Monday, May 26, 2008

One year old

By the way, believe it or not, this weekend marked the first anniversary of me starting my "Loving Life" blog.

I can't believe it's been a year already and I can't remember what life was like before I posted our adventures for all the world to see. I don't know if our life has gotten more exciting or if it just seems that way since I'm constantly writing about it!

Camping trip

This weekend we had our second annual Memorial Day weekend camping trip at Fall River.
We had a great time, but the weather was both great and crappy.

Friday afternoon, we had great weather to set up camp, but at 3 a.m. Saturday morning, a big storm blew in and we got a few hours of rain.

Saturday was a little cloudy and breezy, and luckily, without rain.

Sunday was beautiful. It was hot enough to take the kids swimming in the lake and for rides in Terry Brown's fishing boat. It was also great weather for the killer sunburn I got on my shins.

Sunday night, the camp host visited us twice to warn us about the weather. First they were afraid of tornadoes, which luckily never materialized. Then she told us to expect a major thunderstorm. She wasn't kidding. It started raining at 12:30 a.m. Sunday night and didn't stop.

At noon Monday, it was still raining and we were camping out in the picnic shelter trying to figure out how to pack our tents in the pouring rain. We managed to do it with a lot of teamwork, and man, it's good to be back home.

I will give you a tour of our camp site and then post some highlights.

Terry Brown's campsite

Jeff, Kathryn and Lauryn's campsite

The Loving campsite
(The boys never stayed in the little tent because
we were afraid it would blow away in the rain.
Ironically, their tent stayed dry the whole weekend
while our Coleman tent leaked.)

The Lacey-Nagy campsite
home to Melissa and Joe

Doug and Terry Wenzel's campsite
(They always show off by bringing
outdoor lights and yard decorations)

The picnic shelter
(We store all our food and supplies in here
and make our campsites around the shelter)

Friday night:

After all the excitement of making camp
and eating all the smores they could handle,
Brett and Casey crashed

Saturday's highlights:

We drove to the lake to let the boys fish

but the wind was brutal. Casey kept

hooking the hood on his sweatshirt

Brett casting

Brett and Dan fishing off the dock

Joe and Melissa hanging
out in the shelter

Brett "roughing it"

Doug, Terry, Joe and Jeff
getting the grill ready for dinner

Terry making her specialty,
campfire stew

Me, relaxing with a magazine
while the guys made dinner

Hey! Who took this picture?!

This year, Jeff got the brilliant idea to borrow a projector and hang a sheet in the shelter where we could have our own version of a drive-in movie night.

Doug and Jeff hanging the "screen"

We watched "The Incredibles" and
"The Simpsons Movie"

Sunday's highlights:

It was really hot and humid, so we headed to Fall River Lake for swimming and boating fun.

Casey and Brett splash around

Mahvelous Melissa

Captain Terry and first mate Brett

Terry, Brett and me

Terry, Jeff, Casey and Dan

Since the boys have been learning to ride their bikes without training wheels, we thought it would be a good idea to bring their bikes on the trip. They loved having them at the campground and rode them back and forth to the bathroom and all around our campsite.

Casey and his bike

Everyone really pitched together to make dinner each night. Saturday night, Kurt and Kasey made fajitas and Joe and Melissa grilled corn and the fajita veggies.

Joe and Dan man the grill

Kurt grilling the chicken and steak

Kasey and Dan working on dinner

Each night, the guys got a campfire going. We had every type of marshmallow imaginable for making smores: strawberry, chocolate, toasted coconut and, of course, traditional.

Tending the fire

Campfire fun with Casey, Lauryn and our dog, Wanda

Monday's highlights:

There weren't many, but we managed to have an awesome breakfast of cinnamon rolls, eggs and breakfast fajitas despite the torrential rain.
We can't wait to go again next year!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Interesting article

I saw this article in the NY Times this morning. It's about the highs and lows of personal blogging.

American Idol

I knew there was justice in the world!
The "right" David won American Idol!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spring Party

Today Casey had his spring party. The father of one of his classmates performed a magic show for the kids. It was a big hit, although a few of the tricks were over the kids' heads.

The old "three uneven strings" trick

An even bigger hit was the chocolate fountain. I know, a chocolate fountain for 22 kindergartners--what a mess. Actually it wasn't too bad since we put the chocolate on their plates for them.

Yum! Melted chocolate AND cupcakes!

Casey and his friend Cooper

Another one off training wheels

Well, it took a lot of convincing, but we finally got Casey to try riding his bike without training wheels. (The Ben 10 helmet and knee pads Dan bought to bribe him didn't hurt either!)

Here is video of Casey practicing in the driveway. Right now, turning is a little difficult for him to grasp, but he's getting there. The best thing is that now that he and Brett can ride without training wheels, they both love to spend more time outside.

Thanks to our neighbor Beckie for taking the video.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Since the weather has been so nice lately, I went ahead and bought my summer flowers. I have two new hanging baskets that came from Sam's Club of all places and filled them this afternoon.

One of my new hanging baskets

The boys took advantage of the heat and decided to get their swimming suits on and play in the sprinklers. Personally, I thought it was still a little chilly to do that, but hey, I'm not six.

Brett and Casey playing in the sprinklers

Saturday night

We enjoyed the great weather Saturday night by grilling steaks and eating on our deck.

Casey enjoying his corn on the cob

My plate
(Believe it or not, it was empty by the end of the meal)

Later that night, we decided at the last minute to head downtown for the River Festival fireworks. This was the first time both boys really enjoyed a fireworks display and weren't scared by the loud noises. We had a great vantage point at the end of the Douglas Street bridge on the Delano side and managed to find a great parking spot so we got home pretty quickly.

There was lots of "oohing and aahing"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Graduation party

Last night, we celebrated our neighbor Alyssa's graduation from Maize High School. She is the daughter of the famous Captain Don and Missy.

I loved Alyssa's cake, especially
the photo of her as a little girl

Alyssa and Missy

Captain Don, Alyssa and Missy

Congratulations Alyssa!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

River Festival fun

Tonight, me, Janette and Melissa braved the rain and went down to the River Festival to see Phil Stacey, a former American Idol contestant perform.

Melissa and I saw Phil in concert last year when he came to town, but Janette had never seen him, so we made a girls' night of it and ventured downtown.

Phil's set was pretty good. His new album is out today, but I'm not sure I'll be running out to buy it. I think I'm a bigger "Daughtry" and David Cook fan. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

New book

I am currently reading "The Last Lecture," by Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon professor who has terminal pancreatic cancer. It's a short book with lots of life lessons, much like "Tuesdays with Morey." It's proving to be a real page-turner.

After this, I'm moving on to Barbara Walters' memoir, Audition, which I bought from Amazon since it's 612 pages and I knew there was no way I could read it in two weeks if I borrowed it from the library.

I let you know how it is...

Mother's Day

I had a pretty good Mother's Day. Unfortunately, I've been fighting some sort of cold or flu most of the day, so I haven't been feeling so whoopy.

Both the boys woke me up to give me their Mother's Day presents.

Casey painted me this beautiful butterfly painting

Brett made me a "Top 10" list of all
the things he loved about me

The Top 10 Things I Love About My Mom
10. She buys ice cream for me
9. She buys me chocolate
8. She buys me movies
7. She buys books for me
6. She makes me the best cakes!
(I can't remember the last one I baked)
5. She bought me a GameCube
4. She let me get a Wii
3. She reads me stories
2. She makes the best cookies (I do?)
1. She loves me very much! (Nothing more true has ever been said)

Brett also made me breakfast in bed as a surprise, although he kept waking me up to ask me what kind of toast I wanted and if I wanted butter and jelly on my toast. Other than that, it was a big surprise.

Brett delivering my breakfast in bed

We went to the mall later in the afternoon and I got another present, some Adidas flip flops. They have "memory foam" in them, which makes them super comfortable. If you haven't tried some, you really should.

My new flip flops

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fun on Watersedge

This afternoon, the kids were all out riding bikes and enjoying the nice spring weather.

Dan got out the ladder and attempted to clean out our gutters. As you can see, this was a big draw for the kids.

Enjoying the show

Casey and Josh loved following the water down the driveway and then "helping" it into the storm drain. I better make sure they wash their hands!

Josh and Casey "helping" the water

Fun at the medical center

On Friday afternoon, we hosted a statewide poster contest where 4th and 5th graders submitted posters on why smoking is bad.

There were lots of great entries--their imaginations and talent were wonderful.

During the event, our Respiratory Care staff created educational stations where the kids got to learn more about the repercussions of smoking.

One of the more interesting stations included healthy and diseased pigs' lungs. The kids got to put on latex gloves and actually touch and feel the lungs.

My friend Melissa got in on the action. She couldn't help herself. How often can you say you got to squeeze pigs' lungs?

Melissa touching the diseased lungs

Believe me, I think the message got through to the kids.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Spring party

Later this afternoon, Casey and I helped with Brett's second grade spring party. Janette and I decided on a Cinco de Mayo theme.

We had nachos, sopapillas and frosty drinks for the snack and then had the kids make a Mexican flag with tissue paper.

It was a blast! As with everything, you plan for weeks, and the party only lasted about 45 minutes.

Pouring the "fake margaritas"

Enjoying the snacks

Brett and the flag he made

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo