Friday, December 31, 2010

Our Year In Review


Alex returns to basketball following an injury; BLOOM blooms; our girls...Maggie and Mollie.


Matteo turns 20 (gasp!); Brian spends every spare moment at the beach; my business gets a makeover.


Paradise, within walking distance of our little house; lots of new things in the shop; lemons in our little backyard.


Is it wrong to spend this much time at the beach?; stealing a car we already own; the baby plays at Segerstrom Hall.


The garden is planted; fresh tulips are always a good idea; that guy that I like so much on his birthday (in Piazza Navona); us, in Italia.


Our little house loves summer; Matthew in drum corps, year 6; Alex having knee surgery (not fun. not fun at all.); Brian graduates 6th grade.


A weekend in San Diego with a couple hundred of our kin; our annual 4th of July pancake breakfast; the cousins come to visit; catching Matthew's show on the road.


More boogie boarding?; our besties come to visit making us long for our Colorado home; Matthew returns home after summer tour; a trip home to Chicago with my mom.


Alex, who vowed to grow his hair until he could play basketball again; a parting shot of my boys...Matthew moves back to college for his Junior year, Alex starts his junior year in high school and Brian starts 7th grade; Brian turns 12!


Alex gets new wheels; Brian becomes a disturbingly real-looking woman for Halloween; new in the shop!


Alex turns 17; we spend Thanksgiving in Pismo Beach with the family; my mama and Tom come for a visit and fix everything that is broken. =0)


A short haired Alex back on the court, months ahead of schedule; we fly up to San Jose for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary; our little house on our little street gets gussied up; Jesus is born!
Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

More Food

Eat, drink and be merry.

Until you explode.


Seriously, that is what I feel like. I can't even remember what it is like to not be full yet we keep. on. eating.

This morning....french toast waffles.

(Obviously we have not had enough rich, filling things to eat.)

Just make your french toast like you usually do (I add orange zest though) but cook them on a waffle iron.


Yet another fun dinner party, this time with our friends from Texas...the friends who will be our table mates at The French Laundry in Napa some day when we can ever afford it.

Which might be never as both M and Josh are professors, but we can dream...right?

We sat for hours and planned out next Europe trip together (gotta love the perks of their job!) and drank bubbly and listened to great music and ate pasta with eggplant and sausage.
And this morning my kitchen once again was not clean but who cares?

Yesterday I stayed in my pajamas until goal for today is to repeat that.

I'm loving this need to think ahead to next week. Yet.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Hood

In our neighborhood there is a little teeny tiny hill that we call the grassy hill.

Original, huh?

There's nothing to it yet our kids have grown up playing on and around this hill...they've played tag and had picnics and played trucks and army guys and football and had talent shows on it.

Our community even has a small town America 4th of July parade and one year our neighborhood (thanks to the 2 resident architects) designed and built a 'grassy hill' float...complete with a (suprise!) grassy hill on it. We piled all the kids on it and made a huge banner that us moms carried in front of it along the parade route.

I think we even won a ribbon.

I am sure that some will look at it and see nothing, but whenever I walk by this little hill I am flooded with memories. The house may be tiny according to others standards, but this little neighborhood with its silly little hill is huge.

I had an impromptu cup of tea catching up with the who is currently living in England and another who is teaching English in Guadalajara, all of us connected because of that little grassy hill.

I am thankful.

I was also honored to be able to use the Miss America mug.


Once home we took a look at our real Christmas tree and noticed that it was now a real dead (and brown) Christmas tree.

So that guy that I like so much carried it off into the sunset Paul Bunyon style.

We are now in Christmas limbo. The lights are still up and so are the decorations, but we are tree-less.

How about you...when do you take your tree down?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Crab Feast

Because Maggiano's didn't serve enough food.

Because the half a cow I cooked (and twice baked potatoes and green beans) didn't fill us up enough.

Because we needed MORE food, we had a feast.

A crab feast.

Piles of fresh ginormous crab and melted garlic butter and salad and bread.

And pasta for the babes...who discovered they loved crab, too.
No smiles pre-feast.

Lots of smiles post feast.
After feasting (gorging?) we were left with even more dishes to wash.


Happy Holidays. Now wash some more dishes.
The End.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Smells good, lasts forever and is totally inexpensive to make....all of which I like.


There's a bunch of recipes out there, but this is the one I use:

Start with:
20 Mule Team Borax
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda or detergent...I buy mine at Ace Hardware)
6 bars of good 'ole Ivory Soap

Quarter the bars of ivory soap and put them in the food processor. Pulse a few times...they'll blob together.
Add 3 cups EACH of the borax and the washing soda.
Pulse it again until it's all blended and the soap is teeny tiny.
Throw it in a bucket and it's ready to go!
For each load (I have a front load HE washer and this works's low suds) use 1 Tablespoon.

Yep...only 1 T per load. You can use 2 if your clothes are extra dirty, but even with my houseful of boys I only use 1...even when I had a top load washer. You'll be tempted to use more, but you don't need too....really!


The rest of today was spent shredding papers.


(not really, but necessary.)

We're down to two boys this week...Alex is in Las Vegas all week for a basketball tournament. It's quiet around here. =0(

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Summing It All Up

Twas the day after Christmas and here we sit,
waiting and waiting for the coffee to drip.

The babe, He was born and celebrated with glee,
The tree was all decorated for everyone to see.

The middle of my boys who towers over all,
gave his Grandpa an early gift...his pants didn't fall!

After singing carols at church with family and friends,
we dined at Maggiano's, our annual trend.

We had a private room with a cute little tree,
Dear gnocchi, I love you. Marry me, please?

My oldest, the Italian, looks so grown now,
The time has just flown and I don't know how.

The boy in the middle with the twinkle in his eye?
He keeps us laughing so hard that we can't help but cry.

This one will always be my little boy blue,
he pulls my heart's totally true.

Santa did come while all were asleep,
an xbox kinect was an unexpected treat.

He also left a gadget for the tallest one,
buying for him is especially fun.

That guy that I like so much was so very glad,
for under the tree, there was an iPad!

The Italian made lunch for all to eat up,
a 19 pound prime rib followed for all to sup.

The uncle and niece cuddled up a storm,
Now that she's moving, it isn't the norm.

Two German men and one little toy,
a screwdriver, some stickers...oh curses, oh boy!

Spoiling babe Logan with sugary pop,
after drinking he was wound as tight as a top.

The girlies worked hard on a gingerbread house,
I threw it away after...I'm sorta a louse.

Cookies, I love thee, oh yes I do,
All that's left are just a few.

Ending it all was a late night card game,
I bet it all on one hand which was totally lame.

And today, the day after, we are all feeling lazy,
My brain is still a little bit hazy.

Christmas 2010 has come and gone away,
The memories, though, will surely stay.

(yes, I know this was totally corny.)


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