The Pageant and Blue Belt

September 26, 2008 by  

The Miss Teen Wyoming Pageant is finally here. Ashley has been getting ready in her mind for this event since June when she decided she wanted to try it out. We have had a hectic week getting ready. She has to have four different wardrobes just for the pageant. She is very excited and very apprehensive. It should be fun to watch. The new competition dance season is also in full swing. She is up to 12 dances for competition so far this year. Oh yeah…she got her Learner’s Permit. It is very scary. I have let her drive to school which hasn’t been too bad yet. Tonight however, I let her drive from Stephen’s school to Tae Kwon Do. I should have used better judgement because rush hour and a new driver don’t mix. I so wanted to visit the bar after that little trip. So far… we are all still alive.  Ashley also found out today that she made the dance team at Kelly Walsh High School.  I would have been very worried if she didn’t.  Freshmen can only be on the JV team but hey, she will get her JV letter in dance before actually attending the school.  I’m not sure when she will have time for this added committment but she usually makes it work.  Thank goodness the gas prices have dropped a little bit.

We found out yesterday that Stephen made the testing list for his blue belt in TaeKwon Do. We were really surprised because he just tested for his purple belt in July. It usually takes 3 to 4 months to demonstrate the compentency to move up a level. Testing is next Saturday. I can’t believe that he has moved up so quickly. September 29th was this first test for the yellow belt. If all goes well next weekend Stephen will only be 3 belts away from his black belt.

Talladega is an absolutely wonderful dog. Her second birthday is October 9th. She has really settled down into a big old lovable lap dog. She’s a keeper!

Still Not a Millionaire

September 14, 2008 by  

Mike and I went to Deadwood this weekend for my second annual birthday trip. Two other couples joined us. We had a lot of fun and still are not millionaires, or even thousandaires, or even hundredaires. I did win $21 on the penny slots so I left winning more then I spent. Mike cannot say he even won a penny. He spent a lot more then a penny. But we did have fun. Deadwood is beautiful in the fall and cold too. We stayed at Cadillac Jack’s this time. Huge rooms and very clean!

Happy New Year

September 3, 2008 by  

Everybody says that Christmas is the busiest time of the year. I totally disagree. Trying to begin the school year which demands a lot more time then the 8 hours a day I am paid to put in. Getting rides arranged for my own children. The beginning of the dance season (don’t think last year ever ended), Tae Kwon Do tournaments starting again, football practices, volleyball and birthdays galore! The fall is definately busy.

Every year I take pictures of the children on the first day of school in front of the apple tree in the front yard. It seems like just yesterday that Ashley wore the little red and white gingham dress to kindergarten and now she is a freshman! I see less of the tree every year in the background of this beautiful young lady. Then there is Stephen. I only have three beginning of the year pictures of him but he has grown so much since the cute little five year old standing proudly with his backpack around his shoulders. It is weird that I can remember taking those pictures so vividly.

Tally is enjoying the weekends home with us. We have been taking her to our weekly mountain picnic campfires on Sundays. She is such a good dog on the mountain. It helps that our friends bring their 6 month old St. Bernard with them. The real purpose of bringing Tally is to wear Beau out but Tally feels special anyway.

I have wasted enough time right now. I have to get my papers graded and play in my first volleyball game of the season at 9:00 p.m. ARGH!


The Relatives Came…

August 6, 2008 by  

One of my favorite children’s book to read to my students is The Relatives Came. The author escapes me at the moment but the book reminds me of this past week. This book is filled with quirky family members and their ride in an old galopy to the relatives house. This past week could be a sequel to the book. From the moment the motor home was parked in my parents backyard until the moment it was pulled out this evening the week was jammed packed of constant excitement. Just like the book the memories made will never be forgotten. Thanks for the good times! Steph

The End of Summer, already…

July 30, 2008 by  

I finish my three week stint of teaching summer school on Friday. Other then the heat of the classroom it has been really fun. I have enjoyed most of the time with the kiddos. I will have a challenging little girl this year but I can’t think of a year where I haven’t had at least one. It has really been fun having Stephen in class. He really is a bright little man and absorbs all information like a little sponge. Our PE teacher has been teaching Stephen how to play golf and now he wants a hundred dollar bill and golf lessons for his birthday. (Thanks Kalen!)

Ashley co-taught a ballet dance camp last week and has just been hanging at home this week. She must have been bored because she did the dishes one day and even mopped the kitchen floor without being asked. Next week she will beyond busy with the arrival of family and her mentoring responsibilities at the junior high orientations. Ashley’s newest venture is the Miss Teen Wyoming Pageant. She was picked as a contestant and is now working on getting everything together for the pageant in September. She is still in need of sponsorships if anyone is interested. I didn’t realize what a process the whole pageant thing is. There are a lot of neat prizes for the person who wins including scholarships to college. This pageant is at the state level of the Miss America Pageants run by the Donald Trump organization. This should be a fun experience for her. I hope she does well!

Talladega has been injury and illness free since our return from California. Yea!

Mike’s dad checked out of the nursing home last Friday. It was against his doctor’s advice but he was afraid he would lose his house if he had to start paying for the nursing home. I feel for the man. Mike says he sounds happier now that he is home. Mike is working the early shift this week and next. It is good to be able to count on him in the evenings again. Oh yea…he turned 41 last week also. We didn’t get to celebrate because of his work schedule. We went out Friday with mom and dad and then Mike and I went to see "Step Brothers" on Sunday. Pretty low key.


What I Missed Last Weekend…

July 21, 2008 by  

I can’t remember having a busier weekend then the one we just survived. On Friday night I went to the mountain for our weekly bonfire. It was so busy! The Bear Trap Summer Festival was up there and we got the last bonfire site. It was beautiful up there and the bonfire was a blazing. On Saturday we went to Cheyenne so that Ashley could go to the Taylor Swift concert. When Santa brought her those tickets last Christmas I was sure she was going to ask her mom. But no, she decided to take her cousin Courtney. The girls had a blast and I am sure that she had a better time with Courtney then she would have had with her mother. We got back into town about two in the morning and got up and went boating and tubing with some friends. Stephen and Ashley both had a lot of fun tubing. They are a little sore today but had a great time. So now for my headline…what I missed last weekend…

I had another student die this past week. This time it was a little kid…she was 11. I had her three short years ago and her sister two years ago. This was a tough one! This little girl has the most insane mother in the world. This little girl, her sister, her mother and her mother’s "new" boyfriend were traveling the northern part of the United States. The "new" boyfriend travels around doing odd jobs for people. While in Iowa the "new" boyfriend apparently made enough money for mom to get her nails done. So while she was in the salon getting beautiful nails with bright blue tips…This little girl and her sister decided to explore the mall. They started riding the escalator. Security cameras at the mall caught this little girl sitting on the railing riding the escalator. It also caught her falling over backwards…twenty five feet…and landing face first! This little girl of course was rushed to the hospital and was on life support for several days before dying. Mom decided to go on a couple more jobs in Minnestoa with the boyfriend before returning to Casper.  Oh yea! I forgot they didn’t have money to ship the body home. This little girl’s father came to the rescue and got his daughter home…did I mention he didn’t know where his children had gone with their mother? I couldn’t go to the funeral yesterday. I am not a violent person but I so would have lost it on the mother. When she brought her other children to summer school last Monday she had the nerve to tell us about the wonderful and fun vacation they had been on! After hearing her speak about her adventures and not even upset over the loss of her daughter I couldn’t stomach it anymore.  She showed the beautiful nails with bright blue tips!   She was actually quoted (in the past) as saying that she didn’t ever want kids in the first place! So I missed the funeral last weekend…

On a much lighter note…I also missed shopping for underwear for my grandmother. Thanks dad for catching that one…you’re the best!!! <3 Steph

In the Past Few Weeks…

July 14, 2008 by  

Teachers are supposed to have more time in the summer, RIGHT? Our summer has been very busy so far. Ashley has taken many dance classes getting ready for the next competition season. We just returned from Nationals in California at the Disneyland Hotel. She received 2 Diamonds (Platnium), 3 Rubies (Gold) and one Emerald (Silver). She did an awesome job and competed really well for a girl from a smaller dance community.

Stephen tested for his purple belt in Tae Kwon Do on Saturday. He passed the test and is now taking the advanced classes. In less then a years time he went through all of the lower belts and is more then halfway to his black belt. He is a tough little dude and now he has formal training.

Mike visited his family in Evanston over the 4th. He was able to spend time with both of his parents and brothers Rockey and Troy. He seemed to have a really good time but hated seeing how ill his father has become. He was also able to spend time with his nieces, Taylor and Savannah. He sent us pictures of the girls and they definatly look like Lovato’s. I always thought Stephen looked like a Lovato but not so much after seeing the pictures of the girls.

Then there is Talladega. I always mention her as a joke because I don’t want her to feel like she is not an important part of our family. This time I have real news about her antics. Tally got sick at the beginning of June. We aren’t quite sure what made her sick but she stopped eating and vomited for at least a week. She was becoming dehydrated. We took her to the vet and after x-rays of her stomach it was determined that she had a virus. So we spent two weeks giving her antacids and vomiting medication. ONE DAY after finishing her medication she developed kennel cough. She got it from the vet the week previous. So more vomiting and two more kinds of medication! Just as she is getting back to normal we notice her whimpering and biting her tail. We are thinking yeast infection from the antibiotics. Mike and I were arguing about who gets to apply that cream…Anyway we take her to the vet and she doesn’t have a yeast infection…she broke her tail! So two more medications. She seems to be on the mend however Mike kenneled her while he went to Evanston so I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. So she really was news worthy since the last update and quite expensive. They forgot to send me three hundred dollars for her in the tax rebate check!

I started teaching summer school today. I am making Stephen go with me since I haven’t ever really gotten a chance to be his teacher. I made Ashley go when she was in second grade also. I am proud to announce that Stephen is going to have a very lucky second grade teacher next year. He is so much smarter then the new crop of incoming second graders I will be getting.

I am finally getting caught up at home after being gone for the 10 days we were in So. California. I love the California lifestyle. I just didn’t get enough sleep this trip. It was nice to catch up with my California relatives and I got to meet up with a friend that I went to junior high with. On a whim I texted her as we went through the town she lived in while in high school. I had visited her many times in high school and a couple of times since then. I was surprised to receive a phone call from her and that she was in So. California also. We met up for lunch and it was really fun to get to visit with her. I hope to talk to her again real soon.

I had camera issues at Disneyland so I will only be uploading a few pictures. I am definately NOT related to my brother, mother, aunt and cousins when it comes to taking pictures. I don’t like carrying my camera around and think it is easier not to hassle it. I have to go a get Stephen ready for his new class and get dinner ready for the family. Have a great one! Steph



June 16th…the beginning

June 15, 2008 by  

My one year anniversary! 72 pounds lost! Seems like a lot to cheer about but…I still have a loooooonnnnnngggggg way to go. I am past the half way mark but want so badly to drop the weight as fast as I did in the beginning. I don’t want to wish my life away but I do want to see what June 16, 2009 will bring. Will I make my goal? Will I be the thin person I have always wanted to be and have always felt like on the inside? Only time will tell and oh yeah another year of wishing I could eat my favorite foods again. Hey, though…I am a salad expert!

So I Was Wrong!

June 15, 2008 by  

OK, yesterday I mentioned that Mike’s daughters wouldn’t call. I was half wrong. Abbie called. A lot of pleasantries were passed and Mike vented some long built up feelings. I am not sure anything was solved or ever can be…a lot of hurt has been passed back and forth. But at least they talked. He didn’t hear from them last year on Father’s Day. In fact he hasn’t spoken to either of them for over a year. He did let them know of the passing of his family members last year but he mostly talked to their mom. But hey, at least he spoke to one of his daughters on Father’s Day.

Father’s Day Eve

June 14, 2008 by  

I have been thinking a lot about this holiday in which we celebrate our father’s. Father’s Day has been on my mind because I don’t know what to get my dad. I get my mother the same thing every year and she seems pleased with her gift. But what about dad? He doesn’t need the flowers I get mom every year. Here are a few of my thoughts…none of which solve the gift dilema! Fathers: I watch with a tad bit of jealously the relationship my son has with his father. Mike is truly the light of Stephen’s life. Too bad Megan and Abbie are missing out on this relationship they could have with their dad. I am sure that they won’t call Mike. Then, there is Ashley… I wonder what Randy could do to make his daughter worship him a fourth as much as Stephen worships Mike. She loves her dad but seems very content to talk to him on the phone every few days and be happy. This for me is very sad. Ashley has truly missed out on the joys of a close father/daughter relationship. I have watched the heartbreak Mike is experiencing right now believing that the end for his dad is near. Mike is full of regret that he lives so far away and hasn’t been able to do more for his dad. He is also so angry that he has two siblings that live in the same town and are MIA when it comes to seeing Floy. I have watched and listened to my mom and her sister try to capture some of the father they remember. They want so badly to reverse the effects of my grandfather’s illness. It is so hard to watch. I am also thinking about my brother and the joy he must be feeling while experiencing his first Father’s Day. Finally, I feel lucky! My dad is the best. He is healthy and happy. He loves unconditionally, hurts when we hurt, is proud of all we have done and honors the paths we have chosen for our lives. I wish this moment in time with my dad could last forever. I think about all the situations above and feel very blessed to have the dad I have right now! I love you Dad! (I still don’t know what to get you though!)<3 Steph

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