Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Festivities

Thanksgiving was spent at my parents yet again. Not as large a crowd as in years past, but still wonderful to have family in town for the celebration. Paul had to work yet again, so he missed out on the food again. I did manage to save him some sweet potatoes.


Dinner was wonderful, as always. After the dinner we headed out to the traditional movie, "The Muppets" was the movie this year. My sister and I headed to Toys R Us and braved the crowds and a total of 2 1/2 hours spent in lines to get in and to pay for our items.
Friday morning we headed up to Apple Hill so that the fam could find their perfect tree and then off to grandma's for the best soups on earth. Our tree will be taken care of in the coming week. We don't get our tree without our daddy with us. We just go along for the company.

That sums up Thanksgiving this year. Christmas will be much more exciting. You will have to wait...it is a surprise.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

11 Years and Still Hanging on for the Ride


That's right Paul and I have been married for 11 years. Hard to believe that it is already 11 years. I don't feel that old or feel that there has been that much time between then and now. We have had our ups and downs, peaks and valleys, weight gain and weight loss, but I couldn't ask for a better man to spend that time with. This year has been a tough one, but we take it in stride and hope for the best. I really can't wait to see where the future takes us. Who knows where we will be in 11 more years or 30 more or 50, but I know we will have a lot of fun with them.

We spent our anniversary in Reno. It was just a short trip, but it was nice to get away and have adult time together (especially the fact that we didn't have kids come climb into bed in the middle of the night). I didn't get pushed off the bed or lose the covers (BLISS).

Didn't take pictures of our trip or anything. I guess I am getting old, if I didn't even get one picture taken of Paul and I on our anniversary. Oh well, there is always next year.

She's 5. Oh No!!



That's right, my little Madeline, aka Bama, aka Boo, is 5. It's hard to believe that she started out as a tiny little 10 pound baby, but she has grown up into the most interesting little big girl, as I like to call her now. I no longer have little ones at home. She is a full fledged full day Kindergartner. She loves to talk. She loves to be the boss. She is clever and trouble all wrapped up with a cute little bow or flower in her hair. She is a joy and a wonder. You never know what she will say, what she will do, or what interesting look you will get from her. She amazes me every day. She makes my day a little brighter. Always quick to be my helper when it is on her terms.

Her birthday landed on a Saturday, so we had a full day planned for her. It's her 5th birthday, which meant she got to have her very first friend birthday party. They had a blast with the bounce house and all the activities that we had going on. Don't know if it could have been any better for her.


We love this girl more than life itself. She makes our family that much more interesting. She is a joy and a blessing to our family. She is growing up so fast.

I'm Baaaack!!!!

Sorry to have left you out hanging on all our exciting adventures. Well, not that exciting. Now I have to remember where I left off and where I need to start up again. September is a blur. Probably busy with kids school stuff, family and who knows what else. What I do remember is this last photo of Paul's beloved motorcycle.
We held onto this beauty for as long as we could, but in the end it succumbed to being sold, to what I hope was a good home, where they will take very good of care of her. Paul babied this beauty.

On to October. Lots of fun fall activities. Here are the pics to prove it.


There was the corn maze at the start of the month.


And then to end October is our Halloween fun.

Me and my wild and crazy coworkers dressed up for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We're Still Here

Sorry for not being better about keeping up on my blog lately. It has been a busy last couple of months. Between work and raising a family it is hard to keep my head screwed on strait. I promise that there will be many updates of what we have been up to very soon. Hang in there just a little longer.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cookie Sunday!!!

So my tradition of making cookies is still going strong. Two weeks in a row. Lets see how long I can keep it up. Probably long enough to make snickerdoodles for Cameron. I made them two weeks ago, but I am trying to branch out and keep it interesting. Lets hope these cookies last past Wednesday. My cookies from last week were gone fast.
These are Easy Pudding Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 pkg. (3.9 oz) Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

2 cups flour

1 pkg. 6 square Bakers White Chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirrideli)

Heat oven to 350. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add dry pudding mix; beat until well blended. Add eggs adn baking soda, mix well. Gradually beat in flour until well blended. Stir in chocolate. Drop tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are slightly browned ( you can't tell if they are browned though, it's a brown cookie). Cool 1 minute on baking sheets, remove to wire racks and let cool completely.

Madeline said they are really good and the kids licked the bowl clean after we were done scooping out all the dough. Enjoy another recipe from our cookie Sunday.

Party!!!!Party!!!!

Had a great day with my co-workers yesterday. I really have the best office to work for. We got together at our house for some BBQ and swimming...only Madeline and I did all the swimming, everyone else forgot to bring suits. Forgot to get the camera out for photo ops, but it was great. I hope we make it a regular occurrence so that we can get the families together instead of just the adult party at Christmas time. I think it is what I needed to get me out of my blah. I think I was having my own private pity party for myself. Those happen with the shift that Paul is working right now...but I take it in stride and try to go with the flow. They don't last forever. And parties always make everything all better.

Why Do I Do It????

This week has been a rough one. Probably more rough for my husband and kids than for me. Only because I have been really grumpy. Really, really grumpy. Not only was I grumpy, but I was extremely lazy. Lazy as in don't even want to get out of bed or off the couch. It was a blah week. I guess I am entitled to a blah week. Thank goodness my blah weeks don't happen very often. I think my family would walk out on me if I was always nasty, and short with them. I didn't even like how I was acting. I just couldn't get out of it for a while. Here's to a new week and no more blah's for awhile...PLEASE!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's Cookie Sunday

I had started this tradition with the kids a while back and am usually good about doing it about once a month. I am hoping to make this more of an every Sunday thing. I am hoping to get my kids into it, so they can eventually make the cookies themselves and maybe make a meal here and there when they are old enough. Maybe give myself a break here and there. Can you sense my well laid plans on how this is going to work in the future. Hahaha, I know, you should have done the same thing right. Well, now you can.
These are chocolate chip cookies with a twist. Not the regular old Toll House cookie recipe that everybody uses. Why, you ask, because the Toll House Cookie recipe never works out for me. They meld into one ooey gooey mess for me, so I found a new recipe. Haha, chocolate chip cookies will not be my downfall. I have conquered. Here is the recipe if you would like to use it.

Pudding Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 pkg. (3.4 oz) Jell-0 Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 tsp baking soda

2 -1/4 cups flour

1 pkg. (12 oz) Bakers Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks (I used Chocolate Chips and they worked out great)

Heat oven to 375.

Beat butter, sugars, dry pudding mix, and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs and baking soda: mix well. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in Chocolate. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, on to baking sheets. Bake 8-10 min or until golden brown. Cool 3 min on baking sheets. Remouve to wire racks. Cool Completely.

Enjoy. We are.

Daddy is a Swimmer

Can you tell it was a little early in the morning for the kids on a Saturday.

Saturday we spent out by the pool at Modesto Jr. College to cheer on daddy. I actually enjoy myself when we go out to the swim meets. Paul did great. He has been working really hard. He heads out Mon.-Fri. to practice. This was his first taste of swim meets since he was in high school. Haven't seen him this nervous and excited in a long time. I hope this becomes something of a regular occurrence for us, I can't get enough of it. And no I will not be taking on swimming just like him, I'm a land sport kind of girl, but do love swimming in our pool with the kids.

Movies under the Stars



The City of Oakdale puts on a movie under the stars on the 2nd Saturday of every month during the summer months. We went last year and saw How to Train Your Dragon so we headed out agin with some friends to go see Rango. While the movie stunk it was still fun to spend time outdoors with the kids. We will head out again in September to see Hotel for Dogs. Hopefully it is better than Rango.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

School is in Session!!!!


I have been waiting for the day that I would have both of my kiddos in school...and it has finally happened. Don't think that I don't love my kids, but it will be nice to not have to drag poor little Madeline on all of my errands. She has wanted to be in school for so long. She finally gets her wish and I get to have a house to myself, but it does get awfully quiet without my kiddos laughing in the next room. There are up sides and down sides.

Where Did The Summer Go????

This summer vacation was absolutely the shortest. I don't think we had time to breathe, it went fast. So here is the summer wrap up. We had swimming, swimming and more swimming. Can you tell that there was a lot of swimming.

Cameron and Madeline had a great year on swim team, we have the ribbons and heat wins to prove it. Cameron got light years better and I don't know how. He finally learned to dive which took half the year to get. He hates the cold water and complained every chance he got at swim practice about how cold the water was. It doesn't help that summer took it's time getting here. Madeline did marvelous considering she was one of 7 other 4 year olds in the swim league. By the end of the year she had taken so much time off of her strokes. Not enough time to get some heat wins, but she didn't finish last. Can't wait to see what next year holds for these two.
After the swim season there was Madeline's early back Kindergarten. This allows the kids to get a head start on Kindergarten, so they are familiar with the rules and what they need to know. She loved it. She thought she was all that, because she got to go to school and her brother had to stay home. How's that for being a big girl. Didn't even need her mommy to walk her to class every day like some of the other kids in her class. Can you say ready for school. She is.

We had lots of family visit from out of town and it was the best. I wished that I had gotten the camera out so that I could have taken some photos of our way out of town relatives. Hopefully they will travel this way again soon.

No camping trips or vacations taken this summer. Money has been tight , as probably can be said for just about everyone. So we pitched the tent in the backyard, brought out a TV and DVD player and had some popcorn. I kind of think that is the way to camp out. No getting up in the middle of the night to walk down some little dirt path hoping that an animal won't jump out in front of you while heading to the stinky toilets. All I had to do was get up and walk into my house for a clean bathroom break. The next time we camp out I would prefer to not hear the construction going on at 6 am in the morning. That is not the kind of wake up call I was looking for. Hope that your summer was as enjoyable as ours. Now for the start of the new school year. Which means that both kids are off to school so that I am left with afternoons of peace and quiet and ridding our home of so much clutter. At least I hope that is what it means.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Let Sleeping Children Lie

There is nothing better than catching your kids sleeping and snapping a quick photo. I have always loved catching my kids sleeping and getting a quick photo op. Not a care in the world, not a worry running through their little minds. They get to just be kids and enjoy it. And I enjoy them too.
These photos were caught directly following the kids swim meet on Saturday. 5 am is an early wake up call for these kids and it showed by the end. At least they didn't have to be up by 4 am to make sure the car was loaded and a breakfast for my champions was hot and ready. The sacrifices I make for these two. They deserve it.






Madeline is the one with the pink cap bobbing up and down. She's only four and one of two four year olds competing on our swim team.







Cameron has become one very good swimmer this year. I hope he sticks with it, cause this mom thinks he is going to be great.




Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Workin' Mom


I never imagined that my time would be so precious until I became a mom that worked outside the home. I am not a Monday - Friday working mom, but am still out of the house 3 days a week and sometimes more depending on vacations and illnesses. I am grateful to have an office that is so supportive of me trying to raise my family, but also provide for them in monetary means as well. California is not the easiest place to raise a family with one income, a huge reason I work outside the home.

I would love to be the mom whose house is always spotless. Mine hardly ever is. I would love to be the mom who can go to every school trip or function. Again that isn't always the case. I would love to be the mom who is Wonder Woman, but I am not always that either. Instead I am the mom, who fixes boo boo's when she can, cuddles on the couch and watches a movie with her kids, or heads out into the swimming pool for some fun in the water. The cleaning is always last on my list at this point in time. I would much rather see my kids smile and know that I would much rather spend what little time I have at the end of the day with them instead of worrying about what my kitchen and bathroom look like.

Today instead of standing in front of the kitchen sink after work, doing dishes or folding the laundry I sat on the couch with my Bama (aka Madeline) and watched a movie and swam with my kids in pool.

I am not a mother of the year candidate, but I at least am making memories with my children. That accounts for something.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

He's the Best


He just is.

The Fourth Fun

Another 4th of July is in the history books.
Spent the day at my parents this year. Had the annual BBQ of hot dogs and hamburgers. The best food for the 4th. Had most of the family there with us. Paul had to work, no surprise there. I know how much he hates missing out on the memories, so I always take lots of pictures. There weren't any huge catastrophes other than the fact that it was very hot. Cameron was stung by a yellow jacket, Madeline and some of the girls were caught with their hands in the homemade ice cream can. Madeline didn't have her hand in the can, but she was watching the others take handfuls and lick it up off of their hands. There were tears shed by more than one. There were some sparkler mishaps (ie. kids who may have slight burns on arms or feet when they wake in the morning). More tears shed. And then it was all over. Everyone is home. And children are sound asleep from a long and hot day enjoying our Independence Day.
Happy 4th of July to all of you.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

My Little Fish

I have two kids who I think should have been fish. I cannot keep them out of the water and they are starting to swim faster than me. Water tag is becoming very difficult for me to win. I can't even swim to the bottom of the pool to get away from them. I can't believe how fast they have taken to the water and how much better they have gotten in just the shortest amount of time. I think the pool and swim team are going to be staples in our lives for a very long time.

Then He Was 8

Cameron recently had his 8th birthday on June 11th. He opted to have a grand old bash instead of going to his swim meet. In this instance we were too disappointed by his decision. From what we found out from other parents on the team it was a very long meet.
Cameron is our sensitive boy. He hates to jump into the cold water at swim practice. He cries over the littlest of dilemmas. He even cries if he loses a game on the computer or it freezes up on him. Every little bump turns into a cry fest. But, he is so in tune with what is going on with others. He hardly every raises his voice at another and is quick to point out if someone is getting the short end of the stick (usually himself).

He is growing up into such a wonderful kid and soon to be young man. There was never a doubt in his mind on whether he was going to be baptized. He was ready. I have never seen a kid more ready for what the future holds for him. He is smart and witty and has a way about him. He doesn't run out and look for friends he waits for them to gather around him. He is the sweetest little guy I know and has girls swooning about. I think it has something to do with his dimples.
My little guy tests me at times, but I think that is the Lord's way of making me more patient. And we know I am far from being patient.

Our family would not be complete without this guy in our life. He makes each day better. He tries so hard to be perfect and in my eyes he is.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Feeling Old!!!

Not the creak in my bones or difficulty moving. More like I am weeks away from my guy Cameron turning 8. Every time I look in the mirror I see another gray hair growing. I am not getting any younger. I need to do something about that. I think I am going to go eat a popsicle. That makes everyone feel young. Go enjoy a popsicle today like I am and enjoy the fact that we can still be young at heart.

Popsicles:)

On to my to do list to prepare for a big eighth birthday for my guy Cameron.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Defeated!!!!

Here is what defeat is. I had to work a lot last week, and by a lot, that I did not get my usual days off. My house looks like a tornado has blown through. The dishes are piled high. The laundry all over the floor. Cat hair clinging to everything. That is what defeat is. And to top it all off, I have had zero patience with my kids. I mean zero. Every little thing has set me off. The only thing that brings the slightest bit of sunshine and hope is the fact that with all my flaws and inconsistencies is that fact that my kids still tell me they love me when they go to bed. That is unconditional love.




And tomorrow is the start of a new day. A day that hopefully will not defeat me.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Giants Game & Easter Weekend

Yes, it is another post about another trip to the San Francisco Giants game, but we can't get enough of a great ballpark and a great team. They didn't win, it was bitterly cold, and we ended up with a very unhappy 4 year old who had way too much sugar at the ballpark, but we were together and loved every minute of it. Paul got to watch more of the game than I did. Cameron pretty much played on his Nintendo DS and Madeline fell asleep in my arms in the 6th inning. What better way to spend a Friday night.



Easter consisted of easter baskets, easter egg hunts, and of course lots of cousins around to play with. There is always the picture of the kids in their easter duds, but is it too much to ask to get just one picture without my son making some kind of face, I mean really. I would have a file full of great pictures of the kids, if it weren't for a little man making faces. At least I have pictures to show future girlfriends. BLACKMAIL. We had a lot of fun with the family and got to help Grandpa Meadows celebrate his birthday.