Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

Every Memorial Day after I put the kids to bed, I realize we didn't really talk about the reason we celebrate it. They just know they get a three-weekend and get to see dad a little more. So this year I was very determined to do something special.

We started with a bike ride to Civic Park and attended the Memorial Day Celebration where the Lt. Governor spoke, the veterans were all recognized, and a band played American music.

We walked across the street to see them lay wreaths for our two Walnut Creek fallen soldiers and it was very moving. It was sad, but good, having the kids see the families left behind, so they could realize the ultimate sacrifices that had been made. It is so hard to help them understand how blessed we are and why we have the freedom that we enjoy.

The guys all got hair cuts and I rode with the girls to Safeway, where we had a picnic lunch in front of the store at some little tables. Then of course, since we were so close, we had to ride our bikes to Gelato Naia for dessert.
This is seriously as good as the gelato we had all over Italy!
They have the BEST, REAL ITALIAN, gelato! We rode our bikes home, then of course we had to take advantage of the Memorial Day sales, so we took Alaina's friend with us to the mall. And then, of course we had to hurry home to get Cabo so he could come with us to our next stop of the day...a fun Heather Farms picnic with friends.
(if anyone can show me how to keep my pictures from deleting, I'd be most grateful...there were a lot more people at the picnic than these three darling kids!)
Cabo loved being the center of attention, aside from a little friend trying to "ride the horse". And, of course, at the end of the day, we had to take him to the dog park. I am glad it was such a beautiful day and so grateful that we finally celebrated it right.
I am proud to be an American!
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Friday, May 22, 2009

Tennis with Ryan

Today was a half day at school. All of the kids were busy except Ryan, then his friends invited us to go bike riding with them. Ryan was so happy, until I realized his bike was locked in someone elses garage and we couldn't get it. He was upset for a minute, then said, "Let's play tennis!" So, I seized the opportunity, grabbed our racquets and drove to the nearest tennis court with one can of balls. I should have known we'd need more than one can.

Within a matter of minutes we were down to one ball, the other two having been made into "home runs". We heard a car honk and hoped it wasn't hit. Ryan found two spare balls lying around and said he wanted to use them first so we wouldn't lose our last original ball. Our goal was not too lofty. Just to hit 5 in a row. I mean really, how hard can that be? It took an hour. It was very fun and we giggled everytime we got to four and Ryan hit a power swing, and we did eventually get to SIX! And we came home with one original ball.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yosemite 2009


I love our family tradition of going to Yosemite the weekend before Memorial Day. It's not yet too hot or too crowded, but it is warm enough and the waterfalls are always perfect. We always meet up with 6-10 other families and stay in the Housekeeping 'tent cabins'. It is the best of both worlds because it's comfortable camping with electricity and toilets, but not a hotel.


There was a guy in front of El Capitan that let us look in his telescope at the climbers that were on day 3 of a 7 day climb to the top. He gave us so much information -- from the way climbers get all of their gear up, to how they sleep, and yes, he even told us how they go to the bathroom! I think I prefer a port-a-potty.
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If you click on the picture you can zoom in and see three climbers. Scary! Last year we only brought Ryan's little bike and rented bikes for the rest of us. He decided it was too hard and I ended up carrying his bike WHILE riding mine! This year we brought all of our bikes for the first time and rode a 7+ mile loop around the valley floor and this time, Ryan was out in front of us all. It was so fun to watch all of the kids and realize that we have "arrived" at a point where we can all do things like this together.

We always have a potluck on Saturday night and eat all together. Alaina took this picture of me with flaming buttocks. What can I say, it is still hot after all these years :)!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

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Mother's Day is always bittersweet for me. I am so grateful to be a mother and even to have been able to bear children. I am grateful to have a wonderful mother who taught me that nothing is unsolvable. I am doubly grateful to have a terrific mother-in-law who is truly like a mother to me. But at the same time, I always think about those who haven't had these blessings yet and maybe never will in this life time. And then, I am grateful for my knowledge of eternity and the divine plan of our Father in Heaven who knows all things and will make us all whole in the end.
My Sunday started out with a tiny bit of extra sleep (we have church at 9am)and then Andy came in while I was getting ready and said that a "magic elf" had made me breakfast. He had prepared the Special K cereal that he knows I eat EVERY morning and a pancake and two cinnamon toast rolls.
We had a beautiful church service with great lessons and a delicious refreshment spread put on by the men as a gift to all of the women. Then, I had a little nap in the sun and read for a few minutes before helping find appliances and recipes for the kids.
Ryan and Becca made the yummiest mint chocolate cookies, Alaina made a fruit platter and green salad, Andy made Mrs. B's Breadsticks from scratch, and Dave made carbonara. They even used nice serving dishes and set the outside table, where they know I love to eat!
We had a beautiful day and I am so blessed to be a mother to these great kids!

Monday, May 4, 2009

May the Fourth

Here is a little joke that I heard today:

What is the favorite day of a Star Wars fan?
"May the 4th be with you"...lame, I know, but I live with a few Stars Wars fans.