October 30, 2008

Lucas is featured in a book!!!!!!!

Lucas is being featured in a book about Redheads!!! This project started a few years ago and it's finally arriving in a few weeks.

This is such a cool story. I was approached by a lovely mom in Griffith Park and she and I got to talking about our children's red hair and she invited me to be part of a book she really wanted to do. To make a long story short, she organized, finanaced, self published, dealt directly with the printers in China and basically followed her dream through many, many hurdles to produce an INCREDIBLE book. It has fun facts about our states, answers so many questions about redheads, and of course has beautiful pictures about tons of redheaded children across America.

Through emails, photoshoots, and lots of questionaires, we are now going to be part of this really cool book.

The book is due to arrive very soon and I was just looking at the website and it's
beautiful!!! If you want, you can preorder now!!


The little things

Because it's nice to appreciate the little things, the subject of today's blog is my favorite salad dressing. Newman's Own Balsamic Vinegarette. Not only does it make everyday salad so much yummier, it is a great dipping sauce for chicken or meat (the kids favorite) and is divine on a tomato and hardboiled egg salad (like the one I am eating right now).

And if that wasn't enough, the Paul Newman foundation donates ALL the proceeds to charity. How cool is that?!? I was reminded recently when I was listening to a beauitful radio euology on the man, his career and all his many charitable contributions. $250,000,000 ballpark. What an amazing man.

Thank you Paul Newman!

Scary stories

My good friend hosted a Halloween scary story night at Mallard Canyon (sooo pretty!) and we had such a good time! Thank you!!!!!! She had organic snacks galore, cookie decorating and another mom read "scary" kids halloween books. Here is the table decor glowing at night. How pretty!!

There was this huuuuge rock in the creek bed that doubles as a slide. Violet, being the dare devil that she is, couldn't get enough.

Here is the homemade pumpkin cookie that Katherine got organic and healthy decorating stuff for. Look, she CUT OUT triangle shapes to do the face with.

Lucas with an old preschool buddy Diego

Some of the kids on slide rock

Intenting listening to one of the stories

Hello scary flashlight man

Pumpkin carving...mucho fun

This year I decided I wanted to see what a power drill could do to a pumpkin. I used it to carve weird eyes. Nothing pretty or spectacular, just something I always wanted to try.

Luke and Grammy are planning out his design.

I think this was her favorite part. She kept trying to steal this part away from others. I defended mine, it's the best part of pumpkin carving! Notice the nude body, that's right, it was over 75 degrees at 7pm in late October!!!

I am very thankful my dad has so much energy and fun in him. He was hysterical tonight with all the sound effects and maniacal, halloween-ish laughter. He also did the set up, clean up, and helped both kids carve. THANK YOU!!

Have you visited the library lately?

A smart & frugal friend of mine turned me on to a cool feature a while ago and I kinda forgot, okay, I was lazy. Clicking on Amazon, buying the book I wanted, and having it arrive on my doorstep a few days later was just easier. The cats outta the bag....

But with my re-newed pledge NOT to spend needless moola, I rediscovered the library and it's super neat feature of ordering books and having them shipped to your local branch. If you suffer from a small local library like me, you suffer from a small book selection. This solves all problems with about 5 clicks and a quick trip that doubles as connecting with your community.

ALL FOR FREE! All you need is your library card # and the last four digits of your telephone # on file. Yah...I had to dig in the dark holes of my memory for my number back on Hillrose! Good to know I haven't lost THAT marble.

Do you know how much money this will save me?? (As long as I return them on time!)

Glorious I tell you. Simply glorious.

PS I put a few books on hold: The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide, The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution. Yes, I am trying to brush up on my government knowledge - just sick and tired of being illiterate in this area, waaaay too important. Time to know what I need to and then help do my part to save us from this mess.

And I am trying to hold the book "Nick of Time". Supposed to be a fun historical novel for teens - I love teen books! Thanks to Connie Herrera for that recommend.

freaking hystercial


You will not be disappointed.

October 24, 2008

Recent pics of my sis's family

My sister and a few friends of our went out to this AMZING apple farm in Yucaipa. It is so beautiful and have they have the BEST caramel apples. My sister here is sampeling the glory, still warm with fresh caramel and that stuff is well...kinda sticky. Her mouth is a little sealed shut in this photos. :) hehe

At our friend's recent birthday they had wax lips in the goody bags.

Memo (my bro in law) and my yummy niece Violet.

Meet taco baby. I gave her a bath and then wrapped her up and set her down while I got jammies and she stayed there all wrapped up. :)

Lego lover

We (collectively) clocked in over 4 hours on Luke's most recent Lego acqusition. FOUR HOURS. I did about two of those hours and I must say snapping together little squares to create spaceships, men, monsters, etc. if actually quite fun. After two hours and I start to loose my steam. That's when grammy and grandpa took over. Thank goodness! This picture was taken at 10:00pm. Yes I let Luke stay up. Once you get on a roll it's addicting I tell you! :)

Cuddle time

Saturday mornings are glorious around here. They are our one lazy morning and we relish them don't we? Here I got a wild hair and decided to bring the camera along to cuddle time. Glad I did. Captured our goofy selves. :) I love you so much buddy. You are just amazing.....

xo, Mommy

How sweet it is...

...to sell your toys. I took you guys to Once Upon a Child last weekend to sell some of your old toys and with that money we walked next door and bought ice cream. You really liked this idea Luke. Charlotte....you on the other hand made the clerk give you back your jump rope. LOL Classic!

And he does dishes too

Dearest Hubby,

I had to snap this photo so as to hopefully remind myself how sweet I have it. Not only did you change diapers when we were in that phase, you wake up with the kids at night if they need water or a cuddle, you spend as much time with them as you can, you check off items from the honey-do list, and my most favorite....YOU DO DISHES!

You rock!!!

xo, your appreciative wife

First day at the Office

Luke is raising money for his school fundraiser, his first one. And I had the brilliant idea of having John take him to his company meeting to ask John's coworkers for donations. This is Luke's first offical trip with John to the weekly company meeting. The pajamas were his idea. He raised $120!

October 18, 2008

The Fam

This jumping picture pose was something I have always wanted to try since I saw it in a Leonardo DeCaprio movie. I am SO GLAD we did it. I LOVE it. You should try it because you can't help but all start laughing and making goofy faces. In here are all of my immediate family memebers plus a few spouses. The shot was taken spring of 07. We had so much fun with this. Check out my hugely prego sister, hysterical that she is the only one who can't jump. LOL

This pic was taken at my grandpa's 81st birthday party that we had here at the house this past May. My sis Jess couldn't make it but here are my other three siblings.

The beautiful bride

This weekend my sister Sara and I drove up to Vegas for Gab's last minute but very planned marriage. It's a funny thing. They knew they wanted to be married, they have known each other for a long time, and they just decided to forget waiting, stop putting their life on hold, forget "too young" and just jump in. I applaud that. As scary as it sorta kinda is to think of my younger sister married, I am happy for them. I jumped in and look where that got me! Blissfully happy. So, kudos for not over thinking things Gab!!! May you have a happy and prospereous marriage to Ben!

This shot was taken after the ceremony in the back veranda of the hotel. So cute.

I love this shot. This is Diane, Gab's mom trying to take out her earrings so Gab and wear them. The morning was tense and this goofy moment was perfect and I am so happy I caught it on film.

I just love the classic "bride gazing at herself" shot. She's so yummy.

Before the wedding and all the way up to the moment Gab walked down the aisle she seemed relaxed and was making all sorts of jokes. She also declared to us that she would not cry at all. Well...the MINUTE she started down the aisle with her dad and saw Ben it was over! It was the sweetest ceremony I think I have ever seen.

And this is Ben seeing Gab walk in. You can see the minister raising his hands up to signal the crowd to stand up for Gab.

I am so grateful that I could be there. And I am so thankful I was able to capture these memories. ;)

October 16, 2008

Crazy weekend

Okay so my sister and I had a blast in Vegas this weekend. My younger sister decided to get married, spur of the moment you might say, so we drove up to wish her well and take pictures, etc. Will post more about that with pictures tomorrow.

Also, while I was gone we got a new dog!! A 2 year old pitbull (don't freak) named Maya. She's a total love. Will post a pic tomorrow as well.

Just wanted to keep you updated. :)

October 10, 2008

You are not a real child unless you have...

Cut your own hair.

Hello. My name is Lucas. And I cut my own hair in the fall of '07.

It was the morning of our family Christmas card photography session.

My mom flip flopped back and forth from hysterical laughter to anger. It was cool.

Muuuuuaaahahahahaaaaa (maniacal laughter)

Constant questions during a movie

Okay so I might have made an error in parental judgement letting Luke watch a PG13 movie. I am usually pretty protective about what I let him watch. John let him watch Transformers and I figured this wasn't much more violent.....well, it is. GREAT movie though. Anyway, the point is that Lucas will NOT stop asking questions.

"Why is that thing in his chest?" (asked 4 times)
"Will he die?"
"Is that the bad guy?"
"What is following him?"
"Why are the rockets following him?"
"When is he going to be red?"
"What do the bad guys want him to do?"
"Is he going to make a missile?"
"Is he going to be hurt?"

Geez boy! Finally John and I both lost it and shouted "Just watch the movie!" And we all started laughing. :) Even you. Thanks for having such an inquisitive mind, and thank you for your patience with those that can't always keep up.

October 9, 2008

Sense of Humor

My love,

When I looked at these pictures today I am reminded how THANKFUL I am that you have an inexhaustible sense of humor. It never quits, (well almost never) and sometimes that is really, really, really annoying (LOL) but now that I am taking an objective view, it is really, really, really valuable and does wonders for our marriage.

We have survived/been blessed with SO MUCH in five years of marriage.

Thank you for making every day fun.
Thank you for keeping it all in perspective.
Thank you for loving me even though I am not always lovable.
Thank you for all your pep talks.

I love you.

-Your too serious wife

(pictures taken at a cool wildlife preserve museum in NoCal during a recent trip with my grandparents. John made me take pictures while he posed with the bear.)

A fantastic video

I am not a huge YouTuber or whatever, but seriously this video is not only funny, short and carries a positive message, it's FUNNY! (wait did I just say that?)

There are some well timed swear words so watch out for the kiddies.


Chubby Cookie

In class the other day the teacher was reading a book about different family members. So the brother part was about how they can be stinky and then Dads and they have loud voices and are so tall and then mothers, and how they are so sweet and cuddly, etc. The teacher asked each child what their mother reminded them of and some said candy, and others said flowers, etc. She asked Lucas what his mom reminded him of and he said...

"Oh! Oh! A..a..a...A CHUBBY COOKIE!"

LOL LOL Okay the back story on this is he LOVES my mushy post-baby tummy. He is obsessed with rubbing it, petting it, and putting his cheek against it. And the cookie part, I think he was trying to come up with something sweet. The teacher said he declared it with so much love. I laughed until I cried and then I keep repeating that story. I love it!

October 8, 2008

Finger Lickin Good BBQ Sauce

I found this recipe for homemade BBQ sauce - and seriously folks, it's SO GOOD. Totally lives up to it's name. I copied and pasted it from recipezaar.com. Fabulous website by the way! I have made it three times and I always get rave reviews. I usually make double or triple batches and store the leftover in a mason jar in the fridge. Keeps for weeks.

1/2 white onion
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 2/3 cups ketchup
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder (I use one)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I use a little less, I'm a wimp)

1) Put olive oil in a sauce pan on medium heat and cook onion and garlic until they are soft.
2) Then add the white vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
3) Let this simmer for 30 minutes.

A little of Luke

Current Luke...

Favorite book: "I will never, not ever, eat tomatoes." This is a very cute book about a brother that gets his picky eater of a little sister to eat good and healthy food. We make jokes and references to this book all the time. VERY good book.

Favorite toy: No current obsession. He has been on a kick of playing with all his old toys. I love it!

Favorite food: apples. He and his teacher have this thing going where they are going to plant all the apple seeds from the apples Luke eats. God love her. Also digging fish sticks, and dried figs.

Can't go to bed without: A made up story about the twins John and Jack (see John and Jack post), a loooong back scratch, kissing my tummy (not sure why), and a nice long cuddle. Oh and if he hears Charlotte demand some water, he'll need some too.

Cute things: He has been coming home singing the state song, it's a song they teach at school so the kids learn the names of all the US states in alphabetical order. I love it (learned it when I was a kid) and so he sings that a lot and then if he hears a state mentioned on the radio or in conversation, he says "Mom!! Alabama! Like Alabama, Alaska, Arizona,.....(and breaks into the song)" Very, very cute.

Current Charlotte

Okay so some current Charlotte things.
Can't go to bed without a sip of water, her "first beela*," a back scratch and a nice, long cuddle. Also John and I are done with the nightly fight, she now occupies the center of our bed a good part of the night. It was a nightly battle and ruined the relaxing evening we craze. "Why fight it when it just doesn't matter that much" John would beg. So I gave in, and it's not killing me. She is pretty good to sleep with, nice cuddling form, but I just can't do the deep sleep I love so much. I suppose this is one of those "mothering ain't easy" moments.

Favorite foods: Bananas, she has been eating like 2-3 a day. Popsicles. She gets to have a homemade juice Popsicle after dinner if she eats well and has good manners. Well....if she fails, ohhhhh man. Everyone up and down our block knows how upset she is.

Favorite article of clothing: This year we did actual back to school shopping (so fun) and I let Charlotte pick out what she wanted (mostly). The thing she picked out and would not let go of was this yellow hoodie with pink cupcakes all over it. She is just in love. And what I love....it goes with NOTHING! haha

Favorite toy: Seems she has been neglecting the doll house these days, and is more interested in the hamster and making beds for her dolls out of her blankets and wash clothes. ALL OVER the house I might add. It is not uncommon to walk in and find 6 blankets spread out with dolls and doll clothes littered about. And these blankets aren't just strewn about, they are PERFECTLY folded, I am so impressed. Her doll games are hard core. Oh and a few days ago she asked to play with the hamster and lost him. So we spent the next 40 minutes hunting him down. I keep having these "I'm a real mom" moments. That was definitely one.

* "Beela" is the pink, soft, silky blanket she is obsessed with and takes everywhere she can. "first" implies the one we gave her first, the dirtiest, ugliest most stained one. Why? Who knows.

Mahi Mahi

My sister is one of those annoying people who just looks in her pantry and can throw together really good meals with a dash of this and a little of that. She does not follow recipes and her food is always unique, sometimes bizarre but really yummy.

She finally made the leap and posted one of her recipes on recipezaar.com (love that website!)

Check it out, make it, then vote on it for her. I will win "good sister points" for this.


Oh Joy!

Oh Joy!!! I FINALLY figured out how to add the comments link!!! YAY! Jen will be sooo happy!! :)

Now that I have it, please leave me a note by clicking the "comments" button at the bottom right of my post. That way I will feel in touch and loved!