Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Day of School!

Wednesday was the first day of school in Santa Fe.  The kids were excited to start school...which we expected of Courtney, but Ben hasn't always liked school.  They have to wear uniforms, and this year we bought them in enough time to be able to get what we wanted.  Last year we learned not to wait until the last minute to shop for school uniforms because apparently the stores only carry them once a year.

You'll also notice all three kids have backpacks on.  Johnny sooo wishes that he could go to school too.  I took the kids into the school yesterday so we could find out their teachers and deliver the bags full of supplies.  (I woke up this morning with very sore shoulders...two kids' supplies are quite heavy.)  First we walked to Courtney's first grade room and met Mrs. G (Ms. Garcia).  There are 4 kids in her class from last year.  Ben's third grade class was next.  He was hoping for Ms. Natalie who he had for math last year, but he got Ms. Powell.  This is the teacher recommended to me for him because she is experienced and has a very organized and controlled classroom.  I didn't make a request but he got her anyway.  There is only one kid from his class last year, but it is someone he got along with.

Johnny was distraught that we didn't then find a classroom for him at the school.  Two more years, kiddo.  Once we got outside, we walked a bit and he stopped and looked up at me and said, "Look mommy, I'm happy now!"  And gave me the biggest cheesiest grin.    

When we picked up the kids after school, they were both just jumping for joy happy!  They had an awesome day and loved their new classes and being in a new grade and wahooooooo!!!!  In a couple weeks, we'll see if they are both still super thrilled to be back at school.  Courtney will be, I'm sure.  But I don't know about Ben.  The first half of the school year is usually really hard for him, adjusting to the classroom and teacher and finding friends.  I hope he continues excited.  Apparently his teacher has a codeword which he finds hilarious:  SALAMI.  That means: Stop and Look at Me Immediately.  MUSTARD is the code word for get back to work.  LOL

Oh, and inspired by Debbie I tried a back to school cake too.   After I frosted it I realized I should have cut the top off to look more like a bus.  Oh, well.  It was fun to make anyway.  We went to Long John Silvers for dinner and then came home for cake and root beer.  Somehow all loaded up with sugar they managed to go to sleep at a decent time.

Viva Las Vegas!

We took a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate the end of summer and our 10th anniversary.  Our first stop was Hoover Dam which really is quite impressive...that thing is huge!
One of our traditions in Las Vegas is to get some hot donuts at Krispy Kreme...we found out that they stop making them hot at 11, so if you arrive at 10:55 and see the last few donuts going down the belt, don't wait 10 minutes for your kids to watch the cinnamon rolls go down the conveyor belt and under the glaze waterfall.  The hot donuts won't be hot anymore and they don't make anymore until 5pm.  Just sayin'....
We took the kids to the Mandalay Bay casino shark reef aquarium.  We saw some pretty cool fish and even got to pet a sting ray (Kyle, Ben and I did--the other two opted out).  I liked watching the jelly fish swim around. 
The sting ray felt pretty squishy.  Believe it or not I was the first brave soul and had to convince Kyle to take a turn!
The kids spent many hours on the trampoline in Janet's back yard.  We enjoyed the grass and got few good jumps in too (I didn't realize how much I'd miss grass living in Santa Fe).  Kyle still does back flips on the trampoline...I hope he figures out when he is too old to flip before he breaks something.
Angie and her fiancee Trent.  They are a cute couple and he is a great guy.  I can't believe how grown up little Angie is!
We were excited to help John celebrate such a big birthday.  We can't be there for his baptism, so the birthday was a good option.  He is a hoot--he kept telling us how glorious all his presents were and he thought he might leave them in their packaging and not take them out yet just because they were all so glorious and he wanted to enjoy just how glorious they all were.  LOL
It's hard to see the beautiful sights of the Las Vegas strip without having to walk through the smokey gloomy casinos...but we did our best.  Kyle and I left the kids with Janet and had a mini vacation on the strip.  This is the fountain show outside the Bellagio.  We lucked out on this one because it started just as we were walking by.  The fountains are coordinated to music and it was quite impressive.
Definitely the highlight: we went to the Blue Man Group show.  It was an amazing experience!  
A weakness for us (mostly me): beautiful pastries.  I love beautiful food!
We meant to leave Las Vegas on Friday, but Mark found out we had never tried real sushi (just california roll which doesn't count) so we postponed leaving and he took Kyle and I out to lunch.  Raw fish is really a gross thought, but we both tried it and actually liked it!  Kyle said it's not something he'd want often, but once a year or so he could handle it.  
This was in the middle of nowhere, Arizona.  Luckily our van carries a full size spare...because our car troubles ALWAYS happen Friday evenings (aka...when there is no chance of finding a repair shop open).  My excellent strong man Kyle took care of the tire and we were on our way.  Luckily there was a gas station just a few miles away to fill up the slightly flat spare tire.
Not too much later we saw this beautiful double rainbow.  Not a bad way to end a (mostly) wonderful vacation!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Three's a charm, right?

I guess I'm a feast or famine kind of blogger.  I'm sitting here with the A/C off, the window open, and my feet are freezing.  The kids are outside playing with their coats on!  It is the middle of August and only 56 degrees at 10 am.  Crazy!  

There's something else I like about Santa Fe--the nights are never sweltering.  We are a desert at 7000 ft elevation.  It gets hot, but rarely above 100, and it's a dry heat.  The downside?  We are close to the sun and hence can burn easily.  The nights are cool.  The downside?  That's good in the summer months, but in the winter it is frigid in the mornings when we send the kids off to school!  

We learned last winter about supercooling with the water bottles we keep in the van, so I guess there was some sort of benefit to so many mornings below freezing!  (There are some pretty cool videos on youtube on supercooling.  Just google it to find them.)  It's pretty weird the first time you find a bottle of liquid water in your car when it's so cold outside.  You'd think it would be solid ice.  So I picked it up and turned it over, just to be sure it was liquid.  Then the ice crystals started forming and in seconds the whole bottle was ice.  It only works, as far as I remember, with pure water like Dasani in an unopened bottle, and when the water has been cooled to below 27 degrees. Since the water is pure it doesn't have imperfections to start the crystallization. When you agitate the cooled water it gives it the push to crystallize.  Very very cool process!

You know you're in Santa Fe when...

...McDonalds has a green chile cheeseburger on the dollar menu.

...the Japanese restaurant has Santa Fe style sushi and green chili tempura.'ve got rocks for a front yard and dirt for your back yard. are excited to see grass.

...the median household income is 45,000 and the median house value is 282,000 (I highly doubt the median income can afford the median house) order food at a restaurant and they ask you red or green. order food at a restaurant and ask for Christmas.

...there are jewelry vendors on every corner.

...on Saturdays you'll find old cardboard boxes on street corners with Yard Sale written on them.

...even Target looks like an old pueblo style building.

...there is a procession carrying the virgin (just like we saw all over Spain).

...downtown is filled with restaurants, art galleries, and jewelry vendors.

...there are as many restaurants in a town of 70,000 as there are in cities 4 times the size

...on Christmas Eve you can go downtown and walk around eating cookies and drinking hot cocoa for free all evening.

...the free hot chocolate is spiked with red chile. never know when there might be a detour for another film being made. drive down the street with your windows down in the fall so you can smell the chile being roasted in every big parking lot.

...there are walking trails allllll over the city.

...people throw in random spanish words in their everyday speech (and half the time you don't understand even if you are fluent in spanish.)'s a novelty to see a house built with a peaked roof and siding.'re embarrassed to be seen buying chemical weed killer or not going organic. least once a week you find yourself saying, "Well, this is Santa Fe!" have to specify Las Vegas NEVADA.

Phew!  I think that's enough for now.  I'd better add that we have only lived here a year, for whatever difference that makes. If anyone wants to add to my list, feel free to do so in the comments.  I realize some of these aren't exclusive to Santa Fe, but we sure like to think so!  

Something funny happened on the way to the restaurant...

So as not to detract from the nice evening we had on Thursday, I chose to leave out a couple details.

#1--If you've eaten with Kyle enough, you'll know this about him: he hates to eat with 3 prong forks.  A fork isn't a fork unless it has 4 prongs (personally, I'd rather see a 3 prong than a 5 prong myself...but that's another story).  So at the Japanese restaurant, the table was set with just chopsticks.  Kyle gave it a go, but he just isn't comfortable with using them.  He doesn't have it figured out.  So we asked for forks.  And they brought the 3 prong forks.  Hmph.  He couldn't figure out which he would rather use.

#2--When we arrived at the restaurant, it was run by native Japanese people.  Two different men that helped us saw our "Got Good Marriage" t-shirts and asked us if we were just married.  We told them it was our 10th anniversary and they asked if we had kept the shirt and been wearing it for 10 years.  I think the language barrier made them think the shirts really meant to say "Just Married".  Whatever.  They did sit us in a private section of the restaurant, which was nice!  

#3--When I eat Japanese food, I love to get tempura vegetables.  Yumm!  How funny when we realized this was definitely Santa of the veggies was a strip of Hatch green chile.  Yea, I gave that one to Kyle.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy 10th Anniversary to us!

Yesterday was our 10th anniversary.  Kyle told me he was in charge of the day (I got to plan our overnight getaway in Las Vegas next week when we go visit my sister Janet).  After work we met up at Bryce & Bettie's for them to watch our kids.  Kyle had changes of clothes for both of us...we both wore denim shorts and our maroon "Got Good Marriage" tshirts that we got at a marriage seminar/dinner/dance earlier this year.  Apparently B&B have been hiding from us that they have a racquetball court at their apartment complex...Kyle and I both have racquets but we've never played since we married.  We played 5 games (and I won 3 of them!) and then we went out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant.  It was such a fun night.  Racquetball is one of the few sports I feel competent at and it was SO FUN!!

A couple weeks ago Kyle asked how often I check our bank account online.  Then he recommended I don't check for awhile.  OooooKaaaaay.  Last night Kyle reenacted the night he proposed to me.  He read a poem he wrote and sang the same song he same to me 10+ years ago and got down on one knee and presented me with my wedding ring with a read diamond.  Here's the backstory: when we got engaged, we got a cubic zirconium instead of a diamond because we were poor and didn't want to go into debt for the ring.  We also decided that we would probably be able to afford a real diamond by our 10th anniversary. A few months ago the CZ came out and I put my ring in my jewelry box for safe keeping until we got a replacement stone.  I've been wearing my Grandma's wedding ring, so the priority for fixing the ring was fairly low (aka...kinda forgotten).  Low and behold...Kyle seized the opportunity to get the ring fixed and fulfill a promise of 10 years ago.

Thank you my love!  I had a wonderful anniversary!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ben blowing bubbles

It took about 10 seconds of instruction and 20 minutes of practice...

And now, Ben is a bubble blowing expert!

The tooth fairy got a raise, I guess

When I was a kid, I got a quarter.  My kids also have been getting a quarter for their teeth.  Well, maybe it was the long time it took for this tooth to come out.  Maybe it was how cute Courtney looks with this tooth missing.  Maybe the tooth fairy got a raise.  But last night, the tooth fairy brought her two quarters.  (Congrats on your raise, LCDR tooth fairy!)


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Check out Kyle's woodworking blog!

The link is on the side and he has posted some of his scrollsaw projects.  Go check them out!

Monday, August 11, 2008

What I love about me

I'm doing my first blog challenge.  Here it is: Tell me what your own favorite character trait/ability is. Tell me all about it and how you affect others through it. 

Brainstorming:  I am good at taking ideas and tweaking them for my own.  In fact, it is very rare for me to actually copy a recipe or a scrapbooking idea exactly.  These are the two things I can think of right off that I express my creativity with.  I am not good at planning ahead or shopping ahead for supplies.  I almost always just look at the recipe and figure out what I have as a good substitute.  I also just use what I have for scrapbooking.  I can't think of a time that I planned out a project first and then went shopping for supplies.  I am all about using what I have.

That reminds me of a paradigm shift I've had in recent years.  I used to be more of a hoarder.  I hated to use my nice supplies, nice foods...whatever.  I wanted to "save them for a rainy day".  What happened then?  The food went bad, the paper or stickers were no longer my style.  A waste of money and I never got to enjoy my special things.  I now am so excited to use up a box of cereal and throw out the empty box.  I love using my beautiful papers and flowers on my scrapbook pages.

How does this affect others? I hope I am teaching my children to enjoy what they have and not hoard it and save it for later.  Enjoy the good things now.  What's the point of buying something if you aren't going to use it?  That's my thought for the day.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Here are the directions: 1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember! 2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty cool (and funny) to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. :) If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments on here... Please Play! :)