Saturday, October 20, 2012

Idaho in the Fall

I'm drinking coffee, cozied up with the two little dogs, catching up on all my blog reading (and now, posting). It's cloudy and "chilly" 46 degrees. I'm snuggled under a blanket, with fluffy socks and a thick sweatshirt, and the heater is running.

Rob is playing golf.

I think that is why I love Idaho so much - to me, it is FREEZING, but Rob can still play in a scramble. Soon, he won't be able to play, not because it's too cold, but because the golf courses close. According to him, it's really never too cold to play golf, the dang snow just sometimes gets in the way!

Other than that, our week was pretty quiet. Neither one of us is coaching anything this week, but we did manage to stay at school at various events almost every night this week. Basketball season is just around the corner, but for now, all that is on our schedule for the weekend is cheering BSU and MSU on to victory.

More to come, hopefully more often.

I've tried to take more pictures as our lives fly rapidly by. Here is how we've been spending some of our (seemingly limited) free time:

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins!

More pumpkin patch fun!

We took family pictures - "You're weird, Uncle Jeep!"

Shakespeare Festival: last show of the year.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A (60 Second) Update

School is crazy busy, hectic, and stressful. Our district announced that there is a $4.5 million deficit - we don't have enough books, we can't make very many copies, and we are a little nervous about what that will mean for our students (and salaries) next year!

Still teaching Sophomore English - had a book banned. Not cool.
Coached volleyball with my good friend Leslie this fall. The season is already over (volleyball is by far the best season as far as high school sports go). We weren't good.

Still teaching math: Algebra and Geometry and is the Math Department Head. He is so good at it - but it has been extremely stressful. Lots of "personalities" to deal with/make happy.

More to come when we aren't running around like chickens with our heads cut off! Much love to family everywhere.


Friday, August 24, 2012

So...'s been a while since I posted. I blame teaching summer school and then having to jump right back into the regular school year. In fact, I blamed summer school for a lot of things this summer: mine and Rob's overall energy level, not being able to visit our family in Michigan (hooray for next Friday!), and NOT being ready to embrace the 2012-2013 school year.

But today it all paid off - literally, it (summer school) paid off ALL of our credit card debt with a little fun money to spare! While we still feel like we missed out on a lot this summer in Michigan and we weren't able to travel much of anywhere, we feel accomplished! And the burden of credit card debt is lifted - we are now able to put away savings AND put money into a travel budget so we will (hopefully) be making it back to see the Reader side of the family a few more times a year! Woo-hoo!

I'm very appreciate to have a husband who was willing to work so hard all summer and to give up seeing his family, which is so near and dear to his heart, so we, as a family, could get to a more solid place financially. I am so lucky to have him in my life and we are so lucky to have such a supportive extended family, as we struggled through this rough summer.

So here's to financial freedom (raises proverbial glass to toast) and the ability to get "home" more often in the upcoming months and years!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Night Before Summer School, Part Deux

We have to go back to teaching summer school tomorrow. I hate it. Rob is trying to keep me positive (one of the many reasons that I love him), but I really do hate it this year. Oh, well...

Anyways, I sit here on our last true night of freedom (for the next three and a half weeks - I know, it's not so bad), I've decided to focus on how much fun we had this last week.

We got the week off for the 4th of July and it was fabulously filled to the brim. Not unlike these delicious Dolcini from Olive Garden that we enjoyed on one of our numerous nights out (I hate cooking in the summer - er, make that I hate cooking always.)

The next few posts (all titles that include the words "One Week Break") are how we spent our time.



One Week Break: Golf

I played a round of golf* this week, for the first time this year. Rob played for a round of golf this week, for the zillionth time this year.

The highlight for me - I got two legitimate pars IN A ROW. So, what if I got an 11 and 9 on the next two holes? I got two real, non-mulligan, pars. I'm quite proud of myself.

The highlight for Rob: I got two pars...just kidding. I mean, he was happy for me and all, but the true highlight for him was that he got to do a golf "thing" that he had never done before.

Please see the pictures below:

2nd Shot on Hole 12:
Please notice his socks and shoes on the bank
while he is in the pond.
3rd Shot on Hole 12:
Please notice, he still doesn't have his
socks or shoes back on! 

And while his shot out of the water may not have been quite as good as Hunter Mahan's, I think he did quite fabulous with the whole "no shoe/I'm not going to take a drop" thing.

And the baby ducks on the far side of the pond? They golf "quacked" in approval!

Quack! Quack! 


*Rob bought me some very nice new golf stuff as an early birthday present - more to come in another post soon!

One Week Break: 4th of July

Our 4th of July was quite eventful!

JP and Ash (my brother and sis-in-law) are house-sitting a gorgeous home for the month of July. As one does whenever one is house-sitting, they threw a party. Not anything crazy; just family celebrating America's birthday. The house has an excellent view of the valley and we were all looking forward to watching the different firework shows from the back patio.

We played yard games, ate great kabobs, and really just enjoyed each other's company. Most of my family left before the actual fireworks (we are all getting so old...wait, I'm the oldest...), so Ash, JP, Rob, and I were the only true 4th of July troopers.

For those of you who don't know JP, he LOVES the FIRE in fireworks. It doesn't matter what the firework looks like, sounds like, or even if it works correctly - JP can't wait to light it. This 4th's fireworks were no exception! Just so that everyone is clear: every single firework we...correction, JP...lit was very legal and therefore, rather boring. Idaho, while beautiful, lush, and green in the mountains, also has high dessert (aka, Boise) that is prone to fires during the summer, so we were responsible 4th of July-ers.

Happy 4th of July!

Anyways, we...correction, JP...had lit and we had all watched four, maybe five, fireworks, when Rob asked, "Where's Chloe?". Chloe is the golden retriever that belongs to the people who own the gorgeous mansion in Eagle. Chloe, we discovered, HATES fireworks.

Instantly, we all began calling, "Chlooooooooeeeeeeeeeee! Chlooooooooeeeeeeeeeee!". Those of us who could whistle, did (I cannot, so I did not). "Chlooooooooeeeeeeeeeee!"

No Chloe.

For the next hour and a half, while the valley fireworks were exploding joyfully overhead, we searched for Chloe: we drove through the sprawling subdivision with our windows down ("Chlooooooooeeeeeeeeeee!"), we drove down service/irrigation roads ("Chlooooooooeeeeeeeeeee! Come here, girl!"), we shined flashlights into every nook, crevice, and cranny on the property.

Still, no Chloe.

Finally, after all the fireworks had stopped raining down on the Treasure Valley, we decided that the best plan of attack was for Ash and JP to visit the Idaho Humane Society the next day. Rob and I hugged them goodbye and left for the 45 minute trek back to Nampa. On our way out of the subdivision, we continued to peer in every yard, under every tree, all the while calling "Chlooooooooeeeeeeeeeee!"

By the time we got home, we got the following text from Ash, "Chloe came back!"

We still have a bag of fireworks - guess we'll just have to save them for next year!


Hope everyone had a great (and maybe not quite as eventful) 4th of July! We wish we could have been up at Indian Lake with so many of you, but we are looking forward to seeing everyone in August!


One Week Break: Camping

On our first weekend off, we went camping at Bull Trout Lake. "We" included myself, Rob, and our good couple friends Leslie and Lucas and Amanda and Sam. In order to decrease the stress of camping (I now understand why, as a child, my family only went camping a couple times a year - it is hard work!) each couple was responsible for two meals so we could spend most of our time reading by the campfire, playing with the dogs in the water, or paddling around the lake in our scanoe (a canoe that doesn't tip).

This trip was extra special for us because I got to show Rob the incredible Sawtooth Mountains, just outside of Stanley. We really are so lucky to get to live in a place where mountains, lakes, streams, and rivers are a few hours away - Family, come and visit Idaho during the summer! It's awesome!

There is almost always snow on the utmost peaks - awesome!

Redfish Lake, 2012

That is not our boat - it just got in the way of my picture.
We explored and soaked in a few new hot springs:

Hot Springs Campground
Sunbeam Hot Springs on the Salmon River
(springs not visible)
Original bath house at Sunbeam Hot Springs

Of course, our little guys were there the entire time, keeping us company (and warm at night).

Scout and Izzo
We officially vow to do more things out of doors! 


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Student in Need

A student of ours was in a very serious accident. He is in critical condition at one of our local hospitals; please keep him in your thoughts and prayers!

Career Best

You all know that my favorite hobby is golf.  Over the past two years I have committed to playing in competitive golf events, and have really enjoyed the improvements in my game.  When I started carrying a USGA handicap about 3 years ago it was over 15, it currently sits at 10.5 and is on the verge of breaking into single digits for the first time ever.

Anyway, I decided to play in a Men’s league at one of the local courses here in Nampa this spring.  I got paired up with a nice older guy named Bruce and after 7 weeks found ourselves in 4th place. Thursday night we moved up at least one spot by demolishing the team ranked in third.  I can’t take all the credit for the win, because my partner overcame a quadruple bogey on the 3rd hole to finish with a nine hole score of 40.

During the round I managed to play the first 7 holes 1-under par with 2 birdies and 1 bogey.  On hole #17 (we played the back nine) I hit my tee shot under a tree on the right side of the fairway and had to punch out into the fairway.  I was able to advance it forward and had about 100 yards left to get up and down for par. From there I hit a 56* wedge to about 12 feet below the hole.  I lipped out the right-to-left breaking putt and settled for a “good bogey” considering my tee shot.  I followed that by making a regulation par on hole #18 and finishing with an even par 36.

I’ve shot 36 a handful of times but have only broken 80 twice, so I decided to see what would come of the full 18 hole round.  Since it was the longest day of the year yesterday I had plenty of time to make the turn and finish all 18 before dark.  I met my brother in law JP on hole 4 so I didn’t have to play by myself.  I continued the good streak by making par on holes 4, 5, and 6.  A bad shot on 7, an unlucky break on 8, and a regulation par on 9 left me 2 over for the day so I set off to the #1 tee box knowing I had a chance to shoot a really good score.  Hole #1 proved to be no challenge at all as I laced a tee shot to nearly 300 yards, stuck the green, and two putted my way to par. 

My first real adventure of the day came on hole two, the shortest par four and easiest hole on the course.  It was getting hard to see the ball in the fading daylight, but I knew I hit my 3-wood down the left side of the hole.  When I got to the landing area I couldn’t find my ball lying in the rough and began to panic. After walking up and down the roughly mown waste area I found my Taylormade 3, marked with a green line for Michigan State, sitting on a patch of dead grass.  I was fortunate that it had been mowed recently and my ball was sitting up.  I lofted the ball onto the green and made an easy 2 putt to make par.

Every golfer understands the fickle nature of the 18th hole.  It seems to give the struggling player one great shot to keep them coming back, or steal a stroke or two from a player trying to have his best day.  For me this was hole #3 and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it.  I popped up my tee shot and was left with 150 yards downhill from the left rough.  I was in between clubs with the pin in the front so I settled on going with an easy swing 8 iron.  The rough grabbed my club a little and caused a severe under hit that only travelled 60 yards.  I followed that up with a 60* that rolled past the hole and onto the fringe.  A mediocre chip and two putts later I had made my only double bogey of the day and finished with a 4-over 76, my lowest score ever.

June 21, 2012: a 76

It’s always great to set a personal record and we’ve all had them in different arena of our lives so of course I am very excited.  However, as I sat reflecting on the round there were two responses I kept having. 

The first was that it seemed almost easy. Even though it was my best round ever I didn’t feel like I had to overcome any obstacle.  Maybe that means there is better yet to come, or maybe it is just the sign of me coming closer to mastering my own game.  Either way I sure won’t complain if I keep shooting scores in the 70’s.

The other was an emotional response that I experience quite often regarding all sorts of things in my life.  I really wish I have shot that round playing with my dad.  I am very blessed to have met and married Faith, a phenomenal wife, and my very best friend.  I have a great job and good friends out here in the northwest, but I wake up many days wishing I could play golf with my dad, sit and talk with my mom, or go goof around with Marty.  I miss you all so much, and wish we were able to share more milestones and accomplishments together.

So here is to shooting your career best, and having a great big loving family to share it with.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Projects, Continued

The newest addition to our dining room:

Long story short: my grandpa had a bunch of old window frames from a house he was remodeling and I was lucky enough to save a couple before he took them to the dump.

I scraped and cleaned it up, applied three coats of Behr Interior Paint + Primer and voila, a masterpiece for our dining room. Rob helped me hang it with four heavy duty picture hangers (we drilled them directly into the frame and then drilled large screws into studs in the wall - it's not going anywhere!).

It's not completely symmetrical, but I love it: flaws and all!

The brown paint on the dining room wall extends into the living room and it is relatively new, too. I didn't blog then (silly me), so I didn't take very many before and after pictures. Believe me, the after pictures are much nicer!

Look for more soon!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Exciting Sunday!

Today, we cleaned our garage.

It has been a long time coming, since we haven't been able to park in it since April. This is primarily my fault because I've taken on a few too many projects in the last four months (when you find a good deal at a second-hand store, you buy it. Period. Even if you don't have the time, or really even the energy, to begin yet another project).
We divided our garage in two:

The "man" side:

Rob hung two shelves: one for each of us. You can
barely see the one in the upper right-hand corner in the
above picture!

And the "woman" side:

See the cute wooden table in front of my potting supplies?
That's my next project! Stay tuned for pics!

I've always sworn that we would NEVER be those people who can't park in their garage, and if it got to the point where we couldn't, it meant we had WAY too much stuff. It was touch and go there for a while, but now we are super stoked to say that we are going to park in the garage tonight! Woo-hoo!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our Newest Addition

We have a new our backyard! After many months of talking, planning, changing our minds, re-planning, and more talking, we did it. We built ourselves a patio cover or "pergola" as we like to call it.

Like most projects, it took way longer (and was a leetle bit more expensive) than we anticipated. But, we now have a stylish backyard space where we can entertain family and friends comfortably.


Justin and Faith - taking a break from
taking a break.

The Process:

Supplies, supplies, supplies!

Todd and Rob - hard at work!



The finished product - just in time for an early Father's Day
celebration with the Sacht family.

Our neighbors should be jealous!

The final and finished product!

We are so happy with the final outcome. Rob did such a great job of being the true mastermind and artist behind the whole project: it truly was his vision that caused it to turn out so well! 

Our next backyard project will be flower/herb garden boxes built around the patio. Stay tuned for more pictures (but it will probably be after our next pay day)!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

2012 - Second Anniversary

We celebrated our second anniversary at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival (we saw Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap- it wasn't our favorite but a play performed out of doors is always a good time). Todd PR (one of Rob's good friends from Michigan) was in town, so we were a party of 2, +1.

Thanks to Pinterest, we started an anniversary tradition: we are going to take a picture of ourselves holding a picture (of ourselves) from the previous year. That way, we will have a record of all of our anniversaries spent together. Isn't that a cool idea? I wish I could claim it as an original idea, but I'm not that creative. So, thanks Pinterest!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer School

Summer school began today: 7:45am-3:15pm with some of the nicest kids you will ever meet...are you picking up on the sarcasm? Our goal is to completely burn ourselves out by the end of the summer, just in time to start teaching again in the fall. Woo-hoo.

Here's to hoping we don't look like this:

or this:

at the end of the day, let alone at the end of six weeks!

More to come soon,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Christmas Card, 2011

After receiving our Christmas card, a co-worker was adamant that it was the best she'd ever received...and then she chuckled. 

My first thought was, "Oh, no".  I was just positive that one of our flies was unzipped or Izzo's boy parts were being inappropriate or something else was mortifyingly wrong with the picture. And then I thought, "Oh, no...we sent this to our grandmas." 

Luckily for us, and for our grandmas, there was nothing "wrong" with the card. But, there was something...

Christmas, 2011

Take a look at the picture.  Look close. Does anything strike you as odd? Curious? Look at Faith's hair. Now, look at Scout's. Look at Rob's face shape. Compare it to Izzo's. 

Now, take a closer look. Notice you can see bling on both of the boys (Izzo's collar and Rob's ring). You can't see any on the girls.  

Do you see it? Do you see the eerie similarities between pet and owner? Between Rob and Izzo?  And then Faith and Scout?

Our little dogs are a part of our lives, an important part of our family. We love them and we love that they kinda look like us...or do we kinda look like them? 

So, maybe the similarities aren't quite as obvious as this:

Or as creepy as this:

 But our co-worker enjoyed it and we hope you do too!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Idaho Strand

We are the Idaho strand of the Reader clan. We have family spread over the entire country, from Florida to Oregon. Seriously. Look at a map. We are, literally, all over the country.

Because our awesome family thinks we are awesome, we have this awesome blog. I love the word awesome. More to come soon! -F