Saturday, August 13, 2011

Minus the Peanuts and Crackerjacks

A friend from JJ's work was kind enough to give us his season tickets to the Tuesday Diamondbacks game while he was out of town--which included free tickets for the whole family. Pathetically enough, this was our first all family attendance to a professional sporting event. Though I liked the idea of going out together- especially for free, I was not super excited to see Baseball. When I was 18, a VERY long and VERY uneventful Padres game left a bad taste in my mouth for the all American sport ever since. It also didn't help that the sum total sports viewing in our family stretches barely beyond an annual Superbowl and Biannual 14 day Olympic binge. A binge which leaves us,as most binges do, in a state of depression as we realize how much we are not living up to our potential. Furthermore, even those have been missing in our life ever since television went digital.

It's not that we don't like sports, we do. There are multiple factors which contribute to this minimalistic approach including: a preference for playing over passive viewing, lack of cable, and sports simply falling too low on our list of favored brain rotting activities. With this in mind, imagine my surprise as I found myself depressed when the Diamondbacks were losing, cheering at their awesome comeback, upset at bad calls and mumbling pep talk comments to myself and JJ. It actually turned out to be quite an exciting game up to the last play. Even the kids stayed attentive throughout the near 3 hours with Jordan calling “ that's a foul ” each time they hit it out. Isabel who'd had reservations about going to the game on a school night (where did this responsible kid come from?) repeatedly said what a good time she was having. She even promised she would try and not freak out when she saw the clock at home. Laney had actually been the only truly optimistic one and left without disappointment. I too left extremely satisfied with our great family memory despite my initial scroogish sentiments and realized even baseball deserves a second chance. I still wouldn't pay for it though. 
Maybe I still am a scrooge.

Friday, August 5, 2011

"It's a nice day for a white wedding..."

Our good friends are staying with us for a few days while their parents party in Tucson. During these little visits together, Isabel and Haylee become the ring leaders for all sorts of activities, from lesson planning to concerts, crafts and usually one Emma/Jordan wedding. Oh how they love to live out their romantic ideals vicariously through these two childhood sweethearts.

 Going on their 5th or so marriage together , 
Emma and Jordan have had quite the rocky relationship over the years.
One time Jill heard Emma shout indignantly from the other room:
"Jordan,  you're a terrible husband!"
 I don't doubt it, though it certainly hasn't kept them from repeatedly tying the knot, which is more due to the machinations of their sisters, rather than any romantic inclinations of their own. But they love to play along. So, I just roll my eyes and figure as long as all parties involved are complicit, who am I to keep them from their innocent fun. And I certainly am not going to keep myself from documenting it. 

The Procession, 
complete with bridesmaid and ring bearer

The Bride was sporting a classic Muslim style with a throw back to the 80's

Lovely "garter" bracelet

You know, 
I think she's the type to wear flip flops on her actual wedding day
(as long as they were diamond studded)

In the tradition of many modern couples,
 they apparently already had a kid together. 

There was even a reception afterward with a classy
array of chocolate chip cookies and chicken nuggets.

In the unlikely event  these two ever did get hitched,
Jill and I agree they would have one killer slide show!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back to School ....sigh

Our precious summer is over already and the kids went back to school yesterday. Admittedly they were much more excited to go then I was to have them leave, but it's nice to see their happy smiling faces heading off for new experiences this year. Speaking of which here they are in all their uniform glory....

It's all about shorts (no skirts this year)

all about skirts and knee highs-- no shorts!
--Thank goodness one of them likes the knee highs :)

And this kid, being a boy 
doesn't have too many options

The Backpacks
Since they attend a school with a very strict uniform policy, the backpack becomes their biggest source of self expression. This year we searched high and low to find one that suits their personality. 
And find them we did...

Sports balls, what more can a boy ask for?

Aahh Laney, Laney, Laney-- I just love that this girl is still into Pink and Bling
My favorite part-- The red water bottle with the pink backpack 
(even the water bottle and lunch bag have become more meaningful over the years)

My Growing Isabel, 
Definitely chose a more sophisticated look in her signature color

I'm going to miss these guys 

 When asked their favorite part of their first day...
Isabel : "Loved how my teacher is funny and sarcastic "
Laney:  "Organizing my desk"
Jordan:  " Recess"

And what did I do on my first full day kid free?

What any responsible mom would do...
I got my hair done. 

I decided to embrace my bleaching hair and go blonde.
After all, they have more fun right?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Duck Creek: Day Five "Things get interesting"

Per excitement of the Bonfire we had the night before, Jordan and Adahi went about collecting wood to make their own. Just pretend of course. I knew they were doing that, but when the boys went up to tell Grammy all they said to her was 

"Grammy, we made a bonfire!"

Grammy:  "What?" "Where?"
J & A:  "outside, over by that big Marshmallow thing"

(that big marshmellow thing was a huge Gas tank)

JJ's mom's blood pressure probably shot through the roof. The misunderstanding was eventually cleared up you can see from the picture below what their "bonfire" was.

A bunch of sticks in a sort of pile.
Thankfully a misunderstanding or they could have blown the cabin to kingdom come!

Later they were building a fort

Unfortunately Adahi is not always the most coordinated, he was just walking along the log that was 2 1/2 feet high and he fell off right after I took this picture. I rushed over and he was lying on the ground holding his leg, he wouldn't stand on it.  I carried him in the house worried he broke his leg. As Cathy and I layed him down and saw a large swollen bump on the front of his shin, my worries were confirmed. He moaned in pain for awhile and still couldn't walk on it. So she took him down to an EMT place in the village, of course when they got there he hopped out and walked all around like nothing happened. They didn't think it was broken,but advised us to watch it because it was so swollen. She got it 
x-rayed on our way out of town, thankfully just a really deep bruise. 

(note before this event,  He had already gotten 2 large goose eggs on his head from bumping into things at their house. Since this event, he busted his lip in 4 places while jumping into the pool and got stiches. He is seriously a walking accident waiting to happen, but very very lovable!)

They even share a love of Origami

We went for a little walk and the kids ended up building another fort...

Tepee fort

That night we drove around looking for deer, we saw five deer, 2 fox,1 beaver, 2 blue jays,
 and a partridge in a pear tree...

quite successful hunt I would say!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Duck Creek: Day Four Good-byes

Tuesday was unfortunately departure day for JJ and Vanessa.
We managed a hike before they had to leave to go back to work. 
The sky was such a deep blue unhindered by city smog

I about peed my pants during the hike worrying about one of the kids falling down the steep loose shale cliffs. Some of them(actually all of them) teens included, 
weren't able to evaluate risk very well.

The peak of the hike--A waterfall that shoots out of a rock. -pretty cool

aah little Honovi, my hiking buddy
She is such a spunky funny little thing that has wormed her way deep into my heart. I was sitting across from her being thoroughly entertained as she ate her Ramen. I had to grab the camera.

She eats life with a similar intensity

Attacking her brother Mikey, 

"The Hills are Alive....."

"you have a little something on your chin"

This is Zach, he was our DJ   24/7 . I have to admit there were times I got a little Cabin Beiber Fever and I just might throw up if I hear Paparazzi one more time. But it's his way of interacting and it definitely livens up the place. As you can see from these pictures he can't even take a break for Smore's.

 happiest rocking out to his tunes

There was a nest of baby birds on the roof of the deck that hatched right before we all came to the cabin. They were quite the celebrities as we watched them daily being fed by their mom. The most exciting event in the Baby Bird saga was when one of the birds lost it's balance out of the nest and teetered on the brink of death for a few minutes. Luckily for the bird there was a Rescue Squad holding a blanket underneath should the worst happen.  Even more luckily, it eventually made it back into the nest. On our last day though, the nest was empty, appearantly it takes a full week for them to grow up enough to leave the nest. 
That's some tough parenting for you.

Suicidal Baby Bird