Beach Vacation

In August we met up with my family in Kure Beach just outside of Wilmington, NC. This was our second year there and it was such a blast! I was so pleased that Connor enjoyed being at the beach so much. We stayed in a beautiful beach house and spent our evenings watching the Olympics. Since our family is a sports family, it just didn't get much better for us. Connor now associates the beach with Nana and Grandpa and calls the beach "Nana and Grandpa's beach". If only there was such a place.:) We're looking forward to next year already!


"Where a Kid Can Be a Kid"

Connor noticed a Chuck E Cheese commercial for the first time a few months ago. I think he recognized some of the games he had played with my Mom at a bowling alley on the commercial and thought it looked like a place he'd like to be! I knew Byron's Dad had mentioned taking Connor to Chuck E Cheese and so I told Connor that Mimi and Papa would probably like to take him the next time we went to visit. I should have known better. Connor wanted to go NOW and every day since we've had a conversation about going to Chuck E Cheese with Mimi and Papa. This past Friday the big event came. Bev and Theresa drove up from S. Carolina and took us all on our first magical trip to Chuck E Cheese. Connor was THRILLED as soon as we pulled up and was on the move for a good 2 and a half hours while we were there. Thanks for taking us Mimi and Papa, we all had a great time!
Connor's favorite "ride" was this Bob the Builder ride. Connor would get on and sing the theme song and then grab for another token when the ride was over.
Dad and Connor outside the entrance.

Connor played air hockey a few times with Byron, Theresa, and Bev. I was really surprised that he could hit the puck back and forth and learned how to trap it in the corner to get a better shot. He did however think it was cooler when someone scored on him because he got to pull the puck out from his goal.

Ski ball is always a hit.


It's a....

I made this blanket a few weeks ago in case my sister or I have a girl and I was so excited to find out that I get to give it to.... myself! It's a girl!


Capellini Caprese

Prep Time:10 min
Total Time:25 min
Makes:4 servings, 1-1/2 cups each

What You Need
1/2 lb. capellini or spaghetti, uncooked
1/2 cup KRAFT Tuscan House Italian Dressing and Marinade
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/3 cup fresh basil, finely sliced
Make It
COOK pasta as directed on package.
MEANWHILE, heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 2 min. Add tomatoes; cook 5 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
DRAIN pasta. Add to tomato mixture; mix lightly. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

I made this for the first time last night and Byron and I had a race to the leftovers. To make it more of a main dish I marinated chicken with the dressing and baked it in the oven, although, if we had a grill, I'd grill the meat for sure.


The March of the Empire

This morning I got to attend the Women's Conference put on by our Stake. It was excellent and I was so glad I was able to attend. While I was away, the boys played. Byron took Connor to Southpoint mall to wait in line at Pottery Barn Kids (they had priority line tickets) to see some Star Wars characters. Byron said as they were waiting for the doors to open, a lot of little boys were running around with balloon swords/light sabers having a ball. Byron was so smart and brought Connor's light saber (a recent purchase for Connor's super awesome amazing Halloween costume that's in the works) and Connor had a BALL joining in all the fun. According to my source, Connor was so excited and stood in line with Byron and was trying to peek into the store. Everything was going great until the moment of truth came. It was their turn to go into the room and meet the characters and Connor was scared. He doesn't even want us to mention Darth Vader or the Storm Trooper, he just wants to talk about R2 and Princess Leia.
True to form though, as soon as they left, Connor started crying to see R2 again. Hard to understand the concept of taking turns at this point in life we're discovering.
All in all, it sounds like it was an adventure.
Just as a side note, I find it so interesting that Connor is so enthralled by Star Wars right now or "R2 guys" as he calls it. His experience with Star Wars all stems from playing with Byron's old Star Wars toys at his parents home. We also own the various Star Wars sound tracks (a Byron Kubik contribution to the marriage) which Connor loves to listen to. His favorite right now is the "March of the Empire" theme song. He doesn't like to me to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" or anything along those lines, but he'll ask me to "sing" that song over and over. I hear him singing it to himself everywhere: at the park, in his room before napping, in the car, and the grocery store. Huh, go figure. This side of him definitely comes from his Dad.


It's Amazing What One Can Find in a Dumpster

we knew we had upgraded when we moved to our new apartment in May, but we didn't know how much until we drove by the recycling bins in our apartment complex on our way home from church on Sunday.
the tale begins with a small desire in a girl's heart to have a dresser for her baby's room. she was willing to spend about $30 on a used dresser and was keeping her eye out on Craig's List. nothing had come up and she was starting to think she might as well go buy some plastic bins to house the baby's clothes come november. but wait! what is that she sees next to the recycling bin? could it really be a big beautiful mocha stained dresser?
i couldn't believe the piles of discarded things next to the bins, the best of which was the dresser. i told a very tired and worn out Byron (he had taken care of Connor for two hours of church because Connor refused to go to nursery that day, but that's another story) i was going to go check it out after we got Connor in the house. i looked at it and i couldn't see a think wrong with it. who would throw away such a treasure!?! i came back and told Byron if i had a dolly i would have brought it home with me. so Byron went to check it out and confirmed, yes, indeed it's a great find. we wanted to snag it before anyone discovered the beauty, so we did what any other family would do after coming home from church on a Sunday...we all walked outside in our nice church clothes (i was still wearing heals) and Byron and I hauled the dresser back to our apartment while Connor ran ahead of us exclaiming, "yeah! new dresser!" upon inspection at home, the only thing we found amiss in the dresser was a broken middle drawer. there was a slight scare when Byron opened up one of the drawers and we found some silky leopard print material. i was about to take the dresser back when Byron started laughing and found the material to only be harmless jewelry bags. whew.
the next day (Labor Day) byron got some wood from Home Depot, and made a new runner. All the drawers work perfectly now. what a guy. the dresser ended up costing $5. um, we'll take it. we're slowly but surely furnishing our home one free item at a time.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

ever since we moved Connor to his toddler bed and moved the crib and accessories out of his room, i've been looking around thinking it all looks so bare now. while we were at the beach with my family, Connor started waking up an hour earlier than usual and that persisted after we got back home. that was enough to get myself in gear and make some special black-out curtains for Connor's room. i like the look, and Connor's sleeping longer again (ah, sweet sweet sleep)...we call them miracle curtains around here.:) after the curtains were completed i got the idea to use some left over material from Connor's rocking chair (the rocking chair was a gift from Byron's Grandparents, Maw Maw and Paw Paw. Maw Maw was nice enough to give us not only the refinished rocking chair but also the material used to cover the rocking chair). i cut some truck shapes out of the brown fabric, sewed those on and made a simple comforter for Connor's bed. Connor could care less and doesn't want the blanket on his bed, but hey, in my mind the room's coming together.:)