Friday, April 29, 2011

Superior at State

Congratulations to my son and the rest of the Concert Choir for achieving the mark of Superior at State Competition, the highest mark to get!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Inch of Geekdom

Back in March, I gave you a preview of the stamp I carved for a trading card swap.  The theme was "An Inch of Geekdom;" it had to be something you geek out on and it could only be an inch square.  Mine, of course, was an inch of the Whedonverse; Buffy and Angel's Claddagh Ring.

We all sent our 30 copies to the ringleader, who sorted them and mailed them back out to us.   

Check out these beauties.  These are all hand-carved images!

Pretty awesome array of Geek!

Pictured above: 
Row 1: My submission, Tiger Pride's "R2D2," MN Compass' "Chocolate Alchemy."

Row 2: BAC's "Subways" (whoops! I think it's upside down), Sarcasmo's "Gnomes," and Cookie Cutter's "Fenton Fanatic."

Row 3: Caffeine Engineer's "Lost," Cat Eyes' "Euro-Boardgames: Settlers of Catan," and Baqash's "Historical Roots."

Pictured above:
Row 1: Clan Castors' "Cameras," Padawan's "Qui Gon Jinn," and Maude's "Building Hugger."

Row 2: Red Cruz-sader's "Angels," VB's "2+2=10," and Red Cruz-sader's "Princess Bride."

Row 3: SHH's "It's all Geek to Me," zyrxy's "BBC TV" and Wyvern's "Godzilla."

Pictured above:
Row 1:  Mama Cache's "Word Nerd," Geometry Junkie's "Tim Burton Fan," and Silva Foot Family's "Naruto."

Row 2:  Cat Eyes' "Euro-Board Games: I Love Meeps!," SWGS's "Hi Tech Toy," and Cat Eyes' "Euro-Boardgames: Ticket to Ride."

Row 3:  Milk Money's "Avatar" (it opens), Thunderbird's "Birds" and "Jedi" by Padawan.

Pictured above:
Row 1:  Sweet n Sassy's "Harry Potter," Foraych's "Chocolate Part Deux," and Dartmoor Dreamer's "Starry Night."

Row 2: Foraych's "Chocolate," Maos' "Celtic Geek," and dancingpecan's "Fantasy's Fool."

Row 3:  zyrxy's "BBC TV 2" and Team BearCat's "Garden Geek."

Click on the pictures to make them bigger, so you can see the great details these carvers created.  I am humbled and awed.  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy 50th Denise!

Saturday night was a surprise party for Jacob's aunt Denise.  (My ex-husband's sister.)  Jacob's grandfather and my two other ex sisters-in-laws called me three weeks ago asking if I would make the cake for the party.  Of course!

Now, my ex's family is great. Loud, LOUD Italians but really great people.  Jake's grandpa Alex deliberately "forgot" to call Denise on the actual day of her 50th birthday.  She was LIVID!  The following day, she called Alex and tore him a new one over the phone.  "You forgot my birthday!!  Are you suffering from DEMENTIA?!?!?"  Alex apologized and told her that to make it up to her, she should come over to dinner Saturday night.  Her answer? "NO!!!!"  She was mad!  It took a LOT of convincing from Denise's husband to get her to go to dinner Saturday night (hubby was in on it, of course.)

Meanwhile, the two sisters-in-law Maureen and Sharon were hard at work making decorations and creating picture books and place settings, etc. and I'm making a cake.

My entire family (David is always invited to their functions. I told you. They are cool) and I loaded the cake in the car and made our way south about an hour to the party location.

Oh, it was decorated so wonderfully.  Maureen, Sharon & Alex did a fantastic job on the decorating and arranging.   Black,white and cream decorated the back porch and pool area.  Buffet tables were set up by a catering company with wonderful appetizers and main course items.

These are hat boxes painted and decorated by Maureen.  Isn't it great?
Every table had them, each with two pictures of the birthday gal
at various ages.

Maureen made the cupcakes, I made the cake.  Duh!

There was a catered buffet.  YUMMY FOOD.

My wonderful kids.

Alex and his grandson.

Uncle Cary and Jacob

Jacob and Aunt Sharon

Great Aunt Theresa (Alex's sister), Aunt Maureen and Aunt Sharon

Jacob's brother (yes, he has a brother on his dad's side)
Gregory and Jacob.

Alex thought ahead and had Gregory, Jacob's big brother, valet-parking all the cars on the other side of the wooded lot next to his house.  This way, Denise would not see the tons of cars there.  

Denise's daughter texted her grandpa Alex when they were on their way and when the were on his street.  Silence fell (well, really....about as much silence as you can have with a group of loud Italians and their friends), Alex opened the door and we all yelled "SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!"

She was definitely surprised.

Dinner was served.  

Isabel "helps" open gifts. 
 The rest of the evening was spent eating, drinking and having a great time.

Happy 50th Birthday Denise!!


HAIR CUT!  WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Flat Stanley Visits Islands of Adventure

A fellow letterboxer in Oregon posted a request for host families for their son's Flat Stanley.  Don't know who/what Flat Stanley is?  Have you been under a rock?  (then you're flat too, huh?)  Kidding!  Unless you have, or work with, elementary-aged kids, you might not know about this cute way for kids to learn all about different places in their country and the world.

So when I read the request, I volunteered to take Stanley from Oregon to Florida and go to Universal's Islands of Adventure.  Our daughter Isabel was excited to meet him and kept wanting to be the one in charge of Stanley.  We headed off yesterday and here are some pictures of what we did.  (click on the pictures to make them bigger if you'd like.) 

Welcome to Islands of Adventure, Stanley.
So dapper in his shirt and tie, isn't he?

Since this ride gets you wet, Stanley opted not to ride. 
 We headed over to a place Stanley really wanted to see.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of I.O.A.

Entering Hogsmeade.

With a little help from our son Jacob,
Stanley got a look at the Hogwarts Express.

In line to ride the Dragon Challenge, Stanley poses in front of his favorite
Tri-Wizard Cup Champion's sign.

Isabel and Hedwig pose with a Dervish and Banges employee outside the store.

Hogwarts Castle!

The Hogwarts Singers.

Inside Honeydukes, Stanley wants a Chocolate frog!

Extendable ears inside Zonko's Joke Shop.

So long, Hogwarts!
 We hopped over to the Universal Studios park and did a few rides there too.

Ahhhh!  Krusty the Klown.


Time for a show at Universal Studios before we leave.
Throughout the day, people would spot Isabel with Stanley and we'd hear "Look, she has a Flat Stanley."  One lady in Honeydukes smiled as I took the picture and said "Stanley,  I remember you well."

 Stanley was exhausted but had a great time.  He's heading back home to Oregon in an envelope full of pictures and a couple of small items for him to remember his trip by.

So long Flat Stanley!  Hope you enjoyed your stay!

I'm Still Here

I'm still here.  Just really have been avoiding all things internet lately.  The world. Ugh.  Too much information all the time CAN have it's down side.  Sometimes, you can overload on status updates, and doom and gloom.

I've been busy baking, reading books and hanging out with the family.  I'm preparing a couple of posts soon, though.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Busch Gardens

I can't remember the last time went went to Busch Gardens in Tampa; not since Isabel was born and she's 7.  We decided to head over there Sunday and spend the day.  The park was not busy at all and we had a fun (hot) day.   

Welcome to Busch Gardens.

One excited gal.

That's one Big Bird.

What in the world??

Shiekra.  Holy Cow!

Here they come!


She was NOT happy.

Up in the sky!


David took this picture right as the roller coaster came by.  

Huh? What? Me?

By the time 3 o'clock rolled around, I was exhausted.  Compared to the Universal parks, this place is HUGE.  The sun kicked my butt and I was dehydrated.  We took a slow train ride around the park and ended up leaving right around 5:45 p.m.