Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Same house and same people and just like any other Sunday except it is Easter so I tried to make the day more special for the special day. Start off with a spring green table cloth with white dishes and gerber daisys for the center piece. Menu of ham, funeral potatoes, baked beans, lime jello salad and hot rolls.

Always the time of year to start using the screen doors so that means a clean patio is necessary too. Hose the tile and vacuum the furniture. So, sitting outside the little boys decided they might want to try swimming. The water temperature is 66 degrees. They gave it a good try but obviously decided it is much too early to be swimming!

Tatum enjoyed the swinging and looking at the "birds" flying from tree to tree.

Back to school for Chelsea, Chandler and Alvin tomorrow after two weeks of spring break. Our vacation was filled with a few days of yard work, appointments, always things for Alvin to do at the school, a few sick days, and some fun. Next day off will be Friday, April 25.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Photoshop Class

Gretchen, Chelsea and I just finished tonight a three week photoshop elements class at Mesa Community College. We decided the instructor wasn't very thorough and we should have learned more than we did but it did open our eyes to a few things. Now we just need to continue on ourselves to really learn what we are doing. Here is my first completed project. Not so bad!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fun day with Chandler, Cooper and Tatum

Yesterday we took Stephen and Chelsea to the airport for their "get away" to the LA area until Sunday. Gretchen took off work and we planned a fun full day with the kids. First we went to the to view the "Spring Butterfly Exhibit."
First of all I have to express my regrets that we have no pictures of this day. I did grab the camera as I usually do but had forgotten that the picture disk was in my computer from previous viewing the day before. So, to our disappointment we have no pictures.

The butterflies were in an enclosure filled with flowering plants and tropical greenery. A very pretty site. They said if you would stand really still a butterfly might land on you so Cooper and Chandler stood very still a few times but no landing. Actually, Pa was sitting on a bench and a small blueish white butterfly landed on his shoulder. Tatum and the boys thought that was pretty cool. A nice group of ladies took our picture with their camera and said she would email the picture to us but so far haven't received it. I am sure she will in time but she just doesn't realize that I need it quickly for this blog post.

We then ventured to our next event just across the road to the Phoenix Municipal Stadium for the Diamondback and Oakland Athletics spring training game. It was terribly warm and our great seats, lower level just behind the home base, were too sunny and hot for Tatum's fair skin. So, I scouted out shaded cooler seats in the upper level so Tatum and I could be free of the hot sun. Probably by the third inning Gretchen, Pa, Chandler and Cooper had joined me in this area. We have found that seating is not so strick in spring training games and we were lucky because we ended up with no sunburns. We actually lasted until the "7th inning stretch" where Cooper sang Take Me Out To The Ballgame and then we headed home with tired kids. A little outdoor play time with neighbors, dinner and video game before bedtime rounded out the day. Cooper's favorite part of the day was the butterflies and Chandler liked the ballgame the best. I just liked being together with everybody.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Start of Spring Break . . .

We just returned from a very good two day trip. On Sunday morning we traveled to Tucson to attend a Diamondbacks spring training game. We have never been to Tucson Electric Park before and it was well worth the trip. We had seats a couple feet past the first base line and even though we were sitting on row 11 you were so close to the field. That what makes spring training games so good because you get to sit so close to the players.

The park was beautiful - so clean and green with lots of good food choices even though I only had a cold drink. The weather was in the high 60's and breezy at times. Stealth bombers kept flying over and landing at the nearby Davis Monthan Air Force Base. That was noisy but a cool site.
After the game we checked in at the hotel and than went a few blocks away for dinner at the El Charro. Yes, Tucson has an El Charro too but not related to the spot in Mesa. The name represents itself well because the food was delicious. We actually paid $50.00 extra for a room at the Radisson to try out a "sleep number bed." Alvin has been intrigued by the idea for some time so why not try it out if given the chance. So, you lay on your side of the bed and start punching this remote arrow up for a harder bed. It actually goes up to the number 80 and as you push the button you hear this motor running and the bed gets harder and harder. It wasn't comfortable that hard; it felt like to me my back was being pushed up toward the ceiling! So I figured I would try the other end of the number. I pushed the arrow as far down as it would go which was number 30 and you than felt like you were sleeping in a hammock. So, how does one find the perfect number to have a comfortable sound sleep. Actually, we both choise the number 55. About 4 AM I woke up with the worst back ache. You know Alvin is a "remote hogger" so of course I could not find the remote to change the setting. Needless to say, I had the worst back ache today.
So, my first impression with a sleep number bed is not good but you probably need many nights to figure out your right setting.

We took a long way home today and that is what we usually do when we go anywhere anymore. We went to Mount Lemon and that was a very pretty drive until you get where the fire destroyed the trees and homes on top. It looked like it was such a pretty town before the fire. There was snow still on the ground and in the 40's. On the way back down the hill we stopped at a observation point that had these huge flat rocks and boulders that looked so inviting that we took a little hike like some others were doing. That was fun! Alvin wanted to go to Orcale a town about 30 miles outside of Tucson to just see what was there. We liked the elevation and the terrain but don't worry we aren't moving! We drove straight through Florence to Florence Junction and than headed to the Mesa El Charro. A great place to end a fun two day excape.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Ducks are back . . .

For a third year in a row the ducks are back. Isn't it amazing how they find their way back to our yard each year? Now, I am not sure I am glad or sad. Last year they were a little more friendly then I appreciated at times. Now STOP what you are thinking -- I know it is my own fault but they definitely have been enjoyment for the kids.

Cup Cakes vs. Sugar Cookies

I have been making cupcakes lately; every since I purchased the cupcake stand a while ago. And, probably because their popular return to the consumer market. After making Tatum's birthday cupcakes the other day I have to put them in the same category as making sugar cookies. I love to eat sugar cookies but I don't expecially like making them because I first of all hate "cutting the butter into the flour" and rolling out the dough is not much fun for me either. But, the decorating part is the worst and perhaps it isn't that I hate it so much but mainly that I am not good at it. I have a friend Karen Bueler who makes the most beautiful sugar cookies. She moved away many years ago but I still remember her decorated Santa Clause cookies that you didn't want to eat because they were so beautiful. Sometimes to accomplish something well you need the right equipment and some talent. I think I have both but what probably defeats me is my pre-set attitude of knowing that the end product will be not pretty to look at.

The same goes with my cupcakes. You spend a great deal of time frosting each cake and buy every available decorations to go with your theme and they are just OK when finished. I looked online to see cupcake decorations and arrived at this conclusion. The new trendy cupcake stores that are opening up across the country aren't decorated with anything creative but rather simple swirls of frosting and some sprinkles. They are selling their cupcakes for the true flavor of the cupcake itself and offering many different varieties. I decided that too is what is important because I can make tasty cakes from stratch. At least that analogy of mine made me feel better!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

I was very cold yesterday (even though it was over 80 degrees outside)

My grandchildren are wonderful even when they give you their sickness. Cooper and Tatum have had the crud for the 3rd time since Christmas and now I also have it for the 3rd time. Saturday night I went to bed with a cough like Coopers but slept OK and woke up with a raspy voice and still the cough. I didn't feel so bad though. After Noon I started to get cold so I covered up in my bed. Still cold so got up and put a sweater over my sweats and long sleeve t-shirt and back to bed with blanket and bedspread pulled up high. Still cold - got up and put socks on my feet and my long red warm bathrobe and huddled under the covers again. Still cold. Something kept telling me to get up and take a hot bath. So, I turned the heater on to warm the bathroom and ran scalding hot water in the tub. I jumped in and it felt good but needed a wet suit for my top half because that was still cold. I started feeling nauseous and light headed. Perhaps too much heat! So, I hurried out and made it back to the bed before I fainted. The only good thing about the bath is that I wasn't cold any more. So, I spent the rest of the day in bed. Gretchen prepared the Sunday dinner which was Tatum's birthday dinner. I had made cupcakes on Saturday afternoon so she did have a birthday celebration.

There is a reason for this story and that is when your little kiddies are sick and "cold" please remember my story and bundle them up!