Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cooper's busy weekend!

We had a busy Memorial Day Weekend. Saturday, Cooper crossed over from cub scouts to Boy Scout starting with his Arrow of Light Ceremony.

These are some pictures of the Order of the Arrow Scouts who came to participate and of Cooper "crossing over" into scouts

Cooper with the Order of the Arrow Scouts, with his Scout Master, with his den leader and his Arrow of Light Award. His leaders really made it a special night. Cooper worked hard and we are so proud of him. Next stop Eagle Scout!

Sunday, marked Cooper's 11th Birthday
He has read the entire Harry Potter series twice since this fall so I thought a Harry Potter cake would be fun

 It was a lot of fun making this cake once I figured out what I was going to do. It tasted great too. Chocolate cake, chocolate mousse filling and chocolate ganache on top!

 Here are some close ups of my fondant creations. Originally the Sorting Hat was made out of tootsie rolls but it wouldn't hold its shape and ended up looking like Jaba the Hut. The fondant worked much better. The snitch was made from a white chocolate truffle painted with gold pearl dust. The scarf is not exactly the official colors for Gryffindor but you have to make some exceptions when working with food coloring.

Apparently we got everything except the candles. No worries, dad has a plan!
I don't have any pictures of Cooper blowing out the bonfires. He freaked out at the size of the flames and blew them out as soon as they were lit.

Happy Birthday Cooper! We love you!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day was a great day!! Sunday morning the kids made me breakfast. Victor had to be at church in the morning so he made sure he had things there for them to prepare with only the toaster and microwave. Cooper organized the kids and had the table set and a lovely plate of waffles and what looked like corn dogs but turned out to be sausage on a stick covered with a pancake. The kids had a great time serving me breakfast and eating sausage on a stick. Our family was asked to sing "Love is Spoken Here" in Sacrament meeting. Ella and Mason were excited, Jack was indifferent and Cooper, well, it wasn't his first choice but they all did a great job. There weren't too many dry eyes in the congregation after watching these little cuties singing so sweetly. I was thrilled I made it through the song without getting emotional, it doesn't happen often. Victor and the kids made dinner that night and presented me with some fun gifts the kids had made at school as well as some herbs and strawberries to plant. It's good to be mom. Thank you to my family for making it a special day.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Cooper has been busy lately, with sports, school band performances(trombone), and scouts. I didn't get any pictures of his band performance since I was out of town but here are a couple of the highlights.

In March Cooper's basketball team won the Championship Game. Way to go guys! He was cheezin it up for this picture but he's pretty proud of this one. Basketball is his favorite sport.
His car is the black one 2nd in from the right on the front row
He came in third at his cub scout pine wood derby then they went to regionals and he came in 14th out 71! This was a nice way to end his pine wood derby days. Next month he moves up to Scouts!

Rapunzel gets a hair cut!

Ella decided last week that she wanted to cut her hair. This was a big deal for her. She has been trying to grow her hair like Rapunzel for a year or so. Now she says she looks like Rapunzel after Eugene cuts it.(If you've seen Tangled you know what I'm talking about) We were hoping she would have enough to donate. She ended up cutting 8" which is not quite enough for Locks of Love but Pantene will take 8 so she can still donate.

She loves it!! On the way to church the next day she said "mom, people are just going to pass  out when they see me!" Luckily no one did but she got lots of compliments. It's been a week now and she is still happy. I am thrilled! Compared to the long hair this is practically maintenance free!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Let me start by saying Hawaii was wonderful! Victor has been there since February 7 and comes back April 1st. I just got back from visiting him for 10 glorious days.  No kids + no responsibilities = My first REAL VACATION! For those of you on facebook there is really not too many pictures here that I didn't already post. For those of you who are seeing these for the first time... hope you enjoy.
Victor had a car when I got there so on my first day I hung out at the beach or walked around Waikiki until he got off work and then we drove around to enjoy some picturesque views.

The picture at the top of these two was the view from our window of all the boats waiting out the tsunami at sea and the bottom shows that there were still a few sleeping it off the next morning.

My second night in Hawaii was also the night of the tsunami of 2011! The first siren went off about 9:45 pm. We had no idea what it was, at first, I thought it was a really loud car alarm or something. Victor jokingly said "maybe it's a tsunami..." . Then we turned on the tv. Yep... tsunami. The alarms continued every hour until around 3:00 am. The 6 foot plus swells were expected to start hitting the island at 3:20 am. They evacuated the bottom 3 or 4 floors in the hotel but we were told to stay put on the 19th floor. I have to admit that I was a little freaked out by that point. We considered moving inland somewhere but decided to just wait it out. Of course Victor had the camera ready and was on the deck waiting to take pictures! We finally fell aspleep around 4:30 am when there was still no major activity. By 7:30 that morning the news was that it was being downsized to a tsunami advisory. The advisory was to stay off the beach a little while longer. I'm not sure all those people I saw basking in the sun that morning got the memo. Oahu came out pretty much untouched. I heard just a few boats that stayed in the harbor got a little crunched.  The Big Island and Maui were not as lucky but the damage was minimal compared to what they were expecting. I know a lot of people were praying for us and we really appreciated it. Now, getting that out of the way at the beginning of my trip made the rest of it that much sweeter so lets continue........

The Arizona Memorial
Kind of an emotional roller coaster being there. I wanted to sit down and cry for all those people who died that day and also get up and cheer for all those who survived and fought back however they could. Still get choked up when I think about it.

The Dole Plantation
We had a great time touring the plantation on the Pineapple Express. We also went thru the pineapple maze. They have little symbols placed throughout the maze for you to try and find. It took us 2 1/2 hours to find them and get out.

The North Shore at sunset
How cute are we!?
North Shore whale sightings. The pictures on the right are just close ups of the other two so they are not as clear. I think Victor got some good pics here.

Another highlight of our trip was going to the Polynesian Cultural Center. If you have never been there, that is how everyone will greet you the whole time you are there.The top left picture is of one of the Samoans that was doing demonstrations. I can't remember his name but he was hilarious. He also performed in the night show as the main fire dancer. We also got a picture of a coconut picking demo and a really cool palm tree that grew over the river and then turned around to go back. We had to get a picture here because... Elvis really was here!!!

We had to get a picture with our tour guide from Thailand before heading to the Luau. I have no idea how to spell his name but he said it was pronouned like cliche but with an f sound intead of cl.  The food was great even that piece of raw tuna I'm about to eat tasted good. I just couldn't get past the texture of raw fish.
We also hiked to the top of Diamond Head. You get a really good view of the island from up there. Here are a few of them and one of me relaxing at the bottom.
The Pali Highway lookout also has some pretty views. It was very windy the day we were there. I also hade to get a picture of our little KIA. I thought this was the perfect car for running around the island in.

I'll just call this one "Little pieces of Hawaii"

The Punchbowl Memorial is another cool place to see and learn more about the war in the Pacific.

We had some fun going to the Bishop's Museum. They had a fun science building where you could watch a volcanoe erupt and make your own lave flow as well as walk thru an underwater world. They also had a fun Dinosaur exihibit where all the dinosaurs moved and roared. Another building holds artifacts from the islands history. There was a lot to see.

The Atlantis
We took a submarine tour of some man made reefs just off Waikiki beach. They have an airplaine, two ships and some other metal structures they have dropped to encourage reef growth. We even saw a sting ray but couldn't get a clear picture of him.

Mmmmm..... the farmers market. Lots of food. I tried a fresh coconut. I'm not a big fan of the water inside the coconut which is different than coconut milk. Victor's face says it all. However, as you can see,  I really enjoyed eating the coconut meat.

Laie, Hawaii Temple

Here are a few tidbits... every friday they shot off fireworks just outside the hotel. The harbor is the harbor that Gilligan left from for his "three hour tour", The rainbow is what greeted me my first morning in Hawaii. We stayed at the Ilikai Hotel which is featured in the opening credits of the original Hawaii Five 0 tv series. At the time I don't think any of these other hotels were there. It's the hotel in the middle of the picture. I had a great time. We took soooo many pictures that I had to pick and choose and then clump them together in order to blog them. Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Van Gieson and Grandma and Granddaddy Starnes for coming to Maine to watch my kids so I could go. And thanks to Victor who invited to me come and do nothing but shop, eat and bask in the sun while he still had to go to work everyday.

Friday, March 4, 2011


  Today my baby is 2! I love watching him learn new things and hate seeing him grow up all at the same time! Here's a look at his birthday extravaganza.

 He has been obsessed with The Cat in the Hat for months and seeing as Dr. Seuss' birthday was Wednesday, I thought a Dr. Seuss theme would be a hit.

 Not my best work but considering the obstacles I faced in trying to put this cake together I'll take it.
The kids seemed to really like it.

 Excuse me for a moment.....

 Two thumbs up for a new Spiderman backpack.

 Jack's newest obsession..... all things Buzz Lightyear. If you can't tell, Mason was also very excited about this gift. The karate chop action is irresistable.

"you got a friend in me..."

I could not resist the hat. How cute is he?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I have been thinking lately, that my children need to experience the joy of a good old fashioned musical. I thought that I would start with "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". Singing, dancing, brawls, humor and romance, good clean family entertainment, right? For those of you have not had the pleasure of watching this Howard Keel classic, it begins with a song. Here are some of the lyrics, "Bless your beautiful hide where ever you may be, I don't know yet but I'm a willin to bet, your the gal for me." Catchy isn't it? My kids got a kick out of the song and the movie. Later that night Mason was cuddled up to me and as sweet as can be, looked up at me and said, "mom, you have a beautiful hide". You gotta love him, he sure makes me laugh.