Monday, May 31, 2010


I was hoping to be in bed by now since I have to get up at 3-ish to leave at 4:15-ish to get to the airport for my flight! Just need to get a few things out of the dryer and my packing will be complete.  I learned today that many places are closed for Memorial Day!  Places I needed to have open.  I've procrastinated...again.  I really don't need to take any medicine for the next 2 weeks since the pharmacy was closed - and who needs a haircut anyway!  No one will notice my long, unkempt hair!
A change of plans for my blog updates.  My son, Dan, (the one who hijacked my blog a few months ago) has my new password and he's ready and willing to keep the sacredness of my blog!  (please let that be true, please let that be true)
So, from now and for the next 2 weeks, whatever is written on this blog will be done by Dan.  I can't access blogger from China so it will feel like being in a coma;  slightly aware that something is going on around you but unable to do anything about it.  Hang on to your hats folks, it's about to get fabulous up in here!

China Bound!

Ni hao!
The time has come! 

After 6 months of anticipation and planning, I'm leaving for China...tomorrow!  I have my passport and China visa and I'm almost ready!   I've been given lots of advice;  everything from - take 500 one-dollar bills with me to take 2 Tablespoons of Pepto Bismol before each meal! 

My son counseled me NOT to wear a fanny pack and a camera around my neck or I'll look like a tourist.  So...if my 5'10" frame, size 11 shoes, white skin, blue eyes, and gray hair don't give me away as a tourist, the fanny pack will!   I've been told to prepare to have people stare at me and even have their picture taken with me!  Keep your eye on the Asian you-tube for videos of the "Great White Height!"

I've given my husband a tutorial on how to upload pictures to my blog throughout the 2 weeks I'm gone.  I won't be able to visit your blogs while in China but I'll see you when I return.  Take care! 

I gotta run.  I need to buy a fanny pack!
Zai jian (farewell)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Getting Casual at Bloggers Conference

I had the opportunity to attend the Casual Bloggers Conference this weekend.  I met some awesome women!  Some I had only heard of or seen their names in others blogger's comments and some that I follow religiously but have never met!  We learned about photography, finding our voice, designing our blog, communication, and a ton of other useful information that I missed.  (So many choices, not enough time.)

It was awesome to meet Tauna of Garden of Egan!  What a beautiful, fun, funny, gracious, genuine person she is!  Her blog makes me laugh!  May I just add that she makes delicious chocolates!  Thanks Tauna!  Kazzy, from Kazzy's Ponderings was there too!  I love that woman, even though it looks like I'm ignoring her in the picture!
It's amazing to me how we're connected through blogging.   I think that if I met you, we would be best friends! 

Friday, May 28, 2010


There's an old saying that goes something like this: "The only thing constant in life is change."

There have been some changes that affect me lately.  Here are just a few.

This is a classroom void of children, noise, excitement, and learning.  As we say farewell to our students in this classroom, we know that we may not see many of them again.  These students come from all over our city; this is not their home school.

We have had the best principal in the district.  He was told a few weeks ago that he won't be coming back to our school. His new assignment is elsewhere.  Everyone is sad to lose him and wonder who the next principal will be who has to fill his shoes!  We said farewell to him on the last day.

I will be at a different school next year with speech.  It just so happens that I'm working with the best speech therapist in the district!  She's been asked to go clean up a mess at another school and, because I'm her technician, I get to go with her!  Kind of like Dr. Frankenstein and Igor.  I'll drive back to my original school for afternoon transitional kindergarten.  We said, "farewell" to our speech kids that we've worked with all year.  One 2nd grade boy came to the speech room, handed me these flowers and said, "These flowoes awe foe all you guys!"  If he's still talking like that after a year of therapy, no wonder we got only one flower pot to share!

Today was the funeral for sweet Jenny.  We said "farewell" to her through talks, music, and tears. Her parents and sisters spoke.  A lot of strength on their part.  She will be missed by many!

This is Iris Island!  At the beginning of spring it's called "Tulip Triangle" and during the summer it's "Petunia Peninsula!"  It's a geographical oddity!  These Irises are ready to pick and use as a token to say to our loved ones who have passed on, "We may have said farewell but that doesn't mean we  have forgotten you!"

I wish I could say farewell to these extra 25 pounds I seem to have adopted!
Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all of you!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sports Bra Blues

My daughter, Candice, has 4 children. The oldest is 8; the youngest is a nursing baby of 3 months. 

Mr. Cy is 5-years-old.  His cousin, Ad, is also 5 and Candice tends Ad and her sis during the day.

Candice's birthday is coming up soon.  I asked her what she wanted.  She reluctantly named a few things and I jotted them down.  Later during the day, I received this text:

"Another idea...a really good sports bra for my gallon milk jugs.  I exercised this morning with the kids...Cy said to Ad, 'Look at my mom's lungs!  They're jumping!'"

(sorry, no video)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cat Massage

Here's an informative video on how to make your cat happy! Even if you don't have a furry creature who owns you, this video can still teach you needed massaging techniques! 

I showed this video to Jordan and Jacob and they decided that Henry deserved a nice, relaxing, cat massage!

Look at that face; Henry's - not Jordan's.  I think Jordan was singing in his deep, bass voice about Henry being the best cat in the world.

I know that Henry appreciates that I showed the video to his "masters" because this is what he gave me for Mother's Day!

Yeah, this brought a tear to my eye.  Don't turn your back on this feline!
Just so you know, Henry has a facebook account!  I think someone has too much time on his hands!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Sad News

I mentioned in my last post that I had some sad news that happened on Friday.  I wasn't planning on posting about it but I have had several people express concern over that comment so I will briefly explain.

Our next-door neighbors are not only wonderful neighbors and friends, but he (the husband) is the bishop of our ward.  Their youngest is graduating from high school this week.  Their oldest, 25-year-old Jenny, was coming home from BYU-Idaho to attend the seminary graduation on Sunday night and  the high school graduation on Wednesday.  While traveling on the freeway, south of Idaho Falls, her tire blew and she lost control of her car.  The car rolled several times, ejecting her (even though she was wearing a seat belt) from her car.  She passed away after arriving at the Portneuf hospital. 

I saw and heard the grief and pain her family went through when they were informed of her death.  My heart has been grieving for them ever since.  This is a parent's worst nightmare!
The whole family was in church today.  What an example of strength that comes in knowing the plan of salvation and in being an eternal family.

My thoughts and prayers go out to them.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Another One Bites The Dust!

Today I have two heart-affecting items.  One that is very sad and is cause for mourning, the other that is happy.  I choose to report the happy!

Jordan proposed to Chelsey last night.  Her answer was yes! 

These pictures were taken at the tulip festival last month.  The Divine Miss Em has to get in on the picture.

I hope Chelsey realizes that when she marries Jordan,

the whole family comes with him!

Good luck!

One last squeeze from Miss Kels for her new aunt!

Congratulations!  We love you both!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Letting Go

A few weeks ago we got caterpillars to put in our classroom.  We were intrigued with the growth that occurred every day!  With the proper nourishment, those caterpillars got bigger and bigger until they enveloped themselves in a secure and safe chrysallis while they transformed.  One by one the butterflies emerged from their chrysallis, drying and stretching their wings, anticipating their freedom.

This week we let the butterflies go.  They eagerly fluttered from their safe, yet stifling environment without so much as a backward glance.  Though some of the children were sad to see them go, we had to explain that it's just part of the process.

We have had 13 students in our transitional kindergarten class.  For the past nine months they have been enveloped in a protective environment with 3 adults who love and care for them as they learn academics, social skills and how to control some emotional outbursts.  They're stretching their wings now, anxious to move on.  Tomorrow we set them free.  They'll probably leave without a backward glance.  There will be mixed emotions as they go, but it's part of the process.  They won't leave empty handed; a part of our hearts will go with them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes

Many people, In order to follow the guidelines of preparedness, have a basement filled with wheat but no wheat grinder!  They figure that when a real crisis comes along, they can survive by soaking the wheat in the water that has been scooped out of the back of the toilet and just hang on until real help arrives!  After all, won't we all enjoy that if we're forced to eat it?   Well, for those of you who are waiting for a raise before you buy your wheat grinder, or for those who have a wheat grinder but don't get it out often to grind your wheat, or for those who just want to try a new and delicious recipe, I have something for you! 

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes (Waffles)

In a blender, place 1 1/3 cups water, 1/3 cup powdered milk and 1 cup whole wheat kernels.  Blend for 2 minutes.  Nothing says "Time to wake up" better than wheat being ground in a blender!

While it's blending, place in a mixing bowl:
1 1/2 cups white flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

Add to the blender:
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Pour wheat mixture into dry ingredients.  Stir until smooth.  You may need to add more water to get it the right consistency.
Cook on a hot, sprayed griddle until golden.
Makes about 18 pancakes.

Forget the white flour.  Add the eggs, oil, baking powder, salt and sugar to the blender. Blend and add water until right consistency.   Pour from the blender onto your griddle.  

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Old Gray Mane, She Ain't What She Used To Be

Yes, you read it right.  Not mare--mane--hair, locks, crowning glory! 
 I must make a confession:
My name is Connie and I have gray hair!  There, I said it.

I started going gray a few months after I got married! hmmmm...
At the age of 30, I was sitting in church with my 5 kids; another hmmmm...when the man behind me leaned up and asked, "How could someone so young have so much gray hair?"  I thought it was a joke so I said, "I don't know, how?"  Of course, the butt of the joke was me and I started coloring my hair.  I colored the heck out of it!

If I wasn't using Nice 'n Easy, I was sitting in a chair at the beauty college for most of the day or spending beaucoup money to let a professional color it.   However, the thought of going gray definitely was not appealing;  especially when I was told by a friend that if I was gray, I'd look "a hundred years old"!

The gray roots became more prevalent.  When I was outside with the wind blowing, I'd feel self-conscious about my roots being revealed (as if they weren't noticeable before the wind tousled my hair).  Covering the gray became a bane to my existence.

 I talked about it with my friend and co-worker, Miss Karen, and she encouraged me to go au natural!  One day, when I arrived at school, I noticed she had plastered magazine pictures of gray haired women in the room. 

Me--"Karen, what's this?"

Karen--"Celebrities who have gray hair!"

Me--"Jessica Tandy?" "Bea Arthur?" "They're 30 years older than me! Of course they have gray hair!"

Alas, I decided to take the plunge. With great trepidation, I went to my beautician for a hair cut. After telling her what I had decided to do; she stripped the color out of my hair. I was blonde with gray roots! I arrived home, toting my new do. After 3 hours, with nothing being said by my husband, I asked him if he noticed my hair. He replied, "Yes, but I didn't know what you wanted me to say!" (smart man)

It took a few months to grow out completely.  I've had days when I've come this close to re-coloring; then the feeling of freedom takes over and makes me realize that I don't want to be tied to the bottle again!

Looking 100 years old never felt so liberating! 

Karen may have been the added shove needed to take the plunge,
but I think this was really my inspiration!

If you know the movie, I'll send some leftover hair color your way!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


This is a busy week for me.  I haven't had much chance to get on the computer to check my own blog let alone every one else's.  A couple more days and I'll be out and about to see what's going on in your neck of the woods!

See these 13 apricots?  Times that by 10,000 and that's how many are on our tree!  It promises to be a bumper crop!  Hope you'll give me a call in July to get your share of them!

This pear tree is starting to swell with pears.  Unless something "freezy" happens, we should have bushels of those golden orbs.

This tree is promising tons of apples.

The bees are plentiful on the blossoms and helps ensure that promise. 

Although this won't produce fruit, just had to throw this lilac in the mix.  Scratch your screen, I'm sure you can smell it!

My friend passed away on Mother's Day.  She was in her early 50s, and in good health.  Such a shock to everyone, especially her sweet, broken-hearted daughter and grandchildren.


This picture symbolizes the promise that I'll see her again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

TV Appearance

Just a heads up!  My beautiful daughter, Camille, will be on Channel 2 news at noon today.  Her segment will be about half way through the program.  Check her out!   I won't be able to since I'll be working. :-(

I had a wonderful Mother's Day.  I hope all of you did too!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

We all have one...

... so we should all celebrate!  I'm talking about mothers! 

Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful, patient, loving, smart, generous, sacrificing, fun, mother!

I will never be able to re-pay her for all she has done and still does for me! 
I love you, Mom!

Happy Mother's Day also to my fun, compassionate, hard-working mother-in-law! 

 I appreciate the fact she raised such a wonderful son and treats me as though I am her daughter.   Just a story about her:
One day, when I had 4 small children, she said to me, ""Your kids look just like 'Gs' kids!"  Then, as if lost in thought, she shuddered, "Oooohhh, those kids are ugly!"

I wonder what she meant by that!  
I love you too, Mom!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!