more houseguests

June has been the month of houseguests. Last weekend our good friends from New York, James and Edith, came to town and stayed with us for a few days. The kids immediately became very comfortable with them, and we all wished we had more time together.

edith 1

edith 2

edith 4

edith 5

And of course they participated in Family Drawing Time.

edith 6

edith 7

Edith took these next ones, I just edited them.

edith 3

L O V E the eyes on this one.

claxton 1

claxton 2

claxton 3

few random updates

Today has been a day of deaths around here. First Michael Jackson, then Farrah Fawcett, and last but certainly not least, Chonie. Chonie was a guppy. Aaron brought home 3 additional fish a few days after we welcomed Orange Bubbles, Slurpie and Catwiser.

The 3 new fish were Chonie and Chovie, and Casten. Chonie and Chovie were married. Chonie was the girl and Chovie was the boy. And Greta told us that they got married. Chonie was a good fish. Chonie was a loyal fish. And now Chovie hasn’t even waited a few hours before he has moved on to younger and apparently hotter fish. We don’t know how Chonie died but the kids are all claiming that their fish are way too nice or shy or good to have eaten him. I don’t know how long he’s been dead, but we found him on the bottom of the tank today, and we only found half of him. Not sure if he disintegrated after he died or someone tried to take a bite out of Chonie. Either way we are mourning poor poor Chonie.

Other news around here. Auntie Rachel and Uncle Dave are here for a visit. The kids are having a ball. This week they have been out of school, no camp, nothing scheduled and they are basking in the attention of our good friends from New York. Many don’t know this, but Auntie Rachel is partly responsible for Gunnar’s life. Long story. Dave is a sports nut and so he and Gunnar are pretty thrilled just playing catch with their baseball mitts. I took the kids to Disneyland on Tuesday because our passes are blocked out for summertime. Crazy I know. 3 kids, one adult. But we met Jane and Alissa and it’s always so much better to share my chaos with other unsuspecting friends.

Saw The Proposal Sunday night. LOVED it! Haven’t laughed that hard at a movie in a long time. Also saw the preview for FAME! Couldn’t be more excited for this dance movie!! Looks DIVINE! In fact, I kind of wanted to stand up in the aisle right then and dance. But I don’t think my neighbor would’ve been too happy bout that. So I restrained myself.

Also, in book news. I started reading The BFG to the kids.

51odTLKo5CL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

The beginning is a bit on the scary side so I didn’t know how the kids were going to like it. They were literally on the edge of their bunk beds. And when we finished chapter 2 the first night they both cried because they wanted to read more. We are flying through that book and the kids are giggling up a storm. I love reading to the kids and I am so happy that they love it just as much. We spent this afternoon riding bikes and lounging on a picnic blanket in the yard with snacks while Auntie Rachel and I took turns reading from it. I think we read for an hour straight and finally when my voice was about to give out Gunnar said he’d do the next chapter because they were dying to know what happened next.

Also, along other reading news, on Gunnar’s last day of school last week he was awarded with the Most Avid Reader Award in class. His teachers gave each child an award that completely fit who they are in class. They said that Gunnar is a closet reader who keeps his book under his desk and as soon as he finishes the assignment given he slides the book out and thinks that his teachers don’t know what he’s doing. Couldn’t have chosen a better award for him myself! I’m so proud of that little man.

Next week starts camp for the boys, they are looking forward to it a ton. In fact today we went to the park in the morning and Gunnar saw his counselors and friends that started camp this week. After an hour or so he couldn’t take it anymore and joined them in flag football. My little sports guy.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Product Shoot

A co-worker of Aaron’s hired me for a product photo shoot for their new website and brochures. It was the first time I photographed so many people, and it was a challenge, but a good one. The product is a really cool backpack with a windbreaker type jacket and pants, and an emergency survival kit. The kit is stocked with water, bright vest, notepad, protein bar, etc. It’s a really lightweight and cool backpack. They are targeted for disaster relief, outdoor adventures, even college students. You may recognize one of the models. We needed a young son for a few pictures and Gunnar was kind enough to oblige.

ohgee  1748

ohgee  1749

ohgee  1751

ohgee  1750

ohgee  1752

FIRST FACE

art 2

I am so excited to post this. I just love my little artist emerging. Greta didn’t really take to art the way the boys did, so I haven’t really pushed it. She has been content to just paint lines with her watercolors and tempera. But the other day we were painting at the table and she asked me what to paint. I didn’t think she really could paint a face but I suggested she give it a try. And look! A face! Her first face! It even has cheeks and a patch of hair.

Ah, the little things. . .

art 1

Bible Reading

I don’t know how this slipped my mind. I think I sometimes can’t remember between what I post on my blog and what I post on facebook. So sorry for the delay. However I think I was together enough to email some of you the link. Soso had his first Bible Reading a few weeks ago. He did better than I expected and hoped. I honestly wasn’t too sure he was actually going to go through with it. But for about a year now he has wanted to be like his brother and get on stage to do a public reading. I was worn down by Aaron and agreed to let him do one, but not voluntarily at first. The boy is 4! He’s too little to be so big. I sat up there with him to hold his place with a ruler. I think that is going to be the hardest part for him in the future, not the words, or even he being nervous, but keeping his place.

He rocked the reading. And as you can see from that face when he was finished he knew he rocked it.

vegas

I am so behind on getting this pictures posted. But I can’t just post the photos without a few stories to go along with it.

But before I do, I have to tell everyone to see The Proposal. SO FUNNY! I haven’t laughed outloud like that at a movie in a long time. And Ryan Reynolds is now kinda hot too. Love Sandra Bullock too.

Okay, back to Vegas. We were there a little over a year ago, you can read about Aaron’s first trip to Las Vegas here. This originally began as a sisters trip which come to think of it,  i cannot even remember the last time my sister and i were alone. But that was shortlived because our nosy husbands got in on the vegas action and came along. We left right after Sawyer’s graduation and made the usual 4 hour drive to Nevada. The 4 hour drive was not a 4 hour drive at all. It became a 6 hour drive because of all the Friday Vegas traffic we encountered and the appetite of my sis and her hubby.

Major problem was that I wasn’t driving. I ALWAYS drive. Carl drove and I was shotgun. But I still got carsick. Not to mention that driving anywhere with my sister and brother in law means stops every 45 minutes at local food places along the way. I am being dead serious here, those two are the hungriest skinny people I have ever met in my life. They eat every hour on the hour. And not just a snack like some trail mix. Nope. They need full on meals. Something that I consider a breakfast, a Clif bar, is a mere midnight snack to them.

Let me illustrate one of the dozen food stops along the way.

vegas 10

Back to the drive. As we descended upon the Mojave Desert Aaron took advantage of my sister’s gullibleness and informed her that we were at the lowest sea level altitude in the world. And yes, she believed it. She even said that made sense since her ears were popping. I couldn’t hold back my laughter for very long because we passed multiple signs declaring 3,000 ft. Those two bonded and fought like natural brother and sister in the backseat while Carl and I controlled the radio and navigation. My sister likes to tell Aaron what to do and Aaron likes to tell her to shut up. That’s pretty much how the 6 hour car ride went.

Once we got there we checked into Vegas and once again the duo was ravenous. When you don’t have kids with you, which for Aaron and I has been over a year, time travels very differently. We checked into our room and couldn’t believe it was already 7:30pm. And we hadn’t even eaten dinner. Normally we are in the throes of bedtime routine. And here we were, irresponsible and selfish, getting ready to go get some sushi at a very non child friendly restaurant. Pretty much all of Vegas is non child friendly. It kills me to see these kids in their strollers at midnight being strolled through a smoke filled casino.

We checked out some of the hotels after dinner. Let me recommend right now the Candy Lemonade at Social House. Insanely delicious. But be careful because it is definitely like candy and lemonade but with a whole lot of alcohol in there too.

vegas 9vegas 3

And when in Vegas I of course had to shop for my ideal red lipstick. Don’t have one. But I do now.

vegas 2

vegas 6vegas 5

vegas 8

Jessica and I went on Saturday to a huge Esthetician Conference. We have always attended the L.A. shows, but have heard that Vegas is the best. And it was awesome. Got great stuff. If you need a hat, I’m your girl. Long story. . .

That day Aaron and Carl did who knows what. But apparently they refrained from going to the European Pool, which I think was a good sign. Saturday night we had a fantastic meal at Il Mulino. Aaron and I have been to the New York location, and again it exceeded our expectations and was awesome. I highly recommend this restaurant for special occasions, or for absolutely no reason at all other than being in Vegas and wanting a cultural experience. Oh, and ask for Pasqualle. He was our captain waiter and Jessica and I were a bit taken with him. I’m sure we will be in his memory for a few days and then we will be replaced by the next set of sisters who dined and fell inlove with his accent.

vegas 1

Vegas is seriously unlike any other place. It takes me a bit to adjust to the crowds and the lack of inhibitions from people in Vegas. The walking around the streets with their drinks always shocks me for a few minutes. And I am never disappointed to encounter the bachelorette walking around the casino in a white string bikini, stilettos, and a little veil clipped to her tush, and wearing nothing else. I didn’t snap a picture fast enough of her, but it was a sight to be seen.

After Il Mulino Carl was up and at ’em. When is Carl NOT up and at ’em? Vegas is made for people like Carl. But Jessica and I had a long day and weren’t prepared for the same venues as the boys. We compromised. We went dancing at a favorite place of Jessica’s, which I conveniently blocked from my memory. I think I was the youngest person in there by several decades. However, the whole experience was well worth the dance off I got to witness. Let me just tell you one detail. It involved my brother in law and he conveniently was wearing a snap button down shirt. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

vegas 4

These umbrellas made me really happy.

vegas 7

The ride home was pretty uneventful if you don’t count the multiple food stops along the way. The kids survived, my parents survived too thanks goodness. The two little ones really could care less we were gone, but Gunnar missed us the most. He was the one I received phone calls from during dinner or in the morning. I didn’t really sleep much because I somehow forgot that drunk people are really irritating. The first night I didn’t think to unplug our room phone and twice we were prank called by stupid drunk people. I hate stupid drunk people. The second night we remembered and took the phone off the hook. I don’t know what I was thinking, expecting to sleep in Vegas. That’s not your relax and sleep type place. But it was a blast.

Until next time Vegas. We need awhile to recoup.