Sunday, December 21, 2008

Flour, sugar, peppermint, chocolate, cinnamon...more chocolate

22 tins and containers of cookies and candy

14 loaves of pumpkin bread

I was up till midnight last night doing some last minute baking. I'm exhausted, but it was all for a good cause. I had a bake sale at our church this morning to raise funds for a donation to an orphanage in Kazakhstan. I sold everything! I couldn't believe it, I really wasn't sure if I priced everything right and if there would be a lot of people at church this morning. What a joyous thing to see so many people support such a great cause!

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Nutcracker

Here is Olivia dressed as a 'bon-bon' for our city's Nutcracker ballet.

Waiting to go onstage.

With the other dancers in her scene.

Here, the Gingers and Bon-bons are piling underneath Mother Ginger's HUGE skirt for an onstage performance.

This week has been extremely busy with the extra rehearsals and the performances, but I have to say I am VERY proud of Olivia. She is performing her part very well, and listens to the director and teachers. I watched her dress rehearsal from the theater on Wednesday night and they were all so dang cute! The Bon-bons are the youngest performers in the casts. Tonight is the first performance, I'm excited and nervous for her. This is all so new to us, but the other parents have been very helpful in teaching me about stage makeup, etc.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An American Castle

So about a week ago, we took a short trip. We met my husband in Morro Bay where he had business meetings. We stayed one night in a hotel room with a balcony overlooking the bay. We could see and hear the seals playing right across the street! I just love going to the coast. I think I would choose the beach over any other place.

The next day we drove up a short way to San Simeon to see the famed Hearst Castle. I've been wanting to tour it ever since we first moved to California. It is amazing. I tried to imagine what it would have been like back in the day after it was built. The guest house we passed by is bigger than any mansion I've ever seen and the pools looked so cool and inviting.

Ooops I did it again....

When I originally started this blog almost 3 years ago, I was chronically my recovery from a kitchen accident and subsequent surgery on my left hand. I don't know, it's something about knives.... I had another accident. I was home while the girls were in school. I just finished chopping the potatoes and went to wash my chef's knife. I was washing it and it slipped out of my hand and cut the first knuckle on my right hand. I took a deep breath, washed it and wrapped it. I tried to remain calm, all the while, praying I didn't do any serious damage. I called my husband at work and asked him if he was sitting down and calm. I calmly told him I had another knife accident and I might need him to take me to the ER.

Thankfully he just works down the street less than a mile from our home. He took me to the ER, they triaged me and sent me to urgent care. The whole time I am recalling my accident about 3 years ago when I severed a tendon and a nerve and partially cut another tendon in my left hand requiring major surgery and physical therapy. Thankfully, I got an awesome P.A. who tended to my fears and even had xrays done to make sure the bone was not nicked. He even poked in my wound and showed us the bone...uh, okay, that was a little much for me! Anyway, after it was cleaned, he put dermabond on it and it is now healed. I had to wear a splint so I wouldn't bend my finger so the cut would heal. I think my husband is getting me safety gloves for Christmas!

In my lifetime ...

I found this on someone's blog and thought this would be fun.

So here's what you do, copy and paste this into your own blog or send to friends. Put in bold type all the things you have done in your life so far. Here's mine!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band school
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland /world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee way, no how!!!
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratchDoes knitting count?
15. Adopted a child -- working on it
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestorsI visited Sedan, France where my ancestor, Susannah de la Rochette (sp?), a Huegenot
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfiedat some times, probably not right now
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke in Japan no less
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlightI was by myself in Carmel
46. Been transported in an ambulance2 times with my kids for febrile seizures
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud I remember making mudpies when I was a kid
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle/mopedDrove a moped in Jersey of the Channel Islands, the only part of the UK occupied by the Germans in WWII.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day I'm sure I have

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Claire's 4th birthday party

Why oh why did I decide to plan her party for the day AFTER Halloween? The girls were up way too late after trick or treating and eating some of their loot. They woke up this morning before 6am because they were so excited.

We decided to have Claire's party at a theater where a puppet show was playing, Hansel and Gretel. It was so cute, Omnipresent Puppet Theater always does a great job (of course, we are biased as we know them from church!). Afterwards we walked a few doors down to a local pizza place, it was like we were in a time warp from the 70's. The kids enjoyed playing some of the arcade games and eating pizza. Then instead of cake, we had ice cream cake cones. They loved it! They really looked like ice cream cones, but they were really cupcakes in ice cream cones.

After the puppet show:

At the pizza place:

Happy Halloween!

Introducing Dorothy from Wizard of Oz
and Miley Cyrus:

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Something in the works

We just mailed this last week. I'll share more in the coming months.

Letting go...

What, you might ask, does this backpack have to do with letting go? Well, let me tell you!

I bought this backpack back in 1991 while I was in college. I was preparing to spend a semester studying in Paris while living with a French family in Versailles and I coerced a friend into going backpacking for a month in the summer prior to the beginning of our semester. The time I spent in Europe was truly unforgettable, I spent my entire Senior year of my college years in France. That summer before my Senior year was adventurous, cultural, and magical. I was 21 and Lauren and I bought Eurail passes so we could travel all over. We also joined the youth hostel and many times stayed in youth hostels. Later on when I worked for Franklin College Switzerland, my boss called it the American tour since we spent about 1 or 2 days in each of the major cities of Europe.

I will never forget some of the fellow travelers we met and the welcome (or unwelcome) we received in some of the countries. This was also a time of great change in Europe and in our world since the 'Wall' fell in Berlin in 1989 and Gorbachev was about to be replaced. When I look at this backpack, I remember sleeping in the train in the couchettes (sp?) and occasionally even sleeping in the train station. I remember certain hostels, like the one in Copenhagen that was so clean and had so much food and the hostel in Heidelberg that had no shower curtains (I had to throw my modesty away that day!).

I remember seeing all the pickpockets who tried to steal from unwitting tourists, fortunately they left me alone for the most part. I remember eating alot of good food and not so good food. When I look at this backpack, I get warm feelings thinking of how my life was about to change in the next year from being a college student to an adult and the time I travelled was a time of great independence for me.

I also remember using this backpack when I hitchhiked with friends through France. We never planned on doing it, it just happened. I had a Eurail pass, but the places we wanted to go to, we had to pay on our own, then we arrived in a small town in France, trying to head to a remote area on the coast. When we arrived, we discovered there was no train, no bus to the next town, it was fall and the tourist season was over. We also found out there were only 2 taxis in town and one driver was ill and the other driver had already taken a fare. So that was that, we decided to start walking down a road headed in the direction we wanted to go. There were 3 of us, myself, my housemate and her classmate. We were 3 women of different ages in different stages of our lives and from different backgrounds. We managed to hitchhike the rest of our trip through Northern France...Normandy and Brittany and back to Paris.

Since my first hitchhiking trip was so successful, I talked another friend into hitchiking down to Dijon and back. Kelly and I were housemates in the spring semester. We were living with a French family in Versailles and we hit it off from the beginning. We had a blast meeting different people, we were amazed to see how complete strangers would help us out with rides. Sadly, I lost contact with Kelly many years ago.

Well, that's just a snapshot of the memories I have when I see this backpack. I guess I was holding onto it in an attempt to hold onto my youth. Recently, my husband and I started to clean out our closets and declutter our house somewhat. I realized the things I hang onto are JUST things, they aren't the memories and it's okay to let go of THINGS, I will still have those memories. So this backpack was one of the items I donated to a thrift shop. It's in great condition and I hope someone will take it on a new adventure.

Monday, September 15, 2008


About 2 weeks ago, Claire had to have some dental work. Unfortunately she had a defective tooth which quickly developed a cavity and had to have a crown put on, so now Claire has a silver tooth. I found a great pediatric dentist, he was very patient and allowed me to remain in the treatment room. Claire was a real trooper.

Recently, one of Olivia's bottom teeth started getting loose finally came out today. I think the tooth fairy will be visiting our house tonight! She lost her first tooth!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hangin' with their cuz

We saved Central park and the Natural History Museum for the last day.
Pizza, of course.

Girls and Art

So on our 2nd day in the Big Apple we started out at the American Girl store where we spent most of the day. Olivia brought 'Emma' with her. While we were there, Claire picked out her very own American doll 'Eva' as an early birthday gift.

Their daddy was such a good sport about lunch with the 'girls', he took this picture of us having lunch with the dolls at the cafe.
The 2nd part of the day was devoted to art. We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I tried to show the girls some culture. I have to say, they were the only kids there and they were so well behaved. Olivia seemed to enjoy looking at the paintings.
This was Olivia's favorite work of art at the museum which was on the roof.

Travelin' Texans head to the East Coast

First stop: New York City!


Our road trip...the beginning

We left home on July 3rd and made it to Texas on July 4th.

We met up with good friends to celebrate the 4th of July.

Meeting friends in New Orleans!

Bon Bon

Last week, Olivia tried out for the Nutcracker. When she was 4 1/2, I took her to see the Nutcracker here. She absolutely loved it and sat on the edge of her seat the entire time. It was then that she decided she wanted to be in the Nutcracker. I told her she would have to take ballet and practice alot. So she took ballet last year and really paid attention and worked at learning her steps. It is a huge deal to be in the Nutcracker here, the dancers have lots of practices to go to and it is performed at the convention center with the Symphony Orchestra. I wasn't sure if she would get a part since she has only danced for 1 year but they do have parts for the younger dancers such as Bon Bons, Angels, and Soldiers.

Here is an article about a previous performance of the Nutcracker.

And here are pictures of Olivia opening her letter:

She will be a bon bon in the Nutcracker this year. She was so excited!