Saturday, May 30, 2009

Flower Planting

We were supposed to be putting our trailer at Island Park today, but I called yesterday afternoon and they said it would not be ready until Saturday night. We have Stake Conference tomorrow, and Natalie's graduation is Monday. Neil is tentatively planning to take it up Tuesday; if Ty is not working, he can go with him. I'm in school this coming week. My seniors aren't there, but I still have contract days through Thursday. I'm cleaning, packing away, and prepping for a new Shakespeare elective class. I'm making a neat PowerPoint tour of Stratford, Anne Hathaway's Cottage, and Warwick Castle. I'm going to ISU Friday for a concurrent college seminar. This next week, I need to finish prepping for the ISU class on Teaching Writing that I'm teaching the week of June 8th--it had a maximum of 30 students and filled so that is good. Today I weeded all the unwanted plants and then planted my big front flower bed; I need to take a picture. I used lots of yellows, some orange marigolds, and white daisies. It is bright and cheery!! I also reorganized my farm on Farm Town and bought a little more land--the horses needed more space! It has been a day of real and virtual planting. The virtual is much easier!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Last Week of School; Natalie Graduates Monday

Today was the last official school day for seniors at Skyline; since I teach all seniors, I can tell you they have had senioritis for a month! They have practice Thursday, Friday, and Monday morning. Then Monday night June 1st is graduation. Usually, I am a teacher/advisor worker bee for all the practices and on graduation, another teacher and I space out the seniors marching down the aisles. I'm still helping with the practices, but this graduation I'm going to be a mom; our immediate family and Grandma Shirley will be cheering for Natalie, who will be graduating from Skyline. Ryan graduated from Skyline in 2000. Tyson from IFHS in 2004. Natalie has been an excellent student. This year she combined high school in the morning with cosmetology college in the afternoon/evening. She will graduate in August from Vogue. It has been a busy year for her, and I'm proud of all she has accomplished. Yeah, Natalie --Class of 2009!!!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Weekend

I'm glad Memorial Weekend is here; school has been busy trying to finish last units. Tonight I finished the last project/paper for my class on facilitating on-line learning. I have another on technology and online learning later in the summer. This afternoon I attended the funeral of my sister-in-law Marcia's mom's funeral--Beulah Griffiths Smith. She passed away last Sunday. The funeral was moving, had some very nice tributes by children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Neil and I went to the viewing last night and then out to Wayne and Marcia's to visit with Marcia's extended family. David is the oldest brother. We met some of his children (Mark, Matt, Sarah, and Jenny) and their spouses and children. Marcia is next in birth order, then Terry, and Doug. Terry told me he was the third child; I told him that I had the same birth position. I'm glad Marcia had immediate family there to help her. Losing a mom has to be one of life's greatest trials. Even with a strong testimony of an afterlife, it must be so hard to say goodbye to the person who nurtured and loved you so much. Beulah's favorite scripture was on the back of the funeral service program. I want to put it in this blog today in her honor and wish her spirit a happy reunion with family and friends.

Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. 2 Nephi 32:3

I decided to add just a little more to this Memorial Day blog. Monday morning Neil and I took some beautiful plants to Fielding Memorail to honor his parents. Floyd and Faye Christensen. Then we drove to the Ririe Cemetery and took a plant to my dad's (Don M. Guymon's) gravesite. Both places were filled with beautiful flowers. Annette came up from Utah and mom, I , and Annette visited the Ucon Cemetery--my Grandma and Grandpa Ritchie are buried there, the two little babies they lost, my Aunt Dorothy, and Annette's mom, Donna (Aunt Jimmer) to the Guymon kids, our second mom. We also went to see my Aunt Joy's grave just past Rigby. I realize how blessed I have been/am to have such good family. I never got to know my Grandpa Ritchie because he died of cancer when my mom was just a little girl, but she says he was a very sweet, loving father, and my Grandma Birdie said she was glad she married young, so she had as many years as she did with him. I have a picture from Alice in Wonderland that he colored for my mom; I think it will be wonderful in the next life to meet him.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mom, Grandma Shirley

This is a picture of my petite mom, Shirley. She looks small and fragile, but she is not! I know Mother's Day was last Sunday, but I felt like writing today about my mom and her love of gardening. I went to visit her after church today. When I arrived, she was out front digging up a little spot of ground to plant some ornamental cabbage plants. Her front flower bed was a cheerful sight--solar lights, bright yellow and red tulips and her little wooden Dutch girl. For a Christmas present I gave her some HUGE stone pots for her front redwood porch. They were filled with flowers artfully arranged with tall green spiky plants and lower bright petunias. Also, she has three flats of jellybean petunia plants waiting to be planted in her big flower bed as soon as the nights warm up. As we wander around her yard, her eyes sparkle as she tells me of her summer planting plans---morning glory to be moved; perennial beds to be weeded, and bleeding hearts to be rearranged. Her mother's day green snail is now lord of her back rock garden--imagine huge river rocks cascading down with plants growing from the rocks. The pond (which she and my dad built) is uncovered and the fish are happily swimming. New lilies are starting to grow in the pond. Bright yellow and pick primroses (hardy survivors of freezing weather she tells me) surround her apple tree, whose buds are turning into leaves. While we sit and talk, finches come and eat sunflower seeds out of a bird feeder. The shells they drop are snatched up by a squirrel, who does an amazing balance beam act across her wooden fence. Her yard looks incredible already, and believe me most of May in Idaho has been windy, rainy, or even snowy. She tells me that a gentleman in a white truck stopped last week and told her that it brightened his day last summer to drive by her yard every day. He was happy to see it turning into a gardening wonderland again, but could not believe that such a little lady could have such an amazing yard. My words cannot do her yard justice. I'll let her get a little more planted and then post some pictures. I love mom for her nurturing nature, and nowhere is it better exemplified than her yard and gardens. We play Farm town on Facebook; she lives it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May in Idaho

I heard on the news we set a record for cold this morning--glad I did not plant my flower garden yet. I saw Phoenix had a 101 day--we are definitely not there yet. We wanted to put our trailer up at Island Park by Memorial Weekend but there may be too much snow still. Earlier this week the jet stream was right over us --we had major winds. I was having a hard time even shutting my car door. On the bright side Neil and I call these kind of days "good teaching weather" i.e. the weather is so bad our students are not dreaming about being outside. I just finished a Renaissance literature unit. I have been grading sonnets and tests for two days; I had some really neat sonnets on a wide variety of topics--dandelions, football, graduation, fishing...I'm also taking an on-line NNU class on learning to be an on-line teacher/facilitator. It is interesting but time consuming--have been staying up late doing homework--reminds me of grad school days. I should update family news...Natalie officially graduates June 1st but technically had enough credits to graduate early in February. She will finish cosmotology school in August. She gave me a wonderful pedicure for Mother's Day. I also went in for a facial--I'm putting that on my every other week to-do list--very relaxing!!! Natalie tended Keeley Monday because she has been sick with ear infection and croup :(--said it definitely made her want to be older before embarking on motherhood. Tyson finished up spring semester at ISU last week. I'm sure he was happy to have finals week over. Neil is getting more movement in his arm/shoulder; he has been really good about doing his therapy and exercises. Well that's the weekly update for the Christensen family; we are all looking forward to summer and some warm weather for a change!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Commencement/Mother's Day Weekend

This was a busy weekend. Saturday Neil and I worked on the yard in the morning. I weeded my big flower bed. I want to plant flowers, but in Idaho planting flowers in May is dangerous--it could be a blizzard tomorrow!! I watched my grandchildren for a couple of hours while Ryan and Ashley went to their last exercise class. Then I came home and worked on the dress you see in the picture. I spent two hours ironing/steaming it. It was quite the project. Natalie looked beautiful. I laughed because when she picked out the dress she said she wanted a "Cindrella dress" for Commencement. When I was ironing the dress, I noticed the tag said it was made by Cinderella Dress Company!! Also, Neil and I watched the Darlington Nascar Sprint Cup Race Saturday night. One of the drivers I'm cheering on this year--Mark Martin #5--won. Way cool!!! I bought his shirt at Vegas this year. We were both 50 then (I"m now 51!), and he came out of semi-retirement at the invitation of Rick Hendrick. I think it is neat for people who have been around for five decades to pursue dreams. Neil was way romantic for Mother's Day--roses, chocolate, a love maze, card, and letter. He gets five stars. My kids gave me cards that were sweet. I had my mom over for dinner and got her a neat card and this big green snail with a flower for her rock garden. She saw the round green object and said at first she thought I was giving her an army helmet for protection because she is always hitting her head--pretty funny! My little grandkids gave me a bright yellow flower and a card with cute coloring. Ryan fixed some of his good smoked pork roast, which is delicious--all in all a very happy day. I taught RS today. There was really a nice spirit there. The last two days the weather was perfect--warm and no Idaho wind; baby ducks and goslings are out by the river following their moms--way cute!!!