Monday, October 31, 2011

Pre-Halloween Sunday

This year is actually, in my opinion, kinda nice that Halloween is on a Monday.
It allowed for lots of fun activities and plenty of time to prep for the big day.
Saturday was pretty uneventful...we both worked.

But yesterday was full of fun...
After church we headed to Downtown Martinez for their Halloween Event.
Many of the downtown shops opened their doors to trick-or-treaters.
They also had a "trunk show" in which a lot of local businesses parked along-side the streets, popped open their trunks, and decorated for Halloween. They, too, passed out candy to the kids.
Added bonus...Farmer's Market was also going on.
We really should have gone home for a nap for Emma Kate before going, but I wanted to get there early, so we took our chances.
She did "ok" but by the end she had had ENOUGH!

I started the pics of our day with one of me!
Jeff is always taking pictures of me...which when I think about's really sweet...but most of the time I don't like how they turn out and I never include them in my posts.
So here's one I like!

You also get a sneak peak at Connor and Emma Kate's costumes in this post!!

Here's Connor and Emmy, excuse me...Spiderman and my Ice Cream Cone...getting some yummy's....

It was good practice for Emma the time we were done, she knew exactly what to do.
Tonight she'll be a pro...fingers crossed!

Here's Connor walking far away from us...though he's a little better this year, he's still pretty scared of the decorations.

Emma thought she could get candy from the Farmer's Market stands.
She stood at the pears saying, "Teeet!" (Trick or Treat!)
The lady was really sweet and dropped a pear into her bag.

Did I mention she was DONE by the end?!?!
In the car she was the grumpiest thing ever!
Just Dominic looking over at her would cause her to shout, "No!!"

After some much needed rest time we asked Gram and Nana to come join us for some pumpkin-carving.

Dominic decided to go simple this year..
Do you remember last year's fiasco?!?!

Connor actual helped. A little. This year.

So little that we didn't get a picture of him sticking his hand in trying to get the seeds out.
He was my cheerleader though as I created exactly what he wanted...Doc Hudson from the movie, Cars.

Everyone was pleased with their creations.
I'm sad I didn't get a picture of my mom' was really cute too.

Connor's (and mine) on left. Dominic's on right...if you couldn't tell :)
Doc turned out really good! (I can say that because all I did was use a template from one of those carving books.)
Dominic's...well that's the face I get from him a lot lately...fitting I guess!!

So we're ready! All ready for Halloween!
Hope yours is fun and safe!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Flat Tire, Karate, and Puke

Tuesday 3:30pm
Dinner in the crockpot...check!
House in acceptable disaray...check!
Dominic staying after school to do some Peer problem...rode his bike to school today...doesn't matter when he's done...cause he doesn't need a ride...check!
Emma Kate had gotten up from nap a little moody.
She felt really warm so I decided to take her temp before heading out for Connor's Taekwondo class.
I was wrestling with her, trying to keep the thermometer under her arm, while juggling the remote in an attempt to turn on Dora for a 2 minute distraction, telling Connor for the 5th time to get his Spiderman costume on (the children got to wear their costumes to class today so he was SUPER excited that Spiderman got to do Taekwondo,) when I noticed a missed call from Dominic.
With my 3rd hand I dialed him up to see what was going on. He informed me that as he got ready to head home on his bike, he noticed that his front wheel was totally flat. I asked him if he could call Papa to go get him and bring him home.

3:40 (usually the time we leave for Taekwondo, which starts at 4:00)
I rethought my decision as "Mom Guilt" crept up on me.
"I'm his mom...I should make this work!"
So I quickly called my dad, cancelled his ride, gathered up Spiderman, Emma Kate, a snack, etc...

Actually left the house.
Drove like a crazy woman to Dom's school, threw his bike in the back of the van, told him NEVER to drive like I am driving, stopped in the middle of the street in front of the house, told him I loved him as I "kicked" him out of the car, and zoomed off.

Arrived late to class with Spiderman commenting how he can't breathe or see very well through his mask. Yet he declined when I told him I could hold it for him.

As I was trying to keep a now-20-month-old content for a half hour, I fed her yogurt covered raisins. She was walking around a little amongst the other parents and a couple younger siblings as she ate. This is when she started to choke on her now-mouth full of raisins. It started as a little choke, I waited a second...not quite clearing up...I calmly got up, went and grabbed her, and as I was thinking she was ok, and heading back to my seat with her...she threw up...yup she puked...on me...on the floor...right in front of the row of parents...right in clear view of Spiderman, Buzz, The A Team Wrestler, all yelling, "Hi----yah!"

Before I knew it, two of the other moms had sprung into action. As I am helplessly trying to keep my daughter close, using baby wipes to start to clean up the floor, they appeared with both wet and dry paper towels and were taking care of business! That floor was clean in 3 minutes trace of puke anywhere...until I looked down at my clothes. I grabbed her and headed for the bathroom, as a piece of regurgitated hot dog fell out of the bottom of my shirt!  

After thanking those two women countless times for helping me, I grabbed Emma (spotless) and Spiderman (apparantly clueless that anything out of the norm had happened) and walked out of there with countless wet spots on my clothes from trying to wipe away the puke, and my head held high with any shred of dignity I had left in me. (To think I had been worried that people would notice that my toes were in desperate need of a pedicure!)

Would have fallen apart crying in the car on the way home... if it hadn't have been for those mom's. I was too thankful to cry.

Back to the if nothing had ever rushed dinner prep, etc...

Jeff came home, kissed me, paused...and said,
"What's that smell?"

Oh did I have a story for him!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bye Bye Butterflies

If you read this post you probably were disgusted by the pictures of our chrysallides, all wrapped up tight and transforming into butterflies.
Last week our butterflies "hatched!"
It was so cool!
First there was one.
Then 2.
Then 5!

We filled the bottom of their "habitat" with fresh flowers from our yard and then made a sugar water mixture
to spray on the flowers.

At first we didn't think they looked very exciting...
and then we saw the tops of their wings in the sunlight!

We were able to watch how they eat and actually see how they look up close.
Their faces are in reality pretty ugly!

After a couple of days it was time to let them go...

Bye Bye Butterflies!

This was such a cool activity to do with the kids.
We all loved checking on them at their different stages and experiencing God's amazing creations.

And the best year we can order more larvae and re-use our equipment to do it all over again!

This makes an awesome and inexpensive birthday present also.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Patch 2011

  Last weekend we headed out to The Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm, like we do almost every year.
Here's a little flashback of Dominic one of the 1st years we went...

(Later if you look closely, you'll see this same bat...only it has been re-painted.)

As usual this place did not disappoint.

Buckets and buckets of gourds.
(I LOVE the colors of Fall.)

Big plastic swimming pools full of dry Navy Beans to play in.

Tunnels and tubes in the hay bales for balls to roll through.

Some "Mommy and Daddy Time" while the kids played.

Of course...a train ride!

And a Train Picture.

The annual growth chart...

The thing I honestly love most about the pumpkin patch is the pumpkin pictures.
The colors are so vibrant. However the kids barely ever cooperate:)

I LOVE this one of the kids...zoom in if you can't see Emma Kate's face...the pumpkin was slipping out of her lap. Oh, and see the bat behind them?! Unlike Dominic, the bat hasn't changed that much.

Good bye Pumpkin Patch...until next year!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ths Spaceship Has Landed

A couple of weeks ago when all the shelves in the door of our refrigerator fell almost on top of Connor, I decided I had had enough. This has been happening sparatically for a couple of years now...never, until this point on one of the kids.
In addition to this issue, we began have problems with our water/ice dispenser in the front of the freezer door. When someone went to get water or ice and started to pull his cup away releasing the button, it would keep running. Countless times I cleaned up overflows. When I looked over to see that Connor had run away from the fridge while ice was dispensing all over the kitchen, I had had enough!

Last week we purchased a new fridge! Could our old one have been repaired? Probably.
 But not the shelves in the door issue...That's my justification.

I figured I should probably pull our old fridge out from the wall and clean a bit before the delivery of  the new one.
Wow! It was nasty under there! Am I the only one who never cleans under the refrigerator?!?! 
OK, I'm bearing all...this is what it looked like!
Really it was worse than this because there was a miriad of markers, magnets, and other long lost treasures among the dust and grime. The walls were also coated with dust.
Get the picture?!?!

This is what I swept up...I think I swept up a small dog!

Please...go clean before you, too, are ever in this predicament!!!

And then it came....

The Kenmore Elite.
31 cubic feet.
It was the biggest standard size fridge they carry.

The LED lights inside look like you've just peered inside a spaceship.

You just can't beat the feeling of a new refrigerator.
It will never be this clean...ever...ever...again :(

Hopefully it will be big enough to handle this growing family.
(Growing in size...not in numbers!)

Oh and check out this little gem (among many) that I found underneath the old fridge...

Dominic made this probably about 5 years ago.
He is still friends with these kids...and none of them look like that anymore!
So sweet!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday Mornin' Lovin'

Today marks my hubby's 6th day in a row of working 12 hour days.
He is one tired guy.

I wish I could sit here and say that I am the type of wife who gets up early and makes her hubby's lunch for him...I am not. With 3 kids to tend to in the morning, this just doesn't happen.

Last night before I went to bed, I realized that his coffee mug hadn't been cleaned yet. So I washed it up, set it out for him and even grabbed a couple sweeteners to lie by his mug.
That's when I got a little idea...

Hopefully his eyes were open enough this morning as he grabbed his coffee, to see my "little" message :)

It's the little things, right?!?!

I love you honey!
Thank you for all that you do for our family.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I have lots and lots of apples from our trip to Apple Hill and I have yet to make pies :(
My poor lonely apples are just sitting in the bottom drawer of my refrigerator crying out to be coated in cinnamon and sugar and be baked in some yummy pie crust.
But I also had a bunch sitting on my counter that needed to be tended to.
And Tuesday just happened to be, in my opinion, perfect applesauce-making-weather!
Emma Kate was napping and Connor had come home from school. It was a cloudy, kinda dreary day.

So we set to work.

First we washed them.

Then we set up the apple peeler, slicer, corer. If you don't have one of these and you plan to do anything..."apple"...GET ONE!! It is awesome!

And the best part...not only can the kids help...but they have so much fun doing it.
(Even Dom likes to help with this part.)

I filled a bowl with water and a dab of lemon juice to try to keep the apples from turning color. 

We loaded them in a pot with a little water and let them bubble for about 25-30 mins, covered, stirring occasionally.

This is what they looked like toward the end...

After they were all nice and soft (and my house smelled heavenly,) we added brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon to taste. Yup! Lots of tasting!

And here ya go!

Connor and I were so proud that we served it with dinner that night!
I have never made applesauce before. To big deal! To me...BIG DEAL!
I also love that Connor got to be a part of the whole process...from picking them off the tree, washing, peeling, cooking...and finally...eating. Mmmm.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


This past weekend marked 40 years of marriage for Jeff's parents.
That's right...4-0 YEARS!
So awesome!
To celebrate they took the family to Seascape in Aptos, CA.

Oh my was like a little piece of Hawaii...a little cooler though:)
The resort was amazing and perfect for vacationing with the kids...or alone with your lovey!

Here is the view from our 2 bedroom Ocean View Condo. We had 2 of these condos next door to each other. Jeff's parents shared with his sister and family. We could walk right out this back door and onto the grass. Beyond that was the ocean.
Friday evening we called for our golf carts to take us down to the beach. (Anytime you want to go anywhere, you just call down to the front desk, and their drivers in golf carts come pick you up.)

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

And smores by a bonfire...all set up by the resort.
This is what we found upon arriving...
Enough chairs, waters, and smore makings for everyone!
(The sticks holding up the box are the roasting cute!)
They even got the fire going for us with plenty of wood to add later.

The kids had plenty of sunlight to play for a while. hair is pretty much full of sand at this point!

Uncle Nick brought his guitar for some entertainment.

The next morning the kids were up bright and early!
How come they don't get that vacations are meant for sleeping in?

Then off for more beach time.
There was frisbee-playing...

A little bit of working...

Lots of sand play...

Love this next pic...Cale is in mid-air.

Dom was the only one who ventured into the water...

The ladies relaxed...

Finally it was time to head up to our rooms for lunch and rest-time before going to the pool. 

Sorry no pics of the pool...I was in it:)

Later we walked to the store for ice cream.
(Any vacation with Jeff's mom involves walks for ice cream!)

Nick barbeque'd halibut and salmon for dinner. Yumm.

While the kids played with "Bunga."

We played so much all weekend and had a great time.
We are so thankful for Jeff's parents and getting the opportunity to celebrate them, their marriage, and the families the Lord has blessed them with.

Connor drew this picture on the In N' Out box on the way home...

That's the golf cart on the left and our condo on the right.
"Connor is Sad."
Yup. That pretty much sums it up, Buddy!
Hate to see it end.