Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Luke Quickie

Today when I picked up Luke from school he told me it was the greatest day ever.  Every day for the last ten days of school his teacher is letting the class pop a balloon that has a surprise inside. Surprises like extra recess time or take off your shoes or extra iPad time.  But today was "Change Your Name Day"!  So his whole class got to make a name tag and stick it to their shirt displaying their new names.  Luke said that several girls chose Ana or Elsa as their name, his friend Christian was Superman and another kid was Mr. Smartypants.  I asked Luke what he chose and he said, "I will give you a hint: if it was Wednesday, everybody would be asking me what day it is."

Yep, he chose Mike.

And then he added, "Plus, that is grandpa's name."  Great choice, my son :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Cindy Quickie

With Summer fast approaching, I decided to scour Pinterest for those summer activity lists to give me ideas of things the kids could do to pass the time and not be bored.  Inevitably the lists are written by people who do not live in Florida and suggest all kinds of crazy things to do in the summer.  Things like go camping, go to a drive-in movie or sleep under the stars.  Not even close. I could tell that Cindy was on the same page as me when I was reading the lists and remarked, "Some of these activities are just plain ridiculous."  From across the room Cindy asked, "Like what?"  I said, "Like make S'mores."  Cindy replied so confused,  "IN THE SUMMER??!!!"   Exactly.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


I was supposed to go to Dinosaur World with Luke's class last Thursday, but the forecast called for certain rain and so the school rescheduled it for this past Thursday.  A day that was above 90 degrees and about 80% humidity. Where is the justice in this world?!!  I guess I gotta get paybacks for the freakishly awesome Disney weather I had. But I digress....We went here for a birthday party for Cindy's friend about three years ago and every time since then when we pass this sign on I-4, Luke asks when we are going back here.  Well, we finally did pal, so no more asking, okay?

So what exactly does one DO at Dinosaur World?

I will tell you. But first, let me take a selfie...

You sift....

You unearth...and also get sand in your eyes because it is a giant sandbox filled with 30 sweaty seven year olds and what could possibly go wrong?

You wrangle...

 You humor your mother....

You get crunchenated in the T-Rex head...

You feed the gigantic gold fish...

                                                                                And battle the T-Rex...

You press a penny for that collection you have, which reminds you that you really ought to find all the stretched pennies in said collection...

You convince your mom you need a souvenir...

Which happens to be a dinosaur egg you put in water and then 48 hours later a dinosaur will hatch out!

Yes, the next day he got his face painted like Batman while wearing a Captain America shirt.
He does what he wants.

And would you believe that Cucuface ran into the house today, jumped up on the counter and immediately fished out the slimy dinosaur about six times in a row?

Just when I thought she was as weird as possible...

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Cindy Quickie

I would need a longer post to elaborate on the end of the year banquet that Jacob's competitive soccer team had last night, but to make things short, at the end of the night they presented Jacob with a scrapbook, some personalized t-shirts and other gifts as going away presents.  Inside the scrapbook were letters from all the girls, thanking him for coaching them, telling their favorite memory of him, etc. and they had Jacob sit in a chair while some of the girls came up and read their letters to him. It was very touching.  The first letter that got read was by a girl that really likes Jacob.  I think she mentioned several times how she loves Jacob "sooooo much" and was going to miss him "soooo much."  I was standing kind of in the back and Cindy was standing next to me and by the end of the letter Cindy finally looked up at me and said, "She knows dad is married, right?" Yes, but she can dream.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kingdom Keepers Quest

Friday was Cindy's 4th grade field trip to Magic Kingdom at Disney World.  I have gone to Disney every year since 2008 with her, usually in January for my birthday, but I decided the $200 I had to fork over for this little outing was going to have suffice for this year's trip.  The educational connection is that the kids read the book Kingdom Keepers, a book series about how kids fight the Disney villains at the Magic Kingdom, and so they were going to the park to participate in the Kingdom Keepers Quest, which is a program where they solve puzzles in the park by going on rides, visiting special spots, etc.  So from 10:30 to 4:30 we were supposed to be doing the Quest and then after that we could stay with our child until the park closed if we wanted.  The park was closing at 11pm that night and Cindy was DETERMINED to stay until, and I quote, "the Disney people have to kick us out."   And wouldn't you know that at 8pm they made a special park announcement that the Magic Kingdom was going to stay open for an extra hour until midnight that night! NOOOOOOO!  I mean, YAY, what a bargain!  Honestly, my feet were just screaming and my contacts were a little worn out after 16 hours.  But we made it til the bitter end :)  And I decided to give myself 7 bonus miles over there on my chart for all the walking I did.  It's my blog and I'll cheat if I want to.

Since I have been to Magic Kingdom every year for 6 years now, there were some things that were totally the same and other things we did that were totally different.


I got my picture in front of the castle with my favorite girl :)  That will never change no matter how many times we go.

It's A Small World (multiple times)

(You can see how empty the place was by 8pm...)

Cindy loves this ride. After we were going to go for a third time, I finally had to confess to Cindy that I don't really like that ride all that much.  You would have thought I just insulted Barbie or said I hate cats because she was SO offended.  Hey, in the book they read, the dolls come to life and bite people, so  you can't tell me there isn't just a little bit of a creepiness factor at work here. I actually did read the book too.  (Or listened, using my free book on tape I got with my trial version of  I think I was the only parent that read it, so my nerd status is still safe.


Cindy never LOVED this ride before, but this year she did.  We rode it about four times and finally she told me, "You are SO lucky you get to drive in real life!"  I need to remember that sometimes, I guess.

Not riding Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain. Peer pressure was not enough to change her ways :) 

The Royal Carousel

We have to do this ride every time we go.  On the left is what happens Cindy does not get "Cinderella's Horse" (the one with the gold ribbon in its tail).  On the right is what happens when she does.  I wish that Disney employee had never told us that secret five years ago...


No funnel cake this year.  I know! We decided to be wild and crazy and get the infamous "Dole Whip."  Cindy thought it was the most delicious thing in the entire world.  I thought it was about an 8 out of 10.  It's hard for anything without chocolate to get above a 7.  (Excluding cherry dump cake, which always gets a solid 9.5)

I got photo bombed by a stranger

See that guy in the back, just over Cindy's head?  He was totally making a face and leaning in, however, he was just tucked in enough for me to not notice at the time I checked the results.  I can't believe I was the victim here!


Okay, no picture, but it was a great low carb choice.  And super delicious. And bonus, we ate it together, sitting down by a tree in Fronteirland and there was a crazy bold Ibis bird that kept peaking over my shoulder to try and take the turkey from me!!

Wait, paint to the rescue again!  This is pretty much exactly what it looked like:

Turkey leg, not a club.  Although a club would have been helpful.

I did accidentally drop some turkey skin and that thing came and stole it quicker than you can say Jeepers Cannibals!  It was quite creepy.

NO Princesses

I guess my little girl is officially over character meet and greets.  Which is a dang good thing because the wait time for Ana and Elsa from Frozen was 180 minutes. (No wonder it's located in "Fantasy" Land.) And this was a day where pretty much no one was at the park.  I cannot imagine what some poor parents are going to have to endure this summer for their daughters...  

At last, a souvenir!

When my doctor brother came down to Florida last year for his uppity Pediatrics conference, we all got to go to Hollywood Studios for free AND they gave everyone a $10 gift card.  My parents gave me their cards and I convinced Cindy to save hers and so we actually had $40 to blow on whatever we wanted!  Cindy really wanted some ears, sand so finally I caved and let her get some.  We settled on these.  $16.95.  Well played, Disney.

Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor

We had never been to this little show before, but we gave it a try and it is hilarious!  As part of the schtick, they spotlight, on live camera, different people in the audience, and put ridiculous captions underneath you.  One guy's said, "Is going to buy everyone churros!"  (which got a lot of applause), one said, "Feels the urge to dance, RIGHT NOW" and he did, and then they spotlighted ME and mine said, "Isn't afraid of Monsters."  So I just shook my head as if to say, No Way!  A very funny show.  If you love Mike Wuh-zow-skee, you have to do it.

Finally, here are a few pictures from the Quest, which was very well done and interesting, yet very difficult to focus on when you have ten kids and 12 parents that just want to ride rides and go crazy at Disney World.

Waiting for the madness to begin...

Inside the castle's tunnel

Looking for clues

Solving the riddles....
So glad they were there to take my place on this ride :)

On the hunt for more clues!

A great time with a great group of kids :)

Farewell, Disney.  See ya real soon!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Luke Quickie

Yesterday Jacob and I wanted to rent a movie from Redbox, so we decided to get one for us and one for the kids.  I told them I would get them that kids movie called "The Nut Job."  Cindy was very excited about it, but Luke just kept saying over and over that he did not want to watch it.  He said it sounded boring and was not excited at all.  I could not understand why he was so against it. Honestly, I had never heard one thing about it, good or bad, and I know they couldn't have either. But we got the movie anyway and told Luke to watch the first ten minutes of it and then he could decide if it was boring or not.  Well, they started their movie and we started ours.  I think I made it through the opening scene of the second Hobbit movie (new world record) and then I was asleep and went to bed.  So this morning Jacob told me that last night after their movie was over, he asked Luke if he liked it. He said yes and then explained, "I thought that movie was a "How It's Made" about nuts.  But it wasn't.  And so I liked it."  Every time I think about that, I laugh out loud. Oh, Luke, you are so funny!!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Master of Multitasking

I have to take a moment and give a shout out to Jacob and the kiddos for doing such a great job for me on Mother's Day.  I woke up to cards, balloons, gifts and chocolate covered strawberries.  I had to speak in church on Sunday and I was completely worried that the Primary craft I chose would bomb, so this was the calm before the storm.  The talk went well and the craft turned out fine.  

The kids made key chains for their moms, and Luke presented me with this one:  (Which I did not see or help him with, so I was truly surprised!  It's so Luke :)  Every time I look at it I hear Luke, in his best Nacho Libre voice, saying, "Big Kiss, Big Hug, Big Kiss..."

These guys make being a Mom so much fun.  I can't imagine life without them.

I also got to spend time with my own Mom later that day and here is a picture I know she will love. Cindy took this picture and we had to wait FOREVER for her to take it, and so mom ended up with frozen face while I looked down because of something that fell off the counter.  So much win in such a tiny space.

(Mom made me take the picture down.  I told you she would love it!)

Love ya, Mom!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

NOW, It's A Wrap!

Because I am going on two field trips with my kids in the next two weeks, I have had to work an extra day a week to make up for the time off and to keep up with the doctor's extra notes, thus, it really has been about a week since I blogged. Ugh. So now I need you to go inside the official Sweeneyville time machine with me and turn back the dial three weeks.  Let's just say I missed a few things....

Remember when I said that Luke was done with soccer four weeks ago? Not technically true. There was a final tournament game and then a trophy ceremony which I was not really aware of until the night before. We endured the game, which was being played on the surface of the sun apparently, and then the season was over and officially a success.

He did it all for the trophy.
And all the delicious snacks.

Yay team that didn't have a name!

And what better way to spend the hour after you have baked in the sweltering Florida sun, then by going to the batting cages, which are also conveniently located outside in the sweltering Florida sun.  (Hey, when the time and opportunity strike, you just gotta go with it, okay.)

Besides, Luke got in there and swung like a happy-go-lucky maniac. Still wearing his cleats, even.
He actually did really well, but the boy just needs some size on him!

Cindy's softball team's pitcher is way faster than this machine, but the slow rainbow balls were still pretty tricky for her.  

We all took turns.  I didn't too bad, and I did not even sustain an injury! And Jacob, well, of course he was a little show off and had to make Luke believe even more that is half Superman.

Not to be outdone by Luke, Cindy also wrapped up her softball season two weeks ago.  Here she is with her sweet trophy and you can also see my sweet Star Wars shirt for this year :)

I was about 99.789456% sure that I had a picture of what happened at the final softball game of the season for Cindy, but I cannot locate it and so I will just have to describe what happened.  Or I will draw a picture of it in paint:

Wow, who even needs a camera???

At the end of the game, the coach decided that anyone who wanted to pitch, could pitch.  Including those that had never thrown a pitch in their lives. Which includes Cindy. Not gonna lie, secretly I was hoping time would run out and Cindy wouldn't get a chance.  I mean, she has NEVER thrown a pitch, but time did not run out and she was on the mound and would you even believe that she got to a full count on the batter and almost struck her out!  I am not saying her pitching was completely stellar, but to be honest, it wasn't any worse than some other pitching I saw during the season.  So great job, Cindy!  Way to be fearless!!

This was also the night the sister missionaries came out to watch the game.  
Cindy was on her best softball behavior :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Head Shot!

Jacob showed me this video that started going viral yesterday, so it's totally old and might as well be "David after Dentist", but watch this clip of a documentary about a french bakery.  Five second mark. Priceless.

Yes, that was a random cat running down the sidewalk and looking like a fool at just the right moment.

The Year Sanibel Fought Back

This past weekend was our official 3rd Annual Bingham Sanibel Beach Fiesta del Playa.  Or something like that... We once again trekked down south for two days of fun in the sun. Which actually turned out to be one day of fun in the sun and one day of fun inside a movie theater to avoid the driving rain.  But, hey, fun none the less!  Jacob stayed behind to head out to a theme park with his girl's soccer team, however, no one mentioned that Noah was going to building a boat in Tampa that Friday and the ensuing flood prevented Busch Gardens from even opening :( Sorry, Jacob.  However, the raging Tampa storm made for some pretty crazy waves and howling wind down on Sanibel.  And when I say "waves" I really mean four footers.  But they were still the biggest waves my children have ever experienced during their short lives. Cindy got thrashed a couple of times and has the scrapes and bruises to prove it.  Luke was a maniac and could not be dragged out of the water.  I have to admit that I even got pummeled by a wave and it took the sunglasses right off my head!

We saw dolphins again, and this time they even jumped up in the air like we were at Sea World. True story!

So. Many. Shells.

Best face ever on Luke

Our first seagull punch attempt was hilarious.  If you look at the picture closely you will see Luke's fist popping out of Cindy's head.  Luke was being obedient and punching on command, while Cindy was not amused and giving a very half-hearted effort.  Luke actually ran up and punched in the air right in front of that lady looking at me.  He almost ran into her and she was very confused on what the emergency was.  Anyway, the kids ended up helping me get the seagull punch money shot before the day was over....

Seagull, PUNCH!

We had a hotel room down there for Friday night with the intention of going back to the beach on Saturday morning, however, all the rain to our north finally arrived and Rio 2 seemed like a good option.  After the movie, Grandpa was brave enough to hold Toothless.

We had a great time!  I have a feeling that perhaps we might be joined in Sanibel next year by a certain set of Binghams relocating to the Tampa area...

One highlight of the trip was playing a game where we would choose a random four letter acronym and each person would have to make up what it stood for.  Luke was surprisingly good at that game and really had us laughing and impressed at the same time.  
SURF = Super Ugly Rabbit Feet :)