Saturday, November 27, 2010

Field Trips and Turkeys

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was fabulous, the food and company were both fantastic! Unfortunately I am usually too busy cooking to get the camera out, I did manage to get the kids playing Rock Band though.

I did take the camera on a recent field trip with Athena's class so enjoy a few shots from that instead.

Hope everyone has a great December getting ready for Christmas. We are staying home this year so we will miss all our Utah family and friends, unless you all want to come and enjoy some fantastic weather this year ;-)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All Things Fall

We had such a busy week leading up to Halloween. Along with all the usual weekly activities Athena had a scavenger hunt at school. They have been learning about maps and this was a fun activity to see how well they learned how to follow directions on a map. All of fourth grade was split up into groups of 5 and handed a map with directions to each stop. At each spot they would get a sticker or stamp to show they made it, then at the final stop the reward was popcicles! It was a lot of fun.

Then Athena was the recipent of student of the month on Friday! The look on her face when she walked in to the cafeteria was awesome! She was so surprised to see Shawn and I there, then just very excited knowing she was the one picked this month.

There was also a Fall Party on Friday. It's always fun to watch the kids relax and just interact with their friends for a bit once in a while.

Athena and I also got to spend Friday evening with our dance friends at opening night of 42nd Street at the Arizona Broadway Theater. Her dance teacher Jan let them use the studio to practice so they gave all the girls 2 tickets each! It was a lot of fun and a great show.

Then more tileing on Saturday, it's almost done!!! You can sort of see a sneak peek behind Athena with her pumpkin.

And of coarse we had lots of fun on Halloween. Shawn and Athena carved the pumpkin in the morning. (actually Shawn did most of it with his nifty dremmel but Athena was the foreman ;) She did actually dig out all the guts on her own this year though.

They went for a nice scene from A Nightmare Before Christmas this year. Shawn got a lot of compliments on it and one woman even took a picture!

After changing her mind several times this year Athena finally decided on Mother Nature for her costume. It was really fun for me to get to just be creative and not have to make a costume look like someone from a movie or TV. But, it being Athena she still wanted to be very girlie and elegant. So we found a dress pattern with long flowing sleeves that she was very excited about. She picked out the fabric and all the leaves and flowers herself. I wasn't real sure how the ivy she picked was going to look but she really wanted it. After it was all done I agreed that she made the right choice.

And as most of you probably know by now, I have this thing about matching the treat receptacle to the costume. This year it was actually Athena that came up with the idea to use the earth! She also did almost all the paper mache and painting all by herself. I think it turned out great, and was a great addition to the costume.

It was nice to have Hailey stop by and hang out with us on Halloween. I think Athena loved that she went out Trick-or-Treating with her!

Now for a few fabulous weeks of fall weather to just enjoy. I am on boycott of even thinking about Christmas shopping yet because I am so sick of stores trying to cram it down our throats earlier and earlier every year. I am however already craving that turkey! Happy Fall everyone!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dancing at the Fair

We had a toasty but great day at the fair yesterday. We have managed to avoid the fair for nearly 20 years of marriage, but when your daughter has a chance to dance there you have to go. She did a great job dancing and we had a nice time after with Hailey too! We realized it was both kids first trip to a State Fair! So even though we were all sweating it was a lot of fun.

The highlight for Athena though was probably when she saw Ms. Champ in the audience. She had no idea she was coming to see her dance.

It was really hot in the tent behind the stage that the girls had to change in. At one point when she came back for a costume change she told me "I am so hot and sweaty, I don't know if I even want to stay at the fair!" When it was all done though she had changed her mind.

My goal for the day was to have fry bread. So after she danced we headed to the food carts. The girls all had fry bread, but Shawn was a little more adventurous and decided on the Krispy Kreame doughnut burger! He claims his heart only stopped twice. We also shared a deep fired Snickers, not impressed. And of course at the end of the day even though we had spent about $100 Athena was still a tad upsett aht she didn't leave with a giant, stuffed, crappy rip off of some cartoon character. What are you gonna do, it's not a day at the fair without a little disappointment right?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hail Hath No Fury.....

I tend to have a lull in blogging this time of year. It must have to do with the transition from summer to school. Life around Casa de Evans is good.

Our baby girl Hailey has left the nest, moved into an apartment close to school. It should have been a big adjustment but I think we have actually had more quality time with her the past few weeks than we have had in quite a while. We still miss her though, but think this will be a great learning and growing experience for her.

Athena is thriving in 4th grade. She is in an accelerated math class, and I no longer can easily help her with homework. Thank you internet!! How did our parents help us with homework without it? She has also picked up a love of Harry Potter, which her sister and I are very excited about. She is over half way through with the 5th book and is really trying to finish all 7 before the movie comes out in November. And next week she is dancing at the State Fair. We made it 9 1/2 years without her knowing a fair existed, guess it's out of the bag now.

Not sure if we made the news in your town but we had some pretty amazing weather last week. Tornadoes touched down up north, and here is a video of the biggest hail I have ever seen, right in our backyard.

Thankfully we did not lose any windows like most of the houses on our street. The insurance guy is coming tomorrow though to look at our damage. Shawn thinks the roof is toast :(

Hopefully there will not be so much time between posts again. I should have things to blog about for a while now. Athena dancing at the fair, pictures of Halloween, Thanksgiving, then before we know it Christmas will be here! I'm thinking we will be doing something new for Christmas this year, it feels like time for a change.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Belated Birthday

Shawn finally got his birthday present from me. It was a little late but he had to search to find just the right one. So we went out camping this weekend to try it out. He is now the proud owner of Chompy the canoe! It was a very nice weekend, wonderful weather, and no runaway dogs this time. We are all looking forward to many more trips, and hopefully someday someone will actually catch a fish.

Here is a little video of them heading out in the canoe. Right after I stopped filming and headed back to camp though the wind pushed them backwards and that was it for canoeing that day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Life's a Beach

This year for vacation all I wanted was to see the ocean, and not wait in any lines. So as soon as the desert heat kicked up to 110 degrees we loaded up and headed for Oceanside California. We were going on the cheap so I didn't expect much from the hotel, other than a place to sleep and a working shower, but we ended up with a partial view of the ocean and were walking distance away. (although we had too much crap to haul with us to actually walk to the ocean, a nice stroll down to dinner in the harbor each night was nice.)

I guess Athena doesn't remember what it was like to not have a swimming pool in her backyard. As we drove around to the back of our motel there were kids in the pool and she says "why in the world would you swim in a pool when the ocean is right there?" She has developed such a sense of humor these days. And she is wickedly good at Slug Bug, Hailey has the bruises to prove it!

We spent hours just sitting on the beach, or swimming in the ocean. Many strolls around the harbor. Sandcastles were built, kids were buried in the sand and we saw some cool fish at the Birch Aquarium. It was much too short, but I loved every minute of it. Here are a few photos to enjoy.
Sunglasses switcharoo
Building a sandcastle
The tide pools at the Birch Aquarium
Oh dear, my children have been eaten by a shark.

Out on the Oceanside Pier

Just before vacation Shawn bought me one of those nifty pocket camcorders that are all the rage at the moment so here is a little montage of some of the video I took. Be kind I'm still learning how to use the thing. (And yes Hailey is wearing a jacket and/or scarf most of the time)

(sorry to those of you that RSS my blog but the only way to tell if it works for sure is to publish and check it out)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Dude has Left the Building

I missed my good morning greeting today. Orion passed away yesterday, he was 14 years old. I'm sorry but I don't have much else to say other than a bit of advice. Don't get 3 pets withing a few years of each other because if they all make it to old age they all do it at the same time.

Monday, June 14, 2010


We set off for a weekend camping trip at Knoll Lake to celebrate Shawn's birthday. We were all excited to spend a few days in the cooler temps enjoying nature. Especially Bubbles, she panted all the way there!

The first few hours were very enjoyable, we had a whole loop of the campground to ourselves. Athena and I took Bubbles exploring around the forest, we all caught up on some reading. Hailey took a nap and we had a great game of UNO!

Then around 3:00 in the afternoon the cloud cover started to darken. Shawn and I decided we better put the tarp up over the tent. As we were doing this the thunder started and freaked Bubbles out. Just as I was coming around the tent to tell Hailey to put her in the tent I see Hailey running off into the woods. Bubbles had pulled right out of her harness and took off. Now it is pouring rain, Shawn heads out after Hailey and Bubbles while Athena and I finish getting everything out of the rain. Shortly after Hailey returns in tears, she had lost Bubbles over a ridge. I head out to tell Shawn she is ok. He was getting disoriented in the trees and was worried Hailey would be lost too. We head back to camp and the rain stops as fast it started so we load into the car to search for Bubbles. A guy thought he saw her 15 minutes before we drove by so we head in the direction he saw her going. We drive around yelling her name until it's dark, then decide it's hopeless until morning to keep looking. So we head back to camp, walk around to let everyone in the campground know we are looking for a dog. A wonderful group of guys even let us borrow this huge spotlight. After trying to eat a very late dinner we head to bed, none of us really slept at all.

The next morning we try and eat breakfast, make some lost dog signs and head back out. We have a few moments of hope when people mention they might have seen her. Another guy tells us he lost his dog once and someone found it. So we search, and search, and search. The girls yelling her name out the window constantly. We decide to look down by the lake then go out to get more gas so we can continue searching. On our way to the lake road our campground host flags us down and tells us some guys on ATV's saw her on the side of a road so we follow him down to talk to them. We are sure it is her they saw, one kid even stopped and got off his ATV and walked towards her, unfortunately he still had his helmet on so she was spooked and took off into the trees again. So they head one way and we head down another road. We get out and see there are paw prints on the road, with no human prints with them. We follow it for a while until it dead ends. I am still convinced they were hers! Still no luck and it's getting close to check out time & we only paid for the first night just in case. So we head back for snacks, bathroom breaks, and to pay for the next night so we can keep searching.

After we eat we check in with the camp host to pay, he tells us not to worry we can catch up later if we need to. He also mentions that about 6 more people have stopped to say they spotted Bubbles on the same road as the ATV gang. we decide to just drive back and forth on that road for a while. We are bound to cross paths were her right? So out on that road a few miles from our camp Hailey spots her on the side of the road!! We all jump out and call her over. She looked at us like she was saying "it's about time you caught up to me" She looked so tired. We all cried, went back to camp to load up and go home!

If only she would have had a camera strapped to her head. What an adventure she had. I still can not believe we found her. And I never want to have that feeling of helplessness again!

She slept all the way home, and pretty much the whole next day too!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Life

Summer is here. School is out, dance recital is over, time to have some lazy days by the pool. My life the past few months has been overtaken with school and dance. So many costumes to stud and rhinestone. So many hours of painting and gluing backdrops. The recital was wonderful and worth every second! So now I get to share with you all a few pictures and videos of it all!

The Set:

I can't even count the hours we spent working on these! While the girls danced in one room the parents were painting and gluing in the other! It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.


Athena with her best friends Annie & Emily. I'm so glad she has these two!

Miss. Tiff

With Tiffany, one of her teachers. We love her so much!

5 Years

Athena has been dancing at Stagedoor for 5 years now. I can't believe it has been that long, seems like she just started yesterday.

Just for fun

We had the girls do a Charlies Angels pose just for fun & it turned out to be one of my favorites! So Hailey turned it into Jan's Angels.

Her tap dance. My favorite this year! I love her expressive little face so much!

Her Jazz dance.

and closing! There were more but that's all I have the patience for today. I do know I need a new camera! Maybe by the next year these will be in HD!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Athena made breakfast this morning. It was Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, and Shawn helped a little, but it was pretty much all her. She is getting so grown up, even her teacher commented last week that she is like a little woman. And then in the same day I have this conversation with her:

Athena: (giggling) you are eating a marshmallow?
Me: yes.
Athena: (still giggling) why?
Me: because I have a sweet tooth and we don't have anything else sweet in the house.
Athena: (worried look on her face, glancing at the calendar) oh no! Did you go to the dentist?

So thankfully I am reminded once again that she is still a kid!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to Make a Tuesday Special

So how do you make an anniversary special when it falls on a Tuesday and you have work, kids with school and dance, and all of regular life thrown in? Well it starts with flowers and chocolate, a ride to school for Athena so I get to spend an extra hour in my pj's. Then an hour massage and lunch with my sweetie!
I know all happy couples think they have the best spouse in the world, but you don't. I do! It's just not possible for anyone else to be as awesome as him. He works at a crappy, unfulfillable job so that I am able to stay home, volunteer at school and never miss a field trip. He makes breakfast on the weekends, dinner on dance nights and unloads the dishwasher as often as I do. He always has the coffee ready to go in the morning, and can even help with laundry. and believe it or not he has even been known to braid hair. So see there is no way anyone else out there can compare to my fabulous husband, I love him and look forward to everyday I have with him.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

We have baseboards!

I love how something as simple as nailing some wood to a wall can change the whole look of the room. We have installed the new baseboards in the den to match the ones we added to the bedrooms. So the house is going to be a little mismatched for a while but boy do I love the new ones. Now they just need to be painted and we get to move on to tile shopping! I already notice the house is going to have a pretty big echo, I hope furniture will help with that. So excited now to see the final results somewhere other than inside my head!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Time to Close?

I think I now know how to tell when it is time to give up on an Etsy business. At first it was so exciting to be selling things I made. I loved thinking about how my bags were going to places as far away as Singapore. I enjoyed making them all, it never seemed like work, just fun. Those times I would open my email and see the message that I had sold a bag were so great! Until last Friday. I opened my email and saw I had a sell. The only thought that went through my head was "shit, now I have to go to the Post Office!" So I guess I will now go back to just making bags for me. If anyone reads this and wants something still in my shop, let me know I'll give you a great deal ;)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Irish Tavern No More

Progress is coming along in the den. Shawn and the girls pulled off all the wood paneling so it no longer looks like an Irish Tavern! The green was still horrendous though and I was in a hurry to get some paint on the walls quick.

Even with only one coat of primer the room seems so much bigger and brighter! I have found the downside to painting the den though. The color on the dining room walls that used to be tolerable, compared to the green I hated in the next room, is now revealed as a horrible shade of orange! Good thing we have plans to paint that room just as soon as the den is finished :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So long hole

Our house has one of these in every room. After we moved in and started painting each room we weren't sure what they were for, so I painted around them, then painted the screen white (they started out a gross dirty beige color). They drive us crazy. When the wind blows, they rattle. When the back door is open, they rattle. When the furnace or AC kick on, they rattle. So when we had the AC serviced some time ago we asked the guy if he knew what they were for. Apparently when the house was built it had a swamp cooler and these vents were used to draw the cold air into the room. A-ha! We no longer have a swamp cooler, so we no longer need these stupid holes in our ceilings! Yipeee! So voila here is what the hole looks like in the den now.
It still needs sanding but Shawn did a great job, I am so excited to get rid of the holes!

Monday, February 22, 2010


We have finally started the remodel on the den! I have scraped the popcorn ceiling off and today will continue to give it a final wipe down before we apply the new texture and then paint! Yay! I am so excited to be rid of the dark green and wood paneling. For the room with the biggest windows it sure is dark and gloomy all the time so hopefully a fresh coat of paint and new desk and shelves and tile floor with help out with that. We have also decided that since we are going to tile the floor we might as well attempt to replace the tile in the rest of the house with something nicer that the orangeish beige the house came with. And then naturally that lead to talk of a small makeover to the kitchen/family room! Not the big new cabinets and major remodeling I have dreams about, but at least a refinishing of the cabinets and new counters and floor, decent color paint on the walls and a ceremonial burning of the ugly brass mini blinds! I mean really what were the previous owners thinking? Brass blinds, seriously? So stay tuned for my updates on the progression of our fun project.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Athena's fabulous, wonderful, fantastic 9th birthday

My baby is 9! I have been watching all her old dance recital videos lately, and I pulled out her baby book the day before her birthday. It really seems like such a long time ago that we spent the whole day in the hospital, wondering when she was going to get around to being born. She spent a lot of her fisrt year crying. Then we moved on to those free spirited toddler years that really wore me out! So now I am trying to really enjoy the last few years of true childhood. Kids mature so much sooner these days, and although I love Athena's new witty sense of humor that has come with age sometimes she just seems a little too grown up!

If you remember from a few posts ago Athena had a very short list this year. After much deliberation and measuring of the backyard we decided to go with the trampoline as her gift from us. But we wanted it to be a surprise and for her to not have to wait the 3 hours while we were building it before she could jump. So... Shawn had the bright idea to put it up after she went to bed Friday night! Good thing we live in Arizona! So at about 9:00 p.m we headed out, Mike and Jon came over to help out too, and Hailey was on door watch (since she wasn't feeling well). We actually had the trampoline up in about an hour and a half so we figured the enclosure couldnt be that hard right? Wrong! It took us another hour and a half! But by her birthday it was up, it was tested by Hailey and Athena didn't hear a thing.

So she wakes up on her birthday morning. She opens all her gifts from far away family and friends. When we tell her that's it she says "what about presents from you guys?" I tell her we are saving them for her party later, could she please let Bubbles in for me. She opens the door and screams! It was one of the best little excited faces I have ever seen! She ran out and jumped, it was a little wet with dew so she had to wait a while to really get jumping! But she jumped and jumped and jumped. Then it was time to get ready for her party. As she was getting ready she came and said to me "if you happen to have any shoes you bought for me do you think I could open them to wear to the party?" I hugged her and said sorry the trampoline was all we could afford. Then smiled to myself knowing her friend Emily had bought the shoes she really wanted!

Her party was really nice this year. Just 4 of her closest friends. We had pizza, cake and ice cream, a pinata and Hailey gave them all face paint! I think most of all she just loved having them here to jump with! She got a few gift cards so we went shopping the next day and then had a movie and lunch playdate on Monday. So it was a very fun filled birthday weekend indeed!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Shower Redo

I have been noticing lately that all the wonderful gifts that we received as wedding and shower presents have started to really show their age. Apparently the life span of things like towels, measuring spoons, hot pads and even dishes and silverware is about 19 years. Yes the dishes are still in pretty good shape but really are very outdated as far as their style. I am also growing tired of that one spot on all my hot pads that I still get burned through! I even actually broke a measuring spoon in half last week! And where do all the spoons go? My theory is pudding cups, I think when someone eats a pudding cup they accidentally throw the spoon away as well.

So here is what I am proposing: my 19th wedding anniversary is coming up in March. So how about one of you throw me a redo wedding shower and I will return the favor when you reach 19 years? If someone can make up a holiday around a rodent why not shower redos? It will soon be so hip, you'll see!

Monday, February 8, 2010

In Her Words

Here is Athena's birthday list in her own words:

high heels from Justice
trade tree house for trampoline
an itouch phone (only call parents)
paint room blue or purple

I like that she really tried to sell the iphone by mentioning that she would only use it to call us, her parents. Does she think there will be a lot of instances when she would need to call us from down the hall? It is a very short list so I guess we should be very thankful for that. Only 5 more days until she finds out how many items on the list are hers!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Turning Into Grandma

When I was a kid and would go to the grocery store with my grandma I always found it so funny that she knew all the workers. She would talk to all of them as if they were great friends. She would bring them treats and even little gifts on holidays. I never understood why grandma would want to be so friendly to all the employees at the grocery store. Until now! I know everyone at my Safeway. They all know me and don't even need to ask if I want my milk in a bag anymore. One of them, John has even been to a few of Hailey's shows at Ironwood. Now I don't really know a lot about these people, nor do they all know everything that goes on in my life, but it's still nice to have a few friendly words with someone while doing one of my most hated chores :) Grandma really did have a reason for what she was doing.

Monday, January 25, 2010

People that Blog

Here it is almost February again. When I started this blog my intention was to share a bit of day to day life with all our family and friends that live far away. However I find myself thinking that day to day life is just a little too boring to share with anyone. So I only post when there is a big event in life. Then I start to feel that I am not keeping in touch with everyone so I show up here and blab on and on about nothing. How do all those people out there find a topic to write about everyday?

Around our house early February means planning for Athena's birthday. She wants a party again, only a scaled down version this year. Four of her closest friends at our house for an afternoon of fun and games. There is a very special gift she has been wanting for a long time that I think we are about to give into. I can't believe my baby is just about 9! We measure her every year on her birthday and mark it on the closet door. She has been checking it lately and has almost grown 4" this year! She will most likely pass me by the time she is 10.

Hailey is back for her second semester of college. She has learned the trick of picking the schedule that works best for you this time around though. So no early mornings and no 4 hour breaks with nothing to do. She is still working at the movie theater and has seen just about every movie out right now, one of the perks is all the free movies she can watch!

Shawn has me working on a new sewing project. A heated jacket! It will either be a much cheaper version of a very expensive item, or a great way to electrocute himself. Keep your fingers crossed for a good outcome.

So there you have it. Just a little taste of what we have been up to.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome 2010

Wow we sure sent 2009 off with a bang. I say good riddance to that crappy year, 2010 is a welcome hope. We had a very busy and fun holiday season though. It started out at 4 a.m on Christmas Eve. The weather was kind to us on our drive from Arizona to Utah, and even with a slight delay to save a dog that fell out of the truck in front of us we made it in about 11 1/2 hours! We were just in time for the festivities at my moms house. The chili and clam chowder were awesome, and the company enjoyable. It was nice getting to know Tyler's girlfriend Kelli a little better. The next day we were up bright and early for breakfast at mom and papa's. The kids have all grown so much and the girls were very excited to meet their new cousins Molly and Oliver. It was too bad the Gill boys were sick, we really missed seeing them. Dinner at Grandma Junes was a lot of fun too, so many new faces every year I've stopped trying to keep track, maybe we need to wear nametags! Saturday was a very nice brunch at the Fullmer's, thanks for having us and Jamen's family over. The kids had so much fun together, don't forget to send me that recipe Nancy ;) Once we had our Sconecutter fix we headed back to my moms so the girls could have a sleepover at Grandma's. Thanks Lynn and Jacque for stopping by it was so nice to see you both and catch up! Then it was on to Mickey's! A quick stop in Vegas to rest and take in a show, we saw the tournament of kings at the Excalibur. The girls loved it! Finally in California, Athena had one more practice in the hotel the night before she danced. Then they exchanged secret Santa gifts and off to bed! Early the next morning all ready to dance, I had to put my baby on a shuttle and hope she got ready all on her own! We headed over and found a seat, they did a great job, Athena was born to be a star! She looked like she was having the time of her life up there. Then we had a fun day riding rides with a couple of dance friends. I remember being in Disneyland with my best friend Nancy when we were in Stars so it was fun to watch Athena experience that as well. We had rain our second day but we made the best of it for about 6 hours then headed back to the hotel for dry clothes, room service and naps. Went back for a couple of hours that night and got Athena to ride California Screamin', now it's her new favorite! New Years Eve was a blast, there was music everywhere, and even though we actually rang in 2010 from the hotel room it was the best New Years Eve ever! 1,812 miles later we were back home in beautiful, warm Arizona. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that 2010 brings you plenty of happiness!