Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Free Saturday

I am in the process of ordering a new camera on-line so I should be back to regular pictures soon. In the meantime, we still are living life so I guess we will have the text-only post, or at least no pictures taken by me, within the last few days.

We woke up on Saturday morning realizing that we did not have any soccer for the first time in SIX MONTHS. So . . . we went to breakfast. A nice leisurely breakfast at Sloan's. Way too much food, but it was enough to feed us on Sunday morning also, so that worked out well for my lesson and Madison's talk in Primary (that we had not started until about 1 hour before we left.) This one o'clock church is giving me an opportunity to procrastinate so much. It is only February and I have already started in some bad habits that will make it hard to go back to 9 am church.

I ran to Target to buy gifts for ALL the showers and kiddie birthday parties coming in the months of Feb. and March. It was so nice to go in there alone. Normally we spend 10 minutes in the dollar section while everyone picks out their one item. This has become a tradition and is part of the bargaining process to keep them from begging for stuff throughout the store. Then I picked up McK from her "Soccer-is-over-so-I-can-actually-have-a-sleepover-with-friends" sleepover.

Off to a baby shower. Home to swimming. Off to see 27 Dresses with the older girls. We all really liked it. Especially the Bennie and the Jets song with the "electric boobs" lyrics will send Madison into major hysterics (if you have seen it, you know the line, if you haven't it is very funny.) Home to get ready for Sunday.

It was so nice to have a normal, regular, Saturday. I really missed swimming as a family and glad we are back to that on a regular basis.

I got back the picture that my whole family took for our Disney reunion. This was the best one. Only one person messed it up -the little one held in Ryan's arms-my Monterey baby doll. She is developing quite the reputation for messing up pictures. Here is a link for the last cousins picture. Oh well. Out of twenty-five people someone is going to blow it. At least she is consistent.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Date Festival

I had never been to a County Fair until the Date Festival. The first time was before we moved here, while visiting Grandpa Tom & Grandma Diane. It seemed an obscure mixture of carnie rides, heart-attack-ready-to-happen foods, and small town displays. Since we moved here, in an attempt to be one of the locals, we have attended every year.
The girls love the rides. I sit there wondering how much inspection was done before they let people ride on it? How much insurance is on it? For some reason, all the people running the rides look like they are on parole. Lots of tattoos. Cigarette smoke on their breathe. Strange looking expressions.

The food. You can get deep-fried anything. The only deep-fried I can totally get into is the funnel cakes. The rest kind of makes me a little sick after a while. Even the corn dogs are a little off - more corn than dog. The bread pan sized curly fires was a little scary. Popcorn and cotton candy are okay. The shaved ice - lets just say that you could tell the water was not filtered, even with the heavy syrup-I could not get past one sip. So why does everyone love it so much? Maybe there is a little bit of white-trash in all of us.

The displays I will concede are actually quite charming. I love seeing the baked goods, quilts, and artwork. There is something about seeing homemade items get attention that is not only old-fashioned, but it is nice to see the fine arts and home arts being honored. It is fun to go around and see if there are any people we know on all the little tags. We always find a few that we know. Later on, it is fun to see them and tell them "Hey, I saw your _____ at the fair!"

The entertainment. I try to pick a night to go where they have someone worth seeing. This year Leann Rimes was on the schedule so, knowing that McK has a love for country, we made that our day. Grandma Diane joined us for the concert, reliving the last time she saw Leann in concert. Leann was quite good and for one brief moment, it felt like we were in a respectable venue.

The crowd. Lots of tattoos. Lots of belt buckles. Lots of people in ill-fitting clothes. Enough normal people to not feel completely out of place.

I guess my biggest problem is I was raised on Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Magic Mountain, The Hollywood Bowl, LA's Farmer's Market, Griffith Park, and Dodger Stadium. Yes, we saw colorful people, but they always felt a little more artsy. The venues were usually clean and the employees looked like nice, normal, clean people. The food appeared to be passable for a health inspector. So I go every year to the Date Festival and try not to compare. I really do love it and I really am not sure why. Like I said before, maybe there is a little white trash in all of us . . . at least in me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

All Valley Champs & Beautiful Hair

So my camera has a flash issue and I either have to figure how to fix it or buy a new camera. In the meantime, we will stick with outdoor, daytime shots.

So here is the hair. She is very happy and loves wearing it every way possible. Madison loved getting special shampoo, conditioner, mousse, gel, comb, etc. Now that she all the beauty paraphernalia she can handle, she is in hog heaven.

We had the All-Valley Championship for McKayla's team. Are you tired of hearing about soccer, since the season ended mid-December? Well, hearing it is nothing compared to going each week, trust me. Not that I'm complaining, because this season has been awesome. Just skim through if you want to avoid details. They started three weeks ago. Everyone played three games, on two Saturdays, earning points: so many points for winning, shuts outs, three point spread, etc. McKayla's team won the highest amount out of the eight teams: 28. This put them in the 1st place bracket heading into the semi's. We won that game and then on to the finals. We won that too. Can anyone beat this team? I don't think so. As usual, McK played goalie for half the game and mid-field for one quarter. Here are the results of the tournament:
Game 1: v. DHS 1; won 2-0
Game 2: v. IND 2; won 6-1
Game 3: v. PS 1; won 3-0
Semi-final: v. #4 IND 1; won 6-1
Finals: v. #2 PS 2; won 3-2
What a great year for McKayla. We had a great husband and wife coaching team. What a cute little cheering section. This is the only move I like seeing McK do as goalie: taking off the goalie shirt after a perfectly defended half. The rest is far too stressful for me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

American Idol

This is Brooke White. She made the top 24 on Wed. night. She is not only a Mormon girl, but she is in my sister's ward right now (She is from Mesa originally.) My sister wants me to let everyone know this so we can all vote like crazy. I do not recall her singing ability, but watch for her this next week. Here is the video link that gives more background on her, here is the link to her American Idol page. My sister says she is totally nice and very active and she wants her to go all the way. So everyone check her out!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Joys of Golf Course Living (and other fun things)

ON the day of the Superbowl, in the morning, while I was in the shower, I heard a big thud. Assuming something had fallen, I figured one the girls would come and rat out someone else. No one came and I forgot about it. Until I was putting the finishing touches on my lesson, and I heard a weird crunching sound. Very steady, cracking, almost animal-like. My ears directed me to the window, facing the golf course. I opened the blinds and there I saw the most amazing thing. The window was cracking in a huge spider web of glass. We could actually see the cracks appearing and the pieces getting smaller and smaller. I thought it was going to explode or something. Luckily we have double paned glass. The cracking went on for at least an hour. Judging from the dent in the house, just above the window, the golf ball must have hit the wall, not the glass. But because it was close, the window must have absorbed some of the shock. It is still hanging in our window, it never burst. So now I have the fun job of gathering estimates. Does anyone know anyone in the glass business?

The PTO Luncheon went very well. We had 11 types of soup, with lots of yummy add-ins, salads, breads, and desserts. We did a Valentine's theme. The weather was perfect for soup the previous ten days. On the day of the luncheon, it got all warm on us. Dang it! I wanted that feeling that only comes when you are truly chilly and then you eat yummy, warm, homemade soup and all feels right with the world. Oh well, everyone enjoyed it anyway and I am reconciled that even though I can control many aspects, I cannot control weather. My favorite was a white chicken chili made by one of the moms.

Marvelous Monday. Yea - a school holiday! Lincoln's Birthday. I know that not everyone gets the day off, but I'm so glad we did. We had lofty plans and got about 25% done. Here is my Lincoln tribute:

THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Curly-haired people want straight hair and straight-haired people want curly hair. Madison has wanted curly hair forever. We have tried hot rollers and curling irons and every time her hair looks great for about three minutes. We douse it with hairspray and then maybe she gets ten minutes. This has been the bane of her existence. She has been asking for a perm for quite a while. I resisted for a while because
1. she is only ten
2. big hair is not really the style right now
3. it is super expensive
4. I wasn't sure she would even like it for more than five minutes
5. it takes a lot of time.
She finally talked me into it. Here she is getting the perm. She loves it and we all love it. McKayla gave her the greatest compliment: "Madison, you look like one of the girls from the Jane Austin movies." She is learning how to care for it and wore it five different ways the first day. My main reason for letting her do it was because I felt like if she was going to hate it, we could get her a short summer cut soon. I also would rather her make her fashion mistakes earlier (like elementary,) than later (like middle or high school.) But I think she looks great and she loves it. Pictures of the results will be on the next post.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Teeth, Chocolate, Soccer, Superbowl, Science, Voting

On Friday, poor Madison had to have a tooth removed. She has this issue where her baby teeth roots do not dissolve and when her permanent teeth come in, they start interacting with the roots and it sometimes get ugly. Most of her teeth have needed help. This time the permanent tooth wanted a permanent relationship with the baby roots and ended up needing a legal divorce performed by the dentist. Here she is moments afterwards. (There will be a couple more pics on her blog.)

That night McK, Mad, and I went to darling Lizzie's for a chocolate making class. I thought we would observe and dip a couple of pieces. But no, this was full-on, chocolate on a slab (counter,) hand-full-of-chocolate chocolate making. Picture I Love Lucy without the mouth full of chocolate (well maybe you better picture the mouthful of chocolate, too.) The girls loved it and we are making plans to make chocolate again. It was great: we learned how to temper chocolate, dip, and make fancy designs on top. It will take some time until ours look like See's, but Lizzie assures us that it just takes a little practice. Shari helped teach us, too and she came up with an orange and cranberry filling that was amazing. They were phenomenal teachers and we brought home a plateful each. So glad we did not miss this one.

Saturday we spent at the soccer fields. Two games, two wins. Here is a sample of the pictures I tried to take of McK playing. Every time, Monterey would run in front of the camera smiling and giggling. What a cutie pie. Two more weeks for the all-valley tournament.

We went to dinner that night to celebrate Ryan's parent's 40th anniversary. Just a nice quiet dinner with family at their favorite Mexican restaurant.

Sunday was busy. I taught (as usual,) Ryan had to do sharing time in primary (aka I had to prepare it for him,) McK's science project (due on Monday - planned and researched but we had not started the experiment or the science board - stress!!!,) and an intimate Superbowl party with some friends. That's all, no sweat.

Ryan and I voted this morning. Madison went with me since we were on the way to take her to school. I wanted her to see how the election process and voting worked. I had high hopes for expounding her horizons and teaching her about the democratic process. When I got there, I asked if she could be with me in the voting booth. The nice lady said no. I asked can I at least bring her in and show her everything and then have her sit down elsewhere while I did the actual voting. She said she would ask her supervisor. They said okay. So I bring her in and then I see that it is a write-on ballot where we just draw a line. "Never mind, Madison, just go sit." I though it was going to be the electronic one or at least a punchcard. I felt like a total dork for making a big deal out of it when there was nothing to show her but a pen . . . oooooh . . . so exciting. Oh well. I tried.