Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tis the Season...

Just a few reasons why this season is looking pretty fantastic: the boys are f-i-n-a-l-l-y out of school for winter break, my missing cell phone was miraculously found and returned before I begrudgingly went to purchase a new one, days the middle of "my cell phone is missing" angst,  I went on a present wrapping tirade and got the job done, Kate's catching on to new words everyday and it's a complete hoot, my current favorite: fish/peesh ... AND I bit the bullet and bought an entire 1/2 gallon of heavy cream so I could make a bazillion recipes taste even better.....we are officially ready for the big day!
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Brody's big #5

We've been counting down for weeks and it finally happened.....

His Birthday arrived....right on time.

"Mom, what's with the stripes?" ...snide comment from a very astute birthday boy whose mother was both well intentioned and ill prepared in the decorating department.
We did however come through on the GLOW golfing adventure...big hit. FYI: Tuesday evenings are a fantastic time to take a family of six who don't always remember to follow the rules of mini golf etiquette. Birthday Boy even made a 100% real hole in one and scored himself a free pass for a future 'bout that! 

Well intentioned but ill prepared mom did come through on the cake this year. Birthday boy wanted the little Cars cake from the bakery...I didn't particularly feel like making was a win win.
I absolutely and positively adore this boy. At times he has been my most difficult child to parent, stubborn and fiesty as can be with a mind all his own.  However, that mind has come up with some of the funniest, craziest, kindest, and most clever moments that I'll treasure forever. Happy 5th birthday darling Brody..You Are Loved! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving in pictures....

See-ins that I already kick boxed this morning when I didn't really feel like it AND cleaned out my dirty oven, I thought I'd complete my Tri-Fecta of Awesomeness and actually write a blog post.

Thanksgiving 2011

Cute cousins playing loud games....

My 3 handsome, hilarious, and talented brothers...

Lots of inside cousin jokes...

My baby holding a baby...

Gramma Jan getting the gravy going....

We had a cousin talent show complete with violin, viola, and piano pieces, song numbers, and lots and lots of dancing...

My little brother Allen, THEE most talented pianist I've ever known!

Cousin dance party..

Cousin Ben..hitting the high note!

I love this picture....Can you match which cousin goes with what parent?

My handsome Jack...

Fun day, yummy food, good times!
 Now if only my favorite sister and her darling family could join us one of these years!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ma Lady......

Words cannot express how much I adore this little girl! She's literally the girl of my dreams. I always had envisioned a brown eyed brown haired doll baby with personality and spunk in our family and here she is.
She's totally hilarious and she totally knows it. She loves "cheets/treats" at all hours and will whip right back into shape at the simple threat of naptime. She loves having hands and toes painted and prefers "peek/pink" for any color option available. 

Her hair is fabulously curly and crazy and finally pony/piggie/bun do able and I couldn't be more THA-RILLED! Now THAT is what I have been waiting for. Years and years of buzz cuts leave much to be desired.

We sing together a lot these days and hold deep conversations...we're besties. Last week, I even took her with me to get my hair color fixed. It took an hour and she was a total champion. So we went out to lunch and enjoyed turkey sandwiches and french fries.  We stopped by my favorite antique store afterwards.....SANS stroller mind you..and once again, total champ.

I can't believe how lucky I am to be the mother of this little angel girl. Lucky, Lucky, Lucky!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Scenes from Halloween...

First of all, there are 14 pictures in this post. That's a lot but I love all of them. Most of all I adore this preschooler with a tiny head and giant mask. I actually sorta forced this mask on him at Target cause I loved it so. I'm glad he obliged. I think it is fantastic!

Preschool parties are tons of fun. Especially when you can totally write your own name on a rubbery pumpkin.....emphasis on the O...
And you can bring your sassy little Minnie Moused sister along and lick a lot of frosting while decorating cookies....
And then you can pose with all your cute little buddies...espcially Ariel...cause your mom thought she was darling in her bright red wig...
We had our annual Trunk or Treat....NO was GLORIOUS!
We actually carved pumpkins this year. Our parenting skills get totally high marks this month..... EFFORT CITY!
Big fellas were pumped to strut their stuff at school. I love schools that let kids dress up and enjoy the silliness of the holiday.

Trick or Treating in Gramma Jan's neighborhood with cousins has become a favorite tradition.

Minnie Mouse deep in thought!

Gramma Jan's neighborhood = lots of king size calories!
The dark knight's after school photo session....
There's that mask again...I seriously will let him wear this everyday!
Perfecting the leap...
And that's a wrap....a fantastically fun time had by all!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My deep thoughts on school pictures....

When I was in the first grade we lived with my grandparents in Utah for a few months while my dad solidified his new job up in Washington. It was such a fun adventure to literally be with my grandparents everyday, eat grandma's heavenly food, and the best part....we walked across the street to both church and school. Only in Utah. I have one specific memory of those first few months of first grade that came to mind today as Cole brought home his school pictures.

 School picture day circa 1982..I was rockin' my favorite lavender fancy shirt with a semi forgiving elastic waist and a pair of jeans. I had my hair sponge curled to perfection and my most unfortunate crooked toothed smile was ready for the camera. The pose was: country background / I was standing in back of a giant wagon wheel with hands crossed a top said wheel. Easy enough.  Pictures came back and upon first glance I was pleased...o.k., things were looking good. However, upon closer inspection something instantly caught my eye. A certain fancy lavender shirt with a semi forgiving elastic waist somehow had crept a little too high and had exposed my, oh I cringe.....belly button. So there I am, arms obediently and neatly folded over the wagon wheel and my gut is hanging out. Didn't anyone see that coming....couldn't someone have stepped in and stopped that? Where were the teachers? Or how about the photographer? The lady collecting envelopes with cash or check.....somebody!

Years ago I was a 4th grade teacher before I had my kids. I loved almost every minute of it, including school picture day. I remember getting disposable combs from the photographer as we stood in line with our students waiting for our turn. I walked the line helping to quaff each child's hair. I sent those that needed a little freshening up to the restroom and straightened the collars of others. It was a big deal and I wanted their pictures to turn out as best as possible. If they were my kid I would want their teacher to make an effort to clean them up if need be. Heaven forbid their shirt goes crooked and exposes a belly button or something.

So as you can see...I'm not a real fan of school pictures. In fact, it pains and annoys me to purchase even the cheapest "package." However, every year I give in and buy silly package Q which consists of 2 -5x7s because I guess I'm kind of's the school lover in me. 

Cole brought home his school pictures today. I so wish I knew how to scan so I could share the results.

I'll just say that 2 things INSTANTLY caught my eye but somehow didn't even phase the photographer or any other adult in the room.

1. He obviously had a peanut butter and JELLY sandwich for lunch.
2. He shouldn't have worn a collared least the ones where both collars point down..not UP.

So retakes it is.

Good thing my favorite friend Angie snapped some shots of my darling last month. Fresh faced and collar in place, the way it should be!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My 'must do' list in paradise....

Oh to still be on the lovely island of Maui. Hands down best vacation (sans children) ever. I think life in general with this guy just gets better as the years go by. We had a few 'must do-s' on our list but other than that it was just play it day by day. I'm telling ya, it's the way to go.
Must do #1- Visit Lanai:
A few years back we went to Maui and I had a pedicure. The tiny little gal that worked her magic on my feet lived on the island of Lanai and took the ferry over to Maui to work everyday. I was fascinated with this idea...a ferry to work everyday, I had no idea. *Sidenote- She also worked at the 4 Seasons resort there on Lanai and had pedicured Oprah's feet as well. How 'bout them apples?!
Anyhoo, I knew then and there that if we ever went back to Maui I wanted to take the infamous ferry over to Lanai and check it out. Come on, Oprah does it.
It took about 45 minutes from Lahaina harbor to get to the island. These were the first up close views as we neared the harbor. Kyle said it looked a lot like Alaska. Not so tropical palm trees in sight.

Tiny island with one tiny grocery store. I had to take a price comparison tour. I found it much more enjoyable than Kyle..."No way, a cake mix is $3.59..can you believe way, a box of cereal is $6.29, no way...." We did not purchase anything.
We rented a jeep and toured the island for the day. One half  looked like a tropical yet rocky jungle.
The other half...the moon.This was the only swim-able beach with the only palm trees on the island. It's literally a dry/mountainy/not so pretty place that once was a complete Dole pineapple plantation...the entire island. This beach was fabulous and fit the bill for our snorkeling needs. We  saw schools of fish, sat and talked, and counted 37 too many inappropriate and unfortunate bathing suits. I had the best Pina Colada (my personal fun drink of choice) at the 4 Seasons (where one Ms.Winfrey had her own personal pedicure years ago).

We swore we saw a dolphin out in the harbor as we ate....had to have been. Would I go again...probably not, no need.  It was a fabulous 1 day adventure that I have officially checked off my list.

Must do #2: Eat a lot of fresh fish
I think I ordered fish every time we went out to dinner...except for my eggplant night...can't pass up eggplant. This night however was my favorite. Such a fun experience. We joined forces with Mark (Kyle's brother) and Lorri (hilarious sis-in-law) and created our very own last minute bbq at a random beach park along the highway. How's that for spontaneity?!

We found a fresh fish market and made our selection. We got some marinade to go with it and then headed to the grocery store for charcoal and all the other "stuff." Sidenote: there's a lot of "stuff" you forget you need when you're not in the courtesy of your own home. Rule of the night...make due!
The camera ready wives patiently waiting.

Our improvising skills were crazy good and the fish was delicious. We ate on the paper bags from the store and I grabbed forks, salt n pepper packets, and napkins from the deli- after I made a legitimate side salad purchase. Add some guava juice and a bag of chips and you've got a serious BBQ..Thomas style!

Just a fun evening that I'll always remember!

Must do #3: Play me some Tennis
I love this guy...his name....Good Sport.

I played tennis in High School and then fun/casual co-ed stuff in college. NOTHING major...however, I really love it! I hadn't played in years and Kyle hadn't played since 9th grade PE so it was about time for some serious court action. Hilarity (mixed with some great volleys) ensued and after 2 hours we called it a morning.  Kyle's direct quote as he dripped in sweat, "That was really fun, we should do that again." No sarcasm what so ever. Such Good Stuff! 

Must Do #4: Enjoy everyday even with nothing planned
We had a few days where we literally had nothing planned and I absolutely loved it. We went running, read books by the pool, swam, shopped at the same store 3 times on 3 different days, counted people's hideous tattoos, read the local newspaper, talked about everything, ate great food, and just enjoyed being together.
I of course missed my darlings (who were so well taken care of by my one-in-a-million in laws) and by Saturday, was ready to see them again. I made them home made cinnamon rolls...I had to.

So there it is, I'm a list maker.  It's so gratifying to check things off, have fun, and be productive....especially on Maui!