Saturday, August 15, 2009

Aaron's Jedi Training Camp Party

Despite the fact that Aaron has never actually seen any of the Star Wars movies, when I asked him what kind of party he wanted for his 5th birthday, without hesitation he said, "Star Wars!" It never ceases to amaze me how every boy age 3 and up seems to instictively know who Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and even Princess Leia are, despite having never actually seen the movies. I credit various Lego tie-ins and video games for the obvious familiarity, although ironically, Aaron really doesn't have any of those things, either. However, the 4 best friends that Aaron had at his party today certainly know all about Legos and video games and have generously shared their wisdom with their less-experienced friend. So, a Star Wars-themed party it was--and our Jedi Training Camp was a huge success!

After arriving at the Training Camp, Jedi Master Coombs introduced them to the first of their training missions--finding their Light Sabers. Following a trail of carefully placed clues throughout the house, the 5 Padawans soon found their weapons and were thrilled to try them out on one another. Jedi Master Coombs had his hands full trying to teach them the "Jedi Rules of Conduct," such as "Only hit the light saber, not the person," and "No head shots!" Luckily, we started with 5 boys and ended with 5 boys, so no young Jedis were harmed too much in the exercise.

The Jedis-in-training were then taken outside for some target practice with captured Storm Trooper pistols (aka Jon's airsoft guns)--the 5 boys did remarkably well, and since the goal was hitting a target and not each other, this activity seemed slightly less likely to inflict any harm on anyone.

Following all of this training, it was time to see how well they could use the Force by playing a "Pin the Tail On the Donkey"-like game where the object was hitting various Imperial ships while blindfolded. While all managed to hit at least one target, Colton was the final winner, having managed to secure the most points in the exercise. Way to use the force, Colton!

Finally, all their training for the day was put to good use as they battled it out against the Death Star--a candy-filled pinata that succumbed to the obvious skills of the newest Jedi Masters.
Once the Death Star was eliminated, the young Jedis headed to base camp to fill up on pizza, grapes, and chocolate cupcakes--favorite foods of all newly-trained Jedi.

The party turned out great and everyone had a wonderful time. I have to admit, though, that throwing a party for boys is MUCH different than throwing a girl party. Despite the fact that Aaron's party only had 5 boys in attendance, it was 10 times crazier than Sarah's Princess party last April, where 9 little girls and Aaron attended. But despite the overabundance of Jedi energy, we all survived our day of Jedi training and loved every minute of it.


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Monday, August 03, 2009

A Sarah Gem

I just had to share a cute Sarah-ism with you all. Even though she's always saying darling things, I rarely get around to sharing them with you. (I know, that's just so selfish of me.)

So, in humble penitence, I send you this gem.

Anyway, Princess Sarah Coombs (as she prefers to be known) loves playing imaginatively with her Little People and other "people" toys (Barbie, etc.) On Friday, she was playing by herself with her King, Barbie, and a little Noah figure. They were all going to a party, apparently on Noah's boat.

The following conversation ensued:
King (to Barbie): So, where is Tiger Lily?
Barbie: Tiger Lily? Oh, she can't make it?
King: Why not? Where is she?
Barbie: Oh, she's far away. Far across the sea...Given this land...if she lives....righteously.

Sarah never skipped a beat. I, on the other hand, watching from across the room, almost fell out of my chair giggling. I hope you enjoyed!

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Aaron--the BIG Kindergartner!

So much to blog, and so little time! I guess I'll have to catch you all up on our fun summer vacation/family reunion stuff a little later, because the big news this week has been Aaron's starting kindergarten!

Last Thursday, July 30th, Aaron started his first day of Kindergarten at Cambridge Academy, a new charter school that just opened up this year, and we couldn't be more thrilled. His teacher, Mrs. Romm, seems great and Aaron has loved his first few days at school. Aaron is also lucky to be starting school with a lot of his friends from church, too, including one of his best friends, Matthew Rose, who ended up in his same class. I'm looking forward to getting involved as a parent volunteer at the school, as well--sometimes I don't know who is more excited, him or me! Anyway, I've been loving seeing my big boy grow up, and unlike some of my sappier friends, I haven't shed any tears--I've just been having too much fun!

Monday, June 08, 2009

It's a Date!

Jon and I decided to start our first official day of vacation with special Father/Son and Mommy/Daughter Dates! Jon took Aaron to see Up!, his first offical movie in the theater--so exciting!--while I took Sarah over to Build-a-Bear so she could create her very own teddy bear. Sarah, being the ultimate girly-girl that she is, picked a white bear covered in rainbows and decided to dress her bear in a frilly pink ballerina outfit. Of course, just as we were checking out, Sarah became quite adament that her bear also needed a purse, so she got a cute "make-up bag" purse with all sorts of teddy-bear appropriate make-up. Sarah was in heaven and spent the rest of our time at the mall applying her pretend makeup to "Rainbow" (her bear's name). In fact, she really hasn't stopped all day. =) It was such a fun day for us all, we'll have to make sure to make a tradition of these date-days! It's a date!

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Summer Kickoff--Memorial Day!

Summer is here! Yaayy!! Jon finished his last day of school on Thursday, so we are officially "on vacation" now.

Summer really kicked off, however, on Memorial Day, the official starting day of Summer. Jon started the day by helping the Scouts put up flags for their fundraiser project throughout the neighborhood--it helped us all remember why we celebrate and all the extraordinary service men who sacrificed so much for us to have the freedoms and blessings we enjoy. Thank you to you all. Later, we celebrated with our friends at a pool party/BBQ at the Roses. It was a great relaxing day that reminded us that summer had officially begun!

Hilari, Rebekah, me, Kristen (Rebekah's sister from California), and Tami--just relaxing in the shade.

Jon enjoyed the pool as much as the kids.

Sarah and Aaron wax patriotic as they admire the flag in our front yard for Memorial Day.

The weather was so nice, we finished the night with a nice long walk through the neighborhood, admiring all the flags.

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High Priest Jon

Yesterday, Jon was ordained a high priest in our church as he was called to be the Second Assistant in the High Priest Group Leadership. It was kind of an unexpected and weighty calling, but Jon has a willing and faithful heart eager to serve. Jon's dad came down from Utah to perform the ordination, and it was one of the most special blessings I have ever heard. Now that Jon is officially a high priest, though, I have loved teasing him about being so "old" and how he can now start sleeping in Sacrament Meeting. (Joking, of course!)

One of the things Jon was asked to do because of his leadership role within high priests was to shave off his goatie. I had to make sure I got one last picture right before he went to shave it off. While I was in mourning at first, I have to admit, I really like the new clean-shaven Jon!

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Peach Pickin' at Schnepf Farms!

One of the best highlights about living out here in Queen Creek is our proximity to Schnepf Farms (think a 1950's pre-amusement park version of Knott's Berry Farm), especially during late Spring/early Summer, because that is when their peach trees start weighing down under the weight of the juiciest peaches ever and we get to go enjoy a morning picking our own peaches to take home and create various culinary delights.

So, Saturday we decided to go pick our annual peaches with the Roses, but when we got there, the place was PACKED. That's when we realized that it wasn't just pick-your-own peaches time, it was their annual Peach Festival, complete with hay rides to the peach orchards, a petting zoo, fun vendors, and yummy samples. Although the cost was $2.00 per person to get in (we hadn't planned on spending any admissions fees to pick our peaches), we decided to make a full morning of it and had a blast. Two hours later, with sticky faces and fingers and borderline sunburns, we left the farm with a huge box of delicious hand-picked peaches that later became an amazingly tasty peach cobbler that we shared with the Roses and Howards Sunday night.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sarah!!

The end of April brought our last great event for the month--Sarah's 3rd Birthday! Sarah LOVES her birthday and couldn't wait to have a real birthday party this year, so we threw Sarah her very own Princess Party. Sarah invited 8 little girls (two came a little late, so they weren't in the pic above), who all came dressed up as their favorite princess. Not to be excluded, Aaron came dressed as a knight and I came dressed as the Queen, of course. We had a perfectly girly-girl party with princess games and crown-decorating and a flower-shaped pinata. Sarah specifically requested chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting, so I made sure she got them. All the girls got to leave with goody-bags filled with princess jewelery and their loot from the pinata. There were so many cute pictures I decided to post a slide show along with a few pics here. Overall, the party was a HUGE success and all the girls (myself included) had a great time. Sarah is still wondering why it's taking so long for her birthday to come around again!

Oh, and a little note to go along with my super-big girl--Sarah also was potty-trained back in March! No more diapers for me!! Yes, that's two for two. Life sure is good! =)

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Master Jon!

Congratulations, Jon!! On Friday, April 17, Jon officially graduated with his Masters in Educational Counseling from Ottawa University. It was an amazing graduation ceremony and even Dad Coombs, who was very hesitant about going to a non-BYU graduation ceremony since he expected it to be a raucous and irreverant affair, was very impressed with the wise words of wisdom proffered by their University President. I was especially affected by his comments that we should all strive for a life of significance, not just success. I actually left feeling very inspired by some of the insightful comments made that night.

Anyway, we were all very proud of Master Jon. We even made up a cheer--"S-M-R-T--you are smart!" Okay, so the rest of us don't have our Masters, yet. =) The Roses, Howards, Browns, and Mom and Dad Coombs all came to celebrate the occasion with us, making the event even more special. After the ceremony we headed to Claim Jumper, where Jon and I got to share our favorite dessert--the chocolate chip calzone. That's when we knew it was a true event!

I included the first picture below, even though you really can't see Jon (he's in it, though!), just to give you an idea of what the ceremony looked like. I still get teary every time I hear Pomp and Circumstance play!

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Grandma and Grandpa at the Zoo

Mom and Dad Coombs came down from St. George to help celebrate Jon's graduation, so we decided to enjoy a day at the Phoenix Zoo with them while they were here! The kids LOVED being with their grandparents, and the weather was perfect for a fun trip to the zoo. Grandpa had a great time stopping at every snack stand he saw buying a new treat every 25 minutes--from sno cones to churros, our kids were quite happy during the trip. I think Grandma and Grandpa were quite happy, too, since being "on vacation" gave them a few more cheats from their normal uber-strict diet restrictions.
The only damper to the day was that we broke our beloved camera, so these were the last pics with our old camera. In fact, the last pic I posted (the really dark one) was the very last picture our camera ever took. Word to the wise--be VERY careful when handing your camera to someone else, especially when the camera is on. Open lenses are not very forgiving when dropped on hard cement. (Don't worry, we have since that time replaced our camera, so the pics will still keep coming!)