Friday, December 31, 2010


In about an hour, we are all going to BJ's pizza restaurant (Kalie's work) for dinner. Since she just got transferred to this location, I guess that means "low man on the totem pole" and she got the New Year's Eve shift. Well, we will keep her company!

Sunday, we will be going to La Palapa, Kalie's wedding site, to bring centerpieces and hopefully meet with the DJ. We want to see how the tables will look with our Pier I purchases. I plan on taking photos, so I'll show you next week. The DJ needs to center the K & J initials that will be projected onto the dance floor.

Kalie chose La Palapa for a few reasons.
1. Jeremy wanted to be married ON THE SAND. Not next to the sand, not looking down from a cliff to the sand, not looking at sand through a window of a church. ON.THE.SAND!
La Palapa has a beautiful runner that extends from the sidewalk area onto the sand and ends under palm trees with a gazebo. Chairs are set on each side (bride's side and groom's side) of the runner. Their feet will never actually touch sand. They will be on the runner. Mine however will. Not thrilled. I'm still trying to figure this situation out. I guess I could supply sandals in a beach tub for guests, or maybe offer hot towels to wipe their feet after the ceremony, or pretend we are really not on actual sand and simply smile a lot. Still working this situation out.

2. Kalie did not want anyone to have to travel from wedding site to reception site. La Palapa is a funky bar type restaurant on the beach in Long Beach. CUTE, CUTE, CUTE. My girlfriends and I have spent many a night there having a rip roaring time. When my mom told me that a friend of hers attended a wedding there, I was significantly puzzled. My mom said the reception was upstairs. What I recalled was a tiki style rooftop with no stairs anywhere in sight. However, when Kalie and I made an appointment to see the reception spot, we went outside to stairs that ran along the side of the building. Intriguing. Elizabeth, owner and coordinator, opened the double doors and both Kalie and I took a collective gasp. BEAUTIFUL. Simply gorgeous. A full bar as you walk in, a "cigar or international coffee room" to the left, down the wide foyer hall was a beautiful gazebo with crystal chandelier that the wedding cake sat under. The ballroom had a gigantic crystal chandelier with red and ivory swags that started in the center of the ceiling above the dance floor and extended the wall. Unbelievable. The floor to ceiling windows overlooking the shoreline and Queen Mary was gorgeous. Everywhere were European looking armoires, wing backed chairs, and beautiful wood. Stunning. We signed the contract that day!

3. Both Kalie and Jeremy were born and raised in Long Beach. This is a Long Beach wedding! 90% of our friends and family all live in Long Beach. We are using as many local vendors as possible. We love our little hometown! Their wedding night will be spent down the street a ways where they will have more beautiful ocean views, and the rest of us won't have far to travel to curl up in our own beds after a blissful night.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday

There is always so much to be thankful for. I wish I focused more on those things during the week than all the problems or concerns that I am facing. One way that a thankful heart arises within me every time is listening to my Christian radio station in the car. I have now found Pandora at home! If you don't know about this-! It is a radio station that you can create your own music stations. I entered Alli Rogers, and now a plethora of wonderful music comes on that put me in a very thankful state of mind!

This was a low key week. Yes, I'm thankful for that, too! Christmas Eve was spent with Todd, Austin, Ashley and Laura at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Chens. I decided cooking on Christmas Eve and having my family for brunch on Christmas Day was just TOO MUCH!! Kalie spent the evening with Jeremy's family; a new tradition that will now carry on through their married life!

After watching "A Christmas Story" and going to bed relatively early, Todd and I woke up at 6 to put the Christmas ham in the oven. Actually, he did all the work, I watched and sipped my coffee on the sidelines! By 8:00 we woke the kids and announced that Santa had arrived!
After presents, I made some deviled eggs, put the ham on a platter, shared the lox, cream cheese & bagels, and set out the fruit. A light brunch was perfect!

We enjoyed our presents and our family!

Because of so much rain here, we have played until our hearts content! It has been a relaxing vacation! For that, I am extremely thankful!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday's Worship

I began praying this years ago. Insert your husband and children's names to have greater impact for your family!

Ephesians 3:14 - 19

14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,

15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,

16 that He would grant (name), according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and they (name), being rooted and grounded in love,

18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that (name) may be filled up to all the fulness of God.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Organization and Well Intentions

How often I bite off more than I can chew. BUT..... I find that IF I'm organized, I can somehow manage! So in an effort to blog, I've decided to create a system. That goes along perfectly with my type A nature! I've decided to have each day dedicated to a different "theme". This will hopefully keep me motivated AND accomplish a few of the things that are tugging at my heart.

I will break the days into the areas I WANT to talk about - hopefully this will make it less of a chore. Because I am NOT a writer, it sometimes feels "chore like" to stare at a blank page and come up with something! SO - the categories are...... (drum roll, please..)

Mondays Menu: Another attempt to post my meal planning, links to recipes, and share a few of my favorite foods :D

Tuesdays Top 5: whether it is organizing tips, books I've read, things I'm learning, disasters that have happened in our home JK, something that might inspire or at least commit to my memory through this blog, I will come up with 5 things!

Wednesdays Worship: I need to read and ponder the Bible more often than I am doing. This is an attempt to look at a piece of scripture, commit a portion to memory, use it in my life, see how big our amazing God is, and share.

Thankful Thursday: This is the day I want to share about my household. What I'm thankful for, what we've been up to, keep a journal of happenings to look back on when I'm old and gray. What a minute, I am old and gray. Well, highlighted and middle aged at least.

Fun Friday: Here I want to highlight Kalie's wedding process. We are having so much fun planning for her big day! I've decided that if God so chooses, I would trade out teaching for wedding planning as a full time occupation. I'll share my journey of how I have approached each vendor, thought, commitment, and idea related to this magical time!

WEEKENDS OFF unless otherwise inspired!

SOOOOO..... Because I want to be diligent, I will start today!

TUESDAYS TOP 5: How to stay organized!

1) A place for everything. I am forever harping on my children to pick up things and "put them in there place!". I have designated every spot in my house for something: pleasure, work, cooking, more formal gatherings, more casual hanging out. I've bought furniture and accessories that help in this process. We have organizers in our drawers to help declutter the utensils.

Because this is my philosophy, and not shared by all (ahem, Todd), I decided to move out of "our office" and create my own office in my daughter Ashley's old room. She moved out last summer (but still somehow shows up here regularly for meals and a night on the couch!), and now I have my own clean, organized space. IF you do anything for yourself: I implore you, make a spot just for you!

2) Time Management. Need I say more. I'm a list maker. Surprise! I'm also a control freak! Surprise! On my classroom white board I have a large area designated "Daily Routine". Under this title lists the day's activities - complete with times! Every student looks at that board several times a day. I watch their eyes move over it to see what's coming next!

I plan my time at home the same way! I make of list of "things to do" and then I go back and assign a "time frame" for each item. I then re-write the list so it is in chronological order from the beginning of the day until the end! If it's on the list, there is a 99% chance it will be accomplished. If it floats around in my head, 99% chance it won't! Because mom's have so much to think about, thoughts and ideas get lost all the time. By having it in writing, I can release my brain from storing that little piece of information. By assigning times, I can navigate my day to maximize accomplishment and minimize wasted time.

3) Meal Planning. The truth is - if I don't plan for it, it won't get done. This includes eating in my house. This is primarily due to the fact that I don't just throw together ingredients to create a fabulous dish. I'm a recipe reader. I love reading recipes and following along. I can throw in a few substitutions or change out meats to create new dishes, but I need a foundation in which to springboard from. On Saturdays, I plan my meals for the week. Once I have my plan (cooking at least 4 days with room for left overs), I make two lists. One list is the day with the designated dish ie Monday: Stir Fry with rice. The second list is the grocery list! I do this as I pick each meal. I jot down on a separate piece of paper all the items I need to pick up at the market to complete the meal.

Now whether we end up having a dish on that particular night (things do come up!), at least I know I have all the ingredients I need to prepare the meal. That is the part that makes eating possible in my house! This said, every kitchen does need staples. I will make that my next Tuesdays top 5: Staples every kitchen should have!

4)A Family Calendar! A place where everything is written down for every member of the family! This is the whole reason I bought my IPAD! A color coded calendar. Each member of the household has a color! Now I glance at my calendar and know exactly who needs to be where at what time! Now that my girls are in college, I rarely need to check on them. They still give me their semester schedule and any important dates that need my attention. The trick to this happening: Make sure you check in with your husband at least weekly to input any of his up coming activities! There's nothing worse than planning a family movie, only to find out he's sailing that day. Just saying.

5)Create alone time. Whether you are an early riser, a late to bed person, or find breaks in the day, you will need time to create lists, mentally go over schedules, or just sit before God quietly. We all need alone time to decompress and organize! This time is precious and only leads to positive outcomes!

Happy Organizing!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chocolate Cake

What's wrong with having a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast. Nothing! Austin and I just finished off a delicious treat my mom just brought by. Chocolate Molten Cake! Yum. And, yes, I gave him orange juice to make it a balanced breakfast.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Potty Training

In an effort to record some memories, I will try and blog at least once a month. Maybe then I'll be proud of myself if I pump out two blogs in the same amount of time...

Austin: The most precious little man ever. I LOVE that little guy soooo much. He is fun, innocent, helpful, compliant, sweet, interested, and completely absorbed in his DS at the present moment. I know that I sound like a biased mom, but truly, I complain about my kids when warranted!

This is day 3 of potty training.

PROS: He has only had 2 accidents today. He has only worn pull ups at night, cutting down the cost of that expensive item! He only cries for about 20 seconds now when I put on the toilet. He doesn't need any stimulus to pee.
CONS: I'm tired. He doesn't tell me when he needs to go. I still have to pick him up and carry him to the potty kicking and objecting. I'm tired. He hasn't pooped in a day. Did I mention that I'm tired.

Ashley: Ashley who? Oh, yeah, my second daughter. She is 20 and living everywhere at the present time. This year she moved to her dad's house, but she prefers sleeping at all of her friends' houses! She is in her 3rd year of college, and excelling in Art, her major. She also just got hired at UPS. Ashley - come home! I miss you. Even though I saw you this morning -

Kalie - Getting married June 11, 2011. I am most anxious to blog about her wedding, so I can keep these memories fresh. So far we have the venue - a beachy restaurant with a BEAUTIFUL ballroom upstairs. We have hired the photographer, DJ, florist, cake decorator, and bought the invitations. I will post more detail as we advance towards the day!

It has finally stopped raining here in Southern California! Todd had to replace 3 sump pumps and THANK GOD we had no flooding in the house. Christmas is approaching quickly - we will have Christmas morning here with the family. Todd's family will arrive on Sunday.

I bought myself a camera for Christmas. It is wrapped and ready to go under the tree. I can't wait to open it! Maybe then, I'll even post a few pictures!! Yahoo!!!