Thursday, June 24, 2010

We are celebrating!!!

Alvin was finally offered the ceramics position at CGCC today. It has been a long and very stressful 10 weeks. This is how the long drawn out process went!

Job Posting – April 2
Job Posting Closed – April 16
12 applicants
First Interview – May 12 (4 weeks)
Committee of 5 interviewed 6 applicants
Second Interview – June 2 (7 weeks)
President and Vice President of College interviewed 3 applicants
June 7 – (8 weeks)
No news
June 14 – (9 weeks)
No news
June 23 – (10 weeks)
Signed paper authorizing HR to do a background check
June 24 offered the position!!!!!!!

We had planned all along to have a party for his college supporters in our backyard if he got the position. I planted flowers and put solar lights everywhere but now that it is 110 degrees it is way too hot to have this party outside and our house is way too small inside for this crowd so we will have it in the ceramics studio instead. Not as nice but still a thank you to his friends for supporting him!

Since January when Alvin moved into the new facility at the college as the adjunct faculty this full time job position has really worried him. The time has been stressful with too much anxiety. There were a few days I wondered if he could take much more! Now he can relax. We can go on our beach vacation knowing that he has the job on his return. School starts August 21!

He is resting until then - well deserved!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Washington boys getting braver . . .

Carter and Cash got into the "water wheel" on their second visit to our pool. It didn't take them long to feel confortable in the water.

Chandler, Carter, Cash, Tatum, Stephen and Cooper.(Stephen had his hands full with five swimmers)

Cash had the wiggles and the giggles. Carter was a little more subdued.

Wasp Problem

We have a wasp problem and they are scarry when they fly around our pool when little people are swimming. So, this is what I am trying to do to get rid of them. So far, not working!

Glass Wasp Trap
This sturdy, colored glass trap will take a bite out of your wasp problem. Simply add the included lure, a bit of water, and replace the stopper. Hang or place in an area with high wasp concentrations. Wasps fly up through the bottom hole, become trapped, and drown in the water. After two weeks replace the lure, or just add sweet liquid (lemonade works).

The Original Waspinator
The Waspinator repels wasps, it does not harm or kill them. It works on a very simple principle: wasps avoid the nests of other wasps. By giving the appearance of a real wasp nest, any nearby wasps will keep their distance, commonly about 20' or further. No chemicals, folds flat to bring on picnics, weatherproof, environmentally safe. Think of the Waspinator as a "scarecrow for wasps".

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cousin Time

Chelsea, Carter and Cash arrived early Wednesday and we got together late afternoon. First thing they did was jump in the pool - five kids and Pa!

Then we had dinner at Red Robin - Pa's treat! (sorry no pictures) Everybody was hungry from swimming! We were saying goodbye to head home and Chelsea and Stephen said they were going to the mall. Tatum immedieately said, "can I get my ear's pierced?" I guess the last few days she had been talking about it to her mom and had finally gotten up her nerve to do it. So, we couldn't miss this moment so we all headed to the mall. A big audience!

Picking out her earrings.

The first ear already done. Usually you have two people working on each ear so the hurt only lasts one time but unfortunately there was only one girl in the store to do the procedure so she had to do the second ear right after the first. Alvin said she probably would just end up with one earring but the girl worked so fast she didn't have time to backout.

She defnitely had a "hurt" reaction but got over it very quickly.

Her mom cleaning them.

Tatum, cousins and brothers all got suckers after the procedure.

And, she was so proud and acted so big. A stop at the Dairy Queen ended the evening.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Retirement Party Pictures

Regina just sent me photos of Alvin's party. I had obviously forgot my camera.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Our Short Story . . .

Today is our anniversary – forty-two years!

Alvin tells “our story” so much better than I do. I believe he is a romantic at heart that is why. But, I will give my version at this time and some day he will give his.

We met in the 3rd grade at Cleveland Elementary School. He remembers me but I don’t remember him. Actually, I don’t remember him until high school even though all those grade school years we were students together.

In high school we started dating when we were juniors. It was an off and on romance. He liked me and I didn’t like him. When I decided he wasn’t such a bad guy he didn’t like me so much. Alvin was a short skinny guy that had a big toothy smile with lots of energy as I recall. But, he just wasn’t the guy for me at the time. I wanted the student body president who was at least 6 foot tall and more in the public eye. He wanted the blond cutsy airhead with the bubbly personality. Finally in our senior year we got together and pretty much stayed together.

We graduated. He went off the BYU and I to ASU. We both dated a few others which was good! I visited him once in Provo and he surprised me a couple of time by showing up at my dorm room in Tempe. We decided we liked being together. So, he enrolled at ASU the second year.

The third year he went on a mission to Brazil for nearly 2 ½ years. It was hard having him gone and he says it was equally hard for him as well. I continued on with school and did not date the first year he was gone. I started working for a bank and enrolled in banking classes. There I met a guy who worked for another bank and was a member of a long time Mesa family who were friends with my parents. We dated for months and then he had to leave for national guard training for several months so I was writing two guys letters at this point. He returned and the romance continued for a while but finally ended. I decided I wanted to be available when Alvin returned home. After all, he was the guy I wanted. We were married 6 months after his return from Brazil.

(and, an added note posted 7 PM Monday night - last year I forgot the anniversary - this year he has no clue of what day it is)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Retirement Party!

Our good friends Sterling and Regina Skousen hosted a retirement party for Alvin last evening in their home. The group consisted of nearly 40 close friends, mostly retired CHS teachers, and it was certainly an enjoyable evening. Alvin was very appreciative of those that attended. Several "toasts" were given on his behalf and also a tribute was given to a fellow art teacher, Karl Dowhie, that had passed away within the past year.

Lots of memories were shared of the good times in the art building at CHS. Those were defnitely the fun times of teaching and defnitely the building block of the great friendship these teachers still share. Thanks Sterling for sharing your wonderful cooking skills and Regina for your warmth of having us in your home.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

1970 - 2010

Today was Alvin’s last day at Chandler High School! He has been an Art teacher for a total of forty years. I believe he has taught the longest of any other teacher with CUSD. It all started in 1970 when he graduated in August from ASU. At the time he had a choice of teaching art in a Mesa Jr. High or teaching Art at Chandler High School. The decision wasn’t hard to make. The Mesa school district had a higher starting salary but Chandler caught up with their salary schedule and exceeded it down the road with a few years of experience. Plus, teaching junior high age students probably wasn’t the idea age group in his mind so it wasn’t hard to choose CHS.

His graduation caused problems with the draft. At the time they had a lottery drawing for who they would take and his number was “6” from the 365 days of the year. A definite slot that would make him definitely in line for a job other than teaching. The school administration was patient while he worked things out that made him able to accept the position just days before the first day of school.

Returning to the school system where he grew up in, having graduated in 1963, was strange as I remember. His art department consisted of Gwen Jordan and himself in a typical hallway room in the south end of that beautiful main building. They together expanded that department and years later (sometime in the late 70's) when the school built a new gym they turned the old one into an exciting art building. Two stories, lots of room, a new ceramic facility with a huge amount of space and his own office. He built tables, shelves and a gas kiln by laying one brick at a time. It was definitely an exciting time. His fellow art teachers became our friends and still today are a fun group to be around.

Chandler High School grounds were pretty much given a new look in 1996 and most of the back buildings were torn down and his next new place became the old Cleveland School. The three wings of that elementary school were transformed into the Fine Arts Department and they shared their space with the band and coral departments. Alvin’s ceramic room was even grander with a kiln they purchased that had a railroad type track that made kiln loading so much easier on the back. Thru the years he expanded that ceramic department into one of the finest of Arizona schools. A fun thing to note is Alvin attended that Cleveland Elementary School when just a kid and returned years later as a teacher in the same rooms.

Those forty years have been busy ones. He had a desire to earn his Masters Degree as quickly as possible so in four years that was accomplished by night classes and summer sessions. His Master of Fine Arts from ASU was a 60 hour degree so his accomplishments in that short of time were remarkable. It was good to have the major part of his education completed but of course there have been lots of other necessary classes he had had to take along the way. He was busy and he had no free time.

At our first home in the 70’s he built a ceramic studio and brick kiln on the back of our large lot and worked afterschool, holidays, weekends and summers making potter to sale at craft fairs. He belonged and held positions in Arizona Designer Craftsmen and Clay Club and that was an exciting time for him to get his name out as a potter and teacher. He was active in a Chandler service group, Chandler Compardes, served at least 15 or so years on the Chandler Fine Arts Commission. He was the fine arts department chair from 1975 to 2006. He has been an adjunct faculty member for the community colleges since 1974

Our second home built in 1980 had an attached 600 square foot ceramics studio with a purchased gas railroad type kiln. He was better assessable to the family having his studio part of the home. He still spent all the hours he could making pottery to sale at the craft sales. He had back surgery (call it wear and tear) in the late 80’s and after that started teaching so many hours for the community college plus the high school load he pretty much abandoned the home studio. We no longer did craft fairs. He now has a rep that sales his pottery pieces – a much better way!

He has loved his profession and feels that forty years of teaching is good time to call it quits. What will keep him busy after today? Stay tuned for the next episode of his life!