Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas season is here!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Friday, November 19, 2010

kids say the darndest things (grandma too!)

We were watching Lizzie's soccer game. The opposing team had a player that looked like she was 2 years older than the rest of the girls on the field. She kept bowling the girls over without intent the entire game - she just couldn't help it!

Trevor leans over to me and says, "Wow, that girl must eat her green beans."

And my reply? "Yep, Trevor. You're right. I bet she eats all her green beans!"

HA HA HA!! Jeremy and I were rolling!!

♪ ♫ • * ¨ * • . ¸ ¸ ♥ ¸ ¸ . • * ¨ * • ♫ ♪

Mom (Grandma Elizabeth) was telling us about something she'd found online. She is quite the tech savvy gal. She says, "I'll send you a link on Spacebook."

We all look at each other and crack up because she actually meant to say Facebook.

Mom corrected herself and said, "No, I mean, MyFace."

BAH ha HA ha ha! She wasn't even trying to be funny! It was a great moment. Thanks for the laugh mama. :)

Does that not sound like the punchline to a joke?
What do you get when you cross Facebook and MySpace?
SpaceBook and MyFace!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A day at the lake

We spent a day at Millerton Lake during our Veteran's Holiday 4-day weekend. Jeremy's dad and brother spent the night camping at the lake and we joined them the next day for a fun day-camping visit. Jeremy threw all of our bikes in the back of the truck, I packed us a delicious picnic lunch, and we were off!

We had a lovely relaxing day doing only fun things...

Kayaking on Grandpa's new kayak

day fishing

evening fishing

enjoying the wildlife

hanging out in our chonis!

and finished off the day with a glorious sunset!

It was the perfect temperature for enjoying the outdoors. We rode bikes up and down the boat dock ramp and campground. Jeremy and Matt did a little mountain biking. And at the end of the day we found some BMX type trails & bumps for the kids. One of the highlights of the day happened unexpectedly... Logan began building a dam at the bottom of a small trickling stream. It took only minutes for EVERYONE to get in on the building action. We ended up building 3 dams over the course of an hour and watching with awe as they all broke to pieces before our eyes. The kids also liked trying out the word "dam". Some of the kids (and adults) got quite creative with their usage. Mm-hmm. You know what I mean. ;)

The kids and adults alike had a great day. Thank you Veteran's for serving our country. And thank you to our country for giving us a day to enjoy fun family time. It was a much anticipated break that was much enjoyed by all!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DC 2010 Day 5

September 15, 2010

The final day of our trip was spent on a tour bus taking in the sights of Washington DC. Our first stop was at the National Cathedral.

The stained glass windows in this building are amazing! The left picture is the famous moon rock window that contains an actual piece of the moon in one pane. Our tour guide explained that each window contains much more symbolism than one can see at first glance.

We arrived at the cathedral at a perfect time of day to see the rainbow patterns splashed on the walls by the natural light coming through the windows.

We got an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the cathedral and got to walk the upper outdoor walkway. It was here that we finally learned the meaning of the term "flying buttresses". They are the exterior supports that hold up the building. They look like a bunch of arms coming out the sides of the building.

This grotesque seen at the left is one of many sculptures around the cathedral. Our tour guide confirmed the rumor we'd heard that there is a grotesque somewhere on the premises that looks like Darth Vader.

From our view out on top of the cathedral we could see the Vice President's house. He lives very near the National Cathedral and quite a way from the center of Washington DC.

This tour was one of our favorites of this trip. We learned so much about the cathedral's history and beauty. We were in awe of the massive undertaking it was to construct such a building in more primitive times. We both agree this stop was one of the great highlights of our trip.

We did not get to stay long, but we did get to see Ford's Theater for a few minutes. This theater is where President Lincoln was shot in 1865. The theater is still used for live performances today. We also went across the street to see the Petersen house; the house where Lincoln died.

Our final eating place: Hard Rock Cafe. Jennifer ate at this very same restaurant location 17 years ago when she came to Washington DC as a freshman in high school.

And here is our big orange tour bus. This is the bus we rode all around Washington DC that told the world that, yes, we ARE tourists! Jeremy took this lovely shot at the end of our journey. We were tired from a long fun filled trip and ready to head home.

We had a great trip and feel like we know DC almost as well as our own home. We dream of taking our family for a summer month-long visit sometime in the future. We'll go back someday, but for now we will say farewell to the East Coast.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

King and I

Another of our Veteran's Day weekend family fun activities included attending the local high school production of The King and I. We have been anticipating this show for many months now because we have several relatives in the show!

I love any chance we get to take the kids (and Jeremy) to see a live theater production. That is the culture I always wanted my family to enjoy together. This play is a small piece of my childhood. I was raised on this movie - singing the songs over and over. I did my first ballet performance to the song "Getting to know you" from The King and I. Here's a nice flashback picture of that moment...

Love that huge lacy sequined bib and bow on that costume! I got to wear make up and everything. And what the heck was that hairdo all about? No, it wasn't pulled back in a pony tail - that was my super short haircut! And mom was pregnant with Jordan. Awwww. How weird is it that today I am the same age as my mom was in this picture? Ooh. That's weird!

That's enough reminiscing for now.. let's get back to the show! We all had some favorite scenes:

The introduction of the the King's 57 children

That's Trevor's BFF/cousin Jacob in the green vest.

"Getting to Know You" - I sang all the words right along with the actors!

These headpieces were something else. Check them out!! The costumes in this part of the show were fabulous. The reenactment of "The Small House of Uncle Thomas" was my favorite scene of the entire play. "Run Eliza run! Run Eliza run!" That Eliza was a great little actress.

And finally we get to the lovers... ahhhh.... Lun Tha and Tuptim. These 2 characters hold a special place in our hearts because one of them is ZACHARY! Zach is our cousin, nephew, and neighbor. He did a fabulous job on his part. His vocals were the best of the entire cast. What a voice he has!!

Here are their 2 love songs caught on video. The first is"We Kiss In a Shadow". And I missed his first line! Shoot! But you get the idea anyway.

And the second is entitled "I Have Dreamed".

Good job to all the kids that were a part of this production. Our family enjoyed being entertained by a live theater show for the evening. And we came away with some vocabulary lessons (they really were paying attention!), "Mom, what does et cetera mean?" And so on and so forth the vocab lessons continued...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Megamind: The Review

It is the Vetran's weekend - a most anticipated 4-day weekend. We made a list of all things fun we wanted to accomplish before we had to go back to school/work and we are well on our way to having a most relaxing entertaining family fun weekend of all time!

One thing we wanted to do on our weekend extravaganza was go see a movie. A real full price new release movie. We are movie loving people here and I had 2 groupons of FREE movie tix for our family that needed to be used. Our movie of choice? MEGAMIND. The latest animated family film. Starring the voices of Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, and Jonah Hill.

There were only a few laugh out loud moments. And the storyline was totally predictable (As we were driving over to the theater Jeremy told us how he thought it would all turn out in the end and he was right!) Even the dialogue was predictable! Having never seen this movie before, I said some of the lines right along with the characters.

During the movie you'll ask yourself: How do you pronounce the name of that city? Metro City or Metrocity?

If you love Will Ferrell then this movie is definitely for you. He is ALL OVER and through, inside and out this movie.

Here were our reactions when I asked everyone, "what did they think of the movie?" as we walked away from the theater:

Me: meh.
Jeremy: It was ok.
Logan: But it wasn't better than Dragon. (Our new favorite movie is "How to Train a Dragon". We watch it at least once a day right now.)

Overall we give it 3 brain bots out of 5.

This movie was totally family friendly. Take your children young and old as it is appropriate for all ages. But, I think we could call it a rental.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Logan wins AGAIN!!

The Fall Sports Awards Assembly was Tuesday, November 9th. Logan was honored like no other! His name was mentioned at least 6 times throughout the presentation. He was the first Cross Country athlete to be given an award - and boy, was it a good one! He received MVP for his team. What an honor! His coach had so many nice things to say about our boy. She even pressured him to continue running next year. (We'll see what Logan decides to pursue next year - football or cross country? Both are equally pulling at him...)

Here's Logan with his MVP trophy. Wow! He was so thrilled!! The coaches made up these cool t-shirts for all the kids that were selected to go to District Championships. Logan was so excited about the shirt that he put it on right away.

Logan was lucky to have such great coaches. They were so kind and supportive of all the runners out there. One of the coaches was Logan's kindergarten teacher - those kindergarten teachers are amazing people to begin with. :)

That is officially the end of the Fall Sports Season for Logan. He has begun his winter season wrestling practices and is enjoying learning something new. Soon, he will be out there in his fancy singlet taking down other kids on those wrestling mats.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

DC 2010 Day 4

September 14, 2010

Day 2 of the Intel itinerary took Jeremy to Capitol Hill to meet our state representative Jim Costa and senator Barbara Boxer.

While in the Capitol, Jeremy secured tickets for us to see the Senate proceedings which we used later that day.

Sorry, no pictures allowed inside. Here we are outside the Capitol. Nice and shiny, hot and sweaty, from lots of walking. We got to sit inside the Senate room and watch some real life Health Care proceedings.

This picture I found on Google Images. The room wasn't nearly this full while we were there, but it looks just like this. This view looks like it was taken from the exact spot we were sitting in the Senate. It was an amazing experience to sit in this room and watch our government at work.

The culminating event for this trip was the awards ceremony held this evening. It was a black tie affair - note the fabulous hair do and fancy clothes. We were served a lovely dinner and then the award ceremony began. It was a nail biting experience waiting to see who the winner would be.

Jeremy's school was named a finalist, but not the overall winner. They were pleased to have made it to the finals even thought they did not win in the end.

It was a fun night full of good food and good company, and we were all grateful to have been given the opportunity to take this fabulous trip. We had one more day of vacation to look forward to and we were determined to have a great last day.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jackson the dare devil

Last Saturday we took the kids out to the BMX bike park. Jackson had never been out to this park mostly because all the hills and bumps are much to big for him and his little 12 inch bike. After about 45 minutes we found some small bumps that he could handle. He took the first 3 really well - he LOVED the thrill of flying down the other side of the bump!! Hill #4 was slightly bigger than the previous 3 and he didn't make it all the way to the top. His bike rolled backwards, he fell to the ground, and slid back down the hill all twisted in his bike scraping up his hands on the way. He stood up wailing, crying, and blubbering on!! I tried to comfort him, but he just wouldn't have it. I kissed his scraped hands and tried to snuggle him to make it better. He was SO upset! Come to find out he wasn't crying about his hands or the pain. He was purely frustrated with the fact that he was to small! That he wasn't big enough to ride the bumps like the big boys!

Oh, my risk-taking, thrill-seeking, dare devil boy!

During the last 20 minutes of our stay at the park, Jackson wanted to try the smaller speed bumps on the main course. Jeremy ran right behind him hanging onto his back the whole time to make sure he made it up and over every one. Jeremy ran behind him twice as he rode this course and Jackson was in dare-devil heaven! Finally! Something he could do!! Jackson was so confident that he attempted the bumps all on his own. He fell. But he did not fall hard nor did he cry. He came up laughing at his spill! He got right back up and started again.

He ended up riding those smaller speed bumps several times. And was even sure enough of himself to ride without a helmet.

I know, I know. We are looking forward to some serious injuries in the future. He will be into anything and everything dangerous. He is ALL boy that is for sure. Nothing makes his daddy more proud than to see his boy enjoy the outdoor extreme sports.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lizzie wins an Art Contest!

Lizzie's class at school had an art day earlier this year. They were given blue, red, and black paint to create a patriotic painting.

Here's the description of Lizzie's artwork in her own words:
"That's the street and the sidewalk. The flag is on the sidewalk at our school. It's raining. And that's the sky [at the very top]. And there's also clouds mixed in with the rain."

We had no idea that Lizzie's artwork had been entered into a contest. Lizzie came home from school with an invitation to an "Art Gallery Reception" for all the winners. Lizzie had taken 2nd place in the district! Awesome!

Congratulations Lizzie! You are a magnificent artist full of endless creativity!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

DC 2010 Day 3

September 13, 2010

We stayed in two hotels on this trip. The first was a nice Marriott and this second hotel was a 4 diamond Mayflower Renaissance. It was beautiful! Thank you Intel :) They paid for all of Jeremy's travel expenses including this lovely room!

I spent some quality time in this sweet sitting area while Jeremy was busy with Intel business. This trip offered me the perfect opportunity to finally finish the Mockingjay book (the 3rd/final book in the Hunger Games series). The book and sitting area were equally fantastic.

Day 3 began the Intel itinerary of our trip. It started out with a fantastic buffet breakfast and then each school did a 10 minute presentation about their programs. Jeremy agonized over this presentation for months! It was a perfectly put together power point and narrative all about his school and the exemplary things they do there.

Following the presentations all of the participants were invited to get to know each other by joining in a "City Caper". We were sent in teams throughout the city to find clues and work together to end up at our final destination - the National Zoo. We spent 3 hours working our way through the challenges before we arrived at the Zoo. We were so happy we made it!

While at the zoo, the Intel staff served us dinner in the Small Mammal House. Unfortunately, we were there after hours and most of the animals had been put away. We didn't see more than a few critters during our stay at the zoo.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Logan goes to District Championships

Logan is the family runner. The child that enjoys running. The one who doesn't even break a sweat when he finishes a race. Well... this boy has done well in his cross country season. He won all but 2 of his races (he placed 2nd and 3rd in those). Because of all that running success he was given the opportunity to run in the District Championship race - against all the other winners from 30 elementary schools in our area. And today was the big race.

Logan did not sleep much the night before. He woke very early this morning with race nerves already kicking in. He had himself quite worked up over this event. So much pressure to run against 120 kids that are just as good as you!

Here are our photos from this afternoon:

The line-up. YES, there really were 120 4th grade boys out there!

Here's a close-up of Logan just before the guy said, "Take your marks" and then shot off the gun.

It was a very quick race. We'll get his time tomorrow, but for now we'll just say it was quick. Start to finish in about 5 minutes. We got to see the start and then ran over to the finish line to cheer him on. Here comes Logan down the final chute to the finish line. See the look of agony on his face if you can zoom in. He was working harder than we've ever seen!

He came out of the runners area gasping for breath and sweating - finally sweating! He was exhausted and physically fatigued, but he had placed in the top 10. Logan had his heart set on placing in the top 7 so he could receive a medal. He finished 9th and got a ribbon and a free t-shirt instead. They handed it to him almost immediately after crossing the finish line.

He was disappointed at first because he didn't get that medal he had his eye on, but in the end we finally convinced him that really did better than most of the kids out there. Only 15 people got to take home an award - and he was one of them! He also felt better after a treat from the gas station - a 2 liter ice cold bottle of water and a new cap gun. Remember, the gas station always makes everything better. :)

Logan has done some amazing things this season and we cannot be more proud. He always tries his best in whatever task is at hand. All that hard work paid off. Big time. He's the only kid I've ever heard say, "I like cross country!" and actually mean it. He really enjoyed his time out there!

For now, we will put away our token cross country cheer, "Run, Logan, RUN!" now that the season is over. And look forward to the next sport season. . . . Wrestling!