Friday, December 5, 2014

Cabo San Lucas 2014

Guess who came to visit?!!

Guess what Matt and I did to her a week after she got here?!

We left her with the kids and got out of dodge.
And by "dodge" I mean "the country."

Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico
 It was an all inclusive resort so of course I have a drink in my hand.

Friends of ours were getting married and although they ended up eloping before the wedding but after we bought our tickets we decided to still make a go of it.

Then Hurricane Odile slammed into the Baja Peninsula on September 14th.

But we had our tickets and we were going to vacation no matter what!

The resort had only been reopened for 30 days since the hurricane.  The resort was absolutely beautiful and completely back to normal but hoo boy outside the resort was a different story.  Trees, buildings, houses, shredded by the winds and a lot of places were still without power.
I should have taken some pictures to contrast with the resort.
(Matt and I tipped even though it was all inclusive so hopefully we helped the employees a little bit.)

We stayed at the RIU Palace right on the Sea of Cortez.
It was beautiful and the weather was perfect.
80 degrees during the day and 70s at night.

The resort included 2 infinity pools, 5 restaurants, and 5 bars. 
There was pretty much food and booze all over the place...but in a classy sort of way.
I thought we got a photo of the main buffet but I can't find it.  I'm normally not a fan of buffets but the one here was the best and cleanest and prettiest I've ever seen.  And I've been to Reno y'all so I know my buffets.  (wink)

Panorama of the resort

The famous rock formation.

Full Moon

Along with a mini fridge full of water, soda, and Tecate beer, we also had this beverage dispenser in our room.
Tequila, Rum, Vodka and Brandy
(Brandy?...alrighty then)

 Wedding Day
Matt's best friend from childhood was getting married and Matt was in the wedding.
(I took pictures for one of the bridesmaids so I didn't get any on my own camera except for this one.  Boo!)

Brad & Ashlie,
sons Truxton & Jasper,and Brad's parents

The wedding was gorgeous.  I don't think there is a more photogenic family.  You should see all of the beautiful pictures on the bride's facebook account. 

Matt and I after the ceremony.

I'm not a selfie type of person but I really thought I nailed it with my dress.
(from Zulily)

I'm pretty sure it was mostly because of the hurricane but the beach was not sandy at all.  It was actually full of teeny tiny pebbles.
Matt and I walked for a lot longer than it looked like it was going to be to reach some rocks we could see from the resort.

It was great exercise but the soles of my feet were buffed raw.
Beautiful view though!

I brought my exercise gear so I could work off some (just a tiny bit) of all that all-inclusive food and booze.
Most of the time I wore my workout clothes to just sit on the beach...

but I actually hit the gym ONE time.
I hate the treadmill but with this view I was loving it.

One day we ventured away from the resort for a trip to Downtown Cabo which included a boat ride to Lover's/Divorce Beach.
Lover's Beach is on the Sea of Cortez side with smoother waters and Divorce Beach is a short walk to the other side on the Pacific Ocean with rougher waters and major waves.

a nifty looking rock behind us

Lover's Beach
(I would have worn my bikini too but I didn't want to make the bride look bad.)
(omg...just kidding)


Every night the resort had some scheduled entertainment.
While we were there we saw a Michael Jackson tribute show and a Grease show among others.

Grease was awesome but we enjoyed every show.  It was a fun way to end our evenings.

The food was surprisingly good.
Here is Matt and I at the fanciest restaurant in the resort.
(no, not that Krystal)

By the last day I was so full of food and drinks and I could not wait to get home, to see the kiddos and Mom, and get back on a schedule.  I'm pretty sure I gained about 10 pounds from that vacation...and Thanksgiving...and I guess I'll just include Christmas because it's in a couple weeks.  It's time to get back on track!!

The day after we got home Grammy had to go back to Oregon.
My brother and sis-in-law were days away from having their baby.  I'm glad she made it back in time.

Big thanks to Grammy for watching the kiddos.  We will all have memories for life.

PS.  Next post will be some pics of the Grammy Adventures the she and the kids enjoyed while we were away.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014

Halloween snuck up on us this year.
We were busy enjoying a visit from Grammy and preparing for a trip to Mexico so Halloween got stuck on the back burner.  We still had a great time but I feel the holiday rushed by.

I did manage to snap a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

The Taekwondo studio hosted a Trunk or Treat event.
We didn't get our costumes in time so L and T found something to wear around the house.

The Taekwondo-ers

Last year we carved our pumpkins too early and they rotted way before Halloween.
This year we carved them just a few days ahead of time.
We enjoyed having Tera and Grammy with us too.

The kids did their own carving this year and no one cut off a finger.

My special University of Oregon pumpkin.

There is a house in a nearby neighborhood that goes all out for Halloween.  I made sure to take my Mom to see it.  They even have a building in their backyard to store it all in the off season.  They build the pirate ship from the ground up every year.

And then all too soon it was Halloween night!
Grammy handed out candy at home while Matt and I took the kids trick-or-treating.
We were lucky to hitch a ride on a neighbor's golf cart so we rode around in easy comfort while the kiddos ran up and down the street.

Queen of the Bumble Bees and the Mad Joker

Family Picture
(including distant ancestors on Matt's side)

Hope you enjoyed your Halloween!
(Hope you still remember it because Thanksgiving has already come and gone.)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall Festival 2014 and Why My Husband Rocks #345

Every year Lauren and Tyler's elementary school hosts a Fall Festival.  This is a fun fundraiser for the school with games, food, bouncy houses, vendors, and much more.  To make this festival happen we depend on parent volunteers for the different activities.  Since I didn't have to be a Room Mom this year I decided to volunteer for anything and everything I could.  For the Fall Festival I signed up for both the Hair Painting and Cotton Candy booth.

After I worked at the Hair Painting booth
(I apologize to all of you parents of blond haired kids because if your kid insisted on Red spray paint, I did NOT tell them, "uh, that might not wash ever.")

Matt offered to work the Cotton Candy booth so I could watch the kiddos play some games.  

And here you have Reason #345 Why My Husband Rocks.
He didn't have to work at the booth and get completely coated in cotton and candy.

But he did!
Check out the cotton or is it the candy hanging off his arm.

Meanwhile I got to hang out with L and T.
Here's a pic of them smashing the stacked milk bottles.

 It was a fun filled, yummy tummy, sunny day.
One for the memory books.
(Big thanks to Matt for working the dreaded Cotton Candy booth.)

Homemade Note Pads

Blame it on my Oregon (re-use, re-purpose, respect the environment) Roots, I can't seem to simply recycle all of the paper sent home from L and T's school.  Instead, I fold it into fourths and use the blank backside as a notepad.  I tuck the folded pages in with some pens and pencils so they're easily accessible.

When I need to make a note of something I pull a folded page from the front to write it down.
Back in August I wrote down this little conversation with Lauren.
"Momma, you know about black widow spiders?
After they marry and mate, they kill their spouse."

I thought this was cute and funny and thought I might blog about it.
I never did so back into my notepad stash it went.

Two months later, in October, Lauren was struggling with her spelling word "enthusiastically."  We went over it extensively during the day and right before bedtime I wanted her to spell it again so I pulled out a sheet from my notepad stash and had her write it down.

I'm very happy I didn't blog about her first comment about black widow spiders because adding her spelling word "enthusiastically" makes it so much better.

lol lol lol lol lol 
or for the older crowd
ha ha ha ha ha  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekly Menu 10-20-2014

Weekly Menu 10-20-2014

Tuesday:  Skillet Tater Tot Casserole  YUMM!
Wednesday:  Jumbo Cheesy Italian Meatballs  Oh my YUMM!
Thursday:  Creamy Cheesy Chicken and Garlic Quinoa Bake  Matt, Lauren and I loved this...Tyler will come around.
Friday:  PNO at TKD  Date night for Matt and me.
Saturday:   Sausage, Bean and Pasta Stew & crusty bread

So far my belly is happy this week!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October Photo Dump

Hey Y'all.  Happy October!!
I know you've all missed me and are just dying for a big ole October Photo Dump.
Your wish is my command.

I haven't been very good at documenting our activities lately but we've been busy this month with various activities.

Lauren and Tyler are now Green Belts.  The next belt test is only three weeks away so they have been busy practicing their form.  They have also started taking a Sparring class one day a week.  They still love TKD and look forward to the classes.
Here is Tyler roundhouse kicking the blue guy back to yesterday. ;)

Now that they are accumulating some belts we need a place to store them.  They sell display cases (for a pretty penny) but I had an idea for a DIY display.  Like most of my DIY ideas I tell Matt about them and he makes them happen.  That guy is awesome!

We've been kicking butt at school lately.
(Sometimes it is a struggle but things seem to be clicking right now.)
We are reading, studying, working hard, and enjoying the results.
We are loving it right now.
Tyler loves to read.  He is reading at a 6th grade level (but I won't let him read books for middle schoolers yet.)  He's not to shabby at Spelling Tests either.

Fun Run
 We had our first big school fundraiser the beginning of the month.  The kids earned money for their school just by running laps.  (Mom and Dad provided the money.)  They both did well but as a whole I noticed the 3rd graders were much more enthusiastic about running than the 5th graders.  I guess that's to be expected.  I'm a little sad that this is Lauren's last Fun Run.

Greek Day
Every year the 3rd Graders at the Elementary School celebrate Greek Day.  They spend a few weeks learning all about the Ancient Greek Civilization and then they get to dress up and enjoy fun Greek food and activities.
Tyler and quite a few buddies were Roman Gladiators (close enough to Greece right?)
This was a fun fun day and I'm very thankful I was able to share this experience with him.

(clockwise: Big Tyler and two gladiator friends paint a fresco, 3rd Grade teachers and students take a goofy class photo, Tyler and buddy ham it up with the ladies (Greek goddesses,) Tyler and Momma.

Lauren just completed another season of Softball.  She played for the Falcons again and played 3rd base and left field.  Although we only won one game, everyone on her team greatly improved.  One game Lauren even caught a fly ball.  
 (left-right: Lauren at bat, Tyler and I sitting together watching her)

We are still involved in Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts.  Lauren is Junior Girl Scout and Tyler is a Bear.  I don't have any pictures of Lauren but I'll try to snap a few in the future.
(left-right: the Pack listening to their leader, Tyler whittling a piece of soap to earn his whittling chip)

speaking of Boy Scouts
Last weekend we went on the annual Spook-O-Ree camping trip with the Cub Scouts.
The weather was PERFECT and we had our best camping experience ever.
(Our new 18-inch Aerobed blow-up mattress may have played a huge part.)
We had fun shooting sling shots, BB guns, and arrows.  We also decorated pumpkins for the annual pumpkin decorating contest.  Lauren was 1st place in the Sibling group and Tyler took 3rd place for the Bears.

Family Time
During the week it seems like we are always busy with homework, chores, and after school activities.  It is hard to just relax with the family when we are so busy doing STUFF.
When we do get some free Family Time we make the most of it.
(left-right: Apples to Apples, Beauty Salon, teaching L and T to play Bunco)

Date Night
Matt and I managed to get away for an evening this month.  He took me to a punk rock concert. (or heavy metal?  what's the difference?)  
Totally not my type of music (AT ALL) but it was fun to people watch and I could tell Matt really enjoyed himself.  I'm sure he won't complain when I ask for tickets to see Sam Smith at the Fox in January.

Even though I have not been posting a Weekly Menu this month please know we still eat and we still eat well. (Tyler might disagree but I think he'll come around soon...Lauren has.)
Who knew one of my favorite parts of the day would be cooking dinner for my family?!
Here are some pics of this week's meals.  Perhaps I'll do a Weekly Menu post next because I've had good reviews on what I've made so far.

Skillet Tater Tot Casserole

Big Ole Meatballs stuffed with Fresh Mozzarella

Well after looking at those foody pictures I'm starting to get hungry so I should probably head on up to bed.
I hope you enjoyed the October Photo Dump because we sure enjoyed starring in all of the pictures.

(Thanks for reading!!)