Friday, September 30, 2011

Birthdays and Soccer, and Concerts - Oh, My!

I'm coming up from beneath the piles of black and orange, and green and purple tulle to check in with my peeps.

Aside from the Halloween costume making - it's been a fun few weeks.

On the 17th, Hubby and I took Bookworm and a friend to the RSL v. Sporting KC game, followed by the One Republic post game concert.  The tickets were a present for his birthday back in June (the concert was originally supposed to take place after a June match, but the band had to reschedule).  The little punks wouldn't let me take any pictures for posterity's sake.  The bums.  But it was a great night.  Mainly because we kicked trash.  But the concert was good too.  I'm not a die-hard fan by any means,  I mean I probably wouldn't pay to go see them if they were touring, but they sounded great live.  And I do enjoy their songs.

I'm pretty particular with my kids and their activities, and I'm very over just the right amount of protective, in public settings.  Especially when there's a lot of public around.  This was Bookworm's first concert.  Following the game, fans were allowed to come down onto the field for the concert.  All fans had to enter through the north gate.  Since our seats were near the south goal, you can imagine that it took us FOREVER to make it to the other end and down to the grass.  The kids were bummed that we had so many people who got there before us.  I pulled up my big-girl, mama bear panties and told the boys that if they promised to stay together, and then wait for us at the big KFC sign after it was over, they could worm their way through the crowd and try to get closer to the stage.  After the show, I  frantically calmly made my way over to the big KFC sign.  The grin on my son's face made my night, and he said "that was incredible!"  Apparently they made it right up to the stage and had a perfect view.

We won't talk about the next two RSL games.  We just won't.

Today is my sweet, beautiful Cowgirl's birthday.  Her gift was surprise tickets to see Taylor Swift in concert 2 nights ago.  Her first concert ever.  Pixie was also included in the fun, and her ticket is an early gift for her upcoming birthday.  So the three of us, along with my dear friend Kimberly had a fun night rocking out to Taylor Swift.  I think she has some great songs, but the thrill for me was watching me girls excitement for their first concert.  We had high seats, that weren't the best, as you'll see by the video, but it didn't stop them from singing along to every song and having a magical night!  I couldn't help but break away from the action on the stage a couple of times, to take some video of my cuties performing themselves!

It's been a fun month of family time, and I just thought I'd take a break from costuming to share with y'all!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Starting the school year off right!

How many 8 year olds can say that they've shared the ice with an Olympic Champion?  AND in the same building he won silver and gold medals?

Thanks to the amazing Discovery program at her school, Pixie now can!  She signed up for ice skating this session, and has learned figure skating, speed-skating and hockey.  The ice skating class takes place at the Utah Olympic Oval, which was built to host skating competitions for the 2002 Winter Games, and is just down the street from our school.  We are very fortunate to have enjoyed a wonderful partnership with the oval, since before we even broke ground on our building.

Yesterday the kids had the opportunity to train with Derek Parra!  If you don't know who he is, you're probably not obsessive about the Olympic Games like I am, particularly the ones that took place right in my back yard!  It's been over 9 years, but it still feels like yesterday!  Anyramble, Derek won Silver and Gold during those games, and he often comes back to take part in some of the programs the Oval runs.  Including Pixie's Discovery class!
 He's cute, no?

He was even cuter in person, and seriously the nicest guy!  He was so good with the kids, and patient and funny.  Pixie had a blast, and it was such a thrill for me to get to watch her have this opportunity.

He wasn't too good to get down and help fix the laces of a little boy's skate.

 Or let a little girl "score" against a champion skater.
Then he taught her how to do a little victory dance - with singing and everything.

Here's pixie practicing taking the puck around the cones.

 And practicing her skating maneuvers.  Derek just skated right into the shot at the moment I took it!

Sorry for the low-quality dumb phone pictures.  I forgot my camera.

Tomorrow is Cowgirl's last class for this Discovery session, and she has been in heaven being able to train at a local stable, and take horse-back riding lessons.  Of course now she asks me for a horse for her birthday next week like every 5 minutes.  I'll post pictures of her riding soon.

In the Middle School there is no Discovery (despite my best efforts).  Instead we have our Adventure Program, where the students go out into the outdoor classroom overnight, or sometimes a few nights - and do fieldwork and their classroom learning in the natural world.  It's very cool.  Last week Bookworm and Hubby traveled with about 30 other students to Dinosaur National Monument for a 3 day science intensive.  Unfortunately the husband didn't take any pictures - so I have to bug some of the other adults that chaperoned to see if they have any they can send me.  Bookworm said it was an amazing experience and he learned so much.  Much more than sitting in a classroom reading from a textbook.  A few years ago on this trip, one of our students actually discovered a NEW fossil - it was a huge deal at our school, and made the news and everything!

So to say that my kids have had a fantastic beginning to the new school year would definitely be an understatement.  I'm so grateful that our family is blessed to be involved with so many wonderful people, from those who helped get this school approved and opened, to the wonderful educators and administrators, and our partners in the community who help make these programs possible.  One of my greatest fears as a mother was that my kids would have the same experience with school that I did.  Which was basically so boring that I spent more hours skipping school than attending.  I didn't care about my education, I wasn't engaged, and I can't get those years back to do it over the right way.  This is the reason I got involved with the opening of this school, and the charter school movement in general.  It has been one of the hardest, most time consuming things I have ever done.  But it also ranks right up there as one of the most worth-while and rewarding.

It's too bad that it's really all my kids have ever known, so they don't actually realize how fortunate they truly are.  But I'll take it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Friend Makin' Monday...All About Me I was going to make a deep, heartfelt post about yesterday, and the way our family commemorated the 10th anniversary of 9/11 - the emotions of the day, the conversations I had with my children.

But then I got called out by Kenlie.  She said it was an "invitation"...but I know better.  Good thing I like her.   And I do like FMM, it's how I've made some of my dearest blog friends!  Including you Kenlie!

So here's the deal - I'm going to answer the FMM questions and go link up over at Kenlie's.  You do the same, and we can both find out more about each other!  Only, y'all are probably sick of hearing about me by now!  I'm not sure I'll even be revealing ANYTHING new to some of my regulars.  If you are visiting for the first time - hello, and get ready to know more about me than you'd probably care to!

FMM: All About Me
1. What are your talents? 
I have some hobbies - not sure how talented I am at any of them though!  I play the piano, although I'm a little rusty these days, I enjoy crafting, and would say I'm a pretty decent cook.
2. What is your best habit? 
I'm seriously drawing a blank here.   Wow - that is eye opening - I mean I try to do good things, I don't totally suck as a person - but I'm not sure I have a "best habit".  I guess I'm going to have to start a new good habit so I never find myself in this awkward situation again.  Any suggestions?  What good habit should I start?
3. If you had to be stuck with someone in an elevator for 8 hours, who would you want it to be?
Okay, the obvious answer would be my husband - because I would be a horrible wife if I didn't pick him, right?  Plus, he IS the person who can keep me most calm in an alarming situation.  HOWEVER, if he was stuck in there with me, who would be taking care of our kids?  If I was stuck in an elevator for 8 hours, I would definitely want the peace of mind of knowing that our kids were with daddy while I couldn't be with them.
It would probably also make me a horrible wife if I said I pick Chris Wingert to be stuck with for 8 hours, right?
I have a few girlfriends that I know I could spend hours with and it would fly by like minutes - and I would have burned quite a few calories from laughing as well - so I'll go with one of them.  Who knew such a simple question could be so complicated?
4. Share one odd fact about you that we’d never know to ask.                                                                                                                                        
I have such severe acrophobia that even if I'm watching a TV show where someone gets close to a ledge, or is looking down from the top of a building or something - I literally get a sick feeling in my stomach, and sometimes even have to look away.  
5. What’s your latest project (work, home, whatever you care to share?) 
I am really, REALLY trying hard to get my "house" in order.  And by house I don't just meant my dwelling, but truly get some order to my life, and that of my family, and our finances in particular.  I have made some good progress, and am excited to share some of what I've accomplished.  However my getting my house in order is putting a severe dent in my blogging time!
6. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? 
Well really at this point it would be my weight.  I know that's not really very original, but that is definitely what I am most unhappy about with my physical appearance.
7. What do you do in your spare time? 
Spare time?  What's that?  I plan on having spare time again someday, and then I would definitely like to spend it reading, and reading, and reading.  To make up for all the books I haven't been able to read over the years - due to lack of time, and my serious problem of letting EVERYTHING fall by the wayside while I finish a book.  Seriously - I just had to quit starting them, because my whole life becomes irrelevant until I finish that book.
8. What is your biggest pet peeve? 
If I'm being honest, at the risk of offending or alienating any bloggers - political correctness.  Our society has become so PC that you can't say ANYTHING without it offending someone, or getting misinterpreted in some way.  I get so annoyed with being told what I can and cannot say, that sometimes I find myself using terms I would normally never use - but I just do it in defiance of those who are telling me it's not okay to use them!
9. Why do you blog? 
The reasons have evolved over the years, but I currently blog for journal-keeping, and to keep up the great associations I have made through my blog.  I love my bloggy friends!
10. Are you tidy or messy?
I'm a hot mess.  But I'm working on it!  Remember - a house of order.
11. What’s the last song that played on your iPod?  
I haven't used my iPod in forever - I just play my itunes library on my laptop.  I've been listening to lots of Taylor Swift lately, because I'm surprising my girls with a girls night with mom to her concert in a couple of weeks!
12. Do you cook?  I do cook.  Tonight I am making fajitas.  Not with a mix.  Mmmmm.
13. Do you like sports? 
Are. you. kidding?  I love sports. I'm a pretty competitive person, and I think sports satisfies that part of my personality.  My teams are the Utah Jazz, anything BYU, and of course my favorite boys, ReAL Salt Lake.
14. How often do you read and/or watch the news? 
Everyday…a few times a day.
15. Did you stick to your new Year’s resolution this year?  
Still working on it.
16. What are you looking forward to most in the remainder of 2011? 
Finishing Cowgirl's bedroom in the basement - there is beginning to be a light at the end of the tunnel!
17. Shoes, sunglasses or handbags?  
I would pick them all if the budget allowed.  For now I have to stick with shoes.  And that means only 1 purse and 1 pair of sunglasses.  Boo.
18. How do you feel about sleeping on satin sheets?  
It seems like they would be slippery.  Not sure how much I'd like them.  Maybe one of you should send me some so I can test that theory.
19. Do you sing in the shower?  Nope.
20. Describe yourself in one word.  Loyal.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The blog-worthy week. Part 2

Are you ready for part 2?  If you haven't already read Part 1, you really need to do that now.  No, for reals...I mean it.  You just won't be able to appreciate part 2 if you haven't read part 1.  So go here and do that right now.

Did you do it?  I have a feeling that some of you didn't.  Sigh.

So by Thursday afternoon, I was done.  I woke up Friday with no small amount of trepidation over what THIS day might bring.  I was seriously on high alert all day, wondering what was to befall me next.  I spent the afternoon at the school, chaperoning Cowgirl's Discovery class.  I KNOW I've told you all about Discovery and what an awesome program it is.  Anyway Cowgirl is doing horseback riding for this session.  We made it through the afternoon unscathed, and we got home from school, and I immediately went to the laptop, because you had been ALL DAY.  I only have a dumb phone, so I can't keep up on all the happenings when I'm separated from the laptop.  I first checked my email.

I had an email from Utah@kfc4you.  The subject line said: REAL tickets.  Now I had completely forgotten that at the beginning of the week I had entered a FB contest to win 2 free tickets to Saturday's game.  I opened the email, fully expecting something like, "thank you for entering our contest, we're sorry you didn't win.  But enter this code for a discount while purchasing your tickets".  You know some sort of apology for not winning followed by a sales pitch for some promotion.

Instead I read:

Hi Xazmin,

Congratulations on winning the KFC Utah contest!

You have won 2 free tickets to the September 3rd Real Salt Lake vs. Philadelphia game and a catered dinner courtesy of KFC in the SE VIP Tunnel at Rio Tinto Stadium.

I am not exaggerating even a little when I tell you I double fist-pumped the air and "whooped" out loud!  My kids thought I was nuts.  But after my week, I was STOKED to have my luck finally turning!

And it just. gets. better.

Date night rolled around, and hubby and I headed to Carnival ReAL (little carnival they have the few hours before the game starts), to pick up our tickets at the KFC booth.  So the guy hands me the envelope, and it is FAT.  Like way fatter than 2 tickets should be.  He says, "Here are your tickets, and your VIP field passes to get you to your seats.  Head down the stairs and the reception area is in the south east tunnel."  Say whaa?

We followed the couple in front of us who were also sporting VIP field passes around their necks, and headed down, down, down the stairs into the SE tunnel.  There were all these cute little tables set up with table cloths and little center pieces and everything!  And a KFC spread for us to eat to our heart's content.  Now, I'm not gonna lie, KFC isn't my favorite.  But cooking or paying for dinner isn't my favorite either - so I wasn't complaining!  PLUS I do triple heart their mashed potatoes and gravy.  They also had dessert for us at half-time!

Now why did we need the VIP field-passes?  Oh yeah, because we had to get down to the FIELD.  You know, where our seats were!  Like in FRONT of the cement barrier that separates the FIRST row of seats from the field.  Like where the ball boys stand?  There was a cute little row of RSL camp chairs that we got to sit in!  Oh, and after the game we got to take them home with us!

 Here are our cute camp chairs:

And this is how close I was to Kyle Beckerman...Tanielle was ticked when I sent her the pic.

What could be more fabulous than an evening (FREE) with my favorite guy, watching my favorite boys play some awesome soccer?  Oh, winning.  Yeah that would make it even better.  And we did.  That's right - it was an awesome game and we were victorious.

The only less than perfect aspect of the night was the fact that my boy Chris Wingert is out with a broken wrist.  Boo.  But don't worry Myya - I'm still going to post some new pictures for your viewing pleasure.

So, after a really, really craptastic week, the weekend turned out to be quite lovely.  I had a wonderful, much deserved (by both of us!) date-night with my handsome hubby, and we didn't have to pay for any of it!  We had awesome seats, adequate dinner, and a fabulous time screaming our heads off for our favorite team.  

So concludes my story of the blog-worthy week.  And here's to no more rotten luck, but hopefully many more soccer date nights!  And free would be nice too.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The blog-worthy week. Part 1

Well, as you know - I've sort of put blogging on the back-burner while I try to get some things done, and get my household in order.  However, sometimes a week is just TOO blog-worthy to NOT get it recorded!

For those of you who are on FB with me, you already may know some of the details, so I apologize.  Let's start at the beginning.  I woke up on Monday morning, feeling cheerful and ready to embrace the week.  My facebook status read: "It's going to be a good week.  I can tell".

Well, Tuesday we woke up to discover that someone had tried to steal gas from the carpet cleaning van, by cutting the fuel hose.  They didn't get any.  But that was really a very small consolation, considering the fact that the repair wasn't something hubby could do on his own.  It ended up being an $800 repair bill.  It really put a damper on the week that was supposed to be good.  Not to mention that it put hubby in a really lovely mood.  Luckily the shop was able to get the repairs done in one day, so we only had one job that had to be rescheduled.

Our van is too tall to fit in our garage, so hubby had been parking it on the curb at the side of our house (we have a neighbor that complains if we park it in the front).  He decided that he needed to have it in the driveway after the vandalism/fuel stealing incident.  So he pulled the van and trailer up into the driveway.  Well, Wednesday morning we woke up to a ticket.  Because it was overlapping the sidewalk.  I wasn't sure my husband could be in an ornerier mood - but he proved that he absolutely could!

Cue Thursday.  I get up early and fix my kids some fabulous turkey sandwiches with lettuce and pickles to pack in their lunches.  We get everyone ready and out the door.  Hubby returns from dropping the kids off, and I head to the kitchen to put the lunch-making mess away.  I pick up the package of turkey, and accidentally hold it upside down.  Turkey juice runs down my hand and arm.  Gross.  I put the turkey away, and rinse off my hand, then grab the pickles to stick them in the fridge.  I forgot to mention that this is no ordinary jar of pickles.  It is a ginormous, Costco-size 62 ounce jar of pickles.  Since my hands are still wet from rinsing the turkey juice off, that ginormous jar of pickles just slips right out of my hands and shatters onto the kitchen tile.  Yes I did swear at that point.

But Thursday wasn't finished with me yet.  Here's what Jeremy brought home from our vehicle safety inspection:

I sense they really wanted to try to make us feel good about our failure, don't you think?

So I need to get my car in to have the emergency brake adjusted.  The same emergency brake that has needed to be adjusted since we bought the thing 3 years ago, and has passed inspection every single time.  Because tell me - have you ever actually had to USE your emergency brake in an emergency?  Yeah, me neither.

This brings us to the weekend - which was blog-worthy as well.  If you want to find out how this week ended, make sure to come back tomorrow and I'll tell you the rest!

Part 2