Sunday, February 28, 2010

A New Family Favorite

This week, for homework, Logan brought home this recipe. His instructions were to 1. read the recipe and 2. answer all the questions on the back of the page. This assignment was a reading/comprehension exercise. By the time he was finished answering all the questions he was salivating and hungry. Do you see what this recipe is?! It's waffles with bacon and cheese inside! A food that is right up Logan's alley!

The next question was, "Mom, can we make this recipe this week?"

And my answer, "Sure, Logie man."

This morning, for Sunday breakfast, we decided to give it a try. I was skeptical of the Swiss cheese, but we followed the recipe to the letter and didn't use any of the options listed on the side. And to EVERYONE's surprise - they were DELICIOUS!!

We served them up just like regular waffles - syrup and/ or powdered sugar on top. They were even good plain without toppings. Jeremy liked them so much he deemed it "a new family favorite" and I'm sure we'll be serving Bacon & Swiss Waffles at our house on many occasions in the future.

Once again this theory was proved correct: Bacon makes everything better.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trevor is #1!

Trevor did it. He really really did it! He WON the Science Fair competition at his school! He took his project to school last Wednesday and on Thursday they announced that he took first place. That means that he beat out everyone at his school that entered the competition.

Wow. Trevor was feeling pretty good about himself that day. He was presented with this "gold" medal (2nd place got a silver and 3rd got a bronze - just like the olympics!) and wore it proudly all day and the next.

Trevor described how they announced the winners: it was during the morning announcements at school. These announcements are broadcast over the loudspeaker for the entire school to hear. First they announced 3rd place. Then second. At that point he had decided if he didn't win 2nd or 3rd that he wouldn't win at all. And then they announced 1st place. "First place goes to Trevor Ward!" He sat there stunned, in disbelief. All the kids around him gave him congratulations. His teacher said, "Good job, Trevor." Trevor said she looked like she was going to cry as she realized that all of the science fair winners were from her class. It was a proud moment for teacher and student. And then they went on with their day.

Trevor said kids were congratulating him all day long. He also said that he got tired of it after awhile. (But we all know that secretly he was loving all that attention!) He got a great boost of confidence that day.

Trevor, mom and dad are proud of you for doing your best. Congratulations on all your hard work!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Polar Bear Plunge 2010

Here we are in the backyard on New Year's Day. We all stayed up late the night before partying our booties off until midnight and then rising early this morning to begin the new year! We are all a little tired to say the least. Note the wild eyes on some of the children - this lack of sleep only adds to the excitement of this tradition. The tension is high as all the children prepare to make their annual Polar Bear Plunge into the freezing cold waters of our pool.

Do these crazy monkeys look ready or what?!

And here is the peanut (ahem, chicken) gallery:

And of course, I recognize that I am also behind a camera. No worries, everyone knows I have a permanent "will not do crazy things" stamp on my forehead.

These guys wanted to be first!

I love this photo sequence...

Jackson was also ready to do the plunge. Here's what he's saying after testing the water, "See? Dats too cold in 'nere!"

Lizzie hardly felt the sting of coldness. She's an animal! Look at that happy face!

Here's the "after" picture. See? They look like a happy bunch, right? They're all warm and cozy in their beach towels - especially Ms. Meg who is enjoying her pitcher of hot water she prepared beforehand.

It was another successful year of freezing cold fun. Join us next year as we continue our chilly annual tradition. Same time. Same place.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Our new favorite family outing

We have finally found an outdoor activity that we can all enjoy together! Miniature Golf! When we have a free Saturday, and the sun is out, and we have coupons in our pockets, we all enjoy hitting the putting green. Let us count the reasons...

1. It's family friendly. Where else can you go to hang out with a bunch of pirates and/or chickens?

2. Even our Jackson plays the entire game. But there is no accountability whatsoever - no keeping score and what is "par" anyway? Maybe that's why it works out so well for us. There are no losers - we all get to be winners!

3. And if the ball doesn't go in after you've tried to hit is several times you can just go ahead and put it in with your hands.

One last reason we love mini-golf: it's out in the open, there's plenty of room for running around, and acting a little silly, and no one will tell you to quiet down. Even when you have a boatload of kids in your party!

Friday, February 19, 2010

big party = big mess!

I just wanted to share a bit of reality from Lizzie's birthday celebration. Here are some of the "after" pictures from her party. It really doesn't look so bad, but if you've ever cleaned up a mess made by children you know just how bad it can be. Several sweeps through the room, one mess at a time, takes forever to clean up!

I have to admit, even after all that cleaning up sticky messes, sweeping, and moving furniture, it was all worth it. Lizzie experienced a party of a lifetime. And so did all her little friends. Can't put a price tag on those kinds of memories.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Logan is Student of the Quarter!

Logan works so hard in school. He tries his best every day and loves to please his teacher. All his hard work hasn't gone unnoticed. He was chosen by his teacher to be Student of the Quarter in his class.

That good attitude doesn't exist only in the classroom. He is great at home too! He is always eager to get his homework done (that means more playtime, of course) and most of the time does his work without complaining. He is a great example to his siblings and encourages them to work quickly too.

Logan got another award on this day too. It's hard to see, but look at what he's holding in his right hand. It's a small charm in the shape of a brain! He attended the Chess Club and all the members got this super cool/rare charm for being a part of it. So cool!

We are so proud of you for trying your best every day at school. We love you and know you can achieve great things by working hard giving it your best shot. Way to go Logan!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Science Fair Fun

It began in the kitchen.....

2 Generic brand paper towels....

A tiny measuring cup for water....

one fifth grade boy. . .

and a bit of silliness...

all together to do the SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT!

Trevor did several tests to see which generic brand of paper towels would be the most absorbent. He was stoked when his hypothesis was proved correct! Costco beat out Target in EVERY SINGLE TEST!!

Here's his lovely eye-catching silver board.

Trevor was thrilled with how his project turned out. How awesome is that title? He was so excited to take his board to school this morning and show it off to all his schoolmates. Good luck, Trevor!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pinewood Derby 2010

Trevor and Logan had a great time getting ready for this year's Cub Scout Pine Wood Derby. They love coming up with their own designs and creating their own cars.

Trevor went for a truck style body this year. With blue and gold cub scout color stripes. His car won all but one race. Way to go Trevor!

Logan was excited about his car design from the get go. He was so determined that his car would be a yellow school bus. How did he do? Pretty good, right?! We are convinced that his car was a favorite out there. Everyone thought his design was awesome.

The first race is Trevor's truck. The second is Logan's bus.

Special thanks to mommy for the paint job, to daddy for all of the last minute alterations, and to the leaders who ensured that every child had a great race!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lizzie turns SIX!

Lizzie's birthday has come and gone, but we had so much fun - we had to write about it!

Her actual birthday was packed with celebrations! She woke to a pile of presents, a doughnut breakfast, and a small family party before school. Lizzie chose to bring birthday brownies to share with her class at school that day. All the kids in her class sang a special birthday song and she got to wear a cute birthday crown. After school she chose McDonald's for her birthday lunch. And then for her date with mom and dad dinner she chose In N Out (melt daddy's heart with that choice!) before heading over to the Build-A-Bear Workshop.

The day before her birthday, Gramma Elizabeth took Lizzie for a special shopping date. Lizzie got to choose 2 new outfits and several other birthday presents. (Note the cute yellow/polka dot top she's wearing above - yeah, that was one of her super cute outfits!) A big thank you goes out to Gramma for making her birthday even more special!

On Friday night, Lizzie had her friend party! It was a wild crazy time with 25 little friends over to celebrate. Lizzie loved the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, specifically the Chipettes.

So, she chose to do a Chipette themed birthday party. What do you do at a Chipette themed birthday party, you ask? Well... we set up a stage, mike, and disco ball... and we were set! We turned down the lights and let the kids dance and sing to their hearts content.

They also ate a delicious pizza dinner, crafted their own goodie bags, hit the pinata, and ate lots of cute cupcakes and ice cream!

We finished off Lizzie's birthday celebrations with a combined Duran/Ward family party. We did cake, ice cream, and presents - easy peasy. It was so nice to have everyone there. Seems like we haven't gotten together in a long time and we all had a nice time visiting - glad for an excuse to get together.

Check out that serious expression on Lizzie's face while blowing out the candles. That's all business - you make a wish and then blow out the candles. And you DO NOT tell your wish otherwise it won't come true. She was that intense every time we sang Happy Birthday.

You are such a joy to our family. We love watching you make new friends, grow and learn. Happy birthday Lizzie girl!