Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I'd like to say that I have accomplished much today.

But I had a distraction.



I did work in the field this morning. I had a long and rather annoying conversation with a motorcycle cop over a stoplight issue and my crossing guards...and refused to back down until he realized I was right. Must've been my bright yellow vest. I met my boss in a parking lot and exchanged info. I fielded calls from EIGHTEEN unhappy parents over the possible firing of their beloved crossing guard.

I ate malted milk balls.

I watched 18 Kids and Counting and Flipping Out.

I ate more malted milk balls.

I emailed every teacher of one of my children, just to check in.

I ate even more malted milk balls.

I shipped 11 jewelry all my scrap silver for credit from my favorite supplier.

I ate what doesn't at this point seem possible, more malted milk balls.

I did NOT do laundry. I did NOT clean up the fact, the breakfast dishes are still in the sink. I did NOT make my bed. I did NOT plan supper.

Too many malted milk balls.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Walk On The beach

This morning after finishing up with a few guard visits, I met my very Greek friend Maria for a hot tea and a walk on the beach.

Just what I needed.

We spent a lot of time talking about the usuals...our kids (and she is one of those that I can be totally, completely honest with) and food (Greek food and Italian food...because in reality, what else is there?) and prayer.

I was telling her all about my day yesterday and that I have come to realize that I pray in good times, but in the bad and ugly, I tend to just deal with the situation as it is happening...rather than letting the One who is truly in charge have a go at it.

And I don't like that I do that. So, I am going to try...pray first. Deal second.

Hang the child is still in third.


I spent the rest of this morning hammering out some new (and a couple of old best sellers) pendants. And earrings. My website is going to get a smallish overhaul in the next few weeks and I wanted to add a few new things. The Christmas orders have already!

It's actually chilly today and in the low 70's. I've got some zucchini bread in the oven and think I'll throw together some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for the boys as an after school treat.

Supper will be baked chicken and the very last of the summer basil will become pesto. We have a mandatory basketball meeting tonight...let the games begin!


Monday, September 28, 2009


Lunch, in the car after church yesterday, was an In n Out cheeseburger.

With spread only, please.

Which I am sure is what my feast in Heaven will consist of...with peanut butter cookies on the side. Of course.


Sunday afternoon naps for all, including Mollie.
Monday morning came early, but I poured myself some coffee to go and went and visited three of my guards, all of whom were in a crisis of some sort or another. But I like to problem solve, so all was well.

Dropped off the dry cleaning and came home to work on the laundry. And some paperwork. And clean up a bit. And throw all the ingredients for beef pepper steak in the crockpot, since Brian has soccer and M has rehearsal tonight.


I was so happy.


The weather has turned and there is a slight (as in low 80's) chill in the air...which makes me happy.

Since I'm ahead in my bible study, I picked up Luther's small catechism for my quiet time. Happy.

I made a rather (too) strong cup of tea and ate a pumpkin muffin. Very, very happy.

I opened my email.

And my bubble burst.


Week 3 of the school year is beginning.

Week 3.

I don't want to be a helicopter parent. I don't want to have to check every. single. assignment. that is due. Every. Single. Assignment. I don't want to have to email teachers every. single. day to check to make sure the assignments have been turned in. Every. Single. Day.

But didn't I just say that I like to problem solve? I really do, but I am at a loss as to how to solve this problem.

It's exhausting.

Oh, and the best part?

I just got all snarky with Brian for no reason. Matthew, if you call home, I'll get snarky with you, too...just so you don't feel left out. And don't worry...the one who is causing the snarkiness will be home soon, so he'll get his share.

Mother of the year.

That's me.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I actually slept in today...until 8, which with my new job IS sleeping in, but then lounged around most of the day.


(and speaking of Heaven...I did get all caught up on my Bible study plus on the next two MOPs lectures that I'm giving!)

I was going to make pancakes, but decided on waffles of all shapes and sizes.
Lunch was antipasto while the boys of the roost watched college football.

(I went to the store to buy milk. And bread. And tootsie rolls.)
Almost a year since the new stove moved into our house and still no backsplash...we know what we want in a kinda sorta way, so in the meantime it has stayed a plain old wall.

Until the guy that I like so much found me a little sign and hung it up for me.

Supper tonight was grilled pork chops, roasted potatoes and garlic green beans...all eaten in the backyard. Our weather has been glorious and we are spending every moment outside that we can.

Alex is at a school dance, Brian spent the day playing with friends and is now building giant coasters on RollerCoaster Tycoon and Matthew even stopped home to eat.

I like that.

I had lots that I wanted to accomplish today and while the pantry did get cleaned out, I pretty much watched HGTV all day long.

And I am totally OK with that.


Friday, September 25, 2009

It's The Weekend

Thursday became a marathon day...early morning visit to a few guards, led MOPs, did an emergency Meals on Wheels run, got a haircut, did some paperwork, attended a farewell service on campus (Matthew had a horn solo...gorgeous) and then that guy that I like so much and I were invited to the dinner after.

Lots of wine. Good food. Fun people.

But it was sad. Sad because of what has happened amongst our group of friends in the last few years. Sad.

But happy, too, and we really did have a good time. It's always fun to get dressed up and have a date night.


This morning I had to do a few visits and then home to do a pile of paperwork, but it felt so good to have it done and out of the way. As I was finishing the very last of my filing, that guy that I like so much showed up at home and demanded I go to lunch with him.

He can so bossy you know.

So off we went to grab a hot dog and homemade potato chips.

We then bummed around together...a stop into Pier 1, a stock up at Claros, a fill up at the gas station.

You know, romantic places.


All my boys were home for about 2 minutes together...Brian went to a friends, Alex to the football game (he just got home and our team, which won only 1 game last year, won tonight. the field was stormed , led by none other than my son. lovely.), and Matthew came home for air conditioning and pasta and laundry privileges.

Cocktail hour was announced by none other than Frank Sinatra himself, belting out 'when I was 17....'just for me and that guy that I like so much.
Dug around and found an elderly bottle of cachaca that needed some love.
Picked a couple of limes off of our very own tree, just because we can. Threw them in a glass with some sugar and ice...
...and added a couple of (very small) shots of the above mentioned cachaca.
And voila'!

One caipirinha. The national drink (one of many, I'm sure) of Brazil. And excuse the dirty pan in the sink...but after a few sips, you won't even notice it.

I had taken this picture of Matthew with all his stuff, but what really gets me is the fact that I have spent the last MONTH looking for the mirror that is propped up behind that chair.

For reals.

I knew I had put it somewhere but couldn't remember where.

Ding, ding, ding...we have a winner!
Supper tonight is one of my very favorites...linguine amatriciana. My 'go to' meal when I don't feel like cooking and my 'go to' meal when I want a taste of Lazio.


Soon, please.
Also found when cleaning the pantry...quite a few jars of Nutella, all with but a spoonful left.

Not a problem...I have a secret stash that none of my children will ever find.

After cocktails and pasta and wine and candles...pizzelles.

You drop a little dough and close the lid...
...and a few minutes later, love. Pure love and joy and happiness.

Perfect with a spoonful of nutella.
They're really yummy for breakfast, too...not that I would know or anything.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hot Again

One word.


Last night was a grilled slab of meat, roasted potatoes and asparagus, with Julia Childs homemade bearnaise.

This morning on my drive to visit a guard....FOG.
And the biggest news of first pumpkin spice latte of the season. I was trying to wait until October, but had to pick up coffee beans. After seeing the sign, I caved.

So glad I did.

It's Back To School Night for us...and we need to somehow be at 2 different schools at the same time.

Not sure yet how that is gonna work out.

We can in no way miss Alex's. One of his teachers yesterday told the class to 'take their seats'. All did but one...and that one picked his up and started walking with it towards the door. That one student then asked the teacher where he should take his seat.

And, for the record, when the teacher called yesterday, she presented it just like that. She kept saying 'one student' and I kept hoping that 'one student' was just some anonymous student and that even though she had never met me, she just wanted to share the story with me. Like, just because.


I even mentioned that to her.

She didn't laugh.

Double SIGH.

2nd full week of school...34 weeks to go.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn

Today is the first day of autumn...and in honor of this day, I installed a wife in my garden.

It's really just a soaker hose and a timer....but it's just like having a wife.

Sort of.


It's 10:30am and I feel like it's time for bed...I woke up early and sat in the backyard (and it was chilly...had to throw a blanket on!) to work on my Bible study (I'm already behind and it is only week 2. sigh.), made coffee, lunches, breakfast, met my boss for drive arounds, checked in at Brian's school (it's picture day and I wanted to be there), picked up the dry cleaning, ran into the grocery store and bought $38 worth of stuff but forgot the one thing I actually went in for (fresh tarragon, for bearnaise tonight), so I need to go back...and yes, I had a list IN MY HAND the whole time, started the laundry, and answered emails.

Oh...and installed a wife in my garden.

Maybe she'll come and sweep the floors for me, too.


Monday, September 21, 2009


I didn't write this and in all honesty, I don't know who was in a forwarded email from that guy that I like so much.

And no matter what, I am not going to read anything into this:

Last night, my husband and I were sitting in the
living room and I said to him, "I never want to live in a vegetative
state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle.
If that ever happens, just pull the plug."
He got up, unplugged the computer,
and threw out my wine.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lazy Weekend

Yesterday (Saturday) was going to be a day where I did nothing all day.

M was away at a conference and we had NOTHING written on the calendar...which NEVER happens, so I was going to stay in my jammies all day long and do absolutely nothing productive.


But I ended up getting dressed in the end because all these people I live with ( sons) kept having all these other people come inside (ok...their friends) and I didn't want them telling other people (their mothers...who are also my friends) that I am lazy.

Aside from getting dressed, I played on facebook, paid my electric and gas bills, and started the new Dan Brown book.

Oh...and I fed a bunch of boys lunch, which they ate while flipping between the USC and the Buffs games.

Frozen burgers, of which I have 1,000 because I bought them from Costco...and while they are fast and easy, they don't taste all that great.

But teenage boys don't care.
Cleared out the pantry of all half eaten bags of chips (left over from Brian's party) and an odd assortment of buns, too.
I then made a pear crostada with our fresh picked pears for dessert last night while we watched Duplicity.


I actually have another one in the oven right now for a neighbor who gave Brian a hand me down BMX bike.

A pie for a bike...should be a fair trade, huh?
This morning after church we stopped at Costco for gas...$2.96/gallon. Let me tell you, that is a bargain around here.

I heart Costco.
We then drove around Long Beach for a little bit, trying to decide on a lunch place. I had my heart set on lettuce wraps from Cheesecake Factory but didn't want to spend that much on feeding my hungry guys...not that they aren't worth it, but September is a lean, lean, lean month thanks to all the school start up costs.

So, we drove and drove and found a fun new know, for all the wine that we make.

In the end, we settled on Jack In The Box.

Fries, anyone?
I needed veggies, so I had a teriyaki doused chicken and rice bowl. Not bad. Not very good, either.

But the company was rather fun.
Dropped boys off at home and that guy that I like so much and I headed back out to our local Costco...where gas is $3.03 by the way, and did a small stock up. Then on to Trader Joes for a large stock up.

Everyone is happy, because running out of wine and/or Pellegrino is not a good thing.
I just browned some short ribs and threw them, along with lots of other stuff...including a bottle of red wine and a field of garlic, into the oven to roast the afternoon away. I'm going to mash some potatoes to go along side...the perfect autumn meal on this 83 degree September day.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Sunny Weather

Palm trees amaze me.

We never, in a bazillion years, would have ever chosen to live here (that guy that I like so much used to tell EVERYONE that he would NEVER, EVER live anywhere in our sunny state) but God likes to keep us on our toes...and look where we live.

The land of palm trees.


The younger boys survived the first full week back at school and I have found that I really enjoy my new job, and especially the flexibility of it. I even worked as a crossing guard myself (since I have to train them, I need to know what I am doing) one morning this week and LET ME TELL YOU, it is MUCH harder than it looks.

Just picture me in a yellow vest holding a stop sign.

That in itself is scary.

You really do have to find a rhythm to letting cars go and buses in and kids who need to cross from 3 different directions.

And let's just say that I never found the rhythm.

But the children all got to school safe and sound and the buses only flattened two of the big orange cones that I forgot to move and no one heard me muttering about what an idiot I am.

And to the woman in the car who flipped me the bird (yep, she did!), have a nice day.

I got in my car and called M, who choked on his coffee when I tried to tell him about my morning. Thanks for the support, honey.


This morning I met a girlfriend for coffee (and ran into a bunch of other girlfriends while there...bonus!), met another friend for lunch and a movie (Panera and Love $6.00 matinees!) and came home in time to sip an iced tea (pineapple tea from Hawaii) on the front porch while waiting for Brian to walk home from school.

Tonight I made buttermilk chicken (soak boneless, skinless chicken breasts all day long in buttermilk, drain and roll in italian bread crumbs. drizzle with olive oil and bake at 425 for 20 minutes) topped with salad. You know, the whole hot/cold thing I am addicted to. Alex had a friend over (they are now night swimming at the is still 80 here) and Brian is fresh out of the shower and watching Suite Life On Deck.

That guy that I like so much has a conference this weekend, but will sneak out early in order to watch his beloved (and oh so bad) Buffaloes play.

My goal for tomorrow is to get dressed.



Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Post With A Bazillion Topics

My life now (?) consists of nerf guns...
...and darts everywhere.

Holly's birthday present. She's 50 now.

Billy and Holly and fam came for the weekend...we met them at Naples in Downtown Disney for dinner.
And hello? They ended up with the most perfect of perfect children. Hey Emily...can I take your picture?

And she STOPS what she is doing and SMILES for the CAM-ER-A. could learn somethin' from her!
Holly and Michael From The Mountains. It's one of MANY old stories, though the perm story is still my favorite. Or maybe the teacup story.

Oh...and hello? This is what my boys do when I ask for a picture. I sure hope they know that I am NEVER going away. EVER.
My dinner.

Hellooooo Italy.
I got no good pictures of Billy and Ryan.

Though I am pretty sure he'll kill me for this one.

But that's OK.

It'll be worth it.

Two of my boys ordered a ginormous family sized pizza...and ate it all.
My littlest shrub kept getting in the way.
Ahhhh...there it is!
Once again. Sigh. Isn't she perfect?
Noodle cartoons to pass the time.
GREAT hair, btw.
The Liberatore's headed home and M headed back to work and the boys headed back to school and I headed out to lunch with the girls, followed by gelato for some...
...and sprinkles cupcakes for others.

Like me.
This morning on my drive to visit a guard down near Balboa...a perfect autumn sky.

Believe it or not, but I actually cooked a real sit down supper last night (gravy and pasta and meatballs) and I just popped a meatloaf (don't knock boys love my meatloaf. Just not the name. I mean, come on...loaf of MEAT?!?) into the oven...mashed potatoes and fresh peas will be sides. Probably one of my favorite meals (minus the peas...blechhh. But don't tell my children), too!

And farewell Patrick Swayze. Sniff.

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