Saturday, January 29, 2011

An Evening at Madison Square Gardens

Brooke is in New York City on her recruit trip to Columbia.
The following is the picture text that she sent Dad:
At the Millrose games at Madison Square Gardens.
Tons of Olympians.
This is sick!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mrs. Ethington's Dance Show

This is my darling friend, Deborah Ethington, 
or Mrs. Ethington, as the kids at John Barrett Middle School call her.
Deborah is one of the most talented and dedicated teachers that I know.
Her energy and enthusiasm is simply contagious 
and her love and dedication to teaching is evident as you watch her interact with her students. 
 Plus, there is nobody that loves to sing and dance quite like Deborah.
That is why Ms. Ethington's performing arts classes are some of the most popular on campus.
Last Friday night, Mark and I attended Mrs. Ethington's dance show
 and were thoroughly entertained by her students as they sang and danced the night away.
Deb & Deb, friends for almost 20 years!
By the end of the night, I considered going back to Jr. High...
it would be worth going back to that awkward, uncomfortable stage of life,
 if I could take one of Mrs. Ethington's classes and get a daily dose of Deb's fun personality
 and experience a little bit of her passion and love of life.
Now that I'm done with School Board and have all this extra time,
 maybe I could be Mrs. Ethington's aide:)!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Officially retired from the Eureka School Board!

*This post is chronologically out of order.  I wrote it last month but I was waiting for the cute picture taken of me, Brooke and Mark to add to the post but it turned out blurry and the post got lost with all the Christmas, New Years, and skiing posts.  I just stumbled upon it and decided to post it even though it is late and minus the sweet picture of Brooke and Dad!

After 8 years, my time time on the Eureka Union School district has come to an end.
Last Tuesday night was my very last meeting.
They held a very nice reception before the meeting
to honor the retiring board members, Lori Dangberg and myself
and to welcome the two new board members.
Several of my favorite teachers, principals, administrators, past board members and dear friends
were so kind and came to celebrate with me.
Dr. McCarty presented me with a "Resolution" from our Assemblyman, Roger Neillo,
and asked Brooke to read the entire document in front of the entire crowd.
It was very long but Brooke did a very fine job
 and looked adorable standing in the spotlight!
The past board members, Russ Nash and Dan Clift spoke,
along with the ESF president, Renee Nash, and Phil Johnson,
who said such nice things. I'm not sure if any of it was true
 but it was very sweet and kind of them to say and it made me feel good.
We were given flowers and gifts from the children at the board meeting
 and more nice things were said about us.
The new board members were sworn in and Lori and I got up and gave them their seats.
Grabbed our flowers and gifts and took a seat on the back row.
We stayed for a few minutes and then tried to sneak out the back door.
Actually, we caused quite a scene because the door was locked (it never is locked)
so we had to traipse past all the principals, who gave us a hard time
and then we waved to the board as we walked happily out the door.
Not going to lie, it felt like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
I've learned a lot while serving, and enjoyed the relaionships that I have had
with those that I have seved with.
But it has been one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I'm grateful to have had the opportunity but I'm ready to close that chapter of my life
and have a little more time to do some of the things on my list of
"Things that I want to Do once I'm done with School Board."
Seriously, I do have a list and it's long:)!
And yes, learn how to use my nice camera is first on my list!

Some of my favorite teachers, Nancy Roszkowski and Abby Burke
 with my dear friend and former board member, Donna Garton.
EUSD board member, Lori Dangber, Jerri Davis, and myself,
with former board members, Russ Nash and Dan Clift.
We were quite a team, as we served together for almost 6 years.
Dr. Tim McCarty, our superintedent and the board that I served with for the past two years
(minus Ryan Jones, who has taken a leave of absence, while serving our country in Iraq.)

I'm so sorry that I didn't get any pictures with my dear friend and walking partner, Karen Wilkes,
who was so kind and came to support me that night
 and looked adorable in her pink coat. 
She has been extremely supportive as she has listened to me
discuss school board issues on our early morning walks. 
She has heard it all and never complained, always encouraging me in such a positive way.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ski and dine at CloudDine!

 We have been anxiously waiting for the new restaurant at the top of Dreamcatcher and Dreamscape.  
Today was the opening day at CloudDine and Dad treated us to a delicious lunch with a panoramic view.  
He said it was part of the birthday celebration weekend!
 Allie and Justin are enjoying the beach chairs outside the restaurant.
Relaxing and enjoying pretzels and hot chocolate at "the beach."
At the top of Dreamcatcher.
Another fun ski day in Park City.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Celebrating Allie & Dad's Birthdays!

Birthdays are kind of a big deal at our house.
 So when we get to celebrate two birthdays at the same time, 
together in Park City, during MLK holiday 
and it involves lots of's a really BIG deal!
The birthday boy and girl!
My flash didn't got off so I missed the picture of the two birthday kids blowing out the candles, 
so I asked them to reenact the scene and this is what I got.
Fortunately, for Ashley she didn't get her acting skills from her dad:)!
The birthday girl and her cute boy!
This is what happens when Brooke gets ahold of the crayons...and yes, she is 17!
Dinner at Cisero's on Main Street is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday!
Allie and Justin outside of Cisero's on Main Street.
Back at home, Allie opened her presents.
As tradition goes, Allie always receives a few zebra themed gifts,
which are usually random zebra items that I have collected through out the year.
Who knew that they made zebra duck tape?!
Sonya and I found these PJ's/thermals/(??? zebra clothing item)
 in a cute little gift shop in Oklahoma
and I saved them for Allie's birthday.
Allie wasn't quite sure what item of clothing it was 
but we all got the giggles with just the sight of these "one size fits all" zebra item.
Allie in her zebra "one size fits all" present, strikes her favorite zebra pose!
This one is for you, Anise!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brooke's Recruit Trip to Georgetown

It was a fun-filled weekend in DC!  
Brooke stayed in the dorms on campus with the XC team, ran with the girls everyday, 
enjoyed getting to know the program, the coach and the campus at Georgetown
and loved running the trails in the city.
We got to do all the things that we wanted to do like,
meet up with our dear friend, Trici,
go to dinner with Christy Johnson, our next door neighbor, who attends Georgetown,
shop on M Street, eat cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake,
go on a tour of the Capitol, eat lunch at Cosi and visit one of the museums.
We packed a lot into three short days and then got out of town just in time
before the big storm hit the East Coast!
Brooke is trying to decide which flavor to order.
Holding the goodies from Georgetown Cupcake.
Brooke and her cupcakes!
When I was on the phone with John, from Jason Chaffetz's office,
 he mentioned another cupcake place that was even better than Georgetown Cupcake.
Of course, Brooke and I had to check it out.
So off to Baked and Wired we went!
Everything looked seriously delicious, the staff was super friendly 
(they threw in some biscotti samples that were amazing) and there was no line!
  Brooke and I were pretty impressed, but did the cupcakes taste as good as they looked?
After sampling cupcakes from bakery, we have to agree with John, 
Baked and Wired cupcakes were simply the best and their biscotti is pretty darn good too!
All we were missing that night was Ashley to complete the nextdoor neighbor besties!
We spent all evening visiting and chatting with Christy.  
It felt just like old times, when the three girls would come home from Ridgeview,
 and sit at the kitchen counter, eating chicken pot pies and root beer floats, 
discussing the important events of their school day.
How I miss those days and how we missed having Ashley there that night!
After a yummy dinner at Paparazzi restaurant.
The next day, we went to Congressman Jason Chaffetz's office for a tour of the Capitol.
Jason's office is right next door to Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford.
Because of the shooting in Tucson, the media was camping outside her office door.
It was a little eerie around Capitol Hill that day.
 Since session was postponed until Wednesday, most of the congressmen were not even around.
The halls of the Capitol were empty, so was the rotunda, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
Brooke, in front one of the statues from California, the Franciscan frier, Juniper Serra.
We were sad that we missed seeing Jason, who was still in Utah with his family.
But we were given a tour of his office and saw the infamous cot that he sleeps on every night.
I honestly don't know how he does it!
If you want to read more about Jason and his cot, read this New York Times article:
 House Members Opt to Sleep in their Office
Thanks Julie, for arranging the wonderful tour of the Capitol!
It started to snow as we finished the tour and walked outside to get pictures.
On the steps of the Capitol.
It was a very chilly but gorgeous walk to the Natural History museum.
It was an unusually quiet day and we had the museum practically all to ourselves.
Brooke found one of Chicka's relative.  Ha! Ha!
Then she found one of her relatives, the Black Bear.
After a tour of the Capitol, lunch at Cosi and visiting the Natural History museum,
it was time to hurry back to the airport, pack our bags and head for the airport.
The party was over!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brooke's Running Tour of DC!

Tuesday morning I woke up early at 7:30 so that I'd have enough time to run for an hour before we went to our tour of the Capitol. I ran down by the Potomac River, did a loop around Roosevelt Island National Memorial, then continued on crossing Roosevelt Memorial Bridge. From there I ran down the National Mall and captured pictures of me on my phone with each of the monuments. 

Here is where I started. It kinda felt like a scene from a movie running up the desolate stairs on the cloudy, chilly morning.

At Washington Memorial the flags surrounding were half-mast because of the Tucson shooting.
By this point I was supposed the turn around 5 minutes ago, but honestly I was so excited and having fun that I didn't want my run to be over. On the other hand I didn't want to miss the capitol tour, so I stopped here and got the picture from farther away than I would've liked. I booked it back to the hotel, finishing up my 8.5 mile run, now knowing exactly where to go, just like a local. I got back with 15 minutes to spare before we had to leave, but don't worry I'm pro at getting ready fast.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

A visit with Trici in DC!

I am accompanying Brooke on her recruit trip to Georgetown
 and while Brooke was with the cross country team today, I got to visit with my dear friend, Trici.
Trici was one of my Young Women leaders in our ward
 and her husband was on the school board with me before they moved to DC.
We enjoyed 2 1/2 hours of chatting and catching up 
and then drove over to the campus to meet up with Brooke so she could see Trici.
It was so fun and the afternoon flew by so quickly
and made me realize how much I miss the Jones family,
 and how I can't wait for them to come back to Granite Bay.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Two Happy Husbands

This is the story of two old friends, Mark and Brad, who spent the day skiing at Sugar Bowl, one of their favorite ski resorts. 
 It was a gorgeous day, with warm temperatures, clear blue skies and the snow was perfect for plenty of off piste skiing.  
They were a happy pair and shared their pictures via their Iphones 
while  Karen and I stayed home to "get some things done."
Actually, right at the moment they sent us these pictures,
 we were visiting and catching up from our Christmas vacations since we haven't had a chance to walk this week.  
Both of our phones kept going off and interrupting our really important conversation, 
but we were both pleased that our husbands were so happy...
and both missing us, at least that is what the text said that accompanied this photo:).

Brad and his boys, Mark and David.
These 2 cute boys joined Brad and Mark on their ski day,
giving them a few pointers and tips,
and keeping them humble, I'm sure.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dinner and family photos at Ghidotti's

One of our favorite traditions when we are all together during the holidays is dinner at Ghidotti's in Park City.
 The food is simply amazing! 
 A couple of our favorite items on the menu is the aged provolone "Frico" and the grape and gorgonzola salad, 
but we were most excited about the delicious dipping sauce.
 It's the first time they have served the sauce with the bread 
and we all agreed that it tastes just like Grappa's dipping sauce, 
which has been a Holt family favorite for years! 
Not only is the food scrumptious at Ghidotti's but the Christmas decor is spectacular and festive! 
 The grand fireplace in the back room with the lush garland and candlesticks
 makes for the perfect backdrop for our traditional family portrait.
The evening seemed to be going very well until it was time to take the family photo.
Our goal was to not bring any attention to ourselves and
to not make too much of a commotion.  
Pretty sure that as soon as we all stood up and started organizing ourselves for the picture, 
everyone in the restaurant stopped and stared.  
Even the waiters and waitresses were completely enthralled 
and entertained watching our family attempt to get a family photo. 
All we needed to do was snap one good picture, that is one picture that everyone was good with.  
That sounds easy enough, but what our poor waiter found after taking a number of photos, 
at a couple of different's much harder than you think to please this tough crowd!
All I can say is that Andrew definitely earned his tip that night!
He was not only a good waiter and a great skier, but a very patient photographer! 
I included some of our "bloopers" because they really tell the whole story.
Sorry girls, I hope you aren't mad but the more I look at them the more they make me giggle.
Maybe Dad is right.  Maybe we are going a little overboard with the photos:)!!
Our first attempt at taking the family photo.
We all seem a little stressed except Tyler, who isn't taking this too serious,
Brett, who is so good natured that he is happy to just go with the flow,
and Justin, who really has no idea what he is getting himself into.
The first family photo.
I thought it was quite lovely of everyone until Ashley pointed out that
Brooke looks rather large and laughed hysterically.
Brooke was horrified because we all know that she is anything but large.
Unfortunately, because of the angle Lil' Brooke looks like Big Brooke so...
we lined up and organized ourselves again for photo shoot #2,
which involved fixing Ashley's bangs with some input by Dad,
straightening skirts and tucking in shirts.
I love how Brett, Tyler and Justin are a little bit confused by all the fuss.
And I'm not quite sure what going on here...
I look like a deer with the headlights on and Ash is still working on those bangs.  Ha! Ha!
Okay, now we are all ready, lined up just right, bangs in place,
hair curled just right, everyone smiling and looking at the camera, but OOPS...
the flash doesn't go off!  It was just one of those nights!
Finally, a family photo that everyone likes,
 with a funny story about the ordeal that it took to get "the perfect" picture!

Below is the secret recipe for the Famous Grappa's Dipping Sauce.
I decided to share it with everyone because it is just that good.  Really, it is! 

Grappa's Bread Dipping Sauce
1 cup roasted garlic
1 cup chopped fresh rosemary
2 cups Balsamic vinegar
2 T. salt
2 T. honey
3 cups canola oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Puree garlic, rosemary, vinegar, salt and honey together.
With blender or food processor running slowly add canola oil followed by olive oil.
Serve with sourdough bread. Yum!