Friday, November 19, 2010

Where does the time go?

Well hello my dear little neglected blog. I thought I would at least put some updated info and pictures of my sweet family since it has been so long, so very long.
Last week Randy checked another item off his bucket list when we went to Notre Dame to watch his UTES play. It was a dream vacation for him and everything was perfection...except for the game. Randy got to see so many things he has loved since he was a child. He is a football junkie and knows so much history of the game, so Notre Dame football is a big deal to him. We got to see a lot of things that mean a lot to him and he was just like a kid on Christmas morning. I love that he gets so excited about things. I just wish that darn football team of his would have given us a good game to watch.

This is us in front of the Knute Rockne entrance to the stadium.
Here we are standing in front of "touchdown Jesus", an icon at Notre Dame. You can see it from inside the stadium, like Jesus is overlooking the game.

Randy loves Eric Weddle. We stood and watched him and some other important football people inside the tunnel chatting, but then when we went to go to get some grub he was standing right there. I walked over to him and he was chatting with 3 other jockish looking guys. I asked him if we could get a picture with him. He was so friendly and loved it. Well, I wanted to be in the photo too, so I just asked the guy he was talking to if he would take the picture for us. It then became apparent that the other guy was someone "important". They all joked and razzed him for being Eric's photographer. I think he must have been a more important NFL player than Weddle, but hey to me he was just a guy to snap a photo. Weddle and Randy then chatted for a minute about our kids and playing for the Chargers and stuff. That was cool for Randy, and for me. The thing that got me was that so many of the football players are so small in stature. I was standing right next to an NFL player, and even if I wasn't 7 months pregnant I still would have been bigger than him. That was weird to me. I just figured the guys that got to the NFL would all be 6'5" and at least 250 lbs. That Weddle is just a little guy.
This is inside the stadium before the teams came out. In the distance you can see "touchdown Jesus" and to the left the "golden dome" another Notre Dame important spot.

This was the best part of coming home. Seeing our sweet little angels. I missed them so much, but I never worried about them because I knew they were being well taken care of. Thanks to Weezy (Aunt Alisa) and family and Grandma and Grandpa Huff. They broke Max of his bottle while we were gone. Isn't that what family is really do the hard parenting for you. haha.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Is it really so wrong?

Is it really so wrong that I get a total gut-chuckle when I see this picture of Luke. After I posted the last picture of him on the rollercoaster at Legoland, I remembered this picture. This was taken two years ago atop a cliff at Captitol Reef. I was waiting in the car, the teeny tiny car that you can see in the distance, whilst the boys hiked to the top of this mountain. The wind was blowing really hard and Luke was convinced he was going to blow off the top of the mountain.
I really thought Luke was the brave child, but I guess his tough-guy exterior sometimes breaks and we see what the heck he really thinks.
So, is it really so wrong that I bust up over this picture and the rollercoaster picture?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What a Blast!

So this is what we did on our Spring Break. We went to San Diego, this was at Legoland. I think my children thought they were in heaven. Okay, most of the time Luke thought he was in heaven, maybe at this particular moment he wasn't thinking heaven.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's Great to be 8!

What a little heartbreaker! I'm just crazy about this kid.I can't believe our baby Jack is 8. It seems like he was just born, but then again it seems like he has always been a part of our lives. Jack is such a special sweet boy, and we love him so much. Some of the things Jack enjoys right now as an 8 year-old are:
playing with his brothers (he is the most patient and loving big brother)
playing the Wii and DSi
doing karate (he just got his purple belt)
playing the piano (okay, I like this one more than he does, but he tries to comply with my wishes)
writing stories and illustrating them
reading books (right now he is reading Percy Jackson)
riding his bike and jumping on the trampoline
playing basketball (this is a new-found pleasure and I am happy about that)
sewing (yes I said sewing, he recently became interested after watching me involved at the machine with my endless projects and last week finished his first project--a space pillowcase for his bed)
and many other 8 year-old boy activities.

Last week Jack was baptized and we had a great day celebrating his decision. He has worked so hard to get ready for this and everything went off without a hitch. Well, that is unless you call being locked out of the church in a frosty spring snow storm a hitch. I always say its things like that that make memories even more memorable. I will forever envision all of us huddled next to the church in dresses and suits with umbrellas (for some) with really wet snow pounding us sideways. The people without umbrellas were really wet, but all was resolved quickly when someone was kind enough to bring us the keys.

I just love this kid and can't imagine life without him. He is such a sweet and kind kid and melts my heart everyday, even now that he thinks he is all grown up.

I will post later about a special gift Jack was given on this great day. Chirp chirp, there's your clue.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Once upon a time...

Not so long ago
Tommy used to work on the docks
Unions been on strike
He's down on his's tough, so tough
Gina works the diner all day
Working for her man, she brings home her pay
For love - for love

She says we've got to hold on to what we've got
Cause it doesn't make a difference if we make it or not
We've got each other and that's a lot
For love - we'll give it a shot


I do loves me some Bon Jovi's. Okay some lots of Bon Jovi's. So, I must admit I had to watch them perform on the Grammy's. Oooooh baby. Isn't he so cute (Jon that is)? But, I have to admit (that's 2 confessions in one post) I gots meself a little sumthin sumthin for the Richie too. I prefer the new and surgically improved Richie Sambora, but nonetheless these boys are not only cutie patooties, but super amazing musicians. I have never heard a performance that I didn't love by them, but I've got a complaint tonight... who the heck was the chick they let sing with these musical perfections? If I wanted to watch a chick thinking she was a big deal, superstar sing I would have just watched Lady Gaga perform.

I like my Bon Jovi pure and original, no overexuberant chicks get to sing with these jersey boys unless its me.

So, enjoy the pics of the boys. Your welcome :)

Oh, and just in case you are singing it in your head (or out loud) here's the rest of the lyrics:

We're half way there
Livin on a prayer

Take my hand, we'll make it - I swear

Livin on a prayer

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm on a mission...

...and I'm wishing someone would cure my lonely condition. Okay, okay, just a little flashback from 7th grade.
The School Board Meeting went great! But if you weren't there (and I know you weren't that's why I have a lonely condition) you still have a chance to do your civic duty next month on February 9th-same time same place.
Thanks to those people who showed up and had the guts to speak up. My wet pants can tell you it was intense and a little intimidating, but hopefully we are making a difference.
There were several people who made "patron comments" at the meeting and the board heard from many of them the same things that people from our group expressed. Those comments were basically be responsible with our money, raise taxes to ease the burden on the cuts that are necessary, cut things that don't impact the classroom directly, cut across the board to minimize the impact on one group or area, and keep Jordan a place where good teachers and leaders and students want to be.
I hope to see you at the next board meeting February 9th. If you need help preparing comments to the board I've got your back. We would like to see 2 or 3 people at least comment next month to support our cause. So that's you!! Just comment or email me if you are a willing participant and I will get you on the agenda.
ah hem (clearing my voice to finish my rap) lookin for love in all the wrong places, no find love just ugly faces. That should do for now.
Be Strong and of a Good Courage!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

What I will say to the school board: (read all three recent posts)

#1 I expect the District to use my tax dollars at the district level more efficiently. I expect a fine tooth comb to be raked over district level spending, and cutting the things that don't better my child's education. Does the size of district leadership and administration match the new smaller size of the district? Are we a top heavy district like some outside the district claim? Let's figure that out and cut where needed.
#2 I expect every citizen of the district boundaries to pay for quality education for our students. This will require a tax increase, and I encourage you to make the difficult and politically incorrect decision to raise taxes the maximum that has been proposed. Which will cost the average home owner of a $200,000 home an added $10 per month on your tax bill. Doing this first will minimize the amount that will be necessary to cut from subsequent areas.
#3 I expect every citizen within the boundaries of the new Jordan School District to get involved and get the State Representatives and Senators out of office that caused our district to be in such a bad position in the first place. They caused the problem that we are now facing, why do we keep voting them in?
#4 I expect you to keep class sizes minimally impacted. We cannot expect 1 teacher to teach 5 or 6 more kids and be effective. Class sizes in our district are already to large. Don't make the mistake of increasing them just because you don't want to make the difficult decision to raise taxes. Class size increase should be last on your list of changes to help the budget.
#5 I expect that funding for paraprofessionals that work one-on-one with kids in the classroom will remain intact. We need aides and technicians in the classroom helping kids who fall behind or have special needs. Teachers already do more with less. If classroom helpers are cut, teachers will be able to do even less with less. If you get more from the taxpayers, you will be able to cut less in this area.
#6 I expect the teachers and leaders in our district to be well trained and to have continuous improvement in their fields. This requires staff development and training. How do we expect our teachers and principals to implement the latest and greatest in educational models without staff development funds. I expect our teachers and leaders to be the BEST! Let's make this possible by giving them the tools to become the best. This requires staff development days, and not furloughs for these days. If furloughs are a decision that you make, please make them across the board, not just for teachers. Janitors, custodians, special ed departments, district leaders, everyone should be furloughed if anyone is. This would require fewer days.
#7 I expect Jordan School District to be a place where great teachers, wonderful principals and administrators, and positive people want to work. If you impose on these great teachers and leaders an environment where they are unable to shine, where they have no resources, where they are just keeping their heads above water, we will lose them. Don't let Jordan develop a reputation where people leave. People and businesses will stay away from an area that does not have a good school system. Raising taxes will hurt now, but must be done for the sake of our students and our future. The tax increase will minimize the impact to our students and help to maintain a positive environment for teachers and students.

Out of Time...Rally the Troops!

I just found out from an "insider" that the board has pretty much made up their mind on certain important budget decisions. We need community support tomorrow night at the school board meeting. Last month there were 1200 citizens at the meeting to tell the board to do/cut anything but DON'T raise our taxes.
We need to tell them tomorrow to make other cuts, but please do raise taxes before increasing class size, before cutting certain school professionals and programs.
What do you think is important in your child's education? Do you think they need 5 or 6 more kids in their class? Do you think they should have unsupervised playgrounds? Do you think highschool kids don't need school counselors even though that is who helps with college prep and admissions? Do you think when teachers in Jordan School District have bigger classes, less support staff, less supervising staff, fewer resources, lower morale, and just plain poor crappy working conditions they will keep teaching in Jordan School District?
Well, I want the good teachers to stay. I want good people to continue to move to the westside. I want business growth on the westside. None of this will happen if our school district becomes what it might without tax increases. Do you want to live in a district and send your kids to school in a place that within a few years will earn the reputation for having the worst teachers, biggest classes, no extracurricular activities, and just plain POOR educational opportunities for kids.
So, let's make a difference tomorrow night at the school board meeting. Just tell them what you think. They change what they do based on citizen input. Let's not let the 1200 uninformed become the people who made the difference. I think we can all give up a little something for the kiddos.
We pay more for a night out than we do for a year of educating our own kids.
Call everyone you know and let's see how many people we can get to speak up tomorrow night at the Jordan School District Board of Education Meeting.
Held at:
Auxiliary Services Building (Board Room)
7905 South Redwood Road
7:00 pm
this is the old DI building near the corner of 78th and Redwood across from Gold's Gym.
Call me if you have any questions (801) 792-1478


HELP ME, HELP ME!!! (do I sound desperate, well then read on)
If you live in, or know someone who lives in Jordan School District please follow my blog for the latest correct information on what is happening in our district. I will be giving daily updates on what we as citizen can do to help take control of our children's educational futures.
Background information:
Two years ago the Utah State Legislature approved the eastside cities of Jordan District to withdraw from the district. This created the new Canyons District and the new Jordan District. The legislature imposed on the westside students an enormous burden of lost revenue. This coming year we will see the biggest impact to date to the new Jordan District.

WE ARE BROKE!!! Thanks a lot Senator Waddoups (my personal fav) oh, and for you proud South Jordaners a big fat super T-H-A-N-K-S to Senator Buttars (what a gem for our state). I might have to go off now that I mentioned him. Where oh where to begin.... I better save it for another day, I want to keep this post G-rated.

So, all you passionate (or not) citizens of Jordan District join with me won't you? (pound your fist and chant)
Wait I didn't hear you with me. Maybe you need more info before you join in my chant.
We need approximately 40 million dollars to keep the schools running at less than they are right now.
There are many proposed ideas on what to do. Cut teacher salaries by 3%, cut school psychologist, counselors, nurses, music programs, on and on and on. Oh and did I mention increase class size by up to 5 students per class.
These are just a few of the millions of dollars in programs and professionals proposed to cut.
What then, you ask, is a gal (or guy) to do?
Well, one option that will minimally impact everyone is.....(drum roll please)
The largest tax increase proposed by the Board of Education (they're the one's who will decide what to do about our poverty-stricken district) will cost approximately $60 per $100,000 of house value. So if your house is worth $200,000 (according to another love of mine the county tax valuation committee) you would pay an extra $120 per YEAR.
SAY WHAT?!?!? you ask. That's it. That's all.
YEP, 10 bucks a month more to edu-ma-freakin-cate your kiddos. What a DaRn bargain.
So, join with me...
Dear Jordan Board of Education,
Because we love you so, please do our kiddos a favor (and my coronary arteries) and let me skip one trip to McDonalds per month and therefore maintain a quality education for my oh so intelligent, genius, talented, children.
There you go! Part 1 of the save our district post.
Please send a link to this blog to anyone you know who lives in Jordan School District and lets see if moms and bloggers around here can make a difference.
Check back tomorrow for more. (oh and maybe even some more about our Senate gems Waddoups & Buttars----was that a punk band in the late 80's?)
PS the board meets tomorrow,they may have already decided on the budget.