Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's a son!

November 16, 2011 was an exciting day for our family.  Kevin and I were making preparations for our Globe Get-Away.  My parents had driven from Idaho to stay with the kids.  I was at school making final preparations for my substitute the next day.  It was a normal school day.  Until the text came. 

It was from Aaron.  My heart stopped. 
We knew hoped this day was coming.  We prayed this day would come.  And there it was on my phone;

"Hi Julie, its Aaron. Could I by chance get Kevin's number?"

I freaked.  I stopped breathing.  And then I think I screamed quietly.  Luckily the kids were out to recess. I sent the number (hands shaking now) and started gushing about how happy I was for them and how excited we were.  Unluckily, the next text came asking for secrecy:

"Thanks, and don't tell Kelsey."  (more gushing from me about how excited we were).

So, if you got this message from your daughter's suitor, you would assume he was about to ask THE father  THE question.  Right?  I texted Kevin to let him know Aaron was about to call.  Then I waited.  And waited. And waited.  Finally, after 35 minutes I texted Kevin back. 

"Well. . . .. ..? What did Aaron say?"

"Oh he just wanted the name of that restaruant we went to when they were here."

Did you know that there are 285 shades of red visible to the naked eye?  I believe my face turned every one of them.
A painful few minutes passed and then Kevin texted me again:
"Just kidding.  He asked to marry Kelsey."
It's a good thing I was at work.  I might have really slugged him. 
Later that night we got a call from Kelsey saying that Aaron had officially asked her to marry him.  We switched to Skype so we could see the beautiful ring he had picked out. 

Aren't they the cutest couple?  Later I told Aaron about my near-death experience.  He thought it was hillarious since he knows I am usually the joker.  Kevin should know better though; not to play jokes on the joker.  April Fool's day is coming. . .

Time to Escape

Last year I had the opportunity to host a student teacher in my special education classroom for a semester.  It was a great experience for both of us; we both learned and grew in our teaching profession.  For me it was an opportunity to look deeper inside and bring out my love of teaching special needs students.  It came at a time for me that I felt a little burned out, a little discouraged that try as hard as we may, things don't always happen as we would like, but that at the end of the day, if I have touched someone's heart or helped someone learn a new task or if I have handled a situation without showing my frustration, then it has been a worthwhile day.  Having a student teacher really pulled me out of a rut and I am grateful for her.

I must have helped her in some way, because she felt terribly grateful for my mentoring.  After her graduation she generously gave me a gift certificate to a bed and breakfast in Globe, about 90 minutes from here.  After realizing that it had been nearly 4 years since Kevin and I had gotten away together, we happily made plans, left the kids with grandparents, and headed to the great land of Globe. 

Not much in Globe.  It's mostly a mining town, but we did enjoy a nice dinner at an Italian restaruant, a nice room at the Inn, a hearty, homemade breakfast, and a beautiful sunrise.  I particularly enjoyed Kevin's sunrise serenade.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Sweet Surprise

Kelsey is loving BYU-Idaho! Her semesters go from January to July every year and she has proudly finished her first year.  One day after the end of the semester she called me and mentioned she was thinking of driving home for a few weeks.  I told her that sounded great and to let me know what she had decided.  A few hours later when I got home from work, Kevin asked if I had heard from Kelsey since she had left Idaho--a few hours ago!  She obviously had made up her mind!  She said she wanted to surprise her siblings, so that was hard to keep a secret.  It was fun for them to find her pulling in the driveway. 

About a week later I got a call from her boyfriend, Aaron, who was in Provo at the time.  He said he wanted to come surprise her.  Only catch--he was already here in town!  Surprise! on us!  Now we had to do a quick clean up without Kelsey finding out why!  Lucky for us, Kelsey is always in the mood for a clean house, so she pitched right in with us.  I then sent her out on some "errands" while Aaron drove over and hid in the house.  Of course she was stunned to find him when he popped out from behind the entertainment center and presented her with a dozen roses.

We enjoyed getting to know Aaron for a few weeks before heading back to BYU-Idaho with Kelsey in August. Kelsey was able to stay here for a month and I will always treasure the time we spent together this summer. 
The kids put together one more surprise, this time for me.  I came home from school one day to find Kelsey and the kids sneaking around. . .cleaning!  They were all excited but didn't want me to see them cleaning the bathrooms.  They then snuck off to a store and again made me stay out of their way. I soon heard a hammer banging on my bathroom wall.  When they were finished, they showed me 2 sparkling clean bathrooms with new decorations, a bath mat, a toothbrush holder and hand towels, purchased with their own money. 
I really do have the best kids ever!! 

Eight is Great!

Okay, I am back tracking a little.  Jayden celebrated his 8th birthday this year and chose to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in June 2011.  We were fortunate to have Kelsey fly from Idaho to be with us and so many of the Hancocks were able to come.  It was a beautiful service and a happy day all around.  Jayden commented that he too felt happy all day, especially at the baptism.  Hard to believe all my kids are baptized now and growing up way too fast!

School Begins

August always comes too quickly and so does the begining of school.  For teachers, the first day of school starts even sooner, this year August 4 was our return to the school date and the students returned bright-eyed and ever bushy-tailed on Aug 8.  I am starting the year out with 6 students and so far, we have kept just 6.  The kids are just as sweet as always and it is fun to have the same students year after year.  Its fun to be in my 3rd year now and to look back at my first year and realize the growth I have seen in myself.

My children are in the full swing of things in school and its hard to believe the first quarter is already done.  The high schoolers are busy with classes, including "A" Hour, which starts at 6:20.  We do have release time for Seminary, but most kids have to take "A" Hour to make up for the credits.  Breanna and Jayden are busy as well and they feel like they have "A" Hour since they have to go to school early with me by 7:20.  Its a long day for us all, but we are happy and keeping busy.
Here is Jayden at 6 pm  on the first day of school.  He was talking, talking, talking, . . then silent. . this is what we found next.  And slept soundly for the next 12 hours.  I felt the same way, but was not as lucky to get there so soon!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Family Picture Time

With Kelsey leaving for college and perfect weather outside, (not to mention the 6 year old family portrait hanging in our family room and the kids nagging to get a new one done) we decided to seize the moment and get a new family picture done.  We grabbed one of Kelsey's friends and asked her to do the picture taking.  I'd say they turned out pretty nice.  Hopefully it will not be another 6 years before we get another one done. :)

Disneyland 2010

 Screaming on the California Screamer.  Jayden is right next to me but only the tip of his head shows.  He was most excited to be tall enough to ride this with us.  We went on it several times. 
 Everyone wants to ride with Dad.  He goes FAST! (notice I am not riding with him)
 Carissa and Aubrey relax after Calfornia Screamer.  They are relieved we are NOT going on Tower of Terror. (next time, girls!)
 Breanna found a $20 bill! She tried to fine an owner but after no luck, bought a treat for us all.  She is one lucky girl--she has a knack for finding money on the ground.  Later that week she found $100 bill at a theater (found the owner--her relieved dad!)
Aubrey and Kelsey rest while wondering if they should have waited to eat their churros until after Space Mountain while Jayden maps out our next ride. 
Earlier in the year we signed up with a program called "Give a Day, Get a Day".  The idea was to do service in our community and Disneyland would give back to families by giving a 1 day 1 park ticket.  We were most excited because we were all at an age where we could participate and really enjoy the rides.  Our service project was to collect school supplies and make boxes to give to teachers across Arizona.  We had fun rounding up the supplies and we were excited to get our trip planned.  We were also glad that Kelsey got to go with us since she would soon be leaving for BYU-Idaho.  We spent one day at Disneyland and another day at California Adventure park.  The crowds were not too bad and the weather was perfect.