Friday, May 29, 2009

Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My!

We went on a hike at South Mountain last Saturday - a new place for us. It was a gorgeous morning - perfect weather. We enjoyed cactus blooms, fresh air, blue skies and the scent of the desert. We also saw a Gila Monster! He was not as happy to see us as we were to see him. There were about 7 in our group and he felt a little out numbered. He hissed at us and tried to act tough. We gave him his space as they are quite venomous. It sure was neat to see this. Not everyone has seen a Gila Monster out in the wild! I loved it!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

First "Pay it Forward" project done!

Yestderday I made the above pioneer bonnet. It is for Miriam. I will present her "Pay it Forward" gift to her today. She is going on the Pioneer Trek on June 12, so I think it will come in handy for her. One down - Four to go! If you don't know what "Pay it Forward" is, see my March 25th post.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Girl Stuff...

The other night I was talking nail polish with a girl friend. I told her that because I have used very cheap polish in the past, I had to let my toe nails heal because they were soft and flaky. She asked about pricing of nail polish. She asked me how long a bottle of polish lasted. After doing the math, (she is a bookkeeper) she pointed out that per use, it was not that expensive to get good polish that would not ruin my toe nails. About a week later, she gave me a present. Guess what it was? Right! Some really nice polish. It was so fun to have her think of me in this way. That night, I did a pedicure.
This is a GREAT color for me. Thanks, Cyndee!
You know I love you, girlfriend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How does your garden grow?

So we decided to try our hand at planting a few things in AZ. This is what some of our poor string beans look like. Booooo! I have always had the "black thumb of death" when it comes to growing anything! This is what some other string beans look like. Yay!
Our cherry tomatoes are doing quite well...
And we are actually enjoying the fruits of the harvest. YUM!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tonight we had the annual Community Bar-B-Que at Cordova. The staff memers volunteer their time to set up tables, flip hamburgers, supervise carnival games, clean up, and serve community members. Mr. Phillips and Mr. Goertzen manned the grill. The hamburgers were GREAT! Tina and Georgia sold tickets. (I also sold tickets.) For $1.00 per person, you can get a burger, chips, drink, and cookie. What a great deal! Many of the teachers enjoyed socializing with their students outside the classroom setting. Ms. Erivez teaches math. She is amazing.
Community members flocked to the multi-purpose room to enjoy all of the carnival activities.
National Junior Honor Society students ran many of the booths, with their advisor, Ms. Peterson. The kids loved this one where they got to throw a bean bag into the Cobra's mouth. The Cobra is our school mascott.
More NJHS students entertaining the crowd with the every favorite activity "Can you keep your eye on the ball?
Ms. Knight, Ms. Rodriguez, and Ms. Nightingale made sure there was pleanty of lemonade and ice water for everyone.
Other staff members were in the kitchen on the serving line making sure everyone received their food. They all worked so hard!
Mr. Gunn hates having his picture taken. (So does everyone!) He worked so hard tonight! He was excited about this BBQ and enjoys socializing with the parents and community members in the neighborhood. He is an amazing administrator. I am so thankful to have found my job at Cordova. It has been a great year!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Ma & Pa Training

Last weekend, Rod and I had our Ma & Pa Trek Training. We carpooled to Estrella Park where we camped out for the night and had some intensive training as to what our role will be on the Pioneer Trek in June. We are one of 11 couples that will serve as the Ma and Pa to about a dozen of the youth in each Trek Family. We were asked to dress in our pioneer clothing and come prepared to participate as the children in a trek family, led by our trainers who served as our Ma and Pa.
Julie and John McLean.
The Sharps, the McLeans, and the Beesons - all incredible couples from our ward that will be guiding their trek families.
Rod and I are making sure we have our buckets and sleeping gear. We enjoyed some getting acquainted activities during the evening as we learned certain skills about leading discussions with our Trek families. There are some amazing leaders that have organized this Pioneer Trek. I cannot believe all of the planning, praying, sweat and tears that have gone into this activity.
We slept under these tarps. The wind blew ALL NIGHT and it was a pretty sleepless night for most of us. It was very noisy as the wind whipped the heavy blue tarps around. There were also giant spiders that wanted sleep with us. My poor tent mates said I did sleep for a couple of hours (they could hear me snoring). Sorry, ladies!

Our camp cooks made some dutch oven breakfast burritos. They were wonderful! We had beef stew and biscuits the night before with several wonderful choices of cobbler. I do love dutch oven cooking!

Enjoying our breakfast before the work of the day started.

We had to put our hand cart together. The first thing to do was stand the cart on its end so the axel and wheels could be assembled. Our Trek Families will have to assemble their own carts, load their belongings in the way they think is best and then secure the load before they hit the trail.

They gave Tammie and Me some blue rubber gloves and told us we were the axel greasers. We greased up the axels before the wheels were put on. It was nice, black grease!

Wanna shake hands?

Our little light weight Suzy-Q stood in the cart to keep it from tipping back while the wheels were being installed.

All loaded up and ready for the journey. Make it nice and secure, John. It's still a little windy today.

Tammie thinks she can pull the cart all by herself!

And we are on the road!
We all took turns pulling or pushing in different spots. This gave us a chance to talk to new people and learn about our fellow travelers.
It wasn't too difficult on the paved road. We had a long rope tied to the cart. It helped to move it along as we each pulled on our handle on the rope. I know the pioneers did not enjoy the luxury of pavement!
This will be our second trek. We went to Martin's cove in Wyoming about 5 years ago as a Ma and Pa. I know this trek will be way different, and we are very excited to be involved in this marvelous experience. I have always loved my pioneer heritage as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was the Mormon Pioneers that blazed the trail and settled in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Nevada and many other western states.
This is my turn to push. I almost had to run to keep up. There were lots of able-bodied modern pioneers helping with this handcart today. We had some very interesting activites once we arrived at our destination. I know I had to dig deep to share the feelings that I had during our activities. I am looking forward to our Trek in June. I know it will be a life-changing experience for all of the youth, and for all of the Ma and Pa couples as well. I wish I could share some of the activities, but I don't want to spoil the experience ahead for my young friends that read my blog. There will be many situations they will have to figure out for themselves. After the Trek, I will record these experiences.
Happy Trails!