Saturday, May 31, 2008

Senior Prom

In between pictures at the school and dinner at Waters, the group showed up here for more pictures. And to crash for a few minutes and watch the movie Rocky.


Matthew and Jenn

Great-Grandpa's cuff links

Matthew and Jenn, Sang and Edina...Edina is going to Concordia next year, too! Matthew has had a rough week...he flew in from Europe on Sunday, ruptured an eardrum on Tuesday night, concerts on Wednesday, Thursday and Prom tonight. He's running on half empty with hearing in only one ear...calling himself 'mini Beethoven'. Crazy kid!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Happiness and Harmony


..and Mollie.

Happy Birthday, little ladies!


Open House

Open house, take 12.

Let's see...3rd child, 4th principal, 12th year.


It began with In n Out, eaten quickly so as to move on to the all important socializing.

Once inside...lots and lots of stuff to see!

All is true...except for the 'I like to sleep' part. Not sure that is entirely true.

Very, very, very cute artwork.

His quote...not mine!

Celebrated after with ice cream while watching (ok, I played scrabble...the males watched) the all important Laker game.


Thursday, May 29, 2008


Most nights, this is what you see when you peek into Brian's room...stuffed animals, real animals, a messy face and a really good book.


I was up with Matthew last night...all his gunk turned into an ear infection, which for him is extremely painful. 18 years old and 6 sets of ear tubes...think he'll be growing out of it anytime soon?

Today is so's a Meals on Wheels day for me, plus I am lunching with Josephine. We'll have supper up at Brian's school (In n Out...again!) for the last of 3 school open houses. Alex has a late training session....he's been moved up to the varsity guys now, which is exciting for him, but the hours are killer for us. Throw in Matthew's concerts tonight and tomorrow and we've got a hat trick.

2 more weeks.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008


You know, you can buy them all the toys in the world, but all you really need is a jump rope, a helmet and an old curtain rod.

OH, and a girl to climb the tree.


This entertained them yesterday for hours. Hours.

My new favorite breakfast...lemon curd on toast. A scone would taste better....much better, but oh well. Lemon curd is lemon curd. And me likes lemon curd!

Some days, like today, you just need to remember to breathe.

In and out. In and out.

Yet another meeting this morning at son #2's school, with a team of people who believe in him and want him to succeed. He just does not like school. At all. The greatest thing is that he has people blowing air underneath his wings and encouraging him to fly, even though he doesn't believe he can.

But he will. Fly that is.

I know that, without a doubt.

But, until he does...I am blowing lots and lots of air under those wings.


M and I decided lunch was out we went to Taco Rosa for a little lobster bisque followed by lobster tacos.

Lunch, with lobster, definitely helps.

A margarita would've been the perfect help, but that whole having to parent for the rest of the day thing made us think twice.

Brian just got home with a friend in tow. I am waiting for Matthew to come home...he's missing yet another class, but he must go to the DR and it was the only appt. I could get him. I am pretty sure he has strep and has been infecting every poor soul he's been near for the last few days. After, we'll go and get his tux for prom this weekend...not that we don't have a bunch floating around the house.

But, he's asked for a special one that makes him look 'mafia-ish'.

His word. Not mine.

Oh, and last night he received a sentinel award for music!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Garden Day

What could be better?

A pitcher of tulips on the kitchen table,

chocolate souffles waiting to be baked,

and the 1st of the summer zucchini from my neighbor's garden.

This morning, with the help of a guy I really, really like, my garden went in. So far...19 tomato plants (11 romas, 4 heirlooms, 1 cherry, 2 beefsteak and a regular old red), sweet peas, green beans, carrots, radishes, 3 zucchini plants (hoping for lots of blossoms...mmmm), 1 eggplant (thinking of putting in one more of those), 5 peppers of all different colors and a small spot left for something little...maybe some red onions or garlic. OH...and cucumbers. 2 different kinds, because Alex is holding out for a really good pickle.


M is in the backyard repairing the damage that happened while he was in Europe. OK, so he's replanting all the stuff I didn't water. Sue me.

Tonight is a divide and conquer night...Matthew is performing at an awards ceremony, so I am going to that. M will stay here with Brian and drive Alex to and from his training session. Supper will be kind of on the go for everyone...TJ's orange chicken and rice. Even thought we're all over the place, I am glad we are all at least sleeping under the same roof again. Makes me happy.


Monday, May 26, 2008


I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think,
all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.
-- John Burroughs

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Stuff!

First, my boys are home....happy, healthy and full of fun stories.


It's a lazy day today...lots and lots of laundry to catch up on, not to mention an exciting game being played. I guess once you've traveled to Europe, your next step is to try and conquer it.

They brought back some really, really fun stuff, too.

M's watch was stolen from his car a few weeks before the trip...if you see a bum wearing a really, really nice Movado, could you ask him to return it? Anyway, M bought a new watch from a pretty shady character in Munich...he had a bunch in a cardboard box for the bargain price of 20 euro.

I must say...I scored. Polish pottery...

...czech eggs (I collect 'em!)...
...and some jewels.
Alex got his favorite thing...milka!
Matthew brought back a beer stein...
...and beer. Oh my.
Brian got a really cool sword pen and tons of chupa chups, which he has already hidden safely away. Gotta love chupa chups!

Today is just a hang out day and I am loving it. I figured right in that they've eaten lots of meat, so I have a big pot of gravy going and we'll have pasta for supper. There was talk earlier of going to see a movie, but I'm thinking we're all in for the night. Brian and I are going to make something special for dessert...he sure missed his daddy.

This afternoon, Mollie brought me a baby bunny. Don't worry...the bunny got under the fence and is hopefully home with her momma. Poor thing!

Crazy Kid!

A little insight into Alex and how very, very silly he is.


Saturday, May 24, 2008



Sound asleep, I feel a tap on my shoulder.

"Mom? It's me. Brian. I went to the bathroom."

I gave him a squeeze and back he trotted to bed...and now I sit here WIDE awake.


He is not a good sleeper...never has been and probably never will. He is going to be an awesome college student someday because he requires very little sleep and remembers everything.

Brian is like a reporter. At 9, he still fills me in on every the whole 'hey, I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night' kind of details. Except with him, it is more of a 'MOM! I went to the bathroom but I didn't flush cuz I was afraid it would wake the cats so I shut the door but now I can't see the nightlight and what are we having for lunch tomorrow?' kind of details.

At 3:47 am.

Like I said, this will one day serve him well.

I hope.



Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Fun

Cherries. Gotta love them. They are the perfect 'eat while you're watching a movie' kind of snack...problem is they are horribly expensive around here, all the time.

Oh well.

Sometimes you just need a bowl of cherries anyway.
Last night's supper...on the road. Dropped Alex at his training session, ran to the store, then to chik-fil-a (no pickles for Brian, thankyouverymuch...and a large diet lemonade for mom...yum!) and back to pick up the blond sweaty boy.
Home...and yet another batch of cookies. It's that new cookbook I bought...Martha Stewart's cookies that is to blame. This time...milk chocolate cookies.

Oh my.

OK...we found the mostest funnest game and I bought it for the boys. It's turned out to be a smashing great time...swingball.
Doesn't look like much...and it all fits in that little base part when you are not playing it. Which I like...small house, remember?

It's kind of like tetherball neighbor and I actually played and it is FUN! Brian and Alex were out there until 10pm school today!


This morning was so great...we just hung out. It is freezing, freezing cold...57 degrees and sprinkly, so at 10:30am we headed to the movies and saw Indiana Jones.

Loved it!

Love him! That Harrison Ford...oh my!!


Brian is dodging raindrops outside with friends, as is Alex...though he is shooting hoops up at the school. M called and we talked for an hour...boy, do I miss him. And Matthew.

They leave Krakow tomorrow and fly home via Berlin, so not much longer.

In the meantime, I'm passing time playing scrabble. Supper tonight is a frittata with ham, asparagus and cheese...with melon on the side. And cookies.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Soggy and Cold

Really yummy cookies that I made yesterday....thank goodness for neighbors or I would've munched on them all night!

Pouring, pouring rain and it was COLD today!
We even had thunder!

While delivering meals there were huge puddles everywhere...of course when I left home it was cloudy with not a drop of rain in sight. I was soaked...but it smelled so good outside. I love that!

My dear friend, Josephine. It's been a rough week for her...she's now having some heart problems and isn't looking near as well as she did even a few weeks ago, but for 94 I think she looks incredible. And she is as sharp as a tack. We have a standing Thursday lunch date...we used to go out, but that has gotten harder, so now I bring in all her favorites. Today? A 'real' Chicago pizza with sausage and mushrooms, which in SoCal is impossible to find. But this was close...and she was happy.


The sun is now shining, but it is COLD outside. Alex has a late training session after all, so we'll pick up chinese food and hold off on the movie until tomorrow morning. I've got my eye on yet another cookie recipe, so I may make those later, too. I'm still planning on Roman Holiday later...watching while I play that stupid scrabble game online with Holly.

It's pretty pathetic when your cell phone rings and the person on the other end says 1 word.


Obviously, our husbands are out of town.


Passing Time

The last few days have been busy in a not very busy way.

Does that make sense?

I am missing the rest of my is just SO quiet here. I normally like quiet...a lot...but this is a different kind of quiet. The linen closet and laundry room are clean, as well as Brian and Alex's closet. Oh, and the pantry has been cleaned out, too.

There's been a lot of non-quiet things happening, too...and let's just say that this is the 1st morning that I have not gotten a call from one of the schools regarding one of my sons.

Take a guess which one.


All is well. This too shall pass. What comes around, goes around. Life is short, eat dessert first.

I am sure one of the above quotes applies.

Today I am doing Meals on Wheels and then having lunch with Josephine. She's gotten too frail at 94 to take out...even with a wheelchair it is really hard to get her up into my car or down into M's car, so I will pick up food and bring it to her. The interesting thing is that today M and Matthew are at Auschwitz...Josephine is Polish and was in Poland during the war. She is an amazing, amazing woman and has the best stories to tell.

Tonight is basketball, though I am still waiting on a time. I'm leaning towards picking up chinese food since we'll be in the car already. The boys have early dismissal today and no school tomorrow...they're asking to go see the new Indiana Jones movie, so we may do that, too. Hmmm....maybe we'll pick up chinese and eat it IN the movie.

Last night, after helping both boys finish up big projects that were due today and getting them in bed, I curled up in my own bed (and I will miss sleeping smack dab in the middle with ALL the pillows!) and watched a fabulous movie...Three Coins in the Fountain. Fabulous. It's old and I had seen it years ago, so I snagged it on my last Costco run. Tonight? Roman Holiday. Isn't Audrey divine?


Monday, May 19, 2008


Nothing like some one on one time with a scorpion...

...and group time with a boa.


Yesterday afternoon's game was amazing...Alex ROCKED and in the final game of the season, his team beat the team they have never been able to beat.

Way cool...even though it was over 100 in the gym.

Gotta love the smell of sweat!


After, we went (sigh) with the team to In n Out. (sigh)

Alex summed it up on the way home by saying, 'Mom, remember when you used to cook?'

Yeah, kinda sorta.


This morning, I began my day with a meeting at a certain child's school. Again. I'm beginning to think that they will miss me next year when he moves on to the high school.

OK, probably not, but I can dream.


After, I met a girlfriend for coffee and girl talk. Gotta love girl talk. Then, a stalking trip to Pier 1...the kind where you picked out something you just HAD to have, so you go back a few days later and see if you still like it?

Thankfully for my wallet, I didn't like it as much as I did.

On to pick up Matthew's trumpet, a stock up trip to Trader Joe's and a quick run in to Costco, if there is such a thing. Somewhere amongst all my errands I talked to M...he's been in Berlin the last few days and is heading to Prague tomorrow.

I miss them.

Anyway, I just did the drive to basketball practice and am going to make supper...shocker! Lemon shrimp with linguine, for my boys who love shrimp...hope I remember how to turn on the stove!


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mouse House


my patience.

You know, the thing that helps you act in a somewhat calm, loving and rational way?

Mine is missing.

This morning was basketball and I could not get these boys up and ready. By the time we got into the car, I had already acted like a raving lunatic.

Just perfect.

Alex had a pretty good game...not great, but if you refuse to eat breakfast you tend to run out of steam, especially if you have blood sugar issues.

Ah well. Live and learn.

So, yesterday I put the summer bedding back on the bed. Maggie likes it.


I also made a batch of the very, very best oatmeal white chocolate chip cookies...

...and Alex got new size 13's.

THEN, last night in the dead of night...2:15am to be exact, I woke up to a rather large ruckus in the front of the house.

If I hadn't been so exhausted, I might've been afraid, but I honestly just laid there thinking, 'take it all.'

It kept going on and on, so I got out of bed and figured out it was my cats...who had cornered a mouse. have GOT to be kidding me. A the the middle of the night? A husband across the ocean and there is a MY HOUSE?

Acting as butch as I possibly could, I opened the slider, swished them with a broom and out they all tumbled.

Oh my.

So now I sit here and think....did one of them bring the mouse in earlier or are there more IN my house?


We have another game later this afternoon. It's already in the 90's here, so we're hanging out at home until then...I am keeping my cats close by. Just in case.


Saturday, May 17, 2008


Well, SoCal is in a heat wave...and guess what?

Our AC is working!!!


My poor husband will be coming home to a beautifully dead backyard, and yes, I have watered.

I just don't get it...I can grow children, I can grow vegetables...but I cannot keep the backyard alive for 2 weeks.

Oh well.

Yesterday afternoon in between dropping boys off at basketball and then driving them to the dance, Brian and I went to the car wash.
Where he took some pictures.


We'll be back again...I had 3 free washes and they expire next week, so Matthew's car is going in, too.

Pretty purple trees on the way home!

My newest addiction...Scrabble online.

Sick and wrong, but I will quit when M gets home from Europe.

Last night, Brian and I watched a movie...and had a little intermission. I scooped ice cream and he provided the entertainment. Bet you wish you were here!

(sorry for the dark somehow darkens when I upload it to blogger. I am sure there is a way to fix it, but I can't figure it out!)

Brian is out playing already and has a busy day...he is going to see our neighbor perform in School House Rock, so he'll be gone most of the afternoon. Alex just got a call about practice all the way across town, so we'll go to that. It's his new team and we have yet to work out any kind of carpool, so it'll be lots of driving for awhile, which I don't mind. After his practice, we need to run to buy new court shoes for him...will someone please tell the kid to stop growing! His size 12's are too small after only 2 months.

As for the rest of today...we'll be in the pool! Alex is still hoping for Souplantation and we never made it the other night, so tonight is probably the night. At least they have vegetables!


Friday, May 16, 2008


I can't seem to post pictures today, so imagine my husbands smiley face right here:


Happy Birthday!

There's something about having a passport in one hand and a 'real' German beer in the other that is making this birthday a little extra fun!

(just remember that we are missing you back home and love you...very, very much!)

Little Trip

This morning, I did something out of the ordinary for me. I woke my boys and got them out the door with a neighbor for the before school pancake breakfast up at Brian's school.

But I didn't go with them.

Instead, I drove myself to the airport, hopped on an airplane and flew north, landed, picked up a rental car and drove to a courthouse.

And listened as a judge continually mispronounced my maiden name. Which isn't all that unusual, but today it really, really bothered me.

In a relatively short amount of time, he ruled that my father is indeed dead. Just one of 53 people on the docket today, who will be ruled dead.

I know my dad is gone....I was there. It's been awhile now...almost 3 years, in fact. Until that time 3 years ago, I had never experienced death in that personal of a way. To lose a parent is awful, to lose anyone is matter what the situation is, but to watch someone take their last breath on this earth is definitely a life changing experience.

Not the kind I would want to experience again.

Matthew, who was 15 at the time, summed it up then by saying that I could now see thestrals. And no, he does not believe in thestrals, nor do we believe Harry Potter is real, nor does it mean that he does not believe in Jesus, but it was the way his young brain was thinking at the time.

I thought it was brilliant.

Anyway, I sat in a court room and listened as my fathers case came up. No one knew I was there. No one knew that I was his daughter. No one knew that I had flown in just for this. No one knew anything about me.

Nor did they care.

So, in the matter of 8 minutes, my fathers life on this earth was all wrapped up.

I kept thinking to myself...8 minutes and 4 boxes. 8 minutes and 4 boxes. 8 minutes...and 4 boxes. After he died, I brought his belongings 4 boxes. A whole life fit perfectly in 4 boxes.

The gavel sounded the end of his case and I walked out into the sunshine and back to my little rental car. I knew where I needed to go and where I needed to be. The airport. And home.

My flight home was uneventful and by 12:30, I was back in my corner of the world, with plenty of time to take a stroll on the beach before walking into my sweet little house.

My younger boys are home now, no different than they were this morning, with no knowledge of what happened today. They just know that their mom is home where she is supposed to be and that there are warm chocolate chip muffins on the counter.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

This and That

Last night's supper,

my car getting lots of attention,

and the dishes my husband carried through Italy, simply because I liked them.

Let's see....spoke at a MOPS meeting on Esther, delivered Meals on Wheels, hung with Josephine for a bit, met Katharine for lunch, went to the bank, played scrabble on facebook with Holly while doing 3 loads of laundry and entertaining a bunch of 9 and 10 yr olds, and just now got back from open house at Alex's school, where they served a gourmet supper of In n Out.

And my husband and eldest son? Beer, brats, Bach and Luther.

sigh. I miss them.

My evening plans are pretty tea, hot bath, and whatever shows are on the DVR. Alex and Brian are playing wii on a school night, which means it's either the end of the school year or half the family is gone.

Or both.


I did have a little....ummmm....thrill today.

One of my Meals on Wheels gentleman speaks not a lick of English. My very limited Spanish...I took 4 years in high school which means I can order a taco and ask for directions to the nearest hospital, both of which are necessary if eating from a hut on the side of the road in Mexico, means we have a slight language barrier.

Well today, he answered his door naked.

I mean.....NAKED.

Like, NAKED.

Oh my.

I handled the situation very well, I think. I basically screamed. A lot. And said things like 'no, no Senor Vega! Not OK!

The deal is....I think he is completely mentally with it. He was just naked. Which 70 years ago was probably quite the sight to see.


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