Monday, November 1, 2010

Cute pictures of Carter preempted by....



It's a good thing you really can't die of happiness, I'd miss Jeff!

Oh yeah.

PS. Thank you Dave Harlow. We, the loyal Giant's fan obviously owe it all to you.
Lincecum, Cain, Posey, Uribe, Huff, Ross, Torres, Renteria, Wilson...
All minor players compared to Dave "the beard" Harlow.
Lot of Happy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

We got the fever!!!

We love baseball at our house.
We REALLY love the Giants.

I am pretty sure that we have watched or listened to every single one of the 160 regular games and were GLUED to the TV for the 10 post season games.
Dying of heart attacks.

A highlight of Jeff's year was 5 trips to watch his team play. This time with a bunch of friends from school.

For his birthday all he wanted was to go to AT & T park, even though the season hadn't started.
While there he added two shirts to his collection. I think we are up to about 19-20 Giants shirts in our house. (almost a month's supply....)

The first trip baby clothes shopping we bought a Giants outfit.
Gotta train 'em young!!

Now we are the National League Champions!!!!

You may know this boy as Jeff....

But tonight he has a new title....

The happiest boy alive!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Road Trippin' it with the BFF's!!

So....I did something totally selfish and I have to admit, I loved every minute of it.
I have gone to girl's camp a bazillion times, but that is actually church service.
I have gone on sisters trip with my sisters, but that is family bonding time.

I realize that most people hate reading other's vacation blogs...but oh well. My feelings won't be hurt ( much), I read yours after all! I was completely selfish...left my ill husband and my two teen-aged able bodied sons and didn't really feel too bad about. Sometimes you just gotta take care of yourself. right? (I need validation here folks!)

An opportunity to go on a church history trip with two of my bestest friends was dropped in my lap. After about 12 minutes of thought...I decided to go! Pam, my friend of 25 (!) years had decided that since we are teaching Church History in seminary...she wanted to go see the sights we are teaching about. Vicki, our other BFF, loves to travel so she volunteered to put the trip together. So the two of them planned, reserved, and mapped out the entire trip. I showed up with a suitcase. (really, I did NOTHING to plan at all. They even bought my ticket one night when they found a great deal. Pam just called and made sure she got all the details right and informed me what I owed. Best way to go...!)

After stressing for a couple of weeks and almost backing out several dozen times, Vicki's husband picked us up at 3:30am to go to the airport. Ugh. I honestly couldn't believe I was going to see all the sites I have always wanted to visit! Just the mere word "Nauvoo" makes me misty and now I was headed there! This was truly a dream come true for me and to share it with Pam and Vicki made it all the more special. (Disclaimer: Going with my family would be the optimal trip, but since it is an impossibility right now with Byron's health...going with my great friends was the next best thing.)

Pam & Vicki at our car rental. Our little friend Payton calls us her fairy godmothers.
We are just like Sleeping Beauty's godmothers...the tall one, the pretty one and the round one. Guess which one I am?

I'll spare you the entire travelogue and the 643 pictures I took (not an exaggeration), but I will share some of the highlights of our adventure and some of my favorite things. Because I have major control issues, I drove the whole time. This worked out great, they could see everything and I could be in the drivers seat, literally. One of the great things about going with your girlfriends? If you see somewhere you want to can!! They're not going to argue and tell you to hurry up! If you see, say , a billboard that says "Walt Disney's hometown!" and you want to see it...chances are, so do they!!! It was awesome.

In front of the Visitor's Center in Independence, MO., just outside of Kansas City and the only rain we got the whole trip. It rained for about 30 minutes, we were blessed with great weather.

This is 'The Temple' for the Community of Christ church, which used to be called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was huge and we really wanted to go in because anyone can. We just got there too late. It really is called "The Temple", at least that's what the big sign out front said.

This may look like a vacant field to you, but it is not. This is the sacred site where someday a temple will be built. It was humbling to stand on this consecrated land.

We were driving around Independence and look what we found!! Harry Truman's house! Remember what I said about traveling with your family...perfect example. We saw, we stopped, we high fived! Oh, this is where I need a little shout out for Pam's GPS system that came with us. Awesome, except when I would turn wrong, I need a little help with right and left. The poor GPS girl was always "recalculating" and telling me to stay on the prescribed route. Oops, my bad.

We went to Liberty, MO. Liberty was the place where Joseph Smith was held on false charges for five long months with four other men. This was an exact reproduction of that jail, it was built on the precise place that the original prison was. To see the 4 foot thick walls with two small windows, low ceilings and no real ventilation and to realize that five men survived an entire winter here, is beyond belief. Surely they were sustained by their faith and by angels.

This is a replica of the Book of Mormon, if you are one of my non-LDS friends and want to know what this is....ask me!!!

This is the home of Alexander Doniphan, he was a great friend to the early Mormons, although not a member of the church himself. It was one of literally thousands of cute homes we saw and 'ooohed and aaahed' over!

We drove out to Far West, MO, which holds the remnant corner stones of a temple that the saints had hoped to build. There is nothing here, no old log cabins restored etc...just some plaques telling the significance of Far West. The saints had come here from Ohio, a very long distance, hoping to build it up as a safe place for them. But it was not to be; It was here that the anti-Mormon mobs drove the saints out in the dead of winter, some with no shoes and feet wrapped in rags. How sad and heartbroken they must have been to have to leave this beautiful land that had been promised to them as a safe place. Our hearts were heavy as we walked around Far West and looked at the magnificent landscape; the early Saints suffered so much, would we be as faithful as they?'

The valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. A very special place indeed. The spirit of God is very strong here, and the tears flowed freely.

Thank goodness they have Diet Pepsi in Missouri.

Cute house huh?

It's Walt Disney's boyhood home!! Who knew he was from MO???
We went downtown Marceline, MO, it looks just like Main Street USA in Disneyland!

Trip to be continued.....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Living in Mayberry

I love the town I live in. It sits at the base of Mt. Diablo and is bordered on two sides by rolling hills that are green for about 2 months in the spring, the rest of the year they are a beautiful gold. We also have the Sacramento River Delta bordering another side and the rest is farmland. Farmers here grow Cherries (see Groundhog Day with Celia Fae), apricots, Fuji apples, strawberries, scrumptious white corn and oodles and oodles of tomatoes. From Memorial Day to Labor Day we have farm stands selling all kinds of fruits, vegetables, homemade jams, dried fruits and pies. Developers have planted a lot of houses in the past 10 years, I'm not so in love with that.

Brentwood is also centrally located for fun. Skiing is only 2 hours or so to the east. The California coast, Santa Cruz, Redwoods etc... is only 1 1/2 hours away. If you're a "foodie" Sonoma and Napa Valley are a little over an hour. We have two amusement parks within an hour, the capital an hour and a half north, Yellowstone is only 3 hours away to the southeast and San Francisco and all the museums, sports teams and crazy people are also only an hour to the west.

When Byron and I married, we knew that we would settle here. It is only an hour from my hometown of Modesto and Byron's entire family live here. Brentwood was a little like Mayberry and a little like the Cheers bar...25 years ago when we came, every one knew your name and any scandals spread like wildfire. I couldn't "run" to the grocery store, it was a sure fire hour long commitment because I knew so many people. At that time we knew it was the perfect place to raise our family. Over the years we have watched stoplights come, chain grocery stores, a bowling alley, fast food restaurants,sports leagues, a aquatic center and now, a mall. It's still a great place to raise kids...just bigger.

My children have all attended Liberty High School, a school with 105 years of tradition. We have two high schools in town now. It makes me sad because there are cross town rivalries and all that goes with that. One of the wonderful, sweet traditions we have at Liberty is the down town Homecoming parade. This was Homecoming weekend, so for my Lauren who loves her school and still bleeds Cardinal and!!

Our Homecoming Rally on the Football field, the booth was built in 1953.

My favorite student, the Jr. Class President, decked out in Liberty colors. He takes his school spirit seriously.

The Jr. Skit, complete with the Liberty Lion and minus the President, who was too busy to go to
practices...he was totally bummed. Not.


Two of my very favorites, #9 is my TA, #26 spends a lot of time in my office, he doesn't TA for me. Get it?

This is our Leadership teacher, she looks like one of the kids. I want to adopt her I love her that much.

"Extinguish the Eagles!" The Jr. class float.

The Junior rooter truck...for once Jeff's loud voice came in handy!

The Employees of the Year...I'm still (not) bitter about being nominated and LOSING six years in a row. I would love the parking spot, but I don't know about the back of the car riding in the parade. It doesn't seem too flattering.

Our death defying Cheerleaders. They really are impressive.

Our marching band, 70 members strong. And they sound pretty good!!!

The Math and Physics club float, yes, the stereotypes are correct.

The FFA float, they were practicing roping on it, and chewing...hay.

The Transition program float. This is the program at Liberty my Rachel attended. All the students have mental and physical disabilities. They are a beloved group of students, and are mainstreamed and really cared for by our "normal" kids. This is one reason Liberty is a great school. Last year a young man with autism won Homecoming King by a landslide.

The Senior float won the competition. Duh. They always win. That yellow square...what does it look like to you? I thought it was Spongebob, which didn't really fit the title. Turns out it's a waffle...

Our Queen Brooke. She really is a sweet girl and beautiful too!! Love her.

Our King, Tony (in the black tux). He is our star football player so he wasn't in the parade.
He's a sweet kid, love him.

Our very diverse Homecoming Court, all fabulous kids!

The dance. The girls are adorable, I wish they had worn a bit more however....

PS. Don't you just LOVE my new bloggy layout? My ultra-fabulous daughter Lauren, who I love dearly and is SO SO SO creative.... spent HOURS designing it.

PPS. Here's my gratuitous picture of my favorite subject...have I mentioned I adore him?
And his parents.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to me...

It's my birthday!
Shout Hooray!

This year I:

Didn't cure cancer
Didn't go anywhere spectacular
Didn't lose any weight
In fact, I gained weight
Didn't win employee of the year, (but who's bitter?)
Taught Seminary again
Got a new boss, 2 new bosses to be exact
Learned how to make jewelry
Tried a ton of new recipes
Reconnected with my father (after 20 years...)
Moved offices
Redid a bedroom
Read 22 books (The Help was my fave)
Drank appx. 9600+ ounces of Diet Pepsi. (that doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment...)
Talked Jeff into taking piano lessons
Sat through at least 100 hours of soccer game
Didn't spend nearly enough time with friends
Read the Book of Mormon
Cried tears of joy and tears of sorrow and was thankful for every tear shed

Officially became the shortest one in my family
Went to Idaho four times
Spent way too much $$$ on fabric
Made new friends
Sat through at least 50 hours of Volleyball games
Stood in line for meds at Kaiser for a bazillion hours (this is NOT an exaggeration)
Kept my car relatively clean
Said "good bye" to my sweet, beautiful niece Lacey
Spent quality time with my sisters, how I love them!
Prayed more fervently
Put 18,000 miles on my car
made four quilts
didn't clean my closet
didn't go to Disneyland :(
watched or listened to 160 Giants games (thank you sons...)
Got an I-phone
Didn't exercise (see #3) (and #4)
Spent hours roasting in the sun and praying that I don't pay for it someday
Read blogs, blogs and more blogs.
Missed friends that have moved
Wished for more wisdom and patience
Laughed, but not nearly enough
Became more patriotic
Faced more bad health news about Byron
Learned things about the body I never thought I would need to know
Got a Facebook page and an addiction to Scrabble
Rejoiced in my kids successes
Had knee surgery
Ate my weight in chocolate (maybe a slight exaggeration...)
Came to accept myself a little better
Counted my blessings


Became a Grandma to Carter! duh.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A sweet baby needs prayers

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that when my daughter Rachel was six months old she sustained a traumatic head injury that resulted in her being left multiply handicapped. This event changed my life and the lives of our family forever. We are so blessed to have our sweet girl despite her many challenges.

Preslee Sullinger, 19 months

My daughter Lauren told me of a tragic accident in the life of a friend of hers. I would like to share it with all I can, as this sweet baby needs your prayers and her parents need a miracle. Last Friday her friend Ashley left her baby, Preslee, with her parents. Somehow, Preslee fell into an irrigation canal, no one saw her fall. Two miles down river a farmer was in the canal and felt something bump his leg, he looked down and saw that it was a baby. He immediately pulled her from the water and started CPR. Preslee was life flighted to Primary Children's Hospital where she is fighting for her life. Ashley's aunt is keeping a constant update regarding little Preslee's progress. The blog is here.

I don't know this family, but I do know the power of prayer. As a mother and a grandmother, my heart goes out to this sweet little family. At times like this it is difficult to remember that God has a plan for all our lives and this is part of His plan for Preslee and her family. Having been in a similar life and death situation with the unknown looming before us, my heart is full of love for Preslee and her family. My thoughts are also with her Grandparents and the heartache they are feeling. I wanted to share the story with as many as possible, Preslee and her family needs our love and prayers.

Friday, May 28, 2010

What did we do without him?

It's hard to describe what a tiny 6 lb redhead did to our family.
What did we talk about, laugh about, love wholeheartedly before him?

Carter is six months old and it's impossible to imagine life without him.

I often wonder if I loved my own children as much as I love him?
I'm sure I did, but this little guy has stolen our hearts.
When they say your own kids are great, but just wait till you have grandchildren...
They're right!!!

He's now 6 months old, 15 lbs. 13oz, 27" tall.

He loves his feet,

going on the swings...

Playing with toys...


licking soda cans,


red licorice,

rolling all over the house,

Coming to Gramma and Grampa's house...

His Momma...

His Daddy...

(this picture cracked me up)

He's a happy, happy boy!

And did I mention he's brilliant?

(And if you look closely, he's showing you just what he thinks of Daddy having to do homework.)