Sunday, September 28, 2008

You'd think someone around here liked Transformers

Well if you didn't know it before, you know it now- Colby likes Transformers. Just a little bit. Case in point; it looked like Transformers had overtaken our kitchen table:

He and his friends enjoyed the masks. So much cooler than the little cone hats we used to have when we were kids:

I was going to post a few pictures of him opening gifts, but they would have all looked like this one. With the exception of one gift, everything he got was Transformers in some way, shape, or form.

That extra candle this year really gave him a tough time. He finally got all six blown out without hyperventilating.

Here's the happy birthday boy!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pictures from last night

I just posted our earplug story from the concert last night, so I thought I'd make a separate post with the awesome shots of the bands I got from our awesome seats.

Ohhhhh wait, that's right. Ms. Security Lady wouldn't let me bring in my camera. So I don't have any awesome shots that I got from our awesome seats.

Thaaat's right. Even though everyone else had cameras (including the chick in front of me who had almost my exact same model), I couldn't bring mine in because it's an SLR.

I remember now. It's not like I'll never see these three top-of-the-line bands all in one place on one night again.

Gee, I almost forgot I couldn't take any FANTASTICLY AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHS. Just completely slipped my mind.

No, I'm not bitter. Not at all.

I know I'm getting old, but that was ridiculous

Last night Brian and I had the opportunity to see the stellar lineup of Jars of Clay, Switchfoot AND Third Day at the Irvine stop of the Music Builds Tour. To say that anticipation for the night was high would be an understatement. Not only are Jars and Third Day his and my favorite bands, respectively, we had *fantastic* seats. Or so we thought.

As we located our seats and saw how close they were to the stage, we were pretty pumped. We gave a passing glance to the 20-foot-tall speaker about 15 feet away from us, but we'd sat near the speaker before at other venues and not had too much problem.

Over the sound system came the pre-show music. You know, just random songs to fill the time. Usually these songs are played at a dim level, since people are arriving and ushers are helping people finds seats, etc. Well let me tell you... the Verizon Amphitheatre is not like every other venue in this regard. You know how usually in the middle of a concert you have a hard time speaking to the person next to you? You might even have to get right up into their ear to speak to them, right? Well it was like that during the pre-show, no joke. We looked at each other and said, "Uh, that's LOUD," or at least we would have if either of us could have heard each other.

Soon Jars of Clay came out to get things started. The minute they started to play, I literally felt like my ears were going to burst.... horrible buzzing/ringing/piercing sound... not fun. It was so loud, there was no distinction to the sound, and therefore nothing that sounded like music was reaching our ears; just sound... very LOUD SOUND.

Brian went up to the upper section where the usher was standing to ask if they knew where we could get some earplugs. He didn't come back with any, but did find out that the sound was at least somewhat bearable a little further back. We didn't want to give up our $65 seats, but there was absolutely no way we could spend the whole concert there. None of the security guards would let us into the upper sections because that's not where our seats were. The free-admission lawn area in the waaaay back was closed off for the night. We contemplated finding a couple that we could trade seats with, but figured that might be a hard sell.

Finally I started asking people who had the sense to be wearing earplugs if they might have any extra. Nobody could really hear what I was asking, even though I thought my hand motions were pretty self-explanatory. One guy even broke out his pack of smokes and offered me one. I'm not sure if he was thinking I looked stressed and needed a smoke, or if he was recommending I stick them in my ear.

Grasping at straws, we figured we'd head out into the plaza area outside the amphitheatre and somehow find some earplugs. Later it was suggested to me that we could have used TP or a paper towel, but for whatever reason we were fixated on getting actual earplugs. The first lady we came to was selling ice cold sodas and water, but we figured we could see if she knew of anyone selling earplugs.

To our surprise, she turned around to her personal belongings and said, "I think I have some; I know we brought some to the last place we worked." Lo and behold, after a couple of minutes of anxious searching, she did find an unopened package of earplugs. Those things looked like little blue marshmallows from heaven to me at that moment. Assuming she was a generous soul, it caught me a little off guard when she said, "So whatever amount you want to give for them is fine..." We don't carry cash. Great.

But wait! Over there! There's one of those ATM machines that charges you $50 to withdraw $20! We didn't care. Off to the ATM we went. The lady did turn out to be a generous soul, as she gave us the earplugs before we paid her, with no guarantee we'd come back with the money. But of course we did, and let me tell you, that was the best $5 I've ever spent. Well, $7 after the ATM fees, but who's counting.

Now I've never been one to wear earplugs at a concert, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only could I hear actual *music,* but it really sounded good! I couldn't hear the crowd yelling or the clapping, but by gosh I could still hear myself think.

I have no doubt that had the Pepsi lady not had those earplugs, we'd have either left the show (and missed the 60-year-old hippie next to me getting his groove on... even doing spin moves in the aisle...absolutely hilarious!) or had irreparable hearing damage. So THANK YOU Pepsi lady for your kind deed. Let me know if I can ever return the favor.

Autobots...Transform and Roll Out!

Here we have the final version of the Transformers cake. I was nervous about the flames, because Colby had specifically requested a flame going down the middle of the cake, and I wasn't exactly sure how to accomplish that. I'm really happy with the result. Typically I do cakes in more of a paint-by-number fashion, meaning someone else comes up with the design and provides instructions on which colors and techniques go where. This was a completely original design, and I really like it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Transformation begins

Here's the challenge: Transform an ordinary sheet cake into a super-cool Transformers cake. So far, I've got the chocolate transfer done-

The plan is to put that on top of the sheet cake (similar to the Mickey cake), and embellish it as necessary. Colby likes the idea of actual Transformers toys on the cake, which I don't much care for. It is *his* cake, though, so I'm sure there will be toys on it somewhere. I'll post more pics when I have the finished product.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Colby's grand idea

This just in... Colby's grand idea! He was sitting at the table eating his pear, and formulating his plan. Since I didn't want his pear seed planted in our yard, he thought it would be good to give the seeds to homeless people, so they could plant them and have food. He would also tell the people about Jesus and about how God loves them, even people he doesn't know. And just in case they want to give him money in exchange for the seeds, he'll bring a little cup.

We're going to check the mail now, and he's bringing his seeds with him in case he runs into someone who needs them. Skipping down the hallway to get his shoes, he squealed, "I'm going to serve God!!!"

Monday, September 22, 2008

Such a bummer

Well, apparently enough people have complained about the musical road that they're taking it out. Seems the people nearby can hear the song all the time and it bothers them. We can hear it from our house too, but I actually enjoy it. It makes me smile. It's a real bummer that they're taking it out; it's one of only 2 or 3 roads like it in the world. Oh well; every party needs a pooper.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Looks like fun

I just came across this on, where they said this is a true phenomenon which has been documented by people who study such things. Looks like a fun game to me!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yes, the road makes music

I had no idea what my friend was talking about when she asked if I had driven on the musical road near my house. I was thinking that someone had brought out some speakers and was playing music by the road... I dunno. She said it was something about bumps in the road that make a song when you go 50mph. Ooook....

So today I decided to drive by after we picked Colby up from school and check it out. They had a sign up saying it was the "Honda Civic Musical Road." The sign even sported the City of Lancaster logo; very official. It was nothing like I was expecting. We got up to speed and then I saw big x's across the westbound lane. Sure enough, the road is quite musical! I didn't recognize the song, but it sounded like a horn was playing a tune as we drove by. Very clever.

Some of the comments on YouTube indicate that the road will only be like that for 2 weeks since people are complaining about the noise, but who knows. If you're local, you should go try it out, though! Even better- take your friends out for a drive and don't tell them about the road. And then act like you didn't hear anything.

Monday, September 15, 2008

In Review

I just spent about 30 minutes or so reading all of my old posts in this blog. Often I've thought to myself, "what's the point? Nobody's reading what I write anyway." But I just realized that I've captured some neat memories and occasions and even just some funny times over the past 18 months or so.

Maybe I don't have a lot of readers, but you know what? It's a mini-journal of the life of our family, and that makes it worthwhile after all.

PS- Remember my jump rope post? Yeah, haven't picked up the jump rope since. Glad I didn't pay much for it.

And I'm happy to update the March Forth entry. As of last Friday, we had totally paid off our debt... all $12,000. Even more importantly, we haven't accumulated any further debt, and we feel like we have a much better handle on our finances. Now we have some budget decisions to make, since we no longer have to send off large sums of money to the credit card company each month. We're praying for wisdom and self-control.

Oh, and I still never finished reading Heaven. I got much further than I ever have before, though!!! Anybody need a Christmas present idea for me?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

He's Three!
Today we celebrated Tyler's birthday... "Wall-E-ana Jones" style. Read on, you'll see.

So yesterday you read my post about birthday themes being the topic of discussion for the past several months, right? Well, fairly recently we came upon the idea for a Wall-E birthday. All of us being the Wall-E lovers we are, Tyler immediately decided that he would have a Wall-E birthday. As luck would have it, Wilton makes a Wall-E pan, so I was all set. Here's the cake I made:

Tyler is a big fan of Eve (or Eeeevah, as he affectionately calls her), so I made a chocolate Eve to include in the festivities.

And here are my three guys, looking stunning in their Wall-E masks. They're all the rage this Fall.

Now here's where the story takes a little turn. In the meantime between deciding on a Wall-E party and the actual party, a particular fondness for Indiana Jones started to devleop. So much so that both boys run around the house swinging old shoelaces for whips and wearing straw hats instead of fedoras. So Grandma and Papa decided that Tyler ought to have some "real" Indiana Jones attire. It's safe to say, the costume and whip were the stars of the birthday present parade.

The whip in action. It actually makes a cracking sound and plays the Indiana Jones theme when you whip it.

On with the party! Outside, Tyler wasn't too sure of the pinata until he saw that candy fell out of it.

Ready for cake!

Huff and puff and BLOW that last candle out!

I would never have given him this large a piece of cake, but he really really wanted Wall-E's eyes. I gave in... you're only 3 once, right?

He was serious about wanting the eyes... and only the eyes...

I mean, really serious...

And I think that about brings us to the end of our fabulous party. Happy Birthday, Mr. Tyler!


There was no better title for this post than simply..."Birthdays." This time of year is a virtual non-stop birthday celebration for our family. Both of the kids and I all have our birthdays within a three week span of each other's.

This year, the kids were thinking about their birthday themes months in advance. Of course along with that, they figured I should have a theme for mine as well. Who was I to argue? Although I told them I didn't want a Hannah Montana or Little Mermaid party, I did say I'd like my party to be something pink. Now mind you, I wasn't actually expecting a party. I was just playing along with the "what kind of birthday do you want?" game.

Apparently someone took me seriously. :) After we got back from dinner at Red Robin (yummmm, my fav), I arrived at my parents' house to find it all decked out in pink balloons and streamers!!

I had a couple helpers to open my pink presents with me.

I got a brick???

Birthday hugs :)

We finished off the party with pink rootbeer floats (made with strawberry soda). So cute!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

My body thinks it's still summer

I've been having the toughest time getting into the school-year groove. In the summer, Brian and I were staying up until midnight or later, hanging out, watching TV, whatever. Now I need to be in bed by 10:30... bummer. I'm a lazy person in general, and I really nurture that side of me during the summer. :) Somehow I need to get myself in gear!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day

Last week on vacation, Colby was adamant he didn't want to go back to school this year. He even pointed out that you *are* allowed to be absent. I couldn't blame him, though. Nobody wants to think about going back to the grind when you're on vacation.

I'm happy to report that yesterday and again today he was very excited about going back to school, even moreso when he saw lots of his buddies from Junior Kindergarten were in his class again this year.

Brian took the day off from work, not as much to support Colby as to support Mama. :) Last year I was a mess, and up until yesterday, this year I was fine. It hit me last night that he's growing up so fast, and I did shed a few tears.

Anyway, here are some pictures of my big boy going off to school:

Last year, for comparison

And this year