Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sophie the Rock Star!

My niece is adorable.

Enough said.


Vacation, Day 2

Monday night was the 1st basketball game of the #23 is now #35. His choice. Alex had a great's going to be a fun season!

Packed and ready to go...we were heading out on vacation to Big Bear. Could barely fit the boys, who all had to sit in one row. Matthew was a bit tired of all the family togetherness and we hadn't even left yet.


This could be part of the crazy kid for sale. Cheap.

Off we drove, into the mountains. Toward the snow.

One cool cell phone tower, meant to blend in to the scenery.


A little less than two hours later and we were in Big Bear Village...charming.

Tiny, yet with two with a drive-thru.

God is good.

Crazy kid helping to unload...the house is great. 5 bedrooms, 4 baths and a game room for the kids. Lots and lots of kids...8 to be exact, ranging from 2 - 18.

Brian, Alex, Nate, Kelsey and Maddie.

The 1st morning, the two brothers having coffee. Cracks me up that they are wearing the same pj's!
Cousins, eating breakfast.

Sophie Michele making apple pie. Isn't she perfect? Plus, she has a most perfect name.
Last night the snow started falling...big, fluffly snowflakes. We suddenly had kids running and playing out back in the dark...priceless. Today is turkey day...Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On A Holiday

I've been trying and trying to upload photos, but could only get one to load.

Hmmm...must be a sign.

So here it is...Grandpa at the bar drinking beer.


We are on a little holiday for the holiday...Grandma and Grandpa and Aunts and Uncles and Cousins. Lots and lots and lots of cousins, all staying at a big 'ole mountain house for the week.

Which is probably why Grandpa needed to escape to the bar, which his two sons (one of whom is my husband) glady obliged. Those boys are always glad to do their part.

We're up here waiting for the mountain to open and be among the 1st of the season to hit the snowboarding slopes. We're also up here to eat a turkey and play games and bake pies and read books and play on computers and laugh and talk and take pictures.

Tis good.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Fancy Schmancy

The basketball team is required to dress up for game days...most weeks there are two games and some weeks are everyday.

My son, of course, has to make a statement.

And his head is cut off on purpose.  It was bad enough that I wanted to take a picture, so we compromised.


Sunday, November 23, 2008


I'm finding it hard to believe that it is already Sunday night...where oh where did the weekend go?

Friday night we were a family of three...Matthew was, well, away at college.  Alex was at his best friends birthday party around the corner and Brian was...10.  Cuz we have a college student AND a 10 year old, so the three of us had a date.

And ate crispy green beans and broccoli at PF Changs.  

Oh My.


(OH...and I got a text as we were leaving the restaurant to 'COME OVER NOW' from my girlfriend...the party was a co-ed party (with a bazillion chaperones, so I had no worries) and she thought I should come and observe.  Which I happily did, much to my son's dismay.

This mom gig is fun.


Saturday, Brian was going camping for the night with some friends of ours...he was ready to go 10 minutes early and waiting on the front porch.

So, so cute!
FINALLY (on time, Brian) they arrived...and off they headed to San Clemente, where two parents spent the night in a pop up camper with 4  rather chatty kids.

I need to stop laughing.

I then played my Christmas present that I couldn't wait for Christmas for...Animal Crossing for wii.

Mostest funnest game ever.  Ever.
Sunday morning we hopped the denominational lines and went to our neighborhood presbyterian church, which was so amazing for a few reasons...mainly, the trumpet player.  OK, so he was my eldest son, but still.  Plus, it was a totally different morning for us to leave for church 10 minutes before a service starts...something I could get used to.

So, minus the youngest shrub, we headed for the spectrum and cheesecake factory for lunch. are reversed.  After lunch we bought them new shoes.  

Back to cheesecake factory...pumpkin-pecan cheesecake.  Sick and wrong. Yep, sick and wrong.

Mini Me and his papa.
I am tooo tired to write about Brian's upcoming group science report and the crazy mother who scheduled a parents meeting tonight about it.  Because 'THEY MUST GET AN 'A''.

On a Sunday night.  For the 5th grade science project.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Late Night

It's strange, but I am pretty sure I took more pictures than this last night...but then again, maybe I didn't?

Anyway, this is where I was last night...waiting in line for the 12:03 AM (not to be mistaken with the 12:01, 12:02. 12:04 or 12:05....those were different lines)  showing of Twilight.

I haven't done  a midnight showing of a movie since the last Star Wars movie came out and my crazy brother-in-law (sorry, Greg) who is crazy about Star Wars talked us into the crazy idea of seeing a midnight movie on the crazy day it opened because my crazy older boys would never forget it.

Call them and ask them if they remember.  They're crazy, so they probably do.


The spectrum was showing it on 5 screens at midnight and it was wild....absolutely wild.  Tons and tons of teeny boppers (did I just use that word?  oh my!) lined up all day long just to catch a glimpse of Edward Cullen.

I feel as if I did my part last night by upping the average age.


We got there at 8:30pm and waited in line.  And drank coffee.  And waited in line.  And waited in line.

Once in the theater it was even MORE wild...if you can believe that.  Girls cheering.  Girls weeping.  Girls talking, talking, talking.

Girls, Girls, Girls.

And we all know that I am not a 'real' mom because I don't have a daughter.  (I once had someone tell me that, believe-it-or-not)


Anyway, it was simply a sight to see. 

As for the movie?  OH MY.  Not sure if it was the hour and I was punchy or if was really just a bad movie?  BAD.

And so was the traffic getting out of the parking garage.


I realized again how blessed I am this morning...that guy that I like so much got the boys out the door for school, which meant that he left for his out of town conference later than he wanted to and had to sit in traffic for well over an hour just because he is one of those kinda people.

Thanks, honey.

So I slept in and am feeling like I just might be able to function today.  New tires and alignment, Christmas shopping, a trip to the post office and unloading the dishwasher are on the agenda for today. 

OH...and reading Midnight Sun online.  


Thursday, November 20, 2008


It's the little things this lunch at Strawberry Farms with that guy that I like so much.  


Lines in the carpet from vacuuming, which remind me of my mom.  When I was little, she would vacuum (daily, I think...we had a siberian husky who shed LOTS) and then we would walk on the carpet to get the lines out.  

Because you want your house vacuumed, but not looking vacuumed, right?

Anyway, I walk the lines out, too.
This morning, Suzie and I finally counted the book fair money...probably our lowest one yet, but still OK.  

Plus, it's fun to sit and talk.

Ran to Costco AGAIN for the halibut I was hoping to cook for supper, but came out with a roast instead.  The big news?  The gas price.  Unbelievable!
I am going to try and take a little nap...I got talked into going to the Twilight premiere (wasn't hard to talk me into it, actually) at 12:03 am, which is going to require a LARGE diet coke to help me get through.  I'm excited to see the movie, though I hope I can stay awake...and warm!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Long, Long Day

Three cats on the fence and one is not ours.  

Now THAT's something to blog about, huh?

Yesterday morning, my neighbor and I hopped in her car in search of fame and fortune.   Or not.


But we were off to see the Bonnie Hunt show!  We were supposed to be 4 and then we were 3 and then we 2 almost didn't go, but in the end we decided to go after all.

Though Sheila did tell me that she would not have cleaned her car for just me.


So, this is where we were headed, which believe it or not is where we started...though in two different worlds.  Or counties.  Take your pick.
Sheila drove.  I navigated.  We both talked.  Alot.  Cuz that is what we do.
Found it!  It's a charming old studio.
Got a number.

Waited in line.
And then surrendered my cell phone AND camera.  Yowza...not easy to do.  

Here's how it worked:

  • 10:30am - leave home
  • 11:30am - arrrive Culver City, park, grab our chairs, buy salads at the perfectly conveniently located Trader Joe's, and go set ourselves up in line.
  • 1:00pm - they hand us numbers.  The studio seats 170, though they only take 135 regular, as in me, people in.
  • 1:45pm - take our chairs, cameras and cell phones back to the car.
  • 2:15 - security.  Glad I cleaned out my purse.  On to the holding area for more sitting/people watching.
  • 3:45pm - ushered into the studio.  They grabbed Sheila and led us to probably the best seats in the house...right in front of Bonnie Hunts desk.  We were then handed a hot dog and a root beer and told to eat fast.
  • 4:15pm - 5:45pm - the show tapes.  Fascinating to watch how many people it takes to put one show together.  Bonnie Hunt is amazing and real.  Love that.  David Archeleta is adorable and his new single rocks...I  am now a fan.
  • 6:00pm - back in the car and heading home!

It was a fun, fun day....most of all because I got to spend the day with one of my dearest friends.  It was also eye opening watching the kind of people who attend tapings and get soooo very caught up in it.

On one side of us was a woman who has been to like 50 tapings and kept telling us all about who she knows from where and how and when.  She was actually very fun, though shocked when I told her that I don't do this often.  If ever.

And the beautiful 'angel' lady right beside me?  Inspiring and lovely.  Truly a shining light.

On the other side of us were some really nice people who couldn't help but name drop every star they had ever met.  And that they fly all over the country attending events and that they know TONS of people in the business.

Hmmmm....why were they waiting with us 'real' folks in line?

Fascinating.  Simply fascinating.

Will I ever do it again?  Probably not, though I would love to go with that guy that I like so much, cuz he would LOVE the band and seeing all the production stuff.  So never say never.  But I was awfully tired of sitting, though that was one tasty root beer.

The show airs today.  Pretty cool.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

Yesterday morning on the way to church.

Looks like smog.
Long Beach was covered and it was still snowing ash.  Yuck.  The fires are under control finally and the weather, thankfully, has changed.  

After, lunch at In n Out...and yes, I'd like flip flops with that.

Our carload of extremely grumpy people was now extremely less grumpy after eating things like triple triples and animal fries and good ole 7UP.

Gotta love In n Out.  Do something well and stick with it.

Off to pick up my car, which is still making me weep.  She needed close to $4,000 worth of work.  At Christmas time.  Out of the same paycheck as a root canal, basketball fees, a birthday, a vacation and regular everyday life.

It's OK...we don't need food.  

We are, in January, going from once a month paydays (brutal...all 13 yrs of it) to twice a month like real people.  It'll hurt at 1st and will take some juggling, but in the long run will be easier.

Ahhhh...the life of church work.


OH...and after writing the car check, I ran to Trader Joe's, where I proceeded to laugh a weird kinda laugh with the check out guy and felt the gum IN my mouth fly OUT of my mouth.  And not know quite where it landed.  And look up to see the check out guy, with a truly disgusted look on his face I might add, pointing to where it landed.  Near him.


OH, and this was after scratching a little itch on my back (I know, not ladylike) WHILE IN TRADER JOE'S and feeling something....and realizing it was NOT a tumor, but Alex's sock.  Under my shirt.  The shirt I had worn TO CHURCH.  

Shoot me now.

I then call M and in a loving tone (not, sigh) scream under my breath so that the people around me could not hear, "did you NOT look at me this morning and notice that there was a size 13 1/2 sock under my arm pit?????"

SO, I came home and cooked....mashed potatoes and roasted cippolini onions and green beans.

...and a huge hunk of pork roast.
Which I then fed to some of my very favorite people, whom we hadn't seen in forEver.  And ever.
I love family meals, where kids are screaming, champagne is yummy, everyone...including the college boy whom I miss so much, everyone is home and for dessert you plop the Halloween candy remnants on the table and let everyone go to town.

Two of mine.
One of theirs.
Was it yummy, Maddie?

 Today is a big's Bonnie Hunt day!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

More Saturday

Driving today, I looked over and saw that guy that I like so much, who looks toooo happy driving that car.

Why two cars on the road?  Because my car had to go in for a big service...which would have been better to do in like March, rather than before Christmas.  The good news?  They'll give me a 'free' car wash.
We made a stop at Claro's and saw this, which is NOT a good thing to see.  New smoke...very new smoke.  It is 90 and windy and dryer that dry...a very, very bad combination.  
Michael and Brian are at the end of the year soccer party...Matthew and Alex are hanging out here watching football.  Our house is closed up and the AC is on, the washer/dryer are washing and drying and I am hammering out some jewelry for an upcoming show at a friends this week.

Supper is out for us at some friends...I'm looking forward to it!


Saturday Morning

Last night, pizza at Nick with old friends.

Not old as in age, but old as in long ago.


Even Matthew came for a bit and the children who used to be teeny tiny are no longer teeny tiny.

Time flies.  And the one girl in the bunch?  Lovely.  Truly, truly lovely.

Southern California is once again on fire.  A good friend of ours lost his did 14 other faculty families at Westmont College.  I cannot even imagine.  Everything is still way north of us, but it is hot AND windy around here....never a good thing during fire season.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

One of Those Days

So here I sit, eating a kitkat bar...anyone else eat all the chocolate off the outside, then eat it layer by layer by layer?

Probably not.

Where was I?

Oh here I sit, eating a kitkat bar and wondering to myself why I even bothered to get out of bed this morning.


Got up, got boys out the door for school, showered (LOVE my hair, in case you were wondering.  How often does THAT happen?) and hit the road for a meeting regarding my old non-profit.

Which is no longer mine, as those men in suits keep telling me.  But then they call and NEED my help.

It's really a no win situation.  They call for help.  I feel guilty.  I run, because while it is no longer MY non-profit, it is still MY baby and one I feel passionate about.  I help them.  They criticize.  Lots. I run home with my tail between my legs, alternating between crying and telling them EXACTLY how I feel about those no good suit wearers all while driving my car and looking like a crazy woman.  I then realize that I was asked to help THEM and I am never going to do it again.

And then the cycle repeats itself EVERY MONTH.

And OBVIOUSLY, I have NO brain.

No kidding.


So that is what happened this morning.  Again.

Made it home in time to do my Meals on Wheels run, which was unusually small today.  Just as I finished up, I got an S.O.S call from a friend and met her for lunch....she needed to cry and I sat and cried right alongside her.

Because that is what best friends do.


Home to throw in some laundry, answer emails, make a few necklaces, eat kitkats, plan supper (london broil, roasted potatoes, green beans) and look for a beef stroganoff recipe online.

Yep, that's been my day so far.

Brian, on the other hand, had the day of his life.  He won a trip to Pump It Up for a red hummer limo.  He was so excited that he had trouble going to sleep last night.  They went for a long lunch and then ended his day dissecting a frog in science class.

The perfect day.

AND, being the adorable child that he is, brought me the frogs eyeball as a present.

I am one lucky mama.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Last night, I discovered that there are quite a few men out there that get pedicures after work.

Which I found just a tad bit....ummmm....weird.

Ah well, I now have 9 pretty toes and one that is not so pretty after smudging the polish while getting into my car.  Can't have everything, right?

Then again, my hair looks amazing thanks to Monica, who succesfully re-brunetted me.  Cough, cough.  


This morning I had to run a few errands...Peets for coffee beans and Costco for a few things, including gas.

Check it out.

I filled my gas guzzler for $40.00!  Can you see me weeping for joy?


Picked up pork chops for dinner, london broil for tomorrow night, batteries, bread and raspberries.

And the free iced tea from Peets.

Eating while I blog.

My neighbors cat, Trixie, decided to sunbathe in my backyard.  Mollie wasn't thrilled.
Making jewelry.  Looks like a mess, huh?

Probably because it is.


I did get quite a few made this morning and that feels good.

The rest of our day is fairly quiet.  Brian is out early today and I am almost certain that he will walk down the street with someone wanting to stay and play.  He was supposed to have a basketball try-out at 6pm but it was postponed, hence the switch from potato soup and panini's to pork chops.


Alex has practice after school and open gym tonight...and I just found out this weekend that they will also be practicing on Saturday mornings.

At 7:30 am.

Yep, 7:30 am.

I wonder how productive a bunch of teens will be that early in the morning?

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