Friday, July 27, 2012

A little history lesson

First of all, I'm so sorry for all the pictures. I know many of you have seen Boston but I know many have not. So here is my weekend trip vacation in the middle of Jacob's business venture. 

I flew in on Friday night after a long day of delays and sitting in a packed airplane on the runway.  I really, really hate United Airlines right now.  Anyway I'm not going to let that part sink in and ruin my trip.  Boston is GORGEOUS!  I love all the history with it too.  It's an added bonus.  So here is how we spent our Saturday:
Jacob had talked with a few of his co-workers and somehow thought that the Boston Tea Party was in Salem.  But as McKay said best, "Well dad, that was silly.  Then it would be called the Salem Tea Party."  We didn't enjoy Salem all that much as witches isn't our thing so we drove up the coast to Gloucester to see all the ships and lighthouses.  I'm so glad he made that error!  Above here is a picture of an anchor.  They are huge.  Its also crazy how the salt has eroded the metal.
I really wanted to see a lighthouse.  Most of them are private and most of them you have to go to an island to even get up close.  So I'm happy with how close we were able to get to this one.  I think that maybe the Youth theme this year had something to do with my love of lighthouses.
I love the ocean.  I could just sit and watch it all day and feel relaxed and calm.  Jacob pointed out that what looks like cement slabs is really granite.  They have been there for a long time.  Gloucester had a lot of fish boats and sailing boats and everything else.  Yes, I'm still in awe!
That afternoon we met up with the sales manager in Boston and he toured us on the Freedom trail.  Now looking back, I wish I would have driven the kids up and stayed the full week up there.  So much to see and so little time.  This red brick trail goes all through Boston in all the Revolutionary War sites.
 Our first site was in Boston Commons in the graveyard.  We saw the graves of Samuel Adams,
Mary Goose, aka Mother Goose, (Notice the skulls on the grave stones?  This intrigued Jacob.)
John Hancock,
Benjamin Franklin, and of course....
Paul Revere.  Isn't it so amazing how these men came together and brought us our Freedom?!
This is the Old State House where they met to overthrow the British government.  There is now a law stating that no one can meet in that room to overthrow the government.  This is also where the Declaration of Independence was first proclaimed.
The Boston Massacre happened in front of the Old State House.  I had often perceived this the wrong way.  Did you know John Adams defended the British men?  Some drunken men come out of a bar and started throwing snowballs with rocks and ice at the soldiers and one accidentally fell and shot of his gun.  The commander yelled to "Hold your Fire!" and the soldiers heard "Fire!" 
As we walked, I took plenty of pictures of the architecture.  I've never seen anything like it.  By the way, did I mention traffic is horrendous here!  They are insane and drive that way too!
Then we went by Paul Revere's house and his statue in the park.  Here's another interesting fact.  I had always hear the he rode through the streets saying "The British are coming!"  I've also heard the version that he cried, "The Redcoats are coming!"  In reality, the colonists referred to them as British so he had rode through the streets in the night yelling, "The regulars are coming!"  You can't see the Old North Church behind the statue because of the sun, but we went there too.
This is the church that Paul Revere hung two lanterns in the bell tower signaling they were coming by sea.  His friend was there when the British came in and broke in the church.  Robert Newman dove through the right window and escaped.  This window is also called the "Newman" window.  There are also some angel statues that are at the top of the balcony.  Several decades later, a member of the congregation who was also a pirate seized a ship and found two angels.  He thought they would go good in the church so he gave them to it.  There is still stolen property there today.  : )
Jacob noticed how the sign that says the hymns looks like ours.  The statue in back of it is George Washington and is said to be the closest likeness of him.
At this point we decided we were hungry and went to Tapeo.  It was delicious.  I tried many different things that I had never tried before.
Here is a picture of a quail.  It was seasoned quite well but wasn't a favorite.  I really liked the lamb in apricot sauce and the duck in blackberry sauce.  The fried shrimp was really yummy too.
As we were eating on the patio, I saw this sign hanging in a store window. 
Hannah, this is for you!
We ended our night walking back through the Public Gardens and got a picture of the statue of George Washington.
And lastly, a picture of the skyline with the duck boats.  We also saw the duck statues that were replicated from the children's book, "Make Way For the Ducklings."  We ended up buying it for the kids as a souvenir (along with a couple books about Boston) because I refused to pay the outrageous prices of any other trinket or toy.  The kids had their doubts about their "surprise" but they have looked at them everyday since we have gotten back!  

To be continued....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Happy Happy Early Birthday Present

Here's a little history lesson: (a pre-lesson before the real history lesson)....
 For some reason, Jacob and I have never really been able to figure out the whole holiday / "special" day thing.  It's just not been our strong point.  Whether we haven't had money to do gifts for each other or we've been apart for birthdays or just even the whole, "we aren't getting along thing;" we haven't figured out the secret yet.  This year I was afraid it was going to be the same, until I started reading and learning about the Nexus 7.  It was stated to be: "The new tablet to make Apple come out with a cheaper one."  So I started thinking......
I ordered it the day it came out and was so excited, but I couldn't keep it a secret.  So when Jacob had to spend a little over a week in Boston and he wanted me to fly out for the weekend to join him, I gave him a "week early" birthday present....and he was happy.  (Not surprised because I just couldn't hold it in, I showed him on the computer earlier than that even.)  

I hope he likes it and I hope its the perfect start to the perfect birthday week! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chewing catastrophe questions????

Scenario this evening: 
Plot: Young Women practicing their song for sacrament meeting before Mutual.
McKay:  Mom, I have to go to the bathroom.  (She proceeds to head out of the chapel with her hands closed very close to her chest.)
Mom:  McKay, what are you hiding?
McKay:  Nothing?
Mom: (Gave her the look.)
McKay:  My gum made my hands stuck together.
And now I know why....
....Jacob doesn't allow the kids to have gum. 
Sometimes I wonder.... when McKay is so smart that she is so ...... unthinking sometimes.

This is what happens when you go to practice singing and you decide to roll your gum into a ball in your hands....for 20 minutes.  It was much worse than this.  This is after she had ice in her hands for a couple minutes to get it off.  

All I can do is smile, laugh, shake my head, and take a picture for my blog.  : )  KIDS!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Top Shot!

Jacob and I went shooting with some friends the day after Independence Day.
It had been a long time since I had shot any kid of a gun.  We shot at bulls-eyes and clay pigeons.  I think the moving target was the hardest. 
I think I enjoyed throwing the clay pigeons more than I did shooting them.
Until I finally hit one, (notice the colored circles up top and the pieces in the air) I was SO excited.  Its honestly like a high when you finally do.
My favorite weapon of choice was the handgun.  Especially when I shot 9 out of 10 onto the bulls-eye.  I had to end it there though.  There's no sense in bringing a person down right?

Friday, July 13, 2012

More (extended) family fun!

Betsy came to visit us on June 18th and was there until July 5th (minus four days in there for a beach trip). We always love it when family comes, as I think I have said a hundred times before.  Here is a little view of what the kids did to keep entertained.
We took a trip to Fiesta Texas (six flags) and enjoyed a full almost free day there!
There were very little lines and for the first time ever Kirsten went on ALL the roller coasters.  I think hanging out and being able to go with the "big kids" had something to do with it.  The girls also got a lot of positive comments with their yellow shirts!
On a couple days, the girls enjoyed fashion shoots....
(I think next time we should throw some photography sessions in there as well.)
....and blind makeovers. 
What are blind makeovers you ask? 
It's where the person who is putting the makeup on is blindfolded or they have their eyes closed.
I guess it comes down to the point that they had fun and cleaned up their mess right?
We also played lots of games.  SkipBo, Liars Dice, and plenty of Ticket To Ride. 
We also had a couple pool days.  I learned from this that a 15 minute chicken fight will result in 2 things.  1 - When it's Isaac & Toby vs. Aspen and me, no one will lose, and 2 - It will result in a very bad neck and back ache!   Although I can't figure out if it was the fact that we were chicken fighting or trying to do 4 people pyramids.  Maybe both?!
Each night the kids were tired.......and so were we.
(Betsy took half of these pictures as the kids took the other half.  Thanks!)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

a super cute, super fab, new do!

McKay woke up one day and noticed that a good chunk of her hair had been cut / broke off? We aren't sure how it happened. Her friends teased her that maybe she did it in her sleep.
So on Monday (July 2nd) she decided to cut her hair.  She had been debating it for awhile and she finally committed.
Now, as we know, Jacob is not a big fan of short hair.  But I told the kids that however they want their hair, within reason, they could have it that way.
So she went with an A-Line and the bottom undercut.
I personally think it looks GREAT and super cute but I have always loved shorter hair.  Plus, it makes her hair look thicker.
McKay hasn't gotten used to it yet.  When I downloaded the pictures of the runway show she stated, "I miss my long hair.  Why did you let me cut it?"  Its a good thing she has fast growing hair. 
P.S.  If you ever need a conversation starter (or a good laugh) ask Jacob what he thinks about bangs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Meet the sweet treats.

Jacob finally broke. How you ask????
Kirsten made a list of what she needed to own a kitty and how she would take care of it and pay for it.  She also included how she had already found some on Craig's list (she's taking after her dad) and then closed her sweet letter by saying, "That she would love it so much she would even name it."  Then she left it on his pillow.
So on the way home from a cousin's baptism from San Antonio, we went out of the way to Elgin (I guess free cats are hard to find in Texas.  They had them out like candy in Idaho) and somehow one cat turned into two.  But the stipulation was, they had to be boys.  No girls.  No multiplying.
So meet Krackel and Rolo.
Kirsten wanted to name them after candy and we all thought it was a cute idea.  This is Rolo.  He has the white on him.
This is Krackel.  The kids love them, the cousins love them, and the neighbors love them.  They have been plenty spoiled.  (And yes, they are outside cats.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Walk it Girl!

We did a modest runway show for an activity in Young Women's a couple weeks ago.
The goal was to bring one or two outfits that were modest and that you possibly "altered" to make modest.  We had a lesson about a month or so ago on how to alter clothing (pants, shorts, skirts, shirts, and swimsuits) to keep them modest.

We did the catwalk in front of the activity day girls!  Here is our group of girls.  Come to find out, about half our ward (not joking) goes on vacation near the month of July.  This isn't even half of them.
 McKay wanted an I'm a Mormon T-shirt Dress.  So I combined three different ideas I saw on the internet and this was the outcome.   I really like it and luckily so did she!
 This is McKay and a couple of her friends.....
 ....wanting a photo shoot after the runway show. 
 I think they've been watching a little too much "America's Next Top Model."
Julia's a really good friend of McKay's.  In fact, she's like a my fourth daughter.  She is always over here or McKay is over at her house.   I'm so thankful for great friends for my children!