Sunday, February 24, 2013

Things to Celebrate. . .

Today is National Tortilla Chip Day!!

Now that is a Holiday worth celebrating! 
And we did!

The construction of Nachos is a very intricate and personal thing.
But first, top-notch nacho ingredients are needed!
You have to get the bulk tortilla chips. You know, the 5 pound box that costs about $6.00 at your local bulk store. You must also get the canned nacho cheese from the same bulk store. Yeah, it is probably some form of liquid plastic, but it is very yummy!
Then you must get copious amounts of sour cream and salsa.
Okay, here I kind of went the easy route. I was originally going to make the salsa. I love homemade salsa. But I was lazy and bought some instead.
I was also going to do a barbacoa (mexican bbq) roast, but I opted for easier taco-seasoned ground beef instead.
I did draw the line at the refried beans though, and made my own. Those canned ones just don't cut it anymore.

It is interesting that all these people in my house have been living almost exclusively for all of, if not a good portion of their lives and still have such varied tastes in nachos.

Some like them plain.

Some are not too excited about them mixing and keep all parts separate.

Some have a specific stacking technique so the chips can be easily accessed when covered in toppings.

 Some (um. . . Shane) declare their nacho actual works of art.

No matter how you do or don't stack it, it is yummy.
Yea, not on any health food plan, but it is an official holiday so it is worth celebrating.

We had other celebrations this week as well!

McCade turned 13.

Now all my kids are teenagers. 
I am officially old.

McCade has very few foods he actually likes, so getting pizza that day was an easy decision.

And, again I was lazy and bought cupcakes instead of making him a real cake. 
I will admit to a love affair with cupcakes the last little while. I feel like it is cake with portion control.

The candles were still lit, and he blew them out so he was happy.

He asked for a clock that would also charge/play his iPod, a video game, an outdoor basketball and some cologne from Hollister. 

I think this birthday list is a good illustration of where he is in his life - somewhere between childhood and being a young man.
Growing up is a hard thing.

Friday night they boys had basketball again, but McCade didn't play.

He ended up running the board as he really hit his head hard on a shelf the day before. I am certain he has a concussion. He asked me if I was going to take him to the doctor, and I said no. He was surprised, but I know from experience that they do less for a concussion than they do for a broken nose. So I just brought him home and started putting essential oils on him.

Tacey & Shane were not there either because they were at their Daddy/Daughter Ballroom class.
Tacey is the oldest girl, I think the one closest in age is 11 years old.
I warned her this might happen, but she said she didn't care; she wanted to dance with her Dad. 
This makes me think that maybe, just maybe I have accomplished one of my goals in this world. She loves dance. She doesn't care when or what, she just wants to dance and share that with people she loves.

Dallin did play basketball though.

As is family tradition, he is a very good defender.

And all the running is helping him get in shape for track.

Fighting for the ball is getting him ready for football.

And when he shoots, it goes in more often than not.

I am sure this next week will bring all sorts of new adventures as well.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Counting drops. . .

Okay, I am still counting my drops of awesome.

Today is a good day, and I am truly feeling good for the first time in a long time.

So, here is today's tally:

My student this morning is seriously struggling with one of the songs I have given her. I knew this would happen, and I told her it was going to be a great challenge. We worked really well together today, and she finally saw the progress in herself that I see in her. She said "Wow! I didn't want to murder the song this time!"


Then I drove the boys to school. I know that may not seem too awesome, but whenever I manage to drive somewhere and back on snow-filled roads, it is awesome. We did have a moment of funny as we got in the car: we all (meaning the three of us. . . ) were convinced that three of the four doors were frozen shut. We tugged, pulled got inside and pushed until Dallin realized they were still locked. Yeah, it was pretty funny. I guess the fact that we all laughed and McCade didn't get freaked out about not getting to school early enough to hang with his friend is 


I also got dressed, (yes, wearing sweats counts as dressed!) and took my camera into Dallin's GT (Gifted/Talented) class so he could use the video we took at home to make his project. 


Then I came home and decided I should probably shovel the porch. That turned into shoveling the driveway, that turned into shoveling the sidewalks. About 30 minutes later, I had this:

Yep, Awesome!

So then I looked across the street. My neighbor has serious back problems and has had several surgeries. He also has a pacemaker. His wife is still recovering from a leg injury. They are both always helping other people. Their driveway and sidewalks were full of snow. I headed across the street and in another 30 minutes I had this:

They didn't catch me, which was the most awesome part of the entire awesome thing.

Then I had a super-close friend/student come over for her lesson. We visited for a really long time about lots of things, and it was nice to have a conversation with someone who you think is awesomeness personified.


Then I took Dallin the English homework that was due today that he didn't realize he had left on the kitchen counter.


Then I answered Tacey's phone call that started with 
"Do you love me?"
She had forgotten her cheer shoes. I took those to her, along with the cheer skirt that I KNEW belonged to the school that I found at the local thrift store. I KNEW it belonged because Tacey had worn the exact same one. So I bought it and returned it to the school where it belonged.

Awesome x2!

Then I finally got around to cleaning my house.
My plan had been to get my month-long menu and grocery list organized, then go to the gym, then shop for the month.

Instead I have shoveled a lot.
Found companionship with my friend, plus we had a great voice lesson! (Awesome!)
Taken care of my kids, a lot.

And now I have just returned from picking McCade up from school.
I got a call from the office saying he had hit his head on a desk and was dizzy. 

He has a small bump, but both pupils seem to be the same and he isn't queasy but he still has a major headache.

I think he has now learned to leave all four legs of his chair on the ground - maybe.
I didn't tease him; I got all his stuff.

Yeah, my laundry is still undone.
Yeah, my house is still a mess.
I am still walking around in my sweats wearing yesterday's mascara. 
No, I didn't make it into the shower yet, although it is 1:30 in the afternoon.
Yeah, my floors need to be vacuumed and mopped.
Yeah, I don't know what I will make for dinner yet.

But today is already brimming with drops of awesome!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Seriously, What has happened?

My poor children have been over photographed for a very long time.
However, recently I haven't been quite the shutter-bug I used to be. 
Not quite sure why.

Anyway, if I had taken pictures, you would know that they kids got their traditional extra-large Hershey kisses for Valentines Day and that I bought them Pizza for dinner that night.

You would also see Tacey dressed all business-like before she walked out the door to her interview for Girl's State. She did an amazing job, which we know for two reasons - 1) Her friend who was on the panel that picked the girl's told her so and 2) She got chosen! If I had taken pictures, you would also see the big smile she came home wearing.

You would also see that Tacey was a super-cute cheerleader wearing a lei at the district Basketball game, that our team won. That game was a serious nail -biter.

You would also see that Dallin & McCade started city league Basketball. They had a very hard time getting coaches, so they are actually spending 1 1/2 hours on Friday nights running 30 minutes of drills to work on their skills, then they split up and scrimmage. So we don't have actual teams, but the skills practice is a really good thing. 

Yeah, you won't see any of that. 

What I could show you is a picture or two of Shane teaching Dallin how to shave, but I decided that some rites of passage don't necessarily need to be shared with the whole world. But I he didn't cut himself, so that was good. He also decided only to shave his mustache right now, even though the rest of his face is getting fairly fuzzy. He will wait until it starts to turn dark.

Instead you will see our trip to Universal Studios.
I took a lot of pictures of things, but not a lot of the kids. We are going back in the near future, and I will make a note to get more pictures with the kids in them.

The famous Delorean from Back To The Future.

Getting stuck in a flash flood. We really did get wet even. That would be a nice perk in July or August, not so much in December.

An all-purpose city street

The Bates Hotel, complete with Norman. 
He really is Psycho.

Jaws. But we still go into the water.

An horrific plane crash. No bodies though. Guess the extras were at lunch.

And in case there was something you wanted to see but didn't, here is the world's largest green screen.

Okay, drops of awesome this week?

Tacey - didn't yell at her brother, but chose to make it into a joking situation - lots of drops there.
Dallin - talked his brother and a neighbor boy into running with him to start to get ready for track. He likes to run alone - so lots of drops there.
McCade - his grades are up - lots of drops there too.
Shane - ditched work to spend Valentine's Day with me, he also taught Dallin how to shave.
Me - Brought in the groceries below budget again, bought Shane a Roku so we can finally watch good TV for a very reasonable price, bonded with Tacey as I went out with her BFF and her BFF's Aunt for dinner and a movie, and made breakfast for the kids every single day. Drop, drop, drop.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sweetheart Masquerade Ball

I read a blog awhile ago about finding success in the things we do, not beating ourselves over those things we do not. It talked about little drops of awesome, and how those little drops make a fully awesome day, week, month and therefore person.

Last night I will admit to a bunch of drops of awesome.

Tacey had her girls-choice Sweetheart Masquerade Ball. She asked her current Boyfriend Nick to be her date.

Dances are a big deal, they include new clothes, a date during the day time, dinner, the dance and after-the-dance activities. They also require groups: and they are a very important thing. The thing that makes these occasions fun is a  group of people all having fun together. These groups can get quite large, but usually they are between 3 & 7 couples. 

I have to say I was really pleased with Tacey; she helped organize a group of good kids that wouldn't necessarily hang out together but would have a lot of fun. Her best friend Martina was not in her group, but had chosen to be in another group. Well, some things happened - not anything of Martina's doing - but she ended up without a group at all. Tacey asked her group if Martina could join their group, but it was already so large they had all agreed not to let anyone else join. So, even though it meant leaving the fun she knew she would have with one group of people, she left that group and formed just a 2 couple group to help out Martina. Then she found another group of 3 couples for them to join.

There are not a lot of nice restaurants around here, so most of the time the couples opt for prime-mom cooking at someone's house. This group wanted to go to a restaurant for dinner, but Tacey wasn't a big fan of the restaurant they chose. So she and Martina planned dinner at Martina's house. Good thing too! It seems both their dates had gotten sick with food poisoning at that restaurant before!

In addition, if you can find someone who dabbles in photography you can get your pictures much, MUCH cheaper and avoid waiting in a hideous line at the dance. The other group members wanted to get traditional pictures taken, but Martina and Tacey asked me to take them. 

So, they met at a house then went M&M Bowling for their day date. There is a chart that tells how they have to roll, launch or hurl the ball down the lane. Each one is given a color and they have to pick an M&M out of the bag to figure out which color they should do. They left at about 1:30 to begin picking everyone up and returned around 5:30.

Tacey went on ahead to Martina's house to get ready, and I followed after I waited for the text messages I knew would come. 'Mom, I forgot. . . '. It took less than 5 minutes.

I set up the photography studio with lights and a backdrop I borrowed from friends. The girls picked up their dates and brought them back to the house. We took pictures and then they ate dinner. They left only 15 minutes later than planned; which is pretty good for a couple of teenage girls. 

About 9:00 they were off for the dance. Before they knew it the dance was over, and they were on their way back to Martina's house with ALL of the original people to watch a movie. The movie began about 11:45, and by the time everyone had been delivered home Tacey walked through the door about 2:15. 

A big day indeed.

I was home about 9:30, but did the good Mom thing and waited up for her. 

Drops of awesome: Making dessert for the dinner, picking up the last minute things - like a special Mexican Coke for her date and nylons, being smart enough to wait for her to remember what she forgot, taking pictures (awesome ones at that!), editing and posting them on Facebook before the dance was even over (that might be several drops), spending time helping her get ready - make up and hair is a serious business, and a drop of awesome for every minute I stayed up past midnight - 135 of them. Do I also get drops for going dress shopping? For reminding her to order the boutineer? For making sure she had enough money for the day?


But anyway, here are my awesome pictures.

36 drops of awesome in picture form.

And Tacey had a great time.