Friday, October 31, 2008

Reformation Day

Brian's costume ROCKS.

Love, love, love the hair. 


The day began with the parade at Brian's school, yet another stint at the book fair (or should I say 'the book fair that never ends'?) and continued with a visit to my favorite chiropractor, who succesfully made my neck turn both left AND right.
Next stop?  Trader Joe's...where you can throw a party for 20 in one quick stop.  With sunflowers.

Home to FedEx delivering my gal.  Can't wait to sit down and read her from cover to cover and then start cooking!  FYI...I met her at a signing a few years back and was chosen as one of a handful to 'pre-meet' her and ask questions...I told her that her party cookbook 'changed my life'.  She laughed and said,'It's a COOKBOOK!'...and then went on to talk with me about the how's and why's and when's and where's.  She is charming and adorable and I love her...and her food.  And yes, her book DID change my party throwing life!
Back to the book fair, which has now ended!..and finally home.  

Finally, a stack of necklaces for an upcoming show at a friends...I had one last week and they all sold, so I've been stamping away!
The food is made (baked potato soup, italian wedding soup and a pot of chili...lots of breads and platters of cheeses), the backyard is ready, the music is on and Brian is finishing getting dressed.

Let the party begin!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Wife, Please

I am one tired McMama.

It's one of those weeks where I just need a few extra hours in each day.

Or a wife, which probably isn't something I should say, even in jest, right before an election here in my lovely home state.

But it's true...I could really use someone to come run this house while I am busy running everything else.

Ah well...this too shall pass, but if Grandma wants to come for a visit, the boys would be eternally grateful.


I spent most of my waking hours staring at this today...welcome to the book fair.
After being there for most of the day...though I did squeeze in a run to the grocery store, I took Alex for his root canal.  I was a wreck all day over it but it ended up being relatively quick and painless for him.  The worst is over, but it still involves a few more procedures in the next month, but his tooth is looking more like a tooth should look.

I spent my time in the waiting room catching up on the details of Madonna's marriage and having an extremely interesting conversation with the receptionist/bookkeeper who tried to convince me to save the whales,  yet was sporting a pro choice button on her purse.


Worked the family event tonight and finally dragged myself home at 7:45pm.

And found this...
...which was paid for by a guy that I really, really like.


We're working our way through Mr Smith Goes to Washington...loving every ounce of Jimmy Stewart, who reminds me so much of our friend Frank.  The problem is that I cannot seem to keep my eyes open for longer than 20 minutes before I doze's a quiet movie!

Off to bed...I have to wake to give Alex antibiotics at 3am.  Kinda like having a baby in the house again!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sneak Peek

Halloween is coming!

Don't 'cha just love the price tag??!!


The endo appointment went well...or as well as possible.  Alex will have a root canal on his 2nd front tooth tomorrow...the dentist thinks he can save it.  The 1st one is still not looking good, so he'll inject more bleach in there to see if they can at least whiten it up, but it looks like these permanent teeth aren't permanent after all.  

Poor kid.

The scary part is the lack of tetnus and the exposed root (even if for just a bit), so please pray for a swift, complete and careful procedure.

He's doing fine and is just upset that he'll miss practice tomorrow.  

More book fair today plus bible study.  Brian has a couple of friends over playing and they are riding their bikes up and down the street.  Supper will be korean beef which has been marinating since yesterday, with brown rice and roasted carrots.  

The temps were still in the high 80's today and while that sounds hot, it felt fall-ish outside.  It is so dry and we need rain desperately, but I can live with days like today.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Stuff

It's book fair week at Brian's school...a week I love, yet dread all at the same time.

This morning I was waiting at the credit union when they opened and filed yet another claim and yet another police report.  This one is for much less money and it should be back in my account safe and sound in 10 business days.  Whomever it was bought something from EZJet...anyone want to confess?


Worked the book fair for recess, ran to Target and came home for a quick lunch.  Oh, and made a cute necklace.

Back to the book fair for the lunch crowd, home to unload the dishwasher and book an appt. for Alex with the endodontist who is trying (in vain, it seems...sadly) to save my sons beautiful front tooth.  Which is now a lovely shade of dark gray.

Makes me sad, but it's all part of the game.  Alex mentioned this afternoon that we've spent alot of time together in DR's offices and hospitals.


And someday, he too shall have a son just like him. 


Back to work the book fair after school and once home had a knock on the front door...and this was delivered.  Just because.

Man, I love my neighborhood.  Chicken veggie soup ala Alba, with tortillas.  Yum!
M has chorale tonight and Alex is at open gym, so it's just me and the littlest shrub.  He's currently in the shower and I am blogging while waiting for the oatmeal cinnamon chip bars to come out of the oven.

Smell's pretty good in here...I'm going to sit and watch the Amazing Race from last night, with a huge cup of hot tea.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

One More Time

This morning I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard a little voice ask what time we needed to leave for church.


It was 8:42 and we needed to be in the car by 9:15am.

I am thankful for Brian, or we never would've made it.


I took one of those showers where you wonder if you've really truly showered and while drying my hair decided it is time to cut it off's gotten really long and takes forever to dry.

Picked up our extras..M had left before 6am to get his choir on the bus, and then drove to Yorba Linda.

Church was great....yet another new one for us, but they did an amazing Reformation service with a drama of Martin Luther in place of a sermon.  And it rocked.

Plus M's choir was awesome and Matthew played trumpet...all was well.

Michael and Brian changed and drove to LA where they're meeting friends at the Galaxy game and Alex and his friends and I started for home.

And then it happened.  I had given all my cash to M and went to pay with my debit card at the Burger King drive-thru and my card said 'expired'.  Except my card is not expired and I know from our identity theft situation (which is expected to go to court in early '09) that when my card says 'expired' it is a sign for trouble.

Fortunately, I found a way to pay for the food, dropped kids off at home and by the time we got home ourselves, there was a message on the machine.

This is the credit union.  Call us immediately.

This time, someone tried to use my card to book a ticket from London to LA this morning, except my card was with church.


So, M's card still works, mine is cancelled and tomorrow morning I have to go in and fill out the paperwork and file a claim.  The money will be returned back to my account within 10 days.

What are the chances of this happening the same year?  This time it was caught early, but it is still such a horrible situation to be in.

Anyway, it's just me and Alex here for the afternoon.  He has some homework and I am going to catch up on laundry and clean out the pantry.  Supper will be on the grill...tri tip, with baked potatoes and broccoli.  I might just make some cookies for school lunches this week, too.  It's a gorgeous day and depending on when the other boys return home, we might just eat outside.

Fall weather has finally arrived!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Here I Am!

I know, I know, I know.

I've gotten the texts, I've gotten the emails, I've gotten the phone calls.

Even my son asked if everything was OK.


I've just been busy and haven't had time to sit at the computer and blog.  And then I did...I wrote my little heart out the other night, hit publish and got an error message and now my post is somewhere in cyberspace.

I hope it's having fun, wherever it is.


So, this afternoon Matthew came home to do laundry and requested meatballs and gravy for supper.  For a picture I'll do anything...and tell the blond one that he is tall enough.  OH, and tell him that if he ever, EVER juggles eggs in my kitchen again and one smashes into the ceiling, that he is going to be sleeping in the backyard.


I spent close to 2 hours in my garden this morning, hauling away 15 dead tomato plants.  Farewell zucchini, eggplant, squash, beans, cukes, and radishes.  

Hello green pepper plants that won't quit!  I picked 11 today, so I'll stuff them later this week and freeze them for later on.
I love when I hook up my camera and I find pictures that I didn't take...but Maggie sure is pretty, isn't she?
The book fair was delivered and set up at Brian's school on runs all this week, which means I'll be there all week.  Friday was also the delivery of the new fridge and a birthday party on the grassy hill with my neighbors, whom I adore.  

You all know how I feel about my neighborhood.  

Makes me happy.


Also Friday was an evening concert on campus, conducted by a friend of ours, followed by a little get together here.  Always fun.

This morning brought early morning games, both at the same time but in two different cities, so M and Alex headed north for basketball and Brian and I stayed here in town for soccer.  Brian's team lost and I almost, almost grabbed him off the field and left.  Our coach seems to think screaming and belittling is an effective form of teaching...and after listening to he and his wife tell their son he is a quitter and a loser, as well as yelling at every other boy, I picked up my chair and moved to the other end of the field.

I've taken to working on my bible study while the team warms up and this morning I just opened  my bible and asked God to speak to me.  That I was at a loss.  And He Romans.  So I breathed in and out and prayed for them and just now sent off a very gentle email, which would not have been as gentle had I reacted earlier.

In the meantime, Alex had another great game and is learning what he needs to do on the court in his new role.  I am so proud of him.  We have another friend of his coming to church with us on Sunday...he's asked if we can fill our car on Sunday mornings.  I'm thinking there has never been a better use of a gas guzzler than that.


I just used my new stove for the 1st time and I am thinking the two of us are going to become BFF' friends forever.  Sick and wrong, but very true.  

Tonight I am planning on making pumpkin bars...the ones with cream cheese frosting and then sitting in front of the TV, fork in hand.   


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hotter than Hot

It's autumn in southern California.


Autumn.  Nothing more to say this morning.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Not sure you can tell, but a cloud sat down on our neighborhood this morning.

From the mouth of cute.


The boys are all off and the house is picked up.  It is so quiet...well, except for the sound of the washer and dryer.  I am at a loss as to what to make for supper tonight...all I feel like is a Nick's pizza, so I might just drive over and get one to go.  I'll make a big salad and call it a day.  It's supposed to be in the 90's again today...and to that I say ENOUGH ALREADY.

It's supposed to be AUTUMN.


Monday, October 20, 2008


Harvest Cup...the annual soccer games between all of our city's elementary schools.  Our 5th and 6th grade boys played hard but lost on Sunday morning.  They were bummed...but that loss did save us from 3 more games that day.

OOPS...did I say that?


Friday,  M had off, so we hit Costco.  Yowza.  I am pretty sure this is a record for us and I am pretty sure my debit card has a $500.00 limit.  Ouch.  Wouldn't have been so bad (over $100 is going to be returned...Matthew needed some pants and the price was good but I wasn't sure of his current size.  I might have the only kid who lost the freshman 15...) EXCEPT we came home to a BROKEN oven.

We can keep relighting it with a lighter...scary...and someone needs to stick around it to make sure it stays on.  Basically, when you smell gas, open the door, light the lighter, hear the poof, check for burnt eyebrows, double check homeowners policy, wait 10 minutes and do it all over again.



I just pulled up a little stool and sat there, reading all my magazines while the braciola I made for supper cooked.  


Nothing like a plate of half eaten food, huh?

Alex invited 3 friends over to's becoming a trend now, and these kids EAT LOTS.  I like that.  

This picture just made me smile...Brian in his jammies spinning a broomstick.  


Why not!
Maggie likes to sleep tucked away in the funniest place...she was even in my hamper the other day.  Have I mentioned how much I love my cats?
Saturday night, M hooked up a bunch of stuff and we surfed.  

The web, I mean.


I really dunno.  But we did plan our dream trip to Lucca and Lari (not happening as long as there are children in college) and watched a weird Al youtube video about a drive thru that made us laugh really hard.  Must've been the 2nd bottle of wine.
This morning the stove guy came and had the unfortunate job of telling me it was going to be an $800.00 repair...I am pretty sure I didn't even pay that much for it 8 years ago.

I thanked him and sent him on his way.

It's OK...I have a lighter and I haven't used hairspray in over a decade, so I'm pretty sure my hair isn't as flammable as it would have been in the 80's.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Bicycle Ride Song

You'd think that it would be easier to get a Christmas card photo now...I mean, they are all old enough to sit still.



(and yes, it is dark...just squint and it looks better.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vacation Day

Sometimes, you just need to get away.

Brian had Monday AND Thursday off, because in our district they wouldn't want you to have two actual days off together because you might actually like to plan something fun.

Alex, on the other hand, had only Monday he had school and practice yesterday.

Michael (and my oldest son, too) have Thursday and Friday off...which is called St Michael's on campus because M pushed for a long October weekend when he 1st came on board.

So, it was Toy Story time for those of us who were on break.  (sorry, Alex!)


Brian's pal, Jack, who has become son # 5 around here, came to spend the night (which involved a massive nerf dart tag game and why oh why does my new camera not have a backlight whenever I shoot a video???  I have a hilarious video and it's BLACK, but makes me laugh...imagine Alex doing military defense moves,  so I just might post it anyway.) and his mama brought me flowers.  AND wine.  He's welcome anytime.


OH, this is Brian and Jack.  
90 something degrees in October.  Somehow, the weather which has been so hot and dry at my house, seemed perfect while strolling the park.
Ummmm....there were candy corns in the palm trees.  Sigh.  I need to buy me some giant candy corns for my house!
Ran into (and cutted in front of bunch people in line...sorry about that!) this group of troublemakers.

Rode one ride with them and then they went one way and we went another.  We had such a nice time...M and I actually sat and drank an iced coffee (for him...tea for me, thankyouverymuch) while the boys ran around that whole camp area.  Fun for them and a date for us!


Came home, finished homework, dropped off Jack, collected Alex, texted Matthew and drove to Nick's.

Table for 5, please.

So a day at Disney followed by a dinner out with my tableful of boys at our favorite place.  Matthew came home with us and hung out til late...I'm hoping we might see him again this weekend.  I tried to get a Christmas card photo, but instead wound up with Alex singing 'Bicycle' by Queen on video.  Priceless.  It is, once again, dark...sigh, but hysterical.

Aside from a video, I ended up with Matthew, who was perturbed that we were even asking him to do this, Brian, who could NOT stop laughing and Alex.  



It's a good thing I like him.


Perfect for the Grandparent'


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Little Break

Following a PTA meeting, bible study, a luncheon, early dismissal for Brian (1pm), a parent/teacher conference for Brian (easy, peasy), re-do of the schools by-laws, typed a letter home for the book fair, delivered by-laws and letter to PTA presidents house, made a pizza for the boys, hopped in the car and drove my favorite street.

Towards the ocean.


With that guy that I like so much.  Even better.  It wasn't a relaxing ride...more like a business meeting in a car, but we had lots of scheduling issues to work out.  But still...we were headed to the beach.
Actually, to Sage...which is across the street from the beach.  It was a chance to do happy hour at the bar with friends and sit and talk about everything except for how much we owe on our taxes on the 15th.
Had to have some food, too...the crab cakes were unbelievable.  So was the wine.  And the chatter.  
Dessert was yummy, too.  Felt like a mini vacation in the middle of the week!
Home in time to do stories and prayers and bed times with the boys, then a chance to watch ER from a few weeks back.  I'm sure we'll make it through our TiVo list by next summer.

Today is going to be another hot one...mid 90's and dryer than dry.  It's fire season and scary, but so far all is well as far as that goes.  Praise God.

I have to clean up my desk...between taxes and PTA and book fair and bible study...yowza.

Also on my list...pick up the dry cleaning, coffee at Peet's (beans, ground, flat bottom gold filter, please), a trip to the nursery with a chunk of my azalea tree that looks like it is dying, and if I have time...a drive to my favorite antique store for a non-buying look around.

Oh, and I have to sign my taxes at the accountant so they can be e-filed today and write a check for a ton of money.  And weep.

Supper tonight will be short ribs with garlic smashed potatoes and whatever green veggie looks good at the farm stand.  Did I mention that it is in the 90's?

I'm going to flip on that AC and cook a long cooking meal in my oven.  So there, mother nature.  Enough hot weather's October!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Columbus Day

The Santa Ana's blew in with a vengeance last night, but the only difference this time was that we didn't hear them.

Gotta love windows that don't shake and rattle every time the wind blows.

I was even up late last night...Alex went to Knotts Scary Farm with the team until late, late, late.

Or early, early, early...1am early.  He had fun but was tired and cold when he came home...and my girlfriend who took them was completely freaked out by how scary it was.

Better her than me...I like happy and sappy, not scary!

Anyway, this morning while making chocolate chip pancakes, the winds tried to blow down our little house.

They succeeded at blowing the glass off the chandelier.

There is now glass all over our patio...nothing a lot of sweeping can't take care of.
A tree around the corner blew over and the leaves that were green yesterday are now brown.  Welcome to Fall!
Late Friday night we were 'chalked'.  Kids wrote all over our sidewalk with chalk, knocked on the door and ran.  Much better than toilet paper or string.
Poor sunflowers didn't stand a chance in the heat today.  The kitties were miserable, too.
The new valances.  Love, love, love them!
The boys had no school today, so there was much rejoicing.  I had to go to my tax meeting...nothing like holding out for the very last minute.  Full time church workers get lots of benefits, but it's lots of work.

Carried in my shoebox full of receipts and an hour later walked out really, really poor.  Year 2 of being hit hard...year 2 of coming home and making really yummy comfort food and trying to forget all about it.  At least until I mail the check on Wednesday.

Other than that, we all hung out for much of today and watched a video of when we visited Columbus' house in Genova.  And for the record, Genova and Geneva look alike on a train schedule but are actually two different places in two different countries...

M had to work...not only all day, but he is working tonight, too.  Poor guy.

Gotta make all that money to give to the government.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Stuff

Saturday morning soccer and a chance to catch up with friends on the field.  

So cute...and they won 5-0.  Not fun for the other team, though.

M and Alex were a few towns north for a basketball game at the same time.  They also won, so it was a happy ride home.


Let's see....Alex had some friends over for a game of football, home for supper and now they are off to see a movie.  I just bought their tickets to Knott's Scary Farm tomorrow school on Monday and this is the 1st year we are letting him go.  I get the honor of picking them up at midnight, which is actually a true honor...I'll have a carload and will get to hear all the gory details.

I like that.

Brian had a pool party in our nippy 70 degree weather...he came home tonight wet and cold and sniffly.  Even a hot bath didn't help...but a comfy blanket and a cat sure did.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

What Day Is It?

There's nothing like the afternoon sun...

...and a comfy bed.

Today was one of those days.

Not necessarily a no good very bad day, but more of a depressingly sourpuss kind of day.

I did one of those good deeds that ended up making the other person feel great and left me feeling awful.

Oh well...glad I could help and listen to hour after hour with no way out about how horrible her childhood was and now how horrible her adult life is.

At one point I just wanted to run screaming from the room while yanking out clumps of my hair, but instead I listened and listened and listened.

And came home and made the largest pan of brownies you have ever seen.

Whatever it takes.


Other than that, I took my car in for a wash.  Got gas.  Picked up a bucket of pumpkin bagels.  Answered a slew of emails.  Did my Meals on Wheels run and then the above mentioned good deed.  Made brownies and licked the bowl.  Made a really cute necklace for my sister-in-law (Joanna...=0).  Facebooked with Matthew about why he is not going to get a motorcycle and to stop riding on the back of Sam's, like that'll do anything.  Drove Bribear to soccer.  Played gin rummy with Alex.  Drank 1 1/2 diet cokes followed by 1 margarita.  Made sloppy joe's for supper...poor M.  Cleaned the kitchen.  Danced one dance with M to Frank Sinatra. Quized Bri for his science test tomorrow and listened all about class today and how they dissected a chicken wing.  Tried not to listen closely while pretending to listen closely.  Watched last weeks Dirty Sexy Money and laughed.  Alot.  


Three nights ago in the middle of the night, I heard my phone beeping on the kitchen counter.  It was text sent at midnight (all together now....MIDNIGHT????) from Matthew.  Nothing major...he was just saying 'hi'.


Two nights ago at 4:16am, my phone (once again on the counter) rings.  4:16am.  Fortunately, this was before I knew about the motorcycle gig, but I bolted out of bed in a panic to answer it.

It was Alex calling me.

Except Alex was asleep in his bed.


Turns out he rolled over on his phone which then redialed the last number he had called, which was me.  Lucky, lucky me.

I seriously thought about calling him back, but then I grew up and thought about it.


SO....last night my phone once again starts beeping, this time at 1:36am.

It's Matthew, texting that he is missing my pesto.  Pesto.  At 1:36am. 


I did text him back at 6:30am and now we are on the same page.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Day in the Life...Tuesday

I spent the morning at home catching up on laundry and some jewelry orders while the installers installed the new blinds and valances.

Got a call from that guy I like so much at 12:15 telling me he was hungry, which turned into a lunch invite.

Love those.

When he picked me up he was kinda sorta grumpy.  Plus, it's October something or other and it was 95 outside, so I was kinda sorta grumpy, too.
Climbed into his car and drove on our way.
Actually, we only drove for 5 minutes to Strawberry Farms.  It's a hidden gem with amazing salads and an even more amazing view.
Kept driving past the pumpkin patch, which was packed in the 90 something or other degree weather.  Sick and wrong.
Drove up the hill...his college is right next door, on the other side of the scorched hill.

Pulled up and parked by the barn.  The restaurant has a wide veranda and you sit and watch the people tee off....which today was packed because of a golf tourney.

Poor was so HOT.

It's fun for M to go there...his grandparents belonged to a country club when he was growing up and he has fun stories of dinners and golf and parties there.

Makes him want to golf again.

We ran to Trader Joe's after, which is not a good idea with a now happy and relaxed husband.  I needed cranberry juice and $173 later we were back in the car.

Afterschool, Brian had friends over, Alex had friends over and in the end, we had friends over for supper and a bottle of champagne.  Love that.



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