More From the Magic Kingdom

So we finished off our first day (and I'm only highlighting the big ones) with the Tower of Terror and the Grizzly River Run. For me the best thing of the whole trip was the Tower of Terror. I hope to never forget the experience. The unexpected thrill of the ride was amazing. I think I was so scared that it gave me the giggles. I could not stop laughing. Kyle was sitting next to my dad and the poor kid was just terrified. I had my purse with me and had stuck my leg through the strap and it was a darn good thing I did because first thing it went flying up and got caught on my knee. My mom said my hair was standing straight up. When I think about it even now two months later - I get the biggest smile on my face and have to hold the giggles in. My kids even forgave me by the next day and wanted to go back for more! If you haven't been on that ride - you have just got to go! I think for me the greatest thing I got from the trip would be the 1st time experiences my kids had - to see the expressions on there faces was priceless.....And lets not forget the Grizzly River Run - our last ride of the day. And don't think we didn't plan it that way - we were soaked!

And then it was Wednesday and we were off to Disneyland! And our first stop was Goofy's Kitchen to see if we could get a table and how long we'd have to wait for it. I had called the night before to make reservations and the guy kinda laughed at me....But we did great - only about 40 minutes, if that. It was very fun - I'm glad I didn't let the guy on the phone discourage me. We took advantage of all the photo ops too!

As we entered Disneyland I had that overwhelming urge to recognize something - but it wasn't until we got to Frontier Land that I was finally able to say "Okay, I remember this". Not sure if it's changed that much - I just wasn't able to recall it from my memory. Surprise, Surprise! We did all of the big attractions - although we never made it back to the Finding Nemo ride - that was the only ride that had a tremendous line. I did force my family to take the Jungle Cruise - they really didn't think it would be fun. But of course, after we exited they agreed with me - it's hilarious! I think I liked Splash Mountain and the Matterhorn the best. No wait I liked Space Mountain too! That was great. Karlee and mom skipped that one. For some reason Karlee got it into her head that she didn't want to go on it. I think she would have really liked it - but she and mom had fun wandering the nearby stores while waiting for us to exit.
We again ended our day with the Grizzly River Run which had no line and we went on it 4 times in a row and just drenched ourselves! Karlee and I had started on the ride first while Kyle and Kevin went to Soarin' Over California again. Karlee and I happened to see Kyle and Kevin take off as we exited, so we ran up to the viewing point and watched them get absolutely soaked by the big geyser! Then we talked them into going again with us - Kevin was pretty sceptical at first - but then figured he was already soaked to the bone what difference did it make.....

That evening we ended the night with the downtown Disney Parade. What a treat. We had trouble finding a place to eat and were worried that we'd miss it or be so far back as to not be able to see anything - but it all worked out in the end! Definitely worth it! Hindsight I think I'd try harder to get there earlier for curbside seating.....


Table Talk

We were listening to Christmas music while eating dinner tonight and the song Merry Christmas from the Family by the Dixie Chicks came on and this discussion ensued.

Me: I just love this song, I think it's funny

Karlee and Kyle: Me too!

Kevin: I'm not a big Dixie Chick fan

Karlee: Why daddy?

Kevin: Well I think they sing fine, I just don't like there political view point

Kyle: Do they sing about that daddy?

Kevin: Well.....

Karlee: Do they say cuss words daddy?

Kyle: Like P!nk? She says a** (he didn't say it - he spelled it)

Karlee: Yeah Daddy P!nk says lots of French words - she uses all the French words in her songs

Kevin: French words?

Karlee: You know daddy, like when you say "Excuse my French" after you say a cuss word.

Lovely!......Proud moment! I guess my kids have figured out why I turn the volume down and then back up on certain songs.....

The Happiest Place on Earth

So we got to Disneyland with no troubles. I sat in the van on the way from the airport looking for something familiar and never found it. I lived in Brea, not far from Disneyland, until I was 9. I did live in the valley for about 2 years after high school - but that is very far removed from Orange County. But I do have some fond memories of going to Disneyland a couple of times with Carolee and Koriann when I lived with them - our favorite ride was the Jungle Cruise.

So the first day we did California Adventure and I have so say, all in all, that was my favorite part of the park during the day. We did the Soarin' over California first to warm the kids up, then went straight on to California Screamin'.....See how much fun we had......

I'm not sure really who had the most fun: the adults? or the children? I guess I didn't say that part.....My parents treated our kids to Disneyland and we just tagged along. My parents have taken each of their grandchildren when they turn 8 to Disneyland. We saved them a trip and waited until Kyle was tall enough to go on all of the rides (we only stuffed his shoes with paper towels on one ride - Autopia). What a blast. Okay more later!


On Our Way

Kyle in the cockpit!
Trying on the face mask....

Well the time has come for me to finally post about our trip to Disneyland in October. This may be the first of a few installments because I have decorations to put out and things to do today! So our trip began at the Sacramento Airport and as we were loading onto the plane, the stewardess grab Kyle and took him into the cockpit with the pilots. He was in there for quite a while. I finally handed my camera to her and asked her to take some pictures. On his way out they handed him a packet with crayons and coloring book - and of course his own set of wings. We were flying Southwest and were all pretty shocked that they treated Kyle to going into the cockpit. At the time I wasn't sure if this was now standard practice or not. But when heading home they took Karlee in there as well - didn't get a picture of that - but she got to talk over the intercom and said hello to all of us from inside the cockpit. So I'm still not sure if its common practice to do that these days, my kids happened to be the only kids on the flight both directions. All I know is that they will remember it for a long time. I'll be back with more!


A Bit Strange

Do you ever check out who comes to see you on your blog each day?... The places they live - Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, Poland, New Zealand, Brazil, Dallas, TX and Europe.....And how they find you?.....Apparently Sheesha's Spot when using google generates a lot on it's own. Like: broke sheesha (I wanted to write back and say "How did you know") or sheesha recipe (they must know I love to cook, but do they know I can't follow a recipe to save my life). And sheesha fabric? It's interesting when someone googles and ends up on my blog, some I saw were: brown sugar and contractions (huh?), 50's Martini Art and Vodka Martini - Dirty (yes I posted about Martini's, but I don't know anything about Martini Art - nor do I like Martini's) and someone googled "Johnny, Jack, Jim, Jose" and got another one of my posts. And oddly enough another google attempt landed someone on my blog with "recipe for la hacienda dressing....." Good luck with that one! I hear the owner is the only one that has that recipe and only he makes it daily!..... I only know this because Kevin worked there many years ago. I do hope they find what they're looking for.....

I choose Sheesha's Spot as I'm not very creative and went with it - my oldest niece named me Sheesha when she first started talking and it stuck with her. My sister still calls me that and my brother sometimes - my parents never. And I have a few friends from high school that still call me that. My youngest niece and nephew I'm not sure if it'll stick with them. I've always felt special when called Sheesha - maybe I should rethink that!
The definition of Sheesha is:

And might look something like this:

This is an Egyptian hookah. So now I've learned something new! My day is complete.


Pecan Sticky Buns.....Yummmm.....!

My friend Mary gave me this recipe over the phone last spring because I was having a Breakfast meeting at my house and wanted something sweet to go with the fruit and strata's. And this instantly became a family favorite in our house. We even made it while camping this summer. I made it the day after Thanksgiving because my husband insisted that my family needed to be treated to the deliciousness. I'm pretty sure my sister and youngest niece had had it before with us - but not my parents and brother. Everyone was fine with a light breakfast after the day before - but no! So my dad was asking for the recipe before I had finished and snapping pictures after it came out of the oven - we joked a bit about just leaving it on the counter for photo ops.....And the multiple flashes were messing up the picture taking as Shannon was in there as well with her camera phone! And then Dad was emailing me before I got home that he had already bought the biscuits and really needed the recipe - please, please he said. So I ran into him on Monday and quickly scribbled it out for him from memory. Not sure if he's made it yet - but he did do this. Beat me to it....Can you even believe it! So here is the recipe if you are so inclined to make it yourself!

1 (4-pack) Buttermilk biscuits
1 cup Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 1/2 cubes Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 to 1 1/2 cups Chopped Pecans

Preheat oven to 350. You'll need a gallon size Ziploc bag and a bundt pan. First sprinkle bottom of pan with nuts. Pour 1 cup sugar & 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon into Ziploc bag - shake until equally mixed. Using kitchen shears - cut biscuits into 1/4 and drop into bag while shaking to coat evenly. About a handful at a time - too many and they will clump together. Continue layering with more pecans interspersed throughout. In a sauce pan over medium to low heat add butter, brown sugar and remaining cinnamon. Stir until melted and mixed together. Pour evenly over bundt pan. Bake for 20 minutes (this is what the recipe calls for - I've never had it cook for less than 40) or until golden brown (I remove from oven and use a knife to check biscuits in the middle). Enjoy!


We Miss You....

God saw you getting tired and
a cure was not to be, so He put
his arms around you and
whispered, "Come to Me"...
With tearful eyes we watched
you and saw you fade away:
although we loved you dearly,
we could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Your hard working hands put
to rest. God broke our hearts to
prove to us He only takes the


China Free Christmas


For anyone buying gifts this year - I think it's worth your time to read.


What can you do....

I'm feeling the need to post to this blog. But my life has been so crazy busy lately where would I begin.....I still haven't even downloaded the pictures from Disneyland. That's what happens when you buy a 4 GB card.....I think the last time I looked I had 376 pictures on the card. Yikes. That sounds like a sorting nightmare!

This was in the paper the other day..... I had emailed the article & photo a few weeks ago and had completely forgotten about it until I went to school to drop off the kids and a few people came up to me and said "Hey great picture in the paper". And of course I had the deer in the headlights look. Yikes - I don't like to have my picture taken. But what can you do! We are off to Kyle's last Basketball game this morning!


Coffee Drinks Illustrated | Lokesh Dhakar

I'm thinking all coffee shops should have this posted somewhere - awesome. I'm always intimidated when I get to the counter. There is always an awkward moment for me. Like I'm going to be judged on how quickly and accurately I can order. And then the (unintentionally I'm sure) pressure from the person behind me if I'm not decisive enough......Yikes! This is probably why I prefer the drive through! Check it out for yourself! Thanks dad for sending me the link - it was just what I needed!

Coffee Drinks Illustrated Lokesh Dhakar


Check out the Chicks!

The Flower Floozie's are just a bit crazy!....You can find lots of friendly folks at the Barn!
Wow! One year and counting!....

The last year has been great fun at the Plant Barn. My sister has done an amazing job turning it around and really making it a great nursery. She has people coming there on a daily basis in droves. What an amazing accomplishment - she had a dream and now she's living it. Not a lot of people ever get to achieve that. She is very much in her element - she's putting her teaching degree to use everyday by teaching people about plants as well. So anyway - just wanted to wish her a happy anniversary and tell her how proud I am of her! And, You Go Girl!.....


Monster Cookies

The Dough - Kevin wouldn't stay out of it....
Karlee having a taste - she loved it....

The finished product!

The weather just seemed right for baking cookies this afternoon. I found this recipe on Bisquick.com and thought we'd try it out. Not sure it's something I'd make often as I don't always have M & M's around the house. I had bought everything to make up at the cabin last weekend and then couldn't find the recipe until we were ready to go home. And then all week I've tried to interest the kids into making cookies with me with no luck. I tried last night and then realized that I had no brown sugar.....

They were very easy to make - but we only got 16 cookies out of the recipe. Which really is enough. And fresh out of the oven they are delicious. So here's the recipe for you too.

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening - I used 1 stick of butter
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups Original Bisquick mix
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1 cup candy-coated chocolate candies - I used plain M & M's
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired - I used walnuts

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, shortening and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients.

2. On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls about 2 inches apart. Flatten to about 1/2-inch thickness with bottom of glass that has been greased and dipped into granulated sugar.

3. Bake 12 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 3 minutes; carefully remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 11 to 14 minutes.


The Birthday Girl!

And then she was nine!....

Wow how time flies! I can't believe my kids are 9 and 7 already....I really miss the baby stage at times - though not enough to have more. We are at a really good stage and life sometimes seems more simple. If that's possible really. I just love my kids though - and it seems weird that you think you couldn't love them anymore and yet each day brings more. And I love their unconditional love for everyone......

I've told the story of Karlee so many times that it still seems like yesterday. I was due to have Karlee on Oct. 20th. And on the morning of Sept. 12th my sister picked me up at 6:30 AM to go yard saling (sp?). Around 9 AM we were north of town, out off of Garner Lane and my little bladder could handle it no more. I made someone ask the homeowners if I could use the bathroom. So short of giving you the graphic details I came out and told my sister it was time to get me home (as it appeared that my mucus pull was starting to descend). Oddly enough we'd gone to our 2nd Lamaze class on Wednesday and I'd learned about that. I had also on Friday been to interview our pediatrician - whom I loved instantly and had said "I'll see you in about 6 weeks". I wasn't really concerned at this point and didn't really discuss it to much with anyone and I didn't call the doctor. I really had just decided that it would happen sooner rather than later. And besides I had a big day ahead and had things to get done. We were at the time a part of a dinner club that met every other month and tonight was our turn. So I was having 16 people for dinner and needed to finish the preparations. Of course two hours before the guests were set to arrive my husband decided that now would be a good time to tear out the bathroom floor in our bedroom. So I had to stop what I was doing and run to La Hacienda to get the dressing, then to La Comida to get the bucket of chips and then to his parents house to get the table toppers and more folding chairs. We were making a little cantina in our summer house. My sister had helped me with the decorations and we even had a stuffed guy sitting on sand in a chair with an umbrella, and a bucket of corona's. Too cute! So anyway - dinner went off without a hitch and the last couple left at 11:45 PM and I was in bed by Midnight. I remember waking up around 3 AM and hearing a popping sound and then feeling a trickle - I woke Kevin up and he came over and did a little looky loo and informed me that I had just wet myself. So I got up and waddled to the other bathroom (because remember I now have NO floor in my bathroom) and was still having trickling down my leg. So again - no need for the graphics here - I called the hospital at this point and said that I was 34 weeks along and had signs of the mucus plug and water breaking and they said I'd need to come in. Of course I'm thinking I've only had 3 hours sleep after being up for more than 18 hours and I want to go back to sleep. So we go down to the hospital and I remember telling Kevin that this was just practice as there was no way they would keep me I still have nearly 6 weeks to go - I didn't even pack a bag (which I would later regret) And all they would tell me is to take it easy and no baths or swimming!..... So we get into my room and it's just before 4 AM - I try calling my sister a couple of times and they aren't picking up. So we are just waiting around for a doctor to come in, my water has broken and I'm dilated to 2 and completely effaced. Of course they are telling me it's too early and they want to stop the contractions and labor.

So after nearly 24 hours of trying to stop the labor by giving me magnesium sulfate (which was just about the worse thing ever - I remember the nurse apologizing to me before injecting me with it) and getting two doses of steroids in to develop the lungs quicker, our Karlee Grace was born on Monday, September 14th at 7:22 AM. She came out with the cord wrapped around her little neck twice - yikes! But the little peanut was 5 lbs. 3 ounces and breathing on her own! And Dr. Tedford was right there when she came out - and he is just the most calming person anyone could meet. Nothing like the female doctor that delivered Karlee and never said a word about anything that was going on - just barking orders like "roll over onto your hands and knees". Huh? I thought I was pushing this baby out....Karlee only stayed in the Neonatal unit for three days and then Dr. Tedford was able to get us a private room in the pediatric unit until Friday so I was able to stay with her. She was about 4 lbs. 8 oz. when we came home - we had one home visit on Saturday and that was it - no complications what so ever. I remember going to her 8 week check up and Dr. Tedford telling me that if I went to another pediatrician they'd never know she was a preemie. She caught up in record time. Of course she slept for about 20 hours a day for the first few weeks home - which of course was heavenly! She is still the best sleeper in the house! And I love it..... And I love her even more! She is independent, stubborn, curious, artsy, smart and beautiful in my eyes! She has beautiful blue eyes and the greatest curls you've ever seen - which she tries to hide everyday. She's not afraid to try things and is a huge animal lover. She thinks everyone is her best friend and is very caring. Just a love I tell you......Happy Birthday, Karlee Grace!

I do have funny recollections of my hospital stay. The magnesium sulfate made me feel like I was burning up and everyone in the room had sweaters and sweatshirts on as the thermostat was down to 68 degrees. I remember my friend Susan was putting wash cloths on me after dipping them in an ice bucket and the wash cloth would turn warm in a matter of seconds. And then of course there was the puking that came with it as well - though not quite so funny there. But then there was also the time when it came time for coaching and Kevin and my sister got in my face and we're telling me this and that and I told them they needed to both go brush there teeth or stay out of my face (and I heard later how they were insulted by this as I had been puke girl and had not brushed my teeth either), whatever!


Mommies Checking Out

So I'm heading up to the cabin this weekend after a long absence for a Girl's Weekend with friends. And I'm bringing all my rowdy friends with me. You know Johnny, Jack, Jim, Jose, Captain Morgan and Franny! And don't forget Sgt. Peppermint - now that's my fav! Just kidding!....

But seriously, I have to say I'm ready! Not that I want to be away from my kids - they've been great. It's just that life has been throwing me some curve balls lately and I'm completely run down. And need to checkout for a bit. Since school started on the 21st of Aug. I've not stopped running. I only wish literally. But really how do I fit going to the gym into my day - and frankly with the loss of my iPod - do I really want to go anyway......

Yes I did say iPod (it was right up there near the top of precious things to me) and it's gone. It was stolen from my car, parked in my driveway. Yes darn it I forgot to lock it when I got out, and yes I left it in my car, but gosh darn it - you took my joy. Can I have it back, please? And you can leave my son's backpack too! He'll be happy to have it back as well! You loser. Okay, see I feel better, yeah well not really.

Would you really believe me if I told you about my day last Friday? Probably not, but I'll give it a shot - ha, that was truly the beginning of it. Last Friday I dropped the kids off at school and went to my doctor's office to get my TB test done. I had left my cell phone in my car - because you see that's just what I do, I don't want to bother other people with my phone ringing, if it's important you can leave me a message and I'll call you back (when I get back to the car - get over it). So naturally I have a message - it's my husband, he broke down on the freeway and needed a ride. So I promptly give him a call, but I've missed the boat and his dad is already on the way to pick him up - I actually passed him on Mangrove and wondered to myself - wonder where he's going......So I continued on with my day and then picked the kids up at 12 o'clock. Of course sometime in between there my phone rang and I didn't hear it or I had no service - so sure enough I have another message from my husband. While heading out to the car we called him as we had planned to meet for lunch. But apparently when he was dropped off at home to get the truck, it wouldn't start. So we decide that I'm going to stop and get some lunch and bring it home. No problem, we pull into Chipotle and grab some lunch, I noticed when turning into the parking lot that it's really tough to turn the wheel. And thinking that I have a service appt. for next week I'll just have them check it out. But of course as I'm walking past the car I noticed that I have a flat tire......We climb back into the car and I decide that I'll limp home and all will be fine (really it was okay - it wasn't on the rim). We get home and go into the house to have lunch and this is when I messed up and forgot to lock the door - in my mind I was coming back out to take the car in to be fixed. We'll one thing led to another and it didn't happen. It wasn't until we came home late Sunday night after dinner with friends that I had my keys in my hand and hit the lock bottom on my car - which was odd as we hadn't even been driving it. So Monday morning we decided to head to Lake Oroville on the boat and I'm thinking I need the iPod. But no. The. iPod. Is. Gone.

And now all I can think about is the time I spent loading 2200+ songs on there so far......Fortunately, if I ever get another one the songs are still on my iTunes account. And I can play that from my computer. But the reason I got the iPod is to go to the gym and to play in my car - I don't have a CD player in my car, I only have a cassette deck. Go figure. Oh and the radio. And I love music. I love to sing at the top of my lungs when no one is around (and sometimes even when they are), I always have music playing. I know all the words to songs and if not I find them on the Internet and memorize them. Funny thing about that, I can memorize words to songs no problem - but I struggle with the whole "where are my keys or where is my cell phone".....Hmmmmm.........So I guess I'm the loser - in more ways than one.....




This is the beautiful sunset my niece was talking about on her blog. It seems like those are the pictures I always take.....I forget to grab the camera when the kids are doing something fun or what not. My collection has years and years worth of sunsets. This year I messed with the settings on my camera and got some different pictures and that was cool. This sunset picture was taken during the Antelope Complex Fire and the sky was just beautiful. We were fortunate enough to only have one day of smoke in the air, the rest of the time the smoke was hanging over the mountain ranges that surround the lake. The sunrise picture - surprising that I caught it really - was more about the mist that was hanging over the lake. I had never really seen it like that in the summer time. And sure enough about an hour later the mist was gone. The kids and I were so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend a good deal of time up at the lake. And the best times are during the week when the population goes down so much. You can have a whole day and see only 1 or 2 boats on the lake - now that is peaceful!

Back to reality! The kids start school on Tuesday. Yeah! - They got the teachers I wanted for them....! On Monday they have a back-to-school picnic that I hope that I can make - if civic duty interruptous doesn't take that away from me - I'll be happy. I thought about postponing my jury duty but last time my group was dismissed the Friday before, no such luck this time! Bummer. I had a scheduled appt. for service on my car for Monday, that I'll have to reschedule now. And I can't miss the first day of school on Tuesday. What fun is being a stay-at-home mom if you miss the first day of school......I'm already dreading the drive out there. Had it not been for this article in the paper a few weeks ago I probably wouldn't be so anxious about it. All that mess makes me nervous. The Butte County Fair starts on Wednesday so I know we'll be making a few trips to Gridley and have to pass through there multiple times. Yuck! So I'm having a change of heart - yesterday it was that my group would not be called - now I'm going with "I'll be dismissed within the first hour"!....Now say that with me...."She'll be dismissed within the first hour".....Keep going.....The power of the secret.....I should finish that book!


Our Fashionista

This is how I found Karlee one day in the kitchen watching the boob tube..... This is the girl that changes her clothes 5 times a day.....She can't just throw a shirt on - it's two shirts minimum and layered just so.....Usually with a belt around her waist. And apparently this is the appropriate way to lay on the kitchen floor when wearing a skirt!

I'm sure I have a little to do with the fashion thing - although I fail miserably at it myself - so not sure where she's gotten that part of it. But when she was little I loved dressing her up. I had some great hand me downs from my sister and I liked shopping for her. Which is kind of funny considering how much I dislike shopping all together! I think it's the art smart thing coming through. Now if I could get her to care about her room the same way she does her clothes I'd have it made!.....She's always good for putting a smile on my face though.....


Happy Birthday Baby!

I can still remember this day exactly from seven years ago. At this time (2:15 PM) we were just getting into the room at the hospital. I remember not really knowing what would actually happen. I remember telling my sister early in the morning that I thought today was the day and she left to go to Westwood to pick up my 16 year old niece who was going to view the birth (we called it good birth control). Anyway I called my husband around 9 AM and told him that the pain was about every 5 minutes and he said he'd finish things up around the office and come home. I called my mom who had spent the weekend with me as Kevin had been out of town, she'd gone home on Monday and here it was the next morning and it was time - I guess it was all the walking around Costco we'd done the day before. I then called my mother-in-law at work and told her she'd need to come to the house and watch Karlee as it was time. Of all days, she car pooled and didn't have a way home. My sister called about 10 AM to tell me that she'd had road construction all the way up there but that she was on her way back and she'd get there as soon as she could - I told her that Shannon would have to stay with Karlee until Saralee got there from work. Around 10 AM I called the doctors office and explained that the contractions had been every 5 minutes for the last hour. She told me that I'd need to get the hospital before too long. About an hour later Kevin still wasn't home and I called him again as now I was doubling over with each contraction and he said he'd be there before too long. My sister got there around 12:30 and Kevin was still not there. We were considering leaving without him but he finally got there about 1:30 and they jumped into the car and off we went - I remember how weird it was driving down the street towards the hospital in the middle of the day - everyone carrying on in there normal lives as we were on our way to bring a new life into the world. Strange! Anyway the nurse checked us into the room and left us and then the pain was really coming. My sister went out into the hallway looking for the nurse because she thought I was ready to start pushing and the nurse came back into the room like a 1/2 hour later and she was like "oh, I guess we better get the doctor here". At one point my sister whispered into my ear that she had a meeting to go to at 5:30 and could I hurry it up a bit. And sure enough there was my beautiful baby boy - Kyle Warren, 7 lbs. 8 oz., 21 inches, born at 4:08 PM. The nurse said at one point that it was a good thing I got into the car at the time I did or I might have had my baby at home.... I got to hold Kyle before they cleaned him up and it was amazing. I think I knew it was a boy the whole time. It was the same for me with Karlee - I was sure it was a girl the whole time. We didn't have any girls names picked out. Just Kyle - and so there it is......He's my love!


Matching DNA?

I think this is so funny.....They seriously have matching heads!

My boys.....
Okay so here's the story behind this. One evening I was sitting at my desk and Kevin & Kyle were sitting in the chair behind me. I turned around only to see the backs of there heads and was astonished to find that they matched. They have the same smile as well. When Kevin's aunt sees Kyle she tells me that he looks just like Kevin when he was a little boy. She says the same thing about Karlee but I'm not convinced.....The color in Kyle's hair is from the color gel they put in it when he gets his haircut. Oh joy....! Must have been a hair cut day for the boys.


And We're Off (Part 2)

And this is our room (and now it really is a room with a door)
My sister's favorite bed.......
The livingroom with the new windows
The kids room (or sort of).....

And We're Off!

And this is where you'll find us.....

So the bags are getting packed and the last bit of shopping will be done in the morning. And then it's "See Ya!" We're getting out of the heat - I hear it's coming. We leave in the morning and aren't coming back until the 15th. We are going to the lake for our annual 4th of July trip - later than usually - but I'm going to let that one go...... I'm looking forward to spending time on the boat, going for walks, hanging out in the sun and playing with my kids on the lawn. We found our Bocce ball set last weekend and plan to have a game or two! We have our bikes up there too.

And there are just a few things left to do from the remodel - hang up a tool holder and finish the electrical in the lean-to. And then it's done! I guess I still have to pick out window coverings for our bedroom - the windows are so beautiful now I hate to cover them up. Kevin did such a great job on all of the wood work. I love how he kept as much of the old knotty pine wood as he could. It's been a long haul, but so worth it. Last year at this time we spent our nights on the floor in the living room. We'd roll up the sleeping bags in the morning and lean an old mattress against the wall til night fall. We basically camped inside the cabin last summer. We didn't have running water until mid June and no shower until the 3rd of July. Having Kevin's Aunt & Uncle nearby saved us from stinking up the neighborhood. Prior to that we stayed in a trailer. We love being there that it didn't deter us. It was funny to us that know one else wanted to come and stay unless they had a bed to sleep in......Oh Well!
So be sure and visit me again after the 15th - I'm sure I'll have some new photos to share and I'll give you the update! Happy 4th of July!

Toothless Grin

2 hours, 59 minutes later......
Kyle had to have 4 teeth pulled last Thursday. My kids have both missed a step when it comes to teeth - they get new teeth before the old ones come out.... So we took Kyle in for his teeth to be pulled and I had know idea what to expect. We had a follow-up visit to the orthodontist on Monday and they sent us back to the dentist. Since they are both in the same complex we just went straight over to make the appt. When I asked Kyle if he wanted to do it on that Thursday he flew under the coffee table in the waiting area and said "I'm not getting my teeth pulled". Of course I was mortified and thought great....... So anyway it all worked out we made the appt. and on Thursday morning Kyle woke up early, got dressed and came into my room and said "Mom is today the day?" I'm thinking how do I answer that one - So in my big girl grown up voice I tell him - you bet it is....!?! So we go through the process and Kyle was great - no tears, no screaming, no kicking - and thankfully no shoe print on his forehead! You know from my foot on there holding him down!.....
So on our way out the door Dr. Lange tells me to keep him out of the pool until at least 3 pm - of course this is when I go into panic mode. He also says have him rest for a couple of hours, you know take it easy. Yeah right! My kids practically live in the pool these days and half the pool water ends up on the outside from all the jumping. Had I been smart I'd have fed the kids before the 12 noon appt., but remember I just said I wasn't smart. So I took them to Blockbuster to get a video and then next door to get a milkshake at Baskin Robbins and we were still in the pool by 2:59. Whew!


Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my Dad!
Make it a great day!
We Love you!!


Fresh Pik'd

These will be crisp by sunset.....
And these will be mine very soon......

I love this season. Though it's far too short. And if your not diligent you'll miss it all. You have to go out really early or it's far to hot to enjoy picking them. I love to go out first thing in the morning when the sprinkler dew is still around. You have to have a lot of patience picking. If you grab to fast you'll stick yourself or drop the fruit. This morning I had the cats with me - a new experience. They just get right in there - which I figured was good for me, keeping any critters at bay! Once when my sister was picking she came across a snake - yuk! So I'm always a little apprehensive. But my bowl was full quickly this morning and I didn't have to work so hard at it. We missed the vital weed picking and now if you pull them the fruit will drop so it's somewhat challenging - but worth it. So please come pick!

Summer Lovin'

Summer lovin' had me a blast, Summer lovin' happened so fast, I met a girl (Karlee) crazy for me, Met a boy (Kyle) cute as can be, Summer days driftin' away, to uh-oh those summer nights, Uh Well-a well-a well-a huh, Tell me more, tell me more.......


Hit Me Baby One More Time

From my "Omega Nu Sisters".....

And from my husband.....
It's a little strange to have two new pieces on my mantel. I was first shocked at my last Omega Nu event when I was presented with the beautiful green vase as a thank you to my past year as president. It was so thoughtful, I was just delighted and shocked. It was certainly unexpected. I just love Orient & Flume and am very intrigued by the work the artists do. You can see a little of that here. We'll have to make it to Orient & Flume this summer and sit outside the windows and watch them work. I once saw a documentary on the discovery channel of glass blowers and it was amazing to watch. I remember going to some sort of flea market, carnival?....when I was younger and seeing an artist blow glass. Seems like we then poured different colored sand into the bottles and kept them. And maybe they were old soda bottles....My memory is cloudy, could be I'm thinking of two separate things here. Anyway very cool! And to think I've lived here all these years and never gone and watched the glass blowers - I need to get out more!
So imagine my surprise when my husband came into the house carry the distinct bag from Orient & Flume on our anniversary. We'd had a fabulous lunch together earlier in the day and both said - "cards only right". We've never really been big gift buyers for each other to mark the day. Usually just dinner or lunch and cards. Maybe over the last 14 years a gift or two - maybe something for the family. So to say the least I was blown away. And the vase couldn't be more me....I just love it! Of course what he said to me made me cry, and I'm keeping that to myself. But I can't wait for the next 14 years! And the next, and the next......


Building Sandcastles

I just found this post that I started some time ago. I guess I got distracted. Not sure where I was going with it but - here's an updated photo of my kids all the same! This is at Bodega Bay. Karlee, Kyle and Kevin went there while I was out of town on a "Girl's Weekend". They went horseback riding on Uncle Craig's horses, right on the same beach. They flew kites in the sand and built sandcastles too!....So much fun!


An Average Joe....

1. Starbucks' first store opened solo in Seattle in 1971. How many locations of this popular coffee hotspot are serving up java today?
a. 1,326
b. 7,102
c. 25,478

2. The cappuccino is a product of this country:
a. Italy
b. France
c. Japan

3. Good news! A recent study showed that coffee has health-enhancing benefits including:
a. Lowering blood pressure
b. Improving vision and hearing
c. Supplying disease-fighting antioxidants

4. Americans drink an average of how many ounces of coffee a day?
a. 32 ounces
b. 16 ounces
c. 8 ounces

5. Coffee beans are actually seeds harvested from:
a. Coffee tree cherries
b. Coffee tree pods
c. Coffee tree roots

6. The world's largest coffee exporter is:
a. Brazil
b. United States
c. China

7. Which famous composer wrote The Coffee Cantata, a satirical commentary about coffee addiction?
a. Ludwig van Beethoven
b. Johann Sebastian Bach
c. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

8. How many pounds of coffee can the average coffee tree yield per year?
a. 1-2 pounds
b. 5-10 pounds
c. 20-25 pounds

9. The term "cup of Joe" was coined during:
a. World War I
b. World War II
c. The Vietnam War

10. If you ordered a latte in Italy, you'd likely be served:
a. A cup of black coffee
b. A tablespoon of sugar
c. A glass of milk

Test yourself - think you know! I'm okay with being an "Average Joe". I knew that I had guessed on some, knew others and was just plain clueless on a few! Here are the answers if you need them....

You're An Average Joe! You know enough about coffee to keep you grounded, and can rattle off the calorie count in your favorite coffee drink. However, when it comes to coffee trivia, you're completely clueless. Here are a few notable nuggets to keep you informed:

1. Starbucks is the largest chain of coffee shops in the world, boasting 7,102 locations.
2. Cappuccino is an Italian beverage made of espresso, a little bit of hot milk and lots of milk foam.
3. Drink up! A study conducted by the University of Scranton revealed that coffee is the number one source of disease-fighting antioxidants. It has more than any other food or beverage in the American diet.
4. Sip on this: Americans drink an average of more than eight ounces of coffee a day.
5. Coffee beans are harvested from the cherry-like fruit that grows on coffee trees.
6. In November 2006, Brazil shipped 2.79 million bags of coffee, making it the largest exporter of in the world.
7. Johann Sebastian Bach wrote The Coffee Cantata in the 1730's in jest of coffee addiction.
8. A coffee tree can only produce 1-2 pounds of coffee each year.
9. The term "cup of Joe" was coined during World War II when American military men (G.I. Joe's) were said to drink large amounts of coffee.
10. If you ask for a latte in Italy, you'll likely be served a glass of milk.

Outdoor Living

The past few weeks I've been working hard getting the outdoors ready for summer. With less than 15 days left of school - I want to be ready. So recently Kevin and I decided that it was time to actually purchase patio furniture....After 12 years in this house we needed something to call our own! When we moved here in January, 1995 we were lucky enough to be left with some treasures! You know the round metal white table - though ours was more rust colored than white. I found a great table cloth for it and put a slit in it for the umbrella that was left - a nice yellow vinyl one!... That spring while out doing the Saturday morning yard sale excursions I found a great wicker set in a natural tone - I painted it a great green color with my Wagner sprayer - it set me back $20.00, or $5.00 a piece. I definitely got my monies worth on that one as it only went to the dump this spring.... So needless to say we were in the market for a new set. We have a large brick area and also a separate summer porch. My dad helped me last week with the annual haul out of the summer porch - I pull everything out of it and hose it down. I have always done this myself as I was able to move the furniture on my own - we now have bigger pieces and I can't do it anymore. It too is all brick and screens all around. Unfortunately in the winter it becomes the storage for outside things and gets really grungy. There is nothing better than sitting in there with the morning paper and my morning yogurt. We have a great wicker set in there that was Kevin's mom's set. Not my favorite pattern on the fabric, but it is a great reminder of her and when Kevin's brother and sister visit we like to sit out there and reminisce....

So we recently went to a birthday party and were outside and I noticed their new patio furniture (it was cousin Amy's) and had to ask where they got it. She told us KMART - which I knew over the years I've been tempted by there selections. So I said to Kevin one day last week that I'd really like to get a new patio set - which I'm certain I've probably said it at least 11 times in the last 12 years. My annual spring nag! I asked him if he'd meet me at KMART to look at this furniture - of course he was more along the lines of show it to me online.... I was able to find it and he too liked it. It has these great tile pieces instead of a glass table top, the cushions are pretty neutral and I love the chair style. So one day on my way home from picking the kids up from school he called to say that I should go home, get the truck and head to KMART and pick up the furniture I wanted - call it my "Mother's Day Gift" he said.... He'd meet me at home and start putting it together. Yeah!....
Now this is were the story just gets interesting.....The kids and I go to KMART and head right to the patio furniture section, we walk around looking for someone to help us - of course know ones in the general vicinity. I do see a gal in the Health & Beauty section putting things on the self and I track her down. I indicate that I'd like to purchase a patio set and could she help me. Or course you know the answer to this - no, but she'll page someone to help you. So I plant myself near the phone that she has just paged from and wait......and wait......and wait. She pages someone, she pages the manager, she pages customer service, she pages the "runner" - all who ignore her pages as I continue to stand here. After the fifth page I told myself that at 4:10 I was walking out. At 4:10 that would be 30 minutes of standing there - too long. And of course just as I'm ready to walk off the girl comes back up and says "well I guess I can page someone again", to which I say "please don't - I've waited here too long I'm leaving now". Of course she did not reply to this and went back to what she was doing. And naturally I have to walk past the customer service desk to get back to my truck - and since I do have my kids with me I'm really containing myself, but I do stop at the counter and tell the young man that I have just been waiting by the patio furniture waiting for someone to help me and that I think it's ridiculious that someone should have to wait over 30 mintues to get some help. And why after 5 pages has know one come to help me. Ridiculious! So sorry I'm not spending my money here! To which I walked away at this point with my kids trailing behind me. So I get the kids back into the truck and Kyle says to me "Mommy why did you say that to that guy". So I told Kyle that I was upset that I couldn't get anyone to help me. Kyle then proceeds to tell me that the guy told him "to get out of my store and don't come back" And I'm like WHAT? So Karlee and Kyle explain to me that as they walked past this guy behind the customer service counter at KMART that he tells them "to get out of my store and don't come back" with a wave of his hand shooing them out - I'm am floored! And thinking what do I do now. I know I can't go back in there and give him whatfor - I have my kids with me! Not a good example! So we head home and Kevin is not 5 minutes behind us. Of course the first thing out of his mouth is "where's the furniture". To which I say "Well wait until I tell you this"..... I give him the abbreviated version and he says fine I'll go down there to get it. And of course I'm like you couldn't pay me to spend a dime in there. But I did like the set - I'm weak! And also thinking do I pass this opportunity by - he said yes - how many years would I have to wait to hear it again!....
So every night last week Kevin spent time putting the furniture together. A little bit each night. He apparently can get the service when needed. He did call KMART on his way out the driveway and the manager met him at the front door! How special.....The unfriendly guy wasn't behind the counter when Kevin got there and he didn't appear until the end - at which point my son pointed to him and said to the manager - "that's the guy who was mean to me". Kevin did have some satisfaction in the "deer in the headlights" reaction from him! It doesn't pay to be mean to anyone! I wish I could say it ends there - but not! When we pulled the last chair out to piece together it was damaged, as were a few tiles and the table top had a split in it. So Kevin boxed those back up and took back down there to be exchanged. I'd like to say this was a good experience for him but can't - I'll give you the short version. I called him at 4:25 on Saturday to ask him when he was coming back - he'd been gone for quite some time - enough time for me to wonder when he was coming back. Anyway he said to hang on as a gal had just come up to him to let him know what was up, this is what I over heard on my end - "it seems the guy that was looking for your table got off at 4:00 and he's left". Priceless huh! The best part though is that my family made a special "Mother's Day" dinner for me and we all ate outside on the new furniture! I was telling my family this story on Saturday and mentioned that I'm not really a frequent KMART shopper - only when I've forgotten that one of the kids has been invited to a birthday party and we need a gift. The toy section is in the front of the store - convenient. However at this point I'm steering clear. Thanks anyway, I'm sticking to Target!


What a Muffin

And here's the recipe to go with it.....These are very tasty. My daughter likes them - Kyle ate it but then threw the last bite away saying he was full. The same boy who would eat 4 waffles for breakfast every morning if I let him. At first he was full of praise....Then in the last bit of conversation he threw in that he liked the chocolate chip part but wherever the zucchini was he didn't like that part.....hmm........I giggled with that one! Funny guy!
Zucchini Muffins
3 cups shredded zucchini (3 medium)
1-2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 large eggs
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (approx) mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put muffin papers in muffin tins.

Mix zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except chocolate chips. Add chocolate chips last after all other ingredients are well stirred.

Pour mixture into muffin cups about 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bake 12-15 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if done; should pull out clean. Cool completely.

Store at room temperature for 4 days or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Makes about 2 dozen depending on fullness.


Media Clip

I saw this link on another blog I was reading and clicked on it not realizing that in not more than 90 seconds or less of watching this clip I'd be in tears. Wow! Very powerful.... I guess having a 6 year old it hit me hard. It makes me very thankful for the people who serve in our armed forces. It's too bad we don't have more people stepping up to the plate to eliminate the burden that to few families suffer with. I'm not interested in weighing in on this debate other than to say how sad it is that children have to suffer this way. And this little boy is one of the lucky ones - he's parent came home! And thank goodness for that....



Picture of the house from 1966
This I know is a full double
As is this one....

This is the only one (above) that I know the name of - It's called Mother of Pearl and it is absolutely my favorite of all the 60+ we have in the yard....
And this would be a speckled one

When we moved here 12 years ago we had over 100 Camellia's and Azalea's - we've lost a couple of the Camellia's and a good portion of the Azalea's over the years. We had these two great big Azalea's by the front door - someone once told me they were bigger than ones you see at Chico State. There were and still are very old plants in our yard. We have the good fortune to live in the house that Kevin's mom grew up in. The yard is so established with so much greenery. I have a picture from 1966 and you can see when the Magnolia tree was only about 20 to 25 feet high and all the Camellia's lined up along the south side of the house, they are still there. It's pretty amazing - there really are not that many changes from the picture. Here I'll scan it and download it..... Oops! They don't go where you want them to, do they. Well there you go. I guess now I'll have to stand in that spot or there about I suppose, because in 1966 I was not born but I bet I could get pretty close.....And give you the same shot as it is today. I love the awnings on the windows. From the picture you can't tell the house was a great yellow and not our boring gray. My mistake. But since the house needs to be painted, I'm thinking it needs a happy yellow again! Well I guess I've gotten my fill of spring and the yard. I'm not much of a green thumb. I leave that to my sister. But I do love the camellia's. I guess because they come out when it's still winter. They are the first inkling that spring is coming. I can stand at the kitchen sink and see color everywhere. They do brave the cold too. And this year we had a very good and long season with them. We've had them since Christmas time and some are still going. And the Camellia's are so much less work than the roses - and I've noticed they are coming out in full bloom too!