Sunday, November 29, 2009

We had a fun evening with the kids last night. Joshua was home and Brandi was over. We started out phase 10. They were eating marshmallows left over from Thanksgiving dinner. Which led us to do "rubber baby buggy bumpers." Joshua got a marshmallows. Shawn got five. Did I mention that these were jumbo marshmallows? It was hilarious. Oh, Brandi and I passed on this truly masculine activity.
Then Brandi and I decided do do some beading, while playing Farkle with the boys at the other end of the table. We are girls; we can multi-task like that! I cannot share any finished projects yet...
One of these years, I am going to organize my bead stuff...probably, after I organize my scrapbook stuff and my yarn. Someday, I am going to have a craft room, with pink curtains! This is what we worked with last night. Lots of pretties and sparkly things.
After Brandi went home, the boys decided to bead something for the young ladies in their lives. Joshua already had a plan, but it worked that everything was already out last night. Shawn decided to make a necklace for his sister, which I thought was sweet. I've raised them well.
Joshua, such diligence. His focus was much better than my camera's. The battery was just about dead. Charged over night and ready to take more pictures.
I put Joshua on a train back to Fremont this morning. All those people who traveled before Thanksgiving are on their way home now. We barely got him on a train this morning. All of the trains for the rest of the day are sold out. It is sure nice to have him home every weekend.

Friday, November 27, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (Although, it still tastes a lot like Thanksgiving). After battling the Black Friday crowds this morning, we decided to bring out the Christmas decorations. A few years ago, we bought a pre-lit fake tree (after Christmas, when it was on sale). This baby is such a time saver, as lights are the hardest part. So here I am straightening the branches that have been squished in a box since last year. It has to "look real", right?
Here is my little helper. He's digging out the bulbs. I insisted on taking out the "special ornaments" myself. I let the kids hang their own. But, I don't want any getting broke in the process.
Nate hung the first ornament as I was still "fixing" the tree. I'm so excited to be in a couple of pictures this year...
Shawn got to put the angel on the tree this year. And, no it's not because he is the only one that can reach! Joshua can reach too...
I have wanted to share special ornaments for a couple of year, but never got good pictures. So here are some of them, that were not already on the tree.
These are Nate's: The blue ceramic precious moments is his "Baby's First Christmas" ornament. It has his birth information on the back. The teddy bear ornaments were party favors for his first birthday, which is 5 days before Christmas. The one in the box was from when he was 2. It says little helper (as you can see, he still is). That year, I got Nate and my dad both dog house ornaments and put their picture in them. They are always getting into trouble together.
Jacob's ornaments: The 2000, in front, says, "Expecting in 2000" and is a 1999 ornament. The train in front is Jacob's "Baby's First Christmas" ornament. The snowman photo ornament is also his first Christmas. He was 6 months old. For his 2nd Christmas he got a snowman (not in the photo) and the Pooh photo ornament. He was 1.5 then. The one on the far right is a toddler stacking blocks H-O-H-O. He was 2.5 and that was the year Nate was born. I don't remember which year the kid throwing the snowball is. The sled in front, he made in 2nd grade. I love school/hand made ornaments.
Joshua's ornaments: The ball in the center is one of two "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments Joshua got. The other is the rocking horse. The apple is a book work (go figure). The Hershey bar was a last minute ornament, bought by my friend Melissa, because for some reason I forgot. (Probably the year Nate was born. I was drugged through that Christmas). To the far right, you can see the cinnamon cookie ornament that he made in kindergarten. It doesn't hang on the tree anymore; it's too fragile. But, it still smells yummy; and is so very special! The Star Wars speak for themselves. The cat in the box was how we told Joshua he was getting a kitten for Christmas two years ago. We wanted him to pick his kitten. And that is how Shadow joined our family.
Brian and I do not always get ornaments, but here a few that we have acquired. The round one is from Yosemite. It is dated 1999, the year we got married in Yosemite. The love forever was one I bought for Brian one year. The bears sitting on a key and the house with the ribbon were bought the year we bought our house, our first house.
A few more special ornaments. Last year I found this adorable snowman ornament that had 6 snowman. It was the first thing I have found with six characters. Our names are on the snowmen's hats. The I need to explain? Actually, I bought one for my friend Jodi and myself one year; so it reminds me of her. And the gold foil state of Texas star. This one is priceless (even though it is Texas). My Aunt Cathey lives in Texas. She and my mom were best friends. She bought this ornament for my mom; but my mom passed away before she gave it to her. This one hangs prominently at the top of my tree every year. It reminds me of my mom, of friendship, of love.
From 2001 to 2005, I was a teacher. I collected many Christmas ornaments. These are some of the ones I still have. Some are personalized or just to beautiful to part with. I still have the cards that came with them, signed in 4 year old scrawl. Most of these are not hung because they are glass and I just don't trust my kids (or my husband) enough to hang them.
Our pretty Christmas tree
We did not get to outside lights today. It was too windy and threatening rain. So, you may be treated to more decorating pictures soon. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the spirit of it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NaBloPoMo: Day I don't even know.

So, random photo of the day. Funny thing is I didn't even know where/when it was taken. I had to look at the other pictures before and after it. It could have been a winter trip to play in the snow at Yosemite (that was my first thought). But, no it was actually another from our Alaska trip this summer. At least it's not ICE. This was taken on the Yukon Pass train ride into Canada.

Train Station - lots of cool train stuff and souvenirs here

A beautiful photo of the train ahead and the scenery

The US-Canadian border. They actually came
aboard the train and checked passports.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaBloPoMo: I blew it! I did get a few days further along than I did last year. Besides, Joshua was home from college for the weekend and we were chatting alone. I realized about 5 minutes till midnight that I hadn't blogged. So, Joshua grabbed his laptop and booted up (his is faster than mine). However, it was 12:02 when I was ready to blog. LOL. No, NaBloPoMo is not an obsession...

Shawn will be 16 on Tuesday. (It's hard to believe he was 13 when he came to live with us. He is SO one of us.) So, yesterday we had a birthday party for him. He requested bowling (again, because is was SO much fun last year.) Well, I scheduled it for this weekend, because he will be with his dad next weekend. What I didn't consider is that Nate has soccer on Saturdays. Or at least I didn't consider the possibility that he would have an 11:00 game. So, I had to enlist the help of Super Grandma.

I asked Grandma to stop by the grocery store for a cake, snacks and drinks. I DO NOT bake birthday cakes! And I forgot to order one from Costco, which is my usualy route. So, the party went on without a hitch... Yeah right.

It's lookin' good.
Shawn and his best friend (not Shawn's girlfriend) Alex

It's (not Shawn's girlfriend) Alex, again.

Shawn was giving Nate some pointers.

Shawn's friends (sorry guys, I'm bad with names)

Hmmm, will it stay on the alley?

Hilda and, umm, Shawn's friend (Justin, Jonathan, Matt?)

Joshua, (yes, she's Joshua's girlfriend) Brandi and Brian

Nate and Jacob, both up on different lanes.

Ah, the cake. Know what happens when you wait til the last minute to get a birthday cake? You can't fins what you want. Sometimes, you have to improvise. Sometimes you even have to settle for cake with a different theme. And, if there is a creative decorator in the bakery, no one will know the difference (until you blog about it).

So Grandma found this cake. Only instead of the had blue booties and said "It's a boy!" The cake decorator knew just what to do, scoop up the booties and writing (but don't actually remove it from the cake). Then cover it with half a plastic football and write "Happy Birthday Shawn" When we removed the football to cut the cake, there was a blue and white icing lump under it. And that's the rest of the story...

Oh yeah, I forgot the candles too...
Shawn's friends have an interesting sense of humor.
Shawn's moonwalk backward throw gutter ball move
Aw man, Game over!
Nate is the kissing police. Here he trying to separate Brandi and Joshua.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NaBloPoMo: Day 12 (I think)

My friend Aimee introduced me to 12 of 12 several months ago. Usually, I completely forget until I see hers posted on her blog. 12 of 12 is 12 random photos of your day taken on the 12th of the month. You record the time and something that is going on at that time. So, here is 12 of 12 today.

Thursday is my most busy, least favorite day of the week. I am busy all day, sitting on my butt. Seriously, Class, after class, after class; from 8am to 5 pm. Then work from 6pm until 8:30ish (9 pm tonight). So how do you take 12 random photos of 13 hours in a classroom? Well, it goes something like this...
7:30am - off to school
7:40am - drop off
7:50am - caffeine "Oh Thank Heaven..."
Almost 8:00am - walking across campus
10:15am - Alex and Priscilla prepping for a presentation
10:30am - Solane and Shanisha being studious
We interrupt this wildly exciting 12 of 12, so I can attend six straight hours of class. I was thinking about photographing the profs, but somehow, it just didn't seem like a good idea. My classmates already thought I was a little crazy for taking random pictures of them.
5:30pm - Bertha, Fernando and I working on data analysis
9:00pm - Brian still carries my books
9:30pm - the sign in front of our house
9:35 - Just because his shirt was funny
9:40pm - The real reason I don't like Thursdays
9:45 - I don't get to tuck my boys in.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaBloPoMo: Day 11
I decided to dig way back for today's random photo. Thing was September 2006. We went to Yosemite (one our favorite places). This is Jacob, just barely 6. Younger than Nate is now. Boy, we make 'em cute don't we?
Here are a few more photos from the same day, because it was so much fun to see these again. I love Yosemite. And I love these boys SO MUCH!
Nate was 3. Isn't he so darn cute?

Here we have Joshua at 15, with the sun in his eyes.