Thursday, August 30, 2007

All Done

Matthew is yelling at Alex.
Alex is yelling at Matthew.
Brian is upset because I told him he is not going to, or will he ever get from me, an i-phone.
I am yelling at kids to stop yelling at kids.
(sets such a good example, huh? )

I am officially done with summer.
This is the best summer we've ever had, and starts a week from today. But now it's time for them to all head for the nearest exit.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Bought a new vacuum cleaner yesterday and Brian is so excited. He vacuumed yesterday and again today...gotta love a guy who knows how to clean. =0)

This morning, I look out my bathroom window and this is what I see:

It doesn't take me long to figure out who brought it home, so I call Alex on his cell. He acts like he hasn't a clue what I am talking about, but I am smart. I'm on to him. I tell him we'll discuss it after his practice and that he is in trouble. BIG trouble.

Turns out Matthew brought it home.


Mother of the Year goes to me, once again.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Neighborhood

We moved into our little starter house 11 years ago, that we had bought sight unseen, and decided on the spot that we would stay exactly 1 year. No more, no less. The neighborhood was nice enough, very well groomed, great schools and lots of parks and pools, but the house was so unfriendly to me, so cold, so...I don't know. It just wasn't my home. Neighbors came by right away to welcome us, but in all honesty, I wasn't interested. I wanted to go home, to Boulder. I've always been a journal writer, and on the one year anniversary of us moving to Irvine, I wrote, "I only cried once today." How sad is that? It was a hard adjustment, to say the least.

The surprising thing is, I know how to pick up and move. As a child, we moved every 2 years, almost like clockwork. Did I mind back then? I'm not sure, but I don't think so. My family instilled a love of travel in me and a great sense of adventure. I know, without a shadow of doubt, that I could live anywhere and have fun doing it. I make friends easily. And I keep them forever. Most importantly, those moves led me to Michael.


We lived in Boulder for 7 years, the longest I had lived anywhere. The longest I had ever stayed in 1 state. I met friends who are more than friends...they are my family. It was our home.

Leaving Boulder was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done and because of that, I was pretty reluctant to feel that attached to any place again.

And then I let myself get to know my neighbors. My crazy, quirky, fun, kind neighbors. My boys have grown up with these kids and they have ruled the neighborhood. There are tons of boys, all the same ages, and while they out number the girls, they all just hang out together. It is, for lack of a better word, perfect.

We've all gotten to the point where we can afford to move, but something keeps us here. It's a sense of a by gone time, when people stayed put and didn't always think of the next best thing. It's a true community. Most have been here longer than us, very few have come after. We've rallied through triumphs and sorrows and just been there to support each other.

It's a pretty neat neighborhood.


The big boys at Sunday's ice cream social...

Matthew has had enough of my camera!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Crazy Aunt Leslie called and said she was bringing the kids to LA for a concert, and could she crash for the night at our place before heading home? YES!!!! The kids had a week together this summer and had such a great time, so we've been trying to work out a time to get them all this was perfect. We had a wedding to go to (which started an HOUR late!), so they beat us home, and all the kids had a blast!

Alex, all cleaned up for the wedding.

Brian and Nate, partners in crime!

Kelsey and Kelsey!

Cooking cousins

Sunday morning pancake breakfast.

Kelseys x 2
Playing basketball after the California rain!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


(translated means 'you are a very, very good wife and have a husband who can afford clams')

Friday, August 24, 2007


  • 7:30am - Wake up and shower
  • 8:15am - Make Michael coffee and dash out to meet a girlfriend for coffee and a devotional.
  • 9:15am - Run home to pick up Matthew and Brian. Drop Brian off at a friends to play for the morning.
  • 9:45am - Matthew drives me to his Senior portrait appointment.
  • 10:30am - Hit the bank (almost literally, but not quite) and the grocery store, for 2 more gallons of milk. Seems the 4 gallons I bought on Monday won't get us thru today. Plan a special dinner in my head for Michael, who is doing final call backs today and has to make a bunch of students sad that they didn't make his top choir. Call home to remind myself to chill champagne, because I won't remember 2 minutes from now.
  • 11:15am - Drop Matthew off at band camp and pick up Alex from home.
  • 11:45am - Dr's appointment for Alex. The elbow is not broken. The knee is healed. Blood sugar was running a tad low; pull a juice box out of my purse. Much better and now he is smiling.
  • 12:30pm - Home with Alex. Strip bed and put sheets in the washer. Slept with dead flees last night and it was kinda disgusting. Good news...kittens are flee free AND the duvet cover, sheets and blanket all fit in the washer. Here from girlfriend that she is taking kids to the pool, so Brian is coming home to change.
  • 1:15pm - Stuff in dryer. Head out with Alex.
  • 1:30pm - Alex has hair appt. Paying a million dollars to take him to my person and not to the barber. He is controlling his displeasure for me admirably.
  • 1:45 pm - Run to fish place and buy clams for dinner. Thinking Cioppino will make Michael want to come home at a decent hour.
  • 2:15pm - Pick up Alex and realize that I have not eaten today. into Starbucks and get an iced tea and an egg salad sandwich. Alex and I share.
  • 2:45pm - Run Alex home, grab his knee brace and head out to pick up A, A and A to drive to basketball. Get a call on the way that Brian wants to come home, so I swing by the pool to grab him. His friend wants to come to our house to play, so he piles in, too.
  • 3:05 pm - Drop off big boys at the gym and treat the little boys to frozen yogurt. The mom gets one, too.
  • 3:30pm - Home! Make bed and share a Fresca with a neighbor who knocks on the door.
  • 4:30pm - Check messages and chill champagne. Glad I remembered to check messages. Sigh. Chop two large pans full of tomatoes and put in the oven to roast. Get mail and read the People magazine that comes today. =0)
  • 5:30 pm - Feed Brian and his friend dinner. Sandwiches, grapes, and chips. It's summer, plus Brian'll eat clams with us later.
  • 6:00pm - Call Michael and remind him that we love him very much. He's in a meeting and finishing up his final choir list.
  • 7:00pm - Drive Brian's friend home.
  • 7:15 pm - Get on the computer, check email and write blog. Still no husband. Seriously thinking about opening the champagne. Hmmm...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Flee Flea!

I've had very leeeeetle sleeeeep, thanks to the plethora of boys who slept over last night. Or forgot to sleep. In our tiny house. At one point I got out of bed, perfectly at peace with the fact that I was going to yell at all of them for NOT sleeping, and I discovered they were all glued to the TV, laughing and talking....and watching High School Musical 2. Priceless. I crept back to bed and let them be. At 4:30am, I am awakened by a flashlight in my face. Alex tells me that he and the gang are going for a run around the lake and then they'll be back. I figure if they need a flashlight, it's not the right time for a jog. He then proceeds to argue, in hushed tones mind you, and then storms out of the room. Lovely.

In the meantime, Michael's 1st day of classes is today and the opening service is this morning, so he should really get some sleep. He supports us, after all. But he's not getting a whole lotta rest considering he's sharing a bed with 2 kittens, both of whom have fleas.

I think the word infestation is completely appropriate here.

Now, we've survived, barely, head lice. Yes, we've survived head lice. Our children survived. Our marriage survived. My pride, though bruised, survived. For the record, our whole gosh darn neighborhood got it and it was even more horrid than you can imagine. It was years ago, but I did find a remedy that works, if you should ever need it.

I'm not sure who is going to win the flea battle at this point. I had bought some flea stuff for the bargain price of $13.99. A week later and the fleas were worse. Should've just paid them the cash to stay rather than taking a drive to the pet store.

I sent out an SOS to both Holly and my mother-in-law, both whom are cat people. They both said to try the same thing, so off I go to the Pet Store. $50.00 later, I have a box of flee stuff. HOLY COW!!!! (And yes, next time I will order online and no, it was not greasy like the cheap stuff.)

I hope it works. Fast. My poor wittle kitties... =0(

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Brian and the Beach

I had promised Brian we would go back to the beach today and spend a few hours. It was just the two of us...Matthew has band camp and Alex's best friend is back in town after being gone for a month...need I say more? Brian came in and woke me at 7am with his bathing suit on and a towel in hand. I somehow managed to hold him off until 9:30am...which wasn't easy! The weather was cool with a thick marine layer, but it burned off by 11 or so. It was beautiful and empty!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Morning Getaway

It was bound to happen, but it happened sooner this year than ever before. The smiles are slow to come and the laughter is almost non-existent. I'm talking about my husband, who is back at work.


I found out he didn't have any auditions until 2pm today and that Matthew didn't have to be at school until noon. Somehow managed to get the two teenage boys out of bed at 9am and shove them in the car, thinking breakfast at the beach was the perfect idea.

Let's dad, who has not had any coffee, 2 teenage boys, who stayed up half the night watching reruns of That 70's Show and are now up early, and Brian, who is ALWAYS happy in the mornings, much to the dismay of the 2 teenage boys I mentioned previously. I could have gone either way, but chose to stick with Brian. So, 2 out of 5 are excited about breakfast out, while 1 is even grumpier when he realizes my car is on E, as in EMPTY. He is even grumpier when he realizes that he has just put in 19.99 gallons of gas in my 20 gallon tank. Low on gas and low on caffeine.

This is FUN.

I am; however, very optimistic. The beach is 5 miles from our house and is the favorite place for Grumpy #1. Grumpy #2 and #3 both spend quite a bit of time hanging out at the beach, and are certified beach bums. Happy #4? He gets a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step when he hears the word water.

10 minutes later we are on Balboa Island and are driving onto the ferry. Yes, you can just drive to Newport Beach, but why do that when you can drive your now fully gassed car onto a ferry?

After driving off the ferry, we park at the pier and walk out to Ruby's. A few smiles are emerging, some are actually talking quietly to each other. In the meantime, I notice Brian is wearing his bathing suit and is carrying a towel. That child is PREPARED. I tell him we are only here for a quick breakfast and he says, "Get mine to go, please. I'll be in the water!" Gotta love him!

Coffee+ Food = Happiness and Harmony!

Left our house at 9:30 am, got gas, rode a ferry, walked a pier, ate breakfast and played in the water. Arrived home at 11:30am and watched as M drove away with a smile on his face. =0)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Band Camp

Summer is quickly coming to an end and the activities are beginning...oh my! I am not ready...I'm not! I volunteered at band camp today and got to watch Matthew conduct from afar. He was having so much fun...he's so much like his dad. I had an interesting time watching all the mothers who are just a tad toooo involved...pretty crazy!

I am heading down to my garden with Brian in a bit to pick a peck of peppers...or however many I can gather. Michael has auditions all day today and will need to come home to comfort food; however, I am on the road at dinnertime getting Alex to basketball across town. So, I've got the AC on already and will turn on the oven and roast some sausage, potatoes, and peppers. Throw a loaf of bread at the men folk, open a can of cold peaches and a bottle of Chianti, and call it a meal. Brian and I were going to head down to the beach, but he has been over-exposed and needs a day or so out of the sun. Maybe tomorrow, depending on his very wrinkly, freckly little nose.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nothing Much

Michael had a conference to go to today and it's one of those that he actually looks forward to going to each year. First off, it's short...only one day AND it's close to home. Throw in the fact that it is along the ocean and he drives a convertible. And last, but not least, lots of old friends attend and it's a good chance to catch up.

A few days ago, some really good friends of ours sat us down and told us that their marriage is over. Over. Over. We've seen it coming, but it is still a shock and makes me so sad. (It's not public yet, so please don't ask me who it is...) Today, another good friend of ours who we know from Colorado but now teaches out here, told Michael that he and his wife are divorcing. Another one that we weren't blind to, but are still so saddened by. It's just not something I would have expected, and I pray that they are led to make it easy on their children, but I doubt it in both cases.


I am sad.

And when I am sad, I cook. So today I've made a roasted potato salad to go with burgers that M will throw on the grill. I also made some Provencal tomatoes and a pan of caponata with the last of my gardens tomatoes. Both will be great leftover this week. Dessert will be something with blueberries. And sugar. =0)

Tomorrow it all begins. Opening services are tomorrow, followed by lunch on campus. This is WOW week and M has auditions for his choir beginning Monday. Matthew has rehearsals from 11-8 everyday this week and his best friend is staying with us for a few weeks. Crowded? Yes, but this poor kid has been jerked around by his parents so much and knows we are his 'safe' house. What's another boy, anyway? Alex has team workouts every afternoon from 3 - 7pm and I'm thankful for the next 3 weekends where we do not have to travel with his team. Brian wants to hit the beach and boogie board, so we'll do that once or twice this week. Plus, our Disneyland passes are good beginning Tuesday, so that's in the works, too.

Summer went so fast this year!

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Night at Nick's

We have this neighborhood, hole in the wall Italian restaurant that we discovered 7 or 8 years ago. It's the type of place where we walk in and they immediately get us a table (even if there are people waiting!), pull our same bottle of wine, and get the boys drinks. It's our version of 'Cheers' and we are there almost every week. The food is amazing and we have even had discussions about buying out the owners when they retire...we love it that much. (Before you freak out, it is just talk!!) We never go on a Wednesday because Hector, our favorite waiter, is off on Wednesdays. If you've ever eaten out with Michael, it is a true experience. He talks to EVERYONE, and we've had our fair share of wait people join us for coffee after we've closed a restaurant. By the time we leave, he knows whether or not they are Christian and why or why not, what their favorite food is and what kind of car they drive. It's crazy, but we know everyone at Nick's and they know us...which in all the hurriedness (is that a word?) of southern CA, we truly appreciate!

A couple more pictures from yesterday, before my camera was dropped.


Brian, after camp.

Nice car! =0)

Trying to get in the house...ended up having to use the back door. Lovely!

My crazy Alex!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Imagine spending all summer travelling and being completely independent. Sleeping on buses and gym floors, practicing at all hours, and being on the road for months. Then imagine coming home again and having to share a bathroom, TV, and one 'family' computer, because your parents only have one Internet connection, on purpose. Not only that, but supper is eaten together, as a family, at the table, with real silverware. And yes, the trash must go out daily.

Matthew, it will get easier. I promise. And yes, we are very happy that you are home for this last year before college. And no, we will not stop making jokes about your tan line. =0)


So, so, so cute! =0)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Boys and Girls

Brian with Maggie; Harrison with Mollie.

Sunny Sunday

When is it not sunny in Socal on a Sunday in August? Gathered the whole family -plus a few! and took over the pool at the end of our street. Grilled some hot dogs and ate some S'more's...a great way to end the summer. Most of the crew are heading back to work this week, Ingrid's starting a new job (you go, girl!), and a few can be bums for a bit longer.
As for our house? Michael is back to work preparing for retreat on Thursday, Matthew has begun band camp and his drum major duties, Alex is at a team work-out, and Brian is at sports camp. And me? I guess I am kinda sorta maybe just a tad bit in the bum category.

We took over the whole pool...Jill, Seth, Marissa and Mariah, Greg, Joanna, Maddie, Sophie, and Logan, My 5, and Josh, Ben and Ingrid. Did I forget anyone?



Alex n Brian


Alex and Aunt Joanna (OK, Joanna...all I ever seem to get are pictures of your butt! Turn around, chicka!)

8-pack Alex


Bathing beauties! Nice tan, Jill! =0)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...