Sunday, December 28, 2008

Random Reasons 2008 Wasn't Horrible

Fall was a bit of a house, new job, same messes. I've added a 30 hour a week job to my life, but haven't seemed to manage to reduce what I used to do by 30 hours. How does that work? Really, it has been great. I love my new job, love my students, love my house and love my life. Lots of people have been commenting lately about how horrible 2008 has been. True, it's been a weird year. Even our Bishop at church today listed many of the historic occasions (good and bad) of the past 12 months. I thought I'd take this opportunity to make my own account of the year...(and catch up on posting photos of my cute family).
Random Reasons 2008 wasn't horrible - by Emily.
1. My kids are still smart, healthy, learning, cute, growing, hilarious, and make me happy, and crazy.

"Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." - Elizabeth Stone

2. Aaron and I found a great house in the north end of Boise, perfectly suited for our family. We got it at the price we wanted and love living here. And we sold our other houses!!

I had my dream job fall into my lap. I love being a teacher and I get to work at the coolest school in Boise.

I still am the Director of a non-profit organization called Boise Elementary Spanish. I get to associate with really great people that are invested in making bi-lingual education available to kids in public school.

I (I mean Brooklyn) got a puppy.

Aaron and I celebrated 10 years of marriage together.
We have even discovered that we still love being married and think each other are worth hanging around.

The Williams Family Cabin is super fun.

8. Christmas still rules.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I used to be decent at this...

Have you ever skipped writing in your journal for so long you don't know where to start? I got busy, and Facebook is easier to keep up on. I have posted some pictures of my classroom on there. Check it out on my profile page if you are a "Facebooker". I'll try and update this more often too...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Kick Off

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is such a weird holiday. But I love it. Having evolved into something totally meaningless yet so fun is what I love most about it. I love that the only reason for Halloween is fun and an excuse to eat candy.

Aaron was gone to a mission reunion in Salt Lake for the weekend, but we couldn't wait for him to get home. The kids were just too excited. (And to be honest, I think the chaos of carving isn't something he relishes anyway.) Here are a few pics of the kids' big Halloween Kick Off.

Have a spooky week!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Brooklyn's Baptism

Brooklyn turned 8 in August and in our church that is the youngest that we baptize. She has been looking forward to this day for a long time and was so excited that the day was FINALLY here. She knew that she could be baptized when she was 8 and so ever since August she has been "waiting and waiting".

We took her to Kiddie Kandids for a special photo shoot to remember the special day and that is the first picture shown, but all of the rest of the pics are from Saturday.

Our Stake Youth Baptisms are always at 6:30 pm, once a month on Saturday night. Brooklyn was really cute all day long waiting for 6:30 to arrive. She knew it was after dinner, so when I started cooking she got really excited.

Aaron baptized her.
We made sure to get a lot of special pictures of her and her dad. She is so fortunate to have such a loving and good guy for her dad. I know that she will always love him and I know that she will be a better person her whole life through because of his example and goodness.

I sure did a good job of picking a dad for my kids!

Brooklyn and Aaron were all ready to go into the baptismal font.
had a great service with short talks on why Jesus taught us that we need to be baptized and also on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I sang a song, and Aaron's mom accompanied me on the piano. It was nice to be able to participate in the program.

We had so many friends and family there! Thanks to all of you that came. (We realize it was a sacrifice for many considering it was during a BSU game.)

She entered the water and met Aaron there. It went perfectly. All the other children gathered at the edge of the water and could see her. The adults were gathered behind the kids and I couldn't have asked for a lovelier moment.

Aaron said the words for the baptism perfectly (he hadn't ever baptized anyone in English before). I suppose he could have done it in Mandarin Chinese like he did on his mission, but I expect that it would not have had the same meaning for Brooklyn.

After she was submerged in the water, she came to me and my mom at the edge of the font into the dressing room. The first words out of her grinning mouth were, "That was soggy."
She had a huge smile and the photo of her here, wet and happy shows her feelings at the moment.

After the service we headed home for an open house. It was so nice to have an "open house" for some reason other than to try an find someone to buy our house. Open House has only had a real estate definition for us the past few years. Yea! We get to clean the house for people we know this time! We have cleaned our house over the past two years way too many times to count for strangers to come and see. I'm so glad we are through that stage of our life!

We enjoyed the remainder of the night with good friends and family, cookies and Therese's yummy salsa. It couldn't have been a better night.

I am happy that Brooklyn is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It has made me happy in my life and I hope the same for all my children.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Welcome to the family

She is finally old enough to come home. The new little lady of the family was delivered to our doorstep last Friday. Meet Jetta, our Australian Shepherd. She was born in Tropic, UT on July 21, 2008 and is home in Boise now.
Brooklyn has shown us that she is responsible (and persistent) enough for a dog. After three years of asking for a dog, her wish came true.

We immediately hired a dog trainer. Not only are we training the puppy, but ourselves too. We have no idea what we are doing or how to train a dog. We opted for private lessons. Funny how we won't pay for private lessons for anything else (Brooklyn's gymnastics, Ian's Karate, Luke's swimming lessons, etc.) but for the dog it's somehow worth it. Dawn, our trainer, meets us at Camel's Back park one block away. It couldn't be more convenient. This week we are practicing walking on a leash, sit, lay down, and fetching a ball. She'll try anything for a puppy treat or we've found she LOVES hotdogs. She is smart and has caught on to "sit" and "down", but leash walking is unpredictable. Sometimes she just won't move and we have to carry her. Brooklyn and her friend Taylor Gropp went to hike Camel's Back with her on and ended up carrying her up the whole hill. 

Brooklyn is such a good owner. She even picks up all the poop.  Well, almost all of it.

I think Jetta has even won Aaron's heart.
He is determined to teach her to be an expert Frisbee catcher. Right now she is too small to hold a Frisbee and every time she holds it in her mouth she ends up stepping on it and tripping over it. Pretty cute.

Speaking of cute, this evening Lucas was coaxing her to follow him downstairs and in his crackly little voice he was saying, "Come on sweetheart. It's OK sweetheart, come on sweetheart."

We've had it easy when it comes to potty training. She is really good about only going outside and has had only one accident. (And to be honest, it was my fault. We had one rough night and I didn't get her outside.) The first two nights home were great. Jetta slept in her kennel in Brooklyn's bedroom. I got up in the night and let her outside, she went potty and came right back in and fell straight back to sleep. No problem. Night three however was a learning experience. I moved her kennel upstairs out of Brooklyn's room. I thought it would be easier if she were by the door. WRONG! She did NOT like being out of Brooklyn's room. She just cried in her kennel and wouldn't sleep. After trying outside, locked in the kennel, and just hanging out in the living room with me on the couch (that's when the accident occured) we decided to try putting the kennel back in Brooklyn's room. Jetta went straight in and didn't make another peep for the rest of the night. She loves Brooklyn I guess.

Here are a few more pictures of our new baby.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Absolute joy

Today we had pure fun in our front yard. Aaron hung the tire swing. Hopefully you are also having a grand finale to summer. I heard that the weather is supposed to drop 20 degrees between today and tomorrow. Get your BBQs and tire swinging in now! If you need a ride on a tire swing, you know where to find it. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fall is upon us...

The kids birthdays are past. (By the way, if any of you Utah folk have photos of their actual birthdays please email them to me. I don't have any.) 

Anyway, in my life August is the sprint at the end of the summer race. It takes all of our energy, but in the end we are all so happy with what we have done during the summer. We had a super time traveling to Lake Powell, and the Wasatch Front. We saw a lot of good friends and family, and got to move to a permanent home. It's been action packed. 
But school started this week. Brooklyn is in 3rd grade and Ian is in 1st. Lucas can't stand that 
they get to go to school and he can't wait until his pre-school starts. We are finding a great place for him and he should start next week.  

I started a new job last week. I am working as a teacher at a private school downtown called Foothills School of Arts and Science. I will be teaching Spanish to 4th-8th graders and will be doing Service Learning projects with the 6th-8th grades, as well as leading a little choir group. 

Having been out of the work force for the most part over the past 8 years (other than my part-time work with Boise Elementary Spanish) I am finding it both invigorating and exhausting to balance all that I used to do with work on top. Aaron has really stepped it up on house and kid duty! Hooray.

But we got the kids off to school on Monday. 
They are going to Washington Elementary. It is the oldest school in Boise and one of the best, so I've been told. 

It's a good thing that public school in Boise is decent. Otherwise I would have to figure out a way to afford the tuition at the school where I now teach. 

I find it somewhat disturbing that teachers can't afford to send their own kids to private schools.  (And I even would get a tuition discount!) It feels strange when people ask me if my kids are going to Foothills and I have to say no. And honestly I wish they were. The school is great and really supportive of faculty. I'm sure that if I needed to I could get them in the school. 
Yet the facts remain, Boise public schools are not bad. I hope that the kids will really learn something this year. Like maybe how to learn.

So far I've only heard reports on what is on the lunch menu and how many resesses there are each day.

Maybe I'll bring my camera to my new classroom and post some pictures of my new home away from home.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Birthday Present

I will be updating with more pictures of Ian and Brooklyn's birthdays soon, but we have had an exciting development in our family. We went to Utah and stayed with family and friends for an end of the summer trip. While we were in Provo visiting our friends Tyler and Alyson Bingham and Neil and Megan Valentine we had a life changing event.

It was Brooklyn's birthday, August 9. She has wanted one thing for her birthday or Christmas for years now, and we always say no. "Maybe when you are older. Maybe when we are more settled. Maybe when Lucas is potty trained." We have run out of excuses, we are getting her a dog for her 8th birthday.

It was as if all Brooklyn's prayers and hopes were answered. It just so happened that right on her 8th birthday our friends invited us over and said they had 9 puppies at their house. (Alyson's mom breeds Aussies.) To be honest, we weren't planning on giving her a puppy and she knew it. Even though we had said, "Maybe when you are 8." she knew the chances were slim to none. But when Aaron saw the puppies and their mom, he said, "If we had a dog that's the kind of dog I like." I couldn't believe he just said "If we had a dog" and went silent for fear of jinxing it. He immediately got on Tyler and Alyson's computer and researched the breed, obedience schools, and when he called Alyson's parents I knew he was seriously considering what we thought would never happen. HOORAY!

Meet our Australian Shepherd "Jetta". At least that's the name we have for her so far. We don't get to bring her home until the end of September. But we will spend the next month preparing.

We are all still in shock that Aaron agreed to getting her a dog. What a great dad he is for allowing her this opportunity (even though he would rather do without a pup in our lives). She will be an active dog and everything we have read about the breed says that they need a job to do. We think her jobs should be catching frisbees, and keeping Lucas out of the street.

Our new house has a built in dog door to the garage and a dog run, and I think it might be in the neighborhood bylaws that if you live this close to Camel's Back Park (1 block) you must have a dog. Really, Aaron had no choice.

Friday, August 1, 2008

New Home - Lemonade Anyone?

We have finally landed. After moving 4 times in 5 years we have found home. We have an offer on "the big house" and have bought a great place in the coolest part of Boise. We live in the North End in Hyde Park. The selling point for this place wasn't that it is only two years old, has beautiful finish work, wood floors or granite countertops, all that is just icing. The real thing that sealed the deal for us was that this is the most prime lemonade stand location a person could ask for.  The kids set up shop the first weekend that we owned the home. We hadn't even moved over yet. They were great workers, each with their own station - ice, pouring or money collection. They even sold Otter Pops to offer more selection. Everything $.25. Who says you can't find a deal these days? With snow cones selling a block away for $2 for a small, our stand was a welcome and inexpensive treat. 
So here is a peek at our new house, and new hobby. Our street just so happened to be on the route for a bike tour across America. There were cyclists passing us all day happy to stop by for some quenching lemonade. Many of them had never heard of Otter Pops and we learned that in Canada they are called "Freezies". Our little stand is now documented in a number of cyclist photos from their ride. We even got a photo of a few of them.  
So next time you are on 13th Street in Hyde Park remember we are here. Stop by and say hello. You may even catch us out front offering a cool treat on a hot summer day. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Finale

We continued our fun all week wake boarding, and surfing. One of the highlights was when we put two boats next to each other so their wakes would meet up and we would surf the center of the wakes. SO FUN!!! Of course Aaron was a natural and not only was able to let go of the rope, but also rode for a LONG TIME.

I never got to the point of letting go of the rope, but it was fun regardless.
Sunday was our last day on the houseboat and we spent it going on a historical hike to "Hole in the Rock". Down this crack the pioneers brought 80 wagons and 250 people to cross the Colorado River. Amazing! We did our share of suffering there too. As soon as we arrived at the bottom of the canyon to hike up, Brooklyn threw up. She was a tough little hiker and tried to keep it from slowing her down, but she and I ended up hanging out along the trail while the others went to the summit.
Emily & Brooklyn making memories at "Barf in the Rock"
Everyone else at the top.
Cutest picture of a 5 year old boy.Aaron and his little hikers.

There are no pictures of what happened next... and we are all grateful.

We embarked on the four hour ride to return the houseboat back to "the slip". Brooklyn puking all the way, and one by one every member of our party beginning to feel queezy. By the time we pulled in to the slip most of us were either running to the bathroom, or puking over the edge of the boat. Was it the food from the refrigerator on the fritz? Was it the germs from the little boy that was sick a few days prior? We will never know. What we do know is that we were all miserable. Aaron and I were in no shape to drive, so we opted to check into the hotel at Bullfrog Marina. It was a sad scene. Brooklyn rested in bed (over the worst of it after being sick all day) while the rest of us squished into the bathroom. We have never had family unity quite like that. By around 9:30 p.m. I could tell we needed some help and I called the medical clinic. They said we needed to come in and so we headed over there just in time. Aaron and I were severely dehydrated from being sick and they immediately hooked Aaron up to an iv and after 4 pokes to get it in he was on his road to recovery. I tried to reassure the kids that Daddy would be fine but it was unsettling for everyone to see him in a wheel chair, then hooked up to an iv. After tending to the kids and getting everyone settled I was also hooked up to an iv.

The following picture is the next day while we left Lake Powell. We were determined to continue on to Moab to see Arches National Park. At first glance this might simply look like a not so great family picture, but if you could feel the effort going into those feeble smiles you would know that this is the happiest we could look after the night we had just gotten through.

But all's well that ends well. With a case of water and Propel powder in tow we made it through the rest of our vacation. We snacked on Saltines and enjoyed unlimited electrolite enhanced beverages. Arches National Park was gorgeous. It made it all worthwhile. I'm glad we didn't wimp out and skip it.

How ya feelin'?