Saturday, November 28, 2009

the official "Jon is awesome" post

Yesterday while out in the shopping madness (although not so mad in my small town) I was switching radio channels looking for holiday music- I landed on one playing a country-western type version of a Christmas carol. I listened to it and these thoughts ran through my head "This sounds nice" "I would have totally changed the station 3-4 years ago if something like this came on". You see- Jon has been exploring the western side of music over the past few years and I trust his musical taste and usually listen to whatever he's into at the moment. It wasn't until yesterday that I really realized that Jon decides what music our family listens to- and therefore, likes. And I'm totally okay with that- in fact I really appreciate it. It keeps me from being one of those people who only listens to their favorite albums from high school for the rest of their lives.

And just to show you how lame I am, just calling his new music taste "western-type" I'm sure is totally wrong, maybe it's "alt-country"? We're not talking about Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban here- think more Avett Brothers and Wilco.

He recently secured a position writing reviews of local concerts for an online blog: Muzzle of Bees (click the link for his most recent post, then scroll down to read a few more he's done). His status as music-lover/English- writing studies graduate student makes this the perfect sort of project for him to be involved in. (Plus it means he can get free tickets to most local shows and some out-of-town ones as well- a major plus.)

Leading up to my next topic- Jon asked me to post a link to his music site many weeks ago and like a very sweet and attentive wife- I completely forgot about it. I feel really badly that I didn't follow through with this at the time. He requests your assistance in listening to and voting up your favorite song(s) written by his good friend Jon Thwaits and presented in the current post.

You can read about the details of the current archival project they are working on here. If you like what you hear, pass the word along to your friends too!

Please help me feel better by showing some love and participating in their project.

And be sure to scroll down to the video of the song Jon wrote while we were on vacation in Utah in August. It's totally beautiful and because it's about my family and my kids- makes me a little emotional. Heck, I'll just include the video here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

This is a video of Maryn singing a few of the songs she sang in her preschool fall recital.
I'd actually forgotten that I recorded this video last week, but we noticed tonight that it has been viewed over 200 times- and that's without us sharing it with any family. How does that happen? I guess having cute kids doing cute things is how some people become YouTube famous.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

naughty and nice

Maryn is a budding artist, loves to draw and color. She calls this piece "a cowgirl". The medium is blue crayon on laundry room wall.

It still hasn't come off, I need to get one of those magic erasers.

In constrast, Jonas continues to be my sweet baby. Although lately, he has taken the initiative with Maryn and hit her first during their constant altercations. I'm not sure whether to be sad or proud that he's defending himself against her.

I captured one of his sweeter moments on this film.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

BEST night in TV!

I look forward to Thursday evenings all week! I get all my evening household chores done as quick as possible, throw the kids in bed (not literally), grab a project and settle in for three hours of my favorite shows back-to-back: Survivor, Office, 30 Rock and Project Runway.

It's pure reality show/sit-com bliss!

Is that weird?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Please excuse the bad pics with bad lighting. It was late. I just wanted to show some of what I've been up to. A picked out and sent the fabric, cute huh? I hope R likes them! :)

Now I need to "put down the duckie" (as Jon would say) and start working on other, more pressing matters- like planning Seth's class Halloween party and making his Batman costume. (Yes, I'm the head room parent again. Seriously, I am not doing this again- too much work!)
Happy Fall!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Beatlemania continues

A few weeks ago I picked up an old VHS of Yellow Submarine from a thrift store. The kids have been watching it and love it. I've watched a few minutes here and there- it's weird. But the music is obviously awesome and the kids love that too. Here's my Dad singing one of the hits from the movie (notice he doesn't need to read along with the karaoke, he knows all the words):

We were listening to this song in the car recently, and Maryn was singing along. After the chorus "will you still need me, will you still feed me" Maryn said "I think he can feed himself, can't he?" Let's hope so.

Jonas loves to sing along to the Beatles too. His favorite song is Hello, Goodbye, but he can't sing all the words as quickly as they do in the song. So he still sings "you say goodbye and I say hello" but he's about a whole phrase behind.

In other funny-things-kids-say news lately: we were eating at a 50s diner type restaurant last weekend and ordered the usual burgers fries and shake for every one. When they brought out the shakes first before everything else, Seth looked at me wide-eyed and said "Do we get dessert first?" Some sort of alternate universe, the 50s. On that same occasion, the two couples dining next to us were very elderly. I said to Jon "they were probably our age in the actual 50s", kind of a funny realization. Where will we be sitting in 50 years?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fat lip Jonas

Last Monday, I had awesome intentions to take Jonas and go on a walk/run. I was getting the stroller out of the car, Jonas was walking down the concrete steps playing the Leapster. I heard the Leapster hit the concrete and turned around to get mad at Jonas for dropping it to find him also on the ground with blood gushing from his mouth. My attempts to exercise were foiled as I put him in the car and drove straight to urgent care. After a few comical attempts at taking x-rays, it was determined that he didn't break his nose but the doctor still wanted to stitch up his lip. The numbing stuff they put on worked really well because he sat still like a champ while she put in two stitches.
We left quickly and drove to pick up Maryn from preschool. I noticed when looking in the rear view mirror that he was picking at his lip. I told him repeatedly to stop but in usual two-year-old fashion, he kept picking. After the 10 minute drive, he had pulled out one of the stitches. With Maryn, we drove straight back to the dr only to have her tell us that she wasn't going to replace it. A good thing probably because in the 5 minutes it took to drive home, he had the other one out too.
Thankfully, 10 days later his lip is totally healed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the sewing bug has bit

I've been frequenting my fabric stores lately (there are only 2 in my town) scouring the remnant bins mostly and coming away with bits and pieces that I love. (The blue and yellow floral prints on the bottom row actually came from a thrift store.)
This picture doesn't even include the 7 yards of HB fabric I bought to make a quilt for Maryn's bed. I need to get that stuff out and photograph it, talk about pretty. Later, I promise.

So what to do with all these pieces? Well my wonderful SIL and buddy Michelle got me interested in a skirt/dress with three ruffled tiers. I bought some cute fabric when we were in Utah together and finally made a skirt for Maryn out of it a few weeks ago.
I didn't really use a pattern (just verbal instructions from M) so I didn't actually make it correctly and it's a bit too big. But she loves it and it does look really cute if you don't know what I did wrong (no, I'm not going to tell). The sweater vest was a thrift store find and just happens to match the skirt perfectly. (I'm hoping the vest makes the skirt look more "fall-y").

In trying not to just make her a whole slew of three tiered skirts- I bought some patterns yesterday (from hobby lobby- 99 cents each people!) and am going to try to follow them and make other cute things for her.

I also wanted to show another awesome thrift store find, 6 of these chairs painted light turquoise blue (my new favorite color). We've been needing a 6 chair set for a while now and I stumbled on these last week. Also pictured is a blanket I made for a friend who had a baby boy last Friday.
In other non-sewing news: Seth got a pedometer at school last week and is supposed to record his steps each day (too bad it's lost at the moment). So he decided that he was going to run laps around our house (outdoors). He ran 20 laps- 4100 steps! It was really cute. The trend didn't continue today though because he refused to run until I found his pedometer. Poor kid may never run again!

For some reason this week, Jonas has decided the enter the terrible twos, complete with screaming tantrums and refusal to eat most foods or go to bed. I really don't know where my sweet baby went. Jon keeps saying "Since when does Jonas have an opinion?" Um, since now apparently.
He has said some cute things lately though. Every afternoon and evening when I'm trying to convince him to go to bed, I tell him "you need to close your eyes just like during the prayer". And pretty much every time I go in to get him after he wakes up, the first thing he says is "Mommy, I closed my eyes!" I think he's amazed that it actually works!
And finally, on Sunday we talked webcam with my family and saw the new baby. Jonas was really excited about it. On Monday morning while I was getting him dressed for the day, I asked him what he wanted to do today and he said "go visit my baby tousin". Me too, dude.

Monday, September 21, 2009

new baby cousin!!

Meet the newest member of our family- Aaron Jordan born earlier this afternoon weighing it at a whopping 8 lbs 9 ozs 19.5 inches. (Entering the world one week early.) Seriously- he looks like a linebacker.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Beatles 4 Sale

I was talking to a good friend today and she said "you haven't blogged in forever, I have no idea what's going on with you!" It's true. Let me explain- yes I've been really busy, blah, blah. But that isn't the real reason. See I have this problem (which I was discussing with a different good friend today)- I suffer from perfectionism. I know exactly how I want things in my life to be in my head- but my execution is so sub par for the most part that I shy away from doing things because I know they won't turn out perfect. For example- this blog. I knew as days and weeks went by I was getting behind and so much was happening so instead of just blogging and trying to catch up- I did nothing. And now it's been almost 2 months. Sigh. So instead of trying to catch up- I'm just going to start from where I am now (and hopefully go back and share info about what we did the past two months eventually).

Right now, this moment- I am loving the Beatles. Did you know that they just re-released all their albums in stereo!! Stereo people! I'm actually joking about the stereo excitement. I totally understand the difference between mono and stereo recordings- I just don't really hear the difference as far as music quality- only that some sounds come out the right speaker and some come out the left. So the stereo thing is not what I'm actually excited about- I'm excited about the music! I've only ever owned one Beatles album (Revolver) and therefore have never listened to any of the other albums in their entirety before now. I went and bought them all last week and have been listening to one every couple of days (to prolong the enjoyment).

A side note about why I own Revolver. I asked my Dad to get me a Beatles album for Christmas one year (I was probably 16 or something like that). He asked me which one I wanted and I told him I didn't know and that he should choose. So I got Revolver, listened to it, loved it.

A side note about buying all the albums last week. You may or may not know that they came out on 9-9-09. You also may or may not know that usually new albums are released on Tuesdays. So I went to Target last week on Tuesday, didn't see the new albums on display, asked a worker dude who said "we got a whole cart full of them in the back", took the 6 he fished out for me (there are 14) up to the checkout only to be denied because last Tuesday was 9-8 not 9-9. But don't worry- I went back the next day picked them all up and walked by the same dude who probably felt pretty dumb. (FYI- for those of you who are dying to have your very own Beatles collection- Target is running a deal until 10-10 where you get a $5 giftcard for every 2 Beatles CDs you buy. So I bought two at a time and rolled the giftcards- making the entire purchase way cheaper than buying the box-set.)

So back to the music- I haven't been listening to the albums in order or anything- just picking at random. And each new album I listen to I think- this one is my favorite, including the most recent one I'm listening to right now- Help. It's hard to describe the excitement I feel listening to these albums- hearing songs I know really well and have heard a million times mixed in with songs I've heard less or not at all. It's like seeing a finished puzzle- all the pieces fit together. I don't like every song I've heard so far, but I am in love with the entire package. I feel happy when I listen to this music. Partly because it reminds me of my dad and partly because the songs are so great and partly because I feel the excitement of discovering something awesome for the first time.

And now for some pictures: We saw Dan Zanes last week. THE BEST concert I have EVER been to. And I've been to some good ones. There was something about the fun folk music, dancing with my kids, not being hot and sweaty, and not smelling pot that made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. He is an awesome artist, seriously check him out.
Maryn's first day of preschool. She goes 5 (!) days per week for 2.5 hours per day. She LOVES it.
Seth's first day of first grade. He is really liking it, he has an awesome teacher. She is so patient and attentive to the kids and their feelings but is very stern and doesn't let them get away with anything. Kind of like how I wish I was.
Wendy came to visit last week and we had a great time. For the past few days, Jonas has asked me continually "Are we going to pick up Wendy?"

And finally- we're getting a new member of the family on Monday! Carlie's going to have a little baby boy (one week early- lucky!).

Happiness all around, seriously- re-discover the Beatles.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

swim team

We signed Seth up for swim team this summer- eight weeks of one hour practices five days per week. Technically, he was on the "pre-swim" team. This meant that practices were basically large group lessons and we didn't have to go to swim meets if we didn't want to.
My hope was that having Seth in the pool for 5 hours per week would turn him into this totally awesome swimmer. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that all those hours in the pool actually helped to improve his strokes. The time that Jon spent with him one-on-one was way more beneficial. But he really liked being on the swim team and he now has a sweet tan.
After hearing about swim meets from other swimmers, he asked me when he was going to get to swim in one. So we all went to the last home meet of the season a few weeks ago. He swam in two events, one relay and one race- both 25m freestyle. Below is a video of the second race, he swam against the only other 6 year old boy at the meet. You can see at the end of the video the guy who was timing him was motioning him to hurry up (I think he got tired towards the end of the race). His official time was 48.67 seconds.

The meet eventually got rained out, which we were kind of glad about (who knew swim meets were so long!).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

For her fourth birthday, Maryn wanted to have a princess ballerina fairy party.  I pretty much followed the same plan as last year's party- invited a few little girls, played some games, made a craft, decorated cupcakes and went on a treasure hunt (this was new this year, I think- Jon put a great one together for the girls).  I'll post pictures soon (when I get around to getting them off my camera) but for now- Jon has put together two video segments of the party festivities. There are two or three more segments coming soon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"let's start the fun!"

We had a fun visit in early June from Grandma B, Papa and Rach. Here is a link to the web album of pictures from the trip.  (I've also included a ton of links in this post so that if any of you want to visit us too- you can see all the fun stuff we can do together!)

We did a lot of fun things around town. Starting off the first week with Grandma, we went to the farmers' market and both local public libraries. Grandma knew all the fun kids books to check out and we came home with about 30 books from each library. The kids really enjoyed listening to all of them, especially the Robert Munsch and SkippyJon Jones books.

When Papa and Rach came, we all went to the Childrens' Discovery Museum in nearby Normal (not a joke), which was totally awesome- the coolest childrens' museum I've been to. Three floors of all types of hands-on exhibits including a huge train table city (Jonas's favorite), a fake food grocery store with a check-out lane (Maryn's favorite), climbing maze (Seth's favorite) and painting on plexiglass which we all enjoyed.
We also went and saw Up- great movie, went to our awesome local pool complex (with water slides), ate custard, played Guitar Hero and Tetris, spent time playing ball outside, got Mom hooked on FNL, ate lunch at the Flattop, visited the Amish.... We're thinking next time we might make the trip to Chicago or St Louis for some more fun activities.
Ice cream in very rainy Arthur.
Lunch at the Flattop- sooo yummy!

It was a great trip and we were all sad to see them go. Seth got very emotional when they had to leave and spent the next few days tearily talking about how he wished they lived here in IL with us. Luckily, we plan to spend Christmas in AZ- so we'll see them again soon.

Thanks for the great trip!

Monday, June 29, 2009

finish Kindergarten- check!

Seth finished Kindergarten on June 3 (after having to make up 3 snow days).
Last day of Kindergarten.

First Day of Kindergarten, August 2008

Seth had a great school year and truly loved everything about it! He had an awesome art teacher who came in every Friday morning and taught them actual art concepts along with how to cut and paste. He said that was his favorite part of school. He also had great PE and music teachers- those classes alternated everyday. In music, they did a whole unit on Indian music and each kid got to make an instrument- Seth made a tambura.
His best friend, Brennan was in his class all year. And since there are only two classes per grade in their school, they have a 50/50 chance of repeating the fun!
Seth did pretty well in his subjects- but really excelled in reading. His teacher told me that at the end of this school year, his reading level was a whole year ahead (end of first grade). We're determined to keep this ability going but having him read multiple books every day this summer. He's doing great so far. Seth also did well in math- he caught on to the concepts of addition and subtraction quickly. He like to sit and write out math problems for himself or have us write some for him. He can add multiple digit numbers together and carry numbers as well.
His handwriting is pretty poor though, he still writes using capital letters a lot. So we are trying to work on that at home this summer too.
Seth rode the bus to school almost every day. His was the last stop, so when the bus picked him up at the end of our street at 8am, it took him directly to school. I usually picked him up everyday though, otherwise he would have been on the bus for 45 minutes or so after school. He really liked riding the bus.

Seth has started piano lessons this summer and is doing pretty well and not tired of it yet. He has a great teacher who is very patient and jokes a lot- so his lessons are always fun. He's also on a swim team and goes to practice every weekday morning for an hour. Slowly but surely he is getting better and better at swimming. He understands the basic concepts but he is not very strong and his strokes are really wild. I'm hoping that after this summer, he'll be able to swim across the pool without stopping.

He is a good boy and we love him so much!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

my two little boys

could not be more different....
Tonight we were at an outdoor concert ("Blues, Brews and BBQ").  The kids all got their faces painted and a balloon tied to their wrists (both were free- you can tell by the quality of the "baseball" on Jonas's face).  Jon pointed out to the kids a red balloon flying way up high in the sky.  Jonas was fascinated by it, looked at the red balloon tied to his wrist and said "Mommy- I want my balloon go up too!"  (He has suddenly started to speak in complete sentences!)  I spent the next few minutes explaining to him that his balloon was going to go bye-bye.  He seemed excited about it, so I took the balloon off his wrist and he let it go.  He was totally elated and watched the balloon until he couldn't see it anymore yelling "bye-bye balloon" over and over.  Seth and Maryn still had their balloons but Jonas didn't care that he didn't have one anymore. 

In complete contrast to Jonas's excitement- Seth completely fell apart crying and saying "He should have just given his balloon to me!  Can we go back and get him another red balloon?"  He was totally distraught for the rest of the evening, crying and saying things like "I wish balloons would never pop.  How does the helium get out of the balloon anyway?  Is that balloon going to go all the way up to outer space?  Is it going to get to heaven?"

caution and control-----curiosity and adventure

Friday, June 26, 2009


summer is upon us- so much going on- must update blog

- family visited
- swim team
- piano lessons
- princess birthday party
- kindergarten graduate
- toddler speaking in sentences

details and pics coming soon

Thursday, May 28, 2009

who knew there was a difference?

On the way out the door to Maryn's last ballet class of this semester, I grabbed my camera and some new batteries so I could take video and pictures. When I tried to use the camera, it was totally freaking out and I was convinced it was broken. So I didn't get any video and only a few pictures. I'm really upset about it. After I got home and read the camera manual and looked at the batteries, I realized that they were non-alkaline. I didn't realize that alkaline made a difference, I thought all household batteries were alkaline. Guess not.

So here are the few pictures I was able to take.
In this picture, the girls were practicing prancing around and picking up flowers with their thumb and forefingers. Maryn wasn't very dainty about it, she pretty much ran the whole time.
Those are not her ballet shoes, this was taken after class after she had put her crocs on.
This is Maryn and her teacher Mrs. Tobey. She is a very sweet person and Maryn has learned so much from her in the past 9 months. She starts every class reviewing ballet positions and practicing toe pointing. The rest of the class time she uses different games to teach turns, skipping, galloping, and probably a lot of other things about ballet that I don't recognize because I don't really know anything about dance. Her teacher told me that Maryn has gone from not being able to skip at all to being able to skip pretty well. She said she was impressed with her concentration when she was trying really hard to learn to skip. It is really an awesome class and I hope Maryn continues to enjoy it.

(As I was watching SYTYC Dance last night and hearing that a lot of the dancers started dancing at age 3, 4, 5- I couldn't help but hope that Maryn will want to stick with it so she can say that too!)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

and so it begins

Yes folks, that's our back door...

See the water line?

Remember this post from last summer?  Our rainy summer season got started with a bang last Friday with 2+ inches of rain falling in about 60 minutes which lead to 3 inches of standing water in our basement.  We were very prepared this time and had minimal damage to our stuff (except for the bottom three inches of our bookshelves and piano- we'll have to see how that one turns out).  

Here's the video Jon took during the flood:
We spent all day yesterday cleaning up our basement and it is pretty much back to normal, function-wise.  We're hoping that sandbags will minimize the damage next time.  Not that anything about this was humorous, but when we looked outside after the flood waters had receded, all of our outside toys were gone (floated away into other people's backyards) including our sandbox turtle!  We found it about twenty feet away and the sand inside was still dry as a bone.  The real question is, how are we going to get it back into our yard? :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

my kids....

unfortunately do a lot of this.....

The funny thing about this picture is- it shows how Maryn and Jonas pretty much copy exactly what Seth does. If Seth lays down on the floor, then Maryn does too (usually very close up next to him) followed by Jonas not long after.

Monday, May 11, 2009

what we've been up to

The last few weeks have turned out to be really really busy for our family. Jon is trying to finish up his semester, the rest of us had (in random order) book club, Primary meeting, enrichment, swim lessons, open house at school, father/son campout, ballet, English Dept. party, school half day, activity day girls, mother's day crafts in Seth's class and at church yesterday...phew. Thankfully I had an awesomely-relaxing Mother's Day (except for the afore mentioned Mother's Day craft in Primary that I was in charge of- that was crazy). Jon did a great job taking care of all my usual responsibilities so I could just chill. I wish every day was Mother's Day. (Plus, I got released from my calling yesterday- it was a great day!)

I made these rolls for enrichment and the school open house (they were on the same night). They were yummy and got eaten up quickly.
This is Maryn's new dress, thanks Aunt Wendy!
We were watching funny animal videos on You Tube. Maryn loves to snuggle Seth!

Saturday, April 25, 2009 good!* or "the saga of the red couch"

The other issue that has been taking up so much of my time lately is--I'm in the process of trying to redecorate our living room.

Those of you who have been in our home at any point in the past 9 years will recognize "old blue". We bought this couch brand new when we were married and have loved it nearly to death. It has been a trooper through 3 children, 4 moves, countless spills and many jumps (trampoline-style). On the comfort scale-- it's a 10, but on the attractiveness scale-- it has been sliding down quickly each to year to rest at around a 2 or 3. If it would have fit in our basement, we would have kept it. But it is too huge, so we practically gave it away to a young (craigs-listing) couple moving into their first apartment together for $30. We were all sad to see it go...but it was time.
After many many many trips to the few furniture stores in our area, we have a new couch! (The following is a picture of Seth reading The Cat in the Hat to Maryn and Jonas.)

In searching for this couch, we realized that Jon and I have a fundamental difference in taste. He cares mostly about comfort and I care mostly about style. (Which is sort of how men and women view things in general, I think.) I was not happy when we bought this couch, I felt very forced into the purchase. We were at this store (45 minutes away from our home, it was pouring rain, all the kids were with us) and they were having a huge sale, so Jon said "We are buying a couch here today, so you'd better decide which one." I halfheartedly agreed to this red couch because the only other one I was even remotely interested in, Jon hated ("not comfortable"). I worried about it all week (it took 7 days to be delivered) and almost called to cancel the order at least once per day.

After almost three weeks, we have a happy ending--I am really loving the couch!

*post title credit goes to DB. (I know I said I'm the funniest person I know, but I lied--my Dad is.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

for some laughs....

check out my latest tweet (yes Brandon, I continue to be the funniest person I know)

and look at blog list on the left sidebar of Jon's blog (what is he trying to say about me?)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Easter! (a week late)

p.s.- (for the grandparents, mostly) here are some pics of our latest adventures: spring break visit to Chicago and Easter festivities.

Monday, April 20, 2009

where have you been?

Of all the balls I've been juggling in the air lately, blogging was one of the ones that dropped. Here's some of the reasons why:

Sick kids: Thanks to kindergarten, we have had three bouts of strep throat with numerous runny noses and most recently-- yucky coughs. Jonas was hit the hardest and has spent the better part of the past 6 months sick with something. At his two year appointment, I found out he had fallen off the growth chart altogether. The doctor diagnosed him as "failure the thrive" and we had to get a ton of blood tests to check organ functions (which all came out normal). I freaked out. So I spent the better part of the next 5 weeks keeping a food diary which made me really pay attention to what he was eating/drinking. At his appointment (after the five weeks) he had gained over 2 pounds!

Organizing: The boundaries of the three wards in our area got redrawn and our ward got one half of a family student housing complex (nicknamed "Little Wymount"--you can probably guess why) causing our ward's Primary to triple in size with most of the new kids under 6 years old. Those of you who were in Gateway can imagine what this would be like. (Ex. SDV was taken out of Gateway and added to another preexisting ward.) So we have been working our you-knows off trying to get organized for our first official day as a new ward (yesterday). Luckily I had my prior experience of being secretary of Gateway ward's primary to draw from. These types of numbers may seem commonplace to some of you out west, but here--a ward/primary this size is not very common.

Selling my old stuff
: I've been attempting to de-junk my house and recently put all the excess in a consignment sale that happens bi-annually in my town. The stuff I didn't sell, I put in a friend's yard sale. All-in-all, I think I made about $300. How's that for excess stuff?

Enjoying the weather
: We've been having beautiful warm spring days intermingled with freezing rainy days. I look forward to and take advantage of the warm days as best I can with much hanging out outdoors. It's tulip/daffodil season here which makes driving around town so much more enjoyable. I'm really enjoying this land of perennial plants. Being from the southwest, it's an anomaly.

Carting the kids around: Ballet and playgroup once per week, swimming lessons twice per week, in addition to library visits and park trips every week....

Planning vacations
: My parents are coming at the beginning of the summer and we're going to Utah at the end of the summer. Working on planning fun things to do while Grandma and Papa are here!


Friday, March 13, 2009

Indiana-ana Jones

I find myself with some time this evening to share some birthday party pics. Jon is in SF for an academic conference (and having the time of his life--he is in love with that city), the kids are sleeping (I hope) so I have time to finally document these events.

Seth wanted to have an Indiana Jones-themed birthday party. (Jon and I tried to talk him into having a "monster" party where the kids could make monster masks and eat fun/grotesque treats--but he was having none of that.) Having a February birthday when it's actually winter outside is a challenge because you can't really plan a party outside (at a park-with built-in entertainment) which leaves you with only a few options: A-- shell out $150+ to have your party indoors at a restaurant/play gym, etc. B-- have your party at your own house. or C-- have your party outside anyway (even though it had snowed that morning) and make sure everyone brings a coat. We opted for a mix of B and C. Once that was decided--in a moment of mental weakness I told Seth he could invite 9 friends. Ten 6 year-old boys in my house, at the same time, what the heck was I thinking? (Luckily, 2 didn't come.)

The party guests (counter-clockwise, L to R) Finn, Seth, Ryan, David, Srijan, Christian, Brennan, and Elijah.

Special thanks to Grandma B and Aunt Carlie for many great ideas for Indiana Jones-themed party games. We played "put the gold coin in the chest", IJ Bingo, and Jon put together an awesome treasure hunt which included some outdoors fun. (There wasn't enough hats to go around, so you can see that one party guest settled for Maryn's pink cowgirl hat!)

As part of the treasure hunt, Jon had them watch a scene from the end of "last crusade" when Indy has to walk on stones labeled with letters, spelling "Jehovah". Then, he had the boys act it out by walking on our kitchen tiles labeled with letters to spell "birthday".

Dig for a buried clue in the sand pit (aka- sandbox turtle).

Balance on the beam and do jumping jacks.

Touch a friend on the nose.
The treasure hunt ended (after finding the treasure) with Jon pulling out his old Construx set.Seth got some cool presents that he really liked- 2 Lego sets and a Webkinz (among others).Seth was a little embarrassed by the Happy Birthday singing. And we had to do it twice because of an overzealous party guest who blew out the candles before Seth did.

Overall, I think the party went well. I felt badly that I didn't make a cool cake and I didn't really work that hard at planning a bunch of activities. But truthfully, I don't think Seth noticed and the boys seemed to have a lot of fun (especially during the treasure hunt). This February birthday party thing is always going to be hard as long as we live here!

Happy Birthday, Seth!