Monday, January 18, 2010

New Uses for Tool Benches

Santa brought Cooper the coolest toolbench for Christmas. Cooper loves to hang out with Daddy in the workshop, so he knew this would be the perfect present.
I'm sure he didn't imagine that Cooper would climb into the bench to sit on the lower shelf.

Rainy Day Fun

Yesterday it started raining. The weather forecast is predicting a steady week of rain with several inches falling in the next 8 days.
The kids and I have today off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day (King Day as Gracie calls it), so we were looking for something to keep us occupied while staying dry. Playdough seemed the perfect answer.

We mixed up two batches yesterday afternoon while Cooper was napping. Gracie made purple (although she insisted on calling it magenta).

Emma Jo made aqua-marine. The girls spent a good hour yesterday making playdough pizzas and animals.

This morning Emma Jo is more interested in playing on the Wii, but Cooper loves the playdough.

He has been bring me presents saying "cookie for you" or "Merry Christmas" and asking me to taste his creations.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Over the past year, I've really come to enjoy reading other people's blogs. It is a little glimpse into other people's lives. Sort of like reality TV but without the staging and drama... I've always been disappointed when my favorite bloggers sort of disappear for a while or dramatically reduce the number of entries they post. They usually return after the absence and apologize but explain that life just got too busy and they didn't have time to write. I could never understand that. For me posts usually take 10 minutes in the very early hours of the morning after Jason has left for work and the kids are still sleeping. It is my quiet time and I spend it reflecting on the previous day and preparing for the day ahead. If there was something noteworthy that happened the day before I jot it down and share. I do it as much for my recollection as I do for my readers. I never felt that blogging was a time drain... Until recently.

December was one whirlwind of a month. At work I manage a shipping department and we had a record number of orders each day for a week! My staff worked 50-60 hours a week for the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was non-stop all day and everyone pitched in to get the packages off to our customers. On top of that the kids were busy. We had many Christmas activities between school, work, church, Girl Scouts, Awana and Family. There wasn't a chance to unwind from work in the evening.

To top it off, Cooper chose December to be the month when he wouldn't sleep. We were lucky if he was asleep by 9pm and hoped that he would only wake up once during the night. Then he would wake up at 5am (or earlier). Not only did his night waking reduce our level of sleep, his early morning wake up prevented me from having my quiet time. No quiet time equals no blog posts.

Now things have calmed down. The Holiday rush is over at work. The Christmas activities are behind us for another year. Cooper is sleep better (although still not great). But I'm still at a loss for words. I think part of it is winter dull-drums. The cold weather has really prevented us from "doing anything" which is a little depressing.
We had a family talk today and decided we would like to have at least one "family activity" every month. Choices include going to the beach, visiting the zoo, camping, Angel Island or Alcatraz, China Town and a Giants game. I'm looking forward to many family activities during the new year.

Last night we were able to go to the Janine Faloni Pasta Dinner Fundraiser. Janine was injured in November when an SUV jumped the curb and pinned her to a pillar. She lost one leg and severely injured the other. During her 6+ weeks in the hospital and numerous surgeries, her faith in the Lord carried her through. Janine's daughter goes to school with the girls and we are members at the same church. Her faith and reliance on prayer has been a testament to me and I was encouraged to see the turn-out at the event last night. The event sold out and they had to halt the collection of auction items because they got so many donations. It was amazing to see people from church, school and the community that banded together to help this local family.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas 2009

This Christmas season was a whirlwind. Between work, family, kids, parties and activities, I've hardly had time to breathe let alone post. I was utterly exhausted last weekend trying to re-coup from our Christmas celebrations. Now I feel better than normal! Here are the pictures we captured from the season.

Decorating the Tree.

Opening Presents Christmas Morning.

Ready to go to Grammie's.

Mid-Brown. Grace's number 1 Christmas Present. She asked for it for weeks. Grampa came through, just as she knew he would!

Cooper and his new motorcycle.

Cooper riding one of the Twins' new motorcycles.

Grace and Mid-Brown watching a movie on Grammie's bed.

Christmas Eve 2009

On Christmas Eve every year we celebrate with the Pina family. For the last few years we've gathered at the winery. This year it was a casual finger-food feast. The party started early enough in the day that the kids could play outside. They enjoyed the bocce court, horseshoes and the new "VIP" Deck.

My gorgeous nephew, Dallas.

The very handsome, Mays.

Grace jumping "SO HIGH" on the deck.

The best I could do for the Gimme Five photo.

Once we came inside my camera battery went dead. The rest of the pictures were taken with Grampa's camera...