Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pineapple Girl

On Monday, we saw Mrs. Cantwell's son Ryder in the library. He came over to me and whispered in my ear, "My mom got Lila a pineapple purse as a surprise since she knows how much Lila loves pineapples!" On Tuesday after school, Mrs. Cantwell told me that there was a special surprise in Lila's backpack to thank her for being such a good helper in class all year long. As soon as we got in the car, Lila ripped her backpack off her back and told me to look inside. And there was the pineapple purse.

Lila was jazzed. As soon as we got home, she changed in to her pineapple dress and pineapple earrings (the very things that prompted Mrs. Cantwell's pineapple choice). After lunch, we found things to go in her purse: a wallet, gum, lifesavers, a toy phone, a notebook, and pencils. She kept asking me, "Mommy, what ELSE do people have in purses?" Then we emptied the "fun" section of her bank and went to the store. Lila wanted to go to "all the good deal stores"--especially the 99 cent only store. She looked at EVERYTHING and finally settled on a water squirter and an Anna and Elsa brush from the 99 cent only store and a pineapple water bottle and a treasure box and bird house to paint from Wal-Mart. My favorite part of our trip was how she'd ask me, "Mom, if you had money would YOU buy this?" as part of her decision making process.

When we got home it was time for quiet time--but apparently our shopping trip wore the pineapple girl out because she fell asleep right on her floor.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Pinewood Derby

This year was our family's first foray into the world of Pinewood Derby.

Reed was excited, but not crazy into it. He wanted to have a car and he wanted to build a car, but he didn't have strong preferences about any of it. In the end, he chose a simple angled design with rounded corners. He was particular about the colors--he chose neon green and orange--and he was very particular about the lego guy that went on top, inside the bright cockpit. He and Ryan watched a few videos about building fast cars, and took the time to polish and angle the axles, smooth the wheels, and add weights to the top. In the end, he had a pretty sweet car.

Once we passed weigh in (after drilling a few holes in the bottom!) we were ready for race day. Reed's car did well, coming in a very close second on every heat it was in (I think). He didn't make the top four, but he did get 7th place overall for speed! Not too bad for first-timers. He also got an award for "most detail."

We had a fun night and are looking forward to many future Pinewood Derbies.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Easter Pictures {A Tribute to Having a Working Camera Again}

After Reed was born, Ryan made a very convincing case for buying a decent camera to replace our point-and-shoot that was at least five years old. He found a smokin' deal on a refurbished Nikon D40x. We were instantly in love. That Nikon worked beautifully until I dropped it (in my defense, it was in a camera bag that slid off my shoulder when I bent over). But we sent it to Nikon to be repaired and it came back good as new!

But in the fall of last year, our beloved Nikon started having issues. It would sometimes work for a few pictures, but then would put up an error message. And sometimes it wouldn't take pictures at all! We took Reed's baptism pictures for his photo book with my phone. We got 10ish pictures from Reed's baptism day on our Nikon (tender mercy) before the error came up and we had to go back to the phone. Later, Ryan tried to fix the camera using a tutorial online but wasn't successful. I know it's probably kind of silly, but I was really sad about our camera! I love taking pictures of random daily stuff and my phone just isn't as good a tool as our Nikon was.

Anyway, at the beginning of this year, Ryan and I set a goal to pay off debt this year--we had about $1000 on a credit card, about $1800 of student loans, about $7000 of a car loan, and were planning on paying cash for my knee surgery, which would be another $1500 or so. Buying a new camera wasn't in our game plan. But we worked really hard and were able to pay off our credit card, pay down our student loan, and pay for my surgery--then used our tax return to pay off the rest of the student loan. We had more tax refund than we had student loan left, and instead of maybe doing the responsible thing and putting it toward our car loan, we decided to do the fun thing and find another smokin' deal on another Nikon! Throw responsibility to the wind, that's what Ryan and I do. (haha)

The day the Nikon came was super exciting. And I'm making a bigger attempt this time around to read the user's manual and hope to learn to shoot in a mode other than auto :)

Anyway, that was a lot of rambling to say that on Easter morning, we were all looking reallllllll cute and it had been a while since we'd taken any family photos, so we left for church early and had a fun (ha, ask Reed if he thought it was fun) family photo shoot! I love my family so much and love having photos of all of us together.

 She fell. Her face kills me!

 For a minute there we were trying to be a boy band.

 Ben forgot to pack church clothes!