Monday, July 26, 2010

My Idea Book

This summer has been one half chaotic and one half flying by the seat of my pants. We've had a lot of fun, but I have been in some serious need of catching up on my organizing. I wanted to do something fun, so I started with going through by magazine back issues. I admit, I am a bit of a magazine addict. I only subscribe to a few, but if one catches my fancy at the store I'll bring it home. I only keep a year's worth of back issues and then go through any of the issues that are older than that, tearing out what I like and putting the rest of the magazine in my garage sale pile. After I've gone through what I have set aside, I sort them according to theme: recipes, scrapbook and card ideas, craft ideas and holiday ideas. Recipes go in my "to try" pile in the kitchen. If the survive the vetting process (aka my family) they go into my recipe collection book. The general craft ideas and holiday ideas go into a hanging file, organized by theme so they are easy to find. Any paper crafting ideas go into my Idea Book.  I love this's a great source of inspiration for things from cards and scrapping to visiting teaching ideas. I have it organized by general themes: layouts, accents, cards, titles/journaling blocks, and patterns. As I add new ideas to the book, I make sure to pull out any that I have already used or that are outdated. I love this thing.

How do your organize your ideas??

Sunday, July 25, 2010

SkyFest 2010

This weekend was the biennial Air Show here at Fairchild! It is something that we've been looking to for quite a while...ever since we learned that the Thunderbirds would be coming to perform. So when we were at the pool on Thursday and heard the roar of fighter engines, we knew they had arrived! (We get spoiled because we live on a Tanker base and that even though we live very close to the runway, they are so quiet we rarely even notice their comings and goings). I must say, it was pretty cool to have them around! They did buzz the house on Thursday afternoon and scared the pants off everyone on the block, but we're willing to overlook it. They are the Thunderbirds after all.

The base opens the gates to the public on both Saturday and Sunday and the place gets to be a ZOO. So Tony's office let loose on Friday afternoon and we had a potluck lunch at the big park on base and watched the Thunderbirds practice.

Tony had to spend all of Saturday at the DV tent, so the kids and I decided to walk over to the flight line as early as we could to see the static plane displays before things got too crazy. We chugged through the hangers and rode on the fighter plane bikes, walked around in a C-17, got down in the boom of a KC-135, stood in the bomb bay of a B-52...

I even got busted fraternizing with the enemy. Nazis in this case...

The kids had a ball playing on the helicopters. This is Sam and Anna in the cargo hold of a UH-1 Huey.

Josh kept asking all the guys to "take him up in the sky." No takers. But the UH-60 Blackhawk pilot let Josh and Anna "fly" one for themselves. We only lasted about half an hour into the actual "Air Show" part of the Air Show. The kids love the B-2 "Stealth" because their friends' dad flies one. Plus it looks like a batman plane. We had some ice cream and then headed home.

At about 3:00 we called Tony to check on the stars of the show (they were parked right in front of the DV tent) and he let us know they were started up and ready to take-off.  So Sam, Josh and I walked down to the park by our house and watched the show from there.

I'm adding this picture because it shows you how close these things got to our houses. This plane is almost over the park that is two houses down from us. Thank goodness these guys are GOOD. A little on the loud side, but good.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Good 'ole HBLL

My friend Emily had this on her blog today...hilarious. Brought back some fun memories of the "six bagillion" hours I spent studying at the HBLL.

(Here is the link to watch it wide-screen on YouTube.)

8 out of 5 dentists??

Busy weekend coming up...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bella's Letter

One of my little Sunbeams came running up to me just before church started yesterday and gave me this little card. It was obviously dictated to her older sister (whose class Tony is subbing in, hence his name on the card, too). Click on it to make it bigger. It made my whole could it not??

It is moments like that one that remind me what a very serious obligation I have to these kids, to teach them and to do my best each Sunday to help them feel the Spirit.

Thanks for making me smile, Bella. And puddle up a little, too.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Road Trip-Seattle

The last day of our trip over the mountain was spent in Seattle. And let me tell you, it was a glorious day (in fact, it was gorgeous the entire 3 days we were there) and we kept catching glimpses of Mt. Rainier wherever we went...a real treat. Especially for Josh who thought it looked an awful like like a "bolcano".

After we were re-packed and ready for the day's adventure, we headed into downtown Seattle (after a quick stop in Kent to pick up Josh's puffy blanket that we left there the first night of our trip. Yikes.). We got downtown and parked and walked over to Pike Place Market with the kids.
The place was packed because the weather was so nice and it stressed the kids out a little to be jostled around in the cramped space, but some candied nuts and mini-donuts seemed to loosen 'em up a bit. One of the guys that plays the guitar and sings even took a request from Josh and sang "If You're Happy And You Know It". Nice.

After we extracted ourselves from the rush of Pike Place Market, we walked down to the ocean front and ate lunch at Steamers. Ever since our trip to Seattle last Fall, I have dreams about their Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad. Yum.mers. We lucked out and got a shaded table outside and had a ball watching the ocean tour boats come and go.

After lunch, we hit the Space Needle. And after a little waiting in line, a little hamming it up for mom, and a little horsing around, we got to the observation deck. And MAN, the day was perfect for viewing the gorgeous city of Seattle and especially Mt. Rainier.

As we were taking the elevator ride down from the observation deck, our tour guide pointed out that the building across from the front entrance from the Space Needle is the building they use for all the outside shots of Seattle Grace Hospital on Grey's Anatomy. But it's not really a hospital, just a cool looking white building. Whatever.

It was a really great family road trip.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I break with the last road trip post to share this. Why don't we hear more of THESE stories in the news??

And just as an aside, when Tony was deployed earlier this year, he served as part of General Patraeus's legal team at CENTCOM. We admire him and the work he has done very much.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Road Trip-St. Helens, Oregon

After we visited Kalama, we crossed the gorgeous Columbia River into Oregon. I must admit that a lot of the drive reminded me of the scenery in Alaska...made me feel right at home. My first impression of St. Helens was "How the heck did they find this place and why the heck did they pick it?" It's kind of a dirty little town, but it does have a sort of down-home charm about it.

The first stop we made was to the house that serves as Charlie and Bella Swan's home in the Twilight movies. It is an actual private residence and they used it for both the inside and outside filming. I can't imagine the weirdos (um, including us) who are constantly wanting to get their picture taken in front of their house. I bet they had no idea what they were signing up for when the agreed to it.
The little sign on the tree asks the crazy Twilight fans to please respect their privacy, but that they are more than happy to let you take pictures.

The second stop was 2nd Street S. where they filmed most of the scenes in Port Angeles. This is the big wall mural that is in the background when the bad guys accost Bella in the alley and Edward (and his Volvo) come screeching up to save her. The mural was really cool.  The scene where they drove away is also filmed right there on 2nd Street South.

A little further down the street is a hair salon where they filmed the dress boutique where the girls shop for Prom dresses in Port Angeles. They just brought in dresses, I guess, because it's still just a hair salon. This is Anna standing in the window where the scene was filmed.

And lastly, down at the end of the street is the building they used to film the diner where Edward takes Bella after he saves her...the one with the waitress with crazy hair. It's for rent, just in case anyone is interested.

I think we spent all of 45 minutes in St.Helens (and that included a gas stop) but we had a lot of fun. Tony was such a great sport. All in all, the drive was beautiful, the kids all had a ball (except Josh who slept all through St.Helens)...

One more post to come on the day we spent in Seattle...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Road Trip-Kalama, Washington

I can read all your minds right now. What the heck is in Kalama? That, my friends, is quite the story. When we decided to do this road trip, we knew we wanted to spend one day in Seattle, but were up in the air about what to do the other day. Tony was silly enough to ask me what I wanted to do. Half jokingly (because although I am totally entertained by the whole Twilight saga, I'm no Twi-hard) I said, "Hey! We should go to FORKS!!" Tony suprised the heck out of me by saying, "Hey, why not? We'll drive the coast, see some sights and head back to Seattle." Once I recovered from my severe shock, we did a little research and discovered that almost none of the movie was actually filmed in Forks. A lot of the movie(s) was filmed in southern Washington and over the Columbia River in Oregon. It was actually closer to go there than to go to Forks and we would get to see Mount St. Helens on the way so we decided to do it.

Kalama is the sweetest little town 19 miles south of Mount St. Helens. If you drive through town and turn left up a hill and past the police station, you'll find Kalama High School. It is actually the outside set for Forks High School and the Senior parking lot is where Edward saves Bella from getting hit by the van. And for all you trivia buffs, the hospital scenes were all filmed in the school wrestling room. Seriously.
It is a gorgeous building and what I love is how little the people in the area care that they are a part of the whole Twilight phenom.   We had to find our way all on our crazy signs and such. Amazing.

More "Twilight highlights" tomorrow...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Road Trip-Mount St. Helens

We just got home from a fun family road trip over the mountain to the west side of the state! Tony had some leave to burn and was able to get a couple days off mid-week so after piano on Tuesday, we threw the kids in the car and headed to Seattle. We spent the first night in Kent and then got up the next morning and headed south. Our first stop was at Mount St. Helens. Tony and I were both about 6 when she erupted on May 18th, 1980 (in fact, Tony did a research paper on it in third grade and as a young girl I poured over a book my parents had on the disaster) and we were kinda excited that our plans for the day took us right by the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center.

It's a nice little Visitor's Center with lots of static displays on the history of the area and then a large timeline chronicling the build-up and the aftermath of the actual eruption (this picture, if you look closely, is a before and after shot of Mount St. Helens). We watched a movie of the eruption and couldn't believe the power and magnitude of the disaster. Spirit Lake all but disappeared only to settle back into two entirely different lakes.   Sweeping through the Toutle River Valley, the eruption caused the largest landslide in recorded history. Crazy.

It is amazing that just thirty years after the eruption and the total devastation of the area, it is again absolutely breathtaking.
On our way home today, we asked Josh what his favorite part of our trip was. He said "pushing the buttons on the volcano"...
And this is our beautiful Anna, sporting her new haircut.

More to come...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Blessings of the 4th Visiting Teaching Gifts

I hope everyone is having a fun 4th of July! My parents were able to stop here to visit on their way home from treatment in Reno, so we have had a fun few days spending time with them. Dad looks good, but tires easily.

Big changes in our visiting teaching route this month! One of our ladies moved, and we were given two new ladies to visit. One of them was just recently baptized and I hope that we can make her first experience with visiting teaching a good one.

These are the gifts we will be delivering. I found these punched tin buckets at Target a couple months ago and they reminded me of luminaries that we lined the driveway with when Tony came home from Iraq in 2006. So I bought a yummy smelling white candle, wrapped it with cellophane and tied on this quote with blue gingham ribbon:

"When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored, those which we now enjoy, and the means which we possess of handing them down unimpaired to our latest posterity, our attention is irresistibly drawn to the source from whence they flow. Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgements for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good."

--James Monroe, the 5th United States President made this statement in his second annual message to Congress, November 16, 1818.

I love this quote. And I wonder what would happen if a sitting president were to make this statement to Congress today...Hmm...

And just FYI, both Target and Michaels have school and apple themed goodies in their $1 sections. I picked up some really cute things for the kids teachers next year.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Meal Faces

Our good friends and neighbors are moving this weekend, so we have had little Mia over as much as we could during the last week, especially while Sam has been at Scout Day Camp. On Tuesday, I took the kids to McDonalds for Happy Meals. I set them all up at the table and left to start some laundry. Pretty soon, I hear them calling me. I ran upstairs, and this is what I found.

Why hasn't anybody thought of this before?

I'm raising geniuses.