Sunday, April 30, 2017

Rustler's Rooste

My friend Cathy and her husband have been staying with us since last Tuesday. A quick review for those of you that don't know or don't remember: I did a one semester exchange program my junior year at the University of Arizona.  I spent the fall semester as a student at the University of New Hampshire.  Cathy was a freshman at UNH that semester and lived down the hallway from me in our dorm.  We both find it remarkable that 18 years later we are still friends and she is not just " a girl I used to know from one semester in college."  This was Cathy's third visit to see me in Arizona.  It was her first time bringing her husband Mike, because they weren't married and he wasn't her husband yet during the previous two trips. 

I worked the day that they arrived.  Michael was responsible for picking them up from the airport and delivering them safely to our house. He was successful.  I was not as successful using the three hole punch at work and gave myself a minor flesh wound.
After I got home from work we took them to Rustler's Rooste for an authentic cowboy experience.  This restaurant is a Phoenix area classic and has been around since the early 1970's.  I didn't take these pictures.  They were all borrowed from Google. 



You walk in to the restaurant from upstairs and the dining rooms are downstairs.  You can either walk down the stairs or take the slide. 

Kids can also play on the slide while you're waiting for a table. 
The outside of the restaurant has a big light pyramid that you can see from the freeway.  When I was a kid I used to always wonder what this magical place was.  It's slightly disappointing knowing the truth as an adult.  It's not nearly as magical as what I had always hoped. 

Ok.  I did take these pictures.  I didn't find a picture of Cathy and Elliott at Rustler's Rooste on Google. 

This was the beginning of Elliott's obsession with Cathy.
The whole gang.  
Mike, Cathy, Elliott, Natalie, Michael and Spencer. 

You get free, complimentary cotton candy at the end of every meal. 

After dinner we went outside on the huge patio to watch the sunset. 

I thought this huge tree was noteworthy. 

Up next: I was a tourist at home for four days. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Marvelous Monday

I used to have a CD at work called Marvelous Mouth Music: Songames for Speech Development.  Then somebody stole it when they stole my CD player out of my office.  That was in about 2006, but the word marvelous still reminds me of that CD.

That is NOT the point of this post though.  The point is that Spencer got his braces taken off on Monday and it was a marvelous day.

He was the one who noticed they had a message to him on all of their TV screens.  We had to watch it slowly come across.


They give all the kids a container full of all the treats you can't have with braces along with balloons. 


And the AFTER

I got my (second set of) braces taken off 10 years and 2 months ago.  Same orthodontist. 

This was his idea to take this picture.  He's eating a Klondike bar. 

Once he was at school and so was Elliott I bought some square pillows,

and changed the bedding in the guest room from this

to this. 

Stay tuned for Cathy and Mike's visit. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"Fun" vs Fun activities

These are the shirts the kids wore to school on Friday.  Aren't they the best? 

I mean, a shark eating a burger and asking for ketchup?  Hilarious. 

And a fry themed shirt on Friday?  The best!
Not the best? Family Game night at Spencer's school. 

I worked last Friday and the last, last, last thing I wanted to do that evening was leave my house and go play board games in a school cafeteria.  Michael was of a similar mindset.  We even offered each kid a $15 purchase from Target if we stayed home and watched a movie. We thought they were going to accept, but, no.

So, here we are at Family Game Night. 

And here is how we all felt about it. 

On Saturday I met my Sisterhood group at Escape Games in downtown Mesa.  I've never done an escape the room before.  It went about as well as I expected.  I had minimal interest and I contributed minimal problem solving skill to the activity.

We did "Aunt Edna's Condo".  Here's the info:
Your poor old aunt Edna has been growing increasingly paranoid over recent years. Since the passing of her husband and the payout of his sizable life insurance policy, she has suspected the entire family has been trying to steal the inheritance. Now that she has been moved into a nursing home, she is appealing to you, her favorite relative, to enter her condo, retrieve some personal belongings, and arrange to have them sent to her. The inheritance is carefully hidden somewhere in Edna’s condo, and it’s protected by layers of tricks and traps. If you’re clever and quick, you may be able to find this wealth that has eluded many before you.

If it hadn't been for the other ladies, Maryellen and I would STILL be in that room.  I did help to decode a few messages and I did find something hidden in an air vent, but that's about it. 

Here we are in the "condo" listening to Aunt Edna's recorded message. 

Solving clues
We had an hour to escape the room.  We did it with 19 minutes remaining.  And when I say "we" I absolutely do not mean me.  Or Maryellen. 

Our victory picture.  They said they were going to post it on their Facebook page.  They lied. 
After we escaped the room we walked around downtown Mesa looking for a place to have lunch.  

When we all arrived that day I noticed that every single one of us was wearing pants/shorts/skirt/capris that were different lengths.  I mentioned that we should take a picture standing in the order of length of our bottoms.  So we did.  Then when I looked at the picture I noticed that all of our shoes made a pattern- open/closed/open/closed, etc.  What if one person had changed just one part of their outfit?  It would have been ruined!
Also?  Cynthia forgot to bring her Sisterhood shirt from California, so the above picture was totally edited by yours truly on picmonkey.  

This is the original. 
Downtown Mesa has a bunch of metal street art so we all had our picture taken with something.  Well, except for Brenda.  She was taking the pictures.  And maybe she got one, but I just didn't get it too. 

After we ate lunch at a Thai place I came home and Michael and I got started on the gazebo project. 

It's not much to look at.  We basically just draped a huge drop cloth over the top, punched grommets into it and used zip ties to secure it.
I am reminding myself it saved us $100 and will hopefully last longer than 6 months.  And now we have to do the other gazebo because that one ripped too.  Dammit. 
On Sunday we did the following things:
We went to church (Spencer did his first confession after church)
We went to lunch
We went to Winco
We went to Costco
I went to a jewelry party

No pictures.  For any of it.  So you're done with the "fun", fun, "fun" weekend post.