Thursday, November 6, 2008

Are You Smart Enough To Vote?

So my neighbor Megan came over for dinner tonight and had a brilliant idea:   In order to vote, everyone should take a quick quiz acknowledging they are at least familiar with what they are voting on.  A simple test of the issues at hand.  

Now, I will be the first to admit I don't know every single issue at stake but I did do my homework before I cast my ballot.  I needed clarification in many areas and was even surprised at some of my findings.  Yes, I left a few blank since I don't know every judge in town but that is something I need to be more proactive about. 

We had an interesting conversation about people we know who openly share their vote but can't explain their reasoning.  Or those who just say they are voting this way because their spouse or parent is or even because they have always voted this way.  

I think we live in an exciting time where great things are happening and maybe at a future election their will be a pass/fail quiz that says, "Pass: You are ready to vote" or "Fail: Go back home and do your homework."

Halloween in San Diego

Bed head anyone?

I love this picture because the only way we can get Parker to smile is to have him say and sign for the word cheese.  So if he is smiling in a picture he is most likely signing for cheese with his fingers also.

This is at the Brigantine were we get the world's best fish tacos.  If you go to SD and don't eat these, you are missing out.  Notice how Ben and I's plates are almost empty.  

My little buzzing bee at my parents ward Halloween party

 He is actually "buzzing" with his lips in this picture

How great is it when you get to wear your Halloween costume all day, even out to breakfast.

Seeing the Roach Fam!  How hilarious is Andrew with his pose?  I love this family.

Our last day in San Diego was a perfect beach day.  Parker loved playing and swimming in the ocean and of course couldn't get enough of the sand.  He was so happy the whole time.  We were so proud our kid loves the beach.
It was a perfect way to end a great vacation.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Park City, Grandpa Larson turns 90

We spent a week up in Park City Utah this summer to celebrate Grandpa Larson turning 90.  It was so fun to see all the cousins and be up in the beautiful mountains.

Grandpa Larson turns 90!
Our typical attempt at trying to take a nice family picture
Candid shots are better anyway :)
Larson cousins
Larson grandkids, spouses, and great grandkids

We had a great time relaxing up in PC

Here are a few pics of some very focused golfers
oops.  I just accidently deleted the pics of us not quite being so serious.  Oh man...

San Diego trip July 08

We had an amazing trip to SD this summer.  We pretty much just hung out with the fam the whole time.  The only thing missing was Nein.

Parker loves his Auntie J.  She is not blood related but definitely family.  We always start off our trip by meeting her for breakfast at the Naked Cafe across from the beach.  P-man and I love their blackberry banana pancakes. Delish.

Cornhole:  The game of the year.  
We played this for days and got into some serious competition.  Who knew some bean bags could be so much fun?
San Diego is awesome because you can eat every single meal outside.  And that is pretty much what we did when we were home.
Check out the stuff....
I used to go to the beach with just a towel.  Now we bring a little bit more. And yeah, that awesome rainbow umbrella in the background is ours.
Our little fam testing out the water.  This is P-mans first time in the ocean.

San Diego con't

Grandma Marian with all the great grandkids
Brian on the BBQ.  We eat really well when we are with the fam.  I don't know how people can make food taste so good.  
The boys played a competitive game of cornhole, and the losers had to eat some very foul smelling cheese.   As you can see, Ben and Riley won and are making sure their opponents live up to their end of the deal.  Notice Jack in the background
We laughed so hard, I almost didn't get this picture.
Brian is now vomiting the stinky cheese over the fence.... I love how Jack is so curious.
Now he is examining the stinky cheese remains.
We had a great picnic with my Grandpa Rapp in front of his place in La Jolla.  Parker laughed his head off while feeding the seagull.  It was one of those times that I  could have cried because my kid was so happy.
One night the fam had a bonfire out in Pacific Beach.  Don't my feet look comfortable?
Parker is learning to share  :)  Note the good looking cup in the background...mmm.... 
In N Out...
Parker loves to sit and read with Grandpa in his chair (although he looks ready to go).  Sometimes, the even pet the kitty... poor Princess.... also known to many of you as "Loser Cat."
One second Parker was bouncing up and down, the next second he was out cold.  It was hilarious.

I love this picture since Ben is playing and Parker is just watching him from the swing.

After all the hard work from Seth and Ben, the playground was finally put together and the grandparents couldn't have been happier.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Vermont! ...with a little bit of Niagara and Boston

We had an amazing trip to Vermont with the Larson fam.  We started by all meeting up in Cleveland, then headed to Niagara Falls and a few church sites on the way, and ended with a couple of days in Boston.  

Here are the boys checking out the view of the falls from our hotel.  We had  great time on the Maid of the Mist and an "interesting" tour of the town.   What a view though.
Hands down, the best dessert ever!  
At the Canadian TGI Fridays they had my all time favorite dessert, Oreo Madness.   It was just as good as I remembered.   TGIF took it away a few years ago and life hasn't been the same since.  If heaven doesn't have this, I am not sure I want to go...

We stopped at the Hill Cumorah and a few other historical church sites.  I am so sorry I don't have the photos of Thayne (Ben's dad) rolling down the hill.  It was awesome and I knew Parker was proud of his grandpa.

Here are the lovebirds taking in the sites

We stayed at an unbelievable cabin up in the mountains of Vermont.  From there we took a few day trips up north and just enjoyed being together at the house.  I loved running up there because everything was uphill and the scenery was breathtaking.

We had an early birthday party for Parker.  His favorite part was playing with the cars that came from the top of the cake.

Day Trips
Parker loves to pretend to drive.  I think he has a car fetish like his mom and dad.
A cute little roadside antique store with some yummy homemade treats.  

We had a great time switching over into city life after rural Vermont.  We saw a bunch of sites, visited Joseph at Harvard, got stuck in the rain, and did some shopping.

This is my kind of shopping.  Marshalls, H&M and TJ Maxx all next door to one another.
Parker showing off his comfy ride (and sweet shoes from Auntie J).

Nathan and I taking in the sites .  I think I could hang out with him forever.  He is hilarious.
After all of it we were exhausted and sad to see a great trip come to an end.

After posting this I realized we are missing a lot of family pics we need to get...

Some things we did in Cleveland this summer....

We gave Parker a buzz cut

The poor kid could barely see
Father and son matching hair
This is after when we played "where did Parker's hair go?"

We spent some time at the pool

We love our community pool.  It is pretty amazing.  We just wish the season could last longer. To the right of the slide is the high dive where Ben gave in to peer pressure (wife pressure) and hurt his neck.  It was a sweet dive though.  :)

We worked on the house

Here are Ben and Jeff framing the basement.  This never would have been possible without Jeff's expertise.  I love his wife Amanda for giving up her husband three nights in a row.  The Masters fam is so awesome.  We love them.
Clearly they had their work cut out for them
Here are Ben and Parker lowering the crib.  Parker is very curious how everything works.  Looks like that blessing is coming true.