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!!

ANOTHER Mother of the Year!

A few weeks ago my Dear Husband had to go to Guatemala and then Mexico City for work. He left on a Sunday and it was a L O N G day for me alone with two kids.

Each Sunday night Lehi City hosts an Arts in the Park with different performers. It just so happened that this particular Sunday was Charley Jenkins in the park. I really like his music and needed to get out of the house. I called a few sisters and we arranged to meet at the park.

We set up our chairs close to the playground so that we could keep an eye on the kids while we watched the show. The kids would play for a minute then run back to our seats for a rest and then it was back to the playground. Here is my niece Oakley with my sister Norma.

We are all sitting there waiting for them to work out some bugs with the sound system and the next thing I know a woman comes on the stage and says "We have a little lost girl". She is holding this crying little blonde girl in her arms. I squint up towards the stage and think to myself "Hmmm, Madeline has a pair of shoes like that."

That's when my sister nudged me and said "Jana, that is Madeline!" Oh Right - - of course it is! I then have to run up to the front and retrieve her. Now, just so you know. . . we hadn't changed spots, I hadn't moved and Madeline had been back and forth between me and the playground several times up to this point. What made her decide she was lost right then, I will never know!

She sat on my lap for about 10 minutes and didn't seem any worse for the wear.

Then when the music started she decided that she needed to bust a move. . . This was hysterical to watch. She was standing on the bleachers and dancing for all to see!

What can I say? The girl has skillzzz!

Oh, and don't worry, I have my Mother of the Year speech all ready for when they deliver that prize!

First Day of School

Jack started Kindergarten last week. He goes in the afternoon with his "best bud" Mayson. He was very excited to ride the bus.

When I told him that I would go down to the bus stop with him each day he informed me that he did NOT need me to go to the bus stop with him, AND lest I get any crazy ideas, he could walk home by himself too.

Well, the bus stop is .25 miles from our house and if you are a 5 year old boy there is a lot of "dinking around" that can happen in those .25 miles. So we came to a compromise - Jack leaves the house and picks up his friend Mayson. I wait for about 5 minutes and then drive down in the car with Madeline to make sure they get on the bus.

Madeline started pre-school the following week. She goes in the morning. I know you are thinking "Wow she didn't plan that one too well." But I figured this is the last year that I will have Jack at home and it would be good for us to spend some one on one time together while Madeline is at pre-school.
Right after I took this picture of Madeline I started to walk her to the door. She turned to me and in her most reassuring 3 year old voice said "It's OK Mom, I can do this." Huh? Are you 3 or 13?!?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Meet My Son. . . G.I. Joe?

Jack's latest superhero obsession is G.I. Joe. A few weeks ago we went to Costco and they had Halloween costumes. Already?!? Jack was drawn to them like a moth to a flame.

He immediately found a Snake Eyes costume. In a moment of weakness and rationalization that almost every day is Halloween for Jack, I bought it.

You see Jack loves to dress up. Some days I will find him and his little gang all dressed as Batman, or Indianna Jones, or Spiderman (both black and red). Other times it's Buzz Lightyear, a Power Ranger or a Ninja. Last week he had 6 chopsticks from the kitchen between his fingers using them as Wolverine claws! He does get points for creativity.

So the day came that we went for his Kindergarten Evaluation. He sat at the front of the room while Mrs. Peterson talked to him to see what he knew and what he needed to work on. I was at the back of the room filling out paperwork.

Toward the end I hear the following conversation -

Mrs. Peterson: "So shall we call you Jack in school this year? Is that what you would like to be called?"

Jack: "No, you can call me G.I. Joe."

Me - thinking to myself: Say what?!?

Mrs. Peterson: "Oh, is that what your Mom and Dad call you at home?"

Jack (looking my way out of the corner of his eye): "Uhh, No. But YOU can call me G.I. Joe."

At this point I am biting the inside of my cheek trying not to laugh.

Mrs. Peterson (without missing a beat): "Well I think for school we are going to call you Jack."

Jack: "Sigh. . . . OK."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Quilting / Decorating project AKA Madeline's Room

About 5 or 6 years ago, my sister Heidi introduced me to the hobby of quilting. Well, maybe hobby is not quite the right word. Some of the words that come to mind are obsession, sickness, money pit - - you get the idea.

The first quilt that I did was for Jack's room. That lead to some pillows and then some curtains to match.

When it came time to move Madeline from her crib to a big girl bed, I decided that I would use my skills to make her bedroom over last summer.

Here are some pictures of the finished project. First I started with the actual quilt to go on the bed.

Here is a close up of the quilt. There was a lot of piecing involved and it was pretty time consuming.

Which then led to throw pillows.

If you are going to go to all that work, you might as well have a custom bed skirt.

Which made me think that curtains would be a good addition. (Anyone read the book "If you Give a Moose a Muffin"? Do you see some similarities here?)

These curtains look cute, but they were a pain in the neck to make! As for her letters that spell out her name they are wood covered with scrapbook paper. I made Jade go with me several times to Robert's Crafts so that we could each buy one letter at 40% off. There are LOTS of letters in this girl's name!

Next I found some cute "frenchy" pictures on eBay. Notice the cute crown hooks that I found at RodWorks. Now if I could just get her to actually use them. . . .

I found some cute paper at a fru-fru boutique and bought it, not quite knowing what I was going to do with it. Then I had a great idea - tear the sides and mount it on an artist's canvas painted brown and distressed. Add some ribbon at the top and a cute wall hanger and you are set!

If you haven't noticed, I love all things French. My dear husband is always telling me "We Are Not FRENCH!" As a joke he started calling France The Motherland. Now my kids think that the Eiffel Tower is called The Motherland! They sometimes ask if we can go to The Motherland. It drives Dear Husband crazy and secretly I smile inside.