Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Griffin's 11th Birthday

Griffin had a great birthday party on Saturday! He kept it low key but entertaining ;) He was sure easy to shop for this year, everything was Xbox...Xbox....Xbox!   We had the usual crowd and glorious weather! We ended up with a wonderful thunderstorm that brought us much needed rain and cooler temps. We ordered Serrano's for lunch as Griffin requested. He wanted to break the boring cake tradition with root beer floats for his sweet treat. I think everyone had a great time.

I can't believe this kid is 11. He loves motorcycles, muscle cars, big trucks, Xbox, nerf guns, a wide variety of music (even Richard Marx...I'm so impressed), Legos, math, science, snuggling, farting loudly and harassing his sisters. He also likes to snuggle with Alyssa and have camp-outs in the play room with her. Those freckles and beautiful blue eyes get him out of some hairy situations...he knows how to get to me. He also knows how to push my buttons so I guess it's a 50/50 split on how much trouble he gets into and out of. He is his father's son in many ways and I love the moments that those shine through.

Without delay...here are the pics!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


September is half way gone already! Griffin's 11th birthday is coming up on Sept. 24th. I can't believe this tiny boy is an almost 11 year old 5th grader! He is excited for his party :) No real theme, I guess he's too big for that but he did request Serrano's food for his party lunch. I am excited that I am actually subbing his class on his true birthday. I'll get to spend half the day and lunch with my little buddy ;)

I'm happy to say we've had a lot more rain this summer than in the past 20 or so. We actually had major flooding in the valley. Freeways were shut down, schools were closed down, it was a real mess! We've had some cooler days and gorgeous cloudy days. The nights are getting longer and the nighttime temps are coming down into the upper 70's. That's a real break for us! I hope we have seen the last of the 105+ temps for 2014 but I'm not positive that is the case. For the last 5 or so years it's been at least 105 for Griffin's birthday. Maybe this year will be the breaker! I remember it was stormy and cool on the night he was born. Maybe we'll get lucky and have that happen again! Have I mentioned how I can't believe how big this boy is getting!?

The kids are doing well, plugging along in school. Cassandra really enjoys high school. She's going to her first Homecoming game on Friday and the dance on Saturday. It is very different than when I was in high school...she doesn't have a date, she's going with a group of girls. We went dress shopping together with her friends and moms. Her dress is beautiful and I can't wait to show off pics of her this Saturday!

I guess there isn't much else to tell...we are just on auto pilot as we cruise through the next few weeks on our way to fall break! Those are two weeks we are ALL looking forward to! We are headed to Colorado for about a week and then have our second week of break to do nothing but relax at home! I have my fingers crossed for good weather in Arizona but I KNOW we'll have gorgeous weather in Colorado, rain or shine!

Here are some kid pics and some pics of projects I've been working on...I'm in full holiday decorating mode!

 Me and my Alyssa ready for the QCE sock hop!
 Shane and Savannah on their way out for their date night to see "The Giver"
 Griffin in his new Harley D reading glasses!
 Some vinyl projects I've been working on....

 The new buffet for my beloved seance room ;)

 Halloween wreath for a neighbor

 "home is where my heart is" painted sign :D
 Halloween subway art
 Griffin and his First Lego League team!
 More vinyl projects!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hello August!

Time is flying! We are that much closer to fall break ;) I also recently learned there are only 19 more Fridays until Christmas. Imagine that!

It's been hot as hell here. I guess that shouldn't be a surprise. When the temp does go down then the humidity goes up. We just can't seem to win. We are also on the edge of that "I'm so done with the heat" phase of the summer. We can see September so close bringing promise of cooler night temps and the vague glimmer of hope for lower daytime temps. I went ahead and busted out my fall decor. Silly me, I count August as part of fall!  I guess because for me, our summer is May, June and July (while the kids are out of school) Fall starts with August for our house. Plus, by August I need a change of interior scenery to keep me as sane as possible. I am not sure it works but I try :)

School is rolling along. Cassandra is really having a great time in high school! She had her first high school dance last Friday. She brought 5 friends home with her on the bus to hang out until the dance. 4 girls, 1 boy. We had about 5 hours to kill before the dance so they played Wii, did their hair and makeup...well, not the boy. Danced, ate a lot and just hung out. Cassandra has been having fun making her plans for the future. She recently decided that joining the Navy would be a good start to her career in the FBI. I have talked to recruiters and done research. I guess if this is her path of choice, it's a good one. She cracks me up, so determined at only 14!!

Savannah is having a great time in 7th grade! She is so fearless. I envy her :) She has the most amazing science teacher! This lady has done it all and has a doctorate in science. She said they will do maybe 6 book assignments for the year but they will do well over 80 labs and around a dozen projects. Savannah is so excited! My little Cubby is getting so big.

Griffin is adjusting in 5th grade (middle school). He has wonderful teachers and friends in his classes/lunch. He just needs to get organized. I think some people have that gene or they don't. Cassandra didn't but she learned it by 7th grade. Perhaps Griffin will be the same ;) His language arts teacher and I are working together to keep his papers and such in check until he gets the hang of it. It's only the 4th week of school and he's already doing much better!

Alyssa is doing great in 2nd grade. Her teacher is wonderful! She said he is so nice and fun until people won't be quiet and then he uses his big voice. That always makes me laugh. She is doing well for her first year with no siblings at her school. She still loves watching Dirty Jobs marathons. She has fallen in love with the show Castle so we watch a lot of those during the week too! Some days I really wish she'd say "Hey, can we watch bubble guppies!?" I guess those days are long gone :-/

Shane is good...work is keeping him busy and out of trouble ;) We are both ready to get out of the heat for a few days during fall break. We are headed to a cabin in Pagosa Springs with the kids and we can't wait! The leaves should be changing and the weather should be awesome!

Here are some first day of school and other pics!

 Cassandra had to do a little poster that shows things she loves!
 Last minute baby snuggles!
 We were lounging ;)
 First day of School! Cassandra 9th, Savannah 7th, Alyssa 2nd, Griffin 5th. Can you tell who is excited about HS?

 Cassandra has to be to school balls early so we did our "ready for school" pics after she left! Sigh, they are so big!
My loves!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Trips part three

More Colorado...ya, I know.

We found the family plot in Creede. It took quite a bit of searching but Shane was the one who found it :)

 They were refurbishing the little church in Creede, it looked beautiful.

Summer Trips part two

I will let the gorgeous pictures speak for themselves in Colorado. Suffice it to say, we were very taken with our trip there.  The whole family can't wait to go back in the fall!

 Alyssa on her hike at the top of Wolf Creek Pass
 Some gorgeous land in Pagosa Springs ;)
 Griffin and Alyssa made a good friend at the cabin, Michael the cat.
 Daddy and Lyssie Belle fishing.
 She was so ready to try out every trick she learned watching all the River Monster episodes! I think Jeremy Wade would have been proud ;)
 My goofy boys.
 Savannah had just informed Cassandra that "you are short and bossy but I love you!"
 My little fishergirl.
 Me and my cubby.
 We had such a gorgeous spot to fish! Clouds and breeze and then sun and breeze. Sadly, no fish biting.
Me, boy and our favorite photobomber!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Trips Part One

This summer has been a glorious whirlwind of travel! As you know, we started off the last day of school headed to Disneyland. A couple of weeks later, Shane and I went to San Diego to mix a little business with our anniversary getaway. Recently, he had a conference in northern Arizona so we tagged along and went to Bearizona, the Flagstaff Arboretum and then headed up to Colorado.

San Diego was awesome! We stayed in a gorgeous hotel right next door to Seaport Village. We did a harbor cruise (I had not done one of those since before we had kids) and we toured the USS Midway! What a great experience! I really didn't care much about doing it but Shane was really excited so I said sure ;) It turned out to be amazing!

Our trip to Flagstaff was great, it was pleasently chilly! We swam, got in the hot tub, hiked all over the Arboretum, saw squirrels and all sorts of beautiful birds. We went to Bearizona which is a preserve of sorts. They have bears, wolves, bison, fox, badgers, mountain goats and more! You drive through part of it and then there is a walk through section which is much like a tiny zoo. They had adult bears in the drive through part, adolescent and baby bears in the walk through section. We had a great time and again, the weather was gorgeous!

We finished up our 2 days in Flagstaff and headed straight up to Colorado. It was sad to see how much of the Ponderosa Pines that had been destroyed by the Bark Beetles. The aspens were still alive and flourishing but the pines were just dead and brown. Crumbling in many cases. It had been 12 years since I had been to Colorado, I had forgotten how much I liked it there. We went up through Durango, Pagosa Springs, Wolf Creek Pass and stayed in Southfork in some cute little cabins. We fished, hiked, saw a TON of wildlife. OMG, I have never seen so many different kinds of animals not in a zoo! We drove to Lake City which is breathtaking!! I saw moose, deer, squirrels, beaver dams, porcupine nests, birds....so much! The valley leading there with all the horses and ranches was so beautiful. It was like watching a Robert Redford movie, so scenic! We went to Creede a couple of times. I love that little town, so much colorful history. We went to the old Creede cemetary to find the Leonard family plot. Apparently, Leonards settled there to mine silver in the 1800s. The cemetary was very pretty and very old. We walked and walked until Shane found the Leonard plots.

We went fishing one day. It was one of the few cloudy days during our stay. The kids were super excited! Alyssa has watched so many episodes of River Monsters, she was delighted to try out her own fishing skills. She was surprisingly quiet and patient. I reminded the kids that fishing is not an exciting sport (unless you are Jeremy Wade, netting a monster) and that they had to be very quiet. They had a great time and we were out there much longer than I figured we would be! The fish were not biting but they were well fed by the time we left our spot....We all loved the small towns and being outdoors so much. We can't wait to go back!

 Our anniversary in San Diego
 Headed to Flagstaff and then on to Colorado
 We had a great time in Flagstaff
 Flagstaff Arboretum
 Enjoying the fact we were outside and not sweating! Beautiful skies, lots of squirrels and killer swarms of butterflies ;)
 My love
 Gorgeous Flagstaff skies
Shane and Cassandra goofing it up at Cracker Barrel as we head out to Colorado