Friday, February 24, 2012



Here is the kids' Valentine's gift to their dad. We saw a candy bouquet at the supermarket for $20 and decided to make our own. We bought the candy for $8 and had the rest of the supplies at home. The kids loved making it. (The tie-dye shirts were made at a birthday party and are worn constantly.)

Sophia discovered the joys of Pez this year.

Writing Valentine's cards is such a great quiet time activity ... and good handwriting practice too!

We had fun scanning the internet to get ideas for Valentine's boxes. Sophia of course, let me pick and I thought this iPod box idea was too cute!

Clara loved the penguin.

Meredith had all her own ideas and didn't want to copy anyone else's. She was very particular, even telling me exactly what type of dogs to print off the internet. :)

I snapped a picture of Clara, walking back to class, on the day of their Valentine's party. She has grown and matured so much this year, being in a class one day a week. To put it bluntly, she has had to learn to be more diplomatic! Ha!
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Girls' Weekend in Vegas

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas ... unless you have a blog!

My sister just bought a house in Las Vegas. She is now working as a pilot for MGM. So, we decided a girls' weekend was in order. I was really glad to be able to hang out for a whole weekend with my sisters, mom, grandma, and aunt. My grandma lives in Missouri and everyone else lives in California or, now, Las Vegas. So, it was really great to see everyone.

I had never been to Las Vegas before. I had always thought it would be a bucket-list deal: check it off the list and I won't really want to go back. But I was completely surprised by how fun and beautiful it was. And I don't even like gambling! There was a lot more to Vegas than the smoke-filled, sensory overloading gambling parlors. More than ten minutes of that would give me a headache! But, if you walk quickly through the gambling areas, there was a multitude of beautiful architecture, floral arrangements, and other eye candy. I would love to go back!!

We stopped at this mall for a few hours and I had to get a picture of the fake grass. Here are all these families, acting like it's the perfect day in the park, only they're sitting on plastic grass. Cracks me up. Also notice that my sister from L.A. (Christy, in the middle) is wearing her thick coat. People kept asking me if I was cold. I have thick Indiana blood, baby!

We celebrated my 33rd birthday. My mom bought this great little cake at a local bakery. My aunt supplied the tiara. I felt very spoiled.

My mom, grandma, and Aunt Carol.

My sisters, Melissa, Christy, Betsy, and me.

Here is a picture of the house Betsy bought. It's cute and perfect for her!

Driving along the strip. I knew my kids would love all these pictures.

Yes, we rode the New York, New York roller coaster and it was awesome!

It wouldn't be a girls' weekend without lots of Starbucks.

Like I said, I don't enjoy gambling. I'm way too cheap! I spent $2 the whole weekend, one dollar here and another dollar on the penny slots. I would have rather bought another coffee, to be honest!


Outside the Paris casino.

We stood and watched the Water Show outside the Bellagio for a while.


The gardens inside the Bellagio were amazing. They are redone four times a year, apparently. Right now it is a Chinese New Year theme.







A fountain of chocolate, folks:

On the strip at night!



Caesar's Palace was my favorite.












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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Common Courtesy and The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl has come to Indianapolis.  We are typically a rather football crazed town, but the frenzy has reached new heights this week.  Kevin works downtown and came home on Friday with reports of a transformed city.  So, last night we loaded the kids into the car and decided to spend an evening soaking up the Super Bowl village.  

We could have made it a date night and left the kids at home.  But we thought it would be a memorable experience for the kids so we took them along.  They loved it.  They loved the excitement and energy.  They loved watching the zip line antics.  They loved playing the little kids' games set up for the event.  They loved the Colts' Cheerleaders.  They loved getting a doughnut at the end of the evening.  They loved it all.  

Pushing the stroller through the crowds, however, was not the brightest idea I have ever had.  Actually, it was downright stressful to navigate the stroller through the throng, and try to keep up with Kevin and the older kids at the same time.  

People were extremely rude.  In fact, they were so rude, I could not even believe it and I'm still stewing about it 12 hours later.  Out of the thousands of people I encountered last night, there were maybe TWO people who didn't try to shove their way in front of me.  

I don't expect preferential treatment, but common courtesy would be nice.  Whenever I am without kids and see someone with little kids, I try to help them by holding the door, etc.  I always let a handicapped person go ahead of me.  There are just certain principles that apply when it comes to interacting with others.  All elements of decency seemed lost on the masses last night.  

Six years ago, I also pushed a stroller through a thick crowd.  I was in D.C. while Kevin attended a conference and I navigated the Metro during rush hour while pushing Meredith in her stroller.  At the time, I couldn't believe how kind and considerate people were.  I had never experienced so many helpful people.  They held the door for me, let me go first, offered to help me look for an elevator, etc.  

What has happened since then?  This morning I had coffee with a friend and she said, "Ever since the iPhone was invented, people have become more self-centered and less considerate."  I think she might be onto something. 

Although I greatly appreciate the thousands of ways that the iPhone helps me stay organized and research and communicate more efficiently, what is it doing to my society?!  It has made the world a better place.  It has also made it worse in some ways!  It enables people to be a lot more self-centered.  When they are out and about, they don't have to converse with people and interact with people.  In fact, they don't have to think about anyone else at all ... unless they want to check Facebook.  But they certainly never need to think about strangers or be considerate or kind.  

Some of those Super Bowl fans need to leave their iPhones in their pockets now and then, and take a look around them at the world that is beyond themselves.