MY MOM’S BUCKET LIST

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The only thing my mom has had on her bucket list was – SKYDIVE.   Never one to monkey around and think about things too long, she booked a jump with me when she came to visit this Christmas.  I was excited and thought it would be a really cool thing to do with mom.  We went to Pacific Coast Skydiving  and they were fantastic!  I highly recommend them if you are in the San Diego area.

We had to first sign our lives away – literally.  Lots of signatures and initials.     The whole family came to watch.  I know, I know,…. it could have been a life-altering horrible shattering incident in their lives but I took the chance.  I am a glass half-full type of gal.

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 When they strapped us in, it sure did not seem like we had very much on.  Not sure what else I expected but not a couple of straps.  NOW I GOT NERVOUS!  Plus – there was a sign saying ARCH or DIE and when we asked them about it – the response was “If you do not arch immediately out of the plane –  you go into a violent spin”.  Now from this point on, all I was thinking was- ARCH. ARCH. ARCH. ARCH.

My mom kissing dad goodbye!

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Walking off to the plane – I love this picture.

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2012-12-27 11.56.36 Here is a view from the plane.  We are not even halfway up.  The next picture below shows my face when I learn that we are only half-ways on our climb.  My face says it all!     AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

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AND here is another reaction picture of myself – this one is a great picture of my mom and then look at her “about to puke” daughter in the background!

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OKAY, we are ready to jump!  My mom is first.  (I am not kidding you, but my hands have now started to sweat when I am typing this).  This picture cracks me up because the guy is totally kicking my mom’s foot out.  She had put the brakes on our adventure for a second and her foot was NOT moving from the inside of the plane!   In a matter of a second, mom is out and has disappeared.  2012-12-27 11.57.50-2

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WAY TO GO MOM!!!!

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Now it is my turn and look at how terrified I was NOT to arch!  I am arching well before the jump.  Poor George, the skydiving instructor, had to drag my fully arched body to the door!!  I am lucky I did not pull back muscles!

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We did 2 somersaults!  This was my favorite part of the whole experience – the free fall.   We got to free fall for 45 seconds.  It was AWESOME!!

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My daughter took this cool shot of both of us free-falling.

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Mom is steering the parachute.  This was her favorite part of the jump.

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Such a cool experience to share with your mom.  I mean really, how cool is it that my mom talked me into skydiving!  I am one lucky kid –   Thanks  mom-you are the best!

MEETING JOSH HUTCHERSON

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Check out her smile!!

My daughter LOVES Josh Hutcherson!  Yes, this is the same daughter who modge podged Justin Bieber on her desk but that was sooo yesterday.  Ever since she read the Hunger Games books and saw the movie, she is completely obsessed with Peeta!

THIS is just one part of her bedroom wall – just so you get the idea of what we are dealing with.

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The other day I saw on Facebook that Josh Hutcherson was hosting a charity event at LA LIVE.  Apparently, my daughter liked his fb page so I also get to be informed of his whereabouts.  I saw that tickets were $25 BUT if you wanted to meet Josh, it would cost $100.  It was a lot dough but if she could actually meet Josh – OMG!  Plus, it was for a great charity that I had never heard of before.  Straight But Not Narrow  http://www.wearesbnn.com/  is a campaign that encourages everyone just to be themselves.   No matter if you are straight or gay, it does not matter.  JUST B U.

My daughter was all decked out in her Josh outfit.  She had one Hunger Game knee-high and one orange sock because it is a Hunger Game color.  She had on her Mocking Jay necklace, Josh buttons, and wrote sayings all over her shirt.  Some of the sayings included, “I LOVE JOSH,” “THE OFFICIAL #1 JOSH HUTCHERSON FAN,” I AM MRS. HUTCHERSON,” and so on and so on and so on.  She also brought a Hunger Game book and folder and sharpie marker.  She was a riot preparing for the meeting!

When we got to the event, she had a blast talking to other crazy fans while we waited to meet Josh.  There were two teens that had even flown from Kentucky to meet him.  Once we got to meet up with him, the first thing my daughter said was “Oh my gosh mom!  He has his Peeta hair on!”  She got to hug him and they took a few pictures and then he said “By the way, I like your shirt.”  Holy Cow!  You should have seen her-BEAMING!!  Then as we were heading to the basketball court, she kind of spazed out and started to cry.  She said “He smells like cologne, roses, and laundry detergent.”

Once we got to the basketball court, we were totally excited because we were courtside.  It was a celebrity basketball game and I recognized quite a few people – the older ones.  My daughter recognized the other people-the young ones.  One of the basketball player, Ben Carey-guitarist for Lifehouse, had my daughter walk on the court and shoot some baskets.  Super nice guy (with a great shot) and I thought it was cool to see him.  I love the song, Halfway Gone.  Here it is if you were wondering (:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xodmwwNV18w

Instead of saying, “Thanks for letting me shoot” or even “Who are you?” The words out of my daughter’s mouth were, “Can you please have Josh Hutcherson come and talk to me.”  Oh jeez.  He just laughed and was really cute about it.  Anyways, the basketball game was very entertaining.  The celebrities could actually really play.  Everytime Josh came by my daughter would squeal and put her hands out.  Super funny to watch.

This was an experience that my daughter and I will never ever forget.  Just watching my daughter was worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY.    Thanks Josh!

WHAT KIND OF MEAL IS THIS?!

We just had a family reunion and during lunch, my 5-year-old was in charge of getting his own plate.  This is exactly what he picked.  AND let me tell you, there was a large variety of food.  So he picks 1 carrot, a half of a strawberry, 1 chocolate chip bar, and a glob of whipped cream.  A perfectly balanced meal!

At least he ate everything he took! 

MY DAD

I love my dad.  I can honestly say that there isn’t a nicer man out there.  He is always smiling and positive.  And he is funny.  When he does say something that doesn’t sound very positive, he will go “Wah -wah -wah” like Debbie Downer on SNL.  Cracks us all up.   AND if I think he is a great dad, he is the GREATEST grandpa.

One of my big memories that I really think about now is when I was little.  We grew up on a farm.  I remember playing kickball outside and seeing my dad walking home from the field.  He walked up to us and he was really dirty from being on the tractor all day.  We asked him to play kickball with us and he played kickball with his 3 girls until it was too dark to see the ball.  I never really thought about it much at the time.  Dad always played games with us.  Looking back on it, I know all he  wanted to really do was take a shower, eat, and go to sleep.  But there he is, playing until dark with his kids.  Thanks Dad. Heart Clip Art

My dad never hollered at us when we were little or TEENS.  I am not exaggerating either when I say that.  We definitely knew when he meant business  though, just by the different tone of voice he used.  Just think, he had 3 RAGING  hormonal female teenagers in a house!  Now that is a TON of tampons to buy too!  Thanks Dad. Heart Clip Art

All 3 of us girls were in sports year round.  That is a lot of shoes, uniforms, and after school money to come up with.  We did not have any extra money growing up but we always were able to buy a new pair of basketball, volleyball, and track shoes each year.  He never  told us how incredibly ugly those Converse Weapons were when we all NEEDED to have them!   We always had a couple of dollars on the table in the morning for after school when we had a game.  Thanks Dad. Heart Clip Art

My kids LOVE my dad too.  He plays with them all the time.  I actually have to say “Let grandpa rest a little you guys” so I can talk with dad!  He is totally a kid at heart.   The kids love going on tractor rides with dad and doing field work.  The kids trap gophers while on the farm.  For each gopher, they receive 3 bucks from the township.  Yes, gophers are a HUGE problem in fields.   With their gopher money split 10 (grandkids) ways, they each buy their ride bracelet and play games until their money runs out.   The kids love going to the fair with my dad.  I know they would pick the little county fair with Grandpa over Disneyland any day.   Thanks Dad. Heart Clip Art

I could go on and on and on.  My dad is fantastic and I love him tons!   He set a great example for me as a kid and as an adult.   Thanks Dad.   Heart Clip Art

PSYCHO RESTROOM MOM

When is the right time to let your son/daughter go into the bathroom alone?  I think of this every-single-time as I drag my embarrassed 8-year-old into the restroom with me.  Occasionally, I will let him go into the men’s but ONLY if we are in a nice place that is not busy.  AND the kicker (or complete psycho mom in me) is  that I stand outside the men’s restroom waiting and waiting.  Time is pretty much still until he walks out without a care in the world.  Little does he know that his mom has been standing outside like a crazy lady looking at every single man walk out and totally sizing them up.  I am sure they look at me and immediately think,  “They let anyone in this place.”

What would you think if you were walking out of the bathroom and got welcomed by this lovely mug?

MY GRANDMA’S TABLE

This is my grandma’s original table.   I love looking at this picture.  It brings back wonderful and happy memories of visiting my grandparents on their farm.  There always were people sitting around this table.  Eating, laughing, and talking.   My grandma was always cooking and  baking.  My favorite thing she baked was …. buns.  Pretty simple, but oh my goodness, they were TERRIFIC.   The smell was maybe even better than the taste.

I can’t imagine how hard she worked when my dad was growing up.  My grandpa and grandma had 5 children in a 2 bedroom house.  They farmed, worked hard and did not have a dime to spare.   Because of this, all 5 of  her children are hard-working and appreciative for the little things in life.  They also have a special bond that anyone can observe.  AND they get incredibly giggly when they are around each other.  This picture above says it all.  Heart 3 Clip Art

The kids absolutely loved visiting Grandma’s place.  They took everything in and had lots of questions  The one thing that all of them found quite crazy was the phone on the wall.  Many intellectual questions arose like “What is that spinning thing” and “You have to wait that long for each number to go around” and ” You would be soooo unlucky if your number was 999-9999 – it would take a year to dial.”

I took this picture thinking of how much my grandma would have liked seeing two of her sons and just “a few” of her great-grandchildren filling up her table.  Grandma was a wonderful lady.  She made her home into a loving – happy home.  Her family values, work ethic, and just plain and simply being a good person, has now been passed down through 4 generations.   Thanks Grandma.  Heart 3 Clip Art