Thursday, October 30, 2008

Carving Pumpkins & Vince Gill

Last night, Grammie and Grampa came over for pumpkin carving for Halloween. Each of the girls drew their jack-o-lantern faces all by themselves. This year was only the first or second time that Emma Jo was willing to get her hands dirty and reach inside the pumpkin to scoop out the guts. Grace wasn't up for that adventure and requested gloves. We didn't have any gloves so she recruited Daddy and Grampa to help her.

Cooper was more interested in trying to eat his pumpkin.

After pumpkin carving was over, Jason and I went to see Vince Gill perform an acoustical concert. Although it was a long, late night, we had a great time. He gave a great performance with lots of stories about his family and his songs. Many thanks to Grammie and Grampa who came and watched the kids while we had a night out.

Monday, October 27, 2008


About 5 minutes after this play, Emma Jo had the best play of her soccer career. She didn't score, but she controlled the ball and brought it all the way down the field even using her body to shield the ball from the defenders.

This isn't the best clip, but it is all I have. We thought Grandma Bette would especially like watching Emma Jo play. Emma is number 13.

More pictures

Grace Louise posing at the soccer game.

Cooper getting into mischief on his wagon at the soccer game. Notice that he has his team shirt on supporting the Cool Cats.

Cooper John in the new sink at Grammie & Grampa's little guest house. Daddy has been working on building all new cabinets for the renovated kitchen.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another Great Weekend

We just finished another great weekend. Emma Jo had three soccer games, 1 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. Gracie and I missed the game on Saturday since we had a memorial service to go to, but Jason reported that the Cool Cats played very well. They came together and really played like a cohesive team. Sunday morning we played really well but it was obvious it was the end of a long weekend of soccer and our girls were tuckered out. Next weekend is our last game of the season and the end-of-season party.

Cooper worked this weekend to perfect his cheesy grin. I'll post a picture when I get a good one. He flashes smile with all eight teeth showing then tilts his chin back and almost laughs. He usually breaks it out when he knows he is doing something wrong as if he is saying "can you really be mad at a face like this?"

This week we are gearing up for Halloween. Grace is going to be Minnie Mouse, Cooper is a lion and Emma Jo is going to be a gumball machine. The girls are having special parties at school to celebrate the occasion. Grace's preschool is having a Pajama party for "P" week and Emma Jo's school is having a Harvest Party where the kids can dress up has farmers.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Silver Pass Weekend - Piña Napa Valley

Piña Napa Valley announced yesterday that they are again participating in the Silver Pass Weekend with the Silverado Trail Wineries Association. The event happens every year over the Veteran's Day holiday weekend. It is always a great event with lots of wine and food. Usually guests can talk one of the brothers, or winemaker Anna, into barrel samples and even older vintages. I've heard rumors that Jason will be making his famous Paella again. The event happens on both Saturday, November 8th and Sunday, November 9th. The kids and I will probably only attend one day, not sure yet which.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Check it out!

Ranndy has started a new blog. It is all about the wine industry and growing up in the Napa Valley. You can find it at There is also a link in my "favorite blogs" to the right.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Knock on Wood

He did it! For the first time in over a week, Cooper slept through the night last night. I'm not sure what has been going on lately, but it sure hasn't been sleep. Lately he has been waking up once or twice a night. Friday night was the worst when Jason and Cooper had a few hours of bonding time in the La-Z-Boy chair. Last night Cooper went to sleep around 6:30pm, woke up around 8:30pm and then slept through until 5:30am. I sure do feel better after a good nights rest!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Grace's Class Songs

Last year in Preschool, Grace was in the bunny class. Her teacher, Mrs. Eufusia, taught the class the Bunny Song. We especially like the "potton tail".

Here is Grace's commentary:This year I'm in the turtle class. Mrs Winter taught me the turtle song. Mrs. Eufusia taught me the finger bunny song. I love school since I moved to a different class. Gabi and Matthew are my favorite friends and I like to play with them everyday.

Pumpkin Patch - 2008

On Saturday, the whole family went to the pumpkin patch. Emma Jo really wanted to go in the corn maze but it isn't open yet this season. Gracie just wanted to go in the pirate ship jumpy house. Grammie and Grampa joined us and we took lots of pictures!

Each of the kids got to pick their own pumpkins. Cooper chose a small white one. It is just about a match to a baseball.

Grace chose the perfect sized one that she could carry herself.
Emma Jo's pumpkin is just the right shape for carving.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mountain Lion Spotting

"Hey Mom, I can't see anything"

"Do lions live in caves?"
" Mountain Lion spotted in our family room."

I decided that Cooper should be a lion for Halloween. Jason said he had to be a "tough" lion, nothing too cute. This was the toughest lion I could find, but I still think he looks pretty cute.

Spring Hill Jersey Cheese Farm & Peter Pumpkin Patch

I'm so disappointed I forgot my camera yesterday. I could have taken some great pictures to post on here... Patti took some pics for me. When she emails me I'll post them.

I was lucky enough to take Friday afternoon off of work and accompany Emma Jo on a Girl Scout Field Trip to the Spring Hill Jersey Cheese Farm & Peter Pumpkin Patch in Petaluma. There were 13 girls, 6 parents and 2 siblings. We drove out into the middle of nowhere, past the dump, past Two Rock, seemed like almost to the coast, and finally arrived at the farm. There we got to taste fresh cheese curds, milk a cow, take a hayride, dig for potatoes, pick pumpkins and have fresh ice cream. The girls also climbed a haystack pyramid and navigated a hay maze.

Emma Jo said her favorite part was picking pumpkins. She and Danielle walked clear across the patch almost as far as you could see to find the perfect jack-o-lantern shape. Then she had to carry it all the way back, but she didn't complain at all. She was so proud of her perfect pumpkin.

The girls had mixed reactions to milking Jessie, the cow. Some were hesitant to kneel underneath her and pull on the teats. Others thought it was a great adventure. One girl got in line a 2nd time she liked it so much. Another shrieked when she didn't have good aim and splashed her foot.

I liked digging for potatoes and eating the fresh ice cream. There was a patch with all different types of potatoes. We were given fork spades to dig and unearth our potatoes. They weren't very deep and it was like a winter Easter Egg hunt, only more dirty. After we worked up a sweat we got free little cups of ice cream. Friday's offerings were Pumpkin or Vanilla. I chose Vanilla and it was super smooth and creamy.

I would definitely consider going out there again with the whole family. I would highly recommend it as a field trip for young children.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin Harvest

Yesterday, Grammie and Grampa harvested the pumpkins from their property.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Silver Oak Vintner's Gala

Last night was the first Grand Opening Party for Silver Oak's new Oakville Winery. We celebrated with an all-hands-on-deck party for winery principals and other VIP guests. The night was beautiful despite the wind and chill. I wish I had remembered a camera to take pictures of the winery. It was all decked out in harvest colors of orange, brown, red and yellow. The lawn was scattered with bistro tables covered in silk tableclothes, upholstered benches for relaxing and propane heaters to ward off the chill. There was a flamenco troop to entertain at the top of the hour and a string quartet to set the mood throughout the night.

I was lucky enough to be assigned the responsibility of serving champange on the red carpet to our guests as they arrived. Everyone seemed to appreciate the grand effort that was put in to the Gala and the special effect of walking down a red carpet flanked with champagne. I only dropped one tray and that was in the very beginning of the night before too many guests arrived. By 7pm, I was an expert at holding a tray one-handed and passing out flutes with the other.

After my dinner break, I volunteered myself to pass out our party favors. Guests seemed impressed with our attention to every detail when I handed them baby Oak trees and Bouchon chocolates. At least one in three guests had to ask if the seedling was a Silver Oak but I believe it was actually a Valley Oak. My understanding is that Silver Oaks do exist, but they are native to Hawaii, not California. It was fun to talk with guests about there impression of the new facility and I only heard very positive comments. It was also nice to have a job that happened to be right next to a heater.

While I was working, Jason was home with the kids. They did just fine without me and even baked home-made pretzels.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Wednesday night we got word that my mother-in-law, Bette, fell and broke her arm. Jason tells me that she missed the last stair or two and lost her balance. The break is about and inch or so below her shoulder. It has left her with a trussed-up right arm. They are expecting extensive therapy for her shoulder once she can begin moving it again. Bette, I pray that you heal quickly and that the pain isn't too much. Hugs from all of us here in California.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Soccer, Soccer, and More Soccer

We've had our fill of soccer lately. Thankfully Emma Jo loves it and she is getting pretty good! Last night we had a scrimmage against the U10 Girls competitive team. Emma Jo is still playing in the recreational league which has a season that runs August through October. The traveling competitive league goes April through November, and they play or practice at least 6 hours a week!

We were prepared to be blown out of the water. Coach Andy prepared the girls for defeat, but he thought it would be a great opportunity for the girls to see how a more experienced team played the field. We did end of losing, but we did great! The girls didn't back down against the more experienced team. Our goalie stopped lots of shots and everyone had fun.

Tuesday's game was probably even more fun for the girls since that was the annual "parents v. the kids" game. Jason and Grace played on the parents team while Cooper and I cheered from the sidelines. I think it ended in a tie, but there were lots of laughs and joking throughout the game. That night everyone slept well in our house!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another Great Weekend

We started our weekend early with Kortney's wedding on Friday night. She was an absolutely beautiful bride and looked so happy! The ceremony was outside, but the rain held off until we got under the tent for dinner. It really started coming down around 9:30, but by then we'd had enough wine that no one seemed to mind:).

Saturday's soccer games were rained out. Emma Jo was bummed, but I was a little relieved. It made it much easier to do our errands, get Cooper a nap, make a ladybug, and go to Breanna's birthday party.

Sunday we had two soccer games. We played hard the first day but fell curse to the "no banner daemons". The banner was back in the afternoon and we did great! The girls were jazzed to finish the weekend with a 5-1 victory.

Jason assures me that the rain had little to no effect on this years crop, "just washed off the grapes." It was a little dreary looking out my window at work on Friday and only seeing grey, but I think I'm just about ready for the rainy season. It will be nice to wear sweaters and be warm in our office, for once.

This week brings us the usual ballet, gymnastics, and choir. We also have a parents v. kids soccer game on Tuesday, scrimmage against the competitive team on Wednesday, and regular soccer game on Saturday. Then Saturday night is the Vintner's Gala Grand Opening at Silver Oak. It is an "all hands on deck" celebration and I get to pour champagne on the red carpet. I'm sure it will be a long night, but hopefully it will be fun as well.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Busy, Busy Weekend

Today kicks off a very busy weekend for our family.

It all starts tonight with Kortney's wedding. It is going to be fun to see old friends and celebrate. I also can't wait to see new pictures of Harrison (or perhaps he'll be there). Hopefully the rain holds off, or the wedding is inside.

Saturday we have two soccer games and one birthday party.
Sunday is another two soccer games. This is "Windsor Cup" weekend so all recreational teams are playing multiple games.

It'll be interesting to see how well Cooper does with all the activities. Of course, the games are scheduled at the typical beginning and end of his nap. Hopefully he'll catch some zzz's in his stroller or Ergo carrier.

We are also selling Girl Scout Nuts and Wrapping Paper for the Pre-school. If anyone wants some, give us a call!