Saturday, May 24, 2014

Turning Ten

May is a month of huge significance in our house.  Mark and I were married in May.  The girls were born in May.  The two biggest and best events in my life--time to celebrate!  It is amazing to recall where we were ten years ago this month.

This is the third year in a row that we have thrown a simple but large invite-the-whole-class party at our house.  The girls basically wanted the same party as last year, with a jungle theme.  After my initial surprise, I went to work, planning decorations and games.  Here is our snack table:
Beetle wings (chips), piranha bites (goldfish), toasted grubs (veggie sticks), alligator eggs (Reeses puffs), anaconda eyes (grapes), monkey bites (donuts), jungle vines ( they have another name?  green licorice?), dried ants (raisins), toucan toes (gummy chicken feet--yes, there is such a thing!), and the coup de grace--python pellets (Sugar Babies).  We also loaded up the ice chest and made a sign designating it as "The Watering Hole". 
The girls asked for the same cake as last year.  My mom, the cake master, upped the ante and created this masterpiece!
We had twenty four kids in the house!  One lesson from last year was that I wanted to limit the "running around like a hoard of crazy weasels" time.  I many crazy weasels do you want on a trampoline at one time???  No more than eight, right?  So we broke the kids up into groups, and did games.  No opting out!
We did the towel toss.
 Beanbag toss--I taped a monkey face around the hole and called it "Feed the Monkey".
 We had a scavenger hunt--these kids are looking through our trash.  Kidding!  They are reading a message under the lid!
 And of course, seed spitting.  We gave prizes for each set of winners. 
 Then we had cake.  I'm happier than I look here.
  And then...the monster slip-and-slide!
We had a 6-mil sheet of plastic and a hose.  What more do you need?
Right...maybe some baby shampoo to add some more "slip".
And a huge running start!
The kids show up the next day all bruised and scratched, because after all, it IS just a regular hillside that they are throwing themselves down.  But they do seem to enjoy it!

So I'm noticing that I actually have NO PICTURES of MY OWN KIDS on their birthday.  You'll have to take my word for it.  They were happy!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sun Devils and Spring Break

This spring, we broadened our horizons.  Last year, our soccer-focused family expanded into basketball.  Abigail joined the rec league, and I really loved seeing her learn the game, and grow more comfortable on the court.  I know basically nothing about basketball, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the games!
This year, Mae tried her hand at softball.  I don't know what is behind Abigail choosing one sport, and Mae choosing another...establishing their own turf?  Whatever the case, this is another instance of me enjoying seeing the girls grow!  So Mae joined the Sun Devils.
I think softball uniforms are really sharp!

I learned that a lot of the action in softball is stealing bases...
Go, Mae, go! 

Here's Mae up at bat.  She got a reputation as a solid hitter--great for her confidence!
So that was our spring sports activity.  Now let's talk about spring break.  Not quite a vacation, since my dad went in for open heart surgery!  Gail and I took the kids up to the Bay Area for the week.  We tried to make it fun for them, AND support our parents.  It was a challenge to do both, but things worked out.  Quadruple bypass, one valve replaced (oink oink), one valve repaired, and a second surgery to clear the carotid artery.  Things were scary for a while, but I'm happy to say, Dad is recovering well.  He is still in the resting/healing stage, and we are all looking forward to his rehab and strengthening.