Friday, February 27, 2009

Be sure to.....

stop in here( today and join the party! even if you dont know the birthday girl, wish her a happy birthday will be fun!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

We may have a runner on our hands....

Hayden is going out for track and they did their team qualifiers today. He tried for disk and got second so he will be doing that event again and he tried for the 800 meter run. Last year he ran this one time just for fun and came in second but the football coach would not let him run long distance because he could not afford for him to loose any weight for football season so he just stuck to the throwing events. Now that football is over and there is no worry about keeping the pounds on, he wanted to try for the 800. Well he came in first and beat all the amazing long distance runners on our team by 7 seconds....his time was 2:14 ....the crazy part is that he did this without any conditioning or running AT ALL since football ended. We are pretty jazzed about his potential. The school record in the 800 is just over 2:00 and the 1A-5A record is 1:50....we shall see if he can shave a good amount of time off between now and State...I dont know if he will be breaking any records but he should be a good contender to get to state. It will be fun to watch. Check back for updates...his first meet is next Wednesday and then on Friday of next week as well.

They will tryout for more events prior to next wed. He is hoping to do shot and the 800 relay as well.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Check this out...

Check this little chick out....

She lives here locally, goes to school with Taylor, and Brittnee worked with her dad at the Ranch.

Some pretty good stuff....

Friday, February 20, 2009

ok...that is creepy!

We were really was the Bush compound!!

Quick trip to....

Boston....for meetings with EF, afforded us a quick run up the coast to Maine, just ....because
Lynn and I had to make a quick trip up to Boston and decided to go a day early to see some sites(mostly to go shopping in Freeport LOL) She and I were in Boston last year and saw all the Boston sites then, so we rented a car and drove up to Maine for the day. We were headed for Freeport for some outlet shopping but decided to jump off the TOLL way in Kennebunkport just to say we did! It was the cutest, quaintest town ever and We were sure it was 100X better in the summer! are a few pictures from our travel around town.

The Bush maybe not but after seeing all the houses in town we decided this was the best candidate. (that we could see from the road) it was secluded and had security to the max...cameras, gates, guard booth etc...

We drove to the beach...sooo cute, the beach cottages were.

Felt like it was right out of a movie....

and....AND...I had a bowl of New England Claim Choweder....IN....NEW ENGLAND!!
and, answer your burning was alittle different then Pinetop Claim Chowder!

Friday, February 13, 2009


A few pictures from Hayden's trip to Mammoth......
You can click on the picture to make it larger and easier to see
Some of his best friends......

OH MY.....................

Coming down off the wall

Can you pick Hayden out from this line up??

He had a great time on his trip...on one particular day it snowed 2 Feet....nothing better then snowboarding through 2 feet of fresh powder!

It's a ......

Brittnee had her detailed ultrasound today, so its officially a girl instead of most likely a girl!

she will be posting more about it on her blog when she gets home

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Austin's award...

ok here is the scoop...
yesterday i received a call from Austin's teacher. She had submitted a letter a while back to nominate Austin for his accomplishments with the Council for Exceptional Children. Every year they award 8 students from all of the state of Arizona for their accomplishments...this is what AZCEC was looking for......

Do you know that special student who excels despite their disability?
AZCEC wants to recognize those students who exhibit the "I CAN DO IT!" attitude by doing their best in academics, art, athletics, community service, employment, self-advocacy, technology or independent life skills.

sooooo Austin' teacher received this letter yesterday....


Dear nominating teachers,

Thank you all so very much for your dedication to recognizing students with special needs and their successes during this school year. We had an unbelievable amount of nominations this year making it extremely difficult to narrow down our award recipients to keep within the designated maximum of 8. (I believe I went over by 1…..and really can’t go above that number due to the very tight time constraints of the luncheon.). Again, I appreciate your nominations and encourage you to hang on to them and resubmit next year if your student was not selected this year.

Decisions were based primarily on the accomplishments of the students, rather than the severity of the disability. The award is given for persistence and going above and beyond to be successful despite the disability, whatever that may be. Please understand that all of the nominations were well founded and all of the students worthy of recognition, but we are limited in how many we can select.

Attached is the list of those students that have been selected for this years’ I Can Do It’ Awards.

Thank you for your time and energy!! Hope you are planning to attend the 2009 CEC Law Conference on March 6th, whether your student was selected or not! (Registration form also attached.)


Dianne Grayson

Dianne Grayson

2009 Award Recipients

Nathan Beardsley Centennial High 12th grade
Nicholas Garcia Cactus Middle School 8th grade
Joshua Morris Frontier Elementary 7th grade
Denny Allen Trevor Browne High 11th grade
Lacey White Thunder Mtn. Middle 6th grade
Bertha Andrade Chandler High 12th grade
Jacob Arvizo Willis Junior High 8th grade
Austin Jones Blue Ridge High 12th grade
Alex Imafidon Chaparral High HS - grade?

sooooo we will attend an awards luncheon with Austin on March 6th
We are so proud of Austin! They will also be coming out to take his picture for the paper. He is pretty excited about that.

Here is the letter that was submitted on his behalf

Austin Jones is a student in our Resource Set Contained (RSC) program at Blue Ridge High School. He has unduplicated self-assurance, character and genuine regard for others which defines his "I can do it" attitude. He has given Blue Ridge Unified School District he idea of community. He does not separate himself or others, or others from himself. Austin has established friendships with his peers in and outside of the special education programs. He walks our hallways with sincere greetings; boisterous teases and is aware of those who need assistance. He sees what he likes and looks for those who can help him get it, and always makes sure his friends can have it too. Austin knows nearly all of the students and staff by name. He has clearly demonstrated self confidants and releases all his inhibitions toward new and unfamiliar things.
In one instance Austin greatly wanted to be a member of the high school marching band. He took charge. He inquired and discussed how to achieve this with the band director, his parents and myself on how to make this happen. The team successfully made arrangements for Austin to join the band the upcoming fall. However, the band director moved. Although we reassured Austin that he would still be allowed to participate, he did not want there to be any doubt. So, over the summer he came to the school for band camp and to secure his place. Since that summer Austin has carried and loaded band equipment, joined practices, traveled with the band and has encouraged all who see him to join the Blue Ridge High School Marching band, His persistence and hard work paid off, not only did Austin have the earned honor of performing with the band this year at school events but he dressed, marched and played the drums during the 3A High School Football Championship game.
Austin has given to Blue Ridge far more then Blue Ridge has given to him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Austin gets an AWESOME award....

more info to come shortly!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Awesome Hawaii picture

My sister just sent this to me so i had to share...this is a picture of our entire group(minus the adults) of kids that we had in Hawaii this year. This was taken at the Polynesian cultural center. You can click on it to enlarge it. Great group of kids


Rich, Austin and Taylor spoke in church today and I think they all did a great job! Hayden was suppose to speak but when he figured out that it was the same day they would be coming home from the snowboard trip he had to back out and thankfully Taylor said she would take his place. You guys did great!
Hayden is on his way home from the Mammoth trip and i think he had the time of his life...maybe i will have pictures to post once he gets back. He did say that they had 2 feet of new powder that they got to board in yesterday! he was pretty jazzed about that. He is a very happy little camper!
Rich got a new calling today as well...he will be the 1st councilor in the Young men's presidency and he is really excited about that. He has been a Sunday school teacher for the youth for years, off and on but he has always secretly wanted to be in YMs but never has been so he is super jazzed for this new challenge.

the surprise....

This was the surprise.... I took Noah, Sawyer and Taylor to see the Lion King last night. It was really good (even from the nose bleed seats) I had been teasing them for weeks that i had something fun planned but would not tell them what it was...they were pleasantly surprised!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Different directions....

What a crazy weekend we have....Hayden left Wednesday for Mammoth, snowboarding with the ski club from school. Austin left today for flagstaff for a Skills competition with the school. I am taking Noah, Sawyer and Taylor to the valley tomorrow for a **surprise** and Rich has a meeting at work Quade gets to go to his helper from school's house to hang out with her family for the afternoon....and then, we have to hope that we all make it home(there is a snow storm blowin' in) as Rich, Austin and Taylor have to speak in church on Sunday!
whewww I'm exhausted already and tomorrow isn't even here yet!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Our Trip to Hawaii with the students was great but it was started out with a 6am flight (which meant we had to be up at 3:00am to be at the airport by 4:00am) so we were pretty wiped out by the time we finally got there. Our first night we had a pizza party and just spent time getting to know everyone and waiting for all the stragglers to arrive. On Sunday we went to the flea market at the pro bowl stadium. Its a GREAT place to get your Hawaiian gear!! Then we went to Kailua was a fun day but it was overcast and cloudy and a bit on the cool side. Sunday night we played Bunco and had a BBQ....On Tuesday it was still overcast and cloudy but a cloudy day in Hawaii is still Hawaii Right? so we headed out in the morning and did the light house hike (you can go back in my blog to last years trip and see the pictures of that..its really very pretty) after the hike we went to Wiamonolo beach and had a picnic and spent the day there. It sprinkled off and on and the sun never really showed itself so we just pretty much spent most of the time in the water. It was the best beach for body boarding and I even caught a few waves all the way in which I have never done and it was WAY cool....good thing we brought Christoph along to show us how its REALLY done!

On Tuesday we went to Waikiki and hiked Diamond head...It was the initiation for our new chaperons so us "has beens" got the luxury of hanging out with the cars in the parking lot LOL...did not miss those 100+ stairs at the top of the trail....but i did forget the lunch money and had to drive all the way back to camp to get it and race back before the kids got done with the hike. After that we went to Waikiki beach and went out on the Catamaran...this is a highlight of the trip and one of our very favorite things to do...usually the waves are pretty big and the kids get soaked who sit up here in the net (pictured above) and its so fun to watch their faces when that first unsuspecting wave crashes over them but this year the water was like glass....which was also nice because then we got to stop and jump off the boat and swim out in the open ocean!

here is Emanuel coming back up the stairs after jumping off the side into the water

Here is Christoph taking a dive....or maybe a belly flop! LOL

Pavel getting ready for his dive.

Here is one of our Chaperons, Eufaun doing a back dive...brave girl!

who are these people anyways???

Our fearless leader, Kim

Here is Christoph, after he got out of the water...we were so happy to have Christoph on the trip with us. Christoph was our first exchange student 15 years ago and he and his family now live in San Diego. It was good to get reacquainted with him. The day we left his family came into town and the lucky dog got to stay another week with them! We sure love them and wish they lived closer but San Diego is a heck of alot closer then Switzerland!!!!

Pavel, funny funny kid! the life of the party! He lives with my sister Lynn

On our way back in we get that rare view of surfers from the back side...

Here is a group shot (although i seemed to have cut someone off??)

More Hawaii....

On Wednesday we went to Pearl Harbor, where this picture was taken and then we went to the Polynesian Cultural center at BYU.
At PCC we visited several "islands" and learned about their culture there. These were taken in the "island" of Hawaii where they learned the Hula. It was too fun watching them learn all the moves.
This is Monika and Peter

Here is Philipp, Emanuel, Pauline and Toby

A little hip action....

Here is Christoph checking out a teeny, tiny baby gecko that we found on our table at one of the fine dinning establishment we were at on Thursday in Waikiki.
You can click on it to enlarge it and see it up close.

and alittle more Hawaii....

On Friday we went to North Shore and we were able to FINALLY do the shark adventures. We have planned to do it every year for the last 3 or 4 years and every time it gets canceled because of the rough sea...luckily this year we were able to pull it off.
We had to go out in 4 different groups as they only take 10 per boat. So this is one of our other groups passing us on their way back to shore. We were about 3 miles out to sea for this and the water was still pretty rough so once we got in the cage we got knocked around a bit.
Here is Rich with the lovely girls that were on our boat. The second one over from Rich tells us that she is planning to be our daughter in law some day! LOL...she is on a mission to meet Hayden and she and her friend to the left of her in the photo plan to come here for snowboarding lessons! LOL

Here we are in the cage....from left to right
Me, Lynn, Paulina, Hanne and Rich
It was really fun and surprisingly I was not nervous at all to do this. It was a little freaky at first, worrying about having your fingers and toes exposed when you were holding on to the case below the yellow floats but it was so cool to see the sharks up was almost hard to believe that they could be dangerous.

after we left the beach at north shore we went up to sacrifice hill to check out the sunset

On Saturday, just before we left to come home, we were in Honolulu and this is the sunset we caught from the balcony at the Mall.

Below is a video of the shark adventure....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back home

well we are back home, it feels good! the trip was good but it was exhausting. Starting out with a 6am flight did not get us off on a very good foot ( had to leave for the airport at 3:30am) and we ran from sun up to sun down. The kids were really good so that helped and we did FINALLY get to do the shark adventure this year after 3 previous years of cancellations because of weather. I will post pictures, video and tell all about it in another post coming soon....but in the mean might hop on over to Brittnee's blog in hopes that she will post about her doctors appt today. Just a might be pink!