Monday, August 26, 2013

Early 2013 continued.


Though generally I lose my steam in winter months February proved unusually active.  We went bowling, had a couple birthday parties, and went to Monterey, California. 

Kate getting a strike in bowling

Kate turned 6 in February.  She wanted a cowboy party.  Honestly I was a little surprised since last year was princesses and knights.  Time flies and things change quickly with it.  As usual I went way overboard.  I made stuffed stick horses for each kid (which ended up being over 20 horses), had a "Kate's General Store", and "Outhouse", cowboy hats, lassos, a boot pinata, and cactus cupcakes.  I can't tell you how tired I was after that one.  As a thank you for each child I took their picture through the "Wanted" poster frame with a cactus and horse in the background.  They turned out really funny and cute.  

This is Kate's wanted poster.

It never ceases to amaze me how kids get closer and closer to the birthday girl/boy as s/he opens gifts.  Just watch at the next party you attend.  They will start pretty far away but inch closer and closer until they are completely surrounding the birthday child.

Grandpa was an awesome sport, holding the pinata for the kids to hit.  Unfortunately, there is a certain boy who shall remain unnamed who packs quite a punch.  And his punch landed on grandpa's fingers.

Okay.  The cactus cupcakes were supposed to be a little cuter than this.  I saw some similar on Pintrest but apparently that baker had a cupcake pan with very deep wells and put in all those little white sprinkles, bunch by bunch.  Oh well, they were sort of cactusy.  More importantly, they were tasty.

Kate had a family party and a friend party.  For the family party I made a cowboy cake.  The hat is out of rice crispy treats and fondant.  The cowboy boots are candles.  She picked out her own cake design.  Unfortunately most of my cake decorating supplies are in storage so the finer details weren't perfect (and I'm a perfectionist) but she was happy.  That is all that REALLY matters, after all.

Kate warming her hands over the candle fire.

There is nothing better than an awesome child's expression captured in a picture.

The cowgirl devouring her cake 

Asher helped Kate open her gifts.  He didn't seem to like what was in them much.

My mom turned 60 this year.  My dad wanted to have a small party for her as a surprise.  I think she had a good time.  She got mint brownies (her favorite) for dessert.

Jon and I went to Monterey, California with Jon's mom and her husband, and all of Jon's siblings.  Though it was the first time both parents have been away from Kate and Asher it was a nice break.  And it was nice to be around Jon's family without having to take care of kids.  I got to know Jon's siblings as adults instead of aunts and uncles.  

Jon's mom and step-dad have a house near Spanish Bay golf course and hotel.  In the evenings there is a bagpiper who plays as people sit around fire pits outside.  It was awesome.  I love me some good bagpipe.

I love Mexican Train Dominoes.  I've always wanted to get to the double zero domino but it never happened until this vacation.  Everyone was pretty sick of it by then but I loved it.  :)

Then there was the Spa.  Ah, the spa.  Janet took the girls to a spa near Pebble Beach that was just absolute heaven.  We got massages, had relaxation time in a quiet room, scented neck wraps, and awesome facilities to get ready later.  If I was a member of that spa I'd never leave.

While we went to the spa the men went golfing.  Suckers.

 I think one of my favorite things about the trip was just being in a green setting again.  It was cool, but green.  And fragrant.  There were even some flowers popping out.   

 The area along the Spanish Bay/Pebble beach area is just spectacular.  Jon and I took a bike ride and I got some awesome shots of the beach.

The whole group

At the San Jose airport I ran into a little trouble.  I carry pepper spray in my bag and when I go running.  I accidentally left it in my purse.  How I made it through the Salt Lake Airport with it I don't know, but I didn't get through San Jose with it.  My name is now on some airport security list somewhere under the title "trying to board a plane with pepper spray."

On the way to California, a family wanted to sit together and asked if one of us would mind going up to first class so they could do so.  Jon instantly agreed and left me back in coach next to the screaming baby.  It was only fair that on the way home he ended up in the very last row, over the engine, right across from the bathroom.  Karma.

The rest of February was filled with kids who just couldn't wait for better weather.  Asher was dying to ride his scooter, and though I warned him it probably wouldn't work too well, he gave it a go in the snow.

I won a ticket to see the band Gold Fields in a studio session.  It was so nice to have some alone time that didn't involve errands.  I almost felt kind of cool again.

 The kids wanted to make chocolate covered heart marshmallows for Jon for Valentines.  It was quite a messy experience.  The best kind for kids.  :)

 Asher is always a good helper.

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