Monday, March 23, 2009

The Air Show

Well, we went to the air show at Luke Air Force Base on Saturday! It was pretty cool.

It was an absolute nightmare getting there, though! I really didn't think about how many thousands of people would be going at the exact same time as us. If we go next year, we'll go a lot earlier & hopefully avoid some of the mess.

My sister and her kids are staying with my parents this weekend because it's their spring break. So they came over and went to the air show with us. It was nice to see them again. Erin was glad to see her cousins and especially her Aunt Kristil. Robbie was happy, too, but we obviously don't see them often enough, since he just called everyone "Cousin".

All the parking was off-site, and the lot we went to had school buses shuttling everyone into the show. There were several crazy lines of people waiting for buses. After waiting about an hour, we realized the buses had stopped coming back to the parking lot. We found out that a head-on collision had closed off an intersection and none of the buses could get through. After waiting that long, we weren't about to turn around and go home! Lots of people did, though, and that made the lines shorter.

I was hot and crabby and impatient with my poor kids, but they were really pretty good; better behaved than me! So were Kristil's kids. Especially for just standing out in the desert with nothing to do for so long! Poor things. After another half hour or 45 minutes, we were finally on a bus! Crazy to wait so long? Probably, but I say it's crazier to wait that long and just end up going home. Robbie was really happy to ride a school bus like a big kid. He giggled and talked about the cheesy bus for the whole ride.

The ten of us put the bright orange port-a-potties through a rigorous usage, and we went inside the show. I liked that everyone could just wander around the tarmac and hang out in the shade under the planes & stuff. They let us go inside this big cargo plane, which was pretty exciting:

Here are a few pictures of the kids inside. I had the kids sit down, and I couldn't get Robbie to look up. After I took the picture, I realized he was trying to buckle his seat belt - Poor thing thought we were going for a ride! How sad is that. But he was OK, and we went to check out the rest of the plane...

We got to see a lot of planes doing aerobatics, and even a helicopter going upside down and doing rolls and a bunch of other stuff helicopters were not meant to do. And the jets were so cool! The noise scared the tar out of Robbie, but he got over it. We enjoyed most of the show from the shade under a plane.

Toward the end of the show, we noticed a really old guy shuffling around checking out the planes. He had a cane, and he was wearing his old pilot hat. I'm not one to start chatting with people I don't know, but I bet he would've been an interesting guy to talk to. He was really admiring the planes; I'm sure they were much different than what he flew back in the day!

We stayed to watch the beginning of Thunderbirds' show. We would've liked to have seen the whole thing, but there was NO WAY we were going to wait in line for a bus again afterward when everyone else was leaving too! So we left after the first few passes and watched some of the show from the bus.
Here's my filthy, sunburned boy thoroughly enjoying a ride on a school bus:

On the way home, we stopped at Pizza Hut because Kristil had some sweet hook-ups for free pizza. We came home, cleaned the top layer of dirt off the kids, and gorged ourselves on pizza! It was a long day, but pretty fun. I was glad I got to see my sister and my niece & nephews. I didn't get any pictures of us all together, though. Next time!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break

Erin's spring break is this week. We didn't really plan anything to do, so most of the fun happened Wednesday and Thursday.

My parents came over Wednesday and brought us lunch. They stayed for a little bit, and then Erin went home with them to stay the night. Erin had a great time, and I'm sure my parents won't need to be inside another mall anytime soon.

They were going to take her to Chili's for lunch, but the one they went to was closed - like out of business - when they got there! So they decided to go to Red Robin across the street. On the way to Red Robin, Erin spotted a Taco Bell and decided she wanted that instead! Now, I do like Taco Bell, but who chooses that over Red Robin?! She's nuts.

Mom and Dad brought her back home yesterday, and we had lunch with them again. After they left, when we were coming back in from saying goodbye, we found a huge lizard on the sidewalk by the front door. My lizard-hunting instincts kicked in and I decided to capture the beast. I was good, too. I got closer and closer and the thing didn't get spooked. Because of my stealthy hunting prowess? NO - when I got real close, I realized this lizard was bleeding out of his eyeball and not breathing too well. My next move? "Erin, go get the camera."

OK, he's not huge, but pretty big. Since he was so lethargic, the kids got to check out his claws and his scales really close. I pointed out how you can see their little sides move when they breathe, but, uh... Hmm. His sides weren't moving anymore. Poor lizard. We relocated him to the grass (what was I supposed to do, throw him away?) and that was that for poor Mr. Lizard. We went inside to wash our hands of whatever he was carrying that caused him such ill fate. (although my guess is cat)

Then we went to this Spring Break Family Day at Westgate in Glendale (where the Coyotes arena & Cardinals stadium are). I thought it would pretty much just be a free movie with tons of wild kids everywhere. But it was great! There really weren't that many people, and it seemed well organized. We didn't play in the little fountain because nobody needs to be soaking wet in a movie theater.

When we picked up our movie tickets, they gave us a paper good for $10 at most of the businesses at Westgate. There wasn't really anything for the kids to spend $10 on, so we went into The Body Shop and got a $10 body butter. Erin loves it, and Robbie liked smelling everything in there. My total was $0.81 after tax.

Then they brought out free ice cream! It was little cups of chocolate or vanilla from Cold Stone! Mmmm. While we were eating, I found a dime in the grass, so my total amount spent went down to $0.71. After the ice cream, we watched "Race to Witch Mountain". I don't watch movies often enough to review them, so I'll rate it with one shrug. Meaning: It's a movie; it's entertaining. The kids liked it & had fun going to the theater.

On our way out, Robbie really wanted to go on the escalator. Erin was amused that there was an escalator outside. So I sent them on one ride up and then back down.

We watched the big fountain for a while (like the Bellagio's step-child) and then discovered they were serving free nachos! FREE + NACHOS = DINNER. A place called Moe's was doing it, and they had black beans and a white nacho cheese sauce that was pretty good. Robbie mostly ate olives. And they gave us bottled water. So we ate nachos by the fountain and listened to a some music. They had a couple of guys set up on a little stage with guitars and they were covering songs from groups like The Eagles and Jack Johnson - good stuff.

And Robbie liked that they were showing basketball on the giant TV.

Then we came home. That was 71 cents well spent!

The kids ran to check out the dead lizard again (Yep, still dead) and we went inside to relax. Well, I relaxed anyway. The kids had their second wind. I'm not completely sure I even had my first wind today! Whatever that means.

Tomorrow we're going to this.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


No, you’re not imagining it: three blog posts in one day! I’ve been hesitant to blog the last few days, so bear with me while I explain myself and make up for it.

The main reason I’ve put off blogging is because I feel somewhat guilty. A good friend of mine lost her very young son suddenly last week. She and her family have been on my mind constantly, and I guess I feel bad about posting about our everyday, silly goings-on when I know she is suffering through such a horrible time.

I’m not going to discuss her situation because I feel it’s inappropriate to write about someone else’s tragedy. However, the thoughts and feelings I’ve had lately are important to me and I feel I should get them out and share some of them. The things I’ve learned & reflected on in the wake of someone else’s misfortune.

I love my kids and I am very grateful for them. Period. There’s not a stronger way to say it! Today while Erin was at school and Robbie was napping, I had some quiet time while doing laundry and ironing. I folded Erin’s pants and was thankful that they will be filled with a wonderful little girl again. I ironed Robbie’s little dress shirts and was thankful that I was preparing them for church and not for a viewing.

I hope I don’t forget. Will I get mad at my kids again? Yes. Was I happy when Robbie let go of my hand and ran down the aisle in Target today? No. But I love them and I’m glad they’re mine.

Tomorrow I’m going to the funeral. I’ve been kind of trying to prepare myself emotionally, but you can’t. There are certain sizes caskets just shouldn’t come in. It makes my heart ache. I know my friend would be there for me if the situation were reversed. I pray that Heavenly Father will give her the strength and comfort to get through the service. And then to get home. And then to eat lunch. And to get up every day. And to enjoy her life, as different as it will be. I know He will. Maybe it will just be a little bit at a time, but I know that Heavenly Father blesses each of us more than we know.

Why on earth would I post about this on my blog? I guess I’m just thankful for a very important reminder of my priorities, and I want to remind everyone else. Now go hug your kids. Don’t take them for granted like we tend to do sometimes.

Now I’ve come to terms about posting about what we’ve been up to lately. I think that when bad things happen, we sometimes feel like moving on with our lives belittles the tragedy. I’m learning that is not the case. While we should reverence life, living it and enjoying it are part of reverencing it.

Here’s to living life…


Now that I'm not babysitting, I find myself a little more free to go out and do things during the day. I also find myself without cash.

I picked up a part-time shift at the new Kohl's they built a couple of miles away. I'll be working from 8pm-12:30am after it opens on April 1st. I have an Ad-Set position, which is more behind-the-scenes, so I won't be running a register or anything like that. In the meantime, I'm working other random evening shifts, training and merchandising. The pay is low, and the hours are low, but the shift is perfect so I won't miss anything with the kids. Hopefully the paycheck will help to fill the gaps!

Baseball, Billy Goats, and Meat

A couple of weeks ago, I learned that I wouldn't be babysitting during the day anymore. The kids I was watching are now going to daycare/preschool to get the four-year-old ready for kindergarten. So that was a little change for us! The gave us two weeks' notice, which we really appreciated, and the last day, they paid me and didn't bring the kids over (on purpose). I thought that was a nice gesture.

So I had a day with just me and Robbie last Friday. Erin's class was doing a reader's theater at school that day, so we got to go to that. After dropping her off at school, Robbie and I killed time before going back for the rousing rendition of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff".

We went to the Wal-Mart in Maryvale to buy Ziplocks and managed to spend plenty of time looking through the store. Good thing that one still has fish to look at.

After that, it was off to the library for the remainder of our time! But alas, the library's hours have been cut ala recession and they weren't open yet. I didn't want to go to the park because Robbie had flip-flops on (not too park-friendly). Then it occurred to me that we were right by the Marvale baseball park where the Brewers have spring training! Robbie? Baseball? Perfect! Off we went to watch batting practice. We walked along the outside fence, peeking in through the air holes in the batter's eye and through the gaps in the fence.

Robbie was pretty happy to see "baseball guys" in their uniforms and doing their thing! Finally a ball rolled over near us, and this guy picked it up and handed it to Robbie with the instructions to not break any windows. He was pretty happy! "Official Major Leage Baseball" it says beneath the grass stain.

After that, we went to sit in the grass behind the outfield and wait for something to come over the fence. It wasn't too long before one sailed out and Robbie got to run after it and field it. Two baseballs! He had a good day.

We picked up a Five-Dolla Footlong and went to Erin's school. The kids were cute, reading their parts from behind their goat and troll masks. Robbie liked seeing Erin in her classroom, and she was happy waving back to him. We ate lunch, and Erin's old kindergarten teacher came over and visited with Robbie for a little bit about his ASU shirt. He replied with "Go Devils" and produced the pitchfork for her. She's a cool teacher, and I hope she's still around when Robbie is in kindergarten!

Rob's step-dad sells meat, so we always buy in bulk from him. We used some of our tax return money to buy lots of meat from him, and he came over to deliver it to us later that afternoon. Robbie got to see his Papa Dan, and we had a nice little visit. And a fridge full of meat. (See why we needed the Ziplocks? To divide & freeze insane amounts of ground beef)

It was a good day. Baseball, billy goats, and meat. OH, and Rob shampooed our living room carpet that night. It was MUCH-needed!