Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Session One

So as I recently mentioned - I am back in school!  I am working on a 2nd Master's Degree, this one in Educational Leadership.  I actually started this program way back in 2008, but decided to take a break from it to focus on starting my family.  Now that my beautiful little Forgacs Family of Four (+ one neurotic dog whom we love) is complete, I am back at it and more motivated than ever!

Summer Session One recently ended.  I took two courses:

One thing that I've always appreciated about graduate level work is that the grade is based more on the learning than the specific outcome.  So we do many more exploratory papers than multiple-choice exams, for example.

I took the Legal Aspects class online and I loved it.  We were able to focus on educational law that interested us and I found it fascinating, albeit cumbersome, to read and analyze so many court cases.  Did you know, for instance, that corporal punishment is still legal in Arizona?  And that school are required to teach about skin cancer?

The Supervision of Instruction class was taken in-person with a current Vail Cohort plus some floaters like me.  Turns out Kristin is in the cohort!  She was my cooperating teacher back in 2006 and we hit if off right away!  Dr. Blair kept the class interesting and applicable with her stories from all her year of leadership.  And, I firmly believe that teacher instruction should be administration's #1 priority so I found it to be a really useful class.

Summer Session Two is well under-way so I will have an update soon.  I am taking the Publicity course!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


We generally spend the 4th of July weekend in California with the Forgacs side of the family.  But this year, the 4th of July fell on a Thursday, Stevie had to work on Friday, and we quite frankly didn't have the energy for a big trip.  So, instead, we decided to do our first ever Staycation at the Westin La Paloma.  We spent 1 night in a gigantic upgraded suite, a lot of time at the pool, and got a lot of family time out of it!

The girls on our first golf-cart ride to the pool.  Our room was really far from the lobby and pool but they had golf-carts running back and forth continuously and to the girls that was like an amusement park ride!
Shyla barely made the height requirement for the slide but she was super stoked about it and rode that thing about a half-dozen times!

See Harper's folded-arms stance?  That is her new thing.  She learned it from Shyla and uses it when she's unhappy about something.  At this point she was unhappy about not being allowed to go on the slide.

In addition to the pools, they also had an inflatable obstacle course set-up.  As you can see, Stevie made it through.

As did Harper.  I never got a picture of Shyla doing it because she was too fast.  Shocker.

Daddy and his girls ready to have fun!

Daddy and his girls resting.  You can't see her but Shyla was asleep on the floor next to him.

See the bump on Harper's forehead?  She got that by running into the wall.  Straight into the wall.

But, it didn't seem to hold her back much!

We spent a great deal of time at the pool.  Unfortunately, Harper is at that tough to be in public phase and was really enjoying running away from us in the pool areas.  Thus, she and I spent a great deal of time back in the room.
And my favorite picture of the weekend - my girls being silly - together!

Overall it was a great staycation and I would definitely do it again.  It may become a tradition.  Especially as Harper gets older and grows out of this phase.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Special Dates!

Generally when I'm on summer vacation the girls go to daycare together on the same day, once per week.  Last week, however, Shyla had a little eye infection so I didn't want to send her on but made arrangements to send her later in the week.

This meant I had a special Tuesday with Shyla and a special Thursday with Harper!  It was awesome!  I think next year I will schedule them more like this so I do get these special dates.  The one-on-one time is so important to them and me.

My Special Date with Shyla consisted of:
  • manicures and pedicures
  • lunch with Auntie Beth and Baby Maggie
  • swim time!
 My Special Date with Harper consisted of:
  • a trip to the zoo
  • swim time! 

This is how we sleep:

When you're 4 years old and fall asleep looking like this, reading a Judy Blume book, you know life is good!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

This Girl!

Don't you just love her?!?

Pinetop Trip!

A few weeks ago we took a family trip to Pinetop where Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Pop are spending the summer.  It was a great quick getaway and wonderful to be able to spend that quality time with them.  
The excitement started our first night there when, as I was putting Shyla to bed, Linda (perfectly sober, so matter what anyone tells you!) fell on Grandma's arm and her skin split open like a seem.  After a rousing game of cards, I could tell Grandma was feeling nervous about it, even though Grandpa had bandaged it, so I called the paramedics.  Upon looking at it, they agreed that she would need to go to the Emergency Room to have it taken care of, since she cannot be stitched.  I waited up for them until they finally got home at about 1:45AM, but it was definitely the right choice. 
We didn't take a lot of pictures because we mostly just hung-out.  We took a lot of walks, went to a couple playgrounds, played tennis in the front yard, and spent some time at the rec center.
Grandma taught me and Stevie how to knit and I got to partake in the making of the every-so-important bycrackie bars.
It was a lot of fun and we hope Grandma and Grandpa got some rest after we left!

Monday, July 1, 2013

We Moved!

About 3 months ago we moved into a new house!  I know I'm late with this post but here is the chain of events, in condensed version:
  • We (generally when I say "we," of course, I mean "I") started thinking about adding onto our current house to create a play-room where the girls could play, store their toys, and could eventually become a homework/computer room when they are older.  But, as we discovered how much that would cost, we decided we might as well take a look at what 4-bedrooms were going for in our desired area.
  • H-Man took us to see a bunch of houses all within a 1-mile radius of our current house and we (there it is again) fell in love with this one!  And, best part, it is in the same neighborhood as the other house, literally about 20 houses away.  Close enough that Stevie and his buddies literally pushed the piano down the street, instead of trying to hoist it onto the truck!
  • Long-story-short: we got it and I love it!  We moved all in 1 weekend because we thankfully found renters to move right into the other one.
The house is perfect for us in so many ways!  It has 4 bedrooms so the girls have a playroom on the bottom level, which means the rest of the house looks like a grown up house without toys all over!  Our master bedroom is huge, the girls have a jack-and-jill bathroom, and ...... there's a pool!  Look for a future post about the pool and about how we've used it multiple times per day since moving in.

The only thing I don't love is that the non-pool-backyard-space is smaller than the other house.  So, if we want to play outside but we don't want to swim, we are limited.

It was kept up nicely, but not renovated.  For instance, all of the fixtures seem to be original and we are slowly changing those out.  The kitchen is in dire need of updating and the appliances are old and inefficient.  There's also a lot of white carpet and I have 2 children and 1 dog.

So we have big plans .....  But that's okay!  I feel so comfortable and in love with this house and I know we are going to be here for a very, very long time.  I feel that we can slowly, as money and time permit, make it our own.  At the old house I was starting to feel like it would be a waste to put money into it, since we were growing out of it quickly.

However, not the case with this one.  Here's the "relative" short-list:
  • replace the carpet with large ceramic tile or painted concrete on the bottom level
  • replace appliances with stainless steel ones
  • have Stevie paint kitchen cabinets dark 
  • granite counter-tops
  • converting the wet-bar into a pantry with a door
  • creating a balcony off our master bedroom, extending over the patio
 But for now, we are super happy and comfortable in our new digs!