Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you. The highest courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity. Choosing right over wrong, ethic over convenience, and truth over popularity ... these are choices that measure your life. Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas! Love: The Hunter's

**Ok after a week of trying, I am conceding to the fact this isn't going to work as a video upload....AAAHHH FRUSTRATING! I am assuming the video is too large even zipped, so I will have to just provide the link. Merry Christmas Everyone, I can't tell you how much fun we had making this! I haven't laughed this hard in a long time! :) Make sure you click on the link, it is so worth watching!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, we sure did! 2011 was a great year, filled with crazy, busy, chaos, great memories, lots of love, many laughs, exciting vacations, and fun 1sts! I can't believe how quickly it flew by and I am so excited for 2012...and all my unrealistic OCD resolutions :) Hal and I celebrated our 15 year anniversary and wow how time flies when you are being spoiled! :) I forget I am old and my kids are half grown until I see a picture of us!

Hal survived another year of Retail which is no small feat let me tell ya! He continues to be an amazing husband and father and works tirelessly to provide for us in every way. He had some fun times along the way, and never missed a moment to play a prank if the opportunity presented itself to him! He has dusted off the passion box for collecting baseball cards and has really enjoyed growing his collection with his best bud Drew!
Tab survived another year of taxiing teenagers, juggling practices, and stayed ornery and sassy! I am still making bows, working at the County part time, and being OCD where ever and when ever possible! I am keeping up with the "Butterton's" title with my baking, and being crafty whenever I find a spare moment (ok not too often). I am really enjoying these crazy girls and their teenage antics and loving every minute of the baseball grind! Being a Wife and a Mommy truly fulfills all my dreams...I wouldn't change a thing!
Haliee turned the big 13 this year! WOW! Incredible how time flies! Of course it was quite the production, would you expect anything less of me? She attended her 2nd real concert of her life screeching and drooling over her ridiculous crush Mr. Cody Robert Simpson of whom she has betrothed herself too {along with about 3 million other girls}, maintained her honor roll status with excellent grades, found her passion for Volleyball now supersedes Softball and is looking to join a travel team, and certainly made her entrance into this world as a teenager! Sassy like her Momma, Grounded and Levelheaded like her Daddy, she is a hot mess this girl! Loud Music, TOO much junk food, and friends 24/7...makeovers, and dance parties are the norm around here full time! Don't leave your plate of food unattended, these girls will eat it! They are savages!!!! She is growing way too quickly but is such a wonderful young lady! Such a joy mixed with a little payback when she whines "Daddeeee" to get her way!
Andrew is in 5th Grade this year, he rules the School and definitely has swagger! He took eat.sleep.baseball. to a new level this year. Between Little League, Norsemen Travel Team, and making All-Stars, we literally lived at the fields 6 - 7 days a week April - July, when he decided to join a fall ball team, ya know, cuz he can! It was a great way to wind down the year and super low key! His passion for Baseball is definitely over the top, and we are loving watching him grow and excel! I am so proud of the little guy he is becoming, he is obsessed with baseball no doubt, but still maintains straight A's, is a great friend, super sweet and mostly patient with the Grimmett Girls and could not be closer to his sister if he tried. He has adopted Heather as his sis as well and they too are pretty close! My little bobble head boy no more...he grew 3 sizes this year and is quite the man child! Weighing in over a 100 lbs. and wearing a size 8 man's shoe, he is getting so big! It is precious and priceless to watch the bond between Drew and Daddy, an added gift for me!

I am so excited for 2012, the only real important resolution not to be broken for me is to soak it all in. I will be taking Haliee to High School and Drewy to Middle School...and I can't figure out where they hid my babies...Bittersweet for sure, I will do my best to slow down and just live every moment to the fullest.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Black Friday!

This year Kohl's opened at Midnight as I am sure most of you know. Great for crazy shoppers, not so great for associates and their families! We had to modify our Thanksgiving holiday so Hal could at least attempt a nap before going to work at 10 pm to ready the store for chaos! I had been planning these cookies for several days working on them in my so not spare time and when he was at work or sleeping. I wanted to surprise him with these on black friday. It was my 1st attempt at royal icing and I learned alot. They were super fun to create and I am not happy with their final look but I will accept them as my 1st attempt at perfection. Everyone has been bugging me to see them so here they are! They made Hal smile so I achieved my goal even if I was unable to make them "perfect" as I had hoped!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A bet is a bet...

Of course this baseball loving family was glued to the TV for the World Series. That goes without saying...well Haliee is a bit burnt out, but...the rest of us are now so sad it is over. What would make it more complete without a friendly little wager? Up until now Drew had pretty much agreed with his Dad on everything. He liked the teams Hal liked, had most of the same opinions in general. But, part of growing up is forming your own opinions, having your own interests, developing your own personality. All of these things good right, we all strive to raise self-confident, driven, world changing adults...EXCEPT HAL, LOLOL! He is having a hard time with his son rooting for his own team! Obviously the poor Mariner's are not one of this years contenders. We had not wanted Texas to win as they are in our division hence being one of our rivals. But, As the end drew nearer, the Hunter Men were divided. Drew's best friend's family are Cardinal Fans, his Dad coming from St. Louis area, so Drew chose St. Louis. Hal chose Texas and was not impressed with his son's choice to vote differently. :) So...a bet ensued.

The stakes:
The Loser was to purchase for the winner: A pack of Baseball Cards, and the winner was able to spray the loser with sparkling cider!
This was mostly fun...they only were crabby a few dozen times! :) They were hilariously running their trash talk and I was unbiased although, I was really hoping Drew would win so I could see Hal be sprayed with cider!

The Verdict:
You can guess how impressed Daddy was with this outcome! I made him wait until the next morning so I could record it in the daylight, so he came up to our room dinging a fork on the bottle letting Hal know it was time to face his inevitable fate! He tried to manipulate Drew into welching on the bet telling him he would never spray Drew with cider, ha! YEAH RIGHT! Go Drewy! This was so hilarious! Be sure to pause the music & enjoy, as you can tell I thoroughly did!!!
video
Finally, some random pictures found on my camera of my favorite girl :) LOVE HER!

Hal's Special Dinner for Us

A few weeks ago I was in Kohl's Hal asked if we had plans Sunday Evening & when I answered No told me he needed like $40 by Friday for dinner plans on Sunday. So I agreed and asked him what we were doing. He said "it's a surprise". Now, being the Snobby Tabby I am thinking what could we all possibly do for dinner for a family of 4 for this price. I was assuming some kind of spaghetti fundraiser or something. So I am giving him all kinds of crap about it, and he is not even budging. It is a surprise, you will like it, he says...I am skeptical. A few minutes later this young kid who works for him walks up *whom I had never met, and didn't know who I was*BONUS* and asks Hal, "Hey, did you ever buy any MRE's and try them with your family?" HA! I turned to Hal who looked like he had seen a ghost and said, "THIS IS MY DINNER OUT??" It was hilarious! Trying to pull one over on Tabby...HA.Ha.Ha.HA! The kid apologized to Hal who will likely never let him live it down and I quickly thanked him & shook his hand for letting the cat out of the bag! :) HE HE HE! (I actually really like surprises since I am such a control freak, but...this was funny)

So for the next few days, I roused Hal and picked at him about this special Sunday Evening Feast! Ever since he went on that Military Day he has been telling me he was going to buy some for us to try. He said they were actually quite good and a fun experience.

On the menu:
  • Beef Ravioli
  • Chicken with Feta
  • BBQ Pork Ribs
  • Chili Macaroni
  • Chicken and Rice
We decided to have a smorgasbord so we could all try everything. I cannot believe how much food they give you. I mean along with your main course: cookies, crackers, trail mix, candy, peanut butter, jelly, bread (which I seriously would buy in the store on purpose it was so good), jerky, coffee, gatorade, kool-aid, cider, mocha, even tiny little tabasco bottles, salt, pepper. You name it, it is in these puppies! They are like 3,000 calories each to sustain our troops in combat. Sometimes this is the only meal they receive during war times. The creepiest part is their daily toilet paper rations and the glycerin gum as I am told the meals can constipate if eaten several days in a row. Yet another reason to thank our troops people!

They were so fun to prepare. They come with this little self heating unit you add like a few tablespoons of water to activate and boy it gets boiling hot almost instantly. You place the main dish in it and in about 10 minutes, dinner is served. They have little bags to mix your drinks in, Hal cheated and grabbed glasses and water bottles. Okay, I was so not even looking forward to eating these. I am NOT a processed food kinda gal. I hate pretty much anything canned or processed, it is terrible for you, it tastes about the same, need I say more? YUCK! Anyway, they were about what you expected. The macaroni and raviolis were like chefboyrdeeish not too bad. The rib was like a mcrib seriously, pretty much just like it. The chicken and rice was like a progresso soup. The chicken and feta which Hal got for me was actually pretty good. It was by far my favorite. It was a chunk of chicken breast which was similar to canned chicken so flaky and as fresh as can be expected. The feta was in a tomato watery base and Hal and the kids couldn't handle it lol! Hal couldn't even look at it as imagine a chunk of chicken breast in a watery feta chunked tomatoish broth. Not too visually appealing. It reeked of Feta, which I enjoyed but I stood alone on that one. Drew and Heather atleast tried it (good job guys!) Haliee and Hal, wouldn't even try. WUSSES!

The verdict: It was better than I expected. Still highly processed and not remotely gourmet. But, in a disaster or in a position of need, these things would be awesome and quite good if fresh was not an option.

The experience: PRICELESS! This was the very most fun I have ever had at dinner. We laughed til we cried, we had SO.MUCH.FUN! Thank you honey, sorry I doubted you! I LOVE YOU for caring about our troops and broadening our horizons! Thanks for making memories for our family! :)

Halloween 2011

This year for Halloween Haliee & Heather decided to make their costumes and be matchy match Cody Simpson loving glow in the dark fairies! They made their own tutus, wands, headpieces, and tees! They have a little more respect for the time I put into making tutus now! About 1/3 of the way into it they were begging me to finish them! :) It all turned out super cute!

I caved and let Heather sleep over Halloween Eve. Here they are sporting their awesome tee's and eating their special Halloween Morning pancakes & Orange Julius :) After 3 takes, their is a cute pic without one of them being a stinker! Love these little hot messes!
Halloween Treats for my favorites :)
A bittersweet morning for my last Elementary School Parade. :( *SNIFF*
Couldn't forget my Zoe-Bug Zebra!
Isn't his friend John's Zoot Suit CUTE! LOVE the Mobster idea!
Haliee decided to go with Heather's family trick or treating this year as we were going out to Hal's Bosses house. I agreed so long as I got some good pictures of them. Here is what Haliee provided me....GRRR....she swears there are more coming from Heather's Momma!
And my crazy creative son...Can you guess what he is this year??? After much deliberation and internet surfing for ideas. Here is what he decided on (those are little sponges, hard to tell in the pictures). He didn't want a traditional costume this year. He is so funny & witty! I LOVE him!
Meet Mr. "Self-Absorbed"!!!!!!!!
Hilarious!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Letters...


Now that school has been back in session 6+ weeks, don't you think it's the perfect time to blog about the last week of school from last year!?! I'm movin' on up...

The last week of School Haliee and Drew both came home with these awesome notes from everyone on their classrooms. Each kid who could choose to remain anonymous had written to them about what that particular person thought of them. The only rules they were given was it had to be a nice comment, & it could not just be one word like "hi" something like that. Some teachers did this the previous year and I LOVE how it has blossomed to more classes and schools. What a great way to end the year. I also love every kiddo gets to feel special with kind words written to them.

I had tears in my eyes reading all the wonderful words written to my kids. I mean I know they are pretty great, in fact, I think they are seriously PERFECT! However, to read words written from peers their own age, it made me so proud. I expected them to have several generic "you are cool" or "you are fun" you know, not personal...but no, they were all super descriptive and just plain sweet. I saved these for the ever growing boxes in my garage of keepsakes from their childhood but I wanted to post a few here as well. Way to go teachers for this idea! I am so glad my kiddos are sharing their love and friendship with the world.

Here are a few of my favorites written to Haliee:

Dear Haliee,
You are a cute, beautiful, funny human being. I am proud to be your friend especially for so many years. I love your personality. Your hair is beautiful. You are so smart. Don't ever lower your standards, you are a born leader.

To Haliee Hunter:
You are always smiling, responsible, and independent. You are strong in character, outgoing, and compassionate and caring to others.

Haliee,
You are always fun when I am around. You are really pretty and I look up to you. I hope to always be your friend.

Haliee H.:
You are amazing Haliee. You are one of a kind and have a great personality. You are hilarious, nice, and outgoing. You're always smiling, always positive, and friendly.

To: Haliee
You are really smart and creative. You're witty, outgoing, and a great friend to everyone.

To: Haliee
You are nice, comfortable, and a true leader.

To: Haliee
You are intelligent, responsible, confident, one of a kind, hilarious, and honest.

To Haliee,
You're nice, funny, fun to be with, hard working, easy going, always positive, and gorgeous.

Your always smiling, funny, nice, plus a good dresser. Your also a good friend and you make me laugh whenever I am around you.

Ok, I'll stop now, but it is hard to choose there are 20 more just like these!!!

Here are some of Drew's. It was neat to read the differences between 4th and 7th grade and between boys and girls. You can totally tell the gender of the authors!

Andrew,
You are one of the nicest boys I've met. You are the most loyal friend.

Drew,
You are one of the best players in baseball history. Thank you for being one of the best people on the world.

Andrew,
You are an awesome mathematician. You are awesome + a super funny friend.

Drew,
You are a super great guy, you have done alot for me. I hope I get in your class next year.

Andrew,
You are super good at football. You are an awesome athlete.

Drew,
You are smart and one heck of a pitcher. Good luck and I hope you succeed in life.

Andrew,
You are a nice student to me. Have a great summer. You are a penguin expert.

Andrew, Thank you for everything this year. I hope all your wishes come true. You are cool and a good football player. You rock at playing football.

I am so proud to be these kiddos Momma!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Drew's Birthday Weekend Part 2:

The Great Wolf Lodge!

This year for Drew's Birthday, he opted not to have a friends party and come to Wolf Lodge as a family after the traditional Mariner's weekend! This place looked super fun for kiddos and it exceeded their expectations! :) When we drove up we couldn't believe how huge it was. Once inside, it was all the grander. They really thought of everything, so user friendly! You can have your credit/debit card linked to your bracelet for the water park which also acts as your room key so you don't have to worry about cash or debit while in the water park. It was so nice to be able to go from water park to restaurant to arcade and back to the room without carrying any $ or room keys, etc. around.
Drew was so so so excited! When we arrived at the room he had a surprise banner awaiting him on the door! He felt super special :)
Once inside, he opened the info. for the rest of his extra birthday surprise package!! An ice cream from the candy shop, a magi quest birthday package, and more...
We splurged for the cave room inside a room suite and he was so super excited! Haliee was a trooper oohhhing and awwweeeing up her digs for his sake :)

The room was super cute although you don't spend any time there :)
Inside the lobby everything is interactive. They have a story time by the fire which reminds me of the splash mountain ride through the brier patch at Disneyland. All of the animations come to life and the kids loved it (even my kids to pretended to be uninterested and too old through dinner and finally gave up the act to run over and see what it was all about)!

The fireplace was HUGE like 3 levels high, I tried to snap better pictures of it unoccupied several times, but someone was always there.

The water park was actually quite fun! I thought I brought my camera along once to snap pics, but apparently not, I was having too much fun playing with my family. Here is the only pic I have looking from inside the lobby into the water park :( SAD! They have 4 slides and 2 family rides which were pretty fun. It wasn't crowded at all and we were able to re-ride as quickly as we could climb back up the stairs. Our kids were on the older end of the activities but we all still had a blast. Everything is a competition for our family so we had a basketball (pig) competition as well as a leap frog competition. They have this little jungle gym activity of 6 or 7 lily pads with a rope across the top so you are able to stabilize yourself and hop across them. We competed on several levels as to who could cross without falling {fastest, standing no rope, lying on your tummy, no hands} you name it, we competed. SUPER FUN! I was the best....according to Drew he was...nevetheless we were quite entertaining for onlookers lol!
They had this little teen club complete with a cover charge area called "GR8 Space". It was totally cute for teens only with wii's, a dance floor with black lights and disco balls, couches, lounges...Haliee thought she was "too cool" for it, although I am sure she would've loved it with a friend. We kept teasing her to try & see if she would go in.
The arcade was pretty standard and of course a hit (although Drew barely went in as he was all counsumed with MagiQuest I'll explain below) It was all too convenient to slide your wristband & receive $5 worth of tokens...DANGER! Haliee beat me at Skee-ball (BRAT!) This is my favorite and I usually dominate! It was also full of blacklights and they had tons of fun.
Ok now on to MagiQuest....which is a post in itself...GEEZO!

Ok...so...Drew found this on the website when we booked our reservations. It looks like an interactive game where you do through a room with a tour guide of sorts finding clues, etc. They had a birthday package where you could play, choose a wand, etc. so we surprised Drew with it thinking he would go though this hour room and have a great time. Now, there are several of these places around the US this one just happening to be inside the hotel.

Drew was elated to say the least. We took his voucher into the Storefront and it was good for 1 round of the game which actually is good for 3 days at this location, a wand of your choice, and a wand topper of your choice. They had outfits (thankfully Drew was too old to want one), a variety of trinkets, wands, toppers, belts, etc. He could choose from any topper and any wand (there were more than a dozen toppers to choose from) except these 2 specific ones which were about $15 additional....wanna guess which ones he liked the best...YEP! Along with this $15 felt belt to hold your wand and we were ready to play! :) Now the game itself was quite elaborate. You could choose to be as involved as you would like. When they sign up and choose a name and their booty though, they are given a brief guide and told if they complete all 12 missions they can return for 3 additional special missions and upon completion of those can receive a special award certificate and button. Which was all Drew needed to hear...Well this entire hotel is 1 huge game. It is not a room like others...So through the hotel you go, there are 5 floors and after about a zillion trips up and down the stairs and elevators, we were not so impressed with the Magi...LOL! Drew was insistant upon completing his "Mission" So we played day and night in between eating, water park, arcade, candy shoppe visits, we were on the Mission of the stinking Magi! We played as a family and took turns putting up with Drew's relentless conquest...The clues were vague at best and it was way too involved not to have adult assistance. Alas, we completed his mission staying hours after checkout and breaking it up with some waterpark action!




All in all this place was a blast, they make it so user friendly and it was fun for the whole family. Our kids keep asking to go back even though I think it would be ideal for ages 6 - 9. The restaurants were super yummy and quite reasonable which was a pleasant surprise for Mommy & Daddy! :) Happy Birthday Drewy! I can't believe you are already 10, I hope we made all your little 10 year old birthday dreams come true my little prince!