Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving up in Page Arizona with the Cummings family.  Most of Dana's family made it to his parents house to celebrate the holiday.  The girls were super excited to see their cousins and the whole way up to Page Aiyana would announce "I'm so excited".  It was super cute. I usually take a whole slew of pictures during our vacations, but this time I took more video than I did pictures.  In fact, I got video of Dana's Masani giving a message to her grandkids in the Navajo language (Masani doesn't speak any english).  I interviewed her and asked her what she thought about her grandkids and I asked her what her hopes and dreams were for them.  I have the video on my camcorder so I will have to figure out how to upload it at a later time.  I also recorded Masani giving a Thanksgiving message to her family like she does every year. This is the first year that I recorded her talking to us. I had Dana's mom translate :o).

One day we all went out for a hike.  We were post turkey and wanting something active to do.  We took the kiddos down through a wash outside of Lechee Arizona.  I thought this picture of the Page power plant was kind of neat because of the lighting.

The highlight of the hike, for the kids, was running and sliding down the dirt cliffs.  Sounds wonderful eh?  Then Dana's brother, Don, showed us how the lizards like to hide inside the dirt on the cliffs.  He would grab a clump of sand and dirt and rip it off the cliff and about 100 lizards would run scurrying around.  It made all of the little girls scream like crazy.  It was pretty impressive and creepy.

I stopped hiking after a while and let Dana head further into the wash with the girls while I sat on a mesa and just enjoyed the peaceful silence of the desert.  I looked around me and found nothing of interest to photograph.  Not only were we in the desert, but we are also approaching winter so nothing was in bloom.  Once the sun started to set I was getting bored so I decided that I would use the backlighting of the sunset to make the desert come to life.  I love the images that I captured.

This one is my favorite...

One of the nights the girls wanted to have a little performance show in grandma and grandpa's basement. I thought that the signs were cute with all of the mis-spellings.  I'm not sure who made the signs, but they kept running Aiyana upstairs to tape them to the wall where the adults were sitting. It reminded me of the times when my cousins and I would put on performances for my aunts, uncles and my Nana.

Here's a video of Clara dancing with her cousin Tessa.  I love how she puts her hands on her hips and shakes her bum bum and how she watches her reflection in the TV to see how she looks.

  The rest of the videos had to be uploaded to You Tube because they were too long.  Here's one of the girls performing to the song "Go My Son".  If you are interested in reading the lyrics go HERE.

(in the video: Skye, Gabrielle, Aiyana, Jaynee, Jakell & Tessa)

Here's my niece, Tessa, hoop dancing.  Tessa is in 2nd grade and she has only had 4 hoop dancing lessons.  She's pretty good at it for only having 4 lessons.  Be sure to watch the next video where she creates an eagle with the hoops.  Each hoop formation represents an animal or an object used by Native Americans.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Our Last Soccer Game - Go Comets!

Today was Aiyana's last soccer game for the fall season.  I'll have to admit that I was a little sad  knowing it was the end of the season, but there will be a spring league so that softens the blow. Aiyana played the most in this game and I was very proud of her performance.  

Here she is with her eye on the ball...

She's so gosh darn cute out there on the field.  Here you can see Mason, Justin and her trying to block the ball from going the other direction.

Here's a picture of Mason kicking the ball into the field and Aiyana is behind the boy in black sweats.  Aiyana's friend Makenzie is on the right side of the picture, with the black socks on.

Aiyana is coaxing her friend Makenzie in this picture... Just cute.

Aiyana kicking the ball into the field.

Go Comets!  
Here's the team with their trophies (L to R: Sophia, Domenika, Payten, Aiyana, Makenzie, Clara, Mason & Justin).  Tessa is missing from the picture and I am not sure why :o(.  Looks like we gained one with Clara though ha, ha.

Aiyana with her pizza.  
Pizza and soft drinks are provided for everyone on the last day.
(Clara is still crying from not being able to play)

I thought the mound of empty pizza boxes were pretty impressive.

It was a fun year coaching and both Lindsay and I are up for co-coaching again next season.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Running Update

Not much to update here other than I stopped running for about 5 whole days and then when I forced myself to go out and do it on Thursday, I ran 4 miles in 34 minutes and some change. I averaged an 8.3 minute mile.  I was super proud of myself.  In that run, I ran my fastes 5k yet at 25:08 minutes. I was on a mega runners high after that.  I might take the girls out for a walk/jog with the double stroller tonight.  I shoot for distance with the double jogger and time when I run by myself.

Whole Foods Finds

The other day I loaded up the girls and headed to my "once in a great while" grocery store... Whole Foods.  Who can afford to shop at that place all of the time??? Anyway, I had a coupon for Zevia pop and I really wanted to try it.  I drink too much diet pop (about one a day) and I know that the artificial sweetener is not good for me. I picked two flavors... the only two with caffeine :o).  The cola and the mountain dew both taste nasty :o(.  I am getting use to them though and I would rather drink this than poison myself with the other stuff.

While I was there I browsed around and found some gluten free items on sale, just in time for the holidays :o).  The cranberry bread and the pumpkin cake mix were on sale... yay.  I spotted some banana bread too and couldn't resist.  This gluten free chick is not going without this holiday season.

Cherished Cards

A couple of years ago I started scanning some of the more touching cards that I received for my birthday. This year I received three very touching cards and I wanted to share them on a post.  

This one is from my brother and I thought it was very sweet...

This one is from my dad...

I thought that the front of it was sweet because I use to dance around the house all of the time practicing steps that I learned in dance class.

This one is from my mom... Isn't it beautiful?

I still get choked up reading it :o)

I have gotten so many great cards over the years and I keep all of them in a box, but from now on... The more touching ones will get scanned so that I have an electronic copy as well.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

This Saturday...

Today it was picture day for soccer and we had another soccer game.  It was a very early morning. Our pictures were scheduled for 7:30 am and the game was at 8:00 am.  I was too lazy to upload any soccer pictures, but I'll be sure to post our team soccer pictures when we get our copy.

After the game, Dana went to help my dad dig trenches on his property.  I'll have to grab some pictures from Dana so I can update my blog with photos as my dad makes progress on building his house in Cave Creek.  It's going to be a beautiful spanish/mediterranean style home.

I took the girls to Lowes to buy some plants and herbs and then to Staples to get some back up hard drives for the vast amount of photos that I have been taking for my photography business...  I'll have to post about that later.  This post is about our yard. Exciting eh?

We have had a garden since the beginning of summer.  The only thing that took off from our first planting season was the basil.  So this season we still have the basil and Dana planted some sugar snap peas, yellow onions, tomatoes and one other thing that neither of us can remember :o).  So I guess we may have a surprise... if it grows.  All of the things that I mentioned above were planted from seeds. For now, we have three of the four popping up around the garden.  Not sure what is what right now.  I decided that I wanted cilantro in case our tomatoes and onions do well.  I would like to be able to make pico de gallo... yummm.  So here's the cilantro plant that I picked up from Lowes today...

I've also been wanting mint... I can't remember why, but I wanted it.  So I planted some mint as well.

Here's our Basil... It's like a forest :o).  I think that's the sugar snap peas growing on the right side of the basil.

Just for fun, I added some pictures of our other plants so that I could look back at how tiny they once were. Our navel orange tree is about 4 years old and it's still very small. I hear they sometimes take a while to grow.  At least it looks healthy.

Our lime tree has been struggling.  It looks dead in this picture, but it isn't.  It's been doing this and then new growth will come in and then it will turn brown and it does this over and over :o(.  Not sure what's up with it, but I want limes darn it!  I love using limes in our Mexican food.

A long while back, we planted a buganvilla plant on each side of our canary palm, along the back wall of our yard. The one on the right died so I finally replaced it today...

Lastly, here's a hibiscus plant that Dana bought me last Mother's Day.  I am pleased to see that it is doing excellent right where we planted it.  I am thinking about planting another one on the other side of the yard, right across from this one. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My 1st Pro Football Game

I went through and randomly selected pictures from the football game that Dana and I went to the other night. I probably should have let him create this post because I don't know any of the players names except for Fitzgerald.  I know, sad considering it's my home team.  Anyway... Here they are in no particular order...

This is the flag that they spread out across the field...

Fitz's back side :o)

Team huddle...

Action shot...

A 49er's player stretching out...

This guy looks like he's looking right at me so thought I would include this picture :o).  
Like I said, Dana should have created this post ha, ha.

Another action shot...

I thought this one was cool with the field goal bar in the front of the photo.

I was using my telephoto lens which I thought did an excellent job at capturing sports images.  The guy sitting next to me had a pretty fancy lens on his camera and he took some amazing shots.

I had a lot of fun at my first professional football game.  I didn't expect it to be as noisy as it was.  The baseball games and basketball games that we have been to are not nearly as noisy and rowdy.  The guy sitting next to me was also a "shit starter" so he kept pushing everyone's buttons which was annoying. All in all, it was a great experience and I'd go again if someone wants to buy me a ticket the next time :o)

Trick-or-Treating 2012

I already posted the girl's Halloween Photos HERE, but I thought I would share some trick-or-treating pictures from last night.

My little poser - Aiyana "The Princess"
I swear she just busts out into her own poses when I pull out the camera.  
I thought about making a collage of all of them :o).

Cute little Clara "The Catarina"

We opted for the wagon again this year... It's great for trick-or-treating. 
Love Clara's face in this picture :o)

They look so gosh darn cute, and little, in front of those big doors.

Thought it was cute how Clara's tail was hanging from the back of the wagon.

We headed straight to my mom's, to start at her door, and then my mom walked around with us while we trick-or-treated. It was a fun night... and I had soup waiting in the crock pot when we got home.  Yummm.