Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sean Wins the PIG!

So there's this little Norwegian tradition that my family keeps up with every year...
On Christmas Eve, we serve everyone a bowl of rice cream. (It's just what it sounds like... it's actually rice and heavy whipping cream... usually with some strawberries on top.) One of the bowls of rice cream has a nut hidden somewhere, and whoever finds the nut wins!
What do they win... well, a marzipan pig, of course! (Or some other chocolate prize for those, like Dad, who do not like marzipan!)
This year was Sean's second time sampling this fun family favorite... and this year, he won! Funny thing is, "they" say that whoever finds the nut not only wins the pig... he or she will also marry within the year!

What a FUN Christmas!

Another Christmas has come and gone, but we sure had a wonderful time!
From SpongeBob SquarePants "tennis ball" (AKA pinball) and Hello Kitty to Strawberry Shortcake movies and Ariel PJs... from talking Dora The Explorer (*cringe!) and Lite Brite to Barbie dancing fairy princess and a Disney princess piano... Jaiden (and the rest of our family) definitely had a grand Christmas... or should I say Christmases, since we celebrated the holidays at so many places this year!
Sean and I have already played Jaiden's SpongeBob "tennis ball" game more than she has! We also had a great time reminiscing with toys like Lite Brite and ViewMaster. Both of us helped Jaiden with her first Lite Brite picture: some psychedelic flowers with red and violet grass! And we had fun digging out my old ViewMaster and comparing it with the toys of today. From a unanimous vote, looks like the "old" one wins! (... especially since Sean can't seem to focus on 1 image in the new one!)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Christmas Cutie!

The only purpose of this post is to show off my little cutie-pie!
So... here's Jaiden posing by our Christmas tree.

We're getting excited about Christmas... and we hope you all have a safe, restful and wonderful holiday!

Grandma Got SUNG TO By a Reindeer

Jaiden's first Christmas "play" and school party were last Friday, December 8, and BOY were they the cutest! The 4-year-old class dressed up in Christmas sweatshirts, reindeer antlers and red noses and sang some all-time favorite Christmas songs, like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Jingle Bells," "Away in a Manger," and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," to name a few. Some of the songs had motions, jumping and silly choreography. It was way too cute!

I don't know if she was nervous -- or just being weird -- but Jaiden was cracking up and trying to get the other kids to laugh. (We have it on tape; it's hilarious!) She also had a small speaking part, and she did a great job... It was loud and clear, just like we practiced! Of course, she also kept asking when they could take off their noses! And then one little girl lost her nose during a song! It was so sad. But she managed to stick it back on. Literally. (Their noses were stuck on with masking tape!)

Monday, December 4, 2006

2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Swap Success

I love Christmas. And I love Christmas cookies. And I also love the opportunity to share good times with great friends! So thanks to all my friends and fellow cookie bakers who made this year's Christmas cookie swap party a success!
There were some old faces (not old as in age, but old as in they came last year!) and some new ones as well! And after laughing so hard that I cried and eating so much junk food that I got dizzy, I realized just how many wonderful cookies I got to pack away in freezer bags and food containers. YUM! I can't promise that they'll last until Christmas, though...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Disney World Last December

I can't believe that it's already been almost a year since we were in Disney World -- last Christmas! This year we're not heading down to Orlando to hit the parks... (there's that little wedding and honeymoon thing we got goin'!) But it sure is fun to reminisce. We all had SO much fun. Jaiden still talks about the characters... and Cinderella Castle... and the rides, especially Aladdin's Magic Carpet (which she rode several times in a row with Mom and Dad!). And because this was Sean's frist trip since he was a wee bit, he has just as many fun stories and experiences to share! We can't wait to go back!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Random Panda-monium

This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with our family, but the photo was so darn cute, I just couldn't stand it! I had to share it with all of you! Pictured, obviously, is a "tee-niney" baby panda -- made in China. (Ha-ha!) They are so small and so fragile and sooooo adorable! Oooooh, dat cutsey-wootsie widdle panda beebee.
Ok. I think it's finally out of my system now....

Monday, October 30, 2006

2 Months to go!

Sean and I recently went to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to get some "engagement photos" taken. (Yep... It's about 2 months now until the WEDDING!) We've both been to the gardens before, but it's been years! And as we walked around, we wondered why we haven't been here more recently -- and more often. It's so neat! At any rate, here is one of my favorite photos. I love the Autumn colors; and the people in the photo aren't too bad, either!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

No wind... no fly!

Have you ever noticed that kite flying without wind is more like kite holding or kite dragging? Well, this was Jaiden's first run with a kite... and run it was -- literally! (And then it was smash the kite into the ground -- or the neighbor's house -- and start all over again!) Oh, well! It will be like a whole new experience when we try this again -- hopefully under more ideal kite-flying conditions!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Chillin' at the Pumpkin Patch

A more appropriate title for this post would mention the fact that we were actually freezing at the pumpkin patch! I didn't think it would be that cold as Sean, Jaiden and I piled into the truck and headed for the pumpkin patch last Friday. And I certainly didn't know what to expect, either.... But we were in for a long, muddy hike, some mild starvation, poisoning by noxious smoke and me tearing up my ankles in new "galoshes" because I didn't wear good socks. Ok, ok. We did have some fun. (And I do exaggerate a bit!) We went on a hayride -- my and Jaiden's first. We saw the pumpkin patch, petted some farm animals and ran around an authentic teepee. But the cold wind, the muddy mess and the smoky, burnt marshmallows were not so much fun! Ha-ha! And the piddly little pumpkin Jaiden got to take home was pretty funny. We went on a 5-mile hike up and down steep, muddy hills and tortured our lungs with a dozen smoky campfires for a softball-sized pumpkin?!?! Ah yes. Life's little lessons. Next October, we're not only taking chairs to the pumpkin patch, we're bringing snacks, drinks, comfortable shoes, blankets, gas masks and magnifying glasses ... to see the pumpkins, of course...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Archery for Blondes

I am definitely not an archery expert; I only wrote a book about it! (Ha-ha! Really. Go buy it!) And sad but true, this was my first attempt at shooting a compound bow. Now, I've practiced with and pulled many a compound bow -- at 50 pounds or less -- but I've never actually had an arrow to shoot.... (Those who know me well, know that I am really bad -- aka "accident prone" -- with fire and sharp things.) And I've never actually shot right-handed either. I 'm one of those weirdos: I am right handed but left-eye dominant... which makes for an interesting shot (to say the least).
At any rate, as you can see, I hit that silly plastic deer! (Look closely -- the arrow is sticking in its neck!) Hey -- that deer was threatening us with its fierce, artificial gaze. I did a service to the community -- and to everyone in the immediate area -- by taking down that crazed synthetic creature!

Monday, October 9, 2006

I don't really remember...

Yep. That's actually me in the picture, shoving some random flower in my nose. You see, I've been pondering the whole "what-will-Jaiden-rememember-when-she-gets-older?" thought, and it's giving me a migraine! I remember very few things from my pre-Alabama days (up 'til age 9)...
Let's see, there was…
* watching the snowflakes -- illuminated by the street lamp outside my window -- falling on Christmas Eve night as I anticipated the arrival of Santa...
* staring at the hideous orange, yellow and green "psycho mushrooms" on the wallpaper in my bedroom...
* playing with Wally (the stuffed walrus) that I accidentally left behind at the grocery store (I got him back... and I still have him somewhere)...
* baking cookies with mom, or, actually, sneaking big globs of raw cookie dough when she wasn't paying attention…
* racing down the hill on my tricycle until it tipped over (then I was skidding down the hill on my right arm and elbow!)…
* trick-or-treating in a plastic Strawberry Shortcake costume that tied in the back like a bib…
* listening to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and thinking it was really good…
* eating those weird, sour, chalk-like lollipops they sold at the concession stand at the pool…
* using nail polish and markers to “paint” rocks with my friend Matthew (and trying to sell them to passers-by)…
* thinking that my Spiderman Big Wheel – with the permanent 55 mph speedometer reading --was the coolest thing I could ever have…
What about you? What from your early childhood do you recall?

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Jaiden's 4th Birthday... and the Beginning of the Hello Kitty Obsession

My little girl is 4.... (Well, she's 4 years and nearly 3 months old by the time of this writing)... and I thought I would take a moment to ponder that.
4.... I honestly don't remember 4. At all. So I wonder how much of this she'll recall!

One thing is for sure... the "Hello Kitty Obsession" rages on. I guess it all started when J and I went to Target to pick out birthday party items. We came across the huge Hello Kitty selection -- from pink, feathery Hello Kitty pillows and glittery stickers to flower-shaped bubble bottles and Japanese-style Hello Kitty lanters.... Jaiden was hooked. You can see in the picture that she's blowing out candles on her Hello Kitty cake. (That's Corinne, Sean's sister, giving her a lift up to the table!) There were also Hello Kitty plates, Hello Kitty napkins, Hello Kitty bags, Hello Kittty bubbles, Hello Kitty t-shirts, Hello Kitty shoes and several Hello Kitty-themed presents. And now Jaiden thinks EVERYTHING should be Hello Kitty. She told me she's having a "Hello Kitty birthday for Christmas after she has Hello Kitty pizza and Hello Kitty cupcakes and plays in the Hello Kitty jumpy place." Hmmmm... Should I be concerned?!? The weird thing is, I went through a Hello Kitty stage myself. Yep, I bought those silly, overpriced Hello Kitty lollipops and the notebooks with pencils so skinny and small you couldn't really write with them.
Well, I guess it could be worse. She could be into Barney or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or the Power Rangers or something!

Friday, September 29, 2006

The stick incident

Ok, for this post, I thought I'd dive into one of the many crazy things that have happened to me and Sean. I'm calling it "The stick incident," and from here on out, I shall refer to all of our family's insane moments as "incidents" of some sort or another!
Enough background drivel... on our May 2006 trip to Alpine Helen, Georgia, Sean and I took a wrong turn... which I conveniently used as a "photo op," since there was this Indian mound-thing out in the middle of the field. (Not a burial mound... just some sort of gathering place, a central-to-the-village-type mound.) At any rate, I hopped back into the car after taking a few pictures, when suddenly we heard a horrific squeaky/screachy/squealing sound. With wide eyes and quizzical eyebrows, we gave each other that, "Oh-great-the-car-is-falling-apart-beneath-us" look as Sean pulled over to the side of the road. Sean got out to check the damage.
I was imagining car parts strewn across the road and dreading a long walk back to Alabama ...when I noticed the silly grin on Sean's face. The cause of the devestating fingernails-on-chalkboard, our-car-is-about-dead sound?
A stick. A big, stupid, long branchy stick!
*Ah, life! Sure is an adventure!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hangin' With "The Jellies"

This post is a bit more random than usual, but I figured I'd attempt to get in one last "hurrah" before the month of September completely fizzled out. At any rate, Sean and I really love aquariums. We have a 55-gallon, fresh-water tank in the kitchen -- which I'll be sure to feature at a later date -- but what I'm talking about are those cool places like the Tennessee Aquarium and the Geogria Aquarium. And as you can see, at our last trip to Atlanta, Sean and I got a bit goofy with the camera -- and with "the jellies!"

(* NOTE: No jellyfish were harmed during the taking of these photos.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Kids, Birthday Parties and Pictures

I'm starting to think that every friend of Jaiden's was born in the month of September! To date, we've been to 4 birthday parties this month.... and boy, are we partied out! At any rate, watching kids at birthday parties is hilarious. And watching people trying to take pictures of kids at birthday parties is even funnier. Notice in this photo -- from Harmonie Hill's birthday party at Pump It Up (a little free advertising...) -- that the ONLY child who's looking at the camera is Harmonie! Who knows what the rest of them are doing?!.... that's what's so funny! I love their facial expressions and their lack of interest in the photographer -- me... and several other parents, actually, who were likely diverting the kids' attention!
(BTW: Jaiden is the one on the far left... in the pigtails and stripey pants! And shhh... don't tell, but that IS Big Al in the photo. War Eagle!)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Remember school pictures?

So... it's getting close to that time when "Lil' J" and all "her kids" (as she calls them) get their school pictures done. Ah, I remember those days... Mom always put me in goofy pigtails, and my bangs were always insanely crooked. I must have never sat still for the trimmings. *sigh*
Anyway, since I only now just started this blog, I figured I would post Jaiden's picture from last year -- for the moment. (BTW, for the record: I did not dress her in a lacy frock and a flowery straw hat. These were those special "dress-up" pictures!) Anyway, we'll probably have her new Pre-K pic in probably 9-12 months. Ha-ha! (You know how long those things take to get back! You're at least a year older by then! )

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It's official -- we're blogging!

Whether by happy accident or acute purpose, you’ve stumbled upon Beth and Sean Alcazar’s “Alca-Blog.” Yup. It’s official…. We have finally conformed to the high-tech demands of our society and have joined the growing ranks of inexperienced cyberspace communicators! So, enjoy our family’s many adventures through some random posts, fun photos and guest comments. We’re glad you found us!