Monday, May 31, 2010

Uncles are good for...

...swinging



...a good excuse to go out and eat Mexican food


...being silly in the car together


...and giving lots of love.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Testing... testing... 1-2-3...

The wonders of the internet never cease to amaze me. Tonight we discovered Skype. It's a video chat service that you can download for FREE and use with your computers video/audio capabilities. You know how I love my FREE stuff :)

Trevor and Jeremy have been in Tennessee all week for the big D.I. Globals Event. What you see here is our family togetherness time for this week. This was the first moment we'd all "been together" since our boys left town. It was great to talk about everything and nothing and just be together. (Click on the picture to see an enlarged version - you can see us at home in the bottom left corner in a pop-out window while talking to the world travelers in TN.)

Thank you Skype and the wonders of the internet for a sweet family moment that lasted a beautiful 45 minutes.

DI Day 4

DI day 4- the day of the big performance. The event that we have been working for since last year. The kids woke up nervous and very excited for the performance, in the DI world called the main challenge. Main challenge is a combination of an acting/interpretive performance while also testing your engineering chops through making testing a newpaper and glue structure that cannot weigh more than 75 grams (less than a pound) with the purpose of holding as much weight as possible. Anyhow, the kids have practiced their performance so many times they could do it in their sleep. In addition, we probably built more than 20 structures along the way, the best being the one that was crushed at the California state competition that held 600 pounds. They have performed it many times in competitions and for groups trying to fundraise, but this was, as they say, the big show so the nerves were there. Here they are before going on:


And on with the show...








All the coaches/dads agreed that this was the best performance that we had seen. There are several funny portions including Trevor's "I'm going commando!" (Ask me sometime and I will explain). A lot of people watching the performance said that it was the funniest one they had seen. The kids all felt really good about it, which is how you want to finish off. Unfortunately, their structure, did not hold the same amount of weight as we did at state, only 330 pounds but you live and learn.

With the performance done, it was time to blow off a little steam. What better way then by making a jib jab style music video? (Yes, we have copies to show everyone!)






We had to get in on the action ourselves, you know how Matt can't pass up on an opportunity to sing loud in public places.



Next, we kept ourselves busy by doing some of the fun competitions that DI had set up, first a physical activity put on by the NFL and then one put on by the 3M company called aftershock. The dads (and moms) took advantage of the down time to relax a bit. Here's Kari and Robb, ahem, resting a bit on the floor of the Knoxville Convention Center...



We knew that the Mom's would not be entirely happy if we didn't get some more pictures of the kids and team so we then set out around town to find some good spots for pictures. As you can imagine, the kids were just ecstatic to be taking yet more pictures, just look at the excitement on Trevor's face.








All the picture taking (and complaining about picture taking) got everyone a little hot and bothered so we headed down to "the geysers" as the kids called them, down at Knoxville's "World's Fair" park. Here's some action shots













Trevor, Elder and Emma in a battle royal...



And my favorite...



We got back to the dorms in time to clean up a bit before heading to dinner and then the big closing ceremonies. The team was buzzing with anticipation thinking about being announced winners, I mean, why wouldn't they, they won every other time right? We debated telling them that there really was not much of a chance of placing high with the weight that our structure held, but decided to just let them ride it out. They did some fun activities before going on to announce winners.


Some other sights and sounds of the closing ceremonies




Well, no 1st place finish this time. We found out after the awards that we ended up placing 33 out of around 62 teams. Not what we were hoping for, but not entirely unexpected. The kids were definately a little deflated, but they perked up during the after ceremony party. We had to snap one more picture of the group while we were all together in our California Di shirts.




The shirts were quite a hot item, Trevor and I must have been asked about 20 times if we would be willing to trade our shirts with another state or country for a pen or other items. Not wanting to walk around without our shirts off all night, we decided against it.


The many mini-parties of Logan's Birthday

Logan's 9th Birthday was a jam-packed fun-filled EVENT!

#1 His birthday celebrations began a couple of days before his birthday. Jeremy and I took him out for his special date night dinner. He chose to eat dinner at the DOG HOUSE GRILL. Yeah, it was Awesome.

#2 The next day was still not his birthday, but he wanted to bring treats to his class at school anyway. He had a short party in class and fed all the kids his favorite snack - FLAMIN' HOT CHEETOS!

#3 Saturday morning (his actual birthday) he woke to a family birthday party and the traditional pile of presents! Check out his new razor rip stick scooter he picked out for himself on his birthday date with mom and dad.





#4 A couple of hours after his family party was his final baseball game. He got to play in the championship game for his league. And guess what.... THEY WON! WOO HOOOO! First place to the Dodgers on Logan's birthday!! What a great birthday gift to be #1! Of course he had a celebration lunch following the game - check out his intense chomping down on the sandwich of sweet satisfaction and success.




#5 Later that night was Logan's friend birthday party. He wanted to do a laser tag party like Trevor's done in the past because they are SO MUCH FUN! Those boys were so eager to have a fun time and their energy was contagious. We formed ranks inside the arena and worked together to take down the big kids/adults that were our opponents. SWARM SWARM SWARM! ATTACK!!! We've got to get back there soon. :)




#6 Sunday night was Logan's time with our extended family. The Durans came over for some delicious chicken patty sandwiches for dinner and then presented Logan with his presents. All Logan asked for on his birthday wish list this year was CA$H. He had a larger gift in mind for himself. And he got EXACTLY what he asked for! (No worries, that string of cash was all ones. Thank you, Grandma!)



#7 The final party happened immediately after the Duran family celebration. The Ward family also got together on this same day to celebrate all of the birthdays in May. Count the # of cakes. Yep, there were 5! That was a lot of cake.



#8 The very next day Logan spent his birthday CA$H. He had enough money from birthday presents and his savings to go to Costco (for our FHE activity) and purchase his very own ipod Touch. Wow. That boy owns a fancier ipod than his mama! He is quite proud of his new baby. He's still learning his way around the menus, but is totally and thoroughly enjoying his toy that he purchased for himself.

It was a whirlwind weekend full of sooo many celebrations. We can just go ahead and call it "The Great Weekend of LOGAN". Logan, we love you and hope you felt loved and special! Happy Birthday, Logie Man!