Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve

It's 4:00pm and I am still in my jammies.

I love days like this!

Brian has been out in the neighborhood...he got a Snoopy Snow Cone machine for Christmas and has set up shop. Want one?

Alex is playing basketball and Matthew has been sleeping until just a little bit ago.

M is on the couch and as hard as he tried not to be, he is now sick. Poor guy. He's pretty much out for the count juggling napping and football.

The kitties have joined him.

Maggie and Mollie For lunch I pulled out all the stops...Fluffernutters! So gross I had to take a picture and then I ate it anyway. With a Diet Coke, of course. Gotta cut calories somewhere.
The annual New Years party is tonight at my neighbors. Younger kids are here with Guitar Hero, older kids are at another neighbors. At 10:00pm, they'll all gather at the other house for a movie before midnight.

Matthew will have Jenn here, too. We don't want him driving, so he'll pick her up and then they'll be in.

I am very excited except for my poor husband, so he'll go to the beginning of the party and probably head home. He'll stay as long as he can hold out and is hoping for a repeat of last year...I did Karaoke for so long that I had no voice for a week.

I think he's trying to tell me something.

Anyway, we are unpacked, the house is as clean as it is going to be...which isn't very clean at all, and the laundry is being laundered. Every time M dozes off I switch it to HGTV and am getting lots of good ideas.

Sleep away, honey!


Sunday, December 30, 2007


Tired. Of. Driving.

However, we were 7 hours from home and a party was happening at our house NYE, so we thought we should head on south.

Cold and rainy, but beautiful country roads.

And Sonic. We don't have a Sonic close to us, but our GPS led us right to one. Pull up, order, and they bring your food on out.

My boys were ordering things like chili cheese tots, which just sound sick and wrong to me.

But they smelled kinda good.

I wanted to take a picture, but I paused too long and there were none to be seen.

OK, even more sick and wrong? A few hours later we had to stop for gas and there was another Sonic. Shakes anyone? Why yes, we stopped and ordered.

Brian, way...back...there. Somewhere. Poor thing...I hope he doesn't grow or there won't be any room for him!


We made it home by about 5pm and I threw together some pasta while the boys unloaded. After, we all crashed. Brian was in bed by a normal hour for the 1st time in a week, Matthew went to see Jenn, and the rest of us watched Music and Lyrics.

Unpacking can wait until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Again

On the road again, this time to my Mom and Tom's...about 3 hours from San Jose.

The boys had a BLAST...that would be ALL boys, young and not quite as young, driving ATV's all around their property.

And let's not forget Grandma's golf cart...oh my, I want one of those! You just unplug it and you're ready to go...sign me up!


It was very, very cold and they had had snow the night before, but it was all gone when we got there. Bummer.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Field Trip

I had trouble keeping track of my boys on this trip. Brian went and stayed at Aunt Leslie's house, Matthew stayed with Grandma and Grandpa...just ask him and he'll tell you he's the favorite Grandchild (which every one of them believes, which is pretty cool) and Alex stayed at the hotel with us. We had a suite and the hotel had a gym, which Alex used every morning and every night...and he kept talking about loving being an only child.


M and I did manage to sneak away for a little adventure on our own. Los Gatos is charming and a place where we used to spend time when we were dating. We were even engaged in a park in Los Gatos. A long time ago. Way back when.

So we like it.

It's small and charming, with lots of small and charming houses.
And we all know how much I like small and charming.


Very cute Main Street.

Cute little house.

Very cute restaurant.

Very cute sign outside a very cute shop.

Sensing a theme, here?

The true reason we came? very favorite. Check them out online. Lots and lots of Italian stuff that fit my small and charming house perfectly.

Yes, they're expensive...but they have lots of not so expensive stuff, too. Did I mention that most of it is Italian?


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Road Trip

California should be known as 'The Long, Long State' because it is...well, really, really, really long.

Too long.

After taking down our dried out, needle-less tree and doing a somewhat pick-up after Christmas cleaning job, we packed up and headed north.

Way north.

Leaving the kitties behind. Boo-Hoo.

M packed up the car, leaving an itty-bitty crevice for Brian to sit way , way back there.

We started to drive and I soon realized that my darling husband had had NO coffee. None. Zilch. Ever started a road trip with a man who spent a lot of time loading way too much stuff in a car AND dealing with 2 rather moody teens who wouldn't get out of bed AND an overly chipper 9 yr old who tried to pack everything he owns AND has had NO coffee?

Not pretty.

It was a little late for coffee, but I found him an In n Out instead.

Smiles abounded.
And then it started to snow.
Oh, how we miss our Colorado snow...and this made us all smile. We even pulled over, ran around a bit and froze our little toes off.

Love the snow.


Central CA has not a whole lot to look at, until you start passing cows. Zillions and zillions of cows.

Makes you very glad that you had finished that burger miles down the road.

Makes you crave SALAD.

Now, we are veteran travellers, or so we like to think. Anyone up for an ice cream cone? Dipped maybe?

Amateurs! Brian was way back yonder with a drippy cone saying something about being sticky. In fact, it's been 4 days and I think he is still talking about it.

FINALLY, we reach Grandma and Grandpa's, which if we lived anywhere else would've been like 3 states away.

And the boys bellied up to the bar.

And the women folk cooked. And cooked. And cooked.

Oh, and washed a dish or two.

I do have to mention that Sophie could not quite understand what we were doing at her Grandma's house..I mean, wasn't she just at our house yesterday?

Too cute.

For most of my boys...this was THE spot. A rather large TV and football.

Can't get much better than that, now can it?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Twas the night before Christmas...and we ended up being up most of the night.


The Santa Ana's blew in and our little house shook and shuttered at the 70 mile an hour gusts. She creaked and moaned and groaned, but thankfully...she was still standing in the morning.

And yes, at one point, I actually wondered if we were going to end up in Kansas.

So, we waited and waited for the boys to wake up. How often does that happen?


Presents and presents and presents. And a husband who made California Eggs Benedict...the kind with a million dollar avocado on them. Lunch was my neighbors homemade, authentic tamales that her Mom and Aunts make every year.

M wept when they brought them over.


I had some time on my hands, so I decided to make Struffoli...which are kind of like small Italian donuts rolled in honey and covered in sprinkles.

Looked pretty.
Tasted awful.
Oh well.
Live and learn.

Over came the other part of our family for more presents. And a trip to the park, since those winds brought 75 degree weather with them.

Maddie is 4. And perfect.
My brother in law thinks he's still 4.

But he's not.

Logan is on the move. I feel their pain.
A friendly game of football.
Miss Sophie and her princesses.
We hung out and then ate a LOT of prime rib. And blue cheese twice baked potatoes. And garlic green beans. Very, very yummy!

The reason for all of this?
A baby!

For God so loved the world, that He sent his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Night

Matthew's plane caught a huge tail wind from Florida and they landed 30 minutes early. The rest of the boys and I met up with them at church in Long Beach and we were all there together.

Which was all that I wanted for Christmas.


It was a great service and afterwards we stuck around to talk with lots of family and friends.

Which is just how I had hoped it would be.

Off to Maggiano's, for our 7:15 dinner reservation, which left us just enough time to take an updated boys photo.

I will always laugh when I see this picture...Matthew, doing what he was told. Alex, somewhere under the hair...which he has been offered $150.00 (from his coaches) to shave, but is still not accepting their offer. And Brian, who just wanted food. Any food.After, with full bellies.
Being the children of us, they know the words to every Frank Sinatra song and aren't afraid to belt them out. In public.
Chicken Saltimbocca. Perfect. =0)
Home for the 'only one present on Christmas Eve' present. Brian's thrilled.And THEN, I noticed my sons pants. Can you guess which son? He actually wore basketball shorts under his saggy jeans...TO CHURCH. A few days later and his Grandpa handed him a piece of rope for his pants. It worked!

Full and sleepy, we watched It's a Wonderful Life.

Cuz it is.


Christmas Eve

After staying up very, very late watching White Christmas, this morning we're all moving a little slow.

Alex made waffles...his specialty.

Daddy is playing Jungle Gin on Pogo, while watching GMA all cozy on the couch...a luxury. Brian and crew were out early this morn, digging thru the shed to find anything that might have wheels. He found old rollerblades...a treasure!
Matthew has been texting all morning. The 3 flights home from Orlando have turned somewhat crazy, with the 1st flight being cancelled due to weather somewhere. That flight has become 3 flights going through places like Denver and Chicago and Matthew said it was madness trying to get chaperone's on each flight with kids. His flight is at 10:40 am our time and I am waiting to see if he gets off on time. He did mention that his plane goes from LA to Honolulu and that he might not get off the plane.

Funny kid.

The grand plan is for Michael to pick up Matthew with a change of clothes in LA and then drive the 30 minutes to church. The plane lands at 4pm and church is at 5pm.


The rest of us will go straight to church and save seats for the others, where we will celebrate and worship together.

Following church, we will drive to Maggiano's, which is a Christmas Eve tradition for us.


After, we will drive home and watch It's a Wonderful Life and each one of us opens ONE present. That I choose. Can you guess what it is?

Christmas jammies!

All of us matching, every year...which for the only girl in the house means I look kinda guy-ish, but that's OK. One year soon, they may be pink.


I am in awe of all that has happened in my family this year...awe that we are all well and healthy. And provided for. And together. Awe that God's hand is so apparent. Awe that He has given us so much. Awe that this child, born tonight, was given as a gift to me. For me. For all of us.

If I do nothing else in my life, I want to give that gift to my children. The gift of knowing His gift.


"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Twas the day before Christmas Eve and what do you do?

You put a spider on a sleeping cat and take pictures!

You gather all your friends outside, some old wood and a little duct tape and you make yourself a really super, duper bike ramp.

When you get tired of that, you might just think about pogo-ing off the curb.

It was an incredibly beautiful day here. The temps were in the mid 70's, the sun was shining, and the house, for the most part is clean. Laundry is caught up and as I sit here typing, my husband just brought me a Kir Royale. Without much Kir.


The car was cleaned today and is ready for a road trip. Matthew is still in Disney World and spent today texting me about how much better the rides are there instead of here.

I believe him and I am jealous.

We need to come here, Mom!

Sounds great son, but just this year alone you have been to New York City with the choir, Disney World with the band and spent the summer traveling the US with drum corps.

It's your turn now...we'll get there someday. And that's OK.


Michael and I went on a little walk this afternoon and chatted with some neighbors. Most had their doors open or were just wandering outside like us. This is a special place that we call home.
Supper is buttermilk chicken and a batch of pesto made with a very, very small basil plant. Last night we stayed up watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and I am positive we will find something much, much better to watch tonight. Oh...we did watch A Christmas Carol with the boys...the George C. Scott version. Fabulous!

Is it possible to eat too many Christmas cookies and watch too many Christmas movies?

Friday, December 21, 2007


I spent the morning finishing up my shopping and my one question is...where are all the people? It seems like there aren't many shoppers out there, though I have been out and about in the mornings. I am not complaining, but it's been strange. Nice and quiet, but strange.

I then went to Brian's school for the annual 4th grade cookie decorating party. Sugar, sugar and more sugar!

Supper tonight was a baked pasta with sausage and eggplant. Can't seem to get enough eggplant these days. M and I grabbed Brian and went for a walk around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights and it was freezing cold...50 degrees. Us SoCal people aren't used to this weather!

Oh, and I did have a late lunch with my girlfriend, Amy, and she gave me the most cutest necklace! I love, love, love it!

Alex had a half day and played basketball this afternoon. We received terrible news tonight that one of his teammates has a brain tumor. No word yet other than the fact that he will be having surgery to remove 3 masses from his brain on the 26th....please pray for his family. These boys have played on the same travel team for almost 3 years now and are very, very close, so they are all taking the news hard. It's scary and sudden...

Matthew spent the day at Epcot and also got to play with some studio musicians. He's having fun and keeps texting me at the crack of dawn...he's not used to being 3 hours away!

The wrapping is almost done and tomorrow is THE day...the get-this-house-in-order day. There is stuff everywhere and I am tired of looking at it. I cleaned Matthew's room the day he left and it is currently the cleanest room in the house...shocker!

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