Friday, July 31, 2009

Junior Guards Santa Barbara

Jack did great in this competition!  A fantastic and beautiful day!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Swimming with the sharks

After a "credible shark siting" we decided to hit the beach for the day.  Jack wouldn't get out of the water and Julia dug the biggest hole she could muster in 3 hours.  Great catching up with Ryan and letting the kids get to know him again.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ryan Arrives

We celebrated his 31st bday with a German Chocolate cake......  So good to see my little bro.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


You know I just could NOT handle making a bad pie - especially bad crust - so I made another attempt last night using my original recipe (from Adele) and I have to say it was my best crust ever.  The pie was not that pretty (but mine never are) but the crust was perfectly flakey and yummy.  I made a peach-blueberry pie and I only wish that the people who ate my last pie were in town to have a piece of this one.  There is a reason to stick with something that works!

Monday, July 27, 2009


Today my Dad turns 64 but the years hardly matter really.   This man has lived so many different lives and faced so many different circumstances that he should be at least 150.  I sometimes can't believe he still has his wits about him after raising 8 children (and not easy children at that).  If I started to write about his life I wouldn't be able to stop for some time so I will leave it at this.

Papa, you are a man of strength and courage - the trials you have overcome and waded through have been enormous and still you faced them.  You are a man of patience and talent - your accomplishments are many and your skill and ability outnumber that of so many others.  You are a man of morals and values - I know you still are flabbergasted that others do not live by the same ethics that you find only natural and obvious.  Most of all I think you are a man of love.  I know you love deeply the people you hold close to your heart.  This I think is your greatest attribute - to love - unconditionally.  You have shown me patience and love even when I was at my darkest and unable to reciprocate.   You have encouraged me even though you were in trying times yourself.  You have given this gift to me and I try everyday to live up to that example.  You have shown me anything is possible in this life.  Happy Birthday Papa.  I know this one isn't the best of birthdays and I wish I could be with you to smother you with love and gifts and good food and cake but the best part of this day is that you were born to be my father.  It is I who gets the gift on your birthday.  I get to thank God for you today - and every day.  I love you with all of my heart.... unconditionally.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Coming Home

Taking your shoes off
Sinking into the couch
The smell of your own home
Comfortable clothes
Familiar food

Remembering the safety within God's arms and knowing you are right where you need to be....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ti dye

Thank you Becca for doing ti dye with my children!  They have been waiting for 3 years to do this and I never could seem to find the time (and truly wanted to avoid the mess).  Even though the kids had dye all over their hands and feet and knees and foreheads they had so much fun and were so excited to finally create their own masterpieces.  

Friday, July 24, 2009


Jack and John took the van down to LA for the Junior Lifeguard regionals and Jack did quite well.  A third place and a seventh place - two medals.  Way to go Jack!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ugly pie

This is not my pie.  I actually didn't take a picture of my pie - it was that bad.  A friend of mine loves cherry pie and I made him one and one for his family today.  I went against my better judgement and used a new recipe - one that was suppose to be a contest winner.  I usually use the same recipe for crust that I got from Adele that everyone loves but for some reason  I was into trying something new.  The first pie I made exactly as the recipe required and I used butter.  The crust dough was sticky and extremely hard to work with which made for an ugly pie and who knows how it tasted.  The second pie I decided to use Crisco (which is what I normally use) and it was even worse!  This pie tops the ugliest pie contest.  It wouldn't even brown and the berries came through the top and made a complete mess.  I was so embarrassed to deliver the pies but told them I would make another one using my own recipe.  I told his kids to eat the Crisco one scooped on top of ice cream.  The filling seemed to be OK.  I will have to find out today if they actually ate the pie.  Maybe I am just out of practice.  I haven't made a pie in months.  I guess I better redeem myself soon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Carrie Underwood

Today was a super special day for Julia and I.  We went to see Carrie Underwood at the Mid-State fair.  This was Julia's first concert - I told her my first concert wasn't until I was probably 17 0r 18.  I thought it was worth taking her because she was playing so close to home and I want to continue to foster Carrie Underwood as a role model for Julia as a singer.  Miss Underwood's voice was spectacular and gave you chills but more than that she was very human, compassionate and grounded.  You knew that her life is based in faith.  My favorite song she sang was "Jesus Take the Wheel".  Even though I have heard the song so many times before it was very powerful live with hundreds of people around you.  I know Julia will always remember this concert and I hope that some day if her dreams lead her that way she will be just as human and grounded in faith when she plays on that same stage.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


So today I went to the dentist.  He needed to re-do one cavity and I had another one he needed to fill (Don't you stop getting cavities at some point?).  This guy (a new dentist) numbed me up so completely that it is now 8:00 pm and I still can't feel my cheek......... my appointment was at 9:30 this morning.  I think the numbing is worse than the drilling.  Next time I think I will fore go the numbing.  I could not speak because my tongue was so completely fat and numb and I bit my cheek so bad while I was in the office I was bleeding like a stuck pig.  I was unable to eat all day and looked like a stroke victim with half of my face falling off of my skull.   I don't think this is normal - especially for a cavity.  Maybe a root canal or something like that but please!  I couldn't even answer the phone today. John of course thought it was so incredibly funny - and kept asking me to smile and talk.   Every once in awhile his evil side shows.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Grocery store

Welcome back Kristin

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Little Bro

Today is my little brother Ryan's birthday......  It is hard to say little brother when he just turned 30..... that makes me really old (I wonder how my dad feels?).  I don't talk to Ryan that often, not because I don't want to - he is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.  It is just that our lives keep getting in the way.  Every time I see him I am so impressed with his gentle nature and his compassion for others.  He is a survivor.  He has really been down on his luck and has managed to pull himself through it every time.  He is planning on driving down here in the next week or so and I am so excited to see him!  I hope he gets to stay for a few days and I get some one on one time.  When Ryan was born I was the sis that took care of him - you know changed his diapers etc.  I have a bit of a soft spot for him.  Happy Birthday Ryan!  I love you!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Goodbye Ohio

Goodbye Ohio.  We loved seeing your green meadows and your puffy clouds, your warm nights, and your fire flies.  In another life we would love living there - even in the snow and cold of winter and the flatness of the land.  For now we will remember you as a great vacation in the young years of our children's lives and look forward to another day when we will see you again.

Friday, July 17, 2009


First there were 2...

And then came 5....

From the 5 came 13.....

And from the 13 came 31

This is John's family on his Mom's side.  What a special and monumental time.  As an in-law (or as we are lovingly referred to - an outlaw) this family seems perfect.  I am sure they have their downsides - conflicts and arguments, differences and annoyances - but I never saw them.  This was a loving family that all got along for at least the 3 days I was there.  There was nothing but joy all around me.  Children laughing and adults joking around.  There were several moments that I teared up - I am sure no one saw me but as I observed them their bond touched me.  I saw a room full of siblings documenting their life on video with smiles on their faces and the soft light in their eyes and I knew that behind that glass door something amazing was happening.  I saw cousins joyfully competing playing volleyball and sharing how their bodies are not as young as they used to be.  I saw second cousins getting to know one another and helping each other, dragging each other by the hand and saying "lets go do(whatever)!"  This was a family.  A large family.  A very, very lucky and blessed family.  This was a momentous occasion that they will all remember and now  - fortunately for me - so will I.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Lake

What a fantastic day!  We spent a couple of hours in the car and went to see Andy and Robin's lake house.  We spent the afternoon on the lake tubing.  Jack had a marathon tube ride that lasted at least 20 -30 minutes and he still wanted more.  We had to drag him from the lake and he later learned how to drive their golf cart.  It was so beautiful and peaceful there.  As we got closer to dinner we hopped in the car for another hour and arrived at Indian Bear Lodge - the location of the reunion.  Another beautiful spot and perfectly appointed for the event.  There were hugs and re-introductions all around.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


We visited this amazing museum today - the Center of Science and Industry.  This museum is rated #1 in the country and we can see why.  The kids had a blast with many hands on exhibits that not only children but adults can enjoy.  We were able to attend a show on making fireworks and experienced many loud noises and fun colorful flames - oh and we learned a few things too :)

Monday, July 13, 2009


We spent the day in downtown Columbus at a craft fair and outdoor market.  The kids had their faces painted and then we went back to the house for a swim.  Great summer day.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


After we decided that we could have flown to Europe in the amount of time we spent traveling to Ohio (16 hours) we are happy to be here. The weather is wonderful - a bit hot - the way I like it - but not humid at all. The sun is shining and Columbus is a beautiful mid-western town with wonderful buildings. We are staying with John's cousin, Andy's, family and they live in a wonderful home set back away from the street with big trees and large front lawns. They have 3 beautiful children - Drew is 10, Sydney is 7 and Katie is 4 (going on 15). Julia and Sydney are getting along great and Jack is having fun being cool with Drew. So far so good! Pics later but just thought you would all like to know that we made it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Joy!

Joy.    You are my wise younger friend.  I hope you don't take this the wrong way but I don't really think of you as younger - I guess when I think of someone younger I think of someone that lacks maturity and you most certainly do not.  You have this amazing sense of witty humor and still you can dumb it down for the rest of us when we need to relate to the men in our lives.  You are the most amazing mother I think I have ever seen.  Your children are beautiful (like you), spirited (like you and more like your husband) and extremely intelligent like both of you.  You have the most amazing heart and are the most giving person I know.  You are a wonderful link to God.  When I am feeling distant you remind me in ways you don't even realize that He is still here.  You are strong and know when you need to boss me around - and I like that.  I love how God gracefully had you enter my life  - not one defining moment but a series of them.  I hope this next year brings you peace (and maybe some quiet).  Enjoy this time as I am sure you are quite aware that it will be over quickly.  Know that you are so dear to me and even though your life is full (and mine too) and we may not talk that often you are frequently in my thought and always in my prayers.  I adore you Joy, you are the definition of beautiful.  Thank you for your friendship, and kindness to my entire family.  Thank you for showing me what humble is and what God wants us to look like.  Happy Birthday Joyful!  I love you!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Goodbye Myrah :(

We are all so sad that Myrah is leaving us tomorrow. A whole month went by way too fast. Everyone got along so well and Myrah was such a pleasure to have.  Maybe next year her mom can come too.  I know we will want to have her even longer next year and I am pretty sure she has become very attached to California (and maybe us too;)).   Myrah, thank you for blessing these last few weeks with your kindness and love.  We all love you so much and will miss you when you are gone.

BTW we are leaving very early tomorrow to go to Ohio for a week.  John's family is having a reunion and we are all meeting at a lake.  Should be a complete blast but I am not sure how often I will be able to blog.  I will catch up when I can! 

Thursday, July 9, 2009


My dear sweet Suzanne.  Today is your birthday and I can't even begin to imagine what my life would be like without you in it.  I vividly remember our first meeting outside your house when we were looking to buy our new home.  I remember thinking how incredibly beautiful and nice you were.  How amazing is it that I was so right!   It took John awhile to actually believe that someone could be so nice and sincere - surely you must have a darker side.  But he has since seen the light that you are.  You cheer up a room just by walking into it.  You have inspired me to be a better person and challenged me in new ways.  Without you I would not have this incredible job that I love - it never would have crossed my mind.  Without you Jack would not have a best friend living right next door.  I not only love you but I love your entire family - I mean all of them - your sister and her family  - your parents - your beautiful children and your husband.  I don't know why God has been so incredibly good to me but I am not about to question it.  Today on your birthday I thank Him for the gift of you.  You are a forever friend - this I know.  We will grow old, and wear funny outfits and forget what we just said..... but we will do it together.  I searched for photos of you and even though you will probably kill me for putting this one on my blog - I picked it because it is us.  We can be silly and laugh at ourselves.We can be completely open and comfortable in any situation (and I know you know the situations I am talking about).  This is friendship.  I know you will always be there for me and I know you know I will always be there for you.  My dear, dear, dear friend - Happy Birthday - I love you.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Battle of the Salons part 3

The Bladerunner was named "Top Salon" last night.  Very fun to see what they came up with.  I knew they would win it - they are amazing! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Dear me.  Ortho appointment for Jack today.   The sooner the better they said - we start at 11 now?  Anyone want to buy my car......I guess I will be walking now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The most perfect beach day

Today was our beach day and we could not have picked a  more perfect day.  Not too hot or cold or windy.  If you notice the three kids wore wetsuits while the rest of the world decided to brave the water without (thought that was funny).  Myrah and Jack boogie boarded for hours and Julia played in the sand.  So much fun.  Later we went searching at the tide pools for creatures.  Jack found the perfect shell.  Julia caught a crab and Myrah caught 4 baby fish.  Life is good.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Myrah's perfect day

(or so she said)  Sleeping in.  Big breakfast (egg burritos, bacon, milk).  Surfing in perfect weather.  Church.  Ice Cream parlor.  Watching a movie and sleeping in Uncle Rico's van.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July block party!

Happy 4th everyone!  I organized a block party in our neighborhood this year.  I did it for a few years right when we moved in and then took a few years off.  This year we were back on again and it was a huge success.  The kids had so much fun decorating their bikes/scooters/rollerblades/ripsticks and then they paraded down the street.  We had a watermelon eating contest, and many other games.  Everyone brought something to share and the food was great.  We were fortunate to have a neighbor with a very large bbq and we grilled 100 hot dogs, about 40 hamburgers and 2 tri tip steaks.  Fireworks finished the evening..... I think we will have to do it again next year!

Friday, July 3, 2009


We had some friends arrive today to stay for a couple of days.  Bobby has known John since he was 8 and they live about 3 hours north of us.  It was fun catching up on things and enjoying one of our favorite dinners - bbq chicken, cilantro rice, beans and garlic bread.   Yum!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Beach day

We spent the entire day at the beach today.  Jack arrived at 8:45 for Jr. Lifeguards and we met him when it was over and stayed until dinner time.  The kids had so much fun playing in the water in their wetsuits and I was able to just relax.  I left my camera in the car and was too lazy to go and get it. Unfortunately I was in the sun way too long and achieved my second sunburn of the year (what is wrong with me?).  When we got home I researched help for sunburns and ended up taking a bath with a bunch of tea bags.  The kids thought that was hilarious and Julia could not stay out of my bathroom - she wanted to watch the water continue to change colors.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Insane Wednesday

I went to the next "battle of the salons" night with a couple of friends.  We were on the VIP list and sat in the VIP lounge (I could get used to that).  The Bladerunner won again and they are in the finals next week.  These are their models - the theme was "future".