Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Seinfeld Valentine

This post is long overdue, but we didn't want to forget about our exciting "Valentine's Day" adventure.

Last year, back before Christmas or was it Thanksgiving? can't remember. Anyway, we decided to give each other tickets to Seinfeld as our Valentine's Day gifts this year. No other gifts were expected or required. For reals. These tix were pricey enough as it was. Yes, we'd go out to dinner, but no purchases of any kind were to be made. And we both stuck to that. Hallelujah!

So Valentine's Day came and went and we had to wait until MARCH 25th to see the show! So can we really call it a Valentine's gift? I don't think so. And here's why: because March 25th is the DAY BEFORE JEREMY'S BIRTHDAY. Oi! Why did we not just call it a bday gift to him?!

Well, no matter what kind of gift you wanna call it, we went. We went to see Jerry Seinfeld, live at the William Saroyan Theater, the day before Jeremy's birthday for Valentine's Day.

We went to dinner with some friends at a cute sushi place just near the theater and enjoyed a quick meal before the show. Mmmmm... sushi. That was a delicious start to a fun night.

Jerry was Jerry. He did his whole stand-up comic routine about nothing. Just like his TV show. He began with his bit about Fresno and raisins. "Raisins in my cereal, raisins in my muffin, chocolate covered raisins, and raisins with my raisins..." What the heck kind of hotel is he staying at that all they serve him is raisins? is what i wanna know. Of course, he shared all of his hilarious observations about marriage, children, parenthood, blackberry phones, public bathroom doors, and everything else about nothing.

Our favorite part of the evening was his Q & A session he opened up during his encore. People ask some silly questions when they are in the presence of TV royalty.

"When are you going to do a reunion Seinfeld show?!" someone yelled from the balcony.

Jerry answers with a snarky, "Didn't we just do that on Curb Your Enthusiasm?"

Hello people? Really? (Not that we watched that reunion show - it was on HBO - which we don't have, but we certainly knew it happened.)

"WE LOVE YOU JERRY!!!!" a few fans scream from the mezzanine.

"I've never heard that before," Jerry replies with a sarcastic eyebrow raise.

The last question from the audience was the one he didn't have an automatic prepared response for: "What are you doing for Passover?!" a man yelled from the floor.

Jerry stopped short and turned, "Is it Passover?" he asked with a baffled look and put a hand to his forehead. (Um, yes. Easter would happen the next weekend.) "Woops," was all he could reply.

It was a fun/funny evening. We love Seinfeld. We love Valetine's Day. And we love Jeremy's birthday. Mostly, we just love an excuse to buy tickets that we normally wouldn't buy and go out for a night on the town.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cub scout SPORTS day camp

Cub Scout Day camp happened the week after school got out. It is always a highlight for our boys - they LOVE day camp! We were fortunate that camp was located so close to home this year. It was just down the street at our kids' elementary school. This location was fabulous for us and saved us an hour of travel time compared to years past.

The theme for this year's camp was "All American - Sports". The boys enjoyed some awesome opening and closing ceremonies patterned after the Olympics. All of the teams paraded around the amphitheater to light the eternal flame (pictured below) and proudly waved their team flags.

The boys were divided into "teams" as they made their way from station to station. At each station they earned a pin to collect and display on their bright yellow hats. These pins were a hit! Trevor and Logan were so stoked to show off their collections at the end of each day (now those hats have a place of importance pinned up on the walls in the boys' room).

Logan's team was quite enamored with the Lakers (seeing as the last few NBA basketball championship games were being played this week). They (the basketball team) would become the champions - there was no doubt of this. So, naturally, Logan and his boys decided to name themselves the Lakers as well. Here are some great shots of Logan and some teammates on the last day of camp during the final Olympic Games.

Sammy & Logan doing the wheelbarrow races, and Logan with his other buddy Carter

Who do we appreciate?!
Lakers! Lakers!
GOOOO Lakers!"

Trevor's team named themselves the "Fireballs". Their team cheer was quite awesome - they yelled it loud and proud as they made their way through the camp each day:

"We. Are. The. FIREBALLS!
Yes, we are the best!
We are the Fireballs! - What?!
Yes, we are the best!
We are the Fireballs! - You know!"

I loved watching this team strut their stuff around camp. They are the big boys on campus this year. The old men. The seniors. They are the oldest and the coolest and they knew it. They had the most confident air about them - even as they did their girly cheerleader cheer they didn't care what anyone thought about them. They knew they were awesome and that was all that mattered.

Sadly, this year was Trevor's last. He'll be a big bad 11 year old scout next summer - no more day camp for him.

Trevor and Logan had a blast with the sports theme this year. They played flag football, kickball, swimming, archery, played on the water slides, bounced in the bounce house, crafted catapults from wood, played marbles (with Sis. Davey!), Rocked out to music (with mom! Watch for another blog post on that), raised the flag, earned tons of "dingle dangles", enjoyed buying items from the snack shack each day. and performed skits in front of the entire crowd. These boys did it all this week and enjoyed every minute of it.

Special thanks to Michelle and Nadine for herding our kids around every day all day in the heat. You guys are the best!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Public Notice

A new sign has been posted on Lizzie's bedroom door. Please take note:

"Do not come in. Private. It is a secret. If you want to come in you need to pay $1."

We will definitely be taking this announcement seriously. It is, after all, perfectly printed on spaghetti paper. How can you disrespect such a request?!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

kids (and daddy) say the darndest things

Logan: Daddy and me had a talk today.

Mom: What about?

Logan Why girls talk so much.

Mom: Some girls do talk an awful lot.

Daddy: (in his best “all knowing” voice) Yeah, no man has ever been able to know what’s goin’ on inside a woman’s head. (he says with a mischievous grin)

Mom: Well, that’s the truth!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lizzie says good-bye to Kindergarten

Lizzie and her class prepared for months to be ready for this end of the year program. She tried her best to keep the songs a secret from us at home so her program would be a big surprise. Lizzie just couldn't contain her enthusiasm - she sang those songs every day, she knew them backwards and forwards, and so did we!

The program was held in the cafeteria. That room was packed! There were wall to wall parents in that place. The kids looked so nice in their nice outfits, "nice, but not too fancy" as per the teacher's instructions.

I got 3 of her songs on film. The 3rd one was done at home with her BFF from school. My favorite part is when Benny holds his sign upside down - so cute! Pay close attention and you'll see that Lizzie knows every word to EVERY song! This girl LOVES to sing!

After the program the kindergarten teachers had arranged a reception in the kindergarten play area. It was complete with goodies, juice boxes, parents and friends. We took the opportunity to snap a few pictures:

The STAR of the show,

her adoring fans,

the most awesomest kindergarten teacher ever,

and some of Lizzie's kindergarten buddies.

Lizzie had a great kindergarten year. She had the best teacher and made lots of new friends. She excelled in her academics, loved learning, and loved going to school each day. She earned straight "C's" on her report card (C for completed). She finished out the year at reading level 4. And is ready for first grade! Lizzie can't wait to stay longer days at school and eat lunch in the cafeteria. It's the little things in life that make it so exciting to be a kid. :)


Friday, June 25, 2010

Jackson's Sunday School Lesson

The coloring page that came home from Jackson's primary class this week was hilarious! I love it's age appropriateness. They all need help learning to master their feelings and it's never to early to start learning. HA!

I really do like his coloring. He's gotten a lot better at this most necessary life skill. It's good to see that he finally understands that he's supposed to be coloring SOMETHING to make it pretty. And the words at the bottom of the page were definitely his own, "I am happy when I... play with trains!" How true it is.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

CVS & ECBs are my best buddies

Please revel in my latest couponing adventure at CVS...

Total price: $31.15.
Total paid out of pocket after coupons and ECBs: $9.12.

Bonus: $14 ECBs to spend next time!!

Coupons I used:
$1/1 Hawiian Tropic
$1/1 Hawiian Tropic
$1/1 Total Advanced Toothpaste
$1/1 Total Toothpaste
$4 off $20 or more @ CVS
$10 ECBs
FREE item of my choice (CVS shaving cream or CVS anti bac wipes)

It's the best when the checker recognizes the savings, "Wow, not too bad," she said with an approving nod. Anyone else out there love the feeling of a coupon high?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Starry Eyed for Star Wars

Last week we got the chance of a lifetime. A phone call came in from our good friend, Brock, and he offered us a set of 2 premium tickets for the Star Wars in Concert happening at the Save Mart Center. I thought he was joking. I really did. He is a super Star Wars fanatic - he has the official clone trooper costume to prove it. He finally convinced me that the offer was for real and I couldn't have been more excited. Our family went through a Star Wars phase a few years ago (we purchased all of the movies, wore clone trooper costumes for Halloween, played LEGO Star Wars on Wii and XBOX for days at a time, we were ecstatic to see the all new Star Wars Clone Wars movie and animated TV series come to life, stood in line at Disneyland too many times to ride Star Tours just so we could get another glimpse of C-3PO and R2-D2, and bought every last one of those Star Wars Galactic Heroes action figure toys.) We were INTO IT! Even though we are past that phase of life those characters will remain our lifelong friends.

We were/are beyond grateful for the generous gift of these 2 tickets. But that posed a dilemma for us. Jeremy and I both wanted to see the show, but how could we go and not take out 2 boys whose lives revolved around Star Wars for so many years? Jeremy headed down to the box office and purchased 2 more tickets. 2 $25 seats. Yes, they were in the VERY BACK ROW, at the TOP of the highest balcony, where their heads touched the back wall. Nosebleeds. You got it.

Here was our plan. Mommy and Trevor got the good seats for the first half of the show. Then Logan and Daddy would take the good seats for the 2nd half. It worked out great.

Here we are before the show is about to start - can you feel the excitement?! Trevor wore his Rebel Alliance hat in place of his wookie costume.

The show began and it was quite the overpowering emotional experience! Check out that 100+ piece orchestra! The first few notes of the Star Wars main theme began and it was indescribable. (FYI: it's the French horns that play that main theme - we learned that by watching the musicians do their thang.) The live music was so impressive as the movie frames of all our character friends flashed across the giant screen. The combination of "seeing old friends" and being overpowered by the awesome talent of the orchestra brought tears to my eyes.

Even seeing the bad guys (Vader and Darth Maul) generated tears. The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme) felt so good to my ears!
Maybe it was a combination of being exhausted after a long week of working Cub Scout Day Camp and studying the music of John Williams all week, or maybe because I've been a lover of music my entire life, whatever the case, I was quite teary this evening.

Our narrator for the evening's performance was the actual Anthony Daniels. (He's the guy who played C-3PO in the original trilogy.) He was there on stage (no recorded voice over business) in person! He was so entertaining! He walked us through all 6 films, did a fun bit on the importance of his character, and brought so much life to the evening. We were thoroughly impressed by him and his excellent acting skills this evening.

During intermission and after the show we were all giddy school-children out in the main halls. There was a great display of characters' costumes, weapons, backgrounds, and my favorite - written music by John Williams himself! Trevor and Logan were next in line to get a picture with Boba Fett and Clone Trooper, but they were called away just as the boys began to take their places. Here's the best shot of the boys with the cool costumed guys.

C-3PO and Han Solo frozen in carbonite (*swoon* Harrison Ford)

Ah yes, here's the best part of the displays: THE MUSIC!! Look closely now... that is John Williams ACTUAL HANDWRITING! Look up in the upper right hand corner. Can you see his name written up there? Yeah, he wrote this stuff!

A few more pics with the displays: Chewbacca, Vader, and mommy's Princess Leia inspired sandals!

These were the cool backgrounds hung around the outer hallways. Trevor and Logan would portray some excellent Ewoks, eh?

We had a blast at this concert. It was fortunate that this concert was the first for Trevor and Logan. They had a great experience and look forward to many more live music events in the future. One last shout out to Brock (and Erin!) for the tickets - THANK YOU! This concert will be a highlight of our 2010 summer adventures.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Be back soon

We are at Cub Scout Day Camp this week.

"WE WILL - WE WILL ROCK YOU, SOCK YOU, PICK YOU UP AND DROP YOU!" How many times have I heard that one this week? One thousand times to many.

We are having a ball out there - cub scouts rock!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Baby Gaby's Blessing Day

Last Sunday, on our trip down to the Central Coast, we got to see baby Gaby's blessing. This event was the entire reason for our trip (and a great excuse to have some fun while we were down there!)

Almost all of Kelly and Julio's sides of the family were there. It was like their wedding reception all over again! The person conducting the meeting even commented, "Due to the blessing of baby Gaby, Kelly & Julio's family have doubled the size of our congregation." And he was right! We took up the entire overflow area and then the back curtain had to be opened into the cultural hall to make more room!

I counted 11 people in the circle for the blessing. That's a lot of love right there. Julio pronounced a lovely blessing on his baby girl #2 and she never made a peep. That's saying something for Ms. Gaby!

She is a beautiful baby and a sweet new addition to the family. Kelly and Julio make some fine-lookin' babies! We were so happy to be there for Gaby's special day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bonfire @ the beach

Our weekend away at the coast had many events all smooshed into our 24 hours we were there. One of the favorite activities was the bonfire @ Avila Beach. After a full day of fun in the Hot hot sun we headed down the road to the bonfire spot. We cooked the entire meal over the fire.

#1 roasted weenies

#2 roasted corn in a can (this was delicious!)
*see recipe below

*Here is the recipe for all of you skeptics:

Corn in a Trash Can

1 brand new/clean metal trash can
fresh husked corn
sea water

Optional toppings:
salt & pepper
chili powder
Parmesan cheese

Fill can with enough sea water to cover the amount of corn you wish to cook. Place can over hot coals. Bring water to a rolling boil. Add corn and cook for 5 minutes. Remove can from heat and serve.

The sea water salted the corn perfectly. The flavor was perfect with or without any of the fancy toppings Kelly brought for us to try. I have to admit that the chili powder was quite tasty and a new alternative to our same ol' boring butter, salt, pepper routine.

#3 And for dessert... smores!!
The coals were just right for marshmallow roasting after we finished with the hot dogs - the flame was gone and the embers were glowing red hot. Then, an adult (who will go unnamed - *cough, cough*) threw all of the leftover wood onto the fire! Note Lizzie's stance away from the fire. FAR far away from the fire. None of the kids could get close enough to properly roast their marshmallows. Oh well. Live and learn.

The kids did love watching the big tall flames that put off enough light to illuminate the beach all the way down to the water. There's something about fire that is so magical and brings out the kid in all of us. It was a fun way to end our day at the beach.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Trevor's End of the Year Awards

Trevor has had a great year. He achieved so much as a 5th grader. Here are some of his great accomplishments this year:

Undefeated Varsity Football Team

1st Place in Science Fair

1st Place at D.I. Regional Finals

1st Place at D.I. State Finals

Tennessee Trip to compete at D.I.Globals

Add all of those accomplishments to his academic endeavors and you have one very well rounded boy. Trevor finished the year with a bang. He received his Block R award for keeping good grades and for participating in so many extra curricular activities. He was recognized in front of the whole school at a fancy schmancy program as his teacher said lots of nice things about him:

It took a LOT of work to earn this award. He had to maintain an above B average for his grades while he participated in, choir, band, D.I., cub scouts, the drama production, science fair, football, volleyball, giving service at school, and in qualifying as a character counts citizenship student at school. I'm telling you, this boy was BUSY this year!


The final academic awards ceremony of the year happened this week. Trevor was honored 3 times!! His first award was for High Honor Roll. This accomplishment alone, has so much value. Trevor has finally learned how to get good grades. He was self motivated this year more than any other year before. He was so good about getting his homework done all by himself and being responsible for any and all class assignments. This attitude is a far cry for where we were just a year ago - every afternoon, at the table, both of us pulling our hair out from homework frustration, and after all that still not getting the best grades. And now here he is. All grown up. Being responsible for himself and his grades. Boy, what a difference when he cares!

This final video is of Trevor's 2nd award - receiving his medal for reading. The library gives out awards at the end of the year to all the readers that go above and beyond what is required of them. Trevor was the 3rd highest reader in his class. The reading program is called AR (Accelerated Reader) and students accrue points as they take tests on the computer after reading each book. Trevor earned many of his points from reading the Harry Potter books this year. He was on fire with reading!

Trevor' 3rd award was for perfect attendance for the entire year! This boy didn't miss one day of school! WOW. I don't know how he does it, but this kid never gets sick.

We are so proud of Trevor for putting himself out there and trying new things. 5th grade was a great year!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The last day

Here are the school kids on their way to their last day of school.

The 2009-2010 school year has come to a close and summer vacation is here. Don't they look ready for summer? Their already sunkissed skin. The lazy looks and carefree smiles...

And sheesh! they look so much older than the first day of school pictures. My how time flies. When did my babies get so old? 3 in school full time? How old does that make the parents?

These kids are movin' on up! So long 5th grade. Catch ya later 3rd grade. Adios kindergarten!

*HOT* Avila Beach *HOT*

We spent all day Saturday at Avila Beach. Our bellies were full of delicious Splash Cafe food and we were ready to play! It was the busiest weekend we'd ever seen at this beach! The parking lot was entirely full and the shore was equally packed. We had a theory that all the people at the beach were from the Central Valley trying to escape the heat, but unfortunately the heat came to the beach too!

We unloaded all of our gear and made our way across the sand only to discover that the sand was hotter than any sand we'd ever encountered! It was like LAVA! Jeremy and Trevor both had red blistered feet from the burns we all got from the hot hot sand. We were all sweating buckets by the time we made it to our beach spot. The temperature outside was a warm 95 degrees - that's hotter than we've had at home! As soon as we dropped all of our chairs and junk everyone made a mad dash across the hot sand to the freezing cold water.

The hot sun and hot sand made for an enjoyable time splashing in the waves and hanging out at the water's edge all day. (No one wanted to cross the lava sand anyway.) Lizzie was a boogieboarding animal! She was out there ALL day enjoying herself to pieces. Trevor, Logan, and Jackson all did their time in the frigid water, but spent most of their day playing in the wet sand.
Jackson was just happy to be with his best buds. Tyler and Sierra (or, as he calls them "Tyner and Sera").
As we left the beach for our hotel Jackson says, "Tyner go to the hotel too?!" (Because he only speaks in exclamation points.)
Mom answers, "Yes, Tyler's coming to the hotel too."
Jackson excitedly replies, "Dats ridiclous!"

Apparently Jackson does not know what ridiculous means, but we got his meaning - he was EXCITED!

Logan enjoyed some ball time with daddy towards the end of the day. He's a ball catching fool these days. Thank you baseball season for giving our boy a new hobby that he enjoys!

It was definitely the hottest beach day of our lives, but it was a great time nonetheless.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You know you're part of the family when...

... your get your bum pinched by the kids!

We took a short overnight trip down to the Central Coast this weekend. Our very first stop as we pulled into town was my FAVORITE Pismo eatery - The Splash Cafe! You will recognize these wall murals if you've ever been there. The kids thought it would be fun to make some silly poses while we waited outside.

Splash Cafe has made a mark on our lives forever. We've had some of our greatest dining moments in this restaurant and we truly feel like we own the place when we visit. Maybe it's because this place represents vacation, full bellies, and relaxing times - who knows. Anyway, we love it and we consider that place a part of the family!

And if you have not been there then you need to go. Go now. Drop whatever you are doing this weekend and get out of town to the Splash Cafe for the best clam chowder you will ever have in your life!