Tuesday, August 31, 2010


One of the things we promised the kids we would do on our trip to Utah was a follow-up trip to Lagoon, or "Gagoon" as Josh calls it...we went on our stop through Utah on our move to Washington last summer. We got there bright and early because it was the last Friday Lagoon was open before it closed (except weekends) for the season and we wanted to be the first ones through the door. As soon as we got in, Tony, Sam, Donny, Lena and I made for the roller coasters (or "rowser cossers" as Josh calls them) like the mad men and women that we are and Joan took Anna and Josh on all the fun kiddy rides. The crowds were blessedly sparse and we hit all the big ones (Colossus, Jet Star, Bat, Blast-Off and Re-Enrty, and of course, Wicked) before we met Joan and the kids for lunch. Why do sandwiches, chip and apples taste so much better at Lagoon??

After lunch, Josh fell asleep and I took Anna on some of the bigger kiddie rides and we finally met up with everyone at 3:45 and made for home.

The weather was perfect, the crowds weren't terrible until after lunch, and I almost wet my pants on Wicked. Pretty much the perfect day.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Long Haul & Real Salt Lake

We started our long haul from Spokane to Salt Lake on Tuesday night and spent that night in Missoula. Then we got up and made like bandits for Salt Lake because we needed to make it there to watch the Real Salt Lake soccer team play in their only match at Rio Tinto Stadium while we were going to be in Sandy. So when we got to Joan's house, we cleaned up, threw some food at the kids and bid the cute babysitter goodbye as we raced out the door with Joan to meet Russ, Becky, Donny and Lena at (where else?) Cafe Rio for dinner. After all, Tony told Lena he wanted to eat there 14.5 times during our trip. We had to get a jump on things.

After a quick bite, we headed over to the Rio Tinto Stadium where Real Salt Lake plays. Donny scored us some great seats and we had a blast watching them play Panama. At halftime, Donny, our friend Josh and Russ went for a walk around the concession area and since Tony had on a Brazilian soccer jersey, he kept having people coming up to him and chatting him up in Portuguese. The stadium is awesome and (as anyone who watched any game of World Cup action can tell you about noisy stadiums) they have drums going the entire game. Also, for all you World Cup watchers out there, Robbie Findley plays for Real Salt Lake.

It was a fun game to watch for a couple of reasons. Panama was Dir.Ty. The refs handed out 2 red cards and LEAST seven yellow cards and the dang stretcher bearers had to come running onto the field to take mortally wounded Panamanian players to the sidelines only to have them be miraculously healed once they got there. It got so bad that after regulation play, they had EIGHT MINUTES of extra time to make up. Seriously.

Real Salt Lake did finally score a winning goal right before the end and it was an incredibly fun game to watch. And since soccer runs thick in the blood of the McIllece family, it was so fun to experience the game with them. (And just a note: Tony is the McIllece brother in the Nebraska visor. The kids spent the whole trip trying to keep them all sorted out.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

We have finally arrived home from our Utah via Boise road trip and are all bathed and just about settled down for a night in our own beds.

Lots to share in the coming days...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Daring to Dream Big...

**We're having a good time hanging out at Grammy Joan's house, but since I'm planning on posting about the trip when I get home, here is a little treasure. Nothing like a good giggle on a Tuesday.**

A first grade girl handed in the drawing below for a homework assignment...

After it was graded and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:

Dear Ms. Davis,
I want to be very clear on my child's illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This drawing is of me selling a shovel.

Mrs. Harrington



Monday, August 16, 2010

Road Trip Games

We are taking off tomorrow for a bit of vacation time. My dad isn't doing very well and he and my mom are in California getting treatment so we weren't able to make our scheduled trip to Alaska this summer. So we are going to see Tony's family and hang low for a little while. My heart is pretty tender and I look forward to seeing my sister and her family, too. Amazing how simple things mean the most when you're hurting...family and friends. I'll probably be pretty sporadic in posting, but will have lots to share when we get home.

After our road trip to Seattle earlier this summer, I realized how much (not) fun traveling in a car with three little ones can be. So I dug out some fun car games I had in my file, found some new ones online, and took an old game and gave it a twist. This first one is a scavenger hunt/BINGO game I had filed away from an old issue of Martha Stewart Kids. I scanned my original page and it can be found here. These are Martha Stewart...I only scanned them in because the link on her site is not working. Can't take credit for the cuteness.

Every time we travel, we like to look for license plates. But we always forget to write them down so all the trips blend together and we have no idea which ones we really saw. So I found this great map online, printed out one for each kids, laminated them, and we are ready to start our search!

I also printed off a set of these vehicle BINGO cards. I laminated everything so we can use dry erase markers on them and have a little baggie of smarties all ready for the BINGO winners (and losers because we can't have whiny kids while we're on the road or I might just boot them out in the middle of Montana).

Be back soon!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rob Rocks. Seriously.

Last night was the much anticipated (at least by me) Rob Thomas concert. It was so random that I even found out he was going to be in the area...one night I was driving into town and there was a billboard announcing the Summer Concert Series at the Coeur D'Alene Casino in a tiny little place called Worley, Idaho. When I got home, I went online and sure enough, he was doing what they called an "intimate concert" benefiting he and his wifes' foundation named Sidewalk Angels. I begged Tony to go with me (because my friend and fellow Rob fan, Camie, lives in Utah now) and he RELUCTANTLY agreed to go. After all, I have a little, teensy crush on Rob. Teensy. I'm glad I got tickets when I did because not a week later, the same billboard announced the concert was sold out.

It took us about an hour to drive to Worley and when we got there, we had to walk through the actual Casino to get to the event center. Gag me smoke. We gave them our tickets at the door and walked in (seriously) to a room that at the MOST would hold about 2000 people. There were chairs set up on the floor and bleachers set up along the back wall for general admission tickets. Tony and I were about 15 rows from the back and we could see the stage perfectly. (This is how well we could see from our seats.)

The most amazing thing about this concert was that aside from one song when one of his back-up guitar players was plugged in, the entire concert was acoustic. Just him. Singing at the mike with and without his guitar or sitting at the piano, playing and singing. No drums. A.Mazing. I went in with three songs I really wanted to hear, but one was a Matchbox Twenty song Unwell that I thought he probably wouldn't play, Streetcorner Symphony which has so much background that I thought he wouldn't play it, and one other. He played them all. Acoustic. He played the piano for Streetcorner Symphony. (I snuck out of our seats and up to the side of the stage to get this picture...he's singing Smooth.)

The guy is an absolute character. He expressed appreciation to us for buying tickets and for the support that gave his foundation to do good. He sang some covers, explained some of his songs, but mainly he just sang for about 2 hours straight. About 4 songs in, Tony was LOVING it. The guy is a talented singer and songwriter who can stand alone on just his voice and sound amazing. This was the third song I really wanted to hear. He admits that he writes a lot of angst-ridden songs, but this is his one song that is unabashedly a straight-up love song. It made me cry.

About two songs from the end, Tony and the complete stranger on my left kept trying to get me to go up one of the two center side aisles to get a better picture of him. People were doing it all night, but I was totally embarrassed and didn't want to do it. As a fan I talk a big game, but I'm actually a big chicken. Tony turned to me, looked me right in the eye and said, "If you don't do it, you'll always regret it." So I did it. And got WAY close and some pretty great shots.

It was a night to remember!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Paint Chip Cards

**Thanks to all of you who are stopping by from Fireflies and Jellybeans!**

Okay, confession time again. I occasionally swipe paint chips cards. But only the ones with cute names.

The whole "paint chip" craze kinda came and went in the paper craft world a couple of years ago, but occasionally, I'll still use them on cards. I was asked to do invitations to our ward's enrichment evening and the whole theme was "What do you do when life hands you lemons?" so I snagged a bunch of paint swatches with names that had lemon in them (some of the paint chip even had 2 colors on the same strip that I could use). They turned out very cute.

Here are a few other cards I have done with paint chips:

The one at the bottom is one my mom made with wonderful baking names that turned out so cute.

Just a couple of things I have learned when crafting with paint chips. One, it is impossible to print on them without smearing the ink, no matter how long you allow them to dry. So when I want to print on them (like I did with the enrichment invites), I paint them with a thin layer of Mod Podge, allow it to dry, and then print on them. Then I brush on another light layer of Mod Podge to finish it off. That being said, pigment ink and rub-ons work great.

And just because this photo is too cute not to share, this is Josh with my new "niece." My sister Megan and her new dog Molly came to visit this past weekend and we had a blast just hanging out, going to Silverwood, watching movies and just because it is what we ALWAYS do when Megs visits, we tried this new recipe. Divine.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Ah, Summer" Visiting Teaching Gifts

I LOVE summer. The sunshine. The smell of sun-warmed skin. Seeing flip flop tan lines on my feet. So what better way to celebrate the last month of summer (before school starts again) than with a tall, cool glass of lemonade! I found a fun summer quote, tied it on with some cute ribbon and away we go! Here is another idea we've used for August. It is at the bottom of the post so scroll down!

I'm always looking for new ideas, so if you have a cool, inexpensive idea for August visiting teaching gifts, leave me a link in the comments!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Morning Blues

When I walked into spin class this morning at 5:45 a.m., there was only one bike taken. And it was MY bike. The one I always use. The one I can set up with my eyes closed. The one I know the tension of by heart. The one next to my "spin buddy" whose first name I don't even know. Taken. The nerve. I tried to be the bigger person, to not let it bother me. I mean, my bike doesn't have my name on it anywhere. So I took the bike behind my bike and tried to enjoy the class. But it didn't stop me from shooting dirty looks at the bike thief's back all during class. Can something like that ruin my day? Well, it certainly didn't MAKE it.

And the worst part? She didn't even work hard enough to sweat.