Friday, April 30, 2010

Will you go to PARIS with me?

Actually, it was a Paris themed Prom, but YES, we did go!

Our church sponsored an LDS Prom for the 16 - 18 year old kids in our area. It was designed to be a fun alternative to the regular school proms - a place where kids that belong to our church (and their friends) could come and not have to worry about compromising their standards. We all thought it was a GREAT idea and hope they continue this dance as a tradition for years to come.

We were invited to come chaperone the dance. We really didn't have to do much. Those were some really good kids that didn't really need to be looked after. We basically spent the evening together, chatting with our friends, and playing apps on Jeremy's ipod the whole night. So really, it was like a date for us too! Especially since we went to dinner before - sushi! My new preferred out-to-dinner indulgence. My favorite part was the dancing. We rarely get to dance anymore so that was a delightful pleasure.

The picture taking was also fun. This photographer was fabulous! He came with lots of silly props for the kids to wear in their photo shoot. We got to sit on a cute bike with a fan blowing our hair and scarves. Check out our cute pictures below:

Awww... who doesn't love a good prom picture?

The traditional group pic with our friends

The boys thought they were so funny... ha. ha. ha.

This picture was my #1 favorite of the evening. I laugh out loud whenever I look at it! These guys were the leaders in charge of the dance. Do they have a great sense of humor or what?!
It was a great night. Something different than our usual date night. And, if he asks me, I will definitely go to prom with my hubby again!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Clash or not to Clash? That is the question. And we have the answer.

This weekend Jeremy and I got a special treat. Our kids were invited to stay the weekend with Jeremy's parents! They like to take the kids on a weekend near our anniversary so we can celebrate without worrying about a babysitter. It is a treat we are most grateful for. The kids look forward to spending time with Grandma and Grandpa and we get to have piece of mind knowing the kids are in good hands.

For our first night alone together we decided to do something we rarely have time to do. We did dinner AND a movie - all in one night! Shocking, I know. And, bonus, we had gift certificates for both. Ya'll know how I love FREE stuff.

Dinner was at a new place we'd never been before. (Maybe it's not a new restaurant, but it's new to us!) Bella Pasta. Ever been there? The atmosphere was charming, service was good, and the food was super tasty. It was drenched in butter. Our favorite. Everything is better with butter, right? Jeremy got the gnocchi and I had the fettuccine alfredo with chicken. Yes, it was a carb fest, but we rarely go out for pasta. So it was a treat any way you look at it.

After dinner we headed out to the movie. We had 2 choices. Date Night with Steve Carrell or Clash of the Titans with the guy from Avatar. I admit, I was the one that chose Clash over Date Night. And with that comes all the responsibility of what comes next. The movie review.

I was not one of those lucky folks who got to see the 80's original version of this show. Jeremy watched it with the kids recently. Now I wish I'd been on the couch with them watching the streaming movie from Netflix so I could've had a more educated decision in making my movie choice.

We were both in agreement on this one. It wasn't that great. The story could've been better and there were just too many action/fighting scenes.

Avatar guy did a great job acting. We did liked seeing Liam Neeson as Zeus, but his costuming was just odd.

The BAD:
Medusa was ENTIRELY computer generated! I, personally, would have liked to have seen at least the face of a real actor on her snake body.

What was up with all those scorpions? And who were the alien/metallic/blue hearted guys that spoke their own language? That was just weird.

I don't feel like I can safely say, "If you liked the original then you'll definitely like the remake." You may or you may not. Jeremy, definitely did not. We most likely won't even rent this one when it comes out.

So... we give it 2 Crackens out of 5. Yes, it was entertaining. No, it wasn't horrible. But we were not impressed.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The best part of Easter dinner...

Easter dinner was at my parent's house this year. The Durans. Mom and Dad are always such gracious hosts. They cook and clean all day to make us feel at home while we're there. They love us with food and comfort.

The babies arrived at about the same time and my dad couldn't resist. He LOVES being a grandpa! Mason and Bella were being so cute that we had to snap a few shots before we began our feast. They were both decked out in their fancy new Easter duds. Mason really was smiling, I promise! I just couldn't get him at just the right moment!

Mom and Dad are in the middle of some renovations and the family room was feeling quite sparse. Most of the furniture has been moved out of the room including the flooring - leaving only the exposed plywood for now. Mom/Grandma Elizabeth is always so good about entertaining us - well, mostly she likes to entertain her grandkids, but sometimes the activities she plans are appropriate for ALL ages! Tonight was just one of those times! She took advantage of that exposed plywood by giving all of us a sharpie marker and letting us go hog wild on that floor! The kids had a great time signing their names and feeling a bit naughty for writing on the house with a sharpie, but loved every minute of it. Even Jeremy couldn't help himself. He had to show some home-town pride.

We did eat a delicious dinner that night. Mmmmm... tri tip... it was tasty. We even had a little birthday party for all the the birthdays that happened that week. There was, as usual, way too much food. (Note to self: less dessert needed at Easter dinner - Easter candy ruins all need for sweets after dinner.) We all rolled out of there stuffed to the brim and all sugared up. We do love to eat. :) But the best part of the night was just being together.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lizzie's first pedi

Lizzie has been dy-ying to get her toes done. Ever since it was warm enough to wear t-shirts in the afternoon she's been asking repeatedly to go to "the place where the ladies paint your toes and you get to sit in the chair".

One evening, Jeremy whisked the boys into the car to go hit a bucket of balls at the driving range. And, finally, we had an opportunity to go! Lizzie was in heaven! She had a fabulous time choosing the best most wonderful spectacular sparkly color on the nail polish wall. She got really quiet and shy when she sat down in the chair as the stranger lady prepared the water bath for her footsies. Her feet didn't even touch the water so she had to scoot her bum all the way forward on her chair. She sat perched on the edge of the seat the entire time.

I warned her ahead of time all about the massaging and the buffing and the clipping and the tickling. She was prepared, but it was totally unnecessary! She didn't flinch once while the lady worked on her feet and massaged her legs.

Check out those sparkles! Whew! We'd never seen so much sparkle in one nail polish bottle. She walked out of there a happy happy camper. And is already planning our return trip. (Of course, mommy got her toes done too, just no pictures!)

It was a fun girls' night out. Just Lizzie and mommy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trevor's Destination Imagination @ State Finals

Back in March, Trevor's team competed in the regional D.I. competition. The Super Smart Alakazoo Airheads of Doom placed first in their division and got the chance to move on to State Finals in San Jose! The team rose early Saturday morning of April 10th and made the 2 1/2 hour trip to the next phase of their D.I. adventure.

Their performance is only 7 minutes long. Within that 7 minutes they 1. perform a skit and 2. show a structure that bears weight. The skit must contain several elements and they get points for each element they include and extra points for the level of creativity they show. The structure was built beforehand. It could only be made out of newspaper and glue. They get points for the creativity of their structure and how heavy it is in relation to the amount of weight it holds. (There are actually quite a few more elements and restrictions, but it's really too much to explain. Just know that the kids had to be incredibly imaginative in every aspect of this competition - hence the name Destination IMAGINATION.)

Here they are just before they go on.

Here are several shots of the different elements of their skit:

Emma & Jacob acting as newscasters sitting at their "desk" painted and designed by the kids.

Elder acting as a news reporter interviewing Jacob (now posing as a baker that lost his baking partner into a mixing bowl of dough). Jacob's partner seems to have turned into a giant gingerbread cookie! Gingerbread man cardboard cutout was also made entirely by the kids and painted by our own Trevor!

Elder, the news reporter with his microphone made of newspaper, interviewing Caleb acting as an old man hosting a gathering of the largest number of people together in their underwear (note the newspaper chonies the kids are all "wearing").

Everyone was "wearing" their undies - except Trevor, who had the most classic line of the skit when he said, "Not me! I'm goin' commando!!"

Trevor and Jacob E. were primarily in charge of stacking the weights onto the structure throughout the duration of the skit. Jeremy got to act as a tool - guiding the weights and spotting the kids so they didn't drop anything on their toes!

You can see the rest of the team come to help out with the weights as soon as the skit was finished. That structure maxed out at 600 POUNDS!! Watch the video below and listen for the crunch when it breaks.

Here they are after their performance. Relieved, blowing off some steam from all that pressure, and proud of their hard work. You can see their newspaper structure inside the wooden surround. It's the gray cylinder sitting underneath all that weight. We could hardly believe it held that much weight!

The kids were happy with their performance and so were the parents and coaches. We went out for a short celebration before the awards ceremony at 6:30 that night.

The awards ceremony was packed! That gym was filled to the brim with creative kids, parents, and coaches.

Here's our team waiting for the announcement in our division.

They didn't get 3rd. We held our breaths. They didn't get 2nd. We were turning blue with anticipation. Then they announced, "1st place goes to THE SUPER SMART ALAKAZOO AIRHEADS OF DOOM!"


Proud papa with his boy.

These kids were beyond excited to win this award and TROPHY. They knew that if they won these State Finals they'd be able to go to the Global Finals.

The kids learned a valuable life lesson on this day. They learned that will a lot of hard work, team work, and the joy of using their imaginations, they can reach their dreams. They can succeed! April 10th, 2010 will be a day that lives forever in the memory of these kids.

We were all surprised at how well they did at State Finals. Not in any of our wildest dreams did we think they'd get first place with a chance to go to Globals. All of the adults in our party squeeled with delight when they won, but sat down in shock as we realized what this would mean. $$. It meant $$. How in the world would we be able to get these kids to the next phase of this competition? None of us had been planning on sending kids and/or spouses to Tennessee in a month. This news meant fundraisers. Big. Time. FUNDRAISERS.

Here is our shameless plug to ask for your donations:

Please click the HERE or the picture below if you would like to support our fundraising efforts to get these kids to Global Finals in Tennessee May 25-29, 2010.
We need all the help we can get!! Your donation is tax deductible. Please use the Tax Code on the D.I. webpage for your tax purposes.

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dyeing Easter Eggs 2010

Dyeing Easter eggs is always a special treat for our family. The kids love any chance to get messy with permission! They wanted to try out a new technique this year - using rubberbands.

Step #1: hard-boil a flat of eggs

Step #2: mix up the dye

Step #3: place rubberbands in desired position and gently rest in a cup of dye

Step #4: wait: 3-5 minutes for desired color

Step #5: enjoy your creation!

We all had a great time throwing all of our creative juices into our egg dyeing. Lizzie loves to make a personalized egg for every person in the family. Jackson just likes to drop the eggs into the dye and watch them whack! on the bottom of the cup. And he likes to pass out BIG kisses when he's feeling close to mama. Logan came up with a cool football style egg.

And, as always, we are always done too quickly. We have about 20 minutes of fun time and then it's over. But look at our beautiful masterpieces all together - they look like spring! er... Easter.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Turtle for Sale!

Read-Eared Slider Aquatic Turtle FOR SALE!!
$50 OBO

. . .

Included in your purchase price:
- Turtle
- 25 Gallon Tank
- filter and extra cartridges
- 2 lamps
- heater
- all accessories & rocks already in the tank
- background seen in the photo

Leave your contact info in a comment, email us, or send us a message on Facebook if you are interested in purchasing our turtle!

A Childhood Memory

I made cookies the other day. Delicious, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmmm... they were tasty.

I was moving the hot cookies to my "cooling rack" and stacking the already cooled cookies to the back row when I had a *flash* memory from my childhood. I vividly remembered my mom making cookies just like this. I remember her standing at the counter, spatula in hand, taking cookies off the hot baking sheet, and transferring them to the cooling rack (which was actually a brown paper grocery sack from Gemco). I remember being barely tall enough to see over the counter and drooling over her stacks and stacks of cookies! The whole house would be filled with the aroma of fresh baked cookies and all I wanted was to plow one of those delicious morsels into my mouth. We were allowed to eat 2 or 3 for a snack. What a treat!

I love that the "tables have turned" or that "the circle of life" has continued and now it is my turn to be the mama standing in the kitchen, baking cookies, and telling the kids they can have one or 2 for a snack.

Such a simple memory, yet so sweet. And tasty.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Followin' a rainbow

We had a day of thunderstorms and lightning. (Jackson thought the lightning was pretty cool - he kept searching the sky for Lightning McQueen...) The rainbowS that came afterward were AMAZING! My pictures of the sky never do it justice, but you can get a little taste of what we saw anyway. We had a view of the entire arc. Wow. (The double rainbow is pretty faint in this picture, but you can still see it if you look close enough.)

This shot is the best of the double rainbow. Those colors were so vibrant! The kids were rattling off every color they saw. And they could see them all!

The expressions on their faces are just priceless. Sheer awe and joy as they marveled at that natural beauty.

There was talk of following the rainbow to find the pot of gold at the end. Finally, these boys get it. There really is no pot of gold. The real treasure is in the rainbow itself! We heart rainbows!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jackson's 4th

Jackson's birthday has come and gone. And here's a shocker for you... we did NOT do a week-long celebration! We jam-packed his big day and slammed everything we usually do for birthdays all in one wham bam super celebration day!

He woke to the traditional pile of presents and donuts (as requested) for breakfast. Watch out for that birthday blowing out of the candles moment - that's classic Jackson for you.

After all the kids headed to school, Jackson and mommy planned out a fun day all about Jackson! We laid around in our jammies for awhile playing Wii, enjoyed a quick visit with Grandma Elizabeth and Grandpa Louie who brought over a fun balloon treat for the birthday boy, and ate the rest of those donuts before heading out for a visit with Nanny Boggs (that's Jackson's Great Grandma). She had a special choo-choo train waiting for him. She was moving out of her apartment the next day and we got to take the tour of the place and say goodbye to everyone with her.

Jackson had been asking ALL WEEK to go to the gas station to buy a treat. We finally headed out to grant his wish and use the gas station as one of his birthday gifts. He chose a cool nerf shooting gun and a single serving tub of Dibs ice cream. It's the little things in life that bring him the most pleasure... oh, to be 4 again.... It was time for lunch about then, and we had planned to go to his restaurant of choice - Me N Eds. Now, I know what you're thinking, but NO, I did NOT influence that choice one bit. He LOVES pizza. It's his favorite food - he'd eat it every day if we let him.

After lunch we stopped at the Build-A-Bear Workshop for another birthday gift. He watched Lizzie get hers for her birthday and he requested the same for his. He picked out exactly what he wanted and we were out of there in less than 15 minutes! What a difference between boys and girls! He named his bear "BuildABearHugsAndKisses". Awwwww.... he has a soft sweet spot after all!

We ran home to collect the kids and meet daddy over at the miniature golf course (a.k.a. our new family favorite hang-out). Jackson also requested golf for his bday fun. I'm telling you, this boy KNOWS what he wants! And he REALLY wanted that hole-in-one on the 18th hole to get his FREE icee! And, no surprise, it didn't go in. Even with all their not-so-honest efforts.

After a fun round of golfing goodness we made our way over to the Dog House Grill (a.k.a. our family favorite eatery). I have to admit that we may have coerced him into choosing this location. That tri-tip sandwich was the "icing on the cake" to a great day. (All puns intended, naturally.)

There was a sweet race on the way home - as there always is when we are in separate cars. The winner is the first person to touch the front door.

It was a sweet sweet victory for mama's car. We love beating daddy any chance we get! We made our way into the house to finish off the day with a final happy birthday singing by the cousins. It's never truly a party until the cousins arrive.

Jackson went to bed a happy boy that night. We're still working on the question, "How old are you?" He'll put up four fingers, but will say, "Three!" instead of four. It's amazing how time flies. Happy Birthday, Jackson boy. That was a GREAT day.