Friday, November 13, 2009

Daily Madeline

The other day we were driving in the car, just Madeline and I. As usual she was talking NON-STOP. I like to say the if her eyes are open, her mouth is going.

So there we are driving along, Madeline talking and talking and talking, while I can barely get in an "uhh huh" or "Yep" or "Hmm". If I don't make appropriate noises she accuses me of not listening to her and then demands that I turn my rear view mirror down so I can SEE her while she talks to me!!

The next thing I hear is "Hey Mom, do you know what will happen if you talk too much?!"

"Well, do you?"

"Your LIPS will FALL OFF!! This means that YOU should stop talking so much!"

Me: "Oh really?" (my first real words of the conversation)

Madeline: "Yeah, so you better be careful!"

I honestly could think of nothing to say. I guess you always see the beam in your neighbor's eye instead of the mote in your own (or is that the other way around? I can never remember.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Halloween 2009

I LOVE Halloween! It is one of my favorite holidays. I don't really like the blood and gore aspect, but more of the fun, witchy part.

For about the past 4 years we have hosted a Halloween party at our house for my family. I am the oldest of eight kids (7 girls and 1 boy, in case you're keeping score). Each year everyone wanted to see the kid's costumes, and even though we all live relatively close, it seemed an impossible task for Halloween night.

So, me being the party queen and having a husband who indulges me, I decided that we should have an annual Bronson Family Halloween Party, . . . and . . . . a tradition was born!

We always have yummy food - of course everyone knows that you can't get together without something tasty! Then all of the adults go into a different room of my house with their candy and the kids go from door to door and "Trick-or-Treat."

I wanted this Halloween to be "Super".

Don't you just love the Captain America costume? Mark wore this to work for his office Halloween party and won the $100 Grand Prize!! He said it was worth all the crazy looks he got while driving on the freeway!

This year we had quite a crop of Super Heros. Here we have Jack - aka Darth Vader, Hans- aka a Storm Trooper, and Bronson aka Spiderman. Love Bronson's mean tough guy face!

Of course all of the Sisters get into the act as well.
L-R: Norma, Jana, Julie, Sheryl, Breanna, Jade.

Here's my sister Hollie - she's Hannah Montanna. (flashing the "I Love You" sign instead of the "Rock On" sign.)

This is my sister Julie. She came dressed as an oven with two buns in it. She's expecting twins in April!! Clever Jules, clever!!
This is my sister Julie (aka Buns in the Oven Jules) with my neice Kat. Yep I did say NEICE! When she first came to the party, one of my other sisters, Doreen, didn't recognize her and thought that Jordan must have brought a friend!! I guess that she figured that since she had been working like a mexican in Grandpa's orchard for the past couple of weeks, she may as well dress the part. Seriously, I am totally diggin' that stache!
Here's my nephew Drake aka Rasta Man. We don't overlook any ethnic group in my family!
The little ladies: Breanna, Oakley and Madeline.
Since I was the master of ceremony, after we all had sufficient time to digest our food and the kids were about to start a mutiny, I called them all together with their bags to begin the Trick-or-Treating. This is my official "I'm in charge" stance. The boots TOTALLY rocked the costume!

I didn't get too many pictures of the Trick-or-Treating action since they were all pretty speedy, but I did manage to get one of my neice Lily. I think she is still unsure about just taking candy.

After he was done, Hans brought his candy to Hollie for her to "check" it. REALLY?!? - you are worried about the quality? Hollie was only too happy to oblige, seeing as how she took some of her favorites for closer inspection!
Here's Madeline - I think she's enjoyed one too many chocolate bars!
The next night (Halloween) Jack, aka Darth Vader informed me that he was too big to go Trick-or-Treating with his PARENTS and asked if he could go with his friends Connor and Mayson - - and THEIR Dad, Jack aka Big Jack.
So I called Connor's Dad and told him that obviously THEY were MUCH cooler than we were and asked if it would be OK of Jack went around the neighborhood with them. He looks pretty happy about that!
Jack is a sweet boy though. While he was out he went to a house where they were giving out lip gloss and he asked if he could have one for his sister since he didn't think she would make it that far.
He also scored two pair of these goggles. They were the hit of the night!

He actually got one pair for Madeline and one for himself, but she refused to put them on saying they were "too creepy". However, Mark was a willing participant in the scary eye fest!
Later that night Mark put them on on the back of his head and told the kids that they had better behave since he had eyes in the back of his head and nothing would get past him!

Fall 2009

My parents have apples - - LOTS of apples. Over 500 trees, the majority of which my sister Norma and I planted one year while in High School during our "Spring Break".

While we all still lived at home the Fall season meant picking and selling apples. If you have never picked apples, let me tell you this is HUGE amounts of work!

First you have to pick them, then sort them as you put them into the boxes to make sure you don't get any bad ones. Then you top off the boxes and get them ready to load onto the tractor to be put in the barn and then onto trucks to take around town to sell.

Now, selling is it's own kind of work. Loading the apples from the barn to the truck, constantly shifting and rearranging the boxes to make your display look nice, lifting the boxes into your customer's cars. You get the idea - lots of lifting = one bad back!

This year my neice Katherine, who is almost 16, was telling my sister Julie how she hoped that she didn't see anyone she knew while selling. Julie said "Well, how do you think I feel? I'm 32, pregnant and STILL selling apples!" Good Times - Good Times!!

Since we have all grown up, moved away, and have our own families it is harder and harder to get back to help like we used to, but we all still try to do as much as we can.

This year I took Jack and Madeline with me since it is a family affair.

Madeline started out strong - look at those picking skills!

Then she got distracted by the dog - Rocky. I think she is either trying to give him some sort of command or offer him an apple. I'm pretty sure he's not interested in either option.

So she just settles for petting him.

Next, we needed some boxes moved to a better location in the orchard so we could fill them. I knew just the two people who could fill the position.

Apparently Jack is trying the "No Look" approach.

After all that hard work Jack and his cousin Hans decide to pose for a photo op. Neither one looks thrilled - I think they are waiting for Grandpa to come back with the tractor so they can try to catch a ride!

Here's my neice Katherine. She's laughing because I just caught her texting instead of picking. Ohhh, BUSTED!! Notice that her basket around her neck is empty. . . . hmmmm. Actually, she really is a hard worker.

Speaking of hard workers - - This is my nephew Drake. His job is to load the full boxes onto the tractor, ride around to the barn with my Dad and then unload them.

This is Madeline the Supervisor - she is making sure all the boxes get loaded properly, with the help of Grandpa.
Here's Drake having some fun on the way to the barn!

After all that hard work we decide to go to Grandpa's pumpkin patch and pick out a few pumpkins. Wait! Who gave that boy those HUGE pruners?!?!
Oh, yeah, that would be ME - Another Mother of the Year incident!
Happy Fall Ya'All!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daily Madeline

I have been trying to eat more healthy and getting my kids on board has been a challenge - - to say the least!

Last night Madeline and I had the following conversation:

Madeline: "Mom what's for dinner tonight?"

Me: "Chicken - and YOU get to choose what vegetable we have with it!"

Madeline: "Noooo, I hate vegetables!"

Me: "Well, here are your choices: Green Beans, Corn, or Broccoli. Which of those would you like to choose?"

Madeline: "None! I HATE vegetables!"

Me: "Do you know that in some countries there are little children who don't get to eat vegetables and they don't grow strong and healthy and they can't grow up to be ballerinas. Wouldn't that be sad?"

Madeline: "Uh huh." (sounding totally unconvinced)

Me: "So which would you like to choose?"

Madeline: "Umm, I choose that country to live in."

I cannot win people!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Swiss Days aka Sister's Day Out!

Each Labor Day weekend the city of Midway has a celebration called Swiss Days. There are lots of things going on, but the big draw for the Bronson girls is the Swiss Days boutique.

This year we all met in the parking lot of Albertsons to load up in the Fun Bus (aka Doreen's Expedition) and drove up together.

They have all kinds of booths at Swiss Days - food, crafts, wrapping paper (the longest line in the whole place - go figure!). The fun thing about it is every day things are now "Swiss".

For instance there are "Swiss Hamburgers".

"Swiss Chicken"

And ohhh, the "Swiss Nuts and Kettle Corn!!" Speaking of nuts. . . er, I mean these are my sisters (L-R) Norma, Julie, Doreen, & Heidi.

Some booths really go all out with the Swiss theme:
Or the literal translation - - old people in bags.

Of course nothing says "Swiss" like a Swiss Miss taking a smoke break.

Here's a better "action" shot!

Lest you think that this shopping excursion is for the weak - think again! Here is a "battle wound" that I received while trying to make my way through the crowds.

While I fixed my battle scar, my sisters decided to take a little break and down some water and asperin.

This year Madeline came with us and while we took a little break she had some R&R on the swings. Doesn't she look like she is having a great time?! Thanks Aunt Julie for the push!

Until next year. . . .

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Montgomery Family Reunion

A few weeks ago we attended the Montgomery Family Reunion. Montgomery is my mom's maiden name and this year she and her twin sister Ann just happened to be in charge of it.

There was lots of food and fun and then there were the GaMEs!!

There was a fishing pond for the kids. Madeline scored lots of bracelets - enough to go up each arm. Then she saw a little girl crying because she didn't get any, so without me even saying anything to her, she went over to this girl (I honestly don't know who she belonged to) took off one arms worth of bracelets and gave them to her. She told her not to cry because she would share with her. What a sweetheart!

Next my uncle Earl brought out the marshmallow guns. Now, I KNOW he brought those thinking they would be great entertainment for the kids, however I'm sure he didn't realize that some of those kids would be 35 or 40!! Sorry - no pics - too busy trying to dodge marshmallows!!
We also had a series of sack races. THIS is when the fun begins!!

Here they are in the first race - yes that is my B-I-L Brandon on the far right working really hard to beat those rotten kids!!

Next in the second race we have my B-I-L Todd sizing up the competition.

And they're off!! Oh, looks like Todd is falling behind. . . .

Next, Madeline decided that she wanted to get in on the excitement. First some coaching:

A little apprehensive at first. . . .

But then she REALLY gives it her best shot!

In the end it was just too much effort - but hey she looked cute, isn't that what counts?!
After the sack races we had a 3 legged race. My uncle convinced my sister Sheryl and I to join. We did a few practice runs then then it was race time. There was high excitement - we were racing against my other sister Doreen and her husband Brandon. They had been talking a lot of SmACk to us about how they were going to kick our trash, blah, blah, blah.

Well, in the end Sheryl grabbed Brandon's shirt to hold him back and we managed to knock them down and go in for the win!! Here we are with our prize. (All that for a Twix bar?!?)

One of the other games was to pick pennies out of Jell-O with chopsticks. Madeline and Katie loved this game. I'm not sure how many pennies they got out, but the Jell-O sure tasted good!
Let me give you a warning about my family. If by chance you leave your camera unattended at any family function, you never know what you will get. Here's a prime example.

This is my sister Norma and her husband Curtis. I know what you are thinking - not so bad right? Wait for it. . . .

This is the next picture on my camera. My Dad and brother clowning around.

Oh and here is my niece Katherine - showing her true feelings about family reunions.

This reunion took place while my Dear Husband was out of the country. All of the other B-I-L's kept asking about him. I think my B-I-L Christian summed up all of their feelings perfectly when he said "So you have to leave the country to get out of something like this -HUH?!?"

All in all we had a pretty good time. It was nice to see relaitives that you don't see very often (or didn't realize you had!). However I think my nephew Caleb had the best time of all.

He was soaked by the time they left. I can laugh and think it's funny because it's not my kid!! Go Caleb!!