Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Monday

The things that happen while waiting for food at the In N Out drive thru.


I love that they love each other, but they sure are obnoxious. It's not often that they embarrass me, but they succeeded when they got out of the car to go throw some trash away.

Oh my.


I dragged myself out of bed this morning and went to the gym, only to find that I had forgotten my earbuds at I spent the 35 minutes I was on the elliptical machine praying for my sons. Actually, for one in particular who causes me so much it was time well spent.

Came home and hacked at the tree which was growing through the trellis.

And now I am eating a PB & J, watching another episode of Emergency while blogging and waiting to take Alex to the is STILL summer vacation here for another week and a half.

And it is STILL hot.

OH...and I, in a moment of weakness, signed up for Twitter. And what, exactly, is the purpose of Twitter???

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Still Hot

The best place to be when it is hot is locked up in the house with the AC on high and lots of good movies to watch.


Or better yet...the pool.

I grabbed a book, loaded up my car with as many boys as it would safely hold and drove a whopping 2 blocks to the diving board pool for the afternoon.

And watched the boys laugh and scream and play the afternoon away, cuz is still summer here.
This morning I opened an email and followed a link to my favorite childhood show...Emergency!

And it was just as I remembered it. Me, Johnny Gage and all the time in the world.

Alex went to a surprise birthday party last night and when I went to pick him up, the mom apologized and said they were up all. night. long.

So I am thinking he will look like this all. day. long.

We have a farewell party at Concordia to attend today...and then not much else. I'm going to make a big pot of beef stew for supper...I know it is hot, but the AC is on already, so it doesn't really matter. Still working my way through the outside freezer...I am hoping to thaw it out in the next week or so.

And I purchased a non-frost-free freezer because?

(probably because it fit the is wedged in a corner next to my earthquake proof water heater, which wasn't earthquake proof when we bought the I lost valuable freezer space when it finally was earthquake proof. In case you were wondering.)

The other plans for today are to watch as many Emergency! shows as I can while all these boys sleep and recover from their sleep overs.

Helloooooo, Johnny!


Friday, August 28, 2009


It's not quite 10:30am and I am on my 3rd load of beach towels.


Because of THIS:

Summer, which I thought had missed us this year, has found us. Which means when we aren't at the beach, we are at the pool.

105? Ick.

BUT...the sky is blue and the grass is green and the sun is yellow and our skin is tanned and my toes are still pepto bismol pink.

Life is good.


Thursday, August 27, 2009


Last night, halfway in between a really good movie and dreamland (for me), the candle decided to rebel.

It must be a teenager at heart.


And yes, I did the Martha Stewart wax removal trick...because who to better help in a wax crisis than Martha herself, and it worked a little bit. It removed the wax and now we have a lovely red splotch on the area rug.

Oh well. There are worse things in life and bigger problems in the world.

This morning I escaped for a bit and went to Concordia for the opening worship service and watched as my oldest son played trumpet.

He's a really good kid.

With really shiny earrings.

(and I put some money in your account for a new pair of rainbow's...but shhhhhh! it's our secret!)

It was so fun to see everyone...former students with their cute babies plus all our friends. It's a truly special place.

Came home to a clogged sink, because somewhere in sink etiquette 101, we did not cover the whole 'do not shave your head and put it all down the drain' lesson.

Which brings me to this.

I love Drano.

How's that for product endorsement? And no, they didn't pay me to say that. And yes, I know it is not good for your drains, but it is good for my sanity.

We just finished a gourmet supper of bacon, scrambled eggs and english muffins with homemade rasperry jam.

The brownies are in the oven, my jammies are on and I am going to watch whatever TiVo'd shows we have...I'm leaning towards Cake Boss. My new favorite.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Still Summer Here

T minus 15 days until summer is over.

In some ways I am ready for much as I love (and long for!) the schedule-less days of summer, by the end I am just needing everyone to have a bedtime.


This morning was a dental appointment for Brian...who is the one and only boy in our house to inherit his fathers teeth.

Not his heavenly father, by the way, because then his teeth would be perfect. And free.

But his earthly father. The one with the million dollar mouth.

"An orthodontists dream!" was the quote I heard this morning, which made me clutch my purse a little closer to my side....and made my little boy, who loves to play trumpet, a little sad.

So we grabbed a friend and headed to the skatepark. Again. Picked up Burger King on the way. Again. They skated. Again. I glistened, which is a nice way to say sweat, and made phone calls. Again.

And all were happy.


It's hot here.

Not sure what else to say about that.

It's just hot.


We then hit Target and Costco and now Brian's friend is sleeping over. Alex spent the day enjoying freedom and texted me with updates all day long (good boy) and after eating supper at a neighbors, was home with 5 minutes to spare. (even bettter) Matthew popped home for a bit to pick up more was nice to see him here, too.

Supper, with the AC blasting, was a simple baked fish and a bottle of wine, eaten with that guy that I like so much...who posted his choir call back list and ran, ran, ran all the way to his car. Oh...and we watched Something's Gotta Give, which I took a little snooze during.

And now I am wide awake. I just organized all my work files and am ready to be up and running for the first day of school.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer Weekend

All my boys were at church yesterday...even the son who went back to college.

I like that.

So after church we had to go back to Portillo's, because the older two weren't with us last week and they begged. And pleaded. And cried a little, too.


Great bumper sticker, by the way.

Last night we had Sunday Supper and the whole Orange County gang came...a little chicken cacciatore with ice cream for dessert.
I'm thinking he was tired of saying 'cheese'.

Matthew stopped home long enough to pick up more stuff (and Brian is STILL upset that you took the bean bag chair!!) and steal my Venus Flytrap.

Double whammy in Brian's eyes.
The family all left. The kitchen got cleaned. Boys went to bed.

And I did my homework.
I have a bazillion and a half phone calls to make today, so I am loading up my car with boys and taking them to the skatepark. I'll spread out at a picnic table and work my heart out...when I am not having moments of sheer panic and 'can I do this?', I am feeling extremely blessed.

It's a nice balance.

After the skatepark, we'll pick up some pizza from Costco and head to the pool. We still have 17 days until school starts. Yes...17.

Supper will be teriyaki ribs and fried rice...still working our way through all packages big and small in the outside freezer. I did come across a foil wrapped package marked LIVER...and inside was a very beautiful piece of white chocolate cheesecake.

Just call me brilliant.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Picture Day

Hold's a random sort of picture day.


Our Turkish neighbors brought over some homemade olives, which I have just declared to be the BEST thing I have ever eaten.

For reals, this time.


Not sure who the culprit is, but did they not think I wouldn't notice the stickers from their fruit?
M ate his sushi outside while talking with our neighbors. So I took a picture of him eating sushi outside while talking with our neighbors.

It's a slow news day.
Brian loved skateboarding camp...and I even have a great video of him taking out one of the instructors. It isn't pretty, so I'm not posting it, but it is kinda sorta a mean sort of way.

Margaritas last night with Teri and Dea. Between the 3 of us, we are the moms to 8 sons. Crazy. Dea talked us into football and has the only son still remaining...not sure who lucked out on that one.

Matthew packed and moved. Year 2 is MUCH easier, but I still miss him like crazy.
Not sure if I showed this last year, but my Aunt Paula made me this quilt as a high school graduation present and it is the most fought over quilt in our family. Matthew's on his bed in his dorm.

We have a new family Mrs Fig Tree.

A present from that guy I like so much...probably one of the best ever. Some like jewels...I like figs.
It's already got lots of fruit on it!
My garden, in preparation for a good mulching before the winter planting. It looks so sad and lonely...but on Monday it won't be when I plant more tomatoes.
The last picking of the summer...probably one of the best gardens I've ever had. Thank you Fullerton College Horticulture rock.
We bought a Venus Fly Trap to help with the fruit flies...and it works.

It truly is a creepy kind of plant.
And that, folks, is just about it.


Friday, August 21, 2009

A Letter To My Cousin

Dearest Cousin Laura,

I would like to thank you so much for posting the picture of me with Farrah hair when I was 16 on your blog. Imagine my surprise when I signed on to Facebook yesterday, as well as other blogs of my so called friends, to find that they had pirated the picture off of your site and pasted it everywhere.


Which, FYI, is a felony and I am going to report each and every one of you.

But some good has come out of it. It has only taken me 25 years to finally realize that I was not the brunette I thought I was, so why do I keep trying only to have my hair turn orange again? I truly am an orange head. So there.

But back to the person who started it all. I would just like you to know that I will never forget where it all began. Lock your doors tonight. Sleep with one eye open. And if I could think of any other scary sayings right now, I would add those, too. Yes, I would.

And just remember that revenge is sweet. Very, very sweet.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Well Rested

I slept for 8 hours last night and awoke feeling like I had slept for 8 hours.

What a blessing.

I had a moment of panic job, old job (Bella Michele...which if shortened is BM and sounds kind of gross, so I can never shorten it like I do M's name. Which, btw, I don't shorten because I don't want his name known. ((even though if I could start over, I probably would have been more careful about all the info I share online)) I shorten it because when I type fast, I always, always, always type it as Michale instead of Michael and I get tired of having to go back and correct instead I just type M. Aren't you glad you asked?), end of summer who needs shoes (Alex needs 3 new pairs, sigh...court shoes, practice shoes and everyday shoes, all in a size 13), school supplies, and getting Matthew packed and moved.

But the bathrooms are cleaned and I got 8 hours of sleep.


Brian is at skateboard camp this week from 8-1, which he's been signed up for since the beginning of summer and has turned out to be a HUGE blessing. I have been able to get started on my new job while he is there and he is none the wiser that I haven't been home.

They skateboard all morning at the skate park and are learning lots of new tricks, eat lunch and then play fun games until pick up time.
Taco Tuesday. Or Taco salad Tuesday. You choose.

With the best margarita EVER.
Alex is home all week and the end of summer boredom has hit for the kid who doesn't quite know what to do with free time. Actually, he does know what to do with his free time which is why he is home all week. He can have friends in but can't leave, so my grocery bill is huge and I am pretty sure he will answer his cell from now on.


I am going to shovel out my garden this morning and then catch up on laundry. Haven't quite thought through supper yet...I am trying to clear out the outside freezer, so we are eating all kinds of very creative things. I did pull out an assortment of bone-in chicken, but not enough to feed my family, as well as a small package (again, not enough to feed my family) of pork we'll have some sort of mixed grill tonight.

The temps have dropped...not enough to shut the windows, but there is a definite chill in the air. ('s in the mid 70's!!) Makes me crave things like roast beef and mashed potatoes!

Oh...and if you are craving Fall like me, check out my cousins blog. She is SUPER crafty and has some really charming things for sale!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Job

I am now a working in 'do some work and get a cash reward every 2 weeks' kind of working gal.

How cool is that?

So, hello. My name is Michele and I am your friendly crossing guard supervisor.


I get to work from my house and on my phone and in my car and with people a few hours every I'll still be able to do my volunteer work and bible study and yes, of course, Bella Michele will continue.

And the best part is...I have experience in the whole crossing guard scenario. It didn't help me get hired, though, because it's not the sort of thing I could share with my new boss.


I was a first hand witness to a pedestrian who took his entire life into his hands to save innocent bystanders. it was my Uncle John. And we were stuck in our car, in the parking garage, with no hope of getting out thanks to the bazillion other cars trying to do the same thing. My mom was driving and there was no way she was ever going to be able to back her car out without barreling into someone or something...which never really stopped her before, but it was the holidays and she had a cake to bake.

Or something like that.

So my Uncle John gets out of the car (and if this were a really good story, he would've had a whistle in his pocket) and proceeds to stop traffic. By hand. His whole persona changed as he directed more and more traffic...I swear he grew 2 whole feet!

Once we backed safely out of our spot while my Uncle valiantly held all the other automobiles at bay...most of which were honking by now, we started on our way home.

That is, after we got my Uncle...who by this time was having way more fun than he should have, and we had to encourage him to get back into the car.

So when I was asked if I had experience, I just bit my lip and shook my head 'no'.

But inside I was saying, 'heck, yes!'


Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday Lunch

Our church is 22 miles from our house, so on Sundays (now that M no longer serves IN a parish) we go to late service and then out to lunch.

A lot of times we'll pick up In n Out and eat in the car while driving home, but then there are the times when we like to find something new to us...and we've found some pretty great spots to eat!

Yesterday was Portillo's. As in, Chicago Portillo's...but in Buena Park.

Portillo's is a hot dog place, but is also known for their Italian Beef.

The best of both worlds.


Totally decked out in the 1930's!
And while NO ONE should ever eat this on a regular was pretty much my favorite thing. Ever.
Had a lovely afternoon at home, made pasta for supper and actually had a table with only my 5 at it, which has become less the norm than I'd like...and I actually said no (for the first time ever) to friends joining us.

And then we had the older two clean the kitchen.
And we snuck out for a walk around the lake.
We came home and I threw together some mini chocolate souffle's...I tried to get a before picture, but was a little slow with the camera.

So this is all you get.

The two older boys are still sleeping, that guy that I like so much is at work and Brian is at skateboard camp this week...which means we were up early and I had to make him a lunch.

Not sure I am ready for school start.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Seeing Red

I woke up this morning to the smell of burning pop-tarts.

Which is crazy to begin with because I never buy pop-tarts, but it's
a) the end of summer and
b) I had a carload of boys with me when I ran in to get milk and came out with $80 worth of things our dentist is going to love us for later on.


But back to the burning's not a smell you want to wake up to. Not that the person who was making them noticed...he was too busy watching the Suite Life of Weirdo Boys. Or whatever it is called.

But I noticed and it really wasn't his fault. Our cute little red toaster seems to be wanting to retire from our house. How sad is that?

Today was a rather quiet day at home for all of us, which was much needed. Actually only most of us were quiet, as there is one among us who is grounded and tried (successfully at times) to make us all miserable on our rather peaceful day.

But, in the end, it was all ok.


Supper tonight was one of my favorite summer meals...grilled teriyaki chicken sandwiches topped with grilled pineapple, corn on the cob and even more panzanella. My garden is on it's last legs...I am going to pull all the remaining plants this week and do my autumn planting, though I'm not quite sure what that will be yet.

Definitely more tomatoes!


Farewell Good Friends

Tonight we celebrated with Josh and Alison, who are moving to the ginormous state of Texas so that Josh can do what Michael does here.

Teach, that is. And conduct. And loads of other stuff that goes along with the teaching and conducting.

We're gonna miss them. Lots. But at the same time are so incredibly happy and excited for them.

I'm thinking our kitchen is going to cry 'uncle' soon...we've had, if I'm not mistaking, 5 parties this week. And it's only Friday.

Tonight's menu consisted of chicken and fresh pesto and panzanella (chopped tomatoes, cukes, peppers and red onions, tossed with leftover bread cubes and a simple vinaigrette...sounds weird, but is so yummy!), as well as lots and lots of wine that is totally out of our price range.


Must be summer!
And for once, we stayed outside until every one of the 53 candles we had lit went out.

And now I must sleep.

I must. I must. I must.

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