Sunday, July 26, 2009

Power Miners - Underground Mining Station

As with almost all his money, Jake has to spend it before a hole is burned in his pocket. He has had his eye on the Power Miners Titanium Drill Rig for some time, but as soon as this came out, very recently, he knew he 'had' to have it.
Fortunately, his birthday money pretty much covered the cost. It kept him busy the better part of a day, and he's played with it quite a bit, too.

Two thumbs up!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Birthday Party

Party at Peter Piper Pizza (again). Games galore, but where do you find the kids? Watching Cartoon Network. That's what we get for not having cable.

Jake was excited to find some huge jackpots (rather impossible to win, however)

Friends & neighbors all had a pretty good time. We even had enough tokens for everyone to play pretty much all they wanted. Back row - Sayer, Tristen, Erik; Middle - Andrew & Emily; Bottom - Alex, Sofia, Jake
Blowing out the crazy candles - Oops, missed 2
Pals since Kindergarten - Andrew, Sayer, Jake all enjoying their crazy glasses. Enough tickets to get a pinball machine!! Look out Uncle Dave, there's a new pinballer in the family!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Birthdays Just a Day Apart

Our good friend Al VandeKamp and Jake have birthdays only a day apart. Well, a few years and a day. We had Al & Freddy over for dinner and then had birthday pie - fresh peach. Jake did not mind at all that we have started celebrating a few days early. He can hardly wait for his party on Saturday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Snow in July

The Phoenix Zoo had a snow day today. Many of the animals got ice or 'snow' with goodies to help beat the heat and relieve some of their boredom. The people got some snow, too, but the hype was bigger than the event, in my opinion.

Little bits of snow and lots and lots of people. This was around 7:30 and it was supposed to last from 7 to 11? I don't think so! Unless they had truckloads waiting to be added.

Long lines for the bouncy water slides

The giraffes had snow in their 'savanah' but seemed unaware or uninterested.
The desert creatures didn't have any snow. I thought all the animals were getting some. Oh well. We left in short time and the zoo lot was already full with the overflow lot starting up. We either need a bigger zoo or something!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Flowers - No Trip is Complete Without Them

Scott & Louise Ravenhorst have an extraordinary gardener. In fact they have him come all the way out from Mesa, AZ to their home in Irvine, CA
Scott & I took this from bare dirt to this beautiful garden in a couple days. OK, we started it. Louise is the one with the green thumb who has cared for it and helped it to look as good as this now.

The boys and their Pokemon think it looks great.

I can't pass by flowers as nice as these without at least a few pictures. A close up of a Canna Lily above.

A Hibiscus flower

Here's an interesting leaf fallen among the groundcover in Legoland.

An unusual flower tucked away along a path in Legoland

Same type of flower from a different view.

And another unusual flower.
This one in pink. There were also orange ones.

New at Legoland - SeaLife Aquarium

This is the 'ad' in Legoland for the SeaLife Aquarium. We got two day passes for Legoland and this. Fortunately, this day was overcast and misty. A good day to be inside.

Outside the aquarium - we couldn't get Jake to pose.
Inside the aquarium they had some lego sculptures, but not too many. Some of the larger tanks had lego subs and divers inside.
One of the better fish pictures. Thay allow flash photography, but discourage it. For my camera, everything pretty much needed a flash.

As this shark and manta ray

and this little guy (or gal).

The boys liked the viewing tubes to get an insider's view.

Karen & I could have spent a lot more time in here. Jake was not in the mood for a lengthy, nor educational, stay. The day was still cold-ish, so we scrapped plans for the ocean and headed to Yuma for the night.

More from Legoland

I'm very good at wasting time, so I've been keeping 'busy' and not keeping up on the blog.
Here are some more pictures from our trip in June to Legoland:

Jake was excited to learn he could ride most of the rides by himself. He was not too excited about the lines for the rides. We happened to show up the first day of California schools' summer vacation.

There were some new sculptures 'hanging around'

And some old classics.

Erik & Karen played mini golf and saw some interesting things...

Erik even found time to save the Federation from the Dark Side.

Jake found the water area. Actually, both boys did and got plenty wet - Here's how:

After a good soak - or was it before? - time for Dippin' Dots. The Dippin' Dots stores in the Valley have all shut down. They are one of the boys favorite treats. Has to be rainbow flavor, too. Notice the nice scab on Jake's nose? The School of Hard Knocks doesn't shut down for the summer; he tried to dive in the shallow end of our pool and caught one of the steps.

The Obama Inauguration - complete with some people passed out in the back row (fallen over).

New York mini city with the proposed Trade Center replacement in the background.

And one way to tell when we've had enough for the day:
Jake is too tired to go on. He crashed while Erik & I waited about an hour to do a less-than-2-minute ride.

10th of July

D-Backs WIN!! 8-0 over the Florida Marlins. Best part of the game for the boys - the Friday Fireworks after the game. For Karen - the 5-run 4th inning (I was taking Jake to the kids play zone). For me - getting a couple decent hits in the batting cage.
Best part in reality - 3 free tacos the next day (today) since the D-Backs scored more than 6 runs.
Extra Bonus - we only paid $20 for the 4 of us to sit in the upper deck behind home plate (normally would be $60).
The start of the post-game fireworks - 28 seconds worth:

Unfortunately no sound.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fourth of July

Rather than fight traffic, crowds and the Arizona heat at one the valleys fireworks displays, we chose to stay home on the first fourth I've had off in many, many years.
Jake was happy to have his own 'fireworks' at home.

A celebration to remember! The boys got to climb on the roof and watch fireworks in almost every direction. I think it was more about climbing on the roof than watching fireworks, but I'm sure they'll remember it. The closest celebration at the community college only about 2 - 3 miles off was cancelled (first time in 50 years) but promises a big celebration next year (and guess who has to work).