Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hannah's Own Language

(this is a silly picture from Grandma and Grandpa's house that has nothing to do with the post, but is funny nonetheless...)

Hannah just ran into the kitchen very excitedly and said, "Mom! Every Webkinz in the WHOLE EYED WORLD is celebrating Webkinz Day today!"
Me: "Wait, wait, wait...did you just say "Whole EYED world"?
Hannah: "Yeah, the whole eyed world."
Me: "No Honey, it's whole WIDE world!" (with big arms to help demonstrate)
Hannah: "Ohhh! (pause for a while) I get it."
The look on her face can only be described as a lightbulb, yes, but also... remember when someone told you the correct lyrics to a song that you had sung wrong for a very long time? Part of you liked it better the way you interpreted it. Sometimes you'd just prefer to leave the light on dimmer!!

It reminded me of another word that she constantly says wrong but I hate to correct because it is so dang cute--"Remember"
Demonstration: "Mom, Benember when we went to that lake with the life guard that covered himself in mud? Benember when he let us get up in his lifeguard chair? Benember how much fun that was?"...
Too cute to correct!

My Happy Little Guy

I just picked up Alex from preschool today and one of his teachers, Mrs. Mossbacher (whom I adore) told me that at snack time Alex was sitting at his table, staring out the window with a glazed look and a big huge smile on his face. She told me that she said to him, "Alex, you're a happy guy, aren't you?" and he replied, "Yup, I'm a happy little guy!"
He is a happy boy!

P.S. Mrs. Mossbacher is the most wonderful teacher you could ask for because she truly loves your children! When Jake and Hannah went to RLP she had a special bond with them too. The year they had her, she had a cast over a broken arm and she said that Jake would always come over and touch her arm and rub a little and give her a sweet, sympathetic look. Hannah runs up to hug her every time she has yard duty at their elementary school. That's the sign of a good teacher!

Field Trip to the Fire Station

Alex went on a field trip last week with his preschool to the fire station! It was quite a highlight! His favorite part was watching the firemen "go twisty down the pole".

Here with his class (front row with the green boots!)

His buddies~Ty, Morgan, and Alex

He often wears his wellies to school because he can never find his shoes. (It's part of his...ahem...charm!)

Me: "Do you want to be a fireman when you grow up?"
Alex: "Uhhh, NO!"
Me: "Oh, well, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Alex: "A builder, of course!"

Monday, April 28, 2008

Girl's Getaway?

I wish I had a picture of John when he got home from his Baja trip--all tan and grizzly and bearded and refreshed! Who's this hot new man in my driveway?? It almost made it worth it to be left on my own with four kids for five days!
Anyway, I love you honey but a girl's getaway is definitely on the horizon! I'm all about reciprocity!
Girls? Are you in?
Any ideas?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

John's Baja Adventure

I figured I would contribute at least one post every few months. Annie graciously let me escape...I mean leave the chaos here for a few days and go on a motorcycle adventure in Baja Mexico. I'll save all the details as it was, for those who know me, pretty much the highlight of my LIFE besides of course my wedding day and each anniversary and obviously the day each child was born and their birthdays and each fathers day and mothers day for that matter every other important day, since I would not want to ever forget even one moment of each blessed day I have.....but if I had to choose one trip, this would be it.

We rode dirt bikes from Ensenada on the Pacific side to San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez all the way across the baja peninsula. We rode on streets, sidewalks, beaches, dry lake beds, sand dunes, through little Mexican villages way up in the mountains scaring lots of chickens, highways, across rivers and lots of dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. We ate many delicious tacos from little roadside taco stands and lit off many firecrackers of the kind you cannot buy here.

There were only a few broken bones and only one guy had to get stitches in a tiny Mexican health clinic.

I will have to post more pictures when I get them from other friends who were on the trip as I didn't take too many pictures, but here are a few:

On top of some mountain somewhere

My novia - Annie probably won't like this pic

One roadside stop - there were 26 riders - our own motorcycle gang
More pics...(from Brad)

Oh Owen!

Thank you for playing with a ball in the gutter for almost an hour today! Thank you for letting the simplest things bring you pure joy! Slapping dirty, green-tinted water all over you, giggling non-stop, and throwing a little red ball--Who knew!?

Thank you for letting your big brother squeeze you with love! We all have that instinct when we're around you!

Thank you for being the sweetest, best-natured little guy ever!
We love you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Walking home from school yesterday...
Hannah: "Nicholas likes it when I do this with my hand." (picture wavy, sinister, creepy fingers) "He thinks it looks like a scary witch!"
Me: "Really? Let me see that again."
Hannah: "Oooooh!" (wavy, evil fingers again)
Jake: (pensive as always) "Well, umm, witches aren't really my thing."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Poppy Pics from Mt. Diablo

(photo courtesy of Britt Callaway!)

Not to be confused with "picks"! I promise there was no picking of our State flower! John remembers when he was little being told that it was against the law to pick poppies, so he honestly thought an alarm would go off until he got old enough to realize flowers don't have alarms! (...last year!)

Anyway, we had heard that the poppies were in abundance up at Mt. Diablo so we headed there on Saturday to check them out (we don't need much prodding to go to Mt. Diablo!) I think we missed the peak but it was absolutely beautiful nonetheless!

Alex: "Mom, what's biggest mountain in the whole wide world?"
Me: "Well, I'm pretty sure it's Mount Everest."
Alex: (excitedly) "Is it even taller than Mountain Diablo?"
I almost didn't want to break it to him that "Mountain Diablo" (he never shortens it!) is actually quite puny comparatively! Puny, but oh so Pretty!

Hannah and the poppies

Alex was more interested in the rocks!

Jake, annoyed that he has to pose for me--he was looking at bugs!

We set off on a little hike and I passed off Owen when he got too heavy...

Good thing Aunt Kim was there to pick up the slack! (John was in Baja, Mexico riding motorcycles!--more to come on that trip in another post!) We're so glad to have Kim home from college for the summer! Isn't she hot with her bangs?!

Kim came up with her boyfriend Dustin who was a great sport. What guy wants to be up on lookout mountain with his girlfriend...and a dozen kids!?

Blazin' Trails...

The girls!

The girls plus Cole!

The Gang! Maren, Cole, Neve, Hannah, Drew, Alex, Kiera, Jake

Loving this group shot!
Great Day!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Syd the Fairy in Blogland

My sister-in-law Lisa had pictures of her kids taken last month by Kristin Eldridge and they are so adorable! The photographer even used a picture of Sydney as her blog header! My niece is famous!
This photographer uses beautiful, bright colors with kids and her baby portraits are scrumptious! You can see more pics from this photographer and more pics of Syd on her website--kristineldridge.com (For Syd, click on web log, then click March, and it's titled "Woot!" So cute! We love you Syd! You certainly do cast a spell on those around you!

Slip Slidin' Away

This past Saturday (4/12) we went to the Callaways for some SuperSlideExtreme action! The temp was 80 something, so we pretended it was summer and donned swimsuits. They got a new blow-up waterslide that the kids were dying to try so we rode our bikes over and got right into the action. The boys started catapulting themselves off the top and then it was sweet air mayhem for all!

Callaway girls strutting their stuff!


Maren and Alex

Nevie (Even Owen went down!)

Two at a time!
(I don't have a picture of Jake's air and he was the bravest of them all! I think he started the jumping which was pretty impressive for his cautious nature. I think it's just stuff with motors that freak him out!)
You can see a rockin' short video of the action on my friend Britt's blog.
So fun! Summertime here we come...

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Me: "Alex, Where's Owen? He was just here..."
Alex: "I let him out in the backyard."
Me: "You what?"
Alex: "I let him out in the backyard."
Me: "Alex! He's a baby, not a puppy! You don't just let him outside! Ever!"
Alex: "Okay" (shoulder shrug)
One hour later...
Alex: "Mom, Can we get a puppy?"

Happy Birthday Mandi!

My Version of a Poem:
You're hot and oh so funny
I hope you make lots of money
You're super smart and witty
You make Ben purr like a kitty
Your kids are so dang cute
It's a good thing you're not mute
You have great things to say
And you say them in such a way
That my belly aches, my heart is full
I love you girl, I can't resist your pull!
I'm so glad you're my friend...
I''m with you 'til the end!
I'm with you 'til the end, uh huh!
I'm with you 'til the end.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blast from the Past!

Two weeks ago my friend Donna from England visited and it was the most amazing, surreal, bittersweet, blissful 24 hours ever!

Here we are having dinner in San Francisco. Isn't she gorgeous!? The British say gorgeous all the time and I love it! It's my new favorite word. Gorgeous, Dahling!

When I was 14 years old my family moved to Cambridge, England and one of my best friends was Donna Finbow. After only a year, my family moved to Boca Raton, Florida (near Fort Lauderdale) and Donna came out to visit for three weeks, two summers in a row! As fifteen and sixteen year olds, let's just say we had the time of our lives! ("Sugar and Spice"--hmm, guess?) We kept in touch for a while, but then lost touch and haven't seen eachother for 12 years!! I sent her family a Christmas card this year out of the blue (I realized that British people don't move around like we do) just to see what would happen and she emailed me! Inspired by her trips to America on Virgin Airlines, she became an "air hostess" 9 years ago and has been jet-setting ever since. She informed me that she had a lay-over in San Fran!! Unbelievable! I could not believe I was going to see her again after all this time.

I drove to her hotel on Tuesday night (4/1) and picked her up. We were like giddy school-girls! We could not stop hugging! It was almost as if no time had passed and we were 16 all over again! She looks fabulous! And the accent...I love it! She brought me a bag full of my favorite English Chocolates and cookies (2 packages of my fav Hob-Nobs!)

Then we went to the Cheesecake Factory overlooking the city and ate too much and reminisced for hours! It was so fun to catch up on everything and remember funny stories (she has an amazing memory!) She could not believe that I had picked her up in a mini-van and that I had 4 children! She is living with a wonderful man, Sid, whom she's been with for 6 years and they live in Liverpool and have a "ginger cat" and several fish! She has been all over the world and has experienced some amazing things. She even has a pet baby elephant in Africa named "Lempouty!" So cute!
We drove home and she stayed the night and we talked some more. In the morning, she met the kids and helped me get them to school. She played wii with Alex and drew pictures with the twins. They loved her and her accent. She loved the area and told me that if I didn't have four children at home that I was looking after, in England I would be considered a "dosser" pronounced "dossah" which basically means a kept woman! Hilarious! Too bad I do have those 4 kids to keep me busy!!--a dosser sounds quite nice!

Me and DD at lunch
We went to lunch with John in Pleasanton across the street from his office, so they could get to know eachother and they hit it off and we had a great time browsing the cute little shops.

Those British sure love Sir Elton John!
She and Owen had a special bond. It was so fun to see her interact with my kids and get to know them. It was a wonderful, comfortable day and we kept having to pinch ourselves! After an eventful day, it was time to say goodbye.

Needless to say, we were not looking forward to it. I drove her back to the city and she flew out the next morning. I cried on the drive home. We had such an amazing time together!

I love this girl! Bosom buddies! I found a quote that made me think of her and other friends who live far away...

The most beautiful discovery that true friends can make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.”
~Elizabeth Foley

I love you DD!! I'm so glad you're back in my life! Thank you coming and for sending me the pictures! (of all the times to have a dead camera battery!) Until next time...


Jake: "Mom, What is a Grand Pricks?"
Me: "You mean Grand Prix? It's the race of all races for fast cars."
Jake: "Why do they call it Grand Pricks?"
Me: "No honey, it's French. It's pronounced Grand Preee."
Jake: "But it's spelled like fix." (pause) "Well, we're in America, so I'm gonna say Grand Pricks..."
(I'm sorry, so innapropriate but I couldn't resist!)

Monday, April 14, 2008

I feel the love!

This was a tribute from my friend Mandi and I was so incredibly touched that I had to steal it from her blog so that I could remember it always and feel the love! I want to keep it forever and refer to it on bad days!
(I love you Mandi!)

"Isn't She Lovely"

I know this girl who forgives as easily as she laughs.
I know this girl who everyone wants to be around and always are.
I know this girl who is an open book you can't wait to read.
I know this girl who sees daisies in a dark ally.
I know this girl who can't wait to see where her next trip will take her.
I know this girl who makes friends with the unfriendable.
I know this girl who is strong and soft all at the same time.
I know this girl and I'm so glad she knows me.
I love you. Happy birthday Annie.
(You make me cry! The neck rolls make me cry!)

"My Girl, Annie"

This picture is from my friend Britt's blog and I had to include it also. It also had some great quotes from last weeks "The Office" episode!

I seriously have the most amazing friends far and wide and I love you all so much!
Here is a tribute to all of you...
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." ~Marcel Proust
You all make my soul blossom and bloom!

And now I have to include my Mom's sweet comment I just found on Mandi's blog...
"I know this girl, too. I have the amazing privilege of being her mother. She is everything everyone has said and more - the most caring, mindful, considerate, wise, beautiful, fun loving, joyful, radiant daughter (and best friend). Love you forever and always, Annie. I must say, too, that she is blessed beyond measure to have such remarkable, loving friends, all of whom seem to possess the same outstanding, endearing qualities she has!! You are truly elect young women - and I love your blogs and being able to get to know you better. Thank you for letting me into your special world!"
(ditto!... Those of you who know my mom, know that she is the caring, considerate, remarkable one! I love you Mom!)

What a love fest!
I'll never need chocolate again...I'll just go back and read this post!