Monday, April 30, 2012

Would you expect anything less from us?

Luke got those melty beads for his birthday.  I would say we have been using them very wisely...

Yep, you can find just about anything on the Internet :)  Luke pretty much did all the Star Wars ones completely by himself.  I simply pulled up a picture on Google and away he went.  Back and forth and back and forth from the computer to the table where he was working - it was actually pretty cute to watch.  And if you think these things are impressive at all, take a look at some of the stuff other people are making with fuse beads....

Mom, this is your Mother's Day present.  Hope you like it!  Yeah, right.  I know you won't.  
You'll LOVE IT!!

"Jefe, would you say there is a "plethora" of video game sprites and Pokemon creatures when you search for melty bead patterns on the Internet?"

"Oh, yes.  There is a plethora, El Guapo."

I need to make this for Jacob.  Father's Day is right around the corner, you know.

And isn't this thing ridiculous?  Amazing!

And now I need to get back to work on my melty bead masterpiece, which is a picture of the super annoyed look on Jacob's face when he found out he actually had to show up to jury duty this morning.  So sorry, dear :(  Whenever they pass that law allowing you to trade jury duty with someone else, I know exactly who to call ;)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Heart Lakeland

My parents told me that when they decided to move to Lakeland (back in 1987) it was simply because they looked at a map and thought, "That looks like a good place."  Wow, now there's a story!  But recently I have come to realize what a good pick that was all those years ago.  As a quasi-lifelong resident, I think I finally appreciate Lakeland.  For starters, it is in a wonderful location - right between Tampa and Orlando and close to everything from the beach to theme parks to cruise ports to sports teams. There are A LOT of really cool things we have access to that most other places don't. Secondly, Lakeland is actually a very beautiful city. It has wonderful lakes and parks, multi-million dollar properties and the sunsets here are second to none.  And one more thing it has is a lot of stuff to do around the community.  Lots of festivals, parades, events, etc.  Case in point, Friday night I took the kids to The Lakeland Derby, which is a fundraiser event at Lake Mirror where they race swan-shaped paddle boats for charity.  The swan is the official mascot/animal/waterfowl of Lakeland.  They pattern this event like the Kentucky Derby, so the paddle boat racers all have jockey-esque shirts, they have a hat contest, the surrounding bars and restaurants serve mint juleps, etc.  But they also had tons of kids activities, live music, food and even fireworks.  We had a great time and I managed just a few pictures....

Luke gave up on the cookie and just ate a cup or two of frosting.  Course #1 for dinner.

Cindy made that visor herself !


(Course #2 for dinner)

And they're off!  The kids were actually very uninterested in the paddle boat races.  The flare/firework they used to start the races scared the jinkies out of Cindy and she was not amused after that.  

Playing at the park while the sun goes down...

Cindy's climbing skills on display.

Sunset at Lake Mirror.  This is actually the lake where our Sweeney family Christmas pictures were taken two years ago.

And if you notice my right hand in this picture, it is inside a bag of kettle corn.  My kryptonite! I cannot resist its sweet and savory goodness!!  (Also, Course #3 for dinner.)

So what did I feed my children after all that vitamin-packed food we had for dinner?

Course #4- Krispy Kreme Donuts.

At ten o'clock we stopped by Krispy Kreme to use Cindy's straight A report card to get a free half dozen donuts.  I mean, it had been almost 20 minutes since we had had the Kettle corn, so basically we were almost dead from lack of sugar.  Whew! Close call...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

I am here at a bi-stake dance in Port Charlotte and I just got asked probably what is my all-time favorite dance request question ever. It is when I tell a kid that, yes, he can make a request and then he asks "What songs do you have?" It's all I can do to not open the CD book and read him the name of each song one by one. It's like going into the library and asking the librarian what books they have. Call me crazy but usually to make a request you need to actually have one in mind!!!!

And in case you were wondering, What Makes You Beautiful by OneDirection just brought down the house :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Luke Quickie

Today after I picked up Luke from preschool I asked him if his teacher read him a book.  He said yes and then started telling me that it was all about tarantulas, anacondas and even bats.  He told me all about how poisonous the snakes are, that the tarantulas are really hairy and that there is even a kind of bat that eats animals alive and then they die in its stomach.  When you think Luke is not listening, he really is listening all the time - this I have learned.  Well, fast forward to about 4 hours later when I picked up Cindy at the bus stop and took the kids straight to DeAnne's house to swim.  DeAnne was there and I showed her this large bump that Luke has on his leg that I first noticed last night.  Not sure what it is or what it came from, but we both thought it was strange.  And then DeAnne, very jokingly said to Luke, "I think you got bit by a bat!"  She obviously just picked the first thing that came to her mind and was being silly, but the coincidence of Luke having just learned about killer bats was too funny.  His face was a little mortified at that news and he has now been referring to his "bat bite" all night long.  (By the way, DeAnne, this story should not make you feel bad.  It's hilarious :)

And then this is the conversation I just heard between Luke and Cindy.

Luke:  My bat bite is hurting.
Cindy: It's not a bat bite.
Luke: Yes it is!
Cindy: When do you remember getting bit by a bat?
Luke:  I don't know.  Maybe it was hiding in the grass and I didn't see it.
Cindy: *shakes head and sighs.....*

Kids are the best :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cinco de Luke-o

As most of you know, Luke turned the big 5 on Monday!  We had a small get together with the Grandmas and Grandpas for "cake" and presents.  Cindy got the doughnut cake she always wanted on her birthday, so Luke indeed got the Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll concoction of his dreams.  I had planned on doing an Avengers theme for this one, but at the last minute Luke called an audible and I was suddenly scrambling for all things Power Rangers.  Good thing I bought him two of those little guys in the past few months.

That gun he is holding was a huge hit.  It was just some random, noisy Walgreens gun/knife toy that he absolutely LOVES.  I would never have guessed! Good call, Mom.

Trick candles are always a good time.

Love this face he's making...

Cindy was more than ready to help.  As usual when it comes to presents.

And thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Sweeney for the new bike!  Not the best picture, but he has been riding this thing for three days straight.  Even has the band-aids on both knees to prove it :)

(Please take note of the outfit he is wearing.  Halloween shirt with patchwork shorts.  This is what happens when I say, "Today is your birthday so wear whatever you want!")

Finally, I also have to give major props to Luke's BFF Ben Bailey for giving him the most awesome toy car I have ever seen.  The only question is, where do I order the actual life-size Stormtrooper car?  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's Wacky! It's Wednesday!

Top Ten Tuesday has been basically been a failure, let's face it. Top Ten Wednesday however, has been a roaring success! So here's another winner for you :)

I was reading a story the other day about the favorite recipes of President Obama. I guess the White House chef really has his work cut out for him!  (thanks Dad and Dave for the input)


10. German shepherd's pie
9. Fettuccine al Fido
8. Golden brown retriever
7. Bichon Frise with mixed greens
6. Puppy joes
5  Quarter hounder with cheese (don't tell Michelle)
6. Chili con Collie
5. Pooched eggs on toast
4. Whippet pot pie
3. Special K-9 with berries
2. Leftover Rover
1. Beggin' Strips

(If you are missing the reference like some people (Brian) just understand that it recently came to light that Obama ate dog meat as a child.  And we conservatives are determined to have as much fun with this fun fact as the Democrats are having with Romney and his dog :)

And as an added bonus from me to you, here are the most awesome photoshop pictures that go with this theme.  (I DON'T OWN ANY OF THESE PHOTOS.  Just so we're clear.) But they are 100% grade A hilarious...

How did I not think of this?

And this has got to be the clear winner....

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Luke Quickie

I have to confess something I don't want to, but the truth hurts. We are having a little bit of a roach problem in our house right now. Okay, it's Florida, who doesn't have a roach problem, right?  But between the rains that have come the last week and all the leaves and trees in our yard, we are seeing quite a few of the little guys around here lately that are trying to get in to stay dry. This is bad enough, but too add to the fun, Luke is deathly afraid of roaches. Well, all bugs in general. He shrieks in a manner only akin to being brutally murdered at even the slightest sight of anything buggy- daddy long legs, bee, moth, ant, whatever. It's a little embarrassing. Okay, it's actually A LOT embarrassing. His reaction to the one time there was a jumping spider in the car almost made me crash and die in a fiery explosion. The other day his preschool teacher even told me "Wow, Luke is really afraid of spiders isn't he?" It is NOT. GOOD. Anyway, last night at 3:43am Luke calmly woke me up to tell me that there was a roach in his room. I came in to find a little one crawling near the baseboard of his bed. I could not for the life of me figure out why he was so calm. I had heard no weeping, wailing or gnashing of teeth before he woke me, so what was going on? Finally after church today I asked him how he didn't scream when he saw it. He said, "I just screamed really, really quietly so I wouldn't wake you up. Then I wiped off my tears and came and got you." And that is the SADDEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE. He truly is the most considerate spaz I have ever met.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Consider Yourself High-Fived

I know that every time you see that I have updated this blog, you give a high five to the air anyway, but today you need to give it some extra umph, will ya? Because today is actually National High Five Day! (*Air five!) And is there anything more awkward than either the missed high five or the getting left hanging high five attempt? Maybe just a video showing awkward high fives! (*Double air five!)

From me to  you, enjoy these high five fails :) The first one has to be my all-time favorite...


By the way, if you say "high five" over and over and over and over again, it sounds really weird.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Just Remembered!

As promised, here is the top ten list provided by my dad. Which he provided for me over the phone while out riding his mountain bike...


10. Hiking sucks
9.  Hiking shoes suck
8.  Sleeping bags suck
7.  Really cold weather sucks
6.  Trail food sucks
5.  Camping sucks
4.  Backpacking sucks
3.  The wilderness sucks
2. Elevation sucks
1. But AYCE ribs and classic car show do not suck

Yeah, you'll have to ask them about their trip ;)  And in case you didn't check my Facebook page today (yeah, right, like who doesn't read that at least twice before 9am?), give this a look-see while you are obviously wasting time on things with little importance:

Light saber limbo?!  As Luke says, "You gotta do it right or else you get your head cut off!" The Empire doesn't mess around.  Except for a little shuffelin' :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Luke Quickie

Last Friday my mom bought Luke a bow and arrow set from the dollar store.  He absolutely loves this thing and has become quite good at launching the arrows. (I found out this morning that he can successfully shoot it from the toy living room into the kitchen sink.) Anyway, as he and Cindy were playing with it on Saturday, I overheard Luke say "Actually, this shouldn't be called a bow and arrow because it comes with three arrows. So really it should be called a bow and arrow and arrow and arrow." I will not be calling it that. Just so you know.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


In case you were wondering, my carousel cake ended up selling for.....$22! I'm shocked! Thanks to the sweet Parker family for being so generous on behalf of the Boy Scouts :)

And in either the strangest twist of fate or sweet tender mercy, Cindy ended up winning the chocolate cake she wanted soooooo badly for only $5. Seeing as how most all the cakes were selling for $20+ minimum, I am not sure how this really happened. I don't know if everyone in the gym suddenly went deaf, temporarily became allergic to chocolate or if Flora, Fauna and Merryweather came and put everyone into a deep sleep, but when that cake was put on the auction block, Cindy came out the winner and it was like Christmas in April. She was one happy, happy girl :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

And who'll give me a quarter?

Tonight is the annual Boy Scout Pinewood Derby/spaghetti dinner fundraiser up at the church. We have yet to actually attend this function since living here~ something is always going on or we have had dances to DJ, but this year we are THERE! And since they always have a dessert auction at the end of the night, I finally had a reason to make this Carousel Cake that I saw in a cookbook my mom gave me about infinity Christmases ago. Really! I have been waiting years to make this cake. How much will it go for? My fondest wish is for anything over a nickel :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cake Boss

I realized that I never actually officially put pictures of Cindy's birthday and cake on here. I put it on Facebook, but it needs to be immortalized properly.

Cindy LOVES Krispy Kreme doughnuts and she kept joking about a birthday cake made of them. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was sheer genius! (And my mom's BOGO coupon for KK doughnuts was a sign straight from heaven this was meant to be. Thanks Mom!)

In order to include Dad in enjoying the hot, fresh doughnuts, I had to get them at 5:30am from our local Krispy Kreme so I could be back to eat it and do presents by 6am. The things we do for our cravings- I mean, kids, right?

Sleepy, but very surprised and happy :)

They were every bit as delicious as they look!

Dive rings, clothes, a CTR ring and other goodies for her day.

Seeing as how this was the easiest and tastiest cake I have ever 'made' I decided that Luke's cake will be much the same idea. Today, in fact, I realized exactly what to make his cake out of in two weeks. Stay tuned for that one!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In Honor of Pa

My dad leaves this morning for Tennessee to go hiking/camping for three days in the backwoods of the Smoky Mountains with my brother Chris. (Don't worry, he's a doctor.) On Sunday we were talking about the possibility of tangling with bears on his trip, and this comedy clip from Jim Gaffigan kept coming to mind. The whole thing is hilarious, but right around the 2:45 mark is where the bear jokes come in.

By the way, I remembered we wrote TWO top tens last week, so I have more than done my duty for this week! I'm a girl, not a machine, people. Besides, I already discussed with Pa that he will be in charge of next week's post-Tennessee top ten list. And now, enjoy Mr. Gaffigan.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Was it Tuesday?

While I ponder the answer to that question, here is a quasi Luke quickie. There is a phrase he uses from time to time that I absolutely adore. It is what he says when telling me about preschool usually. He gets very excited and says "Oh and mom here is something very exciting that Miss Fitzsimmons told me today, and actually it makes me a little scared too, but...."

The first time he said that he was telling me about going on a "bear hunt" with his class and another time it was about the teacher telling him that the school year was almost over. Luke is, in the immortal words of Uncle Rico, just a tender little guy :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

The following announcements come on behalf of the Queen of Sweeneyville by royal proclamation:

1. Her Majesty's dryer has been fixed!

(This picture is clearly not of Her Majesty herself, this is a sweaty handmaiden who is acting as her stand-in.)

2. The Prince and Princess of Sweeneyville have colored eggs and they are glorious!

3. As is custom at Easter, The Royal Rosa is hereby declared the most favored of all the woodland creatures in Sweeneyville.

(Is this not the most awesomest picture of Rosa ever? Look at those crazy rabbit eyes!!)