Monday, March 31, 2014

Temple Run

As part of a birthday promise to Cindy, we made the trek down to Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday to walk through the new temple.  The drive down was pleasant and an extra bonus was that it was not 1,000 degrees down there yet!  Humid like an amazon rain forest in my shower, yes.  But not hot.  I loved the experience of being in the temple with my kids.  It was neat to get to show them the different rooms and explain why the temple is important.  Plus we got to show them a room similar to where we got married.  I think it was fun for them to finally put some sort of picture with that thought.  My parents came too and it was simply a great morning :)

(If you want to know a little more about Mormon Temples, click here.)

I also have discovered how much I love the photo editing program Picasa.  I had no idea how many cool effects you could do.  My blog pics will never be the same. 

And if you know me well, you know that whenever I travel anywhere new, I do a ton of research about local places to eat.  This time I found a place called Knucklehead Burgers and we headed there for lunch. Highly rated by and only about 10 minutes from the temple.  The only thing I knew going in was that it was a place like Five Guys.  Well, for me, this place was way better than Five Guys. 

 I had the Rodeo Burger and it looked like this:

And it tasted like this:


Dad got something with jalepenos and a fried egg, so he was also in heaven with me.  A little pricey for a burger, but I think it was well worth it.

And as of Sunday I am officially the mother of a child who is double digits in age.  Cindy hit the big TEN and we celebrated the day with swedish pancakes for dinner, a donut hole cake, presents and Grandma and Grandpa Bingham.   Ten years went WAY too fast for me...

I love this kid :)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Breakin' It Down

This week was Spring Break for us, so basically we have been out of touch with reality and completely enjoying a week where we get to sleep in for three extra hours every morning.  Blogging has taken a backseat for sure, but this is pretty much how the week went down:

SUNDAY:  After a hard days work at church, we began the week with making some homemade ice cream (in my new ice cream maker) and playing dominoes.  For the record, I beat Jacob in dominoes that night.  Not that that's a big deal because it pretty much happens ALL THE TIME, but you know, I just want to make sure that I mention it.  Just for posterity.  And so everyone will know that it happened.  

I made the ice cream with Almond milk and yellow cake mix.  Two thumbs up!

MONDAY:  Swimming at the pool.  The forecast called for a 70% chance of rain, but we were protected by some sort of magical force field and enjoyed three hours without a drop.

TUESDAY:  We got a piano!  And so it's been pretty much nothing but Heart and Soul for four days.  Non-stop.  Every fifteen minutes.  I am not sure where the final home of the piano is going to be.  For now it is in the front living room and it makes our house look even smaller than it already is.  (Is that even possible?)  Cindy will start piano lessons again soon.  I have started praying for whoever her teacher is going to be, because Cindy has already had a few meltdowns that she can't play the piano like the Sixth Brown yet.  Well, it has been four days....

WEDNESDAY:  A cold front came in the night before so the high that day was 66.  And how did we escape the frigid temps?  By going ice skating in a building that is kept at a solid 47 degrees!!! This outing was for Cindy's birthday and courtesy of a sweet deal I got on Groupon.  The kids and their friends had a lot of fun.  Those metal walker things helped them a TON and saved me from tearing my rotator cuff.  

***I don't have a picture, but this was also the day Jacob got his new Xbox One.*** 
And now we talk to our TV and it does what we say :)

THURSDAY:  I had to work, but I swear I had a visit from Grumpy Cat herself that morning! I wasn't wearing my glasses, but even when I told Cindy to come look out the window, she said, "Grumpy Cat!!!!"  so I am pretty sure it was her.  

FRIDAY:  Luke had a birthday party to attend, so while he went there, Cindy and I hit the Ft. Fraser trail to try out these bad boys:

She was on her bike and came along mostly for moral support, but after about 30 minutes I felt confident enough to ditch her at Grandma's and go for a seven mile jaunt. These skates are amazing! I highly recommend the K2 brand.  A little more expensive, but well worth it.   

And tomorrow we are heading here:

Fort Lauderdale Florida Mormon Temple

My kids have visited about 17 temples on the outside, but for the first time they will actually get to see the inside.  Ft. Lauderdale here we come!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Say What?

The other day while we were talking about all the members of our extended family that live in Oklahoma we discovered that Luke has a little bit of trouble pronouncing that word sometimes.  Don't believe me?


10. Okra Schmokra
9.  Yokahama
8.  Oprah's Gomers
7.  Uncle Homer
6.  Orks are loners
5.  Land of Goshen
4.  Oompla Loompa
3.  Urkle's Momma
2.  Dude's a goner
1.  Alex Boye

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dear Mom and Dad

I would like to issue a public apology to my parents for the slight panic that may have ensued last night when they received the almost-hysterical phone call from Cindy telling them that she and Luke were all alone because Jacob and I had mysteriously disappeared leaving them orphaned and vulnerable to an impending attack by a mass murderer.  Last night I went into the backyard to talk to Jacob as he monitored the pile of smoldering leaves from the day's earlier yard work.  That's it. We were standing in the backyard, poking at some leaves.  Cindy apparently called out our name inside the house and when we didn't answer within 5 seconds, it was obvious we were dead and she called my parents to come and save everyone.  My dad was playing the role of talking down the jumper, while my mom was perfecting her inner fireman by trying to get dressed and drive over to my house in 30 seconds or less.  When I told you that Cindy and Luke totally suck at looking for things, I was not kidding.  I'm so sorry padres.  Evidently we are not playing enough hide and seek around this place.  But at least it's good to know that Cindy can call for help in a fake emergency.   And even better to know that my parents really would be here in 30 seconds or less, regardless :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Prattle of Wounded Knee

So my good friend Davina had knee surgery this past week.  Thankfully it was just a knee scope and she will be back on her feet in no time.  You know, some people might take in a meal to help her out, others might babysit her children, but not me.  I will do my part by writing a top ten list.  I mean, I don't need to be all actually helping people out and stuff.  This one's for you, my friend!


10.  She decided to do some hands on research for the upcoming Young Women's camp theme of "Stand Ye on Holy Crutches"
9. Her "awesome" gland was getting too big, so she had half of it removed (You didn't know your awesome gland was in your knee, did you? Which explains why I have bad knees...)
8. She was tortured after the last rocket she launched veered about 2 degrees too much to the left and Air Force does not tolerate that kind of failure.
7. There was a small hole in her knee and so she decided to stick the hose in it and see how much water her leg could hold
6.  She tore her ACL while fighting someone who called her Vitamix a "blender"
5.  Michelle finally hired a hit man to take out her biggest competition once and for all :)
4.  Her knee was actually completely fine but she just got Obamacare and since everything is free, well, who WOULDN'T have surgery??
3.  It took a torn meniscus, but she finally beat Aaron at "The Ketchup Song" on Just Dance 4
2.  She will do anything to get out of going through car line
1.  Two words:  homemade fireworks

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Luke Quickie

On Friday night my dad took Luke to the father and son camp out for our stake.  (Jacob had prior commitments and could not go.)  Luke was very excited to go and I knew he was going to have a great time.  On Saturday morning when my dad came to my house and dropped him off, Luke was sitting in the front seat of the car, happy as a clam.  I came to the open car window and said, "Hey buddy, how was it?!"  He replied, "Awesome! And I only threw up two times!"  I am not sure what is going on with this boy and his innards- virus? lily-livered stomach lining? panty waste gag reflex?- who knows, but at least throwing up is no big deal to him.  Even my dad complimented him on how well he manages his upchucking.  I'

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Own Chicharito

Luke has been hard at work playing soccer again. Spring league this year is a "World Cup" theme, so each team is a different country.  Luke ended up on team Mexico, 
so basically they are very overrated and losing a lot.  Oooh, burn!!  Just kidding.  
They are doing just fine and Luke is even having some awesome moments.
 And a few not-so-awesome moments, i.e. like on Saturday when he stopped in the middle of the field during the game to raise his hand to his eyebrows to block the sun so he could take a moment and watch the skywriter that was overhead.  I mean, it was a skywriter, but come on! Focus, Jedi.

The other good news is that only 50% of the team is a full head taller than him this time, 
instead of the usual 90%.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Day In The Life

Yesterday when Luke got in the car after I picked him up from school he told me he wasn't feeling good.  He said he threw up after lunch and had a headache.  I asked him if he told his teacher and he said no.  Yep, that sounds like Luke!  I wasn't sure if he really threw up but when we got home, he hit the couch and did not get up until Cindy's softball game. He wasn't running a fever at all and when we got to the ballpark he started out a little sluggish but perked up when he found some friends, so I figured he was fine.  However, about 20 minutes into Cindy's game, he froze and looked at me with panicked eyes and said, "I think I need to throw up!"  Luke is a total traditionalist and the toilet is pretty much the one place he thinks he can throw up, so he started his way to the ballpark bathroom.  Ten steps in he did a horrendous belch and I thought we were all goners.  But nothing followed and so he told me he was gonna run for the bathroom.  That boy took off with speed I will never see again in this lifetime.  He was FLYING and just as he rounded the corner nearing the bathrooms, his whole body went airborne, limbs flailing, and he projectile vomited into the air in a spectacular display of technicolor yawn, some of which came back onto his clothes because of the direction of the wind.  I believe I saw this all happen in slow motion and can only say a silent prayer of thanks that no one was coming around the corner in the other direction at that moment.  He then stopped and looked at me as if to say, 'I just threw up OUTSIDE- what do I do now?' Throw up some more! was the apparent answer because no sooner had I caught up to him to pat his back and ask if he was okay, when more puke came out directly at my feet, causing me to jump in the air like an Olympic hurdler.  But that isn't even the best part! The best part is that all this happened in front of two full bleachers of parents and all the people eating their ballpark dinners at the picnic tables under the bathroom pavilion.  They didn't know they were going to get a meal and a show.  Ordinarily I would die of embarrassment from something like this, but the situation was just way too ridiculous and my only reaction was hysterical laughing.  Parenthood: Not for Wimps!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

When did I get so busy?

The bad news is that the blog has really taken a hit this week, but the good news is that the Blue and Gold banquet, Pinewood Derby, Cindy and Luke's Spring Music performance and a few more soccer and softball games are done for the week. Which gives me about 12 seconds to finish writing this blog post before I have to start it all over again.  The other good news is that I have spent hours reconstructing the anniversary video I made last year so I could add some more pictures to it and torture everyone again.  We have been married for thirteen years now.  I have reached the teens! I never thought that much time would pass, but it really feels like it happened in the blink of an eye.

Jacob, I love you :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Moment of Silence

Let us all take a moment to mourn the loss of fashion sense and also the obvious disappearance of the head designer at Nike Soccer, who has been kidnapped and replaced by The Duke of Kent, president of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet club.

I never thought in a million years that I would be longing for the Waldo uniforms of 2012-13, but that is the awkward position I find myself in today when the new uniforms for US Soccer were revealed. When I first saw the new kit, I didn't think it was that bad.  And then I saw this picture:

If you must, click here for the original image, which I do not own at all, nor would I want to.

And now I want to weep and die. This is the most un-American, non-masculine, tennis-esque uniform that ever was designed.  I mean, someone got paid for thinking of "all white with a collar"? In the same vein as Jim Gaffigan, I have to ask myself about the marketing meeting that took place to pitch this design.  It was some guy saying, "You know how people love to play soccer in a golf shirt?"   "Um, no, but go on."  "Well, the shirt could have a collar and be white.  And the shorts would be white.  And the socks would be white too.  And then you could go sailing right after the game and not even have to change."  "I love it.  It's not as good as your doctor's scrubs, but not bad."  Oy.  And the uniform carnage didn't stop there.  The Tampa Bay Bucs also released their new uniforms today and were obviously jealous of all the criticism US Soccer was getting because here is Nike's contribution to the other football:

I look ridiculous and I am not happy about it.
Another image I am glad I do not own.

What is going on at Nike??  These are better than the creamsicles of yesteryear, sure.  But do we have to look like we are wearing the game clock?  Why, Nike, WHY???

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bing Bong!

Before anyone gets too excited out there I just want to warn you that my picture taking skills, when compared to cruises past, are now horrible.  Call it trying to "live in the moment" and not live through a camera lens or call it just plain laziness- in the end, these are the best I could do. I am ashamed. And with that stellar introduction that just makes you tingle with excitement about how you have chosen to spend the next five minutes, you can scan the few pics I managed to snap.

It was raining when we left Port Canaveral, but finally at about 6:30pm I sorta found the first break in the clouds. 

Shortly after that picture a man who was feeling pretty loose by virtue of the libations onboard really wanted to take our picture for us.  He even made us take it twice.  Turned out to be one of the only pictures we took of both of us!

Friday night was my birthday, but since I did not have my camera with me to take a picture or video of the 5 Indian waiters singing Happy Birthday to me (which I will never stop regretting- I mean, the one little Indian guy even did the cha-cha-cha in between verses and clinged two little metal butter dish tops as cymbals!!! Why am I so lame??!), I recreated this picture on Sunday. Just so you can kinda pretend you were there.

As more proof of my questionable decision making skills, while I did not take a picture of my birthday night dinner or cake, I did remember to take this picture then next morning of the giant chunk of pineapple I launched off my plate and under the table next to me because I tried to cut it with the side of my fork and not a knife.  Yep, this is what my life has become.

Since we had already been to Nassau, we only spent about 2 hours on the island this time.  Last time we hit the Zoo, this time we hit a slave-carved staircase and a tiny little fort you had to pay one dollar to get into.  

Queen's Staircase and Fort Fincastle, respectively.  

Apparently the fort was never actually used for any defensive reason.  Those canons were never even fired.  Personally, canons are overrated anyways. I think the coconut bombs and pirate alarms from Swiss Family Robinson would have worked right well.

Me and my friend, Marcelo Felix.

Here is one of the weirdest trees in the whole world.

I think this is the crazy uncle of the womping willow.

Two years ago on this cruise we missed going to the Royal Caribbean's private island because of high winds. We never even saw it. This time we finally made it! And after having been there I am even more angry we missed it the first time.  It was absolute heaven.

And while I was chilling on the beach I noticed that my camera has a setting called "Vivid Color", which basically just jacks up the saturation level about 50%.  I normally don't like too much over the top correcting of photos, but I switched it to that setting while we were on the island and I don't feel bad about it one bit because the water and sky really were that blue and my regular camera settings were just not cutting it.  

And would you believe that Jacob pretty much refused to take any epic pictures of me seagull punching???  I got around that hurdle and took one from the comfort of my beach chair!

Heck, I even did a seagull KICK!

And I may have even done a rooster punch.  I think I have a problem. 

And here is the proof that if there is a cat within a 50 foot radius, I will find it.

Jacob kept the hardware streak alive by winning a gold and silver medal on the cruise.  
Gold for sand volleyball and silver for tolerance of the lack sand soccer skills by his spouse.  
I tried, I TRIED! That other team was full of ringers and secret soccer pros from Lithuania!

I also learned during this cruise that Jacob's ideal vacation is "sports camp" for adults. 
No, seriously.

And major brownie points go to Jacob for walking to the front of the tender boat for me to take this picture of our cruise ship just chilling out in the water.

Ever been on a cruise for the Super Bowl?  Well, you get three giant screens, theater seating, all the nachos and hot dogs you can eat and NO commercials.  Seriously, licensing agreements prevented us from seeing any of them.  And as it turned out that was pretty much the ONLY thing worth watching this time around.

It only took us THREE years, but we finally played ping pong on the cruise!  Here is a picture of my paddle opening a can of kick-bootie on Jacob.  The Dramamine was working hard at that moment, as I had to watch the ball go back and forth at the same time as the passing foaming waves out of the corner of my eye.

Another first we experienced was using the safe!  Why I brought $500,000 worth of diamonds with me this time around I still don't know, but it worked great.

I could stands what I could stand and I could stand it no more! This time around during the Super Bowl I buckled and ordered my first ever paid drink on a cruise. Virgin pina colada. Worth the $4? Actually, yes :)

Vivid color mode was still on.  But I think I looked that red in real life.

And what cruise would be complete without some towel animals?

Here we have the elephant dog who loves to watch TV...

                                          And here we have the librarian sloth.

I spent some time enjoying the parlor in our cabin...

Did I mention there was a TON of soccer on TV during this cruise?

Yep, I went to the top of the rock wall again.  Yep, I was scared out of my mind again.

And finally, once again, we ended up in the negative for how much we spent outside of tickets and tips.  If I had known we had a credit coming, I would have had TWO pina coladas! Dangit!

I do want to mention here, mostly as a reminder to myself, a few other moments that happened on this cruise that I found amusing.  The first being that the check-in agent referred to me as Jacob's "Sugar Momma" because the credit card was in my name. You know it! The second thing being that we saw one of the funniest editions of the Newlywed Game on board the ship. They do this on every cruise and this was the third one we have been to, but two of the couples- one being a very modest Indian couple and another being a very elderly couple that had been married over 60 years- kept misunderstanding the questions.  It created some very strange and wonderful moments.  Plus the Indian man's name was Aloysius.  Pronounced Al-oh-wish-iss.  Which is a name my brother Chris has been using as his default ridiculous name for 20 years! I have never heard it real life. Ever! Until that moment. I was kind of freaking out. And finally, the cruise director on this ship was the best one we've had so far.  I knew this the first day when we were doing our muster station safety drill and he was reviewing everything that would get you kicked off the boat- things like "lewd and offensive behavior, drunken insubordination, throwing things overboard, or being a fan of Justin Bieber."  He was really harsh on JB the whole time.  It was glorious. And he ended every single ship announcement with a high- pitched and happy "Bing Bong!"  Which I will now start doing in Primary, just make things exciting :)