Sunday, April 27, 2008

Maddy Makes Honor Roll

Madyson has made huge improvements in her schooling since changing schools. When she first started at her new school she didn't do all that well. At times she was getting D's and F's but after some heart to heart talks and her feeling more comfortable with her teacher's teaching styles, she began to turn things around.

Finally when her last report card came out, she had all A's and one B. She made the honor roll!! She as well as her parents were so proud of her.

The Gilbert Public School system does an Academic Night for all 4th - 6th grades. Maddy got to participate and after the program. She was excited. Debbie and I, my mom and Maddy's mom, Cat were all there to support her.

After the program we all went to Outback Steakhouse where Maddy wanted to go. It was a fun evening and we are so very proud of Madyson and her good grades.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mike's Big Award

I have been an instructor and provided training for the last seven years at judges conferences, new judge orientation, and judicial staff conferences. During that time, not once did I know you could win an award for being a good trainer.
Last October, another co-worker and I provided a DUI Processing class and apparently, someone nominated us for the award and we won.

It was a total surprise and not something I aspired too, but was kind of excited when I was informed I had won.

They had a big awards ceremony and people who won the award from all the different conferences received their awards at the same time. Then from all the awards that were given out, one was named the Trainer of the Year (not me).

Debbie attended the ceremony with me and we had a great time meeting some old friends and just being able to spend some time together.

Phoenix Zoo Field Trip

So Madyson comes home with a flyer from school inviting the children and parents to go on a field trip to the zoo. Not a during the school day type of field trip. An overnight stay inside the zoo. Mike wasn't too interested until Madyson's best friend, Madison's dad said he was going and kind of begged Mike to go too.

We showed up at the zoo on a Friday evening and went into a big room. The kids were all sorts of excited. We were given the rules and then the fun began. The first event was a night hike through the zoo. It probably would have been fun if you could see any animals. We did get to see a couple of animals that didn't mind flashlights being shown on them.

Here is how the tour went. On your left is Monkey Island. During the day you can see the monkeys swing from the trees and listen to them talking to each other (they talked for 15 minutes about something we couldn't even see).

We went back to the room and some of the keepers brought out some animals for the kids to see. That was fun because you actually got to see the animals. We went on another night hike and got to have a evening snack. The second night hike was just as entertaining as the first one. We weren't allowed to take pictures because it might scare the animals.

Then we were in bed by 11:00.

In the morning we were provided breakfast and then went on another hike. At least this one was during the day. However, it was also during the time the animals are locked up in their pens eating breakfast. We got to see some animals that had already eaten, but the tigers and lions were not out and that really bummed out the kids.

When you are at the place the keepers prepare the food for the animals, never volunteer when the guy says "I need five kids and one parent to volunteer." Of course, Maddy was at his feet and instantly raised her hand. None of the parents volunteered because we knew what he was about to do. However, Madyson told the guy to pick me. And he did.

He made us sample some of the food pellets they feed the monkeys and other animals. Madyson took a bite of a monkey pellet and instantly threw up in front of everyone. None of the kids actually took a bite. They just licked it. Me? Yeah, I took a big bite. It was the grossest thing I've ever done. The taste was tolerable, but it was how dry the food was that made me gag. But I at least swallowed it.

Overall, I would not recommend the zoo overnight, but it was fun spending the time with Madyson and she had a blast because her friends were there. Fortunately, I was not the only dad from our ward there. There were five of us there and we kept each other company during the boring tours.

Best Wedding EVER

My wife has a few wealthy clients and one of them invited us to attend their daughter's wedding (obviously not because we could get them a fancy gift) because Debbie has become close with the family.

The wedding was held on a golf course in Scottsdale (yes, golfers were playing right next to the wedding ceremony). It was a beautiful wedding with all the pretty people in attendance (and then us).

The reception was the coolest part ever. How many people can say they had their reception on the football field at ASU???? Yes, I'm talking the actual football field.

The endzone was painted with the couple's wedding logo. Sparky was even in attendance, as was Frank Kush (yes, the field is called Kush Field), Bruce Snyder, Joe Garrageola, and some guys from the San Francisco Giants. It was incredible. We got an insight how the pretty people live and it's a wonderful lifestyle. We were treated like royalty even just because we were in attendance.
The family even flew in their favorite local band from California to play the dance music. Nothing funnier that watching old, rich, drunk people dance. We danced and had a wonderful pretending we were rich, even if for just one night.

Easter Pageant 2008

One of nice things living close to the Temple is that we get to see the Easter Pageant every year. Even though Mike complains about going every year because it's the same thing over and over, he has fun and enjoys it once he's there. This year, we attend with a lot of people from our ward.

Debbie is the Young Women's Beehive Advisor and the young women planned to attend the pageant this year. So Mike, Madyson and Madison attended with the young women. It was fun. We have a good bunch of young women in our ward and a few of them are just too funny.

It's always good to see the pageant and be reminded of what our Saviour went through to save us. The atonement has blessed our lives so much and being reminded every year of what he did for us keeps us in check.

Maddy's Field Trip

Maddy and Debbie went on a school field trip to the Desert Botanical Garden and as expected, it's not the funnest place to visit. Kids like to be entertained but any time spent outside the classroom is a good time. They learned about the different desert plants and such, but as you can see by the picture, they look like they care, don't they?

Happy (Late) Birthday Madyson

Well, it's been over a month since Maddy's actual birthday and we are just NOW getting to post her special day. I know, I feel horrible. My sister Britney put a happy birthday wish to Maddy on her blog, but her own daddy waits over a month to do it.

With that being said, Maddy is now 10. Her transition to living with us has been good. She had made a lot of good friends just being here with us on the weekends. The bond she had with those girls in her primary class was strong. So we invited them all over and took them to a place called Justice for Girls. It's a clothing store but they also do parties. The girls decided they wanted to do the "Rockstar" theme. So they all got makeovers and dressed up like rockstars. They had a blast. They couldn't stop giggling the whole time.

We brought the girls back to our house and they got to sing kareoke and have cake and ice cream. Maddy had a wonderful time and couldn't stop smiling for a week.

But Maddy is a very special girl. Her feelings are so tender and genuine. More than anything she just wants to snuggle with mommy and daddy. She has so much love to give. That means daddy is gonna have to buy a shot gun before she starts dating. She's going to be one of those girls who falls in love so easily and gets a broken heart just as easily. Daddy doesn't think he's going to be able to handle it.
Happy birthday baby... We love you.