Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Numbers Don't Lie

Come on, admit it.  You loved it last time around...

Vacation by numbers:

Number of speeding tickets, accidents and smartphones we had on the trip

Items we lost.
My South McKeel Elementary car magnet!!!  How did that come off?? Bummer.

Times we heard the song "Call Me Maybe", which includes times it was on in a store or restaurant

Times we heard the song "Rumor Has It" by Adele

Highest Elevation in feet we achieved (driving out of Denver)

Elevation in feet of my house in Lakeland

Number of actual "Rest Stops" we used on the trip

Number of pictures I took

LDS temples visited

approximate miles we drove in total

total times Luke threw up in the car

number of teenage softball players staying at our hotel in Kansas City

number of states we drove through

number of plates we didn't find in the License Plate game.  
We'll get you next time New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont!!!

least expensive gas we saw

most expensive gas we saw

average price of gas when we needed to fill up

Pounds of ice cream or dessert I ate on the trip.  During the first week.

Total number of waffles consumed by my children.

Movies watched during the drive.  NONE were Star Wars :)

Times we had to open the car windows because Luke ate too much sausage at breakfast that morning.
Seriously, we learned on this trip that Luke is capable of smells you could not imagine.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Cindy Quickie

The last morning we spent in a hotel on vacation was in Birmingham, Alabama.  We just had to drive home that day, so we took our time checking out.  For some reason Cindy felt the need to take a little of the burden off of the housekeeping lady at the hotel.  Without anyone asking her, Cindy made up the sleeper couch and put it back together, then she made the king bed, neatly pulling the sheets up, arranging the pillows and even putting the runner at the foot of the bed.   She also convinced Luke to pitch in a little bit.  I think she was feeling very proud of herself for the work she had done, and perhaps borderline smug, as evidenced by the note she left for the housekeeper:

Saturday, July 28, 2012


We all know many of Aesop's famous fables, but they recently found some new ones he wrote a little later on in life.  Take a look, they teach some valuable lessons.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl who had never ridden an ATV before.  So while on a trip near the magical land of Panguitch, Utah, she decided to ride on the back of one, while her brother-in-law drove.  She was delighted and thrilled as she was driven all around the wondrous trails and back roads of the local lodge, but was utterly horrified when all at once it was discovered that her brother-in-law had flattened a tiny chipmunk with the driving machine.  The moral of the story:  A man is known by the number of ground squirrels he assassinates.

Years ago a young woman and her two children ventured to a recreation center to jump on trampolines with the young woman's brother and his wife.  After having much fun playing basketball and dodgeball, they decided to jump off trampolines into giant pits filled with rectangular foam bricks.  The young woman's brother elected to vault himself very high into the hair and land in a prostrate position. When he got out of the pit, he realized he had made a very poor decision. The moral of the story: Misfortune will surely befall him who belly flops unwisely.

An older brother once dared his younger brother to stand under the frigid waterfall of Mossy Cave Creek.  In return for this act, the younger brother would receive 40 gold coins.  The brother, fearing the extreme temperature of the flow, declined the offer.  His wife, however, was tremendously brave and immediately trudged into the icy cold water where she counted to five and then collected her money. Later that day, the same brother challenged the same younger brother to smash his face into a plate of lemon cream pie.  In return for this act he would receive ten gold coins.  The younger brother promptly covered his face in pie, thus earning the coins. The moral of the story:  A software engineer and his money are soon parted by those unafraid of cold water and pastry.

Back in the Saddle

In the grand Bingham tradition of giving chimpanzee-related birthday cards and treats to each other, 
well, here ya go:

It's not as good as knitting you a sweater out of eyelashes or tears, but it's still beautiful.

And wowee, wow, wowzers! I am finally home. And seeing as how Cindy is off trying to find friends to play with and Luke is playing Lego Star Wars in a glazed-over, coma-like state of mind, it's kind of like we never left!! We took six days to drive out to Utah and three to come home, so I was thinking the trip home would be HORRIFIC. But while the starting two, 14-hour days in a row were a little long, they were very manageable with my awesome children and their bladders of steel. In fact, on Wednesday we left Utah at 6:30am and only had to make two stops before we made it to Amarillo, TX for the night. Killer! There is so much to say and to re-cap about this trip- but I promise to be quick and post 12,000 words a day so I can be done telling you all about it by September. Let's start it off with a little comparison shot. Here are my children sitting on a log near Bryce Canyon when we went down to the Panguitch family reunion three years ago:

And here are my children this year after I made them hike about half a mile back to the exact same log to take this picture. They were in SUCH a good mood by then...

I love that Luke is still wearing a Spiderman shirt all those years later.

And hopefully Monday I will be handing out my 2012 Roadie Awards, where we find out who was the MVP of the road trip- the GPS or my kids. It's going to be a nail biter!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Already Sunday?

Wow, this trip just keeps getting better! We left Panguitch and got back into Salt Lake on Saturday afternoon. The best part is that we got to make an impromptu side trip to see the Manti Temple, which I have ALWAYS wanted to see in real life. It was INCREDIBLE. I was not disappointed when I saw it. Gorgeous! After we got back into town and found grandma's new house, we got ready to go and see a Real Salt Lake soccer game. Bonus: Brian and Kelly came along! Double bonus: free Pioneer Day Fireworks after the game! Quite an impressive display! Today was spent heading to two more temples, checking out grandma and grandpa's new ward and hanging out with family. Including Brian and Kelly because DeAnne is the nicest person on the planet :-)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Still Alive

Well, we completed the trip to Utah. finally made it into Panguitch about 5pm yesterday and we were really grateful to be out of the car :-). The trip out was actually pretty great. I have desperately been trying to upload photos on here, but I absolutely can't get Blogger to cooperate! It's probably something with the app or Android, but I keep trying just in case. We had a great time in Kansas City; we took the kids to Liberty Jail and the Independence Visitor's center. I really loved getting to know a little more about church history, it really was fascinating. the drive to Denver was good, the experience in Denver was NOT. one day I will elaborate on the story of our bumped hotel room and having to stay in a part of town so sketchy I was glad Jacob had his gun. Not cool, Marriott. But alas, we are here with family and friends and having a great time. Hiking today, horseback riding tomorrow and the best part of all is you need a jacket in the morning and at night. In July!!!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Temple #1

Hopefully this will be the first of many temples we see along our journey :-) Bill and Susie, I thought of you!

World of Coca-Cola

I thought I would upload a few pics from our trip from yesterday. We had a great time :-)

Luke having a coke from a bronze pharmacist.

Time to drink some Beverly!  It's an Italian coke drink.

Luke did not care for Beverly.

BEHOLD: The Vault Containing the secret formula!!!!

A Luke Quickie

Yesterday as we made our way to Atlanta we told the kids that we would be there in about 3 hours.  After I said this, it apparently started to sink in for Luke, who very excitedly said, "Hey, my school I go to is only three hours......AND THAT ISN'T EVEN THAT LONG AT ALL! Who-hoo! " I forget that being a kid also means not being equipped with any sense of time whatesoever. 

Anyway, Atlanta was wonderful. We decided that a trip to World of Coca-Cola was the perfect way to kill the few hours we had before heading on to Chattanooga and then Columbia, TN to see my brother and his family.  It was a cute little place!  As long as you go into it accepting that it really is just a giant commercial for Coke (I mean, what else is there to say about it?) then you will have a fun time.  And you get to taste over 60 varieties of Coke from around the world and take your own glass bottle of Coke home with you, so how could you go wrong?  Even better is that now Cindy is a little obssessed with the whole "Secret Formula"- which is a huge part of the World of Coke museum.  We explained it to her in terms of Spongebob and the secret formula for Krabby Patties and how Plankton is always trying to steal it.   She has now decided that she wants to work at the Coke Museum when she grows up so she can know what's in the secret formula.  Boy will she be disappointed.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Sweeneys Went Down To Georgia

Well, we started our trip! Everything has gone exactly as planned. Maybe endlessly planning things out really works sometimes?? Today we drove to Atlanta and had dinner with my friend Christina @ Gladys Knights Chicken and Waffles. And we did have chicken and waffles! I also had some Mac and cheese, some BBQ turkey legs, and a broccoli casserole that was pretty good.  And of course, seeing Christina was awesome.  Sure wish she would move back down to our neck of the woods :-)  Our hotel here is great, the kids can't control their excitement.  They fight over who will use the key to open the door, who will turn on the fireplace, who will turn off the foreplace, who will get which side of the bed- it is great!  For now I am exhausted and can't wait to fall asleep on my Marriott mattress :)  P.S.  you will have to forgive my editing as I continue to figure out blogging on the tablet....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Am a Fan of Delicious Friendship Too

My awesome friend Susie recently took a trip to New York City.  While there, she got the chance to visit the NBC Universal Store and take a little look-see at what she brought back for me!!!

My very own Psych foam pineapple!  I love this thing!  Thank you, Susie!!!  Deep down I reeeeeeally want to take it on my road trip and have it photo bomb every picture I take, but my rational side will probably win out in the end. Sigh.

And in other exciting pineapple news, we finally cut down and ate the pineapple from my backyard and would you believe that it was THE BESTEST TASTING PINEAPPLE I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! And I have been to Hawaii twice.  So that is saying something!

Here is a really horrible, grainy picture of me cutting it up.  

And now we get to wait for yet ANOTHER pineapple!  We just discovered this guy about a week ago.  I will now refer to it as, "My precious...."

 See, me and pineapples were just meant to be :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Stay Nerdy, My Friends

Today's meme features "The Most Interesting Man In The World", star of the commercials for Dos Equis beer.  The original ad campaign features a very handsome and mature Renaissance man and is completed with the tagline, "I don't always drink beer, but when I do, it's Dos Equis."  For this meme you simply keep the picture of this suave spokesman and insert your own, "I don't always...but when I do...." phrase.  Usually, it is to demonstrate some sort of personal irony.  Thus,

(Not on purpose, of course.)

For me....

For Jacob....

 For Luke...

Here is The Most Interesting Pirate in The World....

There is also a related meme that is really gaining some ground.  
Behold, "The Most Interesting Cat in the World!" 


Finally, I had to add this one just because it made me chuckle....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

To CVS And Beyond!

Good news! I have discovered yet another low-level superhero power that I have. Besides being pretty good at guessing which way my food will be facing in the microwave when the timer goes off, I also possess the power to always be behind a person at a Redbox kiosk that has absolutely no idea what he wants.  And 9 times out of 10, I only need to return my disc.  And it's 8:57pm.

In other news, we are gearing up for the road trip!  I have spent HOURS and HOURS planning this out.  Hotels, restaurants, points of interest, scenic drives, car games, snacks, rest stop locations, gas prices- wow, if Jacob didn't love me before, he has to love me now.  And just like telling Cindy you are thinking about getting out the decorations at Christmastime, NEVER tell Cindy that you are thinking about starting to pack for a trip.  You will never hear the end of it.  Maybe the fact that I don't strangle her when she gets in these tunnel vision modes is yet another super power I possess.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Luke Quickie

When we were at the baseball game on Wednesday I was telling Luke that when he grew up he could get a job as a mascot and actually be the guy inside the tiger suit.  His eyes got really big as he thought about the idea.  Then finally he said, "I think I want to be that guy when I grow up!!  Only don't tell Ben (his best friend) because I told him I wanted to be a policeman, only I DON'T."  Luke was very serious when telling me this.  The burden of carrying this secret is going to crush him for sure.

And speaking of jobs, over the last the month or so I have heard Cindy tell me that she wants to be just about everything in the world.  Professional bowler, kitten worker at the SPCA, the girl that sells ice cream at the ballpark, pool cleaner, a coach of some kind, and then this morning she changed it to Lakeland Electric meter reader after I told her about the strange man in our yard reading our electric meter and what he gets to do all day.   It will be awesome to see what she actually ends up doing in life.  (Personally, I am really pulling for pro bowler...)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's What The Founding Fathers Would Have Wanted

Wow, Fourth of July was awesome this year!  I hope you enjoyed yours just as much.  It started early at our ward pancake breakfast, which, truth-be-told, I would be tempted to skip most years- but since Jacob and I count this as an "anniversary" of sorts, we always seem to pry ourselves out of bed in time to enjoy the fastest ward activity of the year.  After that we headed to a friend's house for burgers, swimming and relaxing.  Cindy swam for a solid three and a half hours and loved every second of having other kids to play with. And so did I!  It was great company and great food :)  We only had to drag Cindy out of the pool because we were heading up to the Lakeland Flying Tigers baseball game with my parents.  Now, most times us Binghams like to do our own fireworks.  It's kind of a tradition.  But this year I just didn't want the hassle.  I wanted to take the kids to a big display, but really didn't want to fight any crowds just to find a seat on the uncomfortable ground somewhere in a mosquito-infested park.  So the ballpark was the perfect solution because we could take in America's pastime, eat some ballpark food, and then watch a very good display all from an actual seat.  And it was fabulous! (For less than the price of buying our own fireworks too).  I think we found our new 4th of July tradition.  If only the Tigers could have pulled out a win and made the game a little more exciting.  Although we did get to see a home run :)

Luke loved the mascots.  He said he wanted to be one when he grows up.  Sweeneys think big.

Jacob just recently taught the kids how to play the "slaps" game, which the kids love to challenge him on whenever we have any time to kill.

 Luke still takes a mean picture of Mom and Dad.

I want to beat my daughter.

While Cindy and Dad went to another section for the chance at possibly getting a foul ball, we all had ice cream.  Luke's always comes with bonus mustache and goatee.

Peanuts all over the floor and my rockin' patriotic toenails.  It's how I do my part.

The kids had a great time and I definitely want to do this again next year.  The fireworks display itself was wonderful.  Almost a full 15 minutes long and set to some great patriotic music.  And the absolute best part was when they put on the song America The Beautiful by Ray Charles.  Have you ever seen the movie "The Sandlot"?  The kids in that movie only play one "night game" of baseball over the summer and it is always on July 4th under the fireworks of their neighborhood.  That scene in the movie is one of the best, home-town patriotic salutes I have ever seen in a movie.  It gets me every time.  It is set to America the Beautiful by Ray Charles and so last night I finally got to have my own "Sandlot" moment.  It's definitely a night I will remember......

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's About That Time

To break forth, the rhythm and the rhyme! I'm Jessica Jess and I'm here to move- oh, sorry for my impromptu Marky Mark lyrics.  What I really meant to say is it's about that time for Meme Monday!

Today I will focus on a Pinterest specialty.  These memes are called "Some ecards."  Yes, it is the dumbest name ever.  Hard to say, easy to forget.  Anyway, they all feature a bright, solid colored background and then some sort of hand sketched drawing (a lot of times of people from the 18th century) coupled with a observation about life, pop culture, or the annoying behavior of others. I have delved through all the hypercritical (and most of the time, inappropriate) ones, to find a few that deserve a harmless laugh.

Molly, Karin....I have a list for each of you.

Especially in a sombrero.

If I were on the radio...

True Love.

Although the tracker jackers would still get me in 2 seconds...

You have a blog?

Nailed it.