Monday, January 25, 2010

NHL 2025

Hello, I would like to show you the actual photographs of Josh's dreams for his son coming true before his very eyes:

First Skating Lesson

First Skating Lesson
First skating lesson, in preparation for hockey classes next year.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


People who live in places with actual weather probably laugh at us So Cal kids for getting so crazy excited about the snow. That's ok, we'll take our lumps while wandering around in flip flops in January.

Anyway! Just about an hour away from us it dumped snow like crazy last week. We packed up a couple of sleds and caravan-ed up the mountain with Dash's best friend and family. It was, honestly, the most fun we've had ever.

Snow Jan 2010
Damn, it feels good to be a gangster.

Snow Jan 2010
Yup, I packed a carrot from home for the snowman's nose. What?

Snow Jan 2010
I had to bribe them with jelly beans to get them to smile like that.

Snow Jan 2010
Come. On.

Snow Jan 2010
The men-folk carved out a sledding channel for us. It was more awesome than I can describe.

Snow Jan 2010
Word to the wise: Josh will fuck you up in a snowball fight.

Snow Jan 2010
Seriously. Fuck you up. Even if you're four.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Just a little insight into the goings on in the Engel house these days.

Monday, January 18, 2010

May the Fourth be With You

So, to welcome Four with some fanfare we decided to train some Jedi Knights in the backyard. You know, how people do.

As is my wont, I am mashing what should be four posts into one gigunda post. Because I am tired.

JEDIS! 081
The invitation promised that we would arm & outfit our potential Jedis. The light sabers (light-up & inflatable for $2.99 a piece!) came from here. I made the robes out of craft felt. They were fairly simple--just a long rectangle, folded in half with a slit cut up to the fold on one side. I made a couple of 2" seams for arm holes and freeballed cutting out the Jedi symbol from black felt (still don't have full feeling in my hand after that. I suffer for the cause). The belt was burlap ribbon from Joann.

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
Action shot!

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
I am a gift bag obsessive. I didn't want to fill them with garbage, but I also didn't want to spend a fortune on Star Wars stuff. So I made a lot of the goods and bought a few key items.

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
These are little personalized coloring books. I downloaded the Star Wars font (free) from here.

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
The coloring pages came from here.

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
I also bought a lot of 25 Star Wars Pez fairly inexpensively on Ebay. Ebay is awesome.

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
And I made pretzel "light sabers." Just pretzel rods dipped in melted dark & white chocolate. The white sabers were sprinkled with red, blue & green sugar and the dark chocolate ones got some stars. I figured this stuff--along with a few magnets, colored pencils and the light saber & robe--was a fair haul.

JEDIS! 079
I'll spare you pictures of the food. I have the amazing ability to make all photographs of food look absolutely disgusting. But here are the little tags I made for each item on the buffet table. Yoda Soda is Sprite mixed with lime sherbet and was even too gross for Dash to bother with--and that's saying something. I know that the Star Wars Cookbook has an actual recipe for Wookie Cookies, but I just made chocolate chip cookies. Cloud City Subs were sandwiches from ToGo's & I think everything else is pretty self-explanatory.

JEDIS! 077
I'm clearly off the rails for meatball picks. Since we had regular & vegetarian mini-meatballs, I made different kinds of picks so people could differentiate. I'm a giver.

JEDIS! 078
These are the cupcakes I made. I made the light sabers by cutting strips from rainbow-colored candy (Airheads Xtreme) with a ruler & pizza cutter. Then I dipped the ends into melted chocolate to make the handles. And yes, I do know that I'm fucked in the head.

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
Now onto the hot Jedi action. We have the great good fortune of being friends with a dude who is 1. excellent with kids, 2. totally hilarious & 3. willing to put on a costume and train 4-year-olds in the way of the Jedi. Friends, meet Jedi Knight Mursyn Cassio (aka Mike Cass).

Once we gave them the light sabers they pretty much just beat the shit out of each other with them.

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
That is, until Darth Vader arrived.

Then they beat the shit out of him instead.

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
The universe is just a little bit safer (if slightly less predictable) with these newly knighted Jedis.

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
Here are the certificates I made. I printed these on resume paper that looked kinda like parchment & added each kid's name in silver Sharpie.

JEDIS! 083
I don't know why I insist on crafts at every party. I don't know about what happens at your house, but here the only people even vaguely interested in making whatever crazy shit I dream up are the half-drunk adults.

JEDIS! 084

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
Here's the amazing cake Aunty got from a local bakery. You'll notice that little hands removed most of the figurines & poked holes in the frosting in the full ten seconds it took me to grab the camera.

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party
Also, bouncer. Always bouncer. No matter what else, bouncer.

And Now We Are Four

Four. Four is a grown ass man. Four is all bony knees and sharp elbows. Four is when people start punching you in the face when you call him a baby. Four. Happy, happy birthday my little man. You are the light of our lives every day.

Eskimo 1

Dash's 4th Bday Jedi Party

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jedi Prep

Sorry for the radio silence, friends. I have been consumed by preparations for the training, arming, outfitting & feeding of 16 soon-to-be-Jedis. More details coming. Here's a preview:

Friday, January 01, 2010

A New One

2010 is our year. I can feel it.