Wednesday, June 29, 2011

To Portland!

Joshua and I got back from Cancun on Tuesday at midnight and Wednesday just after lunch we loaded the kids up in the car and headed west. Joshua needed to do some work stuff in Seattle and Portland, and his grandmother and aunts and cousins live a bit southwest of Portland so we went on a working vacation. And his grandmother's sister, Auntie Mare, happened to be in town for a visit from Florida. We hadn't seen her in 9 or 10 years and she's a blast to hang out with so it was the perfect timing for a visit!

Carter warmed right up to Auntie Mare when she started chatting with him about his favorite game on daddy's iPad. Most everyone knows the game as Angry Birds, but Carter calls it "Pigs and Chickens." I caught this pic of him smacking his head saying "awww mannnnn!" when he didn't win the level. Auntie Mare got the biggest kick out of his reactions and the way that he can run that iPad better than most adults.

Joshua also enlisted Auntie Mare to teach him how to play Gin. She plays tournaments so she was an excellent teacher and it was quite amusing to watch the elder generation instruct the younger in the ins and outs of the srategy.

And while Daddy was learning to play cards, Carter and cousin Lexie played with nerf launchers in the front yard. Our kids don't get to spend too much time with their second cousins so it was really fun to watch Carter and Lexie pal around.

I'm quite tickled with this pic of Trevor and Andy playing catch. My camera is pretty slow, so it was awesome that I caught the nerf football mid air.

This next picture is mostly for Andy. As he hung out with our family that weekend, he was quite amused with Carter's attachment to his stuffed bunny rabbit and how Bunny has a personality all her own (puppeted by Carter, of course). Andy was cracking up at conversations like the following happen quite often...

(Carter is making Bunny do some crazy gyrations or making Bunny make loud obnoxious sounds that start to drive the rest of us nuts.)
"Carter, please stop making Bunny freak out."
"Mom, it's not me, it's Bunny doing it."
"Bunny, calm down now or you'll need a time out. Carter, you might want to remind Bunny the proper way to behave. I'd hate for her to end up in time out."
Carter whispers something in Bunny's ear and she calms down, at least for a while.

Well, this is what happens when Bunny doesn't heed our warnings to stop bothering siblings...time out on the dash of the car while cruising down the interstate.

Slighty road weary gazes, hopefully soon to be perked up after a quick run through the drive through of Carter's favorite restaurant "King Burger"!

The long drive home from Portland isn't terribly fun...all five of us and the dog packed into the cab of the pickup...but time passes a bit quicker when Daddy shares his iPad for a fun game of Pigs and Chickens. Brother and Sister try to jump in and give pointers, but Carter can pass levels that even Daddy can't so there's little need for their help haha!

Mexico 2011

When the OKC part of our trip was done, we headed off on official "vacation"...back to Mexico! We went last June for our 15th wedding anniversary and when the topic of "where to go" came up this year, it was unanimous that we wanted to go right back to Mexico. Back to the beautiful resort we stayed at last year, and most importantly back to our favorite private pool, personal butler/bar tender and palapa bed to nap and relax on.

One of the nicest perks of Joshua flying so much is the "status" he's earned with the airlines. What that means for me...well, we almost always are upgraded for free to First Class. Here's Joshua and I all comfy in the "nice seats" posing for a fun pic...

In Joshua's last meeting in OKC before we flew off to Mexico, his boss handed him a little iPad2! It's meant to replace his laptop and be used for business travel, but while on vacation, it's awesome to play Angry Birds on a BIG SCREEN!

Here's one of the gazillions of Grand Riviera Princess logos that decorate the resort...

If you remember last year, our trip was almost cancelled by Hurricane Alex. Here's a stormy sky and choppy sea shot from 2010...

And here's the difference a year and no hurricane makes. Beautiful blue sky and calm tropical waters...

I pulled this picture from last year's album. THIS is why we go to laze around on these palapa beds and be waited on by our private butler. Might be too low-key for many people, but the quiet and relaxation here is exactly what we need!

The first two days we were there, it was pretty rainy. I shot this video laying on the palapa bed. It's crazy how HARD the rain was coming down, but the temps were beautiful and we were dry on our bed so we just stayed put and enjoyed the odd peace of it.

Each time the maids tended to our room, we were treated to new "towel art" and fresh flower decorations. This one was my favorite. If you look closely, you can see she went so far as to make eye lashes out of some spiky greenery...

The main courtyard lit up at night with all the beautiful water features...

Each night there was a different show of some sorts. This one was really cool...a native Mexican folk dance performance.

One of our yummy dinners. We loved this awesome salad they served all over the resort, with the leaves all stacked up and sticking out of a hollowed out cucumber! Oh yes, and don't forget a mojito and a chocolate martini!

We made sure we got reservations at the sushi restaurant this time!

Say "Mexico"!!!

One last picture before we checked out and headed back home to our monkeys!

Thank you, Joshua, for working so hard so that we can enjoy awesome vacations like this!! I love you!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Culinary Class

Joshua and I got the chance to spend ten days away in late May/early June. The first part of our trip took us to Oklahoma City. Joshua had some annual meetings to attend, and the spouses were invited along for some fun! His company treated us to a fancy dinner along the river, a spa getaway and our choice of daytime excursion. We chose to go to a cooking class at Trattoria Il Centro in Bricktown. It was soooo much fun!

One of the best parts of our cooking class was that Joshua's good friend from work and his wife went with us! Carter named them Mr. and Mrs. Curvy a long time ago (a close toddler mispronunciation of their true last name) and it's stuck so may I introduce our dear friends, the Curvys, all dolled up with us in our aprons...ready to rock the culinary world!

The first thing we learned was how to make pasta from scratch. So here's Joshua starting to massage the eggs into the semolina and flour...

Mrs. Curvy getting a tad bit goey in the process...

Mr. Curvy jumped in to help...the guys almost have it ready to be put through the pasta machine.

Say "pasta!" :-)

I got sidetracked and didn't take any pics of the finished product, but we learned how to properly run the pasta dough through the pasta machine and then how to make raviolis and tortellinis. It was sooo much fun to make and really easy. We are currently in the market for a pasta machine so we can enjoy this at home with the monkeys!

Then we got to learn how to make fresh mozzarella. THAT was fun and interesting! Here's Joshua stretching out the cheese over and over again, before you then make it into the mushroom cap shaped balls that you see in the grocery store.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Finishing Up School

The school year finished up with a bang (and my Mom and Dad were here to help with alot of it)! Both of the big monkeys did very well with end-of-year marks.

Trevor's school Science Fair was right at the end of the year. Trevor chose to do his project on how temperature of kernels affects the popping time and quantity of popcorn. Out of FIVE fifth grade classes, Trevor got second place! We are beyond proud of his hard work!!!

And here's Trevor receiving his 5th grade diploma after receiving Presidential Honors for his good report card. He's off to middle school in the fall!

Emilee's seventh grade class celebrated the end of the year with a masquerade party...

And Emilee received Presidential High Honors for her high grades! We are quite tickled at all of her hard work!

And the last hoorah of her 7th grade class was a performance from Science class entitled The Internal Organ Hall of Fame. It was quite a treat to watch as the students all took on the personality of an organ and tried to explain what they do in the body. Here's Emilee posing with her best friend, Amy, after the show. Very fitting of best friends to be the kidneys...

And here are two video clips I took during the performance. This one has the main jingle with most of the students...

And this one has Emilee and Amy in their duet...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Spring Portraits

Here are the monkeys' spring, aren't they all getting BIG??!!
Trevor is just 11, Emilee is almost 14 and Carter is 4.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Trevor turns ELEVEN!!!

May 25th was Trev's 11th birthday and he had a great birthday! We had his party the weekend before. He decided to try out a new place we'd heard indoor trampoline park! So here's a couple of videos of the jumpy-ness!

Trevor's awesome launch into the pit...

Carter's new trick, backwards and head first (yikes for Mom haha!)...

Joshua reliving some of the old glory days of gymnastics...

And Emilee flipping into the foam...

The rest of Trevor's birthday was topped off by Dad and Mom giving him his first cell phone! He was quite surprised and all smiles!!

Happy Birthday, Buddy...we love you!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Licking Learning Legos

So Carter is quite busy these days...

He ALWAYS wants up on the counter to at least watch me cook, and loves when he can help...especially if it ends with something tasty like a spatula of cake batter!

I've stumbled upon a homeschool website that shares free printables of preschool material. I had no idea how Carter would react when I tried to present some organized learning to him...but he LOVES IT! He calls it his "home school" as opposed to the learning he does at "preschool" and came up with that name all on his own. He askes me quite frequently if he can do homeschool...some days I'm worried about running out of printer ink haha!

And his other current love is building with legos. I am pretty surprised for his age that his attention is being kept and he's using him imagination so well. He will literally sit with a box of basic legos for hours and just tinker around and build. This is a picture of his "dad ship". I think this title comes from hearing "mother ship" in some sort of alien reference. He has no real idea what that is...but when he heard there were Mother Ships, he also thought there should be Dad Ships!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Joshua usually tries to stay on the back side of the camera...but I wanted to share a few pics I managed to get him in!!

Emilee and Joshua enjoyed a rousing game of basketball at our neighborhood court a while back. They were formidable opponents and the game was quite fun to watch! Emilee gave Joshua a good run for his money, but in the end, Daddy dunked a few more baskets than she did.

Joshua has been doing more driving lately than he's had the chance to stop by a few cool attractions.

Mount Rushmore...

And Old Faithful...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

April Outside

There's going to be a daily post for a while here while I catch up the past three months...enjoy!

Our tree out front bloomed just beautifully and the monkeys obliged Mom for some poses...

As soon as Mom's pics were done, they were off on bikes. Since Carter has learned to ride with no training wheels, it's his constant request to be riding. Joshua and I even bought bikes so we could all ride together. And to my surprise, I love it too! It's perfect fresh-air family time!!