Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Barefoot Contessa

I love watching Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network....I don't know what it is about Ina Garten that captures me, but I love her! Her chubby appearance validates her loves for food, she is sophisticated and social. Her kitchen is amazing and makes me long for my own East Hampton home. I haven't tried any of her recipes, because like I said, she is sophisticated and I'm really not, but her dishes look so yummy. Another thing I adore about her....she loves her husband so much and dotes on him like crazy. She makes him these fabulous meals when he returns from a business trip. What do you think the chances are she'll invite me and Josh over for dinner? I can only dream...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Grace turns 11 months old!

Grace is now 11 months old. I am enjoying her so much. If having 4 children has taught me anything it's to remember how quickly the time goes and to really try to enjoy it. She is crawling and into everything. My mom was here visiting this week and Grace crawled into her room, emptied her suitcase by pulling every item of clothing out and throwing it all over the floor. These are the kinds of things Grace finds pleasure in. She is easily entertained by watching her sisters play. She is just starting to dance and this cracks the girls up, and she seems to know how funny she is because she continues until the laughs stop. It will be interesting to see her personality develop as the youngest of 4 sisters. We are blessed to have her and I'm grateful to be her mom!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chalk Town, USA

the hospital

the swimming pools

Ellie's houses

Addie's flowers

My girls turned our driveway into a city. There are swimming pools (3 of them), a hospital, and lots of houses and people. Olivia is really good at drawing the swimming pools (big blue circles), so Addie and Ellie allowed her to draw several of them, while they drew the other stuff. They occupied themselves for hours, that was the best $2.33 I have ever spent at Target.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall is here!

I am so happy that Fall has officially begun. In Fresno, the mornings and evenings are marked with considerably cooler weather and the days are not so stinking hot. I am so excited for Fall that 2 weeks ago I went out and bought 3 big pumpkins for the front porch and I've already put out our scarecrow man. Kyle, our 8 year-old neighbor, commented that it was a little early for fall decorations and that nobody else had theirs out....well I'm the first and I won't be ashamed, here we come Fall!

I'm looking forward to cooler weather, it getting dark earlier so I can easily trick my kids into going to bed at 6:30 (ha!), making dinner in the crock pot, eating soup, not worrying about warming up the kitchen when I turn on the oven, a significantly reduced PG&E bill, cuddling up with Josh under our down comforter, planning and preparing for the upcoming holidays, and all those things that make Fall what it is.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


We went camping this weekend. We have done this camping trip the last 3 years with the Sheller Family. The campground is just a few miles south of the entrance to Yosemite. This year we had great weather (it hailed last year and we had to pack up and come home early). We all had a great time this weekend! We left Grace with Doug and Nicole (thanks Doug & Nicole, the least you deserve is some credit on the blog). We had a lot of fun, some highlights were: crawdad hunting, hiking, campfire with smores, relaxing, bike riding, getting dirty, and just hanging out.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Audrey's creation

Audrey made a giraffe cake in cake decorating class this week. Yum yum!

Back At It

Well I guess I've had a pretty uneventful week because I haven't blogged about anything in a few days. I'm happy to report that yesterday I renewed my membership at the gym and I'm back at it (after almost a year sabbatical). I went yesterday and today, and I already feel better. I really believe it does more for my mental state than my body. Getting on that elliptical felt like meeting an old friend for coffee. I'm hoping I can go at least 3 or 4 times a week, shed 10 pounds, and feel better than ever.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Crazy Ride...(Addie came up with the title for this one)

This morning after church, we went to Me-n-Eds for pizza. We sat and ate our pizza, the girls played, then we got ready to head for home. Josh was helping getting the girls into the car and I was trying to get Grace locked in, so I decided to set our leftover pizza and my wallet on top of the car. I finished getting Grace in and quickly got in the passenger seat thinking "these kids need a serious nap". We're driving down West, just south of Herndon when I notice some papers flying in the road, and Addie says, "Mom, what just flew out?" At that instant I remember leaving my wallet and the pizza on the top of the car. We make a u-turn (and the pizza box flies off the car into the intersection) and we head to the place we think my wallet fell. We slow down (in the middle of the street) and there is a car stopped and 3 young men running around trying to gather up the cash blowing in the wind. They seriously looked like they were trying to catch bills flowing from the heavens (I had had $90 in my wallet), their eyes big and wide, smiles from ear to ear. I quickly approached them while Josh found a place to park (that was safer than the middle of the road). I told them that was my money and wallet and it had dropped from the top of the car where I had set it. At this point, the gleam from their eyes began to fade. One of the guys asked me my name as he checked it with my driver's license inside my wallet he was holding still. They handed over my stuff and I continued to find misc receipts and money strewed thru the center divider for the next 5-10 minutes. I'm happy to report I recovered everything from my wallet and all is well. I guess I'm the one who seriously needed a nap.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Hot Breakfast on Thursday Morning???

Okay, as far as breakfast goes I'm pretty much a loser. I am all about convienence when it comes to feeding my children their first meal of the day (actually any meal of the day). Frozen waffles, mini pancakes, pop tarts, and cereal are some of our favorite easy breakfast foods. Oh I forgot donuts. Every now and then when I'm feeling convicted of their sugary, processed breakfast I will serve bananas and/or instant oatmeal. This morning (it's a Thursday morning, not a Saturday) I actually got up and made waffles and bacon. I think my girls were so surprised to eat something warm, and freshly made, they kept commenting on how good it was. Well here's to many more hot breakfasts on weekdays...

7 years ago...

Audrey & Ellie's school had a short, sweet ceremony in honor of the people who lost their lives in the terriorist attacks on Sept 11, 2001. Parents who are civil servants were invited to come in uniform. There were a couple firemen, a few police officiers, and 2 men serving in the Army. I have to say I had a really hard time holding it together. My eyes were tearing up and I couldn't help but think about all the people whose lives have been forever changed because of what happened that morning. It's one of those days we will all remember where we were and what we were doing. Audrey was 2 months old and I was laying on the living room floor playing with her. I turned on the t.v. and remember listening to the news report that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. I remember Josh calling shortly after that and asking me if I had heard the news, and suggesting I stay home and not go anywhere. Most of the children particpating in the ceremony this morning probably don't really understand what happened that September day, but I know I will never forget. I am grateful that in the 7 years that have passed the United States has not experienced another deadly attack like the one on Sept 11, 2001. I am thankful to all the people who put their lives on the line for the freedom we experience in this country. The sacrifices are plenty, and I want to make sure I always remember the cost of freedom.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pile o' Love

After a long day, Ellie, Addie, and Olivia pile on top of Josh. Aren't they cute?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Things that make me happy...

I was thinking about what to blog next...Tomorrow night I get to go out with some girlfriends for dinner. We try to get together once a month, and I always look forward to our time, it makes me happy. So I thought I'd write about what makes me happy inside. I'm glad you're reading, but I'm probably doing this more for me. I think it's good to have a heart of gratitude and know what makes you happy deep down inside. So here it is...

Things That Make Me Happy...

  • the feeling I get when I hear my children laughing

  • when Addie brushes my hair

  • when Ellie tells me "You're the bestest mommy ever"

  • when Olivia laughs so hard she almost pees her pants

  • when Grace smiles when I walk into her room

  • good food, good drinks, and good friends

  • quiet

  • exercise

  • Starbucks iced coffee

  • the feeling I get when I finally organize a cabinet or cupboard

  • getting rid of things I don't need or use

  • writing notes and sending them in the mail (no matter how much postage is)

  • feeding and watching the hummingbirds

  • garage sales

  • finishing a race, no matter what the time

  • thinking about God's unconditional love

  • being married for 11 years and loving him more today than the day I married him

  • surprises

  • a made bed

  • In-n-Out cheeseburgers (no onions)

  • Staying within our weekly budget

  • when I can fill my van up for $40 (oh that doesn't happen anymore)

  • a clean car with no old dried up food, weird smells, or strange stains

  • knowing I have someone to talk to

  • going out with my girlfriends

  • breakfast for dinner

  • blogging

  • getting to know my neighbors

  • God's grace

  • watching my kids bring gigantic zucchinis in from the garden

  • telling stories about my childhood with my brother and sister

  • thinking of my in-laws and realizing how blessed I am

  • a new recipe

  • making dessert

  • listening to my girls talk about God

  • waking up to a clean house

  • taking pictures of my family

  • celebrating birthdays

  • cuddling in bed on Saturday morning

  • putting the kids to bed at 8

  • time alone with Josh

  • listening to the ocean

  • smelling the mountain air

  • knowing the God I serve is AWESOME!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Shed

The shed in our backyard has been a work in progress all summer long. It is getting a paint job this weekend, and Josh thought it would be great for the girls to help. I was secretly thinking, "Are you crazy?" They ran and put on their "work clothes" and Josh got them each a paint brush and a red plastic cup full of nice yellow paint. The girls loved it. I went out to watch and was horrified at the mess Olivia was making, there was paint on the ground, paint on her legs, paint on the sunglasses she insisted on wearing. The girls had fun and kuddos to Josh for allowing them to help!

Cake Decorating 101

Audrey started cake decorating this week. She stays an hour after school on Thursdays and she creates a masterpiece. I have to bake the cake ahead of time and send it to school with her. She took this class last year and loved it so much..... she couldn't wait to do it again. This week she wanted a chocolate cake, at her class she added some yummy lemon frosting (I bet you are all salivating) and then topped it with candies of all types, skittles, runts, licorice, you name it's on there. Josh and I try really hard to make a big deal about her creation each evening as she is serving it up. Yum yum! So if you're ever in the mood for cake and it's Thursday evening, please come on over!

Friday, September 5, 2008

I love this...

If I Had My Life To Live Over
by Erma Bombeck
The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck after she found out she had a fatal disease.

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.

"There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys"

...But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

I love reading this...it seems to give me perspective. I think I should read it daily.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Can you see the shine from the butter?

My girls love artichokes....Not being a real big vegetable lover myself, I become a little prideful when my children actually like something that is good for them. I know it's silly. Are you ever surprised by something your kids like? I guess anything slathered in enough butter tastes good. About a month ago, I fixed artichokes to go with our dinner, they devoured them....Addie got to the heart and found a WORM. Ewwwwww! I was pretty sure that would detour her love (and possibly her sisters') for this yummy vegetable but nope....they keep asking for more.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Movie Night: Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Grace trying on some sunglasses.

Swinging in the backyard.

Olivia getting herself ready for church.

Eating popsicles and watching Fresno State football.

I wish all weekends were 3 days long! We had a great weekend at home hanging out, working around the house, playing outside, enjoying the cooler weather, watching the Fresno State Bulldogs win. Josh's parents took all 4 girls overnight on Sunday night. I cleaned the house right when they left and it stayed clean for over 12 hours, it was amazing! We slept in Monday morning, it was blissful! Thank God for wonderful grandparents, I think I'd be crazy without them!