Friday, November 25, 2011

We Shop in the Middle of the Night Because We Can

Definition: Black Friday; The day of pure craziness!! Not intended for the weak of mind, body or soul.

For Brady: it really was to get a good deal.  He and Brad stood in line at Best Buy starting at 9:30 p.m. for a Midnight opening time.  He got the last one of an XBox bundle he's been eyeing for  awhile. (Xbox console, wireless remote, 1month free or XBox live, and 2 games) for $199.  Regular cost $395.  He got the last one out of 12 (he scoped them out the day before to see what his odds were).  He said there were no more left, and then a guy right next to him set one down and walked away.  He also reported than when the doors actually opened, the end of any sort of civility ended.  People were rushing the door and trampling others to get in.  (Push and Shove people, push and shove...) Brady said he dove through a small opening at the side of the door, and left Brad behind because he was too slow.
 (Brad's comment on this photo about 11:00 was, "I think he's sleeping in there. At least he's warm." -- It was bordering on freezing last night.)

The line extended further than the eye could see.  There were tents and all sorts of crazy stuff. You can see part of a tent in the top picture.  (Side Note: Not to be gross, but I hesitate to think what that wet spot on the ground is next to the tent... just thrown' that out there.)

For Afton: it was more of an experience than how much she was actually going to save. She and 4 of her best friends went out to the Gilroy Outlets between 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.  Although looking back that was probably a smart idea, seeing how Brady and I went back to the outlets at 10 a.m. -  Yeesh! I will NOT be doing that again anytime soon. YIKES! Pure chaos and NO parking!! (we did get Brady 3 pair of $10 jeans -- you can't beat that with a stick) Afton did say it was crazy in the wee hours, but at least they could find parking.

Afton, Cassie, Emily, Shaelyn, Nicole - lookin' good for the middle of the night!

 Apparently there was lots of hat trying...

This is the scene that greeted me when I woke up this morning at 7:30. (Shaelyn, Afton, Emily, Cassie and Nicole). 
Unfortunately something I learned about Black Friday and some of the crazies that are out there (that just might ruin such an experience for those of us that really want the items on sale) are those that buy it "just because" it's a good deal (or maybe out of the pure mania of it all).  In Zumies when we couldn't find the right size of shirts for Brady, the sales girl told us, "Unfortunately when there's a day like this people will come in and buy up everything, just because..."

I also saw this on a friend's Facebook status:
Black friday is just another excuse for impulse buying.
Some guy at target: "i bought two xboxes!! I dont really need them! I dont even really play games!" as he walks down the isle with a flat screen.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

...All that and a Bag of Chips

8th grade is a time of "mosts" - most athletic, most likely to succeed, most likely to become a hair model, most likely to join the circus... Brady might even win a few of those (I'll let you be the judge of which ones) And as fun and as silly as that is, the one that will forever stand out in my mind as a truly meaningful award, is one that was presented yesterday (never mind that I missed the awards ceremony, because I am senile and thought it was today - LAME mom award for me).  My Brady, my boy who hasn't had an easy go of it (faulty teachers, holes in his education, short attention span, inability to stay on task and possible a little bit of laziness) received the "Most Improved" award for all of the 8th grade.  He is currently getting straight B's.  People, don't judge. This is HUGE I tell ya! And I am so proud of that boy.  Last year he finally realized HE was in charge of his grades.  He was working to be on the honor roll so he could get a cell phone. Suddenly it wasn't the teacher's fault, or the kid sitting next to him, or the grass that got in his eye at recess.  If he wasn't doing well, he knew it was his own fault.  It didn't mean it became easy, it didn't mean there still weren't some crap teachers.  It meant that he knew he was in charge.  Last year he also gave up his PE period (hard for someone who needs a physical outlet) to take a special class called "Read 180"(do you get it? It's supposed to turn a students reading around 180 degrees) For Brady it worked.  He was able to fill in some gaps, read consistently and work hard on his comprehension.  Only he and one other kid tested out by the end of the year.  I also see a direct correlation between this class and the improvement he made on his CST's.  The improvement was dramatic.  His scores even went up in Math and Science.  No doubt because he could read and understand the directions and the problems better.

I just had conferences with his teachers last week, and with the exception of the, "Brady has a hard time staying on task" comments. And the, "Brady likes to do things that make people laugh" comments. They all said Brady is in pretty good shape.  Tears are springing to my eyes. This boy makes me proud, this boy makes me happy, this boy IS all that and a bag of chips!

(Amazingly enough, he also got the "Advanced Reader" Award - Go Brady!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In the Interim

So, while you're all anxiously awaiting my next post... which I'm working on and will be coming soon {... silent cheers of joy...), could you all please go make some comment on my last post.  I thought it was a great post, but because of the lack of comments my delicate ego has taken a beating. 2 comments... that's all I got??? 2! The cute pictures alone should illicit more than that, don't you think?  Go take another look, I'm sure you will agree.
(Annette and Erin, you're exempt... unless, of course, you feel compelled.)

Ok, I'm really just kidding... (mostly)
And to show you I'm not (that) vain, I'm posting the following picture in all it's glory, untouched and at it's largest possible size. This is quite possibly the worst picture EVER taken of me!

Be nice.

Holy Honk! Who is that beast?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stefani's Top 5 - Brown Eyes

So you may or may not be paying close enough attention to my blog to know that my birthday week I was going to blog everyday about some of my "favorite" things.  We'll my plans got a little derailed by, among other things, this project. (I'll write more about that another time)

There are a lot of little things in life that just thrill me. Things like color, light and shadow, scriptures about being cheerful, animals, the sound of the ocean, paper, etc. Call me crazy, but another thing that gives me great satisfaction is deep, dark, brown eyes that sparkle. I notice them a lot - but it helps if I have some other sort of connection to the person.  So without further adieu. Here are my top 5 favorite brown-eyed people.

1. Justin Bieber - I think eyes of any color sparkle when that person is happy, and enjoying him/herself.  I think Justin has a god given talent that he is maximizing.  It may be hard sometimes, but he is truly doing what he was meant to do.  It shows in his eyes
 2. Kris Allen - Um, ya... if you know me at all, this is a no brainer.

3. Johnny Depp - I struggled a little bit with this one.  It's really Captain Jack Sparrow that I always notice the sparkly dark eye on, but since Jack isn't a real person I decided to go with Johnny.

4. Mr. Darcy - Ok, I just contradicted myself.  Mr. Darcy is also fictional and I have absolutely no problem also putting Colin Firth as number 4. But this particular scene in Pride and Prejudice is the absolute perfect example of what eyes do when the person they are attached to is happy, content, in love.  Colin Firth (as is a universal truth, we can all agree on) did a fabulous job portraying the grumpy, albeit, misunderstood Mr. Darcy.  This is the first time where we see him letting himself acknowledge his contentment in the presence of Elizabeth Bennett.  {...collective sigh...}

5. David Boreanaz - Again, if you know me at all, you know I've been a dedicated Bones fan since season one (we've just started season 7).  David Boreanaz plays FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth.  I don't know if they do something extra special with the lighting or something, but this guys eyes sparkle all the time.  When he's serious, when he's intense, when he's being funny and especially when he's happy.  If it's not the lighting - he is lucky to have that set of peepers. And I'm lucky to be able to pop in a CD (or go to Netflix instant play) and view them any time I want.

6. Brad Meyer - So he pretty much rivals any of the above individuals and he belongs to me.  Isn't he beautiful? Did I mention he's mine? 

And just as an extra, extra bonus here's Brad's alter ego Robert Downey Jr. Oh ya, look at those eyes.

So don't you love that I say "Top 5" but I always do more than that. But that's just how I roll.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Schizophrenic Halloween

Apparently our family is very indecisive about their Halloween costumes. Either that or we just have multiple personalities that all see Halloween as an opportunity to make an appearance.

Brady's first alter ego
Neon Man or Fluorescent Boy

Afton's inner desire
To become an 80's Prom Queen

Brad and Stef not too far of a stretch:
Mr. and Mrs. Used Car Salescouple (my favorite part other than the authentic plaid pants, is the lobster tie)

Nerdly P. Sterdly
is what Afton went by for Trunk or Treat

Neato Bandito
How do you say Trick or Treat in Spanish?

Glowing Dreadlocks (which really looked more like a Jellyfish) and strobe lighted fingertip gloves.  Became more intense and annoying as the sun went down.  (I'm talking about the lights, not Brad's personality. HA!)

 Here are some other costumes that made me very, very happy.
 Catherine Nordstrom (age 11) had this fantastic costume.  This seriously looked like a real dude carrying her around. Leave it to the Nordstrom's to always have fun and creative costumes.

The Eggers Family 
Gru and his Minions from Despicable Me
Boogie Fever anyone?

Jared and Melissa Howard
White Trash Couple
I wish you could get the full effect of the mullet wig. So fun!

We all made quite the candy haul. Well, Afton and Brady really. But that translates into Brad and I getting our fair share of the loot too.

I read on someone's Facebook status that her daughter was allergic to peanuts so she had to eat all her peanut butter cups for her.  I decided that my kids are allergic to Twix.
Here's my other alter ego: The pink witch with fluffy flying goggles.  Yes, there's a reason why this picture is small.  But it was necessary for you to know that I dressed up as more than one thing as well. (I had a hat, pink boa and tie-dye tights, but that picture was even worse than this one. So deal with it :)