Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Soccer Saturdaze...

Every Saturday on our calendar for the months of September and October looks a little like this:
Ace Soccer 9 am
Dax Soccer 10 am
Kael Soccer 11 am

OK, I lie.  The gnarliest weeks look like this:
Ace Soccer 9 am (Team Treats)
Dax Soccer 9 am
Kael Soccer 9 am (Team Treats)

Yep.  We're that family.  And thanks to our families and neighbors we're able to manage and divide and conquer as the little gents learn those precious life lessons including: Being a team player, working hard, winning well and losing well too, and hustling.

This past weekend I attended Dax and Ace's games while RyGar took Kael to his game.  Guess which one of us took pictures?  :)

Dax's team is called the "Blue Dragons".  This was settled upon after much debate and for a while there, they were the Blue Gators.  Dax always does well and is really fast, but he hasn't been as aggressive offensively until this season.  Here he is right after scoring his first goal of last week's game:
Dax and cousin Zane are on the same team along with some neighborhood and Preschool friends, Isaac and Talmage.  Dax loves Saturday mornings and "Soccer practice nights".
 Ace plays on a little team comprised mainly of girls which bodes well for his scoring tally.  During games one and two, Ace scored four goals each.  Game three he slowed down with just one goal.  You never know what you'll get for sure... but you can place your bet on some "Tiger Action" with a couple of same-team battles between Ace and his buddy Talmage, who are the only two boys on the team.
 How we lucked out and got orange and black jerseys on this, the year of the Tiger, according to Ace Face, I will never know.  His team was sure they should be called, "Orange Crush", but little convincing one got "Tiger" added to the team name per his usual fashion.
So.... "The Orange Crushing Tigers" were born.
And thrive on.

Next weeks soccer report will be brought to you by Kaelster,
His Mom-ographer, and the "Blue Waves".  Ohhh Ahhh. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Force...

You guys, have you walked through a grocery store lately?  Props to Disney's marketing department for all the magic shenanigans they have done throughout all of America in promoting the old and new Star Wars.  My kids are officially obsessed.

Here... I offer you photographic evidence:
 I love the imagination this whole thing sparks.  They can often be found outside fighting some sort of battle against some bad guy with their light "savers".  You know, just saving the world one day at a time and all that?  What I don't Love...
Is being quizzed all day, err day about characters ages, powers, ships, relatives, weapons and all other random factoids... Because, "No, I don't know when Yoda's birthday is."  Sheesh.
Ryan exercises the largest haul of patience I've ever seen the dude exhibit when he watches the movies with these gents.  Lately the movies have consumed our "Friday Fun Night" screen time.  I'm not really a Star Wars kinda gal, but Ryno knows the movies and watched them as a little lad himself... what he wasn't prepared for was the onslaught of mid-movie BURNING questions.  He has to push pause while they ask things like, "Wait, so is Luke using the force right there or not... because he isn't a Jedi yet, right?  And so, if you're not a Jedi, but you're training to be a Jedi, can you still use SOME force?  And -- When will he get a "light saver" and when does Anakin get his arm cut off?"  Somehow, their stream of consciousness almost always ends in, "When will Anakin get his arm cut off," OR "When do we get to see Yoda fight?"  It's freakin' exhausting, is what it is.
I know this is just a fantastic little boy phase spurned on by the magic of marketing and end cap everythings that sport Luke Skywalker's face in every store across America... but seriously, may the force be with me while we see this one through!  :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

FOUR Someone's Birthday...

Our Ace Man is FOUR!
He is also a great many other things:
-Tiger obsessed
-Equal parts "Lova" and "Lord of Loud"
-The best sharer of all time
-An amazing colorer and writer
We had a little family birthday party for him yesterday.  It was Tiger themed (obvs) which is far easier said than done.  But a little tiger birthday cake and some tiger balloons plus his own tiger costume and the dude was beyond thrilled. 
His list of present requests included:  
Benny Shoes (like Benny from the Sandlot - also known as black high top Converse)
A Remote Control Lightning McQueen
Dinosaur Claw Hand Gloves
and His Own Personal Sized Vacuum
That's right... He's totally random and off-the-charts COOL.
We kept reminding him that it was almost his birthday for the weeks leading up to the big day and EVERY SINGLE TIME he acted as if this was brand new information.  Like the night before the big day, Ry and I were tucking him in tight and RyGar said, "This is the last time I get to tuck in three-year-old Ace!" and Ace put his hands on his papa's cheeks and erupted into, "IS IT MY BIRTHDAY?"  We laughed and told him, one more day.
The morning of, he padded into our room where his brothers were already awake and his parents were trying to get them to snuggle in for a few more minutes of blissful quiet, and as he climbed over bodies to get to his coveted spot right between Ry and I, Ryan said, "Ace, guess what today is?"  That sweet little light of life put his nose right to his Daddy-o's nose and repeated his surprised sentiments, "DAD IS IT MY BIRTHDAY TODAY?"  Cue a bed full of boys erupting with enthusiasm and clambering out of bed to get to "all the presents" and holy moly, our little ball of fire was in Birthday Heaven.  He even went to church AND primary program practice on his big day... which is more than I can say I would do on my birthday... so kudos little man.
I gotta say, they don't come more unique and completely awesome than our little Acers.  He lights up our days and warms our hearts and he's everything we never knew we needed. 
 Hope number FOUR is your best ever, little bud!
Thanks for choosing us!
XO FOUR-ever!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We Smell Fall Y'all...

You know that first brisk fall day after consecutive hot Indian summer days?  The one where the wind is cool, the clouds cover the mountain tops, and the air is laced with the smell of rain?
Oh geez... we finally had that day!

And turns out the mercury dropping did a number on my kiddos attitudes anyway, so I whisked them into the car and drove them up the canyon so they could, "Learn to be nice and get along with one another," all the while grinning at my selfish plans to get up and see the first hints of colored leaves and smell the wet mountain air.
Holy Moly it was worth it!  We were like mythical rain creatures crawling out of postcard... at least in my head.  In reality, we crawled into our car after this hike in our skivvies because we were just that wet and muddy; but the post card story fits the romantic scenes of Autumn far better.  So, let's stick with that... mmmmm-k?
We saw one lone buck on our hike.  Which leads me to believe that the poor deer was hearing impaired because this trio of lumberjacks was NOT traversing through the acorn strewn paths reverently.  Nay.  We did the opposite... per our usual.  And I was OK with it.  Because though they be loud and crazy, the hills were already alive with the sound of rain and thunder.  It was a symphony of happy sounds for this mama.
The leaves haven't really flexed their most vibrant color muscles yet, but they're working up to it.  The wet world made everything seem brighter than it was anyway, and you just never want to head up the mountainside and see barren branches.  Missing the leaves entirely is a situation that sort of haunts me, people.  What a travesty that would be! 

And so let it be known that on a cold and wet mid-September day this year, we let the fall parade begin.  Who knows... tomorrow we might go hug a pumpkin and the day after that I'll probably whip up a batch of carmel apples or sip on hot cocoa.  
It seems that no one around here will be complaining... 
Not one little bit.

Monday, September 14, 2015

More Stay-cation...

For the record I would live in a full-service hotel if I could.
I remember hearing that Rick Majerus lived in the Hotel Utah when he coached at the University of Utah, and I just never fully recovered from that imagery... Clean linens to sleep in every night.  Miniature sized lotion bottles to spare.  An ice machine and a pool and ROOM SERVICE!  It all seemed pretty magical.
Even after roughly eight years of business travel - my love of hotels has not worn off.  I get you, Rick.  I totally get you.  And so do my kids who are won over by fancy "family" bathrooms and jumping across great "canyons of lava" between beds.
Yep, the Gardner guys may grow up to be their own versions of Mister Majerus.  They eagerly pack up their swim trunks and goggles as soon as the word "hotel" is mentioned.  So, after our day at Lagoon we stayed at one of our faves... the Little America.  Maybe it's strictly nostalgia from my own childhood days at this place, or more likely, it's the the inside/outside pool... but whatever the reason, this place is loved by us all.
RyGar had one zillion pending to-dos and deadlines so he swam with us that night then tucked us in tight and headed home for the moonlight shift of work.  We stayed and caught a late breakfast at the coffee shop.
 And I'll be honest, all was right with the world after waffles bigger than our heads. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It's What Fun Is...

This weekend we had grand Labor Day plans.  They all went pear shaped on us.  So we flexed our creative stay-cation muscles and improvised... forcing the Daddy-o, who had looming work deadlines, out for one day of mandatory family fun time.  
The firm hand and "force the issue" mentality lasted all of two minutes, and then the amusement park endorphins kicked in... brought on by these giddy faces of anticipation and the group choke hold.
That coupled with the fact that Kaelster was tall enough and more than brave enough to ride the big rides with the big man.  Colossus?  No prob - they rode it twice together.  Wicked?  Why not? 
Lagoon is not my dream day; but it is the stuff that kidlet dreams are made of... and they remember going and they love the haunted house and the roller coasters and every other spinning, twisting and fast ride they're able to ride.
OK, I take that back, they all love every ride with the exception of this ride for little Ace Face.
Acers is not a fan of "the sensation of being dropped".  Like NOT AT ALL.  You know the "One-Two-Three- Toss the Kiddo High in the Sky" game that Dad's are famous for?  Ace clings to RyGar's neck and torso like a starfish clinging to a rock at low tide.  So this "Don't Crack the Dino Egg" ride powered by hydraulic lifts that "drop" you like you're hot on a whim.... well, the dude was in tears.  Screaming from the top of the ride, "I HATE THIS!" and "GET ME DOWN!"
We were all busting a gut at his theatrical exhibition... And we're sorry for that.  Kind of.  But dude, you were a riot.
All was forgotten at the carousel when little man rode the Tiger.  Predictable. Dax broke all the rules and jumped off his giraffe mid-ride to try out the merry-go-round AND a black horse.  How he got away with it I'll never know, but that little weasel is FAST!
The log ride is still my fave.  I don't care who you are... that's an A+ ride if ever a grading system existed for such things.  Plus, you end up in Pioneer Village where the ice cream shop resides along with the lemonade stand.  Take it from me - that's where you want to end up.
The day was gorgeous.  Partly cloudy skies with perfect temps of high seventies... we didn't take a stroller and the little dudes hiked around like champs without a single complaint.
Of course, there isn't much to complain about when you're granted a Driver's License for the day.
I do believe their faces say it all.
Oh Lagoon... We are like putty in your hands.  
You can bet yer buckets we'll be back.  It is, after all, "What Fun Is"!