Thursday, April 30, 2009

Keeping Busy

THIS would be that guy that I like so much, after his concerts last weekend.  If you happen to see him, please tell him his wife and children miss him.


It's been a busy week with the book fair going on, though I did spend some quality time in my garden this morning.  I even sat out there with my apples and cinnamon oatmeal, chatting with my tomatoes while I ate.

They were, as usual, very chatty.

And for the newest development in the life of a was my very last meals on wheels run.  This will be the last time these coolers will be in the back of my car, and please excuse the spilled coffee and chicken manure remnants that are back there.  Makes for a delicious smelling car, I tell ya.

Anyway, after Virginia died, followed by Josephine moving away (though she still calls me every Thursday morning just to chat about the weather, life and the price of strawberries) and then Carol dying last month, I just felt I needed a break.  It's been 4 incredible years, but my heart is tired and sad and I was feeling more and more like it was something I 'had' to do, rather than something I 'wanted' to do.

You know?
This has been my home away from home this week and yes, it actually looks much friendlier in person.  
Sitting here brings me back to my days cashiering...though I am pretty sure I didn't think much about catching the swine flu while collecting money back then.
I love when blogger loads pictures out of order.  Does that happen to anyone else?

I figure it keeps me on my toes.


Broccoli from the garden, picked this morning.  Yum, yum, yum.
Tonight is....the book fair open house!  More and more and more book fair...good thing I find it fun to be a part of.

Brian has a friend over,  Alex is at weight training and I have heard a rumor (ok...I got a text message) that that guy that I like so much might actually make an appearance while my eyes are still open.

Can't wait!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Interview

For today, just to shake things up a bit...I bring you Ingrid.  We are related in a most unusual way...but related nonetheless.  So aside from 'churching' together, we are at lots of the same family function-alities.  Most importantly, she is responsible for introducing me (and that guy that I like so much) to Belmont Shore and Le Creperie.  For that, I will be eternally grateful.


(stole this picture off her Facebook, but this is Ingrid with her nephew, Nolan)

What is your job?

I am a Match Support Specialist at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles. Translation....I am basically a case manager who support "bigs", "littles", and parents by calling monthly or quarterly (depending on how long the match has been together) to ensure that the match is doing well, people are safe, etc. Pretty fun to be able to watch lives change as a result of being in our mentoring program.


How many different places have you lived?

Hmm...several. :)

Lyons, NE

Albuquerque, NM (multiple times)

Scottsdale, AZ

Salt Lake City, UT

Gillette, WY

St. Paul, MN

Bel Air, MD

Wasilla, AK

Long Beach, CA


Favorite food?

I like so many...anything from NM that has green chile is a given, I LOVE fruit, and would usually give my right arm for Swiss cheese.


Favorite drink?

Four way tie, no more, no less...

Water, coffee, beer, and wine. Couldn't live without 'em.


Favorite Bible verse?

I'm a pretty big fan of Psalm 90.


Best travel adventure?

Our church's mission trip to AK in 2006. We had several "hitches in our giddyup" on our return trip that have created many stories to tell. We were bumped from flights, stayed an extra night in Anchorage and then another night in Seattle, ate dinner at Denny's in Seattle, had a worship and communion service in a hotel room, experienced a hotel fire in the wee hours of the morning. It was nothing short of an adventure and really strengthened the hearts and relationships of team members.


If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?

I've been thinking about this one for weeks. I really think Belmont Shore, CA (where I lived for 4.5 years). It's a cozy community with a positive feel, great food and shopping, a gym that is to die for, a library in walking distance, and the beach! My only request would be to own a condo or house there and have parking. After parallel parking for 4.5 years, I would prefer not to do that again.


Greatest fear?

Disappointing my dad.

Summer plans?

Several...I haven't been this excited about summer in years. Possibly take a class at the community college, a trip to NM or two, and my favorite...attending the wedding of a long time friend in Cancun.

Isn't she grand?  She has a big adventurous spirit and an even bigger heart. For more about Ingrid, visit her HERE!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Blueberry pancakes.

And a gorgeous backyard.

Ummmm...what's not to love?


Alex is off to his 6th, 7th and 8th basketball games of the weekend...not quite sure he will be able to move after all of them.  Brian is about to lose his mohawk and is not happy...but at least he got to try it on for size AND wear it to school (unspiked, of course) for the week.  M is preparing for the 2nd of his weekend concerts...which. (by the way) was. (Mendelssohn's St Paul) brilliant.

Job well done, Concordia choir.  (and Matthew!) Bravo.  

I am going to spend the remainder of my day trying to catch up on some of the laundry that is trying (successfully) to take over our little house on our little street.

And it is winning.

The laundry, that is.  Not the little house on the little street.

And you all know how much I love my little house on my little street.


I am not cooking today.  Unusual, yes.  But nice, too.  Grandma and Grandpa are taking us out for dinner...though they shot down that whole notion of us all going to RuthsChris.  They love us, but not THAT much.

Oh well.

OH...and of the 28 pts. Alex had in the 1st game yesterday, I caught this steal on tape.  And it was purty...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just An Update

Busy.  Busy.  Busy.

  1. I finally decided on the backsplash for behind my stove...and ordered parts of it.  I could post a before picture, but I am actually too tired to go grab my camera and take a picture.  But I will soon.  
  2. I was brought 7 baby bunnies by my cats.  I was fine with it at first...I mean, I DO live in a houseful of boys who can help when it happens, but when Maggie left one on my bed I decided enough was enough.  And told them so.  The best part is that they seem to have actually listened to me...or they have depleted one whole bunny family.  
  3. I talked on the phone for almost 3 hours...and for someone who HATES to talk on the phone, that is quite amazing.  The best part was that it was to someone who I rather unfairly judged and am sad that I wasted so much time jumping to conclusions.  Big lesson learned on my part...and I am so excited to let it all go and start over.
  4. Grandma and Grandpa Busch are here for the weekend to see M's big concert.  And for the record, my FIL and I won the first cribbage game of the visit.  We rock.
  5. Brian has been sporting a mohawk all week.  Third child.  Enough said.
  6. Set up for the book fair after doing an hour (yes, an hour) on the elliptical machine at my new gym.  Ouch.
  7. Yes, I said gym...because the girl who said never changed her mind and I love, love, love my new gym.  Never say never.
  8. Had an amazing dinner at friends last night.  Arrived empty handed with 2 kids in tow and they still let us in the door.  Sat at the bar in the middle of the kitchen and laughed, talked, drank wine and ate a wonderful pasta dinner.  I'm thinking of heading back right now...
  9. Alex played a great game this morning with his high school team and then headed up to LA for 4 more games with a pick up/club team.  And he has 2 more games tomorrow.
  10. Saw the movie Earth today with Brian and Grandma.  The parts I was awake for were wonderful.  The nap was even better.  =0)
  11. Big concert tonight.  Big.  Can't one conducting and one singing.  I am in awe of God's timing.
  12. Pictures tomorrow.  Promise.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Totally, totally caught in the act.


See...tonight at Brian's school there was an event.  A storyteller.  Which happens to be right up my alley.

(and this is a BIG but)

Tired from an early morning visit with an elliptical machine that is big and bad and mean.  Tired from hauling and planting and weeding my garden.  Tired from cleaning my WHOLE house.  Tired from making a really awesome frittata for supper.  Tired, tired, tired.


But Brian really wanted to go, so we headed out front and climbed into my car.

And drove to the school.

See?  Not so bad...but here is the BUT.

Brian's school is at the end of my street.  Like,  a block away.  Like, I can stand on my front porch and watch him walk into his classroom.  

BUT we drove there anyway.

No biggie, until in front of my car ran a couple of joggers who I happen to know:
Aren't they cute?  

They stopped to talk and asked where I was going.  And I had to fess up.

'Ummmm...I'm driving to the school."

Tim totally snorted.  Tina burst out laughing.  I mean COME ON...of all people I could possibly run into while driving that one long block, I run into the most athletic people I know.  


Anyway, the storyteller was great and we are now home making milkshakes.  Cuz that is what you do when you are tired.  And T and T?  Let's do dinner SOON.  We miss you.  Maybe we'll even walk over.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Sweaty Day


It is 90 something degrees outside...Mollie found a cool place under a palm tree to rest.  Or so I thought.  She's really waiting for all those baby bunnies to pop under the fence in search of a safe place to visit and possibly a free meal.

But we have a guard cat.  Or two.  Or three.  (their uncle, who lives at our neighbors house, delivered a baby bunny to our backyard, too.  It's a bunny party back there.)

I am loving the green thumb of that guy that I like so much.  And speaking of him, we had two (count 'em!  One! Two!) shared, lingering, summer-time like meals together this weekend.  With, like, real conversations that reminded me once again how much I really like him.

Under this amazing salad is a hot hunk of foccacia....cuz my new favorite thing in the world (it changes often) is hot bread or  hot chicken or hot salmon topped with cold vinegary salad.  In fact, I have been eating it lots and lots.  And lots.
Some old friends came out to visit and a big choice was to made...amaretto that I hand carried home from Italia, Tia Maria that I hand carried home from Puerto Nuevo, Mexico and (are you sensing a theme here??) limoncello that I hand carried home...from Trader Joes.

Can't have everything, you know.
This morning was rough on the youngest two, who had a marvelous spring break but needed to go back to school.  I am so ready for summer vacation, much so that I wandered outside and climbed into a neighbors car and drove to the gym as soon as the house was clear.

And spent 45 minutes watching the food channel while I trotted (walked?  jogged? ran, even?) on the eliptical machine thingy...which I actually like.

Mainly because it allowed me to go to PF Changs after for lunch.  The things you gotta do when you wanna do something.

Home to a hot, hot, hot house where all I had to do was push the button labeled 'cool' and my house...get this....cooled down.

The joys of having AC that works.


And then I shed tears of joy again, when my girlfriend (who is a local indy artist and does amazing, amazing work) delivered a painting that she painted for me.  A painting that screams with color and simplicity and complexity and joy and ME...all at once. 

And it ROCKS.
Tonight is the first Monday night that that guy that (wow...that is alot of that's) I like so much has off, so we are going to head to Nick's for supper.  I've been feeling bad...we've been cutting back on eating out (thanks to college and basketball and music and the economy and whatever else you want to throw in the mix) and it's families like us that keep a non-chain restaurant going.  

And so we will do a part and eat great food together at our favorite restaurant.


Saturday, April 18, 2009


Summer came this weekend...and we spent a day hanging out at the pool, puttering in the garden and grilling grilled things for dinner.


Basketball season also came back after a rather short 7 week break...Alex will now play straight thru until August.  



After the games I somehow ended up with quite the houseful of boys and I did what any good mom would do...I went for a walk around the lake with a neighbor.

And came home to this:

And this:
And THIS, which did NOT look like THAT when I left.

small sigh.
That guy that I like so much was in rehearsals for much of the day, home for supper and is back out at the 2nd of 3 student recitals this weekend.

Summer is a comin'...isn't it?  I sure hope so, cuz I sure do miss him.

Anyway...back to supper.  Introducing....grilled pizzas.  A summer favorite around here.  My very, very, very favorite is pesto, fresh mozzarella, sundried tomatoes (the last from last summers garden) and a sprinkling of pine nuts.

The house is rather quiet right now...though I am thinking that I need to belt out a few songs on Guitar Hero 3.

Was there life before I held a microphone in my hands?

For I am a closet rock star.  For reals.  

Frightening, isn't it?


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Break

An Easter recap:

A most beautiful bread for Easter morning.  Tasted rather icky, in all honesty...but you can't have it all.

Or can you?

Stuffed candy into a hundred or so eggs.  And one big mouth.
This is what happens when big boys hide little eggs.
All my shots of Logan look like this.

Joanna carving the Easter ham.  And she did a mighty fine job, too.
First day of spring break found me at the movies with Brian, where I won the mother of the year award by sitting through Mall Cop.

We munched movie popcorn and shared a soda and a baggie full of Easter and snuggled together.

Came home and had a cocktail in vintage glasses.

Double perfect.
The hit of the year...guitar hero world tour.  Hours upon hours of family fun.
And me?  I.Am.A.Rock.Star.

For reals.

Hour upon hour of belting out fabulous vocals while my family laughs hysterically.  It's OK...I am going to sing at all their wedding receptions cuz I now have my very own mic.

Laugh away, boys.

Did a bunch of soldering today...just me, a houseful of boys and a blow torch.  Love me that blow torch.
Unfortunately, there will be no singing tonight...I somehow lost my voice.  No worries, will come back.  Soon.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On The Side

I am recovering from a houseful on Easter, running a business that has decided to become successful, have a houseguest staying with us and currently have so many children hanging out here during spring break playing Rock Band that I cannot think straight.

And I am, for reals, thankful for all of it.


So, I have some catching up to do...but in the meantime,  here's a glimpse at one of my favorite peeps.  She came with the house we bought years ago and we liked her so much that we had to marry her into the family!

Introducing.... my sister-law extraordinaire:

(mother of some of the cutest children ever.)

What inspires you?  Other moms that I know-my mom, you, my sister, my best friend.

Greatest fear? Losing a child

Best part of being a mom? Unconditional love from my kiddos, plus LOTS of hugs and kisses

Favorite color? red

Favorite food? seafood & smoothies (not together)

Favorite guilty indulgence?  Coldstone Creamery-cheesecake with brownies flavor

How did you meet your husband?  =0) My fabulous sister-in-law was our matchmaker!!!

What do you do for a living?  Full-time wife & mom and part-time music teacher.

Favorite read? Anything I can get lost in-either mysteries or smut novels.  If you can combine them, that's even better!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be and why? I don't know that I have a particular location in mind, somewhere with seasons.  I love seeing the changes of seasons.  Plus I really like to be close to my family/friends. If you want somewhere foreign, I would have to say Ireland.  It's BEAUTIFUL, plus I can speak their language!

Best childhood memory?  Jumping off the roof of my garage into the snow during the Blizzard of '82

Thanks, Joanna!  


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Just Stuff

A little late night snack...baked feta, roasted tomatoes and tapenade, eaten while watching Natasha Richardson in the movie Evening.

All things sad.  The actress, who is no longer with us.  The movie, which needed a better screenplay.  And the feta, which was good...but not like the Beachcomber's.

Yesterday, that guy that I like so much took me on a ride in his cute little car...though I think he would have left me home if he knew we were going to wait 35 minutes in line for a ham.

And he doesn't even like ham.

But hey, it's Easter and for the 1st time ever I am makin' a ham.  Or taking one out of the fridge and letting it come to room temperature...does that count as makin' it?

We then went to Claro's, where my husband has suddenly become a rock star.  Turns out there are a few Lutherans (who have caught his choir while on the road) working at the Italian market.

I like being with the rock star, because I basically ate lunch while waiting...ooh rock star!  try this! ooh, rock star!  try that!


I do love Claro's, but find a few things (other than the whole rock star thing) disturbing:
Gives me the heebie jeebies.


Good Friday church last night,  where I heard my oldest son play for the 1st time in a long time...and wow.  Hauntingly beautiful.  Picked up pizza at Nick's on the way home, where my houseful overtook the family room and watched Lord of the Rings, including the smallest shrub who is now old enough to join in on the boy fun.

As for me...I grabbed a glass of wine and soaked in a hot bath while reading some chick novel, followed by the movie Baby Mama all curled up in my bed.

Pure bliss.


Friday, April 10, 2009

This Week

Supper the other night...buttermilk chicken topped with a mixed green salad.  There is just something amazing about the hot with the cold.  YUM.  A side of pasta (and normally I wouldn't make a pasta to go with this, but one of my children brought home a bunch of sweaty basketball players who happened to be starving...they needed substance and I needed to be quick on my feet) with asparagus, proscuitto, basil and mozzarella...basically whatever remnants I had in the fridge.

OH...and a few red pepper flakes.  For good measure.
Glorious skies yesterday.  Glorious.
Molly pretending to be me.  Favorite chair? check.  Mac?  check.

Maybe she'll pay some of the bills while she is lying there...
Maggie brought me a rather large grasshopper yesterday and a bird today.  So sweet...thankfully that guy that I like so much (and his fancy shmancy Italian shoes) was home at the time!
Last night...Maundy Thursday.  Church.  Knelt at the communion rail and my whole family communed, including the smallest of my shrubs...who has a better understanding of Christ's love for him than any of my others had at this age.  Unbelievably moving to watch my youngest truly embrace and accept the sacrifice of Jesus...and to watch his faith blossom.

Because in the end, and this is what keeps me awake at night, have I done my job?  In the end, it doesn't matter about book reports or band or basketball or the fact that I do their laundry and cook for them...but in the end, have I planted the right seeds?  In the end, have I watered them enough?  

Welcome into my head.  It's a scary place to be.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I opened an email that contained pictures the other day and one picture in particular rocked me to the core.  I kept staring at it and staring at it...and probably would have stared the day away if my phone hadn't rung.

It was my sister in law calling and within 10 minutes, I was out the door and on my way to the train.

I have fallen in love with taking the makes me feel like I am in Europe.  Almost, anyway.  I am a quiet sitter on the train...the kind who stares out the window and watches the world rush by.  I don't read or write...I just sit.  And listen.

I hopped off the train and spent the rest of my day walking on the beach, eating greek salad, buying new flip flops and talking, talking, talking.

Talking about death.  Death of people we loved and the death of Jesus.  Peter and the guilt he must have felt after that rooster crowed a second time.  Why do we KEEP on sinning?? The fact that our kids are growing up and life is changing and how fun this new stage is, but sad too.  Food.  Always food... and where oh where can we find an oatmeal cookie?

After I was back on the train heading home, she sent me a text saying that her face hurt from laughing so much...and that we forgot to talk about the weather, but had covered just about everything else.

I love days like that and I am so ready to do it again.  Anyone want to take a train ride with me?


I was out and about early this morning.  I've been to the post office more in the last week than I have in years...though I discovered today that I can now do it all online (since they are all the same size/weight) and just drop the packages off.   I also went to IKEA for candles, Peets for coffee beans and picked up the dry cleaning.

Supper tonight will be roasted chicken with roasted veggies.  Brian has flag football this afternoon, but other than that, I think I am home the rest of the day.  I'm thinking laundry and a batch of oatmeal cookies...and maybe a little more of the Love Comes Softly movies that are tivo'd.  It's a chilly day today...the perfect day for nothing.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Talented Kids

The talent show at Brian's school...Brian is in the white sweatshirt near the end:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Button, Part Two

Two corrections to The Button story:
  1. Our shoes were NOT dyed pink.  That was my wedding where the shoes were dyed to match the dresses.  And I am pretty sure none of my bridesmaids have forgiven me yet.  (And I will be posting a picture soon of the dresses from my for it, Rachel!  Took me awhile, but I finally figured out how!)
  2. The Button did not fly off all by itself.  My Uncle (and this is somewhat disturbing, so read ahead at your own risk) slapped my mom on the butt.  Yep.  Somehow the words slapped, butt and uncle should not be in the same sentence.  But alarmingly,  they are.  

And this would be me....walking down the aisle:

More family stories to come!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Button

There are certain events in life that you cannot shake, no matter how hard you try.  

Like...The Button.

A few years back...OK, it was twenty four years back and my cousin, Cheryl, was getting married.  It was to be the first run in my bridesmaid career and as a senior in high school, I was so excited.

I remember loving my dress.  It was pink and long and pink and flowy with big pink sleeves and pink lace.

And did I mention that it was pink?  (Does anyone have a picture??)

Not only that, but I got to wear pumps that were dyed a matching shade of pink.  Pink heaven, that's for sure!

The wedding itself was beautiful and after everything was said and done and they were off honeymooning, the family went back to my Aunt and Uncle's house.  They had some friends visiting and we were all just hanging out in their living room.

 My mom was/is somewhat of a freak of nature (and I say this lovingly...sort of) in our family...tall and thin and blonde, who ate whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted.  

Freak.  Of.  Nature. 

And if you know me in real life, then you know I look exactly like her.


  Anyway, my mom walked into the living room looking tall and thin and blonde in a gorgeous blue skirt and top  (I still remember that suit and looking back, I think it should have been kept as a souvenir) and sat down on an ottoman.  We were all just talking, somewhat on our best behavior because the neighbors were also over, when a bullet shot through the room and ricocheted off the walls.


In suburban Safe City, Illinois.

Chaos followed.  People screamed and dove for cover. My cousin Laura and I buried ourselves on the couch.  My Aunt dropped the jello salad.  The neighbors assumed the 'duck and cover' position.  My Uncle looked frightened.  My cousin Tim started to cry.

OK...Tim didn't really cry...but I think he was probably close.

Pure mayham.

Except for my mother, who started to laugh.



Turns out that when my tall, thin, freak of nature mother sat down...she blew a button.  The button holding her skirt together.  The button holding a morning a Flop (our family's favorite coffee cake) and an afternoon buffet and probably a hand full or two of cookies.  Throw in some wedding cake and some party peanuts...because this is how she would eat, for reals, and then it happened.

That little button just couldn't take it any more.

And it blew.

It blew with such force that it was like a bullet shooting from a gun. 


The craziest part is that everyone just went about their conversations after all of this, like it was a normal, everyday occurrence.  And sadly, in our was normal.  Not that a button almost taking out an eye is normal, but crazy things were always happening.

  Conversations resumed.  My Uncle spackled the wall.  My mom found her button. 

Not sure the neighbors ever visited again, though.  At least when we were visiting.  Not that I blame them.



Daffodils.  Probably one of the happiest flowers on the face of the earth...especially when placed in a cute blue pitcher.


Yesterday, I worked.  Seems I am a working girl again, though there is something rather amazing about sitting at my kitchen table while working.  Working.  Working.  Strange word, isn't it?

Very, very strange.

OH...and I learned how to make buttons.  Click on it and it'll take you right to my site.  Pretty cool.  Pretty simple.  Pretty button.
(and who knows if it'll even work, but at this point I GIVE UP.  Uncle, she cried.  Uncle!)

Web Logo
I made chick parm for supper last night and a huge pot of gravy.  Come to think of it, I made brownies, too.  Alex came home and told me he got another jaywalking ticket...I almost had a coronary.  April Fools.  He got me good.


Ate supper, drank a little wine and munched on some parmigiano reggiano.  Can't beat that.  
I grabbed coffee with a friend yesterday morning and then picked up my in laws from their cruise ship.  

They stopped long enough to drop off presents (Joanna...I have a bag for you), pick up their car and off they headed into the sunset.  Or onto the freeway.
Grandpa bought a special something for Alex.  


I have Meals on Wheels today, a few phone calls to make(the long, catching up kind that I don't want to rush) and some jewelry orders to fill.  My hope is to have most everything ready to ship tomorrow so I only have to make one drop at the post office. 

Brian has the dress rehearsal for the school talent show tonight, so supper has to be something that can be eaten in shifts...when I figure out what that is, I'll let you know.  

I miss my panini maker.  Lots.

For some reason, all I can think of are cupcakes.  Strawberry cupcakes with fluffy white frosting.

So that just might be supper.


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