Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our Wish To You

We wish you all a happy and blessed 2009! We feel lucky to know you all and look forward to more fun in the year to come......

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All......

For those of you who did not have a chance to visit our home this season, because, aside from our jobs, we are pretty much hermits-here is your invitation into our home and a Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Polar Express

My school does a great job when it comes to staff parties and celebrations. This year for Christmas they invited staff and family to an evening on the Polar Express. It departed from the IMAX theatres last night after our tickets were punched by the conductor and the kids loaded up on candy, popcorn and of course, hot chocolate. We all settled in our pjs for the long ride-which was fantastic, by the way, thanks to our funky fresh 3D glasses.

Afterward, Santa met us in the lobby for a little visit and gave each of the children their own sleigh bell so that they would always "believe". Christmas is always more fun with children!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rebels without a pause.....

So the whole gall durned group of us got gussied up and went into town and tan my hide if we didn't make some waves while in the big city last night.......

We were in Ross and my husband unwittingly decided to take Jorja off of my hands so I could look around- Happy Christmas to me- and was gone but five minutes when I heard a loud clamor from the front of the store. It seems as if someone was trying to make away with some christmas cheer for free, but no, it was my daughter who simply couldn't resist those neat looking security tags- no clothes or toys attached, mind you, just the tags. Note to self: no more play dates with Winona Ryder......

Apparently, they make ho-ho handcuffs for the holidays......

At Costco, after tramping through the vast wonderland of consumer goods, I very quickly realized I needed to make a stop in the restroom. After making the 15 min. trip that is the ETA
for a trip to the bathroom in that store, I found the women's restroom blocked with a cleaning sign. Not to be deterred-you don't mess around with me when I need to go-I took a quick glance in the men's room to see if there were inhabitants. Coast was clear, so I slipped in there and after three layers of toilet paper on the seat (why can't males aim?!?!?) I made it just in time. As I washed my hands, I didn't stop to think of the ramifications if I had not been alone when coming out of the stall, but as I came whistling out of the men's room I was met with looks of shock and horror from women standing cross legged in front of the out of order sign. All I could think of to do was shrug and say, "When you gotta go, you gotta go- besides, if you seen one, you seen'em all!"


Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday themed seen-and-heard at the Fuller household

"Tis the season" for Christmas carols and there are many versions that abound at our house -mostly the machinations of Jorj. Lately she has been listenening to her sister Afton practicing for the Christmas Concert and has come up with her own versions........

"Now bring us our Piggy pudding, now bring us our Piggy pudding!" while her sister sits, head-in-hands exasperated after failing to alter Jorj's mind.

And did you know that Rudolph, according to reports, had it even worse than we thought because... " all of the other reindeer, used to have to call him names".....and evidently the reindeer hazing was being headed up by the big guy because he followed up with "Rudolph with your nose too bright, DON'T you guide my sleigh tonight!" Of course, after that we can only assume, that then all the reindeer snubbed him as he shouted out with screams..........

This has been going on for the last couple of weeks. I thought I had heard it all, but apparently not, as I heard this morning...."Crashing through the snow, on a ragged slab of clay".....which brings to mind a group of wild-eyed, frantic ceramic artists aka potters, escaping what I can only guess is an evil transformer kiln or a set of holiday mugs gone horribly, horribly wrong......


Sunday, November 30, 2008

How does she do that?

I just had to post this.....this is how we found Jorj last night. We usually give our girls10 minutes or so of reading before lights out. I guess she wasn't going down without a fight! This is one she can add to her resume in the future.....sleeping book ends.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Twilight........ Not At Twilight

Rather at midnight! Yes, I know- a rather risky move for a middle-aged teaching mom. However, I was extended an invitation by my little sister to join the cool kids for a night and I couldn't resist. Bless their hearts, she and my sis-in-law Jess went early and saved seats. I kidnapped my friend Shannon and giddy as college co-eds, we drove into the night to meet up with hundreds of other Twilight fans.

I can say that it was well worth the trip and lack of sleep AND consternation of my 14 yr-old daughter who couldn't BELIEVE that I went to the opening at midnight and still taught school the next day (it was a half-day-phew!). It was so good, that my sister Jamie and I didn't even want to go to the bathroom for fear of missing anything. The movie was 2 hours long, but I would have stayed another hour.

Thanks to Stephanie Meyer for coming up with Twilight and to my little sis Jamie, who coerced me along for the fun!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Seen and heard at the Fuller household......

I was sitting on my computer-Jorja was on an adjacent couch singing "I'm trying to be like Jesus.." I turned around and said, endearingly, "Are you trying to be like Jesus, Little Jorj?" She replied, "No, not really. I'm just singing the song....besides, he has a beard."

"Is that all you got?" Jorj -when I failed to produce Halloweeny pants instead of jeans to go with her Halloweeny shirt

"Now all I need is a pair of spurs!" Afton, after her nervous mother came around the corner and was relieved to find she was attempting a cowgirl ensemble for our day on the town

"If you be bad you'll go to Hell with Grandpa Bond!" Jorj and I truly have no idea where that one came from..

Singing "Nasty girls- dance, dance, dance" immediately followed by "when Jesus Christ was baptized, down in the River Jordan" Jorj AND Afton

I'm sure that the musical selections were somewhat influenced by me and that I am probably going to Hell for my horrible influence- but on the bright side, at least I'll have someone to talk to when I get there...........just kidding-don't strike me down please!

The ups and downs of the ride.....

SO, the other day we were celebrating a little girl's birthday in my classroom. After singing Happy Birthday to her "opera style "(they get to choose----that's my personal favorite) she mentioned that she had chocolate to share. Woohoo! At that point my co-teacher said that Sanaya's mom and dad ran a chocolate shop. HMMMM....SO I asked her what type of chocolate that they had and she pulled out of her bag...........LEONIDAS tablets!!!!!!!!!! At this point I was down on my knees, okay not really, but I was doing a little dance and gushing to Sanaya how Leonidas is the best chocolate in the world and that I had been to her parents' shop MULTIPLE times (there's only one in the valley). This poor little girl just stood there with her chocolate-deadpan-and watched me do my silent cheer. Yes, Sanaya, I am a nutter......and a HUGE fan of Leonidas chocolate. Don't blame me, I'm merely a victim of having lived in Belgium and tasting the TRUE chocolate.....Now, no other will do!!!!!! I then proceeded to traverse the room and tried to persuade the other students to give me theirs or trade me for a 3-D sticker or good grades or whatever. Just kidding about the grades........hee, heee!

If you think I'm bad, I was so excited about it that I called my brother Chris (who had been on Leonidas store opening countdown for me for the past year, since he lives near there). He immediately responded with "The church is true!!" and "Man, their Gelatto is the bomb- I need to go down there and work my connections...!" See- I'm not the only one........It's amazing how a little thing can make your day!

On the downward turn, I had a student leave because his parents felt that I was racist and because they did not like the demographics in our classroom. Aside from the slur, that idea is laughable because out of 34 students, I think 8-10 of them are Caucasian. The whole scenario played out when we had a Social Studies lesson about different cultures. We then discussed heritage and ancestry. I explained that some of my ancestors came over on the Mayflower-obviously a very long time ago- and that even though I, my parents and grandparents had been born in America, my people originally came from England and Ireland. I then proceeded to ask them if they knew what their heritage was or where their ancestors came from. I put their names on the board and wrote down the different countries.
A little boy named Carlos said he was born in Chandler and didn't know where he was from- but then mentioned his great-great grandpa came from Mexico- so I put Mexico on the board under his name. I immediately got a message from his parents the next day- angry that Carlos had told me he was born in Chandler and that I told him he was from Mexico. I tried to explain that we were celebrating heritage and culture and that it was about our ancestry, but they would have none of it and pulled their child. I felt bad for days that what started out as a celebration of differences, turned into a lambasting for differences. I don't consider myself a racist. I love to try and figure out people's heritage from their last names-but I don't do it to say "Hey you, make me a burrito or do my nails, would ya?" It's more because I find different people and cultures intriguing and love learning about new foods, traditions and places. I think the world is an amazing place and would not be half as interesting if we were all the same. Vive la difference!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Partner- Along for the Ride......

Not to leave anyone out, I have to introduce my partner in crime- along for the ride. I have known Doug for over 20 years, even though we have only been married for 8. It all started when I ditched class to come home for lunch with his brother Scott (who is still one of the coolest people I know). We were in the kitchen and Doug came around the corner and Aaaaaaah........(background chorus) He was soooo cute. Even though he was a year younger and two years below me in school, I couldn't resist. We went to Sadie's and out a few times, then I was off to college.

(you can't see it, but he's sporting a gold chain in this photo- what a pimp! I still harass him to this day- but back then, I appreciated the effort on my behalf....)

Fast forward 10 years or so with two missions, a marriage, engagement, a child and several moves later and we both found ourselves back in Arizona. With two scheming mothers, we didn't have a chance. I truly believe that we have choices in our life, but that there is always a divine hand involved to "nudge" us when we are completely out in left field somewhere.

In getting to re-know Doug, one of the things I liked best about him was his sense of humor. It has become a saving grace in our marriage. After particularly rough times, when everything is in pieces at our feet, he can still say something absurd and crack me up. Of late, he can throw me into an asthmatic fit, because I am laughing so hard. He has a collection of accents that he can invoke at anytime. Because of this, Afton has perfected her British Cockney at the ripe old age of 5.

Doug has a heart of gold. He is always first to help someone in need and is constantly bringing home some cool new trinket for our girls. He finds little ways to show me he loves me -glasses of water at night, bringing home my favorite magazine or letting me watch my "geriatric" shows (as he calls them) instead of a game that he is interested in.

Even though he is hardwired for structure and order, he is open to new adventures and has been VERY flexible with this girl who flys by the seat of her pants. He is a great father and his children's favorite playmate. Despite his aversion to the limelight, he is well known and loved by all of his co-workers and all people who are lucky to get the chance to weasel inside his circle of influence.

Doug has the heart of a poet and the soul of Martha Stewart- ok - maybe not Martha Stewart- but he has a great sense of design and organization. He could spend hours in The Container Store or Organized Living. He is by far a better decorator and housekeeper than I am. He forces me to work on projects that I grumble through ( like cleaning out my junk from the garage), but that I am sooo glad we did after it is done and he is right beside me all the way. In fact, that is one of the things I love the most about him- he stands beside me, in good or bad- usually cracking some joke- and together we experience life.
In retrospect, I would like to thank him for accepting that invitation from the older woman and for choosing to attend that dance and every other dance that we've made through life- and for making it one fun ride. I LOVE YOU

Thursday, November 6, 2008

4th picture tag post

I'm glad that I was tagged by my sister, because this is a fun picture. We're in Pinedale at the Fuller reunion. The little kids wanted to have a parade, so we scooped up a couple of handfuls of candy and the boys improvised the "floats". That's my brother-in-law David (always up for good fun) and my husband (the trendsetter), wending their way along the parade path. Pretty soon, the two girls in the back-Big Booty and Triple P- will run up and throw candy at the kids seated and voila! instant homegrown parade....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First in Line

My firstborn turned 7 the other day. She was certainly the adventurous one in choosing to come first to me and her dad. Adventurous and long suffering..... Afton is definitely an old soul. She's a 7 yr old , in the body of a 5 yr old, with the personality of a 25 yr old. This is a child that was reading at 2 and attempting mommy's crossword puzzles even before that.

She's sharp as a whip and a straight A student- although her dad likes to tease her that her O's (for outstanding) are really zeros and that technically, her 1 S+ is a B+. She is a perfectionist, with a knack for words. She never studies her 30 weekly spelling words, she just takes the test and gets 100%.

Afton is my right hand and though I am sometimes hard on her, I am extremely proud of her and reliant on her. I could not function a lot of days without her help. It all started when a sleep deprived mother of a newborn asked for the baby wipes in the other room. Afton, 2 at the time, didn't need to be asked twice. She disappeared and then suddenly reaappeared with the wipes and My Girl Friday was born.

She loves fruits, vegetables and exercise. I have many times been admonished by her that I should get up off the couch and do jumping jacks or situps with her. She is quite amazed to find out that I used to be as thin as her. She loves salad and is our healthy little anomaly. Unfortunately, her Coke drinking mother has passed down a taste for it to her. When she was really tiny, she would show her satisfaction after a drink of Coke with a resounding, "AHH!" which cracked us up and anyone else who happened to be nearby.

Afton is a great big sister and is learning to deal with being a little sister when her 14 yr old half sister is around. This does not always bode well with the Little Woman In Charge, but she adores her sister Aubreigh and although she fights with her, loves to be around her.

She is a beautiful little girl, both inside and out. Even when I am short with her or frazzled, she is the first to be compassionate and help when she can. I sometimes have to remind myself that she is only seven and hope that she remains so for a little while. Other times I wonder just who is the mother around here........

Someone once said that having a child is like having your heart walk around outside of your body. This is true with Afton. She is my lifeblood and my legacy. In her quiet self-confidence and kindness she truly makes me proud. I would gladly put up with more dramatic hair days and many conversations where someone knows it all, just for more days with her.

Friday, October 24, 2008

One Word Tag
1. Where is your cell phone? ailleurs (French for somewhere.. I don't know)
2. Where is your significant other?couch
3. Your hair color? inexplicable
4. Your mother? dynamic
5. Your father? intense
6. Your favorite thing? massage
7. Your dream last night? schoolgonewild - oh wait-not a dream...
8. Your dream/goal? travel
9. The room you're in? comfortable
10. Your hobby? WHAT?
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? together
13. Where were you last night? bed
14. What you're not? supermodel
15. One of your wish-list items? boobs
16. Where you grew up? everywhere
17. The last thing you ate? chocolatepumpkinbread
18. What are you wearing? sweatshirt
19. Your TV? sometimes
20. Your pet? Marley
21. Your computer? workhorse
22. Your mood? relaxed
23. Missing someone? secret
24. Your car? Wondermobile
25. Something you're not wearing? leather
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your summer? short
28. Love someone? always
29. Your favorite color? amber
30. When is the last time you laughed? minutes ago
31. Last time you cried? today

I tag Jamie, Chris and Cambree........

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Parody of a Pressure Cooker

So my daughter was home sick and I had a semi-free day to make a nice home cooked meal for a change. I had a veggie soup mix from my food co-op that I was dying to try. I ran to the store and picked up some stew meat, but did not pick up rolls. I figured I could make them myself- I had a great Lion house mix that was foolproof and I had time, right? (By the way, they will never be as good as my mother -in-law Pam's. Hers are magical. She had a pan of'em sitting on her counter yesterday when we were visiting, and I was constantly fighting the urge to dump the whole pan in my purse and run for the hills!) But, I digress......

I figured I would start the rolls, dance around singing and little birds would come and help me clean my kitchen, while harmonizing with me. However, my husband came home earlier than I expected, so I put the soup in the pressure cooker to cook it a little faster. This is my mother's pressure cooker and though I don't cook a lot with the pressure lid, I figure her wisdom would rub off on me. Aren't these things inherent?
The soup was really boiling and the steam was screaming out of the pressure gauge. I wondered if I should turn it down or check the soup to see if it was getting done. The lid has some warnings on it, like don't fill the pot too full, let steam out before opening, etc. I had this all under control, turned the handle, let steam out and figured I was good - so I opened the lid and watched in horror as the vegetable beef soup volcano erupted all over my kitchen! I've never seen anything like it before in my life....
Luckily my husband, who already thinks I am a giant dumkoff in the kitchen, was upstairs. I let out a bunch of whisper screams ( you know you've done it before, and if you haven't---- -la-de-friggin' dah..) then started scraping puddles of soup off the stove and countertop with the pan scraper back into the pot (extra flavor!)
My phone started ringing and I thought-"can't come to the phone right now- I'm scraping vegetables off of the cabinets! Please leave a message and if I get this mess cleaned up before my husband comes down the stairs, I may be alive to call you back. Besides, magical or not, I'm going to the store to BUY rolls.........

"You will do foolish things, but do it with enthusiasm." Collette

Big Ups for Triple P cont.

As far as stepdaughters go, she'll do. Aubreigh is the moderator to our Fullercoaster. We all adore her. Her sisters idolize her- her dad shares a special bond with her and she's one of my best friends. She's my wing man on many a crazy scheme and no matter if she secretly thinks I'm a superfreak, she's always got my back. I will eventually return the favor and, swallowing my terror, allow her to drive the family vehicle. I am now publicly thanking her for making my life easy as a wicked step-mother. When I made that plunge into instant mom and married her father, I never knew what a blessing she would be.

It's amazing how much of myself I see in her, even though she is genetically not mine. She loves to dance, sing and socialize. She's also got a wacky side and sees nothing wrong with wearing sparkly, shiny pants....

She has a great sense of adventure and will usually, willingly or unwillingly, go along with my schemes or come up with her own. She's the only person I know that will ride on the back of a quad with me on a dangerously crazy slope and not abandon ship when I say "I think I wet my pants.."

She is incredibly even-keeled and accepting. She lives between two families and lifestyles and comes out virtually unscathed and totally herself. We are just grateful that she keeps coming back for more.....

Aubreigh is the reason I ferociously play Guitar Hero into the wee hours of the morning (partly because she cheats and I have to catch up to her high score).

She puts up with her sisters who are 7 and 10 years younger and who, despite the fact that they drive her crazy, think she is a mix of Hannah Montana and Kim Possible all rolled into one.

She can talk her father into almost anything and acts as an emissary for me on a regular basis. He adores her and although he has a hard time with the fact that she is growing up, is fiercely proud of her. Both he and I would take her in a second if she decided to stay with us year round

She is beautiful inside and out. Her cracker stepmother is jealous of her insta-tan in the Summer and her long, thick, beautiful hair. By the way, a public thank you for putting up with all of the home haircuts and me attempting to wax your eyebrows at the tender age of 10.

Her sense of humor is brilliant and she cracks me up on a regular basis- even when I don't want to laugh. She finds humor in everyday things and puts up with our wackiness in good humor. While camping this summer, she and I ran into the metropolis of Heber-Overgaard to get s'more makings and ice. We found a little country store and barely, got the things we needed. The poor clerk was obviously foreign and when I asked for ice, he said, "IZEOWSAI". At a loss I looked at Aubreigh to translate. She stood there with her mouth twitching, but saying nothing. The clerk said, a few more times, "IZEOWSAI, IZEOWSAI!" I said, "Oh, no ice?!" To which he raised his voice and pointed "IZEOWSAI!!!!!!" I said, "whatever", and paid for my groceries. Aubreigh immediately grabbed my arm with me muttering sarcastically, "I hope he'll be okay...." and yanked me out of the market, over to the now visible ice machine and yelled " IZEOWSAI!!!!" That became our tag phrase for the rest of the trip-something to say when nothing else could be siad or even when prompted for a reponse to a question. Later that night, the manager of the campground was driving around at 11 or so, turning off generators and checking the camp. At one point he yelled something into the night and Aubreigh and I, still being awake, turned to Doug in our camper and asked, "What did he just yell?" Thinking that there was potentially a problem.. Doug grinned and said, "I don't know, but I think it was ................................IZEOWSAI!

Aubreigh is a keeper and a blessing in our lives. We love to see her come and cry when we see her go. Even though we aren't there to see all of her triumphs and see her through her valleys, we are very proud of her and are always here in case she decides to call or drop in for a visit. SO BIG UPS, GIRL- WE LOVE YOU!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Big Ups for Triple P

My 14 yr old daughter (or step-daughter, technically, since she did not come out of me)but daughter all the same-earned the nickname Triple P this summer. It all started with the hat - or I think it was a hat. She showed up at the airport for our summer of fun in a boheme outfit, with this "thing" on her head. I immediately went into flashback-to the year 1980-and saw as clear as day "The Purple Pieman"! The resemblance was overwhelming, but I'll let you be the judge.....





So she became our Purple Pie Princess with an unnatural affinity to blackbirds or crows or whatever they are-don't ask me-I just made the connection. Purple Pie Princess was shortened to Triple P and a moniker was born!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You have to be THIS big to ride......

*******Caution******** This post may contain content not suitable for younger riders, or those with heart problems, etc. It's a little be forewarned! However, the source is a very well known short person around here and since this is kind of like our family journal, I couldn't leave this out. Like Pioneer Woman says, "Just keepin' it real!"

The other day Doug was a little grumpy and I was trying to budge him from this state by asking him 20 questions about what he would like to go and do, see, etc. We had others in the room and after too much of a barrage of "concerned love", I guess, Doug said, "Tell Mom to stop harassin' me!" Jorj came around the corner just at that minute and said, "Yeah, Mom! Stop puttin' your ass on Dad!" We were shocked for a moment, then puzzled, then realized, as I looked down, that I was indeed, sitting on Doug's lap. Cut to the laugh track.

Life is never boring with Jorja. She pretty much calls it as she sees it. As for the language, I'm not naming any names, but I can say with a clear conscience that somebody around here needs to wash his mouth out........maybe that's why we stock so much Listerine. To be fair, though, this comes from a girl who has almost convinced her sitter (and my friend) that I drink coffee and have a special mug that I drink it out of????????wha?????(I have almost been driven to the hard stuff from time to time, but coffee has never called my name) and who also has been attacked mutliple times by tigers and alligators. Ask her next time where that scratch or cut came from! I believe there have been recent monkey sightings.....When you meet Jorj on the street, ask her where she's from or where she was born------New York, of course-------same answer every time, never been there in her life, but hey! She also informed a kindly old grandpa, not one of ours, mind you, that her mom likes to sniff her dad's armpits! I was close by for that one and promptly refuted this, to which she practically winked and put her hand by her mouth and conspiratorily whispered to the man as I was pulling her away, "she does, I've seen it!"
I could say that I don't know where she gets this penchant for imagination and joie de vivre, but I would not be completely truthful. Just ask my brothers and sisters. However, Jorja likes to kick it up a notch...........BAM!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Into The Great Wide Open

Ahh, Fall Break. Since Doug had to work and I needed to set up my classroom for my new class AGAIN (don't ask) we didn't take any long trips. However, this did not impede our desire to adventure, so we decided to go camping close to home.

Doug made a roaring fire......

We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for s'mores...

And sang camp songs!

The weather was beautiful and there were so many stars.

We bunked down in our trusty tent to watch a video and eventually get some sleep

The facilities were very nice- comfortable beds, showers, electrical outlets-you name it, they had it.

We had such a great time, I would definitely recommend it to everyone.

In fact, the next morning, when I found him, Doug said it was some of the best sleep he'd ever had!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Start The Ride!

Technically, this all started back in 2000, new millenium, new century, new start- but they say today is the first day of the rest of your life, right? Since it is Fall Break and I am just languishing here in my bed with a box of Leonidas chocolates (Bond boot camp members did NOT read that) and nothing else to, what kids!?.........oh you mean that crash and scream downstairs? excuse me.........what are you two ?............... Jorja, where did you put the playdough? (Marley, our min-pin, making tiny hacking sounds) Afton, I appreciate the effort at breakfast (truly I do), but Alton Brown(her hero) had many years of culinary school before attempting Dutch babies.......yes, get the handi vac, what's one more plate? By the way, you wouldn't happen to know where all of our forks have gone to?............

Simple truth for the day: Mothers and teachers are paid farrrrrrrrr too little.