Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Dirty Duo

Last year I told my sister about how fun this race sounded ---6 miles total, done as a pair, alternating with biking a mile and then running a mile with obstacles in between each mile, ending with a 40 foot mud pit that must be crawled through with your partner to the finish line. She said--"We should totally come out and do that with you guys!" Well, people say things like that all the time but no one usually expects it to actually happen. NOT MY SISTER AND HER HUSBAND! They flew out here with their 3 kids to spend a weeks vacation with me and my family in KANSAS! They could have gone anywhere and they chose to spend it with us. We had soooo much fun and one thing my sister and her husband bring to the table is laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. So, we played all week (I'll post pictures of that next) and then on the last Sat. of the month of June we got up early, put our bikes on the back of the car, grabbed a change of clothes and our water bottles and headed out for some "muddy" fun. Ginny and I started out on the run while the boys rode their bikes. Our obstacles consisted of gunny sack races, jumping over hurdles, climbing through a bounce house obstacle course, walking on stilts, sliding down a blow up slip and slide and finishing with the mud pit. I laughed so hard while running with Ginny I almost couldn't breathe. We had so much fun doing this and then when we were done our boys got to do the kid version of the race. It's never to late to play in the mud like a kid!!!!!

That's me with the big smile on my mud covered face! BJ did a swan dive into the mud pit--everyone cheered--So much fun!!!!

That's the look of pure joy, mud covered joy, but still joy!

Cardon finished the race on his bike. He did great!

Wally ran with Max as a true supporter. He did awesome!

We will definitely do this again next year! Thanks Ginny and Wally for making it especially fun---you know we love you!!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More Fun with my Sister and Family

Ginny happened to visit during one of the hottest weeks we've had here in Kansas. The temperature was around 100 degrees and the humidity brought it up to around 110. It was pretty crazy. We spent an afternoon at the water park to cool off.

We also got to attend the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert at the Sprint Center. BJ got seats up in the suite from his work. It was the way to see it. I wasn't sure that it would be my favorite but we all loved it. They sang songs from all around the world, including a few from some musical (which I always love). We had a great time.

We also spent one blistering afternoon in the sun at Deanna Rose Park. Even though it was super-D-duper hot we had a great time feeding the animals, having lunch, and fishing in the little pond (thanks to my awesome brother in law-Wally). He stood out in the sun with all of the kids helping them fish while Ginny and I sat in the shade with the little one's. He's a keeper!

Amelia and Avery were a little tentative about feeding the goats but ending up loving it.

Max should work with animals someday. He loves all animals but I believe his favorites are snakes! I'm glad Deanna Rose Park doesn't have any of those--they are my least favorites!

That's a cute bunch of kids if I do say so myself!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer Fun with my Sister and Family

My sister Ginny and her husband Wally and 3 kids came to visit for a week and then my sister stayed with her kids for 5 additional days. We had so much fun together and the cousins were so happy to play non-stop (I must admit there was fighting, teasing, arguing, name calling, tattle-telling, etc. involved--nothing out of the ordinary when you put 7 sleep deprived kids together for nearly 2 weeks). And due to the above mentioned there were a few emotional, fatigue breakdowns by Ginny and I--nothing that couldn't be worked out by locking ourselves in my bathroom for a little spa pedicure treatment for an hour while the little kids banged on the door. Aside from that---we all had tons of fun and Lot's and Lot's of laughter. We started out our week by taking them for a little barbecue. Most of us enjoyed the "Z-Man"--I know Ginny did.
The next day we went downtown. We started out with a little lunch at Fritz's which is all about the experience--not the food. The kids love to see that train deliver the food.
Next we hit Kaleidoscope. This is a free craft extravaganza put on by Hallmark who's head quarters are here in Kansas. The kids had so much fun creating puzzles, using fluorescent paint and making wands. This is such a great place!
On the way to the fountains we saw this Lego exhibit. The sunflower behind everyone is made out of Lego's--Amazing!
On a day when the temperature rose to the 110 degree range-- playing in water seemed very appropriate. So we hit the fountains outside. Little Miss Avery didn't warm up to this until the end but when she did she had a great time. Lucy and Jace would not participate---very scary to the little people.
I thought if Cardon took him in and got him wet he'd get the hang of it and have fun--he did not! He was pretty mad.

Cousins are the best! What a fun and HOOOOOOT day!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Father's Day in our family always begins with the cards. Each of the kids made special cards about why they love their daddy including me (except he's not my daddy).
Then it's breakfast in bed. The VanOrman side of the family brought to the table---pancakes with peanut butter and syrup. It has stuck and we all love our pancakes that way. BJ would probably have preferred some sausage and bacon but the healthier part of me thought fruit a better choice.
This year I worked especially hard to make BJ a digital scrapbook about why he's so special to us. He loved it and even shed tears. The kids even wrote him a note on the last page of the book--it was really neat. He took it to work the next day to put on his desk.
All BJ wanted this year was new tools for the barbecue. This man is easy to please. I guess he was tired of burning all of his arm hair off while being the chef at the grill. I can't blame him.
Happy Father's Day BJ. We all love you!!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My love for gardening

I gained a love for gardening from my mom. She comes from a long line of gardeners. I loved going to my grandpa's house to pick raspberries. He had several long rows of them and we would go and pick raspberries and then eat them up or make them into jam. He also always had a beautiful yard with flowers lining all the beds. When I was 9 or 10 my parents bought a house with 2 acres and my mom began creating her beautiful flower beds. I didn't appreciate gardening then. I hated weeding and when you have flower beds all over the place---weeding is a nightmare. I spent a lot of hours complaining about weeding those garden beds. I was all too happy when I could finally start mowing the lawn and it took me away from the weeding. I didn't appreciate weeding but I did love all the beautiful flowers in our yard. I would often go outside with a vase full of water and a pair of sheers and create a bouquet to put in my room. I loved that. My love for all that gardening encompassed came when I got married and BJ and I had our own little house with a sweet little yard to take care of. My yard became a canvas and I had all sorts of ideas on how to make it beautiful. I didn't mind weeding then--it was just a part of the beautification process. After a few years we moved to a slightly larger home with a much bigger yard and my love for gardening grew. I planted fruit trees, bulbs and perennials, had herb gardens and roses growing up trellises and deliciously scented lilac trees wafting its scent in though the windows. I continued cutting flowers to put in my home every chance I could get. I would go for runs with my friends early in the morning and come back and put on my garden shoes so that I could do some work before the kids woke up. I loved every bit of it. When I moved to Arizona it was too hot to do much gardening and we had a very small yard. I loved the bougainvillea and lemons from my lemon tree but that was the extent of gardening for me. I lost my love for a few years. Now that I'm in Kansas and have been here for a few years my creative juices have begun to flow freely again and my love has returned. This spring BJ and I put in raised beds to create a garden and I tore out a bunch of plants so that I could plant a perennial garden for cutting flowers for our home. It's been a joy for me to work the earth and get creative. So, it will only get better in time but here are
a few pictures of it now.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hershey Track Meet

Last Saturday Cardon and Brinly got to participate in a track meet. They did it last year and really liked it, so we did it again. Brinly participated in the softball throw, standing long jump, and 50 yard dash. Cardon participated in the standing long jump, and the 100 and 200 meter run. The rest of the family sat in the stands and cheered them on. They did a great job and Cardon even came in 1st in his heat on the 100 meter run. Brinly did awesome and came in 2ND to her friend Abby in her heat on the 50 yd. dash. Way to go!!!

Tap Dance Recital

This past year a good friend of mine asked me if I would join her in a tap dance class once a week. I'm always up to learn new things and extend myself in trying something new--so I told her I would. All year long we tap, tap, tapped and then the last week in May we performed in a recital. I was so nervous and I did make a few mistakes but I hope my kids learned that even parents can do things that they thought they couldn't . It was a lot of fun. We were supposed to look like we were in the 60's and we tapped to a song from Hairspray. The girls got to perform with me and they were all about the costumes and makeup. I wonder what I will try next year!!!!! We shall see!