Thursday, September 25, 2008


I got my first (and probably only) blog award! Seeing as how I only blog for friends and family to know what is going on in our lives and to see pics of the kids, I do not expect awards. However, getting an award is always fun and makes me feel oh so special!


The rule upon receiving the award is that I then bestow the it on 7 other bloggers but since I don't read 7 other blogs, I am going to nominate the ones I do read (and therefore, obviously love, or else why would I read them??)

I hereby bequeath you the I Love Your Blog award!! Rock on ladies!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My new favorite thing and the Creston Classic Rodeo

And no, my new favorite thing is not the Creston Rodeo.
I recently discovered Picnik. It is a photo editing website that is free and easy and the best part is that I don't have to download anything so I can play around on it at work! Oops, I mean I can play around on it at home but never ever do anything like that at work (cough cough).

We went to the rodeo in Creston a few weekends ago. Never heard of Creston California? That surprises me!! I mean, after all, it is famous for.... okay, nothing. It is famous for nothing. It is a blip on the map. A blink and you miss it town. But, once a year they hold a rodeo and the kids have been dying to go to one (and I was not about to pay over 25 bucks a ticket for them to see the rodeo at the fair this year). I grew up going to the rodeo in Hailey, Idaho and have very fond memories so I definitely wanted my kids to exeperience it at as well.

So, I decked them out in their cowboy hats (yes they both have them) and off we went, with mom, Ryan and the foster boys in tow.

It was hotter than hot, dusty, dirty and FUN! The kids really enjoyed it and I was in photo heaven! The best party was what they called Mutton Bustin'. Basically, little kids don their bike helmets and climb on top of a sheep and hold on for dear life while the sheep runs around the arena. It was hilarious!! Riley said he wanted to do it next year!

Here are the photos from the rodeo that I enhanced using Picnik (remember, my new favorite thing?):

This one of Bella is my absolute FAVORITE picture at the moment. A fair entry for sure!

And here are some other fun pics from the rodeo:

Tired after a long, fun filled day!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Play soccer and Go Camping

Riley is playing soccer with AYSO again this year and Ryan is coaching the team. They are calling themselves the Fire Breathing Dragons. Be afraid, be very afraid!!
We have had two games so far. The first game was great, we scored 4 goals in the first half but then our team puttered out (yes, it was 100 degrees so they had an excuse) and the other team came back to score 5 goals and win the game.

The second game was another story. Let's just say we got spanked, big time! They won 14-2. I swear one of the kids on that team was a professional, he was HEADING the ball!! At 7 years old!! I was impressed. Hopefully our next game will go better. But, as long as Ryan and the boys are having fun, it doesn't matter if we ever win a game!

Riley and his buddy Zack

Riley and his best friend, Lucas

For Labor Day weekend, we went on our first and last camping trip of the summer. We spent the long, hot 3 day weekend at Lake San Antonio with our friends, The Climers. We had a great time! The lake water was the perfect temp, the kids had a blast out on the jet skiis and splashing around in the water! Here is a slide show of photos from the trip. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another day, another first

This time, it was Bella's turn to start school. Tuesday, 9-2 was Bella and my foster son's (S) first day of preschool! They are going to a wonderful preschool here called Stars. I love the school, great classrooms with lots of different activities, nice teachers and an awesome playground that is shaded (super important during our 100 degree summers).

Bella was very nervous. She picked out her outfit for the day (princess shirt hooray!), got her backpack and lunch box and we headed off! Ryan and I took both Bella and S to school. Neither of us would miss it for the world!

We took Bella into her class, introduced her to the teacher and showed her around. The teacher showed her where her cubby was and had her sit down to do a project. There were two other girls at the table and poor Bella wouldn't even look at them! After she finished her project we looked at some of the other toys in the room and we hit the jackpot, a box full of HORSES! Bella was so excited when she found that. Another little girl came over to play with her and Ryan and I knew that it was time for us to go! We have Bella a big kiss and let her go on her way.

And no, I did NOT cry! I am saving that for kindergarten.

After school, Ryan picked them up and asked Bella how she did. She said she cried at naptime because she missed us. Otherwise, she said she had fun. We took a special blankie with her the next day for her to cuddle with at nap and she was so excited when she came home and said she didn't cry!
She likes it now, still shy but slowly opening up and having fun! Another great thing about this school is that two of my coworkers both have children in Bella's class!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Has anyone seen my son?

You may remember back in July my family and our friends, The Climers, took a trip to Santa Monica and Malibu for a photoshoot and some fun family time. The photoshoot was for Seasons, Ltd., the makers of Halloween costumes. Riley and his best friend, Lucas Climer, were in the shoot and each modeled at least 9 or 10 costumes... I dunno exactly, I lost count. Riley modeled a policeman, an army dude, a werewolf, a cowboy, an alien, the grim reaper, a skeleton, hmmm, what else. I don't honestly remember. What can I say? It was hot, there were lots of kids running around, lots of costumes and it was hot. The photos are going to be used for all the packaging and advertisements for the costumes.

The shoot itself was an interesting experience. The two other shoots Riley has done have been for Baby Couture magazine and were outside. This one was in studio, or rather, in a trailer that they call a studio where the fuses blew every 5 minutes and no one knew what was going on. I think the poor hair and makeup girl was ready to walk out because it was so chaotic. Are they always like that? I wouldn't know. Riley and Lucas had fun but got bored after awhile and were really ready to be done after costume 7 or 8. It was a loong day, we got there at 8:30 and left at 5:30. Yes, we got paid and yes, they fed us but it was still a looong day!

Okay, so here is my problem and here is where I need YOUR help! I cannot find the costumes he modeled anywhere! And by anywhere I mean every online costume retailer on the net. The director of the shoot said that they would be in Target, KMart, WalMart, etc. Granted, none of those stores have their costumes out yet, but I went to all of their websites and browsed the costumes they have and none of them are Riley and Lucas!

Can you please help me by checking costumes when you go to a retailer? I am soo anxious to see the packaging with Riley's adorable face! If you don't remember, or don't know, what Riley looks like click here.

Thanks for you help locating my little cowboy, policeman, werewolf, army dude, grim reaper, etc etc etc!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ready or not

Monday, September 2nd was a big day in the Swarthout house. Riley started 2nd grade and one of our foster sons started first grade.

The morning was a bit hectic. We had been in San Diego that weekend and got home pretty late Sunday night. The kids were tired. Ryan and I were tired. But, we had to do what we had to do!

We are very happy with Riley's teacher. She is the one we had really liked when we did open house last year so we asked Riley's 1st grade teacher to put him in her class. And wouldn't you know it, his 2 best friends just happen to be in the same class! The teacher must have been forwarned about the three of them because she had them sitting on opposite sides of class (smart lady).

Our foster son, J, had the same teacher that Riley had last year. We really liked her too. She was very patient with J on the first day, seeing that he was very nervous and shy. This was a new school for him and with all the changes he has had in his life in the past few months, we wanted this transition to go smoothly. He seemed to like the class and has said he likes the teacher and is making friends!

I can post pics of Riley but cannot post pics of J. So here they are:

Riley and Lucas