Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Or at least the best idea ever when it comes to shoveling the driveway, which I do not enjoy at all.  However, I can't take credit for this great idea.  It comes from a friend of a friend who made a comment on Facebook regarding shoveling snow.  

"Go tell your kids to roll snowmen on the driveway and down the sidewalk."

I'm not even sure he was serious, considering it was followed by an "LOL", but since I was trying to muster up the energy to get my boots on and go out to shovel the 8 inches of  very heavy wet snow that fell during the night, I thought it was a brilliant idea. (Especially since we don't have a snowblower, or even a halfway decent shovel.  I think our shovel was about the cheapest one at the store when we bought it 10 years ago.  Perhaps it's time to loosen the purse strings a little?)  :)

Anyhow, I sent the kids out to get rolling, and they proclaimed it "the funnest job ever!"  They probably picked up about 75 percent of the snow on the driveway and sidewalk.  That still left me with some shoveling to do, but at least they lightened the load quite a bit!  Of course I still had to help make snowmen, but what a bonus to get in some fun time with the kids while getting a chore out of the way at the same time!

Tyler (who is also a birthday boy today!) took care of the sidewalk.

 These three enormous snowmen were almost entirely made with snow from our driveway and sidewalk!  


This will definitely be my preferred method of snow removal from now on!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lady Luck

Yup, that's me....also know as The Luckiest Girl in the World.  Just what reasons do I have for making this claim you might ask?  Well, it's simple.  I am a winner.  I win things....a lot.  Some of the bigger prizes I have won over just the last few years include:

*An ipod touch

*A ipod nano

*A family pass to Sea World

*$360 U2 concert tickets

*A stay at the Castle Creek Inn Bed & Breakfast

These are just the biggies, but I've also won plenty of other cd's, concert tickets, and various gift certificates
I've won from newspaper contests, drawings at model homes, and most often from the radio.  The weird thing is that I don't enter contests very often.  You'd think from my track record that it's what I spend the majority of my time doing, but I rarely even listen to the radio.  As for other contests and drawings and such, I don't seek them out either.  If I happen to be somewhere where there is a drawing to enter I will do it, but that's about it.  Maybe I should look into making this a full-time job.  Apparently it's what I'm good at.
My latest winnings were front row tickets to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform their annual Christmas Concert and backstage passes to meet the band.  It was so much fun.  I saw TSO several years ago, and loved their show.  I have been wanting to go again over the years, but it seems like it always fell on a day that wasn't convenient.  Well, it just so happens that I won tickets to go this year, and I was so excited.  They put on an amazing show, and being right on the front row was amazing!  If you're not familiar with TSO, I'm sure you've at least heard one or two of their most popular songs.  You can check out 60 seconds of the fun time we had here.
And here are some pics from the show.

I was kind of tricky getting a decent shot with all the smoke and lights and pyrotechnics, but these are some of the better ones.

 Apparently you've got to have long hair to be in this show so you can whip it around all cool like this.

And afterward we got to meet some of the band.  The guy on the left and some of the other band members have been playing together for 31 years.  He is one ugly dude, but he has an awesome singing voice.  

Okay, so if I had to choose a band to go backstage to meet, this would not be the one, but I did have a great time!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Birthday Boy

We celebrated Ryan's birthday this week.  He had four special requests for his birthday this year.  

1. He wanted a Candyland cake.

Done.  Although I really should have just given him a few bags of candy, because that was a lot of work for a boy who only wants to eat the candy off the top of it anyway.  At least it's cute, right?

2. He wanted chattering teeth for a present.

Where exactly does one buy chattering teeth?  Amazon.com, I praise thy name.  I love being able to find just about anything there....and I curse it too.  They were a piece of junk.  Guess I should have sprung for the expensive ones.  Oh well.  Ryan seemed pleased that such a strange request was honored at all.  

3. He wanted to go to "the carnival".

  This wasn't just a spur of the moment request.  He's been talking about going to the carnival on his birthday for at least the last six months.  I was really hoping it was a phase that would pass, but no such luck.  First of all, I don't even know where he got the idea of a carnival.  We have never been to one.  Then as his birthday got closer and he was still insisting on going, I was wondering what could possibly pass for a carnival.  State fair?.....over.  County fair?....over.  Town days?.....all over.  Hmmm......
Then, about two weeks before his birthday we drove past Lagoon.  He pointed at it and shouted "That's the carnival I want to go to!"  
I told him it wouldn't be open on his birthday.  
Now I know that it is open on weekends for Frightmares in October, but I didn't tell him that.  For one thing, our weekends are pretty busy lately with a couple of kids playing soccer.  Not to mention the fact that the thought of spending the day at an amusement park in the cold is not my idea of a good time.  

Well, another week went by and one day I went to pick Ryan up from school.  He came running out of the building waving his "ticket" to the "carnival'.  He was soooo excited.  It was a discount pass for Lagoon in October.  I glanced at the schedule on it expecting to see it only open on weekends, which it was, except for one lone Thursday.  His birthday.  Greg's day off from work. A day off from school.  (Which if I was a better mom probably would have already known about, but no, it caught me off guard.)  Anyway, it was all looking too good to be true.  But still I didn't tell him we could go, because I didn't want to give him false hope if the weather turned out to be yucky.  So I watched the weather forecast the week leading up to the big day, and lo and behold....74 and sunny.  Can't get much better than that.  So we went.  And a good time was had by all.

4. He wanted the game "Plants vs. Zombies". 


Grandma and Grandpa came through on that one.....and he's been playing it all day long.  (Just this once of course!)  Looks kind of fun.  Now that he's in bed I might just have to try it out myself!  

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Old Lady Bathroom

Confession time:  I have had the bathroom of an 87 year old woman.  Fortunately it didn't smell like the bathroom of an 87 year old woman, but still, enough was enough.  I didn't really mind the decor when we first bought this house nearly 11 years ago.  After all, there were TWO bathrooms!  After growing up in a house with only one bathroom and then living in a teeny 400 sq. foot newlywed apartment, that was awesome! Anyway, like I said, it was nice, it just wasn't me.  There was peach and blue floral wallpaper and lots of ultra-fancy shiny brass hardware everywhere. I finally decided to do something about it, and this week was spent peeling up old wallpaper, scrubbing walls, patching holes, replacing all the hardware and repainting.  It's finally done and I love the new look! 

I don't have a before picture of my bathroom, but here is a sample of the wallpaper after I joyfully ripped it from the walls.


And here is the finished product!  The wall color is actually more of a pale neon/lime green, rather than the avocado color that comes across in this picture, and I love the fun brown polka dot shower curtain!  I still have old lady light fixtures in here, (floral/brass....sshhh, don't tell anyone!) but that'll have to wait until I can get someone over here who knows how to do electrical stuff.  I would probably just blow myself up in the process, and then what would be the point of my fun new bathroom?  :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Stay-cation Day 5

Day 5 of the staycay was spent at "the beach". The kids have loved having a beach/reservoir so close to home. While it's not the biggest thing around, I love that it only takes 5 minutes to get there, and all the kids really want to do is splash in the water and dig in the sand anyway. Since we don't have a boat or anything, it's all we really need. Besides that, how lucky was it that we got a 90 degree day in mid-September? Perfect weather!

I spent most of my time in the shade, since it takes me all of 5 minutes to get a nice sunburn.

We ran into a neighbor there who let Greg try out his paddle surf board. He got cruising pretty fast on that thing. I thought it would be funny to get a picture of him falling off, but he never did.

Dylan trying his first mouthful of sand.

The water was freezing!

My little dirt diggers.

We took a nice walk/bike ride down to the Iceberg for dinner. Mmmmm, so yummy.

And ice cream for dessert.

Yeah, it was Iceberg, so we probably should have gotten shakes for dessert, but our tummies were too full. Besides that, we have had no shortage of tasty treats this week!

We finished it all off with a movie night/sleepover in the living room.
So sad that our staycation is almost over!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

STAY-cation Days 2 - 4

On day 2 of our stay-cation we decided to take a trip to the zoo. We hadn't been there in about three years, so we were due for another visit.

Upon walking into the giraffe house, I took one whiff and sarcastically said "Mmmmm, smells good in here!". Right away Alyssa answered (and she was being totally serious) "I know! I love this smell!". Classic Alyssa. Greg and I just had to laugh.

This cute little thing looks like a house cat, but is really some South American wildcat. Dylan didn't seem to notice that there was anything interesting to look at at the zoo - and we'd already seen elephants, monkeys, rhinos and a few other things - until we got to this little guy. The cat was actually curled up in a corner until we set Dylan down in front of his cage, and then he got up and walked right over to Dylan and where they both just sat and stared at each other for the next 5 minutes.

Posing on the giant elephant's trunk.

Greg being a good sport and doing the gorilla pose with the big kids.

Tyler was only attacked by animals twice while we were there. A peacock (or a "pee hawk", and Ryan thinks they are called) came over during lunch looking for some crumbs. I didn't notice that Tyler tried to pet it until it was flying up in his face and screeching. We thought it was funny - Tyler did not. Later we were looking at a baby crocodile that was behind glass. Tyler had his face pressed right up against the glass trying to get a better view, because the crocodile looked like it was just sleeping in the bottom of its pool. All of a sudden it leaped out of the water and threw itself against the glass right in front of Tyler's face, snapping its jaws. It was totally unexpected, so it was quite funny - except for poor Tyler, who saw his life flash before his eyes. He was a little wary of getting too close to any animals after that.

After the zoo we headed on up to Park City to spend the night, which leads us to....

Day 3

Park City is pretty dead this time of year as far as the mountain resort goes, so we mostly just hung out and relaxed. We spent LOTS of time at the pool, which is all the kids really care about anyway. (Okay, there was a little shopping involved as well. Can't miss a chance to hit up the outlets you know!)

Alyssa is our little fish. She would spend the entire day in the water if she could.

Ryan is the opposite - he always prefers to spend his aquatic time on the top step of the hot tub....

...Or wrapped in a towel snuggling on the lounge chairs.

Dylan seems to be a fan.
(I love the matching expressions on their faces!)

We spent our second night in PC with a DVD from Redbox and some delicious take out from Red Rock Brewing Co. I LOVE that place! Especially the Sweet Potato Cannelloni. Holy delicious...cannelloni shells stuffed with a blend of ricotta, sweet potatoes, spinach, sage, and smothered in a cream sauce with melted provolone and parmesan....so good, and I normally don't even like sweet potatoes! Okay, have I gone on about how much I love this dish enough? :) I am ready to go back for more right now!

Day 4

We left Park City and headed for Discovery Gateway in Salt Lake. None of us had ever been there before, so we thought we'd give it a whirl. The kids had a great time and there was plenty to keep everyone busy for the entire afternoon....

Like delivering vegetables from the farm to the market.....

Or flying a Life Flight helicopter......

Doing a tipping table maze.....

Or practicing some horseback riding skills. Good times.

After the museum, we took the kids to splash around in the fountains at the Gateway.

Then it was back to our home sweet home to roast hot dogs and make s'mores in the back yard. Gotta enjoy this beautiful weather while we've still got it!


Monday, September 13, 2010


We had some vacation time planned for this month, but for the longest time we couldn't decide where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do. Of course if we had endless funds, we would have been able to come up with plenty of great places to go, but as it is, we decided to go on a "stay-cation". There are plenty of local things that we have never done, and plenty of local things that we have done, but that the kids wish we did more often. So we tried to hype it up and get the kids all excited about a vacation that doesn't sound nearly as fun as Disneyland or some other far off wonderful place. This is how the conversation went:

Mom & Dad: "Hey kids, we decided that for our vacation we are going to do a stay-cation. Do you know what that is?"

Kid (very excitedly): "Is it where we get to go on vacation and STAY there forever?!"

Mom & Dad: "Um, no, it's not."

Now this idea seems really lame.
But in the end, the kids seemed to think it sounded like a fun idea after all.

So here are the results of "STAYCATION 2010"

(also called "the best day ever" by Ryan)
The Incredible Pizza Company

So I found an amazing deal for this place, and for only $10 per person we got:

unlimited bumper cars

unlimited go-karts

Unlimited mini-bowling

Tyler has his own special method of throwing the bowling ball. If you look to the far right of the picture, you'll notice that his ball is still airborne. Strangely enough, this proved to be highly effective.

Unlimited mini-golf

Okay, so we're not actually golfing in these pictures, but they were taken on the golf course. I think I was born in the wrong era, don't you? :)

And also unlimited laser tag....of which I have no pictures. Because really, I'm trying not to "get lased", as Ryan puts it, and taking pictures while shooting and ducking and dodging is not the easiest thing to do.

We also managed to get in a few games and rides.

On top of all that we also had unlimited access to the buffet all day long. We decided to really get our money's worth and just stay the whole day and eat all of our meals there. Well okay, not breakfast.

Surprisingly the food was actually decent, and despite the name, they had much more than pizza to offer. There was also a salad bar, pasta bar, potato bar, taco/nacho bar, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, chicken fingers, and a dessert bar, not to mention quite a few other foods.

We ended up staying for 9 hours, and the kids are begging to go back again tomorrow, so I think Day 1 was a success!