Monday, August 30, 2010

The Election

The kids' school has a student council for which all 6th graders may run for office.  Victoria decided to run for Publicity Chairperson.  Her job, in her words, would be to write the Student Council Segment scripts for Blast Off, make posters and flyers, and to have "tons of school spirit."

Julie, Justice, and I were her committee.  We helped make posters, flyers, pencils, stickers, and a whole line of t-shirts for VDawg's self promotion.  We did an awesome job, if I do say so myself.  At any rate, she won!!!

Victoria planned to give a speech to the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at her school.  The vote worked out in a way that meant she didn't need to.  Writing it, or actually the self-promoting aspect of writing it, was difficult for her.  She struggled with persuading that she was the best candidate without feeling like she was bragging.  She DOES NOT like to give herself accolades.  The speech was written though, and since it will never be given, here it is...

Hello Corona Ranch. I am Victoria Karr and maybe, I hope ,I am your future student council Publicity Chairperson. I want to tell you why I think I’d be great for the job!!!

First of all, I am really responsible. I turn in my homework every day, finish all my class work, and I even came to track practice twice a week while I was OFF TRACK. I give my all to everything I do.

Another reason why I am fit for the job is because I am very creative. I think my imagination and artistic ability will help make school spirit days fun, different, and successful. I just can’t wait to make up new and exciting events for all of you guys.

A final reason why you should vote for me is that I have tons of school spirit. I participate in the Talent Show, Track Team, Blast Off, and of course…SPIRIT DAYS!!! I love Corona Ranch and can’t wait to show my school pride!!!

I hope I have convinced you to vote for me. A publicity chairperson needs to be responsible, creative, and have lots of school spirit…I am all of those things. And that’s why you should vote for me, Victoria Karr, for student council publicity chairperson. Thanks!!!

The First Day of Kindergarten and 6th Grade

Also known as the beginning and end of an era...sniff.

August 11th was Justice's first day of Kindergarten.  He was so ready!  Had the new outfit picked out with the required "Sketchers," because they make him run fast, and his Buzz Lightyear Back Pack.  After getting ready, he quickly drew a picture for his teacher, Mrs. McKee.

Then he selected a few roses from our yard to give her as well.

Our tradition is that we have a photo opp. in front of the front door.  Victoria was equally excited for school to start, also selected some flowers, and looked way WAY too grown up.

She is getting good at knowing when to use "The Face."

My 6th Grader...can it be?

We were ready so early that we had to take the LOOOOONG way on our walk to school.

Another under the sign.  It would have been just the two of them, but we ran into Eanna and Victoria really wanted another "Big Kid" in the photo with her. 

The 6th Grade Girls:  Kilee, Ashley T., Victoria, and Eanna.

Once the big kids were gone, Justice waited anxiously for his turn to go in.

He found his nametag and seat and was ready to go.  No tears or anything.

When did my kids grow up???  This year is going to fly by, I am sure of it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The FurnDawgs

We went for dinner and a swim at the Furnishs'.  Who knew five year-old boys were the best pool toys ever???  Miles and his friend had as much fun throwing Justice around as he had being thrown!

Victoria and Mara had a great time, too.  A little snorkling, a little giggling, lots of fun!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Day without Coffee

Before our camping trip I tried to be proactive, anticipating any major problems we might run into.  The only one I found was this:  No coffee for me!  Anyone who knows me at all, knows that if I don't have at least one cup of coffee in the morning, I get an excruciating caffeine headache, and I refuse to drink instant coffee...ick!  Always the problem solver, I devised a plan.  On our way out of town, we stopped at the local SBux and grabbed a 3 pack of Starbucks Via insta-brew, one for each day of our trip.

Saturday morning I awoke to Justice peeking out the tent door exclaiming, "What a lovely day it is in the mountains!"  I woke up, ready for our big day.  We climbed out of our home away from home and promptly started the campfire using the last of the charcoal, which I'd saved specifically for my coffee.  I poured my bottle of dasani water into the saucepan I'd brought from home and got that water boiling.  It didn't take long.  I poured 2 tablespoons of coffeemate toffee nut creamer into my "I LOVE MY KIDS" travel mug, and grabbed my pack of via.  You will NOT believe what happened next!

Instead of coffee, the package held three folded napkins.  Clearly, it had been a display.  There was NO COFFEE IN THE PACKAGE AT ALL!!

I survived.  I chased an 800mg naproxen with a caffeine filled Diet Coke and made it throught the day, but I was NOT happy.  I thought I'd done everything right.  Hmph.  We got back from camping on Sunday night.  Luckily, there were two days between my disappointing discovery and when I was able to go into my SBux.  I told the manager (with more than a touch of humor) my story, after letting her know how lucky it was for us both that I couldn't reach a Starbucks until I had already cooled down, and survived the unthinkable.  She was so mortified for me (between giggles, hers and mine) that she walked into the back, came out with a package, and said, "Here, have a 12 pack on me."  Love her.

Moral of the story?  The Karr Family will never camp more than 2 miles from the closest coffee shop.
The End.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Surprise 5th Birthday Pool Party

So after a day of fun, Justice was surprised by a fun pool party at our house. Mainly it was his family, the Furndawg Fam, and the Laker Girls. I wish I had photos of him literally jumping out of his skin when they surprised him. But trust me when I say he was SHOCKED, PETRIFIED, and THRILLED...all at the same time.

Of course yesterday was the first day of summer. Not officially, but if you read the thermometer, the triple digits told you it was so. That meant the party was either inside in the air conditioned family room, or out in the pool. The kids picked the pool. Justice thought he was so cool hangin' with the big kids...CANNONBALL!!!

Next, it was present time. For the first time ever, he was totally engaged the whole time. He was excited and appreciative and adorable. And if you look carefully, you can sense a theme in his gifts.

A Buzz Lightyear Costume...

A Bucket of Soldiers...

A Buzz Lightyear backpack for kindergarten...

And Buzz Lightyear motorized wings... hmmmmmm.  I dunno, maybe Toy Story.  I love this picture.  THIS is my boy.

Finally, the cake:  When we decided that going to see Toy Story 3 at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood would be his birthday celebration rather than having a party(which we obviously did, too), Justice said, "But what about cake?  Do I still get cake?"

Of course you do, Baby Boy.  Happy 5th Birthday!  I love you the most, my Justice Aaron Karr!

The Day Justice Turned "5"

Our family tradition is that the kids get new jammies to wear the night before their birthday and take a picture with the age they are leaving. Unfortunately, Justice fell asleep while I was birthday shopping and so I had to wake him to take the picture. As you can see, he was NOT happy.

He was much happier when he woke up and realized he was 5!

We made an early stop for gum (notice the 5 on the pack, fitting). He has been waiting til age 5 to chew gum. He was thrilled, however, after Jess found gum on his forehead he lost that priveledge. Poor guy is waiting for 6 now.

Then we had a mommy/son hour at Toys R Us, where he got a crown, a balloon, and Woody and Buzz race cars. It's an adorable thing they do there. If you go on your birthday, they announce it, give you a balloon to identify you, and then all of the employees and customers wish you a Happy Birthday as you shop.

After that, we met Victoria, Little Laker (Karlee) and Middle Laker (Jess) at the Crossings to see Despicable Me.

At the end of the afternoon, we went to the Barber Shop. Yep, the Barber Shop! Not Cool Cuts for Kids, but Nick's Barber Shop. He did such a great job, sat like a big boy still and quiet, and saved me eight bucks.

It was a great start to his day, followed by his first EVER surprise birthday party. Details to come!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Camping Trip

So I gave Victoria two choices, 1: Hotel or Camping, and 2: Beach or Forest. Can you tell what she picked?
We drove to Green Valley Falls in the Cuyamaca State Park. We went there when I was a kid, and I had really good memories of playing in the falls. The kids were excited, but I don't think Victoria had any idea just how ROUGH, "roughin' it" could be.
Justice, on the other hand had Trix! What else does one need???

After our "room service," we made our way to the falls.
Do you see how ready he is for cliff diving??? That's why he's wearing the obnoxious suit!

The rocks in the stream were amazing and lots of fun to climb and jump on. Caused a few injuries, but nothing permanent.

We took a million walks up and down stream. There was so much for Justice to see...bugs, rocks, plants...and he is fearless.
This shot would be so beautiful if I wasn't trying desperately to keep up with him while taking pictures in a moving current with my ridiculously expensive camera AND trying to get through the river rock BAREFOOTED.

Look JNo and Laker, a scenic shot. There really was so much beauty all around us. I HAD to do it, although it's against my nature!

He truly said, "Hurry up, Momma. We're wasting time!!!" Really, got a date?

The steps seemed much steeper going back up. Nice steps though, huh? :)

Waiting on Justice. Do you have any idea how tough those steps were in that suit?
Saturday night in the woods = What else??? Dance Party!!! A little Black Eyed Peas on the Ipod...

"Tonight's gonna be a good night!!!"

Justice was having a great time when suddenly, Victoria decided HE was weird? Whatevs!

What would camping be without smores? And check out JAK's hair. That was quite a Dance Party.

Victoria was looking forward to smores, too...

But she doesn't like graham crackers, which makes smores really messy. Ick.

Finally, what Victoria had been waiting for...Spooky Campfire Stories. As always, Justice went first.
As you can see, he was pretty good!

Poor Roxy had to stay tethered. We were worried about all of the wildcats, skunks, and the elusive wild turkeys! For reals!!!

Here are some more beautiful shots of, well birds. Victoria took these, I swear. She did a good job, though, right?

So Sunday morning, two nights after we'd arrived, it was time to pack up. This is how Justice helps put the tent away, he jumps on top of it, peach in hand. Look how filthy he was. A short stop at the restroom for his mini-shower in the sink, and we were on our way home. It was a great trip. We'll do it again. But for now, I am glad to be home!
I can NOT believe I am sharing this filthy, disgusting picture of my son with you! Oh well, he's a boy. :)