Making the most of my "Dash"

Archive for the ‘Family Fun’ Category

Whoops!

In my haste to get my post published yesterday, and in an earnest attempt at keeping it short, I completely forgot about one of the highlights of 2012!

October!

Not only is October my favorite month of the year (Hello, Halloween!!), but it’s Mister’s birthday month.  So for his birthday in 2012 we planned a trip to Oregon to bring the kids there to meet his family.  We had such a wonderful time!

The kids were able to meet his mother.  We spent time  with his sister, Jan and her husband, Mike.  The kids loved visiting with them, and they really enjoyed getting to explore their beautiful back yard… Koi pond, garden, and sweet doggies too! I’d like to say that the kids were well-behaved and using their best manners at Jan and Mike’s house, but…

Josh decided to interrupt just about every conversation by popping in with,  “Just a random thought…” and then go on with some odd thought.  Mike and Jan also served lunch and set out a veggie tray around 11:30 am.  The kids, who had eaten heartily at the Residence Inn breakfast buffet acted like I had not fed them in two weeks.  There they were, three children hovering over the vegetables, shoving them in their mouths like they were marshmallows dipped in the chocolate fountain at the Golden Corral. I gaped at them for a moment before having to shoe them away like flies.  My kids don’t even LIKE vegetables.  I really think it was some bizarre plot to make me look like a bad mother who forgot to teach social graces to her children.

On Mister’s birthday we went to our favorite pizza place in the whole wide world… Padington’s Pizza.  His sister had planned a surprise party for the afternoon, so we let him think we were just going out for pizza and “dessert” at her house afterwards. We met Mister’s other son and a few of his children there, as well as Mike and Jan and Mister’s mom.  We had a delicious lunch (Whippersnapper…Yum!), then headed to Jan & Mike’s house.

Mister is a big Jimmy Buffet fan, but he’s never been to a JB concert.  So, I bought tickets and a room in Vegas for an upcoming concert, and let Jan know what I planned.  So she decorated her house in a tropical theme and had Jimmy Buffet playing in the background when we got there.  Mike made this huge palm tree decoration, it was incredible!  I wished we could have brought it home, but there was no way to take it on the plane.  Funny thing is, Mister didn’t even put together the tropical theme or Jimmy playing in the background until he opened his present from me and saw the tickets.  Frankly, I was a bit puzzled at his initial reaction, because he did not look excited at all… more confused.  Then he admitted that he thought I was buying him tickets to Atlas Shrugged Part II in Vegas (Wha?! Seriously?!), so he was a bit uncertain as to what the tickets were.

Anyway, we had Jan’s delicious cake with a mexican chocolate mousse filling (to. die. for.), and had a pretty fantastic day.  The trip went by far too fast for us, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was such a treat for the kids to get to know his side of the family and see how kind and amazing they are!

Ready to eat some yummy food!

Ready to eat some yummy food!

The other fantastic part of October was… The Jimmy Buffet Concert!! BOY HOWDY, did we have fun!!  A couple of weeks after our Oregon trip, we drove up to Vegas in the morning and I took Mister to Margaritaville for lunch.  I mean, how could we go there for the concert and NOT go to Margaritaville to eat?!

Hangin' out at the pre-concert pool party.

Hangin’ out at the pre-concert pool party.

After that we headed over to the Flamingo pool for the pre-concert party.  That was so much fun we had to take a little nap before the actual concert!  Then, it was on to the MGM Grand Arena and the concert of a lifetime (to me anyway!).

Proudly sporting our fins!

Proudly sporting our fins!

I wore my styrofoam fin hat with pride, and a whole lot of giggles.  I think Mister and I laughed and smiled and danced (he doesn’t dance normally, but everyone else was too busy dancing to notice him anyway), and laughed some more.  What a fantastic day!

Whew.  Good thing I made a separate blog post.  I am WAY too wordy!  By the way,  I changed the blog appearance.  I thought it needed a fresh look.  I hope you like it!

Have you had favorite birthday or concert experience?

I’d love to hear about it!! 

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A Havasu Halloween

Bring on the Treats!!

I love Halloween! In Havasu, we’ve had an entire weekend of ghoulish fun!

Callie had a blast with her sleep-over/Halloween party.  While she was busy with that, the rest of us went to the Fall Fun Fair.  Josh and Megan walked the whole fair and then chose the booths they wanted to spend their tickets at.  Josh SCORED at one of the booths where two little girls knew him.  They begged him over and over to play their game, and he finally gave in.  [I think he was playing hard to get.  Amazingly enough, he was doing it right.]  When he was done with the game they LOADED him up with candy.  Yep, definitely doing it right.  He also went back to their booth later.  Smart kid.

Nice Facepaint, Megan!

Megan had some freedom to roam the place, and I think she appreciated that.  She hung out with some of her friends, and got her face painted with a skull and crossbones.  That was another big “mom” step for me, letting her be free to walk around on her own.  But, I knew it was a safe place and it felt good to let her have some more grown-up like independence.  We all met up at the end and as we were getting ready to leave, we saw ‘them’.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!!

I’ve noticed more and more that Halloween seems to be an excuse for women to dress more ‘scantily’ than is socially acceptable.  I will NOT say ‘provocatively’, because in most cases it simply hurts the eyes and brains to look at them, thus being the exact opposite of provocative.  We saw a pair that would absolutely burn the eyes right out of your head.  Pink spandex stretched so tightly it became see-through-pink spandex.  The accompanying black spandex pants just gave that perfect ‘oomph’ to the sausage link look she was going for.  Her friend, in the white lacy top that had a bra-like closure in the back, was equally cringe-worthy.  For you women who want to dress like this for Halloween (or, God FORBID, any time of the year), I have one piece of advice for you that I dearly wish you heed for the sake of my eyes and brain: JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN, DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD.  Learn it. Love it. Live it.  Seriously.

Tonight we did the Havasu Main Street Halloween Fright Night.  The weather was a nice 80°.  I spent the afternoon getting the girls ready. I tossed together a quick dinner, threw on my costume, and Mister took some pictures of all of us before we left. I had to admit, I was not too thrilled with leaving when it was still light out. I mean, come on, that’s when the BABIES are out trick-or-treating.  But, I knew Mister wanted to get a decent parking spot.  And, he did.  Woo Hoo. (Yes, that was indeed dripping with sarcasm. I figured it was so blatant you just *might* have missed it.)

Main Street Halloween Fright Night!

There weren’t too many people there at first, and the kids were a bit hesitant about going up and trick-or-treating the booths that were set up. That shyness wore off by the third booth.  I realized that I really like that they’re old enough that I don’t have to hold their hands and go trick-or-treat with them.  I could just walk along, keeping them in my eyesight, and enjoy the evening.  No work for me! WOO HOO! (That was NOT sarcastic, by the way)  By the time it got dark, it had become completely crowded.  And that was when I was glad Mister wanted to be an early bird and get the very best parking space.  I also quickly became very irritated with the crowd.  People, leave your dogs at home.  Especially the couple trick-or-treating with their baby in the stroller.  I wouldn’t have minded so much if they would have moved more than three inches per minute.

We finally got around them, and managed to get into a city block-long line of trick-or-treaters.  That was tedious.  I am very glad I decided to stop taking the metabolism medicine this week.  I probably would have been on the 10 O’Clock news otherwise.  By the time the crowds and lines became overwhelmingly large, the kids said they were done and ready to get back home.  I was surprised, but oh-so-glad to hear it.  When we got home and looked in the kids’ buckets, I realized why they were done for the night. They were filled to the brim! Josh’s was so heavy, I’m shocked his arm didn’t fall off!  They are definitely set for candy for a LONG time.  None for me though. I’m TRYING to be good.  *sigh*

It was a great night, with lots of fun, and quite a few sore feet. The candy is safely tucked away, and hopefully the sugar high they got from free otter pops & cotton candy (not to mention any candy eaten during the Main Street trek) will wear off soon.  I can’t wait until next year! (Hopefully pink spandex lady will NOT try to wear the same, um… outfit? Costume?)

I put a slide show of the rest of the pictures below.  You need to watch it just to see Josh with his candy haul. Incredible.  Happy Halloween!

Enjoying my ghoulishly wonderful Dash…

Christine

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It’s time for the Pumpkin Massacre!

Nicely done, kiddos!

The Jack-O-Lantern is the quintessential Halloween decoration. It’s a must-do every year at our house, and that usually means, “Mom MUST-DO the yucky part”.  You all know what that means… Mom has to take the guts out.  And, Mom LOVES to do that part.  Ripping out all the squishy, sticky, ooey-gooey insides of the pumpkin is wonderfully gross.  Especially when I squeeze it through my fingers. The kids can’t stand that part. I call them chickens.

This year I decided to buy one of those cheap pumpkin carving booklet/tool-kits they sell for three bucks at the store. Before I could tell the kids I didn’t want them to pick the hardest patterns in the book, that’s exactly what the youngest two did.  *sigh*  I really should have seen that one coming.  At least the kids were helpful as we taped the patterns to the pumpkin.  Each of them patiently waited for me to finish helping with one of the other kids, before moving on to help them.  Since the tool that scores the pattern onto the pumpkin was missing from the package (I didn’t notice that in the store, but that’s my kind of luck), the kids were going to use a punch tool that came with the kit.  I suggested toothpicks would also work, and Josh and Callie worked quietly, diligently marking out their pattern.

The kids really surprised me, because I did not hear the usual complaints. “When is it MY turn?” “She/he is taking too long!”  “This is boring!”  “Mine’s not working!”  “When can I be done?”  They were calm, they waited their turn, they helped each other, they even said words like “please” and “thank you”.  Mister had his HAM radio set up outside and was listening & talking while we were all out there.  The kids were actually quiet enough for us not to be bother to him while he was focused on that.  Plus, the kids and I were greatly entertained by some of the conversations that were going on over the airwaves (like the guy who was openly talking about the diarrhea he got from a Walmart chicken… The kids and I about died laughing).  Anyway, I’d like to thank the person who stole my kids and replaced them with these well-behaved, kinder, politer children.  Actually, that only lasted for the pumpkin-carving, but I’ll take what I can get.

As far as carving kits go, why have I not done this before?!!  I thought having a sturdy metal spoon was fine for scraping out the pumpkin innards.  I was so wrong!! That cheapo piece of plastic scraper was a MACHINE at getting that stringy stuff out.  And those flimsy little saw-like tools? WAY better than the normal humongous steak-knife we use. When the kids started out working away with their little saw-knives, I figured they were still going to do the usual hatchet-job on the pumpkins (just using smaller, more annoying tools).  Ohhhh nooooo… Those things were fantastic! I started wishing I had got my own pumpkin to carve.  Until I had to help the youngest two with their patterns, and then I quickly got that out of my system.

We all had a great morning, and the kids really did a fantastic job on their Jack-O-Lantern’s.  They turned out so much better than I thought.  Next year I’m buying more of those nifty little tools.  Those things are BOMB!

Josh took some pictures of all of us while we were working, so I just put them all in the slide-show below.

Making my dash great by spending time with the kids and creating actual Jack-O-Lantern’s,

Christine

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Loving Havasu life!

The weather was forecasted to FINALLY cool down quite a bit this weekend, so we told the kids that we’d go to the lake this afternoon and have a picnic lunch.  We all really enjoy doing this, but we simply won’t do it during the summer when “California” is here crowding the beach, and it’s so hot out.

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We all got a little concerned that we may not go around 11:00am when it was already 95° out.  That usually means by 1:00pm it’ll be over 105.  However, it pretty well stayed there at 95° for the entire afternoon.  So I made a picnic lunch of tuna sandwiches, grapes (of course!) and water bottles.   Megan usually doesn’t like hanging out at the lake, and today was no different.  She had some schoolwork to do, so she brought along her computer and got some work done on.  At least she got out of the house for a bit.  We had a relaxing few hours out there, and I even got into the water and enjoyed myself (not a big fan of getting into bodies of water).   I love Havasu!!

Living my dash!

Christine

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