Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ryan’s Golden 15th Birthday

Ryan turned 15 on November 15th which meant one thing . . . it was time for a GOLDEN celebration!  Wait.  You’ve never heard of a “Golden Birthday”?  You’re not alone.  I never celebrated my own golden birthday when I turned 6 and didn’t even know I had missed out on anything.  Then my sister started celebrating Golden Birthdays with my nieces and nephews and I decided to look into this golden tradition.  In case you are wondering . . .   A Golden Birthday = the birthday when your age matches the day of the month you were born on.  It’s a fun way to celebrate and make the birthday stand out for your child (or adult if your special someone’s birthday falls on days 18-31).

I decorated the house in gold.  15 helium balloons with a picture from each year hanging on the balloon, cake with golden sprinkles and golden fountain and 15 presents wrapped in gold foil.  Each present having something to do with “gold”.

Ryan’s birthday was on a Friday but he didn’t have school that day since the trimester ended the day before.  He got to sleep in and wake up when he was ready to open his presents.  And then had big plans to go out with his friends for a Birthday breakfast.

His 15 Golden Gifts:
1.  Golden skull bank
2.  Golden Eye 007 Xbox game
3.  Goldfish Crackers
4.  iPhone 5 (wrapped in gold)
5.  Golden tie clip
6.  Gold yo yo
7.  Gold mirror cube puzzle
8.  Golden compass
9.  Gold iPhone stylus
10.  Black and Gold athletic shorts
11.  Willow Tree Heart of Gold figurine
12.  Gold Rolo’s candy
13.  Ferrero Rocher chocolates
14.  iPhone Golden case
15.  Hairdryer (couldn’t find a gold one so it was black--wrapped in gold)

Birthday breakfast with his friends

He had a little party that night at our house.  Pizza, Movie and Treats.
Ryan, Daniel, Tanner, Tate and Adi

In honor of his 15th Birthday . . . 15 random things about Ryan.

1.  He got his braces off in February and 9 months later is just realizing he has good teeth and should really show them when he smiles.

2.  Our school district switched things up this year and moved 9th grade up to the high school.  He was the first class to get moved up and is a big high schooler this year.  He signed up for AP and Honor classes and got a 3.6 first trimester.

3.  He is playing football again this year even though he lost his partner-in-crime, Tate, this year and didn’t have a quarterback on his team that could continue with a passing game.

4.  He started his first job last December at the middle school.  He’s a sweeper and works every day after school for about 2 hours.  He loves getting his monthly deposit in his bank and usually celebrates with a debit card transaction at the convenient store on the corner. 

5.  He went to EFY for the first time this summer with his friend, Tate, and came home with a renewed faith and love for the gospel.

6.  He wanted part of his big birthday gift early this year.  We found just what he wanted at the Skullcandy warehouse in Park City.

7.  He learned how to bake in his FACs class.  He is going to make one girl a very lucky wife one day!

8.  Church basketball champions.  Once again.

9.  He went on Pioneer Trek over the summer.  I didn’t hear much about this from Ryan or Jack but am glad they had this opportunity to go learn more about the pioneers and the sacrifices they made so we can enjoy the gospel today.

10.  Fun Run with the family.  “The family that colors together, stays together!”  It took weeks to get this chalk out of car, carpets, hair, skin and house.

11.  He is a great big brother!

12.  I made a deal with the boys when they were younger that if they played the piano until they were 16 they could have any cell phone they wanted.  Jack stuck to that deal but Ryan quit piano about 6 months before he turned 15.  He got a cell phone for his birthday but had to agree to pay the monthly data fee until he did something else that equalled practicing the piano everyday.  He decided he would work on earning his Eagle in Scouting.  Let’s just say he is still paying the monthly fee since he hasn’t done any scouting at home since that conversation.  

13.  He is now old enough to get his Learner’s Permit to drive but the DMV is only open weekdays until 5:00.  Ryan works everyday after school until 5.  We just need to get him there before May 15th in order for him to be able to get his driver’s license on his 16th birthday.

14.  He loves to snow ski and takes the bus up to Brighton Ski Resort with his friends.

15.  Ryan’s middle school was torn down after his last day of 8th grade to build a new one.

Happy 15th Birthday, Ryan!  We love you! xoxo

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Halloween from Mykonos

For how much we all love the holidays, it’s crazy that not one of us thought about throwing in a few fake mustaches, eye patches, masks (or anything Halloweenish) into our suitcases.  This was the extent of our Halloween festivities...a few carved pumpkins on a table in the cruise lobby and Jenni’s scary spider necklace.

We spent Halloween on the islands of Mykonos and Delos.  Taking a ferry between the two of them.

I have no idea why Mykonos’ nickname is “The island of the winds”.

We started the day at Delos looking at all of the ruins with our crazy guide Yolanda who was more concerned about her free coffee and having us search the ruins for her lost map(ah) than giving us any information about what we were seeing.  

Delos is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece.  Delos had position as a holy sanctuary for a millennium before Olympian Greek mythology made this island the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis in 900 BC.  Even thought the guides claim to speak English, it is still so hard to understand what they are saying.  Yolanda liked to add an extra “ah” to end every sentence.  Gavin clarified with our tour guide that it was true that Apollo and Artemis were twins(ah).  And the answer is yes.  They are twins and were born on the island of Delos.  The only thing I got out of all of the ruins tours was how they collected their water with cisterns and an aqueduct system.  The rest I had to get from Wikipedia, like that a number of purifications were executed in the 6th century BC by the city-state of Athens to make the island pure for the proper worship of the gods.  All of the graves had to be dug up and moved to another island.  After that it was prohibited that anyone could die or be born on the island.  Delos - unlike other Greek islands - did not have an indigenous, self supporting community of its own so in later years it became uninhabited.

Standing in the Theater which at one time had enough seats to hold 5500 people

We took the ferry back to Mykonos and immediately fell in love with the architecture and bright colored doors and flowers against the backdrop of the white buildings and blue sea.  And the windmills?  Oh I loved the windmills!

“Petros” the pelican has been the official mascot of Mykonos for over 50 years.  In the 50’s, a wounded pelican was found off the coast of Mykonos shore and nursed back to health and remained on the island.  He was supported by the locals and known by the name, “Petros”.  He died 30 years later but three new pelicans were brought to the island and  now reside around the town of Mykonos.

Mykonos windmills

Little Venice--rows of fishing houses that line the waterfront with their balconies hanging over the sea.  

The streets in Mykonos are narrow and winding with little shops, restaurants and boutiques with the cutest white linen clothing and souvenirs.  And free entertainment for tourists who may not even be looking for entertainment.

Loved everything this beautiful island had to offer and that was without even seeing any of the beautiful beaches with the white sand and crystal blue water.

Up next . . . Kusadasi, Turkey