Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Hijacked!

I thought I saw a Reindeer on Christmas the bottom of our street. I took Clint, Derek, my nephews Garrett and Preston, their little sister Clare and my sis-in-law Shannon to investigate after Christmas Eve dinner. Come to find out, I mistook my neighbors fake lit-up reindeer for the real thing. Silly me.

When we returned home from our little investigation, we walked into a dark house. We walked up the stairs to find the Christmas Tree knocked over, the kitchen in shambles, the Christmas presents gone, and Jeff and his brother Scott tied up together in the kitchen, and gaged with duct tape!!!!

The boys quickly untied them and listened to them tell us about a guy in a black mask that came in and tied them up, took the presents, and left us a message on a DVD. (Check it out below)

The first clue to finding our presents was to dress up as Superheros. Fortunately, we have a selection. Batman, Spiderman, Black Ninja, and Master Chief were ready to serve and protect in a matter of minuets.

We also found a wrapped package in the bottom of the costume box. Imagine that! There were four sheets of paper and 2 water color sets. Hmmmm. Our superheros discovered in no time that they needed to paint on the paper to reveal the next clue.
Something about "sun's" or "o's"...or maybe "un (minus the 's')"...or something about time of day....Day!!!!!! Day!!! Day's!!!!!! That's it!!! Day's house!!!! and cupboard...or fridge....Fridge at the Day's must be in their fridge. They have one in the garage....

Next clue was in the fridge, in the a plate of red jello that the boys gladly ate to uncover the next clue...

and there was a picture of the Treehouse...In the Treehouse was a little bag full of Legos with letters written on them. When put together correctly spelled out "Clint's bed diaper??? no no...."Clint's bed ladder. "

Under the ladder was a piece of paper with a blog address on it:

Clue Number 7 was revealed on the blog...check the fireplace, before Santa can see the nasty note Venom wrote to him. But we made sure to wish Venom a Merry Christmas on his blog first.

Up the Chimney we found a "go away Santa" note with a code and a clue on the back. Master Chief cracked the code in no time. The message? "In-The-Dryer..." Another clue???

Finally! Our presents! Hurray! Christmas is saved! Wow. What a night. I sure am glad a couple of Superheros showed up at our house on Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just a little something silly...

Country Version:
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Classic Version:
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Disco Versio:
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Joy to wish for video in HD (LDS church's Christmas Video)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Merry Hothmas!!!

My amazingly talented, beautiful, intelligent, creative, genius, artistic, remarkable niece Chelsea sent this to Derek and Clint .
She posted this on my facebook page with "Merry Hothmas!!!" Love that girl!!!! Visit her blog to see all of her AMAZING art:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cash for Sleepovers

Clint and Derek like to have sleepovers on the weekend in the living room. They fall asleep watching one of their favorite movies...currently one of the Star Wars Episodes. Once in a while on a school night, they can have a half sleepover, where they get ready for bed early and after books and teeth brushing, they can watch part of a movie with their pillows and blankets until it is time to go to bed. A few nights ago, I let them have a "quarter" sleepover. About 20 min. of a movie before bed. Tonight Derek asked if they could have a "quarter" sleep over again:

Me: Not tonight Derek. It is late and we have a busy day tomorrow.

Derek: We can't even have a "quarter" sleepover?

Me. Not tonight

Derek: Can we have a "Penny" sleepover then?

Me: (Laughing) What is a "Penny" sleep over?

Derek: It's shorter than a "quarter".

So I let them have a Penny Sleep over. On Friday, Derek says he wants a "Nickle one", or maybe a "dime?" I am still not quite sure how that translates into min. of a movie. I am sure Derek will figure it out and let me know.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Best Christmas "Story" Ever

The best Christmas Story there is. Re-discovering it with my 4 yr. old this year for the first time. Funny, sweet, heartwarming...Gives real depth and meaning to the true purpose of Christmas. We read the first 3 chapters tonight, because Derek kept wanting to hear more. If you have never read it...READ IT. With or without kids. There is nothing like it to remember what Christmas is really all about. I love this story. And I love this time of year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I am Thankful for...

Gratitude and Thanksgiving are beautiful things.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rediscovering Star Wars

I have friends who have entire rooms filled with DVDs. Everyone loves movies. My collection of DVD's is small. I have only the movies I absolutely love. The ones that mean something to me. The ones I will watch, or my kids will watch, over and over again. One of those movie is All six of them. Although I could take or leave the most recent 3 prequels...the original 3 were life changing for me.
I have owned Star Wars on Beta, VHS, and DVD. I became a fan when I was 9 years old and my parents took me to see it three times. I was Princess Leia for Halloween that year. In a time before video machines, a neighbor of mine bought clips of Star Wars on a movie reel that all the kids in the neighborhood went over to watch, without sound. It was still cool. Everyone loved Star Wars.I wish I had the words to say what I really want to say about these movies. I don't. All the messages and meaning these movies hold for me could fill a book. I would not have ever married Jeff if he didn't love them as much as I do. They are THAT important. It's been awhile since I sat down to watch them. Clint loves them, and Derek has just recently discovered them, and is now hooked. But I don't complain. They are good movies. They are a huge part of the American Culture. They are Powerful. They ring of truth. We grew up with them and they have helped to shaped so many of us. I want my boys to understand and love those movies too.

These movies have endured for many reasons:

Amazing special effects. Strength of storyOriginal conceptTruthfulness Simple themes of good and evilStrong bonds of true and lasting friendship Loyalty Self- Control Self-Sacrifice Never giving up Doing the right thingBravery Overcoming the odds Having Hope Redemption The power of Love.
The Love that nearly destroyed Darth Vader was also the power that saved him in the end.
We are products of the media whether we like it or not. Whether we want to admit it or not. I really believe that. And I believe that everyone who has seen Star Wars is a better person because of it. There is truth in the message. And it IS that simple. There is evil, regardless of how benign it may appear at first. And there is good.

I have not watched any of the movies for awhile. I dutifully bought the new DVD set of IV, V, and VI a couple of Christmases ago because we only had the them on VHS. No one had watched the new DVD set. Derek has gone through all of them, and a few days ago, Derek was jumping from couch to couch, lightsaber in hand, flipping all over the living room while episode VI was finishing up. I brought up my basket of Laundry and sat down to fold while the last 20 min. was on...the part where Luke saves Darth Vader. I had forgotten what an amazing movie it was. But the part that really got me was, and this is new just on the latest DVD collection, is after the Death Star is destroyed again and everyone is reuniting on Endore after the fall of the Empire. Luke walks away from the crowd and sees his dear friends who have passed away there in spirit, watching over them. And then, Anakin is there...only it's not the old Anakin, it is the young Jedi, before he changed. He was back the way he was. Restored. It just really surprised and touched me. I can't say why. Except that it was truth. We cant explain it. But it's real. The themes that it expressed, a powerful metaphor for all we know to be true...coming at a time when we need it. Teaching little boys Right from Wrong, Good from Bad, Love from Hate. Loyalty, Friendship, Hope, Faith, Freedom, Devotion, Eternity.

I love Star Wars.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Candy Science

Derek and Clint scored some major candy this year. But enough is enough. Especially when I grab something everytime I pass their stashes. I can't help myself. If it's there, I have to take it.

In an effort to go through it and get it out of the house, for my benefit, I talked Derek into doing some science with it. Clint doesn't really go for the fun projects as much anymore...but Derek and I needed his candy. $.10 a piece? It cost me $5 to have him sift through his bucket and hand over all of the non-chocolate items. Not bad.

How does candy react in different situations and with different substances? We didn't know if we would get to many reactions... there is only 1 way to find out.

Nothing reacted with our acids...however, the M&M's make beautifully colored spots when wet and left on a paper towel.

And Tootsie pops melt faster in water than Blow Pops. Pixie Sticks make the prettiest colors in water. And Whoppers float!

We were sure that smarties would melt before sweetarts...and they did.

We were really happy to see that Lemon heads, when melted, did react with our base, and fizzed up quite nicely!
Nothing else did, so we put baking soda and vinegar in the pan and made it fizz ourselves.
And what happens with candy and heat? We tried out the microwave.
And watched the Crabby Patty get HUGE, and everything else melted...except for the didn't even get hot in the microwave. Very interesting.

Gross, but interesting!

Monday, November 2, 2009

This is Halloween

Just a few favorite photos from Halloween. Facebook is just so much easier to load and share photos. Everything goes right on Facebook and then my little blog is neglected. But I love going back and reading and looking at things that are documented. I really need to remember that I am doing this blog for my kids. To keep their memories. I will do better.We made Halloween Pancakes the day before. I got the recipe from the Not Martha blog. The pancakes were the yummiest I had ever had.You can find the recipe and the not martha blog Here. Hers look much better than ours. I need to take a food photography class because my food photos never looksvery good.Jeff and Derek carved their Pumpkin. Clint did a Halo one, but it took him awhile longer and I didn't get a picture. I need to take one before it goes bad.The cutest little Darth Vader you ever saw...but the helmet was to big to walk around in. This was Clint's costume. Derek decided to be Darth Vader at the last miniute because he didn't like his Clone Trooper Helmet. I wish he would have decided before I bought it.Clint was the Splinter Cell guy from the Tom Clancy X-Box game. Very Cool. He got those night vision goggles for Christmas last year. And then there's Jeff...motion capture guy...inspired by those first person shooters...
Trick or Treatin buddies Darth Vader, Iron Man and Dragon
And Talon, that scary guy...
And here is scary Eric, Matt, Jeff and Sexy Witch Lisa in the back. I didn't dress up this year...but I wish I had. Next year fo sho!

Happy Halloween!!!!