Sister Weekend

My sister Lindsey flew in from California for a weekend stay! We were able to shop, get mani pedis, watch a movie in our home theatre, and hit up Happy Hour at my favorite place - The Herb Box! We started off the weekend with a hike to Pinnacle Peak which is right by our house (and yet it was my first time ever hiking it!).

We tried to locate our house on the hike but couldn't quite spot it.

Always thinking of teaching, I had to snap a photo with the Saguaro cactus sign : )

It shows that the saguaros don't start growing their arms until they are 60-100 years old! We learn about the desert in the springtime so I'll definitely keep these photos for then : )

We also had our second meal at our dining table!

And Max fascinated my sister with the new iPhone 4s.

There's a "personal assistant application" called Siri that uses your voice to search and answer questions like "Why is the sky blue?"

She'll also answer when you say to call or text someone, or just when you say "I love you."

Max also let Lindsey take Pepper for a spin : )

We spent our last day having a pool day!

Hurry back soon, sister!

Snow Before Halloween!

Max's sister Meredith texted us this photo of Boston:

Yep, that was after about three hours of snow. Snow before Halloween! my sister-in-law said : )

We felt a little guilty as, while it was snowing in Boston, this is what we were doing in Scottsdale : )

The water is a bit chilly but since it's still in the mid to high 80's (and oh-so sunny) we went for it : )

Room 127's Body Party!

Last week was Fall Conference Week and we ended the week with our Body Systems Party! The Body Unit is strategically placed at the end of October since we technically can't have a Halloween Party ; )

My firsties made skeletons from pasta:

Graphed bone candies:

Played Body Bingo and the game Operation:

Made eyeball headbands (this one was also embellished with the message This is the best day ever.):

Made mummy frames with their cute little photos and Boo! glasses:

And decorated cookies to represent the different parts of our digestive system (the Twizzler is the esophagus and the m&m is the stomach):

My kids pointed out that I was "twinsies" with one of the other first grade teachers : )

I just LOVE being a first grade teacher! : )

Birthday Weekend : )

My birthday fell on a Saturday this year (it's so nice when this happens!). My sweet first grade teammates started me off on Friday morning with Starbucks and birthday goodies - what a treat! They even sang to me at lunch! At the end of the day, my room moms came in with a "Happy Birthday Mrs. Klein" cupcake cake and a card signed by all the kids in my class (they had gone around at lunch one day having them all sign it - sooo thoughtful!). Five moms came in to join the celebration and one snapped this photo of me opening the class gift (a wallet stuffed with gift cards - what a spoiled teacher I am!).

That night Max took me out to my favorite birthday meal - fondue!

He surprised me before dinner with the iPhone 4s! He had been hiding it for a whole week!

We've gone out for fondue on my birthday for the past four years now - here we are ready to cook our main course Bourguignonne style (yes, in hot oil - birthdays are no time to skimp on calories).

And a fondu meal can't be complete without chocolate fondue at the end ; )

On Saturday we went gift certificate shopping and I picked out this big Le Creuset dutch oven! I'm super excited to cook up yummy stews once the weather gets chilly (the 98 degree high on my birthday was so not chilly).

We also headed out for pancakes - these Lemon Ricotta pancakes from Wildflower Bakery are tied for number one on my list with the Red Velvet pancakes from the Herb Box. Both are delish!

Max also surprised me with tickets to see... Taylor Swift! I adore her! I donned cowboy boots for the occasion.

She played for two nights in Phoenix to sold out crowds. Here is our view from our seats before the concert looking away from the stage (that's approximately 14,000 fans!).

And our view of T Swift when she came on ; )

I'd heard from friends who went to see her Fearless tour that the crowd was really into it, and it was totally the same here - everyone was on their feet for the whole 2 1/2 hours she was on. On her last tour she apparently went up into one of the upper sections to sing a song and hugged everyone in the section. For this performance, she made her way to the very back part of the floor and sang about three songs from there (while sitting on a rotating tree that had dropped from the ceiling). Most of the time of course she was on the main stage. The stage setups were great and some incorporated backup dancers doing Cirque du Soleil type acts in the back. This one was beautiful - a bridge dropped from the ceiling and was filled with violinists who played while Taylor was at a piano singing Enchanted.

At one point, Taylor brought out Jim Adkins from Jimmy Eat World to jam! The song brought me back to college when I first started listening to Jimmy Eat World, who is apparently from nearby Mesa!

Taylor ended with Love Story, which came out in 2009 just before Max proposed so the song will always remind me of that : ) The part where she sings about being proposed to gets me every time! For this encore she climbed on a little balcony platform that had been lowered down from the ceiling. Of course Max had already pointed the hanging balcony out to me before the show (along with the suspended tree, the computer controlled lights, and the speakers - gotta love my engineer) but we didn't know that Taylor would be climbing in and traveling through the air all over the stadium for the last song! I loved that she ended in a ball gown with tons of glitter in the air : ) It was an amazing concert!

I have so much to be thankful for on this 29th birthday! : )

Just in time for Halloween...

Did you know that scorpions glow under black light? This was something we were told when we moved here, and my husband decided to try it out for himself last night. He took a desk lamp fitted with a black light out into the backyard (he needed a looong extension cord) and came across this guy in the grass (because this is the desert and of course you'll come up with a scorpion in your backyard if you're really looking - eek!). The photo is completely undoctored - the grass is glowing blue from the black light and the scorpion was fluorescing green! I think it's definitely Halloween appropriate!

As is this close-up! Spooky!


A Tale of Two Weekends: Home Edition

This weekend it was h to the ot (see below for proof). The radio station in the car was actually playing some advertisement that went like this "Just when you thought it was safe to turn off the air conditioner, Mother Nature decided to remind you that we live in the Valley of the Sun."

Apparently I'm in denial because I picked up these boots on Friday afternoon (not something you're going to be donning in 100 degree weather). Perhaps I'll be able to wear them by January (perhaps).

Outdoor work was out of the question so we went for indoor home improvement: installing more baseboards! (We still have a ways to go before they're all installed.) We did do the cutting outside though (don't worry, what you see on the ground is a garden hose and not a huge snake).

And I whipped up this Halloween take on Cake Batter Rice Krispies, delish!

Last weekend actually felt like fall (for the desert anyway) so we did get a huge amount of yard work done (and just in time for the bulk trash pickup! Thank you, Scottsdale!).

While we were working in the backyard, I saw a big scary bug and called Max over.

Yeah, I think I'd be okay if I never saw this guy again. Kudos to the hubby for the great photograph though ; )
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