Tuesday, April 29, 2008


It is truly amazing what a good nights sleep can do.

I am thankful.


Today involved working at the book fair, a trip to Target, working at the bookfair, a large shop at Costco, a stop at home to unload, work at the book fair, and home with a parade of 9 and 10 year old boys.

They are currently playing wii and are as happy as can be.

Which is pretty happy.

Alex is at this moment eating a ham sandwich and when he is finished, we will hop in the car and drive to his training session in Newport Beach, dropping happy 9 and 10 year old boys off at their homes along the way.

Brian and I will then hit some sort of fast food, ugh, before having to pick Alex up an hour later. M and Matthew are a few towns over...M is conducting the OC honor choir and Matthew is not only singing, he is playing in the OC honor orchestra, too.

And I am missing it, but a friend is video taping it for me, so I'll be able to listen later.

Tomorrow night is a huge high school party here. It is truly amazing to me that we live in the smallest house of everyone, yet everything happens here. Why is that? Not that I am complaining...I like it!

My house is a mess. Costco stuff is all over the kitchen table. Laundry is piled and waiting patiently for its turn. The boys bath is...well...it's a boys bath. M called from his car and while talking, I mentioned that now would be a good time for Jesus to come. A messy house won't matter then.

Well, the sandwich eater has finished...time to load up the troops!


Monday, April 28, 2008


...my blog seems to be the target of lovely SPAM comments, so I've changed the way you have to sign in. Let me know if it's a pain and I'll change it back...

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.


Bach, Basketball, and Bags

I'll start with bags.

The kind under my eyes.


Exhausted doesn't even come close to how I feel today, yet there is no rest for the weary. At least this week.

Bach is over. It was yet another truly amazing set of concerts. It is such a huge deal to him and one that he spends hours upon hours preparing for, so to have so many people come and support him is such a blessing.

But I am glad it is over.


As for basketball...Alex's 8th grade team played a local high school's JV team and lost by 2. Pretty amazing. The game was ref'd by his soon to be high school's coach, so my #5 played hard. And well.

Following the game, which followed M's Sunday afternoon concert, all of M's seniors came for a late supper in the backyard. I cooked and they ate, laughed and stayed until the wee hours, which brings me back to the bags under my eyes.

The hit of the party was the huge pot of chocolate fondue, followed by a rousing game of wii tennis. After the last group left...at 1:00 am, M and I popped a bottle of champagne and sat in the quiet of the backyard. It was quiet and peaceful and a really great idea...until the alarm went off at 7am.


Under my eyes.

It's teacher appreciation week at Brian's school, so I was there to help out with flower arrangements at 8am. After, I worked the bookfair on and off until 3:30pm, leaving a few times to run a couple of errands.

Poor M...he not only worked today, but he is now off to a 3 hour high school honor choir rehearsal. He called to say he was stopping for sushi on his way and then would be home by 10pm to collapse. Not a problem, but he does need to watch The Bachelor with me 1st.

Priorities, priorities.

Alex is at practice, Matthew is at musical rehearsal (and oh, have I mentioned the text I got from today? Ummm...mom? I invited all 30 of the pit over for dinner Wednesday night, ok?) and then he is off to honor choir. Brian and I are heading to Orange for Chinese food with friends.



I'm a flower kinda girl.

I like 'em.



(Thanks to my husband's very, very green thumb!)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hot Day!

Completely dangerous, but soooo much fun...jumping on a trampoline with sprinklers!


I've actually blogged alot this week, but haven't posted much. I had a few blogs that I wrote, only to have them lost somewhere out in cyber space...and others that I've written and just saved.

It's been that kind of week.

We did go to the incoming freshman orientation at the high school and it was the most fun evening. Everywhere we turned, there were old friends...M and I spent alot of time laughing and talking. Alex has played on so many sports teams that we've been blessed to meet lots of different people...so for us, it was like old home week.

The other highlight was watching Matthew perform in 4 different groups and seeing the change that happens in those high school years. Alex and his group couldn't wait to get away from us...Matthew and his group couldn't wait to talk to us!

Yesterday I spent most of the day at Brian's school...1st up was Jump for Heart.

The whole school gathers and jumps rope to earn money for the American Heart Association.

After...it's book fair time! Again! We set up in record time and beginning Monday, I will be at the school almost all day, everyday!

Last night was date night...for me and Brian. Poor thing...Matthew went out with friends, Alex had practice and then a dance, and daddy had a rehearsal...and Bri was feeling so left out. So, in between dance drop-off and pick-up, he took me to dinner. His choice? Chili's!Then, we stopped by and watched M's rehearsal. I've always taken the boys to the dress rehearsal when they were younger so they could see how it is all put together. Brian shot a little video...loving this new camera! Unfortunately, it'll work even better with a Mac...or is that a sign of things to come?


And today? Well, my poor, over worked guy has a high school honor choir rehearsal this morning. Matthew has drum corps from 9-9 in a faraway place and has my car. I have his car, minus the key, which is causing a few shuffles in our daily schedule. Brian is going to Nico's for the day as soon as M comes home with his car. And his key. I'll drive him out and then head to the insta-party store...Trader Joe's! Alex is here, but will be up at the school practicing on and off...tomorrow his team is scrimmaging the high school JV team. I am going to garden, garden, garden...and then get everything ready for tonight. First, the concert...followed by a lively cocktail party here.

Is my house clean? Nope, but it will be. Candles and dimmed lights are such a blessing!


Friday, April 25, 2008

Silly Boys

OK...ignore the thingy in the middle of the video, but I was just playing with the software that came with my camera.
And this is how they act when they think I am taking a picture...wierdo's!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


M found out this morning that one of his mentors..and a dear friend, died yesterday afternoon.

Lynn Whitten was an amazing man...not just in the choral field, but he made a mean crepes suzette.


All his former students are gathering in Boulder to sing the Missa from the Mass in B minor at his funeral on Saturday morning.

How fitting.

M will be conducting his students in that very same work on Saturday evening.

Full circle.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I am a ma'am, thankyouverymuch.

Today, I am thankful for shamrock shakes..

...and the gardeners who work so hard outside my house every single week. Even though their leaf blower thingies aren't helping my haggit....which is 'greg-speak' for headache. And I am battling a haggit.

The AC repairman just left and actually chuckled when he saw our old, ancient, battered air conditioner.


'Ma'am....I couldn't possibly take your money in good conscience and repair this.'

When, oh when, did I become old enough to be called ma'am, and does that mean you can fix it or not?


Simply add it to the list. It's a long list.

And I like lists, so I guess that's a good thing.

This morning I spoke at a MOPS meeting on the importance of the family table, which I thought was so appropriate since I cannot seem to get anyone to sit at mine this week. God has a sense of humor. M has been working night and day and night again, though I had an email from him today that he'll be home tonight. I will not...Alex and I have an orientation at the high school for incoming freshmen. Matthew is performing at the orientation with either jazz band or wind ensemble. Or choir. Or singers. One of those groups...or all of them?

And then there is Brian. I took a video with my new camera of him playing 'Ode to Joy' on the violin. And is it ever joyful. After only 6 months of violin, too. Unfortunately, for all of you, it posts sideways. And 'Ode to Joy' on it's side is not nearly as joyful as 'Ode to Joy' standing upright.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Chilly? Yep...but the water was warm!

Last night...steak and chicken tacos. With margaritas, celebrating the end of Monday night rehearsals forevermore. Or at least until September.

And a very pretty new necklace.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Never Double Click!

I have issues.

BIG issues.


I have run out of gas more times than I can count. I blame it on M...for the 1st ten years or so of our marriage, we only had one car and he ALWAYS put gas in it.

I never, ever looked at the gas gauge cuz there was ALWAYS gas in it.

When we finally got a 2nd car, I ran out of gas quite a few times. Before cell phones. You do meet a lot of really nice people when you run out gas...and it soon became a running joke with my kids because they were always with me.

Fast forward and now I run out of gas when my children aren't in the car because they ALWAYS watch for the gas light to come on and pretty much start screaming when I get below like...ummm...3/4 of a tank. I always tell them that God gave me 3 strong strapping sons not to drive me crazy, but to push my car when it runs out of gas.


Now M's car has the most amazing feature on it...a digital thingy that tells you EXACTLY how far you can drive before you will run out of gas. It'll actually TELL you.

He has told me that he hopes I never have one in a car I drive because of my issues.

My BIG issues.

18.8 miles till I run out?

Hmmm...what happens if I go 18.9 miles? How accurate IS the digital thingy anyway?

(just pause and picture the really nice, calm, kinda quiet GERMAN guy that I am married to...can you see him rolling his eyes?)


SO, I was paying the mortgage online and it said, clearly, not to push the submit payment button more than once.

But what'll happen if I do push it twice? I mean...really!

I call M at work and do the ' ummmm, honey?' thing that I seem to do so often. His response to me is that he was surprised I would ever push any button that said 'submit'.


16 years and 4 months from now, I'll probably be thankful for the extra payment that I made last month...right?

And, for the record, I have not run out of gas yet in 2008. And that IS a record!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

MollieCat (sorry)

Just playing with my new camera. =0)

Spa Day

This morning, we divided and conquered.


M and Brian took Alex to the 1st of 2 basketball games today, which they lost by 4 in overtime. Bummer...so to help ease the pain, the 3 boys then went to Sumo, an all you can eat sushi place. I wasn't there, and neither was my camera, but apparently Alex was quite the sight trying to eat jello with chopsticks.

I'm still trying to imagine jello at a sushi place.

My new camera and I went to celebrate my girlfriend Amy's birthday...at a spa. Life is rough sometimes.

Rita, Linda, Lenore and Amy...pre-massage. Me? I had the most amazing hot stone massage...absolutely amazing. Happy, happy camper am I.

After, cheesecake factory for lunch and...ummm...cheesecake, of course. My fav...carrot cake cheesecake. Calorie free, of course.

OK...not just my earlobe, but what is hanging on my earlobe...brand new, really cute girlie earrings. They cost me a whole $1.00.

More pics later...I am on my way to game #2!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Quiet Day

I should be posting some great pictures that I've taken, but I haven't taken any yet.

Maybe tomorrow.

M had a long morning...it was the 1st full rehearsal with orchestra and choir for next weekend's Bach. He came home, ate lunch, and has been in the same spot on the couch working on the program notes all afternoon.

He's not smiling too much.

Matthew is still on choir tour up north and according to his grandparents, is happy and warm.


The rest of us had an incredibly lazy, wonderful morning. Alex has been out playing basketball, popping in every so often for food. Brian has been outside with the neighborhood kids...they've been roller blading, jumping on the trampoline, and are now playing baseball. He is filthy and happy.

I've had my nose in a really good, really creepy mystery. The laundry is doing it's thing and I am now listening to the sounds of the cocktail shaker...gotta run and take a picture!

So, here I sit...blogging. This new camera is very complicated for me...it has tons and tons of settings. I am sure there is an 'easy' button, but I am still looking for it!Can't figure out which setting to use...sigh.
So, here I sit with my apple-tini. Supper is a beef brisket with potatoes and carrots and rosemary...a new recipe that I am hoping tastes as good as it smells.

Back to my book!


Out With the Old



Kinda fun! It'll be even more fun once I learn how to use it!


Friday, April 18, 2008

Beauty and the Beast

Can you even imagine seeing this on your wall?

It was HUGE!

And scary....vewy, vewy scawy.


Fortunately, Alba was over visiting and she is butch. In a girl way. I mean, really...she took off her (high heeled) shoe and gently coaxed the beast outside.

Meanwhile, I stood across the room on a chair.


(and taking pictures.)

Up A Tree

I know I've talked alot about my neighborhood and what it means to me. And if you don't know me very well and don't know my neighborhood, you might think I am making it up.

But I'm not.

It's just a really, really special place.

Anyway, last night we had a little excitement, and it all started with me being a weirdo stalker.


My neighbor Ann is the big kahuna of gardeners. Because of her, I am now a gardener though I am still a little kahuna gardener compared to her. For the past month, she's had some mighty suspicious looking fluorescent lights in her kitchen window.

With plants growing underneath.

She claims they are herbs and tomatoes. Claims, being the key word. She did grow up in the 70's you know.

So I just had to get a picture. After, I did knock on her door to tell her that I was just documenting her...ummmm...plant growing techniques.

As I was walking home, out ran their normally slow moving dog, Winston, chasing my not so slow moving cat.

See her way up in the tree?

Out runs Ann, racing by me. Dressed very nicely, I might add.
Winston was hungry for cat.

Mollie wasn't going anywhere!

Nate to the rescue!

And then it turned into the 'after dinner social hour'.

Sheila and Hannah...sweet, sweet, sweet!


After all the excitement, Mollie came down from the tree and took a long nap!


It all began with a very sweet email last night. Matthew left on choir tour yesterday...they'll be singing up north in Palo Alto and San Francisco, plus doing the all important things like going to Great America and Alcatraz.

Now the email, like I said, was from my father-in-law and it basically said something to the effect of 'it's cold up here and Matthew will need a jacket. Love, Dad. '

Does he have a jacket? I dunno. This has been one of those non-speaking, extreme muttering weeks in our house. All I know is this child, I mean man, alternates between grabbing things from his bedroom and his car. It's actually quite humorous...the door to his cave opens, he walks straight by us and out to his car, grabs whatever he needs and goes back to his cave. I even asked a few nights ago if he showered out there, which by the loving look I received meant 'no'.

Does he have a jacket? I dunno...I still don't have an itinerary. I know he's on a bus, but at this writing, I have no idea when he is coming home. Never mind that I wrote the check for this vacation, I mean tour, which means that I should at least know where he is vacationing. I mean touring. However, the itinerary never quite made it home to me.

So, this morning I texted him...which by the way is one of the greatest inventions of all time, because you can't mutter in a text message...you have to actually type a WORD. So I texted and asked if he had a jacket...that SF is cold.

His response?

'I'll be fine. I can always call Grandma.'

OK...this made me laugh so hard. In fact, I have tears streaming down my face, I am laughing so hard. His brain is telling him that his grandparents might just drive an HOUR (one way) to SF, where he'll be sitting on a corner of Fisherman's Wharf shivering until they arrive. Because he called.

I responded with a very simple text back.


Does he have a jacket? I dunno. But he does have a plan.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's a Date!

Ahhhh...my garden. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the dirt was warm and U2 was on my iPod...can you get much better that?

I weeded and dug and picked and.....sweat.


cauliflower and broccoli

lots and lots of shallots

I decided to run a few errands before cleaning up and then IT happened. IT was a text that seemed to type itself into my phone.


A few seconds later, this is what I saw:


And up he drove! Sometimes you just have to make your work-a-holic husband, who is up to his eyeballs in overworkedness, leave campus and all it's stressfulness for just a little bit. And eat lunch. Even if you are a tad bit smelly and sweaty and covered with dirt from working in the garden and he looks mighty fine and smells even better.

And eat risotto...cuz life is always, ALWAYS a bit brighter after eating a bowl of risotto. ALWAYS. Especially if it has asparagus, zucchini and spinach in it!

Then, to truly make him smile, offer to pay when the server brings your check.


He's back at work now and won't be home till late...yet another recital is tonight.

As for the rest of us, I am thinking we are all here. I do know that there is no basketball tonight, which means that my car is now parked for the rest of the evening. It needs to be...it cost $74.80 to fill her up this morning...and that'll last me a week. If I am lucky.

I am SO ready for a golf cart....but I am NOT ready to give up my carload of boys. So I'll be patient.

Anyway, supper tonight is roasted chicken that my neighbor brought over (along with stuffed grape leaves...oh my!), along with some broccoli from the garden. And some type of pasta...I think there is a little container in the freezer of pesto, which'll make for a mighty green plate of food. Oh well!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back to School

Tea anyone?

Yesterday morning, all boys of all ages went back to school.
Only one was somewhat happy about it...can you guess which one?


I would have loved to have enjoyed the quietness of the house, but I, too, hit the ground running and am just now slowing down.

In the last two days, I've worked at Brian's school, had a hyperemesis training session (like going through it 3 times isn't enough training...sigh), drove to basketball practice, met with the financial aid office at Matthew's college, been to Costco, Target, Old Navy, and Barnes and Noble, fed a few students last night who needed to talk, and today sat for hours with the accountant who is doing the taxes for the non-profit I no longer own. OH...and a PTA meeting, too.


Squished in there was a really great 'quick' iced tea with a girlfriend and a phone call from another whom I hadn't talked to in months. Life is good.

Thankfully, my week is now relatively free. I haven't spent much time in my garden, so that along with some REAL cooking is high on my list of things 'to do'...plus a little laundry and a little sweeping and a little picking up!

I have a husband out there somewhere...has anyone seen him? Not only is Bach quickly approaching next weekend, but he's also doing a huge city honor choir thingy and attending tons of student recitals. Praise God for text messaging!

So, tonight, M and Matthew have an honor choir rehearsal across town at 6pm. Alex has a training session at 6:30pm and Brian'll be with me. I've already made a pot of minestrone and everyone can eat when they get a chance...along with a loaf of french bread. I'm needing the smell of brownies...nothing like the smell of brownies and it is the Biggest Loser finale tonight. Gotta have snacks during the Biggest Loser finale, right?


Sunday, April 13, 2008


Our newest confirmand!




It's been a whirlwind, but we made it. Exhale. Slowly and deeply.

Alex is confirmed. And we're thankful.


We were able to celebrate the way Alex wanted us to...Saturday night up in Long Beach and last night here at home. It was a wonderful end to a wonderful spring break...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Few Pics...

...from tonight. Alex did well and he is soooo relieved that the hard part is over. He's lounging with the neighborhood guys in the hot tub as I type!

There are 25 kids being confirmed after 2 years of classes. Tonight, they had to stand in front of the church and answer questions...he waited until almost the end to even raise his hand.

We're proud of you, Alex!


Waiting for just the right question.


uncle greg, brian, and alex

seth was a great mentor!

aunt joanna and uncle greg...brian, too!

lots of loot! =0)

pretty ingrid! (with the HOT new car!)

logan...liking the beer a little toooo much!

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