Saturday, July 28, 2012

Assorted Adventures

We've been very busy over the past few weeks having loads of fun with friends and family (and kitties and dress-ups) and I'm woefully behind in my blogging... so welcome to the Assorted Adventures blog post!
Sash loves her Buddy
Home sweet (Utah) home!  Sash, WanYing, Grammy and Buddy say, "cheese" on their new front step
Enjoying a new Heroica set with Grammy
Trampoline bouncing!
Snow cones after a Saturday bike ride
WanYing was thrilled with her rainbow snow cone!
Laura and Jamie at a Red Butte concert - Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers
Banjo-pickin' Red Butte goodness
Hanging with the Kyte kids at the pool
Congrats to all of the new swim lesson graduates!
An afternoon at Thanksgiving Point Gardens to celebrate Ginny and Laura's birthdays
Definitely my new favorite way to explore the gardens!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fabulous Flooring

We redid our bedroom a few years ago and it was perfect... except for the hideous peach carpet that remained.  We've been planning to redo the flooring for a long time, but other projects kept taking priority and budget. 10 years after moving into our home, I am proud to preset our new floor!
Step 1 - research, shop, and buy a ton of flooring.  We chose cork - it's a renewable resource, looks lovely, and isn't cold to the touch like other wood floors.
Step 2 - Goodbye, hideous peach carpet!  (Steve did the removal all by himself!)
Step 3 - Invite wonderful friends over and install, install, install
Step 4 - Love it! Seal and let dry for a few days
Step 5 - Add furniture
Step 6 - Add a little carpeting for comfort, and enjoy!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Family Ride

On Saturday we took a 19 mile loop up Provo Canyon to Vivian Park and back.  I was so proud of the boys for making it all the way - 19 miles is pretty darn far on 20" wheels!  They were super troopers and I can't imagine a nicer way to spend a morning than sweating up a canyon with my family.

A short stop at Bridal Veil Falls

Resting at Vivian Park - I think the promise of an ice cream lunch was the only thing that got Ben going again!  That and the fact that most of the second half of the ride was downhill.
Ben says that being a sloth is actually pretty hard work.
My poor baby got stung by a bee on his lip on the way down the canyon!  I think the ice cream lunch helped to reduce the swelling a bit.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Happy 14th to Us

On July 18, 1998 we stood surrounded by friends and family the field behind Grace Fellowship Chapel in Westminster and a 19-year old Jamie promised a 20-year old Steve that:
Where you go I will go,
and where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people
and your God my God.

And here we are, 14 years later, still living out that promise, still choosing it every day.  I am grateful that we chose each other.  I am grateful that we continue to choose each other.  And I look forward to many more years and adventures together to come.

Although if year 15 wanted to be a little less "exciting" than year 14, I wouldn't argue.  A little breather would be appreciated.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Living Room Redux

Having Mom and Dad buy a new house a block away gave us ample excuse to buy some new living room furniture - sort of the reverse of when we got married! The old futons have served us well, but it's kind of fun to have some new furniture and I love the new setup.
Something about having leather armchairs makes me feel like a grown up
Finally we have enough storage space for all of our board games (for now at least!)
I'm particularly proud of the cabinet fronts - that was my arts and crafts project and I think they turned out well
Hooray for home improvements! Hooray for Ikea!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ben's Birthday Party

Ben's big gift this year was a gigantic trampoline from Buddy and Grammy.  After 11 years in Utah, we're finally getting with the program!

As you would guess, the whole family loves the tramp, and it was fittingly the centerpoint of Ben's birthday party.  Lots of bouncing, no broken bones - a successful party indeed.
Happy Birthday Ben!
I was amused to come home and find this centerpiece that Ben assembled - his (bizarre) pinata, his beloved card from Aunt Sarah, and a box of bubble gum cigarettes.  Yep, the perfect centerpiece for a fabulous and very unique nine-year-old.
Ben's perfect meal - pizza and soda
Red Velvet Cake,  Ben's request (the wind blew the candles out, so we figured that meant the Ben gets 2 wishes because he didn't need even one breath to blow out the candles!)
I did a pretty fine job with the cake, if I do say so
Pinata time!  We thought it seemed really odd to bat down a soldier filled with candy, but then Sam explained that he was a guerrilla, not a US soldier, so that made it all ok
Candy free for all!  It's hard to compete for candy with the big kids when you're only 3.  Fortunately Mommy and Grammy stashed away some candy just for such an occasion so nobody was left without an ample supply of Tootsie Pops and Starburst.

Happy Birthday Ben!  We love you, buddy!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

First Thousand Miles

Wahoo! Today I completed my first thousand miles on my new birthday bike! 

The accomplishment feels great and it's funny how accustomed I've become to my 20-mile days - if I miss more than a day I get all fidgety and start itching to hit the road.  Today I even rode in the rain, which was still much more pleasant than the 99-degree days that have plagued us lately.

So, yeah, this is one habit I plan to keep. Besides, bike gear is so fun to buy, it would be a shame to lose my purchasing excuse.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fabulous Fourth

Oh, I do love the Fourth of July!  There's just something about the smell of gunpowder in the air on a hot summer night with a beer in my hand that tells me that everything's right with the world.

Of course, all proper Independence Day celebrations must start with the ceremonial decoration of a flag cake.  WanYing decided to start with the blueberry stars...

...but quickly realized that decorating and sneaking the occasional blueberry is small potatoes when you could be licking the icing bowl!
Sasha, however, stuck with the decorating until the bitter end.  She meticulously placed each strawberry in each stripe, even insisting on adding an extra stripe to fill in an unsightly gap.

After cake decoration come the daytime incendiaries.  Pops and smoke bombs are the favorites in our family.  And there are rules about how these things must be done - to prove oneself, pops must be ignited by squeezing them between the thumb and index finger (it doesn't hurt, but it sure looks badass) and smoke bombs require dancing through the smoke. 

The rules are firm and the outfits are awesome.  Bear in mind that it's about 95 degrees and WanYing is wearing leggings under her tights and her wooly Crocs.  The belt was also all her doing, but I approve wholeheartedly of that particular choice.
Next comes dusk and time to start the real show!  We start with sparklers because it's best to start with the most dangerous element of the evening.  I've never been hurt by the big fireworks, but man have I gotten burned by those hateful glowing metal instruments of torture!
We are always very careful with our fireworks
At least somebody has the proper awe and respect!
We decided that WanYing is thinking, "Dude, I'm Chinese.  My people invented fireworks.  And you give me a glittery stick?!?
But never you worry, she enjoyed them nonetheless
Oh, and strobes must be danced around.  Again, I don't make the rules, I just take the pictures and laugh at the monkey dances
We had a fabulous Fourth all together at last and survived with no injuries and only a few cranky kids the next morning after a very late and exciting night.

Thanks for giving us a heck of a birthday party every year, America!


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