grass in the back yard to go with it....

The next day, June 14, was Isabel's actual 6th birthday and the partying had just begun!

More presents...

Zhu Zhu mania...Games and puzzles for the ultimate gamester and puzzler...

Breakfast in bed--a birthday must...
Lunch with best friend Macee @ Wendy's...

And the ultimate Rock Star Birthday Party! What constitutes a Rock Star birthday party you might ask? Well, we did make-overs, posed for a photo shoot, had a dance party, sang a little karaoke, made rock star magnets (crafty, eh?), opened presents, and savored oreo ice cream sandwiches. Andrea Martin told me that this is exactly what rock stars do on their birthdays!

Strike a pose...

Is that a word search? Must be an English teacher involved...

True rock stars are always ready for a photo op...

No need wishing, I think your birthday wishes came true!

Up next, me! This year I celebrated my 34th birthday (YUCK!!)--the last birthday of my early thirties. It all started with some dinner at Texas Roadhouse the night before my birthday. Nothing like loads of those delicious rolls to chase away the birthday blues. My actual birthday, July 29th, was a day was full of firsts--my first bloody nose in 25 years, my ditching class for the first time to play golf with Annie, and my first legitimate par on the golf course. I had lunch with my Grandma Joanne and my mom and sisters at the Pizza Factory as well. The next day we met up with the family for some dinner and presents at Thanksgiving Point. It's kind of a weird experience to buy yourself a birthday cake that you will not eat yourself, but I got enough sugar-free licorice to make up for it! One thing noticeably absent for my birthday this year, my camera. Use your imagination. I looked fabulous.

Last, and certainly not least, Dan celebrated his 35th birthday on August 23. We celebrated for at least a week to make this milestone year a little easier to swallow. On the 15th, Dan's family threw him the 9th birthday party he never had. We feasted on hot dogs and chips, broke a pinata, played games, ate snow cones, etc. They went all out to make and decorate this race car cake.

The next Saturday, Dan and I went on a birthday date while the girls were at dance camp. We played golf at The Ranches, went out to lunch, and bought a new TV! The next night, we invited the family over to celebrate. Dan made his famous teriyaki chicken and beef, complete with veggies on the bbq, rice, salad, etc. I made my famous peach dessert and score bar cake (for lack of a better title).

I think our wishes did come true this year--Isabel partied like a rock star, I have no evidence that I even had a birthday, and Dan finally got a new TV (too bad he can't sit on the couch). Good thing we have until January to recuperate for Lucy's birthday!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ear Flaps and Eye Masks

Isabel made these for my birthday. Any idea what they are?

I wasn't so sure myself when I opened her carefully wrapped package. After hearing me talking about how I had to sleep with my covers over my ears (due to a childhood fear of having earwigs lay eggs in my brain), she decided that she would make me some ear flaps. I just place the pipe cleaner around my ear, and tuh-duh, my ears are covered. This girl is a genius!

A couple of days later we were school shopping at Old Navy. Isabel insisted on getting an eye mask to wear to bed. I thought that kind of odd as she is not really a fan of the dark, but I gave in and bought her the mask. Each night as she settles into bed with Lammy and Lamb-Lamb, she wears her eye mask to keep out the light that she insists I leave on while she falls asleep.

There is never a dull moment with Isabel around!