Friday, April 29, 2011

Jackson get's stitches AGAIN!

Just in time to kick off Spring Break this year, Jackson took a header off the trampoline and smacked his forehead into the trampoline frame. It split his skin perfectly down the center of his forehead. We butterfly bandaged it up pretty good until we got to see our favorite expert stitches doctor at urgent care. Remember, Jackson had his first set of stitches only 6 months ago. We got to see the same doctor again.

Here we are in the exam room. That gash was really good.
BEFORE: (Here is the BEFORE picture from 6 months ago. Look how close his new gash is to the old gash.)

We passed the time waiting for the doctor with some good ol' thumb wrestling...

DURING the procedure:
Here's Jackson under the paper shield and the doctor's expert hands working their magic. Can you see only his boo boo peeking out from the cutout in the shield?

Jackson was not a fan of getting stitches. He told us as much afterward. He did not like being strapped down to the papoose board totally restrained from using his arms. Can you see the white ring of skin all around the stitches? That is the numbing medicine the doctor shot right into the gash. The stitches didn't hurt going in, but that shot was sooo painful!


Here is our boy at his Easter portrait photo shoot. Stitches removed. Happy as can be. It looks ok in this picture, but if you see him anytime within the next 30 days he will have a big purple splotch of "anti-scar" ointment over his scar. We will do our best to make sure that scar is as small as possible in that prominent spot on his forehead. We can only hope that there will be a single scar right there on his head. With Jackson's track record we're probably in for many more trips to the urgent care.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

kids say the darndest things

We had just hopped in the car to run a few errands. We're almost to our destination when Jackson looks up from the iPod and realizes...

Jackson: Aw, dane-it! I got for my shoes!

Mom: You what?

Jackson: I got for my shoes!

Mom: You got for your shoes?

Jackson: See, I got for my shoes. Dey are at home.

Mom: Oooohhh. You mean you FOR-GOT your shoes.

* * * * * * * *

Jackson is helping me load the groceries from the conveyor belt and into the car. He spies a treat he likes and says, "I nike those rocket chips!"

Mom: You like rocket ships?

Jackson: No, I say rocket CHIPS.

Mom: Rocket chips?

Jackson: See, dose rocket chips. [Pointing to the flamin' hot cheetos] Dey so spicy.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jackson turns 5!

Jackson is officially 5 years old! He survived his whirlwind birthday day (that was the same day as the great DI competition) and ended up more spoiled than usual. He had so many birthday celebrations!!

- with the Duran family
- with the Ward family
- a small family party on his birthday morning
- a large chorus of DI competitors singing at lunch
- a McDonald's full of cousins singing at dinner
- a birthday date with mom to Build-a-Bear workshop and pizza lunch
- and a special birthday playdate with his birthday friend, Liam

We went to the doctor for his 5 year old physical (and shots - ow!). We had already measured him on our "birthday growth chart measuring board thingy" and the dr. visit confirmed our measurements. Here are his official stats: 44 inches tall and 44 pounds! He is perfectly proportioned.

Jackson is one inch taller than Lizzie was at 5 years. He also grew 3 INCHES in one year! My goodness they grow so fast!

Jackson, here are 10 things we will remember about you at 5 years:
1. you love to play on the iPod
2. your favorite foods are chicken nuggets, Me N Ed's pizza, Dole peach parfait cups, and top ramen noodles
3. you like to wear your church clothes all day long on Sundays
4. you love going for bike rides to get a shoot gun from the gas station
5. you like helping mommy make banana chocolate chip muffins
6. your favorite color is RED
7. you are addicted to playing with LEGOS and love to organize them on your lego shelf
8. your googah is still around and brings you much happiness
9. you are excited to go to kindergarten
10. you know all the letters in your name and enjoy writing them... in no particular order

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DI CA State Finals 2011

Trevor's group got to compete at the State Finals this year. They originally did not make the cut after Regionals (watch their Regionals performance HERE), but circumstances were altered in our favor and they got to go after all! The kids were stoked at the chance to compete again and show off their stuff.

Trevor and his team knew they'd have to amp up their game at State because they'd be competing against the BEST 17 Junior High teams from the entire state. (Our kids are all 6th graders attending elementary school, but because of their age, they had to compete against teams that are all older than them!) They worked their booties off to prepare for their main challenge. They researched and memorized information about 6 different cultures and prepared 6 differents skits to go with each one. Each skit was only 5 minutes long, but you'd be surprised at just how much preparation goes into those quick 5 minutes.

Here's their mission:
  • Create a five-minute Improvisational Skit about a Mission involving a Mythical Creature. This must be done in a five-minute Preparation Time prior to your Presentation at the Tournament.
This skit was THE BEST performance we'd ever seen from these guys. Their level of energy and stage presence was so much more than their first attempt at Regionals. They were really good at Regionals, but at State - they were AMAZING. Enjoy a video of their fabulous performance.

Be on the lookout for these items:
- mythical creature
- facts about mythical creature
- culture
- facts about culture
- 3 "souvenirs"
- 1 "mega prop" made out of 3 souvenirs
- unexpected element (Elder breaks his tooth) and how the team resolves the issue

Logan's team did a compeletly different challenge than Trevor's. They got to build a structure, test it's weight, and prepare an 8 minute skit. No improv elements here. They did a FANTASTIC job at Regionals. They took FIRST PLACE in their event! (Watch their Regionals performance HERE.)

These kids built countless structures and used many gallons of glue to perfect their structure. It all paid off in the end. The structure they took to State held the most weight of any other they built. They also decided to amp up their game because they'd be competing against the top 18 teams from the state of California. They constructed some very cool dual sided backgrounds in addition to their wood/foil props. Their skit contained much humor - it always helps to get those judges laughing. :)

Here was their challenge:
  • Design and build a Structure made only of Aluminum Foil, Wood and Glue
  • Test how much weight the Structure will hold
  • Present a Story about a character that is Foiled
  • Integrate team-written Verse and published Verse into your Story

Be on the lookout for these skit elements:
- 2 side trips (ninja powers, dancing)
- 2 verses (one original and one copyrighted)
- the main character getting "foiled"
- props made of wood and/or foil

The main challenge are the ones you see recorded here. There is one more element to Destination Imagination - the Instant Challenge (dun dun dun!). The Instant Challenge is a secret event. (No details can be spoken or shared until after the Global Finals in June. Truly! The team swears an oath and signs their lives away!) The Instant Challenge will either make or break your rank. Let's just say, this year, the State IC's were very difficult for both teams.


Trevor's team placed 12th in their event.

and Logan's team placed 6th in their event.

Their main challenges were very good, even better, than much of their competitors. It was quite impressive to see them pull out their best game when it really counted. Everything worked out to everyone's satisfaction in the end. Neither of the teams made it to Globals this year, but we were all ok with that. Both teams gave their absolute BEST performance yet! Coaches, parents, and kids are all happy with the end result.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jackson gets ready for Easter

Here are a couple of great FHE ideas for your family at Easter time. We did made these "Easter Symbol Baskets" last year in YW and Jackson made one this week at Joy School. The idea behind the basket is this: 12 days of Easter instead of the 12 days of Christmas. Our family will have enough attention span to do one a day for 12 days. You families with older kids will be able to do this activity in one sitting.

This activity should help your family focus on the true meaning of the season. We love to hunt for Easter eggs, eat lots of chocolate Easter candy, and make a traditional Easter basket for the kids. But we never want to lose sight of what the season is really all about.

The short kid-friendly Easter story at the left was perfect for our almost 5 year old boy. He was totally listening the first time I read it to him. He read right along with me the second time and got a huge kick out of reading the pictures.


1. 12 plastic eggs
2. items to fill eggs
-sacrament cup
-3 dimes
-knotted twine
- chunk of hand soap
- square of red fabric
- small nail
- sponge
- crushed rocks
- strip of white cloth
- small flat stone
- bay leaf (we used a small piece of fake greenery)
3. sharpee (or cute scrapbooking stickers) for writing numbers on eggs
4. dollar store basket
5. printed scripture references cut into strips.
6. cute Easter grass or moss to put in the bottom of your basket

Assembly Directions:
Put coordinating scripture references and symbols into each egg - printing the symbol number on each egg as you go. Place all eggs into basket. Display until 12 days before Easter.


1. Matthew 26:26-27,39 (sacrament cup)

2. Matthew 26: 14-15 (3 dimes) [This fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah 11:12-14.]

3. Matthew 27:1-2 (knotted twine)

4. Matthew 27:15, 17, 21, 24-26 (chunk of hand soap)

5. Matthew 27:28-30 or Mark 15:16-17 (square of red fabric)

6. Matthew 27:31-32 (small nail)

7. Matthew 27:48 (sponge)

8. Matthew 27:50-51, 54 (crushed rocks)

9. Matthew 27:57-60 (strip of white cloth)

10. Matthew 27:60, 62-66 (a small, flat stone)

11. Mark 16:1, 2-6 (bay leaf)

12. Matthew 28:5-6 (empty)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mentos + Diet Pepsi FHE Activity

Jeremy received a fun little birthday gift from my mom. It's called a Soda Shooter. We decided to try it out for our Family Home Evening activity this week. Enjoy a 1 minute video of our soda-spraying-ultimate-soda-fountain-non-sticky-because-it-was-diet-soda adventure.

(The geyser is tough to see, but it was an AWESOME 20 foot spray.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

kids say the darndest things

Let me set the scene....

It's 6:30AM on a school day. The morning sunlight is just starting to come through the blinds. The house is quiet with the sound of sleeping children that went to bed too late last night. Jeremy is the only one up and out the door already.

Without warning, at the top of his 9 year old lungs, Logan begins to belt out the chorus:

"one, 21 guns!
lay down your arms!
give up the fight!"

Repeated over and over and over... until we are all wide awake, bleary eyed from our startling wake up call, and pleading for him to stop (or at least choose a new song!).

Let's just say that Logan is a morning person. He wakes up at zero and within seconds is running at 100 miles an hour. He LOVES to be awake in the morning. He also LOVES to tease and pester wherever he can. And he knows how to get us all going in the morning.

All I can do is plug my ears, pull the blankets and pillows over my head, and wish that someday he'll get to experience a child just like himself when he's a father.

GOOD MORNING to you too Logan!

Monday, April 4, 2011

You + me ski trip

For our anniversary this year, we did something we've never done before as a couple. We went skiing!

China Peak was our destination. The only time I've ever been up to this location in the past was as a senior in high school - it was called Sierra Summit back then. I went with some friends to try snowboarding. Yeah, me on a snowboard. It was not a pretty sight. There is actually a terrifying story that goes along with that ill fated snowboarding trip... something about completely loosing control, flying at high speeds down a hill, and colliding at full speed with a group of unsuspecting skiers. I may or may not have injured someone really really bad. Hmmm... All I remember after that ill-fated event was a super sore bum. I fell down sooo many times - it took weeks for my booty to recover!

It is for that reason that I was most hesitant to strap on a pair of skis and try it again. But Jeremy decided that this was the year that I was going to learn how to ski. We've been up to Badger Pass a few times this year as a family. And after much patience and some good one on one instruction from my ski expert husband, I am slowly gaining confidence in my skiing skills. And it seemed only appropriate to take a trip up to China Peak to enjoy a day together on the slopes.

It was a gorgeous day. 56 degrees. Sunny and warm. No coat necessary. And there weren't many people there as it is almost the end of the season. (The lack of people there definitely helped ease my fear of running into people.) We started our day at the very top of the mountain. We saw the top of the actual China Peak. That was awesome. The views and vistas were so beautiful. Huntington Lake was completely covered in snow and the white treetops added to the majestic winter woodland effect.

We had a lovely day. Just us. You + me. Enjoying skiing, nature, and just being together.

Winter Beach Trip 2010

The week after Christmas 2010 we headed over to the Central Coast for a short beach trip. Jeremy's parents had been there for the first part of the week staying in an RV resort. They went further south for the 2nd half of the week and they offered their tent trailer to us for those days. What a treat for our family!

My mom has a theory...

"Our city and Pismo Beach have opposite weather experiences at all times.
Every time it is cold and foggy where we live - it will be warm and sunny at the beach.
When it is cold and foggy at Pismo - it will be warm and sunny back home. "

Most of the time she is right. Truly! This week was the exception. It was cold, windy, and rainy at home and guess what we got while we were at the beach? Yep. Cold, wind, and rain! So, we changed our plan from the "usuals" and instead of playing in the water, boogie boarding, and building sand castles we:

Cliff Jumped

Took a leisurely walk along the beach as we watched the clouds roll in.

Went for a family bike ride (yes, every one of those bikes was part of our group!)... see the butterflies in the eucalyptus grove at Pismo Beach!

The kids went swimming in the resort heated pool - they were dying to get in the water, but didn't stay in for too long. It was super chilly when they got out! We met up with Kelly & Julio and went to Woodstock's for a pizza dinner.

We did some pier fishing

Look! I missed one more family picture!

We had a fun time hanging out with Matt & Aimee and Kelly & Julio and their kids. The night time sleeping-in-the-tent-trailer was also an adventure as it stormed and poured rain all night long!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy 13th Anniversary to us!

Enjoy another glimpse back into our past. Here is the first snapshot ever taken of us (almost 15 years ago in 1996 or 97). We were dating, so young and so carefree. This was back in the day when he drove around in his sporty Rx-7 and I had my lovely 1982 Honda Prelude. He taught me how to drive a stick shift on our first date.

And here we are today. Well, about 6 months ago anyway (at Jordan and Stephanie's wedding). We look the same as in our dating pictures, eh? Just kidding. We're definitely older. More mature. And maybe not so carefree anymore. But I think we've aged beautifully.

We are just as happy as when we were first dating, maybe even more. In the beginning phase of our relationship we couldn't stand to be away from each other. That phase hasn't faded one bit. Even after 13 years we can't stand to be apart.

We've grown a family, grown through trials great and small, grown a solid relationship, and grown even closer together.

Happy 13th anniversary to us!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tijuana circa 1997

Jeremy's sister, Kelly, emailed me this picture a few weeks ago. It is a blast from the past!

L to R: Jason, Jeremy, Jennifer, Aimee, Matt, & Kelly (in front)

This picture was taken when Jeremy and I were dating. 1997 as you can see in the picture. I was just 18 years old. Eek! Matt and Aimee were dating too! Jeremy's family went down to San Diego for a weekend trip with the Morris family during some holiday (those Wards were always going out of town) and I was invited to come along.

While we were there we made a day trip into Mexico, Tijuana. I have no recollection of what we did on this trip. I vaguely remember putting on that hat and smiling for the picture.

All I know is: we were young. I was had just graduated from high school. Jeremy hadn't been home a year from his mission. We were just at the beginning of our relationship with no clue as to the future that was ahead of us.

It is fun to look back at what we were. And to see how far we've come since then. This here picture is a great piece of our history.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Capturing the perfect family portrait

I've been flipping through photos from last year. While flipping, I noticed that we took several family pictures from October through December. We are getting better at all of us smiling at the camera at the same time, but I have realized that no matter how many pictures we take - none will ever be perfect! I think we should shoot for a goofy picture next time. That would be more in line with our family dynamics... this lovely photo, perhaps? We were at Montana de Oro on our 2010 summer Pismo trip.
I love that Jackson is the only one smiling in this picture. Classic. Of course he does the OPPOSITE of what he's supposed to be doing for this silly picture. But then again, he is doing the opposite of his usual look-away-stick-out-his-tongue-goofiness that he does when it's time to take a nice photo.

Jordan and Stephanie's Wedding in October 2010
- this is the fanciest/nicest/most pulled together our family has ever looked. One of these pictures is hanging over our piano. It's huge. 20x30 inches. The largest that Costco can print. (Maybe it's not a reflection of what our lives are really like, but it is as close to perfection as we're ever gonna get.)

Disneyland in November 2010 - Our Thanksgiving Break getaway

Thanksgiving 2010 - Family Portrait photo shoot

Tenaya Lodge in December 2010 - one of our Winter Break traditions

Christmas Eve 2010 - all of us in our new pj's

Let's take a vote shall we? Which photo most captures our family's personality?