Minecraft Party II

No, you did not miss a Minecraft Party I installment this week…this is simply the second Minecraft party I’ve hosted for my boys in the past 10 months.  Rocco has always loved everything Vincenzo does, so when hid older brother had a Minecraft party last September, Rocco was sold.

Great!  I thought.  I can use some of the decorations and activities again!

Sometimes I can be so naïve.

First of all, we don’t live in a house at the present moment so we had the party off site, at a bouncy house place.  There went all the activities I planned for Vincenzo’s party.

Second, we needed to buy plates, napkins, and plastic ware and I let Rocco choose the color and he picked teal everything because, he said, teal is the most Minecrafty color there is.

For those who have never seen Minecraft before, here’s a typical screenshot of the game:


So of course none of the brown and green decorations I had made for my older, more sensible child would do.  This, Rocco told me, was going to be a diamond Minecraft party.  That is so very Rocco.

Anyway, here are the pictures from our teal, not-at-home, six-year-old’s diamond Minecraft birthday party.

The food:


(Not pictured: 6 large pizzas, circular in nature and hence not officially recognized at this party.)

And if any of you remember the buffet wall being red with a giant hand sanitizer message hovering behind the buffet…


Then you must have been in the wrong party room.

I loved these little guys:


Rocco’s brothers had conveniently gifted him with Minecraft torches for his birthday, which ended up as table decorations:


(Pay no mind to the juice box at the far right—it got in trouble and had to face the wall for a bit.)

The cake(s):


Since there were 20 kids in attendance and about as many adults, I wanted something easy to grab and go.  These were fun and stress-free!  And if that evening the kids had a hard time falling asleep, it probably had nothing to do with the scoop of espresso I threw in the brownies.  That was for the parents.

The bouncing:


The favors:


The six-year-old:


He is one big little dude, and I’ll try to write more on him in a couple days.  All I need is a year or two to try to put this kid into a nutshell.

It’s summer.  Seriously, who cooks in summer?!


1. And here we see Leo, ready to go out for the day.  It was 90 degrees.


2. We went to my parents’ for Father’s Day and my mom had family pictures playing on her photo frame.  She said, “I know you—don’t sit there trying to count how many pictures there are of you and your siblings’ families.  I didn’t try to make it even, I just put in some random pictures.”  I told her with a gasp that I would never do such a thing.  Then I saw this picture board in her office that had a picture representing each of her kids’ families…except mine.  I took the liberty:


Please note the tear that is leaking from my eye as I stand there bravely smiling.

3. I keep telling Vincenzo not to use random objects for bookmarks, but yet he persists.  I find books laying around the house with things like spoons in them.  He finds books laying around like this:


4.  Usually when I go to the beach I feel very self-conscious about my short, athletic-looking legs in this city where it seems everyone is built like Taylor Swift.  The other day, however, I caught a glimpse of myself and thought, “Finally!”


5.  Vincenzo’s attempt to write down his friend’s gamer tag, which is spelled correctly but capitalized and spaced unfortunately:  WP_20150713_16_50_12_Pro

Wood-fired pizza at the farmer’s market, most likely

Moving Day

Guys, we did it!  We moved out of our house!  The remodel-that-will-never-happen is now the remodel-that-is-happening!

People keep saying, “I bet you are so excited for it to be done!”  I answer, “I’m just excited for it to begin!”  I’m sure I’ll be excited for it to be done at some point, but for now the beginning is enough to make me feel a little like a bride again.

We’re not adding much square footage to the house—just a total of about 30 feet that will buy us a foyer.  A small foyer, but a foyer nonetheless.  Now when someone sits down to put on their shoes, another person will also be able go up and down the stairs!  Or open the front door!  Maybe even both!!

No, the reason for our remodel is purely aesthetic.  We have a view of the lake but friends will visit us for a whole year before they say one day, “Hey, you have a view of the lake!”


See?  You didn’t even notice it, did you?

We are one day into our remodel, and it’s amazing the difference in the view already!

View before remodel:


View at end of day one:


Okay, okay, that’s a different view.  It’s actually the view from the condo where we’re staying, so technically it is our view at the end of day two.  I kind of feel like a jerk when people ask me if we’ll be moving into the basement for the remodel, washing our dishes in the bathroom sink, and I tell them that no, we are moving into my in-law’s vacant but fully furnished condo right on the lake, just a mile away from home and within walking distance to the boys’ school.

See?  I’m a jerk.

If it makes you feel better, I fell out of love with packing for the move by the end of our move.  We found out on Monday that we needed to be out by Wednesday, so my boxes went from being labeled by room and cupboard and drawer and spatula to, “RANDOM SH**!!!” 

I gave each of my boys a box and told them they could bring as many toys and books as they could fit in it.







He’s a bit of a minimalist.  Either that or is favorite activity is making his older brothers scream and he figured the best strategy was to bring no toys so he could take theirs instead to induce the screaming.

I did feel a tug on my heart to notice that Rocco’s box didn’t include a single train, or even a spare piece of railroad track.  *sniff*

Our general contractor brought vests and hard hats for the boys today and let them take the first crack at the wall.*  I was sorry we never found the time to paint, “TEAR DOWN THE WALL” on it, but still, it had the same feeling of liberation to it.


Vincenzo decided he needed some eye protection, so he went to the swim bag and…


Those goggles are like bad Chinese food.  They just keep coming back.

Anyway, by the end of day one…


The east and west sides of our house have been reunited, at long last!

It’s incredible how much happened in a day. In fact, I think the estimate of three months for the remodel is way off base.  At this rate, it looks like our remodel should be done in about two weeks!

I’ll start packing…

Mixed green salad with chicken, blue cheese, pecans, and raspberries
Whatever this is called:


I want to say…terrine?

*Written yesterday, published today

The Kids Are Being Quiet…

…so I’ll take a couple minutes to dump a bunch of pictures here, from the Fourth.

Killing time before the parade:


From the parade…seems legit:


The Seafair Pirates:


I personally felt they would be more believable if they ran around stealing all the kids’ stashes of parade candy.


I sent Kevin to the store to buy some goggles for the kids.  Now my kids look like this at the beach…


…and Kevin’s shopping privileges have been revoked.

Killing time before the fireworks show:


Killing more time before the fireworks show (it doesn’t get dark here until 10PM):


The unphotoshopped version of that last pic:


Me and my boo:


One for the scrapbooks:


Catch y’all later!

French dip sandwiches
Salad with apples, pecans, and blue cheese
Bull’s eye cheesecake

Everyone Loves Ponies

I love our town’s Fourth of July parade.  It’s the only time I call our town a “town.”  All the other days of the year it’s a city, but on the Fourth, as our family bumps into friends and teachers, grocery store cashiers and grandparents, all elbow-to-elbow along the street for the parade…it’s a town, and it’s a town that we all love together.

Okay enough of that.  So there we were, sitting at this year’s parade on the sidewalk, eating our sammiches when  this group that a banner announced as “Pony Party” started advancing down the street.  Before I could even ask the kids if they wanted a pony for Christmas this year, one of those ponies, it partied! In fact, it partied right in front of our very own group!  And by partied, I mean that it pooped.

This voice in my head started up:

Not to worry, folks, the pooper scooper is right on it…here he comes now…the scooper is in position…and…OHHHH!  Oh dear!  The poop did not scoop!  No, no!  Instead, in its place there is now a skid mark the size of…it’s the exact size of MrsMouthy’s family!  Right there on the road!  Well this sure adds some interest to our—oh my, the gymansts are coming now, and this year they are walking the entire parade route on their hands!


Okay, the gymnasts weren’t right behind the Pony Party, but poo was definitely an unwanted addition to many people’s parade floats this year.  As the parade continued, our side of the parade switched from waving and yelling, “Woo-hoo!” at the floats to wincing and groaning, “Ooooooh!” each time someone’s path lined up exactly with the skid mark.

There was also a lot of *click* *click* as I tried to get the perfect picture of someone stepping in pony poo.


Of course, right after that pony did its thang, the wind picked up, blowing east off the lake right to where we sat, so we watched the rest of the parade from inside a virtual fart bubble.

The parade had a lot of other memorable entries: WWII vets, Vietnam vets, POWs and MIAs, an Injured Veteran Golfing Club, the Dolorean Club, the Seafair Pirates firing off their canon, even some midwest high school band that the Grand Marshall flew in just for our parade.  Did I take any pictures of them?  Did I write more than two sentences about them?


It’s times like this that I really miss teaching junior high.

Hot dogs on the fire pit
Fresh fruit
Quinoa salad

Week In Review

Okay, it’s really a couple weeks, but here’s a little taste of what summer has been like for the Mouthies:

Went glamping with friends:


Harvested purple beans:


Beat up some kid in the park:


Sat on Gabe:


Rescued a baby bird


Rocked a surfer cut (hairstyle):


Lifted weights:


Built a house:


Burned things:


Rocked the surfer cut again:


Found time to just hang out…


(Their cousin did, anyway!)

…and also to just sit around:


And found more time to hang out.


Add about twenty things in, multiply by one million and you have the first two weeks of summer.

Happy Fourth, everyone!

Whatever “The Gomps” cooks up!