Monday, February 15, 2016

Same City, New Adventures...

It was Valentine's Day weekend, it was President's Day weekend, but mostly it was a three day weekend! Russ's aunt and uncle were in San Diego, so the Johnstons threw a family shindig, and we decided to join them. Sadly, I took a grand total of zero pictures at the luncheon. Later that night, we headed to the Motocross competition at Petco Park with our good friends. Can you tell it was men's choice? I had never been, but I can definitely say I saw a lot of flannel.


The kids collected as many of these from the stadium cup holders as they possibly could, and then they used them as fake money at their store the next day.

There was a lot of seat switching. We weren't able to reserve 9 tickets together, so we had to alternate between the groups of 4 and 5 seats we had together. Luckily, they were only two rows apart...

(Did you spot the flannel?)

...which made it easier to hand the snacks back and forth!!

This is the look of satisfaction.

The next day, we had lunch with cousins. And some craziness.

And some hugs.

Monday, we took a hike to Potato Chip Rock on Mt. Woodson.

It was a really interesting hike because of the huge boulders.

Luckily I had a willing model to showcase the really cool parts of the trail.

I thought this boulder looked like a curio cabinet because there were little rocks inside the holes. Since no one gave it an official name, we didn't have to stand in line for an hour to get a picture with it.

Alas, Potato Chip Rock does have an official name, and everyone who hikes up there wants a picture. We didn't want to wait in line, so I took a picture of the boys on another rock that I like to call Potato Rock, and I photoshopped them onto Potato Chip Rock. Tada!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Picture Perfect

My sister is a talented artistic photographer, and my friend and I spent a day in Scottsdale at a gallery viewing some of the photographs she took on my parents' farm. I don't think I'm being biased when I say hers were the BEST! They had a softness to them that were lacking in the other works, and they made the ordinary extraordinary.

After viewing the photos, we explored the eclectic grounds surrounding the gallery. It was lots of fun. Selfies with a mannequin!

Then it was off to Sugar Bowl for some dessert. I had a hankering for some of their famous banana nut bread, but I also wanted a sundae, so I had them put the banana bread at the bottom of my sundae instead of a brownie. Hello heaven! It was the perfect way to top off a fun day.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cousin Time

For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day we went to San Diego so I could dig through my grandparents' old photographs, which meant we got to spend a lot of time with Stan and Lillie. While I was digging, the kids played with my cousin, and Russ carved out a little time to go visit our friends, the Littles. We didn't get any pictures of that, although Paige and Eric made a pretty cool Lego stop action video. The kids were happy to have so much time to play, so it was a win-win.

Before we headed home, we stopped in at Charley's Famous Hamburgers for lunch with Grandma and Grandpa and cousins before the long drive home.

A shake so thick, you could barely suck it up the straw.

So what if they were annoying the other customers? They were having a great time!

All too soon, it was time for goodbye.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Bike Ride

Welcome 2016!

I can't seem to stop creating more traditions, and the more I create, the more I have to do each year. Sometimes it's good, though. We probably would have lazed around the house all day if we didn't have a New Year's Day tradition to go on a bike ride now. For some reason, this tradition makes Russ grumpier than any other... okay, I actually do know the reason. He hates having to try to stuff all the bikes into the car. We need a bike rack! At least we didn't have to worry about a bicycle for Kyle this year... last year's cram was so ridiculous that Russ just threw up his hands and went inside while Kyle and I finished the job.

Since we got a late start, we went somewhere close this year: a trail in Gilbert.

A few good bridges and canals are all we need for a fun time.

And a few unpaved areas to skate in just to keep it from being too typical. This one had it all.

Our original plan was to go all the way to another park, but once we hit one of the main roads, we voted to go to the waffle and frozen yogurt shop instead. Google promised us it was open, but alas... Google lied. We have such bad luck on New Year's Day! Just like last year, we ended up having doughnuts in a nearby grocery store.

On our way home, the sun was setting and the kids were getting tired.

But they were troopers, and we kept them going with promises of our traditional New Year's steak dinner.

Only this year, we know how to grill them to perfection. Yum!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve!

Welcome to the 14th and final post of December, and the last post of the year! What a crazy busy December!! I was mentally hung over from it so long that I'm finally writing about this in February! This year, I decided to tone things down a bit and not host a New Year's Eve party. Yeah, I tone things down by spending three weeks building a gingerbread village instead. Nice. That gingerbread village still stands in my kitchen today, but I'm sensing that fireworks are going to do it in soon. It should definitely go out with a bang.

But back to New Year's Eve... my sister was nice enough to invite us over to party with them. They busted out the dance moves.

We had lots of party foods, including teenie weenies of course!

Look at those darling little desserts!

Lori, I stole some of your pics because you took a lot of good ones of the kids!

Gem loves to have her picture taken with her favorite aunt.

Lori had balloons for the kids to pop at certain times to keep them occupied.

They had to do things like see who could stand like a flamingo the longest...

Turn their shirts backwards...

And the worm!!

Apparently I didn't read the "Age 40" manual where it says you should never try the worm. My knees were bruised the next day.

Things got a little noisy when we passed out the horns.

When it got close to midnight, we took the party outside. I bought really giant sparklers this year.

Cuz, you know, constantly lighting the little ones is kind of annoying!

Uncle Jer put on an awesome fireworks show. He looks pretty proud of himself.

All the girls loved the sparklers, except maybe Vannah. I think New Year's Eve might be her least favorite holiday.

My pretty little sparkler.

When midnight hit, we really turned up the noise!

And enjoyed our apple cider.

Thanks to burst mode, I got pictures of the girls setting off their party poppers.


Where was Brandon during all this? Back inside having a dance off with Meems.

I think we need to end this year's blog with one more view of the air I caught while trying to do the worm. It might not ever happen again!