Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We had a long day.........

Zane just couldn't quite make it up to bed tonight.

We found him like this. Fast asleep.

I don't blame him.

It was a really long day.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our Spring Break Staycation

Brian was going to take the three oldest kids up to Utah to ski for Spring Break this year.

Since I wasn't exactly up for a road trip.

But they decided to stay here last minute & enjoy our awesome spring weather instead.

So here's some of the things we did.........

Juiced lots of oranges. And tangelos. And tangerines.

Dad's the official family orange-juicer.
And Gus is his official juicer helper.

We planted some garden pots.

What would we do without Gus around to help?!

We went swimming.
Mostly in the heated-up jacuzzi, or 'little round pool' as Gus calls it..........

..........with cousins....... Bronson,

and Jolie......who totally rocked the camera.

We ate popsicles with friends in treehouses.

And just did alot of hanging out...........amongst the orange blossoms.

We also went bowling, and played several games of Risk & Settlers, and went to Taco Bell, and took Max to the dentist to get 2 rotten teeth pulled (really embarrassing when Dad's in the dental profession), and grilled shish-ka-bobs, and went to the movies, and ate wings, and went on bike rides, and got Nielsen's frozen custard, and cleaned out some drawers & closets, and hit a Suns game, and drank alot of Dad's fresh-squeezed OJ which he likes to call 'liquid gold'.
The week was a little louder, a little more chaotic than I had planned on.......but alot of fun.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday night at the Drive-ins

So this picture is not great, to say the least, 6400 ISO couldn't cut it with no flash, but I wanted something to help me remember this super-fun night. I tend to think that if something isn't documented with photos, I won't remember it later & all the sweet moments of my life will be gone forever from my swiss-cheese memory.

For several years now we've said, "we really need to take the kids to a drive-in movie one of these nights!"
And we just haven't gotten around to it.
Til last Saturday night.
And we can't wait to go again.
Brian & I hadn't been to the Drive-ins since we were kids & our kids had never been. Some of them didn't even know what we were talking about!
But the weather could not have been more perfect, & a double feature of Diary of a Wimpy Kid & The Lightning Thief were playing, so we packed up the Suburban with pillows & blankets & camp chairs, picked up some 5Guys to go & headed out.

It was so, so fun!
And I was surprised at how good the picture & sound was.

Zane & Gus passed out during the second movie, as seen in the picture, but before that, during the first movie, I was sitting up in the back of the Suburban with these two littlest of mine on either side of me, both resting their heads on my big pregnant belly, happily watching the movie & covered in blankets, and I had one of those moments when you think to yourself, " OK, I want to remember this little moment right here, forever", and you click a secret picture in your head & hope it burns into your memory. (that was a super long run-on sentence)

We're totally going again before it gets too hot.
We better hurry!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Double-digit Max

Ten days ago, Max tells me, "Mom, I'm turning 10 in 10 days in 2010."

He's my millenium baby.

He's also proof that an extremely hyperactive small child can grow up to be perfectly normal.

And he's much more than normal.

He's a really fast runner, awesome climber (as I've said before), excellent student, and when he's given a task to do, I can always count on him to get it done & done right!

And he can be such a tender-hearted sweetheart with his brothers when he wants to be.

Max is the creative one in our family & has serious artistic skills. He says he wants to be an artist when he grows up.

I would like it if he never grew up & stayed just like this!

Happy Birthday Max! We love you!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I'm huge and uncomfortable and anemic and too old to be doing this and I don't think the veins in my legs will ever be the same.....among other things.

I'm really trying to LiveStrong and everything, and I know I need to somehow enjoy this & embrace the miracle of this beautiful time in my life........blah, blah, blah, especially since this is my last one & all......

But really? Stop & smell the roses when your ankles are as big as your calves???

The truth is, I am so, so, so excited for this baby girl, but this has been a rather tough pregnancy. I've never been so tired & useless in my 3rd trimester like this.

And it's freaking me out! But not in a hyper way. In a slo-mo kind of way.

I had big plans for home organization & decor updating & photo projects.......... & decorating her nursery! Still not done!

But instead I'm watching the last few weeks of semi-productivity slip through my fingers as I nap on the couch!

Because I've had enough babies to remember how it's after you have the baby that you really get absolutely nothing done.

I've always associated productivity with happiness & satisfaction, so this is hard for me. My best days are when I've knocked a bunch of things off my to-do list.

I need to somehow make peace with non-productivity. Embrace it. Find joy in unfinished projects. Smile at piles of stinky laundry and walk on by. Hmmmmm.......

I wonder if you can feed a baby & work on the computer at the same time?..........

And since I can't post without a picture, here's a random one.
Max sitting for me while I do lighting test-shots, finishing up his daily after-school-bowl-of-icecream.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

peanut butter and jelly

"Friends are like
peanut butter and jelly.
They need to be together."

And that's so true of these two.

Gus and "my best friend Jasper".

They freely run back & forth between each other's houses all day, not feeling the need to tell anyone where they're headed.

Eating Go-gurts at one house, building army bases at the other house, back to the first house to jump on the trampoline for a bit, then hop on their tricycles to snag some popsicles at the other house.

Such is the daily grind for a 4-year-old.

And it's a serious crack-up to listen to their conversations.

This was a special day since Gus was actually fully dressed.

BFFs forever!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

St. Patrick's Day!

St. Paddy's Day is a favorite around here.
I think mostly because of the annual green pancakes & syrup!!!
Oh we love them so!

Especially Zane & Gus.

The stack of 4 pancakes shown is not just for the picture. He can really eat that much, with a tiny bit of help from me.

And Zane can really put them away.........we just can't figure out where he puts them!

Everyone made sure they wore something green today......
The weather was so nice.
So we hung out in the backyard while I took a few pictures.

With a bunch of boys, 'playing' inevitably means wrestling.

Then eventually ends up like this......
Every. Time.

Since Gus was wearing the cutest shirt, I took some laying-down-in-our-awesome-green-grass pictures.
I so love this little kid!

I love how he calls Ranch dressing 'grinch'.
I love how he gives me 'wubbs & kisses' before he goes to bed.
I love his little happy-go-lucky, free-spirit personality.
I love how when he's eating, he's a big dinosaur who's eating trees & cars & houses.
I love how he loves to stick his head out the window of the car when we're going somewhere, like a little puppy dog.
And I love these chocolate-brown eyes so full of expression.....
I told him, "show me your scared face"....

"And show me your excited face".....

Then I asked him what face this was & he said, "this is just my nothing face".
And I said, "Well that is the cutest nothing face in the whole wide world!!!"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In Memory.....

........of Snowball, the bunny. Also known as Mr. Bunny Buns.

It's a very sad day today at the Mason home as we grieve the passing of our favorite pet.

And right before Easter too. Bummer.

He was last seen happily hopping around the back yard after school.
Then was discovered a couple hours later..........dead as a doornail.
No foul play is suspected.
He was laid to rest in a shoebox under our lemon tree.

But we have joy in the fact that he led a long, full bunny life.

He was never cooped up in a cage, but roamed the backyard freely.
He enjoyed romaine lettuce & strawberries & eventually grew to like dog food.
He was never alone & thrived in the company of Daisy the dog, several cats & a tortoise, not to mention us, who loved to pet him because he would always let us, and would even hop right up to us..... before he lost his eyesight, that is.

Daisy will definitely miss Snowball's company. They were very close & would snuggle during naps & chase each other around the yard.
Snowball loved to lick Daisy all over, like a mommy cat cleaning her kitten, which really helped me out because I hardly ever had to bathe her.

Snowball had been a part of our family for 3 years, and the story of how we got him is here .

We just can't believe how he survived all those summers!

And I can't believe how much the kids have grown since we first got him!

We're really going to miss you, Snowball.
Even Brian liked you.
Which says alot.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pine Wood Derby

So it wasn't exactly a championship year for the Masons this time, despite all of Dad's efforts.
But I think the paint job should have won some kind of prize, thanks to Uncle Benj. It's hard to see in this picture but they put pearlizing additive in the paint & used an air brush. It was sparkly & cool. But not very consistent. I think it came in first as much as it came in last.

Max was a little glum. We had such high hopes for the Green Mean Machine.

But it was nothing a little Sonic shake afterwards couldn't fix!

Not to mention the School Carnival that same night that we hurried over to.
The Derby losses were soon overshadowed by big blow-up bouncy things & cotton candy & friends & Churros.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

And the rest of LONDON

Finally, the rest of our super-fun trip to London back in May.........

Here we are in Paddington station fresh off our flight.
After we got settled in at my awesome cousin's place......did I mention they live in a flat basically across the street from Kensington Palace?.......we headed over to Kensington Gardens & Palace.

Kensington Palace was Princess Diana's main residence, and this is part of the front gates where everyone piled their flowers & such when she died.

Just one of the amazing ceilings inside.

Some of the gardens.
I'm lovin' Mars' red sweater in these pictures. So British.

Big Ben.

Just a random alleyway in Kensington. How cute is that? And there's that wisteria again. Love.

I asked this guy, called a Beefeater, at the entrance of the Tower of London, if I could snap a picture of him, since I loved his uniform so, and he comes at me like he was going to give me a big smooch! So funny! But I loved his happy face in this picture.

The Tower of London is a must if you ever go to London.
Very cool.

This is Brian when he realized he missed Morrissey in concert here at the Royal Albert Hall by one bloody day!!

The London Bridge.

Parliament & Big Ben again, on the Thames River.
We so lucked out on weather!

We had time to hit the Imperial War Museum, which was way cool.
Brian, being the World War II buff that he is, was lovin' it.

And you can't go to London without experiencing Harrod's.
Words can not describe.
Here's Marlee buying some yummies in one of the Chocolate Rooms. Yes, rooms, entire rooms that are so decked out they look like museums, full of everything you can possibly imagine. This one full of chocolates from all over the world.

Our last morning here before our flight home, we got breakfast at the Le Orangerie in Kensington Gardens.

Scones with clotted cream & fresh-squeezed OJ..........I so wish I were there right now!

Then we were off to Heathrow. And back to reality.

This is Jeff & Christeena's place that they were so nice to share with us. It made it that much more fun to return 'home' after a long day of sight-seeing & hang out with them. They took such great care of us.

I've probably said this twenty times by now, but it really was a completely FABULOUS trip.

I feel so blessed that we were able to do it.

Marlee has now decided she wants to live in London when she's done with school. Or Ireland. Or France. She's seriously been bitten by the travel bug since this trip. Or maybe she just wants to get far, far , away from us.......... either way she'll need to start saving up now!

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