Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Natalie

Today is Natalie's 18th birthday; she is celebrating in Spokane, so we had to call and wish her happy birthday this morning via her cell phone. She said the crew from Vogue called her at 7:00 a.m (8:00 a.m. Idaho time) and wished her a happy birthday also.
She says Stephanie and she have had a wonderful time. She was visiting another mall today to spend her birthday money! She said they visited some neat gardens--she will have to post some non-snowy pictures when she returns this weekend. It has been quiet at our house this week without her. We miss her....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Winter" Break

I just walked out a few minutes ago and took this picture of our house...see my footprints in the snow from the front porch. Three hours ago you could see brown grass but now it is covered. First we had wind, then hail, then snow and more snow. I'm "officially" changing the name of this break to "Winter Break."
I took Neil to shoulder therapy this morning; he came home and tried to recuperate. I went to lunch at Applebees today with my friend Rosalie, who used to teach with me but is now retired. She is the person who hooked me on traveling to Europe. My mom and I did a trip to England together with her and then later a five country trip. She was impressed with my mom's wit and energy and "threatened" to write a book titled Traveling with Shirley through Europe. Rosalie is planning to spend a month in Scotland next summer with her sister Alainna.
I fell in love with Scotland when we (two of my kids, my mom, my sister and her daughter) went there and many places in England two years ago. The people are friendly, and everything is so GREEN. My kids have said they would love to go back.
Tyson would like to go to Italy. He watches the Italian cooking shows and likes Tuscan decor. If it is not a total blizzard, Ty and I are going to Slumdog....tomorrow; he has seen it but says it is worth going again.
We've missed having Natalie and her bubbly personality here this week. I called her yesterday and she has been having fun in Spokane--went to a pizza place where you make your own pizza, a three-story mall, a park near a river, and some place with "the best breakfast food." It sounds like Kurt is being an excellent host, and they are having a good time. Natalie's 18th birthday is tomorrow. It will seem strange not to have her home. She is my "baby"; the child I had when I wasn't supposed to have any more! I'm hoping the weather clears up before Stephanie and she travel home.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Break...Idaho Style

Well actually this is a picture from Ogden Canyon near our condos that we stayed at when heading to Vegas, but I wanted a picture with snow.
Yesterday was a warm Idaho spring day; I went for a three-mile walk and enjoyed the warmth. Today it was rainy in the morning. Neil and I went to church. When we came out, the car was covered with snow!!! We were a little worried because Natalie and Stephanie were heading to Spokane today. They made it there safely--said they had some rain and fog in Idaho this morning, but Montana weather was clear.
I'm hoping our warm weather will return soon. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO ready for spring.
I get to take Neil to physical therapy next week. He has been squeezing a little ball that has helped with the swelling in his arm and hand. Shoulder surgery recovery is a step-by-step process for sure.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break (Nearly)

I am glad Natalie has been so good about posting to our blog. I have been busy teaching, grading a huge stack of AP Author Study papers, and taking care of Neil. I had a goal to get everything graded before the break--I am going to barely make it. YEAH!!

Neil has therapy three times a week. Fortunately, his brother Wayne is retired and has been his taxi. I'll take over next week since it is spring break. The physical therapist tortures him and moves the arm for him. He is not supposed to, or he will tear out all of his rivits and stitches. This is the first surgery Neil has had since we've been married. Including c-sections I think I've had six. It seems strange to not have him able to do much; it has made me appreciate everything he does and made me realize how much I depend on him. I usually work out in the morning, and he makes our South Beach breakfast. Now I'm the cook, I have a hard time getting up early enough to exercise and get to school on time.

I am so looking forward to the break. Usually, we head to our condo at Bison Ranch near Heber, AZ. (I think that is where Breezy is trekking.) Since Neil has had the surgery, we are just staying home relaxing. Natalie and Stephanie are going to visit Kurtis in Spokane. He is our "other adopted" child that flies in once a year to visit.

Well, guess I'll close for now and get some SLEEP!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Aisha's First Haircut: By Natalie

I'm a little late posting this, but Aisha got her first haircut last... Thursday or Friday... It's been a long week. Haha. Anyways, She was really excited about it BEFORE we actually started cutting her hair. Once we sat her down in the chair, she wasn't so excited. Ryan had to sit next to her the whole time, but luckily, no tears fell, just hair. She was really well-behaved and we got those pesky bangs out of her eyes, and a few locks for her mom's scrapbook. Here's some pictures from the experience.

Before the Haircut

Unsure about how she feels with those scissors so close to her eyes

Didn't want to let me to get that last piece

Look at that face. :(

A little smile... Finally!

At the end of the haircut, I've decided Aisha is like her Aunt and doesn't like getting her pretty long hair cut. But she's still just as beautiful before, and now she doesn't have long bangs in her eyes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Two new additions to the Christensen Family.

So, I decided that I needed a little 'excitement' in my life, so I decided to get a pet. My friend Sam is moving and was giving away a free 10 gallon fish tank. I asked him if I could have it and he said sure thing. He even threw in a free stand for my fish tank as well! I went and picked up the fish tank around 8:30pm last night. I then went to Wal*Mart to buy some fish (after calling and asking mom of course). I really wanted to get this cute fat white one with an orange nose, but they told me he was still getting over this fungus... Let's just say, I didn't want a fish with fungal diseases. haha. So I got another not quite as cute fat one, but decided he needed a friend, so I got a little white one too. I decided to name the fat one Sgt. Tubbs, and the white one Pookie. I bought them cute rainbow rock and matching faux plant life. I am very happy with my new pets. :]

My fishies' new home.

Sgt. Tubbs.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

NASCAR and Nursing

I'm glad Natalie has done some posts for our blog. I was gone with Neil to NASCAR in Vegas, and then Neil had shoulder surgery Friday. I'm glad all I had was a slight tendon tear--I seem to be healing, just can't lift weight with left arm.

Dr. Huntsman spent over two hours on Neil--fixed a torn labrum, reattached a rotator cuff, and tried to repair unattached cartilage. Neil has a big blue sling and then a band around it. He is not supposed to move arm. We cut a shirt down the front and put it on him to eliminate abrasion. I used some fabric tape to close the front--there our times I need some of Annette's and Sandy's sewing skills. I also had to work to figure out how to get the top off his new-fangled ice pack. Today has been a better day--less pain than yesterday.

We had a good trip to Vegas. I wrote an article for The River City Weekly about it. I'm pasting it here--I will see if Natalie will do a slide show of pictures later--she is so much better with that than me--I recruited a college student at the hotel to help send my pictures to my editor--told him I'd trade his expertise for free editing of a paper of his choice--nice kid, reminded me of Tyson.

Article: River City Weekly

“Idaho Falls NASCAR Weekend”

Idaho Falls is a wonderful place to live, but by the end of February many of us are tired of the cold weather. The white, pristine snow of December is now slushy and gray, and people start dreaming of warmer days.

The Las Vegas NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Racing) Nationwide and Sprint races come at the perfect time to encourage migration south. Many from Idaho Falls book flights with Allegiant Air, who had a booming weekend for the end of February.

Others pack up cars that sport numbers representing their loyal following—perhaps a #48 for last year’s Sprint Cup series champion—Jimmie Johnson, driver of a Lowe’s Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, or a #17 for Matt Kenseth, who drives a DeWalt Ford for Roush Fenway Racing and won the first two 2009 races at Daytona and California.

People enjoy NASCAR for a variety of reasons. My husband Neil loves the noise and all the action of the race. His brother Wayne and sister-in-law Marcia, loyal Jeff Gordon (#24) fans, also like the roar of the engines. I love medieval history; the egos and intense competition of NASCAR remind me of medieval jousting tournaments. Teams definitely have colors, and you only have to watch one race to realize the value placed on sponsorship. Decals emblazon cars and jackets; a driver being interviewed is usually always drinking a sponsor’s beverage.

Although there is a stereotype of a typical NASCAR fan, a wide variety of individuals from Idaho Falls enjoy this type of racing. I interviewed Mindy Jones from Cherz Salon. She said a group of 10 from the salon were headed to the race. She initially bought tickets to her first Vegas race in 2003 as a Christmas surprise for her husband. Even though her husband is a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan, she cheered for Matt Kenseth to win, and as if just for her, he did. She remains a loyal fan.

I also interviewed De Haley from Idaho Falls; anyone who knows her quickly learns that she loves all aspects of NASCAR. She started going to the Las Vegas race in 1998 when her son Nick bought her a ticket as a present. She has not missed a year since.

She says, “NASCAR people are honest and concerned for others.” For years De has been collecting autographs of drivers on a special NASCAR flag. She takes a week vacation in Las Vegas to have time to find, meet, and talk with drivers.

Both races this year were exciting to watch. During the Nationwide race there were so many wrecks, a new record was set for the fewest number of cars finishing the race. Greg Biffle (#16) was able to survive to emerge as the victor of the Sam’s Town 300 Race.

This year on qualifying day for the Sprint Cup race, the announcers joked about the Busch brothers “ambushing” the field. Kyle had the fastest speed at 185.995 and his brother Kurt was close behind at 185.707; Kyle had to change an engine though, so he started at the end of the field in the Sprint race.

In spite of this, he emerged victorious for his first win of the season in the Cup race. Obviously, it was a sweet hometown win for Kyle (#18), driver of a Joe Gibbs Toyota, who even kissed the start/finish line after the race.

This week Idaho Falls NASCAR fans reluctantly return from Vegas warmth to the cold, but many have started planning next year’s trip. I know I have!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Slackers...... or just busy.

Well, I've noticed that no one in my family has been posting for awhile... I'm sure my mom will EVENTUALLY put up pictures from her Nascar trip, but for now she is playing nurse for my dad.
The surgery went well from what I know... My mom will be able to tell you more.

I've been enjoying no high school. :] I can't believe how much happier I am now that I'm done.... It's like instantly I am so much more positive. Haha. Funny how that works.

Well, I just thought I would let everyone know that the Christensen's are still alive, just busy.