Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Mountain House Trip

It seems every year we travel to Eagle Crest, it snows over the pass. This year it did not, but we had a beautiful scenery driving over. Maysen was so disappointed that it didn't snow, but he kept saying "Mom, it's so beautiful" as though he'd never seen snow before.

We cocooned ourselves in the house for five days of family togetherness. It's something I look forward to every year. Just being together, away from home, for 5 days before the craziness of the holidays take over when we return to reality. This year, we brought the puzzle we'd bought at Disneyland this year. It's a 1000 piece puzzle. Now, I thought "I" had OCD, turns out Nate is puzzle-OCD. Once we started this, he could not get it out of his mind. I got almost upset with him because he would hover over this puzzle for hours. He was determined to get this done!

We did sneak out of the house and go to the swimming pool and hot tubs at the main resort activities center. I'm still waiting to sit in these hot tubs while the snow comes down on us. Maybe next year?

Once we got the puzzle down to a manageable frame it was fun to watch Maysen kick into gear. He really showed us up on the puzzle making! He got to put in the last piece!

We watched tons of Christmas movies, I cooked dinner one night, we slept in (well, Nate and I did - the boys just couldn't). We were a bit disappointed in this house this year. We were here 2 years ago and the Resort manages it - and you can tell! It's better to rent these houses when the owners do the managing, not the resort. But it didn't matter - we had a great time as a family. I can't wait for next year and I'm already praying for a snow storm while we're there. That would be amazing.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas 2014 prep

Andy is my crazy brother in law. He's a contractor so he loves toys. He had rented this big bad boy and before taking it back decided he had the answer to Nate's steep peek problem and lights. It was a fun time for the guys (and little boys). Uncle Andy took the boys about 30ft up in the air and Griffin rode it a few times. Boy did my lights get put up fast!! I think they only took about an hour :) Andy, what did you start!?

My beautiful red/silver tree. 

Even Dotts thinks it's breath-taking :)

We have the lights that change (via remote). We USED to have a set up where our lights were coordinated to Christmas music. Our first year using them in our new neighborhood, we had an unfortunate and miserable person leave an anonymous note on our door that they were too "loud" and "distracting". We'd have people drive by and look at those lights just for that - but people would have to come up to the door to hear the music (yep, so loud). Well, anyway. We had to pray for those who left the note because it was obvious that they were a very sad, miserable person. I hope they've got peace in their life now. We love our new lights and it sure does spread holiday cheer!

Because we leave for Eagle Crest for 4 days prior to Christmas mania starts, I have to get my baking done in about one day. This is what my kitchen looked like on one marathon baking day. I had helpers!

I had help until Daddy brought out Risk...then the only help I got was getting my beaters and bowls licked clean! I'm sure once the holidays are over we'll be sad until it comes back again next year. Oh what a favorite time of year this is for everyone.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Piano recital

This is Mayor Dave Stram's piano class. He teaches them all. He holds an annual Christmas Piano Recital and this was Maysen's. My neice, Mazie, is also a student of Dave's so it was fun getting to watch her play! 

Maysen has been a student of Dave's since January 2013, so just about a year. He played 2 songs; Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls. He did so well, surprised a few people, I think. Dave is so great and I hope and pray that Maysen continues to stick with piano. He is so good.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Maysen turns 10

Maysen wanted to have a MineCraft birthday party this year and I think we made it! My friend, Shannon Peterson, made the cake for Maysen. 

we had all the MineCraft elements covered: Oreos = cookies, red rolos = fire, green rolos = emeralds, silver rolos = iron, licorice = dynamite, pretzels = sticks, blue kool aid = water. I mean ... right? :)

The boys played Xbox. Since it was a big- boy party, Grandma and Poppy kept Griffin overnight so Mase could just play with his friends. They played Minecraft as well as Madden Football.

I took balloons to Maysen's class. I wrapped 22 individual Rice Crispy treats in green paper and hand drew Endermen on the fronts. I stood at the front of the class and when he walked by I grabbed him and planted a big smooch on him in front of his friends. Best part of my day :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

First at-home project; 4th grade social studies | Mr Karcher

Maysen had to make a 3D map of Oregon. He came home with this project and he had done his homework! He had a few rough drafts on what he wanted to do and had sketched out where he wanted things to go. he was prepared before coming to me for help. I bought the stuff, and we sat down together and rethought some things, added some things. He did the painting and I did the writing (because he says he can't write small). He had to write out what he wanted written and then I'd write it. It was fun doing this with him and he scored a 32/30. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Disneyland 2014

We picked the boys up from school wearing our Halloween Disney Ears. Maysen looked horrified! We told them we weren't leaving until after daddy got off work.

After embarrassing my non-confrontational family, we ended up at the hotel across the street in Redding, CA because the one I made reservations at had their pool "covered already". Yeah, at 7pm. After a 5hr drive these kids (and parents!) were looking forward to that water. The hotel across the street was only 6 months old and had a beautiful pool area .. and no one to invade our pool time! Actually, there was an older lady in the hot tub but I'm sure our shrills is what drove her out of there within 10 minutes!

The drive from Redding, CA to Anaheim is pretty brutal. It didn't seem that bad when we would drive from Creswell clear through to Anaheim. I think the problem is that we hit the Grapevine around 5:00pm so this year we hit Los Angeles traffic at rush hour. Our GPS was saying we were 5 miles from our hotel, but destination time was an hour away. I thought there was something wrong. Nope! Just traffic. At one point it took us off I-5 and we ended up in the slums of the backroads of LA. I swear we were the Griswolds and if we stopped long enough at a stop sign our wheels might get jacked. It took us 25min to get back ONTO I-5, but not before Maysen about peed his pants. I was NOT stopping anywhere to let him pee, so he peed in an apple juice bottle. Parent of the year right here! Our hotel was amazing. The boys had their own little room off of the main room with bunk beds, their own TV, and where their windows overlooked the lobby which was an open atrium-type of area.

The Scovil Family 2014! Football player, Loofa, Soap, and Transformer Dragon!

Haunted Mansion was super fun on Halloween,

Griffin wanted so bad to be pulled from the audience to be in the Jedi Academy. The first try he wasn't picked, so we went to the Future World gift shop and got a light up spinning R2D2 and when they were asking for volunteers, he was right up front, so he held that hummer up and spun it around and around. Needless to say ... HE WAS PICKED! He had a blast fighting Darth Maul.

Nathan and I being goofies on the ship that takes you around the lagoon (forgetting the name!) The kids can't be the only ones having fun, and we did our fair share of embarrassing the kids! 

California Screamer turned out to be the highlight of the day in California Adventure! It was work getting Maysen convinced that if he were to go upside down, he would not fall out. But once he went on it with Nate, Griffin decided he had enough manhood to go on it too. The 3 of them came back to me in the following conditions: Mase, full of glee. Griffin: full of excitement. Nate: sorta green-faced. The boys asked if they could go ride it again. Nate and I sat and had coffee while they rode and re-rode that ride about 6 times.

The green theme with Nate continued on the Mickey Ferris Wheel. There were "cabs" that sat still, like a normal Ferris wheel,while other cabins were on a track and would swing as they went around. it sounded great so we went with the swinging one. Well, I gotta tell you it is pretty intense when it is swinging you almost fully around. Mase kept making fun of his poor daddy. 

Fantastic soft serve at the Coney Cone. Nice pit stop (get it ... hehe)

This is Mikey's Ferris Wheel at night. This was a night show and it was amazing. The water is blown up into the air while projectors are shown on the spray. It creates a magical awesome experience. They went through all the disney characters/movies over the last 30 years in about 6 minutes. At the end, coincidentally enough, the nightly fireworks from Disneyland Castle were going off. So, two finales at once. It was pretty emotional.

The boys had been saving their money for 3 months to get to buy whatever they wanted at Disneyland. All week they kept passing things up until the last day because they wanted to build their own racecar (which all in all are about $100/each). The last night of Disneyland came and they got to build them!

While daddy was watching the University of Oregon vs. Stanford game at the bar, I took a book up to the hotels roof and read by their fireplace. The boys took their new racecars and ran them around the tennis courts. Until they ran them through a small puddle. Guess what didn't work so great. The people back at The Car Factory exchanged out the cabins of the cars and we were back in action. I guess these are only summer racecars!

Being silly on Big Thunder Mountain.

We, too, silly. Shameful parents, we are! :)

The Blue Bayou is the restaurant located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Its dark and cozy and fun to hear the people about to have fun on the ride (they are in their boats going by the restaurant). We eat here at least once on our Disneyland trips, by reservation. The best thing on the menu is the Le Special de Monte Cristo Sandwhich. Ham. Cheese. Battered. Jelly to dip. YUM. 

This was a long Disneyland day. We wrapped it up at Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney. It took us awhile to be seated and we were seated right where the waiters/waitresses come out singing happy birthday. This place is getting to be a bit obnoxious to me. So we'd be yelling over the table to try adn talk over the elephant that goes off every 5 minutes and just then "SO - DID YOU WANT TO G--" ...... "HHHHAAAAPPPPPYYYY HAAAAAAAPPPPPPY BIIIIIRTTTH....." with the loudest claps you ever heard. It kept making Griffin jump since his back was turned. But this wrapped up the trip.

Every year we say we're going to take a break and save money. But then the time comes and I've got to tell you. The memories we make on vacation, the experiences we get to go through together as a family are things you can't pass up if you have a way to go. I asked Maysen one day what he loved best about his life on Earth. He said "getting to go and see new things with my family." Priceless.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall tradition 2014

Traditions. Its what my kids look forward to when certain times of the year come around. They're things I hope they do with their families and so on. We take cozy showers and get ready to carve pumpkins in our PJs. I turn on not-too-creepy Halloween music.

Then usually the fighting will start because Maysen has lost his mind because his tool won't work right. Then Griffin thinks he can cut eyes himself with the butcher knife. Nate has, of course, picked the most challenging pumpkin so is *zero* help. My pumpkin ends up the most elementary one on the market because I'm running 2 other pumpkins at the same time while Nate busts out an ice scuplture of Mother Teresa through his pumpkin. 

I'll let you decide who's is who's. I was being sarcastic for those of you looking for an ice sculpture.

I *love* this show. It signals times of snuggling and coziness. Of being together. Hits off the holidays for us. I think Charlie needs some Prozac. 

All cuddled up watching Charlie Brown.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Citizen of the month!?

My heart is exploding a little bit. This little man walked into the door and pulled this out of his bag. He, along with one other girl, were chosen out of the 4th grade to be Citizens of the Month. That means they have excelled in school and class and should be used as an example. 

Last year was a bit of a struggle in 3rd grade. Call it Maysen finding his own, call it not fitting in the square box his teacher had painted for him. We were constantly worried and frustrated with school last year. Not really with Maysen but ... everything. This year is worlds different. When I asked Maysen was the difference was, he said "My teacher". Let this be a lesson to you teachers out there ... let kids be themselves and work with who they are and they will SHINE! YOU can be the difference between a terrible school year and one where you watch them flourish like a flower in spring.

I could not be more proud of you, Maysen. Keep shining my little Bean,.. 



Thursday, September 4, 2014

New 4th & 1st graders!

I can't believe my boys are in 1st and 4th grade! It brings with it such a flurry of emotions. Lets face it, on the one hand I get the majority of the day to MYSELF. On the other, it means they're growing up and one more step closer to them being out of the house. They are my world and I can't even imagine.

We played "school supply shopping" where I had to read out their supply and put it in their bag. They didn't have much fun supply shopping, but they did have fun here.

Love these new hats! They got them when Andrew, Caleb, and Joshua were here.

Getting on the bus! Maysen will likely start riding his bike to school this year.

GQ boys here!

Griffin has Mrs Meeker for 1st grade this year. Maysen had Mrs Mercer. I think both are great teachers! Mrs Meeker has 2 hamsters that I think are going to be a fun additive to this year. Also, when we were going through our tour, Griffin's friend Lance showed up. Lance has always gone to CCS but this was going to be his first year at Creslane. Those two are going to be a handful! I wonder if our quiet little boys might be getting into mischief this year?

Maysen has Mrs Davenport this year. She is brand new to full time teaching (did some subbing last year I think). I had asked that he be placed with someone who had enthusiasm and willingness to keep him going! I have to admit, though, since football has started he seems to have calmed down some. I think it might be all the practicing and it's worn him out. He was pretty excited to see that Jack and Kellen were both in his class. They're on his football team. Excited to see what this year brings! Not only do they grow physically but each school year they seem to be a little bit inside, too.

October 10th, 2014 Update: 

Maysen is doing so so so terrific in school. He is loving it! They spent a month covering art in September and October is the solar system. He loves his teacher and the reports I've gotten back from her so far is that he is the best kid in class. No issues.

Griffin on the other hand. My Mr Quiet. Yeah right. They have a "poker chip" system in school where they get a warning for their behavior and then if it continues they get a poker chip. 3 poker chips means a trip to see Mr Beck, principal. Well Mr Griff frequently comes home with reports of poker chips. It's not for anything but .... talking! He loves to talk, talk to his neighbor, talk outloud. So we are working on that. He gets a sticker for every day he comes home with no poker chips. 5 stickers = ice cream cone from DQ. So far, so good!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Two loves (right?) collide!

Maysen gas been taking piano from Mr (Mayor) Stram since January of this year. He has done so well. I think it's a love-hate relationship. He loves to play, but hates to practice. Right now he is learning the Indian song, playing both hands at the same time with different rhythms. He's coming right along about.

He also started football practice this last week. That is also a very much love – hate relationship. He loves to play and tackle, but again, hates to practice. This past week was in the 90s and he had practice for an hour and a half. Needless to say once he got home he was jumping in the pool. He has his first jamboree next week.