Thursday, July 30, 2009

We Are Here !!!


Mission Viejo California for the Summer Junior Olympics. Sammy swimming 6 events plus 3 relays and Abby swimming 2 events and 2 relay - - all over the course of 5 LONG days !!!!
Abby was excited to wear her "RED" shirt and Sammy, well, he was being patient just hugging her for this photo !! He has been really stressed since we got here, I think the pressure got to him . . . but this is a learning experience, RIGHT ?!?!?!?!
The shirts are pretty cool and one of our better ones believe it or not . . . .
Sammy swimming his free !!!
Doing what he does best . . .the FLY !!!

Abby and her "big arm" fly. . . it looked great going down. . .

The sun is SSSSOOO bright here !!! Abby and her freestyle . . .

So . . . we had a 7th place 100 fly, a 18th place 200 free, and a 25th place 100 free for Sammy so far. . . not what we were expecting, but again, he is 12 . . plenty of time to learn. Abby got a 24th in the fly and 34th in the free. It truly was a learning experience for her !!
Think fast thoughts. . . we need all the help we can get !!
PS . . it is not fun traveling without Tom. . . we miss him and want him here !!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday Night Special !!

What a great time the family had on Saturday Night !!! Swim family friends, the Herbsts, who always throw an incredible party, celebrated their daughter turning 12 !!! Well, I guess it started a little sooner than the party . . . Abby and I took Hannah for a pedicure and nail treatment before the party so she could look extra special for the big night !!
There were so many funny moments, so many ah ha moments, and so many moments that blurrrr together !! One thing is for sure. . . we are surrounded by a GREAT bunch of friends !! Our extended family, our swim family, makes these nights even more special ! The kids all play, laugh, talk, and more importantly, the adults all play, laugh and talk !!! Great times by all . . . here are some highlight. . . .

Sammy cracking up at Andre on the neighborhood scavenger hunt (game #1) !! I have not idea what was going on, but he had the giggles so bad !!

Game #2, wrap a friend/gulliable one with foil in some sort of design !! Abby was some superhero figure on some cartoon with a peace belt buckle. . .that is all I remember !!! Great game, kids had a blast. . .some more than others (aka Rudy) !!!!

Ok, above and below . . . well. . . I will give you the short version. . . This is Jean, Mel's mom, she was an age group swimmer - - and a pretty darn good one too - - and shares what with us often !!! She lives vicariously through her daughter and is probably known in the swim community as "the psycho one." Jean has broken her ankle while running up and down the pool yelling at Mel, and has gone into the pool fully chothed with purse and all !!! Enough said. . . This is Jean trying to clear the pool so the kids will go play games !! Yes, Jean, in black flying through the air ......... AND ........

This is Jean. . . clearing the pool !!! OMG - enough said . . . . only Jean !!!

This was the skits !!! We, Laura Hubel, Carol Lelles, and me, were migdets at a car wash !! Guess what ???? I was the car !!! My tinfoil front bumper, heatlights out of yellow construction paper, plates as wheels, Carol getting ready to squeegie my face, you can't see Laura but she is strubbing my back side, I have an atenna on my shoulder, and break lights on my ARST !!! we sang car wash, working at the car wash yea !! Too much frickin fun. . . I was laughing, crying and sweating so much I hurt all over !!!!
Even Tom got into the act with Bill Herbst, Ron Hubel and another swimmer dad !! They were emergency workers - - - let's just say it involved a diaper and duct tape !!!!
And for the GRAND FINALE. . . . host Gini Herbst, Jean Harris, and Jennifer Pulido wrapped it all up with "I'm too sexy for my skirt" and again, OMFG . . . I had tears in my eyes !!! I love people who can laugh at themselves, because like I say. . . if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at !!!
Over 80 friends including kids were in attendance !! The Herbsts are SAINTS in all our eyes because I can barely handle my own kids going crazy !!!! And the incredible thing about these parties. . . pretty much alcohol free !! Good times, good friends, big smiles, sore bellies from laughing !!!! We love the Herbst Family. . Bill, Gini, Hannah, Conner, Garrin and Lucy . . . . we love them all !!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Second Family

You know, they say you spend more time with your co-workers than you do with your family !! I have truly, honestly lucky to love my job, really enjoy my co-workers, I laugh often, and usually don't mind going to the office !! I work at Aristocrat Technologies, Inc as their Controller-System Sales & Tech Services. We are an Australian based company whose main focus is manufacturing slot machines for sale and lease, services those machines, and marketing our brand. We also create player tracking systems (software) for casino management. That is my focus, System Sales and also Tech Services - the guys and gals that support the machines and the systems. We have HUGE acocunts (like Royal Carribean Cruise Lines and M Resort) and we have small accounts (like Brass Ass Casino and Little Turtle Hurtle) !!! It really has been fun to learn about financial accounting for this industry, since I was in hospitality accounting for so long (14 years) ! Nothing says fun like FAS 13, or SOP 97-2, or IFS for software financial reporting - - let's all say it together. . .YIPPIE !!

So that leads me to this cast of characters. . .they are the one's that make the day manageable !! From left to right, David, me, Frank, Alison (my boss), Jackie, Beth, Isabel, Shannon, and Thomas & Becky on the bottom. Together we have single men, single woman, married no kids, married with kids, partiers, non-partiers, east coasters, texans, west coasters. . . in this small group, we have it all !!!

Friday afternoon, we went to lunch and bowling for a team building event (AKA, get out of work early on Friday) !! I love to make an ass out of myself, and they will all tell you that I do a pretty good job. My line at work is . . . if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at !!! So I try to liven it up and laugh, and smile, and embarass myself, and talk, and talk, and talk - - yes I really talk when I am nervous !!! But when you go bowling, most pictures are like this below. . .

Glad my ARST is 20 pounds lighter these day hu Gini . . and yes dad, nice form I know !!! Always the coach he is !!!

And latestly, this is my first friend at ATI . . . Beth !! She is a small town girl for Boulder City, her mom works with Carol, my good friend and family triathlon buddy, and she was the one I talked to all the time when I first starter - - refer back to talk alot when I am nervous !!! She listened to me when I cried because I was scared when I took the job, she listens and knows about my kids, their activities, their likes, their dislikes - - Abby loves Beth and even calls her Beth-e-Beth like I do !! She was the first co-worker I told about my near death experience with Allegiant Airlines, and she cried with me !! So Beth, even though you don't read this, THANK YOU !! Thank you for making my day a little brighter, letting me brag about my kids, hugging me when I need a hug, just smilin', and letting me take this silly self photo of us when you hate having your picture taken !!!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Historical Visit !!


When for a drive to the Hoover Dam last night to check out the bypass that is being built !!! First thing that came to my mind was OMG . . . look how low the lake is !!! It really put a pit in my stomach . . stickening low !! The water is usually up to the walkway on those intake pillars !!!

This is the first close up thing we see. . . I wish we could have stopped more on the way down to take more photos, but there really isn't a place to stop . . . AND Tom was driving !!!

This project has been in the works for YEARS now, and this is the first time we got to see it !!! INCREDIBLE sums it up !! The sheer magnitude of it all was amazing !! Our friend Bill Herbst posted a photo on Facebook with the gap just a little open, and that is what finally got us up here !!!

I am more glad the kids got to see this first hand !! They were both amazed, in awwwww, asking a frickin' boat load of questions, and Sammy must have taken 50 photos on his phone !!! This is historic, I am glad we took them !! We were standing on 80 year old concrete, a true engineering marvel, looking out at another engineering marvel !!!

I think I am going to take the kids back a do a tour !!! Sammy really wants a helicopter ride and I really want to be refreshed on my Dam history !!! The craziest thing. . . it is only 10+ minutes from the house. . . whole different world than Las Vegas !!!

I am glad we took the kids. . . wish we would have gone sooner . . . but they will remember that for a long time to come !!! My mother-in-law loved it and got right home and went on the computer to research it !!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Small Town America !!

I miss Small Town America so very much. I spent my childhood in Half Moon Bay, CA where the population was 5,000 and you could walk to the ShortStop (7-11) to buy a slurpee and my friend would buy cigarettes for her mom with a note !!! Not kiddin !!! Then I moved to Oakhurst, CA for high school, population 5,000, where we never locked our doors and my next door neighbor was my hero and saved me from two rattlesnakes !! Not kiddin' again !!! Then college in San Luis Obispo, CA, population 30,000 and that was a big city to me !! Fresno for a few years and now Las Vegas, population "who the frick knows" !!! Just say, I am not in Kansas anymore Toto !!!

Anywho0000. . . so when you have the opportunity to do what I consider "Small Town America" activities, we Tri as a Family to make sure the kids can be exposed to it !! Like this. . . 4th of July parade in Boulder City - population 30,000 . . .
Kids Getting Ready for Parade !!!

Start of Parade - - It was Wet !!

Yes, that is me, sitting in a blow up swimming pool mounted on a flat bed trailer filling water guns for the kids to shoot the people in the stands !!! It was wet, fun, full of belly laughs, and a really good time all around !!!

So that brings us to today . . . Cardboard Boat Races !!
Abby spent the last 3 afternoon building and constructing her "boat" and painting it, and decorating it, and basically making a big ass mess on my kitchen table !!! Small Town America - - just remember that . . .



KICK ABBY KICK !!! But my boat is sinking mom . . . just kick !!!


"you talkin' to me !!!"
So her boat fell apart after 10 seconds in the water. . . . so her boat really wasn't a boat, it was a flat piece of cardboard painted . . . . so there was only 2 competitors in her age group - the other was Mandi, her very good friend from swim . . . so we were up there for 2 hours through the judging and races . . . . THIS IS SMALL TOWN AMERICA !!!
I am glad I can at least give my kids this !! I know it sounds strange, but it is important to me !!
Thank you Boulder City, for letting my kids attend your schools, for letting my kids swim on your team, for welcoming our family with open arms, and most importantly, for trying to keep that feeling of Small Town America in these crazy time !!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


So my mother-in-law is here for a week !! I get very conflicting feelings with her here to be honest . . . I love that . . . .

My Patio Window Has Never Been Cleaner !!!
My Fridge Has Never Been More Organized !!!
And My Laundry Is Neatly Stacked In Mis-Matched Piles !!!!
However I draw the lines when it comes to life lessons for my children. That is my job, Tom's job, and we are the one's sculpting the mindset of our two little ones. Which, in and amoungst itself, it a very scary thought !!
So last night, we were enjoying the wonderful weather and had dinner outside on our wonderful new patio table !! Talk is light, laughting etc. and Sammy asks, what do you think Robert (grandma's oldest grandson, Sammy's cousin from MN, 19 years old, and who has gotten in a little trouble for some graffiti issues at a skate park) does at work ? Abby pipes up without missing a beat "community service!" I almost died laugthing. We all laughted !!
So Sammy, ever so the question man that he is, asks "did that stay on his record." And I say, yes, it is on his permanent record. Anytime you do something to someone else or someone elses property it will be with you forever, so don't EVEN think about graffiti, because I will kill you. We all giggle, point spoken, point taken . . . everything you do has consequences so think before you do them !! End of story right. . . . WRONG !!
Grandma pipes in. . . in oh so important voice . . . "No, that's not right, Sharon (grandma's daughter, Roberts mom) said that they plea bargined and . . . "STOP - Carolyn" I shout as I give her the look of death !!! She continues, "no your wrong, Sharon said it will go away . . . "CAROLYN - STOP" this time Tom and I both say it at the same time . . . I look at Tom and give him the look of if you ever want another Saturday morning while the kids are at practice special, you better get her to stop !! "But the DA bargined and he won't" . . . "OH MY GOD - ENOUGH" . . . again Tom and I say it in unison . . this time Tom puts his hands out like calling a runner safe and says Mom, please. . . ok. . . I am not frickin' kiddin' this goes on for 3 minutes - - that woman wanted the last word no matter what !!! So final, during her last "he won't be in trouble" I yelled CAROLYN, I KNOW YOU WANT THE LAST WORD BUT SHUT UP - -NO MORE !!!
And with that, I turn to my ever so deer in the headlight looking son and say "Yes Sammy, it WILL stay on your permanent record !!!"
Am I gonna make it to Sunday. . . that is all I am asking here???????
Life Is Good !!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Welcome Back . . Where Did I Go . . .

Yes, I was all gungho to blog, and then bam. . . I didn't continue !! So here is my effort again !! I like Facebook, I like to talk (aka brag) about my kids and how much they mean to me, I like to express myself through photos and comments !!!

So we are just going to start today . . . and go from there !!! Who's with me . . . I know Gini is. . . anyone else wanna play . . . .

Today . . it was a mild 105 in Vegas today which means it was about 110 where we live and play !!! It was hot !! On top of that. . . we had an outdoor swim meet this weekend !! Usually, I am in love with outdoor swim meets because photos are so much better outside but this weekend, I could have passed !!

Sammy was sick Saturday with the 24 hour flu - yuck !!! He swam Sunday but really wasn't himself. Abby was trying for more Junior Olympic times - - came close - - dropped time - - just not enough !! So we leave this meet with Sammy max'd with JO times and Abby has 2 !!! Go kids !!

Here are some photos !!!
"Bring It To Me Water !!"
Great Start !!
See why I like outdoor photos !!!
Backstroke - - least favorite stroke !!
50 FLY - hung on to take 1st, but added a full second - - not feeling well !!
Just wanted to show him that he does has good form. . .
when he wants to !!!
So that was the weekend. . .full of sun, naps, swim friend fun, and lots of time on the computer !! Tom thinks I am addicted to the computer these days, but oh well, it makes me smile !! Grandma Beach is here - - Tom's mom - - for a week and then we head to the Summer Junior Olympics for a week !! Yippie !!!
My goal. . . to try and post when I can . . . stick with me !!!
Life is good !!!