Saturday, August 29, 2009

Not your Mother's Facepainting

My neighbor is starting a little facepainting business. She is extremely artistic and talented and creative. Her home is a sight to be behold as she refinishes furniture and should have been an interior decorator. I'm putting together a little flyer for her and she wanted some pictures of her work on it. This is a far cry from the facepainting I've seen/done in the past.... a spider (a black blob with lines coming off it), a daisy (other flowers are too hard), maybe a star on the cheek (it would be lopsided though), etc.

Beebee was so excited to be a model and get her make-up done. She even makes buckteefs look adorable.

Some more of her handiwork below. Her daughter is on the left and her friend on the right. By the time I got to them the friend's lip color was off, but you get the idear.

So if any of you local yokels are looking to have a face-painter at your next shindig be sure to let me know. I have a connection.

PS Catching Fire in THREE days. ::ripping off another link of my paper chain::

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Some Stuff I Know You're Interested in Hearing About

  • Labor Day Weekend we are off to TX. It is our only "official" family trip this year. For some reason I don't count trips where we drive to UT & hang out with family. Anyway, we are going down for the big BYU v. Oklahoma football game being played in the new $1.6 gajillion stadium that Jimmy guy built in Dallas. Along the way we will be seeing the Alamo and checking to see if it has a basement, walking the River Walk in San Antonio, going to a b-day party at the American Girl Doll Cafe (the boys are beyond excited, ahem), going to Medieval Times!!!, and tons of other cool stuff. After realizing I probably didn't REALLY wanna go to the game, Garret sold my ticket, Beebs' ticket and Tbone's ticket to the game on StubHub for a grand total of almost $1000. I then promptly turned around a bought a new camera lens (the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 for those interested in such things). It's already the best trip ever.
  • TBone: Hey Mom, do you know what my favorite word is? ME: No, what is it? TBone: Pants. (I'll let you contemplate that for a while on your own)
  • I'm putting together a slide show for an upcoming ward activity. It is of all the youth activities over the summer (youth conference, girls camp, high adventure, etc). I can NOT find/think of any good songs to put with it. Every song out there is about drinking or disco sticks. Any ideas?? So far I have "Roam" by the B-52s--it's perf with the young men hiking "through the wilderne-e-ess"). Thanks in advance.
  • Tbone brought home a "I Made A Bad Choice" paper on the 4th day of school. I had to sign and return it. It was because she had "asked him 3 times to stop rolling around during group time and he didn't stop." I was like "Uh-oh, this teacher is not for the TBone." He was grounded from TV and video games for the rest of the night. I told him that if he ever got another one of those papers he would be grounded from TV and video games for a week. The NEXT DAY he brought home a SUPERSTAR paper (basically the "I Made A Good Choice!" paper). The reason? He sat in his spot nicely for all of group time. Ok, maybe Mrs. C knows what she's doing. We shall see what she says at the end of September during parent/teacher conferences. I think I may take up drinking.
  • Gty & I are now thinking that we don't need to finish the basement. It is the perfect place for us to hone our Ripsticking (tm) skillz. It's a big loop with no hills or curbs. I'm way better than him, if anyone asks.
  • I finished The Diplomat's Wife for the big SRBC meeting on Sunday (nail biter!). I am starting to re-read The Hunger Games here in about 5 minutes. I'm nervous though...what if I don't love Peeta as much the 2nd time around? What if I have fallen out of love with him? I'm's been a while since we've been together. I've changed. I hope we haven't grown apart.
  • I told you FB is fun.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Facebook: The Poor Man's Blog

Due to the fact that blogging/fellow bloggers have been so lame this summer (and srsly, you gize have been THE WORST! Almost to the point where I wanna give you all the finger, btw) I have been spending a little more of my computer time on Facebook. And I'll be honest, it's been more fun than I was expecting.

Some Observations:

  • I've come to the realization that on Facebook, you get what you give. What goes around, comes around. The love you take is equal to the love you make. The more you're into it, the more everyone is into it with you. It's good times.
  • All my young women are on Facebook...and I mean ALL of them. They live there. It's the perfect place to go around and let them know you're thinking about them with very little effort and/or make fun of their status updates & tease them about boys.
  • You can use real names with out being too worried they are gonna hunt you down & murder you. They already know your name & haven't murdered you yet, so why would they start now?
  • It's EASY. So freaking easy actually. Zero effort involved. Who can't come up with a one liner every once in a while? And beyond easy to do from the iPhone.
  • It's the only way I've found to get people such as HotPants, Erin, Sara, my sister, other cousins, Gty's cousins, etc. to acknowledge my online existence. Blogs are too much work for these people to a) write b) read.
  • Facebook cannot take the place of a blog, obviously, for historical purposes but it is great for interacting with friends & family that you normally wouldn't interact with on a regular basis.

So that's it. My diatribe on Facebook & how sucky blogging has been this summer. Hopefully it will pick up again here now that the kids are back in school 'nstuff. If not, I'm gonna revisit that "giving you all the finger" idea.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Cutest Day of My Life

MyPastSelf: You know, I think I just want boys.

MyPresentSelf: {{smacking MyPastSelf across the face}} You idiot!

Look at what I would have missed out on! Beebee's FIRST DAY OF DANCE CLASS!!

I cannot adequately describe the sheer delight I had on Monday as my girlie got all dressed up for Level 1 Ballet/Tap. I was literally giddy. And ready to go, like, 1/2 hour early.

And look who is in her same class! Her best frenemy, Miss SassyPants!

When reading through the dance studio's material, I was a little bugged to find a little snippet about "required dance attire" for this particular class. Beebs HAD to have 1) a pink leotard 2) a pink skirt or tutu 3) pink tights 4) ballet shoes 5)tap shoes. I understand the shoes, but the rest? Srsly?

It wasn't until we got there that I realized the was for the cuteness factor! I mean, look at all the pink leotards and skirts/tutus!!!!! It was overwhelming for a first time "dance mom" such as myself. I may have run right out to TJMaxx after this and gotten 3 more outfits. K, I for sure did. Plus a dance bag. Had to.

Beebee didn't want to miss a word Miss Misty was saying.

In the studio: proper stretching is a must for those 20 inch legs.

They came out of the studio half way through class and changed into their ::gasp:: tap shoes!! Beebs' face in the reflection below says it all. Pure joy.

Did she like it? This is what happened when she realized that when she came out the 2nd time it was not for another shoe change but because it was time to go home.

And this is what happened 5 minutes after arriving at said home.

The next morning I was awakened by a little 3 yo. girl who had gotten up, put on her own dance outfit and was by my bedside asking when we were going to dance class.

Do you think SYTYCD will run for at least another 15 years or so? I am seeing myself in the audience crying after a particularly poignant piece Mia Michaels choreographed for Beebee and holding up a sign saying "BEEBS IS AMERICA'S FAVORITE DANCER!" in glitter and stuff.

I dunno.

I see it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day Four: Ascending to 14,000 Feet

A plethora of photos from our trip to the top of the world (a.k.a. Pikes Peak, CO). Highly recommended to anyone visiting this great state, btw.

Above: Waiting for the cog train. Below: On the train.

We made it. Sitting on that train was hard work. But we made it.

Yeah. I put down the backpack for our cutest-ever-family-pic above (iPhone was inside, plus some granola bars) and then walked away. Didn't notice it was gone until we were re-boarding the train. I think the altitude made my brain quit working. Here I am running back to the train after recovering it....I run awesome at 14,000 feet.

And Kip saved the day by waiting in line to get 2 dozen of the "Famous High Altitude Donuts" for all of us to try. They were....uh....good?

Gratuitous Beebee shot.

Everyone was exhausted coming down off the mountain. EVERYONE. Dave gets the photo posted though.

Back to a mile high. This is how the older boys entertained themselves around the house. Racing Beebee's trikes down the hill. They could not look tougher.

So that was basically it, you gize. Do you feel like you were at the reunion with us? Thought so. That night Scott & Mignon had to leave to head back and the rest of the adults went out to eat again & left the kids at home for some more cousin bonding/free babysitting. Then Dave & fam headed out at 5am Sunday morning and Kip & Blondee flew back to Michigan.

::sigh:: Post reunion let-down set in Sunday afternoon during my nap.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

You Asked, Now Landee Answers!

Thank you for writing in your deepest burning questions* to "Dear Landee." Before I get to posting the final day of Denver Reunion 2009, I shall proceed to answer....

Q: Where did everyone sleep during the reunion? PS You're a saint for putting this on. I admire the heck outta you.

A: Aw shucks, you're too kind. The sleeping arrangements actually turned out quite nicely. My parents stayed here in our guest room. My oldest bro, Dave, has six kids. They thought it would be best to just get a hotel as a) they are aware they have 6 kids and b) Dave is allergic to dogs. He can hang out in a house that has dogs for a while but wasn't too sure about sleeping there. Kim & fiance didn't come, as I explained, but if she had she was planning on getting a hotel as well as I cannot allow non-married couples to sleep in my home. (snicker) What would the kids say? Scott & Mignon and their 4 kids did stay here. S&M had the bunkbeds and their two boys slept on that floor. Their two girls slept in Beebee's bed. All my kids slept on our floor and loved it. Kip & Blondee stayed at Blondee's parents' house which is about 15 minutes away. It worked out perfectly! Our house was the "hub" of activity and then at night everyone went to their assigned places.

Q: Hosting your sibs is right up your alley btw. Can we get links to their blogs so we can read about it from the visitor perspective? PS Yours is my favorite blog, of course, but I'd love to see theirs too!

A: Sadly they have no blogs. Some are technologically retarded. Others don't want their identity stolen and others are too lazy. Being the family blogger 'tis a burden I have to bear.

Q: August 5th!!!! Seriously!!! That is way too early to go back to school!!! Is it year round or something? PS You are the prettiest person on Blogspot.

A: Not year-round, no. But it's called "modified traditional." We have a two week fall break and a two week spring break in addition to the usual days off. I would have loved an August 10 start date but Aug. 5th killed me.

Q: And how did your house fare? Any broken windows (Bil's house circa 1970 something) or food fights (Jim's house circa 1970 something)? PS You're my favorite niece. And if you were my daughter, you'd be my favorite daughter.

A: The house actually held up quite well! I was pleasantly surprised with the end result. We were always out & about doing things and when we were here the kids were "bonding" over video games (Wii) or watching movies at night. Plus, they are really good kids. No spazzes in the bunch.

Q: How much can you possibly fit into ONE day? Were there no naps involved for little ones? PS I want to come & visit ASAP.

A: Come any time you want! We'd love to have you! As for the answer, we could fit A LOT into one day. We only had three days, mind you. And I wanted it to be memorable. As for the naps, we don't really have any nap takers in the family right now. Kip's baby is only 3 mos. and she caught some shut-eye when she could and prefers sleeping in her mom's arms anyway. So it worked out great. Some toddlers dozed off during car rides from one place to another if needed.

Q: No Kimmie?? What kind of "family reunion" is this? PS These pictures make me want to move to Denver & live by you. That would make my life complete.

A: It was still an awesome reunion without Kimi, but not as awesome as it COULD have been. She deserves to be spanked for not coming. With a wooden spoon. Or even a whip.

Q: It's giving me a sunburn just looking at those sunburned little kiddies whatching a movie. How'd you get them to sit still for that? PS I love Crocs.

A: We slipped narcotics in their juice boxes.

Q: Where did everyone sleep is what I wanna know? PS Your life rocks.

A: I think we already addressed this one above. Geesh!

Q: And do you need Tony to send you something to stabilize those mood swings? PS I can't live another day until we reschedule my visit there!

A: Send me what you got.

Q: You have done it again! By that, I mean totally out done yourself as the best hostess ev! Your family is so lucky. Think we could book a family reunion for say...Denver next year? PS You're my favorite sis-in-law...and that includes Reid's side!

A: Heck yes! As we were doing all our activities I kept saying to Gty "Your family would love this. We gotta have your family come & do this too." Done & done!

Q: All those cousins look like each other. What's up with that? PS But your kids are the cutest.

A: Well, they are all related. It stands to reason some of them would look alike. Plus all kids look alike anyway. Char & Beebs could pass as siblings if we told people they were, don't you think? Throw some blonde hair on them & no one even questions it!

Q: Do you remember when we used to stay at Bil's, Jim's, Jack's? PS Those days were torturous.

A: No. The first reunion I can recall in my mind with clarity is the Monterrey Bay one. Hearst Castle, beach, Nick's sweaters around his shoulders, Annie's swimming suit filled with sand, etc.

Q: What I want to know is this--did your dad make home made fingers steaks while he was there? PS I wish Gty was one of my son-in-laws.

A: Sadly no. We didn't even think of it or else we probably would have. He made to-die-for-fall-off-the-bone ribs and pulled pork sandwiches (different nights, of course). Then we fed the kids pizza and sloppy joes for the two nights the adults went out. But now I want those so bad!! Thanks for the reminder.

*some questions may have been altered slightly to make more sense, take up more room and/or iterate the writer's true feelings.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day Three: Ups & Downs

Day Three was a "relaxed, let's just hang out and have some fun together" kind of a day.

UP: The guys got up and went golfing at some ridiculously early time so they could fit 18 holes in before the wives got too angry with them. DOWN: The golf dudes didn't get back until about 1pm.

The rest of us just lollygagged around until 11:30am-ish when we all headed over to a pool I had "rented" for the afternoon.

UP: the stairs to the slide. DOWN: The slide.

It was a fast slide. It was a slide to be reckoned with. I didn't reckon with it, but all the grandkids did. You can see in that last pic there that my nephew, Sam, was prepared for all situations. I srsly think he could have gone deep sea diving in that get-up and would have been just fine. There was also some jumping off the diving board and lounging around involved that afternoon.

UP: Grammy & all her grandkids (I didn't want to say anything but she has way more grandkids than AV). DOWN: Due to the high elevation, there were several sunburns acquired that day.

UP: It was Tonya's 42nd birthday! DOWN: Didn't have 42 candles in the house. And NO, that is SO NOT the same cake we had gotten for their anniversary! I know it looks like we just got out the leftovers, turned it around so the good side would face the camera and stuffed some candles in it, but we so didn't. She deserves her own cake and that is exactly what she got.

UP: That cake was just as good as the first night. DOWN: Our plan was to get tickets for everyone for the Rockies game that evening. When Gty finally got around to looking into that (a few weeks before) he realized they were playing the Loser Cubs and for some reason the Loser Cubs have a crazy following. So yeah, game sold out. When he talked to the box office they said they would release more tickets 2.5 hours before the game started and to try back then. So the guys jumped in the van and headed downtown 2.5 hours before the game started only to find this atrocity was the line for the tickets.....and we needed 25 tickets.... yeah... it was a no-go.

Gosh I hate the Cubs. Any other team (besides the Yankees, I guess) and we could have walked in with ease. Oh well.... UP: We ended up staying home and, for those 12 and up, playing a super fun game (Loaded Questions--a must on the next SS trip, btw) while the littles did this (watched a movie)...

So yeah, a rollercoaster day. So much fun though. It all worked out for the best, as most things usually do.

Tomorrow? 14,110 feet baby.