Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Welcome to the Celebration!

So I saw one of those goofy headlines on the MSN homepage that told me that the other day was National Different Colored Eyes Day. (And I forgot to get you a card! I felt so inconsiderate...) But that got me thinking about all those ridiculous holidays that we could all supposedly celebrate. So I decided that for the next 31 days, I will celebrate a wacky holiday, every day. And of course, I will share this with all of you. So get out your party hats, your kazoos and pinatas because the festivities are about to begin! (*Disclaimer: Although I will be celebrating the holidays every day, the actual blogging about them may not come on the actual day- simply because other blog-worthy events and experiences may occur. But I will do my darndest. Just lettin' you know...)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Say Cheese!

I am having one of those internal Mom debates. This one centers around whether or not to get picture re-takes of Cindy. Her school pictures came back yesterday, and while her hair looks good (which is usually her biggest obstacle, what with her magnanimous cowlick and all), her smile is kinda lame. She isn't showing her teeth and that makes for one sweet grimace of a photo. You be the judge:

Who needs a high-techy scanner when you can just use your digital camera to take pictures of stuff instead, right?

That was the kind of smile that irked my own mother to death when taking pictures. If we gave up on making the overtly goofy face, we would resort to the grimace, which was just as bad. Cindy hasn't lost any teeth yet, either, which is another reason I wanted to see those pearly whites in that photo. Of course, Cindy is on the complete other side of the debate on that one. It is her DREAM to lose a tooth! Every single morning she goes to the hallway mirror and checks all her teeth to see if any of them have budged overnight. I mean, her friend Maddie has lost teeth, little Nathan has, Brianna has- everyone! Except her. She is dying to join this elite club. Of course, if waiting doesn't seem to work you can always have someone help things along. Like my experience of being tripped into the fireplace hearth and busting out my two front teeth. Big brothers can be very helpful that way :) Not naming names or anything (David). That experience happened to me when I was about 4 and we lived in Kansas City. My dad's boss' daughter was babysitting us kids while they had a work softball game. Awkward!

So ultimately, to re-take or not to re-take? That is the question....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hat Trick!

I promise not to bore you with the details of every one of Cindy's soccer games, but yesterday was a monumental occasion- one in which my daughter wore shorts in a soccer game. No realluy, I promise, I even have pictoral evidence to substantiate the claim. That result was the last thing I expected. On Thursday when it was just practice day, she once again began her tearful campaign, trying to convince me of her anti-shorts plight. She continues to wear skirts to practice but she weeped and wailed about the thought of having to wear shorts at the game and how wearing shorts is just like "wearing only underwear." (The truth finally comes out about the reason, at least.) In fact, the only real reason that she even had to wear shorts was her own fault- she promised Grandma Sweeney that, in return for buying her the Barbie and The Three Musketeers 'Corinne' doll, she would wear her soccer shorts on Saturday. We wanted to teach her the value of keeping promises, so she was gonna have to suck it up and wear the shorts, one way or another. Cindy's solution was to simply "take away the doll because [she] is not really playing with it right now, anyway." Cindy had an absolute meltdown all morning as we got ready for the game. She pretty much bawled her eyes out. There were some tense moments between her and her father ;) But finally in the car on the way into Bartow, she just got over it and realized it was time to play. It also helped that Grandmas and Grandpas Sweeney AND Bingham were both there to watch her play. And she was awesome! She ended up with three goals and we all thought she did fantastic. Two of the goals were full field turnarounds. Even! A few action shots from Saturday:

Coach Nick discussing the infamous "Statue of Liberty" trick play


They still have not picked a team name, so when Coach Nick suggested they pick something for their cheer, I heard one girl say "Go Dolphins", Maddie said "Go Unicorns" and I still said "Go Musketeers!"

The advantages of sitting the bench: Playing with Grandma during your break. Grandma and Grandpa Bingham were busily entertaining Luke the whole game.

Fast break for Cindy!

Turning it around (versus two defenders!)

Her final goal of the day. She was so excited and so were we.

At least now Jacob can sleep well at night knowing that Cindy has the potential to be a soccer star. Oh, wait- she already is!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thomas the predictable Train

If there were ever a kids show in history where you could apply the phrase "If you've seen one, you've seen them all" it would be Thomas the Train. Luke has recently switched his Netflix addiction from Dora the Explorer to Thomas and Friends. And while I'm extremely happy about the jump in testosterone levels around here, this show kind of baffles me. I have realized that the draw to this show must be the weird 3D clay-like animation, cause it ain't the amazing writing, sister. I have now seen about 12 different episodes of this show and I am not sure that they are actually different in any way.
Every single episode goes something like this:
(you'll thank me later when you don't actually have to watch any of these yourself)

Sir Topham Hat: (station manager) (Yes, that is really his name)
"Thomas, I need you to take a load of passengers to see the amazing Eagle that was just spotted on the other side of the Island."
Thomas: "Yes, sir!"
Any other Engine or train: "That makes me cross! Thomas is not important enough for that job."
Sir Topham Hat: "You all work for me, so all of you are useful! We cannot cause confusion or delay. Now get to work!"
All other trains: "Alright. Let's show Thomas how much better we are than him!"
Calamity occurs.
(By calamity I mean, a giant storm, a crash that spills tons of jelly all over the tracks, trains deciding to go way too fast and tipping over a giant dinosaur skeleton from the museum. Take your pick.)
Sir Topham Hat: "I am very cross! Bad trains!"
All other trains: "We sure learned our lesson. We are all important!"
Cheeky music takes us out.

So there you have it- every episode of Thomas the Train neatly condensed into a tidy10 seconds. See, this blog is really not just for entertainment. It's a public service. And lucky for you, it is one which I will duteously provide.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More Cindyisms

The other night Cindy and I read a book that basically gave the message that you should always try something first before you can decide whether or not you really like it. So at the end I tried to put in another feeble plug for going to the dentist. (Cindy is TERRIFIED of going to the dentist. She literally cries if I even suggest the idea.) So I said to her, "See, it's like going to the dentist. You have to go one time at least and then you can decide if you like it or not." She immediately got very quiet and very worried. Then she finally said, "How about this, Mom? I will go to the dentist when I am 11. Deal?" Always thinkin'- that is my Cindy.

Cindy was watching the Care Bears II movie on Netflix the other day. In the movie there is this evil boy named Dark Heart who is very mean to everyone. (yes, the movie is sort of like a documentary...) As Cindy is watching this movie and this boy is being mean, I can see her face getting very angry and upset and finally she says to me, "I wish I was in that movie because if I was, I would spank Dark Heart in the face!" She was so serious that I felt bad when I stood there laughing at her. I couldn't help it.

Jacob was reading scriptures the other night with Cindy. They were talking about angels, and Jacob made the statement that "Angels can do anything." To which Cindy immediately asked, "Can they make pie?" They make awesome cake, I don't see why not...

Last Saturday morning I got up before everyone else and went running. So when I got home it was about 7:30 and Cindy was at the table eating some breakfast. I came in the kitchen door, sweaty and breathing hard. When Cindy turned around and saw me, she said to me (totally confused, but completely serious), "Were you running all night?" As a matter of fact, yes, I was.

Monday, September 21, 2009

So here's how it went down...

Cindy's first soccer game was at 9am on Saturday morning. She was either gonna suck it up and play (despite having to wear shorts) or she was going to crumble like a Chips-ahoy and pop every vein in Jacob's head. Amazingly, she pulled through and played like a champ! In a skirt, yes. But she played. AND, she scored a goal!

I'll admit, the ride to the game was a little tense. Her socks were bunching up, the laces were all wrong, the cleats felt tight, her shirt was ginormous. It was not looking good. But personally, I was having fun at this point because I was driving and Jacob was having to deal with all her issues. Sucka! Welcome to my life, honey. Every. Single. Morning. But we finally made it to the field. The agreement about whether she could wear a skirt was that she would do whatever the referee said was okay. End of story. But apparently the Under 6 division has no referee, so the skirt was a go! Happy day! I think she had a good time, and best of all the games are short. Here are the highlights:

Waiting for the action to start up again...

Cindy and Coach Nick

This is the whole team. They only play 3 on 3, so they get to trade out and take breaks. They obviously did not get the pink uniforms this year (yet another reason Cindy is resisting soccer) but we really sold her on the idea of how much Uncle Dave would LOVE her colors of orange and green. That seemed to make it a little better. They are also still trying to think of a team name. I am going with 'The Musketeers' until someone picks something else.

Although I see her point about green and orange not matching the pink cleats I found her. Thank You, Target :) The jean skirt doesn't look too bad, actually...

Cindy and her friend Maddie (Coach Nick's daughter) after the game. They each scored a goal and were pretty happy!

Capri Suns after the game?!? I guess you could say she actually scored twice that morning :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thank You, Cougars

This pretty much sums up how I am going to have to wear my BYU shirt from now on. That game on Saturday night was shear horror. Just in time for Halloween, right? But, just as I said in a previous post, I still love my Cougars and I will still cheer for them. Because no matter how bad it gets, it could always be worse. I could be a University of Utah Alumni! Now that is horror!

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm on the edge of my seat!

It is Friday night. Last night was Cindy's first official soccer practice. (We signed her up to play in a small, 3 v. 3 under 6 league in Bartow.) She was wearing her pink skirt, new pink cleats, flower shirt and shinguards. You know, normal soccer practice attire. Tomorrow is her first official game. And would you believe that Cindy is absolutely and horribly worried about the game tomorrow? And do you know why? Because she is nervous about how to play, maybe? Worried that she won't be any good? Nope, she is worried that she won't be allowed to play in a skirt. Yup, this is my daughter. This is my life. She was literally crying the whole way home from school today at the mere thought of having to wear shorts. So I am anxiously awaiting to see which Cindy shows up tomorrow. The one that will bawl her eyes out because she is forced to make an unacceptable fashion statement or the one that just gets over it and accepts defeat. Any bets? This is going to be a very long season.....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Housekeeping Items

First, I just want to say "Happy Birthday!" to my big brother, Dave. I won't say how old he is, but it is 4 years older than me. Just try and crack that code! Now, I didn't want to have to use this picture over there, but when I searched my picture folders, this one came up first and I absolutely could not resist. This photo was created using the webiste And it always makes me laugh. Just like Dave himself.

Second, I just want to say that also today my little bro, Brian, is leaving the mission office to go back out into the field. He has been an AP (Assistant to the Mission President) for about 9 months in Bilbao, Spain. He is going with his new companion to re-open a part of the mission in a non-Basque part of the country. He is completely excited about it and so I am thinking about him today as he says goodbye to the office and finishes his mission working like a dog. A happy, Spanish-speaking dog that wears tiny, little dress pants.

No more road trips for you, young man!

He won't be phoning it in. This Elder is gonna WORK for the next 3 months! Believe it!

And thirdly, yesterday morning I was in our master bathroom (and let me just say that the only thing 'master' about it is that it is attached to the room that Jacob and I sleep in, nothing else) and I realized that I pretty much hate that bathroom. I have never painted it, I do absolutely anything and everything to avoid cleaning it and over the past month the kids' towels and shampoo bottles have been multiplying like rabbits in a hutch in there. So at 8am, like some possessed robot, I went to the garage, dug out some paint we already had, started mixing it and by 2pm I had completely painted the bathroom. I also had cleaned it, put some different artwork on the wall, put in 3 new towels, a new shower liner and it feels totally different! Amazing. Here it is:

The photo doesn't really do it justice. But here is some trivia for you- I painted that picture you see on the wall. Paint-by-number, YES, but still, I did paint it...
(And I told you there was nothing 'master' about the bathroom...)

I think it looks pretty good considering what it looked like BEFORE:

Now you see the transformation, huh?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Experience #15- Attend a Political Rally

Or whatever you want to call it, as it really was not really about a certain political party... But on Saturday I went with my Dad to our local "Tea Party". It was held at the Lake Mirror pavilion in Downtown Lakeland. They had the original nationwide Tea Party's back on April 15th of this year, but I was not fully motivated to go back then. However, as I have been listening to talk radio and researching the new proposed health care bill over the past few weeks, I can honestly say that I have become incredibly concerned about the direction in which our government is taking us and I truly felt the need to finally go and speak out. I have never done this before in my life, but I can honestly say it felt so good to go and let my voice be heard. I highly recommend it! The next Tea Party- we are so there! And naturally it had to rain all day on that particular day, which only happens like once a year in Florida. Usually we just get a squall line and then it clears. But no, it rained all day on Saturday. Oh well :) We had a great turnout anyway. The event was to last from 11am to 4pm and we were there for about 3 hours. They had a collage of different speakers, music, and even a snappy drum and fife corp. Very cool! One of the speakers was Marco Rubio, the young gun that is going to challenge Governor Crist for a Senate seat next fall. He was awesome! Barring any horrific revelation about this guy (you know, like he is actually a woman, he was Team Jacob when reading the Twilight saga or he likes the music of Jewel) he totally has my vote! But, hands down, the best part of any political rally are the signs that everyone brings. Love those! Dad and I brought 6 different ones between us. They were fun to make too- I felt like such an activist! So here are some of the highlights from the morning...

The gathering angry mob

More Mob

Ack, my Dad is part of the Mob! Wait, so was I....

Dad had some great signs. People loved this one!

Our friends Brenda Serpas, Nick Adams and Shelby Watson braved the rain and came with signs too.

I hadn't realized that Uncle Sam was so tall. His pictures on all those posters never really hint at that.

I gotta get me a big tall sign next time. Those were cool.

Yes, there are so many options when making a sign. You can go with the witty:

The tongue-in-cheek: (but in this case, totally accurate!!)

The kind of creepy but really funny:

The brutally honest: (neener, neener!)

The eloquent: (no one says it better than our Founding Fathers)

The misspelled!!!! Which just makes us all look bad... COME ON, PEOPLE!!!!

REALLY?? Oh, the humanity!

This one too:

Or the just plain awesome :)

Note to self: don't use that blue marker anymore....

But really, if you feel even a hint of desire to attend a rally or Tea Party near you- GO! It is very empowering and nothing makes you feel more patriotic. Plus, if Obamacare passes, we are all gonners and we have very limited time left on Earth. Just sayin'....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Ultimate Compliment

I was chatting with my sis-in-law Misty on Facebook yesterday. I was mentioning to her that, after the death of our family computer last month, if our new laptop were ever to die too, I would jump off a building. She types "No, don't do that!" (I was touched...) And then she types "We would miss your blog too much" AWWWWHHHHHH! SO SWEEEEEEEET!!! Seriously, Misty, that ruled :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cindy's very own princess

This past weekend we all got a surprise visit from Cindy's Aunt KaRyn. She flew in for Labor Day weekend from Los Angeles. And no one could have been more excited than Cindy. She absolutely LOVES KaRyn. Because KaRyn is beautiful, stylish, she's really nice to Cindy, she wears lipstick, she likes to chew gum, she has amazing shoes and all of this adds up to the fact that, to Cindy, KaRyn is a princess and she wants to be just like her. Cindy literally followed her around for the entire three days. She even got to have a sleepover at Grandma's. (However, if you want the true definition of a fallen crest, imagine Cindy when she realized she wasn't actually going to sleep in KaRyn's bed. Oh, the disappointment!) And Monday afternoon Cindy called me from the airport crying because they just dropped KaRyn off and had told her goodbye. KaRyn is never here long enough :)

And even Luke enjoys a visit from KaRyn. See?

Uncle Nathan where are you?!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

True Confessions of the Cougar Faithful

It is so hard to be a BYU football fan. Don't get me wrong, I love my Cougars. I have pretty much been rooting for them since I was a fetus. I was born in Provo. I cheered for them as a toddler when I didn't even know what football was. I had BYU t-shirts and sweatshirts that I wore to school in the midst of Florida football royalty. I attended and graduated from BYU and went to every home football game my freshman year. I love Cougar football. But I am convinced that there is not a team out there that keeps you on the edge of your seat or gives you ulcers, game after game, like BYU. I have noticed that there are four key elements to any typical BYU football game:

1. Multiple Hail Mary's (that either turn the tide or get ridiculously picked)
2. Fumbles (usually on the 3-yard line when we're about to score a touchdown or a dropped punt return somewhere near our own 5-yard line)
3. Eleventy twelve bizarre penalties that make us look like we have never even played football before
4. A game-deciding field goal in the last minute of play

Seriously, I don't think I have watched a BYU football game in the past 5 years that didn't use this recipe. Yes, they upset No. 3 Oklahoma this past weekend. And I could not be more proud. They even got moved from No. 20 in the AP Poll to No. 9! But let's face it, when it comes to the possibility of them crashing the BCS- I am not holding my breath. If I am being brutally honest, it is typical BYU to bring down a Goliath one week, only to lose to Little Sisters of the Poor the next. Consistency hasn't exactly been their trademark. But do I love them? Yup. Always have, always will. But for this year I am simply wishing for a conference championship and a bludgeoning of Utah. Let's just work on that, shall we? We can talk about the BCS later.

p.s. Thanks to Jen for the picture :) Yeah, I totally and completely stole it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

2009 Tour de Tow (And I do mean Tow...)

This past Saturday was the Tour de Tow in Bartow, FL. It is a cylcing ride (Not a race!) that takes you through the back roads of Bartow and Homeland. I did the tour last year as somewhat of a prep for my first triathlon, and since I had such a good time, I invited my friend Davina and her family to come along this year. They were awesome because they let me borrow, not only a nice child bike trailer for bringing Cindy, but also a nice mountain bike to ride in order to tow her. Quite a different experience being on a mountain bike and towing an extra 40 pounds for 18 miles! It was not like my road bike, that's for sure.

So here are the groovy highlights of the morning (brought to you exclusively by Davina, photog of the day):

Getting ready for the ride, Cindy was very nervous. Not sure why. Am I that bad of a driver?

I am definitely not making that face because the ride was uphill the entire way and my quads and calfs were burning like an oil fire in the Middle East. Puh-lease! I was totally just being a goofball...

This sweet photo was on (my hometown newspaper). Please ignore the giant horse face, the real star of the show is in the background...

At the halfway mark there was a snack/water station at IMC Park. They had some trails that lead into a thick, dense, spider-infested forest, so naturally we let the kids out to run around. Here is Cindy with Becca and Alyssa.

After the race and makin' a face.

They gave all the riders a nice orange "cool down" towel. They quickly turned into cool down sarongs, turbans, capes, etc. The girls loved them.

Awwwwh, shucks! So did I, darnit!
And by the way, I declare this photo "THE WORST PHOTO OF ME EVER TAKEN"- seriously, It is so awful. But at least I am laughing about it :)

And for the best news EVER!!!! Look at the goodie bag/endless hours of entertainment they gave me :)
A proud addition to my Save the Planet canvas collection....