Sunday, November 23, 2008


6 TV Shows I Like to Watch
1.  Utah Jazz
2.  American Idol
3.  Today Show
4.  Dancing with the Stars
5.  Movies on Hallmark Channel
6.  Sorry . . . Out of answers . . .

6 Things That Happened Yesterday
1.  Finally started Christmas shopping--real deals already!
2.  Ran into Jason & Mary Okerlund at Costco--I'll forgive the "red" attire
3.  Watched BYU vs. Utah football game -- Oh, well; it's just a game
4.  Visited with Ryan, Bethany, Audrey, Devin, and Megan
5.  Went to BYU basketball game with Jorgensens--Thanks for those front row tickets
6.  Slept in until 7:00 a.m.--A rare treat at our house

6 Favorite Places to Eat
1.  Red Lobster
2.  Cafe Rio
3.  Red Mango
4.  El Mexicano (still)
5.  Olive Garden
6.  Subway

6 Things I'm Looking Forward to
1.  Winter Snow Storm (just one time)
2.  June - July - August
3.  Summer Concerts at the Orem Outdoor Theater - MUST SEE!
4.  Deron Williams - Carlos Boozer - Kyle Korver to return to the court
5.  Reading a non-school book during Christmas break
6.  A Completed Redwood Road Construction Project

6 Things That I Wish for
1.  Visits from Halle, Audrey, and Chase
2.  A classroom with windows
3.  Magical paper-grader
4.  North Sevier victories
5.  To lose 10 pounds--at least
6.  A 401-K that doesn't keep falling

I tag anyone over 40--come on ladies; you can do this!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's a Boy!

Like all moms-to-be, Ashley wondered if her baby would ever arrive. The only day she wanted to avoid--Halloween!  Luckily, the phone didn't ring that day.  But we did get the good news on Election Day, November 4.  The little guy's name . . . Chase Samuel Taylor.   Chase is our third grandchild, and like Halle and Audrey, we know he will fill our life with all that is good.  

During the days that Mom, Dad, and baby Chase stayed at the hospital, Craig and I kept Halle busy by shopping at her favorite store Hello Kitty, playing with Cocoa, going to the Jazz game, eating hot dogs (surprisingly, her favorite food), and watching every grandparent's favorite show "Little Einstein."  

Welcome Chase!

The Season for Witches!

On October 31, two little witches named Halle and Audrey flew in on their brooms to surprise their grandparents with smiles, giggles, and a few not-so-scary faces! 

Devin even made a quick stop at home that afternoon to see his nieces before  racing back to BYU for a Stake Halloween party. 

While I've never been an avid Halloween fan (probably from my days of teaching school and trying to maintain some semblance of order in the classroom), Halle and Audrey certainly were the highlights of a long night of knocks at the door from visiting spooks and goblins.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Excuses . . . It's Now My Turn . . .

How pathetic!  Two months have gone by since I last updated my blog page!  I feel like one of my unprepared students who's begging for forgiveness with another sad-but-true story of a missing assignment!  So what's my excuse?  You be the teacher.  See if any of these actual excuses "pass the test."

1. Bingham High School (put your hand on your heart) is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. I took my camera to school the first week for some random pictures for one of my bulletin boards, and, yes, the camera is still at school!  Thus, no pictures for this blog.

2.  We're testing our health insurance with multiple trips to the E.R., hospital, and doctor offices this month.  Craig has had gall bladder surgery and an emergency root canal.  I had a weird allergic reaction to an antibiotic which turned into something called Steven-Johnson Syndrome.  I felt like I belonged in some medical school textbook or the University of Utah burn unit.   It was probably the sickest I've ever been in my life, but we're both back to the living now, thank goodness. 
3. I still haven't learned that giving writing assignments means grading writing assignments!  Every night I drag the bag of essays home, only to pack it back the next morning still not finished.  Oh, I miss North Sevier's small classes, not to mention "much better writers!"

4.  Primary - Primary - Primary.  Where are all these kids coming from?  Every week we have another meeting to divide another Sunbeam or Nursery class.  I'm spending all my waking hours memorizing names!

5.   Life is not too eventful at the Burr house. It's hard to get excited about writing stories about the dog. How can I compete with all your cute stories of your young families?  

Yes, these excuses are pathetic--but true.  I'll be better next month. 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Workin' & Playin' in New Orleans

Since Craig began working for the Department of Corrections over 18 years ago, I never fully understood what went on behind those "closed doors."  People continually ask me, "What does he do?"  My answers are always descriptions that I'd mark "weak in content" if someone responded that way in an essay.  But I learned a few things about prisons over the years--just "expect the unexpected."  

I've learned that prisons don't have conferences in normal vacation spots like Anaheim, New York City, Orlando, or Honolulu.  Rather, Craig has been sent to places that I never would have dreamed of visiting, but out of curiosity, I seem to pack my bags each year and tag along.   The past few years we've ended up in Cincinnati, Ohio; Madison, Wisconsin; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and this year (of all places) New Orleans.  (Next year . . . Jackson, Mississippi!)

Anyway, we just returned from a week in New Orleans.  (I actually had spent a few days there about ten years ago where Jill Porter, Lexa Larsen, and Nancy Dexter dragged me out of the hotel room long enough to check out the French Quarters, eat shrimp, and hear wanna-be Jazz musicians on every corner of the city.  In my naive world at that time I hadn't even heard of "Hooters.")  So I was certain that with Craig at workshops all day I would be spending every minute inside my hotel room with bolted doors to keep out the men with python snakes, the prostitutes, and the legally drunk tourists!  

But something happened since my previous visits:  Hurricane Katrina.  The New Orleans we just visited seemed like a ghost town where abandoned businesses and homes seemed to be the norm.  I called it a "beautifully sad place."  Some spots of New Orleans area were just what I had once pictured in my mind with "Gone with the Wind-style" plantation homes, endless miles of untouched bayou, and the amazing Mississippi River. 

But most of the city and the surrounding suburbs revealed the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina.  Businesses, hospitals, car dealerships, and amusement parks like Six Flags were left as though they had been built only to be abandoned.  More homes seemed vacated rather than occupied, and even golf courses were nothing more than three-year old fields of grass just waiting to be cut. In my mind I kept thinking, "This is three years after the hurricane!"

I headed to New Orleans to get a "last-minute-of-summertime-before-school-starts vacation," and I ended up experiencing a real-live history lesson of an almost-forgotten place.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Front-Yard Makeover . . .

We just finished landscaping our front yard this week--almost 360 days since we were first handed the keys to our "home away from home."  It seems that we have been digging non-stop since the first day we moved in. Luckily, Craig isn't afraid of shovels and picks and wheelbarrows and rocks and left-over cement, and more rocks, and clay soil, and snow, and more snow . . . .  

I had always thought that Utah County seemed like a modern-day Garden of Eden with dirt that would produce award-winning vegetables for the Utah State Fair. Such a fallacy!

So for all of you who are complaining about the heat and just waiting to lock up the lawn mower for another season, I hope these pictures will remind you that July's sizzling temperatures aren't all that bad!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All Aboard the Heber Creeper

Who: Ashley  Halle  Bethany  Audrey  Jackie
What: 2nd Annual Heber Creeper Getaway
When: July 16, 2008
Where: Heber City 
Why: It's tradition!

Today's "just-girls adventure" on the Heber Creeper couldn't have been better--perfect weather (80 degrees), almost-perfect ride (a staged train robbery scared the little girls when the villain shot his gun right next to us), and perfect location (Provo Canyon). We loved kickin' back on the two-hour ride and eating lunch in Heber City. Some of life's greatest moments are not so far from home!