Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Thursday, November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving

I hope you are all enjoying your day with family and giving thanks for all the blessings we have in our lives!

Hubby and I are running a 5k this morning. It’s supposed to be in the high 30s/low 40s at race time. I’m not so sure about that! Ack…that’s cold for this SoCal girl!

I’ll hopefully be back this weekend with some (iPhone) pictures and a report. It’s my first real run since my October 5k…I’ve been building back up on the treadmill, so we’ll see how this goes.

I have some goals in my head…but in reality I’m hoping just to enjoy the morning and cross the finish line without any pain in my knee!

Then it will be back home to get the house ready for family. We’re hosting…5 cousins under 9 get a little rowdy, so it’s good to have it at a house that is already trashed from 3 boys!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

i play dress up too

and to prove it…


When I was a teacher, we used to dress up each year. As a mom, I don’t do it that often.

One year, I was working in Jacob’s class so I pulled out one of my old costumes. He LOVED it. So I wore it trick or treating that year too.

103107trickortreat02 Sorry, best picture I could come up with for 2007…Alice in Wonderland with my three little spidermen…


This year they asked again…so I told them I could be Alice in Wonderland or I had a Snow White costume in my closet too. The vote was Snow White.

(Side note…when I taught I was in Room 7. My school decided to have a themed Halloween…dress up the whole class as your favorite literary characters. My students chose to be Dwarfs…as in Snow White and the Dwarfs. I had a few talented moms help to sew boot covers and felt hats, we made cotton ball beards. It was so cute. As a surprise, I changed into my Snow White at lunch and went to pick up the kids after recess. It actually took them a minute to realize that I was their teacher!! We rocked the Halloween parade as “Snow Worden and the Room 7 Dwarves” Get it?)

This takes more effort since I have to actually put makeup on or I look like a freak with the black wig on!


And here we all are at the same house…three years later!

Sam doesn’t have to be carried anymore (although he begs for it…he’s such the baby of the family!! And by that I don’t mean that he is a baby…but that he likes to milk it!!), he actually says Trick or Treat and thank you (along with a long diatribe about who he and his brothers are dressed up as). My boys are growing up!

We started a new tradition this year. The “Switch Witch”. I know a lot of you already do it or something like it, but for some reason I hadn’t tried it. It worked like a charm…and my kids are already talking about it for next year.

Here’s the deal. I let them each pick out 20 of their favorite candies and pour the rest into a big bag. They got to pick out one more to eat that night. (Yes, they are totally satisfied with that one…didn’t even bat an eye or scream for more). The 20 favorites go in a ziplock with their name on it for after school treats over the next few weeks. The big bag of others are for the Switch Witch. I told them that after they were in bed and all the trick or treaters were done, we would put the bag on the porch. The Switch Witch comes and night and collects the candy and leaves them a present. My boys said “just like the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus”…exactly!

In reality Daddy took the bag to work so that Mommy and Daddy didn’t eat it while sitting on the couch at night. And so the kids can’t beg and beg for weeks and weeks for just one more piece of candy!

Of course, I had planned ahead and purchased $10 items that I knew they would love. J-boy (aka Harry Potter) got a Harry Potter Lego, T-man (aka Red Power Ranger) got a jumbo set of skinny markers and S-bam (aka Woody) got a Toy Story 3 Lego set. Nothing over $10. Now, I’m aware this just cost me more money…but it’s saving me on the sugar high and crappy feelings after inhaling it all.

I took their trick or treat bags and put the gifts in there and then hung them from the banister. When they woke up this morning and came downstairs, the big bag of candy was gone (in Dad’s car) and the gifts were there. They were over the top excited.

Totally doing that again next year!!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


By request…

A few years back, Kelly at the store wanted a few of us to make sample frames for the store.  I had mine sit on my desk for a while…just couldn’t come up with an idea.

Finally I decided to just play around with my acrylic paints and Crackle Medium. It took me a while, but I loved how it turned out.

It was on display for a while and when she had to close earlier this year, I was able to put it in my living room! Now that she’s re-opened, she can’t get the frames anymore…so it stays on my wall. Yay me! :)

distressedframe Here’s how I did it. I wish I had photographed the steps…but I didn’t think about it at the time…sorry.

The frame was pressed board…flat, no wood grain to it at all.

I painted the whole thing a dark chocolate brown…just using regular Apple Barrel or similar acrylic paint. Let it dry completely.

Then slather a layer of Crackle Medium. It’s in the same area of the store (JoAnn’s, Michael’s) as the acrylic craft paints. Let that dry completely.

Then I painted over it with a cream colored acrylic paint. Again, Apple Barrel or the like.

I wasn’t thrilled with it…so I did another layer of Crackle Medium and Cream.

Told you this took forever. You have to let each layer completely dry or the new layer starts peeling up the tacky layer.

Anyway, I still wasn’t thrilled it. So I took a hammer to it and started making dents and scratches to make it even more distressed. Still not what I thought in my head.

Finally I went and bought some water based walnut stain. I painted it all over the frame and rubbed the excess off with a rag. It was getting better…

The last step did it for me…STEEL WOOL! I rubbed the frame (after the stain was completely dry). It took off the look of the brush marks, smoothed out the roughness of the distressing and really polished it up.





I have gotten so many complements on this frame! Just for the record, I don’t think I needed that second application of Crackle Medium and cream paint. It was the stain and steel wool that did what I wanted it to.

distressedframedetailrules These are all old supplies: Jenni Bowlin stickers and polka paper, Teresa Collins notebook paper, October Afternoon stripes, American Crafts Thickers, spiral notebook and file tab punches.

The House Rules were from a friend of mine…here is the full list:

House Rules

Always be honest Proverbs 12:22

Count your blessings Psalms 34:1-3

Bear each other’s burdens Galatians 6:2

Forgive and forget Micah 7:18

Be kind and tender hearted Ephesians 4:32

Comfort one another I Thessalonians 4:18

Keep your promises Romans 4:21

Be supportive of one another Acts 20:35

Be true to each other Revelations 15:3

Look after each other Deuteronomy 15:11

Treat each other like you treat your friends Matthew 7:12But most important, love one another deeply from the heart I Peter 1:22

Don’t you love it?


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

It’s our very favorite holiday around here.


When we lived down south we went to the Hollywood Bowl each year on the fourth…so much fun.  They always have a musical guest for the first half, then after intermission the Hollywood Bowl orchestra takes over with amazing patriotic music and fireworks. Oh, how we loved it. I still look up the guest each year and wonder if a road trip is in order. This year it’s Vince Gill…I’m sure it will be amazing!

Our first year up north, we were actually a bit depressed to lose our Fourth tradition.

070409jake02 2009 J-boy…he was a pyro last year!

But then we found our new favorite Fourth tradition…bbq and pool at the G family house! My kids talk about it ALL year. It’s our 5th year going there and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

So to you and yours, Happy 4th from us.

070409momsam 2009…S Bam and Mom…the Worden boy 4th of July pose

070408givensfourth001 2008 T-man and the big man…see the Worden boy 4th pose happens even when doing sparklers!


2009 again…there’s that Worden boy pose again…

IMG_0029 2006…ack…look at how little they were…

070407boys01 2007…apparently the pose is a tradition too!

Have a safe holiday…enjoy some bbq and fireworks for us…we can’t get enough!


Monday, April 12, 2010

12 on the 12th…April

First of all…it’s raining…again. Seriously?


And not just a little spring shower. It is downpouring. Steadily. And has been since yesterday mid-morning. We had a brief break here and there, but it’s still going gangbusters. Now I love the rain, but come on already.


And it’s cold. Evidenced by J’s big puffy jacket. He recently started walking by himself from where his teacher’s stand after school to my car. It’s a big deal all around. If you haven’t gathered, he has some different challenges from other kiddos his age. I don’t want him to be the poster child here on my blog, so I don’t go into it much…but it’s a fact of our lives.  Actually, I knew he could do it earlier…they (the teachers) were having more of a problem letting go. But now, they all look for my car and as I drive by we wave and they send him down towards where I can park. He’s growing up. It’s bittersweet because I don’t like to be letting go little by little…but it’s awesome because there are some things I wasn’t sure he’d be ready for and he’s handling them with ease!


Rain also means the boys aren’t out on their ‘new’ playstructure. This has been in a pile in our backyard for nearly a year. A neighbor moved and their new house had this in the backyard. They had no use for it, so they helped to get it here…where it sat. Thanks to a visit from my father-in-law being the impetus to a few honey do items…it’s now standing tall in our backyard. The boys love it and  are usually out on it each afternoon. I even love to swing!


And then the fact that it’s raining makes the fact that this little one refusing to nap really hard to swallow. He’s still needing naps most days…but fighting them all days. I try to force the issue several times a week for everyone’s sanity. Today, I had no patience to insist. So far, no major meltdowns…I’m sure they are a coming!


In other news…it’s Monday…which for Mommy means MOPS. Have you heard of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)? At Bayside 100 women meet each Monday morning for a few hours. Our kiddos are taken care of by amazing MOPPETS workers and we moms are able to form friendships, listen to great speakers, do some fun crafts…just get away and be women without our children for a bit. I’ve been a part of MOPS for 9 years now. Ever since J was 4 weeks old. And these women through the years have helped me survive mothering. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom…but man, it’s hard work. And you need support. MOPS has introduced me to some of my greatest friends in life over the years. These last few years I’ve been at the same table as Bea. Just love that girl. We bond over being boy mamas!


Today’s topic of conversation around our table was how do we deal with meal time with young children, how do we meal plan, what are your tips for shopping, etc. Sounds contrite, but really, sometimes someone shares something that really changes how you might do things for the better. Today I shared my favorite iPhone app: Grocery Gadget. There is a ‘lite’ version that I think lets you load in 20 items on one or two lists…but it’s free and gives you an idea of how it works. I used it for one shopping trip and immediately downloaded the full version because I loved it. I’ve used it regularly since August. I have lists on there for everything and then as I go through the store I just touch those little boxes and it checks them off. I could share my list if my hubby had an iPhone too (poor him) but I can also email my list. We keep a paper list on the frig still for immediacy, but for me, I usually just grab my phone and add it in. You can even set up a set list of things you always need and then just through and click which ones you need on this trip. Probably my most used app on my phone…after maybe Facebook…LOL! {Oh, and we chatted about our favorite food blogs, too…here are two of mine: my pal Allie at eatatallies and then the always entertaining Pioneer Woman}


Mondays also mean getting a chance to see Grandma. T gets out of school at 11:10 and MOPS doesn’t end until 11:15. Thankfully my parents are willing and able to help out. Grandma usually picks him up and takes him to lunch of his choice. Boy oh Boy does he work that. Today’s choice was lunch at the mall and then he always gets a treat. Kettle Corn from Popcornopolis…one of his favorites.

grandmasamWhen they get home, S will inevitably grab her hand and ask her to play with him now. At some point this weekend, this little man graduated from saying “Papa” and “Monga”…he is now saying Grandpa and Grandma properly…not sure why. It’s another bittersweet thing…he’s growing up. Oh and Monga? Don’t ask…S made it up when he first started talking and it’s been her name for the past couple of years. It’s not really attractive, but she loves it because it’s her special name. Until this weekend. Sigh.


Mondays also mean that Daddy gets to come home for lunch. He was so annoyed when I took this picture!! He recently moved his office closer to home and can come home to eat with us when he’s there. That usually only means Mondays since the rest of the week he’s traveling around to one of his various stores (he’s a retail district manager). Of course, that Blackberry isn’t far from his fingertips…nothing like me and my iPhone of course. LOL

homework I’m so over homework. Ugh. Two more months of school. Don’t get me wrong, I love our teachers, love our school. The boys love it…public education is a good fit for our family and I like their exposure to life out there. But I don’t like homework. As a former teacher I had strong feelings for and against it back then too. I think it’s good for some things…but sometimes I feel like it’s just given to give. I’ll freely admit that I’m not as much as a homework ‘nazi’ as maybe I’m supposed to be. But at this point in the year…I’m just over it. And I’m fine with admitting it. Sadly, they still have to do it.

runrockling 6 days and counting until I run my first 5k. Whohooo. I’m ready. I’m so excited to feel the rush of a ‘race’. Although…I’m not expecting to really RACE. My goal is to run. No stopping, no walking. Run. Mind you, it might only be a 14 minute mile, but I’m going to run it from start to finish. And I have a feeling it will be a bit faster than that. And keep your fingers crossed for me and a group of gal pals…we’re in the lottery for the Nike Half Marathon in San Francisco in October. Registration closes this Friday. If you are local pal and want to sign up as part of our group, email me and I’ll pass on our group number. We did it that way so that if one of us gets in, we all do…and if we don’t we don’t . I’m not going to freak out that a half marathon is 13.1 MILES until after I find out we’re in. Then I’ll freak!

pie And to balance out my fitness talk…how about a strawberry pie? I had a hankering and made one yesterday…can’t wait to have a slice tonight. I know, it doesn’t really fit into the whole no sugar, training to run thing. But it’s fruit…doesn’t that count as healthy?

Hope you are having a good April 12th…


p.s. Anyone doing A Week in the Life with Ali next week? I’m thinking about it…I know it’s a bit late in the game since I haven’t pre-planned anything, but I always am disappointed when I don’t do it, so I think I’m just going to jump in with two feet and go for it. It won’t be perfect and that is okay. Life isn’t perfect and that’s what I’m trying to document. Want to join me?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

am i the only one left?

Seriously, folks. Am I the last person in the scrapbooking world that does double pagers?

I flipped through 15 pages of layouts on Two Peas the other day and found ONE double page layout.

Most of the layouts I see in both Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbooks, Etc (the mags I have subscriptions to currently) are singles.

Now, we all know that I can rock the single pager here and there…but mostly I am drawn to doing a doubles. I just like how the story flows from one side to the other as you flip through my books. I like how I can add a few more pictures, more journaling and spread out the cute embellishments on a double.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of the single pagers. I love how it gives you the opportunity to get a bit more artsy and creative in a smaller place. I think there is a place for both singler’ers and double’ers in the scrapbooking world.

I’m just wondering where all my fellow double’ers are at? Holla!

Here’s one of my latest doubles:

disneyland2010 Our Disney trip in February.  I’m not a fan of the traditional Disney colors and embellishments much anymore…overkill in my books, I think. So I went a different route this time…Disneyland by land, sea and air. And Jillibean’s New England Chowder line was a perfect fit!

disneyland2010detail01 These fabric thickers are my new favorite for sure!

disneyland2010detail02 When journaling on my computer, I highlighted the highlights (ha ha) in red…made for a fun journaling block.

disneyland2010detail03 You know that I love the pennants that are everywhere right now…this one is all Jillibean! I punched that stop sign out of the Butter paper from the New England Chowder line and then glazed it up, adding the mini letters from MLS.

A Single’er or double’er? What are you?


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

three boys and a ferris wheel

I had mentioned in my Disney re-cap that I had pictures of all three boys in the ferris wheel at California Adventure. Well, it got me thinking that I should look them up:

JUNE12#1 This is Jake at 1o months in 2002. California Adventure had just opened the year before and it was actually our first visit…and Jake’s first visit to any Disney park. Weird since my mom worked there back then too…I guess with a new baby we weren’t really anxious to do the whole Disney thing yet. This was actually a film camera and I guess I scanned this one photo from the trip. Weird that it happened to be that one photo!

070805ferrismomty This is Tyler’s first visit in July of 2005. He was 13 months. I certainly look like I’ve had a long day at the park, huh? I think this night was the one we saw the fireworks from the top of the ferris wheel…so cool.

IMG_0032 And then, of course, Sam. He is 3 years old in this picture just last month. He’s been to the parks at least 3 times in his young life (I’d have to look and check), but this was the first time we got him on that ferris wheel.

The funniest thing about these pictures is that, except for Jake riding with us when Tyler did in ‘05, these were all the first and last rides for each of them. At least for now. That thing is huge…have you seen it?

Looks like I have a layout coming on…


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

small kids and Disney…my tips

After my post on Monday, I got asked: ‘how do you do Disneyland with three small children?’ My answer: you just do it.

We’re actually blessed to have my mom work for Disney so we’ve gone quite a bit. My kids are pros…in fact, this year they refused to stand in line to see the characters because that wastes precious ride time. And my pictures are lacking this trip because other than a requisite family pic…I felt like I had seen all the others before. I did take some non-traditional ones though (like the landscaping outside of the Buzz Lightyear ride…it’s my hubby’s favorite…it’s all edible!).


But…it’s a good question…how do you manage three young kids when there are thousands of people around you?

Here are some tips that make it easier for us:

Here are some tips:

*Bring your own bottled water…I’m a water girl and drinking fountains are not enough. I’ve never had a problem bringing it in.

*Bring snacks…baggie up each kiddo’s for easy access…it will inevitably be while you are in a 30 minute line that they are screaming bloody murder for a snack!

*Consider packing a lunch. There are lockers and a picnic area outside of the main gate. You can exit (get your hand stamped and save your ticket) and have a picnic lunch. Saves $$. I’ll be honest that I’ve never planned ahead and done this (see a post below) but it sounds like such a good idea…especially after paying an average of $10 per person, per meal!

*Use a stroller…our three year old is almost always in the stroller. You walk at least 6 miles around Disney in a day…we let him hold a hand for a bit (he’s trying to assert his independence) and then he gets tired and asks to be in the stroller. You also have a place to stash sweatshirts, snacks and water. Disney actually rents strollers for $8 a day, I think. We’ve always brought our own, but if space is an issue for you, arrive early and get a Disney one…they are pretty good.

*With one in the stroller, the other two hold a hand or hold on to the stroller…no exceptions. With my parents with us, this is easier…but we’ve done it with just us, too. My stroller actually has a step that one of them can ride on if they need to. At 5 and 8, they don’t do that much…but when T was 4 he did.

*Plan where you are going next while in line…you are stopped anyway…that way you aren’t standing in the middle of things or stopping and trying to contain the kids. If you have an iPhone you can download a free app that tells you what the current wait lines are. I personally prefer the MouseWait app…lots of fun add ons to mess around with!

*Safety Tats! This is actually the first time I remembered to actually use them and they gave me peace of mind. They go on like regular play tattoos but I had them ordered with my cell phone number on them. We put them on their upper arm (covered by their sleeves) and then role played with them…if you are lost, find an adult with a costume/uniform/nametag on and tell them you are lost. Show them your tattoo. You can order them at: (Thanks Debbie for that tip a while back!)

IMG_0008 *When the baby was really little, I used to stand in the long lines with him sleeping while Dave or my mom would take the big boys on shorter rides and come back to meet us. The Disney people aren’t always pleased with it, but it kept the big boys from going crazy in line.

*Stay somewhere relatively close to the park so when the giant meltdowns (the ones they don’t recover from) start happening, you can easily get to the hotel and nap/rest. We came back each afternoon for a few hours and actually would eat dinner outside of the park (cheaper) and then return. With a nap or rest, my kids made it til about 9 or 10 two nights in a row. My parents used to do this with us when we lived there…always came home to eat and rest. If you park in the Disney lot, just save your parking ticket and you can re-enter the lot. There are also several shuttles/busses in the area…ask at your hotel.

*When loading up the stroller know that you’ll have to unload it and break it down to get on the tram from the parking lot to the front gate. There is really no way around it (other than extra walking…I prefer to save those steps for the park). I usually load up my backpack to where it is pretty heavy. As soon as we get off the tram, I start unloading it into the basket on the stroller. Annoying for a bit…but  it makes boarding the tram smooth.

*We aren’t big ‘souvenir’ people. But the kids always ask…so we usually pick a dollar limit and tell them they have to wait until the last part of our last day. Quite honestly, we don’t even take them into the stores. There are a few rides that exit into stores (annoying) and we sometimes let them look around…but we’re pretty clear that the treat is actually going to Disneyland, not the toys. The last several trips we’ve done this and all three boys have done great. They each picked out a pirate sword from a kiosk stand on the last day. Our oldest asks about it every hour each day we are there, but other than that, they are pretty good once we lay the ground rules.

*Don’t expect to do much else on your Disney days. The kids (and adults) just can’t take it. You eat, sleep, breathe Disney. No driving to visit relatives on those days, no visits to another venue. Maybe a swim in the hotel pool during your down time, but honestly…we’ve never done it.

*Everyone needs GOOD shoes. It always shocks me to see the number of people who walk around in beach flip flops and such. I can’t imagine how much their feet and back hurt at the end of the day. There is really no way to do Disney and not walk. A lot. Between blisters, back pain and foot pain it’s just not worth it. My kids do wear Crocs…but those are pretty comfy. The adults…we all wear running shoes. No question.

Those are just a few things off the top of my head. What are your tips? What did I leave out?

If you’re lucky, you’ll have a great visit and your little guy will fall asleep on Grandpa’s shoulder toward the end of Small World…9 p.m. on our last day. :)

IMG_0065 I’ll be back with some sneaks from Green Tangerine’s new kit…


p.s. As I was typing this I could hear my little guys planning rides using the GeoTrax. Evidently the Monorail slides right into Splash Mountain in my living room. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

where have you been?

well, where have I been…right?

Sorry, we took a quick trip back to our old stomping grounds in So Cal: Disneyland!



My parents joined us for 3 days at the park. The boys loved it, of course. There is something about that place that brings out the best…and worst…in everyone! All in all, it was a great trip.


Favorite rides this year: Autopia (three visits with a 4th shut out due to a car jumping the tracks…exactly how do you get one of the cars to jump those tracks? hmmmmm) and Monorail. Seriously. I’ve asked again and again and they all stick to their guns on what their favorite rides were. Funny.


Highlights for me: Date Night at Disneyland…thanks grandma and grandpa…and taking Sam on the Ferris Wheel at California Adventure. I realized I had pictures of both Jake and Tyler at really young ages in the Ferris Wheel. This year no one was interested…more like scared to death. So we sent the bigs off with grandma and grandpa and we shuttled Sam away to the giant wheel before he could be influenced by his big brothers’ screams of terror. He liked it, but I’m not sure I could convince him to go on it again.

It must have been Nor Cal week down there…we saw 4 families we know and ran into three others we didn’t know but are from our town. We also saw several Kings hats and tshirts that were related to towns around here. That was fun.

Being raised 20 minutes from Disneyland, I never feel like an out-of-towner there…and up until a few years ago, we went several times a year. This trip was our first in a year and a half. Weird feeling for me. I love living up here…but there are some things I miss, and Disneyland is one for sure.

I’ll be back with some scrappiness soon…


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

where have you been?

Oh my goodness...where have I been? What have I been doing?

The answers aren't really that exciting. It's called life. Life with three busy boys, a husband who works a lot, a mommy who has lost the creative mojo for a bit...Life.

Well, that and we have a new addition to our family...


Here he is...

Isn't he just too cute?!

His name is Trigger. He is a two year old field Lab...fully trained and such fun. Good friends of ours needed a good, duck-hunting, home for him...and so he found his way here this last weekend.

He's not my excuse for lack of blogging the previous two weeks...but he's my excuse from this weekend. He just arrived and we're all adjusting. The boys are LOVING him. He's loving the attention...and pushing his limits. But like I said, fully trained and a very good dog.

And he's cured my desire for a fourth child. For now. ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

fall favorites round two...

Like I said...I love fall. And we love the pumpkin farm!

Here are the results of this year's trip. I've already taken the boys again on an impromptu last week...before our first rain of the season. Tyler even had a field trip there on Thursday...his first trip on the bus...he was so darn excited (even if it did steadily sprinkle on us)!

Yes, we love Bishop's. We joke about having to roust the boys out of bed when they are 16, 13 and 10 because "Mom needs her annual photo of the family". hee know that's not far from the truth, right?

I'm thinking the September kit will look great with these photos as well...guess I should get crackin'!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

to tide you over...

So I've actually taken pictures of my new scrap space and even have some before shots...but I haven't had time to upload them...sorry.

It's the last week of summer around here (whoo hoo!) and I'm just trying to keep the hooligans super duper busy...and trying to practice getting up earlier. It's hard on momma I tell ya!

So in the mean time...I'll share some photos from the 4th of July. I'm using some of these on a layout using the July kit. Can't wait to share.
{Oh, speaking of which...the flickr account was updated recently and there are some May and June goodies in there now. :)}
Okay, so back to the Fourth. It's our absolute favorite holiday as a family. Something about celebrating our great country in the heat of summer with fire. :) We had a long standing tradition when we lived down south to go to the annual Fourth concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I highly recommend it if you live in the area! There is always a full orchestra and a guest performer. Half the night is the guest's concert and the other half is more of them plus an incredible fireworks show with amazing patriotic music...full awesome! We even took J when he was nearly 1 and nearly 2...he did great!
So when we moved up here in May of 2004 we were so bummed to miss our tradition. We floundered for a few years and then, thanks to good friends, found our new tradition. It is more fun since it involves our whole gang lots of good food and amazing friends.
This year J was so into the fire!!

The typical way our kids watch fireworks? With their hands over their ears!

And T...not too keen about sparklers but anxious to join in the fun...kind of.

S enjoyed it yet again...he never gets nervous about them.
But he did learn from his brothers to cover his ears!

We were able to include my brother in law and his family who were in town from So Cal. We loved sharing it with them! Thanks to great friends for hosting yet another fun Fourth celebration!
Oh! And the cupcakes at the top? My attempt at being Martha Stewart. I used a recipe from the Cake Doctor book...have you heard of it? Amazing resource if you are a cake or cupcake kind of gal. And I got the idea from the Martha Stewart Cupcake book. Mine didn't look nearly as cute as hers...but they were yummy! Another friend of ours made cupcakes for the party and hers...way more professional...but if you know know she does amazing things with cake...she won the dessert show down. :)