Wednesday, July 28, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things

(image via Google Images)

I took the kids to see The Sound of Music tonight at our wonderful
big-city outdoor theater.

It was wonderful!  We met my two sisters, one aunt, and one cousin and her husband.

And we sat in the FREE seats!  The bottles of water, however, were $4... NOT free.

I decided to blog tonight, rather than chancing I would forget some of the things I loved about tonight...

Here are a few of my favorite things...

  • Listening to Sis sing The Star Spangled Banner with the crowd before the show started
  • When Bub saw the first scene in the Abbey, he told Aunt E "I didn't know this was a Christian musical!"
  • During the wedding scene, when all the nuns were lined up, Sis said:  "I have never in my life seen so many of them in one place before!"
  • Bub sang his latest Weird Al song he's memorized to anyone and everyone... loudly.  Before the show, during the intermission, and after the show
  • Stephanie sang another Weird Al song back to Bub
  • Did I mention the seats were free?
  • Hanging with my family
  • After the show, we saw a shuttle bus for a retirement home, and Sis told me to hurry or I'd miss my bus

So now the kids are asleep... hopefully dreaming about Edelweiss!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Movie Night

Once a month in the summer, our church puts on a community bike ride and movie night.  The bike ride is for all ages and it's only about 1.5 miles long (so even little guys can do it), then if the weather's good, we have a movie outdoors.

Last weekend, we had the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which we saw at the theater (but the kids were excited to see again!).

Once all the sound equipment, popcorn/soda, and chairs were set up, we just had to wait for it to get dark enough to see the movie.

Which is easy to do if you have snacks, drinks, and friends around!

Did I mention the popcorn?


And about the time one got tired of one's mom taking their photo...

It was FINALLY time for the movie!

You can go here to read my friend Bethany's account of the evening...  her night required her to be a little more of a good sport!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Together, you and I

Our family has been revisiting the '80's in the last few nights.  We've discovered that SILVER SPOONS, the awesome TV show from the 80's, is on

For the last 2 nights, we've watched 2 episodes with the kids.

Last night, Mr. T was the guest star.  The kids could NOT stop laughing!

Their favorite part (that's not in the clip below):

Teacher:  What's your last name?
Mr. T:  T
Teacher:  And your first name?
Mr. T:  First name, Mister
Middle name, that little period
Last name, T

They giggled and giggled.

Enjoy the blast from the past!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just another week: Summertime week in review

So, how was your weekend/week?  Mine was a typical-ish summertime week.  So, I thought I'd review the week, so years later, I can remember what a typical-ish week was all about.

In an effort to make my life easier and/or cuter, I decided to get my hair cut into layers.  I was tired of the mom-looking growing-out triangle of hair sitting atop my head (not that there's anything wrong with being a mom... I love being a mom... I just don't always wanna LOOK like a mom!).  

So, yeah, I still think it was a good idea (as compared to cutting it all off again, which was what I almost did), but my hair takes a lot more work now (to be honest, my "before" style consisted of blow-drying my bangs straight, then letting the rest air-dry unless I had an early-morning meeting, so really ANYTHING would have been more work).  The one day I decided to let it go completely curly, I was less than thrilled with the final look.
I felt like it looked like a boyish-mulletlike do.  I wasn't loving it at all.  So, now I have to actually blow-dry it. Wahhhh... poor me!  :)

So, there's that.

Then, Bub decided that playing seventeen million sports a year wasn't enough...  he wanted to play football, too!  So, we made him give up fall soccer and he went to a football camp this last week every evening to make sure he loved football as much as he thought he would.  

The verdict is in... he LOVES it.  I'll be honest in that I was hoping he'd not like it...  no momma wants her boy hurt playing sports, right?  The first night, they had drills to assess the kids' skill levels, and Bub did the most push-ups out of the whole camp (as he says, "that includes even 6th graders!").  So, on the last HOT night, they had mock football games, and then gave out awards.  For his grade level, Bub got most push-ups AND fastest 20-yard sprint.  
You give him a sport he loves AND give him a couple awards?  There's no stopping him from playing now!

Friday night, Sis and Don's mom made us a lovely dinner and dessert.  I just sat back and listened to my mother-in-law give instructions and actually let Sis cook!  I am only likely to let the kids do small tasks while I'm cooking (because I figure I'll have to clean the mess...), so it was fun to listen to her actually get to DO the tasks.  And it was delicious!

On Saturday morning, Don and I got up super early (well, for me... on a Saturday!) and went bike-riding.  Ever since my adventure last weekend, I've decided that I want to get in better biking shape, because it's FUN!

Later that morning, we went to my parents' house for brunch.  ALL of us...  all my sisters and their families (all 2 of them), and all my brothers (well, there's just one).  It seems like it had been FOREVER since all of us had spent any time ALL together.

And we stayed and stayed and stayed... for 11 hours!  Talk about overstaying one's welcome!

Here are some shots of our day:
Little Buddy getting ready for work. (my nephew)
Big Sissy, ridin' 'em, Cowgirl!  (my niece)
Sis riding dual with Big Sissy.
All the grandkids (except Bub), having a pillow fight with Papa.

What a fun day!

Finally, on Sunday, after church, I crashed and napped for about 2.5 hours!!!!  Then I purged my closet (a little bit... I need to do it more!), then headed back to church, where my cousin, Z, stole my phone and did a self-portrait of us.
I didn't know it was gonna be an open-mouth pose...  I messed THAT all up!  :)

Then headed out for pizza with friends (except without pizza for me... still can't have dairy), then headed home with my family.

This week, we substitute football camp with Bub for Photoshop camp with Sis...  but we're planning on another fun, typical, summertime week!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dollars to Donuts, Someday I'll figure out how to take a self-portrait on my phone

A long, long time ago (doesn't this sound like the start of a fairy-tale?  Oh, if only it had such a happy ending!), Don decided to sign up for the Tour de Donut (I'll explain in a minute) bike race.  I immediately told him I wanted to do the race, too.  

The Tour de Donut is:
A take-off of the Tour de France... with donuts
30.7 miles long... with donuts
In a town close to ours... with donuts
Oh, and it has donuts!

There are 2 stops in the race (miles 10 and 20) that are "donut stops."  At each stop, the racers have the opportunity to eat as many donuts as they choose.  And for every donut eaten, 5 minutes is taken of their adjusted time.  

So, let's set things up a little bit.  

Don either road bikes or mountain bikes regularly.  Just the weekend before, he and some friends rode WELL over 30 miles.  So this race presented an opportunity to push himself into the best time possible.

I have ridden my bike three times this summer.  Twice earlier in the summer with Don and the kids (probably 7-8 miles each time) and once on vacation (yeah, it was once around a campsite... not sure that should even count).  Oh, and I have still not recovered fully (health-wise) from my appendectomy and all the fun stuff that followed there.  And my bike?  It has a bell on it.

So, there's the set up.

I decided that I was still going to do the race, and just do my best.  And beg my friend, Cara, to ride it too (her hubby is one of Don's regular biking companions).  She kept arguing that she hadn't trained, and I assured her she wasn't alone in that!

So, the Friday night before, we sent the kids to my parents' house, so we wouldn't have to get them up super early.  Then we came home.  And I threw up violently.  Twice.  Which is part of the fun I've been experiencing health-wise (another long, boring post for another time).

But I still got up Saturday for the race, knowing from past experience that I would probably feel fine on Saturday.  So Cara got to our house bright and early, and she, Don and I headed 20 minutes away to the race.  
Here's our "before" photo... note the athletic sunglasses I'm wearing... like THAT was gonna help!

We got registered, got our race numbers, picked up our "free" t-shirts, then headed back to get our bikes.  Once there, Don realized HE FORGOT MY FRONT WHEEL at our house!  oops.

He felt terrible, and I was all stressed, but Cara just kept laughing... because really?  Did she and I think we were real race contenders anyway?  And did we even think we would/could FINISH the race?  So, she and I hopped in my car, raced BACK 20 minutes (maybe less...hehe), got the wheel, and raced back the 20 minutes...  See all the racing we did before it even started?

Oh, and have I mentioned I'm not super familiar with the small town that the race was held in?  So, Cara had her phone out using the map to navigate us back to our bikes.  We were both so busy trying to find our way that we failed to notice until ALMOST too late that we were headed straight for a police car leading the beginning racers.  EEK!  The spectators started yelling, the cop started yelling, I started yelling...  then I backed my car into a side street JUST in time...  nice.

It literally took us 20 minutes to figure out how to get to our bikes because so many streets were closed for the race (which calls to question:  why wasn't the street I was driving on when I met the racers closed???).  We find our spot with the bikes, get parked, and OH YEAH, neither of us are completely positive we know how to put on my front wheel.  Cara was pretty sure she had it, and I was almost positive I hooked up my front brake correctly.  But we figured one of two things would happen:  They'd either let us NOT race because we were getting such a late start (1/2 hour!!!), or there'd be someone at the start line that could make sure my wheel was on correctly.

We walked our bikes to the start line (enduring all the neighborhood people outside letting us know that we probably weren't gonna win starting so late..... hahahah people... really????).  And guess what?  No officials were there.  Only two volunteers who told us to go ahead & start.  So, Cara and I re-checked my front wheel, decided it looked good enough, and took off.


Once we got going, I got over my angst, and actually started enjoying myself!  Some of the local people were still outside as we rode by, and they all cheered for us (and I rang my bike bell back at them!).  It was a gorgeous day, I was with my good friend, I was getting some exercise... what was there to NOT enjoy???
See all the other racers?  Oh wait... that's Cara.  It was just she and I for a LONG time!  :)

We actually made it to the first donut stop feeling pretty good.  Neither of us had had to stop and walk our bikes up any hills, we didn't feel too tired, and we were pretty excited!  Until I looked at the donuts.  Ugh...  THAT'S when my stomach remembered how it felt the night before.  So no donuts for me.  :(

From there, we had to decide whether to move forward as long as we could... or to turn around and go back the 10 miles (for a total of 20).  I'm amazed at how competitive I felt (even though I knew without a shadow of a doubt I couldn't make it the entire 30 miles), and Cara said she'd do whatever I decided.  I actually started moving forward (after a volunteer told us we weren't THAT far behind the big pack of racers), but then common sense prevailed, and we traveled back the same way we came.

I still can't believe how well we did for not training at all.  We made it back 20 miles with really very little trouble at all.  And the racers who DIDN'T cheat came out to the same road for the last few miles of the race, so we got to ride in with other racers... and have people cheer for us... and ring my bell at them!  :)

When we got back, we felt GREAT!  It was exciting to know we could do it (and kinda felt like we might have been able to make the whole 30 miles), and it motivated me to train, so NEXT YEAR, I can!  (oh, and Don KILLED it... he exceeded his finish time goal by 25 minutes!)

While we were cooling off at the park, I attempted to take Cara and my picture again... the after photo.  The fact that I had so much difficulty might have been a clue as to how tired I REALLY was (even though I was riding high at that point):
Huh... how'd I get it sideways?  Let's try again..
Oh, I cut off the tops of our heads... Let's try again.
Ugh.  This time I cut off our heads even worse.  One.  More.  Time.
Well, this is good enough.

So, even though I had to end up taking a muscle relaxer that night because my knees hurt so bad (and Cara had ice packs on hers all evening, I found out later)...  it's motivated me to DO MORE!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Wicked Good Time

So, Facebook has some definite upsides, you know?  

(Although it has some time-sucking definite downsides, too!)  

One of these upsides for me has been reconnecting with people I've been close to in other times of my life, then subsequently lost track of (because, when I was a kid and someone moved to the next town over, that could have been across the country in my mind...  no kid had cell phones at that point to stay in touch...  well, no adult did either!)

So, one of my reconnections (real word?  Blogger says "no") was my Kindergarten friend Chad.  I went to school with Chad for kindergarten and first grade before he moved far far away (about 10 miles away, I would venture to guess), and we lost touch.

Then there's Ginger...  we were great friends starting in first grade through elementary school until she started going to a private school in fifth grade.  Then I moved in sixth grade.  My first day of high school, I walked into chorus and LO AND BEHOLD, there was Ginger!  She and I now go to church together (her hubby is one of the pastors...  that's still funny to me that she's married to a pastor!), and I consider her a real friend.

So, through the magic of Facebook, she and I have both reconnected with Chad (Ginger and Chad also went to the private school together for several years).  Chad lives about 5 hours away, but made the time a few weekends ago to come visit us, and boy did we have a WICKED good time!  :)

On Saturday morning, through Ginger's mad investigative skillz, we found out where our first grade teacher was (in a local nursing home), and we went to visit her.  That was such a lovely time...  I used to live 2 doors down from Mrs. F, so I remembered her 3 daughters, too.  And 2 of them were there during our visit!  Mrs. F is as sharp as ever, and seemed really pleased to see us.  I'm so glad we saw her!

Then that night, Ginger and I got all gussied up & rode our local transit system train to downtown Big City...

... to meet Chad for dinner before we went to see WICKED!!!

Ginger and I had both seen the musical once before and LOVED it!  But this was Chad's... 16th TIME to see it!!!  (did I mention that he's a managing editor of a magazine, and also its entertainment editor???  He sees a LOT of shows!)

I enjoyed the show as much the 2nd time, and got tickled at Chad/Ginger as THEY got tickled during the show and couldn't stop laughing.  As we were driving back to the train station, we got tickled again, then noticed a rather large man riding a scooter that was about 1/2 the size of him.  I wish I had gotten a better picture, but I was laughing and moving at the same time...

Is that first grade humor, or what???

Finally, Chad walked us to our train station (his hotel was right there), and waited for the train with us.  It's amazing that even though it's been 25-30 years since we've seen him, we had such a great time reconnecting!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vacation Rocks (seriously, this is almost all about rocks)

As our vacation continued, Bub got more and more interested in skipping rocks, finding cool rocks, and climbing up rocks and other terrain (just like vacation last year!).

One day in the National Park, we went hiking again...  because I love to!  :)
(Do you think the kids were tired of posing the directions yet?)

We found a river a little bit up the path where Bub skipped rocks to his heart's content.  And we all took turns taking photos of each other.
(My sweet girl is almost as tall as me!!!  *sob*)

Then Sis asked to shoot some pictures.  She pointed the camera at Don and me, and we kissed the entire time she was shooting.  I love that this already embarrasses her (no one besides our family was even around).  There's PLENTY more photos where this one came from!  :)

At another hiking path later in the day, Bub got to work on his climbing skills (in
Crocs, no less!  We knew we were headed to the Falls, and he wanted to play in the water there).
Finally, we made it to the top to where the gorgeous waterfall was...  Don and Hudson had a great time in the REALLY cold water, while Madison sat and people-watched and I took lots of gorgeous shots.

Alas, vacation has been over for a few weeks, but I loved appreciating time with my family.  And I loved spending time together in God's beautiful creation.