Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Grand Prix

So, this Grand Prix track is pretty amazing. Not a bit like the pinewood derby track my brothers raced on back in the day. And don't even get me started about back in the day. I'm not bitter that in Boys Brigade my brothers got to build derby cars and pumpkin seed kayaks that they took out on the bay while in Pioneer Girls I learned how to sew a doll and make tea. Oh no, I'm not bitter at all.Well, Lori, let's get back to the present. If memory serves, you last used your sewing machine a couple of days ago, and last we checked, the boys haven't built sea-worthy vessels since they were 12. Time to let it go.

Ok, then. They line these bad boys up on the trackthen let 'em fly!

This was the last Radcliffe hurrah. For some odd reason, we always try to go for speed. So far, that hasn't worked out too well for us. This year Brian was determined to win something, anything. Being the creative kid he is, he figured he would try for the best child-made car. Yes, that means the adults have to keep their hands off, though they are allowed to bestow their most helpful advice and oversight. I mean, come on, there are power tools involved. Someone has to make sure the kid finishes the project with all ten digits intact.

And lest you think the dads don't get overly competitive in these competitions, when the MC asked the younger division speed winners if they had even touched their cars prior to the evening, only 2 of the 6 raised their hands!

Can you spot the creative masterpiece?
Here it is at the finish line. It certainly didn't win its heat, but it didn't come in last either!

Yes, it's the one with the palm tree and half naked WWE wrestler basking under a heat lamp. And as you can see from the trophy in Brian's hand, he created a winner!

I don't know who made this one, but I thought it was clever. Note Jonah's legs protruding from the big fish's mouth. Mr. Big Fish looks as if he has a bit of indigestion.

I have to admit it was a long evening. I kept myself busy with taking pictures while Brian enjoyed time with his friends.
Ian did his share of hanging out with the guys too.

Some of the spectators, however, were forced to create their own entertainment.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Where to Begin

Well, when you walk away for a week or so, it's kinda hard to get your groove back. To be perfectly honest, I'm not really sure where to start. I've got basketball games, birthday parties, trophies, ribbons, state championships, pinewood derby, and a host of crafty stuff to share with you. Because, you see, although I was away from blogger I wasn't exactly sitting on my tushie eating bonbons all day.

I have 726 pictures to offload from my camera. Lucky for you, I'm only going to show you 725 of them. For no particular reason, because it certainly isn't chronological, we will start at the pool.

Arizona Age Group State Championships, Short Course (that means yards instead of meters for the swimspeak illiterate)

Here we have some fine examples of the backstroke. No one particularly related to us, just practicing with the camera on some unsuspecting team mates.

Okay, now here's the little brother making ready for the 50 fly.

just breathe

And here he is again, getting ready to take off on the 50 free. If it seems rather chaotic behind the blocks, that would be because it is. Chaotic, I mean.

Breathing on the 50 free is overated, I say. Don't breathe. Just swim. Really fast.

Disclaimer: I'm not a swim coach. Don't take your coaching tips from me. I don't want anyone passing out in the pool doing lungbusters, so breathe if you must.

Only 713 more pictures to go.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Skiing Grandma

Just because you're 80 years old doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite activities. Ian's mom came for a weekend visit, and the two of them headed off for the slopes. Yes, we have snow in Arizona!

The following video was captured with a cell phone, so the quality is, well, a little less than stellar. But you'll get the jist of it!

Go Grandma!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

How to Kill a Blog and Lose All Your Followers

1. Disappear for days on end.
2. Don't let anyone know where you are.
3. Neglect your twitter account.
4. Forsake your flickr account.
5. Ignore your emails.
6. Promise to post later, but don't follow through.
7. Apologize profusely to your readers, but still don't follow through.
8. Don't visit anyone else's blog.
9. And for heaven's sake, don't comment on anyone's blog.
10. Finally post something, but don't include pictures.

How am I doing so far?

This blog may actually have a fork in it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Upsie Daisie

We set the bar high around here.

And we don't tolerate any goofing around.

Nope. This is serious business.


Okay, well, he didn't quite make it over on those last few.

But he did vault a new personal record!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A New Ride

Annika bought a car off ebay. It came from Chicago, covered in road salt. Road salt, what a curious thing. We don't have that in Arizona. We do have a lot of dust, however. (I don't know why I shared that; I guess I felt it was something you need to know. Maybe I'm feeling a tad bit guilty that I'm blogging instead of dusting, cuz goodness knows it's at least an inch thick around here.)

Signing the paperwork...

and checking out the interior.

Of course, it required a test drive. After the jump start.

Since Annika wasn't home when the car arrived, Tait filled in for her. This is a 13-year-old chomping at the bit to drive. Scary thought.

Sorry for the unfocused bit, but this scene cracked me up. Two guys checkin' under the hood. Seems pretty normal, right? Not these two guys. What are they looking at? They don't know a doggone thing about cars. But there they are, playing "Car Talk."

Finally Annika came home.
One happy camper!

Getting ready to take off. Yes, don't forget your seatbelt. That's how you got into all that trouble last time.

And off she goes!
Yes, I know. All our vehicles are the same color. We're boring that way.

Proud Mama alert: Annika passed the written portion of the driver's exam with 100% and the road test with 100% as well! Hooray!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


These are some of the goodies I scored at the thrift store last week. I actually got 4 of the exercise books, which are filled with lined paper.
The travel diary is pretty cool, but after a week of trying to rid it of the yucky smell of cigarette smoke, I gave up and threw it out. It reeked. Now somebody will probably post a comment with a surefire way to beat the stink, but it's too late. Yep, it's a goner.

Don't you just love the stationery? It's a postalette from Current! Remember those? You write on the blank side, fold it up, and seal it with a sticker. I got a couple of packs of postalettes, but there were only 3 of this awesome design. The others were kinda meh. I'm thinkin' with the wonder of the color copier I can keep this design alive for yet a while longer.

I also got a totally cool something else that I can't show you because I'm making it into a gift. Now if some certain grandparent would come out to see a spring training baseball game, and if said grandparent would bring along his wife (aka Mom) then maybe I could actually show you what I purchased and the awesome thing I have planned! (No pressure, Dad.)

Until then, you'll just have to wait. Sorry.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Masked Mustachio Strikes Again!

Evil villains beware.

The Masked Mustachio is in town.
He scans the horizon, searching for injustice and guacamole.
Wherever there is a cry for help, he is there.
Wherever mustachios need twirling, he is there.
Wherever superheroes gather, he is there.
Wherever there is salsa, he is there.

Hey, superheroes are not supposed to smile. Fighting crime with flying burritos is serious business.

Oops. Unmasked.