Monday, June 19, 2017

Weekend with Friends

We headed to Heber, Arizona last weekend to spend a few days with our friends from Phoenix. They rented a big house and there were 6 families, so every family got a room. It worked out great.

We got there Friday afternoon and the kids went right to the trampoline.

I hadn't seen Pam in forever, so it was great to catch up.

This was only half the kids. The rest came later.  But, these ones had a picnic dinner.

Then, more trampoline time.

Emily and I snuck up to Pam's room and had a late night chat!

We woke up Saturday morning and Noah lost his tooth!  The Tooth Fairy always has to visit us when we are on vacation! 

It was great how they did the meals. Every family took one. So, we did Saturday morning breakfast of waffles, bacon, eggs and fruit.  

Emily did this front walk over.  It was pretty impressive.


We only had one full day there. It was drive up on Friday, come home Sunday. We were gone about 48 hours total.  So, the one full day, everyone wanted to go to a lake about 30 minutes away.  Meh. we just wanted to relax.  So, we were the only ones to stay back. It was nice to get the house all to ourselves. It was hot out, so we spent time under the tree in the shade.

There were some impressive rocks right behind the property.

There were several wrestling matches on the trampoline.

David rigged up the water house on this plant trellis, so that they had a sprinkler going.  It was pretty creative and did the job.

I braided Emily's hair.

Then, we went in and had lunch. Noah and I played Jenga.

Then, the 4 of us played Jenga and Scrabble.

We tie dyed shirts.  It was so fun! 

Then was a big game of kick ball. 

Then, we played this game where you spin on a baseball bat.  Ok, Pam had 3 drinks. I was drinking water.  What the heck?


 Then, we headed to bed and I remembered we needed to put out Noah's tooth. To which he said he put it on the table before dinner. Ugh, what?  It was a tooth in a ziploc bag. Nobody is going to know what it was.  So, we head out to the kitchen and sure enough, it's not there.  Poor guy was almost in tears.  My friend, Amy was so sweet and helped him write a note to the Tooth Fairy explaining that someone accidentally threw it away.

Then, David heard what was going on and he came out, put on gloves and went through the trash. And wouldn't you know it, he found it in the baggie and someone put apples in there thinking it was a trash bag.

Whew...that was so awesome!  

The next morning, we packed up and headed home.

It was a great weekend catching up with friends we hadn't seen in 2 years.  It's funny how it's like time doesn't pass. I love this group of people and am so thankful to have them in our lives.

Father's Day

We woke up on Father's Day in the big house that we rented with friends for the weekend. More on that later.  It was strange being somewhere else on Father's Day. We are always home.  We had a yummy breakfast and packed up and David drove us the 2 1/2 hours home.  Ugh, it was long.

Then, we gave him his cards and gifts.  Ben likes to reword the cards or do something funny in them.  He gets a kick out of David's reaction.

I love these two pictures of David and Ben.  David is such a good Dad and you can tell that Ben loves and adores him.

Then, we went to the pool.  Because we've gone to the pool every Father's Day that I can remember.

I knew that we wouldn't get home until late, and I always make David a lasagna on Father's Day. So, the day before we left, I got it made for him.  The boys loved helping.  We had to make meatballs too.

They actually did really good and were very helpful.

Ben was funny with the cheese. Just put it on!  But, he ripped it into a bunch of little pieces.  Whatever. As long as someone was helping me, I didn't mind.

And you know what? It was delicious!  It wasn't a very exciting Father's Day, but we were together and that's really all that matters.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


My sweet husband turned 46 yesterday! Gosh, where is the time going.  He had to work. Boo.  But, we tried to make the rest of the day special for him when he got home.  Emily made him a cake.  Chocolate with chocolate frosting is always his favorite. She also wrapped his gifts.

We met David after work and headed to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.

We got home and opened cards and presents. This is the kids' card and Ben changed some of the words to make it funny.

I don't when birthday gifts got so lame, but I guess when we get older, we are just happy with whatever.  He got some new work shirts, pants and socks.  That all sounds incredibly boring.

But, the cake was good!

Rio hates being held.

That was about as exciting as the day got.  I wish we could always be somewhere fun on our birthday's. but, he was with his family and I know that's the most important thing to him.  Happy birthday babe.  Four more and your 50!  WHAT!!!!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Emily's Recital

The whole reason the trip to Vegas was formed was because Emily learned songs from Phantom of the Opera for her piano and violin recital.  She had her recital on Saturday, and she did fantastic. This was a black and white concert, so they were supposed to wear a black dress or white shirt with black pants.

Her piano playing has really progressed in the last year and the violin pieces they are playing are high school level.

Mrs. Kim's son is playing piano and the other violin student, Amanda is on violin for a couple songs.

Then, they switched. Her teacher is playing second violin and Emily and Alanah are playing first violin. Her teacher plays in the Yavapai symphony here in town. Her daughter. Ellie, is on the cello and her other daughter, Natalie, whose in the musical program at NAU is on the piano.

Mrs. Kim's husband loves doing videos, so he records everything and we can just sit back and watch.  Here's the video of Emily's performances.  She was nervous for this one and rightfully so, she had almost 15 minutes worth of music to play. Normally, she's at like 7 or 8.  

On the piano she played:
Ashokan Farewell
Angel of Music (from Phantom)
The Entertainer
Phantom of the Opera (duet with Ellie)

On the violin she played:
America the Beautiful
Grandfather's Clock
Merry Widow Waltz
Appalachian Hymn
The Russian Music Box

We can't even begin to describe how proud we are of her. She has stuck with it through highs and lows and she's become such a talented musician.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Vegas, Baby!

Most of you have probably seen these pictures on Facebook, but I put everything here for future reference and for my Mom who doesn't do Facebook.

So, the 13th birthday surprise was a girls trip to Vegas! They figured it out before we left, but everyone was very excited to get there.

Dakri drove and we were off by 8:00 in the morning.

The girls slept a little. We had a stop at Subway for lunch. We were going to stop at the Hoover Dam, but it was 102 degrees and you have to walk up some a huge hill and we just kept going.

We got to the Golden Nugget in downtown Vegas. This is not the Strip, but about 3 or 4 miles down. This is the Vegas my parents went to in the 70's before the Strip was there. We go to the desk to check-in and behind the desk is a huge aquarium with some scuba divers feeding fish and cleaning the tank. That must be a cool job.

The chandelier was beautiful.

We got separate rooms but they had an adjoining door, so we could hang out the whole time.

The pool at the Golden Nugget is awesome. Waterfalls and a huge aquarium in the middle.

Then, there is a slide that goes right through the aquarium, which has sharks in it.

In this picture, you can see someone going through the shark chute as they called it.

The girls look cute with the underwater camera. I have about 20 videos of fish that they took too.

And the sharks weren't huge, but maybe like 4 feet long. But when they swim right for you and there is just a tiny pane of glass between you, it's scary!

We got showered and ready to go see Phantom of the Opera.

The girls took 20 selfies to find one they liked. 

They looked adorable.

I braided their hair in double french braids.

And one selfie of the Moms...

We ate at this place called Nacho Daddy. If you check in on the Yelp app, you got a free margarita!  The only thing better than a margarita is a free margarita!

The girls looking cute.

And the nachos...oh my, they were so good. They were huge, so Emily and I shared.

Then, we mentioned it was an early 13th birthday trip and the waiter brought them out free dessert.  We were stuffed when we were done, but it was all so good!

The Phantom was about a mile away, but we weren't in walking shoes and the area got a little sketchy heading there.  So, we took our first Uber!  It was so easy and way cheaper than a cab.

This was our driver D! We saw him like 5 times that trip. They just drive around and take people places.

D dropped us off and it was perfect time to grab the free golf cart ride from the parking lot to the front of the theater.  

One pic of the theater before the show started.

Then, we went out on a balcony during intermission to warm up. It was freezing in there.

Then, after we went to Freemont street where they have live music and entertainment. I was trying to get a pic of the Kiss impersonators behind us in thongs. If you take a picture with them, they want money.

But, I did snap this photo of the back of them. Love the iPhone in his thong.

And every night, Emily and I would go to sleep watching videos of the cat. She misses her cat when we are away.

You kind of have to worry when this sign is on your nightstand with ear plugs.  Luckily, it was totally quiet and we had no problems sleeping.

The next morning, we spent a few hours at the pool.

We surprised the girls with 13 and fabulous shirts to wear on the Strip.

We checked headed over to our next hotel, New York, New York on the Strip. The first thing the girls wanted to do was ride the roller coaster. It's $15 for one ride or $26 for an all day pass. We got them the all day pass and it's a good thing we did. They rode that thing about 15 times.

We couldn't go up with them, so this was them coming off the coaster.

They had a huge arcade too and a Statue of Liberty made out of jelly beans.

We had some lunch. This is inside, but it looks outside.

These were some sirloins curing that I knew David would love.

The girls got frappucinos. They were so much more expensive than home. Like double the price, so Emily got a large and we shared it.

Dakri found her favorite Wild Cherry machine and put in $5.  She lost it in 44 seconds.

We went to the Hershey's store and there is a 500 pound chocolate Statue of Liberty.

These are David's favorite...huge peanut butter cookies. I brought him home one of the sweet treats.

This thing was like $40 or something. Crazy!

Then, we walked to the M&M store.

The girls were done with all of our pictures, so Dakri and I got in some. I told them I hated when my Mom made me take pictures when I was a kid, but now I'm thankful I have them all.  

Then, Dakri and I got chicken and waffles for dinner. She had never had it, and it's one of my favorite things. This was from Bruxie and OMG, it was so good. Probably the best thing I've ever eaten in my life.

Dakri loved it too!

We planned to drag the girls all over the Strip and see the different casinos, but they were kind of tired. So, we let them decide what to do. They wanted to play in the arcade, so we gave them money to have some fun there.

The sunset was pretty from our room.

Dak and I shared this 32 oz margarita!

We were cracking up and we hadn't even had any yet!

Since the Mom's had our drink, we got the girls shakes from Hershey's and headed down to the Bellagio to watch the fountains. It was only a half mile walk.

Sometimes, they make you go up a flight a stairs and over the street on a walkway and then through a casino to get passed the street.  So, we ended up in the Cosmo casino and I knew my sister would love this hotel. The pink chandeliers and the black stiletto heel.  It was totally her.

The fountains were awesome.

This is the Paris hotel behind us.

And back at New York New York as the girls wanted to ride the roller coaster at night. We paid to go on one ride with them and oh man, that thing is rough. I don't know how they did it 15 times. My shoulders still hurt.

The next morning was a little pool time and then we headed home.  We thought the girls would be asleep quickly, but they still had plenty of silliness left in them.

And that was the trip!  It was fantastic and I'm so glad I got to spend that time with my girl and our besties!  They want to go every year, but I really, really missed David and the boys.  They had lovely flowers and big hugs waiting for us. So, I think they missed us just as much.