Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pinewood Derby, 2011

Our ward's Pinewood Derby fell a little late this year, but was highly successful! Sam drew up the plan for the top of the car, I helped him transfer and paint, and Tony helped with the silver spray paint, put the thing together and get it weighted properly.
Overall, Sam in his final Pinewood Derby took second place, but also "Best In Show." Awesome!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Impossible Grocery List

While my mom was here helping the second week after my surgery, Tony asked us to put together a grocery list so that he could run and grab some things that we needed to get through the next few days. My mom and I came up with the usuals and she handed me the list to check. At the bottom of the list, kumquats. I said, "Oh, mom, you don't know Tony like I do. If they're on the list, that sweet guy will find them and bring them home!" So away Tony goes with the impossible list. When he gets home with the groceries, we ask him how it went and he said he got everything except the last thing on the list. He'd looked everywhere, asked the produce people and even the occasional stranger and nobody could tell him where (or even WHAT) kumquats were. Poor guy. We had a little giggle at his expense and my mom learned a new layer of Tony.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday. Josh has school in the morning so I try and hit the commissary alone. I was on my way to check out and I was still looking for yellow cherry tomatoes and I thought I saw them out of the corner of my eye. So I ran over, grabbed a box, and thought to myself, "Hey, these look like little" Yes, my friends. Kumquats. So I bought them and took them over to Tony's office to show him.

I figured they might be a hit in his candy dish.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What I've Been Up To...

First things first. I had my 6-week follow-up with my surgeon yesterday and the splint is now history! It seems sort of strange to have it gone and I'm still a little sore, but man, am I so happy to be done with that part! Now on to physical therapy...

There weren't a lot of things on my to-do list that I could do with just one arm. But there was one thing that I had been avoiding for some time. So I decided during the six weeks of recovery after my surgery, it would be my goal. I needed to get control of our family photos, memorabilia and scrapbooks.

Since I started blogging, I have pretty much stopped doing scrapbook pages. As much as I love to do it, in reality, I don't have time. And I know that the best pictures and highlights of our life are captured and preserved each year in our family blog books.

But that still left a whole bin of scrapbook pages that were already completed or pulled out for lessons that were never put in sheet protectors or even placed into actual books. So the first step was re-organizing our actual scrapbooks. Putting them all into sheet protectors and back in the correct order. The kids helped me (they became my second arm) and we loaded them into black binders and labeled each one for easy reference. They loved seeing pictures of themselves and remember fun things we have done as a family. But the best game was guessing if a boy baby page was Sam or Josh. Tough even for me...

And because my dream was to scrapbook all our photos and memorabilia someday, I had boxes and boxes of photos from pre-digital days and an entire bin of memorabilia. So while my mom was here, we went through and organized all the photos by year, got rid of multiple prints, threw away bad, blurry shots and loaded them into generic black two-up photo albums. I LOVE these things because they have a little pocket on each page in the middle of the two pictures. I used that space to journal the pictures and add any pressed pennies we had gathered from that particular time (we live for pressed pennies!). Then any other memorabilia that would fit into the photo albums was three hole punched or laminated and three hole punched (like wedding announcements, National Park pamphlets, baby portraits and copies of our family Christmas card letter) and put into the album in the right place. I started in 1995, my third year at BYU and the year I met Tony. All previous photos I organized and put into one photo box. I ended up with nine volumes, but that gets us from 1995 until and a little past the time I started blogging and our blog books take over. It was a HUGE project and one that I have been dreading.
But now that it is done, I feel like I have done something huge. When we move, I always make Tony pack our scrapbooks, videos, pictures that I don't dare have the movers move into our truck so we can make sure they weather the move okay. By completing this projects, all our memories and family history is practically and simply organized and will fit into one bin. Amazing.

I'm not sure what I'm more happy arm or finishing this damn project.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Swim Lessons & Feeling the Burn

This past weekend was the last day of Saturday swim lessons for the kids. Although they'll start up swim again in the next few weeks, I wanted to document this fun part of our life. This is Bruce the shark. He is on display at the base pool. Since we share the pool with the water survival guys, I'm sure one of them thought Bruce needed something to play with and chucked a ball into his mouth. The kids think it is hilarious.

Anna is fearless in the water. She and Sam were in the same class this session and she made it her goal to keep up with her big brother!

This is Sam doing a "Geronimo" off the diving board. He does so well with his swimming that his instructor at summer lessons nicknamed him "Fish".

And then there is Joshua. Who astounds everyone with his toughness in the water. He loves that his tubes finally fell out and he doesn't have to wear wax in his ears anymore. He loves jumping big jumps off the side of the pool at his favorite teacher, Levi. And, of course, impressing us all with his muscles.

And after years of living in McIllece Family Bracketology oblivion (which is strange because they are the basketball coachin' family), we're feeling pretty much the entire Condie family breathing down our necks and poised to take over almost the entire top of the Bracketology list. Within striking distance. And showing no mercy. Way to go, Condies. And a big thanks to Syracuse and Pitt for blowing my bracket. Seriously.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bracketology, BABY!

And so it begins. The McIllece family trash talkin' survival of the fittest, free-for-all that we know as braketology. We're filled out, submitted and ready. All for bragging rights and the honor of having this in your home for a year. Get the packin' tape out Dave, it's coming home to Spokane this year. Let the games, BEGIN!

Just as a side note, I always fill out my brackets on paper before we submit them to our group online. And I always fill them out in Sharpie there is no second guessing, no questioning of the gut. And this year, the Sharpie color was gold. Premonition? Perhaps, my friends. Perhaps.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Having A Family Adventure, Brough Style!

On Friday night, I had just gotten home from a movie with a girlfriend and Tony said something about the "earthquake in Japan." I'm like, "What earthquake in Japan?" And then he looked at me like I was crazy because I seriously had not had the TV on all day and had not listened to the news in the car (actually, Josh and I were jamming out to Lady Gaga, but that's beside the point). Anyway I hadn't heard a thing. But then, I started to freak out. My dear friend Liz and her family from our days in Papillion are currently stationed in Misawa, Japan. Not bothering to do the time calculations to know whether she would be awake or asleep, I called but only got voice mail. I waited another day. Then Sunday morning before church, I sent her an email and she was able to email me back later that night, letting me know her story and that her family was safe. You can read about her family's story here. Did I mention this woman is 38 weeks pregnant? She is my hero.

At the end of her email to me, she closed with these words:
Kiss you kids for me and check your 72 hour kits. Thank goodness for a prophets counsel!!!

I love you, Liz. your family and the sweet people of Japan are in our hearts and prayers.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What's A Girl To Do...

...when she needs just a little pick-me-up and is "Lenting" chocolate? Why she buys a cute pair of Madden Girl nude summer pumps.

Yep. And then she feels ALL better.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lent, 2011

Just a quick post today to announce what I have decided to give up for Lent this year. Chocolate. Yeah, it's painful, but nothing compared to the sacrifice of the Savior. Our family will also be adding something meaningful to our lives once a week during Lent, but since local yahoos read our blog, that's all I'll say about that. You'll know if you've been hit by the McIllece tornado of Lenten goodness. Day two. So far, so good.

Any of you up for the challenge?

Just as a side note, I tried to find an unpleasant picture of chocolate. Obviously, one does not exist. Painful.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Life Imitating Art?

I was rushing around this morning getting the big kids ready for school when I happened upon this. Josh. Texting daddy. On a calculator. Life imitating art? Perhaps.

After an awesome email from a Catholic girlfriend and a wonderful conversation Monday with another, I have decided what I will be "Lenting" this year. I'll be back later with details. Have you chosen something to "Lent" this year?? Share!

And FYI, I won't be "Lenting" texting. Just sayin'.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Lucky" Visiting Teaching Gifts

While my mom was here after my surgery, she helped me pick out something yummy and green for March visiting teaching gifts. Being that I am still a little gimpy and my partner just moved, I'm keeping it simple. My favorite...Dark Chocolate and Mint Ghirardelli chocolate squares.

Lucky you, indeed!

***I also just saw this cute idea over at Twig & Thistle that would be fabulous as a visiting teaching idea. Go check it out!***

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bugs & Bees

My poor family has been sick for the last 2 weeks, passing the bugs (with love) from one person to another. Yesterday morning it hit little Josh with a vengeance. As with all my kids (and many others, I'm sure) Josh hates to throw up. Yesterday I tried to explain to him that there were little bugs in his tummy that were making him sick and if he threw up, those bugs would come out and he would feel better. It seemed to help comfort him a little. When Tony came home for lunch yesterday he asked Josh how he was feeling. Being a touch on the dramatic side, Josh's eyes welled up with tears and he said, "Daddy, I have BEES in my tummy."