Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ahoy Matey! Arrrrrrrr Fun Times!

Aidan started summer camp this past Monday and this weeks theme is pirate week. Aidan has fully adopted his pirate persona and is thoroughly enjoying camp. It helps that he's there with his buddies, Parker, Zaidan and Ezra. Camp is a bit of a schlep away, lots of driving for us moms, but the boys get to enjoy gorgeous nature area with hiking trails, grassy meadows, farm animals and weekly swimming in the lake. Some fun times!

What We Like Wednesdays: Harris Ranch

If you have a hankering for beef, Harris Ranch is the place to be. On the way home from grandma's we decided to stop at Harris Ranch for dinner. It's this beautiful oasis in the middle of dare I say nowhere. Or what seems like nowhere when you're coming from urban living but really you're surrounded by a beautiful landscape of rolling hill, agriculture and what looks like thousands of cows. A bit smelly when you arrive but once you get passed the smell, you can't help but fall in love with this hacienda style inn and restaurant.

We enjoyed strolling around, admiring the architecture and decor,

the boys loved the numerous fountains

and for some odd reason got a real kick out of the cow hide couches.

Daddy and I both loved our dinners. He had the cowboy cut prime rib and I had a fabulous hickory smoked salt, brown sugar, and whiskey rubbed rib eye steak, both medium rare of course. We're both shameless beef lovers so this was just heaven for us. We enjoyed these with a glass of wine, huge glass of wine, they must have poured 1/3 of the bottle of wine in each glass...definitely no need to order a bottle. They also have a generous kids menu, which the boys enjoyed too.

So if you're a beef lover and looking for a little self-indulgence (or a lot) take a drive to the San Joaquin Valley, you can't miss the huge Harris Ranch sign right of Interstate 5.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekend Away

We left Thursday to Grandma's for the weekend. Grandma recently returned home after her lengthy hospital stay and we wanted to follow up to see how she and grandpa were doing. We've had some rough times recently with illnesses, medical emergencies and most recently Poh-Poh's,(great-grandma) passing. So it was nice to have the boys spend some time with their grandparents. Everyone enjoyed themselves and it helped bring some joy during these somber times.

The boys had fun at grandma and grandpa's house, their home is much more spacious than ours which made for much fun play, we just love their fabulous backyard. They also got to play piano with grandma, enjoy some local sites, and have some yummy meals out.

One afternoon, we took the boys to the LA Zoo while grandma got some rest. It turned out to be a pretty hot day so, to beat the heat the boys had their first shaved ice.

The following afternoon we all went to the Arboretum where the boys got to see a peacock up close.

Grandma and Grandpa sat in the shade while we strolled the grounds.

We came across this fabulous tree that seemed to be screaming, "come take a seat". The boys could not resist climbing and sitting in this tree.

The visit came to an end and we were all sad to say our goodbyes. Although I'm amazed at how well grandma is doing, she still has a long road to recovery ahead of her. We'll be making more visits to grandma as I do believe that good times are healing.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Hope you all had a wonderful father's day. We tried to make Daddy's day special here. Breakfast out at Arizmendi, followed by a nice walk at the lake, picnic in the backyard for lunch and family over for fun hang out and BBQ dinner.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

First Time, Movie Time: Toy Story 3

We finally made a family outing to the movies, it was Miles and Liam's first time at the theater, and Aidan's first time with us (he's gone with a friend in the past). We saw Toy Story 3, which we enjoyed but I do have to say it was a lot more action packed than I would have like for the boys. There also were a few scary moments that I thought would send the kids into tears but not a peep out of them. Liam was just mesmerized by the huge screen and Miles was ok holding Daddy's hand. Next time I think we'll make sure the movie is much more rated "G" what a concept. Anyways, it is nice to know we can have a movie night as a family now, another one of those milestones that reminds us our boys are getting older.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Growing Up, He Graduated Today

Yes my little boy graduated from kindergarten today....( weird I don't think we had graduation ceremonies for kindergarten in my time) there was a sweet ceremony followed by a pizza and cupcake party.

You could feel the excitement in the room, the kids knew this was their big moment, a right of passage. Soon they would no longer be kindergartners. The crowd of parents arrived and shortly after we began the ceremony. The kids were excited to wear their caps they had made along with the twenty-two tassels I made (phew! glad that one's over) and we, the parents, were so excited to see them wearing them. Each child got to stand up front to receive their diploma and say what they liked best about the school year. My Aidan said,

"I liked doing the 'hard' math best"

Mommy and Daddy were so proud. So silly, you would have thought he was graduating from Harvard, but it really did feel like a huge milestone had been reached. Our little boy is growing up, developing his sense of self, exploring his like and dislikes and joined in the world (cruel as it may be) of social rankings. It's been fun to watch, how he's handed out his phone number to a classmate (really, he's 5), invited kids to his birthday party even though his birthday is still months away, started making a guest list for play dates..all of this just makes me take a step back and as 1."who is this??", and 2."wow, he really is growing up"

I'm sure you've guessed already that I missed Artful Thursday unless of course you count the small treat bags I made for the kids at 1am, LOL! Yes I was manically putting together the kids treats and Aidan's gift in the wee hours of the night(or morning). I simply made some treat bags filled with kisses and Swedish fish tied with fun argyle ribbon and a tag I made. I wrote "Way To Go" figured those were all sight words the kids should be able to read.

And for Aidan, we gave him a some books (summer reading) and a watch. A grown up watch with a face on it. He was so pleased. Congratulations, Aidan we are so proud of you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I've been lost in the abyss of end of school activities but I've come out to celebrate my b-day! Today I turned 40! It's so hard to believe...where has the time gone....and how did I become middle-aged.

It's been a fun day with lots of love from family and friends who have indulged me today with yummy breakfast, a tasty mocha, my favorite Mexican food for dinner and de-lish tiramisu. Gotta love them!

I did have a nice moment to myself this morning. I sat with a cup of coffee (my favorite thing to do) and reflected on the joys of my life, what my life has become and all the things I've learned about myself in these 40 years. Not to say that my life has been all joy because that's not true, I've just decided not to spend energy going to those places.

Some thoughts that came to mind:

I can be a bit fickle about the things I like but have always loved the color orange

I love the act of giving, every step of the way, from the picking of a gift, to the wrapping and seeing the expression on the one who receives it.

I'm really not that fond of technology but am doing my best to embrace it(blogging has been a huge leap for me)

I still love snail mail as long as it's not junk mail

I have little tolerance for naivete or for the insincere and no longer make any space for it. My life is too precious to waste on such nonsense.

It's important to plan for the future, my future, my family's future. It would be a shame to just sit back and wait to see what happens when I can make choices right now.

Life is good, I've surrounded myself with loving, caring friends and family, this makes me happy

I'm pretty pleased with where I've been and how far I've come....and I'm ready to enjoy my 40's!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Sweet Friends

I can't tell you how nice it is to know we have such caring and loving friends. After Daddy's (Max) abrupt departure to Spain to help grandma I had so many friends come to our support. Daddy was gone for just a couple days shy of two weeks and it was the first time I had been home alone with the boys. It sure was a reminder to how helpful daddy is at home...and it sure was a peek into how difficult it is to be a single parent (that's a whole other post there). We don't have any family that lives near by but my dear sister did make the trek over to relieve me a bit on her days off. Thank you for that dear sis! Also thank you dear friends for all of you who check in on us, took us on play dates, and even relieved me of some cooking. Each and every one of you holds a dear place in my heart and is a reminder that friends are and extension of our family.

This Artful Thursday, I've just begun to make some small thank you gifts to show my gratitude. I started with this little birdie tag.

Simple large parcel tag that has been embellished with a page from a vintage atlas index. I used a stencil to add some pattern to the page, a few chipboard stickers, some ink, fun ribbon and there you go... a sweet one of a kind tag to add to any thank you gift. I'm giving a some friends a box of one of my favorite assortment of teas that I know she will enjoy too!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What We Like Wednesday: Daddy Our Hero

I've been thinking about Father's Day already so I'll continue with that thought and dedicate this Wednesday to our hero "Daddy". We absolutely love Daddy. One of his greatest qualities is that he is definitely a "take charge" kind of person who gets things done. You can count on him to follow through until the task is done. He's got lots of other great qualities and some not so good ones too, but this one is definitely shining right now.

If you've been reading my blog, you'll know that we recently had a most unfortunate event with grandma while on vacation in Spain. "Daddy",(Max) took charge and had every detail outlined and taken care of with a few delegations to me, mostly some translation and phone calls. But he made sure that every particular point had been taken care of. His follow through and attention to detail is one I'm most impressed with, whether it was dealing with medical care, support for grandpa, or the small stuff like cancelling their newspaper delivery, you could be assured that he'd already thought of it and outlined exactly how it would be taken care of. I know in an earlier post I said there were no heroes to this event but I've decided I need to take that back. Daddy truly is our HERO.

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