The newest member of the Kamman family is an Eastern Australian Rosella parrot named Elton John. Elton was found when he flew into Jackie’s neighbor’s garage in Folsom and landed on her neighbor’s shoulder. Sol has always wanted to have a parrot, so on Superbowl Sunday we adopted a stray parrot named Elton John. Kelley named him because of his bright “costume” of plumage. Elton is very friendly and enjoys sitting on shoulders and heads, as well as eating earrings and hair. He can now say “bad kitty” and “hey baby”. (“Hey Baby” he already knew when we got him, that was the first thing he said to me!) Plus, Sol taught him how to wolf whistle. He is quite entertaining! The cats are also fascinated by him…they sit under his cage and meow often.
The last of the holiday celebrations came the first Sunday in January. My mom and dad threw a 12th night celebration dinner to officially close the season- a fun new tradition!
Some info. about the history of 12th night: Any excuse to celebrate, right?
It is defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as “the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking”. However, there is currently some confusion as to which night is Twelfth Night: some count the night of Epiphany itself (sixth of January) to be Twelfth Night. One source of this confusion is the Medieval custom of starting each new day at sunset, so that Twelfth Night precedes Twelfth Day.
A recent tradition in some English-speaking countries holds that it is unlucky to leave Christmas decorations hanging after Twelfth Night, a belief originally attached to the festival of Candlemas (2 February).
Well, I know this was 2 MONTHS ago now, but I am still catching up on all of the fun Kamman goings-on, so bear with me
Before we even left Colorado, Sol and I were already plotting our next adventure to maximize our time off for Christmas break. A few days after we returned to California, we left for a central coast New Years Eve trip. We left on New Years eve with a stop in Folsom to see the Desais and meet baby Finn. He is SO tiny and adorable!
That afternoon we drove to the Blakemans chic downtown San Francisco pad for a fun New Years eve celebration. We ate tofu lasagna, drank champagne, played Apples to Apples and skyped with Bianca before heading out on the town. We went to a fun Irish pub and then walked to a party that their neighbor was throwing to ring in the New Year with dancing and more champagne. This is also about when my bout with the stomach flu attacked- but I did not let it ruin my fun! We had a great time ringing in the new year with Casey and Leslie. The next morning we went to breakfast at the diner next door and then headed to Monterey.
In Monterey we stayed with Liz, Martin and baby Sage Suro at their cozy house in Pacific Grove. The New Years day weather was gorgeous, warm and clear, and as soon as we arrived we went immediately to Carmel beach to play. The sea air was intoxicating and it felt so good to be back on our old stomping grounds! That night we had a delicious meal, delicious wine, more games, more giggling and good company at the Suros. The next day we had a leisurely morning and then headed off to do touristy things around Monterey with Liz, and then enjoyed the obligatory bread bowl of wharf clam chowder. We had a great time seeing friends and visiting places we love, and it was a perfect way to ring in the new year!
A snippet of the millions of silly videos we took in Truckee…more to come!
So, junior highers are really into innuendo. I have to squash possible “innuendo” situations all the time. The other day I was explaining the guidelines of the assignment and how I wanted them to draw their figures enlarged. I said “you guys like to draw small scale because it’s easy, drawing bigger is harder…which is why I want you to practice drawing bigger.” A girl (innocently in a confused manner) raised her hand to ask “so, smaller is easier and bigger is harder?” The boys in the back were giggling so much, I had to use my best “mean teacher face” on them before I could move on…
The kids are constantly trying to use “that’s what she said,” but it is ALWAYS in the wrong context. I would write a referral, but I don’t think it’s considered dirty if it doesn’t make any sense! I usually just look at them confused and say, “I’m not sure that’s how you use that…”
The student below obviously knew the right context, and had a teacher with less of a sense of humor .
I just found out that 2 of my good friends are pregnant!! Julie and Ryan Olsen and big sis Bailie are expecting their second baby, and Dayna and Matt Word are expecting their first. I am so excited for them and can’t wait to meet their new little kiddos! Love you guys, CONGRATS!! We are so happy for you all!
My mom and I were doing the count the other night, between the expecting Witloxes, DeLacys, Goves, Brittons, Doziers, Rands, Olsens and Words, there is going to be a baby we know being born once a month for the next year! Time to stock up on funny gift onesies? Value pack ? Who’s going to be next!!?!?
I re-vamped my teacher web account and added some new info.- check it out. It has some student art and general middle school goings-on.
I discovered a VERY entertaining website called http://www.lamebook.com which compiles all of the funniest and craziest facebook activity in one place. It is so entertaining, I can’t BELIEVE some of the stuff that people put on facebook- WAY too much information! Some entries are silly and clever, some show crazy drama, and some just show statuses with too much personal information…It makes me appreciate my relatively normal friends even more
Start Where your Students Are. by: Robyn R. Jackson ASCD- February
Good grades. A quiet classroom. These are often what teachers value. But what if students come to class looking for something else?
Cynthia quickly moved through the classroom, collecting the previous evening’s homework assignment. While her back was to the door, Jason hurried in and slid into his seat. Without turning around, Cynthia said, “I saw that, Jason.”
The class erupted in laughter as Jason blushed. “Take out your homework, and I’ll be around in a second to deal with you,” Cynthia instructed.
When Cynthia reached his chair and noticed that Jason did not have any work out, she moved past and finished collecting the other papers. She got the class started on a warm-up exercise and called Jason to her desk.
“Where’s your homework?” she asked.
“I forgot to do it,” Jason muttered.
“So you’re not only late to class, but you also don’t have your homework? Hmm, this is serious,” Cynthia said. “Do you know what you owe me?”
“Detention?” Jason guessed.
Cynthia shook her head. “No indeed. You need to make things right with me. Tomorrow when you come to class, you need to be here early with your homework—and a Snickers bar. And it better be fresh!”
Jason looked up, startled, then smiled widely. He went back to his seat and got to work. The next morning, he arrived at Cynthia’s class with not one but two Snickers bars and cheerfully handed in his missing homework assignment.
When Cynthia first told me this story, I have to admit that I was shocked. It seemed that she was letting Jason off the hook. “Cynthia, please tell me you aren’t shaking kids down for candy,” I mocked.
She laughed and then explained that too often, we make too big a deal of it when students make mistakes. We treat their mistakes as personal affronts and, as a result, kids are afraid to mess up—afraid that if they do, there is no road back. Over the years, Jason had adopted a cavalier attitude because he believed that once he made a mistake—and he made them all the time—he had ruined the entire school year. By having him give her a Snickers bar, Cynthia showed him a pathway to redemption.
“It isn’t about the Snickers bar,” she explained. “It’s about giving kids a tangible way of redeeming themselves and recovering from their mistakes.”
Cynthia is starting where her students are.
The Currency of the Classroom
Currency is a medium of exchange. Any behavior that students use to acquire the knowledge and skills important to your class functions as currency. For instance, if we teachers value student engagement, we take time and expend effort to make our lessons interesting to students. In exchange for our efforts, students give us their attention, curiosity, and participation. If students value adult approval, they work hard to abide by classroom rules and do well on assignments. In exchange for their efforts, we show them our approval in the form of praise, special classroom assignments, and attention.
But sometimes students come to school with currencies we find problematic. For instance, a student might use sarcasm as a way of earning the respect of his peers because it shows how clever and funny he is. However, teachers don’t usually welcome sarcasm in their classrooms because they see it as a sign of disrespect; instead of gaining their admiration, it usually incurs their censure. If students don’t feel that we understand or value their currencies, they often assume that there is no place for them in the classroom—and they opt out. What’s worse, sometimes students do carry the preferred currency but resist spending it in the classroom because they resent the fact that it is the only currency we accept.
Currencies even influence the way students acquire the curriculum. The explicit curriculum is the stated objectives, content, and skills that students are expected to acquire. But to access that curriculum, students need to understand and possess certain underlying knowledge and skills.
For example, the explicit curriculum may require that students multiply fractions correctly or explain how geographic features affect migration patterns. But for students to do this, they need to have the right currencies. They need to know how to take effective notes, study from these notes, independently practice applying their skills, learn from their errors and self-correct, pay attention in class, monitor their comprehension, and ask for help when they do not understand.
To demonstrate that they have mastered the material, students need to understand how to write an essay or solve a certain number of math problems correctly under timed conditions. Many students struggle in school not because they can’t learn the explicit curriculum, but because they don’t have the currencies needed to access this curriculum.
These types of exchanges happen all the time in the classroom. As teachers, we communicate which currencies we require and accept in our classrooms; our students do their best to acquire and trade in our accepted form of currency. When they already possess—or can obtain and effectively use—our accepted form of currency, they thrive. When they can’t, they flounder. In fact, most conflicts in the classroom are the result of a breakdown in the currency exchange.
A Winning Strategy
When we don’t understand the concept of currencies, we often attempt to mitigate classroom problems by attempting to connect with our students through their interests or to backfill any learning gaps we discover. We may even try to reward students in ways that make sense to us but that are inconsistent with what they value. When we focus on superficial traits without also paying attention to students’ currencies, we miss important information about what students can do and what they value—and even our noblest attempts to connect with them can backfire.
When I first started teaching advanced placement (AP) English, I attempted to get my students to sign up to take the AP exam by telling them how much it would help them in college. I explained the importance of having a capstone event that would really test how well they had achieved the course’s objectives, and I showed them statistics on how much better students did in college after having taken the exam. I even broke down the economic advantages of having earned college credit in high school and the effect that doing so would have on their overall college costs.
Nothing worked. They didn’t sign up for the test. It wasn’t that they didn’t see the benefit of taking the test. They knew it was important. But I realized that I wasn’t starting where they were. I was trying to motivate them using my preferred currencies, not theirs.
So I changed my tack. I started a competition among my three AP classes to see which class would have the greatest percentage of test takers. All of a sudden, students were racing to sign up for the test. Within a week, 95 percent of my students had signed up. Although my students could intellectually see the value of taking the test, it wasn’t until I connected signing up for the test to something they valued—in this case, it was competition and the camaraderie of affiliation with the “winning” class—that they actually signed up.
Starting where your students are goes beyond playing getting-to-know-you games to understand their likes and dislikes, their interests and hobbies. Such efforts can quickly become superficial. Can you really effectively get to know all 20–35 students in your classroom or make a personal connection with each one fast enough or deeply enough to help each student find a way to access the curriculum? Even if you could, can you really make logical connections between the curriculum and their lives every single lesson, every single day? Our students may be amused by our attempts to discuss with them hip-hop artist Jay Z’s latest hit or the plot of an episode of the TV show Gossip Girl. However, will doing so really help them connect with the curriculum in a way that enables them to leverage their skills and talents to meet or exceed the objectives—especially when that curriculum is not always immediately relevant to their worlds or when we don’t understand their worlds well enough to make a plausible connection?
Instead of forging superficial connections, starting where your students are is about showing kids how to learn in ways that work best for them. It’s about creating spaces in the classroom where our students can feel comfortable being who they are rather than conforming to who we think they should be. It’s about helping kids feel safe enough to bring with them their skills, strengths, culture, and background knowledge—and showing them how to use these to acquire the curriculum.
If we want to start where our students are, we have to understand how currencies are negotiated and traded in the classroom. The first step is to clarify the currencies we value. What do we consider to be a good student? How do we reward students for doing well? What do we think should motivate students?
When we understand our own currencies and recognize that they may be different from those our students value, we open ourselves to recognizing alternative currencies. For instance, earning good grades is a currency we may recognize. Maybe your students are not motivated by grades but really want the approval of their friends. When you recognize that being motivated by grades is really your preferred currency and that approval from friends isn’t good or bad, that it’s simply an alternate form of currency, you can find ways to leverage this currency to help students learn. Thus, you may stop trying so hard to get students to value grades and instead set up a classroom culture in which students push one another to do their very best. Understanding your currencies helps you withhold judgment and abandon the idea that your preferred currency is more valuable than those of your students.
Next, we need to unpack our curriculum so we have a better idea of the underlying skills— particularly the soft skills—that students need to be successful. For example, I once worked with a school whose students were struggling. The teachers complained that the students never did their homework. We sat down as a group and examined the homework assignments. One teacher assigned students to read a chapter of the textbook and take notes in preparation for a class discussion the following day. When we unpacked the assignment, we realized that to complete it, students would have to spend about two hours reading the densely written 19 pages, take 25 pages of notes using Cornell note-taking sheets, and look up 10 vocabulary words. Students would also have to organize their notes in such a way that they could refer to them quickly as support for any arguments they wanted to develop as they participated in the discussion. Now we understood why so many students were not completing their homework.
Once you understand the soft skills that are implied by the curriculum, the next step is to determine which of these soft skills your students already possess and which ones they will need to acquire. You can accomplish this through a quick pre-assessment or by observing how students interact with the material and with one another.
Or you can ask them directly. I often conduct focus groups with the students in the schools with which I work. I show them a list of the soft skills they will need to be successful in a particular class and ask them whether they know how to do these things. On the basis of their feedback, their teachers and I can determine what we need to preteach students to help them successfully tackle a particular lesson.
Our students often carry currencies that can help them learn, but we don’t recognize that these currencies are valuable because they don’t look like the ones we value. For instance, a student may have a different organizational system for his notebook that works better for the way he thinks, or a student may process information better by talking about it rather than writing about it, or a student may have a method for solving mathematical equations that differs drastically from the one you taught but that is equally sound.
I once coached a teacher who was having difficulty with a student who interrupted her while she was teaching to ask questions and offer comments of his own. He wasn’t intentionally being disrespectful, but it drove her crazy. After meeting with the student and his parents during parent/teacher conferences, she noticed that the family all talked at once. It was how they processed information. They thought aloud. At the same time. Loudly.
Once she recognized that his interruptions were not because he couldn’t control himself, that they were just how he processed information, she no longer saw them as annoying, but as evidence that he was thinking and eager to share his thinking with the class. She then was able to figure out a way to help him process the information without disrupting the class. She showed him how to keep a journal during class discussions to write down his thoughts as they came to him and to select one or two comments to share. Eventually, he learned how to participate in class discussions without the journal and to share his thinking appropriately.
Yes, But . . .
When I tell the Cynthia story in the workshops I give, many teachers become dismayed. Although they enjoy hearing about Cynthia’s Snickers bar strategy, it doesn’t feel comfortable to them. It’s a great story, but what about those of us who are uncomfortable with forging a connection over candy?
I once coached a teacher who was having difficulty with her 6th graders. Whenever she gave them an assignment, they would spend the period talking to one another, finding any excuse to get out of their seats. No matter how often she threatened them, she couldn’t keep them focused. I offered to observe her classroom and provide her with some feedback, but after being in her classroom for 30 minutes, I didn’t see any gross misbehavior. The students were squirrelly, but most of their talking was about the work. After school let out for the day, I met with her to discuss what I saw. Before I could begin, she said, “Do you see what I have to deal with? I’m exhausted. They just won’t behave!”
“What would your class look like if your students were all well-behaved?” I asked.
“They’d all be in their seats quietly working,” she said. “They’d raise their hands and ask permission before they got up to do anything, and they would also raise their hands before talking so that everyone can be heard.”
I listened to her list and realized that she was talking about her currencies. She valued a quiet classroom and thought that was how students learned best. However, her students valued being able to discuss what they were learning with their classmates and getting up and moving once in a while. That was how they learned best. I explained to the teacher the concept of currency and then asked, “If you were sure that your students were talking about the lesson, would you allow them to talk quietly in class as they were working?”
She thought for a moment; I could tell she was uncomfortable with the idea. Finally she said, “I suppose so, but I’m afraid it might get out of hand.”
We finally figured out a way for her to structure the students’ conversations so that she could still feel that the class was orderly and productive. She decided to pause during the lesson and allow students time to turn to their neighbors and discuss the information before moving on in the lesson. That way, students had a chance to process the information during the lesson and were less likely to talk about it later on. She found a way to acknowledge their currencies while honoring her own.
Finding Common Ground
When you recognize and honor students’ currencies, you don’t abandon your own. Rather, you find a common currency that you both carry. This creates a safe place for both you and your students to be who you are. In Cynthia’s case, she wanted Jason to acknowledge his mistake and correct it; Jason wanted a chance to do so without feeling like a failure and a bad person. The candy bar provided the common ground. Had Cynthia asked for an apology or demanded that Jason redeem himself by staying after school and repaying her the time he missed in class by being late, she might have alienated him. But by finding a common currency, she was able to quickly get Jason back on track.
For you, that common ground might be something less tangible. Maybe you are more comfortable lecturing, but your students are not good note takers. So you provide them with a note-taking sheet that helps them learn in the way that you are most comfortable teaching. Or perhaps you don’t like lavishing verbal praise on your students, but verbal praise is their preferred form of currency. So you develop a set of code words you can use with students that signal to them that they have done a good job.
When you start where your students are, when you find that common currency you both carry, you communicate to students that it’s OK to be exactly who they are. You create spaces for students to leverage who they are and what they know to access the curriculum.
So, a Colorado Christmas wasn’t exactly the Costa Rican Christmas that we had started 2009 hoping for, but it ended up being amazing! It was my very first white Christmas and BOY, was it white!!
The Christmas adventure started with a bang…on December 18th, at 2:04 when the 6th period dismissal bell rang, I was on the heels of the excited kids as we tore off campus for Christmas break. I was headed straight for the Sacramento airport with my mom, dad and Sol- luggage, a case of wine, 2 snowboard bags and a ski bag in tow. After a layover in L.A. we arrived in Denver around midnight and were ready for our 8 days of snowy Christmas fun and family bonding time in Colorado. Kelley and Roger picked us up at the airport in 2 cars (to fit us and all of our crap!), and we headed to their beautiful new house in Lochbuie, just outside of Denver.
We woke up on Saturday morning for our first adventure. We piled in Kelley’s Mazda (literally, Roger had to curl up in the back!) and headed to historic Golden, Colorado, with a Coors brewery mission and the even more important task of acquiring a family photo for the Courtney Christmas card. We decided to all wear red- for the sake of festiveness, but Sol didn’t get the red memo and had to buy a new Coors light shirt at the brewery..only after suffering through countless people noticing that he was the only member of our party not in red! Sol was the only one that hadn’t been to the Coors brewery yet, and it was a magical experience to take him to his mecca (haha). After we were nice and tipsy from our tour and included quota of free beer, and had learned more than you ever wanted to know about the largest single site brewery in the world, we wandered over to historic downtown bound for the Woody’s Pizza all you can eat pizza and salad bar (which has become tradition after Kelley and I discovered it via I-phone app. during our first trip to Golden..) Sol tracked down a nice couple who really got into our Christmas card photo shoot, so we ended up with the perfect family photo with the Golden sign in the background. We capped off the night with Inglorious Basterds and wine.
On Sunday, the boys started working on the garage workbench project, while the girls did a little shopping. Kelley, Sol and I headed to LoDo in downtown Denver. We wandered around and ended up in Kelley’s favorite bar downtown, having drinks and watching the Broncos/Raiders game (which was taking place a few miles away…) with a bar full of rowdy locals screaming at t.v.’s…it was quite exciting! We managed to sneak out right before they lost…we figured the scene was about to get very sad. We wandered into a wine store that was a part of the Real World Denver house, and Sol took a picture of me on the chairlifts that they took their cast photos on. (I insisted!) That night Sol and I made a reprise of our famous Chanukah meal that everyone loved, even picky Roger . We ended the night with Kelley teaching us to play drinking Uno…my new favorite game!
Monday morning my mom, Sol and I (the family snow lovers) headed to 12,000 ft. up the hill in Breckenridge for a few days in the snow. Through the weekend it had been so warm and snow-less in Denver, that it felt more like Southern California- so we were ready to hit the slopes. We rented a little SUV and headed up the hill on a beautiful sunny day to Breck. We arrived around noon, had lunch in the Breckenridge brewery and wandered around town. Breckenridge is an adorable little town with cute shops, bars and restaurants and it was festively decorated for Christmas to add to the already whimsical feel. We were staying in a condo in a great lodge just a couple miles away from the ski resort and downtown. One of the coolest parts about the condo is that it was a 3 minute walk to where our friends the Baers were staying. Dayna Baer and I had been best friends for 10 years during our childhood, and our families had always been close. After they moved to the south we spent a few wild summers together, but I haven’t seen their family in 11 years. Monday night we had a big dinner with them at the house they were renting, and had fun catching up. It was wild to see Dayna, and easy to reconnect. Even though we hadn’t seen each other for so long we were living similarly parallel lives, we graduated with the same masters degree, we are both teachers, and we got married 1 week apart!
On Sunday we woke up early for a big day on the mountain at the vast, exclusive (and expensive!) Breckenridge ski resort. Sol went with Bill on a 7am Starbucks run, and I made sure mom was ready on time. She was the first one ready and waiting for the 8am shuttle up the mountain! Breckenridge has 4 different “peaks” (mountains essentially!) all with their own complicated universe of lifts, runs, lodges and parks. The Baers: Bill, Sharon, Dayna, Trevor and Tyler, Sol and I headed off for family fun on the mountain while my mom took a refresher ski lesson. We had such a great time!! We traversed 3 of the peaks, until we ended up WAY on the other side of the park for a sunny lunch. It was the first time I had snowboarded in a few years, and I realized a couple of things- 1.) I really really missed snowboarding, I love it! and 2.) My 13 year old gear that I had gotten in 8th grade needing replacing…badly. The boots were so small that I had sore noodle legs almost instantly..but powered through to make the time in Breck (as well as the 86 DOLLAR lift ticket) worth it! After lunch, Dayna, Sol and I decided to head back to where we started to meet up with my mom…and it took FOREVER! It was a fun adventure to navigate our way back to the 1st peak. By the time we got there, my mom had already found a cozy place by an outdoor fireplace, and we were ready to join her! After the shuttle ride home we enjoyed a hot tub soak, some Coors lights and a nap- then were ready for more fun. We had another delicious meal at the Baers and then Bill took us out for a nightcap and some live music downtown. We drove around and looked at all of the Christmas lights adorning the picturesque little town. It was so magical, it really felt like you were in a snowglobe! By this time the “big storm” we had been hearing about all day had started to come in, there were big white puffy flurries everywhere. We also captured my mom on film falling into a big snowdrift for a late-night snow angel!
Wednesday morning Sol headed off for another day on the mountain. My mom and I, detoured by the big snow storm and our noodle legs from shoddy gear, opted for sleeping in and shopping instead. We took the shuttle into town through the snow storm, and then wandered around a (significantly snowier) downtown for awhile. We got some souvenirs and had a cozy Italian lunch when Sol called it quits from the brewery down the street. He credited the micro-brews for killing his afternoon riding motivation! We packed up and headed home with Dayna in tow amid the increasing amount of falling snow. Dayna and I were squished in the back like we were 10 again…headed up to Tahoe in a storm. We spent the drive reminiscing about previous traffic traumas of our childhood and trading gossip about people we knew in middle school. The drive got increasingly scarier as we descended the mountain, the snow storm got heavier and there were accidents everywhere. Sol did a great job keeping us safe in scary conditions, but it took us forever, several hours of white knuckles and many pulled out hairs to get back to Denver. When we got to Kelley’s we feasted on pizza, got Dayna to the airport and exhaustedly fell into bed. Denver was now no longer mild, it was snowy, icy and freezing!!
Thursday, Christmas eve, the girls escaped for a Christmas eve pedi and came back with “dear Santa” red toes. We relaxed and watched movies all day, before getting gussied up for a night out on the town. We took a van cab to downtown Denver (icy roads+too small car+mom driving= cab) for dinner and celebratin’! We started with happy hour mojitos at an upscale Cuban bar, before heading to dinner at Ted’s in Denver. Ted’s is Ted Turner’s steak house. Our Christmas eve meal was AMAZING! I had a bison filet and a dirty martini…mmmm heaven! After dinner we sprinted through single digit temps and high winds to this fun Irish pub down the street. It was literally the closest and warmest place we could get to from the restaurant, but it ended up being really awesome! It was warm, they had great beer and fun locals. Sol and I played beer pong, (I beat him, all by myself, a proud accomplishment!) Roger and my mom played pool, (did you know my mom is a pool shark?) and then Sol entered a goldfish race where he was allegedly cheated out of the title by some feisty locals. It was a great night of family fun and bonding, and hands down the best Christmas eve I’ve ever had!
On Friday, Christmas morning, we opened presents and prepared a delicious breakfast feast. Because the trip was our gift, we tried something new this year and did Secret Santa which was silly and fun. We had a leisurely day of eating, napping and sports-watching and then a fabulous prime rib meal courtesy of Safeway.
Saturday was our final day, and I set out on a mission to prove to my family that you COULD build a snowman in the dry Denver snow. I (with some help from Roger and Billy) made the most awesome snow-lady ever, and I spent the better part of an hour throwing snowballs at Billy- never gets any less funny! Saturday we caravaned to the airport for our good-byes and then were on our way back to Cali.
We had such an amazing and memorable time, I will never forget my first white Christmas. Thank you to Kelley and Roger for being such great hosts, and my parents for being so fun and for helping to fund our fun! We love you guys and are so excited for more family fun this WEEKEND in California. I attached some pictures, it was really hard to narrow them down because I love them all so much. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pic.