Sunday, July 29, 2007

. . . the end of our summer activities.

We will be leaving on Wed for our "big summer trip" so the rest of the summer is coming to a close. Here are some of the interesting things we have been doing.

1. Every Tuesday & Wednesday are free movie days at the Regal Theaters. Since it is free and air conditioned, we are there. Here are some of the movies we have seen this year.

2. Every Thursday morning, we had pool group with friends from church. Since our pool (in our development) is huge and has the best beach walk in EVER, we invited everyone to come swim. We usually had anywhere from five to fifteen moms with one to four kids each. You do the math--it was a big group. It is so much fun for the kids to play together and to have everyone catch-up on news. We have a great group of moms here and I love getting to know all of them better. Sorry for no pictures, but when you starts snapping pictures of people at the pool, they tend to avoid you for a long time afterwards.

3. Maya learned to swim like a mermaid (she doesn't like us to say fish.) She is all over the pool, swimming across the whole thing. She likes to swim to the bottom and glide along. She likes to jump in and swim under our legs like they are tunnels. We are so proud of her and so pleased that Madison taught her how to come up for air and then continue swimming.

4. Monterey learned to swim like a mermaid (ditto on the fish thing.) She has not yet learned to come up for air and then get horizontal again. But other than that, she is swimming and jumping in right with her sister. One of their favorite things to do is to go under at the same time and make funny faces at each other. Then they come up and ask each other, "Did you see that?" It is pretty funny and they will do it for hours.

5. They learned to swim on their own which saved us a lot of time, money and tears. Yea!

6. McKayla and Madison started a business called the M&M Babysitting club. They made over two hundred dollars! Mom and Dad are so proud of their hard work. Here was their flyer:

M & M Babysitting Club

Presented by Madison & McKayla Caress

What: Your kids are invited to the M & M Babysitting Club

Who: your kids age 1 (must be walking) to age 5 (never been to Kindergarten)

Where: the Caress home (the M & M sister’s)

When: 11:00 to 1:00 every Monday and Friday in June and July

Cost: each child $3.00 (each additional child $2.00)

Why: so you can have some time to yourself

Call and ask for Madison or McKayla to make your reservation


7. McKayla & Madison went to a water polo clinic. Two hours a day, four days a week. All of it in a nine foot deep pool. It was incredible exercise, it kept them cool, it was a way to fill up the long, hot afternoons, and they had several friends who did it too. We love their coach and all his kids who were the junior coaches. It is almost worth being in this area just for the program. (I said almost- nothing can really compensate for the heat we endure.)

8. Lots of play dates, sleepovers, parties. Let's hear it for a great group of friends both from church and school. We love you all.

9. Harry Potter. Every summer a book comes out it is good summer. With the last book it was even more exciting. Are you sick of us talking about Harry Potter? This is nothing compared to what I could do.

10. Library reading time and activities, discovering the best cupcakes in the valley (Bristol Farms), tubing with friends on their lake, finishing lots of projects . . . what a summer.

NEXT UP: Watch for upcoming posts on our fabulous vacation.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Potterheads Unite

Lisa finished the re-read of #6 on Friday morning, which gave her no Potter plans until the evening. So the girls and Lisa decided to do our Harry Potter treats yet again. We made eight bags, which we shared with some of our Potter-obsessed friends. They included acid pops, Bertie Botts Jelly Beans, and Instant Polyjuice Potion (shown here) and also Snape's Jelly Slugs, Cockroach Clusters, and Flitwick's Wands (not shown here.)Then we went to the Harry Potter Party at the local Barnes and Nobles. McK, Mad, and Lisa went with our friends Caitlin and Stephanie, and Steph's friend. They were dressed up and we all took turns standing in lines and joining in with the festivities. At 11:45 pm they had everyone leave the store. We had a pretty good place in line and everyone was going nuts. They had a midnight countdown that was more exciting than any new year's countdown and the employees came out with airhorns. We got sent to the Starbucks cash register which means we were second, third and fourth in line and out of our store with our books at 12:10 am. We dropped off one book to a friend on the way home and started reading. There will probably never again be such excitement about a book again (although we hope so) so let's celebrate the fact that people can get that excited about reading!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Lisa's Good Reads

So Lisa got to read first: started at 12:30 am, slept for three hours, read from 5:30 am until 9:30 pm with a couple of distractions and three twenty minute power naps.

I'm not giving anything away, but let me just say if you did not want anyone to spoil it, you should have read faster! Just Kidding. I was happy. Now what should I read? Probably go back to #1-6 and see how many JK's clues were given throughout that I missed the first time. (Our Bishop called us "Potterheads" and we took it as a complement.)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Such Anticipation . . .

We went to see the new Harry Potter movie on Wednesday. McK, Mad, and Lisa went while poor Ryan was at work and the babies were at Grandma's (Ryan's mom.) We really enjoyed it and since Lisa just recently re-read the book, we found it to be pretty close, maybe more so than the others. Now for what we really want . . .

We have just a few more days. Lisa will be attending the midnight party at Barnes and Nobles to get her reserved copy. She should have it read by Sat. night if Ryan keeps his promise to be the 100% caregiver of the offspring. As for rumors and predictions: who knows. If Hermione survives, Lisa wants her to be the new headmaster at Hogwarts. JK has to give something to girl power. Whatever happens, she will know by Saturday night on the 21st.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lisa's Mom Homecoming

Lisa's mom has been serving a mission for our church for the last eighteen months. She is finally getting ready to come home and took this picture as her official "going home" pic. We will be meeting her in Denver for our trip (see upcoming activities.) She has been serving in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City helping people with their genealogy research. Her speciality is British research although she is also quite adept at USA research. We are very proud of her and look forward to her being home so we can spend more time together.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Maya & Her Babies

OK, so I know these look a little morbid, so bear with us. Maya laid out all her babies and covered them for naps. She is such a good mommy. While covering them, she covered their eyes so the sunlight would not bother them. Isn't that considerate? Unfortunately, to the rest of us, it looked like a morgue.
Then she goes to bed during our family movie night and when we go in to check on her, we find this. She made her bed on the floor, next to her sister's bed and made a little bed for her doll "Baby Sterling" (named after her beloved cousin on Ryan's side.)
Luckily everyone is just fine. All the dolls woke up (including Maya) and now our home is back to normal.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Independence Party

For the 4th of July, we did a lot of swimming, eating, and watching fireworks. We started the morning with a three hour swim. Lisa's sister, Aunt Karen, came to visit and is more fish than human so she requires several hours in the pool everyday. No one seems to object. We then came home, prepped food for the BBQ and rested. At 3:00, we went to Ryan's parents for some yummy grub - hamburgers, hot dogs - our traditional 4th foods. They had a pretty packed place with family and lots of people from their church.

Then we went to our friends, the Christians for some more yummy food - this time catered with salmon and delicious salads - not so traditional but very, very good. We played on a large blow up water slide, swam in the lake, went tubing off the back of their boat, and relaxed in their jacuzzi. Later we had our own personal fireworks show with some fireworks they had bought in Nevada. Our show was as ornate as the big productions that were going on in the different desert cities. It was beautiful seeing the lights reflected on the lake. (sorry, no pictures of that.) What I do have, is pictures of the slide and the tubing. All of you who have met my older sister will get a kick out of seeing her on the tube. And yes, those are the babies on the tube with their sisters. (Sorry about the blurred pictures apparently my camera does not do well with action shots.)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Patriotic Service Project

McKayla & Madison collected 24 old cell phones with chargers to give to the soldiers. A company refurbishes them and then gives them to the soldiers with calling cards so they can speak to their family members. McK & Mad were always asking their parents what they were going to do with their old cell phones so they loved the idea. We e-mailed lots of people and made fliers to pass out. We collected all the phones by July 4th and dropped them off at the local collection center. If you want more info you can go to and find out where you can give locally.