Sunday, January 31, 2016

Shrine Circus ~ 2015

It was just a random Saturday, with surprisingly NO PLANS, other than a very early a.m. basketball practice. I was organizing some drawers and doing a little bit of housework. Darren, at the last minute, decided to go to a shooting range, in Blacksburg, with the boys and our friend, Brett.  So, in a blink of an eye, I decided to take Lilah to the Shrine Circus.  I had about 15 minutes to get my act together and then off to the Roanoke Civic Center we went.  Cami happened to be at the mall (on the way), so we asked if she could join us.  We picked her up at Chick-Fil-A.  Anyone who knows me has to be proud.  I was showered, but I didn't have a lick of make-up on.  I decided that memories were much more important than make-up.  We arrived, in the nick of time, with literally NO minutes to spare.  Thankfully, the show didn't start on time or we would have been late.  There was so much traffic.
All of the acts were great, but we especially loved the acts with the animals. It is so interesting to watch.  It's also incredible that the tigers, elephants, and camels are trained the way that they are. They follow and obey so well.
The tiger even walked the tight rope.  
We literally had a clown sitting directly behind us.
My least favorite act was the "Globe of Fire". I find this act ti be very dangerous and it makes me a little nervous to watch it.  I happened to be looking down, at one point, in the act and the entire audience went, "Ohhhhhhh!" Two of the four motorcyclists crashed.  It was so sad to witness, but apparently they were ok!
At half time, I treated Lilah and Cami to a face painting.
Clowning around!
I loved this act.  I was amazed at how well they could run on this spinning wheel.
The live Cannon Ball was the last act!!!!
See the video footage below!!!
We had a blast!!! Lilah was terribly sad when Cami went home.  She desperately wants a sister.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Hidden Pickle Tradition ~ 2015

Every year, Darren and I picked out three FAMILY gifts.  We wrap them and reserve them for the Hidden Pickle Tradition. Here are the kids in 2013 and 2014, partaking in the tradition. It gets better and better each year. BUT the competition at times is intensely fierce.
I started a few rules. The kids hide, while I hide the pickle.  THEN, I let youngest to oldest run out, 3 seconds apart from one another. So, first Jax.  Then, Lilah. Last, Ty.
The first time, this year, I hid the ornament in our dining room's chandelier.  This spot was SOOOOOO tricky.  Watch the video below.  It took them OVER two minutes to find it.
Jax was the 1st place winner.
He won 100 gel pens. This was perfect for his (and his siblings' )adult coloring book that he got!
Ty came in second place!
He won a really great and funny board game called PIE FACE.
Liley came in 3rd. I forgot to take a picture of Lilah's gift, but she won an awesome electric pencil sharpener.  This is the exact one.
The first round was GREAT because it took the kids forever to find the pickle.  He calls out, "Hey, I'm over here!" and "Try to find me!" YET...they still couldn't find him. The last two rounds were stinky because they found him IMMEDIATELY! I love our family traditions.  Sometimes they happen on purpose because they have been passed down from our own childhoods, but sometimes they happen on accident and THIS is one of those accidentally awesome traditions.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Jax's Christmas ~ 2015

Jax was the hardest to shop for.  Part of the reason is because he is a simple kid and doesn't ask or require or expect MUCH. He made his Christmas list and there was 4 things on it and said, at the bottom of his list, "And that's it!" The other thing is that he gets ALL of Ty's hand-me-down toys, electronics, and clothes and really has all that he needs.  He's in between baby and preteen years, so this age is just hard to shop for, for a BOY!
He had a great Christmas though!
He got excited about so much, but he was especially happy about all of his sporting attire.  He got a Steph Curry (Golden State Warrior) Hat and a pair of Steph Curry's shoes.
This was an item that Jax's siblings were jealous over.  He received a HUGE, double bubble gum machine.
Here is my Jax, near his opened gifts.  He was a happy boy!
Next up...time to find out what Santa Claus brought.
Jax was thrilled.  LOL! Santa brought exactly what Jax asked for: legos, a WWE 2016 Playstation Game, and a deluxe build a road race track.
Later, in the day, we started assembling some of his items that required adult help or supervision.  Jax got a turbospoke - a fake exhaust system for a bicycle.  It turns your bike into a dirt bike....well the sound of a dirt bike.  
It comes with three cards.  Each card makes a different sound.  
It came with a bunch of stickers.  Ty and Jax spent some time decorated the outside of the turbospoke.  
I have some footage of Jax riding his bike with the turbospoke on, but I have yet to upload it to youtube.  I will certainly share it with you as soon as I do, BUT I think this is a really fun and unique gift to give to anyone who loves their bike and is looking for some interesting accessories.
We also bought Jax some "See'em Mini LED Spoke Lights" for his bike. We found ours at Walmart. 
Now his bike will be visible in the dark.
Every year, we get the kids a special ornament.  This year, I had a hard time figuring out what to get Jax.  When I spotted this cute hippo, in Hallmark, AND it was the last one left, I had to have it.  Jax LOVES this song.  
Isn't he cute?

Just like every year...our kids ALWAYS return back to what they had BEFORE Christmas.  #sigh.  It makes me want to just go on a great trip, every Christmas, and forget gift giving.