Sunday, October 13, 2013

A new season...

It's been 2 1/2 months since we spoke last...things have been clicking along fairly well. We are just pretty busy. We tried to make a concerted effort at balance - which means fitting in exercise, fun time, cleaning, and relaxing around our work. We did a pretty good job for a few weeks, then things got we'll try to re-establish a routine after my fall break.

Exciting events of the past few months:

  • I got a road bike...and I try to ride with some faculty members on Thursday afternoons.
This is kind of what it looks like...flat bars instead of the traditional rounded ones.
Mine does have a rack on the back so that I could carry a basket or pack...
  • Andy's supposedly "easier" schedule - NOT so much.
  • Car repairs/maintenance - although we are putting a new stereo in the Xterra so that I don't have to wear my headphones to listen to my ipod while driving.
  • LOTS of rain for about 3 weeks...our humidity was between 40% and 50%  - this was like 10 times the normal amount of humidity. We all felt it...the people, the mosquitoes, the wooden doors and such.
  • super-cleaned the house for Mom & Dad's visit, then the washing machine broke and flooded right before they got here.
  • NEW washing machine...took our hiking time/movie time/visit to Springdale time, but very pretty.
  • Mom and Dad got to hear me sing for the first time since high school - they made a Lieto concert last night. I was very proud, and my Lieto family was very welcoming!
  • No prep - we had over 100 additional students register at our school this August, so I volunteered to "sell" my prep...essentially, it means I teach all day with no break (except my 25 minute lunch). In some ways it's harder, but it means I don't have to share a class with another teacher, so in some ways it's easier.
Here's the back wall of my the bookshelves...still need more!
  • Sarah will be 6 next week. 
I can't believe that my baby is that old...and that she may be my last baby for a while. Everyone keeps talking to me about how we can't go abroad (eventually) if we have an animal. It just makes me sad to think of not having a puppy again. We'll see....

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Good Day!

Andy and I celebrated his day off by biking in Zion so that we could have crepes at Meme's Cafe. So...up early, out of the house before 6:30. We rode from the Pizza Noodle up to the Nature Center (pit stop) and were "officially" on our trip by 7:45. Andy led me up the hill to the tunnel (out to the East end) first, and we celebrated at the top with some water and energy chews. Then we FLEW down the hill and up to the Temple of Sinawava by 9:40. I bested my time down canyon, by only having to deal with one shuttle. Andy actually drafted a bus from Big Bend to Weeping Rock! That's crazy talk...
It was awesome, but we were a little jelly-legged. Crepes were good, but not as good as cinnamon rolls at River Rock. Feeling good now...let's see how well I can sit in hard seats tomorrow at Common Core.

Friday, July 26, 2013

What a difference a year makes! (maybe not entirely in a good way)

I was inspired to post due to a sudden summer monsoon storm (is that redundant?). There is thunder, lightning (some pretty close), HAIL, and lots of water. As I was sweeping up from the 3-dog-week, I looked around to see how the girls were reacting. Sarah was pouting from Sienna leaving,
and a little afraid of the big houseshakers (she is currently sitting on my foot after attempting to climb into my lap on the couch). This is nothing compared to Sadie's previous behavior during storms.
She tried to claw her way into the garage.     
Can you read the terror in those claw marks?

Right now, she is curled up on the bean bag...oblivious.That's what deafness will do for ya!

News of the past 3 weeks?
White Family Camping trip - up to Navajo Lake. Bad news for some of was deerfly? week. I still look like someone burned me with cigarette butts from the knees down. Andy swelled - 1 hand, opposite foot. Andy, Justin, and the girls went spelunking in the lava tubes...

Whites & Brights at Zion - we did a Ride with a Ranger (thanks Ranger Eleanor), Junior Ranger books, the Temple of Sinawava, and a jaunt to the Springdale dog park.

Cooling off in the river after our hike!
Whites & Kloppings in Zion - another round of hiking fun - Angel's Landing! The kids did great, and Megan raced Andy out to the edge - daredevil!

Proud and victorious!
We just finished the July birthday week...Megan and Justin. Lots of good food and fun! Flash flood danger cancelled our 3rd (Andy & I) Narrows trip, but we can always reschedule.

I just finished 2 Tech Endorsement classes - Schoology and Grant Writing. Now, I don't mind writing (I do blog, obviously), but I dread having to write grants every year to keep my public ed 6th grade job. Oh well!

Flood waters from the storm!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tempest Meisel White - R.I.P.

Tempest was at the point where she was not eating at all. She had been sleeping here for 2 days.

Laundry room ...she was close to everything,
and we moved down her food and water.

When she couldn't get up to walk this morning, we decided that she shouldn't have to suffer any more. Dr. Boyter at Washington Family Vet was amazing. She examined Tempest (who would NOT have been that sweet had she felt better) and said we had made the right call. She dropped 2 pounds in 2 months (exactly 2 months)...and Tempest was not big to begin with! It was really fast. We are having her cremated, and then we will join her ashes with her 2 orange brothers' ashes. We're thinking we'll find a pretty spot to spread those together.
Tempest 7/8/1996 - 7/6/2013
Rest in Peace

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I did it again! (no oops on this)

I went to bootcamp this morning and did my fitness assessment. I took 2 minutes off my mile time again! and I'm 15 seconds faster than last year. My arms are stronger (did 10 more pushups), and even got more burpees (by 2)...5 K is tomorrow.

I read The Wave by Todd Strasser yesterday. It is an interesting book. Realistic fiction, 138 pages. I have always wondered that same question that was posed by the students in the book, but I never wondered about whether it was possible. I know that if you refuse to accept history, you will repeat it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

What's new this week?

Well...Michelle killed us today in boot camp. We were breathing heavy, ready for our final week. We are looking forward to our fitness assessment Thursday and our 5 K on Friday!!!! Yay.....zzzzzz. I am so tired!

I've finished 3 of my 5 technology classes, and learned a LOT. I've got 2 more in late July, plus a field trip pre-visit!

This is not our picture (obviously)
 because I am too tired to get up and
download the pictures to this computer ...
We are about to start "fun" season. We have family from California coming, and a camping trip coming up! Andy and I went on a hike with MB's group up the Narrows. This time, I made it all the way up Orderville Canyon to the waterfall - beautiful!

Been reading...mostly listening as I exercise and drive back and forth.
#9  The Circle Opens: Magic Steps by Tamora Pierce. I still love her amazing! Fantasy, 264 pages.

#10  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Now I'm going to have to read all his stuff. I love the short, almost brusque voice in this book. I'm about 2/3 through this now - 318 pages, realistic fiction, good main character. There is a movie filming...should be interesting.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Updates for the week: Reading and Bootcamp

Here's the scoop on my latest reading...I'm not counting the books I listen to. They are on my Goodreads, but I won't count them here.

The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms, #3)#4 The Gray Wolf Throne, Seven Realms series #3 by Cinda Williams Chima - Again, one of my favorite authors. I love her characters! The strong dual main characters are great... Hardback from the library, 517 pages, fantasy.

#5 Reached, Matched trilogy final book by Ally Condie - The hold feature from the library is awesome! I had requested this book before, but was too busy to pick it up. So, someone (hopefully many) got to read this before it came back to me. Dystopian science fiction, 512 pages, hardback. As a final, it wrapped up most of my questions...good, but not great.

#6 Stork by Wendy Delsol - Okay, so first I checked out an audio (CDs) book from the library called Frost. I couldn't tell from the cover that it was part 2 in a trilogy/series. So, about 15 minutes into listening, I realized I needed the first book. I went to the library that day and found the book. It was a quick read. Those of you who know me know that I LOVE things with Norse mythology (Vikings). This series is based on those! Makes you cold just reading some of it, perfect for the summer! Mythological fantasy (think Percy Jackson style), 355 pages, hardcover.

#7 Uncommon Criminals, Heist Society #2 by Ally Carter - Her books are so much fun! Lots of travel to exotic places and art in know me! I like that in this series, the main character is clearly REALLY good at what she does, and yet, she is insecure and confused. 298 pages, mystery, hardcover.

#8 A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly - I mentioned this in my Goodreads review, but I like the voice this author writes with, but I think I liked her book Revolution better. Historical fiction/mystery, 396 pages, paperback.

This makes is 12 "books" according to our page # does put me a little slow, but I should do some good reading this weekend.

In other news...we are 2 weeks through bootcamp. I am officially exhausted, although still weirdly considering riding with Andy in the canyon tonight. Tonight is my "cheat meal" for the week. Dinner in Springdale...YUM!!!!  Also, after Pinteresting several banana and peanut butter recipes, I made a yummy smoothie this morning. 1 banana, 2 tblsp Smart Balance PB, spinach, protein powder, skim milk and a few ice cubes - SOOO good! And I was wrong, you totally can't taste the spinach!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bootcamp Week 2 2013

I missed yoga last night. As I was soaking in my sore muscle relief salts, I got a text from Nikki - "Coming?" and my heart sank. I haven't seen Nik in a couple of weeks...I miss her! But the mandate for sleep overrides the need for yoga and giggles.
Here are my new acquisitions this bootcamp season:
1) a couple of new workout clothing items...don't have to do laundry every couple of days!
2) Wintercrest - it's awesome, except that it gets everywhere unless you've wrapped up tight over the area...
3) a foam roller - this is also pretty darn awesome! It works out the soreness as you roll over it...ahhhh.
I've learned that I have to run just over 1700 yards before the pain center and whining shut off in my brain. After that, I just put my head up and go....why would anyone want to do that? I will run for bootcamp, and I will bike for me.
Feeling pretty accomplished today:
Dog walk
Breakfast - plain oatmeal with 1 tbsp honey and 1/2 cup blueberries!
Got laundry started (washing dog bed covers...Sarah's getting groomed today for the 1st time!)
Washed & chopped veggies and distributed fruit into cups for the rest of the week - see my "selfie" to the right!
Swept house
Vacuumed rug
Did dishes
Turned on self-clean on oven (it's smelly, but we're running the circulating fan)
Officed...this includes mail, shredding, computer biz - this is my last computer task.
I will now shower, take Sarah down to Grammie's for her appointment, come home, and SLEEP!
Tomorrow - speedwork...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Boot Camp has begun... month when I actually get more than 7 hours of sleep! And yesterday was the first day - fitness assessment and paperwork. I should weigh myself...I'm not sure about pictures...
I have my buddy, Monica, that I met last summer in boot camp. She is great, really got me through the running last year. One thing that I was really proud of was my 5K time at the end last year. We didn't do a "before" 5K last year...but we ran one today! My time was 42:26...about 5 minutes slower than my 5K time last year. Considering how much I HATE running, that's not bad...I think I went numb about 2 1/2 miles. Didn't really hurt after that...I'm proud that I have changed my way of running - no more toes - so that I don't have such shin-splints. But my Achilles are sore this year...I feel guilty about the dogs when I get home, so we go for a walk right away. They love a guaranteed walk each day! Except for class days...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer Reading - Post 1

Okay... I will admit that I am a bookaholic. Actually, as my kids learned this year, the correct term is either bibliophiliac, or bibliomaniac, depending on how YOU are disposed toward the items in question.

One of my favorite reading/teaching places is the Nerdy Book Club, where lots of my fellows come together to blog about how books can be life-changing. Donnalyn sent out the Book a Day challenge. I didn't get my picture of my 2+ crates of books that I brought home in on time, but never mind. I have embraced the challenge, and offered a prize to any of my students who completes it as well. (There are requirements here...I shouldn't be suckered!) Another place I L.O.V.E. is Goodreads - where was this when I was a child? It helps me keep track, and is as close as I will get to being a social medi-ite in the immediate future. begin the beguine...
# 1 Beyonders, Book 2: Seeds of Rebellion by Brandon Mull. I started this book before the end of school, but because of all the end of year crazy, was unable to read the last 200 pages until school was out. 528 pages (paperback edition), and lots of fun. Fantasy - can't wait to read the final installment later this summer!

#2 The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen. LOVED the first book, The False Prince, and so I requested it from the public library (love the request feature...and email notification) 331 pages, fantasy...but I am enjoying the twist of a female author writing a male character in this series - not something I can always get into!

#3 Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. Can't. Say. Enough. about anything she writes! I love her voice, the characters, the detail of the description...don't know what else to say. Of course, it's fantasy...and there is a movie coming out from one of her other series in August. I OWN EVERYTHING SHE'S WRITTEN. Much like Philippa Gregory and Diana Gabaldon...I devour every word! 568 pages...just over 6 hours.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer Plans 2013

School ended for Andy on May 3... and he started back at Zion National Park on May 13! School ended for me on Thursday, and by Friday noon - VOILA! Summer hair...

I have to read 2 library books by Tuesday morning, so I will make this brief... I am taking up the Nerdy Book Club summer "Book a Day" challenge. I also have an account on GoodReads where I track my's awesome if you're a reader! Go on, and let's be Book Buddies!

Speaking of summer entertainment: Ironman 3 - ok. Star Trek Into Darkness - TOTALLY rocked. Great Gatsby - just as depressing as last time, but it does have Leo, and Toby still reminds me of Dad. Next up? Fast & Furious 6...

I am starting bootcamp through Phazes again on June 3. I need it...gotta get going in the "right" direction again.  And riding my bike... and eating more veggies...

Technology endorsement classes (officially, not just for fun like the last 15 years) begin on June 3 as well. I'm registered for 3 in June, 1 in July. Then we'll do 9 credits through the school year, and next summer I'll need to do another 4-5 credits. After that, secondary certification? Who knows. I am proud that my student teacher from this year (go Jenny!) will be teaching at our school next year! She totally earned it!

I did move classrooms...2 walls of windows and 3 bookshelves!

Oh, and Thursday night, just as I was about to refill my water glass and take a relaxing bath, we had a visitor - check out my friend the kingsnake! UGH!! In. My. House. and Andy was gone. Yup - totally NOT relaxing. I managed to remove it to the front yard, but still shiver when I think of it...

Sunday, February 3, 2013